My friend Maggie emailed to tell me the news. The Blue is officially a best seller which is simply the best thing I've heard all week (apart from my daughter's school report from her nearly new school.)
It comes in at third on the fiction list with Jenny Pattrick's Landings at first place, Is She Still Alive? by Tessa Duder next, 4th is Two Little Boys by Duncan Sarkies, and A Sandwich Short of a Picnic by Felicity Price, 5th.
For more information follow the link.
Jenny Pattrick's received some sort of gong from the folks of Wanganui City for her book Landings which is set at a time when the Wanganui River was known as the Rhine of Maoriland. People flocked to travel down river on the steamers, over 200 rapids, and stay at the luxury Pipiriki Hotel.
I said in my Listener review, 'Landings is a powerful yarn set in an extraordinary time and place.' Whatever I said it wouldn't have mattered, the NZ public loves a Jenny Pattrick novel and it will stay at no. 1 for sometime yet I'm guessing.
I heard Duncan Sarkies read from Two Little Boys at the Auckland Writers Festival and have since been forcing it on people who want a good laugh. He picked an especially funny piece to read which introduced me to the phrase 'sloppy seconds'.
The book is essentially a road trip which turns to disaster when the two lads run over a Norwegian backpacker and decide to dispose of the body. Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement: “Twisted, surprising and very very very funny.”
I haven't yet read the Duder which sees the children's/YA author writing stories about 'ordinary older' women, or the Price which looks like a sharp piece of chick lit about a dumped woman exacting revenge. The author appears to be a writing dynamo turning out bios and novels like other people turn out blog posts.
It's great to see Emily Perkins' Novel about my Wife entering the international fiction list. Published by Faber in the UK, it doesn't qualify for the NZ list. It has received rave reviews in the UK and elsewhere with words like 'accomplished' and 'brilliant' flashed around. The only trouble is they're calling her one of Britain's most exciting young authors.
My students have been studying Perkins' short story Not Her Real Name in the Massey University creative writing course and they never cease to be amazed by its... audacity. The way it plays with point-of-view using poems, shopping lists etc planted randomly amongst the prose to give rare glimpses into the characters' feelings.
I see my friend Kerre is still selling well in the bestsellers' non-fiction category with her Short Fat Chick to Marathon Runner which is a terrifically honest, funny and inspiring book. God knows if I could ever run a marathon but at least I'd know not to wear a g-string while doing it (a little tip from Kerre).
I used to play doubles tennis with Kerre when we both worked for TVNZ in Wellington, and it was in the middle of one of the games that I flung myself after the ball, landed face first on the concrete and knocked my front teeth out. One of the side-effects of doing the fitness thing I suppose.
So The Blue's in good company - long may it last.