Currently Reading: April

by Laura Findlay

a thousand paper birds

Dear Zoo,

So I had plans to start blogging again, remember. I wrote a post on the 2nd of April. It hurts a bit, to read that post and know that the writer, me, didn’t yet know what was about to happen. I think that a journey of grief is one of the strangest and hardest experiences a person goes through, because not only is it filled with sadness but frustration and confusion and anxiety and then a swift moving of time.

But anyway, I’m going to write about the books I’ve been reading this month.


  • American War by Omar El Akkad. About 3/4 way through this one. Setting – 2074 and beyond, war wages in America between the north and the south (again), the stated reason being the outlawing of fossil fuels which is SO interesting given the current political discussions in New Zealand (let’s not have a civil war, guys!). This is an ambitious book and it’s quite well done in terms of world-building but I feel that the central story is somewhat lost and the net result is that its just a bit…boring. Interesting idea, though. I look forward to seeing how it ends.
  • A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall. About 1/2 way through this glorious book. Well heck. A book about Kew gardens, a place I adore, about plants, about grief and love. This is very special book though I imagine the softness, the slowness and the prose might not be everyone’s cuppa. I am finding it highly readable in a can’t-put-down way and it feels like a balm on my wounds. Origami and pagodas and Bach!
  • Remix by Lawrence Lessig. Here’s the wild card. You know that thing where we all kind of know that piracy is bad but most people embark on some form of piracy (or are conspiratory) but you also kind of know that the situation involves a weird concentration of power so maybe its not so bad? Well, that’s what I was learning about at Uni this week. If you’re interested in copyright in the digital age Lessig’s book is a fantastic, accessible (not academic) examination of our current information age – he’s a law professor and a freedom of information advocate. Super interesting stuff!