New eBooks – Poetry and Prose

If you’re anything like us, you’ll be missing the ‘new books’ displays in our libraries, and the feeling of picking up a glossy new title and deciding to take it home. While eBooks don’t provide that amazing new-book-smell, we’re still excited to introduce you to fresh content and help you find your next great read.

These literary picks cover a range of formats: poetry, author biographies, journalism, and even comics. Get amongst, pick something you like, and read it wherever you happen to be today.

Overdrive cover The Literature Book, DK (Audiobook)
Exploring more than 100 of the world’s most important literary works and the literary geniuses that created them, this book is the perfect introduction to the subject of literature and writing. The audiobook also offers a deeper look into the famed fiction of Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and more, as in-depth literary criticism and interesting authorial biographies give each work of literature a new meaning. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Little History of Poetry, John Carey (ebook)
John Carey tells the stories behind the world’s greatest poems, from the oldest surviving one written nearly four thousand years ago to those being written today. Carey looks at poets whose works shape our views of the world, such as Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Whitman, and Yeats. He also looks at more recent poets, like Derek Walcott, and Maya Angelou, who have started to question what makes a poem “great” in the first place. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Recollections of My Non-Existence, Rebecca Solnit (Audiobook)
In 1981, Rebecca Solnit rented a studio apartment in San Francisco. There, she began to come to terms with the epidemic of violence against women around her, and the authority figures that routinely disbelieved her. Place and the growing culture of activism liberated her, as did the magical world of literature and books. Here is an electric account of the pauses and gains of feminism in the past forty years; and an extraordinary portrait of an artist, by a seminal American writer. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Unfinished Business, Vivian Gornick (ebook)
In nine stunning essays, the inimitable Vivian Gornick returns to the books that have shaped her. From a reporter in 1970s New York, to a feminist negotiating love and independence, to a writer in the jubilant sanctity of older age: Gornick’s life is compelling, and in the characters of literature she finds versions of herself through the years, each time she opens the page. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Spinoff Book, Toby Manhire (ebook)
Five years ago, The Spinoff burst onto New Zealand’s media scene with smart, screamingly funny and seriously relevant writing. Since then, it has enraged and inspired, respectably won Website of the Year at the 2019 Voyager Media Awards, and expanded into television, podcasts and now – shockingly – a book. Edited by Toby Manhire, it’s jam-packed with The Spinoff’s best work, along with artwork by Toby Morris, photography, collage, poetry and a clutch of new and exclusive essays. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Monster, She Wrote, Lisa Kröger (ebook)
From Gothic ghost stories to psychological horror to science fiction, women have been primary architects of speculative literature of all sorts. And their own life stories are as intriguing as their fiction. Part biography, part reader’s guide, the engaging write-ups and detailed reading lists will introduce you to more than a hundred authors and over two hundred of their mysterious and spooky novels, novellas, and stories. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Long Story Short, Lisa Brown (ebook)
Long Story Short offers 100 pithy and skewering three-panel literary summaries, from curriculum classics like Don Quixote, Lord of the Flies, and Jane Eyre to modern favorites like Beloved and Atonement. Lisa Brown’s Long Story Short is the perfect way to turn a traipse through what your English teacher called “the canon” into a frolic—or to happily cram for the next occasion that requires you to appear bookish and well-read. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Storyville!, John Dufresne (ebook)
Whether you are daunted by a blinking cursor or frustrated trying to get the people in your head onto the page, writing stories can be intimidating. A do-it-yourself manual for the apprentice fiction writer, Storyville! demystifies that process; its bold graphics take you inside the writer’s comfortingly chaotic mind and show you how stories are made. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Night Sky with Exit Wounds, Ocean Vuong (ebook)
Steeped in war and cultural upheaval and wielding a fresh new language, Vuong writes about the most profound subjects – love and loss, conflict, grief, memory and desire – and attends to them all with lines that feel newly-minted, graceful in their cadences, passionate and hungry in their tender, close attention. This is an unusual, important book… its blend of humanity and power make it one of the best first collections of poetry to come out of America in years. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

NZ Music Month: In Conversation with Ruby Solly!

On her Facebook page, Ruby Solly describes herself as someone who writes things, sings things and plays things. While true, it doesn’t take much work to discover that this description doesn’t quite capture the scale–or success!–of Solly’s recent projects, publications and accomplishments.

For starters, Solly (Kai Tahu, Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe) is a music therapist, having recently graduated with a Master in Music Therapy from Victoria University (read her thesis here!). She’s also a taonga puoro practitioner, composer and role model at the Conversation Collective.

Solly’s poems have been published in The Spinoff, Landfall, Sport, Orongohau/Best New Zealand Poems 2019 and more, and her recent article in e-Tangata, Being Māori in Classical Music is Exhausting has brought increased insight into the attitudes and privilege within New Zealand’s classical music community.

This blog is also being written during New Zealand Music Month, so it wouldn’t be right to forget her musical achievements, including playing with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Whirimako Black, Trinity Roots and The New Zealand String Quartet. She describes her current project as music that reflects “my connection to the land I live on and the ancestors that passed through here”.

Anyway, all that is just the tip of the iceberg. For more–including what she’s been up to during lockdown–check out our conversation with her below. Solly also performs two fantastic poems: “Arrival” and “Six Feet for a Single, Eight Feet for a Double.” Enjoy!

More library branches to reopen from Monday 25 May

“Wellington City Libraries will reopen three more branches as we get back to our new normal under Alert Level 2,” says Laurinda Thomas, Libraries and Community Spaces Manager. “We reopened seven branches from Thursday 14 May, and now our Brooklyn, Khandallah and Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) libraries will reopen from Monday 25 May.”

“All open branches will continue to follow slightly reduced hours, so we can manage the additional covid19 logohealth and safety measures required under Alert Level 2. Our teams continue to work hard on making our new normal as smooth as possible for everyone, and we appreciate how patience and kind everyone has been.”

“Magazine fans will be super excited as we had a massive amount waiting for us when we returned. They were part of the 11 bags of mail that greeted our teams, which included hundreds of newspapers from around the country!”

“We also saw a huge jump in people entertaining their bubbles using the thousands of eBooks, audiobooks and movie streaming services people can access for free through their library card. Compared to last year, we issued 32% more eBooks and 27% more audiobooks and reserves went up around 50% for both – and the issues aren’t slowing down yet.”

“What we are most excited about is we welcomed over 1,110 new members in March, which was a 300% increase compared to 2019.  We relaxed the rules for lockdown so people could apply to become a member online and we could issue them a library number to login. It’s proved so popular we not changing the process back.”

The following branches that have reopened: Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre, Cummings Park (Ngaio), Johnsonville (Waitohi), Karori, Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie),  Newtown, and Wadestown.  Brooklyn, Khandallah, and Mervyn Kemp Library (Tawa) will join them from Monday 25 May.

See our Frequently Asked Questions for the full details about the branches opening hours and steps we have in place.

Update on future Central Library services

This afternoon the Mayor Andy Foster, Deputy Mayor Sarah Free, Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons and Councillor Iona Pannett shared a paper going to Council that outlines a range of scenarios available to strengthen and refurbish the Central Library, and options to accommodate the Central Library services. It also seeks Council approval to kick off a broad public engagement process to seeks people’s views on what that value and expect from a modern 21st century library.

This is a significant investment for Wellington and ratepayers. The estimated costs to strengthen the building range from $36m to $133m, plus approximately $40m for upgrading the building’s support services and systems, like the lifts, air-conditioning. The building’s interior will also need to be upgraded as it has not changed since it opened in 1991. This is predicted to cost between $20-30m.

“Libraries at their heart are spaces for people,” says Laurinda Thomas, Manager Libraries and Community Spaces. “This is why we are keen to talk to people throughout late June and August about what they want and expect from a redeveloped Central Library Service. Peoples’ views will help us design the different zones where people can go to find quiet spaces, interact with others or learn; join events and programmes, and ensure they are accessible and welcoming to everyone. This will be used to develop a design concept which will be which will be put out for public consultation as part of the Long Term Plan process.”

“We are also closer to the Central Library collection being available again, and opening the third and largest interim library in the CBD. Work on Te Awe Library in Brandon Street and the new Collection and Distribution Centre in Johnsonville were originally to have opened this week. This has been delayed as work stopped on 25 March under the Covid-19 lockdown. Our contractors and staff were able to begin work again under Alert Level 3 so we expect both services to be available in July.”

“The Central Library collection has also resumed its move to the new Collection and Distribution Centre. Once this is complete, library customers will be able to browse the collections virtually, alongside the current library catalogue (with staff assistance where required), and order items to pick up from the library branch of their choice. We know our customers miss the variety of the Central Library resources, so it was unfortunate to experience the delay in making this happen due to the lockdown. We appreciate everyone’s patience and will share more information about using the new collection around the end of June.”

You can read the media release and the links to the Council paper on the Wellington City Council website.

Book a Librarian – Tonoa He Kaitiaki Pukapuka

woman holding smartphone

Need some help getting started or a tricky question? Ask one of our expert librarians. They will help you find answers or learn more about our library services.

woman holding smartphone

Learn more about

  • researching your family history or local heritage
  • learning more about our online resources including eLibrary
  • searching tips and tricks
  • information for your small business
  • identifying that elusive movie or music track
  • locating Māori information or whakapapa
  • any general topics or books e.g. non-fiction

Check the table below, see what times suit you, and get in touch via this booking form to book in telephone call with one of our experienced librarians.

One of our team will be in touch to confirm your booking.

Mon Tues Weds Thu Fri
Expert searching 2pm-4pm
Films & Music 1pm-3pm
General topics and books 2pm-4pm 2pm-4pm 12pm-2pm
Local Heritage 7pm-9pm 3-5pm
Māori 10am-12pm 10am-12pm
Online Services & eLibrary 2pm-4pm 10am-2pm
Work and Business 4pm-6pm 10am-12pm

We’d love to hear from you!

NZ Music on Screen: NZ Music Month

Each year during May it is always New Zealand Music Month, but 2020 is an unusual one due to the COVID-19. It is forcing artists to find new ways of working and connecting with audiences, and there are a surprising number of things still happening. Check out the NZ Music Month official website as well as our Wellington Music blog and facebook. To celebrate and support New Zealand music and artists, we have selected some fantastic films available on Beamfilm and Kanopy. They include the documentary about Martin Phillipps (The Chills) and two iconic New Zealand movies (An Angel at my Table and Dean Spanley) for which Don McGlashan (Blam Blam Blam, The Mutton Birds) did the soundtracks. Be calm, kind and enjoy the movies!


The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps

Year: 2019
Length: 95 minutes
Directors: Julia Parnell and Rob Curry

Watch the full film here!

Martin Phillipps came tantalizingly close to conquering the international musical world with his band The Chills, but instead fell into decades of debt and addiction in his hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand. At 54, he’s been given a dire medical prognosis, forcing him to face his demons and realise his musical ambitions before it’s too late.


The Pa Boys

Year: 2014
Length: 90 minutes
Director: Himiona Grace

Watch the full film here!

A contemporary story with a strong message, PA BOYS, follows a Wellington reggae band as they embark on a tour ‘down north’, from Wellington to Cape Reinga. Staring Fran Kora (from the band KORA) and Matariki Whatarau (Go Girls, The Almighty Johnsons), PA BOYS is a story about life, death and music. As the band tours, their travels expose Danny (Kora) and Tau (Whatarau) to a spiritual history that cannot be avoided and when unresolved events from their past must be confronted it’s Danny who holds the key.


Topp Twins Untouchable Girls

Year: 2009
Length: 81 minutes
Director: Leanne Pooley

Watch the full film here!

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls” is the first time that the irrepressible Kiwi entertainment double act, Jools and Lynda Topp’s extraordinary personal story has been told. The film offers a revealing look into the lives of the World’s only comedic, country singing, dancing, and yodeling lesbian twin sisters. As well as rarely seen archive footage and home movies, the film features a series of special interviews with some of the Topp’s infamous comedy alter-egos including candid chats with the two Kens, Camp Mother and Camp Leader.


Born To Dance

Year: 2015
Length: 96 minutes
Director: Tammy Davis

Watch the full film here!

Champion hip hop dancer, Tu Kaea, has the chance to audition for K-Crew, the best hip hop crew in the country, but he has to go behind the backs of his home crew and his best friend Benjy. Things get even more complicated when he starts falling for Sasha, the girlfriend of K-Crew’s leader. When Tu’s old crew and new crew clash, he has to make a decision that will change his life forever.


An Angel At My Table

Year: 1990
Length: 158 minutes
Directors: Jane Campion

Watch the full film here!

Jane Campion brings to the screen the harrowing true-life story of Janet Frame, New Zealand’s most distinguished author. The film follows Frame along her inspiring journey, from a poverty-stricken childhood to a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia and electroshock therapy to, finally, international literary fame. Beautifully capturing the colour and power of the New Zealand landscape, the film earned Campion a sweep of her country’s film awards and the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.


Dean Spanley

Year: 2008
Length: 97 minutes
Directors: Toa Fraser

Watch the full film here!

A dog may be man’s best friend but in Dean Spanley it is also the key to reconnecting Henslow Fisk and his ailing father, Horatio. After attending a lecture given by a visiting Swami on ‘The Transmigration of Souls’, the Fisks run into eccentric Dean Spanley. Soon, Henslow discovers the Dean may be more connected to the Fisks than they could ever have imagined!

New Zealand music month a selection of recommended books

The first thing that people say is where do these sounds come from, where would they think of these sounds? Well of course the teacher [says], it’s ‘te reo o te whenua’, it’s the voice of the land. We’ve always said that it’s the voice of Tangaroa, it’s the voice of Tāne, it’s the voice of Hine-nui-te-pō. It’s a multitude of voices that are there. They’re the carriers of those voices. The manu, the insects … Tāne and so on. Your ears are attuned … they replicate those sounds.
– Richard Nunns

Continuing our celebration of New Zealand music month, we made a selection with some of the many books we have in our various libraries that cover the rich diversity of New Zealand’s music and musicians.

We start with with Nick Bollinger’s 100 essential New Zealand albums,  and continue with Ian Chapman’s The Dunedin sound: some disenchanted evening an overview of the now world-famous Dunedin sound.

Taonga Pūoro Singing treasures: the musical instruments of the Māori by Brian Flintoff is a superb introduction to the rebirth of the now vibrant world of Taonga Pūoro and includes a great sampler CD.

New Zealand also has many talented classical composers like Gillian Karawe Whitehead and Douglas Lilburn and we have selected a few titles to illustrate this.

100 essential New Zealand albums / Bollinger, Nick
“Compiled by one of New Zealand s most popular music columnists, this listing will delight pop music fans everywhere. The choices included cover a broad range and present an eclectic taste. Eachentry is accompanied by some of the most entertaining writing about music and musicians, ranging from personal accounts of youthful encounters with music legends as well as passionate responses to renowned albums. Guaranteed to surprise and intrigue, thisreference is a must-have for all music lovers.” (Catalogue)

The Dunedin sound : some disenchanted evening / Chapman, Ian
“There are very few geographical locations in the world that are privileged enough to have an internationally acknowledged ‘sound’ attributed to them. Remarkably, New Zealand has just such a location in Dunedin. For more than three and a half decades now, the cultural identity of this modestly-sized southern university city has been bound to music, and it surely will be ad infinitum. Within the ever-evolving history of popular music, the Dunedin Sound continues to sit proudly alongside the the likes of Liverpool’s Mersey Sound, the Nashville Sound, and the Seattle Sound.”  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Taonga pūoro = Singing treasures : the musical instruments of the Māori / Flintoff, Brian
“Comprehensively covers the world of Maori musical instruments, a fascinating and little-known area of traditional Maori culture. Illustrated throughout with colour photographs of exquisite contemporary instruments as well as ancient taonga held in museums around the world. It comes with a CD sampler, compiled from recent releases of contemporary Maori music and the natural sounds which inspires it. And to further breathe life into this book, the technical information about each instrument is interwoven with the stories and myths that belong to each instrument. In addition, instructions are given for making and playing these singing treasures, and there is an explanation of the art forms used in Maori carving.” (Catalogue)

Moon, tides & shoreline : Gillian Karawe Whitehead, a life in music / Sanders, Noel
“One of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most distinguished classical composers, Gillian Whitehead has produced a substantial and lasting body of work that includes operas, orchestral and choral pieces, vocal and instrumental chamber compositions and solo works. They are often in collaboration with poets and other artists, and many incorporate traditional Ma-ori musical instruments and themes.” (Catalogue)

I’m with the band : how to make a career in popular music in New Zealand / Chunn, Mike
“Whether you want to make a living from music or play for fun, this is the essential guide to the New Zealand music industry. I’M WITH THE BAND explains everything you need to know from recording demos to signing contracts, from hiring a manager to protecting your music. Key figures in the New Zealand industry share their inside knowledge and experiences to help everyone from the hobby band to the performer on the brink of discovery.” (Catalogue)

Backstage passes : the untold story of New Zealand’s live music venues, 1960-1990 / Mathers, Joanna
“New Zealand music was made on beer-stained stages, in grimy toilets and smoky back rooms. Venues like Dunedin’s Empire Tavern and the Gladstone Hotel in Christchuch were the cradle for scenes that won worldwide acclaim, where idiosyncratic styles were forged and local legends made. From the late 1950s until the early 1990s, live music ruled the night. Backstage Passes charts the stories of the country’s most celebrated live music venues. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Dead people I have known / Carter, Shayne
” In Dead People I Have Known, the legendary New Zealand musician Shayne Carter tells the story of a life in music, taking us deep behind the scenes and songs of his riotous teenage bands Bored Games and the Doublehappys and his best-known bands Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer. He traces an intimate history of the Dunedin Sound–that distinctive jangly indie sound that emerged in the seventies, heavily influenced by punk–and the record label Flying Nun.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Blue smoke : the lost dawn of New Zealand popular music, 1918-1964 / Bourke, Chris
“Bringing to life the musical worlds of New Zealanders both at home and out on the town, this history chronicles the evolution of popular music in New Zealand during the 20th century. From the kiwi concert parties during World War I and the arrival of jazz to the rise of swing, country, the Hawaiian sound, and then rock’n’roll, this musical investigation brings to life the people, places, and sounds of a world that has disappeared and uncovers how music from the rest of the world was shaped by Maori and Pakeha New Zealanders into a melody, rhythm, and voice that made sense on these islands. “(Adapted from Catalogue)

eMagazines and other eResources on health

Have you used our eMagazines yet? We have an amazing collection provided by both Rbdigital and PressReader. Here is a selection of Health and Wellbeing eMagazines available FREE through our eLibrary.

These are rounded out with an eBook, rather topical, and an eAudiobook.

For those new to eMagazines on our website, instructions for using the RBDigital app are here and for PressReader.

Healthy Food Guide [electronic resource].
An electronic journal, available in RBDigital.

Health & fitness [electronic resource].
An electronic journal, available in RBDigital.

New Zealand good health & wellbeing.
An electronic journal, available in PressReader.

Australian men’s health.
An electronic journal, available in PressReader.

Men’s health [electronic resource].
An electronic journal, available in RBDigital.

Women’s health [electronic resource].
An electronic journal, available in RBDigital.

Yoga journal [electronic resource].
An electronic journal, available in RBDigital.

Gluten-free living [electronic resource].
An electronic journal, available in RBDigital.

Diabetic living [electronic resource].
An electronic journal, available in RBDigital.

The great influenza / Barry, John M.
(eBook)
“In the winter of 1918, at the height of World War I, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. …1918 marked the first collision between modern science and epidemic disease. …this crisis provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

The longevity paradox : how to die young at a ripe old age / Gundry, Steven R
(eAudiobook)
“Working with thousands of patients, Dr. Gundry has discovered that the “diseases of aging” we most fear are not simply a function of age; rather, they are a by-product of the way we have lived our lives. In The Longevity Paradox, he maps out a new approach to aging well-one that is based on supporting the health of the “oldest” parts of us: the microorganisms that live within our bodies. …The good news is, it’s never too late to support these microbes and give them what they need to help them–and you–thrive.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

2020 Ockham NZ Book Awards: Non-Fiction Winners!

Last week we profiled the fiction and poetry winners of the 2020 Ockham NZ Book Awards. This week we celebrate the non-fiction winners!

“It is rock-star writing: entertaining, revealing and incredibly heartfelt”

The 2020 General Non-Fiction Award went to Shayne Carter, musician and front man of Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer, for his memoir, Dead People I Have Known (Victoria University Press). Carter also won the E.H. McCormick Prize for best first work of General Non-Fiction. The category judges said of the first-time author’s work: “It is rock-star writing: entertaining, revealing and incredibly heartfelt”.  Rachel King’s marvelous Spin Off essay  about Dead People I Have Known noted that: “The best thing about the book is Shayne’s ability to fully recreate a scene as if he is standing right there experiencing it, and we are standing there with him”.  Reserve a copy of this powerful book here.

Watch Shayne Carter read from Dead People I Have Known here.

“From the obscure and ephemeral to the well-known and loved, the images allow us to be witness to – and challenge us to learn from – our shared past of resistance, dissent and activism”

Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams (Tūhoe, Te Atiawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Hauiti), and Puawai Cairns (Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāiterangi) – three Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa curators – won the 2020 Illustrated Non-Fiction Award for their work Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance. The judges observed that: “From the obscure and ephemeral to the well-known and loved, the images allow us to be witness to – and challenge us to learn from – our shared past of resistance, dissent and activism”.

Alice Webb-Liddall wrote that: “Movements led by Māori, by women and by children continue to shape New Zealand’s community and policy, and have made us world leaders in areas like women’s suffrage. A collection of objects become the markers of every movement, and Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams and Puawai Cairns have collated some of the most important, most beautiful and most confronting of these”. Reserve a copy of this fascinating and important book here.

Watch Stephanie Gibson read from Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance here.

“The book is not only a reflection of New Zealand’s diversity of people and whenua, but also speaks to how we interact with our environment” 

The 2020 Judith Binney Prize for best first work of Illustrated Non-Fiction went to Chris McDowall and Tim Denee for We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa (Massey University Press). RNZ noted that this book “is not only a reflection of New Zealand’s diversity of people and whenua, but also speaks to how we interact with our environment”. Reserve a copy of this book, which is more than just an atlas, here.

New Zealand Music Month: Quarantunes Part Two

During lockdown several of our hugely talented librarians have been creating and sharing music via the Johnsonville Library Facebook page to provide a pleasant distraction from the rigours of lockdown. The music is as diverse as you can imagine, covering numerous genres and worlds. So we thought New Zealand Music Month is a perfect time to revisit just a few of these musical creations and take the opportunity to ask their creators to pick a favourite New Zealand album and tell us why they love that particular piece of music.

(This is Part Two of our New Zealand Music Month Quarantunes blog–for Part One click here!)


Sue: performing Prelude In C Major by Johann Sebastian Bach

QUARANTUNES with Sue #2

This evening's beautiful and reflective QUARANTUNE comes to you from the talented fingers of Brooklyn Library's own one-woman orchestra, Sue, and from the pen of Gabriel Fauré. We hope you enjoy.#quarantunes

Posted by Johnsonville Library on Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Gosh, where do I start re: fav NZ album? That’s like asking what your fav book or movie is… different sounds and genres are snapshots and reminders of different experiences. BUT there are a few NZ artists that jump out – I love Listening to Bic Runga and Anika Moa. I know Beautiful Collision (Bic) and In Swings the Tide (Anika) got a fair hammering in my old car’s CD player! I think the combo of awesome melodies, poetic lyrics and crystal clear voices are the clincher for me. But then we’ve also got so many amazing classical artists – Ross Harris’ Requiem for the Fallen in memory of  soldiers who died in the First World War, is pretty humbling and awe-inspiring too.


Justin: performing his own music (Mow the Lawn)

QUARANTUNES 17 April 2020

Welcome back to Quarantunes, where tonight we are joined by Justin, Team Leader for Northern Libraries & Community Spaces. He’ll be singing an original song called “Mow The Lawn”. Have a nice weekend. Stay safe and stay home! #quarantunes

Posted by Johnsonville Library on Friday, 17 April 2020

I have to be very honest… as an American and having spent most of my life in America we are not very well versed in New Zealand music past Crowded House! But that band definitely made an impact on me because they have such great songs. It’s all about the great songs for me! I did some digging once I learned about Crowded House and I really just fell in love with this album. It brings me a sense of peace, calm, and hope. “Six Months in a Leaky Boat” is the song that does it for me. It has everything I want in a good song: amazing melodies, great rhythm, and a wonderful and soaring blippy synthesizer.


Reece: performing his own music

apologies to my new flatmates who have only known me for like two weeks but will shortly be very familiar with every single riff I have left to record on the Glassblower album

Posted by Reece Davies on Monday, 23 March 2020

Wellington’s post-rock/metal scene has been one of the more active areas in the city over the past decade, and People Used to Live Here by Spook the Horses is the pinnacle of what the genre attempts to achieve in its quieter moments. Haunting and lonely, the album takes you on a journey through abandoned places courtesy of restrained instrumentation, occasional vocals and rich textures. The accompanying videos, available on YouTube, showcase the group’s dedication to the atmosphere of the album and are all vital viewing, especially the final track “Following Trails”.


Discover More:

Wellington Music at WCL: Want to keep up with the latest gigs and releases throughout Wellington? Then look no further than the Wellington Music at WCL Facebook page, run by our very own music specialist Mark!

Wellington Music Past and Present: This site is a tribute to the decades of music that have contributed to Wellington’s sound, as well as a browsable portal to our physical CD collection.

Music eResources: With half a million tracks between them, Naxos Music Library and Naxos Jazz Library will have your lockdown listening covered. Discover them via our Digital Library.