A roundup of Radio New Zealand's arts and culture contributors 'best ofs' for 2014.

Kate De Goldi and Laura Kroetsch

Best Books Sat Morn PD Pixabay

Laura Kroetsch is the director of Adelaide Writers’ Week (28 February to 5 March 2015) at the Adelaide Festival (27 February to 15 March 2015).

Kate De Goldi is the author of a number of books, most recently The ACB with Honora Lee.

They discuss 2014 in publishing and their favourite reads of 2014, as detailed below (* = mentioned during interview).

Laura Kroetsch’s list


I Want To Show You More by Jamie Quatro (2013, Grove Press)*
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill (2014, Granta)*
Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto (2012, Viking)*
Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle (2014, Scribe)*


The Ballad of a Small Player by Lawrence Osborne (2014, Random House)*
Chance by Kem Nunn (2014, Scribner)*
Tapping the Source by Kem Nunn (1984)*
Herbie's Game by Timothy Hallinan (2014, Soho Crime)


To Have and To Hold: An Intimate History of Collectors and Collecting by Philipp Blom (2003, Penguin)*
100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write by Sarah Ruhl (2014, Faber & Faber)*
On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Bliss (2014, Graywolf Press)*
The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison (2014, Granta)*
Preparing the Ghost: An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer by Matthew Gavin Frank (2014, Norton)*


My discovery this year was Australian writer, illustrator and artist Chris McKimmie. His books for children include Good Morning, Mr Pancakes (2012), Two Peas in a Pod (2010), Special Kev (2009), Maisie Moo and Invisible Lucy (2008), and Brian Banana Duck Sunshine Yellow (2007).

Summer Reading

Every year at Christmas, I reread a writer I love. This year it is Eudora Welty (1909-2001), an American author of short stories and novels about the American South.

Kate De Goldi’s list


Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee (2012, Text Publishing)*
Lean on Pete by Willy Vlautin (2010, Harper Perennial)*
The Free by Willy Vlautin (2014, Harper Perennial)*
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (2014, McSweeneys)*
A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews (2004, Knopf)*


No Regrets, Coyote by John Dufresne (2013, WW Norton)


A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil McGregor (2010, Allen Lane)*
Shady Characters; the Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols & Other Typographical Marks by Keith Houston (2013, WW Norton)*
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (2014, Jonathan Cape)*
The Old Ways: a Journey on Foot by Robert McFarlane (2012, Hamish Hamilton)*
Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures and Innovations by Mary Beard (2013, Profile)

Graphic Fiction/Comic strip

Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton (2011, Random House)
Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (2014, House of Anansi Press)
Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge (2014, Amulet)
Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks (2012, First Second)


Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner (2014, Hot Key Books, ISBN: 978-1-4714-0189-3)

Summer Reading

Germany: Memories of a Nation by Neil McGregor (2014, Allen Lane)*
Best American Sports Writing 2014 selected by Christopher McDougall, edited by Glenn Stout (2014, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)*
Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill (2006, HarperCollins)
The Girl who was Saturday Night by Heather O'Neill (2014, HarperCollins)
The Murdstone Trilogy by Mal Peet (2014, David Fickling)
After the Fire, A Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld (2009, Jonathan Cape)
All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld (2014, Random House)
The Magic Pen by Dylan Horrocks (2014, Victoria University Press)

Kim’s summer reading

The Matthew Shardlake series of historical thrillers (Dissolution, Dark Fire, Sovereign, Revelation, Heartstone, Lamentation) by C.J. Sansom (Pan)*
My Struggle (Min Kamp) by Karl Ove Knausgård (Random House)*

Topper most of the poppermost PD Pixabay crop

Radio New Zealand's music, arts and culture contributors recommend their picks of the best of:

Music 2014

Books 2014

Poetry 2014

Film 2014

Television 2014