Staff Picks

Twilight

Twilight

An electrifying debut novel of a young woman’s love for a vampire. In spite of her awkward manner and low expectations, she finds that her new classmates are drawn to this pale, dark-haired new girl in town.

But not, it seems, the Cullen family. These five adopted brothers and sisters obviously prefer their own company and will make no exception for Bella. Bella is convinced that Edward Cullen in particular hates her, but she feels a strange attraction to him, although his hostility makes her feel almost physically ill. He seems determined to push her away — until, that is, he saves her life from an out of control car.

Bella will soon discover that there is a very good reason for Edward’s coldness. He, and his family, are vampires — and he knows how dangerous it is for others to get too close.

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The Water Diviner

The Water Diviner

When the Great War ends, Joshua Connor, a grieving farmer and sometime water diviner from the Mallee in Victoria, sets out to fulfil his wife's dying wish - to travel to Gallipoli to recover the bodies of his three sons and bury them in consecrated ground. Crescent collides with cross, and hope with reason as he discovers that his eldest son, Art, may still be alive. When Connor makes a desperate dash into the perilous heart of Anatolia one question haunts him: If Art is alive, why hasn't he come home? 

This is not a war novel, not even an anti-war novel. Instead it focuses on the battles that go on inside the hearts and minds of a small group of Australians and Turks as they struggle to bury their dead and rebuild their lives after the First World War. The story is based on first-hand resources, diaries and official records.

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The Virgin Suicides

The Virgin Suicides

As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family’s fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death.

Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humour and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. The Virgin Suicides was dapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola. 
 

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Lust & Wonder

Lust & Wonder

In chronicling the development and demise of the different relationships he's had while living in New York, Augusten Burroughs examines what it means to be in love, what it means to be in lust, and what it means to be figuring it all out. 

With Augusten's unique and singular observations and his own unabashed way of detailing both the horrific and the humorous, Lust and Wonder is an intimate and honest memoir that his legions of fans have been waiting for.

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A Piece of the World

A Piece of the World

For decades, Christina Olson’s whole world has been a rocky, windswept point on the coast of Maine, the farmhouse her ancestors fled to from the Salem witch trials. A world she fears she will never leave.As a girl, farm life asked more of Christina than it did her family, her wasting limbs turning every task into a challenge. But the very tenacity that strengthened her may dash her chances for a life beyond her chores and extinguish her hopes for love. Years pass and Christina’s solitude is broken by the arrival of Andrew Wyeth, a young artist who is fixated on the isolated farm house. 

In Christina he will discover more than a kindred spirit; for him, she will become a muse like no other… From the bestselling author of Orphan Train comes a luminous portrait of a woman of grit and grace, as heartwarming as it is gripping. A story that allows the reader to marvel at Andrew Wyeth’s iconic portrait from the other side.

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Barkskins

Barkskins

In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord, a “seigneur,” for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters – barkskins. René suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman and their descendants live trapped between two inimical cultures. But Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away from the seigneur, becomes a fur trader, then sets up a timber business. 

Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years – their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand, under stunningly brutal conditions; the revenge of rivals; accidents; pestilence; Indian attacks; and cultural annihilation. Over and over again, they seize what they can of a presumed infinite resource, leaving the modern-day characters face to face with possible ecological collapse. 

Proulx’s inimitable genius is her creation of characters who are so vivid – in their greed, lust, vengefulness, or their simple compassion and hope – that we follow them with fierce attention. Annie Proulx is one of the most formidable and compelling American writers, and Barkskins is her greatest novel, a magnificent marriage of history and imagination.

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The Waiting Room

The Waiting Room

Dina is a family doctor living in the melting-pot city of Haifa, Israel. Born in Australia in a Jewish enclave of Melbourne to Holocaust survivors, Dina left behind a childhood marred by misery and the tragedies of the past to build a new life for herself in the Promised Land. 

After starting a family of her own, she finds her life falling apart beneath the demands of her eccentric patients, a marriage starting to fray, the ever-present threat of terrorist attack and the ghost of her mother, haunting her with memories that Dina would prefer to leave on the other side of the world. 

Leah Kaminsky plumbs the depths of her characters' memories, both the sweet and the heart-wrenching, reaching back in a single climactic day through six decades and across three continents to uncover a truth that could save Dina's sanity – and her life. 
 

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The Stand

The Stand

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides-or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail-and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man. 

In 1978 Stephen King published The Stand, the novel that is now considered one of his finest works. But as it was first published, The Stand was incomplete, since more than 150,000 words had been cut from the original manuscript. Now Stephen King's apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil has been restored to its entirety. 

The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition includes more than 500 pages of material deleted, along with new material that King added as he reworked the manuscript for a new generation. It gives us new characters and endows familiar ones with new depths. It has a new beginning and a new ending. What emerges is a gripping work with the scope and moral complexity of a true epic. 

For the hundreds of thousands of fans who read The Stand in its original version and wanted more, this new edition is Stephen King's gift.. And those who are reading The Stand for the first time will discover a triumphant and eerily plausible work of the imagination that takes on the issues that will determine our survival. 
 

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The name of the wind

The name of the wind

Patrick Rothfuss' fantastic (and bestselling) debut fantasy novel.

'I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.'

So begins the tale of Kvothe - currently known as Kote, the unassuming innkeepter - from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, through his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe the notorious magician, the accomplished thief, the masterful musician, the dragon-slayer, the legend-hunter, the lover, the thief and the infamous assassin. 
 

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The Botticelli secret

The Botticelli secret

In this exhilarating cross between "The Da Vinci Code" and "The Birth of Venus," " "an irrepressible young woman in 15th-century Italy must flee for her life after stumbling upon a deadly secret when she serves as a model for Botticelli...When part-time model and full-time prostitute Luciana Vetra is asked by one of her most exalted clients to pose for a painter friend, she doesn't mind serving as the model for the central figure of Flora in Sandro Botticelli's masterpiece "Primavera." But when the artist dismisses her without payment, Luciana impulsively steals an unfinished version of the painting--only to find that somone is ready to kill her to get it back. What could possibly be so valuable about the picture? As friends and clients are slaughtered around her, Luciana turns to the one man who has never desired her beauty, novice librarian Brother Guido. Fleeing Venice together, Luciana and Guido race through the nine cities of Renaissance Italy, pursued by ruthless foes who are determined to keep them from decoding the painting's secrets.Gloriously fresh and vivid, with a deliciously irreverent heroine, "The Botticelli Secret" is an irresistible blend of history, wit, and suspense.

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