Book reviews: June 2019

MCD editor Claire Smith takes a look at some of the latest titles to hit the bookshelves

I Would Dangle the Moon

Amber Moffatt

Midnight Sun Publishing

RRP $34.99


It’s been a while since my kids have needed a bedtime story, but this is the sort of book I would have loved to read them.

It’s beautifully illustrated, easy to read, and encourages littlies to use their imagination. Award-winning author Amber Moffatt is an experienced teacher and advocate for arts education.

In this story, a mother shares her ideas with her daughter about the various things she could do with the moon.

"If I was a mother hen, I would keep the moon warm in my nest so you could find it glowing amongst the morning eggs."A lovely story to read when the moon is full!

The Talking Cure


Professor Gill Straker and Dr Jacqui Winship


RRP $37.99 

In this fascinating book, psychotherapists Gill Straker and Jacqui Winship reveal nine inspiring stories of transformation.

They introduce us to their clients, fictional amalgams of real-life cases, and reveal how the art of talking and listening helps us to understand deep-seated issues that profoundly influence who we are in the world and how we see ourselves in relation to others.

Whether you have experienced therapy, or you are just intrigued by the possibilities of a little-understood but transformative process, this wise and compassionate book will deepen your sense of what it is to be open to connection – and your appreciation that to be human is to be a little bit mad.



Jeff Murray

Mary Egan Publishing

RRP $35

This thrilling and thought-provoking new novel is set in New Zealand in 2048. Our country is a gateway to a melting Antarctica, and is thrust into the centre of climate crises.

Vai Shuster arrives in Auckland to advocate for the delivery of a long-standing promise: a place in New Zealand for her island’s people as climate destruction makes their home uninhabitable. Panicked, but endlessly adaptive, the world is awake to the reality of climate breakdown.

In 2048 the worst effects are yet to be felt, but the destructive phase is locked in. Vai finds herself in a world that the powerful and their mid-level helpers are managing to navigate, and new opportunities are emerging.

Be in to win a copy of Melt by Jeff Murray.

Enter here before 28 June, 2019.

2040: A Household Handbook for the Regeneration


Damon Gameau


RRP $39.99

Like most of us, Damon Gameau has spent most of his adult years overwhelmed into inaction by the problem of climate change and its devastating effects on the planet.

But when Damon became a father, he knew he couldn’t continue to look away. So he decided to do what he does best, and tell a story.

And the story became an imagining of what the world could look like in 2040, if we all decided to start doing things differently, right now.

Brimming with practical wisdom and 50 delicious recipes, 2040: A Household Handbook for the Regeneration will empower you to become the change you want to see in the world.

The Doll Factory


Elizabeth Macneal


RRP $34.99

This debut novel is an intoxicating story of art, obsession and possession. Set in London in 1850, the Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park.

Among the crowd watching is Iris, an inspiring artist, and Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful.

When Iris is asked to model for another artist who helps her learn to paint, her world suddenly expands. But she has no idea that evil is waiting in the shadows.

Silas has only thought of one thing since that chance meeting, and his obsession is darkening by the day. This page-turning thriller will stick in your mind well after you finish it!

Lonely Planet’s Global Distillery Tour


Lonely Planet

RRP $32.99

The Global Distillery Tour explores the exciting new world of spirits and cocktails. From gin, bourbon and whisky to vodka, cachaça, tequila and more, Lonely Planet Food’s specialist spirit reviewers, writers and bloggers recommend where to go and what to taste at the best distilleries and bars in more than 30 countries.

New Zealand is represented in the book by eight distilleries: Puhoi Organic Distillery (Auckland), Prenzel (Blenheim), Cardrona Distillery (Cardrona), Lighthouse Gin Martinborough), Liquid Alchemy (Nelson), New Zealand Whisky Collection (Oamaru), Dancing Sands (Takaka), and Kiwi Spirit Distillery (Takaka). At the back of the book is a section on cocktails: the best mixology magic in the world, and the bars that serve them.

Curiosities and Splendour


Edited by Mark Mackenzie

Lonely Planet

RRP $32.99

Journey back in time with this collection of classic travel writing from great authors and adventurers. These extraordinary odysseys over land and sea captivated audiences and gave them a glimpse into countries, cities and cultures like never before.

Tales include Robert Falcon Scott’s doomed Antarctic expedition of 1910-13; Robert Byron’s 10-month journey through Persia to Afghanistan in the early 30s; Jack London’s 1907 sailing adventure across the south Pacific; and Teddy Roosevelt’s scientific exploration of the Brazilian jungle’s exotic flora and fauna.

Each author and their piece of writing is introduced by editor Mark Mackenzie, who gives context to the work and provides an insightful look into how travel has changed since they were originally published.

The Wonder of Lost Causes


Nick Trout


RRP $32.99

Kate, an overprotective single mother and overworked veterinarian, already has her hands full running an animal shelter and sheltering her fragile, ailing son Jasper from life.

And then an extraordinary dog, Whistler, appears. Scarred, badly mistreated, and preternaturally wise, Whistler forms an immediate bond with Jasper and the two seem to communicate without words.

The clock’s ticking, the dog’s future hangs in the balance, and Jasper would do anything to find him a home; but Whistler has chosen them for a reason.

Whistler has a mission and a message: to make Jasper and Kate find the most in every moment, to fully embrace what lies before them . . . no matter how heartbreaking.

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