After flirting with a career in the newspaper industry, Elliot left the nine to five city grind to return to her true love, books, and has never looked back. She has a degree in Poetry from CSU, and has been awarded numerous honors for her work. When she isn’t busy writing or reading books she can usually be found rolling dice with friends or slaying zombie hordes (usually via videogame console, though she would point out how zombie-free the Front Range remains) with her husband. In addition to books Elliot enjoys mythology and folklore, nerding out about the space program, shooting storm photography, staying up until sunrise, and the hunt for a perfect eggroll. Elliot is the senior-most bookseller at Old Firehouse, with over a decade of experience, and she curates the Poetry section of the store as well as co-curating the Science Fiction/Fantasy section and being our trusty delivery driver.
"In a fierce oscillation between activism and love, Andrea's most recent literary triumph, Lord of the Butterflies, is a book of protests, panic attacks, and pride parades. These poems riot against gun violence, homophobia, and white supremacy, while jubilating gender expansion, queer love, and the will to stay alive."
I didn't realize you could blend erotica, feminism, and body horror until I read this collection, and now I find myself wondering why this combination hasn't been in my life sooner. Machado has created one of the creepiest story collections I've ever read, and it is made all the more disturbing by not shying away from feminist themes. This deft blending of genres is perfect for exploring topics like the relationships women have with their bodies, and how those bodies are treated by others and society at large. Using both old familiar stories, like The Husband Stitch, and new ones, like Eight Bites, these stories scared me and made me think. If you're a fan of horror you should absolutely give this collection a read. - Elliot
This review has been impossible to write, because I just don't know how to convey to you how much I loved this book. Sometimes, if you're lucky, a book will come around that blends all your favorite things together in one delightful melange. And sometimes, if you're very lucky, the exalted literary spirits will gift you with a book that doesn't just meet your high expectations...it exceeds them. And if you get very very very lucky, you'll get a book that happens to do both of those things. Gideon the Ninth was that book for me. This was the gothic sci-fi fantasy mash-up my little black heart has been waiting for and I didn't even know it. Delightfully grotesque, irreverent, macabre, and sly, this book had me laughing, cringing, cheering, and crying in equal measure. If you've been looking for a book filled with shambling skeletons, sword fights, weird magic, space travel, snark, frienemy fireworks, and plenty of murder, this book is sure to charm you. - Elliot
This book hit just the right note with me at just the right time. It was one of those rare books that made me want to drop everything I was doing just so I could read. It's a fascinating meditation on how the human animal might adjust gender roles, sexuality, and morality if society, balance, and pregnancy are removed from the equation. If you're looking for a great read about the end of the world with a feminist bent this is a rare jewel. - Elliot
The final installation in the Murderbot novellas. The story curves back around to the beginning as Murderbot reunites with the humans it met in the first story. The bulk of this book is focused on a rescue mission and tying things together, so there isn't as much time for humor and awkwardness. There also isn't a new robot pal to meet in this one, like there were in books two and three. However, I personally didn't mind the more narrow focus. Murderbot got to be a badass, make some big decisions, and evolve as a character. All in all I was satisfied with the closing of this particular storyline, and I'm super excited to see what happens in the future with the full length novel. Bring on more Murderbot! - Elliot
McGuire's Wayward Children books have become one of the things I look forward to the most every winter. The way she transports me through the looking glass time and again is something to be treasured. Portal fiction at it's finest. I will happily read these year after year until I'm old and withered. - Elliot
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To be truthful I wasn't excited to read this book, mostly because of the cover. Imagine my surprise when this became one of my favorite reads of the year. Elysium is complex, nuanced, and really needs to be read rather than explained. This is one of those rare reads wherein as soon as I finished it I immediately wanted to press it into the hands of everyone around me. To say this book is science fiction, or a post-apocalyptic tale, is to drastically reduce the essence of this story. The beauty of this book, and the way it is told, cannot be undersold. This is a book about love, loss, and the end of the world. And I really hope you take a chance and pick this one up - I'm so glad I did. - Elliot
This book broke my heart on every page. In a good way. Miller's prose is wonderful. She does an amazing job of bringing her settings and characters to life. I felt like I was there, in the castles and caves, and on the beaches and battlefields. I was completely transported. The Gods that walked through the pages felt as natural as the wind and the sea, never once breaking the tone of the book, or making it feel fantastical. Patroclus and Achilles became real, and their relationship was one I both believed and invested in, despite knowing how their story would end. This book is amazingly well written, genuinely romantic without being sentimental, and truly heartbreaking in the best possible way. An epic romance in the truest sense. - Elliot
McLemore's prose is unparalleled in its ability to ensnare the senses with rich metaphors, striking imagery, and language so sumptuous it almost feels like you are reading poetry. The story itself has the feel of an old world folktale, drenched in superstition and filled with dream-like logic to match the surreal imagery. It is sensual, emotional, and (I hesitate to use this phrase because whenever I see it on the back of a book I run away) heart-wrenching. These characters grabbed my heart and refused to let go, even as they twisted it to pieces. If you like fairy tales, folk lore, love stories, beautiful writing, or stories about people searching for their own personal truths, you should give this book a try. And if you like all of the above prepare to love this book deeply. - Elliot
At its core Gentleman's Guide is, through and through, a good, old-fashioned romp. It's an adventure and a romance with just a hint of the fantastic. Complete with wit, action, adventure, and an emotional core that left me laughing and hurting in equal measure, it was a recipe that made for a read I couldn't wait to dig back into whenever I got a chance. For me this was the literary equivalent of a warm mug of cocoa on a chilly night. - Elliot
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Taking place all within one tumultuous day, Release managed to encapsulate what it feels like to have one of those days where everything is changing way too fast to keep up. It's one of those days where everything shifts and goes sideways. It could so easily feel contrived, but Ness manages to make the non-stop hits feel connected and realistic. We've all had that day where it's one thing after another and before you know it things start snowballing. Especially when you're young and feelings run so deep and swift. This is a book about feeling trapped, not just in the closet but also in your circumstances and family. This is a book about love, both the good and the bad sides, with not just lovers but friends and family. This is a book about acceptance, of self, others, and reality. And more than anything this is a book about learning to let go. I loved this book. - Elliot
If you're not already reading Solnit you should remedy that immediately. This collection of essays picks up where Men Explain Things To Me left off, updating the topic and incorporating the current cultural climate. Essential reading for anyone interested in feminism and gender politics. - Elliot
This collection of essays addressing rape culture is deeply personal, insightful, and at times scathing and raw. There were several pieces in here that have stuck with me, and I know will continue to do so for years to come. The title, Not That Bad, echoes through these experiences as a connective thread. Almost every survivor included feeling as though their personal experience wasn't worthy of the depth of their feelings because "it could always be worse." We all live in a society that progresses rape culture, and this book captures that essence and how it plays out for so many people - that alone makes these essays important and relevant to all of us. - Elliot
Really stunning all across the board. The art is stylistically interesting and really lovely to look at - despite the detail work it feels very smooth and dreamy. The story itself hits me right where I live, so to speak. A bunch of teens in the 90s play an RPG that transports them into the fantasy world, and when they emerge they aren't the same. When they return as adults it's even more fraught. I loved the world-building and game work that went into this, as well as this being a story about gamers that was so clearly written by someone who has been a part of that culture. Brooding and dripping with regret, rooted in fantasy tropes that have been twisted enough to be fresh, and meditative on the nature of fantasy and collective reality. I really loved this collection and look forward to more. - Elliot