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New sports books this month

If the World Cup football or the Commonwealth Games has made you want to read more about these sporting events, our selection this month will keep you entertained – along with books on running, cricket and sailing.

Syndetics book coverBrazil Futebol : football to the rhythm of the samba beat / Keir Radnedge.
“‘Brazil Futebol’ captures the essence of the world’s premier football nation and tells the story of more than a century of footballing passion. Starting in the 1870s when the Scottish expatriate Thomas Donohue introduced the game to the native Brazillians, it recounts the unprecedented success of the national team, building to the debut World Cup win in 1958 and beyond, detailing the most famous moments and players.” (Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverShadows on the Road : life at the heart of the peloton, from US Postal to Team Sky / Michael Barry.
“In 2012, veteran cyclist Michael Barry announced his retirement from the sport. Weeks later he testified against his former team mate Lance Armstrong, as part of the USADA investigation.In a stunning piece of writing, Barry explores the dreams and passion of a young, idealistic cycling fan from Toronto, what it was like to go on to ride as a teammate alongside such giants of the sport as Lance Armstrong, Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, and how those dreams were compromised early on in his career by a sport in crisis. But it is also the story of his eleven years riding clean, before and after his time in the notorious US Postal Team. What was it like to head for Europe at such a young age, and what was it like to escape the environment of doping, to try and start again, all the time aware that past actions may one day catch up with him? Offering an elegiac insight into the life and mind of a professional sportsman – the pressures, sacrifices, fears, crashes, injuries and neuroses – Shadows on the Road is a must-read for cycling and sports fans alike.” (Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverThe World Cup : heroes, hoodlums, high-kicks and head-butts / Paul Hansford.
“Overview of the World Cup, the international competition played by the best soccer players in the world. The World Cup has a strong, irreverent and humourous writing voice. It concentrates on the stories behind the legends, teams and great matches of the World Cup, putting aside the pundits’ picks for who will win (they invariably get it wrong anyway) and concentrating on the weird, whacky, controversial and legendary moments of the world’s best sporting event. For example, it references the cult hero Ilunga Mwepu in the 74 finals against Brazil. Clearly unsure of the rules of association football, when the referee blows his whistle for Brazil to take a free kick, he pegs it out of the wall and blasts the ball up field. A yellow card and eternal infamy follow. There are hundreds of brilliant tales like this in the history of the game and they receive as much coverage as the heroes and greatest matches.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverClimbing Manual : the essential guide to rock climbing / Nigel Shepherd.
“This climbing manual is a thoroughly modern introduction to rock climbing. From getting started with equipment, clothing, fitness, and basic skills through to advanced techniques and coping with tricky situations, this book is packed with practical step-by-step sequences and inspirational photography, making it the perfect guide for the novice or intermediate climber.” (Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverThe Commonwealth Games : extraordinary stories behind the medals / Brian Oliver.
“Sports journalist Brian Oliver brings these often overlooked Games to life with fantastic stories of the athletes who have competed over the years. He delves into past games for the best tales, and interviews the key protagonists to unveil the highs and lows of this eccentric sporting competition.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCricket Manual : the official guide to playing the game / Andy Tennant ; foreword by Michael Vaughan.
“From health and fitness through to training, bowling, batting, fielding, strategy, coaching and umpiring, every aspect of the game is analysed and explained in detail. Presented in an attractively designed and user-friendly style with numerous photographs and graphics, this manual is an essential reference book for the keen cricketer as well as an informative read for any sports fan.” (Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverCyclopedia : it’s all about the bike / written by William Fotheringham.
“Fotheringham (Cycle Racing) offers a reference to bicycles and cycling culture. Organized alphabetically, entries include brief biographies, terms, competitions, bicycle models and makers, team song lyrics, and even time lines. Informative and frank biographical entries open with birth and death dates, major wins, nicknames, and (when applicable) books written. Framed sidebars present subject trivia, while maps detail a competition’s geographical course. A humorous yet substantial addition to sports or cycling history collections.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverThe Big Book of the World Cup / by Clive Batty and John Murray.
“Bursting with action-packed pictures, fascinating facts, stats, trivia and vital World Cup information, The Big Book of the World Cup is the perfect companion to the greatest sporting show on Earth. The book features an in-depth guide to each of the 32 competing nations, profiles of the star players who will be there plus a tour of South Africa looking at the colourful setting and the wonderful stadiums which will provide the backdrop for the 2010 tournament. Also features an interactive fixtures guide and scorechart, as well as a complete TV viewing guide.” (Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverTrail Running : from start to finish / Graeme Hilditch.
“The popularity of running has never been greater and with thousands of everyday people taking in conventional 5k, 10k, half-marathon and marathon road running events, there seems to be a natural desire to seek other arguably more challenging forms of running. Trail Running helps advise runners how to make the transition from road running to off road running, whether your intention is purely for fun or to take part in specialist off road events.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Complete Running & Marathon Book / senior editor, Catherine Saunders.
“Includes tips that can help you to gain a vital competitive edge, from goal-setting and motivation to running psychology and race tactics. This book helps you assess and develop your technique under clear no-nonsense guidance with detailed visuals to help you understand what your body is going through.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Complete Idiot’s Guide to Sailing / by Diane Selkirk.
“There’s something magical about casting off on your own sailboat to parts unknown. This guide gives you tons of tips for enjoying your time on the water.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFeet in the Clouds : a tale of fell-running and obsession / Richard Askwith.
“Feet in the Clouds is a chronicle of a masochistic but admirable sporting obsession and an insight into one of the oldest extreme sports”–Publisher’s description.

2014 Season Guide : the NRL’s official information handbook.

New Graphic Novels for July

Three new series are among the selected new graphic novels this month. As always we have chosen a wide range of story lines and artistic styles that we hope you will enjoy. Highly recommended is Red Light Properties: previously-haunted real estate by Dan Goldman.

Syndetics book coverSherlock Holmes and the vampires of London / story by Sylvain Cordurié ; art by Laci.
“Sherlock Holmes died fighting Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. At least that’s what the press claims. However, Holmes is alive and well and taking advantage of his presumed death to travel the globe. Unfortunately, Holmes’s plans are thwarted when a plague of vampirism begins haunting Britain.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCelebrated summer / Charles Forsman.
“With high school over, Mike and Wolf, two apathetic teens in an unnamed suburban sprawl, have all the time in the world to do what they want, which includes a day of dropping acid, hiking to the top of a mountain, and then driving to the beach. As the acid kicks in, action ensues. What could have been merely a day in the life of a couple of teenagers on drugs is ratcheted up by breakaways to Wolf telling stories from his life, which paint a sad, familiar portrait.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary

Syndetics book coverRed Light Properties : previously-haunted real estate. 01 / written & realized by Dan Goldman.
“Jude, certified phenomenologist, with Cecilia, licensed real estate broker, run the Miami-based paranormal exorcisms real estate business Red Light Properties and have come to an impasse rooted in misunderstanding and distrust; it could mean the end. Cecilia can’t connect to Jude and doesn’t understand his almost violent experiences with death and his viewpoint of the magic of life. With honesty built from their love and flaws, can Jude and Cecilia move forward, save their marriage and family, and develop their business to its fullest potential.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlack is the color / Julia Gfrörer.
“Black is the Color begins with a 17th-century sailor abandoned at sea by his shipmates, and as it progresses he endures, and eventually succumbs to, both his lingering death sentence and the advances of a cruel and amorous mermaid. The narrative also explores the experiences of the loved ones he leaves behind, on his ship and at home on land, as well as of the mermaids who jadedly witness his destruction.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMr Unpronounceable adventures / Tim Molloy. “Welcome to The City Of The Ever Open Eye, a dream world metropolis of surreal wonder and dark nightmare. Nestled between the scorched wastes of The Endless Plain and the rolling expanse of The Hundred Year Ocean stands The City, eternal and yet ever changing. Through its labyrinthine alleys and dusty plazas stumbles Mr Unpronounceable, seeker of secrets, a homeless necromancer, madman, sweating and delirious, moving from one horrifically comedic nightmare to the next.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverRage of Poseidon / Anders Nilsen.
“Nilsen’s latest collection of six variations on Greek, Roman, and Hebrew myths and a single-panel serious joke mixing Greek and Christian deities he ventures into yet another manner: black-and-white silhouette. Each panel on the more than 40-foot accordion-fold page contains a single image over text. Sometimes the figures are black and the background white; sometimes vice versa.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCouch tag / Jesse Reklaw.
“In this looping and circular five part autobiography about his family, youth, and early career, the author takes the mundane and gives it a part-comic, part-tragic twist.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTen grand. Volume 1 / writer, J. Michael Straczynski ; artist, Ben Templesmith.
“After button man Joe Fitzgerald fell in love with Laura, he tendered his resignation. But the button man assigned to Joe is a genuine demon, so after it kills Laura, and Joe is dying, an angel makes a proposal: work for the good guys and whenever he is offed, he will get five minutes with Laura before resurrecting for the next job. In this first volume of a new series, Joe takes the case of a missing girl who may be the victim of Laura’s killer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverX. Volume 1, Big bad / story, Duane Swierczynski ; art, Eric Nguyen. “A masked vigilante known only as “X” dispenses justice without mercy to the criminals who rule the decaying city of Arcadia. When muckraking blogger Leigh Ferguson snoops down the wrong alley, she gets swept into X’s bloody war with a politically powerful crime lord.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverGhosted [1] : haunted heist / Joshua Williamson, writer ; Goran Sudzuka, artist.
“Just busted out of prison, silver-tongued con man Jackson T. Winters can win permanent freedom if he can deliver a free-floating, full-torso, vaporous apparition to a filthy-rich collector. A suit, a shave, and one fantastic heist-crew-assembly montage later, Winters discovers that the old collector might have ulterior motives in sending him and his team to the old manor to find a ghost.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

South African writer Nadine Gordimer has died

Syndetics book coverThe South African writer Nadine Gordimer died recently aged 90. A prolific writer, she dealt with the racial and moral issues of apartheid, with two of her novels being banned in South Africa during the apartheid regime. Her first novel, The Lying Days, was published in 1953. Thirteen novels later her last was published in 2012, titled No Time like the Present, in which she explored an interracial marriage in the new free South Africa. She published over 200 short stories, in some 13 short story collections, and was highly acclaimed for her astute and forthright essays.
Nadine Gordimer received many prizes and awards, including the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 and the Booker Prize in 1974 for her novel, The Conservationist.

New cookery books for July

New this month in our cookery collection are a great range of gluton-free, vegetarian, vegan and low-fat healthy food books for you to explore.  There’s bound to be some delicious and nourishing meat-free alternatives to try this winter season!

Syndetics book coverGreen Smoothies for Every Season : a year of farmer’s market-fresh super drinks / by Kristine Miles.
“Drink the freshest superfoods each season has to offer. Capable of transforming your health in remarkable ways, leafy greens and fresh fruits are vital for living well and feeling great. Green Smoothies for Every Season provides the most effective way to harness the power of these antioxidant-rich superfoods with organic, fresh smoothies you can make at home.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBaby & Toddler on the Go / Kim Laidlaw ; photographs by Thayer Allyson Gowdy ; illustrations by Lorena Siminovich.
“Whether you are in a car, on a plane, or heading to daycare or the park, this colorful cookbook will show you how to quickly and easily cook and transport healthy, delicious meals and snacks for your baby or toddler. Bright, vivid, fun photographs and a colorful design bring the food and ideas to life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Complete Leafy Greens Cookbook : 67 leafy greens and 250 recipes / Susan Sampson.
“Sampson (200 Best Canned Fish and Seafood Recipes) provides a thorough resource for readers looking to expand their nutritious horizons with leafy green super foods. The highly diverse range of greens includes plants from the brassica-family (e.g., arugula, bok choy, cabbage, and tatsoi), lettuces (e.g., butter, romaine, and iceberg); and other assorted edible greens such as grape leaves, sorrel, and ramps. Sampson organizes each variety alphabetically, briefly discussing origins, culinary history, and general availability. She details storage, shelf life, and usage instructions, as well as nutrient content and even traditional medicinal uses, before moving on to recipes.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverThe Complete Juicer : a healthy guide to making delicious, nutritious juice and growing your own fruits and vegetables / Abigail R. Gehring.
“With this book, you’ll learn which fruits and vegetables are the best for juicing and how you can grow them in a small garden plot, in pots in a windowsill or on a porch, or even right in your kitchen….In Grow and Juice you’ll find straight-forward instructions for growing beets, celery, spinach, kale, tomatoes, carrots, strawberries, sprouts, wheatgrass, and more!…Whether you’re new to juicing or already a stalwart supporter, you’ll find tips and recipes here that the whole family will love.” (Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverSuperfoods / editorial & food director Pamela Clark.
“The recipes in this book feature super foods as the star ingredient for added energy and well-being. Included are a wonderfully diverse and healthy range of family-friendly recipes including grains, pulses, seafood, nuts, lean meat, fruit, soy and dairy products, vegetables, herbs and spices as our hero foods. Once you start eating food based on these super ingredients you’ll marvel at how well you feel each and every day.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLow-Fat Family Food.
“…The aim of this book is to help your famiy gain control over your eating habits to have you all looking good and feeling great in a matter of weeks. We understand that some family members may be more active than others so there are lots of helpful hints about how to adapt and add to the recipes. With meal plans for midweek, weekends and snacks, it’s never been more convenient to live a little healthier.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStraight From the Earth : irresistible vegan recipes for everyone / Myra Goodman and Marea Goodman ; photographs by Sara Remington.
“From Myra Goodman, the co-founder of Earthbound Fa
rm, and her daughter Marea Goodman, comes Straight from the Earth, more than 90 creative vegan recipes that are so delicious you will change your mind about what it means to eat a plant-based diet.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverHonestly Healthy for Life : healthy alternatives for everyday eating / Natasha Corrett, Vicki Edgson ; photography by Lisa Linder.
Honestly Healthy for Life shows how the alkaline way of eating can fit seamlessly into everyday life, This new collection of over 100 super-tasty and nutritious recipes created by gourmet vegetarian chef Natasha Correti and backed by the nutritional know-how of Vicki Edgson provides and easy route to great health and well-being.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverForest Feast : simple vegetarian recipes from my cabin in the woods / Erin Gleeson.
“Step into the magical world of photographer and artist Erin Gleeson as she creates seasonal vegetarian dishes and watercolor illustrations inspired by her forest surroundings. After moving from New York City to a cabin in the woods near San Franscisco, Gleeson created her food blog, The Forest Feast where she shares simple recipes and entertaining ideas.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverQuick Family Meals / editorial and food director, Pamela Clark.
“100 recipes for complete one-pot meals for the family. Each meal will be cooked and ready to eat, looking splendid on the table in less than 45 minutes. There are curries, soups, stir-fries, bakes, grills and pan-fries. There are tips and hints to help you cook faster, better and more efficiently. There are also quick and easy dessert recipes.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReal Fresh Gluten-free Food : simple healthy meals for everyone / Anna & Roger Wilde ; with photography by Daniel Allen.
“A new and revised edition of Anna and Roger Wilde’s classic cookbook for healthy eating is made relevant for people with special dietary needs. Every recipe is now gluten-free and labelled dairy-free and vegan (where suitable) to provide quick reference for specific requirements. The authors provide recipe notes wherever possible and they give expert advice along with the key guidelines to achieving a healthy diet.”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverSuperfood Juices : 100 delicious, energizing & nutrient-dense recipes / Julie Morris.
“Power up your juicer and pack more nutrition into your day! Whether you crave fruit juices or have a hankering for cleansing, purifying green juices, you’ll find them all here. From choosing the right machine to considering the health benefits of various juices, this book will spark experimentation, rejuvenation, and flavorful bliss one superfood sip at a time.” (Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for July

New mystery fiction this month from some very popular authors, including Alafair Burke, Andrea Camilleri, Roger Jon Ellory and Karin Slaughter, who will be in conversation at Central Library on Tuesday evening 12th August at 6.00pm. Join us for a great evening.

Syndetics book coverLonely graves / Britta Bolt. “A suicide, a drowned man, or a sudden death. It’s all in a day’s work for Pieter Posthumus. In Amsterdam, the Lonely Funerals team exists to make sure that no one goes to the grave unmourned. Posthumus takes that responsibility seriously.A careful, humane man, he works hard to find out all he can about the anonymous or abandoned dead entrusted to his care. So when a young Moroccan immigrant is found in the Prinsengracht canal in suspicious circumstances, Posthumus cannot let it go. The police may call it accident or suicide; he is sure there’s more to it. He takes up the case, an investigation that leads to him getting caught up in a terror plot and in the way of an elite police unit.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverAll day and a night : a novel of suspense / Alafair Burke.
“The shocking murder of psychotherapist Helen Brunswick complicates an old case, as NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher and attorney Carrie Blank both search for the truth from opposite sides of the law. When similarities between Helen’s murder and those of past serial killer victims come to light and when an anonymous letter with inside information about Helen’s case that might exonerate the convicted killer arrives, the police are forced to reevaluate the previous cases. While Ellie is assigned to the “fresh look” team, Carrie goes to work for a celebrity lawyer specializing in wrongful convictions and representing Anthony Amaro, the man imprisoned for the murders.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAngelica’s smile / Andrea Camilleri ; translated by Stephen Sartarelli.
“Montalbano, who, perhaps, loves his antipasto more than his detective work, looks into a rash of copycat burglaries in the Sicilian coastal village of Vigata. Victims are carefully chosen for the fact that they have two homes to burglarize. One such victim is Angelica Cosulich, so drop-dead gorgeous that Montalbano can barely breathe, much less speak, in her presence. But the investigation must go on! Midnight stakeouts, threatening anonymous letters and even a puzzling murder ensue, all to the tune of those requisite seaside lunches and Angelica’s alluring smile.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFatal harbor / Brendan DuBois.
“Former Department of Defense analyst Lewis Cole has travelled some dark roads before in his quest for justice. Days after a violent anti-nuclear demonstration puts his best friend, police detective Diane Woods, in a near-fatal coma, Cole abandons his job and his home to find the man who nearly killed his friend. From the rural towns of New Hampshire to the offices of power and influence in Washington, D.C., Cole follows his gut and the flimsiest of clues to track down the cold-blooded attacker who won’t hesitate to kill to keep his identity and background secret.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCarnival of shadows / R.J. Ellory.
“Kansas, 1959. A travelling carnival appears overnight in the small town of Seneca Falls, intriguing the townsfolk with acts of inexplicable magic and illusion. But when a man’s body is discovered beneath the carousel, with no clue as to his identity, FBI Special Agent Michal Travis is sent to investigate. Led by the elusive Edgar Doyle, the carnival folk range from the enigmatic to the bizarre, but none of them will give Travis a straight answer to his questions. With each new turn of the investigation, Doyle and his companions challenge Travis’s once unshakeable faith in solid facts and hard evidence. As the consequences of what has happened become ever more disturbing, Travis struggles to open his mind to a truth that defies comprehension.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeath of a scholar / Susanna Gregory. “In the summer of 1358 the physician Matthew Bartholomew returns to Cambridge to learn that his beloved sister is in mourning after the unexpected death of her husband, Oswald Stanmore. Oswald has left the business to his widow, but a spate of burglaries in the town distracts Matthew from supporting Edith in her grief. As well as the theft of irreplaceable items from Michaelhouse, which threatens its very survival, a new foundation, Winwick Hall, is causing consternation amongst Matthew’s colleagues. A perfect storm between the older establishments and the brash newcomers is brewing when the murder of a leading member of the Guild is soon followed by the death of one of Winwick’s senior Fellows. Assisting Brother Michael in investigating these fatalities leads Matthew into a web of suspicion.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverRed light / Graham Masterton. “Somewhere in the city of Cork, a woman’s cry echoes through the rainy streets. On a bloodstained mattress in a grimy flat, a burly man lies dead. A terrified girl kneels over his body. She is half-naked, starving, screaming. She has been trapped here for three days. It doesn’t take DS Katie Maguire long to identify the murder victim. He is someone she has been trying to convict for years, a cruel and powerful pimp who terrorised the girls who worked for him.
It’s Katie’s job to catch the killer. But with men like this dead, the city is safer and so are the scared young women who are trafficked into Cork. When a second pimp is horrifically murdered, Katie must decide. Should she do her job, or follow her conscience? Should she allow the killer to strike again?” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverDante’s poison / Lynne Raimondo.
“Mark Angelotti, a psychologically troubled and newly blinded Chicago psychiatrist, is hired to help with the defense of legal eagle Jane Barrett for the murder of Rory Gallagher, a well-known journalist. It looks like Jane is being framed; Mark’s friend Hallie is Jane’s mentee, and she begs Mark to provide expert testimony. Unfortunately, a vicious attack on Mark and Hallie leaves her in a coma. Mark knows Hallie recognized the attacker, but he, of course, can’t. Concurrently, two troubling suicides by teen patients of one of Mark’s professional colleagues builds a strong secondary plot that might connect with the journalist’s murder.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCop Town : a novel / Karin Slaughter.
“It’s 1974 Atlanta, and another policeman has been shot by the man they’re calling the Shooter, yet his partner, Jimmy Lawson, is left physically unharmed but devastated. Jimmy’s sister Maggie, also a cop, is convinced that something is off about Jimmy’s version of events, but getting anyone to listen to her suspicions would only prove futile. After all, women weren’t very welcome on the police force in 1974 and they certainly didn’t investigate serious crimes. When she’s partnered with Kate Murphy, whose pampered background couldn’t be more different from Maggie’s solid blue-collar roots, events begin to escalate, and Kate and Maggie must put everything on the line to stop a ferocious killer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChildren of war / Martin Walker.
“Bruno, chef de police in the French town of St Denis, is already busy with a case when the body of an undercover French Muslim cop is found in the woods, a man who called Bruno for help only hours before. But Bruno’s sometime boss and rival, the Brigadier, doesn’t see this investigation as a priority, there are bigger issues at stake. Bruno has other ideas. One of Bruno’s old army comrades helps to smuggle Sami, a Muslim youth from Afghanistan back to France, but the FBI aren’t far behind and a n American woman appears in St Denis with a warrant for Sami’s extradition. Bruno must unravel these multiple mysteries, amidst pressure from his bosses, and find his own way to protect his town and its people.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Feature films & documentaries at this year’s festival

It’s that time again! The 24th International Film Festival opens this Friday, and some of our favourite filmmakers are back with their new films. They include David Cronenberg, Ken Loach, Dardenne Brothers, Jean-Luc Godard, Richard Linklater, Wim Wenders, Michel Gondry, Kelly Reichardt, Andrey Zvyagintsev and this year’s Palme O’dor winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan. A lot of their previous movies are available at our libraries. Click their names to check them for pre- or post-festival viewings.

Also, if you’re a documentary fan you won’t be disappointed. As usual, a great number of documentaries, from arts, music, science, nature to politics, are featured in the festival. Some documentaries showcased last year are now on our shelves. Check them out.

Syndetics book coverBlackfish
20 Feet From Stardom
The crash reel
Mistaken for strangers
The moo man
Pussy Riot : a punk prayer
The spirit of ’45
A band called Death
The act of killing
The gatekeepers

Winter is a great time for movie lovers. Enjoy!

An Evening with American suspense/crime writer Karin Slaughter

Syndetics book coverIt is with much pleasure that Wellington City Libraries will be hosting an evening with popular American suspense/crime writer Karin Slaughter on Tuesday 12th August 2014 at 6.00pm on the ground floor, Central Library, 65 Victoria Street.

Prolific writer Karin Slaughter’s first novel Blindsighted, published in 2001 became an instant bestseller that sold more than 30 million copies world wide and was translated into 32 languages. This novel set the scene and characters for five other novels in a series titled the Grant County. In 2006 she published Triptych followed by two other novels that formed the Will Trent/Atlanta series. Unseen, published 2013 was the fifth novel in her Georgia series.
Karin Slaughter’s most recent novel, the thrilling murder mystery titled Cop Town is also set in Atlanta, where she resides.

We are especially pleased to welcome Karin as not only is she such a thrilling writer but she is also a strong advocate for libraries.  We invite you to join us and the many readers who enjoy her work at our evening in the Central Library on the 12th August. Karin will be in conversation about her work and will be available for questions. This is a free event, and her novels will be available for purchase and signing.

Māwhai Tuhituhi – online Te Reo writing competition for Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori

Hei whakanui i Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2014, kei te mahi pakiwaitara tuhituhi ā-ipurangi Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui, ā, ka taea e koe e tō kura rānei ētahi taonga te wini.

Kua oti kē i te kaituhi rongonui haere nei a Paora Tibble te whiti tuatahi te tuhituhi, ā, māu e āpiti atu ō tuhituhi ki te pakiwaitara ia rā, hei te 21-25 o Hūrae.

Ka whiriwhirihia kotahi te whiti ia rā (tae atu ki te 200 kupu), mai i ia reanga, ka mutu hoki ngā pakiwaitara hei te ahiahi o te Paraire te 25 o Hūrae.

Ko ngā Reanga: (Kura) Tau 1-8, me te Tau 9-13

Ko ngā taonga ia rā he pēke whare pukapuka, he kāri koha, he haki pukapuka hoki.

Ko ngā taonga mā ngā toa tuhituhi kotahi paparorohiko mō ia reanga, ā, he haki e $250 hei hoko pukapuka mō ngā kura o ngā toa tuhituhi.

Ko te kura hoki he tokomaha rawa ana kaituhi ka wini hoki i te haki pukapuka e $250!

Kia whai wāhi koe ki te wini, tūhono mai ā-ipurangi ka tuhituhi mai rā: wcl.govt.nz/mawhaituhi


To celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2014, Wellington City Libraries are weaving an online story, with the chance for you and your school to win some cool prizes.

Well-known author, Paora Tibble, has written the first paragraph but we need you to continue the story each day, from 21-25 July.

A paragraph (up to 200 words) will be selected, daily, from each age group, and the stories will finish on Friday afternoon, 25 July.

Age Groups are: (School) Year 1-8, and Year 9-13

Daily prizes include library bags, concession cards and book vouchers.

The prizes for overall winners include a tablet for each age group winner, plus $250 of book vouchers for the winners’ schools.

The school with the most contributors will also win $250 of book vouchers!

For your chance to win, join us online and weave your story: wcl.govt.nz/mawhaituhi


What we’ve been reading lately

pauline1aThere has been a large range of books on our staffroom coffee tables recently – highlighted here is everything from science fantasy & cult fiction titles to luminous memoirs. At the top of this list are titles chosen by our head cataloguer Pauline, who is leaving Wellington City Libraries.  She will be sorely missed by us all!

The faraway nearby / Rebecca Solnit.
A meandering set of almost-essays (the centre of which is about some grippingly told episodes of the author’s own life) which focus on storytelling, and whizz off into literature, art, the Polar Regions and many other fascinating “tales”. I haven’t yet finished it because I don’t want it to finish. If you like Sara Wheeler, Olivia Laing and Robert McFarlane’s books, you’ll like this one. (Pauline)

Syndetics book coverRomany and Tom / Ben Watt.
Ben Watt, of Everything but the Girl fame, has written his second book and it’s a brilliant and elegantly written memoir of his parents: Tommy Watts, a jazz musician & Romany, actress, feature writer and broadcaster. Their story, and Ben’s own, is compellingly told – in much the same way as his song lyrics are moody, melancholy and edgy, so is his writing. Best read before, with, or after, his first (and also compelling) book “Patient“. (Pauline)

Syndetics book coverLetters of note : correspondence deserving of a wider audience / compiled by Shaun Usher.
What a fascinating collection of letters! From different periods in history up to modern times, written by people you may or may not have heard of. They are often informative, sometimes surprising and occasionally very moving – this is the perfect coffee table book. (Sandy)

Syndetics book coverJulio’s day / by Gilbert Hernandez.
A tender and sometimes tragic and episodic history of one man’s life in a small Mexican town during the turbulent 20th century. Almost a collection of disconnected surreal short stories in graphic novel form, that accumulate towards one heck of a finish. Pulitzer prize winner Junot Diaz calls Julio’s Day, ‘an unflinching biography of a community, a country and a century. A masterpiece,’ and I think I agree. (Monty)

Syndetics book coverThe end of your life book club / Will Schwalbe.
I just read The End of Your Life Bookclub by Will Schwalbe. Amazing read about a brilliant woman with terminal cancer and her conversations about books with her son, while she is undergoing chemo. (Sylvia)

Syndetics book coverThe thirteenth tale / Diane Setterfield.
The best modern “gothic” tale I’ve read yet. Ghosts, family secrets, a decripet house, and a plot that carries you along with each twist. (Nicola)

Syndetics book coverDreams of gods & monsters / Laini Taylor.
This is the final in the “Daughter of smoke and bone” trilogy and wraps up the story pretty well (there are always a few threads left for your imagination at the end of most fantasy novels). This saga of angels vs chimaera (hybrid monsters) and the breaking down of long held hatreds is exciting and imaginative, travelling between Earth and Eritz finding love and despair for Akiva (seraph) and Karou (resurrected chimaera). The first book “Daughter of smoke and bone” is amazing, with some fascinating new concepts and the second “Days of blood and starlight” introduces more complex issues into the mix and brings things to a climax for the last book to unravel (or not). (Raewyn)

Syndetics book coverVirtual light / William Gibson.
William Gibson’s ‘Virtual Light’ is the first book in his renowned San Francisco trilogy. Gibson constructs a dystopian California that is all too reminiscent of the socio-economic situation today. Gibson wrote the book in 1994 and focused on the evaporation of the middle class, the power of information, and the emergence of the internet. Gibson threads such a social criticism through a racy detective plot. The novel follows a lowly bicycle courier and a lowly rent-a-cop. Each character weaves towards the other through their disastrous interactions with the extremely wealthy.
Following on from the literary kingship of metafiction in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Gibson turns in a different direction. Rather than references to television existing outside of the main narrative, televisual references are now part of the fabric of the text. Both the characters, the narrator, and the implied author make sense of their world through television. If you understand a reference, then you are forced to realise that such a television show is part of the fabric of your reality too! A fast-paced read filled with Gibson’s characteristic sardonic cool tone. (Andrew)

Syndetics book coverTales of the city / Armistead Maupin.
I’ve had this book recommended to me a few times and I have finally kowtowed to the pressure and read it. Though I didn’t so much read it as consume it one evening. It is an entertaining story that follows the interwoven lives of a sundry group of characters living in 1970s San Francisco. I found it to be compulsive reading which made navigating the sometimes rambling and convoluted narrative enjoyable rather than tedious. It certainly has soapy moments but that didn’t stop me from admiring it. I have already made it through the two follow-up books and am looking forward to the continuing tales in Armistead’s other books. (Caleb)

The pen and the sword – First World War poetry, letters and memoirs

541px-Poppy-closeupIs the pen mightier than the sword? In a physical sense alas no — otherwise the celebrated war poets would not have been so cruelly cut down in their prime — but the curious phenomenon about this terrible episode in our history is that it produced a magnificent flowering of the written word. Many of those fighting at the front were highly educated men, well versed in the classics and literature. Poetry — considered the highest of the literary forms — was the natural medium in which to express not the pity and the horror of this dreadful war but also a heightened sense of the beauty of life. It is the poignancy of this mix, coupled with the youth of the poets, which has the power to move us so profoundly today.

“The Great silence” followed The Great War — a period when everybody wanted to forget about it and nobody wanted to talk about it. Memoirs were slow to come, and many have only just been produced using letters and diaries as source material.

There are many many books about this war to end all wars — and this being the centenary year of the conflict there are likely to be many more. Those we have chosen below are a guide to what is held in each category. Have a read!


Syndetics book cover1914 : poetry remembers / edited by Carol Ann Duffy.
“The First World War holds a unique place in the nation’s history; the poetry it produced, a unique place in the nation’s hearts. To mark the centenary of the First World War in 2014, the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, has engaged the most eminent poets of the present to choose the writing from the Great War that touched them most profoundly: their choices are here in this powerful and moving assembly. But this anthology is more than a record of war writing. Carol Ann Duffy has commissioned these same poets of the present to look back across the past and write a poem of their own in response to the war to end all wars.” (Summary from Global Books)

Syndetics book coverFirst World War poems / edited by Andrew Motion.
“The First World War produced some of the most haunting and memorable poetry of our age. In this compelling anthology, the Poet Laureate Andrew Motion guides us through both the horror and the pity of that conflict, from the trenches of the Western Front to reflections from our own age. With a selection of our best-known war poets, this collection also returns lesser known pieces to the light and extends the selection right through to the present day. The text serves to remind us how poetry of that time has, more than any other art from, come to stand testament to the grief and outrage occasioned by World War I” (Summary from Global Books)

Biographies & memoirs:

Syndetics book coverTestament of youth : an autobiographical study of the years 1900-1925 / by Vera Brittain ; with an introduction by Mark Bostridge ; and a preface by Shirley Williams.
“In 1914 Vera Brittain was eighteen and, as war was declared, she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life – and the life of her whole generation – had changed in a way that was unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era. TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain’s account of how she survived the period; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded and how she emerged into an altered world.” (Summary from Global Books)

Syndetics book coverThe Englishman’s daughter : a true story of love and betrayal in World War I / Ben Macintyre.The Englishman’s Daughter: A True Story of Love and Betrayal in World War One
“In the first terrifying days of World War I, four British soldiers found themselves trapped behind enemy lines on the western front. They were forced to hide in the tiny French village of Villeret, whose inhabitants made the courageous decision to shelter the fugitives until they could pass as Picard peasants. The Englishmans Daughter is the never-before-told story of these extraordinary men, their protectors, and of the haunting love affair between Private Robert Digby and Claire Dessenne, the most beautiful woman in Villeret. Their passion would result in the birth of a child known as The Englishmans Daughter.” (Summary from Global Books)

Syndetics book coverFor king and country : voices from the First World War / edited by Brian MacArthur.
“Far more than an anthology, this gripping collection of writings tells the story of World War I from the perspective of those who endured its horrors both at home and abroad. From the men who served in Europe comenbsp;accounts of fear, tedium, horror, and occasional joy, while those on the home front describe the pain ofnbsp;waiting for news of their loved ones. Along with selections from letters, diary entries, and memoirs, famous songs sung in the trenches as well as poems from soldiers and noted authors alike are also included.” (Summary from Global Books)

Syndetics book coverFighting on the Home Front : the legacy of women in World War One / Kate Adie.
“Bestselling author and award-winning former BBC Chief News Correspondent Kate Adie reveals the ways in which women’s lives changed during World War One In 1914 the world changed forever. When World War One broke out and a generation of men went off to fight, women emerged from the shadows of their domestic lives. Now a visible force in public life, they began to take up essential roles – from transport to policing, munitions to sport, entertainment, even politics. Kate Adie charts the seismic move towards equal rights with men that began a century ago and asks what these women achieved for future generations. This is history at its best – a vivid, compelling account of the pioneering women who helped win the war.” (Summary from Global Books)

Syndetics book coverTickled to death to go : memoirs of a cavalryman in the First World War / edited by Richard van Emden.
“Tickled to Death to Go is no ordinary memoir. Illuminated by Ben Clouting’s lively sense of humour and healthy disrespect for petty restrictions, it is a remarkable story told in his own words” (Summary from Global Books)

Syndetics book coverAnzac girls : the extraordinary story of our World War I nurses
“By the end of World War I, 45 Australian and New Zealand nurses had died on overseas service, and over 200 had been decorated. These were the women who left for war looking for adventure and romance, but were soon confronted with challenges for which their civilian lives could never have prepared them. Their strength and dignity were remarkable. Using diaries and letters, Peter Rees takes us into the hospital camps and the wards and the tent surgeries on the edge of some of the most horrific battlefronts of human history. But he also allows the friendships and loves of these courageous and compassionate women to enrich their experiences, and ours.” (Summary from Global Books)

And a novel which reads like a memoir (you will not believe it’s fiction!):

Syndetics book coverDiary of an ordinary woman / Margaret Forster.
“Margaret Forster presents the ‘edited’ diary of a woman, born in 1901, whose life spans the twentieth century. On the eve of the Great War, Millicent King begins to keep her journal and vividly records the dramas of everyday life in a family touched by war, tragedy, and money troubles. From bohemian London to Rome in the 1920s her story moves on to social work and the build-up to another war, in which she drives ambulances through the bombed streets of London. Here is twentieth-century woman in close-up coping with the tragedies and upheavals of women’s lives from WWI to Greenham Common and beyond. A triumph of resolution and evocation, this is a beautifully observed story of an ordinary woman’s life – a narrative where every word rings true.”. (Summary from Global Books)


Letters were the commonest form of communication in the early 1900s and people of all classes wrote them frequently. In the highly literate letters of the officers and the simple and direct communications of the ordinary soldiers we see the a true history of the war emerge — the terrible battles, the day-to-day experience of the troops, and the realities of life at home.

Syndetics book coverLetters from the trenches : a soldier of the Great War / Bill Lamin.
“I was very pleased to hear from you and that you are going on all right . . . We have had another terrible time this week the men here say it was worst than the Somme advance last July. We lost a lot of men but we got where we were asked to take. It was awful I am alright got buried and knocked about but quite well now and hope to remain so. We were praised by the general and all, everybody said we had done well, quite a success . . . It is a rum job waiting for the time to come to (Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverPrivate wars : personal records of the Anzacs in the Great War / Greg Kerr.
“Greg Kerr retraces the journey of Australian and New Zealand troops from Gallipoli in 1915 to the final penetration of the Hindenburg Line in 1918. While covering the general strategic course of the war, the author focuses on the human side of the war. Similar to his acclaimed Lost Anzacs: The Story of Two Brothers, Kerr follows the experiences of roughly sixty figures–officers, privates, nurses–and captures their experiences through judicious and uncensored extracts from their letters and diaries. The book also includes numerous photos, many previously unpublished. The combination of photos, letters, and historical backgroundmake for an unforgettable account of what the war was really like on the ground.” (Syndetics summary).

And what happened next…

Syndetics book coverSingled out : how two million women survived without men after the First World War / Virginia Nicholson.
“The First World War deprived Britain of three quarters of a million soldiers, leaving as many more incapacitated. In 1919 a generation of women who unquestioningly believed marriage to be their birthright discovered that here were, quite simply, not enough men to go round. They became known as ‘the Surplus Women’.” “Many of us remember them: they wee our teachers, our maiden aunts, women who seemed to have lost out life’s feast. This book tells their stories.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverCasualty figures : how five men survived the First World War / Michèle Barrett.
“In this delicate look at history in microcosm, Barrett (literary and cultural theory, Queen Mary, University of London) follows the experience of five soldiers who survived World War I, two in the medical corps and three in the trenches. Their survival was debatable, though each man suffered from shell shock that affected his later life and damaged his relations with family and friends. Using private letters, diaries and military records Barrett paints a harrowing portrait of these men, what they survived and how they coped but never really recovered. This is a beautifully written psychological biography that, sadly, is all too timely.” (Syndetics summary)

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