On RNZ’s Nine to Noon, Kiran reviewed one of her favourite novels of 2018 In the City of Love’s Sleep by Lavinia Greenlaw. An elegant and eloquent story of love, recovery, repair and beautiful objects.
This week on RNZ’s Nine to Noon, Kiran reviewed Human Relations and Other Difficulties by Mary-Kay Wilmers. Wilmers co-founded the London Review of Books in 1979 and has been its editor since 1992. This collection brings together 23 polished, informative and entertaining self-contained pieces which are fine examples of her wonderfully dry and brittle wit.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads, Kiran and Mikey talked about Mars By 1980: The Story of Electronic Music by David Stubbs. A thrilling deep dive into technology and invention, it propels us into sonic space and charts how developments in technology have shaped music over the years. One of the best music books of 2018!
Today we have a special school holiday edition of Loose Reads. Jenna & Eli (13) popped into the 95bFM studio to chat to Mikey about Munmun by Jesse Andrews.
Set in a world where your physical size is based on your wealth, this is a compelling and poignant read for a young generation. This is a book that Eli recommends for readers 12+.
Kiran reviewed The Only Girl: My Life and Times on the Masthead of Rolling Stone by Robin Green on 95bFM’s Loose Reads. A juicy, candid memoir from journalist Robin Green who wrote excellent and often damning long-form profiles for iconic magazine Rolling Stone in its 1970s heyday, this is essential reading for lovers of pop and counter culture, West Coast bohemia, political reportage and pacey biographies.
Jenna’s favourite novel of 2018!
It’s the year 2000 in New York, and our unnamed narrator decides to take a year off from life. By carefully mixing a cocktail of prescription medication, she will sleep through the year, emerging a new person, ready to slot back into society.
A laugh out loud, black as black comedy, that is layered, smart and sharp.
If you like to snuggle down with a grisly tale full of twists & turns, Ellen is the staff member for you!
Recently we've had a lot of requests for a great psychological thriller, so as Time Out's resident crime & thriller reader, Ellen’s put together a few recommendations:
Resin by Ane Riel
Narrated both by 7-year-old Liv and various unsuspecting observers, Resin is a dark, captivating look at one man's crumbling mental state and his increasingly disturbing efforts to keep his dysfunctional family together. Translated from Danish, Resin's atmospheric prose builds an ethereal and claustrophobic forest world in which its characters slowly fall apart.
Snap by Belinda Bauer
In 1998, siblings Jack, Joy, and Merry are left to wait in their broken-down car while their mother goes to call for help—and doesn't return. Three years later, Jack, forced to become a serial burglar in order to keep his family afloat, begins to unravel the mystery of his mother's murder just as mum-to-be Catherine's happy world begins to disintegrate. Snap is a tense, dark, slow-burn of a thriller and well worth its praise - including a spot on the 2018 Man Booker longlist.
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Battling her body at the same time she's locked in an increasingly disturbing battle of wills with her daughter, Suzette is nearing her breaking point. 7-year-old Hanna doesn't speak and doesn't go to school, but she knows there's not enough room in the world for both her and mommy—and she's determined to drive her out so she can have her daddy all to herself. Zoje Stage’s sharp, tense prose builds suspense until the very end, creates a deeply unsettling picture of family life, and raises a very uncomfortable question: is it possible for a child to be a psychopath?
The Nowhere Child by Christian White
Sammy Went disappeared three days after her second birthday, taken from her front garden in America. Twenty-eight years later, in Melbourne, photography teacher Kim Leary is approached by a stranger claiming to be her brother. Cutting between past and present, The Nowhere Child unravels the secrets of two families and a small American town, and though there are plenty of tense moments, it is an easy--but compelling--read.
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
Anna Fox's agoraphobia keeps her trapped inside her home, forced to live vicariously through the snippets of life she sees unfolding across the street. Just as she starts to befriend her newest neighbours, she witnesses something she shouldn't. As Anna's carefully constructed life comes under siege, she is forced to confront her demons – and her neighbours. The Woman in the Window is an excellent mix of an unreliable narrator, slowly building suspense, and false starts that lead to an unexpectedly explosive conclusion.
On this 95bFM book review, Jenna takes a look at the first ever graphic novel to be longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Sabrina is a quietly intense story of the people left behind after a woman goes missing. It’s a story of this moment - the internet age, the media & truthers and is well worth a read - even if you’re a graphic novel novice!
Kiran nipped into the bFM studio to talk to the wonderful Rach and Tess about Messing Up the Paintwork: The Wit and Wisdom of Mark E. Smith, a book that celebrates the very quotable late Mark E. Smith from iconic group The Fall. A crabby, belligerant codger, Smith was known and loved for his sharp wit, caustic insults and wonderful way with words. You’ll want to read bits of the book out to anyone who’ll listen!
A spunky and glamorous figure of the 1960s and 70s LA counter culture, Eve Babitz was an alluring ‘It Girl’ who wrote startlingly sharp essays, memoir and fiction. Kiran reviewed the reissued edition of Babitz’s 1979 novel Sex & Rage: Advice for Young Ladies Eager for a Good Time on RNZ’s Nine to Noon.
Te wiki o te reo Māori! Jenna visited the 95bBM studio to kōrero about Maori Made Easy & Maori Made Easy 2 - Scotty Morrison's reo learning series. If you're thinking about making the step to learning, these books are the place to start!
We also gave away a copy of the brand new Gecko Press book, Paraweta. You'll have to listen to find out what that means.
Haere mai koutou ki te Time Out toa pukapuka kia tipu ōu reo. Come to Time Out Bookstore to grow your reo. We've got a great selection in stock.
Suri gets serious on today's Loose Reads review. Dopesick is a deeply human investigation into the American opioid epidemic and the greed of corporations with blood on their hands.
A top pick from the current affairs section! Listen below:
Today's 95bFM review is about Dame Fiona Kidman's This Mortal Boy. This is a novel based on the true story of Albert 'Paddy' Black, the second last man to be hanged in New Zealand.
Masterfully crafted, this is a heartbreaking tale. Jenna found it very engaging, very sad and it captures a strong sense of the time. The facts are there, but they are incredibly human.
Listen to the review below! And if you're in Hamilton this week, Kiran will interviewing Dame Fiona Kidman, Catherine Robertson and Julie Thomas for the ‘Fiction Three Ways’ panel discussion this Friday at Hamilton Book Month. It’s at the The Meteor, 6.30pm. It’s FREE and you even get a glass o’ wine. People of Hamilton, roll up!
Never Anyone But You is a straight-up, no nonsense, excellent read. Through the eyes of two inspiring women, we see the glitz of the roaring 20's in Paris to the horrors of the German occupation on Jersey, we are reminded of the value of true love and companionship, whatever form that may take.
This is one of Wendy's favourite books of the year! Listen to Jenna's review below: