March fantasy

A selection of covers from our March fantasy newsletter. This newsletter comes out every month – subscribe online.

My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon A natural history of dragons by Marie Brennan The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino Firebrand by Gillian Philip The Girl In The Steel Corset by Kady Cross The mammoth book of Steampunk

A bird in a book

One of my all time favourite New Zealand Books is Buller’s Birds of New Zealand. An updated version of the famous History of the Birds of New Zealand first published in 1873 by Walter Buller, the book is full of magnificent, colourful and detailed watercolour and pencil drawings of New Zealand birds, some of which are now extinct.

Buller was actually a lawyer, but he had a life-long  passion for natural history and made himself a world authority on New Zealand wildlife as a “gentleman naturalist”. He commissioned a reknowned painter to illustrate his books, a man by the name of J G Keulemans, who illustrated many important bird books and whose New Zealand paintings have also been published separately.

The new edition of Buller’s Birds has recently arrived in libraries. Winner of the NZ Herald Book of the Year in 2012, it reproduces the illustrations using modern methods which make them “luminous and clear”. It is a book to bask in.

His only real rival in my mind is Raymond Ching, a New Zealand born artist  whose paintings of birds usually fetch six figures.

Toughen up : what I’ve learned about surviving tough times – New Zealand e-book month

Michael Hill believes the looming meltdown can be a good thing for businesses and entrepreneurs.

It is possible to succeed in a downturn – in fact it is the perfect situation in which to perfect a business. Instead of fearing the side-effects of recession, wallowing in gloom and convincing ourselves the only safe haven is at home under the blankets, entrepreneurs can use this period to their advantage. With the right attitude, you can not only survive, but emerge from the crunch with a new feeling of prosperity and strength.

Over the years, Michael Hill has had just about every possible experience in business: from lie-awake-at-night nerves to the joy of unexpected success. He’s reshaped the landscape under his feet and he has ventured into new territory. And at every moment, he has relished the excitement of it all. Once, he was an outsider in his industry; the cheeky startup whom nobody expected to succeed. The established players had no reason to view him as a threat.

Now, his business is the establishment. It dominates the markets in which it operates. Michael Hill Jeweller is a respected part of the business culture in a large part of the world – and they are continuing to expand in both size and ambition.

This book encapsulates the ingredients of Michael’s philosophy. There are no secret herbs and spices. It is not a magic recipe – it is just a collection of solid ideas, firmly grounded in reality. All these concepts are remarkable only because they make common-sense – but you’d be amazed how rarely they are fully understood and embraced in the business world.

You can read Toughen up as an e-book from our Overdrive collection.

Toughen up is also available as a paper book.