Books Archive

The Monday Extract: The incredible story of the desecration of a Whakatane meeting house

In 1879, the Whakatane meeting house Mataatua was taken apart and put on a ship bound for Australia, then England: 'And so began the wanderings of New Zealand’s most-travelled wharenui...'

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending March 16

The week's best-selling books at the Unity stores in High St, Auckland and Willis St, Wellington.

The Friday Poems: Four by Gordon Challis, 1932-2018

In memoriam: Golden Bay poet Gordon Challis.

Book of the Week: The cookbook everyone is falling in love with

Linda Burgess reviews the biggest-selling book at the New Zealand Festival in Wellington in the weekend - Salt Fat Acid Heat, a cookbook like no other.

World’s greatest writer Karl Ove Knausgård is coming to New Zealand

Exclusive: announcing the imminent arrival of hirsute herring-eating huge Norwegian literary superstar Karl Ove Knausgård.

Random, weird, adventurous: a report on the New Zealand Festival’s writers and readers programme

The Spinoff Review of Books literary editor Steve Braunias reports from the weekend's events at the New Zealand Festival in Wellington.

The Friday Poem: ‘when does it start’ (in English and te reo) by Maraea Rakuraku

New verse by Maraea Rakuraku, taken from a new anthology in English and te reo (translated by Jamie Cowell).

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending March 9

The week's best-selling books at Unity Books stores in Wellington and Auckland.

Book of the Week: Michele A’Court reviews ‘Brave’ by Rose McGowan

Michele A'Court grapples with an uncomfortable truth about the Rose McGowan memoir – it's a diatribe that tells us how to think.

Novelist Charlotte Wood: ‘The female body seems to provoke this bizarre hatred’

Charlotte Graham-McLay interviews acclaimed Australian author Charlotte Wood - who is appearing at the New Zealand Festival this weekend - about sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and 'angry women'.

A visitor to Wellington: sci-fi superstar Charlie Jane Anders

New Zealand fantasy writer Steffi Green interviews Charlie Jane Anders, author of the smash-hit novel All The Birds in the Sky, ahead of her appearances this weekend at the New Zealand Festival in Wellington.

Diana, Brannavan, and the others: announcing the 2018 Ockham national book awards shortlist

We reveal the shortlist of this year’s national book awards.

Joy, despair, shock, Wellington: a red-hot week ahead for writing in New Zealand

Spinoff literary editor Steve Braunias previews two big events - tomorrow’s announcement of the Ockham national book awards shortlist, and this weekend’s Writers and Readers programme at the New Zealand Festival in Wellington.

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending March 2

This week's best-selling books at Unity Books in Wellington and Auckland.

The Friday Poem: ‘the life expectancy of a cloud’ by Paula Harris

New verse by Palmerston North poet Paula Harris.

Book of the Week: The revolutionary live email interview with Peter Wells

The return of the patented Spinoff revolutionary live email interview, this time with Peter Wells, author of a new book devoted to the subject of "reclaiming Pakeha history".

Exclusive: The return of Craig Marriner, the lost genius of New Zealand writing

Craig Marriner was a nobody who won the 2002 book of the year award with his first novel Stonedogs, a raw, rough, street-wise tale of bogan life. His second novel sank without trace - and so did Marriner, who disappeared. He returns after a long absence with an evocation of life and literature in his home town, Rotorua.

The last picture show: beautiful, bittersweet photos of the American West

Mary Macpherson talks to a brilliant Texan photographer who makes portraits of men and the land in the disappearing American West.

The Monday Extract: Tāwhiao, the second Māori King, goes to London to see the Queen

For 20 years, the second Māori King, Tāwhiao, governed Rohe Pōtae (the King Country) as an independent state. Tāwhiao also sailed to London in an attempt to see the Queen; the mission is described in this extract from a new study of that 20-year reign.

The Friday Poem: ‘Brothers’ by Sam Hunt

New verse by Kaipara writer Sam Hunt.

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending February 23

This week's best-selling books at Unity Books in Wellington and Auckland.

Book of the Week: Roger Hall on the comic genius of John Clarke

Legendary playwright Roger Hall pays tribute to the great satirist John Clarke, whose posthumous book Tinkering has been a runaway best-seller this summer.

Hello darkness: Peter Wells’ life with cancer, part 3

The third instalment of Peter Wells’ diary of life with cancer, republished from his private Facebook with permission.

Exclusive: book reviews don’t pay much

Spinoff literary editor Steve Braunias surveys the current state of payments for book reviewing in New Zealand.