Blog Archives

Treasure in Stevenson’s Pacific, Roger Robinson

Robert Louis Stevenson: Sophia Scarlett and Other Pacific Writings Robert Hoskins (ed) AUT Media, $25.99, ISBN 9780958282925 “Samoa was susceptible of no ‘style’, ” complained Henry James, cantankerous about his friend Robert Louis Stevenson’s decision to live in the faraway…
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Posted in Literature, Review, Short stories

Whisper and shuffle, Elspeth Sandys

Adam’s Ale Bronwyn Tate Brava Publications, $30.00, ISBN 9780473133986 Reading a novel written while the author was dying and published posthumously, is, inevitably, an experience tinged with sadness. I knew Bronwyn Tate only slightly, but I admit I’ve been unable…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Ruck on, Chris Knox

The Swinging Sixties: When New Zealand Changed Forever Graham Hutchins HarperCollins, $49.99, ISBN 9781869506537 Missed opportunities – don’t you just hate them? I was a little apprehensive about The Swinging Sixties, given that Graham Hutchins was primarily known for his…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Darts and sledgehammers, Sue McCauley

Two Little Boys Duncan Sarkies Penguin Books, $28.00, ISBN 9780143020912 Acid Song Bernard Beckett Longacre Press, $29.99, ISBN 9781877460111 Girlie Gillian Ranstead Penguin Books, $28.00, ISBN 9780143010005 “I thought it was one of those boys’ books,” said a friend when…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

White bread doorstops, Lois Daish

First Catch Your Weka: A Story of New Zealand Cooking David Veart Auckland University Press, $49.99,  ISBN 9781869404109  There’s an Aberdeen sausage, rosy pink and coated in breadcrumbs, on a plate in my fridge. I’d never made one before and…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Zero waste, Martin Edmond

Into the Wider World: A Back Country Miscellany Brian Turner Godwit, $44.99, ISBN 9781869621421 Near the beginning of the seventh of the 34 essays in this book, the 16-year-old Brian Turner, full of teenage angst and contemplating suicide, is sitting…
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Posted in Essays, Literature, Poetry, Review

Less English than the English, Tony Simpson

Settlers: New Zealand Immigrants From England, Ireland and Scotland 1800 to 1945  Jock Phillips and Terry Hearn  Auckland University Press, $39.99,  ISBN 9781869404017  Over the next few years, our official historians have announced, they will concentrate attention on our immigrant…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Obituary — Dianne Ruth Pettis

Dianne Ruth Pettis  (1955-2008) Dianne Ruth Pettis was a fiction writer and poet, who published under the name Ruth Pettis. She was born in Waipawa in Hawke’s Bay and worked as a journalist, a script writer for the Natural History…
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Posted in Obituaries

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

Editorial — Issue 84

Going online Now in its 18th year, New Zealand Books is coming of age. Starting with this issue, you’ll be able to read us online as well as in print. Thanks to the foresight of our publisher Peppercorn Press and…
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Posted in Editorial
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