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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.   

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2021 Holiday Gift Guide!

The annual Museum Store holiday sale is on! This week ONLY (Wednesday, December 8 – Sunday, December 12), you will enjoy 10% off your in-store purchase. (Members receive a 20% discount!) Not sure what to get for your loved ones? No worries! Check out our staff picks to get started.

ANDREA: Breakfast Blend Tea Tin

I cannot consider my day officially started without a hot cup of tea, and with the weather gradually getting colder and colder, it is particularly essential!  I found the Breakfast Blend Tea delightful; a mix of Assam, Ceylon (and caffeine lol) that is essential in giving me my morning pick-me-up.  Plus, it comes in a lovely reusable storage tin, which is key if you’re the type to keep loose leaf tea blends on hand. Give it a try!”

TIP: We have several varieties of tea! Come in and check them all out, or browse our online store’s tea section. (NOTE: Sale only applies to in-store purchases.)

JEANIE: Beekman 1802 Soap

“The Beekman soaps are my favorite. They sell a nice selection of full-sized bars. My current favorite is sweetgrass. For the holidays they sell little sets already packaged to give as gifts.”

TIP: We also sell the adorable soap dish seen here as well as liquid hand and body soap, coordinating hand creams and lip balms from this wonderful company!

JESSA: True Heart Intuitive Tarot Guidebook and Deck

“This gorgeously illustrated tarot deck and guidebook, created by the iconic Rachel True, best known for her role as Rochelle in The Craft–one of my favorite movies of all time!–is the perfect gift for burgeoning witches and tarot newbies. True has a knack for breaking down each card’s meaning with great compassion and care, allowing the practitioner to develop their own instincts, while also providing little bits of memoir that correlate with the major arcana.” 

TIP: This gift goes well with our selection of crystals, candles and journals. You can also purchase this fantastic deck via Bookshop.

LAURIE: Cavallini & Co. Puzzles

“This is the gift that gives a reason to spend time together. It’s colorful and joyful and the pieces are sturdy. Great themes to choose from as well!”

TIP: In addition to these puzzles, we sell tea towels, pencil pouches and more from Cavallini & Co.!

SALIYM: Field Study by Chet’la Sebree

“With Field Study, Chet’la Sebree reworks and untangles the mess of love, race and self-reclamation. It’s a ring-shout of secrets, unencumbered shadow, and aching poetry. The perfect winter read for that introspective, well-read loved one. Personally, I believe the mood of it pairs perfectly with a candle, those cozy socks you love, and a cup of tea.”

TIP: Our copies of Field Study currently in stock are signed by the author! This is one of several books that Saliym has on his wish list for Brevity Bookspace, his mobile bookstore that provides free books to Delawareans. Consider purchasing a book from his list to donate while you’re doing your holiday shopping! Check out our recent Instagram post for details on this exciting collaboration. You can also donate a copy of The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones to Brevity via our participation in’s 1619 Project Book Drive.

VIVIEN: David Howell & Co. Earrings

“My favorite potential gifts are the art-inspired earrings by David Howell & Co. I like how they take a bit of a twist on the art that inspires them making each pair unique. My personal favorite to get people would be the ones inspired by Hokusai’s Great Wave. I think they’re a great sneaky reference for art lovers but stand alone as beautiful for people who may not recognize the reference.”

TIP: We have lots of great earrings from this company and a variety of unique, affordable jewelry from small businesses and local artists!

As always, thanks for your support!

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Winter Staff Picks: Classics Edition

The Delaware Art Museum has a long history of honoring the art of the book, from exhibitions such as “The Cover Sells the Book” to Librarian and Archivist Rachael DiEleuterio creating brilliant displays and lovingly tending to the Museum’s expansive archive of literary treasures. This goes hand-in-hand with our increased literary programming, such as the Wilmington Writers Conference. Naturally, we fell in love with Penguin Clothbound Classics, designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith. Read on to learn why we chose these iconic tales.


Jessa, Lead Museum Associate: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

“I confess: my reference point for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was, for a very long time, through the classic animated Disney adaptation. Here was a world that was bright, weird and completely chaotic. Nothing could make more sense to me as a child. Reading the book when I got older only intensified my love for all things Alice. Being normal was never in the cards for me. I’m much more at home in a world populated by pink flamingos, psychedelic tea parties, and hookah-smoking caterpillars than I am in the real world.”

Laurie, Museum Associate: The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

“In this medieval version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, join a rag-tag variety of characters as they – instead of defeating Thanos – venture on a pilgrimage to Canterbury, England. Knights in shining armor, talking animals, an underrepresentation of women, and copious amounts of fart jokes make this an anthology for the ages.”

Rachael, DelArt Librarian/Archivist: Dracula by Bram Stoker

“Designer Coralie Bickford-Smith’s book covers are not only gorgeous, they’re also witty, and it’s fun to make the connection between the text and the binding. The beautiful design on Dracula, for example, looks at first like a simple floral pattern weaving across the dark cover. Upon closer inspection, however, you discover that they’re not just any flowers—they are garlic flowers, woven together like the protective necklace that Lucy wears in the story. Bickford-Smith said she liked the idea of giving the reader some protection against the vampire as well, stating ‘I wanted to trap Dracula inside the book, that the garlic flowers on its outside would keep you safe.'”

Saliym, Museum Associate: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

“During the summers of my youth, Sunday was always family movie night. The Count of Monte Cristo was the first film that we all solidly enjoyed. It was so good, we even listened to the audiobook. We still chuckle thinking about how every character, whether from witty retort or surprise, went “pale” every other page. One really can’t prepare for how funny and surprisingly modern this classic tale of revenge truly is.”

In addition to these classics, we’ve also created custom journals in honor of DiEleuterio’s digital exhibition on Albert Angus Turbayne and a lovely book on the poet William Blake that is currently on view in our Pre-Raphaelite gallery. Stop into the store to see all of these goodies in person! In the mood for some online retail therapy? We have you covered! Check out our shop section for the journals; for the Penguin Clothbound Classics, head to the Staff Picks lists on our Bookshop page or click the links above to go to Bookshop. Your Bookshop purchase supports our store as well as other independent booksellers!

Rachael’s digital exhibition “Nearest to Perfection: The Binding Designs of Albert Angus Turbayne” is available here.

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Welcome to!

Hi everyone! We are so excited to be able to bring you a selection from our store to your home. Check back as we bring you new and exciting merchandise, much of which you won’t find anywhere else!

Looking for more? Check out our Bookshop page, where we curate a selection of books and merchandise you’re sure to love: You can also search for any book while visiting our Bookshop page and have it shipped to your home. Thank you so much for supporting independent bookstores and the Delaware Art Museum.