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Book reviews: October 2022

3 min read
Book reviews October 22

Pick of the month

Get Outdoors
Paul Adamson
Penguin
$35

Paul Adamson packs some brilliant boredom busters for Kiwi kids in his latest book. The award-winning author is passionate about the outdoors and in his new release, he encourages readers to explore their backyard and beyond.

The book is filled with ideas to get your body moving and creativity flowing: exploring and nurturing the environment, building forts, making art, and even taking it a bit further afield by planning a tramp through local parks and bushes in the ‘Get out and about’ chapter.

With summer just around the corner, Adamson nudges young readers to head to the water for a swim or gather kai moana and give fishing a go and use the ‘Make a meal’ chapter to prepare a feast with what you’ve grown, gathered, or caught.

A great book for those ‘feel-bored-and-can’t-think-of-anything-to-do’ days that will inspire young Kiwis to take on some adventures.

More good reads

More Fish More Veg
Tom Walton
Allen & Unwin
$45
Reviewed by Lisa Potter

It’s the perfect time to treat your household to some fresh new recipes, and with Sydney celebrity chef Tom Walton at the helm, you know it’s going to be flavoursome, straightforward, and a little special. With an emphasis on fresh veges and salad straight from the garden, there’s no shortage of delicious inspiration.

Pro tip: check out the Potato and Pea Salad with Horseradish Ranch Dressing. There’s nothing complicated about the recipe, but we guarantee it will be your spring/summer go-to accompaniment (or main).

There’s also fantastically detailed information around preparing fish and some thoughtful conversation about food sustainability.

Split into four sections, one for each season, it’s a remarkably simple template to follow for seasonal ingredients and recipes.

Garden of your Dreams
By Charlie Albone
Murdoch Books
$39.99
Reviewed by Lisa Potter

If there’s one positive outcome of repeated COVID lockdowns, it’s a reigniting of enthusiasm for home gardening – from growing salad and veggies, through to outdoor space transformations.
Television landscape designer Charlie Albone takes a meander through this glorious guide to transforming your outdoor space, from planning, design, and building to inspirational garden projects and makeovers.

Whether you want some small garden upgrades (perhaps new hedging plants or shrubs) or to create areas of texture or fragrance, everything you need to know is here, right down to which plants to choose for which space. And once you’ve mastered that, take a dip into the outdoor entertaining section.  We dare you to resist.

The Cereal Entrepreneur
Kaz Staples
$34.95
Ultimate World Publishing
Reviewed by Steve Atkinson

The Kiwi founder of premium food brand Puredelish gives budding entrepreneurs a real-life rendering of how to take a start-up business through to a successful outcome.

Over the period of some 20 years, Kaz’s business went from making seasonal Christmas cakes to stocking their expensive high-end cereal products in hundreds of outlets around the country. If this sounds like a piece of cake (pun intended), then be reminded, it appears things only started to come together in relatively recent times, allowing her to sell out for a fair few bucks, I would imagine. It’s all a bit cathartic and wishy-washy in places, but there’s an occasional gem for any budding business owner.

Conquering Cascade
Phil Walsh
$45
Fraser Books
Reviewed by David Lott

Growing up I remember my grandparents saying how West Coast could burn out a fireplace grate but being young I didn’t understand what they meant.

The book follows coal from early times right through to recently and is based primarily on the Cascade mine and the Denniston coal region. The courage of early settlers in removing coal from the Cascade mine is incredible, even 100 years later. It defies belief they built a 12-kilometre-plus flume and flushed coal down using stored water. All this in South Island remote countryside, with harsh winter storms and heavy rainfall.

The author has clearly undertaken a lot of preparation, with in-depth details and rich personal stories that come together to provide an informative read intermixed with interesting side stories. Certainly, anyone with Westport family history or an interest in coal mining in that area will find this a good read and reference. 

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