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QBD Spotlight: Mt Druitt’s Latest Reads

Say hello to our team at Mt Druitt! This week they tell us all about what they've been reading...

Wind Dragons 01: Dragon's Lair by Chantal Fernando:

"Never Judge a Book By Its Cover!"
I kept putting this book aside because the cover didn't grab me BUT how silly was I! It was a great read, for romance, I could not put it down and read it in a day. I ended up buying the rest of the series the next day!
When you catch your man cheating you think a night out is just what you need. That's what Faye does and ends up getting sweet revenge with Eric's brother, who also turns out to be in a motorcycle gang. Faye and Dex had a one night stand but that quickly turns into a lot more than what they both bargained for...

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick:

I have never been one for reading non fiction but this book is absolutely phenomenal. The way Nathaniel Philbrick retells this historical tale really transports you to the frightening situations that occurred on the Essex and just how the crew survived their terrible ordeal. In the Heart of the Sea truly is a must read for anyone who wants to be completely immersed in a true story. - Naomi

Ottilie Colter and The Narroway Hunt by Rhiannon Williams:

Even though this can be classed as a childrens fiction book, anyone is bound to enjoy this book of daring adventure, timeless friendships and terrifying monsters. In the middle of the night Ottilie's brother is whisked away from her, scared and alone Ottilie packs her things to follow and find him, while stumbling onto a secret operation that fights against a hidden evil that threatens the very life she knows. Thrown into a recruitment process to train as a huntsman while keeping her true identity secret, Ottilie must master abilities that she never even thought about, as well as keeping the world her nerve, her brother and her secret safe. From swamps, caves and mossgrass; to stone castle strongholds, unforgettable friends and adventure. This book puts you in the middle of the action, and will have you on edge waiting in anticipation for the next in the Narroway Trilogy! - Kim C

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry:

“A must read for those who love action, mystery and romance!”

Katy McGarry is a brilliant author and this book is no exception to her brilliance. The story follows the story of Emily who quickly finds herself upended from her normal life of safety and routine, into a world of the motorcycle club 'the Reign of Terror' run by her biological father. Spending a summer there seems like an impossible task for Emily, one filled with secrets and closed doors. That is until she meets Oz, a prospective member who is assigned to protect her from a rival gang. Oz is everything she never thought she wanted and yet can't help but be drawn in by him. Can she survive the summer, discover secrets which may be best uncovered, and keep her heart intact? Only time will tell. This book is a wonderful read which keeps you up all night turning pages, desperate to find out how it ends! I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who is a sucker for a good love story with a fantastic cast of interesting and fascinating characters. It is a book that you never want to end, and luckily for us, it doesn't as the series continues in 'Walk the Edge' with a new set of main protagonists!
- Naomi

Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth:

Enemies since birth, separate fated families living on either side of the divide. When Akos is forced to serve Cyra. The daughter of the family who have been his families enemies since he was born the tension is clear. But as they both independently fight for survival, that recognise that together they can create more than just political turmoil. This story is mystical, magical, enchanting and ACTION PACKED. 4 stars/5. - Courtney

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo:

When a gang can make the impossible possible you know they are not to be messed with. Kaz Brekker and his gang of Dregs are tasked with breaking into the Ice Court to retrieve a scientist who can alter the fate of the Grisha as they know it. This book is action packed, fill with character depth and a unique story in a unique universe. This book was so good I didn't want it to end. Savour every page. Remember, no mourners, no funerals. 5/5 stars.
- Courtney

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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

Team Eastland’s Latest Reads

Our Eastland team tell us all about some of their latest reads in this week's Spotlight on QBD!
There's romance, thrills, horror... and Harry Potter!

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a thriller unlike any other. The Swedish novel is full of unexpected twists and turns which are only magnified by the beautiful complexity of its main characters; the charming truth crusader, Mikael Blomkvist, and the mysterious, stoic Lisbeth Salander.
Through this unlikely pair’s investigation, Stieg Larsson’s spellbinding text sheds a powerful light on the so often diminished sexual crimes against women in Sweden, and society’s attempt to sweep it under the rug.
Whether you are a lover of crime fiction or just looking for something different, this book is a must read. - Katrina

 

The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus(Trans. Justin O'Brien):

When you see that someone has the last line of a book tattooed on his forearm, you can be reasonably assured he has some investment in it... Having read it three times, and having vowed to read it next in its original language, I can honestly say The Myth of Sisyphus has made a profound difference in my life; it has contributed considerably to the human being I am today. It has made me more myself. Through a form that can only be described as lyrical-prose, Camus considers the question: in the face of the absurd condition we find in living, why live? Why not die? The condition of the Absurd is fundamental to this question, as is how we respond to it. For Camus, the Absurd can be summed up as our compulsion to demand meaning from a universe that lacks the capacity to adequately provide this kind of meaning. Our only option is to live in the tension between these opposing conditions of our existence. He explores this Absurd Heroism in a number of ways, but finishes on the book's eponymous Sisyphus, an ancient Greek king who was punished by the gods for his arrogance by being compelled to push a boulder up a mountain for all eternity, only to have it roll back down every time he reaches the top. The last line: 'It is necessary to imagine Sisyphus happy' places the dynamic of this tension in our imaginations, not so much in our sense of reason specifically. And while this is a book of ideas, it is also beautiful to the point of poetry. - Jeremy

The Greatest Gift by Rachael Johns:

Harper thinks her life is where she wants it to be. Great job, great marriage, great friends! She believes that her husband Samuel and her, are happy with their decision to not have children, but an interview on her popular radio program, about infertility struggles, sets her on an altruistic path to help Claire & Jasper become parents.

Claire & Jasper are a young married couple, running a successful Hot Air Ballooning company with family. The one thing missing in their otherwise perfect life is a child. Can Harper, unknown to them prior to her interviewing them, be the answer to their dreams?
An emotional roller-coaster ensues for all parties involved, as well thought out life plans change and relationships are tested and re-established.

The Greatest Gift is a contemporary tale of modern baby-making, full of joy and heartache. Johns' move from writing rural romance to modern women's fiction has been successful. As much as I still enjoy all her “chook lit”, I eagerly await her next foray in the pool of contemporary modern women's fiction. Well worth a read, but have the tissue box handy! - Susan

Pet Sematary by Stephen King:

What would you do if you lost everything that was dear to you? How far would you go to get it back?

These are the questions that King's horror classic Pet Sematary tries to answer. When Louis Creed and his young family move from the windy city of Chicago to small town Maine, they weren't expecting the series of unfortunate events that would unfold. From the moment a dying man stumbles into Louis' clinic, his life begins to spiral. Nightmares, ancient Native American burial grounds, and every parent's worst fear all send Louis down a path he can never hope to recover from.

While certainly not King's scariest novel (that award goes to Salem's Lot or The Shining), Pet Sematary adds an element of reality that cranks the creep factor up to 11. Brilliantly written in King's classic style, the story of Louis, Gage, and Church the cat is one to remember. I definitely recommend that you check it out, but maybe read it with the lights on. – Sean

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp:

Follow the lives of four students as each one struggles with survival and loss, stemming from the terrors that strike Opportunity High. While reading this novel I was overcome with the need to know what happened next- I couldn't put it down! I was drawn into the chaos, as I hoped for each character to find safety and escape the situation that is an unfortunate reality for many students in America. Marieke Nijkamp's writing was triggered by true events, that see shootings becoming a recurrence in the lives of many teens. Leading to a well thought-out plot, rendering the reader heartbroken by just how urgent the situation is, allowing us to become invested in the characters' survival. - Ruby

 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (illustrated edition) by J.K. Rowling:

We all know Harry Potter. We went to school with him and learned magic with him, but now we get to see him in a new light. The illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a beautiful take on JK Rowling’s wizarding world. Jim Kay has managed to capture true magic in his pictures, truly bringing us to Hogwarts to experience magical creatures and ghosts alike. - Ella

 

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Now Read This! Books loved by our Erina Team…

Relax with a great book this weekend!

Our Erina Fair team have put together a list of must-read books for every book lover:

The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan:

Cormac Reilly is about to reopen the case that took him twenty years to forget. The stunning debut novel from your new favourite crime writer.

'The Ruin is a terrific debut and a rare gem: a compelling crime thriller that delivers depth as well as twists, with every page clearly written from the heart' Sara Foster, author of The Hidden Hours.

Responding to a call that took him to a decrepit country house, young Garda Cormac Reilly found two silent, neglected children – 15 year old Maude and 5 year old Jack. Their mother lay dead upstairs. Since then Cormac's had twenty high flying years working as a detective in Dublin, and he's come back to Galway for reasons of his own. As he struggles to navigate the politics of a new police station, Maude and Jack return to haunt him. What ties a recent suicide to that death from so long ago? And who among his new colleagues can Cormac really trust?  This unsettling crime debut draws us deep into the dark heart of Ireland and asks who will protect you when the authorities can't or won't. If you love Jane Harper or Charlie Donlea you will be a fan of The Ruin. – Amanda

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan:

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan is hysterically funny! The outrageously wealthy families come together for a wedding in Singapore and Nicholas invites his girlfriend Rachel to come. Unbeknownst to her he is the heir to his family fortune and Rachel gets the shock of her life. So much for spending a lovely quiet summer enjoying picnics in the countryside! It's more private planes, lavish entertaining and plenty of females staring daggers at her (including Nicholas' mother). This book has been largely undiscovered for 5 years and is now being released as a movie with an all Asian cast. You must read it before you see it. You will love it and it has 2 more books in the series!! - Allison

 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris:

A love story set in the most harrowing circumstances and is based on a true story. Ludwig (Lale) Sokdov, becomes the tattooist of Auschwitz. There he meets the woman who stole his heart. Through love and determination they conquer the adversities they face. A must read for lovers of historical fiction – Shirley

 

 

The Novice by Taran Matharu:

The Novice is the first in a series of great fantastic young adult fantasy novels. Set in a world full of demons, humans, orcs, elves and dwarves there is considerable tension between races. The whole series is full of action, thrill and political commentary. Brilliant matters of race and class are disguised in demonic detail. They make you think deeply about your own world while transporting you to their world and keeping you on the edge of your seat. – Madi

 

Anthologies by R H Sin:

R.H.Sin's anthologies encapsulate love, heart break, grief and empowerment. With simplistic form and raw emotion, he is able to relate to practically everyone. Each of his collections, most notably the Whiskey, Words and a Shovel series and a Beautiful Composition of Broken, provide something new every time you read them. Highly recommended for fans of Rupi Kaur, Lang Leav and Amanda Lovelace. - Caitlin

 

 

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail honeyman:

Eleanor Oliphant is an interesting character that follows her daily routine. She goes to work at the same time, wears the same clothes, and drinks the same drinks. One day her work computer stops working, and when the IT guy becomes her friend, she remembers more about her life than she wants to and refuses to believe it. Will she ever accept what happened? - Erin

 

 

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken:

Alexandra Bracken's dystopian trilogy, The Darkest Minds is set in a world where teenagers are dying from a mysterious disease and only the strongest survive, emerging with new found powers. This novel is captivating from the start with twists and turns at every chapter. You explore the power of friendship and the explicit nature of teenagers. If you have loved series such as, Gone by Michael Grant, The Maze Runner by James Dashner or Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo you will fall in love with this – Holly

 

Artemis by Andy Weir:

It's the 2080's, Artemis is the first and only city on the moon – Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Life on the moon is tough and Jazz must do what she can to get ahead. Andy Weir has done an outstanding job creating a realistic environment that doesn't seem very far away from where we are now. A must read for all sci-fi buffs! - Ezra

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QBD Carindale’s Latest Reads

 

Today our Carindale team are in the hot seat, telling us all about what they've been reading.
If you're looking for a great new read, they have you sorted! Check out these fantastic suggestions:

When Breath becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi:

Not my typical read but it was unputdownable. Definitely a book everyone should read. It was pretty real and confronting how your life could be so perfect one day and then just comes crashing down the next. You really do feel what Paul Kalanithi is going through. I mean what do you do when your life is catastrophically interrupted ??? - Michelle

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas:

Tower of Dawn was a book I’m sure a lot of people have read and raved about, so now it’s my turn.
I might have taken my time but each page was an adventure and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. This book was so beautiful and filled in so many holes and is just another step closer to the end of the series. By the end of the book, I was not ready to leave the world Sarah J Maas had created and the characters, new and old, she wrote about.
This book just killed me it was so good! I’m dying to read the next one! - Taylah

Unbreakable by Jelena Dokic:

Do not judge another's life until you have walked a mile in their shoes. This to me is the basis of Jelena's story. For Jelena to have survived her father's emotional and violent abuse and to have reached number 4 in the WTA rankings is a testament to her strength of character. This raw and honest account of her life is awe inspiring and uplifting whether one is a tennis aficionado or not. - Gina

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek:

A very insightful book about people behaviour, social mindset and modern company cultures. It ties in nicely concepts of human psychology with the biological mechanisms inside us to give an explanation of human behaviours and how to deal with them. Recommend to everyone working in an organisation today but especially those that lead or aim at leading an organisation some day. -Charles

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The story centres on an annual war game between neighbouring boarding schools. There’s rumours of a mystical tunnel connecting pivotal territory, and the teachers could be linked to crimes of the past. This book is filled with fun and adventure, and is told with Marchetta’s trademark warmth and amazing characterisation. With mysteries of the past to be solved, and a new love story just beginning, you won’t want to stop reading! - Belinda

Woman in the window by A.J. Finn:

It has been described at 'suspenseful thriller' or 'page-turning' and 'twisted' - yes I would use those words to describe this novel, but with less enthusiasm.
It was suspenseful enough that I wanted to know what Anna Fox knew and what lies and truths would come out and how some events would turn out.
At first it's slow and took a while for me to actually get into it and be even a little more excited about the plot.
I would recommend it for anyone wanting a thriller and mystery to keep them going - but it's not something I'd put on top of my 'Must Read' list. - Cassandra

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green:

As a hardcore John Green fan, I bought this book without even reading the blurb – knowing I would love it if his previous novels are anything to go off. This book outdid my expectations and I connected with it more than I thought I could! Don’t get me wrong, it is intense, confronting and taps into some of the less spoken about issues of today’s teens – but Green has written this novel in a way that connects with its readers and doesn’t conceal the truth. Young adults looking for a novel that is raw and real – this ones for you. Tia

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness:

‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’ by Patrick Ness is the first novel in his ‘Chaos Walking’ series. The novel is a pure literary feat and commands attention from the first chapter with perhaps some of the most intriguing first lines I have ever read. In this compelling coming of age tale, Todd Hewitt is born into ‘New World’ , a world where everyone can hear each other’s thoughts and men are simply ‘chaos walking’. However, after an isolated event alters the course of his life, he quickly learns not to believe everything he has been told. The novel can get a little dark in parts but I have never felt for two characters so deeply as I have for Todd and Viola in the Chaos Walking series. I cannot recommend this series enough. - Kara