I could never read something that big!
Is your attention span shot after a huge 2020? Here are some of the best big page turners that you can really get your teeth stuck into over the summer break.
The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox
An astonishing journey through libraries, forests and portals between worlds. Knox’s new tome is addictive and alluring, you won’t be able to put it down and it will keep you company for days, if not weeks.
Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Told over several generations this sprawling epic manages to have a very intimate tone. The story of a Ugandan tribe over the course of hundreds of years is told through the eyes of the members of one family. Magic, myth, colonisation, religion and ego are all woven together to create a modern masterpiece.
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
A drunk detective down on his luck in a flea ridden hotel is faced with a murder. Sounds like something you’ve read before? It’s not! Set in the Yiddish speaking enclave of Sitka, Alaska this alternate world police thriller is one part mystifying to one part delightful the whole way through.
The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway
I’ve read a lot of dystopic world fiction but nothing has ever stuck in my brain like The Gone Away World. Told from the perspective of the outsider the book charts a world heading into destruction and then plunges deeply into the chaos of the immediate aftermath of the apocalypse. Part thriller, part romance, part philosophical treatise, The Gone Away World is mind shatteringly good.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
A young woman trains as a historian and finds a letter from her father which pushes her down a decades long rabbit hole hunting for the supposedly mythical Count Dracula. Blending actual history of central Europe and Turkey with folklore and imagination Kostova has created a timeless thriller which keeps your eyes locked to page from the moment you pick it up.
About the selector
Rob Kelly is an RNZ producer, former bookseller and opinion haver.