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Team Elizabeth’s Epic Reads!

Our awesome Elizabeth team catch us up on what they have been reading today!
From musician's biographies to graphic novels, there's something for everyone.

Set The Boy Free by Johnny Marr:

Set The Boy Free is the story of musician Johnny Marr, the founder, producer, arranger, guitarist and songwriter of one of the greatest bands to come out of Manchester.... The Smiths.

I have been a fan of The Smiths since I was in high school. The Smiths music remains a huge influence on musicians still to this day. It's not a surprise that such a talented musician would also be a great writer. Johnny takes us through his early childhood love for music, his first guitar and his desire to write and play music from a young age. Of course the main part of this story is the story of The Smiths. This is the story I really wanted to know: How Johnny and his musical partner, Stephen Morrissey started the band and their work practices. Only together for a very short time, The Smiths disbanded under strange circumstances and to this day, have never reconciled. Johnny explains what happened at the time from his point of view, and delves into his relationship with The Smiths singer and lyricist. Morrissey may have a different story to tell, but this is Johnny's truth of The Smiths. Of course The Smiths was only the beginning of his music career and the book goes through all his work following, including his recent collaboration with award winning film music composer Hans Zimmerman. Johnny also touches on his addictions over time and the life changing consequences of becoming a father.

This is must read for any fan of The Smiths, and for anyone who loves great music in general. - Mark

The Killers of the Flower Moon: Oil, Money, Murder and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann:

In the latest narrative non-fiction masterpiece from David Grann - author of The Lost City of Z – we are taken back to 1920's Oklahoma, home to both the Osage Indian Nation and (in contemporary $$$) half a billion dollars worth of oil. Grann's work is a devastating glimpse into the violence and corruption of the past, beginning with the influence of colonialism and the displacement of Native Americans, culminating in the unfathomable influences of hatred and greed that encouraged murderers and conmen to their heart's content.

As the black gold transforms the OIN into the richest people per capita in the world at that time, they became the prime targets of murder and corruption. At the bloody hands of white businessmen, politicians and law enforcement hell bent on the theft of wealth and land rights, over sixty people were murdered, in cold blood. With a fledgling FBI struggling with the investigation, and the body count rising, J. Edgar Hoover finds an ally in Tom White: former Texas Ranger and pure, relentless detective - to work undercover amidst one of the most violent and devastating conspiracies in American History. A tale told from three perspectives, readers feel manifestations of power and fear, as shocking, true events unfold with the theatricality of films from the Wild West. In truth, the Oklahoma oil boom of the 20s generated enough revenue to eclipse the gold rush, four fold. Killers of the Flower Moon is the unravelling of a cover-up, a tragedy that has permeated generations since, and a critical examination of the awful things humans will do to each other for power, for money, and for oil...even today.

You will love this book if you enjoyed Upton Sinclair's There Will Be Blood, Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, or (especially) Phillip Meyer's The Son. - Amy

The Most Beautiful: My Life With Prince by Mayte Garcia:

There are not many people on this planet who have been a part of the private life of the legendary musician, Prince. His shocking passing at the age of 57 brought with it many stories about Prince, from many people who never really knew him quite the way Mayte Garcia did. At the time, Mayte didn't speak to any media about her life with Prince. Mayte was married to Prince for 3 years, was a member of his dance team for longer and the mother of his only child, who passed not long after being born. They held a special bond that only Mayte can reveal in this beautifully written book.

Mayte opens the book with a prologue that hypnotises you into her story, not unlike the way a belly dancer moves to captivate her audience. This story is also her story, the story of a dancer and how she made dancing her life. A life that would eventually become a part of Prince's life... and any Prince fan just wants to know a little bit more. - Mark

Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn:

"Concentration, focus, long-term thinking. Those are the qualities that separate a warrior from a mere flailing fighter."

Thrawn is the origin story of Grand Admiral Thrawn, and his relentless rise to power. This epic story uncovers the events that shaped one of the most iconic, cunning and ruthless warriors in the history of the Galactic Empire - first introduced in Timothy Zahn’s classic Star Wars books Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command.

Thrawn follows the Imperial military commander's rise to power, using logic and reasoning to plan out his next steps, even when they feel improbable to those surrounding him. Thrawn proves to have a singular tactical mind, one that Emperor Palpatine personally recognises and recruits into his military.

Thrawn is sent off to an Imperial academy, where he distinguishes himself as a brilliant tactical commander as he hunts down pirates and a group of insurgents. This version of Thrawn is indistinguishable from the original 1991 version. Thrawn appreciates art and recognises its value in understanding an enemy. He’s a strategic thinker, one who plans his moves carefully, rather than using aggression and strength to achieve his goals.

For the fans that have known and loved Thrawn from Timothy Zahn's previous works they'll be glad to know he has been preserved exactly how we would have expected. As a long time Star Wars fan and EU reader, Thrawn is a book I assumed would never happen following Disney's takeover of Lucasfilm. As someone whom has gradually accepted the new canon, the book is an awesome resurrection of one of the extended universe’s brightest points and coolest villains. - Todd

Michael In Pictures by Richard Simpkin:

Richard Simpkin's relationship with INXS started very earlier in their career: This book features hundreds of never-before-seen pictures of one of Australia's greatest ever rock stars, Michael Hutchence. Michael encouraged Richard to turn his hobby for taking pictures into a photography career. He has gone on to shoot many important people over the years including Nelson Mandela, Audrey Hepburn, Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt. Richard Simpkin was a fan from the very beginning and took one of the last ever pictures of Michael, before his death in 1997.
This book is a brilliant read amongst the hundreds and hundreds of photographs. Beautifully presented and a must for any INXS fan. Get this while they are in stock, they wont last long! - Mark

The Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin & George Perez & Ron Lim:

An epic crossover to stand the test of time (and space!).

Collecting the original story from the early 90's, Infinity Gauntlet is an incredibly fun read full of absolutely ridiculous double page spreads of wonderfully illustrated cosmic battles. Marvel collects heroes from The Avengers and The X-Men to The New Warriors and the mysterious Adam Warlock (set to arrive in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Guardians of the Galaxy 3!). We follow Thanos as he holds, what is quite honestly, a ludicrous amount of power in his attempts to impress Mistress Death.

While the illustrations aren't exactly the prettiest when compared to modern standards, the sheer scope and size of this event makes this story well worth a read (especially with the upcoming Marvel films venturing into this territory!). - Brayden

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

Spotlight on QBD Elizabeth 2016

 

Our Elizabeth team have awed us with their brilliant reviews this weekend!
We know what we're adding to our reading list...

 

The Missing Beaumont Children by Michael Madigan:

9780975674673 The 50 year mystery of the missing Beaumont children has been permanently etched into the minds and psyche of South Australians, if not all Australians ever since that dreadful day in January 1966. The three Beaumont children left their home that morning for a day at the beach but they were never to return home again.
This book brings together what little information the police have been able to gather over the days, months and years following the children's disappearance. The book talks about many of the persons of interest as well as touching on other disappearances around the country and whether they could be connected. Unfortunately there is no happy ending in this book. The Beaumont children are still missing. The person or persons involved have never been caught and our society is still questioning why someone would do such a horrible thing? - Mark (Store Manager)

The Dry by Jane Harper:

When a drought stricken rural town is rocked by the sudden and unexpected murder/suicide and the supposed events surrounding it, an old family friend, an Inspector from Melbourne is asked to look into the case, and finds that all is not what it seems and someone in this small Aussie country town is hiding a massive secret. You must read this well written Australian story, with well developed characters and a twist that you wont see coming until the climactic end, The Dry wont disappoint. - Mark (Store Manager)

Marvel Star Wars: Darth Vader by Gillen Kieron:

9780785192558 MARVEL’s Darth Vader series starts off strong with this collection of comic book issues. Explore what Darth Vader was up to during the time between Episode IV: A New Hope and Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
See how he handles the ever growing Rebel Alliance and proves to both the Emperor and the reader that he is still one of the scariest (and coolest!) villains of all time. Both the brilliant writing and exquisite art styles keep you immersed in the Star Wars galaxy as both fan favourites and newcomers meet with the Dark Lord - including Jabba the Hutt, Boba Fett and countless others!
Get in the mood for more of his powerful presence with his upcoming film appearance in this December’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”! - Brayden

You Know Me Well by David Leviathan & Nina LaCour:

A beautiful story about an unlikely friendship, bound during the course of one crazy night. Askate and Mark share social anxieties and the pursuit of their first loves, they come to find the best allies are often those we pass by everyday. A perfect story for fans of John Green, or anybody who skips along to the sound of their own beat. - Amy

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris:

9780099532934 The writing in this book is beyond spectacular, and is in my Top 5 books of all time. As well as weaving together several character arcs from many different walks of life across a number of years, this novel introduces us to perhaps the most infamous fictional Serial Killer of all time: Hannibal Lector.
A series of family murders begin to take place in the early 1980's which force veteran FBI Criminal Profiler Will Graham out of retirement to track down a killer who refers to himself as the Great Red Dragon. Aiding him in his investigation is the notorious Hannibal, who Will captured just a few years prior. Hannibal seems to always know who the Dragon is, as he uses his background in therapy and psychology to manipulate Will Graham. As the families start to get brutalised in a more refined way, Graham knows he has to conquer his own internal demons to figure out who is killing, and he has to do so quickly.
An excellent, genre defining crime thriller. - Ashley

The Five Greatest Warriors by Matthew Reilly:

NY Times bestselling author Matthew Reilly returns in the third instalment in Reilly's series to feature Jack West Jr. The adventurer from the Australian outback and his band of men, women and children race against several nefarious groups to defuse a disastrous celestial event. The planetary entity known as the Dark Star, the evil twin to our sun, is set to return to our solar system, igniting a massive negative energy source that will destroy all life on Earth. But if anyone can save the world, it's Jack. There are bad guys to kill and riddles to solve. Readers should hang on to their seatbelts as Jack fights tooth and nail to save the World.
4 out 5 stars, better than its predecessor. Reilly is at his brilliant best as he swiftly takes readers from one magnificent action set piece to another.
Note: Be on the look out October 18th 2016, for Matthew Reilly's next Jack West Jr. Novel, 7 years in the making The Four Legendary Kingdoms. - Todd

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

Spotlight on QBD Elizabeth

Today the team at our Elizabeth store share their latest reads with us as they go under the Spotlight!

9781439177723I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes: With so many people raving about this book currently, I decided to give this 800+ page spy thriller a go. I haven't read too many spy thrillers in my time (I usually prefer to watch a spy movie rather than sit down with a book), however once I started reading Pilgrim, I found like many of my colleagues, I couldn't put it down. The narrative sweeps you into the scene and puts you right in the mind of our hero, a mind that doesn't think like normal. Primarily the book deals with a massive terrorist attack on the US that threatens 300 million lives and several smaller crimes that in turn, link up in a common thread. Pilgrim is the only person who has the ability to stop the terrorist before it's too late. The search to find him had me intrigued for hundreds of pages and I certainly would recommend this book to anyone looking for something new and fresh to read. I can't wait to see the movie if it eventually becomes one.... - Mark (Store Manager)

9780099537885LA Confidential by James Ellroy: Running through the veins of Ellroy's Los Angeles Police Department of the '50s, was a culture of celebrity, brutality and corruption. Three very different cops are caught in the cross-hairs of murder, the heroin trade immediately after Mickey Cohen's incarceration and the politics of a Police force investigating their own. Ed Exley steps out from behind his hero father's shadow, policing by the book and exploiting his aptitude for politics, one promotion after another. Bud White is still hung up on his own childhood, taking his anger out on perpetrators as if the long arm of the law ends with his fists. Jack Vincennes revels in the fortunes of Hollywood that come from selling the stories behind his badge, until he realises, he's forgotten all the reasons he joined the force in the first place. When this unlikely team band together, their investigations unearth a plethora of conspiracies, challenging their roles within the Police department and each man's world view. This nihilistic, neo-noir story is a fantastic weave of character and plot. Blunt force prose hits all the hallmarks of a detailed crime story - minus the romanticism of pop culture cop tales - and shatters the hopeful myths associated with post WWII Hollywood and the American Dream. - Amy (2IC)

9781742979908Gone by Michael Grant: Forget The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner series!
Gone, is book one of the best young adult fiction series you will ever read. Set in a small town in southern California. One day, everyone of the age of 15 and older simply vanishes out of thin air. Completely gone. The fictional American town of Perdido Beach and the surrounding area, become encased within an impenetrable energy barrier.
Cut off from the outside world, every teenager and child left trapped within must suddenly fend for themselves. As just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television and no way to get help.
Hunger begins to threaten. Bullies reign supreme against the weak, townies against the rich kids. Powerful against the powerless. The animals are mutating, and the teens and children themselves are changing. Developing unimaginable, dangerous and deadly powers. It's a terrifying new world as sides are being chosen, as a fight for power is shaping up. For the teens, you begin to fear for your upcoming 15th birthday as on that day, you disappear just like everyone else. For the rest of the children, they'll be lucky to live that long. As all the while, a sinister creature lurks in the darkness...
Gone, will hook you from the very first page and keep you guessing until the very end. By the time you're done, you'll be itching to push forward in to the next five books in the series that each live up to its predecessor. As the children grow stronger, and the stakes grow higher. Each book is one thrill ride after another.
It's a world without adults and normal has crashed and burned. When life as you know it, ends at 15.- Todd

9780571273188Palo Alto by James Franco: Palo Alto can be broken down into sixteen short stories about troubled adolescent youth growing up in California. the stories follow no order and are a little messed up, but I still found myself reading it in one go. Franco's "take no prisoners" approach to writing makes it an interesting read, almost like the mumblings of a mad man in some aspects. His characters are embedded in a life of drugs, sex and alcohol and as much as I didn't want to enjoy this book, it ended up being addictive. - Ashley

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: Gillian Flynn's critically acclaimed novel 'Gone Girl' sets an extraordinarily high benchmark for the thriller genre.
By far the most outstanding feature of the novel is the characterisation. Flynn steers clear of stereotypes as she presents two main characters, whose voices are so complex that the binary
of 'good' and 'evil' is 9780753827666shockingly insufficient to use anywhere near this review. This dynamic propells a winding plot, twisting and turning with unflinching intensity. The first part of the novel paints a vivid picture of the aforementioned character's backgrounds and details their volatile relationship. While this is an important part of the narrative, the sometimes sluggish pace may detract from the immersiveness of the book for some readers. It is worth reading further because the rest of the book makes for exhilarating reading,
culminating in a surprising and satisfying finale. Once you've finished 'Gone Girl', you are left wanting more of Gillian Flynn. - Sarah

L-R Ashley, Sarah, Todd, Amy (2iC) and Mark (Store Manager)

L-R Ashley, Sarah, Todd, Amy (2iC) and Mark (Store Manager)

Every week we will feature a different store on our blog.

Keep your eyes peeled for your local store!

Meant To Be…AWESOME!

Our QBD Elizabeth store had the most fabulous visitor this week- Fiona McCallum!

She currently has a brand new title in store 'Meant To Be' and even signed a few copies!  The final title in the Button jar series, it is the inspiring conclusion to Emily's story.

meant to be

Emily Oliphant's life finally seems to be settling down. Her new boyfriend Jake has joined her on the farm, they are looking forward to starting their life together, and her financial security seems safe and sound.

They both love the peace and tranquillity of the setting of Emily's beloved old cottage which had been reduced to rubble by her deceased husband. Jake suggests they rebuild it - it will be a big job, but a good project for them: a potential business for Emily, and a good advertisement for his building company.

Their plans and the building progress well. But where Emily is involved, life doesn't tend to run smoothly for long. This time it is her two best friends who face a personal crisis and Emily finally gets the chance to repay them for the kindness and support they gave her when she needed it. But now she has a new dilemma. How will she and Jake announce their news to Barbara and David? And what will happen to their friendship when they do?

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(Fiona McCallum with staff member Ash and her brand new book!)