Nicky Beer's latest collection starts with a poem about drag queens at Dollywood and overall plays with reality, text, and what is truly genuine.
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I can sum up my thoughts on books with one Joan Didion quote: “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” Here are a few of the types of books that give me life: graphic novels, YA with queer themes, well-researched non-fiction, books that make me laugh, books that make me cry, and anything that makes me stop and think. Oh, and queen Joan Didion herself, of course.
There is strength to be found in introversion. This book reminds kids (and adults) that it's okay to be quiet.
Tracy K Smith once again brings a moving collection of poems. Few people use words as well as she does. This collection is her first collection that spans her career. See why she is the one of the best poets today. [Karen]
I got more into meditation this year, especially Buddhist-informed practice.This book is grounded in yoga and meditation, but uses its platform to explore social justice. I learned a lot and gained a lot from it. [Karen]
A love letter to the power of books framed with civil unrest and a global pandemic. Set in Minneapolis from All Saint's Day 2019-2020, this year of a novel covers a lot. And there's even a bookstore haunting from the store's most annoying customers. These characters are so alive in my mind. [Karen]
The Ex-Girlfriend of My Ex-Girlfriend Is My Girlfriend: Advice on Queer Dating, Love, and Friendship
Navigating relationships of all kinds is hard. This book has great advice. Written by queer Instagram legend @xenaworrierprincess [Karen]
I never knew a cherry lime icebox cake would fit with the Page of Swords, but this witchy, tarot-based cookbook proves it. With a list of magical ingredients and tarot instructions, you'll be pulling cards for dinner in no time. [Karen]
There are few poets as vivid, yet sparse, yet illuminating as Louise Glück. As usual, this collection is filled with pensive stories where certain lines stick out and hit you in the heart. I loved this slim, beautiful collection. [Karen]
Superb world-building in this graphic novel, but the real star here is the black, white, and red illustration. Unlike anything I've seen in a YA graphic novel in a long time. (Karen)
I loved the store of Diwan, a female-led bookstore in Cairo. As someone who works in a bookstore, it gave me a new perspective on what it's like to sell books elsewhere, but also showed me a love of bookstores is universal. (Karen)