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.
Uninhabitable Earth finds itself at home among reviewers
Good morning Graham,
It seems fitting that over a February weekend where
the mercury hit 17 degrees, David Wallace-Wells' The
Uninhabitable Earth struck fear into the hearts of critics.
Simon Ings in the Daily Telegraph stated, "This book
may come to be regarded as the last truly great climate assessment
ever made. (Is there even time left to pen another?)" In the Sunday
Times, Bryan Appleyard declared it "relentless, angry
journalism of the highest order. Read it and, for the lack of
any more useful response, weep."
Though the title was feted by reviewers for its
importance, few of them seemed to enjoy the "bracing" title
(which is, of course, the point)—David George Haskell in the Guardian
wrote that it was "designed to startle and shake us"
and Julian Glover in the Evening Standard stated it was
"by turns alarming, terrifying, and just downright
Tana French's The
Wych Elm, the crime author's first standalone title, drew
widespread praise from reviewers, with Anna Carey in the Irish
Times declaring French "one of this country's very best
novelists" and Stephen King (yes, that Stephen
King) in the New York Times compared her to Thomas Hardy,
adding, "Her work—never dull to begin with—has gained a certain
lively freshness," in stepping away from her Dublin Murder Squad
series. In the Guardian, Stephanie Merritt wrote that while "the
narrative is slower" than in French's procedural novels,
"the rewards are greater; the big questions linger in the mind
long after the superficial ones are resolved".
non-fiction previewer Caroline Sanderson crowned David Nott's War
Doctor as her Book of the Month for February, and the rest of
the critics have jumped on the bandwagon—with Christopher Hart in the
Sunday Times describing it as "one of the most brutally
vivid evocations of modern warfare that you will read" and Fiona
Sturges in the Guardian praised it as
"breathtaking", adding, "If a film about his life
isn't already in developement, someone's missing a trick."
Oscars 2020, anyone?
By Kiera O'Brien, charts editor, The Bookseller
of the Week
The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the
Future David Wallace-Wells