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On Our Desks This Month

What are the team at Penguin NZ reading?

One of the many perks of working at a publishing house is how many amazing books we have at our fingertips, just begging to be read. We've put together a small selection of what’s been across the desks of some of our team this month – it’s a pretty varied collection of Sci-Fi, YA, Non-Fiction and Adult Fiction.

 

All Our Wrong Todays

Read by Barbara in Special Sales

I was a bit nervous about a time travel novel – I’ve gotten lost in those things before and struggled to keep up with where I was and how I got there. So I was delighted to find that didn’t happen with this entertaining and thought provoking story. There are even chapter starters that review where you’re up to and what’s happened so far! I found this really hard to put down, it clipped along at a great pace and reads a bit like a film script – it’s easy to imagine as an excellent movie (which apparently it is soon to be). While it’s a bit of a love story, it’s also a fascinating view into a possible future world with characters the stay with you after the fast paced ending.

 

See You in the Cosmos

Read by Laura in Marketing

All eleven-year-old Alex wants is to launch his golden iPod into space to show other lifeforms what life on Earth is like. But with a mother who is clearly suffering a mental disorder, a brother who lives on the other side of the country and an absent father, he has to take his life into his own hands to fulfil his dreams and goals. A charming tale about wide-eyed and ever-questioning Alex and his faithful furry companion, Carl Sagan (a dog, not the astronomer). This quirky YA debut is full of wonder, space, and a cast of interesting characters. I loved that the whole book is written as Alex’s audio logs – it really gave you deep insight into the inner-workings of his mind, especially as it always seems to be churning over at a million miles an hour! I would highly recommend it for younger readers and adults alike.

 

The Heart’s Invisible Furies

Read by Ellie in Sales

They are not lying when they say this is the story John Boyne was born to write. The dialogue is so believable you feel as though you are sitting in the same room, listening to the characters’ Irish lilt. The prose is so accessible it makes you wince, recoil and even feel the need to take a deep breath. Yet the humour, although dark at times, is witty and makes you laugh out loud. Boyne doesn’t only tackle the debilitating and demoralising existence of a homosexual living in Ireland in the late 20th century – the insecurities, shame, regret, self-blame and guilt we see torture Cyril Avery are emotions we all experience in one way or another, but don’t own up to often enough. It is his flaws that make him so intoxicatingly relatable, and it is those imperfections that strike chords. But also, there were many moments that I couldn’t possibly empathise with, although they were no less poignant. In these moments my heart broke for Cyril, but it also meant I took a minute to realise just how lucky I am. Read it – you’ll be blown away too.

 

Rants in the Dark

Read by Margaret in Publishing

Can you handle the truth? The whole truth? Because here it is…this book tells you about parenting the way it really is. And sometimes it’s kisses and soft chubby cheeks and adorable cutesiness, but other times it’s tears and tantrums, vomit, fighting and no sleep. Emily Writes doesn’t hold back as she tells you about her life with two small children, but somehow the full gloriousness of parenting comes through in all its messy wonder. Emily will have you laughing out loud one moment, then blinking back tears the next. And the thought that everyone is in it together and everyone should just do the very best they can comes shining through as a message of love and support to all the mothers and fathers out there. A book for anyone who has ever had children.