Strong Sense of Place

Strong Sense of Place


One lifetime is too short to visit everywhere and meet everyone. That’s why we love books with a strong sense of place — they let us travel the world in our imagination. In each episode of our podcast, we explore one destination and talk about what makes that place different from everywhere else on earth. Then we recommend five books that took us to that place on the page. We’re on a trip around the globe, one great read at a time. Please join us!

Head south to Australia and take a sharp turn east to arrive in New Zealand. It’s a landscape both magical and majestic, surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Tasman Sea and southwestern Pacific.

New Zealand is a fairly new country: the first people to arrive were ancestors of the Māori, between 1200 and 1300. It took another 300 years for European explorers to show up. Modern NZ balances its colonial and Māori history with three official languages (English, Māori, and NZ sign language), and a national anthem that’s sung in both Māori and English.

In this episode, we get curious about life in New Zealand, then recommend books that transported us there, including an essay collection, a memoir from an American woman who married a Māori, a novel about the 1860 gold rush, a tale of Māori mythology, and a fantasy novel set in Wellington.

For more on the books we recommend, plus the other cool stuff we talk about, visit show notes at

Books we cover include:

– The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry
– Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All by Christina Thompson
– The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera
– The Colour by Rose Tremain
– Can You Tolerate This?: Essays by Ashleigh Young

As always, you can follow us at:

– Our web site at Strong Sense of Place
– Twitter
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– Facebook

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