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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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Now Read This! Books loved by our Erina Team…

Relax with a great book this weekend!

Our Erina Fair team have put together a list of must-read books for every book lover:

The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan:

Cormac Reilly is about to reopen the case that took him twenty years to forget. The stunning debut novel from your new favourite crime writer.

'The Ruin is a terrific debut and a rare gem: a compelling crime thriller that delivers depth as well as twists, with every page clearly written from the heart' Sara Foster, author of The Hidden Hours.

Responding to a call that took him to a decrepit country house, young Garda Cormac Reilly found two silent, neglected children – 15 year old Maude and 5 year old Jack. Their mother lay dead upstairs. Since then Cormac's had twenty high flying years working as a detective in Dublin, and he's come back to Galway for reasons of his own. As he struggles to navigate the politics of a new police station, Maude and Jack return to haunt him. What ties a recent suicide to that death from so long ago? And who among his new colleagues can Cormac really trust?  This unsettling crime debut draws us deep into the dark heart of Ireland and asks who will protect you when the authorities can't or won't. If you love Jane Harper or Charlie Donlea you will be a fan of The Ruin. – Amanda

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan:

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan is hysterically funny! The outrageously wealthy families come together for a wedding in Singapore and Nicholas invites his girlfriend Rachel to come. Unbeknownst to her he is the heir to his family fortune and Rachel gets the shock of her life. So much for spending a lovely quiet summer enjoying picnics in the countryside! It's more private planes, lavish entertaining and plenty of females staring daggers at her (including Nicholas' mother). This book has been largely undiscovered for 5 years and is now being released as a movie with an all Asian cast. You must read it before you see it. You will love it and it has 2 more books in the series!! - Allison

 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris:

A love story set in the most harrowing circumstances and is based on a true story. Ludwig (Lale) Sokdov, becomes the tattooist of Auschwitz. There he meets the woman who stole his heart. Through love and determination they conquer the adversities they face. A must read for lovers of historical fiction – Shirley

 

 

The Novice by Taran Matharu:

The Novice is the first in a series of great fantastic young adult fantasy novels. Set in a world full of demons, humans, orcs, elves and dwarves there is considerable tension between races. The whole series is full of action, thrill and political commentary. Brilliant matters of race and class are disguised in demonic detail. They make you think deeply about your own world while transporting you to their world and keeping you on the edge of your seat. – Madi

 

Anthologies by R H Sin:

R.H.Sin's anthologies encapsulate love, heart break, grief and empowerment. With simplistic form and raw emotion, he is able to relate to practically everyone. Each of his collections, most notably the Whiskey, Words and a Shovel series and a Beautiful Composition of Broken, provide something new every time you read them. Highly recommended for fans of Rupi Kaur, Lang Leav and Amanda Lovelace. - Caitlin

 

 

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail honeyman:

Eleanor Oliphant is an interesting character that follows her daily routine. She goes to work at the same time, wears the same clothes, and drinks the same drinks. One day her work computer stops working, and when the IT guy becomes her friend, she remembers more about her life than she wants to and refuses to believe it. Will she ever accept what happened? - Erin

 

 

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken:

Alexandra Bracken's dystopian trilogy, The Darkest Minds is set in a world where teenagers are dying from a mysterious disease and only the strongest survive, emerging with new found powers. This novel is captivating from the start with twists and turns at every chapter. You explore the power of friendship and the explicit nature of teenagers. If you have loved series such as, Gone by Michael Grant, The Maze Runner by James Dashner or Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo you will fall in love with this – Holly

 

Artemis by Andy Weir:

It's the 2080's, Artemis is the first and only city on the moon – Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Life on the moon is tough and Jazz must do what she can to get ahead. Andy Weir has done an outstanding job creating a realistic environment that doesn't seem very far away from where we are now. A must read for all sci-fi buffs! - Ezra

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Spotlight on Tweed Heads

Our Tweed Heads team love a good read! Chekc out what they've been wrapping their hands around lately:

Caraval by Stephanie Garber:

Eons ago, when I finished reading the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, I thought nothing could ever compare... until I picked up Caraval. Every bit as enchanting, with an added splash of romance; the magic, mystery and adventure leaps off of the page in such vivid detail that you almost feel you're there, participating in the week long travelling show that never visits the same location twice. Run by the elusive Legend, Caraval is a twisted, elaborate performance that will have you gaping in wonder, tug at your heart and leave you breathless in anticipation with every turn of the page. - Karen

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris:

Never before have I read such a captivating and profound story. This tale of the Tattooist of Auschwitz is such an extraordinary story of how inner strength, endurance and the will to survive can conquer the darkest and deepest well of inhumanity. Heather Morris has managed to convey this true story with such a unique depth into what Lale and Gita witnessed and endured, and the love that developed between them in such a horrendous environment. The atrocities committed against these people where all were punished with an equal lack of mercy, leaves the reader with a deep sense of the cruel and insidious nature of a very dark time in our history. Written so vividly, this story had me spell bound as I navigated the lives of the prisoners and their struggles. It is difficult to fathom the true extent of the horrors that the survivors of the Holocaust had to endure. Morris has crafted an astoundingly unforgettable story of strength, hope, love and endurance. - Sheridan

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan:

Beautifully written in a noir thriller style, Jennifer Egan’s 5th novel Manhattan Beach is a engrossing read. Set against the waterfront of Brooklyn spanning from the Great Depression through to the War years. The stories of 12 year old Irish Anna Kerrigan as she grows to womanhood, her father Eddie and His ‘employer’ Dexter Styles interweave. Quintessential daddy’s girl Anna searches for answers after he disappears. Drawing her and the reader into a world of organised crime where we witness the changing identities of women and men, and the relationships of father and daughter, and the flawed men that become good men. - Raychel

Game, Set, Cash by Brad Hutchins:

An extraordinary account of one mans journey across the globe to discover the unknown world of tennis trading. Mr Hutchins retells the tales of he and his buddies late night to early morning shenanigans in more countries than one can dream of. He allows his audience to gain a visual aspect of destinations he finds himself in and gives insight on some of the most recognised sportsman in history. Whether or not you are a fan of tennis I assure you; you will enjoy this insightful, often-hilarious memoir of this cheeky, mischievous man's journey. It will leave you wanting to find that dream job that will provide you with the opportunity to jet set across this planet we call home to unravel the many diverse ways of living. - Ashley

Simon vs. the Homosapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli:

Being a teenager is hard. Feeling like you have a secret that you can’t tell anyone is harder. Combine the two and you might understand how Simon feels. Simon is gay, and he’s trying to understand and define his own identity while also navigating his family, his friends, and his new-found email crush. The way in which this book is written is so truthful that you can’t help but fall in love with every character presented. Becky Albertalli’s exploration of the relationships with those around you and your relationship with yourself is so true to the high school experience that any teenager would be able to find an aspect of themselves within the characters. Challenge yourself to read the book before the film (Love, Simon) is released in March; I promise you will not be disappointed. - Bridie

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green:

Written in his usual quirky style Green once again successfully climbs inside the teenage mind in his long awaited return to writing. Revolving around character Aza Turtles All The Way Down is a story about friendship, a conman on the run, first love, and the crippling weight of mental illness. Heart warming yet equally heart wrenching fans won’t be disappointed. Once you pick up Turtles you won’t put it back down! - Emma

Spotlight on Morayfield 2018

Our Morayfield team have a bevy of great reads for you to add to your TBR this week!

The Secrets At Ocean's Edge by Kali Napier:

As a huge fan of historical fiction, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this new novel by Kali Napier. Set during the depression, this novel follows the challenges the Hass family face when the lose the family farm in the depression and have to relocate. The family opens a guesthouse on the ocean, and try to create a new life. However, their family secrets are not far behind; will they be able to keep their past from ruining their future?
This novel tackles important issues from the age, including PTSD in soldiers back from the war, the struggles of living through the depression and the darker side of Australia's history of racial segregation and discrimination.
I found that The Secrets at Ocean's Edge transported me into historical Australia in a way only the best writers can, opening my eyes to a world gone by. You can feel the tension in the strained marriage of Ernie and Lily, and the desire to create a new life by the ocean, the desperation of trying to make ends meet in the depression, and the views of a young girl when her world is changing.
This is a novel with characters full of depth and intrigue, a plot full of family drama and duty, hierarchical battles in society, and the traumas of a soldier home from the Great War. Napier tackles big issues, which she writes about with empathy and sensitivity, and draws your heart into feeling the journey with the family. I found myself completely engrossed from the first chapter, and have been recommending it madly to everyone I know.
If you liked The Light Between Oceans, if you like Sara Donati, if you like any Australian or historical fiction, then you will love this book! - Coreena

The Wicked and the Divine: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie:

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved, they are hated, and in two years they are dead. The graphic novel dream team of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods.

The first volume is told through the eyes of Pantheon super-fan Laura. There is a murder, for which one of the gods, Lucifer, is framed and sent to jail. Laura is enlisted by Lucifer to find out who framed her and prove her innocence.

The authors have done a wonderful job of creating a diverse cast of characters where each one is completely unique and with their own distinct personality. There are some you love, some you hate and some you love to hate. But what I like most about this graphic novel is the absolutely stunning art work. The line work is clean and full of beautiful detail while the colours are gorgeously vibrant, together they bring the story of the Pantheon to life. - Zoe

Force of Nature by Jane Harper:

This book is the newest one by Jane Harper, who has won many awards. All I can say is wow, what a great book this is! It is a gripping mystery crime novel that is full of many secrets.
Alice Russell has been working with Federal Agent Aaron Falk to bring down a potential fraud in the accountancy firm of Bailey Tennants. Alice joins four other colleges in the Bailey Tennants company and set off in the bush on a three-day hike as apart of a corporate team building exercise. However only four return. Has Alice blown her cover?
It will catch you completely off guard when you find out who was left responsible for the missing person. See if you can guess right.
The structure of this novel moves back and forth between Falk’s present day of the investigation and the story of the five girls during their hike. I found this very effective as it grabbed you in at the start and you won’t be able to put it down. - Danielle

Dresden Files 1: Storm Front by Jim Butcher:

The author Jim Butcher is a martial arts enthusiast with fifteen years of experience in various styles, he is also a skilled rider and also enjoys fencing, singing, bad science fiction movies, and live-action gaming.
But what Jim Butcher is actually known for is his urban fantasy series starring a wise cracking wizard detective and the Chicago Police Department, this series is known as The Dresden Files which all began with Storm Front.
This book series lead to the TV Adaption, The Dresden Files which aired in 2007.
Storm Front follows the wisecracking wizard detective Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, into the bowels of Chicago where magic is currently being used to terrify and murder people. Harry Dresden being the only practicing wizard detective is called in to check out a crime scene and from there everything starts to unfold page by page. Harry being unable to get a simple job from clients and being unable to pay for his rent, he is suddenly swamped by a Missing Person and a Murderous Wizard. Think of this book as a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter!
Before I conclude, I’ll leave you with this……..
Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever.
There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting. Magic. It can get a guy killed.
Thank you all for reading this, I hope to see you in store and point you in the right direction to this fantastic series! - Joshua

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Lee Dugard:

Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped at the age of 11 in Lake Tahoe, California and held captive for 18 years by Phillip Garrido who repeatedly raped her. Jaycee also had to bear two of his children. She was miraculously freed in 2009 at the age of 29.

In her book, Jaycee opens up about what she experienced including how she feels now a year later. It is an honest telling of what those 18 years were like for Jaycee Dugard. It is brilliant that she allowed us to read this story in her own words and not the smooth edited version by a ghost writer. In my opinion, the simple language she used enhanced this book as you can really feel the presence of that young, scared girl. - Katherine

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare:

A delicious mixture of all the fantasy books you can conjure up, Cassandra Clare’s, the mortal instruments brings life a vivid journey you can’t help but be drawn in to. Clary Fray is just your average, angst filled teen yet on her 16th birthday she finds herself thrust in to the dark heart of a world that exists all around her. Yet she’d never known was there. A society where flamboyant warlocks meet level headed werewolves, and at the center are the shadowhunters. A race that’s blessed by angels, sanctioned to protect the human race, and Clary may just be one of them.

While following her journey of self-discovery, it also forces you to consider your own. As, although it may seem like your average fantasy/romance book it encases a plethora of battles every teen must fight to become who they are. The mortal instruments series will sweep you off your feet and play on your mind long after you’ve turned the last page. - Jade

If I Am Missing Or Dead by Janine Latus:

Janine Latus’s enthralling book If I am missing or dead is a compelling story from start to finish. It is about the author’s own sister, whose body was found strangled and bound near her then-boyfriend’s home in Knoxville. This title covers topics that are very present in today’s society, for example the physical and mental abuse both sisters suffered from not only in their childhood, but well into their adulthood too, and the sexualisation both sisters suffered. This book is in Janine Latus’ point of view; highlighting the close relationship she had with her sister Amy, telling both of their stories, from the joy of having a child to the devastation of a dead loved one. This title is great for young adults and although it has some dark undertones, the plot-line is very fascinating and captivating. - Micah

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These books have us smiling!

 

Fantasy, YA, Thrillers... You name it, Australia Fair has a great reading suggestion for you!
Just check out these brilliant reads!

Night School by Lee Child:

I love, love, love the Jack Reacher series. Number 21 is just as exciting and fun as all the others. This time it's a flashback to when Reacher was a Major in the army and is sent to collaborate with FBI and CIA agents at 'Night School' but totally of the books. Of course Reacher doesn't play well with the agents so he pulls Sergeant Frances Neagley in to be his sidekick. Child's observational style is full of social commentary wrapped in a nerve-wracking trill ride. If you like a tough guy, spies, logic and reasoning, terrorism, counter-terrorism, creative fight scenes and a strong female heroine then this is the book for you. - Gilly

Caraval by Stephanie Garber:

❝Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world.❞

Sisters Scarlet and Tella have grown up hearing stories of Caraval and long to experience the magic - a week long performance, where the audience participates in the show. With gifted tickets to an invitation only Caraval, the sisters are swept into a world of magic, secrets and betrayal, where nothing is as it seems, and the stakes are life threatening. Caraval is like a grotesque wonderland where the mad hatter calls the shots, and you can loose yourself in the game at any moment. Garber has created a world where magic is real, clues are paid for with your deepest secrets and sometimes in days of your life, tunnels can drive you insane and make you question your reality. Caraval is a truly enchanting book, I was drawn in from the very first page and did not want to put it down, this book has quickly become one of my favourite books of 2017. - Jess

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell:

Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park is a wonderfully written young adult novel. It tells the story of Eleanor, a girl who stands out from the crowd with her bright red hair, freckles and strange clothes. As well as Park, a quiet Korean boy who enjoys wearing black. They meet on a bus ride to school and at first, they do not speak and end up trying to avoid each other. After numerous nervous attempts at making contact, they begin to bond over their mutual love of comic books and music. This book explores the happiness, struggles and awkwardness that comes with new relationships. It is a great read for anyone who enjoys John Green or Jandy Nelson. - Jill

The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter:

When I found out that H.G Wells' War of the Worlds was getting was sequel almost 119 years after the release of the original story, I was excited to say the least, but also skeptical. Well after reading it I can say that if you enjoyed the original, you'll get some enjoyment out of this new story.

Set 14 years after the first Martian attack on London, the world is not the same. Armies are prepared for another invasion but so are the Martians. This time the invaders know and have learnt from their last visit to earth and are unstoppable and more dangerous than ever before. One positive to come out of the book is the lore that Stephen Baxter expands on from the original book, such as characters only mentioned by the narrator, making the story feel familiar to Wells' classic. Not only that, the author brings an interesting new perspective to the Martians and their reasons behind their attack on earth and by finally knowing how the invaders act outside of the infamous tripods. If you're a fan of the original classic like I am, I believe you should give this one a read, because who doesn't love a book about Martians, heat rays and total world destruction? - Andrew

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi:

This book opens with a trainee neurosurgeon diagnosing yet another patient, the diagnostics simple and clear, the cancer widely disseminated. However, this time around it was different, Dr Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed himself. From doctor to patient, in one day Paul's future vanished. Over 10 years of training and dedication just to fall to his own practice. A true battle of hope vs resignation began. What do you do when the future you have been striving towards is suddenly out of reach? How does it feel to nurture your loved ones to success?

'When Breath Becomes Air' is a powerfully moving story of how Paul poetically describes his search for meaning, his passion for life and his noble decisions made along the way. This perplexing story of a man that knows what really matters in life, openly speaks from his heart to touch our souls. This book will make you cry, it will see you envy, compassion will accumulate, however above all this book will make you explore your own life and appreciate it like you never have before, finding everything you ever knew in this world to be significant.
An undeniably inspiring read. - Ryan

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Every week a new store takes over our blog!
Keep an eye out for your local QBD team!