Reviewsday: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

At QBD we love our authors and our Brisbane City store staff were lucky enough to be surprised by a visit by Graeme Simsion in the past week!

Not only was he "super nice" (exact quote right there) but he signed a few copies of his new book The Rosie Effect. He even posed for a photo with them! To celebrate we have dedicated this Reviewsday post to The Rosie Project- the book preceding The Rosie Effect.

 

(L-R: Geoff, Kimberley, Graeme Simsion, Lindsay & Gloria)

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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

This book made me laugh. Not many books can do that. This was a truly delightful book to read and I would never ask for a minute of the time spent reading it back.  Made all the more amazing by the fact that it is the first novel of Melbourne writer Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project will rank highly amongst my favourite reads.

Written from a unique perspective, this is one of the few, if not the only, romantic comedies with a male protagonist. And not only male, but autistic.  Don Tillman is a brilliant scientist, but a hapless socialist (I mean that with no political leanings, Don literally sucks at being social.)  Rosie is beautiful, smart and nowhere close to what Don sees as a perfect life partner.

This book is one of those rare gems that most people could relate to on some level. Does he love me? Does she love me? Can two people really be destined for one another? Is mankind meant for monogamy? Can anyone really love?

Written with a one of a kind voice, you experience all of Don's ups and downs as he over-analyses, fears and then embraces change and eventually learns how to love.

This is a beautiful love story.

-Samantha from Northland QBD

Contest this!

m reillyGuys, can we talk about Matthew Reilly?

I know you've heard of him - Australian guy, writes crazy/brilliant/thrilling action-adventures, owns a Delorean (!). Chances are, you've even picked up a copy of blockbusters Ice Station or Seven Ancient Wonders and been sucked in by their fast-paced, heart-pounding action. There's no denying that Matthew Reilly is one of Australia's best-loved and well known authors, and in this blog I'm taking you back to where it all began - with a little novel called Contest.

Picture this: every millenia, a champion is chosen from each planet in the universe to compete in the ultimate Contest - a fight to the death between all the contestants taking place in a huge labyrinth, the last man (or woman, or non-gender specific alien) standing is crowned champion. BUT, not only does each contestant have to out-wit and out-survive the others, they also must get past -contest the Karanadon - a terrifying beast that lurks in the labyrinth. Sounds simple enough, yeah? This time the Contest is to be held on Earth, in the formiddable New York State Library, and unwitting Doctor Stephen Swain and his daughter have just been thrown into what is quite literally the fight of their lives.

His first novel, written when he was just 19, Contest still stands as one of Reilly's best - creative, thrilling, page-turning, and original (and in case you couldn't tell, one of this bloggers favourite books). If you're not a scifi nut, don't let the alien factor put you off - the scifi element only enhances the action, and is not so complicated that it gets in the way of the story flow. It's fast-paced, funny, and generally just a cracking read! If you've never read Reilly, pick up Contest and you'll wonder why it's taken you so long. If you've read Reilly and you haven't read Contest - I actually can't believe you, what are you doing?!

-Sarah xxx

P.S. Keep an eye out for Matthew Reilly's new book The Great Zoo of China, coming to a QBD near you in November 2014!

Not Your Average Joe

joe hill authorJoe Hill is a treat.

After devouring a single one of his novels, you will be hooked. Still considered a relatively new author, his debut collection of short stories '20th Century Ghosts', released in 2005, and took the horror world by storm, claiming eight awards internationally, including the coveted Ray Bradbury Fellowship.

Since then, he has published three novels, ten graphic novels, half a dozen novellas (a couple of which were co-written by his father, you may have heard of him, horror legend Stephen King), and has contributed to two horror collections. Not bad for a guy who has been releasing work for less than a decade.

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His first full-length novel, 'Heart-Shaped Box', is one of the strongest debut novels this blogger has ever read. It is as gripping and absorbing as, dare I say it, Stephen King at his best. And that is not a statement said lightly. The protagonist, Jude, is an aging rock star (à la Ozzy Osbourne) with a hobby of collecting the macabre. Enter his latest purchase, a ghost bought on eBay, delivered inside a heart-shaped box. But this purchase is not like his others, and soon Jude finds his life turned upside down, as the ghost seems hell-bent on dragging Jude into the afterlife with him. The image of the ghost, an old man with black scribbles over his eyes, will stay with you long after the book is finished.

Now instead of convincing you to read 'Horns' ourselves, we have decided to let Daniel Radcliffe win you over. The film, due to be released in cinemas in the US this Halloween, is still to be confirmed with a release date in Australia (much to this blogger's intense frustration). It looks phenomenal though (if it's anything like the novel, it's bound to be (book pun intended)), and in Joe Hill's own words:

Radcliffe gives a wrenching, vulnerable, emotionally naked performance that isn’t like anything he’s ever done on screen before. He is such a wonderful Ig Perrish.

And don't forget, the book is always better.

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NOS4R2 (released in the US as NOS4A2. Just to keep things nice and confusing) is Hill's latest offering, and his turn to tackle the vampire genre (NOS4R2. Nosferatu. Get it?) Charles Manx is a monster; a monster who is able to kidnap children and hold them in the imaginary prison of Christmasland (trust me, it's not nearly as cheerful as it sounds). Victoria McQueen, the only one to ever escape his grasp, is dragged back into this nightmare world after her son is kidnapped as Manx's latest victim. This novel leads to Hill's latest graphic novel 'Wraith', which is set in Christmasland, Manx's nightmarish playground.

If you're a graphic novel fan, boy are you in for a treat. Hill's 'Locke & Key' series, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez, centres around the Keyhouse, a rumbling old mansion built on a portal to a dimension populated by mesmerising demons. A hauntingly dark fantasy, a film trilogy was announced at this year's San Diego Comic-Con by Universal Pictures.

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'The Cape', a graphic novel duology, is based on the short story of the same name found in '20th Century Ghosts'. Dressing up as a superhero as a kid, Eric discovers that his cape actually has the power to make him fly. Now, as an adult, Eric is brushing off his old cape and taking to the skies, getting revenge on all those who have wronged him.

Joe Hill is a legend in the making, and definitely one to keep your eye on. With the Horns film adaptation already completed, and the Locke & Key trilogy in pre-production, it's only a matter of time before Hill is a household name. If you're looking for a new book to read, one that will grip you by the throat and refuse to let you go, look no further. Joe Hill will leave you begging for more.

Cheap Thrills

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Want a new book, or two, or three? Something to excite you and keep you entertained during the long rainy summer days? Well buckle up readers! We've got just what you're looking for... all marked down and full of pulse-pumping goodness! Click on any of the titles to instantly be taken to the product page.

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Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield: A haunting Victorian tale of love, loss and the mystery of death.

 I Kill by Giorgio Faletti: A detective and an FBI agent embark upon the most harrowing case of their careers as they attempt to track down an enigmatic killer in this relentlessly suspenseful thriller.

The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo: A hitman will stop at nothing to eliminate his target.

Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell: Dr Kay Scarpetta is back investigating murders separated by thousands of miles. Can they be perpetrated by the same killer?

Private Oz by James Patterson: The world's most exclusive detective agency opens a new office - in Australia!

Don't Tell by Karen Rose: Disturbing and scary, Karen Rose's brilliant new thriller proves that you never know what goes on behind closed doors.

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Killing for the Company by Chris Ryan: Former SAS legend Chris Ryan brings you his sixteenth novel and it is full of all his trademark action, thrills and inside knowledge.

Dark Secrets by Michael Hjorth & Hans Rosenfeldt: Everyone has secrets and some people will do anything to keep them.

The Devil's Bounty by Sean Black: What price would you pay for justice?  

Angels of Vengeance by John Birmingham: This time it's personal. The final battle to save America will not be fought with armies, but the choices of individuals, whose vengeance drives them to make the wrong decisions at the right time.

This Green Hell by Greig Beck: Terror is in the jungle. Can Alex Hunter survive long enough to confront the danger that threatens the very survival of mankind?

 

Long Live the King

To celebrate the release of Stephen King's next masterpiece, Revival, we're taking a look back over the years of his reign as the King of Horror.

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Can you believe Carrie was released 40 years ago? Since then, Stephen King has reached Number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List a whopping 35 times! As such, it can be daunting for new readers to decide where to start. At QBD the Bookshop, we have you covered. Our blog staff have dived headfirst into Stephen King's immense backlist, and have emerged with a fool-proof Beginner's Guide to Stephen King.

'IT' and The Stand': Want to dive right into the deep end? These two are not for the faint of heart. 'IT' is an epic horror will chill you to the bone. Follow the intertwining stories of a group of children whose terrifying nightmares are brought to life by IT, and the adults that these children become, brought back to their hometown for a final showdown. 'The Stand' is the apocalyptic tale of the disease that destroys the world, and the evil which rises from the ashes. Follow the survivors as they travel America searching for salvation, and form their sides for the upcoming battle for the new world.

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'Stephen King Goes to the Movies': If you want to start with something a bit more comfortable and familiar, start with this collection of five King stories which have been adapted for the big screen. As we all know, the book is always better. Including the classics behind The Shawshank Redemption, Hearts in Atlantis, and Children of the Corn, this is a fantastic place to commence your newfound love for Stephen King. Don't forget to also check out 'The Green Mile', 'Hearts in Atlantis', and Stand by Me (released as The Body in the short story collection 'Different Seasons').

'Just After Sunset': If you prefer to carefully dip your toe into the Stephen King pool, and see how you like the temperature, this collection of short stories might be just the thing. While some of these stories are King's signature white-knuckled-gripping-the-arms-of-your-chair style, others are delightfully macabre in the tradition of Roald Dahl's tales for adults. Just wait until you read 'N.' and 'The Cat from Hell' – these are stories that are sure to stick with you long after the book is closed!

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The 'Dark Tower' series: This is a fantastic introduction to King for fantasy fans, who usually prefer the works of authors like Raymond E Feist or Robert Jordan. An epic tale of the journey of Roland Deschain and his unlikely friends as they travel endlessly closer to the Dark Tower, the centrepoint connecting all worlds and dimensions.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. For a full list of King's titles, click here.

Good luck, and welcome to your new addiction.