“Tortured Poets Department” Display


Are you anxiously awaiting Taylor’s new album drop?  Looking for something to do pass the time until you can listen?  Check out our “Tortured Poets Department” display featuring dark academia titles and books about poets and writers!

What exactly IS dark academia?  There are varying definitions, but generally speaking, it refers to a book that features an academic setting AND a dark undertone or dark twist.  It’s not necessarily linked to a specific genre of books: Plain Bad Heroines by Emily Danforth falls into the horror category, Portrait of a Thief by Grace Li is a crime heist, and Babel by R. F. Kuang is considered an “alternative fantasy history.”  The creation of the dark academia subgenre is attributed to Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, the 1992 novel that tells the story of a murder that takes place among a group of Classics students.  Dark academia has also seen a rise in popularity thanks to Internet culture and aesthetic—and new album releases.


If you’re looking for some recommendations from the display, check out Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo.  This is the first book in the Alex Sterns series set at a Yale University in a world that looks similar to our own–except that magic exists, and that magic is controlled by secret societies.


The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern features a graduate student named Zachary who discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his Vermont school—which includes a story from his own childhood.  This magical tale is filled with secret societies (notice the theme), ancient libraries, and book guardians.


If you like books in the newly minted “romantasy” genre–a combination of romance and fantasy–check out the first book in The Scholomance series by Naomi Novik.  A Deadly Education follows El, a young sorceress who fights monsters and is repeatedly saved by another student named Orion.  Surviving until graduation is the goal…


You’ll find all these books and more in our “Tortured Poets Department” display.  Click on the images below for some additional suggestions!