Confessions of a Funeral Director: How the Business of Death Saved My Life. Caleb Wilde
This very moving and uplifting memoir about life as a young funeral director, gives the reader much to think about. The author writes a popular blog: Confessions of a Funeral Director.
The Curious Life of Krill: A Conservation Story from the Bottom of the World. Stephen Nicol
This is a book everyone concerned about the environment and conservation should read. The chapter explaining the Southern Ocean is interesting and beautifully written, and very pertinent to New Zealand.
Exactly: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World. Simon Winchester
Another excellent book from the bestselling author of Atlantic, Krakatoa, The Map That Changed the World, and others. Here he gives a fascinating history of pioneering engineers and asks fundamental questions about the pursuit of precision and what we may have lost along the way.
How Do We Look? The Eye of Faith. Mary Beard
Written as a companion to the new BBC series Civilisations, How Do We Look examines how the human figure has been portrayed in the ancient world, while The Eye of Faith examines the relationship between art and religion.
Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon: Musings of a Geriatric Starlet. Iris Apfel
Styling herself as the world's oldest teenager (she is 97!), with her characteristic dynamism and zest for life Iris muses about how she became a global contemporary icon of colour and style.
On Leopard Rock: A Life of Adventures. Wilbur Smith
A memoir from master storyteller Wilbur Smith, whose best-selling novels set in Africa were inspired by members of his own family as well as his own adventurous life.
The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill. Meaghan Wilson Anastasios
Inspired by the television series Uncharted which Sam Neill presents, and where he undertakes a deeply personal journey in the wake of Captain Cook as he navigated the Pacific. Neill examines Cook's encounters with many of the Polynesian and Aboriginal peoples already living there, and relates experiences from "both sides of the beach."
Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone. Juli Berwald
Part science, part memoir, this delightful book will have the reader wanting to know more about these fascinating creatures.
Surfing with Sartre: An Aquatic Inquiry into a Life of Meaning. Aaron James
Surfing and philosophy are a great fit in this intelligent and well-written book. There are lots of gems to savour.
A Very Human Ending: How Suicide Haunts Our Species. Jesse Bering
This superbly written, scientifically informed, and richly insightful book is a must for anyone who wants to know more about this deeply troubling topic.
Visionary Women: How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall and Alice Waters Changed Our World. Andrea Barnet
This book examines the lives and work of four extraordinary progressive female mavericks who have, each in their different fields, passionately advocated environmental consciousness and sustainability.
War Gardens: A Journey Through Conflict in Search of Calm. Lalage Snow
Written and photographed by Lally Snow, a freelance war correspondent, this surprisingly beautiful book takes us to dark places ravaged by war. We see the enduring human spirit and the need for nature.
What It's Like To Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience. Gregory Berns
Animal lovers will find this book absolutely fascinating. Neuroscientist Greg Berns shares the profound insights about animals he has achieved through his discoveries.
What To Read and Why. Francine Prose
Bestselling novelist, literary critic and essayist Francine Prose (love the name!) gives her views on good writers and writing, and extols the pleasure of solitary reading.
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Daniel Pink
Research from biology, psychology and economics are drawn together to give a very timely book on how to accomplish things in your life in the best possible way. Don't miss the last section on the joys of synchronicity!