It’s Monday again, and the holidays are well and truly here, and we bet our bottom dollar that you’re in the midst of a whirlwind of gift buying. But don’t worry, we’ve got your covered with this week’s Three to Read, the three books we’ve picked for you to read (or give as presents!) this week.
Our Hot Pick
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The perfect holiday gift for fans of Stranger Things—the official behind-the-scenes companion guide to the first two seasons and beyond, featuring exclusive photos and stunning concept art.
Stranger things have happened. . . .
When the first season of Stranger Things debuted on Netflix in the summer of 2016, the show struck a nerve with millions of viewers worldwide and received broad critical acclaim. The series has gone on to win six Emmy Awards, but the its success was driven more than anything by word of mouth, resonating across generations. Viewers feel personal connections to the characters. Now fans can immerse themselves in the world—or worlds—of Hawkins, Indiana, like never before. Inside you’ll find
• original commentary and a foreword from creators Matt and Ross Duffer
• exclusive interviews with the stars of the show, including Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, and David Harbour
• the show’s earliest drafts, pitches to Netflix, and casting calls
• insights into the Duffers’ creative process from the entire crew—from costume and set designers to composers and visual-effects specialists
• deep dives into the cultural artifacts and references that inspired the look and feel of the show
• a map of everyday Hawkins—with clues charting the network of the Upside Down
• a digital copy of the Morse code disk Eleven uses, so you can decipher secret messages embedded throughout the text
• a look into the future of the series—including a sneak preview of season three!
Adding whole new layers to enrich the viewing experience, this keepsake is essential reading for anyone and everyone who loves Stranger Things.
Why not!? This is the perfect gift for anyone who has so much as walked through a room in which an episode of Stranger Things has been playing. It’s absolutely beautiful in its presentation and we here in the Bookstr office have been taking turns holding and caressing it and can attest that regardless of whether or not you love Stranger Things, this is an unbelievably nice object that would top anyone’s holiday wishlist, look great on any shelf, but of course, above anything else, will be the ultimate gift for the Stranger Things lover in your life and you’ll never be able to top it.
Our Coffee Shop Read
Master of His Fate by Barbara Taylor Bradford
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford comes the first book in a stunning new historical saga.
Victorian England is a country of sharp divides between rich and poor, but James Lionel Falconer, who spends his days working at his father’s market stall, is determined to become a merchant prince. Even as a child, he is everything a self-made man should be: handsome, ambitious, charming, and brimming with self-confidence. James quickly rises through the ranks, proving himself both hardworking and trustworthy, and catching the eye of Henry Malvern, head of the most prestigious shipping company in London. But when threats against his reputation – and his life – begin to emerge, James will have to prove that he truly is the master of his fate.
Through scandal and romance, tragedy and triumph, the Falconer and Malvern family’s lives intertwine in unexpected ways in this expansive and intricately detailed new novel filled with drama, intrigue, and Bradford’s trademark cast of compelling characters.
This is the perfect coffee shop read, as literary veteran Barbara Taylor Bradford takes you on a gorgeous stroll through Victorian times, that keeps you turning the pages, while you sip your seasonal beverage in your favorite cafe. It is the first of Bradford’s new The House of Falconer series, and Publishers Weekly says that it “nicely sets the groundwork for future installments. Bradford’s many fans will find a vast new cast of characters to connect with.”
Our Dark Horse
Bad Advice: How to Survive and Thrive in an Age of Bullshit by Dr. Venus Nicolino
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You Are a Badass meets F*ck Feelings–in this fiercely smart wake-up call from larger-than-life TV personality and relationship expert Dr. V. Dr. V dismantles the damaging neo-folk wisdom of pop psychology and provides empowering strategies for true transformation.
On WE tv, Bravo, and her popular Your Daily Dose of Dr. V. YouTube channel, Dr. Venus Nicolino takes a blowtorch to what she calls the useless “neo-folk wisdom of pop psychology,” a.k.a. “Bad Advice.” Dr. V. explains how ubiquitous sayings, such as “Follow Your Bliss” and “You Can’t Love Anyone Until You Love Yourself”, seem to offer deep insight but are actually misguided. In Bad Advice, Dr. V. pairs humor, hard science, and heart to offer a psychological course-correction like no other.
Simultaneously irreverent and smart, Bad Advice traces an arc from our biology as animals to our shared history as a species to understand how these common misperceptions became cultural truths. Dr. V. explores a true murderer’s row of pop-psych BS, including such renowned hits as:
- “You Get What You Get and You Don’t Get Upset”
- “You Can’t Love Anyone Until You Love Yourself”
- “Live Each Day Like It Was Your Last”
- “Nobody Can Make You Feel Bad Without Your Permission”
Combining the brains and insight of a Ph.D. with the heart of an Italian matriarch–and a Philadelphia cab driver’s facility with profanity–Dr. V. illuminates the origins of each piece of bad advice, deconstructs what makes it so compelling, and explains why it is misguided, replacing every aspect with grounded and field-tested strategies that truly work. Infused with humor and her trademark glamorous heart-sense, Bad Advice doesn’t offer a one-size-fits-all answer to life’s problems–it empowers readers to find their own.
Bad Advice: How to Survive and Thrive in an Age of Bullshit appeared on USA TODAY’S National Bestseller List and debuted at number one on the LA Times Bestseller List, so you know it’s good. This is the perfect book to get your 2019 off to a ‘no bullshit’ start, and help you get the most out of your new year. It would make a great gift for anyone who’s into self-improvement and getting the most of life, or a great present to yourself this holiday season. Get what you want, love yourself, live life to the full and never give anyone permission to make you feel bad!