Ray Columbus: The Modfather, Ray Columbus with Margie Thompson, Penguin Books, $42.00, ISBN 9780143206576
The 1960s pop-singer who might have been a priest tells his story, with pictures.
Eat, Drink and be Wary: A New Zealand Diplomat Looks Back, Jim Weir, Dunmore Publishing, $34.99, ISBN 9781877399602
The author recounts the highlights of his career with the Foreign Service, and postings to New York, Ottawa, Canberra and Washington.
Wild Heart: The Possibility of Wilderness in Aotearoa New Zealand, Mick Abbott and Richard Reeve (eds), Otago University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781877578205
This country is promoted internationally as clean, green and largely wild. Seventeen essays – by trampers, policymakers, historians and others – explore this idea of wildness.
Day after Day: New Zealanders in Fighter Command, Max Lambert, HarperCollins, $44.99, ISBN 978869508449
Companion volume to Night after Night by the same author, these are the stories of New Zealanders, some still in their teens, who flew day fighters across Europe.
Horncastle’s Suitcase: A New Zealand Family Story, Graeme Horncastle with Mike Bradstock, Pavilions, $29.99, ISBN 9780473182021
First-person account of a difficult life that begins on “a remote run-down West Coast farm with seven brothers and sisters and thirty cows, a frustrated, eccentric father and a devoted forbearing mother”.
From Smoke to Mirrors, Kevin Cudby, Hydraulic Press, $50.00, ISBN 9780473176525
The author lays out his master plan for banishing fossil liquid fuels from New Zealand’s economy by 2040, and replacing them with renewable energy.
Old Bucky and Me, Jane Bowron, Awa Press, $33.00, ISBN 9781877551307
A collection of the Dominion Post and Press columnist’s first-hand experiences of life in Christchurch’s Red Zone. Also starring Benecio the cat.
E Tu Ake: Maori Standing Strong, Huhana Smith, Te Papa Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781877385698
Focusing on the living aspects of Maori culture, not merely artefacts, this richly illustrated volume was published to accompany an exhibition of the same name.
Hell-bent for Life, John Valentine, John Valentine Publishing, $25.00, ISBN 9780473146658
Memoir of a doctor who trained at Otago University, then worked abroad in London, South Africa, Canada and the Pacific.
The Price of Bacon, Jeanette Aplin, Cape Catley, $38.99, ISBN 9781877340261
The story of a remote life on D’Urville Island, without roads or electricity, where the author and her husband raise kunekune pigs.
New Zealand Racism: The Life and Times of Walter Mantell, Harry C Evison, Panuita Press, $59.95, ISBN 9780473175771
Tracking the history of racism in this country through the life of a British colonist who arrived in 1840, aged 19, and eventually became a Maori claims commissioner, scientist and politican.
The NZSO National Youth Orchestra: Fifty Years and Beyond, Joy Tonks, Victoria University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9780864736093
The NZSO archivist and historian draws on the memories of half a century – from the Youth Orchestra’s first conductor, John Hopkins, and successive managers, conductors, soloists, tutors and players.
A Homegrown Cook: The Dame Alison Holst Story, Alison Holst with Barbara Larsen, Hyndman Publishing, $39.95, ISBN 9781877382673
Memoir from the iconic cook whose public career began on television in the 1960s, and whose titles have appeared on bestseller lists ever since.
Psychology for a Better World: Strategies to Inspire Sustainability, Niki Harré, Department of Psychology, University of Auckland, $15.00,
Billed as being “for those who believe it is worth trying to make a world in which both our species and the ecosystems on which we depend can flourish”. A psychologist corrals the latest research.
Museums and Maori: Heritage Professionals, Indigenous Collections, Current Practice, Conal McCarthy, Te Papa Press, $69.99,
Maori taonga are prized by museums around the world. This book examines how they are cared for, and how they engage with indigenous communities and museum visitors.
Artists’ Impressions of New Zealand, Denis Robinson, New Holland, $55.00, ISBN 9781869663308
A large-format collection of landscape images by 50 artists.
Making Our Place: Exploring Land-use Tensions in Aotearoa New Zealand, Jacinta Ruru, Janet Stephenson and Mick Abbott (eds), University of Otago Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781877372889
Three editors from diverse fields have collected essays exploring the interplay between people and place.
An Accidental Utopia: Social Mobility and the Social Foundation of an Egalitarian Society, 1880-1940, Erik Olssen, Clyde Griffen and Frank Jones, Otago University Press, $49.95, ISBN 9781877372643
The final publication based on the long-running Caversham project, a systematic analysis of urban social structure, and marital, worklife and intergenerational mobility, this volume focuses on class.
Fair Weather Trampers: In the New Zealand Bush with the Cock and Bull Tramping Club, Julia Millen and Barbara O’Reilly (illustrations), Writes Hill Press, $30.00, ISBN 97804732000091
Adventures – some disastrous – up and over hills, and down muddy tracks, bushy valleys and creek beds, with a bunch of social trampers.
Devonport: A Diary, Bill Direen, The Holloway Press, $100.00, ISBN 9780986461804
Lively, idiosyncratic mélange of observations and aperçus in letterpress-printed, limited edition by maverick writer.
The Second Location, Bronwyn Lloyd, Titus Books, $30.00, ISBN 9781877441455
A first collection of surrealist stories from a writer whose doctoral thesis dealt with the symbolic portraits of Rita Angus.
John Collier: Portrait of a Fighting Pioneer, Errol D Collier, Pioneer Press, price unavailable, ISBN 9780473191290
A romantic novel based on a diary, chronicling a life of adventure and intrigue after the author’s family leave the poverty of rural England in 1841 to come to New Zealand.
YA and children’s
At the Lake, Jill Harris, HarperCollins, $19.19, ISBN 9781869508845
Simon and Jem are to have a month’s holiday with their granddad at the lake. But the lake has changed. Behind barbed-wire fences are a fierce dog, and the caretaker’s scared wife and children.
Too Many Zeros, Geoff Palmer, Puffin, $25.00, ISBN 9780143306115
Tim Townsend meets two super-intelligent mice with an extraordinary calculator, plunging him and his sister into a weird inter-galactic adventure.
The Lost Tohunga, David Hair, HarperCollins, $23.50, ISBN 9781869508272
Third in the author’s Maori Gothic trilogy, which began with The Bone Tiki.
Just One More, Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop (illustrations), Gecko Press, $22.99, ISBN 9781877487877
A story collection for reading aloud or quietly, from an award-winning writer and illustrator team.
Pearls, Jennifer McIntosh, RSVP, $20.00, ISBN 9780958218290
Elderly Pearl shares her wisdom with her young neighbour, Ayla. Winner of the 2010 Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Award for Unpublished Manuscript.
Great Mates: 30 New Zealand Stories for Children, Barbara Else (ed) and Philip Webb (illustrations), Random House, $29.99, ISBN 9781869791841
The latest in the series of hard-cover story collections for junior readers, this one features friendship.
Yes, Deborah Burnside, HarperCollins, $22.99, ISBN 9781869509255
Marty has trouble with reading people and pleasing his father, but his mate Luke talks him into the Young Enterprise Scheme, in the belief it will make them rich and popular.
Briefcase, John Adams, Auckland University Press, $24.99, ISBN 9781869404918
Debut volume from District and Family Court judge blends poems with legal and other documents in a searching cross-examination of a case of violent assault (or is it?).
So Goes the Dance, Stu Bagby, Steele Roberts, $19.99, ISBN 9781877577154
Third volume from Auckland poet noted for his laconic style and point of view: “Halfway to the garden I change hands,/and imagine Atlas had to spin the world/to stop the oceans sploshing down his boots.”
Trace Fossils, Mary Cresswell, Steele Roberts, $19.99, ISBN 9781877577321
Wry, often likeable poems of memory and loss: “Stay me with videos and comfort me with calendars ‒/in entertaining views of you I always have an out/and I am sick of rain.”
Guarding the Flame, Majella Cullinane, Salmon Poetry, $24.99, ISBN 9781907058796
Well-turned first collection of country-hopping poems by recent arrival: “They believed they were fools ‒ all of them/leaving the tabernacle of youth knowing only/the length of one street, a town square, a monument/inspired by war, a stone hero pointing a rifle in the air,/holding the dead captive in the churchyard.”
Leaving Arms Free to Fly Around You, Nicola Easthope, Steele Roberts, $19.99, ISBN 9781877577574
First collection of by turns passionate and playful poems by Kapiti Coast poet: ”After the airport/I return home to find/the remains of you/in every room/tom-cat marking reminders”.
Apply and Tree, Johanna Emeney, Cape Catley, $28.00, ISBN 9781877340253
First collection of quiet, careful poems: “Humility/is one of those things you have to learn by doing,/like laundry and making a bed from scratch.”
Shift, Rhian Gallagher, Auckland University Press, $24.99, ISBN 9781869404871
Assured second collection by poet returning from London to New Zealand: “Return is an instinct or else it’s a wild dream/bending me to this slow water”.
Lost Relatives, Siobhan Harvey, Steele Roberts, $19.99, ISBN 9781877577116
Debut volume confidently tracking the tricky terrain of how to live elsewhere.
AUP New Poets 4, Harry Jones, Erin Scudder, Chris Tse, Auckland University Press, $24.99, ISBN 9781869404741
The latest trio of new voices in AUP’s excellent series. These distinctive poems combine a deceptive simplicity with elegance and resonance.
Men Briefly Explained, Tim Jones, Interactive Press, $27.99, ISBN 9781921869327
A new collection from a poet who succeeds in being thoughtful, accessible and often laugh-aloud funny. Favourite title: “Baxter-Curnow Band Live at Hyde Park 1969”.
A Messy Affair, Caroline Lark, Steele Roberts, $19.99, ISBN 9781877577260
Acute, sinewy first collection from Auckland-based poet: “From glittering heaven’s moral Hollywood/you who have no genitalia/only an ethereal forefinger/pointing at her that way/you’ll scare her/as if she hadn’t enough to go on with”.
“A Tingling Catch”: A Century of New Zealand Cricket Poems 1864-2009, Mark Pirie (ed), HeadworX, $34.99, ISBN 9780473168728
Poems on the great game by writers as rich and various as Samuel Butler, John Clarke, Brian Turner and James Brown.
Tree of a Thousand Voices, Anne Powell, Steele Roberts, $19.99, ISBN 9781877577109
Third collection of calm, contemplative, sacramental poems by Wellington poet.
Viet Nam: A Poem Journey, Jenny Powell, HeadworX, $24.99, ISBN 9780473143619
These adroit poems adumbrate an answer to the question posed in the introduction to Jenny Powell’s sixth volume of poems: “Is it possible to visit a country in your imagination?”
China as Kafka, Vaughan Rapatahana, Kilmog Press, $65.00, ISBN 9780986466588
Impassioned, open-form poems by Hong Kong-based New Zealand poet exploring geographical, linguistic and identity fissures: “where’s our Maori poems//where’s our words?/not here/not here//turn to the English language/turn to the thieving language//there … .”
Home, Away, Elsewhere, Vaughan Rapatahana, Proverse, $30.00, ISBN 9789881993229
A further collection of poems by Hong Kong-based New Zealand poet exploring cultural and other gaps: “whatever happens/to all/those//un-leashed/mongrel poems … .”
The Corrosion Zone, Barbara Strang, HeadworX, $24.99, ISBN 9780473148188
Second collection from Christchurch poet looking intently through life’s fault lines.
The Colour of Water (or, A Circumnavigation in Three Watches), Paul Thompson, Wai-te-ata Press, $80.00, ISBN 9781877159138
An extended poem inspired by a cruise around the world in which the physical appearance of the blue pages imitates the motion of the white-crested waves.
Tongues of Ash, Keith Westwater, Interactive Press, $27.99, ISBN 9781921869266
Debut collection passionately engaged with the local landscape: “Five days of rain, bitter gales/mass desertion of leaves/bedraggled blackbird, savage at/the last apple’s heart/picking a cadenza for rain bolero.”
Some Evidence of You, Gerry Webb, Steele Roberts, $19.99, ISBN 9781877577161
First collection of carefully crafted, thoughtful poems by Far North homesteader and former Commonwealth postgraduate scholar.
Cactusfear, Douglas Wright, Steele Roberts, $24.99, ISBN 9781877577543
The latest bulletin from the inner life of former avant-garde dancer: “walking was an art when we were young ‒/hips cocked, legs flung/into a loping glide … climbing the rainbow curve of desire”.
The Pop Artist’s Garland: Selected Poems 1952-2009, F W N Wright, HeadworX, $24.99, ISBN 9780473168711
A sympathetic, well-winnowed assemblage of Wright’s poetic productions of nearly 60 years, contains epigrams, triolets, odes, pop songs, sonnets, narrative poems, lyrics, elegies and ballads.