Yes, I'm guilty of having that pile by the side of the bed (and on the kitchen table, and in the living room) of books that I'm going to read or am in the process of reading. Nigella Lawson's latest Cook, Eat, Repeat is there; it reads like a novel. I can hear her cut-glass accent in my head as I turn each page, and then there's the beautiful food-porn photography. Yum.
I finished an early Paul Thomas Tito Ihaka book, Death on Demand, as he appeared at the Featherston Booktown Festival and I was booked to hear him speak. I wanted to remind myself just how good he is with his hard-boiled police procedural. I love reading novels that are set elsewhere but I equally enjoy those that are set in my own backyard. Thomas totally nails the voice, the setting and the Auckland/Wellington divide.
Thomas was interspersed with Nothing to See, by the fabulous Pip Adam. Some books you gobble up, others you need to spend time with – this is the latter. Each one of her sentences, paragraphs, pages, tingles with nuance I don't want to rush over. Her characters are flawed, sad and hopeful all at once. My heart aches for their lives and their situations.
Craig Sisterson's non-fiction Southern Cross Crime is also by the bedside. It's the type of book you dip in and out of. His collection of New Zealand and Australian crime writers makes for a comprehensive guide to the genre on this side of the world. It's an easy read and a great introduction to who's out there now and who's gone before.
For something completely different, I've just started Shuggie Bain, by Douglas Stuart. I'm 20 pages in and all I want is a couple of clear days to binge this extraordinary story; there will be tears, guaranteed.
The Leaning Man by Anne Harré (The Cuba Press, $37), a crime novel set in Wellington, is out on July 12. What I'm reading – Anne Harré