On 95bFM’s Loose Reads, Kiran reviewed New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentino’s piercing collection of essays Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self Delusion. It dives deep into the evolution of the internet, the effects of late capitalism, the definitive scams of the millennial era, and the diminishing gap between personal and political delusion. These perfectly pitched essays also come with an endorsement from Rebecca Solnit so what more could you ask for?
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads Suri spoke about On Fire by Naomi Klein where we find essays on varying stages of ecological crisis to current calls for policy reform, in hope of saving our planet. A necessary read.
Jenna is a huge Patti Smith fan and was very happy to step back into her comforting words with Year of the Monkey. Set in the year of 2016 - this is a poetic musing on grief, solitude, dreams & travel. Year of the Monkey is Smith’s third memoir after Just Kids (2010) & M Train (2015).
Today we played The Go-Go’s We Got the Beat after the chapter, Why Belinda Carlisle Matters.
On RNZ’s Nine to Noon Kiran reviewed Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss who will be appearing in conversation at Time Out in October and Verb in November. It’s an atmospheric novel about 17-year-old Silvie who goes on an excursion with her mother and father to live on an archeological replica of an Iron Age settlement with the goal of living like ancient Britons did for a flavour of Iron Age life. This is a very mesmerising novel. It’s an exquisite novel, a tremendous mood piece with a heck of an impact.
For fans of the great American novel, Nell Zink’s Doxology takes the reader from 1980’s New York City to the ill fated USA 2016 election.
Investigating generational shifts & responses, Doxology is a compelling, intelligent & witty observation on thirty years of history and cultural change. For fans of Franzen, Wolitzer and Tartt.
Listen to Jenna’s review below:
Deborah Levy’s Booker Prize longlisted The Man Who Saw Everything may not have made the shortlist but it is our Book of the Month for September! An intriguing and expertly plotted novel abut politics, history, surveillance, beauty and envy, this book shows Levy is a clever writer of immense control and clarity. You can listen to Kiran’s 95bFM Loose Reads review here.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads Kiran reviewed our Book of the Month The Man Who Saw Everything by one of her favourite writers Deborah Levy. An intriguing and expertly plotted novel abut politics, history, surveillance, beauty and envy, this book shows Levy is a clever writer of immense control and clarity.
On her latest Loose Reads review and in anticipation of the Booker shortlist being announced, Jenna reviewed the longlisted Lanny by Max Porter. This book is an expertly crafted exploration in narrative form and dialogue.
Another longlist title that Jenna mentions is The Testaments by Margaret Atwood - Booker judges can only say that it’s ‘terrifying and exhilarating’. This is out on September 10th!
The shortlist is announced at 9pm (NZ time) on September 3rd.
Listen to the review below:
On RNZ’s Nine to Noon Kiran reviewed Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry which has been longlisted for the Booker Prize. Charlie and Maurice are two ragged Irish gangsters from Cork who are waiting at a Spanish port for a night boat from Tangier. This is a dark novel about crime and its effects, but it’s also very funny and touching, and beautifully deals with love, loss, ageing, parenthood and the fraternity of male friendship.
You all know and love the iconic 95bFM logo (you’re not allowed to change it, bFM!) and today Kiran was lucky enough to be joined on Loose Reads by the man who designed it, John Pain, who listeners will also know from Hallelujah Picassos. They talked about his debut novel The Golden Sword published by local outfit Dunbar Noon who describe it as “Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness via Lee Falk’s The Phantom.”
Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a book about divorce that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Toby is handling his divorce fairly well. He’s joined dating apps, is working towards a promotion and is spending quality time with his children on the weekends. However, when his ex Rachel does not turn up to pick up the kids as planned, and just doesn’t...come back, Toby’s new life is turned upside down.
A novel with humour and depth, Brodesser-Akner’s journalistic touch explores gender roles and the expectation of working mothers. For fans of Andrew Sean Greer’s Less and Maria Semple’s Where’d you go, Bernadettte?
This new novel from Colson Whitehead (The Underground Railroad) is Jenna’s favourite book of 2019.*
The Nickel Boys follows Elwood Curtis, a young, idealistic African American teenager in 1962. Motivated by the words of Martin Luther King, he joins Civil Rights marches and is working hard to get into college.
However, after being in the wrong vehicle at the wrong time, Elwood’s path dramatically changes when he is sent to Nickel Academy, a segregated reform school for boys.
Based on Arthur G Dozier School for Boys in Florida, which only closed down 10 years ago,
This book is an example of masterful storytelling and is bound to be read for years to come. Listen to Jenna’s review with Rachel and Tess below:
Just in time for National Poetry Day, Kiran spoke about Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand Women’s Poetry by Paula Green. Compiled with an attentive care, it’s a beautifully structured and presented book which celebrates New Zealand’s women poets, bringing some out of obscurity and into the limelight they deserve.
A throwback to the 90’s and a new title for our Music Bio section, Ben Folds’ A Dream about Lightning Bugs is a compelling memoir of his piano rock band, Ben Folds Five, as well as his solo career.
While it’s not a sex & drugs tell all, Folds delves into the realities of touring with a baby grand, his often obnoxious behavior and the evolution of the music industry over the 2000’s. A great read for any music fan.
Listen to Jenna, Rachel & Tess’ review and if you’re really keen, give Brick a listen for old times sake.
Our Book of the Month for August is The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and National Book Award for his 2016 novel The Underground Railroad. Based on a real and brutal segregated Florida reform school in the 1950s, the Nickel Academy claims to provide “physical, intellectual and moral training” that will equip its inmates to become “honorable and honest men”. Time Out’s owner Wendy loved this book!
Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing by Sean Mallon and Sebastien Galliot published by Te Papa Press cleaned up at the PANZ Book Design Awards last week, picking up awards for Best Illustrated Book, Best Typography, Best Book and the People’s Choice Award. Our Kiran was a judge at the awards and spoke about this triumph of a book on 95bFM’s Loose Reads.