We are blessed in New Zealand with a number of wonderful publishers publishing very high quality domestic non-fiction. This is a run-down of the Summer Reading Catalogue promotions of New Zealand non-fiction.
Looking at this page, I am instantly transported to happy summer days spent jumping off the end of a pier in Kaikoura, courtesy of Coast: A New Zealand Journey (Random House NZ). This was reviewed by Emma Wong-Ming, who says ‘What I loved most was the distinct ‘Aotearoa’ voice of the book. It feels as though an accomplished orator was standing in the room with me, telling a story about our country.’ This is going to be under my Christmas tree for my parents, I hope it makes it under a good few more.
There is a glut of amazing pictorial non-fiction featured here. Promoting Prosperity, by Peter Alsop and Gary Stewart (Craig Potton Publishing) is the follow-up to NZ Post Illustrated short-lister Selling the Dream by the same team. Other art histories featured include Landscape Paintings of New Zealand (Random House NZ), by Christopher Johnstone, which features 137 reproductions of New Zealand art – ‘a must-have for every lover of New Zealand and its art.’ With a similar theme, one of our super-specials for our catalogue-subscribed independent bookstores, is Painting the Frontier (David Bateman Ltd), by David Filer, on special at just $12, down from $49.99. Check out the second section of this article to find out where you can find this special.
There are two fantastic war history pictorial books, both reviewed here by our CEO Lincoln Gould. New Zealand and the First World War: 1914-1919 (Penguin NZ) is a multimedia scrapbook by Damien Fenton, each copy of which required 40min to assemble at the printer in China. Images of War: New Zealand and the First World War in Photographs (HarperCollins NZ) by Glyn Harper and John Tonkin-Covell is a collection of photographs with a difference – many of them were taken by the soldiers on the front lines.
You can’t go wrong with lavish illustration when you are writing serious history. Must-haves for history buffs this year include Tuhoe: Portrait of a Nation, by Kennedy Warne (Penguin NZ), telling Tuhoe history with an ‘exquisite photographic showcase’; Bateman Illustrated History of New Zealand, by Matthew Wright , which includes nearly 600 maps, paintings and photos; for pet-lovers Creature Comforts: New Zealanders and their Pets – an Illustrated history, by Nancy Swarbrick (Random House NZ); and a great buy for architecture buffs, New Zealand’s Lost Heritage, by Richard Wolfe (New Holland).
There is certainly plenty on offer this year for those who like their reading to be informative as well as entertaining!
– Sarah Forster, Booksellers NZ