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Monica Recommends - Dispatch #7, Indie Bookish Gifts Edition

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

The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia

Queernormative and subversive of binary gender tropes, this Persian-inspired fantasy medical mystery will warm your heart and thrill your senses! A definite must-read. 

Beneath the Alabaster Spire by Allison Carter Waechter

Again, this bisexual fantasy romance gets the lesbian stamp of endorsement! The thrilling sequel to Dark Night Golden Dawn, I am over the moon for these characters and the magic as it exists in this world.

Nothing Left But Mud by Jennifer R Donohue

A heartwarming short story about pandemics, humanity, and blue horseshoe crabs. Gorgeous prose wrapped in a comforting shell. From Sword & Kettle Press!

Singing through my Wolf Bones by Tianna G. Hansen

Beautiful and visceral poetry, dedicated to "wild women who wear fur like armor". Chronicles a healing, a reckoning, and a transformation in stunning poetic form.

Foreverhaus by Kailey Tedesco

One of my favorite modern poets! An examination of domesticity made macabre, in a very liminal, haunting, and unforgettable conjuration. Gothic, ghostly, and deeply influential! From White Stag Press.

Out and About: Joe and Katie Walk Around Philly by Joseph Carlough & Katie Haegele

A beautifully illustrated guide to walking around all of the most special locations in Philly, told by local zine creators Katie and Joev as they chronicle the changes in our beloved city via those lovely mental health walks. Makes a great gift!

Laertes: A Hamlet Retelling by Carly Stevens

Set in 1920s Europe, this poignant dark academia novel sheds new light on Shakespeare’s masterpiece, finally allowing Laertes to tell his side of the story. For all of your dark academia, Shakespeare-loving friends!

Mothers of Enchantment: New Tales of Fairy Godmothers by Kate Wolford

A fantastic subversion and exploration of the role of the fairy godmother in a skillfully arranged anthology that meditates on modern themes and folklore tropes alike.

peeling the yellow wallpaper by yours truly

I would be remiss not to mention my own indie release! A poetry, prose, and art collection created as a response to Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", — a very beautiful pocket-sized work with a black interior and original artwork inside!

Happy reading, and happy browsing!