5 New Books You Should Add To Your Book Club’s Reading List

The long nights and cold mornings are well and truly upon us. Add these newcomers to your must-read list.

Chase the Rainbow
Poorna Bell
In this incredibly personal story, Poorna Bell shares with the world how her husband took his own life and how he got to that point. Her aim? To challenge us to talk about mental illness and dismiss the stigma surrounding mental health. This is especially important in men considering suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45. Poorna embarked on a journey spanning New Zealand, India and England to find out how the man she loves arrived at that desperate, dark moment.


Black Marks on the White Page
Edited by Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti
This book presents new and uncollected stories and excerpts from Maori and Pasifika writers from all over the world. The aim of the book, according to the editors, is to create a conversation, or a talanoa. This goes beyond what is expected from Oceanic writing and the boundaries faced, first being where we live and the fact that Pasifika writing generally does not include Maori writing. ‘In Black Marks on the White Page we have taken a more inclusive approach: we wanted to remember our kinship in the wider Pacific,’ the editors write.


Daring to Drive
Manal al-Sharif
Manal al-Sharif once burned her brother’s Backstreet Boys cassettes in the oven because music was haram. Now she is speaking out against the rules and religion in Saudi Arabia after being arrested and imprisoned for ‘driving while female’. After a trip to America, where she got a license, she returned and convinced her brother to help her drive. Sympathetic women friends videoed the moment she was behind the wheel, and the video was viewed worldwide. In June 2011, the same year as her first driving video streamed, she shared another video on YouTube encouraging women to participate in a Women2Drive campaign. The video was viewed nearly 700,000 times in one day.


Out of the Ice
Ann Turner
Environmental scientist, Laura Alvarado, is sent to a remote Antarctic island to report on an old whaling station to see if it should be made available for tourists. Only, nothing is what it seems. Alvarado is met at the station by unhelpful and reluctant scientists and her questions about the station and the surroundings go unanswered. In this eerie thriller, Alvarado vows not to stop until she unearths the truth. In this multifaceted story, the author deals with heartbreak, environmental issues, refugees, human trafficking and the many forms of human weakness.


Hunger: A Memoir of (my) Body
Roxane Gay
Outspoken feminist and essayist, Roxane Gay, has a knack for touching on unspoken topics that need to be discussed.  In her latest book the best-selling author of Bad Feminist discusses something that few of us speak about in day-to-day life – our self image and the traumas that can both come from, or cause, unhappiness of our bodies. For Gay, this journey began when she was 12 and victim to gang rape. In the book she admits that she sees her weight and the trauma she has experienced as “the ugliest, weakest, barest parts of me…I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe,” she writes.  She discusses this taboo and vulnerable issue while discussing her honest relationship with food, weight and self image.