Revealing November's Subscription Box...

November - a month of dark nights and chill winds, as autumn recedes into winter and the urge to hibernate with an enticing tale and a hot mug of something soothing becomes impossible to resist. We're delighted to share three fantastic and yet very different books with you this month - find them now in this month's Paperback Down Subscription Box or order up as a one-off treat for yourself.

Local Voices: The Marriage Portrait, by Maggie O'Farrell

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O'Farrell

What's the craic?

1561. Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara, is taken on an unexpected visit to a country villa by her husband, Alfonso.

As they sit down to dinner it occurs to Lucrezia that Alfonso has a sinister purpose in bringing her here. He intends to kill her. Lucrezia is sixteen years old, and has led a sheltered life locked away inside Florence's grandest palazzo.

Here, in this remote villa, she is entirely at the mercy of her increasingly erratic husband. What is Lucrezia to do with this sudden knowledge? What chance does she have against Alfonso, ruler of a province, and a trained soldier? How can she ensure her survival. The Marriage Portrait is an unforgettable reimagining of the life of a young woman whose proximity to power places her in mortal danger.

Paperback Down says...

Inspired by the brief life of Lucrezia, daughter of Cosimo de’ Medici, who died of suspected poisoning just a year after entering her husband’s court, this is a sumptuously written historical drama, full of atmosphere and intrigue. Coleraine-born Maggie O'Farrell takes a relatively minor character from history and breaths vitality and character into her, bringing the Renaissance period to life with vividly elegant prose and stunning detail.  

Science Fiction & Fantasy: Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree

Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree

What's the craic?

After decades of adventuring, Viv the orc barbarian is finally hanging up her sword for good. Now she sets her sights on a new dream - for she plans to open the first coffee shop in the city of Thune. Even though no one there knows what coffee actually is.

If Viv wants to put the past behind her, she can't go it alone. And help might arrive from unexpected quarters. Yet old rivals and new stand in the way of success.

And Thune's shady underbelly could make it all too easy for Viv to take up the blade once more. But the true reward of the uncharted path is the travellers you meet along the way. Whether bound by ancient magic, delicious pastries or a freshly brewed cup, they may become something deeper than Viv ever could have imagined

Paperback Down says...

An utter delight from start to finish, this book is as comforting as a warmly spiced latte on chilly November morning. It's like being wrapped in a big bookish hug - but with orcs and axes and coffee. Legends and Lattes is a story about being unafraid to follow your dreams, about refusing to allow the preconceptions of society to define the paths we take in life and about the strength we find in true companionship. Whether you're a fan of fantasy or not, this is, without doubt, a truly unmissable read.

Bucket List Books: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Cover image of George Orwell's dystopian classic, Nineteen Eight-Four - this month's featured literary classic

What's the craic?

"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past"

Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.

George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four is perhaps the most pervasively influential book of the twentieth century.

Paperback Down says...

First published in 1949, George Orwell's classic novel has lost none of it punch and impact with the passing of time, bringing into common usage iconic phrases such as such as 'Big Brother' and 'Thought Police' and 'Room 101'. But more than that, it's a profoundly thought-provoking commentary on totalitarianism, propaganda and mass surveillance that has just as much relevance today as it ever did.

Which will you choose?

Subscribe today to guarantee you get first dibs each month on our featured picks, along with locally-made gifts and treats all carefully chosen to help you relax and unwind with your new favourite book - just click here to get started.

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