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Check Out QBD Campbelltown’s Reading Recommendations!

 

Our Campbelltown team have leaped into the Spotlight this week with their fabulous reading recommendations! There's a book for everyone in this great list:

Mirror Sydney by Vanessa Berry:

The idea of an alternate city is an alluring one, explored by writers like China Mieville and Neil Gaiman in fiction, and you can step through the looking-glass for real in Sydney too, if you just look closely enough.

'Mirror Sydney' takes us on a journey through a city of oddities and follies; ghost signs, murals, abandoned shops, subterranean spaces,derelict amusement parks, memories and lost places. It is another world of wonder and ordinary strangeness, in plain sight to thousands of people every day but barely noticed on our busy way to our destinations. Vanessa's dedication to urban exploration is astonishing, and her keen eye and curiosity lead her to discover and share stories that not many of us know, which not only makes this a fascinating read but also an important document of small histories left behind in a rapidly changing city.

This is one of the best books I've read about Sydney, an alternative guidebook to the city and suburbs that shows a refreshingly different and infinitely more interesting place than that portrayed in glossy travel magazines. I love that it is written in a way that makes me feel as if I am right there exploring the city with the author, and the zine-style hand-drawn illustrations peppered throughout the book just add to the charm of it all. If you love people-watching and notice little quirky things and wonder why they are they way they are, then you will also love 'Mirror Sydney'.

QBD Bookalike: Delia Falconer's 'Sydney' is a memoir/history of the Emerald City in a similar vein, a bittersweet love-letter filled with nostalgia and exploration of Sydney's darkness as well as its bright sheen. - Marica

Bloodline by Claudia Gray:

I'm a sucker for Star Wars so I had to get my hands on this book. Claudia Gray's Bloodline tells the story of Princess Leia and her struggle to come to terms with the fact that she is Darth Vader's daughter while juggling her marriage to the infamous Han Solo and her demanding position as senator in the galactic senate. I was always curious about how Leia must have felt having Darth Vader as her father and this book saved me the trouble. There are awesome new characters as well as our old favourites. New worlds are explored and many new dangers present themselves. Princess Leia is brave, independent and wiser than ever before and is pushed to the very limit - will she overcome? May the Force be with us because this book is out of this world - literally! A must read for any Star Wars fan. - Jade

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins:

Stephanie Perkins definitely succeeded with writing a thrilling and gory novel inspired by 90s slasher teen movies. There's Someone Inside Your House is filled with a cute romance that will make you have butterflies in your stomach whilst also making you want to vomit out those butterflies from the graphic depictions of mutilated and dismembered bodies as a result of murder. Overall, this novel will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions as you fangirl over the main couple and use your detective skills to uncover who the murderer is and when they will next strike. - Beth

Love Simon by Becky Albertalli:

'Love Simon', originally known as 'Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda', by Becky Albertalli, is a hilariously fun and infinitely adorable book that will make you laugh, cry and feel all tingly inside just because of how cute this book truly is. It's a classic Young Adult high school love story but with a LGBTQIA+ spin to it, which is what makes this book so incredibly special and one of the first of its kind. Not only that, but it's also the base material of the amazing new movie 'Love Simon', which has already made a huge impact worldwide for being one of the first 'mainstream' LGBTQIA+ movies.

'Love Simon' tells the story of 16-year-old Simon who is gay, but hasn't told anyone yet. He secretly emails with another guy whose pen name is Blue and they discuss everything from their feelings and thoughts about being gay to which flavour Oreo is the best. But when one of these emails is discovered by someone, Simon is blackmailed into doing something he doesn't particularly want to do, otherwise his sexual identity will become known by anyone. This spurs a series of events that will keep you entertained from start to finish with relatable characters, awkward moments, and just a whole bunch of cute and fluffy feelings all rolled into one extraordinary book. - 5 Stars - Ella

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi:

For a debut novel, Tomi Adeyemi has done amazingly. There was so much hype surrounding this book and it lived up to all of it. A beautiful, vibrant and magical book about people rebelling against their oppressors. There are so many parts of the book that I love but the characters are my absolute favourite. They're so well written with great back stories and even better character development. I could not recommend this book more than I already do. 5 Stars!! - Maria

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski:

Sapkowski's writing is a marvel to behold, his style is as unique as his characters. I found this book gripping in a way few other books have been for me and would recommend it to those getting into reading again or who are already established fans of fiction or fantasy. - Lachlan

Didn't see anything you like? Never fear!

The team at Campbelltown can help you find something to suit your taste. Pop into store any time.

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Pacific Fair’s Heart Warmers

Our Pacific Fair team have picked out a few heart-warming reads for you to snuggle up with!

Including one for your furry best friend!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows:

This is a warm, funny, tender and thoroughly entertaining story, that actually has you experiencing every emotion. It affirms that the power of books do indeed nourish our minds and proves that reading brings people together. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it. 5 stars. - Jo

Heart Thoughts: A Treasury of Inner Wisdom by Louise L Hay:

This uplifting book "heart thoughts" by Louise L Hay, is such an inspiring beauitful medicine with little quotes and messages."Make this your new motto: I go for the joy! Life is here for me to enjoy today!". When the storms roll into our lives we need some sunshine. This book definitely can relate to us all and open our hearts to small things we forget in this everyday life. 5 stars.- Ane

What Dogs Want by Arden Moore:

What Dogs Want by Arden Moore
An interesting and sometimes funny look into your fur babies mind, along with some great photos it also has information from vets who give you some insight into what is going on in there heads and bodies. The section on how to respond is great and easy to follow, if only children came with the same information book. 4.5 stars - Karen

Lang Leav's Poetry:

Lang Leav writes poetry that will stay with you forever. She mixes in beautiful language with unique illustrations to create a masterpiece. About love, life and everything in the universe, there's bound to be a Lang Leav poem for everyone. All of her poetry collections offer something different so you'll never get bored. Highly recommended for fans of Insta-poets like Rupi Kaur and Beau Taplin. 4.5 stars - Annie

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Woodgrove’s Wonderful Reads

 

Check out the books our Woodgrove team have reading!

Full of thrills, spills and #feels, these books will have you hooked until the last page.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris:

In one of the darkest parts of world history comes the touching love story of Lale and Gita, two Slovakian Jews, who fall in love in the most unlikely place, Auschwitz. He was the tattooist who used his position to help others and gave hope to so many when their was none. She was his love, his reason to survive through the most horrible times. This incredible story, left untold for so many years, is unbelievably touching and sad. I couldn't put it down. - Julie

I am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells:

“You are evil, said myself. You are Mr. Monster. You are nothing. You are me."
John Wayne Clever isn't your typical 16 year old. Besides working with his mum at a mortuary, he is obsessed with serial killers.. and is trying not to become one. In order to survive high school, John gives himself a strict set of rules to follow: don't hurt animals, always compliment instead of insult, see a therapist.. don't kill anyone. Most of his urges can be curbed with his work in the mortuary and his love for exploring dead bodies, but when a series of murders occur that are anything but ordinary, John must unleash his Sociopath tendencies.. and let Mr. Monster roam free. A great novel for lovers of the Dexter books/tv show and creepy, paranormal YA fiction. - Emily

Origin by Dan Brown:

This is another epic tale from Dan Brown. Robert Langdon, Harvard University professor, receives an invitation from his friend and former student Edward Kirsch, a brilliant scientist and inventor. He claims he will reveal an astonishing breakthrough that will challenge what we all believe about human existence. Just before making his announcement, he is killed. Thus begins a quest by Robert to find his killer and to discover the cryptic password that will reveal Kirsch's secret. - Sue

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera:

A heart- warming, tear-jerking book all rolled in to one. Adam Silvera's title may have you thinking that this book is about death, but it is actually all about life. Chance and circumstance bring two people together in a story that will leave you with 'all the feels'. It has now become one of my all time favourites and I will automatically read every Adam Silvera book. - Kylie

The Fourth Monkey by JD Barker:

For fans of Silence of the Lambs and Se7en, comes this twisted and gruesome novel by JD Barker. Detective Sam Porter has been hunting the 4th Monkey Killer or 4MK for years and the serial killer has just turned up dead, but on the killer's body is a clue that there is one last victim so the Detectives must race against the clock to find the victim before its too late. If you love a great psychological thriller with some horror thrown in, give this a go. - Belinda

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini:

This is a story of two women, Mariam and Laila. These women live in Afghanistan with the same man. A man they were forced into marriage with at a young age. This is a story of the struggles and hardships they face at the hands of Rasheed, not only through physical but also emotional abuse. This book is a fictional story about fictional women based on the real struggles women in the Middle East face every day. A must read. - Evelyn

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Epping’s Epic Reads

From Manga to Historical Fiction our Epping team have some epic reads to add to your reading pile!

Second Glance by Jodi Picoult:

I'm the first to admit I'm Jodi Picoult's biggest fan. But you can't deny the way her work never disappoints! She finds a way to dive deep into your thoughts so that you're still thinking about her characters and dilemmas, hours (or weeks, or years) later. You can't help from inserting yourself into the complex situations her characters find themselves in – what if that was me? What would I do?

Second Glance is definitely not an exception. Even though it was originally released 15 years ago, it has stood the test of time and does not fail to captivate the reader's mind from page one, all the way through to page 500.

Like all of her books, Second Glance starts simply – an old man, waiting to die decides to sell his land, which he has held on to for many years because his wife, Cecilia, and their child died there, to a developer. His only request – build a bagel shop. But when a native-American tribe claims the land is a native and sacred burial ground, weird things begin to happen to the town – rose petals rain from the sky, coffee machines only brew lemonade, and the ground freezes in the middle of Summer. Frustrated by these setbacks, a paranormal investigator, Ross, is hired to rid the land of its ghost. However, what Ross finds is not what anyone expects.
This story jumps from 1932 to 2000 to consider whether Cecilia really died during childbirth or was she murdered? Is it possible to solve a murder more 60 years later? Is it possible to love someone you have never met?

With complicated characters who have all crossed paths at some point in their past, Jodi Picoult reminds us that there are some ghosts we can't run away from. This is one of her best books, so make sure you give it a read! - Jacqueline

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett:

A spellbinding novel that grabbed me from the first page. The Pillars of the Earth is a must for any fan of historical fiction. The novel centres around the town of Kingsbridge and the building of a cathedral there. Set in the middle ages, with a wonderful ensemble of characters, Pillars of the Earth is an ambitious novel with a compelling plot full of twists. I was up all night reading, wanting to know what happened next in Kingsbridge! It truly is a masterpiece. - Danielle

Everless by Sara Holland:

I really enjoyed the concept for this book, which was quite different to anything I've read before! This book is the perfect sci-fi-romance hybrid, which in my opinion is quite hard to balance without one aspect overshadowing the other. However, where most books that fall under this category often end up having the storyline eclipsed by the romance, Sara Holland managed to find a very happy balance. Everless is set in a pre-modern world where alchemy, the practise of finding a solution to mortality, is predominant and has resulted in blood being made into a form of currency called 'blood-irons'. The rich get to live forever and the poor bleed themselves dry trying to pay their debts and fund their means for survival.

The protagonist, a peasant girl named Jules, is desperate to find 'blood-irons' to give to her rapidly deteriorating father, and accepts a job working as a kitchen hand at the castle of Everless, where her and her father fled when she was a child after she witnessed a crime. Her father begs her not to take the job, and warns her to stay away from the queen, who will be visiting the Everless castle. She goes anyway, against his wishes, and is reunited with her childhood love and his rude brother who goes out of his way to make Jules feel targeted and unwanted.

The queen arrives, and takes a strange interest in Jules, which Jules returns. Against her better judgement, she takes a job as the queen's hand and becomes fast friends with her adoptive daughter, the Princess, and her handmaiden Caroline. As Jules peeks behind the grandeur and witnesses incredible things, Jules makes a shocking discovery about her life and identity, which turns her world upside down. (Any more information and I'll spoil the best part!) The characters are well developed and well-integrated into the book, and every character plays an essential part to the storyline, which I found very refreshing. For anyone who is a fan of a fast-paced science fiction novels with a touch of romance, I'd recommend picking up this book, and maybe a bowl of popcorn too! – Tiana

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata:

Death Note (デスノート) is a Japanese manga series

The story follows Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a supernatural notebook from a Shinigami (death God) named Ryuk that grants its user the ability to kill anyone whose name he writes in it and face he can picture.
The series centers around Light’s attempts to create and rule a world “cleansed of evil” as “God” using the notebook, and the efforts of a detective known as L to stop him.

The character development is monumental. It takes you along with Light and the other characters as they grow and morph into solid, individual personalities.

What begins with a stand up honour student, Light, experimenting with the Death Note grows into a full on obsession to purge the earth of anyone HE doesn’t think is worthy of his ‘new world order’. Little by little he begins crossing lines and teeters on the edge of insanity.

Throughout the series Ryuk brings light comedic relief with dark undertones. This apple loving, trouble seeking death God makes frequent visits to Light, nudging him and guiding him. It’s very reminiscent of a cat playing with a mouse.
L, the detective who is responsible for hunting down ‘Kira’ (Light) is Japan’s BEST detective with the highest success rate when it comes to capturing criminals.

When we meet L for the first time he is not what most people expect. A pasty white, socially awkward introvert with a lethal mind.
Although L is awkward and his calculating dialogue is humorous to read sometimes, you find yourself relating to him and sympathising with him more and more as the story progresses. Even the way he holds a telephone, although quite funny, is endearing.

All in all, Death Note is a 5 out of 5 star story which grips you. It will make you laugh, cry and yell with anger at the characters. The plot will take you on a roller coaster until you don’t know which way is up and who is innocent any more.
I highly recommend this read (and watch). It is one of my favourites and I'm sure when you read it, it will be one of yours too! - Jess

The Secret of Excalibur by Andy McDermott:

This is a great action thriller about good verses evil in the mould of Matthew Reilly and Clive Cussler.
Our heroes , archaeologist Nina Wilde and ex-SAS Soldier Eddie Chase are on the hunt for King Arthur's legendary sword excalibur. It is said to hold great power for whoever wields it.

But, they are not the only ones wanting to find it. However , unlike Nina and Eddie, the villians in this story want to use the sword's power for evil purposes.
Heaps of action but slightly far fetched at times. The way Eddie Chase is portrayed sometimes in this series , I reckon he could jump out of an aeroplane without a parachute and land on his feet. Then tackle 30 bad guys and be the only one left standing.

But in saying that, this novel is great escapism if you want a good book to read without taking it too seriously. - Peter

Member of the family by Dianne Lake:

Dianne Lake's story of her life in the Manson family is one of those books that takes you on an incredible journey, not only because of the first hand account of what Dianne went through herself as a young teenager, but also the insight into Charles Manson himself and the events that led to the infamous Tate/La Bianca murders that marked the brutal end of the 60's.

Dianne writes her account from her childhood through her troubled teenage years and then to adulthood, all written very honestly and providing a vivid description of the psychedelic, free-loving, hippy 60's flower child era and the idealistic beliefs that were held in high regard at that time in history.

This book is a must read for anyone interested in the Manson counterculture cult and for those like myself that are intrigued about Manson himself and how an egotistical madman was able to brainwash his followers to such a degree that they happily committed the brutal murders of nine innocent people. - Daniela

Because you Love to Hate me. by Ameriie:

This book is a collection of 13 short stories, many based on classics and fairy tales.
However, they focus more on the villains rather than the heroes.
The stand out short story for me was Jack and the Beanstalk. There is a dark twist in the story that you won't see coming!
Some of the stories have been written in a modern way. The story of King Arthur and Lancelot has been written as a series of text messages.
Also, the characters “Shirley” Homes and Moriarty are students at a local high school. These stories are great spins on classic tales. Great read for young adult readers. - Sarah

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Every week a different QBD team lets us know what they've been reading!
Keep an eye out for your local store.

Happy First Birthday QBD Wollongong!

 

Our Wollongong store is having their first birthday this weekend, March 4th!

Make sure you pop on in and wish them a Happy Birthday!

 

 

We asked the team at Wollongong what they have loved reading over the past year. There's some pretty amazing titles in this list!

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald:

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Set in the year 1922, The Great Gatsby is a story of the death of the American dream. It is a wistful tale of lost love and the inability to recapture the past. Jay Gatsby's love for Daisy Buchanan is one of passion, greed and sorrow. Fitzgerald takes us on a journey into the post World War One Jazz Era of lost souls, old money, dazzling parties and bootlegging. The narrator, Nick Carraway is an outsider and one deeply affected by the events of that summer. He weaves a tale juxtaposing the grandeur of Gatsby's parties and the loneliness one can feel even when surrounded by hundreds of people and more money than you could ever spend in a lifetime. Obsession and unconditional love are flawed and sometimes fatal. - Mel (Store Manager)

Green Arrow Volume One by DC Comics:

The DC universe rebirth did not fail to its mark with Green Arrow vol. 1. A fast paced introduction quickly reintroduces the Emerald Archer with the surprising but welcome addition of Black Canary, bringing back and potentially restarting DC's powerhouse Duo and most beloved couple. Oliver's life takes an unexpected twist as Dinah brings into question the sole reason as to why he fights, raising the question as to why he stands up to the big guy, when he is the big guy. In a sense of unfortunate timing, the return of a family foe in Shado and the betrayal of his half sister Emi, se's Oliver fighting to not only stop crime, but to convince himself he is indeed fighting for what is right. - Riley (Relief Manager)

The Secret History Of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost:

As a huge fan of the TV show, this is an admittedly biased review, but this book is everything fans of the show could have wanted. Deepening the lore, tying up loose ends, and even retconning some of the not so great elements from the original show, Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost has created a book that both satiates lingering questions while also teasing out new ones. With another book announced coming out in October, after the conclusion of the new season, now's the time to get stuck into the history of the remarkable place that is Twin Peaks. - Tyler

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty:

One of her first novels, The Husband's Secret precedes the popular Big Little Lies and is a must-read for any Moriarty fans. An intricate story about a perfectionist mother and wife, the novel takes many twists and turns after Cecilia discovers a long-hidden secret about her husband. Like many of Moriarty's books, the story involves a number of characters that build up to a suspenseful ending you won't expect. A personal favourite, and one of those books you just can't put down. - Hannah

Macca the Alpaca by Matt Cosgrove:

The cutest way possible to explain bullying and brains over brawn! Macca the Alpaca is small, friendly and loves cuddles. His existence is carefree until he meets the bully Harmer the Llama. This is a gorgeous and funny tale for all ages. - Meg