Category: Recent picks

NZ Collection Recent Picks

Roses are red, violets are blue, here’s some New Zealand poetry and some other topics too! A mixture of poetry, caravans, horses, New Zealand Women, exploration, jewellery and murder cover some of the variety of topics of the recent arrivals in the New Zealand Collection this month.

Syndetics book coverBeing here : selected poems / Vincent O’Sullivan.
“BEING HERE is the first book to survey the entire span of Vincent O’Sullivan’s poetry, from Bearings (1973) to new poems first published in this volume. On display is the full range of the wit, intellectual agility and arresting beauty of one of New Zealand literature’s finest poets. Hardback, Cover painting by Karl Maughan Vincent O’Sullivan is one of New Zealand’s leading writers, author of the biography of John Mulgan, Long Journey to the Border, the novels Let the River Stand and Believers to the Bright Coast, and many plays and collections of short stories and poems. He is joint editor of the five-volume Letters of Katherine Mansfield and has edited a number of major anthologies. He lives in Dunedin.” (Abridged Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJerusalem sonnets, love, Wellington Zoo / David Beach.
“In his fourth collection David Beach tackles a subject inescapable for any New Zealander writing sonnets; a subject inescapable for any writer of sonnets at all; and a subject which is just inescapable.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhistling in the dark / John O’Connor.
“Whistling in the Dark comprises two approximately equal sections: (1) poems and (2) prose poems; both sections were written between 1994 and 2012. The poems cover a range of topics and themes and include ‘Mother and Child’, the winning poem of the Poetry Society’s International Poetry Competition, 2006. All poems have been previously published in magazines, journals and anthologies. The prose poems are, more accurately, a combination of prose poems and hybrid forms of the prose poem. As such they represent a departure from the standard prose poem as found in NZ and international journals and magazines. Again, there is a range of topics and themes and most of the pieces have been previously published in magazines, journals and anthologies. Whistling in the Dark is the 11th book of poems by John O’Connor.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDear Neil Roberts / Airini Beautrais.
“It is November 18, 1982. Neil Ian Roberts is 22 years old. He walks up to the Police Computer Centre in Whanganui, at 12.35am. Who was Neil Roberts? This is the search for the story of a quiet young man, an anarchist, a figure who moves differently, or vanishes altogether, in different versions of history. How are such people remembered; how are they forgotten? As much a work of documentary as poetry, this extraordinary book considers the uncomfortable event of Neil Roberts’s death, its significance in the context of 1980s New Zealand, and how this action has reverberated through others’ lives, including the poet’s own.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA great indoors for the great outdoors : the story of Liteweight caravans / Don Jessen.
“In 1946, a practical-minded New Zealander became interested in caravans as a way of holidaying and decided to build one for his family in his garage. From this humble beginning a story of Kiwi ingenuity emerged, with Liteweight Caravans growing to become an iconic New Zealand brand, which for over four decades led the country, and sometimes the world, in technical design and innovation. Liteweight produced more caravans than any other caravan manufacturer in New Zealand and, today, more than 25 years after the factory closed, the majority of its caravans are still in use. This is a story as much about people as it is of caravans, and the person at the heart of the story is Tek Jessen, Liteweight¿s founder.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBridled passion : a tribute to our Kiwi equestrians / Margot Butcher.
“New Zealand equestrians riding high have become a regular source of pride for Kiwis. Bridled Passion is a beautiful compendium dedicated to celebrating the 30-year success story of New Zealand’s best equestrian sportspeople and their fine-tuned steeds. From 1960 Olympics pioneer Andrew White through to the magic medal-winning moments of Sir Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson, Sally Clark, Blyth Tait, Tinks Pottinger, Vaughn Jefferis and their contemporaries, this book celebrates New Zealand’s high-performance equestrian story; the riders and horses through whose exploits we have discovered the thrill of a fast, clean cross-country and the agony of a clipped rail!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNiue 1774-1974 : 200 years of contact and change / Margaret Pointer.
“Tiny Niue lies alone in the south Pacific, a single island with formidable cliffs rising from the deep ocean. Far from the main shipping routes and with a daunting reputation, “Savage Island” did not naturally invite visitors. Yet Niue has a surprisingly rich history of contact, from the brief landings by James Cook in 1774 through to the 19th-century visits by whalers, traders, and missionaries, and into the 20th century when New Zealand extended its territory to include the Cook Islands and Niue. Using a wide range of archival material from Niue, New Zealand, Australia, and Britain, Margaret Pointer places Niue center stage in an entertaining and thoroughly readable account of this island nation through to 1974, when Niue became self-governing.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKobi Bosshard : goldsmith / Damian Skinner.
“A survey of the work and ideas of a leading New Zealand jeweller who has been critical to the development of studio craft in Aotearoa. Born in Switzerland, Kobi Bosshard came to New Zealand in 1961. His expertise as a traditionally trained goldsmith is centre stage in this beautifully illustrated book, which is published as part of Objectspace’s Masters of Craft series. Written by art historian Damian Skinner, it provides a perceptive and informative discussion of Bosshard’s life and work, describing over five decades of contemporary jewellery that explores the possibilities of the craftsperson’s role in creating sophisticated and unique objects for people to wear and own.” (Inside front cover)

Syndetics book coverDumont d’Urville : explorer & polymath / Edward Duyker.
“Explorer Jules-Sébastien-César Dumont d’Urville (1790-1842) is sometimes called France’s Captain Cook. Born less than a year after the beginning of the French Revolution, he lived through turbulent times. He was an erudite polymath: a maritime explorer fascinated by botany, entomology, ethnography and the diverse languages of the world.” (Dust jacket)

Syndetics book coverAll those yesterdays / Elspeth Biss. “This is a story many New Zealand women – particularly those who grew up in the country – will identify with. Elspeth Biss was brought up on Hawke’s Bay farms in the 1940′s; attended boarding school in the 1950′s; trained as a nurse, married and had her children in the 1960′s. As she writes: The 1960′s may well have been ‘The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius’, as the popular song had it, with the Beatles, Mary Quant and the mini-skirt, but for me and most of my friends it was a decade of child raising, washing nappies, Plunket and kindergartens.” (Abridged Back Cover)

Syndetics book coverMurder that wasn’t : the case of George Gwaze / Felicity Goodyear-Smith.
“This book tells the story of the case of Zimbabwean-born New Zealand resident George Gwaze, twice charged and twice acquitted of the rape and murder of his 10-year-old adopted niece, Charlene Makaza. When Charlene was found unconscious one morning, gasping for breath, with a high fever and lying in a pool of diarrhea, her family rushed her to the Christchurch 24-hour clinic. She was treated for overwhelming sepsis and transferred to the hospital, but sadly her life could not be saved. What unfolds next is a surreal set of events so improbable that they seem fictitious. Murder That Wasn’t meticulously explores the facts surrounding this case based on scientific, medical, and court records and individual interviews to tell this family’s extraordinary story.” (Syndetics summary)

A new year and new additions to the New Zealand Collection

The New Zealand Collection continues to grow with an amazing array and selection of books. This month features topics that vary from the submerged continent of Zealandia on which New Zealand is located, to the science of earthquakes a topic that can frighten and amaze. Economic topics also feature with a book on the NZ CPI (Consumers Price Index) or a book about the coal industry. Culturally we can read about taonga puoro, Māori musical instruments in Ara Puoro or find out about Chinese and New Zealand relationships in White Ghosts, Yellow Peril.

Syndetics book coverZealandia : our continent revealed / Hamish Campbell & Nick Mortimer.
“Imagine a typical continent with seemingly endless land in all directions. There are broad valleys and uplands, wide-open vistas across undulating plains, and upstanding mountain ranges far in the distance. There may be prominent features that command attention and draw the eye, such as odd-shaped hills, peaks, pinnacles, mesas and volcanoes. And there may be canyons, valleys, gorges, large depressions and basins. Now imagine this same continent under the sea, and largely drowned.Welcome to Zealandia. A big book full of big ideas, and brought to you by renowned GNS scientists Hamish Campbell (co-author of In Search of Ancient New Zealand) and Nick Mortimer, Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed is in every respect a landmark publication – thought-provoking, visually stunning and eminently readable.” (abridged Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLiving on shaky ground : the science and story behind New Zealand’s earthquakes / Matthew Wright.
“The extraordinary story of New Zealand’s earthquakes, the science and forces that shape them, and the danger of earthquakes yet to hit. This is the story of New Zealand’s turbulent tectonics, how earthquakes are measured and described, and how scientists are predicting future shakes across New Zealand. The must-have guide for anyone affected by earthquakes in New Zealand, those curious to know what’s next in-store, or anyone studying the evolving science behind them.” (abridged Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe New Zealand CPI at 100 : history and interpretation / edited by Sharleen Forbes and Antong Victorio.
“Very few New Zealanders have lives unaffected by the Consumers Price Index, or CPI. It is used by the New Zealand government to adjust student allowances, welfare benefits and superannuation; by the Reserve Bank to guide monetary policy; by the old Court of Arbitration, and by employers and employees, to negotiate wages; and by the media to inform the public about the effects of price changes on their standard of living. Whichever way you look at it, the CPI is a fascinating window into New Zealand’s social and economic history.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGreat tales from New Zealand history / Gordon McLauchlan.
“An intriguing collection of tales plucked from the byways of our country’s history by a master storyteller who recognises a good yarn when he sees it. Gordon McLauchlan tempts our imagination with 46 little-known tales from New Zealand’s past. This great collection of tales explores issues which have fascinated New Zealanders and filled many a page in many a history book over the years. Gordon McLauchlan, a master storyteller who recognises a good yarn when he sees it, brings a fresh perspective on some old and often vexed periods in New Zealand’s history.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNo. 8 re-wired : 202 New Zealand inventions that changed the world / Jon Bridges & David Downs.
“If necessity is the mother of invention then Kiwi ingenuity is its father.No. 8 Re-wired is a comprehensive, colourful treasury of New Zealand inventions – jam-packed with the stories behind 202 home-grown creations and the crafty people who dreamt them up. From well-known innovations (human flight, the discovery of DNA, the pavlova) to lesser-known feats (instant coffee, the referee’s whistle, the electronic petrol pump) to the newest in high-tech world-firsts (robots and jetpacks!), it is the most complete and entertaining book ever on Kiwi ingenuity. And, yes, the pav is definitely ours. A surprising and absorbing account of Kiwi can-do, and a celebration of the No. 8 wire spirit on which New Zealand is built. (abridged Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCoal : the rise and fall of king coal in New Zealand / Matthew Wright.
“This book tells the story of coal’s moral rise and fall and of the place it held in New Zealand hearts and minds for a century and a half. Coal was the heroic fuel of New Zealand’s 19th and early 20th centuries, the fuel on which the colony grew.” (abridged Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhite ghosts, yellow peril : China and New Zealand, 1790-1950 / Stevan Eldred-Grigg with Zeng Dazheng.
“White Ghosts, Yellow Peril is the first book to explore all sides of the relationship between China and New Zealand, and the peoples of China and New Zealand during the whole of the seven or so generations after these two countries initially came into contact. The Qing Empire and its successor states from 1790 to 1950 were vast, complex, and torn by conflict. New Zealand, meanwhile, grew into a small, prosperous, orderly province of Europe. Until now, the story of the links and tensions between the two countries during those years hasn’t been so broadly and thoroughly presented. The book is a highly readable portrait of the lives, thoughts, and feelings of the Chinese who came to New Zealand, as well as the New Zealanders who went to China. (abridged Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTe ara puoro : a journey into the world of Māori music / Richard Nunns with Allan Thomas.
“One of the largely unseen consequences of the European colonisation of Aotearoa was that the playing of, and knowledge about the traditional musical instruments of the Maori almost completely disappeared. In the 1970s Richard Nunns, started asking questions of his Maori friends about these instruments, which sparked a 40-year journey of rediscovery. Te Ara Puoro tells the story of Richard’s remarkable journey; of how fragments of knowledge given by elders were pieced together through countless presentations and performances on marae the length and breadth of the country; of how the instruments were re-created and developed; and of how he subsequently mastered their playing.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeadline : the gripping memoirs of a pioneering newsman / by Alan Sayers.
“A veteran reporter’s life of recording NZ history, war, tragedy, sporting greatness and delight, etc. From his time in naval intelligence during World War 11 to his career as a ground-breaking photo journalist. If all the world’s a stage then Alan Sayers has met most of the cast – from miscreants and murderers to hobos and heroes. His life as a photo journalist has led him to dive the depths for gold and scale the heights for survivors…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeyond the imperial frontier : the contest for colonial New Zealand / Vincent O’Malley.
“Beyond the Imperial Frontier is an exploration of the different ways Maori and Pakeha ‘fronted’ one another – the zones of contact and encounter – across the nineteenth century. Beginning with a pre-1840 era marked by significant cooperation, Vincent O’Malley details the emergence of a more competitive and conflicted post-Treaty world. As a collected work, these essays also chart the development of a leading New Zealand historian.” (Syndetics summary)

Meet the Berry Boys in the New Zealand Collection Recent Picks

A chance discovery of some long forgotten photographic plates and a public appeal via a television news program led to us being able to meet the Berry Boys. They were first noted in a documentary screened in August on TV1 which is still available at TV1 On Demand at the moment. They are now in our featured new arrivals to the New Zealand Collection. The Berry Boys are some of the 130 ordinary World War One servicemen in uniforms whose photographs were amongst those photographic plates. The book and documentary are about these soldiers and their families. Also featured are some more of the many new books on WWI that have been published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the war’s outbreak.

Syndetics book coverBerry boys : portraits of First World War soldiers and families / Michael Fitzgerald and Claire Regnault.
Berry and Co, established in 1897 by William Berry, was a Wellington photographic studio producing commissioned portraits for the first decades of the twentieth century. In the 1990s, a tenant of 147 Cuba Street, Wellington, discovered around 3,000 glass plate negatives in a cupboard. This transpired to be the remarkable Berry and Co Collection. Amongst the studio portraits in the collection are around 130 showing ordinary World War One servicemen in uniforms, sometimes posing with families and friends. Many of these would have been taken before the men left to fight, or while on leave from the European theatres of war. Together, they offer a potent snapshot of the New Zealand of the time and the changing face of the war itself. But who were they? What happened to them in the war? Do they have any descendants still alive? If so, Te Papa wanted to make contact to learn more about their lives. On 29 September 2013, TVNZ’s Sunday programme spread the word, and a remarkable public response helped reunite many soldiers with their identities. A new TVNZ documentary, Berry Boys: The Speakers for the Dead, about the Berry soldiers’ stories will screen later in 2014

Syndetics book coverNo better death : the great war diaries and letters of William G. Malone / edited by John Crawford with Peter Cooke.
This is an updated and corrected edition of a work published by Reed Publishing in 2005. “In association with the New Zealand Defence Force to commemorate the centenary of the First World War”.

Syndetics book coverHolding on to home : New Zealand stories and objects of the First World War / Kate Hunter and Kirstie Ross.
“An illustrated social history about New Zealand’s experience in the First World War”–Publisher information. The Great War seeped and stormed into every aspect of New Zealanders’ lives, from the frontline to the family home. The things that survived – a crumpled theatre ticket, an engraved cigarette case, a knitting pattern, a crucifix made from rifle cartridges – are emotional touchstones that bring this distant event back into our hands. Historians Kate Hunter and Kirstie Ross have scoured museums and archives across the country to uncover these personal possessions and the stories they tell.

Syndetics book coverNo front line : inside stories of New Zealand’s Vietnam war / Claire Hall.
Explores New Zealand involvement in the Vietnam War from the viewpoint of New Zealand participants. Includes accounts from military personnel such as gunners, infantrymen, pilots and troopers, as well as non-combatant personnel such as engineers, medics, aid workers, nurses, journalists and entertainers. The personal accounts are taken from a collection of 150 oral history interviews conducted under the auspices of the History Group of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

Syndetics book coverFrank Worsley : Shackleton’s fearless captain / John Thomson : [edited by Judith Watson].
“This book is a biography of Frank Worsley, without doubt one of New Zealand’s greatest, but largely unsung adventuring heroes. Born in Akaroa… the greatest adventure of his life began when he became the captain of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance, which was trapped in pack ice on the 1914-1916 Antarctic expedition and slowly crushed. The crew of 28 spent over a year camped on the Antarctic ice before Shackleton, Worsley and four others sailed a tiny lifeboat across the wild Southern Ocean to South Georgia to summon help for the rest of the men, who were all eventually rescued. This 17-day journey remains one of the greatest ever feats of seamanship and relied totally on Worsley’s brilliant navigation. For the rest of his life he continued to seek adventures in a manner contemporaries described as ‘fearless’.” (Adapted from publisher’s description.)

Syndetics book coverLegends in black : New Zealand rugby greats on why we win / Tom Johnson with Andy Martin, Geoff Watson and Margot Butcher.
“Up close and personal with All Black greats – Meads, Lochore, Haden, Shelford, McCaw and others – as they reveal the secrets to our winning ways”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverParadise saved : the remarkable story of New Zealand’s wildlife sanctuaries and how they are stemming the tide of extinction / David Buter, Tony Lindsay & Janet Hunt.
“Tells the gripping story of how we are turning back the tide of extinction. It is a celebration of pioneering science and a national survey of the sanctuaries, little and big, that are protecting native species and reintroducing them to areas where they had once been extinct. It covers over 130 sanctuaries, with up to date information on where to find them, how to visit and how to do your part”–Back cover.

New Zealand’s history, not just the rich and famous

The past stories and history of New Zealand are not only the domain of the rich and famous. This month in the New Zealand collection we feature some stories of early pioneers whose names are not famous or well known but who played their part in the history of New Zealand.

Syndetics book coverOur stories : the way we used to be : the New Zealand that time forgot… / edited by Ian Wishart.
Every day, thousands of news stories are published in New Zealand, chronicling the big events and the small. Most of these stories are long forgotten by the time historians get around to compiling the ‘official record’ of our country. Discover the heroes and villains of our past through long forgotten news stories, and find out how life really was in pioneer New Zealand. (Adapted from back cover)

Syndetics book coverWorking lives c. 1900 : a photographic essay / Erik Olssen.
For the men and women of the skilled trades in the early 20th century, the skills and knowledge of their respective crafts were a source of identity and pride. Together with the so-called unskilled, who built the infrastructure for the new society, these workers laid the cultural and social foundations of a new and fairer society. This book uses photographs to show two processes fundamental to creating a new society: the transformation of swamp into farmland then city-scape, and the transplantation of the knowledge and skill required in the Old World that were essential to building a new world. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRough on women : abortion in 19th-century New Zealand / by Margaret Sparrow.
“Stories of abortion in 19th-century New Zealand, from newspaper accounts, court records and coroner’s reports”–Publisher information. The women in this book are all long dead and little is known of their inner lives. Most of what we know about them comes from coroners’ reports and newspaper accounts, and in many cases we know more about their abortionists than the women themselves. Women obtained abortions by whatever means they could, despite the dangers of poisoning, haemorrhage, and infection. And abortionists did their work despite the threat of long prison sentences or even the death penalty. (Adapted from back cover)

Syndetics book coverStolen lives : a New Zealand foster child’s story from the ’40s and ’50s / Netta England.
Netta and her older brother Ray hardly knew their mother. She was a strange woman who made occasional visits, and they did not even know they had a Father. Instead from a very early age they lived with foster parents and at school were treated as different. Growing up, Netta became increasingly aware that her foster mother disliked her. Though never starved, Netta suffered neglect, as well as mental, physical and sexual abuse. After her brother’s death in 1976, Netta, by then married with a grown up family, began her long journey to learn about and understand what had happened in the past. She wanted to find out if somewhere out there was a family, her own family that she could belong to. How would she find them, and would they want to know her? She needed to find her roots. Stolen Lives is the record of Netta’s journey from a neglected and abused state ward, to a woman who discovers her heritage and creates a positive life regardless of her upbringing. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPete the Bushman : hunting tales and back-country lessons from a wild West Coaster / Peter Salter with Nigel Zega.
The adventures of Pete the Bushman, a wild West-coaster from Pukekura, New Zealand’s answer to Crocodile Dundee and a man who owns his own town. This book about a true New Zealand bushman, of a life lived against the grain, of adventure in New Zealand’s thickest wilderness and a lifestyle any Kiwi bloke would envy. Pete the Bushman has lived a life inseparable from the bush – these are his stories of running down deer on foot, heli-hunting in his own chopper, finding the perfect woman and eking out a living from the bush. He and his wife Justine run the Bushman’s Centre, 35 mins south of Hokitika, established in 1991 as a place to show visitors how local people use the South Island forest. Also known as ‘Possum Pete’, the Bushman is one of the eccentric and colourful characters featured on TVNZ’s ‘This Town’. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVertical living : the Architectural Centre and the remaking of Wellington / Julia Gatley and Paul Walker.
“… we of this Architectural Centre in Wellington are a group of architects and draughtsmen and wood engravers and other people whose greatest claim to affiliation is an overriding enthusiasm for good design” – Design Review, 1948. In 1946, just as the Group was being established in Auckland, Wellington established the Architectural Centre. Members of both were young and idealistic, and they shared common beliefs – in the transformative potential of modern architecture, in need for urban development to be carefully controlled, in the desirability of planning for a better future. This book recovers the powerful history, politics and architecture of the Architectural Centre to return us to a vision of a modernist city, partially realised in Wellington New Zealand. Gatley and Walker begin writing the city back into the history of architecture in this country. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJourney to a hanging / Peter Wells.
“In 1865, Rev Carl Sylvius Volkner was hanged, his head cut off, his eyes eaten and his blood drunk from his church chalice. One name – Kereopa Te Rau (Kaiwhatu: The Eye-eater) – became synonymous with the murder. In 1871 he was captured, tried and sentenced to death. But then something remarkable happened. Sister Aubert and William Colenso – two of the greatest minds in colonial New Zealand – came to his defence. Regardless, Kereopa Te Rau was hanged in Napier Prison. But even a century and a half later, the events have not been laid to rest. Questions continue to emerge: Was it just? Was it right? Was Kereopa Te Rau even behind the murder? And who was Volkner – was he a spy or an innocent?” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverHow we remember : New Zealanders and the First World War / edited by Charles Ferrall and Harry Ricketts.
“Essays by a raft of historians, writers and other prominent figures reflect on our different forms of remembering and re-membering, what we have cherished and valued, forgotten and ignored, constructed and reframed” (Publisher information)

Syndetics book coverVictory : New Zealand airmen and the fall of Germany / Max Lambert.
“Here are the vivid, inspiring and previously unpublished stories of the New Zealand fliers – most in their early 20s, some still teenagers – who lived and died in the service of their country while flying with the Royal Air Force from bases in Britain and from airfields in northwest Europe after the invasion of 1944, published to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D Day and the beginning of the end of World War II” (Publisher information)

Recently added to the New Zealand Reference Collection

The days are getting shorter and evening time is here. So it’s the perfect time to come up to the 2nd floor of the Central Library and check out the “new book” area of the New Zealand Reference Collection. Always eclectic and something for everyone.

Syndetics book coverWhales and dolphins of Aotearoa New Zealand.
“For centuries whales and dolphins have captured our imaginations. We have revered and mythologised them, hunted them to the brink of extinction and passionately protected them . But how much do we really know? Marine mammal expert Barbara Todd uses a powerful combination of science and culture to explore whales’ incredible diversity, biology and adaptation to life in the oceans.” (abridged from jacket cover)

Syndetics book coverLazy days : painting the Kiwi lifestyle / Graham Young.
Join artist Graham Young on a painted journey through everyday life in New Zealand” (back cover)

Syndetics book coverVisible : 60 women at 60 / photography by Jenny O’Connor.
“Photographer Jenny O’Connor was born in 1952, the year that the highest number of births was recorded in New Zealand. She, and the women who feature in Visible, are part of the ‘baby boom’ generation. In 2011, as Jenny headed toward her 60th birthday in 2012, she began to wonder how other women nearing this same milestone felt about themselves, how society saw them and what their thoughts about their future were. Jenny’s desire to explore these questions was how this book began; by talking to 60 women who were 60 when she took their photograph. The words are theirs, writing whatever each wanted to say about themselves.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeyond the state : New Zealand state houses from modest to modern / text, Bill McKay and Andrea Stevens ; photography Simon Devitt.
“A full colour illustrated history of New Zealand’s state housing traditions featuring modern-day examples of 14 state houses located around the country, ranging from original to dramatically renovated.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverPaul Callaghan : luminous moments / foreword by Catherine Callaghan.
“Acknowledged internationally for his ground-breaking scientific research in the field of magnetic resonance, Sir Paul Callaghan was a scientist and visionary with a rare gift for promoting science to a wide audience. He was named New Zealander of the Year in 2011. His death in early 2012 robbed New Zealand of an inspirational leader. Paul Callaghan: Luminous Moments brings together some of his most significant writing. Whether he describes his childhood in Wanganui, reflects on discovering the beauty of science, sets out New Zealand’s future potential or discusses the experience of fatherhood, Sir Paul Callaghan offers eloquent narratives that will endure in this country’s literature. Meeting with the cancer that ended his life, he documents for us all ways of living well in the face of illness. As his daughter Catherine writes in her moving foreword: ‘He became his own scientific experiment.” (publisher desription)

Syndetics book coverJoan Bullock Morrell, sculptor / [edited with introduction by] Valerie Cowan.
“Joan Bullock Morrell is an artist of international repute and one of New Zealand’s foremost bronze sculptors. After being awarded the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal in recognition of services to the country, she received a QSM in 1995 for her work in the community. Joan has created an extensive body of work in her 45-year career. Many are works of self-expression, but she has also been in demand to produce pieces for private collections and for display in public places, and has been exhibited in New Zealand and overseas. This book, profusely illustrated with examples of Joan’s work, examines the inspiration for each sculpture and gives the reader an insight into the creative process of bronze casting.” (publisher desription)

Syndetics book coverFitz : the colonial adventures of James Edward FitzGerald / Jenifer Roberts.
“The story of James Edward FitzGerald, whose energy and enthusiasm contributed so much to the early history of Christchurch. Orator, writer, politician and journalist, he was the first Canterbury Pilgrim to set foot in New Zealand, first superintendent of the province of Canterbury, first leader of the general government, and founder of the Press newspaper. From his early years in the Anglo-Irish gentry of England to his old age as auditor-general of the colony, FITZ is a gripping biography that reads like a novel, breathing new life into the extraordinary man who played a major role in public life through fifty years of New Zealand history.” (back cover)

Katherine Mansfield and the big OE

For many kiwis the big OE is a right of passage, it is almost a qualification and wouldn’t look out of place on a curriculum vitae. During the 19th and early 20th century many New Zealanders viewed Britain as home even though they had never been there. This has continued and London is usually the home base and trips to Europe aretaken as soon as enough money is earned. Arriving in the NZ Collection this month Flying Kiwis A History of the OE Jude Wilson provides a history of the Kiwi OE. Also new this month is a book by Kirsty Gunn about her experience of returning to Wellington and her time spent writing at Katherine Mansfield house. This got me thinking about how Mansfield was of course one of New Zealand’s most famous OE travellers. So I have also included some of the titles that Kirsty had in her bibliography as a celebration of Mansfield and of course the OE.

Syndetics book coverFlying Kiwis : a history of the OE / Jude Wilson.
“Leaving home to see the world is something that succeeding generations of young New Zealanders have done in ever-increasing numbers. The ‘overseas experience,’ or the ‘OE,’ has been the topic of countless individual travel accounts, and has provided subject matter for plays, films, and novels. Until now, there hasn’t been a history of the OE. Based on the oral accounts of several hundred travelers across all seven decades of the OE, this vibrant history shows how the OE has changed over time. Well illustrated with the ephemera of popular culture surrounding youth travel, Flying Kiwis traces the emergence of the OE, as well as the transport, media, and other networks that have supported it. Laced with humor and entertaining anecdotes, Flying Kiwis is an essential read for anyone who has arrived in a foreign city with only a few dollars and the address of a friend’s cousin.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverThorndon : Wellington and home : my Katherine Mansfield project / Kirsty Gunn.
“For London-based writer Kirsty Gunn, returning to the city of her birth to spend a winter in a tiny colonial cottage in Thorndon is an exciting opportunity to walk the very streets and hills that Katherine Mansfield left behind on her departure from New Zealand, but later longed to revisit. For Mansfield, Gunn writes, home was an instant ‘go-to’ zone for invention and narrative and characterisation and setting. For Gunn, home is now two places – Here and there the same place after all.” (Publisher information)

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.” (abridged Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverNew Zealand stories / Katherine Mansfield ; selected by Vincent O’Sullivan.
“A collection of Mansfield’s short stories set in New Zealand, selected by Vincent O’Sullivan, and published in the order in which they were written. An introduction by the editor is followed by 29 stories and unfinished sketches written between 1905 (About Pat) and 1922 (The Canary).” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Katherine Mansfield notebooks / edited by Margaret Scott.
“The first of two volumes of the first publication of Mansfield’s private notebooks including diary entries, letters, unfinished works, poems, published stories in embryo form, recipes, and shopping lists. This volume covers Mansfield’s childhood and adolescence, and the cover features photographs of the 46 notebooks in the collection of The Alexander Turnbull Library.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKatherine Mansfield : a secret life / Claire Tomalin.
“British biographer Tomalin (Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft) here reinterprets the life and career of the great New Zealand-born short story writer and her relationships with family and friends. Writing from a perspective different from that of previous biographers Antony Alpers and Jeffrey Meyers, and allowed to examine letters not available to them, she is less sympathetic than they to John Middleton Murry and more appreciative of D. H. Lawrence’s importance to Mansfield.” (abridged Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverThe collected letters of Katherine Mansfield / edited by Vincent O’Sullivan and Margaret Scott.
“The second installment in the projected five-volume edition of the correspondence of one of the most significant twentieth-century short-story writers. During the months covered here, Mansfield was battling the lung disease that would eventually kill her; she was in and out of England, seeking warmer climates, and as a consequence was often separated from her husband, critic John Middleton Murray. Loneliness, ill health, her work, her moods these preoccupations come across in her letters with the same sort of rigorous insouciance that characterizes her incomparable short fiction. Even in an informal piece of correspondence, Mansfield could not fail to be incisive and eloquent. These letters are essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century literature.” (abridged Syndetics Summary)

I want to live in a lighthouse!: New Zealand Collection Spotlight

Growing up I always thought how wonderful it would be to live in a lighthouse. The images of a lighthouse recklessly sitting on a lonely rock, with giant waves crashing all around never failed to grab my attention. While at the beach I would be daydreaming of long climbs up spiral staircases to be rewarded with views of seascape stretching out forever. When I heard the call of seabirds I would be imagining opening the lighthouse door to my very own and very private front yard fishing spot where I could drop my line and minutes later be frying up fresh tamure for breakfast. These daydreams all came back to me when the beautiful new book Lights in the landscape: New Zealand Lighthouses arrived onto the New Zealand Collection desk this month. My pick is the Moeraki Totara and Kauri lighthouse but for location I’d have to say Kahurangi Point perfectly positioned at the river mouth. Which lighthouse would all you other wistfull lighthouse fanciers out there choose?

Syndetics book coverLights in the landscape : New Zealand lighthouses / photographs [and text] by Grant Sheehan.
“A spectacular photographic journey from New Zealand’s most northern lighthouse at Cape Reinga, to our most southern, in Foveaux Strait. The book shows not only the lighthouses themselves but also the landscape around them, capturing the wild beauty of the coastline, the often unpredictable weather and the wildlife that live in these, mostly isolated areas. Accompanying the photographs is text giving a short history, with technical details for lighthouses still operational.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverLady Luck : conversations with creative New Zealand women / by Mariana Collette & Lisette Prendergast ; photography by Susannah Tucker ; illustrations by Connie McDonald ; design by Ceire Hopley.
Lady Luck : conversations with creative New Zealand women is a book delving into the lives of creative women from variety of disciplines. What does it mean to be a creative women in New Zealand? Featuring Ladi6, Gala Darling, Hinemoana Baker and heaps more!” (Abridged from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverA New Zealand book of beasts : animals in our culture, history and everyday life / Annie Potts, Philip Armstrong, Deidre Brown.
“A New Zealand Book of Beasts is a groundbreaking examination of the interactions between humans and ‘nonhuman animals’ – both real and imagined – in New Zealand’s arts and literature. In examining through literature, art and culture the ways New Zealanders use and abuse, shape and are shaped by, glorify and co-opt, and describe and imagine animals, the authors tell us a great deal about our society and culture: how we understand our own identities and those of others; how we regard, inhabit and make use of the natural world; and how we think about what to buy, eat, wear, watch and read. This is an engaging, original and scholarly rigorous book of cultural criticism and a thoughtful addition to New Zealand literature.” (Abridged from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverBringing back the birdsong : two dedicated conservationists work to restore the natural balance to their slice of coastal New Zealand / Wade and Jan Doak.
“Diver, undersea explorer and passionate conservationist Wade Doak has lived near the Tutukaka coast with wife Jan since 1968. Well known for his pioneering dives at the Poor Knights Islands off the coast of Whangarei, Wade has gradually shifted his focus over the years from the sea to the land. This book is a plea for the conservation and protection of New Zealand’s wildernesses, reiterating the challenge made by Sir Paul Callaghan: can we eradicate pests throughout our island nation? On a small scale, Wade and Jan Doak show that yes, it can be done.” (Abridged from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverEcosanctuaries : communities building a future for New Zealand’s threatened ecologies / Diane Campbell-Hunt ; with Colin Campbell-Hunt.
“Over the past ten years, many communities around New Zealand have launched ambitious projects to bring back the country’s native ecologies. Diane Campbell-Hunt was two years into a study of the long-term sustainability of these ventures when she was tragically killed in an accident in 2008. After Diane’s death, her husband Colin took up the challenge to write up her research, and Ecosanctuaries is the result.” (Abridged from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHe papakupu reo ture = A dictionary of Māori legal terms / general editors: Māmari Stephens, Mary Boyce.
“New Zealand’s legal history is bilingual. From the earliest missionary-led translations of the New Testament in the early nineteenth century, the Maori language has been used to communicate Western legal ideas. Nearly two centuries later there now exists a significant legal vocabulary in Maori that has much to teach scholars of law and language in New Zealand about the intersection between Maori and Pakeha legal thinking and expression. This dictionary captures something of that unique intersection, drawing its entries and usage examples from the Legal Maori Corpus, a digitised collection of thousands of pages of legal and law-related texts in the Maori language dating from between 1828 and 2009.” (Syndetics)

Fabulous Frocks: New Zealand History Recent Picks for January

At first glance the title of this post does not make much sense, as you scroll down through the book titles depicting pig hunting and hunting with helicopters, lost gold and lost heritage in forgotten landmarks. Keep scrolling and you will see the Hawkes Bay Maraekakaho sheep and cattle station and then on to unique motorbike collections, the first New Zealand craft beer, and finally Dolphins of Aotearoa. The last title is a book called Women of Substance, unfortunately we have no cover image but with the tagline “the Otago women who wore fabulous frocks,” it is my pick of the bunch and why it gets the mention in the title. It tells the story of 39 dresses featured in an exhibition at the Otago Settlers museum. Each frock dating from 1859 to the late 1880s is photgraphed and described in detail and with a short biography of its wearer gives an insight into the life and times of these women.

Syndetics book coverThe black singlet brigade : tales of adventure in the NZ bush / Tony Walsh
“Tony Walsh was first introduced to NZ’s bush clad ranges, to pig hunting and some life-defining experiences by Ned Tuite, whose usual attire was a black woollen bush singlet and a pair of khaki shorts suspended from a thin leather belt. Through Ned, Tony met a band of those iconic good keen men of an era now past, and began a journey of experiences he will never forget. There were the likes of ugly Eddie, who ate all the pigs’ ears; Jack, who thought the ghosts were after him after a midnight tumble down the hill; or Charlie, who didn’t know whether to mash his spuds before or after they were cooked. Men whose characters were as colourful and multifaceted as the forests and mountains they came from. The Black Singlet Brigade is a memoir written with eloquence and a dash of humour at every turn. It combines the untamed beauty of the wild with hilarious adventures and unique characters to build a picture of a life long gone, in the bush and back-country of New Zealand.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverInjun Joe : the legend of Smoking Joe Collins / Marion Day.
“This is the life story of Injun Joe, born Wellwyn Harris Collins in 1950. Joe became well known as an elite hunter-helicopter pilot, one of New Zealand’s most dangerous occupations of the time, in what is now known as The Last Great Adventure.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverLost Gold : the 100-year search for the gold reef of Northwest Nelson / Paul Bensemann.
“As a young man in the mid-1970s, Paul Bensemann was told an archetypal ‘lost gold’ story by his neighbour, a tobacco farmer in the Motueka Valley on the edge of what is now Kahurangi National Park. The story concerned an old prospector who had found a huge exposed gold reef, shining in the sun, deep in the mountain wilderness of Northwest Nelson. Just before he died, the prospector drew a map, and to Paul’s amazement his neighbour then produced the old, tatty, hand-drawn map, which had been handed down to him from his father. Lost Gold follows the many twists and turns of this 105-year-old story, and tries to explain why the reef has never been rediscovered. But in the end, whether or not the reef exists is only part of the story, and perhaps the bigger treasure here is the real tale of men in pursuit of their own El Dorado.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverNew Zealand’s lost heritage : the stories behind our forgotten landmarks / Richard Wolfe.
“Features 20 notable structures which, for various reasons, no longer exist. Most of the buildings have been demolished in the name of urban development, creating controversy. Each building is discussed and illustrated including the circumstances of its demise. The selection includes: Ruapekapeka Pa in Northland (burned down deliberately), Admiralty House in Auckland (demolished to make way for new roads) Wellington’s Parliament Buildings (accidental fire) Invercargill’s Seacliff Asylum (fire), TJ Edmonds landmark factory (bulldozed). What emerges is a fascinating social and historical narrative that sheds light on parts of New Zealand’s cultural history and reveals the truth of the old adage that history repeats.” (Publisher information)

Syndetics book coverA changing land : Sir Donald McLean’s Maraekakaho, 1857 to today / Alan Scarfe.
“The first two parts tell the story of the development of Hawke’s Bay Maraekakaho, one of the country’s largest and most iconic sheep and cattle stations which was established by Donald McLean and then further developed by his son Douglas McLean. The final part of A Changing Land traces how much of Maraekakaho has evolved into a varied patchwork of stock and cropping farms, vineyards, smallholdings, olive groves, alpaca farms and tree plantations over the last century.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverKiwi bike culture : unique motorbike collections / Steve Holmes.
“Delves into the love affair New Zealanders have with their motorbikes. From Harley-Davidsons to Vespas, and everything in between, this book is about the men and women whose lives revolve, in some way, around two-wheeled machinery.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverThe McCashin’s story and the Kiwi brewing revolution it sparked / John McCrystal & Simon Farrell-Green.
“The craft beer industry is one of New Zealand’s local business success stories, and it’s thriving. It all began with Terry McCashin establishing Mac’s Ale back in the 1980s. This book tells the story of the entrepreneurial McCashin family and the challenges they’ve faced over the years. They’re now rebuilding their brand with new beers such as Stoke, and a highly successful range of ciders. It also includes general craft beer information such as: What makes a craft beer; how beer gets made; a day in the life of McCashins; how to drink beer; what sort of glass to use; what different styles mean; the difference between an ale and a lager. Plus: Nelson: The craft beer capital. What has made Nelson such an extraordinary place for craft beer? The book includes short profiles on each of the breweries, pubs and cafes on the trail and the remarkable story of New Zealand hops and how they’ve supported Nelson and New Zealand’s craft beer revolution.” (Adapted from publisher information)

Syndetics book coverDolphins of Aotearoa : living with New Zealand dolphins / Raewyn Peart. “Dolphins of Aotearoa explores the ongoing relationship between humans and dolphins in New Zealand. Over this nation’s rich history, numerous people, both Maori and Pakeha, have sought out dolphins and significant numbers of dolphins have sought out people. This book tells the stories of many of these remarkable encounters. Importantly, Dolphins of Aotearoa also summarises the work of the dedicated scientists and researchers who over recent decades have learnt so much about our dolphins. Extensively researched and lavishly illustrated with historic and contemporary photographs, and incorporating a guide to all of the dolphins of New Zealand.” (Syndetics summary)

Women of substance : the Otago women who wore “fabulous frocks” / Seán G. Brosnahan.
“Fabulous Frocks was the title of an exhibition held at the Otago Settlers Museum in 2003. The exhibition presented 39 dresses from the Museum’s costume collection worn by nineteenth-century Otago women. A la mode in the mud: The colonial pursuit of fashion. The colonists’ dream: Genteel, respectable and upwardly mobile. In search of the women behind the dresses. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

December Gardening Picks

Amongst this month’s new garden book picks In the Garden was a standout. This beautifully illustrated book cleverly introduces some of our iconic native flora and fauna in a very accessible way.  In the practical gardening tips department  there is advice on how to rejig and refresh existing plant arrangements rather than starting from scratch which is also appealing.

Syndetics book coverIn the garden : explore & discover the New Zealand backyard / Ned Barraud & Gillian Candler.
In the Garden introduces young children to common creatures they can find in a New Zealand garden.  The book describes their relationship with other living things, and includes many interesting and intriguing facts. This book encourages children aged 4-8 to explore their gardens and discover the plants and animals that live there, with sections on bees, wasps and flies; butterflies and moths; snails and spiders; lizards, mammals and birds. Aimed at children from pre-schoolers and up, the book will also appeal to anyone who is curious about the wild side of New Zealand gardens.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRefresh your garden design with color, texture & form / Rebecca Sweet.
“This book is packed with advice on how to wake up boring garden beds, ways to make a cramped garden feel bigger and also ideas on how to  bring a sense of intimacy to an expansive area. If you are needing ideas on how to downplay eyesores, or need to create a certain mood this you will find suggestions on which plants to keep and which to pull, and also how to  thoughtfully integrate hardscaping, structures and accessories.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeatrix Potter’s gardening life : the plants and places that inspired the classic children’s tales / Marta McDowell.
“There aren’t many books more beloved than The Tale of Peter Rabbit and even fewer authors as iconic as Beatrix Potter.  Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life is the first book to explore the origins of Beatrix Potter’s love of gardening and plants and show how this passion came to be reflected in her work. The book begins with a gardener’s biography, highlighting the key moments and places throughout her life that helped define her, including her home Hill Top Farm in England’s Lake District.  Richly illustrated and filled with quotations from her books, letters, and journals, it is essential reading for all who know and cherish Beatrix Potter’s classic tales.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhy can’t my garden look like that? : proven, easy ways to make a beautiful garden of your own / John Shortland.
“John Shortland demonstrates just how easy it is to make adjustments to what is already there to make your garden stunning, whatever its size. Whether it’s an issue with design, plant selection or pruning – or even lack of time – simple solutions are described in clear language that will appeal both to the complete novice and those with more experience.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAustralian coastal gardens / Myles Baldwin, photography by Sue Stubbs.
“The coastal gardens of Australia are as varied as the geography of this vast continent itself. Join Myles Baldwin as he travels around the country, from the gentle landscape of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and the sheer cliffs of Sydney’s Dover Heights to an old copper mining town in South Australia and beyond.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe essential Audrey Eagle : botanical art of New Zealand.
“Presents more than 150 paintings of our most loved native plants, from every major genus. The beautiful full-colour plates are accompanied by detailed notes, and a fresh introduction tells the story of Audrey Eagle and sets her place in the history of botanical illustration of New Zealand’s unique native flora” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe biodynamic orchard book / Ehrenfried Pfeiffer and Michael Maltas.
” This book brings together the best advice for cultivating fruit trees, berries and shrubs using biodynamic methods, with the aim of harvesting healthy fruit free of pesticides.This is an invaluable book with practical advice on all aspects of planning and maintaining a healthy orchard.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGrow your own plants / [Alan Titchmarsh].
“By using a variety of simple propagation techniques you can learn how to grow your own plants for free. Alan Titchmarsh shows how to sow seed, take leaf and root cuttings, divide shrubs, and how to promote growth in your young plants. He covers all the essentials and provides inspirational ideas for filling your garden with flowers, shrubs, trees and vegetables, all grown from scratch.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBackyard foraging : 65 familiar plants you didn’t know you could eat / Ellen Zachos.
“You don’t need to trek into the forest to forage edible plants. Ideal for first-time foragers, this book features 70 edible weeds, flowers, mushrooms, and ornamental plants typically found in urban or suburban neighborhoods. You’ll be amazed by how many of the plants you see each day are actually nutritious edibles. Full-color photographs make identification easy, and tips on where certain plants are likely to be found, how to avoid pollution and pesticides, and how to recognize the plants you should NEVER harvest make foraging as safe and simple as stepping into your own backyard.” (Syndetics summary)

New to the NZ Collection

Animals, plants, politics and poetry feature this month in the New Zealand collection.

Syndetics book coverNew Zealand inventory of biodiversity / edited by Dennis P. Gordon.
“Appropriate for advanced high school and college students as well as working scientists, this intriguing guide is the first of three volumes that will chart the progress of a scientific inventory of New Zealand’s living and fossilized biodiversity. An international effort involving more than 220 New Zealand specialists, this project, when completed, will include every one of the almost 55,000 known species of animals, plants, fungi, and micro-organisms in the country. Part of Species 2000, an international scientific project, the long-term goal is to enumerate all known species on earth into one seamless list called the Catalog of Life, which will function as an online biological catalog. To date, only New Zealand has compiled a checklist of its entire biota.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn extraordinary land : discoveries and mysteries from wild New Zealand / written by Peter Hayden ; photographs by Rod Morris.
“Our isolation has been a huge advantage. It turned New Zealand into a wild laboratory where evolution could conduct experiments that lead to weird and wonderful outcomes like the kakpo and the giant weta. It was also a museum, where ancient creatures could exist long after their kind disappeared from the rest of the world. More recently, scientists are discovering how little we know about species we thought we knew so well. An Extraordinary Land brings us up to date with these discoveries and gives us a snapshot of what makes New Zealand wildlife unique”–Jacket flap.

Syndetics book coverHis own steam : the work of Barry Brickell / with essays by David Craig & Gregory O’Brien and new photography by Haruhiko Sameshima.
“Potter extraordinaire, conservationist, railway enthusiast and iconoclast Barry Brickell is one of New Zealand’s most important ceramicists … In essays by David Craig and Gregory O’Brien and with both newly commissioned photographs by Haru Sameshima and historic images, His Own Steam: The Work of Barry Brickell charts Brickell’s career in its entirety and in the context of his life and times, timed to coincide with a survey exhibition of the same name at The Dowse Art Museum”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverSewing freedom : Philip Josephs, transnationalism & early New Zealand anarchism / Jared Davidson ; [foreword by Barry Bateman ; illustrations by Alec Icky Dunn].
“Davidson has produced much more than a soundly researched and very engaging biography… this is an excellent, wide-ranging contribution to our knowledge of the international (and indeed transnational) anarchist movement, and sweeps us along in a fascinating story that takes us from the pogroms in Russian Latvia, to the working-class slums of Victorian Glasgow, to the early struggles of the nascent labour movement in New Zealand.”–Dr David Berry, author of “A History of the French Anarchist Movement” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverParadise past : the transformation of the South Pacific, 1520-1920 / Robert W. Kirk.
“In the 400 years from Magellan’s entrance into Pacific waters to 1920, the lives of the people of the South Pacific were utterly transformed. Exotic diseases from Europe and America, particularly the worldwide influenza pandemic, were deadly for islanders. Ardent missionaries changed the belief systems and lives of nearly all Polynesians, Aborigines, and those Papuans and Melanesians living in areas accessible to westerners. By 1920 every island and atoll in the South Seas had been claimed as a colony or protectorate of a power such as Britain, France or the United States. Factors aiding this imperial sweep included European outposts such as Sydney, advances in maritime technology, the work of missionaries, a desire to profit from the area’s relatively sparse resources, and international rivalry that led to the scramble for colonies. The coming of westerners, as this book points out, was not entirely negative, as head-hunting, cannibalism, chronic warfare, human sacrifice, and other practices were diminished–but whole cultures were irreversibly changed or even eradicated.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Judas tree : poems / by Lorna Staveley Anker ; edited by Bernadette Hall.
” Lorna Staveley Anker was born in 1914. She used to joke that this was the cause of the First World War. In truth, the fine poems in this collection reveal her as New Zealand’s first women war poet. This collection contains the best of her published poems and a substantial number never seen before.” (Adapted from back cover)

Syndetics book coverApollo in George Street : the life of David McKee Wright / Michael Sharkey.
“David McKee Wright was the most prolific poet in Australia around the First World War, and the influential literary editor of the Sydney Bulletin. This biography brings to life aspects of the literary culture of New Zealand in the years before its independence, and of Australia in the early years of Federation.” (Syndetics Summary)


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