Before we get stuck into our monthly book recommendations this year, we thought we’d take a moment to celebrate some of the best reads of 2019.
Our friends over at QBD Books have crunched the numbers and determined the below to be some of the best titles of last year.
By Erin Morgenstern
Beautifully written and extraordinarily imaginative, I felt bereft when I had finished reading it. What do you do when you’ve finished a book which was so profoundly moving? At its most basic level, this is a book about a subterranean library, where stories are inscribed on the walls and floors. It’s also a book about the power of stories, and of discovering your own place in them.
– Eleanor, QBD Books Chatswood, NSW
Morganstern’s peculiar brand of magical realism captivated me with The Night Circus and I eagerly awaited this second novel, all about stories and hidden doors and love that outlasts death. The main character is a reluctant hero, drawn into an elegant and enchanting world-beneath-the-world, where stories take on lives of their own. Not everyone can make it to the Starless Sea and in fact, Zachary has a nemesis bent on closing all the secret doors. Can fate save the day? Beautifully written with tantalising vignettes that build and build, The Starless Sea is a must-read.
– Shannon, QBD Books Rockingham, WA
What if there was a door, waiting to be opened only by you, and you didn’t step through? Zachary Ezra Rawlins knows the answer – you never forget the door. But as it turns out, the door never forgets you. Years later, Zachary is given a second opportunity to open the door. He does, beginning a journey through myth and time, stories and love, and the golden waves of the Starless Sea. A love letter to storytelling, myths and fables, The Starless Sea is pure magic. It left an ache in my heart, and the taste of honey on my tongue.
– Sarah, QBD Books Support Office, QLD
By Anri Yoshi
For fans of the My Hero Academia series, Anri Yoshi’s School Briefs provides a new and entertaining insight into the daily lives of our favourite heroes-to-be. From helping a lost child at the amusement park to saving their parents from a dastardly villain attack, our heroes will have their plates full with these adventures! Even if you haven’t read the main series, Yoshi provides enough info for new readers to be able to follow along with the characters and world of the hit manga series. A must-read for any fans of some lighthearted comedy fun!
– Rory, QBD Books Miranda, NSW
By Tamsyn Muir
If you like puns, skeletons, and a strong enemies-to-lovers trope this is the book for you. A little bit science fiction, a little bit horror, and a whole lot of fun. It follows a foul-mouthed woman called Gideon who is the reluctant champion to the necromantic heir of a planet, as she explores a haunted gothic palace and tries to get out of trouble as fast as she gets into it.
– Paige, QBD Books Hornsby, NSW
By Temi Oh
This isn’t your typical space adventure novel. Although its description is fairly routine – a group of highly intelligent young adults train to become the first crew to establish life on a new planet – Temi Oh has written honest and tangible experiences on a voyage destined to be life-altering. These deeply complex characters unfold in raw and beautiful ways, exposing the tumultuous emotions and calculations of those destined to leave behind the only home they know for something bigger than themselves. For fans of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and The Martian, this story will envelop all those with their eyes on the sky.
– Kaitlyn, QBD Books Miranda, NSW
By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Aurora Rising is the latest entry into a brand new sci-fi series by Kaufman and Kristoff. If you are a fan of their previous series together, The Illuminae Files, you’ll love this new series. Action-packed from the go, this book features so many incredible twists that when you finally reach the last page you’ll want book two immediately!
– Ashley, QBD Books Mandurah, WA
By Benjamin Percy
Seattle’s in for a serious shake-up when Green Arrow crosses quivers with a new vigilante “hero” dubbed the Citizen, who’s hell-bent on exposing the corrupt and criminal one-percenters operating in the Emerald City. Green Arrow initially applauds these efforts, until the Citizen turns judge, jury and executioner. Can you guess which bloviating billionaire is next on his hit list? Luckily he’s got Black Canary and Kate Spencer watching his back. Unfortunately, they can’t save him from everything… Collects Green Arrow #43-47 and Annual #2.
– Daniel, QBD Books Liverpool, NSW
By Lynette Noni
Vardaesia is everything you want in the final book of an incredible series, and more. It’s breathtaking, heartbreaking, and soul-warming. Lynette Noni twines together all the threads from the previous books into this final masterpiece tapestry that will leave you wanting to reread the series immediately to revisit Medora. An epic conclusion to say goodbye (for now) to Alex and co.
– Rosie, QBD Books Carousel, WA
By Julie Kagawa
The follow-up to Shadow of the Fox, this is a Japanese-inspired adventure, rich in fantasy, folklore, and fox-magic! If you love a good anime, you’ll love this book! Plus there’s still the final instalment, Night of the Dragon to look forward to, coming this April.
– Alyssa, QBD Books Penrith, NSW
By Stephen Chbosky
This is a return to true horror, both terrifying and innovative. A young boy wanders into the woods and returns unscathed six days later, unable to remember a thing. But he’s different. And he needs to build a treehouse. This is a mix of The Exorcist and Stranger Things, with brilliant twists and turns all the way through. A five-star read.
– Sophie, QBD Books Wagga Wagga, NSW
By Joe Hill
Joe Hill has done it again with this collection of short stories in Full Throttle. Each story is captivating from the start, with some of the eerie horror that his other works are renowned for. Whether you are planting your own mum, being stalked by a carousel ride, running a mobile library for ghosts, or lost in tall grass – each story draws you in and you don’t want (or won’t be able) to leave!
– Nichola, QBD Books Darwin, NT
By Neal Shusterman
This conclusion to the Arc of a Scythe trilogy is bittersweet. The whole series has been consistently surprising, and this was ultimately a thrilling and satisfying climax. This is expertly crafted storytelling; the weaving together of characters and storylines that began in Scythe and grew in Thunderhead is nothing short of brilliant. Highly recommended for all readers of young adult and dystopian genres.
– Jeremy, QBD Books Support Office, NSW