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Reading Challenges > 2020 Kiwi Authors Challenge

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message 1: by Sharlene (last edited Feb 27, 2020 04:25PM) (new)

Sharlene (sharlenehuriwai) | 584 comments Mod
Kia ora everyone

Please use this as a space to discuss the BLK's Reading Challenge for 2020.
You're welcome to set up a TBR post, share your ratings or simply discuss the books you've read.

Links to help
Listopia
Books By New Zealand authors
New Zealand

New Zealand Book Awards
2020 Longlist
2019 Longlist
Past Winners up to 1968!


message 2: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ (last edited Dec 29, 2020 09:10AM) (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 986 comments Thank you for this Sharlene.

I have set myself a challenge figure of 20 books.

#1 This Mortal Boy - read January
Creeps up on you. It doesn't feel like a 5⭐book until you realise you are still thinking about it days later. 5⭐

#2 Foggydale Farm Jam Sessions read February https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...

I've given this one a soft 4 ⭐ The recipes I have tried were really good but this book is trying to be too many different things.

#3 Tōtara: a Natural and Cultural History read March. Tone a bit schoolmasterish at the start, but still a worthwhile read. Great photos of this beloved tree. 4⭐

#4 The Denniston Rose wow I'm convinced this is going to be one of my favourite reads of the year! Powerful fiction. I've only given three 5⭐ratings so far this year & two of them are for NZ books. 5⭐

#5 Reckless Conduct I wanted something escapist, but this was terrible. I feel awful giving a NZ book such a low ranking but... 1.5⭐

#6 I think I am now officially off the pace on my target. The Essential Digby Law - Over 700 Great New Zealand Recipes Unless you don't have much shelf space I would recommend getting Digby's individual books as IMO the editor leaves out some of his best recipes. Still 4.5⭐

#7 Heart of Coal sequel to The Denniston Rose. I feel Ms Pattrick really struggled to bring her story together this time, but parts were excellent. 3.5⭐

#8 Containment by Vanda Symon. Not without flaws, but this was the book to get my challenge back on track. Great ending. 4.5⭐

#9 Petticoat Pioneers: North Island Women of the Colonial Era Finally finished June. Really valuable resource. Some of these women had very tough lives. 5⭐

#10 (look at me, bang on target!) June People of New Zealand Very enjoyable. Sam's drawings get better as the book goes along. 4⭐

#11 June Hairy Maclary's Bone Always loved this series. 4⭐

#12 July Hand Me Down After a good start, too much is piled on & I had to force myself to finish 3⭐

#13 July The Sixpenny Island I feel lucky to have read this one, as this title now hard to find. Pure magic 5⭐

#14 July Barry Brickell: A Head of Steam Very honest biography about a true visionary 5⭐

#15 August Hudson & Halls Cookbook I needed a particular recipe. Wonderful trip down Memory Lane but most ingredients now too expensive or too high in fat for 21st Century Kiwis. 4⭐

#16 August We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa5⭐ Perfect for someone like me who loves graphs & stats & is a visual learner.

#17 Mophead Inspiring message about being true to yourself. 5⭐

#18 No Winner by Daphne Clair. I'm a big fan of Daphne but this was a problematic read for me. 3⭐

#19 Bound by Vanda Symon. Read September. What I have come to expect from this writer. 5⭐

#20 Hudson & Halls: The Food of Love by Joanne Drayton. Read October. Interesting & sad. I thought the epilogue wandered off track a bit. 4.5⭐

#21 The Pretty Delicious Café by Danielle Hawkins. Read October. Really good combination of both light & sombre themes - which is very difficult to pull off. 4.5⭐

#22 Nickle Nackle Tree Kiwi Classic 5⭐

#23 Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas read October. Not my thing. 2.5⭐

#24 Tales From Old Japan by our very own pdr lindsay! I enjoyed these short stories 4⭐

#25 Vegful Great cookbook with tasty nutritious recipes, but too much padding. 4.5⭐


message 3: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Dixon (kiwikathleen) | 1479 comments I've set a challenge of 12 books, but I hope to increase that. I'll be reading books for children and teens, so I really should be able to read more (especially for my job in the Dorothy Butler Children's Bookshop).

#1 Awa and the Dreamrealm - for ages 8-12.
Didn't like it that much - dream sequences too wordy, but the waking life is quite well done. Gave it 3*, but only just.


message 4: by Craig (new)

Craig Sisterson (kiwicraig) | 56 comments Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ wrote: "Thank you for this Sharlene.

I have set myself a challenge figure of 20 books.

#1 This Mortal Boy - read January
Creeps up on you. It doesn't feel like a 5⭐book until you realise ..."


Glad you enjoyed THIS MORTAL BOY Carol ... one of my favourite reads of 2018, and I revisited it last year when it won the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel (along with the Ockham, the NZ Booklovers Award, and other prizes). Outstanding novel.


message 5: by Craig (new)

Craig Sisterson (kiwicraig) | 56 comments I'm currently reading The Wild Card, which is the first crime novel from the legendary playwright and storyteller Renee .. Has started very well.

What an amazing lady, by the way. 90 years old and publishes her first crime novel, after several decades of writing plays and making a huge contribution to New Zealand literary life. She's won the Prime Minister's Award, among other accolades, and is ground-breaking on several fronts.


message 6: by Carlene (new)

Carlene (zellian) | 330 comments For anyone who has the Libby app, on the main page they're advertising New Zealand authors/books if you're wanting to further look for books :)


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 986 comments Craig wrote: ".Glad you enjoyed THIS MORTAL BOY Carol ... "

I consider myself a soft marker, but this is my only 5★ read so far this year. :/

My local library doesn't carry The Wild Card but they do have her memoir These Two Hands: a memoir I might check that one out.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 986 comments Carlene wrote: "For anyone who has the Libby app, on the main page they're advertising New Zealand authors/books if you're wanting to further look for books :)"

Thanks Carlene. I think my local library uses the Wheeler app.


message 9: by Kathleen (last edited Feb 20, 2020 12:47AM) (new)

Kathleen Dixon (kiwikathleen) | 1479 comments Carlene wrote: "For anyone who has the Libby app, on the main page they're advertising New Zealand authors/books if you're wanting to further look for books :)"

Thanks for that, Carlene. I use Libby a lot, but rarely go to the opening page as I'm either reading a book already or go straight to the Search from my own Shelf. I've just followed your suggestion and am delighted!


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 986 comments A quarter of the way through this challenge I'm on track with five of twenty NZ books read!

Just thought I would bump this up, in case while we are in lock down some one wants an extra challenge! :)


message 11: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Dixon (kiwikathleen) | 1479 comments Craig wrote: "I'm currently reading The Wild Card, which is the first crime novel from the legendary playwright and storyteller Renee .. Has started very well.

What an amazing..."


Just finished this (read into the wee hours last night)! Thanks for the recommend - I loved it.


message 12: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Dixon (kiwikathleen) | 1479 comments I updated my challenge to 30 books, and am well on track. But I've clearly not been on here to list what I've read so far. #1 is up above, but here are the rest I've read to date:

#2 - Snark: Being a True History of the Expedition That Discovered the Snark and the Jabberwock … and Its Tragic Aftermath 4*

#3 - Earthquake: Christchurch, New Zealand, 22 February 2011 4*

#4 - Another Mother's Love 4*

#5 - Waiata: Maori Songs In History 4*

#6 - Stonelight 4*

#7 - The Catalogue of the Universe 4*

#8 - Time Twins 4*

#9 - Artwork 4*

#10 - The Wild Card 4*

Good grief - you'd think from this list that I give every single book I read 4 stars. But actually, no. Nevertheless, these 9 added books were thoughtfully given the 4 each - if it was out of 10 stars there would have been variation.


message 13: by Erica (new)

Erica | 935 comments Mod
I've finally got my first run on the board.

I read The Tattoooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (now lives in Aussie). Brilliant story and very well told. 5*


message 14: by Kerry (last edited Sep 29, 2020 01:44PM) (new)

Kerry | 121 comments I'll join in as these are some of the books I would love to read this year -
1) Living in the Maniototo by Janet Frame
2) Looking for Darwin by Lloyd Spencer Davis
3) All This by Chance by Vincent O'Sullivan
4) This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman
5) Season Of The Jew by Maurice Shadbolt
6) The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox
7) The wild card by Renee

Already read in 2020:
The amazing adventures of Razza the rat by Witi Ihimaera - children's book
The eye witness by Caroline MacDonald - YA
The Sea Islanders by Joyce West - children's book
The Wish Child by Catherine Chidgey
In The Clearing by JP Pomare


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 986 comments I can really recommend your 4 & 5, Kerry.

Kathleen - I enjoyed Snark as well!


message 16: by Erica (new)

Erica | 935 comments Mod
I recently read the latest novel by Lloyd Jones (author of Mister Pip).

The Cage

I thought the writing was great and the tone was really moody - but just wasn't a great choice to read during a lockdown haha.

I'm currently half way through Fiona Kidman's The Captive Wife. Again, I'm loving the writing style. Always feels nice to pick up NZ historical fiction. This is only the second Kidman I've read and I'm looking forward to picking up some of her much earlier work and short stories which I'm told a very good


message 17: by Craig (last edited Jun 22, 2020 06:42AM) (new)

Craig Sisterson (kiwicraig) | 56 comments I just updated my challenge, after neglecting things for a while, and I've blown past the 24 book target during lockdown, but primarily because I've been reading lots of children's books by Kiwi authors to my five-year-old here in London (eg Hairy Maclary, That's Not a Hippopotamus!, Kuwi's First Egg, etc). So I kind of feel that doesn't really count - while also acknowledging how important reading to kids is, and how terrific children's authors are in getting kids to love reading.

So I might update my target number to reflect that I want to read 24 New Zealand novels/non-fiction works etc, with a personal challenge to include at least 6-8 adult books that aren't crime, mystery, or thriller novels (since I read so many of those in the general run of things).


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 986 comments All good targets Craig. Funnily enough, only yesterday I was feeling like I need some Hairy MacLairy in my life!

My target of 20 has suffered. I lost my reading mojo right when I had all the time in the world to read! I do have 2 NZ titles the go though & aim to have finished them by the end of the month.


message 19: by Kerry (new)

Kerry | 121 comments I've just finished reading Whatever It Takes by Paul Cleave and The Wild Card by Renee, both very good.
During lockdown I read The Absolute Book, wasn't thrilled by this yet I have loved most of Knox's books.
Also read A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh, good crime read.


message 20: by Craig (new)

Craig Sisterson (kiwicraig) | 56 comments Kerry wrote: "I've just finished reading Whatever It Takes by Paul Cleave and The Wild Card by Renee, both very good.
During lockdown I read The Absolute Book, was..."


Glad you enjoyed the Cleave and Renee novels - both are in the running for the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards (NZ's book prizes for crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense writing), as is the Singh.

I haven't gotten to the Knox book yet - heard largely good things, though not for everyone (some dissent).


message 21: by Kerry (new)

Kerry | 121 comments Craig wrote: "Glad you enjoyed the Cleave and Renee novels...I haven't gotten to the Knox book yet

I'm hoping there will be a sequel to the Cleave book, otherwise a brilliant way to end a one-off. And good to see that all these books are in the running for an award.

I possibly wasn't in the mood for 'The Absolute Book' as lockdown did have an effect on what I was able to tolerate reading, I binged on Georgette Heyer re-reads for a couple of weeks.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 986 comments I'm Georgette Heyer's greatest fan (I moderate the Goodreads group) & even her books didn't help.

I did a lot of walking, preserving & cleaning in the first couple of months of the Pandemic.


message 23: by Claude's (new)

Claude's Bookzone | 78 comments Is it too late to join this challenge?


message 24: by Kerry (new)

Kerry | 121 comments Claude's wrote: "Is it too late to join this challenge?"
Never too late to join a book challenge.


message 25: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ (last edited Sep 25, 2020 01:07PM) (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 986 comments Goodreads has a bug atm where you can't edit your comments, so I'll add this here for now.

#19 Bound by Vanda Symon. Read September. What I have come to expect from this writer. 5⭐

Edit: The bug has been fixed, but I'll just leave this comment here to show I'm "all but" on this challenge. 😎


message 26: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Dixon (kiwikathleen) | 1479 comments Here we are 3/4 of the way through the year! and it's update time... (and my number seems really high, but many of these books are fiction for children or teens)

#11 = Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of Making in New Zealand and the Wider Moana 4 *
#12 = The Political Years 4 *
#13 = Hand Me Down 4 *
#14 = White Lies : Maori Legends and Fairy Tales 5 *
#15 = When It All Went to Custard 4 *
#16 = Alchemy 5 *
#17 = Auē 4 *
#18 = The Bright Side of My Condition 5 *
#19 = Tess 4 *
#20 = If Only 4 *
#21 = Salt Picnic 3 *
#22 = Half My Life 4 *
#23 = Aspiring 4 *
#24 = The Absolute Book 4 *
#25 = We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa 5 *
#26 = Fantastic Mr. Bean 4 *
#27 = The Ghosts on the Hill 4 *


message 27: by Erica (new)

Erica | 935 comments Mod
I seriously need to pick up my game and read some more kiwi books...maybe the next one I pick will fit the bill


message 28: by Kerry (new)

Kerry | 121 comments Adding a few more books that I've finished since my last update -
Lizard's Tale by Weng Wai Chan
The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle -
See You In September by Charity Norman
Pull No Punches: Memoir of a political survivor by Judith Collins
Caging Skies by Christine Leunens

already read in 2020:
The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox
The wild card by Renee
The amazing adventures of Razza the rat by Witi Ihimaera - children's book
The eye witness by Caroline MacDonald - YA
The Sea Islanders by Joyce West - children's book
The Wish Child by Catherine Chidgey
In The Clearing by JP Pomare
Whatever It Takes by Paul Cleave
A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh


message 29: by Angie (new)

Angie | 137 comments Set myself a goal of 10 books for this challenge and have now completed my challenge.

Baby No-Eyes by Patricia Grace ⭐⭐⭐
In The Clearing by J.P. Pomare ⭐⭐⭐
Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare ⭐⭐⭐
Aroha by Anaru Bickford ⭐
Auē by Becky Manawatu ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Legacy of Power by J.A. Gates
Nothing Bad Happens Here by Nikki Crutchley ⭐⭐⭐
Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan ⭐⭐⭐
The Tally Stick by Carl Nixon ⭐⭐⭐
Ephemera by Tina Shaw ⭐⭐⭐⭐


message 30: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ (last edited Nov 03, 2020 06:24PM) (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 986 comments Congratulations Angie! Was Legacy of Power a no star read?

& I hit my target a couple of days ago! Because I don't read cookbooks the way I read other books ( I skip around, ignore recipes I either don't like or feel are too complicated & fiddly for me) I'm going to up my challenge figure to 23.

Edit: Which I have now hit.


message 31: by Angie (new)

Angie | 137 comments Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ wrote: "Congratulations Angie! Was Legacy of Power a no star read?

& I hit my target a couple of days ago! Because I don't read cookbooks the way I read other books ( I skip around, ignore recipes I eithe..."


Great work Carol! I'm the same with cookbooks. I flick backwards and forwards and pick out the things I like or think I'm going to use.

Legacy of Power is okay in terms of theme. I felt the plot needed strengthening and could have benefitted from a bit more of an edit but I didn't want to give a new author a poor rating when just starting out, so I left it :)


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 986 comments Angie wrote: "Legacy of Power is okay in terms of theme. I felt the plot needed strengthening and could have benefitted from a bit more of an edit but I didn't want to give a new author a poor rating when just starting out, so I left it :)."

That's really nice of you!

I always feel since my favourite author wrote the worst conventionally published book I ever read. (it was so bad that I didn't read her books for eight years after that!) that anyone is fair game. :)


message 33: by Erica (new)

Erica | 935 comments Mod
So I've only read 4/10 books for the challenge. Really need to up my game. I'm hoping to get to these three soon:

The Conductor
Trust No One
Portrait of the Artist's Wife

What are your favourite ever books by kiwi authors? non-fiction or fiction - I need some inspiration :)


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 986 comments giving this a bump in case people have forgotten to update! :)


message 35: by Erica (new)

Erica | 935 comments Mod
Ooh I have finished The Conductor since I last posted. Was ok but not great.


message 36: by Sharlene (new)

Sharlene (sharlenehuriwai) | 584 comments Mod
Wow! A few of you have done some amazing Kiwi reading this year.


message 37: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ (last edited Dec 29, 2020 12:34PM) (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 986 comments Sharlene wrote: "Wow! A few of you have done some amazing Kiwi reading this year."

Yes & some of them This Mortal Boy The Denniston Rose The Sixpenny Island the Barry Brickell Bio & Bound by Vanda Symon are among the best reads I had this year (had to give up on linking as GR is being wayward.)

Are you going to put up a challenge thread for 2021, Sharlene?


message 38: by Angie (new)

Angie | 137 comments Seconding Carol's question - will there be a 2021 Kiwi Authors Challenge?

I found it really helpful last year.


message 39: by Erica (new)

Erica | 935 comments Mod
I'm sure we can make a 2021 challenge happen. I can set up when I'm on from 7th and have my laptop


message 40: by Erica (new)

Erica | 935 comments Mod
I've set up a 2021 challenge - used my parents laptop :)

Created a new thread as well so people can start fresh listing the books they're reading, want to read or have read.


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