My New Zealand Book Month

A NZ Book Month Q & A:

Whose autobiography would you like to ghost write? Willie Apiata. Or Sharon O’Neill.

Hero of NZ Books? Graham ‘Bookman’ Beattie. Beattie’s Book Blog is essential reading for the NZ book lover.

What NZ Book are you reading? Séraphine Pick by Felicity Milburn et al. Beautifully spooky art and thoughtful intelligent writing is a killer combination.

My great NZ novel … would include locales of Gore, Reefton, and Papatoetoe, subjects of country music, the 1980s, and a character called Mhichael Lhaws.

What does New Zealand Book Month mean to you?? tell all!

14 thoughts on “My New Zealand Book Month

  1. richard 2 October 2009 / 8:28 am

    Awesome topic! First and foremost for me NZ Book Month means discovering new writers!

    I’d like to ghost write Chris Knox’s autobiography, or Mike Pero’s.
    Hero of NZ books: All the writers who keep at it!
    NZ Book: Just finished Limestone by Fiona Farrell – great read, try it.
    My great NZ novel would be narrative non-fiction, based on an electric car and episodes from the lives of people who owned it.

  2. zackids 2 October 2009 / 10:13 am

    I’d like to ghost write the autobiography of a NZ music legend like Neil Finn or Dave Dobbyn.
    Hero of NZ books: Brian Falkner for getting young kiwi males into reading and writing.
    NZ book:About to start The Man in the Shed by Llyod Jones just because I loved Mr Pip.
    My great NZ novel would be a children’s book based on all the trips around the South Island that I went on with my family when I was a kid, and would include a Dad who always gets lost (based on my own Dad).

  3. 00Bob 2 October 2009 / 11:44 am

    #####! This thing ate my response!
    2nd (abbrev.) try …

    A great idea though it will not help me over the ditch 😦

    I know Wikipedia lists aussie authors (, incl. by genre e.g. S/F (52) or fantasy (47). How about something similar for NZ authors? Admittedly I don’t read by nationality, rather by interest, but it would be nice to know if there are any (decent) NZ authors.

  4. Mo-mo 2 October 2009 / 1:04 pm

    Whose autobiography would you like to ghost write?
    Assuming that this would involve me hanging around with them a lot by way of research (like Hank Moody in Californication) I would go for the venerable John Campbell (can he really be that nice all the time?)

    Hero of NZ Books?
    Margaret Mahy.

    What NZ Book are you reading?
    Err, none? Am on a Theodore Sturgeon kick at the moment, sorry.

    My great NZ novel …
    A Mills and Boon pastiche/homage where none of the mullets are ironic, heroines become weak at the knee-high fringed boots and love conquers all (ie he’s a Ford man, she’s into Holdens) set in Hornby.

  5. savinia 2 October 2009 / 2:16 pm

    00Bob try Patricia Grace. Her novels give great insight into the transition of Māori from the countryside to the cities. My favourite is called Cousins. Gives you a glimpse into family dynamics.

  6. jane 2 October 2009 / 4:04 pm

    I could ghost write the story of my neighbour, she’s such a character I think there would be plenty to write about.

    I’m not reading a NZ book at the moment, just started the new Anne Tyler (which I must say I’m not convinced by so far). Loved all the early Fiona Kidman books though.

    Hero of NZ books – the great NZ Librarian!

    My great NZ novel – I see wind and rain, grey west coast beaches, atmosphere abounding, and a suitably depressing storyline.

  7. Sue Colyer 6 October 2009 / 9:47 am

    Can’t think of anyone in particular to write about but would be really interesting to look at some of the old (and now defunct) local independent booksellers who contributed so much to the intellectual life of Christchurch in the 50’s – 70’s e.g. Gordon Tait, John Summers, Maurice Kennedy et al.
    Heroes of NZ books – Ruth Todd and Morin Rout at Women on Air who tirelessly promote NZ writing. Readers like to ones who rushed into the library last Friday after the poetry reading at Our City Otautahi, to get Brian Turner’s poetry.
    NZ book I am reading: Gerald Hensley’s Beyond the battlefield;New Zealand and its allies 1939-1945. A great read, informative and witty, as was his earlier memoir.
    My great NZ novel would have elements of mystery and comedy with lots of action and characters you can love. I think it has yet to be written!

    • James Kennedy 25 July 2013 / 12:49 pm

      Sue. I am Maurice Kennedy’s son. I was really touched (obviously belatedly) to read your positive thoughts about his contribution. Dad was very close to Gordon (and his shop was originally housed in Gordon’s basement!)

  8. 00Bob 6 October 2009 / 11:17 am

    Thanks for the replies. I have bookmarked them but will have to explore them when I am not supposed to be working!

    Donna at a glance it looks like no Science Fiction or Fantasy authors. Is this an oversight or a reflection of a gap in NZ literature?

    Savia, thanks for the suggestion but I am afraid my tastes are European history not Maori culture, and SF&F for fiction, though I do supplement this with the odd Agatha Christie etc on occasion

  9. Andrew Neill 23 October 2009 / 4:36 pm

    I believe the library had it’s very own homegrown but internationally published SciFi-Fantasy author, Helen Lowe of Thornspell fame, running a free workshop last Saturday. Helen should also show up on the Sir Julius Vogel Awards site, since she won two this year. Brian Falkner, The Tomorrow Code & Brian Jack, has already had a mention in a previous post, and then there’s always Margaret Mahy with The Changeover etc.

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