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.
The best and worst quality I brought to
the table when applying for jobs in the publishing industry was that I
read everything. I was advised against telling this to prospective HR
managers because it sounds vague and unfocused, and told I should instead
play up a distinctive niche in which I’m a reading expert. Swarthy
corset-bound romances? Political biographies? Swedish noir? Narrative
nonfiction by award-winning journalists? Alas, I still find myself
reaching for vastly different styles, genres, and subjects to meet
whatever mood I’m in. This is especially clear as I look back on some of
the best novels I read this spring. Each has a tone, pacing, and content
unique from the others—and frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Sorry, career advisors!