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What are you reading in 2017?
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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2931


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sully's story was made into a film just last year, Joe. It is just called "Sully" (though I had to look that up, feeling it was called something different).  People were amazed that I had never heard of the story of his bringing the plane down in the Hudson River, but I hadn't.

Meanwhile, I am reading The Good Doctor, an autobiography by Lance O'Sullivan, a NZ Maori doctor practicing in the deprived far north, who was named NZer of the Year a couple of years ago, and who has dedicated his life to the mainly Maori population up there, often providing free services and other help.  I have only got to his troubled youth, being the product of a Maori alcoholic father and a young mother, who found the strength to bring up four children on her own before state help for such parents (the DPB - Domestic Purposes Benefit).  He was not brought up to know much of his Maori whakapapa (literally genealogy but encompassing a lot more than that) and suffered from the woes of his mixed blood, feeling neither wholly Maori nor wholly Pakeha.  He was saved by a Maori secondary boarding school and his European grandparents, very accepting of their mother and her growing family, and his background.  And later he found his father's family, and understood his Maori background too.

The style is very easy to read - I think it is aimed at troubled youth like him, as inspiration for what can be achieved by people like him.  It is our bookclub book.


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Sandraseahorse



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1142



PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed your comments about your acquaintance in the waiting room, Caro.  I'm pleased you still have a sense of humour.


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Joe McWilliams



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 656


Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your Maori doctor story sounds interesting, Caro. A less Maori-sounding name than Lance O'Sullivan is hard to imagine, but he certainly sounds like the real deal.
Everything I have ever heard about the difficulties faced by indigenous New Zealanders has a familiar ring to it. Although the cultures are different and we are half a world away from each other, the challenges here are the same. Just this morning I was talking to somebody organizing a Cree language immersion course for teachers. Efforts to revive and reinforce the aboriginal cultures are growing, but sometimes I wonder if it's futile. Worthwhile, certainly, but a steep uphill battle.


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2931


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am reading (and have very nearly finished) The Stove and the Stage, set on the West Coast of New Zealand in the gold-rush days of the 1860s.  The narrator is Danny Mulligan, an Irishman newly arrived in NZ, and not a gold-miner, but an entertainer, juggler, magician, and comedian.  He tells a good yarn and I have raced through it.  He links up with various people, most notably Edith Cowles who is a good cook in the hotel he is staying at, but he shifts on only to find she has followed him.  They set up business in a new hotel in the new town of Reefton (still there, though many of the goldrush towns were temporary) which is swept away in a horrendous flood.  

Danny has a secret from Britain, which I presume we will learn the details of soon.  

The main problem I have with the book is that it is self-published, and the editing leaves something to be desired.  In the same paragraph "too" is spelt as "too" and "two", and the use of the comma is random.  (Though I haven't noticed anything wrong with his apostrophes.)  It is not a quirk of the character who is quite literate, though he does put the language into the accents of the people he is writing about.  These are just authorial mistakes which have not been picked up by amateur proof-readers.  

But otherwise it is a very entertaining and new story.


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2931


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday I started (and am getting through quickly) Cotillion, a regency romance by Georgette Heyer.  I have read it many times really, but not very recently, so although I remember the two main characters well and their story, the others I only recall as I come to them.  It is a delightful story, and GH writes well, if with a very light touch.  Kitty's guardian, an old man with gout, has made an outrageous will, which demands that to get his fortune, she has to marry one of his great-nephews.  These include an intellectually challenged Earl and a righteous though good-looking vicar who turn up at his house as demanded.  Jack, the one he wants for Kitty and who she fancies, doesn't, though he has every intention of doing so in his own time.  Another nephew is on military dity in France or somewhere but the old man doesn't approve of him anyway.  And then there's Freddy, not an intellectual, but courteous, rich, generous, well dressed and very au fait with the aristocracy and its way of life, who meets Kitty as she is running away.  She persuades him to enter a sham engagement and take her to London, where his parents live.  

When I first read this as a teenager, I wonder which man she would end up with - Jack or her French cousin who turns up later and is charming.  I don't know why - it is quite late in the book when he arrives and it is quite obvious by then that it is Freddy she is going to fall in love with.  

I am thoroughly enjoying this again.  I used to belong to a Heyer group and would read one of her books monthly, but since it broke up, I have put them mostly on the backburner.


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