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.

Wonderful experimentation

05:00am 29 Mar 2015


Black Moon
By Kevin Calhoun (Random House, RRP $37)

I love my dystopia fiction, especially when they are outside of the young adult genre which often concentrates on the destruction of civilisation due to a war or aliens.

Karen Thompson Walker's Age of Miracles, released last year, was a wonderful experimentation of what would happen if the rotation of the Earth slowed down.

Now, Kevin Calhoun delivers his vision of an apocalyptic world; a world where sleep evades everyone except for a select few know as sleepers.

The premise of this novel is fascinating to read. Without sleep we begin to panic, we begin to hallucinate and dreams that were once inside out heads seem to spill into reality.

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Dawkins opens up on fascinating life

05:00am 20 Mar 2015


BOOK REVIEW:  An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist
By Richard Dawkins (Bantam Press, RRP $40)

I'm no science geek, in fact I happily admit to still being quite impressed by the magical ability of my fridge to spit out ice at the touch of a button, so you know a science dude is impressively famous when he's one of just three living science dudes I would be able to pick out in a lineup.

Richard Dawkins is a fascinating bloke who has a knack for writing fascinating books.

The God Delusion in 2006 put him centrestage as the ultimate sceptic, and The Selfish Gene gave us a new view of evolution and introduced us to the term "meme". And where would the internet be without memes?

However, while this latest book is a lot more personal it is every bit as interesting.

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From our reviewers

05:00am 12 Mar 2015

By Siobhan Harvey (Otago University Press, RRP $25)

Essential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page
Selected by Siobhan Harvey, Harry Ricketts and James Norcliffe (Godwit, RRP $45)

Both reviewed by Naida Mulligan

Siobhan Harvey is an internationally recognised poet who has been critically acclaimed through receiving or being shortlisted for many awards. Most recently she won the Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award 2013 for her Cloudboy collection.

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Shame on the high seas

05:00am 28 Feb 2015


By Michael Field (Awa Press $40)

The tagline on this book is "How fishing companies reinvented slavery and plunder the oceans", and that's exactly what it's about.

Michael Field has done an outstanding job outlining the disgraceful state of conditions on foreign charter vessels fishing in New Zealand waters for New Zealand quota.

The Catch is a fascinating, yet horrifying, expose of the dark and complex world of the deep-sea fishing industry. He patiently takes the reader through the complex situation that is the quota system and gradually builds up a comprehensive picture of the state of the industry. It's a weighty subject and Field has carried out extensive research but it's not a difficult read - he's used all his skills as a journalist to weave an easily readable story around some shameful operations.

He highlights numerous cases of modern slavery, of unsafe and abhorrent working environments, and fishing practices that are wasteful, environmentally damaging and usually illegal, all happening in New Zealand waters. Sadly, he leaves you in no doubt that the wholesale pillage of our fishing stocks is well advanced - and more importantly been ignored at the highest levels of government (at least until July 31 when a bill that had languished for two years was finally passed on parliament's last sitting day. Its passing means from May 2016 boats fishing for New Zealand quota will need to be flagged to New Zealand and thus fall under New Zealand laws and regulations).

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Reviews: Teen fiction

05:00am 21 Feb 2015

The Taming of the Tights
By Louise Rennison (HarperCollins, RRP $26)

Reviewed by Naida Mulligan

This completes a trilogy about the narrator Tallulah Casey, following Withering Tights and A Midsummer Tights Dream.

Lullah attends some sort of drama school in the small village of Heckmondwike near Skipley in Yorkshire.

I'm not sure about the significance of the name of the school, Dother Hall, but it does sound rather Dickensian. Lullah and her friends are at the boy crazy stage and aiming for number six on the Lulu-luuuve List.

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