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February Staff Picks: Books We Love!

It’s time for another round of staff picks! This time, we’re focusing on books we love that you can find on Bookshop! Read on for an eclectic blend of stories, from horror-tinged graphic novels to historical fiction. Click on each person’s list to see more of their faves and order through Bookshop, supporting the DelArt Store and independent bookshops throughout the country. Also, don’t forget to check out the books and catalogs we have available on this site.

Brice, Museum Associate: These Savage Shores by Ram V 

Despite appearances, this is not your run of the mill vampire horror novel. Ram V’s These Savage Shores is an insightful historical drama that utilizes its vampiric themes to explore India’s fraught history with colonialism. Twin themes of dehumanization and exploitation allow these seemingly disparate genres to pare like blood and wine. 

Jeanie, Store Supervisor: The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen 

 I enjoyed reading “The Golden Couple”. It begins as just a story about an unfaithful wife who seeks out therapy with her angry husband. Something does not add up with their conflicting stories. You think you have it all figured out, but the story has an interesting twist at the end. 

Jessa, Lead Museum Associate: Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez 

Olga Dies Dreaming was just released January 4, 2022, but I already know it will take one hell of a book to top my list for this year. This book made me feel at home. Literally. As a native New Yorker and Nuyorican, I wasn’t just envisioning Olga’s world, I was walking through it with her. Her Brooklyn was my Brooklyn, too. Aside from my own personal connection, Xochitl Gonzalez’s tale of the Acevedo family is highly engaging, the kind of book you read in one sitting.  Everyone I know has already heard my impassioned pleas to read and support this book, so now I turn to you, dear reader, and say: Read this book. 

Rachael, DelArt Archivist/Librarian: Doc by Mary Doria Russell 

John Henry “Doc” Holliday is one of the most mythologized figures of the American West—a larger-than-life, tragic character who has become more fiction than fact. I mean, who can even think of him nowadays without hearing Val Kilmer drawl, “I’m your huckleberry”? Mary Doria Russell’s novel is technically fiction, but her meticulous research provides more depth and factual information about Holliday (and his friend Wyatt Earp) than most biographies. Even if you have no interest in westerns or gunslingers, Russell’s writing is so captivating that you will be immediately drawn in. And when you are finished, I promise you’ll want to read the sequel, Epitaph

Vivien, Museum Associate: Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon and Mu by Junji Ito 

Japanese master of horror, Junji Ito takes on his scariest subjects to date – his own pets! In this book, Ito hilariously explores the daily delights and horrors of pet ownership by drawing the experiences he has with his two cats Yon and Mu. Anyone familiar with Ito’s previous works will enjoy this adorable addition to his horror collection. Ito uses all the tricks of the horror trade (suspense, gross-outs, etc.) to make the most compelling stories out of something as simple as wanting to boop your cat on the nose.