Bookstr Book Club’s July Reads that Ensnared and Enthralled

We’re back with the second installment of Bookstr Book Club! Check out what we read last month in July!

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summer sunset with three book covers

We’re back for our second installment of Bookstr Book Club. As a refresher, this series is a monthly recap of what the Bookstr team has read over the previous month that we just had to share! To see what we loved for June 2023, check out the article here. We love sharing our reading and thought with you, so without further ado, here are our July reads that we can’t help but share!

Don’t Believe Everything You Think by Joseph Nguyen

I saw it on Instagram and intended to buy it to help me understand why I overthink and overanalyze things. I don’t always listen to podcasts, but I heard Steffen Peters mention it on the Dressage Today, and the interviewer happened to ask for book recommendations on the one day I decided to listen to a podcast.

Book cover of Don't Believe Everything You THink.
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The whole book analyzes your way of thinking. For example, the emotions you have when you think a thought and then how your body responds with either a negative thought or positive thought, and that’s how the cycle of overthinking starts. It goes more in-depth about the cycle of anxiety and overthinking. There’s a concept about piano keys — like if political figures were one of the 88 keys on the piano, then how would we feel about them? That reminds me to consider things from different perspectives before I “judge/criticize/make assumptions” about people, the news, gossip, etc.

Christina Hardesty, Graphics

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Mass

As a major ACOTAR fan, I obviously had to finish the series (or at least what’s been released of it so far). I was a little hesitant to read this book for a while and put it off because I was never a huge fan of the main character in this book, Nesta Archeron, but boy, was I proved wrong. Her character development throughout the series is one of the greatest I’ve ever witnessed. The messages in this story really sat with me. It’s all about self-love and acceptance of your mistakes. It really made me think that I need to give myself more credit for the things I have accomplished in my life.

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas
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A Court of Silver Flames is the fifth book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. It’s kind of hard to describe what this book is about without spoiling the rest of the series. This book is about the sister of the main protagonist in the previous installments. We only see her on occasion in the first four books, and when we do, there isn’t much to like about her character for most people. She’s seen as being cruel, stuck up, and selfish. In A Court of Silver Flames, we get to hear Nesta’s story from her own perspective, and it really shines a light on the person she truly is, not how she is portrayed.

Sara McCoy, Social & Graphics

Silver in the Bone by Alexandra Bracken

I’ve been a huge fan of Alexandra Bracken for the better part of a decade, so when I saw she recently released a book that is the first in a series, I was hyped to reunite with the work of one of my favorite fantasy authors. Since all of her worlds are vastly different, from dystopian superheroes (The Darkest Minds) to rival time-traveling gangs (Passenger) to a Greek Mythology Battle Royale (Lore), I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in this tale where Arthurian legend meets the thieving adventure of Indiana Jones, and I was not disappointed.

This novel is full of lush worldbuilding, interesting and complex characters, and a bit of a rivals-to-lovers thrown in for good measure. Perfect for readers who love shows like The Librarians and don’t mind the occasional jumpscare from the undead.

Silver in the Bone by Alexandra Bracken
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Silver in the Bone takes place in a magic world. Tamsin Lark, a young woman who, with her brother Cabell, is a Hollower. They are part of a secret society of Cunningfolk who break into secret crypts and steal treasures for sorceresses. Since she has no magic herself, Tamsin relies on her infamous guardian and cursed brother to help keep her safe.

That is until their guardian abandons them without a trace. Seven years later, rumors of a magic ring that has the power to break curses could be Tamsin’s last hope of saving her brother. Unfortunately, there are many who covet the ring and many more who would kill for it. Tamsin is forced to team up with her rival and dive headfirst into a world of dark magic, danger, and revenge, where she must confront ghosts of the past in order to have a future.

Cara Hadden, Editorial

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children ages ago and never got around to reading the rest of the series. After a little reading slump, I decided to just dive into Hollow City, the second book, as I already owned it and wanted to give it a shot. I’m so glad I did! I fell right back into the story and thoroughly enjoyed going along for the ride. The worldbuilding of this series is phenomenal, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children follows Jacob Portman, a regular guy, as he realizes he is actually a peculiar. After his grandfather’s death, Jacob ends up going on a trip with his dad to Cairnholm Island, Wales, to learn more about who his grandfather was and where he grew up. He discovers Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children, learning how his grandfather was also a peculiar and lived with her. Hollow City, the next book of the series, follows Jacob and the peculiar children trying to save Miss Peregrine from the monsters trying to kill them. Their story continues for another four books.

Lauren Tabella, Editorial

Men Who Hate Women by Laura Bates

I bought this book because it was the nonfiction book of the month at my university bookstore in April, though I’ve only gotten around to reading it recently. This isn’t a pleasant read by any means, but it is certainly an important one. This is a discussion of both misogyny and toxic masculinity that is very impactful and fairly comprehensive. Men and women would both benefit reading this text.

Men Who Hate Women by Laura Bates
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Men Who Hate Women is an examination of the extremist misogynistic communities of men, largely online, several of which few outside these communities are aware of, and all of which have demonstrable effects on the real world. Laura Bates discusses crimes against women, the real challenges faced by many men in a toxically masculine society, and challenges the framework of how sexism is discussed.

Anne Brenneman, Editorial

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

I decided to read this book prior to sitting down and watching the movie all the way through. I was absolutely captivated by the badass character that is Lisbeth Salander. The mystery of the murdered girl was the icing on the cake. The movie is gritty and suspenseful, though slow at times, and deals with heavy topics that aren’t suitable for everyone. I would highly recommend this, though, to any crime fiction fans.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is about the death of Harriet Vanger, a member of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families. Forty years later, her uncle hires a financial journalist named Mikael Blomkvist to investigate her murder, as well as his family. He’s aided by a tattooed punk prodigy named Lisbeth Salander, and together they uncover astonishing corruption.

Madison Weir, Editorial

The Firm by John Grisham

Although I don’t intentionally filter what genres or types of books I will and won’t read, studying in college literature classes has diverted a lot of my readings toward certain canonical literature. The Firm was a welcome change from my recent reading habits, both in content and experience.

While the plot was engaging and suspenseful in and of itself, Grisham’s attention to detail is the reason why it was my favorite read this month. It brought the story to life in a way that wasn’t just about action and surprises but about stepping into the setting as you read. I’d never read a legal thriller, or really anything like one, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The Firm by John Grisham
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The Firm follows Mitch McDeere, a new Harvard law graduate who takes a job at a small but highly profitable firm in Memphis. At first, the firm seems all in order, yielding its unusually high profits primarily by doing tax work for rich clients and clocking in obscene work hours. When the FBI confronts Mitch about the firm, he begins to realize that there may be more to it, and he may be far more in over his head than he thought.

Jenna Marcotte, Editorial

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

This is a reread for me, but still an amazingly insightful one. While I am not one to read genres heavy on technology, as I prefer fantasy over sci-fi, this one really got me thinking. I love Brown’s thrillers, especially as they are entrenching in history, art, and governments, so Digital Fortress checked all the boxes and then some.

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
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Unlike his Robert Langdon books, Digital Fortress’s main protagonist is a woman. NSA cryptographer Susan Fletcher is called in to help the agency as it’s being held hostage with their own code-breaking system. This task ensnares Fletcher in a globally entangled plot of espionage, secrets, and lies that could cost her and her significant other’s life.

Kristi Eskew, Editorial


Have you read any of these recs? Tell us what you thought! If not, make sure to add them to your TBR!

Want more Bookstr Team Recs? Check out our picks for Summer Slashers!

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