Book reviews: March 2016


Peta Stavelli has selected some more of the summer's best reads. Check out these short book reviews.

Art Deco Airports Art -Deco -Airports

New Holland Publishers,
Terry Moyle and Rosie Louise, $50

This is the book for you, if you are plane spotter who loves art deco – and I don’t imagine I am alone in entertaining these twin passions. This divine book by New Zealand-based professional artists and writers, relives the glamour of flying through glimpses of the world’s first airports.

It explores the relationship through art deco, aviation and airports with more than 125 illustrations of flying’s Golden Age and close looks at 33 different airports to glean a truly international aspect on the exotic lost world.

Landscapes of New Zealand Landscapes -of -NZ

Warren Jacobs
New Holland, $25

This is a delightful wee book, the perfect gift for a returning traveller to take home and share all the wonders of our diverse country. Each region has a short introductory essay by Jill Worrall, while small maps will also help to ground the reader.

The images are so delightful, I am inspired to want to get back out into the landscape; to explore new places and revisit familiar places. Compact, at around 15 by 12cm, it is light and easy to carry. The perfect memento of a fabulous New Zealand holiday.

NYPD Red NYPD-Red

James Patterson
Penguin Random House NZ, $37

James Patterson is one of the world’s most popular thriller writers, with more than 150 bestselling crime novels published. He’s a New York local, so it’s not surprising to find his latest novel is about the elite task force the city that never sleeps. NYPD Red is charged with cases involving rich, famous or well-connected.

When a shocking robbery and murder mars a movie premiere, the best of the best, Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald are called in to scour from the skyscrapers to Manhattan’s underworld to stop the protagonist before he strikes again.

Julia and Libby’s Wholefood Kitchen Julia -and -Libby

Julia and Libby Matthews
Penguin NZ, $50

These gorgeous sisters radiate good health and their simple recipes for a healthy lifestyle have earned them more than 45,000 Facebook followers and 40,000 Instagram fans. Libby has a diploma of holistic nutrition and a bachelor of naturopathy from Auckland’s Wellpark College, while Julia is studying naturopathy in Sydney. They decided five years ago to tackle the feelings of fatigue caused by a too-busy lifestyle by eating foods as close to natural as possible.

The recipes (and lush photography by Lottie Hedley) are great, but I especially loved the section on simple beauty products to make.

Volcano Discoveries Volcano -Book

Tom Pfeiffer and Ingrid Smet
New Holland, $40

Living as we do in the so-called Shaky Isles the earth’s rumbles, groans and occasional eruptions are literally part of the landscape we inhabit. Most days my commuter ferry plies past Rangitoto slumbering in a shiny sea to a city ringed by volcanic cones. Taranaki residents are similarly blessed by their namesake maunga magnificently rising from vast and verdant plains. But what do we really know about what lies beneath?

This book will not only enlighten you about our own ring of fire, you’ll also learn about the history of volcanology and how volcanic activity shaped, not only our planet, but our development as humans.

Coastlines Coastlines -of -NZ

Rob Suisted and Alison Dench
New Holland, $20

The old adage that good things do come in small packages is proven by this book. It is rich with images of the stunning coastal scenery that abounds in our small country. Here you are never much more than 100 kilometres from the sea. Though we are a small country when compared with Canada, the USA and Australia, our 15,134 kilometres coastline is the ninth longest in the world.

All the images in the book are spectacular, but regions like Waikato and the King Country, which are frequently perceived to be vast, rural and landlocked, are included to great pictorial effect. In its current compact form, this book would make a great postal gift, but I’d also love to see it in a coffee table format.

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