Joyce – Staff Pickles

Staff Pickles

I grew up in 1980s rural Scotland so reading was a way to escape the horrors of tartan, tinned vegetables and horizontal rain. Eschewing deep-fried mars bars I instead devoured everything written by dear Enid Blyton, Alfred Hitchcock’s Three Investigators mysteries and Willard Price’s Adventure series. Slightly trashy and entirely predictable literature was the making of me.

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My Lists


  • Persephone Books are gorgeous. You might have seen them around, soft grey book jackets with distinctive vintage fabric endpapers. They re-publish and promote forgotten female 20th century authors and by golly some of them are great. I read and adored The Victorian Chaise-Longue by Marghanita Laski and am giving Dorothy Whipple (epic name!) a go next. For more Dead Dames of a literary ilk try our library blog.
  • Australian Crime. I'm always slightly amazed at the unfamiliarity (feigned or real?) we seem to have in New Zealand with Aussie publishing. I'm a huge fan of Oz crime fiction and have recently read some beauts.The Dry by Jane Harper and Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic were both tense, well-plotted and full of rounded, realistic characters. Peter Temple's The Broken Shore is straight-up one of the greatest crime titles ever and his Jack Irish series set in Melbourne is well worth a read too.
  • Jeeves and Wooster! I have recently re-encountered the delights of the omnipotent Jeeves and the totally gormless Bertie Wooster. Overdrive has a selection of full-cast BBC Radio 4 plays recorded in the 1970s and 1980s with a host of British lovies. Lots of fun.
  • Orphan Black. Bit scared of spoilers here but I'll give a few clues. Sci-Fi. Thriller. Eugenics. Clones. Secrets. Love. Loyalty. The fifth and final series is now available at Christchurch City Libraries. Watch.
  • Jim Crace. A phenomenal writer. Harvest was short-listed for the 2013 Man Booker prize but got beaten out by New Zealand's Eleanor Catton. Grrrr. Being Dead is the book of all books but given that it tells the tale of a murdered couple decomposing on an isolated beach I realise it may not be everyone's cup of char! Jim was threatening to make Harvest his last novel but he has had a change of heart and The Melody is due in 2018. Hurrah!


Tiny books! When time is short, go small.

The Bookshop
Shoplifting from American Apparel
We should all be feminists
Such small hands
Flush by Virginia Woolf