Archive for the ‘slice of life’ Category

An unexpected inheritance gives the Heffley family a chance to make major improvements to their home. But they soon find that construction isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When things get rough, will the Heffleys be able to stay…or will they be forced to move?

Wrecking Ball: Diary of a Wimpy Kid #14

Jeff Kinney


Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Dylan Howell

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball is the 14th book in the bestselling series of kids fiction books written and illustrated by American author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney. It presents another thrilling compilation of events from the life of ‘Wimpy Kid’, Greg Heffley, who compiles dozens of anecdotal insights into the life of himself and his family with every novel. The series has been a success ever since 2004 when the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid (DOAWK) was released on kids’ website ‘FunBrain’ where it received 20 million reads. DOAWK ‘Wrecking Ball’ continues the success of this series in a hilarious new story.

In DOAWK ‘Wrecking Ball’ Greg Heffley and his family embark on a brand new adventure, after receiving an inheritance large enough to convince the Heffley’s to make some home improvements. Of course, hijinks ensue -Mould, rotting wood, rodents living where they shouldn’t be, and Greg is struggling to cope with the potential loss of his best friend, providing new material in another triumph of originality for the series. Which is at heart, a slice-of-life comedy series that shouldn’t be missed by anyone.

As a long time reader of these books, I’ve grown up with the DIAWK series, with Greg Heffley being one of the first protagonists I could ever relate to. Somehow, through over 15 years of writing, and drawing, and his audience of people like me growing up, Kinney manages to make me laugh every single time and I make sure to never miss any new novel. His books are like magic, with every new story he uses his wit and humour to stack up the pieces and jokes so expertly it’s mind blowing when he knocks them all down at the end and you feel like you’re watching the events on the page unfold for real.

More than once did I laugh out loud reading this, the 14th book in the series. These stories are timeless, endlessly original and enjoyable for any age. Diary of a Wimpy Kid deserves all the credit I can give, and this book is another perfect installment in the series that just won’t stop putting out knockout tales from the life of Greg Heffley. I can recommend this book for ages 7+. If you love David Walliams, or Roald Dahl, or if you’re a plain funny human being, I can easily say this explosive comedy novel is for you.

petrolheads in shedsAnother awesome book with slices of Kiwi life!  This one features blokes who collect cars and motorbikes, and usually other things as well, such as tractors, Tiger Moths, Bren gun carriers, and model railways.  The author goes into shed and garages all over New Zealand as he talks to these owners and learns about their collection.  A couple of them have even opened up their collections as museums!

The stories are usually about a page and accompanied by a good number of photos.  Well composed and attractively laid out, it’s the contents of the photos that will make petrolheads drool.  A brief look at the contents of each garage has some interesting shots of some of the objects within.  These will delight motor enthusiasts everywhere.  There are some really unique people out there in New Zealand.  This book shows some really fascinating characters and they love they have for their passion.  A recommended read for anyone bitten by the motoring bug.


Supplied by HarperCollins

Reviewed by Jan

From a Californian native to a celebrity psychic, this book interviews many people and asks why they enjoy fishing, as well as getting them to share tales, tall and otherwise!  This book has snapshots of people’s lives – specifically kiwi fishermen.  The look at their lives is fascinating and they all share a positive outlook on life, enjoying doing what makes them happy. There are some real characters out there and this book lets you view some of them.

Attractively laid out with stunning photos of the New Zealand coastline and rivers, this book looks good and is easy to read.  The format of short interviews with different people telling good stories let readers pick it up and put it down without losing the plot of the book.  You can dive in anywhere and be captivated by a story.

Preferring my fish to be already cooked and on a dinner plate when I see them, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.  This is a must read for the fisherman in your life and for anyone who enjoys a good yarn or two.  Anyone with an interest in New Zealand will enjoy the beautiful photos that accompany each story.


Supplied by HarperCollins

Reviewed by Jan