Hi! I’m Ashley Holstrom, a professional book person who likes to yap about good books and mental health whenever she can.

Crooked Reads is a free monthly collection of three bite-sized book reviews, fitting to a theme—like weird science or sports romance or realistic financial advice. My goal is to give you two things: the basic plot and how the book will make you feel—no verbosity or blurb words here. I also strive to shine a light on books and authors who aren’t on the bestsellers lists, but hey, ya girl likes blockbuster books, too, and sometimes can’t resist shrieking about them.

The name comes from my wannabe intellectual English major days, when I started a blog and called it Crooked Prose. Because I have scoliosis. And my spine is crooked. Get it? The name stuck and is my brand, now, I guess.

I’m also writing a book about scoliosis, but that’s a story for another time. And I wrote an essay about trichotillomania—compulsive hair-pulling—for (Don’t) Call Me Crazy, a young adult anthology about mental illness.

Looking for something specific? Check out the Directory, with posts catalogued by genre and book title.

Popular posts

Praise for Crooked Reads

“The picks are fabulous, and the writing snappy.”
—Elizabeth Held, What to Read If

“A beautifully designed newsletter with book recommendations I trust, Crooked Reads is easy on the eyes and a delight for the brain.”
Rebecca Renner, My Current Obsession

“I love to see how ‘professional book person’ Ashley Holstrom links three ‘bite-sized’ book reviews a month. She leaves me thinking about books, ideas, and the way they fit together.”
Elizabeth Marro, Spark

Quick notes

  • I’m an affiliate with Bookshop.org and may earn a commission if you click through any book links and make a purchase.

  • I tend to get free review copies of books from publishers, but anything recommended here is truly beloved. Same goes for books published by my employer.

It’s free, baby

This newsletter will always be free to read, but it ain’t free to write. Consider becoming a paid subscriber, or buying me a book, to support my work!


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Subscribe to Crooked Reads

A monthly collection of three bite-sized book reviews and other things from a professional book person.


Writer, reader, cat mom. ✌️ Professional book person doing ebook production at an indie publisher and writing about books all over the internet.