Books

Haunting tale of boy's struggle for survival in Romani genocide

Haunting tale of boy's struggle for survival in Romani genocide

Eight year-old Jakob has become a ''grey-skinned boy'' who wears a sheepskin coat given to him when kindness had gone from his memory.

Ultimately life-affirming accounts of dying

Ultimately life-affirming  accounts of dying

Two books dealing with real end-of-life stories are not the sob-fest you might expect.

Unusual and vivid story about grim period in Chinese history

Unusual and vivid story about grim period in Chinese history

Between 1956 and 1962, Mao Zedong instigated The Great Leap Forward, with the aim that China would outdo the productivity of Britain and the US in a few years.

Music to the ears

Music to the ears

Wellington author Anna Smaill's debut novel The Chimes is set in a dystopian London, where the written word is outlawed and memory has been sacrificed to music, the ruling principle, a form of mind control. ODT books editor Helen Speirs sat down with the writer, who is being touted as our next Booker Prize contender, when she came south to appear in the recent Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival.

Chick-lit roundup

Chick-lit roundup

Popular American writer Danielle Steele has clocked up more than 600 million sales of her numerous novels worldwide. To appreciate why, read Prodigal Son, her take on the biblical parable.

Best and worst of apocalyptic visions

Best and worst of apocalyptic visions

In a recent article for Asimov's Science Fiction, Norman Spinrad bemoans the fact that literarily ambitious and culturally aspirational sci-fi is drowning in a tsunami of post-apocalyptic schlock.

Interesting, packed with historical detail

Interesting, packed with historical detail

Anita Anand is an English radio and television journalist. This is her first book.

Search for purpose and connection in poetic tale

Search for purpose and connection in poetic tale

''Anna was a good wife, mostly.''

Plenty of pace in inspiring debut

Plenty of pace in inspiring debut

In Carrie Snyder's superb debut novel the main character, Aganetha Smart, grows up in rural Canada, somewhat sheltered. Her mother is a midwife, but also ''helps'' single girls in trouble.