Book reviews October 2018

Ottolenghi Simple

Yotam Ottolenghi

Edbury Press

RRP $65

Ottolenghi-simple.jpgWhen a cookbook has the word ‘simple’ in its title, it usually gets my attention. Don’t get me wrong, I love complex food and flavour, but I don’t like spending three hours preparing something with a huge list of ingredients that leaves the kitchen in a huge mess.

But Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest cookbook (created with Tara Wigley and Esme Howarth) shows us how to make vibrant, tasty food the simple way. Every one of the 130 brand-new dishes can be created in under 30 minutes with 10 ingredients or less. And each contains all the inventive elements and flavour combinations that Ottolenghi is loved for but with minimal hassle for maximum joy.

The chapters are split into basic categories, plus there’s a list of menu suggestions to help plan for get-togethers, relaxed brunches, or bigger events.

Eco Home

Melinda Williams

Penguin NZ

RRP $45

Eco-Home.jpgWe all want a more sustainable lifestyle these days. It is up to New Zealanders to lead the charge designing, building, and creating eco-friendly sustainable homes to help make this a better world. Melinda Williams has put together this step-by-step guide to make it as easy as possible.

Melinda is a New Zealand writer and editor specialising in architecture and design. In this, her first book, she takes a comprehensive look at everything in the home starting with the benefits of going green—for your health and your pocket!

With lots of great break-out boxes, practical tips, and inspirational photos, this book is a fantastic overview on how you can choose more sustainable options in your home.

Pathway of the Birds

Andrew Crowe

Hawai’i Press


Pathway-of-the-Birds.jpgPathway of the Birds explores a neglected epoch of world history, one that saw Polynesians expand their territory across the world’s largest ocean. But were Polynesians adept at navigating return voyages or had they settled the Pacific in a more random fashion?

In an effort to find out, author Andrew Crowe surveys a wealth of evidence from surprisingly diverse sources. Through an engaging narrative, integrating a diversity of research and viewpoints, and more than 400 maps, diagrams, photos, and illustrations, Crowe conveys the skills, innovation, resourcefulness, and courage of the people that drove this extraordinary feat of maritime expansion.

The format is both accessible to the lay readers and required reading for any serious scholar of this fascinating region.

Oh Boy

Stuart Lipshaw


RRP $45

Oh-Boy.jpgThis companion volume to the bestselling Oh Girl provides essential and inspirational reading for Kiwis of all ages (including grown-ups!). Oh Boy is chock-full of stories about brilliant Kiwi blokes who followed their dreams and made the world a better place.

From the likes of Edmund Hillary, Ernest Rutherford, Fred Hollows, and Willie Apiata, to Billy T James, Peter Jackson, Bret McKenzie, and Taika Waititi, find out how each rose to the challenge and overcame the obstacles and stereotypes about what men can do.

Their stories are accompanied by equally fabulous portraits specially created for the book by 10 exceptional New Zealand illustrators, including Askew One, Fraser Williamson, and Zak Waipara.

New Zealand Pubs

Peter Janssen

New Holland

RRP $29.99

NZ-Pubs.jpgTravel writer Peter Janssen is the best-selling author of numerous travel guides, including A Walk a Day and Exploring New Zealand. In his latest book, Janssen has taken the concept of the pub crawl and cranked it up a notch by researching first-hand 175 of New Zealand’s best historic pubs.

The criterion for a pub to make it into the book was simple: it had to be built as a pub before 1967 (the end of the six o’clock closing) and still be operating as a pub today. It also had to offer something to the modern traveller in terms of atmosphere, food, or accommodation.

Beautifully photographed and extensively researched, this fascinating book is a must-have for intrepid travellers wanting more than just a drink.

I am New Zealand


Random House NZ

RRP $45

I-Am-New-Zealand.jpgThis stunning book takes you on a visual journey from Te Paki in the north to the Catlins and Stewart Island in the south, with striking images of the people and places that make New Zealand unique.

The book results from Nikon inviting the photographic community to build an image map of the nation online (at There was an amazing response, with many creative and inspiring photos posted.

This collection offers a range of those images that truly say ‘I am New Zealand’ and a fresh look at New Zealand through the lenses of many photographers. All royalties from the sale of the book will go to the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

Be in to win a copy of I am New Zealand.


Competition ends on 19 October 2018.

The Pursuit of Dreams

Dr Dragos Bratasanu

Hay House

RRP $32.95

The-Pursuit-of-Dreams.jpgEver thought of selling up, leaving your job, and travelling full-time by RV? It’s all too common for our passions to fall by the wayside amongst the daily grind of ordinary living. If you’ve put your dreams and passions on the backburner for too long, this could be the book that changes everything.

Award-winning scientist, author, film-maker, and speaker Dr Dragos Bratasanu travels the world to empower people to make their dreams a reality.

In his latest book, he shares the deeply personal experience of how he accomplished his dreams—including travelling to the North and South poles without any money or connections—to show how you can reclaim your power and take charge of your life by listening to the voice of Truth.

Two Slices of Bread

Ingrid Coles

Wild Side Publishing

RRP $39.99

Two-slices-of-bread.jpgAuthor Ingrid Coles was born in Java, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), in 1942, during the Japanese occupation of the Second World War. When she was just three months old, she and her family were incarcerated in POW camps.

Ingrid writes about her family’s war experiences, her childhood, and her mother’s struggles to make ends meet on a widow’s pension. All this while having to cope as a family emotionally scarred as a result of their wartime trauma.

Orphaned at age 16, Ingrid had a clear idea of her future calling and immigrated to New Zealand to begin nursing training. She traces her past and reveals the secret of her successful time in the country and how she overcame the hurts and hurdles of her childhood.


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