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Tag / QbdSpotlight

Check Out Charlestown’s Latest Reads!

Check out all the great books our Charlestown team have been reading!

A Dogs Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron:

This book is about 'mans best friend' but with a is told entirely through the dogs eyes.
The best part though is the fact that throughout the book the dog gets reincarnated a few times and as the reader you get to experience what life is like for a dog in a number of circumstances and how these may play a part in the dogs experiences in life. I will admit...I did cry (a couple of times.)
Your heart strings will be pulled (tugged hard in some places.) We’ve all had a best friend who identified in the canine or feline persuasion so we can all relate to what the book is trying to say, whilst giving us a new angle of the story to consider. A fascinating read for all animal lovers and an ode to the most humble, reliable and dedicated member of our families. -Belinda

The Hotel on Place Vendôme by Tilar J. Mazzeo:

Mazzeo’s unique mixture of gossipy non-fiction with historical research is more for the historically interested than the historian. Painting a picture of intrigue and scandal surrounding the guests and patrons of the Hotel Ritz in Paris during the era of Nazi occupied France, The Hotel on Place Vendôme reads more like a soap opera than a history book. From Coco Chanel’s jewel encrusted gas mask being carried by her servants on a satin cushion, to the assassination of Hitler being planned across the bar, images of espionage and opulence drive the rich and captivating story of The Hotel on Place Vendôme. -Jack

The Road by Cormac McCarthy:

The intense apocalyptic story line combined with McCarthy unique writing style creates the most unpredictable and well written novels I’ve ever read. It’s quite a sophisticated text about a father and son taking on a troubled new world, together. This text is 5 star quality with lots of hidden meaning, I would highly recommend to mature readers! -Carter

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas:

The deadly Celaena Sardothien is offered a chance to win back her freedom on one condition: she must compete to become the King's champion.
But what other evil does she stumble across in the King's castle? Get lost in a world of fantasy extravaganza full of love, action and betrayal. - Alyssa

The Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn:

The tale of a son left orphaned, with a murderous uncle intent on taking the family land. Boy turned warrior, turned sorcerer, Shikanoko grows through his own skills and societal traditions to become one of the most powerful men in the nation. In a search for the missing child emperor, Shikanoko becomes the centre piece to a host of people lives and they will all meet their end unless Shikanoko can find the emperor and return him to the Lotus Throne.
Prequel to the Tales of the Otari series, the Tales of Shikanoko is a twisting novel that portrays the folklore of Feudal Japan, as well as a compelling narrative that will have you on the edge of your seat. -Daniel

Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis:

This extremely honest memoir is an essential read for Red Hot Chili Peppers fans. Kiedis explores his failures and successes in this no holds barred retelling of his life. Kiedis has had an adventurous life, from overdosing on heroin to meeting the Dalai Lama. -Remy

Noose by Xavier Duff:

A very interesting read on a part of Australia’s history that is not often talked about. Featuring about a dozen different stories of those who were sentenced to the gallows and how they got there, the author also challenges whether all of these people were actually guilty of their crimes and did they actually deserve to hang? Ranging from the first man hanged in 1788 to the last in 1967 this book gives a great overview of capital punishment and how it largely controversial yet had not power in deterring those from committing their crimes. - Amorette

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Every week a new store is featured on our blog!
Keep an eye out for your local team!

QBD Belconnen’s Favourite Ladies

Today our Belconnen team introduce us to some of their favourite ladies... lady authors that is!
From classic fiction to true crime add these great female authors to your shelves today!

Monstress by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda:

Monstress is about disembodied heads, magic, horror, and of course, monsters. Set during a cease fire between humans and Arcanics, a race of Magic users, this book has some really amazing women. In a society where women are in charge, it follows a Arcanic woman, Maika Halfwolf, as she tries to find out about her mother. The story explores the inhumanities of war, and the crimes that are committed by the winners. I really loved this book, the art is really beautiful and pleasing to the eye.
All the characters are fully formed beings, you can feel their history and strength. Plus there's an adorable kitty that I love. - Laurence

Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein:

This is one of the best thrillers I've read in a long time. Sarah Epstein crafted such an amazing debut book that I read it all in one sitting, desperate to get to the end of the book and thankful that I didn't have to work the next morning.
The story centres around Tash, and a case of a missing girl from 10 years before. The girl, Mallory, was found safe after 6 days, but what happened to her? Why does Tash feel like she has a key to unlock Mallory's trauma? Are they connected somehow, like kindred spirits? Why don't the people closest to Tash believe that she knows something?
This book is a fantastic example of an unreliable narrator, and if you follow it, you can see why. It made me question my memory of small events as a child, looking through it with the eyes of an adult. Bonus points for this being the first thriller I've read in a long time that doesn't victimise women or children. - Karina

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein:

'Code Name Verity' drew me in with promises of strong female characters and it delivered! As someone who is not a huge fan of historical fiction, this book really surprised me with how engaging the story was and how real the characters felt. I finished this book in 3 days and as I am a really slow reader but once you get into it you can't put this book down. There were many plot twists that I did not see coming and just as I thought I knew what was going to happen, Wein would throw a curve ball again.
This is a book about two young British women who are undertaking a secret mission in German occupied France in 1943. It begins with one of them writing a confession for the Gestapo after they were captured. For the first few chapters of the book very little information is given but as you continue reading you realise that everything is part of a bigger more intricate picture. The book switches between both the main characters being the narrators, and the reader is able to slowly piece together what happened. You gain and lose hope with the characters as they try to complete the mission and plan an escape. You never really know what's going to happen until the last page. - Rina

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy:

The God of Small Things is a multi-generational family drama, that explores those often fleeting moments that end up shaping our lives. The world that Arundhati Roy creates for the reader is an immense achievement not just for its scope but for the incredible level of detail with which she litters it. A rich and complex novel, The God of Small Things is a rewarding read sure to stay with you long after you’ve put it down. - Lachlan

Joe Cinque's Consolation by Helen Garner:

Helen Garner recounts that terrible crime committed by Anu Singh, when she kills her boyfriend, Joe Cinque. The book is full of court transcripts and interviews with those close to the people in the case, as well as Garner's outrage at the justice system and criminal sentencing. - Jess
3.5 stars

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule:

Ann Rule's 'The Stranger Beside Me' tells the chilling tale of serial killer Ted Bundy. Rule herself, a former police officer and suicide hotline worker (where she met Bundy), recounts the events of Bundy's rampage, and her personal connection to him. “You just can't see the mask of a killer if they're right beside you.” Rule's first hand account of her friendship with one of the most prolific serial killers, her realisation of who he really was and even copies of letters Bundy had sent her from jail makes her tale a terrifying and eye opening recount of the events between 1975 to 1978. - Stella

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen:

Crackling with humour and personality, Pride & Prejudice is often considered one of the best novels ever written - and fair enough too! Sporting a straightforward (yet ever influential) narrative injected with a relatable protagonist, the supporting characters and situations that Elizabeth Bennett finds herself in provide just enough ridiculousness to elevate Pride & Prejudice well above the countless soap-opera-romances that have tried to ape it. Austen’s writing has survived the test of time and will continue to do so in this hilarious and classic novel. - Mitchell

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Happy Birthday QBD Geelong!

Time flies by so fast while you're having all this bookish fun! 

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To celebrate the team have let us know all about some of the books they have enjoyed over the past year...

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah:

Set amongst the backdrop of World War 2 we follow two sisters as they navigate love,  hatred,  bravery and strength throughout times of extreme hardship.
When the Nazi's invade France Vianne is forced to open her home to the enemy, her every move is watched and her family's safety is at risk.

Isabelle is a rebellious teen searching for meaning in a war-torn time. As she jumps head first into the resistance she is determined to prove herself amongst the other men and women risking their lives to save others.

A truly beautiful read that will stay with you long after the book has been placed on the shelf.
If you love historical fiction similar to 'The Book Thief' or 'The Bronze Horseman' you must read this book! - Caitlyn

American Gods by Neil Gaiman:

Shadow has just gotten out of jail early, his wife has died, unknowingly this is the first of many strange, twisted and surprising occurrences that will befall Shadow. Both he and the reader are in for one hell of a journey.

Neil Gaiman's imagination has created a complicated, detailed plot that is crammed with magic and marvel. A journey that goes on tangent after tangent, has many detailed flashbacks and segues a plenty. This character focused story has more than its fair share of detours.

It is a book about the gods of myth and legend, they may be threadbare and degenerate these days but still gods, still capable of inspiring terror and unquestioned allegiance. It is also about the “new” gods, gods of media and money, and while they are not my gods it sets the stage for all out war.

As the winner of the Bram Stoker, Hugo, Nebula, SFX and Locus awards in both horror and science fiction this book is hard to categorise, but here in Geelong it is nestled in with the other Sci fi/ fantasy greats like Jim Butcher, Raymond E. Feist, James S. A. Corey and my all time favourite Douglas Adams.

The devil is in the detail when it comes to “American Gods”; as a reader there is much more to find beneath the surface, you must find the magic for yourself, I know I did. - Kim

Sea of Strangers by Lang Leav:

After a short swim in the realm of fiction, Lang Leav is back with her 5th poetry collection and it's one of her best. Mixing poetry and prose like an early Oscar Wilde collection, 'Sea of Strangers' explores love, loss and identity with grace and soul. As her career has gone on Leav has only gotten stronger, with her unique, loosely structured style lending itself perfectly as the framework for a beautiful melancholy, unique to the modern day. Best paired with a hot bath and a glass of wine, this collection is one that you'll lose yourself in, time and time again. - Sam

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend:

Whenever things went wrong, it was Morrigan Crow they blamed. A tree knocked down in a storm? That would be Morrigan's fault. Burnt your toast? That would be Morrigan! Toe infection? You guessed it, it was that Morrigan girl! However when a strange man saves her from an untimely demise, Morrigan is brought into a Wundrous land known as Nevermoor where there are gigantic cats that not only talk but are housekeepers and bedrooms that form themselves to what they believe you'd like.

Upon reading it I honestly could not believe that this is Jessica Townsend's debut novel. The magical world she has created had me whisked off into a land of pure wonder.

With a Whovian meets Hogwartian meets Wonderland vibe, I greatly enjoyed taking that leap to “Step Boldly” into this magical tale and it truly had me laughing out loud in public areas. - Grace

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur:

Thought provoking and deeply mesmerising, Rupi Kaur's 'Milk & Honey' engages a wide array of tough-to-tackle topics, journeying the experience of trauma and the long road into recovery. There were times when I found some sections to be quite confronting and had to set it aside for a moment, but Kaur's poems have never failed to leave their mark and keep me coming back for more. Chronicling tales of love and hurt, abuse and empowerment - it is no surprise that this collection is just flying off the shelves. - Emily

How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie:

How To Win Friends And Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. Published in 1948, Carnegie's work explores the daily interactions between people. Using his real life situations Carnegie demonstrates simple methods, which can help you resolve any social interaction – from daily dilemmas, to intense sales meetings. Carnegie book is the only book you will ever need. - Adrian


Make sure you pop by this weekend and wish the team Happy Birthday!


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Australia Fair’s Awesome Book Picks!

Our Australia Fair team are incredibly proud of their Science Fiction & Fantasy wall - the best wall on the Gold Coast!
Come on in and check it out over the Easter weekend.

The team have just finished reading all of these great books! Check out their reviews below... you never know, you might find your next armchair adventure!

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff:

Rarely have I been so desperate to get my hands on the final book in a series. Mercifully I survived the wait, and have been happily traumatised by the ending. Concluding the events from the first two books, Obsidio excelled in the angst of choices against moral compasses, survival at its most dire moments, nothing is ever black and white and one question that leaves you puzzled. Why the hell are you wearing a parachute in space?! Funnily enough, I found in this final instalment of the Illuminae series that the only character that seemed to be in any position to make the hard call, is the questionably dangerous Psychotic A.I. System A.I.D.A.N. -Allison, Store Manager

Blackwing by Ed McDonald:

Blackwing is the first book in the 'Raven's Mark' series by debut author Ed McDonald. Right from the first page this book starts off dark, gripping and bloody. Full of grotesque monsters and beings with god-like powers. This book had me hooked and on the edge of my seat with its detailed world building and strong, fleshed out characters. A must read for fans of Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence – Jess

Brave by Rose McGowan:

Very good insight into Hollywood. Rose does not hold back into what people think Hollywood is about glitz and glamour. But her reality was not. Very truthful. Sad at certain points. - Maureen

American Gods by Neil Gaiman:

Meet my favourite book.

Imagine…….that there are Gods. Imagine that they are born from people’s belief, feeding on it and growing strong. Old gods, nearly forgotten gods, new gods of technology or the internet. Imagine that there is only a finite amount of belief to go around and they are getting desperate.

Now imagine that you are just a man named Shadow, who’s entire life has fallen apart and been turned upside down, who finds himself in the middle of a brewing battle between these ancient, modern, powerful, spiteful, petty, brawling Gods. It’ll be fine, right. Right?

Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’ is rightly considered his masterwork. Mixing Americana and world mythology into a sprawling, multi-layered story that is part road trip, and part exploration of human belief. First Published in 2001, it not only won the Hugo and Nebula award, but was released as a 10thAnniversary author’s preferred text version, adding around 12,000 words. It has since been adapted into a tv series by Starz and Bryan Fuller.

“All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them.”

Take the trip. -Imogen

Submarine by Joe Dunthorne:

Submarine is a coming of age novel by Joe Dunthorne. It follows the life of Oliver Tate, a peculiar but intelligent teenager who is interested in psychology. Oliver narrates the story telling of the pursuit of his love interest Jordana Bevan, whilst also trying to find himself. The novel also explores the turbulent relationship of his parents and the steps Oliver takes in an attempt to save their marriage. Submarine is overall brilliantly written and is both a humorous and insightful look into the life of a teenager. - Jillian

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Garden City’s adventure packed reads!

Would you like to be whizzing along an open road, sneaking up on your enemies, running for your life?

Our Garden City team have put together a list of reads that will take you on your next great armchair adventure!

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness:

A well written, fast paced novel of the highest standard which hints at the quality of the rest of the series. In unusual Prentisstown all the residents can hear each others thoughts, resulting in a never ending stream of noise and an extremely open lifestyle; whether you like it or not. One month before he becomes a man, boy Todd and his loyal dog Manchee, when going through the woods, discover a patch of complete and utter silence. In the silence they discover an awful secret that Prentisstown has kept hidden for so long, shattering the only life that Todd has ever known. The Knife of Never Letting Go is packed with adventure, challenge and is guaranteed to not be able to be put down. - Tegan

The Rest of Just Live Here by Patrick Ness:

If you’re anything like me, when reading a fantasy YA you can’t help wondering “but what is everyone else doing right now?” while the protagonists face the end of the world or something like that. The Rest of Us Just Live Here addresses this, focusing on the lives of four normal, average teenagers, navigating their final year of high school, prom and graduation - unaware of the sideline occurrence of an immortal invasion. This novel is so different from anything else out there, but I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down. - Charlotte

Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss:

Rothfuss’ Name of the Wind explores the life story of the world’s most infamous magician Kvothe. Written in the first person narrative of Kvothe’s own biographical perspective, Rothfuss has crafted a world unlike anyone has ever seen. A story of courage, young love, betrayal, friendship and struggle. Name of the Wind shows that even the most powerful and notorious magician is more human than one might expect. Action-packed and full of secrets, Name of the Wind will leave you on the edge of your seat clawing at your book for more. - Alex

Nomad by James Swallow:

If MacGyver and James Bond had a baby you would be left with Marc Dane in Nomad. Right from the very start Nomad rips into gear; page after page of explosiveness and nail biting chapters. As soon as you reach about page 5 you realise that Nomad has got its claws into you. Follow Marc Dane through this ridiculously awesome espionage thriller and immerse yourself in pure adrenaline and excitement. - Nick (Store Manager)

Hell's Angels by Hunter S Thompson:

Hunter S Thompson is known to most as the man behind Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. But before that, he wrote Hell's Angels.
It is a raw and unembellished reveal into the lifestyle of the notorious biker gang.
For a year, Thompson was accepted into their fold and embraced as a brother, allowed to research and write about them, an honour bestowed upon few. What emerged from this thrilling and often dangerous arrangement is a one of a kind book, written by a one of a kind man. - Jo ( Assistant Manager )

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