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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