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Our iconic bricks and mortar book shop at 378 Great King Street is open:
Monday to Friday 8:30 - 5:30
Saturday 10:00 - 4:00
Sunday 11:00 - 3:00
Although our books like privacy after dark we love this exposé from our bookselling colleagues at Type Books, Toronto, celebrating the nightlife of real books…. Be ready to be tickled …
Author of the Month
In our Author of the Month column Book Window asks a series of illuminating questions on writing, reading and what's in the fridge.
July's Book Window features award-winning children's book illustrator Robyn Belton.
Commonwealth Book Prize
Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka, a former advertising copywriter, has won the Commonwealth Book Prize for his highly praised debut novel ‘Chinaman: the Legend of Pradeep Mathew’.
New Zealand author Helen Lowe has won the Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Newcomer for her book The Heir of Night (The Wall of Night Book One). The award was voted on by readers across the world. Helen is not only the first female author to have won either the Morningstar or Legend award, but she is also the first Southern Hemisphere author to have been awarded one of these coveted international prizes.
Painter of Silence
by Georgina Harding
RRP: $39.99, Paperback, ISBN: 9781408824467
Set against the backdrop of pre- and post-World War II Romania, ‘Painter of Silence’ is the story of two childhood friends, Safta and Augustin. Safta is the daughter of wealthy Romanian landowners and becomes a nurse during World War II. Augustin is the son of cook who works at Safta's manor; he is deaf and mute, but the two share a communication that transcend speech and hearing. The story opens with Augustin arriving in Iasi, looking for Safta. He manages to find the hospital where she works and crumbles on its doorstep. The story then goes back and forth between Augustin's recovery, and memories of Safta and Augustin's childhood. Augustin communicates through drawing pictures, and Safta gives him paper and pencils so he can tell what happened to him after the war started. ‘Painter of Silence’ works steadily through small crescendos until the reader learns the full histories of Augustin and Safta. It is a novel not easily forgotten.
Life! Death! Prizes!
by Stepehn May
RRP: $36.99, Paperback, ISBN: 9781408819135
Billy's Mum is dead. He knows - because he reads about it in magazines - that people die every day in ways that are more random and tragic and stupid than hers, but for nineteen-year-old Billy and his little brother, Oscar, their mother's death in a bungled street robbery is the most random and tragic and stupid thing that could possibly have happened to them.
Now Billy must be both mother and father to Oscar. The boys' new world, is built out of chaos and fierce love, but it's also a world that teeters perilously on its axis. And as Billy's obsession with his mother's missing killer grows, he risks losing sight of the one thing that really matters….
by Jenny Patrick
RRP: $37.99, Paperback, ISBN: 9781869798048
A new novel from the author of the best-selling ‘The Denniston Rose’. The little French girl, Lily Alouette, was singing and dancing almost as soon as she could walk. When she is left an orphan in an unfamiliar country after her parents have emigrated to the goldfields, it is performing in a circus that offers survival. She attracts the attention of two men. One is the faithful Jack Lacey; the other is the renowned pirate Bully Hayes. While Jack has to compete with both Bully and the theatre to win Lily's attention, Lily finds she must share Jack, too. A page-turning, heart-warming and full of surprises.
Robyn Belton is one of New Zealand’s best known and most accomplished illustrators of children’s books. After studying at the Canterbury Scholl of Fine Arts, Belton began her career in 1977 illustrating the School Journal. Belton’s first story book was ‘The Duck in the Gun’ written by Joy Cowley, which won the Russell Clark Award in 1985. The book established an international following and was one of ten children’s books selected for the Hiroshima Peace Museum. In 2006 Robyn won the prestigious Margaret Mahy Medal.
’Books aren’t just an optional form of entertainment, but are actually life-giving things’ this is a quote from Edward Blishen. “It’s a motto I have pinned up on the wall in my workroom” said Robyn.
Author of the Month
BW: Do you find it easy to settle down to write or are there certain routines or rituals that are part of the process?
RB: When I first began, my working pattern revolved around the needs of a young family. Every morning, after my children had gone to school, I went for a walk around the river and back home to my workroom. This remains my ritual to this day. Walking is a good way of trying out a script, reciting the words out loud as you go, hoping no one else is within earshot!
I usually try to keep on task from 9 till 3, but when there’s a deadline looming I’ll get up before dawn, and work when the house is quiet. When I was working on ‘Herbert:the Brave Sea Dog’, every morning I walked up on the hill to watch the sun rise over the harbour. A thing that helps, especially if I’m ‘stuck’ is to dip a paintbrush into a beautiful colour like Ultramarine and slosh it onto watercolour paper. There’s nothing quite like flooding a brushload of colour onto wet paper - watching it spread into the water is magical!
While I am illustrating a story, there is necessarily a time for the ideas to be visualised and so I read and re-read the words, all the time gathering images and making sketches. I see my task as being an accompanist to the words. Evoking an atmosphere, suggesting a feeling….. enticing the child reader into the world of story. Words in a picture book may seem deceptively simple but writing a
picture book is one of the most challenging tasks. The words and images must work together effortlessly. The pictures must not mirror the words exactly, but rather, build around them, adding richness and evoking atmosphere.
BW: What books are you currently reading?
RB: Alan Garner’s ‘The Stone Book Quartet’. Even on re-reading, his writing is astonishing. ‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett, - the fascinating way a film genre ( the screen writing) can differ from the original written word. ‘Pipers at the Gates of Dawn: the wisdom of Children’s Literature’ by Jonathan Cott, (the chapter on Maurice Sendak). On the couch in my workroom - ‘A Life Drawing’ by Shirley Hughes; a book about Matisse. And ‘Jane Evans’ by John Coley, a celebration of her joyful work.
BW: Is there some place in the world that you would like to visit or revisit?
RB: Yes, France, not only to visit family there, but as well to make a link with the village saved by Allied soldiers in World War I. Having illustrated ‘The Bantam and the Soldier’, it’s been a long time wish to have this book translated into French to honour them. A curious fact is that the soldiers who built the tunnels were known as the ‘Bantam Regiment.’
BW: Is there anyone who stands out in your life as a major influence on you taking your writing
seriously ….authors, mentors, teachers?
RB: Miss James, my art teacher at college; Russell Clark, who taught me at Art School & was a fine illustrator and an incredibly generous teacher. Also Rudi Gopas and Don Peebles. The first person to have influence was my Grandmother. Not only did she provide paper and paints for us to draw, she also read aloud to us, chapter by chapter ‘The Wind in the Willows’ and many other stories. She gave me my first set of artist’s watercolours and sable brush when I was very young.
BW: What are your interests?
RB: Music, playing the piano, drawing and painting especially on travels; calligraphy; puppetry; making things; going on family walks.
BW: What is special or unique about being a New Zealand author?
RB: The supportive fraternity that exists especially in the field of children’s literature; rich
connections with such people as Joy Cowley, Margaret Mahy, Tessa Duder, Joan de Hamel, Jennifer Beck, Maurice Gee, Diana Noonan, David Elliot, Jack Lasenby, Gavin Bishop amongst others.
BW: What do you always have in your fridge?
RB: Cheeses, always cheeses, cream, butter, olives, Dijon mustard, greek yoghurt and Barkers blackcurrant juice. And strawberries (in the freezer) for making instant icecream. But my Pantry is far more interesting! A walk-in pantry, the kind my Grandmother had, with a bench for rising bread; rows of shelves with jars of preserved nectarines ( from the market ); small jars of Quince jelly on the windowsill; Red wine, cinnamon sticks; Strings of onions hanging on the walls; a bunch of thyme from central Otago and more.
BW: What are you currently working on
RB: A lovely new picture book written by Diana Noonan. And, behind the scenes, I’m gathering information on a project I’ve been interested in for a long time....making an illustrated history of The Castaways of Disappointment Island.
New Zealand Society of Authors Best First Book Award
Hamish Clayton, Wellington Ph.D student has won the NZSA Best First Book Award for Fiction for his novel, ‘Wulf’. District court and family court judge, John Adams won the 2012 NZSA Best First Book Award for Poetry for his collection, ‘Briefcase’, and one of the country’s best-known designers, Michael Smythe took the NZSA Best First Book Award for Non-Fiction for his book, ‘New Zealand by Design’.
The Listener Book Club is the first nationwide book club, open to everyone.
July's book club sessions will be devoted to the NZ Post Book Finalists.
From Under the Overcoat
The Trouble with Fire
To join the discussion go to:
From Under the Overcoat
The Trouble with Fire
ILLUSTRATED NON FICTION
A Micronaut in the Wide World: The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy
New Zealand Film - An Illustrated History
Diane Pivac, Frank Stark, and Lawrence McDonald
New Zealand Native Trees
John Dawson and Rob Lucas
ILLUSTRATED NON FICTION (contd.)
Whatu Kākahu / Māori Cloaks
Playing with Fire:Auckland Studio Potters Society Turns 50
Peter Lange and Stuart Newby
GENERAL NON FICTION
Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas
The Broken Book
The Hungry Heart: Journeys with William Colenso
So Brilliantly Clever: Parker, Hulme and the Murder that Shocked the World
Tupaia: The Remarkable Story of Captain Cook's Polynesian Navigator
MID-WINTER as seen from the top floor of the bookshop.
OUR famous non-stop sale room upstairs in the shop contains a wondeful eclectic selection of titles: politics, history, literature, art and more. Regularly refreshed with shipments from the US.
All at fantastically low prices.
BOOK SHOP EVENTS
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Here is the shortlist for this year's PEN/Ackerley Prize for Memoir- Britain's only literary prize dedicated to memoir and autobiography.
Waking Up in Toytown
The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance
Red Dust Road
The winner will ne announced at the English PEN Summer Party on Thursday 21 July.
BOUND by Dunedin author Vanda Symon has been selected for the longlist for the 2012 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel.
The long list titles are:
COLLECTING COOPER by Paul Cleave
LUTHER: THE CALLING by Neil Cross
FURT BENT FROM ALDAHEIT by Jack Eden
TRACES OF RED by Paddy Richardson
BY ANY MEANS by Ben Sanders
BOUND by Vanda Symon
THE CATASTROPHE by Ian Wedde
The award winner will be presented at the Press Christchurch Writer's Festival in September.
Books for Young Readers
by Des Hunt
RRP: $19.99, Paperback, ISBN: 9781869509538
Inseparable best friends Dean and Pelly frequently get up to no good. Dean is a dare-devil, and Pelly always seems to end up going along for the ride. Dean's amateur bomb-making is one step too far, and is soon followed by a bombshell of another sort, Pelly's parents are shifting the family back to New Zealand. Via email and Skype they arrange for Dean to visit in the school holidays. In the meantime, Pelly and his new friend Afi have stumbled upon drug ring operating between their school and near Afi's beach bach. The pair are well on the way to collecting the evidence they need to bust the operation, when Dean joins them from Australia. Pelly might have changed, but devil-may-care Dean most certainly hasn't. In no time at all, Dean's bomb-making obsession threatens not only the investigation but also lives.
Bog Frog Hop
by Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Rebecca Cool
RRP: $26.99, Hardback, ISBN: 9781921714580
Plip! Plop! Ten polliwogs in a muddy bog.
Drip! Drop! Rain drops one by one, the polliwogs turn into frogs.
When a scriffy-scruffy dog comes splish-sploshing along, that’s when the BOG FROG HOP really gets going!
by Chris Wormell
RRP: $34.99, Hardback, ISBN: 9780224083966
Eric is a boy who sometimes gets things wrong. Some days he’s a little bit slow, some days he’s a little bit clumsy and most days people would agree that he’s the opposite of a hero. But when a huge monster stomps down from the mountains, Eric might just get the chance to prove them wrong …
Good for young readers to see how everyone is good at something