Blog Archives

Poem – John Ridland

Spring, 1940 (Christchurch)   This morning Mary Ursula Bethell saw “Suddenly a weeping willow green, Beside the mechanic street.” Meantime Frank Thomas, Gear-changing effortlessly his fine machine, Motored over the “grey, stone-heavy bridge” To his garage – his garage –

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Posted in Poem

Story time, Ian Richards

City of Reeds  Tina Shaw Penguin Books, $24.95, ISBN 014029791X City of Reeds, Tina Shaw’s third novel, is a large and accomplished work. It’s an example of a relatively new departure in New Zealand fiction: the story-telling novel. This sort

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

“No place for the flamboyant”, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

Southern Capital Christchurch: Towards a City Biography 1850-2000 ed John Cookson & Graeme Dunstall Canterbury University Press, $39.95, ISBN 0908812876 Christchurch Changing Geoffrey Rice Canterbury University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0908812531 Christchurch is my home city. My heart and my brain

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Springing a trap for islands, Phil Barton

Captain Cook’s World: Maps of the Life and Voyages of James Cook RN  John Robson Random House, $59.95, ISBN 1869414098 The publisher’s blurb states that the book under review  “is an atlas, chronology and biography of the life and voyages”

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Posted in Art, Biography, History, Non-fiction, Pacific, Review

Not plain sailing, Anne French

Shapes on the Wind David Lewis HarperCollins, $29.95, ISBN 073226801X   In 1934, when I was seventeen, I celebrated my last days at boarding school by building a canoe/kayak and informing the headmaster that I was going home in it

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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction, Review

Roads to nowhere? Ruth Butterworth

Building the Constitution ed Colin James Institute of Policy Studies, $45, ISBN 090893548X Some time in 1997, with the prolonged aftermath of the first MMP election still agitating the establishment and mightily diverting the rest of us, the idea gained

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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Rain Queen, Judith Fyfe

Salote, Queen of Paradise  Margaret Hixon Otago University Press, $49.95, ISBN 1877133787 The image of Queen Salote, in London for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in June 1953 – defiantly riding in an open coach in the pouring rain, and regally

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Pacific, Review

Margaret Atwood in New Zealand, Anne Else

Beginnings and Endings   Mostly I want to read what writers write, not look at r listen to them. But in the mid-1980s, I went to hear Margaret Atwood. Murder in the Dark had recently appeared, and she read “Happy

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Posted in Opinion

What about the pets? Suzanne Innes-Kent

Recycled People: Forming New Relationships in Mid-life  Coral Atkinson & Paula Wagemaker Shoal Bay Press, $24.95, ISBN 1877251046 Recycled People is a timely and welcome book. When one examines the generation of any timely idea, one discovers that it arises

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Posted in Health, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

NZ domestic, Lois Daish

At Home in New Zealand: Houses History People  ed Barbara Brookes Bridget Williams Books, $49.95, ISBN 1877242047 Dave the dishwasher, who had recently moved to Wellington from a small town, was drying cutlery behind the counter of a café I

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology
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