RNZ Nine to Noon

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:

RNZ's Nine to Noon: A Different Drummer by William Melvin Kelley by Time Out Bookstore

This image features a little secret from RNZ. As Kathryn is in Wellington, we record our book reviews from a little room at RNZ Auckland.

Sometimes, if another guest is recording a live interview with Kathryn and we don’t have time for a song, we have to creep in quietly beside them and hope we don’t give them a fright or break their flow.


Jenna crept in yesterday to review A Different Drummer. This is a new lost classic, originally published in 1962, set in 1957, in a fictional Southern USA conferate state.
An incident causes the entire black population to leave the state over a few days. William Melvin Kelley, is himself African American, tells this story from the point of view of the white characters.

With vibrant prose and rich characters, this lost classic couldn’t be more timely. Read the 2018 New Yorker article that sparked this book being republished here.

And listen below for more:

RNZ's Nine to Noon: Human Relations & Other Difficulties by Mary-Kay Wilmers by Time Out Bookstore

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.


Nine to Noon: My Year of Rest & Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh by Time Out Bookstore

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.

Nine to Noon: Never Anyone but You by Rupert Thomson by Time Out Bookstore

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:

RNZ's Nine to Noon: Motherhood by Sheila Heti by Time Out Bookstore

Jenna reviewed the highly anticipated, Motherhood by Sheila Heti today. This book, which is officially fiction, is about writer Sheila's struggle to decide whether to have children. She consults friends, family & I Ching in a bid to discover if she doesn't have children, will her books be a justafiable replacement.

Jenna also mentions The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas and And Now We Have Everything by Meaghan O'Connell in this review.

RNZ's Nine to Noon: Jenna's Summer Reads by Time Out Bookstore

Things to do when you're Goth in the Country
Chavisa Woods

Woods has given us eight tales of American small town grime. A major highlight was the story, A New Mohawk, where the protagonist wakes up one day to have a miniature version of the Gaza strip living in his mohawk.

Min Jin Lee

This is Roxane Gay's favourite read of 2017. An epic 500 page saga which follows four generations of a Korean family living in Japan over the 20th century. A fantastic read for those who love to learn about different cultures.

The Idiot
Elif Batuman

Hera Lindsay Bird's favourite read of 2017. This could be seen as just another university coming of age story, but it's so much more. We following Turkish American Selin in her first year of Harvard as she navigates classes, friends and this new fandangled thing called email. A very funny, crisp observation of language and what's lost in translation.