Wellington’s own Katherine Mansfield features in this month’s new arrivals to the New Zealand collection.

Vincent O’Sulivan has revised and enhanced the 1974 Katherine Mansfield’s New Zealand. New Zealand is seen through Katherines’s eyes with excerpts from her writing and colour added with new images. We also feature two books looking at the Christchurch earthquake from two very different perspectives, one from the NZ volunteer Response teams in Responders and the other focusing on Christchurch cafe life. Also the Battle for Crete, North Island courthouses and family history finish off this month’s picks.

Syndetics book coverKatherine Mansfield’s New Zealand / Vincent O’Sullivan.
“A stunning, fully illustrated guide to the country and times that shaped our greatest short story writer — a feast of images and relevant excerpts from Mansfield’s stories and journals. Katherine Mansfield was born in Wellington in 1888 and died in France in 1923, regarded as one of the finest short story writers of her time. Her country of birth, initially a source of frustration for her, in time came to influence her writing. From Kezia’s Karori journey in Prelude, to the landscape of The Woman at the Store, the images of colonial New Zealand are a distinctive and compelling part of Katherine Mansfield’s writing. A fascinating section of the book details her expedition to the Urewera and thermal regions. The first (monochrome) edition of Katherine Mansfield’s New Zealand appeared in 1974; this edition has been extensively revised, with colourful new images and vivid excerpts from Katherine Mansfield’s writing.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverResponders : the New Zealand volunteer response teams, Christchurch earthquake deployments / Pete Seager & Deb Donnell.
“RESPONDERS: The NZ Volunteer Response Teams Christchurch Earthquake Deployments gives the readers a unique, behind-the-scenes look into the contribution of the New Zealand volunteer response teams in the days and weeks that followed the Christchurch Earthquakes. Twenty two teams of over 300 trained light rescue volunteers came from all over New Zealand to assist a city in shock. They have contributed their private photographs and personal accounts of their deployments to help the 111 Emergency Services and USAR Task Forces provide assistance to Christchurch after the September 2010 Darfield Earthquake and the more devastating 22 February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCafĂ© reflections on Christchurch City, 1975 – 2012 : a tribute to the Christchurch central business district community / Deb Donnell.
“This book looks at life pre-quake for the CBD community, and takes the reader through a personalised account of what happened in the CBD when the earthquake struck, as well as giving an update of the 18 months post quake for Deb, her family, and many of her CBD friends and neighbours”–Publisher’s information.

Syndetics book coverMen of valour : New Zealand and the battle for Crete / Ron Palenski.
“New Zealand’s battle for Crete in the Second World War. For a time in the Second World War, Crete was the prize both sides wanted. The Allies had it and the Germans wanted it. The Germans won. The man in charge of hanging on to it was Bernard (Tiny) Freyberg, the New Zealand Divison commander who was made the Greek island s intended saviour. With him was a ragtag army of New Zealand, Australian, British and Greek troops, most of whom had just been beaten off Greece; they had the clothes they stood up in and most of their arms and ammunition had been left behind in Greece. They had to withstand the mightiest airborne invasion the world had yet seen. They had to confront the elite of Hitler s army, a blitzkrieg from the air. Wearily, both sides fought almost to a standstill. It was a German victory but at such a cost that it was the end of airborne assaults; German losses were almost as many as those of the Allies. The New Zealanders got away thanks to the Royal Navy or on boats they begged, borrowed or stole; many never got away at all.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuilt for justice : visits to old North Island courthouses / Terry Carson.
“Built for Justice tells the story behind 61 old North Island courthouse buildings. Designed and typeset by award winning book designer Anna Egan-Reid, Built for Justice is an attractive hard cover, 176 page book, illustrated with 90 colour images and fifteen black and white. The book through photographs, historical research, newspaper reports and anecdotes takes an entertaining social history look at the role of courthouses in small town New Zealand.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLetters my grandfather wrote me : family origins / Bryan Crawford.
“Receiving two Victorian portraits from his grandfather, the author begins a forty-five year investigation into his famly origins. He discovers an amazing diversity of backgrounds from Yorkshire and Devon ancestors to Scottish kings. The author lives in Wellington.” (Adapted from back cover)