If you’re waiting on a life-changing read, lucky you! We’ve got three coming your way this week across a broad variety of genres and subject matter: WWII historical fiction, feminist self-help, and a chilling nonfiction pursuit of one of America’s most notorious serial killers. There’s no wrong choice—so why not choose them all?
Here are Bookstr’s Three to Read, the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week!
1. Our HOT PICK
Grace Healey is rebuilding her life after losing her husband during the war. One morning while passing through Grand Central Terminal on her way to work, she finds an abandoned suitcase tucked beneath a bench. Unable to resist her own curiosity, Grace opens the suitcase, where she discovers a dozen photographs—each of a different woman. In a moment of impulse, Grace takes the photographs and quickly leaves the station.
Grace soon learns that the suitcase belonged to a woman named Eleanor Trigg, leader of a ring of female secret agents who were deployed out of London during the war. Twelve of these women were sent to Occupied Europe as couriers and radio operators to aid the resistance, but they never returned home, their fates a mystery. Setting out to learn the truth behind the women in the photographs, Grace finds herself drawn to a young mother turned agent named Marie, whose daring mission overseas reveals a remarkable story of friendship, valor and betrayal.
Pam Jenoff‘s The Lost Girls of Paris offers readers an engaging cast of female WWII operatives, an exciting chance for readers to understand the courage of historic women whom history frequently overlooks. The novel brims with intrigue as the plot moves between politically charged metropolises Washington, D.C. and NYC—and then onto France! This novel hits a few familiar and beloved tropes (an undercover operative, a dashing fellow operative, a series of difficult choices) all the while pairing them with a talented, fascinating cast of female characters, each of whom has a distinct and complex personality. Jenoff has a master’s degree in history from the prestigious Cambridge University; afterwards, she worked at the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, Poland. Her expert historical knowledge and international background shines in this mesmerising new release.
2. Our Coffee Shop Read
Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women not living into their full potential. They feel a tugging on their hearts for something more, but they’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough.
In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.
Why read Rachel Hollis‘ Girl, Stop Apologizing? Come on, how many times do you say sorry for things that are way out of your control—or worse, things that aren’t even that bad! Are you frequently sorry that you accidentally touched someone on a crowded train—even if he bumped into you? Are you sorry there are thirty seconds left on your microwave timer when an impatient coworker walks into the kitchen? Rachel Hollis is the #1 bestselling author of Girl, Wash Your Face, an instant hit encouraging female confidence and self-reliance. And Hollis is a perfect example: a 30 Under Thirty herself, her infectious positivity and entrepreneurial spirit will encourage women readers to be ambitious and question any inner shame and insecurities. So girl, stop apologizing—and live up to your full potential!
3. Our DARK hORSE
For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.
Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic—and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.
Michelle McNamara‘s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, is hardly an underrated title. Named as a Best Book of the Year by well over a dozen renowned media outlets, this modern true crime classic is a masterwork of journalism—exciting as fiction and real as death. A serial rapist and serial killer, the Golden State Killer remained elusive for decades despite his obvious disturbances. His crimes were not only brutal, but were also deeply disturbing on a more psychological level: he frequently called victims for weeks before attacks, saying nothing and hanging up the phone. Other times, he instructed victims to perform nearly impossible tasks to prevent their deaths. Make a sound, and I’ll kill you. Move, and I’ll kill you. In one chilling incident, he placed a stack of kitchen dishes on a victim’s trembling back. If these fall, I’ll hear them. I’ll kill you if I hear them fall.
Though the book came out nearly a year ago, with its recent Audie Award win, we at Bookstr feel it’s time for a reminder of this unforgettable—and true—tale of unflinching horror.
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