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Ambitious manoeuvres, John McCrystal

Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs Linda Olsson Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 0143020285 Café Wars Barbara Strathdee Tara Publishing, $29.95, ISBN 0476016061 About Turns Maggie Rainey-Smith Black Swan, $27.99, ISBN 1869416791 Look around at any session of any literary festival, and

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Poem — Stephanie de Montalk

Consultation   You say the mind will leave its shallow convolutions and fissures and enter the skin, bone and irascible fluid of the tympanic organ of balance to produce vertiginous dreams and scenes of high drama on stairways and small

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Under cover, Jenny Nicholls

Fronting up: Classic New Zealand Magazine Covers Richard Wolfe David Ling Publishing in association with Auckland War Memorial Museum, $49.99, ISBN 1877378062 There are too many magazines. But I would say that. For a number of years (outside the timespan

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Posted in Media, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

Heroes, villains, fatal flaws, Jenny Robin Jones

Catching the Current Jenny Pattrick Black Swan, $27.95, ISBN 1869417259 Union Belle Deborah Challinor HarperCollins, $31.99, ISBN 186950559X The Love Apple Coral Atkinson Black Swan, $27.95, ISBN 1869417208 New Zealanders, we are told, are avid for their history. To help

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Just looking, thanks, Julia Millen

Going Up, Going Down: The Rise and Fall of the Department Store Helen B Laurenson Auckland University Press, $34.99, ISBN 186940341X Before TV and 24-hour on-tap entertainment, department stores provided escapism on a grand scale. Looking back to my childhood,

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

The Gee-spot, Roger Robinson

Blindsight Maurice Gee Penguin, $34.95, ISBN 0143020234 Alice Ferry, narrator and co-protagonist of Maurice Gee’s new novel, is a mycologist – an expert on fungi. That is, her professional life is devoted to studying spongy, fragile, morbid life-forms that lurk

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On display, Stuart Murray

Making Ends Meet: Essays and Talks 1992-2004 Ian Wedde Victoria University Press, $39.95, ISBN 086473503 In the title essay of this wonderful collection, originally given as a talk on issues of research and archiving at the National Library of New

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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction and Review

Love and damage, Margie Thomson

A Short History of Paradise  Norman Bilbrough Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 0143020358 Kissing Shadows  Renée Huia, $34.99, ISBN 1869692039 How often can one say of local fiction, and mean it, that it’s an absolute delight to read? Known as a writer

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Forging the real, Louise O’Brien

Hibiscus Coast Paula Morris Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 0143019767 The Fossil Pits Tim Corballis Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864735081 With her debut novel, Queen of Beauty, Paula Morris won both the 2001 Adam Foundation Prize for Creative Writing and the

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The ones that didn’t get away, David Hill

How to Catch a Fish Kevin Ireland Awa Press, $24.99, ISBN 0958253862 How to Drink a Glass of Wine John Saker Awa Press, $24.99, ISBN 095823582X Discussing Aldous Huxley’s On the Margin in his 2002 biography of that now untrendy

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