Book reviews December 2017

Black Barn: portrait of a place

Gregory O’Brien and Jenny Bornholdt

Penguin Random House

RRP $85

Black Barn _CVR_FNL_300dpi

The story of Andy Coltart and Kim Thorp is one of incredible enterprise and creativity. Twenty years ago, the partners pooled their resources to create one of the best-known destinations in Hawke’s Bay.

Black Barn: portrait of a place tells the compelling and evocative story of how a nondescript piece of farmland was turned into a world-class winery complete with an award-winning restaurant; how a restored cottage spawned a swag of luxury retreats; and how two men’s creative vision shaped a Hawke’s Bay landmark.

This beautiful coffee-table style book is lavishly illustrated with photographs by Brian Culy and includes recipes from the Black Barn bistro menu.


Hilary Ngan Kee and Sam Stuchbury

Penguin Random House

RRP $55

HideawaysWith the end of the year upon us and a well-deserved break on the horizon, what better way to inspire a quiet escape than with this beautiful book of hidden hideaways.

From quiet cabins and off-the-beaten track baches to boutique barns and mountain huts, Hideaways is a stunning showcase of tucked-away escape spots all over New Zealand.

Each has its own authentic story to tell, as do the owners. My favourite has to be that of Claris the Retro Caravan on page 152. Owner Mieke shares her story of rescuing and immaculately restoring this 1960s Clipper caravan from the bones up.

A must-read over summer if you’ve been thinking about doing up the bach, restoring your caravan, or just escaping to your own special hideaway.

Rick Stein The Road to Mexico

Rick Stein

Penguin Random House

RRP $60

Rick _stein _mexico _coverI’m a big Rick Stein fan, so when this book arrived on my desk last month, I was delighted, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. It is big, bright, and full of the mouth-watering, bold recipes Rick is famous for.

As the name suggests, Rick travels from the farmers markets of California to the colourful streets of Mexico, sampling, researching, and cooking with the fresh, natural, and healthy ingredients he finds along the way.

The book contains 120 recipes from a simple Mexican-style corn on the cob with chilli and mayo to the very addictive chocolate and pasilla fondant truffles. Yum!And if you’re really adventurous, try the chicken mole poblano (key ingredient… dark chocolate!). 

Strangers Arrive

Leonard Bell

Auckland University Press

RRP $75

Bell _Strangers -ArriveFrom the 1930s through to the 1950s, a substantial number of forced migrants—refugees from Nazism, displaced people after the Second World War, and escapees from communist countries—arrived in New Zealand from Europe.

Among them were an extraordinary group of artists and writers, photographers, and architects whose European modernism radically reshaped the arts in this country. From photographer Irene Koppel to writer Antigone Kefala, author Leonard Bell takes us inside New Zealand’s bookstores and coffeehouses, studios, and galleries.

Strangers Arrive introduces readers to a talented group of ‘aliens’ who were critical catalysts for change in New Zealand culture. This visually stunning book includes many rarely seen images of New Zealand art. A fascinating read.

The Art of Simple

Eleanor Ozich

Penguin Random House

RRP $40

The -Art -of -SimpleBlogger Eleanor Ozich is a bestselling author, blogger, photographer, and mother to three gorgeous children. She knows that feeling of being run ragged and of never having enough time in the day to get everything done. It was that feeling that led her to make the conscious decision to pare life back and find balance again.

The process of shedding unnecessary clutter and adopting a simpler way of life has given her back more time, energy, and the ability to value the things she still has. The Art of Simple encapsulates Eleanor’s approach to living. With beautiful recipes for drinks, meals, cleaning products, and beauty, it is elegantly designed to help you cherish life’s simple pleasures.

The Long and Winding Aotearoa

George Lockyer

Bateman Publishing

RRP $39.99

Long -Winding -Aotearoa -CVR_FMotorcycling enthusiasts will be familiar with author George Lockyer’s name from Bike Rider Magazine and Living the Dream—Kiwi Bikers in which he interviewed 50 fascinating motorcyclists from around New Zealand.

A well-seasoned traveller, George says that what makes travelling so rewarding is meeting people. “People from all walks of life, with a story to tell.” In The Long and Winding Aotearoa, he rode around the country again on his Triumph Bonneville, dropping in to talk to more fascinating people willing to share their stories.

From Kaitaia to Invercargill, George shares his witty and funny take on life from under a crash helmet. A great gift for motorcycling fans this Christmas.

Win a copy of The Long and Winding Aotearoa as reviewed above! Enter MCD's ongoing competition.


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