Blog Archives

The rise, fall and rise of the state house, Ian Lochhead

Beyond the State: New Zealand State Houses from Modest to Modern Bill McKay and Andrea Stevens (Simon Devitt photographs) Penguin Books, $75.00, ISBN 9780143570653 In the catalogue of the exhibition, Homebuilding 1814-1954: the New Zealand tradition, held at the Auckland…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

The liberal leftie who learned maths, Matthew Hooton

Incredible Luck Don Brash Troika, $35.00, ISBN 9780473269081 The tradition, when a New Zealand political book is published, is for our small but self-absorbed political class to rush to the nearest bookshop – often Bennetts at 1 Bowen Street, now…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

The longings of the placid, Mary McCallum

Mary McCallum recalls the pleasures of The Wind in the Willows and traces its influence on her first children’s book The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with dusters;…
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Posted in Imprints

The lonely soldier, Peter Ireland

ANZAC  Laurence Aberhart (photographs) and Jock Phillips (essay) Victoria University Press with Dunedin Public Art Gallery, $60.00, ISBN 9780864739339 What to make of all the hoopla surrounding the centenary of WWI? Is it just one thing we’re commemorating – say,…
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Posted in Non-fiction

The dangers of pre-existing narratives, Jane Stafford 

Where the Rekohu Bone Sings Tina Makereti Vintage, $38.00, ISBN 9781775535188 Twentieth- and 21st-century New Zealand literature contains two utterly different narratives, each incorporating an almost diametrically opposed world view. On the one hand, there is the Pakeha narrative of…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Behind the footlights, Amanda Lafoy Brown

The Royal New Zealand Ballet at 60 Jennifer Shennan and Anne Rowse (eds) Victoria University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9780864738912 My parents first took me to see the New Zealand Ballet at the Opera House in Wellington in the late 1970s.…
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Posted in Art, History, Non-fiction, Review

Dear familiars, Helen Curran

Creature Comforts: New Zealanders and their Pets: An Illustrated History Nancy Swarbrick Otago University Press, $55.00, ISBN 9781877578618 A New Zealand Book of Beasts: Animals in our Culture, History and Everyday Life Annie Potts, Philip Armstrong, Deidre Brown Auckland University…
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Posted in History, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Dressing Wellington’s radicals, David Grant

Sewing Freedom: Philip Josephs, Transnationalism and Early New Zealand Anarchism Jared Davidson AK Press, $15.00, ISBN 9781849351324 Philip Josephs was a Latvian-born Jewish tailor who escaped religious persecution in his home country. He emigrated firstly to Glasgow – the industrial…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Hormones and hedges David Hill

Into the River Ted Dawe Longacre, $20.00, ISBN 9781775536048 Dappled Annie and the Tigrish Mary McCallum (Annie Hayward illus) Gecko Press, $20.00, ISBN 9781877579912 Anyone present when Into the River won the Senior Fiction and Book of the Year categories…
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Posted in Children, Literature, Review, Young adults

“Exporting knowledge, not nature” Patrick O’Meara

Get off the Grass: Kickstarting New Zealand’s Innovation Economy Shaun Hendy and Paul Callaghan Auckland University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781869407629 New Zealand is well-known internationally for its digital visual effects expertise, underpinning the success of blockbuster films like Lord of…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review
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