Going raw

Cover image for Liquid RawRaw food. Unadulterated food. Food that has no heat applied to it. Could you go totally raw?

There’s been a flurry of new books on raw food diets which could help you on your way, including :

Two key subject terms are : raw foods and raw food diet.

Cover imageAnd for the dogs in your life : Raw and natural nutrition for dogs.

And there’s even one for those who crave the sweet side of life:  Jessica’s raw chocolate recipes.

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea (which I don’t think you can have anyway on a raw diet since there’s heat involved),  but why not try a raw meal once a week and see how energised you feel afterwards. Ripe Recipes has a delicious beetroot & carrot raw salad that is the bee’s knees.

While I imagine it might be easier to be a raw food advocate in summer, or perhaps in a warmer climate, there are folks in Christchurch who eat a raw food diet throughout the year, so it can be done.

If you are interested in meeting other raw foodies, then you could make contact with the Raw Vegan group via the Christchurch Vegetarian Centre.

Decluttering – do you need help?

Cover imageDo you want to achieve the beautiful interiors as mentioned in an earlier post? Perhaps you need to declutter your house (and maybe your life) first.

If you need a gentle nudge in the right direction, and a good laugh to get you started, then I can recommend Lessons in letting go : confessions of a Hoarder. The author, Corinne Grant, was a regular contributor on the tv show Rove and I’m impressed that she laid bare her embarrassing hoarding secrets so publicly in this book.

Once you realise that you are not alone at filling your house with stuff that you don’t really need, then you could start to re-organize your house with the help of these titles :

Cover imageBecome the ultimate TradeMe junkie and make some money while decluttering your life with Trade Me Success Secrets. Just remember you’re there to sell, and not to buy more stuff to fill up your house.

If you are up for the ultimate decluttering challenge, you could take up the 100-thing challenge like Dave Bruno to pare down your belongings to 100 items.

Think you could pare down your life to that extreme?

Dig up your lawn!

Cover imageGiven the rising cost of food and petrol, as well as continued concern about food miles and food origins, it seems that the once-subversive idea of not having a lawn is far less controversial than it once was.

There’s a growing number of people who have decided to permanently get rid of their lawn and grow food instead. Here’s two books to get you started:

We’ve got plenty of books to help you on your way to growing your own food. Try a subject search for :

If community gardens are more your thing, check out:

On yer bike! Christchurch loves cycles

Cover image for I love my bikeWith all this talk of folks wanting more cycleways and cycle lanes emerging as a theme on shareanidea, I figure it must mean that Christchurch folks love to get on bikes and ride.

My trusty steed is certainly reliable (a puncture or three notwithstanding given the current state of the roads), but perhaps not as elegant or funky as the bikes in I love my bike – although I think there’d be plenty of cool and stylish bikes throughout Canterbury to rival those featured in the book.

Here’s a selection of gorgeous new books on bikes :

So whatever your biking style, as a regular weekend biker, a commuter cyclist or an avid hill climber, be inspired by these books and don’t forget to post your thoughts of a cycle-friendlier city on shareanidea.

Soundtrack for a book

Cover image for Zoo CityThere’s plenty of soundtracks for movies, but I have’t come across a soundtrack for a book before.

UK publisher Angry Robot published Zoo City by Lauren Beukes in 2010, and now African Dope has produced a soundtrack to go with the book.

So far the brief listen I have had fits with my memory of reading the book and I’m now going to re-read the book alongside the soundtrack to see what the experience is like (and given that I rarely re-read books, this will be a quirky multisensory experiment).

Let me know if you know of other book soundtracks.

Want to try something new in your lunchbox?

CoverBored already of making your lunch each day for work? Tired of filling the kids lunchboxes with the same old things? It’s time to try something new!

Be inspired by the wonderful art of bento.

Simply put, bento is the Japanese concept of a lunch box filled with single portions of deliciousness. You may have come across the similar idea of a tiffin from India, the distinctive stackable metal containers of single servings.

Makiko Itoh’s book Just Bento will give you ingredients lists, timelines for cooking and ideas for making everything kawaii (trans. cute).

CoverSo get your library card to the ready and put your holds on :

Make sure you snap some pictures to share on Flickr, and see our page on school lunches – it includes some tips on creating interesting lunches provided by Canterbury District Health Board dietitian Nicola Fraher.

2048 – what will our world look like?

Cover imageOn 10 December, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. While the intent may be clear, are human rights actually enforceable?

At the 100th anniversary in 2048, how will the world look a century on from the adoption of the Universal Declaration?

A recent book by J. Kirk Boyd, 2048 : Humanity’s agreement to live together opens up the discussion about the international movement for enforceable human rights. The 2048 Project aims to create an agreement that will guarantee global human rights and the rule of law, and have it in place by 2048.

Find out more information about Human Rights on our Internet Gateway, or find titles on human rights in our collection.

Where’s your favourite cabbage tree?

A horse & buggy travel through cabbage trees in Long Valley, North Canterbury

Following up on Marion’s post about secret gardens in the city, and given that Tī Kōuka is a ‘symbol for our city’, I want to know where your favourite cabbage tree is in the Canterbury.

My personal favourite is in my neighbour’s yard (not far to go!). So where’s yours? On the banks of Avon River? Tucked up in Heathcote Valley?

Find out about the history and importance of Tī Kōuka here.

Check out some other heritage photos of cabbage trees, in Lyttelton, on the River Avon, near the Worcester Street Bridge. Wonder if any of them are still there today …

Freda Du Faur makes it to the top

Although Freda Du Faur was born in Australia, she is a significant figure in New Zealand’s alpine history.

3 December 2010 marks the hundred year anniversary of Freda Du Faur’s historic ascent of Aoraki Mount Cook, with guides Peter Graham and David Thomson. Te Ara has a photo of Freda with Peter and Alec Graham here.

As a woman, Freda du Faur initially received a fair amount of criticism of her chosen sport. As she writes,

I was the first unmarried woman … to climb in New Zealand, and in consequence I received all the hard knocks until one day when I awoke more or less famous in the mountaineering world, after which I could and did do exactly as seemed to me best.

Having made successful climbs, many of them first ascents, of a myriad of mountains, including Mt Cook, Mt Dampier, Mt Sefton and Mt Tasman, she was soon recognised as a capable amateur climber and continued to climb in New Zealand until March 1913, before heading to England in 1914.

Short stories – love ’em? hate ’em?

I love ’em. Delicious snacks of stories. Every word counts. Morsels of cleverness.

CoverI recently finished a new short story anthology edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio called, Stories : all-new tales. Fantastic. Enjoyable. Intriguing. Beguiling. Creepy. I didn’t read everything, as some stories just didn’t appeal, but there’s plenty here to dip into.

I prefer anthologies with lots of authors over a collection by one author, and this book is a treasure-trove of goodies by well-known and less-known authors.

Neil Gaiman’s Introduction delighted me beyond measure. He succinctly captures the whole point of fiction. This section alone is worth borrowing this anthology.

I thoroughly enjoyed the opening tale by Roddy Doyle – despite it’s weird and gruesome topic. I was intrigued by Jodi Picoult‘s story – it’s a change from her best-selling blockbusters. I meandered through Joe Hill‘s story – which is a work of art on the page with roving typography adding a different perspective to the story on the page.

From first timers like Kat Howard (her first published story appears in this anthology) through to Joyce Carol Oates and Michael Moorcock, there’s also plenty of well-known authors, across a range of genres, to whet your appetite, from Diana Wynne Jones, Peter Straub, Jeffery Deaver, Richard Adams and Chuck Palahniuk.