Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Zadie Smith invites her reader to peer through windows, allowing you to
gaze at sequences of moments in the lives of a range of characters.
Against the vividly drawn backdrop of north-west London we
watch four characters – Natalie, Leah, Felix and Nathan – living alongside
each other, growing up together, their lives colliding and paths crossing.
They were raised on the same council estate, and although their fates
disperse in differing directions, their journeys continue to intersect
through their past and present. NW
is concentrated and accomplished, but isn’t always an easy read: at times
the narrative feels slightly disjointed. However, this is a rich and
vibrant novel which seems like an observation of the real life stories of
people we might know.
and Bec Shepherd grew up under the shadow of their father’s execution.
Ritchie is now a successful television personality; Bec a biologist engaging
with the most microscopic, hidden elements of life. As scandal and conspiracy
cross over with potentially life-changing science, the Shepherds must
confront past, present and future all at once. Set slightly in the future,
Meek's sinister media underworld hits on the zeitgeist perfectly. Though the
narrative borders on knowing, the characterisation is affectionate and the
story gripping and rewarding.
Tremain’s dazzling and brilliant writing never fails to impress. We once
again meet the charismatic Sir Robert Merivel, physician to Charles II, in
this welcome sequel to her acclaimed 1989 novel Restoration. Now
middle-aged, Merivel has many adventures away from his beloved estate in
Norfolk, falling in love with the mysterious Louise de Flamanville who is
trapped in a loveless marriage. As well as exploring the sensitive side of
Merivel’s character we share his intimate thoughts which are often very
funny. This is a truly beautiful book.