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.

Strange Practice (A Dr. Greta Helsing Novel Book 1)

In this delightfully witty fantasy adventure, Dr. Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, must defend London from both supernatural ailments and a bloodthirsty cult.

Greta Helsing inherited her family’s highly specialized and highly peculiar medical practice. In her consulting rooms, Dr. Helsing treats the undead for a host of ills – vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. Although she barely makes ends meet, this is just the quiet, supernatural-adjacent life Greta’s been groomed for since childhood.

Until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life.

Strange Practice is the first novel in Shaw’s debut series, the Dr. Greta Helsing Novels – perfect for fans of Neverwhere and V. E. Schwab.

When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt

This riveting narrative explores the lives of six remarkable female pharaohs, from Hatshepsut to Cleopatra–women who ruled with real power–and shines a piercing light on our own perceptions of women in power today.

Female rulers are a rare phenomenon–but thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, women reigned supreme. Regularly, repeatedly, and with impunity, queens like Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, and Cleopatra controlled the totalitarian state as power-brokers and rulers. But throughout human history, women in positions of power were more often used as political pawns in a male-dominated society. What was so special about ancient Egypt that provided women this kind of access to the highest political office? What was it about these women that allowed them to transcend patriarchal obstacles? What did Egypt gain from its liberal reliance on female leadership, and could today’s world learn from its example?

Celebrated Egyptologist Kara Cooney delivers a fascinating tale of female power, exploring the reasons why it has seldom been allowed through the ages, and why we should care.

A Place for Us: A Novel

The first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, A Place for Us is a deeply moving and resonant story of love, identity, and belonging

As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? Can Amar find his way back to the people who know and love him best?

A Place for Us takes us back to the beginning of this family’s life: from the bonds that bring them together, to the differences that pull them apart. All the joy and struggle of family life is here, from Rafiq and Layla’s own arrival in America from India, to the years in which their children—each in their own way—tread between two cultures, seeking to find their place in the world, as well as a path home.

A Place for Us is a book for our times: an astonishingly tender-hearted novel of identity and belonging, and a resonant portrait of what it means to be an American family today. It announces Fatima Farheen Mirza as a major new literary talent.

Pola’s Flower

Winner of a 2018 Family Choice Award.

Pola’s Flower is a gentle yet powerful account of a young Tibetan girl’s relationship with her grandfather, Pola. Metog-ma and Pola live in the quiet and magical land of Tibet during the time just before the historical government take-over. Pola is a painter of Buddhist scrolls known as thangkas. He tells Metog-ma that thangkas have the potential for giving secret messages to those who meditate on the sacred images.

As a seven year old child growing up in a traditional family, Metog-ma recognizes her grandfather’s capabilities for penetrating wisdom. And so, she follows Pola everywhere. She asks Pola everything. She listens closely to his words. And she watches as he paints grand landscapes adorned with glorious Buddhas, stately mountains, lush blue lakes, and richly colored lotus flowers. Secretly, she holds her greatest wish: to be able to see the messages hidden in her grandfather’s beautiful paintings.

With mastery, Pola prepares Metog-ma for impending and grave losses through his art. Sometimes this entails hard lessons, but she follows his every instruction even when faced with strong feelings of fear and sadness. Eventually, like one of Pola’s lotus flowers growing out of the muck and mire, Metog-ma stumbles upon a wealth of inner strength and wisdom, aspiring to help others keep that which they love most alive in their hearts.

Pola’s Flower is absolutely lovely, illustrated by traditionally trained thangka artist, Lobsang Gyatso. Geared toward children of ages 9-12 years, it offers a respectful glimpse of Tibetan life at a time when their culture was untouched by the major historical changes. The story offers wonderful support for children facing major life changes, and provides adults the means to foster compassion and strength as they help their children deal with life experiences.

Pola’s Flower is a must-have!

Dearsie

In 1936, young Beverly Broy and her family relocated to Brussels, Belgium where her father was posted as American Consul. In 1941, all Americans were called back to the United States as World War II appeared to be on the verge of including America. In the time between, Bev, her brother Jim, and sister Anne, experienced loss, adventure, confusion, and change that forever shaped their future. Follow Bev, her siblings, and their young Belgian nanny on a journey, witness to countries at war and a family struggling to stay together.

The Clepsydra

The colors of spiritual destiny weave through human history like eternal threads in an intricate tapestry. As the modern world pines for unity to triumph over extremism, Islam’s spiritual leaders are turning to the past: to the convivencia, Spain’s golden medieval age in which the three faiths—Islam, Christianity, and Judaism—coexisted peacefully. The key to reviving this peace, they believe, is the Clepsydra, a 1000-year-old water clock capable of turning back the hands of time and streaming the message of peace through the hearts of all humankind. Some questions remain: Where is the Clepsydra hidden? Who will craft this message of peace? And what will happen when their time-bending tactics are detected by a spiritually advanced First Nations tribe from North America who believe themselves to be the guardians of time itself? These questions lead a diverse array of characters into the scintillating drama of action, reflection, and revelation, wherein the threads of interfaith partnership may be brought together once and for all.

Anonymous

A young woman confronts the fear of inheriting mental illness when her husband moves her into a hundred-year-old farmhouse where neighbors say it’s haunted. Her new friend confronts the fear of a stalker when perverse anonymous letters arrive in the mail. Their stories merge as their friendship grows and their fears escalate.

Save the Hero: Ardalia’s Story

I sit stuck against the wall as usual. My body is physically tired from the double I just worked, but my mind never stops. It never sleeps.

Knock! Knock! Knock!

“Ahri! I know you can hear me. Can you open the door please?”

It is Mark. I knew it would be. He is the only person that ever comes to this door. I don’t want to leave him hanging outside. He always comes out of his way to check on me.

“Ahri! I just want to know you’re all right.”

I feel the tears burning in my eyes. I want to be better. I want to be a better partner for Mark, but I can’t. As a medic, it is normal to lose sleep when you lose a patient or arrive to a scene too late. But these aren’t my problems. Mark is such a great guy. He deserves a normal partner.

It is quiet now. I wonder if he has given up. He should.

My phone’s ambulance siren begins to sound, and I know it is Mark. He hasn’t given up yet. I don’t silence the ringer. I don’t answer. I can’t. The sound of the siren tenses me, and I erect against the wall involuntarily. My mouth extends above my throat, and I take deep breaths into the air above me. Beep-beep. He left a voice mail. Poor guy. He wants to save me. He wants to fix me. I am too far gone.

Ardalia (Ahri or Daily) is your hardworking paramedic with not-so-typical paramedic problems. Although she spends most of her time saving lives, hers is the one that needs to be saved.

Accidental Knight: A Marriage Mistake Romance

Accidentally wed to a screaming hot stranger.

I inherited a freaking husband.
Grandpa’s will was a shocker: huge fortune, gorgeous ranch, and the best horse ever.
The fine print? Marrying Mr. Grump-alicious.
The man who’s supposed to protect me from…what, exactly?
That’s what I hope to find out if Drake Larkin ever talks.

I know what I’m in for the first time his glance tears me open.
A broody enigma who’s large and in charge.
A mute who curls my toes when he barks a few words.
A silly, shameful, is-this-real-life crush I can’t afford.

Did I mention our pretend marriage-rodeo lasts six damn months?
Long enough to teach my heart cartwheels.
Time enough to seal this madness with a kiss.
Insane enough for secrets to slip – and sting.

Grandpa’s last wishes scare me. So do Drake’s real motives.
But it’s my beast of a “husband” who makes ridiculous seem right.
Have I found my knight?
Does love have a prayer when life throws us a dragon?

From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow – a mistake meant to be. One moody alpha slayer gives his all to rustle up the damsel of his dreams. Full length romance novel with a heartwarming Happily Ever After.

The Poppy War: A Novel

A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations

Following the success of his #1 New York Times bestseller Make Your Bed, which has sold over one million copies, Admiral William H. McRaven is back with amazing stories of adventure during his career as a Navy SEAL and commander of America’s Special Operations Forces.

Admiral William H. McRaven is a part of American military history, having been involved in some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden.

Sea Stories begins in 1960 at the American Officers’ Club in France, where Allied officers and their wives gathered to have drinks and tell stories about their adventures during World War II — the place where a young Bill McRaven learned the value of a good story. Sea Stories is an unforgettable look back on one man’s incredible life, from childhood days sneaking into high-security military sites to a day job of hunting terrorists and rescuing hostages.

Action-packed, inspiring, and full of thrilling stories from life in the special operations world, Sea Stories is a remarkable memoir from one of America’s most accomplished leaders.

Emma: Ancestors’ Tales

Emma discovers at an early age that she’s been gifted with the ability to see and speak to her departed ancestors. If you’ve ever wished you could ask your great-grandparent to clear up an old mystery, you will love meeting someone who gets to study the old family stories and explain the way things really happened. Of course, it’s never as easy as simply asking–Emma has to work on it, often while dealing with those who refuse to believe in her abilities and ridicule her for it.

The Struggles and Growth of a Man

This book is about a young man named Robert who chronicles a poetic diary about his struggles through childhood of having a drug addicted mother and a deadbeat father. He is working his way through life learning a lot of rights and wrongs while being a role model to his younger brother. There’s one man who cared about him and his well-being, his guidance counselor Mr. Marble who molds him into a better man, is a role model to him and shows him a better way of life. Through the trials and tribulations of life, Robert chronicles his thoughts and experiences on various issues such as family, love, relationships, his neighborhood and growing into the man he wants to be. This book shows that men struggle in life and that sometimes we all need an ear to listen, a talk to clear our minds, a heart that is kind and warmth to comfort our souls. Robert finds a purpose in life for himself after the mistakes he’s made and he wants to prove to his family that the cycle of pain can be broken and that needing help and guidance from others doesn’t make him weak, it only makes him mentally stronger. A book that everyone will enjoy from beginning to end.

Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership

John Maxwell, America’s #1 leadership authority, has mastered the art of asking questions, using them to learn and grow, connect with people, challenge himself, improve his team, and develop better ideas. Questions have literally changed Maxwell’s life. In GOOD LEADERS ASK GREAT QUESTIONS, he shows how they can change yours, teaching why questions are so important, what questions you should ask yourself as a leader, and what questions you should be asking your team.

Maxwell also opened the floodgates and invited people from around the world to ask him any leadership question. He answers seventy of them–the best of the best–including . . .

What are the top skills required to lead people through difficult times?

How do I get started in leadership?
How do I motivate an unmotivated person?
How can I succeed working under poor leadership?
When is the right time for a successful leader to move on to a new position?
How do you move people into your inner circle?

No matter whether you are a seasoned leader at the top of your game or a newcomer wanting to take the first steps into leadership, this book will change the way you look at questions and improve your leadership life.

Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun

This story deals with a police officer who has been on the police force for a few years. He feels he’s doing a great job of serving and protecting his community. Soon he realizes that he’s part of a police force where there are some police officers who dishonor the oath they all took to protect and serve their city and he knows what is going on around him is all wrong. He has a decision to make, whether to report it and risk his career and his badge or be part of the cover up. He chronicles all of these events where he talks about different cases and everything that occurred during that time period. This book addresses racial issues and whether good cops know who the bad ones are and what can be done about it.

Mythology

The world-renowned classic that has enthralled and delighted millions of readers with its timeless tales of gods and heroes.

Edith Hamilton’s mythology succeeds like no other book in bringing to life for the modern reader the Greek, Roman and Norse myths that are the keystone of Western culture-the stories of gods and heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiquity to the present.

We follow the drama of the Trojan War and the wanderings of Odysseus. We hear the tales of Jason and the Golden Fleece, Cupid and Psyche, and mighty King Midas. We discover the origins of the names of the constellations. And we recognize reference points for countless works for art, literature and culture inquiry-from Freud’s Oedipus complex to Wagner’s Ring Cycle of operas to Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra

Both a reference text for scholars of all ages and a book to simply enjoy, Mythology is a classic not to be missed.

The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In a 2017 survey, presidential historians ranked Dwight D. Eisenhower fifth on the list of great presidents, behind the perennial top four: Lincoln, Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Teddy Roosevelt. Historian William Hitchcock shows that this high ranking is justified. Eisenhower’s accomplishments were enormous, and loom ever larger from the vantage point of our own tumultuous times.

A former general, Ike kept the peace: he ended the Korean War, avoided a war in Vietnam, adroitly managed a potential confrontation with China, and soothed relations with the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death. He guided the Republican Party to embrace central aspects of the New Deal like Social Security. He thwarted the demagoguery of McCarthy and he advanced the agenda of civil rights for African Americans. As part of his strategy to wage, and win, the Cold War, Eisenhower expanded American military power, built a fearsome nuclear arsenal and launched the space race. In his famous Farewell Address, he acknowledged that Americans needed such weapons in order to keep global peace—but he also admonished his citizens to remain alert to the potentially harmful influence of the “military-industrial complex.”

From 1953 to 1961, no one dominated the world stage as did President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Age of Eisenhower is the definitive account of this presidency, drawing extensively on declassified material from the Eisenhower Library, the CIA and Defense Department, and troves of unpublished documents. In his masterful account, Hitchcock shows how Ike shaped modern America, and he astutely assesses Eisenhower’s close confidants, from Attorney General Brownell to Secretary of State Dulles. The result is an eye-opening reevaluation that explains why this “do-nothing” president is rightly regarded as one of the best leaders our country has ever had.

The Ballot Farm

Mangaparua was one of the last areas in New Zealand to be opened up.

George Malder and his new bride, Catherine, take up a newly surveyed bush section in the back blocks between Raetihi and the Wanganui River. As a returned World War I soldier George won the right to create a farm with a government grant and the promise of further assistance. They endeavour to establish a home and turn the virgin bush into a productive sheep farm.

They are joined by other discharged soldiers, all of whom battle demons. The community bonds quickly, these friends made for life, accepting each person’s oddities.
Already damaged by the war George struggles to be the man society expects of him. He is stoic in the face of the adversity he experiences daily and he is optimistic in the extreme.
Catherine, bewildered by the isolation, finds strength in her faith in George. Of special consolation to her is Iris, Catherine’s sister-in-law and best friend.
Gender roles are firmly established when the first babies arrive; the men farm and the women keep the home fires burning. There are no options.

The isolation of the fledging settlement challenges them in ways they never expect as tragedy after tragedy unfolds. Omnipotent behind the personal stories is the struggle to turn the land into the farms that the government expect.

George wrestles with feelings of despair as he realises the inadequacy of his efforts. But George is reluctant to sever the ties he’s made with this land.
The book draws on events surrounding the ballot farm scheme in this beautiful back country. Nowhere, in the whole of New Zealand, could it have been so difficult to make a farm.

The Last Wild Men of Borneo: A True Story of Death and Treasure

Two modern adventurers sought a treasure possessed by the legendary “Wild Men of Borneo.” One found riches. The other vanished forever into an endless jungle. Had he shed civilization—or lost his mind? Global headlines suspected murder. Lured by these mysteries, New York Times bestselling author Carl Hoffman journeyed to find the truth, discovering that nothing is as it seems in the world’s last Eden, where the lines between sinner and saint blur into one.

In 1984, Swiss traveler Bruno Manser joined an expedition to the Mulu caves on Borneo, the planet’s third largest island. There he slipped into the forest interior to make contact with the Penan, an indigenous tribe of peace-loving nomads living among the Dayak people, the fabled “Headhunters of Borneo.” Bruno lived for years with the Penan, gaining acceptance as a member of the tribe. However, when commercial logging began devouring the Penan’s homeland, Bruno led the tribe against these outside forces, earning him status as an enemy of the state, but also worldwide fame as an environmental hero. He escaped captivity under gunfire twice, but the strain took a psychological toll. Then, in 2000, Bruno disappeared without a trace. Had he become a madman, a hermit, or a martyr?

American Michael Palmieri is, in many ways, Bruno’s opposite. Evading the Vietnam War, the Californian wandered the world, finally settling in Bali in the 1970s. From there, he staged expeditions into the Bornean jungle to acquire astonishing art and artifacts from the Dayaks. He would become one of the world’s most successful tribal-art field collectors, supplying sacred works to prestigious museums and wealthy private collectors. And yet suspicion shadowed this self-styled buccaneer who made his living extracting the treasure of the Dayak: Was he preserving or exploiting native culture?

As Carl Hoffman unravels the deepening riddle of Bruno’s disappearance and seeks answers to the questions surrounding both men, it becomes clear saint and sinner are not so easily defined and Michael and Bruno are, in a sense, two parts of one whole: each spent his life in pursuit of the sacred fire of indigenous people. The Last Wild Men of Borneo is the product of Hoffman’s extensive travels to the region, guided by Penan through jungle paths traveled by Bruno and by Palmieri himself up rivers to remote villages. Hoffman also draws on exclusive interviews with Manser’s family and colleagues, and rare access to his letters and journals. Here is a peerless adventure propelled by the entwined lives of two singular, enigmatic men whose stories reveal both the grandeur and the precarious fate of the wildest place on earth.

The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin Horror)

The greatest haunted house story ever written, the inspiration for a 10-part Netflix series directed by Mike Flanagan and starring Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, and Timothy Hutton

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Look Alive Twenty-Five: A Stephanie Plum Novel

There’s nothing like a good deli, and the Red River Deli in Trenton is one of the best. World-famous for its pastrami, cole slaw, and for its disappearing managers. Over the last month, three have vanished from the face of the earth, and the only clue in each case is one shoe that’s been left behind. The police are baffled. Lula is convinced that it’s a case of alien abduction. Whatever it is, they’d better figure out what’s going on before they lose their new manager, Ms. Stephanie Plum.

Fire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History) (A Song of Ice and Fire Book 1)

The thrilling history of the Targaryens comes to life in this masterly work by the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the inspiration for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire & Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why was it so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What were Maegor the Cruel’s worst crimes? What was it like in Westeros when dragons ruled the skies? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire & Blood is the the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.