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Staff's Favourite Reads April 2022

Our lovely team are back with some more reviews and recommendations! Here’s what kept them all engrossed throughout the month of April.

 

The Match by Harlan Coben

Chosen by Michelle, Information Services Co-ordinator

Harlan Coben is at it again with his newest title “Match”, the second book in the “Wilde” series, following on from The Boy from the Woods.”

Wilde has taken to genetic testing websites to try to find some family members, in the hope that he can find out who he is and hopefully to then find how he ended up growing up alone in the woods. He gets more than he bargained for, when a genetic connection turns out to be with a reality TV star who has fallen from grace and is now missing – assumed suicide.

Harlan Coben is at his best in this book. Great story, with the usual amazing twists, including right at the end. But what I appreciated about this book was also the character development, particularly around the lead character Wilde.

You don’t need to have read Boy from the Woods first, to enjoy this book, but it helps with an understanding of the Wilde story. Either way, if you love a good modern mystery, with twists and character development, you can’t beat Match by Harlan Coben.

Match is only available as a book at present – but you can place a hold on it, or pick it up from your local library’s Top Titles collection in branch.

The Torrent by Dinuka McKenzie

Chosen by Courtney, Branch Manager

The Torrent is set in Northern NSW and follows heavily pregnant Detective Kate Miles in her final week of work before maternity leave. With a violent hold up and a past case dumped on her desk for review Kate’s final week before leave is full on.

Kate is a breath of fresh air to crime fiction lovers; she is a compelling and well rounded character who is both intellectually smart but also knows the name of the game when it comes to inner staff politics. She leads well and the family dynamics bring a fresh perspective to the traditional lonely detective trope of crime fiction. And how fantastic to see a healthy marriage with a stay at home dad in the mix.

McKenzie keeps the plot well placed with enough mystery to keep the reader guessing the outcome. The story flows naturally as it near the climatic ending. Its descriptive without being overly wordy and the secondary characters and plots add to a well structured narrative.
A unmissable debut from a new Australian writer. Can’t wait for book 2 to come out in 2023!

The Nurse’s War by Victoria Purman

Chosen by Janine, Customer Experience Officer

An outstanding novel by Victoria Purman. It was great to read a story about the First World War and especially the Australian contingent of nurses that served in England during this period. Authentic characters and situations were portrayed with clarity about what the nurses went through and how it changed their lives. Of course, the Australian soldiers who were under their care suffered terribly and many lives were lost. The two main characters were Cora and also Jessie who lived in the nearby village, her character grew immensely during the book.

This was a big book to read but didn’t feel that way as the story kept me fully engaged from beginning to end. I believe this is one of Victoria’s best books so far.

Sister Stardust by Jane Green

Chosen by Janine, Customer Experience Officer

Loosely based on the life of Talitha Getty, New York Times bestselling writer Jane Green took me to the sex, drugs and rock and roll era of the swinging 60’s in London and to Marrakesh in Morocco where the rich and famous indulge in heavy drugs and relationships and exist within a 24/7 party atmosphere.
When a young woman named Claire encounters Talitha Getty, her life is irrevocably changed. Claire is drawn to Talitha and she joins her in Marrakesh, embarking on a new life path, which is defined by experimentation and risk. Claire is a naïve young girl who gets swept up in this world after being kicked out of home, and relishes this new life and forms a close friendship with Talitha. Sister Stardust is a compulsive read that transports the reader to a time in our not-too-distant past
It’s obvious that Jane did an enormous amount of research into the fashion, lifestyle and people of this era and I read this book in 2 sittings – such an escape from my usual choice of novels and I loved it!

Australian Code Breakers

Chosen by Michelle, Information Services Co-ordinator

Australian Code Breakers is the true story from #1 Best selling author James Phelps. It is focused on the amazing code breaking efforts that came from Australians in WWI.

Being interested in code breaking, since finding out about Alan Turing and the Enigma machine, I was thrilled be able to pick up this new title from James Phelps. Australia had played such a large part in this important part of world history and I had no idea.

Australian Code Breakers focuses around the story of former headmaster Frederick Wheatley, who with his naval comrades and command, and with his team of assistants, broke the German code. The story is not just about the code breaking, but the interaction with command, getting acknowledgement and recognition from Military Command in the UK and all set within the context of what was happening in war activities around Australia.

Told more like a novel that a traditional non-fiction book, this engaging story is told chronologically and references many great historical resources. You get to know the people and experience their lives, in the context of real life events, both tragic and victorious. It was eye-opening to say the least.

“Australian Code Breakers” is available in print and in ebook and eaudiobook from Borrowbox.

Never Split The Difference

Chosen by Michelle, Information Services Co-ordinator

At a recent training session, we were recommended this book for further reading. “Never split the difference” is by Chris Voss, a international negotiator for the FBI and now with his own company the Black Swan Group.

Amazingly, with this background, you might think “Never split the difference” is for high level negotiators. It is to a certain extent, but this book has invaluable strategies for the everyday negotiations – with your children, your partner, your colleagues, your friends and anyone else you interact with.

Voss illustrates his strategies with his experiences from the FBI and the book is well worth reading for that alone. They are amazingly insightful, not only into the art of negotiation, but into the nature of human beings.

As everyone needs to negotiate with someone at sometime, even if its just with your child over their wants, I highly recommend “Split the difference” to help you find the best solution with your newly acquired skills.

“Never split the difference” is available in print and in eaudiobook from Borrowbox.