Book Reviews September 2021

Setting Boundaries

Rebecca Ray



In the face of ever-increasing professional and personal demands, we risk using our energy in ways that don’t serve who we want to be. Many of us, raised to be people pleasers, find ourselves giving in to draining colleagues, friends, partners and relatives. We sabotage our Inner Leader and fail to trust our instincts.

Dr Rebecca Ray, Australian clinical psychologist and author, shows how boundaries are the key to many of the emotional and practical difficulties we encounter in daily life. In Setting Boundaries, Dr Ray shares science-based advice and tools to help us: identify our boundaries and when they have been crossed; recognise the patterns and habits that have failed to support us to feel empowered; engage in difficult conversations from a place of strength and self-kindness. Accessible, inspiring and deeply practical, Setting Boundaries ignites us to rethink our relationships, reclaim our lives and protect our mental health and wellbeing.

The Premonition – A Pandemic Story

Michael Lewis

Allen Lane (UK)


In January 2020, as people started dying from a new virus in Wuhan, China, few really understood the magnitude of what was happening. Except, that is, a small group of scientific misfits who in their different ways had been obsessed all their lives with how viruses spread and replicated – and with why the governments and the institutions that were supposed to look after us, kept making the same mistakes time and again.

This group saw what nobody else did. A pandemic was coming. We weren’t prepared. The Premonition is the extraordinary story of a group who anticipated, traced and hunted the coronavirus; who understood the need to think differently, to learn from history, to question everything; and to do all of this fast, in order to act, to save lives, communities, society itself. It’s a story about the workings of the human mind; about the failures and triumphs of human judgement and imagination. It’s the story of how we got to now.

New Zealand top golf destination in Asia Pacific

Ora Nui 4, Māori Literary Journal

Anton Blank

Oranui Press


According to the Austronesian Migration Theory, Māori descend from the indigenous tribes of Taiwan, who migrated widely. As a result of this migration, New Zealand and Taiwan share genealogical, linguistic, and cultural connections.

In this ground-breaking special edition of the Māori literary journal Ora Nui, writing and artwork by the indigenous peoples of New Zealand and Taiwan are presented side by side. The resulting journal is a rich offering of short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, essays and visual art. Author Anton Blank says, “This issue of Ora Nui is a jewel; light dances across the words and images, sparking joy and wonder. It is filled with contributions from my favourite Māori and Taiwanese writers and artists.”

Contributors include Nigel Borell, Hinemoa Jones, Arihia Latham, Vaughan Rapatahana, Apirana Taylor, Briar Wood, Joshua Hema and Etan Pavavalung.


Historic Homesteads of Hawke’s Bay

Angus Gordon

Mary Egan Publishing


Hawke’s Bay has one of the largest concentrations of historic homes in New Zealand, with spacious grounds, exotic trees, and rich with Māori history and culture. These gracious homes – dotted across the sun-drenched uplands of Hawke’s Bay – rose unashamedly from the golden fleeces on the sheep’s backs, to become monuments to our settler heritage. The region played its part in the pastoral revolution that placed our country firmly at the forefront of the world agricultural scene.

Today, New Zealand still pioneers technologies in the farming sector. Strong crossbred wool, a natural durable fibre, started that process. This neglected product has, it seems, lost its golden touch – yet these grand homes, mostly in very good repair, remain as symbols of the wool boom which helped to shape our colonial past, and to prepare us for our place in the new order.

Book reviews: December 2014

Our Vibrant Country

Bob McCree



Lush spring farmland, bright summer beaches, red and gold autumn colours and crisp winter days – every season of the New Zealand landscape is captured in this vivid collection by award-winning photographer Bob McCree. He has been actively involved in photography for the last 35 years in both the amateur and professional worlds. Featured in the book are iconic New Zealand locations enhanced by nature’s elements.

Bob has also captured Kiwis enjoying their country’s natural playground through such popular national hobbies as kayaking, Starling and Optimist sailing, kite surfing, surfboat racing, board surfing, yacht racing, fishing, tobogganing, skiing and snowboarding. Our Vibrant Country features multicultural parades and waka races, and showcases our extraordinary flora and fauna. Included is a map showing where most of the photographs were taken.

The 3-Day Diet

Victoria Black & Gen Davidson



The creators of the world’s largest online fasting community bring you the easiest diet on the planet: you only have to be ‘good’ for three days a week, and then you can relax for the other four days. Victoria Black and Gen Davidson started SuperFastDiet to prove that weight loss can be fun, easy and part-time, and The 3-Day Diet stands out as the most effective path to long-term, sustainable weight loss. This book includes: scientific research showing how the 3-day diet and intermittent fasting work; 60+ fresh, delicious recipes for every day of the week; meal plans and practical strategies for your fasting days; tips for a more balanced mindset to help you maintain and supercharge your weight loss; inspiring true stories of 3-day diet success from the SuperFast community.


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