Book reviews August 2018

By: Claire Smith


When it's cold and raining outside, it's time to kick back and relax with a good book. NZMCD reviews the latest books to hit the shelves.

View from the South

By Owen Marshall

Vintage

RRP $40

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This stunning collection of poems showcases Owen Marshall’s affinity for the South Island and captures the voice and perspective of the southern landscape and people. Owen explains, "The arrangement of poems is loosely thematic, rather than chronological, with poems that seemed comfortable together for reasons of tone, or content, encouraged to be companions".

The book is illustrated with beautiful photographs by Grahame Sydney, a long-time friend of Owen’s, known in his own right for his stunning landscapes of Central Otago. His paintings have been widely exhibited and are held in private and public collections worldwide. The foreword is by Paula Green, who says of the poems, "They are an exquisite marriage of musicality, observation, elegance, and economy."

Down a Country Road

By Tony Orman

New Holland

RRP $24.99

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What is it that has made and still makes New Zealand’s backcountry—and in particular the South Island—so indelibly endearing to many? Tony Orman decided to seek out a collection of stories that included colourful—and at times eccentric—personalities who have made the often remote backcountry their home. Down a Country Road is an evocative return to a way of life that has largely disappeared. This book celebrates the determined and resilient settlers and a lifestyle and connection with the natural environment that Kiwis still strongly identify with today. Original photography and illustrations complement the stories that celebrate the determined, resilient settlers and a lifestyle and connection with the natural environment that Kiwis still strongly identify with today. 

 

New Zealand Adventures by Rail

By Denis Dwyer

New Holland

RRP $34.99

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Denis Dwyer has loved rail travel since he travelled by steam as a boy from Oamaru to Invercargill. In his latest book, he shares his travels by rail through New Zealand, bringing the journeys alive with telling detail and humour. His trips include the celebrated Northern Explorer and TranzAlpine, as well as the spectacular Oamaru Seasider and Taieri Gorge Railway. The fascinating stories pay homage to those who built the railways and trains, and those who maintain and run them, as well as offering insights into the history of the communities and the trains that pass through. The writing style is similar to Bill Bryson’s—dry, concise, and incredibly entertaining. Sit back and enjoy journeys through New Zealand, with stunning photographs complementing the text.

 

Rivers Rare

By Neville Peat, with Brian Patrick and Aalbert Rebergen

Department of Conservation

RRP $34.99

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The Upper Waitaki region, spreading east from the Southern Alps and New Zealand’s highest Peak (Aoraki Mt Cook), contains a spectacular array of braided rivers, which are rare internationally. They are home to plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world. Water and wastewater are now serious issues in the region. New farming, especially dairying, requires irrigation, and the canal developments threaten many birds, including the Black Stilt. Rivers Rare tells the story of Project River Recovery—an award-winning and world-leading conservation effort to compensate for habitats lost from building the Waitaki hydro system.

 

Globetrotting on a shoestring

By Lynley Smith

Wild Side Publishing

RRP $24.99

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Solo Kiwi traveller Lynley Smith has journeyed through Israel, Hungary, Colombia, Kenya, China, the UK, Australia, and the US. Travelling on buses, planes, trains, and a ‘bungbung’ (a three-wheeled motorbike converted into a taxi), as well as her own two feet, Lynley finds herself in some very strange (and scary) places. You’re never too sure whether or not she is about to be arrested, kidnapped, or suffer ‘Delhi belly’ from eating cicadas and pigs ears! The book is funny, informative, nostalgic, and a little quirky. With a healthy helping of dry humour, she describes her fascinating interactions with the locals, who are just living life, and the challenges of getting there. A must-read for everyone who would like to travel or wants to reminisce.

 

Overlander

By Rupert Guinness

Simon & Schuster

RRP $39.99

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Rupert Guinness set out on the trip of a lifetime: to race across Australia in the inaugural Indian Pacific Wheel Race. This would be no ordinary bike race. Unlike the Tour de France, which Guinness made his name reporting on for decades, competitors would ride completely unassisted from Fremantle in Western Australia to the Opera House in Sydney on the other side of the country—a gruelling distance of more than 5000km that would not only test riders’ physical endurance but their psychological resilience as well. Dubbed ‘The Hunger Games on Wheels’, there would be no help, just riders and their bikes crossing one of the most beautiful—and most inhospitable—places
on Earth.

 

Life on the Road: Kiwi Trucking Stories

By Randolph Covich

Penguin Random House

RRP $40

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A mood of mystery often surrounds truckers. They have a secret life—one that’s spent on the road during those long-haul trips across the country. Their experiences, the people they meet, and the friendships they form more often than not just make for bedtime stories for their kids or a yarn or two to share during family gatherings.

Life on the Road, written by NZMCD’s very own content director and Deals on Wheels editor Randolph Covich, gives readers a glimpse into this life that’s shielded from the world.

This book has more than two dozen such stories, some written by the men and women behind the wheel and others narrated to professional writers from the industry and beyond.
Whether you are associated with the trucking industry or not, if you like good yarns, this one is for you. A perfect gift for Father’s Day!

FODMAP Friendly

By Georgia McDermott

MacMillan Publishers

RRP $39.99

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Georgia McDermott is a passionate home cook; she also suffers from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). After setting out to find a way to manage her symptoms, Georgia discovered the low-FODMAP diet. At the same time, she chronicled her journey and her cooking experiments on her phenomenally successful blog. Now, in her first book, FODMAP Friendly,

Georgia shares more than 90 recipes that are not only delicious
but will also help relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of an unsettled gut. Whether you’re following a low-FODMAP diet, suffer from food intolerance, or experience gut-health issues, or you simply love great-tasting food that’s also good for you, this book will be a great addition to your recipe book collection.

 

Be in to win a copy of Globetrotting on a shoestring by Lynley Smith. To enter, visit the competitions page. Competition ends on 24 August 2018.

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