'Super Natural Simple' by US baker Heidi Swanson combines whole food ingredients with practical tips. Photo / Supplied

Book Club: 10 Must-Read New Releases

From culinary guidance to a curious whodunnit — lose yourself in these new titles

This One Sky Day by Leone Ross 
Set in the islands of Popisho, an imagined Caribbean-like archipelago where each citizen is born with a God-given gift, called “cors”, ranging from the superhero-esque (extreme strength, lightning speed) to the quotidian (knowing what someone should eat or when someone will die), Leone Ross’s third novel has been 15 years in the making. This is a deeply imaginative, time-won cocktail of comedy and tragedy that is as much a fantastical love story as it is a meditation on addiction and colonialism. Allen & Unwin, $33

Hummingbird Salamander by Jeff VanderMeer
A note and two taxidermies (a hummingbird and a salamander) find cybersecurity consultant Jane Smith embroiled in the disappearance of a probable eco-terrorist in this cryptic speculative thriller from the author of Annihilation. In a quest that leaves few answers until its jolting end, Jane and readers alike are impelled towards questioning what one would — and strictly wouldn’t — do for an imperilled planet. HarperCollins, $33

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
From the cooler-than-thou singer-songwriter otherwise known as Japanese Breakfast comes a bare, profound memoir that explores the experience of life in the wake of her mother’s sudden death — and the memories before it happened. It’s a beautifully rendered reflection on navigating two cultures, on finding solace in the food of one’s homeland, and on healing. Pan Macmillan, $38

READ: Booksellers' Favourite Books Of All Time

Rangikura by Tayi Tibble
There are high expectations for Tayi Tibble’s second poetry collection — her first, Poukahangatus, won the Jessie Mackay Best First Book of Poetry Award in 2019 — and Rangikura follows in the same tradition: the poet and writer has once again penned something as bright and lush as the cover that frames it. Victoria University Press, $25

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz
Alice, the posthumous narrator and unidentified Jane Doe of this engrossing murder mystery, delivers the story of her life until death. Yet the novel, which laces its course with Ruby, a young Melbournian who finds Alice’s body in the Hudson, doesn’t rely on a whodunnit denouement. This is a surprising, and surprisingly uplifting, debut from New Plymouth’s new voice. Allen & Unwin, $33

COOKBOOKS

Simply Food by Eleanor Ozich 
Self-taught food maven Eleanor Ozich has compiled 80 recipes that can each be made in 15 minutes. Think a throw-things-together approach to simple dishes with plenty of lavishness. Penguin Random House, $45

Super Natural Simple by Heidi Swanson
The California-based blogger and New York Times bestseller has devised 120 vegetarian recipes made of whole foods and a handful of ingredients. Hardie Grant Books, $45

READ: The Best Cookbooks Of The Year

'Super Natural Simple' by US baker Heidi Swanson combines whole food ingredients with practical tips. Photo / Supplied

The Book of Difficult Fruit by Kate Lebo
The award-winning US baker has made an A-Z compendium of 26 deliciously difficult fruits and their uses. It is, in a sense, an organised food history, though you could also call it a memoir and a left-of-field recipe book. Read for the obscure fruit facts, stay for the pie-making how-tos. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $46

Penang Local by Aim Aris and Ahmad Salim
Malaysia’s food capital is rendered in sharp, delicious focus in this cookbook from restaurateurs Aim Aris and Ahmad Salim. Craft roti jala, a type of netted pancake, or a lemongrass-infused laksa, through 70 variously approachable (and oft spicy) recipes. Smith Street Books, $45

Monk: Light and Shadow on the Philosopher's Path by Yoshihiro Imai
Essays and recipes combine in this monograph from the chef of 14-seat, omakase-style restaurant Monk, in Kyoto, where guests’ meals are based on whatever strikes Yoshihiro Imai’s fancy. It’s a story of makers, from foresters to fishmongers, and an insight into a fresh kind of wood-fired cooking where pizza has perhaps never been more purposeful. Phaidon, $70

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