Blog Archives

Just like on tv, Annabel Cresswell

The Dwarf Who Moved and Other Remarkable Tales from a Life in the Law Peter Williams HarperCollins, $50.00, ISBN 9781775540472 Criminal lawyers love war stories. War stories are great yarns about epic legal disputes, great victories and shocking defeats, where…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

No country for old men, Megan Dunn 

Grahame Sydney Paintings 1974-2014  Grahame Sydney (essay by Vincent O’Sullivan) Craig Potton Publishing, $100.00, ISBN 9781927213254 Myself, Looking Back is Grahame Sydney’s extensive memoir of his childhood and formative artistic years up until his sell-out solo exhibition in 1975. Early…
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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review

The fungibility of human longevity, Charlotte Paul

The Healthy Country? A History of Life and Death in New Zealand Alistair Woodward and Tony Blakely Auckland University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781869408138 Non-Māori New Zealanders lived longer than any other peoples on earth between 1876 and 1940. Figuring out…
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Posted in Health, History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Where’s Rewi? Mary Roberts 

White Ghosts, Yellow Peril: China and New Zealand 1790–1959 Stevan Eldred-Grigg with Zeng Dazheng Otago University Press, $55.00, ISBN 9781877578656 Stevan Eldred-Grigg and Zeng Dazheng have, in some respects, written the book that I’ve been waiting for. This is a…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Sociology

Culinary design and display, Peta Mathias

Kitchens: The New Zealand Kitchen in the 20th Century Helen Leach Otago University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781877578373 Professor Helen Leach, the author of Kitchens: The New Zealand Kitchen in the 20th Century, is simply a national treasure, along with her…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Sources of discomfort, W K Hastings

Murder That Wasn’t: The Case of George Gwaze  Felicity Goodyear-Smith Otago University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781877578991 Part of me wishes this book had not been written. It makes for uncomfortable reading. It is, of course, perfectly legitimate for an author…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Hipster pulp, Dougal McNeill

New Hokkaido James McNaughton Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 978 086473 9766 James McNaughton’s New Hokkaido is not the “adventure that thrills and disquiets at every turn” promised in its blurb, but it does qualify as a page-turner: I read…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Lessons from history, Bronwyn Labrum

Rough on Women: Abortion in 19th Century New Zealand Margaret Sparrow Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9780864739360 Someone I follow on Twitter reported that a friend of hers had no idea that abortion is yet to be decriminalised in New…
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Posted in Gender, Health, History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

For us there is only the trying, Paul Morris 

Tell You What: Great New Zealand Non-Fiction 2015  Jolisa Gracewood and Susanna Andrew (eds) Auckland University Press, $30.00 ISBN 9781869408244 Greatest Hits: A Quarter Century of Journalistic Encounters and Notes from Lost Cities  David Cohen Mākaro Press, $35.00 ISBN 9780994106544…
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Posted in Essays, Media, Non-fiction, Review

Those are pearls that were his eyes, Lindsay Missen

Fingers: Jewellery for Aotearoa New Zealand: 40 Years of Fingers Jewellery Gallery Damian Skinner and Finn McCahon-Jones David Bateman, $60.00, ISBN 9781869538620 Place and Adornment: A History of Contemporary Jewellery in Australia and New Zealand Damian Skinner and Kevin Murray…
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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review
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