Friday, April 18, 2008


A few quick words about a handful of special books that have crossed my desk in the past couple of months:

AT LARGE AND AT SMALL - Confessions of a Literary Hedonist
Anne Fadiman – Allen lane - $35

Essayist Anne Fadiman, (Ex Libris), writes in her charming and witty manner of twelve of her personal obsessions including a monumental crush on Charles Lamb. An appealing small hardcover book from Allen Lane (Penguin’s hardcover imprint) which I am delighted to add to my bookshelf.

BOOK SELF – The Reader as Writer and the Writer as Critic
C.K.Stead – AUP - $39.99

Stead, a towering figure in New Zealand literature, has pulled together a collection of his critical writing, and for the first time, personal writing from his journals. A chunky book running to 450 pages, this is one for the bedside, the perfect book for dipping.

Book Self is reviewed by Nelson Wattie in the NZ Listener of April 26, 2008

THE READING BUG – and how to help your child catch it
Paul Jennings – Penguin - $28

Penguin Books released last month a completely new edition of legendary Australian children’s author Paul Jennings’ most valuable guide which parents will find an absolute godsend. He cuts through all the jargon and in a clear and accessible manner shows parents practical and effective ways for helping their child become an avid reader.

A delightfully opinionated journey through contemporary bestsellers
Lisa Adams & John Heath - SourceBooks Inc. $39.95

Although the book has an American bias, and has an unbelievable amount of copy on back and front covers, (why do American publishers do that?), the book nevertheless takes us on a sometimes insightful, often humorous tour through almost a couple of hundred bestsellers. Borrow from library rather than buy!

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