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QBD Belconnen’s Favourite Ladies

Today our Belconnen team introduce us to some of their favourite ladies... lady authors that is!
From classic fiction to true crime add these great female authors to your shelves today!

Monstress by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda:

Monstress is about disembodied heads, magic, horror, and of course, monsters. Set during a cease fire between humans and Arcanics, a race of Magic users, this book has some really amazing women. In a society where women are in charge, it follows a Arcanic woman, Maika Halfwolf, as she tries to find out about her mother. The story explores the inhumanities of war, and the crimes that are committed by the winners. I really loved this book, the art is really beautiful and pleasing to the eye.
All the characters are fully formed beings, you can feel their history and strength. Plus there's an adorable kitty that I love. - Laurence

Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein:

This is one of the best thrillers I've read in a long time. Sarah Epstein crafted such an amazing debut book that I read it all in one sitting, desperate to get to the end of the book and thankful that I didn't have to work the next morning.
The story centres around Tash, and a case of a missing girl from 10 years before. The girl, Mallory, was found safe after 6 days, but what happened to her? Why does Tash feel like she has a key to unlock Mallory's trauma? Are they connected somehow, like kindred spirits? Why don't the people closest to Tash believe that she knows something?
This book is a fantastic example of an unreliable narrator, and if you follow it, you can see why. It made me question my memory of small events as a child, looking through it with the eyes of an adult. Bonus points for this being the first thriller I've read in a long time that doesn't victimise women or children. - Karina

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein:

'Code Name Verity' drew me in with promises of strong female characters and it delivered! As someone who is not a huge fan of historical fiction, this book really surprised me with how engaging the story was and how real the characters felt. I finished this book in 3 days and as I am a really slow reader but once you get into it you can't put this book down. There were many plot twists that I did not see coming and just as I thought I knew what was going to happen, Wein would throw a curve ball again.
This is a book about two young British women who are undertaking a secret mission in German occupied France in 1943. It begins with one of them writing a confession for the Gestapo after they were captured. For the first few chapters of the book very little information is given but as you continue reading you realise that everything is part of a bigger more intricate picture. The book switches between both the main characters being the narrators, and the reader is able to slowly piece together what happened. You gain and lose hope with the characters as they try to complete the mission and plan an escape. You never really know what's going to happen until the last page. - Rina

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy:

The God of Small Things is a multi-generational family drama, that explores those often fleeting moments that end up shaping our lives. The world that Arundhati Roy creates for the reader is an immense achievement not just for its scope but for the incredible level of detail with which she litters it. A rich and complex novel, The God of Small Things is a rewarding read sure to stay with you long after you’ve put it down. - Lachlan

Joe Cinque's Consolation by Helen Garner:

Helen Garner recounts that terrible crime committed by Anu Singh, when she kills her boyfriend, Joe Cinque. The book is full of court transcripts and interviews with those close to the people in the case, as well as Garner's outrage at the justice system and criminal sentencing. - Jess
3.5 stars

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule:

Ann Rule's 'The Stranger Beside Me' tells the chilling tale of serial killer Ted Bundy. Rule herself, a former police officer and suicide hotline worker (where she met Bundy), recounts the events of Bundy's rampage, and her personal connection to him. “You just can't see the mask of a killer if they're right beside you.” Rule's first hand account of her friendship with one of the most prolific serial killers, her realisation of who he really was and even copies of letters Bundy had sent her from jail makes her tale a terrifying and eye opening recount of the events between 1975 to 1978. - Stella

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen:

Crackling with humour and personality, Pride & Prejudice is often considered one of the best novels ever written - and fair enough too! Sporting a straightforward (yet ever influential) narrative injected with a relatable protagonist, the supporting characters and situations that Elizabeth Bennett finds herself in provide just enough ridiculousness to elevate Pride & Prejudice well above the countless soap-opera-romances that have tried to ape it. Austen’s writing has survived the test of time and will continue to do so in this hilarious and classic novel. - Mitchell

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Reviewsday: The Shape Of Water by Guillermo Del Toro & Daniel Kraus

Del Toro can do no wrong it seems. His movies invoke the dark places within us all and his books do the same. The Shape of Water is a weird blend of love and horror that has found just the right balance.

It will have you on the edge of your seat as you unravel the tale of Elisa and her strange paramour. Read before you see the movie!

~Steven, QBD Cairns

It is 1962, and Elisa Esposito -mute her whole life, orphaned as a child -is struggling with her humdrum existence as a janitor working the graveyard shift at Baltimore's Occam Aerospace Research Center. Were it not for Zelda, a protective coworker, and Giles, her loving neighbor, she doesn't know how she'd make it through the day.

Then, one fateful night, she sees something she was never meant to see, the Center's most sensitive asset ever: an amphibious man, captured in the Amazon, to be studied for Cold War advancements. The creature is terrifying but also magnificent, capable of language and of understanding emotions... and Elisa can't keep away. Using sign language, the two learn to communicate. Soon, affection turns into love, and the creature becomes Elisa's sole reason to live.

But outside forces are pressing in. Richard Strickland, the obsessed soldier who tracked the asset through the Amazon, wants nothing more than to dissect it before the Russians get a chance to steal it. Elisa has no choice but to risk everything to save her beloved. With the help of Zelda and Giles, Elisa hatches a plan to break out the creature. But Strickland is on to them. And the Russians are, indeed, coming.

Developed from the ground up as a bold two-tiered release-one story interpreted by two artists in the independent mediums of literature and film-The Shape of Water is unlike anything you've ever read or seen.

 

Beauty Has a Price…

"You were put on this Earth by the Goddess of Beauty with one job, so make everyone else beautiful."

What would you give to be beautiful? For the people of Orleans beauty is not something that they are born with. Punished by the God of the Sky for being born, they are cursed with being plain, all except the Belles. The Belles are specially born of the Goddess of Beauty herself and given the ability to make the citizens of their town beautiful.

Camellia is a Belle. She has been training her whole life to be The Favourite and it's what she wants more than anything. But things in Orleans are not always what they seem and she learns that as more and more time goes on.

The pacing of this novel is very touch and go. At some points it really draws you in and has you on the edge of your seat, at other points it really dragged on and on and took a while to get to the point. There was also a quite graphic torture scene that I was not prepared for at all.

Despite all of this I did enjoy this novel and am looking forward to the next one in the series.

~ Jordanna, QBD Chadstone

Tim Winton’s Breath is coming to screens this May!

Tim Winton's Breath, winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, has been adapted to the big screen by Simon Baker in his directorial debut.

When paramedic Bruce Pike is called out to deal with another teenage adventure gone wrong, he knows better than his colleague, better than the kid's parents, what happened and how. Thirty years before, that dead boy could have been him.

A story about the wildness of youth and learning to live with its passing, Breath will star Simon Baker, the Great Gatsby's Elizabeth Debicki, and Richard Roxburgh.

Premiering at the Toronto and Zurich film festivals in 2017, Breath will release in Australian cinemas on May 3rd.

Want to read it before you see it? Purchase the book in store or online here.

Happy Birthday QBD Geelong!

Time flies by so fast while you're having all this bookish fun! 

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To celebrate the team have let us know all about some of the books they have enjoyed over the past year...

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah:

Set amongst the backdrop of World War 2 we follow two sisters as they navigate love,  hatred,  bravery and strength throughout times of extreme hardship.
When the Nazi's invade France Vianne is forced to open her home to the enemy, her every move is watched and her family's safety is at risk.

Isabelle is a rebellious teen searching for meaning in a war-torn time. As she jumps head first into the resistance she is determined to prove herself amongst the other men and women risking their lives to save others.

A truly beautiful read that will stay with you long after the book has been placed on the shelf.
If you love historical fiction similar to 'The Book Thief' or 'The Bronze Horseman' you must read this book! - Caitlyn

American Gods by Neil Gaiman:

Shadow has just gotten out of jail early, his wife has died, unknowingly this is the first of many strange, twisted and surprising occurrences that will befall Shadow. Both he and the reader are in for one hell of a journey.

Neil Gaiman's imagination has created a complicated, detailed plot that is crammed with magic and marvel. A journey that goes on tangent after tangent, has many detailed flashbacks and segues a plenty. This character focused story has more than its fair share of detours.

It is a book about the gods of myth and legend, they may be threadbare and degenerate these days but still gods, still capable of inspiring terror and unquestioned allegiance. It is also about the “new” gods, gods of media and money, and while they are not my gods it sets the stage for all out war.

As the winner of the Bram Stoker, Hugo, Nebula, SFX and Locus awards in both horror and science fiction this book is hard to categorise, but here in Geelong it is nestled in with the other Sci fi/ fantasy greats like Jim Butcher, Raymond E. Feist, James S. A. Corey and my all time favourite Douglas Adams.

The devil is in the detail when it comes to “American Gods”; as a reader there is much more to find beneath the surface, you must find the magic for yourself, I know I did. - Kim

Sea of Strangers by Lang Leav:

After a short swim in the realm of fiction, Lang Leav is back with her 5th poetry collection and it's one of her best. Mixing poetry and prose like an early Oscar Wilde collection, 'Sea of Strangers' explores love, loss and identity with grace and soul. As her career has gone on Leav has only gotten stronger, with her unique, loosely structured style lending itself perfectly as the framework for a beautiful melancholy, unique to the modern day. Best paired with a hot bath and a glass of wine, this collection is one that you'll lose yourself in, time and time again. - Sam

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend:

Whenever things went wrong, it was Morrigan Crow they blamed. A tree knocked down in a storm? That would be Morrigan's fault. Burnt your toast? That would be Morrigan! Toe infection? You guessed it, it was that Morrigan girl! However when a strange man saves her from an untimely demise, Morrigan is brought into a Wundrous land known as Nevermoor where there are gigantic cats that not only talk but are housekeepers and bedrooms that form themselves to what they believe you'd like.

Upon reading it I honestly could not believe that this is Jessica Townsend's debut novel. The magical world she has created had me whisked off into a land of pure wonder.

With a Whovian meets Hogwartian meets Wonderland vibe, I greatly enjoyed taking that leap to “Step Boldly” into this magical tale and it truly had me laughing out loud in public areas. - Grace

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur:

Thought provoking and deeply mesmerising, Rupi Kaur's 'Milk & Honey' engages a wide array of tough-to-tackle topics, journeying the experience of trauma and the long road into recovery. There were times when I found some sections to be quite confronting and had to set it aside for a moment, but Kaur's poems have never failed to leave their mark and keep me coming back for more. Chronicling tales of love and hurt, abuse and empowerment - it is no surprise that this collection is just flying off the shelves. - Emily

How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie:

How To Win Friends And Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. Published in 1948, Carnegie's work explores the daily interactions between people. Using his real life situations Carnegie demonstrates simple methods, which can help you resolve any social interaction – from daily dilemmas, to intense sales meetings. Carnegie book is the only book you will ever need. - Adrian

 

Make sure you pop by this weekend and wish the team Happy Birthday!

 

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