Book List, Indie Next

Holiday Gift Giving: JACLYN’S PICKS

It’s time for our annual holiday gift giving recommendations! Check out all of the picks on display in the front corner of the store across from the wine bar! Each cover image links to the book’s page on our website for purchase and is followed by our staff blurb and publisher description.

Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

Who doesn’t love a solid YA fantasy? Brigid does a fantastic job of bringing together everything I love about this genre. There’s twists and turns, strong and witty characters, and of course a little romance. Defy the Night follows an apothecary, Tessa, on her mission to uncover the truth behind a cruel monarch, where things might not be quite what they seem. I honestly couldn’t put it down!

From New York Times bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer comes a blockbuster fantasy series, perfect for fans of Holly Black and Victoria Aveyard, about a kingdom divided by corruption, the prince desperately holding it together, and the girl who will risk everything to bring it crashing down.

Apothecary apprentice Tessa Cade is tired of seeing her people die. King Harristan and his cruel brother, Prince Corrick, ignore the suffering of their people and react mercilessly to any sign of rebellion, even as a sickness ravages the land. That’s why she and her best friend Wes risk their lives each night to steal the petals of the delicate Moonflower, the only known cure. But it’s not enough to keep everyone she loves safe—or alive.

When Prince Corrick commits an act of unspeakable cruelty, Tessa becomes desperate enough to try the impossible: sneaking into the palace. But what she finds there makes her wonder if it’s even possible to fix their world without destroying it first.

Brigid Kemmerer’s captivating new series is about those with power and those without . . . and what happens when someone is brave enough to imagine a new future.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The perfect read for any age, the Alchemist is a story of determination and following your heart. A boy who desires to see the world sets off in pursuit of his personal legend to discover the pyramids of Egypt, but along the way he discovers so much more. Throughout his story the boy meets a king, a merchant, a theif, an alchemist, and the love of his life; each one with a different lesson to teach him. This book encouraged me to keep pushing towards my goals in life, even when it seems like everything is against me. It also teaches you to listen to the omens, the language of the universe, and you’ll never be lost on your journey.

A special 25th anniversary edition of the extraordinary international bestseller, including a new Foreword by Paulo Coelho.

Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations.

Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

The Island by Aldous Huxley

An off-beat classic from the author of Brave New World; Aldous Huxley puts his signature dystopian twist on a utopian novel. A book that will make you think hard about the society we’ve chosen to create and the strange norms we’ve accepted. Island is a book you won’t quickly forget, deeply philosophical, Huxley has a knack for making you look around and question everything you thought you knew.

The final novel from Aldous Huxley, Island is a provocative counterpoint to his worldwide classic Brave New World, in which a flourishing, ideal society located on a remote Pacific island attracts the envy of the outside world.

In the novel Huxley considered his most important, he transports us to the remote Pacific island of Pala, where an ideal society has flourished for 120 years. Inevitably, this island of bliss attracts the envy and enmity of the surrounding world. A conspiracy is underway to take over Pala, and events are set in motion when an agent of the conspirators, a newspaperman named Faranby, is shipwrecked there. What Faranby doesn’t expect is how his time with the people of Pala will revolutionize all his values and—to his amazement—give him hope.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

Best book ever. I laughed, I cried, I re-read it 3 times in one month. I could not have asked for someone to write a more perfect tale. The story follows Dex, our non-binary tea monk, as he meets Mosscap, the whimsical and curious robot. Redefining science fiction, Becky Chambers writes the most hopeful and heart felt story of the generation. This will be one that I revisit constantly when I need a bit of comfort for humanity, the future, or just a solid read with a good cup of tea.

In A Psalm for the Wild-Built, Hugo Award-winner Becky Chambers’s delightful new Monk and Robot series gives us hope for the future.

It’s been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of “what do people need?” is answered.

But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.

They’re going to need to ask it a lot.

Becky Chambers’s new series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Samantha Shannon has created what I would consider the perfect epic fantasy. In one novel (granted one very large novel) she builds a world of magic and fantasy that takes you on a journey you will never forget. With dragons, alchemy, warring kingdoms and queendoms, love, and of course a touch of magic – what more could you ask for? The perfect read to keep you busy during winter, wrapped up in a blanket with a steamy cup of tea, you’ll be transported into an amazing land of magic, action, and adventure.

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction–but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Another classic fantasy that I’ll never get enough of. My favorite Gaiman novel; it’s a story that follows Tristrin, a love struck young man on a journey to find a fallen star and return it to his love (who doesn’t love him back). Tristrin journies over the Wall and into a magical land filled with evil witches, lightening pirates, and seven princes who are hell-bent on poisoning each other for a chance at the throne. A love story with a magical and comical Gaiman twist. One of my favorite stories of all time!

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman, a beautiful and enchanting tale of love, adventure, and magic―one of ten classic Gaiman works repackaged with elegant original watercolor art by acclaimed artist Henry Sene Yee

One of Neil Gaiman’s most beautiful and enchanting tales, Stardust is the story of Tristran Thorn, a young man who promises the woman he loves that he will bring her back a fallen star. But there are others who seek the star, for their own reasons. And then there’s the star herself . . .

A beloved fairy tale infused with humor, magic, adventure, and romance, Stardust is a timeless work that demonstrates the writer’s bold, elegant and infinitely wondrous imagination.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone The Illustrated Edition by J. K. Rowling & Jim Kay

If you’re like me and completely and utterly obsessed with all things Harry Potter, this is for you. The complete retelling of the classic story, but with beautifully added illustrations that any collector or lover of the series needs to have on their shelf. An amazing gift for the Harry Potter lover in your life, or an even better gift for yourself; these illustrated editions are not to be missed.

The beloved first book of the Harry Potter series, now fully illustrated by award-winning artist Jim Kay.For the first time, J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter books will be presented in lavishly illustrated full-color editions. Award-winning artist Jim Kay has created over 100 stunning illustrations, making this deluxe format a perfect gift for a child being introduced to the series and for dedicated fans.Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley – a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry – and anyone who reads about him – will find unforgettable.

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

A classic, easy read, fantasy novel that you can even read to the kids! I’ve been in love with the Last Unicorn since I saw the animated film as a child. It’s a classic story that never really gets old. Follow the last unicorn’s journey as she seeks out the mythical Red Bull to discover what happened to her kin. Along the way she meets a rather poor magician and the two make a very unlikely pair as they make their way to the king’s castle to face the Red Bull. It’s a tale of magic and mystery that will last in your heart for a lifetime.

Experience one of the most enduring classics of the twentieth century and the book that The Atlantic has called “one of the best fantasy novels ever.”

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone…

 …so she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a despondent monarch—and confronting the creature that would drive her kind to extinction….

In The Last Unicorn, renowned and beloved novelist Peter S. Beagle spins a poignant tale of love, loss, and wonder that has resonated with millions of readers around the world.

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