The best books of the moment

The Best Books of the Moment

So many books, so little time… Who hasn’t heard about it before? We, the digital booksellers of 24symbols, have made it our mission to make sure will not miss those books that everybody is talking about. However, this is more than just a bestseller list. We also want to point out hidden gems that have caught our special attention. Have a look at our list of the best books of the moment and find your next read. We made sure to include something for everyone’s taste:

The River Twice

Kathleen Graber

An associate professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University, Kathleen Graber is well known in professional circles. Her previous poetry collection THE ETERNAL CITY  talked about our relation to objects and technology and came in as finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In THE RIVER TWICE, Graber once again takes up big topics and contemplates the fluid character of life, opening the book with the popular reference to Heraclitus: “You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are continually flowing on.” Maybe this is more relevant than ever, considering the fast pace of today’s world.

Inspired by the news that surround us, Graber takes us on a mind-spinning journey as we race along with her quick-witted thoughts that effortlessly move from one image to another. Even if you are not into poetry, do have a look at this collection and you will be swept away by the universal validity of her poems.

Read The River Twice, by Kathleen Graber

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The Bad Place

M.K. Hill

A promising new crime series has found its way into our bookshelf! Meet DI Sasha Dawson who is confronted with an abduction case that seems to be linked to the very first case of her career when six children were held hostage for two weeks. Five of the children escaped and meet every year to remember their friend who died during the night of the flight. No-one ever speaks about what happened but it is clear that there is an underlying truth waiting to be told. Will Sasha uncover the secret in time to save the new missing girl? 

M.K. Hill is an experienced crime writer who skillfully jumps back and forth from past to present, thus slowly unravelling the horrendous story of the original kidnapping without giving away too much information. You will be be kept in the dark until the very end, so prepare for a grand finale.

Read The Bad Place, by M.K. Hill

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Friends of the library

Susan Cushman

A book that takes us on a library tour around the US state of Mississippi and into the lives of ten very special people. As the author Adele Covington is promoting a book in her home state, she connects to her readers and tells in each chapter how reading can affect a person’s life. At the same time she shows how writers and readers develop a special relationship even if they never meet and how both depend on each other. In other words, a declaration of love for all readers and book enthusiasts that are out there.

By the way, this is not the first time that Susan Cushman has written about her love for her profession. She also edited and participated in a collection of short stories about WRITING. But first, if you love books, do take a moment to discover FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY:

Read Friends of the Library, by Susan Cushman

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E.M. Reapy

In her eagerly awaited second novel, the Irish writer Elizabeth Reapy explores the self-destructive relationship many women (and some men) have with their bodies. Natalie does not feel comfortable in her skin and seeks comfort in binge eating. In order to break this vicious cycle she embarks on a journey that takes her around the world and to the depth of her inner self. A wonderful novel that reveals the cruel and unnecessary beauty obsession of today’s western society.

Read Skin, by E.M. Reapy

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Hopeful Monsters

Roger McKnight

This collection of short stories depicts global problems from a local point of view. Expect to be transported to a whole new place when reading this book. The author’s love for detail not only makes you feel as if you were walking alongside the protagonists but also creates an instant connection. Whether they are struggling with poverty, racial or social problems, you’ll be surprised how universal the struggles are. In the end, reading these stories almost feels like talking to a long-time friend.

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The Papaya King

Adam Pelzman

In his second novel Pelzman offers us a sharp social study of our times. His protagonist Bobby Walser is a young introverted writer who seems to have sprung out of a Russian novel (Pelzman himself studied Russian literature) and is oddly out of place on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. While trying to find his feet as a writer he clashes with reality and clings to his romantic penmanship with Rose – an mysterious woman who might not even exist…

When he discovers a new sculpture that confronts him with everything he despises about the 21st century, he realizes that it is time to man up and fight for his values. What on first sight may appear old-fashioned is really the core principle of civilization: mutual respect. A great novel to rethink today’s tendency for self-indulgence and social detachment.

Read The Papaya King, by Adam Pelzman

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Trust Me I’m Dead

Sherryl Clark

Shortlisted for the DWA Debut Dagger 18, Trust Me I’m Dead is the first book of a new mystery series. Meet Judi Westerholme, a tough woman who doesn’t take no for an answer and tries to unravel the truth behind the mysterious death of her brother. Andy was killed in a drug deal shooting even though he had left his drug addiction behind and was living a perfectly normal life. While looking for answers, Judi is confronted with having to look out for Andy’s two-year-old daughter and cleaning up the mess her brother has left behind. Set in Australia, this intriguing crime novel is must on your summer reading list!

Read Trust me, I'm Deas, by Sherryl Clark

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for our readers in the USA and Canada

Teru Miyamoto

Published in Japanese in 1984, Inhabitation (original title: Haru no YumeSpring Dream) is now available in English for the first time. Miyamoto is an award winning, bestselling author in Japan but little known abroad, he writes about timeless themes of life and death. In Inhabatation, the protagonist Tetsuyuki deals with financial and romantic problems and tries to figure out how to grow up after his father’s death. This would not be a Japanese novel if it didn’t include philosophical monologues and absurd situations. Night after night Tetsuyuki laments to a lizard, which he accidentally nailed to the wall on his first night in the apartment. A profound coming-of-age story that takes you to Japan’s 1970s and will question your reality on one or the other occasion.

Read Inhabitation by Teru Miyamoto

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Sofka Zinovieff

A troubling, contemporary Lolita novel told from three different perspectives. Ralph is 30 when he first meets 9-year-old Daphne. What starts as an innocent friendship, grows into a sexual relationship. According to Ralph, a true and honest love affair but at this point of the story Daphne is still in her early teens. She herself believes that there was mutual consent and only starts questioning the events as an adult. Giving a voice to Ralph and Daphne, as well as Daphne’s childhood friend Jane; Zinovieff presents us a highly problematic theme without being apologetic or accusing.  A novel that will stir you up and keep you thinking long after you’ve finished the last page.

Read Putney, by Sofka Zinovieff

For readers in the UK and Ireland

Read Putney, by Sofka Zinovieff

For readers in the USA

The Boy with Blue Trousers

Carol Jones

This historic fiction novel takes us to the goldfields of 19th century Australia, a promise for a better future for immigrants from all over the world. Among them 17-year-old Little Cat from China who escaped (disguised as a boy) from a muddle-headed family affair and 25-year-old Violet who emigrated from England seeking for a fresh start in Australia. Even though the two women come from extremely different cultures, they are both self-determined and energetic and will have you rooting for them in a heartbeat.

Read The Boy with Blue Trousers, by Carol Jones

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Tales of Japan

What captures a culture better than its myths and legends? Travel to Japan with this beautiful collection of folklore and marvelous drawings, a book full of love and positivity. Learn about moon-children, ghosts and monsters. We especially recommend the story of The Mirror of Matsuyama, if this is the Japanese version of Snow White, we have a lot to learn…

Read Tales of Japan online

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Stay a Little Longer

Dawn Lanuza

Can strangers become lovers during a car ride? This is not a love at first sight story but the story of two people who instantly connect, who dare to have an honest and open conversation and realize that what started as a by-chance meeting might develop into something more. A light, fast-paced novel that you won’t put down until you’ve reached the last page and that encourages you to seize the moment. Perfect for your holiday reading list!

Read Stay a Little Longer, by Dawn Lanuza

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Jean Philippe Blondel

A must read for anyone who enjoys art, culture and philosophy. Exposed tells the story of a teacher close to retirement and his former student who is on the edge of becoming a famous artist. As the teacher models for the artist, an intimate relation begins that neither had expected. They are not only exposed to one another but each one of them starts an introspective journey trying to expose their true identity. Beautifully written (also a big compliment to the translator Alison Anderson), this is the kind of novel that inspires late night discussions. 

Read Exposed, by Jean Philippe Blondel

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In the Shadows of Wolves

Alvydas Šlepikas

We’ll be honest upfront: This is a tough, heartbreaking read but it also sheds light on a dark part of European history that deserves to be acknowledged in public memory. Toward the end of WWII, a group of German refugees tries to reach the Lithuanian border hoping for easier conditions. The journey is dreadful to say the least and mothers have to take decisions that no parent should have to take. Luckily, Slepikas tells their fate in a respectful and clear language rather than lapsing into a pitiful or voyeuristic portrayal.

Interesting: Slepikas is a renowned actor and producer and originally wanted to turn the story into a movie. We’re happy we got to read the book first 🙂

Read In the shadow of wolves by Alvydas Šlepikas

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Grace after Henry

Eithne Shortall

A deeply emotional story about grief and moving on after the loss of a loved one. Grace loses her boyfriend Harry in a tragic accident and is struggling to cope with this terrible blow of fate. Her pain is portrayed with such honesty that it is at times hard to keep reading but at the same time Eithne Shortall writes with such compassion and tactfulness that one cannot let go of the book. Even though grief and sorrow play a strong part in the book, you are left with a positive, life-affirming feeling when finishing.

Read Grace after Henry, by Eithne Shortall

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Deadpool – Paws

Stefan Petrucha

A comic turned into a novel? Stefan Petrucha has done a wonderful job! Deadpool is the narrator of his own story and is aware that he is in a book, which allows him to interact with the reader and creates a whole different reading experience. Plus, he has a lot of voices in his head that are fighting to be heard present us with hilarious dialogues. Deadpool’s humor is not for everyone but if you like crazy sarcasm and are a fan of the Marvel universe, you will definitively enjoy this book.

Read Deadpool Paws, by Stefan Petrucha

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The Man They Wanted Me to Be

Jared Yates Sexton

A thorough analysis of toxic masculinity throughout history and its impacts on our society spiked with the author’s personal experiences of growing up in a typical white male dominated environment in Indiana. This allows the reader to connect with Jared Sexton and most likely recognize the one or other situation even if they are not white, male or Christian. The result is an eye-opening book about the consequences of hardship, suppression of feelings and holding on to power that applies to much more than just white men in America.

Read The Man They Wanted Me to Be, by Jared Yates Sexton

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The Mueller Report

Everybody is talking about the Mueller Report and everybody has their own interpretation. This is why the best thing you can do is to have a look at this omnipresent report yourself. Nobody expects you to read the whole document (but nobody will keep you from doing so either), the beauty of reading the paper online is that you can jump easily from one chapter to another, highlighting and commenting the parts that are most important for you. Whether you want to know more about the role of Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner’s meeting with Sergey Gorkov or the use of Wikileaks, check the facts yourself and start reading the Mueller Report:

Read The Mueller Report online

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Michelle Paver

Even if you do not typically read thrillers, this is a masterpiece cannot miss. Michelle Paver is best known for her children’s fantasy series Chronicles of Ancient Darkness but her ghost stories for adults are just as powerful. With Wakenhyrst she has now written a true Gothic thriller which will keep you up all night. Rather than “in-your-face-horror” she masters the art of suspense. From the very first pages we know that there was a murder and who the murderer is. But the question beneath the cruel crime is why did it happen? Was it sheer madness or do the demons that the murderer painted with such obsession really exist?

Read online Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver

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The Vegetable Museum

Michelle Mulder

Families are complicated but even the most complicated relations can be softened by common interest, in this case: gardening. A warmhearted novel about family, community and continuity in uncertain times. Mulder is known for her non-fiction works and her horticultural expertise comes in handy in THE VEGETABLE MUSEUM. As the title already suggests, there is much more to gardening than growing vegetables and flowers and one cannot help but develop a fondness for the seed collection that is the hidden star of the story.

Read the Vegetable Museum by Michelle Mulder

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The Goose Fritz

Sergei Lebedev

Lebedev’s latest novel has been received with much enthusiasm by literary critics and readers alike. The family saga spans over two centuries and explores the impact of our ancestors’ decisions on our lives. The historian Kirill is part of the German minority living in Russia and takes it upon himself to uncover his family’s history. Having listened to his grandmother’s stories as a child, he decides to travel to Germany on a quest for his ancestors. As he visits countless cemeteries and archives, he takes the reader through the rich but troublesome relationship of Russia and Germany – Could it be that two of his ancestors encountered each other in the battlefield?

Read online The Goose Fritz by Sergei Lebedev

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Things That Fall from the Sky

Selja Ahava

Discover one of Finland’s best-loved writers and explore the unexpected and inexplicable nature of reality. Selja Ahava shows in her keenly awaited novel “Things That Fall From The Sky” how one quirk of fate can send life spiralling in the most unexpected direction… Beautifully written, Selja knows how to engage the reader with her story that is brutally honest and fabulous at the same time. Finally available in English:

Read online Things That Fall from the Sky by Selja Ahava

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A Date with Death

Mark Roberts

If you love a fast-paced, intriguing crime story, this is the perfect book for you. Delve into the dark side of online dating with Detective Chief Inspector Eve Clay who needs to outsmart a serial killer by posing as his next prey on a dating site. A cat and mouse tale that is more that just a quick read, “A Date with Death” has a twisted plot and will keep you thinking about false promises and false identities for a long time after you read the last page.

Read online A Date With Deat by Mark Roberts

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Sparks of Phoenix

Najwa Zebian

The Lebanese-Canadian poet and speaker forms part of a new phenomenon, the InstaPoets. She came to Canada as a sixteen-year-old and struggled with adapting to her new home. This feeling of being different and especially the abuse she suffered is a recurrent theme in her work. Her latest collection of poetry concentrates on the power of love to heal and sends a message of self-empowerment to her readers. Discover more about Najwa and her fellow InstaPoets!

Read online Sparks of Phoenix by Najwa Zebian

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Every day we receive thousands of new books and we carefully select the ones that we believe will interest you most. Our recipe? A great book should give food for thought, it should move, educate and fascinate the reader. A book is a door to another world, and it is while reading how we discover different perspectives and widen our horizon. A book can change a person but be no fool, because just as Edmund Wilson said, “no two persons ever read the same book.” That is another beauty of books. There is always room for interpretation, imagination and discussion. That is why we invite you to comment the books you read, recommend them to your friends and discuss them with fellow digital readers on 24symbols.

Whether you like thrillers, romance, contemporary novels or any other genre, there is always time for a good book! So keep reading and feel free to tell us about your favourite book!