Pick ‘n Mix: New popular non-fiction

We have a whole lot of variety for you in this month’s non-fiction picks. Polly Morland writes about an anonymous country doctor in A Fortunate Woman, which echoes an earlier book about a doctor in that very same community, revealing all that has changed as the years have passed and all that has stayed the same. Noah Charney has put together a guide to western art that is perfect for anyone looking to delve into the painterly parts of history, with all the explanations a novice might need. For our film aficionados, there’s Hollywood: The Oral History, which pieces together hundreds of archived interviews with famed directors and movie stars, as well as many of the workers behind the scenes, to bring the tale of that hive of cinema to life. Lastly, we’re also intrigued by Listen to the Land Speak. This book has an Irish lens, and author Manchán Magan focuses on the intertwined strands of land, history and mythology, attempting to counteract a widespread modern disconnect by showing what wonders and stories might be found in the ancient landscape.

A fortunate woman : a country doctor’s story / Morland, Polly
“Polly Morland was clearing her late mother’s house when she found a battered paperback fallen behind the family bookshelf. The book was A Fortunate Man, John Berger’s classic account of a country doctor, and this chance discovery led Morland to the remarkable doctor who serves that same valley community today. After half a century of seismic change, A Fortunate Woman sheds light on what it means to be a doctor in today’s complex and challenging world.” (Adapted from Amazon UK)

The 12-hour art expert : everything you need to know about art in a dozen masterpieces / Charney, Noah
“Interested in art but feel under-informed? Curious but afraid you might not “get” it? The 12-hour Art Expert  guides readers through a select series of masterpieces of Western art – from cave paintings to sharks in formaldehyde. This book’s twelve chapters teach readers about art, the art trade, art history and more, all in a thorough (though concise) fashion.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Cold fish soup / Farrer, Adam
“Before Adam Farrer’s family relocated to Withernsea in 1992, he’d never heard of the Holderness coast. The move represented one thing to Adam: a chance to leave the insecurities of early adolescence behind. And he could do that anywhere. What he didn’t know was how much he’d grow to love the quirks and people of this faded Yorkshire resort. While Adam documents the minutiae of small-town life, he lays bare experiences that are universal. Cold Fish Soup is an affectionate look at a place and its inhabitants, and the ways in which they can shape and influence someone, especially of an impressionable age.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

How to stand up to a dictator : the fight for our future / Ressa, Maria
“Maria Ressa has spent decades speaking truth to power. Now, hounded by the state, she has multiple arrest warrants against her name, and a potential 100+ years behind bars to prepare for – while she stands trial for speaking the truth. How to Stand Up to a Dictator is the story of how democracy dies by a thousand cuts. It maps a network of disinformation that has netted the globe – from Duterte’s drug wars, to America’s Capitol Hill, to Britain’s Brexit, to Russian and Chinese cyber-warfare, to Facebook and Silicon Valley, to our own clicks and our own votes. Told from the frontline of the digital war, this is Maria Ressa’s urgent cry for us to wake up and hold the line, before it is too late.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hollywood : the oral history / Basinger, Jeanine
“From the archives of the American Film Institute comes a unique picture of Hollywood from its beginnings to its present day. Gleaned from nearly three thousand interviews, Hollywood: The Oral History lets a reader “listen in” on candid remarks from the biggest names in front of the camera, to the biggest behind it, as well as the lesser known individuals that shaped what was heard and seen on screen. The result is lively, funny, insightful, historically accurate and, for the first time, authentically honest in its portrait of Hollywood. It’s the insider’s story.” (Adapted from Amazon UK)

No country for eight-spot butterflies : a lyric essay / Aguon, Julian
No Country for Eight-Spotted Butterflies is a collection of soulful ruminations about love, loss, struggle, resilience and power. Part memoir, part manifesto, the book is both a coming-of-age story and a call for justice – for everyone but, in particular, for indigenous peoples – his own and others.” (Catalogue)


Small fires : an epic in the kitchen / Johnson, Rebecca May
“Cooking, we are told, has nothing to do with serious thought; the path to intellectual fulfilment leads directly out of the kitchen. In this electrifying, innovative memoir, Rebecca May Johnson rewrites the kitchen as a vital source of knowledge and revelation. Playfully dissolving the boundaries between abstract intellect and bodily pleasure, domesticity and politics, Johnson awakens us to the richness of cooking as a means of experiencing the self and the world – and to the revolutionary potential of the small fires burning in every kitchen.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Listen to the land speak : a journey into the wisdom of what lies beneath us / Magan, Manchán
“Our ancestors lived in a unique and complex society that was inspired by nature and centered upon esteemed poets, seers, monks, healers and wise women, all of whom were deeply connected to cycles of the land around them. This relationship to the cycles of the natural world – from which we are increasingly dissociated – was the animating force in their lives. With infectious joy and wonder, Manchán Magan roams through Ireland’s ancient bogs, rivers, mountains and shorelines, tracing our ancestors’ footsteps.” (Catalogue)

The ransomware hunting team : a band of misfits’ improbable crusade to save the world from cybercrime / Dudley, Renee
“Scattered across the world, an elite team of code crackers is working tirelessly to thwart the defining cyber scourge of our time. Again and again, an unlikely band of misfits, mostly self-taught and often struggling to make ends meet, have used their skills to save millions of ransomware victims from paying billions of dollars to criminals. Working tirelessly from bedrooms and back offices, they’ve rescued those whom the often hapless FBI has been unwilling or unable to help, establishing themselves as the most effective force against an escalating global threat.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Scandal, heartbreak, and gunslinging mayors: New popular non-fiction

It’s a new month and as per usual we have a plethora of shiny new non-fiction books awaiting their readers. For those interested in all things local, you might be intrigued by Downfall, a dramatic tale about Whanganui mayor Charles Mackay, who was mired in scandal after shooting the blackmailing poet D’Arcy Cresswell. We also have A History of New Zealand in 100 Objects which – much like it says on the tin – uses a range of historical relics as a base to examine fascinating, important and odd moments in our history, perfect for those who prefer to dip in and out of a book.

Looking further abroad, Sally Hayden’s depiction of the North African refugee and migrant crisis in My Fourth Time, We Drowned is a stellar piece of journalism, exploring the terrible impact of international politics on individual lives. Mike Rinder’s story of how he rose through the ranks of the Scientology church, and how he subsequently escaped, is another chilling read which reveals the inner workings of this powerful and controversial organisation. Then for fans of Dolly Alderton (or for anyone who’s feeling particularly nosy, or who happens to be craving a bit of good-humoured advice) we have Dear Dolly, a curation of letters from her agony aunt column.

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 shines a clear light on the vengeful impulses behind the blackmail and Mackay’s ruination.” (Catalogue)

My fourth time, we drowned : seeking refuge on the world’s deadliest migration route / Hayden, Sally
“Reporter Sally Hayden was at home in London when she received a message on Facebook: “Hi sister Sally, we need your help.” The sender identified himself as an Eritrean refugee who had been held in a Libyan detention centre for months. From this single message begins a staggering account of the migrant crisis across North Africa. Hayden’s book is based on interviews with hundreds of refugees and migrants who tried to reach Europe and found themselves stuck in Libya once the EU started funding interceptions in 2017. It is an intimate portrait of life for these detainees, as well as a condemnation of NGOs and the United Nations, whose abdication of international standards will echo throughout history. But most importantly, My Fourth Time, We Drowned shines a light on the resilience of humans: how refugees and migrants survive in a system that wants them to be silent and disappear.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Dear Dolly : on love, life and friendship : collected wisdom from her Sunday Times Style column / Alderton, Dolly
“Since early 2020, Dolly Alderton has been sharing her wisdom, warmth and wit with the countless people who have written in to her Dear Dolly agony aunt column. Their questions range from the painfully – and sometimes hilariously – relatable to the occasionally bizarre. Without judgement, and with deep empathy informed by her own, much-chronicled adventures in love, friendship and dating, Dolly leads us by the hand through the various labyrinths of life, proving that a problem shared is truly a problem halved.” (Adapted from 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)

A billion years : my escape from a life in the highest ranks of Scientology / Rinder, Mike
“Mike Rinder’s parents began taking him to their local Scientology center when he was five years old. In the 1980s, Rinder became Scientology’s international spokesperson and the head of its powerful Office of Special Affairs. He helped negotiate Scientology’s pivotal tax exemption from the IRS and engaged with the organization’s prominent celebrity members. Yet Rinder couldn’t shake a nagging feeling that something was amiss. In 2007, at the age of fifty-two, Rinder finally escaped Scientology. Overnight, he became one of the organization’s biggest public enemies. In A Billion Years, the dark, dystopian truth about Scientology is revealed as never before. Rinder offers insights into the religion that only someone of his former high rank could provide and tells a harrowing but fulfilling story of personal resilience.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Dinner in Rome : a history of the world in one meal / Viestad, Andreas
““There is more history in a bowl of pasta than in the Colosseum,” writes Andreas Viestad. From the table of a classic Roman restaurant, Viestad takes us on a fascinating culinary exploration of the Eternal City and global civilization. He finds deeper meanings in his meal: he uses the bread that begins his dinner to trace the origins of wheat and its role in Rome’s rise as well as its downfall. With his fried artichoke antipasto, he explains olive oil’s part in the religious conflict of sixteenth-century Europe. And, from his sorbet dessert, he recounts how lemons featured in the history of the Mafia in the nineteenth century and how the hunger for sugar fuelled the slave trade. Viestad’s “culinary archaeology” is an entertaining, flavourful journey across the dinner table and time.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The modern bestiary : a curated collection of wondrous creatures / Bagniewska, Joanna
“From the familiar to the improbable, the gross to the endearing, The Modern Bestiary is a compendium of curious creatures. Arranged by elements (Earth, Water, Air), it contains well-known species told from new, unexpected angles, as well as stranger and lesser-known creatures. Then there are the ‘aliens on Earth’, such as tardigrades, tongue-eating lice and immortal jellyfish, creatures so astonishing that they make unicorns look rather commonplace. Written by a zoologist with a flair for storytelling, this is a fascinating celebration of the animal kingdom.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Top 100 Non-Fiction books from 2022

Highlights of 2022

Our list of the top 100 non-fiction books for 2022 includes the best in memoirs and biographies, poetry, local history, science and technology, health, cooking, music, art and architecture. We’ve selected an eclectic mix of acclaimed local authors, New York Times Bestsellers, Pulitzer prize winners and breakthrough newcomers, meaning there’s plenty of choice for the deep-dive readers and coffee book lovers alike (and everyone in-between).

2022 Non-fiction Highlights — Browse the full list
Browse the full list with all our picks, or browse just the topic you enjoy!

I'm glad my mom died / Jeanette McCurdyMy fourth time, we drowned / Sally HaydenAs ever, the compelling human stories encompassing grief, love, personal trauma and strengths of character shine through, with a hearty selection of memoirs and biographies to choose from, including Sally Hayden’s critically acclaimed My fourth time, we drowned. Topping our most heavily reserved new non-fiction title of 2022 was Jennette McCurdy’s hit memoir I’m glad my mom died. A little further off the beaten path, was Hua Hsu’s ‘quietly wrenching’ coming-of-age memoir Stay True, and the visual delight of Kate Beaton’s graphic memoir Ducks: two years in the oil sands.

Contributions to the local poetry scene were beautifully espoused in Khadro Mohamed’s We’re all made of lightning and in the visual expressions of the poet/painter collaboration within Bordering on Miraculous. Shining locally likewise, the great architectural designs in Making Space and HomeGround, which highlight design as a conduits to push social boundaries in Aotearoa New Zealand communities.

Regenesis / by George MonbiotCalls for climate awareness were made riveting in The Alarmist, Nomad Century and Regenesis. Our oceans were also a focal point for many this year, and explored in great depth, with Jellyfish age backwards, Secrets of the Sea and in Adrift: the curious tale of Lego lost at sea, among others.

The collapse of historic empires, stories of divided nations and political parties in turmoil were explored in a multitude of ways in the vast array of global history titles featured on our list. Included are Legacy of Violence: A history of the British Empire by Pulitzer prize winning Historian Caroline Elkins, and Fragments of a contested past: Remembrance, denial and New Zealand history by Joanna Kidman.

Wawata: Moon Dreaming / by Hinemoa ElderWe let the world’s first astronomers take us on a star gazing tour, and found daily wisdom in Hinemoa Elder’s Wawata: Moon Dreaming. Cap off 2022 by allowing yourself to become enveloped in worlds both near and far, and understand our past, present and future within the Top 100 non-fiction books of 2022 list. Pair with our Top 100 fiction books list, and you’re all set for your Summer Reading Adventure.

The first autobiographer (and other women you’ve never heard of): New non-fiction

Margery Kempe was a Christian mystic who lived from 1373-1438. During her life she had at least fourteen children, undertook pilgrimages across Europe and the Middle East, experienced extensive visions, and was tried multiple times for heresy (although she was never convicted). She also authored what is most likely the first ever autobiography written in English.

The Book of Margery Kempe is a unique glimpse into a woman’s life during the medieval period. We have a copy you can reserve here, if you’d like to check it out. It’s due to a whole lot of luck that we can even read it at all, as it was lost for centuries after the Reformation, until it was eventually found in 1934 in a cupboard on a countryside estate (during a search for some ping-pong balls no less). The man who found it joked about burning the old tome in order to clear some space, but thankfully this didn’t end up happening: the book’s worth was recognised and it went on to be published. 

You can find stories like this and more in Femina: A New History of the Middle Ages Through the Women Written Out of It. It’s no chance, Janina Ramirez argues, that knowledge about women like Margery Kempe is so rare – rather, there has been a concerted effort to erase the many strange, wonderful women in Western history, whether that’s through active removal from the historical record or simply through lack of care. But traces have survived, even if scholars have to scour the cracks for them. In Femina, Ramirez challenges our preconceptions of what life was like for women in the past, and shows us just how complex and fascinating our world can be when such histories are celebrated, not smothered.

There’s more of this questioning spirit to be found in the rest of this month’s picks, which cover a range of different topics from jazz and the mafia to the little games on your phone. You can read more about them all below! 

Femina : a new history of the middle ages through the women written out of it / Ramirez, Janina 
“The middle ages are seen as a bloodthirsty time of Vikings, saints and kings: a patriarchal society which oppressed and excluded women. Historian Janina Ramirez has uncovered countless influential women’s names struck out of historical records, with the word FEMINA annotated beside them. Only now, through a careful examination of the artefacts, writings and possessions they left behind, are the influential and multifaceted lives of women emerging.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Dangerous rhythms : jazz and the underworld / English, T. J.
Dangerous Rhythms tells the symbiotic story of jazz and the underworld. For the first half of the century mobsters and musicians enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership. By offering artists a stage, the mob provided opportunities that would not otherwise have existed. Even so, at the heart of this relationship was a festering racial inequity. The musicians were mostly African American, and the clubs and means of production were owned by white men. It was a glorified plantation system that, over time, would find itself out of tune with an emerging Civil Rights movement.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Freedom to think : the long struggle to liberate our minds / Alegre, Susie
“Without a moment’s pause, we share our most intimate thoughts with trillion-dollar tech companies. Their algorithms categorize us and jump to conclusions about who we are, and even shape our everyday thoughts and actions. Part history and part manifesto, Freedom to Think charts the history and importance of our most basic human right: freedom of thought. Providing a bold new framework to understand how our agency is being gradually undermined, Freedom to Think is a groundbreaking and vital charter for taking back our humanity and safeguarding our reason.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Volt rush : the winners and losers in the race to go green / Sanderson, Henry
“We depend on a handful of metals and rare earths to power our phones and computers. Increasingly, we rely on them to power our cars and our homes. Whoever controls these finite commodities will become rich beyond imagining. Sanderson journeys to meet the characters, companies, and nations scrambling for the new resources, linking remote mines in the Congo and Chile’s Atacama Desert to giant Chinese battery factories, shadowy commodity traders, secretive billionaires, and a new generation of scientists attempting to solve the dilemma of a ‘greener’ world.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Into the forest : the secret language of trees / Hitchcock, Susan Tyler
“For millennia, trees have offered renewal and inspiration. They have provided for humanity on every level, from spiritual sanctuary to the raw material for our homes, books, and food. Here, National Geographic combines legendary photography with cutting-edge science to illuminate exactly how trees influence the life of planet Earth. Beautifully illustrated essays tell the stories of the world’s most remarkable trees, from Tāne Mahuta in New Zealand to Pando, a single aspen spreading over 100 acres: Earth’s largest living thing.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Adopted : loss, love, family and reunion / Willis, Jo
“To not know your family story is a huge loss of your sense of self. It has the potential to undermine your wellbeing and your relationships across a lifetime. Adopted is the powerful and honest account of two of the thousands of children affected by closed adoption in Aotearoa New Zealand, from 1950 to the mid 1970s. Jo Willis and Brigitta Baker both sought and found their respective birthparents at different stages of their lives and have become advocates for other adopted New Zealanders. In this compelling book, they share the complexity of that journey, the emotional challenges they faced, and the ongoing impacts of their adoptions, with candour and courage.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

You’ve been played : how corporations, governments, and schools use games to control us all / Hon, Adrian
“A call-center worker patiently troubleshoots a customer’s broken printer, while a cartoon character in a corner of his screen chides him for sounding too unengaged. An exhausted Uber driver needs extra cash, so she accepts a pop-up Quest on her app: drive another three trips to get a $6 bonus. These are games that we often have no choice but to play, where failure isn’t met with a cheery “try again” but with very real financial and social penalties. You’ve Been Played is a scathing indictment of a tech-driven world that wants us to think misery is fun, and a call to arms for anyone who hopes to preserve their dignity and autonomy, at our jobs and in our lives.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

American cartel : inside the battle to bring down the opioid industry / Higham, Scott
American Cartel is an unflinching and deeply documented dive into the culpability of the drug companies behind the staggering death toll of the opioid epidemic. Its narrative approach moves dramatically between corporate boardrooms, courthouses, lobbying firms, DEA field offices and Capitol Hill while capturing the human toll of the epidemic on America’s streets. American Cartel is the story of those who were on the front lines of the fight to stop the human carnage.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

All the knowledge in the world : the extraordinary story of the encyclopaedia / Garfield, Simon
“The encyclopaedia once shaped our understanding of the world. Created by thousands of scholars and the most obsessive of editors, a good set conveyed a sense of absolute wisdom on its reader. But now these huge books gather dust, and sell for almost nothing on eBay, and we derive our information from our phones and computers, apparently for free. What have we lost in this transition? And how did we tell the progress of our lives in the past? All the Knowledge in the World is a history and celebration of those who created the most ground-breaking and remarkable publishing phenomenon of any age.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Into the unknown: New popular non-fiction

We have some top-notch journalism in this month’s picks. Matthieu Aikins writes about the refugee experience as he accompanies his friend Omar from Afghanistan to Europe. Hayley Campbell investigates the lives of those who work in and amongst the dead, while George Monbiot tackles the plight of our agricultural systems and explores how farming might be done otherwise. These are all well-researched, impactful books with deep connections to the subjects and communities they depict, while still being accessible entry-points for those new to the topic. As to the other highlights, down below you’ll find both true crime and tree crime, some nineties nostalgia, an exploration of non-human intelligence and an ode to the beloved objects in our lives.

The naked don’t fear the water / Aikins, Matthieu
“In 2016, a young Afghan driver and translator named Omar makes the choice to flee his war-torn country, saying goodbye to Laila, the love of his life, without knowing when they might be reunited again. He is one of millions of refugees who leave their homes that year. Matthieu Aikins, a journalist living in Kabul, decides to follow his friend. Their odyssey across land and sea from Afghanistan to Europe brings them face to face with the people at heart of the migration crisis. As setbacks and dangers mount for the two friends, Matthieu is also drawn into the escape plans of Omar’s entire family, including Maryam, the matriarch who has fought ferociously for her children’s survival.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Regenesis : feeding the world without devouring the planet / Monbiot, George
“People talk a lot about the problems with intensive farming. But the problem isn’t the adjective. It’s the noun. Around the world, farming has been wiping out vast habitats, depleting freshwater, polluting oceans, and accelerating global heating, while leaving millions undernourished and unfed. Increasingly, there are signs that the system itself is beginning to flicker. But, as George Monbiot shows us in this brilliant, bracingly original new book, there is another way. Regenesis is an exhilarating journey into a profoundly hopeful, appetising and exciting vision of food: of revolutionary cultivation and cuisine that could nourish us all and restore our world of wonders.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The widow of Walcha : a true story of love, lies and murder in a small country town / Partridge, Emma
“All farmer Mathew Dunbar ever wanted was to find love and have a family of his own. That’s why, just months after meeting Natasha Darcy, the much-loved grazier didn’t hesitate to sign over his multi-million-dollar estate to her. When Mathew died in an apparent suicide soon afterwards, in a stranger-than-fiction twist, Natasha’s estranged husband – who she was once charged with trying to kill – was the first paramedic on the scene. The Widow of Walcha is about one of the most extraordinary criminal trials in Australia’s history and reveals Natasha’s sickening crimes against those she claimed to love, fuelled by her obsession with money.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Ways of being : beyond human intelligence / Bridle, James
“Recent years have seen rapid advances in ‘artificial’ intelligence, which increasingly appears to be something stranger than we ever imagined. At the same time, we are becoming more aware of the other intelligences which have been with us all along, unrecognized. These other beings are the animals, plants, and natural systems that surround us, and are slowly revealing their complexity and knowledge – just as the new technologies we’ve built are threatening to cause their extinction, and ours. What can we learn from these other forms of intelligence and personhood, and how can we change our societies to live more equitably with one another and the non-human world? We have so much to learn, and many worlds to gain.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The things we love : how our passions connect us and make us who we are / Ahuvia, Aaron
“Why is it that we so often feel intense passion for objects? What does this tendency tell us about ourselves and our society? Dr. Aaron Ahuvia presents astonishing discoveries that prove we are far less “rational” than we think when it comes to our possessions and hobbies. In fact, we have passionate relationships with the things we love, and these relationships are driven by influences deep within our culture and our biology. Packed with fascinating case studies, scientific analysis, and takeaways for living in a modern and ever-so-material world, The Things We Love offers a truly original and insightful look into our love for inanimate objects.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

All the living and the dead : a personal investigation into the death trade / Campbell, Hayley
“We are surrounded by death. It is in our news, our nursery rhymes, our true-crime podcasts. Yet from a young age, we are told that death is something to be feared. How are we supposed to know what we’re so afraid of, when we are never given the chance to look? Journalist Hayley Campbell searches for answers from the people who see death every day. Why would someone choose a life of working with the dead? And what does dealing with death every day do to you as a person? A dazzling work of cultural criticism, All the Living and the Dead weaves together reportage with memoir, history, and philosophy, to offer readers a fascinating look into the psychology of Western death.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The nineties / Klosterman, Chuck
“It was long ago, but not as long as it seems: The Berlin Wall fell and the Twin Towers collapsed. In the beginning, almost every name and address was listed in a phone book, and everyone answered their landlines because you didn’t know who it was. By the end, exposing someone’s address was an act of emotional violence, and nobody picked up their new cell phone if they didn’t know who it was. The ’90s brought about a revolution in the human condition we’re still groping to understand. Chuck Klosterman makes a home in all of it, writing a multi-dimensional masterpiece, a work of synthesis so smart and delightful that future historians might well refer to this entire period as Klostermanian.” (Adapted from Amazon UK)

Tree thieves : crime and survival in North America’s woods / Bourgon, Lyndsie
“The tree was poached in a two-part operation. It was felled one night and taken another. Here was a murder mystery in the deep woods: who had taken the cedar, how had they done so, and – most importantly – why? Featuring excellent investigative reporting, fascinating characters, logging history, political analysis and cutting-edge tree science, Tree Thieves takes readers on a thrilling journey into the intrigue, crime and incredible complexity sheltered under the forest canopy. It is a gripping account of the billion-dollar timber black market – and how it intersects with environmentalism, class, and culture. (Adapted from Amazon UK)

Marvellous Maps, Amazing Atlases & Charming Cartography

Who else loves gorgeous maps and atlases?  We know kids love them, but how many of us never lose that love as we grow up?  Poring over huge books of maps, learning about the world, history, people and animals is lots of fun, and there is something particularly beautiful about quality cartography.

If you’re a map lover, or you’d like to explore some atlases to see just what they’re all about, check out these from our collection:

An atlas of extinct countries : the remarkable (and occasionally ridiculous) stories of 48 nations that fell off the map / Defoe, Gideon
“Prisoners of Geography meets Bill Bryson: a funny, fascinating, beautifully illustrated and timely history of countries that, for myriad and often ludicrous reasons, no longer exist.” (Catalogue)



Brilliant maps : an atlas for curious minds / Wright, Ian
“Which nations have North Korean embassies? What percentage of young people live with their families? Which country lists volleyball as its national sport? How much does it cost to get a pint around the world? And where can you find lions in the wild? Revelatory, thought-provoking and fun, Brilliant Maps is a unique atlas of culture, history, politics and miscellanea, compiled by the editor of the iconic Brilliant Maps website.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Amazing world atlas : bringing the world to life / Ward, Alexa
“Bringing planet earth to life, this colourful and fun addition to Lonely Planet Kids takes you on a trip around the world that you’ll never forget. Filled with continental and regional maps, lively text, an entry for every country on the planet, plus mind-blowing facts, and an emphasis on the species that live on our planet, this is an essential resource for young readers wanting to learn about the world.” (Catalogue)

Philip’s atlas of New Zealand and the world
“Finally we’re included on the maps!  This updated edition of the bestselling Atlas contains: 16 pages of fully revised maps and statistical information; statistical information presented in a clear and accessible graphical format; a page dedicated to the islands of the South-West Pacific; separate New Zealand and Pacific index for easy access, latest world mapping; 200 country flags.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Atlas of everything : maps that help you make sense of the world
“Navigate the world like never before. Featuring over 50 maps of the world – one on every page – this unique atlas includes facts and figures on almost everything you’d want to know. From Nobel Prize winners and popular names, to endangered species and active volcanoes, the combination of maps and infographics makes this the perfect book for children to find out information in a quick and easy way, and remember it. Includes information on the origins of humans, ancient civilisations, the fashion industry, music around the world, film, sport, art and design, politics, the natural world, architecture, animal migration, oceans, natural disasters and space, to name just a few topics in this fact-filled book.” (Catalogue)

Strange maps : an atlas of cartographic curiosities / Jacobs, Frank
“An intriguing collection of more than 100 out-of-the-ordinary maps, blending art, history and pop culture to create a unique atlas of humanity.” (Catalogue)


New Zealand historical atlas : ko papatuanuku e takoto nei
“Surveys New Zealand history through a dazzling array of maps and graphics, covering the story of life on these islands from their origins through East Polynesian settlement, the building of pa in the Bay of Islands, the colonial era in the nineteenth century through to the present.” (Catalogue)


Atlas of the invisible : maps & graphics that will change how you see the world / Cheshire, James
“An unprecedented portrait of the hidden patterns in human society–visualized through the world of data.  In this triumph of visual storytelling, they uncover truths about our past, reveal who we are today, and highlight what we face in the years ahead.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


An atlas of geographical wonders : from mountaintops to riverbeds : a selection of comparative maps and tableaux / Bailly, Jean-Christophe
“This is the first book to catalog comparative maps and tableaux that visualize the heights and lengths of the world’s mountains and rivers. Produced predominantly in the nineteenth century, these beautifully rendered maps emerged out of the tide of exploration and scientific developments in measuring techniques.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

These are just a selection of what we have on offer. For more atlases in our collection, click here.