Scoop Review of Books

Archive for April, 2010

Poetry on Posters


Giving poetry the street visibility of punk and rock’n roll, Phantom Billstickers is once again launching a new series of poem posters in late April 2010. Placing poems on the walls of cities across New Zealand, the United States and towns and cities everywhere, the intent is to bring poetry to the attention of the world. This will be Phantom Billstickers fourth run of Poem Posters.


The ten new poems will be launched at a ceremony on the 28th of April at the old Government House, University of Auckland, Princess Street and Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland, New Zealand. The event will take place from 5pm until 7pm. All are welcome.

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Hair’s Taniwha’s tears


HarperCollinsPublishers(NZ) | NZ RRP $19.99 | April 2010

In THE BONE TIKI, David Hair began a cycle of compelling, action-packed fantasy novels; THE TANIWHA’S TEAR is the second book in this series. New Zealand myth and history intertwines our modern world with a magical land of ancient Maori/settler New Zealand. It is fast-paced, full of tension and fear, while balanced with humour and moments of wonder.

For all those who, as children, used to fantasise that taniwha lurked beneath the mud pools of Rotorua, and that the carved faces in Maori meeting-rooms were alive, this series brings these childhood fantasies to life.

This story was primarily inspired by the legends surrounding Gisborne, a region which has a longstanding presence of Maori culture.

Matiu Douglas has promised to help the storyteller’s daughter, but there are a few problems . . . The daughter is dead – she’s been petrified in stone for centuries. And she’s no longer human . . . she’s a taniwha.

When Matiu and his friends defeated Puarata, the tohunga makutu, they thought they’d won the war. Instead they started one. Now his warlocks are fighting for supremacy in a violent struggle spreading across the magical land of Aotearoa and into our world. The outcome will be determined by the taniwha Mat has promised to save.

David Hair says:
I used to devour all the myths and legends books I could find, both New Zealand and overseas. I think stories about the real and mythic past are important in understanding where we’ve come from and who we are, and in the story I had a lot of fun blending the real and the mythic to make it a very New Zealand fantasy.

David Hair was raised in the Hawkes Bay and after the traditional Kiwi OE, settled in Wellington. He currently lives in India with his wife, who is with the New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi. While he worked for many years in the financial services industry, his focus is now on writing. The Bone Tiki was his first book.

What the media said about THE BONE TIKI:

“A debut novel of unusual interest, specifically the blend of Maori mythology with a fast-paced fantasy thriller… I look forward to his next book.” – Tessa Duder, Australian Women’s Weekly

“Maori myth and modern life combine in this ambitious fantasy debut… There’s plenty of action (some violent) and excitement along the way.” – New Zealand Herald

“A first rate fantasy adventure… A fun read.” – New Zealand Listener

Laidlaw cries thief


We have a fabulous selection of books for you for May with two touring authors, and other great fiction and non-fiction titles to choose from.

Our first author tour of the month is with Chris Laidlaw and his new book Somebody Stole My Game. In his book Chris explores a single, pointed question: can rugby’s soul be saved from the relentless commercial pressures that are bearing down on it? Chris will start his tour with an appearance at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival on the 15th May, and then continue around the country.

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Penguin doing the business


Portfolio Penguin, already successful in the US, to roll out in the UK,
Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa

London, 12th April 2010… Penguin is to launch a global business book imprint by rolling out its Portfolio imprint this autumn in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. Portfolio is a market-leading business imprint in the US, and has expanded to India in the last few years.

Penguin Chairman and CEO John Makinson said: “Business publishing is increasingly global in reach, and in Portfolio we have one of the world’s strongest and fastest-growing business book imprints. So we are delighted to launch Portfolio Penguin in the UK and our other major English language markets this year. It will enable us to develop authors and serve the demands of readers both locally and globally, across all print and digital formats.”

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War in all its ugliness

The Good Soldiers By David Finkel
Scribe Publications. Reviewed by SARAH CHANDLER

As the attention of the West shifts away from Iraq and increasingly towards Afghanistan, The Good Soldiers is a timely and quite exceptional insight into the experiences of US soldiers in Iraq at the height of George W. Bush’s ‘surge’ . Beginning in early 2007, the ‘surge’ involved sending an extra 20,000 US troops to Iraq in the hope of quashing sectarian violence.

Washington Post reporter (and Pulitzer prize winner) David Finkel embedded for eight months in Iraq with 800 US soldiers from an infantry battalion known as the ‘2-16’ Rangers, which had deployed to Rastimayah at the height of surge.

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