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Monica Recommends - Dispatch #6, End of the Year Edition

Seeking out a bookish gift guide? Look no further! Monica recommends her favorite reads for the year.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Time travel and metaphysics meet the tender reality of humanity in this brilliant, immersive tale. Will make you fall in love with mortality and break your heart in the best way! 

What Moves the Dead by T Kingfisher

Loosely based on The Fall of the House of Usher, this mycology-based horror novella haunts from first to last.

Fruiting Bodies by Kathryn Harlan

This short story collection of queer, fantastical, gothic tales combines myth and folklore with the reality of coming-of-age in a crisis. 

Bunny by Mona Awad

One of the best unreliable narrators I've read to date! Aptly called a "down-the-rabbit-hole" tale, this novel explores the power of imagination and chronicles the female experience in the chilling context of a sorority-turned-cult.

The Mad Women's Ball by Victoria Mas

New in translation from the original French! A beautiful literary historical novel chronicling the horrors faced by institutionalized women in 19th century Paris.

Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

The third book in the Locked Tomb trilogy, this was perhaps my favorite of the trilogy so far. Would highly recommend the entire trilogy to anyone who resonates with "lesbian necromancers in space, with added cosmic horror and 21st century Tumblr memes, which will eventually shatter your heart".

The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty

A vibrant coming-of-age set in the post-industrialist Midwest, vibrant in both setting and the character-driven narrative that explores the desire for transcendence and love.

Babel by R. F. Kuang

A fantastic subversion and exploration of the dark academia tendency towards colonialism, with a beautiful magical realism twist, in which words are magic and Oxford's translation students hold the key. Selkie's January read!

Payback's a Witch by Lana Harper

A cozy sapphic lovers-to-enemies witchy rom-com, in which the witches of Thistle Grove team up to defeat a man who wronged them all. Great for relaxing!

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

I firmly believe everyone should read this gorgeous love letter to storytelling itself.

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

A beautiful, creeping slow-burn sapphic horror that tells of the subtle terrors that lurk beneath the ocean.

Happy reading, and happy browsing!