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28 Feb 2018

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

I read Egan’s prize winning A visit from the Goon Squad with a detached fascination – an intriguing experimental novel. This book is very different and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a fascinating historical novel in its own right, but one with a narrative structure that tries to reflect how the individuals themselves discover the “real story”, rather than as a flowing narrative, while also reflecting the cultural perspectives of the period with the whole almost being immersed in the rhythms and power of water, which plays a huge part in the novel.

27 Feb 2018

The Martian by Andy Weir

If your interest in mathematics is more ‘the pretty patterns that Newton’s cradles make’ end of the spectrum rather than ‘the how much coal will it take a train to get from Wellington to Auckland if it uses blah blah blah’ end – you will want to ditch this book quite early on – BUT DON’T!

15 Jan 2018

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Katey Kontent, daughter of an immigrant Russian family, reminisces about her life in New York after seeing photographs of some of her early friends in an exhibition. The story is one of post-depression, pre-2WW New York, of the WASP culture, the at once egalitarian/hierarchical society, and the many choices one makes that define a path through life.