Non-fiction Highlights

New Non Fiction

A selection of new arrivals to our non-fiction collection

The Alarmist: Fifty Years Measuring Climate Change. David Lowe
New Zealand climate scientist Dave Lowe has been at the forefront of climate change research since before the term was coined. It has been a constant battle, especially in the 1990's, for his voice to be heard. Now he mentors the new generation of climate activists.

The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World. Virginia Postrel
The story of textiles is as old as humanity itself, and it is rare for a civilisation not to engage in spinning, weaving or trading in cloth. The quest for dyes and fabrics was a driving force for technological development; weaving is proposed as the the beginning of binary code - and arguably even mathematics. A fascinating history of civilisation's original global commodity.

The Hidden History of Coined Words. Ralph Keyes
This fascinating and engaging book takes the reader on a convoluted journey in search of the beginnings of words we take for granted such as crowdsource, mojo, knickers, nerd, and so many more.  

How Stella Learned To Talk: The Groundbreaking Story of the World's First Talking Dog. Christina Hunger
A speech-language pathologist brings home a new puppy called Stella. During the day she works with toddlers with delayed language, at home she works with Stella using similar techniques. The results are astounding.

Jacinda Ardern: Leading With Empathy. Supriya Vani and Carl A Harte
An exploration of the influences - personal, social, political and emotional - that have shaped our phenomenal prime minister Jacinda Ardern.

Jungalow: Decorate Wild. Justina Blakeney
In a book brimming with bold style, pattern and colour, Blakeney relates personal narratives and provides practical advice to communicate how her interior decoration is inspired by her love of nature.

Mengele: Unmasking the Angel of Death. David G Marwell
A well-researched and measured biography of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, notoriously responsible for grotesque human experiments in Auschwitz. He escaped capture at the end of the war and remained at large until an international search in 1985 located his remains in a cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil. View an interview with the author at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement. Daniel Kahneman
Noise is defined as variability in judgements that should be identical, for instance 2 doctors giving 2 different diagnoses for an identical patient. This is another interesting, thought-provoking and accessible book by an award-winning psychologist.

One Pot, Pan, Planet: A Greener Way To Cook for You, Your Family and the Planet. Anna Jones
Award-winning UK cook Anna Jones has written another wonderful cookbook, this time there is an emphasis on low food wastage, energy consumption, food miles and other sustainability issues.

Outlandish: Walking Europe's Unlikely Landscapes. Nick Hunt
Acclaimed author of Where the Wild Winds Are explores on foot four alienated landscapes of Europe, which transport the traveller in place and time - Scotland's arctic, Poland's jungle, Spain's desert and Hungary's steppe.

The Plague Cycle: The Unending War between Humanity and Infectious Disease. Charles Kenny
This interesting book is packed with information about pandemics. It reveals the relationship between civilisation, globalisation, prosperity and infectious disease over the last five millennia.

Scenes From Prehistoric Life: From the Ice Age to the Coming of the Romans. Francis Pryor
The latest title from distinguished archaeologist, author, and consultant on the Time Team television programme. Spanning a time period from c. 900,000BC to 43AD, the book features fifteen profiles of specific ancient landscapes which reveal how prehistoric human lives were lived.

The Sleeping Beauties and Other Stories of Mystery Illness. Suzanne O'Sullivan
This is a riveting exploration of the phenomenon of psychosomatic disorders, mass hysteria and other culture-bound syndromes occurring around the world.

The Soul of a Woman. Isabel Allende
Acclaimed Chilean-American author Isabel Allende gives the reader an inspiring account of her life so far as a feminist, an advocate for justice and equality, and as a passionate woman.

A Swim in the Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Masterclass on Writing, Reading and Life. George Saunders
Saunders, Booker prize winning author and Professor of the MFA creative writing program at Syracuse University, uses short stories by four Russian authors - Chekhov, Tolstoy, Gogol and Turgenev - to illuminate the craft of writing fiction and how it is more relevant than ever. Interviewed on Radio New Zealand.

The Ten: Stories Behind the Fashion Classics. Lauren Cochrane
The Ten tells the stories of 10 perfect pieces - white T-shirt, miniskirt, hoodie, jeans, ballet flat, Breton top, biker jacket, little black dress, stiletto and trench - which, despite trends coming and going, remain the epitome of cool.

The Torlonia Marbles. Collecting Masterpieces. Salvatore Settis
The Torlonia Marbles is one of the most important collections of classical Greek and Roman sculptures still in private hands. This book is a catalogue of sculptures featured in the unprecedented exhibition at Villa Caffarrelli in Rome until 2022, from when it will tour globally.

The World before Us: How Science is Revealing a New Story of Our Human Origins. Thomas Higham
Tom Higham is Professor of Archaeological Science at Oxford University and is at the forefront of research into new species of humans such as the Denisovans. This book, published in 2021, is the latest word on the fascinating and ever-changing subject of human prehistory.