Large first floor non-fiction section of the Tauranga City Library closes


Random selection of non-fiction reading material is re-randomised by the current closure of the large First Floor Non-Fiction Section of the Tauranga City Library.

Remedial building work on the Willow Street Tauranga Council property has created the Ground Floor Non-Fiction Section composed of non-fiction books returned by readers. For someone who tries to expand her knowledge and reading by random selection from library displays and shelves; it’s delicious to be randomly selecting books initially selected by the wider Tauranga City Library reading community.

I’ve had to develop a two-load system of book borrowing. First load is the non-fiction reads and then my ex Auckland Library calico bag is filled with fiction. Interestingly this time there’s a coincidental subject theme in some of the books.

I’m a post-World War II migrant to the new world. A child whose parents brought their past with them as they abandoned their homeland for their promised land. We came from different places for the same reasons. Stories of wartime events and experiences were woven through Antipodean life. One afternoon Charlotte insisted her parents show me the numbers inked on the inside of their arms. Quietly, small dignified New Zealanders rolled up their sleeves. My inadvertent selections take me back to those times.

THE HOTEL ON PLACE VENDOME Life, Death and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris.

Tilar J. Mazzeo

Harper Collins, New York 2014

By chance I heard a review of this book on National Radio. It was fascinating to see how differently our perceptions of what we had read were. For me this was an amazingly readable sociopolitical statement about wartime France. It’s all there the Vichy regime of occupation, the collusion of some – the bravery of others (including hotel staff) and the failed Operation Valkyrie. The role of the international rich, the famous, and the international press corps of the day. But underlying what is essentially the story of the Ritz , Paris and its guests, is the French-organised systematic removal of the Jewish population and the Nazi regime’s persecution of Jewish people (and others).

An inadvertently worthwhile and interesting summer read. If you’re 35 years and younger you might want to read this easily read insight into European life, war and ethnic cleansing.

The weirdest thing I read

“….The senior hotel staff might have remembered an immigrant

busboy named Ho Chi Minh who worked in the Ritz kitchens in

the 1920’s…..”


Craig Russell

Quercus 2009, 2010, 2011

A World War II battle-scarred, Glasgow-borne,Canadian-raised, former Officer/Soldier living in a grim and hard post-war Glasgow.

“Private Investigator Lennox stands somewhere between legal and illegal,

honour and greed, crims and cops. The one clear thing about Lennox is

his certainty that only the toughest and most ruthless survive in his home

town of Glasgow”

These three books were quietly standing on a Tauranga City Library fiction shelf. Nothing they were doing indicated the depth of content, the social violence, religious animosities, black humour and history contained within their now not-new covers. I’m glad I picked all three out together. They’re of a world where gentlemen wore hats and suits, working men wore cloth caps, the words “politically correct” had yet to enter the vocabulary of the Police and cigarettes and organised crime were the daily norm.

“Lennox”. the first of the three interweaves the wartime backgrounds and contemporary Middle East political developments against the murder of two of Glasgow’s lesser criminal bosses. “The Long Glasgow Kiss”: murder and the setting up of drug trafficking on an international scale. “The Deep Dark Sleep” the tortuously interwoven death, life and death of a “ruthless armed robber.”

Prompted by the content of “Lennox”

“…..your Sergeant McGahern was a member of Gideon. But he got quite tight

with the Jewboys….It was good to know that the small matter of six million dead

had done nothing to dampen Jeffrey’s anti-Semitism..”

and following references to the Haganah, Special Night Squads and Moshe Dayan I asked a young man in his twenties if he had any idea what the Irgun was, what the Haganah was, what the Stern Gang was? He googled “Irgun”. I would ask that you do the same. It is so easy to forget.

Note: 27th January 2015 was the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Russian Army. George Arnett has written “Auschwitz: a short history of the largest mass murder site in human history.” It’s in the international section of The Guardian, UK.

FLEA MARKET FABULOUS designing gorgeous rooms with vintage treasures

Lara Spencer with Amy Feezor and photographs by ChiChi Ubina

Stewart Tabori and Chang an imprint of Abrams, New York 2014

It would be so easy to not pick up this seemingly twee little book with the gorgeous, blonde-tressed and knee booted women leaning against a truck of stylish “antiques/junk”. Pick it up and read it. It is one of the most entertaining easy to follow repurpose and restyle decorator books I’ve read for a while. No I wouldn’t want everything she and her team have done in my home but the ideas and the stylish presentation are inspiring.

I believe we all deserve the best residential environment we can create. I grew up in house where the first bookcase was created by my father out of sanded down wooden butterboxes, my mother made the curtains and most of our clothes on her hand turned sewing machine.There were lawns, gardens, an orchard and a hen run and the most fragrant dark red rose climbing the orchard fence. My children started off with wall-paper covered banana boxes as toy boxes before graduating to recycled government issue shelving and food containers bought from Foodtown for $1. for 10. We were the very, very lucky ones. In my former professional life I visited a family where the parents and children slept on a foam mattress on the floor of a rented flat with not much else in the way of possessions.

If you’re not interested in repurposing and recyling then get this book out and give it to any child you know. It’s never too early to see the chic side of sustainability.

KIT KEMP A Living Space

Kit Kemp with Fiona McCarthy, Photographs Simon Brown

Hardie Grant Books, London & Melbourne 2012

Another inspiring décor and design book but at the unique boutique hotel level. The combination of new and repurposed furnishings and art made this a wonderful holiday read.

I’m having great difficulty returning it to the Library. Every page is a fascinating combination of fabric, furniture, accessories and art. This book has also given me an insight into spaces and places I may not personally see or visit. It’s also given me further wonderful ideas for my own living space. I’m determined not to fall into that trap of increasing age of dusting round a set pattern of stuff until I die!!!

EVERYDAY + SUNDAY Collected recipes from the Sunday Star Times, Sunday magazine

Ray McVinnie Photographs by Kieran Scott

3 Times a Day Publishers Limited, 2010

If I was writing a fan letter; it would be to Ray McVinnie. I’ve already collected as many of his recipes from magazines and the “Sunday Paper” as I can. I loved their diversity and often simplicity. I love eating with my eyes!!

The cover of this books is an assortment of old cutlery. I also love the affirmation of the recipe at Page 10 “Chunky Vegetable Soup with Yoghurt and Mint” “….it is simply boiled vegetables dressed with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil, garlic and lemon zest, mint and parsley drizzled on top just before serving. Its earthy goodness is supremely satisfying and is extremely easy to make.”

While some of his recipes have expensive ingredients many McVinnie “plates” are just wonderful combinations of affordable, nourishing ingredients. Every artist has to eat. We might as well eat the best we can afford and create! Read and enjoy.

Interested in Food & Wine? Tauranga has a WINE & FOOD SOCIETY and it’s open to new members. telephone Jo Cameron on 548 0655 or Rob Wakelin on 548 0013

Rosemary Balu


Tauranga City Library meets:

3rd Wednesday of every month of 2014 at the Tauranga City Library
10.30am to 11.30am and 5.30pm to 6.30pm

Papamoa Library Book Club meets:
3rd Wednesday of every month of 2014 at Papamoa Library

“Discover new parts of the Tauranga Library with monthly themes and enjoy the company of a friendly group.”

February 18th Fiction

March 18th DVD’s, Audiobooks, Ebooks

April 15th Non-Fiction

May 20th Large Print

June 17th Risk Taker

July 15th Life Changing Stories

August 19th New Zealand Book Month

September 16th Adventurers

October 21st Heroes + Heroines

November 18th Villians/Crims

December 16th Best of 2015

and get one of the wonderful promotional Book Club bookmarks from the Library counter.


Any one can join the Friends. Annual membership is $10. and members receive six issues of Bookline, the Friends newsletter. Monthly meetings with guest speakers. Friends are volunteers who link the general public and library management; support library initiatives and raise money for special library projects.

Contact: President Barbara Murray Phone 07 579 5378 Secretary Barbara Moore Phone 07 575 6823


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