Book Reviews for Booklovers from The Booklover • December & January

This month's must read:

The Binding Available 31 December
Bridget Collins $35

In the tradition of Sarah Waters and Jessie Burton, an atmospheric and mystery-laden historical novel set within a magical world where books are not stories but the repository of individual lives. Imagine you could erase grief, or remove pain, or hide the darkest, most horrifying secret, forever. Young Emmett Farmer begins an apprenticeship as a bookbinder – a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice. He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. People’s secrets are concealed and their past is locked away within the rows upon rows of books meticulously stored in a vault under the workshop. But just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten. An unforgettable novel of enchantment, mystery, memory and forbidden love, The Binding is a beautiful homage to the allure and life-changing power of books – and a reminder to us all that knowledge can be its own kind of magic.

Wine Reads
Jay McInerney  $40

In this richly literary, delectable anthology, Jay McInerney – bestselling novelist and acclaimed wine columnist – selects the finest pieces of memorable writing about the making, selling and drinking of fine wine. Including excerpts from novels, short fiction, memoir and narrative nonfiction, Wine Reads features many big names in the trade and literary heavyweights alike, such as Kermit Lynch,  A. J. Liebling, Michael Dibdin, Joseph Wechsberg, Rex Pickett, Jancis Robinson and Benjamin Wallace.

Down the Bay: Abel Tasman National Park
Philip Simpson  $80

Abel Tasman National Park, created in 1942 to protect the wonderful sequence of forested beaches and headlands, has become much-loved by countless New Zealanders and visitors. Philip Simpson, award-winning author of books on New Zealand trees, presents a complete picture of the distinctive landforms of Abel Tasman, from the deep caves of the uplands to the unique granite headlands and golden-sand beaches, the diversity of plants and animals, the coastal environment, and overlays this with accounts of both Māori and European history. The book also records the present ambitious project to transform the park by removing pests and reintroducing threatened birds to restore the area to its former state. This is an inspiring and hopeful story of how the future of an important area of New Zealand is being secured for future generations. Down the Bay is a tribute to this gem of our national park system.

The Summer I Met Jack
Michelle Gable  $30

The bestselling author of A Paris Apartment imagines the affair between John F. Kennedy and Alicia Corning Clark – and the child they may have had. Based on a real story, in 1950 a young, beautiful Polish refugee arrives in Hyannisport, Massachusetts to work as a maid for one of the wealthiest families in America. Alicia is at once dazzled by the large and charismatic family, in particular the oldest son, a rising politician named Jack. Alicia and Jack are soon engaged, but his domineering father forbids the marriage. A decade after they meet, on the eve of Jack’s inauguration as the 35th President of the United States, the two must confront what they mean to each other. This sparkling and compassionate novel, a splendid portrait of a spirited survivor thriving in a man’s world, will enthral readers.

The Booklover thanks all its loyal customers for their continued support throughout 2018, and hopes that our much-anticipated Christmas books catalogue will help with your gift selections for family and friends. We look forward to ensuring you benefit from our informed reading choices and unique services in 2019.

Issue 94 December 2018