Category: Three to Read

Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 3/14/19

Do you remember grade school math tests? (We understand if you’ve blocked them out.) More specifically, do you remember calculating just how many questions you could get wrong and still pass? If you’re in a similar mindset now with your reading goals—example: ‘maybe if I read four books a week I can still catch up’—it might be time to choose your books a little more wisely. The best way to read more books is to read better books… and these three would be an excellent place to start.

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

Bookstr's Three to Read

Our Hot Pick:


'Internment' by Samira Ahmed



Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.



This novel openly confronts Islamophobia and bigotry, not hiding the subject of its social commentary behind the abstraction of a metaphor. A groundbreaking work of speculative fiction, Samira Ahmed‘s Internment dares to imagine a world that is no longer unimaginable—one in which American Muslims are in danger. The novel is hardly speculative; rather, it explores a dystopian reality that is, according to its author, “fifteen minutes” into the future. YA novels, and this one in particular, are increasingly willing to tackle heavy topics with grace, nuance, and undeniable power. This novel explores the ability of young people to enact change—and just how necessary their voices are and will continue to be. Undoubtedly one of the hottest YA releases of 2019, you won’t be able to put this one down… but first, you’ll have to pick it up. Trust us.


Our Coffee shop read:


'All Happy Families' by Hervé le Tellier



A prominent French writer delves into his own history in this eloquent reflection on dysfunctional family relationships. 

Hervé Le Tellier did not consider himself to have been an unhappy child–he was not deprived, or beaten, or abused. And yet he understood from a young age that something was wrong, and longed to leave. Children sometimes have only the option of escaping, and owe to that escape their even greater love of life.

Having reached a certain emotional distance at sixty years old, and with his father and stepfather dead and his mother suffering from late-stage Alzheimer’s disease, Le Tellier finally felt able to write the story of his family. Abandoned early by his father and raised in part by his grandparents, he was profoundly affected by his relationship with his mother, a troubled woman with damaging views on love.

In this perceptive, deeply personal account, Le Tellier attempts to look back on trying times in his life without anger or regret, and even with humor.



You may be familiar with the Leo Tolstoy quote behind Le Tellier’s title: “all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” And you may (or, hypothetically, may not) be well-acquainted with familial trauma. Though the degree of trauma each of us undergoes may vary, the impact tends to be the same: enormous. Renowned French experimental writer Le Tellier‘s All Happy Families explores the way these early childhood experiences impacted—and continue to impact—the man he is today. But these recollections extend beyond the typical confines of childhood memories, towards the past broader scope of Nazi-occupied France and towards an uncertain future. Although this memoir is an account of pain, it’s also a tale of forgiveness. We can all benefit from this mature, objective look into the past—maybe we can look into our own.


Our Dark HORSE:


'Grace and Fury' by Tracy Banghart



In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace – someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.



We love strong female characters—especially when strength isn’t dependant on ‘ability to punch things.’ While the sisters’ personalities may seem formulaic at first, as Tracy Banghart‘s Grace and Fury goes onto subvert expectations, so do its characters. Readers will love this almost-entirely female cast and appreciate the story’s overt commentary on sexism and female empowerment. Now is the perfect time to give this 2018 release you might’ve missed the shot it deserves: a publication date has recently been announced for the sequel. Are you one of those people who wait for the second season to drop on Netflix so you can binge it all? Yeah? Well, this is like that.

Bookstr's Three to Read Week March 7, 2019

Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 3/7/19

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!

Bookstr's Three to Read



'The Lost Girls of Paris' by Pam Jenoff



1946, Manhattan

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

'Girl Stop Apologizing' by Rachel Hollis



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 HollisGirl, 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!




'I'll Be Gone in the Dark' by Michelle McNamara



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, 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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