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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!

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Meet the Berry Boys in the New Zealand Collection Recent Picks

A chance discovery of some long forgotten photographic plates and a public appeal via a television news program led to us being able to meet the Berry Boys. They were first noted in a documentary screened in August on TV1 which is still available at TV1 On Demand at the moment. They are now in our featured new arrivals to the New Zealand Collection. The Berry Boys are some of the 130 ordinary World War One servicemen in uniforms whose photographs were amongst those photographic plates. The book and documentary are about these soldiers and their families. Also featured are some more of the many new books on WWI that have been published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the war’s outbreak.

Syndetics book coverBerry boys : portraits of First World War soldiers and families / Michael Fitzgerald and Claire Regnault.
Berry and Co, established in 1897 by William Berry, was a Wellington photographic studio producing commissioned portraits for the first decades of the twentieth century. In the 1990s, a tenant of 147 Cuba Street, Wellington, discovered around 3,000 glass plate negatives in a cupboard. This transpired to be the remarkable Berry and Co Collection. Amongst the studio portraits in the collection are around 130 showing ordinary World War One servicemen in uniforms, sometimes posing with families and friends. Many of these would have been taken before the men left to fight, or while on leave from the European theatres of war. Together, they offer a potent snapshot of the New Zealand of the time and the changing face of the war itself. But who were they? What happened to them in the war? Do they have any descendants still alive? If so, Te Papa wanted to make contact to learn more about their lives. On 29 September 2013, TVNZ’s Sunday programme spread the word, and a remarkable public response helped reunite many soldiers with their identities. A new TVNZ documentary, Berry Boys: The Speakers for the Dead, about the Berry soldiers’ stories will screen later in 2014

Syndetics book coverNo better death : the great war diaries and letters of William G. Malone / edited by John Crawford with Peter Cooke.
This is an updated and corrected edition of a work published by Reed Publishing in 2005. “In association with the New Zealand Defence Force to commemorate the centenary of the First World War”.

Syndetics book coverHolding on to home : New Zealand stories and objects of the First World War / Kate Hunter and Kirstie Ross.
“An illustrated social history about New Zealand’s experience in the First World War”–Publisher information. The Great War seeped and stormed into every aspect of New Zealanders’ lives, from the frontline to the family home. The things that survived – a crumpled theatre ticket, an engraved cigarette case, a knitting pattern, a crucifix made from rifle cartridges – are emotional touchstones that bring this distant event back into our hands. Historians Kate Hunter and Kirstie Ross have scoured museums and archives across the country to uncover these personal possessions and the stories they tell.

Syndetics book coverNo front line : inside stories of New Zealand’s Vietnam war / Claire Hall.
Explores New Zealand involvement in the Vietnam War from the viewpoint of New Zealand participants. Includes accounts from military personnel such as gunners, infantrymen, pilots and troopers, as well as non-combatant personnel such as engineers, medics, aid workers, nurses, journalists and entertainers. The personal accounts are taken from a collection of 150 oral history interviews conducted under the auspices of the History Group of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

Syndetics book coverFrank Worsley : Shackleton’s fearless captain / John Thomson : [edited by Judith Watson].
“This book is a biography of Frank Worsley, without doubt one of New Zealand’s greatest, but largely unsung adventuring heroes. Born in Akaroa… the greatest adventure of his life began when he became the captain of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance, which was trapped in pack ice on the 1914-1916 Antarctic expedition and slowly crushed. The crew of 28 spent over a year camped on the Antarctic ice before Shackleton, Worsley and four others sailed a tiny lifeboat across the wild Southern Ocean to South Georgia to summon help for the rest of the men, who were all eventually rescued. This 17-day journey remains one of the greatest ever feats of seamanship and relied totally on Worsley’s brilliant navigation. For the rest of his life he continued to seek adventures in a manner contemporaries described as ‘fearless’.” (Adapted from publisher’s description.)

Syndetics book coverLegends in black : New Zealand rugby greats on why we win / Tom Johnson with Andy Martin, Geoff Watson and Margot Butcher.
“Up close and personal with All Black greats – Meads, Lochore, Haden, Shelford, McCaw and others – as they reveal the secrets to our winning ways”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverParadise saved : the remarkable story of New Zealand’s wildlife sanctuaries and how they are stemming the tide of extinction / David Buter, Tony Lindsay & Janet Hunt.
“Tells the gripping story of how we are turning back the tide of extinction. It is a celebration of pioneering science and a national survey of the sanctuaries, little and big, that are protecting native species and reintroducing them to areas where they had once been extinct. It covers over 130 sanctuaries, with up to date information on where to find them, how to visit and how to do your part”–Back cover.

New Science Fiction and Fantasy novels for September

This month’s great selection includes the first volume of the new Kevin J. Anderson series titled Saga of Shadows, The dark between the stars, and also the latest laundry files novel from Charles Stross titled Equoid.

Syndetics book coverThe dark between the stars / Kevin J. Anderson.
“The Elemental War has just ended, the Confederation has replaced the corrupt Terran Hanseatic League, and an era of amity between human and the alien Ildirans seems assured. These dreams are foredoomed; not only are the malevolent Klikiss robots even now rebuilding their forces for another attack on the living beings they despise, but an ill-fated Ildiran and human joint expeditionary mission forces the robots to ally themselves with a mysterious evil force: the Shana Rei, personification of the void itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRescue mode / Ben Bova, Les Johnson.
“The first human mission to Mars meets with near-disaster when a meteoroid strikes the spacecraft, almost destroying it. The ship is too far from Earth to simply turn around and return home. The eight-person crew must ride their crippled ship to Mars while they desperately struggle to survive. On Earth, powerful political forces that oppose human spaceflight try to use the accident as proof that sending humans into space is too dangerous to continue. The whole human space flight program hangs in the balance. And if the astronauts can’t nurse their ship to Mars and back, the voyagers will become either the first Martian colonists, or the first humans to perish on another planet.” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe High Druid’s blade : the Defenders of Shannara / Terry Brooks.
“Hundreds of years after the war against demonkind in the Dark Legacy of Shannara series, Paxon Leah and his sister, Chrysallin, are the last living descendants of the magical Ohmsford family, and they apparently possess no magic themselves. This lack doesn’t stop the sorcerer Arcannen from kidnapping Chrys. When Paxon, wielding the ancient Sword of Leah, accidentally manifests powerful magic while rescuing her, he attracts the attention of the High Druid, the aged Aphenglow Elessedil, who offers him a place as a knight-errant serving the Druids.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSevered souls / Terry Goodkind.
“Seeker of Truth Richard Rahl and his wife, Mother Confessor Kahlan Amnel, face an enemy from the far reaches of the D’Haran Empire as Bishop Hannis Arc and the ancient Emperor Sulachan lead a vast horde of Shun-Tuk and other depraved “half-people” into the Empire’s heart, raising an army of the dead in order to threaten the world of the living.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSand / Hugh Howey.
“Palmer has never been the same since his father walked out twelve years ago. His elder sister, Vic, is trying to run away from the past; his younger brothers, Connor and Rob, are risking their lives to embrace it. His mother, left with nothing but anger, is just trying to forget.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Queen of the tearling : a novel / Erika Johansen.
“Princess Kelsea has been hiding in the forests of the Tearling since her mother’s death, training for the role she will have to play when she turns 19 and becomes the queen. But once Kelsea arrives in the capital and proves her right to the throne, her troubles begin. Her uncle had been acting as regent, and the alliance he made with the sorcerous Red Queen of neighbouring Mortmesne is the first thing Kelsea decides to change. She will have to find allies fast as her actions threaten to plunge her kingdom into war.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBorn of fury / Sherrilyn Kenyon.
“The story of Andarian warrior Dancer Hauk. Larger, stronger, faster, and more muscular than an human, he has been condemned, despite his illustrious ancestry, to celibacy and life as an outcast due to the peculiar customs of marriage and family relationships in his culture. Unfortunately, he is the only male in his line who can take his 14-year-old nephew, Darice, who loathes him with a passion, on his dangerous coming-of-age wilderness trek. In fact, just about everybody in the League-run Ichidian Universe is out to kill Hauk, which makes the trip all the more dangerous. They soon encounter Sumi Ataxas, a small human woman who is actually an undercover assassin forced to spy on Hauk by the League, which is holding her toddler daughter hostage. As waves of killers target Hauk, Sumi befriends Darice and falls in love with Hauk, but where will her loyalties lie?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe house of the four winds / Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory.
“The duke and duchess of Swansgaard have been blessed with 12 daughters and one son. To avoid draining the royal coffers by paying a dozen dowries, the princesses elect to seek their own fortunes. On her 18th birthday, Princess Clarice, the eldest, disguises herself as a young lad named Clarence and sets off in search of adventure. Her goal is to build her reputation as a swordsman. She books passage on a ship only to find more adventure than she bargained for when the crew mutinies against the evil captain. Along the way, Clarice falls for Dominick, the ship’s navigator-turned-captain, as he leads the crew on a quest for treasure in the pirate haven known as the House of the Four Winds. But how will she tell Dominick that she is really Clarice and not Clarence?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArtemis awakening / Jane Lindskold.
“Centuries after a war shattered the star-spanning Empire, the planet Artemis is a fable-an artificial paradise lost to mainstream civilization. Archaeologist Griffin Dane is the first to rediscover Artemis, but his attempt to explore it in person leaves him stranded on the forgotten planet. With Artemis local Adara to assist him, Dane searches for remnants of high technology, treasures that might allow him to return home. Dane is not the only person interested in Artemis’s secrets, and, as he soon learns, his rival is unbounded by decency or law. Seeking only knowledge, Dane and Adara are propelled into the role of the planet’s protectors.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEquoid : a Laundry files novella / Charles Stross.
“For Bob Howard, a working day tends to alternate between desperately trying not to fall asleep in committee meetings and being menaced by tentacular horrors from beyond spacetime. That’s because Bob works for the Laundry, the secret British government agency tasked with protecting the realm from occult nightmares. So when his manager Iris sends him off to the countryside to liaise with a veterinary inspector from the Department of the Environment, Fisheries, and rural Affairs, at first he takes it as a pleasant vacation. But why is Edgebaston Farm’s livery stable buying a hundred kilos of raw meat per day? Why does his briefing file contain the death-bed confession of that old fraud, H. P. Lovecraft? And why is his contact from DEFRA so deathly afraid of unicorns?” (Adapted from Book cover)

Arr! It be Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Shiver me timbers! Ye lily-livered landlubbers best be making the most of Talk Like a Pirate Day! Don’t be a scurvydog, cast yer eyes on some of the pirate books below. If yer pirate is a bit rusty, get yerself shipshape with Pirate on Mango Languages!

Syndetics book coverBloody Jack / L.A. Meyer.Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy
“Desperate to escape a life of poverty in London in 1797, twelve year old Jacky joins HMS Dolphin as a ship’s boy. Jacky loves the dangers and hard work but has difficulty in concealing one fact – Jacky is a girl!” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverPirates ‘n’ pistols : ten swashbuckling pirate tales / Chris Mould.
“Light a fire, gather your mates, and share tales that will shiver their timbers and send ice through their bones. This compilation includes familiar tales of “Davy Jones’ Locker” and excerpts from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Gold Bug.” Mould also pens five of the selections himself, with wicked and malevolent mastery. Illustrated throughout with stunning ink drawings, this book will keep readers enthralled for hours as they enjoy accounts of rogue pirates, fearless captains, storming seas, and lost treasure. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe high skies adventures of Blue Jay the pirate / Scott Nash.
” Blue Jay, the notorious captain of the airship Grosbeak, has been collecting eggs for years as he robs from the evil oligarchs in Thrushia. He rarely lets them hatch (and is happy to perpetuate the myth that he cannibalistically consumes them), but when his navigator, Junco, is compelled to nurse one particular egg, the entire crew has to care for Gabriel, a rare gosling. Their adventures take them into contact with everything from dangerous fisher cats and a dirt-loving mole on the ground to bats and crows in the air.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverSee inside pirate ships / Rob Lloyd Jones ; illustrated by Jörg Mühle ; [designed by Stephen Wright].
“Sail with savage pirates, from bustling pirate ports to blood-thirsty battles at sea. With lively illustrations and dun flaps, this book shows how pirates really lived.” (Cover)

Syndetics book coverShip of magic / Robin Hobb
“Living ships, menacing pirates, kidnapping into virtual slavery, the heroine disguising herself as a boy in order to accomplish her purpose–all these figure in a saga-inaugurating yarn that suggests what naval romancer Patrick O’Brian might do were he to write high fantasy.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverPirates : a history / Tim Travers.
“The popular conception of piracy revolves around the swashbuckling adventures that took place in the Caribbean in the 1500s, as well as the so-called Golden Age of piracy that occurred from the 1660s to the 1720s. In fact, piracy has a much longer and broader history to its name. This comprehensive history covers piracy from its origins in the ancient and classical periods and follows its evolution through the Middle Ages before treating in fine detail the era of the Caribbean and the Golden Age. With sections also addressing the infamous Barbary corsairs, Chinese and Pacific Ocean pirates, and modern piracy, this is the most comprehensive history of high-seas banditry to date.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPirates of the seven seas : treasure and treachery on the high seas : in maps, pictures and yarns / Angus Konstam.
“The pirate perhaps epitomises the loveable rogue of popular legend, and our interest in pirates, both real and fictional, is enormous. This beautifully illustrated book presents the story of piracy in a completely new way.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIsaac the Pirate : 1, To exotic lands / Christophe Blain.
“Isaac is a talented artist with no money but with a wonderful lover back in the 18th century. He runs into a rich Captain who is taken by his abilities and hires him with a handsome stipend to come along in his voyages. It turns out he’s a pirate. Isaac went to make some quick money and come back and marry the love of his life but has embarked upon a series of at turns hilarious and dark adventures on the high seas from the Caribbean to the icy North, with apparently no end in sight. Meanwhile, his girlfriend is getting attention from another.” (Syndetics summary)

Kerry’s Fiction Picks

Just a quick post this week. I’ve chosen two debut novels, both by American authors.  Both have been published by smaller publishing companies and have been very well reviewed.  I liked the sound of them and hope you do too!

Syndetics book coverYou are free to go
This is by Sarah Yaw and is about two life-sentence prisoners serving time in the same American maximum security prison.  Jorge and Moses are both murderers who’ve been incarcerated for decades; Jorge is the older of the two and is Moses’ mentor, he keeps him in-check.  Unfortunately aging Jorge kills himself and this sends Moses into a grief-stricken downward spiral.  Jorge’s death also affects his grown daughter and the novel also focuses on the impact of prison life on the those outside of prison.  It all sounds incredibly grim, but the book is challenging subject-wise and interesting.  Says Kirkus “The scenes of prison life—like the harrowing late-novel moment when Moses entertains his first face-to-face visitor in 35 years—are compelling…All in all, an intriguing debut.”

Syndetics book coverPale harvest
Another grim one, which is “a deeply moving and intellectually profound novel built on the iconic myth of the American West” (Kirkus).  This is by Braden Hepner, who’s described as a great storyteller and has been likened to Larry McMurtry.  It follows the life of Jack Selvedge who works on his family’s dairy farm in Utah and who falls for Rebekah, back in town and on the run for her father.  The story can be devastating, but Publisher’s Weekly has high praise for it “the novel is a meditation on the nature of hope and self-determination, a sweeping elegy to a dying town and to the bond between blood and earth”.

 

TV series exclusives : George Gently, Dalziel & Pascoe & more

With this month’s update of new DVDs enabled by our Ratings Project  we complete our run of ‘Blue Bloods’, ‘George Gently’ & ‘Dalziel & Pascoe’ as well as the latest season of top Australian drama ‘A place to call home’… We hope you find something you enjoy and feel free to send us any feedback and suggestions!

Cover imageBlue bloods. The first season.
“If the television menu has a section for comfort food, then Blue Bloods definitely belongs there. ..Blue Bloods isn’t edgy; it doesn’t have “a look.” What it offers instead is a simpler, more old-fashioned form of entertainment. Meat and potatoes, you might call it, served with a side order of easily digestible family values. That family is the Reagans: Frank (Tom Selleck, solid and likable as always), the police commissioner, a job previously held by his father (Len Cariou); eldest son Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), a detective, Iraq war vet, and something of a rule-bender; daughter Erin (Bridget Moynahan), a district attorney; and younger son Jamie (Will Estes), a Harvard Law grad who chose the life of a rookie beat cop instead. (A third son, Joe, died at the hands of a group of dirty cops known as the Blue Templars; the series’ sole continuing story line follows the Reagans’ efforts to bring these rogues to justice.) Under Frank’s “plain and honest” leadership, these and other characters (Jennifer Esposito and NYPD Blue alum Nicholas Turturro play Danny and Jamie’s partners, respectively) pursue a variety of bad guys…Unlike the dysfunctional units seen so often on screens both big and small these days, this is a smart, admirable bunch who have dinner together seemingly every night; they might disagree or argue, but they always have each other’s backs, and it’s this wholesome, solid family element that gives Blue Bloods its pulse…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageBlue bloods. The second season.
“BLUE BLOODS is a drama about a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement. Frank Reagan is the New York Police Commissioner and heads both the police force and the Reagan brood. He runs his department as diplomatically as he runs his family, even when dealing with the politics that plagued his unapologetically bold father, Henry, during his stint as commissioner. A source of pride and concern for Frank is his eldest son Danny, a seasoned detective, family man, and Iraqi War vet who on occasion uses dubious tactics to solve cases. The sole Reagan woman in the family, Erin, is a N.Y. Assistant D.A. and newly single parent, who also serves as the legal compass for her siblings and father. Jamie is the youngest Reagan, fresh out of Harvard Law and the family’s “golden boy;” however, unable to deny the family tradition, Jamie decided to give up a lucrative future in law and is now a newly minted cop. Jamie’s life takes an abrupt turn when he’s asked to…” (Publisher’s description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageGeorge Gently. Series 6.
“It’s 1969, one year on from the harrowing shootings at Durham Cathedral that nearly claimed both Gently’s and Bacchus’s lives. Having pushed himself to full fitness, Gently has returned to duty while Bacchus is still recovering in a police convalescent home. Shocked to receive his sergeant’s resignation, Gently insists Bacchus works his one month’s notice. He then sets about trying to change Bacchus’s mind and help him overcome the barriers, both real and imagined. Following a death in custody, Gently resolves to find the man’s identity and uncover the mystery of his existence. With a police officer in hospital, Gently’s investigation is surrounded by anger, hatred, violence and fear. In a time when police officers’ roles and attitudes towards them are rapidly changing, Gently struggles to gain the trust of either the public or the other police officers. Amidst colourful social change, Gently investigates a murder at the Bluebird Holiday Camp, unveiling a seedy undercurrent within the more permissive of society; he is forced to dig deep within himself when entering the cloak and dagger world of military clinical trials, facing strong ethical questions; he also explores how the closure of the collieries can rip apart tight knit communities when a mysterious death in the mine leads to infighting and betrayal…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageDalziel & Pascoe. Series seven.
“Poor Peter Pascoe (played with glum determination by Colin Buchanan). Not only is his dogged, slow-but-steady police work consistently outshined by the piercing insights of his partner, Andy Dalziel (the eternally surly Warren Clarke), but his personal life keeps getting caught up in woeful crimes: When he attends a wedding as best man in “The Unwanted” or plays squash with an old friend in “Dialogues of the Dead,” murder crops up posthaste. And when he tries to date… well, it doesn’t work out well in “Mens Sana.” Not that Dalziel is much luckier; his only sister turns out to have a surprising connection with an investigation in “Sins of the Fathers.” “For Love Nor Money” doesn’t involve their personal lives, but it does implicate almost their entire police department in illicit activity. It’s suspicious, really, just how often Dalziel and Pascoe are intimately connected to the crimes they investigate…Such implausibilities aside, Dalziel & Pascoe is an intelligent detective series, more focused on character than many such shows. The leads have complex personalities and an even more complex relationship, while the recurring detectives (like the stoic and understated Wield, played by David Royle, and eager newbie Harris, played by Keeley Forsyth) routinely get moments where their individuality shines through…the other episodes are solid and engaging tales of greed getting out of hand, bitterness too long repressed, and secrets that can’t be kept any more…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageA place to call home. Season 2.
“Last year’s epic finale saw the lives of the Bligh family imploding. After paying off Bert to keep him quiet about his son James’ sexuality, George was furious when he attempted to extort more money from him. Shortly afterwards, Bert’s body was seen floating on the surface of the river. Who killed him? The first few minutes of season two will continue to keep everyone guessing. A seemingly typical morning at Ash Park is revealed to be something else entirely… Sarah moves into Ash Park and works to prove herself a fitting wife-to-be for George, while his mother Elizabeth plays a devious waiting game to see what Regina will unearth about Sarah’s past in Europe. Little does Sarah know, Elizabeth will uncover information that blows life as Sarah knows it sky-high. Which secrets will come out? And which secrets will be buried?…” (From Syndetics summary)

Law for Lunch is back this October!

Law for Lunch logoWellington City Libraries are continuing our popular Law for Lunch series this October — offering free lunchtime talks by legal experts on popular topics, in a joint initiative with Community Law Centre Wellington and Hutt Valley.

Our topics in October range from the legal issues around body corporates, to knowing your employment rights on a work visa, how to avoid dodgy debt, and much more (take a look at the programme below!).  If you are interested and would like to learn more, bring your lunch and come along — questions welcome!

All the speakers are highly regarded experts in their field and the information is presented in a way that’s easy to understand, no matter what your level of knowledge on the topics.

This month’s sessions include:

Wednesday, 1 October – Central Library
On a Work Visa: Know your employment rights
Presented by Cottrell Law Limited and Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley

Wednesday, 8 October – Central Library
Body Corps: Resolving common pitfalls
Presented by Rainey Collins Law

Wednesday, 15 October – Central Library
The New Family Court: Help yourself and your whānau
Presented by Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts Law

Wednesday, 22 October – Newtown Library
Dodgy Debt: How to avoid it
Presented by Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley

Wednesday, 29 October – Newlands Community Centre
Enduring Powers of Attorney: When you can’t manage your own affairs
Presented by Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley

All are welcome and there’s no need to book a place. For more information, call 499 4444 or email us

Law for Lunch in October!

Computing recent picks for September

New books on computing, including Google Glass for dummies and an absolute beginner’s guide to fixing your own computer.

Syndetics book coverDivining a digital future : mess and mythology in ubiquitous computing / Paul Dourish and Genevieve Bell.
“Mark Weiser first articulated a vision of ubiquitous computing (“ubicomp”) in 1991. Having moved beyond the age of mainframes into the era of personal computing and the dawn of the “information age,” Weiser argued that in the next era of computing, resources would be embedded in the world around us (clothes, structures, everyday items), a simultaneously practical and extraordinary ubiquity. Dourish (Univ. of California, Irvine) and Bell (Intel) contend this “technomyth” has provided a road map of sorts for academia, government, and industry worldwide for 20-plus years, and they explore the complex process of “divining” future events.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDon’t make me think, revisited : a common sense approach to Web usability / Steve Krug.
“Since Don’t Make Me Think was first published in 2000, hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug’s guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it’s one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject. Now Steve returns with fresh perspective to reexamine the principles that made Don’t Make Me Think a classic-with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability. And it’s still short, profusely illustrated…and best of all-fun to read.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe end of big : how the digital revolution makes David the new Goliath / Nicco Mele.
“Mele (public policy, Harvard) focuses his first book on how today’s “radical connectivity” has empowered individuals and undermined traditional power structures. In chapters focusing on government, journalism, entertainment, and the military, Mele argues that, for better or worse, lone actors can now rival the strength of traditional institutions. Mele explains and evaluates these shifts in each area and recommends policies for the future…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to cheat in Adobe Flash CC : the art of design and animation / Chris Georgenes.
“Whether you are creating an animated short, catchy and fun mobile game, or an innovative application, save time and money with expert cheats by renowned Flash Expert, Chris Georgenes with all new content for the Adobe Flash Creative Cloud revision. Solve problems quickly and develop creative projects, practical applications, and step-by-step tutorials. Chris Georgenes shows you how to work from the problem to the solution – from the viewpoint of an animator who has been commissioned to create a job and is working on a deadline and to a budget.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCompeting with high data quality : concepts, tools, and techniques for building a successful approach to data quality / Rajesh Jugulum.
Competing with Data Quality provides a road map for corporations to improve data quality and meet Dodd-Frank, BASEL III, Solvency II, and other pervasive regulatory oversight programs. This book outlines a holistic data quality (DQ) approach that businesses can adopt to energize their DQ innovation processes, perfect their data gathering and usage practices, and ensure robust and reliable data is available to make judicious decisions. It also addresses the end-to-end DQ deployment process: Define, Assess, Improve and Control. Numerous cases and “lessons learned” facilitate understanding” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReal world print production with Adobe Creative Cloud : industrial-strength production techniques / Claudia McCue.
“Sharpen your print production skills with this definitive resource created specifically for design professionals who need to create files using the Adobe Creative Cloud, including InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat and output for printing. The previous edition was steady seller, helping designers who have no training in print get up and running quickly and not make expensive mistakes on their projects. Completely updated for CS6 and the CC, this book also helps designers with some print experience tackle more complex projects.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFixing your computer : absolute beginner’s guide / Paul McFedries.
“Fix your own computer – without becoming a technical expert! This book is the fastest way to save money on computer repairs, avoid unnecessary frustration, and keep using perfectly good equipment instead of throwing it away! Even if you’re completely non-technical, you’ll learn how to get the job done, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe UX five-second rules : guidelines for user experience design’s simplest testing technique / Paul Doncaster.
“The five-second test is one of the most convenient rapid UX testing methods available. The Five-Second Rules uses detailed examples from a collection of more than 300 tests to describe the strengths and weaknesses of this rapid testing method. Readers will learn about the “five-second rules” for getting useful data, and will explore what types of design issues can be resolved by using the method. A five-second test (also known as “timeout test” and “exposure test”) involves displaying a visual or informational design for five seconds, removing it from view, then asking what aspects were recalled most easily or vividly. The goal is to understand what stands out most about a design or product, and the impact on the viewer’s perception of it.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFull stack web development with Backbone.js / Patrick Mulder.
“Building great web interfaces requires that developers need to understand both client and server side perspectives. Using BackboneJS for providing frontend components and Ruby on Rails for the backend, this book will teach readers how interactions influence the design of client- and server-side interfaces.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGoogle Glass for dummies / by Eric Butow and Robert Stepisnik.
Google Glass For Dummies is the only guide you’ll need to control this extraordinary technology that includes a camera, display, touchpad, battery, and microphone all built into the frames of the glasses. Not only do they allow you to access the display in your field of vision–so you can access the time, date, and weather–they also give you the ability to film videos, take and share photos, search the web, and translate languages–all on the go. Tap into the power of Google Glass voice controls and the bone-induction technology that vibrates to create sound.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Cooking around the world – September recent picks

This month’s cooking recent picks feature recipes from all over the world with a strong focus on Asian cuisine. Also featured are Greek, French and Italian recipes. You could eat from a different country every night of the week!

Syndetics book coverMade in India : Cooked in Britain : Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen / Meera Sodha ; photography by David Loftus.
The best Indian food is cooked (and eaten) at home.Real Indian food is fresh, simple and packed with flavour and in this book, Meera Sodha introduces Britain to the food she grew up eating here every day. Unlike the stuff you get at your local curry house, her food is fresh, vibrant and surprisingly quick and easy to make. In this collection, Meera serves up a feast of over 130 delicious recipes collected from three generations of her family.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPersiana : Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond / Sabrina Ghayour.
“Sabrina cooks the kind of food I love to eat: lots of flavours distilled out of love and generosity. In this book Sabrina demystifies the use of spices. The Eastern promise is definitely delivered in her book and it will have a place on the shelves in my kitchen.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverA Cook’s Tour of France : Regional French Recipes / Gabriel Gaté.
“….this beautiful illustrated book, by chef and television presenter Gabriel Gate, gathers together the best classic recipes from the many regions of France, one of the world’s best destinations for food lovers.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSweet Greek : Simple Food & Sumptuous Feasts / Kathy Tsaples.
Renowned for her ‘Sweet Greek’ produce shop, Kathy Tsaples now shares her favourite recipes learned in her mothers kitchen… The book is themed around the traditional Greek holidays such as Lent, Easter, Name Day, and so on, each with accompanying recipes for a feast. But as Kathy points out, each recipe can be used at any time and every time family and friends get together is an occasion for a feast. The recipes are about celebrating life: taking traditional food, cooking it today and passing it on to new generations.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLevant : Recipes and Stories from the Middle East / Anissa Helou.
“Anissa Helou’s Levant is a collection of mouth-watering recipes inspired by Anissa’s family and childhood in Beirut and Syria, and her travels around the exciting regions of the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBill’s Italian Food / Bill Granger.
“With more than 100 original recipes, BILL’S ITALIAN takes inspiration from the diversity of Italian regional food to make the most of fresh seasonal produce. Concentrating on simple, flavoursome dishes with short ingredient lists and uncomplicated methods, the recipes in this book are divided by solution-driven chapters that embody Bill’s casual cooking and his spirit of generosity and sharing-approaches that perfectly reflect the Italian lifestyle.” (Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverThe Land of the Five Flavors : A Cultural History of Chinese Cuisine / Thomas O. Höllmann ; translated by Karen Margolis.
“Anyone interested in China or in food history needs this book, an insightful introduction to China’s food tradition that is anchored in an understanding and appreciation of centuries of Chinese history and culinary culture, from the earliest empires to the present day.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverVietnamese Home Cooking / Charles Phan, chef-owner, The Slanted Door with Jessica Battilana ; photography by Eric Wolfinger.
“In his eagerly awaited first cookbook, award-winning chef Charles Phan from San Francisco’s Slanted Door restaurant introduces traditional Vietnamese cooking to home cooks by focusing on fundamental techniques and ingredients. When Charles Phan opened his now- legendary restaurant, The Slanted Door, in 1995, he introduced American diners to a new world of Vietnamese food… Infused with the author’s stories and experiences, from his early days as a refugee to his current culinary success– Vietnamese Home Cooking is a personal and accessible guide to real Vietnamese cuisine from one of its leading voices.” (Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverSachie’s Kitchen / Sachie Nomura.
“Inspired by tradition, informed by modern fusion trends, fun and full of taste – Sachie’s Kitchen celebrates Japanese cooking with authentic yet simple to prepare recipes. Based on Sachie’s successful cooking school and TV series, this is the perfect guide to contemporary Japanese cuisine. ‘My style is about passing on cooking skills and Asian recipes that are easy for you to take home, so you can have the experience of real Asian food culture.’” (Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverYallateef! : A Spirited Celebration of Modern Middle Eastern Food / Marwa Makool ; photography & styling, Dean Cambray ; foreword, Bob Hart.
“After 14 years of sharing her innovative and delicious recipes with you at Oasis Bakery, Marwa Makool, head chef and owner, has finally launched her first cookbook Yallateef! A beautiful collection of 85 delicious recipes with mouthwateringly vibrant photographs throughout accompanying every recipe. Marwa’s cooking inspiration comes from her Lebanese background and her unapologetic love of ingredients.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAsian After Work : Simple Food for Every Day / Adam Liaw.
“With simple recipes and using easy-to-find ingredients, Adam Liaw explains how anyone can create authentic Asian dishes that are perfectly suited to a busy lifestyle. Asian After Work is your guide to fast, fresh, and delicious Asian food.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverParis to Provence : Childhood Memories of Food & France / Ethel Brennan & Sara Remington ; photography by Sara Remington ; foreword by Georgeanne Brennan.
“To read Paris to Provence is to take a beautiful and wonderfully nostalgic journey to the France of my childhood, the France of sweet dreams. If you’ve ever had your soul captured by the magic that exists in the lighter side of a la France profonde, and if you have a sensitivity toward joyful moments created around food, family, and friends, then Paris to Provence is for you.” William Widmaier (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe Beauty of Korean Food, with 100 best-loved recipes : the research and development project for the standardization of Korean cuisine / text by Institute of Traditional Korean Food ; translated by Kiyung Ham, Richard Harris.
“Korean food has been praised as a hearty, slow-cooked, healthy cuisine due to its integration with the different seasons, regional specialties, harmony of food ingredients and combination of food groups. Despite the high interest in Korean food by people around the world, this is the first book to introduce Korean food with internationally accessible recipes.” (Adapted from amazon.com)

Recent home, garden and DIY books for the lovely Spring

This September’s recent picks features inspirational and innovative ideas for your home and garden with plenty of photographs and illustrations along with practical tips.

Syndetics book coverHouse & Garden fifties house/Catriona Gray.
“The post-war consumer boom of the 1950s, coupled with a desire for new, innovative design resulted in one of the most exciting decades in the history of interiors – a visual revolution that was captured on the pages of British House & Garden. Catriona Gray curates the best illustrations and photographs to show how the use of colour, pattern, homewares and furniture evolved through the decade. The homes of key tastemakers are featured including Le Corbusier, Giò Ponti, Terence Conran and Hans and Florence Knoll.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlants with benefits : an uninhibited guide to the aphrodisiac herbs, fruits, flowers & veggies in your garden / Helen Yoest.
“Garden expert Helen Yoest takes us on an aphrodisiac adventure through the history, lore and science around 45 common (and not-so-common) plants that have “something special” to offer us. Plants with Benefits is filled with lush photography and tasty, sensual recipes and more – for your pleasure.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverBartlett book of garden elements: a practical compendium of inspired designs for the working gardener/Michael V. Bartlett.
“No matter the design challenges your garden presents, the authors have seen it and solved it. In this book, they lay out possibilities from around the world, each chapter preceded by an insightful essay on the history and evolution of the structure in question and the best way to approach the challenges of choice and location.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOutdoor living : an inspirational guide to making the most of your outdoor spaces / Selina Lake ; with photography by Debi Treloar.
“Selina brings her trademark fresh, pretty, vintage style to outdoor spaces small and large, public and private. Selina provides ample inspiration and practical suggestions for transforming a yard, courtyard, deck, porch, or even just a balcony into a lush outdoor room that’s perfect for lounging, relaxing, and entertaining. She also goes further afield, with dozens of ideas for simple yet stylish picnics, beach BBQs, barn dances, and block parties. Selina showcases her inspirations in the form of flowers, lighting, fabrics, and decorations. ” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEdward Bawden’s Kew Gardens / Peyton Skipwith & Brian Webb.
“This book draws on Edward Bawden’s delightful illustrations, posters and linocuts of Kew Gardens made over 60 years. It presents a light-hearted social history of Kew, peopled with the many Hanoverian Kings, Queens and Princes who resided there, as well as courtiers such as the 3rd Earl of Bute, Joseph Banks Fulke Greville and their proteges including William Chambers, William Aiton, Fanny Burney and Sir William Hooker. Alongside Bawden’s posters and linocuts, the book is illustrated with the contemporary caricatures of Rowlandson and Gillray as well as botanical illustrations by Franz Bauer and others.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverThe new vegetable & herb expert / by D.G. Hessayon.
“Britain’s best-selling book on growing vegetables, updated and enlarged. Topics covered include: standard vegetables, salad leaves, herbs, oriental vegetables, grafted vegetables, non-stardard vegetables, novelty varieties.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverDesign bloggers at home : fresh interiors inspiration from leading online trend-setters / Ellie Tennant ; photography by Rachel Whiting.
“Interiors journalist and stylist Ellie Tennant meets the characters and creative forces behind leading design blogs, exploring their beautiful homes and their clever styling ideas. Fifteen case studies cover a panorama of cutting-edge bloggers’ spaces – from a pared-back monochrome cabin in Scandinavia to a maximalist, colour-filled apartment in California. The result is a visual feast of inspiring yet achievable interiors, with plenty of ideas to use in your own home.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHome made simple for kids : stylish, crafty projects to make with and for your kids / Joanna Gosling, photography by Rachel Whiting.
“Want some original, stylish and inexpensive projects to make for your children’s rooms? Want to get creative (and a bit messy!) with your kids? Help is at hand with Joanna Gosling’s guide to simple, stylish crafting.” (Syndetics summary)

New Graphic Novels for September

This selection of the best new Graphic Novels recently added to our collection includes the manga psychological horror story Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asana. It is highly recommended and provides a great reading experience. It is bound to convert many comic novel readers into manga fans, if they weren’t already.

Syndetics book coverNoah / written by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel ; illustrated by Niko Henrichon.
“Aronofsky and Handel adapt their script for the recently released motion picture of the same name. This Noah encapsulates elements of the cinematic samurai legend: a deeply conflicted man and warrior, vigorous but aging, wishing only for peace with his beloved family, but drawn into a conflict greater than himself. Following the line of the movie, the book reinvents the Bible story as an action epic, complete with PG-rated sex scenes, attempts to symbolize Creationism with depictions of DNA, and a subplot involving a family mutiny against Noah.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNijigahara holograph / Inio Asano ; translator, Matt Thorn.
“Asano, best known for the acclaimed manga Solanin, delivers a dark and twisted psychological horror story that links together a series of characters and tragic events in one timeline that have devastating ramifications for a second timeline. Equally parts are beautiful and highly disturbing, this story of love and loss, obsession and vengeance, with layered depths that encourage multiple readings.” (Adapted from Syndetic summary)

Syndetics book coverDeath / writer, Neil Gaiman ; illustrated by Chris Bachalo, Mark Buckingham, Mike Dringenberg, Colleen Doran, P. Craig Russell, Malcolm Jones III, Mark Pennington, Dave McKean, Jeffrey Jones.
“The first story introduces the young, pale, perky, and genuinely likable Death. One day in every century, Death walks the Earth to better understand those to whom she will be the final visitor. Today is that day. As a young mortal girl named Didi, Death befriends a teenager and helps a 250-year old homeless woman find her missing heart. In the second story, a rising star of the music world wrestles with revealing her true sexual orientation just as her lover is lured into the realm of Death that Death herself should make an appearance. These stories are honest, intelligent and illuminate the ‘miracle of death’.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTed McKeever’s Miniature Jesus / created, written, illustrated, and lettered by Ted McKeever.
“Critically-acclaimed writer/artist Ted McKeever returns to the theater of the bizarre, as a small town pastor thinks that the eight-inch Jesus that descended from a cross on the church’s wall is the work of the Devil. Meanwhile, Chomsky, our recovering alcoholic, is about to find out that the constant barrage of screaming voices in his head are not all imaginary.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDream thief. Volume 1 / story, Jai Nitz ; art & lettering, Greg Smallwood.
“After John Lincoln steals an Aboriginal mask from a museum, vengeful spirits possess his body and mind while he sleeps. As the Dream Thief, he accrues the memories and skills of murder victims and fights to stay awake, before he kills again.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe undertaking of Lily Chen / Danica Novgorodoff.
“In contemporary China, Deshi accidentally kills his older brother, Wei, by shoving him in front of a moving jeep, and his furious mother, calling on the ancient tradition of ghost marriage, demands that he find the unmarried Wei a corpse bride, a recently deceased single woman who will accompany him in the afterlife. Guilt-ridden Deshi seeks the help of a matchmaker, a grave robber, and a hospital attendant before he runs into stubborn, spirited Lily, who would make a perfect bride if she weren’t so alive. Is Deshi prepared to commit murder to fulfill his mother’s request? Or will he find a way to give his parents some peace while preserving his own happiness?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOver easy / Mimi Pond.
“An autobiographical graphic novel, set in California at the end of the 1970s, describes the period shortly after the author left art school due to a lack of funds, taking a job first as a dishwasher, then as a waitress at the Imperial Cafe in Oakland, Calif. All the regulars and staff at the cafe have pseudonyms, and she becomes Madge. She’s on the cusp of adulthood, and society is about to move from an era of dreamy love to one of angry punk.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover47 Ronin / writer, Mike Richardson; artist, Stan Sakai; editorial consultant, Kazuo Koike.
”The epic mission of loyal Japanese warriors to avenge their wronged master epitomizes the samurai code of honor, and 47 Ronin recounts the sweeping saga of duty and duress in all its violent grandeur. Opening with the tragic incident that sealed the fate of young Lord Asano, this graphic novel follows a dedicated group of Asano’s vassals on their unwavering road to bloody vengeance.” (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.
“What are the causes and consequences of climate change? When the scale is so big, can an individual make any difference? Documentary, diary, and masterwork graphic novel, this up-to-date look at our planet and how we live on it explains what global warming is all about. With the most complicated concepts made clear by investigative journalist and artist Philippe Squarzoni, Climate Changed weaves together scientific research, extensive interviews with experts, and a call for action.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhite cube / Brecht Vandenbroucke.
“Belgian cartoonist Vandenbroucke’s debut consists mostly of single-page stories that follow the adventures of bald, pink twins as they struggle to understand and lampoon-often savagely-modern art. The strips range from irreverent, highbrow satire to the surreal to the purely scatological.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)


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