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Books

September 24, 2016

★★★★★ Author: Maggie Nelson Publisher: Graywolf Press   I picked this book up, knowing it was meant to be the thing, and read a few random pages. The wide set margins, paragraph breaks, and names in the margins unnerved me—there was something going on, and this something was a thing I wouldn’t be able to […]

September 24, 2016

★★★★★ Author: Lindy West Publisher: Quercus   Every so often a gutsy, vital book comes along that insists to be read, shared, and discussed. Shrill, a collection of essays by Lindy West, might just be that book for 2016. West is a writer best known for her part in the fat acceptance movement and for […]

September 17, 2016

This week Salient asked the folk at Vic Books, who have the delight of getting advance copies of new releases, if they would tell us about the books they’ve been reading. Pop into Vic Books Kelburn or Pipitea to reserve or buy a copy of any one of these books.   Juliet is reading… The […]

September 11, 2016

★★★ Author: Junot Díaz Publisher: Riverhead Books   Junot Díaz shoots straight from the hip; swear words and sad lives and all. The people in his stories drink, they smoke weed until they can’t feel anything, they sleep with “putas”—careful to note their ethnicity and the shape of their bodies. Yunior, the young Dominican guy […]

September 11, 2016

★★★★★ Author: Lorrie Moore Publisher: Faber & Faber   Self-Help is the first short story collection from American writer Lorrie Moore, published in 1985. It’s the kind of collection that might make you feel badly about your own attempts at writing short fiction—her skill at crafting a story around small actions and observations with poignancy […]

September 4, 2016

★★½ Author: Emma Cline Publisher: Chatto & Windus   What is as good as eating an entire packet of biscuits, one after the other? Reading about cults. It is so much fun. The Girls is a novel with a cult-survivor at its centre. How tasty and delicious will this cult themed offering be? Middle-aged protagonist […]

September 4, 2016

★★★★★ Author: Ashleigh Young Publisher: Victoria University Press   When reading a personal essay I look for that glimmer of recognition, that secret sign, that the writer knows me in some inexplicable way. Often what I’m looking for, without really knowing it, is a perfectly formed sentence or phrase which captures wholly what I’m feeling, […]

August 14, 2016

★★★★ Author: Julian Barnes Publisher: Jonathan Cape Man Booker Prize 2011   This compact yet weighty novel from Julian Barnes took me a while to ease into when I read it a couple of years ago for an English literature class. There was plenty to turn me off: an ‘old white male’ narrator looking back […]

August 14, 2016

★★★ Author: Aravind Adiga Publisher: Free Press Man Booker Prize 2008   My poor stomach was made to twist again and again as I read this distasteful, vulgar, Man Booker Prize-winning novel. There’s nothing quite like this description of poverty: not in terms of humble, hard-working, and cheerful peasants, or having a single bar of […]

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