Monday, December 22, 2014

Nine to Noon on Radio New Zealand National this week

Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan
Nine to Noon episode archive

Scheduled interviews and reviews

Monday 22 December

  • What should the Government be doing to better regulate low-quality boarding houses - the lodges of last resort?
  • Investigative journalist Hajo Seppelt who alleges systematic doping among Russian athletes, and accuses Russian and international sports officials of a massive cover-up
  • Middle East correspondent Jamie Dettmer.  
  • Big Year Interview - New Zealand actor Chelsie Preston Crayford on her big year on Australian TV screens
  • Ralph McAllister reviews 'The Strange Library' by Haruki Murakami
  • 'Boom Time'  a short story by Raewyn Alexander.

  • Political commentators Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams reflect on the year in politics
  • Chef Raymond van Rijk with tips for gourmet barbequing
  • Outdoorsman and adventurer Kennedy Warne.

Tuesday 23 December

  • David Torrance on the future for Scotland
  • US correspondent Luiza Savage.
  • Big Year Interview - Black Caps captain Brendan McCullum
  • Gail Pittaway reviews 'Seven Letters from Paris' by Samantha Verant
  • 'Berries and Cream'  A short story by Adrienne Frater, told by Catherine Downes.

  • Business commentator Rod Oram
  • Alan Preston, founder of Fingers Gallery - one of the oldest jewellery galleries in the world
  • Media commentator Gavin Ellis.
Brendon McCullum
2014 has been a very big year for Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum. His performance on the pitch has re-written the history books with a triple century and two double centuries in one year. He has also played a key role in the match fixing investigations – giving a confidential testimony to the ICC, which was later leaked. He talks to Kathryn Ryan about his year in cricket, and being one of those at the centre of the biggest controversy in world cricket.

Wednesday 24 December

Nine to Noon Christmas Eve special – looking back on 2014 with many of our regular correspondents and commentators.
The Flat3 team
One of the breakout successes of New Zealand TV in 2014 hasn't been on TV at all - it's a webseries. Flat 3 is a little bit Flight of the Conchords, a little bit Lena Dunham's Girls, and tells the story of three Kiwi Chinese girls who are flatting together in their 20s. Kathryn is joined by the series' director, writer, and co-producer, Roseanne Liang, and one of the actors and co-producers, Perlina Lau.
Michael Leunig cartoon; Jane Goodall (photo by Michael Neugebauer); Henry Marsh (photo by G Smith)

The Best of Nine to Noon 2014

Nine to Noon will return on Monday 19 January, but in the meantime, we've gathered together some of our favourite interviews from 2014.

Image: Michael Leunig self-portrait; Jane Goodall (photo by Michael Neugebauer); Henry Marsh (photo by G Smith)

‘Exhausted’ readers shun celebrity memoirs as autobiography sales fall

Nielsen BookScan says sales of autobiographies and memoirs are down almost 4% compared with 2013 

Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry's latest book has sold about 60,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan. Photograph: Photo Itar-Tass

Readers have grown tired of the slew of celebrity memoirs, with titles by Stephen Fry, Graham Norton and John Cleese selling disappointing numbers, according to publishing industry experts.
Titles by Cleese and Fry sold about 60,000 copies each, according to Nielsen BookScan, which found that sales in the autobiographies and memoirs genre were down almost 4% compared with 2013.
Just five titles have sold more than 100,000 this year – two fewer than last year.

Graham Norton’s second memoir, The Life and Loves of a He-Devil, has shifted 44,000 copies, Paul Merton’s Only When I Laugh has sold 17,000, while just 8,000 succumbed to the delights of glamour model Kelly Brook’s Close-up.

Philip Jones, editor of the Bookseller, told the Independent: “In a lot of these cases, it’s their second or third book. There’s a little bit of exhaustion. You expect a big celebrity book to be selling 200,000 at this point and a lot of them aren’t.”

There’s Something I’ve Been Dying To Tell You, the autobiography by the late Lynda Bellingham has proved the most popular of 2014, selling 265,000 copies.
Guy Martin, Britain’s top motorcycle racer, has sold 168,000 copies of his autobiography, while the book by former Manchester United captain Roy Keane was bought by 149,000.

Charlie Redmayne, chief executive of HarperCollins UK, said he had slashed the number of manuscripts by celebrities that the publisher was buying.
He said such titles were risky because celebrities had to be paid large advances but their works lacked longevity in sales terms. “You’d have three weeks of sales and then it would be gone,” Redmayne told the Independent.

PD James remembered by Richard Coles

3 August 1920–27 November 2014

The crime writer was courteous and perspicacious – and alert for the gaps between what was said and what was done
PD James
‘Call me Phyllis!’: crime writer PD James, photographed at home in London,2011. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian
While studying for ordination at the College of the Resurrection in Yorkshire, the Reverend Richard Coles chaperoned the crime writer on one of her visits there.

“Call me Phyllis! While I’m here!” announced Baroness James of Holland Park on arrival at the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, where I was studying for ordination. Better known as PD James, she had come to research life in such places for her murder mystery Death in Holy Orders. A clever choice, for life in religious communities is exacting and unsparing and as the Superior at the monastery we were attached to once said, “If there was a murder here there would be 50 suspects at least.”

Lifting the lid on the darker aspects of life therein can be risky – I have done the same in my own memoir published this year – so her presence, while exciting, was also a little discomfiting and we were on our best behaviour. So was she, unfailingly, but while toujours la politesse prevailed I could tell simply from the way she looked at people that she was alert for the gaps between theory and practice, between what was said and what was done; a characteristic one might expect to find in a crime writer.

The Bookman with Mark Sainsbury on Radio Live

Here is the link to my chat with Mark Sainsbury on Radio Live on Sunday am:.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Author shines light on teen minds

KIM KNIGHT -  December 21 2014 - Sunday Star Times

MARSDEN REVEALED:  ‘‘The real me is very different from what they have imagined,’’ says outspoken Australian author John Marsden.
‘‘The real me is very different from what they have imagined,’’ says outspoken Australian author John Marsden.

A parent recently suggested John Marsden codify every possible misdemeanour that might occur at his school in the Australian bush.
The author-turned-principal declined: "You could write down 150 possible breaches of rules and the kids would still come up the very next day with something you've never thought of in your life.
"Like someone climbing onto a roof and disconnecting a television aerial, or someone disembowelling a prep kid's teddy bear. They just keep shocking you with new ways to do spectacularly naughty things."

Marsden has spent an adult lifetime inside children's heads. He's the man who wrote Tomorrow, When the War Began (and its nine sequels), who has sold 5 million (and counting) books for teenagers worldwide, who has won every major young-adult fiction award in Australia.

The hero of his latest novel is a teen, but the book, South of Darkness, is being touted as Marsden's first foray into adult fiction.
"I mean, I think teenagers could read it," he says. "But, in terms of the language and tone and so on, it's very specifically writing for adults. It's a bit hard to define sometimes, what makes a teenage book as opposed to an adult book.

NEW BOOK: John Marsden's South of Darkness"It worries me when adults read nothing but teen books, which seems to be the case for some of them. When I meet people in their 40s and the only novels they read are for 15-year-olds, I wonder if they might be slightly arrested in their development?"
Marsden is less than two minutes into this, his only New Zealand interview about the new book, when he strays into headline-grabbing territory. He is, surely, aware he's being provocative in a world where adults read Harry Potter and cry over everything written by The Fault in Our Stars' John Green?
"One of the mistakes often made," says Marsden, "is to assume that teenagers will react the same way adults do to the books they read."

Two of his own novels - Letters from the Inside and Dear Miffy - were criticised for discussing themes of family violence and youth suicide.

The 10 best Christmases in literature

From a charming scene in War and Peace to Kingsley Amis’s depiction of a ghastly crew of septuagenarians, the best Christmases in literature

War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy, 1869
War and Peace

Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer in War and Peace, 1956. Photograph: Alamy
Nikolai and Sonya are getting ready to put on a pantomime of sorts at Christmas time, and are so delighted with their costumes that they decide to visit the Melyukovs who live some distance away. They set out into a night of stars, frost and silence. Nikolai breathes in an “elixir of eternal youth and joy” – and falls in love with Sonya. He’s in woman’s attire, with tousled hair. Sonya is dressed as a man. But this is no deterrent. The moment could not be more charming. He “kissed her on the lips which wore a moustache and smelt of burnt cork”.

5 best books of 2014

The Telegraph

Gaby Wood picks her best books of the year 

George V: The Unexpected King and George VI: The Dutiful King – review

The two Georges were more Victorian than Victoria and made mid-20th-century Britain into a nation that was prudish, dingy and insular. David Cannadine and Philip Ziegler’s studies are miracles of lucid compression

George V 1865ng George V in his coronation robes, Sir Luke Fildes, 1911
King George V, c1754. Photograph: ./Getty
Queen Victoria was not the most Victorian of our monarchs. She enjoyed sex, bought modern art, liked looking at drawings of naked men, was emotionally self-indulgent, histrionic and luxurious, neglected her public duties and preferred people lower down in the social scale (whether politicians such as Disraeli or confidants such as the drunken gillie John Brown). Victorian values, as we understand them, reached their apogee in the reigns of her grandson George V (1910-36) and his son George VI (1936-52). They were our two Spartan monarchs, duty-bound, sexually repressed, emotionally disciplined, wanting everyone kept in place and convinced that material discomfort improved people’s characters. And to a great extent, their subjects emulated their example, and made mid-20th-century Britain into a nation that was conventional, stable, prudish, dingy and insular. Neo-Georgian Britain was nothing if not self-respecting and therefore law-abiding.

The Penguin Monarchs series, which is producing 45 elegant miniatures on the life and times of every monarch from Athelstan to Elizabeth II, gets off to a strong start with the two Georges who bore the world’s greatest royal inheritance in a century of world wars and global crises

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Book reviews in the New York Times

The god Krishna and Kaliya, the serpent king, from 17th-century India.

'The Norton Anthology of World Religions: Volume I: Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism'

The first volume of Norton's two-part anthology includes texts of Hinduism, Buddhism and Daoism.

From left: Part of an 800-year-old Torah scroll; a page from an 11th-century manuscript of the Quran; and the opening of an illuminated Latin Gospel of Luke from the 15th century.'The Norton Anthology of World Religions: Volume II: Judaism, Christianity, Islam'

The second volume of Norton's two-part anthology compiles texts and commentaries on Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Also in the Book Review
Phil Zuckerman

'Living the Secular Life'

Reviewed by SUSAN JACOBY
As more Americans eschew religious affiliation, a sociologist examines the secular lifestyle.

H. G. Adler'The Wall'

By H. G. ADLER. Translated by PETER FILKINS.
Cynthia Ozick reviews the final installment of H. G. Adler's Shoah trilogy.
Dick Cavett

Dick Cavett: By the Book

The author of "Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks" is a great fan of rereading. "We'd all have been better off to have read half as many books. Twice."
·         By the Book: Archive
An 18th-century painting of the Hindu god Shiva.


Roberto Calasso delves into the enigmatic web of ritual and myth that defined the ancient Vedic world.

A Mandean baptism in the Tigris River, May 2003.'Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms'

Gerard Russell chronicles the long survival of religious minorities in the Middle East, and the extreme peril they face today..
Transfigured by and into art: Joan of Arc at the coronation of King Charles VII in 1429, in a painting by Ingres in the Louvre.

'Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured'

Reviewed by SARAH DUNANT
Kathryn Harrison's biography interweaves Joan of Arc's story with both fictional and historical interpretations.

Billy Graham preaches to more than 100,000 Berliners in June 1954.'America's Pastor'

Reviewed by ROBERT P. GEORGE
A study of Billy Graham's ministry examines how American culture shaped him - and he shaped it.
Pope Francis kissing the foot of an inmate at a juvenile detention center in Rome last year.

'The Great Reformer'

A biography of Jorge Mario Bergoglio traces his Argentine origins and his path to the Vatican.

François Villon'The Brotherhood of Book Hunters'

Reviewed by TADZIO KOELB
François Villon travels to Jerusalem in this literary mystery.

'A Philosophy of Walking'

Reviewed by LAUREN ELKIN

Charting the many ways we walk, and what they say about us.

5 New Books To Read Based On Your Favorite Classics

HuffPost Arts & Books

"Reading a new book doesn't have to mean taking a huge step away from your favorite classic authors... many authors write works that are in conversation with, influenced by, or in the same tradition as many of your favorite classics. Of the many incredible books published this year, there's bound to be at least one that you'll love as much as your favorite dog-eared Victorian romance. We've taken five beloved classics and recommended an outstanding new book from 2014 based on each. Enjoy!" (Read more here)

The Book We're Talking About: 'Here' By Richard McGuire

HuffPost Arts & Books
richard mcguire here

"Before Richard Linklater made the decision -- hailed as groundbreaking -- to film a single actor for 12 years, Richard McGuire used his own artistic medium to chronicle the life of a single room over the course of millennia. His 1989 comic series 'Here' was quietly published by Art Spiegelman in RAW magazine, and this month the concept has been put into a graphic novel of the same name." (Read more here)

Can Wikipedia Influence the Developing World?

Today's Feature Story:

Dani Zacarias of Worldreader argues book donations have a dramatic impact on the developing world and it is both easier and cheaper in the digital age.

Florence Devouard, former chair of the Wikimedia Foundation and co-founder of Wikimedia France, describes the work Wikipedia does in the developing world.

Writing for the Times of India, Ishita Mishra describes the declining literary landscape in Agra as fewer people visit libraries and bookstores in the city.
Best of 2014:

International companies are keeping a close eye on publishing in Asia and South Asia, including the latest rights trends and digital developments there.