Bubble Burst Book List: Emily Writes

We’re sneaking ever closer to bookshops being able to deliver more than just the government mandated essentials. Many are already taking online orders in preparation for the shift to level 3 next week. Today we have Emily Writes sharing her extensive Bubble Burst Book List with us.

Emily Writes is a mum of two and author of the bestselling Rants in the Dark and the parenting collection Is it bedtime yet?  Rants in the Dark was recently made into a play that toured New Zealand. Emily is a columnist with The Spinoff.


Head Girl by Freya Daly Sadgrove (Victoria University Press)

I just bought this today online at The Twizel Bookshop and I’m so excited. I saw Freya Daly Sadgrove read from her debut collection at a charity event and I was absolutely hooked. Fangirl for life! But then Covid-19 happened and I’ve had no way to get Head Girl. I’m going to be waiting by my mailbox when we hit level three! I’m not a poet myself but I love to read poetry and I’m starting to get a good collection. Freya’s reading from Head Girl made me laugh and almost cry within seconds and I love work that moves me to that level. She’s going to be huge I just feel it in my waters.

Southern Nights by Naomi Arnold (Harper Collins)

Not a day goes by that I haven’t wished I’d bought this book before lockdown! But I’m looking forward to my local Unity Books opening so that I can buy this one from there and start star gazing with my children. I’ve heard so many great things about this book and the way Naomi Arnold writes about the traditional stargazers and Te Whanau Marama, our family of light. I would read anything she writes (so I hope she never writes Gareth Morgan’s biography) she is such a powerhouse writer. There’s so much heart and passion in her writing no matter what the subject is. I also felt like I followed her writing this book through Instagram so I feel very invested!

Taking the Lead by David Hill and Phoebe Morris (Penguin Random House)

I’m about to order this one online at The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie. My children are huge fans of this series on New Zealand leaders and adventurers. We already have First to the Top about Sir Edmund Hillary, Speed King about Burt Munro, and Jean Batten’s Sky High. We just need Sir Peter Blake’s Hero of the Sea and the Joan Wiffen story Dinosaur Hunter. But since my boys are both Jacinda Ardern superfans I thought I’d buy this one and save my pennies for the other two. My little ones love inspiring stories of real people and Jacinda Ardern’s story is a lovely message for kids in lockdown.

Auē by Becky Manawatu (Mākaro Press)

I have severe FOMO because everyone is talking about this book. I need it. I want it. I must have it. Becky Manawatu is incredible and I can’t wait to read her novel Auē. It’s the first novel from the Westport journalist and if you’ve read anything she’s written you’ll know how good it will be. I really trust Catherine Woulfe (The Spinoff Books’ Editor) as a reviewer and she has raved about it, calling Becky Manawatu’s writing “wild, intuitive sort of magic”. I could not agree more with that description so I’ll be buying this one online at Scorpio Books in Christchurch when I’ve got some cash!

Nothing to See by Pip Adam (Victoria University Press)

It’s not even out yet but I am So! Excited! Basically all the exclamation marks. I’ve heard Pip read from Nothing to See a few times and I know it’s going to be a masterpiece. I’m a Pip Adam superfan and I just cannot wait. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a book. Can you believe it comes out on my birthday? Can you believe?! I’ve already pre-ordered and you can too.

Politics in the Playground by Helen May (Otago University Press)

The third edition of Politics in the Playground: The world of early childhood in Aotearoa New Zealand tells the story of early childhood education and care in Aotearoa. Helen May used to be the Dean of the University of Otago College of Education but probably more importantly – she’s worked as an ECE teacher, a primary teacher and a secondary teacher. She helped create Te Whāriki the ECE curriculum. This is a must-have for nerds obsessed with ECE and teaching politics.

The Goddess Muscle by Karlo Mila (Huia)

If I’m allowed to include another not-yet released book I have to include Karlo Mila’s The Goddess Muscle due on 31 July. This is Karlo Mila’s third book of poetry after the incredible and award-winning Dream Fish Floating and A Well Written Body. Karlo Mila’s writing is something you feel all through your body as you read. It feels like it touches every part of you. I don’t know where it will be published but I assume it will be through her original publishers Huia and as soon as it’s on pre-order I’m getting it.

I am a Human Being by Jackson Nieuwland (Compound Press)

There are just too many great books coming out in June. I have to include one more. Jackson Nieuwland’s debut collection I Am A Human Being. It’s available on pre-order now and I’m very excited. Jackson is easily one of the most exciting poets out there. I’ve had the privilege of being on a panel with them and I am so excited every time I see a new poem of theirs online. In the meantime while you wait, read this incredible essay and tell me this isn’t the most stunning and important writing you’ve read in forever. Talking about the writing of one of my most absolute favourite poets (and favourite humans actually) Chris Tse, Jackson said “Putting this kind of work out into the world takes a lot of bravery.” They’re so right and that bravery will change the world.

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