The Crown: The Inside History by Robert Lacey, Allen & Unwin.
The exquisite Netflix drama has refocused the royal spotlight on the Queen, as it shows the early, complex years of her monarchy and the private and public battles she had to face. In this gorgeous book, royal biographer Robert Lacey – the historical consultant on both The Crown and Helen Mirren’s movie The Queen – has created the ultimate guide to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. The book is also filled with beautiful photos of the royals and their on-screen counterparts.
My Mother’s Kitchen, Potton & Burton.
There’s nothing quite like Mum’s home cooking, even when you’re a famous chef. More than 70 of New Zealand’s favourite foodies, from magazine writers to celebrity chefs and TV cooks, share favourite recipes from their mother’s repertoire. Delicious and achievable, the eclectic mix reflects the evolution of good Kiwi cooking and is worthy of a place in anyone’s kitchen.
The New Zealand Cat by Rachael Hale McKenna, Allen & Unwin.
Kiwi photographer Rachael Hale McKenna has already charmed us with the pampered Parisian pussycats in her book The French Cat. Now she’s brought her skills home and travelled around New Zealand photographing the fluffiest, cheekiest, smoochiest and smuggest kitties our country has to offer. There are back-stories for each of the felines, like Valrhona, who survived the Christchurch earthquakes, Eleanor the Catton, named after our own Man Booker Prize winner, or Chincy, Hooper, Prince Andre and Mirry, a group of foster kittens. Delightful!
Classic Planes by Ivor Wilkins, Penguin/Random House.
New Zealand’s aviation heritage is celebrated in stunning style in Ivor Wilkin’s weighty coffee table tome. Magnificent photographs accompany the stories of our planes, their pilots and the dedicated enthusiasts who lovingly restore the old machines to their former glory. Aviation buffs will be flying high with happiness to find this under the Christmas tree.