Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Books Archive

Month: February 2018

Where the Past Begins (Febrary 2018)

By Amy Tan

February 12, 2018

In Where the Past Begins, Amy Tan is at her most intimate in revealing the truths and inspirations that underlie her extraordinary fiction.

By delving into vivid memories of her traumatic childhood, confessions of self-doubt in her journals and heartbreaking letters to and from her mother, she gathers together evidence of all that made it both unlikely and inevitable that she would become a writer.

Tan explores shocking truths uncovered by family memorabilia – the real reason behind an IQ test she took at age six, why her parents lied about their education, mysteries surrounding her maternal grandmother – and, for the first time publicity, she writes about her complex relationship with her father, who died when she was fifteen.

Written with candour and characteristic humour, Where the Past Begins takes readers into the idiosyncratic workings of her writer’s mind, a journey that explores memory, imagination and truth.

edwin + matilda (February 2018) – Athenaeum Book Club 2018

By Laurence Fearnley

February 12, 2018

An Athenaeum Book Club pick.

I wonder why Edwin’s mother left him – why his mother left and mine stayed?  I mean, which is more damaging – the mother who tells you she loves you and leaves, or the mother who calls you stupid and stays?

This beautifully written new novel by Laurence Fearnley is about finding love in the most unlikely of places.  Set in the southern South Island, it describes the unusual bond formed between sixty-two-year-old photographer Edwin and twenty-two-year-old Matilda, as their relationship grows in ways neither could possibly have predicted.

The Immortalists (February 2018)

By Chloe Benjamin

February 12, 2018

It’s 1969, and holed up in a grimy tenement building in New York’s Lower East Side is a travelling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the date they will die.  The four Gold children, too young for what they’re about to hear, sneak out to learn their fortunes.

Over the years that follow, the siblings must choose how to live with the prophecies the fortune-teller gave them that day.  Will they accept, ignore, cheat or defy them?  Golden-boy Simon escapes to San Francisco, searching for love; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician; eldest son Daniel tries to control fate as an army doctor after 9/11; and bookish Varya looks to science for the answers she craves.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists is a story about how we live, how we die, and what we do with the time we have.


Hellbent (February 2018)

By Gregg Hurwitz

February 12, 2018

To some he was Orphan X.  Others knew him as the Nowhere Man.  But to veteran spymaster Jack Johns he was a boy named Evan Smoak.

Taken from an orphanage, Evan was raised inside a top-secret programme designed to turn him into a deadly weapon.  Jack became his instructor, mentor, teacher and guardian.  Because for all the dangerous skills he instilled in his young charge, he also cared for Evan like a son.  And now Jack needs Evan’s help.

The Orphan programme hid dark secrets.  Now those with blood on their hands want every trace of it gone.  And they will stop at nothing to make sure that Jack and Evan go with it.

With little time remaining, Jack gives Evan his last assignment: to find and protect the programme’s last recruit.  And to stay alive long enough to uncover the shocking truth…

Surprise Me (February 2018)

By Sophie Kinsella

February 12, 2018

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly they even finish each other’s sentences.  They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other.  Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years … and panic sets in.

They quickly decide to create little surprises for each other, to keep their relationship fresh and fun.  But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me – anything from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to photo shoots – mishaps arise with disastrous and comical results.

Gradually, the surprises turn to shocking discoveries.  And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other at all…

The Shout (February 2018)

By Stepehn Leather

February 12, 2018

Vicky Lewis is a force to be reckoned with: not yet thirty and already crew manager in the London Fire Brigade, she’s destined for great things.

But when she enters a burning building to save a man’s life and leaves it with catastrophic injuries, all that changes.  She’s shunted over to the Fire Investigation Unit, where she’s forced to team up with cantankerous veteran Des Farmer, aka the Grouch.

When Vicky stumbles across the Grouch’s off-the-books investigation into the fiery deaths of a series of young, blond women, she decides to join him in his search for the truth.

The answer is close – perhaps too close.  Vicky’s already been burnt once, and now she’s playing with fire…


The Woman in the Window (February 2018)

By A. J. Finn

February 12, 2018

What did she see?

It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home.  Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.

Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours.  When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them.  A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.

But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see.  Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened.  But even if she does, will anyone believe her?  And can she even trust herself?

Still Me (February 2018)

By Jojo Moyes

February 12, 2018

Lou Clark knows too many things…

She knows how many miles lie between her new home in New York and her new boyfriend Sam in London.

She knows her employer is a good man and she knows his wife is keeping a secret from him.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to meet someone who’s going to turn her whole life upside down.

Because Josh will remind her so much of a man she used to know that it’ll hurt.

Lou won’t know what to do next, but she knows that whatever she chooses is going to change everything.

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