Unity Books in Auckland sponsor The Spinoff Review of Books – without them none of this would be possible. On Sunday March 6th their famous annual sale starts. We asked them to select a few of the most interesting items which will be gracing their table.
Buddy Mikaere reviews the historical recount of New Zealand's wars and political climates in The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800 – 2000 and the messages it has for the future.
Been outside the house this summer? Actually done one of the Great Walks? John Summers reviews a new book which ponders the nature of the hike, the tramp, the trail.
Philip Matthews examines three new books looking back at the day the music died: December 6, 1969, when the Hells Angels murdered a guy at a Rolling Stones concert.
Summer reissue: To catch a blackbird: Michael Field responds to the whitewashing of a Pacific “pirate”
In late August we ran a piece by Joan Druett on her new biography of 19th century sea captain William "Bully" Hayes, who roamed the Pacific and New Zealand. Michael Field was among those who were concerned that it failed to properly address Hayes's involvement in "blackbirding"; we asked him to write an essay in response to the book.
Ahead of the Ockham national book awards in May, Graeme Lay shuddered to recall the time the award for best novel went to a bogan - and Steve Braunias barges his way in at the end of the story, and adds a highly unusual postscript.
One of the most remarkable books ever written about crime, race, religious voodoo, and the New Zealand way of life and death is the Ngati Dread trilogy by journalist Angus Gillies. He self-published these three very strange and quite epic accounts of a five-year period (1985-1990) when there was a kind of Maori Rasta uprising in Ruatoria. They burned down houses, the police station, woolsheds, churches and even a marae. They kidnapped a cop. They were in a trance of prophecies, visions, and pot. On the morning of July 22, 1985, three local men climbed up a sacred hill….The following extract is from Footsteps of Fire, volume one of Gillies' trilogy, and based on witness statements at the murder trial of Joe Nepe.
FFS! It's Xmas Eve, and you still haven't done your Xmas shopping? We identify 10 kinds of readers and match them with 10 books published in 2016 guaranteed to bring pleasure and that.
Who are the most powerful figures in the new generation of New Zealand literature? The most innovative, the most awarded, the most industrious? A panel of young experts exchanged their views over Snapchat and things like that until they agreed on the top 10.
The biggest-selling books of 2016 at Unity Books in Auckland. Pictured: famous actor playing a character in a bookstore not unlike Unity Books in Auckland, except it was a second-hand bookstore and Hugh Grant worked in it.