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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

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:

Reviewsday: I’ll Be Gone In The Dark

This is an extraordinary true crime book, about a series of cold cases from the 1970s.

For background, the Golden State Killer (GSK) is a man who was called many different things- such as the Original Night Stalker or East Area Rapist. McNamara, in the 2010s, was operating a True Crime blog. She wanted to solve these decades old cases. McNamara worked painstakingly on this case, discovering links and evidence. Once there was an established link between all these cases, it was McNamara herself that said he should have a catchy name, so it sticks in people's heads and encompasses all the crimes he's committed in California. Thus the moniker, The Golden State Killer.

The Golden State Killer has been in the media this week, because the Police have finally caught him, after reopening the case in 2016. Sadly, Michelle McNamara passed away in April 2016. This book was a labour of, well not love, but obsession. She was very aware that she was obsessed with this case. She'd interview survivors, witnesses. She chased leads, hoping to find the one piece of evidence police missed, touring the neighbourhoods the GSK had visited and violated. Her writing is so enthralling, almost narrative like, it was easy for me to have many sleepless nights, imagining any noise in my yard at night might be someone sneaking across the grass.

I was almost finished the book when I heard the news. I was elated, finally this monster of a man who terrorized people in the 1970s was finally caught, after at least 12 murdered people and 47 rapes.

The most haunting part of the book comes at the end, where she writes directly to GSK, telling him there would be police one day knocking on his door:

"Open the door. Step into the light. Show us your face."

QBD Reviews: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

The people of Norta are divided by class, by ability, by blood – red or silver. Silvers are the elite ruling class, endowed with god-like powers. The Reds are commoners, powerless and destined to serve the Silvers. Seventeen-year-old Mare Barrow is one such Red, living a bleak existence with her family in the Stilts. Mare hates the privileged Silvers, even as she finds herself with a job in the Silver Palace, surrounded by those she despises. Then, a shocking discovery – though she has Red blood, Mare has a spectacular Silver ability. Afraid of what Mare’s power might mean, the Silvers declare her a long-lost Silver princess, and arrange her marriage to the Prince. Mare knows one wrong move means death – but when a member of the resistance group the Red Guard approaches her for help, she cannot deny them. Mare must learn to control her new ability, and navigate a world of betrayal and lies, all the while supressing her growing feelings for an enemy.

Red Queen is a fresh and fun addition to the YA Fantasy genre. Mare is a great protagonist – fierce, flawed, brave, and angry with the injustices of her society. The Silver abilities are cool too, with everything from telekinesis to super speed. The Silver Princes, Cal and Maven, are both potential allies or enemies for Mare, and each of them have different motives.  It’s a fast-paced, entertaining read, perfect for fans of The Hunger GamesDivergent, and Red Rising.

~Sarah, QBD Support Office

Reviewsday: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Long Days and Pleasant Nights Await in "The Gunslinger"!

The first book in King's seven-book 'The Dark Tower' series, 'The Gunslinger' will be nothing like anything you've read before. 'The Gunslinger' introduces us to Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger, on his quest to reach the mysterious Dark Tower. Western Gunslinger 'knights' meet interdimensional travel in an eery dreamlike narrative. You'll never be able to predict what turn the book takes next. Far from being disorganised chaos, you will need to pay particularly close attention when reading 'The Gunslinger' and the rest of The Dark Tower series to truly appreciated just how incredibly finely-woven this story is. Not a single detail is mentioned without reason - everything comes back to the Dark Tower in the end...

A seamless blend of fantasy and Western, it won't be long until you'll be back for the second book, 'The Drawing of the Three'.

- Caitlin, QBD West Lakes