Best Books 2021

Another year of living covidly (hence no book fairs) but there have been some great New Zealand publications this year. A third of the book I read in 2021 and my top three recommendations are all recently published books by NZ authors. Check them out! Come Back to Mona Vale – Alexander McKinnon Family secrets,... Continue Reading →

Best Books 2020

A Journal of the Plague Year: On 21 March 2020, I started keeping a daily journal to record and process these “unprecedented” times. I use these quotes ironically as one of the papers I did for my degree was The History of the Plague and although our scientific understanding of disease has advanced, our social... Continue Reading →

Best Books 2019

2019 has been a busy year for me: my first grandchild, moving house and getting back into researching my family tree – no apologies, but this blog and my writing have been neglected. I still found time to read, however, and here is my annual book-reading summary for the year. My reading habits haven’t changed... Continue Reading →

Featherston Booktown Festival 2019

What is a booktown, you may well ask? Alex Johnson in his book Book Towns: Forty-five Paradises of the Printed Word defines it as “simply a small town, usually rural and scenic, full of bookshops and book-related industries.” The most well-known booktowns are Hay-on-Wye in Wales and Wigtown in Scotland (the location of Shaun Bythell’s... Continue Reading →

Flash Fiction

I’ve been bereft at the sudden closure of the Wellington Central Library last month. I used to go there two or three times a week but now I have to check the opening hours of another branch and get in my car – so I haven’t bothered. I thought I would make a dent in... Continue Reading →

Best Books 2018

I read exactly 100 books last year which is probably a record for me. An update of the statistics from my first blog post: Half of the fiction books I read were historical fiction. This year included more New Zealand authors, and more biographies and memoirs. I tried to get back into reading more short... Continue Reading →

Bibliomania: Wellington Bookshops

Starting with the annual DCM book fair I’ve been on a bit of a book-buying binge lately, so for dedicated bibliophiles here is a miscellany of new and second-hand bookstores in and around central Wellington. Conveniently, my two favourite bookshops (Unity and Arty Bees) both have a bus stop right outside. Unity Books Unity Books... Continue Reading →

Trapeze: A Visual Spectacle?

  Watching my daughter’s video of the recent P!nk concert in Auckland, the breath-taking thrill for both performer and audience of P!nk soaring at speed above the crowd was obvious. Something that’s easier to capture on film than in words, but following on from my previous post about 19th-century aerialists here are some books that... Continue Reading →

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