Road-tripping? Here’s something to keep you entertained while you count down the miles.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Coming to the big screen in August, this is one of my all-time favorite YA books. And the audio is so so good. Prepare to cry in public (or, preferably, in the privacy of your car). Mia is a concert cellist with dreams of going to Julliard. At the same time, she is sick at the thought of leaving behind her family and her boyfriend, Adam. But all those decisions – stay at home with her loved ones or take the opportunity of lifetime in New York and Julliard – get put on hold when Mia and her parents and younger brother are in a terrible car accident.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
I don’t even like fantasy and I’ve listened to the first two books in this series twice (and am just waiting for the third one to come up at my library). Blue-haired, art student Karou lives in Prague and has no idea where she came from. She grew up in the shop of a part human, part many-other-animals chimaera named Brimstone who deals in human teeth. Karou has spent her childhood being sent to collect teeth but has no idea why. But teeth are the least of her worries when, on one expedition, an angel (who even knew those existed?) tries to kill her and she quickly realizes that everything in her world is falling apart. Perfectly plotted and beautifully written, this is why people like fantasy.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
You’ll definitely feel like you are developing Alzheimer’s while you read this. With that warning out of the way, this book about a Harvard professor developing early-onset Alzheimer’s is terrifying and heart-breaking.
Fire by Kristin Cashore
Here I am saying I don’t like fantasy that much, and there are two of them on this list. There’s too much plot in this book to sum it up, but it’s got it all: mind-reading, romance, political intrigue, family dynamics, and treachery. Plus, many great twists I didn’t see coming. And not to judge a book by it’s cover, but this is the BEST cover. I think Kristin Cashore could make anyone like fantasy. (Graceling is also stellar).
Does a generic medicine work as well as the brand-name? Why are we so swayed by free stuff? Are there techniques for making students more honest before exams? And why do we do the same irrational things over and over again? This reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell a bit, in the best possible way.