Bookseller at the End of the World, The

Shaw, Ruth

  7 Reviews

By any measure, New Zealander Ruth Shaw has led an extraordinary life, whether it was sailing the Pacific, working with drug addicts and prostitutes in Sydney's Kings Cross, feeding archbishops or running a charter boat around Fiordland.

Equal parts adventure and loss, Ruth's eventful life has had one constant - books - and now to the delight of the reading public, she runs wee bookshops in Manapouri.

Captivating and honest, this is a fascinating memoir that combines the wisdom of a passionate reader with the story of an unconventional life shaped by tragedy but redeemed by courage and determination.

Comments from BDS Reviewers

"Great book - I do recommend it."

"First chapter was a wee bit bland, but from then on, it was riveting."

"The book not only interested me throughout, but it left me warmly disposed to the author and her achievements."

"Incidents and thoughts are described clearly and honestly."

"Such an eventful life makes for a very interesting read."

"Well written, brutally honest, utterly captivating."

"The author's life story is superb, the bookshop chapters less so, but they are short."

"The sexual content was necessary to the story and is not over-dramatised."



We all loved this book. Beautifully written and a great story that generated an interesting discussion.
RICH 005
Wow! What an amazing book - what an amazing life Ruth Shaw has had. This book was loved by our entire group and led to a great discussion. One of our group had been in the Wrens with Ruth and another works with someone who had been at school with her, both were surprised at her life experience. We felt she was trying to escape her experience 'in the bus'. We all came to the conclusion that our lives have been 'very ordinary' by comparison.
'A brave book', 'a wonderful story-teller', 'couldn't stop reading it', 'the bookshop stories were fascinating and a tribute to the empathy of the author'.
ROTO 003
We all loved this book... a candid, honest retelling of the author's life! Discussion about different times; flight from difficult situations/relationships.
Entertaining and very readable. We would all like to visit Manapouri, and visit the 'Bookseller' and other shops.
CHCH 544
We loved the book. Easy to read. Flicking between times made it interesting. We got the feeling that the author was now at peace and happy. There were horrible parts though - like the rape. People liked the stories about her life rather than the bookshop stories.
Our entire group overwhelmingly enjoyed this book. Covering so many topics and many small kindnesses - there was much discussion. Everyone agreed they would thoroughly recommend, and most were very keen to visit Ruth and the bookshops in Manapouri. A few of our group found rape a really hard/confronting topic, and others, the baby loss. But on the whole we really enjoyed this super read.