The 21 most captivating biographies of all time

Collage of best biographies books, including A Song for Nagasaki, The Journey of Crazy Horse, and Steve Jobs 4x3
The bets biographies include books about Malcolm X, Frida Kahlo, Steve Jobs, Alexander Hamilton, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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For centuries, books have allowed readers to be whisked away to magical lands, romantic beaches, and historical events. Biographies take readers through time to a single, remarkable life memorialized in gripping, dramatic, or emotional stories. They give us the rare opportunity to understand our heroes – or even just someone we would never otherwise know.

To create this list, I chose biographies that were highly researched, entertainingly written, and offer a fully encompassing lens of a person whose story is important to know in 2021.

The 21 best biographies of all time:

The biography of a beloved Supreme Court Justice

Book cover for "Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg" by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

“Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $16.25

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a Supreme Court Justice and feminist icon who spent her life fighting for gender equality and civil rights in the legal system. This is an inspirational biography that follows her triumphs and struggles, dissents, and quotes, packaged with chapters titled after Notorious B.I.G. tracks — a nod to the many memes memorializing Ginsburg as an iconic dissident. 

The startlingly true biography of a previously unknown woman

Book cover for "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $8.06

Henrietta was a poor tobacco farmer, whose “immortal” cells have been used to develop the polio vaccine, study cancer, and even test the effects of an atomic bomb — despite being taken from her without her knowledge or consent. This biography traverses the unethical experiments on African Americans, the devastation of Henrietta Lacks’ family, and the multimillion-dollar industry launched by the cells of a woman who lies somewhere in an unmarked grave.

The poignant biography of an atomic bomb survivor

Book cover for "A Song for Nagasaki: The Story of Takashi Nagai: Scientist, Convert, and Survivor of the Atomic Bomb" by Paul Glynn

“A Song for Nagasaki: The Story of Takashi Nagai: Scientist, Convert, and Survivor of the Atomic Bomb” by Paul Glynn, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $16.51

Takashi Nagai was a survivor of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945. A renowned scientist and spiritual man, Nagai continued to live in his ruined city after the attack, suffering from leukemia while physically and spiritually helping his community heal. Takashi Nagai’s life was dedicated to selfless service and his story is a deeply moving one of suffering, forgiveness, and survival.

The highly researched biography of Malcolm X

Book cover for "The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X" by Les Payne and Tamara Payne

“The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X” by Les Payne and Tamara Payne, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $18.99

Written by the investigative journalist Les Payne and finished by his daughter after his passing, Malcolm X’s biography “The Dead are Arising” was written and researched over 30 years. This National Book Award and Pulitzer-winning biography uses vignettes to create an accurate, detailed, and gripping portrayal of the revolutionary minister and famous human rights activist. 

The remarkable biography of an Indigenous war leader

Book cover for "The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History" by Joseph M. Marshall III

“The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History” by Joseph M. Marshall III, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $14.99 

Crazy Horse was a legendary Lakota war leader, most famous for his role in the Battle of the Little Bighorn where Indigenous people defeated Custer’s cavalry. A descendant of Crazy Horse’s community, Joseph M. Marshall III drew from research and oral traditions that have rarely been shared but offer a powerful and culturally rich story of this acclaimed Lakota hero.

The captivating biography about the cofounder of Apple

Book cover for "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaccson

“Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $16.75

Steve Jobs is a cofounder of Apple whose inventiveness reimagined technology and creativity in the 21st century. Water Issacson draws from 40 interviews with Steve Jobs, as well as interviews with over 100 of his family members and friends to create an encompassing and fascinating portrait of such an influential man.

The shocking biography of a woman committed to an insane asylum

Book cover for "The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear" by Kate Moore

“The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear” by Kate Moore, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $22.49

This biography is about Elizabeth Packard, a woman who was committed to an asylum in 1860 by her husband for being an outspoken woman and wife. Her story illuminates the conditions inside the hospital and the sinister ways of caretakers, an unfortunately true history that reflects the abuses suffered by many women of the time.

The defining biography of a formerly enslaved man

Book cover for "Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"" by Zora Neale Hurston

“Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $12.79

50 years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States, Cudjo Lewis was captured, enslaved, and transported to the US. In 1931, the author spent three months with Cudjo learning the details of his life beginning in Africa, crossing the Middle Passage, and his years enslaved before the Civil War. This biography offers a first-hand account of this unspoken piece of painful history.

The biography of a famous Mexican painter

Book cover for "Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo" by Hayden Herrera

“Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo” by Hayden Herrera, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $24.89

Filled with a wealth of her life experiences, this biography of Frida Kahlo conveys her intelligence, strength, and artistry in a cohesive timeline. The book spans her childhood during the Mexican Revolution, the terrible accident that changed her life, and her passionate relationships, all while intertwining her paintings and their histories through her story.

The exciting biography of Susan Sontag

Book cover for "Sontag: Her Life and Work" by Benjamin Moser

“Sontag: Her Life and Work” by Benjamin Moser, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $20.24

Susan Sontag was a 20th-century writer, essayist, and cultural icon with a dark reputation. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, archived works, and photographs, this biography extends across Sontag’s entire life while reading like an emotional and exciting literary drama.

The biography that inspired a hit musical

Book cover for "Alexander Hamilton" by Ron Chernow

“Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $11.04

The inspiration for the similarly titled Broadway musical, this comprehensive biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton aims to tell the story of his decisions, sacrifice, and patriotism that led to many political and economic effects we still see today. In this history, readers encounter Hamilton’s childhood friends, his highly public affair, and his dreams of American prosperity. 

The award-winning biography of an artistically influential man

Book cover for "The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke" by Jeffrey C Stewart

“The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke” by Jeffrey C Stewart, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $25.71

Alain Locke was a writer, artist, and theorist who is known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. Outlining his personal and private life, Alain Locke’s biography is a blooming image of his art, his influences, and the far-reaching ways he promoted African American artistic and literary creations.

The remarkable biography of Ida B. Wells

Book cover for "Ida: A Sword Among Lions" by Paula J. Giddings

“Ida: A Sword Among Lions” by Paula J. Giddings, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $15.99

This award-winning biography of Ida B. Wells is adored for its ability to celebrate Ida’s crusade of activism and simultaneously highlight the racially driven abuses legally suffered by Black women in America during her lifetime. Ida traveled the country, exposing and opposing lynchings by reporting on the horrific acts and telling the stories of victims’ communities and families. 

The tumultuous biography that radiates queer hope

Book cover for "The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk" by Randy Shilts

“The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk” by Randy Shilts, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $11.80

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected official in California who was assassinated after 11 months in office. Harvey’s inspirational biography is set against the rise of LGBTQIA+ activism in the 1970s, telling not only Harvey Milk’s story but that of hope and perseverance in the queer community. 

The biography of a determined young woman

Book cover for "Obachan: A Young Girl's Struggle for Freedom in Twentieth-Century Japan" by Tani Hanes

“Obachan: A Young Girl’s Struggle for Freedom in Twentieth-Century Japan” by Tani Hanes, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.99

Written by her granddaughter, this biography of Mitsuko Hanamura is an amazing journey of an extraordinary and strong young woman. In 1929, Mitsuko was sent away to live with relatives at 13 and, at 15, forced into labor to help her family pay their debts. Determined to gain an education as well as her independence, Mitsuko’s story is inspirational and emotional as she perseveres against abuse. 

The biography of an undocumented mother

Book cover for "The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story" by Aaron Bobrow-Strain

“The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story” by Aaron Bobrow-Strain, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $18.40

Born in Mexico and growing up undocumented in Arizona, Aida Hernandez was a teen mother who dreamed of moving to New York. After being deported and separated from her child, Aida found herself back in Mexico, fighting to return to the United States and reunite with her son. This suspenseful biography follows Aida through immigration courts and detention centers on her determined journey that illuminates the flaws of the United States’ immigration and justice systems.

The astounding biography of an inspiring woman

Book cover for "The Black Rose: The Dramatic Story of Madam C.J. Walker, America's First Black Female Millionaire" by Tananarive Due

“The Black Rose: The Dramatic Story of Madam C.J. Walker, America’s First Black Female Millionaire” by Tananarive Due, available on Amazon for $19

Madam C.J. Walker is most well-known as the first Black female millionaire, though she was also a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and born to former slaves in Louisiana. Researched and outlined by famous writer Alex Haley before his death, the book was written by author Tananarive Due, who brings Haley’s work to life in this fascinating biography of an outstanding American pioneer.

A biography of the long-buried memories of a Hiroshima survivor

Book cover for "Surviving Hiroshima: A Young Woman's Story" by Anthony Drago and Douglas Wellman

“Surviving Hiroshima: A Young Woman’s Story” by Anthony Drago and Douglas Wellman, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $15.59

When Kaleria Palichikoff was a child, her family fled Russia for the safety of Japan until the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima when she was 22 years old. Struggling to survive in the wake of unimaginable devastation, Kaleria set out to help victims and treat the effects of radiation. As one of the few English-speaking survivors, Kaleria was interviewed extensively by the US Army and was finally able to make a new life for herself in America after the war.

A shocking biography of survival during World War II

Book cover for "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival" by Laura Hillenbrand

“Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival” by Laura Hillenbrand, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $8.69

During World War II, Louis Zamperini was a lieutenant bombardier who crashed into the Pacific Ocean in 1943. Struggling to stay alive, Zamperini pulled himself to a life raft where he would face great trials of starvation, sharks, and enemy aircraft. This biography creates an image of Louis from boyhood to his military service and depicts a historical account of atrocities during World War II.  

The comprehensive biography of an infamous leader

Book cover for "Mao: The Unknown Story" by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday

“Mao: The Unknown Story” by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $15.39

Mao was a Chinese leader, a founder of the People’s Republic of China, and a nearly 30-year chairman of the Chinese Communist Party until his death in 1976. Known as a highly controversial figure who would stop at very little in his plight to rule the world, the author spent nearly 10 years painstakingly researching and uncovering the painful truths surrounding his political rule.

The emotional biography of a Syrian refugee

Book cover for "A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee's Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival" by Melissa Fleming

“A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival” by Melissa Fleming, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $15.33

When Syrian refugee Doaa met Bassem, they decided to flee Egypt for Europe, becoming two of thousands seeking refuge and making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean. After four days at sea, their ship was attacked and sank, leaving Doaa struggling to survive with two small children clinging to her and only a small inflation device around her wrist. This is an emotional biography about Doaa’s strength and her dangerous and deadly journey towards freedom.

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What is the Securities and Exchange Commission?

What is the SEC, SEC logo on blue background 2x1
The SEC investigates and prosecutes fraud, insider trading, and other securities-related crimes.

  • The SEC is a government agency that protects investors and ensures fair and efficient capital markets.
  • The SEC ensures investment brokers, stock exchanges, and other market participants comply with US securities laws.
  • It also regulates the disclosures of publicly held companies to help investors make informed decisions.
  • Visit Insider’s Investing Reference library for more stories.

If you’ve ever heard the name Bernie Madoff or Enron, then the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is probably on your radar. But the agency does a lot more than just investigate white-collar crimes and financial scandals.

The SEC also regulates capital markets, ensures investors have a safe and fair playing ground, and holds publicly traded companies to certain reporting and disclosure laws, among other things. Here’s what you need to know about this important agency.

What is the SEC?

The SEC is an independent, public agency of the US government. It’s one of many agencies and wears several hats, but its main goal is to ensure the integrity of capital markets and the fair treatment of American investors.

“The Securities and Exchange Commission is the primary US securities market regulator,” says Robert R. Johnson, chartered financial analyst and professor of finance at Creighton University and author of various investing books, including “Investment Banking for Dummies.” “The mission of the SEC is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.”

The agency also investigates and prosecutes fraud, insider trading, and other securities-related crimes. Enron and Bernie Madoff are two of the SEC’s highest-profile cases. Another well-known case is the investigation of Martha Stewart for insider trading in the early 2000s.

What does the SEC do?

The SEC’s overarching goal is to protect US investors by maintaining a fair market. But it doesn’t work directly with investors. Instead, it performs its duty by regulating stock exchanges, as well as those who sell and trade securities, including brokers, investment advisors and asset managers. It also regulates investment companies, including investments such as mutual funds and ETFs, and ensures that companies follow public disclosure and reporting laws.

“The SEC is there to instill confidence,” says Vincent Lupo, managing director of US Tiger Securities, an investment brokerage based in New York. “Whether you’re saving for retirement or trying to attain new financial goals, the SEC is there to enforce the rules and make sure you’re protected. They require public companies and other market participants to disclose financial and other important information so that investors have the complete information to make informed investment decisions – which is especially important in today’s marketplace.”

The SEC performs a variety of functions, including:

  • Protecting investors from financial fraud or manipulation
  • Enforcing securities laws and regulations
  • Regulating the activities of brokers, asset managers and other investment professionals
  • Informing investors with accurate market information, data and scam alerts
  • Monitoring corporate takeover actions
  • Ensuring publicly held companies follow disclosure and financial reporting laws

That last one is important, as all publicly held companies must both register with the SEC and issue certain disclosures and financial reports on a regular basis. According to John Carney, partner at law firm BakerHostetler and former senior counsel for the SEC, it’s also one of the most important SEC duties of all.

“They oversee how public companies report their earnings and how they make their disclosures, because that’s what makes stocks go up and down,” Carney says. “They make sure companies tell the truth about what’s how they’re doing, how much money they’ve made and all their operations.”

How the SEC operates

The SEC is an independent agency within the US government that’s run by a chairman and four commissioners, all of whom are appointed by the US president and confirmed by the Senate. Each commissioner or chairman serves a term of five years.

As you can see above, the SEC has a lot of work to do, so it’s quite a large organization. More than 4,000 employees work for the agency, spread across six divisions and 26 offices. The six divisions include:

  • Corporation finance: This department holds companies to disclosure and reporting laws – both when they go public and on a regular basis. This helps investors make more informed and successful decisions.
  • Examinations: The examinations division works to analyze existing processes and regulations that affect US securities. Its “exams” are used to improve and inform future policy and enforcement practices.
  • Economic and risk analysis: This department handles the SEC’s analytics and data efforts, which inform actions across the rest of the agency.
  • Investment management: This division regulates investment companies, including mutual funds, money market funds and ETFs. As the agency itself explains, “The work of the Division of Investment Management touches the lives of Main Street investors. We oversee mutual funds and other investment products and services that investors may use to help them buy a home, send kids to college or prepare for retirement.”
  • Enforcement: The enforcement division investigates securities violations and prosecutes misconduct through civil penalties and the US court system.
  • Trading and markets: The division of trading and markets regulates securities professionals, stock exchanges and other market participants. It also establishes and maintains market standards to ensure a fair playing ground for all investors.

The SEC’s main headquarters are located in Washington DC, but has regional offices in 11 locations across the U.S., including New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

The financial takeaway

If you have a 401K or are invested in the stock market or a mutual fund, then the SEC has a hand in the success of those investments and the information you have to base them on.

The SEC is also there should you need guidance or fall victim to a dishonest broker or investment advisor. As Carney puts it, “People should know that they can call the SEC. The SEC is there to protect them. If you believe an asset manager or a broker stole from you, the SEC can run an investigation, go after them, bring charges and try to get your money back.”

What is the FDIC?What caused the Great Recession? Understanding the key factors that led to one of the worst economic downturns in US historyThe Federal Reserve is the central bank of the US – here’s why it’s so powerful and how it affects your financial lifeWhat is a recession? How economists define periods of economic downturn

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13 books on the 2021 Booker Prize longlist, one of the most prestigious literary awards

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Collage of the books that are on the longlist to win the booker literary prize, including The Fortune Men, Light Perpetual and China Room 4x3
2021’s Booker Prize longlist books include “A Passage North,” “Second Place,” and “The Promise.”

The Booker Prize is a prestigious literary prize, chosen by a panel of multidisciplinary experts and awarded annually to the best novel written in English and published in Ireland or the UK.

But before the Booker Prize Foundation shares its shorter list of six frontrunners (September 14, 2021) or the winner (November 2), it publishes its longlist – the year’s 13 “Booker dozen” forerunners.

It also doubles as a reading list for those who’d rather let experts cherry-pick the most exceptional books of the year. In past years, the longlist has highlighted and rewarded different virtues of innovation, such as experimentation in form, work in unusual genres, and debut authors.

This year, panelist, historian, and Harvard professor Maya Jasanoff describes the common thread among all 13 best books as being particularly absorbing, artful, and human. Despite their geographical breadth, many texts show how people grapple with the past, examine intimate relationships under stress, and “meditate on ideas of freedom and obligation, or on what makes us human.”

In a year defined by its isolation and grief, Jasanoff says reading these stories which “have important things to say about the nature of community” amid lockdown created a powerful bond with the texts and a heightened sense of purpose among the judges. Below, you’ll find this year’s 2021 Booker Prize longlist. We hope you find at least one deeply engrossing book to disappear into:

Descriptions provided by Amazon and edited for length and clarity.

The 13 books on the 2021 Booker Prize Longlist:

“A Passage North” by Anuk Arudpragasam

Book cover for "A Passage North" by Anuk Arudpragasam

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $23.99

“A Passage North” begins with a message from out of the blue: A telephone call informing Krishan that his grandmother’s caretaker, Rani, has died under unexpected circumstances — found at the bottom of a well in her village in the north, her neck broken by the fall. The news arrives on the heels of an email from Anjum, an impassioned yet aloof activist Krishnan fell in love with years before while living in Delhi, stirring old memories and desires from a world he left behind. 

As Krishan makes the long journey by train from Colombo into the war-torn Northern Province for Rani’s funeral, so begins an astonishing passage into the innermost reaches of a country. At once a powerful meditation on absence and longing, as well as an unsparing account of the legacy of Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war, this procession to a pyre “at the end of the earth” lays bare the imprints of an island’s past, the unattainable distances between who we are and what we seek.

“Second Place” by Rachel Cusk

Book cover for "Second Place" by Rachel Cusk

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17

A haunting fable of art, family, and fate from the author of the Outline trilogy.

A woman invites a famous artist to use her guesthouse in the remote coastal landscape where she lives with her family. Powerfully drawn to his paintings, she believes his vision might penetrate the mystery at the center of her life. But as a long, dry summer sets in, his provocative presence itself becomes an enigma ― and disrupts the calm of her secluded household.

“Second Place,” Rachel Cusk’s electrifying new novel, is a study of female fate and male privilege, the geometries of human relationships, and the moral questions that animate our lives. It reminds us of art’s capacity to uplift ― and to destroy.

“The Promise” by Damon Galgut

Book cover for "The Promise" by Damon Galgut

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $22.50

“The Promise” charts the crash and burn of a white South African family living on a farm outside Pretoria. The Swarts are gathering for Ma’s funeral. The younger generation, Anton and Amor, detest everything the family stands for — not least the failed promise to the Black woman who has worked for them her whole life. After years of service, Salome was promised her own house, her own land… yet somehow, as each decade passes, that promise remains unfulfilled.

The narrator’s eye shifts and blinks: Moving fluidly between characters, flying into their dreams; deliciously lethal in its observation. And as the country moves from old deep divisions to its new so-called fairer society, the lost promise of more than just one family hovers behind the novel’s title.

“The Sweetness of Water” by Nathan Harris

Book cover for "The Sweetness of Water" by Nathan Harris

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.80

In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry — freed by the Emancipation Proclamation — seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys.

Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox.

With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, “The Sweetness of Water” is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances.

“Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro

Book cover for "Klara and the Sun" by Kazuo Ishiguro

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.80

Here is the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her. “Klara and the Sun” is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator and one that explores the fundamental question: What does it mean to love?

“An Island” by Karen Jennings

Book cover for "An Island" by Karen Jennings

Available on Amazon from $15.84

A young refugee washes up unconscious on the beach of a small island inhabited by no one but Samuel, an old lighthouse keeper. Unsettled, Samuel is soon swept up in memories of his former life on the mainland: A life that saw his country suffer, then fight for independence, only to fall to a cruel dictator; he recalls his own part in its history.

“A Town Called Solace” by Mary Lawson

Book cover for "A Town Called Solace" by Mary Lawson

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $19.09

Clara’s sister is missing. Angry, rebellious Rose, had a row with their mother, stormed out of the house, and simply disappeared. Eight-year-old Clara, isolated by her distraught parents’ efforts to protect her from the truth, is grief-stricken and bewildered.

Liam Kane, newly divorced, newly unemployed, newly arrived in this small northern town, moves into the house next door, a house left to him by an old woman he can barely remember and gets a visit from the police within hours. It seems he’s suspected of a crime.

At the end of her life, Elizabeth Orchard is thinking about a crime, too — one committed 30 years ago that had tragic consequences for two families and, in particular, for one small child. She desperately wants to make amends before she dies.

Set in Northern Ontario in 1972, “A Town Called Solace” explores the relationships of these three people brought together by fate and the mistakes of the past. By turns gripping and darkly funny, it uncovers the layers of grief and remorse and love that connect us, but shows that sometimes a new life is possible.

“No One is Talking About This” by Patricia Lockwood

Book cover for "No One is Talking About This" by Patricia Lockwood

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.89

As this urgent, genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. She is overwhelmed by navigating the new language and etiquette of what she terms “the portal,” where she grapples with an unshakable conviction that a vast chorus of voices is now dictating her thoughts. When existential threats — from climate change and economic precariousness to the rise of an unnamed dictator and an epidemic of loneliness — begin to loom, she posts her way deeper into the portal’s void. 

Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: “Something has gone wrong,” and “How soon can you get here?” As real life and its stakes collide with the increasingly absurd antics of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy, and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary.

Fragmentary and omniscient, incisive and sincere, “No One Is Talking About This” is at once a love letter to the endless scroll and a profound, modern meditation on love, language, and human connection from a singular voice in American literature.

“The Fortune Men” by Nadifa Mohamed

Book cover for "The Fortune Men" by Nadifa Mohamed

Available on Amazon from $41.68

Mahmood Mattan is a fixture in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay, 1952, which bustles with Somali and West Indian sailors, Maltese businessmen, and Jewish families. He is a father, chancer, some-time petty thief. He is many things, in fact, but he is not a murderer.

So when a shopkeeper is brutally killed, and all eyes fall on him, Mahmood isn’t too worried. It is true that he has been getting into trouble more often since his Welsh wife Laura left him. But Mahmood is secure in his innocence in a country where, he thinks, justice is served.

It is only in the run-up to the trial, as the prospect of freedom dwindles, that it will dawn on Mahmood that he is in a terrifying fight for his life — against conspiracy, prejudice, and the inhumanity of the state. And, under the shadow of the hangman’s noose, he begins to realize that the truth may not be enough to save him.

“Bewilderment” by Richard Powers

Book cover for "Bewilderment" by Richard Powers

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $22.49

The astrobiologist Theo Byrne searches for life throughout the cosmos while single-handedly raising his unusual nine-year-old, Robin, following the death of his wife. Robin is a warm, kind boy who spends hours painting elaborate pictures of endangered animals. He’s also about to be expelled from third grade for smashing his friend in the face. As his son grows more troubled, Theo hopes to keep him off psychoactive drugs. He learns of an experimental neurofeedback treatment to bolster Robin’s emotional control, one that involves training the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother’s brain…

With its soaring descriptions of the natural world, its tantalizing vision of life beyond, and its account of a father and son’s ferocious love, “Bewilderment” marks Richard Powers’s most intimate and moving novel. At its heart lies the question: How can we tell our children the truth about this beautiful, imperiled planet?

“China Room” by Sunjeev Sahota

Book cover for "China Room" by Sunjeev Sahota

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $23.99

Mehar, a young bride in rural 1929 Punjab, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. Married to three brothers in a single ceremony, she and her now-sisters spend their days hard at work in the family’s “china room,” sequestered from contact with the men — except when their domineering mother-in-law, Mai, summons them to a darkened chamber at night. From beneath Mai’s veil, she studies the sounds of the men’s voices, the calluses on their fingers as she serves them tea. Soon she glimpses something that seems to confirm which of the brothers is her husband, and a series of events is set in motion that will put more than one life at risk. As the early stirrings of the Indian independence movement rise around her, Mehar must weigh her own desires against the reality — and danger — of her situation.

Partly inspired by award-winning author Sunjeev Sahota’s family history, “China Room” is at once a deft exploration of how systems of power circumscribe individual lives and a deeply moving portrait of the unconquerable human capacity to resist them. At once sweeping and intimate, lush and propulsive, it is a stunning achievement from a contemporary master.

“Great Circle” by Maggie Shipstead

Book cover for "Great Circle" by Maggie Shipstead

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18

After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There — after encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in beat-up biplanes — Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At 14, she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: Circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles.

A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian’s disappearance in Antarctica. Vibrant, canny, disgusted with the claustrophobia of Hollywood, Hadley is eager to redefine herself after a romantic film franchise has imprisoned her in the grip of cult celebrity. Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds, thrillingly, alongside Marian’s own story, as the two women’s fates — and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times — collide. Epic and emotional, meticulously researched and gloriously told, “Great Circle” is a monumental work of art and a tremendous leap forward for the prodigiously gifted Maggie Shipstead.

“Light Perpetual” by Francis Spufford

Book cover for "Light Perpetual" by Francis Spufford

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18

Lunchtime on a Saturday, 1944: The Woolworths on Bexford High Street in South London receives a delivery of aluminum saucepans. A crowd gathers to see the first new metal in ages — after all, everything’s been melted down for the war effort. An instant later, the crowd is gone; incinerated. Among the shoppers were five young children.

Who were they? What futures did they lose? This brilliantly constructed novel, inspired by real events, lets an alternative reel of time run, imagining the lives of these five souls as they live through the extraordinary, unimaginable changes of the bustling immensity of twentieth-century London. Their intimate everyday dramas, as sons and daughters, spouses, parents, grandparents; as the separated, the remarried, the bereaved. Through decades of social, sexual, and technological transformation, as bus conductors and landlords, as swindlers and teachers, patients and inmates. Days of personal triumphs and disasters; of second chances and redemption.

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The 50 bestselling books of all time, from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ to ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’

Collage of Top 50 bestselling books, including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Little Prince, and The Kite Runner 4x3
The bestselling books of all time include “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Little Prince,” and every book in the “Harry Potter” series.

Though no exact start date is known, modern book printing is over 1,000 years old. In 2010, Google Books estimated that nearly 130 million books had been published, with now over 2 million new books published each year. Such competition means only a few great reads have sold tens or hundreds of millions of copies, topping the charts as some of the bestselling books of all time.

Though there’s no one source that has consistently tracked book sales over the centuries, publishing websites (such as Publishers Weekly) are able to estimate the sales of older works and track the sale of new releases much more accurately. To assemble this list of the top bestsellers ever, we excluded religious texts (such as the Bible and Quran) and only included titles with reliable data from publishing companies, news articles, and official press releases.

The books on this list cover a wide variety of genres from self-help to horror, originally published in countries all around the world and translated into dozens of languages.

The top 50 bestselling books of all time:

Top 50 bestselling books, slide 1

1. “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.30

Copies sold: 500 million

The highest selling and most translated book of all time, “Don Quixote”, is also considered the first modern novel, published in two parts, one in 1605 and the other in 1615. Don Quixote decides to become a knight-errant after reading countless romantic tales. Along with his recruited squire, Sancho Panza, Don Quixote imagines a knightly story for himself, tempered by the wit of Sancho. Don Quixote is a tale of imaginative rhetoric and witty comedy,  astoundingly relatable 400 years after its publication. 

2. “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.36 

Copies sold: 200 million

In a story that famously begins “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” Dr. Manette has just spent 18 years as a political prisoner, finally released to be with his daughter, Lucie, in London. Set at the height of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution, two very different men vie for Lucie’s heart in this dark story known for its masterful cast of characters, social commentary on the French Revolution, and violent dramatizations. 

3. “The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R. Tolkien, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.09

Copies sold: 150 million

“The Fellowship of the Ring” is the first installment of the epic fantasy series “The Lord of the Rings.” When a powerful ring is entrusted to Frodo Baggins, he must begin the long journey across Middle-Earth to the Cracks of Doom to destroy the ring — the only way to defeat the Dark Lord who seeks to rule everything. This book begins the series with wizards, elves, dwarfs, and hobbits in a classic adventure tale of friendship and good versus evil.  

4. “Le Petit Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6 

Copies sold: 140 million 

“Le Petit Prince” (“The Little Prince”) is a beloved French children’s book that uses elements of fantasy to tell an emotional and reflective story of life’s greatest lessons. Translated into over 300 languages, readers around the world have met the little prince on his journey to find a safe place for his favorite flower. This story is for readers of any age to experience a simple and beautiful tale that has been cherished for almost 80 years. 

5. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling, available at Amazon, from $6.98 

Copies sold: 120 million 

The first of the “Harry Potter” series, this book launches readers into a world of witches, wizards, and magical beasts. We’re introduced to Harry, a young orphaned boy living with his dreadful aunt and uncle. When he’s told he’s a wizard on his 11th birthday, Harry is whisked away to Hogwarts, a magical school where he makes friends, learns everything he can about magic, and begins to unveil the dark secrets surrounding his parents’ deaths. The entire “Harry Potter” series has sold about 500 million copies to date, with this first book selling the most copies of any installment in the series.

Top 50 bestselling books, slide 2

6. “Scouting for Boys” by Robert Baden-Powell, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.90 

Copies sold: 100 million 

First published in 1908, this book was written as a handbook of practical advice and instruction on leadership for Boy Scout training. Robert Baden-Powell was a Lieutenant General in the British Army, the founder of the Boy Scouts and co-founder of the “Girl Guides,” later renamed Girl Scouts. Combined with autobiographical anecdotes and nearly 100 diagrams, this nostalgic book explains why the scouting movement began while refreshing readers on the basics of outdoors survival and instilling messages of confidence and morality.

7. “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99 

Copies sold: 100 million 

“And Then There Were None” is a classic mystery story from 1939 where 10 strangers are slowly killed after being invited to a mysterious dinner at a millionaire’s mansion. In each room of the home, there is an eerie nursery rhyme hanging on the wall that outlines the death of 10 people. When the guests realize the murders are being carried out as described in the rhyme, they must find out who is orchestrating the scheme before no one is left alive. 

8. “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $ 14.37 

Copies sold: 100 million 

In this prequel to “The Fellowship of the Ring,” readers meet Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and Golem in an adventure tale that outlines the origin of the Ring. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a simple and comfortable life — until he meets the great wizard Gandalf, who whisks him away on the quest of a lifetime. Originally written for Tolkien’s children, this high-fantasy story is fun and charming with imaginative and accessible writing, a staple for any fantasy-lover’s library. 

9. “Dream of the Red Chamber” by Cáo Xuěqín, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.29 

Copies sold: 100 million 

“Dream of the Red Chamber” is one of the Four Great Classic Novels of China, written in 1791 and well-known by nearly every Chinese reader for its depiction of traditional Chinese culture. Believed to be based on the author’s life and the women within it, this novel includes an extensive cast of over 400 characters whose experiences offer observations about Chinese society in the 18th century. It is considered one of the greatest and most momentous works of literature in the world. 

10. “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.64 

Copies sold: 85 million 

Though sequentially second in the “Chronicles of Narnia” series, this was the first book that introduced young readers to the mystical land beyond the wardrobe. Lucy is the first of her siblings to find the secret, icy world that lies in the back of a wardrobe. When she takes her brothers and sister there, they discover a land trapped in an eternal winter, enchanted by the evil White Witch. The siblings meet a lion named Aslan and begin a journey to free Narnia from the witch’s evil spell. The entire “Narnia” series has sold over 100 million copies, with this book being the most popular installment.

Top 50 bestselling books, slide 3

11. “She: A History of Adventure” by Henry Rider Haggard, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.45 

Copies sold: 83 million 

When Leo Vincey opens a mysterious package from his father on his 25th birthday, he discovers a shard of pottery and a series of documents that suggest secrets about his family. As Leo and his wife travel to Africa, they meet the all-powerful “She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed,” a 2000-year-old immortal queen ruling a secret kingdom who may have an ancestral connection to Leo. Originally published in 1886, this is a tale of legends and myths that intertwined fantasy elements in a story of adventure. (Please note: This book contains racial and gender insensitivities that may make readers uncomfortable.)

12. “The Adventures of Pinocchio” by Carlo Collodi, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.99 

Copies sold: 80 million 

“The Adventures of Pinocchio” is a classic Italian children’s book about a wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a human. Made by a woodcarver in a Tuscan village, Pinocchio is a mischievous puppet carved from a block of wood whose adventures unwittingly get him into trouble. He meets a magical fairy who tells him he will become a real boy if he can be good for a year. Though still caught in some of his naturally troublesome antics, Pinocchio tries his best to behave and do good deeds in this memorable treat of a classic tale. 

13. “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.49 

Copies sold: 80 million 

Even though this is the second book in the Robert Langdon series, it out-sold its predecessor (“Angels & Demons”) by over 40 million copies, capturing readers’ attention for the page-turning puzzle it presents. Robert Langdon, a master symbologist, is called when the Louvre’s museum curator is murdered and his body is found covered in mysterious symbols. This story is an epic labyrinth of clues and danger, offering an alternative religious history that is wildly entertaining and suspenseful.

14. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.98 

Copies sold: 77 million 

This is the second book in the hugely popular “Harry Potter” series which takes readers into a magical world of witches and wizards that secretly coexists with our own. In this book, Harry is about to begin his second year at Hogwarts when he receives a cryptic warning that great danger awaits if he is to return to school. Desperate to escape his dreadful aunt and uncle, Harry returns to a school year marked by a self-obsessed new professor, a moaning spirit, and a strange voice in the walls that only Harry seems to hear. When a few students begin to mysteriously stiffen as if they’re made of stone, Harry looks for the culprit while trying to evade suspicion himself. 

15. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by J.K. Rowling, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.98 

Copies sold: 65 million

In this sixth installment of the “Harry Potter” series, wizards and witches everywhere are fighting the rise of the darkest wizard in magical history: Voldemort. As Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts continues, he spends much of his time occupied by the headmaster, learning the full history of the boy who became Voldemort, hoping the key to defeating him lies in the past. This book is the climax of the series where the tension builds and readers, now emotionally invested in the characters, suffer great losses alongside them.

Top 50 bestselling books, slide 4

16. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.98  

Copies sold: 65 million

In this gripping and action-packed conclusion to the best-selling Harry Potter series, Harry faces more danger than all the other books combined as he searches for the answers that might defeat Voldemort once and for all. As the books progressively prepared readers for darkness and danger, this book concludes with messages of bravery, loyalty, and family in an epic, final story to satisfy those gripped by Harry’s journey since 1997. 

17. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K. Rowling, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.92  

Copies sold: 65 million

In the fourth book of the “Harry Potter” series, Harry is in his fourth year of magical training at Hogwarts. This time, there is a competition between two other rival schools called the Triwizard Tournament. When Harry’s name is mysteriously selected despite not being entered, he’s forced to compete in a contest of bravery, intelligence, and wizardry featuring golden eggs, an imposing maze, and deadly dragons. 

18. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.98 

Copies sold: 65 million

In Harry’s fifth year of school, Voldemort is slowly growing stronger and it seems neither Harry nor the magical government will be able to stop him. Despite these looming fears, Harry must continue his magical schooling. With the pressure of fifth year exams, he must also juggle a seemingly sweet Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Ron’s new position on the Quidditch team, and a prophecy that may reveal Harry’s fate. 

19. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by J.K. Rowling, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.76 

Copies sold: 65 million

In the third book of the “Harry Potter” series, readers are introduced to Sirius Black, a seemingly deranged convicted murderer whose recent escape from the highest security prison has made headlines everywhere. As Harry returns to his third year at Hogwarts, he finds even his professors fear the safety of the students as Sirius is on the loose, especially since it’s rumored that he’s coming for Harry himself. 

20. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.89 

Copies sold: 65 million

Written in only two weeks and originally published in Portuguese in 1988, “The Alchemist” was not an immediate bestseller. When the book’s first publisher dropped the title, Paulo Coelho brought it to a larger publishing house in Brazil who agreed to publish his book. Now having spent over 315 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers list, “The Alchemist” is about a boy named Santiago who travels from his home in Spain in search of a treasure buried near the pyramids in Egypt.

Top 50 bestselling books, slide 5

21. “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.19  

Copies sold: 65 million

“The Catcher in the Rye” is one of the most well-known coming-of-age stories. It’s the intimate and introspective tale of Holden Caulfield, a 16-year-old boy who has three days before he’s due to return home after the end of his fall semester of prep school. Holden is keenly aware of the beauty and pain in life, expressing perspectives that are both naive and mature beyond his years. It’s a classic of teenage angst and rebellion, appreciated by readers since 1951. 

22. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.06

Copies sold: 55 million

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is a beloved children’s picture book, an interactive story that teaches young readers counting and the days of the week. It is about a caterpillar who was hatched out of a tiny egg on a Sunday eats his way through the week and the pages until he cocoons himself and emerges as a butterfly. It’s a simple yet endearing story, a classic story read to children around the world.

23. “The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care” by Dr. Benjamin Spock, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $22.07 

Copies sold: 50 million

This book was initially published in 1946 as a resource for new and expecting parents. There are sections for first aid, feeding, and developmental milestones. While new editions have been regularly revised and released as pediatric research and care develops, you can also grab a copy of the second edition from 1957, which delivers some earlier perspectives and advice reflective of a 1960s household. 

24. “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.35  

Copies sold: 50 million

The Cuthberts lived on an old-fashioned farm on Prince Edward Island called Green Gables. Hoping to adopt a young boy to help with the chores, the family is surprised to meet 11-year-old Anne: An enthusiastic, red-headed girl sent to them by mistake. Before the Cuthberts can send her back, Anne manages to win their affections and stay with her new family. Anne is an imaginative and delightful character whose humor and charm have continued to soften readers’ hearts since 1908.

25. “Black Beauty” by Anna Sewell, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.49 

Copies sold: 50 million

Told from the perspective of the horse, “Black Beauty” is a memoir-style fictional classic about a colt’s search for a happy home after his first owners are forced to sell him. Despite the hardships he faces, Black Beauty has an unbreakable will to survive and a hope that he will once again find humans who offer kindness and compassion. This is a tender and morally driven novel that encourages empathy for others and care for animals. Through his story of setbacks and triumphs, Black Beauty teaches readers that goodness can prevail even in the darkest times.

Top 50 bestselling books, slide 6

26. “The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49  

Copies sold: 50 million

Set in Italy in 1327, “The Name of the Rose” is a historical fiction/murder mystery blend that readers love for its use of philosophy, theology, and symbolism. It is a complex but very readable novel about a monk named William who is brought to Italy to investigate a potential hearsay dispute. When seven strange deaths occur in mere days, William uses philosophical and theological teachings to solve the bizarre mystery. This is a novel that readers pick up over and over again, discovering a new hidden symbol or piece of wisdom with each read. 

27. “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.47  

Copies sold: 50 million

This is an equally heart-warming and heart-wrenching story about a spider, a pig, and a girl. After a young girl, Fern, saves the runt of the piglets, Wilbur, he makes friends with a spider named Charlotte who weaves words into her web to convince the humans that Wilbur is a special pig and shouldn’t be slaughtered. It’s a tale that teaches young readers the importance of friendship and living harmoniously with all living creatures. 

28. “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise L. Hay, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.59 

Copies sold: 50 million

“You Can Heal Your Life” is one of the top-selling self-help books of all time, aiming to empower readers to change their lives by changing the way they think. Louise L. Hay uses elements of psychology and spirituality to encourage the reconstruction of thoughts, attitudes, and language as a means of improving readers’ emotional, mental, and even physical health. This book has spurred some controversy, as the author has claimed that some illnesses are psychosomatic, such as migraines and AIDS. 

29. “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.40  

Copies sold: 50 million

“Lolita” is a highly controversial novel that was rejected by a series of American publishers for fear of obscenity charges. Ultimately published in France in 1955, “Lolita” has been banned in many countries, leading to greater publicity and interest by curious readers. The story is about a 37-year-old man named Humbert, who falls in love with Dolores Haze, a 12-year-old girl he’s privately nicknamed “Lolita.” In order to get closer to her, Humbert marries Lolita’s mother and pines for a love affair with the child. Humbert is an unreliable narrator whose perverted mind is written to shock and disturb readers. (Please note: This book contains sensitive subject matter including child sexual abuse and pedophilia.)

30. “In His Steps” By Charles M. Sheldon, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.95 

Copies sold: 50 million

“In His Steps” is a short story that coined the phrase “What would Jesus do?” It is a fictional story about four townspeople who are challenged to consider the messages of Jesus Christ before taking any action for an entire year. Originally published in 1896, this book uses anecdotes to which modern readers may find it difficult to relate, but the story has a strong message that encourages readers to live a life led by morality, empathy, and faith.

Top 50 bestselling books, slide 7

31. “The Hite Report” by Shere Hite, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.51 

Copies sold: 50 million

“The Hite Report” is the 600-page result of Shere Hite’s research about female sexuality. Originally published in 1976, Hite interviewed 100,000 women from ages 14-78 about their sexual experiences and shared her findings with the public. This book has a lot of statistics and uses real anecdotal experiences to answer intimate questions about the perceived myths of pleasure. It became an immediate international bestseller. 

32. “The Eagle Has Landed” by Jack Higgins, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.99  

Copies sold: 50 million

This is an exhilarating historical fiction novel where Hitler orders Nazi paratroopers to kidnap Winston Churchill in order to halt the Allies. Exciting until the final page, readers flock to this World War II spy thriller for Jack Higgins’ adept characterization and development, ensuring the story sticks with them long after they’ve finished the book. It’s an inventive and gripping book with an original plot and a fascinating front of antiheroes.

33. “Heidi” by Johanna Spyri, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.99 

Copies sold: 50 million

Heidi is only five years old when she’s sent to live with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps. Though everyone seems to fear her grandfather, Heidi finds him fascinating and cherishes her days spent with him upon the mountains. Three years later, Heidi is collected from her home in the Alps to work for a wealthy family and help their daughter, Clara, who cannot walk. Though Heidi and Clara get along, the family’s housekeeper is a strict woman who puts more and more restrictions on Heidi, dampening her spirit and making her homesick for her mountain home and grandfather. This is an enchanting read that readers adore for Heidi’s friendly and happy spirit.

34. “The Mark of Zorro” by Johnston McCulley, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7  

Copies sold: 50 million

Originally titled “The Curse of Capistrano”, this 1919 action-adventure story tells the legend of the masked outlaw Zorro, a hero swordsman dedicated to fighting crime. Zorro, a swashbuckling adventurer, is a likable and funny protagonist whose tale is reminiscent of Robin Hood. This novel is a light read, beloved by readers for the hero’s wit and his fiercely independent love interest.

35. “Watership Down” by Richard Adams, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.89 

Copies sold: 50 million

“Watership Down” is a classic tale of a group of rabbits who must flee their home in search of another and face a series of perils as they travel across the English countryside. This novel began as a series of stories the author would tell his daughters on long car rides, improvising as he went. Though the author insists there are no hidden allegories in this story, readers have found nearly countless messages, themes, and takeaways from this adorable band of rabbits.

Top 50 bestselling books, slide 8

36. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.89 

Copies sold: 47 million

Through the history of the Buendiá family, this masterful piece of literature uses magical realism to narrate the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo. This Nobel Prize winner was an important novel in the Latin American Boom, a literary movement in the 1960s and ’70s which changed the perception of Latin American literature and encouraged increased publication of Spanish American authors. It is a multi-generation story loved by readers for the author’s ability to capture all sides of humanity.

37. “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $4.59  

Copies sold: 45 million

This delightful picture book has been adored by young readers and nostalgically cherished since 1902. The first in a series of children’s books by Beatrix Potter, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” is about a mischievous little rabbit who finds trouble in McGregor’s vegetable garden despite a warning from his mother. This is a simple and adorable story that teaches children the importance of listening to their parents. 

38. “The Ginger Man” by J.P. Donleavy, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.72 

Copies sold: 45 million

Sebastian Dangerfield is a young American man attending Trinity College in Dublin who is known by readers for his drunken escapades, skewed morals, and the hilarity of his antics. Switching between the first and third perspectives, readers are able to understand Sebastian’s motivations and fears while finding amusement in the aftermath of his anarchy. This book was originally banned in Ireland and America for obscenity as it contains some sexually explicit content.

39. “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.49  

Copies sold: 40 million

In the 1960s, Richard Bach published a series of short stories which later became this fantasy novella about a seagull discovering the freedom of flying. Told from the seagull’s perspective, flying is the ultimate metaphor in this story, inspiring readers to follow their dreams and believe in themselves even if it seems no one else does. This tale is a simple one with a strong message that leaves readers feeling encouraged and hopeful. 

40. “A Message to Garcia” by Elbert Hubbard, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $2.50 

Copies sold: 40 million

“A Message to Garcia” is a motivational essay that uses a fictional military tale to instill lessons of integrity and positivity in aspiring leaders. When 1LT Andrew Rowan must deliver a message from President McKinley to General García, he finds the will within himself to accomplish the dangerous task with no objections or complaints. The message is often still used in business settings as an inspirational story to workers, referenced to encourage people to look for opportunities to lead and achieve greatness.

Top 50 bestselling books, slide 9

41. “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.56 

Copies sold: 40 million

In this nonfiction astronomy book, Carl Sagan outlines 14 billion years of cosmic evolution that led to the creation of life on Earth as we know it. Dubbed one of the 88 books that shaped America by the Library of Congress, the book’s 13 highly illustrated chapters explain immense concepts of chemistry, biology, astronomy, and anthropology in a palatable and mesmerizing way. “Cosmos” is based on Carl Sagan’s 13-part television series from 1980. 

42. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.19 

Copies sold: 40 million

This distinguished classic won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961, a historical fiction novel set in 1933 Alabama where an innocent Black man is on trial for a horrible crime he didn’t commit. The story follows Scout, a young girl who struggles to understand blind, racial hatred as her father defends the man against a town determined to believe he’s guilty. This is a dramatic and deeply moving story where Scout’s innocence starkly contrasts the deep-seated racial prejudices of a Southern small town. 

43. “Flowers in the Attic” by V.C. Andrews, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49 

Copies sold: 40 million

Cathy and her three siblings live a normal and nearly perfect life until their father is devastatingly killed in a car accident, leaving their mother, Corinne, with little means of supporting the children. Desperate for financial security, Corinne hatches a plan to win back the affections and inheritance of her dying, millionaire father who disowned her when she married her husband against his wishes. Since her father doesn’t know of the children, Corinne decides she must hide them in the attic, promising it will only be for a few days. Told from 12-year-old Cathy’s perspective, this gothic horror is full of twists and terror, beloved as a dramatic cult classic. 

44. “Angels & Demons” by Dan Brown, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.61 

Copies sold: 39 million

In the first novel that spurred ” The Da Vinci Code” franchise, symbologist Robert Langdon is called to investigate the origin of a strange symbol left on the chest of a murdered physicist. He soon discovers this mysterious symbol could mean the resurgence of a powerful, underground brotherhood known as the Illuminati. Robert Langdon must race against the clock to unravel this explosive mystery as the centuries-old secret organization appears to be targeting their most hated enemy — the Catholic church. 

45. “How the Steel was Tempered” by Nikolai Ostrovsky, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.50 

Copies sold: 36 million

“How the Steel was Tempered” is a fictional autobiography that falls into a fiction subgenre dubbed “socialist realism.” First published in 1932, this classic of Russian literature follows Pavel Korchagin, a man who fights for Bolsheviks in the Civil War and struggles to recover from his injuries after the war, ultimately becoming as strong as steel. Pavel’s story begins when he is only 12 and takes place both on and off the battlefield. 

Top 50 bestselling books, slide 10

46. “Your Erroneous Zones” by Wayne W. Dyer, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.91

Copies sold: 35 million

This self-help book skyrocketed as a bestseller as it encouraged readers to challenge their self-destructive behaviors or “erroneous zones” and reach greater happiness. It is an inspirational, step-by-step guide to help recognize and change patterns of negative thinking that may trap us within feelings of fear, anxiety, or self-deprecation. Wayne W. Dyer uses a gentle narrative and plenty of examples to demonstrate how freedom from negative thinking can improve self-image, lessen anger, and relieve guilt. 

47. “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $4.29 

Copies sold: 35 million

Anne Frank was a 13-year-old Jewish girl from Amsterdam whose family fled their home in Holland during the Nazi occupation. Fearing for their lives, Anne’s family lived hidden in a secret annex of an office building, confined in a tight space with little food and a great fear of discovery. This is a nonfiction account, a collection of diary entries of Anne’s years as a teen girl in hiding. Her writing reveals the boredom and interests of any teenage girl with keen observations and an emotional understanding of the dangers in the world around her. 

48. “Kane and Abel” by Jeffrey Archer, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.19 

Copies sold: 33 million

Kane and Abel are two completely different strangers, born on the same day on opposite sides of the world yet bound by one destiny. As adults, both men are ruthless in their pursuit of success, locked in a hate-fueled struggle to build an empire. Told over 60 years and three generations, “Kane and Abel” is a dramatic, thrilling, and impactful story about two men driven by vengeance with a memorable and deeply satisfying conclusion.  

49. “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.50 

Copies sold: 31.5 million

“The Kite Runner” is a heartbreaking historical fiction story set in Afghanistan during the rise of the Taliban. Amir and Hassan are unlikely friends who spend their days flying kites to ignore the tension and hardships building around them. When something terrible happens to Hassan and Amir fails to stop it, he spends much of his life seeking redemption for his betrayal. This is a touching and powerful story that focuses on themes of familial love and the power of friendship.

50. “Sophie’s World” by Jostein Gaarder, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.99 

Copies sold: 30 million

This novel explores great philosophical concepts through the thought-provoking journey of Sophie Amundsen, a 14-year-old girl who finds two notes in her mailbox that read “Who are you?” and “Where does the world come from?” Stumped and immediately curious for answers, Sophie begins to unravel complicated philosophical ideas as she corresponds with a mysterious penpal. This is a profoundly thoughtful young adult novel for readers of all ages.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Windows 11 is coming: Here’s everything you need to know about your PC’s next major update

Microsoft Windows 11 laptop on red background 2x1
Windows 11 features new apps, new tools, and a new look.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Windows 11 is the newest version of the Windows operating system, and it’s likely launching in October.
  • Most users will be able to upgrade to Windows 11 for free, but it won’t work on all computers.
  • From a new Start menu to enhanced graphics, here’s everything you need to know before Windows 11 drops.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

In June 2021, Microsoft officially announced the upcoming release of Windows 11, the latest major edition of their Windows operating system.

New editions of Windows are a big event. It’s been six years since the release of Windows 10, and the computer world has changed a lot since then.

But what will Windows 11 mean for you? What’s the difference between it and the operating system you’ve got now? And is your computer ready for the update?

Let’s take a deep dive into Windows 11.

Windows 11: What to expect

As a successor to Windows 10, Windows 11 marks the first major update to the Windows platform since 2015.

Each version of Windows comes with its own changes and new features. That said, the majority of Windows 11’s new features are aesthetic. Windows 11 looks more different than any Windows version before it, which might frustrate some longtime users.

Here are five big features coming to Windows 11:

  • New Start menu and taskbar design: The Start menu is moving to the bottom-center of the screen instead of the bottom-left corner. You also can’t move the taskbar to the sides or top of the screen anymore.
The Windows 11 Start menu.
Your taskbar icons are huddled in the center of the screen now.

  • Improved virtual desktop support: Virtual desktops let you have more than one desktop on the same screen. Windows 11 will let you rename these desktops, give them custom backgrounds, and switch between them more quickly.
  • Revamped Microsoft Store with Android support: has been completely redesigned, and now includes Android apps. This means that if you have a favorite app on your Android phone – TikTok, for example – you’ll be able to load it on your PC.
The Windows 11 app store, advertising Android apps.
A variety of Android apps are ready to be downloaded and open in Windows 11.

  • “Snap Layout” multitasking tools: A new menu lets you quickly and more freely arrange all your apps on the screen at once. You can let each app take a quarter of the screen, let one app take half, and more.
A Windows 11 menu with a pop-up that lets you arrange it in different places on the screen.
You’ll have a few different options for how to arrange most apps.

  • Better visuals: Under the hood, automatic HDR tech gives games and apps more vibrant graphics, and DirectStorage shortens load times.

Windows 11 release date

There’s no official release date for Windows 11. But all signs are pointing to October 2021.

This October, retailers will start selling computers with Windows 11 installed. Current Windows 10 users will be able to upgrade for free in early 2022.

At some point after that, Microsoft will start selling Windows 11 by itself, likely for about $100 to $200. But Microsoft hasn’t given any information about that yet.

If you’re impatient, you can download the “Insider” build of Windows 11 right now. This is a beta version that doesn’t have all the features you’ll see in the final version. For more information on how to get this, check out our section below.

Windows 11 system requirements

If you’ve bought or built your computer in the last five years, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to update to Windows 11.

Here are the exact specs you’ll need:

Computer Component What you need for Windows 11
Processor (CPU) A compatible 64-bit processor with two or more cores, and a speed of at least 1Ghz; or a System on a Chip (SoC)
Memory (RAM) At least 4GB
Storage space At least 64GB – more will be needed for future updates
Graphics Compatible with DirectX 12 or later, with a WDDM 2.0 driver
Motherboard UEFI, Secure Boot compatible
Other requirements TPM 2.0 module, HD monitor larger than 9” diagonally

You can find your computer’s individual stats in a few different ways. If you bought a prebuilt PC, check out the manual or contact the manufacturer. If you built your PC or don’t know which model you bought, you’ll need to go through the Device Manager and look up your computer’s components.

The TPM 2.0 module will be a sticking point for some users. The Trusted Platform Module is a device that’s meant to keep your data secure and make sure your version of Windows is “authentic.” Microsoft is including it to crack down on users running pirated versions of Windows, and encourage them to use more official Microsoft apps.

To check if you have a TPM 2.0, log into an Administrator account, press the Windows key + R, and search for tpm.msc. In the window that appears, if you see The TPM is ready for use, you’ve got a TPM module. If it also says Specification Version: 2.0, you’ve got a working TPM 2.0 module.

A computer menu explaining what type of TPM this computer has. The phrases "The TPM is ready for use" and "Specification Version: 2.0" are highlighted.
Check these two sections to see if your computer has a TPM.20 module.

If it tells you that you don’t have a TPM module installed, also be sure to check your computer’s BIOS. Your TPM might just be disabled.

Alternatively, you can use an app that will scan your PC and tell you if it can upgrade. Microsoft had released their own tool for this, but after users reported inaccurate results, they took it down. In the meantime, check out the open-source “WhyNotWin11” app – just scroll down to Download and click Download latest stable release.

What if my computer can’t run Windows 11?

If you don’t have the right setup for Windows 11, don’t panic. Windows 10 is still a good operating system – there’s a reason it’s been the industry standard for six years.

Microsoft has promised to keep supporting Windows 10 users with updates and tech support until at least October 14, 2025. So don’t feel pressured to buy a new rig just for Windows 11.

How to install the Windows 11 beta

In the lead up to Windows 11’s public release, Microsoft is letting users download the Windows 11 Insider Build. This is a work-in-progress version of the OS that includes most of the final version’s main features.

The Windows 11 beta is being distributed through the Windows Insider Program. To sign up, head to this page and click the Register option. You’ll need to log in with your existing Microsoft account.

Once you’ve signed up, head to this page and click Flight now. Follow the instructions you’re given, and you’ll be running Windows 11 in no time.

A page inviting Windows users to "flight" their computer, installing beta software.
“Flighting” is the term Microsoft uses to describe installing beta versions of their software.

As you use the Windows 11 beta, you might be asked to share feedback with Microsoft. There’s no requirement to do this, but it’s a great place to suggest new features.

10 ways to take a screenshot on any Windows 10 deviceHow to set up dual monitors on your Windows PC or Mac computerHow to pin applications and files to your Windows taskbar to make them easily accessibleAlt + F4: The Windows keyboard shortcut for closing applications, explained

Read the original article on Business Insider

SECRET SALE: For 24 hours only, shop exclusive deals on Goldbelly, Naked Wines, Drizly, and more

Products on yellow and blue background, including Coop, Naked Wines, and Vosges for 24-Hour Secret Sale 4x3

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Every day we scour the web to find the best deals for our readers, but every so often we get the opportunity to actually make the deals. For one day only on today, August 2, Insider Reviews is hosting a Secret Sale with discounts on nine of our favorite brands – from bedding to alcohol delivery and everything in between. You won’t find these deals anywhere else on the web.

If you see something that catches your eye, be prepared to act fast; the deals disappear at 11:59PM EDT.

A glance at all the deals from our exclusive sale

Home goods

  • Coop Home Goods: 20% off the Original Pillow, our top-rated pillow, with code INSIDER20
  • Brooklinen: 15% off sitewide with code INSIDER15
  • Mesken: The brand’s first sale ever! Get 15% off on custom blinds and shades with code INSIDER15
  • Omigo: 23% off bidets with code INSIDER23
  • Leesa: 25% off the Hybrid mattress with code INSIDER25

Food and drink

  • Vosges Haut-Chocolat: 20% off the Grateful Dead collection with code INSIDER20
  • Drizly: $10 off Orders of $30+ with code INSIDER10
  • Goldbelly: 15% off your entire order with code INSIDER15
  • Naked Wines: $100 off your first case of 12 bottles (user’s choice: red, white or mixed case) when you buy through our link

What is Insider Reviews’ Secret Sale?

Insider Reviews’ Secret Sale is a one day event where we bring you the best deals on products our readers love. We’ve exclusively curated these deals based on our readers’ favorite brands. The deals will last only 24 hours on August 2, 2021. Be sure to act fast if you see something you like!

Coop Home Goods deals

Best pillow Coop

This memory foam pillow is a hit with everyone I know — it can be customized to support many sleeping positions

The best pillows in 2021

Coop’s Original Pillow is one of those “holy grail” products that stand the test of time. It features shredded memory foam so you can adjust it to the perfect loft for your sleeping position. Its adjustability is why we named it our top pick in our guide to the best pillows. During our Secret Sale, take 20% off the Original Pillow, our top-rated pillow, with code INSIDER20 — a deal we never see outside of deal holidays like Black Friday and Prime Day.

Original Pillow (small)
Omigo deals

Omigo bidet seat showcase

The best bidets in 2021

Bidets are becoming more and more popular, and Omigo’s bidet offers a thorough, customized wash with 504 possible wash combinations. If you need another reason to ditch the toilet paper, you’ll get 23% off bidets with code INSIDER23, a $100+ discount during our Secret Sale.  

Luxury Bidet Toilet Seat (small)
Leesa deals

best mattress for back pain 2021 leesa hybrid

We’ve tested almost every Leesa mattress. Here’s what you can expect from each

I’ve tested dozens of mattresses and the Leesa Hybrid is one of the most comfortable

The best mattress for every type of sleeper in 2021, according to our rigorous testing

Leesa makes some of the best mattresses, including our top pick for sleepers with back pain. During our Secret Sale, take 25% off our favorite mattress from Leesa, the Leesa Hybrid with code INSIDER25. Made of both foam and springs, the Hybrid offers great support for sleepers of all types, especially those struggling with back pain. 

Hybrid Mattress (Queen) (small)
Mesken deals

mesken curtains

This home startup lets you order custom curtains and shades — here’s how it works

If you’re in the market for affordable custom blinds and curtains, Mesken is a great bet. The retailer offers custom blinds and shades at 50% to 70% less than traditional retailers. Today only, Mesken will be offering its first sale ever just for Insider readers. You can take 15% off sitewide with code INSIDER15.

Custom Curtains (small)Custom Shades (small)
Brooklinen deals

orange and white sheets from Brooklinen cover two pillows and a mattress

These Brooklinen sheets are one of the best purchases I’ve ever made — here’s why I love them so much

We’ve long been fans of Brooklinen’s sheets, but the brand also happens to make our top picks for best comforter, best down pillow, best weighted blanket, and more. Right in time for back to school, you can take 15% off sitewide with code INSIDER15 during our Secret Sale

Classic Core Sheet Set (Queen) (small)Down Comforter (Full/Queen) (small)Bath Mat (small)
Goldbelly deals

Goldbelly

Why we love Goldbelly for sending food and treats to loved ones

We’re partnering with Goldbelly to offer an exclusive 24-hour discount on nationwide food delivery from America’s favorite restaurants. With Goldbelly, you can order signature dishes from the country’s iconic eateries — like fried chicken from Hattie B’s or Bo Ssäm from Momofuku — and get it delivered right to your door. Save 15% off your entire order with code INSIDER15.

World Famous Banana Pudding Bowl (64 oz.) (small)Half Bo Ssäm Dinner for 4-6 (small)Whole Brisket + Sausage + Texas Barbecue BBQ Sauce (small)
Drizly deals

Drizly App Shot 2[2]

Drizly, Minibar, and Saucey all deliver alcohol from local liquor stores within an hour — here’s how they compare

Monday may seem like a strange time to stock up on liquor, but Drizly sure does make it easy, especially with our exclusive discount $10 off Orders of $30+ with code INSIDER10. We named Drizly the best alcohol delivery app for its ease, speed, and selection. Just open the app, enter your ZIP code, and get access to one-hour wine, beer, and alcohol delivery.

Exclusive Promo (small)
Vosges deals

Best chocolate Vosges 4x3

The best chocolates in 2021

Chocolate makes an excellent gift, and our favorite chocolate for gifting is from Vosges Haut-Chocolat. Vosges offers inventive flavors in impeccable packaging, and we named it a top pick in our guide to the best chocolates. During our Secret Sale, take 20% off the Grateful Dead truffle collection with code INSIDER20.

Grateful Dead Truffle Collection (small)
Naked Wines deals

naked wines facebook

I tried a suspiciously generous $100-off deal to Naked Wines and was happily surprised by the quality

Naked Wines offers a unique business model winemakers propose their blends and get an advance to produce their wine. It’s kind of like “Shark Tank,” but for wine. The direct-to-consumer model means you get small batch, bespoke wine varieties at a lower cost. Today only, take $100 off your first case of 12 bottles (user’s choice: red, white or mixed case) when you buy through our link.

Mixed Case, 12 bottles (small)
What sets these deals apart?

Our deals team is always on the hunt for the best deals, and we have an extensive database of deal history that we consult when vetting if a deal is worthwhile. For our Secret Sale, we only accepted deals from brands if we knew were the best you could find out there. For some brands, like Mesken, our sale is their first time offering a discount ever. For other brands, like Goldbelly and Coop, we know from watching the deals history that these discounts are super rare, and don’t usually pop up outside of major deal holidays like Prime Day or Black Friday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

SECRET SALE: For 24 hours only you can shop exclusive deals on Drizly, Goldbelly, Brooklinen, and more

Products on yellow and blue background, including Coop, Naked Wines, and Vosges for 24-Hour Secret Sale 4x3

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Every day we scour the web to find the best deals for our readers, but every so often we get the opportunity to actually make the deals. For one day only on August 2, Insider Reviews is hosting a Secret Sale with discounts on nine of our favorite brands – from bedding to alcohol delivery and everything in between. You won’t find these deals anywhere else on the web.

Bookmark this page if you’re planning to shop the sale Monday and if you see something that catches your eye, be prepared to act fast; the deals disappear at 11:59PM EST.

All the deals at a glance

Food and drink

  • Vosges Haut-Chocolat: 20% off the Grateful Dead collection with code INSIDER20
  • Drizly: $10 off Orders of $30+ with code INSIDER10
  • Goldbelly: 15% off your entire order with code INSIDER15
  • Naked Wines: $100 off your first case of 12 bottles (user’s choice: red, white or mixed case) when you buy through our link

Home goods

  • Coop Home Goods: 20% off the Original Pillow, our top-rated pillow, with code INSIDER20
  • Brooklinen: 15% off sitewide with code INSIDER15
  • Mesken: The brand’s first sale ever! Get 15% off on custom blinds and shades with code INSIDER15
  • Omigo: 23% off bidets with code INSIDER23
  • Leesa: 25% off the Hybrid mattress with code INSIDER25
Goldbelly

Goldbelly

Why we love Goldbelly for sending food and treats to loved ones

We’re partnering with Goldbelly to offer an exclusive 24-hour discount on nationwide food delivery from America’s favorite restaurants. With Goldbelly, you can order signature dishes from the country’s iconic eateries — like fried chicken from Hattie B’s or Bo Ssäm from Momofuku — and get it delivered right to your door. Save 15% off your entire order with code INSIDER15.

World Famous Banana Pudding Bowl (64 oz.) (small)Half Bo Ssäm Dinner for 4-6 (small)Whole Brisket + Sausage + Texas Barbecue BBQ Sauce (small)
Naked Wines

naked wines facebook

I tried a suspiciously generous $100-off deal to Naked Wines and was happily surprised by the quality

Naked Wines offers a unique business model winemakers propose their blends and get an advance to produce their wine. It’s kind of like “Shark Tank,” but for wine. The direct-to-consumer model means you get small batch, bespoke wine varieties at a lower cost. On Monday only, take $100 off your first case of 12 bottles (user’s choice: red, white or mixed case) when you buy through our link.

Mixed Case, 12 bottles (small)
Drizly

Drizly App Shot 2[2]

Drizly, Minibar, and Saucey all deliver alcohol from local liquor stores within an hour — here’s how they compare

Monday may seem like a strange time to stock up on liquor, but Drizly sure does make it easy, especially with our exclusive discount $10 off Orders of $30+ with code INSIDER10. We named Drizly the best alcohol delivery app for its ease, speed, and selection. Just open the app, enter your ZIP code, and get access to one-hour wine, beer, and alcohol delivery.

Exclusive Promo (small)
Vosges

Best chocolate Vosges 4x3

The best chocolates in 2021

Chocolate makes an excellent gift, and our favorite chocolate for gifting is from Vosges Haut-Chocolat. Vosges offers inventive flavors in impeccable packaging, and we named it a top pick in our guide to the best chocolates. During our Secret Sale, take 20% off the Grateful Dead collection with code INSIDER20.

Grateful Dead Truffle Collection (small)Dancing Bears in Space Bar (small)
Mesken

mesken curtains

This home startup lets you order custom curtains and shades — here’s how it works

If you’re in the market for affordable custom blinds and curtains, Mesken is a great bet. The retailer offers custom blinds and shades at 50% to 70% less than traditional retailers. On Monday only, Mesken will be offering its first sale ever just for Insider readers. You can take 15% off sitewide with code INSIDER15.

Custom Curtains (small)Custom Shades (small)
Brooklinen

orange and white sheets from Brooklinen cover two pillows and a mattress

These Brooklinen sheets are one of the best purchases I’ve ever made — here’s why I love them so much

We’ve long been fans of Brooklinen’s sheets, but the brand also happens to make our top picks for best comforter, best down pillow, best weighted blanket, and more. Right in time for back to school, you can take 15% off sitewide with code INSIDER15 during our Secret Sale

Classic Core Sheet Set (Queen) (small)Down Comforter (Full/Queen) (small)Bath Mat (small)
Leesa

best mattress for back pain 2021 leesa hybrid

We’ve tested almost every Leesa mattress. Here’s what you can expect from each

I’ve tested dozens of mattresses and the Leesa Hybrid is one of the most comfortable

The best mattress for every type of sleeper in 2021, according to our rigorous testing

Leesa makes some of the best mattresses, including our top pick for sleepers with back pain. During our Secret Sale, take 25% off our favorite mattress from Leesa, the Leesa Hybrid with code INSIDER25. Made of both foam and springs, the Hybrid offers great support for sleepers of all types, especially those struggling with back pain. 

Hybrid Mattress (Queen) (small)
Omigo

Omigo bidet seat showcase

The best bidets in 2021

Bidets are becoming more and more popular, and Omigo’s bidet offers a thorough, customized wash with 504 possible wash combinations. If you need another reason to ditch the toilet paper, you’ll get 23% off bidets with code INSIDER23, a $100+ discount during our Secret Sale.  

Luxury Bidet Toilet Seat (small)
Coop Home Goods

Best pillow Coop

This memory foam pillow is a hit with everyone I know — it can be customized to support many sleeping positions

The best pillows in 2021

Coop’s Original Pillow is one of those “holy grail” products that stand the test of time. It features shredded memory foam so you can adjust it to the perfect loft for your sleeping position. Its adjustability is why we named it our top pick in our guide to the best pillows. During our Secret Sale, take 20% off the Original Pillow, our top-rated pillow, with code INSIDER20 — a deal we never see outside of deal holidays like Black Friday and Prime Day.

Original Pillow (small)

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 9 best young adult books, according to a high schooler

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Collage of YA books, including All The Bright Places, Six of Crows, and Before I Fall 4x3
Some of my favorite YA books include “Ready Player One,” “All the Bright Places,” “Six of Crows,” and “Before I Fall.”

As a high school junior and writer, I’ve been obsessed with books since I was coordinated enough to hold one. Beyond reading for fun, books also helped me spark my creativity, expand my vocabulary, and understand my identity. Having experienced the power of reading firsthand, I always actively encourage children and teens to read for pleasure. So when I’m asked about the best way to foster a love for books, I point to the young adult section.

Because YA books are tailored towards a younger audience, they’re a great stepping stone to the vibrant world of literature. Stories about first loves, dystopian overlords, and wizardly duels aren’t purely a form of escapism: They’re also catalysts for young adults to see and feel the world through a unique lens and empathize with the characters, no matter how different they may be. And by dealing with the themes that teenagers experience – relationships, exploration, growing up, fitting in – YA gives young adults the tools to bravely navigate their own worlds.

Here are 9 of my favorite young adult books:

“Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

Book cover for "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.95

Endlessly fascinating, “Ready Player One” is one of the best science fiction novels I’ve ever read — I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. In the year 2044, the world is on the verge of collapse and humans rely on the cyber utopia known as the OASIS to escape reality. When James Halliday, OASIS’s eccentric creator, dies, he leaves his massive $240 billion fortune to the first person who can find the virtual Easter egg stashed somewhere in the OASIS. Pitted against “gunters” — egg hunters — and corporate-sponsored “sixers,” Wade Watts races to unravel Halliday’s mystery in an elaborate treasure hunt filled to the brim with pop culture references, vintage video games, and ’80s nostalgia.

“Before I Fall” by Lauren Oliver

Book cover for "Before I Fall" by Lauren Oliver

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $13.71

“Before I Fall” is vulnerable and achingly emotional, and it touched me in a way that no book ever has. 17-year-old Samantha Kingston is selfish, egotistical, and cruel. Along with her popular clique of friends, she cheats, gossips, lies, and ruthlessly bullies Juliet Sykes, a social outcast at their high school. But when Sam dies in a fatal car crash on February 12, she finds herself alive and breathing the next morning, reliving the last day of her life over and over again. As Sam tries to figure out what went wrong, she’s left to grapple with the weight of her actions and the impact of how she treated those around her.

“The Young Elites” by Marie Lu

Book cover for "The Young Elites" by Marie Lu

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.79

With vengeful and morally grey anti-heroes and a cinematically dark plot, “The Young Elites” is my go-to fantasy series. After the “blood fever” razes her nation, Adelina Amouteru’s dark hair turns silver and a scar runs through where her left eye once was. Because of her strange markings, she is known as a malfetto, a cursed abomination, and treated as a second-class citizen. But malfettos have more than just markings: They’re gifted with superhuman abilities and known as the Young Elites.

“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven

Book cover for "All the Bright Places" by Jennifer Niven

Available from Amazon and Bookshop from $7.48

When Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on a ledge six stories above the ground, both plan to end their lives. After one saves the other, Finch and Violet are assigned a school project to explore the natural wonders of Indiana — but as Violet learns from Finch to find beauty in life, Finch’s life begins to lose its meaning. “All the Bright Places” touches on topics like PTSD, depression, and suicide, and although I rarely cry from books, Finch and Violet’s story broke my heart cleanly in two.

“Salt to the Sea” by Ruta Sepetys

Book cover for "Salt to the Sea" by Ruta Sepetys

Available from Amazon and Bookshop from $7.59

Ruta Sepetys has a gift for researching and writing about the hidden parts of history with strength, emotion, and humanity, and “Salt to the Sea” is no different. In 1945 East Prussia, four characters desperately flee war-torn Europe: Joana, a Lithuanian nurse; Florian, a Prussian soldier and restoration artist; Emilia, a teenage orphan from Poland; and Alfred, a Nazi. Their target is the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises the refugees safety and salvation, but they all have secrets to hide — and enemies to lose.

“Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins

Book cover for "Anna and the French Kiss" by Stephanie Perkins

Available from Amazon and Bookshop from $9.34

When Anna Oliphant finds herself enrolled at a boarding school in Paris, she feels like she’s left everything behind — but when she meets Etienne St. Clair, a beautiful, charming personification of Paris, the two inevitably fall in love. “Anna and the French Kiss” set the bar high for the romance genre: It’s an adorable, giddy, swoony read that pulls every cliché but still manages to feel relatable and authentic.

“Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo

Book cover for "Six of Crows" by Leigh Bardugo

Available from Amazon and Bookshop from $7.99

In Ketterdam, a crowded international trade hub, 17-year-old criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is made an offer he can’t refuse: 30 million kruge to capture Bo Yul-Bayer, a chemist who created a drug that can amplify the powers of Grisha, humans born with magical abilities. Thrilling, larger-than-life, and “Oceans 11”-esque, “Six of Crows” is one of my favorite high fantasy series. I loved the characters, I loved the heist, and I loved the Grishaverse.

“Tweet Cute” by Emma Lord

Book cover for "Tweet Cute" by Emma Lord

Available from Amazon and Bookshop from $9.89

Pepper and Jack are polar opposites: Pepper is a perfectionist and captain of the swim team, while Jack is the school’s resident class clown. When fast-food chain Big League Burger announces their new line of grilled cheese sandwiches, Jack is shocked to find that the name — and the ingredients — are a carbon copy of his grandmother’s recipe that she’s served at their New York deli for years. When Jack turns to Twitter to vent, he has no idea that Pepper runs Big League Burger’s account — and that their tussle will spiral into an all-out viral Twitter war. “Tweet Cute” felt like watching an adorable, witty rom-com, and it was the perfect book to curl up with at the end of the day.

“Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah

Book cover for "Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah

Available from Amazon and Bookshop from $7.21

Although it’s not strictly a young adult book, Trevor Noah’s humorous but candid slant to tackling heavy subjects makes his writing approachable enough to fit into the genre. Born to a white Swiss father and a Black Xhosa mother in a time when interracial marriage was strictly illegal, Noah’s memoir is about growing up in the aftermath of apartheid. “Born a Crime” was one of the most educational books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It changed the way that I think about injustice, poverty, and the impact of apartheid.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 5 best gaming routers of 2021

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Collage of gaming routers, including Netgear, D-Link, and TP-link on blue background 4x3
  • Having a solid wireless router is one of the most important aspects of online gaming.
  • Some of the best gaming routers offer support for the latest version of Wi-Fi, multiple bands, and more.
  • Embracing these new technologies can give you the edge in just about any online game.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Most people are content to use the routers provided by their internet service providers. Those devices rarely support the most advanced networking technologies, such as tri-band mesh and more powerful processing, however, and some can barely keep up with everyday activities such as streaming video. Anyone looking to improve their online gaming experience should probably start by replacing that ISP-provided equipment with their own gaming router.

But it can be hard to figure out what router to buy. Does it have to support the latest version of Wi-Fi? What is the most recent version of Wi-Fi, anyway? How important is the number of Ethernet ports, wireless bands, or antennas? It’s no wonder so many people end up using whatever router their ISP provides when answering all these questions can be so overwhelming.

Preference also comes into play. Someone who wants to be on the leading edge of wireless networking has very different needs from someone who just wants to have a better time gaming online without breaking the bank in the process. There is some good news, though, and it’s that there are many routers capable of serving a wide variety of needs. These are some of the best wireless routers for gaming.

Here are the best gaming routers of 2021

The best gaming router overall

Netgear Nighthawk Pro AX5400 WiFi Gaming Router (XR1000)

The Netgear NightHawk XR1000 offers high speeds, great bandwidth, and a variety of customization tools.

Pros: High data transfer speeds, extensive controls

Cons: Tedious setup, companion apps are slow to load

The Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 boasts a variety of features—Wi-Fi 6 support, Quality of Service (QoS) controls, and a companion mobile app—that should allow it to appeal to PC, console, and mobile gamers alike. It’s not the most powerful router on the market, but it’s a versatile device that offers an affordable way to improve your network’s performance.

Wi-Fi 6 offers several improvements over previous generations of Wi-Fi, including longer ranges, increased bandwidth, and improved transfer speeds. In my tests, the Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 stays close to the maximum 100 Mbps download speed afforded by my network from up to 45 feet away despite multiple obstructions. (It offers better Wi-Fi 5 performance than my existing router, too, which would be worth the upgrade by itself.)

Many of the Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000‘s features are enabled via the DumaOS 3.0 software. The QoS controls allow you to prioritize the performance of specific devices on the network, which means you could automatically limit the bandwidth someone else is using to stream Netflix while preserving the quality of your gaming PC’s connection, for example.

Netgear also offers details about connections between the Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 and other devices on its network via the Netgear Nighthawk mobile app. Unfortunately that app is more of a necessary evil than a valued companion. I find it slow to load, occasionally unresponsive, and somewhat vexing, but it is also the easiest way to update the router’s firmware. 

The Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 does have a few shortcomings, however, such as the inclusion of just four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and one USB 3.0 port. This should be fine for predominantly wireless setups, but the limited number of wired connections might prove frustrating for some.

Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 (button)
The best budget gaming router

D-Link DIR-867-US

The D-Link DIR-867-US is a step up from ISP-provided routers that doesn’t break the bank.

Pros: Affordable, offers basic quality-of-life features such as MU-MIMO support

Cons: Doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6, lacks USB input

The D-Link DIR-867-US is an affordable router said to offer speeds up to 1,750 Mbps when a device is connected to both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It also boasts multi-user, multi-input, multi-output (MU-MIMO) support and Quality of Service (QoS) controls. The former provides better transfer speeds when connecting to many devices, and the latter offers controls to prioritize the traffic of some devices over others.

The DIR-867-US‘s wireless connectivity is complemented by four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports that can offer a stable wired connection to compatible devices. The router doesn’t feature any USB ports, however, which means peripherals such as printers and other office equipment will have to rely on Wi-Fi or Ethernet to join the network. That means those four Ethernet ports could fill up faster than you might have expected.

There’s no denying that other routers offer many benefits over the DIR-867-US. It doesn’t support the latest version of Wi-Fi, it’s limited to just two bands, and its wired connectivity is lacking compared to other options. But it still offers better performance than many ISP-provided routers, and its low price makes it more accessible to people who are gaming on a budget.

DIR-867-US (button)
The best gaming router for enthusiasts

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 on a white background

The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 is a next-gen router with support for Wi-Fi 6E, 2.5GbE, and a variety of tools meant to improve in-game performance.

Pros: Wi-Fi 6E support, optional 2.5GbE connectivity, many features

Cons: Expensive, not as many Ethernet ports as some models

The ASUS GT-AXE11000 is the best gaming router for enthusiasts because it includes support for Wi-Fi 6E, which allows the router to offer faster speeds (up to 11,000 Mbps), improved bandwidth, and increased security compared to its predecessors. The router will have to be paired with other devices that support Wi-Fi 6E to provide all these benefits, of course, but anyone looking to experience the future of wireless connectivity should appreciate this offering.

In addition to Wi-Fi 6E, the ASUS GT-AXE11000 includes four Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports for local networking and two options for connecting to the internet. The first option is a 2.5GbE port that’s said to unlock Wi-Fi 6E’s full potential. The second option is to use two GbE WAN ports with WAN Aggregation to achieve a similar result. (Which option is right for a given network mostly depends on the ISP.) There are also two USB 3.0 ports that can be used to connect peripherals to the network.

ASUS crammed many quality-of-life features into the GT-AXE11000 as well. It supports Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant, offers similar Quality of Service (QoS) features as other routers, and includes parental control settings. ASUS claims the router also offers “triple-level game acceleration,” which gives priority to devices connected via the dedicated gaming port, favors those devices over others on the network using adaptive QoS, and includes a 90-day free trial to the Outfox gaming network that claims to offer the fastest connection to many game servers.

ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 (button)
The best gaming router for wired gaming

TP-Link Archer AX6000

The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is the best router for wired gaming because of its bevy of Ethernet ports and 2.5GbE WAN connection.

Pros: Offers many Ethernet ports, supports Wi-Fi 6, includes common quality-of-life features

Cons: Somewhat expensive

The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is the best router for wired gaming because it offers eight GbE (LAN) ports in addition to Wi-Fi 6 connectivity enabled by a 2.5GbE (WAN) port. Having that many Ethernet ports should make it easy to provide a wired connection – which is generally more stable than even the best wireless connection – to almost every gaming device nearby. (To say nothing of improved streaming on set-top boxes, a better Wi-Fi network enabled by multiple wireless access points, and other benefits enabled by setting up a wired connection.)

TP-Link says the Archer AX6000 offers maximum transfer speeds of up to 4,804 Mbps via the 5GHz band and 1,148 Mbps via the 2.4GHz band for a combined total of nearly 6,000 Mbps. Those are under ideal conditions, of course, and you’ll only enjoy those speeds outside your home network if your internet service provider supports them. Performance will also vary based on how many devices are connected to the network, but integrated Quality of Service (QoS) settings should make it easier to prioritize gaming hardware over other devices.

The Archer AX6000‘s other handy features include a mobile companion app called Tether that can be used to set up the router, parental control software, the Amazon Alexa virtual assistant, and built-in security tools. The router also features two USB 3.0 ports (one Type-A port and one Type-C port)that can be used to connect peripherals to the network.

All of those features, combined with the multitude of GbE ports and Wi-Fi 6 support, should make the Archer AX6000 a compelling option for people seeking reliable performance who don’t necessarily want to break the bank to buy a router with leading-edge technologies.

Archer AX6000 (button)
The best gaming router for wireless gaming

Linksys Hydra Pro

The Linksys Hydra Pro is the best router for wireless gaming because it offers Wi-Fi 6E support as well as mesh networking enabled by the company’s Velop technology.

Pros: Wi-Fi 6E support, 5GbE (WAN), mesh networking support

Cons: Expensive, limited wired connectivity

The Linksys Hydra Pro is the best router for wireless gaming because it complements its support for Wi-Fi 6E with a 5GbE port that should make it easy to take full advantage of the most powerful internet connections. Linksys says it can handle more than 55 connected devices at once with a maximum coverage area of 2,700 square feet and transfer speeds up to 6.6 Gbps. You probably won’t enjoy those speeds at the edge of the router’s coverage area, but Linksys says its Velop Intelligent Mesh technology is “designed to deliver gigabit WiFi speeds to every corner of your home or business,” so even far-flung devices should have fast connections — assuming you’ve built a network of Wi-Fi satellites.

This router’s main downside is its limited wired connections. It only offers four GbE (LAN) ports and a single USB 3.0 Type-A port. That should be enough to connect a few devices  — presumably the PC or console you’re planning to play games on — but it does mean you’ll have to be strategic about which devices will enjoy the full benefits of a wired connection. The same goes for the single USB port; whichever peripheral is connected to that slot better earn its spot. If you aren’t planning to connect very many devices to this router via Ethernet, however, its support for Wi-Fi 6E and mesh networking should more than make up for its lack of ports.

Linksys also offers a companion mobile app to manage the Hydra Pro, and the router’s security features can be used to automatically install firmware updates, manage parental control settings, and establish a guest network. With just four external antennas, the router is also less ostentatious than some of the other members of this list, which could be an added benefit for people who don’t want their networking equipment to detract from their decor.

Another considerable downside of the Linksys Hydra Pro is its price. It doesn’t cost quite as much as the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000, but it’s pretty close, and both routers cost hundreds of dollars more than the rest of the entries on this list. Whether or not Wi-Fi 6E is currently worth the premium over Wi-Fi 6 will likely be a matter of the Wi-Fi 6E-supporting devices you have or plan to connect to the network in the near future. If you want the best wireless performance possible, however, there’s no denying that Wi-Fi 6E is the way to go.

Hydra Pro (button)

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The 24 most popular books of 2021 so far, according to Goodreads members

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Collage of Goodreads top books, including Between Two Kingdoms, The Sum Of Us, and One Last Stop, on green background 4x3
Goodreads members added books like “The Four Winds,” “Crying in H Mart,” and “The Push” to their “Want to Read” lists.

  • Goodreads is a platform where users rate and review books.
  • Every July, Goodreads releases a list of the most popular books of the year so far.
  • This list includes the 24 most popular fiction and nonfiction books of the first half of 2021.

Goodreads is the world’s largest platform for readers to rate and review books. You can track the books you want to read, participate in challenges, and get personalized recommendations. Goodreads hosts its “Readers Choice Awards” annually, but halfway through the year, the platform also announces the most popular new books among its 125 million members.

The books on this list are both fiction and nonfiction, chosen for how often they’ve been added to readers’ “Want to Read” shelves. Goodreads eliminated any book below a 3.5-star rating, and each one had to be published in 2021 to be considered.

Whether you’re looking for a new release from an adored author or a timely nonfiction read, these books were the 24 most popular amongst Goodreads members in the first half of 2021.

The 24 most popular books of 2021 so far, according to Goodreads members:

Fiction

Nonfiction

Fiction

“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah

The cover of The Four Winds: A Novel by Kristin Hannah

“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49

Kristin Hannah is known for her heartbreaking and exciting historical fiction novels. “The Four Winds” takes place in Texas in 1934 during the Great Depression and an insufferable drought. Elsa must make a choice to stay and fight for the success of her land, her home, and her community or take a chance and head to California in the hopes of a better life. This is a story of the search for the American Dream, one of a painful and shocking journey that is likely to pull tears from many readers. 

“The Lost Apothecary” by Sarah Penner

The cover of The Lost Apothecary: A Novel by Sarah Penner

“The Lost Apothecary” by Sarah Penner, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.19

This is a historical fiction read that mixes fantasy and mystery to bring a female apothecary in 1700s London to life. The old apothecary dispenses poisons to help free women from those who have wronged them. In 1791, a young girl seeks the help of the apothecary women, spurring an intense string of events that reveals the secrets of many women the apothecary has helped. When a present-day woman discovers an old vial near the river, she begins to uncover the “apothecary murders,” twisting the fates and stories of women across centuries. 

“The Push” by Ashley Audrain

The cover of The Push: A Novel by Ashley Audrain

“The Push” by Ashley Audrain, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.36

“The Push” is a thriller that demands to be read in a single sitting. Blythe was determined to be the mother she never had — but struggles when her daughter starts to behave differently, possessing a vaguely sinister quality that no one else notices except Blythe. When Blythe’s son is born, she has the blissful motherly connection for which she always hoped, until the life she imagined changes in an instant. 

“Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro

The cover of Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

“Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.80

In 2017, Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize in Literature — this is his first novel since the award. Set in the near future, “Klara and the Sun” explores the human condition through Klara,  an Artificial Friend. Klara is AI, keenly observational and eerily understanding the depth of human emotion as she watches out the store window and waits for a customer to one day choose her. This book is sweet, gripping, and subtly beautiful, exploring connection, loss, and love in this speculative science fiction read. 

“The Paris Library” by Janet Skeslien Charles

The cover of The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

“The Paris Library” by Janet Skeslien Charles, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.56

This historical fiction novel is based on the little-known but true story of World War II librarians at the American Library in Paris. It begins in 1939, where young librarian Odile faces the fear of losing her library as the Nazis invade her city. In 1983, Lily is a teenager in Montana whose school project leads her to interview her French neighbor, uncovering her mysterious past and the secret that may connect them. This is not a war novel, but a descriptive and deeply intriguing piece of historical fiction that will pull on the heartstrings of all book lovers. 

“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The cover of Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.80

Taylor Jenkins Reid novels are known for being absolute page-turners, and “Malibu Rising” is no different. This book bounces between an epic, life-changing party over 24 hours and the family history of four famous siblings. Together, they’re a fascination to the world, children of the legendary rockstar Mick Riva. They’re all looking forward to their annual party for different reasons except Nina, recently abandoned by her husband and resentful of the spotlight. By morning, the house will be up in flames, but before that the party will become completely out of control and the secrets of the family will rise to the surface. 

“The Rose Code” by Kate Quinn

The cover of The Rose Code: A Novel by Kate Quinn

“The Rose Code” by Kate Quinn, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.49

In 1940, three very different women come together during the war to help break German military codes, creating deep bonds that are broken by the pressure of secrecy and the pain of loss through the war. Seven years later, the women are reunited at a royal wedding by a mysterious letter and must revisit a past of betrayal and heartbreak in order to crack one final code and stop an elusive enemy. This is a brilliant and riveting read, a bestseller with perfectly plotted narratives that has quickly become an undeniable 2021 favorite. 

“People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry

The cover of People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

“People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry, available at Amazon and Bookshop, $9.98

From the author of the 2020 hit “Beach Read” comes another summer favorite of two unlikely friends that vacation together every summer. Alex and Poppy couldn’t be more opposite: Alex, a quiet boy with hometown charm, and Poppy, a wanderlust-fueled wild child. After sharing a ride home in college, the two form a friendship, sharing a vacation together every summer for a decade, until two years ago when they ruined everything. Now, Poppy and Alex come together for one more trip to see if they can mend their friendship or if there’s really something more between them. 

“Concrete Rose” by Angie Thomas

The cover of Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

“Concrete Rose” by Angie Thomas, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12

“Concrete Rose” is the prequel to the super popular YA novel “The Hate U Give”. In this book, readers meet Maverick Carter: a 17-year-old high school student who deals with the gang his father once ruled. When Maverick learns he’s a father, he decides to “go straight” by no longer dealing drugs, working a part-time job, finishing high school, and being there for his son. Torn between loyalty and responsibility, this book is Maverick’s coming-of-age journey as he decides what it means to him to be a father and a man. 

“One Last Stop” by Casey McQuiston

The cover of One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

“One Last Stop” by Casey McQuiston, available at Amazon and Bookshop, $10.25

August believes the best way to move through life is alone. That is, until she meets Jane on the subway who offers her a simple solution to her bad day. August can’t stop thinking about Jane and luckily sees her every day — strangely on the exact same train, in the exact same car. Jane is from the 1970s, caught in a magical timeslip with little memory of her past. Determined to help, August sets out to rescue Jane from the subway to which she appears to be tethered. This book is a magical young adult queer romance featuring diverse characters, tons of romantic scenes, and a charming plotline that keeps readers yearning for more. 

“Outlawed” by Anna North

The cover of Outlawed by Anna North

“Outlawed” by Anna North, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.95

This book is a fast-paced and dangerous story that’s piqued readers’ interest by breaking the mold of traditional Westerns with a queer, feminist Western girl gang. In 1984, Ana is a respected midwife who hasn’t been able to get pregnant after a year of marriage. With the fear of being hanged as a witch, Ana joins the Hole in the Wall Gang, a group determined to create a safe haven for outlawed women. When the gang devises a risky plan, Ana must decide if she’s willing to risk her life for the chance of a new future for them all. 

“This Close To Okay” by Leesa Cross-Smith

The cover of This Close To Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith

“This Close To Okay” by Leesa Cross-Smith, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.99

This story takes place over a single weekend after Tallie convinces a man named Emmett to step back from the edge of a bridge and join her for coffee. As a therapist, Tallie aims to create a safe space for Emmett though hesitant to admit it’s also her job. As Emmett begins to confide in Tallie, she releases her own heavy truths and challenges. This book is touching, the tale of two strangers meeting under wild circumstances and finding solace in each other. 

Nonfiction

“Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam Grant

The cover of Think Again by Adam Grant

“Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam Grant, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.75

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist who studies how people find motivation and meaning. In this book, Grant encourages people to not only learn from being wrong, but explore how it makes us feel. He examines why we’re uncomfortable “thinking again,” how we can develop greater introspection, and how we can teach others to think again in a way that is often more productive than getting everything right the first time. This book encourages readers to overcome overconfidence and embrace not knowing everything.

“How To Avoid A Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need” by Bill Gates

The cover of How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need

“How To Avoid A Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need” by Bill Gates, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.99

Backed by ten years of research, Bill Gates uses this book to explain why and how we must work towards a goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions. Split into three main parts, Gates describes the environmental fate we currently face, the ways in which technology can function to help us reduce or eliminate our greenhouse gas emissions, and an accessible, well-defined plan by which all individuals, corporations, and governments can abide to reach this goal. This read is urgent and practical, an ambitious plan but one that is optimistic about the future of our environment. 

“Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted” by Suleika Jaquad

The cover of Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaquad

“Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted” by Suleika Jaquad, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.24

In a transformative story that grips readers from the first pages, we meet Suleika Jaquad in the summer after graduating from college with a world of opportunities ahead of her. After a swarm of strange itches, inescapable exhaustion, and a flurry of tests, Suleika is diagnosed with leukemia just before her 23rd birthday. After four years in a hospital bed, Suleika finally beats cancer to find a new set of challenges ahead of her: How to live rather than survive. Full of emotional truths, this is a story of heartbreak and triumph from a survivor with a chance to begin again. 

“Broken (in the best possible way)” by Jenny Lawson

The cover of Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson

“Broken (in the best possible way)” by Jenny Lawson, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.83

Jenny Lawson is a popular blogger known for her sarcasm and unique outlook on life. She’s been open about her struggles with depression and her mental health journey and, with this book, encourages readers to humanize and destigmatize mental health in her own notoriously hilarious ways. With a series of funny anecdotes, Jenny hopes readers feel less alone in their own experiences with depression and anxiety, especially in a time where more people are struggling with their mental health than ever before. 

“Crying in H Mart: A Memoir” by Michelle Zauner

The cover of Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

“Crying in H Mart: A Memoir” by Michelle Zauner, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.17

 Michelle Zauner explores growing up Korean American, feeling the high expectations of her mother, and bonding with her grandmother over late-night food in Seoul. As she grows into adulthood, she feels more and more distant from her Korean heritage — until her mother is diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Forced to reconnect with her identity, Zauner offers the truest look at her most difficult days, portraying every bit of grief and conflict mixed with stunning food descriptions. 

“Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019” edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

The cover of Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

“Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019” edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.20

This is a chronological account of 400 years of previously silenced Black history in America. Curated by two historians, this book begins with the arrival of 20 enslaved Ndongo people in 1619 and continues to tell stories of slavery, segregation, and oppression over 80 chapters. There are also celebrations of African art and music, a life-changing collection that concludes with an essay from Alicia Garza on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” by George Saunders

The cover of A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders

“A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” by George Saunders, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99

George Saunders teaches Russian short stories to MFA students at Syracuse University, focusing on what makes stories great, what fiction can tell us about ourselves, and the ways in which literature reflects our world today. This book is a version of his class, using Russian short stories across seven essays to demonstrate how relevant great writing still is. This book is highly accessible, abandoning complex literary concepts in the search for more straightforward answers, making it a perfect new publication for those who loved Stephen King’s “On Writing”. 

“The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos” by Judy Batalion

The cover of The Light of Days: The Untold Story by Judy Batalion

“The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos” by Judy Batalion, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $22.99

This is a nonfiction book that reads like a thrilling historical fiction novel, a previously forgotten story of Jewish women who became resistance fighters in World War II after watching the Nazi destruction of their communities and the murders of their family members. The author is the granddaughter of Polish Holocaust survivors, transporting readers to 1939 where Jewish women bribed German soldiers, paid off guards, hid revolvers, and bombed train lines to fight for the freedom of their people.

“The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee

The cover of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee

“The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.98

Heather McGhee is an economist who explains how racism and white supremacy have negative social and economic effects on white people, too. She uses the concept of “zero-sum” (the idea that progress for some comes at the expense of others) to introduce her own new concept: The Solidarity Dividend, an idea that progress is felt amongst all when people come together across race and achieve what cannot be done alone. Heather uses historical examples and individual stories to explain how racism against minorities has had negative consequences for everyone, and to offer real solutions for a better future. 

“Aftershocks: A Memoir” by Nadia Owusu

The cover of Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu

“Aftershocks: A Memoir” by Nadia Owusu, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.89

“Aftershocks” is a memoir from a woman who was raised all around the world, struggling to understand all the pieces of herself. Nadia Owusu’s memoir is a beautifully written story about a complicated earthquake of a young life and understanding the aftershocks of trauma and vulnerability. When Owusu’s mother abandoned her at two years old and her father died when she was 13, she was raised by her stepmother, unable to shake the feelings of loneliness. Her story is a weave of memoir and generational history, a journey of understanding the compilation of experiences and cultures that comprise an identity. 

“You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism” by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

The cover of You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

“You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism” by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.08

Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar are sisters who collaborated to create a compilation of what seem like absurdly unreal stories of racism, yet are all true and sometimes regular experiences for Black people. Told with hilarious sibling banter, the sisters swap stories of people mistaking them for Harriet Tubman, putting their whole hand in their hair, and their interaction with a racist donut store owner. Amber and Lacey shed light on these ridiculous moments of racism with which Black people can commiserate and others can learn from.

“Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York” by Elon Green

The cover of Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green

“Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York” by Elon Green, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $23.99

This is a true crime book about the Last Call Killer, a serial killer who targeted gay men in New York in the 1980s and ’90s. Because of the high murder rates, the AIDS epidemic, and the sexuality of the victims, the Last Call Killer had been mostly forgotten despite the graphic and horrifying nature of the murders. This book traces the decades-long search for the murderer while also sharing the stories of the victims and the resilience of the gay community. 

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