Katherine – Staff Pickles

Kia ora. I am currently an Information Librarian at Christchurch City Libraries, but have a background in military museum libraries in the UK. I have a particular interest in the First World War and early aviation and hope to share my knowledge about twentieth century and other conflicts, plus other topics like heritage, films, theatre, Antarctica and anything else that takes my fancy.

Follow Katherine in our catalogue.


Adam Claasen's Fearless: the extraordinary untold story of New Zealand's Great War Airmen is part of New Zealand's official First World War Centenary series. As with all this series, it is a beautifully produced volume, full of fascinating images - the endpapers are particularly delightful. Over 800 New Zealanders served with the Royal Flying Corps, Royal Naval Air Service and Australian Flying Corps and many of their stories are told here for the first time. This is an ideal book if you want to know about a different aspect of New Zealand's contribution to World War One.

Previous recommendationsLouise O'NeillGeneration Kill (tv), South Riding by Winifred Holtby.


I don't really write a lot of booklists but here are a few! 

Interesting autobiographies
Katherine's top 2017 books
Katherine's 2016 top books
1916 and beyond
2015 - some top books
First World War campaign histories
Historic newspaper archives online
Fairly modern plays I like
Royal New Zealand Air Force and New Zealanders in the RAF
Heroic Era Antarctic Exploration
First World War uniforms equipment and medals

Some picks about conflict

New Zealand and the First World War by Damien Fenton - a comprehensive overview of New Zealand's war

The First Day on the Somme by Martin Middlebrook - classic account of a horrific day

Generation Kill (TV series), based on the book by Evan Wright

Cover of New Zealand and the First World War Cover of The first day on the Somme


Ultimate literary trilogy: The Regeneration Trilogy

Favourite comfort author: Bill Bryson - always funny and interesting

Looking forward to

The next part of Laini Taylor's Strange the Dreamer

Will never be found reading

I'm not sure anymore, because you never know what you might enjoy that you didn't think you would!

My publications

Take a look at my chapter about a young Royal Flying Corps Officer serving on the Western Front and in Sudan in Experience of a Lifetime: people personalities and leaders in the First World War.

Check out my chapter on 'Antarcticans and the First World War' in Endurance and the First World War.

In 2014 I presented a paper at the LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand) Conference about Caring for Communities after the earthquakes.

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