Book reviews: September 2018

By: Claire Smith

NZMCD takes a look at some of the latest titles to hit the bookshelves

The Rules of Seeing

Joe Heap

Harper Collins

RRP $35

Rules-of-Seeing.jpgJillian Safinova, Nova to her friends, can do many things. She can speak five languages, she can always find a silver lining, and she can even tell when someone is lying just from the sound of their voice. But there’s one thing Nova can’t do. She can’t see.

When her brother convinces her to have an operation that will restore her sight, Nova wakes up to a world she no longer understands. Until she meets Kate. As Kate comes into focus, her past threatens to throw them into a different kind of darkness. Can they each learn to see the world in a different light and open their eyes to the lives they could have been living all along?

Wild Delicious

Amber Rose

Random House NZ

RRP $55

Wild-Delicious.jpgAs you leaf through the dreamy pages with their glorious photos of abundant goodness, it’s clear that this is more than a cookbook. Not only is it packed with recipes using only the best, fresh, local ingredients, it also feeds the soul. At the heart of Wild Delicious is place and identity, a sense of what it means to be home, and this is precisely what Amber rose had wanted for her third cookbook.

After several years living in the UK, Amber revels in rediscovering the natural foods that she grew up with and combining them with flavours gathered on her travels. Her fuss-free yet impactful recipes make the most of heritage ingredients and seasonal variations to create dishes that are truly irresistible.

New Zealand’s Great Walks: The Complete Guide

Paul and Shelley Hersey

Random House

RRP $45

NZs-great-walks.jpgNew Zealand’s Great Walks are truly world-class. In a country blessed with hundreds of spectacular tracks to choose from, these are considered the best of the best. They pass through some of our most breathtaking landscapes, including golden sand beaches, ancient rainforests, and high mountains. New Zealand’s Great Walks: The Complete Guide is the only handbook anyone will need to experience these outdoor adventures.

Each of the walks (and one river journey) is presented in a clear, user-friendly way with planning notes, a track description, conservation information, and tips on how to prepare for your trip, plus other useful websites and resources. The book is the guide no keen adventurer can do without!

21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Yuval Noah Hariri

Johnathon Cape

RRP $38

21-lessons.jpgHow can we protect ourselves from nuclear war, ecological cataclysms, and technological disruptions? What can we do about the epidemic of fake news or the threat of terrorism? What should we teach our children? Yuval Noah Harari takes us on a thrilling journey through today’s most urgent issues.

The golden thread running through his exhilarating new book is the challenge of maintaining our collective and individual focus in the face of constant and disorienting change.

Are we still capable of understanding the world we have created? In bringing his focus to the here and now, Yuval helps us to grapple with a world that is increasingly hard to comprehend, encouraging us to focus our minds on the essential questions we should be asking ourselves today.

Puffin the Architect

Kimberley Andrews

Picture Puffin

RRP $19.99

Puffin-the-Architect.jpgPuffin is an architect who always exceeds her clients’ expectations, that is, until she takes on the toughest clients ever—her own pufflings! Puffin takes her tricky new clients on an inspirational tour of her builds.

Together, they visit all kinds of cleverly designed spaces—Otter’s floating home, Pig’s tool shed on wheels, Painter Goose’s light-filled studio, and Platypus’ cosy underground bakehouse. The pufflings are unimpressed. Her clients really are a challenge. Will Puffin come up with a puffling-perfect home design?

This gorgeous story, with endearing animal characters, intriguing house designs, ingenious mechanisms and storage solutions to pore over on every page, will spark a brand-new generation of architects, engineers, and interior designers.

2019 Guide to the Night Sky: Southern Hemisphere

Storm Dunlop and Wil Tirion

Harper Collins

RRP $9.99

2019-night-sky.jpgA comprehensive handbook to the planets, stars, and constellations visible from the southern hemisphere, with six pages for each month covering from January to December 2019.

This practical guide is both an easy introduction to astronomy and a useful reference for seasoned stargazers. The guide includes a section on comets and a map of the moon as well as diagrams for the latitude of southern Australia and events visible from New Zealand and South Africa.

A great handbook for advice on where to start looking in the night sky, with easy-to-use star maps for each month, positions of the moon and visible planets, and details of every object you might see in the night sky next year.

The Pacific in the Wake of Captain Cook, with Sam Neill

Meaghan Wilson Anastasios

Harper Collins

RRP $45

Pacific-in-the-wake-of-Captain-Cook.jpgCaptain James Cook first set sail to the Pacific in 1768—250 years ago. These vast waters, one-third of the Earth’s surface were uncharted but not unknown. A rich diversity of people and cultures navigated, traded, lived, and fought here for thousands of years. Before Cook, the Pacific was disconnected from the power and ideas of Europe, Asia, and America. In the wake of Cook, everything changed.

The Pacific with Sam Neill is the companion book to the Foxtel documentary series of the same name, in which actor and raconteur Sam Neill takes a deeply personal, present-day voyage to map his own understanding of James Cook, Europe’s greatest navigator, and the immense Pacific Ocean itself. Fascinating, engaging, fresh, and vital—this is history—but not as you know it.

Winging It

Emma Isaacs


RRP $39.99

Winging-It-book-reviews.jpgCEO and entrepreneur Emma Isaacs forgot to draw up her life plan, and she doesn’t have a list of five-year goals.

She doesn’t believe in work/life balance. After all, she has five children and heads up Business Chicks, Australia’s largest community for women. Emma wants to show us that you can’t plan every detail and wait for the confidence to kick in before you begin; instead, take action now, do what feels right, and figure the rest out as you go along.

In other words, you’ve got to learn how to ‘wing it’ rather than wait. Emma shows us that often the only thing holding us back is ourselves, that you can follow your dreams, and that there’s no reason not to start doing so right now.

Be in to win a copy of Winging It by Emma Isaacs. 


This competition ends 21 September 2018.

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