Our Spotlight has lit up all the great reads our Chatswood team have been enjoying!
From thrillers to fantasy there’s something here that everyone will enjoy.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch:
If you enjoy heist movies like Ocean’s Eleven and TV shows like Hustle or Leverage, you’ll love Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora. Set in a gritty Venice-like city where the rich live in high alchemical glass towers and the poor live by the squalid canals, the book follows the adventures of the sometimes incompetent and vastly unlucky Locke and his gang of thieves as they prey on the rich and powerful. The story is grim at times, with some truly awful events visited upon the main characters, but it is told with a great wit and is ultimately intensely satisfying. There are three books so far in the series, each one following on seamlessly from the last, while at the same time being a self-contained story. With a fourth one due out at some point in the future, I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a darkly humorous fantasy series.
– Eleanor, Store Manager
The Martian by Andy Weir:
Both an action story and a sci-fi thriller, The Martian is a suspenseful book which you won’t be able to stop reading. Each chapter leaves you hanging as Mark, stranded on Mars after a catastrophe, struggles to survive and make his way home. Written in first person, you really get to know the main character and appreciate his dark yet optimistic sense of humour. Not many people could make jokes about being stranded on Mars with only a very slim chance of rescue! The author, Andy Weir, has done an incredible amount of research to deliver a scientifically feasible story which appeals to people of all ages and reading habits.
– Shoshana, Assistant Manager
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons:
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons is a wonderful novel that takes you through the chaos of World War 2 communist Russia to give a realistic perspective of the country’s experience. The historical setting is gripping with just the right mix of drama and romance. I would definitely recommend this as it is a great read and I was compelled to continue on and finish the series. This is also a great read for those interested in historical fiction and is a terrific introduction to the period of WW2 Russia.
The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham:
This is how a psychological thriller should be written. Michael Robotham’s new novel is a dark, twisted and shocking page turner. Agatha and Meghan, both pregnant, are both due at the same time but, like most psychological thrillers, things aren’t always as they seem. Agatha admires Meghan’s perfect little family from afar until one day while she’s at work in the grocery store, Meghan comes in and they meet. They become unlikely friends but Meghan has no idea that Agatha is possibly not the friend she thought she was. The Secrets She Keeps provides shocks, thrills and real ‘deep intake of breath’ moments.
Perfume by Patrick Suskind:
Patrick Süskind’s Perfume: The story of a murderer, opens in the slums of 18th century Paris, where Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born as an unloved orphan. Yet he has been endowed with an extraordinary sense of smell. Perfume follows the obsessive genius Grenouille, as he murders unsuspecting young women in the pursuit of the ultimate perfume. Perfume is a dark, brooding and very unique novel. It feels similar in tone to the gloom, mystery and horror of Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2016. I have heard Perfume accurately described as ‘a cross between The Silence of the Lambs and a period drama.’ Perfume is a horror at its core but its exploration of the cites, towns and landscapes of France create a mysterious and unique setting for the murderous plots of Grenouille. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to explore a more modern kind of gothic classic, inspired by the likes of Bram Stoker and Edgar Allan Poe.
House of Names by Colm Toibin:
If you’re looking for a book that blends historical fiction with the backstabbing family drama and ‘domestic noir’ that is so popular right now (e.g. Gone Girl and Pretty Baby), then this is it. House of Names by Colm Toíbín retells the classic Greek myth of Clytemnestra, who plots to kill her husband Agamemnon after he sacrifices their daughter, Iphigenia, to the gods. It’s a chilling re-imagining that reads like a thriller and mystery. Each chapter gives the perspective of different members of Clytemnestra’s family, all of which have been irrevocably affected by Iphigenia’s death and Agamemnon’s murder. The story masterfully interweaves the tale of a broken wife and mother with that of a vengeful daughter and naïve son, centring around the house of lies that they tiptoe within.
Cloudstreet by Tim Winton:
Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet is a sprawling saga of two families unexpectedly brought together by unfortunate events. Each distinct character endures their own personal struggle and travels through life, coping with loss, poverty, and a struggling sense of identity. The exploration of race, class, family, unity and discovery defines the novel as uniquely Australian. The twists and turns of life are perfectly captured by Winton’s skilled writing. The relatability of each character drives this phenomenal novel, allowing any reader to thoroughly enjoy the book. The story of personal struggle ultimately leading to enlightenment and self-actualisation, is an inspiring, heart-warming novel that perfectly represents Australian literature.
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh:
I Let You Go is an excellent psychological thriller that has twists and turns in ways that you won’t expect. After a tragic accident, Jenna decides to move to the Welsh coast in a desperate attempt to flee her past. While all seems to be going smoothly, you can’t always escape those that you’re running from. In a split second, it seems that Jenna’s past has caught up with her. This has to be one of the best books I’ve read this year. I’ve really sunk my teeth into the thriller genre, but if you’re looking for something a bit different, something a little more unusual, I would definitely recommend giving ‘I Let You Go‘ a read – you won’t regret it!
Each week a different store tells us what they have been reading!
Keep an eye out for your local QBD team.