Tag: Best of

Swoon Over Bookstr’s Romance Picks This Week!

Each week, Bookstr will be offering a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list. Today, we’ll be recommending five recent romance books for your recommendation pleasure. Romance offers a look into the lives of couples, dealing with love and all the trials it offers. Let’s fall in love with the couples of these books and the worlds they create!


5. The unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren


A toucan sits on a tree branch against the backdrop of a yellow sky


Image via Goodreads

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren is a romance set in the sweeping tropical vista of Hawaii. It tells the tale of twins, different as night and day. Olive Torres is constantly faced with bad luck and mishaps, while her sister Ami is a perfect, seemingly unflappable champion who is getting married. Olive is forced to attend the wedding with the best man, her nemesis Ethan Thomas. But when the entire wedding gets food poisoning, there’s a honeymoon up for grabs and Olive begrudgingly decides to spend it with Ethan. But as they spend more time together, Olive realizes she might be developing feelings for the man she hated.


4. The View From Alameda Island by Robyn Carr


A beautiful view of an island with mountains rising in the distance around the Golden Gate Bridge

Image via Amazon

The View From Alameda Island by Robyn Carr tells of a woman who dares to confront her unhappy marriage and start a new life. Lauren Delaney seemingly has a perfect life, with a successful career and a rock solid marriage but on their twenty fourth anniversary , she defies her abusive husband and divorces him. As she starts a new life, she meets another soul, a man who also is struggling to end an unhappy marriage. As she is pursued by her husband who wants her back, Lauren struggles to start a new existence, one that will make her truly happy.


3. Boyfriend for Hire by Kendall Ryan


A man smiling sits on top of a woman in bed

Image via Amazon

Boyfriend For Hire by Kendall Ryan tells the story of a hot male escort. One of the sexiest guys women can hire, he has only one rule: this is a job and he earns a pay check. In six years, he hasn’t fallen for a client. Not once. Until a woman called Elle. Elle’s friend has hired him to accompany her to a wedding but Elle doesn’t know her date isn’t real. He falls for her but what happens when Elle finds out he’s been hired to make her happy?


2. The Girl he used to know by Tracey Garvis Graves


A young woman in blonde hair stands facing away from the viewer

Image via Amazon

The Girl He Used to Know tells of a young woman with social anxiety called Annika Rose, who attends the University of Illinois. She prefers the quiet solitude of chess and books to being around people. But when she plays against a boy her age called Jonathan Hoffman, he is smitten with her, especially after he loses to her at chess . He pursues her and they begin a doomed love affair. Now, a decade later the two reunite and the attraction blooms but to be together, they need to face their own circumstances that drove them apart.


1. Normal People by Sally Rooney 


Two sketches of a woman and a man stand on top of her each other

Image via Amazon

Normal People tells of two people who attract from opposite circumstances. Marianne is quiet, isolated, and lonely. Connell is popular, well-adjusted, and the star of the football team. They pretend not to know each other but share a secret bond behind closed doors. A year later, the two attend Trinity College together and grow closer as the years at the school go on. As Marianne begins to veer towards self-destruction through her isolation and Connell searches for a more meaningful life, the two will always share a bond that will show how far they’ll go for each other.



Featured Image Via Amazon 

The Man Booker Prize

Top 5 Man Booker Picks From the Last 5 Years

The longlist for the Man Booker Prize is here with some big names, including Zadie Smith, Arundhati Roy, and Paul Auster. We look back at some of our favorite nominees from the past five years.



“The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce


Book cover for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Joyce’s novel made the long-list this time five years ago, and is the charming tale of an elderly gentleman, Harold Fry, and the journey he somewhat unwittingly embarks on in order to visit a dying friend. The book won the National Book Award in the UK for New Writer of the Year.



“A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki 


Cover for A Tale for the Time Being

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Ozeki’s wide reaching tale spans across time and oceans to tell the tale of bullied 16 year old Nao in Tokyo, her grandmother who was a Buddhist nun, and the novelist named Ruth who discovers Nao’s writing washed up on the beach after the 2011 tsunami. This brilliantly colorful, inventive novel won the 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction.



“The Lives of Others” by Neel Mukherjee


Cover for The Lives of Others

Image Courtesy of Neel Mukherjee


Set in India, this novel is an examination of the hierarchy, both literal and figurative, within the Ghosh family who all live on different floors of a house, according to their status. Bitter rivalries threaten the family structure, and the oldest grandchild’s involvement in extremist political activism further endangers the family structure. The novel won the 2014 Encore Award. 



“The Year of the Runaways” by Sanjeev Sahota


Cover for The Year of the Runaways

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Sahota, one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists, his second novel deals with immigrants coming from India to Britain, and spans many countries and characters. Taking place over the course of one year, the lives of the four principal characters become irrevocably entwined. The book won the European Prize for Literature in 2017.



“Do Not Say We Have Nothing” by Madeleine Thein


Cover for Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Image Courtesy of Goodreads


Winner of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize, this novel follows two generations of a family: the parents who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and their children, the students who protested in Tiananmen Square. The story focuses on a young woman Marie, and her friend Ai-Ming. Through their friendship, Marie attempts to piece together the tale of her family in present-day Vancouver. 


Featured Image Courtesy of the Peabody Institute Library