Oli's Staff Recommendations

Welcome to Oli's recommendations! Oli has been working at Boswell Book Company since 2015, but first asked for the job at nine years old. They read a lot of YA/Teen and adult fiction, particularly books with a sci-fi or fantasy bend, but Oli also loves science & nature writing, LGBTQ+ fiction & nonfiction, and graphic novels. Fun fact: In addition to books, Oli reads tarot cards and got started while reading The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater.
 
Check out what Oli  has been reading below!
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Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes By Travis Baldree Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250886088
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Tor Books - November 8th, 2022

Legends and Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes is the perfect comfort read, with a story as sweet as Thimble's cinnamon rolls, as warm as a fresh cup of coffee, with a subtle dash of queer romance. In a Dungeons and Dragons-type world, Viv the battle-weary orc hangs up her sword for good, intending to settle down and open a coffee shop. What follows is a cozy adventure about creating a home and building a new life, one of found family and formed community. Rarely do I find myself exclaiming aloud while reading, but I couldn't contain an "aww" here and there - and some scenes were so cute that I nearly cried. I want to join the regulars at Viv's coffee shop, with its promise of coffee, conversation, and the sense of things falling into place. This book is so cozy!


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Ocean's Echo By Everina Maxwell Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250758866
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Tor Books - November 1st, 2022

Set in the same universe as Winter's Orbit, but with an entirely standalone story and new cast of characters, Ocean's Echo is an adventure in space, minds, and galactic politics that truly stands out. As a fan of Maxwell's previous book, I love that Ocean's Echo is another character-forward space opera, with a story that illustrates very real mental health and relational issues and centers themes of building trust and selfhood. Surit is an architect who can "write" commands into the minds of others; Tennal is a powerful "reader" who can pick up on thoughts and intentions. When the military tries to force Surit to sync with Tennal, they realize that neither has signed up for this, but they must work together to protect their autonomy. The narrative is a split point-of-view between these two characters, and I loved their distinct voices and the dynamic they have together. You can trust Maxwell to carry you safely through to the end, even as the characters navigate a charged military-political landscape and dangerous, mind-bending bits of chaotic space. I found myself rooting for the characters, hooked even more by every twist, and all-around captivated by the story.


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Nona the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Series #3) By Tamsyn Muir Cover Image
$23.19
ISBN: 9781250854117
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - September 13th, 2022

This third installment in The Locked Tomb series feels like the beginning of the end, with a story that had me under its thrall from beginning to end. Muir's humor and incredibly distinct character voices shine through as usual, but Nona is decidedly brighter than the previous two books' narrative styles. Even through Nona's sunny eyes, readers will see signs of a coming apocalypse around every turn: chaos and uncertainty surrounding her as she goes to school, pets a very good dog named Noodle, and plans a party. And just as pressing as the chaotic present is the unraveling of the past, chapters which I had to hold myself back from skipping to in order to find out how the path of humanity veered toward a future of Necromancers in space 10,000 years from now. Where many dystopian and sci-fi books fail when it comes to a “how we got here” storyline, Muir handles it as expertly as the character dynamics and truly, perfectly unhinged humor. Now is the perfect time to dive into The Locked Tomb series!


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The Oleander Sword (The Burning Kingdoms #2) By Tasha Suri Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316538565
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - August 16th, 2022

In this thrilling sequel to The Jasmine Throne, three main characters must reckon with the high cost of power. Dark secrets wait at the root of a strange and powerful magic; brutal war and waning faith surround the figure of a prophesied rule; new threats arise to challenge a newly freed country. With mysteries that draw readers further into the story and twists that keep them on their toes, The Oleander Sword takes the series in exciting directions. I'm rooting so hard for Priya, Malini, and Bhumika, even as their motives differ and their paths diverge, and I'm so exciting to see where Tasha Suri takes them next.


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Her Majesty's Royal Coven: A Novel (The HMRC Trilogy #1) By Juno Dawson Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143137146
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 31st, 2022

Brilliant, timely, magical, thoughtful, and fun: Her Majesty's Royal Coven kicks off a new urban fantasy series that you won't want to miss. Book 1 follows a once tight-knit childhood friend group of young witches whose adult lives have been shaped by the Coven establishment and a recent magical war, and whose different paths and pasts have complicated their relationships to each other in adulthood. When one sees an ideological threat to the Coven and all magic where another sees a teenager in need of support, a fight for survival and inclusion ensues, forcing the characters to confront what's worth taking a stand on. HMRC is full of magic, chosen family, and fierce, protective love. I adored so many of the characters; split-perspective between these different witches brought so much to the story, especially to the ending - what a twist! This book is for anyone who's had someone they admire go too far over the wrong things, for those who understand otherness, and for those who want moments of coziness and friendship alongside a story of demonic entities and awesome witches.


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The Darkness Outside Us By Eliot Schrefer Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780062888235
Availability: Backordered
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - May 10th, 2022

Part outer-space mystery thriller (à la 2001: A Space Odyssey), part queer romance between two complicated characters, and all a story that's entirely earnest and essentially human. This book had me hooked and was too good to put down. With a speculative sci-fi story that is at turns spooky and heart-wrenching, though always thoughtful, this book may push you to consider personhood and love alongside humanity's place in the universe. Not sure you can handle space horror? Never fear, there are plenty of sweet moments between the characters, and Schrefer's writing often reads like a hug from light years away.


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Spear By Nicola Griffith Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250819321
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - April 19th, 2022

Rich with lore and landscape, Nicola Griffith's immersive and lyrical novel is an early medieval adventure that I couldn't put down. Knights, treasures, and magic abound in this queer take on a character of Arthurian legend. Spear is perfect for fans of Circe and She Who Became the Sun, or those looking to dip into retellings of ancient myths and legends with a short and captivating novel.


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Joan: A Novel of Joan of Arc By Katherine J. Chen Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984855800
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - July 5th, 2022

Chen's take on the life of Joan of Arc richly imagines a complicated young woman behind the legendary historical figure; not the martyr or the saint, but the girl who lived. Reading this felt like being at Joan's side, let in on her perspective and motives as she makes her way from a childhood of survival-mode to the height of French military leadership, growing into the formidable warrior we remember. I especially appreciated Joan's voice and inner thoughts, delivered in such a way that she read like a real person. This may be my favorite retelling of Joan of Arc's story!


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Mamo By Sas Milledge Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781684158171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: BOOM! Box - April 19th, 2022

Mamo offers a story of magic, different people's relationships to home and family, and the importance of asking for - and accepting - help from those who care. A witchy, small-town adventure packed into a gorgeously illustrated graphic novel (seriously, turn to any page!) makes for a perfect weekend read.


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Mystical Stitches: Embroidery for Personal Empowerment and Magical Embellishment By Christi Johnson, Alexandra Jacopetti Hart (Foreword by) Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781635863345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Storey Publishing, LLC - June 22nd, 2021

In addition to serving as a fantastic resource on embroidery techniques, this book will also teach you to stitch meaning into your clothes, create talisman patches with intentional symbolism, and add threadcrafting rituals to your art/magic/self-care practice. Mystical Stitches thoroughly appeals to my craft-witch sensibilities!


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The Girl from the Sea: A Graphic Novel By Molly Knox Ostertag Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781338540574
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - June 1st, 2021

This queer summer romance draws on Selkie (human-seal shapeshifter) mythology in a modern setting, on an island off the shore of a coastal Canadian tourist town. Keltie may be the magical sea creature, but island-dweller Morgan also hides parts of herself. This graphic novel tackles issues of family, friendships, identity, and sacrifice, all with compassion and splendid illustrations.


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Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow Trilogy #3) By Rainbow Rowell Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250254337
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wednesday Books - July 6th, 2021

Rowell has written a Young Adult fantasy series that expertly transitions into a very real adult story in its final volume. Book three is a beautiful exploration of what it takes to stay in love, to fight for relationships, and to accept love and care from those close to you in the aftermath of trauma. Cute and funny moments and stellar character writing abound! This is a story I needed.


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Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel By Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062351432
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - January 10th, 2017

The strange desert town of the Welcome to Night Vale Podcast is brought to the shelves in this smart, funny, and wonderfully weird mystery. Follow Jackie and Diane as they search for truths in a connected past, a stranger no one can remember, and themselves- all for an uncertain future in a town we may never understand (but love to death). You can read this new original story without ever having listened to the podcast!


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The Wee Free Men (Tiffany Aching #1) By Terry Pratchett Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780062435262
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - September 1st, 2015

Tiffany Aching has a frying pan and is not afraid to use it. This young aspiring witch stares down nightmares and knocks out the monsters leaking onto her family's farm through a doorway to fairyland. When her little brother is taken by the fairy queen, she must use her first sight, second thoughts, and some help from the wee free men- an army of blue-tattooed, red-haired, sword-wielding 6-inch-tall pictsies- to get him back. If you like smart heroines and hilarious writing, you will love the Wee Free Men.


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Alice Isn't Dead: A Novel By Joseph Fink Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062844149
Availability: Usually Ships within 2 weeks.
Published: Harper Perennial - August 31st, 2021

"This isn't a story. It's a road trip." Keisha's search for her long-lost (missing, not dead) wife, Alice, propels her to the center of a conspiracy of mysterious organizations and inhuman things that stalk the long roads of America. Fink's writing will transport you to Keisha's passenger seat, experiencing her encounters, feeling her anxiety, witnessing her determination and fierce love in every chapter. Well-paced and engrossing, this book speaks truths on anxiety, love, America, and the space between places. There are oracles on these roads. Enjoy the journey.


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The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities #1) By N. K. Jemisin Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316509886
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - July 27th, 2021

The soul of New York City awakens in six individuals, who take on incredible threats to their home, each embodying the character and coming into the power of their borough. The way each character manifests powers related to their past and their borough is fascinating, and the book combines several different experiences of New York City in one story, including the range of attitudes New Yorkers have to the city itself.  Jemisin weaves an epic, thoughtful, next-level urban fantasy that really GETS New York.


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Fangirl: A Novel By Rainbow Rowell Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250030955
Availability: Usually Ships within 2 weeks.
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - September 10th, 2013

Cather Avery is huge in the Simon Snow fandom- her fanfiction gets thousands of hits every day, and she has a regular following of fans. To Cath and her twin sister Wren, Simon Snow is their childhood- but will she be able to hang on to the story she loves after her first year of college, where she struggles to balance school, family issues, and her sanity? Find out in this fantastic novel. I love Rainbow Rowell's books, and her honest, thoughtful writing really struck a chord with me the first time I read this. For anyone who has been a fan (of anything, really) or found themselves staying in to read instead of going out.


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The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780307744432
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - July 3rd, 2012

The Night Circus pairs lovely prose with deep, human stories This beautiful story will immerse you in the wonder-filled world of Le Cirque des Reves and the secret, magical competition taking place within as it travels around the world, picking up a devoted and thoughtful following of people who are touched by the magic of the circus. A pair of young magicians compete with tents of new marvels, each more magnificent than the last, as they work out the mystery behind the competition they have been selected for and the inevitable outcome that one of them must face. Read this book- your heart will thank you for it.


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Nimona By Noelle Stevenson, Noelle Stevenson (Illustrator) Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062278227
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - May 12th, 2015

I LOVE Nimona! Noelle Stevenson is probably my favorite comics writer, and this funny and epic graphic novel (originally an online webcomic) is my favorite of her work. Nimona is shape-shifting sidekick to Lord Ballister Blackheart, the villain of the kingdom who works to take down the revered Institute and his nemesis, Sir Goldenloin. But the Institute isn't as pristine as it seems, and neither is Nimona. What are their secret? Find out in this fantastic story, full of magic, science, and evil plans.


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The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Book 1) By Maggie Stiefvater Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780545424936
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - July 30th, 2013

The magic of the Raven Cycle series truly carries from page to reader as you follow Blue Sargent and the tight friendship of the Raven Boys on their quest to find an ancient Welsh king near the small town of Henrietta, Virginia, where magic lurks in unexpected and wonderful places. Start the series with the Raven boys, where Blue finds out that a Raven Boy will die within the year, and is drawn into the mystery and magic of the strange group of private school boys. Maggie Stiefvater is a fantastic writer, and this series- perfect for fans of realistic fantasy, beautiful prose, and tightly-bound friendships- will definitely leave you wishing for something more.


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The Jasmine Throne (The Burning Kingdoms #1) By Tasha Suri Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316538510
Availability: Usually Ships within 2 weeks.
Published: Orbit - June 8th, 2021

Under a plot of reclaiming what has been taken - from family to power and an entire kingdom - this epic, Sapphic fantasy truly has it all. Secret pasts! Conflicting motives! A vengeful princess imprisoned in exile, a ruined temple that once housed ancient, magical waters, a priestess, one of only a few survivors of the temple's destruction, hiding in plain sight, and oh so much more! Alongside the exciting world and complicated characters, this first installment in The Burning Kingdoms trilogy has a story that confronts imperialism, religion, resistance, morality, and reclaiming what has been taken - whether that be one's power, past, family, or an entire kingdom. (And did I mention the queer romance?) One of the best books I've read this year, and definitely a series worth starting.


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You Feel It Just Below the Ribs: A Novel By Jeffrey Cranor, Janina Matthewson Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780063066625
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - November 16th, 2021

You Feel It Just Below the Ribs brings you immersive speculative fiction set in an alternate history where World Wars I and II became one continuous horror - "The Great Reckoning" - out of which a New Society of global government was formed. The Society aims to prevent such horrors from happening ever again, to keep peace and harmony, and prevent major conflict. To do this they abolish clan ties, concluding that nationalistic loyalties (and even blood ties to family and ancestry) were the root cause of large-scale violence; borders, nations, and families are dissolved. In this novel, Cranor and Matthewson write the memoir of a survivor of The Great Reckoning who played a role in the development of the Society and is horrified by what her work became. It reads like a found journal, with historical footnotes added by its discoverers (sometimes contradicting what the original author presents as fact), in the same genre as The Handmaid's Tale and other speculative fiction written as a first-person account. I was captured by the mystery of it all, the unfolding of events and relationships that created a different future.