Suggested Reading List
A Concise History of New Zealand
Author: Philippa Mein Smith
Description: This well-written pocket history in the series by Cambridge University Press covers the history and development of New Zealand from its origins and early development to the 21st century. With illustrations, glossary, chronology and bibliography.
A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand
Author: Julian Fitter
Description: Comprehensive and compact, this Princeton Pocket Guide by longtime resident Julian Fitter and Don Merton at New Zealand's Department of Conservation features 600 color photographs. With range maps, descriptions and excellent introductory chapters on conservation efforts and key national parks for bird watching
A Personal Kiwi-Yankee Dictionary
Author: Louis Leland
Description: Take this book with you on your trip to help you untangle the sometimes perplexing and colorful local idioms.
A Traveler’s History of New Zealand and the South Pacific
Author: John Chambers
Description: A concise, generous overview of the region, organized chronologically, and including line drawings and maps. While a great deal of the book focuses on New Zealand, there is also ample coverage of the South Pacific.
Captain James Cook
Author: Richard Hough
Description: A vividly written narrative of the life and three great voyages of Captain Cook. This fine book includes a gripping account of his discoveries throughout the Pacific and his demise in the Sandwich Islands.
Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All
Author: Christina Thompson
Description: In this endearing, offbeat memoir, Christina Thompson effortlessly alternates tales of mostly disastrous early encounters with the Maori (she's an anthropologist) and the story of the love of her life, Seven, the Maori she married. Her title is taken from what "Darwin said that Cook said the Maori's said at that interesting moment when Europeans first appeared." What probably actually transpired on that fateful day in 1769 at the Bay of Isles was more complex.
Cultural Atlas of Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific
Author: Richard Nile & Christian Clerk
Description: This handsome volume weaves together history, geography, archaeology, and the arts, covering the Australasian region from prehistory up to the founding of the modern nations. Features hundreds of illustrations.
Author: Samuel Butler
Description: Butler's satirical account of a journey across the mountains to an upside-down country at the end of the world (Erewhon is an anagram of Nowhere), where sick people are thrown in jail and murderers are taken to the hospital. Erewhon is also a place in New Zealand where Butler, not coincidentally, ran a sheep ranch for several years in the 1860s. Upper Rangitata, in the foothills of Canterbury, retains its wild beauty (featured in the movie Lord of the Rings). Butler not only exposes the hypocrisy of Victorian society, church and education but also does a fine job of evoking the landscape of the region. First published privately by Butler in 1872.
Eyewitness Guide New Zealand
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: This superb illustrated guide to New Zealand from the Eyewitness series features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry.
Fairness and Freedom, A History of Two Open Societies, New Zealand and the United States
Author: David Hackett Fischer
Description: Fischer compares the political similarities of two societies, the United States and New Zealand, why they have taken different forms, and asks the question: is it possible to be both fair and free? An expansion of Fischer's previous work on liberty and freedom, and the first book to be published on the history of fairness.
Great Southern Landings: An Anthology of Antipodean Travel
Author: Jan Bassett
Description: This eclectic and quirky anthology collects nearly 100 excerpts from various writers who have left their impressions of actual visits to the Antipodes in books and journals, while others, travelling only in their minds, left accounts of imaginary voyages to distant utopias. The contributors include Jonathan Swift, Jules Verne, Joseph Conrad, Kenneth Clark, Charles Darwin, Robin Hanbury-Tenison, Herbert Hoover, Anthony Eden, Anthony Trollope, Mark Twain, Bruce Chatwin, Jan Morris, Harold Larwood, Germaine Greer, and Peter Conrad. A helpful introduction is given to each extract and author.
Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand
Author: Barrie Heather, Hugh Robertson & Derek Onley
Description: A compact edition of the classic field guide to the birds of New Zealand, featuring 74 color plates. Brief descriptions, range maps and illustrations are integrated on facing pages for easy reference.
Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance
Author: Lloyd Jones
Description: From rural New Zealand at the end of World War I to the present day, two separate love stories resonate across three generations, as two very different couples are brought together by their obsession with the seductive power of the tango. By the author of the critically acclaimed Mr. Pip, this earlier novel was first published in New Zealand in 2002.
In A Sunburned Country
Author: Bill Bryson
Description: Bill Bryson revels in Australia's eccentric characters, dangerous flora and fauna, and other oddities. As has become his custom, he effortlessly imparts much fact-filled history in this wildly funny book. Included at the end is a short bibliography. This book is published as "Down Under" in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain.
Making Peoples, A History of the New Zealanders from Polynesian Settlement to the End of the Nineteenth Century
Author: James Belich
Description: An extremely readable and scholarly history that traces the development of New Zealand -- and the Maori -- from pre-contact to the late 19th century. With its wide, yet detailed focus, this book gives the reader a glimpse into the social forces that have formed the Maori, including the tremendous impact of colonization. It concludes with a discussion of the Pakeha, the 19th century settlers who helped shape what has become modern day New Zealand. Belich, a professor of history at the University of Aukland, continues the story in a second volume (NZL59).
Author: H.G. Robley
Description: A new unabridged edition of the classic, illustrated sourcebook on Maori tattooing (moko), first published in 1896 and featuring black-and-white photographs and drawings by the author. Robley (1840-1930), who recognized that the traditional art of tattooing was endangered (along with the Maori themselves), pays scrupulous attention to the intricate patterns, design and cultural meaning of traditional Maori tattoos. Robley, a talented artist who had served in the British army in New Zealand, lived among Ngati Tapu at Matapihi from 1864 to 1866.
New Zealand Adventure Map
Author: National Geographic
Description: This handy, double-sided map (1:1,100,000), printed on water- and tear-resistant paper, includes inset maps of the Sub-Antarctic islands and an index. Published in conjunction with Reise Know-How and the World Mapping Project, this is one of a growing series of National Geographic Adventure Maps. One Side. 39x27 inches.
New Zealand Through Time, An Illustrated Journey Through 83 Million Years of Natural History
Author: Ronald Cometti
Description: Step back in time in this illustrated miscellany, featuring dozens of full-color paintings of giant moa, mixosaurus, and other splendid extinct creatures.
New Zealand Wildlife
Author: Julian Fitter
Description: Julian Fitter's splendid introduction to the nature and wildlife of New Zealand features succinct chapters on geography and geology, history, habitats and wildlife, along with hundreds of color photographs. Fitter (Wildlife of the Galapagos) and Tui de Roy, who contributed many of the photographs, also collaborated on Albatross, Their World, Their Ways.
New Zealand: A Natural History
Author: Tui De Roy & Mark Jones
Description: The authors, both naturalists and photographers, present the wildlife, habitats and splendor of their adopted homeland in this pictorial celebration.
Once Were Warriors
Author: Alan Duff
Description: You may have seen the movie. This is the controversial best-selling novel set in what would appear to be Auckland. It follows the fate of Beth, a tough young woman with a son to protect, and is an insightful, gut-wrenching look at social problems of the Maori in contemporary New Zealand.
Slipping Into Paradise, Why I Live in New Zealand
Author: Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Description: In this far-ranging book, a travelogue of sorts, Masson (who left the rarified atmosphere of Berkeley for Auckland in 2000) combines his travels and tales with history, riffs on the kiwis, nature and society. This is the same author who has written a series of wildly successful books on the emotional lives on animals, including The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, which is about treatment of farm animals.
Author: Chris Duff
Description: In this book, subtitled "A Solo Sea Kayaking Journey Around New Zealand's South Island," seasoned kyacker Chris Duff challenges the waters of the Pacific while ruminating on the beauty of New Zealand's coast and people.
Author: Katherine Mansfield
Description: This collection includes three marvelous, long pieces which together constitute the beginnings of an unfinished novel based on Mansfield's childhood in Wellington, New Zealand in the 1890s.
The Bone People
Author: Keri Hulme
Description: Set in modern-day South Island, this lyrical novel brings together three troubled individuals who represent New Zealand’s varied Maori and European traditions. (Winner of the Booker Prize)
The Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand
Author: Barrie Heather
Description: A revised, compact edition of the classic field guide to the birds of New Zealand featuring 74 color plates by Derek Onley. Brief descriptions, range maps and illustrations are integrated on facing pages for easy reference in the field. It combines the two sections (field guide and details) of the 1997 edition.
The Happy Isles of Oceania
Author: Paul Theroux
Description: Here's Theroux at his wickedly funny and open-minded best. The peripatetic author flies off to Australia and New Zealand with a kayak and ends up exploring much of Melanesia and Polynesia, including Tonga, Fiji and the Marquesas.
Tutira, The Story of a New Zealand Sheep Station
Author: Herbert Guthrie-Smith
Description: First published in 1921, this loving acount of the ecology of New Zealand focuses on Guthrie-Smith's 40,000-sheep shearing station on the shores of Lake Tutira. He covers the geologic setting, ecology and and impact of sheep on the region. With line drawings, maps and a few period photographs.
Author: Witi Ihimaera
Description: A magical, mythical novella about a young Maori girl and her relationship with a whale, that ultimately saves her village. Based loosely on Ihimaera’s youth in a Maori village.
Author: Neville Peat
Description: This comprehensive (and hard to find) overview of the natural history of New Zealand's Fiordland features maps, lively essays and 200 color photographs. It takes you from high mountains to forests and fjords, lakes and rivers.
Xenophobe's Guide to the Kiwis
Author: Christine Cole Catley
Description: Frank, irreverent and funny, this entertaining pocket guide might just increase cultural awareness!