Tag: self-help

Bookstr’s Three to Read Week Of 04/15/2020

Welcome back book lovers! We’ve had some locale changes and pandemic adjusting to do, but one thing remains a constant, and that’s Three to Read! I have three very exciting additions to your TBR this week, so let’s get into it!

Hot pick

and their children after them

by Nicolas Mathieu



August 1992. One afternoon during a heatwave in a desolate valley somewhere in eastern France, with its dormant blast furnaces and its lake, fourteen-year-old Anthony and his cousin decide to steal a canoe to explore the famous nude beach across the water. The trip ultimately takes Anthony to his first love and a summer that will determine everything that happens afterward.

Nicolas Mathieu conjures up a valley, an era, and the political journey of a young generation that has to forge its own path in a dying world. Four summers and four defining moments, from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to the 1998 World Cup, encapsulate the hectic lives of the inhabitants of a France far removed from the centers of globalization, torn between decency and rage.

And Their Children After Them

image via amazon


Nicolas Mathieu manages to capture the essence of coming-of-age throughout four hot summers. In a left-behind region in France, the feeling of stagnancy experienced by all rural teenagers is distinctly brought to life. The novel gives rural poverty a harsh spotlight, exposing its ills and effects on community. It will open your eyes to the strife of many, as well as exposing those distant memories of hazy, hot summers spent in fields, on beaches, and exploring yourself and the world around you.


Coffee Shop read


by Amina Cain

Indelicacy: A Novel by [Amina Cain]

image via amazon


A haunted feminist fable, Amina Cain’s Indelicacy is the story of a woman navigating between gender and class roles to empower herself and fulfill her dreams.

In “a strangely ageless world somewhere between Emily Dickinson and David Lynch” (Blake Butler), a cleaning woman at a museum of art nurtures aspirations to do more than simply dust the paintings around her. She dreams of having the liberty to explore them in writing, and so must find a way to win herself the time and security to use her mind. She escapes her lot by marrying a rich man, but having gained a husband, a house, high society, and a maid, she finds that her new life of privilege is no less constrained. Not only has she taken up different forms of time-consuming labor—social and erotic—but she is now, however passively, forcing other women to clean up after her. Perhaps another and more drastic solution is necessary?

Reminiscent of a lost Victorian classic in miniature, yet taking equal inspiration from such modern authors as Jean Rhys, Octavia Butler, Clarice Lispector, and Jean Genet, Amina Cain’s Indelicacy is at once a ghost story without a ghost, a fable without a moral, and a down-to-earth investigation of the barriers faced by women in both life and literature. It is a novel about seeing, class, desire, anxiety, pleasure, friendship, and the battle to find one’s true calling.


The structure of this novel is particularly interesting, with no set chapter or traditional format. This allows for an essence of individuality, and endows the novel with its own voice. You get from the narrative what you bring to your reading, with the novel’s core message of finding your own path in life ringing true for your appreciation, too.

This is a “ghostly feminist fable” that doesn’t have any particular ghost or moral.

Acutely observedIndelicacy is an exquisite jewel box of a novel with the passion and vitality found only in such rare and necessary works as The Hour of the Star and The Days of Abandonment. Through this timeless examination of solitude, art, and friendship, Amina Cain announces herself as one of the most intriguing writers of our time.” ―Patty Yumi Cottrell, author of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace.


dark horse

Advice i ignored: stories and wisdom from a depressed teen

by Ruby Walker

Advice I Ignored: Stories and Wisdom from a Formerly Depressed Teenager by [Ruby Walker]

image via amazon


When Ruby Walker was fifteen, she went from a numb, silent, miserable high school dropout to a joyous loudmouth in one year flat. ADVICE I IGNORED answers the question everyone’s been asking her since: What happened?

In ten illustrated chapters, you’ll learn how to get out from under self-hatred, gain a sense of free will, create your way through an existential crisis, use exercise to beg your brain for endorphins, have an identity beyond “sad,” and more!

Full of embarrassing stories, honest advice, and fierce hope, ADVICE I IGNORED is a self-help book for people who hate help. And themselves.



If there is one thing we need right now, it’s positivity, and Ruby Walker is truly emblematic of this. Her book will help guide those who are suffering from depression through their struggle. Not only that, but her illustrations are gorgeous. This book will help you, move you, and amaze you. Coming from such a young voice, the book avoids being ‘preachy’ about mental health, because Ruby gets it! It’s worth bearing in mind that Walker is 18-years-old, and her book is a bona fide feat. Keep an eye out for Ruby on our upcoming 5×5, where she opens up about a particularly sensitive topic. For Ruby though, her sensitivity and honesty is what makes Advice I Ignored so great.

Featured Image via Bookstr

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Spark ‘Joy at Work’ with Marie Kondo’s Latest Book

Quarantine got you down? You might be feeling claustrophobic, restless, unproductive, or maybe some combination of the three. Those of us working from home not only have to stay focused amid the distractions of family members, but must also set up shop in a home office (if you’re lucky enough to have one) or a makeshift home office (if you aren’t). Either way, working from home is an adjustment for everyone involved, and may have you feeling stressed out. If so, now’s the perfect time to check out Marie Kondo’s latest book, Joy at Work, for tips on finding joy at work—whether in the office or at home.

via amazon

Marie Kondo is “a tidying expert” as well as the bestselling author of numerous works including Spark Joy and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Her aim is to help others find more joy in their lives by decluttering and organizing their living spaces. Her success has even led her to star in Netflix’s hit series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”


Joy at Work is also co-authored by Scott Sonenshein, the author of Stretch, “A groundbreaking approach to succeeding in business and life, using the science of resourcefulness.”

Kondo and Sonenshein use their combined knowledge about success and organization to help readers find satisfaction and joy in the workplace. It can be easy to let work mentally drain you, but by following Joy at Work’s tips, you can change that. Having a system for storing papers, turning off your email for 30 minutes a day, and color-coding your office supplies are just a few ways you can not only keep yourself organized, but happy, in the workplace.


via amazon

Given the current circumstances, many of us aren’t sure when we’ll next set foot in the office. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use these tips right away—your home office is the perfect place to start. Now, more than ever, it’s important to keep ourselves mentally grounded amid the current chaos of the world. Joy at Work will help you tidy up your home office and be productive, but not overwhelmed.

Joy at Work is now available for purchase in hardcover and Kindle on Amazon. If you have the chance, check it out—your stay-at-home work life will thank you.

featured image via CNBC

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Bookstr’s Three To Read This Week 03/27/20

Hello book lovers! I hope you’re well and, most importantly, home. The world has gone a bit upside-down hasn’t it? Hard to know what to do with everything changing. One thing you can count on, though, is the Three to Read. We’ve got you! I have three amazing reads for you this week – and with everyone self-isolating, your TBR pile might actually stand a chance. With no further ado; the Hot Pick, Coffee Shop Read, and Dark Horse.

Hot pick

Journey: A Novel

by Andrew Zimmerman.

image via amazon


Paul is a top business executive hoping to be the next CEO of Ascendant―a New York-based tech giant. He neglects everything―his family and himself―in the race to the top. His fast-paced life is interrupted when he travels to Glastonbury, England, to visit friends in a village rich in history and mysticism.

Glastonbury represents a complete counterpoint to Paul’s elite corporate day job. It compares to an amusement park, with shops and venues catering to spiritual seekers ranging from would-be witches, goddesses and druids, and burned-out hippies. Like many seekers before him, he is attracted to the energy of a nearby hill―Tor―said to be the mythical Isle of Avalon. Paul meets a beautiful soul reader, Christine, who reads his soul and plants the seeds that turn his life upside down.

When he returns to New York, his wife, Mary, is skeptical. Is Paul having a spiritual awakening or is he falling in love with an attractive charlatan? His journey both scares and intrigues her as she watches him struggle to navigate between the business and spiritual worlds. A series of synchronistic events draws Paul closer to Glastonbury and Christine, compelling him and a reluctant Mary to return, unaware that their lives will never be the same.


Zimmerman’s novel is as spiritual as it is intriguing. The reader is faithfully brought along on Paul’s journey to spiritual realization after his trip to Glastonbury. Many will relate to Paul’s struggle with balancing his career with everything else in his life. This is particularly poignant and thought-provoking these days, with most of the world working from home and reevaluating what is important to them. This novel provides the reader with the inspiration and hope that it is never to late to change the course of your own life, and proves the importance of looking inward, and trusting your gut.


coffee shop read

Wicked as you wish

by Rin Chupeco

Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic Book 1) by [Chupeco, Rin]

image via amazon


Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left encased in ice when the Snow Queen waged war. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.

Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them.

A new hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala must unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.


Who doesn’t love a bit of escapism? Wicked As You Wish is a magical novel with endearing characters and an exciting premise, which Publisher’s Weekly have dubbed “A nail-biting quest that introduces a gripping new series.” Chupeco breathes new life in to many beloved fairytales, and takes some of their best aspects, building them into the totally unique universe that she has created.

Bonus points for Chupeco, too, in the seamless introduction of the novel’s non-binary character, who is correctly gendered and presented throughout. Non-binary readers will undoubtedly enjoy the fair and honest representation that Rin has managed to make natural and low-key.

“Rin Chupeco’s marvelously magical WICKED AS YOU WISH is a great read for fans of fairy tales, myths and legends. In fact, avid fans will want to read it two, three, or four times just to catch all the twists, updates and Easter eggs, as nearly every chapter is loaded with delights. Come for the adventure, stay for the sassy jerkwad firebird.” – Kendare Blake #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series


dark horse

The Middle Finger Project

By Ash Ambirge

The Middle Finger Project by Ash Ambirge: 9780525540328 ...

image via amazon


“Don’t worry, this isn’t a book about God, nor is it a book about Ryan Gosling (second in command). But it is a book about authority and becoming your own.” –Ash Ambirge

After a string of dead-end jobs and a death in the family, Ash Ambirge was down to her last $26 and sleeping in a Kmart parking lot when she faced the truth: No one was coming to her rescue. It was up to her to appoint herself. That night led to what eventually became a six-figure freelance career as a sought-after marketing and copywriting consultant, all while sipping coffee from her front porch in Costa Rica.

She then launched The Middle Finger Project, a blog and online course hub, which has provided tens of thousands of young “women who disobey” with the tools and mindset to give everyone else’s expectations the finger and get on your own path to happiness, wealth, independence, and adventure.

In her first book, Ash draws on her unconventional personal story to offer a fun, bracing, and occasionally potty-mouthed manifesto for the transformative power of radical self-reliance. Employing the signature wit and wordsmithing she’s used to build an avid following, she offers paradigm-shifting advice along the lines of:

  The best feeling in the world is knowing who you are and what you’re capable of doing.
  Life circumstances are not life sentences. If a Scranton girl who grew up in a trailer park can make it, so can you.
  What you believe about yourself will either murder your chances or save your life. So why not believe something good?
  You don’t need a high-ranking job title to be authorized to contribute. You just need to contribute.
  Be your own authority. Authority only works as long as you trust that someone smarter than you is making the rules.
  The way you become a force is by being the most radically real version of yourself that you can be.
 You only have 12 f*cks a day to give, so use them wisely.



Who wouldn’t want to master the art of being their own authority? This novel is fun, fresh and on-the-nose. We all struggle with imposter syndrome, women in particular, and Ambirge will help you overcome this with The Middle Finger Project. Pulling from her own experiences, she inspires and instills hope in any woman (or person, for that matter) that is ready to break free of the shackles of the own worry that they aren’t good enough. Ambirge is inspiring both in matters of business, and life in general, with a down-to-earth and to-the-point read that will have you disobeying, making your own rules, and setting up your own business. The f-bombs are far from off-putting and instead come across as honest, because who hasn’t dropped a few of late? Ambirge doesn’t pretend that getting what you deserve is easy, either, and highlights the dangers and fears rather than hiding them. But this, too, is refreshingly honest and transparent. You’ll trust Ash, and most importantly, you’ll trust yourself. Go get this book and then go get your life!

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Marie Kondo’s New Book Sparks Joy at Work

You might recognize Marie Kondo from her 2014 smash-hit book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Or maybe you’ve heard of her Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, in which she helps people find joy by decluttering their homes and lives. Now, Marie Kondo is writing another book aimed at helping people declutter their professional lives.

In an interview about Joy at Work, Kondo had this to say:

In this book, you will learn practical tips for maintaining a tidy workspace, but also life-changing advice on finding a career that sparks joy for you. I am honored to collaborate with Scott Sonenshein on this book, and I look forward to sharing Joy at Work with the world in 2020!

Sonenshein is a professor of Management at Rice University and author of Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less – and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined. 

Image via Amazon

In an interview with Forbes, Sonenshein spoke a bit about collaborating with Kondo:

As a business professor, I know too many emails, wasteful meetings and team conflict take the joy out of work. I’m excited to pair my research as an organizational psychologist with the KonMari method to give people the techniques, advice and inspiration to experience joy in all parts of their careers.

Using the KonMari method and cutting-edge research, Joy at Work promises to “help you overcome the challenges of workplace mess and enjoy the productivity, success, and happiness that comes with a tidy desk and mind,” according to the publisher’s description. With chapter titles like “If You Keep Falling Back to Clutter,” “Tidying Time,” “Tidying Your Network,” “Tidying Meetings” and “Tidying Teams,” Kondo is going to give readers the tools to holistically improve their professional lifestyle.

Tidying up the workplace seems like a natural next step for Kondo, given the glut of articles that have already tried putting the KonMari method into practice at work. Who else is ready to unlock the life-changing magic of tidying up their professional life?

Featured image via KonMari media