The editors know that if you want to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. Beside that, reading is the direct cause of a successful writing industry. Simply put, if you want to write, you must read. Here are some of the books we love.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world’s great storytellers at the peak of his powers.
Here we meet a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who is on the run, and Nakata, an aging simpleton who is drawn to Kafka for reasons that he cannot fathom. As their paths converge, acclaimed author Haruki Murakami enfolds readers in a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder, in what is a truly remarkable journey.
Editor's Note: Though Kafka on the Shore may appear a bit outlandish at first, the reader will find themselves drawn into Murakami's world in no time. The story's central themes will resonate with you long after you put down the book.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone.…
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction–if they don’t kill each other first.
Editor's Note: A character-driven heist story that will plop you into Ketterdam's alleys from the start. The Netflix show Shadow and Bone, based on Six of Crows and Bardugo's other Grishaverse series, is coming in April 2021!
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
Editor's Note: Romeo and Juliet in 1926 Shanghai battling a monster. As the story unfolds, so does the big and small themes the characters tackle-- love, hate, and much more...
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.
The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York . . . The Glass Castle is truly astonishing - a memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family.
Editor’s note: A tale that is both strangely beautiful and beautifully strange. It makes you think about everything life has to offer beyond your own walls.
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
Caden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.
Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.
Caden Bosch is designated the ship’s artist in residence, to document the journey with images.
Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.
Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.
Editor’s note: The juxtaposition between Caden’s tumultuous adventures to the depths of the ocean and his real life battling mental illness is strong enough to make you question which of these is reality and which is just a bridge to another mind.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Achilles, "the best of all the Greeks", son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful--irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods' wrath.
They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins the cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.
Editor’s note: This book tells a tale thousands of years old in a new, unforgettable way. Even if you know how the events will unfold, Miller's storytelling will leave you reeling in awe.