Our Summer Reading Catalogue is hot off the press. The guide arrived in fourteen great Indie bookstores a couple of days ago. But I know not all of our readers will see a physical copy of this lovely catalogue, so I am going to give a summary of what we are recommending for readers this Christmas. It might help you solve a few gift ideas!
Fiction features include Longbourn by Jo Baker, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Barracuda by Christos Tsolkias and The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. Each of these titles are either proven sellers or by very popular authors who we expect to carry on selling through the holiday period. We have reviewed Longbourn and The Goldfinch, keep posted for our review of Barracuda, and if you haven’t yet read a review of The Luminaries, The Guardian is a good place to start. (If you haven’t got a copy, or you know somebody who doesn’t, do get a copy – it is the most wonderful and readable literary masterpiece I have encountered all year). P.S. It won the Booker Prize.
If you are after a bit of history, whether pleasant or unpleasant, you could do worse than trying out 1920’s Australia with Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough,war-torn 1940’s France with The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure, 1950’s Afghanistan with And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, or 1960’s Vietnam The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri (also nominated for the Man Booker shortlist this year). We have a lot more strong historical fiction on this list, click on the image to look closer at the first page.
For fans of the Oprah Book List (that was), there are several books that will get you lining up: Domestic tragedy with We are Water by Wally Lamb, right and wrong with Eyrie by Tim Winton, 20th century saga with The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, and emigration drama Girl of Shadows by Deborah Challinor.
There have been some fantastic New Zealand fiction works published this year, not least New Zealand Post Book of the Year The Big Music by Kirsty Gunn. Others by some of our great include The Infinite Air, in which Fiona Kidman tells the story of Jean Batten; The Mannequin Makers, in which Craig Cliff examines past tragedies; The Virgin and the Whale: A Love Story, a story about stories by Carl Nixon; and Wake, in which Elizabeth Knox lets her horror-writing shine. Top-selling debut novel The Keeper of Secrets, by Julie Thomas is also a key feature and spent months on the Indie Top 20 chart in 2013.
We also have some fantastic gift ideas featured (not that they aren’t all great gift ideas) – including the gorgeous Everything I need to Know I learned from a Little Golden Book, by Diane Muldrow; and the fascinating and beautiful From Earth’s End: The Best of New Zealand Comics, by Adrian Kinnaird.
To those who say don’t buy books for Christmas – we say pah! There is never a bad time for a book, be it Christmas or just for your own summer reading pleasure. Read and enjoy.
by Sarah Forster