Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book lover: Kevin Milne

From the Hearld on Sunday,Oct 24, 2010
Kevin Milne is a former presenter of TV One's Fair Go and his autobiography The Life and Times of a Brown Paper Bag (Random House, $39.99) is released 5 November.

The book I love most is ... The Uncle's Story by Witi Ihimaera. I read this while recovering from heart surgery. The imagery, mainly around a Kiwi soldier in wartime Vietnam, stunned me. And the storyline of a young Maori boy unravelling a family secret was sublime. It was the first of Ihimaera's stories I'd read and suddenly I understood why this writer was so special to New Zealand.

The book I'm reading right now is ... Stephen Fry's Paperweight. A collection of dip-in-and-out offerings from the man with the unmatched genius at writing brilliantly about nothing. The last collection of columns I read was What the Dog Saw by The New Yorker's Malcolm Gladwell. Loved it, but my brain still hurts. This is less demanding.

The book I want to read next is ... Sam Hunt's Backroads. I enjoyed his most recent book of poems Doubtless but I look forward to Backroads to provide some of the backdrop to many of his most well-known poems. All I've glimpsed at so far is an extraordinary interchange of gritty passionate poems from 1968 between Sam and James K Baxter.
They're on fire.

The book that changed me is ... I'm not on my own here ... Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom - a small book that points to everything that's important in life. The perspective of a dying professor talking to a former student, assisting us all to get to grips with what we shouldn't waste time doing while we're living.

I was delighted last year to receive Albom's non-fiction follow-up Have A Little Faith with a personal message scribbled from the author beginning with: "From one media member to another ..." I felt honoured.

The book I wish I'd never read is ... It would have to be one of the dozens of textbooks I read at school that taught me nothing of use, and I still wonder why we wasted our precious learning hours on them. I'll opt for Lambourne's Chemistry which, among other things, explained the Solvay process for extractings. Handy.

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