So many books, so little time… We, the digital booksellers of 24symbols, are set on helping you make the best of your time. This is why each week we present you a book that has caught our special attention. This may be a book that everybody is talking about, the debut novel from an author one should look out for or a hidden gem that we were lucky enough to bring to light. Check out the best books of the moment and find your next read. We made sure to include something for everyone’s taste:
In her second novel, Rhoda Huffey reconfirms her grasp of empathy and complex characters. Francine is mourning the love of her life, Cyrus, who had offered her an escape from her deeply religious parents. Trying to start a new chapter, she moves to Venice Beach and resumes contact with her family from a safe distance. It soon becomes clear that Francine had a traumatic reason to run off with Cyrus and now seeks to heal and put the past behind her. Whether this is possible, in a world where perfection must not be questioned, depends on the reader’s perspective.
We get to know Francine, her family and friends through an original mingle-mangle of snapshots and flashbacks. Some readers might wish for more clarity but this narrative style reflects Francine’s state of mind and turns the book into something very special. 31 Paradiso is a novel that expects you to fill gaps and leaves you with juxtaposed feelings. It is as funny as it is haunting.
The Consequence of Choice
Some of the most unsettling stories are those that address problems we are aware of but that we would rather not think about.
In THE CONSEQUENCE OF CHOICE, Natalie Sammons imagines a near future where a law has been enforced to contain overpopulation. What starts as a logical decision, based on scientific evidence, soon spirals out of control. In 2035, only those who have successfully applied for parenthood are allowed to have a child (and only one). Illegal pregnancies are hunted down by special forces and the becoming mothers face drastic consequences. The fact that this creepy scenario is not altogether far-fetched makes the read even more terrifying. Prepare yourself for a book that gets under your skin.
Play It Right
Kamal Gupta’s PLAY IT RIGHT proves once again that life writes the best stories in this highly entertaining and humorous memoir that offers a peek behind the scenes of Wall Street.
Seemingly effortless he switches careers from being a computer scientist to becoming a professional blackjack player – only to end up working for 25 years on Wall Street. What sounds like a mind-boggling movie actually makes sense, once you realize how determined Gupta is. It does not only take mathematical skills to beat the system in blackjack, discipline and focus are just as important. Gupta is driven by an utmost sense of justice which allows him (most times) to steer clear from fraught and greed and, in the long run, serves him with stable winnings not only in Las Vegas but in Wall Street, the biggest casino of all.
All That It Takes
The perfect book to snuggle up under a blanket and immerse yourself in the story. If you expect more from a contemporary romance novel than two people falling in love with each other, you will definitively enjoy this read. Nicole Deese takes great care to develop unique characters with all their flaws and imperfections. You can easily relate to Val and Miles, who both have come to learn that life does not always work out the way you had planned. Not necessarily a bad thing, right? As their paths cross, they each come to realize that life has its own terms and that you cannot control everything.
There is a clear message of faith and selflessness in this book but Deese never takes the moral high ground. The result is a truly touching and delightful novel.
The Good Life
If you are looking for a book that pulls you right in and keeps your adrenaline pumping – look no further! Stephens starts her latest thriller with Kate waking up to a brutal crime scene in a luxury hotel in Costa Rica. But do not expect this to be a typical whodunnit mystery.
From the beginning it is insinuated that this is not the first time Kate has found herself in the middle of a crime. Different narrators give insight into the past and slowly the bits and pieces of a much wider picture come together. Twists and turns are waiting for you in every chapter, and even though some might feel that the plot could have done without one or two dubious incidents, the book is absolutely gripping and you will be hooked until the very last page!
Maybe It’s Me
Smart is the new sexy? Scientist and novelist Eileen Pollack has a very different story to tell. In her essay collection MAYBE IT’S ME she contemplates expectations and experiences she has had as a child, student, wife and mother.
As one of the first two women to earn a physics degree at Yale in the 70es, Pollack was met with strong resistance and eventually gave up on her dream of becoming a theoretical physicist. Instead she turned to the art of writing and, after a long and triumphant literary career, is now sharing her bittersweet memories and observations with her readers. An intimate account that showcases Pollack’s dry humor and her love for language. Let’s just say that science has lost and literature has won a powerful mind.
Looking for Leroy
Melody Carlson is back with another addictive romance novel that will make you fall in love with the characters as well as with the beautiful landscape of California. Brynna is suffering after a bad divorce and has sworn to stay away from men. In a spur of the moment she joins her colleague on a camping trip to the Sonoma Wine Country, home to Brynna’s teenage sweetheart Leroy. Is there a chance that she will find him after thirty years?
Carlson clearly enjoyed building up to the moment of the actual meeting between Brynna and Leroy and so did we. But there is more to this novel than just rooting for the two to rekindle their love. The passing of time plays a huge role in this story, as well as the importance of family and friendship. An entertaining and heartwarming read!
Once in a Lifetime
An entertaining read that celebrates the electrifying spirit of the 1980s and youthful confidence. Charmingly sassy and outspoken.
20-year-old art student Jess cannot wait to throw herself into adulthood with all her might. Trying to set aside enough money to be able to afford a study abroad program in London, she spends her summer working as a waitress. As the novel spirals around Jess’s hopes and dreams, wild parties, friendship and love, she has to decide what really matters and who she wants to be. Because some opportunities occur only once in a lifetime…
100 years after its first publication as a novel, ULYSSES is as fascinating as ever. A perfect study of psychology and personality, ULYSSES has established itself as the ultimate example on how to portray a character to his or her deepest core.
And yes, it is more than a thousand pages but there is no need to be intimidated by its length. The trick to read a classic doorstepper like Ulysses? Just start reading! Get yourself immersed in that famous day in Dublin and wander the streets together with Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus. You will never be the same again.
Hannah Arendt – A Life in Dark Times
A fascinating biography that provides us with deep insight into the philosopher’s work and life.
Heller starts with the controversy caused by Arendts unarguably most famous work ”Eichmann in Jerusalem” and explains the impact they had on her personal life. We then learn about Arendt’s upbringing in Prussia, her studies in Germany and her escape to Paris and later the United States. A short but remarkable book that shows how Hannah Arendt has turned into the great thinker that we know her as today.
A Season in Queens
A story that reflects on the psychological effects of war and racial hatred.
Jimmy returns from WWII to his home in New York City district Cambria Heights where his high school love Erin has been waiting for him. However, the cruelties of war have left their mark on Jimmy and the two are not able to rebuild the intimate bond they used to have. Jimmy finds a friend in African American war hero Warren Porter but the one person who understands his troubles is a thorn in the eye of many neighbors.
Told from Erin’s point of view, the book gives insight into a community that is challenged by the emotional aftermaths of war and its own bigotry. As disaster takes its cause, Erin’s observations provide a detailed overall picture of the neighborhood, including aggressors as well as victims.
Death by Appointment
Great news for all binge-readers! Former GP Mairi Chong has signed a seven book deal with Bloodhound Books for her new mystery series.
The first title of the series DEATH BY APPOINTMENT presents us with the story of Dr. Cathy Moreland, a physician who suffers from bipolar disorder and has come to a Scottish coastal village to take some time out. However, what was supposed to be a relaxing holiday turns into a nightmare when Cathy finds the dead body of the local physician. Suicide or murder? Cathy is determined to find out the truth!
Chong has not only created a fun and entertaining new mystery series, having chosen a physician as main character allows her to draw from her medical knowledge and gives the story a special tweak.
The story of Anne Montgomery’s latest novel revolves around a true historic event, the discovery of the Magician of Ridge Ruin, in Arizona in 1939. Being herself a former journalist, the author can easily put herself into the protagonist’s position as a freelance reporter and understand her urge to discover more about the mysterious find.
Our heroine Kate is intrigued by the magician whose physical appearance suggests that he must have been of different origins than the Native Americans who must have buried him. As she starts digging into the story, she soon finds herself in a dangerous world of looters and black marketeers.
Told in dual timeline, this is a well researched and captivating read that intertwines historical fiction with mystery and will keep you hooked until the last page.
Tacos for Two
A fun read penned by bestselling author Betsy St. Amant. This romantic comedy has everything you need, a Shakespearean mix-up, delicious food and two adorable protagonists that you cannot help but fall in love with.
When Rory and Jude meet as fierce competitors at a food truck festival, they do not realize that they have met before – online. The two have been exchanging flirty messages on an dating site during the past month but cannot stand each other in real life. Or so it seems… Find out whether Rory and Jude will be granted a happily ever after or whether they prefer to chase their own dreams instead. Absolutely delightful and delicious.
To Disguise the Truth
For fans of historical romance, we recommend the latest novel of the charming book series THE BLEECKER STREET INQUIRY AGENCY from US Today bestselling author Jen Turano. The historical romance writer is known for her humorous and witty writing and the third book of her new series is not an exception. Turano clearly loves to indulge in her characters’ lives and delights us with a perfect mix of romance, history and mystery!
Accompany Eunice Holbrooke as she tries to conceal her true identity from handsome Arthur Livingston. Little does she know that by doing so, she is eventually forced to face her past in the hope of regaining control of her life. A risky undertaking that endangers not only herself but also her loved ones.
As each book stands alone, you do not have to start with book one if you are new to the series. However, we are sure that you will want to know more about Eunice and her friends at the agency, which is why we have created a special page for the series.
Dostoevsky in Love
A must-read for all enthusiasts of Russian literature. In this fictional biography, Alex Christofi eloquently enhances historical facts with his own imagination. While doing so, he makes sure to distinguish direct quotes or excerpts of Dostoevsky’s writing and gives extensive explanations in footnotes, so you have a good idea of what is fact and what is fiction. The result is an intimate portrait of one of the greatest writers of all time. Whether you already know everything there is about Dostoevsky and his compatriot authors or whether you have not read even a single Russian classic, once you finish this novel, you will surely want to (re-)indulge in the work of the great Russian novelist.
The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water
We fell in love with Erin Bartels’ prose when reading ALL THAT WE CARRIED last year and could not wait to dive into THE GIRL WHO COULD BREATHE UNDER WATER as soon as it hit our shelves. Just as in her previous novels, Bartels examines the relationship between people and with oneself. By doing so, she develops complex characters that undergo a massive change throughout the book. It is clearly important for Bartels to show the different sides of each story and the bias of memories.
Kendra has just published her first novel and is trying to come to terms with a letter from a “disappointed reader”. She returns to the lake where her book took place to confirm her recollection of events but she will come to realize that her perspective is only a small fraction of a bigger truth. While at times Kendra may seem a bit too analytic about her own feelings, one should not forget that she is a writer and has always been prone to observing everything around her. Being able to watch her grow as a person as well as a writer is highly rewarding.
In this collection of short stories, Asja Bakić creates dystopian worlds with female protagonists who are faced with bizarre situations they cannot control. Each of the stories is disturbing and original, Bakić clearly knows how to convey feminist concerns without sounding patronizing. Instead, she takes the absurdities of female experiences one step further and embeds them in a surreal narrative. That is not only fun but extremely beautiful to read.
A recurring theme is the power of literature, whether female authors have to write to escape hell or are banished to Mars because of their books – the stories repeatedly emphasize the importance of writers and their imagination. One more reason for all book lovers to read this short but impressive anthology!
Bird Songs Don’t Lie
This heartfelt collection of essays and short stories allows us not only intimate glimpses into the author’s life but also depicts challenges, problems and life-choices of characters living in a fictional Native American reservation. Whether Johnson affectionately remembers deceased friends and family members or shares his grandmother’s recipe for red chilli sauce – each chapter creates a deep connection between author and reader. And even as a non-Native reader one cannot help but smile when Johnson reflects on wannabe Indians… But not only the columns and essays help to understand reservation life, the short stories are just as insightful and reinforce Johnson’s story telling skills.
It is the warmth and candidness of the texts that give this book an exceptional touch. Johnson makes you feel like a close friend – one we would like to keep hearing from in the future.
As librarians, we could not help but drool over this clever, well-researched ode to New York City, with a self-declared spinster librarian as heroine. Meg Rhys is forty, single and lives happily with her books and her cat in a rent-controlled flat in Brooklyn. Oh, and of course there is also her dead sister’s ghost…
Giving a voice to the dead allows Shearn to shed light on the city’s history. Switching between past and present, we learn about Weeksville, a settlement of free African Americans that was founded before the Civil War in what is now Brooklyn and which is of special interest to library patron Ellis. With Meg’s help he researches the history of Weeksville in order to understand whether his family home might be one of the original buildings of the settlement. Together they unravel an astonishing past.
This is a book about never-ending change, a contemplation about gentrification, nostalgia, loss and, above all mourning. Lost souls, dead and alive, roam these pages and remind us of the forgotten stories our homes have to tell. Shearn’s observations are as funny as they are accurate and you will find yourself wanting to mark a sentence on every page.
Under an Outlaw Moon
Inspired by the lives of depression-era gangsters Bennie and Stella Mae Dickson, the acclaimed crime writer Dietrich Kalteis blends historical facts and fiction in this captivating cat and mouse story. There is a strong and undeniable parallel to Bonnie and Clyde but that only adds to the reading fun. Actually the famous bank robber couple is mentioned several times, for Bennie and Stella commit their heists only four years after the violent deaths of Bonnie and Clyde and their fate hangs like a dark shadow over the protagonists’ lives.
Once Bennie and Stella cross the state line for their robberies, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover declares them public enemies number one and two and the manhunt begins. Mainly written in dialogue and from the perspectives of Bennie, Stella and Hoover, the plot moves along fast and keeps us right in the middle of the events. But ultimately this is a love story about two young and fearless people who are hoping for a brighter future and make terrible choices in order to get there faster.
It is a dire world that Heather Tucker describes in her sequel to THE CLAY GIRL. It is the 60s in Toronto and child neglect, drug abuse and deprivation in general are part of Ari’s everyday life. But so are her imaginary spirit seahorse and a bunch of loving people. When Ari’s friend Natasha goes missing, the whole community pulls together to find her. It is a story about solidarity, kindness and positivity that will stay with you, long after you have finished it.
Tucker has found a language that depicts the misery with hope and resilience without belittling it. Her writing is lyrical, empathetic and smart and the idea of creating something beautiful from something broken resonates throughout the entire book. Even though this is a sequel, it can perfectly stand by its own.
The Perils of Sanity
An astonishing study of old age, death and the significance of belonging. As a former psychiatric nurse, Paul Sayer excels at giving insight into his characters’ inner conflicts: Olivia is 73 years old and feels every year of it. Being a widow and mother to a son who lives abroad with his family, she has grown lonely and bitter. When meeting a young homeless man, her life becomes meaningful again. Olivia thrives with the company but not everybody is happy about this questionable friendship. Slowly but surely we understand why Olivia feels the urge to rebel against her friends and family. A novel that goes deep and challenges our materialistic world view as well as our sense of justice. This can be at times disturbing but should not keep you from reading the novel to make up your own mind.
Having reported on China for more than twenty years, the award-winning journalist Ian Williams knows what he is talking about in his debut BEIJING SMOG. The thriller is a biting commentary on contemporary topics such as cybercrime and fake news, mixed with your classic corruption and espionage ploys.
An image goes viral in China and turns into a threat not only for the blogger who posted it but also for the whole nation and the ruling Communist Party. Williams brilliantly describes his characters and gives them each a unique, if slightly overdrawn, personality that makes the book very entertaining. Sarcastic and wry, this is not only a thrilling read but one that will make you laugh, too.
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 what are you waiting for? If haven not yet signed up as a Premium Member on 24symbols, subscribe now and discover a world of books!
…or surprise your friends with the best gift ever:
If you are looking for books that have been previously presented in this article, have a look at our digital bookshelf 24symbols RECOMMENDS.