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Inside Book Club

WIN our latest book club pick thanks to BOOK FACE Pacific Fair.

What I Would do to You, Aussie debut by Georgia Harper (image supplied)
What I Would do to You, Aussie debut by Georgia Harper (image supplied)

What I Would Do To You by Georgia Harper
Review by Madison Baker, BOOK FACE Pacifc Fair

Not for the faint of heart, Georgia Harper’s debut What I Would Do To You asks how far a family is willing to go for retribution against those who have taken someone they love.

Set in the near future against the Australian outback, Lucy’s loved ones are grieving the brutal murder of the ten-year-old girl. But the punishment the perpetrator will face is unlike that doled out in our modern society: when found guilty of a crime deemed worthy of capital punishment, a family member may opt to end the perp’s life by their own hand. At the centre of this decision sits Lucy’s mums—Stella and Matisse—and her two siblings, Sebastian and Hannah, but just how much devastation can one family face without coming apart at the seams?

Harper’s immensely gripping debut expertly navigates the brutal solemnity of the story’s subject, while the family’s utter devotion to each other remains the beating heart of her narrative. This deeply reflective novel puts us in the shoes of the varyingly vengeful family members with startling ease, and I have no doubt that it will inspire many impassioned discussions among its readers. After all is said and done, and the final page is turned, the question remains: how far would you go, in the name of justice, for someone you love?

WIN a copy of What I Would Do To You

To enter, simply subscribe to Inside Gold Coast’s e-newsletter below!
The winner will be drawn on Friday 3 May 2024 and notified within 48 hours of the draw via email.


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Inside Book Club (image from unsplash)
Inside Book Club (image from unsplash)

7 beloved Gold Coast bookstores

Library of books (image supplied)

We know it’s very 2022 to view our fave mags online, catch the latest headlines (spoiler alert – they’re all about Covid…), and read a book on a kindle. But, what if we dream of ditching the kindle (another spoiler alert – we’re chucking our kindles!) because we crave the good ‘ole days when we held an actual book. Remember the texture of the pages? The satisfaction of bulking out your bookcase with a sweet new read and of course, the unmistakable book smell – which sounds mildly creepy but if you know you know.

And we are super proud to say print is still living it large on the GC and these much loved, thriving bookstores are living proof! 

Ahhh BOOK FACE why are you so awesome?! Carrying books spanning all the genres, they also have a curated selection of rare books for sale. The Pac Fair Book Club is held at the Cafe, where on the first Thursday of each month a small group gathers to discuss contemporary novels. It also hosts a book exchange program, where members of the community exchange pre-loved books for free. BOOK FACE showcases local authors and artists in-store on a commission basis and exhibits independent work that may not be accessible at larger book stores. Kudos!
Where: Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Shop 1622 Cnr Sunshine and, Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach

Woman reading (image supplied)

Under the Greenwood Tree Bookshop and Artspace
Those who enjoy a little day trip to our beautiful Tambo would be all over this precious gem-like salt on the rim of a margi glass. Under the Greenwood Tree is a small independent bookshop and art gallery overflowing from floor to ceiling with book goodness. Run by the lovely Janene Gardner, she welcomes new reads on a weekly basis, including new releases, best sellers and everything in between. With Australian art and craft also on her shelves, this place will have you smiling ear to ear.
Where: 92 Main Western Rd, Tamborine Mountain

Books Etc
Looking for darn dirt-cheap bargain book buys? Your search is over folks – Books Etc is the one for you! With several stores on the GC and up the road in BrisVegas, they’ve got your next cheap and cheerful gift covered. Stocking multiple genres, you’ll get bang for your buck with beautiful quality reads and some seriously great titles. Insider tip: if you see something you like, nab it because chances are it will be goneski next time you’re passing by.
Where: Broadbeach, Helensvale, Coolangatta, Elanora

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Antique & Collectors Books
Looking for a title you just cannot find for love nor money? Given up hope because all the book stores (and Professor Google) are telling you it’s not in production anymore? Before you concede defeat, check with the gurus at Antique & Collector’s Books. They stock over 500,000 books ranging from antiquarian to modern-day literature. Specialising in “out of print” and antiquarian books, they’ve racked up 40 years’ experience in bookselling. Eat your heart out, Prof Google!
Where: 162 Scarborough St, Southport

QBD Books
When you think of bookstores, 3 letters will inevitably come to mind: QBD. With literally millions of titles available across all genres, this Aussie-owned and operated powerhouse always gets a thumbs up from us. Boasting an epic online store, one helluva loyalty program and super helpful staff at every location, you never need to travel far to find your closest branch. It’s a bonafide staple stop on a bookworm’s day out.
Where: Coomera, Runaway Bay, Southport, Broadbeach, Robina

Woman reading book in bed (image supplied)

Big B Books
If you love books old and new, you know about this place. Tucked away in one of Burleigh’s little alleyways, whatever genre it is you’re searching for, Big B delivers! The team are self-confessed (and damn proud) bookworms who personally select each and every title on their shelves. Mind-body-spirit specialists who are passionate about their ‘trade,’ they’ll relish the opportunity to help you choose your next read. Hot tip: be sure to keep your eye on the store’s events page for readings, launches and signings!
Where: Shop 16, Big B Arcade, James Street, Burleigh Heads

Bundle O’Books
Nothing quite beats losing yourself in a good book, and you’ll do exactly that at Cooly’s second-hand books haven, Bundle O’Books. Choccas with every genre you can think of, here you can buy or exchange your preloved reads, and there’s every chance you’ll find that elusive title you’ve been scouring book shops and the internet for. Winning!
Where: 116 Griffith St, Coolangatta

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Meet Dr Libby Weaver

Dr Libby Weaver (image supplied)
Dr Libby Weaver (image supplied)

If you are not already familiar with Dr Libby Weaver, she is a Gold Coast local who is also a thirteen-times bestselling author, speaker and founder of the food-based supplement range, Bio Blends. Dr Libby has announced her first live speaking series since 2019, which will see her visit seven centres around Australia, including the Gold Coast on Thursday the 29th of September, with her new event, What’s up with my hormones?

Armed with an abundance of knowledge, scientific research and a true desire to help people live with energy and vitality, Dr Libby empowers and inspires people to take charge of their health through her books, events and online courses. 

We found out a bit more about Dr Libby ahead of her nationwide speaking tour, including how she juggles the work/life balance and what exactly she loves about the Gold Coast.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in Tamworth in Country NSW with chickens in the backyard, I then went to the University of Newcastle for 14 years where I studied Nutrition and Dietetics and then did a PhD in biochemistry. Since then I’ve worked with people for over 20 years, in a range of different settings, both my own business and in health retreats. I was part of the team who set up Gwinganna in the Gold Coast hinterland in 2005/6 which was a great fun and such a privilege. I still run retreats there occasionally. After that I lived in New Zealand for 7 years, where I still have an office, before moving back to the Gold Coast and continuing my business here, including formulating a food-based supplement range called Bio Blends. I’ve always loved the winters and in between seasons on the Gold Coast and glorious nature of the hinterland. I’m awed by how miraculous the body is and it is my belief that if more people lived in touch with this, they would be inspired to make changes to help them experience greater health. So I share what I have learned over the last two decades of research and clinical practice to help people get to the heart of their challenging symptoms. And I look at everything through three lenses: the biochemical, nutritional, and emotional.

Dr Libby Weaver (image supplied)
Dr Libby Weaver (image supplied)

What do you love about the Gold Coast?
The easy access to fresh, organic food—I especially love Ground Grocer. I love the sunsets and how you can go from the beach to bushland within a 30min drive. And I love how, even in the midst of the busyness of the city, there are so many pockets where it still feels quiet and unhurried.

Tell us a little bit about your new speaking tour?
For many women, their hormones are the bane of their existence. From the onset of their period, it’s a rollercoaster of challenging symptoms that often doesn’t let up even after menopause. It’s as if things like PMS, endometriosis, bloating, weight gain, night sweats, mood swings and anxious feelings have become synonymous with being a woman. All of these symptoms are common, but they are not normal. They are road signs indicating hormonal imbalances. Our body doesn’t have a voice but it will give us symptoms to let us know whether it’s happy or not with our choices and sometimes the feedback is asking us to eat, move, sleep, drink, breathe and/or perceive differently. Most common approaches to women’s hormonal issues involve using a pill or medicine to treat the symptoms rather than the root cause. Through this two hour seminar, I will be sharing exactly what your body is trying to communicate, helping you get to the heart of your symptoms while offering what you can do to alleviate and, in many cases, irradicate them altogether

Dr Libby Weaver (image supplied)
Dr Libby Weaver (image supplied)

What are hormones and why is it so important that we better understand them?
Essentially chemical messengers that regulate cellular and organ activity, these tiny substances have an incredible impact on how we look and feel every day. In the correct amounts, hormones can be our best friend – increasing our energy, vitality, happiness and optimising every biochemical process in our body. When we have too much or too little of any hormone, it can wreak havoc. We might experience symptoms such as brain fog, irritability, low mood, anxiousness and poor sleep – as well as the more female-centric symptoms related to our cycle. When we understand how they work and what hormones need in order to be produced at their optimum levels, it empowers us with the knowledge to make changes that support them and free us from the challenging symptoms they leave us with when they’re out of balance.

As a very busy woman, how do you manage your time to really strike that work/life balance?
I prioritise things. This may seem incredibly simple yet getting clear on what your priorities are and deciphering what truly matters to you helps. Also being clear and honest about what is truly urgent (which most of the time is not a lot) is an incredibly valuable time management tool. Sometimes work is the priority, sometimes ringing my mum is the priority, sometimes weeding the vegie is the priority.

Dr Libby Weaver (image supplied)
Dr Libby Weaver (image supplied)

What is your greatest achievement to date?
Writing 13 books – with another one formed in my head and heart that I’ll write this summer.

If you could give anyone one bit of advice, what would it be?
Let yourself have what you already have. Too often we are striving for the next accomplishment, goal, destination—always reaching forward and missing what is here right now. Even if it is right in front of you every day, and you don’t let yourself have it — which means noticing it, taking it in, allowing yourself the pleasure of it — it is never yours. It never becomes part of the ground of goodness on which you can live, and this, the essence of this, forms so much of our foundation of health and energy that isn’t really discussed. If you don’t let yourself have an amazing sunset, a cool evening breeze on your face after a hot day, a majestic view, then what else are you denying yourself?

What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?
I used to roller skate as a child so when a dear friend asked if I wanted to start skating with her, it was an instant YES! So, I’m looking forward to using my new roller skates on the path at Currumbin Beach.

Dr Libby Weaver (image supplied)
Dr Libby Weaver (image supplied)

What are your Gold Coast favourites…
Café/Coffee spotDust Temple
Bar or place for a drink: Scottish Prince
Beach: Currumbin

How do you choose to spend your weekends?
I’m a homebody so you’ll mostly find me pottering around my house or garden. Other than being entertained by my backyard chickens – Moira, Alexis and Stevie (named after Schitt’s Creek characters) – and the local birdlife or working in my vegie patches, I might visit The Bathhouse at Currumbin Eco Village.

Dr Libby Weaver (image supplied)
Dr Libby Weaver (image supplied)

Briony Benjamin

Briony Benjamin (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)
Briony Benjamin (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)

I think we can all say that lately, while we try to live our day to day lives as normal as can be, life has been tough – COVID has certainly sent the world into a tizzy. One book that we could all take a page from is ‘Life Is Tough But So Are You’, written by Briony Benjamin. Aside from being the author of this book and a Gold Coast local, she has a long resume of achievements particularly in the viral video space at Mamamia. Add to this, Briony is a Stage 4 Lymphoma survivor. We found out a bit more about Briony ahead of her official book launch (Tuesday 3rd August 2021), and what exactly she loves about the Gold Coast.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
My family moved to the Coast when I was one and has been based on the Coast for the past 34 years. I’ve loved growing up in the hinterland of the Gold Coast, it’s a magical place to be a kid. Our family ran a local vet hospital in Mudgeeraba so I worked there growing up. It was always a lot of fun and we would collect a lot of orphan animals in the process. A child’s dream.

Life Is Tough, But So Are You book (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)
Life Is Tough, But So Are You book (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)

Tell us a bit about yourself.
After going to school on the Gold Coast, I ventured overseas for my ‘gap year.’ I worked and lived in a place called Giggleswick, England and worked at the Giggleswick School, it was the most fantastic year (it was basically Hogwarts). Then I came back and completed a Commerce Degree, decided I didn’t want to be an accountant and so enrolled instead in a Film Degree. After the three year degree, I moved to the big smoke to embark on a career in that industry and haven’t looked back. I loved creating short-form video that has an important message at it’s core and has the power to connect with people all over the world. That became my number one passion.

What do you love the most about being a Viral Video Producer?
There is nothing like the thrill of watching a video go viral. It’s seriously fun creating something that goes out into the world and touches millions of people. Whether it gives them a laugh, makes them feel something, helps them to feel less alone, or gets an important message through in an engaging and entertaining way. I just love it.

Can you tell us why you decided to turn the camera on yourself to document your life changing experience?
When I was first diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma I didn’t know what was going to happen to me, I certainly hoped I’d survive and come out the other side, but I suppose you just don’t know. Encouraged by some friends, I started filming the journey. It was a nice distraction from what I was going through and in a way meant I could still ‘work.’ It was also quite therapeutic to get my thoughts down on video as I went and it helped me navigate the whole wild time.

Briony Benjamin (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)
Briony Benjamin (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)

So ahead of the launch of your first ever book, can you explain how it went from an idea to a published book?
I created a video out of my experience called ‘Life Is Tough But So Are You.’ When it went out into the world, it went viral and touched so many people. I had some amazing comments from people who said it had moved them and touched them in so many ways. One lady said she’d reached out to her mother who she hadn’t spoken to in years because it made her see how futile and petty their fight had been and this is the one life she gets. Other cancer patients reached out and said how it had given them such a lift and reminded them to just keep going. One of the people that saw this video was my publisher at Murdoch Books. They reached out and were interested to turn the heart and soul of the video into a helpful guidebook for anyone navigating a tough time.

If you could give anyone one bit of advice, what would it be?
It’s so hard to boil it down into one piece of advice, but if I had to, I would say that this is your one precious crack at this life. We spend so much time consumed in trivial, unimportant things like what we look like and what people think of us and none of it really matters. You need to live a life of which you are proud. So don’t wait, start now. Be bold with your life, enjoy each day, surround yourself with excellent energy; the people who love you and lift you up and find something to do with your life that really matters.

Briony Benjamin (image supplied)
Briony Benjamin (image supplied)

How can someone grab a copy of ‘Life Is Tough But So Are You’?
You can find my book at all good booksellers if you have a favourite local bookstore try to support them, as they are doing it tough right now in COVID.

What are your Gold Coast favourites…
Café: If you’re looking for something in the hinterland, I love the Tea Topia Tea salon in a beautiful old Queenslander. And if I’m near the Coast, I adore Tarte in Burleigh – those pastries… wow!
Coffee spot: Millers Espresso in Mudgeeraba do a fantastic coffee!
Restaurant: The Wine Barrel in Mudgeeraba – this little restaurant punches well above it’s weight and I love going on the night they have a live harpist. Dreamy.

How do you choose to spend your weekends?
I love doing the Burleigh headland walk on a Saturday morning, I feel so grateful to whoever had the vision to set aside that land and create a National Park. It’s one of the most stunning parts of the Coast to me. I then love to go to Tarte, wandering up James St and browsing some of the beautiful little shops. Then coming back to Mudgeeraba, sitting in the garden and reading the paper, that is a Saturday morning well spent for me! I also love a wander through 19 Karen Gallery in Miami and The Borrowed Nursery for some more plants or pots to add to my collection. The Coast really has so much to offer and it’s been amazing to watch the transition having lived here all my life. We certainly didn’t have the amazing array of coffee shops and restaurants in the 90’s that we have now!

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