Bookshelf

Non-fiction

Children of Rogernomics: A Neoliberal Generation Leaves School, Karen Nairn, Jane Higgins and Judith Sligo, Otago University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781877578182
A four-year study of 93 young people reaching adulthood in the wake of Rogernomics. What they have to say reveals the impact of neoliberalism.

A Simple Nullity? The Wi Parata Case in New Zealand Law and History, David V Williams, Auckland University Press, $50.00,
ISBN 999781869404840
Ngati Toa gave the Whitireia Block, near Porirua, to the Anglican Church for a college that was never built. But in 1877, the Supreme Court decided in Wi Parata v Bishop of Wellington that the Treaty of Waitangi was irrelevant, and “a simple nullity”.

A Thorn in Their Side: The Hilda Murrell Murder, Robert Green with Kate Dewes, Rata Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780473196851
Its launch marked the 28th anniversary of the UK murder of the author’s aunt, Hilda Murrell. The police held it was a bungled burglary by a lone 16-year-old. Green and others believe it was the work of security services determined to stop Murrell, an active anti-nuclear campaigner, testifying at the Sizewell B public inquiry.

New Zealand Detectives, John Lockyer, Penguin, $42.00, ISBN 9780143205692
A collection of true-life detective stories, revealing frustration, humour, horror and relief, as well as attention to detail.

Five Foot and Fearless, Liz Williams, Penguin, $40.00, ISBN 9780143566939
“I don’t think I can actually remember a time in policing when I didn’t want to join the Armed Offenders Squad. My early reasons for joining probably weren’t the purest, though – I just thought they looked really cool.”

Old Bucky and Me, Jane Bowron, Awa Press, $33.00, ISBN 8781877551406
Bowron’s frontline Christchurch earthquake collected Dominion Post columns, featuring her and Benecio the cat, the backyard gang and the garage people.

Shaken Not Stirred: Family Survival in a Quake Zone, Amanda Cropp, Wily Publications, $30.00,
ISBN 9780927167045
Cropp describes post-quake family life in a collection of columns originally published in the Australian Women’s Weekly.

The Visitation: The Earthquake of 1848 and the Destruction of Wellington, Rodney Grapes, Victoria University Press, $40.00,
ISBN 9780864736864
It was a city of 3000 when the devastating quake struck. The author describes its cause and effects, and the social response.

A Bloke for All Seasons: The Peter Yealands Story, Tom Percy, Wily Publications, $35.00, ISBN 9781927167021
A portrait of the owner of this country’s biggest privately owned vineyard, which is devoted to 100 per cent sustainability.

Wellingtonians: From the Turnbull Library Collections, David Colquhoun, Steele Roberts, $30.00, ISBN 9781877577468
Photographs, paintings, cartoons, manuscripts, posters, sketches and novelty postcards showing aspects of the capital.

The Twelve Cakes of Christmas: An Evolutionary History with Recipes, Helen Leach, Mary Browne and Raelene Inglis, Otago University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781877578199
An illustrated, hard-cover book looking at festive cake-making and how it has and hasn’t changed over the years.

Curious English Words and Phrases, Max Cryer, Exisle, $30.00, ISBN 9781921966019
The truth behind common words and expressions, such as “end of my tether” and “letting one’s hair down”, geezer, sugar daddy and lounge lizard.

True Red: The Life of an Ex-Mongrel Mob Gang Leader, Tuhoe “Bruno” Isaac with Bradford Haami, True Red, $44.00, ISBN 9780473128432
Tuhoe Isaac was born in Wairoa, New Zealand in 1954. By the age of 18 he had moved to the city, shifted to Australia, been in jail and joined one of New Zealand’s most notorious gangs.

Observations: Studies in New Zealand Documentary, Russell Campbell, Victoria University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9780864736567
Documentary film-makers have helped forge our national identity, and the author, a filmmaker himself, looks at major documentaries in a series of essays.

This Way of Life, Sumner Burstyn with Thomas Burstyn and Norbert Guenther (photographs), HarperCollins, $35.00, ISBN 9781869509644
Based on the author’s documentary about a seven-child family living in the backblocks of Hawke’s Bay, who have little material wealth but ride, hunt and kayak.

The Meeting Place: Maori and Pakeha Encounters, 1642-1840, Vincent O’Malley, Auckland University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781869405940
Describing the process of mutual discovery from its original unpredictable beginnings to the more peaceful and stable pre-Treaty years.

A Savage Country, Paul Moon, Penguin, $40.00, ISBN 9780143567387
In 1820, this country had no government or bureaucracy, no newspapers. This is the last in a trilogy concerned with the decades before the signing of the Treaty.

The Saltwater Highway, Gordon McLauchlan, David Bateman, $45.00, ISBN 9781849538286
The story of New Zealand shipping – port development, union agitation, reforms and the arrival of containers.

Naked Truth: Lifting the Lid on the New Zealand Sex Industry, Rachel Francis, Penguin, $35.00, ISBN 9780143567622
A former sex worker talks with industry participants, such as Steve Crow, Lauren Roche, and relatives of Flora Mackenzie – a fashion designer, before becoming owner of a famous Auckland brothel.

Sweet As: Journeys in a New Zealand Summer, Garth Cartwright, Allen and Unwin, $40.00, ISBN 9781877505089
The London-based author takes a road trip around his homeland.

We, The People(s): Participation in Governance, Claire Charters and Dean R Knight (eds), Victoria University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9780864736925
Perspectives from 13 contributors on the role of people in governance under domestic constitutions and administrative structures.

 

Fiction

The Kindness of Your Nature, Linda Olssen, Penguin, $40.00, ISBN 9780143566069
A woman living alone on the North Island’s west coast finds a small boy with webbed hands lying face down on the rugged beach.

The Connoisseur of Love, Gary Forrester, Steele Roberts, $25.00, ISBN 9781877577727
An episodic novel about a German immigrant and public servant who is not at home in his adopted city, Wellington.

The Peastick Girl, Susan Hancock, Black Pepper, $40.00, ISBN 9781876044749
Teresa returns from Melbourne to Wellington on the death of her mother, having written a children’s novel, had two affairs and met a demon.

Anne of the Iron Door, Alan Loney, Black Pepper, $26.95, ISBN 9781876044688
Strassburg, where in 1436 a woman sued the father of printing Johann Gutenberg for breach of promise. A fictional life of a real woman about whom little is known.

Hilary and David, Laura Solomon, Proverse Hong Kong, $19.95, ISBN 9789881993298
An unlikely friendship develops via Facebook between a man and a woman on opposite sides of the world.

Skylark, Jenny Pattrick, Black Swan, $38.00,
ISBN 9781869798048
A picture of colonial theatre life, told through the eyes of leading lady Lily Alouette.

The Sea on Our Skin, Madeleine Tobert, Hachette, $37.00, ISBN 9781444734110
Debut novel about love and betrayal and an imperfect marriage on a perfect small Pacific Island.

 

Children and young adult

Uncle Trev and His Whistling Bull, Jack Lasenby, Gecko Press, $20.00, ISBN 9781877467158
Another in the Uncle Trev series, for readers eight and older.

Steel Pelicans, Des Hunt, HarperCollins, $20.00, ISBN 9781869509338
Pelly gets into trouble over fireworks, so his parents move him back to New Zealand, where he feels like a foreigner until he meets Afi Moore.

The Wolf in the Wardrobe, Susan Brocker, HarperCollins, $20.00, ISBN 9781809509064
Finn comes upon a car accident – and a huge injured wolf, escaped from a circus.

The Drover’s Quest, Susan Brocker, HarperCollins, $20.00, ISBN 9781869509071
Set in the West Coast goldfields, where it’s rumoured that Tom McGee has struck it rich, then been murdered. Only his daughter believes he is still alive.

Wings, Raymond Huber, Walker Books, $18.00, ISBN 9781921720208
Ziggy the honeybee sets out to find the disappearing bees of Tokyo.

Recon Team Angel Book 1: Assault, Brian Falkner, Walker Books, $22.00,
ISBN 9781921720543
Finalist in the 2012 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards. It is 2020 and the world is at war with an alien race. The team of teenage soldiers must slip behind enemy lines.

Sirocco: The Rock-star Kakapo, Sarah Ell, Random, $25.00, ISBN 1869798914
The story of the most famous of the 126 kakapo left on earth. Royalties go to support the Kakapo Recovery Programme.

The Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse, Fredrik Brounéus, Steam Press, $30.00,
ISBN 9780473195779
Mankind’s FAQs have always been: is this edible; excuse me, would you care to breed; and, what happens when we die? George Larson, aged 18, will save the world if he can stop thinking about the first two questions.

 

Poetry

Nice Pretty Things and Others, Rachel Bush, Victoria University Press, $28.00,
ISBN 9780864736918
Third collection of deceptively playful, often arresting poems from Nelson poet: “Some poems are so nice, so very nice/I read them and want/to punch a wall.”

At the White Coast, Janet Charman, Auckland University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781869407285
Sixth collection from distinguished Auckland poet, chronicling her late 1970s trip to the mean streets of London: “the girl below the disco ball at the women’s dance winks/living undercover/Baader-Meinhof she mouths”.

This City, Jennifer Compton, Otago University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781877578106
This quirky, evocative, peripatetic collection from Australia-based poet and playwright won the 2011 Kathleen Grattan Award: “At Camberwell she chants ‒ Change here for the Alamein line./So I did because my uncle used to say that word in a certain way.”

Kingdom Animalia: The Escapades of Linnaeus, Janis Freegard, Auckland University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781869404734
First solo collection from Wellington poet and short-story writer uses the great Swedish naturalist’s six classes to explore the animal world: “imagine shrinking to weta height/on a leafy ballroom floor/gazing up at disco balls in awe”.

Something in the Waters, John Horrocks, Steele Roberts, $25.00, ISBN 9781877577192
Second collection of thoughtful, well-crafted, illustrated poems by Wellington poet, exploring Rotorua and its peculiarities: “it speaks of a contrary singleness of direction,/a slow assault on the healing power of water”.

Flaubert’s Drum, Sugu Pillay, Interactive Press, $28.00, ISBN 9781921869945
Lyrical evocation of places and thinkers: “if Wittgenstein’s lion would speak/in a metaphorical fugue/what would it say?”

Two Sisters, Ila Selwyn, Ventifact Press, No price, ISBN 9780473184902
Third collection from former MC for Poetry Live: “wood pigeons flop/plop on branches/drunk from berries/ fly  up  up  high  higher”.

 

 

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Posted in Literature and Non-fiction
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