Book reviews: January 2020

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.

The big loop: Biking coastal of New Zealand

Dunc Wilson

Bateman Books

RRP $39.99

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In August 2015, Dunc Wilson became the first person to circumnavigate New Zealand on a bike. His 10,940km journey, with 4.81 million wheel revolutions, followed one rule: cycle the closest available route to the coastline.

The Big Loop candidly details Dunc’s 240-day cycling adventure, through native bush, rugged coastlines, farm stations and more, demonstrating how acquainting oneself with our country is best achieved under 100km/h. 

Dunc describes the book not as a guide, but as an account of the easy days, the struggles, what nearly broke him and, most importantly, the people who carried him through.

Be in to win a copy of The big loop: Biking coastal of New Zealand


Competiton ends 10th January 2020

Summer with Simon Gault

Simon Gault


RRP $50


It has been six years since Simon Gault released a cookbook and what a journey he has had during that time. After a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, Simon changed his lifestyle and eating habits, lost weight and took more care with his sugar intake.

His latest book includes plenty of hearty classics and sweet treats, but there are also recipes with healthier options for those who are looking to create delicious meals that are good for the waistline.

There are more than 80 recipes, with tips and tricks throughout. This is the perfect book for inspiring easy-to-transport picnic food, throw-together meals, delicious summer salads, and mouthwatering summer barbecue recipes.




Marion Day

AM Publishing 

RRP $65


‘Passion’ is the perfect word for author Marion Day. She is passionate about many things — life, nature, photography, good food — and unifying them all is her love of writing.

The book is a veritable ‘feast’ in seven stunning parts: The Past, The Land, The Sea, The Sky, The Mountains, The Garden and, finally, The Heart.

This book doesn’t solely showcase Marion’s life with her partner Steve in Clova Bay, a remote area of outstanding natural beauty in the Marlborough Sounds, it is also a story of local history and everyday life in a small, isolated community.

Marion’s inspiration often comes from the natural elements surrounding her, and it is that which led to this book being written.


Rick Stein's secret France

Rick Stein


RRP $60


More than 50 years ago, Rick Stein first set foot in France. Now, he returns to the food and cooking he loves the most — and makes us fall in love with French food all over again.

Rick’s meandering quest through the byways and backroads of rural France sees him pick up inspiration from Normandy to Provence. With characteristic passion and joie de vivre, Rick serves up incredible recipes: chicken stuffed with mushrooms and Comté cheese, grilled bream with aioli from the Languedoc coast, a duck-liver parfait bursting with flavour, and the perfect raspberry tart.

Simple fare, wonderful ingredients, all perfectly assembled; Rick finds the true essence of a cuisine universally loved, and far easier to recreate than you might think.

Toward the mountain

Sarah Myles

Allen & Unwin

RRP $39.99


It is said that everyone knew someone involved in the Erebus disaster. The aftermath wreaked a trail of destruction, with the Royal Commission of Inquiry coining the oft-quoted phrase ‘an orchestrated litany of lies’ to describe the airline management’s conduct.

The surrounding media storm drowned out the stories of those at the heart of the tragedy: the families who lost someone, and those who worked so hard to bring them home.

Marking the 40th anniversary of the event, Sarah Myles uses extensive research and interviews to weave together the stories of her grandfather, his fellow adventurers and the first responders. This is the story of what happened and its enduring impact on those most affected.


Singing the trail

John McCrystal

Allen & Unwin

RRP $59.99


Beautifully illustrated with a selection of fascinating maps, Singing the Trail is the story of New Zealand through its maps — and the story of the explorers who made those maps.

The book begins with the coast, describing the process by which Aotearoa New Zealand was put on the map: from Polynesian myths, which contained their own cartographic information, to Tupaia’s map of the Pacific and the first attempts at mapping the New Zealand coastline by Abel Tasman and Captain Cook.

There are maps that unearth little-known histories, maps that are too gorgeous to pass over, and maps that show how our country might have looked in a parallel future.




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