Monday, October 15, 2018

Bookish - For those who care

Hi Again,

More amazing titles from Aotearoa authors who care for conserving our beautiful land.

New Zealand's Great Walks: The Complete Guide by Paul and Shelley Hersey.



This husband and wife team, photographer and writer, have put together a beautiful book of Aotearoa's nine great walks (one is actually a river journey). The book is a testament to their love for the land and the outdoors and opens with a challenge to all who walk the tracks to play their part in defending and protecting the amazing environment we enjoy here. The book includes great information for any walker, cycler, kayaker as well as very detailed descriptions of each walk. Included is a graph of the topography, a map of the walk, highlights and lengths and times for each day as well as plenty of other goodies.

This is a fabulous book for anyone who loves tramping and exploring. Plenty of details to whet the appetite! I can think of quite a few people in my life that would love this for Christmas.

Details - Penguin Random House, September 2018 RRP $45.00

Eco Home by Melinda Williams.



We're hoping to dive into a bit of a renovation project at our place and I'm keen for us to make as little impact as we can environmentally speaking. This book has a wealth of accessible, inspiring and detailed information for anyone who is wanting to make 'greener' choices in their own project. It's not just for builders or renovators though the book also has great info boxes throughout to help give ideas to anyone who would like to just live a little lighter on the planet. It's great to have a book like this written in a NZ context as often international books have things that we cannot source here.

I'm so enjoying all the things I'm learning and I love that there are plenty of photos scattered throughout to keep the inspiration levels high. A perfect gift for anyone whose making lifestyle changes or request your local library to get a copy I'm sure it will get plenty of borrowing.

Details - Penguin Random House, September 2018 RRP $45.00

love you more than treasuring what we have xxx


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Books to Enjoy With a Cup of Tea

Kia ora koutou,

I love having books that I can dip in and out of for a few quiet minutes. Two books that sit near me on the couch for that very purpose are Big Weather: Poems of Wellington and I Am New Zealand: Aotearoa Through My Eyes.

Big Weather is a book of collected poetry that capture the shapes and sounds of our capital city.


The authors range from established poets like Hone Tuwhare to emerging voices on the poetry scene. My husband grew up in Wellington and we have family who live there so it's familiar territory for me. This book would make a great gift for anyone who loves poetry and the land and cityscapes of our capital city. I love how a good poem can completely transport you in a few moments and words to another place.

Details - Penguin Random House, June 2018 RRP $30.00 PB

I Am New Zealand is a book of stunning photography capturing their NZ.



It stemmed from a Nikon photography competition. The book travels from Cape Reinga all the way to Stewart Island and the variety of images is stunning. It's a book that makes me want to travel the length and breadth of my own country. It's a wonderful testament to the beauty of this whenua and the creative ability of those who dwell in it behind the camera lens.

This would make a fantastic gift for anyone and I am so enjoying the way it expands my heart as I linger with different images over a cup of tea and the sound of birdsong. Also all profits from the book are being donated to the Mental Health Foundation of NZ, wins!

Details - Penguin Random House, October 2018 RRP $45.00

It is so good to see books being published in Aotearoa by our own. I think it's especially important to support these kind of books.

Love you more than a cup of tea and birdsong xxx

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Bookish - Is it Bedtime Yet?

Heya Readers,

My fabulous sister is a real fan of Emily writes so I've asked her to guest contribute a review for this book for me.

Review – Is it Bedtime Yet?  Emily Writes and Friends

Ahhh… “Is it bedtime yet?”  How many parents have wondered, prayed and wished this question and it is a fitting title for Emily Writes’ latest book.
Those who laughed, cried and “amen-ed” their way through her first book, Rants in the Dark, will not be disappointed with Emily Writes’ latest work.  Of the 50 stories in the book, nearly half are penned by Emily, with the rest written by a range of parents, many also Wellington-based.
The unifying theme of the book is honesty.  Diverse parents share their honest truth about what parenting looks like for them.  And there is something for everyone here.  Parents will relate to topics such as the inner conflict about the kind of birthday party you want to host vs. what “everyone else” seems to be doing, the disproportionate negative impact of daylight saving on young families, fertility challenges and raising children who believe in themselves.  Some of the stories are raw and painful, others are challenging and humorous.  All are vulnerable and infused with love - “Oh, the capacity of our hearts for our children!” 
Emily Writes has a particular talent for retelling stories with humour and dialogue that makes you feel like you are in the room with her.  I also love her tendency towards hyperbole such as (on making a homemade birthday cake): “It took only 160 days, a two-month course on fondant, and a small piece of my soul but it was worth it.”  Some of the other contributors have a more poetic narrative.  I particularly enjoyed the imagery used by Thomasin Sleigh, Holly Walker, and Nichole Brown.  Thalia Kehoe Rowden’s imagery in the science of motherhood also appealed to me. Regardless of the authors’ writing styles the message hits home loud and clear: parenting is complex and hard.  We’re all doing our best.  Being honest about the journey - the highs and the lows - helps everyone.  Amid the laughter and tears is woven a steady thread of encouragement for struggling parents everywhere:  “We do our best.  Sometimes our best doesn’t feel like it’s good enough.  But it is.  And we keep doing our best.  Every day.  For the best things that have happened to us, we do our best.”  And “You will survive this, and you will learn that you are stronger than you know.”
This book will resonate with any parent with under-fives in their care, and perhaps also with parents of older children if they haven’t already blocked the early years from their memory.  You will see your own life, conversations and thoughts reflected here.
For readers who are undecided about starting a family, it might pay to save this book until it’s too late to change your mind!  (Perhaps not a suitable gift for your childless daughter-in-law if you’re hoping for grandchildren any time soon).
Health warning: this book contains traumatic birth, swearing, sleep deprivation, sexual references, bodily functions, alcohol and substance use.  Prepare to laugh.
 A few choice extracts:
[Advice for Dads] “Unfortunately, the world isn’t ready to see you spray-foamed into yoga pants, downward dogging.  Until times change, wear good trainers and bend at the knees when lifting”.
“If you go to sleep now, I promise you I will buy you a car when you turn sixteen, we can work this out.”
“’Any day now’ the midwife says.  Any day.  But not today, or today, or today.”
 “Our roots are something to be proud of.  Our stories are begging to be told.”
 “Attempt, if you can, to halt the Earth’s gravitational pull.  It can impact the sleep patterns of your baby.”

Guest review by (my sister) Abi Vink of Wellington.  Abi is a Strengths-based Career Coach, avid reader and mother to 3 small children.

Details - Penguin Random House, July 2018 RRP $35.00

love you more than sharing the love xxx


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Bookish - Little Readers


Kia ora readers,

How are things? It might seem like my world is only about reading books right now but there are lots of other things going on too! The part time work and half time study load and creative writing are keeping me from this space.

I’m always excited to get new books in the post and I love that there are so many I can share with my boys and with the little people in my world.

Recently I’ve been enjoying:

The Story of Tantrum O’Furrily by Cressida Cowell and Mark Nicholas. 


This book has such charm – the playfulness of the language and illustration blend perfectly together. The overarching message of the book is the power of story and the importance of remembering the kindness of another. A gorgeous book for sharing with someone special. Will appeal to a range of ages.


love you more than remembering to leave a paw print xxx

and

Toto the Ninja Cat and the Incredible Cheese Heist by Dermot O’Leary. 



I started reading this book with Mr 9 and then I ‘let’ him read the rest as he snuggled down to sleep one evening. I get such pleasure from watching children enjoy reading and text. He loved this. It’s a very manageable read, with some fun illustrations that compliment and break up the text. The story moves at a good pace and has a sense of fun and mystery throughout. Easily enjoyed by a younger audience too but big enough for people who want to be seen reading ‘proper’ chapter books.


love you more than a blind ninja xxx

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bookish - Little People Big Contrasts

Hi Readers,

Today I'm celebrating the fact that little people can enjoy books that are silly and books that have beautiful poignant messages.

Oi Cat! by Kes Grat and Jim Field is a example of the silly.


For any fans of Oi Frog! or Oi Dog! the absurd humour and funny animal moments will be familiar, and I suspect well loved. Poor Cat has to sit on gnats, as per Frog's new rules. It's terribly itchy and not much fun and so the other animals try to come up with a another rhyming word that will give him some more comfort. Guaranteed laugh out loud moments and fabulous colourful illustrations are bound to make this a book that gets read again and again.

Details - Hachette NZ, September 2018 RRP $19.99 PB

Little Mouse and the Red Wall by Britta Teckentrup (author and illustrator) is a gorgeous example of poignant and beautiful.



Little Mouse wonders what lies behind the big red wall that has been around his, and the other animals, home for ever. No one seems to know or even care but Little Mouse is a wonderer and a determined little mouse. With the help of Blue Bird he will discover there is much more than any of them imagined. Stunning illustrations and a beautiful, courageous, adventure. Sure to be a favourite with little and big people.

Details - Hachette NZ, July 2018 RRP $19.99 PB

love you more than story time at school xxx

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Bookish - More for Littles - The writer/illustrators

Hey awesome people,


More books for little people (can there ever be too many?). These are all created by amazing women who write and illustrate their books.

Zachary Quack Minimonster by the beloved Lynley Dodd is a new board book about the little duckling Zachary Quack.




As you can expect the book is full of mischief with delightful illustrations to compliment it perfectly. I love Dodd’s work and the ways in which she is obviously delighted by language and manages to make that accessible for small people.

A perfect gift for little people and Dodd fans.


love you more than a bootie for a hat xxx

Little Hector and the Big Blue Whale by Ruth Paul. Another wonderful NZ author/illustrator Parks won the NZ book award for Children and Young Adults for her book I Am Jellyfish in 2018.



This joyful book is perfect for little people who love the ocean and have an adventurous spirit.

Little Hector is full of spunk but he might just meet some others under the sea that will scare it right away!

Never fear a fabulous friend will see him right.

Perfect for littles who are about 4+


love you more than a barnacled blue whale xxx

Puffin the Architect by Kimberly Andrews is a gorgeous offering by another talented writer/illustrator combo. 



This book features fabulous houses designed by Puffin. Floor plans, rhyme schemes and all sorts of clever nooks and crannies. This book is sure to delight children who love details and making huts, forts or construction.

Puffin is surely a genius but will she ever be able to satisfy her most demanding and fussy clients??

Perfect for littles about 6+


love you more than a tunnel with all sorts of uses xxx


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Bookish - The Rest of Me


Heya,

Katie Marsh’s book The Rest of Me was a really interesting exploration of what it is to be a family and how the roles we take in a family can unintentionally limit us.



Alex is the one who always copes, she is the one on who all the responsibility rests and she needs to be well. So how does she cope when her husband is suddenly well after years and she isn’t well? What does it take for us to live honestly with those around us?

And maybe there’s a lot worse than the worst that can happen.

I think this story will appeal to many women who want to be good at all the things and are slowly dying under the weight of their own expectations. At the heart of it this is a story about honesty and about the very most important things in life… which are always relationships.


love you more than making peace with the past xxx


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Bookish - Women of the Dunes


Hi, hi,

Can you believe how fast the year is speeding through?!

I recently finished reading Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine. 


Set in three time periods in Ullaness, Scotland. The legendary woman Ulla 800AD, Ellen 1890 and Libby the archaeologist – what secrets and difficulties unite them and how much of the legend is true?

I really enjoyed reading this book. I appreciated that the main story was Libby’s but there was enough of Ellen’s story and Ulla’s story to tighten the modern narrative and some twists that were unexpected.

I enjoy Maine’s writing style. The characters felt nuanced and there were some great characters in the book and some lovely moments between them. I was sad to finish it. I thought a lot about the characters while I was reading it, guessed at what might come next and would definitely pick up other books by this author.


love you more than the stories history may or may not confirm xxx

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Bookish - All The Beautiful Strangers

Kia ora,

All these Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth is another one that has recently popped to the top of my to-read pile.



The book follows Charlie Calloway, the one and only, heir to the Calloway fortune and unfortunate child whose mother disappeared 10 years ago. Charlie is back at Knollwood Augustus Prep School for another year, living her perfect life, only this year she's received a mysterious and coveted note from the As.

Will she manage to get through the difficult, demanding and dangerous initiation period or will she see her dreams, and possibly her school career in jeopardy? As her story unfolds things become much more sinister and the story of her mother begins to break into her life now.

This novel moves at a pace and has a strong thriller element to it. There were a couple of moments when I was sorely tempted to jump ahead just to make sure things would come right - I resisted of course, I'm not that kind of reader!

Some unexpected plot twists and another excellent YA novel that is filled with strong, get it done female characters. All These Beautiful Strangers is Klehfoth's first novel and I look forward to reading more from her.

Details - Penguin Random House, 16 July 2018 RRP$23.00

love you more than a paisley travelling case xxx

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Bookish - The Emerald Sea

Heya Readers,

It's winter holiday time here and I've just returned from four beautiful days in the central South Island (Te Waipounamu) with the people I love best.

While away I read 3 and 3/4 books which feels like the measure of a good holiday!

One of these was The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead.



Mead is a very successful author with several series under her pen. This one is part of the 'Glittering Court' novels. It's the first title I've read by Mead and I'd been keen to read other things she has written.

The book covers Tamsin's quest to make it to the New World and secure the best husband meaning she, her family and her secret will be secure. At the Glittering Court school no one has worked harder than Tamsin to make sure she is at the top of her game. On the way to the New World disaster strikes though, and the plans that she and the other young women had are faced with the bleak realities of what might be.

No matter what difficulties lie ahead and what new cultural paradigms are thrown at her Tamsin's determination never wavers. Nothing, not even her own desires are allowed to get in her way. Will determination, destiny or desire win out in the end?

I really enjoyed this book. It's long enough to let the characters really develop and for there to be several interesting shifts in the narrative. The main character is strong and gets things done and there are a couple of other female characters that are the same. I appreciate that even in romantic moments the female characters don't abandon their personality in favour of simpering and eye-lash fluttering.

A perfect holiday read.

Details - Penguin Random House, July 2018 RRP $30.00

love you more than a makeshift shelter in a blizzard xxx