Book Reviews

Boxing scrapbook full of memorabilia


New Zealand has only ever had one world boxing champion born on its shores and that was back in 1890 when "Torpedo" Billy Murphy knocked out the "Belfast Spider" Ike Weir.

Book captures rugby history

rugby book strap

A celebration of more than 80 years of rugby matches in a long-standing rivalry between two local schools.

Perfectly naughty

Geraldine writer Leigh Marsden's second novel is perfect if you're looking for something in the naughty department.

Back to winning formula

Jodi Picoult knows a winning formula: take a controversial topic, add a mix and stir family, and throw in a court case or two for good measure.

Superbly updated guide

This is a stylish, heavily illustrated book, chock-full of information about Timaru's history.

Cathedral's past big part of Timaru

The near-destruction of Christchurch's Anglican and Catholic cathedrals in the February 22 earthquake has left Timaru's basilica as one of the most important examples of religious architecture in Canterbury.


Where it belongs

There will probably be a raft of books covering the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup victory, but this one is a very good start.


HEATHER TALBOTT - The Timaru Herald

The possibilities for the development of robotic technology are believable and disturbing, but it is the human resistance that becomes intriguing.

Startling use of language in fine collection

KARALYN JOYCE - The Timaru Herald

I am always hesitant to review another poet's work. It is a great privilege but you have to tread carefully. Poetry can be very personal.

The Larnachs

SUE MAXWELL - The Timaru Herald

The rich historical detail, the relationships, the lovers' dilemma, and the tragic outcome have been seamlessly melded into a perfect novel.

Retire Richer

A practical guide for everyone aged 25 to 85

HAYLEY MCCAUGHAN - The Timaru Herald

Now that the first batch of the baby boomer generation is old enough to claim a pension, there is a multitude of retirement literature that has hit booksellers' shelves.

Gwen Avery

JAMES FERRIS - The Timaru Herald

As a biography of a locally much-loved and respected woman, this self-published book covers a lot of ground.

At the Lake

HAYLEY MCCAUGHAN - The Timaru Herald

Award-winning children's fiction writer Jill Harris' latest offering, At the Lake, is a young adult mystery set in New Zealand.

The Silence Beyond

JAMES FERRIS - The Timaru Herald

What an intelligent, sensible and eloquent man Michael King was! And what a stimulating series of writings his daughter Rachel has collected in this book.

Avoid Retirement and Stay Alive


Five words make up the title, but the book's theme can be summed up in two: don't retire.



It's not hard to see why Penguin has called this book the most sexually explicit they have ever published in New Zealand.



Civilian New Zealanders Remember the Second World War



On a Pacific atoll, Maryam has been raised to believe she was chosen to be a Blessed Sister, willingly serving the apostles and the Lord.

You Know You're From CHCH When ...

After the February earthquake, Cantabrian Bruce Raines set up the "You know you're from Christchurch when" Facebook page.

Gwena Turner's Christchurch

On a completely different note, this book captures Christchurch's pre-earthquake elegance and charm.