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Book reviews: August 2023

3 min read
Book reviews August 2023

Pick of the month

Eat Up New Zealand:
the bach edition
Al Brown
Allen & Unwin
$49.99

Book reviews August 2023

Indulge in the ultimate culinary experience with Al Brown’s revised edition of the iconic Eat Up New Zealand, where the chef and writer includes new recipes aimed at easy bach living – and it’s absolutely perfect, packed with more than 150 delicious recipes for sharing casual meals with your whānau.

Al’s passion for fishing shines through as he offers plenty of great ideas for using the day’s catch – kahawai ceviche, trevally sashimi, snapper tartare – along with some excellent recipes for meat eaters, vege fans, and, of course, anyone who likes to finish their meal with a sweet treat.

The food photography is stunning, with beautiful on-location shots from around the country, and Al combines his passion for cooking with the nostalgic charm of Kiwi baches, offering clear and easy recipes that are accessible and achievable for everyone.

With New Zealand being blessed with abundant fresh produce, Al’s approach of starting with seasonal ingredients and adding a burst of flavour creates dishes that are both clever and simple and we daresay, it’s the perfect addition to any food lover’s collection.

More good reads

Kiwis on Harleys
George Lockyer
Bateman Books
$49.99

Book reviews August 2023

Whether or not you’re an avid Harley-Davidson fan, odds are you’ll still find yourself poring over this collection of fascinating characters from around New Zealand and their passion for this iconic American motorcycle.

From collectors, restorers, and racers to those who ride for pure enjoyment (including a train-driving drag racer and female bus driver), it’s an unexpectedly diverse group of 28 who opened their garage doors (and lives) to author George Lockyer.

We’re a bit of a sucker for the opportunity of a sneak peek into other people’s lives and what makes them tick, and Kiwis on Harleys checks all the boxes.

It’s a fun read and one you can dip into a chapter at a time at your leisure.

Book reviews August 2023

Hannah & Huia
Charlotte Lobb
Quentin Wilson Publishing
$37.50

This debut novel by Charlotte Lobb is a thought-provoking exploration of mental health issues. The Kiwi author has crafted a memorable story about hope and finding purpose in life – even when it seems that hope is lost.

Shaped around two women from wildly different backgrounds and families, this powerful story is poignant and unforgettable. Following the journey of Hannah, who’s in a mental health unit after the unthinkable sudden death of her husband and baby son, and long-term resident Huia, who lives in her own world, the novel is emotionally laden, spanning heartache, despair, and hopelessness, but threaded with glimmers of understanding and redemption. It’s a compassionate and thoughtful handling of mental health issues.

Dry Climate Gardening
Noelle Johnson
Allen and Unwin
$49.99

Book reviews August 2023

Author and desert horticulture Noelle Johnson gives a lowdown on how to create a colourful and vibrant garden in low-water conditions. With a growing number of homeowners dealing with water restrictions as summer rolls in, water-wise landscaping is slowly becoming a necessity.

Johnson challenges the traditional notion that dry-climate gardening is limited to cacti and scattered rocks, introducing readers to a range of plants that thrive in low-water conditions. Whether you’re new to gardening or are a seasoned green thumb, the book is packed with information that will help you grow a lively landscape. It’s a comprehensive and informative guide and Johnson brings her wealth of knowledge and practical experience to help readers create beautiful and sustainable landscapes that are both stylish and sustainable; it’s a win-win.

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