Book reviews: December 2019


A good book is a must-have for any road trip. Here’s a quick look at some of the latest titles on the bookstore shelves.

Breakfast with the Centenarians

Daniela Mari

Allen & Unwin

RRP $27.99

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It’s said that life begins at 40 — but that number is constantly being revised upwards as we live longer and longer. The amount of centenarians has quadrupled in the past 30 years, and more of us than ever before can now hope to reach the 100-year mark.

But how can we navigate this journey with grace, dignity and style? In this charming and informative book, Daniela Mari — the Italian doctor caring for some of the oldest people on the planet — draws on her experiences as a gerontologist to reveal the science behind a healthy and happy old-age.

From our sleeping habits and diet to the crucial importance of our passions and interests, Breakfast with the Centenarians is the essential handbook for a fruitful and fulfilling old age.

Be in to win a copy of Breakfast with the Centenarians

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE COMPETITION

Competition ends 13th December

Taming the Wild

Kelly Wilson

Penguin

RRP $45

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In Taming the Wild, Kelly Wilson shares her training philosophies for creating happy horses that love their lives among humans.

From learning how to read a horse’s body language to taming a horse and starting it under saddle, this book is the ultimate how-to guide for everyday people training their own horse, whether wild or domestic.

It is also Kelly’s personal, uplifting story of how she helped save 24 wild horses from slaughter during the 2018 Kaimanawa muster, and the experience of mentoring 10 riders as they tamed their very first horses.

Full of breathtaking photography, Taming the Wild will educate and inspire novice and experienced riders alike, or anyone who wants to better understand the wild ways of these exquisite creatures.

The giver of stars

Jojo Moyes

Penguin

RRP $38

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Inspired by a remarkable true story, Jojo Moye’s latest offering is an unforgettable journey of five outstanding women living in extraordinary and perilous times. Alice Wright has travelled halfway across the world to escape her stifling life in England.

But she soon realises that swapping the twitching curtains of suburbia for life in the wild mountains of Kentucky isn’t the answer to her prayers. But maybe meeting Margery O’Hara is. Margery is on a mission and enlists Alice and three other women to join her.

This band of unlikely sisters battles the elements and unforgiving terrain — as well as all manner of dangers and social disapproval — to ride hundreds of miles a week to deliver books to isolated families. Transforming the lives of so many is all the impetus they need to take such risks.

 

Colin McCahon

Peter Simpson

Auckland University Press

RRP $75

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Colin McCahon (1919–1987) was New Zealand’s greatest 20th-century artist. Through landscapes, biblical paintings and abstraction, the introduction of words and Māori motifs, McCahon’s work came to define a distinctly New Zealand modernist idiom.

In this richly illustrated two-volume work, writer and curator Dr Peter Simpson chronicles the evolution of the artist’s work over his entire 45-year career.

Simpson has enjoyed unprecedented access to McCahon’s extensive correspondence with friends, family, dealers, patrons and others.

Each volume includes more than 300 colour illustrations, with a generous selection of reproductions of McCahon’s work (many never previously published), plus photographs, catalogue covers, facsimiles and other illustrative material. This will be the definitive work on New Zealand’s leading artist for many years to come.

Hey Grandude!

Paul McCartney

Penguin

RRP $30

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This magical adventure for all the family from beloved music legend Paul McCartney celebrates all the fun grandparents and grandkids can get up to. See the compass needle spin — let the magic begin.

Meet Grandude — a super-cool, intrepid-explorer grandfather with some amazing tricks up his sleeve. Grandude is a one-of-a-kind adventurer with a magic compass that he uses when he whisks his four grandkids off on whirlwind adventures, taking them around the globe.

Brought to life with gloriously colourful illustrations from talented artist Kathryn Durst, it’s the perfect bedtime story for little explorers.

 

 

Olive, Again

Elizabeth Strout

Penguin 

RRP $35

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Olive, Again follows the blunt, contradictory and yet deeply lovable Olive Kitteridge as she grows older, navigating the second half of her life as she comes to terms with the changes — sometimes welcome, sometimes not — in her own existence and in those around her.

Olive adjusts to her new life with her second husband, challenges her estranged son and his family to accept him, experiences loss and loneliness, witnesses the triumphs and heartbreaks of her friends and neighbours in the small country town of Crosby, Maine — and, finally — opens herself to new lessons about life.

 

 

 

 

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