Book reviews Christmas - New Year 2018

By: Claire Smith

Heading away for some well-earnt rest and relaxation? Don’t forget to pack a good book! MCD Editor Claire Smith has reviewed some of the latest titles to hit the bookshelves

The Whole Brain Diet

Dr Raphael Kellman

Scribe Publications


9781925322682In this practical guide, Dr Raphael Kellman explains the fundamental connection between the brain, the gut, the microbiome, and the thyroid – which he calls ‘the whole brain’.

Kellman explains how, if your gut is dysfunctional or your microbiome is degraded, you will feel as though your mind is deteriorating and your emotions are out of control too.

He reveals how the whole brain works in tandem to keep us healthy, and how, by making small changes, we can use it to heal mood and mental disorders without drugs.

The Whole Brain Diet is a fascinating read packed with practical, common sense advice that resonated with my belief that food should be thy medicine (something I plan to work a bit harder on now).

A Place for the Heart 

Peta Carey

Potton & Burton


A-Place -for -the -HeartRenowned photographer and film location scout, Dave Comer, was popularly known as ‘The man who found Middle Earth’.

Comer had a central role in finding what are now the world famous locations for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. He lived much of his life in and around Fiordland, photographing the region from the 1970s until his death in late 2014.

This beautiful book presents some of his most beautiful and compelling images, alongside the story of Dave’s life and work – from the early years’ jetboating in the Hollyford Valley, to more than 30 years spent working in the international film industry.

Written by his wife Peta Carey, the narrative follows not only Dave’s life, but her own journey in making sense of his legacy.

Be in to win a copy of A Place for the Heart. To enter, visit the competitions page on Competition ends on 12 January 2018.



Stephen Barnett & Richard Wolfe

Potton & Burton


KiwianaIf you remember Fred Dagg, ‘Janet and John’ reader books, the ‘Murder House’ or sipping bottled milk at school, then Kiwiana will be a fascinating trip down memory lane.

This fun book celebrates some of the more colourful and durable aspects of New Zealand’s popular culture, from the All Blacks to Weet-Bix, health camps and the summer bach.

I loved flicking through these pages and revisiting long-forgotten memories, like enjoying hokey-pokey ice cream in the cone (it just tasted so much better back then), and Ches n Dale ("Finest cheddar, made better").

Kiwiana will prove a great little book for showing the kids or grandkids a slice of New Zealand’s unique history, or just to remind you of days gone by.

Best Scenic Highways of New Zealand

Bob McCree

New Holland Publishers


Best -Scenic -Highways -of -NZ-FC-HRNew Zealand may not be a big country, but it certainly is a beautiful one. As motorhomers, we all know and relish the fact that the journey is also the destination, and this book captures that concept beautifully.

Freelance photographer Bob McCree has travelled the highways and byways of New Zealand for years in his quest for iconic images of this stunning country. In his new book, he shares a pictorial journey along 16 routes he considers to best demonstrate the inherent scenic beauty of our every-varying countryside.

Rich in information and photography, Best Scenic Highways of New Zealand is designed to inspire locals and visitors alike to explore more of the hidden beauties of our incredible country.

I Quit Sugar: Smoothies, Bowls & Drinks

Sarah Wilson

MacMillan Publishers


I-Quit -Sugar -Smoothies ,-Bowls -and -DrinksJust in time for summer, Sarah Wilson’s new book has over 60 recipes to choose from, each packed with veggies, a little fruit, and plenty of healthy fats and protein.

The recipes’ simplicity also means you can nourish your body with maximum flavour and minimum fuss. I can guarantee you’ll find some eating experiences you’ve never tried before (or even thought of), such as Carrot Cake Porridge Whip or Spice Butternut Bliss. Sarah also provides handy tips on getting started, freezing and storing food, and handy ingredients to always have on hand. 

If you’re keen to give up sugar, but still crave delicious breakfasts and tasty mid-afternoon snacks, you’ll find this book to be an absolute saviour.

Van Life

Foster Huntington

Hachette New Zealand

RRP $49.99

Van -LifeFoster Huntington did what many of us daydream about, especially those of us stuck in offices during the day.

In 2011 he packed in his corporate New York-based job and travelled off-grid in a bright orange Volkswagen Vanagon.

For the next two years he wandered across 80,000 miles of North America, from British Columbia to Baja, Mexico. Along the way he met fascinating, like-minded travellers looking to explore nature at their own pace.

Showcasing hundreds of gorgeous and inspirational photographs of vans in idyllic settings from around the world, Van Life is perfect for anyone who daydreams about life off-the-grid and on the open road.

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