Monday, July 02, 2012
Poet Paula Green on Books
The book I love most is...Put Ottolenghi – The Cookbook in one hand and Ian Wedde’s The Commonplace Odes in the other, and I’m happy. But aside from my love of poetry and cookbooks, I adored Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (deliciously complicated) and Kyle Mewburn’s Hill & Hole (deliciously simple).
A great book I’ve read recently is… Emily Perkin’s The Forrests. Its sentences are a heavenly creation indeed (with whiffs of Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf).
The book I want to read next is...Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance as he left me spellbound at Wellington Writers and Readers Week. I’ll follow that with my other festival favourite and read Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters.
My favourite bookshop is...Well it was the whole room devoted to New Zealand books at Parsons but thankfully I still have The Women’s Bookshop and Unity Books where the staff are passionate about what they read. Plus Quilters Bookshop in Wellington and Jason’s Books in Auckland as they have great shelves of second-hand NZ poetry.
The book that changed me is....I would be lying to attribute the shape of me to one book but Arthur Ransome’s Swallows And Amazons showed me I could take risks and have courage. The Italian Ambassador once asked me why I was studying Italian and I told him I wanted to read Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller in the original. I guess that book set me on the glorious path of university learning, and yes, I did get to read it in Italian. But as an avid reader, I think with each book I read I undergo major and minor adjustments.
The book I wish I'd never read is.....
I have a weak stomach for perversion, feeling petrified, sentimentality in books but the flabby, self indulgence of Hilary Thayer Hamann’s Anthropology of an American Girl gave me indigestion.
First published in the Herald on Sunday, 1 July 2012