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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2014/2015 library holiday hours

Wondering when you can visit us over the next two weeks? Here are our Christmas & New Year opening hours across all our libraries.  Of course our eLibrary isn’t going on holiday: we have eBooks, eMagazines & eAudio to keep you entertained and daily newspapers in Pressdisplay, plus online storytimes whenever you want them.

Great books for the holiday break – Biography picks for December

After the Christmas hysteria has subsided, biography-lovers may seek out a comfortable chair somewhere in the sun and take in one of the interesting books offered to them here, or one of the many more in our extensive biography section. A special treat this month is My life in houses by Margaret Forster, which tells her story through the houses she has lived in — a very interesting personal narrative and social history of modern England. Another Good British Biography in our holiday selection is the very readable and comprehensive Behind the mask : the life of Vita Sackville-West. You may find something else which takes your fancy in the list below. Season’s greetings to biography-lovers everywhere!

Syndetics book coverBehind the mask : the life of Vita Sackville-West / Matthew Dennison.
“Matthew Dennison traces the triumph and contradictions of Vita Sackville-West’s extraordinary life. His narrative charts a fascinating course from Vita’s lonely childhood at Knole, through her affectionate but ‘open’ marriage to Harold Nicolson (during which both husband and wife energetically pursued homosexual affairs, Vita most famously with Virginia Woolf), and through Vita’s literary successes and disappointments, to the famous gardens the couple created at Sissinghurst.” (Global Books summary)

Syndetics book coverMy life in houses / Margaret Forster.
“‘I was born on May 25, 1938, in the front bedroom of a house in Orton Road, on the outer edges of Raffles, a council estate. I was a lucky girl.’ So begins Margaret Forster’s journey through the houses she’s lived in, from that sparkling new council house, built as part of a utopian vision by Carlisle City Council, to her beloved London house of today, via Oxford, Hampstead, the Lake District and a spell in the Mediterranean.” (Wellington City Libraries catalogue)

Syndetics book coverMichelangelo : a life in six masterpieces / Miles J. Unger.
“In Michelangelo, the poet Ludovico Ariosto saw an angel divine. The Michelangelo whom Unger delivers in this probing biography is no angel but, rather, a fallible, even devious man. But he does evince powers not previously seen among mere human beings in the way he defies the limits that previously circumscribed the role of the artist.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverEat, drink & remarry : confessions of a serial wife / Margo Howard.
“In this touching memoir, Howard, the author of the Dear Prudence advice columns, chronicles her multiple marriages with lessons learned but few regrets. Howard’s first lesson comes from dealing with her cold, driven, alcoholic first husband and their ritualized back-and-forth game of forgiveness. After that marriage she decides to be a writer like her mom, the famous advice columnist, Ann Landers, who opens her arms to her daughters ambitions by buying her an IBM Selectric Typewriter.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverMona Lisa : a life discovered / Dianne Hales.
“In this entertaining book, Hales (La Bella Lingua) attempts to reconstruct the obscure life of Mona Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, the wife of a prosperous Florentine merchant, Francesco del Giocondo, who either commissioned the painting from Leonardo da Vinci or was approached by the artist to create the smoky portrait now ensconced in the Louvre. Combining history, whimsical biography, personal travelogue, and love letter to Italy, the book portrays Lisa Gherardini as a Renaissance Everywoman.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverMargot Asquith’s Great War diary 1914-1916 : the view from Downing Street / selected and edited by Michael and Elanor Brock ; with the assistance of Mark Pottle.
“A Downing Street diary with a difference; offering a unique record and a fascinating insight into the British government during WWI, written by Margot Asquith, the wife of then Prime Minister, H.H. Asquith.” (Global Books summary)

Syndetics book coverTravelling to work : diaries 1988-1998 / Michael Palin.
“Travelling to work is the third volume of Michael Palin’s widely acclaimed diaries. After the Python years and a decade of filming, writing and acting, Palin’s career takes an unexpected direction into travel, which will shape his working life for the next twenty-five years. Yet, as the diaries reveal, he remained ferociously busy on a host of other projects throughout this whirlwind period.” (Wellington City Libraries catalogue)

Syndetics book coverHow does it hurt? / Stephanie de Montalk.
“Stephanie de Montalk tells the story of the chronic pain that has invaded her life for more than ten years. She considers how her early experiences have been cast into fresh relief by what she has endured, then goes back in time to investigate the lives and works of three writers who also lived with and wrote about pain: ‘the consolator’, English social theorist Harriet Martineau (1802-1876), ‘the vendor of happiness’, French novelist Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897), and ‘the imago’, Polish poet Aleksander Wat (1900-1967).” (Publisher information)

Syndetics book coverThe woman who saved the children : a biography of Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children / Clare Mulley.
“Mulley’s fascinating biography of Jebb is an in-depth look at life in England in the early 1920s. Born in 1876 and raised in a Shropshire home, Jebb inherited her parents’ keen sense of social justice and personal social responsibility. Jebb and her sister, Dorothy, moved to Cambridge in the early 1900s, into what was then the middle of a liberal welfare movement. It was during this pivotal historical time that Jebb began to champion her cause with the belief that social justice is a civil right and not just a benevolent gift. (Publisher Weekly)

The new year brings two marvellous biographical movies to our screens:

The theory of everything based on Travelling to Infinity, the story of Jane Hawking’s life with the brilliant Stephen, and The imitation game about Alan Turing. There will be a rush to know more about these charismatic people so be in the vanguard and reserve them now!

Syndetics book coverTravelling to infinity : my life with Stephen / Jane Hawking.
Travelling to Infinity is a moving and engaging memoir written by Stephen Hawking’s first wife about the turbulent years of her marriage with the astro-physics genius, her traumatic divorce and their recent reconciliation.” (Global Books summary)

Syndetics book coverThe man who knew too much : Alan Turing and the invention of the computer / David Leavitt.
“Leavitt, who teaches creative writing at the U. of Florida, brings his novelist sensibilities to bear on the story of the English mathematician Alan Turing, who helped crack the Enigma code of World War II, crossed paths with the great minds of his time, and found his career as a computer builder cut short after he was arrested for violating anti-homosexuality laws. The biography, however, is no melodrama, focusing most intently on Turing’s ideas and their implications for the science that followed.” (Syndetics)

New Year, New You !

Fitness Banner 111

A New Year brings the opportunity for New Year resolutions.

Have you checked out the libraries health and fitness collection aimed at helping you achieve your training goals?

It’s a good time to start thinking about your health, nutrition, exercise and training plans.

Whether you’re new to fitness or a seasoned triathlete, you will find something to suit.
The library has a wealth of resources available for FREE. Come in and check it out.

You’ll find these books on the 1st floor at the Central library or any branch library, with these numbers on the spine.

Nutrition      613.2
Fitness        613.7
Running      796.42
Cycling        796.6
Swimming   797.21

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Ask any of our friendly librarians. We’re here to help.

Don’t forget the online resources. Download an E-book, use Naxos to stream music while working out or browse health magazines for FREE using Zinio.

We also have workout DVD’s available for a small rental fee of $4. If you hold a valid community services card, gold card or leisure card you are entitled to a 50% discount on all audio visual items.

New Travel books for December

Feel like travelling in the summer holidays? Here are some places and ideas for you to peruse!

Syndetics book coverPlaces to go, people to see / Kate Spade New York.
Places to go, people to see” focuses on the how, where and why of travel through the lens of the always-inspired Kate Spade New York girl. this new volume features vibrant photography, old-world glamour, a dash of charm and inspirational quotes, tips and words of wisdom that every Kate Spade New York girl should know. …showcases chic destinations such as paris, new york city, the amalfi coast, marrakech, tokyo, and st moritz, along with ways to incorporate those things seen, heard and experienced into life back home.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn innocent abroad : life-changing trips from 35 great writers / edited by Don George.
“The title is, of course, a play upon the Mark Twain classic… Sloane Crosley, a first-time visitor to Australia, learns that discretion outranks valor when she decides not to jump off a cliff into the ocean in winter. Tim Cahill describes his sense of awe and wonder when, as a young college student on spring break, he witnessed a sunrise over a high-desert mountain range in Utah. The great Jan Morris was a 20-year-old lieutenant when enchanted with the celestial beauty of Venice. Lloyd Jones learned a life lesson when he tried, unsuccessfully, to con a stranger by creating a false identity while in a Zurich bar…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMountain to mountain : a journey of adventure and activism for the women of Afghanistan / Shannon Galpin.
“Focusing on the war-torn country of Afghanistan, Galpin and her organization, Mountain2Mountain, have touched the lives of hundreds of men, women and children. In addition to launching the non-profit, in 2009 Galpin became the first woman to ride a mountain bike in Afghanistan. Now she’s using that initial bike ride to gain awareness around the country, encouraging people to use their bikes “as a vehicle for social change and justice to support a country where women don’t have the right to ride a bike.” Galpin describes her first forays into fundraising, her deep desire to help women and girls halfway across the world, her love for adventure and sports, and her own inspiration to be so much more than just another rape victim.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRoof explorer’s guide : 101 New York City rooftops / by Leslie Adatto ; photographs, Heather Shimmin and Ari Burling.
Roof explorer’s guide : 101 New York City rooftops by Leslie Adatto is the first and ultimate guide to an urban treasure trove of rooftop gems. This complete guide showcases a dazzling array of surprising rooftop escapes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx, from hotel rooftop bars and restaurants to elevated parks to museums, theaters, green roofs and elevated farms. (It) even features rooftop classes, entertainment and sports…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe White Nile diaries / John Hopkins.
“…It all began at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station, New York, in 1961. Two Princeton graduates, John Hopkins and Joe McPhillips, have returned from Peru, where they dreamed of buying a coffee plantation in the jungle. Hatching a plan to ride a motorbike across North Africa, they buy a sleek, white R50 BMW and paint her name–’The White Nile’–on the fuel tank, in honor of the route they plan to follow. In clear, elegant prose, Hopkins describes deadly salt deserts and fig-laden oases, disappeared travelers and the funerals of young Tunisians killed in the battle for independence. …They encounter armed vigilantes in the Tunisian desert and outrun Libyan border patrols, barely escaping with their lives. They climb the pyramids of Giza at dawn and ride the ‘Desert Express’ across the wastelands of the Nubian Desert, but their final adventure, at Sam Small’s Impala Ranch, is perhaps the most surreal of all.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMr Snack and the lady water : travel tales from my lost years / Brendan Shanahan.
“After a decade spent on the road, renowned travel writer Brendan Shanahan is back with Mr Snack and the Lady Water, a collection of darkly funny and unexpected travel writing. In the title piece, Shanahan embarks on what is supposed to be a luxury cruise down the Yangtze River, only to find himself on a three-day endurance test aboard a leaking barge in the company of a mysterious roommate, a pair of neurotic American spinsters and a thousand baseball-capped tourists. Other stories include his sight-unseen, online purchase of a house in Las Vegas, his brief career in Bollywood and a mediation on white guilt in post-apartheid South Africa.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLonely Planet’s best ever travel tips : get the best travel secrets & advice from the experts / by Tom Hall.
“This illustrated and fully updated edition of Lonely Planet’s pocket-sized bestseller contains our best-ever tips, tricks and trade secrets for stress-free travelling, all brought to life and made easy to understand with stylish, witty illustrations. Find out where the best seats are on a plane, how to avoid bug bites and which essential gadgets you should never leave home without. Featuring contributions from a range of travel writers, industry experts and staff, this book contains the ultimate insider secrets for travellers and ensures you stay safe and happy on the road.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover50 water adventures to do before you die / Lia Ditton.
“From paddle-boarding the Mississippi to big game fishing off Mexico, from floating in the Dead Sea to swimming with jellyfish in Palau, from iceboating in Russia to sailing non-stop round the world, this book promises to inspire dreamers to become doers. Featuring experiences in every corner of the globe and accompanied by stunning photography and bite-sized practical information, this book accommodates every mood, budget, timespan and level of challenge. Diverse and utterly captivating, this book is guaranteed to enthral thrill-seekers, water lovers and armchair readers alike.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThailand / contributors, Philip Cornwel-Smith… [and others].
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Thailand will lead you straight to the best attractions the country has to offer, whether you’re traveling to major destinations such as Bangkok and Phuket or want to experience diving in Ko Tao, elephant riding in Chang Mai, or the monuments in Wat Si Chum. (This book) explores the culture, history, and architecture of this country, accompanied by full-color photographs, 3-D cutaway illustrations, and floor plans of all the must-see sights. …detailed maps, as well as listings of hotels, restaurants, shops, entertainment, tours, scenic walks and more. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that brighten every page…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Here’s a suggestion for those contemplating a trip to Thailand:

Syndetics book coverGet talking Thai in ten days [sound recording] : audio course / David Smyth.
“When travelling, do you want to journey off the English-speaking path? Meet people and communicate easily? Avoid misunderstandings and have fun? …Then you need to Get Talking! Through 10 common scenarios plus culture and travel advice, this beginner level audio course will give you the skills for understanding and the confidence to speak – in just 10 days. Through our interactive Discovery Method, you’ll: Practise the most frequent words and expressions for: greeting people, checking into a hotel, asking for directions, ordering food and more… ” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Season-Inappropriate Classical Music

Summer is not really the time to do a spotlight on Schubert’s Winterreise, but! 2014 has been Winterreise year, so it does merit a mention:  three estimable singers have released recordings – a Schubertian show-down (click on the performer’s name to reserve).

Gerald Finley | Jonas Kaufmann | Matthias Goerne

Enjoy your winter interlude!

Coming soon: Alexandre Tharaud playing Mozart and Haydn, Anna Netrebko singing Strauss, and performance of John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary that prestoclassical named one of their discs of the year.

New Books on Popular Music

New books on popular music this month feature excellent biographies on Nick Cave and Stevie Nicks, as well as interesting studies about the history of rock ‘n’ roll and pop music through individual songs. Also, Do not sell at any price offers a fabulous read about the world of 78 rpm records. Check them out!

Syndetics book coverThe greatest albums you’ll never hear / general editor, Bruno MacDonald.
The Greatest Albums You’ll Never Hear untangles the twists of fate, the fights and the sheer bad luck that prevented these sonic gems from being pressed. A Pink Floyd album with no instruments. A Sex Pistols record more incendiary than Never Mind The Bollocks. A sci-fi rock opera by Weezer. Rock ‘n’ roll history is littered with intriguing albums that never saw the light of day, let alone the charts. Self-destructive ambition, intra-band turmoil, record-company politics and even death have all played their part in creating a fascinating sub-genre of mythic masterpieces. Spanning more than half a century of music from all genres, these tales take in legends such as The Beatles, cult heroes like Brian Eno, and contemporary artists, including Green Day and Dr Dre.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDo not sell at any price : the wild, obsessive hunt for the world’s rarest 78 rpm records / Amanda Petrusich.
“Before MP3s, CDs, and cassette tapes, even before LPs or 45s, the world listened to music on 78rpm records — those fragile, 10-inch shellac discs. While vinyl records have enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, good 78s are exponentially harder to come by and play. Through fascinating historical research and beguiling visits with the most prominent 78 preservers, Amanda Petrusich offers both a singular glimpse of the world of 78 collecting and the lost backwoods blues artists whose 78s from the 1920s and 1930s have yet to be found or heard by modern ears.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover“The history of rock ‘n’ roll in ten songs / Greil Marcus.
“Selects ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008 that embody rock and roll as a thing in itself — in the story each song tells, inhabits, and creates in its legacy.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYeah! yeah! yeah! : the story of pop music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé / Bob Stanley.
“As much fun to argue with as to quote, Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! is a monumental work of musical history, tracing the story of pop music through individual songs, bands, musical scenes, and styles from Bill Haley and the Comets’ “Rock around the Clock” (1954) to Beyoncé’s first megahit, “Crazy in Love” (2003). It covers the birth of rock, soul, R&B, punk, hip hop, indie, house, techno, and more, and it will remind you why you fell in love with pop music in the first place. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! is like the world’s best and most eclectic jukebox in book form.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKylie la la la / William Baker & Kylie Minogue.
Kylie la la la includes over 300 photos, most of which have never been seen before. Some originate from Kylie’s personal archive, and show Kylie at her most relaxed and natural. And then there are the extraordinary photoshoots that have defined Kylie as a style icon, taken by the world’s foremost photographers. This whole collection documents a remarkable career spanning over fifteen years. Written by Kylie and William Baker, who is one of Kylie’s closest friends who has worked as her stylist and creative director for nearly a decade. William’s unique position and personal relationship with Kylie, as well as his experience in fashion and design, make him a wonderfully informative and sharp commentator on the diva’s dizzying rise to fame.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA little history : photographs of Nick Cave and cohorts 1981-2013 / Bleddyn Butcher.
“When Bleddyn Butcher first saw The Birthday Party play, back in 1981, he was astonished. And then enthralled. He set about trying to catch their lightning in his Nikon F2AS. That quixotic impulse became a lifelong quest. Collected here for the first time, A Little History is an extraordinary document, tracing Nick Cave’s creative career from the apoplectic extravagance of The Birthday Party to the calmer disquiet of 2013′s Push The Sky Away. It mixes the candid and uncanny, the spontaneous and the patiently staged, and includes eyeball encounters with Cave’s baddest lieutenants, men for the most part who long since burned their own bridges down. It’s a splendid testament to two brilliant careers.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStevie Nicks : visions, dreams & rumours / Zöe Howe.
“Lyrical visionary, enduring style icon and one indispensable fifth of post-Peter Green megaband Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks is one of the most recognisable figures in rock n roll history. While she once made headlines with her hedonistic lifestyle, part of Nicks’ irresistible appeal is her youthful vulnerability and mystical aura, making her an artist with whom fans have an unbreakable emotional connection. Crowned The Reigning Queen Of Rock And Roll by Rolling Stone, and with gold and quadruple platinum solo albums under her beaded belt, Stevie Nicks has enjoyed the ultimate in rock n roll success in her life as a recording artist – but this charmed life has come as a result of hard graft, self-belief and a devotion to creativity above all; hers has been a journey of intense highs and .” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverClothes, clothes, clothes, music, music, music, boys, boys, boys / Viv Albertine.
“In 1970, Viv Albertine knew she wanted to be in a band, but had never seen a woman play electric guitar. Seven years later, she was the guitarist in the hugely influential all-female punk band, the Slits. This is the story of how, through sheer will, talent and fearlessness, she forced herself on to a male-dominated music scene and became part of a movement that changed music.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe Killers : days & ages / Mark Beaumont.
“The ultimate story of The Killers’ rise from Las Vegas croupiers to million selling global superstars headlining festivals throughout the world. Featuring interview transcripts with the band as well as new interviews with them and those around them right up to their new album Battle Born.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverElvis has left the building : the day the King died / Dylan Jones.
“The King departed this world during the month of punk rocks apotheosis. Elvis Presley has permeated the modern world in ways that are bizarre and inexplicable: a pop icon while he was alive, he has become almost a religious icon in death, a modern-day martyr crucified on the wheel of drugs, celebrity culture, junk food and sex. In Elvis Has Left the Building, Dylan Jones takes us back to those heady days around the time of his death and the rise of punk. He evokes the hysteria and devotion of The Kings numerous disciples and imitators, offering a uniquely insightful commentary on Elvis’s life, times and outrageous demise.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Some real bargains this week at the booksale!

booksale2014aIt’s nearly the end of our December sale but there are still many great gems to find.  For these last few days of the full sale, prices have been reduced:

  • biographies, children’s books, audiobooks on CD, language books, music scores all at 50c
  • all adult non-fiction $2.00
  • adult and young adult fiction 20c each or 6 for $1.00
  • magazines – all at 20c

Remember that booksale books are especially perfect for reading in the rain or on the beach!

Socks & Plum Pudding for Christmas

In 1912, Lord Liverpool became governor of New Zealand. Alongside him, stood his wife, Annette Louise Foljambe, Countess of Liverpool. As soon as the War started in 1914, Lady Liverpool became an active supporter and fundraiser for the New Zealand troops sent to fight overseas.

Her Excellency's Knitting Book coverHer Excellency’s knitting book , compiled under the personal supervision of Her Excellency the Countess of Liverpool was published in 1915.  It was intended to encourage the women of New Zealand, as well as children (boys and girls!), to take up knitting as a valuable skill and turn it into a mass war effort by crafting useful items that would be sent to soldiers fighting for the Empire. Socks in particular were in high demand, a pair only lasting a couple of weeks. Often, the knitter would add a little hand-sewn personal note inside the garment for its recipient. The initiative became hugely popular and contributed to making soldiers feel that they weren’t forgotten back home.
One of these little books has been a treasure in our Rare Books room at the Central Library. It contains a hand-written introduction by Lady Liverpool herself, encouraging “the women of New Zealand” to take their part in the war effort by using the patterns in the book to produce some much needed comfort for the troops.


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The book despite its very modest dimensions as it was designed to be carried in a knitting bag, contains a myriad patterns and knitting instructions to guide the novice (“To wind wool so that you work from the inside of the ball, p.41) as much as the accomplished knitters . It is also dotted with quaint advertising from businesses all over New Zealand such as this Harringtons ad:


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The patterns not only cover garments of use to soldiers such as cholera belts, but items for women, children and babies. In case you always wanted to knit a cholera belt, here are instructions:

Cholera belt

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Christmas in the trenches Dominion articleThis clipping from The Dominion’s 16 July 1917 issue is a testimony of the extent of the contributions from the civilians back home. You can access the full article in the Paperspast database. Published in July, it was calling for “funds of gifts of various kinds” to ensure that soldiers on the front would receive comforting parcels from home, in time for Christmas. Plum puddings were highly prized for their capacity to travel well and their festive significance: “This year, owing to the shortage of certain classes of foodstuffs in the Motherland, these gifts, particularly plum puddings and fancy articles of food, should be more welcome than ever to the men in the fighting lines.”


Syndetics book coverOne of the most likely sources of the time for recipes of plum pudding would have been Mrs Beeton’s Every-day Cookery and Housekeeping Book as suggested in A Distant Feast : the origins of New Zealand’s cuisine by Tony Simpson (recipe p. 66).

Here are images of our own original copy of Mrs Beeton’s 1893 edition, available from our stacks on the second floor of the central library. It includes several versions of the Plum Pudding recipe (p. 379-381, pictured).

Mrs BeetonMrs Beeton Plum Pudding

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Syndetics book coverMrs Beeton was an incredibly popular influence in the  kitchens of the time and has remained a seminal influence in the art of cookery, as our collection bears testimony.
However, “her reputation as an innovator is unjustified“, according to Tony Simpson, author of A Distant Feast, who believes that Eliza Action should have claimed the title.
And indeed, Simon Hopkinson’s (British former chef and critic, considered to be one of the best cookery writers) quote on the cover of Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for private Families stands as more than a stamp of approval: “The Author’s Christmas Pudding is as perfect as any festive pudding can be. I would not cook, nor eat I wish to eat, any other than Acton’s.” You will find her recipe p. 416 of this edition.

To read more about Eliza Acton refer to Syndetics book coverThe real Mrs Beeton : the story of Eliza Acton  by Sheila M. Hardy with foreword by Delia Smith.
For her own recipes, read Modern Cookery for private families : reduced to a system of easy practice in a series of carefully tested receipts in which the principles of Baron Liebig and other eminent writers have been as much as possible applied and explained  with an introduction by Jill Norman.

And finally, another source of recipes that has withstood the test of time is Auguste Escoffier’s A Guide to Modern Cookery. Published in English in 1907, it became a Bible for many generations of chefs and amateurs cooks. Hailed as one of the greatest chefs and food writers of all times, Escoffier redefined French cuisine and propelled it into the 20th Century, influencing cookery internationally.  Here is a photo of the 1951 reprint we hold in the stacks with Escoffier’s version of the very British Plum Pudding.

Mrs Beeton Auguste EscoffierEscoffier3

For more contemporary publications regarding “The King of Chefs and the Chef of Kings”, Escoffier’s nickname, check our catalogue here.

A very interesting documentary about Lady Liverpool and her war efforts, screened on TV3 News last August can be watched on this New Zealand History page with an accompanying article.

And for the francophiles out there, a recent episode of the highly entertaining food programme “On va déguster” produced by the French national radio station France Inter has a very informative piece on Auguste Escoffier. You can read and listen here! Bon Appétit et Joyeux Noël!

Māori Boy: a conversation with Witi Ihimaera


Last week, I had the great pleasure of attending an author talk with Witi Ihimaera about his latest book, Māori Boy, held at National Library. Māori Boy: a memoir of childhood is a recollection of the author’s early life growing up near Gisborne in the 1940s and 1950s. As a life-long fan of Ihimaera’s writing, I was really excited and interested to hear him speak about his experiences of writing the book and about some of the events and relationships in his childhood which inspired it. The event was incredibly well attended, creating a need for extra seats as well as more speakers; testifying to the popularity of this iconic New Zealand writer. The audience were also treated to a brief teaser video of Lee Tamahori’s upcoming film The Patriarch, which is based on Ihimaera’s well-loved novel Bulisbasha. I was also lucky enough to get my shiny new copy of the book signed!

We have plenty of copies available here at the library:

Syndetics book coverMāori boy : a memoir of childhood / Witi Ihimaera.
Maori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood is the first volume of Witi Ihimaera’s enthralling memoir, packed with stories from the formative years of the bestselling author of Whale Rider and Pounamu, Pounamu. He tells of his early life in rural and small town New Zealand, of family secrets, of facing anguish and challenges, and of laughter and love.” (from randomhouse)

Upgrade to In-Library Internet Services for Customers

At last our public PCs available for library customers will be upgraded to Windows 7 and Office 2010. This will start happening in December across all our library sites.
At first, our free internet service will be on separate computers to the full paid internet service, but our aim is to offer both services on all our public computers again next year. Some existing options such as typing in non-English alphabets also will not be available immediately, but we hope to add those back in at the same time.

This upgrade includes new software to manage the services, such as the timing system. Customers wishing to use our paid internet service will still need to receive an access code from staff. Prices remain the same. Once the basic services are fully in place, there will be more advantages in the future such as wifi printing.

Thank you for your patience as we make these improvements.

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