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Book reviews: July 2023

3 min read
Book reviews July 2023

Pick of the month

Tent Life
Sebastian Antonio Santabarbara
Allen & Unwin

Sleep under the stars and wake up to nature – a dream dreamt by many. While camping is one of the simplest and most sustainable ways of exploring the outdoors, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and underprepared. How easy is it to camp? What are the absolute must-haves? How much money is involved in buying the right gear? And am I really cut out for spending a night (if not more) out off-grid?

Tent Life looks at all these questions and more as the book takes you on a journey with 34 inspirational campers who show you how to pitch up in style. From intrepid trekkers to cyclists navigating the globe by bike and families living life under canvas, the book is packed with practical tips and inspiration for fun and
eco-conscious ways of satisfying your camping wanderlust.

Each contributor shares their approach to camping, their memorable experiences and challenges, camping tips they couldn’t live without, and gorgeous Instagram-worthy photographs.

If you’re still toying with the idea of grabbing a tent, this book is just the nudge you’ll need to head into the woods. It’s a captivating and inspiring read that captures the essence of living in a tent. Highly recommended for anyone seeking adventure, solace, and a deeper connection with nature.

More good reads

Global Smoke
Cheryl Jamison
Allen and Unwin

Tantalising taste buds in bold and compelling ways is the latest cookbook from multi-award-winner Cheryl Jamison. She offers a flavour-packed spin around the world with 100 recipes that are sure to up your barbecue game.

From tandoori-style chicken breasts, Korean short ribs to salmon with summer herbs, cider-soaked pork kebabs and Japanese honey eggplant, the recipes featured showcase a delightful fusion of old-world traditions and new-world flavours.

Jamison focuses on a contemporary style of smoking that has evolved as interest in cooking foods has soared with home smoking equipment becoming so much more easily accessible. The recipes in the book not only feature traditional lean meat but also extend to adding a smoky savour to salads, soups, and pasts.

Whether you’re a novice to smoke cooking or a proven barbeque pitmaster, Global Smoke is an invaluable addition to any culinary library.

Hogs, Dogs and Rifle
Kim Swan
Bateman Books
Reviewed by Tony Orman

Kim Swan is well known as a prolific writer of articles in hunting magazines and as a seasoned author of books.

Now a grandmother and addicted to the outdoors, she loves taking to the hills with her faithful dogs and rifle just revelling in being there.

In her 10th book, Kim shares her favourite pig-hunting stories, with 60 short chapters recording some of her adventures – the triumphs and disappointments.

Kim has developed her own distinctive style of writing, which blends self-mockery with humour.

The “kill” is not nearly as important as being in those Marlborough hills and mountains.

There aren’t many who can spin a yarn like Kim. She provides a rare insight into the world of hunting. It’s an entertaining read.

Everything you know about sharks is wrong
Dr Nick Crumpton, illustrated by Gavin Scott
Nosy Crow

If you’re an adult who’s seen the movie Jaws, this book is for you. And if you’re a young reader who hasn’t yet explored the movie franchise, this book is perhaps a better introduction to a species that only occupies three percent of the aquatic world.

As Dr Nick Crumpton explains, sharks are far from the big bad reputation they hold of being blood-lusting vicious predators. Instead, they are one of the most misunderstood – and fascinating – animals.  

Crumpton sets up to change common perceptions and debunks the many myths associated with all kinds of sharks. From fascinating fishy friendships to incredible powers of invisibility, readers will discover how everything you may know about sharks is, in fact, not true.

The book is engaging and informative and it not only educates children about sharks but also fosters a sense of appreciation and respect for these creatures.

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