Book reviews December 23

Book reviews: December 2023

One of the delights of the holiday season is curling up somewhere peaceful with a new book (or three). We’ve put together some of our newest recommendations (they also make perfect gifts under the Christmas tree).

The Being Human Collection
Dr Carrie Hayward
Exisle Publishing
$69.99

Book reviews December 23

Four delightful books form this Being Human box set: The Lost Sun, The Flower in the Pocket, The Unwanted Friend, and The Dragonfly in the Haze. Author Carrie Hayward uses metaphor to explore our human qualities and characters, along with the challenges we face and the stories we tell ourselves. These beautifully illustrated books (by Elizabeth Szekely) can easily be read in one sitting, with a mindful cuppa or just before bed, from start to finish.

Each book covers a separate topic: of uncertainty and change in circumstances, or anger and frustration, to a friend who fuels anxiety, or distractions we devise to avoid the real world. Dr Carrie Hayward completes each story with the Being Human Method: Hello Mind (where you notice your thoughts), Hello Heart (where you focus on feeling), Hello Being (who do I want to be), and Hello World (look at your environment).

ENJOY: Food Worth Sharing With The People You Love
Kelly Gibney
Beatnik Publishing
$59.99

Book reviews December 23

Kelly Gibney’s second cookbook, introduces more of her signature wholefood-driven dishes, with a touch of nostalgic comfort. Celebrating the joy of bringing people together and of sharing recipes that become intertwined with precious memories, ENJOY champions the simple everyday meals we share with those closest to us.

Brimming with ideas for vibrant, easy dinners, fresh and colourful salads, and comforting soups and desserts, every recipe is enticing and approachable, from the simple (Iceberg Wedge Salad with Tahini Miso Dressing) to longer cooks such as the Mexican Spiced Beef Cheeks with Coriander & Jalapeno Sauce. Cooked and photographed in Kelly’s home, the recipes are personal, heartfelt, and entirely achievable, with embracing the genuine experience of a home-cooked meal. As Kelly says, “Food is a magnificent medium. It carries memories, conveys love and affection, heals, soothes and excites.”

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Collectively Homegrown
Nadia and Elke,
Husk & Honey
Key & Co Publishers
$49.99

Book reviews December 23

A truly special collection of recipes that represent the incredibly diverse kitchen of Aotearoa. Collectively Homegrown delivers a melting pot of culture and cuisine, serving up recipes from both chefs and home cooks, including well-known personalities such as Judy Bailey, Kimberly Crossman, Nadia Lim, and Sarah Frizzell.

It’s a treat for the taste buds with chapters dedicated to The Gardener, The Forager, The Fisherman, The Butcher, The Baker, and The Raw Kitchen. Discover new tastes and textures (Tampeh Manis inspired by Nadia and Elke’s time in Bali or Tuangi Pasta by Kaelah James).

Plus, 100% of profits raised from the sale of this book will be donated to Women’s Refuge NZ.

Sundays
Sophie Gordon
Murdoch Books
$45


Book reviews December 23

Long lunches, lazy brunches, family feasts, or a nourishing self-care evening meal: Sundays is a collection of fresh modern recipes that tick the requirements of all of these occasions and more.

Laidback creations packed with flavour and style, these inspirational recipes are perfect for anyone looking to reignite their enthusiasm for entertaining. From Miso Brown Butter Scrambled Eggs or Siracha Corn Fritters to Prune Sticky Toffee, it’s a veritable feast for the taste buds, with bold flavours to the fore. Boasting more than a decade of eclectic food expertise, author Sophie Goodwin delivers a sensational collection of recipes designed to uplift and fulfil.

Chocolate All Day
Kirsten Tibballs
Murdoch Books
$55

Book reviews December 23

Sweet, sweet (oh such sweet) inspiration: there’s a good reason that world-renowned pastry chef Kirsten Tibballs is known as ‘the chocolate queen’. And while she’s also renowned for some of the most dazzling chocolate creations imaginable, fortunately for us mere mortals, Chocolate All Day delivers choc-focused treats that are big on wow factor but low on difficulty.

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Indulge your sweet tooth with delights, such as Rocky Road Chocolate Cake, choc-chip cookie sandwiches, and a crowd-pleasing chocolate Babka knot. The icing on the (chocolate) cookie is the fact recipes are arranged by textural experience: Crisp, Snap, Crunch; Molten, Toasty, Melt-in-the-mouth; and Playful, Quirky, Out-of-the-mould (among others). Enjoy the opportunity to upskill with skill-building know-how and tips from Kirsten.

Recipes for a Lifetime of Beautiful Cooking
Danielle Alvarez with Libby Travers
Murdoch Books
$55

Book reviews December 23

Acclaimed restaurant chef Danielle Alvarez shares flavourful insights into her love of Italian and French food, her Cuban roots, and her love of Asian influences. The eclectic mix of culture and spices represents her diverse interests, resulting in a fascinating collection of 100-plus recipes.

From quick and straightforward weeknight meals such as Zucchini Frittata or a hearty Cavolo Nero and Anchovy Risotto to more elaborate weekend projects such as Bolognese with Homemade Tagliatelle or a Sweet and Sour Cumin Lamb Shoulder, there’s also plenty of inspiration for gorgeous desserts – try the Plum Galette with a Fennel Crème Anglaise. Peppered with plenty of personality, this is a joyous read from start to finish and each recipe has a dusting of personal notes from Danielle which are the ideal flourish.

Here is Hare
Laura Shallcrass
Beatnik Publishing
$22.95

Book reviews December 23

A beautiful search-and-find board book that will give just as much joy to littlies as it will to parents and grandparents sharing it. The Queenstown-based mother of two boys has also authored popular books Hare & Ruru, What Colour is the Sky?, and Moonlight Mission.

Stunningly illustrated, Here is Hare features a selection of gorgeous animals, including the kunekune pig and ruru. A perfect stocking filler likely to be treasured for years as a family heirloom.

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