5 Books to Read When Traveling to New Zealand

December 13, 1642 is the date in which New Zealand was discovered by the Dutch navigator, Abel Tasman of the Dutch East India Company. Like all discoveries, this one was made by mistake, but the joys and treasures that New Zealand has given us are great!

Not only is New Zealand the neighbor of Australia, the motherland of the incredible an unique Lorde, or the house where the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed, but this country is also the house of wild and unique stories! So, what are some of the best New Zealand novels?

The Luminaries​ by Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction. Written in pitch-perfect historical register, richly evoking a mid-19th-century world of shipping and banking and goldrush boom and bust, it is also a ghost story, and a gripping mystery. It is a thrilling achievement for someone still in her mid-20s, and will confirm for critics and listeners that Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.

The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfiled

Innovative, startlingly perceptive and aglow with color, these fifteen stories were written towards the end of Katherine Mansfield’s tragically short life. Many are set in the author’s native New Zealand, others in England and the French Riviera. All are revelations of the unspoken, half-understood emotions that make up everyday experience.

This collection of stories is for fans of the sad and tragic Sylvia Plath and for fans of Harry Potter, Bonnie Wright, or Ginny Weasley, will narrated them to you!

The Vintner’s Luck​ by Elizabeth Knox

One summer night in 1808, Sobran Jodeau sets out to drown his love sorrows in his family’s vineyard when he stumbles on an angel. Once he gets over his shock, Sobran decides that Xas, the male angel, is his guardian sent to counsel him on everything from marriage to wine production. But Xas turns out to be a far more mysterious character. Compelling and erotic, The Vintner’s Luck explores a decidedly unorthodox love story as Sobran eventually comes to love and be loved by both Xas and the young Countess de Valday, his friend and employer at the neighboring chateau.

I just added this book to my wish list! There was something amusing on the “compelling and erotic” story of an angel and man that seems to also love a countess… so, yes… we gotta expand our listening habits, don’t judge, and honestly I feel this could be one of the best New Zealand books of the list!

Cemetery Lake​ by Paul Cleave

A chilling case of unsolved murders and mistaken identities unravels when a lake in a Christchurch cemetery releases its grip on the murky past in this exciting crime thriller. Cemetery Lake begins in a cold and rainy graveyard, where Private Detective Theodore Tate is overseeing an exhumation. But doubts are raised about the identity of the body found in the coffin.

There is a great appeal in police and crime novels. The thrill, the mystery, the need to know or already knowing who the bad ones are is what moves these plots and the readers who devour them!

The Girl in the Mirr​or by Rose Carlyle

Twin sisters Iris and Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical and insecure, Iris has long been envious of Summer’s seemingly never-ending good fortune, including her perfect husband Adam. Called to Thailand to help her sister sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes. When she makes it to land, Iris allows herself to be swept up by Adam, who assumes that she is Summer. Not only does she finally have the golden life she’s always envied, with her sister gone, she’s one step closer to the hundred-million-dollar inheritance left by her manipulative father.

I mean the drama!!! It sounds so good! The sisters go together on a “trip” and only one comes back? And the one that comes back is the same that felt jealous of the first one? I mean I am gagging!

Wild Journeys by Bruce Ansley

Bruce Ansley retraces the path of the doomed surveyor John Whitcombe across the Southern Alps; follows the raiding party of the Northern chief Te Puoho along the West Coast; sails around New Zealand’s Northern and Southern capes; walks through the Valley under the Two Thumb Range to the mythical Mesopotamia; drives from Waiheke to Wanaka (in a hurry); sets off on a hunt for the South Island’s Grey Ghost; looks deep into the heart of volcanic New Zealand and tracks our most unlikely hero, the prison escaper George Wilder. A story that will put the listener through different places and landscapes! This is the perfect escapade from the stressing reality of the Covid19 world.

You don’t have to add all of them to your wish list or start listening to them at the same time, but these are simply really good stories to stay entertained and intrigued for a while! If you get to listen to them, let us know! I am downloading right now the The Girl in the Mirror! Haha

Which book are you trying from the list?

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