On RNZ’s Nine to Noon Kiran reviewed Saltwater by Jessica Andrews. A superb work of autofiction about fragility, place, the mother/daughter relationship and the body.. Kiran says, “It’s intoxicating. It absolutely knocked me for six!”
Dead People I Have Known
We are pleased to announce that our May Book of the Month is the highly anticipated memoir Dead People I Have Known by Shayne Carter, published by Victoria University Press.
From Kiran Dass’ NZ Herald review:
“Dead People I Have Known is sharp, moving and tender. Carter has backbone. He writes with a staunch self-awareness and alongside the successful moments doesn't shy away from revealing the awkward, embarrassing and low points. It's compelling, smart and immersive and I couldn't put it down. “
The Island of Sea Woman is a gripping historical saga that follows the lives of two haenyeo (women divers) from Jeju Island, Korea. Impeccably researched and set alongside the political turmoil of Korea in the twentieth century, this is a fascinating tale about the women who undertake one of the world's most difficult careers in a unique matrifocal society.
Listen to Jenna’s review with Kathryn Ryan below:
A new week and a new breakfast host for 95bFM! This morning, Jenna chatted with Rachel and producer Tess about Daisy Jones & the Six. This is a tale of a 1970’s fictional rock ‘n’ roll band, who are vividly imagined in through the novel’s structure as an oral history - think VH1’s Behind the Music meets Almost Famous.
Don your hoop earrings, imagine yourself in the California sun and step inside this digestable & fun read.
Don’t forget, your bCard qualifies you for a 10% discount at Time Out.
It was a bittersweet Loose Reads today as it was our last slot with dear Mikey Havoc who is leaving this week. Kiran spoke about America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo who will be appearing in conversation with Kiran at the Auckland Writers Festival. It’s an extraordinary novel about three generations of Filipina women in San Francisco’s Bay Area.
Ali Smith is back with the third book in her Seasonal Quartet, Spring.
We are introduced to three characters that are soon to meet - Richard, an elderly film & TV director who is mourning the death of his friend, Brittany, a young, educated, security officer at a UK Immigration Removal Centre and 12 year old Florence, who is traveling on her own from London to Scotland.
Smith’s ability to form this intricate web of connections between fictional characters and current events is masterful and self aware. She’s constantly pushing the boundaries of fiction, as well as publishing. This is a modern classic that is a true joy to read. Listen to Jenna’s review with Kathryn Ryan below:
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads, Kiran reviewed The New Me by Halle Butler, a book she thinks people are going to love! It’s a fresh, modern, dark and cynically funny novel about a 30-year-old temp named Millie. A sharp and sometimes abject look at social mores, neoliberalism, anxiety, female friendship and the modern workplace.
The days may be getting shorter and cooler, but spring has definitely sprung at Time Out! Our Book of the Month for April is Spring by Ali Smith, who returns with the eagerly awaited third installment of her seasonal quartet of novels.
”Spring will come. The leaves on its trees will open after blossom.Before it arrives, a hundred yards of empire-making. The dawn breaks cold and still but, deep in the earth, things are growing.”
Riffing on the work of Katherine Mansfield and Rilke, Greek myths and the lyricism of the season spring itself, Smith’s luminous and hope-filled novel is an empathetic look at the fallout of contemporary politics and current affairs.
On RNZ’s Nine to Noon Kiran reviewed For the Good Times by David Keenan. Set in Ardoyne in North Belfast during The Troubles in the 1970s, it follows a group of friends who are foot soldiers in the provisional IRA. Bold and energising, it’s a novel about faith, shared identities and everyday transcendance.
Today on 95bFM’s Loose Reads, Jenna reviewed a new favourite, The Library Book by Susan Orlean.
This memoir starts with a mystery - who set fire to the Los Angeles Central Library in 1986? On our way to find an answer, we look at the incredible role that libraries have in our communty and how that came to be all the while meeting the weird and wonderful people who helped make it happen.
This is a warm & joyful read full of facts and stories that you will share for years to come.
Susan Orlean is coming to the Auckland Writers Festival! Book tickets here.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads Kiran reviewed Another Planet: A Teenager in Suburbia by Tracey Thorn. It’s a lovely memoir about family, music, culture and the crushing boredom of growing up in 1970s suburbia. It’s a wonderful book which celebrates the ordinary over the extraordinary.
Whether you’re reading a reflection of your own community, or stepping inside the stories from another culture, the joy of reading has no boundaries.
On the latest 95bFM Loose Reads, Jenna suggests some wonderful Muslim writers to delve in to.
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie - see her in May at the Auckland Writers Festival.
No Country Woman by Zoya Patel
The Things I Would Tell You - British Muslim Women Write ed. by Sabrina Mahfouz
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads, Kiran reviewed our Time Out Book of the Month for March - The Wall by John Lanchester. It’s a startlingly prescient allegory for our times where The Defenders patrol a Wall to keep out The Others. Looking at climate change and political turbulence, John Lanchester is a brilliant writer.
Today we talk short stories and how GREAT they are!
Before today’s review, Jenna gave Tess some homework: To read the viral, December 2017 short story, Cat Person, from The New Yorker.
This collection of twelve stories (including Cat Person) was published off the back of this success. Dark, twisted and humourous (sometimes), You Know You Want This explores the power dynamics of sex, relationships and gender.
Our Book of the Month for March is The Wall by John Lanchester.
"It's cold on the Wall. You look for metaphors. It's cold as slate, as diamond, as the moon. Cold as charity - that's a good one. But you soon realise that the thing about the cold is that it isn't a metaphor. It isn't like anything else. It's nothing but physical fact. This kind of cold, anyway. Cold is cold is cold."
After a catastrophic environmental disaster, sea levels have risen, there are no beaches, and a Wall encircling Great Britain has been erected. Beset by cold, loneliness and fear, it is on the Wall that the Defenders stand guard to keep the Others out. A dystopian allegory about the current political and environmental climate, The Wall also looks at intergenerational disparity and will hook you in from the first line.