#5Books: Book recs and Oz Comic Con

This weekend was Oz Comic Con! I went to hear @missannieboo28 (budding writer and creator of my book club) talk to Australian author Maria Lewis.

They talked about Maria’s work, writing and editing and it was so much fun to hear the process behind her work. In addition to this, there was cosplay galore, Star Wars and buying way too many things I promised myself I wouldn’t. But that’s what’s cons are all about!

Here though, there be recs!

Bloody Genius

Virgil Flowers will have to watch his back–and his mouth–as he investigates a college culture war turned deadly in the latest thriller from #1 New York Times-bestseller John Sandford.

At the local state university, two feuding departments have faced off on the battleground of PC culture. Each carries their views to extremes that may seem absurd, but highly educated people of sound mind and good intentions can reasonably disagree, right?

Then someone winds up dead, and Virgil Flowers is brought in to investigate . . . and he soon comes to realize he’s dealing with people who, on this one particular issue, are functionally crazy. Among this group of wildly impassioned, diametrically opposed zealots lurks a killer, and it will be up to Virgil to sort the murderer from the mere maniacs.

I don’t know why, but I equated John Sanford to Lee Child (and Jack Reacher) for some reason for the longest time. Like their characters were somehow the same, but if I’ve ever read John Sanford (Or Lee Child and Jack Reacher) I can’t remember the titles. Has that ever happened to you?

Yeah, that was an epic digression right? I know this is book 12 of a series: but feuding university departments and the battle grounds of PC culture? I could not resist.


Twenty year old Rona Leonard walks out of her sister Fiona’s flat and disappears.

Six years on, worn down by a tedious job, child care and the aching absence in her life, Fiona’s mundane existence is blown apart by the revelation that, before she disappeared, Rona had been working as a prostitute. Driven to discover the truth, Fiona embarks on an obsessive quest to investigate the sex industry. As she is drawn into a complex world, Fiona makes shocking discoveries that challenge everything she believed, and will ultimately change her life forever.

Bittersweet, sensual and rich, Fishnet takes a clear-eyed, meticulously researched, controversial look at the sex industry and the lives of sex workers, questioning our perception of contemporary femininity.

The conclusion of this blurb certainly does promise a lot of this book, doesn’t it? I hope it delivers those, because yes that last paragraph totally sucked me in, and turned my perceptions of a mystery into something more entirely.


In this fast-paced new novel from Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars, a tight-knit college town scrambles for answers when an e-mail hack reveals life-changing secrets and scandals.

Aldrich University is rocked to its core when a hacker dumps 40,000 people’s e-mails—the entire faculty, staff, students, alums—onto an easily searchable database. Rumors and affairs immediately leak, but things turn explosive when Kit Manning’s handsome husband, Dr. Greg Strasser, is found murdered. Kit’s sister, Willa, returns for the funeral, setting foot in a hometown she fled fifteen years ago, after a night she wishes she could forget. As an investigative reporter, Willa knows something isn’t right about the night Greg was killed, and she’s determined to find the truth. What she doesn’t expect is that everyone has something to hide. And with a killer on the loose, Willa and Kit must figure out who killed Greg before someone else is murdered.

Told from multiple points of view, Reputation is full of twists, turns, and shocking reveals. It’s a story of intrigue, sabotage, and the secrets we keep—and how far we go to keep them hidden. Number one bestseller Sara Shepard is at the top of her game in this brand-new adult novel.

Here’s the thing: on fast glance, I think the secrets we keep and the lengths we go to keep them hidden in the book is to do with Kit and Greg… but what if it’s the sisters and the secrets they keep from one another? 

The Kill Club

Jazz will stop at nothing to save her brother.

Their foster mother, Carol, has always been fanatical, but with Jazz grown up and out of the house, Carol takes a dangerous turn that threatens thirteen-year-old Joaquin’s life. Over and over, child services fails to intervene, and Joaquin is running out of time.

Then Jazz gets a blocked call from someone offering a solution. There are others like her—people the law has failed. They’ve formed an underground network of “helpers,” each agreeing to eliminate the abuser of another. They’re taking back their power and leaving a trail of bodies throughout Los Angeles—dubbed the Blackbird Killings. If Jazz joins them, they’ll take care of Carol for good.

All she has to do is kill a stranger.

Earlier this week, I am pretty sure I gushed over this book on someone’s Top Ten Tuesday, and then realised I actually had it on my #5Books list. If you are the person whose TTT post I gushed on, please let me know, and everyone else, please keep an eye out for it, because I may not remember whose TTT it is, but I do remember it was a list to die for.

But now, on to the book: Kill Club indeed. It’s creepy, and it makes you question just how desperate you would have to be to go there, to kill someone? 

Such a Fun age

What happens when you do the right thing for the wrong reason?

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” the complicated reality of being a grown up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

The idea that Emira goes viral caught my attention, because some weeks it seems like something is always going viral. But how does a video about Emira result in something coming out of Alix’s past, and then they find themselves on a crash course… with each other? With their past? What is going on here? Inquiring minds (namely mine) are desperate to know! 

What stands out for you this week???


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