Most of the reading I do comes about because I'm desperate to be in the know about the latest literary trends and be a part of the conversation. However, because I hate owning things and never have any money anyway, my reading life takes place at the mercy of the sometimes wildly lengthy Auckland Libraries waitlists. I've been waiting to read The Girl in the Mirror since October last year and I'm still 141 in the queue. It's great to hear so many people are using the libraries - and also terrible for me, personally.
I was not patient enough to wait for The Mirror Book by Charlotte Grimshaw, which I'm halfway through. I also grew up in Auckland and am now a writer, but I can say with some certainty that none of the things that happen in this memoir have ever happened to me. I never got lost in the Waitākere Ranges or came close to drowning or falling off a cliff, nor was I ever part of an undercover police drug bust. I mainly went to Big Fresh and lay around watching videos.
I've also just got hold of Earthlings by Sayaka Murata, which I posted a picture of and many people replied saying it's very brutal or they loved it or both. What I wasn't expecting is that the book has a glow-in-the-dark cover, and it scared me when I turned the lights off. My next reads will be New Animal by Ella Baxter, which the library has categorised under "family-owned business enterprises", "funeral homes" and "bondage (sexual behaviour)"; and Crossing by Pajtim Statovci, whose books are dark but whose Instagram posts are captioned liberally with smiley-face and flower emojis. After that I'm sure something new will be "the book of the year", despite it being not halfway done and I'll have to read that too.
Rebecca K. Reilly's debut Greta & Valdin (VUP, $35) is released on Thursday, May 13.