BAM Books Art and Music reviews

       For the books, art and music we love at Hedleys.


September newsletter

David Hedley - Friday, September 26, 2014
New releases just arrived

Plenty More
Plenty More by Ottolenghi 
The ultimate vegetarian cooking book

Hard Country A Golden Bay Life
A Hard Country A Golden Bay Life by Robin Robilliard
The inspiring and entertaining story of a determined woman and an isolated farming life in Golden Bay.

Great fiction
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
The Children Act by Ian McEwen
A History of Loneliness by John Boyne

Hedley’s  Book Reviews
Looking for your next great read? Here’s what the staff at Hedley’s have read and loved recently…

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami 

This latest from the prize-winning Japanese author sold a million copies in Japan alone on the first week of release. It continues Murakami's themes of alienation, dreams and parallel worlds, this time the past and present. Main protagonist and loner Tazaki is abrupty cut-off without explanation by his four closest student friends and years later seeks to find the truth. Beautifully written and less dense and fantastical than 1Q84 which preceded it. Steve

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker 

Described as "Twin Peaks meets Atonement meets In Cold Blood", this was a European best-seller and has been the subject of much debate. The twisting storyline concerns a well respected writer, Harry Quebert, whose debut was a best-seller, and his young student protege Marcus Goldman. Quebert falls for Nola Kellargan, aged 15, whose body is found in his garden 33 years after she vanished. Quebert is arrested and Goldman tries to solve the puzzle and write a best-seller. A clever page-turner with a couple of major surprises at the conclusion. Steve 

Romany and Tom by Ben Watt

I hadn’t come across Ben Watt before. But he sure can write. One half of alternative pop music’s “everything but the girl” he has written a moving and tender account of his parents Romany and Tommy, acutely observed from his adult point of view, childhood recollections, his journalist mother’s treasure box of clippings and letters. He captures beautifully the journey of growing old and growing up. Jenny

 Heartland by Jenny Pattrick

An entertaining and moving story set in small north island rural town with a terrific array of eccentric characters. A perfect holiday read, lives up to her previous works. Julie.

 Play it Again by Alan Rusbridger

Globe-trotting Guardian editor and amateur pianist tackles the eye-watering 10 minute Chopin Ballade No 1, a work many professionals avoid (features discussions about the piece with Daniel Barenboim, Murray Perahia and Alfred Brendel). An insight into the demands of learning a new task, set against the unfolding WikiLeaks saga, News of the World phone hacking scandal, and the Libyan civil war. With only 12 months to prepare for the recital in France, how does he get up to speed? For anyone interested in classical piano, and the 24/7 demands of the global media business.  Stimulating. Doug 

That Part Was True by Deborah Mckinlay

A gorgeous escapist read about food, friendship and falling in love from afar. The ‘Listener’ raved about this novel, bringing it to our attention. For those who love Joanna Trollope, or the Rosie Project. And the there is The Rosie Effect, Graeme Simson's new book - just arrived in store. Jenny

Tenderness by Sarah Quigley

A brilliant short story collection based around the themes of love and passion, written in a direct, engaging style, which cleverly avoids mawkish sentimentality. Ranging from the novella-length ‘The Marriage Mender’ and ‘Palace Garden’, to much shorter efforts, filled with rich imagery. Author of ‘The Conductor’, Sarah is a NZ writer based in Berlin. Doug 

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe By Romain Puertolas

Jonas Jonasson put a sense of absurdity (and tongue-twisting book titles) back into popular fiction with The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared. Many readers were relieved all Swedes were not bloodthirsty psycho-killers after all. Frenchman Puertolas has taken the absurd a tad further with his hilarious tale of an Indian fakir's unexpected journey through the capitals of Europe, although he never gets time to enjoy the sights as he is pursued by an irate Parisian gypsy taxi driver hell-bent on revenge. The fakir also finds love with a lonely, chic Parisian plus friendship with a fellow African stowaway. Despite the relentless farcical elements, the author, a one-time border official, touches on the perils of immigration and human traffiking in poignant ways. A great light read with a serious message. Steve

 Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

I hadn't read "the king of southern gothic" before so can't compare this with Iles' previous novels but quickly was drawn in to the violent world and racism of early 1960s Mississippi in a page-turning thriller set in the author's place of residence, Natchez. Former prosecuting attorney Penn Cage returns, but this time as mayor of Natchez. His beloved father, a well-respected doctor, is accused of murdering his former nurse. In a search for the truth, Penn must choose between his father or official justice, against a backdrop of a KKK extreme splinter group, crooked public officials and a couple of very famous political assassinations. The bad guys drip evil and the rather inconclusive ending has disappointed some readers but this is only the first of a planned trilogy. A searing yarn. Steve       

 Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes

Hitler wakes on a plot of waste ground in 21st century Berlin, unable to recall anything of the past 60-odd years. Completely unchanged, he expects the rest of the world to fall  immediately into step, but the world has moved on, and his unfiltered rant is mistaken for a clever comedy tribute act. Finding himself elevated  into TV and YouTube stardom, and a lucrative book deal, his hubris gradually mellows. The humour comes from Hitler’s skewed assimilation into, and his misreading of the new order. Vermes’ style is laconic, definitely un-PC, but not entirely unfamiliar given our social media-driven new order. Doug

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