Moata – Staff Pickles

Staff Pickles

Things I love include - popular culture (particularly film and television), funny feminists, snarky humour, vintage homeware and fashion, non-smug parenting advice, and ye olde Christchurch stuff. Current kick: Reading books by celebrities to see if they're terrible.

To find out what I'm borrowing/reading/enjoying check out my library profile, particularly my Completed and For Later shelves.


See all my lists.



  • The imaginary lives of James Pōneke - Tina Makereti's historical fiction novel follows the life of a boy without a whānau, orphaned in the Musket Wars, to the streets of Victorian London. The novel includes themes of identity and sense of belonging, as well as colonisation, the trope of the "nobel savage", and gender and sexuality.
  • Inferior - There's been a lot of science about gender differences over the years and a lot of it, stuff we consider "common knowledge", is now being debunked. There are differences, yes, but modern science is showing that they're not as significant as we've been led to believe.
  • Christmas in the Movies - If you're keen on some schmaltz mixed with film history you could do worse than this Turner Classic Movies tie-in title. Very American-focused but that's sort of the nature of the genre so you'd expect that. INCLUDES DIE HARD.
  • Tinderbox - Kiwi writer Megan Dunn tries to write a re-imagining of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 but details of her own life, and the Francois Truffaut movie get all mixed up in it. Both literary and funny.
  • Cinemaps - The plots and locations of 35 films lovingly made into works of art and accompanied by a short essay about the film. A must for movie-nerds.



Pop! Culture podcast (Radio New Zealand) - Melody Thomas, Tony Stamp and assorted guests dig into the zeitgeist covering topics as diverse as mermaids and gaming.


  • Christchurch on film: Short film by The Press's Philip Matthews and Charlie Gates that explores the Christchurch as captured by movies and docos - both time capsule's of our pre-quake past, and the changing post-quake environs.
  • Brooklyn 99 - Season Six now screening on Duke. I don't like Peralta's new hair but that's literally my only complaint. NINE-NINE!
  • Taskmaster Season 7 - Watching British comedians repeatedly make idiots of themselves via a series of ridiculous tasks at the behest of Greg Davies is my jam.
  • Split -  A tense, dark psychological thriller. James Mcavoy plays a character with Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID) who abducts 3 teenage girls and keeps them in a basement. A twist at the end places this film in the universe of one of M. Night Shyamalan's earlier films, and hints that the story may well continue...
  • A quiet place - A gripping horror in which a family fights to survive in a world where the smallest noise could spell disaster. Plenty of jumps and some very threatening alien creatures, but low on the gory scale, so watchable for those who don't enjoy that kind of horror.
  • A series of family-friendly/Christmas movies, so far: Paddington, The Christmas Chronicles (Netflix), Home Alone, Mary Poppins, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
  • Hereditary - THIS MOVIE. Oh my. I watched this during daylight hours but the kind of scary it is can't be banished by sunshine. I was left thinking about it for days afterwards. A very dark take on intergenerational trauma, fate, and creepy miniatures. Toni Collette is amazing in it. Not everyone's cup of tea.
  • The good place - Now on its third season and the good place is still good.
  • Outlander - The fourth season has Jamie and Claire in colonial America.This season is based on Diana Gabaldon's Drums of autumn

Looking forward to:

  • Erin Morgenstern of The Night Circus fame finally has a new novel coming out later in the year entitled The Starless Sea. HOORAY!.
  • Season 8 of Game of Thrones (not due until April 2019. GAH!)
  • Aquaman

All time faves

Cover of Preacher #1 Gone to TexasMy Top 5

Shameful secret

I never finished reading The Great Gatsby in high school and have no intention to even though it's one of the thinnest books I've ever been assigned to read.

Will never be found reading

Dancing with Beelzebub by Michael Laws (Yes THAT Michael Laws and apparently it is madly lurid)

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