6 books for Christmas reading




Find a sunny spot and curl up with one of our picks for great Christmas reads this season.

By Chelsea Winter
Penguin NZ, paperback,
240 pages

Chelsea Winter’s fourth cookbook is sure to become your new go-to for any occasion. It’s packed with irresistible recipes for mouth-watering lunches and dinners, indulgent baking and wickedly good desserts, and a section on Chelsea’s festive favourites for Christmas. The 90-plus recipes are easy to follow, use ingredients on hand in your fridge or pantry, and will certainly earn you rave reviews from your family and friends.


Grown & Gathered
By Matt & Lentil Pubrick
Pan Macmillan Australia, paperback, 352 pages
Matt and Lentil Pubrick began selling the produce from their farm in Victora to some of Melbourne’s top chefs, restaurants and cafes, encouraging chefs to adopt principles of local, real produce and sustainable farming and packaging. But they craved more. They decided to open their van doors to the people of Melbourne, selling their home-grown vegetables and trading flowers from the back of it. In the first part of the book, they tell you all that they know about growing, gathering, nurturing and cooking your own food. The second part of the book features over 100 delicious, creative, wholefood recipes.


Great Tales from Rural New Zealand
By Gordon McLauchlan
Bateman Publishing, paperback, 276 pages
This book contains 46 intriguing, quirky yarns on rural life, the land and the people, from acclaimed writer and commentator, Gordon McLauchlan. These untold or forgotten tales reveal many unusual aspects of country life in New Zealand, with stories ranging from rabbits, to swaggers, to kauri gum, shearers, land girls and beyond.

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Good Dog! New Zealand Writers on Dogs
By Stephanie Johnson
Penguin, hardback, 256 pages
That night a wet nose in the dark sniffed me awake.
From good dogs to bad, adored pets to hard-working sheep dogs, canine companions have settled into New Zealand hearts and also into their books. Author and dog lover Stephanie Johnson has brought together an entertaining mix of writing, including poetry, short stories and non-fiction. You’ll meet Kevin Ireland’s little hound Mighty Sid, Sue Orr’s Lakeland terrier Buddy, and Michele Leggott’s guide dog Olive. You’ll learn about the early delicacy served up to Captain Cook, what the Cote d’Azur smells like to Charlotte Grimshaw, and Joe Bennett’s advice that “The correct way to teach your dog not to climb onto your bed is to sleep on the floor.”


Knitting for the Outdoors

By Gillian Whalley-Torckler
David Bateman, Paperback,
128 pages
Knitting is back, and this gorgeous new book from NZ author Gillian Whalley-Torckler features 27 patterns from simple beanies and berets to more structured caps and brimmed hats. The projects are ideal for beginners as they are quick to knit and only need a ball or two of yarn. Within a few hours you can be wearing something that you made yourself. Gillian’s guide to yarn weights makes for easy substitution of wools, and you can unleash your creativity with different colours and styles of yarns.


The Ethical Carnivore – My Year Killing to Eat

By Louise Gray
Allen & Unwin, hard cover,
320 pages
What if you only ate animals you killed yourself? Louise Gray started her quest small, shucking oysters and catching fish. Then she learnt how to shoot pigeons and rabbits. She looks into how meat is processed, from cheap chicken to bacon and farmed fish. She researched halal slaughter and visited abattoirs to ask whether modern technology can make eating meat more humane. She even gave roadkill squirrel a try. The biggest animal she killed was a red deer stag, the smallest were insects. Her writing is liberally dashed with humour and she gets to the heart of modern anxieties about where our meat comes from.

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NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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