Reviews by Rachel

  • This book gets under your skin.

    by Rachel on 26/03/2014

    It took me a very long time to read this, but I am very glad that I finally did. It is a frustratingly good Australian mystery, surrounding the mysterious disappearance of a couple of schoolgirls and one of their school teachers at a Valentines Day picnic at Hanging Rock, Mt Macedon. What was surprising is that their vanishing at the Rock is not the only unexplained occurrence in this story. It is an unsettling read and the Australian bush in the year 1900 is the perfect backdrop.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 31/05/1975

$22.95
  • A gripping, new Winton novel.

    by Rachel on 08/03/2014

    Not one to mince his words, Tim Winton has written another very riveting novel with flawless, descriptive flair. Set in Fremantle, Western Australia, the story revolves around Tom Keely, his blast from the past neighbour Gemma and a little boy called Kai. Tom is unemployed, unwell and struggling to get through a single day, until he discovers Gemma living in his apartment building and her intriguing companion Kai. Gemmas past is troubled and continues to be so and Tom throws himself into helping look after Kai, who finds comfort in Toms presence and twofold gives Tom a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Circumstances become progressively more complicated as Tom finds himself drawn more and more into the complications of Gemmas life, as well as combating his own health issues. Eyrie is a compelling story that will keep you guessing.

Format: Hardback

Publication Date: 14/10/2013

25%
OFF
RRP  $45.00 $33.41
  • Haunting.

    by Rachel on 04/04/2014

    John Green is an impeccable writer and in The Fault in Our Stars he takes his ability to write clever, witty dialogue and believable friendship to the next level. I love that his characters are always questioning themselves and the people around them. They are thoughtful, cynical and humorous and the sarcasm and natural banter in this book is very fitting for the young people in it, Hazel Grace, Augustus Waters and Isaac. I couldn't put this book down for the first 252 pages and I avoided reading the last 61 pages because I knew it would hurt. This book is extremely touching and John Green handles the subject matter with such grace.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 08/04/2014

$19.99
  • Engaging WW II Fiction

    by Rachel on 08/03/2014

    Nursing sisters, Naomi and Sally, keen to not only to escape the monotony of the rural life but also a complicated family situation, enlist to serve in WWI.

    They find themselves in situations both horrifying and seemingly hopeless, however both of them make significant contributions, not only professionally but also in the relationships they form during their service. It is fictional, but having been inspired by the journals of women who were nurses during the Great War, it reads more like an historical account.

    The use of medical terminology and practice is prevalent, but it in no way hinders the story. The Daughters of Mars is all the more engaging because of its insight into the difficulties and different situations that would have been encountered during this time, whether it be in a voluntary hospital the likes of which Naomi finds herself working or closer to the front line where Sally chooses to assist.

Format:

Publication Date: 01/06/2012

$32.99
  • Hosseini delivers another captivating story.

    by Rachel on 08/03/2014

    Khaled Hosseinis third novel And the Mountains Echoed begins in the early 1950s in Shadbagh, Afghanistan in the home of brother and sister, Abdullah and Pari, who are extremely close. As the direct consequence of a heartbreaking decision made by their father, Saboor, their lives are irrevocably altered. Hosseini has a remarkable ability for expressing the body and its frailty, vulnerability and capacity for both tenderness and violence. His cross generational and geographical style adds to the already overwhelming nature of his stories, namely the long reaching ramifications of the decisions and actions made in the past on family members in the future. This story is bittersweet and at times difficult to read, but the themes of loyalty, friendship, unrequited love, longing and loss make it very memorable.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 21/05/2013

$32.99
  • Cringeworthy, but a very satifsying read.

    by Rachel on 03/04/2014

    Dark Diversions is a combination of sordid accounts, by a narrator who has no shortage of wealthy, corrupt and troubled friends and acquaintances. In this book, John Ralston Saul has created a story full of destructive misunderstandings, fatalities, criminal behaviour, infidelity and subtle humour. Progressively the narrator becomes more entwined with the characters in this story and rather than only bearing witness to their darkness, he becomes directly involved.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 01/08/2012

$29.99
  • A new post-apocalyptic novel with a difference.

    by Rachel on 08/03/2014

    I was very excited for another new post-apocalyptic book having not read one since Justin Cronins The Twelve, but The Girl with all the Gifts is unfortunately not of that caliber. It is however an interesting read and Melanie is a unique end-of-days character. She is thoughtful, well-meaning and searching for answers surrounding her identity. A large part of this story is wanting to find out those same answers also, which kept me engaged enough to read on. The characters themselves, excluding Melanie, are fairly two-dimensional, despite the attempt to explain their current behaviour by references to the past, pre Breakdown. Saying that they do facilitate the presence of bigger questions about morality, compassion and the ethics of medical research, although very loosely. Whilst disappointed by a lot of the descriptions and dialogue, The Girl with all the Gifts is a different take on the world after a biological disaster and worth a read, particularly if you like this genre already.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 14/01/2014

$29.99
  • Haunting.

    by Rachel on 29/03/2014

    John Green is an impeccable writer and in The Fault in Our Stars he takes his ability to write clever, witty dialogue and believable frienship to the next level. I love that his characters are always questioning themselves and the people around them. They are thoughtful, cynical and humorous and the sarcasm and natural banter in this book is very fitting for the young people in it, Hazel Grace, Augustus Waters and Isaac. I couldn't put this book down for the first 252 pages and I avoided reading the last 61 pages because I knew it would hurt. This book is extrememly touching and John Green handles the subject matter with such grace.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 11/01/2012

20%
OFF
RRP  $19.95 $15.90
  • This book gets under your skin.

    by Rachel on 26/03/2014

    It took me a very long time to read this, but I am very glad that I finally did. It is a frustratingly good Australian mystery, surrounding the mysterious disappearance of a couple of schoolgirls and one of their school teachers at a Valentines Day picnic at Hanging Rock, Mt Macedon. What was surprising is that their vanishing at the Rock is not the only unexplained occurrence in this story. It is an unsettling read and the Australian bush in the year 1900 is the perfect backdrop.

Format: Hardback

Publication Date: 20/11/2013

$19.99
  • An outstanding read!

    by Rachel on 08/03/2014

    Each chapter of Only the Animals is told from the perspective of the soul of an animal who lived in a time of turmoil. It is a very impressive work and provides a lot of food for thought. Each animal soul has a perceptive personality, but what I loved most about this book was the factual elements about the historical situations they are in and also about the makeup and deeds of the animals themselves. If you were only to read A Letter to Sylvia Plath- Soul of Dolphin, I, the Elephant who Wrote this- Soul of Elephant and Somewhere along the line the pearl would be Handed to me- Soul of Mussel, you would be better off as they are insightful and touching. Saying that, all of the chapters have varying degrees of awareness and intrigue and I highly recommend this book.

Format:

Publication Date: 23/04/2014

$29.99
  • Decadence at its best!

    by Rachel on 08/03/2014

    Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald is a fictional account of the relationship between Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Zelda is captivating right from the start as she is confident, playful and witty and moreso , because she is reluctant to be constrained by female social conventions. Their social life is a veritable rollercoaster of parties, dinners, performances and retreats, featuring many known artistic personalities including Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Sergei Diaghilev and Ernest Hemingway. This and the many other artistic and literary references in this book make it a very interesting read in its own right, but it is the personal lives of Zelda and F. Scott that are at its heart. For all the socializing and frivolity, their lives are tense and revolve around F. Scotts writing and desperation to be a success and Zeldas desire to be recognized in her own right. Yet for all their confrontations and disputes they cannot leave one another. I read this very quickly and found it to be an extremely entertaining read.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 29/10/2013

14%
OFF
RRP  $19.99 $17.11
  • Fresh, seasonal food.

    by Rachel on 28/03/2014

    Emma Galloway has published the fantastic new cookbook My Darling Lemon Thyme which has a varied range of meat and gluten free recipes. The Rise and Shine breakfast section alone is worth taking a look at this book and the Drinks and Frozen Goodness and Sweetness Sections are bound to make a lot of gluten intolerant people very happy. The photography is gorgeous and the food looks amazing!

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 01/04/2014

16%
OFF
RRP  $39.99 $33.45
  • You won't forget this book.

    by Rachel on 08/03/2014

    Nine Days is the stunning new Toni Jordan novel which centres around one Melbourne family and spans a 70 year period. The relationships are compelling and the love story at its crux is heart breaking. So much is not said, but nothing is left uncertain. It is masterfully written and extremely moving.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 22/08/2012

18%
OFF
RRP  $31.95 $26.05
  • Attention- grabbing!

    by Rachel on 08/04/2014

    I couldnt put this book down, which is unusual in that I dont read a lot of crime books and most of the ones Ive attempted to read havent grabbed me. This is also the first Jo Nesbo book that I have read and it was a fantastic, entangled puzzle. Sonny is fascinating and troubled right from the start and Simon and Kari are thorough investigators which make them great characters. At no point did The Son slacken its pace and wanting to find out what would happen to Sony, who the Twin was and more significantly who the mole was, never waned.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 10/04/2014

$32.99
  • Tina Fey is brilliant!

    by Rachel on 08/03/2014

    Bossypants is a great read, offering insight into her adolescence, how her career began and her more recent work on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock.

    She has an opinion on pretty much everything and is so sharp. What is also very infectious about this book is that she is able to laugh at herself and life's absurdities with such candour. It is a relief to read about a person who is so motivated and talented, but also imperfect and able to turn past mistakes into such perfect humour.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 31/01/2012

16%
OFF
RRP  $22.99 $19.31
  • Poignant storytelling.

    by Rachel on 08/03/2014

    Sue Monk Kidds new book is a touching novel about sisters Sarah and Nina Grimke, who were actual early supporters for abolitionism and womens rights in the early nineteenth century, and their slaves, primarily Hetty and her mother Charlotte. Hetty and Sarah form a strained alliance when Sarah refuses to accept her as a gift for her eleventh birthday. A decision her parents do not accept. Head strong and determined to do something meaningful with her life, Sarah decides in adulthood that she can no longer abide slavery and embarks upon campaigning with her sister Nina. Like other books about slavery, the most difficult thing to digest is the justifications or lack thereof of slave owners for their brutality. The Invention of Wings is a story full of cruelty and loss, but it is also about great courage and love and it is a book not easily forgotten.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 14/01/2014

$29.99