Blog Archives

Outrageous fortune, Chris Bourke 

Gutter Black Dave McArtney HarperCollins ISBN 9781775540397 Hello Sailor were New Zealand’s most convincing rock stars. They acted like pirates, and managed to look menacing and foppish at the same time. It wasn’t a pose; it was a lifestyle. They…
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Posted in History, Memoir, Music, Non-fiction, Review

Knowing their stuff, Anna Rogers

The Phoenix Song John Sinclair Victoria University Press, $38.00, ISBN 9780864738257 The Secret Life of James Cook: A Novel Graeme Lay HarperCollins, $37.00, ISBN 9781775540120 “It takes a great deal of history,” wrote Henry James in 1879, “to produce a…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Cloaks and generic proper nouns, David Hill

A Necklace of Souls R L Stedman HarperCollins, $25.00, ISBN 9781775540069 Ghosts of Parihaka David Hair HarperCollins, $25.00, ISBN 9781869509233 Cattra’s Legacy Anna MacKenzie Longacre, $20.00, ISBN 9781775533184 Phantom of Terawhiti Des Hunt HarperCollins, $20.00, ISBN 9781869509545 Whenever I’m taking…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults

No proof of innocence, W K Hastings

Trial by Ambush: The Prosecutions of David Bain  Joe Karam HarperCollins, $45.00, ISBN 9781869508340 I am reasonably new to the criminal justice system, having been appointed a judge in 2010, and seem to be one of the few people in…
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Posted in History, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Magnificent obsession, Spiro Zavos

Graham Henry: Final Word Bob Howitt HarperCollins, $50.00, ISBN 9781869509736 Here is an heroic assertion. Graham Henry is the greatest coach in the history of rugby. His rivals for this title include Danie Craven, Carwyn James, Fred Allen and, possibly,…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review, Sport

Becoming somebody, Angelina Sbroma

The Brain Sucker Glenn Wood Walker Books, $19.00, ISBN 9781921933633 The Queen and the Nobody Boy Barbara Else Gecko Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781877579233 How to Sell Toothpaste Leonie Thorpe HarperCollins, $25.00, ISBN 9781869509422 Glenn Wood’s The Brain Sucker is the…
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Posted in Children, Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults

Walking upon ashes, Harry Ricketts

The Search for Anne Perry Joanne Drayton HarperCollins, $45.00, ISBN 9781869508883 So Brilliantly Clever: Parker, Hulme and the Murder that Shocked the World Peter Graham Awa Press, $42.00, ISBN 9781877651123 On 22 June 1954, in Victoria Park, Christchurch, 16-year-old Pauline…
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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review

The hand of fear, Mandy Hager

Telling Lies Tricia Glensor  HarperCollins, $20.00, ISBN 9781869509347 Earth Dragon, Fire Hare Ken Catran HarperCollins, $25.00, ISBN 9781869509415 There seems to have been a rash of books recently about our involvement in the two world wars, and both these YA…
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Posted in Literature, Review, Young adults

Superheroic coping, Tatjana Schaefer

Reach Hugh Brown HarperCollins, $23.00, ISBN 9781869509569 Broken Elizabeth Pulford Walker Books, $22.00, ISBN 9781921529887 Both Reach and Broken feature episodes of the superhero genre, and in each case this element of the story functions as an exploration into the…
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Posted in Graphic novel, Literature, Review, Young adults

Captaining your soul, David Hill

The Ant and the Ferrari Kerry Spackman HarperCollins, $40.00, ISBN 9781869509590 Fate and Philosophy Jim Flynn Awa Press, $33.00, ISBN 9781877551321 Half a century ago, C P Snow famously fulminated in The Two Cultures against arty-farty types condescending to physicists…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology
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