Book Chooks

They're faster than a speeding bookmark, more powerful than the glue on the pricetag on the cover of your favourite book and able to leap tall paperbacks in a single bound ... and they read. A lot. Jillian Allison-Aitken and Nadine Hancock are the Book Chooks.

French idioms ... and bidets

11:00am 27 Oct 2014

JILLIAN ALLISON-AITKEN

BOOK REVIEW: They Eat Horses Don't They? The Truth About the French
By Piu Marie Eatwell (HarperCollins, RRP $37)

Have you ever wondered what life in France is really like?

Is it all garlic and fabulousness? Berets and croissants? What do they do with bidets? Do they really eat horses?

In this quirky little book, Piu Marie Eatwell reveals the truth behinds 45 myths about France and its citizens.

The author lived in France for many years, and her observations paint a fascinating - and often hilarious - picture of a nation that embraces its history every bit as much as it embraces its future.

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Quirky thriller is a little off-balance

11:00am 23 Oct 2014

MAREE FIELD

BOOK REVIEW: Dog Will Have His Day 
By Fred Vargas (Harvill Secker, RRP $37)

Former special investigator Louis Kehlweiler has to find new ways to fill in his days now that he no longer works for the Parisian police force.

Kehlweiler gathers information, takes care of his toad (yes, he has a pet toad), and patiently digs away at crime and corruption.

He's keeping watch on the flat of the nephew of a prominent politician when something unusual catches his eye.

A dog has left a deposit near a tree, but that's not what catches' Kehlweiler eye - it's the human bone protruding from the excrement.

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From our reviewers: NZ non-fiction

05:00am 20 Oct 2014

Changing Times: New Zealand Since 1945
By Jenny Carlyon and Diana Morrow (Auckland University Press $45)

Reviewed by Mark Hotton

Much has been written about New Zealand's attempts to find its place in the world as a fledgling nation and the role of rugby and war in creating a sense of nationalism in and around World War I.

But a more important portion of our nation's history has occurred post-World War II, and it's this period that plays a more important role in both how we define ourselves as New Zealanders and how the past shapes our present.

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Brutality enjoyed in Oz re-imagining

05:00am 14 Oct 2014

NADINE HANCOCK

BOOK REVIEW: Dorothy Must Die
By Danielle Paige (HarperCollins, RRP $20)

The Dorothy that landed in Oz and met the Scarecrow, The Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion must be killed. But why would anyone want to kill Dorothy?

She's good right? Well, no, she's not. At least not in the world that Danielle Paige has created.

Turning what we know as Oz on its head, Danielle Paige tells the story of Amy, a teenager dealing with a school bully and an addict for a mother.

Following in the windswept journey that Dorothy experienced, a tornado picks Amy up and dumps her into the wonderful world of Oz, where she quickly learns that Dorothy and all the other good guys are now on the side of the evil, and the wicked ones are now the heroes.

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Another classic Reacher adventure

05:00am 10 Oct 2014

JILLIAN ALLISON-AITKEN

BOOK REVIEW: Personal
By Lee Child (Bantam Press, RRP $38)

There's nothing quite like getting your hands on the latest Jack Reacher adventure and this one is a cracker.

Action hero Reacher, the ex- military cop who is now something of a one-man army, is back and, as the title of the book would suggest, this time it's personal.

Someone has taken a potshot at the French president. And not just any old someone: whoever it was had some pretty impressive sniper skills, incredibly accurate from an incredible distance.

The shooter might not have hit the president, but with the shot making a hole in the safety barrier from a huge distance, the powers that be are worried that it may have been a practice run for the G8 summit coming up in London, meaning even bigger targets.

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