Booksellers Summer Reading Catalogue – Biography & History

Following our launch last week of the Summer Reading Catalogue in fourteen great Indie bookstores, we are giving our loyal readers a summary of what we are recommending for the coming holidays. It might help you solve a few gift ideas, as well as giving you something to ask Santa for!Poppies NZ Summer Cat 13_sml_Page_4_forvis

Arts and culture biographies steal the local limelight. The feature for New Zealand biographies is  A History of Silence: A Memoir, by Lloyd Jones. Lloyd Jones is the feature title for New Zealand biographies. Written by one of our foremost novelists, Jones investigates his own family history after the Christchurch earthquakes in this moving autobiography. The other kiwi biographies featured are Self-Portrait, by Marti Friedlander and Peter McLeavey: The Life and Times of a New Zealand Art Dealer, by Jill Trevelyan, which charters the forty five year history of the Cuba Street dealer gallery and the evolution of modern art in New Zealand. The McLeavey biography was recently reviewed by our Projects Manager Megan Dunn, in her other life as an art writer, on art website Eyecontact.

Johnny Cash: The Life, by Robert Hilburn was reviewed this week on our blog by Gordon Findlay. Despite there being a lot of alternatives to this biography, including two autobiographies – including two autobiographies by the man in black himself – this new work is praised as telling “the other eighty percent (of the story), in a comprehensive, stylish way.” For some autobiographical doses of celebrity sparkle, check out David Jason: My Life, or Bonkers: My life with laughs. And for those who want to engage with events of historical importance there’s the best-selling I am Malala: The girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai (review coming), Equal Justice, by Rabia Siddique and Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine who launched Modern China, by Jung Chang.

One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson leads the history stack, with a glowing review on this blog by Elizabeth Heritage. We also have two great books by Awa Press, How to hear classical music, by Davinia Caddy, and How to sail a boat, by Matt Vance. Both books come highly recommended by our reviewers, for enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

With the centenary of the first world war fast approaching, we also feature a couple of sobering war history books – Catastrophe: Europe goes to war 1914, by Max Hastings, about what went on in Europe that led to the first world war; and The Battles of Monte Cassino, by Glyn Harper and John Tonkin-Covell, about the second world war and the battles in Italy during that period.landscape_tree

Next week, we will feature another huge range of New Zealand non-fiction, including some fantastic big photographic books, a couple of which are included in our bumper Christmas book giveaway, which begins today.

– Booksellers NZ

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