It’s a powerful thing to be able to tell your own story in your own words and Lily Allen does it well in My Thoughts Exactly. This autobiography is straight up honest, gossy and super compelling. Listen to Jenna’s review from this morning with Mikey & Tess.
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:
Jenna popped into the studio for her last review for 2018, so talks over some of her favourites for the year. These are guaranteed great Christmas gifts.
Jenna also mentions the following music books:
Jenna has started reading through a few customer favourites for 2018 and this is one of them. Everything I know about Love, is a great read for fans of Caitlin Moran, Lena Dunham, Bridget Jones & Sex and the City.
A smart and honest memoir, that is easy to dip into during this busy time of year. Also, check out Dolly’s podcast, The High Low.
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+.
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.
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!
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.
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:
In preparation for Father's Day, Jenna reviewed the ultimate DAD ROCK biography of Paul Simon. This is the only authorised biography of this notoriously difficult musician's life.
Jenna, Sarah & Mikey discuss poor Art Garfunkel, the muppets and Graceland.
Jenna also mentions this excellent documentary about Graceland, Under African Skies. You can watch it here.
Today, Jenna reviewed The Pisces...a merman erotica by Melissa Broder, author of @sosadtoday.
This book tells the tale (or tail) of Lucy, an anxious student who moves to Venice Beach for the summer to dog sit for her sister.
She soon meets Theo the merman, with a tail that starts below his bum.
A rather bonkers read, which is funny and well written, as well as a poignant observation of despression. Listen below for more!
Today, Jenna reviewed the excellent There, There by Tommy Orange on RNZ's Nine to Noon.
Louise Erdrich describes Tommy Orange as a new writer with an old heart - which is very true. He weaves in tradition with pop culture, humour with sadness and gives readers an insight into the complexities of living as an urban Native American in this time.
This year, the Golden State Killer was caught after 45 years on the run. Before this however, Michelle McNamara spent years obsessing about this case and began investigating the crimes herself. I'll be Gone in the Dark, published posthumously, is MIchelle's investigation. It's a gripping read full of both humanity and detail.
Jenna talks to Mikey & Tess about why this is destined to be a true crime classic.
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 reviews the highly acclaimed 2017 memoir Priestdaddy, which has recently come out in paperback! This is a hilarious family tale - the premise of which Mikey does not believe to be possible. Listen here to find out more.
This morning Jenna reviewed Hellholes of the World: A Love Story by David G. Brown. This is a pure, rough and tumble travel memoir. Published posthumously, David tells of travelling to places that are no usually on your bucket list: Israel, Syria, the Congo, Banglasdesh, Sierra Leone and more. This is a classic travel memoir with excellent storytelling and political insight.
Jenna also chats with Jogai about Auckland Writers Festival highlights.
Today, Jenna gives bFM listeners a taste of the music-y events that are happening at the Auckland Writers Festival.
This includes three sessions with Alex Ross, author of The Rest is Noise. Tama Waipara's songwriting series 'On Song', featuring musical guests Nadia Reid, Lawrence Arabia and Moana Maniapoto. We also talk about the Ockhams and The Listener Festival Gala.