Blog Archives

Feathers and fins, Janet Hunt

Kakapo: Rescued from the Brink of Extinction Alison Ballance Craig Potton Publishing, $49.99, ISBN 9781877517273 The Tasman: Biography of an Ocean Neville Peat Penguin Books, $62.00, ISBN 9780143011385   Time was when “non-fiction” meant staid, largely black-and-white books on a…
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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Doing our fair share, Tim Hazledine

The Carbon Challenge: New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme Geoff Bertram and Simon Terry Bridget Williams Books, $39.99, ISBN 9781877242465   You will remember Pascal’s Wager. Blaise Pascal (1623-62) was a French mathematical prodigy and philosopher who suggested that even if…
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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Hotting up, Karen Hartshorn

Melting Point: New Zealand and the Climate Change Crisis  Eric Dorfman Penguin Books, $37.00, ISBN 9780143008682 There are several worthwhile reasons for a book such as this to exist. Firstly, there is no longer any serious scientific debate about whether…
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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Felling a forest giant, Janet Hunt

Kauri Keith Stewart Viking, $60.00, ISBN 9780670045525 Keith Stewart’s Kauri is the latest in a succession of publications about this iconic tree, following books by esteemed natural history writers A H Reed, J G Erne Adams, Gordon Ell and others…
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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

With backpack and library card, Chris Maclean

Going Bush: New Zealanders and Nature in the 20th Century Kirstie Ross Auckland University Press, $39.99, ISBN 978186904246 If I have read about 50 pages and still not been drawn into an author’s world, then I usually put the book…
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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Strictly for the birds, Steve Braunias

Charles Fleming’s Cape Expedition Diary: Auckland Islands, 1942-43 Mary McEwen McEwen Associates, $40.00,  ISBN  0473113848 Strange to think that the welcome swallow – a common sight everywhere in the North Island, and absent only in Fiordland and parts of Southland…
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Posted in History, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Why we are here, Bernard Carpinter

Looking for Darwin Lloyd Spencer Davis Longacre Press, $39.99, ISBN 0781877361227 Science has somehow acquired an almost inhuman reputation. Scientists are regarded as dry, dusty specimens, cut off from society and probably working on projects that will cause more harm…
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Posted in History, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

On a wing and a prayer, Christine Johnston

How to Watch a Bird  Steve Braunias Awa Press, $24.99, ISBN 9780958262965 Steve Braunias is preaching to the converted in the case of this reviewer, who lives within cooee of native bush and shallow water. I can admire white-faced herons…
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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Boudicca does it for a jar of mead, David Hill

A Short History of Sheep in New Zealand Richard Wolfe Random House, $29.99, ISBN 1869418204 Instructions for New Zealanders Richard Wolfe Random House, $34.99, ISBN 1869418506 The Smell of Powder: A History of Duelling in New Zealand Donald Kerr Random…
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Posted in History, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

All aboard Moa’s Ark, Bob Brockie

Ghosts of Gondwana: The History of Life in New Zealand  George Gibbs Craig Potton Publishing, $49.99, ISBN 1877333484 Extinct Birds of New Zealand  Alan Tennyson and Paul Martinson Te Papa Press, $64.99, ISBN 0909010218 Ghosts of Gondwana is a remarkable…
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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review
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