Canvas books editor Linda Herrick's top five reads for the weekend.

World Gone By, by Dennis Lehane

A wrenching thriller by one of the best, Lehane rounds off his trilogy starring gangster Joe Coughlin, who thinks he has achieved respectability and peace in middle age. He is wrong.

(Little, Brown $34.99)

Love May Fail, by Matthew Quick

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Posh Portia Lane is having a meltdown so returns to her childhood town to seek solace with her hoarder mother. Black humour from the author of

The Silver Linings Playbook

.

(Macmillan $34.99)

Recipes from My French Kitchen, by Alyson Gofton

A sure way to warm a chilly day, following the highs and lows of Gofton and her family and their move to a remote French village for a year. Beautifully written, with a terrific melange of anecdotes, recipes, photos and drawings.

(Penguin $45)

The Writers' Festival, by Stephanie Johnson

Laugh-out-loud fiction from Johnson, a former Auckland Writers' Festival director, who knows how such ego-filled events work, or not. Featuring newbie director Rae McKay and an assortment of characters who could be making some real-life people squirm.

(Vintage $37.99)

My Life: It's a Long Story, by Willie Nelson

A book to peruse while listening to early-career Nelson? He starts out with a bitch about the IRS, which hammered the singer in the early 90s, and goes through to April this year, when he turned 82. A colourful read which, if it gets made into a talking book, would bleep-bleep all the way.

(Sphere $39.99)

- Canvas