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Cars and transport: recent titles

This time we have, amongst others, books about transport over the “Northwest Frontier of India”, on the sub-continent, and about the “Middle East Run”, the route “across Europe and deep into the Middle East to Kabul”.

Teak and tide : the ebbs and eddies of the Edwin Fox : from the Ganges to Picton, New Zealand : the changing fortunes of the last surviving 19th century merchantman / Nigel Costley ; with Roderick Glassford & Don Grady.

Syndetics book coverFrom fabric wings to supersonic fighters and drones : a history of military aviation on both sides of the North-West Frontier / Brian Cloughley, Lester W. Grau & Andrew M. Roe.
“The famed, and dangerous Northwest Frontier of India was a rocky, mountainous land between Afghanistan and the settled districts of the Punjab. Military aviation above the frontier has had little real attention, except for a number of lighthearted memoirs about the challenges of flying antiquated aircraft over precipitous terrain. The Pakistani Air Force has taken over the job with more modern aircraft, but it is only since 2004 that independent American activities in the ongoing fight against militancy in northern Pakistan have drawn widespread attention to air power over the frontier. But any wider study of the utility and challenges of air power in the region would be incomplete without a detailed look at the Soviet-Afghan War. The purpose of this book is to provide a compact, yet comprehensive history of air power in this region…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Powerhouse : inside the invention of a battery to save the world / Steve LeVine.
“Journalist LeVine (The Oil and the Glory) offers an inside look at the race among industrialized nations to develop a world-changing battery technology. The main players-Japan, China, South Korea, and the lagging United States – all aim to create a powerful, affordable battery to propel electric automobiles and challenge “the provenance of the internal combustion engine.” The book lays out a history of batteries, looking primarily at the period after 1977, when Exxon released the first rechargeable lithium battery. LeVine follows a number of scientists, entrepreneurs, and managers whose contributions slowly advance the technology, but it’s only when Chicago’s Argonne National Laboratory and a hopeful, venture capital-funded startup called Envia enter the picture that the race toward innovation gains momentum…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

cover imageLondon railway atlas: 4th edition / Joe Brown.
“A cartographic masterpiece which provides detailed mapping of the myriad lines which transverse the city, including both London Underground and national railway networks. The clear and detailed large format maps show all tracks and platforms across the network. The new edition has been updated with a massive amount of new detail ideal for enthusiasts and travellers.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageIndia’s disappearing railways : a photographic journey / Angus McDonald ; foreword by Sir Mark Tully.
“A vibrant photo-essay by Australian photographer Angus McDonald, capturing the sub-continent’s unique narrow-gauge hill railways in all their vivid colour, character and chaos.” (Syndetics summary)

B00BMRTPEM_02___SCMZZZZZZZ_The long haul pioneers : a celebration of Astran, leaders in overland transport to the Middle East for over 45 years / Ashley Coghill.
“It all started in 1964 when two friends gave up promising medical careers to embark upon a journey which few hardened truckers would have considered. In so doing, they were solely responsible for creating the first long haul overland route, across Europe and deep into the Middle East to Kabul. This book is about the company founded by one of those men, from its fledgling days as Asian Transport to the thriving Astran Cargo Services Ltd that it is today. These early long haul drivers would think nothing of a 10,000 mile round trip to Iran or the Arabian Gulf and being stranded at 6,000 feet on a mountain pass with temperatures below -40 was just all in a day’s work. The end result is a detailed, comprehensive and fascinating account of an extraordinary company.” (Product description, Amazon.co.uk)

New Books on Popular Music

Check out our exciting new books on popular music. They include How music got free which is the intriguing study of digital music industry today, and In the all-night café in which Stuart David, co-founder of musical collective Belle and Sebastian, tells all about their early days. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverHow music got free : the end of an industry, the turn of the century, and the patient zero of piracy / Stephen Witt.
“Journalist Stephen Witt traces the secret history of digital music piracy, from the German audio engineers who invented the mp3, to a North Carolina compact-disc manufacturing plant where factory worker Dell Glover leaked nearly two thousand albums over the course of a decade, to the high-rises of midtown Manhattan where music executive Doug Morris cornered the global market on rap, and, finally, into the darkest recesses of the Internet. Through these interwoven narratives, Witt has written a thrilling book that depicts the moment in history when ordinary life became forever entwined with the world online — when, suddenly, all the music ever recorded was available for free. How Music Got Free isn’t just a story of the music industry–it’s a must-read history of the Internet itself.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe first collection of criticism by a living female rock critic / Jessica Hopper.
“Jessica Hopper’s music criticism has earned her a reputation as a firebrand, a keen observer and fearless critic not just of music but the culture around it. With this volume spanning from her punk fanzine roots to her landmark piece on R. Kelly’s past, The First Collection leaves no doubt why The New York Times has called Hopper’s work “influential.” Not merely a selection of two decades of Hopper’s most engaging, thoughtful, and humorous writing, this book documents the last 20 years of American music making and the shifting landscape of music consumption. Through this vastrange of album reviews, essays, columns, interviews, and oral histories, Hopper chronicles what it is to be truly obsessed with music.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRockwiz decades : the greatest songs of our time / Toby Creswell.
“Rockwiz Decades is a comprehensive guide to, and documentation of, the best songs of each decade dating as far back as the 1950s. Author Toby Creswell reminds us of the great songs that the last 65 years have offered us, delving into the untold stories behind some of the best songs of all time_from Bob Dylan to Joan Baez, Pulp to Leonard Cohen, Pet Shop Boys to Beach Boys to Beyonce_no rolling stone is left unturned.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn the all-night café : a memoir of Belle and Sebastian’s formative year / Stuart David.
“”One afternoon in 1994, I had an idea.” So begins Stuart David’s charming, evocative memoir about the indie pop band Belle and Sebastian. Determined to make his living writing stories and songs, Stuart had spent several years scraping by on the dole in his small, industrial hometown. Then he had the fateful idea to learn bass guitar, and to head for Glasgow in search of likeminded artists. In the All-Night Café describes his fortuitous meeting with the group’s cofounder Stuart Murdoch in a course for unemployed musicians. It tells of their adventures in two early incarnations of Belle and Sebastian and culminates in the recording of their celebrated debut album, Tigermilk . This portrait of the group and its origins will resonate with anyone who has put together–or thought of putting together–a band.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeing Conchita : we are unstoppable / as told to Daniel Oliver Bachmann.
“With the song “Rise Like a Phoenix,” Thomas Neuwirth–better known to the world as Conchita Wurst–stormed to victory in 2014′s Eurovision Song Contest. The bearded drag queen’s winning words, “We are unity and we are unstoppable,” were a pointed riposte to overt Russian hostility and Eastern European homophobia, and a watershed moment for LGBT campaigners. Her victory stirred massive support right across the continent in the gay community and beyond, and Conchita’s inspirational book will undoubtedly attract that same support and goodwill. This is Conchita’s full story from rural childhood to recording artist, Gaultier Couture model and cultural icon.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe big midweek : life inside The Fall / Steve Hanley and Olivia Piekarski.
“The first insider’s account of life inside seminal British rock band, The Fall. Hanley’s story unfolds like a novel; from 1979 when he joined The Fall with his schoolmates Marc Riley and Craig Scanlon, up to and including an infamous on-stage fight.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPsychedelic bubble gum : Boyce & Hart, the Monkees, and turning mayhem into miracles / Bobby Hart with Glenn Ballantyne.
“From the man who wrote the songs that outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in 1967-1968, comes the story of the first decades of his life in Hollywood and New York . Immerse yourself in Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Award nominated songwriter Bobby Hart’s world as he shares the story behind his success; from humble beginnings comes a musical goliath. Psychedelic Bubble Gum is a rollercoaster ride through the 1960s and 1970s during America’s whirlwind era of free speech, mysticism, and psychedelic pop culture , and, of course, rock ‘n’ roll.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAllen Klein : the man who bailed out the Beatles, made the Stones, and transformed rock & roll / Fred Goodman.
“The story of notorious manager Allen Klein, revealing new, behind-the-scenes details about some of the biggest rock bands in history Allen Klein was like no one the music industry had seen before. The hard-nosed business manager became infamous for allegedly catalyzing the Beatles’ breakup and robbing the Rolling Stones, but the truth is both more complex and more fascinating. As the manager of the Stones and then the Beatles–not to mention Sam Cooke, Donovan, the Kinks, and numerous other performers–he taught young soon-to-be legends how to be businessmen as well as rock stars.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMusical wit : quips and quotes for musicians and music lovers / with text contributed by Vicky Edwards ; illustrations by Kath Walker.
“Whether you’re a regular Rolling Stone or bananas about Beethoven, this cacophony of quips and quotes will have your ears ringing with laughter. Perfect for when you’ve hit too many bum notes and need a little harmony.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageNice work if you can get it : notes from a musician’s diary / Don Franks.
Tales from a NZ musician. Don has played at restaurants, dances, pubs, festivals, weddings and funerals. He’s taught music in schools, night classes, prisons, and to private students. He’s performed at protests and picket lines and recorded two albums of his protest songs. Don produces a weekly Access Radio programme of music and social commentary.

Image from Steele RobertsJack! : celebrating Jack Body, composer / edited by Jennifer Shennan, Gillian Whitehead & Scilla Askew.
Internationally renowned composer and ethnomusicologist Jack Body is 70 — celebrate his birthday and unswerving commitment to New Zealand music with this beautiful volume. Featuring more than 120 contributions, Jack! is an astounding collection of memories, photos, paintings, art and music from friends and colleagues such as Vincent Ward, Slamet A Sjukur, Geoff Chapple, Martin Lodge, Tan Dun, Charles Te Ahukaramu Royal, Gao Ping, Ian Wedde, Gareth Farr, Budi Putra, Jose Evangelista and Richard Nunns. Woven between the stories is a transcript of Jack’s comprehensive Radio NZ ‘Composer of the Week’ interview with Elizabeth Kerr. A must for lovers of contemporary New Zealand music.

Take your pick: Fashion and Beauty in August

We have lots of exciting additions to our fashion shelves this month. Style guide lovers have two new shiny new editions to choose from, as well as the latest book about epic fashion designer Alexander McQueen. We have a new book of 1940s hairstyles and also a new biography of Diane von Furstenberg, designer of the famous wrap dress. Or if you have dreams of becoming a fashion designer, I can recommend The Glitter Plan – describing the success story behind iconic brand Juicy Couture, it is an inspiring read which makes it all sound so easy!

Syndetics book coverDiane von Furstenberg : a life unwrapped / Gioia Diliberto.
“A sweeping biography of one of the most influential and controversial legends of New York fashion–the iconic designer whose creations captured the modern feminist spirit. Pregnant and lugging a suitcase of samples to department stores, Diane started a dress business with three styles–and in 1973, stormed onto the national stage with the invention of the wrap dress. Embraced for its flattering style by millions of American women of all ages, sizes, and shapes, the dress became a cult object. Lively and insightful, Diane von Furstenberg is a modern fable of self-invention, fame, wealth, failure, and success, pulled together with the style and assuredness of a DVF dress.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVintage Hair Styles of the 1940s : A Practical Guide
“A complete guide to recreating authentic hair styles of the 1940s–with 1,000 color photographs and step-by-step instructions. The 1940s were exciting times for women, heralding new looks and, crucially, new hair styles. This book provides a complete guide to those hair styles. It also charts the history of 1940s hair fashion, and provides guidance on how best to achieve vintage looks for those wishing to re-enact, model, or wear the classic styles of the era. Included are both modern and traditional methods to achieving the hairstyle you pick, as well as troubleshooting tips and tricks. There is also a guide to hair accessories, make-up, and nails, which will help complete your look.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAlways pack a party dress : and other lessons learned from a (half) life in fashion / Amanda Brooks.
“An authentic voice in the world of style and how- to books, Amanda Brooks’ I Love Your Style (It Books) has been a fan-favourite since publication in 2009. Her unique and enviable yet accessible style has inspired thousands of women to find a personal look of their own. In Always Pack a Party Dress, Brooks recalls her early career aspirations and explores the evolution of her own personal style along with stories of successes and failures alike, as well as fashion and beauty tips and inspiring photographs. A must-read for high fashion or street style aficionados.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverModels of influence : 50 women who reset the course of fashion / Nigel Barker.
“Nigel Barker profiles fifty of the most noteworthy models from the 1940s to the present, revealing how their look or way of modeling not only made an indelible stamp on the industry but also influenced fashion design, the popular way of dress, and notions of female beauty worldwide. To complement the text, Barker has personally selected more than one hundred full-color and black-and-white photographs from the archives of the world’s top fashion photographers to assemble a collectible anthology of many of the finest fashion images from the last seventy years. With an engaging, informative text and a vivid collection of seminal photographs, Models of Influence is the definitive word on the subject.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe glitter plan : how we started Juicy Couture for $200 and turned it into a global brand / Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor with Booth Moore.
“Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor became fast and furious friends over the impossibility of finding the perfect T-shirt. Following their vision of comfortable, fitted T-shirts, they set up shop in Gela’s one-bedroom Hollywood apartment with $200 and one rule: Whatever they did, they both had to be obsessed by it. The best friends’ project became Juicy Couture. Pam and Gela eventually sold their company to Liz Claiborne for $50 million, but not before they created a whole new genre of casual clothing that came to define California cool. Told in the bright, cheery voice that defines Juicy style even today, The Glitter Plan shows readers how to transform passion and ideas into business success.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInferno : Alexander McQueen : an intimate portrait of his seminal show Dante, autumn/winter 1996-97 / Kent Baker.
“London 1996: Alexander McQueen took over the Hawksmoor masterpiece Christ Church in London’s East End for what was quite possibly the greatest fashion show on Earth. A candle-lit, cruciform catwalk with a backdrop of stained-glass windows set the tone for an extraordinary collection. Dante was the seminal collection that would resonate throughout Alexander McQueen’s career. This book features unique photographs shot behind the scenes, with raw, unseen pictures of the designer, models and clothes. Newly created imagery of clothes shown on the catwalk gives an insight into why this collection was so special.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to get dressed : a costume designer’s secrets for making your clothes look, fit, and feel amazing / by Alison Freer ; illustrations by Julia Kuo.
“A costume designer’s styling kit is a magical bag of tricks, built to solve every single wardrobe malfunction on earth. How to Get Dressed is a fun, empowering style guide for women that focuses on making the most of your wardrobe. Alison Freer provides real-world, no-BS style advice that covers everything a girl could need to know: from determining if your clothes are fitting properly to how to care for, maintain, and keep your garments organized-plus what to do when the inevitable fashion disaster strikes. Full of hundreds of insider tricks from Freer’s endless arsenal of tools and expertise, How to Get Dressed teaches you to rethink your wardrobe like a fashion expert.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFashioning the body : an intimate history of the silhouette / edited by Denis Bruna.
“This unique survey offers fascinating insights into the convoluted transformations employed by both men and women to accommodate the fickle dictates of fashion. With high design, wit, and style, Fashioning the Body tracks the evolution of these sartorial devices–from panniers, crinolines, and push-up bras to chains, zippers, and clasps–concealed beneath outer layers in order to project idealized figures. With more than 200 beautiful illustrations–including reproductions of superb historic advertisements–Denis Bruna reveals the industry and art of these contrivances meant to entice and beguile as well as assert status and power.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New popular Non-fiction in July

Our feature book this month makes the case for those who have decided that life is rich and rewarding without having children. In another book, a plea has gone up for our world to not be economically governed any more by GDP, which does not measure so much of the economy, but instead measures ‘more output’. Finally, the New York Times bestseller which controversially argues that women should give control over her marriage to her husband, for a happier union.

Syndetics book coverThe little big number : how GDP came to rule the world and what to do about it / Dirk Philipsen.
“In one lifetime, GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, has ballooned from a narrow economic tool into a global article of faith. …While economies and cultures measure their performance by it, GDP ignores central facts such as quality, costs, or purpose. It only measures output: more cars, more accidents; more lawyers, more trials; more extraction, more pollution–all count as success. …Dirk Philipsen uncovers a submerged history dating back to the 1600s, climaxing with the Great Depression and World War II, when the first version of GDP arrived at the forefront of politics. Today, increasing GDP is the highest goal of politics… But the world can no longer afford GDP rule. A finite planet cannot sustain blind and indefinite expansion. If we consider future generations equal to our own, replacing the GDP regime is the ethical imperative of our times.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverF*** you and goodbye / Matt Potter.
“History is written by the winners. It’s the faithful servants, the insiders, the ones who stick around, who can adapt to almost any condition that get to write the official histories. They publish the memoirs, park in the directors’ spots, erect the statues, form the new governments, wipe out the pockets of resistance, recruit the new starters, set the agendas, talk on the documentaries and retrospectives. Yet theirs – the official version – is never the whole story. The quitter’s tale offers a far more compelling, and often a more honest version of history. In F*** You and Goodbye , Matt Potter collects the pithiest, angriest, most hilarious messages of resignation throughout history, including those whose exits were a springboard to eventual success, such as Steve Jobs, George Orwell and Charlie Sheen…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe antidote : inside the world of new pharma / Barry Werth.
“… The $325 billion-a-year pharmaceutical business is America’s toughest and one of its most profitable. It’s riskier and more rigorous at just about every stage than any other business, from the towering biological uncertainties inherent in its mission to treat disease; to the 30-to-1 failure rate in bringing out a successful medicine even after a molecule clears all the hurdles to get to human testing; to the multibillion-dollar cost of ramping up a successful product; to operating in the world’s most regulated industry, matched only by nuclear power. Werth captures the full scope of Vertex’s twenty-five year drive to deliver breakthrough medicines. At a time when America struggles to maintain its innovative edge, The Antidote is a powerful inside look at one of the most intriguing and important business stories of recent decades.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDealing with China : an insider unmasks the new economic superpower / Henry M. Paulson Jr.
“Hank Paulson has dealt with China unlike any other foreigner. As head of Goldman Sachs, Paulson had a pivotal role in opening up China to private enterprise. Then, as Treasury Secretary, he created the Strategic Economic Dialogue with what is now the world’s second-largest economy. While negotiating with China on economic reforms, he safeguarded the teetering U.S. financial system. Paulson has worked with scores of top Chinese leaders, including Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful man in decades. Now he takes readers behind closed doors to witness the future of China’s state-controlled capitalism.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe happiness industry : how the government and big business sold us well-being / William Davies.
“…Happiness has become the biggest idea of our age, a new religion dedicated to well-being. In this brilliant dissection of our times, political economist William Davies shows how this philosophy, first pronounced by Jeremy Bentham in the 1780s, has dominated the political debates that have delivered neoliberalism. From a history of business strategies of how to get the best out of employees, to the increased level of surveillance measuring every aspect of our lives, The Happiness Industry is an essential guide to the marketization of modern life. Davies shows that the science of happiness is less a science than an extension of hyper-capitalism.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHumans 3.0 : the upgrading of the species / Peter Nowak.
“…As the 21st century unfolds, the pace of innovation is accelerating exponentially. Breakthroughs from robotics to genetics appear almost on a daily basis. We used to create technology to change the world around us; now we’re using it to change ourselves. With vaccinations, in-vitro fertilization, and individual genetic therapy, we’re entering a new epoch… The technology that set us apart from our earliest selves is becoming part of the evolutionary process. Advancements in computing, robotics, nanotechnology, neurology, and genetics mean that our wildest imaginings could soon become commonplace. Peter Nowak deftly presents the potential outcomes both exciting and frightening of key, rapidly advancing technologies and adroitly explores both the ramifications of adopting them and what doing so will reveal about the future of our species.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPrepared for the worst : selected essays and minority reports / Christopher Hitchens.
“Christopher Hitchens is widely recognized as having been one of the liveliest and most influential of contemporary political analysts. Prepared for the Worst is a collection of the best of his essays of the 1980s published on both sides of the Atlantic. These essays confirmed his reputation as a bold commentator combining intellectual tenacity with mordant wit, whether he was writing about the intrigues of Reagan’s Washington, a popular novel, the work of Tom Paine, the man George Orwell, or reporting (with sympathy as well as toughness) from Beirut or Bombay, Warsaw or Managua.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBody of truth : how science, history, and culture drive our obsession with weight– and what we can do about it / Harriet Brown.
“…Harriet Brown has explored the conundrums of weight and body image for more than a decade, as a science journalist, as a woman who has struggled with weight, as a mother, wife, and professor. In this book, she describes how biology, psychology, metabolism, media, and culture come together to shape our ongoing obsession with our bodies, and what we can learn from them to help us shift the way we think. Brown exposes some of the myths behind the rhetoric of obesity, gives historical and contemporary context for what it means to be “fat”, and offers readers ways to set aside the hysteria and think about weight and health in more nuanced and accurate ways.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSelfish, shallow, and self-absorbed : sixteen writers on the decision not to have kids / edited and with an introduction by Meghan Daum.
“One of the main topics of cultural conversation during the last decade was the supposed “fertility crisis,” and whether modern women could figure out a way to way to have it all-a successful, demanding career and the required 2.3 children-before their biological clock stopped ticking… In this provocative and controversial collection of essays, curated by writer Meghan Daum, …writers explain why they have chosen to eschew motherhood. Contributors include Lionel Shriver, Sigrid Nunez, Geoff Dyer, and Tim Kreider, among others, who will give a unique perspective on the overwhelming cultural pressure of parenthood. This collection makes a smart and passionate case for why parenthood is not the only path to a happy, productive life, and takes our parent-centric, kid-fixated, baby-bump-patrolling culture to task in the process.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe surrendered wife : a practical guide for finding intimacy, passion, and peace with a man / Laura Doyle.
“A “New York Times” bestseller, this controversial guide to improving your marriage has transformed thousands of relationships, bringing women romance, harmony, and the intimacy they crave. Like millions of women, Laura Doyle wanted her marriage to be better. But when she tried to get her husband to be more romantic, helpful, and ambitious, he withdrew–and she was lonely and exhausted from controlling everything. Desperate to be in love with her man again, she decided to stop telling him what to do and how to do it. When Doyle surrendered control, something magical happened. The union she had always dreamed of appeared. The man who had wooed her was back…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Zealand author on Man Booker Prize 2015 longlist

Syndetics book coverCongratulations to New Zealand author Anna Smaill for her novel titled The Chimes being selected for the 2015 Man Booker longlist.
The recently announced longlist of 13 novels also includes Anne Enright’s The Green Road, Andrew O’Hagan’s The Illuminations, and Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread.
The panel of five judges, chaired by Michael Wood, will announce the shortlist in September 2015, with each author receiving £2,500 and the winner from this will be announced in October 2015, and receive the £50,000 award.

Our pick of new Travel books in July

Travel books this month take us from New Zealand in Wildboy, to Patagonia, Chicago, Denmark, Sweden then back via Florence, Haiti, the U.S. and Sydney. Happy armchair travelling!

Syndetics book coverAll the buildings in Sydney : that I’ve drawn so far / by James Gulliver Hancock.
All the Buildings in Sydney is a love letter to author James Gulliver Hancock’s home town of Sydney, told through his unique and charming drawings of the city’s diverse architectural styles and cityscape. His buildings are colourful and full of fun and off-beat details, yet he successfully captures the technical elements and the essence of Sydney architecture that makes it such a unique and beautiful city.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDiscovering vintage Chicago : a guide to the city’s timeless shops, bars, delis & more / Amy Bizzarri.
“The Discovering Vintage series takes you back in time to all of the timeless classic spots each city has to offer. The books spotlight the charming stories that tell you what each place is like now and how it got that way from classic restaurants to shops to other establishments that still thrive today and evoke the unique character of the city. They’re all still around–but they won’t be around forever. Start reading, and start your discovering now!” (Amazon.com.)

Syndetics book coverUltimate record breaking destinations : the world’s largest, highest and most extreme places / Samantha Wilson.
“In a world bursting with incredible and alluring destinations, visiting the largest, oldest, highest or most extreme places provides us with a wonderful sense of achievement and helps us make sense of our place in this big old world. Take a unique journey of discovery to 100 of Earth’s record breaking places, from swimming in the deepest lake to stepping foot on the largest sand island or spending a night in the largest ice hotel. With a combination of easy-to-visit and off-the-beaten-track destinations it combines geographical intrigue and astonishing trivia to bring you the travel world’s answer to the Guinness Book of World Records.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChasing rumor : a season fly fishing in Patagonia / Cameron Chambers.
“A blip of prosperity at the turn of the 20th century brought American trout to Patagonia, then for a half-century they were forgotten to fight wars and build a nation. Rediscovered by fishermen a half-century later, the fish had grown to epic proportions. In Chasing Rumor, Cameron Chambers chronicles his modern-day pilgrimage to the rivers of Patagonia in pursuit of these legendary 20-pound trout. What started as a trip focused on catching fish became a love affair with the Patagonian landscape, environment and mostly, the people. From a business mogul turned B&B owner to a kid determined to save a local trout population, Chasing Rumor is at times the story of a handful of fishermen, and at other times a tale of enormous trout.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWildboy : an epic trek around the coast of New Zealand / Brando Yelavich with Nicola McCloy.
“Fast going off the rails and hanging out with the wrong crowd, Brando Yelavich, a plucky 20-year-old from Auckland’s North Shore, decided he needed to change his life. He needed a mission. He was going to walk around New Zealand. Brando reached Cape Reinga on 23 August 2014 after a gruelling journey of over 8000 kilometres, traversed almost completely on foot over 600 days – the first time it had ever been done. It was an outlandish odyssey of physical and mental fortitude. He slept under the stars and lived off the land. He almost drowned on several occasions and experienced near-hypothermia. He gained 20 kilograms. But the transformation ran much deeper. As much for fans of Bear Grylls or Cheryl Strayed’s Wild as it is for those of the off-the-grid outdoors Kiwi experience, Wildboy is a ripping adventure story with an inspiring life change at its heart.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to be Danish : a journey to the cultural heart of Denmark / Patrick Kingsley.
“Denmark is the country of the moment. Recently named the happiest nation in the world, it’s the home of The Killing and Noma, the world’s best (and most eccentric) restaurant. We wear their sweaters, watch their thrillers, and covet their cool modern design, but how much do we really know about the Danes themselves? Part reportage, part travelogue, How to Be Danish fills in the gaps — an introduction to contemporary Danish culture that spans politics, television, food, architecture, and design.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmile of a midsummer night : a picture of Sweden / by Lars Gustafsson and Agneta Blomqvist ; translated from the Swedish by Deborah Bragen-Turner.
“In Smile of the Midsummer Night , best-selling author Lars Gustafsson and Agneta Blomqvist present a very personal guide to their Swedish homeland. Setting off from the far South, their journey takes them up to Norrland, from the farms of Scania to Laponian, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But it is the idyllic fjord in Bohulän, located in the Västmanland region, as well as Mälar Lake and Stockholm that they call home. The first work of contemporary travel writing about Sweden by Swedish writers to have been translated into English, Smile of the Midsummer Night is a loving and poetic ode to this beautiful nation and a must-have for anyone interested in Scandinavia.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover111 places in Florence and Northern Tuscany that you must not miss / Beate C. Kirchner ; photographs by Francesco P. Carbone ; English translation, Alan Gentile.
“Michelangelo’s David, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the smooth cypress hills – these are among the celebrated must-see sights of Tuscany. Yet the cultural landscape of Florence and the surrounding countryside is an inexhaustible trove of visual and historical gems if you know where to look, that is. Where, for instance, can you find 1,000 Masonic objects and symbols? Where does the official championship in cheese-throwing take place? Where was a memorial dedicated to a king’s assassin, and where can you see a double-dawn? This book will lead you right inside the turbulent history, exciting stories, and unexpected sites and pleasures of Tuscany.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDispatches from dystopia : histories of places not yet forgotten / Kate Brown.
“The author wanders the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation, first on the Internet and then in person, to figure out which version — the real or the virtual — is the actual forgery. She also takes us to the basement of a hotel in Seattle to examine the personal possessions left in storage by Japanese Americans on their way to internment camps in 1942. In Uman, Ukraine, we hide with Brown in a tree in order to witness the male-only Rosh Hashanah celebration of Hasidic Jews. In the Russian southern Urals, she speaks with the citizens of the small city of Kyshtym, where invisible radioactive pollutants have mysteriously blighted lives. Finally, Brown returns home to Elgin, Illinois, in the industrial rust belt, to investigate the rise of “rustalgia” and the ways her formative experiences have inspired her obsession with modernist wastelands.” (Jacket flap)

Syndetics book coverAfter the dance : a walk through carnival in Jacmel, Haiti / Edwidge Danticat.
“Here she chronicles her journey to the coastal town of Jacmel, where she meets with the performers, artists, and organizers who re-create the myths and legends that bring the festival to life. In the process, Danticat traces the heroic and tragic history of their home island, from French plantation colony to the Haitian revolution, American invasions to homegrown dictatorships. Part travelogue, part memoir, part historical analysis, this is the deeply personal story of a writer rediscovering her country – along with a part of herself – and a wonderful introduction to Haiti’s southern coast and to the beauty and passions of Carnival.” (Back cover)

Law for Lunch – Online schemers, scams and shams – How to protect yourself?

Law for Lunch

The next Law for Lunch talk offers information on online scams and frauds, including handy tips for feeling secure when using the internet and stay safe online.
It is presented by Neil Melhuish from Netsafe.

NetSafe is a leading educational advocate for cybersafety. They encourage a safe and positive use of the internet and digital technologies, especially among children and young people.

Come along to hear about ways to avoid scams and frauds, make your computer secure and how to report internet issues. Ask your questions and understand Internet trickery.
This seminar will take place this Wednesday, August 5 from 12:30 noon to 1:30pm, on the Ground Floor of the Central Library. All welcome!

We look forward to seeing you there. Refreshments will be served.

For more information about Law for Lunch events, please visit wcl.govt.nz/lawforlunch

Browsing is back!

Read your favourite magazines at the Wellington Central Library.

003.1jpgFind the latest copies of the most popular magazines to browse at your leisure!

From art, politics, business and fashion to food, gardening, sport and fitness you are sure to find a magazine you love on the new Reference Magazine stand, on Central Library’s First Floor.

As a result of popular demand, all new weekly magazines and the most popular monthly magazines are now ‘Reference’ only – until the arrival of the next issue – and are available at your disposal for information, leisure and entertainment.

If you come across an issue that you wish to borrow, you can still reserve a copy! Reference copies will be held at Central only; the latest magazine issues will still be available to borrow or reserve from our branch libraries.

Come in the library, read, relax and enjoy. Browsing the latest magazines from around the world is an experience you can’t miss!

New ‘Other Genres’ fiction: this month featuring New Zealand writers

Another amazing selection of new fiction from New Zealand writers in this month’s ‘Other Genres’ category. Highly recommended is the long awaited new novel from Patricia Grace, titled Chappy.

Syndetics book coverHide your heart / Tracey Alvarez.
“Alexandra Lauren Knight has reinvented herself in the safety of her rural New Zealand hometown to become Lauren Taylor. She’s cut all ties with her past as a former model whose ex-husband turned out to be ruthless in both the boardroom and the bedroom. While Alexandra allowed other’s expectations to propel her into the spotlight, Lauren prefers the safety of anonymity; restoring classic cars with her brother, and snuggling with her four-year-old son. Nate Fraser, a burned-out photojournalist, plans to fix up the property next door to Lauren and sell it as a celebrity retreat. Always on the move, Nate is only comfortable with short-term assignments and even shorter-term relationships. But it’s not just his buyer’s tight deadline or that the restoration is far beyond his expertise which turns a short-term project into an ordeal. Nate’s plan of travelling the globe is in jeopardy-created by the intensity of his growing feelings for Lauren and her little boy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe invisible mile / David Coventry.
“The 1928 Ravat-Wonder team from New Zealand and Australia were the first English-speaking team to ride the Tour de France. From June through July they faced one of toughest in the race’s history: 5,476 kilometers of unsealed roads on heavy, fixed-wheel bikes. They rode in darkness through mountains with no light and brakes like glass. They weren’t expected to finish, but stadiums filled with Frenchmen eager to call their names. The Invisible Mile is a powerful re-imagining of the tour from inside the peloton, where the test of endurance, for one young New Zealander, becomes a psychological journey into the chaos of the War a decade earlier.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEvery five minutes / Bronwyn Elsmore.
“Gina, if that is her real name, wakes to an autumn morning and, against her better judgement, selects a light dress to wear to work. Deliberately, she misses the bus and walks into the city, then turns and walks back home. This is not a day for work. Tomorrow, in her navy pantsuit, she will be there. Today she will spend with a white dog and a remarkable man. Every Five Minutes is also about the colour cornflower blue, beaches, parks, city streets, exotic places, coffee, flowers, polished stones, a unicorn and a swan, words, theatre, movies, music, and love. But most of all it’s about Gina, the dog, and the man.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChappy / Patricia Grace
“Uprooted from his privileged European life and sent to New Zealand to sort himself out, twenty-one-year-old Daniel pieces together the history of his Maori family. As his relatives revisit their past, Daniel learns of a remarkable love story between his Maori grandmother Oriwia and his Japanese grandfather Chappy. The more Daniel hears about his deceased grandfather, the more intriguing, and elusive,Chappy becomes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStarlight Peninsula / Charlotte Grimshaw.
“Eloise Hay lives on the Starlight Peninsula. Every weekday she travels into the city to work at Q TV Studio, assisting with the production of a current affairs show. One night she receives a phone call that will change her life forever. Thrown into the turmoil of a sudden marriage break-up, Eloise begins to perceive that a layer of the world has been hidden from her. Seeking answers, she revisits a traumatic episode from her past, and in doing so encounters an odd-eyed policewoman, a charismatic obstetrician, a German psychotherapist, and a flamboyant internet pirate wanted by the United States government. Each of these characters will reveal something about the life of Eloise Hay, answering questions that she hasn’t, until now, had the courage to ask.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNo relation / Thomas Pors Koed.
“The difference between actuality and fiction is principally one of exclusion. The short pieces that comprise this collection of short stories test the potencies of this exclusion: how are characters, and how are the readers affected by what is not related, by what is withheld, by what has been potentised by exclusion or by the impossibility of inclusion? (Adapted from Book cover)

Too many cooks / by Renee.
“Someone burned Hester’s house down. She’s going to find them and when she does, she’s going to burn their house down. An eye for an eye. That’s what life’s about, decides Hester. Ex-Senior Sergeant, ex-friend, Auden Porohiwi is very interested in Hester’s plans, does he know who the arsonist was? Is he protecting someone? Does he know what Hester’s planning? Who cares, thinks Hester, it’s now or never. So it’s now. (Adapted from Books cover)

Syndetics book coverSomething is rotten / Adam Sarafis.
“When budding writer Brent Taylor dies a horrific death in the Auckland University Library, his friend, sex worker Jade Amaro, refuses to believe it is suicide. She seeks help from Sam Hallberg, a former government advisor on terrorism, now working as a mechanic. As Sam reluctantly agrees to look into the death, a hunt for a lost manuscript leads him ever deeper into a complex case of corruption and deceit. Meanwhile, Sam’s friend, brilliant business journalist Lynette Church, embarks on an investigation of dirty political dealings with major global implications, and with ties to the Iraq War.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHere comes the sun, perhaps? : a collection of short stories / Brian Wilson and Mark Wilson.
“This collection of short stories by Brian Wilson also includes 3 short stories by Mark Wilson and 4 poems by Brian Wilson. Some of the thirty stories collected here humorous, while others are thought provoking, but all very entertaining, and are set in New Zealand, China, Japan, England, Zambia, India, and Fiji.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Kaitiakitanga Pasifika / Cathie Koa Dunsford.
“Kaitiakitanga Pasifika draws on the brilliance of the historical celestial navigation of the Pacific, evoking past voyages through contemporary navigational wayfinding using renewable energy. It draws together a visionary movement of indigenous Pacific people who combine the ancient wisdom of kaitiakitanga and modern ecological knowledge.” (Adapted from Book cover)

Central Library talk: volunteering in the Pacific with VSA

Come along to the VSA talk at the Central Library on 19th of August at 5:30pm on the ground floor. Laurie Williams is keen to share his experience of volunteering with VSA in the Pacific and making a change to the local community.


VSA (Volunteer Services Abroad|Te Tūao Tāwāhi) is New Zealand’s largest and most experienced volunteering agency working in international development. Kiwi volunteers share skills with people in the wider Pacific to help them build a better future for themselves and their children. Their work covers wide area include agriculture, law, education, health, public sanitation, management, business development, sports development and communications.

1VSA speaker Laurie Williams:
Before volunteering for VSA, Laurie worked in both primary and secondary education as a school principal in both New Zealand and Tonga. He also worked as an education consultant in both the Middle East and Tonga.  Laurie initially worked with VSA on a School Leadership Project with three head teachers in the Solomon Islands. He helped them to develop their role as school leaders. He was subsequently assigned to King George VI National Secondary School, as Senior Adviser, to work with the senior management team to develop, implement and improve good school practices. In 2012, the Ministry of Education, Human Resources and Development offered him the opportunity to lead the school as acting Principal.  This was followed by a series of short term assignments with the Ministry to strengthen the governance of their two secondary schools.


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