Blog Archives

The light and the dark, Geoffrey Miles

The Loblolly Boy and the Sorcerer James Norcliffe Longacre, $19.99, ISBN 9781877460692   Sacrifice Joanna Orwin HarperCollins, $26.99, ISBN 9781869509125   It’s rare for a modern children’s writer to create a really original fantasy creature, but James Norcliffe achieved it…
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Posted in Children, Literature, Review, Young adults

Windows to wonder, Tristan Clark

How to Play a Video Game Pippin Barr Awa Press, $19.95, ISBN 9781877551314   When I was 10, my brother and I stayed the night at my best friend’s house. While there, we hired a Sega Mega Drive – a…
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Posted in Media, Non-fiction, Review

How they probably thought, Nicholas Reid

Rangatira Paula Morris Penguin Books, $30.00, ISBN 978014565758   What is the value to us of historical novels? They are valuable only when they try to reconstruct the mentality of the past. Second-rate historical novels dress up modern characters in…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Problems with facts, Jane Stafford

The Parihaka Woman  Witi Ihimaera Vintage, $38.99, ISBN 9781869797294   New Zealand’s first novel, Taranaki: A Tale of the War, was written by a British (possibly Irish) army officer, Henry Butler Stoney, who served in the conflict. With a speed…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

The difficult decisive moment, Tom Elliott

I Loved You the Moment I Saw You Peter Black Victoria University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9780864736598   The first pages of Peter Black’s I Loved You the Moment I Saw You struck me with their colourful, contemporary design and fine…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Photography, Review

The big picture, Nepia Mahuika

Nga Tini Whetu: Navigating Maori Futures Mason Durie Huia, $49.99, ISBN 9781869694524   Unlike many in the steady stream of publications about things Maori, Mason Durie’s latest book, Nga Tini Whetu: Navigating Māori Futures, turns its attention not to the…
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Posted in Lecture, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

Minding the gap, Tom Brooking

People, People, People: A Brief History of New Zealand Stevan Eldred-Grigg David Bateman, $24.95, ISBN 9781869538132 In 1980 Stevan Eldred-Grigg wrote a provocative study of the great estate owners of the South Island which proved beyond any semblance of doubt…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Orchids in socks, Rae Varcoe

Quarantine! Protecting New Zealand at the Border  Gavin McLean and Tim Shoebridge Otago University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781877372827   The word quarantine derives from the Italian for 40: the number of days deemed appropriate to seclude a vessel known to…
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Posted in Health, Non-fiction, Review

Frame by frame, Paul Wolffram

New Zealand Film: An Illustrated History Diane Pivac (ed) with Frank Stark and Lawrence McDonald Te Papa Press, $85.00, ISBN 9781877385667   It is rare to find a non-fiction book that offers such a fascinating and comprehensive view of its…
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Posted in Media, Non-fiction, Review
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