Book Reviews


Scarlet & Magenta | Lindsey Dawson

According to author Lindsey Dawson, Scarlet and Magenta is only loosely based on the kernel of truth but there is something very attractive about stories inspired by this land and the women and men who came to be here. This is historical fiction, New Zealand historical fiction but also Victorian historical fiction – and yes, if you have a penchant…


Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms | Anita Heiss

War stories take us back to a place where truth, honour, loyalty and courage all come into play in a grand chess game orchestrated by paper architects who never have to face the firing line. As a result, the stories and indeed the histories, that are handed down are often constructed to tell a particular narrative that favours a particular…


100 Soup Recipes | Simon & Alison Holst

“I live on good soup, not on fine words.” It isn’t often that Moliere is quoted on soup but should ever an occasion arise for the French playwright’s words to be appropriate I think the collection presented by Simon and Alison Holst in 100 Soup Recipes is the perfect match. It’s still cold enough to warrant soup and in this…


Luca’s Seasonal Journey | Luca Ciano

Luca’s Seasonal Journey is an incredibly beautiful hard-cover cook book that would do just as nicely on your coffee table as it would on your shelf beside your Italian herbs. The attention to design and presentation takes some of the familiar and even humble recipes, to creative new heights. There’s the red onion and courgette frittata with gorgonzola, a very…


One Pot Favourites | Pete Evans

I love Pete Evans. Seriously, I have a foodie crush on him. Last year it was all things Paleo, this year he makes my life easier with 100 easy meals in a pot. Well, not one pot with a hundred meals (though that would be nice too but this isn’t Hogwarts) but nevertheless, as the title says: One Pot Favourites:…


Reclaim That | Sarah Heeringa

I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t sew – not to my grandmother’s exacting standards anyway. She who used to make her own doilies, tablecloths, clothes for her children and also was a marvel at needlework. Sadly those traits aren’t hereditary not do I have the slightest desire to pick up a needle. But to re-arrange, paint, stick…


Cook. Nourish. Glow | Amelia Freer

Cooking is an artistic process and cookbooks when designed with love and creativity can incite all sorts of wonderful magic – and quite possibly healthy eating too! I found such adventure in Amelia Freer’s Cook. Nourish. Glow and am rather excited by the discovery. Admittedly, picking up the rather hefty bible made me feel as though I was invited to…


Date Like A Dude | Sam Pease

Sam Pease is a lady with attitude. Against a dusky pink background she smiles confidently from the cover of her latest handbook for all women: Date Like A Dude. Dressed in white blazer cheekily concealing sexy lingerie and a bold black bowtie she might be a tad scary to some – but all this woman is concerned with is telling…


How to Cook Little Fish (3): A Hundred New Zealand Listener Cryptic Crosswords with Answers and Explanations | David Tossman

It’s tempting to review a book on cryptic crosswords through some ingenious cryptic clues themselves – but in this instance a simple review will suffice. How to Cook Little Fish is a fun New Zealand Listener compilation of cryptic puzzles, and if you’re a novice and always wanted to be better at cracking those frustratingly simple-looking clues, this is the…

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