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New DVDs: Wellington City Libraries Ratings Project #2

Why does it take so long for things to be released on DVD? Why are some TV shows not released here at all, even though they are available in Australia? Unfortunately New Zealand’s DVD zone is at the end of the release market for a lot of material and faced with such a small market, procedural costs often become prohibitive to warrant general release by an official distributor.

We love TV shows at Wellington City Libraries, and we know you do too. Which is why we have initiated ‘The Ratings Project’, an ongoing mission to bring you the shows that you want to watch by submitting titles to the Film & Video Labelling Body for classification.  We’re aiming to give you the complete ‘TV’ experience, whether we provide you with full run of your favourite TV shows, or surprise you with something new & different. We hope you find something you enjoy and feel free to send us any feedback and suggestions.

This month’s titles have a distinctly criminal bent:

Cover imageThe Inspector Lynley mysteries. The complete series four.
“The aristocratic Inspector Lynley and working-class Detective Sergeant Havers are a most improbable detective team with a definite knack for solving difficult crimes. Based on the Lynley and Havers characters from Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley Mysteries, this fourth Inspector Lynley Mysteries set begins where the third leaves off, just after Lynley and his wife Helen have separated following the loss of their baby and as Havers is returning to work after having been shot in the line of duty. “In Divine Proportion” finds the pair deep in the countryside where they must sort out a host of small-town relationships and piece together a string of seemingly disparate clues in order to bring two murderers to justice. Lynley and Havers are off on a brief holiday to visit Lynley’s mother Lady Asherton in “In the Guise of Death” when an apparent suicide in a neighboring stable draws Lynley back to work. Eventually, a smuggling ring that includes some most unexpected players is revealed. It seems that even the House of Lords is not immune to fraud and murder in “The Seed of Cunning,” but the question that haunts Lynley is whether its members are exempt from the legal ramifications of their actions. Lynley’s pursuit of justice without regard for protocol and self-restraint in the face of illegal immigrants, organ trading, and the search for an immensely valuable ancient Koran may quite possibly prove his downfall in “The Word of God.” These PBS Inspector Lynley Mysteries are suspenseful, thought-provoking, and thoroughly engaging…” (From Amazon.com review)

Cover imageMurdoch mysteries. Complete series 6.
“Forensic sleuthing in the age of invention. Broadcast as The Artful Detective on Ovation. Based on novels by Maureen Jennings. At the dawn of the 20th century, Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson, Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye) solves Toronto’s trickiest cases with scientific insight and ingenuity in this award-winning mystery series. From flying early aircraft to infiltrating nudist communities, consulting with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to helping a young Winston Churchill, Murdoch has always been a man ahead of his time. In Season 6, he also confronts legal and social challenges to be with his love, pathologist-turned-psychiatrist Dr. Julia Ogden (Gemini® winner Hélène Joy, Durham County). Meanwhile, Constable Crabtree (Jonny Harris, Hatching, Matching & Dispatching) gains confidence as a policeman and a suitor to fetching coroner Dr. Emily Grace (Georgina Reilly, The L.A. Complex)…” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageSilk. Series 2 / created by Peter Moffat.
“As Martha (Maxine Peake) steps up to become a QC, Shoe Lane Chambers once again becomes the focus for drama and intrigue on the front line of criminal law… Martha Costello is incredibly young to have got silk, she is a brilliant and passionate barrister but now the stakes are higher than ever. Tensions are also running high in the chambers, with the still ambitious Clive Reader (Rupert Penry-Jones) having to deal with his failure to become a QC, and Billy Lamb under pressure to keep the chambers afloat. As Martha finds an ambiguous ally in Caroline Warwick, a 50-something, sharp as a stiletto QC, and Clive develops a fascination for a very beautiful and principled solicitor; passion, jealousy and ambition take hold both in and out of the courtroom…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageDalziel & Pascoe. Series four.
“Episode 1: On Beulah Height. With modernity raising its ugly head in Yorkshire, the grand idea of the Water Board was to flood a local valley to make a reservoir. Of course they had to bulldoze the homes of Dendale, the farming town inconveniently situated in that valley, first, and relocate the families. That was when the children began to disappear. Andy Dalziel was a young detective in those days, and he took the case hard. Three little girls were missing in all. No bodies were ever found, and the best suspect, a strange lad named Benny Lightfoot, was held for a time, then released. Twelve years later, with one of the driest summers on record, the ruins of Dendale have begun to reappear in the reservoir. And the child-snatching has started again. Dalziel, older, wiser, and more caustic, is determined to get his man this time. Episode 2: Recalled to Life. As Inspector Dalziel and partner Pascoe work unofficially to refute new evidence concerning a 1963 case, they threaten to unearth various nasty political secrets. Episode 3: Time to Go. The drugs-related death of young man who lapsed into a coma at a rave club attracts the interest of Dalziel (Warren Clarke) and Pascoe (‘Colin Buchanan’ ). As the detectives investigate deeper into the rave club they discover that the club is owned by Nicholas and Sophie, intense, inseparable twins and financed by their seemingly benign Uncle Henry (Bernard Cribbins), a maker of perfume. This bizarre trio cause problems enough for Dalziel but he then he comes under more pressure…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageDalziel & Pascoe. Series five.
“Episode 1: A Sweeter Lazarus. Having recovered from his wounds Andy Dalziel returns to the fold just as Peter Pascoe is in the midst of an undercover operation trying to capture a serial killer. Peter corners the man who then jumps to his death but the only witness turns out to be Abbie Hallingsworth who was kidnapped 19 years before and presumed dead. More difficult however is that her kidnapper, Gus Mullavey, confessed to her murder and is still in prison, though now on his deathbed… DNA testing confirms her identity but the police soon have a murder investigation on their hands when Abbie is found dead. When they learn that one-third of the Hallingsworths’ considerable family wealth was in trust for Abbie, they focus on Abbie’s brother David as the most likely suspect….Season 5, Episode 2: Cunning Old Fox. After Georgina Webster dies following a fall from her horse during a fox hunt, it’s put down to an accident. When the Master of the Hunt, James Marsham, receives an anonymous letter saying her death was a good thing, he asks the police to investigate. ACC Rebecca Fenning puts Dalziel in charge of the case and he would rather be doing almost anything else…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover iamgeDalziel & Pascoe. Series eight.
“Dinosaur Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel and his cultured sidekick, DI Pascoe return to tackle four intriguing new murder mysteries set in the beautiful countryside and towns of Yorkshire. Cases include a complex investigation involving an escaped wife-murderer, secret affairs, hidden bodies and illegitimate children; and the death of a wealthy factory owner, blamed by his family on his Russian fiance. They may be total opposites, but their different skills complement one another, making them a crime-busting detective team second to none…” (Container description from Syndetics)

Cover imageDalziel & Pascoe. Series nine.
“Blunt-talking, politically-incorrect detective Andy Dalziel once again pairs up with his younger, fast-tracked side-kick, Inspector Peter Pascoe. Joining the team are one time tearaway, WPC ‘Janet’ Jackson and a young muslim, DC Parvez Lateef, as they investigate four more intriguing murder mysteries in the town of Wetherton and the beautiful Yorkshire countryside surrounding it…” (Container description from Syndetics)

Cover imageHu$tle. Series six.
“The smash hit show returns for a sixth series and the gang are back with more exciting, inventive, and very shady scams. If you have money to burn, you had better keep an eye on it. From cheap jewellery to the odd priceless painting, the team continues on their mission to right the wrongs of the country by punishing the corrupt and excessively wealthy for their lack of concern for others. It just so happens that the team makes some money along the way. In Series 6, Mickey (Adrian Lester: The Day After Tomorrow) finds himself pursued by the beautiful and clever Lucy Britford (Indira Varma: Rome). Problem is, shes a detective inspector set on catching Mickey and making him answer to all of his past crimes. Meanwhile Sean (Matt Di Angelo: EastEnders) and Emma (Kelly Adams: Holby City) must face up to some family history, and contemplate the best way to get the perfect revenge. The question is is it about the money?…” (Container description from Syndetics)

Cover imageHu$tle. Series seven.
“All six episodes from the seventh season of the BBC drama following the fortunes of a gang of London-based expert con artists with a moral bent. In this series, the team plans to stitch up the owner of a dodgy model agency and help a former hustler, after he fakes his own death, to evade the clutches of an Iranian gangster. Episodes comprise: ‘Silent Witness’, ‘Old Sparks Come New’, ‘Clearance from a Deal’, ‘Benny’s Funeral’, ‘The Fall of Railton FC’ and ‘The Delivery’…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageHu$tle. Series eight.
“The final season of Hustle was always going to have a lot to live up to. In the seven series that preceded it, all manner of capers and cons had been pulled, and the characters had been dragged through the mire on many occasions. Was there, it was asked, enough left in the tank for one more run? The answer? Yes. Yes there was. Hustle series eight might not be the show at its finest–indeed, there are a couple of dud episodes here–but it’s still to the credit of the writing team that they still find compelling rug-pulls to spring on the audience. You still have to pay as much attention as you always did, and that’s always part of the fun. What’s particularly pleasing here is how well Hustle goes out. Its confidence grows towards the end of its final series, and the last episode does the show proud. We’re not spoiling anything here, but for eight series, Hustle has set itself high standards, and it doesn’t relax them here. There might not be anything particularly special about the DVD release for Hustle season 8, but the six episodes alone, at nearly an hour apiece, comfortably offer terrific value, and plenty of rewatch potential. It might be a shame that Hustle had to sign off, but full credit to the show for doing it in such style…” (From Amazon.co.uk review)

Cover imageNew tricks. Series 10.
“Retired cops solve cold cases in this hit British series. The old dogs of the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad are about to welcome a few new faces. But first, Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman, Sexy Beast) and her loyal team—Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman, The Sweeney), Brian Lane (Alun Armstrong, Garrow’s Law), and Steve McAndrew (Denis Lawson, Bleak House)—will solve their final cases together, bringing justice to decades-old murders that stumped London’s Metropolitan Police. After Brian’s reckless behavior endangers his place on the team, brainy Danny Griffin (Nicholas Lyndhurst, Only Fools and Horses) steps in and rubs the rest of the squad the wrong way. Later, Sandra makes a choice that means a new boss for UCOS: feisty, fearless DCI Sasha Miller (Tamzin Outhwaite, EastEnders). The result is “a welcome new lease of life” (The Daily Telegraph, U.K.) for a show that has “plenty more tricks up its sleeve” (Western Daily Press, U.K.)…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

NZIFF: Fashion Picks for August

This year’s New Zealand International Film Festival brings us two swoon-worthy fashion films – Dior and I and Yves Saint LaurentTo celebrate this auspicious occasion, we’ve compiled a selection of books and DVDs all about these two fashion greats for your perusal. With a selection of old favourites and glossy new titles, there’s something to suit everyone.

Syndetics book coverDior, the legendary images : great photographers and Dior / edited by Florence Müller ; preface by Jean-Paul Claverie ; English translation: Gail de Courcy-Ireland.
“Published to accompany the Dior and Fashion Photography exhibition presented at the Musée Christian Dior in Granville, France, this lavish volume presents a wealth of gorgeous photographs that bring the character of the couturier’s dresses to life, with each photographer interpreting them in his or her unique style. Legendary contributors include Horst P. Horst, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Cecil Beaton, Norman Parkinson, Henry Clarke, William Klein, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Sarah Moon, Paolo Roversi, Nick Knight, Ines Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Tim Walker, Willy Vanderperre, Patrick Demarchelier, and many more. Stunning, glamorous, and iconic, Dior and Fashion Photography exemplifies how the haute couture house transcended fashion to enter the realm of legend.” – adapted from amazon.com

Syndetics book coverYves Saint Laurent
“A dazzling portrait of Yves Saint Laurent and his world of fashion over the last twenty-five years of his career, by legendary pioneer of backstage fashion photography, Roxanne Lowit. Yves Saint Laurent is a name synonymous with style, elegance, and high fashion. When he came on the scene at Dior and then started his own line, he quickly changed the way people regardedhaute couture and the world of fashion itself. He revolutionized women’s eveningwear when he introduced le smoking, a woman’s tuxedo, and made couture accessible to a younger generation.Yves Saint Laurentis Roxanne Lowit’s personal photographic history of Saint Laurent, the man and the fashion, from 1978, the year she first met him, to the last show he gave in 2002. Lowit shares magical moments of YSL with the world–intimate, social, absorbed in fashion–and creates a unique portrait of this towering figure of postwar couture.” – adapted from amazon.com

Syndetics book coverSerge Lutens : Berlin à Paris / edited by Nagel Patrick.
“One of the world’s most famous stylists and photographers, and perfume creator par excellence, Serge Lutens was the creative genius behind the cosmetics of Christian Dior. Born in Lille, he moved to Paris, where he was hired by Vogue to create make up” – Library catalogue.
“This book focuses on Serge Lutens’ years working for Dior 1967-1977, offering previously unpublished material.” – amazon.com

Syndetics book coverA queer history of fashion : from the closet to the catwalk / edited by Valerie Steele ; introduction by Hal Rubinstein ; contributions by Christopher Breward, Shaun Cole, Vicki Karaminas, Peter McNeil, Elizabeth Wilson.
“From Christian Dior to Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, many of the greatest fashion designers of the past century have been gay. Fashion and style have played an important role within the LGBTQ community, as well, even as early as the 18th century. This provocative book looks at the history of fashion through a queer lens, examining high fashion as a site of gay cultural production and exploring the aesthetic sensibilities and unconventional dress of LGBTQ people, especially since the 1950s, to demonstrate the centrality of gay culture to the creation of modern fashion. Sumptuous illustrations include both fashion photography and archival imagery”– Provided by publisher.

L’amour fou [videorecording] / Les Films du Lendemain and Les Films de Pierre present a film by Pierre Thoretton.
“A documentary on the relationship between fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and his lover, Pierre Berge.” – library catalogue.

Syndetics book coverParis 1962 : Schatzberg : Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior : the early collections / photographs by Jerry Schatzberg.
“A creator of poetic images and a compelling storyteller, Jerry Schatzberg has, over the past four decades, excelled in both photography and filmmaking. In the 1960s Schatzberg’s photographs in Vogue, Life, Esquire, and Glamour set a new standard for fashion photography, while his portraits documented the generation’s most notable artists, celebrities, and thinkers, from Bob Dylan to Robert Rauschenberg. In the 1970s he turned his attention to the medium of film. Directing classic movies including The Panic in Needle Park, starring Al Pacino, and Scarecrow, for which he won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.”–Book jacket.

Syndetics book coverThe beautiful fall : fashion, genius, and glorious excess in 1970s Paris / Alicia Drake.
“In 1954 they were two young talents from the provinces, both dreaming of Paris, glamour and glory. Yves Saint Laurent was the charmed youth, the enfant terrible inheritor of Dior’s couture crown, his frame almost too slight to bear his genius. Karl Lagerfeld was the flamboyant freelance designer with a remarkable talent for ready-to-wear. Seemingly from a background of enormous wealth and privilege, he was in fact a tireless workaholic, driven by his passion for capturing the pose of the moment Each designer created his own mesmerising world, a world vivid and seductive enough to pull people to them – people attracted by their power, charisma and fame. The two cliques could not help but become rivals. “The Beautiful Fall” is Alicia Drake’s chronicle of this dangerous, brazen, fabulous time, and the two designers who were its essence and remain its most singular survivors.”– Adapted from the book jacket.

Prêt-à-porter [videorecording] / a Robert Altman film.
“In Moscow, Sergei purchases two Dior ties, one of which Olivier de la Fontaine, head of the French Fashion Council, receives. He visits his lover, fashion designer Simone Lowenthal, and then dies choking on a ham sandwich. Fashion reporters converge on Paris for the ready to wear fashion shows and schemes and intrigues ensue among them and the designers. De la Fontaine’s death turns out to be an accident. Lowenthal expresses her contempt for the fashion scene by ending her show with nude models.” – Library catalogue

Home, garden & DIY in Winter – featuring gardening for kids & DIY furniture

This month’s recent pick features home DIY and gardening projects, including some ideas for keeping the little ones busy in the winter! Also in this month’s picks — check out houses with energy saving designs.

Syndetics book coverHandmade personalized photo gifts: over 75 creative DIY gifts and keepsakes to make from your photographs
“Photographs always evoke strong emotions with those special moments caught on camera–this book shows you over 75 fabulous ways to display your photographs on virtually any surface! Using the very latest trends, techniques and materials this books shows you how photos can be added to practically any surface to create unique gifts. Project ideas include: canvas prints, bottles, plates, mugs and jars, jewellery, cushions, blankets, toys and puzzles. Step-by-step photographs will both teach and inspire you to create amazing results–so give your creativity free rein and fill your life with your special moments.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCreative shrub garden: eye-catching combinations for year-round interest
“The Creative Shrub Garden celebrates a plant that is too often taken for granted and gives gardeners the confidence to use shrubs in the design-forward treatment they deserve. This book shows you how to make the most of the many benefits of shrubs–including their hardiness, year-long beauty, size, and low-maintenance nature–by making them the main element in a garden design. McIndoe teaches you the basics first, with tips on choosing shrubs based on a garden’s size, determining soil and climate needs, and pruning and maintenance. He then offers hundreds of shrub combinations that work with 15 main garden styles, including coastal, cottage, Mediterranean, tropical, urban, and more.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDIY furniture 2 : a step-by-step guide / Christopher Stuart.
“Featuring 30 new designs by leading designer-makers from around the world, DIY Furniture 2 builds on the international success of the previous title, showing you step-by-step how to make unique designer furniture.Including both conceptual objects and modern designs, the book showcases innovative processes using readily available materials commonly found at the local hardware store. Each project features diagrams with short, easy-to-follow instructions on how to build the piece.The projects range from novice to experienced, allowing the reader to start where they are comfortable and work towards more difficult projects as they gain knowledge, familiarity with tools, and confidence.The designs in this book will have you thinking about common materials in a whole new way!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverProjectKid / Amanda Kingloff ; photographs by Alexandra Grablewski.
“Perfect for crafty parents who are eager to get their kids excited about DIY. Have you ever think a body-wash bottle would make a perfect rocket ship? Author Kingloff uses everyday objects in an unexpected, ingenious way. And these are projects for things kids want to make–and keep–from a juice-box owl to a pirate ship to a curio cabinet for displaying all of their treasures, plus games, jewellery, and more. Also included in the book are basic crafting lessons (such as pom-pom making and weaving) to help children of all ages build a DIY arsenal, a handy guide to must-have tools and materials, and a source directory.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTaming wildflowers : bringing the beauty and splendor of nature’s blooms into your own backyard / Miriam Goldberger.
“Easily cultivate wildflowers in your own garden…and have a year-after-year supply of gorgeous flowers at your fingertips. Wildflower farmer and floral designer Miriam Goldberger is here to show you how.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverThe nesting place : it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful / Myquillyn Smith.
“Myquillyn believes that there is beauty in imperfection, in the lived-in and loved-on and used-just-about-up. Imperfections put people at ease and free us to take risks and create the home-and the life-we’ve always wanted. Myquillyn’s warm and insightful words are paired with her own gorgeous four-color photos and creative, easy ideas for arranging, decorating, and building a home that welcomes everyone. Readers will learn how to create their own style-without breaking the bank or stressing over comparisons.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGardening lab for kids : 52 fun experiments to learn, grow, harvest, make, play, and enjoy your garden / Renata Fossen Brown.
“A refreshing source of ideas to help your children learn to grow their own patch of earth. This fun and creative book features 52 plant-related activities set into weekly lessons, beginning with learning to read maps to find your heat zone, moving through seeds, soil, composting, and then creating garden art and appreciating your natural surroundings. Author Renata Fossen Brown guides your family through fun opportunities learning about botany, ecology, the seasons, food, patience, insects, eating, and cooking. The labs can be used as singular projects or to build up to a year of hands-on outdoor experiences. So, slip on your muddy clothes, and get out and grow.” (Abridged from Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverWarm house, cool house : inspirational designs for low-energy housing / Nick Hollo ; foreword by Jamie Durie.
“To aid in the minimization of environmental impact, this book offers valuable advice on how to help keep homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter with little or no reliance upon appliances. Illustrated with more than 100 inspiring contemporary examples of low-energy housing design, this fully updated edition contains practical and clever suggestions to make any home–in any climatic zone–an environmentally sustainable, comfortable, and attractive place to live year-round, while keeping electricity, gas, and water bills comfortably low.” (Syndetics summary)

New fiction in July – including Stephen King’s latest

From chefs to spies, cowboys to war veterans, serial murders to investment bankers, this month’s selection of new Contemporary Fiction offers some great reading, and an amazing choice, no matter what your reading preference happens to be.

Syndetics book coverNight heron / Adam Brookes.
“In 1989, Li Huasheng (code name Peanut) was a promising Beijing engineer and the ringleader of a group of would-be defectors trading China’s technology secrets to the UK. But their operation aborted when Peanut was imprisoned in a labor camp after impulsively attacking a soldier during the Tiananmen Square protests. Two decades later, Peanut returns to Beijing, desperate to renew the deal with UK intelligence that he’s kept secret all these years. Peanut mistakes British journalist Philip Mangan for an undercover operative and approaches him with top-secret information. Mangan manages to get the proof documents to the embassy, and he’s immediately drafted into the world of espionage.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe bird skinner : a novel / Alice Greenway.
“Jim Kennoway, embittered and frequently drunk, has retreated to his house on the Maine coast, still recuperating from his recent leg amputation. Once a renowned ornithologist, he is brought ever lower by his painful memories: of his bloody stint in naval intelligence in the Solomon Islands; of his great love affair with his wife, Helen, which ended tragically; and of his youthful escapades exploring the forest, which marked him as odd but also gave him his life’s calling. Now he has been chosen to host the daughter of an islander who was once his scout. He only wants to be left alone, but the tall, beautiful young woman called Cadillac brings with her high spirits and a similar appreciation for their natural surroundings.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTigerman / Nick Harkaway.
“Lester Ferris, sergeant of the British Army, is a good man in need of a rest. He’s spent a lot of his life being shot at, and Afghanistan was the last stop on his road to exhaustion. He has no family, he’s nearly forty and burned out and about to be retired. The island of Mancreu is the ideal place for Lester to serve out his time. It’s a former British colony in legal limbo, soon to be destroyed because of its very special version of toxic pollution, a down-at-heel, mildly larcenous backwater. Of course, that also makes Mancreu perfect for shady business, hence the Black Fleet of illicit ships lurking in the bay: listening stations, offshore hospitals, and money laundering operations, drug factories and deniable torture centres. None of which should be a problem, because Lester’s brief is to sit tight and turn a blind eye. But Lester Ferris has made a friend: a brilliant, Internet-addled street kid with a comic book fixation who will need a home when the island dies and who might, Lester hopes, become an adopted son. Now, as Mancreu’s small society tumbles into violence, the boy needs Lester to be more than just an observer.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverMr. Mercedes : a novel / Stephen King.
“Retired Detective Bill Hodges is overweight, directionless, and toying with the idea of ending it all when he receives a jeering letter from the Mercedes Killer, who ran down 23 people with a stolen car but evaded Hodges’ capture. With the help of a 17-year-old neighbor and one victim’s sister, Hodges begins to play cat-and-mouse with the killer through a chat site called Under Debbie’s Blue Umbrella. Hodges’ POV alternates with that of the troubled murderer, a Norman Bates-like ice-cream-truck driver named Brady Hartfield. Both Hodges and Hartfield make mistakes, big ones.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Last Kind Words Saloon : a novel / Larry McMurtry.
“This novel traces the rich and varied friendship of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday from the town of Long Grass to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Denver, then to Mobetie, Texas, and finally to Tombstone, Arizona, culminating with the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral.” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverAll I have in this world : a novel / Michael Parker.
“Two strangers meet over the hood of a used car in Texas: Marcus, who is fleeing both his financial and personal failures; and Maria, who after years of dodging her mistakes has returned to her hometown to make amends. One looking forward, the other looking back, they face off over the car they both want and think they need: a low-slung sky-blue 1984 Buick Electra. The car, too, has seen its share of failures. Each dent and ripped seam represents a pivotal moment in the lives of others. After knowing each other for less than an hour, Marcus and Maria decide to buy the Buick together. As this surprising novel follows the rocky paths of the Electra and its owners, both past and present, these two strangers form an unexpected and ultimately resilient alliance.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn the light of what we know / Zia Haider Rahman.
“An investment banker approaching forty, his career collapsing and his marriage unravelling, receives a surprise visitor at his West London town house. Confronting the dishevelled figure of a South Asian male carrying a backpack, the banker recognizes a long-lost college friend, a mathematics prodigy who disappeared many years earlier under mysterious circumstances. The friend has resurfaced with a confession of unsettling power.” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe hunger and the howling of Killian Lone / Will Storr.
“Killian Lone comes from a long line of gifted cooks, stretching back to the 17th century, and yearns to become a famous chef himself. When he starts an apprenticeship under Max Mann, the most famous chef in London, he looks set to continue the family tradition. But the reality of kitchen life is brutal and relentless. Even his fellow apprentice, Kathryn, who shows Killian uncharacteristic kindness, can’t stop him being sucked into the debauched and vicious world of 1980s fine dining; and gradually he is forced to surrender his dream.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe final testimony of Raphael Ignatius Phoenix / Paul Sussman.
“Raphael Ignatius Phoenix has had enough. Born at the beginning of the 20th century, he is determined to take his own life as the old millennium ends and the new one begins. But before he ends it all, he wants to get his affairs in order and put the record straight, and that includes making sense of his own long life, a life that spanned the century. He decides to write it all down and, eschewing the more usual method of pen and paper, begins to record his story on the walls of the isolated castle that is his final home. Beginning with a fateful first adventure with Emily, the childhood friend who would become his constant companion, Raphael remembers the multitude of experiences, the myriad encounters and, of course, the ten murders he committed along the way.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChop chop / Simon Wroe.
“An outrageously funny and original debut set in the fast-paced and treacherous world of a restaurant kitchen. Fresh out of the university with big dreams, our narrator, is determined to escape his past and lead the literary life in London. But soon he is two months behind on rent for his depressing Camden Town bed-sit and forced to take a job doing grunt work in the kitchen of The Swan, a formerly grand restaurant that has lost its luster. Mockingly called ‘Monocle’ by his boisterous co-workers for a useless English lit degree, he is suddenly thrust into the unbelievably brutal, chaotic world of professional cooking and surrounded by a motley cast of co-workers for which no fancy education could have prepared him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Some brand new books with “green” credentials – sustainability & environment picks

Here are some brand new books that cover environmental topics — and especially focus on sustainability and the environment. These titles show-case subjects as diverse as green fashion and green living, and we’ve also included a Graphic novel on climate change for your reading enjoyment! Have a browse!

Syndetics book coverSustainable revolution : permaculture in ecovillages, urban farms, and communities worldwide / Juliana Birnbaum & Louis Fox.
“Urban gardeners. Seed-saving collectives. Intentional communities. Renewable energy innovators and proponents of gift economies. How are these seemingly disparate groups connected? Based on common ethics of sustainable cultures throughout history, the ecological design systems of permaculture is the common thread that weaves them into a powerful, potentially revolutionary – or evolutionary – movement. Sustainable Revolution features photographs, interviews, and essays profiling 60 thriving community-based projects in diverse climates across the planet. Contributors include: David Holmgren, Vandana Shiva, Charles Eisenstein, Starhawk, Erik Assadourian, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Albert Bates, and Geoff Lawton.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWear no evil : how to change the world with your wardrobe / Greta Eagan.
“Fashion stylist Eagan, founder of FashionMeGreen.com, offers an eye-opening tome on the devastating impact of the fashion industry on the environment. As the author explains, 13.1 million tons of textile waste goes into this nation’s landfills each year (95% of it recyclable); 1,800 gallons of water are needed to produce a single pair of jeans; and 20,000 annual deaths worldwide can be attributed to the pesticides used in growing the textiles needed to support the industry. Eagan makes a convincing case for rethinking our buying habits, and provides a concise guide for identifying sustainable choices.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA place in the sun : green living and the solar home / Stephen Snyder ; introduction by John Hix.
“These environmentally responsible, perfectly designed solar-powered houses will inspire readers to see their homes as places that can blend sustainability and beauty. The book vividly demonstrates that living green does not have to mean sacrificing comfort and living with less. In truth, it is living with so much more-peace of mind, better health, and the elegance of sustainable design that maximizes natural lighting, natural ventilation, and natural textures and materials and puts an emphasis on craftsmanship.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlastic purge : how to use less plastic, eat better, keep toxins out of your body, and help save the sea turtles! / Michael SanClements.
“Plastics. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. SanClements knows this to be true, based on a failed experiment to go two weeks without buying anything made of plastic or creating any plastic waste. From the alarm clock smacked upon awakening to the toothbrush used before going to bed, it is nearly impossible to go more than a minute without encountering plastic in some aspect of daily life. How did this invention, which has been around for little more than a century, become so ubiquitous? If the island of plastic garbage floating in the Pacific is any indication, will our planet eventually succumb to its tenacity?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe soil will save us! : how scientists, farmers, and foodies are healing the soil to save the planet / Kristin Ohlson.
“Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices — and, especially, modern industrial agriculture — have led to the loss of up to 80 percent of carbon from the world’s soils. That carbon is now floating in the atmosphere, and even if we stopped using fossil fuels today, it would continue warming the planet. In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for “our great green hope”—a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon—and potentially reverse global warming.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe big tiny : a built-it-myself memoir / Dee Williams.
“Living with a smaller footprint both in consumption and square feet has been a growing trend, especially given the current economy. Williams, a consultant and educator with Portland Alternative Dwellings, chronicles her transition from typical homeownership-with renovations, repairs, and costs-to a simpler life in an 84-square-foot house. While the publisher bills this book as how-to and memoir, the material is more biography than building guide. The author’s stories are entertaining and create a fine read, however, she offers no real instruction or construction details.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe backyard homestead book of building projects / Spike Carlsen.
“The idea of a “hoop greenhouse” might initially conjure images of a graduated pile of Hula Hoops draped in some expensive plastic. In reality, with PVC pipe, plastic sheeting, a little lumber, and maybe the help of a friend, months of growing season can be added to the year with this simple, reusable hothouse. …If sustainable living is desirable, but you don’t know where to start, Carlsen, former executive editor of Family Handyman, covers it all, from tool safety to the final product with plenty of instruction and illustrations requiring a day or a weekend. Most projects can be accomplished by the novice woodworker and require few tools beyond those found in the average garage or shed. From drip irrigation systems to the DIY beehive to the more elaborate yard shed, this book may appeal to those who want a sustainable lifestyle, or who just want a backyard project.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverClimate changed : a personal journey through the science / Philippe Squarzoni ; introduction by Nicole Whittington-Evans, Alaska Regional Director, The Wilderness Society ; translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger.
“After suddenly realizing that he couldn’t coherently discuss climate change because he didn’t understand the underlying science, the author, a French artist and human rights observer, whose previous books include several nonfiction graphic novels, set out to investigate the subject. Framed as a personal exploration, Squarzoni details the issues involved, from the basic principles behind our climate models to the impact that climate change will have on the Earth and humanity” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPoison spring : the secret history of pollution and the EPA / E.G. Vallianatos with McKay Jenkins.
“Like biologist Rachel Carson, Vallianatos (Harvest of Devastation), former staff scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Jenkins (Cornelius Tilghman Professor of English, Journalism & Environmental Humanities, Univ. of Delaware; What’s Gotten into Us: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World) sound the alarm about toxins in common use. Vallianatos, who worked at the EPA to regulate pesticides, details a failure to safeguard the U.S. environment or defend public health.” (adapted from Syndeetics summary)

Resilience and wellbeing, at home and at work

This month in our personal development picks, there’s lots to help you survive in the office jungle and power through pressure at work. Plus, Michael Foely writes about happiness in the twenty-first century, and Kleiman and Wenzel give helpful advice for couples dealing with post-partum depression. Plus, mindfulness and reconsidering our priorities in the face of unexpected illness. Have a read!

Syndetics book coverThe age of absurdity : why modern life makes it hard to be happy
“In a world that demands conspicuous consumption, high-octane relationships and perpetual youth, we can find ourselves tormented by dissatisfaction and anxiety, fearful that everyone is having a better time than we are. This thorny problem of happiness is the subject of Micahel Foley’s entertaining and witty investigation into how fulfillment eludes us as we work, love and grow old in the twenty-first century. Drawing on a wide range of sources, from the earliest writings to the latest research in psychology, Foley sheds ironic light on the absurd nature of contemporary cultural conditioning. In conclusion, rather than denouncing and rejecting our age, he proposes a strategy of not just accepting but embracing modern life – by learning that absurdity is the new sublime.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverTokens of affection : reclaiming your marriage after postpartum depression
“Postpartum depression knocks most couples off their feet and Tokens of Affection serves as a ‘grab bar’ for regaining balance. Written with humour, sensitivity and remarkable insight, Kleiman and Wenzel have created a practical and effective roadmap for couples seeking enhanced connection and stability, not only during the postpartum period but at any phase of their lives.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverPowering through pressure : building resilience for when work gets tough
“We’re all working longer and harder than ever. Greater demands mean more pressure. Too much pressure can easily turn into stress. And stress, if not handled with care, simply leads to more pressure.
Power through pressure will show you how to build resilience, manage your stress, be at your best and still get the job done, even when the pressure is really on.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverMy manager and other animals : evolution and survival in the office jungle
“Deep down we’re just like animals. Part selfish ape, part chaotic ant. But how do the two elements clash and come together in ‘antagonistic harmony’? My manager and other animals examines the evolutionary psychology of work and the complex and fascinating tactics and instincts that we have developed to deal with working life. The idea of the selfish gene encouraged a focus on the ‘selfish’ side of evolution, and the assumption that we should ‘go ape’, and be ego-driven, aggressive, and competitive. More recently, astounding discoveries in human and animal behaviour have shown that, in all animals, cooperation and altruism is more common that we think and more useful than we could imagine.” (syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe confidence code : the science and art of self-assurance– what women should know 
“Broadcast journalists Kay and Shipman (Womenomics) address the self-confidence gap between women and men, consulting a range of experts to determine what female confidence looks like and how it can be achieved. Their sources include WNBA players, successful entrepreneurs, and senior U.S. military, all of whom admit to facing crises in confidence. They visit a neuropsychologist studying rhesus monkeys to explore nature vs. nurture theories on anxiety and the brain’s neurotransmitters that enhance or inhibit confidence. The authors discuss obstacles to self-assurance women face like “negative habitual thought,” internalized pressure to conform to feminine stereotypes, and a “hormonal tendency to avoid risk.” Studies cited suggest women are more critical of their own scientific skills and spatial reasoning, and speak up less in a group setting. Kay and Shipman provide a great blueprint for raising daughters by discouraging perfectionism, noting that perfectionism smothers achievement and is the enemy of confidence. For readers themselves, the authors include techniques for eliminating “negative automatic thoughts” with self-compassion and recommend “quick fixes” like meditation, correct posture, and healthy habits. All of this research, as well as the authors’ own recounting of experiences with doubt in their professional lives, effectively builds into a comprehensive set of ingredients for the confident woman.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe priority list : a teacher’s final quest to discover life’s greatest lessons 
“In fall 2006, high school teacher Menasche, then age 34, was diagnosed with an aggressive and deadly type of brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme. Despite these challenges, in November 2012 he embarked on a journey-or Vision Quest, as he calls it-to recover his past by reconnecting with former students. Menasche, the son of booksellers, places literature at the center of his thinking and enlists it as a primary means of coping. A successful technique he used with students, the “priority list,” was useful in ranking the importance of different values and provided an effective tool for identify one’s own motivations. His chutzpah and quirky sense of humor more than explain Menasche’s popularity at Coral Reef Senior High School in Miami; after announcing his road trip on Facebook, former students in 50 cities agreed to meet with him and offered hospitality. By reconsidering his priorities, letting others care for him, and giving in to the “beautiful turmoil” of his illness, Menasche has been able to accept the break-up of his marriage and retirement from his job while reaping surprising rewards from his quest. Like Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture, this memoir is a rousing testimony to the ways in which, in the face of death, living fully in the present moment becomes possible.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverA private history of happiness : ninety-nine moments of joy from around the world 
“Instead of advocating the latest guide or formula to achieve happiness, A Private History of Happiness presents a wider perspective on everyday moments of joy in different times and cultures – and invites us to discover the happiness in our own lives that can be found right here and now.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverMindfulness at work for dummies
“Learn to: master your mind by making time for mindfulness in your daily routine; use mindfulness to improve your resilience and wellbeing; improve team performance through mindfulness practice.” (Cover)

Syndetics book coverYou are what you imagine
This book will “take you by the hand and guide you chapter-by-chapter through a series of practical exercises, including working with imagery, vizualization, meditation and journaling. Full of fascinating interviews, stories and wonderful insights, this book will give you the tools to help you listen to the whispers of your heart and soul.” (Back cover)

Sega vs Nintendo in the ’80s & ’90s, Minecraft, JavaScript, Xcode & more – new computing books

Minecraft books are always incredibly popular at our libraries — and we have a new one this month, with “Learn to program with Minecraft plugins : create flying creepers and flaming cows in Java”. Plus, a book about the console wars between Nintendo and Sega in the ’80s and ’90s, and lots of new programming books. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverConsole wars : Sega, Nintendo, and the battle that defined a generation / Blake J. Harris ; foreword by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg.
“Anyone who grew up in the late 1980s and early 1990s and had an interest in video games has likely some awareness of the console wars, which author and filmmaker Harris (12 Dates of Christmas) briefly covers here with verve. What such readers may not be as familiar with are the details of the business dealings, risky maneuvers, and all-out corporate warfare underlying so many staples of childhood. …While the book will appeal most strongly to those who cut their teeth on the classics of the 8- and 16-bit era of video games, Harris’s robust discussions of the origins of such pop culture icons as Mario and Sonic-and the complex theater of business machinations-make for equally captivating reading… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLearn to program with Minecraft plugins : create flying creepers and flaming cows in Java / Andy Hunt.
“Programming doesn’t have to be boring! Write your own Minecraft plugins and watch your code come to life with flaming cows, flying creepers, teleportation, and interactivity. Follow along with the book and add your own features to the Minecraft game by developing Java code that “plugs in” to the server. You’ll manipulate and control elements in the 3D graphical game environment without having to write tons of code or learn huge frameworks. You don’t need programming experience to get started—this book will teach you everything you need to know!” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOpenGL ES 3.0 programming guide / Dan Ginsburg, Budirijanto Purnomo ; with earlier contributions from Dave Shreiner, Aaftab Munshi.
“OpenGL(R) ES is the industry’s leading software interface and graphics library for rendering sophisticated 3D graphics on handheld and embedded devices. The newest version, OpenGL ES 3.0, makes it possible to create stunning visuals for new games and apps, without compromising device performance or battery life. In the “OpenGL(R) ES 3.0 Programming Guide,” Second Edition, the authors cover the entire API and Shading Language. They carefully introduce OpenGL ES 3.0 features such as shadow mapping, instancing, multiple render targets, uniform buffer objects, texture compression, program binaries, and transform feedback.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLearn OpenGL ES : for mobile game and graphics development / Prateek Mehta.
“Want to create sophisticated games and graphics-intensive apps? …After mastering the basics of OpenGL ES itself, you will quickly find yourself writing and building game apps, without having to learn about object oriented programming techniques. This book demonstrates the use of a powerful open-source modeling tool, Blender. You will be guided, step by step, through the development of Tank Fence, a dynamic, interactive 3D game. Along the way you’ll gain skills in building apps with Eclipse and the Android SDK or NDK, rendering graphics using hardware acceleration, and multithreading for performance and responsiveness. (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeginning iOS programming : building and deploying iOS applications / Nick Harris.
“iOS 7 is a major shift in the look and feel of apps, the first major sea change since the iPhone was first introduced. For apps to blend in with the new UI, each needs a complete redesign. Beginning iOS Programming: Building and Deploying iOS Applications starts at the beginning, including an introduction to Objective C, and gives you the skills you need to get your apps up and running. Author Nick Harris has extensive experience developing for iOS and provides a solid background for teaching the building blocks app development.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpeaking JavaScript / Axel Rauschmayer.
“This concise book starts with a quick-start guide that teaches you just enough of the language to help you be productive right away. More experienced JavaScript programmers will find a complete and easy-to-read reference that covers each language feature in depth.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMicrosoft big data solutions / Adam Jorgensen, James Rowland-Jones, John Welch, Dan Clark, Christopher Price, Brian Mitchell.
“Microsoft’s powerful big data platform – Windows Azure HDinsight and Hortonworks Data Platform for Windows – can transform the way your organization processes stores and manages enterprise data. Designed to work seamlessly with your company’s existing data infrastructure and with products like SQL Server and Hadoop.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverGoogle Maps : power tools for maximizing the API / Evangelos Petroutsos.
“Google Maps: Power Tools for Maximizing the API explains techniques for visualizing masses of data and animating multiple items on the map. You’ll also find out how to embed Google maps in desktop applications to combine the richness of the Windows interface with the unique features of the API. You can use the numerous samples included throughout this hands-on guide as your starting point for building customized applications.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEthernet : the definitive guide / Charles E. Spurgeon and Joann Zimmerman.
“This practical book covers a wide range of Ethernet technology, from basic Ethernet operation to network management, based on the authors’ years of experience in the field. You’ll learn the answers to common questions such as: What can I do to make sure that my Ethernet network works as well as possible? When do I need to upgrade to higher speed Ethernet and how do I do that? How do Ethernet switches work, and how can I use them to build larger networks? How can I manage the network, what problems should I be looking for, and how can I troubleshoot the system when problems arise?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesigning apps for success : developing consistent app design practices / Matthew David and Chris Murman.
“Because mobile apps drive sales, efficiencies, and communication between people, you understand that your business or client needs an app designed. It’s important to your client’s success or your business’s growth. But, there are few best practices out there, and the guidelines to designing a successful app are even fewer. Designing Apps for Success is here to help, covering application lifecycle management used by designers and developers when creating successful, capable apps… This guide shows you how to develop apps for iOS, Android, and Windows. (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverXcode 5 start to finish : iOS and OS X development / Fritz Anderson.
“Use Xcode 5 to Write Great iOS and OS X Apps!
Xcode 5 Start to Finish will help you use the tools in Apple’s Xcode 5 to improve productivity, write great code, and leverage the newest iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks features.
Drawing on thirty years of experience developing for Apple platforms and helping others do so, Fritz Anderson shows you a complete best-practice Xcode workflow. Through three full sample projects, you’ll learn to integrate testing, source control, and other key skills into a high-efficiency process that works.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverHadoop for dummies / by Dirk deRoos, Paul C. Zikopoulos, Bruce Brown, Rafael Coss, and Roman B. Melnyk.
“Let Hadoop For Dummies help harness the power of your data and rein in the information overload. Big data has become big business, and companies and organizations of all sizes are struggling to find ways to retrieve valuable information from their massive data sets with becoming overwhelmed. Enter Hadoop and this easy-to-understand For Dummies guide. Hadoop For Dummies helps readers understand the value of big data, make a business case for using Hadoop, navigate the Hadoop ecosystem, and build and manage Hadoop applications and clusters.” (Syndetics summary)

More new music for July

More new CDs for July include a collaborative EP from Robyn & Royksopp; new music from Sharon Van Etten, Passenger & Parquet Courts; and new remastered Deluxe editions of 90s classic albums from Slint & Soundgarden….

Cover imageAre we there.
“For this album, Van Etten found a kindred spirit in veteran music producer Stewart Lerman. Originally working together on ‘Boardwalk Empire’, they gently moved into new roles, rallying around the idea of making a record together in Lerman’s studio in New Jersey. Lerman’s studio expertise gave Van Etten the freedom to make ‘Are We There’ the way she imagined. Van Etten also enlisted the individual talents of her band, consisting of Heather Woods Broderick, Doug Keith and Zeke Hutchins and brought in friends Dave Hartley and Adam Granduciel from The War On Drugs, Jonathan Meiberg (Shearwater), Jana Hunter (Lower Dens), Peter Broderick, Mackenzie Scott (Torres), Stuart Bogie, Jacob C Morris and Mickey Freeze. Always direct, and never shying away even from the most personally painful narratives, Van Ettten’s songwriting continues to evolve. Many of the songs deal with seemingly impossible decisions, anticipation, and then resolution. ..“Her voice is breathtaking throughout the record, altering to inhabit every emotional extreme.” – Uncut (9/10), “She seems to set her voice no boundaries” – Mojo (4 stars), “Van Etten goes several layers deeper, and faster, than most songwriters. ‘Are We There’ is the kind of album that many people have been trying to make for years and only a dozen or so have pulled off; words, voice, and heartbreak.” – The New Yorker…” (Abridged from publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageDo it again / Royksopp & Robyn.
“Royksopp & Robyn are proud to announce the release of ‘Do It Again’, an incredible 36 minute 5 track mini album which will be unleashed on 26th May 2014 and precedes a new Royksopp album to be released later in the year. The ‘Do It Again’ tour with Royksopp and Robyn includes a headline slot on the 6Music stage at Latitude Festival on 19th July. ‘Do It Again’ is the first single from the mini album and is an accidental pop song written after a night out together in Bergen. It is one of the most effervescent, effortlessly uplifting electro-pop tunes of recent years, and started life as a rave-inspired throwback. Elsewhere, the mini album covers big thumping house in the shape of the club-ready ‘Sayit’. On the other end of the spectrum there is the closing ‘Inside The Idle Hour Club’, which utilises Robyn’s vocal discreetly to create a pensive, slowly evolving soundscape that’s worth diving headlong into. “This doesn’t sound like Royksopp featuring Robyn or Robyn produced by Royksopp, it’s just something else entirely, the word ”collaboration” has never before been more justified in the world of music!” – (Royksopp). “In the beginning we just knew we wanted to do something together and then it started to feel more like a band thing than songs for a Royksopp or Robyn album so we’re releasing this music together as a band you could say” – (Robyn)…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageWhispers.
“Mike Rosenberg, aka Passenger, presents Whispers, the follow up to 2012 s All The Little Lights, which featured the international hit single and 3x Platinum “Let Her Go.” Recorded in Sydney and co-produced by Chris Vallejo, Whispers is comprised of 11 tracks that tell tales some real, some imagined of love, death, growing up and getting old. A master of story telling, Passenger yet again strikes the perfect balance between the heartbreaking and the humorous, all wrapped in beautiful instrumentation, creating a sumptuous, symphonic sound.”This is easily the most “up” album I ve ever made,” explains Passenger. “It s quite cinematic. There are lots of big stories and big ideas. There are also some somber moments about loneliness and death but, hey, it wouldn t be a Passenger album without those. Mostly though, it s a really positive album.” Lead single “Scare Away The Dark,” which is already a fan favorite at live shows, presents listeners with a different side of Passenger than the one they ve come to know from international smash single “Let Her Go.” It s a riotous rant about technology taking over our lives, calling on listeners to seize the moment and embrace life. Though he didn t realize it at the time, title track “Whispers” captures the chaos in Passenger s head as “Let Her Go” began to snowball. “Heart s On Fire” is the album s grandest love song, starting sparse on finger picked guitar and building into a dramatic, passionate, strings-soaked plea to the person you can t get out of your head…” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageSunbathing animal.
“Much as Light Up Gold & the subsequent EP Tally All The Things That You Broke offered a uniquely tattered perspective on everyday life, Sunbathing Animal applies the same layered thoughts and sprawling noise to more cerebral, inward-looking themes. While heightened in its heaviness and mania, the album also represents a huge leap forward in terms of songwriting and vision…” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageSpiderland [bonus DVD].
“Slint’s 1991 album, Spiderland, remastered from the original analog master tapes by Bob Weston and pressed on 180 gram vinyl. Both CD and LP include a download coupon for 14 outtakes & demos personal selected by Slint, mastered by Bob Weston. Includes Breadcrumb Trail, a brand new, never- before-seen, 90 minute DVD documentary about Slint and the making of Spiderland, directed by Lance Bangs. Booklet includes foreword by Will Oldham…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageSuperunknown [deluxe].
“This year, the band celebrates the 20th anniversary of this groundbreaking album with a special deluxe series of reissue formats. Superunknown is the LP that is considered Soundgarden’s “masterpiece”, yielding such iconic tracks as “Black Hole Sun,” “Spoonman,” and “Fell on Black Days“, which helped redefine alternative rock and influenced the course of music. DELUXE EDITION : (2CD) 2014 remastered reissue of mega 1994 album featuring ‘Black Hole Sun’ & ‘Fell On Black Days’.Expanded with 17 bonus tracks including demos, rehearsals, b-sides & more + 28-page booklet!…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

New photography books in July – ANZAC memorials, NZ street style, New York dogs & French cats

As the centenary of New Zealand’s participation in the First World War gets under way, a touring photography exhibition will be marking the commemoration of the conflict and its impact on New Zealand. Published to coincide with the exhibition is one of this month’s featured photography books – “ANZAC – photographs” by Laurence Aberhart.

Syndetics book coverANZAC / photographs by Laurence Aberhart.
“In almost every town you care to visit in either New Zealand or Australia, you will find a memorial to those killed in the Great War of 1914-1918. These memorials were commissioned and built in the years shortly after the conflict, but communities, families and comrades who returned from battle, eager not to forget their dead, or their sacrifice. Given their sheer number, these monuments are so familiar, and seemingly so familiar to one another, that nowadays we may barely give them a second look. Laurence Aberhart has made a career out of taking a second look. This book presents seventy magnificent photographs by one of New Zealand’s leading artists, with an introduction by historian Jock Phillips. It is published to coincide with a major touring exhibition, opening at Dunedin Public Art Gallery.” (Book jacket).

Syndetics book coverFoureyes : New Zealand street style 
“Four guys (Danny Simmons, Mino Kim, Chin Tay and Alex Blanco) who love fashion, people, and photography. This book is a collection of some of their favourite photographs that they have taken on the streets of New Zealand along with a few from their travels abroad.”(Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverWorld Press Photo 13 
“Every year since 1955 an international jury has convened in Holland under the auspices of the World Press Photo Foundation to choose the finest press photographs of the year. Universally recognized as the definitive competition for photographic reporting, it draws submissions from photojournalists, newspapers, and magazines throughout the world. Publishing the results of the most recent competition, this book contains the most haunting and inspiring photographs from 2012 & 2013 ;some 150 pictures selected from more than 100,000 images submitted. These prize-winning works capture the most powerful, moving, and sometimes disturbing events of the year.” (Syndetics)
To check our collection of yearly World Press Photo Publications, click on this link.


World Press Photos 2012World Press Photos 2008World Press Photos 2006

World Press Photos 2009World Press Photos 2010World Press Photos 2011


Syndetics book coverThe photobook : a history. Volume III / Martin Parr and Gerry Badger
“Parr and Badger present the third and final volume in their series covering the photobook, with highlights from over 200 titles spanning the post-WWII era to the present, many of which were self-published or whose makers remain anonymous. Topics vary widely, from propaganda and protest to sex, identity, and memory, to found photography. All 200 covers and several interior pages from each photobook have been reproduced, resulting in an incredible visual feast of styles and subject matter from around the globe. Further, each volume is meticulously described, as is its photographer, in accompanying essays. Highlights include Ken Schles’s haunting images from Invisible City, Todd Hido’s groundbreaking House Hunting, and Sophie Calle’s recent book about her mother’s death, Rachel, Monique. While many books deal with death, war, and atrocities, there are several humorous gems, such as Joachim Schmid’s volume of found photographs, Size Matters, and Jiao Putta’s government-produced food shots in Catalogue of Meat Products. Contemporary art and photo lovers will appreciate Parr and Badger’s wealth of knowledge about modern photography.”(Syndetics)

The previous two volumes are also available in our collection (click on the images to check availability):

The Photobook a history Vol 1 The Photobook a history Vol 2

Syndetics book cover“The French cat 
“Photographer and ailurophile Hale (101 Cataclysms), born in New Zealand and living in France, offers a gorgeous love letter to her adopted country, its cities and famous light, and most of all-its cats. Cats are adored in France, she finds. Even the “gutter cats” are cherished, fed by villagers and “allowed to remain singular, self-contained, standoffish.” Photographing felines wherever she can find them-basking on the docks, posing on a “baronial staircase”-becomes a sort of shorthand for her process of observing, parsing, and celebrating French culture and the land. Her methods also make for fun reading, how she travels with cat toys to attract the attention of her skittish subjects and to lure them into the frame (not always successfully; one cat rewards her with a vicious bite) .” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe New York dog
“McKenna (Smitten; 101 Salivations: For the Love of Dogs) has a well-established brand in animal photography, with work that includes greeting cards, calendars, and posters. This collection of portraits moves from France (The French Dog) to the United States in celebration of New York’s pooches. A foreword from Georgina Bloomberg, featured with her five rescue dogs, sets the tone of dedication to the city and its canine inhabitants. While some humans are included with their pets, the focus is on the animals in their environments. From Valentino and Geisha in Manhattan to Oscar in Queens, the dogs’ stories are as varied as New York’s neighborhoods.” (Syndetics)

An Italian approach to food, & nutrients for health – new health picks

So many of this month’s titles seem to revolve around food! It is an encouraging sign that our health can be affected by the food choices we make and a nutritious, balanced diet is one way of investing in our health — and we hope you’ll find some ideas about tasty ways to do this below!

To help us on the way to good health choices, we also have a host of helpful titles in  our Personal Development collection — because sometimes we need need more than the knowledge of what is good for us, we also need the support, encouragement and self-belief to give new things a go.

Enjoy this month’s picks!

Syndetics book coverThe lost art of feeding kids : what Italy taught me about why children need real food / Jeannie Marshall.
“In this hybrid book part memoir, part treatise against the spread of bad Western eating habits journalist and mom Marshall makes a compelling case for why families everywhere should return to the old-fashioned Italian approach to food. Marshall, who moved from Canada to Italy, attends conferences, including the World Summit on Food Security, and takes her son, Nico, to markets filled with fresh cherries. She laments the way Italian kids, traditionally raised on locally grown chickpeas and cannellini beans instead of Cheerios, are falling victim to U.S. corporate marketing campaigns. McDonald’s launched its McItaly burger in 2010, and a waiter asks Nico, who had been happily drinking water, if he wanted Coke. Marshall thanks her husband, who urged her to stop complaining and start writing. Without his insight, I would have spent my energy ranting over the dinner table instead of redirecting it onto the page. Marshall isn’t breaking new ground here. Michael Pollan and others have made many of her eat-less-processed-food points already, but her home-cooked, fresh-is-best argument certainly bears repeating.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe naked eye : how the revolution of laser surgery has unshackled the human eye / Dr Gerard Sutton, Dr Michael Lawless.
Of the five senses, vision is the most astonishing. This is how we weave our way through the world. And although the eye has evolved over millions of years to give us crystal clear vision, it is a modern day phenomenon that, in evolutionary terms, our eyesight is going backwards. Due to presbyopia, we are now dependent on reading glasses for half our lives. In parts of East Asia up to 90% of school leavers are now short-sighted. This has been attributed to work, study and lifestyle factors as well as the ageing of the population. And whilst we all know there have been some amazing advances in modern medicine, what seems to have escaped everyone’s attention is the revolution that has taken place in laser eye surgery Two gifted Australian surgeons, Professor Gerard Sutton and Dr Michael Lawless, now recognised as being among the best ophthalmologists in the world in their field, were there from the beginning of this revolution. From London to New York, New Orleans and Bogota they worked side by side with the legendary pioneers of eye surgery creating history as it happened. Sutton and Lawless have written this informative, authoritative and entertaining insight into laser vision correction and what it means for you. It’s all here in The Naked Eye, an easy-to-read and jargon-free account of everything you ever wanted to know about laser eye surgery. They explain everything from 20/20 vision to the magic of the femtosecond laser. They pull apart myths, tell you some of the fascinating history of the science, and give you all you need to know on the latest surgical procedures. This is the story of the revolution of vision correction surgery – how we can now choose a surgical solution to give us a clearer vision with the naked eye.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverChange your mind, heal your body
“Your body is trying to tell you what’s wrong! A successful journalist-turned healer describes her innovative system of healing through the lens of her own self-healing journey. Parkinson was a busy workaholic reporter who yearned to leave her stressful job when she was diagnosed with a mysterious tumor behind her carotid artery. At first she pursued the traditional medical route, but after a series of frustrating mishaps with the medical system, she began to investigate alternative healing. Her search brought her into contact with such venerable healing philosophies as the ancient Hindu chakra and the simpler Hawaiian system. She eventually met Martin Brofman, founder of Body Mirror Healing, who taught her how to delve into her emotional blockages underpinning the illness. The breakthrough came when she realized that her body was communicating to her through the message of cancer. She ultimately developed a series of simple exercises, shared in the book, that help people better listen to their bodies and bring the energy needed to wipe away disease.” (From amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverMum, please help : a mother’s quest to help her daughter overcome anorexia and bulimia by developing a step-by-step home treatment programme, using neuroplastic and positive energy techniques
“This title presents a revolutionary approach offering the first home treatment programme for sufferers of eating disorders and their carers. It is based on the concepts of ‘neuroplasticity’ – re-wiring the brain to transform negative thoughts and emotions into positive ones – and ‘mindful awareness’. It provides a holistic plan to address the needs of eating disorder sufferers, developed by Karen with the help of expert, Dr Irina Webster, by directing the suffers attention away from food. Part memoir, part self help manual, this book traces a mother’s harrowing but ultimately heartwarming story of her journey to fight the disease that threatened her daughter’s life. After going through research, professional consultations, lectures by the likes of Deepak Chopra and others, and many hours of insightful dialogue with her daughter, Amy Karen, with the help of expert Irina Webster, MD, has devised a holistic plan to address the needs of those suffering from eating disorders. “Mum, Please Help” explains, step by step, how you can beat any eating disorder at its very core. This is the personal story of a mother who wanted desperately to save the life of her daughter, and succeeded. And she has come to share the fruits of her heartbreaking but victorious journey with all those who have a loved one suffering from an eating disorder, or who may themselves be sufferers.” (From amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe alkaline cure
“First-time author Domenig takes a holistic approach to health and wellness in this exploration of how and why our bodies react to certain foods, both positively and negatively. The secret, he asserts-based on the teachings of Austrian scientist Franz Xaver Mayr and his 1921 book, The Fundamentals of the Diagnosis of Digestive Illnesses-is maintaining the proper acid-alkaline levels through diet, specifically in a 2:1 ratio, so that the digestive system functions at peak performance. Hit that perfect ratio and you’ll reap a plethora of anti-aging and beauty-boosting benefits: weight loss and decreased bloating; increased brain function and bone strength; and improved immunity, mood, and vitality. Domenig states his case across six beautifully photographed sections, explaining the science behind, and basic principles of, alkalizing. He details the positive impact alkalizing can have on your physical health and psyche, identifies acid and alkaline food groups, and offers tips on setting up an alkalized kitchen. In addition, he provides a detailed, straightforward two-week program for immersing yourself in the alkalizing method-complete with a chapter of recipes covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and including soups, salads, and spreads-the titled cure. Domenig, a doctor and the medical director of the Original F.X. Mayr & More Health Center, offers a user-friendly plan that can be easily embraced.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe complete guide to nutrients : an A-Z of superfoods, herbs, vitamins, minerals, and supplements / Dr Michael Sharon.
“An easy-to-use reference provides entries on health aids ranging from food and herbs to vitamins, minerals, and supplements, listing for each the form it takes, its medicinal and health benefits, and recommended daily dose.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe silver lining : a supportive and insightful guide to breast cancer
“In this inspirational and practical memoir, Jacobs, a registered nurse and social worker as well as a vegan marathoner with no family history of the disease, describes how she stayed positive even after being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. A half-full’ kind of gal, she shares the silver linings she found during surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. She also shares what she calls lifelines (suggestions from her experiences) and talks about practical matters (for example, information on medical tests like the digital tomosynthesis 3-D x-ray of the breast). Despite the subject matter, she maintains her can-do spirit and her sense of humor. She includes a glossary (an antiemetic is a drug taken to alleviate nausea and vomiting), helpful websites, and recommended books and shopping sites (headcovers.com, mastectomyshop.com, wigsalong.com). A bonus: beautiful photos taken by her friend Messina, a wedding and celebrity photographer. An uplifting read for breast cancer patients and their friends and family members.–Springen, Karen Copyright 2010 BooklistFrom Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHealthy at home : get well and stay well without prescriptions / Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.
“Get the how, when, and why of getting better and staying well with homemade remedies that the doctor orders. National Geographic helps you take charge of health care guided by a physician expert in natural healing, herbal medicine, and home remedies. In this book she guides us in identifying, responding to, and caring for all the most common ailments, so that when it’s time to take care at home, you have a doctor’s advice on how. Learn how to make herbal remedies and why you and your family will be healthier for doing so–and get advice on when it’s best to consult a health care professional instead.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book cover“Sort your brain out : boost your performance, manage stress and achieve more / Jack Lewis and Adrian Webster.
Most people take their brain for granted, some even forget it exists and many feel like there’s nothing they can do to change it. Others spend hours at the gym working away on the bodywork, but few realize that with a basic understanding and a few new habits, you can get so much more out of your mind. Grounded in scientific research yet packed with practical tips, Sort your brain out will help you get a better understanding of how your brain works and explore simple ways of squeezing even more out of it. By training, adapting and exercising your brain on a daily basis you will finally be able to perform at your very best.”(Back cover)

Syndetics book coverThe complete relaxation book / James Hewitt.
“This book is a comprehensive guide to the art of relaxation for happiness, health and well-being. Based on over thirty years of study and experience, it offers a unique synthesis of Western therapies and Eastern mysticism.” (Syndetics)

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