Short and to the point

JILLIAN ALLISON-AITKEN
Last updated 15:51 18/07/2014

BWB Texts
By Kirsty Gunn, Maurice Gee, Paul Callaghan and Max Rashbrooke (Bridget Williams Books, RRP $15 paperback, $5 ebook)

The critically acclaimed "short books on big subjects" have moved from the digital world to print.

BWB Texts were launched in March last year and although the series was initially released in digital format, the publisher is now making selected books available in paperback form.

In Thorndon, Wellington and Home: My Katherine Mansfield Project, author Kirsty Gunn looks at the meaning of the word "home", both for herself and for Katherine Mansfield.

Returning to the capital after 30 years away, Gunn found that "home" was now two places - "here and there the same place after all".

It's an interesting read.

Maurice Gee's Creeks and Kitchens: A Childhood Memoir was probably my favourite of the four I've reviewed here.

The author paints a picture of his childhood memories so vivid that you can almost feel the heat of the black stove and feel the worn, brown lino beneath your feet.

There's a reason Gee is held in such high stead as a writer: he is one of our best and has earned every single one of those awards he has received over the years.

Sir Paul Callaghan was a world- renowned scientist, teacher and communicator before his death in 2012, and Luminous Moments pulls together a selection of his most significant writings into one compact but enormously important package.

Sir Paul had that incredible knack of taking things that are scientific and nerdy and making them interesting and accessible for the average not-so-science- friendly plebs, such as me.

The final book in this group is The Inequality Debate: A New Zealand Introduction by Max Rashbrooke.

We hear so much about the gap between rich and poor, but it doesn't always hit home just how much this divide affects us all, no matter where we sit on the wealth scale.

Journalist and author Rashbrooke has written an introduction that explains it all in a way that doesn't feel like a lecture.

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