Monday, October 31, 2016

Late Love – a new BWB Text by Glenn Colquhoun

Life was lived in two parts. In one I would go to work and be unsure and struggle with the waiting room and paper trails and fires popping up. In the other I would imagine. I would dream that I could fly. I would soar up over the world like a young seagull and look down and be amazed. Moments would open up like a ranch slider. Inside I found they were timeless. Poetry was good and medicine was bad.

This BWB Text should be in every doctor’s surgery — and on every politician’s bookshelf, in every school library. Weighing in at a mere 40-pages, it can be read in the time it takes a conscientious General Practitioner to write a prescription for one patient and familiarise themselves on notes for the next. A bantamweight book, it nevertheless has knock-out observations on every page, laid down in lines of graceful sensibility.

Glenn Colquhoun is a GP, youth worker and award-winning poet. Late Love is part confessional memoir, part self-help manual for inundated health professionals, and part prospectus for fit-for-purpose healthcare provision in New Zealand.

In particular it addresses the needs of the young, the disenfranchised and the forgotten, brimming throughout with humility, compassion and therapeutic wisdom.

Colquhoun brings a rare combination of talents and experience – literary, medical and spiritual – to bear in his observations on the latter-day ills of a society in which increasing numbers of young people have little or no stake. That they are ill-suited to whatever safety net that society provides may be because we perennially view them through a pejorative prism: '… so often the path to establishing the confidence and engagement of a young person is through growing their strengths rather than concentrating on what is wrong with them', he writes.

But without professing undue expertise he also suggests foundation principles for a modern, caring and well-directed healthcare service, one that responds to ill health, one that strives to understand what drives ill health, and one in which an 'appreciation of human spirituality in its broadest terms' is built into the fabric.

Late Love is not only an engaging, beautifully written reconciliation of personal and professional conflict (a 'story of redemption'), it is not only a 'Physician heal thyself' meditation, it is a slim but powerful corrective to the inflexible, time-poor and impersonal predilections of medicine today.

For leaders and policy professionals in government, social services, justice and health care, but equally for doctors and nurses, this invaluable addition to the growing collection of BWB Texts is an essential read. For writers and readers interested in contemporary manifestations of the human condition, and its potential alleviations, this vivid and vital essay will come as a revelation and a pleasure.  

Paris for One

In her first collection of short stories, number one bestselling author Jojo Moyes explores real life with humour and heart.

Liv, a spontaneous 23-year old graduate and Sophie, a provincial shop girl, both find themselves in Paris and in love. Though living decades apart, Liv and Sophie have a lot in common and they both find that marriage is only the beginning of their love stories . . .

Beth didn’t expect to see Ben’s face when she walked in to the marquee for Krista’s summer party. Her old lover, the one who never showed at their last meeting. But when she finds out that their split was all a misunderstanding it’s time for her to make a choice . . .

Miranda finds a mobile phone and begins texting a stranger pretending to be someone else. Exciting? Yes. Moral? Possibly not. But what if this is the life she is supposed to lead?

Chrissie is frantically trying to finish the Christmas shopping, and she knows that she will get it wrong, however hard she tries. Her husband and his viper-tonged mother are just never satisfied. Chrissie is fed up, and maybe this Christmas is the time to take control . . .

Penguin Books - $37.00

About the author:

Jojo Moyes is a novelist and a journalist. Her novels include the bestsellers The Girl You Left Behind, The One Plus One, Me Before You and After You. Her novels have been translated into over 40 languages and have hit the number one spot in 10 countries. She is one of the few authors to have had three novels on the New York Timesbestseller list at the same time.

Me Before You has now sold over 8 million copies worldwide and Jojo adapted the novel into a screenplay, of which the major film production, starring Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), was released in summer 2016. Jojo lives in Essex with her husband and their three children.

Capturing Light - Roy Miller New Zealand Stained Glass Artist

What a stunning book. I'm not surprised to learn it took the author over three years to compile.

TITLE:                      CAPTURING LIGHT -             Roy Miller - New Zealand Stained Glass Artist
AUTHOR               Brian Miller     

First book to showcase stained glass windows from  churches throughout New Zealand.
      Roy Miller was New Zealand’s leading stained glass artist from the 1950s until 1981

•     Background history to the art of stained glass worldwide
            Overview of early Dunedin stained glass artists 
    Database provides location to all windows
      Importance of correct techniques for conserving historic stained glass artworks

Roy Miller, in his family signwriting business in Dunedin, began making stained glass windows after World War 2 - a career that would span three decades and result in about 300 windows in over 100 churches scattered across NZ. He became the foremost stained glass artist in New Zealand during that period. Stained glass windows (unlike leadlight) require the collaboration of an artist to design the window along with an artistic craftsman to actually produce the window. Most of the windows are in full public view - but the designers and creators of these artworks are often unrecognised. This well researched book at last brings into the open the lives and the talents of many of these artists and designers associated with the work of Roy Miller.

 Brian Miller (BSc) is the author of several top-selling books, including ‘The Highlands of Papua New Guinea’ and ‘Digital Cameras the easy way’. Author of ‘Moments in Time - Ralph Miller - Artist’ and co-author of ‘Otago Central Rail Trail - easy guide’.

 PUBLICATION DETAILS :                                             
   LIFELOGS LTD           P O BOX 39 DUNEDIN NZ 9054                                          
   PRICE           $69.99   
   FORMAT       270 x 210  mm Pb - French Flaps
   EXTENT        272 pp 
   ILLUS/N        354 Colour images and 18 Black & White photos. 
   ISBN                978-0-9922457-1-9                                                                                                                          


Fucking Apostophes

Simon Griffin
A hilarious, furious and profoundly useful short guide to the most maddening
punctuation in English.
Apostrophes are an f'ing pain. The rules about how to use them are complicated, and have
evolved haphazardly.
Originally written as advice by a copywriter for designers - wont to insert and remove
apostrophes at will, for visual effect - this is a light-hearted, pocket-sized guide to getting the  
f'ing things right.
Simon Griffin lets off steam so that we don't have to, showing precisely why 'Rhianna and J
ennifer's photos were all over the internet' is quite different to 'Rhianna's and Jennifer's photos' or what words apostrophes are replacing in sentences such as 'He'd like you to buy him some
cocaine', or 'They've got it all on camera.'
Elegantly produced, this is the perfect gift for any pedant, as well as an indispensable guide in all our moments of grammar-related frustration.
Simon Griffin is the founder of copywriting agency Hyperbolic ( and lives with his wife and two children in Leeds. He currently has no plans to learn how to touch type and
can happily write whole paragraphs without realising he's left caps lock on.
PUBLISHED: November 2016
IMPRINT:      Icon Books
NZRRP:        $18.99

New Zealand's Rivers


Author and environmental historian Catherine Knight says the state of rivers in Aotearoa New Zealand is highly topical and an issue that affects everyone.
New Zealand’s Rivers: An environmental history sets out to inform current debate about the sustainable use of New Zealand’s fresh water by exploring the history of our often conflicted relationship with our rivers.
Author and environmental historian Catherine Knight says the state of rivers in Aotearoa New Zealand is highly topical and an issue that affects everyone.
“Few people understand our complex history with rivers. Yet rivers are central to our identity as New Zealanders, shaping our lives and providing the water that is so critical to our lives and economy.”
New Zealand’s Rivers explains how, after nearly two centuries of exploiting our rivers for personal and public gain, we have arrived at a crisis point where many of them are too polluted to swim in.

It examines:
• The richly textured relationship between Māori and awa (rivers)
• How European settlers perceived and utilised rivers
• The introduction of trout and salmon, and the role of acclimatisation societies as the earliest advocates for our rivers
• The hydroelectricity schemes, which reached their peak in the ‘Think Big’ era
• Recreational boating, including the invention of the jet boat on our unique braided rivers
• The environmental movement and protection of rivers
• The impact of agriculture on rivers
• The efforts of Māori to assert mana (authority) over their awa through Treaty claims and other means.

Canterbury University Press Publisher Catherine Montgomery says the book will appeal to all New Zealanders, including policy-makers and politicians, scientists, iwi, recreational canoeists and anglers, and anyone with an interest in our environment and history.
“Understanding the history of our relationship with rivers is key to how we manage this precious resource in the future. This engaging and accessible book makes compelling reading not only for policy-makers but for everyone affected by their decisions.”

Catherine Knight works in environmental policy and lives on the Kapiti Coast with her family.
New Zealand’s Rivers: An environmental history - Canterbury University Press, November 2016. RRP $49.99. ISBN: 978-1-927145-76-0

A Moment’s Silence - Suspenseful well developed thriller

A Moment’s Silence
by Christopher Abbey

A poignant premise underlies the title, A Moment’s Silence. What legacy do we leave behind – a life fulfilled or one that goes almost unnoticed by others?
   New Zealander Martyn embarks on his middle-aged OE after his corporate career and thirty-year marriage implode. Picking up the pieces he’s re-established himself with an accountancy consultancy, a new home, and custody of the cat. With business going well, Martyn decides to reward himself with a belated OE in England, but he encounters far more adventure than he’s anticipated when he reports a suspicious sighting to the police. Now he’s the target of a mentally unbalanced IRA hitman who’s gone rogue.
 A lonely man, Martyn’s drawn romantically to Sergeant Elizabeth Candy (off-camera style romance), but there’s the complication of the hitman’s relentless pursuit hanging over things.
   The storyline is based on real events, and the author has skilfully woven fact and fiction, and backstory together, creating a compelling tale with his vivid writing style. Martyn’s travel itinerary and his tourist meanderings are shown in sharp contrast to the movements of the vindictive killer stalking him.
    A well thought out thriller, brimming with suspense, and lifelike characters. I would read more by this author.

Flaxflower Review by Wendy Scott
Title: A Moment’s Silence
Author: Christopher Abbey
Publisher: Mary Egan Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-473-36189-1
RRP: $34.99
Available: print: bookshops; ebook: via Amazon

Acknowledging an important history - an invitation to book launch at Auckland War Memorial Museum

The Great War for New Zealand.

Monday 21 November 2016
5.45 for 6 p.m.
Auditorium, Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

South Atrium Entrance
The Domain, Auckland

Join us to mark a significant new publication on the Waikato War with Mihingarangi Forbes (Chair), leading the discussion between Tom Roa and Rahui Papa (Waikato-Tainui) and author Vincent O’Malley.

Mihi Forbes (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Paoa) is an international award-winning journalist and television presenter, currently Specialist Correspondent, Māori Affairs, for Radio New Zealand. Tom Roa (Puurekireki Marae) is Negotiator for Te Arataura, Waikato-Tainui, and a lecturer in Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato. Rahui Papa (Poohara Marae) is Chairman for Te Arataura, Waikato-Tainui, and currently co-chairs the Ngaati Koroki-Kahukura Tribal Trust. Vincent O’Malley is a founding partner of HistoryWorks, and has written a number of books on New Zealand history prior to The Great War for New Zealand.

All are welcome; no RSVP required.

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE - magnificent, deeply moving novel.


A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.'For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes.

The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth.

In this magnificent,(not an over statement), deeply moving novel, the stories of Marie-Laure and Werner illuminate the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
I was sorry when I finished this one. VERY special, and I'm not surprised at the awards it won.

Fourth Estate.

New novel from New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us back into a dangerous and exhilarating world where a deadly, beautiful archangel and his once-mortal consort are caught in a fury of twisted darkness…

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangel lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, Guild Hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within - truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is . . .
Nothing will ever be the same again.

About the author: Nalini Singh was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. She spent three years living and working in Japan, and travelling around Asia before returning to New Zealand now - although she's always plotting new trips. She has worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher, not necessarily in that order. Some people might call that inconsistency, but she calls it grist for the writer's mill.
Hachette NZ - $24. 99 - Publication 1 November

The 15 best comedy books of all time


From Bridget Jones to Three Men in a Boat - are these the funniest books ever?

The Telegraph

Best comedy books of all time (clockwise from left): Evelyn Waugh; cover of Stella Gibbons's Cold Comfort Farm, Helen Fielding author of Bridget Jones's Diary; Rabelais's Gargantua and Pantagruel
Best comedy books of all time (clockwise from left): Evelyn Waugh; cover of Stella Gibbons's Cold Comfort Farm, Helen Fielding author of Bridget Jones's Diary; Rabelais's Gargantua and Pantagruel Photo: Handout, Mark Gerson/Bonhams; Andrew Crowley

Yes, Some People *Are* Wired Better For Learning Languages


“Analysis of the brain scans revealed that differences in improvement of each behaviour were related to pre-existing differences in brain connectivity. In short, the flow of oxygen in the participants’ brains while at rest predicted how much specific aspects of speech or language skills would improve.”

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Standing Room Only for 10/30/2016

Arts stories for 10/30/2016
Standing Room Only

Standing Room Only is literally radio with pictures... and arts, theatre, film, comedy, books, dance, entertainment and music – all the things, in other words, that make life worth living.Full programme details are available on the Standing Room Only webpage               

Katherine Dewar's novel Ruby and the Blue Sky

In her political thriller Ruby and the Blue Sky, Katherine Dewar blends the environment with rock n roll. In the near future, an international pop star goes viral when she calls for young people to rally and save the planet. But when eco-groupies start pursuing her, she has to decide if she's willing to lead the movement. Katherine Dewar tells Lynn Freeman how she's worked on campaigns for environmental change for more than 20 years.
Oct 30, 2016 02:38 pm

Photographer Meli Berends

A triptych of photographs portraying her successful battle with breast cancer has secured Meli Berends the Student of the Year title at the 2016 Epson/NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards. Meli's studying for a Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging at UCOL in Palmerston North. She has done two series - one on children growing up too fast and the other on breast cancer. Meli explains how she got into photography after her diagnosis of breast cancer at 33 years old.
Oct 30, 2016 02:38 pm
Nick Holmes and A Reverence For WoodWood salvaged from once-protected trees has found a new home in an art exhibition to highlight how much wood is being wasted. Nick Holmes is an aborist who uses off cuts to make beehives. Nick and about a dozen others have used unwanted wood, including from a 160-year-old Norfolk Pine that was cut down last year, for a show called A Reverence for Wood.
Oct 30, 2016 02:35 pm

TV writer Anthony Horowitz

British writer Anthony Horowitz is nothing if not versatile. He's a wildly successful Young Adult novelist - his Alex Ryder series has sold 19 million copies world-wide. He's written official sequels to both Sherlock Holmes and James Bond - his book was called Trigger Mortis, by the way! And he's created, not one but two hugely popular TV series - Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War. His latest - New Blood - brings together a cop and an investigator from the Serious Fraud Office. They're both young, one's half-Iranian and the other half-Polish.
Oct 30, 2016 01:34 pm

Senior Pacific Artists Oscar Kightley & David Fane

Once they were young rebels on stage and screen - now Oscar Kightly and David Fane are Senior Pacific Artists. David and Oscar have worked together for Pacific Underground, the edgy Naked Samoans, and its TV spinoff, the wildly successful Bro Town. David's acted in several of Oscars plays, including Fresh off the Boat and Dawn Raids and of course, the smash-hit Sione's Wedding films. They're chuffed at receiving the Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Awards for 2016, recognising the 20 plus years they've both spent creating and performing shows.
Oct 30, 2016 12:40 pm

Hutt Modernism

Lower Hutt could be sitting on a goldmine. Not literally - but a potential bonanza to draw in visitors with an interest in a very specific style of architecture. Wellington's neighbour is home to a treasure trove of post-World War Two modernist buildings. Some have been lost, and others are in need of a lot of work. But many of the buildings have already got a new lease on life, restored to their former glory and in daily use. Alison Dangerfield from Heritage New Zealand and architect Ian Bowman give Lynn Freeman a tour.
Oct 30, 2016 12:08 pm

Older stories

Irene Gardiner
Gina Cole
Elliot: Ropemakers
Sleep Concert
Frances Fellows
Not all audio is available due to copyright restrictions

The Publisher Who Rejected Jane Austen

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Your invitation to Simone Kaho’s book launch at Poetry Live November 15th

Kia ora,
On the evening of Tuesday 15th November you are warmly invited to the launch of Simone Kaho’s poetry collection, Lucky Punch, published by Anahera Press, and held in conjunction with Poetry Live. With a reading from the book by Simone. MC-ed by Ken Arkind. Lucky Punch will be launched by Anne Kennedy. Food and drink available from the bar. Thanks to Creative New Zealand for supporting the publication of this book.
8 pm: Music
8.45 pm: Poetry Live open mic
9.15 pm: Book launch formalities and reading
10 pm: Poetry Live resumes with open mic
Poetry Live is an iconic poetry event (running weekly for 36 years) held every Tuesday night at the Thirsty Dog, cnr Karangahape Rd & Howe St, Auckland City. Street parking is readily available in the evening and free.
Books will be for sale on the night for $25.00 (cash only). For overseas/out-of-town friends interested in purchasing the book, it is for sale on Anahera Press’s website via secure server using credit or debit card. See Alternately look out for the book at all good independent bookstores. Lucky Punch will also be available as an ebook in the Amazon Kindle store. 
Hope to see you there.
Ngā mihi nui,
Kiri Piahana-Wong