January NZ Nonfic

Rugby, recipes and our history reflected : Recent New Zealand non-fiction

Back from holidays and looking to read more New Zealand books this year? If you’re looking to re-orient in 2023, now might be the perfect time to pick up Dr Hinemoa Elder’s latest book, ‘Wawata : moon dreaming’, full of insights to lead you through this (and any) month of reflection. Or, choose to explore New Zealand history through 100 objects in Jock Phillips’ latest — delve into and connect with items of quiet significance and great personal meaning. Plus, ‘The RNZ Cookbook’, Ruby Tui’s autobiography, queer history, poetry, parenting and more. Have a browse!

Straight up / Tui, Ruby
“After a childhood filled with neglect Ruby yearned for another path. Determined not to let her upbringing limit her, she survived abuse, drugs and tragedy to become one of the most successful women’s rugby players in the world. The explosion of women’s rugby on the global stage has matched the rise of Ruby’s stellar career, as she has grown with the game from amateur to professional. In Straight Up Ruby looks herself in the eye, understanding that she can turn pain into purpose. It’s time to be straight up.” (Catalogue)

The RNZ cookbook : a treasury of 180 recipes from New Zealand’s best-known chefs and food writers
“An authoritative and above all useful cookbook from New Zealand’s favourite broadcaster, featuring 180 trusted (and tested) recipes hand-picked from the thousands of delicious recipes that have featured on RNZ shows such as Nine to Noon, Afternoons, and Saturday Morning in recent decades. […] Featuring recipes from key personalities from down the years — from Alison Holst and Julie Biuso to Martin Bosley, Nadia Lim, and Peter Gordon — it’s a terrific way to track our food history. Afternoons host and foodie Jesse Mulligan provides the foreword.” (Catalogue)

Wawata : moon dreaming : daily wisdom guided by Hina, the Māori moon / Elder, Hinemoa
“Hina, the Maori moon goddess, has 30 different faces to help illuminate life’s lessons – a different face and a different energy for each day of the month. And with her changing light, new insights are revealed. This book gives us the chance to connect to the ancient wisdom of the old people, who reach forward into our lives, with each of the moon’s names as their offerings. Their reminders are a source of strength in our strange modern world, where we have been stripped of much of the connection and relationships we need for our wellbeing through successive lockdowns. We now see just how important these things are! This book leads you through a full cycle of the moon, to consider 30 aspects of life.” (Catalogue)

How to be a bad Muslim : and other essays / Hassan, Mohamed
“This is the breakout non-fiction book from award-winning New Zealand writer Mohamed Hassan. From Cairo to Takapuna, Athens to Istanbul, How To Be A Bad Muslim maps the personal and public experience of being Muslim through essays on identity, Islamophobia, surveillance, migration and language. Traversing storytelling, memoir, journalism and humour, Hassan speaks authentically and piercingly on mental health, grief and loss, while weaving memories of an Egyptian immigrant fighting childhood bullies, listening to life-saving ’90s grunge and auditioning for vaguely-ethnic roles in a certain pirate movie franchise. At once funny and chilling, elegiac and eye-opening, this is a must-read book from a powerfully talented writer.” (Catalogue)

Downfall : the destruction of Charles Mackay / Diamond, Paul
“In 1920 New Zealanders were shocked by the news that the brilliant, well-connected mayor of Whanganui had shot a young gay poet, D’Arcy Cresswell, who was blackmailing him. They were then riveted by the trial that followed. Mackay was sentenced to hard labour and later left the country, only to be shot by a police sniper during street unrest in Berlin during the rise of the Nazis. Mackay had married into Whanganui high society, and the story has long been the town’s dark secret. The outcome of years of digging by historian Paul Diamond, ‘Downfall: The destruction of Charles Mackay‘ shines a clear light on the vengeful impulses behind the blackmail and Mackay’s ruination.” (Catalogue)

A history of New Zealand in 100 objects / Phillips, Jock
“The sewing kete of an unknown 18th-century Māori woman; the Endeavour cannons that fired on waka in 1769; the bagpipes of an Irish publican Paddy Galvin; the school uniform of Harold Pond, a Napier Tech pupil in the Hawke’s Bay quake; the Biko shields that tried to protect protestors during the Springbok tour in 1981; Winston Reynolds’ remarkable home-made Hokitika television set, the oldest working TV in the country; the soccer ball that was a tribute to Tariq Omar, a victim of the Christchurch Mosque shootings, and so many more – these are items of quiet significance and great personal meaning, taonga carrying stories that together represent a dramatic, full-of-life history for everyday New Zealanders.” (Catalogue)

Needs adult supervision : lessons in growing up / Emily
Needs Adult Supervision is Emily Writes’ take on growing up and feeling like a real adult. This book looks at the growing pains of kids and their parents and their attempts to navigate a world that’s changing by the minute. Emily paints a vivid picture of all the feelings, fortunes and failures that come with trying to parent when you don’t always feel up for the task. What it feels like to be learning at the same time your kids are. What happens when we get radically honest about the challenges parents are facing. In Emily’s inimitable way it’s incredibly insightful and hilarious, and leads to the odd tear being shed along the way.” (Catalogue)

Houseplants and design : a New Zealand guide / Carlson, Liz
“Houseplants have never been hotter. They have the power to instantly turn a house into a home and to create a feeling of peace and calm, transforming both your physical space and your headspace. Bringing nature inside is a simple way to maintain a connection to the outdoors. To nurture an indoor garden is to nurture ourselves. Award-winning lifestyle and travel writer Liz Carlson of Young Adventuress and NODE has created the complete guide to growing, propagating and caring for indoor plants. Offering a comprehensive catalogue of our most beloved and rare species, along with unique ways to style houseplants and troubleshoot common issues – and showcasing some of the most stylish indoor spaces in New Zealand – Houseplants and Design is the ultimate modern guide to tending a thriving indoor space.” (Catalogue)

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