Book reviews: One for the road - January 2014

If you’re heading off for some well-deserved R&R, there’s no better time to grab a great book. Peta Stavelli reviews some of the latest books from New Zealand publishing houses.

Books -1Wild about New Zealand

Gus Roxburgh, New Holland NZ, $55

This gorgeous book about our national parks was written to accompany the television series of the same name. Its dual purpose is to provide more details on each park than the television series can hope to, and also to act as a photographic guide to the parks. In fact, it is a celebration of the exquisite beauty of our national parks and a compelling guide book that will no doubt act as a further incentive to New Zealanders to get out and enjoy their heritage.

Books -2Save With Jamie

Jamie Oliver, Penguin Group NZ, $65

With useful chapters like how to joint a chicken; what to do with leftover bread, or fruit; and four ways with roasted squash and other cheap as chips ingredients, this book is sure to be a winner. I love Jamie's vitality and his easy approach to fast, healthy, food. Other recipes that might entice are the dim sum pork buns, pulled pork tacos, humble brisket stew four ways and the best cauliflower and broccoli cheese. No matter which regional cuisine entices, you are sure to find a stunning version that will become a family staple within the pages. Love it!

Books -3Wearable Art

World of Wearable Art, Craig Potton Publishers, $79

For 25 years the annual World of Wearable Art competition and award show has explored the intersection of fashion and art. It is one of the most remarkable cultural success stories over the past 25 years in New Zealand. Wearable Art expands on earlier editions. It has been completely revised in a lavish large format with all new photographs to feature the best garments from recent years. This book is a remarkable celebration of the diversity and creativity of wearable art, and anyone with an interest in fashion, design and the craft arts will find it utterly inspirational.

Books -4Waiheke

John Hawkesby, Penguin Group NZ, $45

After veteran broadcaster John Hawkesby's much publicised departure from television, he decamped to Waiheke for a recuperative weekend, bruised from the fallout. Within the tranquil confines of a private B&B at prestigious Church Bay Estate, he began to recover and fell head over heels for the island he initially dubbed New Zealand's answer to Martha's Vineyard. Now a resident of almost thirteen years, he's learnt not to repeat that comparison; coined the phrase 'Waiheke: so far behind it's ahead' and now feels enough of a local to showcase 'his' Waiheke. The resulting book is an elegant coffee table read which makes others of us who also live there feel very spoilt indeed.

Books -5Sir Edmund Hillary

Penguin Group NZ, Alexa Johnston, $50

Sir Edmund Hillary was a shy, unassuming schoolboy. As a young man he discovered a love of mountaineering and it was this hobby that turned him into a legend of the twentieth century. More than sixty years after his famous ascent of Everest, this elegant large format book tells the full story of Sir Edmund Hillary's extraordinary life. Drawing on his personal archives, it is an intimate but inspiring portrait of a modest man who lived life to the full — surviving personal tragedies as well as achieving historic triumphs, earning worldwide fame and displaying tireless philanthropy. Sir Edmund Hillary: An Extraordinary Life is a fitting and revealing tribute to a great man.

Books -6Molesworth

Harry Broad with photographs by Rob Suisted, Craig Potton Publishers, $70

Molesworth is our largest high country station, covering an area greater than Stewart Island. For many years it was virtually closed to the public. Now managed by the Department of Conservation, vehicle access is allowed during the summer months and the public are able to experience this unique environment. For those who prefer to take their travel armchair style, this book will delight and inspire.

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