Tag: recommendations

Top Genre Picks: Crime/Thrillers

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/thrillers for your reading pleasure. Thrillers and crime novels often overlap, containing equal amounts of suspense, anxiety, anticipation, and shock. These novels will certainly set you on edge and leave you guessing until the very end.

 

The cover to the Boy by Tami Hoag, featuring numerous reeds against a blue set sky

Image Via Goodreads

1. ‘The Boy’ by Tami Hoag

The Boy by Tami Hoag has quickly shot up the New York Times bestsellers list and it’s easy to see why. The premise of the novel is that a detective, Nick Fourcade, enters into a home in Louisiana to discover a young boy of seven murdered by an alleged intruder, yet his mother appears to be unhurt and there is no sign of forced entry. The waters are further muddled when the boy’s babysitter goes missing. All fingers begin to point to the mother as the murderer of her own child but Nick thinks there may be more to the case than meets the eye. With a premise like that, this is a must read that will keep you guessing until the very end.

The cover to the Drowning by J.P. Smith, featuring a ladder descending into a shallow lake

Image Via Goodreads

2. ‘The Drowning’ by J.p. Smith

The Drowning by J.P. Smith isn’t an easy read but it’s a great one. Alex Mason, a camp counselor, leaves a young boy in the middle of the lake to teach him a lesson but the boy vanishes. Alex doesn’t tell the truth, leaving the death to be forgotten, until twenty years later he begins receiving threatening notes from the boy, Joey Proctor. But Joey is dead. Or is he? With a strong prose, an excellent hook for its creepy plot, The Drowning is a book that’ll keep you guessing until the very end. Alex Mason is a multilayered protagonist, at once unsympathetic yet showing enough humanity for the audience to be on his side. Check this one out for sure.

 

The cover of My Lovely Wife featuring a woman looking at herself in the mirror of a knife

Image Via Amazon

3. ‘My Lovely Wife’ by Samantha Downing

This one isn’t technically out yet, but it’s received excellent early reviews and features a wild as hell premise that’s impossible to ignore. My Lovely Wife is about a married couple who engages in a new activity to keep their marriage alive. One catch: the activity in question is murder. The book is described as deliciously wicked, dark, and ‘completely crazy’ but in a good way! This one is suggested to just go in blind, so we won’t give in anything away, so pick this one up when it hits shelves March 26th.

The cover to the Stranger Diaries, featuring a house being carved in half in a cozy suburb

Image Via Goodreads

4. ‘The Stranger Diaries’ by Elly Griffiths

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths is a modern gothic fantasy, themed around literary killings. Clare Cassidy specializes in a course revolving around gothic writer R.M. Holland. But when a dead body turns up with a quote from Holland’s story, ‘The Stranger’, Elly Griffiths is drawn into a dark murder mystery, as more murders begin to pop up themed around Clare’s beloved book. To make matters worse, Clare receives a note in her personal diary, from the killer that says ‘Hello, Clare. You don’t know me.” This should be a must read for literature fans, especially since the killings are themed around literature!

A young woman walking in a snow drenched filed in a red coat Image Via Goodreads

5. ‘The Reckoning’ by Yrsa Sigurdardottir 

The second novel in the Children’s House series, a series of psychological thrillers that examines police procedurals in Scandinavia. This novel deals with series characters Huldar and Freyja, a detective and a child psychologist respectively. In the present time dismembered limbs begin popping all over town, while flashbacks deal with a young girl who went to use the phone at her friend’s house and didn’t return. The mystery gets quite dark, but leaves readers invested in seeing it through to the end, thanks to the author’s strong sense of characterization and excellent atmosphere. Its not an easy read but well worth the ride.

Will you be picking up any of these thrillers? Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image Via Deadline

 

10 Books Every Non-Bookworm Needs to Read

Some books leave a mark on society and our lives. Whether or not we can dive into a book the way some of our more intensely bookish friends can, they are essential to life, whether as a guide, or just a really great story. These are some of those books.

1. Silver Linings Playbook

Image Via Wikipedia

 

Although this may seem like an unconventional start, the book made movie is the a tale about Pat Peoples who has just been released from a mental health facilitate, while trying to piece together his former life, he meets a mysterious woman named Tiffany who is also rebuilding her life. The book itself ultimately is about second chances- something that everyone can relate to?

2. Catcher in the Rye 

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Catcher in the Rye, a classic in it’s own right. Follows the notorious Holden Caulfield throughout his journeys with procrastination and self discovery. His teen angst and rebel without a cause attitude attracts many people to the novel but tells an interesting story of someone who sabotages himself, yet leaves the hope that one can find their own way.

 

3. The Outsiders 

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If you weren’t forced to read The Outsiders in middle school, here’s your chance. This book, while taking you on a trip back to the nostalgia of the 50s, also has an extremely compelling storyline that helps one see that although everyone is different, we are more alike than we appear.

 

4. To Kill a Mocking Bird

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Another middle school classic, this beloved novel is set in the Deep South, and explores rumors, social perceptions and what the word justice means, while letting you fall in love with an iconic cast of characters.

 

5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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While many people would have chosen The Sorcerers Stone, the Order of the Phoenix is far more important. Not only does it tell the story of a kid who never gives up, it also relays the important message that governments may not always tell us the truth or have our best interest at heart. Question it all, and fight for what’s right.

 

6. A Clockwork Orange

 

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Another book that teaches the importance of asking questions, follows the story of Alex small gang leader who is captured after committing heinous crimes, and is drafted to be apart of experimental rehabilitation. The book questions what human nature is and what limits it can be pushed to in the most extreme sense.

 

7. Brave New World

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A book that shows that, looks are not all that meets the eye and not to get caught up in the most superficial parts of life, and the dangers of living a utopian society. Read it if you dare, it’s the brain twisting story your library needs.

 

8. 1984

 

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Who hasn’t heard the phrase “Big Brother is watching?” If you haven’t, or you didn’t know where that reference came from, 1984 is the book to read. Setting in a dystopian society, is set in the province of Oceania is a novel about the resistance of oppression and being an individual.

 

9. The Kite Runner

 

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A profound novel about friendship, loyalty and the facing the ugliest parts of life, this book is a favorite of many people and teachers alike- this book will leave you shook. 

 

 

10. Fahrenheit 451

 

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If you aren’t a big reader, you’ll definitely love this one! A book warning against censorship and the importance of right to educate yourself on the topics you please (and it is the right to read because we all know readings the best). Nevertheless, in a world of fake news, and filtered content- can we really deny the importance of this book?

 

 

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Barack Obama Lists His Top Books of 2018

 

Barack Obama posts his much anticipated list annually on Facebook. Check it out below! Have you read any of his top picks?

 

 

The books and authors highlighted by Obama this year were as follows:

 

Becoming by Michelle Obama
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
American Prison by Shane Bauer
Arthur Ashe: A Life by Raymond Arsenault
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne
Educated by Tara Westover
Factfulness by Hans Rosling
Feel Free by Zadie Smith
Florida by Lauren Groff
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight
Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging by Alex Wagner
A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
Immigrant, Montana by Amitava Kumar
In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History by Mitch Landrieu
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti
The Return by Hisham Matar
There There by Tommy Orange
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen
The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes

 

 

Featured Image Via Politico

Oprah Magazine’s Top 4 Favorite Books from the Last Year

The nights are getting colder and colder, but the good news is you can catch up on your reading with these newly releases recommended by The Oprah Magazine!

 

Come With Me By Helen Schulman

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

Amy Reed works part-time as a PR person for a tech start-up, run by her college roommate’s nineteen-year-old son, in Palo Alto, California. Donny is a baby genius, a junior at Stanford in his spare time. His play for fortune is an algorithm that may allow people access to their “multiverses”—all the planes on which their alternative life choices can be played out simultaneously—to see how the decisions they’ve made have shaped their lives.

 

Donny wants Amy to be his guinea pig. And even as she questions Donny’s theories and motives, Amy finds herself unable to resist the lure of the road(s) not taken. Who would she be if she had made different choices, loved different people? Where would she be now?

 

Amy’s husband, Dan—an unemployed, perhaps unemployable, print journalist—accepts a dare of his own, accompanying a seductive, award-winning photographer named Maryam on a trip to Fukushima, the Japanese city devastated by tsunami and meltdown. Collaborating with Maryam, Dan feels a renewed sense of excitement and possibility he hasn’t felt with his wife in a long time. But when crisis hits at home, the extent of Dan’s betrayal is exposed and, as Amy contemplates alternative lives, the couple must confront whether the distances between them in the here and now are irreconcilable.

 

Taking place over three non-consecutive but vitally important days for Amy, Dan, and their three sons, Come with Me is searing, entertaining, and unexpected—a dark comedy that is ultimately both a deeply romantic love story and a vivid tapestry of modern life.

 

 

At the End of the Century by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

 

 

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Nobody has written so powerfully of the relationship between and within India and the Western middle classes than Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. In this selection of stories, chosen by her surviving family, her ability to tenderly and humorously view the situations faced by three (sometimes interacting) cultures―European, post-Independence Indian, and American―is never more acute.

In “A Course of English Studies,” a young woman arrives at Oxford from India and struggles to adapt, not only to the sad, stoic object of her infatuation, but also to a country that seems so resistant to passion and color. In the wrenching “Expiation,” the blind, unconditional love of a cloth shop owner for his wastrel younger brother exposes the tragic beauty and foolishness of human compassion and faith. The wry and triumphant “Pagans” brings us middle-aged sisters Brigitte and Frankie in Los Angeles, who discover a youthful sexuality in the company of the languid and handsome young Indian, Shoki. This collection also includes Jhabvala’s last story, “The Judge’s Will,” which appeared in The New Yorker in 2013 after her death.
The profound inner experience of both men and women is at the center of Jhabvala’s writing: she rivals Jane Austen with her impeccable powers of observation. With an introduction by her friend, the writer Anita Desai, At the End of the Century celebrates a writer’s astonishing lifetime gift for language, and leaves us with no doubt of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s unique place in modern literature.

 

 

Monument by Natasha Trethewey

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

Layering joy and urgent defiance—against physical and cultural erasure, against white supremacy whether intangible or graven in stone—Trethewey’s work gives pedestal and witness to unsung icons. Monument, Trethewey’s first retrospective, draws together verse that delineates the stories of working class African American women, a mixed-race prostitute, one of the first black Civil War regiments, mestizo and mulatto figures in Casta paintings, Gulf coast victims of Katrina. Through the collection, inlaid and inextricable, winds the poet’s own family history of trauma and loss, resilience and love.
In this setting, each section, each poem drawn from an “opus of classics both elegant and necessary,”* weaves and interlocks with those that come before and those that follow. As a whole, Monument casts new light on the trauma of our national wounds, our shared history. This is a poet’s remarkable labor to source evidence, persistence, and strength from the past in order to change the very foundation of the vocabulary we use to speak about race, gender, and our collective future.

 

 

The Lonesome Bodybuilder by Yukikio Motoya

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

A housewife takes up bodybuilding and sees radical changes to her physique, which her workaholic husband fails to notice. A boy waits at a bus stop, mocking commuters struggling to keep their umbrellas open in a typhoon, until an old man shows him that they hold the secret to flying. A saleswoman in a clothing boutique waits endlessly on a customer who won’t come out of the fitting room, and who may or may not be human. A newlywed notices that her spouse’s features are beginning to slide around his face to match her own.

In these eleven stories, the individuals who lift the curtains of their orderly homes and workplaces are confronted with the bizarre, the grotesque, the fantastic, the alien―and find a doorway to liberation. The English-language debut of one of Japan’s most fearlessly inventive young writers.

 

The list is concluded, and your journey of discovering these books has just begun! Read, review, and support these new authors as soonest!

 

 

Featured Image Via Oprahmag.com / Synopses are from Amazon

Barack Obama Lists His Top Books of 2018

 

Barack Obama posts his much anticipated list annually on Facebook. Check it out below! Have you read any of his top picks?

 

 

 

The books and authors highlighted by Obama this year were as follows:

 

Becoming by Michelle Obama
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
American Prison by Shane Bauer
Arthur Ashe: A Life by Raymond Arsenault
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne
Educated by Tara Westover
Factfulness by Hans Rosling
Feel Free by Zadie Smith
Florida by Lauren Groff
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight
Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging by Alex Wagner
A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
Immigrant, Montana by Amitava Kumar
In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History by Mitch Landrieu
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti
The Return by Hisham Matar
There There by Tommy Orange
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen
The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes

 

 

Featured Image Via Politico