Blog Archives

Who buys? Nigel Cox

Mountains of the South John Gordon and John Rundle, Random Century, $49.95 There was a time when big “glossies” were of real significance to the book trade. Large-format pictorials with high production values which showed beautiful New Zealand at its…
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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review

Overcoming entomo‑ignorance, Dale Williams

A Houseful of Strangers Patrick Dale, Collins, $19.95 (139 pp) Insects’ lib – the author attempts to defend the smaller occupants of our home environment against what Ruud Kleinpaste calls ‘entomo‑ignorance’. Subtitled ‘Living with the common creatures of the New…
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Posted in Māori, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Dinosaurs, doctors and daredevils, Dale Williams

Valley of the Dinosaurs: The Story of New Zealand’s Dinosaur Woman Joan Wiffen, Random Century, $19.95 (128 pp) When Joan Wiffen’s husband Pont became too ill to attend his geology night classes, this Hawke’s Bay housewife went in his place…
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Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

When people lose hope they die, Ann Beaglehole

By the Moon and the Stars Eva Hayman, Random Century, $24.95 Krystyna’s Story Halina Ogonowska-Coates, Bridget Williams Books, $29.95 When there is nothing left, what stops people huddling in a corner, not doing the things necessary for survival? Where does…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Auckland fabric and flavour, Burwell Hunt

The Heart of Colonial Auckland 1865‑1910 Terence Hodgson, Random Century, Auckland, 1992, $29.95 This book takes a lively look at early Auckland, after the capital was transferred to Wellington in 1865. Concentrating on the lower end of the Queen St…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Weeding greased piglets in the rain, Angela Sears

Unfolding Seasons: Leaves from the Listener Garden Diary Kerry Carman, Random Century, 1992, $24.95 Kerry Carman shares her vast knowledge of plants and gardening with ease and charm. She is a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society, a founder-member of…
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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Current Issues, Joanna Gould

The Greening of New Zealand Scott McVarish, Random Century, 1992, $24.95 Science and the New Zealand Environment M J Taylor, J E Hay, S J de Mora (eds), Dunmore Press, 1992, $32.95 In The Greening of New Zealand, Scott McVarish…
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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review, Science

An opportunity missed, Adrienne Simpson

Strangers in Paradise Jonathan Eisen and Katherine Joyce Smith (eds), Random Century/Vintage, Auckland, 1991, $24.95 There can be no better antidote to hubris than to see ourselves as others see us. A dispassionate observer can pinpoint our foibles and frailties,…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

June 1992: Literary biography, House Notes

Station Life in New Zealand Lady Barker, illustrated edition, Random Century, Auckland, 1991, $45 First published in 1870, Lady Barker’s perceptive account of three years spent on a sheep station in the foothills of the Southern Alps has remained fresh,…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Engaging antics while dusting the general store, Harry Orsman

Shame and Disgrace: A History of Lost Scandals in New Zealand Tony Simpson, Penguin Books, Auckland, 1992, $29.95 Open 7 Days: a celebration of the New Zealand general store Don Donovan, Random Century, Auckland, 1992, $34.95 Tony Simpson writes interesting…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology
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