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The Henna Artist Book Club Questions

Is your books club looking for a great historical novel that isn’t set during World War II? How about a book that shows readers a different culture than what they’re used to? The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi definitely fits the bill! It’s a Reese Witherspoon book club pick, and has become a bestseller much loved by book groups! If your book club has picked out this book for your next meeting, never fear–we have a summary and The Henna Artist book club questions to help ensure your meeting run smoothly!

The Henna Artist Book Summary

This novel follows a young woman named Lakshmi who flees an abusive arranged marriage in the 1950s and heads to Jaipur, a vibrant city full of opportunity and promise, but danger too. She makes her living as a henna artist, and it’s not long before her artistic talent makes her one of the most sought-after henna artists in the city. But even though the upper class woman all want to hire her, Lakshmi must be careful navigating their circles, and their gossip. Her carefully constructed independent life is thrown off course with the sudden appearance of Lakshmi’s husband, who brings with him someone who will change Lakshmi’s life forever.

Themes: Independence, freedom of choice, tradition vs. progress, consequences 

The Henna Artist Book Club Questions

Did you know much about Indian culture in the 1950’s prior to reading this book? What did you learn? What surprised you?

Have you seen henna art before? Have you ever had henna painted before? Discuss your perceptions of this art form, and spend some time looking up designs to share with your group!

Do you think that you could be as brave as Lakshmi is in leaving, and finding a whole new life for herself? Where do you think her courage came from? Were there any other options before her, aside from leaving?

At the beginning of the novel, Lakshmi says, “Independence changed everything. Independence changed nothing.” What does she mean by this? She’s discussing independence from the British, but how do you think her statement applies to her own independence from her husband?

What are some recurring themes that you noticed throughout the book? Independence, and freedom to choose are certainly some of the bigger themes that the author returns to. How does Lakshmi both support and embody the idea of independence and freedom of choice in her life?

India in the 1950’s was going through major changes, not just due to their independence from the British, but culturally, too. In what ways do you see the struggle between tradition and new ideas play out in this novel? Which characters are more traditional, and which ones are more modern? How does the caste system affect these changes?

Discuss Lakshmi’s clients. How do they differ, and how are they similar? Are they more or less independent than Lakshmi?

Discuss Lakshmi’s relationship with her sister Radha. Why is it contentious? Who do you think is at fault for that contention? What allows them to finally start to heal?

Do you think that Lakshmi’s drive for freedom led her to making good choices throughout the book? Discuss her decisions and her goals, and what she might have done differently.

Joshi uses proverbs throughout the book to make various points–did any of them stand out to you? Which were your favorites?

Have you read any other books set in historical India? Are there any that you would recommend, to help understand historical context?

Would you read another book by Alka Joshi? Why or why not?

Book Club Bonus: If you are able to, hire a henna artist to come to your book club so you can see the art form up close! The book also includes Malik’s recipe for Batti Balls, which might be fun to make together or ahead of time and serve to the group! As a nod to the sachets that Lakshmi would peddle, we also recommend researching various teas and finding an Eastern healing blend to serve during your discussion.

Want more book club recommendations? Here are some of the best books from 2020 we recommend, and some great literary book club recommendations! And if you want even more great books, sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as historical book club books–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Biblioligist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers from our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

Our Favorite Books: The Top 20 Recommended Books on TBR in 2020

It’s the end of the year, which means it’s time to shout about our favorite books of 2020! We thought it would be fun to crunch some numbers and look at the most-recommended books in the TBR hardcover subscription tier! In 2020 alone, our Bibliologists recommended 862 unique titles in the hardcover tier–that’s a lot of books, but that’s because our Bibliolgists personalize each recommendation to you, and your tastes. But among all of those hardcover recommendations, some titles definitely stood out. These are the top twenty most recommended hardcover books by TBR Bibliologists, and you know they must be pretty amazing to make it to the top of such a long list!

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

In this incredible fantasy novel, large cities are living, sentient beings with memories and mythologies…and New York City has six different souls. But when five people realize they’re the living embodiment of the city’s boroughs, they also learn that NYC is under attack by an ancient force that wishes to not only destroy them, but their city.

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

Cara is a traverser of the multiverse in a future where corporations control everything. She’s hoping that if she does her job well, she can one day get promoted and find security, but when she lands in a world where her doppelgänger has recently been murdered, she realizes she’s at the center of a dangerous conspiracy.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Linus is a caseworker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, and he’s sent to observe an unusual case of six very dangerous magical children living under the care of Arthur, in a house by the sea. As Linus becomes familiar with this unconventional family, he begins to realize that there’s a difference between the policies he sticks to, and what’s really the best for his young charges.

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

In this twisting, experimental memoir, Machado tells the story of the two years she spent in an abusive relationship with another woman. Her chapters take the form of a different literary trope or device, and they demonstrate the importance of speaking up about domestic abuse in queer relationships.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Noemi is a socialite in 1950s Mexico City when she’s summoned by her beloved cousin to a mysterious estate in the country. Her cousin is unwell, and once Noemi arrives, she finds strange and frightening things within the walls of the moldering manor house– and she might not make it out alive.

Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

In Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, young Nainoa Flores falls overboard while on a cruise with his family, and onlookers watch in horror as sharks surround the boy…but he’s delivered safely back to his mother, and that’s just the beginning of the supernatural forces that follow the Flores family for decades, until a reunion in Hawaii forces them to confront their strange legacy.

You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington by Alexis Coe

Americans tend to romanticize the first president, but in this fascinating and engaging new biography, Coe reveals well-researched and little known facts about George Washington, casting this founding father in an entirely different light. 

Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami

In this Japanese novel, three women–two sisters and one daughter–confront the things that have gone unsaid in their lives and relationships when one of them pursues a breast enhancement. What follows has an effect on the woman and their lives for years to come.

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

Ines is running from her past, which is why it’s easy for her to accept a place at Catherine House, and the terms that come with it–all tuition and expenses shall be paid, as long as she severs contact with the outside world for three years. But when Ines begins to grow curious about Catherine House’s secrets, she finds herself facing a life-changing decision.

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

Spanning the years before and after the Civil War, this novel follows a mother and daughter with a talent for healing, and how their lives intersect with the daughter of the man who has enslaved them. The healing isn’t their only talent–they can conjure curses, and one such curse threatens everything they’ve fought for.

How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang

In this historical novel,  Lucy and Sam have just lost their father, the only parent left in their life. As orphans and the children of Chinese immigrants, their situation is precarious at best. Wanting to give their father the burial he deserves, they set off into the landscape around their mining town, where they encounter the most spectacular things.

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Immanuelle and her family are outcasts in a Puritan-like fantasy world, thanks to Immanuelle’s mother attempt on the Prophet’s life, and having Immanuelle out of wedlock. Immanuelle has tried to follow all the rules, but when she strays into a forbidden woods, she inadvertently brings aa series of plagues down on her community, and discovers her own power.

These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card

Thirty years ago, Stanford Solomon faked his own death and left his family. Now, he’s nearing the end of his life and his daughter, a home health aide, has just shown up unwittingly to her father’s doorstep, unaware that he’s still alive, which threatens to unravel decades of carefully guarded secrets.

The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

Nia captains a spaceship that has preserved her throughout time. Every person she has cared about has ages faster than she, until she’s wholly alone. All that changes the day she rescues a young boy who doesn’t speak and communicates via haunting music. In each other, they find a home…but very bad people are hunting the boy, and Nia must find a way to protect him.

Lakewood by Megan Giddings

Lena Johnson is a Black millennial who must drop out of college when it’s revealed that her family is in over their heads in debt. She takes a job in Lakewood, MI, which seems too good to be true. It’s well-paid with so many perks…but Lena is taking part in a study that is kept top secret. Except, the deeper she gets, the more questions she has about how the safety and validity of the study.

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Crosby

Bug is a family man and business owner who falls on hard times, so he turns to his past job as a getaway driver for the cash he needs to get back on even footing…but when the job goes sideways, it’ll take everything Bug has to escape with his life and protect those he loves.

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong

Part memoir, part cultural criticism, and part history, Hong explores in a series of sharp and illuminating essays what she thinks of as “minor feelings”–the sensations she experiences when American optimism and ideals conflict with her own experiences as an immigrant.

The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao

Gwendolyn and Estella are sisters who have relied on each other growing up in their wealthy Chinese-Indonesian family, which places heavy expectations on each sister. But when Estella poisons their entire family, Gwendolyn is the sole survivor, and she is forced to revisit their past and what could have driven her beloved sister to such a heinous crime while she lays in a coma.

The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

Csorwe is a young priestess who thought she always knew her fate–to become a sacrifice. But on the day that she is to die, a mage offers her a different path, and Csorwe follows him to become his assassin and help him regain what he has lost. But decisions have consequences, especially if you anger the gods.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Emira is a young Black college graduate working as a baby-sitter to make ends meet, and she’s alarmed when she’s accused of kidnapping her young charge. Although the incident is resolved, the child’s mother goes to increasingly desperate lengths to “help” Emira, even though she’d rather just forget about the whole experience, leading to a series of revelations about the family.

Want in on the TBR recommendation magic? Sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations, one of the best book subscription services out there! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Biblioligist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers from our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

10 Must-Read Arthurian Legend Books

King Arthur has been capturing imaginations for centuries, and continues to inspire stories into the twenty-first century, whether they’re retellings, stories about side characters we associate with Arthur’s court, or reimaginings set in space! Because there’s no story or version that’s considered “canon,” the universe is the limit, and we love to see so many iterations of Arthurian legend books. If you’re looking for some more recent, modern books about King Arthur, we’ve got you covered!

Note: Most of these Arthurian legend books are written by white authors. Publishing still needs to do some work when it comes to publishing diversely in this area!

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

The first in the Camelot Rising trilogy, this book is about Guinevere, who is sent to Camelot to marry King Arthur, a man she’s never even met. But she’s sent by Merlin, who has proclaimed that their marriage can save Camelot, and Guinevere can keep Arthur safe. But what no one knows is that Guinevere is not her real name, and she’s in fact a changeling sworn to protect Camelot.

Legendborn by Tracy Deon

When Bree’s mother dies, she decides that she’d rather be anywhere but home, so she joins a residential program for gifted teens. But on her first night she witnesses a magical attack and learns that some teens are considered “Legendborn.” Then a mage called a Merlin tries to erase her memory, but instead he inadvertently awakens Bree’s own magic–and Bree realizes there’s more to her mom’s death than she knows.

The Lost Queen by Signe Pike

In this novel and first book in a trilogy, a forgotten queen named Languoreth takes center stage. Languoreth is the twin sister of Lailoken, a warrior and druid who served as the inspiration for Merlin. Languoreth is destined to marry a man who is sympathetic to Christians, but when circumstances of war put her in the path of another who steals her heart, Languoreth must make a decision that will change the course of history.

Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Although this book is on the older side, it got a reboot when it was made into a Disney Original movie! It’s about Ellie, a new girl at Avalon High, where she finds herself drawn into the lives and dramas of some of the most popular students: Will, the class president. Lance, the jock. Jennifer, the cheerleader. But their lives are starting to mirror what Ellie’s been taught about King Arthur’s court, which has her wondering: What part does she play in all of this?

Once & Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta

In this sci-fi retelling, Arthur is Ari, a teen girl who’s homeless and perpetually on the run in a galactic empire dominated by a mega corporation. When she crash lands on Old Earth, which is forbidden to normal people, she pulls a sword of the stone and immediately sets off on a wild adventure across the universe. 

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler

What if the sword chose a queen instead of a king? This story follows Nimue, an outcast in her Druid village because of her connection to dark magic. When her village is attacked and she’s the sole survivor, Nimue is tasked with reuniting a sword with a powerful sorcerer, but in the meantime, Nimue wields it…and finds that maybe she can reunite her people if she can hold onto the sword.

Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell

Set in 490 AD, this book imagines the story of the legendary Lady of Shalott. Elaine of Ascolat is the daughter of one of King Arthur’s only supporters, and she lives on a military base where her only other female companion is Arthur’s sister, Morgan. Elaine is secrecy in love with Lancelot, but when Gwynivere, a new young woman, arrives, Elaine’s world changes drastically.

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

Set in an alternate 1980s London, Susan is looking for the father she’s never met. She approaches a crime boss who might have answers, but before she can get, the crime boss is turned into dust by an attractive sorcerer named Merlin, who introduces Susan to the underground world of magical London.

By Force Alone by Lavie Tidhar

This is an epic, sharp-humored, and a bit profane retelling of the Arthurian legend that reveals the King Arthur’s court is more of a “gangster’s paradise.” None of the characters that we know are honorable or beloved, but instead varying degrees of shady who are scrabbling for power. This is very much an irreverent take on Arthur and his court, but a funny perspective nonetheless..

Sword Stone Table edited by Jenn Northington and Swapna Krishna

Do you love Arthurian legend books but are hoping for some diversity in this particular sub-genre? This collection of stories reimagines the characters and plots in inventive ways! So if you’d like your legends with lesbian knights, if you ship Merlin and Arthur, if you want to see the Lady of the Lake as a Ugandan sorceress, then get this book on your TBR! (Coming summer 2021.)

If you want to stay on top of all the amazing retellings and reinterpretations of your favorite stories, consider signing up for one of the best book subscription services, TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read.

Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as myth retellings or King Arthur books–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Biblioligist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers from our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

The Best New Nonfiction Books of 2021

A new year is an exciting time for new books, and we can’t wait for 2021 and all of its delicious new releases to arrive! If you’re a lover of nonfiction, then great news–there are so many amazing upcoming nonfiction books to look forward to. Whether you love a good memoir, dig a great self-help book, are always looking for more true crime, or want to read some great new history books, here are some of the new nonfiction books we are looking forward to! 

Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone by Sarah Jaffe

Maybe we all need to go into a new year with the lessons that this book can teach us about not buying into the myth that loving your job means you can’t be taken advantage of, or be miserable in your career. This is a great book about unfair labor practices and learning to draw boundaries.

The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine by Janice P. Nimura

Dr. Elizabwth Blackwell was the first woman in the United States to obtain her M.D., and her younger sister Emily followed in her footsteps. Although the sisters didn’t always agree, they founded the first hospital to be staffed entirely by women. This biography looks at their achievements, disagreements, and legacy.

We Came We Saw We Left: A Family Gap Year by Charles Wheelan

When the Wheelan family decided to pack up their lives for none months and travel the world on a budget, they had no idea what to expect. In this funny memoir, Charles Wheelan recounts the misadventures and challenges of international travel, offering suggestions on what to do, and not to do.

The Three Mothers:  How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs

Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin all became some of the most influential thinkers and activists of the 20th century, but little is told about the women who raised them. This history book looks at how each of the mothers grew up in similar circumstances during the Jim Crow era, and how their experiences shaped their sons.

The Princess Spy: The True Story of World War II Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones by Larry Loftis 

This book tells the story of Aline Griffith, who was born in New York to a quiet life, but desperately wanted to help in the war efforts when WWII broke out. She was trained as a spy and sent to Spain, where she penetrated high society and participated in dangerous count-intelligence agains the Nazis…and married the Count of Romanones along the way.

The Life She Wished to Live: A Biography of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling by Ann McCutchan

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings penned one of the most beloved children’s classics, The Yearling, but few readers know about the influences and circumstances that led her to writing that novel. This biography explores Rawlings’ love for the swampland community that literary fiction often overlooked, and her personal struggles and triumphs.

The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer by Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan

As a kid, Liza Rodman was often left alone with a babysitter so her single mom could work long hours at multiple jobs. She spent the majority of that time with the handyman that worked with her mom, exploring nature, going out for popsicles, and passing the time. It wasn’t until Liza was an adult that she realizes her babysitter was Tony Costa, a serial killer–and she began to reckon with the facts of his crimes and her memories of a kind caretaker.

Midnight in Cairo: The Divas of Egypt’s Roaring ’20s by Raphael Cormack

When we think of the Roaring Twenties, we think of New York City or Chicago–not Cairo, Egypt. But Cairo’s flourishing arts scene in the 1920’s, and it’s multicultural influences, had a lasting impact on Egypt’s culture. This book looks at some of the most influential women of the time, performers and artists who would make a lasting contribution on their country.

Single and Forced to Mingle: A Guide for (Nearly) Any Socially Awkward Situation by Melissa Croce

In this laugh out loud guide, Croce guides readers through how to navigate social situations when single, from the dreaded wedding season to what to say to those nosy questions from your older relatives. Full of tips and tricks as well as empowering messages about the joys of being single, this is a funny book that will help you celebrate and commiserate at the same time.

Fucked at Birth: Recalibrating the American Dream for the 2020s by Dale Maharidge

Partly a memoir, partly investigative journalism, this book explores the realities of being poor and how for so many Americans, the idea of “the American Dream” has never been attainable because of life circumstances at play before birth. Maharidge explores how poverty and inequality have created these issues, and questions where we can go from here.

Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy by Rachel Ricketts

If you want to do better when it comes to anti-racist actions and study, but are looking for a book that takes into account your spiritual life, this is the book for you. Ricketts provides readers with applicable, secular activities and guidelines to fight for racial justice in this book.

The Flight of the Diamond Smugglers: A Tale of Pigeons, Obsession, and Greed Along Coastal South Africa by Matthew Gavin Frank

In this fascinating history and true crime book, Frank investigates South Africa’s infamous Diamond Coast, which is closed to the public due to overmanning. There, he learns that many still mine illegally, and they use carrier pigeons to smuggle the diamonds out, a highly dangerous task made even more perilous by a villain of epic proportions.

Made in China: A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America’s Cheap Goods by Amelia Pang

In this investigative book, Pang tells the story of the American mother who uncovered an SOS letter in the package of cheap Halloween decorations she bought from Kmart, and how this sparked an investigation into Chinese labor camps. This book exposes unfair labor practices, and also asks readers to think more closely about the products they consume and the companies they patronize.

Winter Pasture: One Woman’s Journey with China’s Kazakh Herders by Li Juan

Li Juan, a convenience store owner in northwestern China, surprised everyone when one winter she decided to join a group of Kazakh herders to their winter pasture in a remote region across an unforgiving region. This book is her account of the rough and perilous journey, and the wonders of nature and resilience she encountered along the way.

More Than You Can Handle: A Rare Disease, A Family in Crisis, and the Cutting-Edge Medicine That Cured the Incurable by Miguel Sancho

When Miguel and his wife had their son, Sebastian, they were devastated to learn that he’d been diagnosed with a rare, incurable disease that essentially forced them to live in self-quarantine and strained every single aspect of their lives, even threatening their marriage. But they also were determined to find a way to help their son, and their persistence led them to cure the incurable.

Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water by Kazim Ali

Kazim Ali is the child of immigrants and has lived all over the world, but when he become an adult he was reminded of Jenpeg, a community surrounding a dam that he lived in briefly when he was young. Curious about the community and whatever happened with the dam, he goes back and learns a great deal about water, sovereignty, and the politics surrounding essential natural resources.

If you want to stay on top of all the amazing nonfiction releases in 2021, check out some of the best nonfiction book subscriptions! And consider signing up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations, a subscription service that only sends you books you want to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as new memoirs or investigative journalism–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Biblioligist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers from our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

Looking to add more nonfiction into your book club’s roster? Check out our book club guide to Born a Crime by Trevor Noah!

10 Goal Setting Books to Help You Have Your Best Year Ever

A new year is upon us, which means it’s a great time to take stock of your goals and plans, and decide what you want to focus on in 2021! 2020 has been a rough year for us all, and while it’s great to look forward to a new calendar, we also know that people’s lives don’t change as easily as flipping a page. This is why we’ve rounded up a list of ten great goal setting books that will help you take a look at your goals, set new smart goals, and figure out what you want to focus on in the coming year. Here we go!

Badass Habits: Cultivate the Awareness, Boundaries, and Daily Upgrades You Need to Make Them Stick by Jen Sincero

We all know that the key to arriving at your goals and making them stick is to develop healthy habits. Self help guru Sincero teaches readers to be aware of the goals they set, recognize limitations, draw boundaries, and figure out how to improve yourself one new habit at a time!

Worth It: Overcome Your Fears and Embrace the Life You Were Made For by Brit Barron

If your goals for 2021 seem completely unattainable, take a deep breath and then read this book! Brit Barron grew up in an evangelical household, where she was expected to fit in a very narrow box. When she fell in love with a woman and left the church, she began to challenge the ideas and fears that had constrained her, and figure out what she wanted in life. This book teaches readers how to question the truths they’ve always held and overcome your fear.

Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals by Michael Hyatt

If you feel stuck in the cycle of making goals and then never following through, then Hyatt has a quick and easy guide on how to identify the best goals, figure out how to tackle them in your day-to-day life, and resist the urge to quit! This is a book that guides you through goal setting and will give you a jumpstart.

This Year I Will…: A 52-Week Guided Journal to Achieve Your Goals by Tiffany Louise

If you’re looking for a goal-setting workbook, then snag this journal to help you figure out how to meet your goals in the year ahead. This guided journal is great because it allows you to create space in each week of your next year to check in on your progress, and readjust if you need to!

The Book of Mistakes: 9 Secrets to Creating a Successful Future by Skip Prichard

Maybe traditional self-help books aren’t for you, which is why we think you might click with this allegorical tale about feeling stuck in your life and unable to meet your goals. In this short book, you’ll glean nine lessons that will help you get unstuck, and allow you to achieve your goals.

You Goal, Girl: A Goal-Setting Workbook by Meleah Bowles

This is another great goal setting workbook that will help you figure out your goals, nail down actionable steps to help you start your journey, teach you how to track your habits to see progress, and give you space to brainstorm beyond your immediate goals to see the big picture.

The Greatest You: Face Reality, Release Negativity, and Live Your Purpose by Trent Shelton

Inspirational speaker Trent Shelton knows a thing or two about hitting rock bottom and facing disappointment, and in this book he shares his experiences and offers wisdom about how to acknowledge the limitations of your life situation, make and meet goals that are attainable for you, and bring out the best in yourself so you can get the life you want.

Hello, Fears: Crush Your Comfort Zone and Become Who You’re Meant to Be by Michelle Poler

What’s holding you back from achieving your goals? Is it fear? If so, then you need this book by the founder of Hello, Fears, which is a movement that encourages people to face their fears and stretch their boundaries so that they can find the wonder of life outside your comfort zone.  Full of real stories and practical advice, this book will help you gain the confidence you need to set and make your goals.

Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms by Amanda Steinberg

If one of your goals this year is to get a handle on your personal finances, then you need to grab this book about knowing your worth and understanding your own financial power. Steinberg focuses not only on financial literacy, but the social factors that cause stress surrounding money, and how we can address and overcome them.

More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth

If you have career aspirations or want to see your professional life reach new levels this year, then you should check out this book about claiming space in the professional sphere. Welteroth is a Black woman who is often one of the youngest bosses in the room, so she knows a thing or two about claiming space, and her book will prove to be inspirational for anyone who needs a boost at work.

Want more great self help books? We have recommendations on how to become the best leader you can be! And if you want to increase your reading habits this year with some amazing books sign up for one of the best online book subscriptions around: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as self help books–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Biblioligist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers from our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

14 A Gentleman in Moscow Book Club Questions

A Gentleman in Moscow has been a bestseller and book club favorite for the last couple of years, so now is a great time for your book club to see what all the hype is about! We’ve put together a guide for your next meeting that include A Gentleman in Moscow summary, discussion questions, and a list of themes to help your conversation run smoothly!

A Gentleman in Moscow Summary

In 1922, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is brought before a Bolshevik tribunal for a poem he wrote years earlier while at university. It’s a tumultuous time to be nobility in Russia, but he narrowly escapes execution or being sent to Siberia and instead is sentenced to house arrest at the Metropol hotel, right next to the Kremlin. He’s unable to leave for decades, living in much reduced circumstances as the world turns around him, but the Count discovers just how resilient the human spirit can prove to be.

Themes: Finding a sense of purpose, friendship and community, living in the moment

A Gentleman in Moscow Book Club Questions

  1. What is your perception of the Count in the beginning of the novel? How does your perception of him change throughout the book, and as the years pass?
  2. Do you think that the Count’s sentence was a lucky break, or a worse kind of punishment? Why do you think he stayed in Moscow rather than leave like some of his family members? How does living in the Metropol shape his view of his country as the years progress?
  3. How does the Count deal with his sentence emotionally and intellectually? What events or people help him learn to accept it? How does his perspective (and his character) change? In what ways does he hold on to his title as a gentleman?
  4. How does the Count find purpose in his new life? Who helps him find that purpose?
  5. This novel covers a wide expanse of time within a single character’s lifetime. How does the author convey the passage of time, and do you think it is successful? What periods in the Count’s life did you enjoy reading about the most?
  6. How does the Count view the revolutions that occur in his country throughout the course of the novel? How does his perspective differ from those held by other characters in the book?
  7. Discuss the women in this novel, and the Count’s relationship with each of them. How do they influence his perspective on the outside world, and his own search for meaning?
  8. What did you think of the author’s use of humor in this book? Is it successful, and does it make you more sympathetic to the Count? Who would you consider the narrator of this book, and the source of much of the humor found in the text?
  9. What are some of your favorite parts or vignettes in the novel? How does Towles use these scenes to help bring to life the community that lives in the Metropol?
  10. Have you seen the movie Casablanca? Discuss the parallels between the movie and the plot. Why do you think it is the Count’s favorite film?
  11. Consider the reason why the Count was imprisoned in the first place, and then consider Russia as we know it today. What parallels or conclusions can we draw, if any?
  12. How might the Count’s life been different if he’s left Russia in the beginning? Do you think he lived a full and fulfilling life   by staying in the Metropol?
  13. Have you read the author’s first novel, Rules of Civility? Would you read it, or another book by the author? Why or why not?
  14. What books could you recommend to people who liked A Gentleman in Moscow?

Sips and Treats

Because of the title of this novel, it seems like it would be a missed opportunity not to serve Moscow mules at your meeting! (Although we’ll be the first to admit that the origin of the Moscow Mule has nothing to do with the city, so this would be a drink you’d serve purely for the puns.) For treats, we recommend these Russian tea cakes.

Want more great book club suggestions? Sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that send you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as books like A Gentleman in Moscow–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Biblioligist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers from our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

The 21 Best Book Club Books of 2021

A new year means more incredible new books, and we can’t wait to read and discuss them all! If your book club is looking for some great new reads, here are 21+ of the best book club books of 2021 (and late 2020) that you won’t want to miss out on!

A Spy in the Struggle by Aya de Leon

A Black woman works her way through law school and lands her dream job at a corporate law firm, only for it to be brought down by the FBI for illegal dealings. She turns on her bosses and makes a deal with the feds, but when they ask her to infiltrate a group of domestic “extremists” her ethics are challenged in a big way.

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

Darren is  happy to work at a Midtown Starbucks, until a chance encounter lands him a job as the only Black employee of a trendy new start-up. Darren reinvents himself, and then hatches a plan to get other young people of color into the company, which could change everything for his industry.

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Jane is a broke dog walker who is hired by the wealthy residents of Thornfield Estates. When her job brings her in contact with Eddie Rochester, a widower, and they begin to fall for one another, rumors swirl about his first wife Bea and her mysterious death.

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

In this novel, Benedict explores one of the greatest mysteries from the life of the Queen of Mystery herself, Agatha Christie. Christie went missing for eleven days in 1926, launching a massive manhunt that swept across the nation. When she reappeared, she claimed amnesia, but did she really forget, or was she hiding something?

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson

Pheby Delores Brown grew up on a plantation in relative privilege, expecting to find freedom on her eighteenth birthday. Instead, she finds herself in one of the most infamous jails, having to endure and outsmart a cruel jailer in order to survive and escape.

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Daunis Fontaine is a biracial teen of Ojibway descent, but not tribally enrolled thanks to scandal. She’s never felt like she fit in anywhere, but when she witnesses a murder, she’s uniquely positioned to go undercover and try and catch a killer before she finds herself in grave danger.

Bride of the Sea by Eman Quotah

Quotah tells the story of Muneer and Saeedah, a married couple who have a daughter, only for their marriage to dissolve soon after. As Muneer returns to his homeland of Saudi Arabia and Saeedah stays in the U.S., relations between them become strained to the point that Saeedah disappears with their daughter, leaving Muneer desperately searching for her from afar.

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

In another sweeping historical novel about great change, this story begins in Texas in 1934 with a woman named Elsa Martinelli faced with an impossible choice to try and stay on her land as the Dust Bowl bears down on her, or move west to California to uncertainty.

The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson

Set in 2008, this novel is about Ruth, a Black engineer with a good life who is haunted by the baby she gave up years earlier. She returns to her small Indiana hometown to try and seek out answers about her baby’s fate, which leads to uncovering shocking secrets that her family has buried.

The Survivors by Jane Harper

Kieran Elliott is haunted by a youthful reckless mistake that drove him away from his hometown, but now he’s back and visiting with his own young family. But when a body is found on the beach, the past comes rushing back and Kieran has to confront it once and for all.

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Klara is an Artificial Friend who lives in a store, and watches as customers come and go, hoping that one day someone will bring her home with them. Ishiguro’s new novel is a book about the rapidly changing future and the fundamental questions about love and life that endure.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

In this novel that weaves back and forth between the past and present, Penner tells the story of a secret apothecary that dispenses poisons to be used against oppressive men, a mistake that could threaten everything the apothecary stands for, and the present-day woman who uncovers the mysteries of the past.

The Hunting Wives by May Cobb

Sophie is at first all too happy to move with her husband from New York City to a small Texas town for a slower lifestyle, but she soon becomes bored. That’s when she befriends a group of women known as the Hunting Wives, who are alluring and possibly dangerous. But by the time Sophie realizes this, she’s in too deep.

Cold in Her Bones by Nailini Singh

Aarav’s mother disappeared years ago with a quarter of a million dollars in cash. Everyone just assumed that she’d run away from her husband and started a new life, but when her bones are found in the woods surrounding their elite neighborhood, it’s clear that something went wrong–and Aarav is determined to get to the bottom of it.

Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian

Set in Boston in 1662, Mary Deerfield is a young woman trapped in a loveless marriage with an abusive, angry man. She knows that she must escape him if she’s to live, but when a series of mysterious events befalls her, Mary must also escape the town’s suspicions that she is a witch.

The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

When Ambrosia receives an invitation to her ten-year college reunion, it’s accompanied with an anonymous note referring to something awful she did with her former best friend. Ambrosia shows up at the reunion and reunited uneasily with her former friend as it becomes clear that someone out there wants revenge.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

In 1940, Osla, Mab, and Beth became friends through their work at Bletchley Park, the Allies’ codebreaking station in England. Seven years later, these three women are now enemies driven apart by their wartime agendas, but they must work together one last time when they receive a mysterious coded letter that could have serious consequences for their country and its reconstruction.

The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers

When Lara’s fiancé disappears on their wedding day, she’s devastated and turns to an unlikely source for comfort and answers: her great-grandmother’s diaries. As she reads, she discovers a curse that’s been set upon her family for generations. 

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

Opal grew up in Detroit in the 1970’s, determined she had what it took to be a star–and when she teams up with singer/songwriter Nev, the two rocket their way to stardom. It all comes crashing down when Opal protests a rival band’s use of the Confederate flag on their new album, and her career tanks. Forty years later, a music journalist engineers a reunion between Opal and Nev, and shocking new allegations come to light.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Set in Malibu in 1983, four siblings, children of a legendary rockstar, are throwing a party at a lavish estate that everyone is dying to be invited to. But each are keeping secrets from one another, and by the time dawn breaks, their estate will go up in flames.

The Turnout by Megan Abbott

Dara and Marie Durant and dancers and sisters who run the ballet school founded by their mother with Dara’s husband, Charlie. Everything in their lives is perfectly choreographed until a terrible accident occurs just before their annual production of The Nutcracker, sending fractures in the sisters’ perfect facade.

Need more book club suggestions? We have a list of funny book club books we recommend, and then some shorter books for clubs that don’t have tons of extra time on their hands! And if you want even more amazing curated recommendations, sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that send you books you’ll love to read.

Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as great book club picks–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Biblioligist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers from our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

10 New Gay Romance Books to TBR!

We love romance novels and believe that love is for all, which is why we’re excited to highlight ten new gay romance books you can look forward to at the end of 2020 and in 2021! These m/m romance books range from YA to adult romance, historical to fantastic, and they’re sure to make you laugh, pine, and swoon! Here we go!

Note: This subgenre is still extremely limited in terms of diversity and representation, particularly when it comes to authors of color. We hope that publishers will work harder to put out more stories by authors of color going forward!

As Far As You’ll Take Me by Phil Stamper

Marty arrives in London eager to kickstart his new life as an out guy looking for love and to land the job of his dreams. And even though he manages to find his first ever boyfriend, travel, and make new friends, he’s secretly hiding the fact that his savings are evaporating and his parents still haven’t spoken to him since he came out. He’s going to have to practice painful honesty if he’s to achieve the life he’s dreaming of.

Just Like This by Cole McCade

Rian works as an art teacher at Albin Academy, where he cares deeply about his students. When the new football coach walks into his life, it seems like they’re completely at odds…until they have to team up together to protect one of the students they both care about, who really needs their help.

Beat Laid Plans by Roan Parrish

Charlie Matheson is the kind of guy who takes care of things, so it makes sense that he now owns his father’s hardware store and is well-known in his small town for being the go-to guy to fix things. Rye has always broken hearts and promises so on paper he’s the absolute opposite of Charlie…and yet, when Rye inherits a falling down house, Charlie might just be exactly who he needs in more ways than one.

Out of Character by Annabeth Albert

Milo Lionetti made a sily bet that cost him his brother’s prized cards, and now he’s desperate to win them back before his brother notices they’re gone. He turns to gamer Jasper Quigley, who is looking for more in his gaming career, for help getting them back. Jasper isn’t too keen on the idea, but when Milo makes an offer too good to turn down, he agrees…and the two men find themselves spending an awful lot of time together.

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

Wallace Price doesn’t want to admit that he’s dead, but then a reaper whisks him away from his funeral to a small village tucked between mountains, where Wallace is expected to cross over to the afterlife. Instead, he finds himself in a tea shop run by a man named Hugo. As the two become friends, Wallace is given a deadline to cross over, and so he sets about packing in as much living as he can before then.

The Beautiful Things Shoppe by Philip William Stover

Prescott J. Henderson is a fine art dealer who is excited for a new start in a small Pennsylvania town running the Beautiful Things Shoppe. The only fly in the ointment? He has to share the space with Danny Roman, a collector of vintage toys and knick-knacks that Prescott doesn’t consider art. The two clash epically, but when their town is threatened, they must come together to save their shoppe and town.

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian

Cat Sebastian makes her trade paperback debut in this delightful novel about a reformed highwayman and a disgraced aristocrat who team up together to perform the ultimate con–and fall in love in the process!

A Complicated Love Story Set in Space by Shaun David Hutchinson

One moment Noa is on Earth, and the next he’s waking up on a space ship called the Qriosity, lost in space along with two other teens named DJ and Jenny. As the three try to navigate their way home, Noa and DJ also fall in love, which is a journey as full of peril as trying to figure out how to get back to Earth!

Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June

Jay’s always felt out of place in his small town as the only out kid, and he has a bucket list of things he wants to do and experience that he jokingly refers to as his gay agenda. But then his family abruptly moves to Seattle and suddenly Jay’s surrounded on all sides by an open and vibrant queer community. It’s easy to start checking things off his list, but when love enters into the mix, Jay finds it difficult to balance new opportunities with his old friends.

Subtle Blood by K.J. Charles

This third book in K.J. Charles’ The Will Darling Adventures series doesn’t have a release date yet, but fingers crossed for sometime in 2021! It is about a murder that puts Will and Kim’s secret relationship in jeopardy, and puts them right in the path of some very powerful people.

Want more great new gay romance books? Here’s a list of past gay romance novels we recommend! And never miss a recommendation when you sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that send you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as m/m romance novels–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Biblioligist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers from our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

How Does TBR Work?

TBR, Tailored Book Recommendations: A Book Subscription Service

Welcome to TBR, a personalized book recommendation service that helps you find your next favorite reads! TBR is a quarterly book subscription service that offers two different tiers: recommendations only, and hardcovers! The recommendations only tier delivers a letter with three curated book recommendations just for you in your inbox, and the hardcover level gives you that same personalized treatment, but delivers three hardcover books to your door. No matter what you love to read, fiction or nonfiction, any genre or category, we’ve got high quality recommendations for you! That sounds amazing, you’re probably thinking, but how does TBR work? Let’s dive in!

Getting Started

When you sign up or gift a TBR subscription, you can pick between recommendations only, or hardcover. You also pick if you want to sign up for a year, or be billed quarter to quarter. Once that’s decided, you fill out our reader survey. The survey asks you what types of books you love, your favorite genres and subgenres, what age categories you’re interested in, what you want to explore more of in your reading life, potential themes you’d like to see, how adventurous you want to get in your recommendations, what your favorite TV shows/movies are, what you don’t like in books, any content warnings you might like to see, what your dealbreakers are, and what your preferred format is (especially useful if you pick the recommendations only level). We also give you the option of sharing your Goodreads account with us, so we know what you read and what you’re looking forward to.

Okay, but how does TBR work?

Once you submit your survey, our Pigeon in Chief looks over your responses and assigns you to a Bibliologist–a real live human and power reader who reads each of your answers carefully, puts their thinking caps on, and checks your Goodreads shelves before picking out recommendations that they think you’ll love. TBR Bibliologists are professional book recommenders, Book Riot contributing writers, librarians, booksellers, and all around book nerds who collectively read a LOT of books each year. You can learn more about about the Bibliogists and see what they love reading.

Your Bibliologist then writes a recommendation letter just for you, telling you why we think you’ll love each book and giving you their best pitch for it. They’ll also offer any content warnings if you ask for them, but please be aware that we are real live humans and while we do our best to make sure nothing slips through the cracks, we advise you do your own research if you’re concerned about a particular book. Then, once the letter is written, it is sent directly to your email inbox if you picked the recommendations-only level. If you picked the hardcover level, we send the letters to our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME, and they’ll ship your three hardcovers and letter directly to your door! When you purchase the hardcover level, you can feel great knowing you’re supporting an indie bookstore!

You have your recommendations! Now what?

Open your letter or your box of new books and enjoy! We hope that you love each and every one of your picks, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Sign back into your account and give us feedback! The feedback form lets you give us star ratings on each of your picks, and type in feedback for each book. You can also give more general feedback about each quarter’s picks! Our TBR Bibliologists love feedback, because it helps us get to know you as a reader even better, and it helps us figure out what to send you next. We want to hear it all, even if you hated your picks. We’ll do better next time, but if for some reason you would rather be assigned a new Bibliologist, let us know! We can make that happen.

You can also update your survey responses at any time, and we highly recommend that you update them as needed. That way our Bibliologists know what’s going on in your reading life and can continue to offer you personalized picks that we hope you’ll love!

Want more great recommendations?

TBR is a quarterly service, but we now have an option for drop-in recommendations! Drop in recommendations are for when you just can’t get enough great book recommendations, or if you want to try out different subscription levels from what you’re already signed up for. Sign into your account at any time to purchase a drop in recommendation in between your regular subscription, and within two weeks (for recommendations only) or three weeks (for hardcovers) you’ll have another round of great book recommendations. And don’t worry, those books won’t be repeated on your regular subscription plan!

Can I return my recommendations if I’m dissatisfied?

Unfortunately, no. All recommendations and hardcovers you receive in the mail are non-returnable. If you’re dissatisfied with your recommendations, try leaving us feedback so we can do better or request a new Bibliologist. If you have any other concerns, contact customer service.

How does TBR stack up to other subscription services?

Good question! See the breakdown between TBR and Book of the Month. You can also take a deep dive into how TBR works!

Want to get started? Sign up now!

The Best Books on Minimalism

There’s nothing quite like the prospect of a new year to re-evaluate how you’re living and take stock of your values. For some of us, that means taking a close look at how much stuff we have, and how the accumulation of all that stuff impacts the quality of our lives. The concept of minimalism isn’t about going without, but taking a look at your priorities in life and making adjustments accordingly. Here are ten of the best books on minimalism that we recommend!

Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki

Written by a person (not an expert) who decided to get rid of everything he didn’t need, this is a fascinating book about how extraneous stuff can get in our way, and make us feel anxious and competitive with others. Sasaki discusses how he came to the conclusion to get rid of many of his possessions, and the joy and gratitude he felt when he made space for things that really mattered.

The Minimalist Way: Minimalism Strategies to Declutter Your Life and Make Room for Joy by Erica Layne

Erica Layne demonstrates that minimalism isn’t just about cleaning out your closets and getting rid of stuff you don’t need—it’s a mindset that can be applied in all aspects of your life, from household management to your career and family life. Full of philosophy and advice, and practical tips and tools, this book will help you simplify your life.

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

Minimalism isn’t just about physical things, but about what you let occupy your brain space. In an increasingly digital world, we can let our digital lives get cluttered, too. Newport gives you tips on how to be organized digitally, but also when to unplug from your alerts and notifications and be able to go about your life free from distraction.

The Art of Simple Living: 100 Daily Practices from a Japanese Zen Monk for a Lifetime of Calm and Joy by Shunmyo Masuno

We all know that creating new, better, more mindful habits can take time, and that we aren’t always successful when we make big, sudden life changes or resolutions without working up to them. This book is full of 100 small things that you can incorporate into your daily life to feel more organized, grateful, and at peace. It’s meant to take on change on a gradual pace so that you can reflect on your actions and how they impact your mind.

Let It Go: Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life by Peter Walsh

Peter Walsh is a decluttering guru who went through the challenge of going through his late parents’ possessions, and decided to write a book about how to downsize, no matter what stage of life you might be in. He gives readers practical advice, such as figuring out how to decide how much stuff to accept in your life, how to deal with sentimental possessions, and how to prioritize family mementos. 

Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More by Courtney Carver

Courtney Carver knows what it’s like to always want and crave more, and when she was diagnosed with MS, she knew she had to get off the train of always wanting more things, which was causing lots of stress. This is partly her story, but also her advice for anyone looking to create space in their lives for more of what really matters.

Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really is So Much More by Courtney Carver

In Carver’s most recent book, she takes her concept of minimalism and applies it to her wardrobe. She argues that all anyone needs is 33 items in their wardrobe every three months (for each season), and offers advice on how to cull your closet, cultivate a wardrobe that makes you happy, and rotate items out for a low-stress wardrobe that’s minimal but stylish.

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness by Gretchen Rubin

The author of The Happiness Project has tons of practical tips and advice for helping people get rid of clutter in their homes, jobs, and personal lives. By asking if you need it, love it, or will use it, Rubin helps guide people through a journey of self-discovery that will also help them cut down on the amount of stuff they have, and hopefully lead to a better organized and happier life.

Lagom: Not Too Little, Not Too Much: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life by Niki Brantmark

In Sweden, one of the happiest countries in the world, the concept of lagom means balance. And balance is the key to a happy life–because when we have balance, we aren’t overwhelmed. Brantmark introduces readers to this idea, and and how they can apply it in their own lives, from the possessions they amass to how they spend their time and money.

Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life by Marie Kondo

Maire Kondo took the world by storm with her KonMari method of tidying up and decluttering, and now she’s applying those principles to your work life! From unnecessary meetings to endless emails, this book looks at ways to simplify and streamline your business and work day so that you can spend more time on work that really matters.

Want more of the best books on minimalism? Sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is one of the best book subscription services available because TBR sends you personalized picks! Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as fairy tales for adults–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Biblioligist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers from our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!