tom and jerry reading

Bookstr Recommends: What the Bookstr Staff Are Reading This December!

We know you’re planning your 2018 reading lists right now. It’s what bookworms do. You’re probably figuring out a way to pace yourself from month to month for maximum reading output. And whenever someone recommends a book to you, you probably exclaim that you’d love to read it…but then you immediately forget.


Sometimes the hardest part of reading is finding your next favorite book. Don’t worry. That’s why you’re on Bookstr.


Mercedez PulseEditorial


Movie Geek

Image Via Amazon


I recently started reading, Movie Geek: A Geek’s Guide to the Movieverse by Simon Brew. If you’re a film buff like me, then I highly recommend reading it! Readers can get inside scoops into the world of cinema and Hollywood. The book is filled with a variety of incredibly interesting lists, from “Brilliant Opening Credits Sequences in Movies to “Films That Fell Apart Mid-Production” and so much more. From hilarious to downright shocking backstories, you won’t be able to put this down!


A huge benefit of this read is that it gives you some great conversation starters as you can share your insights with others, whether you want to spice up a conversation or impress your friends. It’s also a great read for when you’re out and about; whether you’re commuting to work or are enjoying a tasty, slightly overpriced treat at Starbucks. Unlike fiction, which can at times require some serious focus, this book is the perfect read when you want to be strictly entertained and learn some interesting facts to boot.


Chris EderEditor


Way of Kings

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My brother got me a three month subscription to Audible for my birthday, which was really nice of him, but also, I’m not that into audiobooks. I don’t usually have the time to concentrate on them, and even if I do find the time, then I don’t have the mental capacity to stay focused for more than forty-five seconds at a time. But it was a gift, so I thanked him so much, and bought Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings.


It’s bonkers. Fantasy isn’t really my jam, but Sanderson’s book is basically The Matrix crossed with The Lord of the Rings. It’s just absolutely crazy. The first scene is of a gravity-manipulating hitman summoning the fantasy equivalent of a lightsaber and absolutely clobbering a gillion royal guards just to SPOILERS assassinate the king. Bonkers, I tell you.


The issue I’m having is the format and the length. I’ve been listening to it regularly on my commute to and from work (about an hour and a half total) for a week, and I’m only ten hours in. I say only because the audiobook is forty-five hours long. Yes, you read that correctly. Luckily, I do enjoy The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings.


Francesca ContrerasEditorial


Streets of Fire

Image Via Amazon


One of my recent reads about one of my favorite people ever is Streets of Fire: Bruce Springsteen in Photographs and Lyrics 1977-1979. I happened across this one in Barnes & Noble and just went for it and man, I’m glad I did. Written and photographed by Eric Meola, we follow his words as he sort of shadows the Boss to document his life and career, which was, at the time, on the brink of blowing up.


This book takes place after the classic Born to Run album, but before the release of Darkness on the Edge of Town. Meola takes beautiful shots of Springsteen and tells the stories of them reflecting on life as well as the singer’s raw trek towards his goals. One of my favorite parts was when Meola and Springsteen are driving down a long stretch of highway with a storm edging toward them. When they pulled over, Meola was able to get a haunting photograph. Springsteen went on to channel that day’s memory to write ‘The Promised Land,’ which found its way on Darkness on the Edge of Town. From haunting photos to soulful lyrics sprinkled throughout the story, this is one book fans shouldn’t miss.


Laura-Blaise McDowellEditor



Image Via Amazon


I just finished Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth, which is a study of female friendship, above all else. It follows Laura and Tyler, two best friends who live together, party together and do everything together. They’re not coping well with the end of their twenties, refusing to give up the hard partying lifestyle they’re used to. When Laura gets engaged to her fiancee, who doesn’t even drink anymore, her week-long benders and constant recreational drug use start becoming more trouble than they are worth. But any attempt to tone down her behavior is seen by Tyler as a personal affront. 


The book is definitely well-written. It’s from Laura’s point of view and she is an aspiring writer, so every so often she will go on little inner-musing rants, which are beautifully written but will occur at strange times in events such as dropping multiple pills and hanging out at afterparties until 8am. While I know often this sort of behavior does lead people to feel like they’re having revelations of sorts, somehow I felt it was a little disconnected. Maybe there were two novels here, or a mixing of two intentions. On the one hand, Unsworth is a great writer of prose, on the other the story doesn’t quite match up with the way it’s told. I think it may have worked better if it was told in the third person, even if it was still Laura-centric, as then there would have been more room for Unsworth to explore prose, which is definitely her strong point. Over all I enjoyed it though, it’s an interesting depiction of female friendship, unlike any I’ve seen before, and the dialogue is pretty to die for.


Image Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash