Book Shopping in New Zealand and a Visit to Hobbiton

If you have been wondering where I have been the past few weeks, I have been visiting family and friends in my old hometown of Wellington, New Zealand. And of course, I have been book shopping as well. As is typical, when I lived in New Zealand I was probably guilty of neglecting books written by…

A 2017 Reading List

Once I began taking my reading more seriously, I decided there was value in reading certain books together that they may add context from one to the other. History books alongside historical novels for example. When I get around to reading Wide Sargasso Sea, I will no doubt reread Jane Eyre first. Ditto for Foe…

2016: A Review of a Year of Reading

2016 has been a very successful year of reading for me. As well as getting through all 16 books on my 2016 Reading List, I also read five more. That may not sound like many by the standards of some readers, but by my standards, in a year where I was also a stay-at-home parent…

Book Review: The Return of the Native

One November 5th in 1840’s rural England, several bonfires are lit across the undulating hills and valleys of Egdon Heath to mark Guy Fawkes. One burning particularly impressively is Eustacia Vye’s bonfire. Eustacia grew up in a nearby town but, following the deaths of her parents, has since had to live on her grandfather’s estate…

October and November Book Buys

I swear I am trying to cut down. These were months where I had no plan to buy anything specific, no premeditated trip to second-hand or independent bookstores. And yet, again, I’ve ended up buying new books and more than I thought I would. Most were the result of bad days. Being a stay-at-home parent…

Book Review: The Penguin History of New Zealand

So, have the results of the Brexit Referendum and the US Presidential Election made you consider moving to New Zealand? The joke that became increasingly common during the campaigns for Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidential bid is that it was perhaps time to consider moving to New Zealand (Canada and Ireland also getting frequent mentions).…

Book Review: The Ghost

The narrator of Robert Harris’ The Ghost is a ghost-writer of celebrity autobiographies whose agent approaches him with an unexpected offer. A former British Prime Minister, Adam Lang, is in need of a writer for his memoirs. The previous writer, a former aide to the PM, has died suddenly in an accident and with the…