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Book club

27 April 2023
03 magazine books april 2023

Great new reads to please even the pickiest of bookworms.


Stephanie Johnson

Penguin, $37

Super yachts and stereotypes, #metoo blunders and postapocalyptic bolt holes, locking down and locking up – noted New Zealand writer Stephanie Johnson returns with an action-packed, highly entertaining novel following political party backbencher and member of the Pandemic Response Committee Lyall Hull as he embarks on a lengthy bike ride in the Southern Alps (instead of staying home during lockdown as the government has advised), and subsequently goes missing.


Kate Morton

Allen & Unwin, $37

At the end of a scorching hot Christmas Eve day in 1959, beside a creek in the grounds of a grand country house, a local man makes a terrible discovery. Police are called, and the small town of Tambilla becomes embroiled in one of the most baffling murder investigations in the history of South Australia. The highly anticipated new novel from the worldwide bestselling author of The Clockmaker’s Daughter, Homecoming is an epic, intricate story that spans generations.

Laughing at the Dark

Barbara Else

Penguin, $40

From best-selling and acclaimed Kiwi author Barbara Else comes this funny, moving memoir structured in delightful snippets of memory and loaded with Else’s signature wit. Dedicated to her grandmother “although she would be horrified by much of this”, Else’s tale is of her transformation from a shy but stubborn child, through her ‘housewife’ era and into a fulfilled, successful adult, surviving cancer and finding new love along the way, and how she rebelled against being a ‘good girl’.

The Deck

Fiona Farrell

Penguin, $37

A vivid and absorbing new novel from award-winning Otago-born author Fiona Farrell, The Deck borrows the motifs of Giovanni Boccaccio’s 14th-century masterpiece The Decameron in which a small group gathers to avoid contagion and passes the time telling stories. Farrell’s work takes us “a little way off in the future” during a time of plague and social collapse, where a group of friends escape to a country house and entertain themselves playing music, eating, drinking and talking about their lives.

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