Blog Archives

Devouring the monster within, Jon Johansson

Crossing the Floor: The Story of Tariana Turia Helen Leahy Huia, $45.00, ISBN 9781775501633 In Helen Leahy’s Crossing the Floor: The Story of Tariana Turia, a tale is told about Tūtaeporoporo, a taniwha taking the form of a shark. Tūtaeporoporo…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Undesirables and worthies, John O’Leary

The Girl Who Stole Stockings: The True Story of Susannah Noon and the Women of the Convict Ship Friends Elsbeth Hardie Australian Teachers of Media, $40.00, ISBN 9781876467241 May Your Shadow Never Grow Less: The Life and Times of Henry…
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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review

Dazzling, dizzying cornucopias Stella Ramage

Marcus King: Painting New Zealand for the World Peter Alsop and Warren Feeney Potton & Burton, $80.00, ISBN 9781927213704 Vivid: The Paul Hartigan Story Don Abbott RF Books, $65.00, ISBN 9780473337117 Marcus King and Paul Hartigan belong to that interesting…
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Posted in Art, Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Rescuing an heroic figure, Jane Westaway

Petals & Bullets: Dorothy Morris, New Zealand Nurse in the Spanish Civil War Mark Derby Potton and Burton, $40.00, ISBN 9781927213766 In the preface to Mark Derby’s new book, Spanish War historian Angela Jackson writes of the challenge in recounting…
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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Air-brushed, Nicholas Reid

Helen Clark: Inside Stories Claudia Pond Eyley and Dan Salmon (eds) Auckland University Press, $40.00, ISBN 978186940 8381 She led the parliamentary Labour Party for 15 years and served for nine years as New Zealand’s first elected woman prime minister.…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Hero worship, Gyles Beckford

A Few Hares to Chase: The Life and Economics of Bill Phillips Alan Bollard Auckland University Press, $40.00 ISBN 9781869408299 The sages have long counselled that you should never meet your heroes. Should that be extended to writing about them?…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

“A most entertaining little man”, Chris Szekely

Hocken: Prince of Collectors Donald Jackson Kerr Otago University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9781877578 663 Dry bread and milk for breakfast. Dry bread and milk for supper. Not much chop for a boy of eight at Woodhouse Grove in 1844, but…
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Posted in Art, Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Telling our stories to ourselves, Chris Else

Jerome Kaino: My Story Jerome Kaino Penguin, $40.00, ISBN 9780143573562 Wildboy Brando Yelavich Penguin, $35.00, ISBN 9780143573159 The Good Doctor Lance O’Sullivan Penguin, $38.00, ISBN 9780143572510 How Bizarre Simon Grigg Awa Press, $38.00, ISBN 9781927249222 Lydia Bradey: Going Up is…
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Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

The colony’s resident expert of choice, Simon Upton

James Hector: Explorer, Scientist, Leader Simon Nathan Geoscience Society of New Zealand, $45.00 ISBN 9781877480461 Simon Nathan’s biography of Sir James Hector fills a major gap in the nation’s historical bibliography. The reasons why the gap remained unfilled for over…
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Posted in Biography, History, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review, Science

Moss, C K Stead

Maurice Gee: Life and Work Rachel Barrowman Victoria University Press, $60.00 ISBN 9780864739926 When I was young, New Zealand fiction had three Maurices. Duggan (“Maurice”) was the maestro, Gee (“Moss”) the dependable tradesman, and Shadbolt (“Morrie”) the showman. The maestro…
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Posted in Biography, Literature, Non-fiction, Review
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