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WWI Soldiers and Archived Records

For New Zealanders April 25th is the day we remember those from our nation who left our shores to fight in wars. For many of us it’s the day we wear a red poppy and perhaps attend the local memorial service. The number attending the memorial services is growing and all day television coverage with interviews and war documentaries are now part of our Anzac Day experience. Next year the chance to attend the ANZAC memorial service, to be held at Anzac Cove, to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli was much sought after and a ticket ballot was announced for family members of those who fought at Gallipoli. A newspaper article War records minefield by Michelle Duff in the Sunday Star Times highlighted the fact that sometimes the families did not know the details of family member’s war records and that a common misconception was the thinking that if your family member fought in the First World War then they would have been at Gallipoli. This brings us to the question, do you know where your relatives served in World War One?

Genealogy is a popular topic here at Wellington City Libraries and we have a number of resources to help you discover if your relative did indeed serve at Gallipoli. Your first point of call may be our Genealogy Popular Topics Page. Here you can find general information on researching your family history. From this page there are links to Military Resources. This page is a wealth of information for finding out about your family members’ military service.

Some of the most popular and useful links are

Ancestry Library
Available from internet PCs within our libraries. Contains millions of records accessible in one powerful search. Access is through the My Gateway page on our library website.

It includes;
- NZ Army WWI Nominal Rolls, 1914-1918,
- New Zealand Army WWI Roll of Honour, 1914-1919,
- New Zealand Army WWI Reserve Rolls, 1916-1917,
- New Zealand Army WWI Casualty Lists, 1914-1919, and
- New Zealand Army WWII Nominal Rolls, 1939-1948.

Archives New Zealand offer a reference guide to the war information they hold in PDF form.

You can search the National Archives Archway Database to discover what military records are held by Archives and it also searches on probate records. Searching your relatives name may give you the names and dates of the files, record numbers and where the files are kept.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission The “Debt of Honour Register” is the Commission’s database listing the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars and the 23,000 cemeteries, memorials and other locations world-wide where they are commemorated. The register can also be searched for details of the 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action in the Second World War. Information includes age, date of death, parents and parents’ place of residence.

With the celebrations and remembrance of the centenary of the declaration and start of World War One there are also many new books being published on World War One topics. The following two are good sources of material to be able to learn about the soldiers experiences through the eyes of the soldiers who were there.

Syndetics book coverFighting for empire: New Zealand and the Great War of 1914-1918 / Christopher Pugsley.
“One hundred thousand New Zealanders sailed to war between 1914 and 1918, and at the end of four years of conflict the country had suffered 60,000 casualties, including 18,000 dead. Dr Chris Pugsley’s account of the First World War (first published as a section in Scars on the Heart: 200 Years of NZ at War, Bateman, 1996), is a tale of learning about war the hard way, by bitter and costly experience, drawing on photographs, letters and diaries to examine the impact of war through the eyes of those involved. This lively mix of text, photographs and soldiers, own accounts covers all aspects of the war: from NZ’s seizing German Samoa five days after war was declared, ANZAC Cove and Gallipoli, patriotism at home, Mounted Rifles in Sinai and Palestine, the role of our nurses, the Western Front, and `Sea Dogs and Flying Aces’.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn awfully big adventure : New Zealand World War One veterans tell their stories / selected and edited by Jane Tolerton from interviews for the World War One Oral History Archive.
“[On] New Zealand Listener’s ’100 Best Books of 2013′. What was it like to be a New Zealand soldier in the First World War? What impact did the war have on those who returned? Let them tell you. An Awfully Big Adventure traces the reminiscences and reflections of 80 veterans interviewed for the World War One Oral History Archive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

It’s NANOWRIMO time again!

Nanowrimo 2014 SliderNovember has become synonymous with Nanowrimo, the National Novel Writing Month that “organizes events where children and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential. Our programs are web-enabled challenges with vibrant real-world components, designed to foster self-expression while building community on local and global levels”.

Wellington City Libraries and Community Spaces are this year again opening our doors to budding or more experienced writers who are making the amazing commitment of writing 50,000 words within the month of November.
Not for the faint hearted!

This is why we decided to support this literary effort and are making space for the craft and its disciples.

In the Central Library, you will find two spaces to work with fellow writers during the whole month:

Saturdays 1-29 Nov, 1-4pm in the HQCBD Room 1 on the ground floor

Sundays 2-30 Nov, 1-4pm on the north west end of the first floor (click on map below)

map of Central Library's 1st floor

If you live far from the CBD, please contact your local library or community centre for details of what is available in your area.

Read literature like a professor – Literature picks for October

It’s time for a little erudition! Add richness to your reading with three of this month’s selections – How to read literature like a professor, Reading poetry and How to be well-read. We also have a handful of instructional manuals for writers, a book of essays on female friendship, and seeing 2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War what could be more fitting than that we include a book of war poetry spanning the last hundred years?
‘Downton Abbey’ has returned to our screens once more, so this month’s light relief takes the form of the delightful little book Downton Tabby. You will be surprised at how closely these moggies resemble their actor counterparts!

Syndetics book coverThe ancient Greek hero in 24 hours / Gregory Nagy.
“The ancient Greeks’ concept of the hero was very different from what we understand by the term today, Gregory Nagy argues – and it is only through analyzing their historical contexts that we can truly understand Achilles, Odysseus, Oedipus, and Herakles. In Greek tradition, a hero was a human, male or female, of the remote past, who was endowed with superhuman abilities by virtue of being descended from an immortal god. Despite their mortality, heroes, like the gods, were objects of cult worship. Nagy examines this distinctively religious notion of the hero in its many dimensions.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHelp! for writers : 210 solutions to the problems every writer faces / Roy Peter Clark.
“The craft of writing offers countless potential problems. The story is too long. The story’s too short. Revising presents a huge hurdle. Writer’s block is rearing its ugly head. In Help! For Writers, Roy Peter Clark presents an “owner’s manual” for writers, outlining the seven steps of the writing process and addressing the 21 most urgent problems that writers face. In his trademark engaging and entertaining style, Clark offers ten short solutions to each problem.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJust between us : Australian writers tell the truth about female friendship / foreword by Helen Garner ; edited by Maya Linden, Miriam Sved, Maggie Scott, Natalie Kon-yu and Christie Nieman.
“Empathetic, supportive and respectful… Or competitive, manipulative and downright bitchy? Or somewhere in between? In Just Between Us, a host of Australia’s best-loved female writers bare all on this age-old quandary: Are female friendships all-natural and nurturing? Or are some more damaging than delightful?” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRoget’s thesaurus of words for writers : over 2,300 emotive, evocative, descriptive synonyms, antonyms, and related terms every writer should know / David Olsen, Michelle Bevilacqua, Justin Cord Hayes, and Robert Bly.
“The ultimate tool for writers! Whether you’re crafting the next great American novel or pounding away at a last-minute blog entry, there will come a time in the process when you struggle to find just the perfect word or phrase. Under the time-tested banner of Roget’s Thesaurus, this collection will quickly become the most essential tool on your desk when you’re working on your next piece.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe hundred years’ war : modern war poems / edited by Neil Astley.
“This anthology presents poems from a hundred years of war by poets writing as combatants on opposite sides, as victims, or anguished witnesses. Editor Neil Astley has created this deeply moving testament to humanity caught up in a hundred years of war.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to be well read : a guide to 500 great novels and a handful of literary curiosities / John Sutherland.
“As the annual flow of novels grows ever greater, it’s a hard job to keep up, let alone sort the wheat from the chaff. Fortunately John Sutherland is on hand to do precisely that for you, and in 500 wittily informative essays he introduces you to the very best of the world’s fiction.” (Wellington City Libraries catalogue note)

Syndetics book coverThe digested 21st century / John Crace.
“John Crace’s Digested Read first appeared in in February 2000 and has been running ever since. Each week Crace reduces a new book – anything from a Booker Prize winner to a Nigella cookery book is fair game – to 700 words in a parody of the plot, style, dialogue and themes. Or lack of them. The Digested Read has not just become an institution for readers; it is read and enjoyed by publishers and authors too. So long as it is not their book being digested.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReading poetry / Peter Barry.
“Witty, direct and articulate, Peter Barry illustrates the key elements of poetry at work, covering many different kinds of verse, from traditional forms to innovative versions of the art, such as ‘concrete’ poetry, minimalism and word-free poems. The emphasis is on meanings rather than words, looking beyond technical devices like alliteration and assonance so that poems are understood as dynamic structures creating specific ends and effects.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to read literature like a professor : a lively and entertaining guide to reading between the lines / Thomas C. Foster.
“A thoroughly revised and updated edition of Thomas C. Foster’s classic guide–a lively and entertaining introduction to literature and literary basics, including symbols, themes, and contexts–that shows you how to make your everyday reading experience more rewarding and enjoyable. While many books can be enjoyed for their basic stories, there are often deeper literary meanings interwoven in these texts.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDownton Tabby : a parody / Chris Kelly.
“Welcome to Downton Tabby. Here, the aristocrats of the animal kingdom dwell in stately splendor, sleeping, grooming, sleeping some more, and being fed by their downstairs cats, unaware that their way of life – providing work for others – is about to be swept away by the tides of history… and runaway cars. The fur will fly. This humorous parody provides essential information for preserving their Golden Age, including How to Keep a Secret at Downton Tabby, How to Argue with Lord Grimalkin About His Most Deeply Held Beliefs, and some Uninvited but Necessary Words from the Dowager.” (Syndetics summary)

New books on Computing in October

There are some fairly weighty computing topics this month, including Eye Tracking for User Experience Design, a book on configuration management, and The 4th revolution: how the infosphere is reshaping human reality.

Syndetics book coverMy Samsung Galaxy S III / Steve Schwartz.
“The friendly, full-color, task-based guide to the Samsung Galaxy S II – the year’s hottest new Android smartphone! Organized and formatted for easy, quick reference. Covers everything Samsung Galaxy S II users need to know and do: TouchWiz, phone, web, social networks, contacts, calendars, email, music, video, photos, HD video capture, sync, apps, troubleshooting, and more. Packed with tips for making the Galaxy S II fit your life. Perfect for every user, regardless of experience. Friendly, quick, and 100% practical, My Samsung Galaxy S III is the must-have companion for every Samsung Galaxy S III user.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe 4th revolution : how the infosphere is reshaping human reality / Luciano Floridi.
“Floridi (philosophy & ethics of information, Oxford Univ.; The Ethics of Information) argues that advances in information and communication technologies (ICTs) are repositioning or removing the boundaries between “real” and online environments. ICTs are no longer mere tools of interaction but constitute the infosphere, the environment in which we live. The philosophical and ethical frameworks that are relevant in this new environment are explored, especially in the realms of how we think about time, place, the self, society, and the (physical) environment…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWordPress SEO success : search engine optimization for your WordPress website or blog / Jacob Aull.
“WordPress gives you amazingly powerful SEO tools: this hands-on guide will help you make the most of them! Written specifically for WordPress users, this guide covers all you need: built-in WordPress capabilities, third-party plugins, well-integrated web resources, and more. Whether you manage a large-scale site or a personal blog, Jacob Aull will help you integrate SEO into all you do, from strategy through optimization of existing content. New to SEO? Already do it for a living? Either way, WordPress SEO Success will help you drive the traffic you want–and the value you need!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverConfiguration management : expert guidance for IT service managers and practitioners / Shirley Lacy and David Norfolk.
“Configuration management is the tracking, recording and monitoring of the elements of a business IT system and any changes and developments. Its outcome should be a container for the details of the organisation’s infrastructure and the processes that are used in the provision and management of IT services. This book provides expertise from practitioners who have implemented configuration management in a wide range of environments. It will prove invaluable to IT professionals who are implementing configuration management and also to technology-savvy business managers who need to use automated business services.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverProfessional issues in information technology / Frank Bott.
“To be effective at a senior level, IT professionals need not only appropriate technical skills and experience, but also a broad understanding of the context in which they operate. Relevant to both small and large companies, this book addresses the social, legal, financial, organisational and ethical issues faced by IT professionals such as intellectual property rights in software, computer misuse, codes of conduct, starting a company and internet law. It is designed to accompany the BCS HEQ ‘Diploma in IT’ core module: Professional Issues in Information Systems Practice. This new edition takes into account the social and legal implications of the substantial changes to legislation and technology over recent years, for example cloud computing, the Digital Economy Act and the Equality Act.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThinking with data / Max Shron.
“Many analysts are too concerned with tools and techniques for cleansing, modeling, and visualizing datasets and not concerned enough with asking the right questions. In this practical guide, data strategy consultant Max Shron shows you how to put the why before the how, through an often-overlooked set of analytical skills. Thinking with Data helps you learn techniques for turning data into knowledge you can use. You’ll learn a framework for defining your project, including the data you want to collect, and how you intend to approach, organize, and analyze the results. You’ll also learn patterns of reasoning that will help you unveil the real problem that needs to be solved…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInterface design : an introduction to visual communication in UI design / Dave Wood.
“If you want to design successful user interfaces then you need clear and effective visual communication. Interface Design will help you achieve this using a range of incisive case studies, interviews with professional designers and clear hands-on advice to help you produce user-focused front-end designs for a range of digital media interfaces. This book introduces the major elements of graphic design for digital media – layout, colour, iconography, imagery and typography, and shows how these visual communication basics can combine to produce positive interactive user experiences.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEye tracking in user experience design / [edited by] Jennifer Romano Bergstrom, PhD, Andrew Jonathan Schall.
Eye Tracking for User Experience Design explores the many applications of eye tracking to better understand how users view and interact with technology. Ten leading experts in eye tracking discuss how they have taken advantage of this new technology to understand, design, and evaluate user experience. They also explore recent advances in the technology which tracks how users interact with mobile devices, large-screen displays and video game consoles. This is an invaluable resource to those who want to learn how eye tracking can be used to better understand and design for their users.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIt began with Babbage : the genesis of computer science / Subrata Dasgupta.
“Dasgupta (Univ. of Louisiana at Lafayette) provides a comprehensive, enlightening history of the emergence of computer science as a new scientific paradigm from the time of Charles Babbage’s 19th-century machine designs through the 1960s, when many of the major subdisciplines of the field had been established. This is much more than a history of computers or even of automated computation. Rather, the author makes the case that computer science is a special type of science: different from natural science, where the object of study exists independent of human activity…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

World War I online resources for children Part 2

Over the next year many schools will have a World War One focus, requiring children to research some aspect of the war, or the war time era. The list of potential topics is long and the sheer amount of information available out there can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to find reliable information that is age-appropriate for your children. Here we have created a guide to reputable online resources that are suitable for children. This is the second of three parts to be published. They will then be available as resources on one page, which we will provide a link to once it has gone live.


Landing at Anzac, April 25, 1915 by Charles Dixon’, URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/the-landing-at-anzac-cove, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 30-Jul-2014
– New Zealand History provide information about the history of the day, the ceremony, and modern ANZAC day: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/anzac-day/introduction

– The government’s site for Gallipoli2015 (100 year anniversary) has information on the 2015 commemoration: http://www.gallipoli2015.govt.nz

– The government also runs an official site for ANZAC day with lots of good information: http://anzac.govt.nz

– The returned Services Association (RSA) has some brief information on ANZAC Day, and is good for finding out about what happens at an ANZAC Day service and where they are happening: http://www.rsa.org.nz/anzac-day-%E2%80%93-25-april

– For the Australian perspective, the Australian Army has a page with information: http://www.army.gov.au/Our-history/Traditions/ANZAC-Day and the Australian War Memorial has a site that includes speeches, photographs and historical facts: http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac-day/

– Information about the red poppy can be found on the New Zealand History site: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/anzac-day/poppies, the RSA site: http://www.rsa.org.nz/poppy and the British RSL site: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/how-the-nation-remembers/the-story-of-the-poppy

New Zealand’s Involvement

Payne, Henry Joseph, 1858-1927. Payne, Henry Joseph, 1858-1927 :”Kia ora”. Hancock’s “Imperial” ale, stout. Calendar 1917.. Ref: Eph-D-WAR-WI-1917-02. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23095500
– Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand has a comprehensive section on the war from the New Zealand perspective: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/first-world-war

– Similarly, New Zealand History has lots of information about our involvement in the war, including media such has campaign maps: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/nz-goes-to-war

– The National Army Museum website has stories about individual New Zealand Soldiers: http://www.armymuseum.co.nz/kiwis-at-war/voices-from-the-past/

ANZAC Poetry

McDuff, Laura, fl 2004. 1917 Souvenir de France. [Embroidered postcard to Olive McDuff from Lance/Sgt Walter Henry Saunders]. [Ephemera relating to World War I. 1917. Folder 1].. Ref: Eph-A-WAR-WI-1917-05. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23082261
– Australia’s ANZAC day site has a list of poetry with an ANZAC theme: http://www.anzacday.org.au/anzacservices/poetry/poetry01.htm

– The Australian War memorial site has 2 poems about the ANZACs: http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/customs/poems/

– New Zealand’s ANZAC Day site has an order of ceremony for ANZAC day: http://www.anzac.govt.nz/today/orderofceremony.html

– Wellington City Libraries’ review of poetry, memoirs and letters written during and about World War One: http://www.wcl.govt.nz/blog/index.php/2014/07/16/the-pen-and-the-sword-first-world-war-poetry-letters-and-memoirs/

Children are also welcome to chat live with an online librarian, who will help them with their research and finding online resources. AnyQuestions is a government-funded homework help service for New Zealand School Students. It’s open 1pm – 6pm Monday to Friday: http://www.anyquestions.co.nz

Law for Lunch at Newtown Library – Dodgy Debt: How to avoid it

Welcome to this week’s Law for Lunch talk, presented by Julia Whaipooti.

Law for Lunch logoJulia is a Kaihāpai Hapori (Community Education Worker) providing legal services to Māori at Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley.
This week’s presentation will be focusing on simple and effective ways to manage your money and everyday expenses and how to avoid bad debt. Come along to ask your questions and find out more about possible solutions.
There’s no need to make a booking and you are welcome to bring your own ‘brown bag’ lunch.

The talk will take place this Wednesday, from 12 noon to 1pm, at the Newtown Library, 13 Constable Street, Newtown. All welcome!

For more information, please check our online Event Calendar.

New travel books for October

This collection of travel books begins with Harry Bucknall’s account of walking the Via Francigena. From there we go to Shane and Tim Spall’s journey around Britain in a barge, Oli Broom’s cycling trip from London to Brisbane for the Ashes… and end up with a book of great maps. Something for everyone this month!

Syndetics book coverLike a tramp, like a pilgrim : on foot, across Europe to Rome / Harry Bucknall.
“…Harry Bucknall’s book concerns a long journey on foot from St Paul’s to St Peter’s in Rome (1,300 miles). … this route, known as the Via Francigena, has been celebrated for centuries. In the tradition of Hilaire Belloc’s “The Path to Rome,” Bucknall’s writing resembles that of Christopher Howse – it is witty, erudite, spiritual and packed with incident. Unlike Belloc, who was portly and bibulous, Bucknall is young, athletic, ascetic and a former officer in the Coldstream Guards (having served in Bosnia). His journey takes him through Southwark, Canterbury, Calais, Agincourt, Reims, Lake Geneva, Valle d’Aosta, Lucca, La Foce, and the Via Cassia to Rome and the Vatican.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Princess Matilda comes home : the adventure of a lifetime around Britain on a barge / Shane Spall.
“Shane and Tim Spall are on the second leg of a very big adventure, taking their Dutch barge The Princess Matilda around the coast of Britain. From Matilda’s winter berth in Cardiff, Shane and Tim follow the Welsh coast, before ambitiously deciding to visit the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland. Along the way they cross Cardigan Bay in the company of a pod of dolphins, meet the king and queen of Piel Island, get lost in shipping lanes near Liverpool, successfully cross the notorious Irish Sea (twice!), accidentally sail through an army firing range, and experience the matchless beauty of Scotland’s Caledonian canal. Emerging into the North Sea at Inverness, they set a course down the east coast for London, back where their journey began…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCycling to the Ashes : a cricketing odyssey from London to Brisbane / Oli Broom.
“Oli Broom loves cricket. So much that he left his 9-to-5 in London and set off to cycle to Brisbane for the Ashes. Along the way he played cricket in the shadow of the Blue Mosque, slept in a goat pen in Sudan, dodged a five-metre crocodile in the outback, battled sub-zero temperatures in Bulgaria and successfully negotiated the treacherous highways of India.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe hunt : Singapore / [editors, Bernie Baskin, Jalean Wong].
“The HUNT Singapore takes you off the beaten tourist trail and introduces you to 85 of the most unique locally-owned eating, shopping and lifestyle experiences in this tiny island nation. We’ve burned through three pairs of shoes walking every nook of the lion city and have discovered everything from fabulous hawker crab shacks, local haute couture designers, and amazing bridges to ancient carpet sellers, bespoke men’s tailors and where to grab custom cocktails when the night descends. …Handpicked recommendations include a mix of heritage finds and old school favourites, offbeat gems and hip newcomers – the best each city has to offer whether you’re a visitor, new arrival or curious local.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA journey into Russia / Jens Mühling ; translated from the German by Eugene H. Hayworth.
“Ten years ago journalist Jens Mühling met Juri, a Russian television producer whose job it was to sell stories to TV stations in Germany but who always maintained that ‘The true stories are more unbelievable than anything I could invent.’ Ever since, Jens Mühling has been travelling through Russia in search of stories that appear too unbelievable to be true: a hermit from the Taiga who only recently found out that there was a world beyond the woods; a mathematician who sincerely believes a thousand years of Russian history to be a fairy tale; a priest who ventures into the exclusion zone around Chernobyl to preach to those that stubbornly remain there. Jens Mühling shows us a country whose customs, contradictions, absurdities and attractions are still largely unknown beyond its borders.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSoutheast Asia on a shoestring / written and researched by China Williams [and 9 others].
Lonely Planet Southeast Asia on a Shoestring is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to skip, what hidden discoveries await you, and how to optimise your budget for an extended continental trip. Experience the magic of the temples of Angkor at dawn, experience Asia’s colonial past in the steamy port island of Penang, or hang ten on classic Bali surf breaks; all with your trusted travel companion.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOn the road … with kids / John Ahern.
“It’s a life-changing trip. Take it! John Ahern had a high-flying job, big house, loving wife and two great kids. But if this was success why did he sense he was failing as a husband and father? So John does something insane. He quits the corporate world and buys a busted-up campervan online to chase an improbable dream: a year travelling together as a family… on the road with kids. From the North Pole to Africa’s highest peaks, John and his family get mugged by monkeys, charmed by snake handlers, and challenged by life without phone and email. Along the way John creates a life less ordinary and evolves into a connected partner and Dad. on the road with kids is a funny, messy and inspiring adventure all families will love.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLast man off : a true story of disaster and survival on the Antarctic seas / Matt Lewis.
“In the depths of winter, hundreds of miles from land or rescue, a fishing boat fights for its life in swells as high as houses. For Matt Lewis, a 23-year-old British marine biologist, it had been his dream first job… But when a massive storm engulfs the boat and she falters, Lewis’s dream job turns into a nightmare. The Skipper refuses to act to save his ship, even when the crew are almost swept overboard and the hull begins to flood. When the boat’s officers disappear, and the captain suffers a heart attack, Lewis rallies the crew to escape onto three life rafts, despite being one of the most inexperienced men aboard. He is the last man off the sinking ship and his actions will save numerous lives. But the battle for survival has only just begun. With the light fading and snow falling, Lewis’s raft begins to take on water in freezing conditions. No-one knows if rescue is on its way. Thirty-eight men set out. How many will return?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGreat maps / Jerry Brotton.
“The world’s most fascinating maps explored and explained. Great Maps takes you on a journey through the history of maps, from ancient maps such as medieval mappa mundi to Google Earth. Each map provides a window into the age in which it was created and the world view at the time, as well as showing you what was known and unknown by people of the period. Great Maps includes over 55 maps from all around the world, from the first mercator atlas to the latest world maps, visually analysing each one with the help of graphic close-ups.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Stunning jewellery and wearable art – Craft picks for October

Get inspiration and teach yourself how to make the most delightful jewellery pieces. Find out about advanced techniques used by crafters and express your own unique style. I hope you find this book selection a source of inspiration and fun!

Syndetics book coverEarringology : how to make dangles, drops, chandeliers & more / Candie Cooper.
“In her stunning follow up to Necklaceology, Candie Cooper creates 50 beautiful beaded earring projects that are fun for both beginners and seasoned beaders. Stylish and feminine, they work for the office, a night on the town, or a casual weekend. In addition to beads and wire, these lovely pieces of jewelry include leather, clay, charms, found objects, and other fun materials. Cooper’s accessible instructions on tools and techniques, plus plenty of detailed photos, guide you every step of the way.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beader’s guide to jewelry design : a beautiful exploration of unity, balance, color & more / Margie Deeb.
“Once beaders have mastered the basics and enjoyed bringing others’ patterns to life, they’re ready and eager to take the next step: creating their own original pieces. Here, finally, is their must-have guidebook to the fundamental principles of visual design. Focusing on jewelry, it helps beaders explore concepts such as unity, scale, proportion, balance, rhythm, volume, shape, pattern, texture, movement, drape, and color in their work. Exercises, reader challenges, and lavish photos enhance understanding and assure design success.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSteampunk jewelry / Spurgeon Vaughn Ratcliffe.
“No artform has been more influenced in recent years by steampunk than that of the jeweler. Initially just an arcane collection of clocks and gears, the art has developed into an astounding hotbed of craftsmanship and creativity, blurring the lines between man and nature, and achieving a handmade intricacy which never ceases to fascinate. In the vanguard were the aficionados of steampunk who needed to accessorize their costumes. More recently, serious silversmiths, goldsmiths, and metal workers, as well as sculptors in miniature, have entered the fray. The best from around the world are featured here, with astonishing photography and insights from each artist.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCostume jewelry : identification and price guide / Pamela Y. Wiggins ; photography by Jay B. Siegel.
“From disposable bauble to collectible art form! Stylish and beautiful, vintage costume jewelry ignites the passions of collectors and fashionistas alike. Originally created as an inexpensive accessory to be worn and then discarded, costume jewelry is now considered an art form worth many times its original purchase price! Warman’s Costume Jewelry sparkles with wearable art creating during the past 100 years, spanning the Victorian era through the early part of the 21st century.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKiln-formed glass : beyond the basics / Brenda Griffith.
“With this comprehensive workbench guide, acclaimed artist Brenda Griffith takes kiln-formed glass to the next level. From cast glassing and cold working to adapting unusual tools and materials, she covers a range of advanced techniques that glass crafters need to know. In addition to beautiful projects and stunning gallery images, information on best studio practices and a “beyond the kiln” section make this indispensible.” (Syndetics summary)

Mostly about women this month – Biography picks

It’s mostly about about women this month including a fascinating look at those in modern Saudi Arabia from the pen of popular writer Jean Sasson. Half a world away an English noblewoman remembers her time as a Maid of Honour at the coronation of George V! …and a lot more besides. Well-known women in our own country feature strongly in the mix – Anne Else, Robin Robilliard and Elspeth Sandys have each written a memoir and each with a different twist – food, farming and adoption.
The male of the species has not been forgotten. Philip Larkin’s story has new life breathed into it by British author James Booth. Anne Sinclair tells of her grandfather’s long lost art gallery in Paris. We have a couple of good books from other parts of the library and a good one to look forward to! Happy reading!

Syndetics book coverPrincess : more tears to cry / Jean Sasson.
“When Jean Sasson’s book Princess: Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia was published, it became an immediate international bestseller. It sold to 43 countries and spent 13 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. Now, in this long-awaited, compelling new book, Sasson and the Princess ‘Sultana’ return to tell the world what it means to be a Saudi woman today. Through advances in education and with access to work, Saudi women are breaking through the barriers.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPhilip Larkin : life, art and love / James Booth.
“Philip Larkin was that rare thing among poets: a household name in his own lifetime. Lines such as ‘Never such innocence again’ and ‘Sexual intercourse began / In nineteen sixty-three’ made him one of the most popular poets of the last century. Larkin’s reputation as a man, however, has been more controversial.” (Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverThe girl with the widow’s peak : the memoirs / Lady Ursula d’Abo ; edited by David Watkin ; foreword by John Julius Norwich.
“Born in November 1916 to the Marquess of Granby, Lady Ursula d’Abo is a sprightly and still charming lady whose memoirs of her uniquely glamorous life make riveting reading … She records life at Belvoir Castle, as maintained on a feudal scale until September 1939 … We hear of her coming-out Ball and her role in the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937.” (Book jacket).

Syndetics book coverMy grandfather’s gallery : a family memoir of art and war / Anne Sinclair ; translated from the French by Shaun Whiteside.
“A singular man in the history of modern art, betrayed by Vichy, is the subject of this riveting family memoir On September 20, 1940, one of the most famous European art dealers disembarked in New York, one of hundreds of Jewish refugees fleeing Vichy France. He left behind his beloved Paris gallery.” (Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverHard country : a Golden Bay life / Robin Robilliard.
“The inspiring and entertaining story of a determined woman and an isolated farming life in Golden Bay. Robby Robilliard and her husband Garry arrived in Golden Bay in 1957. Married in their early twenties, and with a child on the way, they longed to own their own sheep station. When they bought Rocklands, a marginal farm on the fringe of the Takaka Valley, bordering Abel Tasman National Park, their dream had come true – but it wasn’t the life they had envisaged. Sixty years on, Robby and Garry still farm there.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe time by the sea : Aldeburgh 1955-58 / Ronald Blythe.
“The Time by the Sea is about Ronald Blythe’s life in Aldeburgh during the 1950s. He had originally come to the Suffolk coast as an aspiring young writer, but found himself drawn into Benjamin Britten’s circle and began working for the Aldeburgh Festival. Although befriended by Imogen Holst and by E M Forster, part of him remained essentially solitary, alone in the landscape while surrounded by a stormy cultural sea. This memoir gathers up many early experiences, sights and sounds.” (Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverPrince Harry : brother, soldier, son / Penny Junor.
“This is the Prince Harry you’ve never read about before. Published in celebration of his thirtieth birthday, this is the story behind the tabloid stories. The Prince who has the power to make or break. The maverick Prince, who is brilliant, impetuous and unpredictable. The Prince who with his unique talents, charm and bloody-minded determination is changing lives across the world. But the Prince who could, in a moment of madness, bring it all crashing down.” (Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverThe colour of food : a memoir of life, love & dinner / Anne Else.
“Anne Else loved eating, but when she married at 19 she’d never cooked a meal. Despite a shaky start she became an enthusiastic cook – with a little help from Nancy Spain, Katharine Whitehorn, Elizabeth David and the Duchess of Windsor. In this totally captivating memoir, Else takes you inside her life, from marriage and motherhood through divorce, remarriage, and the discovery of her birth mother.” (Syndetics summary).

Two good ones in other parts of the library:

Syndetics book coverThe pedant in the kitchen / Julian Barnes ; [illustrations by Joe Berger].
“This work is an elegant account of Julian Barnes’ search for gastronomic precision. It is a quest that leaves him seduced by Jane Grigson, infuriated by Nigel slater and reassured by Mrs Beeton’s Victorian virtues. For anyone who has ever been defeated by a cookbook.” (Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverJust between us : Australian writers tell the truth about female friendship / foreword by Helen Garner ; edited by Maya Linden, Miriam Sved, Maggie Scott, Natalie Kon-yu and Christie Nieman.
“Empathetic, supportive and respectful… Or competitive, manipulative and downright bitchy? Or somewhere in between? In Just Between Us, a host of Australia’s best-loved female writers bare all on this age-old quandary: Are female friendships all-natural and nurturing? Or are some more damaging than delightful” (Syndetics summary).

And one to look forward to!

Syndetics book coverSo anyway / John Cleese.
In this rollicking memoir, Cleese takes his readers on a Grand Tour of his ascent in the entertainment world, from his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town and his early comedic days at Cambridge University (with future Python partner Graham Chapman), to the founding of the landmark comedy troupe that would propel him to worldwide renown.” (Wellington City Libraries catalogue note).
Bestseller copies of this book are now available. The regular lending copies are on order and will arrive soon. You can still place a reserve for one now.

From cookery to sociology, photography is everywhere

Let’s start our photography book review with a book you’ll find in the cookery section, about literary food accounts! Confused?

Syndetics book coverFictitious dishes : an album of literature’s most memorable meals
“Fictitious Dishes serves up a delectable assortment of photographic interpretations of culinary moments from contemporary and classic literature. Showcasing famous meals such as the madcap tea party from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the watery gruel from Oliver Twist, the lavish chicken breakfast from To Kill a Mockingbird, the stomach-turning avocado-and-crabmeat salad from The Bell Jar, and the seductive cupcakes from The Corrections, this unique volume pairs each place setting with the text from the book that inspired its creation. Interesting food facts and entertaining anecdotes about the authors, their work, and their culinary predilections complete this charming book, which is sure to whet the appetites of lovers of great literature and delicious dishes.” (Back cover)

Another title that doesn’t exactly fall into the Photography category and that you will actually find in the cookery section was worth adding to this month’s photography collection as it is as much an art book as it is a cookbook, featuring exquisite photography in a beautifully designed book.

Syndetics book coverDabbous : the cookbook
“Occupying an urban space in London’s Fitzrovia, DABBOUS is the restaurant that has stunned critics and diners since it opened in 2012. Behind the sheet-metal door, Ollie Dabbous creates light, modern dishes that are both delicate and deceptively simple: jewel-like creations that are in stark contrast with the restaurant’s industrial décor.” (Inside cover)

Syndetics book coverShe who tells a story : women photographers from Iran and the Arab world
“Clearly, women photographers from the Arab world are underrepresented voices in the art world. However, interest is at an all-time high since September 11 and the Arab Spring. Published on the occasion of an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, this catalogue seeks to address this problem by celebrating 12 women photographic and video artists who encompass wide-ranging photographic metaphors and imaging practices. Some artists, like Shirin Neshat, are well-known and highly acclaimed. Though most are virtually unknown, their works are no less powerful. These women artists should be seen and heard.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverFashion photography next
“Here is an exciting new survey of more than 30 young photographers from 14 countries who will have a pivotal role in shaping the fashion of the future. From Axel Hoedt’s bold graphic experimentation and fascination with traditional costume, to the colour-saturated, hyperreal images by Daniel Jackson, or the cool, neutral aesthetic of Hanna Putz’s photographs, the work is diverse, striking, sometimes shocking. This book embraces the fashion worlds obsession with freshness and youth: it looks beyond what is now and showcases what comes next.” (Syndetics)

Following last month’s first volume, I have lived in East London for 86 1/2 years, in a new series of diminutive photo books on East London, we now have two new titles added to our collection, completing the picture of the fascinating people living in this colourful part of London

Syndetics book coverEast London swimmers
“Madeleine Waller’s intimate portraits of swimmers – both dressed and in their swimsuits -are set against personal stories that reveal the inner life of people who escape the city to swim in all conditions.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverA portrait of Hackney
“Hackney, though crime-ridden, poor and dilapidated, is also now London’s trendiest neighbourhood, and was home to the 2012 Olympics. Zed Nelson, a renowned photojournalist who both resides and grew up in the area, looks at some of the bizarre, often painful, contradictions caused by this rapid gentrification.” (Syndetics summary)

And before we leave East London, another recent publication documents commuter life in the 70′s

Syndetics book coverUnderground
“While working as projectionish in a porn cinema in the 1980s, Bob Mazzer began photographing on the tube during his daily commute, creating irresistibly joyous pictures alive with humour and humanity. His pictures are published here for the first time.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnown unknowns : a new book
“100 individual essays illustrated with 198 arresting photographs tackle subjects as varied as the tattoo habits of Russian criminals, the Vatican’s favourite Barbie, North Korean traffic jams, American gun legislation and the world’s richest animal. Behind each poignant, startling and often disconcerting image lies a treasure trove of hidden histories. Drawing on a career that has seen him produce and collect some of the most iconic images of modern times, Charles Saatchi presents his own unique perspective on contemporary culture.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe unforgettable photograph : 228 ideas, tips, and secrets for taking the best pictures of your life
“Renowned photographer George Lange’s work is guided by one simple truth: An unforgettable photograph is not about what the subject looks like, but what it feels like. In this entirely new kind of photography guide, written by Mr. Lange and Scott Mowbray, magazine editor and longtime amateur photographer, the rest of us will learn how to take photographs that don’t just document life but celebrate it. No fancy equipment required. Just hundreds of simple, inspiring ideas and lessons organized around the six essential principles of seeing like a photographer.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe photographer’s master guide to colour
“Color is key in photography, but very few photographers actually understand how it works – and new software and ever-improving camera sensors have now given them an infinite number of options. Finally, here is a thorough course on color and the role it plays in digital photography. The latest book by best-selling photographer Jeff Wignall will give you a new understanding of the important role color plays in the creation of successful photos, and let you take outstanding color photographs with any digital camera.” (Syndetics)

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