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Aotearoa NZ's independent voice of fishing, hunting & outdoors

Book reviews: September 2021

3 min read

Pick of the month

Fish of the Day
Clarke Gayford and Mike Bhana
Penguin Random House
Reviewed by Esha Chanda

Secret fishing spots and great yarns make up this new book by New Zealand’s first man of fishing Clarke Gayford and his film-maker buddy Mike Bhana. The duo takes readers on an epic voyage across the blue oceans and around secluded islands to the world’s best fishing spots.

This gorgeous-looking book is a culmination of five years’ work and features 25 incredible destinations not only in New Zealand but also hot spots in Vanuatu, Tahiti, Hawaii, Australia, and more, plus some lip-smacking recipes and tips and trick – its pays to know the best way to cook your catch – from New Zealand and international chefs, making it a must-have on every keen angler’s bookshelf.

Whether you’ve just dipped your toes in the water or have been fishing for as long as you can remember, you’ll find something that takes you on a deep-dive journey. In each chapter, we explore a new place, meet new people and learn more about their communities, and know just a little bit more about fishing. Recommend it for Father’s Day.

More good reads

Prison Break
Arthur Taylor
Allen & Unwin NZ
Reviewed by Steve Atkinson

Those of us with some mileage will remember escape artist Arthur Taylor along with most of his accomplices. In this very readable autobiography, he takes us on a journey that’s both sad and predictable but nonetheless engaging, especially his numerous escapes from custody.

The book also gives us a peek behind the curtain of our institutions and some of the tactics used to keep things in order, some of which seem quite barbaric. However, despite all this, the author has refocussed his intelligence on advocating for those in need and has been quite successful at it. Unfortunately, while trying to paint a picture of a good ol’ boy gone a little astray and now an upright member of society, there have been serious issues and impact on victims, which are left much unacknowledged. Yeah, I’m not quite buying into the marketing of brand AT but one thing I will concede is that his life is nothing short of remarkable.

Khumbu: Gateway to Mount Everest
Peter Lawrenson
Bateman Books
Reviewed by Tony Orman

Khumbu is the Nepalese region that is the gateway to Mt Everest. New Zealand photographer Peter Laurenson regularly visited Khumbu and became enchanted by the region. It shows in this magnificent book that’s written so sensitively and with a quiet but undoubted passion. That endearment is reflected even more so in the stunning, magnificent photos he has taken. With skill as a wordsmith, Laurenson gives fascinating insights into the Sherpas, the changes – not always for the best – with the mountaineering ‘explosion’ on Everest – and of a startling region.
It’s a book that will fascinate and enchant, making it so easy for the reader to understand the author’s deep attachment to a unique region and its unique people. The book is a credit to both author/photographer and publishers. A beauty!

Life Lessons from Explorers
Felicity Aston
Allen and Unwin
Reviewed by Esha Chanda

Resilience, self-sufficiency, and self-discipline are just some of the character traits in the world’s most intrepid explorers that have made their astonishing endeavours possible. There’s a lot to learn from their lives and their achievements, and in her latest book, Felicity Aston – the first person to ski alone across the Antarctic using only muscle power – takes a walk down history to recount the lives of 15 explorers and the most highly-prized traits shared by them. You’ll find familiar names such as Sir Ernest Shackleton, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong and some lesser-known names such as Nain Singh Rawat and Juno Tabei. Liberally illustrated with photos, the collection makes for a compelling read.

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