Being brutally honest about books

Showing posts with label nz writers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nz writers. Show all posts

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Top Ten Books by New Zealand Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Tuesday REWIND - go back and do a topic you missed over the years or recently or a topic you really want to revisit. I missed 19 July's Ten Books Set Outside The US, but since that's too broad I thought I'd narrow it down a bit and show my international readers what they should be reading. These books aren't all set in New Zealand, but they're not set in the US, either.


Love in the Land of Midas by Kapka Kassabova


Rosetta by Barbara Ewing



I Am Not Esther by Fleur Beale




Juicy Writing: Inspiration and Techniques for Young Writers by

A Necklace of Souls by

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy by Lynley Dodd
(C'mon, it's a classic!)

Talk to me... 

Do you have any favourite New Zealand books? Are you going to try any of the ones on this list? How well do NZ writers compete internationally?

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Mini review: Love in the Land of Midas by Kapka Kassabova

Clickbait summary: Not as corny or romantic as the blurb makes it appear.

Actual summary

A love story that crosses generations and continents, from post-war Europe to the present day. The legends of the Greek myths are diffused with the complicated history of the Balkans in a story that takes the reader into the lives of an unforgettable cast of characters.
This book was excellent, almost a five-star read. It's got lots of characters, which gets confusing because some have more than one name and remembering how they were connected is a pain. The characterisations are, however, strong and interesting. 

The main problem I had with this book was the flashback structure, which was very confusing at first - it started in 1998 and switched to 1949 to 1997 to 1998 to 1997 to 1998 and so on until it switched to 1947. Thankfully, each chapter has a date and location, and after a while I got the hang of it.

The central issue/event in Love in the Land of Midas is something completely new to me - the Greek Civil War. I didn't even know there was one! But yes, after World War 2, Greece had a three-year civil war. This is explained in the author's note at the start of the novel, and it's fascinating in the story. The politics and the war were new to me, and very intriguing.

Being published in 2000, and the latest date in the book being 1998, it's a little dated now in terms of communication. Now, the characters could use the internet and mobile phones to research or keep in contact. However, the themes and ideas (eg. love, passion, war, family) are still relevant and always will be.

Another issue I had was knowing that the author (at the time it was written) lived in New Zealand. To me, the book has a definite NZ flavour to it, especially in the dialogue, but the characters were European and Australian - no Kiwis at all. But if I hadn't known about the author, I might not have been distracted by this.

So much for a mini review! I will finish by recommending this book to adult readers/readers of adult books who have an interest in Ancient Greece and post-war Europe. It's well-written and so worth your while.

Add it on Goodreads

I'm Alexandria, a 19-year-old reader/writer/blogger from New Zealand. I love language, history, and sci-fi. Hi! I'm always around if you want to talk, which you can do via comments, the contact form, or Facebook.

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