Johnsonville Library is opening at Waitohi Hub!

This Saturday, come and join us at the official opening of Johnsonville Library at Waitohi, the new Johnsonville community hub. There will be a morning of celebrations including the ribbon cutting-ceremony and cultural performances. 

7am-8am Public opening ceremony

  • Master of ceremonies : Jennifer Parker (Wellington City Council)
  • Welcome – Kura Moeahu and Taku Parai (Iwi leaders)
  • Introduction – Laurinda Thomas, Libraries Manager (Wellington City Council)
  • Speech from Hon Tracey Martin – Minister of Internal Affairs
  • Speech from His Worship the Mayor of Wellington
  • Ribbon cutting ceremony
  • Unveiling of commemorative plaque
  • Performance by Wellington Chinese Language School children’s group
  • Wellington Interfaith Council presentation “We Are One”
  • Bharatanatyam performance by Natraj school of Indian dance
  • Lion dance by Wellington China Cultural Centre

The new café, Common Ground Waitohi. will open at 8am and we will have exclusive tours of the building starting at the same time. The new library will open for everyone to visit at 9am. We hope to see you there!

New DVDs for December

New DVDs for December include the new Fast & furious spin off; the true life story of famed Manchester United goalkeeper Bert Trautmann; a hit Amazon Prime show starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant, based on the Book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; a remake of the classic Lion King story; and the critically acclaimed mini-series Chernobyl.

Fast & furious. Hobbs & Shaw
“Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs, a loyal agent of America’s Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw, a former British military elite operative, first faced off, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they’ve tried to take each other down. But when anarchist Brixton gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever, these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.” (Summary, Catalogue)

The keeper
“While visiting a PoW camp near Manchester at the end of WWII, Margaret Friar, the daughter of the manager of the local football team, notices young German soldier Bert Trautmann. Her father is so taken by Bert’s prowess as a goal-keeper that he gets him out of the camp to play for his local team. Margaret and Bert’s love blossoms despite local hostility and resentment of the German PoWs. In the meantime, Bert’s heroics in goal are noticed by Manchester’s City Football Club. Rather than going back to Germany like nearly all the other camp inmates, Bert marries Margaret and signs for Man City.” (adapted Summary from Catalogue)

Good omens
“Aziraphale is a fussy angel. Crowley is a loose-living demon. They’ve both been on Earth for over 6,000 years. During that time they’ve grown quite fond of it, and, against all odds, each other. But there’s a problem – the Antichrist has arrived here on Earth, which means the world they have become too fond of will end in flames, if they don’t manage to save it. This wildly imaginative and gloriously funny drama follows Aziraphale and Crowley as they join forces in an attempt to find an 11-year-old Antichrist (and his dog) and avert the Apocalypse. Armageddon is coming – but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.” (Product description, Amazon.co.uk)

Late night
“After almost 30 years, legendary talk-show host Katherine Newbury suspects she may soon be losing her spot on late-night television unless she makes a game-changing transformation. Making gender equality her goal, she impulsively hires Molly Patel, a chemical plant efficiency expert, as the first and only female on her writing staff. Molly urges her to make the show more contemporary, authentic, and personal, a move that could make Molly’s career or send her back to the chemical plant for good.” (summary from Catalogue)

Garage sale mystery. Murder in D minor.
“Jennifer Shannon has a gift for finding rare treasures hidden in garage sales that she can resell at her consignment store, Rags to Riches. But her keen eye for finding valuables also gets her involved in the criminal investigations that happen at the very second-hand sales she frequents. In “Murder in D Minor”, Jennifer wins the bid on a vintage self-playing piano at an estate auction. The piano was owned by the late Carl Deats and Jennifer discovers that this wealthy philanthropist has a dark history.” (Catalogue)

The lion king
“After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.” (Catalogue)

Chernobyl : a 5-part miniseries.
“Jared Harris (The Crown, Mad Men), Stellan Skarsgård (Breaking the Waves, Good Will Hunting) and Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves, Apple Tree Yard) star in Chernobyl, the critically acclaimed five-part mini-series. On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukrainian SSR suffered a massive explosion that released radioactive material across Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and as far as Scandinavia and Western Europe. Dramatising the true story of the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, Chernobyl shines a light on the brave men and women who fought an unprecedented war against an invisible enemy, and who suffered and sacrificed, saving millions of lives, often at the cost of their own.” (Product Description, Amazon.co.uk)

Little Woods
“Ollie is barely getting by in Little Woods, an economically depressed fracking boomtown in North Dakota. She has left her days of illegally running prescription pills over the Canadian border behind, eying a potential new job that would finally break her out of the small town. But when her mother dies, she is reunited with her estranged sister Deb, who faces a mounting crisis: the combined effect of an unplanned pregnancy and a deadbeat ex.” (Catalogue)

High life
“Monte and his baby daughter are the last survivors of a damned and dangerous mission to deep space. The crew, death row inmates led by a doctor with sinister motives, has vanished. As the mystery of what happened onboard the ship is unraveled, father and daughter must rely on each other to survive as they hurtle toward the oblivion of a black hole.” (Summary from Catalogue)

Game of thrones. Season 8.
“The final season depicts the culmination of the series’ two primary conflicts: the great battle at Winterfell against the Army of the Dead, and the final battle in King’s Landing for control of the Iron Throne.” (Mightyape.co.nz)

The farewell.
“In this funny, uplifting tale based on an actual lie, Chinese-born, U.S.-raised Billi (Awkwafina) reluctantly returns to Changchun to find that, although the whole family knows their beloved matriarch, Nai-Nai, has been given mere weeks to live, everyone has decided not to tell Nai Nai herself. To assure her happiness, they gather under the joyful guise of an expedited wedding.” (adapted from Description, mightyape.co.nz)

New artwork surrounding Central Library

And only sea is the title of a new artwork on the hoarding surrounding Wellington Central Library, designed by Mata Aho Collective in collaboration with Andre Te Hira. The artwork celebrates the civic and literary life of poet J.C. Sturm, also known as Jacquie Baxter. Baxter worked as a librarian at the Central Library for over twenty years. She was one of the first Māori women to complete an undergraduate degree, the first Māori woman to attain an MA in Philosophy, and also one of the first Māori women to appear in print.

New artwork being installed at Central Library

The artists chose to render one of her poems On the building site for a new library (published 1996), as the work references the construction of the Central Library and also Wellington city’s land reclamation where Civic Square was once underwater. The artwork acknowledges the civic location and literary connection, tells a story about the history of the land and people – connects to the area’s Māori heritage and geography, and celebrates the importance of libraries to our cities as places of learning, refuge and relaxation.

The new artwork provides vibrancy to the area as the long term future of the building and Te Ngākau — Civic Precinct is worked through. There will be a blessing for the new artwork on Sunday 15 December.

To find out more about Jacquie’s life, library staff have compiled a biography, shown below.

New Zines!

The last Zinefest in November was the biggest one to be held in Wellington so far. In addition to opening night festivities, the marketplace ran over two days at Te Auaha, with different stallholders on both days.

Zinefests in Wellington are normally held twice a year, and Wellington City Libraries always attends if possible. Most of our lending zine collection is bought at the marketplace. So where can you find zines now that the Central Library is closed? Our new zines are being added to Newtown Library’s collection. A collection has been based there for a while now, and Newtown is now the main source of lending zines for Wellington Library borrowers. So pop-in to Newtown to browse and borrow!

Here are some selected highlights from the November Wellington Zinefest, which will be available on Newtown Library’s shelves:

“Overcommunicate” is self-described as a “magazine for LGBTQIA+ women, non-binary folk, and friends.” Written by a variety of contributors, it is a collection of art, writing, and poetry. We have Issues 1 and 2 available to borrow.

The Crispin series. This is a set of four little zines about Crispin, a yellow, smiley-faced blob who goes on a series of adventures including: “Crispin goes fishing”, “Crispin has a series of close shaves”, “Crispin in Monday’s child”, and the “Beginners guide to drawing Crispin.” Each one is hand-coloured by the artist.

Three new zines by Willow Scarlett. Artist, writer, and learner of Latin, Scarlett has created three beautifully produced zines that combine art and writing. Their first, “Gutter Flowers volume 1” is an A5 sized, stitch-bound, black-matte covered zine with raised gold lettering. Inside are full-colour illustrations with more raised, textured lettering. The other two are A6 in size: “blood stained stairs”, and “death and beautiful illusions.” Both are short horror stories printed on thick red paper, and stitched together with gold thread.

Our final new zine was not bought at the zinefest, but was sent to us as a donation from Newtown School. It is called “Kids Write: A journal publishing awesome authors and artists.” We have Issue 1, which was produced in Term 3 of 2019. It features illustrations and writing from children aged 5 – 11.

The best of BBC audiobooks on Libby and OverDrive

In case you didn’t know, the BBC continues to add provocative, clever, funny shows on their various radio stations, only to then combine these complete seasons of unique, mostly-excellent content as audio books.

Over the last few years, we’ve added many of these daring, unique series on our OverDrive website, ready to be devoured in long and short sittings, or passively enjoyed whilst pruning the roses, and washing the car.

Below are recent BBC audio book favourites assembled to represent the many facets of the BBC comedy-template – original ghostly comic-dramas, expertly acted mockumentaries, intricately plotted true-life one-woman shows, panel shows devoted to the strange, curious and hilarious and small town comedy-monologues that reveal a regions very heart and soul.

Read further for brief reviews of these BBC-faves – good listening!

Overdrive cover The Hauntening, Tom Neenan (Audiobook)
Comic writer, Tom Neenan has authored a truly original combination of modern comic sitcom and Black Mirror-lite supernatural scenario. Demonic fridges threaten, dating apps haunt suddenly, and podcasts are inhabited by murderous spirits. Neenan adopts an awkward, self-obsessed persona lending an underlying vulnerability to spooky proceedings whilst the accomplished production is full of effective sound effects, ambience and sharp jokes. Expect the odd genuine scare, but more often a deep satisfying belly laugh.

Overdrive cover Sarah Kendall–Australian Tales, Sarah Kendall (Audiobook)
Each one of Kendall’s Australian Tales is a complete and compelling story in its own right, but all the tales together represent a significant achievement of comic-tragic story telling. Each tale leaps backwards and forwards and time, challenging your attention and grabbing it at the same time, whilst remembering difficult teenage years, ongoing family tensions and those awkward yet unforgettable moments that create change and form identity. Kendall’s natural, funny narration is suited to the candid subject matter, providing carefully judged pathos and comic timing to proceedings. Winner of the 2018 Writers’ Guild Award for Best radio Comedy and the Silver Aria Award for Best Storytelling.

‘A mini masterpiece of tragicomic storytelling’ **** – The Times.

Overdrive cover Alex Horne Presents the Horne Section, The Complete Series 1-3, Alex Horne (Audiobook)
Famously partly responsible for TV series Taskmaster and classy intermissions on 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Alex Horne and the Horne Section also produced silly, brilliantly played musical radio comedy shows through 2012 – 2014. The complete series is frantically performed in front of a receptive studio audience, also starring special comedy guests like Nick Helm, Sara Pascoe and Matt Lucas. Song titles include ‘Ode To Tash’s Fashion Sense,’ ‘Those were the days (of the week)’ and ‘Battleships! theme song.’ Expect hours of punishing puns, hit-and-miss novelty songs and surprisingly competent musicality.

Overdrive cover Susan Calman–Keep Calman Carry On, Susan Calman (Audiobook)
‘My name is Susan Calman and I am a very tense person.’ So begins episode one of Keep Calman carry on. Susan Calman then begins to find some way to cope with her tension through trying something new, designed to distract, help unwind and relax. Whether through viewing art with Phill Jupitus, gardening with Val McDermid, visiting a music festival with Robin Ince or hill walking with Muriel Gray, Calman gamely and enthusiastically embraces new experiences with an open spirit and genuineness, unrelated to conventional ideas of success and failure. In this case, if you try, you succeed. Listening to this excellent series may make you want to be a better person.

Overdrive cover The Museum of Curiosity–Series 9-12, John Lloyd (Audiobook)
Now well into its tenth year, The Museum of Curiosity has become a reliable and ingenious mainstay of the UK comedy radio scene. Through 14 series, famed comedy producer John Lloyd has hosted comedians, historians, scientists, politicians and more from across the world in a compelling chat show devoted to the quirky, unusual and surprising. Each season is hosted by Lloyd with a different comedian including Bill Bailey, Jo Brand, Sean Lock, Sarah Millican and each episode introduces three new guests willing to add a virtual exhibition to the ever-growing curious museum of oddities. Each season is renewed by its new comedian co-host and the list of carefully chosen guests provide an old-school intelligence and fresh chemistry to proceedings – a series built to last.

Overdrive cover Mark Steel’s In Town–Series 7 & 8, Mark Steel (Audiobook)
Everyone lives in a small town, in one way or another and Mark Steel’s warm evocation of village, seaside and country life has become a portrait of enduring everyday strangeness. From rampant goats and peacocks over-running small holdings, to inland ‘seaside’ towns with identity crises, Steel identifies cultural quirks whilst warmly roasting the expectant helpless towns he visits. The best episodes involve the towns-folk themselves questioning Steels humourous, often honest observations (and biases) on the Loch Ness monster, Hepton Bridge or Matlock Bath. The many episodes of Mark Steel’s in Town combined almost equate to a complete life-time of observations, worth experiencing.

More BBC Audiobooks well worth listening to!

Overdrive cover It’s a Fair Cop–Series 1-3, Alfie Moore (Audiobook)
Ever wondered what sort of a police officer you might make? Alfie Moore spent eighteen years on the Humberside police force before turning to stand-up comedy. In each episode of this live stand up show, he takes his audience through a scenario based on a real life case, and tasks them with deciding how they would have acted in the circumstances.

“Brilliantly funny, genuinely hilarious” – David Mitchell

(adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Incredible Women, Series 1-6, Rebecca Front (Audiobook)
Rebecca Front and Jeremy Front star in this series of spoof documentaries looking at the lives of some extraordinary and unforgettable characters. We meet some truly remarkable women, such as controversial children’s writer and wolf enthusiast Eleanor Fane-Gore; ‘Media Integrity Czar’ Valerie Panther; MI5 whistle-blower Helen McKee; fashion guru Tish Watts; child star Mandy Fenwick; Irina Stonkus, soon to be the first woman on Mars; and National Treasure Dame Cicely Leyland.

‘This is not just good, it’s excellent and shows that quality writing can transform radio comedy into something that’s laugh-out-loud funny.’ Radio Times

(adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Tim Key’s Late Night Poetry Programme–The Complete Series 1-4, Tim Key (Audiobook)
Ever wondered just how much of life you can understand through poetry? Tim Key is never far from stage and screen – from Peep Show to Alpha Papa to Taskmaster. But now he’s back doing what he does best – attempting to recite poetry whilst tormenting his friend and musician, the equally brilliant, and long suffering, Tom Basden. From ruminating on the meaning of family via his narrative poem The Godfather, attempting to get to the bottom of death via his poem The Boy Who Faked His Own Death, and also organising an impromptu stag party, Tim Key uses poetry to help him understand every situation.

‘In any other sphere apart from comedy, we’d probably class this way of looking at the world as certifiable. Here it feels like genius.’ The Telegraph

(adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Infinite Monkey Cage, Series 6-9, Brian Cox (Audiobook)
Brian Cox and Robin Ince present a witty, irreverent look at the world according to science. The Infinite Monkey Cage has become one of BBC Radio 4’s most popular science based programmes. In each episode physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince delve into a particular field of science, with the help of guests from the worlds of science, academia and entertainment.

(adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover It’s Not What You Know, Series 1-3, BBC Radio Comedy (Audiobook)
What would Jonathan Agnew do if he wasn’t a cricket commentator? Who would play Romesh Ranganathan in a film of his life? What’s the naughtiest thing Sara Pascoe did as a child? It’s not what you know, but who you know that matters… and indeed, how well you know them. The show is a bit like ‘Mr and Mrs’, except that it’s not played by husbands and wives. Instead, panellists can pick anyone they like: dad, cousin, best friend, mother-in-law. All these burning questions, and more, will be answered in this BBC comedy panel show hosted by Miles Jupp, and Joe Lycett where panellists are tested on how well they know their nearest and dearest.

(adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover My Teenage Diary, Various (Audiobook)
Forty-five episodes from Series 1-8 of the Sony Award-winning BBC Radio comedy show, hosted by Rufus Hound

(adapted from Overdrive description)

Festive storytimes are here!

Ho! Ho! Ho! Deck the halls with books of jolly…! These festive storytimes are a family favourite every year, and we are excited to announce the 2019 line up.

Suitable for families with children of all ages, come along in your favourite Christmas costume or pajamas, and listen to stories and songs about the Christmas Season. No need to book, just turn up!

Thursday 12th December

Karori Library, 6 – 7pm
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, 6.30 – 7.30pm

Friday 13th December

He Matapihi (Molesworth St) Library, 10 – 10.45am, Bilingual Storytime

Saturday 14th December

Arapaki (Manners St) Library, 10.30 – 11.15am

Monday 16th December

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library, 6 – 7pm
Miramar Library, 6 – 6.45pm
Brooklyn Library, 6.30 – 7.15pm

Thursday 19th December

Island Bay Community Centre, 4.30 – 5.30pm, Christmas Crafts
Island Bay Library, 6 – 6.45pm
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library, 6 – 6.45pm
Khandallah Library, 6 – 7pm
Wadestown Library, 6.30 – 7.15pm

Friday 20th December

Newtown Library, 6 – 6.45pm Multicultural Storytime

Saturday 21st December

Johnsonville Library at Waitohi Hub, 2 – 3pm

festive-storytimes

 

Health books new in our collection

Books and eBooks to help those suffering from insomnia, about neuroplasticity, and a guide to medical cannabis for New Zealanders feature this month!

Print books

The first cell : and the human costs of pursuing cancer to the last / Raza, Azra
“In The First Cell, Azra Raza offers a searing account of how both medicine and our society (mis)treats cancer, how we can do better, and why we must. A lyrical journey from hope to despair and back again. The First Cell is no ordinary book of medicine, but a book of wisdom and grace by an author who has devoted her life to making the unbearable easier to bear.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Healing practices in the South Pacific
“This collection represents a valuable reference work for specialists on Oceania and, because of strong relationships between the two cultural areas, for specialists on traditional medical systems of southeast Asia who are interested in broadening their own comparative analyses.” (adapted from “R. Provencher, Northern Illinois University. Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.” (Catalogue)

The pelvic floor bible : everything you need to know to prevent and cure problems at every stage in your life / Simpson, Jane
“Have you ever laughed so much you wet yourself – just a little bit? Or found yourself crossing your legs on the doorstep frantically searching for your keys? Do you get up at night to go to the toilet more than once? Incontinence is both preventable and curable through pelvic floor exercises and rehabilitation but too many people assume nothing can be done, follow incorrect advice or are ashamed to seek help. We need to end the taboo now. Jane Simpson will show you how to incorporate pelvic floor exercises as part of your daily routine in order to prevent issues in later life and cure existing problems now.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Up the duff : the real guide to pregnancy / Cooke, Kaz
“First published in 1999, Kaz Cooke’s best-selling Up the Duff is firmly established as the most loved and trusted book for Australian and New Zealand women on pregnancy.
This 20th-anniversary edition has been fully revised and updated. Australia’s most trusted advisor on women’s health delivers the lowdown on pregnancy, birth and how to best prepare for life with a baby.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The ultimate guide to eating for longevity : the macrobiotic way to live a long, healthy, and happy life / Waxman, Denny
“The ultimate guide on how to build and integrate healthy habits into your diet and lifestyle, revealing a more positive, balanced, and invigorating approach to long lasting health. Readers will find healthy living easier than ever by learning how to apply these principles into a broad range of modern lifestyles and having the ability to go at their own pace. The Ultimate Guide to Eating for Longevity is not a diet fad but based on the world’s long-standing civilizations that have changed very little over time and make it clear that it is possible to live a long healthy life.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Medical cannabis : a brief guide for New Zealanders / Holt, Shaun
“An easy-to-read guide to the potential benefits and risks of using cannabis as a medicine. It gives the reader a good understanding of what medical cannabis is, an overview of its history, and importantly, a summary of what the latest research shows about the use of cannabis as a medicine, and its potential benefits and risks.” (adapted from Catalogue)

eBooks

Relax into yoga for seniors : a six-week program for strength, balance, flexibility, and pain relief / Carson, Kimberly
“With this book, you’ll explore what yoga is and how to do it safely, including important movement considerations like how to get up and down from the floor with care, and how to stand and sit with healthy postural alignment. With this popular program, you’ll be able to create a safe and effective individualized practice that will address your needs, take personal limitations into consideration, and help you relieve pain, become more flexible and active, and connect more deeply with your inner experience.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Healthy brain, happy life : a personal program to activate your brain and do everything better / Suzuki, Wendy
“A neuroscientist transforms the way we think about our brain, our health and our personal happiness in this clear, informative and inspiring guide – a blend of personal memoir, science narrative and practical advice that bring the human brain into focus as never before, revealing the powerful connection between exercise, learning, memory and cognitive abilities. Taking us on an amazing journey inside the brain as never before, Suzuki helps us unlock the keys to neuroplasticity that can change our brains or bodies and, ultimately, our lives.” (Catalogue)

Mindfulness for insomnia / Polan Orzech, Catherine
“Break the cycle of anxious thinking and rumination that keeps you up at night. With this much-needed guide, you’ll learn to quiet your mind, relax your body, feel less tense, and finally get the sleep you need. There is nothing we can do to “make” ourselves fall asleep. In many ways, this is why insomnia can be so maddening. But what we can do is help create the conditions necessary for healthy slumber.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Holiday hours for 2019/2020

A warm season’s greetings to all our library borrowers and visitors with best wishes for a happy holiday season. Here are the opening hours across all our libraries from Tuesday 24 December 2019 to Friday 3 January 2020.

All our libraries will be closed 25 December, 26 December, New Year’s Day and 2 January. Between Tuesday 24 December and Friday 3 January,  library branches will be open with reduced hours. See our holiday timetable for details.

Our libraries resume regular opening hours on Monday 6 January.

Of course our eLibrary will be available throughout the holiday period! This includes eBooks, eMagazines and streaming movies to keep you entertained, along with newspapers & eMagazines in PressReader. Happy holidays everyone!

Broken Codes and Lost Youth – History Picks November

This month’s history picks feature way over our usual quota for World War material, with Paul Byrnes’s The Lost Boys, DJ Taylor’s Lost Girls and Ronald Rosbottom’s Sudden Courage looking through various lenses at the youth of the era and how they were impacted by the wars – going overseas from New Zealand to fight, losing their friends and family in England and how society changed along the way, or when the war showed up on their doorstep in occupied France.

Elsewhere, we’ve got Bletchley Park and D-Day looking at the famous codebreakers and their influence as an intelligence agency. It’s not just the good guys who were hard at work cracking ciphers – Christian Jennings’s The Third Reich is Listening covers German efforts in the field during World War II. To ensure this post isn’t just about that particular era of history, we’ve also got Marilyn Garson’s experiences in Gaza in 2014 and Marie Arana’s wider history of Latin America.

Still lives : a memoir of Gaza / Garson, Marilyn
“Marilyn Garson was an experienced aid professional who created jobs at the edge of war. In 2011, she was invited to move to the Gaza Strip. Marilyn became the Economic Director of a large NGO programme, leading an ambitious young Palestinian team. In 2014, Marilyn witnessed first-hand the impact of Israel’s urban assault and massive civilian displacement. The UN was prepared to shelter 35,000 displaced Gazans, but 293,000 arrived. Locked in beneath the bombs, they had nowhere safer to go, and nothing but the United Nations flag and international law to protect them.” (Catalogue)

Silver, sword and stone / Arana, Marie
Silver, Sword and Stone is a vibrant, sweeping history of Latin America, told through three compelling lenses. The first, precious metal, of which silver is an enormous part, is an obsession that burned brightly in pre-Columbian times, consumed Spain in its relentless conquest of America, drove a system of exploitation, and has morphed into Latin America’s hope for the future. The second, the ‘sword’, is the culture of violence: from the Aztec and Inca empires through the bloody nineteenth-century wars of independence to state terrorism, the Shining Path, and today’s drug wars. The third, embodied in temples, elaborate cathedrals, or simple piles of rock, is the region’s fervent adherence to religious institutions, built in stone. Vivid and impeccably researched, Silver, Sword and Stone is the definitive narrative history of a region with a tumultuous but little-understood present as well as past.” (Catalogue)

Sudden courage : youth in France confront the Germans, 1940-1945 / Rosbottom, Ronald C.
“On June 14, 1940, German tanks rolled into Paris. Eight days later, France accepted a humiliating defeat and foreign occupation. Most citizens adapted and many even allied themselves with the new fascist leadership. Yet others refused to capitulate; in answer to the ruthless violence, shortages, and curfews imposed by the Nazis, a resistance arose. Among this shadow army were Jews, immigrants, communists, workers, writers, police officers, shop owners, including many young people in their teens and twenties. Ronald Rosbottom tells the riveting story of how those brave and untested youth went from learning about literature to learning the art of sabotage, from figuring out how to solve an equation to how to stealthily avoid patrols, from passing notes to stealing secrets – and even learning how to kill. ” (Catalogue)

The cult of Trump / Hassan, Steven
“In The Cult of Trump, mind-control and licensed mental health expert Steven Hassan draws parallels between our current president and people like Jim Jones, David Koresh, Ron Hubbard and Sun Myung Moon, arguing that this presidency is in many ways like a destructive cult. He specifically details the ways in which people are influenced through an array of social psychology methods and how they become fiercely loyal and obedient. Hassan was a former “Moonie” himself, and he draws on his forty years of personal and professional experience studying hypnosis and destructive cults, working as a deprogrammer, and a strategic communications interventionist. He emphasizes why it’s crucial that we recognize ways to identify and protect ourselves and our loved ones.” (Catalogue)

Bletchley Park and D-Day : the untold story of how the battle for Normandy was won / Kenyon, David
“Since the secret of Bletchley Park was revealed in the 1970s, the work of its codebreakers has become one of the most famous stories of the Second World War. But cracking the Nazis’ codes was only the start of the process. Thousands of secret intelligence workers were then involved in making crucial information available to the Allied leaders and commanders who desperately needed it. Using previously classified documents, David Kenyon casts the work of Bletchley Park in a new light, as not just a codebreaking establishment, but as a fully developed intelligence agency. This account reveals the true character of Bletchley’s vital contribution to success in Normandy, and ultimately, Allied victory.” (Catalogue)

The Third Reich is listening : inside German codebreaking 1939-45 / Jennings, Christian
“The success of the Allied codebreakers at Bletchley Park was one of the iconic intelligence achievements of World War II, immortalised in films such as The Imitation Game and Enigma. But cracking Enigma was only half of the story. Across the Channel, German intelligence agencies were hard at work breaking British and Allied codes. The Third Reich is Listening is a gripping blend of modern history and science, and describes the successes and failures of Germany’s codebreaking and signals intelligence operations from 1935 to 1945. The first mainstream book that takes an in-depth look at German cryptanalysis in the Second World War, it tells how the Third Reich broke the ciphers of Allied and neutral countries, including Great Britain, France, Russia and Switzerland.” (Catalogue)

Operation Swallow : American soldiers’ remarkable escape from Berga Concentration Camp / Felton, Mark
“In this little-known story from World War II, a group of American POW camp leaders risk everything to save hundreds of fellow servicemen from a diabolical Nazi concentration camp. Their story begins in the dark forests of the Ardennes during Christmas 1944 and ends at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp in the spring of 1945. Operation Swallow provides a historical, first person perspective of how American GIs stood up against their evil SS captors who were forcing them to work as slave laborers. Written from personal testimonies and official documents, Operation Swallow is a tale replete with high adventure, compelling characters, human drama, tragedy, and eventual salvation.” (Catalogue)

The lost boys : the untold stories of the under-age soldiers who fought in the First World War / Byrnes, Paul
“In the First World War of 1914-1918, thousands of boys across Australia and New Zealand lied about their age, forged a parent’s signature and left to fight on the other side of the world. Though some were as young as thirteen, they soon found they could die as well as any man. This extraordinary book captures the incredible and previously untold stories of forty Anzac boys who fought in the First World War, from Gallipoli to the Armistice. Featuring haunting images of the boys taken at training camps and behind the lines, these tales are both heartbreaking and rousing, full of daring, ingenuity, recklessness, random horror and capricious luck. A unique perspective on the First World War, The Lost Boys is military history made deeply personal, a powerful homage to youthful bravery and a poignant reminder of the sacrifice of war.” (Catalogue)

Lost girls : love, war and literature, 1939-51 / Taylor, D. J.
“Who were the Lost Girls? At least a dozen or so young women at large in Blitz-era London have a claim to this title. But Lost Girls concentrates on just four: Lys Lubbock, Sonia Brownell, Barbara Skelton and Janetta Parlade. Chic, glamorous and bohemian, as likely to be found living in a rat-haunted maisonette as dining at the Ritz, they cut a swathe through English literary and artistic life in the 1940s. They all had very different – and sometimes explosive personalities – but taken together they form a distinctive part of the war-time demographic: bright, beautiful, independent-minded women with tough upbringings behind them determined to make the most of their lives in a highly uncertain environment. However tiny their number, they are a genuine missing link between the first wave of newly-liberated young women of the post-Great War era and the Dionysiac free-for-all of the 1960s. Hectic, passionate and at times unexpectedly poignant, this is their story.” (Catalogue)

New Science fiction and fantasy: Epic conclusions and curious creations

New tales in science fiction and fantasy and delving into the vaults.  Wheel of time fans have a pre Wheel of time Robert Jordan, a.k.a. James Oliver Rigney, Jr. title to revel in. Becky Chamber’s new novella explores the potential for space exploration, boundaries expand as humans are adapted to their new environments before they arrive, but what is the fate of the homeworld they leave behind?

The confines of linear time and lifespan are challenged in Joe Abercrombie’s A little hatred and Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the ninth. The Lightbringer series concludes with Brent Weeks’ The burning white. Nine years from start to finish this epic saga of magic, lies and betrayals has seen it’s characters transform as the world they know evolves around them. So who is the Lightbringer?

To be taught if fortunate / Chambers, Becky
“In the future, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the galaxy transform themselves.  Ariadne and her fellow crewmates sleep while in transit, and wake each time with different features. But as they shift through both form and time, life back on Earth has also changed. Faced with the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten those who have left, Ariadne begins to chronicle the wonders and dangers of her journey, in the hope that someone back home might still be listening.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Warrior of the Altaii / Jordan, Robert (print), (eBook)
“Draw near and listen, or else time is at an end. The watering holes of the Plain are drying up, the fearsome fanghorn grow more numerous, and bad omens abound. Wulfgar, a leader of the Altaii people, must contend with twin queens, warlords, prophets, and magic in hopes of protecting his people and securing their future. This is Robert Jordan’s never-before-published first novel, which he wrote before his well-known Wheel of Time series.” (Adapted from catalogue)

A little hatred / Abercrombie, Joe
“The age of the machine dawns, but the age of magic refuses to die. With the help of the Long Eye glimpsing the future is one thing, but with the guiding hand of the First of the Magi still pulling the strings, changing it will be quite another. Old scores run deep as ever. On the blood-soaked borders of Angland, Leo dan Brock struggles to win fame on the battlefield. Savine dan Glokta plans to claw her way to the top of the slag-heap of society by any means necessary and the slums boil over with a rage that all the money in the world cannot control.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Gideon the ninth / Muir, Tamsyn (print), (eBook)
“Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse.  But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free. Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House, has been summoned into action. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die. Of course, some things are better left dead.” (Adapted from catalogue)

The burning white / Weeks, Brent
“In the stunning conclusion to the epic, Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks, kingdoms clash as Kip must finally escape his family’s shadow in order to protect the land and people he loves. As the White King springs his great trap, and the Chromeria itself is threatened by treason and siege, Kip Guile and his companions will scramble to return for one impossible final stand. In the darkest hour, will the Lightbringer come? (Adapted from catalogue)

The cruel stars / Birmingham, John
“Centuries after their defeat, the Sturm have returned with an overwhelming attack on the fringes of human space.  Everybody thought the Sturm were dead, engulfed by the Dark. They were wrong. On the brink of annihilation, humankind’s only hope is a few brave souls who survived the initial onslaught. Five flawed, reluctant heroes must band together to prevail against a relentless enemy and near-impossible odds. For if they fail, the future itself is doomed.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Season of storms / Sapkowski, Andrzej
Translated from original Polish by David French
“Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher, one of the few capable of hunting the monsters that prey on humanity. A mutant who is tasked with killing unnatural beings. He uses magical signs, potions, and the pride of every Witcher – two swords, steel and silver. But a contract has gone wrong, and Geralt finds himself without his signature weapons. Now he needs them back, because sorcerers are scheming, and across the world the  season of storms is coming…” (Adapted from catalogue)

Knight / Zahn, Timothy (print, (eBook)
“Nicole Hammond was just trying to survive on the streets of Philidelphia, then she and her partner Bungie were abducted by a race of mysterious moth-like aliens and taken to a strange ship. Now she is a Sibyl, a special human that has the ability to communicate with the aliens and their ship. Competing factions control different parts of the ship with the humans and other sentient aliens caught in the middle. But Nicole has a plan to take control of the ship. She just has to outsmart war profiteers and slavers to do it.” (Adapted from catalogue)