It’s the last day of January, and that means we’re all finishing up our free trial month of 2019! Hopefully, it’s been a good year so far—and if it hasn’t, there’s no reason we can’t make it a better one. Start off February in a positive way with some powerful, engaging reads that’ll help you meet those reading goals. We recommend you bundle up, settle in, and hunker down with these incredible stories. Without further ado, here are Bookstr’s Three to Read: the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week!
Our Hot Pick
Set against the backdrop of Detroit in the 1960s and 1970s, the story of the life of a one-of-a-kind matriarch whose business in the Numbers made her daughter’s dreams come true.
The World According to Fannie Davis is Bridgett Davis’s unforgettable coming of age in a family with a secret. The upper middle class splendor in which she and her siblings so happily lived was made possible by her mother’s business in the Numbers, the informal lottery that powered African American communities across the United States. A poignant and revealing examination of how one family lifted itself out of poverty and into a completely different life, for good and bad, The World According to Fannie Davis introduces us to an unforgettable matriarch, and her daughter, whose ways of understanding still resonate today.
Offering a daughter’s perspective on her larger-than-life mother, Bridgett Davis traces her family’s story as part of the Great Migration, showing how her mother and father arrived in Detroit from Tennessee carrying with them not just their own hopes but also those of their families. A child gifted with extraordinary powers of perception and understanding, Davis breaks the code of secrecy around her mother’s business and in so doing reveals both her mothers’ extraordinary sacrifices as well as her seemingly endless generosity. We come to understand just how keenly Fannie Davis believed in the power of money, and family, to make the world right.
The World According to Fannie Davis was inspired by Bridgett M. Davis‘ mother, a powerful, captivating, and complex figure. Fannie Davis ran an underground lottery business in order to provide opportunities for her family, a secret her daughter would keep for decades to come. Davis considers this to be a story of the American experience, doing what you need to get what you can. Interspersed with narratives about her mother are explorations of lynching and other historic obstacles between African-Americans and socioeconomic climbing. Davis is a screenwriter, novelist, and professor at Baruch College; fans of Davis’ fiction will enjoy her foray into this new medium. Check out Bookstr Diversity’s insightful interview with Bridgett M. Davis for more insider information!
Our Coffee Shop Read
Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.
When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.
Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.
99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne will warm up those cold hearts. With Valentine’s Day menacing on the horizon, this slow-burn romance will appeal to even the most jaded among us. Thorne’s witty narrator is constantly entertaining, and, as everyone knows, you’ve got to be invested in the characters before you can feel the heat! These nuanced characters will make you believe in their relationship. Sally Thorne is a USA Today bestseller whose hit debut The Hating Game has been published in twenty countries. Since the book also includes a bonus chapter featuring characters from The Hating Game, it’s sure to appeal to returning Sally Thorne fans.
Our Dark Horse
The New Rules of War has critics calling author Sean McFate the “new Sun Tzu,” deeming this book in particular a “standout of military science.” McFate’s background as a veteran, military contractor, professor, PhD, and Harvard graduate lend his work nuance and credibility. This is our Dark Horse because, while many nonfiction works view military strategy from a more historical perspective, McFate analyzes the landscape of today’s increasingly violent world. Since McFate also writes fictional military thrillers, he’s got a voice for creative writing and the intellectual chops for academia.
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