Page: 1

Tag / book reviews

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noir thriller that blends classic hardboiled detective stories with a high-tech futuristic setting where death is obsolete, for a price.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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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…


QBD Spotlight: Hornsby, NSW

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!

What We Read: QBD Doncaster Edition!

Today our Doncaster bookworms tell us all about what the have been reading!
There's some truly great reads in this list, perfect to snuggle up with on a cold winter's night!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black:

“Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.”

The Cruel Prince is a treasure – a triumph of character and story. This book is Holly Black in peak form; delightfully dark and deliciously wicked, set in a complex and lush world you can't help but want to visit. If you like faeries, romance, and fantasy novels, The Cruel Prince is a must read for teenagers and grown-ups alike! With swoon-worthy romance, adventure, and whip-smart characters, this is a book I will definitely re-read again and again! (Plus – who could go past this beautiful cover?!)

Perfect for fans of Tessa Gratton, Naomi Novak and Sarah J Maas. - Melanie

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan:

In this gripping, intertwined, relationship crime novel set in contemporary England. Anatomy of a Scandal shows that whatever class you are born into, your crimes will always be detected. The story line also describes that even if you are married to the perpetrator, and love them with your intense loyalty, the deception and reality cannot be ignored. This novel is about consequences and revenge. It is a story that touches on the Me Too movement by reinforcing that the power of women will prevail and will overrule the evil behaviour of men. - Annabel

Cell by Stephen King:

Stephen King brings us into a world where the mobile devices we use every day begin to broadcast a “pulse” signal when being used that turns humans into mindless, feral, cannibalistic zombies. The story follows Clay, an old fashioned kind of guy that does not own a cell phone, desperately trying to escape the chaos ensuing in the city to get back home to his family hoping it’s not too late for them. King pulls us into a ride of emotions versus the supernatural and shows us that when we are faced with what could be the end of humanity, it can bring out the worst in us and make us do unspeakable things for our own survival and to protect those we love. A roller coaster ride of thrills, twists, and turns, a must read for any Stephen King fan or lover of zombie fiction. - Paul

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli:

Meet Molly, the cousin of Abby from Love Simon (don't you love it when authors use the same universe for their books? I know I do), she's never had a boyfriend, or a girlfriend for that matter though girlfriends are more of her sister's kind of thing. Molly doesn't understand how two people can just meet and be perfect enough for each other that they fall in love, what are the chances of that? That kind of thinking begins to change when she meets Will and Reid, one a cool hipster boy the other a Tolkien nerd.

Becky Albertalli is quickly becoming one of the most recognisable young adult authors, with three books, one film released and a second on its way. She's just what the younger readers of the 21st century needed, tacking issues of self-esteem and sexuality. The Upside of Unrequited is an incredibly refreshing book as it isn't held back by previous generations taboos. Same-sex parenting, pansexuality, and self-love are comfortably part of the characters lives.

This book and Albertalli's two others are some of my most highly recommended books for anyone interested in teen romance and normalising LGBTQ+ relationships. - Peta

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover:

Maybe Someday is one of those books that leaves a lasting impression long after you read it. Her writing is filled with layers upon layers that she reveals to the reader. The choices the main characters make are incredibly real and the emotions she manages to draw upon is nothing short of extraordinary.

This is one of my favourite books by Colleen Hoover and I'm a huge fan. She is that author that I am comfortable to buy without reading any reviews, as I don't think she's done anything yet that I haven't loved. Make sure you find a comfortable spot to read this, you won't be moving until the very end.

“I wanted your heart more than I've ever wanted anything. The second I reached down and held your hand in mine, it happened. My heart made its choice, and it chose you.” - Ravy

Weirdest Stories by Paul Jennings:

Among the drudgery of new found adult issues and the rise of nostalgia at an all time high with the Incredibles 2 release I decided to revisit the stories of my youth, to a simpler time. Weirdest Stories did not disappoint.

I found myself transported back to a childish innocence that asked the question; what if? With stories ranging from plants growing out noses, mind reading, lip smacking with ice sculptures, bullies and a beetle that turn skin invisible, these short stories that had fascinated me in my youth and silently captivated classrooms with their out of this world situations still stand bizarre and entertaining as ever. A true Australian author, Paul Jennings really captures a Stephen King crossed with Andy Griffiths vibe for kids ages 8-12 (and those young adults nostalgic for a bit of Aussie weirdness similar to the tv show and book "Round The Twist" which Jennings also wrote).

I feel a little bit of sadness with the lack of attention these classic stories get now but if you or your child decide to give this book a flick I promise you won't be let down. Other nostalgic books you should visit if you enjoy this include: Spookiest Stories, Funniest Stories and Trickiest Stories all by Paul Jennings and Selby's Secret by Duncan Ball. - Natalie

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris:

If you enjoyed reading Night by Elie Wiesel or The Book Thief then your next adventure in historical fiction should be The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Based on the true love story of Lale and Gita Sokolov's survival in Auschwitz, Lale’s unwavering strength and optimism through the horrors of the holocaust is a beautiful demonstration of the determination of humanity and the triumph of love, even in the darkest times. - Hannah

Every week a different QBD store takes over our blog and lets us know what's hot, what's not and what they are reading!
Keep an eye out for your local team.

Sneak a peak at what our Hurstville team have been reading!


Love a good book? So do our team at Hurstville.
Check out what they've been reading...


Worlds of You by Beau Taplin:

Worlds of You by Beau Taplin is an inspiring and empowering poetry book separated into two parts: Love and Spirit both offering insight and comfort.
Beau Taplin was previously a songwriter and I feel that definitely gives him an edge that other poets just don't have. Every poem and prose has an easy, lyrical flow and as you read each one you can really feel the emotion from the author.
This book is just absolutely beautiful. The cover art, the feel of the cover, the simplicity and of course Beau's unique way of words are all stunning. I finished reading this book over a month ago but I'm not ready to put it on my shelf just yet. I still have it sitting on my bedside table so I can easily pick it up and flick through it often!- Bel

Ah Well, Nobody's Perfect by Molly Meldrum:

There once was a boy from Quambatook called Ian Meldrum, who moved to the city, got a job in a bank, and then became Molly, a music legend, writing for Go-Set, producing 'The Real Thing' & providing the soundtrack to our lives on Countdown & Hey,Hey It's Saturday.
Ian "Molly" Meldrum is an absolute legend! I laughed my head off with the funny & outrageosly silly antics Molly has put himself,family & friends through.
A must read for any music tragic like myself who remembers the good 'ol days of Countdown & Hey,Hey!!- Sal

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas:

Inspired by the Black Matter movement,this is a powerful & gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice. This book is a fantastic read that has a relevant message for our time. -Lara


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes:

A beautifully, heart-warming, gut-wrenching story of adventure, love and determination. When colourful, bright, ordinary Louisa Clark meets stubborn, moody, wheelchair-bound Will Traynor, neither are prepared for the way their lives would change -Katie


The Dry by Jane Harper:

Australian crime fiction alw1ys has a unique feel to it, from the familiar characters to the slang. The setting too, like many Scandinavian crime novels, is incredibly unique – the vast expanses of the Outback are often as much a character as the detective or the suspects. With her debut novel, Jane Harper uses this with aplomb. Despite the land being so open and free, the heat of a drought and judging eyes of a small town give the writing a sense of intense claustrophobia. The Dry is home to many crime fiction tropes – the lone wolf detective, the small town with big secrets, a parallel mystery stemming from the protagonists childhood – but Harper makes them feel unique with the distinct Australian tinge. There are plot points that could occur no where other than the Australian outback, and the main character of Aaron Falk is gruff, hardworking and honest – decidedly Aussie values. The clever buildup of the investigation will keep you turning the pages, and the writing knows exactly when to speed up and slow down. There’s a reason The Dry has won so many awards – don’t miss it! - Jamie

Each week our QBD Spotlight visits a different store.
Keep an eye out for your local team!