Kiwi Readers discussion

Group Read

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message 1: by Tim (new)

Tim | 33 comments Mod
Most people who took part in the poll wanted to take part in a group read. Suggestions so far include The Whale Rider or a New Zealand short story collection or anthology. Are there any other suggestions? (When we have a few more suggestions, we can run another poll to vote on them!)

message 2: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 42 comments I have aleady read Whale Rider.......I'll think of something when I get home!

message 3: by Renee (new)

Renee | 11 comments How about The Six Pack Three? its short and has a lot of New Zealand authors.
Landings by Jenny Pattrick is the best selling New Zealand adult fiction book for 2008, though I have no idea what its about.
Mister Pipby Lloyd Jones is the current New Zealand fiction bestseller.

message 4: by Tim (new)

Tim | 33 comments Mod
Well, I have The Six Pack Three but haven't read it yet, so that sounds good to me! And I've read Mister Pip already.

message 5: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 42 comments I would really like to read the jenny Pattrick one.....have been meaning to but never got round to it....she lectured at T. Coll when I was there....

message 6: by Renee (new)

Renee | 11 comments Sounds like we need a poll. Perhaps the books that don't get chosen this time around could be the subject of future group reads?

message 7: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 42 comments Good idea Renee. Shanti?

message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura Kachow (zarzarzue) | 4 comments Yeah I like the idea of a poll as well.

message 9: by Mekerei (new)

Mekerei | 3 comments I haven't read much by Kiwi writers, but recently I read The Jigsaw by Kevin Ireland It took me a while to get into it, but once I did, and now that I reflect back on the book - I enjoyed it and it's deeper than I first thought. It has an orwellian feel, which made me think about our society.

message 10: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 42 comments Sounds like a distinct possibility......

message 11: by Tim (last edited Feb 04, 2009 07:19PM) (new)

Tim | 33 comments Mod
In my co-moderator role, I have set up a poll for which book we'd like to read for our Group Read. The candidates are the five books suggested in the discussion above.

The poll closes on the 12th of Feb, and you can find it at

message 12: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 42 comments I think there is a gremlin in the works! When you click on Six Pack Three or Landings in the poll, up pop MacBeth and Sherlock Holmes!!!!

message 13: by Tim (new)

Tim | 33 comments Mod
I noticed that with Six Pack Three - but I don't think it will stop people voting for their preferred choice - in fact, I just voted, and it worked fine.

message 14: by Tim (new)

Tim | 33 comments Mod
The results of our "Group Read" poll, which closed late last week, were:

Landings 2 votes
The Jigsaw Chronicles 0 votes
Whale Rider 2 votes
Mister Pip 1 votes
The Six Pack Three 5 votes

So, The Six Pack Three is the winner!

The Six Pack Three consists of five short stories and a mini-collection of poetry. It's 156 pages, so shouldn't take long to read. I suggest we aim to finish it by the 20th of March, and that people taking part can choose to either post their comments on the whole book when they've finished, or post comments on the individual stories/poems as they go.

Does that sound OK?

message 15: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 42 comments Sounds good....just gotta get me one!

message 16: by Laura (new)

Laura Kachow (zarzarzue) | 4 comments great

message 17: by Tim (new)

Tim | 33 comments Mod
Well, tonight I have started reading The Six Pack Three, although I am only a few pages into the first story so far. Has anyone else started the book yet, and how are you enjoying it?

message 18: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 42 comments Still trying to find a piece of time between daughter's 21st, mother's 70th and ERO to buy the @#!%$& thing!!!

message 19: by Mekerei (new)

Mekerei | 3 comments Started this book on the first of March and decided to ration myself to one story a day. As of now I've read the first four and about to go to bed to read the fifth. I don't want to spoil any of the stories, but perhaps something to whet your appetite so that you will want to read them. The great thing about this book is that you only have to find 10 - 15 minutes for these first four stories each. Enjoy.

The first "88" took me back to my childhood at school.

"Virtuoso" a story about a father and his attitude to his son. Well worth the read.

"Write Poetry" - great visuals. In case you don't know what "whakama" means - its shy.

I love good Science Fiction and "Mirror Mirror" could be considered to be in this genre. Don't let that put you off if you don't like Sc Fi. The author says "the idea ... came when he was shaving and had the unnerving thought of how weird it would be if his reflection suddenly walked away".

message 20: by Renee (new)

Renee | 11 comments Well, I read the six pack three a while ago, but some people are still reading it so I'll only comment on the first story, '88.

I thought this story had great potential, and Maepu is no bad writer. She skillfully captures primary school life in New Zealand - I remember handball too!

does anyone know if there really was ethnic tension between Tongans and Samoans in the 80's? I've never heard about it before.

But I felt the climax of the story was too idealistic to be believable. Although I'd like to believe that education can overcome anything, but I couldn't swallow the idea that a teacher could talk a young angry boy out of murder with a lecture on ancient Greece. But perhaps I'm too cynical.

Does anyone have any other thoughts on '88?

message 21: by Tim (new)

Tim | 33 comments Mod
I'll comment on the stories when I've finished the book (I'm on the David Geary story at the moment), but I do know that there have been Tongan-Samoan tensions in South Auckland for many years. (Though I only know it from the media, not always the most reliable guide.)

message 22: by Tim (last edited Mar 22, 2009 03:55AM) (new)

Tim | 33 comments Mod
So here's my quick thoughts on The Six Pack Three:

Marisa Maepu - '88: I enjoyed this - nicely told and the right length for the material it covered. Maybe the ending is unrealistic, but I didn't have a problem with it while I was reading it.

Sue Wootton - Virtuoso: This was very well written - my only reservation is that "the harried businessman who's alienated from his own life" is something of a stock character in New Zealand fiction. Sue Wootton is a very good poet & I think this story shows that she is a good short story writer as well.

Aroha Harris - Write Poetry: I like poetry, and I enjoyed these poems, especially "Rain Again". One of the things I like most about the Six Pack series is that they include poetry as well as prose.

Ian MacKenzie - Mirror Mirror: While it's good to see a genre story included, the scenario of this story is almost exactly the same as a prominent plot element of the first season of the TV series "Heroes". Although Ian MacKenzie has definitely got talent, this story was a miss for me.

David Geary - Gary Manawatu: This was by far my favourite story in the collection. Such a mixture of humour, art-world satire, sly political comment and verbal exuberance is all too rare in New Zealand fiction. This makes me want to read more of David Geary's work.

Kate Duignan - Swallow: Yet another in the long list of "sensitive young artist struggles with difficult family which doesn't appreciate his/her genius" stories by New Zealand authors. Katherine Mansfield did it first and best. Kate Duignan puts words together beautifully but I'd prefer a story with more oomph to end the collection.

message 23: by Tim (new)

Tim | 33 comments Mod
Has anyone else finished the book? Any thoughts?

message 24: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 42 comments Haven't even started it Tim....holidays are the only time I get to read and they are still a week away!!

message 25: by Steven (new)

Steven (cred0) | 4 comments I've just returned it, unread, to the library - I'd renewed it once and couldn't again - will probably get it out again once I've finished my current reading.

message 26: by Renee (new)

Renee | 11 comments Mirror Mirror reminded me of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray with a mirror instead of a portrait, rather than Heroes. The ending is rather similar anyway. Although the idea of a man confronting his evil opposite is a common one.

message 27: by Jim (new)

Jim | 1 comments I read a few of the stories at the start but have been distracted and had other books take precedence. I will try to clear the decks again and get back to it in June. We're not a very organised lot are we : )

message 28: by Laura (new)

Laura Kachow (zarzarzue) | 4 comments I found the six pack three to be a great read
I also agree with Tim on 88, the ending wasn't really believable but still really enjoyed it.
I'd have to say Aroha's "defining moments in her story" stoodout the most for me.

message 29: by Tim (new)

Tim | 33 comments Mod
It's good to get some more comments - thanks, Laura!

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