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Staff Recommendation

A Psalm for the Wild-Built opens with the dedication “For Anyone Who Needs a Break” and if I could leave my review there I would; that line is all you really need to know about why you should read this book.
Becky Chamber’s optimistic take on the future features a world in which humans realized that in order to keep living in the world they could no longer be trusted with it, and so they split the world in half, half of it going to human society and the other half left to grow wild. In this new world humans have built a post-capitalist, solarpunk society that relies on collaboration and community to thrive. The book itself follows a young monk who has decided to change their vocation, opting to travel between communities to listen to the problems of the people there and serve them tea. In his journeys he meets a robot, the first robot any human has seen since they disappeared hundreds of years prior after gaining sentience.This is a book that made me, if only briefly, hopeful for the way the world can be. It took me on a journey that’s at the same time incredibly comfortable and challenging; but most importantly, Psalm for the Wild-Built took great care in not just stating but illustrating that people don’t need to have a Purpose to be enough.

This is a heartwarming, cozy, and fulfilling read that I will never stop recommending to people.


Staff Recommendation

One of the biggest draws to this book is its stunning and jaw-dropping cover art and the pages of art in the middle of the book. Slewfoot—both written and illustrated by Brom—has quickly become one of my most beloved horror novels.

Set in a small Puritan colony in 1666, the main character Abitha lives with her husband, Edward. Known to be a woman who has a difficult time keeping her mouth shut and her head down, Abitha struggles immensely with the Puritan lifestyle. Though she was married young, and pushed by her father to do so, Abitha is deeply respected by Edward, which few other women could say during this time period. But when Edward disappears under mysterious circumstances, and Abitha is left to tend to the family farm on her own, strange things begin to occur. She begins to hear voices, and feel the presence of someone watching her.

It isn’t long before Abitha meets, and forms an intense bond with, an ancient Pagan deity. When the other inhabitants of the town begin to notice Abitha acting differently, someone cries witch.

Slewfoot turns into a gory, rewarding tale of vengeance. There are a few truly atrocious characters in this story, and having to endure their wickedness for most of the book really pays off in the end. I loved how dark this book got, but also how beautiful Brom’s messages were.

This book weaves together magic and horror into the most beautiful tapestry. Brom’s exploration of the witch craze and Puritan culture makes your skin crawl, but in the best way possible. I couldn’t put this book down, and I became quickly very attached to the characters, especially Abitha, with her wildness and incredible strength. I loved the Pagan elements in this book, and how I got to see it clash with Christianity. One of Brom’s loudest messages in this book is the fact that we are all one, connected and part of nature, that we are all made up of life and death, lightness and darkness.

A violent feminist fairytale, this book checked every box for me; I will cherish it for a long time.