The NZ Book
By Jess Lunnon, Sandi MacKechnie, Michael Fitzsimons and Nigel Beckford (FitzBeck, $40)
It’s a New Zealand themed Book Watch this week, starting with this quirky and gorgeous illustrated stroll around our country and culture. It’s the book Kiwis deserve – beautiful and “mildly entertaining” (as the publishers put it). Don’t let them fool you; The NZ Book is a fact-filled fun romp across the country, from town slogans (“You matter in Matamata”) to culture to sports to history. A book to buy all your overseas friends and, more importantly, yourself.
The New Zealand Woman: 80 Glorious Years of Fashion, Food and Friendship From the Pages of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly
By Bee Dawson (Whitcoulls, $24.99)
The New Zealand Women’s Weekly is a venerable 80 years old. First published in 1932, the New Zealand Women’s Weekly is a Kiwi-institution and The New Zealand Woman is the commemoration it deserves. Combining fantastic illustrations from the pages of NZWW with excerpts from issues past and gentle commentary, The New Zealand Woman is a well-produced and fun journey through some NZ social history. It’s also interesting to note the change in focus of the NZWW from the domestic to the celebrity sphere.
Mansfield with Monsters
By Katherine Mansfield with Debbie and Matt Cowens (Steam Press, $25, ebook $10)
Last but most definitely not least in this trio of outstanding New Zealand books, Mansfield with Monsters may owe a debt to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies but it proves our writers and publishers hold their own when it comes to messing around with the classics. To put it simply, Mansfield with Monsters is quite brilliant. Funny, dark and seamless – Mansfield’s moody characters only seem enhanced by a bit of blood and gore. Steam Press is really the best new NZ publisher at the moment and I can’t wait to see what’s coming out next.