Welcome to our April favourites – the best books we read in April 2018. In our monthly favourites blog posts, we’ll share with you the best books we’ve read in the month, whether they be new releases or backlist titles.
Without further ado, here are the books we’ve loved in April.
Why Tanaya loved it: This is an upcoming YA release about a group of four teens who befriend their favourite author, Fatima Ro. They adore her, trust her, and tell her all their secrets only to discover with the release of Fatima’s next book one year later, that all their secrets ended up in the book. The premise alone had me super excited to read this, and when a copy landed on my desk I dropped everything to devour it. The narrative is told in a few really interesting ways that just worked so well together and always had me questioning what the truth was. I loved trying to piece together the mysterious elements and just overall was happy this met all my expectations!
Synopsis: A thrilling story of manipulation, deceit and consequences, All of This is True is a contemporary cross between We Were Liars and The Secret History. When four Long Island teens plot to meet Fatima Ro… Learn more.
Why John loved it: The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted will move you in the first few pages. If that isn’t enough, the writing alone is definitely worth the price of admission. And then there is the richness of the storytelling and the depth of emotion thrown in, too. Robert Hillman seems to get more across with fewer words than I would have thought possible. This is wonderful stuff.
Synopsis: Tom Hope doesn’t think he’s much of a farmer, but he’s doing his best. He can’t have been much of a husband to Trudy, either, judging by her sudden departure. It’s only when she returns, pregnant to someone else, that he discovers his surprising talent as a father. So when Trudy finds Jesus and takes little Peter away with her to join the holy rollers, Tom’s heart breaks all over again… Learn more.
Why Bron loved it: Charlie Donlea knows how to keep his readers on the edge of their seats for the entire ride. He cleverly stages each discovery and positions each plot twist so that we feel like the protagonist Sidney is taking us along for the ride. The pace was so snappy and I felt the urgency of Sidney’s enormous and daunting task as conflicting information piled on top of her. And nothing – NOTHING – prepared me for that ending.
Synopsis: In this twisting, page-turning thriller, an ambitious documentary filmmaker seeks the release of a convicted killer. But is she just a puppet in a sinister game?
Why Rob loved it: Pulitzer-prize winning author, Richard Rhodes is known for definitive science histories (his book The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a tour-de-force). He is much like Simon Winchester in his brilliant ability to elucidate technical matters so precisely you don’t ever feel bogged down in unnecessary exposition. In his new book, Energy, he chronicles modern energy use (and its effect on humans) from wood to coal, through oil to fission and solar. Each problem solved brought new issues, rippling into lives and landscape, so there is as much social history here as scientific. What I love about this book is how lively and entertaining the narrative is. Fascinating anecdotes that make you go “wow”. This is history at its very best; turning point after turning point, told with verve and skill.
Synopsis: Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author Richard Rhodes reveals the fascinating… Learn more.
Why Sarah loved it: This is an old favourite of mine that I have now re-read for the trillionth time. Every time I read it I’m reminded of the perfection of Sharon Shinn. She is one of my favourite authors! Like Robin McKinley and Diana Wynne Jones, she has a remarkable talent for creating worlds and characters that are simultaneously magical and realistic. This is why I return to her books again and again. Summers at Castle Auburn is part fairytale, part mystery, part thriller with a dash of romance and plenty of court intrigue. Every time I read it, I fall a little bit deeper under its spell!
Synopsis: A woman blessed, or cursed, with a talent for witchcraft returns to Castle Auburn where she spent her childhood in joy – only to find an aura of dread awaiting her. Learn more.
Why Ben loved it: This mesmerising novel set in Britain at the end of WWII will be loved both by fans of Michael Ondaatje and new comers alike. In an elegant, paired-back narrative, the reader is steeped in the emptiness and mystery of the main character’s world. A fantastic story of displacement, longing and wonder.
Synopsis: A mesmerising new novel from the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of The English Patient.
In a narrative as mysterious as memory itself – at once both shadowed and luminous – Warlight is a vivid, thrilling novel of violence and love, intrigue and desire. It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz and years of war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic… Learn more.
Why Tracey loved it: I didn’t actually intend to re-read this but I bought the special hardcover edition recently and started reading the first page, and that was it, I was hooked! Having not read Nineteen Eighty-Four since my early 20s I was immediately blown away by how engrossing this book is. From the very first page I was drawn into the cold, bleak dystopian world of Winston Smith. The irony is that when I first read this book a world like this seemed unthinkable, yet now in 2018 it describes a world that is increasingly and eerily familiar.
Synopsis: ‘Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’
Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands… Learn more.
Why Olivia loved it: I’m making it my personal mission to rescue Frankenstein from its lousy high school reputation, because this book is astonishing. Recognised now as the pioneer work of the sci-fi genre, Mary Shelley’s ghoulish tale of a hubristic scientist who falls on a sword of his own making when he brings a monster to life never fails to fill me with dread and awe. If you haven’t read this since high school, you are long overdue for a re-read – trust me.
Synopsis: Obsessed by creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life by electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear. This chilling gothic tale, begun when Mary Shelley was just nineteen years old, would become the world’s most famous work of horror fiction… Learn more.
Why Lara loved it: We live in a time of such intense media saturation that we are often unaware of the extent to which our thoughts and lives are influenced by the external world; the magic of The Alchemist is that it is a gentle reminder to follow our own path. The Alchemist is a wonderful exoctic journey of self-discovery that will leave you feeling more connected to the world, including your community, nature and yourself.
Synopsis: The twenty-fifth anniversary edition of the international phenomenon about a shepherd boy who learns how to live his dreams – includes an inspiring new introduction by the author.
The Alchemist has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland… Learn more.
Why Emma loved it: After binge watching the show and loving it I had to see how the book compared (I know, I know I am doing it the wrong way around but what can I say life got in the way). Although the book is set in Australia and the show in the U.S., the story remains strong and relevant. As a fan of the way they tied in the flashbacks in the show, I was delighted just as much by the way the book pieced the plot together. The camaraderie between all the women is just as powerful in the book and that big reveal at the end still shocked me. If you have read this you will know what I mean. Bring on season 2!
Synopsis: ‘I guess it started with the mothers.’ ‘It was all just a terrible misunderstanding.’ ‘I’ll tell you exactly why it happened.’ Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. A parent is dead. Liane Moriarty’s new novel is funny and heartbreaking… Learn more.
Why Arthur loved it: The Room is panned as one of the worst movies ever made – watching it is a great comedic experience. Listening to the behind the scenes of how this movie was made was even better. The audio book is a truly hilarious and riveting account by one of the co stars of that fateful movie and how this changed his life. His impersonation of The Room “mastermind” Tommy Wiseau is nothing short of brilliant and if you ever listen to one audio book in your life, make sure this is it.
Synopsis: Soon to be a major motion picture, The Masterpiece, starring James Franco
In 2003, an independent film called The Room – starring and written, produced, and directed by a mysteriously wealthy social misfit named Tommy Wiseau – made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one… Learn more.
About the Contributor
Tanaya has been a lover of books for as long as she can remember. Now, her book collection is a little out of control, mostly consisting of YA fiction and pretty hardcovers. When she’s not reading, she spends a lot of her time taking photos of books for her bookstagram account, @prettypagesblog. She also has a love of Disneyland, bullet journaling and cats.
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