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by Eleanor Catton
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky. The Luminaries, an extraordinary work of fiction, was the Man Booker prize winner in 2013.
The Meaning of Trees
by Robert Vennell
Robert Vennel is the manager of Auckland Museum's natural science collection. In this book, sub-titled "The History & Usage of New Zealand's Native Pants", he tells the story of plants and people in Aotearoa New Zealand. In addition to outlining indigenous bush kai (food), Vennell also investigates New Zealand's native plants in terms of their value for suitability for carving, weaving and rongoa (medicinal uses). He looks at traditional Maori usage of the forest and how it put sustainability above all else as well as how European settlers had to change their way of thinking when confronted with vastly different vegetation.
The Book Of Fame
by Lloyd Jones
In August 1905 a party of young men set sail for England. Among them were ordinary farmers and bootmakers, a miner and a bank clerk. Together they made up the All Blacks, an unknown rugby team from New Zealand. And they had come to show the world what they could do. What they didn't know was that they were bound for fame. In this melding of true history and imagination, Lloyd Jones has recreated an unforgettable journey from innocence to celebrity.
The Bone People
by Keri Hulme
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 1985 Booker Prize.
by Witi Ihimaera
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.
New Zealand Wildlife
by Julian Fitter
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.
Zealandia: The Valley That Changed A Nation
by Jim Lynch
In 1990 James Lynch QSM conceived the idea of urban conservation through a plan to `Bring the Birds back to Wellington'. Two years later he came up with the daring concept of community conservation. His visionary 1992 proposal for the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (now Zealandia) imagined a predator-fenced, community-driven eco-sanctuary, populated with endangered species and located 2 km from the Wellington CBD. 30 years later Zealandia is a resounding success and Wellington has been transformed into an international showcase of urban conservation. Inspired by Zealandia, eco-sanctuaries proliferated around the nation. This is Jim's account of how Zealandia became a reality and changed a city and a nation. An uplifting account of daring innovation, and of the determination of an ever-expanding community that built a jewel that will be treasured by generations yet to be born.
Mauri Ora: Wisdom from the Maori World
by Peter Alsop & Te Rau Kupenga
Pearls of wisdom - whakatauki - have been gifted from generation to generation as an intrinsic part of the Maori world. Mauri Ora links whakatauki to key personal virtues identified across cultures and generations.
New Zealand: A Natural History
by Tui De Roy & Mark Jones
The authors, both naturalists and photographers, present the wildlife, habitats and splendour of their adopted homeland in this pictorial celebration.
Purakau: Maori Myths retold by Maori Writers
by Witi Ihimaera & Whiti Hereaka (editors)
A lively retelling of Purakau - Maori Myths - by contemporary Maori Writers.
A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand
by Julian Fitter
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
by Katherine Mansfield
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 Penguin History of New Zealand
by Michael King
This bestselling book is arguably the definitive contemporary reference to the history of New Zealand. New Zealand was the last country in the world to be discovered and settled by humankind. It was also the first to introduce full democracy. Between those events, and in the century that followed the franchise, the movements and conflicts of human history have been played out more intensively and more rapidly in New Zealand than anywhere else on Earth. The Penguin History of New Zealand tells that story in all its colour and drama. The narrative that emerges is an inclusive one about men and women, Maori and Pakeha. It shows that British motives in colonising New Zealand were essentially humane; and that Maori, far from being passive victims of a 'fatal impact', coped heroically with colonisation and survived by selectively accepting and adapting what Western technology and culture had to offer.