Blog Archives

Lies and damned lies, Gyles Beckford

Truthteller Stephen Davis Exisle Publishing, $30.00, ISBN 9781925335897 “Aren’t we all investigative journalists?” my colleague asked, as we lamented the quality of the coffee at an early hour in the newsroom kitchen. “We’d all like to think so,” I replied.…
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Posted in Media, Non-fiction, Review

Searching for the whole truth, Bill Hastings 

Shirley Smith: An Examined Life Sarah Gaitanos Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781776562176 In Wellington, it is difficult to find a lawyer, judge, or even a member of the Mongrel Mob of a certain age, who does not have a…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Diplomat, translator, academic … Ken Ross

From Cairo To Cassino: A Memoir Of Paddy Costello Dan Davin Cold Hub Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780473474485     Paddy Costello’s forte was Russian scholarship. Dan Davin’s was academic publishing. Each acquired other formidable reputations by which they are better known to…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Watching the watchers, Ian F Grant

Dead Letters: Censorship And Subversion In New Zealand 1914–1920 Jared Davidson Otago University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781988531526 Dead Letters contains intriguing detail about a random cast of now-forgotten people who were considered likely subversives in New Zealand during WWI. For…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

The Hutt Valley takes Manhattan … Murray Bramwell

Book Of Cohen  David Cohen Steele Roberts, $30.00, ISBN 9780947493882 Book Of Cohen is a singular volume with multiple objectives: “This was always going to be a work by one Cohen (that would be me) on another Cohen (that would…
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Posted in Essays, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Is work what makes us human? Alex Beattie

How To Be Human In The Digital Economy Nicholas Agar MIT Press, $27.00, ISBN 9780262038744 Take a minute to consider the speed with which technology is changing our everyday lives. The opening hours of local banks have reduced due to…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Psychology, Review, Sociology

Hurting in different ways, Veronica Maughan

Life On Volcanoes: Contemporary Essays Janet McAllister (ed) Beatnik Publishing, $25.00, ISBN 9780994138392 Life On Volcanoes: Contemporary Essays first and foremost intimidated me. I am 19, a second-year university student. I work part-time in a café, as a waitress. I…
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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction, Review

Here be gods, monsters and mortals, David Eggleton

Pūrākau: Māori Myths Retold By Māori Writers Witi Ihimaera and Whiti Hereaka (eds) Penguin Random House, $38.00, ISBN 9780143772965 In Pūrākau: Māori Myths Retold By Māori Writers, the retelling of mythic stories is a communal activity, with one storyteller picking…
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Posted in Literature, Māori, Review

Well packaged history, Anna Mackenzie

Amundsen’s Way: The Race To The South Pole Joanna Grochowicz Allen and Unwin, $19.00, ISBN 9781760637668 The Telegram Philippa Werry Pipi Press, $23.00, ISBN 9780473462826 Amundsen’s Way delivers exactly what it promises on the cover: the story of Norwegian Roald…
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Posted in Children, History, Non-fiction

On not relying on truthiness, Brian Easton 

A Conversation With My Country Alan Duff Penguin Random House, $39.00, ISBN 9780143773269 In 1990, a comet brightened the New Zealand literary scene and society with the publication of Alan Duff’s Once Were Warriors, for it involved both an extraordinary…
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Posted in Māori, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology
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