Category: New Authors

6 Steamier Sexier Sex Scenes You Should Not Be Reading!

Whether the story is fantastical or down to earth, all literature strives to cover a wide array of human emotion and experience. One of those experiences is sex, and it can be written poorly or greatly. Fifty Shades of Grey and A Song of Ice and Fire (a.k.a. Game of Thrones) do it famously, but there are other works, smaller works that are no less greater, that should be given the spotlight. Now since we aim to shine a light on all the ways literature captures the human experience, we’re going to show you six of the steamiest, sexiest sex scenes of all time.

This isn’t smut, this is art.

 

 

6-Something Red by Jennifer Gilmore

 

Jennifer Gilmore’s second novel follows the Goldstein family as they live in Washington, D.C. in 1979. We have Benjamin, who’s heading off to college, and Vanessa, a sixteen-year-old living through a rocky adolescence, Sharon, a caterer for the Washington elite, and Dennis, whose government job often takes him to Moscow.

With the Cold War waning, a new era is upon them, and the Goldsteins will be forced to confront the changes the new decade will bring.

Thus, we present to you what the Salon Good Sex Award named the sixth place winner.

 

Something Red

Image VIa Amazon

 

They took a room in the Marriott Hotel, along East-West Highway in Silver Spring, just a few miles from where she had lived for the past thirteen years. The room was twelve floors above the conference where they had each pledged to have no relations with other LEAP!ers for thirty days in order to let the high of the tenets dissipate a bit. One needs a more solid head, the leader had said. To decide such things.

Elias opened her blouse slowly, twisting each button with his thumb and third finger, then running his finger along her breastbone. When her shirt finally fell open, he studied her, then caressed her breasts. Was he putting her on? He licked her nipples, then moved his lips slowly down her stomach, and Sharon couldn’t have cared less if he was. Elias removed her underwear, and kissing her just above her pubic bone, he slipped two fingers inside her. Sharon moved into his hands until he stopped suddenly, removing his fingers as if he’d thought better of the whole thing. While Sharon propped herself up on her elbows to see what had happened, Elias got up and opened his wallet. Was he moving to pay her? Before? Or worse—and now she thought of Midnight Cowboy, she’d been so scandalized by that film—was he expecting her to pay him? She wondered how much a man like Elias would cost.

Instead, he removed a joint from the wallet, took a lighter from his front pocket, lit it up, leaned over the bed, and passed it to Sharon, who took a deep drag. She passed it back to Elias, who, still standing, took another hit. Sharon unzipped his jeans. He wasn’t wearing underwear, and Sharon could see instantly that he had a longer, thinner penis and was far hairier than Dennis, who always felt and looked unbelievably clean. Elias smelled dusky and deep, and as she leaned in, she was surprised to discover that he was uncircumcised.

After Elias had entered her and after she wrapped herself around him as he’d made love to her, allowed herself in that single moment to be carried, Sharon stood, zipped up her slacks, slipped on her blouse, and said to Elias that since he didn’t have a house to go to, he could have the room, she was going home. But then he reached his hand out and grabbed her by a belt loop.

“Stay with me.” His mouth was at her ear. He kissed her nape. “Don’t leave,” he’d said, unzipping her pants for the second time.

 

Credit: Copyright © 2010 by Jennifer Gilmore from “Something Red.”

 

5-The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

 

First published in 1993, The Virgin Suicides gives us the quiet suburb of Detroit where the five Lisbon sisters commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year.

As the neighborhood boys observe them from afar, they soon start to piece together the mystery of the family’s fatal melancholy.

This modern classic is a coming-of-age story so, you know, they do things…

 

The Virgin Suicides (Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition): A Novel (Picador Modern Classics) by [Eugenides, Jeffrey]

Image Via Amazon

 

He put his hands on her shoulders, and her bare skin was cool to the touch. As their faces drew closer he was uncertain enough to think she might spring away, or hit him, movie-style, across the cheek with her open hand. Her mouth tasted of lipstick and salt. They drew away for a second, he put his arms around her and they kissed again with greater confidence. Daringly, they touched the tips of their tongues, and it was then she made the falling, sighing sound which, he realized later, marked a transformation. Until that moment, there was still something ludicrous about having a familiar face so close to one’s own. They felt watched by their bemused childhood selves. But the contact of tongues, alive and slippery muscle, moist flesh on flesh, and the strange sound it drew from her, changed that. This sound seemed to enter him, pierce him down his length so that his whole body opened up and he was able to step out of himself and kiss her freely. What had been self-conscious was now impersonal, almost abstract. The sighing noise she made was greedy and made him greedy too. He pulled her hard into the corner, between the books. As they kissed she was pulling at his clothes, plucking ineffectually at his shirt, his waistband. Their hands rolled and turned against one another as they kissing became a gnawing. She bit him on the cheeks, not quite playfully. He pulled away, then moved back and she bit him hard on his lower lip. He kissed her throat, forcing back her head against the shelves, she pulled his hair and pushed his face down against her breasts. There was some inexpert fumbling until he found her nipple, tiny and hard, and put his mouth around it. her spine went rigid, then juddered along its length. For a moment he thought she has passed out. Her arms were looped around his head and when she tightened her grip he rose through it, desperate to breathe, up to his full height and enfolded her, crushing her head against his chest. She bit him again and pulled at his shirt. When they heard a button ping against the floorboards, they had to suppress their grins and look away. Comedy would have destroyed them. She trapped his nipple between her teeth. The sensation was unbearable. He tiled her face up, and trapping her against his ribs, kissed her eyes and parted her lips with his tongue. Her helplessness drew from her again the sound like a sigh of disappointment.

At last they were strangers, their pasts were forgotten. They were also strangers to themselves who had forgotten who or where they were. The library door was thick and none of the ordinary sounds that might have reminded them, might have held them back, could reach them. They were beyond the present, outside time, with no memories and no future. They was nothing but obliterating sensation, thrilling and swelling, and the sound of fabric on fabric and skin on fabric as their limbs slid across each other in this restless, sensuous wrestling. His experience was limited and he knew only at second hand that they need not lie down. As for her, beyond all the films she had seen, and all the novels and lyrical poems she had read, she had no experience at all. Despite these limitations, it did not surprise them how clearly they knew their own needs. They were kissing again, her arms were clasped behind his head. She was licking his ear, then biting his ear lobe. Cumulatively, these bites aroused him and enraged him, goaded him. Under her dress he felt for her buttocks and squeezed hard, and half turned her to give her a retaliatory slap, but there wasn’t quite the space. Keeping her eyes fixed on his, she reached down to remove her shoes. There was more fumbling now, with buttons and positions of legs and arms. She had no experience at all. Without speaking, he guided her foot onto the lowest shelf. They were clumsy, and too selfless now to be embarrassed. When he lifted the clinging, silky dress again he though her look of uncertainty mirrored his own. But there was only one inevitable end, and there was nothing they could do but go towards it.

Supported against the corner by his weight, she once again clasped her hands behind his neck, and rested her elbows on his shoulder and continued to kiss his face. The moment itself was easy. They held their breath breath the membrane parted, and when it did she turned away quickly, but made no sound—it seemed to be a point of pride. They moved closer, deeper and then, for seconds on end, everything stopped. Instead of an ecstatic frenzy, there was stillness. They were stilled not by the astonishing fact of arrival, but by an awed sense of returns—they were face to face in the gloom, staring into what little they could see of each other’s eyes, and now it was the impersonal that dropped.

 

Credit: Copyright © 1993 by Jeffrey Eugenides from “The Virgin Suicides”

 

4-Jillian Weise’s The Colony

 

In Jillian Weise’s debut novel, we follow Anne Hatley, who has a rare gene that affects her bone growth. As a result of this abnormality, she’s missing a leg and walks around with a prosthesis. She then accepts an invitation to the nation’s largest research colony, where DNA pioneer James D. Watson hopes to “cure” Anne of her abnormality. As the first patient to generate a new limb, Anne undergoes trial and tribulations, including  a reluctant romance with a fellow colonist…

Thus, we present to you what the Salon Good Sex Awards named the fifth best sex scene of 2011.

 

The Colony: A Novel by [Weise, Jillian]

Image Via Amazon

Nick expected me to fling open the door and receive him. And if I had? If Grayson hadn’t come? Nick wasn’t the type to sweep the floor. I thought: Why are you sweeping the floor when I’m despicable? It’s exactly like you’ve suspected. You have a reason to be self-righteous, entitled, disgusted with the world. The world is disgusting. What are you going to do? He searched through his duffel bag. Moved shirts around. Unpacked and packed. He wasn’t going to do anything. I was disgusted with him, and I knew it was fucked up to be disgusted with him, since it was me who’d been caught, and I knew too that I should’ve told him. I didn’t move an inch. I stood still. Grayson played music. It was soft, dark, piano. I decided the best move, the only move I had available to me, the only one I could think of, was letting the sheet drop and climbing onto the kitchen table.”I’m heading out tomorrow.” “Why?”

“I want to see museums in the city. I can write it off. I want to see the MoMA.”

We went to bed. I went first. I picked the sheet from the floor and tucked it into the bottom corners. Grayson puttered in the kitchen. I pulled a slip from under the bed and put it on. The piano slowed and the room was quiet. I spread the comforter over the sheet and arranged the pillows. I crawled into the bed.

“You forgot to plug in.” Hw took the cord from the floor and connected it from leg to outlet. “What would you do without me to remind you?”

He climbed into bed. He waited until I was almost asleep. I was in that place, with my eyes rolled back, that liminal state, and wherever I was headed, the night had not happened. I was lying on my side, facing the wall, when I felt him on my back. I reached behind and felt for it. I had to find it through boxers and that wasn’t right; Nick didn’t wear boxers. Oh God, it wasn’t Nick. I snatched my hand back. I opened my eyes and saw my hand beside the pillow, saw my ring finger, saw a million nights of Grayson asking permission. Why was he asking? Did I always have to invite him? What did it matter if I had two legs if I had to spend the rest of my life inviting him? I remembered the evening. I saw the evening before me, we had been asleep, Nick had woken us, Nick had stayed, and it was obvious. What else happened? Was Grayson mad? Nothing else. He played music. He was leaving in the morning.

I wondered how he’d do it, if there would be him coming, as he usually did, on my stomach. He was breathing unsteadily. I wanted him to take control. He might do it. He might can. He rolled onto his back. He wasn’t going to do anything. He wasn’t going to, after all, do anything. I thought, of course, how exactly like you you are, you don’t do anything, who did I think you were? You’re not the one who does things. I have to do things, suggest them, plead for them, all the words, all the positions, all the recommendations, I do them. You can’t possibly take control. Is that it? You rolling on your back. Are we finished? You coward. “Honey,” I said. I wasn’t sure if he had fallen asleep.

I heard the sheets rustle. He was taking off his boxers. He put his hands on my shoulders. He dug his fingers into my shoulders and turned me on my back. I thought, Of course, yes, where have you been? I’ve been trying to tell you, it’s good, we’re good, we’ll be fine, this is what I meant. I had no inclination to stop him or start him or help him or pretend. I said nothing. He hooked his thumb under the strap of my slip and pulled until it came unstitched. It made a noise. Then the other strap. He grabbed the slip at the neck and pulled it down. “Where have you been,” I said. He put his hand over my mouth. He pressed his hand over my mouth while he did it. I felt the pillow under my head. I thought, you can you can. He took his hand off my mouth. His hands were on either side of me. Palms flat on the bed. I said nothing. I made none of my usual flourishes. It was the most there I had ever been for him. His right hand moved. Where was it going? There wasn’t anything there to go to. I got up, propped my elbows on the pillow, to watch him. I saw his hand reach for it. Oh not that, I thought, not that, that’s not even there, don’t do that, it’s not even there, it’s not meant for anything, who is that, you can’t, please, not that. “You’re always into it,” he said in between. “You’re always — always — into it — why aren’t you — aren’t you — why aren’t you now?”

 

Credit: Copyright © 2010 by Jillian Weise from “The Colony.”

 

3-Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

 

This 1975 novel opens in 1906 New Rochelle, New York where on one lazy Sunday afternoon, the famous escape artist Harry Houdini swerves his car into a telephone pole outside a suburban home. From there, the line between fantasy and historical fact, between real and imaginary characters, disappears as historical figures from Henry Ford to Sigmund Freud and Emiliano Zapata slip in and out of the tale.

The book changed the concept of what a modern novel could be, adding in real and fiction at will, taking on a life on its own as the characters go through their own lives.

 

Ragtime

Image Via Amazon

 

She now stood nude in the lamplight except for her black embroidered cotton stockings which were held up by elastic bands around the thighs. Goldman rolled the stockings down and Evelyn stepped out of her stockings. She held her arms across her breasts. Goldman stood and turned her around slowly for inspection, a frown on her face.

Look at that, it’s amazing you have any circulation at all. Marks on the stays ran vertically like welts around Nesbit’s waist. The evidence of garters could be seen in the red lines running around the tops of her thighs. Women kill themselves, Goldman said. She turned back the bedcovers. She took from the top of the bureau a small black bag of the kind that doctors carried. A superb body like this and look at what you do to it.

Lie down. Evelyn sat down on the bed and looked at what was coming out of the black bag. On your stomach, Goldman said. She was holding a bottle and tilting the contents of the bottle into her cupped hand. Evelyn lay down on her stomach and Goldman applied the liquid where the marks of the stays reddened the flesh. Ow, Evelyn cried. It stings!

This is an astringent – the first thing is to restore circulation, Goldman explained as she rubbed Evelyn’s back and buttocks and thighs. Evelyn was squirming and her flesh cringing with each application. She buried her face in the pillow to smother her cries. I know, I know, Goldman said. But you will thank me. Under Goldman’s vigorous rubbing Evelyn’s flesh seemed to spring into its fullest conformations. She was shivering now and her buttocks were clenched against the invigorating chill of the astringent. Her legs squeezed together. Goldman now took from her bag a bottle of massage oil and began to knead Evelyn’s neck and shoulders and back, her thighs and calves and the soles of her feet.

Gradually Evelyn relaxed and her flesh shook and quivered under the emphatic skill of Goldman’s hands. Goldman rubbed the oil into her skin until her body found its own natural rosy white being and began to stir with self-perception. Turn over, Goldman commanded. Evelyn’s hair was now undone and lay on the pillow about her face. Her eyes were closed and her lips stretched in an involuntary smile as Goldman massaged her breasts, her stomach, her legs. Yes, even this, Emma Goldman said, briskly passing her hand over the mons. You must have the courage to live. The bedside lamp seemed to dim for a moment.

Evelyn put her own hands on her breasts and her palms rotated the nipples. Her hands swam down along her flanks. She rubbed her hips. Her feet pointed like dancer’s and her toes curled. Her pelvis rose from the bed as if seeking something in the air. Goldman was now at the bureau, capping her bottled emollient, her back to Evelyn as the younger woman began to ripple on the bed like a wave on the sea. At this moment a hoarse unearthly cry issued from the walls, the closet door flew open and Mother’s Younger Brother fell into the room, his face twisted in a paroxysm of saintly mortification. He was clutching in his hands, as if trying to choke it, a rampant penis which, scornful of his intentions, whipped him about the floor, launching to his cries of ecstasy or despair, great filamented spurts of jism that traced the air like bullets and then settled slowly over Evelyn in her bed like falling ticker tape.

 

Credit: Copyright © 1975 by E.L.  Doctorow from “Ragtime”

 

2-A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter

 

This 2006 book is one for the ages. Part fever dream, part drama, and all around romance, this story is set in provincial France in the 1960s, James Salter’s A Sport and a Pastime is the intensely carnal story―part shocking reality, part feverish dream ―of a love affair between a footloose Yale dropout and a young French girl.

 

Image Via Amazon

 

She begins to strip like a roommate and climb into bed.

They have fallen asleep. Dean wakes first, in the early afternoon. He unfastens her stockings and slowly rolls them off. Her skirt is next and then her underpants. She opens her eyes. The garter belt he leaves on, to confirm her nakedness. He rests his head there.

Her hand touches his chest and begins to fall in excruciating slow designs.

He lies still as a dog beneath it, still as an idiot.

The next morning she is recovered. His prick is hard. She takes it in her hand. They always sleep naked. Their flesh is innocent and warm. In the end she is arranged across the pillows, a ritual she accepts without a word.

It is half an hour before they fall apart, spent, and call for breakfast. She eats both her rolls and one of his.

“There was a lot,” she says.

She glistens with it. The inside of her thighs is wet.

“How long does it take to make again?” she asks.

Dean tries to think. He is remembering biology.

“Two or three days,” he guesses.

“Non, non!” she cries. That is not what she meant.

She begins to make him hard again. In a few minutes he rolls her over and puts it in as if the intermission were ended. This time she is wild. The great bed begins creaking. Her breath becomes short. Dean has to brace his hands on the wall. He hooks his knees outside her legs and drives himself deeper.

“Oh,” she breathes, “that’s the best.”

When he comes, it downs them both. They crumble like sand. He returns from the bathroom and picks up the covers from the floor. She has not moved. She lies just where she has fallen.

 

Credit: Copyright © 2006 by James Slater from “A Sport and a Pastime”

 

 

1-The Powerbook by Jeanette Winterson

 

In 2013, Winterson gave us her seventh novel where an e-mail writer called Ali offers out a service: for a price she will compose anything you like if you’re prepared to enter the story as yourself and risk leaving it as someone else. Here, you can be anything you want, but Ali learns than she too will have to pay the price.

In this book anything can happen, and something does.

 

The Powerbook

Image Via Amazon

 

“Take off your trousers and let me see you.”

So this was the moment. All would be revealed. I no longer cared. Come death, come life, there is a part to play and that is all.

Hesitatingly, I let down the blue and gold of my trousers. There was a silence. then the princess said . . .

“I have never seen a man before.”

(You’re not seeing one now.)

“The stories I have heard . . .  the fleshiness, the swelling . . .  but you are like a flower.”

(This was true.)

She touched my bulbs.

“They are like sweet chestnuts.”

(Tulips, my darling, tulips.)

She stroked the waxy coating I kept fresh to protect them. The tips of her fingers glistened.

“What do you call these?”

“This one is key of pleasure, and this one is lover’s dream.” I said this quite sincerely because it was so.

“And what do you call this?”

Her fingers had reached the centre now. I had to think fast.

“I call it my stem of spring.”

She laughed delightedly and kissed the red flower, its petals fastened tight into a head. Fortunately my mother had made it quite secure and the princess could play with it all she liked.

Then a strange thing began to happen. As the princess kissed and petted my tulip, my own sensations grew exquisite, but as yet no stronger than my astonishment, as I felt my disguise come to life. the tulip began to stand.

I looked down. There it was, making a bridge from my body to hers.

I was still wearing my tunic and the princess could not see the leather belt that carried everything with it. All she could see, all she could feel, was the eagerness of my bulbs and stem.

I kneeled down, the tulip waving at me as it had done on the hillside that afternoon I cut it down.

Very gently the princess lowered herself across my knees and I felt the firm red head and pale shaft plant itself in her body. a delicate green-tinted sap dribbled down her brown thighs.

All afternoon I fucked her.

 

Credit: Copyright © 2013 by Jeanette Winterson from “The Powerbook”

 

 

 

 

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Top Picks: Top Five Astonishing YA Books!

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 of the best YA novels that You’ll Find Astonishing!

 

 

5-Rebel Girls by Elizabeth Keenan

 

Elizabeth Keenan

Image Via Twitter

 

Writer, feminist, musicologist, Elizabeth Keenan gives us her stellar novel, Rebel Girls.

 

Rebel Girls by [Keenan, Elizabeth]

Image Via Amazon

 

We have Athena Graves, a woman who is far more comfortable creating a mixtape playlist than talking with, well, anyone. Plus, people aren’t exactly taken to her given her at St. Ann’s, a conservative Catholic High School, due to her staunchly feminist views and love of punk rock.

Now there are rumors circulating the school, spreading like a virus, a rumor that her popular pro-life sister, Helen, had an abortion over the summer. Now the school administration is involved, threatening her with expulsion.

Now Athena and Helene must not only find a way convince the student body and the administration that it doesn’t matter what Helen did or didn’t do, but also see eye to eye.

The book came out September 10th, Kirkus Reviews called it a “must-read,” so what more do I need to add?

 

 

4-Minor Prophets by Jimmy Cajoleas

 

Jimmy Cajoleas

Image Via Lemuria Books

 

His debut YA novel, The Good Demon, wowed us, and now Jimmy Cajoleas has a new release that we can’t wait to tell you about!

 

Minor Prophets by [Cajoleas, Jimmy]

Image Via Amazon

 

Poet Lee Sanford has always had visions. One of his visions was of his mother’s death in a car wreck, right before it happened. When this vision comes to pass, Poet and his younger sister, Murphy, are put into the care of their tyrannical stepfather: Sheriff Horace.

They run for it, heading straight to their estranged grandmother’s remote homestead. At the commune, their grandmother welcomes them in open arms and encourages Poet to explore his vision even further, but why did their mother try to keep them away from her for so long?

Another book that was released September 10th, this book, in the words of Kirkus Reviews “[h]arrowing and hypnotic”. A perfect horror novel for any YA fan who loves it when their skin starts crawling.

 

 

 

 

3-Stormrise by Jillian Boehme

 

Stormrise by Jillian Boehme

Image Via The Nerd Daily

Jillian Boehme brings us an epic YA fantasy novel where Rain must takes a chance to seize the life she wants.

Disrespected by her tribe because of her gender, Rain purchases powder made from dragon magic that enables her to disguise herself as a boy. From there she goes to the war camps where she becomes a maverick soldier, but there is one problem: she hears a voice inside her head, the voice of a dragon.

After being enlisted into a secret task force with plans of rescuing the High King, Rains begins to realize the dragon inside her might be the key to winning this war.

Kirkus Reviews calls it “Mulan with dragons for added fun: Be prepared to break out into ‘I’ll Make a Man out of You’,” and, honestly, what more do you need from this September 24th release?

 

 

2-Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

 

Rainbow Rowell

Image Via Amazon

 

Rainbow Rowell, an author you already have your radar, has brought us the second book in the Simon Snow series.

 

Wayward Son (Simon Snow Series Book 2) by [Rowell, Rainbow]

Image Via Amazon

 

If you recall, the first book, Carry On, ended on a triumphant note. They won the war, he fell in love, what more could he want? But for some reason it all feels hollow, so he goes for a change of scenery.

That’s how Simon, Penny, and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West. But they get lost, very lost, and now have to wonder where they were heading to in the first place as they encounter dragons, vampires, and shrunken-headed beings with shotguns.

Set for a September 24th release, this is one book that you won’t want to miss out on!

 

 

1-The Liar’s Daughter by Megan Cooley Peterson

 

Megan Cooley Peterson

MeganCooleyPeterson.com

 

Megan Cooley Peterson brings us her debut novel, and it’s something special…

 

The Liar's Daughter by [Peterson, Megan Cooley]

Image Via Amazon

 

Seventeen-year-old Piper was raised in a cult, but she doesn’t know it. When the government raids the compound and separates Piper from her siblings, from Mother, from the Aunts, from all of Father’s followers, including Caspian, the boy she loves, Piper is sent to live “Outside.”

Then “They” introduce her to a stranger claiming to be her father, who tells her that the one she calls “Father” stole her from them.

But, as the Amazon description puts it, “Piper knows better. And Piper is going to escape.”

The book hits shelves October 1st. Want to pick it up? Kirkus Reviews calls it “[an intriguing look at a young woman adjusting to life outside a cult,” but we warn you: haunting with each line, this story grabs you and runs you through each and every page.

 

 

Featured Images Via Amazon

4 Incredible Mexican Authors to Celebrate Mexican Independence Day

It’s Mexican Independence Day! To celebrate, we put together just a few recommendations of great books by Mexican authors. Whether you’re a huge fan of Mexican literature or you’re just dipping your toes into the water, these books are guaranteed to bring a lot of life to your bookshelf.

 

 

1. The Story of My Teeth – Valeria Luiselli

Image via Amazon

 

Luiselli’s 2013 novel tells the story of an auctioneer in Mexico City who auctions off the teeth of famous literary and historical figures. It received almost universal acclaim upon its release, and its praise is just as deserved today! Named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, NPR, and the San Francisco Chronicle among others, this playful comic memoir is definitely worth checking out.

 

2. Among Strange Victims – Daniel Saldaña París

Image via Amazon

 

John Powers, the pop-culture critic on NPR’s Fresh Air, likened París’ 2016 book to existential ruminations of yore:

Brief, brilliantly written, and kissed by a sense of the absurd….like a much lazier, Mexico City version of Dostoevsky’s Underground Man.

If you’re interested in pondering the minutiae and tragedy of modern life, you’re in for a treat. Upon release, Publisher’s Weekly called it a “shaggy picaresque” with “a charming tendency to digress, and satisfying flashes of Rodrigo and Marcelo getting their act together.”

 

 

3. Down the Rabbit Hole – Juan Pablo Villalobos

Image via Amazon

 

Villalobos debut short novel was long-listed for The Guardian‘s First Book prize in 2011. It tells the story of Tochtli, a drug lord’s son, who witnesses the mayhem of narco violence from an innocent perspective. In their initial review, The Guardian described Villalobos’ debut as:

“Perfectly formed . . . Although easily devoured in one sitting, this clever little book is to be contemplated at length afterwards.”

At just 96 pages, you could easily read the whole novel in one sitting. Learn what all the hubbub’s been about!

 

4. Natural Histories – Guadalupe Nettel

Image via Amazon

 

Nettel’s 2014 short story collection explores the complexities of human nature from an interesting perspective. Each story examines humanity’s relationship to pests and pets as a way of illuminating the complexity of what it means to be human. Natural Histories is also the winner of the 3rd Ribera del Duero International Award for Short Narratives, a prestigious Spanish literature prize.

 

 

Featured Image via Cheapoair.com

5 YA Books That Get Disability Right

You already know about the YouTube hit that is CinemaSins, the channel that critiques movies and points out all on-screen offenses under the sun. Superhero movies are obviously not excluded, and CinemaSins co-creator Jeremy Scott decided to write his debut novel about the kinds of disabled superheroes “that superhero culture would marginalize,” according to an interview with Publishers Weekly.

 

Image via Amazon

 

With The Ables, Scott has inspired younger generations with a tale about kids with disabilities who become the superheroes they weren’t sure they could be. He’s proven the importance of telling these stories, especially when told appropriately, and even has a sequel, Strings, arriving shortly in September.

Here are five other YA novels about characters who struggle with their disabilities, find their strengths, and hopefully find a happy ending or peace with their circumstances.

 

 

5-Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan

 

Rick Riordan Image via Audiobooks For Soul

 

#1 New York Times bestselling author Rick Riordan taught English and history for fifteen years before his Percy Jackson series stardom. Between his teaching background and telling inspiring bedtime stories to his son who has ADHD and dyslexia, Riordan was uniquely qualified to bring us a protagonist who struggled with his perceived (pun intended) weaknesses before finding his Olympian-level strengths.

 

Percy JacksonImage via Amazon

 

Percy Jackson has struggled in school because of his dyslexia and ADHD, but after he enters the world of mythical Gods and monster he learns from his friend Annabeth, child of Athena, that:

 

You’re impulsive, can’t sit still in the classroom…That’s your battlefield reflexes. In a real fight, they’d keep you alive.

 

Here, Percy learns that his disabilities are not a result of him being less, but simply the trade-offs of being a powerful demigod and part of the Ancient Olympian family tree. Then, as the books go on, Percy and his friends rely on his ADHD mind to save the world time and time again from various ancient threats, ultimately embracing his strengths as well as the new family that he is now a part of.

 

4-The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais

 

Image Via Alison Gervais.com

 

Having gained recognition by posting her work on Wattpad in 2011, Alison Gervais took time out of her busy schedule of rereading Harry Potter, watching Supernatural and Law and Order: SVU, and enjoying life with her husband and their two cats, Jane and Smoke, to bring us this August release.

 

Image Via Amazon

 

Moving halfway across the country to Colorado right before senior year means Maya will be leaving Pratt School for the Deaf. Now she’s attending Engelmann High, a public school, where everyone except for her can hear and be heard.

When Engelmann’s student body president, Beau Watson, starts using ASL in order to talk to her, Maya is suspicious he has a hidden agenda. Then, when Maya passes up a chance to receive a cochlear implant, Beau doesn’t understand why Maya wouldn’t want to hear again. Maya would rather simply remain true to herself.

Publisher’s Weekly writes that “…Gervais adroitly pulls readers into her world—conveying ASL through all caps and spelled-out words—as well as her work navigating the deaf and hearing worlds and her awareness of who she is,” and we here at Bookstr hope that Gervais will bring us another book sooner rather than later—although we too are busy rereading the Harry Potter series.

 

 

3-How We Roll by Natasha Friend

 

Image via Natasha Friend

 

Friend’s first three books, PerfectLush, and Bounce, all won awards and acclaim, her 2012 novel My Life in Black and White won an award, and her 2018 novel is one you need to read right now.

 

Image via Amazon

 

After developing alopecia, Quinn lost her friends along with her hair. In addition to her autistic brother, she also has to deal with sexual harassment from fellow students.

Quinn catches a break when her family moves. A new start in a new town at a new school. At school she meets Jake, a former football player who lost his legs after an accident caused by his brother. The two feel a connection, but first, they have to learn to trust others once more…

Publisher’s Weekly writes that “[s]mall acts of kindness balance the cruelty Quinn has suffered, and the message that single characteristics don’t define who people are, invites contemplation” and we here at Bookstr say this that, since this book was released last year in 2018, then you should definitely have it on your bookshelf.

 

 

2-Remember Dippy by Shirley Reva Vernick

 

Image via Shirley Reva Vernick

 

Author of the Sydney Taylor Honor–winning The Blood Lie, Shirley Reva Vernick brought us something for anyone with a heart to enjoy with this 2013 release.

 

Image via Amazon

 

Summer looks like it’s going to be a drag for Johnny. When his mother gets a job in upstate New York, far away from Vermont, Johnny is sent to live with his aunt and cousin for the summer. This wouldn’t be so bad if not for his cousin, Remember Dippy.

Yep, you read that right, his cousin’s name is Remember Dippy. And, for Johnny, that isn’t the worst of it. Remember Dippy likes his days to follow a certain order, and any disorder or excitement is a recipe for disaster. This is because Remember Dippy is autistic.

Things go awry when a pet ferret goes missing, a close friend suffers a fall, and a new love interest might change Remember’s life in ways he doesn’t even suspect.

Kirkus Reviews calls this “[a]n enjoyable and provocative exploration of the clash between ‘normal’ and ‘different’ and how similar the two really are,” and we couldn’t agree more!

 

 

1-Stuck In Neutral by Terry Trueman

 

Image via Yalsa

 

Terry Trueman brought us the winner of the Michael L. Printz Award in 2001, and we’ve all been talking about it since.

 

Image via Amazon

 

Shawn McDaniel has cerebral palsy and his entire body is affected; he has absolutely no control over any of his bodily functions, but his memory is pitch-perfect. Sadly, his family thinks he’s a fool.

The novel follows Shawn as he tries to find what we all strive for – a connection – especially since his father Sydney McDaniel talks constantly about euthanasia.

Kirkus Reviews once wrote that “…Shawn will stay with readers, not for what he does, but for what he is and has made of himself,” but we have to say that is an understatement. Throughout the novel, Shawn himself introduces the reader to his life—his family, his school life, and his condition. It’s a meditative read that can be morose, even violent, and will shake you to your very core.

 

 

 

Featured Image via Turner Publishing

Top Picks: Thrilling Top 5 Crime and Thriller Picks

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 of the most thriller and most exciting Crime and Thriller novels this side of the internet has to offer!

 

 

5-My Pet Serial Killer by Michael J Seidlinger

 

Michael J Seidlinger

Image Via MichaelJSeidlinger.com

 

You thought we forgot about this one, didn’t you? Well, it might not be January 15th, but that’t doesn’t matter. This book is a hoot whatever time of year it is.

Author of novels such as The Fun We’ve Had and The Strangest and social media editor at Electric Literature and publisher in chief of Civil Coping Mechanisms, an indie press specializing in innovative fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, Seidlinger certainly knows his stuff and shows it off here.

 

My Pet Serial Killer by [Seidlinger, Michael J.]

Image Via Amazon

 

There’s no better way to summarize than the premise, so I’ll just quote Amazon and say, “Claire studies forensic science, Victor is the Gentleman Killer. Clair seduces Victor and keeps him in her apartment as her pet, her darkest secret”.

Kirkus Reivews writes that this book is “[a] stab at satire that’s certainly not for all tastes,” but we here at Bookstr think this book defies categorization. Funny, horrifying, fast, melodic, this book is, above all, a wild ride.

 

 

4-You Were Made For This by Michele Sacks

 

Michele Sacks
Image Via The Gloss Magazine

She brought us the wonderful short story collection Stone Baby (December 2017) and come June 19th she slipped her debut novel right past us, but thankfully we caught it just in time! What’s it about? I hear you ask. Well…

 

Merry, Sam, and Conor are the idyllic family unit that find the perfect place to live: a Swedish paradise. But when an old friend from Merry’s childhood, Frank, visits the family, she immediately has a connection with young Conor, Sam, even the neighbors.

Frank and Merry have known each other all their lives and are more like siblings than best friends. They are practically family, and family sometimes knows you better than you know yourself…

Kirkus Reivews writes that this book is “[h]ard to read but also bewitchingly hard to put down—a fitting contradiction in a novel that explores the corruption at the heart of beauty”. We here at Bookstr offer you a warning: the novel goes places you wouldn’t expect and when it gets there, you stomach might tell you stop reading but your eyes just can’t.

 

 

 

3-Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

 

Chandler Baker

Image Via ChanlderBakerBooks

 

She’s written for young adults before, but now Baker is trying her hand in adult fiction and, yes, we hope she continues.

 

Whisper Network: A Novel by [Baker, Chandler]

Image Via Amazon

 

We got Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita. They’ve all worked at Truviv, Inc. for years, but when the company’s CEO finally dies that means that their boss, Ames, will likely take over the entire company. Ames has a different relationship with each of his workers, but he has a whispered reputation that have largely been ignored, swept under the rug, left to dissipate like smoke.

Then when Ames makes an inappropriate move on a colleague, these women aren’t going to let it go. Enough is enough, the time is now. But what comes of that?

Kirkus Reviews calls this July 2nd releases not only “[o]ver-the-top in all the right ways”, but also “[v]iciously funny and compulsively readable, Baker’s first adult novel is a feminist thriller for the #MeToo era”. What more do you need to know?

 

 

2-Speaking of Summer by Kalisha Buckhanon

 

Speaking of Summer by Kalisha Buckhanon

Image Via the Seminary Co-op Bookstores

 

In addition to authoring several books such as SolemnConception, and Upstate, Buckhanon has also made appearances on Investigation Discovery, BET, and TV One as a true crime expert in cases involving women. With her latest book, she puts her expertise to the test.

Back on a cold December evening, Autumn Spencer’s twin sister, Summer, walks onto the roof of their shared Harlem brownstone and is never seen again. The door to the roof is locked, and the snow holds only one set of footprints. A perplexing case, and the authorities aren’t interested in putting the effort required to find “another missing black woman”.

Thus, it’s up to Autumn to find her sister at all costs, even as her own mind starts to unravel.

Kirkus Reviews notes “the accurate portrayal of one woman’s struggles with mental health” and we here at Bookstr praise Buckhanon for her ability to balance both a thrilling chase while exploring issues of race, gender, violence, and the inner-self. The book came out July 30th, so there’s no excuse not to have read this book.

 

 

1-The Man Who Came Uptown by George Pelecanos

 

George Pelecanos

Image Via Entertainment Weekly

 

With more than 20 detective stories to his name, Pelecanos has made a name not only as a prolific author but as a writer in general. A frequent collaborator with David Simon, he’s written multiple episodes of Simon’s HBO series The Wire and Treme and has co-created the HBO series The Deuce.

Now he comes at us with a new book and, trust me, you won’t want to miss it.

 

The Man Who Came Uptown by [Pelecanos, George]

Image Via Amazon

 

Michael Hudson is the prison library’s book worm, always eager for more, until the day he’s released after it’s revealed a private detective manipulated a witness in his trial.

Once outside, Michael finds that Washington D.C. has changed a lot during his time in the brink. Lost and confused, trying to balance a new job and surrounded by those who thinks he’s guilty, Michael struggles to find his place in a world of temptations. Things only get worse when he’s confronted by the man who got him released, and his temptation for crime goes towards the extreme.

The Washington Post writes that:

So while much of this story is classic crime noir — Will Ornazian go too far? Will Hudson wind up busted and back behind bars? — I found myself also reading the book for the Proustian madeleines that Pelecanos serves us: the names of the novels so many of us loved over the years and what those tales mean to the man who came uptown.

Kirkus Reviews tells us that:

Using his customary knowing dialogue and stripped-down, soulful prose, Pelecanos skillfully, sensitively works the urban frontier where the problems and stresses of everyday life cross the line into the sort of criminal behavior that could tempt anyone—anyone at all.

We here at Bookstr say:

Read it now!

And you definitely should. It was released September 4th, so what are you waiting for?

 

Featured Image Via NOPL