If You Like We Were Liars, Try…Why?

WE-WERE-LIARSWe Were Liars was a resounding success as our last book club book, and the ending still has us flailing. We’ve plucked together a few books from the collection that you’ll love if you loved Cady and the mystery of the Sinclair island.

This book list is filled with twisty thrillers and missing memories and secrets fighting to come out–they’re all contemporary, and they’re all fast, finish-in-one-sitting reads!

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

From the moment she stepped foot in NYC, Addison Stone’s subversive street art made her someone to watch, and her violent drowning left her fans and critics craving to know more. I conducted interviews with those who knew her best—including close friends, family, teachers, mentors, art dealers, boyfriends, and critics—and retraced the tumultuous path of Addison’s life. I hope I can shed new light on what really happened the night of July 28.

—Adele Griffin

WHY? A pop culture icon is murdered, and her fans are determined to discover the truth. Interviews reveal Addison’s real world, and as those closest to her begin to reveal things Addison would never tell a soul, her murder is thrown in a whole new light. 

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

Theo is better now.

She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.

Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.

WHY?  Colbert has opened a thrilling world of ballet, and the athletes who will do anything to get to the top. Theo didn’t do anything wrong–but she hasn’t been doing the right thing either. Keeping silent is a double edged sword, and with Donovan’s return her secrets are about to find the light. Continue reading

If You Like Malcolm Gladwell, Try….Why?

We haven’t done a non-fiction book list in a while! Since all our Malcolm Gladwell titles are checked out, we’re going to recommend some other titles in our collection for you!

We’ve got everything here from Chicago gangs to villains to the Olympics on our shelves.

Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh

First introduced in Freakonomics, here is the full story of Sudhir Venkatesh, the sociology grad student who infiltrated one of Chicago’s most notorious gangs

The story of the young sociologist who studied a Chicago crack-dealing gang from the inside captured the world’s attention when it was first described in Freakonomics. Gang Leader for a Day is the fascinating full story of how Sudhir Venkatesh managed to gain entrance into the gang, what he learned, and how his method revolutionized the academic establishment.

When Venkatesh walked into an abandoned building in one of Chicago’s most notorious housing projects, he was looking for people to take a multiple-choice survey on urban poverty. A first-year grad student hoping to impress his professors with his boldness, he never imagined that as a result of the assignment he would befriend a gang leader named JT and spend the better part of a decade inside the projects under JT’s protection, documenting what he saw there.

Over the next seven years, Venkatesh got to know the neighborhood dealers, crackheads, squatters, prostitutes, pimps, activists, cops, organizers, and officials. From his privileged position of unprecedented access, he observed JT and the rest of the gang as they operated their crack-selling business, conducted PR within their community, and rose up or fell within the ranks of the gang’s complex organizational structure.

In Hollywood-speak, Gang Leader for a Day is The Wire meets Harvard University. It’s a brazen, page turning, and fundamentally honest view into the morally ambiguous, highly intricate, often corrupt struggle to survive in what is tantamount to an urban war zone. It is also the story of a complicated friendship between Sudhir and JT-two young and ambitious men a universe apart.

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaborations Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Wiliams

In just the last few years, traditional collaboration—in a meeting room, a conference call, even a convention center— has been superseded by collaborations on an astronomical scale.

Today, encyclopedias, jetliners, operating systems, mutual funds, and many other items are being created by teams numbering in the thousands or even millions. While some leaders fear the heaving growth of these massive online communities, Wikinomics proves this fear is folly. Smart firms can harness collective capability and genius to spur innovation, growth, and success.

A brilliant guide to one of the most profound changes of our time,Wikinomics challenges our most deeply-rooted assumptions about business and will prove indispensable to anyone who wants to understand competitiveness in the twenty-first century.

Based on a $9 million research project led by bestselling author Don Tapscott, Wikinomics shows how masses of people can participate in the economy like never before. They are creating TV news stories, sequencing the human genome, remixing their favorite music, designing software, finding a cure for disease, editing school texts, inventing new cosmetics, or even building motorcycles. You’ll read about:
• Rob McEwen, the Goldcorp, Inc. CEO who used open source tactics and an online competition to save his company and breathe new life into an old-fashioned industry.
• Flickr, Second Life, YouTube, and other thriving online communities that transcend social networking to pioneer a new form of collaborative production.
• Mature companies like Procter & Gamble that cultivate nimble, trust-based relationships with external collaborators to form vibrant business ecosystems.

An important look into the future, Wikinomics will be your road map for doing business in the twenty-first century. Continue reading

If You Liked The Book Thief, Try…Why?

Let’s get one thing clear–there are no books like The Book Thief.

Death is the perfect narrator, Lisel is an amazing heroine, and her story is unlike any other. But there are other phenomenal, engrossing books out there you’ll like if you enjoyed The Book Thief.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

WHY? Verity will do anything to keep from being tortured–hand over classified information, reveal military depots, crack codes, but first she has to explain how she got into the service, and that means talking about her best friend Maddie and that means buying time. This story is all intricate plot, trembling emotions, and best friends, with the same WWII backdrop as The Book Thief. 

Jellicoe Road by Malina Marchetta

I’m dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.

Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs – the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor’s only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother – who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

WHY? This novel is brilliantly compelling, with characters you can love and hate from all different perspectives and a mystery that weaves everything together. Taylor’s narrative isn’t as peaceful as Death’s, but her voice will strike you just the same. Continue reading

If You Liked A Long Way Gone, Try…. Why?

This list is going to focus on biographies, because I haven’t done a non-fiction list on the blog before! A Long Way Gone: Memoir of a Boy Soldier is a book you guys consistently have off the shelves–and we own 5 copies.

If you enjoyed Beah’s memoir, then there a lot of other amazing people in the 921s you’ll love to meet.

Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden

A New York Times bestseller, the shocking story of one of the few people born in a North Korean political prison to have escaped and survived.

North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Donghyuk did.

In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin’s life unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden’s harrowing narrative of Shin’s life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world’s darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.

WHY? Shin’s story is real, raw, and confronts the reader with world-shaking realities–like the actions of child soldiers in A Long Way Gone. This biography has a narrative voice that will carry you through the trauma without cushioning the blow.

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung

Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung’s family was forced to flee their home and hide their previous life of privilege. Eventually, they dispersed in order to survive. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans while her other siblings were sent to labor camps. Only after the Vietnamese destroyed the Khmer Rouge were Loung and her surviving siblings slowly reunited.Bolstered by the shocking bravery of one brother and sustained by her sister’s gentle kindness amid brutality, Loung forged ahead to create a courageous new life. Harrowing yet hopeful, insightful and compelling, this family’s story is truly unforgettable.

WHY? Another autobiography about being raised a child soldier, Loung’s story is very different than Ishmael Beah’s, and about another part of the world, but similar themes of survival and redemption will appeal to people who liked A Long Way Gone.

Continue reading

If You Like City of Bones, Try…Why?

If you haven’t read the international blockbuster series The Mortal Instruments or it’s Victorian Era spin-off Infernal Devices, you’re missing out on some seriously snarky adventures.

These series all have something in common with City of Bones–whether it’s adventure, humor, or romance–and are brilliant page-turners in their own right!

IMMORTAL BELOVED (Immortal Beloved, #1) by Cate Tiernan

Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something’s got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.

Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe–until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

Why? Sassy and sarcastic, Nastasya will appeal to those who loved the humor of the TMI series.

BORN AT MIDNIGHT (Shadow Falls,#1) by C. C. Hunter

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

Why? The paranormal underworld has the same vibe as the TMI series, with the danger and adventure that comes from having all these different creatures in the same place.

ANGEL FALL (Penryn and the End of Days, #1) by Susan Ee

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Why? Well, angelic plotline similarities aside, Penryn and Raffe’s country crossing adventure and romantic tension will appeal to everyone who rooted for Jace and Clary in TMI. Continue reading

If You Like The Maze Runner, Try…

James Dashner’s THE MAZE RUNNER series is a thrilling adventure–and now a blockbuster movie. If you liked running with Thomas through the Maze, we’ve got some more series you’ll love.

THE 5TH WAVE (The 5th Wave, #1) by Rick Yancey

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.

Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

WHY? They are even more terrifying that the grievers–they can be anyone, anywhere. If you loved THE MAZE RUNNER’s lightning-fast pacing and dangerous monsters, then this book is for you. 

INCARCERON (Incarceron, #1) by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron — a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology — a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber — chains, great halls, dungeons.

A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison — a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists.

But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device — a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn’s escape is born…

WHY? Incarceron will remind you of the Maze–but it’s not as friendly. The prisoners are meaner, and Incarceron is alive. While Finn begins his escape, and Claudia looks for the truth, they’ll both end up on an adventure they might not survive.

THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO (Chaos Walking, #1) by Patrick Ness

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

WHY? An all-male town? Now why does that sound familiar? Unlike Thomas, Todd’s not running from monsters–he’s running from people he’s known all his life, and the horrific knowledge hidden behind the Noise. Continue reading