Staff Picks

Book reviews

Meet Our Staff

Beth is the owner of Dymocks Busselton. She has a passion for literature and encouraging children to read. Beth loves to read literary and topical novels.

Maya is an aspiring local musician who performs all over the south west. Maya loves to read psycho - thrillers, murder mysteries and sometimes fantasy YA.

Beth

Maya

Jaimee is currently completing her Year 12 studies and is passionate about writing. Jaimee loves to read YA, fantasy and fiction about other cultures. 

Jaimee

Liana is currently studying at university to become a primary school teacher. Liana loves to read historical fiction, murder mystery crimes and some rom-coms.

Liana

Our Collective Staff Favourite Book - American Dirt

American Dirt still remains the top pick for all of us so far this year. It is moving, powerful and just a simply incredible read. Check out Beth's video review for this amazing book.

Our Top Reads for the Month of July

Rodham

Rodham is so deceiving! The cover, sporting a real photo of Hillary, fully suggests the book is a biography but it is actually a fictional memoir that asks the question, ‘What if Hillary Rodham hadn’t married Bill Clinton?’ The ensuing story, a riveting reimagining of history, will certainly polarise readers which, let’s face it, makes for a robust Book Club discussion! For me, however, the twisting of the life of a living person became uncomfortable at times and I had to keep checking which parts of the narrative were fact and which were fiction, such is my knowledge of American politics! - Beth

To see a full Q&A with Curtis Sittenfeld ...

A Room Made Of Leaves

Kate Grenville weaves a wonderful tale with this inventive reimagining of the little-known life of early pioneer, Elizabeth Macarthur. Shes frames her story as a secret memoir that sees Elizabeth - spirited, intelligent, passionate and manipulative - navigating a ruthless, bullying husband amid the societal confines of colonial Australia. Such is Grenville's writing that I was one with Elizabeth, absorbed in her world (the story finished much too soon! A sequel?) and moved by her beautiful, evocative, lush descriptions of nature and landscape. And all the while, the sufferings and treatment of displaced Indigenous peoples hover uncomfortably in the background. Yes, Grenville has visited this era before but A Room Made Of Leaves is still well worth reading.  - Beth

To see an interview live with Kate on Wednesday July 8th

To check out some fantastic book club notes...

The Silk House

This is my Broome holiday read for the next week and I am so very excited to read it, as I love Kayte Nunn's beautiful stories. So stay tuned and my review will be up in no time! - Liana

The Safe Place

When things seem too good to be true - they usually are. The Safe Place focuses on struggling actress, Emily Proudman, who after suffering rejection after rejection, is given what seems like the opportunity of a lifetime from former ex boss to live in a luxurious coastal property in France helping to look after the property. The only problem is the family who live there are not what they seem. This novel will have you glued to your seat and unable to stop turning the pages. The plot is dynamic and twisty and a joy to read - an awesome debut from Anna Downes! - Maya

Our Top Reads for the Month of June

The Spill

The Spill is for anyone with siblings who love reflecting on the past and being surprised when everyone's memories are different! It's about sisters and families and the bonds that bind; it's about secrets and perceptions and actions that can destroy this. I really connected with the characters (so like many in my family) and loved the structure of the novel (pieces of a jigsaw puzzle having to be put back together to create the overall picture). - Beth

For Book Club notes and an interview with Imbi... 

The Jane Austen Society

A delightful, feel-good read! The story, the characters, the setting could all have come straight from one of Jane Austen's own novels. It's like a book within a book as a disparate group of quaint, old-fashioned villagers come together through a shared love of Austen's books and characters and, though this, find satisfying solutions to their own longings and desires. If you loved The Literary Guernsey Potato Pie Peel Society (like I did!), then try The Jane Austen Society. - Beth

The Sight of You

'Would you choose love if you knew how it would end?' A beautiful, heartbreaking and clever book that has the potential to be the next Me Before You. The author has down an outstanding job at creating something new within the romance genre as this is nothing like I have read before. It is no soppy romance by any stretch, instead is full of the entire meaning of love. Joel has dreams that tell the future and ultimately has to decide whether or not to fall in love if it means knowing how it might end. - Liana

Devolution

Devolution tells the tale of volcanic eruption, chaos and confusion whilst one woman and her community face a fight of a different kind. Told through journal entries and interviews, this is completely different to what I usually read. Nonetheless, it had me absolutely hook. The book is at times harrowing and completely earth shattering. A tale of strength and resilience in the face of a deadly predator. I loved it and highly recommend. - Maya

Our Top Reads for the Month of May

Phosphorescence

It shouldn’t but it did! The gorgeous cover drew my eye and the words, ‘awe’ and ‘wonder’ tantalised me. I picked it up, began to read and didn’t put it down! Phosphorescence is a beautifully written meditation on the ‘things that sustain you when the world goes dark.’ Drawing on personal experiences as well as the reflections of scientists, astronauts, psychologists and Indigenous leaders, Baird’s quest is to find and nurture ‘that light within’. Heartfelt and thought-provoking, Phosphorescence is definitely for fans of Leigh Sales’ Any Ordinary Day. - Beth

Husband Replacement Therapy

I absolutely adored this novel! Hilarious, relatable, fun and just an easy, entertaining read with likeable characters who just root for. The story starts with Ruby's 50th birthday celebration not going exactly to plan - after one too many drinks, her big birthday speech includes telling everyone what she really thinks of them, accusing her husband of having an affair, announcing she has terminal cancer and finally, informing her sisters that she's used her life savings to book them a three week cruise so she can spend time with them before she kicks it. What could possibly go wrong? - Maya

The Book of Longings

Following on from The Dictionary of Lost Words, this is another wonderful story about the power of women's voices and refusing to be silenced. It is an account of Ana's struggle to realise the passion and potential inside her in a time when women were invisible. A reimagining of the New Testament, Ana is the wife of Jesus. The time period has been meticulously researched and Jesus is vividly brought to life as a person. I just loved it! - Beth

The Lost Love Song

A beautiful love story about how an enchanting love song can change so many lives. There are two parts to the story and the separate characters story lines are cleverly woven together over time. A song that never got its chance to be recorded by Ari's fiance, Diana, thought to be lost was found in a journal at an airport. In an inspiring journey it travels around the world bringing joy and love to many people. You will easily lose yourself in the power of a love song and the incredibly gorgeous characters. - Liana

Our Top Reads for the Month of April

The Paris Secret

This book is amazing, beautiful, heartbreaking and simply unforgettable! I completely fell in love with the  strong characters and the story is just brilliantly moving. All about the lengths that friends will go to protect each other and how love can still survive through war. It is full of mystery surrounding some stunning Dior gowns and their owners. I did not want this book to end and I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. I absolutely loved it! - Liana

Dictionary of Lost Words

If you love words and history, I can't recommend this book highly enough! A wonderfully engaging book that weaves fact and fiction as it explores the lives of women during the compilation of the first Oxford English Dictionary. Through the character of the feisty and irrepressible Esme, the history and prejudices of the era are beautifully brought to life as is the critical issue of the dictionary's male bias. - Beth

My Dark Vanessa

Dark. Definitely dark. And disturbing. But so compelling! Despite such an uncomfortable, confronting topic, I couldn't put the book down. I didn't enjoy it but I devoured it. It made my skin crawl to bear witness to years of predation and sexual abuse; how pernicious this kind of abuse is because it makes Vanessa doubt herself and lose herself and see herself, rather than the predator, as the problem. Definitely recommend for book clubs as it will engender some pretty intense discussions. - Beth

Code Name Helene

Ariel Lawhon breathes new life into the much loved Australian war heroine, Nancy Wake. Charming, smart and fiercely stubborn, Lawhon's Nancy absolutely does not disappoint. A thrilling historical fiction featuring the astonishing woman who killed a Nazi with her bare hands and went on to become one of the most decorated women in WWII. This book was just impossible to put down! - Jaimee

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