Category: Non-Fiction

Check out This Week’s Uplifting Self-Help Books!

Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the Internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most — just so we can ensure consistent, high quality recommendations. This week’s nonfiction picks are new self-development picks that will inspire you to be all you can be.

 

5. Atomic Habits by James Clear

 

Image Via Amazon

 

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving—every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.

 

4. Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White

 

Image Via Amazon

 

In Decluttering at the Speed of Life, decluttering expert and author Dana White identifies the mind-sets and emotional challenges that make it difficult to declutter. Then, in her signature humorous approach, she provides workable solutions to break through these struggles and get clutter out—for good!

But more than simply offering strategies, Dana dives deep into how to implement them, no matter the reader’s clutter level or emotional resistance to decluttering. She helps identify procrasticlutter—the stuff that will get done eventually so it doesn’t seem urgent—as well as how to make progress when there’s no time to declutter.

 

3. Live Big by Ajit Nawalkha

 

Image Via Amazon

 

The key to achieving what you set out for—in business and in life—doesn’t lie in perfectly executed strategy. The greatest tool you have is your own mindset—it determines your ability to adapt and persevere. And, like any other tool, you can employ it to your advantage. While most aspiring entrepreneurs think the next business strategy will manifest the life they desire, successful entrepreneurs know it’s the emotional and mental “shifts” that will bring you closer to your goals. No one is better equipped to explore these shifts than Ajit Nawalkha, cofounder of Mindvalley and one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and business coaches. In Live Big: A Guide to Passion, Practicality, and Purpose, Nawalkha shares 25 shifts—changes in your mental, physical, emotional, or even spiritual state—that will propel you on your road to success.

 

2. You Are A Badass Every Day by Jen Sincero

 

Image Via Amazon

 

For anyone who has ever had trouble staying motivated while trailblazing towards badassery, You Are a Badass Every Day is the companion to keep you fresh, grateful, mighty, and driven. In one hundred exercises, reflections, and cues that you can use to immediately realign your mind and keep your focus unwavering, this guide will show you how to keep the breakthroughs catalyzed by Sincero’s iconic books You Are a Badass and You Are a Badass at Making Money going. Owning your power to ascend to badassery is just the first step in creating the life you deserve—You Are A Badass Every Day is the accountability buddy you can keep in your back pocket to power through obstacles, overcome the doubts that hold you back from greatness, and keep the fires of determination roaring while you reach your goals.

 

1. The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker

 

Image Via Amazon

 

A popular minimalist blogger and author of The More of Less shows you how to methodically turn your home into a place of peace, contentment, and purposeful living with this book: The Minimalist Home. One of today’s most influential minimalist advocates takes us on a decluttering tour of our own houses and apartments, showing us how to decide what to get rid of and what to keep. He offers both practical guidelines for simplifying our lifestyle at home and addresses underlying issues that contribute to over-accumulation in the first place. The purpose is not just to create a more inviting living space. It’s also to turn our life’s HQ—our home—into a launching pad for a more fulfilling and productive life in the world.

 

Featured Image via Collage Maker

 

Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 10/15/19

Autumn is here. It’s getting cold outside, the sun is sinking below the horizon earlier and earlier. The sand on the beach is easier to walk across barefoot, yes, but the water is freezing. All the pools are closing, all the water parks are closed. It’s depressing, but think about the bright side: all the leaves are changing, giving us a rainbow of colors.

And just as the leaves fall, we’d like to fall into a great book.

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

OUR HOT PICK

Movies (And Other Things) by Shea Serrano

 

 

Synopsis:

Movies (And Other Things) is a book about, quite frankly, movies (and other things).

One of the chapters, for example, answers which race Kevin Costner was able to white savior the best, because did you know that he white saviors Mexicans in McFarland, USA, and white saviors Native Americans in Dances with Wolves, and white saviors Black people in Black or White, and white saviors the Cleveland Browns in Draft Day?

Another of the chapters, for a second example, answers what other high school movie characters would be in Regina George’s circle of friends if we opened up the Mean Girls universe to include other movies (Johnny Lawrence is temporarily in, Claire from The Breakfast Club is in, Ferris Bueller is out, Isis from Bring It On is out…). Another of the chapters, for a third example, creates a special version of the Academy Awards specifically for rom-coms, the most underrated movie genre of all. And another of the chapters, for a final example, is actually a triple chapter that serves as an NBA-style draft of the very best and most memorable moments in gangster movies.

 

Why?

We hyped this book up and boy did it not disappoint. Following Serrano’s Basketball (and Other Things), which notably made Barack Obama’s 2017 year-end list, Shea Serrano’s Movies (and Other Things) is a must-have for any movie lover, pop culture aficionado, or someone who just wants to read a great book instead of a good book. This book puts each piece of media in its proper place in the pop culture sphere. I can’t in the right mind tell you this book is a page-turner, because it either had me laughing so hard I could barely finish a page or I had to stop and take in something truly poignant. As Serrano himself jokingly said, “Please buy a copy of it or go to hell.”

 

 

Our COFFEE SHOP Read

Not Our Kind by Kitty Zeldis

 

 

Synopsis:

With echoes of Rules of Civility and The Boston Girl, a compelling and thought-provoking novel set in postwar New York City, about two women—one Jewish, one a WASP—and the wholly unexpected consequences of their meeting.

One rainy morning in June, two years after the end of World War II, a minor traffic accident brings together Eleanor Moskowitz and Patricia Bellamy. Their encounter seems fated: Eleanor, a teacher and recent Vassar graduate, needs a job. Patricia’s difficult thirteen-year-old daughter Margaux, recovering from polio, needs a private tutor.

Though she feels out of place in the Bellamys’ rarefied and elegant Park Avenue milieu, Eleanor forms an instant bond with Margaux. Soon the idealistic young woman is filling the bright young girl’s mind with Shakespeare and Latin. Though her mother, a hat maker with a little shop on Second Avenue, disapproves, Eleanor takes pride in her work, even if she must use the name “Moss” to enter the Bellamys’ restricted doorman building each morning, and feels that Patricia’s husband, Wynn, may have a problem with her being Jewish.

Invited to keep Margaux company at the Bellamys’ country home in a small town in Connecticut, Eleanor meets Patricia’s unreliable, bohemian brother, Tom, recently returned from Europe. The spark between Eleanor and Tom is instant and intense. Flushed with new romance and increasingly attached to her young pupil, Eleanor begins to feel more comfortable with Patricia and much of the world she inhabits. As the summer wears on, the two women’s friendship grows—until one hot summer evening, a line is crossed, and both Eleanor and Patricia will have to make important decisions—choices that will reverberate through their lives.

 

Why?

Gripping and wonderfully compelling, this tale weaves together themes of friendship, class, prejudice, and love expertly with the care and skill of a seamstress. The period piece details engross you—from the clothes, the glamour, the excitement, the feeling of 1947 New York. The characters live and breath 1947 New York and have a rich history, yet at the same time, Zeldis manages to effortlessly craft a story that not only fits the decade it’s set in, but transcend it.

 

 

Our DARK HORSE

Inheritance by Evelyn Toynton

 

 

Synopsis:

After the sudden death of her husband, Annie Devereaux flees to England, site of the nostalgic fantasies her father spun for her before he deserted the family. A chance encounter in London leads Annie to cancel her return to New York and move in with Julian, the disaffected, moody son of Helena Denby, a famous British geneticist. As their relationship progresses, Annie meets Julian’s sisters Isabel and Sasha, each of them fragile in her own way, and becomes infatuated with visions of their idyllic childhood in England’s West Country. But the more she uncovers about Julian’s past, the more he explodes into rage and violence. Finally tearing herself away, Annie winds up adrift in London, rescued from her loneliness only when she and Isabel form an unexpected bond.

Slowly, with Isabel as her reluctant guide, Annie learns of the emotional devastation that Helena’s warped arrogance, her monstrous will to dominate, inflicted on her children. The family who once embodied Annie’s idealized conception of England is actually caught in a nightmare of betrayal and guilt that spirals inexorably into tragedy.

 

Why?

When you take away all the romance and all the illusions, what’s left of love? Is there any love? Or can love only survive on us not truly understanding our partner? Toynton’s third novel asks these questions and follows through to the answers and what it means for this disintegrating aristocratic family. A small story, the real drama comes from the family and how you could cut the tension with a knife in every scene, but are afraid to, because of how everything can shatter at a moment’s notice. Frighteningly intense, it explores class and the way we react, and don’t react, to tragedy when it hits us in the face.

 

 

All In-text Images Via Amazon.

 

Ronan Farrow’s Book Alleges Matt Lauer Raped NBC Colleagues

Catch and Kill recounts Ronan Farrow’s investigation of Harvey Weinstein, NBC’s attempt to prevent him from publishing his findings in The New Yorker, and how Weinstein hired a private investigative firm to try to stop him. It also features a shocking interview with Brooke Nevils, the former NBC News employee who first brought the complaint against Matt Lauer that got him fired from “Today” in 2017. When the story first broke, the media kept Nevils anonymous to protect her. But with the publication of Farrow’s new book, the full details of the allegations have been uncovered.

 

Image via Amazon

 

We won’t go into too much detail here; you can read more about the exact details of the allegations here, here, and hereVariety was the first to break the story of these new allegations after receiving an advance copy of Catch and Kill. 

 

 

Suffice it to say Matt Lauer began a pattern of sexual assault and harassment that Nevils alleges began during the coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Nevils reports that Lauer forced himself upon her in a hotel room in Russia despite her protests.

 

Lauer at Sochi, via Getty Images

 

Lauer has denied the accusations, saying: “it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having, was in fact an assault.” Nevils has a different story. She claims she objected multiple times during the account before Lauer physically forced her against a door.

This Wednesday, hosts of the “Today” show Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb commented on the breaking story. Kotb said:

There are not allegations of an affair. There are allegations of a crime. And I think that’s shocking to all of us here who have sat with Matt for many, many years.

 

 

These new details cast doubt on the stance maintained by NBC that they had no knowledge of the claims against Lauer. Farrow uncovers seven other allegations and non-disclosure agreements, implying Lauer’s behavior was merely swept under the rug.

 

Harvey Weinstein, via Variety

 

Adding yet another wrinkle to an already complicated and tragic story, it appears Weinstein may have used the knowledge of Lauer’s misconduct as leverage to prevent the allegations against himself from becoming public. Farrow describes the situation, saying:

I’m very clear about the fact that Harvey was laying siege to NBC.

These latest details represent yet another grim chapter in the ongoing #MeToo debacle, and Farrows Catch and Kill joins the litany of other books published about the scandal.

 

 

Featured image via NBC News

National Book Award Finalists For Young People’s Literature

The National Book Foundation has unveiled the finalists for the National Book Awards. Listing five books each in five categories, they’ve given us some recognizable names, but it’s going to be an interesting year considering that none of the authors have taken home a National Book Award in these categories before.

For this article, we’re going to show you what made it into the ‘Young People’s Literature’ category.

 

 

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

 

Pet by [Emezi, Akwaeke]

Image Via Amazon

 

This book follows Jam and her best friend, Redemption, as they learn that monsters exist and suddenly meet Pat, a creature made of horns and colors and claws that emerges from one of Jam’s mother’s paintings thanks to a drop of Jam’s blood.

Now Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but it’ll be tough given that no one in this world believes in monsters.

How does one navigate in a world that is in denial about what you yourself know to be the truth?

Acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi asks this all important question, and many more, in their timely young adult debut. Kirkus Reviews praised this addition to YA as a “…soaring novel shoots for the stars and explodes the sky with its bold brilliance.”

 

Look Both Ways: A tale told in ten blocks by Jason Reynolds

 

Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by [Reynolds, Jason]

Image Via Amazon

 

As Kirkus Reviews notes, this is a “collection [that] brims with humor, pathos, and the heroic struggle to grow up.” The overarching story is that a school bus fell from the sky, but no one saw it happen. Going through the day-to-day life of ten children all on a different block, we discover what really happens after the last school bell rings and what goes through our minds as we walk from home and, more importantly, what we ignore.

 

 

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

 

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by [Ruby, Laura]

Image Via Amazon

 

Here we follow the story of Frankie, who’s been an orphan ever since her mother died and her father left her and her siblings in an orphanage. Now Frankie and her sister, Toni, two young, unwanted women doing everything they can to survive.

But now the embers of the Great Depression are kindled into the fires of World War II, and with the shadows of injustice, poverty, and death all around, the odds are against Frankie to make it in his doggone world.

NPR notes that “[t]here may be wolves behind all the doors, but there is also a whole world beyond for those bold enough to push them wide.”

 

1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler

1919

IMAGE VIA Amazon

 

In 1919 (obviously) America was recovering from World War I, black soldiers returned to racism so violent that that summer would become known as the Red Summer, the suffrage movement had a long-fought win when women gained the right to vote, laborers turned to the streets to protest working conditions, and a national fervor led to a communism scare. It was the year that prohibition went into effect.

A hundred years later, Sandler looks back at each of these movements, looking at their momentum and their setbacks, showing that progress isn’t always a straight line. More than a history book, Sandler has crafted an “entertaining and instructive look at a tumultuous year.”

 

PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING BY RANDY RIBAY

Patron Saints of Nothing

IMAGE VIA GOODREADS

 

This high school English teacher and YA novelist has a breakout hit with this June 18th release. Critically acclaimed, this Filipino-American author gives his most personal story yet:

The novel explores Jay, whose cousin is killed as part of Duterte’s drug war, as he travels to the Philippines in an attempt to unravel the mystery of his cousin’s death, confronting a place he thought he knew.

Kirkus Reviews showers praise, ending their review by saying “[p]art coming-of-age story and part exposé of Duterte’s problematic policies, this powerful and courageous story offers readers a refreshingly emotional depiction of a young man of color with an earnest desire for the truth,” and I say that I’ve been following this ever since I included it on Top Picks all the way back in June 16th, and now it’s been nominated!

 

 

Who do you think is going to win? I know who I think is going to win…

 

 

Featured Image Via School Library Journal 

Chelsea Handler’s Memoir is Being Brought to TV… Again

Chelsea Handler, comedian, actress, and talk show host, is returning to the small screen with a TV series based on her memoirLife Will be the Death of Me… And You Too.

 

Chelsea HandlerImage via The Cheat Sheet

 

Handler has been working in the entertainment business for nearly 20 years, and has garnered many tales from her journey to stardom. Her E! Network talk show, Chelsea Lately, however, is what made her a household name. It was there that fans fell in love with her dry humor, and sharp wit.

 

 

On top of this, Handler was known for being very candid about her life, entertaining viewers with stories of her wild youth and equally wild adulthood (including the dirty details about her romantic relationship with rapper 50 Cent).

 

Chelsea Handler in High SchoolChelsea Handler in high school/Image via Business Insider

 

Handler, seeing the love people have for her hilarious antics, has now written six books centered around her life, of which Life Will be the Death of Me is the most recent.

 

 

This also isn’t the first time that one of Handler’s book has been adapted for television. Previously, Handler’s memoir Are You There, Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea was made into the show Are You There, Chelsea? The show was a scripted comedy that followed the trials and tribulations of a female bartender in her 20’s, and it ran for one season.

Despite being cancelled so quickly, Are You There Chelsea? featured a star-studded cast and Handler’s iconic brand of no-bs humor. Fans hope this new show will achieve the same effect, while also making up for some of the shortcomings that led to Are you There Chelsea?‘s cancellation.

 

 

 

 

Featured image via Hollywood Reporter