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.

Indana

Main Characters:

Lena Ivanova- young woman from Bulgaria, student in Chicago University
Kyle Gray- Soul Taker/Collector
Gordon- Kyle’s friend/colleague
Maria- Lena’s best friend
Sophie- Lena’s roommate, later becomes closest friend
Tricia- Schoolmate
Jacky- Kyle’s sister

Lena Ivanova is a young Bulgarian woman studying on a student visa at Chicago University. Lena feels alone in the United States, but it’s a familiar feeling: even in Bulgaria, she was an outsider, plagued with unexplainable premonitions and visions that she kept to herself, fearing that she’d be considered weird or crazy. Lena’s most persistent vision was that of a handsome but troubled young man; he haunted her dreams and even her waking thoughts, and she seemed to always be looking for him.
Lena is befriended by Maria, a volunteer with the college’s foreign students program. Maria aids Lena to find an apartment where she meets and becomes fast friends with her new roommate, Sophie, a school librarian who is odd but spirited and fun.
On a cold winter day, Maria slips onto the tracks of an L train and is knocked unconscious. Lena is unable to reach Maria and is panicked that no one is able to assist, when suddenly two young men appear – one of them the mystery man from Lena’s dreams. This phantom man is now flesh; she learns he is named Kyle, and his friend is Gordon. Instead of helping the unconscious Maria, the men instead attempt to prevent Lena from helping her, but still she is able to save her friend. Meeting with Kyle again at the hospital, he is there when Maria dies, and claims that he has taken her soul.
Lena faces a dilemma: while she still feels in her heart Kyle is good, witnessing him taking Maria’s soul has shaken her faith in her visions, and she blames him for her friend’s death. Despite this, she still feels attracted to him, and almost despite herself, she feels compelled to follow him. They become closer, until finally their attachment leads to physical contact, but Lena is horrified to discover that when she kisses or touches him, Kyle becomes terribly sick. Their love grows stronger, even when they are denied physical contact, and Lena finds herself drawn deeply into his mysterious world.
Lena learns that Kyle is not in fact evil, but an agent of death – he does not cause death, but merely eases the passing of those who are leaving this world as a Soul Taker and Collector. Kyle’s friend, Gordon, is also a Soul Taker, but of a very different sort: he takes souls whether they are ready or not, fated to leave this earth or destined to live longer. Lena fears Gordon, and, sensing that there is something different about Lena, he wishes to take her soul as well. Once close as brothers, Kyle and Gordon now are mortal enemies, with Kyle trying to protect Lena’s life while Gordon attempts to take it.
The two young lovers hide from Gordon, and Lena doesn’t eat or sleep, forgetting everything but her fear of Gordon, and her love of Kyle. An encounter with Kyle’s family, especially his hostile vile sister Jacky, leads to the discovery that Lena is in fact just as extraordinary: while Kyle and Gordon are soul takers, she is a giver of souls, the other side of the same coin. The reason Kyle and Lena are unable to touch becomes clear: physical contact would result in him taking her soul, a soul that she would give to him without hesitation as a soul giver.
During this, Gordon continues to hunt them down, killing Lena’s friends and acquaintances as he works to find the two lovers. Knowing they cannot run forever, Kyle thinks of a solution: if Lena wants to learn about herself, the soul takers and the soul givers, she needs to pass between the worlds of the Living and the Dead. Kyle insists that Lena undergo proper training to hone her skills before she undergoes the dangerous journey, but Gordon finds the two and abruptly Lena’s time is up: she must make the leap into the world called Aphra, limbo between the world of Living and the world of the Dead, finding herself alone at an ocean beach with torn clothes, not remembering what happened and even who she is.

Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

In the fall of 1999, John Doerr met with the founders of a start-up whom he’d just given $12.5 million, the biggest investment of his career. Larry Page and Sergey Brin had amazing technology, entrepreneurial energy, and sky-high ambitions, but no real business plan. For Google to change the world (or even to survive), Page and Brin had to learn how to make tough choices on priorities while keeping their team on track. They’d have to know when to pull the plug on losing propositions, to fail fast. And they needed timely, relevant data to track their progress—to measure what mattered.

Doerr taught them about a proven approach to operating excellence: Objectives and Key Results. He had first discovered OKRs in the 1970s as an engineer at Intel, where the legendary Andy Grove (“the greatest manager of his or any era”) drove the best-run company Doerr had ever seen. Later, as a venture capitalist, Doerr shared Grove’s brainchild with more than fifty companies. Wherever the process was faithfully practiced, it worked.

In this goal-setting system, objectives define what we seek to achieve; key results are how those top-priority goals will be attained with specific, measurable actions within a set time frame. Everyone’s goals, from entry level to CEO, are transparent to the entire organization.

The benefits are profound. OKRs surface an organization’s most important work. They focus effort and foster coordination. They keep employees on track. They link objectives across silos to unify and strengthen the entire company. Along the way, OKRs enhance workplace satisfaction and boost retention.

In Measure What Matters, Doerr shares a broad range of first-person, behind-the-scenes case studies, with narrators including Bono and Bill Gates, to demonstrate the focus, agility, and explosive growth that OKRs have spurred at so many great organizations. This book will help a new generation of leaders capture the same magic.

The Greatest Depression “America’s Rendezvous with Destiny”

There are a number of reasons why the United States is about to enter an era of extreme hardship and an economic crisis unequaled by any other depression in history. The ever repeating cycles of history and a psychology which has been slowly changing form since the turn of the century are creating an unraveling we are experiencing now.

Within the next few years, America will have to come to grips with an approaching economic winter that could result in the worst depression in its nearly 250 years of history. What we thought our children’s children would have to struggle through may be ours to endure.

Even though America escaped a depression in 2008, most economists and historians called the recession that crippled the United States from December 2007 to June 2009 as the Great Recession. This profound decline and contraction were partly the reason the economy has struggled to recover.

On the other hand, the Dow Jones and other major market indices have been experiencing an eight-year bull market that had investors once again proclaiming only blue skies for stocks for many years to come.

However, has anything really changed? Culture wars still prevail, America’s debt is at all-time record levels and many Americans are struggling day to day to make ends meet.

Many believe we have already had the once in a lifetime economic collapse. But as of early 2017, hardly anyone was predicting an economic deflationary contraction that would lead America into a dark and devastating depression that may come to be known as the Greatest Depression of all time in future history books.

Are we about to enter a period or era of poverty for many Americans? Is President Donald Trump in the wrong place and at the wrong time as President Herbert Hoover was?

One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly)

With her bridezilla friend on a DIY project rampage, bridesmaid Jane Denning will do anything to escape – even if it means babysitting the groom’s troublemaker brother before the wedding. It should be a piece of cake, except the “cake” is a sarcastic former soldier who is 100% wicked hotness and absolutely off-limits.

Cameron MacKinnon is ready to let loose after returning from his deployment. But first he’ll have to sweet talk the ultra-responsible Jane into taking a walk on the wild side. Turns out, riling her up is the best time he’s had in years. But what happens when the fun and games start to turn into something real?

Only Killers and Thieves: A Novel

Two brothers are exposed to the brutal realities of life and the seductive cruelty of power in this riveting debut novel—a story of savagery and race, injustice and honor, set in the untamed frontier of 1880s Australia—reminiscent of Philipp Meyer’s The Son and the novels of Cormac McCarthy.

An epic tale of revenge and survival, Only Killers and Thieves is a gripping and utterly transporting debut, bringing to vivid life a colonial Australia that bears a striking resemblance to the American Wild West in its formative years.

It is 1885, and a crippling drought threatens to ruin the McBride family. Their land is parched, their cattle starving. When the rain finally comes, it is a miracle that renews their hope for survival. But returning home from an afternoon swimming at a remote waterhole filled by the downpour, fourteen-year-old Tommy and sixteen-year-old Billy meet with a shocking tragedy.

Thirsting for vengeance against the man they believe has wronged them—their former Aboriginal stockman—the distraught brothers turn to the ruthless and cunning John Sullivan, the wealthiest landowner in the region and their father’s former employer. Sullivan gathers a posse led by the dangerous and fascinating Inspector Edmund Noone and his Queensland Native Police, an infamous arm of British colonial power charged with the “dispersal” of indigenous Australians to “protect” white settler rights. As they ride across the barren outback in pursuit, their harsh and horrifying journey will have a devastating impact on Tommy, tormenting him for the rest of his life—and will hold enduring consequences for a young country struggling to come into its own.

Recreating a period of Australian and British history as evocative and violent as the American frontier era, Only Killers and Thieves is an unforgettable story of family, guilt, empire, race, manhood, and faith that combines the insightfulness of Philipp Meyer’s The Son, the atmospheric beauty of Amanda Coplin’s The Orchardist, and the raw storytelling power of Ian McGuire’s The North Water.

Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found

In December 1957, the wife of a Florida citrus baron is raped in her home while her husband is away. She claims a “husky Negro” did it, and the sheriff, the infamous racist Willis McCall, does not hesitate to round up a herd of suspects. But within days, McCall turns his sights on Jesse Daniels, a gentle, mentally impaired white nineteen-year-old. Soon Jesse is railroaded up to the state hospital for the insane, and locked away without trial.
But crusading journalist Mabel Norris Reese cannot stop fretting over the case and its baffling outcome. Who was protecting whom, or what? She pursues the story for years, chasing down leads, hitting dead ends, winning unlikely allies. Bit by bit, the unspeakable truths behind a conspiracy that shocked a community into silence begin to surface.

Beneath a Ruthless Sun tells a powerful, page-turning story rooted in the fears that rippled through the South as integration began to take hold, sparking a surge of virulent racism that savaged the vulnerable, debased the powerful, and roils our own times still.

Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage

In 1789, Alexander Mackenzie traveled 1200 miles on the immense river in Canada that now bears his name, in search of the fabled Northwest Passage that had eluded mariners for hundreds of years. In 2016, the acclaimed memoirist Brian Castner retraced Mackenzie’s route by canoe in a grueling journey — and discovered the Passage he could not find.

Disappointment River is a dual historical narrative and travel memoir that at once transports readers back to the heroic age of North American exploration and places them in a still rugged but increasingly fragile Arctic wilderness in the process of profound alteration by the dual forces of globalization and climate change. Fourteen years before Lewis and Clark, Mackenzie set off to cross the continent of North America with a team of voyageurs and Chipewyan guides, to find a trade route to the riches of the East. What he found was a river that he named “Disappointment.” Mackenzie died thinking he had failed. He was wrong.
In this book, Brian Castner not only retells the story of Mackenzie’s epic voyages in vivid prose, he personally retraces his travels, battling exhaustion, exposure, mosquitoes, white water rapids and the threat of bears. He transports readers to a world rarely glimpsed in the media, of tar sands, thawing permafrost, remote indigenous villages and, at the end, a wide open Arctic Ocean that could become a far-northern Mississippi of barges and pipelines and oil money.

How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships

What is that magic quality makes some people instantly loved and respected? Everyone wants to be their friend (or, if single, their lover!) In business, they rise swiftly to the top of the corporate ladder. What is their “Midas touch?”

What it boils down to is a more skillful way of dealing with people.

The author has spent her career teaching people how to communicate for success. In her book How to Talk to Anyone (Contemporary Books, October 2003) Lowndes offers 92 easy and effective sure-fire success techniques– she takes the reader from first meeting all the way up to sophisticated techniques used by the big winners in life. In this information-packed book you’ll find:

9 ways to make a dynamite first impression
14 ways to master small talk, “big talk,” and body language
14 ways to walk and talk like a VIP or celebrity
6 ways to sound like an insider in any crowd
7 ways to establish deep subliminal rapport with anyone
9 ways to feed someone’s ego (and know when NOT to!)
11 ways to make your phone a powerful communications tool
15 ways to work a party like a politician works a room
7 ways to talk with tigers and not get eaten alive

In her trademark entertaining and straight-shooting style, Leil gives the techniques catchy names so you’ll remember them when you really need them, including: “Rubberneck the Room,” “Be a Copyclass,” “Come Hither Hands,” “Bare Their Hot Button,” “The Great Scorecard in the Sky,” and “Play the Tombstone Game,” for big success in your social life, romance, and business.

All Is Silence: Post-Apocalyptic Young Adult (Deserted Lands Book 1)

What if death forgot you?

In a future that could be ours, Lizzie, a suicidal teen-age girl, barely navigates her own life. Then everything falls apart. In an apocalyptic land nearly deserted by disease, she lacks reasons to live until a shocking turn of events reveals a phone number. Her call pulls her dangerously cross-country to meet a stranger she thought was dead.

In a world where there is plenty of food, plenty of gas, plenty of space… fear, anger and a lust for power still control the patterns of human life. As the apocalypse heads into dystopian territory, Lizzie must decide who are her friends, her family and who is a danger to them.

This realistic coming of age, young adult novel is the debut of a former alternative high school teacher.

The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives

One teenager in a skirt.
One teenager with a lighter.
One moment that changes both of their lives forever.

If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.

But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?

Here Is Real Magic: A Magician’s Search for Wonder in the Modern World

An extraordinary memoir about finding wonder in everyday life, from magician Nate Staniforth.

Nate Staniforth has spent most of his life and all of his professional career trying to understand wonder–what it is, where to find it, and how to share it with others. He became a magician because he learned at a young age that magic tricks don’t have to be frivolous. Magic doesn’t have to be about sequins and smoke machines–rather, it can create a moment of genuine astonishment.

But after years on the road as a professional magician, crisscrossing the country and performing four or five nights a week, every week, Nate was disillusioned, burned out, and ready to quit. Instead, he went to India in search of magic. Here Is Real Magic follows Nate Staniforth’s evolution from an obsessed young magician to a broken wanderer and back again. It tells the story of his rediscovery of astonishment–and the importance of wonder in everyday life–during his trip to the slums of India, where he infiltrated a three-thousand-year-old clan of street magicians. Here Is Real Magic is a call to all of us–to welcome awe back into our lives, to marvel in the everyday, and to seek magic all around us.

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

One of the most acclaimed books of our time, winner of both the Pulitzer and the Francis Parkman prizes, The Power Broker tells the hidden story behind the shaping (and mis-shaping) of twentieth-century New York (city and state) and makes public what few have known: that Robert Moses was, for almost half a century, the single most powerful man of our time in New York, the shaper not only of the city’s politics but of its physical structure and the problems of urban decline that plague us today.

In revealing how Moses did it–how he developed his public authorities into a political machine that was virtually a fourth branch of government, one that could bring to their knees Governors and Mayors (from La Guardia to Lindsay) by mobilizing banks, contractors, labor unions, insurance firms, even the press and the Church, into an irresistible economic force–Robert Caro reveals how power works in all the cities of the United States. Moses built an empire and lived like an emperor. He personally conceived and completed public works costing 27 billion dollars–the greatest builder America (and probably the world) has ever known. Without ever having been elected to office, he dominated the men who were–even his most bitter enemy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, could not control him–until he finally encountered, in Nelson Rockefeller, the only man whose power (and ruthlessness in wielding it) equalled his own.

From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia 1st Edition

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the diplomat Putin wants to interrogate—and has banned from Russia—a revelatory, inside account of U.S.-Russia relations from 1989 to the present

“A fascinating and timely account of the current crisis in the relationship between Russia and the United States.” —New York Times Book Review

Putin would need an enemy, and he turned to the most reliable one in Russia’s recent history: the United States and then, by extension, me.

In 2008, when Michael McFaul was asked to leave his perch at Stanford and join an unlikely presidential campaign, he had no idea that he would find himself at the beating heart of one of today’s most contentious and consequential international relationships. As President Barack Obama’s adviser on Russian affairs, McFaul helped craft the United States’ policy known as “reset” that fostered new and unprecedented collaboration between the two countries. And then, as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, he had a front-row seat when this fleeting, hopeful moment crumbled with Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency. This riveting inside account combines history and memoir to tell the full story of U.S.-Russia relations from the fall of the Soviet Union to the new rise of the hostile, paranoid Russian president. From the first days of McFaul’s ambassadorship, the Kremlin actively sought to discredit and undermine him, hassling him with tactics that included dispatching protesters to his front gates, slandering him on state media, and tightly surveilling him, his staff, and his family.

From Cold War to Hot Peace is an essential account of the most consequential global confrontation of our time.

Einstein: His Life and Universe

By the author of the acclaimed bestsellers Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein.

How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom.

Based on newly released personal letters of Einstein, this book explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk—a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn’t get a teaching job or a doctorate—became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom, and the universe. His success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marveling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a morality and politics based on respect for free minds, free spirits, and free individuals.

These traits are just as vital for this new century of globalization, in which our success will depend on our creativity, as they were for the beginning of the last century, when Einstein helped usher in the modern age.