January 21, 2011

Librarians reveal their personal bests

No, not that kind of personal best! The best books they read in 2010, by some of Auckland Libraries' most assiduous readers.

Finishing the hat : collected lyrics (1954-1981) with attendant comments, principles, heresies, grudges, whines and anecdotes by Stephen Sondheim 
     -- Rex McGregor

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Much has been written about the era of King Henry VIII but I found this a fascinating account through the character of Thomas Cromwell. I was fully emersed in the physical, social and political environment of that time because of the tremendous research and narrative skill of Hilary Mantel.
     -- Susan Jenkins

So much for that by Lionel Shriver
It is a terrible indictment of the US health care system, plus a great story about love, marriage and how illness affects an entire family. It has a subplot that would scare any reader off having elective cosmetic surgery too.
     -- Alison Fitzpatrick
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The Discreet Pleasures of Rejection
by Martin Page
I'd go for  this humorous little novella  with its very Morrissey-esque sounding title. Protagonist Virgil is the new anti-hero who goes into a existential tail spin of self-analysis and navel gazing into past relationships. Best read in one sitting.

and
Fever, How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind For 500,000 Years by Sonia Shah
Interesting read looking at the insect that kills one million a year.
     -- Barry O'Callaghan

Room by Emma Donoghue
The perception and psychology of this story that is portrayed through the eyes of the five year old is no less than stunning. Harrowing and tragic, yet softened by the boy's voice and the love from the mother while they endure life locked in an 11 sq foot room.
     -- Di Stodart

Sydney Bridge upside down by David Ballantyne
I totally agreed with Kate de Goldi's opinion in the foreword that this book is an underestimated New Zealand masterpiece. A  surreal vision of an isolated New Zealand coastal settlement, seen through the eyes of a troubled boy.  Sydney Bridge Upside Down is a horse, who figures menacingly in the narrator's nightmares. Strange and creepy stuff!
    -- Robin Whitworth

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Hand me Down World
by Lloyd Jones
Simplicity of prose, stunningly crafted, yet so much depth.

and
Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
Quirky tale of polygamist sect leader's bumbling humanity and the pitfalls of living amongst so much oestrogen and warring factions within his harem of women
     --Sue Wilkinson


The Help by Kathryn  Stockett 
An  unputdownable story of the real lives of  black women who serve as domestics in white households in the 1960’s in Mississippi.

and
U is for Undertow  by Sue Grafton
This writer just gets better and better. Kinsey Millhone, a private investigator, is hired to discover what happened to a four year old child some twenty years ago.

and
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
Beautifully paced family centred novel about what happens when even the most devoted mother plays down her son’s isolation and low self esteem.

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Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonsen
I loved this book from the start to the finish! Life in a typical English village – much divided and completely believable.

and
The Nobodies’ Album by Carolyn Parkhurst
Well told story that keeps you with her all the way. Mother and son fiction.

and
The Misogynist by Piers Paul Read
Funny and plausible story  of retired Jomier who falls in love late in life but can’t lose the habits that got him divorced and single  the last time round.

and
Eleven by Mark Watson
Cleverly written -  focusing on the ways in which a single event or decision not to intervene in a random act affects a group  of people who unknowingly connect with each other.
     -- Hilary Arrowsmith

Ditulis Oleh : tosca // 05:30
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