Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Bookish - Threads of Life

Hi readers,

It's not often that I read one chapter of a book (especially the first chapter!) and feel like crying afterwards. Such was the effect of Threads of Life by Clare Hunter.



I actually did cry quite a few times reading this book.

Just the back cover is enough to make me want to find a quite space and spend the next 6 months with thread in hand. Indeed, after I read that first chapter I opened up the list on my phone of potential topics I want to do for my Masters in Theology and added another one. (The list currently sits at 29... I think I may need some direction!)

This book is an absolute triumph. It's a historical exegesis of thread but woven together under different headings. Each chapter has a theme of its own for example captivity, work, voice but each explores a range of historical and modern contexts about how stitching has worked in that way.

The work explored is culturally diverse and not only about women.

I learnt so much during reading this book and I kept making tiny folds on pages I wanted to revisit. Maybe it's just me and the people I hang out with but I've recommended it to a number of people already.

For anyone who appreciates history, art, craftivism or stitch this will be a joyful and informative read.

I am so glad to have it in my collection and I will be reading it and referring to it again.  It's also inspired a very large project I want to undertake that may take a very long time.

I loved it!

Details - Hachette NZ, February 2019 RRP $32.99

love you more than a stitch imbued with purpose xxxx




Friday, February 22, 2019

Bookish - Remembered

Heya Readers,

Over the summer I read Yvonne Battle-Felton's incredible book Remembered.



The book opens in 1910 in Philadelphia. Spring goes to visit her son Edward in the hospital in the coloured section of the hospital.

He is dying and her dead sister Tempe is on her case to let Edward know his story, his history.

Meanwhile outside the crowds rage did Edward have an agenda driving the streetcar through the crowd? What is really going on?

This was one of those books I didn't want to read. Revisiting the awful ways in which Black people in America were enslaved and treated is horrific. I am coming to realise though that hiding from past hurts and crimes perpetrated against people does not deal with the pain or redeem the past. It's part of the work of all people to see what happened, not the cleaned up or white-washed versions that we may have been presented or may not know at all. Being present to the realities of the world may challenge us to do our part to recognise, repent and to determine to play a part in changing narratives for people today.

Battle-Felton is an excellent writer. Her characters are nuanced and full. They are weak and strong and loveable and difficult.

This book arose from a series of questions that led her into her thesis in creative writing.

The action of the book moves from 1910 and backwards tracing the whakapapa (genealogy) of Edward and Spring and the harrowing and beautiful moments that led to them being in 1910 and the happenings of that fateful night.

Although it is devastating in places it is also beautiful. The relationships between the characters stand out as hopeful and wonderful against the terrible. Highly recommended.

Details - Hachette NZ, Feb 2019, RRP $37.99

may we all have courage and grace in the hardest of things xxx

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Bookish - Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel

Ngā mihi nui,

Last year I read Ruth Hogan's novel The Particular Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes and really enjoyed it so I was really keen to read her next offering Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel.



This one didn't disappoint either. The book is completely different. It still features characters who are real, complex and nuanced. The book jumps between the life of Tilly a small girl with large ideas, a penchant for finding delight in varied unusual things and Tilda the woman she becomes.

The difference between Tilly and Tilda cannot be bridged unless Tilda is able to face her mother's death and unravel why it was she was sent away from the place of happiness and home they finally found with Queenie.

Will she be brave enough to face the truth and will this new truth shatter the truth that has made her who she is?

A book about perception, the people we become and the inherent imperfection and beauty in all people.

I really like Ruth Hogan - I think her writing is delicate and strong and human.

Details - Hachette NZ, February 2019 RRP $34.99

love you more than a fresh box of matches xxx

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Bookish - When You Read This

Kia ora

When You Read This by Mary Adkins is book that is conceived in a really original style.



The book is entirely composed of correspondence. In the wake of Iris Massey's death her blog is discovered along with her thoughts that maybe Smith (her former boss) might think it was worth publishing. This leads Smith and his intern Carl (enthusiastic, socially clueless) on a quest to discover a relative for permission.

Enter Jade the (somewhat neurotic) sister of Iris.

Mishaps, mis-understandings and some hilarious crossed wires and quirky characters round out the narrative. Who will we hear from next and what turn will their email take us on?

Don't be fooled that the style will flatten the characters each person jumps larger than life off the pages.

Entertaining, original and modern.

Details - Hachette NZ, February 2019 RRP $34.99

love you more than an email self-help guru xxxx

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Bookish - When All Is Said

Happy New Year Lovelies,

Last year I read 42 books which feels good. So far this year I've read 4 although I might slow down once I'm back reading large academic texts.

When All Is Said is the debut novel from Anne Griffin.



It's a really unusual novel. The whole novel is basically a stream of consciousness. Maurice Hannigan sits in a hotel and orders five distinct drinks and toasts five important people from his life.

As he toasts his stream of consciousness follows his life story, his losses and joys.

This novel is really absorbing. I read it in a day following each toast and growing more connected to Maurice as the book unfolded. By the end of the novel there were tears.

This book is written so differently than any other I have read but it is brilliantly realised. Even though there is essentially only one character there are multiple characters and each is brought to life through the eyes of a single individual.

There are some very moving moments and some real insights into the nuances of relationships and love.

I look forward to Griffin's next offering.

Details - Hachette NZ, January 2019, RRP $34.99

love you more than a penny picked up xxx

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Bookish - Two Can Keep A Secret

Dear Friends,

It has become apparent that I am using this space to document my reading more than anything else but that's okay... it's what it is at the moment and I love looking back and seeing how my reading life moves about.

Two Can Keep A Secret is the latest YA Crime/Murder novel on offer by Karen M McManus.



Ezra and Ellery have arrived in the 'blink and you miss it' town of Echo Ridge to live with their grandmother for a period of time while their mother fights her own battles.

Echo Ridge might be small but it's not without its demons. Two homecoming queens have disappeared - one murdered and now threats are appearing that it will happen again. Ellery, who's obsessed with playing detective can't help but get drawn into the drama. However, real life is not as simple as a TV drama and she's soon finding out there are secrets hidden everywhere in Echo Ridge.

Will her determination see her solve the mystery or will it land her in the sights of a potential murderer?

Like McManus' last offering I enjoyed this read. It has enough pace to draw you in and is told from the perspective of two characters. While there is some romance this is definitely a murder/crime novel and I really like that about it. The characters are fleshed out but the story isn't weighed down by teenage drama. There are some definite surprises in the story and some breadcrumb trails that might be worth following.

A great summer read for anyone who enjoys crime or YA fiction. I enjoyed it even more than her last offering which did very well being translated into 38 languages.

Details - Penguin Random House, January 2019 RRP $21.00

love you more than a satisfying escape xxx