Bookstr’s Three to Read 11/26/18

It’s Monday, the hardest day of the week, but here at Bookstr, we’ve got your back! We’re ready to deliver our newest picks for your weekly reads. This week, our Hot Pick is The Feral Detective by Jonathan Lethem. Our Coffee Shop Read to help you relax and unwind is Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell. And lastly, our unique Dark Horse for the week is Barons of the Sea by Steven Ujifusa



Our Hot Pick

The Feral Detective by Jonathan Lethem




Image via HarperCollins Publishers


Phoebe Siegler first meets Charles Heist in a shabby trailer on the eastern edge of Los Angeles. She’s looking for her friend’s missing daughter, Arabella, and hires Heist to help. A laconic loner who keeps his pet opossum in a desk drawer, Heist intrigues the sarcastic and garrulous Phoebe. Reluctantly, he agrees to help. The unlikely pair navigate the enclaves of desert-dwelling vagabonds and find that Arabella is in serious trouble—caught in the middle of a violent standoff that only Heist, mysteriously, can end. Phoebe’s trip to the desert was always going to be strange, but it was never supposed to be dangerous. . . .


Hailed by Pulitzer Prize-winner Colson Whitehead as ‘a nimble and uncanny performance, brimming with Lethem’s trademark verve and wit’, The Feral Detective novel left us craving more!  The pair of unlikely protagonists make for a beautifully detailed journey with excitement at every turn. Lethem’s first detective novel since Motherless Brooklyn will keep you on the edge of your seat as the plot thickens with its many spins and twists. For anyone looking for a book to keep you hooked, the search is over.

Our Coffee Shop Read

Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell



Image via Pea Green Boat Books – Shopify



Drawn from Gaiman’s trove of published speeches, poems, and creative manifestos, Art Matters is an embodiment of this remarkable multi-media artist’s vision—an exploration of how reading, imagining, and creating can transform the world and our lives.

Art Matters bring together four of Gaiman’s most beloved writings on creativity and artistry:

  • “Credo,” his remarkably concise and relevant manifesto on free expression, first delivered in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings
  • “Make Good Art,” his famous 2012 commencement address delivered at the Philadelphia University of the Arts
  • “Making a Chair,” a poem about the joys of creating something, even when words won’t come
  • “On Libraries,” an impassioned argument for libraries that illuminates their importance to our future and celebrates how they foster readers and daydreamers

Featuring original illustrations by Gaiman’s longtime illustrator, Chris Riddell, Art Matters is a stirring testament to the freedom of ideas that inspires us to make art in the face of adversity, and dares us to choose to be bold.


Neil Gaiman is known internationally as a result of his hit books for both children, such as Coraline, and adults, like American Gods. However,  Art Matters differs from his usual work with stories and comic book characters. Art Matters is an endearing read, full of inspiration and guidance in every page. Although each page consists of simple advice in the form of short quotes, Riddell’s illustrations serve to hammer on the points of these quotes in remarkable ways. Perfect if you need some quick inspiration while sipping on your favorite coffee!

Our Dark Horse

Barons of the Sea by Steven Ujifusa



Image via Target



There was a time, back when the United States was young and the robber barons were just starting to come into their own, when fortunes were made and lost importing luxury goods from China. It was a secretive, glamorous, often brutal business—one where teas and silks and porcelain were purchased with profits from the opium trade. But the journey by sea to New York from Canton could take six agonizing months, and so the most pressing technological challenge of the day became ensuring one’s goods arrived first to market, so they might fetch the highest price.

“With the verse of a natural dramatist” (The Christian Science Monitor), Steven Ujifusa tells the story of a handful of cutthroat competitors who raced to build the fastest, finest, most profitable clipper ships to carry their precious cargo to American shores. They were visionary, eccentric shipbuilders, debonair captains, and socially ambitious merchants with names like Forbes and Delano—men whose business interests took them from the cloistered confines of China’s expatriate communities to the sin city decadence of Gold Rush-era San Francisco, and from the teeming hubbub of East Boston’s shipyards and to the lavish sitting rooms of New York’s Hudson Valley estates.

Elegantly written and meticulously researched, Barons of the Sea is a riveting tale of innovation and ingenuity that “takes the reader on a rare and intoxicating journey back in time” (Candice Millard, bestselling author of Hero of the Empire), drawing back the curtain on the making of some of the nation’s greatest fortunes, and the rise and fall of an all-American industry as sordid as it was genteel.


While you may not consider yourself someone who seeks our historical accounts of nautical advancement, that was only your identity until now. Once you get your hands on this expansive compendium of swashbuckling adventure and rich history, never again will you dismiss this genre! Ujifusa combines historical storytelling with exciting twists and turns in order to properly define how these groups of people survived on their long voyages, as well as showing us their way of life in totality. Definitely a unique read, Barons of the Sea is Steven Ujifusa’s exciting and educational story.