Happy Birthday, John Green, and may your infinity be as long as possible...
Each week, Bookstr gives you a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list.
Today, we’ll be recommending five Romance novels that will entice and excite you!
5. Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey
Image Via Fantastic Fiction
Tessa Bailey was from Carlsbad, California, but the day after high school graduation she drove cross-country to New York City in under four days. Since then, Bailey has become a New York Times Bestselling Author of the Line of Duty Series. Her newest release, which came out this past June 11th, is one we (as well as you!) should definitely picked up sooner!
Image Via Amazon
Georgie Castle has been in love with her child friend Travis Ford for years. After an injury tanks his baseball career, Travis comes back to his home town and meets back with Georgie. There’s an undeniable chemistry, but Travis is in denial.
However, when his womanizing reputation prevents him from landing a job as a broadcast announcer, Georgie suggests a mutually beneficial fake relationship.
From there, things only get crazier.
Like real-life romance, this novel is crazy, hectic, and sweet. As Kirkus Reviews warns, “Don’t let the cover fool you: This romance is as steamy as it is self-empowering”.
4. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
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Enthralled with romance novels since she first smuggled her first Harlequin home from the library at the age of thirteen, Alisha Rai shows off what she knows with her newest release.
Image Via Goodreads
Rhiannon Hunter might have created a dating app that promises Prince Charming, but in real life when that happens it ends up being just a one night stand.
Then one month later she finds that former Prince Charming: former pro-football player Samson Lima. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but should she swipe right on this love?
Kirkus Reviews says this August 6th release “high-tech romance…proves respect is the most potent love drug”.
3. Say You Still Love Me by K. A. Tucker
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Piper Calloway is a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multi-billion-dollar real estate development firm. On the other hand, she constantly has to prove her worth in a male-dominated world. Plus she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.
Things get complicated when Piper runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group, and who, a long time ago, was the first love of her life. How much of this is a coincidence? And how much is true love?
To find out you’ll have to pick up this book when it hits bookstores this August 6th.
2. The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
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A librarian by training, a writer by heart, and a booklover all around, Tessa Dare is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author whose written more than twenty historical romances. Knowing for her bestselling books such as Spindle Cove, Castles Ever After, and Girl Meets Duke, Tessa Dare excites and entices us with her newest release coming soon.
Image Via Tessadare.com
Ruthlessly wealthy and…did we mention ruthless?, Gabriel Duke has moved into a new neighborhood. His neighbor, Lady Penelope Campion, prides herself by giving a loving home to any lost or wounded creature. But Gabriel doesn’t like the loving home Penelope gives these animals is her own so he orders her to get rid of them. Penelope instead offers him a challenge: the creatures will leave only if he can find them loving homes.
Now Gabriel has to find homes for a few kittens, a two-legged dog, a foul-mouthed parrot, a goat, an otter, a hedgehog, and many more…
While Penelope tries to save her the newest creature: Gabriel himself.
Wild, frantic, and heart warming, this August 13th release will, in words of Kirkus Reviews, have you “smitter” with Dare’s “inimitable wit, charm, humor, and emotional intensity”.
1. The Importance of Being Wilde At Heart by R. Zamora Linmark
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Poet, novelist, playwright, and recipient of a U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission, R. Zamora Linmark has brought us his newest novel, and you should definitely be extincted for it.
Image Via Amazon
When Ken Z, a bookworm with a Japanese mother, meets Ran at the mall food court, everything changes. From Ran, Ken learns the lessons of love, but when Ran disappears, and Ken Z is left wondering: Why love?
With this question comes his best friends at his aid, comforting haikus and lists, and the ghostly appearances by Oscar Wilde, helping Ken find if there is more to love than heartbreak.
Kirkus Reviews call the novel, “[a]n unabashed love letter to Oscar Wilde, Cole Porter, and the arts’ ability to give voice to human emotion” this August 13th release travels the length of a human heart and shows just how diverse love can be.
Featured Image Via St. Anastasia School Library – Edublogs
Beverley Bass, the first female pilot to be promoted to Captain on American Airlines, has written a picture-book autobiography for children!
Beverly Bass’s story is an inspiration one, even though she never set out to be an inspiration. A native of Fort Myers, Florida, Bass, around the age of nine or ten, Bass saw a sign offering plane rides and set about raising the money. However, her aunt was staunchly against this and forbade her to go up into the air.
However, her urge to fly stayed inside her. After graduating high school in 1970, Bass went to study Spanish and Interior Design at Texas Christian University. After her first year at university, it was 1971 and Bass began to learn how to fly.
According to her logs, she spent an astonishing six hours at the Fort Worth meacham airport each afternoon from 3-9pm each weekday.
One day, when Bass “had 300 hours of flight time,” she was asked to fly the body of a young woman to Arkansas for a mortician. Since 500 hours were required by the mortician’s insurance, the mortician had to secure a waive. He did, and Bass flew a single-engine Bonanza, an aircraft so small she had to step over the corpse to climb into the cockpit.
“I was responsible for everything in that plane, and it felt so empowering,” Bass later recalled, “I loved every minute.”
Bass received a bachelor’s degree in May 1974. Two years later she moved to Dallas’ Love Field to fly canceled checks for banks, Fotomat film, and airplane parts, in order to build up more flight hours.
Frontier Airlines had hired its first female pilot in 1973, and she wanted to be the next one.
But her day at Frontier Airlines wouldn’t come. Instead, come 1976, she landed an interview with American Airlines, nailed the simulator portion, passed the questioning process with flying colors, and at twenty-four she was American Airline‘s third female pilot.
Come October 1986 bass had risen through the ranks to become American Airlines’ first female captain. Quickly afterwards, Bass made international headlines when she led the first all-female crew in aviation history on a flight from Washington, D.C., to Dallas, Texas.
Since then, Bass has been portrayed in the play Come from Away, a Canadian musical written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein.
Set in the week following the September 11th attacks, the musical tells how Bass and thirty-seven other planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town of Gander in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon.
Lost, abandoned, 7,000 stranded travelers found hope when the residents of Gander housed and fed them.
The play was first produced at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, in 2013, but went on to have record-breaking runs at California’s La Jolla Playhouse and the Seattle Repertory Theatre in 2015 and at Washington, D.C.’s Ford’s Theatre and Toronto’s Royale Alexandra Theatre.
In October 2018, it became the longest-running Canadian musical in Broadway history, surpassing The Drowsy Chaperone‘s previous record of 674 performances.
Now, the real-life Beverly Bass, having since then retired, is set to published a book on September 10th about her life entitled Me and the Sky: Beverely Bass, Pioneering Pilot.
Co-authored by Cynthia Williams and illustrated by Joanie Stone, the book is geared toward readers ages 4-8. The book will explore Bass’ amazing life and tell of how “she went from an ambitious young girl gazing up at the sky to a groundbreaking pilot smiling down from the cockpit.”
Hopeful this gets many young readers believing that they can reach their dreams, no matter how high they might seem!
Featured Image Via Youtube: The Story of Beverly Bass
You seem so nice.
This is something people often say to bestselling thriller writer Lisa Unger upon meeting her. It seems strange that people should be surprised, considering her books are no more violent than the usual psychological thriller. They’re not gory, they’re not showy. So why do some feel so baffled that she is writing violence that is none too different to that of her male counterparts?
You already know the answer, as does Lisa Unger. In fact, when asked about why she writes about violence against women in her books, she responded, “I’ll stop writing about it when it stops happening.”
Lisa Unger has made a name for herself as a prolific author, with her most famous novel being In the Blood, a book which Kirkus Reviews called a “scary winner from an accomplished pro”, and which went on to be a Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee for Best Mystery & Thriller 2014, and winner of the Silver Falchion Award for Best Novel in the Crime Thriller category.
Despite this, Ms. Unger has had her own encounters with sexism constantly.
At ThrillerFest XIV, Unger shared a personal story with moderator Karin Slaughter and the audience, regarding an incident that took place while Unger worked an event with author James Hall.
A little background: James Hall is an American author and professor from Florida. Author of eighteen novels, four books of poetry, a collection of short stories, and a collection of essays, James Hall is not only a successful writer, but a good man. The same could not be said about a particular fan of his, however.
At a book signing with James Hall, Ms. Unger was working as a moderator when a male member of the audience dismissed her, saying “I don’t read books by women”.
A year later, Ms. Unger was at her own signing at the same bookstore when she spied a man in the audience staring her down. They made eye contact, and he seemed to look right through her.
Image Via Quora
Ms. Unger noticed that the man had a large bag at his side…
Image Via Amtrack
When the show was over, the man was still there, still staring at her. His eyes were fixed on her.
Creepy much? Ms. Unger, who was understandably disturbed by the man’s presence, said she felt particularly uncomfortable because “women feel vulnerable in a way men do not”.
As the event came to an end, the man’s eyes stayed fixed on her. While everyone else shuffled out, he remained.
You can image the fear when Unger felt when she found herself alone with this man. The man rose, picking up his bag and approached her.
It was then that the man revealed that he was the audience member from the year before and, since then, had read all her books. The bag was full of each and every book she had every written.
Now a fan of hers, he asked her to sign them.
Image Via Wallpaper Flare
Featured Image Via Crimereads
You can write a book anywhere! In the park, at your desk, in your bed, or even in jail.
That took a dark turn, but what did you expect when you clicked on this article? Heck, honestly, why did you click on this article? Are you going to jail? I’m not here to judge, I’m just here to encourage you to write a good book while you’re on the inside
For inspiration, you future/current convict, let’s look at seven authors turned prisoners/prisoners turned authors who gave us seven great literary works!
7. Le Morte d’ Arthur by Thomas Malory
Thomas Malory knew how to spin a great sentences and knew just how to end up in prison.
French for The Death of Arthur, Malory’s book is one of the best-known works of Arthurian literature. Compiling the legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, Malory interpreted existing French and English stories and added original material. It streamlines the original legends is seen to be the definitive telling of the tales of Arthur.
It may strike you odd that Thomas Malory penned much of this book while sitting in London’s Marshalsea prison, awaiting trial on charges of masterminding a string of over 100 violent robberies. In fact, The British Library notes that “for unknown reasons, he turned to a life of crime”.
Malory had assembled himself a crew of twenty-six men and ambushed the Duke of Buckingham in an attempt to murder him. Latter, Mallory “stole livestock, and extorted money with menaces…was accused of rape on two occasions” and even led a an army of one hundred men in attacking Combe Abbey, “terrifying the monks and stealing their money and valuables”.
See, Central government was weak under Henry VI, who suffered from bouts of insanity, and Malory took full advantage, as Civil War broke out for the throne. (Side note: this Civil War came be known as the Wars of the Roses, which went on to inspire Game of Thrones.)
So in 1461, Malory was in jail, and that same year Edward IV ascends to the throne and Malory is released. In 1462 and Malory fought with the Earl of Warwick for Yorkists, Edward’s folk. But Malory remained loyal to that Earl of Warwick and when the Earl switched sides, so did Malory. Wrong move! The Earl lost, and the Yorkists were ticked off that Malory betrayed them. Thus, back to prison Malory went. In 1470, while awaiting trial, Malory was released from prison thanks to Henry VI briefly regaining the throne. He would die five months later and be buried just across the road from Newgate Prison. Now that’s irony, kids!
As for his infamous book?
That got its first printed edition in 1485 thanks to William Caxton. Malory would only be acknowledged thanks to discovery of the original manuscript in 1934. Imagine the shock when people found out who Malory really was!
6. The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
Italian philosopher and defense secretary, Niccolò Machiavelli became one of the fathers of political theory. He was diplomat in Florence and met Prince of the Papal States and son of Pope Julius II, Cesare Borgia.
By 1512 Machiavelli wasn’t living the high life anymore. Having fallen out of favor with the Medici banking family, who owned most of Italy, Machiavelli was imprisoned because they believed he was involved in a revolt.
In an attempt to get back in the Medici good books, Machiavelli wrote The Prince, arguing that rules had to be hard edged in trying times. The Prince was first published as a pamphlet in 1513 and published “in book form posthumously in 1532”.
It’s important to note that whether or not Machiavelli actually believed this or was just trying to regain his reputation hasn’t seemed to matter in the eyes of history. Despite his other political works, such as The Discourses on Livy and Life of Castruccio Castracani which expounded on his beliefs, his name has become synonymous with cruel rulers who distrust the people thanks to The Prince.
On a happier note, his treatise has been a touchstone of political strategy, revered by the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte, and John Gotti.
5. De Profundis by Oscar Wilde
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Let’s talk about Oscar Wilde because any excuse to talk about Oscar Wilde is worth it in my book. Author of the infamous The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde was a larger than life artists who lead an equally extravagant lifestyle. He was known for “wearing his hair long and openly scorning so-called ‘manly’ sports, and began decorating his rooms with peacock feathers, lilies, sunflowers, blue china and other objets d’art.” He was a celebrity!
He had reached the height of fame and success with his plays An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, but there was a small problem: Wilde was gay. And being gay was not okay back in the late 1800s. It was, in fact, a crime.
Wilde’s love affair with Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas didn’t go well. See, Lord Alfred Douglas’ father was the Marquess of Queensberry and he didn’t like Wilde nor what he saw as Wilde’s influence over his son.
To make a long story short: Lord Douglas’ father accused Wilde of being gay, Wilde sued for libel, and the lawsuit spread into Wilde himself was arrested and sentenced to two years hard labor in Reading Gaol.
This was where we he wrote De Profundis. Latin for ‘from the depths’, this very letter letter begins with “Dear Bosie” and ends “Your Affectionate Friend”, but we all know who he’s talking about.
The letter starts off with an autobiography, recounting his previous relationship with Douglas and how his fame led to his downfall, but the second half is where Wilde charts his spiritual development and how he views Jesus Christ as as a romantic, individualist artist.
It’s a poignant work of art, reflection, and love that we are luckily to have, especially considering it was published in 1905, five years after Wilde’s death.
4-Letters from Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
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In case you didn’t know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist Minister who was the spokesperson and leader of the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Dr. King coordinated several marches and sit-ins against racial segregation.
He often found himself in jail. During on this instances, he read a public statement issued by eight white Alabama clergymen condemning his civil disobedience methods.
Thus came Letters from Birmingham Jail. A defense of civil disobedience, the letter makes argument that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws. Notably, King writes that, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.
3. Diseases of Canaries by Robert Stroud
Published in 1933, Diseases of Canaries is a comprehensive work about the general health of canaries. It goes into the anatomy, feeding, how to treat for dangerous insects and parasites, how to treat injuries, and how to use drugs for canaries, among many other things.
It was later updated in 1943. The author was “an expert in avian pathology and even [developed] a remedy for the septicemia that ravaged his aviary“.
The author was Robert Stroud. He was known for many things, but not all of them included birds. For one, he had an I.Q. of 112.
He was also diagnosed as a psychopath, which makes sense considering he shot a bartender to death after he failed to pay a prostitute Stroud was pimping in 1909, stabbed a fellow prisoner in 1912, and stabbed and killed a guard in 1916.
Image Via The Vintage News
He became obsessed with birds after he discovered a nest with three injured sparrows in the prison yard. He cared for them, and within within a few years had acquired a collection of about 300 canaries.
After Digest on the Disease of Canaries was published, it was discovered that Stroud was secretly making alcohol in his cell. Thus, he was transferred to Alcatraz, “where he was allowed to continue his research but was denied further right of publication“. He later died in a medical facility. Just remember, if you go to jail you can write books, care for birds, but you shouldn’t make alcohol in your cell. That’s just nasty!
2. The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo
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No, he didn’t invent the game ‘Marco-Polo’ but he did write a book while in jail.
Picture this: You’re going on a journey.
You’ve spent fifteen years on that journey traveling Central Asia and the Far East during the latter part of the 13th century. Good for you, you worldly person, but once you return to Italy you find that there’s a war between Venice and Genoa.
Whoa! You’ve been captured and tossed in jail because you’re a pretty famous Venetian. Bad luck, brother, and who knows when you’ll be out. But now that you’re here, what’re you going to do?
Talk someone’s ear off.
Image Via Ancient Origins
Luckily for us, Rustichello da Pisa didn’t tune for Marco out. He wrote down everything Marco told him. Good thing he was a writer! I mean, what are the odds that these two would be thrown in jail? Well, pretty high considering the war going on and how everyone was being thrown in jail, but you get my point.
Published in 1300, the book describes Polo’s travels through Asia between 1271 and 1295, and his experiences at the court of Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan.
Note that when I say ‘describes’, I mean describes. World Digital Library writes that “Marco Polo’s account was not just a simple record of the journey, but a description of the world—a mixture of a travel report, legend, hearsay, and practical information,” and, for better or worse, serves as one of the few travelogue to the Eastern regions of that era.
1. Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet
Jean Genet did time for petty theft. During his stay, Jean was given paper intended to be made into his bags. He broke the rules and wrote Our Lady of the Flowers. This didn’t go well. Once the manuscript was discovered, Jean Genet’s book was confiscated and burned. End of story, right?
Completed in 1942, the book was published anonymously at the end of 1943, but was again published in 1944. Genet would later remove several passages because many readers mistook it for erotica.
Given that Genet wrote this book twice, the least you can do is read it.
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