Ankur Shukla

@ankurshukla

books, coffee and occasional rants...

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Lets talk about the Crazy Rich Asians (Book Series)

So I finally finished reading the third (and the last book) in the Crazy Rich Asians series over the weekend. There are three books in the series viz. Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems. These books are written by Kevin Kwan, with the movie adaption of the first one, took America on a cultural storm making it one of the top box office grossers this summer.

While the movie markets the story as a romantic comedy, the books (all three of them) are far from it. At the core of it, the story is a family drama. Kwan has managed to create characters with textbook superficial traits as well as tinge of heart! I picked up the first book, after the twitter uproar the movie created in the last days before its release, and was instantly hooked. The story is very daytime soap like but with brilliantly created characters. I am not sure how much it echoes the actual ultra elite society of super rich Asians of Singapore, Hong Kong, Mainland China and the Malays, but the story is very compelling! What I loved the most of the books was that each book has its own set of central characters which differ in each book. There are off course some central storylines that progress throughout the books but Kwan manages to create different intrigue in each books.

I loved the last book the most in the series as it brings the stories and characters to a more realistic conclusions rather than doing any fan service. These books might not for everyone, but then which book is?? Although, anyone looking for a fun, light and soap opera-esque drama, this is a great series to pick. I don't know about others but reading these books tickled my noodle-loving palate and made me hungry! I know that's weird but I am known to mix food and leisure!

Book series recommendation: Special Agent Pendergast

If you are a fan of mystery/crime books, I would highly reccomend you books in the Agent Pendergast series. These are very skillfully written by the duo of Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston. Special Agent Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast is the modern day take on Sherlock Holmes. while he works for FBI, has very intersting background and almost always takes up grusome murder mysteries. There are clear inspirations drawn from Sir Conan Doyle's Holmes universe with a strong loyal sidekick, mysterious women, sibling rivarly and a Moriarty-esque arc nemisis.

The first two books in the series Relic and Reliquery features Pendergast as not the main character, but Preston & Lee soon discovered that they have created a very complex and superbly interesting character with Pendergast to have its own series. The only caveat is that the first couple of books needs to be read in that order atleast as it sets up all the important characters in the Pendergast universe with back stories that keeps on evolving throughout. I ploughed through 6 books so far this year and loved every single one of them!

Get registered to vote!

Today is National Voter Registration Day! While I do not follow the fad of everyday is national something day, I feel any day that explicitly calls out people to exercise their fundamental right as the citizen of their country, is worth mentioning. And in today's political climate of polarized viewpoints, where often Idealogy trumps concience and humanity, making your voice count in a democratic system is the least you can do!

If you are in the United States, today is more important than anyother as the midterm elections are right around the corner. Be a part of the referendum, do the needful, head over to headcount.org and get registered today!

What are you reading?

Since 2017 I have been participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. I pledged for 40 books last year and finished 2017 with 43 books and am currently at 45 books (and going strong). Am I selling myself short?

I am also trying to incorporate the notion of digital wellbeing to my life and reading, via listining to audiobooks, is extreamly theraputic in that sense. Its not only something that I enjoy a lot but also keeps me off news cycles these days (that has a tendency to often put me in a downward spiral of more and more screentime! ).

So...what are you reading these days??