Book Chooks

They're faster than a speeding bookmark, more powerful than the glue on the pricetag on the cover of your favourite book and able to leap tall paperbacks in a single bound ... and they read. A lot. Jillian Allison-Aitken and Nadine Hancock are the Book Chooks.

Quirky thriller is a little off-balance

11:00am 23 Oct 2014

MAREE FIELD

BOOK REVIEW: Dog Will Have His Day 
By Fred Vargas (Harvill Secker, RRP $37)

Former special investigator Louis Kehlweiler has to find new ways to fill in his days now that he no longer works for the Parisian police force.

Kehlweiler gathers information, takes care of his toad (yes, he has a pet toad), and patiently digs away at crime and corruption.

He's keeping watch on the flat of the nephew of a prominent politician when something unusual catches his eye.

A dog has left a deposit near a tree, but that's not what catches' Kehlweiler eye - it's the human bone protruding from the excrement.

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From our reviewers: NZ non-fiction

05:00am 20 Oct 2014

Changing Times: New Zealand Since 1945
By Jenny Carlyon and Diana Morrow (Auckland University Press $45)

Reviewed by Mark Hotton

Much has been written about New Zealand's attempts to find its place in the world as a fledgling nation and the role of rugby and war in creating a sense of nationalism in and around World War I.

But a more important portion of our nation's history has occurred post-World War II, and it's this period that plays a more important role in both how we define ourselves as New Zealanders and how the past shapes our present.

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Brutality enjoyed in Oz re-imagining

05:00am 14 Oct 2014

NADINE HANCOCK

BOOK REVIEW: Dorothy Must Die
By Danielle Paige (HarperCollins, RRP $20)

The Dorothy that landed in Oz and met the Scarecrow, The Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion must be killed. But why would anyone want to kill Dorothy?

She's good right? Well, no, she's not. At least not in the world that Danielle Paige has created.

Turning what we know as Oz on its head, Danielle Paige tells the story of Amy, a teenager dealing with a school bully and an addict for a mother.

Following in the windswept journey that Dorothy experienced, a tornado picks Amy up and dumps her into the wonderful world of Oz, where she quickly learns that Dorothy and all the other good guys are now on the side of the evil, and the wicked ones are now the heroes.

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Another classic Reacher adventure

05:00am 10 Oct 2014

JILLIAN ALLISON-AITKEN

BOOK REVIEW: Personal
By Lee Child (Bantam Press, RRP $38)

There's nothing quite like getting your hands on the latest Jack Reacher adventure and this one is a cracker.

Action hero Reacher, the ex- military cop who is now something of a one-man army, is back and, as the title of the book would suggest, this time it's personal.

Someone has taken a potshot at the French president. And not just any old someone: whoever it was had some pretty impressive sniper skills, incredibly accurate from an incredible distance.

The shooter might not have hit the president, but with the shot making a hole in the safety barrier from a huge distance, the powers that be are worried that it may have been a practice run for the G8 summit coming up in London, meaning even bigger targets.

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Expertise galore for fishermen

05:00am 07 Oct 2014

DON WRIGHT

BOOK REVIEW: Fly Patterns By Fishing Guides
By Tony Lolli (New Burlington, RRP $30)

As Southland's army of fly fishermen prepare to match their wits against the wily brown and rainbow species of our world-famous waters, their insatiable appetite for more knowledge that might deceive trout will prosper from reading this exceptional literary morsel.

Southlander Murray Orr is one of many acknowledged experts and guides from all over the world who make recommendations with valuable contributions to a work that will embellish any trout fisherman's library.

A freelance writer with more than 50 years of international experience as an angler and author of seven United States books, Tony Lolli has not made the mistake of many contemporaries who over-intellectualise a recreational pursuit that largely demands common sense and attention to basic detail.

Southlanders are more fortunate than most in that the province has many vastly experienced anglers only too happy to impart knowledge and encourage wide-eyed youngsters and newcomers.

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