Diplomatic Ladies: New Zealand’s Unsung Envoys, Joanna Woods, Otago University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781877578304
Using private letters and interviews, the author of Katerina: The Russian World of Katherine Mansfield (2001) writes about the wives and daughters who have travelled with a century of New Zealand diplomats.

Fish like a Drink, Joe Bennett, HarperCollins, $25.00, ISBN 9781869509583
A new collection of newspaper columns.

Secrets and Treasures, Ray Waru, Random House, $60.00, ISBN 9781869796891
An illustrated selection of objects from the 100k of holdings of Archives New Zealand.

Te Hao Nui: The Great Catch, Fiona McKergow and Kerry Taylor (eds), Godwit, $65.00,
ISBN 9781869797188
Objects and their stories chosen from Manawatu’s Te Manawa Museum.

An Italian Sojourn: Watercolours, Diaries and Letters of W A Sutton, Pat Unger (ed), Wily, $50.00, ISBN 9781927167014
Words and images from the Christchurch-born artist’s 300 days in early 1970s’ Italy.

Sinai Journal: 30 Years of Kiwis Serving with the Multinational Force and Observers, Sarah Chandler and Charlie O’Hara-Smith (eds) Willsonscott, $30.00, ISBN 9780478348026
Last year marked the 30th of this little-known peace-keeping mission. This book relates the adventures of 80 of its personnel, via photos and anecdotes.

Family Business: An Italian-New Zealand Story, Vincent Moleta, University of Canterbury Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781927145333
The story of the author’s maternal grandparents, who came from Stromboli, off the north coast of Sicily, and established themselves in this country. They raised five children, and set up two successful fish markets.

Quarantine Inspected, Jamie D Baird, Primedia, price unavailable, ISBN 9780473212391
An explanation of the work of quarantine inspectors in keeping our borders biosecure.

Matiatia: Gateway to Waiheke, Paul Monin, Bridget Williams Books, $35.00,
ISBN 9781927131459
The Waiheke historian tells the story of the bay from the first Maori settlement to today, exploring archaeology, politics, ecology and society.

Fire in the Hills, Helen Beaglehole, University of Canterbuy Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781927145357
The history of rural fire fighting in New Zealand, from the vast Maori and settler burn-offs through to the role played by 3000 volunteers.

Fatu Feu’u on Life and Art, Shona Jennings, Little Island Press, $55.00, ISBN 9781877484131
The Samoan-born painter, printmaker and sculptor – who has been exhibiting for 30 years – reflects on his life and work.

New Flags Flying: Pacific Leadership, Ian Johnstone and Michael Powles (eds), Huia Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781775500131
The stories of the leaders who emerged in the Pacific as Australia, Britain, New Zealand and the USA withdrew from the islands they had ruled for 100 years.

Travels with my Economist, Lisa Scott, David Bateman, $30.00, ISBN 9781869538224
The hell and joy of six months in India.

Pilgrimage: A Traveller’s Guide to New Zealanders in Two World Wars, Garrie Hutchinson, Penguin, $50.00, ISBN 9780143567790
A practical guide to the battlefields, cemeteries and memorials of the two wars, from Gallipoli to the Western Front and North Africa to Italy.

Vinacular: A Wine Lover’s A-Z, Scott Kennedy and John Saker, Awa Press, $25.00,
ISBN 9781877551611
A small hard-cover book debunking wine pretensions, with illustrations.

A Wife on Gorge River, Catherine Stewart, Random House, $40.00, ISBN 9781869799236
In a follow-up to her husband’s A Life on Gorge River, Stewart tells of her 22 years living on the remote south Westland coast and raising two children.

Dogfight: The Battle of Britain, Adam Claasen, Exisle, $35.00, ISBN 9781921497285
Another in the ANZAC Battles Series, this one tells the story of New Zealanders and Australians who took part in one of WWII’s defining campaigns.

Double Happiness: How Bullshit Works, Joe Bennett, HarperCollins, $30.00,
ISBN 9781869509576
Bennett examines the avalanche of everyday dishonesty that surrounds us in the form of commercial, spiritual and political bullshit.

Home and Away: Award-winning Travel Stories by New Zealand Writers, Graeme Lay (ed), New Holland, $35.00, ISBN 9781869663735
An anthology celebrating 20 years of the annual Travcom media awards, featuring stories from winners, who include Steve Braunias, John McCrystal, Virginia Larson and Kapka Kassabova.


A to J: The Wandering Jew, Peter Dornauf, Handmade Press, $29.00, ISBN 9780473218188
A young Jewish architect tries to recover from a failed marriage by taking a European coach trip. He is caught up in romantic encounters, and political antagonisms.

The Homeland of Pure Joy, William Dewey, Lawrence and Gibson, $25.00, ISBN 9780473207496
On a misty Wellington morning, actor and émigré Parker Flynn sees a ghost from a past life that releases a torrent of memories about his first love.

Easy Whistle Solo, Richard Meros, Lawrence and Gibson, $25.00, ISBN 9780473219222
If the exact trajectory of the author of this book is extended via the present linear direction then in 2029 the author will be the protagonist of this book.

$30 Meat Pack: The Complete Written Correspondence between Richard Meros and Creative New Zealand Volume Two, Richard Meros, Lawrence and Gibson, $25.00, ISBN 9780473229009
A right-wing government champions art for the sake of the nation, restructuring Creative New Zealand and reorienting artists away from glum navel-gazing and towards a bright future of belt-tightening.

The Aviator, Gareth Renowden, Limestone Hills Publishing, $34.00, ISBN 9780987669735
A post-climate change satire, in which the protagonist flies around the world in his high-tech airship encountering the remnants of our civilisation.

Write my Face, Kathy Sutcliffe, Glass House Books, $44.00, ISBN 9781922120014
Jackie McKay is rescued from drowning by Ethan. It’s not the first time he has stepped into her life.

Children and young adult

The Red Poppy, David Hill and Fifi Colston (illustrations), Scholastic, $33.00,
ISBN 97818869439989
Young soldier Jim McLeod waits in the trenches of WWI with his friends and Nipper, the messenger dog, for the order to attack. When they charge across no-man’s-land, Jim is shot … and finds himself face to face with an enemy soldier.

Hedgehog’s Magic Tricks, Ruth Paul, Walker Books, $28.00, ISBN 9781921977688
Hedgehog does magic tricks. Today his helper is Mouse. Hedgehog is going to make Mouse disappear.

Mister Whistler, Margaret Mahy and Gavin Bishop (illustrations), Gecko Press, $35.00,
ISBN 9781877467912
A finalist in this year’s New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. In a rush to catch his train, the absent-minded Mister Whistler loses his train ticket.

Farmer John’s Tractor, Sally Sutton and Robyn Belton (illustrations), Walker Books,
ISBN 9781921150944
“Farmer John’s tractor lies locked in the shed,/Rusty yet trusty and orangey-red.”

Maddy West and Tongue Taker, Brian Falkner and Donovan Bixley (illustrations), Walker Books, $23.00, ISBN 9781921977671
Maddy West can speak every language in the world. When she is asked to translate some ancient scrolls, Maddy is excited. But the scrolls hide many secrets.

The Boy in the Olive Grove, Fleur Beale, Random House, $20.00, ISBN 9781869799861
A YA novel from the award-winning author. On the night of her 18th birthday, Bess Grey sees images of a witch-burning, and – from another time – images of two lovers. The girl is herself.


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