Bookstr’s Three To Read This Week 03/05/2020

Welcome back, book lovers! It is that time of the week again and I have three amazing new books for your reading pleasure! As ever, we have a Hot Pick, a Coffee Shop Read, and a Dark Horse. Let’s get to it.


the freedom artist 

by Ben Okri

image via amazon


In a world uncomfortably like our own, a young woman called Amalantis is arrested for asking a question. Her question is this: Who is the Prisoner? When Amalantis disappears, her lover Karnak goes looking for her. He searches desperately at first, then with a growing realization that to find Amalantis, he must first understand the meaning of her question.

Karnak’s search leads him into a terrifying world of deception, oppression, and fear at the heart of which lies the prison. Then Karnak discovers that he is not the only one looking for the truth. The Freedom Artist is an impassioned plea for justice and a penetrating examination of how freedom is threatened in a post-truth society. In Ben Okri’s most significant novel since the Booker Prize–winning The Famished Road, he delivers a powerful and haunting call to arms.

“Like George Orwell and Margaret Atwood before him, the Booker Prize–winning Okri writes a passionate cri de coeur, a clarion call to activists everywhere to resist apathy and recognize that we are all on this beautiful globe together and that it is ours to lose.”
Library Journal


Ben Okri’s newest novel The Freedom Artist is a call for rally against oppression, following the arterial vein of The Handmaids Tale and Farenheit 451. Man Booker prize winning author, Okri, hooks the reader from the very beginning and spins a tale of courage in the face of institutionalized oppression. The short, punchy chapters keep the story moving and give the prose an addictive quality. The novel taps into ideas of morality, psychology, and sociology. The world building maintains an air of mystery, and the abstract nature of the prose adds to this.



trouble is what i do 

by Walter Mosley

image via amazon


Leonid McGill’s spent a lifetime building up his reputation in the New York investigative scene. His seemingly infallible instinct and inside knowledge of the crime world make him the ideal man to help when Phillip Worry comes knocking. Phillip “Catfish” Worry is a 92-year-old Mississippi bluesman who needs Leonid’s help with a simple task: deliver a letter revealing the black lineage of a wealthy heiress and her corrupt father. Unsurprisingly, the opportunity to do a simple favor while shocking the prevailing elite is too much for Leonid to resist.
But when a famed and feared assassin puts a hit on Catfish, Leonid has no choice but to confront the ghost of his own felonious past. Working to protect his client and his own family, Leonid must reach the heiress on the eve of her wedding before her powerful father kills those who hold their family’s secret. Joined by a team of young and tough aspiring investigators, Leonid must gain the trust of wary socialites, outsmart vengeful thugs, and, above all, serve the truth — no matter the cost.
“Watching McGill coolly deploy the physical and intellectual skills he’d acquired in his previous life as an underworld “fixer” provides the principal pleasure of this installment, along with Mosley’s own way of making prose sound like a tender, funny blues ballad…Mosley delivers enough good stuff to let you know a master’s at work.”―Kirkus
This novel is a sure win for readers that are already fans of the McGill character and series, drawing them once more into his murky New York City. As it is a quickfire, shorter novel, it is accessible for all and the plot is so engaging you’ll be hurtling through the pages at breakneck speed. For newcomers to Mosley’s crime thrillers, it serves as an interesting opener into the series as a whole. For a lot of readers, their only criticism is that it isn’t long enough to satiate their need for all things Leonid. Plus, the novel deals with white privilege and racism, giving the overall book more of a weight.

dark horse

the regrets

by Anna Bonnaffons

image via amazon


For weeks, Rachel has been noticing the same golden-haired young man sitting at her Brooklyn bus stop, staring off with a melancholy air. When, one day, she finally musters the courage to introduce herself, the chemistry between them is undeniable: Thomas is wise, witty, handsome, mysterious, clearly a kindred spirit. There’s just one tiny problem: He’s dead.

Stuck in a surreal limbo governed by bureaucracy, Thomas is unable to “cross over” to the afterlife until he completes a 90-day stint on earth, during which time he is forbidden to get involved with a member of the living — lest he incur “regrets.” When Thomas and Rachel break this rule, they unleash a cascade of bizarre, troubling consequences.
Set in the hallucinatory borderland between life and death, The Regrets is a gloriously strange and breathtakingly sexy exploration of love, the cataclysmic power of fantasies, and the painful, exhilarating work of waking up to reality, told with uncommon grace and humor by a visionary artist at the height of her imaginative power.

“Bonnaffons’s wonderful debut novel is a tale of ghostly love and passion…The tension of an ephemeral romance and impending loss will keep readers turning the pages, and the luminous prose is vibrant with penetrating observations, whether about moments that are a ‘crucial node in the universe’s vast plan’ or about dying-with or without regrets. This sexy, witty novel about life, death, and love’s power will enchant readers.”―PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (Starred Review)



Who doesn’t love love? Especially when it’s the twisty, messy, illicit kind of love. No Regrets has it all. The novel is “at once a love story, a ghost story and a low-key philosophical investigation into the nature of existence.” It is a darkly dazzling insight into female desire, shining a light on a topic that doesn’t get the spotlight it so often deserves. It will have you forming your own opinions about the limits of fantasy and the extent to which our own desires can betray us. The novel contains equal parts amazing and weird, carving out its own niche in the category of romance fiction. It is dark and entertaining, sexy and funny. You won’t regret picking up a copy.

featured image via bookstr

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