Danny Yee >> Travelogues >> New Zealand South Island 2002

Reading - New Zealand books

I had read very little about New Zealand before the trip: several books about the Polynesian settlement of the Pacific, including the Maoris in New Zealand, and a book Kea: Bird of Paradox - that was about it.

I took with me Keith Sinclair's A History of New Zealand and Mary Renault's The Last of the Wine (a aging and battered paperback from an op-shop). While in New Zealand I bought and read John Steinbeck's The Short Reign of Pippin IV (an op-shop find for 20c), Sándor Márai's Embers, and Alfred Duggan's Elephants and Castles.

For later reading I bought Melanie Nolan's Breadwinning: New Zealand Women and the State and The Shaping of History: Essays from The New Zealand Journal of History.

The hostels I stayed in had varying selections of books: Greymouth and Lake Tekapo YHAs the biggest ones. I read an entire trashy war novel while in Greymouth, and a couple of stories from Monsarrat's collection The Ship that Died of Shame while in Tekapo. Readers Digest abridgements were rather common, both in hostels and op-shops - as they used to be in Australia before everyone realised they were junk.

Details of later reading will go into the New Zealand section of my book reviews. I also added a separate New Zealand bookshops section to my Australian bookshop directory.

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