Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Only 1 month away till SUMMER here in New Zealand - a bit hard to believe with our weather patterns - but here are some suggestions if you are in the mood for collecting up some summer reading material for when holiday weather arrives.
Thank you Laura Howard for this ~
Below are some interesting NZ books that have popped up recently in various emails I've received… most are just out, while Civilisation and The Luminaries were published 2013. I am always fascinated that despite the apparent death of the book, little New Zealand still manages to publish so many wonderful and varied titles! If you are like me, you might be pleasantly surprised to see the range of NZ books on offer – both fiction and non fiction, for adults and kids. Two years ago I joined a book group that only reads contemporary NZ books (usually published within the last year). I was worried there would be little choice and the standard would be below that of my usual diet of international books, but I'm pleased to have been so wrong in my assumptions! You can keep in touch with new NZ books through Auckland writers and readers festival emails, Parsons Library Supply emails, the NZ Book Council website, and ask at your local library – staff often love a good chat about NZ books. Enjoy!  

Manuka: The Biography of an Extraordinary Honey by Cliff Van Eaton
$34.99 PB. 240 pages. ISBN 9781775591634

One Girl, One Dream by Laura Dekker
$29.99 PB. 336 pages. ISBN 9781775540458
An autobiographical account of the youngest ever solo circumnavigation of the Earth. Aged just 14, New Zealand-born Laura Dekker defied the authorities and braved the open oceans to realise her dream of becoming the youngest ever sailor to circumnavigate the Earth. When she finished the journey she was still only 16, the youngest ever person to achieve this feat.

Tell You What: Great New Zealand Nonfiction, 2015 edited by Susanna Andrew & Jolisa Gracewood  DUE OUT NOVEMBER 2014
$29.99 PB. 130 x 198mm. 180 pages. ISBN 9781869408244
‘ Real, live stories, written to last’. Mountains, family secrets, cannibal snails, births, deaths, marriages…includes writing by Steve Braunias, Lara Strongman, Eleanor Catton, Tina Makereti, and others.

Civilisation: twenty places on the edge of the world by Steve Braunias
Our book group had the pleasure of meeting Steve and hearing some of his stories of his travels around NZ, as he researched and wrote this book. An irreverent, humorous, at times sad and touching picture of small town NZ, and some incredible characters he met along the way.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
Don’t be put off by the size of this incredible Man Booker prize winning novel! You won’t have read anything like it. Outstanding.

My new zealand 123 book. Te Papa Press, due out 2015
ISBN: 9780987668875
This and the below book look like they will be wonderful reads to enjoy with your preschooler.

My new zealand colours book. Te Papa Press, due out 2015
ISBN: 9780987668899

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Last night one of our daughters had her 21st birthday party here at home. She had made digital invitations and decorations and together we had planned the food weeks ago. I had shopped for the food last week and she had taken her dad down to the supermarket one evening to help haul the drinks off the shelves into the trolley to the car then home.
Saturday was an all-out cook day for her and me while her dad and a brother helped another sister move house. 
Amazingly decorations were hung, the place cleaned up and with suitable clothing on, we welcomed the first guests. I realised half-way through the night I hadn't cleaned my teeth all day and had not put on makeup - agh- but really there was no time and more important things needed one's attention.
The whole evening was wonderful in every way. But the surprise for me was that so many wanted to speak at the speech time, after the speech time, driving home after the party via text, and throughout  today - to articulate their thanks, respect and love for the birthday girl. This was from an age group that we think of as being technology obsessed, therefore verbally and relationally impaired. Here was a display of the opposite, a wish to verbalise well thought out honest and heart spoken comment.
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ I'm again reminded of the need to tell my kids, regardless of age, how much I appreciate them, naming the reasons I am thankful that they are mine.