A Month of Winners!

Don't you love it when you unexpectedly stumble onto a run of truly great reads...??

October was a massive month for me behind the pages and it revealed some amazing and varied titles; one of which was a Man Booker Prize shortlisted debut novel (which would've been a worthy winner IMHO), another was an account of life in the the upper canopies of rainforests around the world. Another still was a dark and grim tale of meandering philosophical musings and the struggle for survival. I've also got the highly regarded historical author Conn Iggulden's first foray into the fantasy genre!

And there's some film and music in there too...

Among the other titles featured in my list below is documentary and a beautifully heart-warming account of the Christchurch Poultry and Pigeon Club in the lead up to the national chicken showing competitions, and another title is a music CD of local Christchurch jazz musicians from 2009 - a diverse list of interesting themes and genres

All titles were exceptional in their own ways and I would like to share these with you all in the hope that you may find some of the same joy that I experienced in my time with each of these books/movies/music... here's a list with brief notes on each inclusion:

Read/Watch/Listen 2017 - October List created by DevilStateDan

More good stuff from the collection of Christchurch City Libraries.... enjoy!

A Man Booker Prize short-listed debut from Fiona Mozley and it would've been a most worthy winner! It follows the story of a family on the edge of society and the struggles faced to make ends meet and hold onto what is theirs. Beautifully written and shockingly real at times, a complete book of sorrow, loss, love, and family.

A brilliant series of real-life tales from a man who climbs trees professionally all around the world. A very gifted storyteller with a fantastic outlook on life and nature. His tale of being the man responsible for dangling Sir David Attenborough 150ft in the air puts the work and nerve required to do such a profession into stunning perspective! It left me really hoping that he writes more books...

Another fun-tastic, action-filled film from Edgar Wright the man behind Shaun of the Dead etc. full of his usual pathos and humour.

Conn Iggulden's first book under a distinct fantasy genre and it's the first for his planned 'Empire of Salt' trilogy. This first book has all the components for an intriguing fantasy adventure, the characters are flawed and interesting (even the "gifted" ones!), his world building feels real and dangerous, and combined with his fine writing skills he's set up for a beaut series! If you're looking for a new fantasy series to sink your teeth into then give this a go!

Alex Preston loves birds as much as he loves books and writing, and here he celebrates them both at once. Some very fine descriptive writing and stories about experiences with birdlife combines in this book. A very good read for a spring afternoon when the birds are singing.

A stunning read about a man lost in a strange place, under extreme pressure for survival, and trying to find his way through. The man is clearly processing some kind of trauma and is dealing with loss, grief, love, and philosophical questions of self. A really good read if you like bleak, grimness and personal internal struggles.

A behind the scenes look at the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club as they approach the national competitions. Meet the characters and learn their own particular obsessions and idiosyncrasies, the political shifts of the committee, and the love of poultry. A heartfelt film about activities in our own backyards!

Some contemporary Christchurch jazz for your listening pleasure. Interesting mix of instruments for a jazz band and good compositional skills from the writers make this a treat to hear!

Some of Gerry Mulligan's most popular works feature here on this classic jazz album. What a jazz man!

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