Slim books to take tramping
It can be tough getting the weight down in your pack but it’s important to always have a book! Rob Kelly picks his top light fiction to slip into the top pocket.
They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie
Really any Agatha Christie will do the job but this is a particular favourite of mine! They’re all about 170 pages roughly. Ms Marple is concerned about a friend of her’s safety and makes a journey to a large country house packed with, you’ll never guess, suspects! One of Christie’s cleverest mysteries, you always need to keep your eye on the reflections.
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Always remember to take you towel! One of the funniest novels ever written, The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy refuses to date and just gets better with time. The absurdity of the world we live in is explored with wry wit, and in space. Adams writes with such kindness and joy it’s infectious. A perfect companion for long sunsets at the hut or campsite.
Auē by Becky Manawatu
A powerful, electrifying and human story of crisis survival and family. Winner of Aotearoa’s best fiction prize in 2020 this slim and emphatic novel explores difficult subject matter but at its heart it is a story about family, love and survival. An instant classic and a good companion for the trail.
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
A famously short book, Trainspotting will transplant you to the streets of Ediburgh and the trials and tribulations of Rent Boy, Spud, Sick Boy and Franco. The book itself is a collection of short stories all in the same world, so you can dive in for a bit and then come back to it the next day when the sun drops.
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck’s short novel from 1945 is an excellent exploration of one place. It’s a deep dive into all the people and places of one street in Monterey, California. The street is flanked by sardine canneries and they drive all the industry, and often the stories too. Devastating and joyous in turns, Cannery Row is a non-fiction classic which won’t weigh you down.
About the selector
Rob Kelly is an RNZ producer, former bookseller and opinion haver.