history

12 beautiful huia birds play and sing in the forest. But is that a canoe arriving? A rat sniffling? A ship on the horizon? One by one, the huia start to disappear – what will remain? 12 Huia Birds is the beautiful but haunting story of one of our country's most beloved native birds. The book… Read More

Michelle Gable’s second book, I’ll see you in Paris, is formulaic, but she does it well. This book has all the elements you’d expect from well written woman’s fiction, light, snappy dialogue, a few plucky women with secrets and a whack of good fashioned romance. Plus a ridiculously happy ending. A young American, Laurel Haley, heartbroken… Read More

A powerful and epic debut about fate and timelessness of first love, The Next Together is a fantastic read. Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presences changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. How many times… Read More

John Boyne had great success with his deeply moving The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas. In his new World War II, Nazi- inspired novel he delivers a similar formula. It is a somewhat slow book with a punch at the end. When I say slow, I don’t mean boring, but it's the pace at which… Read More

Magicians of the Gods, by Graham Hancock, turned out to be a fascinating read from start to finish. I have read a couple of earlier books by Hancock, and as a kid loved the terrible conspiracy works of Erich von Daniken, such as Chariots of the Gods that claimed visitors from outer space helped guide our… Read More

Changing Times is a non-fiction book aimed 7-12 year olds giving an overview of the history of European settlers in New Zealand by following one town through the history of delivering their newspaper. It’s a complex undertaking, presented in comic book style, with snippets of the newspaper. Eleven-year-old Matt is a newspaper delivery boy. He introduces… Read More

They say you should never judge a book by its cover, and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of dread when I first saw The Pounamu Prophecy. While the landscape was instantly recognizable to me as a New Zealander, the ghostly eyes superimposed in to the sky gave the book a cheesy romance feel… Read More

Now and then, between reading my usual literary fiction novels, I like to slow down, curl up with a page turning bestseller or comforting family saga... and simply escape. I hoped that Rain Music, Di Morrissey’s latest novel, would provide a welcome respite to my busy, end-of-year-end-of-study stress. After all, Morrissey has a reputation for… Read More

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