Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Salon: What am I Reading This Week?

Well, it took me over a week to read Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel. It's a massive book, but a really great one. However, now that I'm done with it, I need to start focusing on the chfallenges I signed up for! I am signed up for the Kiwi Challenge and the Clear Off Your Shelves Challenge, and really need to get going with those!

So, to kill two birds with one stone, I am reading Potiki, by Patricia Grace. I originally meant to read The Bone People, by Keri Hulme, but that is a difficult book. According to Library Journal, it has "exotic line breaks and poetic punctuation." Not sure what that means, really, but it doesn't sound like a walk in the park! After Wolf Hall, I just couldn't read a book that required that much concentration and effort, so I picked Potiki up off my shelves instead. I picked up the book while I was in Auckland in 2007, so it's been on my shelf for quite some time.

I'm only about 45 pages in, but it's quite good so far! The writing is simple and lovely. The only thing is that the author liberally sprinkles the writing with Maori words and phrases, but then doesn't translate them, even in a glossary at the end. So I feel like I am missing out on integral parts of the story, but hopefully I'm not. I wonder how many New Zealanders understand that many Maori words. I am sure they understand more than me, which is great. I don't know any Americans that know native American languages. Granted, there are more native languages in America than New Zealand, but still. It's nice that the language has made it as far as it has.

Potiki is a story about the clash of cultures. I haven't gotten to the main part of the plot yet, which is when a land developer tries to purchase the Maori land. I am looking forward to getting there, though, and I'm glad I picked this one up. Maybe once I'm through, I'll feel more willing to visit The Bone People and struggle through that reading :-)


  1. I've heard lots of good things about Potiki. I have not read it yet, but the books and movies I am familiar with from NZ and Aust. are so interesting in how they approach they 2 culture situation. I'll look forward to your review!

  2. I have never heard of Potiki, but you make it sound like a very interesting read. I will be excited to read your review of it I have heard similar things about The Bone People, so it's good that you decided to take it easy after Wolf Hall. I am hoping to get the chance to read Wolf Hall really soon. I think I am in the right mood for a challenging read, so I am looking forward to it.


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