**Update:** Unfortunately our organised NZSL interpreter is no longer able to be at this event.
We apologise to anyone in our Deaf community who had been planning to attend — we will be recording and uploading this event to our YouTube channel, and providing subtitles for anyone who wishes to watch at a later date.
Join us for a special event on iconic writer Katherine Mansfield at Karori Library on Thursday November 30th, 6-7pm. (Facebook event)
Redmer Yska, author of ‘Katherine Mansfield’s Europe: Station to Station’ will be joined by our Local & NZ History Specialist Gábor Tóth to deep dive into Mansfield’s words, travels and her local Karori connection. Hear how Yska traced and pulled together letters, journals and research to compile this fascinating insight into Mansfield that acts as part travelogue, part literary biography, part detective story and part ghost story.
Redmer Yska is an award-winning writer and historian based in Wellington. ‘Katherine Mansfield’s Europe: Station to Station’ is Yska’s second book on the iconic writer, his first book on Mansfield ‘A Strange Beautiful Excitement: Katherine Mansfield’s Wellington’ was shortlisted for the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
Gábor Tóth is the Local & New Zealand History Specialist at Wellington City Libraries. He conducts research for both library customers and council staff as well as developing history resources such as the library’s heritage platform, Wellington City Recollect.
We anticipate this event will be very popular and will be seated on a first-come first-served basis, please arrive early to avoid any disappointment.
Our list of the top 100 non-fiction books for 2022 includes the best in memoirs and biographies, poetry, local history, science and technology, health, cooking, music, art and architecture. We’ve selected an eclectic mix of acclaimed local authors, New York Times Bestsellers, Pulitzer prize winners and breakthrough newcomers, meaning there’s plenty of choice for the deep-dive readers and coffee book lovers alike (and everyone in-between).
2022 Non-fiction Highlights — Browse the full list
Browse the full list with all our picks, or browse just the topic you enjoy!
As ever, the compelling human stories encompassing grief, love, personal trauma and strengths of character shine through, with a hearty selection of memoirs and biographies to choose from, including Sally Hayden’s critically acclaimed My fourth time, we drowned. Topping our most heavily reserved new non-fiction title of 2022 was Jennette McCurdy’s hit memoir I’m glad my mom died. A little further off the beaten path, was Hua Hsu’s ‘quietly wrenching’ coming-of-age memoir Stay True, and the visual delight of Kate Beaton’s graphic memoir Ducks: two years in the oil sands.
Contributions to the local poetry scene were beautifully espoused in Khadro Mohamed’s We’re all made of lightning and in the visual expressions of the poet/painter collaboration within Bordering on Miraculous. Shining locally likewise, the great architectural designs in Making Space and HomeGround, which highlight design as a conduits to push social boundaries in Aotearoa New Zealand communities.
Calls for climate awareness were made riveting in The Alarmist, Nomad Century and Regenesis. Our oceans were also a focal point for many this year, and explored in great depth, with Jellyfish age backwards, Secrets of the Sea and in Adrift: the curious tale of Lego lost at sea, among others.
The collapse of historic empires, stories of divided nations and political parties in turmoil were explored in a multitude of ways in the vast array of global history titles featured on our list. Included are Legacy of Violence: A history of the British Empire by Pulitzer prize winning Historian Caroline Elkins, and Fragments of a contested past: Remembrance, denial and New Zealand history by Joanna Kidman.
We let the world’s first astronomers take us on a star gazing tour, and found daily wisdom in Hinemoa Elder’s Wawata: Moon Dreaming. Cap off 2022 by allowing yourself to become enveloped in worlds both near and far, and understand our past, present and future within the Top 100 non-fiction books of 2022 list. Pair with our Top 100 fiction books list, and you’re all set for your Summer Reading Adventure.
New Zealand biographer Carol Markwell has just published her latest book – a brilliant and fascinating account of the life of Edwardian and Victorian Renaissance woman Blanche Edith Baughan (1870-1958), called Enough Horizon: the life and work of Blanche Baughan.
Blanche Edith Baughan was remarkable in many ways: she one of New Zealand’s first poets, a Victorian feminist, an active social reformer, one of the very first travel writers in New Zealand and an early environmentalist. She was, in all senses of the word, a true pioneer and a social visionary.
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Carol about Blanche in conjunction with the Caffeine and Aspirin arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM. And below is the podcast of that interview for your enjoyment:
In the podcast Carol also mentions her first biography Alice, what have you done! about NZ waitress Alice May Parkinson, who shot her lover in 1915. Carol’s work also includes poetry and fiction.
Enough Horizon : The Life And Work Of Blanche Baughan / Markwell, Carol
“Blanche Edith Baughan (1870–1958) was one of New Zealand’s first poets and travel writers – her travel writing introduced people here and overseas to our walks and wilderness areas. Born in England, Blanche emigrated to New Zealand in 1900, settling in Sumner and Banks Peninsula, where she embraced the freedom to write and think, and formed friendships with poets Jessie Mackay and Ursula Bethell. It was here that Blanche’s interest in the environment and her advocacy for the vulnerable in society flourished. She became a botanist, conservationist and prison reformer, known for her fierce correspondence in defence of her causes. ” (from publisher)
Alice, what have you done! : the case of Alice May Parkinson / Markwell, Carol
“Napier, 1915: Alice May Parkinson shoots and kills her lover. Her trial and its aftermath cause controversy throughout New Zealand. Is she a feminist heroine or a callous killer ? Or simply a desperate woman who ran out of choices? This is her story.” (Adapted from Catalogue)