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Shellharbour’s unforgettable reads…

Today our Shellharbour team highlights great books you can spend time getting lost in! 

Make sure you check out these great reads in store:

 

Sleeping with the lights on...

Growing up I was a huge Stephen King fan. But back in the stone age that was all we had, that and Dean Koontz!
I have since discovered some brilliant authors who give these two kings of scream a run for their money.

Want to be scared? Try these three books.. If you daaarrreeee

1. CJ Tudor - The Chalk Man

You can feel it in the woods, in the school and in the playground; you can feel it in the houses and at the fairground. You can feel it in most places in the small town of Anderbury . . . the fear that something or someone is watching you.

It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran - the Chalk Man.

He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body.

Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure.

Is history going to repeat itself?

2. Sarah Sparrow - A Guide For Murdered Children

We all say there is no justice in this world. But what if there really was? What if the souls of murdered children were able to return briefly to this world, inhabit adult bodies and wreak ultimate revenge on the monsters who had killed them, stolen their lives?

Such is the unfathomable mystery confronting ex-NYPD detective Willow Wylde, fresh out of rehab and finally able to find a job running a Cold Case squad in suburban Detroit. When the two rookie cops assigned to him take an obsessive interest in a decades old disappearance of a brother and sister, Willow begins to suspect something out of the ordinary is afoot. And when he uncovers a series of church basement AA-type meetings made up of the slain innocents, a new way of looking at life, death, murder and missed opportunities is revealed to him.

Mystical, harrowing and ultimately tremendously moving, A Guide for Murdered Children is a genre-busting, mind-bending twist on the fine line between the ordinary and the extraordinary

3. Sarah Pinborough - Behind Her Eyes

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

- Joanne

The more the merrier!

I love reading series, and getting immersed with the characters. I am currently reading the fantasy series Throne of Glass, by Sarah J Maas.
My all time favourite series is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Outlander is a historical fiction, adventure, time travel and a love story all rolled into one. There are currently eight books in the series, and everyone is waiting on book nine coming out, Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone. Claire and Jamie are the lead characters. I think Claire is so easily relatable because she is a modern woman from the 20th Century, thrown back through the standing stones back to 1743. The series has gained a new audience, with the books being made into a TV series. This has been being in the customers wanting to know what happens next with Jamie and Claire.
Diana Gabaldon also writes novellas and side stories to the Outlander series. Her most recent was Seven Stones to Stand Or Fall. With these stories, she expands on characters or storylines that don't quite fit in the with novel but still add to the series. These books keep us going while we wait for book nine! - Ann

 
For the thrill of it...

As a huge fan of the crime/thriller genre I have only recently discovered Chris Carter. I'm absolutely loving his stories. A good amount of gore, but they keep you guessing right up till the end. I have also recently read Karin Slaughters Pieces of Her and LOVED it; it's not a quick and easy read, but it keeps you wanting to turn the pages trying to figure out how it all comes together.

My all time favourite book is Marching Powder by Rusty Young. It's all about his experience of living in a Bolivian jail while he is travelling. He went to visit it one day and discovered that there was an amazing story to be told, so he decided to pay to live there while he wrote the story. There are some very graphic parts, but it gives you an almost unbelievable insight into how corrupt and crazy their jail systems are. We had Colombiano, Rusty's second book, as our August Book of the Month last year. This was also a great read. Although it was fiction based on true events that he has been told about first hand by child soldiers that he is now helping to rehabilitate. - Kellie

 

 

Keeping it real!

Jordan Peterson's Twelve Rules For Life is an interesting and motivating deconstruction of what it is that makes us human. Jordan, being a massive influence to a now rising political issue, never falters to be an entertaining, educated and just lovable conversationalist. The book, in which he tackles difficult sociopolitical issues head on, as well as his educated history in the field of clinical psychology is just a portion of what makes this read so enjoyable.

With his head first style towards deconstruction of belief, faith, morality and the condition of temporary human suffrage as a necessity, Twelve Rules For Life is one of my all time favorite titles and only indulges my love for Jordan Peterson and his wacky, crazy cowboy personality. This is a must read, for those who love to delve into the human condition, or just seek a little reassurance within. Jordan Peterson won't disappoint! - Ethan

Spotlight on QBD ShellHarbour

Our Shellharbour super-readers  have reviewed a bunch of fabulous titles for us today as they shine under our QBD Spotlight!

9780718159047Me Before You by Jojo Moyes:
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is a love story which explores the relationship between Louisa and Will. Thirty-five year old Will was once a high powered businessman who lived a life of action and adventure until he was victim of an accident that left him paralysed. Faced with the reality that he would never recover Will's outlook on life changes and he longs for death – something which horrifies his family. In a desperate attempt to try and change his outlook on life Will's family hire twenty-six year old Louisa as his personal carer. The relationship between these two characters does not start off smoothly, with Will making it very clear he wants no friendship from her. As time progresses you begin to see the shift between them as Louisa sets out to change his mind and give him a reason to look forward to each day. The story embeds many valuable life lessons, takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions (have the tissues ready!) and reminds you to cherish the things we so easily take for granted. - Adriana (Store Manager)

Risk by Fleur Ferris:
In an age dominated by social media communication and the world wide web, former police officer Fleur Ferris brings to light the inherent dangers facing society today in the thrilling young adult novel Risk. Taylor and Sierra are best friends, who like most of their friends, chat online to strangers with no care for the consequences nor ever facing any danger. This all changes however, when Sierra goes missing after meeting up with Jacob, a guy she has met online. As a former member of the child abuse squad Ferris creates a frighteningly realistic world where Taylor and Sierra could be your daughters, sisters, friends or neighbours and you are sucked into a thrilling mystery that holds you captive until the last sentence. - Maddi (Assistant Manager)

9781607066019Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples:
Following on from his major success “Y: The Last Man”, Brian K. Vaughn has set his penmanship on a much loftier tale of star crossing lovers in “Saga”. Concerning the blossoming relationship of Alanna and Marko, a couple hailing from two sides of a centuries old war, who have just given birth to a cross breed child who is now the target of both sides. While it may sound like a story done half to death, Vaughn's witty dialogue and imaginative world building (rendered stunningly by illustrator Fiona Staples) gives this series a huge edge over the majority of sci fi/fantasy comic books around today. - Tyler Heycott

Life or Death by Michael Robotham:
Life or Death is a crime fiction novel set predominately in Texas. The novel follows the story of Audie Palmer, a man who escapes from prison the day before he’s due to be released. A decade ago, seven million dollars went missing after the armed robbery which landed Audie in prison. Everybody wants answers, and only one man knows the truth. This book will have you captivated from page one as you attempt to discover the real reason Audie escaped. Robotham seamlessly switches from character to character, giving you an intimate portrayal of their thoughts and motivations throughout his writing.
The tenth novel from Michael Robotham is one you don’t want to miss! – Chloe

9780062442420Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison:
As a fan of The Girls Next Door, I knew I had to read Holly Madison's autobiography as soon as it came out. I simply could not believe that the images presented in the television series about the mansion and Hugh Hefner and the girls themselves were so heavily sugar-coated to the point that I should have received diabetes. Holly isn't afraid to tell it as it was, with Heff's behaviour off camera only being able to be described as that of a spoiled child and his treatment of the girls no different to the dirt beneath his feet. The courage that Holly has to come out and speak about her experience in one of the most well-known places in the world is nothing short of commendable as her book details the crazy world that is life with Hugh Hefner as part of the Playboy franchise. If you want to learn what lurks behind the velvet curtains and mansion walls, Holly's book is your ticket to the true Playboy story. - Amanda

Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling:
Why Not Me, written by writer, actor and comedian Mindy Kaling captures her life and every aspect of it. From body image, dating, work, writing, friends and everything inbetween, the essence of Mindy found in her television shows jumps off the pages as you read. Down to earth, witty and sarcastic this autobiography is a book that will have you laughing and wanting to spend a day in the life of Mindy Kaling. - Cassarn

9780099511663The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood:
“You wanted a women’s culture. Well, now there is one. It isn’t what you wanted, but it exists.”
Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a cleverly crafted narrative set in the Republic of Gilead, a futuristic dystopia in which women are commoditised and valued by their fertility. Described as both a feat of science fiction and a foreboding moral message about femininity and the enduring power of the patriarchy, Atwood’s work focuses on the highest class of fertile females whose names such as Offred and Ofglen identify them as daughters of their fathers, rather than autonomous beings.
The story is a delightful contrast narrated by Offred, who recalls life before the totalitarian Republic of Gilead was established, and how being chosen as ‘birthgivers’ changed right before her the attitudes of many women she once knew. She lives in a home where she, among other young women living there, must be impregnated by the man of the house, and struggles with the reality that failing to become pregnant will result in her disposal and demotion of human worth. Written in first person, Offred speaks straight to the reader of her illegal affair, and outlawed pursuits in reading, writing, books and board games. For fans of other dystopian fiction such as George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Lois Lowry’s The Giver, The Handmaid’s Tale is excellent science fiction and a memorable segue into feminist prose. - Hannah

Basic Vision: An Introduction to Visual Perception by Robert Snowden, Peter Thompson and Tom Troscianko:
Basic Vision is an eye-opening look into how and why we see the world the way we do. It details the intracies of infantile brain and eye development involved in our visual perception and how individualised neural networks create a unique experience of the world for every one of us. Using optical illusions and magic tricks, it explains how what we physically 'see', is not necessarily what we 'percieve' in terms of size, colour, motion, and three-dimensional space. While this may sound rather dry, the authors are distinctly British in their writing and the book is very engaging and humourous. A must read for those who wish to have a deeper understanding of why we perceive  what we think we see, and the influence this has on our lives. - Tyler James

Spotlight on QBD Shellharbour

This weekend the team at QBD Shellharbour  have piled a diverse selection of titles under the spotlight to keep you company.

9780007466696The Selection by Kiera Cass: Keeping with the trend of dystopic YA novels, The Selection is a world of eight different castes with the higher numbers living a life of luxury. Our heroine, America, is a Five, a musician who is selected along with 35 other girls to compete for the hand of Prince Maxon, a One. Despite not wanting to be there due to her love for another man, she competes anyway and realises there is a whole deal more going on behind the scenes. Take a pinch of The Hunger Games, mix in some Gossip Girl and just a hint of Reign and you have The Selection – a fun fantastical escape into a future world. - Maddi

9780330523622The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks: The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat is arguably the most well known book by the renowned British neurologist Oliver Sacks. A compilation of case histories of some of his more ‘interesting’ patients, Oliver Sacks delves into various aspects of brain functioning, demonstrated through the unusual manifestations of brain deficits, excesses and mental handicap. An incredible, engaging and insightful read, this book exposes the fragility of the ‘normal’ human perceptual experience and brings a humbling appreciation for the beauty of imperfection. A must-read for those interested in Psychology and the human experience. - Tyler J.

9780007538188Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern: Perhaps one of the easiest and most difficult books for me to read in a long time! Presented in the form of letters, emails and texts, Cecilia Ahern brings us a heart wrenching story about the unequivocal love born out of best friendship.
Did you ever read a book that you just wanted to punch in the face? Love, Rosie is one of those books. In the best way of course. A book that explores the seedy underbelly of passive aggressive, ill timed yet star crossed love - it's one to put on the old "To Read" list.
A witty, warm and an altogether whimsical read, guaranteed to make coldest of fish feel warm and fuzzy inside.- Linda

9780091917654The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler by Laurence Rees: Laurence Rees delivers a refreshing, unbiased account of Hitler and his involvement in WWII - prior, during and after. A popular topic, but rarely told with indifferent emotions that assist one in understanding the events that all began in 1889. This book ignites the fire within and begins the yearning for answers. Rees feeds the curiosity that often holds great stigma. This book is an essential read for anyone who enjoys military history -- and for those who don't. It offers a simple approach (with added definitions) for anyone beginning their WWII history tour, most definitely providing a titillating first military history read. Antony Beever remarked that is was 'a fascinating study' and you cannot disagree with any margin.
Once you have read The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler, Rees has an index of his titles all continuing to impress with a quality of writing. - Jessica

9781405910231Bared To You by Sylvia Day: Sylvia Day is a goddess amongst romance writers. Bared to You is a titillating page-turner designed to play to every woman's innermost passionate desires. Combining mystery, tragic pasts and romance, Eva and Gideon must deal with their own pasts in order to have a future together. Day is incredibly skilled at creating a visual masterpiece, with Gideon almost leaping off the page and into the real world.
If you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey, you'll love Bared to You and the Crossfire series! - Amanda

9780140167771The Secret History by Donna Tartt: Beautifully interweaving a college drama with a reverse whodunnit, Tarts novel is completely engrossing with it's intrigue and eccentric peculiarities. The story is told by the unreliable narrator, Richard Papen, about his time as a student in a New England college during which he becomes involved in a tight knit group that study Ancient Greek.
The narrative unfolds as dark secrets and shady intentions start to become known about his peers, and that changes everything. With the story paralleling a Greek tragedy, the Secret History is a book that will leave you shaken in the best possible way. - Tyler H.

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