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Book Discussion Scheme quarterly newsletter - February 2016
Dear Book Groups
Kia ora and welcome back, everyone.

I hope your holiday season was enjoyable, despite the variable weather across the country. A highlight for us this year was not having to pack up 40,000 books in preparation for earthquake repairs to the office! Bliss! 

2016 offers a bumper year of literary festivals and an inaugural nationwide event of our own. I invite you to read about, and participate in, our Book Night. It's scheduled for Tuesday May 24th.

Research shows the positive impact of regular reading on children's development and on maintaining the cognitive function of older adults. Book Night is designed to encourage everyone - young and old, whanau, friends and family - to read together for a minimum of 15 minutes. Wherever you are, at home, on the bus, or dinner break at work, join with BDS readers across the country as they enjoy a spot of reading on Book Night. (Click below for details).

Barbara Brown, BDS Manager
BDS News interesting things we've been up to
Aucklanders, can you help?
BDS is having a stand at the Auckland International Cultural Festival in Mt Roskill on Sunday March 20th. We went last year and it was a great day. If you can volunteer an hour or so of your time, please email for details. We are promoting ESOL and intercultural book groups.
Festival info
Thanks to everyone who entered our photo competition! It was great to see digital snaps of your Christmas functions/last meeting. We imagined you all having fun and celebrating!
Our winners:
   Best Dressed: Rotorua 002
   Christmas themed food: Gisborne 005
   Kiwi-themed: Christchurch 020            
   Each group won a prize pack of books. 

See Winners' Photos here  
Entries uploaded on facebook
Literary Happenings - for info click on picture or link


Samesame but different (LGBTIQ writers festival) 
12-14 February
This series of events is part of the Auckland Pride Festival and features "some of Aotearoa New Zealand's top writers and will also focus on new LGBTIQ voices, introducing emerging talent". 
Details here.


Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, Writers & Readers events
21-22 & 27-28 February

Two weekends of events including poetry, storytelling, and an " insightful journey through New Zealand’s non-fiction landscape". Click here for details.


New Zealand Festival, Writers Week
8-13 March

The Writers Week programme brings to the capital "some of the smartest, most eloquent and entertaining people from home and abroad".
Details here. 

Info on Schoolfest is here.


WORD Christchurch events 6, 17 & 19 March  

American poet Anis Mojgani is back after wowing audiences in 2014. Shows in Lyttelton and the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu. Details here. 

Following the success of the 2015 live broadcast from the Sydney Opera House, the How to Be a Feminist panel will be broadcast live at a venue tbc.


Ruapehu Writers Festival
17-20 March

A "relatively informal" extended weekend of readings, talks, panel discussions, workshops, a poetry slam, and unusual events such as a literary waterfall walk, a bike ride and a pony trek! 
Details here.



Aspiring Conversations, 22-24 April

Festival Director, Philip Tremewan, says feedback on last year's festival was extremely positive. “Our most popular sessions were those discussing contemporary issues like technology, politics and the environment so it’s clear people are still drawn by the power of ideas. 
Details here.

Convenor Corner
  • Doing the splits: Some parcels of books being returned to BDS have split open during transit. Loose books can move around and poke through the courier bag, increasing the likelihood of damaged or loss. We suggest wrapping the books in paper (newsprint, recycled Christmas wrap, paper bags etc NOT newspapers please) or placing in a bag - before placing in the courier bag. 
  • A big 'THANK YOU' to Convenors for all the great behind-the-scenes organising you do! (We do, of course, offer discounted fees ...but there's nothing like actually saying 'we appreciate you'!) 
NEW!  on to the Shelves - click on a cover to view catalogue

BDS Reviewers:
"I read this book quickly as it was hard to put down."

"My knowledge of NZ history, especially that part relating to the Chatham Islands, has been greatly enhanced."

"The writer engages the reader's sympathies with all the main characters."

From the 19th century invasion of Rekohu (Chatham Islands) through to contemporary Aotearoa, this is the story of a truly New Zealand family: Moriori, Maori, and Pakeha. In order to have a life together Mere and Iraia... (FICTION)


BDS Reviewers:
"A very well researched and vividly descriptive book."

"Much more than a marine shipping disaster analysis because the whole background of the event is fully covered."

"For a comprehensive work of history, it's a very easy read."

"Anyone who enjoys extending their knowledge of history should find this book really interesting - perhaps 'enjoy' is not the right word to use because of the nature of the book."

In May 1915 when the Cunard liner Lusitania left New York... it was reputedly the fastest civilian vessel afloat. But it was to be no match for the German submarine... 

BDS Reviewers:
"The characters are empathetic and likeable."

"Lovely, vivid perceptive writing and often very funny."

"Quite a big book but ... I couldn't put it down."

"Full of sub-plots, well-drawn characters, wonderful Indian food. It grips the reader from the first page."

Tamil Nadu, in India, and Albuqueque, New Mexico, may only be separated by plane journey, but they are worlds apart for the Eapen family, brain surgeon Thomas, wife Kamala and children Akhil and Amina, who are pursuing... (FICTION) 

BDS Reviewers:
"Written with compassion - no-one is denigrated or written off."

"A fascinating account of life in Karachi with many details of family life, schooling, business and leisure."

"A frank and often humorous account of Sami's life. He doesn't shirk the hurt of being the butt of racial prejudice."

Did you hear the one about the kangaroo and the Karachi comedian? ...Confronting, inspiring and capable of inducing involuntary laughter, this is an engaging memoir infused with the humour and insight one would expect from Pakistan's first stand-up comedian.


BDS Reviewers:
"Clever story telling, interwoven threads, clues slowly given."

"An excellent, modern contribution to the BDS catalogue."

"Great to have a post-apocalyptic book with a hopeful ending!"

Who would have thought it would all fall apart so quickly? One minute, it's life as per usual then literally overnight it's lights out. Moving between their pre-pandemic lives and their post-pandemic realities, this story focuses on a disparate group of people connected to Arthur Leander who is performing King Lear on the night the... (FICTION)

BDS Reviewers:
"Reads like one of John le Carre's novels."

"An in-depth look at the life of a spy, the intrigue of deception and the damage to many."

"Gripping in content."

"Exceptionally well written and researched."

Kim Philby is perhaps the most notorious British defector in history. Agent, double agent, charmer and traitor, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Philby, Nicholas Elliott and James Jesus Angleton were rising stars in the intelligence world..


Click here...for Staff Picks

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