The short story is enjoying a resurgence and this new anthology which Kiran reviewed on 95bFM’s Loose Reads Being Various: New Irish Short Stories edited by Lucy Caldwell brings together 24 vibrant and fresh pieces by Irish authors including Sally Rooney, Sinead Gleeson, Wendy Erskine, Nicole Flattery, Lisa McInerney and Eimear McBride. The short story is in fine form!
On RNZ’s Nine to Noon, Kiran reviewed Annie Ernaux’s collective history The Years, which was shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker International Prize. A generous and attentive book, it is where autofiction, biography and sociology intersect. A radical approach to the memoir, Kiran says The Years is extraordinary, a treasure and a tonic.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads Kiran reviewed Merchants of Truth by Jill Abramson who was just here for the Auckland Writers Festival. It’s a great book for anyone interested in the changing landscape of journalism, and scrutinises four news outlets - the old guard of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and the “disruptive mavericks” Vice and Buzzfeed.
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
95bFM's Loose Reads: Nothing is Real: The Beatles Were Underrated And Other Sweeping Statements About Pop by David Hepworth /
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads Kiran reviewed Nothing is Real: The Beatles Were Underrated and Other Sweeping Statements About Pop by music journalist David Hepworth. Entertaining and informative, this collection of essays shows how to take music seriously but at the same time, not drain the life out of it.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads Kiran spoke about the locally produced and beautifully crafted Dirt by Gemma Walsh and Katie Kerr. Not your average cookbook, Dirt is experimental and brings together delicious plant-based recipes paired with poems, writing, and conversations with local writers and thinkers. It would make a lovely gift!
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!
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.
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!