Books That Deserve To Be Read

There are more than half a million books published each year in the US alone. Not all of them make the best seller lists. We are on a quest to find the books that deserve to be in the best seller list.

You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories

“Every bit as smart, sensitive, funny, and genuine as her phenomenally popular novels,”* a dazzling collection from the New York Times bestselling author of Prep, American Wife, and Eligible

“I really loved all the characters in this book. They’re so complex and interesting, and in every story, you’ll find them going through these pivotal moments in their lives.”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Pick)

A suburban mother of two fantasizes about the downfall of an old friend whose wholesome lifestyle empire may or may not be built on a lie. A high-powered lawyer honeymooning with her husband is caught off guard by the appearance of the girl who tormented her in high school. A shy Ivy League student learns the truth about a classmate’s seemingly enviable life.

Curtis Sittenfeld has established a reputation as a sharp chronicler of the modern age who humanizes her subjects even as she skewers them. Now, with this first collection of short fiction, her “astonishing gift for creating characters that take up residence in readers’ heads” (The Washington Post) is showcased like never before. Throughout the ten stories in You Think It, I’ll Say It, Sittenfeld upends assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided.

With moving insight and uncanny precision, Curtis Sittenfeld pinpoints the questionable decisions, missed connections, and sometimes extraordinary coincidences that make up a life. Indeed, she writes what we’re all thinking—if only we could express it with the wit of a master satirist, the storytelling gifts of an old-fashioned raconteur, and the vision of an American original.

*Booklist (starred review)

Praise for You Think It, I’ll Say It

“[Curtis] Sittenfeld makes writing lively and diverting fiction look easy, though each deceptively simple and breezy story is masterfully paced and crafted. . . . Witty and buoyant, Sittenfeld delivers her characters to her audience with bemused perspicacity and above all affection. . . . Sittenfeld proves adept at quickly establishing characters in whom the reader feels inclined to invest immediately.”—Chicago Tribune

“Perfectly paced, witty and laced with unexpected twists: Every story here sticks its landing. . . . Whatever [Sittenfeld] writes, we’ll read it.”—People

“Razor-sharp, often hilarious . . . A witty, breezy, zeitgeist-y collection.” —USA TODAY

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley

Instant National Bestseller

“Excellent.” –San Francisco Chronicle

“Brotopia is more than a business book. Silicon Valley holds extraordinary power over our present lives as well as whatever utopia (or nightmare) might come next.” –New York Times

Silicon Valley is a modern utopia where anyone can change the world. Unless you’re a woman.

For women in tech, Silicon Valley is not a fantasyland of unicorns, virtual reality rainbows, and 3D-printed lollipops, where millions of dollars grow on trees. It’s a “Brotopia,” where men hold all the cards and make all the rules. Vastly outnumbered, women face toxic workplaces rife with discrimination and sexual harassment, where investors take meetings in hot tubs and network at sex parties.

In this powerful exposé, Bloomberg TV journalist Emily Chang reveals how Silicon Valley got so sexist despite its utopian ideals, why bro culture endures despite decades of companies claiming the moral high ground (Don’t Be Evil! Connect the World!)–and how women are finally starting to speak out and fight back.

Drawing on her deep network of Silicon Valley insiders, Chang opens the boardroom doors of male-dominated venture capital firms like Kleiner Perkins, the subject of Ellen Pao’s high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit, and Sequoia, where a partner once famously said they “won’t lower their standards” just to hire women. Interviews with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and former Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer–who got their start at Google, where just one in five engineers is a woman–reveal just how hard it is to crack the Silicon Ceiling. And Chang shows how women such as former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, entrepreneur Niniane Wang, and game developer Brianna Wu, have risked their careers and sometimes their lives to pave a way for other women.

Silicon Valley’s aggressive, misogynistic, work-at-all costs culture has shut women out of the greatest wealth creation in the history of the world. It’s time to break up the boys’ club. Emily Chang shows us how to fix this toxic culture–to bring down Brotopia, once and for all.

Chase Tinker and the House of Magic (The Chase Tinker Series, Book 1)

“A delightfully fun story of magical adventure that is sure to enchant readers. Almost like a mash-up of the HARRY POTTER books, L’Engle’s WRINKLE IN TIME, and C. S. Lewis’s NARNIA stories.” -Book Reviewer

Join Chase Tinker and his family and friends for some wild and crazy supernatural escapades while living in a gigantic, 560 year old magical house where magic, adventure, excitement, and danger can be found around nearly every corner.

Root for Chase in his pursuit of a way to outwit, out-magic, and outmaneuver dangerous and wicked villains who are planning to destroy the Tinkers and get control of this incredible and unique house.

Be on the edge of your seat as Chase searches for his missing dad, fights through frightening family secrets and betrayals, and tries his best to save his family, his house, and the world.

It’s an adventure for the ages, and for all ages. Don’t miss it. In just moments, it can be on an ereader near you.

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Twenty-five years after Jesus’ Son, a haunting new collection of short stories on mortality and transcendence, from National Book Award winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Denis Johnson

“Ranks with the best fiction published by any American writer during this short century.”—New York

“A posthumous masterpiece.”—Entertainment Weekly

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is the long-awaited new story collection from Denis Johnson. Written in the luminous prose that made him one of the most beloved and important writers of his generation, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating the ghosts of the past and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves.

Finished shortly before Johnson’s death, this collection is the last word from a writer whose work will live on for many years to come.

Praise for The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

“An instant classic.”—Newsday

“Exceptional luminosity . . . hits a powerful vein.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Grace and oblivion are inextricably yoked in these transcendent stories. . . . [Johnson’s] gift is to extract the beauty in all that brokenness.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Nobody ever wrote like Denis Johnson. Nobody ever came close. . . . We’re just left with this miraculous book, these perfect stories, the last words from one of the world’s greatest writers.”—NPR

“Johnson offers visions and sadness and laughter. But it’s the sentences—those adamantine, poetic sentences—that made him one of America’s great and lasting writers. It’s the sentences that live on.”—The Boston Globe

“Johnson’s fiction . . . overflows with creative energy, moving from one beauty to another with a mercurial, at times almost chaotic grace. Although his characters are often diminished and winnowed by their struggles with life, the narrative voice that describes their travails gives evidence of an imagination that is nearly boundless in its generosity and abundance.”—Chicago Tribune

“Sly, open-ended, and meticulously wise . . . [Johnson] is a writer whose ambitions were in their own way as broad and burgeoning as Dostoyevsky’s. He is for all time.”—Rachel Kushner, Bookforum

Company of Spies: The Pendergast Files Book 1

Apparently unrelated people are committing suicide and Anna Lingaard suspects foul play. She unearths a conspiracy that could rock the foundations of the British Security Services and when Lingaard meets the enigmatic Arthur Prendergast she is thrust into a shady underworld that exists in her own office.

In the spirit of John Le Carre and Len Deighton, Company of Spies is a darkly comic story of a secret service struggling under the weight of it’s own administrative red tape and office politics. Prendergast and Prendergast Returns is as funny as it is gripping. Like a cross between Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Office. The world of Espionage has never required so much admin.

Company of Spies is the first in a series of books taken from the Prendergast Files. Included in this book is The Librarian, a short story which follows on from Company of Spies.

Maker of Patterns: An Autobiography Through Letters

Both recalling his life story and recounting many of the major advances in twentieth-century science, a renowned physicist shares his autobiography through letters.

Having penned hundreds of letters to his family over four decades, Freeman Dyson has framed them with the reflections made by a man now in his nineties. While maintaining that “the letters record the daily life of an ordinary scientist doing ordinary work,” Dyson nonetheless has worked with many of the twentieth century’s most renowned physicists, mathematicians, and intellectuals, so that Maker of Patterns presents not only his personal story but chronicles through firsthand accounts an exciting era of twentieth-century science.

Though begun in the dark year of 1941 when Hitler’s armies had already conquered much of Europe, Dyson’s letters to his parents, written at Trinity College, Cambridge, often burst with the curiosity of a precocious seventeen-year-old. Pursuing mathematics and physics with a cast of legendary professors, Dyson thrived in Cambridge’s intellectual ferment, working on, for example, the theory of partitions or reading about Kurt Gödel’s hypotheses, while still finding time for billiards and mountain climbing. After graduating and serving with the Royal Air Force’s Bomber Command operational research section, whose job it was “to demolish German cities and kill as many German civilians as possible,” Dyson visited a war-torn Germany, hoping through his experience to create a “tolerably peaceful world.”

Juxtaposing descriptions of scientific breakthroughs with concerns for mankind’s future, Dyson’s postwar letters reflect the quandaries faced by an entire scientific generation that was dealing with the aftereffects of nuclear detonations and concentration camp killings. Arriving in America in 1947 to study with Cornell’s Hans Bethe, Dyson continued to send weekly missives to England that were never technical but written with grace and candor, creating a portrait of a generation that was eager, as Einstein once stated, to solve “deep mysteries that Nature intend[ed] to keep for herself.”

We meet, among others, scientists like Richard Feynman, who took Dyson across country on Route 66, Robert Oppenheimer, Eugene Wigner, Niels Bohr, James Watson, and a young Stephen Hawking; and we encounter intellectuals and leaders, among them Reinhold Niebuhr, George Kennan, Arthur C. Clarke, as well as Martin Luther King, Jr.

The “patterns of comparable beauty in the dance of electrons jumping around atoms” invariably replicate themselves in this autobiography told through letters, one that combines accounts of wanton arms development with the not-inconsiderable demands of raising six children. As we once again attempt to guide society toward a more hopeful future, these letters, with their reenactment of what, at first, seems like a distant past, reveal invaluable truths about human nature.

A Shout in the Ruins

Set in Virginia during the Civil War and a century beyond, this novel by the award-winning author of The Yellow Birds explores the brutal legacy of violence and exploitation in American society.

“A masterpiece. Powers has written a novel that includes all the ferocity, complexity, and racial violence of the American South” — Philipp Meyer, author of American Rust

Spanning over one hundred years, from the antebellum era to the 1980’s, A Shout in the Ruins examines the fates of the inhabitants of Beauvais Plantation outside of Richmond, Virginia. When war arrives, the master of Beauvais, Anthony Levallios, foresees that dominion in a new America will be measured not in acres of tobacco under cultivation by his slaves, but in industry and capital. A grievously wounded Confederate veteran loses his grip on a world he no longer understands, and his daughter finds herself married to Levallois, an arrangement that feels little better than imprisonment. And two people enslaved at Beauvais plantation, Nurse and Rawls, overcome impossible odds to be together, only to find that the promise of coming freedom may not be something they will live to see.

Seamlessly interwoven is the story of George Seldom, a man orphaned by the storm of the Civil War, looking back from the 1950s on the void where his childhood ought to have been. Watching the government destroy his neighborhood to build a stretch of interstate highway through Richmond, he travels south in an attempt to recover his true origins. With the help of a young woman named Lottie, he goes in search of the place he once called home, all the while reckoning with the more than 90 years he lived as witness to so much that changed during the 20th century, and so much that didn’t. As we then watch Lottie grapple with life’s disappointments and joys in the 1980’s, now in her own middle-age, the questions remain: How do we live in a world built on the suffering of others? And can love exist in a place where for 400 years violence has been the strongest form of intimacy?

Written with the same emotional intensity, harrowing realism, and poetic precision that made THE YELLOW BIRDS one of the most celebrated novels of the past decade, A SHOUT IN THE RUINS cements Powers’ place in the forefront of American letters and demands that we reckon with the moral weight of our troubling history.

I Wrote This Book Because I Love You: Essays

New York Times essayist and author of We Learn Nothing, Tim Kreider trains his virtuoso writing and singular power of observation on his (often befuddling) relationships with women.

Psychologists have told him he’s a psychologist. Philosophers have told him he’s a philosopher. Religious groups have invited him to speak. He had a cult following as a cartoonist. But, above all else, Tim Kreider is an essayist—one whose deft prose, uncanny observations, dark humor, and emotional vulnerability have earned him deserved comparisons to David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, and the late David Foster Wallace (who was himself a fan of Kreider’s humor).

In his new collection, I Wrote This Book Because I Love You, he focuses his unique perception and wit on his relationships with women—romantic, platonic, and the murky in-between. He talks about his difficulty finding lasting love, and seeks to understand his commitment issues by tracking down the John Hopkins psychologist who tested him for a groundbreaking study on attachment when he was a toddler. He talks about his valued female friendships, one of which landed him on a circus train bound for Mexico. He talks about his time teaching young women at an upstate New York college, and the profound lessons they wound up teaching him. And in a hugely popular essay that originally appeared in The New York Times, he talks about his nineteen-year-old cat, wondering if it’s the most enduring relationship he’ll ever have.

Each of these pieces is hilarious and profound, and collectively they further cement Kreider’s place among the best essayists working today.

Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World

A sweeping, global history of the rise of the factory and its effects on society.

We live in a factory-made world: modern life is built on three centuries of advances in factory production, efficiency, and technology. But giant factories have also fueled our fears about the future since their beginnings, when William Blake called them “dark Satanic mills.” Many factories that operated over the last two centuries―such as Homestead, River Rouge, and Foxconn―were known for the labor exploitation and class warfare they engendered, not to mention the environmental devastation caused by factory production from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution up to today.

In a major work of scholarship that is also wonderfully accessible, celebrated historian Joshua B. Freeman tells the story of the factory and examines how it has reflected both our dreams and our nightmares of industrialization and social change. He whisks readers from the textile mills in England that powered the Industrial Revolution and the factory towns of New England to the colossal steel and car plants of twentieth-century America, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union and on to today’s behemoths making sneakers, toys, and cellphones in China and Vietnam.

The giant factory, Freeman shows, led a revolution that transformed human life and the environment. He traces arguments about factories and social progress through such critics and champions as Marx and Engels, Charles Dickens, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Ford, and Joseph Stalin. He chronicles protests against standard industry practices from unions and workers’ rights groups that led to shortened workdays, child labor laws, protection for organized labor, and much more.

In Behemoth, Freeman also explores how factories became objects of great wonder that both inspired and horrified artists and writers in their time. He examines representations of factories in the work of Charles Sheeler, Margaret Bourke-White, Charlie Chaplin, Diego Rivera, and Edward Burtynsky.

Behemoth tells the grand story of global industry from the Industrial Revolution to the present. It is a magisterial work on factories and the people whose labor made them run. And it offers a piercing perspective on how factories have shaped our societies and the challenges we face now.

The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts

Tessa Fontaine’s astonishing memoir of pushing past fear, The Electric Woman, follows the author on a life-affirming journey of loss and self-discovery―through her time on the road with the last traveling American sideshow and her relationship with an adventurous, spirited mother.

Turns out, one lesson applies to living through illness, keeping the show on the road, letting go of the person you love most, and eating fire:

The trick is there is no trick.
You eat fire by eating fire.

Two journeys―a daughter’s and a mother’s―bear witness to this lesson in The Electric Woman.

For three years Tessa Fontaine lived in a constant state of emergency as her mother battled stroke after stroke. But hospitals, wheelchairs, and loss of language couldn’t hold back such a woman; she and her husband would see Italy together, come what may. Thus Fontaine became free to follow her own piper, a literal giant inviting her to “come play” in the World of Wonders, America’s last traveling sideshow. How could she resist?

Transformed into an escape artist, a snake charmer, and a high-voltage Electra, Fontaine witnessed the marvels of carnival life: intense camaraderie and heartbreak, the guilty thrill of hard-earned cash exchanged for a peek into the impossible, and, most marvelous of all, the stories carnival folks tell about themselves. Through these, Fontaine trained her body to ignore fear and learned how to keep her heart open in the face of loss.

A story for anyone who has ever imagined running away with the circus, wanted to be someone else, or wanted a loved one to live forever, The Electric Woman is ultimately about death-defying acts of all kinds, especially that ever constant: good old-fashioned unconditional love.

Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior

Behind the problems that routinely plague our organizations and families, you’ll find individuals who are either unwilling or unable to deal with broken promises. Colleagues break a rule, coworkers miss a deadline, friends fail to live up to commitments (or just plain behave badly), and nobody says a word. Nobody holds anyone accountable. With repeated infractions, individuals become increasingly upset until they finally do speak their minds, but they do so poorly–often creating whole new sets of problems.

Research proves that mishandled disappointments aren’t just morale killers, they’re institution killers–diminishing organizational performance by 20 to 50 percent and accounting for up to 90 percent of all divorces.

Everyone knows how to run for cover, or, if sufficiently provoked, step up to problems in a way that causes a real ruckus. Crucial Accountability teaches you how to deal with violated expectations in a way that solves the problem at hand without harming the relationship–and, in fact, even strengthens it.

Broken promises, missed deadlines, poor behavior–they don’t just make others’ lives miserable; they can sap up to 50 percent of organizational performance and account for the vast majority of divorces. Crucial Accountability offers the tools for improving relationships in the workplace and in life and for resolving all these problems–permanently.

We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights

Longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award for Nonfiction

We the Corporations chronicles the revelatory story of one of the most successful, yet least known, “civil rights movements” in American history.
We the Corporations chronicles the astonishing story of one of the most successful yet least well-known “civil rights movements” in American history. Hardly oppressed like women and minorities, business corporations, too, have fought since the nation’s earliest days to gain equal rights under the Constitution―and today have nearly all the same rights as ordinary people.

Exposing the historical origins of Citizens United and Hobby Lobby, Adam Winkler explains how those controversial Supreme Court decisions extending free speech and religious liberty to corporations were the capstone of a centuries-long struggle over corporate personhood and constitutional protections for business. Beginning his account in the colonial era, Winkler reveals the profound influence corporations had on the birth of democracy and on the shape of the Constitution itself. Once the Constitution was ratified, corporations quickly sought to gain the rights it guaranteed. The first Supreme Court case on the rights of corporations was decided in 1809, a half-century before the first comparable cases on the rights of African Americans or women. Ever since, corporations have waged a persistent and remarkably fruitful campaign to win an ever-greater share of individual rights.

Although corporations never marched on Washington, they employed many of the same strategies of more familiar civil rights struggles: civil disobedience, test cases, and novel legal claims made in a purposeful effort to reshape the law. Indeed, corporations have often been unheralded innovators in constitutional law, and several of the individual rights Americans hold most dear were first secured in lawsuits brought by businesses.

Winkler enlivens his narrative with a flair for storytelling and a colorful cast of characters: among others, Daniel Webster, America’s greatest advocate, who argued some of the earliest corporate rights cases on behalf of his business clients; Roger Taney, the reviled Chief Justice, who surprisingly fought to limit protections for corporations―in part to protect slavery; and Roscoe Conkling, a renowned politician who deceived the Supreme Court in a brazen effort to win for corporations the rights added to the Constitution for the freed slaves. Alexander Hamilton, Teddy Roosevelt, Huey Long, Ralph Nader, Louis Brandeis, and even Thurgood Marshall all played starring roles in the story of the corporate rights movement.

In this heated political age, nothing can be timelier than Winkler’s tour de force, which shows how America’s most powerful corporations won our most fundamental rights and turned the Constitution into a weapon to impede the regulation of big business.

Kickflip Boys: A Memoir of Freedom, Rebellion, and the Chaos of Fatherhood

“Thompson captures the ache, fizz, yearning and frustration of being the father of adolescent boys.” —Michael Chabon

“What a riveting, touching, and painful read!” —Maria Semple

“Fun, moving, raw, and relatable.” —Tony Hawk

What makes a good father, and what makes one a failure? Does less-is-more parenting inspire independence and strength, or does it encourage defiance and trouble? Kickflip Boys is the story of a father’s struggle to understand his willful skateboarder sons, challengers of authority and convention, to accept his role as a vulnerable “skate dad,” and to confront his fears that the boys are destined for an unconventional and potentially fraught future.

With searing honesty, Neal Thompson traces his sons’ progression through all the stages of skateboarding: splurging on skate shoes and boards, having run-ins with security guards, skipping classes and defying teachers, painting graffiti, drinking and smoking, and more. As the story veers from funny to treacherous and back, from skateparks to the streets, Thompson must confront his complicity and fallibility. He also reflects on his upbringing in rural New Jersey, and his own adventures with skateboards, drugs, danger, and defiance.

A story of thrill-seeking teens, of hope and love, freedom and failure, Kickflip Boys reveals a sport and a community that have become a refuge for adolescent boys who don’t fit in. Ultimately, it’s the survival story of a loving modern American family, of acceptance, forgiveness, and letting go.

Girls Burn Brighter: A Novel

Longlisted for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

“Incandescent…A searing portrait of what feminism looks like in much of the world.” ―Vogue

“A treat for Ferrante fans, exploring the bonds of friendship and how female ambition beats against the strictures of poverty and patriarchal societies.” ―The Huffington Post

An electrifying debut novel about the extraordinary bond between two girls driven apart by circumstance but relentless in their search for one another.

Poornima and Savitha have three strikes against them: they are poor, they are ambitious, and they are girls. After her mother’s death, Poornima has very little kindness in her life. She is left to care for her siblings until her father can find her a suitable match. So when Savitha enters their household, Poornima is intrigued by the joyful, independent-minded girl. Suddenly their Indian village doesn’t feel quite so claustrophobic, and Poornima begins to imagine a life beyond arranged marriage. But when a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away, Poornima leaves behind everything she has ever known to find her friend.

Her journey takes her into the darkest corners of India’s underworld, on a harrowing cross-continental journey, and eventually to an apartment complex in Seattle. Alternating between the girls’ perspectives as they face ruthless obstacles, Shobha Rao’s Girls Burn Brighter introduces two heroines who never lose the hope that burns within.

Ghosts and Other Aberrations

Do you like ghost stories, haunted houses, that kind of thing? Ghosts and Other Aberrations is written by a former paranormal investigator. Although these stories are fiction, they are based on theories and ideas that I have developed over many years of study in this field. They not only set out to entertain and be downright spooky,they also highlight the emotional side of these occurrences. A few of my stories definitely tug at the heartstrings. Aberration is such a good word. The dictionary definition says it is ‘a departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically an unwelcome one’. Most of my stories contain such things. These tales are fictional, and for entertainment purposes only (as all the paranormal TV programmes state), but that doesn’t mean that they COULDN’T actually happen, does it? Some are meant as cautionary tales against using the paranormal and occult as a plaything. This book is a follow-on from my previous book ‘Mysteria – An anthology of spooky and mysterious tales’. It is meant to be enjoyed in a quiet room when you are all alone. A room where the light throws certain corners into darkness. It is in those corners that the demons and anomalies in my book dwell – there…..and in your nightmares