Libraries  |  23 Dec 2019

Christchurch’s book lovers have combed the library shelves and pored over thousands of pages to pick the best fiction and non-fiction for readers of all ages to enjoy over summer.

From a best-selling debut novel packed with family angst to a wayward tale of tangled emotions to an epic crime novel or discovering the brilliance of birds, Christchurch City Libraries staff have found the ideal books for both home and away holidays.

Christchurch City Council Head of Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson says staff have carefully curated their top selections to help bring the best reads to the widest audience.

“The summer holidays provide the perfect time to dive into a great read,” Ms Robertson says.

“At the beach or in the backyard, there is nothing like the joy of turning the page on a new story. For many, it’s a thriller or a crime novel while others immerse themselves in a family saga or enjoy a more informative non-fiction book.

“One of our favourite books, Fatima Farheen Mirza’s A Place for Us, is both poignant and timely. It deals with racism but with a fine touch, also focusing on family life and what holds us together.

“For those who prefer a raw tale of outback noir, you will soon be engrossed in the Australian crime drama Scrublands.

“For the very young, Mr Gumpy’s Rhino is a wonderful celebration of caring and community – along with a gentle focus on endangered animals – all wrapped up in a stunning picture book,” she says.

“Closer to home, The Brilliance of Birds offers a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the lives of New Zealand’s feathered favourites.

“We really think we have found a book for everyone to enjoy these holidays.”

Young Adults

Secret Commonwealth – Philip Pullman

Crossfire – Malorie Blackman

Wynter’s Thief – Sherryl Jordan

Bloom – Kevin Panetta (Graphic Novel)

Wayward Son – Rainbow Rowell

Younger and Older Children’s Fiction

A Different Land – Paul Jennings

The Time of Green Magic – Hilary McKay

The Curse of the School Rabbit – Judith Kerr

The Magic Place – Christopher Wormell

The Fate of Fausto – Oliver Jeffers

Picture Books

The Pigeon Has to Go to School – Mo Willems

Mr Gumpy’s Rhino – John Burningham

Oi Puppies! – Kes Gray

A Dog’s Tale – Michael Rosen

Tiny and Teeny – Chris Judge

Adult Fiction

A Place for Us – Fatima Farheen Mirza

Everything You Ever Wanted – Luiza Sauma

Scrublands – Chris Hammer

Adult Non-Fiction – New Zealand

100 Days that Mapped a Nation – Graeme Lay

Going by Train – The Complete New Zealand Railways Story – Graham Hutchins

Big Ideas for Small Houses – Cate Foster

The Brilliance of Birds – A New Zealand Birdventure – Skye Wishart