Kia ora! It's been a while since we introduced ourselves, and we thought now would be a good time to do so. We recently had some photos taken in the beautiful gardens near our office on a windless Wellington afternoon.
Meet the Read NZ Te Pou Muramura team. From left: Corporate Services Manager Tanya Prince, Communications Manager Melissa Wastney, CEO Juliet Blyth and our Programmes Manager Kathryn Carmody.
With today being the first of the nationwide 'lockdown' period, there's never been a better time to open a book. What are we reading?
Tanya is currently reading All The Tears in China by Sulari Gentill. Set in Shanghai in 1935, the story follows Rowland Sinclair who has recently arrived from Sydney to represent his brother at international wool negotiations. Rowland knows nothing about the wool industry and has been instructed by his brother to commit to nothing but a murder ensues and everything starts to fall apart.
Tanya says that she's about a third of the way through and enjoying the beautiful descriptions of 1935 Shanghai as a bustling international trade centre, the amusing escapades of the characters involved and of course the murder mystery element.
Melissa is using the opportunity to make her way through some of the books collected, then neglected over the past few years. First on the list is The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, which is the story of Alma Whittaker, born in 1800 to an wealthy exotic plant dealer. Alma becomes a botanist and travels to Tahiti in search of outer and inner worlds. It's an epic tale and covers themes as varied as love and class, sibling relationships and feminism, and the development of the pharmaceutical industry.
Next up: The Reading Cure: How Books Restored my Appetite by Laura Freeman and a stack of assorted magazines until now buried for months under household detritus on the coffee table.
Juliet is a believer in the joy of re-reading. Inspired by a re-watching of the classic 90's film adaptation, she's planning to revisit Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and because she wants to read something funny and clever, she's going back to Dad Art by Damien Wilkins.
Also on her list is Aspiring, the brand new novel by Wellington author Damien Wilkins. (Enter our draw to win a copy of that book here).
Kathryn has just finished two books: the latest William Gibson novel Agency, and his 2014 work The Peripheral. Both, she says, were brilliant and have left her needing a little break to reflect on their powerful ideas.
The Guardian describes Agency as both an observation and warning and a "dazzling vision of politics and power across alternate timelines". William Gibson is an American-Canadian fiction writer, and in Agency, "his ability to simultaneously destabilise and entertain is both celebrated and used to the full."
What are you reading? Keep in touch with us on social media to let us know! Our Facebook page is here.