Sunday, September 13, 2015

Book Review: The Never List by Koethi Zan

Written by: Koethi Zan
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Penguin Books

Publishers Summary: 

For years, best friends Sarah and Jennifer kept what they called the “Never List”:  a list of actions to be avoided, for safety’s sake, at all costs.  But one night, against their best instincts, they accept a cab ride with grave, everlasting consequences. For the next three years, they are held captive with two other girls in a dungeon-like cellar by a connoisseur of sadism.

Ten years later, at thirty-one, Sarah is still struggling to resume a normal life, living as a virtual recluse under a new name, unable to come to grips with the fact that Jennifer didn’t make it out of that cellar. Now, her abductor is up for parole and Sarah can no longer ignore the twisted letters he sends from jail.

Finally, Sarah decides to confront her phobias and the other survivors—who hold their own deep grudges against her. When she goes on a cross-country chase that takes her into the perverse world of BDSM, secret cults, and the arcane study of torture, she begins unraveling a mystery more horrifying than even she could have imagined.


It’s been a while since I read anything from the mystery, thriller genre and I think this selection was quite a good break from all the young adult books that I have been reading of late. 10 years after escaping from her sadistic abductor, Sarah is forced to leave the comforts of her secure home to find out what really happened to her friend Jennifer. Her quest unravels something darker and sinister surrounding the events of her abduction.

To my surprise The Never List was actually a quick read. I actually read it in two seatings. It was engaging and gripping from the first page till the last and I could not put it down. The storyline provided a fairly good mystery and I felt the suspense was quite consistent throughout.

Though it does not tell you the details of the torture Sarah went through, I still found it dark and twisted. To be honest, I’m quite glad that the author didn’t go through the gory details because I don’t think I would have finished the book if she did.

Overall, I would think that this is something one can pick up if one wants a light thriller that’s quite easy to read.

I gave this book a 5 over 5 on goodreads because it was dark, suspenseful and had a great plot.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Audiobook Review: Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

Written by: David Sedaris
Narrated by: David Sedaris
Length: 6 hours 25 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Publisher: Hachette Audio

Publisher's Summary:

From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences. Whether railing against the habits of litterers in the English countryside or marveling over a disembodied human arm in a taxidermist's shop, Sedaris takes us on side-splitting adventures that are not to be forgotten.


This is my first exposure to David Sedaris’s work. I heard it on Audible. The essays were short and mostly revolving around his life experience covering some stories of his family, his life in France etc.

The first essay, Dentists without Borders got me laughing so hard I was afraid I’d get into an accident while driving. Most of his work is hilarious, especially the essays that are related to his own personal experience. He definitely has a very quirky view of life.

Not all the essays were ‘laugh out loud’ material but I generally enjoyed listening to this book. I think this book is better on audio format as Sedaris’s reading style does bring his essays to life and makes it feel a bit more personalized; for me it felt like I was having a conversation with a friend on his experience with his father, losing his passport and mourning the loss of his computer.

Sedaris’s piece on China is the one that I will remember the most. Thanks to you Mr Sedaris, I have decided never to visit China cause now all I think about when I hear China, is phlegm. Yuck…

I gave this book a 4 over 5 on Goodreads.
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