I have been reading
Amber, Furs and Cockleshells
Bike rides with pilgrims and merchants
A wonderfully simple easy-reading lovely book. Anne writes separately about three journeys, two across Europe and one across the USA. Each story is charming, funny and informative. An inspirational good read. I suggest you start the book by reading the last page first, the last page talks about her kit or more specifically her bike. This is important information for me.
[free paperback zine]
Thanks birdsong for sending this across the Atlantic for me. It was a good read and a quick read. My highlight was Jess Paps’ Aquarium picture.
Chasing Mona Lisa,
Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey
An excellent story set in Paris in the twilight of WW2. A clearly written page turner, neither predictable nor out-for-lunch. I argued with a couple of possible inconsistencies, but really it was a great book with wonderful characters.
Hide and Seek
I am a big Ian Rankin fan and won’t catch a plane without him. I love reading about the seedier side of Edinburgh. However I am finding his first two books a little more difficult, they seem to be an attempt at literary journals rather than an airport novels. The characters in Ian’s books, over the years, have become my friends and through reading ‘Hide and Seek’ I enjoyed finding out how many of them met each other.
JAAM was a good read, but not an outstanding read. I will consider buying JAAM again if it comes out in kindle format, otherwise it is too expensive to have sent to me.
New Zealand through the Goalposts
Thanks Mum for my birthday present. To be Kiwi is to have at least some of your blood running with the adrenalin of rugby. This coffee table photo essay book, is a wonderful glimpse into what it means to be Kiwi and to grow up on rugby.
Relief: A Christian Literary Expression
Volume 6, Issue 1
This is a fantastic literary journal. With the exception of Blackmail Press, I have found the New Zealand literary journals that I have read to be totally spineless when it comes to covering social issues. Relief just sucked in all of the big issues, discussed them and left them wide open for interpretation. Even though there was plenty of room for argument I never felt as if I was being expected to conform to someone else’s way of thinking.
I thought ‘A Field of White Crosses’ by Jessica Becker was an excellent creative non-fiction short story. It was a miserably sad tale of molestation and abortion, which left me feeling deflated, drained and angry at the complex set of circumstances that girded it.
I will buy more Relief journals and hope that they continue to tackle the hard subjects. I also long for a Kiwi equivalent.
(Sport: New Zealand Literary Journal)
I enjoyed Sport a lot and am very thankful that they publish in kindle format. I was fortunate to buy the copy that published the winners of the ‘The Long and the Short of It’ story competition. And my favourite story came from one of its winners, Lawrence Patchett with his story ‘The Road to Tokomairiro’. Lovely historical fiction set in South Otago and based on a journey of the old Cobb & Co. stagecoach runs.
I look forward to buying another ‘Sport’.
I really enjoyed takahē. I did not like the layout at all, a clunky sized and formatted journal may suit my grandfather but doesn’t suit me. However the content more than made up for its appearance.
I really enjoyed the aptly named ‘White Elephant’ by Kelly Joseph, her accepting take on a rural, marginalised asocial woman was sometimes a little jarring, but mostly beautifully written and left my heart-strings totally pulled.
‘Pines’ by Simon Goodwin was also a good story focused on the generational legacies of war.
I also loved Liz Breslin’s poem ‘Out of the groove’ and had to read the four lines many times to understand her very simple message. Poets Leonard Lambert and Charlotte Trevella also put in strong performances.
Unless it comes out in kindle format, sadly it will probably be quite some time until I buy another takahē. The price of international postage on top of the journal price make it an expensive choice. My discretionary income can be better spent buying journals that are innovative enough to reach 21st century native ebook readers.
The Man Who Cycled The Americas
Oh I have learnt so much and been so inspired by Mark Beaumont’s ‘The Man Who Cycled The World’ and his latest book ‘The Man Who Cycled The Americas’. They are both funny, gruelling and fantastic reads that offer great insights into tour and endurance cycling. ‘The Man Who Cycled The Americas’ also includes his climbing the two tallest American mountains.
This book is well worth its read and will appeal to cyclists and non cyclists alike. Mark, please give us a detailed appendix about your kit.
The Presence of the Future
George Eldon Ladd
I am only three quarters of the way through this book and cannot understand why I did not read it years ago. It is a fantastic exposition of inaugurated eschatology. Some parts of it I have had to labour through and other parts have got me so fired-up. This book has deepened my understanding of kingdom theology and has left me feeling like I am standing on firm ground knee deep in mud.
It is a great book.
A note to Literary Journal publishers.
I prefer to read my journals including the poetry in kindle format. When reading poetry I change my settings to landscape and read on. I am aware that I somewhat miss the ascetics of page layout, however the comfort and ease of my Kindle far out-way that. So please if you want the money of people such as myself, get producing mobi formatted ebooks.