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Introduce New Readers to the World of Literature With These Young Adult Picks!

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 young adult books for your reading pleasure. Young adult novels are generally written with a twelve to eighteen age bracket in mind but over half of the audience for YA novels are adults (as Bookstr readers can attest!) Young adult novels are often just as sophisticated as their adult contemporaries, often exploring themes self exploration, coming-of-age, relationships, trauma and love. Below, are some of our favorite recently published YA must-reads!

 

5. THe Haunted by Danielle Vega

 

A young girl lit by psychadelic neon stands in a dark void

Image via Amazon

The Haunted is a spooky new novel filled to the brim with ghosts. A teenage girl named Hendricks moves to the small town of Drearfield. Hendricks wants to a start a new life, trying to forget her dark and traumatic past, but things don’t work out as planned. She learns from her new friends about the notorious Steele House, a dark house, said to be haunted. And then, Hendricks ends up moving into Steele House with her parents. Here, she finds herself dealing with, whispers in the night, doors that lock on their own, and frightening apparitions that torment her with her own memories. Hendricks now has to grapple with the hauntings and take down the ghosts, if they don’t get her first!

 

4. Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

 

A young African-American girls stands amidst a group of sunflower seeds with a parrot flying off her shoulder

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Dealing In Dreams is a dystopian thriller following a young woman called Nalah, leader of a gang of girls who roam the fierce streets of Mega City. Nalah, however, wants more out life than violent showdowns with the other gangs that prowl the streets at night. She wants a life in the esteemed Mega Towers, where only the elite get to go. To prove herself, Nalah must journey beyond the bounds of the city in search of a mysterious gang. As she journeys, she encounters peril, both outward and within, and begins to lose sight of everything she cares about as she grows closer to her goal.

 

3. Let me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

 

A group of street kings sit around a graffiti strewn wall listening to hip hop

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On the streets of Brooklyn in 1998, hot on the heels of the murder of Biggie Smalls, another musically talented kid, Steph is murdered. But his friends, Quadir and Jarrell plan to make sure his music lives on. Promoting his music under the name the Architect, Steph becomes huge. As everyone listens to the Architect, a hot new music exec wants the Architect’s mixtape for himself. And as they become more famous, they must confront Steph’s past and figure out what happened to him, revealing secrets they kept from each other along the way as well.

 

2. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

 

The gold plated sigil of a eagle

Image via Amazon

The dashing young king, Nikolai Lantsov, head of the once great Grisha Army, is leader of a country threatened by a bloody civil war. Nikolai must forge new alliances and stop an army gathering at his country’s borders. But inwardly, Nikolai is facing his own struggle. Dark magic rots him from within and slowly but surely, he’s struggling to beat the darkness that threatens to overtake him. Nikolai must journey across his country to conquer the darkness, even as the rising tide of the country’s war threatens to engulf all.

 

1. The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan 

 

A Muslim girl stands on a green backdrop

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The Love & Lies Of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan tells the story of seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali who is secretly a lesbian. Unable to come out to her conversative Muslim parents, she can’t wait to go to college and escape her family. But her parents catch her kissing another girl and drag her off to Bangladesh for an extended vacation. In isolation, Rukhsana is met with her worst nightmare as she faces religious intolerance, bigotry, and homophobia. But she finds allies in this world and may even find strength within to forge her own future. This heartfelt novel showcases an aching portrait of isolation in your own culture and shows that love is love, no matter where it comes from.

 

 

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Live Your Best Life With These New Self-Development Releases!

5. Self-Esteem For men by Jack Palm

This book provides readers (men) about the facts they need to improve their mental health and general lifestyle. The book is grounded in reality, giving helpful tips written in a simple, clear-to-understand language. It encourages a more positive mindset, using data from experts, interviews, and jobs to back up its findings. This book is sure to help you improve yourself by seeing the world in a more positive light and changing your overall patterns of thought to better your self-esteem.

 

An African-American man sitting in front of a grey background in a pink shirt

 

Image via Amazon

4. Let Love have the last word by Common

Common delivers a heartfelt memoir that will surely tug at your heartstrings. A Grammy, Academy Award, and Golden Globe winning artist, Common builds his novel around the theme of love and how it is the most important force in the universe. Touching on his personal life, Common shares stories about love, from his relationship to his daughter, to his own take on the current political climate, and his own career. Common knows that love isn’t the end-all-be-all of self-improvement, but you can’t have self-love without it! Loving the world while loving yourself is the healthiest way to heal and grow.

 

 

A grey backdrop holding the novel's title

Image via Amazon

3. It’s great to Suck at Something by Karen Rinaldi

It’s Great To Suck At Something is a bold self-help book that reveals that it’s okay to fail, regardless of what your darkest thoughts may tell you. Whoa, what a concept! But this book emphasizes embracing imperfection, embracing flaws, and learning to love them rather than obsess about them. Author Karen Rinaldi, who is a terrible surfer and all around imperfect person, but she learns to love herself by embracing the flaws, exploring herself and allowing herself to be imperfect by allowing herself to suck sometimes. (Hey, no judgment. Chances are, most of us have never even been surfing.) She’s sucks, and she’s okay with that.

 

 

A red book cover

Image via Amazon

2. Best Self by Mike Bayer

Best Self by Mike Bayer does exactly what it describes: it helps you find your best self possible, Are you really the best self you could be? Are you living your best life daily? Mike Bayer, the author is a life coach who has helped everyone from celebrities to CEOs to normal, everyday blue-collar workers discover their best selves. By getting people to look at their own lives with hard-hitting questions, Bayer helps you find your best self, even if you’re reluctant to examine your own lifestyle with a critical eye. Sometimes, it takes some tough love to get you on the path to self-love, but the intensity is worth it. Growth may be a struggle, but it’s also a profound reward.

 

A woman walks across the forest path alone

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1. The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey

The journey starts here. In an inspiring novel from Oprah Winfrey, our Book Club Queen details the journey toward making your life not only successful but also meaningful. The book’s ten chapters are organized around important milestones for your life, creating key lessons and moments for you to create the best course for their life. This creates a framework to organize your own life around, and she shares her own personal stories to help you along. (Remember, even Oprah isn’t perfect: she was fired from her first reporting job at age 23, and look where she is now!) This is a great book to help you pursue what you want in life with passion and renewed focus.

 

 

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Investigate Our Top Crime and Thriller 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 crime and thriller novels for your reading pleasure. Have a look at our choices and let us know what you think of our suggestions in the comments! Hopefully, you’ll add some of these for your ongoing reading list.

 

5. Sydney Noir edited by John Dale

 

A shadow of a woman on a bicycle against the skyline of Sydney

Image via Goodreads

Sydney Noir is an anthology of stories about crime in Australia’s capital city, told through the eyes of different characters. It offers unique perspectives on the different aspects of crime in Sydney. It features never before published stories from fourteen of Australia’s lauded authors: Mandy Sayer, John Dale, Mark Dapin, Kirsten Tranter, Eleanor Limprecht, Leigh Redhead, Robert Drewe, Julie Koh, Peter Polites, Tom Gilling, Gabrielle Lord, Philip McLaren, P.M. Newton and Peter Doyle. Exploring crime in its many forms, the stories feature characters from all walks of Australian life, and will keep you turning the pages and learning about the dark underbelly of this fascinating nation.

 

4. American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

 

An African-American girl dropped in a sweater resembling the American flag steps forward against an orange backdrop

Image via Amazon

American Spy tells a tale of espionage during Cold War. It centers on an African-American woman, Marie Mitchell whose career in the FBI has been stymied by racism and prejudice. Mitchell is finally given her chance to shine when she joins a shadowy task force to undermine public trust in Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary of Burkina Faso whose Communist leanings make him a target of American intervention. But Marie’s loyalties actually lie with Sankara’s ideology rather than that of her American bosses. Now, far from home and her every move being watched, she has to make a choice to follow her heart or serve her country.

 

3. The Coronation by Boris Akunin

 

A shadow man stands before a Russian city, holding a microphone

Image via Amazon

Boris Akunin has been called the Russian answer to Agatha Christie and his latest novel certainly cements that reputation. His latest mystery is set in Imperial Russia. During the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, the young son of Grand Duke Georgii Alexandrovich is kidnapped. A ransom letter demands the handover of the Count Orlov, an enormous diamond of the royal scepter that is due to play a major role in the coronation. Can gentleman detective Fandorin find the kidnappers in time for the coronation?

 

2. The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz 

 

A psychedelic cover surrounding a small town and a watertower

Image via Amazon

The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz i a tightly paced and well written debut . In 2009 saw the supposed suicide of Edie, the star of a group of recent graduates in Brooklyn. The group all fell apart after her death. A decade later, one of her best friends, Lindsay, finds an unsettling video that suggest Edie didn’t commit suicide after all. Lindsay begins an investigation and unearths long buried secrets that Edie’s other friends have been hiding about what really happened that terrible night.

 

1. The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor

 

A padded cell contains playing cards and spooky photographs

Image via Amazon

The Hiding Place  follows Joe, a teacher who never wanted to return to his hometown after his sister vanished. But when another kid disappears the exact same way, he feels he has no choice. He lies his way into a job at his old high school, ready to settle scores with ex-friends and old enemies.  But returning to his old school isn’t the hard part. The worst part is returning to the mine where everything went wrong, and confronting the fact that what was worse than his sister vanishing… was her return.  This is a chilling novel full of psychological suspense that we can definitely recommend!

 

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Bookstr’s Top Nonfiction Picks of the Week!

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 center around the theme of current best-sellers, showcasing what nonfiction books are the biggest hits with audiences! Pick these up to see what everyone is talking about!

 

5. Life will be the Death of me by Chelsea Handler

 

Chelsea sits cross legged on a white couch between two dogs
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Life Will Be The Death Of Me chronicles Chelsea Handler’s tale of self discovery after the election of Donald Trump and the despair she felt afterwards. Faced with self-destruction, Handler makes some big chances to her life instead, becoming more active in her social life, appreciating things she once took for granted, and even becoming politically active. The book showcases a year in her life, from its ups and downs, always witty and earnest. The book asks up to look deep within, showcasing what really matters to us and asking us to focus on that while keeping us laughing.

 

4. Code Name: Lise by Larry Loftis

 

A woman dressed in a British uniform in a dining room
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Code Name: Lise may be nonfiction but it’s a page-turner!  During  World War II, Odette Samson decides to follow in her father’s footsteps, as he was a war hero. Landing in France on a secret mission, meeting Captain Peter Churchill. Fighting together in France, the two grow close and start a romance. But soon, they are captured by the Germans and held in a concentration camp. Enduring torture, the two face despair but never give up and hold onto their love for each other to endure whatever their captors can throw at them.

 

3. Mama’s Last hug by Frans De Waal

 

 

A closeup portrait of a chimpanzee
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Mama’s Last Hug explores the fascinating world of animals and their emotions through the eyes of primatologist Frans De Waal. The book begins with the death of chimp Mama, who shares a tearful last hug with her biologist that goes viral on social media. The story forms the core of Waal’s arguments throughout the book, as he showcases that animals are just as capable of displaying the full range of emotions humans have, such as fear, jealously, and love. The book showcases how differently we can view the world and uses emotional stories to tell its theories, creating a profound moving experience.

 

2. Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting by Anna Quindlen

 

A picture of a multi-colored handprint
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting is a tender and thoughtful read by Anna Quindlen. In the age before blogs, Anna Quindlen wrote about the challenges and joys of family life in her syndicated column. Now, as a grandmother, she’s chronicling her own adventures in this phase of her life. She reflects how she’s no longer the main character of her life but a secondary one, a mentor to her grandson and a supporter of his parents. She provides an illuminating, funny, and thoughtful book, full of observations and showcasing how growing old isn’t so bad.

 

1. The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral life by David Brooks

 

A picture of mountains against a sunny backdrop
Image via Amazon

 

The Second Mountain by David Brooks is a book about helping find a more meaningful existence, especially in today’s world. Brooks looks at several tenants about modern life, including one’s family, spouse, philosophy, faith, and one’s chosen vocation. Both a helpful guideline to how to live a better existence and an engaging social commentary, this book will help you take a good look at your life and see if its really as meaningful as you want it to be. After all, the path to self-discovery starts by looking within.

 

 

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This Week’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Recommendations Are Out of This World!

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 science fiction and fantasy novels for your reading pleasure. Sci-Fi and fantasy novels provide gateways into other worlds, full of aliens, monsters, magic, and cool technology while addressing themes that cannot be showcased in nonfiction reading. Here are some of the top five recent ones!

 

 

5. Ship of Smoke and steel by Django Wexler

 

A woman stands on a burning ship as smoke rises around her
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

This young adult novel tells the story of a young named Isoka in a fantasy world full of great cinematic battles and a mysterious ships. Isoka follows a group of thugs, forced to obey their orders. This dirty work helps her feed her sister, who lives in the slums of the city they call home. But after her magic gets her arrested, Isoka is tasked with a quest to redeem herself: finding the mysterious ghost ship Soliton, a ship all who have gone after have died trying to steal. But Isoka must try to find it if she wants to escape with her life. Isoka journeys with a crew across the land, finding terrible monsters and forming a romance with a charming rogue. This a great, action-heavy book with intrigue and plenty of world-building to keep fans invested.

 

4. Smoke and Summons by Charlie N. Holmberg

 

A fiery horse stands against a dark backdrop

Image via Amazon

Smoke & Summons is a wild and inventive fantasy novel that centers around a unique protagonist called Sandis. Sandis is the host of ancient, dark entity that can transform her without warning into a monster at any time. When this happens, she becomes horribly dangerous to others around her, becoming a violent engine of destruction. A servant to a dark master, Sandis finally runs away from home and flees across the land, as her master pursues her with all he has, Sandis not just in danger from him but herself as well.

 

3. Middlegame by Seanan McGuire 

 

A hand covered in candles burning in a dark void

Image via Amazon

A standalone fantasy novel, this book follows a pair who are somewhere between god and human. The twins understand the world differently than others, with the male twin, Roger, understanding the world through words/stories while his sister, Dodger, through math/numbers. Their creator is an alchemist called Reed, who plans to help their reach their full potential but truly wishes to steal their power for his own. This is a great book with an intriguing premise and two very unique protagonists at its center.

 

2. Last Tango in Cyberspace by Steven Kotler

 

A woman stands over a city with a barcode on the back of her neck

Image via Amazon

Last Tango In Cyberspace tells of a dystopia in the near future where emotions have become a commodity, suppressed and studied. An ’emotional forecaster’ of this world, Lion Zorn, tracking emotional changes in the world and informs his employers of various changes in emotional perspective. While doing some digging in emotional perspectives, Lion discovers a terrible murder and is brought into a massive conspiracy full of gritty assassins, terrorists, and more. This is a mystery novel speculating what the future could be like, based on technology that already exists or is in development.

 

1. The Ruin of Kings by Jenn lyons

 

 

A metal dragon's head against a grey backdrop

Image Via Amazon 

An epic fantasy tale, The Ruin of Kings tells of a man called Kihrin. He is a man broken and imprisoned, with nothing to do to pass the time but tell his tale to his keeper. A rough childhood as a thief in the slums of Quur has given Kihrin a unique set of skills—skills that become useful when he is recognized as missing prince of a major house of Quur and is imprisoned in a palace full of scheming nobles. When Kihrin learns that the stone around his neck is a powerful device that will protect the wearer, he begins to understand his place in the plans of other far more powerful players in a game that is bigger than he can imagine. This is a great fantasy book, told in a long flashback that unfolds to become bigger and bigger across the story. Pick it up if you haven’t already!

 

 

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