Sorted—A Curious Kiwi Book of Lists

By: Jill Malcolm, Photography by: Jill Malcolm

Sorted is an entire book of obscure and curious lists about the quirky and colourful things that help make up the profile of New Zealand

If I suggest a caravan trip, Bill’s response, once he has agreed to the basic idea, is something like: "Sounds good, why don’t you make a list?" I set to and work out where we might go, when, where to stay, and what we might do when we get there.

Piha ---a -beautiful -beach -with -a -reputation -for -danger-

We also have standard lists for provisioning, for preparation of the caravan and vehicle, for the clothes we pack and so on. At home, due to some sort of glitch in my brain wiring, I ignore my numerous to-do lists and do something else entirely. I lose shopping lists and come home with things I don’t need and nothing that I do.

But other types of list-makers are motivated, not by the need to organise their lives, but by the act of discovering and recording facts. Such list lovers often become addicted to the task. One addict is writer Rosemary Hepözden, who has just recently published an entire book of obscure and curious lists about the quirky and colourful things that help make
up the profile of New Zealand.

The -list -addicted -author ,-Rosemary -Hepozden

Sorted is a fun, dip-into book of entertaining statistics about the country I thought I knew and facts that I never thought I needed to know.

"I’d spent years reading and writing about New Zealand before I realised that one way to get to grips with the nature of our country was to present aspects of Kiwi life in list form," Rosemary says.

"Lists are deliciously convenient. A New York journalist once said that processing information in list form is like sipping on green juice rather than munching on a whole bunch of kale.

"By keeping things brief, you can corral a vast amount of information—and make accessing it less of a chore."

To those of us who travel the country regularly, Sorted doesn’t add much in the way of where to go, to stay or what to do, but it adds snippets of humour and intrigue, which bring enrichment to the journey. Could you name, for instance, the nine most beautiful New Zealand beaches that have a reputation for danger; seven unexpected South Island photo ops; eight strange and remarkable facts about Bluff; or 30 destinations with doubtful desirability such as Anxiety Point, Assassination Cove, Destruction Gully, and Flea Bay?

Can you name the 10 national sports teams with the word "black" in them (I’d never before heard of the Ice Blacks or the Iron Blacks)? There’s a section about quotes on New Zealand weather.

"It’s so dry here the trees are running after the dogs" (Central Otago farmer, TV One News, 3 March 1999) and "If you can’t see Mt Egmont, it’s raining. If you can, it’s going to rain" (local saying), are two entries.

South -Island -phot -op

There is a short piece on the 10 most frequently stolen cars, which makes me happy because mine isn’t among them; an item on the best places to park up (in the old-fashioned sense); and an interesting description of six decades of Kiwi food fashion, from chicken-in-a-basket, Surprise Peas and French onion soup dip in the ’60s to quinoa salad, foam, kale, and turmeric lattes in 2018.

Arising from the recent popularity of boutique beer come labels, among them Parrot Dog Dead Canary Pale Ale, Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black South Pacific Porter, Behemoth Brave Bikkie Brown Ale, and Croucher Lowrider.

MCD readers might be interested to know that that there is also a section headed ‘9 things motorhomers know that homeowners don’t always appreciate’. I won’t tell you what they are. To find out, you’ll have to buy the book!

Win a copy of Sorted!

Sorted -Cover

We have three copies of Sorted to give away.


Competition ends 27 July 2018.

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