All one when it suits


While browsing in the excellent Mary Ryan’s bookshop in Noosa last week I was amused to see three books by Lloyd Jones on the shelves devoted to Australian fiction.

When I mentioned this to the man serving me he said they didn’t have a section for New Zealand books and he thought Lloyd Jones was better with the Australian authors than in general fiction.

A conversation on the merits of our tendency to borrow the best from each other followed and how we were all one when it suits. We concluded that being close enough for some blurring of national boundaries was usually a good thing.

Often it is New Zealand which seeks to bask in Australia’s glory, but this week Australia is finding itself wanting to share some of ours.

This photo, borrowed from Facebook (thanks Andy) has Aus Zealand in ninth place in the medal tally in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

On the official medal table, we’re 14th and Australia is 24th.

However, when it comes to medals per capita, Stats NZ has us at number two for gold medals per 1,000,000 people, with Jamaica in first place; and second in total medals per 1,000,000 people.

However, Medals per Capita puts us at only 12th  for GDP per medal and 13th for golds per capita.

TV# has the story behind this website set up by  New Zealander Craig Nevill-Manning, who is an engineering director for Google  in New York.

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. By what name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu better known?

2. What are the symbols for sodium and potassium?

3. It’s gagner in French; vincere in Italian; ganar in Spanish and wini in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Moke Lake is close to which much larger lake?

5. Which of Lloyd Jones’ novels is being filmed in New Zealand at the moment and who is the actor who plays the main character?

Points for answers:

Andrei got four right.

Cadwallader got 4 1/2 (accepting that overcome in some contexts is close enough to win).

Adam got one, possibly for # 2.

Teletext gets an electronic batch of uffins for 5 right.

Answers follow the break:
Read the rest of this entry »

The Book of Fame


 It’s not just the story, it’s the way it’s told in the first person plural, which made The Book of Fame by Lloyd Jones stick with me long after I read it.

We’re introduced to the characters, the members of the 1905 All Black team which toured Britain, but we never know which is telling us the story because it’s always we and us.

It’s a couple of years since I’ve read this so the details escape me, but I remember being engrossed by it. A friend who was an All Black in the 1970s said it was a very realistic depiction of an overseas tour. But it’s also a story about people and you don’t have to be interested in rugby to enjoy it.


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 Post 9 in the post a day for New Zealand Book Month challenge.

book month logo green


Over at In A Strange Land, Deborah delights in Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, written and illustrated by Lynley Dodd.

At Rob’s Blockhead, Rob has posted on Allen Curnow’s selected poems.

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