Monday, March 21, 2011

Top 5 nonfiction books I've enjoyed thumbing through for NZ Book Month

List by Tosca

"Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have lent me."
- Anatole France

EEK! This published before I even had a chance to finish it properly LOL Cursed technology :) It's a quick list of NZ nonfiction titles I spotted by chance and really, really (I can't stress *really* enough) enjoyed. From fish to holidays to museums to baches...

Honourable mention:
  • 101 must-do weekends edited by RenĂ©e Lang - 101 great suggested weekends away in different parts of the country, divided into 10 broad themes. Whether you're into history and culture, or prefer to concentrate on food and wine, you'll find the perfect weekend here.
  • Baches of Raglan edited by Venetia Sherson, David Cook, Andrea Wilkinson ; foreword essay, Bery Fletcher - "This is a book about Raglan's older baches. Many were built in the "boom years" of the 50s and 60s when thousands of Kiwis invested in a bit of land by the sea; others are much older and have been handed down through families with long connections to the Raglan community. Built of wood, concrete or firbrolite with iron roofs, they remain largely unaltered. Their owners have no interest in granite bench tops, polished concrete floors and tinted glass" - Publishers blurb
  • Baches & cribs : a pictorial journey through New Zealand's favourite holiday places by Jeff Grigor - Fishing shacks at river mouths, beloved family hideaways at the beach or on a remote rocky shore, follies perched precariously on cliff edges, converted railway carriages, mountain huts above the snowline... The Kiwi bach or crib is likely to be a very long way from SH1, have a fantastic view, perhaps not even have electricity - and be regarded as paradise by generations of a New Zealand family. This colourful book is made up of photographs of their favourite baches and cribs supplied by ordinary New Zealanders. Often under threat from local councils and spiralling land values, some of these baches and cribs are now being torn down. This book is thus an invaluable record of an iconic New Zealand way of life.

    Museums to visit in New Zealand : over 150 outstanding collections open to the public / Alison Dench
    "It seems there's a museum tucked into virtually every corner of the country, and this is the guide to some of the most quirky, most informative and most entertaining. It includes entries covering more than 150 public and private museums and provides practical information on how to get there, what you'll find when you do and where to go for coffee afterwards." -- Back cover.

    Tosca's comment: While on leave in the far north I dragged my sibling through Kaitaia's Far North Museum. Other than obligatory school trips and Te Papa, and even then begrudgingly, my sibling tends to avoid museums like the plague so I'm not sure who was more surprised when, at the end, she turned to me and said quite happily, 'Thank you for taking me to a boring place!' I spotted this book on Manukau Library's display shelf but, before I could grab it, another customer picked it up. I'm passionate about books but not to the point where I tussle over them. Or at least, not quite yet. I've already made a list of ones I want to visit over 2011.

    I love you New Zealand : 101 must do's for Kiwis / AA ; editor, John McCrystal
    I Love You New Zealand is the book that pulls together the 101 Must-Do’s for Kiwis pretty bits, the fun bits, the interesting bits and the little-known bits or our beautiful country. From Cape Reinga to Stewart Island, from up Mount Cook to down a hole in the Waikato. From the grandeur of Doubtful Sound to the sheer splendour of Kawakawa’s public loo it’s all here, laid out for your convenience by region and in alphabetical order.

    Tosca's comment: I'm highly aware of the fact that I haven't seen as much of NZ as I want to and this book has set me off another list-making exercise of the 'Oh! I must visit that place!' variety.

    Fish 'n' chips : the great New Zealand feed / Kevyn Male
    "Celebrating the much-loved culinary tradition of fish 'n' chips, Kevyn Male travelled all over New Zealand photographing fish 'n' chip shops, chatting to the locals and sampling their wares." -- Back cover.

    Tosca's comment: Don't read this on an empty stomach! It's a great little book but oohh, I'm so hungry now and I'm pretty sure we're not having anything close to fish and chips for dinner :(

    The Kiwi bach companion / Kirsty Cameron
    Thousands of New Zealanders own baches, know someone who has one, or rent others' for their annual holidays via the highly popular bach booking websites. Wouldn't it be great if when you got to the bach there was an indispensible book that showed you: How to treat that bee sting or jellyfish sting the kids get and other first-aid tips; How to fillet the fish the neighbour just brought you from his fishing trip; Recipes for scones for the next-doors who are coming for morning tea and a great marinade for the barbie; A heap of games for a rainy day; How to read the night sky; How to cook a crayfish; How to mend a broken fuse and fix the leaking tap? The Kiwi Bach Companion does all this and more. Attractively designed to stay in a bach for years and years and be reached for on a variety of occasions, it also has pages for local phone numbers, emergency services, visitors and to personalise around the operation of each bach. Beautifully designed with quirky line drawings throughout, it's an adorable book that will be handed down the generations.

    Tosca's comment: Every year my sibling asks me if we have a family bach. If we didn't when I was 5, nor 15, nor 25 then it's more than likely that we still don't at 35, either. That didn't, however, stop me from looking through this book which has recipes, first aid tips and even suggested activities for a bach holiday/

    Go fish : Recipes and stories from the New Zealand coast / Al Brown
    "In Go fish Al Brown combines his two great passions - cooking and fishing - and brings us more than 100 exceptional fish and shellfish recipes. Covering crustaceans, shellfish and fin fish of many varieties, Go fish is the ultimate guide to sourcing and cooking fish"-- Front flap.
    New Zealand Post Book Awards. Illustrated non-fiction. 2010.

  • Tosca's comment: By far and away my absolute nonfiction top pic! Brown visits various parts of New Zealand and looks at different types of seafood and how it can be cooked. He even tells you how to shuck a paua, something I've never wanted to learn but looks fascinating all the same. His recipes aren't staid ones, either. I had never come across paua ravioli, scallops with celeriac puree served with crisp prosciutto and mandarin oil or even fried clams with chipotle and chilli and lime mayo YUM. My parents do some pretty amazing things with fish but Brown's book is fantastic!

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