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Welcome to the libraries’ News Blog! Here you’ll find reviews of new books, information about what’s happening at our libraries, and any breaking author news. We’ll also keep you up to date with exciting book award shortlists and prize announcements as they come to us, so check back often!

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New Sport & Fitness books in May

Reach beyond yourself. This selection covers a smorgasbord of interests; from sports involving working with animals, teamwork, and those that call upon personal interests.

Syndetics book coverThe Goshawk / T.H. White ; with a foreword by Helen Macdonald.
“First published in 1951, T.H. White’s memoir describes with searing honesty his attempt to train a wild goshawk, a notoriously difficult bird to master. With no previous experience and only a few hopelessly out-of-date books on falconry as a guide, he set about trying to bend the will of his young bird Gos to his own. Suffering setback after setback, the solitary and troubled White nonetheless found himself obsessively attached to the animal he hoped would one day set him free.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAfter the Final Whistle : the first Rugby World Cup and the First World War / Stephen Cooper ; foreword by Jason Leonard, OBE.
“As Britain’s Empire went to war in August 1914, rugby players were the first to volunteer. They led from the front and paid a disproportionate price. In 1919, a grateful Mother Country hosted a rugby tournament: sevens teams at eight venues, playing 17 matches to declare a first “world champion.” There had never been an international team tournament like it. For the first time teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Britain, and France were assembled in one place. Rugby held the first ever “World Cup.” This is the story of rugby’s journey through World War I to its first World Cup, and how those values endure today.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover101 Great Football Players : the best players in the modern era / Colin Mitchell.
“101 Great Football Players profiles the best and brightest players in the beautiful game today. From veterans such as Lionel Messi and Frank Lampard, to promising up-and-comers like Jack Wilshere and Edinson Cavani, the chosen 101 have all made, or look set to make, an indelible impression on the game.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFight Like a Physicist : the incredible science behind martial arts / Jason Thalken, PHD.
Fight Like a Physicist provides an in-depth, sometimes whimsical look into the physics behind martial arts for sport and self-defense. Whether you are an experienced martial artist or a curious enthusiast, this book can give you an “unfair advantage” by unraveling the complex science of effective fighting techniques and examining the core principles that make them work.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMountain Biking : The Manual / [Chris Ball and Huw Williams].
“This is an essential reference book for anyone wanting to learn more and improve their skills in mountain biking. Each chapter features step-by-step guidance and is supported by unique insights from today’s best riders.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe World at My Feet / Tom Denniss.
“On 31 December 2011, Australian Tom Denniss took two years off from his successful business career to take on a remarkable challenge. He embarked upon a run around the world. A run that would take more than 20 months, and cover over 26,000 km, the equivalent of 622 marathons in an equivalent number of days. In The World at My Feet, he shares his fascinating and sometimes frightening experiences along the way, with insights and anecdotes from all over the world — all at a pace which allows you to really appreciate the experience.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFast into the Night : a woman, her dogs, and their journey north on the Iditarod Trail / Debbie Clarke Moderow.
“A captivating memoir of one woman’s attempt to finish the Iditarod, led by her team of spunky huskies with whom she shares a fascinating and inextricable bond…. Fast into the Night is an exquisitely written memoir of a woman, her dogs, and what can happen when someone puts herself in that place between daring and doubt — and soldiers on.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInverting the Pyramid : the history of soccer tactics / Jonathan Wilson.
“In INVERTING THE PYRAMID, Jonathan Wilson pulls apart the finer details of the world’s game, tracing the global history of tactics, from modern pioneers right back to the beginning when chaos reigned. Along the way, he looks at the lives of great players and thinkers who shaped the sport and probes why the English, in particular, have ‘proved themselves unwilling to grapple with the abstract’.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover101 Magic Tricks : any time, any place / Bryan Miles.
“Learn 101 simple magic tricks to astonish and amaze!….amaze everyone you know with easy-to-master tricks and illusions…. Bryan Miles will guide you through astonishing feats such as: the foundations of magic including: The Hand, The Deck of Cards, Mechanic’s Grip and Biddle Grip, Classic Two-Handed Spread, Cutting the Cards and magic at school or college, birthday magic, restaurant magi, and more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA Little Bit of Dirt : 55+ science and art activities to reconnect children with nature / Asia Citro, MEd.
“Dandelion Bubbles, Rain Drums, Seed Bomb Lollipops and more! Bursting with creative hands-on outdoor science and art activities, A Little Bit of Dirt is full of motivation to get outside and explore. Whether you’re investigating the health of your local stream, making beautiful acrylic sun prints with leaves and flowers, running an experiment with your backyard birds, or concocting nature potions, you’ll be fostering an important connection with nature. The engaging activities encourage the use of the senses and imagination and are perfect for all ages. Discover more about the natural world waiting just outside your door!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesperate Steps : life, death, and choices made in the mountains of the Northeast / Peter W. Kick.
“In the backcountry, a single piece of gear could mean the difference between a comfortable night under the stars and a harrowing tale to tell once you’re home. Or it could mean that you don’t make it home at all. In this all-new collection, author Peter W. Kick recounts twenty true tales of backcountry misadventure and misfortune, including incidents along the famed Appalachian Trail, and seeks the lessons learned in each. Readers who immerse themselves in these near misses, methodical searches, and the gut-wrenching clarity of hindsight will be better prepared for whatever the wilderness brings.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFirst Ladies of Running : 22 inspiring profiles of the rebels, rule breakers, and visionaries who changed the sport forever / Amby Burfoot.
First Ladies of Running tells the inspiring stories of these and other fiercely independent runners who refused to give up despite the cultural and sports barriers they faced. Legends such as Doris Brown, Francie Larrieu, Mary Decker, Jackie Hansen, Miki Gorman, and Grete Waitz are chronicled by Runner’s World editor Amby Burfoot. Burfoot even runs the 1994 Marine Corps Marathon with Oprah Winfrey, whose successful finish opened the floodgates for other women runners. First Ladies of Running is a beautiful and long-overdue tribute to the pioneers of women’s running and a gift of empowerment for female runners everywhere.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover50 Evening Adventures / Tim, Kerry, Amy and Ella Meek.
“Here are simple and exciting ideas for spending time together out of doors, during the working week. The book is divided into two main sections with ideas for places to GO, and things to DO. A shorter final section offers ten healthy and filling dinner recipes that can be made or cooked outdoors.” (Syndetics summary)

How Shakespeare’s Globe got built – Diana Devlin’s personal account

Come to another Shakespeare lunchtime talk on Thursday 2 June 12.30-1.30pm at Central Library. Diana will present a personal account of the struggle, going back to 1972, when she was first involved in Sam Wanamaker’s concept to reconstruct Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Included will be film footage taken during the project.

shakespeare-lives

About the speaker:
Diana is Deputy Chair, Shakespeare Globe Council, a member of Globe Education Advisory Group and a freelance tutor in theatre arts, including Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Mountview Theatre School and Globe Education. Since 1995 she has lead ‘Rarely Played’ and other seminars at Globe Education.

From 1985-87, Diana was Administrator of the International Shakespeare Globe Centre, London working closely with the late Sam Wanamaker in the Globe reconstruction’s formative days and was later appointed a Trustee.

Diana Devlin read English at Cambridge University and gained her doctorate in Theatre Arts on a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Minnesota. She has taught in numerous colleges and universities in the UK and USA including The Colorado College, Goldsmiths’ College, Central School, RADA, and Webber-Douglas.

As Head of Drama Studies, Guildhall School of Music & Drama from 1993-2011, Diana’s responsibilities included leading validation and revalidation of BA and MA programmes in Acting Department. She has been on other validation panels for BA in the UK, Hong Kong and USA. Between 1989-93 she was Personnel and Training Manager Trinity College of Music (Stage Presentation for Singers) and at Central School of Speech and Drama (course leading to BA Central School of Speech and Drama (course leading to BA in Drama). From 1980, Diana was appointed Advisory Drama Teacher, Inner London Education Authority. She has written several books and many articles and reviews.

Among her other fascinating roles, Diana was Training Consultant to Royal Collection Enterprises, including delivery of visitor care training at Buckingham Palace (Summer Opening, Queen’s Picture Gallery, Royal Mews), Sandringham House and Personnel and Training Manager, Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent.

SGCNZ is grateful to Shakespeare’s Globe, London for assisting in bringing Diana to New Zealand and Wellington City Libraries for hosting this talk.

For more information about Shakespeare events check out our blog – www.wcl.govt.nz/shakespearelives

New Science Fiction and Fantasy novels for May

Highly recommended in this month’s selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels is Graft by Matt Hill. The diversity of subject in the other novels selected this month range from brainwashing to dreams, mercenary troops to women generals, human trafficking to interstellar travel. All will provide many hours of reading entertainment.

Syndetics book coverThe Orion plan : a thriller / Mark Alpert.
“Scientists thought that Earth was safe from invasion. The distance between stars is so great that it seemed impossible for even the most advanced civilizations to send a large spaceship from one star system to another. But an alien species from a planet hundreds of light-years from Earth has found a way. A small spherical probe lands in an empty corner of New York City, preparing for alien colonization. When the government proves slow to react, NASA scientist Dr. Sarah Pooley realizes she must lead the effort to stop the probe before it becomes too powerful.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStarbound / Dave Bara.
“The Lightship H.M.S. Impulse is gone, sacrificed in a battle against First Empire ships. And though the fragile galactic alliance has survived the unexpected invasion, the Union forces might not prove victorious against a full onslaught by this legendary enemy. Peter Cochrane, serving as an officer aboard his world’s flagship, H.M.S. Starbound, tasked with investigating a mysterious space station in a rediscovered star system. Peter and Starbound face a surprise attack by unknown forces and suffer terrible losses. But there is no time to grieve or even regroup as Peter is thrust into a new crisis, a potential civil war on the Union world of Carinthia.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCity of blades : a novel / Robert Jackson Bennett.
“A generation ago, the city of Voortyashtan was the stronghold of the god of war and death, the birthplace of fearsome supernatural sentinels who killed and subjugated millions. Now, the city’s god is dead. The city itself lies in ruins. So it makes perfect sense that General Turyin Mulaghesh, rumored war criminal, ally of an embattled Prime Minister, has been exiled there to count down the days until she can draw her pension and be forgotten. At least, it makes the perfect cover story. The truth is that the general has been pressed into service one last time, dispatched to investigate a discovery with the potential to change the world, or destroy it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe last dream keeper / Amber Benson.
“Lyse MacAllister did not step into an easy role when she took over as master of the Echo Park coven of witches after her great-aunt Eleanora s death. As she begins to forge the bonds that will help her lead her sisters, she struggles to come to terms with her growing powers. And she soon faces a deadly new threat. A group of fanatics intent on bringing about the end of times has invaded the witches Council but the Council is turning a blind eye to the danger growing in its midst. Only one witch is prophesied to be able to stop the encroaching darkness. And if Lyse and her blood sisters are to have any chance at protecting all we know from being lost forever, they must keep her safe no matter what the cost.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe deep sea diver’s syndrome : a novel / Serge Brussolo ; translated by Edward Gauvin.
“In The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome, lucid dreamers called mediums dive into their dreams to retrieve ectoplasm, sticky blobs with curiously soothing properties that are the only form of art in the world. David Sarella is a medium whose dream identity is a professional thief. Only the dives require an extraordinary amount of physical effort, and as David ages, they become more difficult. David decides to go down one final time, in the deepest, most extravagant dive ever attempted.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVisitor: A Foreigner Novel / C J Cherryh.
“The human and atevi inhabitants of Alpha Station have picked up a signal from an alien kyo ship. Five thousand of the inhabitants of Alpha are human refugees from the now derelict Reunion Station. They have seen this scenario before, when a single kyo ship swooped into the Reunion system and, without a word, melted a major section of Reunion Station with a single pass. Bren Cameron, brilliant human emissary of Tabini-aiji, the powerful atevi political leader on the mainland below, is the obvious choice of representative to be sent up to deal with both the panicked refugees and the incoming alien ship. But no one can predict what an alien race might do, or what their motivations could be.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGraft / Matt Hill.
“Manchester, 2025. Local mechanic Sol steals old vehicles to meet the demand for spares. But when Sol’s partner impulsively jacks a luxury model, Sol finds himself caught up in a nightmarish trans-dimensional human trafficking conspiracy. Hidden in the stolen car is a voiceless, three-armed woman called Y. She’s had her memory removed and undertaken a harrowing journey into a world she only vaguely recognizes. And someone waiting in the UK expects her delivery at all costs. With the help of a dangerous triggerman and Sol’s ex, they must uncover the true, terrifying extent of the trafficking operation, or it’s all over.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe bands of mourning : a Mistborn novel / Brandon Sanderson.
“When a researcher returns to Elendel with images of a mythical Lord Ruler artifact, believed to grant wearers his power, Waxillium Ladrian conducts an investigation in the southern city of New Seran, where he makes unsettling discoveries about the true goals of The Set.”
(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSnakewood / Adrian Selby.
” Mercenaries who gave no quarter, they shook the pillars of the world through cunning, chemical brews, and cold steel. Whoever met their price won. Now, their glory days are behind them. Scattered to the wind and their genius leader in hiding, they are being hunted down and eliminated, one by one.” (Adapted from Syndetic summary)

Syndetics book coverThe trees / Ali Shaw.
“There came an elastic aftershock of creaks and groans and then, softly softly, a chinking shower of rubbled cement. Leaves calmed and trunks stood serene. Where, not a minute before, there had been a suburb, there was now only woodland standing amid ruins. There is no warning. No chance to prepare. They arrive in the night: thundering up through the ground, transforming streets and towns into shadowy forest. Buildings are destroyed. Broken bodies, still wrapped in tattered bed linen, hang among the twitching leaves. Adrien Thomas has never been much of a hero. But when he realises that no help is coming, he ventures out into this unrecognizable world, where he meets green-fingered Hannah and her teenage son Seb. Together, they set out to find Hannah’s forester brother and to discover just how deep the forest goes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The Battle for Home – Recent History Picks for May

This months picks are full of intersecting pathways and updated perspectives. A recurring thread seems to be on the pursuit of ‘home’, and questioning what it might mean.

Syndetics book coverBenazir Bhutto : favored daughter / Brooke Allen.
“The story of Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to lead a Muslim nation, seems lifted straight from Greek tragedy. This account illuminates Bhutto’s tragic life as well as the role she played as the first female prime minister of Pakistan. Brooke Allen approaches Bhutto in a way not many have done before in this taut biography of a figure who had a profound effect on the volatile politics of the Middle East, drawing on contemporary news sources and eyewitness reports, as well as accounts from her supporters and her enemies.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSlow burn city : London in the twenty-first century / Rowan Moore.
“London has become the global city above all others. Versions of what is happening in London are happening elsewhere, but London has become the best place to understand the way the world’s cities are changing. [...] Moore makes a passionate case for London to invent new ways to respond to the pressures of the present, from which other cities could learn.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn wartime : stories from Ukraine / Tim Judah.
“Urgent and insightful, Tim Judah’s account of the human side of the conflict in Ukraine is an evocative exploration of what the second largest country in Europe feels like in wartime. Making his way from the Polish border in the west, through the capital city and the heart of the 2014 revolution, to the eastern frontline near the Russian border, seasoned war reporter Tim Judah brings a rare glimpse of the reality behind the headlines.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe slave’s cause : a history of abolition / Manisha Sinha.
“Received historical wisdom casts abolitionists as bourgeois, mostly white reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conservatism. Manisha Sinha overturns this image, broadening her scope beyond the antebellum period usually associated with abolitionism and recasting it as a radical social movement in which men and women, black and white, free and enslaved found common ground in causes ranging from feminism and utopian socialism to anti-imperialism and efforts to defend the rights of labor.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe weight of shadows : a memoir of immigration and displacement / José Orduña.
“Tracing his story of becoming a US citizen, José Orduña’s memoir explores the complex issues of immigration and assimilation. [...] A trenchant exploration of race, class, and identity, The Weight of Shadows is a searing meditation on the nature of political, linguistic, and cultural borders, and the meaning of “America”.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe battle for home : the memoir of a Syrian architect / Marwa al-Sabouni ; foreword by Roger Scruton.
“From Syria’s tolerant past, with churches and mosques built alongside one another in Old Homs and members of different religions living harmoniously together, the book chronicles the recent breakdown of social cohesion in Syria’s cities. With the lack of shared public spaces intensifying divisions within the community, and corrupt officials interfering in town planning for their own gain, these actions are symptomatic of wider abuses of power.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBone rooms : from scientific racism to human prehistory in museums / Samuel J. Redman.
“In 1864 a U.S. army doctor dug up the remains of a Dakota man who had been killed in Minnesota. Carefully recording his observations, he sent the skeleton to a museum in Washington, DC, that was collecting human remains for research. In the ‘bone rooms’ of this museum and others like it, a scientific revolution was unfolding that would change our understanding of the human body, race, and prehistory.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA woman’s life : Pauline Wengeroff and Memoirs of a grandmother / Shulamit S. Magnus.
“Pauline Wengeroff was born in 1833 into a pious Jewish family in Bobruisk. Her life, as recounted in this biography, was one of upheaval and transformation during Russian Jewry’s passage from tradition to modernity. Wengeroff’s narrative refracts communal experience and larger cultural, economic, and political developments through her own family life, to present readers with an extraordinary account of the cultural transformation of Russian Jewry in the 19th century.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHeart of Europe : a history of the Holy Roman Empire / Peter H. Wilson.
“The Holy Roman Empire lasted a thousand years, far longer than ancient Rome. Yet this formidable dominion never inspired the awe of its predecessor. Voltaire distilled the disdain of generations when he quipped it was neither holy, Roman, nor an empire. Yet as Peter Wilson shows, the Holy Roman Empire tells a millennial story of Europe better than the histories of individual nation-states. And its legacy can be seen today in debates over the nature of the European Union.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPolynesian navigation and the discovery of New Zealand / Jeff Evans ; foreword by Francis Cowan.
Polynesian navigation and the discovery of New Zealand offers a straightforward account of how and why Polynesian seafarers made their journey south to New Zealand shores. The first part discusses the origins of the voyages, legends of the homeland and the explorer Kupe, traditional Polynesian navigation techniques, and the preservation of seafaring knowledge by Māori. The second part presents a gripping account of the canoe Hawaiki-nui retracing the route from Tahiti to New Zealand in 1985 using traditional voyaging methods.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Humanity in print – May Biography picks

Books are humanity in print“. So says the celebrated American historian Barbara Tuchman. Of course she means books of all stripes, but we biography-lovers feel that our chosen genre has  a  special place in the lexicon — perhaps with a passing nod to fiction. In this month’s parade of people we feature Hunter Davies’ account of growing up in the north of England after the war, a  Guardian journalist’s much lauded account of a terrible personal tragedy, a new book about the English countryside by Laurie Lee and a celebration of the Queen at 90.

Syndetics book coverThe Co-op’s got bananas! : a memoir of growing up in the post-war North / Hunter Davies.
“Despite the struggle to make ends meet during the tough years of warfare in the 1940s and rationing persisting until the early 1950s, life could still be sweet. Especially if you were a young boy, playing football with your pals, saving up to go to the movies at the weekend, and being captivated by the latest escapade of Dick Barton on the radio.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll at sea / Decca Aitkenhead.
“On a hot still morning on a beautiful beach in Jamaica, Decca Aitkenhead’s life changed for ever. Her four-year-old boy was paddling peacefully at the water’s edge when a wave pulled him out to sea. Her partner, Tony, swam out and saved their son’s life – then drowned before her eyes. When Decca and Tony first met a decade earlier, they became the most improbable couple in London.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRoyal album : the queen at 90 / Sam Wilkinson.
“On April 21, 2016, Queen Elizabeth II will turn 90 years old. She will be the only British monarch to have ever lived to 90, and the UK is preparing to celebrate the occasion in style. Royal Album: The Queen at 90 is the latest edition in Wilkinson Publishing’s popular Royal Album series. Take a look back at Queen Elizabeth II’s life, from her early years, to her marriage, her coronation, the birth of her children, and all the other highs and lows of a remarkable life. The Queen at 90 also looks at what the Queen and the Royal family have been up to in 2014 and 2015.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLove, loss, and what we ate / Padma Lakshmi.
“A vivid memoir of food and family, survival and triumph, Love, Loss, and What We Ate traces the arc of Padma Lakshmi’s unlikely path from an immigrant childhood to a complicated life in front of the camera–a tantalizing blend of Ruth Reichl’s Tender at the Bone and Nora Ephron’s Heartburn. Long before Padma Lakshmi ever stepped onto a television set, she learned that how we eat is an extension of how we love, how we comfort, how we forge a sense of home–and how we taste the world as we navigate our way through it.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDimestore / Lee Smith.
“For the inimitable Lee Smith, place is paramount. For forty-five years, her fiction has lived and breathed with the rhythms and people of the Appalachian South. But never before has she written her own story. Set deep in the mountains of Virginia, the Grundy of Lee Smith’s youth was a place of coal miners, tent revivals, mountain music, drive-in theaters, and her daddy’s dimestore. It was in that dimestore–listening to customers and inventing adventures for the store’s dolls–that she became a storyteller.”  (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHeart of glass : a memoir / Wendy Lawless.
“In this edgy and romantic follow-up to her New York Times bestselling debut memoir, Chanel Bonfire, Wendy Lawless chronicles her misguided twenties–a darkly funny story of a girl without a roadmap for life who flees her disastrous past to find herself in the gritty heart of 1980s New York City.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe face : a time code / Ruth Ozeki.
“A revelatory short memoir from the bestselling author of A Tale for the Time Being. Zen Buddhist priest Ruth Ozeki writes about how her face has shaped and been shaped by her life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVillage Christmas : and other notes on the English year / Laurie Lee.
“From the author of Cider With Rosie, Village Christmas is a moving, lyrical portrait of England through the changing years and seasons. Laurie Lee left his childhood home in the Cotswolds when he was nineteen, but it remained with him throughout his life until, many years later, he returned for good. This collection brings to life the sights, sounds, landscapes and traditions of his home.” (Syndetics summary)

And two good ones in other parts of the library:

Syndetics book coverMigrant journeys : New Zealand taxi drivers tell their stories / Adrienne Jansen and Liz Grant ; portraits by Michael Hall.
Migrant Journeys is about driving taxis in New Zealand cities – and it is about much more than that. Here fourteen migrant taxi drivers talk about their lives – where they came from and why they came here, what it was like to settle in New Zealand, how they got into the taxi business, and how they see this country and its people.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLove + hate : stories and essays / Hanif Kureishi.
“Hate skews reality even more than love. In the story of a Pakistani woman who has begun a new life in Paris, an essay about the writing of Kureishi’s acclaimed film Le Week-End, and an account of Kafka’s relationship with his father, readers will find Kureishi also exploring the topics that he continues to make new, and make his own: growing up and growing old; betrayal and loyalty; imagination and repression; marriage and fatherhood. The collection ends with a bravura piece of very personal reportage about the conman who stole Kureishi’s life savings – a man who provoked both admiration and disgust, obsession and revulsion, love and hate.” (Syndetics summary)

 

Sound & Vision: New CDs

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs in our AV collection. To reserve these items click on the title link below, and to find out a bit more about them click on the cover images…

The Jesus Lizard – Goat (Deluxe)
Wild Nothing – Life of pause
Various Artists – Now that’s what I call music 50
Beyoncé – Lemonade
Prince – HITnRUN : phase two
Richie Hawtin – From my mind to yours

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New Mystery novels for May

This month’s selection of new Mystery novels recently received by Wellington City Libraries includes four novels based around food that eventually leads to various forms of murder, although none to do with poisoning. There are many hours of reading pleasure for enthusiasts of this genre.

Syndetics book coverDeath sits down to dinner / Tessa Arlen.
“Lady Montford and her pragmatic housekeeper Mrs. Jackson once again become entangled in a clandestine murder investigation, this time in glittering world of society London. Lady Montfort is thrilled to receive an invitation to a dinner party hosted by her close friend Hermione Kingsley, the patroness of England’s largest charity. Hermione has pulled together a select gathering to celebrate Winston Churchill’s 39th birthday. Some of the oldest families in the country have gathered to toast the dangerously ambitious and utterly charming First Lord of the Admiralty. But when the dinner ends, one of the gentlemen remains seated at the table, head down among the walnut shells littering the cloth and a knife between his ribs.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLie in plain sight / Maggie Barbieri.
“It’s a busy day at the bakery Maeve Conlon owns when she receives a phone call from the high school saying Maeve’s employee’s daughter, Taylor Dvorak, is ill. Taylor’s mom is out on a delivery and Taylor has her own car, so harried Maeve gives the school nurse permission to send Taylor home on her own. But Taylor never makes it: Somewhere between the school and her house, she just vanished. Not only does Maeve feel responsible, but she can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to Taylor’s disappearance than meets the eye. So Maeve decides to take matters into her own capable hands.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll things cease to appear / Elizabeth Brundage.
“Upstate New York. George Clare comes home from his position as an art teacher at a private college to find his wife killed and their three-year-old daughter alone. George is the immediate suspect, and a persistent cop is stymied at every turn in proving him a heartless murderer. Three teenage brothers who previously lived in the house become entangled in the investigation. But behind one crime there are others, and more than twenty years will pass before a hard kind of justice is finally served.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOut comes the evil / Stella Cameron.
“Once again Alex Duggins and her veterinarian friend Tony Harrison are thrown into a major murder investigation. An almost fresh body is discovered in a disused well among the ruins of a 14th-century manor house, the motive for the killing a baffling mystery. The victim was a widow who had lived quietly in the picturesque Cotswolds village of Folly-on-Weir for the past ten years. Who on earth could want her dead, and by such brutal means?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJust not cricket / Joyce Cato.
“When travelling cook Jenny Starling is asked to cater the tea for a village cricket match, the last thing she expects is to be faced with the murder of one of the players. Tristan Jones was a bit of a ladies man, but the slick city financier had lost a lot of people their savings and investments, so it is safe to say the list of suspects is a long one, and the local police find themselves operating on a sticky wicket. But when another body is found, it looks as though even the canny cook might be caught out for a duck. Fielding clues and red herrings isn’t easy, especially when suspect statements seem to stump everyone else involved with the investigation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe night wanderer / Alys Clare.
“Eleventh century Cambridge is rocked by a series of brutal murders. Called out to attend a body found on a lonely stretch of river bank, its throat torn out, apprentice healer Lassair is skeptical of the sheriff’s verdict that this was the result of a wild animal attack. But when a second body is discovered, similarly mutilated, rumours engulf the town that the legendary demon known as the Night Wanderer has returned to wreak havoc. Determined to stop the fear spreading and prove that the killer is human, Lassair and lawman Jack Chevestrier investigate.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTennison / Lynda La Plante.
“The back story of the iconic DCI Jane Tennison. In 1973 Jane Tennison, aged 22, leaves the Metropolitan Police Training Academy to be placed on probationary exercise in Hackney where criminality thrives. She struggles to cope in a male-dominated, chauvinistic environment, and learns quickkly how to deal with shocking situations without the help or sympathy from her superiors. Then she becomes involved in her first murder case.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMurder in an Irish village / Carlene O’Connor.
“In the small village of Kilbane, County Cork, Ireland, Naomi’s Bistro has always been a warm and welcoming spot to visit with neighbors, enjoy some brown bread and tea, and get the local gossip. Nowadays twenty-two-year-old Siobhán O’Sullivan runs the family bistro named for her mother, along with her five siblings, after the death of their parents in a car crash almost a year ago. One morning, as they’re opening the bistro, they discover a man seated at a table, dressed in a suit as if for his own funeral, a pair of hot pink barber scissors protruding from his chest.With the local garda suspecting the O’Sullivans, and their business in danger of being shunned, it’s up to feisty redheaded Siobhán to solve the crime and save her beloved brood.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFatal catch : a DI Andy Horton mystery / Pauline Rowson.
“DI Andy Horton is called out to examine a gruesome catch by two fishermen: a human hand. Is it that of missing violent criminal, Alfie Wright – or is he the killer? And where is the rest of the corpse? Soon Horton finds himself immersed in a complex case where everyone has a reason to lie and no one is who they seem. Assailed by doubts both in his personal and professional life, Horton desperately tries to keep his emotional feelings under control and his focus on his work. His instincts tell him to trust no one and believe nothing; he’s not sure, though, whether this time he’ll succeed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSatan’s lullaby : a medieval mystery / Priscilla Royal.
“It is the autumn of 1278. The harvest is in. The air is crisp. Dusty summer breathes a last sigh before the dark seasons arrive. For Prioress Eleanor, dark times arrive early in Norfolk. The head of her order, Abbess Isabeau, has sent Father Etienne Davoir from its headquarters in France to inspect all aspects of Tyndal Priory from its morals to its roofs. Surely the Abbess would not have chosen her own brother for this rare and thorough investigation unless the cause was serious and she had reason to fear intervention from Rome. Prioress Eleanor knows something is terribly amiss. The situation turns calamitous when Davoir’s sick clerk dies from a potion sent by Sister Anne, Tyndale’s sub-infirmarian. Is Sister Anne guilty of simple incompetence or murder?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Design & Architecture picks in May

An interesting and insightful collection of new design & architecture books this month focus on using design to get the biggest bang for your buck. Read about all these ideas in the books selected below!

Syndetics book coverAre We There Yet?: Insights on How to Lead by Design [paperback]
“We face high costs, global competition, low productivity, and technology disruptions. We have relied on massive technology investments as our source of competitive advantage, but our growth is declining. If we want to maintain our standard of living, we need firms to grow. Firms therefore need a new approach to innovation, one that focuses on customer engagement in its business model. The concept of design thinking is often described as the mindset for firms to make this transition. But with so much being written on design thinking, why do so many firms struggle to adopt this mindset and make this transition?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Graphic Design Idea Book: Inspiration from 50 Masters [paperback]
“This book serves as an introduction to the key elements of good design. Broken into sections covering the fundamental elements of design, key works by acclaimed designers serve to illustrate technical points and encourage readers to try out new ideas. Themes covered include narrative, colour, illusion, ornament, simplicity, and wit and humour. The result is an instantly accessible and easy to understand guide to graphic design using professional techniques.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPattern: & the secrets of lasting design [hardback]
“Emma Bridgewater’s patterns are as quintessentially British as marmalade on toast – and they have made her distinctive homewares best sellers across the world. Her inspiration is often deeply personal – a plate of her mother’s, a favourite children’s book – and as she tells the stories of each pattern’s creation, she reveals the intricate processes of research and collaboration behind the familiar designs she has stamped on our kitchenware – and our hearts – for the past thirty years.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEco living Japan : sustainable ideas for living green / Deanna MacDonald ; foreword by Edward Suzuki ; preface by Geeta Mehta.
“Japan is equally as well known for its ecologically-sensitive traditional homes as it is for cutting-edge, green technology. Eco Living Japan presents 19 contemporary Japanese houses which exemplify the most recent trends in sustainable design in Japan. This is wabi-sabi for the 21st century! This book provides inspiration and practical ideas for those creating homes in North America and other 4 season climates. Anyone with an interest in Japanese design and trends in sustainable living will find fresh ideas for their own home projects.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPartners in design : Alfred H. Barr Jr. and Philip Johnson / edited by David A. Hanks.
“The 1920s and 1930s saw the birth of modernism in the United States, a new aesthetic, based on the principles of the Bauhaus in Germany. Alfred H. Barr Jr., the then 27-year-old founding director of the Museum of Modern Art, and 23-year-old Philip Johnson, director of its architecture department, were the visionary young proponents of the modern approach. In the depths of the Depression, Barr and Johnson experimented with new ideas in museum ideology, extending the scope beyond painting and sculpture; with ordinary, machine-made objects elevated to art by their elegant design. Partners in Design chronicles their collaboration, placing it in the larger context of the avant-garde in New York.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlease make this look nice : the graphic design process / Peter Ahlberg.
“Equal parts design inspiration and manual, Please Make This Look Nice combines interviews, writings, case studies, and personal ephemera from celebrated designers into a solid primer for designers and design enthusiasts alike. Please Make This Look Nice is a behind-the-scenes look at the graphic design process of more than fifty graphic designers, typographers, and studios from around the world. Celebrated graphic design contributors including Maira Kalman, Milton Glaser, Michael Bierut, Experimental Jetset, Carin Goldberg, Ivan Chermayeff & Tom Geismar, Paul Sahre, and Stefan Sagmeister, as well as emerging design stars share their far-ranging insights and personal means of finding inspiration.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to read modern buildings : a crash course in the architecture of the modern era / Will Jones.
How to Read Modern Buildings is an indispensable pocket-sized guide to understanding the architecture of the modern era.It takes the reader on a guided tour of modern architecture through its most iconic and significant buildings, showing how to read the hallmarks of each architectural style and how to recognize them in the buildings all around. From Art Deco and Arts and Crafts, through the International Style and Modernism to today’s environmental architecture and the rise and fall of the icon, all the major architectural movements from the 1900s to the present day are traced through their classic buildings.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSprint : how to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days / Jake Knapp with John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz.
“Entrepreneurs and leaders face big questions every day: What will your idea look like in real life? How many meetings and discussions does it take before you can be sure you have the right solution? Designer Jake Knapp created the five-day sprint process at Google, where he joined Braden Kowitz and John Zeratsky at Google Ventures, and together they have completed more than one hundred sprints with companies in mobile, e-commerce, healthcare, finance, and more. A practical guide to answering critical business questions, Sprint is a book for teams of any size, from small startups to Fortune 100s, from teachers to nonprofits.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesigning products people love : how great designers create successful products / Scott Hurff.
“How can you create products that successfully find customers? With this practical book, you’ll learn from some of the best product designers in the field, from companies like Facebook and LinkedIn to up-and-coming contenders. You’ll understand how to discover and interpret customer pain, and learn how to use this research to guide your team through each step of product creation. Written for designers, product managers, and others who want to communicate better with designers, this book is essential reading for anyone who contributes to the product creation process.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Whanake Taiao = Environmental Sustainability : Matariki events at Central Library

On the four Wednesdays in June, Wellington City Libraries is presenting a series of four events around Whanake Taiao = Environmental Sustainability, at the Central Library, 12.30 pm.

1 June:  Rev. Dr Rosalind Jiko McIntosh – Guide to a thriving future : putting United Nations Sustainable Development Agreement to work for NZ

8 June:  Jessica Hutchings – Hua parakore: kaupapa Māori food sovereignty:  including soil health and composting.

15 June:  Sarah Adams, Cenna Lloyd - Urban agriculture: fruit trees & bees

22 June:  Fred Allen - Matariki celebration of rongoā Māori and native plant remedies

Puanga kai rau. Ka Hua ai ngā pua, koia ko Puanga. =
An abundance of food at Puanga, when the blossoms become fruit, that is Puanga.

orions-matariki

Matariki ahunga nui

More about each event:

Wed 1 June: Rev. Dr Rosalind Jiko McIntosh
For the next 15 years, the United Nations will expand on its kaupapa of 17 major goals set out in a strategy which has been accepted by all nations, September 2015 and which is based on the Millennium Development goals (2000-2015) – find out more about this here: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/

In earlier talks at the Central Library, this year, we have heard of the need for clean water (goal 6) and life below water ( 14) but each one of the 17 goals covers an aspect of life at a basic community level – i.e. each one of these goals affects you, and me, in our every day living. Dr Rosalind Jiko McIntosh, a committee member of UNANZ Wellington Branch, retired from a career as a biological sciences research professor to spend the last 20 years in the USA as a social engaged Zen Buddhist.  Rosalind is driven by her experiences, globally, to embrace these kaupapa as pivotal to growing and maintaining healthy local communities.

8 June: Jessica Hutchings
jessica-hutchingsHere is Jessica’s recent publication: Te mahi māra : hua parakore – a guide to Māori organic growing.  This book is an amazingly indepth guide to organic gardening, with chapters on a Māori World View, soil and composting, planting, harvesting, rongoā, beekeeping, hens and house cow, and even recipes for using your produce.   You will find an introductory profile here:  http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/201782628/dr-jessica-hutchings, and here: http://www.foodconference.co.nz/14-15th-february-2015/conference-info/dr-jessica-hutchings/

“Dr. Jessica Hutchings, is from the tribe of Ngai Tahu and is also of Gujarati, India descent. Dr Hutchings is an academic, kaupapa Māori researcher and a Hua Parakore grower.   Dr. Hutchings is actively involved with Te Waka Kai Ora (the National Maori Organics Authority) as a grower; a lead researcher on a three-year research project to develop a tikanga based indigenous verification and validation system for food and agriculture – called Hua Parakore…” (Food Matters conference profile).

15 June:  Sarah Adams & Cenna Lloyd

Sarah will describe the growing of fruit trees within our city boundaries: there is further information on the Council webpages here: wellington.govt.nz/services/environment-and-waste/environment/urban-agriculture.

Cenna will describe beekeeping tips for the city – here is one of the suburban bus stops (Khandallah) portraying the Bee Friendly city.

Bus-Stop-7th-day-front-content

You can see more beekeeping tips on wellington.govt.nz

Wed 22 June: Fred Allen
FredallenIn an expansion of his theme, Fred will present his thoughts on Rongoā Māori and native plant remedies within traditional and contemporary paradigms, and subsequent contemporary medicinal developments. Fred Allen is a Rongoā Māori practitioner, New Zealand native herbal medicinal product manufacturer and specialist New Zealand native plant horticulturist. Fred has participated in the NZ Health and Wellness Industry for over 30 years and has invested in development of personal specialist expertise in native flora, NZ biodiversity, ethno botany, phytochemistry and therapeutics of NZ endemic and indigenous herbal medicine.  He identifies and separates his work within both Māori and Western paradigms. He was invited by the South Korean Government to represent New Zealand at the World Traditional Medicine Expo during 2011.

Fred is of Te Atiawa descent, his rohe is Te Whanganui-a-Tara, and he is Managing Director of www.kiwiplants.co.nz and www.kiwiherbs.com.

 

Happiness, not all it’s cracked up to be? New Self-help books in May

Happiness strategist, happiness expert, the science of happiness? Reading with caution is suggested this month if you don’t want to run the risk of becoming obsessive and over anxious in the pursuit of happiness… and miss out altogether!

Syndetics book coverHow to be bored
“In How To Be Bored, Eva Hoffman explores the importance we place on success, high level function, effectiveness and alertness in today’s competitive society. In a world where it is almost impossible to be idle, she draws upon lessons from history, literature and psychotherapy to help us embrace boredom and find meaning in doing nothing – to appreciate real reflection and enjoy the richness of our inner and external lives.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverStop being lonely : three simple steps to developing close friendships and deep relationships
“Loneliness isn’t something that happens only when we are physically alone. It can also happen when we are with people. Online friends, followers, or “likers” don’t necessarily add up to much when you crave fulfilling interaction, and satisfying, long-term relationships are not a mystery to be left up to chance (or technology). The good news is that, according to relationship coach Kira Asatryan, loneliness has a reliable antidote: the feeling of closeness. We can and should cultivate closeness in our relationships using the steps outlined in this book: knowing, caring, and mastering closeness. Whether with romantic partners, friends, family members, or business colleagues, the simple and straightforward actions Asatryan presents in this wonderfully practical book will guide you toward better relationships and less loneliness in all social contexts.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverLove like salt : a memoir
Love Like Salt is a memoir about mothers and daughters, music and illness, genes and inheritance, writing and story-telling. It is about creating joy from the hand you’ve been dealt and following its lead – in this case to rural France, where the author and her family lived for seven years. ‘I had always written, and until the birth of Clara I wrote for a living. Once I knew the Cystic Fibrosis gene had unfolded itself in our daughter’s body, like a paper flower meeting water, I felt that to write, even if I had had time, or been able, would have been to squander a kind of power which was needed for tending and nurturing. Every moment became a moment in which I protected my baby. Some of it I did in secret, like a madwoman muttering spells.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book cover15 things you should give up to be happy : an inspiring guide to discovering effortless joy
“When PurposeFairy.com founder Luminita Saviuc posted a list of things to let go in order to be happy, she had no idea that it would go viral, shared more than 1.2 million times and counting. Based on that inspiring post, this heartfelt book gives readers permission to give up–that is, to let go of the bad habits that are holding them back from achieving authentic happiness and living their best lives. Simple yet wise, and informed by the author’s own inspiring personal journey, this liberating little book presents a fresh twist on happiness advice: take a step back to reflect, and give yourself permission to let things go.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe Buddha in me, the Buddha in you : a handbook for happiness
“Nichiren Buddhism differs from other Buddhist schools in its focus on the here-and-now, and places great importance on individual growth as the starting point for a better world. This, combined with powerful techniques such as NLP, mindfulness, journalling and coaching, makes The Buddha in Me, the Buddha in You the quintessential handbook for happiness. ‘Buddha’ simply means someone who is awakened – yet while Nichiren Buddhists will find fascinating insights into their practice, there is no need to follow a spiritual path to benefit from this book. Author David Hare shows us how to wake up to our own potential and that of those around us to” to discover everyday enlightenment.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book cover10 keys to happier living : a practical handbook for happiness
” We all want to be happy but what does that actually mean and what can we do in our everyday lives to be happier? Fortunately, experts now have evidence of what really makes a difference and helps us to be happier and more resilient to life’s ups and downs. In this book, Vanessa King has drawn on the latest scientific studies to create a set of evidence-based practical actions that have been shown to increase happiness and wellbeing – at home, at work and in the world around you. It will help you connect with people, nurture your relationships and find purpose. You’ll get ideas for taking care of your body, making the most of what’s good and finding new ways to stimulate your mind.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverBeyond happiness : the trap of ‘happiness’ and how to find deeper meaning and joy
“As Britain’s best-known headmaster, Sir Anthony famously introduced happiness, or well-being, lessons at his school, Wellington College. The pursuit of happiness can all too easily become a trap which seduces us into thinking there is no more to life than being happy. In fact, we need to reach beyond this if we are to access the deepest levels of human experience open to us, and find our own unique path in life. The author offers a further 5 steps, which point the way to accessing these deeper levels of experience, which alone result in the joyful life which is our birthright. Paradoxically, as this book demonstrates, stepping off the happiness treadmill will ultimately make for a happier and more fulfilled life.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe pursuit of happiness and why it’s making us anxious / Ruth Whippman.
“As your average cynical Brit, when Ruth Whippman moves to California, it seems to her that the American obsession with finding happiness is driving everyone crazy. But soon she starts to get sucked in. She meditates and tries ‘mindful dishwashing’. She attends a self-help course that promises total transformation (and learns that all her problems are her own fault). She visits a strange Nevada happiness dystopia (with one of the highest suicide rates in America), delves into the darker truths behind the influential ‘science of happiness’, and even ventures to Utah, where she learns God’s personal secret to eternal bliss. Ultimately she stumbles upon a more effective, less self-involved, less anxiety-inducing way to find contentment. Fantastically fresh, funny and honest, this is an eye-opening look at what happiness really means.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSorted! : the good psychopath’s guide to bossing your life
“Dr Kevin Sutton studies psychopaths and his latest subject is SAS hero ANDY MCNAB. He can control qualities like decisiveness, ruthlessness and fearlessness to get the best out of himself and life. Together, this unlikely duo has established what they call the Seven Deadly Wins, the good psychopathic quirks that can help make you more successful. This book offers a new approach to the everyday to help you get more out of life than it gets out of you.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe golden condom : and other essays on love lost and found
“From conflicted sibling relationships to the choice not to have children, Safer’s work has always been unflinching in its aim to dive deep into topics that make most of us blush, but which are present in all of our lives. In The Golden Condom Safer tells a series of tales that investigate relationships–both healthy and toxic–that most of us don’t escape life without experiencing at least once, including traumatic friendships, love after loss, unrequited or obsessional love and more. Never prescriptive and always entertaining, these stories will inspire you with the range of possibilities that exist to find love, however unconventional, and at any age.” (Syndetics)


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