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12 Unique Book Recommendations to Celebrate World Book Day

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Tuesday, April 23 is World Book Day. For all the bookworms out there– or those who know a bookworm in their life– here are some must-read novels to add to your book collection this year.

  1. How I lost You: Jenny Blackhurst– This is a chilling psychological thriller that kept my mind racing until the very end.  The premise of the book is original in terms of other thrillers I’ve read. It tells the story of a woman named Susan Webster who has just finished serving time in prison for the murder of her young son- but did she really do it?
  2. The Orphan’s Tale: Pam Jenoff– One of the best books I’ve ever read. It is based on real life events, namely the Unknown Children- a boxcar full of babies, ripped from their families and headed for a concentration camp- and the story of a German circus that sheltered Jews during the war. The novel is fascinating and intriguing. The characters are realistic and relatable. It shifts between the perspectives of Noa, a young girl who has been cast out after becoming pregnant with the baby of a Nazi, and Astrid, an older Jewish woman who is the lead aerelist in the circus that Noa joins. The women are rivals but then find family in the most unlikely of places.
  3. I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships– This is a quick and light read that will change your life forever. After reading this book, I see where a lot of the miscommunication in my relationships is coming from. This is a book I will keep referring to, time and time again.
  4. LaRose: Louse Erdrich– This is a great book with a strong message.  When Dusty Ravich is accidentally killed by Landreaux Iron, the Iron family decides to follow an ancient means of retribution by giving their youngest son, LaRose, to the Ravich family. The novel is set in Native American culture. It explores deep issues such as substance abuse, addiction, friendship, family dynamics, and grief. It also explores the issue that even those who seem like bad people are not to be judged until you have walked in their shoes.
  5. Inside the O’Briens: Lisa Genova– This novel shows the reality of Huntington’s disease. It tells the story of Joe O’Brien, a forty-three-year-old police officer who is is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever.
  6. Hannah’s Dream: Diane Hammond– Every so often, I read a novel that leaves its mark on my heart forever– and this is one of them. It tells the  heartfelt story of an elephant named Hannah and her keeper, Sam Brown. Sam is at retirement age but is having a hard time knowing that when he retires he’ll have to leave Hannah in someone else’s care at a rundown zoo. He loves Hannah like a father and would do anything for her. This book combines wit, humour, love, information, and passion.
  7. The Freedom Writers Diary: The Freedom Writers – Diary entries of different students from Ms. Gruwell’s class. There are students who are poor and living in a harsh part of the United States. It showcases their reality.
  8. Outside the Lines: Amy Hatvany– This book tells the story of a 10-year-old girl named Eden West who watches her father, David, suffer from mental illness, hoping that one day he’ll stay on his medication and get better. But, one day, Eden comes home to find her father bleeding on the bathroom floor after a suicide attempt. From this day forward, he disappears from her life. Now in her 30’s, Eden sets out to find the father who she thinks abandoned her. The novel jumps back and forth between the perspectives of Eden and David. It deals with difficult issues, such as substance abuse, mental illness, abandonment, suicide, homelessness, and negative family dynamics.
  9. Defying Reality: The Inside Story of the Virtual Reality Revolution: David M. Ewalt- An account of virtual reality and what it looked like in the 1800s and how it is being shaped now. This is intriguing, even for those not typically into this topic. It is interesting to read about virtual reality, the leaders in the game, and what is already out there that we may not know about.
  10. That Girl From Nowhere: Dorothy Koomson– I am a huge Dorothy Koomson fan and this book met my expectations. It deals with the issues of adoption, race (black versus white), and love/heartbreak.
  11. The Sidewalk Artist: Gina Buonaguro– This is a romantic fairy tale that had me in tears, due to both joy and sadness. The ending is shocking.
  12. The Consequences- Colette Freedman– This is the second novel in the series but I  enjoyed it without ever having read the first. This book is written in a way that I’ve never seen before. It is told from three perspectives- first from that of the mistress, then the cheating husband, and then the wife. It goes over the exact same days from different angles.