If you’re looking for something different, I’ve certainly never experienced anything quite like The Lover’s Dictionary which tells a real and at times fraught love story using dictionary definitions. What’s more, the story is ordered alphabetically rather than chronologically, but segments are always placed thoughtfully and often poignantly in sequence.
Nothing can explain this unusual idea quite like simply picking up the book and seeing for yourself – but I guarantee it will then be difficult to put down. The short definitions – rarely over a page long each – mean it’s spectacularly easy to just keep reading ‘one more’.
But what actually makes this book so special is its beautiful use of language and constantly exquisite yet realistic descriptions of relationships.
Although its 750 odd pages were initially daunting, I’ve read other long King books (such as IT, a personal favourite) and once you’ve started they are always richer and more engrossing for their length.
11.22.63 initially sounds totally different to King’s usual thing – more rooted in history, though with an obvious element of the supernatural with the intrinsic time travel, it follows Jake Epping as he accepts a dying man’s challenge to travel back and attempt to save JFK from assassination. They hope it will improve the world for the better if JFK lives – but these are high stakes.
My plane home left Auckland Airport at 7.30pm so we decided to drive into the city in the morning and see a bit more of the city during the day.
First stop was Auckland War Memorial Museum, in a grand building atop a lush green area overlooking the harbour. We were initially a little miffed at the entry price for international visitors of $25 – but after spending three whole hours there with more still to see, I didn’t mind anymore.
For my last full day in New Zealand I decided to go back to Rotorua to one of the geothermal parks, as it’s an aspect of the country which is quite unusual and therefore a must-do on my list.
After researching the different geothermal parks around Rotorua I went for Te Puia as, although it’s more expensive than some others ($51 instead of around $35), it has Pohutu Geyser which is the biggest active geyser in the southern hemisphere and also more reliable than many – erupting around once an hour on average. It has lots of other attractions too and I ended up staying there for three hours.
We were pretty tired out by Saturday, so had a chilled out day ahead of the big Rugby Championship New Zealand v Argentina game in Hamilton. That’s right, the All Blacks were actually playing in Hamilton during my two weeks here – how lucky is that!
Loads of Frazer’s fellow trainee pilots were also going, and many of us stopped off at the Good George Brewery on the way where I tried a delicious plum cider. There was the obligatory acoustic singer bashing out hits such as Oasis’ Wonderwall and Foo Fighters’ Times Like These and it had a great vibe ahead of the game, with the big screen showing the pre-match stuff. I’d definitely go back, but of course we had to rush off to the stadium a 15 minute walk away.
I live near Twickenham Stadium and have been to one Army/Navy rugby game there, and watched a fair amount of recent Six Nations and World Cup games. But seeing the mighty All Blacks play was just awesome – and to see them doing the haka too.