Lorde by Marc Shapiro.

Lorde by Marc Shapiro.

LORDE: YOUR HEROINE
Marc Shapiro
Allen & Unwin, $19.99 

If you're a fan of this New Zealand singer, then this unauthorised biography will do nothing to challenge your belief that Lorde is a wunderkind: a musical savant, with amazing intellectual prowess as well. Marc Shapiro does not even try to rein in his enthusiasm; his prose is as gushing as Niagara Falls. Earlier on he confesses, “If there had been a Lorde when I was seventeen… I WOULD HAVE BEEN IN LOVE.” (his capitalisation). Lorde is certainly his heroine and Shapiro is determined to make her yours too in this sycophantic look at her family background and  her rise to fame.

GAP
Rebecca Jessen
UQP, $22.95 

Gap by Rebecca Jessen.

Gap by Rebecca Jessen.

With a nod to Dorothy Porter’s breakthrough verse novel, The Monkey’s Mask, this debut by Rebecca Jessen takes its cues from Porter’s narrative style and crime theme. Twenty-something Ana is the suspect of a murder. But instead of running away as she’s wont to do, her protective instincts towards her younger sister lead her to stay and deal with the circumstances, These include becoming involved with the investigating police officer, a woman Ana had an unresolved relationship with from the past. Jessen’s pared down writing has an urgency to it; there’s no extraneous detail to slow down the momentum. A study in dysfunctional families, there’s enough hope in the end that Ana doesn’t slip through the gap.

THE GRUMPY GUIDE TO LIFE
Hardie Grant, $19.95 

The face that has launched a thousand memes is back with a new book, filled with some of her choice sourpuss observations on life that will amuse any misanthrope. Fed up with hippy-drippy self-help books? Nauseated by that ridiculously peppy Happy song by Pharrell Williams? The Grumpy Cat will provide an antidote to that cheeriness. Here are some of her reflections and advice: “Don’t forget: Every silver lining is part of a larger darker cloud”, “The Great thing about the outdoors is that you can walk around for days and not see anyone.”And, “If life deals you lemons, throw them at someone.”

The Grumpy Guide to Life by Hardie Grant.

The Grumpy Guide to Life by Hardie Grant.

THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH
Mo Willems
Walker Books, $16.95 

Fans of Mo Willems's recalcitrant pigeon will be thrilled to know that he’s back and this time he’s avoiding the bathtub (a situation common with toddlers in the household). The pigeon, though filthy because he has been playing in the mud, refuses to get clean because he had a bath last month. Or at least he thinks so. The water is also at various points, too hot, too cold, too lukewarm and too wet! Of course when he does finally get in the tub, he refuses to leave. With Willems's characteristic humour, the pigeon’s latest adventure will delight bath-resistant kids and their long-suffering parents.