Posted on Sep 20, 2017 | 0 comments

I’m always getting asked what I’m reading so here’s  a few from my bedside table.

Today I was given three books.  For someone who loves reading this is riches indeed.   Eye of the Songbird,  first book by NZ writer, musician, Michael Munro.  I know Michael because I mentored him over the writing of this novel.

Eye of the Songbird is about the conflict between environmentalist activism and state-politics – sound familiar?  Ranging from Antarctica to London to Hong Kong to Istanbul and here in NZ, the book opens in Antarctica.  The blurb says…

She’s the target.  The scientist he’s been told to bring down and here she is, swinging helpless in a crevasse in Antarctica.  What should KirkBarnby, secret service agent do?  Cut the rope?

When you work on a book with someone you and they get used to seeing it on the screen or on white A4 paper and then suddenly, it seems, after all this hard work from the writer, there’s the book.   Eye of the Songbird will be on sale in selected bookshops very soon.  Ask for it.

The next book is Toughen up, Andrew!  by Anne Manchester and its about a Pekinese.   Mary, who gave it to me, knows I used to always have a Pekinese dog or two around and that I love the breed so she thought I’d enjoy the book.   I love Pekinese because of their courage.  Its written for younger readers but Andrew’s just the kind of Peke who appeals to any age.   Published by Makaro Press.  You’d love it and once you’ve read it you can pass it on to nearest kid and pretend you bought it for them all along.

Talk of Treasure has the most wonderful cover, designed by Makaro Press – a woman walking along reading.  Jane Carswell, who wrote it, began her working life at Pegasus Press shortly after its audacious publication of Janet Frame;s novel, Owls Do Cry.  Here we have a book about the private world of reading and the noisy exterior work of publication. There’s only one thing better than reading and that’s reading about reading.

A Moral Truth, Ed: James Hollings, is about 150 years of investigative journalism in New Zealand.  It begins in 1863, with an excerpt, The First Shots, from NZ’s first independent Maori newspaper and traverses all the well-know and not so well-known investigations by journalists since then.  I read or re-read I suppose, the investigation into the Crew murders and was struck all over again by the dogged and determined seeking out of the truth by Pat Booth.  You will know some of the cases in this book but like me, you’ll find lots you didn’t know so much if indeed anything about.  Published by Massey University Press.

Unquiet Time by Colin James, published by Fraser Books,  is about Aotearoa New Zealand in a fast changing world.  Colin James describes a world in disorder as it rebalances politically, economically and demographically.  It looks at how technology is changing our world.  Colin James is a journalist and he writes a weekly newspaper column which he then sends out to his many readers of whom I am one.  Colin James is a senior associate of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, has an honorary doctorate from Victoria University,  is a life member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery and a life member of E Tu Union.  Pretty good mix there, don’t you think?

Hagseed by Margaret Atwood. Need I say more?









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