Welcome to our March favourites – the best books we read in March 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.
This month is another mixed bag with our staff reading from a range of genres. There’s fantasy, YA fiction, modern and contemporary fiction, literary fiction, and non-fiction recommendations. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, and whilst we can guarantee the insides on all of these books are also fabulous, take a look at how stunning some of the covers are below for our picks.
Without further ado, here are the books we’ve loved in March.
Why Tanaya loved it: Books about mermaids and sirens are not usually my cup of tea, but To Kill a Kingdom had me enchanted from the very first page. This is a dark retelling of The Little Mermaid, and I absolutely adored it.
Synopsis: Dark and romantic YA fantasy for fans of Sarah J. Maas – about the siren with a taste for royal blood and the prince who has sworn to destroy her.
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most – a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever… Learn more.
Why Sarah loved it: Super addictive, cleverly plotted and ridiculously relatable, Those Other Women by Nicola Moriarty is yet another captivating read from the wildly talented Moriarty family. I raced through this book in a single sitting and was genuinely upset when I had to part ways with the characters in the end. This is definitely one of those books where the characters begin to feel like your new best friends within the first few chapters.
Synopsis: Mums. Sleepless nights. Toddler tantrums. Porridge in her hair. Frankie needs the support of her online mums’ group just to keep her off the gin. Versus Non-Mums. Late starts. Early finishes. Endless school plays and sports days. Poppy and Annalise are driven mad by mums enjoying special privileges at work while they pick up the slack. Setting up a Facebook group to vent about smug… Learn more.
Why John loved it: Loved this book. Imagine the kid from The Wonder Years walking into an episode of Underbelly. It has a tonne of heart and it’s funny and it’s frightening and gross and exciting. I dare anyone to put it down after reading a very particular scene I can’t actually talk about… I dare ya.
Synopsis: An utterly wonderful novel of love, crime, magic, fate and coming of age, set in Brisbane’s violent working class suburban fringe – from one of Australia’s most exciting new writers.
Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It’s not as if Eli’s life isn’t complicated enough already. He’s just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way – not least of which is Tytus Broz… Learn more.
Why Ben loved it: The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje runs wild with the reader’s imagination. Its interwoven tales of mystery, love and displacement eclipse all preconceptions of what a war novel can be. This thing is literary magic.
Synopsis: The final curtain is closing on the Second World War, and Hana, a nurse, stays behind in an abandoned Italian villa to tend to her only remaining patient. Rescued by Bedouins from a burning plane, he is English, anonymous, damaged beyond recognition and haunted by his memories of passion and betrayal.
The only clue Hana has to his past is the one thing he clung on to through the fire – a copy of The Histories by Herodotus, covered with hand-written notes describing a painful and ultimately tragic love affair… Learn more.
Why Rob loved it: Oh, how I love the return of Simon Winchester! Ostensibly a history of precision engineering, this book is a kind of love story to the idea of human-made perfection, of achieving the faultless in material form. In this highly enjoyable story of obsession with the ultra-precise, with ever-lower tolerances and unparalleled quality, Winchester follows high-accuracy machining through the centuries. It is a ripping narrative full of quirky polymaths, rival inventions and eureka breakthroughs, but overall, it tells of a pursuit that has become less about problem-solving than of controlling physics itself. You may never look at screws or padlocks or clocks the same way again.
Synopsis: Best-selling author Simon Winchester maps the amazing trajectory of the fathers of engineering. The lives of Wilkinson, Whitworth, Maudslay, Bramah… Learn more.
Why Olivia loved it: As someone who was never hugely into Greek mythology, I honestly didn’t think that would love Circe – I’d like it, maybe, but love it? It seemed like a strong word at the time – turns out it’s the perfect word to describe how I feel about this book. Circe tells the story of how one pitiful demi-goddess became one of the most powerful and enchanting witches in Western mythology. From the beautiful prose to the gloriously complex characters, this book is every bit as captivating as the original epic stories.
Synopsis: Circe is the daughter of Helios, the sun god, and Perse, a beautiful naiad. Yet from the moment of her birth, she is an outsider in her father’s halls, where the laughter of gossiping gods resounds. Named after a hawk for her yellow eyes and strange voice, she is mocked by her siblings – until her beloved brother Aeëtes is born… Learn more.
Why Bron loved it: This is volume one in a new series you won’t want to miss! Feist plus epic fantasy sagas equals an unputdownable adventure… which is exactly what happened to me! Thank god I was on holidays when I started this because I basically just curled up on the couch, stuck my face in the book and didn’t come out for days. Amazing. Fall into this incredible world as soon as possible… trust me, don’t deny yourself this adventure.
Synopsis: The world of Garn once boasted five great kingdoms, until the King of Ithrace was defeated and every member of his family executed by Lodavico, the ruthless King of Sandura, a man with ambitions to rule the world.
Ithrace’s ruling family were the legendary Firemanes, and represented a great danger to the other kings… Learn more.
Why Tracey loved it: Witchborn is an engrossing read from the very first page. Set against the backdrop of Elizabethan England this book combines history, magic, mystery and intrigue and tells the story of Alyce a young girl whose mother has just been burned at the stake for being a witch. With her own power growing Alyce must discover who she is and why she is so important to the fate of England.
Synopsis: It’s 1577. Queen Elizabeth I has imprisoned scheming Mary Queen of Scots, and Alyce’s mother is burned at the stake for witchcraft. Alyce kills the witchfinder and flees to London – but the chase isn’t over yet.
As she discovers her own dark magic, powerful political forces are on her trail. She can’t help but wonder: why is she so important? Soon she finds herself deep… Learn more.
Why Jo loved it: I loved In the Skin of a Lion, and to a lesser extent The English Patient. My excitement to read Warlight was tempered with trepidation – I’d been disappointed by my idols before. However Warlight didn’t disappoint.
It is a warm coming of age story about Nathaniel who, along with his sister, is abandoned as a child by his parents in post war England. He is quickly drawn into a shadowy world of underhanded dealings and strange characters who are left to ‘care’ for him. Later, as an adult, Nathaniel reflects upon this time and makes sense of his parents’ and carers’ motives from a more mature viewpoint. This is a charming study of some very flawed but ultimately sympathetic characters making their way through challenging moral dilemmas.
Synopsis: A mesmerising new novel from the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of The English Patient… 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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