The greatest thing about Bookstr is that it is by bookies, for bookies. When reading an article on our website, scrolling down our Facebook page, or double tapping on one of our Instagram photos, there’s a sense of community that precedes the action. With each article that we publish, we hope to bring that community just a little bit closer. How can we effectively do that, though, if our readers don’t know the person behind the article? So, please allow us to introduce ourselves, and in what better way than to show you what some of our current-reads are? After all, Lemony Snicket put it best when he said “never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” This is, quite simply, us bringing our books with us to our virtual introduction!
Valarie D’Amico, Editorial Intern
Instagram Handle: @pinballwitch69
What’s Valarie Reading: Emma by Jane Austen
What’s it about: In the village of Highbury, around the estates of Hartfield, Randalls, and Donwell Abbey, young Emma Woodhouse is a clever young woman whose attempts to set her friend Harriet up with eligible bachelors leads to all sorts of mishaps.
What does Valarie like about Emma: Emma isn’t a conventional protagonist. She’s spoiled and shallow and needs to mature before she can have a happy ending.
Who she recommends it to: Anyone who has seen Clueless.
Gina Esposito, Editorial Intern
Instagram Handle: @Ginae96
What’s Gina Reading: All Adults Here by Emma Straub
What’s it about: Astrid Strick – mother to three grown up children – has been keeping a secret. Just as she is finally warming up to share her secret with her family, a forgotten memory from her younger parenting days is jostled loose, and it’s not a good one. The secrets are multiplying, it seems, and so are her mistakes. Suddenly, Astrid realizes, she may not have been quite the parent she always thought she was. But to what consequence? And is it too late to set things right?
What does Gina like about All Adults Here: I like how witty the tone is and how the novel portrays the complexities of a seemingly typical family. It is done brilliantly and the characters all have so many hidden layers that come out over the course of the novel. The book accurately shows how the different actions of each family member affects the others as their lives tangle and untangle with one another.
Screen reader support enabled.
Who she recommends it to: Anyone looking for a witty fiction novel that deals with family dynamics.
Camila Fagen, Editorial Intern
Instagram Handle: @camilafagen
What’s Camila Reading: The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa
What’s it about: “On an unnamed island off an unnamed coast, objects are disappearing: first hats, then ribbons, birds, roses—until things become much more serious. Most of the island’s inhabitants are oblivious to these changes, while those few imbued with the power to recall the lost objects live in fear of the draconian Memory Police, who are committed to ensuring that what has disappeared remains forgotten.
When a young woman who is struggling to maintain her career as a novelist discovers that her editor is in danger from the Memory Police, she concocts a plan to hide him beneath her floorboards. As fear and loss close in around them, they cling to her writing as the last way of preserving the past.”
What does Camila like about The Memory Police: I love the concept of the story. It’s very original, super interesting, and honestly kind of terrifying. The writing is also very dreamlike and has a great atmosphere.
Who she recommends it to: I would recommend it to fans of literary fiction and of dystopias, and also to people who are feeling a little existential.
Camila is an avid reader and reads like almost two books a week. Which is why we have another recommendation from Camila this week!
What else is Camila Reading: I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
What’s it about: A man and his girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. When the two take an unexpected detour, she is left stranded in a deserted high school, wondering if there is any escape at all. What follows is a twisted unraveling that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.
What does Camila like about I’m Thinking of Ending Things: You just never quite know what’s going on so it keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. The writing is also very interesting and there is some great dialogue.
Who she recommends it to: Suspense/thriller fans. People who like non-straight-forward fiction. Also, people who are planning on watching the movie or have already seen it but want a little more context/explanation.
Ashley Holady, Editorial Intern
Instagram Handle: @aholady7114
What’s Ashley reading: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
What’s it about: Amazon’s summary of ‘Quiet’: “At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
“In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.”
What Ashley likes about Quiet: I first got into her book last year – about a few years after first seeing Susan Cain’s TED Talk called “The Power of Introverts” – and it really opened my eyes as it sheds light on the many ways that the world had evolved into an extraverted-centric one which seems to shun introverted personality types at every turn; it really made me feel validated for being an introvert myself!
Who she recommends it to: Every introvert who wants to better understand themself!
Samantha Jones, Associate Editor
Instagram Handle: @sammieraesreads
What’s Samantha reading: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (her favorite book of all time!)
What’s it about: According to IMDB TV: “Jane Eyre, an orphan child, is left to live under the charity of her Aunt Reed. After living ten years of mistreatment and segregation in her Aunt’s home, she is then sent to Lowood – a boarding school for young girls. Jane grows up both physically and mentally at Lowood and becomes a teacher at the age of eighteen. She then advertises for the position of a governess and is called upon by Mrs. Fairfax at Thornfield. At Thornfield, Jane falls in love with the master, Mr. Rochester, and he with her. However, he yields a terrible and dark secret that threatens to tear them apart for good.”
What does Samantha like about Jane Eyre: The dark, brooding imagery and prose of The Gothic lends an atmosphere of human woe to the novel that all readers are familiar with. The symbolism and beauty of this emotion-evoking writing style makes one feel at once somber, reflective, and oddly comfortable; because we can all resonate with the mix of joyful and morose feelings existing together in life. The cerebral dialogue delightfully challenges the reader to consume the tension-filled story while divesting the complicated relationships. There are no simple characters, but all are ambiguous in some fashion or other, particularly Mr. Rochester. And Jane’s character arc is an inspiring example of how to live well and intentionally with other people without sacrificing your values and morals. The best literature has something to teach us about what it means to be human, and Jane Eyre most definitely not only falls under this category, but basically created the popularity of The Gothic; a genre that had only been around for a few decades before Charlotte Brontë became one of the styles biggest names.
Who she recommends it to: Everyone! Especially lovers of classics such as Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice.
Lisa Livote, Editorial Intern
Instagram Handle: @lisalivote
What’s Lisa reading: Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
What’s it about: The book is told without the separation of chapters, narrated by a woman, Amanda, who is nearing death. This is revealed right away, so I promise I’m not giving anything away. She is speaking to a boy named David and together they are trying to understand how Amanda got to this point of being so close to death. It seems like David already knows, though, and is more leading Amanda through her own understanding of the series of events.
What does Lisa like about Fever Dream: Surprisingly, I like that there are no chapters. The idea of the book is that Amanda is not in her best state of mind, since she is so close to death, so her thoughts move rapidly while sometimes jumping around. It’s a short book, and the way it’s written makes it even faster because you just want to know what is going to happen and why she is dying! Update: I ended up reading the entire book in one day.
Who she recommends it to: I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys reading thrillers or books on environmentalism.
Lorren Pitchford, Editorial Intern
Instagram Handle: @lorren_elizabeth96
What’s Lorren reading: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
What’s it about: Everyone knows the love story between Bella Swan and Edward Cullen in Twilight. The tale was epic, sincere, and won the hearts of vampire-lovers and die heart readers worldwide. However, the story was just told from Bella’s perspective, and readers were not allowed to look inside Edward’s mind and see what he was thinking and feeling when he fell in love with his human. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer is finally allowing well-awaited readers to relive Twilight from Edward’s perspective to see exactly how the lion fell in love with the lamb.
What does Lorren like about Midnight Sun: I just started the book, but what I like about it so far is that we are finally getting a glimpse of what Edward feels and thinks about certain things. I have always wondered what Edward actually thinks about high school and how he interacts with his family when Bella is not around. This book answers questions I have thought about since I was in sixth grade and it just makes my heart so happy! What I also love about this book so far is that I am getting to read more about the Cullens because they are ultimately my favorite characters in this saga.
Who she recommends it to: I would recommend this book to vampire fans and romance fans alike.
FEATURED IMAGE VIA AMINO APPS