Joan's Picks: Books for Christmas and summer reading

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sunday, 16 December 2018, 12:20p.m.

Joan from Whitcoulls joins Francesca Rudkin on The Sunday Session with some Christmas gift ideas and the best of summer reading for adults.

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne. About a young man desperate to become a famous author but has no original ideas, so steals them from other people. It’s brilliant.

November Road by Lou Berney. American road trip of a novel – about a guy who’s been working for the mafia, realises they’ve got a gun pointed at his back so gets out of town (Dallas, November 1963) and on the way to Vegas meets a young woman and her two daughters also escaping something, and he realises the best disguise is to get in with them and look like a family man, and off they all go to Vegas. Very atmospheric.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. The international runaway bestseller this year – Eleanor O is a creature of habit with no social skills at all, and lives a dismal life governed by routine til one day she and one of her co-workers help an elderly man who’s collapsed and she discovers friendship.

Educated by Tara Westover. Memoir. Truly astonishing story of a young woman (she’s early 20’s now) who was brought up by a survivalist prepper family, the kids were never registered, so didn’t officially exist, never went to school for a single day, and managed to get herself out of there (some harrowing stuff) and eventually made it to Harvard and Cambridge. She says that education saved her.

Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian. One of my books of the year and I have zero interest in gold. The extraordinary story of two people who were determined to make their son the best golfer in the world, and they did, but they didn’t teach him anything else – about how to live and get on with people and be a good person. Absolutely fascinating.

Becoming by Michelle Obama. I found this really compelling and everyone else I know who has read it is also raving about it. It’s frank, honest and feels very real – about a life that’s gone from she and her brother and parents sharing a one bedroom apartment upstairs from a relative, to the White House.


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