Scoop Review of Books

Archive for December, 2008

Auckland to Host Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

The two overall winners of the twenty-third annual Commonwealth Writers’ Prize will be announced at the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival on 16 May 2009.

The Prize, an increasingly valued international award for fiction, is presented by the Commonwealth Foundation. The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize aims to reward the best of Commonwealth fiction written in English, by both established and new writers, and to take their works to a global audience. Read more »

New Book Takes the Pulse of the Planet

Press Release: South Pacific Press

The timely release of Jane Dove Juneau’s latest book, Listen to the Heartbeat of the Earth, ensures it is well-positioned in the debate heating up on climate change in New Zealand. With increasing concerns on climate change throughout the developed world, this new book is designed to reach people and stimulate thought and action.

Launched on 2 December 2008, the book is beautifully produced and is accessible to all age groups. Jane Dove Juneau has spent over 30 years photographing images throughout the world for news outlets, corporate and promotional work and her own books.

Images evoking earth as the most special of places, with inspiring thoughts by great people in world history combine to reward the reader with an experience that borders on the spiritual in Juneau’s Listen to the Heartbeat of the Earth.

At the moment The United Nations Climate Change Conference is underway in Poznan, Poland from 1 – 12 December and is the half-way mark in the negotiations on an ambitious and effective international response to climate change. The deal is to be clinched in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 and will take effect in 2013, the year after the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires.

Close to eleven thousand people are attending the conference with representatives from governments, industries and environmental organizations from around the world.

“I feel great concern that the newly-elected National Government has already shelved the Emissions Trading Scheme pending a select committee review and I believe this is a backward step for this country. Through my book I’m hoping to encourage people to voice their own concerns on reducing New Zealand’s carbon emissions, in line with the Kyoto Protocol target, to their MP’s, and also to gain their commitment on the emerging proposals on climate change from Poznan,” says Jane.

“Listen to the Heartbeat of the Earth is there to remind each of us of the importance of our impact on the planet and the environment. It is time to think seriously about how we can create a sustainable future for man and the other creatures that inhabit our planet,” says Jane.

The beautiful book presents 120 phenomenal, top quality, colour landscape images taken across the world from Peru to Samoa, the United States to Australia and New Zealand.

“Our footprint, combined with all the steps taken by mankind, has a huge influence on the environment and we need to take time to consider our personal future and the lifestyle choices we make in the short time we are on the earth, as they are crucial to the future of the earth,” she says.

As climate change raises concern around the globe Jane Dove Juneau’s book is right in tune with new thinking and offers encouragement to people of all ages to become active in their own communities and environments.

“Change comes from each and everyone of us taking responsibility and care of our planet. We have to become more aware, as the very future of mankind rests with us today,” she says.


Exposing both Minefields and Muddles

Media Minefield: A journalists’ guide to media regulation in New Zealand, by Steven Price
NZ Journalists Training Organisation. Reviewed by HEATHER KAVAN

pjrbook14_2_media_minefield-1.jpgIn reading Media Minefield, the first sentence of the book The Journalist and the Murderer kept running through my head: ‘Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible’ (Malcolm, 1990, p. 3). The tense relationship between the media and the public is evidenced not just by complaints and lawsuits, but by the fact that juries are not usually sympathetic to journalists.

In Media Minefield, author Steven Price attempts to alleviate this problem. He doesn’t go deeply into ethical debates, but cuts to the chase—advising journalists on how to avoid complaints and lawsuits. These, he says, ‘are the bane of journalists’ lives. But bad journalism is the bane of everyone else’s’ (p. xiii).

Read more »

Founding Father of NZ Rugby

MONRO: The Life and Times of the Man Who Gave New Zealand Rugby
By Clive Akers. 241 pp. $50. Reviewed by SIMON NATHAN

monro002.jpgOn Friday August 12 1904 Charles Monro caught a packed train from Palmerston North to Wellington to watch the first international rugby match between New Zealand and England. Although England was the favourite, New Zealand won with a score of 9-3, and the crowd was jubilant. Rugby was now our national game, and we were good enough to beat the best team that England could provide.

Charles Monro must have felt great satisfaction. Thirty four years earlier, as a 19-year old recently returned from school in England, he had been responsible for introducing rugby into New Zealand. Later in 1870 he organised the first interprovincial match, between Nelson and Wellington.

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Classic NZ Mountain Bike Rides 7th Edition

1 December 2008

The fully revised edition of best-selling Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides will be released by Kennett Brothers Publishing this month.

The seventh edition features 300 rides – including 140 new tracks – along with maps, altitude graphs and a chapter on ride preparation. All 135 photographs are full colour and the maps are now printed in colour, too. Another upgrade in the 7th edition is the addition of track difficulty symbols and a ride rating of between one and four stars. And by popular demand, the book’s flip cartoon has returned, this time featuring the evolution of the mountain biker. Read more »

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