• Stephanie Hammond

Holiday Reading Challenge

Here's a reading challenge you might like to adapt for your country and holiday period. I'm finding it fun, and a challenge.

My friend, fellow author Vicky Adin, set a challenge to compile a holiday reading list of New Zealand writers.

Challenge One, was to choose a book from your bookshelf written by a New Zealand writer that you hadn’t already read. My choice was Maurice Gee’s Ellie and the Shadow Man. Although I like Maurice Gee, for some reason I hadn’t read this book. I'm sorry to say I didn't complete it. I really couldn't get into it and realised why I hadn't read it already. I've passed it on to a more appreciative reader

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Challenge Two, is to select a book written by a New Zealand writer from a different genre to the one you usually read. I chose Richmond Road by Miles Hughes, which is based in Auckland during the early 1900s, an era I usually like, but shy away from those centred around the wars, which this one seems to do. Miles Hughes is an engineer and writes from that perspective.


Challenge Three, was to add a book you’d like to re-read written by a favourite New Zealand author. I’ve chosen a Maurice Shadbolt book The Season of the Jew. I’d like to revisit my earlier reaction to the story of Te Kooti when I was a newly arrived Australian. Now I've lived here a few decades and embraced being a Kiwi, I'd like to see how I respond to the challenges this book poses.


Challenge Four, is my choice of a book based on a true story: Chance is a fine thing by Philip Temple. I met Philip briefly once and wondered about his writing. Now’s my chance to find out how he writes, and about him as well, as this book is based on his life.


Challenge Five, a new release. I’ve chosen The Stories of Bill Manhire by Bill Manhire. It’s a book I’ve bought as a present, so I’m sure I’ll get to read it too! And I enjoy listening to and reading his works.

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