Last Day to Enter: Win a copy of ‘The Free’ (my best book of 2014)

'The Free', by Willy Vlautin, Faber and Faber, London, 2014

‘The Free’, by Willy Vlautin, Faber and Faber, London, 2014

Tell me what book author Willy Vlautin told me I should read in my post Beer and Books with Willy Vlautin and The Delines (clue: it won the 1984 Pulitzer) and you go in the draw to win a copy of Vlautin’s latest book, The Free. I’ve read it. It’s amazing. Entries close Friday 15th November, 2014. Winners notified by email.

A big thank you to Allen & Unwin Australia for supplying the prize.




Book Review: ‘The Confabulist’ by Steven Galloway

It seems I’m attracted to books about memory – or lack of it. I’m currently reading the memoir of the wife of a man who has a seven second memory loop (think about that – dreadful); I saw Michael Corballis talk about memory and his new book The Wandering Mind at the Waiheke Book Festival earlier this month:

And earlier this year I reviewed Su Meck’s biography I Forgot to Remember: A Memoir of Amnesia:

Now I can add Steven Galloway’s The Confabulist to my list.

Continue reading

Book Review: ‘Forbidden Cities’ by Paula Morris


Three books in and I’m not finished my Morris-a-thon yet. I get a bit like that. At aged 7 it was Garfield. Aged 17 it was Plath. Aged 21, the Beat Generation. Aged 28, The Rolling Stones. And at 32 it was the Lost Generation and Paris in the 20s. I love reading or listening to everything I can by, and about, one author or one band. I love being able to recreate lives and times through a particular artist’s work and to feel the borders of my personal world bend and stretch outwards with new understanding. Paula Morris isn’t quite an ‘obsession’ to the level that F. Scott Fitzgerald is, but her voice has driven me to read three of her works and leaves me with a desire for more.  Continue reading

Book Review: ‘A Can of Sunshine’ by Christine Leunens (and a sneaky competition clue!)

Hearing fabulous Doris Mousdale of Arcadia Bookshop interview American author Christine Leunens at the Waiheke Book Festival rescued A Can of Sunshine from a solitary one star rating. Instead, the book gets two stars and I’ll tell you why a little bit later.


Doris Mousdale from Arcadia bookshop interviews Christine Leunens at Waiheke Book Festival. Image copyright Caroline Barron 2014.

It isn’t what earned her the extra star, but Christine Leunens is really beautiful. European-fashion-model beautiful (ten years as the head of a model agency qualifies me to say that); with a poise and elegance that evades most of us Kiwi girls. Continue reading