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Naked At Lunch

Naked at Lunch is one man’s cracklingly witty, compellingly odd and oddly life-affirming journey into the subculture of nudism. Celebrated journalist Mark Haskell Smith meets, and indeed joins, those shucking off social conventions by shucking off their clothes – he hikes bareback in the Alps with a naked rambler’s society, he buys baguettes in the buff in a French resort and he meets the marginally dressed mayor of a Spanish clothes-optional municipality. But this is not just a book of naked adventures and sun-ripened genitals. It is a study of 20th-century Western cultural and social mores; a record of radical history and politics practised by those made radical by their refusal to get dressed; a heartfelt celebration of the simple joys of being alive; and a full-blooded war cry for reclaiming pride in our bodies and rejecting those who would make us ashamed.

The Book of Bitch

Writer and artist Ailie Banks is a self-proclaimed bitch. The word has been thrown at her, and the women around her, Ailie’s entire life. A bitch is stereotypically thought to be unkind, uncaring and ultimately untrustworthy. But in Ailie’s eyes, a bitch is someone who stands firm and speaks their mind in the face of sexist rhetoric. They don’t filter themselves for the comfort of others and they don’t give a single damn about meeting societal expectations. From Ambitious Bitch to Zealous Bitch, THE BOOK OF BITCH is an alphabetical tribute to the word sneered through clenched teeth at those who refuse to shrink in the face of oppression. This book shows once and for all that every bitch is multifaceted, every bitch is human and every bitch deserves to be celebrated.

Alice to Prague

In 1994, with a battered copy of Let’s Go Europe stuffed in her backpack, Tanya Heaslip left her safe life as a lawyer in outback Australia and travelled to the post-communist Czech Republic.

Dismissing concerns from family and friends that her safety and career were at risk, she arrived with no teaching experience whatsoever, to work at a high school in a town she’d never heard of, where the winters are frigid and plunge to sub-zero temperatures.

During her childhood on an isolated cattle station in Central Australia, Tanya had always dreamed of adventure and romance in Europe but the Czech Republic was not the stuff of her dreams. On arrival, however, she falls headlong into misadventures that change her life forever.

This land of castles, history and culture opened up to her and she to it. In love with Prague and her people, particularly with the charismatic Karel, who takes her into his home, his family and as far as he can into his heart, Tanya learns about lives very different to hers.

Alice to Prague is a bittersweet story of a search for identity, belonging and love, set in a time, a place and with a man that fill Tanya’s life with contradictions.

The Wine O'Clock Myth

Women around the globe are buying and consuming alcohol at alarming rates never seen before. But is it doing us any favours? Is it really that treat or reward that we deserve? Lotta Dann thinks not.

In The Wine O’Clock Myth, Lotta takes an in-depth and eye-opening look at women’s drinking habits. Written through the lens of her own story and her work in the field of addiction and recovery, Lotta explores the privileged position alcohol holds in our society, the way the liquor industry targets women and the damaging ‘Wine Mum’ social media culture.

She reveals the damage alcohol is causing to women: physically, emotionally and socially; and the potential reasons why so many women are drinking at harmful levels.

And she talks to a number of brave women who share detailed, intimate stories about their personal relationships with alcohol. Stories that are at times brutal and heartbreaking, but also inspiring and heart lifting.

The Wine O’Clock Myth is a powerful, important book that may well change the way you think about alcohol forever.

How to Walk a Dog

‘The book of the year. THE book on dogs. And people.’ Andrew Dickens, Newstalk ZB

Mike White began walking his SPCA-rescue huntaway, Cooper, at Wellington’s dog parks ten years ago, and since then has become part of a remarkable community of people and their pets.

Written with wit, wisdom and heartbreaking poignancy, How to Walk a Dog is a story anyone who has ever owned or loved a dog will relate to. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will learn some of the secrets of living with a dog.

Illustrated with drawings from acclaimed cartoonist Sharon Murdoch.

Beyond the High Blue Air

Aged just 29, gifted, athletic and loved, Lu Spinney’s son Miles was on the brink of a brilliant future. Then a snowboarding accident changed everything. He suffered a devastating head injury and was left in a coma.

With unflinching honesty, Lu has written a passionate, urgent account of the years following Miles’s accident, revealing his existence imprisoned in a limbo of fluctuating consciousness, at times agonizingly aware of his predicament. Beyond the High Blue Air explores the nature of self when all means of communication are lost, the anguish of witnessing Miles’s suffering and the slow-dawning recognition by his family that, though Miles had been prevented from dying, he had not been brought back to a meaningful life. Beyond the High Blue Air is a bold, raw, courageous memoir: a testament to the fierce power of maternal love.

Wild at Heart

Miriam Lancewood’s first book Woman in the Wilderness told her story of living for seven years in the wilderness of New Zealand with her husband, hunting and gathering, and roaming the mountains like nomads.

Miriam and Peter left New Zealand to explore other wild places. They walked 2000 km through the forests of Europe and along the coast of Turkey, mostly camping under trees and cooking by fire.

They lived on the edge, embracing insecurity, and found the unexpected: sometimes it was pure bliss, sometimes it was terrifying.

But when they moved on to the Australian desert, they met with disaster.

This gripping story is about life and death, courage and the power of love.

Sunshine

There are a lot of Ambers in the stripping world. And Aprils and Summers, and Skys and Rains. There are quite a few gems: Sapphires, Diamonds, Rubies and even an Amethyst. And exotic creatures: Tigers, Cheetahs, Phoenixes and Kitties. Plenty of weather conditions, like Misty, Stormy and Cloudy. There are, of course, a selection of fruits: Cherry, Berry, Peaches and Apple. And confectionery to go with it, like Candy, Lolly and Caramel. And then there are the generic hot-girl/sexy names: Lolita, Tiffany, Chanel, Lulu, Sasha and Brigitte.

Meet Sunshine. That’s her stage name. Follow her downstairs into the shadowy underworld of the so-called Gentlemen’s Clubs, where men hide in dark corners and pay gorgeous women like Sunshine to take their clothes off. Follow her to the private rooms where the lap dances happen, the hustle plays out and the real money flows. Sit with her in the back room with the other dancers, her friends and colleagues, who laugh and cry and rake in the dollars and party as though a zombie apocalypse is on the horizon.

Sunshine tells us in her own brutally honest and audacious words what it’s like to work as a stripper, both in Australia and overseas.

Confessional, confronting, revealing, wildly entertaining and often laugh-out-loud funny, Sunshine: The diary of a lap dancer will take you into a world that most of us can only imagine and that others know all too well. But only the dancers know what really goes on – and this book shows you their world stripped bare.

The Accidental Teacher

With his sharp wit and poet’s eye, Tim Heath writes of a forty-year career, mostly in New Zealand but also in Samoa. He’s worked in small country schools, in big city schools, at the Correspondence School, in primary schools and in secondary schools. He’s been a principal and a deputy principal.

Teaching wasn’t his first choice, but once in the classroom he found his calling.

Tim is a passionate advocate for children and their learning, and his educational philosophy is illustrated through touching anecdotes of children and their struggles and successes.

Written against the backdrop of changing times in New Zealand, this memoir is a deep dive into education and its place in our world.

My Inner Sky

‘This book is a reminder that healing is humbling, that resilience is beautiful, that there is joy in choosing yourself’ – Aminatou Sow

‘A timely and modern prompt to allow, even celebrate, the full spectrum of emotion and experience into our lives, the pain, the splendour, and the many, many nuances in between.’ – Zoe Foster Blake

A whole, beautiful life is only made possible by the wide spectrum of feelings that exist between joy and sorrow. In this insightful and warm book, writer and illustrator Mari Andrew explores all the emotions that make up a life, in the process offering insights about trauma and healing, the meaning of home and the challenges of loneliness, finding love in the most unexpected of places – from birds nesting on a sculpture to a ride on the subway – and a resounding case for why sometimes you have to put yourself in the path of magic.

My Inner Sky empowers us to transform everything that’s happened to us into something meaningful, reassurance that even in our darkest times, there’s light and beauty to be found.