What I'm reading: Airini Beautrais
I had better admit that my reading at the moment is severely compromised by the demands of working two-plus jobs, single-parenting and trying to exercise, sleep and eat actual food. I hope other working parents can relate to this. My reading list is more of a to-read list. When things quieten down, as I hope they will soon, these are some of the books I'm going to read.
I recently bought False River by Paula Morris. This was on my to-buy list since it came out in 2017. I read the essay about Laura Ingalls Wilder and was drawn to it because of the engagement with historical material and the writers Rose Wilder and her mother, as people. I was so obsessed with the Little House books as a kid, that the year I turned 9 I asked my mum for an apron and a pail for Christmas. It's fascinating reading about another writer's relationship with the books and their writers. I also like how Paula has blended fiction and non-fiction, making this book a hybrid that's hard to shelve in a library or bookshop, but I don't know why writers don't do this more often.
I am really looking forward to a couple of poetry collections. One is The Goddess Muscle, by Karlo Mila and the other is The Savage Coloniser Book, by Tusiata Avia. Both are Aotearoa poetry goddesses and long-time personal (s)heroes. Both books will not be a light read. It's exciting to see poets growing in their reach and power.
Short stories are always good for an immersive read when you're a reader who struggles with commitment. I'm going to buy What Sort of Man, by Breton Dukes. I've heard it's really good. I'm also doing a talk with Breton later this year at Verb Wellington.
Bug Week and Other Stories by Airini Beautrais (VUP, $30) is out now.