The Luminaries, or How Much I Hate Victorian Literature

Before starting it’s important to be clear that this is not a review of The Luminaries. The Luminaries is extremely well written and I can have no criticism of it in that respect that would be worth a jot. Just re-read that last sentence and it’s clear why. But here’s the thing: I got no […]

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Bookwatch – Herald on Sunday, 11 August 2013

Here’s my Bookwatch column from today’s Herald on Sunday (11 August 2013): Nga Tau ki Muri : Our Future By Ans Westra with Hone Tuwhare, David Lange, David Eggleton, Brian Turner & Russel Norman (Suite Publishing) Celebrated photographer Ans Westra (Wash Day at the Pa) is back in print with another beautiful and moving portrait of […]

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The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett

The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett, Text Publishing, ISBN 9781922079336, RRP $37, Available 26 June. Billed as “a novel of obsession” and “a tale for book lovers”, The Bookman’s Tale should be a delight for anyone who loves history, books and good writing. I say “should”, because sadly it’s not. Insert REALLY SAD FACE here. The […]

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Short reviews for a rainy Sunday

The Secret Life of James Cook by Graeme Lay, 4th Estate, ISBN 9781775540120, RRP $36.99, Available now. The Secret Life of James Cook is a fictional account of Cook’s early years, how he entered the Navy, his early Naval career and ends with his first circumnavigation of the world. It also presents something of a problem: […]

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At the Dying of the Year by Chris Nickson

At the Dying of the Year by Chris Nickson, Severn House, ISBN 9781780290423, UK edition available now, US edition 1 June 2013. I have to say I do like a good historical crime. Separately, those two things are not necessarily my favourite but together they just make sense. They do have to be well-written though and fortunately […]

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Ghosts of Parihaka by David Hair

Ghosts of Parihaka by David Hair, Harper Collins, $24.99, ISBN 9781869509323, 4 April 2013 Ghosts of Parihaka is book 5 in David Hair’s popular Aotearoa series, and it’s the penultimate instalment. It’s nice to have some NZ YA fantastical fiction kicking around. Our hero, Matiu Douglas, is able to slip between two worlds – our modern day […]

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