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Book reviews: November 2023

3 min read
Book reviews November 2023

Pick of the month

Fishes of Aotearoa
Paul Caiger
Potton & Burton

Here’s a worthy addition to your Christmas shopping list. Dive into the rich marine tapestry of our country with Paul Caiger’s Fishes of Aotearoa. The book celebrates the diverse underwater world that graces New Zealand’s coastal waters and is both educational and visually captivating.

Caiger’s expertise and passion for the subject shine through in the detailed descriptions, offering a wealth of knowledge. He pays tribute to the different species found in New Zealand and their various underwater habitats – freshwater, tidal, reefs, sedimentary, and pelagic. Readers will find familiar species, such as the snapper, along with less well-known and occasionally bizarre ones, such as the slender snipe eel and oarfish. Caiger’s debut book also serves as a poignant reminder of our precious underwater ecosystems and how much we stand to lose if we do not protect them.

Combined with stunning photography and fascinating natural history stories, the book is an invaluable addition to the library of any nature lover or marine enthusiast.

More good reads

Book reviews November 2023

Tramping in Aotearoa: New Zealand’s
Top 45 Tracks
Shaun Barnett
Potton & Burton

An absolute gem for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers, the new and fully revised edition of Tramping in Aotearoa is bigger and better.

This comprehensive guide to exploring the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand showcases our most popular great walks across the motu, from as far north as Cape Reinga to southernmost Stewart Island. Leading tramping practitioner and guide Shaun Barnett’s passion for tramping is evident from the very first page. The book doesn’t just list tracks but weaves narratives, vividly describing the terrain and what you can expect to encounter.

Each track is accompanied by essential information on the difficulty level, estimated duration, recommended gear, hut fees, wildlife, and more. Also included are the latest generation of overview maps from Geographx. Complementing the prose is the stunning photography, creating a visual treat that is sure to inspire even the most armchair-bound reader.

Barbara Taylor, illustrated by Carnovsky
Allen and Unwin

Book reviews November 2023

Aimed at young readers (aged 5–10), Illuminoceans is a fascinating book that incorporates the innovative use of three-colour lenses to help readers explore the sea’s surface and discover the most intriguing and important creatures, seascapes, and underwater features.

The book comes with three magic-viewing lenses: use the red to reveal the fishes, the green to discover the habitat, and the blue to focus on other ocean creatures.

Embark on a global marine adventure, from the vast Pacific to the icy polar seas, to meet majestic mammals, such as blue whales, orcas and dolphins, shoals of colourful fish, along with weird and wonderful reptiles and plants.

Featuring captivating interactive illustrations from Milan-based Carnovsky, combined with expert insights from author Barbara Taylor, Illuminoceans is sure to delight any budding marine biologist and transform bedtime reading into an eagerly anticipated exploration of the underwater realm.

5 Ingredients Mediterranean
Jamie Oliver
Penguin Random House

Book reviews November 2023

Few ingredients but big on flavour – Jamie Oliver is back with another ‘5 Ingredients’ book, this time focusing on some of the most mouth-watering Mediterranean delicacies.

The selection is diverse: from flavour- and nutrient-packed salads to hearty soups and sarnies, delicious pasta, vegetables, pies, succulent meats, and desserts, Oliver covers everything with more than 125 easy-to-follow recipes. It’s all about making everyday cooking easy and with minimum fuss.

We absolutely loved the seared tuna recipe with charred beans, feta-dressed potatoes and olives and the creamy mustard pork – an incredibly quick recipe that can be put together in an impressive 15 minutes.

The latest book in the series is a culinary triumph that brings the rich and vibrant flavours of the Mediterranean directly to your kitchen, whether it’s a weeknight dinner that you’re planning or a special occasion feast.

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