Welcome to Booklore, our weekly collection of books worth reading; films and television shows worth watching; art worth feasting your eyes on; and podcasts and albums worth your ear time.
Mel, manager of Harry Hartog Warringah, is reading – and feeling at home in -- “Leah on the Offbeat,” by Becky Albertalli; watching “The 100,” a post-apocalyptic Netflix series; and curiously listening to The Joe Rogan Experience, a podcast about, well, everything.
We return to the glorious world of “Simon versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” this time following the life of his best friend, Leah. This book is about the fluidity of sexuality; the desperate loneliness of feeling unlovable; the excruciating pain of loving someone you (think) you shouldn’t; the terrifying excitement of discovering that person might love you back; and the sheer frustration of feeling one step behind everyone else and wondering how they learnt to do things you didn’t. It's about how your highest highs and lowest lows can all happen in a day and how a person can enter your life and change everything without even knowing. Funny, beautiful and so worth the wait.
Based on the book by Kass Morgan, “The 100” is set in the future where people are now living on 'the arc' a self-sufficient life craft orbiting the Earth, which has become inhabitable after a post-apocalyptic event. Years later, 100 teenage prisoners are sent to Earth to determine whether it is safe to return. In short, the answer is no. They face an unknown, aggressive enemy and a dangerous lack of resources. They also have to develop a hierarchy within their group, which leads to constant conflict and the threat that they may wipe each other out. “The 100” is a fast-paced action show with the just the right amount of tension, violence, sass and sexy, angsty-romance. It's essentially a futuristic “Lord of the Flies” scenario but with the addition of kick-ass women.
This a story of parents acting like children. Liane Moriarty has delivered yet again: I was unable to put this book down. She manages to blend genres seamlessly; this book acts as a compelling thriller with the humour and heart of a contemporary novel. The characters are written realistically and as the book progresses, what I thought were shallow characters became more complicated and interesting: I was thoroughly invested in all of them. At a surface level, the book follows the lives of parents whose children are starting kindergarten together. The parents of Pirriwee Public School are humorously told, as cliques, do-gooders and the many who think their children are oh-so-special. Moriarty is able to depict over-parenting to a T. Under the surface, she deals with domestic violence as well as the pressures and pettiness of white middle class parenting, all in a way that is realistic without being predictable or preachy. The mystery element is woven together so skilfully that the big reveal feels genuinely shocking and satisfying as it ties up neatly. This a funny and witty read, perfect of this cultural moment.
My expectations of a graphic biography on Nick Cave, one of my favourite musicians of all time, was closer to Self Made Hero’s other graphic biographies on Edvard Munch or Van Gogh, where there was a clear linear retelling of their lives, or part of it. I was pleased to be surprised by illustrator and author Reinhard Kliest’s unique approach to the retelling of the legend that is Nick Cave.
Told through characters from four of Cave’s most iconic songs -- and through a character from his debut novel “And The Ass Saw The Angel” -- this dark, gritty look at the tall, dark, gritty man is a fantastic and singular way to showcase Nick Cave’s life. I would even go as far to say that the energy the illustrations provided are on par with the electricity Cave conjures at his concerts.
To compliment this biography, Kliest has released an art book showcasing the illustrations that didn’t make the cut. Looking at the stand-alone images give you the whole story; Cave swaggering off into the sunset or leaning in the salon dressed as the cowboy who blew into town. You’re even gifted with the many faces of Cave through his ink portraits.
Both are great additions for any Nick Cave fan. But don’t go into them expecting a deep look into Cave’s heart and brain. These are honest, raw illustrations of the myth.
“The Graveyard Book” is one of those rare novels, in the vein of “Harry Potter”, which a devoted fan will never grow out of. Even though I didn’t read it until I was 20, I adored it. Much like Harry Potter, the tale begins with murdered parents and a lone orphan taken in by foster parents. Unlike the Dursleys, however, Mr and Mrs Owens are happy to raise the boy they name Nobody Owens (Bod, for short), and even love him, and are downright warm! (At least as warm as the dead can be.) Thus, Bod is raised in a graveyard, where he learns the skills of ghosts: to go unseen and pass through objects, which he must use to confront the man who killed his parents. And, rest assured, the man will come for Bod, as his work remains undone until Bod too is a ghost.
Taylor, bookseller and content coordinator at Harry Hartog Miranda is enchanted by Madeline Miller’s “Circe”; watching “Rick and Morty,” a show about a grandpa-grandson duo and the meaning of life; and listening to Florence + The Machine’s new single, “Hunger” (“a beautiful anthem-like song that discusses loneliness, desire and the hunger that everyone feels in search for love or a companion.”).
This was my first foray into Greek mythology, and I was simply enchanted. Circe is a complex and dynamic female character on a journey of self-discovery to understand her place amongst gods and humans, and to love herself for who she is, not what the divine expects her to be. Immortality and divinity come with a price, and while spending her days exiled on an island in the Mediterranean, she begins to practice witchcraft to better protect herself and her loved ones. Although she encounters many legendary men (Odysseus being a feature character) in her eons of existence, this story is of Circe, and Circe alone. With lyrical prose and a feminist overtone, this book has already claimed its spot as one of my favourite reads of 2018.
I was recommended this incredible novel by a customer. Being first written online as a casual story, Matharu got a tremendous response – people were overwhelming him with questions and asking for the next one. He decided to publish it and make it a trilogy – becoming a young and prestigious author. Often said to be a cross between “Harry Potter,” “Lord of the Rings” and “Pokemon,” this is a fantastic series about a young orphan boy who discovers a rare ability to summon a demon, allowing him to do magic. He is discovered and sent to an academy to learn how to control it so he can be sent to the front lines to fight against the Orcs invading their land.
This story has more heart and emotion within each line. It had me weeping for characters that were only introduced chapters ago. It had me laughing in public, smiling at the characters’ personalities and emboldened by the courage of the protagonist.
Kirsty, assistant manager at Harry Hartog Narellan, is swooning over Helen Hardt’s “The Craving.”
Everyone dreams of their fairy-tale wedding: the dress, the guests, your soon to be husband, the prospect of happily ever after. Until you are left at the altar.
Jade Roberts knows this all too well; still raw from the betrayal she has just encountered she seeks solace at her best friend’s family ranch to heal her broken heart. She doesn’t expect to be attracted to her friend’s reclusive brother, Talon Steel, the older of the Steel boys. Talon is not used to having a woman in his life, apart from his sister, so when Jade walks into his life all bets are off after that first kiss. Will they both be able to overcome traumatic pasts, Talon’s a horrific childhood trauma, Jades a betrayed and broken heart? Would you risk everything for a chance of what could possibly be true love?
If you enjoyed “Fifty Shades of Grey,” you are in for a treat.