Book reviews: December 2016

The MCD team has selected the best of some recent inspiring reads

Book -1Real Crime Island Time

Rod Henderson
New Holland NZ, $30

In this topical book about Rarotonga, criminal investigator Rod Henderson explores the dark side of the tropical island paradise. He covers the murders, investigations, disappearances, and escapes that have added the twist in the tail of the ‘jewel’ of the Pacific, which from its early colonial days have had its share of intrigue. The book covers a time period from 1887 to the present day, just stopping short of the recent double murder of two island residents by an escaped convict. Perhaps, there will be a sequel to this expose of the island’s underbelly. 



Book -4Shelf Life

C.K. Stead
Auckland University Press, $45

C.K. Stead has been a dominant figure in New Zealand’s literary landscape since the 1950s when he began to garner international recognition for his poetry and literary work. He later became acclaimed as a novelist and has written more than 40 books and received numerous prizes and awards. The highest of these is the Order of New Zealand, which he received in 2007. He is currently the country’s poet laureate, a position he has held since 2015. In short, there will be few who do not hold him in high esteem and will value the opportunity to find in this collection the best of his ‘afternoon work’—reviews, essays, and opinion pieces wrapped brightly in a Gretchen Albrecht painting.


Book -2Ima Cuisine

Yael Shochat
Random House NZ, $55

This glorious book draws on the wonderful recipes from Yael Shochat’s celebrated namesake Auckland restaurant that features traditional Israeli cuisine. Yael grew up in the portside city of Haifa where she ate fresh market foods at home and in the local Arabic and Jewish restaurants. She arrived in New Zealand in the late 1990s when she opened The Lunch Box to share the tastes of her homeland. This eventually morphed into the now famous Ima restaurant and deli/café on Fort Street. Her food is a vibrant combination of Mediterranean, North African, European, and Middle Eastern.


Book -3New Zealand Greatscapes

David Kerr
Bateman, $40

This is a divine coffee table book with a foreword by Rt Honorable Mike Moore is published just in time to make the perfect gift for overseas friends or family. Or quite simply treat yourself, and then you can relive over and again the magic of this beautiful country in frequent armchair escapes. David Kerr is a self-taught landscape who learned the art of creating powerful images while working in advertising agencies.

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