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Pity about the people

An excerpt from Too Many Cooks, a novel by Renée.  Belle Vista was beautifully located on top of a hill looking out over Wellington Harbour. There were three pine trees artfully placed around the hill so the view wasn”t too…
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Posted in Extract

Not just a matter of mutton, Vincent O’Malley

New Zealand’s London: A Colony and its Metropolis Felicity Barnes Auckland University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781869405854 Far From “Home”: The English in New Zealand  Lyndon Fraser and Angela McCarthy (eds) Otago University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781877578328 On the day that…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Vanished world, Dale Williams

Buller’s Birds of New Zealand: The Complete Work of J G Keulemans Geoff Norman Te Papa Press, $150.00, ISBN 9781877385889 Kids in a sweet shop. Nineteenth-century naturalists given a brand new country to play in gobbled up the apparent endless…
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Posted in History, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

No eureka moment, Mark Derby

The Making of New Zealanders Ron Palenski Auckland University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781869407261 In these febrile times a passing mention of New Zealand in US media can provoke a front-page response from our own. So it’s instructive to discover that…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Unicorn in the cabbage patch, Desmond Bovey

Aesop’s Kiwi Fables: Paintings  Ray Ching David Bateman, $50.00, ISBN 9781869538453 I spotted Ray Ching’s new book, Aesop’s Kiwi Fables, in our local post office-cum-bookstore. I stopped buying picture books some time ago; they have become so glossily tempting that…
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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review

Eye-witness, Francis McWhannell

William Colenso: His Life and Journeys by A G Bagnall and G C Petersen Ian St George (ed) Otago University Press, $65.00, ISBN 9781877578151 When it was first published in 1948, A G Bagnall’s and G C Petersen’s William Colenso:…
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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review

Unbuttoning, Nadine France

Magnificent Moon Ashleigh Young Victoria University Press, $28.00, ISBN 9780864737632 This Hill, All It’s about is Lifting it to a Higher Level Vaughan Gunson Steele Roberts, $20.00, ISBN: 9781877577840 Three Days in a Wishing Well Kerrin P Sharpe Victoria University…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Cloaks and generic proper nouns, David Hill

A Necklace of Souls R L Stedman HarperCollins, $25.00, ISBN 9781775540069 Ghosts of Parihaka David Hair HarperCollins, $25.00, ISBN 9781869509233 Cattra’s Legacy Anna MacKenzie Longacre, $20.00, ISBN 9781775533184 Phantom of Terawhiti Des Hunt HarperCollins, $20.00, ISBN 9781869509545 Whenever I’m taking…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults

Transformation, Simon Upton

Home in the Howling Wilderness  Peter Holland Auckland University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781869407391 This book is about what can be learned of the environmental and ecological understanding of pioneer farmers in the southern half of the South Island over the…
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Posted in History, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Literary dreams, Elspeth Sandys

In the Memorial Room Janet Frame Text, $35.00, ISBN 9781922147134 It will come as no surprise to readers of Janet Frame’s work that this hitherto unpublished novel is, before anything else, an examination of language, and the slippery, unreliable character…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review
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