7 books that can supercharge your personal growth this summer

woman reading book bed
Feeling burned out and jaded? Invest some time and energy into your personal growth.

  • The following article was first published by The Next Big Idea Club and has been republished here with permission.
  • Diving into an impactful book is a great way to kick off a journey of personal growth.
  • if you’d like to invest some time and energy into personal growth, these 7 books are an excellent place to start.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Over the last year, many of us have felt the world spin out of control. The global pandemic has forced us to abandon familiar routines and adopt new habits for everything, from working to socializing.

But no matter what the pandemic puts us through, there’s one thing we can always control: ourselves. So if you’d like to invest some time and energy into personal growth, the seven books below are an excellent place to start.

1. “The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices” by Casper ter Kuile

In America and around the world, it’s no secret that many people are struggling to find fulfillment in traditional organized religion. But Harvard Divinity School Fellow Casper ter Kuile believes that whether you’re religious or not, you can design personal rituals for your life, rituals that add joy and meaning to everyday experiences.

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2. “In Awe: Rediscover Your Childlike Wonder to Unleash Inspiration, Meaning, and Joy” by John O’Leary

With so much bad news showing up everywhere from TV to Twitter, we may find ourselves feeling burned out and jaded more often than we’d like. But internationally renowned speaker John O’Leary believes that we can adopt a different, healthier, more joyful mindset – if only we’re ready to try a new perspective.

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3. “Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day” by Jay Shetty

When business and media influencer Jay Shetty encourages us to “think like a monk,” he’s not referencing something he read about, or researched for a doctorate degree. He’s talking about something he lived, as he spent years in India as a monk himself. This remarkable book lays bare the most ancient, most valuable wisdom he learned along the way.

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4. “Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas” by Alexi Pappas

Olympic athlete, actress, and filmmaker Alexi Pappas may seem to have it all figured out. But when she was just four years old, her mother died by suicide – and over the years, she’s had to battle demons of her own. In this candid and moving memoir, Pappas shares what she’s learned about overcoming adversity and living the life you’ve always wanted.

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5. “Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are: The Science of a Better You” by Jim Davies

Your dog thinks you’re probably the best person in the world. After all, enduring your absence for even half an hour seems to stress her out. So if you want to become every bit as kind, generous, and wise as she thinks you are, you’ll want to crack open this book by cognitive scientist Jim Davies.

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6. “The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers” by Eric Weiner

Wondering about how to attain true happiness, or how to become a more ethical person, or what the meaning of life could be? If so, there’s no need to start answering those questions from scratch – in fact, history’s greatest minds have already done the heavy lifting. Let Eric Weiner be your guide through their greatest insights.

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7. “Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning” by Tom Vanderbilt

When we’re kids, we constantly try new hobbies, sports, and activities. And although we’re not always successful, these forays help us become stronger, more well-rounded individuals. So why do we stop trying new things in adulthood? In “Beginners,” acclaimed journalist Tom Vanderbilt contends that you’re never too old to learn something new.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

Read more:

Dream First, Details Later: How to Quit Overthinking & Make It Happen!
How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing

A version of this article was published by The Next Big Idea Club, which delivers key insights from all the best new books via the Next Big Idea App, website, and podcast. To hear the audio version of this post, narrated by the author, and to enjoy more Book Bites, download the Next Big Idea App today.

The Next Big Idea Club is a subscription book club curated by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink, and Adam Grant. Get smarter faster with the Next Big Idea app, which offers the key insights from the best new books every day, created and narrated by bestselling authors, ad-free episodes of our popular podcast, and live zoom conversations with leading thinkers.

Read the original article on Business Insider

27 easy beach reads that are perfect for summer vacation

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Summer beach reads 2021 4x3
  • Beach reads are highly entertaining books that you can’t put down, and are perfect for summer.
  • No matter the genre, these beach reads are an immersive escape, whether you’re on vacation or not.
  • Below are our 27 best beach reads, including YA, romance, thriller, and non-fiction books.

Beach reads used to be known as mindless, mass-market paperbacks with shirtless men on the cover that we’d throw in our bags, read for an hour, and never care about again. But now, beach reads are an escape, whether your toes are in the sand or not. They take us on vacation, into a new world away from our stresses.

My mark of a good beach read is one with a fully consuming story. Many of these books are ones I’ve read in a single day (or a single sitting), and every one of them pairs perfectly with a day off. Whether it’s a delightfully cheesy romantic comedy or harrowing nonfiction, every book on this list has the potential to whisk you away and make any day a vacation in the sun.

27 great beach reads:

Rom-com beach reads

An aptly titled beach read

Beach Read by Emily Henry

“Beach Read” by Emily Henry, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Of course I had to include this one. It’s about two polar-opposite writers staying in neighboring beach houses for the summer, one a romance writer and the other trying to write the next Great American Novel. Faced with writer’s block, they decide to swap topics and spend the summer teaching each other the ins and outs of writing their genres, all while competing to publish their own book first. With plenty of romance, scenes that might make you cry, and an interesting (and accurate) inside look at the process of writing a book, this is an easy one to read in the sun. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The enemies-to-friends-to-lovers storyline.

A beach read that feels like a reality show

One to Watch by Kate Stayman London

“One to Watch” by Kate Stayman-London, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Okay, I’ll admit it. I watch “The Bachelorette” every single week. If you love watching the show’s smart, strong leads who know exactly what they want and refuse to settle, then you will absolutely love this book. Bea is a plus-sized fashion blogger who gets asked to be on a “Bachelorette”-like reality show. She sees it as an opportunity to grow her brand and show that plus-size women deserve the spotlight, too. Between internet drama and conniving producers, this book is more entertaining than a reality show. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The can’t-look-away drama.

A charming, sexy rom-com

Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

“Take A Hint, Dani Brown” by Talia Hibbert, available at Amazon and Bookshop

First of all, every Talia Hibbert book belongs on this list. Her romances are known for their sensitivity and steam, but they’re also such enjoyable reads that any one of them is perfect for a relaxing beach day. Danika has no interest in a relationship but asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits. So when a video of sexy security guard Zafir carrying Danika out of a building goes viral, they decide to fake a relationship to promote Zafir’s charity (and help Danika secretly seduce him behind the scenes). I loved Dani’s intelligence and the anti-toxic masculinity storyline around Zafir. Have you ever teared up because a book was so naturally inclusive that it felt like a breath of fresh air? You might once you grab this.

Irresistible beach read quality: The steamy romance.

An emotional yet adorable romance

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abbi Jimenez

“The Happy Ever After Playlist” by Abbi Jimenez, available at Amazon and Bookshop

This one starts out a little cheesy, but there’s something so endearing about it that got me hooked. Sloan lost her fiancé two years ago and is still struggling to get her life together when she finds a lost pup named Tucker whose owner, Jason, is on tour in Australia. The two exchange texts and calls, their connection growing as their meeting grows near. But being an international star, Jason might not have time for a relationship and Sloan could end up heartbroken again. This book is super dramatic and full of scandal, giving it all the summer romance vibes you need. 

Irresistible beach read quality: A super cute dog — and a dog owner who’s not too bad looking, either.

The tale of an unexpected Hawaiian vacation

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

“The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Christina and Lauren (the co-authors) have written a bunch of fun rom-coms but this is my favorite because it’s absolutely hysterical. Olive (who thinks love is gross) and her sworn enemy Ethan put aside their mutual hatred for an all-expense-paid Hawaiian honeymoon after food poisoning hits everyone in her sister’s wedding besides them. When they run into her boss, the entire vacation revolves around pretending to be loving newlyweds. It’s adorable and fast-paced because of the constant (and hilarious) complications that arise.

Irresistible beach read quality: The witty banter.

Thriller beach reads

A brilliant and fast-moving thriller

Verity by Colleen Hoover

“Verity” by Colleen Hoover, available at Amazon and Bookshop

The day I opened this book, I did absolutely nothing else besides getting to the bottom of what the heck was happening in these pages. Lowen is a budding writer, brought to the Crawford home to finish writing Verity’s book series after a car accident left her in a waking coma. While doing research in Verity’s library, Lowen finds an autobiographical manuscript with haunting admissions, so devastating that she chooses to keep them a secret. This is a rollercoaster of lies that will have you trying to guess the truth until the last page.

Irresistible beach read quality: The need to know the truth gets stronger with every lie.

A unbelievably creepy novel

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

“Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn, available at Amazon and Bookshop

“Gone Girl” is undoubtedly the most famous of Flynn’s novels but “Sharp Objects” is my favorite to recommend as a beach read. It’s a bit shorter — and so twisted that you have to finish it in a day. Camille is an investigative reporter returning to her small town to cover the murder of a young girl. She’s staying with her hypochondriac mother in her childhood bedroom and must unravel some psychological twists in order to uncover the story. This is an incredibly suspenseful thriller and you’ll need the sun to balance out all the dark secrets.

Irresistible beach read quality: A disturbing past that feels all too real.

A summer story that turns deadly

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

“I Killed Zoe Spanos” by Kit Frick, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Anna is spending the summer in the Hamptons on a nannying gig, in a community on edge after the New Year’s Eve disappearance of Zoe Spanos. Anna, who is constantly reminded of her resemblance to Zoe, begins to dig deeper into the unsolved case. Two months later, she finds herself charged with the manslaughter of a girl she’d never met. The book bounces between Anna’s confession and the summer as it unfolds, with an ending that will throw you for a loop — I really thought I had this one all figured out but the last 10 pages blew me away. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The true-crime feel.

A shocking family drama

The Push by Ashely Audrian

“The Push” by Ashely Audrian, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Blythe is determined to be the warm and loving mother she never had. She’s convinced that something is wrong with her daughter, even though her husband says she’s exhausted and just imagining things. When her second child is born, the connection between herself and her children is strong and beautiful, until their lives are forever changed. This is another one that demands to be read in one sitting as everything you’ve accepted is eventually overturned. The book’s short chapters have you turning the pages faster and faster as you navigate haunting memories, trauma, and the legacy of motherhood.

Irresistible beach read quality: The ending that will make you want to throw the book in the ocean.

Historical fiction beach reads

A page-turning exploration of one woman’s life

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, available at Amazon and Bookshop

This was the first book I read in a single sitting and it’s one I recommend to everyone. Evelyn Hugo is an A-list Hollywood actress who is finally ready to tell her story, but only to one little-known journalist. In this book, we get to hear Evelyn’s story of rising to fame in the ’50s, leaving the business in the ’80s, and marrying seven husbands (all for different reasons) along the way. Taylor Jenkins Reid writes characters and stories that are so vivid, you can’t believe they’re not real. This book is fascinating and a little heartbreaking, and when everything comes together in the end, it might become your new favorite. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The desire to know who the love of Evelyn’s life was.

A story of forgotten courage during the war

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

“The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Just when you think you’ve read every World War II story there is to tell, this book comes into your life. It’s about French women’s role in the war — from secret messengers across country lines to wives forced to house German soldiers as bombs drop around them. While 600 pages might warrant a week-long beach stay, I read this in two days and cried twice. It is so achingly beautiful and so hard to pull away.

Irresistible beach read quality: The constant action of women fighting to survive.

A historical tale set in Scotland

The Skylark’s Secret by Fiona Valpy

“The Skylark’s Secret” by Fiona Valpy, available at Amazon and Bookshop

In 1940, Flora embarks on a forbidden romance that brings even more tension into a home rocked by devastating changes in the community. Many years later, Flora’s daughter, Lexie, returns to the village with her own daughter to learn about her mother, their past, and the sacrifices made in her name. This multi-generational story is about war, love, and learning from and about our past. The family dynamics — and facing that which lays hidden behind them — make this book so beloved by many. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The connection between the generations of women and their homeland.

A fictional account of a real, often-overlooked woman

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

“Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Maggie O’Farrell’s magical writing elevates an already fascinating book into one that you’ll hold close long after the summer is over. It’s historical fiction, based on the little-known (but real) story of Agnes, found in the footnotes of “Hamlet.” In 1580s England, Agnes is a gifted healer, both feared and sought-after, who settles down with her husband and has three children. When her son, Hamnet, dies at age eleven, Agnes’ husband writes a play called “Hamlet.” You absolutely do not need to be a Shakespeare buff to love this story and appreciate its rightful place in history. 

Irresistible beach read quality: Maggie O’Farrell’s lyrical writing.

Young adult beach reads

A novel that will leave you feeling optimistic

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

“With the Fire on High” by Elizabeth Acevedo, available at Amazon and Bookshop

The only place Emoni has to let go of her stress is the kitchen, making food that everyone agrees is unparalleled. With a dream to be a chef and an opportunity just out of reach, Emoni needs to find a way to balance her dreams and responsibilities. This one is about hardships: Young motherhood, the harshness of the world, and balancing everything you love. It’s a very character-driven novel, so prepare yourself to become emotionally invested in Emoni’s happiness and success. Elizabeth Acevedo might not be capable of writing anything that’s not incredible, as every book of hers I’ve read has blown me away. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The food in this book will make you hungry in real life.

A queer enemies-to-lovers royal romance

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

“Red, White, and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Alex Claremont-Diaz is the first son of the White House with a lifelong nemesis — Prince Henry of British royalty. When Alex confronts Henry at a royal wedding, the story is leaked to the tabloids and the best solution is a publicity stunt: a fake friendship between the two. As Henry and Alex begin to fall in love, the truth threatens to destroy the President’s reelection campaign and even the relations between Britain and America. I love a good queer romance but the added royal aspect, the snarky wit between the boys, and the fun development of the relationship make this a must-read for the summer. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The heart-swelling romance.

A competitive and sweet first-love story

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

“Today Tonight Tomorrow” by Rachel Lynn Solomon, available at Amazon and Bookshop

For all four years of high school, Rowan and Neil hate each other, bitter rivals and complete opposites. When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan finds one last chance to beat him in a scavenger hunt/ninja assassin game played by all seniors after graduation. The plot spans 24 hours, which keeps this book moving quickly. It’s easy to laugh and root for these two as their faux-hateful banter turns quickly to friendship despite years of sworn rivalry. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The balance between pure fun and deeper feelings.

A truly adorable, romantic high school adventure

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Lara Jean does not tell boys that she has a crush on them. Instead, she writes each one a letter and hides them all under her bed. Somehow, these letters have been mailed and all her past crushes, big and small, are confronting her about them. It’s highly amusing because of the reappearance of every crush — from her sister’s ex-boyfriend to her first kiss many years ago. The story is very cute and light, so you can relax in the sun as Lara winds through sisterhood and her past loves towards a romance that leaves you smiling. 

Irresistible beach read quality: A light love story to make any beach day brighter.

A summer beach read set in picturesque Italy

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

“Love & Gelato” by Jenna Evans Welch, available at Amazon and Bookshop

After her mother passes away, Lina finds her mother’s old journal while spending the summer in Tuscany to get to know her father. Suddenly no longer focused on leaving, Lina begins to follow her mother’s writing through Italy’s streets and discover her secrets with the help of a charming local boy. It’s a summer story of family, first love, and discovery. My favorite quote is “People come to Italy for all sorts of reasons, but when they stay it’s for the same two things… love and gelato.”

Irresistible beach read quality: The adorable love story accompanying the uncovering of long-kept secrets.

Contemporary fiction beach reads

A novel of two very different journeys

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett, available at Amazon and Bookshop

The Vignes sisters ran away from their small, southern Black community at 16 and moved on to very different lives; one sister moving back home with her Black daughter; the other passing for white, marrying a white man — and telling him nothing of her past. When their daughters’ lives intersect years later, they begin to uncover the decisions and lies of their mothers. This book is about race, but also exploration, identity, desires, and how our past influences it all. There is so much about this book to love that I read it twice. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The stark differences of two sisters with the same upbringing.

A Californian story of love and friendship

The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe

“The Knockout Queen” by Rufi Thorpe, available at Amazon and Bookshop

This is a coming-of-age story about the friendship between Bunny, a too-tall Olympic hopeful, and Michael, her closeted, home-schooled neighbor. Bunny is desperate to fit in and hide from her father’s alcoholism while Michael is trying to navigate his sexuality while meeting up with men on the internet, the two taking solace in each other’s company. With really intelligent writing that keeps you interested in the characters, it’s an unapologetic and unflinchingly honest telling of two teens seeking human connection. 

Irresistible beach read quality: A tender look into the victories and downfalls of two misfits.

A light read on a thought-provoking topic

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

“Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid, available at Amazon and Bookshop

This book gets interesting from the first scene, where Emira, a young African-American woman, is accused of kidnapping Briar, the white child she babysits, while walking around the grocery store. Alix, the blogger mom of the child, tries to right the situation that quickly gets farther and farther out of control. Emira and Briar are hugely loveable characters that contrast heavily with the supposedly well-intentioned Alix, making this an entertaining read as well as a broader commentary on race, class, and influencer culture.

Irresistible beach read quality: How true-to-life the story feels. 

A story of fighting for what you love

Things You Save In A Fire by Katherine Center

“Things You Save In A Fire” by Katherine Center, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Katherine Center is so good at writing hardships that leave you feeling hopeful. This one is about Cassie, one of the only female firefighters in her firehouse. With rundown facilities, no funding to fix them, and an environment that borders on toxic, the men aren’t thrilled to have a woman join the crew, even though she’s more competent than most of them. When the handsome new guy is the only one nice to her, Cassie has to constantly remind herself that she doesn’t date firefighters. Katherine Center writes stories that have you rooting for the main character with every part of your heart and soul, and this one is true to form. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The protagonist’s complete badassery.

A classic-feeling beach read with secrets galore

Winter In Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

“Winter In Paradise” by Elin Hilderbrand, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Elin Hilderbrand is basically the ultimate beach read writer, churning out smooth reads that end in cliffhangers. After the sudden, tragic death of her husband, Irene travels to St. John to investigate the unusual circumstances in which he died, stumbling upon the secrets of a man she may not have known as well as she thought. I loved this for a summer read because the characters are easy to understand, the drama keeps you interested, and there’s just enough romance to have me rooting for love. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The tropical tourist destination setting.

Non-fiction beach reads

A historical crisis told in an intimate way

The Splendid and The Vile  A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

“The Splendid and The Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz” by Erik Larson, available at Amazon and Bookshop

This book is a highly researched history about Churchill’s actions and reactions in Britain during the WWII era. It follows him as well as his family and friends through the fear surrounding London as Hitler kills 45,000 Britains in a bombing campaign, having invaded Holland and Belgium on Churchill’s first day as Prime Minister. Erik Larson writes history like an unfolding drama, so you’ll find yourself learning and invested in the story.

Irresistible beach read quality: The diaries and formerly classified intelligence reports.

A true story about the mothers of our heroes

The Three Mothers by Anna Malaika Tubbs

“The Three Mothers” by Anna Malaika Tubbs, available at Amazon and Bookshop

This is the story of the mothers who raised and shaped Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin. Faced with Jim Crow-era racism, little has been previously said of the incredible women who taught these men the beliefs of justice and equality that would change the world. The book is filled with love and compassion, bringing the experience of Black women and mothers into the conversation while truly demonstrating their vital significance in the ongoing fight against oppression. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The untold stories of three extraordinary women.

A fact-filled presentation of a frustrating bias

Invisible Women  Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Pérez

“Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men” by Caroline Criado Pérez, available at Amazon and Bookshop

In nearly every aspect of our society, women are systematically ignored. From the way crash test dummies, voice recognition software, and even medicinal dosing have been designed, the data that drives nearly every aspect of our lives revolves around men. This book can be a little appalling as the well-researched case studies shed light on an unconscious bias in our society that might start to feel more and more obvious as you learn more about it. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The data to back up every claim.

A true story about women who glow

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

“The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women” by Kate Moore, available at Amazon and Bookshop

As soon as I found out about this phenomenon of “The Radium Girls” I dove headfirst into this book. During the First World War, they were working in factories to get radium — a newly discovered magical drug — into the hands of the public. The girls were covered in radium, literally glowing from the chemical all over their bodies after leaving their coveted jobs. But when they began to fall ill, the factories ignored their claims that it could be from the radium. It’s the story of a fight for workers’ rights, one that saved so many lives because the women demanded to be heard. It’s also such a remarkable story that it’s easy to forget it’s true.

Irresistible beach read quality: The tension created from fighting for what’s right.

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The best early Kindle deals for Amazon Prime Day 2021, plus what to expect to go on sale tomorrow

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Kids Kindle Cover on Bed - Kindle Deals on Prime Day 2021
These are the best Kindle deals during Prime Day 2021.

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Amazon Prime Day 2021 is almost here, and the annual shopping holiday is usually synonymous with deals on Amazon products. Amazon’s line of Kindle e-readers is no exception, and we’re already starting to see some early discounts.

Last year, we saw plenty of deals on various Kindle models and bundles, as well as Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription service. Kindle devices were up to 30% off and we anticipate similar discounts during Prime Day 2021.

Prime Day isn’t here yet, but Amazon is already offering deals on select Kindle bundles. We anticipate that better deals on Kindle devices will be coming closer to Prime Day, and we’ll update this story as they appear.

If you’re looking for discounts on more than just e-readers, check out our Amazon Prime Day 2021 hub page for all the latest deals during the sale. Learn more about how Insider Reviews researches deals and tests products.

The best early Prime Day 2021 Kindle bundle deals

If you’re planning to give a child a new Kindle or gift it to a friend, you may want to grab a bundle with a case and power adapter to complete the package.

The Paperwhite Essential Bundle adds a leather cover and a power adapter for charging, while the Kindle Kids Edition Essential Bundle comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, as well as a cover, screen protector, and charger. Amazon is also offering discounts on the essential bundles for its standard Kindle and the Kindle Oasis, both of which come with a power adapter and cover.

These bundles are on sale right now, but we expect better deals when Prime Day 2021 begins. Last year, the Kindle Paperwhite Essentials bundle was $70 off and the Kindle Kids Edition Essentials bundle was $50 off.

Paperwhite Essentials Bundle (medium)Kindle Essentials Bundle (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Kindle Oasis Essentials Bundle (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Top early Prime Day Amazon Kindle Unlimited deals

Amazon occasionally offers ebook credit when you buy a new Kindle or subscribe to Amazon Prime. During last year’s Prime Day, select Kindle purchases came with a $5 credit, and Prime members were able to choose two free Kindle books from a list.

Kindle Unlimited, a subscription service offering thousands of ebooks and magazines, also had a special offer during Prime Day. New members can try a 30-day free trial, or get two months of Kindle Unlimited for $5. That’s $15 (75%) off the regular price. While that’s a solid promotion, a better deal could be available on Prime Day.

Kindle Unlimited Subscription (2 Months) (medium)

Some Amazon Prime Day 2021 Kindle deals are not live right now

Kindle tops our list of the best e-readers, with prices normally starting at $90 for the basic ad-supported model. During the last Prime Day sale, Kindle devices were discounted by 30% or more, including $75 off the Kindle Oasis (normally $250), $50 off the Kindle Paperwhite (normally $130), and $30 off the basic Kindle (normally $90).

While there are no current deals on Kindles, we expect big discounts when Prime Day 2021 starts on June 21.

All-New Kindle (medium)Kindle Oasis (medium)Kindle Paperwhite (medium)Kindle Kids Edition (medium)

Frequently asked questions

When is Amazon Prime Day 2021?

Amazon Prime Day 2021 will begin on June 21 and run through June 22. We’ll be keeping track of the best deals as Prime Day approaches and throughout the shopping event.

Prime Day deals are exclusive to Amazon Prime subscribers, so you’ll need to sign up to get these Kindle discounts. Amazon Prime normally costs $13 a month or $120 per year, but new users can get their first 30 days of Prime with full benefits for free.

Prime Monthly Subscription (small)

How to shop for a Kindle

When shopping for the best Kindle or e-reader, start by figuring out how frequently you think you’ll use it, and where. If you only plan to occasionally use your Kindle at home, you might not need to pay more for the Paperwhite’s extra features like backlighting and water resistance, which can come in handy if you’re reading on a camping trip or beach day.

You can save $20 by buying an ad-supported Kindle, but I don’t recommend it; the savings feel good at purchase but the long-term annoyance of uncontrollable ads on your home screen is a steep price to pay, and it’s even worse when giving a Kindle as a gift.

If you’re not a frequent reader, you may want to download the free Kindle app and try downloading a few ebooks to read on your phone, tablet, or computer. You may realize you’re just fine without a dedicated reading device, or maybe you want a bigger color screen for comic books and magazines, like the Fire HD 10 tablet.

Kindle Unlimited offers a ton of magazines and ebooks at a tempting price, but think about whether you’ll have time to dig into all of that material before you invest in the subscription. If you want, you can test out a free 30-day trial, or try a 2-month subscription for $5 as part of a Prime Day deal (normally $9.99 per month).

Also, keep in mind that Kindle is Amazon’s brand of e-reader, but it’s not the only one out there. For example, Kobo earned top marks in our buying guide with its large screen and water-resistant models.

Kindle Trade-In: how to trade your old Kindle for Amazon Credit

Amazon offers an upgrade program for Kindle owners to trade in their old devices for store credit and get a 20% discount on a new model.

The amount you’ll receive for your trade-in will depend on how old your Kindle is, and it will be applied to your account as an Amazon gift card. A separate credit for 20% off a new Kindle will also be added to your Kindle account, regardless of how old or broken your Kindle is, and you can apply that to Prime Day discounts.

Most Kindle models are worth between $5 and $25 in Amazon trade-in credit, while the latest Kindle Oasis can be traded for $75.

More Amazon Prime Day 2021 Kindle deals

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best Kindle deals we expect on Amazon Prime Day 2021, plus early deals you can shop right now

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Kids Kindle Cover on Bed - Kindle Deals on Prime Day 2021
These are the best Kindle deals during Prime Day 2021.

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Amazon Prime Day 2021 is almost here, and the annual shopping holiday is usually synonymous with deals on Amazon products. Amazon’s line of Kindle e-readers is no exception, and we’re already starting to see some early discounts.

Last year, we saw plenty of deals on various Kindle models and bundles, as well as Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription service. Kindle devices were up to 30% off and we anticipate similar discounts during Prime Day 2021.

Prime Day isn’t here yet, but Amazon is already offering deals on select Kindle bundles. We anticipate that better deals on Kindle devices will be coming closer to Prime Day, and we’ll update this story as they appear.

If you’re looking for discounts on more than just e-readers, check out our Amazon Prime Day 2021 hub page for all the latest deals during the sale. Learn more about how Insider Reviews researches deals and tests products.

Amazon Prime Day Kindle deals right now

Kindle tops our list of the best e-readers, with prices normally starting at $90 for the basic ad-supported model. During the last Prime Day sale, Kindle devices were discounted by 30% or more, including $75 off the Kindle Oasis (normally $250), $50 off the Kindle Paperwhite (normally $130), and $30 off the basic Kindle (normally $90).

While there are no current deals on Kindles, we expect big discounts when Prime Day 2021 starts on June 21.

All-New Kindle (medium)Kindle Oasis (medium)Kindle Paperwhite (medium)Kindle Kids Edition (medium)

Best early Prime Day Kindle bundle deals

If you’re planning to give a child a new Kindle or gift it to a friend, you may want to grab a bundle with a case and power adapter to complete the package.

The Paperwhite Essential Bundle adds a leather cover and a power adapter for charging, while the Kindle Kids Edition Essential Bundle comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, as well as a cover, screen protector, and charger. Amazon is also offering discounts on the essential bundles for its standard Kindle and the Kindle Oasis, both of which come with a power adapter and cover.

These bundles are on sale right now, but we expect better deals when Prime Day 2021 begins. Last year, the Kindle Paperwhite Essentials bundle was $70 off and the Kindle Kids Edition Essentials bundle was $50 off.

Paperwhite Essentials Bundle (medium)Kindle Essentials Bundle (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Kindle Oasis Essentials Bundle (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Top early Prime Day Amazon Kindle Unlimited deals

Amazon occasionally offers ebook credit when you buy a new Kindle or subscribe to Amazon Prime. During last year’s Prime Day, select Kindle purchases came with a $5 credit, and Prime members were able to choose two free Kindle books from a list.

Kindle Unlimited, a subscription service offering thousands of ebooks and magazines, also had a special offer during Prime Day. New members can try a 30-day free trial, or get two months of Kindle Unlimited for $5. That’s $15 (75%) off the regular price. While that’s a solid promotion, a better deal could be available on Prime Day.

Kindle Unlimited Subscription (2 Months) (medium)

Frequently asked questions

When is Amazon Prime Day 2021?

Amazon Prime Day 2021 will begin on June 21 and run through June 22. We’ll be keeping track of the best deals as Prime Day approaches and throughout the shopping event.

Prime Day deals are exclusive to Amazon Prime subscribers, so you’ll need to sign up to get these Kindle discounts. Amazon Prime normally costs $13 a month or $120 per year, but new users can get their first 30 days of Prime with full benefits for free.

Prime Monthly Subscription (small)

How to shop for a Kindle

When shopping for the best Kindle or e-reader, start by figuring out how frequently you think you’ll use it, and where. If you only plan to occasionally use your Kindle at home, you might not need to pay more for the Paperwhite’s extra features like backlighting and water resistance, which can come in handy if you’re reading on a camping trip or beach day.

You can save $20 by buying an ad-supported Kindle, but I don’t recommend it; the savings feel good at purchase but the long-term annoyance of uncontrollable ads on your home screen is a steep price to pay, and it’s even worse when giving a Kindle as a gift.

If you’re not a frequent reader, you may want to download the free Kindle app and try downloading a few ebooks to read on your phone, tablet, or computer. You may realize you’re just fine without a dedicated reading device, or maybe you want a bigger color screen for comic books and magazines, like the Fire HD 10 tablet.

Kindle Unlimited offers a ton of magazines and ebooks at a tempting price, but think about whether you’ll have time to dig into all of that material before you invest in the subscription. If you want, you can test out a free 30-day trial, or try a 2-month subscription for $5 as part of a Prime Day deal (normally $9.99 per month).

Also, keep in mind that Kindle is Amazon’s brand of e-reader, but it’s not the only one out there. For example, Kobo earned top marks in our buying guide with its large screen and water-resistant models.

Kindle Trade-In: how to trade your old Kindle for Amazon Credit

Amazon offers an upgrade program for Kindle owners to trade in their old devices for store credit and get a 20% discount on a new model.

The amount you’ll receive for your trade-in will depend on how old your Kindle is, and it will be applied to your account as an Amazon gift card. A separate credit for 20% off a new Kindle will also be added to your Kindle account, regardless of how old or broken your Kindle is, and you can apply that to Prime Day discounts.

Most Kindle models are worth between $5 and $25 in Amazon trade-in credit, while the latest Kindle Oasis can be traded for $75.

More Amazon Prime Day 2021 Kindle deals

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26 spectacular books that made it onto college summer reading lists this year at universities around the country

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college summer reading list books 2021
  • Many colleges release summer reading lists for incoming students.
  • We compiled some of the best books from university reading lists in 2021.
  • Included on the list: “Caste,” “The Alchemist,” “The Vanishing Half,” and more.

Every summer, universities around the country release their recommended summer books and reading lists for incoming students.

This year, schools like Columbia, Duke, UC Berkeley, NYU, Northwestern, and more shared their 2021 reading lists online. They included books like “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent,” “The Vanishing Half,” “The Alchemist,” “The Nickel Boys,” “Think Again,” and more.

Read below to see some of the best books to have made it on reading lists this year.

Copy provided by Amazon and edited lightly for length.

“Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent” by Isabel Wilkerson

Amazon Best Books of August Caste

Read by students at: The University of California, Berkeley; The University of Maryland

Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more.

Using riveting stories about people — including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others — she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day.

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“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Read by students at: Bryn Mawr College; The University of St. Thomas

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her Black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past.

Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

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Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants” by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

Read by students at: New York University

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings ― asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass ― offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.

In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

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“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman

Business books Thinking, Fast and Slow

Read by students at: Northwestern University 

System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.

You can read Insider’s review of this book here.

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“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coehlo

The Alchemist

Read by students at: The University of California, BerkeleyBryn Mawr College

Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different — and far more satisfying — than he ever imagined.

Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

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“Somebody’s Daughter” by Ashley C. Ford

"Somebody's Daughter"

Read by students at: Boston University

Through poverty, adolescence, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley Ford wishes she could turn to her father for hope and encouragement. There are just a few problems: he’s in prison, and she doesn’t know what he did to end up there. She doesn’t know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men.

In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates. When the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley desperately searches for meaning in the chaos. Then, her grandmother reveals the truth about her father’s incarceration…and Ashley’s entire world is turned upside down.

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

"Think Again" by Adam Grant

Read by students at: The University of Maryland

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people’s minds — and our own. As Wharton’s top-rated professor and the bestselling author of “Originals” and “Give and Take,” he makes it one of his guiding principles to argue like he’s right but listen like he’s wrong. With bold ideas and rigorous evidence, he investigates how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, bring nuance to charged conversations, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners.

You’ll learn how an international debate champion wins arguments, a Black musician persuades white supremacists to abandon hate, a vaccine whisperer convinces concerned parents to immunize their children, and Adam has coaxed Yankees fans to root for the Red Sox.

The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” (button)
“Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Read by students at: Duke University

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store’s security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, “Such a Fun Age” explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” and the complicated reality of being a grown-up.

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“Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid

"Exit West" by Mohsin Hamid

Read by students at: Smith College

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet — sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors — doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price.

As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through…

by Mohsin Hamid (button)
“The Nickel Boys” by Colson Whitehead

The Nickel Boys

Read by students at: Siena College

When Elwood Curtis, a Black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.

Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, “The Nickel Boys” is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers and “should further cement Whitehead as one of his generation’s best” (“Entertainment Weekly”).

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“The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice” by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

The Daughters of Kobani

Read by students at: The University of Kentucky

In 2014, northeastern Syria might have been the last place you would expect to find a revolution centered on women’s rights. But that year, an all-female militia faced off against ISIS in a little town few had ever heard of: Kobani. By then, the Islamic State had swept across vast swaths of the country, taking town after town and spreading terror as the civil war burned all around it. From that unlikely showdown in Kobani emerged a fighting force that would wage war against ISIS across northern Syria alongside the United States. In the process, these women would spread their own political vision, determined to make women’s equality a reality by fighting — house by house, street by street, city by city — the men who bought and sold women.

Based on years of on-the-ground reporting, “The Daughters of Kobani” is the unforgettable story of the women of the Kurdish militia that improbably became part of the world’s best hope for stopping ISIS in Syria.

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“When the Emperor Was Divine” by Julie Otsuka

When the Emperor Was Divine

Read by students at: Augustana College

On a sunny day in Berkeley, California, in 1942, a woman sees a sign in a post office window, returns to her home, and matter-of-factly begins to pack her family’s possessions. Like thousands of other Japanese Americans, they have been reclassified, virtually overnight, as enemy aliens and are about to be uprooted from their home and sent to a dusty internment camp in the Utah desert.

In this lean and devastatingly evocative first novel, Julie Otsuka tells their story from five flawlessly realized points of view and conveys the exact emotional texture of their experience: the thin-walled barracks and barbed-wire fences, the omnipresent fear and loneliness, the unheralded feats of heroism.

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“Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships, and Motherhood Among Black Women” by Mignon R. Moore

Invisible Families

Read by students at: Columbia University

Mignon R. Moore brings to light the family life of a group that has been largely invisible — gay women of color — in a book that challenges long-standing ideas about racial identity, family formation, and motherhood.

Drawing from interviews and surveys of one hundred black gay women in New York City, “Invisible Families” explores the ways that race and class have influenced how these women understand their sexual orientation, find partners, and form families. In particular, the study looks at the ways in which the past experiences of women who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s shape their thinking, and have structured their lives in communities that are not always accepting of their openly gay status.

Gay Identities, Relationships, and Motherhood among Black Women (button)
“The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America” by Richard Rothstein

The Color of Law

Read by students at: The University of California, Berkeley

Widely heralded as a “masterful” (“Washington Post”) and “essential” (“Slate”) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein’s “The Color of Law” offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson).

Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods.

A groundbreaking, “virtually indispensable” study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history (“Chicago Daily Observer”), “The Color of Law” forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past.

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“Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson

just mercy

Read by students at: Seton Hall University

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system.

One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship — and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

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“The Death of Vivek Oji” by Akwaeke Emezi

"The Death of Vivek Oji" by Akwaeke Emezi

Read by students at: The University of St. Thomas

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings.

As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens — and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis — the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

by Akwaeke Emezi (button)
“The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race” by Walter Isaacson

Amazon books The Code Breaker

Read by students at: The University of Maryland

When Jennifer Doudna was in sixth grade, she came home one day to find that her dad had left a paperback titled “The Double Helix” on her bed. She put it aside, thinking it was one of those detective tales she loved. When she read it on a rainy Saturday, she discovered she was right, in a way. As she sped through the pages, she became enthralled by the intense drama behind the competition to discover the code of life. Even though her high school counselor told her girls didn’t become scientists, she decided she would.

Driven by a passion to understand how nature works and to turn discoveries into inventions, she would help to make what the book’s author, James Watson, told her was the most important biological advance since his co-discovery of the structure of DNA. She and her collaborators turned a curiosity ​of nature into an invention that will transform the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions.

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“The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion” by Jonathan Haidt

The Righteous Mind

Read by students at: Bryn Mawr College

Drawing on his 25 years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns.

In this subtle yet accessible book, Haidt gives you the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation, as well as the curse of our eternal divisions and conflicts. If you’re ready to trade in anger for understanding, read “The Righteous Mind.”

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“The Undocumented Americans” by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

The Undocumented Americans SLIDE

Read by students at: The University of California, Berkeley

Writer Karla Cornejo Villavicencio was on DACA when she decided to write about being undocumented for the first time using her own name. It was right after the election of 2016, the day she realized the story she’d tried to steer clear of was the only one she wanted to tell. 

So she wrote her immigration lawyer’s phone number on her hand in Sharpie and embarked on a trip across the country to tell the stories of her fellow undocumented immigrants — and to find the hidden key to her own.

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“Recipes for a Sacred Life: True Stories and a Few Miracles” by Rivvy Neshama

Recipes for a Sacred Life

Read by students at: Columbia University

On a dark winter night with little to do, Rivvy Neshama took a “Find Your Highest Purpose” quiz. And the funny thing was, she found it: to live a sacred life. Problem was, she didn’t know how. 

But she set out to learn. And in the weeks and months that followed, she began to remember and encounter all the people and experiences featured in this book — from her father’s jokes to her mother’s prayers, from Billie in Harlem to a stranger in Salzburg, and from warm tortillas to the humble oatmeal. Each became a story, like a recipe passed down, beginning with her mother and her simple toast to life.

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“The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity” by Julia Cameron

The Artist's Way

Read by students at: Spelman College

Since its first publication, “The Artist’s Way” phenomena has inspired the genius of Elizabeth Gilbert and millions of readers to embark on a creative journey and find a deeper connection to process and purpose. Julia Cameron’s novel approach guides readers in uncovering problems areas and pressure points that may be restricting their creative flow and offers techniques to free up any areas where they might be stuck, opening up opportunities for self-growth and self-discovery.

The program begins with Cameron’s most vital tools for creative recovery – The Morning Pages, a daily writing ritual of three pages of stream-of-conscious, and The Artist Date, a dedicated block of time to nurture your inner artist. From there, she shares hundreds of exercises, activities, and prompts to help readers thoroughly explore each chapter. She also offers guidance on starting a “Creative Cluster” of fellow artists who will support you in your creative endeavors.

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“The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Water Dancer

Read by students at: Bryn Mawr College

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her — but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

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“The Feeling Economy: How Artificial Intelligence is Creating the Era of Empathy” by Roland T. Rust and Ming-Hui Huang

The Feeling Economy

Read by students at: The University of Maryland

As machines are trained to “think,” many tasks that previously required human intelligence are becoming automated through artificial intelligence. However, it is more difficult to automate emotional intelligence, and this is where the human worker’s competitive advantage over machines currently lies. 

The book argues that AI is rapidly assuming a larger share of thinking tasks, leaving human intelligence to focus on feeling. The result is the “Feeling Economy,” in which both employees and consumers emphasize feeling to an unprecedented extent, with thinking tasks largely delegated to AI. The book shows both theoretical and empirical evidence that this shift is well underway. Further, it explores the effect of the Feeling Economy on our everyday lives in the areas such as shopping, politics, and education. Specifically, it argues that in this new economy, through empathy and people skills, women may gain an unprecedented degree of power and influence.

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“Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity” by Walter Scheidel

Escape from Rome

Read by students at: Northwestern University

The fall of the Roman Empire has long been considered one of the greatest disasters in history. But in this groundbreaking book, Walter Scheidel argues that Rome’s dramatic collapse was actually the best thing that ever happened, clearing the path for Europe’s economic rise and the creation of the modern age. Ranging across the entire premodern world, “Escape from Rome” offers new answers to some of the biggest questions in history: Why did the Roman Empire appear? Why did nothing like it ever return to Europe? And, above all, why did Europeans come to dominate the world?

In an absorbing narrative that begins with ancient Rome but stretches far beyond it, from Byzantium to China and from Genghis Khan to Napoleon, Scheidel shows how the demise of Rome and the enduring failure of empire-building on European soil launched an economic transformation that changed the continent and ultimately the world.

The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity (button)
“The Book of Longings” by Sue Monk Kidd

The Book of Longings on Bookshop

Read by students at: Bryn Mawr College

In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything.

Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome’s occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas.  When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history.

by Sue Monk Kidd (button)
“This I Believe: Life Lessons” edited by Dan Gediman, John Gregors, and Mary Jo Gediman

This I Believe

Read by students at: The University of Louisiana, Monroe

Based on the NPR series of the same name, “This I Believe” features eighty Americans ― from the famous to the unknown ― completing the thought that the book’s title begins. Each piece compels readers to rethink not only how they have arrived at their own personal beliefs but also the extent to which they share them with others.

The result is a stirring and provocative trip inside the minds and hearts of a diverse group of people whose beliefs ― and the incredibly varied ways in which they choose to express them ― reveal the American spirit at its best.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

26 of the best new books published in 2021 so far, from Oprah’s self-help book to Stephen King’s latest release

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Pattern of books for Debut Novels Roundup

We’re already almost halfway through 2021: The days are longer, the grass is greener, and reader’s favorite books of the year (so far!) are starting to emerge.

Many of the new books from the first half of the year are reflective of the world’s conversations last year. New novels feature characters that are diverse in more than one way, exploring problems such as social justice, immigration, and what it means to be human in this world. Meanwhile, nonfiction releases tackle climate change, personal growth, and racism while offering logical solutions.

Though we’re only five months into 2021, incredible books have already been published. Whether you’re looking for a fun young adult read or a self-help book that addresses a complex problem, the books we recommend might make your favorites list at the end of the year.

The 26 best new books in 2021:

Nonfiction

A new memoir of an extraordinary life

Just As I Am by Cicely Tyson

“Just As I Am” by Cicely Tyson, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.32

For more than 60 years, Cicely Tyson was revered for her acting in American theater and film. Also a lecturer and activist, Cicely Tyson’s story is one of authenticity, known and understood by any reader to pick up her book. It’s a memoir of a full life, a timely and timeless story of the perseverance and triumph of Black women. Cicely is reflective and open, transferring her charisma to the page as readers follow her through great moments of her life, published just two days before her death at 96 years old.

A bestselling self-help book to change how we talk about trauma

"What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing" by Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce D. Perry

“What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing” by Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce D. Perry, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $17.39

While many of us blame ourselves for our emotions, Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce Perry encourage us to shift the question from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” Dr. Bruce Perry is a brain and trauma expert who offers scientific insight to the trauma-based reasoning behind our less favorable behavioral patterns. Combined with Oprah’s personal and vulnerable anecdotes, the book weaves science and storytelling together to shift how we view trauma so our futures can be defined by more than our pasts.

A new look at the economic effects of racism

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 on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.98

Heather McGhee is an American political commentator and strategist with an economic specialty who noticed racism as a common root problem to economic crises. Her book details her personal journey to uncover what she calls the “Solidarity Dividend”: Gains that occur when people come together to accomplish what we can’t do on our own. Heather McGhee uses stories from across America to demonstrate how white supremacy’s collateral damage includes white people themselves and outlines her own message for a new future. 

A popular new psychology book to encourage rethinking

Think Again  The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam M. Grant

“Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam M. Grant, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.80

This book blends psychology and self-help to prove how doubt, failing, and rethinking are instrumental to improving ourselves and our world. Adam M. Grant is a psychologist whose research has shown that intellectual humility, or the ability to take constructive criticism, often has more benefits to productivity than first-time successes. In three sections, he outlines why we struggle to embrace feedback, how we can help others rethink effectively, and how our communities can shift to encourage rethinking.

A collective historical collaboration

"Four Hundred Souls  A Community History of African America, 1619 2019" by Editors Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

“Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019” by Editors Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, available at Amazon and Bookshop from $18.98

In an unparalleled and defining collection, “Four Hundred Souls” is a chronological account of 400 years of Black American history, told by 90 of America’s most profound Black writers. In a book that reclaims the ways history was written, it outlines major events with people all but forgotten by American history. Through poems and essays, each author covers five years of Black American history, beginning with the arrival of 20 enslaved Ndongo people one year before the arrival of the Mayflower.

The biography of a Nobel Prize winner

"The Code Breaker Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race" by Walter Isaacson

“The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race” by Walter Isaacson, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $21

Jennifer Doudna became obsessed with science, DNA, and the code of life in the sixth grade. Now, she’s known as the co-creator of CRISPR — a tool that can edit DNA. This biography depicts how Jennifer Doudna’s childhood interest in nature evolved into a Nobel Prize and the potential to change how science affects all aspects of human life. This book also outlines the moral and ethical implications of DNA-editing as well as the ways in which it could improve our physical and mental health. 

Historical Fiction

A bestselling Great Depression historical novel

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $17.39

After “The Nightingale,” Kristin Hannah truly became known as an outstanding historical fiction writer. This novel is set in 1934 Texas, where the Great Depression and an insufferable drought has farmers struggling to keep their livelihoods. Elsa is one of them, torn between fighting for her homeland or going to California with the hope of a brighter future. It’s a portrait of the American Dream, a heartbreaking story that reads so easily despite the complexity of Kristin Hannah’s characters and detailed portrait of life during the Great Depression.

A forbidden love story between enslaved men

"The Prophets" by Robert Jones Jr

“The Prophets” by Robert Jones Jr, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $18.59

This is a magnificent story of love thriving despite the heavy backdrop of slavery. Isiah and Samuel are two enslaved young men, caring for animals on a southern plantation. Their intimacy and refuge in each other protects them from the harsh world — until an older fellow slave begins preaching the master’s gospel to gain his favor. When the enslaved people begin to turn on each other, not only is Isiah and Samuel’s relationship threatened, but the harmony of the entire plantation. 

A World War II novel about code-breaking women

"The Rose Code" by Kate Quinn

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

In 1940, World War II engulfed Europe, and three women from England volunteered to train as code breakers while Britain prepared to join the fight against Germany. Osla, Mab, and Beth each have their own undeniable assets to code breaking. Seven years later, the three women are sworn enemies, torn apart by the pressures of secrecy and reunited over a mysterious letter — the key to which lies in the betrayal that tore them apart. 

An historical story about the power of books

"The Paris Library" by Janet Skeslien Charles

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

Odile was a librarian at the American Library in Paris in 1939 when the Nazis invaded the city. With her fellow librarians, Odile joined the Resistance armed with books. Nearly 45 years later, Lily is a teenager living in Montana when her elderly neighbor’s interesting past and common passions offer her the adventure for which she’s been searching. This book is about heroism, life during World War II, and the timeless love of literature.

Young Adult

A new YA book that asks deep questions

One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

“One of the Good Ones” by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $11.99

When Kezi Smith is killed after attending a social justice rally, she becomes immortalized as a victim in the fight against police brutality. As Happi, her sister, mourns, she finds herself questioning the perfect and angelic ways in which Kezi is remembered. Struggling with big philosophical questions after her sister’s death, Happi sets out to honor her sister in her own way, spurring a life-altering ride of discovery. This book is poignant and deeply interesting, addressing from a new angle the mentality that victims are either “thugs” or “one of the good ones.”

The story of an Indian American teenager

Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca

“Red, White, and Whole” by Rajani LaRocca, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $11.99

“Red, White, and Whole” is the story of Reha, a teen torn between her traditional home and her school, where she is the only Indian American student. Her parents rarely notice this clash of worlds unless Reha isn’t meeting their expectations. When Reha’s mother is diagnosed with leukemia, Reha decides she will be the ideal daughter in the hopes of saving her mother’s life. Though fictional, many of the struggles in this book are very real for teenage immigrants and children of immigrants. The emotion packed into these pages might break your heart and leave you shedding more than a few tears. 

A coming-of-age YA novel

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

“Concrete Rose” by Angie Thomas, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $13.98

A prequel to “The Hate U Give,” this YA takes place 17 years prior to Starr’s story, where Maverick Carter is torn between making money by dealing for the King Lords or finishing school and working an honest job. When Maverick finds out he’s a father, his life and priorities change, even though he’s still torn between loyalty and responsibility. In this coming-of-age novel, Maverick tackles big issues with real consequences and finds what it really means to be a father.

Thriller

A new science-fiction thriller

"Project Hail Mary" by Andy Weir

“Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $17.47

All Ryland knows is he’s been asleep for a very long time, he’s millions of miles from Earth, and he’s the sole survivor of a last chance space mission with an impossible task ahead of him: Conquering an extinction-level threat to the human race. Full of perfectly geeky sci-fi excitement paired with nail-biting thriller elements, this story is an exciting read with Andy Weir’s trademark humor throughout.

A bestselling, suspenseful thriller with two narrators

"The Good Sister" by Sally Hepworth

“The Good Sister” by Sally Hepworth, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.79

Fern and Rose are twin sisters who’ve escaped their mother’s sociopathic home and are trying to live normal lives. Rose spent her childhood protecting Fern, so when Rose finds she can’t have a baby, Fern sees an opportunity to repay her for everything she’s done. As the long-buried secrets begin to reveal themselves, this thriller holds tight and refuses to let you go until the final pages. It’s a domestic suspense of skewed memories and creepy double meanings. 

Stephen King’s latest release

"Later" by Stephen King

“Later” by Stephen King, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.56

In this coming-of-age storyline mixed with the supernatural elements that Stephen King writes best, Jamie is an extraordinary child who just wants an ordinary childhood. Though his mom urges him to keep it a secret, Jamie’s ability to see the supernatural pulls him into a police pursuit of a killer threatening to strike from beyond the grave. “Later” is Stephen King at his finest: Creepy, compelling, and complex.

Fantasy

The final book of an epic fantasy series

 A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas

“A Court of Silver Flames” by Sarah J Maas, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $16.85

This is the fifth and final novel of Sarah J. Maas’s super-popular “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series. What began as a “Beauty and the Beast” re-telling morphed into a sexy, fantastical series with wolves, faeries, and nymphs while also tackling mental health, healing, and self-love. If you are a fantasy reader, this is a series you need to read, knowing that this final installment lives up to the high expectations.

A fresh story full of magical realism

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

“The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $13.29

Nora has regrets. On an evening when she feels like she’s out of options and has ruined her life, she finds the midnight library. In the midnight library, the shelves go on forever — a different world inside each book, a life parallel to her own. Nora explores the lives she may have lived if she had made any single choice differently: Pursuing swimming or glaciology, undoing breakups, taking trips she’d previously canceled. This book has spurred some great conversations and leaves readers with the message that it’s never too late to make the choices that can change their lives for the better.

A reimagining of a mythological legend

"The Witch's Heart" by Genevieve Gornichec

“The Witch’s Heart” by Genevieve Gornichec, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $18.69

In “The Witch’s Heart,” fantasy meets Norse mythology to create an epic modern twist on a legend. Angrboda is a banished witch, forced to hide in the forest as a punishment from Odin for refusing to reveal the future. It is here that she meets Loki, and while their initial meeting breeds distrust, Angrboda soon falls in love with him. As she slowly recovers her powers, she knows she must protect her three children from growing dangers. This fantasy novel is a story of love, survival, and competing conflicts.

Fiction

A perfect beach read

"The People We Meet on Vacation" by Emily Henry

“The People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.06

This is a fun and cute rom-com story — and the perfect beach read. Alex and Poppy could not be more different, yet for the past 10 years, they’ve taken a summer vacation together to celebrate their friendship — until one mistake led to them not speaking for two years. When Poppy thinks back on the last time she was happy, she knows it was on vacation with Alex, so she reaches out and they embark on one more vacation to make everything right. While reading this book, you’ll feel every bit of love and heartbreak that Alex and Poppy endure.

The bestselling story of a family torn by immigration

"Infinite Country" by Patricia Engel

“Infinite Country” by Patricia Engel, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $14.95

A breathtaking book with a timely plot, this book follows a Columbian family fractured by immigration. Once their first child is born, Elena and Mauro flee a war-riddled Columbia for Houston, where they debate either overstaying their tourist visas or returning to Columbia and risking the safety of their children. When Mauro is deported, Elena is left in America — undocumented, caring for three children, and with few options for survival.

An emotional, funny new novel from a bestselling author

"Yolk" by Mary H.K. Choi

“Yolk” by Mary H.K. Choi, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $15.48

Jayne and June are estranged sisters. Jayne struggles to get by while juggling school, her mental health, her deadbeat boyfriend, and her social-media-obsessed friends. Meanwhile, June’s life seems perfect, with her high-paying finance job and huge apartment — that is, until she’s diagnosed with uterine cancer and desperately needs her sister’s help. In this funny yet emotional contemporary novel, the sisters switch places to commit insurance fraud in the hopes of saving June’s life. Though this book works through a lot of pain, the messages within are hopeful and uplifting.

A unique story of parenthood

"Detransition, Baby" by Torrey Peters

“Detransition, Baby” by Torrey Peters, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $22.91

“Detransition, Baby” is an unapologetically vulnerable novel about an unconventional family. Reese is a trans woman with a nearly perfect life, except for her inability to have a baby. When Reese and her ex-girlfriend (now Ames) broke up and Ames detransitioned, Reese’s life seemed to self-destruct. Meanwhile, Ames thought himself infertile until his boss, Katrina, got pregnant with his baby. As Katrina is unsure if she wants to keep it, Ames sees an opportunity to give his ex the baby she always wanted.

A new novel about two intertwining Muslim families

"The Bad Muslim Discount" by Syed M. Masood

“The Bad Muslim Discount” by Syed M. Masood, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $17.72

“The Bad Muslim Discount” follows two families who immigrated from Pakistan and Iraq (respectively) to San Francisco in the 1990s. Anvar Farris’ family unanimously decides to move to California and escape the fear growing in Pakistan, some of his family adjusting easily and others finding few ways to fit in as Muslims in America. Meanwhile, Safwa is a young girl growing up in Baghdad, who finds a far more dangerous route to escape the war. Anvar and Safwa’s very different worlds collide and create a real picture of identity and faith in America, with fantastic dry humor spun throughout.

A historic inaugural poem

"The Hill We Climb - An Inaugural Poem for the Country" by Amanda Gorman

“The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country” by Amanda Gorman, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.59

This is the special edition of the inspirational poem read by Amanda Gorman at the 46th Inauguration on January 20, 2021. With a foreword from Oprah Winfrey, this poem plants the hope of America’s future, demonstrates the power of poetry, and captivates readers with its breathtaking and uplifting messages.

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The best Kindle deals we expect on Amazon Prime Day 2021

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kindle kids
These are the best Kindle deals during Prime Day 2021.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Amazon Prime Day 2021 is nearly here, and you can expect discounts on Amazon’s family of Kindle e-readers throughout the annual shopping holiday.

Last year, we saw plenty of deals on various Kindle models and bundles, as well as Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription service. Kindle devices were up to 30% off and we anticipate similar discounts during Prime Day 2021.

Though the exact date for Prime Day 2021 isn’t set just yet, we’ll update this post as soon as Kindle deals appear. If you’re looking for discounts on more than just e-readers, check out our Amazon Prime Day 2021 hub page for all the latest deals during the sale.

Frequently asked questions

When is Amazon Prime Day 2021?

Amazon Prime Day 2021 is expected to begin in June 2021, but the exact date hasn’t been confirmed. We’ll be keeping track of the best deals as Prime Day approaches and throughout the shopping event.

Prime Day deals are exclusive to Amazon Prime subscribers, so you’ll need to sign up to get these Kindle discounts. Amazon Prime normally costs $13 a month or $120 per year, but new users can get their first 30 days of Prime with full benefits for free.

Prime Monthly Subscription (small)

How to shop for a Kindle or an e-reader

When shopping for the best Kindle or e-reader, start by figuring out how frequently you plan to use it, and where. If you only plan to use your Kindle casually at home, you might not need to pay more for the Paperwhite’s extra features like backlighting and water resistance.

You can save $20 buying an ad-supported Kindle, but I don’t recommend it; the savings feel good at purchase but the long-term annoyance of uncontrollable ads on your home screen is a steep price to pay, and it’s even worse when giving a Kindle as a gift.

If you’re not a frequent reader, you may want to download the free Kindle app and try downloading a few ebooks to read on your phone or another device. You may realize you’re just fine without a dedicated reading device, or maybe you want a bigger color screen for comic books and magazines, like the Fire HD 10 tablet.

Kindle Unlimited offers a ton of magazines and ebooks at a tempting price, but think about whether you’ll have time to dig into all of that material before you invest in the subscription.

Also, keep in mind that Kindle is Amazon’s brand of e-reader, but it’s not the only one out there. For example, Kobo earned top marks in our buying guide with its large screen and water-resistant models.

How to trade in an old Kindle for Amazon credit

Amazon offers an upgrade program for Kindle owners to trade-in their old devices for store credit and get a 20% discount on a new model.

The amount you’ll receive for your trade-in will depend on how old your Kindle is, and it will be applied to your account as an Amazon gift card. A separate credit for 20% off a new Kindle will also be added to your Kindle account, regardless of how old or broken your Kindle is, and you can apply that to Prime Day discounts.

Most Kindle models are worth between $5 and $25 in Amazon trade-in credit, while the latest Kindle Oasis can be traded for $75.

The best Amazon deals on Kindles right now

Kindle tops our list of the best e-readers, with prices normally starting at $90 for the basic ad-supported model. During the last Prime Day sale Kindle devices were discounted by 30% or more, including $75 off the Kindle Oasis (normally $250), $50 off the Kindle Paperwhite (normally $130), and $30 off the basic Kindle (normally $90).

While there are no current deals on Kindles, we expect big discounts when Prime Day 2021 starts in June.

All-New Kindle (medium)Kindle Oasis (medium)Kindle Paperwhite (medium)Kindle Kids Edition (medium)

The best Amazon deals on Kindle bundles right now

If you’re planning to give a child a new Kindle or gift it to a friend, you may want to grab a bundle with a case and power adapter to complete the package.

The Paperwhite Essential Bundle adds a leather cover and a power adapter for charging, while the Kindle Kids Edition Essential Bundle comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, as well as a cover, screen protector, and charger.

Both bundles are on sale right now, but we expect better deals when Prime Day 2021 begins. Last year, the Kindle Paperwhite Essentials bundle was $70 off and the Kindle Kids Edition Essentials bundle was $50 off.

Paperwhite Essentials Bundle (medium)Kindle Kids Edition Essentials Bundle (medium)

The best Amazon deals on Kindle Unlimited and ebooks right now

Amazon occasionally offers ebook credit when you buy a new Kindle or subscribe to Amazon Prime. During last year’s Prime Day, select Kindle purchases came with a $5 credit, and Prime members were able to choose two free Kindle books from a set list.

Kindle Unlimited, a subscription service offering thousands of ebooks and magazines, also had a special offer during Prime Day. New subscribers could get one free month, and Prime members could get 50% off a six-month subscription.

Right now, new members can get two months of Kindle Unlimited for $5. That’s $15 off the regular price. While that’s a solid promotion, a better deal could be available on Prime Day 2021.

Kindle Unlimited (Monthly price after free trial) (medium)

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Kindle Unlimited gives you access to more than 1 million books for $10 a month – right you you can a free month trial

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Amazon Kindle Unlimited

If you’re a Kindle user or simply like to read, then you’re probably familiar with Amazon’s massive range of e-books in the Kindle store. For those who want even more options, Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service can grant you access to a huge library of those e-books (over one million, in fact) for a low monthly fee.

Right now, first-time subscribers can choose between a free 30-day trial, or a two-month subscription for $5.

If you were otherwise to spend $15 a week on books, this service could save you $50 a month in the long run (that is, minus the usual $10 monthly fee).

Of course, it’s worth noting that you don’t necessarily need a Kindle e-reader to take advantage of the Kindle Unlimited service. You can enjoy Kindle e-books on other devices too, including your tablet, smartphone, or even on your computer. Suffice it to say, you can save a ton of money while reading a ton of books with Kindle Unlimited.

And Kindle Unlimited goes beyond e-books. It also offers current magazines and unlimited access to thousands of audiobooks. If after three months you end up deciding that Kindle Unlimited isn’t right for you, canceling is easy.

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The 27 best beach reads to dive into this summer

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Summer beach reads 2021 4x3
  • Beach reads are highly entertaining books that you can’t put down.
  • No matter the genre, these beach reads are an immersive escape, whether you’re on vacation or not.
  • Below are our 27 best beach read recs, including YA, romance, thriller, and non-fiction books.

Beach reads used to be known as mindless, mass-market paperbacks with shirtless men on the cover that we’d throw in our bags, read for an hour, and never care about again. But now, beach reads are an escape, whether your toes are in the sand or not. They take us on vacation, into a new world away from our stresses.

My mark of a good beach read is one with a fully consuming story. Many of these books are ones I’ve read in a single day (or a single sitting), and every one of them pairs perfectly with a day off. Whether it’s a delightfully cheesy romantic comedy or harrowing nonfiction, every book on this list has the potential to whisk you away and make any day a vacation in the sun.

27 great beach read books:

Rom-com beach reads

A charming and sexy rom-com

Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

“Take A Hint Dani Brown” by Talia Hibbert

First of all, every Talia Hibbert book belongs on this list. Her romances are known for their sensitivity and steam, but they’re also such enjoyable reads that any one of them is perfect for a relaxing beach day. Danika has no interest in a relationship but asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits. So when a video of sexy security guard Zafir carrying Danika out of a building goes viral, they decide to fake a relationship to promote Zafir’s charity (and help Danika secretly seduce him behind the scenes). I loved Dani’s intelligence and the anti-toxic masculinity storyline around Zafir. Have you ever teared up because a book was so naturally inclusive that it felt like a breath of fresh air? You might once you grab this.

Irresistible quality: The steamy romance.

A book that reads like a reality show

One to Watch by Kate Stayman London

“One to Watch” by Kate Stayman-London

Okay, I’ll admit it. I watch “The Bachelorette” every single week. If you love watching the show’s smart, strong leads who know exactly what they want and refuse to settle, then you will absolutely love this book. Bea is a plus-sized fashion blogger who gets asked to be on a “Bachelorette”-like show. She sees it as an opportunity to grow her brand and show that plus-size women deserve the spotlight, too. Between internet drama and conniving producers, this book is more entertaining than a reality show. 

Irresistible quality: The can’t-look-away drama.

An aptly titled read

Beach Read by Emily Henry

“Beach Read” by Emily Henry

Of course I had to include this one. It’s about two polar-opposite writers staying in neighboring beach houses for the summer, one a romance writer and the other trying to write the next Great American Novel. Faced with writer’s block, they decide to swap topics and spend the summer teaching each other the ins and outs of writing their genres, all while competing to publish their own book first. With plenty of romance, scenes that might make you cry, and an interesting (and accurate) inside look at the process of writing a book, this is an easy one to read in the sun. 

Irresistible quality: The enemies-to-friends-to-lovers storyline.

An emotional yet adorable romance

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abbi Jimenez

“The Happy Ever After Playlist” by Abbi Jimenez

This one starts out a little cheesy, but there’s something so endearing about it that got me hooked. Sloan lost her fiancé two years ago and is still struggling to get her life together when she finds a lost pup named Tucker whose owner, Jason, is on tour in Australia. The two exchange texts and calls, their connection growing as their meeting grows near. But being an international star, Jason might not have time for a relationship and Sloan could end up heartbroken again. This book is super dramatic and full of scandal, giving it all the summer romance vibes you need. 

Irresistible quality: A super cute dog — and a dog owner who’s not too bad looking, either.

The tale of an unexpected Hawaiian vacation

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

“The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren

Christina and Lauren (the co-authors) have written a bunch of fun rom-coms but this is my favorite because it’s absolutely hysterical. Olive (who thinks love is gross) and her sworn enemy Ethan put aside their mutual hatred for an all-expense paid Hawaiian honeymoon after food poisoning hits everyone in her sister’s wedding besides them. When they run into her boss, the entire vacation revolves around pretending to be loving newlyweds. It’s adorable and fast-paced because of the constant (and hilarious) complications that arise.

Irresistible quality: The witty banter.

Thriller beach reads

A brilliant and fast-moving thriller

Verity by Colleen Hoover

“Verity” by Colleen Hoover

The day I opened this book, I did absolutely nothing else besides get to the bottom of what the heck was happening in these pages. Lowen is a budding writer, brought to the Crawford home to finish writing Verity’s book series after a car accident left her in a waking coma. While doing research in Verity’s library, Lowen finds an autobiographical manuscript with haunting admissions, so devastating that she chooses to keep them a secret. This is a rollercoaster of lies that will have you trying to guess the truth until the last page.

Irresistible quality: The need to know the truth gets stronger with every lie.

A unbelievably creepy plot

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

“Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn

“Gone Girl” is undoubtedly the most famous of Flynn’s novels but “Sharp Objects” is my favorite to recommend as a beach read. It’s a bit shorter — and so twisted that you have to finish it in a day. Camille is an investigative reporter returning to her small town to cover the murder of a young girl. She’s staying with her hypochondriac mother in her childhood bedroom and must unravel some psychological twists in order to uncover the story. This is an incredibly suspenseful thriller and you’ll need the sun to balance out all the dark secrets.

Irresistible quality: A disturbing past that feels all too real.

A summer that turns deadly

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

“I Killed Zoe Spanos” by Kit Frick

Anna is spending the summer in the Hamptons on a nannying gig, in a community on edge after the New Year’s Eve disappearance of Zoe Spanos. Anna, who is constantly reminded of her resemblance to Zoe, begins to dig deeper into the unsolved case. Two months later, she finds herself charged with the manslaughter of a girl she’d never met. The book bounces between Anna’s confession and the summer as it unfolds, with an ending that will throw you for a loop — I really thought I had this one all figured out but the last 10 pages blew me away. 

Irresistible quality: The true-crime feel.

A shocking family drama

The Push by Ashely Audrian

“The Push” by Ashely Audrian

Blythe is determined to be the warm and loving mother she never had. She’s convinced that something is wrong with her daughter, even though her husband says she’s exhausted and just imagining things. When her second child is born, the connection between herself and her children is strong and beautiful, until their lives are forever changed. This is another one that demands to be read in one sitting as everything you’ve accepted is eventually overturned. The book’s short chapters have you turning the pages faster and faster as you navigate haunting memories, trauma, and the legacy of motherhood.

Irresistible quality: The ending that will make you want to throw the book in the ocean

Historical fiction beach reads

A page-turning exploration of one woman’s life

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid 

This was the first book I read in a single sitting and it’s one I recommend to everyone. Evelyn Hugo is an A-list Hollywood actress who is finally ready to tell her story, but only to one little-known journalist. In this book, we get to hear Evelyn’s story of rising to fame in the ’50s, leaving the business in the ’80s, and marrying seven husbands (all for different reasons) along the way. Taylor Jenkins Reid writes characters and stories that are so vivid, you can’t believe they’re not real. This book is fascinating and a little heartbreaking, and when everything comes together in the end, it might become your new favorite. 

Irresistible quality: The desire to know who the love of Evelyn’s life was.

A story of forgotten courage during the war

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

“The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah

Just when you think you’ve read every World War II story there is to tell, this book comes into your life. It’s about French women’s role in the war — from secret messengers across country lines to wives forced to house German soldiers as bombs drop around them. While 600 pages might warrant a week-long beach stay, I read this in two days and cried twice. It is so achingly beautiful and so hard to pull away.

Irresistible quality: The constant action of women fighting to survive.

A historical tale set in Scotland

The Skylark’s Secret by Fiona Valpy

“The Skylark’s Secret” by Fiona Valpy

In 1940, Flora embarks on a forbidden romance that brings even more tension into a home rocked by devastating changes in the community. Many years later, Flora’s daughter, Lexie, returns to the village with her own daughter to learn about her mother, their past, and the sacrifices made in her name. This multi-generational story is about war, love, and learning from and about our past. The family dynamics — and facing that which lays hidden behind them — make this book so beloved by many. 

Irresistible quality: The connection between the generations of women and their homeland.

A fictional account of a real, often-forgotten woman

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

“Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell

Maggie O’Farrell’s magical writing elevates an already fascinating book into one that you’ll hold close long after the summer is over. It’s historical fiction, based on the little known (but real) story of Agnes, found in the footnotes of “Hamlet.” In 1580s England, Agnes is a gifted healer, both feared and sought-after, who settles down with her husband and has three children. When her son, Hamnet, dies at age eleven, Agnes’ husband writes a play called “Hamlet.” You absolutely do not need to be a Shakespeare buff to love this story and appreciate its rightful place in history. 

Irresistible quality: Maggie O’Farrell’s lyrical writing.

Young adult beach reads

A story that will leave you feeling optimistic

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

“With the Fire on High” by Elizabeth Acevedo

The only place Emoni has to let go of her stress is the kitchen, making food that everyone agrees is unparalleled. With a dream to be a chef and an opportunity just out of reach, Emoni needs to find a way to balance her dreams and responsibilities. This one is about hardships: Young motherhood, the harshness of the world, and balancing everything you love. It’s a very character-driven novel, so prepare yourself to become emotionally invested in Emoni’s happiness and success. Elizabeth Acevedo might not be capable of writing anything that’s not incredible, as every book of hers I’ve read has blown me away. 

Irresistible quality: The food in this book will make you hungry in real life.

A queer enemies-to-lovers royal romance

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

“Red, White, and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston

Alex Claremont-Diaz is the first son of the White House with a lifelong nemesis — Prince Henry of British royalty. When Alex confronts Henry at a royal wedding, the story is leaked to the tabloids and the best solution is a publicity stunt: a fake friendship between the two. As Henry and Alex begin to fall in love, the truth threatens to destroy the President’s reelection campaign and even the relations between Britain and America. I love a good queer romance but the added royal aspect, the snarky wit between the boys, and the fun development of the relationship make this a must-read for the summer. 

Irresistible quality: The heart-swelling romance.

A competitive and sweet first-love story

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

“Today Tonight Tomorrow” by Rachel Lynn Solomon

For all four years of high school, Rowan and Neil hate each other, bitter rivals and complete opposites. When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan finds one last chance to beat him in a scavenger hunt/ninja assassin game played by all seniors after graduation. The plot spans 24 hours, which keeps this book moving quickly. It’s easy to laugh and root for these two as their faux-hateful banter turns quickly to friendship despite years of sworn rivalry. 

Irresistible quality: The balance between pure fun and deeper feelings.

A truly adorable, romantic high school adventure

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han

Lara Jean does not tell boys that she has a crush on them. Instead, she writes each one a letter and hides them all under her bed. Somehow, these letters have been mailed and all her past crushes, big and small, are confronting her about them. It’s highly amusing because of the reappearance of every crush — from her sister’s ex-boyfriend to her first kiss many years ago. The story is very cute and light, so you can relax in the sun as Lara winds through sisterhood and her past loves towards a romance that leaves you smiling. 

Irresistible quality: A light love story to make any beach day brighter.

A summer read set in picturesque Italy

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

“Love & Gelato” by Jenna Evans Welch

After her mother passes away, Lina finds her mother’s old journal while spending the summer in Tuscany to get to know her father. Suddenly no longer focused on leaving, Lina begins to follow her mother’s writing through Italy’s streets and discover her secrets with the help of a charming local boy. It’s a summer story of family, first love, and discovery. My favorite quote is “People come to Italy for all sorts of reasons, but when they stay it’s for the same two things… love and gelato.”

Irresistible quality: The adorable love story accompanying the uncovering of long-kept secrets.

Contemporary fiction beach reads

A novel of two very different journeys

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett

The Vignes sisters ran away from their small, southern Black community at 16 and moved on to very different lives; one sister moving back home with her Black daughter; the other passing for white, marrying a white man — and telling him nothing of her past. When their daughters’ lives intersect years later, they begin to uncover the decisions and lies of their mothers. This book is about race, but also exploration, identity, desires, and how our past influences it all. There is so much about this book to love that I read it twice. 

Irresistible quality: The stark differences of two sisters with the same upbringing.

A Californian story of love and friendship

The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe

“The Knockout Queen” by Rufi Thorpe

This is a coming-of-age story about the friendship between Bunny, a too-tall Olympic hopeful, and Michael, her closeted, home-schooled neighbor. Bunny is desperate to fit in and hide from her father’s alcoholism while Michael is trying to navigate his sexuality while meeting up with men on the internet, the two taking solace in each other’s company. With really intelligent writing that keeps you interested in the characters, it’s an unapologetic and unflinchingly honest telling of two teens seeking human connection. 

Irresistible quality: A tender look into the victories and downfalls of two misfits.

A light read on a thought-provoking topic

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

“Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid

This book gets interesting from the first scene, where Emira, a young African-American woman, is accused of kidnapping Briar, the white child she babysits, while walking around the grocery store. Alix, the blogger mom of the child, tries to right the situation that quickly gets farther and farther out of control. Emira and Briar are hugely loveable characters that contrast heavily with the supposedly well-intentioned Alix, making this an entertaining read as well as a broader commentary on race, class, and influencer culture.

Irresistible quality: How true-to-life the story feels. 

A story of fighting for what you love

Things You Save In A Fire by Katherine Center

“Things You Save In A Fire” by Katherine Center

Katherine Center is so good at writing hardships that leave you feeling hopeful. This one is about Cassie, one of the only female firefighters in her firehouse. With rundown facilities, no funding to fix them, and an environment that borders on toxic, the men aren’t thrilled to have a woman join the crew, even though she’s more competent than most of them. When the handsome new guy is the only one nice to her, Cassie has to constantly remind herself that she doesn’t date firefighters. Katherine Center writes stories that have you rooting for the main character with every part of your heart and soul, and this one is true to form. 

Irresistible quality: The protagonist’s complete badassery.

A classic-feeling beach read with secrets galore

Winter In Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

“Winter In Paradise” by Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is basically the ultimate beach read writer, churning out smooth reads that end in cliffhangers. After the sudden, tragic death of her husband, Irene travels to St. John to investigate the unusual circumstances in which he died, stumbling upon the secrets of a man she may not have known as well as she thought. I loved this for a summer read because the characters are easy to understand, the drama keeps you interested, and there’s just enough romance to have me rooting for love. 

Irresistible quality: The tropical tourist destination setting.

Non-fiction beach reads

A historical crisis told in an intimate way

The Splendid and The Vile  A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

“The Splendid and The Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz” by Erik Larson

This book is a highly researched history about Churchill’s actions and reactions in Britain during the WWII era. It follows him as well as his family and friends through the fear surrounding London as Hitler kills 45,000 Britains in a bombing campaign, having invaded Holland and Belgium on Churchill’s first day as Prime Minister. Erik Larson writes history like an unfolding drama, so you’ll find yourself learning and invested in the story.

Irresistible quality: The diaries and formerly classified intelligence reports.

A true story about the mothers of our heroes

The Three Mothers by Anna Malaika Tubbs

“The Three Mothers” by Anna Malaika Tubbs

This is the story of the mothers who raised and shaped Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin. Faced with Jim Crow-era racism, little has been previously said of the incredible women who taught these men the beliefs of justice and equality that would change the world. The book is filled with love and compassion, the motherhood weaving through every page. It brings the experience of Black women and mothers into the conversation while truly demonstrating their vital significance in the ongoing fight against oppression. 

Irresistible quality: The untold stories of three extraordinary women.

A fact-filled presentation of a frustrating bias

Invisible Women  Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Pérez

“Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men” by Caroline Criado Pérez

In nearly every aspect of our society, women are systematically ignored. From the way crash test dummies, voice recognition software, and even medicinal dosing have been designed, the data that drives nearly every aspect of our lives revolves around men. This book can be a little appalling as the well-researched case studies shed light on an unconscious bias in our society that might start to feel more and more obvious as you learn more about it. 

Irresistible quality: The data to back up every claim.

A true story about women who glow

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

“The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women” by Kate Moore

As soon as I found out about this phenomenon of “The Radium Girls” I dove headfirst into this book. During the First World War, they were working in factories to get radium — a newly discovered magical drug — into the hands of the public. The girls were covered in radium, literally glowing from the chemical all over their bodies after leaving their coveted jobs. But when they began to fall ill, the factories ignored their claims that it could be from the radium. It’s the story of a fight for workers’ rights, one that saved so many lives because the women demanded to be heard. It’s also such a remarkable story that it’s easy to forget it’s true.

Irresistible quality: The tension created from fighting for what’s right.

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