BOOK REVIEWS for Booklovers from The Booklover
Book Reviews for Booklovers from The Booklover this SEPTEMBER
September finds us in the midst of the Christmas preparation, selecting the titles we believe our customers will enjoy for themselves or as gifts for family and friends. Next month, some of those books will be appearing, and lots more throughout November. Talk to us soon if you are looking for corporate gifts. This month, we are highlighting for CHANNEL readers the second novels from Jamie Ford and Simon Sebag Montefiore, the new Bill Bryson bundle of entertainment, and the inspirational story of the global success of a New Zealand ‘green’ enterprise – Ecostore.
Songs of Willow Frost
- Jamie Ford $35
From the bestselling author of the acclaimed and beloved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother’s listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthday – or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday – William and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother,
Determined to find Willow and prove that his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William’s past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen.
Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs of Willow Frost takes you on an emotional journey of discovery. It is a powerful tale of two souls – a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past – both seeking love, hope
ECOMAN: From a Garage in Northland to a Pioneering Global Brand
- Malcolm Rands $40
Malcolm Rands, an organic gardener from Northland, started Ecostore from New Zealand’s first permaculture eco-village with his wife Melanie in 1993. They began
by mixing soaps and detergents by hand for their mail-order business in a dug-out basement. With a canny ability to think outside the square, 20 years on, Malcolm has built Ecostore into a multi-million dollar business. Its distinctive, masterfully branded products are on the shelves of thousands of supermarkets in New Zealand, Australia and the US. Now with a foothold in Hong Kong, Singapore and China, they are poised for further global expansion.
This inspirational memoir gives an insight into the mind of a hippy and a capitalist, entrepreneur and activist, artist and true Kiwi ‘superhero’. It’s a fascinating story of humble beginnings, taking on the multinationals and their nasty chemicals, bucking the trend and setting a new standard of healthier living. Malcolm is more determined than ever to work toward restoring the health and wellbeing of New Zealand by making it easier for people to be green. This book includes his tips on how to green up your home and office, his thoughts on New Zealand’s ‘pure’ image and some timely lessons in sustainability.
One Night In Winter
- Simon Sebag Montefiore $38
By the author of the international bestsellers Jerusalem and Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar and the popular novel Sashenka, and based on a true account, this is a heart-breaking love story set in Stalin’s Russia. If your children were forced to testify against you, what terrible secrets would they reveal?
Moscow, 1945. As Stalin and his courtiers celebrate victory over Hitler, shots ring out. On a nearby bridge, a teenage boy and girl lie dead. But this is no ordinary tragedy and these are no ordinary teenagers, but the children of Russia’s most important leaders who attend the most exclusive school in Moscow. Is it murder? A suicide pact? Or a conspiracy against the state? Directed by Stalin himself, an investigation begins as children are arrested and forced to testify against their friends – and their parents. This terrifying witch-hunt soon unveils illicit love affairs and family secrets in a hidden world where the smallest mistakes will be punished with death.
One Summer: America 1927
- Bill Bryson $55
In the summer of 1927, America had a booming stock market, a president (Calvin Coolidge) who worked just four hours a day (and slept much of the rest of the time), a semi-crazed sculptor with a mad plan to carve four giant heads into an inaccessible mountain called Rushmore, a devastating flood of the Mississippi, a sensational murder trial, and a youthful aviator (Charles Lindbergh) who started the summer wholly unknown and finished it as the most famous man on earth. (So famous that Minnesota considered renaming itself after him.)
It was the summer that saw the birth of talking pictures, the invention of television, the peak of Al Capone’s reign of terror, the horrifying bombing of a school in Michigan by a madman, the ill-conceived decision that led to the Great Depression, the thrilling, improbable return to greatness of a wheezing, over-the-hill baseball player named Babe Ruth, and much more.
In this hugely entertaining book, Bill Bryson, in his inimitable style, spins a story of brawling adventure, reckless optimism and delirious energy, with an unforgettable cast of vivid and eccentric personalities.