Good food fast: Latest cookbooks

The month of March can sometimes feel like a busy one. Autumn is here, the universities have started back, and the evenings are slowly getting darker. This selection of new cookbooks share the same theme; quick, easy and delicious. There’s a new recipe to try for everyone in our collection!

Is this a cookbook? : adventures in the kitchen / Blumenthal, Heston
“Well, it’s full of Heston’s typically brilliant, delicious and inventive recipes. Every recipe is simple, straightforward and totally do-able. This is Heston at his most accessible. But there’s so much more. Each of the 70 recipes is accompanied by Heston’s thoughts, stories, insights and hacks, turning each cooking session into a journey that will excite and inspire and reveal a whole world of culinary possibilities and fresh perspectives. It’s the next best thing to having Heston as your sous-chef. So why not get in the kitchen and have an adventure?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Good food fast : delicious recipes that won’t waste your time / Jonzen, Emily
“Discover over 80 simple recipes that can be thrown together in a flash, from speedy mid-week meals to relaxed weekend feasts for friends. Most can be on the table in 30 minutes tops.”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)


Real life recipes : fantastic fuss-free food / Kerridge, Tom
“The ultimate cookbook for simple everyday recipes that fit your needs and won’t break the bank.” (Catalogue)




The edgy veg : easy eats : quick, tasty, vegan / Hutchings, Candice
“In her follow-up to the bestselling The Edgy Veg: 138 Carnivore-Approved Vegan Recipes, Candice Hutchings, returns with Edgy Veg Easy Eats, a collection of brand new recipes that don’t sacrifice creativity or bold flavour for ease or time. In these delicious pages, you will find vegan food built differently.   Flip open to any page, and each recipe will take you no longer than 45 minutes to make, while never compromising your need for great taste. No more backbreaking, long-haul, wallet-robbing treks to the fancy health food store for you. In no time at all you will be serving up dinner with an attitude and a cheeky side.”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted by Catalogue)

Pimp your air fryer / Grigg, Jake
“Pimp Your Air Fryer goes against what you think a cookbook is. Written by Jake Grigg, aka the Air Fryer Guy, it is a recipe book that is not only fun and light-hearted, but one that promotes creativity and challenges the fundamentals of cooking. The Air Fryer Guy is a TikTok and Instagram sensation. His videos went viral after he started making wacky recipes in his air fryer.  So, if you have just bought an air fryer and you are still learning the tricks of the trade, or if you are an air fryer OG and looking for some next-level hacks and creativity, this is the book for you!”–Publisher’s description.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Fool proof veggie one-pot : 60 vibrant and easy-going vegetarian dishes / Rosenthal, Alan
“Celebrate the essence and simplicity of one-pot cooking with everything from creamy pastas and risottos to fragrant curries and stir-fries, with 60 delicious and modern vegetarian recipes that are full of flavour”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)


Go-to dinners : make ahead, freeze ahead, prep ahead, easy, assembled / Garten, Ina
“Cooking during the pandemic inspired Garten to rethink the way she approached dinner. Here she shares strategies for making delicious, satisfying, and uncomplicated dinners. Many of the recipes are freeze-ahead, make-ahead, prep-ahead, or simply assembled from leftovers from another dinner. She even shows you how to assemble amazing boards using store-bought ingredients! — adapted from front flap” (Catalogue)

Sweet treats and drinks: Recent cookbooks

February may be the last month of summer, but there’s still time to sit outside and enjoy the warmer temperatures with a delicious snack! Here is a small selection of some of the new food and drink books on our shelves now — try out your baking skills and create something delicious, or add a drink to go with your sweat treat. We hope you find new recipes to enjoy below while the warm weather lasts!

Simply vegan baking : taking the faff out of vegan cakes, cookies, breads and desserts / Cox, Freya
“70 fun and accessible recipes for all your favourite classic bakes made vegan – from Great British Bake Off‘s young vegan star, Freya Cox.  Try any of the 70 reassuringly familiar recipes and you’ll be amazed that they’re so effortlessly vegan.  Recipes include: salted caramel cupcakes; carrot cake; triple chocolate cookies; cinnamon rolls; white chocolate and raspberry blondies; banoffee pie slices; lemon meringue pie; black forest gateau.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What’s for dessert : simple recipes for dessert people / Saffitz, Claire
What’s for Dessert includes lots of make-ahead, no bake, and simple stove top desserts, while still combining Claire’s trademark of dependable recipes with wow-factor ingredient combinations to create show stopping and viral-worthy recipes. Filled with a variety of recipes, including chilled and frozen desserts, easy cakes, pies, tarts, galettes, cobblers, and crisps, soufflés, stirred custards, and bars, cookies and candy.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Celebrate! : bake every day special / Dunn, Jane
“100 simple recipes to make every day a celebration, from […] bestselling author Jane Dunn, the blogger and baker behind Jane’s Patisserie. Celebrate! is packed with simple bakes, mouth-watering flavours and moreish treats that will make every day special. Good things come to those who bake!” (Catalogue)

The great British bake off : favourite flavours
“A feast for both the eyes and the taste buds, these flavourful bakes will leave you inspired to mix and match different combinations, or to indulge yourself with some classic tastes and textures. Whether you’re looking for a tart blackcurrant millefeuille, a fresh passion fruit trifle, a sticky ginger treacle tart or a rich chocolate and speculoos cake – Paul, Prue, the Bake Off team and the 2022 bakers are here to show you how to get the perfect result. From earthy to spicy, and from tangy to creamy, this book showcases how to bring out the very best flavours in whatever you create.” (Catalogue)

Mocktails, cordials, syrups, infusions and more : over 80 delicious recipes for alcohol-free drinks
“It’s time to reclaim alcohol-free drinks from the bland and the boring, and instead elevate the cordials, infusions, syrups and mocktails to unprecedented heights of deliciousness.” (Catalogue)

60-second cocktails : amazing drinks to make at home in a minute / Harrison, Joel
60-Second Cocktails: Amazing Drinks to Make At Home in a Minute is the latest book from award-winning drinks writers and TV presenters Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley. These simple-yet-delicious cocktails are divided into three chapters: ‘No Shake, Sherlock’ – the easiest to make, requiring little or no preparation, and using standard spirits and mixers; ‘Shake It Up’ – slightly more complex concoctions that need a quick shake or stir; and ‘Magnificent Mixes’ – special drinks for the more decadent drinking occasions which require a little more prep, or an unusual ingredient here and there.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

How to make the best coffee at home / Hoffmann, James
“The author demonstrates everything you need to know to make consistently excellent coffee at home, including: what equipment is worth buying, and what isn’t; how to grind coffee; the basics of brewing for all major equipment (cafetiere, aeropress, stovetop etc); understanding coffee drinks, from the cortado to latte and the perfect espresso.” (Catalogue)

The curious bartender : in pursuit of liquid perfection : recipes for the finest cocktails / Stephenson, Tristan
The Curious Bartender: In Pursuit of Liquid Perfection is the sixth book by master mixologist, spirits entrepreneur, award-winning bar owner and bestselling author Tristan Stephenson. Tristan’s back to shake up the cocktail world once more, crafting classic cocktails and offering his signature reinventions using his world-renowned mixology skills.” (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.

Bring the World to your Kitchen

Here are some of the latest cook books released this month. They are themed on flavours and recipes from around the world for you to try.  One night you could be in Jamaica and the next night you could be in Greece; the options are endless.  Take your cooking to a different part of the world and try something new.

The nutmeg trail : recipes and stories along the ancient spice routes / Ford, Eleanor
“In this richly illustrated volume, Eleanor Ford uses recipes as maps as she takes readers on a culinary journey that weaves through history and around the world. She explores both the flavour profiles and the spread of spices. This unparalleled volume provides 80 flavourful recipes for entrées, appetizers, sides dishes, and more, enabling you to make a divine garlic clove vegetable curry, jasmine tea-smoked chicken, as well as staple spice pastes and mixtures to have on-hand. The result will enable you to stock up and to have a home kitchen rich in international flavour and fragrance.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

West winds : recipes, history and tales from Jamaica / Phillips, Riaz
“A beautiful cookbook that celebrates the nuance in Caribbean cooking, focussing specifically on Jamaica, in over 100 recipes. Delve into West Winds– the most-talked-about cookbook of 2022 and a joyous celebration of Jamaican food culture. With 100 traditional and delicious dishes that draw on Riaz’s memories, West Winds is so much more than a showcase of Jamaican cooking, it is also rooted in the exploration of the island’s heritage and culture.  Take a trip to Jamaica with West Winds”–Publisher’s description.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Lebanese cuisine : the authentic cookbook / Kazan, Samira
“Filled with an abundance of recipes that use healthy, fresh ingredients, this complete collection of Lebanese meals is derived from meetings with top chefs in Lebanon who serve up the best this cuisine has to offer.” (Catalogue)



Persiana everyday / Ghayour, Sabrina
“The all-new collection of more than 100 crowd-pleasing recipes for everyday eating from the author of the award-winning, Sunday Times bestselling cookbook Persiana. Designed to ensure maximum flavour with the greatest of ease – including no-cook, quick-prep, quick-cook and one-pot dishes, Persiana Everyday is full of generous, inviting and delicious recipes to cook again and again for family and friends”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)


Simply more Greek : foods from the garden, the sea and the bakery / Bardis, Ruth
“Simply More Greek is the third book on Greek cookery written and photographed by international award-winning author Ruth Bardis. This book is an extension to her previous books featuring a collection of other traditional foods, not commonly found in cookbooks that are meat free; a must have for pescatarians and vegetarians or those wanting to expand on their common Greek repertoire. Ruth’s food inspiration, vibrant photography, design skills and personality shines through every page.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Pierogi : over 50 recipes to create perfect Polish dumplings / Zak, Zuza
“The bible of Polish dumplings, Pierogi is the essential cookbook for learning about this popular food. In North, South, East, West and Central we delve deep into the regions of Poland, along with the dumplings, traditions and stories that define them. In the Modern, Vegan, Festive, Creative and Gluten-free chapters, we find a fun take on dumplings for a contemporary audience. With beautiful location photography, thoughts on the history and development of pierogi, and tips and tricks for perfecting them, Pierogi is a deep-dive into this compelling and culturally significant food”–Publisher’s description.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A curious absence of chickens : a journal of life, food and recipes from Puglia / Grigson, Sophie
“After her children grew up and left home, Sophie Grigson found herself living alone. About to turn 60, she took the decision to sell or give away most of her belongings, to pack up her car and to drive to Puglia on her own to start a new life. In a part of Italy where she didn’t know anyone, having last visited the region 40 years ago, this narrative book of food writing, stories and recipes brings to life the region, its food and the local characters that she meets along the way. This is a book about courage, hope, new horizons and, above all, delicious food.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Dine in Palestine : an authentic taste of Palestine in 60 recipes from my family to your table / Odeh, Heifa
“Re-create traditional, flavourful Palestinian meals at home with this comprehensive collection of Middle Eastern recipes. From familiar favourites like Dawali (Stuffed Grape Leaves with Beef), Shawarma and Baklawa, to more complex meals like Musakhan, Palestine’s national dish, Heifa Odeh has carefully adapted her family recipes with streamlined techniques, making it easier than ever to enjoy a taste of Palestine.” (Catalogue)

Light, long evenings: New meal ideas

With the arrival of daylight savings, the evenings are starting to get lighter and longer. This October, why not spend an evening trying out a new recipe? Here is a selection of new cook books just in, with a variety of quick and easy, comfort recipes to try at home. These cook books will impress anyone at your next dinner: with loads of ideas on how to do shortcuts, cooking techniques, cooking for dietary restrictions and how to create an amazing meal with not much time at the end of your day.

Pasta Grannies. traditional family recipes from Italy’s best home cooks / Comfort cooking / Bennison, Vicky
“Vicky Bennison, the author of the bestselling Pasta Grannies cookbook, brings you more heart-warming recipes and stories from our favourite Italian grandmothers in this easy-to-follow, crowd-pleasing recipe book that shows you how to make authentic Italian food that everyone will enjoy. Every recipe is accompanied with a QR code which, once scanned, will take you directly to the YouTube videos of these remarkable women and their recipes.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The cook you want to be : everyday recipes to impress / Baraghani, Andy
“Be a better cook with flavour-forward everyday recipes and easy-to-understand techniques. Andy’s love of flavour began with the comforting dishes of his Iranian parents’ immigrant household. Blending the home cooking of his upbringing and his professional training, Andy evolved into a culinary influencer by asking himself, ‘What kind of cook do I want to be?’.  This cookbook is a genre-breaking cookbook of transformative techniques and recipes that will guide all to become the kind of cook that they want to be.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Easy : simply delicious home cooking / Baber, Chris
“Simple. Speedy. Delicious. Stuffed with quick, simple and mouth-watering recipes, ‘Easy’ is the only cookbook you’ll need to make every meal count without stressing in the kitchen. Whether it’s having a crowd of mates over for a weeknight dinner, recreating your favourite takeaway or rustling up a delicious brunch to start the weekend right, Chris has a dish for every occasion.” (Catalogue)


Around the table : delicious food for every day / Nishimura, Julia Busuttil
“Slow Sundays are for herbed roast chicken and silky smooth panna cotta. Eating outside means cheddar scones and fresh, spring salads. Friends coming by for afternoon coffee calls for a simple blackberry yoghurt loaf or comforting ginger cake with cream cheese frosting.  With recipes ranging from quick, flavourful meals for busy weeknights to simple indulgences for summer feasts, Around the Table perfectly matches dishes to time and place.”–Publisher’s description.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The modern proper : simple dinners for every day / Erickson, Holly
“The Modern Proper will expand your list of ‘go-to’ dishes and turn you into a more intuitive, creative cook. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, a workaholic or a busy parent, this book will empower you with tools, tricks, and shortcuts to get dinner on the table night after night. Every ingredient is easy to find, plus you’ll find plenty of swaps and options throughout.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The real food table : 100 easy and delicious mostly gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free recipes for every day / Beacom, Jessica
“As busy moms, authors Jessica Beacom and Stacie Hassing know how challenging it can be to get dinner on the table on a busy weeknight, much less a meal that helps you feel better inside and out by accommodating food allergies, sensitivities and fighting inflammation. Enjoy healthy and delicious food every night of the week with these 100+ approachable comfort food recipes perfect for any budget or dietary restriction.” (Catalogue)

The vegan baking bible : over 300 recipes for bakes, cakes, treats and sweets / Tegelaar, Karolina
“You shouldn’t have to compromise on flavour, texture and the look of your cake just because it’s vegan. From carrot cake and chocolate cookies to madeleines and muffins; in this ultimate bible, Karolina has veganised old baking favourites as well as creating new baking recipes to make vegan baking accessible and fun to the novice baker. With The Vegan Baking Bible by your side, you’ll never stop saying, ‘I can’t believe it’s vegan!'”–Publisher’s description.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Edible cities: Books on foraging

A selection of our books on foraging


So far, raumati (summer) in Wellington has been pretty idyllic. Hopefully, you’ve been able to get out and enjoy the outdoors, maybe by taking a dip in the surprisingly welcoming ocean or enjoying time in the garden with a good book. If you’re looking for a new outdoor activity, and are keen to explore around Wellington a bit more, foraging could be an ideal new hobby for you! Wellington has an array of forgeable foods growing all around the city, including mushrooms, koromiko flowers and dandelion!

Of course there are risks with foraging, you need to be confident in identifying plants before you eat them! We suggest first connecting with Wellington’s vibrant foraging community. There are plenty of supportive online communities, and professionally led courses you can attend to gain this required knowledge.

Our libraries also have a wealth of resources to help you in your foraging adventures! Below is a booklist to get you started. Happy foraging!

A forager’s treasury / Knox, Johanna
“Features profiles of many edible plants commonly found in New Zealand, including advice on where to find them, how to harvest them and how best to use them”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Find it, eat it : cooking foraged food gathered around New Zealand / Daly, Michael
“Divided according to edible weeds, food foraged from the fields, forest and seashore and a pantry section, Michael Daly provides recipes that demonstrate the use of wild foods in everyday cooking.”–Publisher information.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A field guide to the native edible plants of New Zealand / Crowe, Andrew
“Over 190 trees, shrubs, herbs, ferns, mushrooms, lichens and seaweeds are described in detail in this useful and attractive book, with information on which part is edible and when, how plants have been utilised, particularly by Maori, their nutritional value, and where they can be found. In a separate section, Andrew Crowe also describes important poisonous plants that are native to New Zealand or are likely to be confused with the edible plants.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Seaweed and eat it : a family foraging and cooking adventure / Houston, Fiona
“Part cookbook, part natural history guide, with tasty recipes, fascinating folklore and inspiring ideas for seasonal feasts, this book leads the reader through the process of identifying, learning about and cooking unusual and wild native foods.” (Catalogue)

The edible city : a year of wild food / Rensten, John
”  In The Edible City, urban forager John Rensten gives us the tools to identify, source and cook delicious food from the year-long bounty around us, whether that’s winter cress and wild garlic soup, nettle and three-cornered leek gnocchi or stinging nettle tempura. This account of a year of urban foraging is perfect for the armchair enthusiast or home cook looking for exciting new ingredients to experiment with.” (Catalogue)

The thrifty forager / Fowler, Alys
“Fowler takes a fresh look at foraging, encouraging you to look closer to home, from the weeds in your garden to the trees in your street…Alys showcases her favourite edibles with a plant directory packed with useful information – photographic identification, plant description and tips on how to grow and how to eat it (including recipes such as fruit leathers and chutney) – that will give you the confidence to identify plants yourself.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Food you can forage : edible plants to harvest, cook and enjoy / Francis, Tiffany
“An accessible and engaging guide to foraging for families and amateur naturalists.” (Catalogue)