RNZ's Nine to Noon: Doxology by Nell Zink by Time Out Bookstore

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:

95bFM's Loose Reads: Lanny by Max Porter by Time Out Bookstore

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:


RNZ's Nine to Noon: Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner by Time Out Bookstore

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?

95bFM's Loose Reads: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead by Time Out Bookstore

This new novel from Colson Whitehead (The Underground Railroad) is Jenna’s favourite book of 2019.*
*so far

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:

Read more about Arthur G Dozier School & The White House Boys.
Spoiler free review from Roxane Gay’s Book Club.
Great interview with Colson Whitehead on NPR’S Fresh Air.


95bFM's Loose Reads: A Dream About Lightning Bugs by Ben Folds by Time Out Bookstore

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.

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95bFM's Loose Reads: The Farm by Joanne Ramos by Time Out Bookstore

The Farm is Joanne Ramos’ first book. Jane arrives to the luxury resort Golden Oaks to become a ‘host’ - a surrogate for a wealthy client. Jane sees this well paid gig as a opportunity for her and her young daughter to get a step up in life, but the strict conditions of Golden Oaks, leads her to question a choice she can’t reverse.

Narrated by a cast of characters on all sides, The Farm is an educated insight into ethics, class and privilege & service culture.


95bFM's Loose Reads: Attraction by Ruby Porter by Time Out Bookstore

Jenna had a big weekend at the Auckland Writers Festival, so on tofay’s Loose Reads she chats to Rachel and Tess about this incredible book event which included the Ockham Book Awards.

Books that we have spoke about before on Loose Reads came away with gongs. The Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize was awarded to This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman. Tayi Tibble’s Poukahangatus won best first poetry book and Chessie Henry’s We Can Make a Life won best first non-fiction book. Check out the rest of the winners here.

Then, Jenna reviews Ruby Porter’s Attraction. Winner of the inaugaral Michael Gifkins Prize. You can also listen to Ruby’s interview from last week here.

Don’t forget, your bCard qualifies you for a 10% discount at Time Out.

RNZ's Nine to Noon: The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See by Time Out Bookstore

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:

95bFM's Loose Reads: Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid by Time Out Bookstore

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.

RNZ's Nine to Noon: Spring by Ali Smith by Time Out Bookstore

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:

95bFM's Loose Reads: The Library Book by Susan Orlean by Time Out Bookstore

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.

95bFM's Loose Reads: Kamila Shamsie, Zoya Patel & Sabrina Mahfouz by Time Out Bookstore

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

95bFM's Loose Reads: You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian by Time Out Bookstore

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.

If this sounds good to you, you may also like the following short story collections: Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country & Her Body and Other Parties. You can also buy Cat Person on its own!