ReviewsNgā Arotakenga

Read our independent reviews of the latest books from Aotearoa.

Pānuihia ā mātou arotakenga tūhake o ngā pukapuka hou nō Aotearoa.

Bad Archive by Flora Feltham
Review

Review: Bad Archive, by Flora Feltham

'Feltham’s debut collection, Bad Archive, features thirteen intricate essays that explore the space between what remains and what happened. ‘How do you plunge your eyes and hands into the world around you?’ she wonders.'

Becs Tetley
10 July 2024
More from a Quiet Kitchen
Review

Review: More from a Quiet Kitchen, by Nici Wickes

'Cooking, or “the clatter of cockles, the sizzle of bacon, the blipblap of something simmering”, is an essential ingredient in Nici Wickes' recipe for a contented life. Why rush to be ‘perfect’, Wickes asks, when you can find happiness in pottering along and being ‘good enough’?'

Lucy Corry
8 July 2024
Migration
Review

Review: Migration, by Steph Matuku

'Migration has echoes of things I know: the word ‘ngāti’ attributed to different groups of people in the same way as we’d have the British class system, and ‘māma’ and ‘pāpā’ for mum and dad. The wānanga itself is a strict military training academy complete with the same squabbles and hierarchy you’d find in the dorms of many boarding schools...'

Tania Roxborogh
2 July 2024
Nell
Review

Review: Nell, by Penelope Todd

'Eleanor Preston – aka Nell – is born in 1897 on a South Island sheep farm homestead. During childhood, her world is the blue mystery of the hills, the sense of accomplishment of moving stock on horseback, of ice skating and cocoa – anything and everything is possible.'

Claire Williamson
1 July 2024
Raven's Eye Runaways
Review

Review: The Raven's Eye Runaways, by Claire Mabey

'Fittingly, it's a narrative with books at the core. Getwin and her Mum work at stitching, stamping and clandestinely reading them. Lea and others slave at copying them. A nasty, entitled social elite schemes at restricting access to them...'

David Hill
1 July 2024
Nothing Significant to Report
Review

Review: Nothing Significant to Report, by Dario Nustrini

'Nustrini somehow manages to find new narrative ground thanks to a likable, laconic Kiwi perspective that turns it all into something interesting and entertaining rather than just another sortie through well-trodden territory....'

Chris Long
26 June 2024
Performance
Review

Review: Performance, by David Coventry

'Novel, autofiction, creative non-fiction or memoir, this work eludes the boundaries of conventional expectation and form. It's also a cracking story, displaying the fine novelistic impulse that has won Coventry literary awards.'

Michalia Arathimos
23 June 2024
Old Black Cloud
Review

Review — Old Black Cloud, by Jacqueline Leckie

‘Jacqueline Leckie’s latest book Old Black Cloud: A cultural history of mental depression in Aotearoa New Zealand is a highly accessible, uniquely insightful, and in-depth exploration of mental depression as an intrinsic part of our national fabric…’

Allan McEvoy
13 June 2024
Still Is
Review

Review — Still Is, by Vincent O’Sullivan

Vincent O’Sullivan’s literary career was long and glittering. Still Is has an added poignancy because so many of the poems would have been written with the poet knowing that his end was not far away. Given this however, there is no sense of doom in the work…

James Norcliffe
12 June 2024
Dai Henwood book review
Review

Review — Life of Dai, by Dai Henwood

'In this book, Henwood has generously and bravely let us know more of the 'private Dai' behind the popular clown. For all that his outrageous comedy persona has brought him popularity and accolades over the years, this will probably make you like him even more. '

Sarah Ell
4 June 2024
Review Max Avi Duckor Jones
Review

Review — Max, by Avi Duckor-Jones

Max is about to finish high school. On the surface it appears he has everything, but underneath he is floundering. Grappling with questions about his birth parents and his sexuality, he feels that there is a seed of badness deep within him that will inevitably be exposed.

Clare Travaglia
27 May 2024
Review — A Better Place, by Stephen Daisley
Review

Review — A Better Place, by Stephen Daisley

People in the district would often say Roy Mitchell was not quite the same after he come back from the war. There was a twin brother, Tony. Killed on Crete in 1941. The hut he built when he returned was on a bit of flat ground above the Mangawhero Creek. He called it his whare. Corrugated-iron chimney on the south wall.’

Jack Remiel Cottrell
20 May 2024
AUP new poets review
Review

Review — AUP New Poets 10

Distinctive, fresh and compellingly present, AUP New Poets 10 features three exciting new voices. Hebe Kearney gives Kete the lowdown on this three-chapbook collection.

Hebe Kearney
12 May 2024
Gracehopper-review
Review

Review in Conversation: Gracehopper, by Mandy Hager

Eighteen-year-old Grace has struggled all her life with her place in this family and in the world. Obviously of Asian descent, she has been unable to get the truth about her parentage from her mother, a woman who is struggling with her own demons, that date back to her life in Taiwan where she survived an earthquake while giving birth to Grace.

Amelia (14) and Katarina (14)
7 May 2024
Marilynn Webb
Review

Review — Marilynn Webb Folded in the Hills

Marilynn Webb: Folded in the hills is a substantial bilingual publication to mark the monumental retrospective of Ngapuhi, Te Roroa and Ngati Kahu artist Marilynn Webb (NZOM) (1937-2021) at Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

Peter Simpson
6 May 2024
Brown bird review
Review

Mother-daughter review: Brown Bird by Jane Arthur

Warmth, humour, and depth in a ‘quiet, kind book about a quiet, kind kid.’ A new mother-daughter review from 11 year-old Libby and (slightly older) Kirsteen.

Kirsteen Ure and Libby Timmins (11)
5 May 2024
Tidelines review
Review

Review — Tidelines, by Kiri Piahana-Wong

Tidelines interweaves the poet's own life with the tragic story of Hinerangi, who lived at Karekare in the distant past. These are poems of Auckland's west coast, reflecting the steady rhythms of daily existence, alongside grief, mental unwellness, disintegration and resolution.

Hebe Kearney
2 May 2024
Return to Blood
Review

Review — Return to Blood, by Michael Bennett

Two murders. Two decades apart. One chance to get justice. Hana Westerman has left Auckland and her career as a detective behind her. Settled in a quiet coastal town, all she wants is a fresh start…

Greg Fleming
28 April 2024
Dame Suzy D hero
Review

Review — Dame Suzy D: My Story

“Over my lifetime I have given most things a crack when presented with the opportunity,” Susan Devoy writes in her funny and fascinating new biography, Dame Suzy D: My Story. From self-described ‘working-class girl’ to Dame, Race Relations Commissioner to reality TV star, unbeatable squash world number one to all-too-relatable mother of four…

Chris Long
18 April 2024
A Different Light
Review

Review — A Different Light: First Photographs of Aotearoa

Editors: Catherine Hammond, Shaun Higgins Reviewer: David Veart In 1848, two decades after a French inventor mixed daylight with a cocktail of chemicals to fix the view outside his window onto a metal plate, photography arrived in Aotearoa. How did these 'portraits in a machine' reveal Maori and Pakeha to themselves and to each other? Were the first photographs 'a good likeness' or were they tricksters? What stories do they capture of the changing landscape of Aotearoa?April 2024 release

David Veart
17 April 2024
Katuvei
Review

Katūīvei: Contemporary Pasifika Poetry from Aotearoa New Zealand

‘Katūīvei: Contemporary Pasifika Poetry from Aotearoa New Zealand is the latest in a decades-long line of anthologies of Pasifika poetry written in English. The title is a neologism created by editors David Eggleton, Vaughan Rapatahana and Mere Taito, referencing the Rotuman verb to navigate and the tūī, bird of two voiceboxes.’

Elizabeth Heritage
15 April 2024
Ash Louise Wallace
Review

Review — Ash, by Louise Wallace

‘Ash is a bruising portrait of what boils in the belly of a woman who is “coping”, revealed with humour and a rare candour.’

Anna Scaife
14 April 2024
Dear Colin Dear Ron feature
Review

Review — Dear Colin, Dear Ron: The Selected Letters of Colin McCahon and Ron O'Reilly

‘This substantial book of letters selected by esteemed Colin McCahon scholar Peter Simpson shines a light on one of the most remarkable relationships in New Zealand art. The painter Colin McCahon and the librarian Ron O'Reilly first met in 1938, in Dunedin, when McCahon was 19 and O'Reilly 24. They remained close, writing regularly to each other until 1981…’

Graham Reid
11 April 2024
Bailey2.jpg
Review

Review — Evolving: Finding health and happiness as we age by Judy Bailey

'A deep dive into an area that affects all of us, if we’re lucky.' Catherine Milford reviews Evolving by journalist, news anchor, television presenter, and mother of the nation, Judy Bailey and finds solace in the book’s running thread ‘that getting older doesn’t have to mean becoming invisible.'

Catherine Milford
8 April 2024
Amma Saraid de Silva
Review

Review — Amma by Saraid de Silva

‘Intergenerational, diasporic story-telling that is polished and compelling. I consumed it greedily within a few days, much like the young queer character Annie consumes her grandmother’s delicious Sri Lankan cooking.’

Himali McInnes
4 April 2024
Take Two Danielle Hawkins hero
Review

Review — Take Two by Danielle Hawkins

“Take Two is light and sweet, but never cloying or sickly. Like getting the tea from your school bestie after you've been out of touch for a few years, accompanied by a slice of your favourite cake.”

Nadene Hall
26 March 2024
the-call-small
Review

Review — The Call by Gavin Strawhan

Strawhan's crime novel is cinematic, which comes as no surprise given his previous writing credits. The co-creator of Go Girls and Nothing Trivial, he also has form in the TV crime thriller genre, including Bad Mothers and This Is Not My Life. While The Call doesn't read like a screenplay, it could easily become one. The scenes are sharp, ending with an eye to the cut: a wry line and then a clean shift to a deserted beach, a flashback, or a suburban gang house.

Ruth Shaw
17 March 2024
When I open the shop hero
Review

Review — When I Open the Shop

“The format is intriguingly diverse: emails, texts, passages of verse are scattered throughout. An immediate, coming-at-ya present tense keeps the plot belting along. Dissanayake knows when to pause, to leave things for the reader...”

David Hill
13 March 2024
REVISED HOME PAGE SIZE 715 X 384 4
Review

Review — On Call: Stories from my life as a surgeon, a daughter and a mother

“Being entrusted with another person’s life, plunging your hands into their body cavities while they are in a sedated coma, takes a lot of nerve. A confident exterior belies the very human doctor underneath. This beautifully written memoir deftly paints human flesh and vulnerability onto those God-like creatures we see in scrubs and reminds us that medical professionals do bring their whole selves into each patient encounter.”

Himali McInnes
12 March 2024
The Space Between Lauren Keenan Hero
Review

Review —The Space Between by Lauren Keenan

“I feel as though I stepped through a portal to glimpse the poverty and hardship experienced in an 1860s Taranaki settlement on the brink of the New Zealand Wars.”

Carole Brungar
6 March 2024
review-the-three-quicks
Review

Review — The Three Quicks by Trevor Auger

“Auger keeps the central narrative thread squarely focused on reporting matches, with The Three Quicks subsequently aimed more at the patient test cricket purists over casual white ball enthusiasts with shorter attention spans. Heavily results and statistics-focused, it harks back to a time when cricket almanacs were poured over, and test cricket wasn't staring down the existential threats it now faces.”

Chris Long
5 March 2024
review-the-night-she-fell
Review

Review — The Night She Fell by Eileen Merriman

If you're a fan of slow-burn, character-driven thrillers, you will have a great time with The Night She Fell. There may not be any Jack Reacher action sequences but you'll be on the edge of your seat as you reach the end.

Briar Lawry
4 March 2024
The Secrets of the Little Greek Taverna
Review

Review — The Secrets of the Little Greek Taverna

This story has love and heart, and gorgeous descriptions of the little magical village make you feel like you're exploring the cobbled streets of Potamia alongside Jory. This is author Palmisano's own supernatural talent, bringing places to life. The delicious passages about food and baking where the language is stripped bare to its raw ingredients are also a treat.

Emma Rawson
25 February 2024
review-the-grimmelings
Review

Mother-daughter review: The Grimmelings by Rachael King

When is a horse book not a horse book? When it’s a kelpie book, of course, of course. Kirsteen Ure and her daughter Libby (11) give an unbridled review of Rachael King’s new intermediate-age fantasy book, The Grimmelings.

Kirsteen Ure
25 February 2024
review-the-war-photographers
Review

Review — The War Photographers

This novel incorporates two main timelines, one set in the middle of the 20th century and the other set in 1989. The historical backdrop of war-era Bletchley Park and its remarkable team of codebreakers is fascinating. Author SL Beaumont spends sufficient time developing this setting. Similarly, the Cold War era and its aftermath provide rich material that expands throughout the book's second half.

Jessie Neilson
14 February 2024
review-bird-child-and-other-stories
Review

Jade Kake reviews Bird Child & Other Stories by Patricia Grace

This beautiful new collection by Patricia Grace is divided into three sections, each positioned from a different time or context. Fans of Patricia Grace will be immediately won over by this rich and immensely readable collection, writes Jade Kake.

Jade Kake
13 February 2024
After the tampa
Review

Review — After the Tampa: From Afghanistan to New Zealand

“Within his story, Nazari pulls back to offer the bigger picture: the history of Afghanistan, the rise of the Taliban, convoluted global politics, demonisation of migrants, this country’s generous treatment of refugees, Afghanistan today and the Christchurch mosque killings. But he sketches into his writing small yet telling incidents from that childhood of flight and fear.”

Graham Reid
30 January 2024
Living Between Land & Sea
Review

Review — Living Between Land and Sea

This sumptuous social and environmental history of Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour takes the reader around the harbour that separates Ōtautahi Christchurch from Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū Banks Peninsula.

Bob Frame
23 January 2024
Knowledge Is a Blessing
Review

Review — Knowledge is a blessing on your mind: Selected Writings, 1980—2020

‘When we are yet again debating the modern meaning of Te Tiriti, with questions on Māori representation on councils, co-governance and suggestions of  a referendum on the future of our ‘founding document.’ Against all this Dame Anne Salmond’s latest book presents a more nuanced point of view …’ release

David Veart
29 November 2023
REVISED HOME PAGE SIZE 715 X 384 (21)
Review

Review — End Times

Priestley’s new memoir explores the complications of living in a world under threat across two parallel timelines. Her primary, present-tense narrative is a road trip down the South Island West Coast in the company of her lifelong friend Maz in the winter of 2021 – almost a whistlestop tour of various aspects of climate crisis … Interleaved with the weeklong road trip, in the past tense, are the experiences of teenaged Rebecca and Maz in the 1980s...’

Sam Finnemore
28 November 2023
Rugby-League LR FitWzM1Niw0NDBd
Review

Rugby League in New Zealand: A people’s history

‘Bodman makes us realise that rugby league has done well to survive, let alone thrive. The fact it is ensconced as a popular sport in this country is something of a miracle, given the efforts of rugby union over almost a century to stamp it out.’

Michael Burgess
24 November 2023
Checkerboard hill review
Review

Review — Checkerboard Hill

‘An impressive debut … Kake paints her novel as much as pens it: there are colours and textures portrayed throughout, while shades of light, passages of penumbra also pervade the pages.’

Vaughan Rapatahana
21 November 2023
mango sharks
Review

Review — Mangō: Sharks and Rays of Aotearoa

‘For almost 50 years, ‘the Jaws effect’ has resulted in what psychologists have termed galeophobia — an irrational fear of sharks. Even though statistics show driving to the beach is far more likely to result in injury…’ Alex Eagles reviews this celebration of mangō and whai for young New Zealanders and joins the authors in encouraging others to admire these amazing animals.

Alex Eagles
19 November 2023
25102023HisFavouriteGraves
Review

Review: His Favourite Graves

‘His Favourite Graves deserves to win Paul Cleave many more fans; it’s another twisty, gory and disturbing outing (one of the characters suffers from a psychological condition which makes him think he is infested with parasites) and a reminder that Cleave was initially drawn to the horror genre but changed his mind after reading FBI profiler John Douglas’s Mindhunter.’

Greg Fleming
13 November 2023
26102023Despatches
Review

Review: Despatches

‘In less capable hands, adding Lovecraftian-type monsters to the grim horror of war might have turned the story into an unpalatable mess but Lee Murray plays these disparate elements beautifully against each other. The visceral and heart-wrenching elements of both serve to lift the narrative into the realms of a classical epic tale, echoing Herman Melville’s Moby Dick in its imagery, from which emerges a powerful work which left this reader devastated.’

Angelique Kasmara
10 November 2023
REVISED HOME PAGE SIZE 715 X 384 (27)
Review

Review: Bird Life

‘Bird Life’s clipped sentences, taut and crisp, have a spare Japanese aesthetic, like haiku. There is delicate lyrical beauty, precise detail and stark contrasts, like the strange shack of the animal vendor on the roof of the luxury department store where Yasuko goes to find birds and beetles for her rituals.’

Ruth Spencer
8 November 2023
31082023ChildrenoftheRush2
Review

Review: Children of the Rush Book 2

‘I would recommend this book to kids 9 - 13, and people who like dramatic fiction. You don’t have to particularly like history to enjoy it. I find history boring but the Children of the Rush series made me want to learn more. It was interesting, fun, dark and heartwarming.’

Sofia Glucina (age 11)
30 October 2023
RobertLordDiaries
Review

Review: Robert Lord Diaries

‘Given Robert never got round to writing the book about New Zealand and his life, Robert Lord Diaries fills the bill in ways that are sometimes tantalising, making this reader feel like a director or actor, seeking clarity and deeper truths in the subtext, and prompting further searches via the internet which Robert never got to experience. As such it is informative, evocative and curiously engaging.’

John Smythe
29 October 2023
The Forgotten Forest
Review

Review: The Forgotten Forest

‘The latest book from bestselling natural history author Robert Vennell is a fantasy foray through the forests of Aotearoa, full of fascinating facts about fungi, lichens, liverworts, mosses and slithery slime moulds.’

Alex Eagles
25 October 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: Articulations

‘Articulations is a collection of Bollinger’s essays, many of which were originally published in Salient as the column they established there, Token Cripple. It’s relatively short, 131 pages with 19 chapters spaciously typeset. Bollinger has said they hoped to make it small and light enough to take to a café to read. This is indeed what I did and recommend doing.’

Elizabeth Heritage
24 October 2023
23102023VintageAviators.jpg
Review

Review: Vintage Aviators: Aircraft of the Great War

‘Vintage Aviators evokes superlatives. Not just the subject matter but the whole physical object. It’s a beautiful amalgam of all that is best in modern photography, printing and bookbinding technology. ’

David Christian
23 October 2023
transposium feature
Review

Review: Transposium

‘Dani Yourukova’s debut poetry collection Transposium has a striking cover: one that promises a fascinating book within. And the poetry definitely doesn’t disappoint; it takes Plato’s Symposium and brings it to life into modern form, incorporating concerns and problems from 2023 to make a playful, philosophical and thoughtful book.’

Erica Stretton
19 October 2023
Flight Path
Review

Review: Don Binney: Flight Path

‘Hot on the heels of Francis Pound’s great book on Gordon Walters, Auckland University Press has published another superb art historical monograph, this time on Don Binney, a comparably significant figure in New Zealand art history, by writer and art historian Gregory O’Brien.’

Peter Simpson
17 October 2023
Light Keeping
Review

Review: Light Keeping

‘Adrienne Jansen’s work is poignant. There is no getting away from the all too believable grief and we feel much sympathy for the plights of all our four. With an extensive and detailed narrative, it is easy to be drawn in.’

Jessie Neilson
16 October 2023
19092023WhenIReachForYourPulse. featuredjpg
Review

Review: When I Reach For Your Pulse

‘Originally from the United States, Vyas’ composes a work in which an instance of traumatic personal loss acts as a starting point to poetically examine and dismantle the private and public impacts of British colonialism, American imperialism, patriarchy and caste hierarchies. The result is a politically charged meditation upon the world we live in and the world we might bequeath to those who come after us..’

Siobhan Harvey
10 October 2023
Jools and Lynda Topp untouchable girls
Review

Review: Untouchable Girls: The Topp Twins’ Story

‘Untouchable Girls is a rollicking, intimate, uproarious romp through the triumphant lives of Jools and Lynda that will make you want to sing, to go on the road, ride horses, fall in love and never stop laughing.’

Ruth Spencer
9 October 2023
Emergency Weather
Review

Review: Emergency Weather

‘The devastating results of climate change are clear and obvious - but how does a writer, let alone a writer slash activist, fashion a compelling thriller from the subject?’

Greg Fleming
8 October 2023
Root leaf flower fruit
Review

Review: Root Leaf Flower Fruit: a verse novel

‘I enjoyed reading this slim volume. Why? Not just because the plot momentum and machination transported me swiftly through the pages, augmented as they are by much of the script being written in unrhyming free verse, but because Nelson writes well, scribes skilfully. The book is easy to explore.’

Vaughan Rapatahana
4 October 2023
The World I Found home
Review

Review: The World I Found

‘The World I Found is Wellington author Latika Vasil’s first YA novel, and she’s included a lot of her local landscape here. She’s had a number of short stories published, and I look forward to seeing her fiction repertoire grow and develop.’

Crissi Blair
3 October 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: Little Doomsdays

‘Little Doomsdays, whatever it is, is a tour-de-force of the power of art to capture and express complex, heavy ideas and spark deep contemplation and conversation.’

Jessica Agoston Cleary
27 September 2023
Gordon Walters
Review

Review: Gordon Walters

‘This huge (464 pages), dense, richly illustrated book tells you everything you could possibly want to know about the great New Zealand abstract painter Gordon Walters (1919-95). Art lovers, students and specialists will relish the almost obsessive degree of attention to every detail about Walters’ work.’

Peter Simpson
25 September 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: How To Disappear Completely

‘Moving with a relentless and increasing sense of foreboding, Nicholas Sheppard’s How To Disappear Completely is an extensive diagnosis of a disturbing disorder in recent American life. It is not a novel where the ends are neatly tied – instead it opens a social and psychological world to exploration.’

David Herkt
20 September 2023
Kete Books
Review

Reviews: A Long Road Trip Home and Night Shifts

‘Why don't I read more poetry? Partly it's narrow-mindedness. I don't write poetry, so it's not my first choice to read. Laziness also features, I don't focus enough; I read extensively rather than intensively. I find the linear movement of fiction and most non-fiction easier. I miss out by not reading more poets. These two new selections from Roger Hickin's Cold Hub Press – and all hail to that faithful servant / practitioner – prove the point.’

David Hill
19 September 2023
Rewi review
Review

Review: Rewi: Āta haere, kia tere

‘Rewi navigates a variety of wonderful easy-to-read mediums which positions itself as a fun book with colours, pictures, drawings, texts and interviews that aim at collating the voices of some of the industry’s leading professionals and academics. The book draws the reader in, like the design of an interesting house or an abstract painting.’

Lama Tone
18 September 2023
Kete Books
Review

Arotake — Hiwa: Contemporary Māori Short Stories

Nā Paula Morris i ētita me Darryn Joseph. Nā Mikaia Leach I arotake. ‘Ko tā Hiwa he pōhiri i te kaipānui ki te ao o ngā kaituhi (Māori) tautōhito, tautata hoki.’ ’Hiwa beckons the reader to the world of both known and new Māori writers.’

Mikaia Leach
14 September 2023
Kete Books
Review

Arotake: Te Rautakitahi o Tūhoe ki Ōrākau

Tā Pou Temara. Nā Maumahara Horsfall i arotake. ‘He tirohanga onamata ki te wā i ō tātau tīpuna me te rerekē rawa atu o te ao i nohoia e rātau.’ ‘a window to the past, to the time of our ancestors and the very different world that they lived in.’

Maumahara Horsfall
13 September 2023
Kete Books
Review

Arotake: Rōmeo rāua ko Hurieta

Nā Te Haumihiata Mason i whakamāori. Nā Racheal McGarvey i arotake. ‘Ko te paki mō te aroha aukati me ngā whānau hoariri nō mai iho, engari ko te whakapuaki me te whakaahua i te wairua o tēnei whakaari ki te reo Māori ki tōna tino taumata e e titikaha ai ki te ngākau tangata, he tino ekenga tēra.’‘… to articulate and illustrate the messages of this play in te reo Māori in a way that, in my opinion, resonates with te ao Māori is a feat.’

Racheal McGarvey
12 September 2023
Kete Books
Review

Arotake: There’s a Cure for This nā Dr Emma Espiner

Kaituhi: Dr Emma Espiner. Nā Hineko Kingi i arotake.‘Mā te wairua whakakatakata o Espiner e kaingākautia ai te kōrero nei …’‘Espiner's dark humour keeps it interesting…’

Hineko Kingi
12 September 2023
Kete Books
Review

Arotake: The Artist nā Ruby Solly

The Artist nā Ruby Solly. Nā Robert Sullivan i arotake.He takinga kōrero mā te toikupu mō ngā iwi whakahirahira o Te Tonga 'and ways of knowing grounded in whakapapa'.An account in poems of our great Southern iwi 'and ways of knowing grounded in whakapapa'.

Ruth Smith (Ngāti Kōhuru, Te Aitanga-ā-Mahaki)
10 September 2023
Kete Books
Review

Arotake: Kāwai – For Such A Time As This

Kaituhi: Monty Soutar. Nā Dan Rabarts i arotake.‘I ētahi wā he whanokē ngā kōrero pono i ngā kōrero paki, ā, he pērā rawa ngā kōrero a Tākuta Monty Soutar i roto i tana pakimaero tuatahi e whakaatu ana he whakatumatuma, he taumaha ake pea te hītori i te pakiwaitara.’‘…Dr Monty Soutar has demonstrated in this impressive first novel that history, likewise, can be more confronting, and more challenging, than fiction.’

Tamati Waaka (Ngāti Pūkeko, Te Whānau ā Apanui, Tūhoe)
7 September 2023
Shadow over Edmund Street
Review

Review: Shadow Over Edmund Street

Author: Suzanne Frankham. Reviewer: David Gadd.Engaging characters and a puzzle that gets murkier the deeper police dig make this tightly written murder mystery just what you want in crime fiction - a story told so well that you want to keep reading it in one go.May 2023 release

David Gadd
28 August 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: Āria

“One of the most profoundly bisexual pukapuka I’ve ever read. An immersive sense of ‘both/and’ permeates the whole work: Māori and Pākehā, land and sea, she and they.”

Elizabeth Heritage
20 August 2023
The Bone Tree
Review

Review: The Bone Tree

Author: Airana Ngarewa. Reviewer: Jack Remiel Cottrell. The Bone Tree is an exquisitely written book, the story of two boys – Kauri and Black – and the depth of secrets that have been hidden from them their entire lives. August 2023 release

Jack Remiel Cottrell
14 August 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: We Need to Talk About Norman: New Zealand’s Lost Leader

Author: Denis Welch. Reviewer: David Herkt.In We Need to Talk About Norman: New Zealand’s Lost Leader, Denis Welch focuses on the New Zealand Labour Party Prime Minister, Norman Kirk, who died in office in 1975. He ventures into this relatively recent history and finds new importance. In Welch’s version, Kirk is a gauge for our age.June 2023 release

David Herkt
13 August 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: Hannah & Huia

Author: Charlotte Lobb. Reviewer: Dionne Christian. Author Charlotte Lobb has been open about writing Hannah & Huia to highlight mental health topics and to provide hope for those in need. To succeed, one needs a strong story that resonates with readers and, for me, there must be hope alongside the heartbreak. Hannah & Huia more than hits the mark. July 2023 release

David Veart
9 August 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: Blood & Dirt: Prison Labour and the Making of New Zealand

Author: Jared Davidson. Reviewer: David Veart. This powerful book describes yet another hidden layer in the history of these islands, a place where imprisonment, labour, punishment, class and ethnicity all combine to create a narrative at odds with any imagined story of sturdy pioneers and well earned progress. Blood & Dirt: Prison Labour and the Making of New Zealand is recommended reading in a time where the urge to imprison and punish remains strong undeterred by the failure of the system to do anything but that. August 2023 release

David Veart
7 August 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: One of Them

Author: Shaneel Lal. Reviewer: Demi Cox.‘For me, there are not enough words to describe just how stunning One of Them really is.’July 2023 release

Demi Cox
2 August 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Words For Her

Author: Thomasin Sleigh. Reviewer: Dionne Christian.The Words For Her is one of the most inventive, provocative and layered novels released this year. In the world Thomasin Sleigh carefully constructs, she builds on uncertainties and ideas to pose successive new and tricky considerations. June 2023 release

Dionne Christian
26 July 2023
Lioness review
Review

Review: Lioness

Author: Emily Perkins. Reviewer: Josie Shapiro.The fifth novel by Emily Perkins, Lioness showcases her skill, charged by a crisp, steady voice punctuated with powerful insight which lures readers into a beguiling tale of a woman unravelling. July 2023 release

Josie Shapiro
24 July 2023
Shadow Worlds
Review

Review: Shadow Worlds: A History of the Occult and Esoteric in New Zealand

Author: Andrew Paul Wood. Reviewer: Graham Reid. Shadow Worlds: A history of the occult and esoteric in New Zealand is a fascinating, readable book – if complex, have pencil handy - which illuminates numerous subcultures and belief systems which often found sizeable audiences here. July 2023 release

Graham Reid
16 July 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: There’s a cure for this: A memoir

Author: Emma Espiner. Reviewer: Elizabeth Heritage.There’s a cure for this is Dr Emma Espiner’s pukapuka about entering the hothouse world of medical studies as an adult, beginning in 2015. May 2023 release

Elizabeth Heritage
10 July 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: Here Upon the Tide

Author: Blair McMillan. Reviewer: Anne Ingram. There are difficult themes in Here Upon the Tide – refugees and their need for a safe home, the loss of a parent, depression and mental health. These matters impact the characters deeply but never weigh the book down. Blair McMillan has explored each theme with understanding and compassion… June 2023 release

Anne Ingram
29 June 2023
Takahe Bird of Dreams
Review

Review: Takahē: Bird of Dreams

Author: Alison Ballance. Reviewer: Alex Eagles. ‘Like the birds, Takahē: Bird of Dreams is colourful and heavy-duty; its glossy pages filled with fascinating information and beautiful photos…’ June 2023 release

Alex Eagles
21 June 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: Pet

Author: Catherine Chidgey. Reviewer: Dionne Christian. ‘Catherine Chidgey is causing confusion. Unity Books explains via social media post that when people asking for Chidgey’s new book, they have to clarify whether they want The Axeman’s Carnival, winner of the 2023 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction, or Chidgey’s actual newest book, Pet… both are a testament to Chidgey’s virtuoso talent …’ June 2023 release

Dionne Christian
11 June 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: Who Disturbs the Kūkupa?

Author: Kayleen M Hazlehurst. Reviewer: David Hill.Kayleen Hazlehurst brings to us a powerful new wartime novel set in Aotearoa/ New Zealand during World War II. Who Disturbs the Kūkupa? is a sweeping tale of courage, love and awakening during one of the world’s darkest moments in history. June 2023 release

David Hill
1 June 2023
The Drinking Game
Review

Review: The Drinking Game

Author: Guyon Espiner. Reviewer: Michael Burgess. Of all the books that will be published in New Zealand in 2023, it’s hard to imagine there will be many more important than The Drinking Game. It’s a gem; thought provoking, startling, persuasive and entertaining, exploring how the way we drink has been shaped by factors far beyond any individual's control. February 2023 release

Michael Burgess
20 March 2023
Kete Books
Review

Review: Tiaki: A shout-out to Aotearoa’s lesser known creatures

Author: Jean Donaldson. Reviewer: Alex Eagles.This book is a shout-out to the weird and wonderful endangered species in Aotearoa, those lesser-known creatures that don’t regularly make the news. But they are just as important as the ‘stars’ like kākāpō and kiwi, for they are the foundation of our unique biodiversity.November 2022 release

Alex Eagles
20 December 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Ghost House

Bill Nagelkerke has a knack for using creative perspectives and the paranormal as a recurring theme in his work. Both are used well in The Ghost House.

Alex Eagles
14 December 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: My American Chair

My American Chair, Elizabeth Smither’s newest collection, contains the words of a seasoned poet interrogating humanity, her encounters and friendships and observing with great acuity the small oddities that exist in the world.

Erica Stretton
12 December 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Vanishing Ice: Stories of New Zealand’s Glaciers

Author: Lynley Hargreaves. Reviewer: Alison Ballance. Written by Lynley Hargreaves, Vanishing Ice: Stories of New Zealand’s Glaciers tells the stories of our glaciers through the lens of human interaction, with chapters moving through time from first Māori discoverers to colonial explorers, mountaineers and modern glaciologists. November 2022 release

Alison Ballance
7 December 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Crate: A Ghost Story

An expertly told ghost story is a thing to behold, and James Norcliffe has done an exceptional job of reeling his readers in and paying out the line with his latest book, The Crate.

Sarah Forster
29 November 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Physician’s Gun

Author: John Evan Harris. Reviewer: Cullen Wilson.The Physician’s Gun is more than an action-packed western. It has grit, wild spirit and a uniquely compelling story ripped out of Aotearoa’s colonial past. October 2022 release

Cullen Wilson
28 November 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Secrets of the Sea: The Story of New Zealand's Native Sea Creatures

Secrets of the Sea is the evocative title of ecologist and natural history writer Robert Vennell's new book and a very apt description of our oceans. With an astonishing 80 per cent still unexplored and 70 per cent of species yet to be classified, the Earth's seas are full of mystery.

Alex Eagles
23 November 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Tauhou

Tauhou is an inventive exploration of Indigenous families, womanhood, and alternate post-colonial realities by a writer of Māori and Coast Salish descent.

Jane Lowe
16 November 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Pain Tourist

Author: Paul Cleave. Reviewer: Greg Fleming.So far, 2022 has been a year rich for locally penned thrillers. Just in time for Christmas comes Paul Cleave’s The Pain Tourist to add to that list. November 2022 release

Greg Fleming
16 November 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Kōhine

Linked through recurring characters and themes, the haunting stories in Kōhine hurtle us into the streets of Tokyo and small-town New Zealand. The secular city of salarymen, sex workers and schoolgirls is juxtaposed with rongoā healers, lone men and rural matriarchs of Aotearoa.

Elizabeth Heritage
31 October 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Tarquin the Honest: The Hand of Glodd

In Tarquin the Honest, his first novel for adults, award-winning YA author Gareth Ward has delivered a quick-witted, fantastical tale packed with magic, action, and a cast of memorable characters.

Mollie Chater
26 October 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Towards a Grammar of Race in Aotearoa New Zealand

Editors: Arcia Tecun, Lana Lopesi and Anisha Sankar. Reviewer: Ruth Smith.A search for new ways to talk about race in Aotearoa New Zealand brings together a powerful group of scholars, writers and activists in Towards a Grammar of Race in Aotearoa New Zealand.September 2022 release

Ruth Smith
25 October 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Rāwhao: The Completed Poems

David Howard’s latest substantial collection, Rāwhao: The Completed Poems, sees him pull together 150 poems wide-ranging in topic that span 1975 to today.

Erica Stretton
23 October 2022
wawata
Review

Review: Wawata: Moon Dreaming - Daily wisdom guided by Hina, the Māori moon

Author: Dr Hine Elder. Reviewer: Siena Yates.In Wawata: Moon Dreaming, Dr Hinemoa Elder, author of Aroha, New Zealand's top-selling non-fiction title of 2021, shows us how to reclaim intimacy with others, with ourselves, and with our planet using the energies of Hina, the Maori moon.October 2022 release

Siena Yates
19 October 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Fix

Scott Bainbridge’s latest true-crime offering centres around one Robert Gardner - a used car salesman, born in London, whose offending reached to all corners of the globe.

Greg Fleming
19 October 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Axeman’s Carnival

The Axeman's Carnival is Catherine Chidgey at her finest - comic, profound, poetic and true.

Hannah Tunnicliffe
17 October 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Roderick Finlayson: A Man From Another Time

It's almost inevitable that the biography of a committed writer becomes a narrative of desk, bent head, queue of titles. It happens here sometimes but Hickin quickens the story with his sympathy, nicely judged balance of life and literature, and his own anecdotal skills.

David Hill
17 October 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Roll & Break

Roll & Break is a collection full of surprises, and a celebration of the beaches at the heart of our Aotearoa life.

Erica Stretton
16 October 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Doctor’s Wife

In The Doctor’s Wife, Fiona Sussman builds a world of restrained mannerisms with behaviour set to implode, where the new anxious energy abounds.

Jessie Neilson
12 October 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Peninsula

Peninsula achieves that incredible thing that great storytelling can do – it creates myth and art about a place and a time, creating layers in our reality, giving it murkier and more meaningful depths.

Josie Shapiro
2 October 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Stupefying

Author: Nick Ascroft. Reviewer: Erica Stretton.Nick Ascroft’s fifth collection may be his most personal yet, with a sweetness that stings us repeatedly. The Stupefying is not to be missed. September 2022 release

Erica Stretton
2 October 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Indigo Moon

Eileen Merriman knows that if you are a teenager and you are given rules to follow by your parents, you’re going to break them.

Sarah Forster
20 September 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Paper Cage

Author: Tom Baragwanath. Reviewer: Greg Fleming.An acutely observed portrait of a community, Paper Cage is the prize-winning debut from young New Zealand novelist Tom Baragwanath.August 2022 release

Greg Fleming
7 September 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Yes, Minister: An Insider’s Account of the John Key Years

Author: Christopher Finlayson. Reviewer: David Herkt.Yes, Minister is an insider’s account of life in the John Key government and reveals what Key was really like as prime minister: utterly effective and utterly ruthless when needed.August 2022 release

primoz2500
5 September 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Wandering Nature of Us Girls

Author: Frankie McMillan. Reviewer: Erica Stretton. In the small stories of The Wandering Nature of Us Girls, Frankie McMillan balances transgression and wit, showing a cast of unmoored characters with her signature warmth and compassion. August 2022 release

primoz2500
28 August 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Poor People With Money

Poor People With Money is a breathless, desperate sort of ride with brutality and grit but also deep undercurrents of beauty.

Ruth Spencer
22 August 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Return to Harikoa Bay

Return to Harikoa Bay features 33 stories in around 300 pages, each with an intricacy that makes it hard to believe they’re standalone works.

Sam Finnemore
22 August 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Naming the Beasts

Naming the Beasts is a menagerie of poems about the gnarlier aspects of being a creature of this world.

Erica Stretton
15 August 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Kidnap at Mystery Island

Kidnap At Mystery Island, winner of the 2021 Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award, is the action-packed junior novel just released by Scholastic.

Alex Eagles
10 August 2022
You probably think this song is about you
Review

You Probably Think This Song Is About You

Author: Kate Camp. Reviewer: Linda Herrick. In these true stories, Kate Camp moves back and forth through the smoke-filled rooms of her life: from a nostalgic childhood of the 1970s and 80s, through the boozy pothead years of the 90s, and into the sobering reality of a world in which Hillary Clinton did not win.July 2022 release

Linda Herrick
8 August 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Slow Roll

Simon Lendrum’s The Slow Roll is a brilliantly written and intriguing debut crime novel, set in Auckland and featuring two lead characters with intelligence and empathy who just leave you wanting more to read.

Greg Fleming
11 July 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Dame Yvette Williams Story: Ideals Are Like Stars

Ideals Are Like Stars is the remarkable true story of Yvette Williams, a trailblazing young athlete who defied the odds to win gold in the long jump at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 and became the first New Zealand woman to win an Olympic gold medal, a feat not repeated for 40 years.

Sarah Ell
29 June 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Mrs Jewell and the Wreck of the General Grant

Historical fiction writer Cristina Sanders is in her element regaling us with these imaginative tales. For adults and young adults alike, Mrs Jewell and the Wreck of the General Grant is superb and poignant reading.

Jessie Neilson
27 June 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Grow: Wāhine Finding Connection Through Food

Grow is a book with a seemingly modest premise that quietly and thoughtfully ends up addressing big issues with simple but insightful stories and ideas and a refreshing dose of honesty.

Dionne Christian
20 June 2022
24052022WinterTime
Review

Review: Winter Time

Author: Laurence Fearnley. Reviewer: David Hill. As always, Laurence Fearnley's prose is precise, spare, springy with cadences of colloquial Kiwispeak, yet resonant with imagery. She's a quiet writer, never showy, building her moods and participants unobtrusively, steadily. May 2022 release

David Hill
30 May 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Slow Down, You’re Here

A horrifying twist early on turns this book into a taut domestic thriller … Slow Down You’re Here is smart, of and about Aotearoa here and now, and provocative in its politics and more personal concerns.

Dionne Christian
11 May 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Tūnui/Comet

Author: Robert Sullivan Reviewer: David Eggleton.Robert Sullivan's poems navigate by portents, and by the stars, to thrill and inspire us. April 2022 release

David Eggleton
10 May 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: How to Loiter In a Turf War

A genre-bending work of autobiographical fiction from one of Aotearoa’s fiercest and most versatile artists.

Angelique Kasmara
9 May 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Night School

Michael Steven’s Night School reads like a nostalgic time-travelling acid-soaked road-trip, formed of fragments of clarity that stab sharply out of the haze of the years between hits.

Dan Rabarts
4 May 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: House & Contents

Painter poet Gregory O’Brien’s extremely handsome new collection, House & Contents, brings together the two modes (45 poems, 23 paintings) and encourages us to contemplate them, to read them, separately and collectively.

Harry Ricketts
2 May 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Pistils

Author: Janet Charman. Reviewer: Siobhan Harvey. Crafted, woven with feminist ideology and navigating the intersections of memory, gender and politics, Janet Charman’s The Pistils is an accomplished work. March 2022 release

Siobhan Harvey
26 April 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Nature Boy: The Photography Olaf Petersen

Nature Boy: The Photography of Olaf Petersen probably stands as one of the most thorough and comprehensive monographs on a New Zealand photographer and one hopes it will inspire similar studies of the numerous photographic artist who have helped to forge our visual heritage.

Paul Simei-Barton
20 April 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Boy from Gorge River

Chris Long’s memoir, The Boy From Gorge River, is a boy’s own adventure yarn that will appeal to teenage boys and armchair adventurers of all ages.

Allison Balance
18 April 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Raiment: a memoir

Raiment seduces us with its historical reenactments and leaves us eager to read the next instalment of a life bravely lived by a woman who, in the poetic adage of the time, took the path less followed.

Siobhan Harvey
13 April 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Harbouring

A distant land, a new life, an escape from the past - acclaimed historical fiction writer Jenny Pattrick returns with her tenth novel.

Jessie Neilson
12 April 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Bookseller at the End of the World

Ruth Shaw’s resilience, optimism and willingness to always help others is to be admired; her remarkable story, told in The Bookseller at the End of the World, is to be read and reflected upon as it adds another vital perspective to a New Zealand life.

Dionne Christian
10 April 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Meat Lovers

Meat Lovers, Rebecca Hawkes’s debut full-length collection, is a triumphant display of the power of words.

Paula Green
4 April 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Kurangaituku

Kurangaituku is brilliantly written. Clever. Precise. Prosaic but not cluttered. It expects you to be an intelligent consumer of words and images.

TK Roxborogh
30 March 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Ravenscar House: A Biography

Many new buildings have arisen from the rubble of post-earthquake Christchurch but none, perhaps, is as remarkable as Ravenscar House in the heart of the city’s heritage precinct. Sally Blundell’s well-written Ravenscar House: A biography tells the story of this unique development.

Peter Simpson
29 March 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Shadow Broker

The Shadow Broker is a solid, compelling thriller that touches on topical issues like state surveillance, post-Trump politics and corruption in the halls of power.

Greg Fleming
23 March 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2022

No breakdown of the contents in Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2022 prepares you for the thought, beauty and disruption within the pages.

Erica Stretton
21 March 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Mary's Boy, Jean-Jacques and other stories

Reading Mary's Boy, Jean-Jacques and other stories is the literary equivalent of realising everyone around you has the same rich, complex internal life as you do.

Jack Remiel Cottrell
16 March 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Rejoice Instead: the collected poems of Peter Hooper

A compilation of work from a number of independent publications by Peter Hooper, as well as previously unpublished or uncollected work, Rejoice Instead is a beautiful, worthy and none-too-late publication, recording a solitary life lived with honourable dedication to the pursuit of poem-crafting.

Richard Reeve
9 March 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Nor’ East Swell

Nor’ East Swell is a tale full of heart, family and surfing and a great read for teens and adults.

Denika Mead
9 March 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Fish

How you respond to The Fish may depend on whether or not you love the bold and experimental stylistic choices…

Angelique Kasmara
7 March 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Surgeon’s Brain

The Surgeon’s Brain is not only a narrative - albeit one shattered and shivered to a purpose - it is also gathering of bright human sensations and thoughts.

David Herkt
23 February 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Neands 2

Dan Salmon’s Neands 2 is a perfect fit for young adults who enjoy dystopian science fiction stories and will immerse readers in the world of a virus that causes exaggerated de-evolution.

Link Pickering
22 February 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Shelter: A novel

.Douglas Lloyd Jenkins’ debut novel Shelter is an engaging tale of gay love, won and lost, amid Auckland’s changing skyline; the wonder is that it succeeds on both counts.

Greg Fleming
21 February 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: In Amber’s Wake

In Amber’s Wake explores the messy and searing nature of first love - the kind that remains indelible and haunts well past its expiry date. In doing so, Christine Leunens (who wrote Caged Skies which became the film Jojo Rabbit directed by Taika Waititi) weaves a tale that is both universal and distinctly Kiwi.

Hannah Tunnicliffe
14 February 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: How to Marry Harry

How to Marry Harry is a light-hearted romance where two sisters set off on a quest for love - with one’s heart set on one of the world’s most eligible bachelors.

L A Morgan
9 February 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Spark Hunter

Spark Hunter is an original, fresh fantasy novel for young readers, lovingly crafted from author Sonya Wilson’s memories of a childhood spent roaming Fiordland.

Sofia Glucina and Renee Liang
8 February 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Frog Prince

Readers of James Norcliffe’s The Frog Prince are surrounded by layers of symbolic meaning, aided by the dark woods and dark paths of now and of yore, reminiscent of gingerbread houses, witches and bad deeds.

Jessie Neilson
7 February 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Hauraki Broo

Hauraki Broo, a new children's book by award-winning illustrator/author Nikki Slade Robinson, is full of wonderful images and information that will delight whale and nature enthusiasts of all ages.

Alex Eagles
2 February 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Whai

Whai is Nicole Titihuia Hawkins’ debut collection from a new press in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, We Are Babies, which is off to an impressive start with a place on the longlist of the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards’ poetry category.

Elizabeth Heritage
31 January 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: New Zealand Seabirds: A natural history

Seabirds are some of the most amazing animals on the planet yet many of us are unaware of their remarkable life stories and the fact that they are the most threatened group of birds in the world.

Alex Eagles and Jim Eagles
24 January 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Nuku: Stories of 100 Indigenous Women

For too long, we were taught that any type of confidence and self-hype was narcissistic and unbecoming. Nuku is filled with women lauding their indigeneity, their strength and their gifts, and telling others that it’s okay to do the same.

Siena Yates
19 January 2022
Kete Books
Review

Review: Ngā Ripo Wai: Swirling Waters

I grew up in Northland and carry the summer sun, the tropical dumps of rain, the coastal beauty in my bones. Kerikeri is a vital landmark in my memory banks, so it is with delight I read Ngā Ripo Wai: Swirling Waters, an anthology linked to the area.

Paula Green
22 December 2021
Kete Books
Review

Review: Voices of World War II: New Zealanders Share Their Stories

If you’re hoping for a short read before a good night’s sleep, I cannot recommend Voice of World War II: New Zealanders Share Their Stories because once you open it, it will be hours before you can close it. Whether you choose to just dip into it or start a continuous read, it will captivate you.

David Christian
22 December 2021
Kete Books
Review

Review: Landfall 242

Landfall 242 is the perfect arrival for summer reading with its inclusion of poetry, prose, essays, reviews and artwork.

Paula Green
21 December 2021
Kete Books
Review

Review: Aljce in Therapy Land

Aljce in Therapy Land is a reimagining of Alice in Wonderland but for adults which feels dreamlike both in its sense of unreality – or heightened reality – and in that nightmarish feeling that something bad is happening and you can’t stop it.

Elizabeth Heritage
20 December 2021
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Forgotten Coast

In this deft memoir The Forgotten Coast, Richard Shaw unpacks a generations-old family story he was never told: that his ancestors once farmed land in Taranaki which had been confiscated from its owners and sold to his great-grandfather, who had been with the Armed Constabulary when it invaded Parihaka on 5 November 1881.

David Hill
20 December 2021
Kete Books
Review

Review: The Time Lizard’s Archaeologist

Moving seamlessly between different times and places, and with its intertwining of mythology, psychology, philosophy, ecology and environmental concerns, The Time Lizard’s Archaeologist explores the psyche of the modern world.

SR Manssen
15 December 2021