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Book reviews: May 2024

3 min read
Book reviews: May 2024

Pick of the month

Foraging New Zealand
Peter Langlands
Penguin Random House
$50
Reviewed by Tony Orman

Foraging New Zealand by Canterbury’s Peter Langlands is a meticulously researched guide. There are more than 7500 edible species to consider but for practical reasons, Langlands has chosen 250 main species, “selected for their flavour, generally recognised as safe to eat and for being readily available.”

This is an invaluable book for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, such as trout anglers, hunters, and trampers.
Safety is paramount in foraging from the wild and the book stresses the need for caution and readers are urged to “be vigilant about potential toxins, environmental contaminants and proper food preparation techniques to minimise risks.” 

Well-indexed, Foraging New Zealand contains a wealth of valuable information about the individual plants’ distribution, character, environments, etc., – both native and introduced.

Langlands has had a lifelong interest in the outdoors, plus a Canterbury University Natural Sciences degree. The publisher has done a grand job of layout and presentation. Highly recommended.

More good reads

Garden Hacks
Filip Johansson
Murdoch Books
$32.99

Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced gardener, there’s a garden hack here likely to spark joy in your heart. Offering 70 smart, sustainable tips, Garden Hacks offers a mix of simple DIY ideas and solutions for eco-conscious gardeners. Best of all, many of them involve repurposing existing items you likely have lying around your home.

From plant supports and growing your seedlings to sprucing up your garden bed, the book is designed to ensure you’re never short of fresh ideas year-round.

The tips and tricks in the book take you through each season, with clear step-by-step instructions. With hacks such as making a spiral frame for tomatoes using an old garden hose, a clever way to repot plants, how to keep seeds moist with old cardboard, and how to make your own seed bombs, the book is your go-to guide to clever shortcuts, fresh inspiration, and fun in the garden.

Wholesome by Sarah
Sarah Pound
Macmillan
$49.99

Sarah Pound has garnered a devoted following online with her fresh, wholesome, and flavourful recipes. Now, in her debut cookbook, she delivers the same simplicity, heartiness, and family-friendly meals that take away the stress of weeknight cooking.

Featuring more than 100 recipes, the book offers nourishing bowls of soup, one-pot gems, crunchy salads, as well as budget-friendly staples, such as pasta, mince, and even quick recipes using the humble tuna can.

Sarah also shares her fail-safe methods for building the perfect salad and stir-fry, along with tips for creating marinades, spice rubs, and salad dressing ideas, all aimed at simplifying the cooking process and enhancing flavours.

Dark Sky
Marie Connolly
Quentin Wilson Publishing
$37.99

Author Marie Connolly lives in Akaroa and has drawn on her knowledge of the region for this unexpected murder mystery.

Set in Aotearoa’s beautiful Mackenzie country, the Dark Sky Reserve is at the heart of this tale of international intrigue, rivalries, and infidelities. From the opening page you’re drawn into an immediate mystery and the twists and turns keep coming.

Not your typical murder – or your usual suspects. 
 

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