95bFM's Loose Reads: Hellholes of the World: A Love Story by David G. Brown by Time Out Bookstore

This morning Jenna reviewed Hellholes of the World: A Love Story by David G. Brown. This is a pure, rough and tumble travel memoir. Published posthumously, David tells of travelling to places that are no usually on your bucket list: Israel, Syria, the Congo, Banglasdesh, Sierra Leone and more. This is a classic travel memoir with excellent storytelling and political insight. 

Jenna also chats with Jogai about Auckland Writers Festival highlights.  

95bFM's Loose Reads: What to do at AWF by Time Out Bookstore

Today, Jenna gives bFM listeners a taste of the music-y events that are happening at the Auckland Writers Festival.

This includes three sessions with Alex Ross, author of The Rest is NoiseTama Waipara's songwriting series 'On Song', featuring musical guests Nadia Reid, Lawrence Arabia and Moana Maniapoto. We also talk about the Ockhams and The Listener Festival Gala. 

Guest Review: 4 Young Adult Novels with Shania Kumar by Time Out Bookstore

Shania Kumar is one of our enthusiastic customer reviewers. Check out what she's been reading lately below.

LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff

Eve Carpenter lives in the Dregs, an island junkyard filled with rubbish, danger and TROUBLE. After losing her beloved robot gladiator Miss Combobulation in a Dome fight against a robot. Eve unlocks her powers and realises that she can kill robots and machinery by the will of her mind. On the run from Gangs and the Brotherhood, an organisation against ‘freaks’ like Eve, Eve comes across a lifelike robot, Eziekel who she seems to remember. With the help of Eziekel, her Grandpa, best friends Lemon Fresh and Cricket and trusty dog, Kaizer, Eve escapes death on numerous occasions. Eve’s life changes once again when Eve gains access to memories of her past as Ana Monrova and struggles to deal with her families loss and betrayal by the lifelike’s that her father created. This book captivated me the instant I started reading as it vividly describes the technological advancements but at the same time exposes the appalling environment that the world is facing. I really enjoyed not knowing what to expect when reading this book and anyone who loves the Bladerunner, Divergent, X-Men or Romeo and Juliet should definitely give this book a try.

How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather

Samantha Mather is your typical teen with sarcastic catch phrases on hand and a curious and strong willed personality. Her life ultimately changes once her Father enters a coma and Samantha and her step-mom then decide to move to Salem, her father’s home town. Witches, spells and a morbid curse greet her as she struggles to find the key to save her Father and unlock her families curse. Which is intertwined with the Salem Witch Trails, which occurred over 300 years ago. Along the way, Sam creates special bonds with the boy next door, Jaxon and the ghost which haunts her home, Elijah. I enjoyed how the novel portrayed both Samantha’s daily teenage life as well as her hunt to stop her families curse. I found it interesting that the author was actually talking about her family and their involvement in the Salem Witch trails in the novel, which made you want to read the book more. How to Hang A Witch is a thrilling read which will leave you questioning if there really are such things as supernatural beings!

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

In the small town of Sparrow all is not as it seems. Every summer, three sisters who were murdered 200 years ago return to their hometown and possess three unlucky girls all in the name of revenge. The three Swan sisters lure unsuspecting boys out into the ocean and vengefully drown them as an act of revenge towards the town for their wrongful deaths and accusation of being witches. A night before the sisters return, Penny Talbot a local seventeen year old girl runs into Bo Carter who hides his true purpose for coming to Sparrow. Join Penny as she uncovers the Swan Sisters story and realises that she is more connected to them than she thought. The Wicked Deep takes you on an emotional roller coaster which leads you to discover many hidden truths about the town and the Swan Sisters. This book is recommended for all paranormal book lovers and will fully transport you to the town of Sparrow.

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

Join Catarina Agatta, a seventeen year old genius hacker on a quest to find the antidote to save the world from the deadly Hydra plague. Before Catarina’s father, the world renowned  geneticist Dr Laclan died, he devised a set of clues to help Cat find the vaccine. To find the vaccine against the Hydra infection, Cat must come out from hiding from the Cartaxus organisation. The organisation which killed her father and Cat has to enter the Hydra infested world where Lurkers (dangerous cannibalistic humans) and toxic Hydra clouds loom. With the help from her lethal companion Cole and brilliant coder Dax, she sets off to uncover the vaccine to save the world. On her search for the antidote Cat discovers deadly secrets which questions if her father is dead and who she thinks she is. I loved how this book has incredible plot twists which you do not see coming and creates a graphic parallel universe which you feel you are a part of. 

Event: Time Out is 30! by Time Out Bookstore

Last night, Time Out toasted to our 30th birthday! It was especially special to have our two previous owners, founder Sue Lees & Joy Draper celebrating with us. Thank you for all of the publishers, sales reps, staff, fellow booksellers & customers that squished in our upstairs room to party with us.

95bFM's Loose Reads: Ponti by Sharlene Teo by Time Out Bookstore

On Monday, Jenna, Jogai and Mikey spoke about the excellent read, Ponti. With sweaty Singapore as its backdrop, this story interweaves the lives of three women. It's smart, captures the subtly of complex female relationships, has great pop culture references. Listen to the review below.

Sharlene Teo will be in town for the Auckland Writer's Festival in just a few weeks. Check out her sessions here.

Lit Reads Book Club Report: Frankenstein in Baghdad by Time Out Bookstore

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Thanks to all of our book-loving members that came to our inaugural Lit Reads Book Club meeting!

For a long time, we’ve had customers longing to join fellow book-lovers in literary discussion, but struggling to find book clubs to call home. It felt like we had the perfect solution: a cozy upstairs space with brick walls and plush leather couches, a Village Winery across the road (for the essentials), well-read and enthusiastic customers and of course, lots of books!

It was great to see a mixture of new and familiar faces come together to discuss the irreverent Man-Booker International shortlisted title, Frankenstein in Baghdad.  Gory, layered and exhaustive in its cast of characters, Frankenstein in Baghdad explores the impact of war on different intersections of Iraqi society, and sews together a political parable packed with nods to local and literary myths.

Starting the discussion with the title; its military green letters stitched into a beige background, our book club members dug into the relationship between Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and our contemporary monster, similarities between this and other political satires, the realities of daily life during war, and whether or not humour becomes lost in translation.

Our members all brought interesting ideas and new ways of thinking about the book to our discussion. Some had gone so far as to researching the Jewish architecture discussed in the book; others providing political and historical context to the post-War Iraq the book is set in.

The best part of any book club is watching the ice crack and hearing all of the thoughtful, intelligent and engaging conversation that takes part both during and after the session. Watching people who are connected by Time Out and their love for books engaging in discussion and sharing emails and phone numbers was an encouraging start for our book club.

Our mission with Lit Reads is to connect communities of readers and hear new and varied perspectives on fresh, contemporary titles. If this sounds like you, please email Suri at books@timeout.co.nz for more information.

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95bFM's Loose Reads: Vinyl. Album. Cover. Art: The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue by Time Out Bookstore

Kiran's brought in a rock-infused number this week. Vinyl. Album. Cover. Art: The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue is exactly what the title suggests: a full feature of design collective Hipgnosis, showcasing groundbreaking cover art created for iconic rock 'n' roll giants including Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd to name a few. 

Triple Review: 3 Young Adults Novels with Shania Kumar by Time Out Bookstore

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Young adult expert  Shania Kumar sent us three great reviews this week. Here's her feedback on Flawed by Cecelia Ahern, The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward, and The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. We're looking forward to seeing what Shania reviews next!

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern  

“A heart-wrenching story of a young lady, Celestine North, standing up to society and challenging societal rules and expectations. I loved how this book talked about injustice in a unique way and showed injustice through there being ‘perfect’ human beings and then flawed human beings who were inferior to the ‘perfect’ human beings.  Flawed also portrayed the idea that there is no such thing as being ‘perfect’ and that part of being a human is to be flawed. This allows us to learn from mistakes we make and become a wiser person because of it.”

Perfect, the sequel to Flawed is out now.

Our recommended reading age for this book is 10-14 years.

The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward

“Join Samantha Kemi, an extraordinary alchemist on a nationwide hunt to find the cure for a love potion which the Princess of Nova accidentally drank. During Samantha’s deadly quest to find the scarcest ingredients in the universe like Eluvian ivy and Abominable hair, she realises that all is not as it seems to be and her families’ rival family, the Aster family, might be up to something. This book is an easy and interesting book to read and is about embracing yourself and reaching your full potential.”

You can also read the sequel, The Royal Tour.

Our recommended reading age for this book is 10 years and up.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

“Enter a world where all the creatures from your darkest nightmares are alive! Meghan Chase thought she was an ordinary teenage girl but all this dramatically changes when the fae steal her little brother and replace him with a changeling. On a mission to find her brother, Meghan enters the Never Never, a paranormal world in which faeries, monsters, trolls and nymphs are all alive and she is a Princess of the summer fae. Experience Meghan’s quest to find her brother and along the way develop lifelong friendships with Prince Ash and Puck. This book will attract anyone who is into fantasy and mythological creatures and is a thrilling tale which you won’t be able to put down!”

Our recommended reading age is 12 years and up.