Audrey Firestorm

Audrey doesn't really know who she is, what she wants, or how she got here. She blames capitalism for this confusion. In lieu of a fully formed self she spends most of her time reading and watching films about anarchism, queerness, fantastical far off worlds, internal and external monsters, and the magically real; the stranger the better. In addition to consuming all the stories ever, Audrey is attempting to sift through the internalized hate that festered and grew inside her in youth. She wants to help create a world in which supremacy and greed aren't the status quo, where healthy communication, cooperation, and love isn't just a picture book fantasy. She had no idea how to accomplish this but is grateful for all the community help and resources now available. Together we will fight hand-in-hand for a better future, a jail cell, or our deaths, but at least we tried.

Audrey's Picks

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by Nick Drnaso

In the wake of tragedy, a news personality offers baseless conspiracy theories about all those involved.

This minimalist graphic novel depicts the emotional abuse and widespread gaslighting that is thriving in our world today. This is a slow paced story, and it is hard not to walk away from this book disappointed (high praise!), but loneliness and depression ooze out of these pages, and I found the pace, artwork, and mundanity of the plot to add to this strong sense of dread that grew and grew as I read, leaving me with the impression that a dystopian world isn’t a fantasy or a future possibility, but the reality we are living in now.

An amazingly comprehensive collection of poems by Wisława Szymborska and translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanisław Barańczak. This book contains poetry collections from Wisława's youth in 1944, to a collection published in 2011, shortly before her death. I addmitedly do not read much poetry, but I picked this up on a whim and loved every page. Her words are curious, thoughtful, playful, meloncholy, and questioning. The experience of seeing her work mature and age over time was an unforgettably moving experience.

A mixed race family in the American south. A weekend road trip to pick up a father from prison, drawn into close focus. A magical realist feel rooted in voodoo.

Simple in plot but complex in themes and emotions, this book tackles topics ranging from addiction, abusive parents, what happens after death, the prison complex, and most notably, the heavyness and emotion of racism that weigh on so many, and the history of slavery in the United States, and how it never went away. The humanity, and sorrow of this book has vividly stuck with me since I read it last year.

Everyone knows of The Hobbit. I don't have anything to add or take away from the conversation. I grew up with it, and it still feels special for that reason, but I reccomend buying something more relevant, like any one of our other staff picks!