Book Reviews November 2021

Quirky New Zealand

Eleanor Black

Bateman Books

RRP $34.99


Whether it’s a bra-garlanded fence, a garden full of teapots or an ornately-decorated toilet block, New Zealand is renowned for its unusual, unexpected – and in some cases hilarious – pit stops. Award-winning writer Eleanor Black scoured the country for hidden gems in her latest book, proving that in this little land down under, we make our own fun. Ohakune’s giant carrot, Paeroa’s ‘World famous in New Zealand’ L&P bottle and Kawakawa’s glorious Hundertwasser Toilets were all created with the express intention of getting people to stop and look at something a little different. Lesser-known beauties are well worth a look; Rere’s tranquil, moss-covered rock slide becomes a fabulous thrill ride when enthusiastically ridden on a boogie board, and Fred and Myrtle Flutey’s 1000 plus paua shell collection in Bluff is very much an ‘only in New Zealand’ sight. 



Good Food Outdoors

Katy Holder

Hardie Grant

RRP $22.99


Part of the joy of the road is making recipes that can be cooked on the go. This book brings together 50 recipes by food writer Katy Holder, designed to be cooked on a barbecue or campfire, or pre-made and brought with you. These delicious recipes are accessible, delicious and contemporary, making it a must-have for every caravan and motorhome. Mini-morsels like sesame-crusted tuna squares are perfect for parties; filled baguettes and salads work a treat at picnics, and for that lovely long relaxing day when camping, there’s a lamb shoulder dish that’ll make you the envy of the campsite. There’s even a chapter on kids’ cooking so you can get the whole family involved in dinner. 


Ferrying A Motorhome Across Cook Strait

Dan Carter: 1598

Dan Carter

Upstart Press

RRP $69.99


Fans of our favourite national sport will be delighted with this hardback celebration of Dan Carter’s world record test rugby career. Carter’s final act on rugby’s biggest stage – his ‘goofy-footed’ conversion of Beauden Barrett’s try in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final saw him exit the international arena as the game’s greatest ever scorer: no active rugby player is within 500 points of his tally. Over his 112 test matches played for the All Blacks, the majestic first five amassed a staggering 1,598 points. Dan Carter: 1598 takes readers on an absorbing, test-by-test journey, coupled with magnificent imagery, and told in his own words – with a foreword penned by his good friend and fellow All Blacks legend, Richie McCaw. 



David Baldacci


RRP $34.99


FBI agent Atlee Pine finally discovers the truth behind the abduction of her six-year-old twin sister, Mercy. Atlee knew her sister and parent were out there somewhere, and she had to find them, dead or alive. But sometimes the truth hurts… Atlee and her assistant, Carol Blum, uncover a shocking trail of lies, greed, fear and revenge, and face a final challenge that’s more deadly and dangerous than anything they could have imagined. Mercy is the latest thrilling read from David Baldacci, one of the world’s bestseller writers. A former trial lawyer with a keen interest in world politics and specialist knowledge of the US political system and intelligence services, Baldacci has written more than 40 bestsellers. 


Love & Virtue

Diana Reid


RRP $36.99


Michaela is thrust into a university culture that’s filled with status-obsessed students. At risk of being a fish out of water, she befriends the beautiful, confident and driven Eve, but a shocking event at O-week forces Michaela to confront the power dynamics in a close-knit friendship group. As her relationship with Eve grows more complex, their personal responses to the events of that first week sends shockwaves throughout the campus. Love & Virtue is a provocative and contemporary novel that takes aim at virtue signalling and moral ambiguity in a modern setting. Author Diana Reid says growing up on social media, and going to university in a climate where moral outrage is on trend, she wanted to explore the idea that being a good person, and being seen to be a good person, aren’t necessarily the same thing.



Gone Bush

Paul Kilgour


RRP $39.99


Paul Kilgour was bitten by the tramping bug as a young boy, wandering beyond his northwest Auckland farmland home, and out and about along the coast. Those walks ignited a passion for adventure; Gone Bush recounts Paul’s 50 years of walking the backcountry. He tells of the people he’s met, some of the 1200 huts he’s visited, and recounts one of his most unforgettable journeys – an epic 1550km off-track tramp from Fiordland to Golden Bay. Now based in beautiful Takaka in Golden Bay, Paul is one of New Zealand’s most famous hut-baggers, and his book is a charming, meandering read – much like one of his much-loved tramps. “For me, the bush is the place where nothing else seems to matter and being there is everything. The air is clear, the world is quiet; time stops.” 

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