Welcome!

Welcome to the libraries’ News Blog! Here you’ll find reviews of new books, information about what’s happening at our libraries, and any breaking author news. We’ll also keep you up to date with exciting book award shortlists and prize announcements as they come to us, so check back often!

Did you know we also have other library blogs?

You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest.

Miyazaki’s 50 recommended children’s books

As a number of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli movies are based on either novels or manga, it is perhaps unsurprising that he has made a list of his favourite children’s books. Because it’s quite a long list (50 in total!), here are a few of his top books:

Syndetics book coverThe little prince / written and drawn by Antoine de Saint-Exupery ; translated from the French by Katherine Woods.
“This new translation into “modern” English brings a classic tale into sharper focus for today’s teens without sacrificing the beauty and simplicity of the author’s writing, and the “restored” artwork has all the charm of the original drawings. What appears to be a simple tale of two lost souls-one, a pilot marooned in the desert next to his ditched plane; the other, a minuscule prince in self-imposed exile from an asteroid so small that he can watch the sunset 44 times a day-reveals itself as something far more complex. What appears to be a fairy tale for children opens like the petals of the Little Prince’s flower into a fantasy that has lessons for all of us.” (adapted from School Library Journal)

The Rose and the RingThe Rose and the Ring / by William Makepeace Thackeray “Between the kingdoms of Paflagonia and Crim Tartary, there lived a mysterious personage, who was known in those countries as the Fairy Blackstick, from the ebony wand or crutch which she carried; on which she rode to the moon sometimes, or upon other excursions of business or pleasure, and with which she performed her wonders. When she was young, and had been first taught the art of conjuring by the necromancer, her father, she was always practicing her skill, whizzing about from one kingdom to another upon her black stick, and conferring her fairy favors upon this Prince or that.” (Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverThe three musketeers / Alexandre Dumas ; translated and with an introduction by Lord Sudley
“Dumas’s tale of swashbuckling and heroism follows the fortunes of d’Artagnan, a headstrong country boy who travels to Paris to join the Musketeers – the bodyguard of King Louis XIII. Here he falls in with Athos, Porthos and Aramis, and the four friends soon find themselves caught up in court politics and intrigue. Together they must outwit Cardinal Richelieu and his plot to gain influence over the King, and thwart the beautiful spy Milady’s scheme to disgrace the Queen. In The Three Musketeers, Dumas breathed fresh life into the genre of historical romance, creating a vividly realized cast of characters and a stirring dramatic narrative.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe secret garden / Frances Hodgson Burnett ; illustrated by Robin Lawrie.
“Ten-year-old Mary comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAlice’s adventures in Wonderland / by Lewis Carroll ; illustrated by POP ; adapted by Michiyo Hayano ; English translation by Camellia Nich.
“Lewis Carroll’s universally known story of a little girl who falls down a rabbit hole into a magical Wonderland is given a new spin in this lushly illustrated version of the classic tale. Alice was sitting in a field reading when a white rabbit scampered by. She didn’t know what was odder: that the rabbit was running on its hind legs, wearing a jacket, and carrying a pocket watch, or that it was talking, shouting, “I’m late! I’m late!” From the moment she decided to follow the rabbit into his rabbit hole, Alice was transported to a fantastical place called Wonderland, where anything was possible. All of the familiar characters are here: the Hatter, the March Hare, the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, and the wicked Queen of Hearts.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe complete Sherlock Holmes / Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
“Over one hundred years have passed since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle intoduced his inimitable sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, to the world–and his popularity has never waned. This oversized commemorative volume contains the entire canon of Holmes adventures, both before and after his creator’s attempt to dispatch him in print. Just as the character, Holmes, prevails and defies even death, these detective stories featuring him and Dr. Watson have withstood more than the test of time: they defined and changed the way modern crime writers approached detective fiction.” (Syndetics summary)

See here for photos from a lovely Miyazaki exhibition and the rest of the list (you may wish to cross reference with the list on Amazon, as some of the titles are in Russian script).

New Science Fiction and Fantasy novels for November

Anthropomorphism, a world where nature has the power of thought and speech is the theme of the new novel by Adam Roberts, titled Bete and comes highly recommended in this month’s selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels.

Syndetics book coverResistance / Samit Basu.
“The sequel to the novel Turbulence. In 2020, eleven years after the passengers of flight BA142 from London to Delhi developed extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires, the world is overrun with supers. Some use their powers for good, others for evil, and some just want to pulverize iconic monuments and star in their own reality show. But now, from New York to Tokyo, someone is hunting down supers, killing heroes and villains both, and it’s up to the Unit to stop them.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWar dogs / Greg Bear.
“They made their presence on Earth known thirteen years ago. Providing technology and scientific insights far beyond what mankind was capable of. They became indispensable advisors and promised even more gifts that we just couldn’t pass up. We called them Gurus. It took them a while to drop the other shoe. You can see why, looking back. It was a very big shoe. They had been hounded by mortal enemies from sun to sun, planet to planet, and were now stretched thin and they needed our help. And so our first bill came due. Skyrines like me were volunteered to pay the price.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe abyss beyond dreams : Chronicle of the fallers / Peter F. Hamilton.
“The first book in the two book series titled, The Chronicle of the Fallers. When images of a lost civilization are ‘dreamed’ by a self-proclaimed prophet of the age, Nigel Sheldon, inventor of wormhole technology and creator of the Commonwealth society, is asked to investigate. Especially as the dreams seem to be coming from the Void, a mysterious area of living space monitored and controlled because of its hugely destructive capabilities.” (Adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe little green book of Chairman Rahma / Brian Herbert.
“A revolution has taken over the government of the United States and the environment has been saved. All pollution has been banned and reversed. It’s a bright, green new world. But this new world comes with a great cost. The United States is ruled by a dictatorship and the corporations are fighting back. Joining them is an increasing number of rebels angered by the dictatorship of Chairman Rahma. The Chairman’s power is absolute and appears strong, but cracks are beginning to show as new weapons are developed by the old corporate powers, foreign alliances begin to make inroads into America’s influence and strange reports of mutants filter through the government’s censorship.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAncillary sword / Ann Leckie.
“The sequel to Ancillary Justice, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, British Science Fiction, Locus and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. Breq is a soldier who used to be a warship, once a weapon of conquest controlling thousands of minds, now she has only a single body and serves the emperor. With a new ship and a troublesome crew, Breq is ordered to go to the only place in the galaxy she would agree to go: to Athoek Station to protect the family of a lieutenant she once knew, a lieutenant she murdered in cold blood.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBête / Adam Roberts.
“A man is about to kill a cow. He discusses life and death and his right to kill with the compliant animal. He begins to suspect he may be about to commit murder, but kills anyway. It began when the animal rights movement injected domestic animals with artificial intelligences in bid to have the status of animals realigned by the international court of human rights. But what is an animal that can talk? Where does its intelligence end at its machine intelligence begin? And where might its soul reside? This is a world where nature can talk back, and can question humans and their beliefs.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRise of the king / R.A. Salvatore.
“The second book of the Companions Codex series continues following dwarf king Bruenor Battlehammer and his violent feud with the orc kingdom of Many Arrows, as they seek to take advantage of the Sundering chaos.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA call to duty : a novel of the honorverse / David Weber & Timothy Zahn.
“Growing up, Travis Uriah Long yearned for order and discipline in his life. So when Travis enlisted in the Royal Manticoran Navy, he thought he would finally found the structure he had always wanted so desperately. But life in the RMN was not exactly what he expected. Boot camp is rough and frustrating; his first ship assignment lax and disorderly; and with the Star Kingdom of Manticore still recovering from a devastating plague, the Navy is possibly on the edge of budgetary extinction. There are factions in Parliament who want nothing more than to scrap the Navy and shift its resources and manpower elsewhere. But those factions are mistaken. The universe is not a safe place. Travis Long is about to find that out.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEchopraxia / Peter Watts.
“It’s the eve of the twenty-second century: a world where the dearly departed send postcards back from Heaven; where genetically engineered vampires solve problems intractable to baseline humans and soldiers come with zombie switches that shut off self-awareness during combat. And it’s all under surveillance by an alien presence that refuses to show itself. Daniel Bruks is a living fossil: a field biologist in a world where biology has turned computational. Taking refuge in the Oregon desert, he’s turned his back on a humanity that shatters into strange new subspecies with every heartbeat. But he awakens one night to find himself at the center of a storm that will turn all of history inside-out.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe shadow throne / Django Wexler.
“The ailing King of the Vordan lies on his deathbed. When he dies, his daughter, Raesinia Orboan, will become the first Queen Regnant in centuries and a ripe target for the ambitious men who seek to control her. The most dangerous of these is Duke Orlanko, Minister of Information and master of the secret police. Having meticulously silenced his adversaries through intimidation, imprisonment, and execution, Orlanko is the most feared man in the kingdom and he knows an arcane secret that puts Raesinia completely at his mercy. Exposure would mean ruin, but Raesinia is determined to find a way to break herself and her country out of Orlanko’s iron grip.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Science Feature – The Rosetta Space probe

Image: ESA/ATG medialab; Comet image: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam
Image: ESA/ATG medialab; Comet image: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam
At ~5am NZ time, 13/11/2014, the comet lander Philae landed on the nucleus (central part) of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. 7 hours earlier it had separated from its parent craft, the space probe Rosetta.

This is the first time a man-made craft has landed on a comet. Rosetta was launched in 2004, on a mission to rendezvous with a comet, send a lander to it, and escort the comet to observe any changes to the comet on its path around the sun.

On its travels to the comet, Rosetta has flown by Earth three times, Mars once, and an asteroid. It was also forced into a 31 month hibernation, to conserve energy. It awoke in January 2014 and continued its journey to the comet, culminating in the landing of Philae.

Though the landing can be considered successful, in that Philae made it down in one piece, the harpoons meant to hold it onto the comet did not fire upon landing, raising concerns about how stable it is, on the surface.

More information on the Rosetta mission can be found on the European Space Agency website.

Books on comets and asteroids:

Syndetics book coverThe solar system : a visual exploration of the planets, moons, and other heavenly bodies that orbit our sun / written by Marcus Chown.
Bestselling author Marcus Chown leads us on a grand tour through the incredible diversity of planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and spacecraft that surround the Sun in our cosmic backyard. Illuminating his insightful and surprising text are a wealth of beautiful images and diagrams, printed in full colour, richly detailed and accurately based on real scientific data. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNear-Earth objects : finding them before they find us / Donald K. Yeomans.
“Humans may fret over earthquakes, nuclear meltdown, and heart attacks, but only collision with a near-Earth object has “the capacity to wipe out an entire civilization with a single blow.” Balancing the wonders of astronomy with the looming potential for an epic, planetwide disaster, Yeomans, a fellow and research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, explores the origins of near-Earth objects-asteroids, comets, meteors, and meteoroids-and the threat they can pose to our planet. Though brief, Yeomans’s book is an accessible and far-ranging primer on the science of near-Earth objects.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Books for the Kids:

Syndetics book coverComets, asteroids, and meteors / Stuart Atkinson.
“What are comets and asteroids like, and could we ever visit one? Taking the form of an imaginary trip, this book explores the science and history of these objects, looking at recent studies and possibilities for the future.” (Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe lonely existence of asteroids and comets / by Mark Weakland ; illustrated by Carlos Aón.
“It can be tricky to keep all those chunks floating around in space comets, asteroids, meteors straight. And though these space rocks don’t have quite the brain-bendingly cool allure of other cosmic wowers like black holes and supernovae, they provide a solid thematic bedrock for a wide-ranging tour of the vastness of the universe in this graphic-format title in the Adventures in Science series.” (Adapted from Booklist)

Further online Rosetta reading:

– The Guardian – Why is the Rosetta landing so exciting: This article gives a good, basic outline of the mission, and why we should be excited!
– Stuff.co.nz – Philae landing: An article on the landing of Philae.
– Stuff.co.nz – Philae landing-Malfunctions made Philae bounce kilometre off comet: Outlines what didn’t quite work with the landing, and gives a history of man’s landings on other worlds.
– Wikipedia – Rosetta: Wikipedia’s article on Rosetta.
– Wikipedia – Philae: Wikipedia’s article on Philae.

New Contemporary Fiction for November

With the diverse range of plot, place, time and type of characters in each of these novels selected from this month’s new contemporary fiction, a great read is sure to be found. Included is the Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel titled, Us by David Nicholls and the highly recommended Sweetness #9 by Stephan Eirik Clark.

Syndetics book coverBefore, during, after : a novel / Richard Bausch.
“Natasha Barrett and Father Michael Faulk, an Episcopal priest, had at least one thing in common the evening they met: neither wanted to be there. Yet within a few alcohol-fueled months of dating, they chose to ignore their misgivings, 17-year age difference, and dearth of information about each other’s pasts and planned a September wedding. As each tied up loose ends, Michael in New York City and Natasha in Jamaica, the unthinkable happened: September 11, 2001. For Natasha, stranded in Jamaica and convinced that Michael is dead, an assault of a different nature has a similar effect. When they finally reunite in Memphis, they seem like strangers to each other. Michael’s loss of faith in both his vocation and himself coupled with Natasha’s inability to trust him with her devastating secret, threaten the relationship.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSweetness #9 : a novel / Stephan Eirik Clark.
“It’s 1973, and David Leveraux is a young and ambitious flavour chemist working at a world-renowned flavour-production house. While testing a new artificial sweetener, Sweetness #9, he notices some unsettling side effects in the laboratory rats and monkeys: anxiety, obesity, mutism, and a general dissatisfaction with life. Years later, Sweetness #9 is America’s most popular sweetener and David’s family is changing. His wife is gaining weight, his son has stopped using verbs, and his daughter is generally dissatisfied with her life. Is Sweetness #9 to blame, along with David’s failure to stop it? Or are these just symptoms of the human condition?” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe love song of Miss Queenie Hennessy / by Rachel Joyce.
“When Queenie Hennessy discovers that Harold Fry is walking the length of England to save her, and all she has to do is wait, she is shocked. Her note had explained she was dying. How can she wait? A new volunteer at the hospice suggests that Queenie should write again; only this time she must tell Harold everything. In confessing to secrets she has hidden for twenty years, she will find atonement for the past. As the volunteer points out, ‘Even though you’ve done your travelling, you’re starting a new journey too.’ Queenie thought her first letter would be the end of the story. She was wrong. It was the beginning.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverUs / David Nicholls.
“Douglas Petersen is a biochemist. His wife, Connie, an artist and arts administrator, in bed at 4 a.m., tells him that after 24 years of marriage she is thinking of leaving him. The often maddeningly practical, reliable, and methodical Douglas is, understandably, shaken, as his devotion to Connie is beyond question. The family was to embark on a Grand Tour of Europe this summer; their 17-year-old son, Albie, is starting college in the fall. Connie feels they should all go anyway. Douglas, ever the scientist, hopes that through careful preparation (and lots of Wikipedia) the trip will bring structure to his son and help remind his wife of the wonderful life they share. Yet an altercation with a guest in their Amsterdam hotel sends Albie off on his own, with Douglas in hot pursuit.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHostage / Kristina Ohlsson ; translated by Marlaine Delargy.
“Shortly after a crowded New York-bound flight takes off from Stockholm, a bomb threat is found on board. Anonymous hijackers demand that the Swedish government revoke its decision to deport a Moroccan man. If their demands are not met, the plane will explode if it attempts to land. The US and Swedish governments must choose between negotiating with terrorists in order to save the four hundred passengers held hostage at thirty thousand feet, or to stand their ground and pursue the deportation of a possibly innocent man. As the hours pass, the team are running out of options, and the plane is running out of fuel.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverLeaving time : a novel / Jodi Picoult.
“On the night one of the caretakers at a New Hampshire elephant sanctuary was killed, Jenna’s mother, Alice, was found unconscious nearby. Hours later, Alice checked herself out of the hospital and disappeared, leaving her 3-year-old daughter behind. Now, 10 years later, the precocious 13-year-old wants answers to the mysteries of her mother’s whereabouts. Is she dead? Was she also the victim of an unknown assailant? Or was she an abused wife and heartless mother who did not care about her child’s welfare? Aided only by Virgil, the disgraced detective who bungled the initial investigation, and Serenity, a once-famous but now infamous TV psychic, Jenna seeks answers to the questions that have always plagued her.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLila / Marilynne Robinson.
“The story of Lila begins with a thunderbolt opening scene, in which an abused little girl is swept up by a strange young woman called Doll. The two roam the countryside as itinerant workers, settling down just long enough for Lila to learn to read and write. As life grows even more harrowing during the Great Depression, and Doll’s dangerous secrets catch up to her, capable and strong Lila fends for herself, ultimately arriving in Gilead. The wanderer and the minister embark on a wondrously unlikely and fitful courtship as Lila asks confounding questions about existence, belief, trust, and justice.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSome luck / Jane Smiley.
“While steadfast Walter worries, his smart, industrious wife, Rosanna, runs the household and cares for their children. The Langdon family endures the Depression, Walter agonizes over giving up his trusty horses for a tractor, and Joe his son tries the new synthetic fertilizers. Then, as second son, Frank serves in WWII and, covertly, the Cold War, the novel’s velocity, intensity, and wonder redouble.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTheir lips talk of mischief / Alan Warner.
“High up in the Conrad Flats that loom bleakly over Acton, two future stars of the literary scene, or so they assume, are hard at work, tapping out words of wit and brilliance between ill-paid jobs writing captions for the Cat Calendar 1985 and blurbs for trashy novels with titles like Brothel of the Vampire. Just twenty-one but already well entrenched in a life eked out on dole payments, pints and dollops of porridge and pasta, Llewellyn and Cunningham don’t have it too bad: a pub on the corner, a misdirected parental allowance, and the delightful company of Aoife, Llewellyn’s model fiancé, mother of his young baby, and the woman of Cunningham’s increasingly vivid dreams.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCry father / Benjamin Whitmer.
“Patterson Wells travels with crews cleaning up fallen power lines and trees after natural disasters. It’s a rough, dangerous life, and he finds solace in his off-the-grid cabin in the San Luis Valley of south central Colorado. Patterson feels the unbearable loss of his young son, Justin. Though his ex-wife, Laney, wants to bring a lawsuit against the doctor she claims let their son die, Patterson won’t sign the papers. His choice of bad company traps him in a dark world in which vicious bar fights, booze, cocaine, and even murder are the norm, and he even lets himself be drawn into the illicit dealings of drug runner Junior. In the end, Patterson, neighbor Henry, and Henry’s son Junior are all trying but failing miserably to find a way to be good fathers.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Zine!

This is the first zine we have received in weeks. Weeks!! But not to worry, because Wellington Zinefest is happening this weekend and we always buy heaps… Stay tuned!

photo

New travel books in November

The story of the youngest sailor to ever circumnavigate the globe is the first in our travel books this month, an amazing story. Then, we’re off to… London, New York, Cambodia, New Zealand’s State Highway 1, Tokyo, Tuscany, and finally Marrakesh. Happy reading!

Syndetics book coverOne girl, one dream / Laura Dekker.
“The amazing autobiographical account of the youngest ever solo circumnavigation of the Earth. Aged just 14, New Zealand-born Laura Dekker defied the authorities and braved the open oceans to realise her dream of becoming the youngest ever sailor to circumnavigate the Earth. When she finished the journey she was still only 16, the youngest ever person to achieve this feat. Her extraordinary story is both a real-life adventure for all ages, and an inspirational account of how a free spirit and will to succeed can accomplish anything”–Publisher information.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGwennie’s diary : a Kiwi’s world tour to Yorkshire 1939-40 / Gwynne Irene Peacock ; edited by Anthony Dodsworth.
“A captivating account of a young New Zealander’s journey around the world to England in the shadow of the Second World War” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe rough guide to Cambodia / updated by Emma Boyle and Gavin Thomas.
“The new-look Rough Guide to Cambodia – now in full colour throughout – is the ultimate travel guide to one of the world’s most exciting destinations emerging in 2014.nbsp;nbsp;Discover Cambodia’s highlights with stunning photography, colour-coded maps and more listings and information than ever before. You’ll find detailed practical advice on what to see and do – from street food and nightlife in vibrant Phnom Penh through to the iconic ancient temples of Angkor – as well as up-to-date descriptions of the best hotels, bars, shops and restaurants for all budgets.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe hunt : London / David Leppan.
“London is huge, but come with us, and you’ll have a jolly good time! Discover milliners and shoemakers who’ll feather your cap and put a spring in your step, vintage boutiques galore and interior design shops. Hungry? There are also organic cafés, old pubs, fine-dining restaurants and everything in between. Delightful museums and art galleries, plus verdant parks aplenty too. Off you go, cheerio! This beautiful little guide fits snugly in the back pocket of your jeans, or neatly in your favorite clutch, and is packed with the inside scoop on old-school favorites, eccentric gems and hip newcomers to lively London.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverView from the road / photography by Arno Gasteiger ; text by Kennedy Warne.
“At 2047 kilometres long and stretching from the southernmost tip of the South Island to Cape Reinga, State Highway 1 links this country’s five main cities, and countless towns and blink-of-an-eye settlements in between. It’s also the perfect route from which to explore this country’s geographical diversity, traversing expansive plains and a so-called desert, meandering around rugged coastlines, crossing rivers and harbours, and skirting the country’s largest lake. In View from the Road, photographer Arno Gasteiger travels from Bluff to the Far North capturing the people, places and landmarks to be discovered along New Zealand’s most important highway, while Kennedy Warne reflects on the organic evolution and quirks of this often travelled, but perhaps little known, stretch of road.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew York / edited and produced by viction:ary ; concepts & art direction by Victor Cheung.
“Local artists and creatives offer an inside look at New York City from its famous sights and restaurants, to lesser-known and up-and-coming spots. Their recommendations include going for a ride on Janes Carousel, viewing the art and shopping at Tara McPherson and Sean Leonards Cotton Candy Machine, shopping for vinyl at Bleeker Street Records, stopping by Ovenly for their salted chocolate chip cookies, and dining on oysters and absinthe at Maison Premiere.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverClueless in Tokyo : an explorer’s sketchbook of weird and wonderful things in Japan / by Betty Reynolds.
“A perfect introduction to Japan and Japanese culture, this edition contains many new illustrations as well as the Japanese script for key words and phrases. …Clueless in Tokyo provides an outsider’s take on everyday life in Japan’s capital city – a place where vending machines talk, toilets can be terrifying, and centuries-old festivals unfold against a backdrop of space-age architecture. During the seven years Reynolds lived in Japan, she filled thirty sketchbooks with everything that caught her eye. Whether it’s fashion, food, sport, transport, seasonal rituals, or Japanese pastimes, each vibrant sketch is a delight, and Reynolds’ witty hand-lettered captions in both Japanese and English provide an entertaining resource for beginning learners of Japanese.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHidden Tuscany : discovering art, culture, and memories in a well-known region’s unknown places / John Keahey.
“In Hidden Tuscany, acclaimed author John Keahey takes the reader into a part of Tuscany beyond the usual tourist destinations of Chianti, Florence, and Siena. The often overlooked western portion of Tuscany is rich with history, cuisine, and scenery begging to be explored, and Keahey encourages travelers to abandon itineraries and let the grooves in the road and the curves of the coast guide your journey instead.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOnly in New York / Lily Brett.
“Lily Brett’s love affair with New York began as an outsider in her late teens when she was posted on assignment there as a young Australian rock journalist. In her early forties she returned, together with her soul mate and three children, to start a new life, and for the last twenty-five years she has called New York home.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMarrakech express : (on and off the rails in the Sultans’ Kingdom) / Peter Millar.
“Back in 1969 when Morocco’s ancient capital was a hashish-clouded hippie mecca, Crosby Stills and Nash recorded their cheesy (and hopelessly inaccurate) foot-tapping anthem ‘Marrakesh Express”. A generation on, award-winning journalist, author and one-time glam-rock fan Peter Millar uses what is now the country’s best visited tourist destination as the embarkation point for a literally reverse-engineered train journey through this still exotic, diverse and challenging North African country, struggling to maintain its unique blend of tradition and tolerance in the turbulent winds of the Arab Spring.” (Book jacket)

Classical music: more November selections

This time, a focus on the piano, featuring some well-known works, including the Hammerklavier and Moonlight sonatas (Beethoven), and an interesting illustration perhaps of the development of the prelude from Romantic (Chopin) to post-Romantic (Debussy). A prelude-off, if you will.

ClassicalrecentNov14b1ClassicalrecentNov14b2ClassicalrecentNov14b3

Alessio Bax Plays Beethoven.
Preludes, Chopin. Performed by Ingrid Fliter.
Images, Préludes II, Debussy. Performed by Marc-André Hamelin.

And finally, a special performance by two legendary pianists:

ClassicalrecentNov14b4Piano Duos, Mozart, Schubert, Stravinsky. Performed by Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim. “This live recording captures a magical moment: the reunion of two legendary superstars and soulmates of the keyboard, who both launched their careers as child prodigies in their native Buenos Aires and here team up once again for a ‘breathtaking’ (kulturradio rbb) piano duo recital” (cover). The performance includes pieces written for 2 pianos (and 4 hands), plus an arrangement of pieces from Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

New Sport & Fitness books in November

This month we feature a selection of New Zealand athletes and sports aficionados, including long-distance runner Peter Snell, and sports columnist Joseph Ramanos. Of course, the New Zealand theme touches on rugby in Unforgettable and Sports Crazy, and there is also a touch rugby guide for coaches.

Syndetics book coverProud : My Autobiography / Gareth Thomas and Michael Calvin.
“This is the story of a man with a secret that was slowly killing him…The only place where he could find any refuge from the pain and guilt of the lie he was living was on the pitch, playing the sport he loved….The deceit ended when Gareth became the world’s most prominent athlete to come out as a gay man….Gareth’s inspiring and moving story transcends the world of sport to tell a universal truth about feeling like an outsider, and facing up to who you really are.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPeter Snell and the Kiwis who Flew / Vern Walker.
“This was the great era (1956-1965) when New Zealand middle and long-distance runners showed a clean pair of heels to the world…Peter Snell, Murray Halberg, Bill Baillie, Marise Chamberlain, John Davies, Jeff Julian, Barry Magee and Neville Scott. It was a decade when ‘black’ signalled a tough time for opponents everywhere. Amazingly, a grand total of 23 world records or world best times were set or equalled by New Zealand runners. In the Olympic and Commonwealth Games arenas Kiwi runners won medals of every colour. A total of fourteen medals, with five gold medals won by the incomparable Snell…It was a decade when Peter Snell and a band of Kiwi runners took on the world.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTouch Rugby / David Woolley.
“Touch Rugby is a rapidly growing game and an attractive sport to rugby coaches and players because of the core skills it develops and the high levels of fitness it encourages. The absence of contact, the high value placed on developing foundational Rugby skills, and the game’s capacity to be played by men’s, women’s and mixed teams makes it the ideal sport for pre-season training and also to the Fitness community more generally. This book is the ultimate resource for players and coaches of Touch Rugby…An essential buy for every Touch Rugby coach or player!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUnforgettable : Defining Moments in New Zealand Sport / Joseph Romanos.
“160 stories from one of New Zealand’s leading sports writers. Joseph Ramanos has been (and still is) a sports columnist for 16 newspapers since 1982, has written 45 books (mainly on sport), and has had weekly sports slots on Radio Sport and Radio New Zealand. He has been attending Olympic and Commonwealth Games since 1986 and has covered many other sports at international level, from cricket and rugby to yachting and tennis.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOn the Road Bike : The Search for a Nation’s Cycling Soul / Ned Boulting.
“Ned Boulting has noticed something. It’s to do with bikes. They’re everywhere. And so are their riders….In On the Road Bike , Ned Boulting asks how Britain became so obsessed with cycling.(This book)… is an amusing and personal exploration of the austere, nutty soul of British cycling.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Football Book : The Leagues, the Teams, the Tactics, the Laws / [writers, David Goldblatt, Johnny Acton].
The Football Book, is the ultimate visual guide to planet football – revised and updated to include details of all the stats, goal tallies and cup wins. You can also follow the excitement of the Brazil 2014 World Cup with a brand new wallchart profiling all the qualifying countries.You’ll relive the finest moments of the players, coaches and teams who have created football history and learn everything from match highlights to the inside stories on the players, managers and fans…With a fantastic cover that feels just like a football, it’s a great gift for football lovers and sports enthusiasts alike.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBodies of Thought : Twelve Australian Choreographers / edited by Erin Brannigan and Virginia Baxter.
Bodies of Thought features a generation of award-winning, innovative Australian choreographers with international reputations and legacies of influence. Focusing on a work by each artist – with an interview and an essay by a leading dance scholar – this groundbreaking book offers invaluable insights into the creation of remarkable works, at a time when Australian dance is enjoying international acclaim.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBruce Lee : The Evolution of a Martial Artist / by Tommy Gong.
“Tracing Bruce Lee’s path from wing chun student to jeet kune do founder, this publication chronicles his physical journey – from Hong Kong to Seattle to Oakland to Los Angeles and back again to Hong Kong – as well as his voyage of self-discovery and actualisation. It draws on numerous conversations with Lee’s childhood classmates, former students, and family friends, offering a unique insight into the life of the legendary martial artist.” (Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverSports Crazy : A Lifetime in Kiwi Sport / Roy Williams.
“A series of personal memories and vignettes from Roy Williams’ long career in and around top-level sport in New Zealand as a sportsman, coach and reporter. The book tells of a sporting life during a simpler time and includes plenty of irresistible anecdotes of well-known figures and high-level sporting events, as well as his commentary on playing a part in the development of sports in this country.” (Syndetics summary)

Plenty of bargains at the December book sale!

book sale Every year thousands of avid readers and music lovers gather at Central Library for the December book sale. Judging by its past popularity, this sale should be no different. Past buyers have used the sale to find the best book deals, to complete their personal collections or just to rummage and find a gem. And the sale helps our libraries by making room for an ever increasing collection.

Highlights of this sale: a great range of children’s books, adult fiction books, along with the usual range of non-fiction, DVDs, CDs and magazines on every topic imaginable. As at each previous sale, stock is replenished at regular intervals ensuring there are always fresh bargains to be found. And they really are bargains – prices start from 50 cents for magazines, adult fiction, and young adult/teens books with most other items between $1 and $6 and some marked prices for quality non-fiction.

If you love a bargain, you won’t want to miss it. The book sale starts Tuesday 2 December at 9.30am, Central Library.

booksale starts 6 May

New LGBT eBooks for November

Our latest selection includes new memoirs, romance and mysteries along with a from-the-trenches account of the freedom to marry campaign in the United States of America.

Overdrive cover A Cup of Water Under My Bed, (eBook)
“A coming-of-age memoir by a Colombian-Cuban woman about shaping lessons from home into a new, queer life. These lessons–rooted in women’s experiences of migration, colonization, y cariño–define in evocative detail what it means to grow up female in an immigrant home. In one story, Daisy sets out to defy the dictates of race and class that preoccupy her mother and tías, but dating women and transmen, and coming to identify as bisexual, leads her to unexpected questions. In another piece, NAFTA shuts local factories in her hometown on the outskirts of New York City, and she begins translating unemployment forms for her parents, moving between English and Spanish, as well as private and collective fears. In prose that is both memoir and commentary, Daisy reflects on reporting for the New York Times as the paper is rocked by the biggest plagiarism scandal in its history and plunged into debates about the role of race in the newsroom.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Clean Slate, (eBook)
Lambda Lesbian Romance winner 2014. “After a vicious attack, Morgan Masters wakes up to find that nothing is how she remembers it. John Major isn’t the prime minister anymore, the Millennium has been and gone, and it’s been a very long time since she was in college. When Erin’s worst fears become reality and her world crumbles around her, she has to pick up the pieces and start all over again. Can losing everything actually be the best thing that ever happened to Morgan? Can Erin learn to forgive the sins of the past and let her heart lead her head for a change? Or is happiness beyond their reach? ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The End of San Francisco, (eBook)
Lambda Transgender Non-Fiction Winner 2014. “The End of San Francisco breaks apart the conventions of memoir to reveal the passions and perils of a life that refuses to conform to the rules of straight or gay normalcy. A budding queer activist escapes to San Francisco, in search of a world more politically charged, sexually saturated, and ethically consistent—this is the person who evolves into Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, infamous radical queer troublemaker, organizer and agitator, community builder, and anti-assimilationist commentator. Here is the tender, provocative, and exuberant story of the formation of one of the contemporary queer movement’s most savvy and outrageous writers and spokespersons.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Under This Beautiful Dome, (eBook)
“Under This Beautiful Dome tells the true story of journalist Terry Mutchler’s secret five-year relationship with Penny Severns, an Illinois State Senator who mentored Barack Obama. Forced to engage in an elaborate ruse to keep their relationship a secret, the two women constantly fear discovery in their conservative town. Denied legal access to the altar, they face even greater hardships when Penny is diagnosed with cancer and begins undergoing treatment.
Set in the political arena, Under This Beautiful Dome reminds us why the march to legalize same-sex marriage is both personal and political. This vivid, beautiful story paints an intimate portrait of a loving relationship and the vast impact gay marriage legislation has on couples and families in America today.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Speaking OUT, (eBook)
“A photographic essay that explores a wide spectrum of experiences told from the perspective of a diverse group of young people, ages 14–24, identifying as queer (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning), Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus presents portraits without judgment or stereotype by eliminating environmental influence with a stark white backdrop. This backdrop acts as a blank canvas, where each subject’s personal thoughts are handwritten onto the final photographic print. With more than 65 portraits photographed over a period of 10 years, the book provides rare insight into the passions, confusions, prejudices, joys, and sorrows felt by queer youth and gives a voice to an underserved group of people that are seldom heard and often silenced.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Winning Marriage, (eBook)
“In Winning Marriage Marc Solomon, a veteran leader in the movement for marriage equality, gives the reader a seat at the strategy-setting and decision-making table in the campaign to win and protect the freedom to marry. With depth and grace he reveals the inner workings of the advocacy movement that has championed and protected advances won in legislative, court, and electoral battles over the decade since the landmark Massachusetts ruling guaranteeing marriage for same-sex couples for the first time.” (Amazon.co.uk description)

Overdrive cover Baton Rouge Bingo, (eBook)
Lambda Gay Mystery Nominee 2014. “Bomb threats, murder, a tiger, animal rights, missing money—all in a day’s work for Scotty Bradley, P.I.!
A simple trip up to Baton Rouge to bail his mother out of jail takes a dire turn when her best friend from college, animal rights activist Veronica Porterie, turns up murdered—and Mom hires the boys to find out who killed her! But nothing is as it seems in Veronica’s life and past, and soon the boys are involved in a treasure hunt like no other—because Scotty’s mom’s life hangs in the balance! ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Queer Kind of Justice, (eBook)
For fans of Orange Is the New Black! “A diverse cast of lesbian, bi, and trans women, on both sides of the bars and through the centuries, find life-changing moments of love, hope, fear, excitement, passion, desperation, and inspiration. Prison. The very word sends shivers of fear through the soul. A place of gloom and shadows, where freedom is taken, humanity is lost. A place of cruelty and pain, of claustrophobia, soul-searching, and waiting. A place where guilt and innocence fade away, identity is transformed, and the voice that cries in the darkness is no longer heard. One aspect of human existence that has endured through the centuries: incarceration, implied guilt, punishment. But when all is lost, so much can be gained. It is in prison that the colours of freedom become sharper and brighter, more alluring because they are distant. It is here that impossible relationships become reasonable, that hopes are kindled by a word or a glance. It is where senses are heightened, as alert to danger as to love, to fear as to passion. It is where everything is at once ordered and disordered—and queer is only relative. ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover How Poetry Saved My Life, (eBook)
Lambda Lesbian Memoir/Biography Nominee 2014. “Lambda Award winner Amber Dawn’s sophomore book reveals a poignant and personal landscape—the terrain of sex work, queer identity, and survivor pride. This memoir told in prose and poetry offers a frank, multifaceted portrait of the author’s experience, from hustling the streets of Vancouver in the mid-90s to her present life as an outspoken feminist storyteller.” (Overdrive description)

PLUS!

advocate-coversThe Advocate, (eMagazine)
New with our Zinio free eMagazine subscription is The Advocate. We have the latest issue available (October 2014) plus back issues. “The Advocate has been the definitive news source for America’s LGBT community since 1967. Every issue, The Advocate keeps you involved and informed on everything that’s important to you in LGBT news, politics, culture and entertainment. You’ll enjoy our intriguing interviews with important gay and lesbian newsmakers, plus you’ll enrich your life with our regular coverage of gay travel, finance, fitness, and style. Now available with the cool convenience of digital delivery. Now expanded with exclusive video and slide show in every issue. ” (RBDigital description)


  • Archives

  • Categories