It’s definitely holiday time at Towne! If you’re still in need of books for your loved ones, be sure to stop in sooner rather than later, particularly if you may need to order a book that we might not have on our shelves!
Battle Royal by Lucy Parker
Royals! Baking! Reality TV! Witty characters! Female relationships that pass the Bechdel test! What more could one want from a British rom com? I adored this book and was happy to spend a weekend lost in its pages!
Beloved author Lucy Parker pens a delicious new romantic comedy that is a battle of whisks and wits.
Four years ago, Sylvie Fairchild charmed the world as a contestant on the hit baking show, Operation Cake. Her ingenious, creations captivated viewers and intrigued all but one of the judges, Dominic De Vere. When Sylvie’s unicorn cake went spectacularly sideways, Dominic was quick to vote her off the show. Since then, Sylvie has used her fame to fulfill her dream of opening a bakery. The toast of Instagram, Sugar Fair has captured the attention of the Operation Cake producers…and a princess.
Dominic is His Majesty the King’s favorite baker and a veritable British institution. He’s brilliant, talented, hard-working. And an icy, starchy grouch. Learning that Sylvie will be joining him on the Operation Cake judging panel is enough to make the famously dour baker even more grim. Her fantastical baking is only slightly more troublesome than the fact that he can’t stop thinking about her pink-streaked hair and irrepressible dimple.
When Dominic and Sylvie learn they will be fighting for the once in a lifetime opportunity to bake a cake for the upcoming wedding of Princess Rose, the flour begins to fly as they fight to come out on top.
The bride adores Sylvie’s quirky style. The palace wants Dominic’s classic perfection.
In this royal battle, can there be room for two?
The Color of Dragons by R. A. Salvatore & Erika Lewis
This is an amazing and wonderful reimagining of the legends that lead to Merlin and Camelot. Mostly because it is a tale in a time long before them both. A truly enchanting story with a young girl who is hard as nails tough and determined to write her own destiny. With vibes of Anne McCaffery and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, Maggie’s bond with her dragon and the slow burn romance with Griffin is what makes THE COLOR OF DRAGONS a story that draws you in and won’t let go.
Powerhouse adult fantasy author R. A. Salvatore and Erika Lewis deliver a sweeping, action-packed, romantic pre-Arthurian tale of the origins of magic (and Merlin), perfect for fans of Falling Kingdoms and Seraphina.
Magic needs a spark.
And Maggie’s powers are especially fickle. With no one to help her learn to control her magic, the life debt that she owes stretches eternally over her head, with no way to repay it.
Until she meets Griffin, the king’s champion, infamous for hunting down the draignochs that plague their kingdom.
Neither has any idea of the destiny that they both carry, or that their meeting will set off a chain of events that will alter every aspect of the life they know—and all of history thereafter.
This epic, romantic tale will enchant readers and draw them into a thrilling world of star-crossed lovers, magic, destiny, and the paths we choose.
The Veiled Throne by Ken Liu
The third, but apparently not final, book in the Dandelion Dynasty series The Veiled Throne continues the traditions of its predecessors by being a spectacular read! This book and this series in general have a way of making even the most mundane things exciting and beautiful. Better than a Game Of Thrones and likely to be done before Door Of Stone this book is a must read for all fantasy fans.
With the invasion of Dara complete, and the Wall of Storms breached, the world has opened to new possibilities for the gods and peoples of both empires as the sweeping saga of the award-winning Dandelion Dynasty continues in this third book of the “magnificent fantasy epic” (NPR).
Princess Théra, once known as Empress Üna of Dara, entrusted the throne to her younger brother in order to journey to Ukyu-Gondé to war with the Lyucu. She has crossed the fabled Wall of Storms with a fleet of advanced warships and ten thousand people. Beset by adversity, Théra and her most trusted companions attempt to overcome every challenge by doing the most interesting thing. But is not letting the past dictate the present always possible or even desirable?
In Dara, the Lyucu leadership as well as the surviving Dandelion Court bristle with rivalries as currents of power surge and ebb and perspectives spin and shift. Here, parents and children, teachers and students, Empress and Pékyu, all nurture the seeds of plans that will take years to bloom. Will tradition yield to new justifications for power?
Everywhere, the spirit of innovation dances like dandelion seeds on the wind, and the commoners, the forgotten, the ignored begin to engineer new solutions for a new age.
Ken Liu returns to the series that draws from a tradition of the great epics of our history from the Aeneid to the Romance on the Three Kingdoms and builds a new tale unsurpassed in its scope and ambition.
The Martian by Andy Weir
This was my first ever foray into sci-fi, and it’s left a lasting impression. Weir’s humor is best seen in this story of one man left on Mars after a mission goes awry. With no way to contact anyone, and enough food for only a couple months, it follows Mark Watney on his quest to survive. It will have you holding back tears, while cracking up too!
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
Useless Magic by Florence Welch
If you’ve ever been in the store at a time when I’ve wrangled the aux cord away from Drew, you’ll know that I’m a HUGE Florence + The Machine fan. This collection of original poetry, doodles, and lyrics is perfect for anyone who likes Florence Welch (possibly a little more than is probably healthy.)
Lyrics and never-before-seen poetry and sketches from the iconic musician of Florence and the Machine
Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don’t know what I’m trying to say till years later. Or a prediction comes true and I couldn’t do anything to stop it, so it seems like a kind of useless magic.
Spiritual Ecology edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
If you love Mother Earth you will love this collection of essays, poems, and brilliant writings collected into one book. Empowering, touching, and heartbreaking; this book brought me tears and at the same time made me so hopeful for the future and the good people speaking out for nature.
The first edition of this book fostered the emergence of the “Spiritual Ecology Movement,” which recognizes the need for a spiritual response to our present ecological crisis. It drew an overwhelmingly positive response from readers, many of whom are asking the simple question, “What can I do?” This second expanded edition offers new chapters, including two from younger authors who are putting the principles of spiritual ecology into action, working with their hands as well as their hearts. It also includes a new preface and revised chapter by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, that reference two major recent events: the publication of Pope Francis’s encyclical, “On Care for Our Common Home,” which brought into the mainstream the idea that “the ecological crisis is essentially a spiritual problem”; and the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, which saw representatives from nearly 200 countries come together to address global warming, including faith leaders from many traditions. Bringing together voices from Buddhism, Sufism, Christianity, and Native American traditions, as well as from physics, deep psychology, and other environmental disciplines, this book calls on us to reassess our underlying attitudes and beliefs about the Earth and wake up to our spiritual as well as physical responsibilities toward the planet.
Dark Rise by C. S. Pacat
I wasn’t sure what to expect from C.S Pacat’s first YA book, but I was blown away. This book is a great blend of traditional “chosen one” plot with lots of unique twists and turns. Will is an orphan in early 19th century London who gets caught up in an ancient battle that threatens the world. A great book for fantasy lovers looking for a new trilogy to start!
In this stunning new fantasy novel from international bestselling author C. S. Pacat, heroes and villains of a long-forgotten war are reborn and begin to draw new battle lines. This epic fantasy with high-stakes romance will sit perfectly on shelves next to beloved fantasy novels like the Infernal Devices series, the Shadow and Bone trilogy, and the Red Queen series.
Sixteen-year-old dock boy Will is on the run, pursued by the men who killed his mother. Then an old servant tells him of his destiny to fight beside the Stewards, who have sworn to protect humanity if the Dark King ever returns. Will is thrust into a world of magic, where he starts training for a vital role in the oncoming battle against the Dark.
As London is threatened and old enmities are awakened, Will must stand with the last heroes of the Light to prevent the fate that destroyed their world from returning to destroy his own.
Like V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic and Shelby Mahurin’s Serpent & Dove, Dark Rise is more than just high intrigue fantasy—it’s fast-paced, action-packed, and completely surprising. Readers will love exploring the rich setting of nineteenth-century London. This thrilling story of friendship, deception, loyalty, and betrayal is sure to find a passionate audience of readers.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Hunger Games meets space! In the future, humanity is divided into 14 classes of colors. The rulers are Gold. Darrow is the lowest color—a red. Darrow’s family live beneath the surface of mars mining to terraform the planet. After Darrow’s wife is murdered publicly in defiance against the Gold’s who rule them, he reluctantly begins a calculated saga of revenge against the Golds and society’s structure. I couldn’t put this book down!
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, BUZZFEED, AND SHELF AWARENESS
“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”
“I live for you,” I say sadly.
Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he toils willingly, trusting that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.