Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 9/27/19

Fall has arrived. Day by day, the sun is setting a little earlier and the weather is getting brisker and “bricker.” Staying indoors is sounding pretty good right now. Why not embrace your inner introvert and snuggle up inside with a new read?

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


Our Hot Pick

I’m Telling the Truth, but I’m Lying: Essays




In I’m Telling the Truth, but I’m Lying Bassey Ikpi explores her life—as a Nigerian-American immigrant, a black woman, a slam poet, a mother, a daughter, an artist—through the lens of her mental health and diagnosis of bipolar II and anxiety. Her remarkable memoir in essays implodes our preconceptions of the mind and normalcy as Bassey bares her own truths and lies for us all to behold with radical honesty and brutal intimacy.

From her early childhood in Nigeria through her adolescence in Oklahoma, Bassey Ikpi lived with a tumult of emotions, cycling between extreme euphoria and deep depression—sometimes within the course of a single day. By the time she was in her early twenties, Bassey was a spoken word artist and traveling with HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, channeling her life into art. But beneath the façade of the confident performer, Bassey’s mental health was in a precipitous decline, culminating in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalization and a diagnosis of Bipolar II.

In I’m Telling the Truth, But I’m Lying, Bassey Ikpi breaks open our understanding of mental health by giving us intimate access to her own. Exploring shame, confusion, medication, and family in the process, Bassey looks at how mental health impacts every aspect of our lives—how we appear to others, and more importantly to ourselves—and challenges our preconception about what it means to be “normal.”  Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are—and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie.



I’m Telling the Truth, but I’m Lying is an NYTimes bestseller that brings necessary attention to the obstacles faced by non-neurotypical people in a transitioning society. Author Bassey Ikpi demonstrates her competence with the written word and personal conflict in these sincere and courageously vulnerable essays. Ikpi’s memoir urges empathy and compassion and aims to challenge the conversation surrounding mental health. There’s no way to be truly informed without the lens of lived experience, and Ikpi’s bold retelling of her own struggles provides a valuable education.



Our Coffee Shop Read

Capturing the Devil




In the shocking finale to the bestselling series that began with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse has them fighting to stay one step ahead of the brilliant serial killer—or see their fateful romance cut short by unspeakable tragedy.

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve encountered before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?



James Patterson’s stamp of approval is on this one—especially since his name is indeed on it—so you know you’re in for a good thriller. The #1 New York Times bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series concludes with Capturing the Devil, and author Kerri Maniscalco proves that she’s saved the best twists and turns for last. Publisher’s Weekly praises Maniscalco’s Audrey Rose as “a serious, sharp-minded, and forward-thinking protagonist… whose fearlessness will endear her to readers looking for an engaging historical thriller.” Get ready to embark on your latest mystery to solve from the seat of your local coffee spot.




Spies: The Secret Showdown Between America and Russia




The Cold War spanned five decades as America and the USSR engaged in a battle of ideologies with global ramifications. Over the course of the war, with the threat of mutually assured nuclear destruction looming, billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives were devoted to the art and practice of spying, ensuring that the world would never be the same.

Rife with intrigue and filled with fascinating historical figures whose actions shine light on both the past and present, this timely work of narrative nonfiction explores the turbulence of the Cold War through the lens of the men and women who waged it behind closed doors, and helps explain the role secret and clandestine operations have played in America’s history and its national security.



This book is indeed timely—some things haven’t changed since the Cold War era, after all… Author Marc Favreau’s background in publishing historical content makes him perfectly suited for revitalizing the spy genre for a new generation with his latest release. Spies is both a lesson on the real-world espionage that inspired a whole branch of literature and a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat even if the spoilers have existed in textbooks for years—that’s a skill. Former acting director and deputy director of the CIA John McLaughlin describes Favreau’s book as an “endlessly engaging book brings this dangerous struggle alive and will take his readers on a rollicking ride through the thrills, fears, and cliff-hanger contests of those tumultuous years.”




All In-text Images Via Amazon.