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November self-help books

This month’s books seem to agree on one thing – it is all in our mind! But there are many ways of interpreting and understanding what we are thinking, how we are feeling and why (sometimes looking at our genetic make-up for clues on our modern psyche), how we decide what to focus on, whether positive psychology is what we need or if it is OK to dwell on negative thoughts.

Syndetics book coverThink like a freak : how to think smarter about almost everything 
“The Freakonomics books have come to stand for something: challenging conventional wisdom; using data rather than emotion to answer questions; and learning to unravel the world’s secret codes. Now Levitt and Dubner have gathered up what they have learned and turned it into a readable and practical toolkit for thinking differently – thinking, that is, like a Freak. Whether you are interested in the best way to improve your odds in penalty kicks, or in major global reforms, here is a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems. ” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverNothing changes until you do : a guide to self-compassion and getting out of your own way
“After three years of living his dream as a professional baseball pitcher, Mike Robbins had an arm injury that benched him for good, and when this happened, he had to figure out who he was without the identity of “baseball player”. He quickly realized that the self-criticism and self-doubt he was feeling are epidemic in our culture. In these 40 inspiring stories, Mike shows you how to get out of your own way and make peace with yourself. With humour, authenticity and ease, you’ll learn to have more compassion, more acceptance and more love for yourself – thus giving you access to more for the people (and everything else) in your life.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSnakes, sunrises, and Shakespeare : how evolution shapes our loves and fears
“Our breath catches and we jump in fear at the sight of a snake. We pause and marvel at the sublime beauty of a sunrise. These reactions are no accident; in fact, many of our human responses to nature are steeped in our deep evolutionary past — we fear snakes because of the danger of venom or constriction, and we welcome the assurances of the sunrise as the predatory dangers of the dark night disappear. Many of our aesthetic preferences are the lingering result of natural selection. By applying biological perspectives ranging from Darwin to current neuroscience, Snakes, Sunrises, and Shakespeare transforms how we view our experience of the natural world and how we relate to each other.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe complete A to Z dictionary of dreams : be your own dream expert
“Why do you dream about missing a train or teeth falling out? How did you wake up thinking of a tiger at your door? When you dream you unconciously reveal who you are, what you need and what you truly believe. In this book, bestselling dream psychologist Ian Wallace explains the true meaning of over 12,000 dream symbols – newly defined for the 21st century – and teaches you how to become your own dream expert. A dream is just a dream until you put it into action. Understand yours and change the reality of your waking life.” (Book cover)

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

Syndetics book coverWhen happiness is not enough : balancing pleasure and achievement in your life
“Everybody wants to be happy. But do we really know what happiness is and how it contributes to fulfilling life? In considering these questions, psychologist Chris Skellett proposes that “In order to live a truly fulfilling life, we need to strike a balance between Pleasure and Achievement”. This simple truth, known as the the Pleasure/Achievement Principle, lies at the heart of this entertaining, yet thought-provoking book.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverConstructive wallowing : how to beat bad feelings by letting yourself have them
“If you’ve ever ignored difficult feelings, Gilbertson has written a counterintuitive self-help book that offers constructive advice for boosting self-compassion. She begins with an easy premise: letting yourself experience both positive and negative emotions allows your body to have a healthy balance, which helps you to make informed, rounded decisions. Although it’s a simple premise, it’s certainly not easy to change ingrained habits. Luckily, Gilbertson has foreseen this and included many summaries, examples, and exercises throughout to help the reader cope with anticipated struggles. ” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBe brilliant every day : use the power of positive psychology to make an impact on life
“The authors of the bestselling The Art of Being Brilliant are here to show us how to get motivated, get positive and get happy, and, most importantly, how to be all three consistently. Every single day. Using a solid understanding of positive psychology, but with clear visual illustrations, simple explanations and a bit of funny stuff, Be Brilliant Everyday shows us how to foster some serious positivity and mental agility and transform our lives. The book is crammed with practical tips to help us ditch those down days and flourish every single day.” (Syndetics)

New Books on Popular Music

This month’s selection offers intriguing reads including a unique study of “American cool” and the new edition of Music 4.0 which is a kind of guide book on making and selling music in the internet era. Some fantastic biographies on Joni Mitchell and Miley Cyrus are also available now. Check them out!

Syndetics book coverAmerican cool / Joel Dinerstein, Frank H. Goodyear III.
“What does it mean when we say someone is cool? This luminous collection of portraits and film stills sheds new light on the term, its origins, and its evolution – with some surprising and provocative results. The term “cool” has become such a part of America’s modern lexicon that it seems to have lost its meaning. This stellar collection of photographs from the National Portrait Gallery and from prominent artists, museums, and archives nationwide would argue otherwise. Exploring cultural icons, this volume encourages readers to find new meaning and depth in the idea of American cool.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMusic 4.0 : a survival guide for making music in the Internet age / Bobby Owsinski.
“Featuring the latest music business and social media concepts as well as brand-new interviews with a variety of the industry’s top movers and shakers, Music 4.0 is a completely updated version of the previous best-selling editions. How has streaming music impacted the artist and the industry? Why do traditional record labels, television, and radio have increasingly less influence in an artist’s success? How should music be marketed and distributed in this new world? All these questions (and more!) are answered in this updated version of Music 4.0, along with some new high- and low-tech tips for inexpensive marketing and promotion.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSongwriters on songwriting / Paul Zollo.
“This expanded fourth edition of Songwriters on Songwriting includes ten new interviews–with Alanis Morissette, Lenny Kravitz, Lou Reed, and others. In these pages, sixty-two of the greatest songwriters of our time go straight to the source of the magic of songwriting by offering their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on their art. Representing almost every genre of popular music, from blues to pop to rock, here are the figures that have shaped American music as we know it.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCowboys and indies : the epic history of the record industry / Gareth Murphy.
Cowboys and Indies is nothing less than the first definitive history of the recording industry on both sides of the Atlantic. From the invention of the earliest known sound-recording device in 1850s Paris to the CD crash and digital boom today, author and industry insider Gareth Murphy takes readers on an immensely entertaining and encyclopedic ride through the many cataclysmic musical, cultural, and technological changes that shaped a century and a half of the industry. Remarkable in scope and impressive in depth, Cowboys and Indies chronicles the pioneers who set the stylus on the most important labels and musical discoveries in history.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJoni Mitchell : in her own words / conversations with Malka Marom.
“When singer, musician, and broadcast journalist Malka Marom had the opportunity to interview Joni Mitchell in 1973, she was eager to reconnect with the performer she’d first met late one night in 1966. More conversations followed over the next four decades of friendship, and it was only after Joni and Malka completed their last recorded interview, in 2012, that Malka discovered the heart of their discussions: the creative process. In Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words, Joni and Malka follow this thread through seven decades of life and art, discussing the influence of Joni’s childhood, love and loss, acclaim and criticism, glamorous triumphs and tragic mistakes… This riveting narrative is shared in the hope of illuminating a timeless body of work and inspiring others.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMiley Cyrus : good girl, bad girl / Chloé Govan.
“Charting the controversial journey of a shy, chaste child star from America’s Deep South: from early fame on the Disney TV series Hannah Montana to her sexually liberated pop image that later made headlines worldwide. Exclusive interviews with figures from Miley’s past, from close childhood friends to those who attended church with her in a quiet and close-knit village-like community and got to know her well. These interviews will help to separate fact from fiction, publicity stunt from personality growth, will explore the psychology behind her dramatic transformations and will ultimately get to the bottom of exactly what makes the multi-faceted Miley Cyrus tick.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverA voice undefeated / Collin Raye ; with a foreword by Governor Mike Huckabee.
“When Collin Raye’s powerful, golden voice dazzled the country music scene in 1991 with his #1 hit single Love, Me, country music listeners fell in love with one of the great voices of our time. Raye’s autobiography gives readers a down-to-earth account of the author’s personal and professional life. From his childhood in Arkansas and Texas through his days with the Wray Brothers Band in Oregon and Reno, this book is both a journey to the top of the music world and an intimate diary of a soul that has suffered great professional and personal losses. Includes DVD of never-before-seen personal interview and two songs written by Collin that are intimate to his story.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAin’t it time we said goodbye : the Rolling Stones on the road to exile / Robert Greenfield.
“Although they did not know it then, when the Rolling Stones embarked on their farewell tour of Great Britain in March 1971 after having announced they were about to go into tax exile in the south of France, it was the end of an era. For the Stones, nothing would ever be the same again. For ten days on that tour, the Rolling Stones traveled by train and bus to play two shows a night in many of the same small town halls and theaters where they had begun their career. Based on Greenfield’s first-hand account as well as new interviews with many of the key players, Ain’t It Time We Said Goodbye is a vibrant and thrilling look at the way it once was and would never be again in the world according to the Rolling Stones.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDusty : an intimate portrait of a musical legend / Karen Bartlett.
“Dusty Springfield was one of the biggest musical stars of the 20th century. From the launch of her solo career in 1963, and until her departure for Los Angeles a decade later, she was Britain’s biggest female star, with a glamour and voice that propelled her into a different league. She was, in almost every way, ahead of her time. This title tells the life story of this musical legend.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy beautiful dark twisted fantasy / Kirk Walker Graves.
“In the first decade of the twenty-first century, Kanye West created the most compelling body of pop music by an American artist during the period. Having risen from obscurity as a precocious producer through the ranks of Jay Z’s Roc-A-Fella records, by the time he released My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (MBDTF) in late 2010, West had evolved into a master collagist, an alchemist capable of transfiguring semi-obscure soul samples and indelible beats into a brash and vulnerable new art form. Sampling and ventriloquizing the pop music past to tell the story of its future – very much a tale of our culture’s wish for unfettered digital ubiquity – MBDTF is the album of its era, an aesthetic self-acquittal and spiritual autobiography of our era’s most dynamic artist.” (Syndetics summary)

New Contemporary Fiction for October

An amazing selection this month that features some new exciting writers, several well-known popular writers plus a ‘Granta Best Young Novelist’ Xiaolu Guo and her novel titled I am China.

Syndetics book coverThe Marco effect : a Department Q novel / Jussi Adler-Olsen ; translated by Martin Aitken ; translation consultant, Steve Schein.
“All fifteen-year-old Marco Jameson wants is to become a Danish citizen and go to school like a normal teenager. But his uncle Zola rules his former gypsy clan with an iron fist. Revered as a god and feared as a devil, Zola forces the children of the clan to beg and steal for his personal gain. When Marco discovers a dead body proving the true extent of Zola’s criminal activities he goes on the run. But his family members aren’t the only ones who’ll go to any lengths to keep Marco silent forever. When Department Q learn that a mysterious teen named Marco may have as much insight into the case as he has fear of the police, Carl is determined to solve the mystery and save the boy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLucky us : a novel / Amy Bloom.
“Disappointed by their families, Iris, the hopeful star and Eva the sidekick, journey through 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Iris’s ambitions take the pair across the America of Reinvention in a stolen station wagon, from small-town Ohio to an unexpected and sensuous Hollywood, and to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island. With their friends in high and low places, Iris and Eva stumble and shine though a landscape of big dreams, scandals, betrayals, and war.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWolf in white van / John Darnielle.
“Isolated by a disfiguring injury since the age of seventeen, Sean Phillips crafts imaginary worlds for strangers to play in. As the creator of Trace Italian, a text-based, role-playing game played through the mail, Sean guides players from around the world through his intricately imagined terrain, which they navigate and explore, turn by turn, seeking sanctuary in a ravaged, savage future America. Lance and Carrie are high school students from Florida, explorers of the Trace. But when they take their play into the real world, disaster strikes, and Sean is called to account for it. In the process, he is pulled back through time, tunneling toward the moment of his own self-inflicted departure from the world in which most people live.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPerfidia / James Ellroy.
“It is December 6, 1941. America stands at the brink of World War II. Last hopes for peace are shattered when Japanese squadrons bomb Pearl Harbor. Los Angeles has been a haven for loyal Japanese-Americans, but now, war fever and race hate grip the city and the Japanese internment begins. The hellish murder of a Japanese family summons three men and one woman. The investigation throws them together and rips them apart. The crime becomes a political storm center that brilliantly illuminates these four driven souls–comrades, rivals, lovers, history’s pawns.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe spring of Kasper Meier / Ben Fergusson.
“The war is over, but Berlin is a desolate sea of rubble. There is a shortage of everything: food, clothing, tobacco. The local population is scrabbling to get by. Kasper Meier is one of these Germans, and his solution is to trade on the black market to feed himself and his elderly father. He can find anything that people need, for the right price, even other people. When a young woman, Eva, arrives at Kasper’s door seeking the whereabouts of a British pilot, he feels a reluctant sympathy for her but won’t interfere in military affairs. But Eva is prepared for this. Kasper has secrets, she knows them, and she’ll use them to get what she wants.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMr Mac and me / Esther Freud.
“It is 1914, and Thomas Maggs, the son of the local publican, lives with his parents and sister in a village on the Suffolk coast. He is the youngest child, and the only son surviving. Life is quiet, shaped by the seasons, fishing and farming… Then one day a mysterious Scotsman arrives. Mac is what the locals call him when they whisper about him in the inn. But Mac isn’t a detective, he’s the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and together with his red-haired artist wife, they soon become a source of fascination and wonder to Thomas. Yet just as Thomas and Mac’s friendship begins to blossom, war with Germany is declared.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI am China / Xiaolu Guo.
“In a flat above a noisy north London market, translator Iona Kirkpatrick starts work on a Chinese letter: Dearest Mu, The sun is piercing, old bastard sky. I am feeling empty and bare. Nothing is in my soul, apart from the image of you. In a detention centre in Dover exiled Chinese musician Jian is awaiting an unknown fate. In Beijing his girlfriend Mu sends desperate letters to London to track him down. As Iona unravels the story of these Chinese lovers, Jian and Mu seem to be travelling further and further away from each other while Iona feels more and more alive. Intoxicated by their romance, Iona sets out to bring them back together, but time seems to be running out.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe skeleton road / Val McDermid.
“When a skeleton is discovered hidden at the top of a gothic Victorian building in Edinburgh, which is scheduled for renovation, Cold Case Squad detective Karen Pirie is given the task of identifying the decades-old bones. Her investigation leads her back to past conflicts, false identities and buried secrets.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn search of Solace / Emily Mackie.
“Jacob Little is in trouble, existential trouble. Ten years ago, in pursuit of a philosophical theory, he ditched his girlfriend Solace and took to the road, adopting a series of personae and obsessions: he’s been Keith, the archaeologist, Otto, the purple-bearded pagan, Isaac, the gardener, and many more. Now, with no sense of who he is at all, he’s decided to find the one person who knows the real Jacob, Solace. Jacob’s quest leads him to Solace’s Scottish hometown and into the lives of four people with their own issues. Each sees Jacob in a different light. For each, he is a catalyst. But where does that leave Jacob? And will he ever find Solace?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverShark / Will Self.
“4 May 1970. A week earlier President Nixon has ordered American ground forces into Cambodia to pursue the Vietcong. By the end of the day four students will be lying in the grounds of Kent State University, shot dead by the National Guard. On the other side of the Atlantic, it’s a brilliant sunny morning after an April of heavy rain, and maverick psychiatrist Dr Zack Busner has been tricked into joining a decidedly ill-advised LSD trip with several of its disturbed residents. Five years later, sitting in a nearby cinema watching Steven Spielberg’s Jaws with his young son, Busner realizes the true nature of the events that transpired on that dread-soaked day, when a survivor of the worst disaster in the US Navy’s history, the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in the shark-infested south Pacific, came face-to-face with the British Royal Air Force observer on the Enola Gay’s mission to Hiroshima.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

World War I online resources for children Part 3

Over the next year many schools will have a World War One focus, requiring children to research some aspect of the war, or the war time era. The list of potential topics is long and the sheer amount of information available out there can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to find reliable information that is age-appropriate for your children. Here we have created a guide to reputable online resources that are suitable for children. This is the final of three parts published in this series. They will soon be available as resources on one page, which we will provide a link to once it has gone live.

Primary Sources


Moule, D, fl 1919. Moule, D, fl 1919 :Record of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Great War. 4th Aug. 1914 [to] 28th June 1919 / D Moule del. Published by the Government Life Insurance Department. [ca 1919].. Ref: Eph-D-WAR-WI-1919-01. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22790825

– Christchurch City Libraries has a online digital archive of primary resources: http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/DigitalCollection/WarsandConflicts/WorldWarI/

– DigitalNZ is an online resource for images and other media: http://www.digitalnz.org/ Use their search box to find World War One (or Great War) media.

– Papers past is a digital archive of New Zealand Newspapers: http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast Search for World War One, Great War, or individual battles and campaigns. You can limit the results by date, region and title of publication.

General World War One sites


Ian McGibbon. ‘First World War’, Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 9-Nov-12 URL: http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/first-world-war

– BBC: http://www.bbc.com/ww1
– BBC Schools page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/0/ww1/
– Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/first-world-war
– New Zealand History: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/first-world-war
– WW100: http://ww100.govt.nz/
– Imperial War Museum: http://www.iwm.org.uk/
– FirstWorldWar.com: http://www.firstworldwar.com/
– Archives New Zealand: http://archives.govt.nz/world-war-one
– The British Library: http://www.bl.uk/world-war-one
– National Library New Zealand: http://natlib.govt.nz/ww100

Children are also welcome to chat live with an online librarian, who will help them with their research and finding online resources. AnyQuestions is a government-funded homework help service for New Zealand School Students. It’s open 1pm – 6pm Monday to Friday: http://www.anyquestions.co.nz

New Mysteries for October

The latest novels from some very popular writers appear in this month’s new mysteries, including Tana French, Kathy Reichs and J. D. Robb. Highly recommend is the mystery from Norwegian writer Jorn Lier Horst titled Closed for Winter.

Syndetics book coverThe secret place / Tana French.
“The photo shows a boy who was murdered a year ago. The caption says, ‘I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM’. Detective Stephen Moran hasn’t seen Holly Mackey since she was a nine-year-old witness to the events of Faithful Place. Now she’s sixteen and she’s shown up outside his squad room, with a photograph and a story. Even in her exclusive boarding school, bad things happen and people have secrets. The previous year, Christopher Harper, from the neighboring boys’ school, was found murdered on the grounds. And today, Holly found the card. Solving this case could take Stephen onto the Murder squad. But to get it solved, he will have to find a way into the strange, charged, mysterious world that Holly and her three closest friends inhabit and disentangle the truth from their knot of secrets…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe monogram murders / Sophie Hannah.
“For the first time ever, the guardians of Agatha Christie’s legacy have approved a brand new novel featuring her most beloved creation. Hercule Poirot’s quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done. Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at the fashionable Bloxham Hotel have been murdered; a cufflink placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverClosed for winter / Jorn Lier Horst ; translated from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce.
“Ove Bakkerud, newly separated and extremely disillusioned, is looking forward to a final quiet weekend at his summer home before closing for winter but, when the tourists leave, less welcome visitors arrive. Bakkerud’s cottage is ransacked by burglars. Next door he discovers the body of a man who has been beaten to death. Police Inspector William Wisting has witnessed grotesque murders before, but the desperation he sees in this latest murder is something new. Wisting’s unease does not diminish when they discover several more corpses on the deserted archipelago.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Sandman / Lars Kepler ; translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.
“During a cold winter night in Stockholm a young man is found walking alongside a railway bridge. The hospital declares that he is suffering from hypothermia and legionella. They also discover a death certificate stating that the man has been dead for over seven years. The man was a victim of the serial killer Jurek Walter, who was arrested by Detective Inspector Joona Linna. Jurek Walter was convicted to forensic psychiatric care, a sentence served in total isolation. But where has this man been during all these years?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrucifixion Creek / Barry Maitland.
“Homicide detective Harry Belltree wouldn’t usually be looking too hard at an elderly couple’s suicide pact. Especially since his brother-in-law Greg has just been stabbed to death. But it seems Greg and the old couple had ties to the same man, a bent moneylender with friends in high places and low. Harry can’t get officially involved in Greg’s murder, but he suspects a link with two other mysterious deaths: his parents’. And when he goes off-grid to investigate, that’s when things start to get dangerous.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn event in autumn / Henning Mankell ; translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson.
“Some cases aren’t as cold as you’d think. Kurt Wallander’s life looks like it has taken a turn for the better when his offer on a new house is accepted, only for him to uncover something unexpected in the garden, the skeleton of a middle-aged woman. As police officers comb the property, Wallander attempts to get his new life back on course by finding the woman’s killer with the aid of his daughter, Linda. But when another discovery is made in the garden, Wallander is forced to delve further back into the area’s past.” (Adapted from Syndetic summary)

Syndetics book coverHead of State : a political entertainment / Andrew Marr.
“It’s September 2017, and the United Kingdom is on the verge of a crucial referendum that will determine, once and for all, if the country remains a member of the European Union, or goes its own way. The stakes could not possibly be higher, and the outcome is delicately balanced. But, unsuspected by the electorate, and unknown to all but a handful of members of the Prime Minister’s innermost circle, there is a shocking secret at the very heart of government that, were it to become known, would change everything in an instant.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPoisoned ground : a Hakim and Arnold mystery / Barbara Nadel.
“Ex-soldier Lee Arnold and his Muslim assistant Mumtaz Hakim run a detective agency in London’s ethnically diverse, crime-ridden East End. Mumtaz is approached by an Egyptian woman, Salwa, whose husband is in Belmarsh on terrorism charges. Salwa convinces Mumtaz of her husband’s innocence and persuades her to go undercover to prove it. But Salwa is not what she seems.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBones never lie : a novel / Kathy Reichs.
“Unexpectedly called in to the Charlotte PD’s Cold Case Unit, Dr. Temperance Brennan wonders why she’s been asked to meet with a homicide cop who’s a long way from his own jurisdiction. The shocking answer: Two child murders, separated by thousands of miles, have one thing in common, the killer. Years ago, Anique Pomerleau kidnapped and murdered a string of girls in Canada, then narrowly eluded capture. Now, as if summoned from their nightmares, Pomerleau has resurfaced in the United States. When another child is snatched, the reign of terror promises to continue unless Brennan can rise to the challenge and make good on her second chance to stop a psychopath.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFestive in death / J. D. Robb.
“Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition, if you ignore the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest. Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who’d been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler’s enemies, she’s also dealing with her Christmas shopping list, plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband’s upcoming holiday bash. Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year’s 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer” (Adapted fron Syndetics summary)

WWI Soldiers and Archived Records

For New Zealanders April 25th is the day we remember those from our nation who left our shores to fight in wars. For many of us it’s the day we wear a red poppy and perhaps attend the local memorial service. The number attending the memorial services is growing and all day television coverage with interviews and war documentaries are now part of our Anzac Day experience. Next year the chance to attend the ANZAC memorial service, to be held at Anzac Cove, to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli was much sought after and a ticket ballot was announced for family members of those who fought at Gallipoli. A newspaper article War records minefield by Michelle Duff in the Sunday Star Times highlighted the fact that sometimes the families did not know the details of family member’s war records and that a common misconception was the thinking that if your family member fought in the First World War then they would have been at Gallipoli. This brings us to the question, do you know where your relatives served in World War One?

Genealogy is a popular topic here at Wellington City Libraries and we have a number of resources to help you discover if your relative did indeed serve at Gallipoli. Your first point of call may be our Genealogy Popular Topics Page. Here you can find general information on researching your family history. From this page there are links to Military Resources. This page is a wealth of information for finding out about your family members’ military service.

Some of the most popular and useful links are

Ancestry Library
Available from internet PCs within our libraries. Contains millions of records accessible in one powerful search. Access is through the My Gateway page on our library website.

It includes;
- NZ Army WWI Nominal Rolls, 1914-1918,
- New Zealand Army WWI Roll of Honour, 1914-1919,
- New Zealand Army WWI Reserve Rolls, 1916-1917,
- New Zealand Army WWI Casualty Lists, 1914-1919, and
- New Zealand Army WWII Nominal Rolls, 1939-1948.

Archives New Zealand offer a reference guide to the war information they hold in PDF form.

You can search the National Archives Archway Database to discover what military records are held by Archives and it also searches on probate records. Searching your relatives name may give you the names and dates of the files, record numbers and where the files are kept.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission The “Debt of Honour Register” is the Commission’s database listing the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars and the 23,000 cemeteries, memorials and other locations world-wide where they are commemorated. The register can also be searched for details of the 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action in the Second World War. Information includes age, date of death, parents and parents’ place of residence.

With the celebrations and remembrance of the centenary of the declaration and start of World War One there are also many new books being published on World War One topics. The following two are good sources of material to be able to learn about the soldiers experiences through the eyes of the soldiers who were there.

Syndetics book coverFighting for empire: New Zealand and the Great War of 1914-1918 / Christopher Pugsley.
“One hundred thousand New Zealanders sailed to war between 1914 and 1918, and at the end of four years of conflict the country had suffered 60,000 casualties, including 18,000 dead. Dr Chris Pugsley’s account of the First World War (first published as a section in Scars on the Heart: 200 Years of NZ at War, Bateman, 1996), is a tale of learning about war the hard way, by bitter and costly experience, drawing on photographs, letters and diaries to examine the impact of war through the eyes of those involved. This lively mix of text, photographs and soldiers, own accounts covers all aspects of the war: from NZ’s seizing German Samoa five days after war was declared, ANZAC Cove and Gallipoli, patriotism at home, Mounted Rifles in Sinai and Palestine, the role of our nurses, the Western Front, and `Sea Dogs and Flying Aces’.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn awfully big adventure : New Zealand World War One veterans tell their stories / selected and edited by Jane Tolerton from interviews for the World War One Oral History Archive.
“[On] New Zealand Listener’s ’100 Best Books of 2013′. What was it like to be a New Zealand soldier in the First World War? What impact did the war have on those who returned? Let them tell you. An Awfully Big Adventure traces the reminiscences and reflections of 80 veterans interviewed for the World War One Oral History Archive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

It’s NANOWRIMO time again!

Nanowrimo 2014 SliderNovember has become synonymous with Nanowrimo, the National Novel Writing Month that “organizes events where children and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential. Our programs are web-enabled challenges with vibrant real-world components, designed to foster self-expression while building community on local and global levels”.

Wellington City Libraries and Community Spaces are this year again opening our doors to budding or more experienced writers who are making the amazing commitment of writing 50,000 words within the month of November.
Not for the faint hearted!

This is why we decided to support this literary effort and are making space for the craft and its disciples.

In the Central Library, you will find two spaces to work with fellow writers during the whole month:

Saturdays 1-29 Nov, 1-4pm in the HQCBD Room 1 on the ground floor

Sundays 2-30 Nov, 1-4pm on the north west end of the first floor (click on map below)

map of Central Library's 1st floor

If you live far from the CBD, please contact your local library or community centre for details of what is available in your area.

Read literature like a professor – Literature picks for October

It’s time for a little erudition! Add richness to your reading with three of this month’s selections – How to read literature like a professor, Reading poetry and How to be well-read. We also have a handful of instructional manuals for writers, a book of essays on female friendship, and seeing 2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War what could be more fitting than that we include a book of war poetry spanning the last hundred years?
‘Downton Abbey’ has returned to our screens once more, so this month’s light relief takes the form of the delightful little book Downton Tabby. You will be surprised at how closely these moggies resemble their actor counterparts!

Syndetics book coverThe ancient Greek hero in 24 hours / Gregory Nagy.
“The ancient Greeks’ concept of the hero was very different from what we understand by the term today, Gregory Nagy argues – and it is only through analyzing their historical contexts that we can truly understand Achilles, Odysseus, Oedipus, and Herakles. In Greek tradition, a hero was a human, male or female, of the remote past, who was endowed with superhuman abilities by virtue of being descended from an immortal god. Despite their mortality, heroes, like the gods, were objects of cult worship. Nagy examines this distinctively religious notion of the hero in its many dimensions.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHelp! for writers : 210 solutions to the problems every writer faces / Roy Peter Clark.
“The craft of writing offers countless potential problems. The story is too long. The story’s too short. Revising presents a huge hurdle. Writer’s block is rearing its ugly head. In Help! For Writers, Roy Peter Clark presents an “owner’s manual” for writers, outlining the seven steps of the writing process and addressing the 21 most urgent problems that writers face. In his trademark engaging and entertaining style, Clark offers ten short solutions to each problem.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJust between us : Australian writers tell the truth about female friendship / foreword by Helen Garner ; edited by Maya Linden, Miriam Sved, Maggie Scott, Natalie Kon-yu and Christie Nieman.
“Empathetic, supportive and respectful… Or competitive, manipulative and downright bitchy? Or somewhere in between? In Just Between Us, a host of Australia’s best-loved female writers bare all on this age-old quandary: Are female friendships all-natural and nurturing? Or are some more damaging than delightful?” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRoget’s thesaurus of words for writers : over 2,300 emotive, evocative, descriptive synonyms, antonyms, and related terms every writer should know / David Olsen, Michelle Bevilacqua, Justin Cord Hayes, and Robert Bly.
“The ultimate tool for writers! Whether you’re crafting the next great American novel or pounding away at a last-minute blog entry, there will come a time in the process when you struggle to find just the perfect word or phrase. Under the time-tested banner of Roget’s Thesaurus, this collection will quickly become the most essential tool on your desk when you’re working on your next piece.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe hundred years’ war : modern war poems / edited by Neil Astley.
“This anthology presents poems from a hundred years of war by poets writing as combatants on opposite sides, as victims, or anguished witnesses. Editor Neil Astley has created this deeply moving testament to humanity caught up in a hundred years of war.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to be well read : a guide to 500 great novels and a handful of literary curiosities / John Sutherland.
“As the annual flow of novels grows ever greater, it’s a hard job to keep up, let alone sort the wheat from the chaff. Fortunately John Sutherland is on hand to do precisely that for you, and in 500 wittily informative essays he introduces you to the very best of the world’s fiction.” (Wellington City Libraries catalogue note)

Syndetics book coverThe digested 21st century / John Crace.
“John Crace’s Digested Read first appeared in in February 2000 and has been running ever since. Each week Crace reduces a new book – anything from a Booker Prize winner to a Nigella cookery book is fair game – to 700 words in a parody of the plot, style, dialogue and themes. Or lack of them. The Digested Read has not just become an institution for readers; it is read and enjoyed by publishers and authors too. So long as it is not their book being digested.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReading poetry / Peter Barry.
“Witty, direct and articulate, Peter Barry illustrates the key elements of poetry at work, covering many different kinds of verse, from traditional forms to innovative versions of the art, such as ‘concrete’ poetry, minimalism and word-free poems. The emphasis is on meanings rather than words, looking beyond technical devices like alliteration and assonance so that poems are understood as dynamic structures creating specific ends and effects.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to read literature like a professor : a lively and entertaining guide to reading between the lines / Thomas C. Foster.
“A thoroughly revised and updated edition of Thomas C. Foster’s classic guide–a lively and entertaining introduction to literature and literary basics, including symbols, themes, and contexts–that shows you how to make your everyday reading experience more rewarding and enjoyable. While many books can be enjoyed for their basic stories, there are often deeper literary meanings interwoven in these texts.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDownton Tabby : a parody / Chris Kelly.
“Welcome to Downton Tabby. Here, the aristocrats of the animal kingdom dwell in stately splendor, sleeping, grooming, sleeping some more, and being fed by their downstairs cats, unaware that their way of life – providing work for others – is about to be swept away by the tides of history… and runaway cars. The fur will fly. This humorous parody provides essential information for preserving their Golden Age, including How to Keep a Secret at Downton Tabby, How to Argue with Lord Grimalkin About His Most Deeply Held Beliefs, and some Uninvited but Necessary Words from the Dowager.” (Syndetics summary)

New books on Computing in October

There are some fairly weighty computing topics this month, including Eye Tracking for User Experience Design, a book on configuration management, and The 4th revolution: how the infosphere is reshaping human reality.

Syndetics book coverMy Samsung Galaxy S III / Steve Schwartz.
“The friendly, full-color, task-based guide to the Samsung Galaxy S II – the year’s hottest new Android smartphone! Organized and formatted for easy, quick reference. Covers everything Samsung Galaxy S II users need to know and do: TouchWiz, phone, web, social networks, contacts, calendars, email, music, video, photos, HD video capture, sync, apps, troubleshooting, and more. Packed with tips for making the Galaxy S II fit your life. Perfect for every user, regardless of experience. Friendly, quick, and 100% practical, My Samsung Galaxy S III is the must-have companion for every Samsung Galaxy S III user.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe 4th revolution : how the infosphere is reshaping human reality / Luciano Floridi.
“Floridi (philosophy & ethics of information, Oxford Univ.; The Ethics of Information) argues that advances in information and communication technologies (ICTs) are repositioning or removing the boundaries between “real” and online environments. ICTs are no longer mere tools of interaction but constitute the infosphere, the environment in which we live. The philosophical and ethical frameworks that are relevant in this new environment are explored, especially in the realms of how we think about time, place, the self, society, and the (physical) environment…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWordPress SEO success : search engine optimization for your WordPress website or blog / Jacob Aull.
“WordPress gives you amazingly powerful SEO tools: this hands-on guide will help you make the most of them! Written specifically for WordPress users, this guide covers all you need: built-in WordPress capabilities, third-party plugins, well-integrated web resources, and more. Whether you manage a large-scale site or a personal blog, Jacob Aull will help you integrate SEO into all you do, from strategy through optimization of existing content. New to SEO? Already do it for a living? Either way, WordPress SEO Success will help you drive the traffic you want–and the value you need!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverConfiguration management : expert guidance for IT service managers and practitioners / Shirley Lacy and David Norfolk.
“Configuration management is the tracking, recording and monitoring of the elements of a business IT system and any changes and developments. Its outcome should be a container for the details of the organisation’s infrastructure and the processes that are used in the provision and management of IT services. This book provides expertise from practitioners who have implemented configuration management in a wide range of environments. It will prove invaluable to IT professionals who are implementing configuration management and also to technology-savvy business managers who need to use automated business services.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverProfessional issues in information technology / Frank Bott.
“To be effective at a senior level, IT professionals need not only appropriate technical skills and experience, but also a broad understanding of the context in which they operate. Relevant to both small and large companies, this book addresses the social, legal, financial, organisational and ethical issues faced by IT professionals such as intellectual property rights in software, computer misuse, codes of conduct, starting a company and internet law. It is designed to accompany the BCS HEQ ‘Diploma in IT’ core module: Professional Issues in Information Systems Practice. This new edition takes into account the social and legal implications of the substantial changes to legislation and technology over recent years, for example cloud computing, the Digital Economy Act and the Equality Act.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThinking with data / Max Shron.
“Many analysts are too concerned with tools and techniques for cleansing, modeling, and visualizing datasets and not concerned enough with asking the right questions. In this practical guide, data strategy consultant Max Shron shows you how to put the why before the how, through an often-overlooked set of analytical skills. Thinking with Data helps you learn techniques for turning data into knowledge you can use. You’ll learn a framework for defining your project, including the data you want to collect, and how you intend to approach, organize, and analyze the results. You’ll also learn patterns of reasoning that will help you unveil the real problem that needs to be solved…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInterface design : an introduction to visual communication in UI design / Dave Wood.
“If you want to design successful user interfaces then you need clear and effective visual communication. Interface Design will help you achieve this using a range of incisive case studies, interviews with professional designers and clear hands-on advice to help you produce user-focused front-end designs for a range of digital media interfaces. This book introduces the major elements of graphic design for digital media – layout, colour, iconography, imagery and typography, and shows how these visual communication basics can combine to produce positive interactive user experiences.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEye tracking in user experience design / [edited by] Jennifer Romano Bergstrom, PhD, Andrew Jonathan Schall.
Eye Tracking for User Experience Design explores the many applications of eye tracking to better understand how users view and interact with technology. Ten leading experts in eye tracking discuss how they have taken advantage of this new technology to understand, design, and evaluate user experience. They also explore recent advances in the technology which tracks how users interact with mobile devices, large-screen displays and video game consoles. This is an invaluable resource to those who want to learn how eye tracking can be used to better understand and design for their users.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIt began with Babbage : the genesis of computer science / Subrata Dasgupta.
“Dasgupta (Univ. of Louisiana at Lafayette) provides a comprehensive, enlightening history of the emergence of computer science as a new scientific paradigm from the time of Charles Babbage’s 19th-century machine designs through the 1960s, when many of the major subdisciplines of the field had been established. This is much more than a history of computers or even of automated computation. Rather, the author makes the case that computer science is a special type of science: different from natural science, where the object of study exists independent of human activity…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

World War I online resources for children Part 2

Over the next year many schools will have a World War One focus, requiring children to research some aspect of the war, or the war time era. The list of potential topics is long and the sheer amount of information available out there can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to find reliable information that is age-appropriate for your children. Here we have created a guide to reputable online resources that are suitable for children. This is the second of three parts to be published. They will then be available as resources on one page, which we will provide a link to once it has gone live.

ANZAC Day


Landing at Anzac, April 25, 1915 by Charles Dixon’, URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/the-landing-at-anzac-cove, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 30-Jul-2014
– New Zealand History provide information about the history of the day, the ceremony, and modern ANZAC day: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/anzac-day/introduction

– The government’s site for Gallipoli2015 (100 year anniversary) has information on the 2015 commemoration: http://www.gallipoli2015.govt.nz

– The government also runs an official site for ANZAC day with lots of good information: http://anzac.govt.nz

– The returned Services Association (RSA) has some brief information on ANZAC Day, and is good for finding out about what happens at an ANZAC Day service and where they are happening: http://www.rsa.org.nz/anzac-day-%E2%80%93-25-april

– For the Australian perspective, the Australian Army has a page with information: http://www.army.gov.au/Our-history/Traditions/ANZAC-Day and the Australian War Memorial has a site that includes speeches, photographs and historical facts: http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac-day/

– Information about the red poppy can be found on the New Zealand History site: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/anzac-day/poppies, the RSA site: http://www.rsa.org.nz/poppy and the British RSL site: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/how-the-nation-remembers/the-story-of-the-poppy

New Zealand’s Involvement


Payne, Henry Joseph, 1858-1927. Payne, Henry Joseph, 1858-1927 :”Kia ora”. Hancock’s “Imperial” ale, stout. Calendar 1917.. Ref: Eph-D-WAR-WI-1917-02. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23095500
– Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand has a comprehensive section on the war from the New Zealand perspective: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/first-world-war

– Similarly, New Zealand History has lots of information about our involvement in the war, including media such has campaign maps: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/nz-goes-to-war

– The National Army Museum website has stories about individual New Zealand Soldiers: http://www.armymuseum.co.nz/kiwis-at-war/voices-from-the-past/

ANZAC Poetry


McDuff, Laura, fl 2004. 1917 Souvenir de France. [Embroidered postcard to Olive McDuff from Lance/Sgt Walter Henry Saunders]. [Ephemera relating to World War I. 1917. Folder 1].. Ref: Eph-A-WAR-WI-1917-05. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23082261
– Australia’s ANZAC day site has a list of poetry with an ANZAC theme: http://www.anzacday.org.au/anzacservices/poetry/poetry01.htm

– The Australian War memorial site has 2 poems about the ANZACs: http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/customs/poems/

– New Zealand’s ANZAC Day site has an order of ceremony for ANZAC day: http://www.anzac.govt.nz/today/orderofceremony.html

– Wellington City Libraries’ review of poetry, memoirs and letters written during and about World War One: http://www.wcl.govt.nz/blog/index.php/2014/07/16/the-pen-and-the-sword-first-world-war-poetry-letters-and-memoirs/

Children are also welcome to chat live with an online librarian, who will help them with their research and finding online resources. AnyQuestions is a government-funded homework help service for New Zealand School Students. It’s open 1pm – 6pm Monday to Friday: http://www.anyquestions.co.nz


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