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Recommended Reads: 22 November

With Maggie Rainey-Smith

Fleur: The Life & Times of Pioneering Restaurateur by Fleur Sullivan (Random House)

Fleur Sullivan is a South Island legend, the culinary maven responsible for not one but two iconic local restaurants. Now, at the age of 72, she's running a third, The Loan and Merc in her home town of Oamaru. Her eventful career has spanned more than 40 years. This memoir chronicles Fleur's early life cooking in a pub on the West Coast, through to setting up Dunstan House in Clyde and on to the heady days of the restaurant scene in the 1970s in Queenstown. Drawing on this range of influences, Fleur then returned to Clyde and embarked on the 20-year journey that was Olivers, using local produce and products at a time when no one else was doing so. From there she went to Moeraki and opened her world-renowned fish restaurant Fleurs Place. Everything Fleur does is touched by her warmth, vision and enthusiams, making her places the place to be.

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (Ebury Press)

1913 - Suffragette throws herself under the King's horse. 1969 - Feminists storm Miss World. Now - Caitlin Moran rewrites "The Female Eunuch" from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller. There's never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven't been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain...Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina? Why does your bra hurt? And why does everyone ask you when you're going to have a baby? Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin Moran answers these questions and more in "How To Be A Woman" - following her from her terrible 13th birthday ('I am 13 stone, have no friends, and boys throw gravel at me when they see me') through adolescence, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, fat, abortion, TopShop, motherhood and beyond.

Fantails Quilt by Gay Hay and Margaret Tolland (Whitireia)

Gay Hay and Margaret Tolland tell a big story in a deceptively simple way. Their touch is powerful but light. There is much to talk about behind the elegant pictures and evocative words. - Gavin Bishop

Follow Mother Fantail as she attempts to raise a family in the beautiful but dangerous New Zealand forest. This is a touching story about the circle of life and the perils of the forest.

Vivid pictures that capture the New Zealand bush promise to entertain the young, while providing an interactive educational resource for older children. Deep, rich colour illustrations have the characters leaping off the page and into your imagination. Sketches at the back help children to identify the plants and animals included in the book and a dedication encourages them to look after their native creatures.