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Tuggerah’s Top Reads!

Our terrific Tuggerah team love to read!
Today they've put together a list of books that should definitely be on your reading list: 

One Summer - America 1927 by Bill Bryson:

You won't believe how much of America's history happened in just one year – 1927. This book is an eclectic combination of facts, history, personalities and oddities, ALL of which happened in 1927 – the year America came of age and became THE major player on the world stage.
Brilliant! - Steve O'Grady (store Manager)

It by Stephen King:

My favourite book by my favourite author!
In an epic tale of Good vs Evil, a group of childhood friends are drawn back together to fight a malevolent entity in their home town. This is a perfect example of Stephen King's ability to develop a unique cast of characters. He captures the essence and wonder of childhood, and then seamlessly integrates the pressures of adulthood like no other author can.
You will never forget this book!!
It's the perfect read for those of us who love being terrified! - Lynda

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak:

This novel rendered me utterly speechless. Through an intriguing portrayal of World War II from the perspective of death, it artistically captures the beauty, hope and anguish of humanity. -
Lindsay

Skulduggery Pleasant Series by Derek Landy:

Secret magicians and the sassiest pin striped suit wearing skeleton detective who drives a 1954 Bentley continantal!? What more could you want from a seriers??
Stephanie Edgley is a 12 year old high school student from Ireland who learns a huge secret, that the world is not as it seems and there's something rather 'Magical' about it all... - Ben

The Little Coffee Shop Of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez:

A beautiful novel packed with secrets, love, loss and wonderful friendships.
Following the lives of five empowering female protagonists whose paths cross at a coffee shop in Kabul. A well written, easy read that goes nicely over a warm cup of coffee. - Danielle

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline:

This book is the ultimate pop culture time warp set in the dystopian future of 2044. Perfect for anyone's inner geek. - Aaron

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon:

Prepare for a complete whirlwind of emotion with Diana Gabaldon's Outlander! This all consuming book incorporates intrigue and romance in amongst a lavish expression of culture that keeps you wholeheartedly hooked. - Victoria

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Spotlight on Morayfield

 

Our Morayfield team tell us all about their most shelf-worthy reads this week!

 

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult:

One of my absolute favourite Picoult novels, Small Great Things is emotionally charged, confronting, and will have you hooked from the first page to the last.
This book will have you laughing, crying, and you will feel yourself the strong emotions of characters who have lost a child; who are discriminated against for their race; and those who have had their ideals and views of the world challenged.

Picoult has confronted one of the most heavily avoided societal issues; racism, alongside the emotions of loss, love, frustration and hatred. It delves into justice, privilege, and does not shy away from tackling a society's conversation about racism. As with all of her novels, Small Great Things has characters with a story line that will make you question your preconceived morals and in this case; ideas about race, discrimination and family. It also has a twist at the end that you will never see coming which ends the book perfectly, and gives the reader something to hold on to long after they read the last page.

For any fans of a good drama that will grip you, make you question everything you ever thought you knew, and stick with you long after you put it down.
Small Great Things is one of the best novels I have ever read, and I would highly recommend it! -Coreena

Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts:

If you're looking for a book with a little bit of everything, go no further than Nora Roberts' Stars of Fortune. It's jam packed with everything you could ever want: magic, adventure, romance, action, friendship, lovable characters and a beautiful setting.

Stars of Fortune is a classic tale of good vs evil. It follows six heroes drawn together by fate, each with their own supernatural powers, to defeat a dark goddess. Their goal: to retrieve three fallen stars and return them to the sky before their nemesis finds them and uses them for her own nefarious purposes.

Nora Roberts is a wonderfully gifted storyteller. I fell in love with each and every one of her characters, they had their own voices and I enjoyed how their relationships with each other grew. One of my favourite aspects of the book was the location - Corfu, an island is Greece. Roberts described the setting so vividly I had no trouble visualising the beautiful island.

Stars of Fortune is a fun, easy read where the author has perfectly balanced drama and romance with action and adventure. When you finish it you will no doubt be immediately reaching for the next one in the series, I know I was!! -Zoe

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein:

“Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms.” – LT. Col. Jean V. Dubious (Ret.) and Student, Chapter 2 p.32

Starship Troopers is one of Robert A. Heinlein’s most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind’s most alarming enemy. This book lead to the production of the 1997 Starship Troopers film, sequels and adaptions.

Starship Troopers follows the main protagonist known as Juan ‘Jonnie’ Rico, on a raid against the ‘Skinnies’ an alien race who have allied themselves with the main collective antagonist referred as the Arachnids or Bugs. The Bugs have gone from Human Colony to Colony and wiped out all existence on them. To become a citizen in this universe you have to do one thing, join the good fight against the bugs for the federation. This book will have you on the edge of your seat through to the very end. - Joshua

The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers:

I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed this book. Several friends and online groups recommended it to me and as a fan of "Hard Sci-Fi" I didn't need much convincing. LWTASAP is a very modern take on long-haul space travel and familiar sci-fi tropes such as subspace travel and quantum tunnelling. It can easily be compared with the TV series "Firefly" as it stars a cast of oddballs who work very well together despite a variety of quirks. A character of particular interest is the ship's A.I., who despite their bodiless existence has very human motivations, morals and personality, a fact which is unusual and discussed within the story.

This book, despite its misleading cover (reminiscent of an introspective teen romance), creates a very logical multi-species sapient culture and addresses varied issues such as gender pronouns, space-travel fuel and diets, social disorders and behaviours and the thought processes of distinctly non-human sentient life.
I recommend it to anyone looking for a entirely likeable and, for lack of a better word, "human" emotional tale with a wonderful cast of misfits, or anyone who needs a trip outside this solar system. The drama and morals that drive each of these extremely well-written characters is beautiful, and often powerfully touching. I can't wait to get a hold of the sequel and I'm sure you'll feel the same. - Aaron

The Dry by Jane Harper:

Who really killed the Hadler family?

Tensions in the farming community of Kiewarra become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are discovered shot dead on their property. Everyone assumes Luke Hadler committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son. When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to the town for the funerals, his investigative skills are called on, and the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge. As Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones - for Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret.

The Dry by Jane Harper is excellent, the pacing was quick with fully fleshed characters, and the ending was satisfying without being too cut and dry. Half the fun of this story is, even if you guess at the who, you probably won't guess the why until it's revealed. This was a perfect example of a book being extremely dark and terrifying without being overly graphic for the shock value. - Katherine

The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do:

Sometimes there are books that touch your soul and open your eyes to the joys of reading about the lives of other people. The Happiest Refugee is a biography which transports you from life after the Vietnam War to the busy bright lights of life in Australia.

Anh’s journey is an inspirational story which highlights his love of family, friends and having a go. It is a read where you both cry and laugh at the same time all the while making you feel happy and lucky that we all get to live in this amazing country. This uplifting biography is one that shouldn’t be passed over and is the one biography that I would recommend to any reader.- Ashleigh

The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty:

The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty is a fast read that will get you caught within the first few pages. She creates characters that you will love and very much so dislike.
The main character Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of a beachfront home which she inherited from her grandparents. When Ellen meets Patrick she is caught and shortly falls in love. However Ellen soon learns that Patrick doesn’t come alone. He has a stalker, which Ellen becomes intrigued by and would love to meet.
Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has. -Danielle

Feed by Mira Grant:

Feed is a dystopian novel set on Earth in the 2040's. The cure for the common cold and cancer merge to create a deadly disease that turns you into mindless zombies with one command: FEED.
Shaun and Georgia Mason are bloggers during the apocalypse, covering the presidential campaign, but they uncover a truth they may not be able to handle.
Feed is jam packed with twists and thrills to create a novel that can't be put down.This book is for a lover of action thrillers. -August

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Reviewsday: One-Punch Man by One & Yusuke Murata

Have you ever found yourself in the great Shounen debate of who would win a fight between Goku, Naruto, Ichigo or Luffy? Well today I have come to you with an answer to solve this quarrel once and for all. The winner would undoubtedly be One Punch Man's bald headed Saitama.

One Punch Man is a manga based on a web comic of the same name by artist One. Yusuke Murata has taken One's roughly etched drawings (emphasis on the “roughly”) and recreated them into incredibly illustrated and exciting story, whilst retaining the charm and humour that made the original web comic popular. As a warning, Saitama, as far as fighting ability goes, is the 'Mary-Sue' of all characters, he is a part time hero who saves the world from destruction before breakfast on a daily basis, so don't expect much development in his own abilities, because as the name of the series implies, he always wins in One Punch. Of course besides Saitama the series has a wealth of other colourful and zany characters, from Saitama's future pupil Genos the cyborg, looking for a chance at revenge, to the Mumen Rider - an aspiring hero who has zero special abilities at all.

I can't recommend this series enough for any Shounen Manga fan, especially those who hate waiting 10 volumes for the hero too arrive. It will make you laugh and beam with excitement, without the baggage that normally comes in this genre of Manga. A solid 10/10 from me.

~Ashley, QBD Tea Tree Plaza

Team Fountain Gate’s Hot Reads

Our Fountain Gate team know a great read when they see one! Check out their must-reads!

Nomad by James Swallow:

Nomad is an adrenalin rush. A fast paced and intelligent modern day thriller set amidst a world of terrorists, spies and treachery. Marc Dane was only ever meant to be tech support - aka 'the guy in the van'. When his team including the woman he loved were betrayed, he breached protocol and as a result was a sole survivor of a deadly attack. Now he's on the run from not only his original enemies but also those who trained him within MI6. Can he stay alive long enough to discover the truth, prove his innocence and seek revenge when everyone wants him dead? An intense ride from the first to the very last page, this thriller will leave you breathless. - Nola

The Dry by Jane Harper:

Aaron Falk works for the Federal Police and returns back to his home hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood best friend, Luke, a farmer who has died in a murder/suicide. Aaron hasn’t been back for almost 20 years, and he is far from welcome in his old town, but Luke’s parents beg him to stick around and look more deeply into what really happened to their son and his family. This book has everything. A cop with a shadowy past. A small town full of secret and lies. This book will keep you guessing right to the end. - Joanne

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley:

Cath Crowley’s ‘Graffiti Moon’ follows Lucy, an aspiring artist and recent high school graduate in Melbourne as she embarks on a 24 hour long adventure to discover the true identity of a local graffiti artist, Shadow who has captured her attention. The novel is a fantastic portrayal of Melbourne suburbia as the character’s lives and art has become deeply entwined with and influenced by their surroundings. Crowley offers a text brimming with artistic and poetic self expression as the teens seek to find stability in the uncertain liminal space between high school and the ‘real world’, whilst also keeping readers engaged with both romance and high stakes action as the night takes a dangerous turn. A must read for all those who wish to explore Melbourne through literature, as well as anyone in need of quick and captivating read. - Rebecca

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica:

When Mia meets Colin in a bar after her on again, off again boyfriend doesn't arrive, she never expected what she was in for. She leaves with Colin for a good time not knowing he has been watching her for a few days from afar and has been paid to abduct and deliver her to his employers. Colin has something of a conscience and decides to stow Mia in a cabin in the woods instead of handing her over. This book sees a few twists with the unexpected conclusion as to Mia's release. For anyone who's read Mary Kubica's "Pretty Baby", this should be the next book on your list. - Tineka

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons:

This is the most beautiful, heart wrenching love story you will ever come across. The story between a young 17 year old Tatiana who
lives in Lenningrad with her family and a Red Army Officer Alexander. They meet at the start of WW2, you will follow the journey of
sacrifice, survival and falling in love. This book will have you from the start to end, one of the most popular books among readers.
Once you read this book you will never forget it... - Daniela

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon:

This is the start of a amazing series. Outlander revolves around Claire, a WW2 nurse on her honeymoon with her husband in Scotland,
when while exploring she travels in time from her present day to 1770's. She is unaware of what has happened, and refuses to believe
she has travelled through time. While on her adventure she meets the Jacobite army and experiences the Wild Scottish countryside.
Wonderful first book, with amazing characters, amazing story with a touch of history thrown in, once you read this, you will be hooked.. - Louise

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent:

Inspired by a true story, Burial Rites recounts the final days of a woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829. As readers we along with Agnes are forced to face her mortality with a painful and striking inevitability. Agnes' story is heartbreaking, evocative and not easily forgotten. - Antonia

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Reviewsday: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The last time I read this book was thirty or so years back, in my teens, and from then I would have described it as being a ‘dystopic novel’ ... a ‘world gone mad’. It was scary, in a kind of abstract way. But, reading it now was very different. Reading it now, with a greater awareness of the world, recent history, and contemporary politics and art ... it is startlingly 'now'. It is the horror of utopia, all our social dreams answered. Startling in the degree of its vision, written in its time, and also in the way it provides very few easy answers, other than Huxley’s own strangely dissatisfying post-war 1940s argument-antidote of a banal middle ground between savagery and civilization.

Much has come about as Hux had seen, but maybe through different means and technologies. Overt promiscuity: zippers were even seen as a sign of this in the 1930s due to how easy they made taking off one’s clothes. The idea that the family unit as destructive and unsavoury. And that overarching American mantra: the pursuit of happiness; hey, if it’s not hurting anyone else... Sure, we don’t have ‘feelies’, but we have 3D, HD, super HD, Smart TVs ... hyper-real animation on screens you could shelter under. And the crass electro-music and simplistic rhymed lyrics of American Pop music were ringing in my ears for much of this book, reading it. And the importance of consumption, and even consumption through sport (what would Hux think of a Superbowl now? He wrote this in the 30s...) the Semi-Demi-Womens wrestling finals, the aquarium antics of the tennis-champions, the Foot-and-mouth-ball, and even the Centrifugal Bumble-puppy (which, I admit, I kinda want to see in action...). COMMUNITY. IDENTITY. STABILITY. They reminded me of the Stay/anti-Brexit arguments almost immediately. There, were, after all, two fear campaigns going on. And the EU could easily stand in for something that could one day have become a Brave New World.

The utopia element of the civilised society has more cracks in it than I remember. People are still capable of dissidence. The interview between Mond and the Savage is an unmissable highlight of world literature. And the failure of the Savage, in the face of his baseness, is actually everything. It’s our own failure. And it’s the kind of failure that maybe has to happen, even if it’s terrible. That’s what the novel demands, in the end. It demands you confront the failure of civilization at the same time as you schmooze into its necessity; Shakespeare invented the World State, whether he likes it or not; he invented a world where he manifests himself as his own absence...

~ Jeremy, QBD Doncaster