Hedleys Blog

       New releases, reviews and favourites from the team at Hedleys.


Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

David Hedley - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Much fuss and publicity heralded the recent release of this "lost" novel from the American author of To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee's only other published work, from 1960) which was written before the award-winning "Mockingbird" . This, too, is set in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama, though 20 years later, and features most of the main characters. Tomboy "Scout" is now New York-residing Jean Louise on her annual trip back home. She is appalled to find her father, Atticus, appears to be a racist, rather than the colourblind lawyer she deeply respected. Some critics have not been kind in comparing this to her famous work, however, despite a too-long racist debate towards the end, the writing is often wonderful. - Steve


Great book for a young person

David Hedley - Friday, June 19, 2015

Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan


Apple lives with her Grandma in England, but has always wanted to see her mother, who's been away in America since Apple was three. When her mother unexpectedly arrives in town with another daughter (Rain), her life takes a surprising twist. The book covers issues such as reuniting broken families, school life, and growing up.

Apple and Rain is very addictive, and the characters seem very real.. A good book especially for girls aged 10-15. My favourite book of the year!

Julie (age 12)

Green Road by Anne Enright - West coast Ireland family saga

David Hedley - Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Moving novel by Booker-winning Irish author Anne Enright. Four siblings who've lived apart for many years, are reunited for Christmas by their 76 year old mother Rosaleen Madigan. This proves to be a cathartic experience, as various personalities and unresolved issues come to a head. A gripping pared-down narrative, with a  page-turning finale, recommended.


David Hedley - Thursday, May 28, 2015

Farewell Kabul :From Afghanistan to a More Dangerous Place  by award-winning journalist Christina Lamb, is the gripping account of how the West's politicians forgot the experiences of the past in this troubled region, the root of the War on Terror, when pursuing their goals.

This has lead to the longest war fought by the US in its history and by Britain since the Hundred Years War!

 I read William Dalrymple's Return of the King The Battle for Afghanistan some years ago ,also a gripping account of this region.

I highly recommend this new book which whilst detailed is immensely readable

Really it is the definitive book on Afghanistan,

A must read for history buffs and every "world leader" should read both of these books.

Do not be confused over the book's title - Christina Lamb has changed the title several time in the writing- so it appears in different guises - a bit like the Taliban really.

David Hedley

The Mighty Totara: The Life and Times of Norman Kirk by David Grant

David Hedley - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Grant’s biography of Kirk's brief, frenetic life. From a working class background in South Canterbury, and without a formal secondary education, Kirk progressed through a variety of jobs into politics, eventually becoming Prime Minister. He was the driving force behind many ground-breaking initiatives - withdrawal of troops from Vietnam, opposition to French nuclear testing; introduction of the DPB; improving trade with Asia and South America as Britain entered the Common Market, while dealing with the global oil shocks and ensuing financial crisis. For anyone who grew up in the baby-boomer era, this is a roadmap of this period in New Zealand's history. Compelling read, thoroughly researched

Singing Home the Whale by Mandy Hager - YA eco thriller

David Hedley - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Clever and very well written, this is the story of Will, a troubled Wellington teen with a talent for singing opera, and an orhaned baby Orca called Min, separated from his pod after his mother is killed by illegal whalers. Each chapter alternates between Will's and the Orca's story.
Most of the story follows their interaction with locals in a small rural town in Marlborough Sounds, largely centred around salmon farming. Antagonism between Will, some of the townspeople, and particularly the salmon farm's owner Bruce, and concludes in a gripping finale as Will, his cousin Pania and Bruce's son Hunter decide to reunite the orca with its pod. Strong characterisations, highly original, a good read for secondary-age readers (some language and adult themes, with relevant violence thrown into the mix)

Some of Hedleys recommendations this week

David Hedley - Thursday, April 30, 2015


The Little Paris Bookshop

Nina George

Great novel


Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End

Atul Gawande

Thought provoking


The Girl on the Train

Paula Hawkins

Psychological thriller


Recipes from the Underground Kitchen

Jess Daniell

Local author great meals


Roly, the ANZAC Donkey

Glyn Harper



Stroppy Old Women: 52 Kiwi Women, Who've Been Around Long Enough to Know, Tell You What's Wrong with the World

Paul Little Books



H is for Hawk

Helen Macdonald




Desert War: The Battle of Sidi Rezegh

Peter Cox




A Place Called Winter

Patrick Gale




The Buried Giant

Kazuo Ishiguro




To Hell with Poverty

Rodney Laredo

The Caxton Press



All the Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr

Fourth Estate



Stuff I Forgot to Tell My Daughter

Michele A'Court




That Sugar Book

Damon Gameau




A Spool of Blue Thread

Anne Tyler

Chatto & Windus



One Summer in Venice

Nicky Pellegrino




Blood on Snow

Jo Nesbo

Harvill Secker



Anzac Day - The New Zealand Story: What it is and Why it Matters

Philippa Werry

New Holland



Hard Country: A Golden Bay Life

Robin Robilliard

Random House



The Fixer a blokes book

David Hedley - Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Fixer by New Zealander John Daniell is a story about greed and honour set amidst the world of professional rugby in Europe.

It is a damm fine read. It captures superbly the life of professional rugby players and the temptations and challenges that surround the game both in terms of money and of the flesh.

It is fiction but is well researched - the author clearly knows the game - played rugby for the NZ Colts and for Oxford University.

It is a pretty light read but has a good suspense. I think we will hear more from this author who also has links to the Wairarapa.

4 star

Great new book

David Hedley - Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Red Notice : How I Became Putin's No.1 Enemy written by  Bill Browder a US financier is the best non fiction book I have read this year. It is a searing expose of the corruption of Russia's authorities which reads like a thriller.

Putin remains in the news even when he is out of circulation for weeks on end.

However as this shows he never sleeps and no one is safe.

Anyone interested in world affairs,finance and politics will enjoy this.

5 star rating!


order here


David Hedley - Friday, November 28, 2014



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