Blog Archives

An old‑fashioned life, David Mackay

Captain James Cook: A Biography Richard Hough Hodder & Stoughton, $54.95 Explorers do not always present easy subjects for biographers. Often the central achievements take up a relatively small portion of their lives and the doggedness and perseverance required for

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction and Review

An inflated importance, John McBeth

Live from the Battlefield Peter Arnett Hodder & Stoughton, $49.95 Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Australia and Fleet Street were the beacons for every New Zealand journalist without a house full of kids or one of those painfully faithful

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Posted in Media, Non-fiction, Review and War

Elusive birds beautifully depicted, Pat Quinn

Moa: The Story of a Fabulous Bird PhilipTemple and Chris Gaskin, Hodder & Stoughton, $11.95 Old Blue: The Rarest Bird in the World Mary Taylor, Ashton Scholastic, $19.95 The South Island ‘sightings’ of the elusive moa provide a timely context

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Posted in Children, Natural History and Review

Unique, fascinating and vulnerable, Alan Mark

Natural History of New Zealand Nic Bishop, Hodder & Stoughton, $59.95 Yet another natural history of New Zealand, I hear you say, but this one is sufficiently different, attractive and up-to-date to appeal to the wide audience that is known

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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction and Review

Fun for the very young, Nicola Chilton

Food is Fun for Young Cooks Dianne Lowry and Jan van der Voo, Book 2 Hodder & Stoughton, Auckland, 1991, $19.95 This book states it is ‘a perfect introduction for 7-12 year-olds to the delights of cooking’. About a quarter

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Posted in Non-fiction and Review

Gavin McLean: Diverse and shorter reviews

The Great New Zealand Fossil Book: Pictures of Ancient Life in an Evolving Land Ron Brazier, Ian Keyes and Graeme Stevens, DSIR Geology and Geophysics, Wellington, 1990, $49.95 On Shaky Ground: a Geological Guide to the Wellington Metropolitan Region Graeme

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Posted in History, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

The intensity of departures from home, Emma Neale

The City Far from Home Margaret Sutherland, Hodder & Stoughton (Sceptre), Auckland, 1991, $19.95 The ‘City’ in the title of Sutherland’s collection of short stories takes on various forms: an island village in Fiji, or mentions of travel to locations

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review and Short stories

From the marae to modernism: the buildings in which we live, Pam Wilson

New Zealand Architecture from Polynesian Beginnings to 1990 Peter Shaw, photographs by Robin Morrison, Hodder & Stoughton, Auckland, 1991, $59.95 ‘New Zealand’s European-derived architectural history may be short but it should be accorded the same respect we now give as a

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Posted in Architecture, History, Non-fiction, Pacific and Review

A new young voice, Kirsty Cochrane

The Kite Ron Bacon and Kelvin Hawley, Hodder & Stoughton, Auckland, 1991, $10.95 Out Walked Mel Paula Boock, John McIndoe, Dunedin, 1991, $16.95 A picture-book format, and a story that doesn’t quite match: which could be a short-story for slightly older

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review and Young adults

Moments of recognition, Lauris Edmond

Speaking to Miranda Caroline Macdonald Hodder & Stoughton, Auckland, 1990, $19.95 Even in the present increasingly sophisticated field of writing for young adults, Caroline Macdonald is something of a phenomenon. Her first book won the prestigious Esther Glen Medal, and her

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review and Young adults
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