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Spotlight on QBD: Canberra Centre , ACT

 

Our Canberra team have a slew of recommended reads for you!

If you're not sure what book to pick up next, just ask and they'll sort you out!

 

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas:

The book I'm most excited for this Christmas is definitely Kingdom of Ash. As the final book in the fantastic Throne of Glass series, Sarah J Maas promises to deliver another lethal dose of her trademark powerful women, immersive fantasy and emotional anguish. If you enjoy young adult fantasy and haven't already read this series then now is the time to start!

Pick up your copy in store from October 23 and let me vent to you about how much I love Dorian. – Charlotte

Pig the Grub by Aaron Blabey:

Pig is shamelessly naughty and back to teach his next lesson about cleanliness. Aaron Blabey's rhyming and wonderful illustrations make for an engaging read. Pig the Grub is a delightfully simple and fun story, bound to make any child or adult smile no matter how many times it's read.
- Alice

No Friend But The Mountains by Omid Tofighian & Behrouz Boochani:

Both an account of the ongoing imprisonment of refugees at Manus island and a literary exploration of life in seemingly perpetual imprisonment, No Friend But The Mountains is a tragic, yet beautifully written book. Translated via texts sent from within the detention centre, I would recommend this book as necessary reading for anyone interested in the situation of refugees coming to Australia. While it makes for difficult and even confronting reading, the experiences and writing of those on Manus remind us that hope and free expression can be found in the darkest of places. - Yann

Sisters' Entrance by Emtithal Mahmoud:

Of all the books in store, the one I recommend most often is Sister's Entrance, by Emtithal 'Emi' Mahmoud.

Emi is a UNHR Goodwill Ambassador & winner of the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam. Her poem 'how to translate a joke' (featured in Sisters' Entrance) has over 150k views on Youtube, and speaks with a clarity and eloquence that is as breathtaking as it is educational.

Her poetry is alive and kicking, making Sister's Entrance perfect for countering any who believe that poetry belongs to aging academics, dead playwrights, and Banjo Paterson. -Jerzy

Skulduggery Pleasant 11: Midnight by Derek Landy:

The latest book in the fabulous series, Midnight is another rollicking read from start to finish. As always the banter and sass between Skulduggery and Valkyrie is the highlight of this amazing writing. A funny, engaging yet dark read that builds on everything the series has given us so far and then goes a little further. Sherlock Homes meets Harry Potter with a dash of Doctor Who. A recipe for great quotes and a team that you'll wish you were cool enough to be a member of.

A wonderful read for kids aged 9 and up or adults that want an easy read that won't bore them to tears.
(contains violence and magic/horror themes) -Cai

The Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R Tolkien:

Step back into Middle-Earth with The Fall of Gondolin, the swansong of Christopher Tolkien and illustrator Alan Lee. The Fall of Gondolin completes a trio of extended tales alongside The Children of Hurin and Beren and Luthien, and is just as prosaic as one expects Tolkien to be.
The book presents two versions of the tale, one a sweeping poetic epic, the other a more traditional narrative. Accompanying these are Christopher Tolkien's notes on his father's work, and Alan Lee's beautiful illustrations.

If you're a Lord of the Rings fan like me, don't miss this one last adventure in Middle-Earth! - Glen

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty:

One of her best releases so far, Nine Perfect Strangers explores the world of health retreats and the lives of the nine people who attend this life changing one. Even with many unexpected twist and turns this is still a light and heart warming title. I read this book in a day, and what a day it was!

Perfect for anyone who love Australian fiction! - Sarah

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith:

After an agonising 3 year wait, Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) is back with the 4th installment of the Cormoran Strike series. After finishing Career of Evil on what can be described as a 'mic drop' cliff hanger, leaving us fans screaming what happened next?!

From the first page you are reunited with Robin & Strike where things are a bit tense since the Career of Evil. As they hire their next client, a simple case of blackmail turns into something much larger leaving you guessing until the very last pages.

Lets hope we do not wait another 3 years for the next book, but while you wait I highly suggest you check out the BBC tv series of Strike to ease those cravings. -Courtney

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Spotlight on QBD: Penrith, NSW

It has been a wild time for Penrith lately. We've had author visits galore, so many exciting new books and an incredible amount still to arrive! We've been doling out 'Signed By the Author' stickers left, right and centre and it has been great for the team to have a chat to the people behind some excellent books. If you want a signed copy of Chris Hammer's thrilling tale Scrublands or of any of Lynette Noni's phenomenal YA books, definitely come visit us! We still have a few left on our shelves after meeting them.

We've had a few great reads throughout the last couple of weeks, and we're ready to spread the love for them.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco:

You like bleak stories and the stench of death seeping into your soul? Well, you'd better believe The Bone Witch is the book for you. A young girl raises her brother from the dead in a fit of grief, and she must learn to live with the consequences of her dead-sibling-familiar following her around for the rest of her life. Tea is a bone witch. Where others can raise fruit or wealth, she can raise the dead. Ostracised by everyone who fears her power, she must train to control it. Yet controlling it doesn't mean she isn't going to change the world, one necromantic incident at a time. She knows what she is doing, and she's going to follow through. The story flows so easily and you'll find yourself endlessly caught up in her tale. Gotta love a bit of undead fun. -Paige

Paige is looking forward to so many new releases. Top of her inbound list are Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor, The Witch Who Courted Death by Maria Lewis, and Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life by Eric Idle. Between the fantasy and the biographies, she's a keen true crime buff.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman:

This book gave me chills. In a perfect world where humans have conquered hunger, disease, war and death, Sycthes are the only thing standing between eternal life and death. Citra and Rowan are chosen to compete for the title of Scythe or risk losing their own lives.
I originally had no interest in picking up this book but when someone is hounding you to give it a chance then you don’t really have a choice right? (Manager's Note: You're welcome, Kate. I'm glad my months of hassling you paid off. Literal months.) Well, I'm so glad I read it because Neal Shusterman is a genius. He has created a utopia, a world humanity dreams about yet he brings to light just how sad of a world it could be. Everything about this book is just so fascinating and shocking. Scythe hits you hard and leaves no room for you to walk away unaffected. Scythe compels you to consider what a World without mortality could be like whilst creating a “noble” way of culling the population. -Kate

Kate is holding out for Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas. She's the romance reader of the store, and does a darn good job of sharing her knowledge.

Star Wars: Phasma by Delilah S Dawson:

Phasma is an interesting read to get insight into background characters, like Phasma and General Hux, who the audience are not always familiar with on a deeper level. The novel is about Captain Phasma’s past from the perspective of a new introduced character in the beginning, which provides an exciting spin on how the story reads. Readers get a fascinating introduction to how Phasma’s mind works, who she is loyal to, and what her values are. This story is fast-paced, thrilling, and easily pulls the reader into the world. Highly recommended for Phasma fans who love a page-turner! - Reeya

Reeya is great with sci-fi fantasy, and knows more about the fandom-based books than the rest of us put together!

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton:

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to travel to the beautiful islands of Hawaii. While I was there, I visited some of the stunning locations used in the film adaptations of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. This then got me thinking – although I had grown up, watching these films over and over again, I had never taken the time to sit down and read the inspiration behind them. Clearly then, it was time I read Crichton’s classic, captivating thriller!
And I was not disappointed.
Jurassic Park is an incredibly well researched, romp of a story, that will grab you by its teeth - hooking you into its pages, until you have read every last word. When John Hammond invites a group of experts to inspect his creation – a theme park exhibiting real, living, breathing dinosaurs, brought to life by a breakthrough in cloning and genetic engineering – he doesn’t expect that everything will go horribly wrong. However, by creating these creatures, Hammond is about to discover that life cannot be so easily controlled. Life cannot be contained. “Life finds a way!”
Fans of the movie franchise will take particular delight in this book, as it is evident that all five films have taken a great deal of inspiration right out of Michael Crichton’s pages. Readers will recognise many sequences, ideas, and even dialogue, taken from the book, and sprinkled throughout the film’s many sequels. Even this year’s latest instalment, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, can still be seen as paying tribute to the ideas Crichton penned in his novel, twenty-eight years ago.
But, even for readers who have (somehow) never seen the movies, there is still much to be enjoyed! Crichton’s novel is action packed, scientifically fascinating, and full of wonderfully fleshed out characters, who keep the story grounded – even as they attempt to escape the jaws of an eight tonne T-Rex.
So, if you’re looking for an excellent page-turner, look no further. Jurassic Park is a gripping read, that will leave you hungry for more -Alyssa

Alyssa will read just about anything, with the passion and ferocity of a true book-lover.

Purity by Jonathan Franzen:

Purity is an eloquent, overwhelming and incredible novel about self discovery. It follows Pip on her search to find out the truth behind her family history, which interweaves with the stories and lives of those around her in the hopes of forming her own identity. Pip is a young girl struggling with the tough aspects of life, all while trying to figure out who she wants to be. This enlightening and multi-dimensional story divulges a sense of self and illustrates the way everyone around us connects and impacts the way one person understand their story. A 5 Star, must read! - Courtney

Courtney also just finished The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham, so she can't wait for Rosalie's new book The Year of the Farmer. She knows all the best in literary fiction and horror.

Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer:

This is the perfect read for dystopian lovers and I could not give a higher recommendation. Marissa Meyer reimagines everyone's favourite fairy tales in a futuristic world where hover cars and robot sidekicks are the norm. Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White are now fierce heroines Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter, who show that there is more to fairy tale princesses than pretty dresses and handsome princes. Cinder is a cyborg, Scarlet is one fiery redhead, Cress is a tech-savvy super spy, and Winter has the biggest heart of gold in whole kingdoms. You'll recognise these stories for the lengendary tales that have been popular for generations, but Meyer brings exciting things like interplanetary travel, hidden heroes, battles against raging plagues, and races of genetically enhanced super soldiers to the table in The Lunar Chronicles. A true page turner and exciting journey throughout every page of this series. I enjoyed it so much that I'm currently writing my Honours thesis on it! - Mackenzie

Mackenzie knows young adult like the back of her hand. Head her way for some of the best titles in YA over the last 10 years.

100 Nasty Women of History by Hannah Jewell:

What a book. What a spectacular book. 100 Nasty Women of History is indeed yet another book composing lists of women who did incredible things and have been overshadowed in the history books. This book, however, doesn’t focus on the usual lists of women who did amazing things but instead shows the others, the ones who are even more overlooked than usual. The women who should have been famous and renowned but have instead been forgotten.
Marie Curie may have been spectacular but she was far from the only woman in science and this book illustrates that better than any I’ve ever read before. It’s pages demand attention as they bellow of the scientists, the mathematicians, the adventurers and the explorers. It depicts the lives of poets and actors, activists and rebels, rulers and revolutionaries. There are women who did horrible things for what they believed in,those who were inspirational and others who’s lives were unbelievably hard yet still rose above the masses for their cause.
This is one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read. And also one of the funniest. The author has an incredible sense of humour which had me laughing even as I cried for some tragic ending. She did not hold back in the slightest and gave every piece of her wit and humour to each and every story. This is just one of the qualities that makes it so easy to read but that each woman has only a few pages, if that, for her story certainly helps. It makes it incredibly easy to take in the condensed information of each story, pick up and put down the book and take breaks in-between to more thoroughly google the woman whose life’s recap you just experienced.
I will say though, I wouldn’t recommend it to younger readers just yet. It’s a little R rated at times especially in the language department and it doesn’t shy away from the more horrible lives and ends that many of these women suffered.
In saying all that, to summarise, this was one of the first books I read this year and it is still at the top of my list. It left such a lasting impression on me and I will forever be recommending it to people. I don’t know if I managed to convey just how much I loved it but I really did love it. So, so much and I really hope you will too. - Georgia

Georgia is counting the days till the Illustrated Tales of Beedle the Bard. JK Rowling and Chris Riddell. Who wouldn't be excited for that! She is the best person to talk to for sociology and history.

Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence:

Wheel Of Osheim is the final book in the Red Queen's War trilogy, picking up where Liar's Key left off. But not quite. While Liar's Key ends with our protagonists Jalan and Snorri entering Hel(Hell), Jalan is quickly found half naked falling from the sky, in "women trouble", much like the earlier books. This allows Mark Lawrence to show his pure talent in storytelling as he artfully controls the information you receive, building the story you hope for while making you doubt with twists and turns. Wheel Of Osheim sets a awe-inspiring benchmark for all fantasy writers seeking to write a trilogy for the ages - Josh

Josh is great for both the grimdark fantasy and those kind of obscure titles that will be a guaranteed brilliant read.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde:

Have you ever wondered about what life would be like if you were young and beautiful forever? After reading this you'll appreciate the glorious inevitability of ageing. Promise. Simply put, this story is about an ethereal young man who trades his soul for eternal beauty and youth. With themes exploring the power of vanity and the consequences of living a life without rules, Oscar Wilde also delves into an exploration of the parameters of the incorporeal essence of man. Scary, but oh-my-god great. This book forces contemplation in themes and topics that you inattentively skim over in everyday life.
One word: Powerful. - Sarina

Sarina is the store's science guru, and the go-to person for all things that boggle the mind.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead:

6 stars out of 5. Yeah.
I know what you're thinking; another vampire book. Or, alternatively, that movie was awful. But do not let these concerns stop you from reading one of my favourite series of all time. In it's defence, it came out the same year as Twilight and is literally a thousand times better. I recently read the entire 6 book series again for what must've been the actual 5 time fully through, and I love it as much as now as I did when I first read them in 2009. Yeah. My love has spanned almost a decade.
When Rose took Princess Lissa Dragomir away from the secure boarding school for vampires they've lived in their entire lives, she knew they'd try and get them back. Two years later, and the Guardians from St Vladimir's have found them to take them back to school. Rose, a half human/half vampire, rejoins her classmates training to protect Lissa while Lissa herself faces royal politics, her growing depression and the strange things that keep happening around her. The bond these girls share will be pushed to the limit when magic, enemies and blood come together.
This book and it's sequels are the type that you can't stop thinking about even when you're finished; you just always want more. It definitely doesn't hurt that Dimitri Belikov, the lead male protagonist, is the fictional character I would bring to life if I could. Seriously, do yourself a favour and get on board; Richelle will not disappoint you. - Karrie

Karrie dabbles with thrillers and paranormal, but can recommend a dozen titles for any fiction genre you could imagine.

As the most "Halloween" store ever it hurts us to say this, but if you're starting to plan your Christmas gifts for others or making a wishlist for yourself you should really check out some of the things we've been reading. Each of us can attest to a few of the books reviewed and there are some gorgeous editions out there. We're always happy to spread great recommendations, and we all live for those moments when a customer recommends something to us. A good book is best shared.

What We Read: Toombul Edition

Our talented book lovers at Toombul have put together a list of books

(other than Harry Potter) that everyone should have on their shelf!

 

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan:

A grim and gritty dive into an all too feasible future, Altered Carbon is a mile-a-minute noir thriller that blends classic hardboiled detective stories with a high-tech futuristic setting where death is obsolete, for a price. Following in the footsteps of classics like Bladerunner or Ghost in the Shell, Richard Morgan creates a compelling and deeply faceted thriller that will keep you guessing until the final page. - Lindsay

The Nowhere Child by Christian White:

Set in Melbourne, Kim Leamy's life is thrown into turmoil after a stranger believing that she is a girl that disappeared 28 years ago from Kentucky. The Nowhere Child had me hooked in from the very first chapter with the deep characters reminiscent of Stephen King. This is dark, melodic suspense done right and it is easy to see why this has won the Victoria Premier's Literary Award. - Rose

 

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry:

Beautifully written, with wonderfully complex and compelling characters, The Essex Serpentwas a book I loved living in. In turn unsettling, heartwarming, and witty, this was my book of 2017. Each sentence is a marvellous construction, and the novel's meditations on love and friendship show the many forms that both can take. - Maddie

 

Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff:

Mia Corvere had her first lesson in death when she was 10. Six years later, hellbent on revenge, she journeys to The Red Church, an academy/cult for assassins. To keep her promise, she must prove that she has no equal amongst a group of the most deadliest murderers, liars and daemons. Mia has an advantage though. She is no ordinary girl. The shadows love her, and they drink her fear.

The Nevernight Chronicles follows Mia’s journey of revenge, through the twists and turns of conspiracy and corruption that lie within the red walls and on the streets of Godsgrave.
This series has it all - humour, adventure, murder, bloodlust and a dash of sarcasm. It is perfect for anyone who loves fantasy, and will have you on the edge of your seat. The only issue is having to wait until next year for the gripping finale! - Zoe

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years Of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami:

An intelligent, slow burning journey of a man who feels colorless and has been affected for sixteen years by his sudden banishment from his close knit friend group whose names all meant a colour; except his. Drawing on Kafka-esque themes of isolation, our protagonist Tsukuru seeks out his old friends to discover the reason for his exile, and maybe his colour. - Matt

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Each week we feature a different store on our blog.
Keep an eye out for your local team!

What We Read: QBD Fountain Gate

This week our Fountain Gate team let us know all about their latest reads!
There's something for everyone's TBR in here!

Woman In The Window by A J Finn:

If you loved Girl on the train, you will love Woman in the Window. It's about a woman called Anna Fox who becomes agoraphobic after a traumatic experience. Anna lives alone never leaving her home. Spying on her neighbors. Anna soon becomes fascinated by the Russells' family. One day Anna hears a deadly scream coming from the Russells'. Thinking someone has been murdered see calls the police. After explaining what she had heard, no one believed her as Anna drinks at least 2 bottles of red a day and was medicated. Anna then doubts herself. If what she heard was real or just in her mind. Anna continues to follow the Russells to get down to the truth. A must read! - Joanne

Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens:

A love triangle like no other. This book is full of love and heartbreak. You will fall in love with Kellan Kyle lead singer of a local band and Keira with her boyfriend Danny starting a new life in a new town. You can feel the pull of the love that can not happen and the struggles of one with a heartbreaking past. Follow the journey and enjoy Thoughtless with more books that follow , Effortless and Reckless. - Daniela

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven:

‘All The Bright Places’ is a heartbreaking tale of friendship and love between Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. The story conveys hope whilst remaining true to the characters in the novel. A good read for those who like the work of John Green. - Chanelle

The Love That I Have by James Moloney:

Margot Baumann is a young German girl who adores Hitler and wonders what it is like to be in love. She starts working in the mailroom of a concentration camp in 1944 when her naive view of the world irrevocably changes. Rather than destroy letters written by prisoners' as ordered, she secretly smuggles some, intending to forward them on to their loved ones. Letters between Dieter and his girlfriend Margot affect her so deeply that she is able to bravely and positively intervene where once it seemed all hope was lost. Powerful, unforgettable and heartbreaking. Fans of The Book Thief will love this book. - Nola

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris:

This is a raw story of life and love in Auschwitz-Birkenau. A confronting and uplifting tale of survival.
Based on a true story of an immigrant to Melbourne; it transports you to a time and place in history almost unimaginable to readers today. - Antonia

QBD Hornsby’s powerful reads that stay with you…

 This week, our Hornsby team have put together a list of powerful and brilliant books that will stay with you well after you turn the last page.

There are some truly great reads in here. Better get your shelves ready!

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King:

Stephen King and his son Owen bring this unique horror story to life in this grim tale of a strange occurrence that spreads throughout the world.
It starts when all the women in the world fall into a deep cocooned sleep. If you try to wake them, they will release a monster inside. This throws the world into chaos. The story centers around a women's correctional facility in West Virginia. As society falls, the prison becomes a place of horror and isolation for the inmates. The remaining prison guards and remaining prisoners start to turn on each other in what becomes a traditional King storyline where the human characters become the real monsters of the story. The women also face the reality of being stuck in a parallel universe where they mysteriously start disappearing and battle their own evil demons.
If you liked The Mist or Doctor Sleep then this book is for you and there are already rumours of this book coming to the small screen. -Chris (Store Manager)

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver:

2 years ago, the fictional Eva Khatchadourian's son, Kevin, was the killer behind a horrific school massacre. Never have I found a work of fiction so thought-provoking, and I've begged my friends and family to read it so that I have more people with whom to discuss the themes within.
The story is told by way of Eva writing letters to her absent husband as she continues to struggle to accept what her son has done. As she writes, she invites us to consider whether we are born a certain way and cannot change, or if we're a product of our environment and upbringing. Is Eva to blame for Kevin's actions? We Need to Talk About Kevin expertly drip-feeds details about the shooting itself and Kevin's childhood, allowing us to decide.
The result is a hard-hitting and unflinching examination of the age old nature vs nurture debate, and you won't be able to look away. -Alex (Relief Manager)

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes:

Flowers for Algernon is brilliantly heartbreaking. The authenticity of the storytelling will draw you in immediately as you experience the journey 32 year old Charlie embarks on, leaving no emotion unfelt. Charlie is developmentally disabled, and undergoes surgery to enhance his mental capabilities. This is the catalyst for Charlie as he learns more and more about the intricacies of the world and of how we communicate with and treat each other.
I thoroughly enjoyed this science fiction book for its exploration of identity, social interactions, devastating realities, and authentic portrayal of the spectrum of mental capacity. Flowers for Algernon offers a new perspective on what we value and will stick with you long after the last page. -Emalee

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz:

In this book within a book, Anthony Horowitz presents Alan Conway, a highly successful, yet unlikeable, author, submitting the last book that he will ever write; Magpie Murders. What follows are subliminal messages, codes to crack, twists at every corner, and secrets hidden behind every closed door.
Horowitz breaks down every barrier between author and reader, sometimes so much so that you’re not quite sure whether what you’re reading is fiction, or a true life recount.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Agatha Christie’s classic ‘whodunnit’ writing style, or to anyone looking for a highly engaging book to read. -Jackie

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh:

For those of you who like a gritty story Trainspotting is the book for you. Prepare to be transported to Leith a town in Scotland in the early 90's. Trainspotting follows the story of four heroin addicted friends. The intelligent but lazy Mark "Rent boy" Renton, The lovable but completely hopeless Spud, The aptly named Sick boy and the utter psychotic Begby. If you like this book there are 3 others in the series - Porno otherwise known as "T2", the prequel Skagboys and the recently released Dead Men's Trousers. This book is not for the faint of heart it is sometimes on the graphic side but it is a book with unique and oddly lovable characters. The characters of this book will stick with you for a long time. - Roslyn

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas:

THUG is a phenomenal book that tackles the difficult topic of police brutality in America.
Starr is stuck between two worlds; her private school in the suburbs where she is the only black girl, and her home in the rundown, all-black community which is struggling with the death of Starr's friend who was brutally murdered by police. Heartrendingly honest but hilarious and heartwarming. A MUST READ! - Eleanor

Each week our QBD Spotlight features a new store.
Make sure to keep an eye out for your local team!