Carolyn’s Books of the Month – November

Best Read: The Murder Game by Rachel Abbott

A year ago today, we all gathered for Lucas’s wedding at his glorious Cornish home overlooking the sea. But no one was married that day. Now Lucas has invited us back to celebrate the anniversary. But the anniversary of what? The wedding that never happened, or the tragedy that occurred just hours before the ceremony was due to begin? He’s told us that tonight he has planned a game. We have our costumes, we have our parts, and everyone must play. The game, he tells us, is about to begin. What does Lucas want from us? What are we not being told? And what’s going to happen when this terrible game is over?

Crime: Seven Lies by Elizabeth Kay

It all started with one little lie. Jane and Marnie have been inseparable since they were eleven years old. They have a lot in common. In their early twenties they both fell in love and married handsome young men. But Jane never liked Marnie’s husband. He was always so loud and obnoxious, so much larger than life. Which is rather ironic now, of course. Because if Jane had been honest – if she hadn’t lied – then perhaps her best friend’s husband might still be alive. This is Jane’s opportunity to tell the truth, the question is: Do you believe her?

Australian Author: The Shifting Landscape by Katherine Kovacic

Art dealer Alex Clayton travels to Victoria’s Western District to value the McMillan family’s collection. At their historic sheep station, she finds an important and previously unknown colonial painting – and a family fraught with tension. There are arguments about the future of the property and its place in an ancient and highly significant indigenous landscape. When the family patriarch dies under mysterious circumstances and the painting is stolen, Alex decides to leave; then a toddler disappears and Alex’s faithful dog Hogarth goes missing. With fears rising for the safety of both child and hound, Alex and her best friend John, who has been drawn into the mystery, join searchers scouring the countryside. But her attempts to unravel the McMillan family secrets have put Alex in danger, and she’s not the only one. Will the killer claim another victim? Or will the landscape reveal its mysteries to Alex in time?

General: When Grace went Away by Meredith Appleyard

‘Functionally dysfunctional.’ That’s how financial analyst Grace Fairley describes her family in the small South Australian farming community of Miners Ridge – a family fractured by tragedy and kept that way by anger, resentment and petty jealousies. As the eldest sibling, Grace tries to keep the family in touch, but now she’s accepted a promotion to the London office. Time-zones and an enormous workload mean she’s forced to take a step back, although she finds time to stay in contact with Miners Ridge landscape gardener Aaron Halliday. Sarah Fairley, Grace’s mother, fled Miners Ridge and her embittered husband eight years ago. Now, in the absence of Grace, she finds herself pulled back to the small town where her estranged children and grandchildren live. Drawn into the local community, and trying to rebuild family relationships, she uncovers a long-kept secret that could change her world … Can Grace, Sarah and their family find a way to heal? Who will have the courage to make the first move?

Thriller: The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish

You’re feeling pretty smug about your commute to work by riverboat. No more traffic gridlock or getting stuck on the tube in tunnels (you’re claustrophobic). Now you’ve got fresh air, an iconic Thames view, a whole lifestyle upgrade. You’ve made new friends on board – led by your hedonistic young neighbour, Kit – and just had your first official ‘water rats’ get-together. The day after the drinks, Kit isn’t on the morning boat. The river landmarks are all the same, but something’s off. When you disembark, the police are waiting. Kit’s wife, Melia, has reported him missing and another passenger saw you arguing on the last boat home after your drinks. Police say you had a reason to lash out at him. To threaten him. You protest. You and Kit are friends – ask Melia, she’ll vouch for you. And who exactly is pointing the finger? What do they know about your private lives? No, whatever coincidences might have occurred last night, you are innocent, totally innocent. Aren’t you?

Thriller: In Safe Hands by J.P. Carter

When nine children are snatched from a nursery school in South London, their distressed parents have no idea if they will ever see them again. The community in the surrounding area is in shock. How could this happen right under their noses? No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying. But DCI Anna Tate knows that nothing is impossible, and she also knows that time is quickly running out. It’s unclear if the kidnappers are desperate for money or set on revenge, but the ransom is going up by 1million pounds daily. And they know that one little boy in particular is fighting for his life. It’s one of the most disturbing cases DCI Anna Tate has ever worked on – not only because nine children are being held hostage, but because she’s pretty sure that someone close to them is lying…

Saga/Romance: The Viennese Girl by Jenny Lecoat 

In June 1940, the inhabitants of the British Channel islands watch in horror as the German army takes possession unopposed in preparation for their invasion of England. Hedy Bercu, a young Jewish girl from Vienna who fled to the safety of Jersey two years earlier to escape the Nazis, finds herself once more entrapped, but this time with no way of escape. Hiding her racial status, Hedy is employed by the German authorities and secretly embarks on small acts of resistance. But most dangerously of all, she falls in love with German lieutenant Kurt Rummele – a relationship on which her life will soon depend.

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Booker Winner 2020

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Shuggie Bain by debut author Douglas Stuart is the winner of the 2020 Booker Prize. Library staff have loved this book, and we have it in multiple formats for all your reading needs. Find it on BorrowBox as an eBook … Continue reading

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Skip the queue! Trust is out now on RBdigital eAudio

 

If you like to listen to your books as much as you like to read them, Blue Mountains Library has some good news. Chris Hammer’s Martin Scarsden series is available from RBdigital – with no waiting! The third installment, Trust, is out now and waiting to be borrowed. With simultaneous loans you, and everybody else, can listen to this great title right now.

Rather read the eBook? Head to BorrowBox to reserve your copy now.

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Good Reading Magazine – October 2020

The October issue of Good Reading magazine is ready for you to enjoy through Blue Mountains Library!

This Month

In the new October issue of Good Reading:

DISCOVER Stories of Hope, from the author of the bestselling The Tattooist of Auschwitz

MEET Alice Hoffman who chats about Magic Lessons and what books are on her bedside table

CHECK OUT two top-notch Australian crime fiction this month, Dave Warner’s Over My Dead Body, and Alexander Thorpe’s Death Leaves the Station

READ an extract from a new haunting true crime book, The Edward Street BabyFarm, and find out the origin of those tricky words in Word for Today by Roly Sussex

SEE what things inspire Tania Blanchard on her writing desk

FIND your next great read with the latest independent book reviews!

 

You can borrow Good Reading from the library or access the digital subscription right here, right now, with your library card.

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Honeybee by Craig Silvey – no waiting eAudio

Did you know that many of RBdigital’s eAudio titles are multi access? That means no waiting in a queue, hoping that the person before you will hurry up and finish!

The highly anticipated new novel by the bestselling author of Jasper Jones, Honeybee, is available now.

Find out who you are, and live that life.’ Late in the night, fourteen-year-old Sam Watson steps onto a quiet overpass, climbs over the rail and looks down at the road far below. At the other end of the same bridge, an old man, Vic, smokes his last cigarette. The two see each other across the void. A fateful connection is made, and an unlikely friendship blooms. Slowly, we learn what led Sam and Vic to the bridge that night. Bonded by their suffering, each privately commits to the impossible task of saving the other.

Honeybee is a heart-breaking, life-affirming novel that throws us headlong into a world of petty thefts, extortion plots, botched bank robberies, daring dog rescues and one spectacular drag show. At the heart of Honeybee is Sam: a solitary, resilient young person battling to navigate the world as their true self; ensnared by a loyalty to a troubled mother, scarred by the volatility of a domineering step-father, and confounded by the kindness of new alliances. Honeybee is a tender, profoundly moving novel brimming with vivid characters and luminous words. It’s about two lives forever changed by a chance encounter — one offering hope, the other redemption. It’s about when to persevere, and when to be merciful, as Sam learns when to let go, and when to hold on.

RBdigital eMagazines & eAudio from Blue Mountains library

 
 
 

 

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Carolyn’s Books of the Month – October

Best Read: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Guests are called to a remote island off the Irish coast to celebrate the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules and Will. Everything has been meticulously planned, the scene is set, old friends are back together. It should be the perfect day. Until the discovery of a body signals the perfect murder. A groom with a secret. A bridesmaid with a grudge. A plus one with motive. A best man with a past. It could be any, it could be all… But one guest won’t make it out alive.

Crime: The Devil Inside by D.L.Hicks

In a peaceful coastal town, a young woman is found brutally murdered, a piece of scripture held tightly in her hand. Local detective Charlotte Callaghan is put on the case, and she’s glad for the distraction – Gull Bay can be a hard place to keep a secret, and she’s holding on to a few. After Charlotte asks her brother, Father Joseph Callaghan, about the verse, her suspicions fall on his parishioners. Then a second victim is found, along with another biblical message. A dark betrayal is concealed within the small community. For Charlotte, there’s something personal about this case, something that threatens the very core of her beliefs. Can she unravel this mystery before it tears her town apart?

Australian Author: The Light After the War by Anita Abriel

Inspired by the true story of one woman’s extraordinary journey to forge a new life after escaping a train bound for Auschwitz. In 1946 two young Hungarian refugees arrive in Naples after losing everyone they loved before the war. Vera Frankel and her best friend, Edith Ban, are haunted by their terrifying escape from a train headed for Auschwitz after their mothers threw them from the carriage, promising they would follow. But instead the girls find themselves alone in a frozen, alien land. They manage to find refuge and barter for their lives by working on an isolated farm in Austria until the end of the war. Armed with a letter of recommendation from an American general, Vera finds work and new hope at the United States Embassy and, despite her best intentions, falls in love the handsome and enigmatic Captain Anton Wight. But when Anton suddenly disappears, Vera is forced to drastically change course. Their quest to rebuild their lives takes Vera and Edith from Naples to Ellis Island to Venezuela and finally Sydney as they carve out careers – and find love.

General: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Yesterday, Lydia Quixano Perez had a bookshop in the Mexican city of Acapulco. Yesterday, Lydia was married to a journalist. Yesterday, she was with everyone she loved most in the world. Javier Crespo Fuentes was once her friend. They talked about books, shared their secrets, formed a close relationship till one day Lydia’s reporter husband Sebastian wrote an article about Javier, the “jefe” of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When the article is published, none of their lives will ever be the same. Now, her eight-year-old son Luca is all she has left. For him, she will carry a machete strapped to her leg. For him, she will leap onto the roof of a high speed train. For him, she will find the strength to keep running

Thriller: In the Clearing by J.P.Pomare

Amy has only ever known what life is like in the Clearing. She knows what’s expected of her. She knows what to do to please her elders, and how to make sure life in the community remains happy and calm. That is, until a new young girl joins the group. She isn’t fitting in; she doesn’t want to stay. What happens next will turn life as Amy knows it on its head. Freya has gone to great lengths to feel like a ‘normal person’. In fact, if you saw her go about her day with her young son, you’d think she was an everyday mum. That is, until a young girl goes missing and someone from her past, someone she hasn’t seen for a very long time, arrives in town. As Amy and Freya’s story intertwines the secrets of the past bubble up to the surface. This rural Aussie town’s dark underbelly is about to be exposed and lives will be destroyed.

Thriller: The Other Mrs by Mary Kubica

Sadie and Will have only just moved their family to small town in Maine when their neighbour, Morgan Baines, is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie. As the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of Morgan’s death.

Saga/Romance: The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland

The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan is a charming, nostalgic and heart-warming story for women of any age – and it all begins when 79-year-old Shirley kidnaps her husband from for one final adventure. Elderly. Is that how the world sees me? A helpless little old lady? If only they knew. I allow myself a small smirk. When Shirley Sullivan signs her 83-year-old husband, Frank, out of the Sunset Lodge Nursing Home, she has no intention of bringing him back. For 57 years the couple has shared love, happiness and heartbreak. And while Frank may not know who his wife is these days, he knows he wants to go home. Back to the beach where they met in the early 1960s. So, Shirley enacts an elaborate plan to evade the authorities – and their furious daughter, Fiona – to give Frank the holiday he’d always dreamed of. And, in doing so, perhaps Shirley can make amends for a lifelong guilty secret.

eBooks 

Fearless by Fiona Higgins

A breathtaking new novel from the bestselling author of The Mothers’ Group and Wife on the Run.
Six strangers from across the world meet on the tropical island of Bali to attend a course designed to help them face their fears. Their backgrounds are as diverse as their fears – which range from flying, public speaking and heights, through to intimacy, failure and death.
Friendships and even romance blossom as the participants are put through a series of challenges which are unusual, confronting and sometimes hilarious. A week of fun in the sun suddenly turns into something far more serious, however, when the unthinkable happens – a tragic disaster that puts the group in deadly danger, testing the individual courage of every member.
Shocking, powerful and utterly gripping, Fearless takes you to the edge and makes you look down.

No one but You by Brenda Novak

Struggling to make ends meet after a messy divorce, Sadie Harris is at the end of her tether. Her waitressing gig isn’t enough to pay the bills let alone secure primary custody of her son, Jayden, a battle she refuses to lose. Desperate, she accepts a position assisting Dawson Reed — the same Dawson Reed who recently stood trial for the murder of his adoptive parents. Joining him at his isolated farm seems risky, but Sadie is out of options.
Dawson has given small town Silver Springs plenty of reasons to be wary, but he’s innocent of the charges against him. He wants to leave his painful past behind and fix up the family farm so he can finally bring his dependent sister home where she belongs.
As Sadie and Dawson’s professional relationship grows into something undeniably personal, Sadie realises there’s more to Dawson than the bad boy everyone else sees — he has a good heart, one that might even be worth fighting for.

eAudio 

The Jacaranda House by Deborah Challinor [BorrowBox]

Polly Manaia is working as an exotic dancer in 1960s Sydney’s notorious Kings Cross. She’s desperate to bring her young daughter to live with her, but beneath her brash confidence lie dark secrets which threaten to drag her under.
Gina is excited to live with her mum again. She’s mature for an 11-year-old, but can this young girl cope with Polly’s demons? Rhoda and Star, transgender performers and Polly’s flatmates, bring stability to Polly’s and Gina’s lives. Yet this unlikely little family will find itself threatened in more ways than one.
The Jacaranda House is a fascinating portrayal of a shifting society and a beautiful portrait of motherhood and identity.

The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben [BorrowBox]

Lies are dangerous. But the truth could kill him.
His name is Wilde. Thirty years ago he was found in the New Jersey backwoods with no idea of how he’d got there or what had happened to his family.
Now a decorated former soldier, he still prefers to live outdoors, alone. But when a local girl goes missing, Wilde is asked to use his unique skills to find her.
To do so he must return to a community where he has never fitted in, where the powerful are protected even when they are keeping secrets. Dangerous secrets that can kill. And which Wilde must expose before it’s too late…

Charlotte Pass by Lee Christine [RBdigital]

A shocking discovery deep in the Snowy Mountains. A killer who will do anything to keep secrets buried. When ski patroller, Vanessa Bell, discovers human bones high on Mount Stilwell at Charlotte Pass ski resort, Detective Sergeant Pierce Ryder of Sydney Homicide Squad is called in to lead the investigative team. Arriving in the isolated, snowed-in village with Winterfest Celebrations underway, Ryder soon determines that the bones are those of Celia Delaney, a young woman who disappeared from the ski resort in 1964, during the biggest winter storm in Australian alpine history. When a second murder takes place, Ryder suspects that the deaths are related, and the person responsible is still in the village. Amid the escalating tension, Ryder is desperate to make an arrest before the stakes rise even higher. Set within the stunning Snowy Mountains, this intriguing mystery uncovers deadly, long-buried secrets in the valleys and mountains of this iconic area.

 

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