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Delia Locked account

Joined 8 months ago

Pakeha New Zealander, trying to read more and be a bit more grounded in the real. Huge Goodreads fan but also a fediverse fan and keen to try this thing out. Grateful to the volunteers with their ethos that have established all this.

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2024 Reading Goal

13% complete! Delia has read 4 of 30 books.

Austin Channing Brown: I'm Still Here (2018) 5 stars

The author's first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when her parents …

Ain’t no friends here

4 stars

I found the initial chapters starting with her descriptions of micro-aggressions initially a little annoying, to be honest; but her story telling laid layer upon layer became rich and strong and explained well why “smaller” discourtesies can fire off painful responses. Deeply relevant for USA, still relevant for NZers. The chapter around white guilt in particular was really excellent, and the closing chapters were practical. An excellent book. #whitefragility

John Carne Bidwell: Rambles in New Zealand (Hardcover, 1952, The Pegasus Press) 4 stars

Embark on a captivating journey through New Zealand with "Rambles in New Zealand" by John …

I always thought rambles were a bit more low key than this.

4 stars

Essentially a letter to the Governor of Devon, it is a description of land and the resources, plants and land and people, in preparation for settlement.

His gumption counts for a lot, but nonetheless it is an uncomfortable read for seeing an unvarnished view of pre-treaty, deeply classist, contempt for Māori as people (and pakeha who had settled together with Māori).

In some things he was deeply observant (predicting the almost complete decimation of Kauri). It’s wonderful to consider the magic of seeing some plants for the first time.

And yet, an unexpected theme through this book was the impact of influenza on Māori at the time, and Mr Bidwill’s utter obliviousness to the extent of the hospitality he received in being a) allowed to head inland and b) assisted to do so.

This was a group of people recovering from war and facing an epidemic, and he deigned to …

reviewed Adriatic by Robert D. Kaplan

Robert D. Kaplan: Adriatic (2022, Random House Publishing Group) 4 stars

Looking for the universal in the specifics

4 stars

Borrowed this book off a Croatian friend, with old memories from a couple of weeks I spent in Albania in 2012.

There were several moments where I felt too ignorant to get a lot of it, but I enjoyed meandering through it all. Some of the best writing was when he was quoting others; but I enjoyed the manner that he was drawing together his bibliography and sharing it.

Made me feel so much more grateful for peace, and a worthy reminder that it’s hard and worthwhile work.

I hope he travels, and writes, more.

reviewed Attraction by Ruby Porter

Ruby Porter: Attraction (EBook, 2019, The Text Publishing Company) 5 stars

“For Pākehā, the task is always to forget," observes the unnamed narrator of Ruby Porter's …

Jump in the car and stare out the window.

5 stars

I read this whilst walking the Abel Tasman track. It’s a good companion read to “Taranaki Ko te Maunga” in terms of themes of remembering, but from a non-Maori perspective. There is a theme of valuing family history stories, even when they are embellished or even outright lies, which I found comforting: that there is value in listening. Really excellent read. I worry for the protagonist though! 😣

Ken Follett: The pillars of the earth (1990, Signet) 4 stars

ISBN ISBN 13OCLC/WorldCat,, Amazon.comGoogle

I enjoyed the world building (no pun intended) and in the first half of the book it was easy to get fully immersed. But the latter half felt more cartoony, and the characters felt less real. The principle bad guy was extremely two dimensional and it reminded me of why I enjoyed GRRM’s writing, where the complexities of character were drawn out more. Overall glad to have read it.

Rosaria Butterfield: The Gospel Comes with a House Key : Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World (2018) 4 stars

Did not finish. Audiobook. Some really cool concepts, but the tone was unintentionally (I expect) really disparaging of the people she opened her heart and home to. Seemed to paint her as a rescuer, even as she articulated that only Jesus can rescue. Felt humble-Braggy; despite her having some really wise points. I think reworking with an editor and some heavy editing, would draw out a much shorter and precious book, without placing her at the centre as a hero. Kudos to her good work though, and goodness onwards in faith is all I wish her.