October 17, 2009

Take Me Away...to New Zealand (Nonfiction Edition)

Take Me Away Saturday

As a lover of books that take place in different cultures and are about different cultures, Take Me Away is a way to share this love with you, my readers and friends!

Each week I feature a different country or culture (ex. Cherokee, Jewish, etc. that do not have a specific country per se) and list some books that can transport you there. (Note: ex. not necessarily books by a German or an Australian, but books set in Germany or Australia.)

I am keeping a map of the countries we visit and a list of the specific cultures, which you can see at the bottom of this post. Here is a list of where we've been so far:
Peru Vietnam
Triple Threat
Inuit Culture Egypt
Australian Aborigines
Brazil India
Sierra Leone
Sioux Nation
Spain Japan
Haiti Kenya
Norway Taiwan
Turkey Chile

This week we are visiting the South Pacific country of New Zealand, in honor of NZ Book Month! Here is an easy to see map of New Zealand:

For more information on this country, click here. For more info on NZ Book Month, click here.

This week the focus is on Nonfiction books. Check out last week's NZ Fiction Edition here. Click on the titles of the books to read reviews and/or purchase the book.

New Zealand, Exploring Countries of the World by Colin Monteath
All the travel experts agree—consumers want more and different experiences from travel than they did in the past. They want to deeply understand their destination before they go, feel a meaningful connection to the place while there, and return home feeling enriched and ready to share their experiences with others. With these trends in mind, and the results of extensive, proprietary market research, National Geographic Traveler has been enhanced with engaging new features and a contemporary redesign. Each guide begins with an introduction that enables the traveler to sample a bit of the culture, history, and attractions before they go and plan the trip based on their own interests and length of stay. Travelers can immerse themselves in active, in-country "Experiences" and "Off-the-Beaten-Path Excursions" they won't find anywhere else, like visiting a family in a South African township or learning to cook Maori cuisine with a renowned New Zealand chef. Other new features, such as "Insider Tips" from National Geographic photographers, writers, and experts, as well as "Not-To-Be-Missed" lists ensure that each person's visit will be one-of-a-kind and memorable. Publisher: White Star Genre: Travel, Photography

Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All: A New Zealand Story by Christina Thompson
In this involving, compassionate memoir, Christina Thompson tells the story of her romance and eventual marriage to a Maori man, interspersing it with a narrative history of the cultural collision between Westerners and the Maoris of New Zealand. Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Genre: Memoir

New Zealand ABCs: A Book About the People and Places of New Zealand by Holly Schroeder
This concept book combines an ABC format with a country study of New Zealand. Full of neat fact bites, the book covers a multitude of subjects, from Aotearoa—the name given the country by its original native settlers—to the Treaty of Waitangi, which certified Queen Victoria as leader of New Zealand in 1840. Ages 5 to 11. Publisher: Couglan Publishing Genre: Children's Books, History, Literacy

Slipping Into Paradise: Why I Live in New Zealand by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
In the tradition of "Under the Tuscan Sun" and "A Year in Provence, " here is Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson's ode to his personal paradise-his adopted home, New Zealand. After living in California, why did Masson settle- out of all the places on earth-in such a faraway land? Masson takes readers on a remarkable journey to another world, as he and his family "slip into" the paradise that is New Zealand. For anyone who has ever dreamed of finding utopia, Masson reveals a country where neighbors talk to one another and provide a sense of real community-rarely, outside of the big cities, locking their doors-and where politics are as mellow as the weather. New Zealand is also a land of spectacular scenery, made even more famous for being the shooting location for the "Lord of the Rings" films. While describing his love affair with the country and his affinity for its citizens, Masson reflects on the meaning of home, the importance of acting on intuition, and what happens when we lose our connection to the place we live in. Responding to an impulse, Masson reveals, he realized a dream. Featuring a its glossary of phrases used by New Zealanders and important Maori words, as well as the author's recommended travel itinerary, "Slipping into Paradise" is ideal for anyone planning a visit to this exquisite land. Full of photographs, delightful anecdotes, and little-known facts (jogging, for example, was invented in New Zealand), "Slipping into Paradise" is also a book for those who fantasize about dramatically changing their lives-and who imagine something better for themselves. Jeffrey Masson's message: New Zealand awaits. Publisher: Ballantine Books Genre: Travelogue

New Zealand: A Natural History by Tui De Roy and Mark Jones
This stunning book combines spectacular photography with natural history and personal experience to guide readers into "the land of the long white cloud." Second only to Hawaii in natural diversity, the New Zealand archipelago has borne centuries of environmental tumult and species destruction. At present, dedicated conservationists are working hard to revive shattered ecosystems and to restore endangered species. In a heartfelt tribute to those efforts, the authors chronicle the environmental successes and failures while revealing the islands' otherworldly organisms and plant life. All of the photographs were taken either in the wild or in conservation areas, and many reveal plants and creatures rarely before seen. Publisher: Firefly Books Genre: Environmental Conservation, Geology

Baker: The Best of International Baking from Australia and New Zealand Professionals by Dean Brettschneider
There is nothing more tantalizing than the aroma of freshly baked bread or the vision of a rich, moist cake waiting to be cut and served. This celebration of baking at its very best offers a wide-ranging collection of recipes and secrets gathered from 26 of the best bakers in Australia and New Zealand. Presenting an eclectic range of baking techniques, it includes traditional recipes infused with international influences for new twists on brioches, croissants, and focaccias, as well as innovative recipes for creating delectables such as Apple Tart Tatin, Chocolate Ecstasy Muffins, and Pumpkin Sourdough. Included is a comprehensive reference section that provides an understanding of the science and principles of baking, from an explanation of basic ingredients and formulas to an analysis of techniques and equipment. This scrumptious bakers' bible provides all of the knowledge and inspiration necessary to create these delicious indulgences-be it for the home baker, professional baker, or seasoned chef. Publisher: Tandem Press Genre: Culinary

Maori Tattooing by H.G. Robley
This classic of ethnography describes Maori tattooing (moko), which communicates the bearer's genealogy, tribal affiliation, and spirituality. This definitive study relates how moko first became known to Europeans and discusses the distinctions between men and women's moko, patterns and designs, and moko in legend and song. Features 180 black-and-white illustrations. Publisher: Dover Publications Genre: Beauty

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many others out there. Do you want to share nonfiction recommendations that feature New Zealand? Or do you want to share other thoughts? Please leave a note in the comments!

Be sure to check back for another trip in books! Here is what is coming up next:

October 24: The country of Russia (Fiction Edition)
October 31: The country of Russia (Nonfiction Edition)
November 7: The Central American country of Guatemala

The Take Me Away Map of Countries Visited:

Cultures Visited:
Sioux Culture
Australian Aborigines
Inuit Culture


  1. Wonderful post - being Australian its cheap to get airfares to New Zealand and I came back just last week from a trip to NZ (my first time overe there!)

    I only had time to explore the South Island (which apparently is completely different from the North Island) but I had such a blast I'm wanting to do a holiday there annually, and will explore the North Island next time.

    If you'd like to read about what I got up on the trip, here's my post about it:


    Thanks again for the awesome post!


  2. The book on Maori tattooing looks really interesting. :)

  3. GREAT list. I love reading NZ fiction but need to check these out too! :-)

  4. What a great post about exploring others countries/culture. Never read about NZ previously, but seems its time...thanks

  5. I am really intrigued by the memoir, Come on Shore... The title alone has me hooked. :-)

  6. I would like to read Come On Shore...love the title and the story behind it. My husband and I would love to ride a motorcycle around New Zealand one of these days!

  7. I love this segment that you do! It is such a clever idea and so neat to learn about different cultures and countries!

    Good to have you back home again, Rebecca :D


  8. Golly, you can hardly see New Zealand on that map. We had several friends from New Zealand when we lived in San Diego and Candleman was in the Navy. It was great learning about their culture - the dancing, music and the food. The food was fabulous.

    Great event - this world touring. Love it.


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