Book Reviews for Booklovers from The Booklover - April

Must read book for April:

The Little Paris Bookshop
Nina George  $35

On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a ‘literary apothecary’, for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers. The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He has nursed a broken heart ever since the love of his life fled Paris 21 years ago, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read. His memories and his love have been gathering dust – until now. Inspired to unlock his heart, Jean unmoors the floating bookshop and sets off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved. He travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself. Filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives. 

Rich Man Road
Ann Glamuzina  $30

Based partly on a true story, this lyrical and unforgettable novel is about two women immigrants to New Zealand and their interconnecting stories. On a summer’s night in 1944, 12-year-old Olga allows an untrue rumour to circulate in her Dalmatian village. The repercussions of that misunderstanding reverberate through the final stages of World War II, the refugee camps of Egypt and finally, a new life in New Zealand. Years later, as an old woman dying of cancer, Olga meets the much younger and vulnerable Samoan immigrant Pualele, someone who might understand her.  In 1978 nine-year-old Pualele had arrived in New Zealand as part of an illegal family adoption. Life is confusing and frightening as police conduct dawn raids searching for Pacific Islanders who have overstayed their visas. When she is finally called back to Samoa as an adult, Pualele must decide who she is and where she belongs. Rich Man Road is about lost love, guilt and the relationship between mothers and daughters. Olga and Pualele come from different cultures but when their lives intersect, they discover more about themselves than either could ever imagine. Ann Glamuzina lives in Takapuna.

Stuff I Forgot to Tell My Daughter
Michele A’Court  $35

Adapted from the New Zealand author’s acclaimed solo stand-up show, this is a candid and very funny account of being the mother of a daughter. Liberated from the daily grind after her daughter left home, Michele A’Court suddenly found the time she’d never had as a parent – to think about being a parent. Mostly, she spent the time wondering if she’d told her daughter everything she needed to know – such as how to store ginger, calculate GST, stop your tights snagging, the meaning of feminism… that sort of thing. She wondered if they had talked about the big things in life – such as social activism, finding your tribe, the power of youth. As the list of all the things Michele had forgotten to tell her daughter kept getting longer, it became wisdom wrapped up in jokes as the material for her successful 2013 comedy show.

The Shore
Sara Taylor  $37

A collection of small islands sticking out from the coast of Virginia into the Atlantic Ocean has been home to generations of fierce and resilient women. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it’s a place they’ve inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a brave girl’s determination to  protect her younger sister as methamphetamine ravages their family, to a lesson in summoning storm clouds to help end a drought, these women struggle against domestic violence, savage wilderness, and the corrosive effects of poverty and addiction to secure a sense of well-being for themselves and for those they love. Their interconnecting stories form a deeply affecting legacy of two island families, illuminating the small miracles and miseries of a community of outsiders, and the bonds of blood and fate that connect them all.

Farewell Kabul: How the West Ignored Pakistan and Lost Afghanistan
Christina Lamb  $35

This impeccably researched book asks how the might of NATO, with 48 countries and 140,000 troops on the ground in Afghanistan, could not manage to defeat a group of religious students and farmers. It tells how the West turned success into defeat in the longest war fought by the United States in its history and by Britain since the Hundred Years War. It is the story of well-intentioned men and women going into a place they did not understand at all. And how, what had once been the right thing to do, had become a conflict that everyone wanted to exit. It has been a fiasco which has left Afghanistan still one of the poorest and most dangerous nations on earth. The leading journalist on the region, Christina Lamb had unparalleled access to all key decision makers.


By Channel Magazine

Channel Magazine: Issuu 53 April 2015