Perks of the job

When I started work at Te Papa in 2000 I once saw the forward programme of exhibitions on someones desk.

It showed that the Henry Moore exhibition was coming; it was still two years away but the idea that it was coming to the museum I worked at filled me with joy. At high school Henry Moore was one of the artists who made me love art. It was these drawings that did it.

At work now I am in a similar position where publishers send me notifications of their upcoming books. It’s exciting to see what’s coming up and even more exciting when they send me books to read that aren’t yet in the shops.

This year I’ve read (thanks to publishers) Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton (Hachette) and A Love Letter from a Stray Moon by Jay Griffins (Text Publishing) – both were a 3/5 read but books I wanted to read and enjoyed getting into.

The next publisher-delivered book on my desk to read is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Random House), which is about a mysterious travelling circus that becomes an international sensation. According to the propaganda on the back it’s “set to be the publishing sensation of 2011.”  I’ll be reading the uncorrected proof – the book doesn’t come out until mid-September – and will post my review once it’s available in shops.

To date, my favourite publisher-supplied read has hands down been When you Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Text Publishing), which is a Young Adult novel that was so good I got through it in a day.

As well as being a cracking read with a good story and a plot with a twist I didn’t see coming, what I loved about this book was that the children in it were children. Their actions and thoughts were the same as ones I remember having; times were simple and easy, friendships were not yet complicated by being teenagers and life was discovered through small, everyday happenings.

Regardless of your age you should read this book. It’s smart, witty, lovely and has the kind of lead female character that should be a role model to all girls.

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