Thursday, November 27, 2008


John Lloyd & John Mitchinson
Faber & Faber Hardcover – NZ$35

For a quotation nut like me this new collection from the QI elves ( is tremendous fun and a more than worthy addition to my largish collection of books of quotations, (over 40 at last count). They gathered a whole raft of funny, sometimes true, quotes from the best minds, many contemporary, and organized them into more than 400 subjects.

A Spotter’s Guide
Nick Baker – Icon Books - $39.99

Journalist Nick Baker invents then dissects the Groovy Old Men phenomenon with interviews with experts and archetypes like designer Sir Paul Smith, radical Tariq Ali, Glastonbury co-founder Andrew Kerr, and Peter Jenner, the original manager of Pink Floyd, along with not so groovy old rockers.
Baker reckons that groovy old men are part of a new and growing breed. I must try and get a New Zealand group going! I wonder if I might make the grade?

Real advice from real women for real life
Kate Reardon – Headline - $34.99

A fun book, a stocking stuffer for sure.
Kate Reardon has been Fashion Editor at Tatler (at age 21), has been a columnist for various newspapers including The Times and is currently a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair.
Although the book is great fun it is also filled with serious tips on every subject you can think of from how to write a letter of condolence and how to get children to eat vegetables to how to get oil off a driveway when all else makes no difference to how to get more juice from a lemon. There are twenty section including cooking, dating, buying presents, dieting, car, gardening and f course, beauty tips.
Here is my favourite:
How to stop a pan from boiling over, e.g. when making pasta or rice- Place a wooden spoon across the pan and the bubbles will not rise above it.

Edited by Francis Payne & Ian Smith
Hodder Moa - $49.99

This is the 61st edition of this goldmine of information on New Zealand cricket at all levels and it is the 26th under the current editors -
covers twelve months on the cricketing calendar, including all the big action from the
men's and women's games.
The Almanack also has its usual detailed coverage of domestic cricket including State Championship, State Shield, State Twenty20, State League, Hawke Cup
and age-group cricket.
As ever, all the cricket is backed up by a detailed records section and and
a fascinating collection of the season's happenings.

Editors Francis Payne and Ian Smith are New Zealand's foremost cricket statisticians and have been editing the Cricket Almanack for many years. Payne, in particular, is well known to all cricket
followers. He is a regular guest on both radio and television as well as fulfilling the role as chief
statistician for New Zealand Cricket.

John Little – Macmillan - $39.99

This is the remarkable story of a truly remarkable woman, Dr.Catherine Hamlin. I picked the book up and thought to myself I’ll just have a quick read of the Prologue and leave the rest. Yeah, right. Warning. Do not read the Prologue unless you have time to read the rest of the book. It is totally arresting..

Dr.Catherine Nicholson graduated from Sydney University Medical School in 1946, later married NZ doctor Reginald Hamlin and in 1959 they travelled to Ethiopia to establish a school of midwifery in Addis Ababa. Fifteen years later they founded Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital to help the victims of fistula – devastating injuries caused by obstructed labour in childbirth, which condemn women to a lifetime of incapacity and degradation.

Almost five decades and over 30,000 operations later, and now aged 83, Catherine, a widow, (Reg died in 1993), is working as hard as ever helping women overcome thus cruel affliction.
I’m not surprised she has been liked to Mother Theresa. The woman is a Saint in my book. She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and has been awarded honorary fellowships by medical associations all over the world.
A truly inspiring story.

1 comment:

Vanda Symon said...

I was in the UBS chatting to the wonderful Bronwyn yesterday and we were discussing book cover trends and the number of books coming out in the cover style of Kate Summerscale's The Suspicions of Mr Whicher. I see Advanced Banter is yet another one with that antiqued print olde world style. I wonder who started it all?

I think the Groovy Old Men cover is superb, and yes, of course you'd qualify.