General non-fiction

REVIEW Killing Time

September 12, 2017
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REVIEW Killing Time

Dubai is known for its luxury and excess, but scratch the surface and you’ll find the glitzy tourist destination isn’t quite so bright and shiny. The laws in Dubai are much more strict than in the West, and the consequences of breaking those laws can be brutal, as author and musician Karl Williams found....

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True story is gripping reading

March 30, 2016
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True story is gripping reading

Hanns and Rudolf, by Thomas Harding (Random House, RRP $38): Subtitled “the extraordinary true story of the Jewish investigator who pursued and captured one of Nazi Germany’s most notorious war criminals”, Hanns and Rudolf shows that a true story can be every bit as exciting as any work of fiction a Hollywood scriptwriter could...

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What do rats dream about?

March 19, 2016
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What do rats dream about?

The Wandering Mind: What the Brain Does When You’re Not Looking, by Michael C Corballis (Auckland University Press, RRP $35): As often as I stop to think, then forget to start again, I am also plagued by bouts of my mind wandering off unattended and delivering all sorts of random thoughts that I then...

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Revelations rocked newspaper industry

January 23, 2016
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Revelations rocked newspaper industry

Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught Up with Rupert Murdoch, by Nick Davies (Chatto & Windus, RRP $40): While the 2011 News International phone-hacking scandal might not have been the huge news here that it was in the northern hemisphere, there’s no doubting the fact that what happened has had a global impact. The...

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Fairy-tale life that turned sad

January 17, 2016
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Fairy-tale life that turned sad

Empty Mansions, by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr (Atlantic Books, RRP $40): It’s human nature that we have a fascination with the lives of the rich and famous, but sometimes the lives of the incredibly wealthy are also incredibly sad. Reclusive heiress Huguette Clark died in 2011 at the age of 104....

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Return to the manor a treat

November 15, 2015
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Return to the manor a treat

Dog Gone, Back Soon, by Nick Trout (Allen & Unwin, RRP $37): I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but I missed the buzz over author Nick Trout’s earlier novels. The biggest buzz of all has been about 2013’s The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs. I eventually managed to catch up on that particular wee gem while I was on holiday in Aussie...

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Grylls delivers – and some

November 11, 2015
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Grylls delivers – and some

True Grit Junior Edition, by Bear Grylls (Corgi Juvenile, RRP $20): I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy this book but am pleased to say I was proved wrong. Let me begin by owning up to one thing in particular: I’m not greatly enamoured of Bear Grylls. While his fans watch his various “boy’s own adventure”...

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Satire fails to fire

November 2, 2015
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Satire fails to fire

The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way (And It Wasn’t My Fault) (And I’ll Never Do It Again), by P J O’Rourke (Grove Press UK, RRP $37): Author P J O’Rourke has a knack for making hilarious observations on life, as shown by his earlier bestsellers, so I was expecting big things from...

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Martyn a true flight history scholar

October 21, 2015
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Martyn a true flight history scholar

A Passion for Flight: New Zealand aviation before the Great War Volume Three, by Errol Martyn (Volplane Press, RRP $55): No sooner had volume two of this detailed history of early New Zealand history hit the decks after being published in July, 2013, but volume three (A Passion for Flight: New Zealand aviation before...

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Celebrating Starship’s first 21 years

October 7, 2015
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Celebrating Starship’s first 21 years

Starship: Inside Our National Children’s Hospital, edited by Lochie Teague (Random House, RRP $50): For a generation of young Kiwis, Starship hospital has always been there: the place the the very young and very sick can rely on to provide care for both its patients and their families. However, some of us who are...

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