Book List, Staff Picks

Latest Staff Picks at Towne!

This week we have just a few picks for you, but for the next round we’re excited to introduce the first picks of our three new staff members, Jaclyn, Athena and Becky!

Paper and Blood by Kevin Hearne

A great follow up to last year’s Ink and Sigil – Hearne is a natural successor to the late great Terry Pritchett in both humor and character development. I loved catching back up with Al and Buck and I can’t wait to share this satisfying sequel with those who enjoyed the first!

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles comes book two of an “action-packed, enchantingly fun” (Booklist) spin-off series, as an eccentric master of rare magic solves a supernatural mystery Down Under

There’s only one Al MacBharrais: Though other Scotsmen may have dramatic mustaches and a taste for fancy cocktails, Al also has a unique talent. He’s a master of ink and sigil magic. In his gifted hands, paper and pen can work wondrous spells.

But Al isn’t quite alone: He is part of a global network of sigil agents who use their powers to protect the world from mischievous gods and strange monsters. So when a fellow agent disappears under sinister circumstances in Australia, Al leaves behind the cozy pubs and cafes of Glasgow and travels to the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria to solve the mystery.

The trail to his colleague begins to pile up with bodies at alarming speed, so Al is grateful his friends have come to help–especially Nadia, his accountant who moonlights as a pit fighter. Together with a whisky-loving hobgoblin known as Buck Foi and the ancient Druid Atticus O’Sullivan, along with his dogs, Oberon and Starbuck, Al and Nadia will face down the wildest wonders Australia–and the supernatural world–can throw at them, and confront a legendary monster not seen in centuries.

Kiki Kalliera Breaks a Kingdom by Sangu Mandanna

INKHEART meets CHALKZONE meets KIRANMALA AND THE WORLD BEYOND in this high action adventure story. The elements of magic and mythology are wonderfully done and expertly plotted to make you keep reading, but at the core of this story is one girl’s coming-of-age story as she deals with crippling anxiety and finding the courage to save those she loves. To sum it up, KIKI KALILIRA BREAKS A KINGDOM is fantastic!

For fans of the Aru Shah and Serpent’s Secret series, this action-packed fantasy-adventure sees a girl’s drawings of Indian mythology spring to vivid life–including the evil god who seeks to enter the real world and destroy it.

Kiki Kallira has always been a worrier. Did she lock the front door? Is there a terrible reason her mom is late? Recently her anxiety has been getting out of control, but one thing that has always soothed her is drawing. Kiki’s sketchbook is full of fanciful doodles of the rich Indian myths and legends her mother has told her over the years.

One day, her sketchbook’s calming effect is broken when her mythological characters begin springing to life right out of its pages. Kiki ends up falling into the mystical world she drew, which includes a lot of wonderful discoveries like the band of rebel kids who protect the kingdom, as well as not-so-great ones like the ancient deity bent on total destruction. As the one responsible for creating the evil god, Kiki must overcome her fear and anxiety to save both worlds–the real and the imagined–from his wrath. But how can a girl armed with only a pencil defeat something so powerful?

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

A book with no words, and that which no words that can do justice. Told in only pictures, it follows an immigrant traveling to a new place, and what it means to feel completely lost in translation, a stranger in a foreign land. Using magical realism, this story is powerful metaphor told through the eyes of several immigrants, detailing the horrors from which they ran, and the new life they hope to gain.

In this wordless graphic novel, Tan captures the struggles and joy of the immigrant experience through clear, mesmerizing images which tell the story of a man who leaves his homeland and his family to build a better life. Young adult.

The Past is Red by Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne Valente’s new book is an absolute tour de force and possibly one of her best books yet. No review of mine could do it justice. Join Tetley Abednego, the self-described “most hated girl in Garbagetown,” at the end of the world in this uncannily prescient novel of the climate crisis and its aftermath. Per usual for Valente, I read the book in four hours and cried for half of it.

Catherynne M. Valente, the bestselling and award-winning creator of Space Opera and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland returns with The Past Is Red, the enchanting, dark, funny, angry story of a girl who made two terrible mistakes: she told the truth and she dared to love the world.

The future is blue. Endless blue…except for a few small places that float across the hot, drowned world left behind by long-gone fossil fuel-guzzlers. One of those patches is a magical place called Garbagetown.

Tetley Abednego is the most beloved girl in Garbagetown, but she’s the only one who knows it. She’s the only one who knows a lot of things: that Garbagetown is the most wonderful place in the world, that it’s full of hope, that you can love someone and 66% hate them all at the same time.

But Earth is a terrible mess, hope is a fragile thing, and a lot of people are very angry with her. Then Tetley discovers a new friend, a terrible secret, and more to her world than she ever expected.

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