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.
Pip, bookseller at Harry Hartog Miranda, is reading “The Themis Flies Series” by Sylvain Neuvel; watching “Talkin’ About Your Generation,” a comedy quiz show that pits one generation against the other; and listening to “Evolve,” Imagine Dragons’s new album (“an eclectic arrangement of songs, delving unabashedly into the theme of mental illness and the journey of recovery.”).
I have been holding off from doing this review until I could read the third, and final, book of this epic series, which has only recently been released. The finale did not disappoint; epic in all ways, brutally heart-wrenching, thought-provoking and action-packed, each book raises the stakes and when you think that it could not get any more dramatic, it does. A warning, don’t start this before bed: you will not sleep. This is a uniquely written sci-fi mystery, an adult answer to the Illuminae Files, exploring the morality of humanity and the cost of technological advancement in a globally-functional world. This series does not shy away from the big issues, dissecting our view on race, war and what us and them really means when the expansion of the universe uncovers a superior ‘them’ and threatens to drive ‘us’ apart definitively. I am so sad to have finished this series; it will be one that stays with me forever, one that I will continue to think about and one that will influence my decisions and relationships with other ‘humans’. And isn’t that the best thing anyone can ask for in a book?
After crafting the excellent “Trigger Mortis,” Horowitz returns to the world of James Bond. Telling a prequel story to Ian Fleming's first novel “Casino Royale,” “Forever and a Day” sees the newly promoted Bond investigating the death of the previous OO7 in the early 1950s. A fun, exciting read featuring a grotesque villain and a truly well-developed Bond Girl. This is a great addition to the Bond legacy and a fantastic jumping on point for new readers.
In a New England college in the 1980s, dark secrets bubble beneath arcadian quaintness and practiced pretension. The lazily unhappy Richard Papen leaves the harsh, homogenised urban reality of his small-town Californian existence for the old-world, literary allure of Hampton college in Vermont. He falls in with the aloof and erudite coterie of Classics students, with whom Richard ingratiates himself by solving an ancient Greek grammar problem. Often too smart for their own good, Richard’s new friends become entangled in a world of surreal crime and murder, and slowly unravel. The characters in “The Secret History” are, Richard included, uniquely despicable, but not evil or wholly unlikable: you will find yourself coming to detest those you initially liked, and empathising with those you hated. But you will keep turning the pages, hoping against hope that they will be better, for their sake.
Kirsty, assistant manager at Harry Hartog Narellan, is reading “When Life Gives You Lululemons” by Lauren Weisberger
If any character deserved their own book, Emily would be among the top on my list! This book is positively delightful and introduces two new co-leading ladies who are the perfect complement to Emily. Lauren Weisberger sure knows how to write a trendy book with surprisingly deep social commentary on the insecurity underlying all the glitz, glamour and money without being overly critical of anyone who subscribes to that lifestyle. I absolutely had a blast reading this book, and I think other readers—whether new to Weisberger or long-time fans—will feel the same way!
Set in a future so near it could happen tomorrow, women around the world are falling asleep and not waking up. Even worse, their slumbering bodies are forming a coocoon-like shroud which cannot be disturbed at any cost, lest they wake and go insane, unrecognising of their own friends and family. Shamefully, this was my first King novel. Like many of his books, this is a mammoth read, but certainly worth the time. Although the premise of the novel is in itself a dark horror, the real terror of the story comes from how accurately King portrays gender relations, shining a torch on the unspoken and unacknowledged.
When this book came in, I'd never heard of Mari Andrew. Now, she feels like a sister to me and I constantly refer back to her biography for understanding and guidance. Her 'loop-de-loop, zigzagging journey to adulthood' is beautiful, funny and a little heartbreaking, and is supported by the most spectacular, relatable illustrations. She's been through all the rights of passage we take as we get older - the ups and downs of relationships, travel, ruts, jobs, bad hair-cuts and fashion blunders, friendships, failures and successes. It's so lovely to be able to finish a book knowing someone who has stood where you're standing, has gotten through it and can now look back at the times that made them cry with a smile and perhaps even a giggle. Just gorgeous.
A fascinating exploration into why we sleep. From the benefits of a good night’s sleep to the detrimental consequences of losing quality shut eye, “Why We Sleep” is both incredibly interesting and, in some ways, alarming. If you need a push to start developing good sleeping patterns, this is it; this book highlights how miraculous our minds and bodies are - but only if we devote the same care and attention to our sleep as we do to other parts of our lives. As Walker says, the old saying “I'll sleep when I'm dead” is impractical, as a lack of good sleep only brings death closer. Such a great read!
A battle that every parent has faced: Rollow does not want to clean his teeth. He will, in fact, do everything to avoid it. This is a great story that explains the importance of dental hygiene and a fun read that will encourage even the most stubborn child to brush their teeth.
An Unforgettable story of a heartbreaking secret that will stay with you forever. Sarah is drawn to an abandoned asylum called Ambergate. Whilst exploring the corridor she discovers a suitcase belonging to a former patient from fifty years earlier. The contents lead to a story of tragedy, lost love and an old wrong that only Sarah may have the power to put right. This is an emotional story filled with love, loss and hope.