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Recommended Titles


TVNZ book reviews

The New York Times 10 best books of 2013

The New York Times 100 Notable books of 2013

The Listener 100 best books of 2013

Read a good book lately? Tell us about it. Recommended titles will appear on this page and also in a folder at the Information Desk at Paraparaumu Library. Come and browse through it if you would like ideas for a really good book to read.

Here are some titles that you and our librarians have recommended..



Sharon recommends:

King's Man - Angus Donald

If you enjoy historical novels like Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Chronicles or Azincourt you will enjoy this one. Number three in the Outlaw Chronicles series features Alan, a loyal follower of Robin Hood. In this book they return from the Crusades, but King Richard is captured and held for ransom.


Kaye recommends:

Room: a novel - Emma Donoghue


Pauline recommends:

Stone Spring - Stephen Baxter

If you were fascinated by Time Team's exploration of "Doggerland" (now drowned beneath the North Sea) you will be captivated by this story of the megalithic tribes who lived there.


Heather recommends:

Christmas stalkings - Charlotte Macleod

Very enjoyable light mystery short stories.


Kaye recommends:

Lost in Shangri-la - Mitchell Zuckoff

True story of American soldiers including a woman who crash  in a remote part of New Guinea during World War 2 and the rescue mission to get them out.


Kaye recommends:

Finding Everett Ruess by David Roberts

An eBook from the ePukapuka catalogue. If you enjoyed "Into the Wild' you will like this true story of a loner who ventures into the wildreness and who has poetry in his soul. The mystery of his disapperance is also intriguing.


Maisie recommends:

Before I go to sleep by S J Watson

An enjoyable thriller about a woman who can’t remember the last twenty or so years of her life.  Her short term memory is such that she can only remember things that happen whilst she is awake. Every day she wakes up with a man she doesn’t recognize and who says he is her husband.   The author really captures her feelings of fear and confusion as the truth about her life slowly unfurls.

Jackie recommends:

The amber talisman by William Lambert

I really enjoyed this story as I am sure it could be related to many people's experiences at that time in Aotearoa. The characters seemed real not imaginery at all. as a half Croatian, part Māori and from the north also I found it significant with some wonderful messages in it for all humanity.


Jane recommends:

Title:The tenant of Wildfell Hall

Author:Anne Bronte

While not generally regarded by the critics as accomplished as her sisters Emily and Charlotte, still Anne Bronte deserves to be read.  The Tenant of Wildfell Hall manages to be both a treatise on the evils of drunkenness and other forms of dissipation and a narrative of the failure of romantic love.  Try listening to the library’s playaway version with the excellent actors Jenny Agutter and Alex Jennings.


Kaye recommends:

Title: Four lions

A very funny yet toally unexpected film - when terrorism goes wrong.


Jane recommends:

Title:The Sandman #5

Author: Neil Gaiman

#5 in Gaiman‘s Sandman graphic novel fantasy saga, this book is  full of quirky characters from New York City’s underbelly and the sort of magical creatures you might have once encountered in Alice in Wonderland.  An interesting take on the theme of identity, and the dreamer and the dream.


Jane recommends:

Title:Lord of misrule

Author:Jaimy Gordon

National Book Award winner for 2010, Lord of Misrule features a cast of characters from the backwaters of horse racing:  over-the-hill horses, trainers, jockeys and hangers-on.  Not since Mark Twain has the vernacular been used in so spectacular a fashion.  The book and its people – and horses – grows on you.


Barbara recommends:

Title: The doctor of Thessaly

Author: Anne Zouroudi

An eccentric Greek investigator arrives at a poor area of Greece to solve a crime. The characterisation was very good and the interaction of the people held my interest.


Martine recommends:

Title: The road

Author: Cormac McCarthy

Moving story of the desperate journey of a father and son across a post-apocolypse America. The relationship is beautifully depicted and it is a story of thesurvival of the human spirit. Not an easy read, unrelentingly bleak but very emotional. Author writes in sparse, poetic style.


Maureen recommends:

Title: Address unknown

Author: Kressmann Taylor

Although it is very short, it is powerfully written in a series of letters between a German Jew in the US and his friend & business partner who has returned to live in Germany. Set in 1933 the ending is sad but satisfying.


Jane recommends:

Title: True Grit

Author: Charles Portis

If you liked the Coen Brothers’ recent movie, you’ll love the book.  Written from the point of view of Mattie Ross, the 14-year-old looking for justice for the cold-blooded killer of her father, Portis’s writing sparkles with humour and authenticity.


Anne recommends:

Title: Apollo's angels

Author: Jennifer Homans

Of interest to readers interested in ballet and it's history. A large book - comprehensive coverage of early development of dance.