Violet's Picks

M is for Monster by Talia Dutton

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Violet
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$17.99
ISBN: 9781419751974
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
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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$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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$32.50
ISBN: 9780385547932
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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.
 


To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

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Violet
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$22.99
ISBN: 9781250762924
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Published: Tor Books - October 19th, 2021

A space opera of the century. The artwork and diagrams in this book is pure immersion. I, myself, felt somnolent, adrift in a sea of stars with this book tucked cozily beneath my arm a buoy. This book is organic and dynamic, combining elements of the natural world with that of far-flung speculative fiction that recalls both Heinlein’s 1960’s classic "Stranger in a Strange Land" and all the best character development/world-building elements of the fantasy genre.


Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

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Violet
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$19.99
ISBN: 9781250313218
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Published: Tordotcom - September 21st, 2021

If you liked the baddie characters and the stabby humor in "Gideon the Ninth", then this sequel will not disappoint. Muir puts the marrow back into SF as a genre, creating such a beautifully shimmering mirage of a world so unique you won't be able to tell if it's real. You'll come out stronger for it if you can stick through the interesting perspective changes as well as the taunt and tarry of an unreliable narrator. And what you'll be left with is oxygen--rich oxygen flowing through your body that’s sure to leave you at the precipice screaming “what!?” and then “more please!"


Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire

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Violet
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$19.99
ISBN: 9781250213624
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Published: Tordotcom - January 4th, 2022

This novella is both a wound and salve.

Fall into it and remember the freedom of childhood curiosity and boundless imagination--this series will remind you what it feels like to hold onto that joy and, comparatively, how dark it is beyond a door pulled tightly shut. McGuire's prose is a gift, and this series is as good as escapism--likened to the wonders of Narnia or Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials".


Razorblade Tears: A Novel by S. A. Cosby

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Violet
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$26.99
ISBN: 9781250252708
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days.
Published: Flatiron Books - July 6th, 2021

Set in Virginia, Razorblade Tears follows the story of two ex-cons join forces, seeking vengeance for their murdered sons--their unlikely friendship, forged by the rage of their loss and the prospect of finding justice for the queer community. Since neither father could accept their son’s sexual orientation while they were alive, both live with the crippling weight of their overwhelming regret. Now, all that lies in the way of Ike and Buddy Lee's absolution is their willingness to pool resources and figure out who killed their sons. Cosby writes a thrilling, fast-paced novel that will appeal to crime and thriller fans.


Carmilla, Deluxe Edition: The cult classic that inspired Dracula by Sheridan Le Fanu

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Violet
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$18.95
ISBN: 9781782275848
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Published: Pushkin Press - September 7th, 2021

Published in 1872, "Carmilla" is the Sapphic vampire novel that predates Bram Stoker's "Dracula". Set in an isolated castle deep in the Austrian forest, Laura lives alone with her ailing father and servants until Carmilla--a beautiful and enchanting stranger--crashes onto the moonlit scene. A must-read for lovers of the gothic cannon.


The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon

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$16.99
ISBN: 9781982153939
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Published: Gallery/Scout Press - January 4th, 2022

Oh, to come across a paranormal pond made up of shiny ghost souls and liquidy black water that grants one's dearest wishes and reflects the limitless starry night sky. I feel like I need some reassurance, or at least a long, sobering hug. This book was such a thrilling read--I couldn't put it down once I started. Based in Vermont and the Northeast, the narrative follows social worker Jax after she recieves a call confirming her estranged sister Lexie has drowned in the pool on their grandmother's estate. What follows is a literal deep-dive into the family & land's history/dark past. I highly recommend one to Shirley Jackson fans.
 


All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman

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$18.99
ISBN: 9781250789259
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Published: Tor Teen - November 9th, 2021

Finally, a story about characters who are just plain vicious, or are they? Beneath the blood-red sky with spell rings glittering, seven champions will enter a tournament from which only one can return. The reward? The ability to covet Ilvernarth’s high magick within their families for another twenty years. With a bloody tournament style similar to "Hunger Games", "All of Us Villians" only raises the stakes by introducing an entire new magick element as intricate and detailed as its characters. The plot and all its twists and turns kept me engaged until the very end.


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