Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 3/14/19

Do you remember grade school math tests? (We understand if you’ve blocked them out.) More specifically, do you remember calculating just how many questions you could get wrong and still pass? If you’re in a similar mindset now with your reading goals—example: ‘maybe if I read four books a week I can still catch up’—it might be time to choose your books a little more wisely. The best way to read more books is to read better books… and these three would be an excellent place to start.

Here are Bookstr’s Three to Read, the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week!

Bookstr's Three to Read

Our Hot Pick:


'Internment' by Samira Ahmed



Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.



This novel openly confronts Islamophobia and bigotry, not hiding the subject of its social commentary behind the abstraction of a metaphor. A groundbreaking work of speculative fiction, Samira Ahmed‘s Internment dares to imagine a world that is no longer unimaginable—one in which American Muslims are in danger. The novel is hardly speculative; rather, it explores a dystopian reality that is, according to its author, “fifteen minutes” into the future. YA novels, and this one in particular, are increasingly willing to tackle heavy topics with grace, nuance, and undeniable power. This novel explores the ability of young people to enact change—and just how necessary their voices are and will continue to be. Undoubtedly one of the hottest YA releases of 2019, you won’t be able to put this one down… but first, you’ll have to pick it up. Trust us.


Our Coffee shop read:


'All Happy Families' by Hervé le Tellier



A prominent French writer delves into his own history in this eloquent reflection on dysfunctional family relationships. 

Hervé Le Tellier did not consider himself to have been an unhappy child–he was not deprived, or beaten, or abused. And yet he understood from a young age that something was wrong, and longed to leave. Children sometimes have only the option of escaping, and owe to that escape their even greater love of life.

Having reached a certain emotional distance at sixty years old, and with his father and stepfather dead and his mother suffering from late-stage Alzheimer’s disease, Le Tellier finally felt able to write the story of his family. Abandoned early by his father and raised in part by his grandparents, he was profoundly affected by his relationship with his mother, a troubled woman with damaging views on love.

In this perceptive, deeply personal account, Le Tellier attempts to look back on trying times in his life without anger or regret, and even with humor.



You may be familiar with the Leo Tolstoy quote behind Le Tellier’s title: “all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” And you may (or, hypothetically, may not) be well-acquainted with familial trauma. Though the degree of trauma each of us undergoes may vary, the impact tends to be the same: enormous. Renowned French experimental writer Le Tellier‘s All Happy Families explores the way these early childhood experiences impacted—and continue to impact—the man he is today. But these recollections extend beyond the typical confines of childhood memories, towards the past broader scope of Nazi-occupied France and towards an uncertain future. Although this memoir is an account of pain, it’s also a tale of forgiveness. We can all benefit from this mature, objective look into the past—maybe we can look into our own.


Our Dark HORSE:


'Grace and Fury' by Tracy Banghart



In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace – someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.



We love strong female characters—especially when strength isn’t dependant on ‘ability to punch things.’ While the sisters’ personalities may seem formulaic at first, as Tracy Banghart‘s Grace and Fury goes onto subvert expectations, so do its characters. Readers will love this almost-entirely female cast and appreciate the story’s overt commentary on sexism and female empowerment. Now is the perfect time to give this 2018 release you might’ve missed the shot it deserves: a publication date has recently been announced for the sequel. Are you one of those people who wait for the second season to drop on Netflix so you can binge it all? Yeah? Well, this is like that.