Violet's Picks

Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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Violet

 

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Silver Nitrate By Silvia Moreno-Garcia Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593355367
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Published: Del Rey - July 18th, 2023

What I love most about Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s writing is that I always learn something niche about the era she's writing in. Like a movie reel, unspooling old, glossy film, in Silver Nitrate we are shown several decades of the film industry while remaining rooted in Mexico City during the 90s. Told from two perspectives, best friends, Montserrat and Tristán, a burgeoning mystery unfolds concerning a cursed film, Nazi occultism, and a secret history too enticing to ignore.


It is impossible to come into this book thinking it is one thing because you will inevitably be surprised by how the narrative moves otherwise. SMG creates lush, cultish aesthetics and characters to set the mood, tempo, and pace, lulling you into an immersive reading experience that makes you want to uncover your own secret film from a bygone era.


Something More by Jackie Khalilieh

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Violet

 

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Something More By Jackie Khalilieh Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781774882139
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Published: Tundra Books - June 6th, 2023

Something More is a YA romance read with authentic characters thrust into the high school experience. The MC, Jessie, is an autistic Palestinian-Canadian girl who has a special interest in all things from the 90s and the as a result, this contemporary novel had a particularly distinct 90s feel to it. The author, Jackie Khalilieh, brings everyone in Jessie's social circle together by way of nuanced obstacles and relationships with each other as they navigate crushes, betrayals, and newfound maturity. Something More is a fun read with excellent representation full of a ton of awkward moments and the intensity of a first crush.


A Study in Drowning by Ava Reid

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Violet

 

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A Study in Drowning By Ava Reid Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063211506
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Published: HarperTeen - September 19th, 2023

A STUDY IN DROWNING is a YA gothic mystery novel perfect for fall with its “dark academia” undertones and rich atmospheric settings. The main protagonist, Effy Sayre, is the only female student at an otherwise all-male Llyrian school for architecture. Her first choice is the school of literature, however, due to the glaring misogyny of the board, no women are allowed admittance. Forced into complacency, Effy is excited when a contest to design the manor of Myrddin, the recently deceased author and beloved Llyr author of her favorite novel “Angharad” is advertised on campus. Ava Reid's prose is gorgeous and haunting. The exploration of pain, trauma, and bravery against your inner demons, or the chance to stand up against certain injustices in ASID skyrockets it into a sort of timeless piece of literature that can be revisited whenever one is faced with mounting dread, paralysis, or crippling inertia. Ava Reid takes your hand and shows you how there is a soft place to land in literature and that your voice matters–your story matters, and you are not alone. I loved this novel so much, and I can't wait for the world to read it!


Unseelie by Ivelisse Housman

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Violet
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Unseelie By Ivelisse Housman Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781335428592
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days
Published: Inkyard Press - January 3rd, 2023

This was a wonderful fantasy novel with a great cast of neurodivergent, fae, and other magical, power-wielding characters. I am incredibly happy to see neurodiversity, especially autism, being represented more and more in literature these days, ESPECIALLY when it is done by an neurodivergent author.


The Universe in You: A Microscopic Journey by Jason Chin

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Violet
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The Universe in You: A Microscopic Journey By Jason Chin Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780823450701
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Published: Neal Porter Books - December 13th, 2022

Jason Chin works miracles, manifested in his upcoming dually written & illustrated picture book. I can't even describe to you the level of effort and research gone into making this book what it is for children to conceptualize space, mass, and elements. Chin's illustrations are dreamy, ethereal, and mind-blowing with true-to-scale size measurements for reference. Recognizing that the information provided alongside the images is a lot to take in, this book is probably suited towards older children; however, younger kiddos will still benefit immensely from the illustrations and general comprehension if patiently explained by a guardian.


The Moth Keeper by K. O'Neill

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Violet

 

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The Moth Keeper: (A Graphic Novel) By K. O'Neill Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780593182284
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days
Published: Random House Graphic - March 7th, 2023

This beautiful middle grade graphic novel was inspired by the landscape of the Tongariro National Park of New Zealand (North Island). I was captivated by the art and as well as the unique story which follows Anya as she takes her place as protector of the Moon-Moths. The moths are luminous insects which enable the Night-Flower to bloom. The night-village needs this flower to survive and so Anya undergoes the task of keeping nightly vigilance over the moths to insure they are herded back into the tent for safe keeping during the day. It's no easy task to sit alone in the desert all night with moths and a single light for company, so it isn't long before Anya starts questioning her role and how it connects to the bigger picture of the village and how her people function as a result of her nightly responsibilities. Cozy & wholesome!


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

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Violet
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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: A Novel By Susanna Clarke Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781635576726
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Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - August 11th, 2020

This book is a showstopper. Everything from its size, detailed footnotes, to the feat Clarke accomplishes by turning into Dickens or any other Romantic/Victorian author as a contemporary writer is quite unparalleled. The Dickinsonian humor and solid, well-developed characters borne out of a Jane Austen novel whetted my appetite for more tone-perfect books that are historically accurate with a side of non-overpowering magic & gothic literary devices. Bibliophiles will meet their match in Norrell and the more fashionable cutting edge type will mingle with Strange alongside Byronic heroes (such as the man himself) in this historically accurate nineteenth century quest to restore magic to England.


M is for Monster by Talia Dutton

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Violet
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M Is for Monster By Talia Dutton Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781419751974
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - June 28th, 2022

What's not to love about a Frankenstein retelling and all the tough questions this sort of narrative loves to grapple with? When Doctor Frances Ai brings her sister back to life, M realizes certain aspects of her former life no longer interest her. This is a story of familial expectations and acceptance of situation(s) beyond our control--of growing out of one's interests, and the exploration of identity and personal motivations/gains. 


Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet by Thich Nhat Hahn

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Violet
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Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet By Thich Nhat Hanh Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062954794
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Published: HarperOne - October 5th, 2021

This book might not feel revolutionary at first, but that's because the ideas inside are so disarmingly simple/accessible we might forget how much we actually need to pay attention to them. What Thich Nhat Hahn offers us is a gentle reminder to take time for ourselves so we don't lose our balance along the way. He reminds us to mobilize the different aspects of ourselves--the warrior, the artist, and the meditator--never allowing one to become too weak so we can continue to do the work and keep our helath for ourselfes and all sentient creatures on Earth.


To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

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Violet
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To Paradise: A Novel By Hanya Yanagihara Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9780385547932
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days
Published: Doubleday - January 11th, 2022

This was my first foray into Hanya Yanagihara’s work, and I truly appreciate the depth and vulnerability she injects into all her characters, making each a fully-fleshed vessel with rich backstory and character development to breed the best sort of investment from readers. To Paradise spans centuries—Hanya gives us three stories in one with repeating characters and family/relationship dynamics that evolve and repeat themselves like history. Within these stories are also repeating themes: colonialism, power dynamics, disability, sickness, queerness, and varying expressions of paradise. I believe this book will be a great resource to talk about critical race theory and unpack pandemic(s) and big moments in US history such as the AIDS epidemic. There is so much to cite, source, and think about—opening bigger discussions to what we’ve gone through, where we’ve come from, and where we want to go now lest we repeat the mistakes of our past for fear of inhibiting our pathway to paradise.
 


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