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Trial of Strength: Adventures and Misadventures on the Wild and Remote Subantarctic Islands Shona Riddell (Exisle Publishing, $39.99)
The Subantarctic Islands are among the least visited pieces of land with any connection to this country. Shona Riddell’s great- great- greatgrandmother was born on one of these remote, cold, windswept, barren – you name it, they have a way to be unwelcoming – rocks. Naturally curious, Riddell travelled there to try to get a sense of what her ancestor’s life would have been like. She found a locale of “otherworldly plants and curious wildlife” and a connection with her family and her past she could not have acquired in any other way. Historic and contemporary photographs and illustrations, along with the stories of many of the characters who chose to journey here in days gone by, make for fascinating insights. This book may not ignite a tourist boom, but it will certainly satisfy many people’s curiosity about these mysterious places.