Get Well, Stay Well: New Health Books in the Collection

Whether you’re deep diving into a specific condition or just curious about keeping yourself well in general, we’ve got you covered with this month’s new titles in health.

Get well, stay well : the six healing health habits you need to know / Newman, Gemma
“Six essential health prescriptions distilled into simple and free, daily habits. She has seen radical transformations in her patients, family, and her own health from her open-minded approach to medicine – from chronic headaches to debilitating anxiety. Give yourself the best chance of a healthy, happy life – whatever life throws at you. This is accessible, uplifting, evidence-based advice you can trust.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

“She’ll be right… yeah, nah” : a Kiwi girl’s guide to depression – for your whānau, the bros and your squad / McQuaid, Katie
“Katie McQuaid grew up on the Kāpiti Coast, a small seaside town called Paraparaumu located near the bottom of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Her life changed throughout her teenage years without her knowing it and upon reflection later on in life, she realised that she had been living with depression for quite some time. As she came to terms with her diagnosis, Katie details her experiences with confronting this illness head on, how she sought support and what her loved ones did (and didn’t do) that made a difference. It’s okay to not be okay.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The menopause reset : get rid of your symptoms and feel like your younger self again / Pelz, Mindy
“Are you struggling through your menopausal years? You’re not alone. While every woman goes through the inevitable effects of shifting hormones–irritable moods, unexplained anxiety, trouble retrieving words, hot flashes–you do not have to suffer. In fact, nutrition and functional medicine expert and best-selling author Dr. Mindy Pelz has helped thousands of women just like you to reset their health during their turbulent menopausal years.” (Catalogue)

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Gardening around the globe: new books

Discover the iconic English gardens of Pemberley and the secret gardens hidden in all corners of Cornwall.  For the literature-loving gardeners out there, check out the lush surrounds of iconic writers’ homes including Edith Wharton, Louisa May Alcott and Agatha Christie. Or be inspired by the natural and self sufficient gardens right here in Aotearoa New Zealand. You can take a gardening tour around the world with these recent green-fingered reads!

The natural garden : landscape ideas for New Zealand gardens / White, Xanthe
The Natural Garden builds on Xanthe White’s signature landscape design with contemporary updates. Xanthe shares her design philosophy of nurturing a respectful and sustainable relationship with the natural world, and how her signature style can be applied to flower, native, rural, dry, inner city, productive, subtropical and coastal gardens.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


What makes a garden / Blom, Jinny
“This fascinating and insightful book looks at how a garden should please all five senses; how it is an alchemical mix of the inanimate and the living; and also how it has to accommodate both the effects of time and the influences of culture. This is not intended as a book of rules but rather a way of thinking about garden design and making sure it responds to the particularities of place, the culture and the demands of the client.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


The writer’s garden : how gardens inspired the world’s great authors / Bennett, Jackie
“Discover the flower gardens, vegetable plots, landscapes and writing hideaways of 30 great authors – from Louisa May Alcott’s ‘Orchard House’ where she wrote Little Women and Agatha Christie at Greenway, to Virginia Woolf at Monk’s House and the Massachusetts home of Edith Wharton. This book visits the homes and gardens that inspired novelists, poets and playwrights.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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Spilling the beans on our new sustainability books

This month we have new books spilling the beans (but not letting them go to waste!) on how to eat sustainably. We can learn about the journey our fruits and vegetables take to get from the tree to our plate in Avocado Anxiety. If we want to grow our own food, there are many books to choose from, like The Sustainable Homestead or A Conscious Garden. If we want to see the bigger picture, we can learn about the mechanism of the food industry that impacts the world in Ravenous. Check them out now:

The sustainable homestead : create a thriving permaculture ecosystem with your garden, animals, and land / Ferraro-Fanning, Angela
“Whether you’re just dreaming, working on site selection, or an experienced homesteader, The Sustainable Homestead is the go-to resource to bring permaculture techniques to your crops, animals, and more.” (Catalogue)

Avocado anxiety : and other stories about where your food comes from / Gray, Louise
“How do we stop worrying about our food choices and start making decisions that make a difference? Through visits to farms, interviews with scientists and trying to grow her own, Louise Gray digs up the dirt behind organic potatoes, greenhouse tomatoes and a glut of courgettes.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Sustain : groundbreaking recipes and skills that could save the planet / Barrett, Jo
“Sustain: Groundbreaking Recipes And Skills That Could Save The Planet features over 90 recipes across 30 meals mastering a series of skills, which lead to a more sustainable kitchen.” (Catalogue)


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Zero Budget Gardening

Gardening doesn’t have to be expensive, instead it can save your budget. Read this blog on zero budget gardening and try these handy tips, such as eating a carrot and planting the rest for re-growing, duplicating plants with existing ones, and making compost from kitchen waste.

  • Regrowing the roots means regeneration. 

Don’t throw away the leftovers of the carrots, onions, potatoes or celery. Instead soak their roots in water and see the plant regenerate before planting them in the soil for harvesting. Read more.

  • Propagating means free plants and multiplied  

Multiply your plants by propagating, for example, tomato, lavender, rosemary and grapes can be multiplied.

  • Zero budget compost 

Whether it’s an old tradition or a new trend, making your own compost from kitchen or paper waste is best for the land and good for reducing rubbish bag costs!

Composting for a new generation : latest techniques for the bin and beyond / Balz, Michelle
“Composting is not only in the realm of environmentalists or boutique. Most composters enjoy all the extra nutrients make for well-fed gardens with plenty of nutrients and rich moisture. You’ll learn the Tried-and-true composting methods and innovative science techniques, traditional bin composting, vermicomposting (with worms), composting with nature, keyhole gardens, organic composting, and more.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Grow food for free / Richards, Huw
“Zero-cost, low effort and a long-term solution to your fresh produce needs! Huw challenged himself to be self-sufficient by growing his own fruit and veg for free for a year and he succeeded. Packed with try- and-tested advice, Huw have many ideas for things to grow from the kitchen cupboard without buying seeds, make your own compost, tackle weeds, pests and diseases and hold your first set of seeds. Barter, borrow, repurpose and propagate your way to a bountiful harvest!” (Adapted from the Book review)

Apartment gardening : plants, projects, and recipes for growing food in your urban home / Pennington, Amy
“Apartment Gardening details how to start a garden in the heart of the city. From  building your own planter box to sprouting seeds in jars on the counter. Beginning and experienced gardeners will discover how to save money on produce and impress friends with their newly-tenacious green thumbs. Also instructions on how to build your own planter box, grow lettuce in recycled containers, keep bees on your patio, and more.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Flea market garden style / McKenzie, Caroline
“With small space inspiration, details that wow, budget-friendly solutions, magical makeovers, or fresh ideas for old homes, you can bring new life to your yard! Around here we’re firm believers that gardens look best when they are layered with abundant flora and fauna. Whether you gravitate toward romantic, rustic or modern, we’re all about growing your own totally unique style. This book celebrates the aesthetic with fresh ideas for planters, lighting, furniture and more.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Growing plants for free / Bryant, Geoff
“A propagation guide for producing hundreds of plants and beautiful gardens for next to nothing. This book uses three main methods of propagation – from seeds, from cuttings and from division. The book also covers less common and more advanced techniques such as layering, grafting and budding. “(Adapted from the 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.

Our own backyard: Books on local flora and fauna

Despite the recent cold snap, spring has most definitely sprung in Wellington. The birds are singing their songs of love and building their nests, blossoms are blooming all over the city and keen gardeners are getting out in the sunshine to bring life back after a cold, wet winter.

Aotearoa has a rich natural environment which you can explore it right here in Wellington, as close as your own back yard. We have many books on the flora and fauna of Aotearoa and Wellington, some of which we have chosen to share with you here.

100 best native plants for New Zealand gardens / Eadie, Fiona M“Since its first publication, this book has been an indispensable guide for gardeners wishing to use New Zealand plants. Now extensively revised, it features inspirational and practical advice on 100 species that are easy to grow and maintain, across a range of climates. It lists each plant’s likes and dislikes and gives sage advice for care and maintenance and for combatting pests and problems. It suggests how your soil can be best prepared for maximum growing results and gives creative landscaping tips for combining textures and forms to maximum effect. Engagingly written by the head gardener at Larnach Castle, whose gardens are world-renowned, it deserves a place on every gardener’s book shelf.” (Catalogue)

Biology Aotearoa : unique flora, fauna and fungi “As a large, isolated and relatively ancient landmass, New Zealand occupies a unique place in the biological world, with distinctive terrestrial biota and a high proportion of primitive endemic forms. Biology Aotearoa covers the origins, evolution and conservation of the New Zealand flora, fauna and fungi. Each chapter is written by specialists in the field, often working from different perspectives to build up a comprehensive picture. Topics include: the geological history of our land origins, and evolution of our plants, animals and fungi current status of rare and threatened species past, present and future management of native species the effect of human immigration on the native biota. Colour diagrams and photographs are used throughout the text. This book is suitable for all students of biology or ecology who wish to know about the unique nature of Aotearoa New Zealand and its context in the biological world.” (Catalogue)

Birds of New Zealand : collective nouns = Ngā manu o Aotearoa : ngā kupuingoa tōpū / Boardman, Melissa“This “illustrated book of collective noun names for our native birds reveals something unique about their character, so we can get to know them better. It also includes information on how they live, so we can help protect them better” (Catalogue)

Know your New Zealand : native insects & spiders / Early, J. W.“New Zealand’s insects include some of the world’s most remarkable, such as the giant weta (one of the world’s heaviest insects, dating from dinosaur days) and the world’s longest weevil. The most iconic, important and prominent species and families feature in this title.” (Catalogue)

Know your New Zealand– native plants / Metcalf, L. J.“New Zealand has a unique and attractive native plant life that is of interest to everyone from gardeners and trampers to students of botany and ecology. In Know Your New Zealand Native Plants Lawrie Metcalf introduces a selection of the most interesting, iconic and important New Zealand plants, spanning latitudes from subtropical to temperate, and altitudes from sea level to alpine mountaintop, describing their natural history and distinguishing features.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Māori agriculture : the cultivated food plants of the natives of New Zealand : with some account of native methods of agriculture, its ritual and origin myths / Best, Elsdon“Originally published: Wellington, N.Z.: Dominion Museum, 1929. Includes bibliographical references and index. The cultivated food plants of the natives of New Zealand with some account of agriculture, its ritual and origin myths.” (Catalogue)

A naturalist’s guide to the birds of New Zealand / Thomas, Oscar“This photographic identification guide to 239 bird species in New Zealand, including the most commonly seen, unique and endemic species, is perfect for resident and visitor alike. High-quality photographs from one of New Zealand’s youngest nature photographers are accompanied by detailed species descriptions, which include nomenclature, size, distribution, habits and habitat. The user-friendly introduction covers climate, vegetation, biogeography and the key sites for viewing the listed species. Also included is an all-important checklist of all of the birds of New Zealand encompassing, for each species, its common and scientific name, IUCN status.” (Catalogue)

A photographic guide to insects of New Zealand / Parkinson, Brian“Brian Parkinson recognises the fact that New Zealand is a fascinating arena of study for anyone with an interest in insect life, be it casual or academic. Featuring more than 170 entries, this title will appeal to walkers, nature lovers, educationalists, and photographers wishing to identify their subjects.” (Catalogue)

A photographic guide to mushrooms and other fungi of New Zealand / Ridley, Geoffrey Stephen“This new addition to New Holland’s very popular pocket Photographic Guide series introduces readers to New Zealand’s mushrooms and fungi, which number up to some 19,000 species and include extraordinarily diverse types, from the familiar ‘mushroom’ to brackets, coral and cup fungi and slime moulds. Over a hundred species are presented here, with spectacular close-up colour photographs accompanying each entry. The ideal size for slipping into a backpack when walking through bush and forest, it will appeal to walkers, nature lovers, tour guides and educators, and fungi photographers wishing to identify their subjects.” (Catalogue)

Wellington’s heritage : plants, gardens and landscape / Shepherd, Winsome“When the first European settlers arrived on the beach at Petone in 1840, the land they expected to turn into a city was heavily forested and swampy. After several months, the New Zealand Company decided to develop some flat land at the far end of the harbour, now known as Thorndon, and the settlement of Wellington had begun. Plants and seeds were the most precious things the settlers brought with them. As soon as they could, they began to clear the land and plant. In November 1841, the first Horticultural Society was formed, and after ten days it had 103 members. The Society was seen as a way of bringing settlers and local Māori together, and a means to share seeds, plants, cuttings, produce and expertise. This book tells the story of the Wellington landscape, and its private and public gardens, from colonial times to the present. It looks in detail at key plantsmen and gardeners in the nineteenth century in Wellington and the Hutt Valley, gives a history of gardens of special interest and describes the development of the Botanic Gardens and the Town Belt. Wellington’s distinctive wildflowers are also well illustrated.” (Catalogue)