Love a good book? So do our team at Woden!
These are their latest reads…
The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson:
The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is a fun, easy read for those looking for a light-hearted book.
This book is not what one would expect from a book about an old man, it follows a man and his escape from his nursing-home while including flash-backs of his intense and ridiculous life.
Seamlessly incorporating major historical events while never becoming dull enables Jonasson to maintain the humourous atmosphere of The Hundred Year Old Man.
I picked this book up because it had been quite popular and I wanted to know why, it took me a while to actually start to read it because I wasn’t too sure that a book about an old-man could be very interesting. However I was not disappointed, this book captured my attention from the start and held it until the very end, when I felt a lull in the story may occur, Jonasson took the story in a new direction, engaging me once again.
While this book already has some hype around it, I cannot help but add to it, as I feel this book is perfect for anyone who is looking for a book which is action-packed and comedic while also being easy to read and hard to put down. – Caroline
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley
The Rook is a fantastically creative urban fantasy that will have you absorbed from the first page.
It tells the tale of Myfanwy Thomas, who wakes up in the middle of a London park with no memory, surrounded by dead bodies which all seem to be wearing latex gloves. Finding a letter in her coat addressed to herself, from her former self, Myfanwy begins to unravel the mystery of who she is and why she ended up in a park surrounded by dead bodies wearing latex gloves. However this story is about so much more than Myfanwy finding herself.
O’Malley’s imagination has built a world where seemingly ordinary people have astronomically astounding gifts. These people must come together to defend their world. The rich world of brilliantly imaginative creatures and supernatural organizations will keep you hooked until the end.The world he has created is based on a secret bureaucracy with the sole purpose to protect the world from magic. O’Malley works in the Public Service in Canberra, perhaps it is these experiences that enable him to draw out the humour in otherwise dull bureaucratic red-tape.
I picked this up after listening to the author at a writers festival, and he was so witty and funny I knew it was bound to be a good book. I was not disappointed – it is a delightfully humorous and inventive novel that never bores, even after half a dozen reads. I was first in line for the long awaited sequel Stiletto. – Sylvia
The Good People by Hannah Kent
Hannah Kent follows up her enormously popular debut Burial Rites with another historical fiction novel loosely based on an actual event which takes place in Ireland in the 1800’s. Hannah Kent’s ability to research a period and bring it into vivid life is simply astounding.
Nóra Leahy looses her daughter and gains custody of her grandson Micheál a child she refuses to let anyone see, her husband dies at the crossroads, the cows in the valley stop producing milk and rumours of otherworldly interference take hold at the well where the women gather.
Old Nance Roche has “the knowledge” and she consorts with The Good People. As four year old Micheal is unable to walk or talk, she is convinced that he is a changeling, having been perfectly healthy at two. Nora clings to the hope that with Nance’s knowledge, her true grandchild can be returned to her and the changeling sent back to it’s own kind.
Nance, Nora and Nora’s maid Mary must contend with dismissive doctors, who will take their money and declare Micheal a cretin, and interfering priests who claim his illness as god’s will to bring about “The Cure”. Unfortunately with all Nance’s knowledge of “Herbs” and “The Cures”, the plan takes a tragic twist that sees the three women put on trial.
At the heart of this book is the divide between science and the logical ideology of the educated townspeople, and country-folk holding onto their pagan beliefs and mythologies which have grown out of their attempt to explain the harsh and confusing world around them.
This is another beautiful book by Hannah Kent full of love, hope, tragedy and the humanity we cling to when the world we know turns against us. – Rachel
The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland
A fresh-off-the-press new-release from the bestselling author of the Very Cranky Bear series.
Along with working at QBD I moonlight as a babysitter who takes bedtime reading very seriously and subsequently I am constantly on the lookout for books that entertain both adult and child alike, have terrific rhyming flow and incorporate an old-fashioned moral ending. The Fabulous Friend Machine is all of these and more.
The Fabulous Friend Machine tells the story of Popcorn,the very social and ‘friendliest hen at Fiddlesticks Farm’, who enjoys spending time with all the animals in the farmyard until she discovers the fabulous friend machine and becomes a recluse, more interested in making new friends she meets through the screen of her fabulous friend machine than spending time with her old farmyard friends.
With a thrilling ending, where Popcorn’s discovers perhaps her new friends are not quite as friendly as she first thought, her farmyard friends come to her rescue and Popcorn learns a cautionary lesson of remembering who your true friends are and that perhaps you shouldn’t trust everyone you meet through an electronic screen.
Through witty rhymes and clever illustrations, Nick Bland shows the negative impact mobile phones may have on our everyday relationships. This funny little children’s story made me reconsider how much time I spend on my phone/iPad/computer and whether my face-to-face relationships are impacted by this. The Fabulous Friend Machine was great fun to read out loud and an enjoyable tale that both adults and children can learn from. I will definitely be adding The Fabulous Friend Machine to my babysitting collection. – Shannon
Promise of Blood (Powder Mage Trilogy book 1) by Brian McClellan
A promising first novel from an author who has since gone on to finish the trilogy and expand the universe with nearly a dozen short stories and novellas.
The story takes place in the fictional land called “The Nine”. The story is set against the backdrop of the industrial revolution with magic intertwined. You have your classical style of magic, in the form of the “Privileged” (That’s what the wizards and witches of this world are called) who are egotistical and arrogant higher-class individuals. Tthey have the power to destroy cities with a flick of their hands.
The truly unique magic style in this series is that of the “Powder Mages”. These individuals are able to snort gunpowder for increased strength, agility and the ability to see further. They also have the ability to make gunpowder explode on command and force a bullet to strike its target at a great distance with pinpoint accuracy.
The main character of the series is a solider called “Taniel” who is also a powder mage. His father field marshal “Tamas” has just executed the nobles and royalty french revolution-style in order to make way for a new modern style of government. Naturally the other nations surrounding them are not too keen on the idea of the populace realizing they can execute their kings and queens so a nation called Kez proceeds to invade Adro in order to stop these executions from becoming common. Taniel is tasked by Tamas to prepare for the invasion by eliminating any of the remaining royalists who have gone into hiding in the Capital while Tamas leads the army to face the invading Kez army in defense of their nation.
The story is full of well-written action, character, and world development. Due to the Powder Mages unique magic system, it helps keep the reader interested and its compelling plot is fast-paced. The story ends on a cliffhanger, but not to worry, it is the first novel in the trilogy and there is a lot more action to come.
By the time you’ve read the whole series you are simply hungry for more adventures in ‘The Nine’ world. For lovers of all good fantasy novels. – Alex
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
This memoir is a must for readers’ of Oliver Sacks and Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal, however this beautifully crafted memoir will move and have a lasting impact on anyone who has the fortune of picking it up. From the first chapter onward I knew that When Breath Becomes Air would alter my perspective on the fragility of life and question how I would react if faced with my own very near mortality.
Paul Kalanithi was a doctor who dedicated the last decade of his life to the challenging specialty of neurosurgery. Nearing the completion of his internship, Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and suddenly transported from doctor to patient. Through his experiences as both doctor and patient he was able to poignantly reflect on the relationship between doctors, their patients and the practice of medicine. Tragically, Kalanithi died before the completion of his memoir with his wife completing the memoir with an emotion-filled conclusion.
Paul Kalanithi’s memoir is incredibly well written and will unashamedly cause tears with the strength this man showed in the final period of his life and how he, instead of becoming overwhelmed at the prospect of not seeing his young daughter grow up or fulfilling the life he and his wife had imagined, was able to analyze what it is to live a ‘meaningful life’ and what makes life worth living in the face of certain death?
Unputdownable and moving. To readers of non-fiction and fiction alike, I cannot recommend reading this memoir highly enough. – Shannon