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2020 – End Of Year Thoughts

      At our end of year bookclub we dined at the Boat Shed Cafe in Nelson and acknowledged how lucky we were to be able to do so. While we recalled our bookclubs hosted by Zoom and philosophised about the state of… Continue Reading “2020 – End Of Year Thoughts”

Burnt Sugar – Avni Doshi

READ FOR BOOKERTHON A story of love and betrayal between a woman and her mother.  ✚ “Though dementia is the vehicle for the plot, the real story in Burnt Sugar is the toxic co-dependent relationship between Tara and her daughter Antara. Despite Antara’s sense… Continue Reading “Burnt Sugar – Avni Doshi”

Real Life – Brandon Taylor

READ FOR BOOKERTHON A biochemistry student’s experiences of life as a gay, black man captured over one weekend ✚ “What started off as a fairly innocuous read soon became anything but. Reading Real Life after Burnt Sugar and The Shadow King I was more… Continue Reading “Real Life – Brandon Taylor”

The Memory Police – Yoko Ogawa

READ FOR BOOKCLUB Chosen by Jo On an unnamed island, people’s memories are slowly deleted by the controlling authority, the Memory Police. ✚ “Censorship and authoritarian surveillance are at the thematic heart of this novel. Items that represent art, cultural identity and independent thought… Continue Reading “The Memory Police – Yoko Ogawa”

Halibut On The Moon – David Vann

READ FOR NZ BOOK AWARDS A suicidal man visits his family in California before deciding his fate. ✚ “My previous experience of David Vann was of the book Goat Mountain, which both freaked me out and captivated me. I wanted to recommend it to… Continue Reading “Halibut On The Moon – David Vann”

Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami

READ FOR BOOKCLUB Chosen by Jo A romantic, 1960s coming-of-age story recaptures a young man’s first, hopeless, and heroic love. ✚ “Norwegian Wood is the book that made Haruki Murakami famous. Which some would say is surprising considering it is a move away from… Continue Reading “Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami”

The Man Who Saw Everything – Deborah Levy

READ FOR BOOKCLUB Chosen by Rachel A man who is hit by a vehicle on Abbey Road represents the difficulty of seeing oneself and others clearly. ✚ “In the opening pages of The Man Who Saw Everything, Saul Adler, a young historian, steps onto… Continue Reading “The Man Who Saw Everything – Deborah Levy”

2020 – Narrative direction

A novel must contain many things to hold the reader’s attention: compelling plot, relatable characters and distinct settings. But another, sometimes underrated, feature is narrative direction. It can be overstated for purpose, or discreet so as not to be obtrusive, but narration is usually… Continue Reading “2020 – Narrative direction”

2019 – End Of Year Thoughts

Overcoming adversity is an effective literary theme, creating controversy and hope and edge-of-your-seat dynamics. It is also an apt reflection of the real world. Looking back over our reading list in 2019, it’s easy to see how overcoming adversity dominated the featured titles. From… Continue Reading “2019 – End Of Year Thoughts”

Dogside Story – Patricia Grace

READ FOR BOOKCLUB Chosen by Jo Conflict in a North Island whanau means one man must reveal a great secret. ⚑ “Considered one of NZ writer Patricia Grace’s masterpieces, Dogside Story presents a portrait of Maori: their powerful connections to the land, ocean and… Continue Reading “Dogside Story – Patricia Grace”