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Get your gogglers on these roses!

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source: www.getbucks.co.uk

The Chelsea Flower Show is renowned for it's gorgeous blooms, and this year was no exception, but one in particular had a story to tell. As part of the Roald Dahl centenary celebrations,The 'Roald Dahl' rose was unveiled by Dahl's wife, Felicity Dahl,  and Sir Quentin Blake. The chosen peach-coloured rose has been created by David Austin roses and is a tribute to Dahl's love of gardening.

“Whilst planning the centenary celebrations I focused on what Roald’s passions were, and gardening of course was one.  It was a natural next step to name a rose after him as it has universal resonance around the world just like the man himself.  We were honoured that the prestigious rose breeder, David Austin, agreed to be part of our plans”. - Felicity Dahl on roald dahl.com

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source: www.getbucks.co.uk

The rose takes centre stage in the David Austin Roses display, which includes a giant copper peach sculpture, etched with Roald Dahl's words and Quentin Blake's illustrations, and is an homage
to Dahl's first major success as a children's author with James and The Giant Peach.

Felicity Dahl wanted to name a rose for her husband’s centenary year to highlight his passions – one of which was gardening.The David Austin Roses stand, which picked up a gold medal, has the rose as the central focus and features a giant copper peach sculpture as the backdrop, etched with Roald’s words and Sir Quentin Blake’s illustrations from the story.

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source: http://www.countryandtownhouse.co.uk/

Spotlight on QBD Hurstville 2016

 

Our enthusiastic readers at QBD Hurstville dazzle with their latest reads
as they steal this week's QBD Spotlight!

 

The Dry by Jane Harper:

9781743548059 A brutal crime rocks a town suffering the worst drought in a century. Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals and in doing so is forced to confront the people who rejected him 20 years earlier. Falk and childhood friend Luke shared a secret, one which Luke's death brings to the surface. Falk's investigative skills are called on and facts start to make him doubt the murder-suicide charge. As he probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones.....
Jane Harper's debut novel is addictive, taking me only a day to read it! - Sally (Store Manager)

Cell by Stephen King:

9781444707823 Cell offers a unique take on the overcrowded post apocalyptic zombie genre. The Pulse, a signal transmited through cellphones, turns everyone with a phone to their ear into zombie-like crazed brutes, attacking the infected and normal people alike.
Clay, the main character, is extremely relatable. He's not a soldier, nor does he have super-human like reflexes and strength. He's a normal guy, just trying to get back to his family. We can't help but feel his struggle as obstacles block his path.
Scary, intense, suspensful, but also full of action, Cell is a riveting book. With its ending being open to interpretation, it will leave you thinking about it for days to come. - Alex (Store 2IC)

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie:

9780007948697 Murder On The Orient Express follows Agatha Christie’s most recognised character, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. This crime thriller is centred around an intriguing murder on-board a train to Croatia. As the story unfolds we are invited to see the conscience of the main character as he struggles to accept that there is any justification for murder. I enjoyed the twist at the end, as the story breaks from tradition, endearing Poirot as a character with both honour and humanity.
Christie is a timeless author, whose works have appealed to audiences for almost 100 years. This classic story is a great read that I highly recommend to all lovers of the crime fiction genre. - Lara

The Martian by Andy Weir:

9780007948697 The Martian tells the story of Mark Watney, an astronaut on a NASA mission to Mars who is left stranded after being presumed dead by his team whilst fleeing a savage storm. Left with no communications, dwindling supplies and no rescue team, Watney has to find a way to survive.
It’s a fantastic, tension filled setup, but Weir also has a very modern, slick, scientific basis backing his narrative that lends a proper sense of realism to the plot. Put simply, The Martian is the nerdiest action survival story I’ve ever read. The research put into this book is extensive, with everything from orbital equations to the body’s energy requirements thrown into Watney’s struggle to survive. And it’s not just the science - in Watney, Weir has also created a very likeable protagonist, self-effacing but also heroic and intelligent. And funny, too – he manages to pull off the tricky feat of making prose funny for the most part, and it is Watney’s personality and narrative voice in telling the story that turns a book with for the most part only a single character into a page turner.
Andy Weir has come out of the publishing blocks on a superpowered rocket with his debut novel - The Martian will make you laugh, think, and most of all keep you reading up until the very last page. - Jamie

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater:

9780545424936 Richard Gansey III is looking for a king. As he searches for the mysterious Glendower, hoping that waking the long sleeping king will grant him a favour, he draws in the local inhabitants of Henrietta, including Ronan, Adam, and Noah. Meanwhile, Blue Sargent, resident of Henrietta's local house of clairvoyants, knows that her true love is fated to die if she kisses him.
Following a disastrous first meeting with Gansey and the rest of his Raven Boys, Blue is drawn into the quest for Glendower and finds a place for herself among the boys, each of whom is as much of an outcast as the other. As they continue down the path of discovery, they find that Henrietta, Virginia is not the quiet town they think it is, but is rife with a magic that lies beneath the surface, intertwining with their lives.
Stiefvater brings together this cast of misfit characters so well that readers feel like they've made friends in them. As a Virginian native, she recreates a fictional town with all the nuances of the place, then layers over them with elements of the fantastical, drawn from history and myth and fairy tales. Her stylistic prose is captivating and unlike that of most young adult novels. This is the perfect book for anyone searching for something with the darkness and mystery of the paranormal, while still being full of heart. - Mersini

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Alex & Jamie

Every week our QBD Spotlight travels to a different store.
Keep an eye out for your local QBD team!

Reviewsday: A Court of Mist and Fury

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This book happens to be the best I have read this year.

A Court of Mist and Fury is the long awaited sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses.
Sarah J Maas has used attention to detail, emotional twists and epic romance in this amazing new novel to keep you reading until the very end.
I lived this as I read it. I actually paused my life for an hour to moan about how long I have to wait until the next one!

Feyre takes us back into the Spring Court after she has sacrificed everything to save Tamlin, High Lord of the Spring Court.
Even though she's physically flawless due to the magic all seven of the High Lords used to save her life, the emotional and mental scars remain.
Will she be able to put that behind her to live the life she deserves?
But really that isn't the only thing she has to worry about. The High Lord of the Night Court owns a week of every month of her life and he hasn't yet
claimed it. Will Feyre be able to resist his alluring charm and dangerous darkness? Be prepared for new romances, new political games and new powers!

Now I won't give out spoilers but I will say, each character has hidden gems in their personalities and also hidden darkness. Nothing is as it seems, nothing is certain!
You honestly will not regret reading this, I'm still in the world two weeks later!

- Hayley, QBD Hornsby

Spotlight on QBD Darwin

Our Darwin team shine our QBD Spotlight  on their latest reads this week.

The Obsession by Nora Roberts:

9780349407760 This book reminded me why I love Nora Roberts. And although I haven't picked up a Nora Roberts book in a long time, I still count her as one of the greats who really fed on my romance addiction. From the engaging plot to the cast of complex and layered characters, The Obsession grabbed my attention from the very first page. And when I say first page, I mean that literally.
Holy freakin' prologue is what it was. It was creepy and scary and had this sinister feel that really put the readers right into the middle of the action. - Tracey, thanks to Geri.

Dinner with Justine by Justine Schofield:

If you like a little heat go for the Rogan Josh, easy to understand instructions. If you are working long hours or have families or both this recipe is faster in a pressure cooker. Most of Justine's recipes are easily adapted to the pressure cooker. - Tracey

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling:

9781408834985 Rereading this book I knew it was fantastic the first time, started again to get ready for the up coming release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and it brought back the same feelings. Sweaty palms when something exiting was about to happen and when the heart starts racing when you think something bad will happen. All round it is a fantastic book by a very talented and gifted writer. I highly recommend this series to all ages. - Danica

The Riftwar Saga: Magicians End by Raymond E Feist:

The final instalment of Raymond E. Feist's epic Riftwar Saga. After a series spanning 30 years and 30 books, it all comes together in the final battle for the world of Midkemia and all of existence. Heroes rise and fall as gods, men and all manner of other beings battle over the end of days.
One of the most engaging series that I have read, the Riftwar saga is perhaps the greatest fantasy series of modern day. Despite the seemingly overwhelming amount to read Raymond E. Feist has managed to keep the series fresh with a story spanning centuries by creating smaller series within. With the rotating cast of characters mixed in with a few familiar faces, each tale stays grounded following the plight of common men and kings while progressing the overall plot of magic, gods and alternate dimensions.
Magicians End is a worthy finale to this great sage. Everything comes together, with enough surprises still in store as the story begins to come full circle.
I recommend this series to all fans of fantasy. - Thomas

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas:

9781408857885 I could not put this book down. It had me turning page after page wanting to finish it to know the ending as soon as I could. A Court of Mist and Fury had pulled me in from the start, and had me on the edge of my chair to the point of that putting the book down for just a minute to let the information sink in. I have fallen in love with this series and cannot wait for the next book to come out to continue reading. - Cassandra

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Every week our QBD Spotlight visits a different store.
Keep your eye out for your local team!

QBD Reviews: Skyborn by David Dalglish

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Skyborn sets the scene of a new fantasy series 500 years after the world was swallowed up by the endless ocean and six islands were lifted to the sky to save the last of humanity.

Twins Bree and Kael have lived with their Aunt since their parents died in a battle between their island (Weshern) and the island Galen. Their 16th birthday is fast approaching, which will be their last chance to get into the elite Seraphim academy. Aunt Bethy has been prolonging the inevitable of the twins attending, as she is scared of losing them too. At the academy they will don wings and wield elements to learn how protect their island from aerial invasions.

With their parents having left a great legacy for Bree and Kael to live up to, the thought of failing starts to become overwhelming. When there are eyes constantly on you, there is bound to be some unwanted attention, but should it be something that concerns them?

I enjoyed everything about this book. I found the pacing throughout the story to be at a perfect rate and it kept me engaged the whole time. There are love interests in the book although they are not your typical whirlwind romance, which I really enjoyed. The characters take the time to build friendships instead of instant infatuation. Also the sibling rivalry and the love between the twins felt very real and relatable.

If you're interested in fantasy or just enjoy a good story, this book should definitely be on your list.

~ Dimiti