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Shellharbour’s unforgettable reads…

Today our Shellharbour team highlights great books you can spend time getting lost in! 

Make sure you check out these great reads in store:

 

Sleeping with the lights on...

Growing up I was a huge Stephen King fan. But back in the stone age that was all we had, that and Dean Koontz!
I have since discovered some brilliant authors who give these two kings of scream a run for their money.

Want to be scared? Try these three books.. If you daaarrreeee

1. CJ Tudor - The Chalk Man

You can feel it in the woods, in the school and in the playground; you can feel it in the houses and at the fairground. You can feel it in most places in the small town of Anderbury . . . the fear that something or someone is watching you.

It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran - the Chalk Man.

He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body.

Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure.

Is history going to repeat itself?

2. Sarah Sparrow - A Guide For Murdered Children

We all say there is no justice in this world. But what if there really was? What if the souls of murdered children were able to return briefly to this world, inhabit adult bodies and wreak ultimate revenge on the monsters who had killed them, stolen their lives?

Such is the unfathomable mystery confronting ex-NYPD detective Willow Wylde, fresh out of rehab and finally able to find a job running a Cold Case squad in suburban Detroit. When the two rookie cops assigned to him take an obsessive interest in a decades old disappearance of a brother and sister, Willow begins to suspect something out of the ordinary is afoot. And when he uncovers a series of church basement AA-type meetings made up of the slain innocents, a new way of looking at life, death, murder and missed opportunities is revealed to him.

Mystical, harrowing and ultimately tremendously moving, A Guide for Murdered Children is a genre-busting, mind-bending twist on the fine line between the ordinary and the extraordinary

3. Sarah Pinborough - Behind Her Eyes

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

- Joanne

The more the merrier!

I love reading series, and getting immersed with the characters. I am currently reading the fantasy series Throne of Glass, by Sarah J Maas.
My all time favourite series is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Outlander is a historical fiction, adventure, time travel and a love story all rolled into one. There are currently eight books in the series, and everyone is waiting on book nine coming out, Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone. Claire and Jamie are the lead characters. I think Claire is so easily relatable because she is a modern woman from the 20th Century, thrown back through the standing stones back to 1743. The series has gained a new audience, with the books being made into a TV series. This has been being in the customers wanting to know what happens next with Jamie and Claire.
Diana Gabaldon also writes novellas and side stories to the Outlander series. Her most recent was Seven Stones to Stand Or Fall. With these stories, she expands on characters or storylines that don't quite fit in the with novel but still add to the series. These books keep us going while we wait for book nine! - Ann

 
For the thrill of it...

As a huge fan of the crime/thriller genre I have only recently discovered Chris Carter. I'm absolutely loving his stories. A good amount of gore, but they keep you guessing right up till the end. I have also recently read Karin Slaughters Pieces of Her and LOVED it; it's not a quick and easy read, but it keeps you wanting to turn the pages trying to figure out how it all comes together.

My all time favourite book is Marching Powder by Rusty Young. It's all about his experience of living in a Bolivian jail while he is travelling. He went to visit it one day and discovered that there was an amazing story to be told, so he decided to pay to live there while he wrote the story. There are some very graphic parts, but it gives you an almost unbelievable insight into how corrupt and crazy their jail systems are. We had Colombiano, Rusty's second book, as our August Book of the Month last year. This was also a great read. Although it was fiction based on true events that he has been told about first hand by child soldiers that he is now helping to rehabilitate. - Kellie

 

 

Keeping it real!

Jordan Peterson's Twelve Rules For Life is an interesting and motivating deconstruction of what it is that makes us human. Jordan, being a massive influence to a now rising political issue, never falters to be an entertaining, educated and just lovable conversationalist. The book, in which he tackles difficult sociopolitical issues head on, as well as his educated history in the field of clinical psychology is just a portion of what makes this read so enjoyable.

With his head first style towards deconstruction of belief, faith, morality and the condition of temporary human suffrage as a necessity, Twelve Rules For Life is one of my all time favorite titles and only indulges my love for Jordan Peterson and his wacky, crazy cowboy personality. This is a must read, for those who love to delve into the human condition, or just seek a little reassurance within. Jordan Peterson won't disappoint! - Ethan

West Lakes Winter Must Reads!

Check out all of these great reads!
Our West Lakes team have a wide selection of books for you to add to your shelves.

Action Comics #1000 80 Years of Superman by Cristophe Galfard:

I am a massive comic collector, so when Action comics #1000 came out I had to have it. I also had to have this HC 80 years of Superman. It is a fantastic read, with classic Superman issues plus a story that was not published in the 1940s. The classic stories give us a great snapshot of the times and events going on in that era and how the comic book art changed with every year and with every new artist joining the DC team.
I enjoyed every moment of this fantastic collection of stories spanning across the 80 years of Action comics. Unfortunately issue #1000 is not actually in the book, as it was released a week later than the hard cover. After reading the Superman classics you should definitely read Action comics #1000 to see what's coming up for the next big story event.
A great read for comic fans young and old. - Sam


Top 5 books that Auntie Jess doesn't get sick of reading to her nieces:

1. Room on the Broom
2. The Very Cranky Bear
3. Where the Wild things Are
4. The Wonky Donkey
5. Feathers for Phoebe

 

 

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus:

Into detention one afternoon walks an athlete, a brain, a criminal, an outsider, and a princess.

Only four walk out.

When outsider, Simon, mysteriously dies in detention, his four classmates immediately become prime suspects in his murder. Considering he was only hours away from publishing their deepest, darkest secrets to his gossip blog, they all have motive to kill. Follow Bronwyn, Cooper, Nate, and Addy as they try to navigate the horrible world of being a teenager, while trying to prove to each other and the police that they did not murder Simon.

One Of Us Is Lying is honestly one of the greatest, most perfect books that I have ever read. It is an absolute cannot-put-down read that will leave you hooked on the most amazing characters, beautiful friendships, hilarious teenage drama, and of course a gripping murder-mystery that will leave you guessing until the very end. If you’re a fan of Pretty Little Liars, The Breakfast Club, or really any YA fiction, this is most definitely the book for you! - Bec

The Outsider by Stephen King:

How can one person be in two different spots, coach Terry Maitland is arrested for the disturbing murder of a young boy, even though he is seen at a book signing at the same time the murder took place, with his blood and DNA also found at the murders scene, has Detective Ralph Anderson arrested the wrong man, or are there strange things happening in the small town. There is also a cross over with Holly who helps out, from his Bill Hodges trilogy.
A fantastic supernatural read.

If you haven’t read the Bill Hodges trilogy, it starts with Mr Mercedes, followed by Finders Keepers and End of Watch. My other favourites are by Daniel Cole- Ragdoll and The Hangman. - Bill


The Top 3 books Chantelle is (trying desperately to be patiently) waiting for...

 

1. Throne of Glass 7: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas
Release date: October 2018

"I can't even with this, I'm so scared of what Sarah J Maas is going to do to my babies and OTP Rowaelin in this final instalment but so eager to see how it all turns out and yet don't want it to be over! ARGH!"

2. Dark Artifices 3: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
Release date: December 2018

Webster should list the definition of the word "Torture" as

Tor-ture /ˈtôrCHər/
The act of waiting 2 years for this book after that major cliffhanger in Lord of Shadows!

"It has been such a long wait for this one and still 6 months to go but I'm sure it will be worth it. This one is also the final novel in the series, why is everything ending this year!? I was pleasantly surprised by the first two books and can't wait to see how she ends this trilogy and find out what on earth she has planned next for the world of the Shadowhunters."

3. Strange the Dreamer 2: Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
Release date: October 2018

"EEEEK!!! that title is everything! And I'm pretty sure this is also the last book of this series :(
I'm still excited to return to this world of mystery, magic and blue skinned Gods!
Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to Strange the Dreamer."

It by Stephen King:

IT's storyline is one that is far from being lost to the depths of time; the homicidal clown seen only by a select group of children in the town of Derry, has found itself residing within the nightmares of many. However, the widespread knowledge of IT only accentuates the near impeccable quality of the story. Being made and remade into blockbuster films, causing countless so called 'strong-willed' people to scream in panic, IT is a classic that should be experienced by all. With prosperous creativity found within the ideals of children attempting to defeat an unimaginable evil, hints of romance, and an everlasting presence of the paranormal tied with pure, undiluted terror comes IT; the phenomenon with elements for everyone; to be missed by no one... - Saxon

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Team Eastland’s Latest Reads

Our Eastland team tell us all about some of their latest reads in this week's Spotlight on QBD!
There's romance, thrills, horror... and Harry Potter!

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a thriller unlike any other. The Swedish novel is full of unexpected twists and turns which are only magnified by the beautiful complexity of its main characters; the charming truth crusader, Mikael Blomkvist, and the mysterious, stoic Lisbeth Salander.
Through this unlikely pair’s investigation, Stieg Larsson’s spellbinding text sheds a powerful light on the so often diminished sexual crimes against women in Sweden, and society’s attempt to sweep it under the rug.
Whether you are a lover of crime fiction or just looking for something different, this book is a must read. - Katrina

 

The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus(Trans. Justin O'Brien):

When you see that someone has the last line of a book tattooed on his forearm, you can be reasonably assured he has some investment in it... Having read it three times, and having vowed to read it next in its original language, I can honestly say The Myth of Sisyphus has made a profound difference in my life; it has contributed considerably to the human being I am today. It has made me more myself. Through a form that can only be described as lyrical-prose, Camus considers the question: in the face of the absurd condition we find in living, why live? Why not die? The condition of the Absurd is fundamental to this question, as is how we respond to it. For Camus, the Absurd can be summed up as our compulsion to demand meaning from a universe that lacks the capacity to adequately provide this kind of meaning. Our only option is to live in the tension between these opposing conditions of our existence. He explores this Absurd Heroism in a number of ways, but finishes on the book's eponymous Sisyphus, an ancient Greek king who was punished by the gods for his arrogance by being compelled to push a boulder up a mountain for all eternity, only to have it roll back down every time he reaches the top. The last line: 'It is necessary to imagine Sisyphus happy' places the dynamic of this tension in our imaginations, not so much in our sense of reason specifically. And while this is a book of ideas, it is also beautiful to the point of poetry. - Jeremy

The Greatest Gift by Rachael Johns:

Harper thinks her life is where she wants it to be. Great job, great marriage, great friends! She believes that her husband Samuel and her, are happy with their decision to not have children, but an interview on her popular radio program, about infertility struggles, sets her on an altruistic path to help Claire & Jasper become parents.

Claire & Jasper are a young married couple, running a successful Hot Air Ballooning company with family. The one thing missing in their otherwise perfect life is a child. Can Harper, unknown to them prior to her interviewing them, be the answer to their dreams?
An emotional roller-coaster ensues for all parties involved, as well thought out life plans change and relationships are tested and re-established.

The Greatest Gift is a contemporary tale of modern baby-making, full of joy and heartache. Johns' move from writing rural romance to modern women's fiction has been successful. As much as I still enjoy all her “chook lit”, I eagerly await her next foray in the pool of contemporary modern women's fiction. Well worth a read, but have the tissue box handy! - Susan

Pet Sematary by Stephen King:

What would you do if you lost everything that was dear to you? How far would you go to get it back?

These are the questions that King's horror classic Pet Sematary tries to answer. When Louis Creed and his young family move from the windy city of Chicago to small town Maine, they weren't expecting the series of unfortunate events that would unfold. From the moment a dying man stumbles into Louis' clinic, his life begins to spiral. Nightmares, ancient Native American burial grounds, and every parent's worst fear all send Louis down a path he can never hope to recover from.

While certainly not King's scariest novel (that award goes to Salem's Lot or The Shining), Pet Sematary adds an element of reality that cranks the creep factor up to 11. Brilliantly written in King's classic style, the story of Louis, Gage, and Church the cat is one to remember. I definitely recommend that you check it out, but maybe read it with the lights on. – Sean

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp:

Follow the lives of four students as each one struggles with survival and loss, stemming from the terrors that strike Opportunity High. While reading this novel I was overcome with the need to know what happened next- I couldn't put it down! I was drawn into the chaos, as I hoped for each character to find safety and escape the situation that is an unfortunate reality for many students in America. Marieke Nijkamp's writing was triggered by true events, that see shootings becoming a recurrence in the lives of many teens. Leading to a well thought-out plot, rendering the reader heartbroken by just how urgent the situation is, allowing us to become invested in the characters' survival. - Ruby

 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (illustrated edition) by J.K. Rowling:

We all know Harry Potter. We went to school with him and learned magic with him, but now we get to see him in a new light. The illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a beautiful take on JK Rowling’s wizarding world. Jim Kay has managed to capture true magic in his pictures, truly bringing us to Hogwarts to experience magical creatures and ghosts alike. - Ella

 

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Reviewsday: Circe by Madeline Miller

"Whatever you do, I wanted to say, do not be too happy. It will bring down fire on your head."

A lyrical reimagining of the myth of Circe, witch of Aiaia, with a feminist bent and gorgeously lush prose.

Circe was born of Helios and Perse, then banished to the island of Aiaia in punishment. Here she waits, perfecting her craft, until the hero Odysseus washes up on her shore after 12 long years of war and voyaging. Circe, wary of men and strangers, turns his crew into swine, but Odysseus charms her, staying a year in her bed and convincing her to release his men.

The book is a careful examination of a woman living in a patriarchal world, trying to discover and negotiate her own power, while still retain her humanity. Circe is a deeply flawed character, but those who surround her are flawed deeper still. Add a pantheon of jealous and beautiful deities, volatile heroes, an ancient breed of witchcraft reestablished and beloved, deadly monsters and you have a book that sings to the soul. Circe is a triumph for Madeline Miller and I hope everyone gets the chance to read it.

Interesting fact: The plant Circe uses in her pig-turning spell is thought to be Datura stramonium, a type of nightshade that causes hallucinations and delusions.

About the author:

Madeline Miller has a BA and MA from Brown University in Latin and Ancient Greek, and has been teaching both for the past nine years. She has also studied at the Yale School of Drama, specialising in adapting classical tales to a modern audience. The Song of Achilles is her first novel and was the winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012.

 

Reading this book with your Book Club? Check out these great Reading Group questions to help spark your discussion!

Other books you might like:

Introducing: Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

It was in 2005 that Markus Zusak's 'The Book Thief' first hit shelves. Death’s narration of Liesel Meminger’s love affair with books in Nazi Germany remains an international bestseller and modern classic beloved by millions. Now he is back with a new gripping page turner -  Bridge of Clay!

Bridge of Clay is about a boy who is caught in the current – of destroying everything he has, to become all he needs to be. He’s a boy in search of greatness, as a cure for memory and tragedy. Clay Dunbar builds a bridge to save his family, but also to save himself. It’s an attempt to transcend humanness, to make a single, glorious moment: A miracle and nothing less.

Started when he was a teenager, Bridge of Clay has been many years in the making for Markus Zusak ; “Thirteen years is probably long enough between books, and I quit this one so many times …The thing is, I also knew I could never quite give it up completely. People would say, ‘Just write one of your other ideas,’ but that was the thing – there were no other ideas. Everything was going into this. Now I can finally say I love it, but not in a way of thinking it’s good, or great; it isn’t. It’s itself – and if nothing else, I know it’s big-hearted. It’s a boy in search of a miracle, and that’s how I feel about finishing it. Every book we write means something to us, but sometimes a book means everything – and Bridge of Clay, for me is that latter type: the book you have to fight for, but is all the more rewarding.

Bridge of Clay will be published by Pan Macmillan Australia on the 9th of October 2018.

Preorder your copy in store or online here: Bridge Of Clay

Read a sample chapter: Growing Up The Dunbar Way

All quotes and descriptions have been obtained from media releases authored by Pan Macmillan Australia

About the author:

Markus Zusak is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief, which spent more than a decade on the New York Timesbestseller list, and is translated into more than forty languages – establishing Zusak as one of the most successful authors to come out of Australia.

His books have been awarded numerous honours ranging from literary prizes to readers choice awards to prizes voted on by booksellers. In 2013, The Book Thief was adapted to film, starring Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Sophie Nelisse (as Liesel Meminger). 

Zusak’s much-anticipated new novel, Bridge of Clay, is set for release in October 2018 in the USA, the UK and Australia, with foreign translations to follow.

Markus Zusak grew up in Sydney, Australia, and still lives there with his wife and two children.