Book reviews: December 2018

Our Farm Trader team share some of our fave reads in time for you to add them to your Santa list

Becoming-Michelle-Obama.jpgBecoming Michelle Obama

By Michelle Obama

RRP $55

Spend your summer getting to know Michelle Obama, one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. In her memoir, the former First Lady shares the life experiences that shaped her, recounting her journey from Chicago to Princeton, to the White House, and beyond.

Fire-and-Blood.jpgFire and Blood

RRP $49.99By George RR Martin

It’s been a long wait – eight years to be precise – for Game of Thrones fans. The eagerly-awaited sixth instalment in A Song of Ice and Fire series brings to life the Targaryens in Westeros. It’ll keep you occupied for a fair chunk of time, as the 700-plus book is just the first volume of the two-part history.


No Spin

By Shane Warne with Mark Nicholas

RRP $55

Indulge your passion for cricket without expending the energy. Discover Shane Warne’s family history and childhood, as well as the controversies that surrounded him (on and off the field). No Spin touches the highs and lows of his cricketing career and personal life.

the-fox.jpgThe Fox

By Frederick Forsyth

RRP $37

When the Pentagon, the NSA, and the CIA are hacked simultaneously, it leads the British and US governments on a hunt to find the hacker. Surprisingly, the mastermind turns out to be an 18-year-old. The game is soon afoot to capitalise on his talents.

Pearal.jpgThe Pearl Thief

By Fiona McIntosh

RRP $37

If you’re looking for a summer read to immerse yourself in, Fiona McIntosh once again proves she is the mistress of storytelling, with a compulsive tale of love and hope, intertwined with historical fiction and intriguing relationships. One for the Christmas stocking.

For the kids


Rosie Joy, Here, There and Everywhere

By Sophie Siers, illustrated by Judith Trevelyan

RRP $19.95

Kiwi farm stories are always popular with adults as well as their target audience. The farming background of Hawke’s Bay author Sophie Siers is obvious in this tale of farm girl Rosie Joy, bringing to life farm and family adventures, illustrated with charming pencil drawings by fellow-Kiwi Judith Trevelyan.

Elastic Island Adventures


Jewel Lagoon & Port Mugaloo

By Karen McMillan

RRP $19.99 each

Making children’s books relatable to a young audience is half the battle with a successful read. Jewel Lagoon features South Pacific adventures, plenty of fantasy action-adventure, characters packed with personality, and a group of four children you’ll wish you were part of. Port Mugaloo is the second book in the series reuniting readers with some of their favourite characters with fresh adventures.

Kensy and Max Disappearing Act

Kensy-and-Max.jpgBy Jacqueline Harvey

RRP $21

Introduce young readers to the delights of age-appropriate spy adventures. Join twins Kensy and Max, as they train to become agents at a covert international spy network. Keeping secrets of their own, a school trip to Italy becomes a full-blown adventure.

Mummy, Fairy and Me

mummy-fairy-and-me.jpgBy Sophie Kinsella

RRP $14.99

If you’re an avid reader, you’ll be familiar with author Sophie Kinsella. Now she brings her sense of fun to a series of children’s books, which came about from making up bedtime stories for her own children. Easy to read and plenty to keep young readers entertained.

Showtym Adventures Annual

showtym.jpgBy Kelly Wilson

RRP $24

If you’ve got a pony-mad youngster, this is a must for the Christmas stocking. Packed with pictures, games, information and plenty of opportunities to personalise the album, it’ll keep your reader occupied (and happy) long enough for you to recover from the excesses of December.

For the Foodies

Ripe Recipes


A Third Helping

By Angela Redfern + the Ripe Deli team

RRP $60

Whipping up luscious recipes is clearly something the team at Ripe Deli are familiar with. If you’re not fortunate enough to have sampled these first hand, now you can create your own culinary magic with this generous offering of exciting recipes. If you’re after a show stopper for Christmas, have a go at the Tiramisu Layer Cake.

Eat Your Greens

eat_your_greens.jpgBy Pete Evans

RRP $39.99

With a widespread return to shopping at farmers markets and using local produce, this is the perfect book to accompany a healthier lifestyle focus for 2019. Pete Evans sure knows how to work his greens, transforming a handful of leaves into something quite extraordinary. And no Pete Evans book would be complete without his customary enthusiasm for educating around the value of real food.

Yummy Easy Quick Around the World


By Matt Preston

RRP $39.99

Award-winning food writer and television personality makes no bones about his passion for good food. And his enthusiasm is evident on every page as he takes us on a culinary journey around the globe. Treat your taste buds to an international experience and dare to try some new spices and flavour combinations. Choose your country, channel Matt and dress in theme, and enjoy.


Be in to win one of 9 books

Enter to win one of the prize books offered.

  • No Spin by Shane Warne with Mark
  • The Fox by Frederick Forsyth
  • The Pearl Thief by Fiona McIntosh
  • Rosie Joy, Here, There and Everywhere by Sophie Siers, illustrated by Judith Trevelyan
  • Elastic Island Adventures Jewel Lagoon & Port Mugaloo by Karen McMillan
  • Showtym Adventures Annual by Kelly Wilson
  • Ripe Recipes A Third Helping by Angela Redfern + the Ripe Deli team
  • Eat Your Greens by Pete Evans
  • Yummy Easy Quick Around the World by Matt Preston


Entries close 20 December 2018. 

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