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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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Good sorts – Recent Biography picks for August

In a world where some may feel we are daily bombarded with news of foul deeds it is refreshing indeed to read of people who try to make this world a better place. Lance O’Sullivan, pioneering Northland doctor and New Zealander of the Year 2014, is one such person and his story is all the more remarkable for the fact that it almost didn’t happen.
Other good sorts featured in this month’s line-up include two nurses, Vera Brittan and Thea Hayes, and self-help guru Wayne Dyer. Last but not least are the women of the 1950s who are the subject of our last pick, Perfect wives and ideal homes. Real heroines!

Syndetics book coverMan of iron : the extraordinary story of New Zealand WWI hero Lieutenant-Colonel William Malone / Jock Vennell.
“The first biography of one of New Zealand’s best known First World War soldiers.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFace to face : conversations with remarkable New Zealanders / text, Paul Moon ; photographs, Jane Ussher.
“Stimulating, humorous, sometimes controversial and always revealing, Face to Face offers intimate portraits of the lives of twelve remarkable New Zealanders. Through conversations with Paul Moon, one of the country’s most acclaimed historians and cultural commentators, and through the lens of award-winning photographer Jane Ussher, we get to know these extraordinary Kiwis like never before.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe good doctor : breaking the rules, making a difference / Lance O’Sullivan with Margie Thomson.
“Lance O’Sullivan is a man on a mission. Raised in Auckland by a solo mother, he had a modest upbringing typical of the time, if one chequered with difficulties. After being expelled from two schools, Lance could have gone off the rails. Instead, he found his way at Hato Petera College, connecting with his Maori ancestry, and going on to study medicine.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn outback nurse / Thea Hayes.
“Thea Hayes trained as a nurse in Sydney in 1959. A year later she was catapulted out of the safety of her city life into the unknown world of the Outback. Thea knew nothing of the place she was soon to call home, Wave Hill Station in the Northern Territory, the second largest property in the world under one management. It covered four million acres! With nervous excitement, Thea accepted the job and flew to the Northern Territory where her life was about to change dramatically.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI can see clearly now / Wayne W. Dyer.
“After four decades as a teacher of self-empowerment and the bestselling author of more than 40 books, Dr Wayne W. Dyer has finally written a memoir! However, he has written it in a way that only he can – with a remarkable take-home message for his longtime followers and new readers alike – and the result is an exciting new twist on the old format. In this revealing and engaging book, Wayne shares dozens of events from his life, from the time he was a little boy in Detroit up to present day.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMademoiselle : Coco Chanel and the pulse of history / Rhonda K. Garelick.
“Certain lives are at once so exceptional, and yet so in step with their historical moments, that they illuminate cultural forces far beyond the scope of a single person. Such is the case with Coco Chanel, whose life offers one of the most fascinating tales of the twentieth century–throwing into dramatic relief an era of war, fashion, ardent nationalism, and earth-shaking change–here brilliantly treated, for the first time, with wide-ranging and incisive historical scrutiny.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStalin’s daughter : the extraordinary and tumultuous life of Svetlana Alliluyeva / Rosemary Sullivan.
“Born in 1926, Svetlana Alliluyeva spent her youth inside the Kremlin as her father’s power soared along with that of the Soviet Union. Eighty-five years later, she died alone and penniless in rural Wisconsin as Lana Peters. Revealed here for the first time, the many lives of Joseph Stalin’s daughter form a riveting portrait of a woman who fled halfway around the world to escape her birthright.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVera Brittain : a life / Paul Berry and Mark Bostridge.
“Vera Brittain is most widely known as the woman who immortalized a lost generation in her haunting autobiography of the Great War, TESTAMENT OF YOUTH. Writer, pacifist and feminist, she condemned her provincial background but remained acutely conscious of the conventional elements in her own character; she revealed a richly emotional life in her writing but was outwardly sober and reserved; she possessed a fierce desire for fame and recognition but was ready to sacrifice both on matters of principle.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBloomsbury’s outsider : a life of David Garnett / Sarah Knights.
“Shortlisted for the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2015 Literary Sensation, Lover, Libertine, Family Man Award-winning novelist and towering figure of the 20th century British literary landscape, David Garnett was a Bloomsbury insider ultimately pushed to the margins. In this, the first biography of Garnett, (known as Bunny), author Sarah Knights – who has had unprecedented access to Garnett’s papers – goes beyond stereotype and myth to present a clear sighted account of this often contradictory figure.” (Syndetics summary)

And a good one from another part of the library:

Syndetics book coverPerfect wives in ideal homes : the story of women in the 1950s / Virginia Nicholson.
“In Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes, Virginia Nicholson tells the story of women in the 1950s: a time before the Pill, when divorce spelled scandal and two-piece swimsuits caused mass alarm. Turn the page back to the mid-twentieth century, and discover a world peopled by women with radiant smiles, clean pinafores and gleaming coiffures; a promised land of batch-baking, maraschino cherries and brightly hued plastic. A world where the darker side of the decade encompasses rampant prostitution, a notorious murder, and the threat of nuclear disaster.” (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…

Miles Davis Miles Davis at Newport, 1955-1975.
Lianne La Havas Blood
Richard Nunns, Mark Lockett Redaction

cover imagecover imagecover image

New CDs for August

Some new music for August. New CDs from some established artists, some new artists & some re-issue Box Sets round off our selection.

Cover image Progeny : seven shows from seventy-two
“Over 12 hours of epic progressive rock classics from the legendary 70s Yes lineup of Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White. 7 Previously Unheard, Complete Concerts From 1972…” (Product description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageFrom Live at Carnegie Hall
“10 career-spanning live tracks from two special performances at New York s legendary Carnegie Hall on November 15 & 17 2014. The set list includes fan favorites like New York, New York as well as cuts from his most recent Grammy nominated eponymous album like Gimme Something Good . Tracks include live performances of 2 new previously unreleased songs This Is Where We Meet In My Mind & How Much Light…” (Product description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageThe Holy Bible
“The limited edition 12” x 12” box contains the original album on 180gm heavyweight vinyl (on vinyl for the first time since a limited run in 1994), remastered by James Dean Bradfield, plus 4 CDs and a 40 page book. The CD’s contain the remastered full album, the remastered US version, b-sides, mixes, live versions and a previously unreleased version of ‘Revol’. There is also a live CD of the band’s last performances with guitarist Richey Edwards from the Astoria, December 1994…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageBorn in the echoes [bonus tracks].
“Released to coincide with headline slots at Glastonbury, Sonar and Bestival, The Chemical Brothers’ eighth studio album – Born In The Echoes – is a magnificent eleven-track collection of lean, propulsive machine driven music. Born In The Echoes features a stellar cast of collaborators including previous guests Q-Tip (Go – a track that will be accompanied by a video directed by Michel Gondry) and Ali Love (EML Ritual) as well as first time visitors to the studio – St. Vincent (Under Neon Lights), Cate Le Bon (Born In The Echoes) and Beck. The deluxe CD album comes in a beautiful textured gatefold package along with four additional bonus tracks…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

RecentPicksCDs3We are for the wild places
“Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, Avalanche City is the musical moniker of Dave Baxter, whose debut single Love, Love, Love was propelled into radio mainstay back in 2011. While he spent two years travelling the world off the back of the breakout single, Love, Love, Love was awarded Silver Scroll ‘Song of the Year’, and ‘Most Performed Work’ back home in New Zealand. Following his breakout success, Baxter spent unhurried months in his home studio, a leafy backyard room affectionately named The Treehouse. He surrounded himself with a cadre of old instruments and invented the familiar, yet evolved songs that would become WE ARE FOR THE WILD PLACES…” (Product description from Mighty Ape)

Cover imageComing home
“Leon Bridges is the ‘out of almost nowhere’ story that only comes along once in a while. Awareness of Leon Bidges and his unique craft continues to grow authentically and consistently. It was only last summer that Leon was singing open mics in his hometown Fort Worth, TX. One of those open mics was attended by Austin Jenkins and Josh Block of the notable indie band White Denim who were absolutely floored by Leon’s voice, songs, and creative vision. They soon after set-up shop in a makeshift studio and recorded the album’s opener “Coming Home” completely live to tape. This first take is exactly what you hear opening the album. The remaining 9 songs followed in a burst of creativity and inspiration. Leon was the breakout artist of 2015′s SXSW…” (Product description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageLive in Paris
“Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are pleased to announce the release of ‘Live In Paris’. The double album and accompanying DVD was recorded live at Theatre Trianon in Paris on February 24 2014, during the band’s sold out tour of Europe. In addition to the full concert, the DVD also includes the documentary film ’33.3%’ by Yana Amur, which shows fans an intimate side of the band never seen before…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageCurrents
“Global sensation Tame Impala have announced their highly anticipated third studio album. The 13 track album, Currents was written, recorded, produced and mixed by Kevin Parker in Fremantle, West Australia. Lyrically the record finds Parker in a very different place in 2015 to where he was seven years ago. Transitions in life, relationships, perspectives, mindsets – Currents maps Parker’s evolution through these and finds him a brand new person. Musically, Currents sounds like the work of a player on top of his game and having a blast, Parker indulging his whims and unafraid to dive down the rabbit hole after an idea…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageArchive series. Volume no. 1
“With the Archive Series, Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) will be gathering otherwise unreleased home recordings, covers, and live sets from his entire career and releasing them on his own label, Black Cricket Recording Co. The songs on Volume No. 1 came to life at the same time as those selected for The Creek Drank the Cradle. The songs on Creek were only 11 of the many performed and recorded by Iron & Wine at home on a 4-track cassette. While some of this material has been widely bootlegged, it has never received a widespread or proper release until now…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageLittle earthquakes [deluxe]
“One of the most successful and influential artists of her generation, Tori Amos is as much a force to be reckoned with today as when she released her first solo album ‘Little Earthquakes’ over 2 decades ago. Eschewing the trends of the time, the prodigious chanteuse touched millions deeply with her arresting melodies, riveting stage presence and personal & honest lyrics. Amos announces 2CD deluxe editions of her debut and sophomore solo albums, ‘Little Earthquakes’ and ‘Under The Pink,’ each newly re-mastered and paired with an entire disc of rare B-sides and bonus tracks…” (Product description from Mighty Ape)

cover imageBetter than home
“Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Beth Hart has already moved guitar legends Jeff Beck, Slash, Joe Bonamassa and Buddy Guy to perform with her on records and live. The UK have firmly taken Beth to their hearts after recent stirring headline performances at the Royal Albert Hall, The Roundhouse and Hampton Court Palace. Now on her 7th solo record, album collaborations with Joe Bonamassa, ‘Seesaw’ and ‘Don’t Explain’, made it to the top #1 and #3 of the Billboard Blues Albums Chart whilst ‘Live in Amsterdam’ entered the UK album chart at #18…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

cpver imageSub-lingual tablet
“The brand new album from The Fall; the first in over a year. Recorded in Manchester over the last year with mark e smith producing. The Fall are an English post-punk band, formed in Manchester in 1976. The band has existed in some form ever since, and is essentially built around its founder and only constant member Mark E. Smith. Initially associated with the punk movement of the late 1970s, the group’s music has gone through several stylistic changes over the years, characterised by an abrasive guitar-driven sound and frequent use of repetition, and is always underpinned by Smith’s distinctive vocals and often cryptic lyrics…” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageMiles Davis at Newport, 1955-1975.
“The newest entry in Columbia/Legacy Recordings’ critically-acclaimed Miles Davis Bootleg Series, NEWPORT 1955-1975 clocks in at 296 minutes, nearly four hours of which is previously unreleased. From Miles’ debut performance at NJF in 1955 (a hastily arranged jam session featuring Thelonious Monk and Gerry Mulligan, that immediately led to the trumpeter’s Columbia signing), to the full-length concert performances alone of Miles’ famed “Kind Of Blue” Sextet (with Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, and Jimmy Cobb), and second great quintet in ’66 and ’67 (with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams) also live performances by Miles’ stellar band lineups 1969, 1971, 1973, and 1975, in Newport, Rhode Island, New York City, Berlin, and Switzerland….” (Product description from Amazon.com)

New ‘Other Genres’ fiction for August, this month featuring translated novels

With Wellington International Film festival having reached the end, our selection of the best translated novels, received this month may help continue the international artistic influence. There are some stunning novels by brilliant writers from around the world.

Syndetics book coverWhere pigeons don’t fly / Yousef Al-Mohaimeed ; translated by Robin Moger.
“The story of Fahd, a young boy growing up in Saudi Arabia. Fahd’s childhood is overshadowed by his father’s involvement in the attack on the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Now an artist and critic, the adult Fahd finds that, both in work and in love, he is at loggerheads with repressive cultural and religious norms. When he and his girlfriend are detained by the “virtue” police, Fahd contemplates a life of self-imposed exile in a remote corner of Britain, rather than remaining somewhere he doesn’t feel he belongs.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA Perfect Crime / A Yi ; translated by Anna Holmwood.
“An exceptionally dark and beautiful novel about a motiveless murder which echoes Kafka’s absurdism, Camus’ nihilism and Dostoyevsky’s depravity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnd then came Paulette / Barbara Constantine ; translated from the French by Justin Phipps.
“When his son’s family move away, widower Ferdinand is left with only a sadistic kitten for company on a farm that was built for a family. Just as loneliness starts to bite, he discovers his neighbor Marceline has long been shivering beneath a leaky roof. He welcomes her to his farm, temporarily of course, and also provides a home for her dog and her gluttonous donkey. As each begrudgingly adjusts to the other’s quirks, yet more new arrivals appear. It seems that Ferdinand isn’t the only one who was all-alone, and the dusty farm becomes a haven for lost souls of every age to share their sorrows and set about rediscovering their joie de vivre.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverConfession of the lioness / Mia Couto ; translated from the Portuguese by David Brookshaw.
“Mariamar, a young woman from the village, finds her life thrown into chaos just as the marksman hired to kill the lionesses, the outsider Archangel Bullseye, arrives in town. Mariamar’s sister was recently killed in one of the attacks, and her father has imprisoned her in his home, where she relives painful memories of past abuse and hopes to be rescued by Archangel. Meanwhile, Archangel attempts to track the lionesses out in the wilderness, but when he begins to suspect there is more to these predators than meets the eye, he slowly starts to lose control of his hands. The hunt grows more and more dangerous, until it’s no safer inside Kulumani than outside it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe reader on the 6.27 / Jean-Paul Didierlaurent ; translated by Ros Schwartz.
“Guylain Vignolles leads a dull and solitary life. He hates his job and his only company at home is a goldfish. Every morning he takes the 6.27 to his tedious job at a book pulping factory. On the train each morning on the way to work, Guylain reads aloud to his fellow commuters the disparate pages that he rescues from the jaws of the monstrous pulping machine. One morning on the train, he finds a USB stick which contains the diary of a young woman. As Guylain reads the diary, he finds himself falling love with its author.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe little Paris bookshop : a novel / Nina George ; translated by Simon Pare.
“On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a ‘literary apothecary’, for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers. The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read. His memories and his love have been gathering dust, until now. The arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour in his eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Swede : a novel / Robert Karjel ; translation from the Swedish by Nancy Pick and Robert Karjel.
“Ernst Grip of the Swedish security police has no idea why he’s been dispatched to a remote American military base in the Indian Ocean. Met by FBI agent Shauna Friedman, he learns that the U.S. wants him to determine whether a prisoner they’re holding is a Swedish citizen. The detainee, known only as “N.,” is a suspect in an Islamist-inspired terror attack in the U.S. heartland. Tortured by the CIA, he refuses to talk. Yet all the evidence points to a cabal of survivors from the devastating 2004 tsunami that struck Thailand: a ruthless American arms dealer, a Czech hit man, a mysterious nurse from Kansas, a heartbreakingly naïve Pakistani, aand a Swede. But the prisoner is not the only one harboring dangerous secrets. Grip hides a double life that will lead him into terra incognita, and Friedman, too, is not who she appears to be.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe festival of insignificance : a novel / Milan Kundera ; translated from the French by Linda Asher.
“Casting light on the most serious of problems and at the same time saying not one serious sentence; being fascinated by the reality of the contemporary world and at the same time completely avoiding realism–that’s The Festival of Insignificance.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe living and the dead in Winsford / Håkan Nesser ; translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson.
“A woman arrives in the village of Winsford on Exmoor. She has travelled a long way and chosen her secluded cottage carefully. Maria’s sole intention is to outlive her beloved dog Castor. And to survive the torrent of memories that threaten to overwhelm her. Weeks before, Maria and her husband Martin fled Stockholm under a cloud. The couple were bound for Morocco, where Martin planned to write an explosive novel; one that would reveal the truth behind dark events within his commune of writers decades before. But the couple never made it to their destination. As Maria settles into her lonely new life, walking the wild, desolate moors, it becomes clear that Winsford isn’t quite the sanctuary she thought it would be. While the long, dark evenings close in and the weather worsens, strange things begin to happen around her. But what terrible secrets is Maria guarding? And who is trying to find her?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe dirty dust : crè na cille / Máirtín Ó Cadhain ; Translated from Irish by Alan Titley.
“In this novel all characters lie dead in their graves. This, however, does not impair their banter or their appetite for news of aboveground happenings from the recently arrived. Told entirely in dialogue, all the, gossip, rumors, backbiting, complaining, and obsessing of the local community, in the afterlife, it seems, the same old life goes on beneath the sod.” (Adapted from Syndetic summary)

New Computing Books for August

From step-by-step general help with technology, going through more specific themes like programming and coding and Android tablets, our selection for computer books this month has definitely something for everyone. So don’t be afraid and have a look at the amazing books!

Syndetics book cover“Is this thing on?” : a friendly guide to everything digital for newbies, technophobes, and the kicking & screaming / Abby Stokes ; illustrations by Michael Sloan and Susan Hunt Yale.
“Like a personal trainer for the digital age, Abby Stokes is the hand-holding, motivating expert that newbies–specifically older newbies–turn to when they want to become digitally literate. An all-new companion website–AskAbbyStokes.com–will include video tutorials explaining the latest technologies.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy Android tablet / Craig James Johnston.
“More than 100,000,000 Android tablets were sold last year: that’s nearly 62% of all tablets sold. If you own or are considering an Android tablet, My Android Tablet is your must-have companion. This friendly, quick, full-colour, 100% practical tutorial walks you through every task you’ll want to perform with your new Android tablet, no matter what brand or model you choose.” (Adapted from Goodreads)

Syndetics book coverProfessional Android wearables / David Cuartielles Ruiz and Andreas Goransson.
Professional Android Wearables covers how to use the Android Wear platform and other techniques to build real-world apps for a variety of wearables including smartbands, smartwatches, and smart glasses.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coveriPad at work for dummies / by Galen Gruman.
iPad at Work For Dummies provides essential and in-depth coverage for a variety of productivity-related tasks made possible on the iPad. From basics such as setting up and starting out with an iPad to tips on the best practices for enterprise-level word processing, spreadsheet creation, presenting, task management, project management, graphic design, and communication. If you′re considering integrating the use of an iPad at work, or have recently begun and want to grasp the full spectrum of its capabilities in the workplace, iPad at Work For Dummies has you covered.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPHP : 20 lessons to successful web development / Robin Nixon.
“Based on the author’s successful online courses, this complete, integrated learning tool provides easy-to-follow lessons that feature clear explanations, sample code and exercises, and video tutorials. Each lesson is designed to take you less than an hour to complete. Together, the book and almost five hours of videotraining, make learning PHP easier than ever!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEffective Python : 59 specific ways to write better Python / Brett Slatkin.
“It’s easy to start coding with Python, which is why the language is so popular. However, Python’s unique strengths, charms, and expressiveness can be hard to grasp, and there are hidden pitfalls that can easily trip you up. Effective Python will help you master a truly “Pythonic” approach to programming, harnessing Python’s full power to write exceptionally robust and well-performing code.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCoding for beginners in easy steps / Mike McGrath.
Coding for Beginners in Easy Steps instructs readers how to write code to create their own computer programs. The examples feature the popular Python language and the final chapter demonstrates a comparison example in the C, C++, and Java programming languages to give the reader a rounded view of computer coding. The steps within the book is colour-coded to match the default colour-coding of the Python IDLE editor, making it easier for beginners to grasp.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeginning JavaScript / Jeremy McPeak, Paul Wilton.
“The bestselling JavaScript guide, updated with current features and best practices Beginning JavaScript 5th Edition shows you how to work effectively with JavaScript frameworks, functions, and modern browsers, and teaches more effective coding practices using HTML5. To learn JavaScript the way it’s used today, Beginning JavaScript, 5th Edition is your concise guide.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Understanding & forgiveness – New Self-help books in August

This month’s titles help us explore, recognise and understand our feelings and those of others, for a more harmonious and fulfilled life.  Parents learn to focus on their children’s strength and nurture their emotional health and confidence for a happier childhood and ultimately adulthood.

Syndetics book coverIf you feel too much : thoughts on things found and lost and hoped for
“In 2006 Jamie Tworkowski wrote a story called “To Write Love on Her Arms” about helping a friend through her struggle with drug addiction, depression, and self-injury. The piece was so hauntingly beautiful that it quickly went viral, giving birth to a non-profit organization of the same name. Nine years later, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is an internationally-recognized leader in suicide prevention and a source of hope, encouragement, and resources for people worldwide. If You Feel Too Much is a celebration of hope, wonder, and what it means to be human. From personal stories of struggling on days most people celebrate to offering words of strength and encouragement in moments of loss, the essays in this book invite readers to believe that it’s okay to admit to pain and it’s okay to ask for help.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe tell : the little clues that reveal big truths about who we are
“In The Tell, psychologist Matthew Hertenstein reveals that our intuition is surprisingly good at using small clues to make big predictions, and shows how we can make better decisions by homing in on the right details. Just as expert poker players use their opponents’ tells to see through their bluffs, Hertenstein shows that we can likewise train ourselves to read physical cues to significantly increase our predictive acumen. By looking for certain clues, we can accurately call everything from election results to the likelihood of marital success, IQ scores to sexual orientation. Moreover, by understanding how people read our body language, we can adjust our own behavior so as to ace our next job interview or tip the dating scales in our favor.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat’s your story? : true experiences from complete strangers
“In 2009, Brandon Doman, who has always been curious about the people with whom we share our world, sat at a local coffeehouse and decided to ask passersby a simple question: “What’s your story?” Providing only paper and pens, Doman created an exploratory space that instantly intrigued people to share their stories anonymously. Now, more than 10,000 stories later, the Strangers Project has become a momentous movement, engaging strangers of all ages and backgrounds to reflect, rejoice, heal, and connect through words. Published here for the first time, What’s Your Story? showcases a selection of two hundred stories from the Strangers Project.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnger management for dummies
“Anger is a completely normal, healthy human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems at work, in personal relationships, and in the overall quality of life. Anger Management For Dummies provides trusted and authoritative information on anger management methods, skills, and exercises that will help you or a loved one identify sources of anger and release them healthily. With the tools, tips, and strategies provided in this hands-on guide, you’ll find everything you need to overcome anger and live a happier, more productive life.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverI am smart : a guide to recognizing and developing your child’s natural strengths
A leading educator and psychologist, Dr. Markova noticed in her decades of work that parents tend to focus on correcting their children’s weaknesses. But in this groundbreaking book based on the world-renowned SmartWired program, Dawna demonstrates a more effective strategy that centers on building a child’s strengths. This approach not only helps children discover their passion and purpose in life but also instills in them a strong sense of self-worth — which in turn makes them highly motivated to learn. This book helps recognize and utilize all the ways a child is naturally brilliant.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverRaising happiness : 10 simple steps for more joyful kids and happier parents
“Drawing on what hard science says about the factors that breed happiness in childhood and beyond, here are 10 simple principles for fostering the skills and habits that will set the stage for optimism, emotional health, and confidence for kids. Drawing on what psychology, sociology, and neuroscience have proven about confidence, gratefulness, and optimism, and using her own chaotic and often hilarious real-world adventures as a mom to demonstrate do’s and don’ts in action, Carter covers the day-to-day pressure points of parenting—how best to discipline, get kids to school and activities on time, and get dinner on the table—as well as the more elusive issues of helping children build healthy friendships and develop emotional intelligence.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverMindfulness & the journey of bereavement : restoring hope after a death
“The emotional responses to death are unpredictable and individual, with denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance all natural stages of the grief cycle. Mindfulness & The Journey of Bereavement explores the universal, life-changing journey of grief and offers insight into how we can understand our feelings, nourish our needs, and face the future positively, with hope. Bereavement volunteer Peter Bridgewater shares therapeutic tools into how the practice of mindfulness can develop a conscious awareness of life and death. With frank personal and professional anecdotes, he helps us to navigate the trauma of loss with clarity and wisdom.” (from amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe forgiveness project : stories for a vengeful age
The Forgiveness Project grew out of a conviction that people’s perspectives only shift when they are able to hear the stories of others. In ten years it has become a high impact and influential charity that has wide application and a universal draw on people. Using real stories of victims and perpetrators, the charity sets out to explore concepts of forgiveness and conflict resolution in order to humanise the ‘other’, foster resilient relationships and help to dissolve tension.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverReconnecting with the heart : making sense of our feelings
Reconnecting with the Heart offers a new theoretical and practical approach to understanding and managing feelings. We categorise feelings as either negative or positive, which means that we censor the expression of some while insisting on others. Learning to understand the whole range of emotions helps us learn when and how to communicate them effectively. Feelings are not only mental events, but occur in our bodies as well. Once we stop blaming others, we can learn how to communicate clearly, even in the most difficult situations. Specific suggestions and exercises enable the reader to use this as a workbook for individual and personal exploration.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRethinking narcissism : the bad– and surprising good– about feeling special
“Narcissism, argues Dr. Malkin, is essentially a spectrum of self-importance–and everyone falls somewhere on the scale between utter selflessness and total arrogance. When we casually invoke the term “narcissist,” most of us are referring to the outer edge of the spectrum, which can shade into dangerous psychopathy. But there are also those who live at the lower end of the spectrum–dubbed “echoists”. Dr. Malkin uses vivid stories of people from all walks of life to teach concrete strategies for spotting–and coping with–excessive narcissism. He explains why embracing some degree of narcissism is essential to maintaining a healthy sense of self-worth. The Narcissism Test not only guides readers through the process of measuring their narcissism, but also offers step-by-step advice to prevent unhealthy narcissism and to nurture healthy narcissism.” (adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverOn emotional intelligence.
“In his defining work on emotional intelligence, bestselling author Daniel Goleman found that it is twice as important as other competencies in determining outstanding leadership. If you read nothing else on emotional intelligence, read these 10 articles by experts in the field. We’ve combed through hundreds of articles in the Harvard Business Review archive and selected the most important ones to help you boost your emotional skills–and your professional success.”  (Syndetics summary)

Nooks and crannies – New Travel Picks for August

Look out this month for new instalments of the 111 Places In … That You Must Not Miss series, fill in the blank for hidden gems that would surprise even locals. For more contemplative armchair travel follow two very different trails through past and present in Iain Sinclair’s London Overground and Mallachy Tallack’s Sixty Degrees North.

Syndetics book cover111 places in San Francisco that you must not miss / Floriana Petersen.
“Discover a stairway that transports you from the depths of the ocean to the heights of outer space; take a spin class amidst the grand elegance of a repurposed 1920s movie palace; or slide down a century-old sundial that sits at the center of what was once California’s first racetrack for cars. This is the real San Francisco. Strung together, the 111 experiences gathered here tell the B-side story of the city once romantically known as the Paris of the West.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBulls before breakfast : running with the bulls and celebrating Fiesta de San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain / Peter N. Milligan ; foreword by John Hemingway.
“[...] For millions, running with the bulls remains on their bucket list, and for Hemingway fans it is a lifelong dream. For Peter N. Milligan, it is a way of life [...] Milligan has slowly pried open this trove of secrets over the past twelve years, all while refining the art of getting between the horns of a massive, perfect Spanish killing machine, el toro bravo, and running for his life.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStrolling through Rome : the definitive walking guide to the Eternal City / Mario Erasmo.
“How can one visit the monuments and sites of Rome and not feel overwhelmed? Strolling Through Rome guides visitors, first-time or returning, through the streets, museums, piazze, and parks of the Eternal City. [...] This informative and lively book incorporates the latest archaeological and architectural research and is essential for anyone intending to explore the extraordinary sights and fascinating secrets of one of Europe’s most beguiling cities.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe trivia lover’s guide to even more of the world : geography for the global generation / Gary Fuller.
“Gary Fuller’s entertaining and informative guide uses geographic trivia questions as a springboard to learning about non-trivial aspects of our globe. [...] An inveterate traveler and geographer extraordinaire, Fuller provides extensive background, engaging maps and photos, and thorough explanations for each intriguing trivia question. Challenging today’s global generation to truly get to know their world, his book is a delight to read and an essential antidote to our lack of geographical knowledge.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe family of Richard III / Michael Hicks.
“The Wars of the Roses were quarrels within the Plantagenet family. They were about family trees – the capacity of family relationships both to unite and to divide [...] The house of York, the dynasty of Richard, Duke of York (the future Richard III), won the first war. [...] Many thousands of descendants of Richard, Duke of York, survive, some more interested in their lineage than others, and this book concludes with an analysis of Richard’s DNA and his ‘family’ as it exists today.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover111 places in New York that you must not miss / Jo-Anne Elikann ; edited by Susan Lusk.
“New York City’s history and grand ambitions live in every street, park, and hidden alleyway. This unusual guidebook invites the adventurous and curious to explore a wildly diverse selection of little-known places [...] Unexpected and quirky, most of these destinations are so under-the-radar they will astound even longtime New Yorkers who thought they knew it all.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLondon overground : a day’s walk around the Ginger Line / Iain Sinclair.
“The completion of the full circle of London Overground in December 2012 provides Iain Sinclair with a new path to walk the shifting territory of the capital. [...] Here he encounters traces of writers gone or nearly forgotten, uncovers evidence of careless erasures and incongruous overlappings, follows signs of decay hijacked by official rejuvenation and generally slips between the cracks of the approved and over-capitalized.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSixty degrees north : around the world in search of home / Malachy Tallack.
“The sixtieth parallel marks a kind of borderland. [...] Malachy Tallack explores the places that share this latitude, beginning and ending in Shetland, where he has spent most of his life. The book focuses on the landscapes and natural environments of the parallel, and the way that people have interacted with those landscapes. It explores themes of wildness and community, of isolation and engagement, of exile and memory.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTravel with children : family-friendly travel without the fuss.
“This updated version of Travel With Children offers you the most comprehensive advice for taking your family on the road, and now adds hundreds of destination ideas backed up by great photography and practical itineraries. Assembled by Lonely Planet’s team of travel-savvy parent experts, family travellers can rely on insights and advice on choosing the right trip, healthy travel, travelling with teens and much more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn the kingdom of ice : the grand and terrible polar voyage of the USS Jeannette / Hampton Sides.
“On July 8, 1879, Captain George Washington De Long and his team of thirty-two men set sail from San Francisco on the USS Jeanette. Heading deep into uncharted Arctic waters, they carried the aspirations of a young country burning to be the first nation to reach the North Pole. [...] With thrilling twists and turns, In The Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most brutal place on Earth.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Contemporary Fiction for August

A fabulous selection of new Contemporary Fiction this month, deciding what to read first will be a hard decision with new novels by great writers, such as Louis De Bernieres, Alice Hoffman, Harper Lee, Tom McCarthy and Jane Urquhart.

Syndetics book coverBroken promise / Linwood Barclay.
“After his wife’s death and the collapse of his newspaper, David Harwood has no choice but to uproot his nine-year-old son and move back into his childhood home in Promise Falls, New York. David believes his life is in free fall, and he can’t find a way to stop his descent. Then he comes across a family secret of epic proportions.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe dust that falls from dreams / Louis de Bernières.
“In the brief golden years of the Edwardian era the Rosie McCosh and her three sisters are growing up in an idyllic household in the countryside south of London. With their neighbors, the two Pitt brothers and the three Pendennis boys, they are “the Pals”. But these days of childhood camaraderie and adventure are brought to an abrupt end by the outbreak of World War I, in which some will lose their lives, some their loved ones, some their faith, and all of them their innocence.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI’d walk with my friends if I could find them / Jesse Goolsby.
“Wintric Ellis joins the army as soon as he graduates from high school, saying goodbye to his girlfriend, Kristen, and to the backwoods California town whose borders have always been the limits of his horizon. Deployed in Afghanistan two years into a directionless war, he struggles to find his bearings in a place where allies could at any second turn out to be foes. Two career soldiers, Dax and Torres, take Wintric under their wing. Together, these three men face an impossible choice: risk death or commit a harrowing act of war. The aftershocks of the war echo long after each returns home to a transfigured world, where his own children may fear to touch him and his nightmares still hold sway.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHarrison squared / Daryl Gregory.
“Harrison Harrison, H2 to his mother, is a lonely teenager who’s been terrified of the water ever since he was a toddler in California, when a huge sea creature capsized their boat, and his father vanished. One of the “sensitives” who are attuned to the supernatural world, Harrison and his mother have just moved to the worst possible place for a boy like him: Dunnsmouth, a Lovecraftian town perched on rocks above the Atlantic, where strange things go on by night, monsters lurk under the waves, and creepy teachers run the local high school. On Harrison’s first day at school, his mother, a marine biologist, disappears at sea. Harrison must attempt to solve the mystery of her accident, which puts him in conflict with a strange church, a knife-wielding killer, and the Deep Ones, fish-human hybrids that live in the bay. It will take all his resources-and an unusual host of allies-to defeat the danger and find his mother.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe marriage of opposites / Alice Hoffman.
“Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel’s mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel’s salvation is their maid Adelle’s belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle’s daughter. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeath and Mr Pickwick / Stephen Jarvis.
“Death and Mr. Pickwick is a vast, richly imagined, Dickensian work about the rough-and-tumble world that produced an author who defined an age. Like Charles Dickens did in his immortal novels, Stephen Jarvis has spun a tale full of preposterous characters, shaggy-dog stories, improbable reversals, skullduggery, betrayal, and valor and all brilliantly brought to life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGo set a watchman / Harper Lee.
“Twenty years after the trial of Tom Robinson, Scout returns home to Maycomb to visit her father and struggles with personal and political issues as her small Alabama town adjusts to the turbulent events beginning to transform the United States in the mid-1950s.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSatin Island : a novel / Tom McCarthy.
“Meet U. a talented and uneasy figure currently pimping his skills to an elite consultancy in contemporary London. His employers advise everyone from big businesses to governments, and, to this end, expect their ‘corporate anthropologist’ to help decode and manipulate the world around them all the more so now that a giant, epoch-defining project is in the offing. Instead, U. spends his days procrastinating, meandering through endless buffer-zones of information and becoming obsessed by the images with which the world bombards him on a daily basis: oil spills, African traffic jams, roller-blade processions, zombie parades. Is there, U. wonders, a secret logic holding all these images together, and a codex that, once cracked, will unlock the master-meaning of our age? Might it have something to do with South Pacific Cargo Cults, or the dead parachutists in the news?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe year of the runaways / Sunjeev Sahota.
“Three young men from very different backgrounds come together in a journey from India to England, where they hope to begin something new. They hope to support their families where they can, to build their future, to show their worth, and to escape their past. They have almost no idea what awaits them. In a dilapidated shared house in Sheffield, Tarlochan, a former rickshaw driver, will say nothing about his life in Bihar. Avtar has a secret that binds him to the unpredictable Randeep. Randeep, in turn, has a visa-wife in a flat on the other side of town, whose cupboards are full of her husband’s clothes, in case the immigration men surprise her with a visit. She is Narinder, and her story is the most surprising of them all.” (Adadapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe night stages : a novel / Jane Urquhart.
“A female pilot recalls her affair with a man obsessed with the disappearance of his brother. After a tragic accident leaves Tamara alone on the most westerly tip of Ireland, she begins an affair with a charismatic meteorologist named Niall. It’s the 1950s, and Tamara has settled into civilian life after working as an auxiliary pilot in World War II. At first her romance is filled with passionate secrecy, but when Niall’s younger brother, Kieran, disappears after a bicycle race, Niall, unable to shake the idea that he may be to blame, slowly falls into despondency. Distraught and abandoned after their decade-long relationship, Tamara decides she has no option but to leave.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Law for Lunch – Unsafe relationships: Know the signs to look out for your friends and whānau

Law for Lunch

Come along to Kilbirnie Library this Wednesday to another Law for Lunch talk about raising awareness of domestic violence so that people know that standing up and saying something can save lives.

It is presented by Stephanie Edmonds, It’s Not Ok and Lesley Ashworth-Lawson from Community Law.

Their presentation will be focusing on
- ways to identify threatening behavior
- reporting family violence incidents
- how police and government agencies deal with a family violence situation
- getting support from government

You are welcome to come and hear about prevention of family violence, ask your questions and get expert answers from our legal team.

This seminar will take place this Wednesday, October 26 from 12:30 to 1:30pm, at the Ruth Gotlieb, Kilbirnie Library, 101 kilbirnie Crescent.
All welcome! Refreshments will be served.

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

New Cooking books in August

This selection includes something for everyone.

Syndetics book coverSolo : Inspirational Cooking for One / Linda Tubby ; photography by Ali Allen.
“Linda’s imaginative and inspiring recipes are divided into 5 chapters, Almost Instant, A Little Ahead, Give It Time, Make It An Event and Those Little Extras, making it simple to find the perfect meal for any occasion.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSecrets From My Indian Family Kitchen : contains 120 recipes / Anjali Pathak.
“Inventive, engaging and soulful. Anjali’s adoration of Indian cuisine and proud love for her Indian heritage combined with her cooking, writing and teaching skills, has made this book quite special. Anjali draws upon her family secrets in a beautiful collection of authentic Indian dishes and modern creations that are perfect for all cooks. Delve into heartfelt stories that bring Indian food to life, learn top tips for foolproof results, master classics and learn how a touch of spice can add a contemporary twist.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat Can I Cook Tonight? / editiorial & food director, Pamela Clark.
“Meals for weeknights are challenging as time is short and everyone is busy, but there still needs to be a healthy, tasty meal ready for the family. Home cooks will be inspired with these quick and easy family-friendly meals – perfect for busy weeknights…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCourtyard Kitchen : recipes and growing tips for herbs and potted fruits / Natalie Boog.
“Courtyard Kitchen is prefaced with simple tips and hints on selecting the best herbs for your space and setting up and maintaining them; it includes essential information on seasons, cropping times and basic plant care. Following this are more than 80 simple fresh food recipes with clever flavour-matching ideas based around a specific herb or potted fruit theme-basil, mint, coriander, lemon, parsley, strawberry, thyme, rosemary, chilli. There are risottos, roasts, pizzas, salsas, salads, soups, recipes for pasta, polenta, couscous; there are sorbets, cakes, biscuits and treats – delicious, easy recipes that celebrate the sheer pleasure of home cooking with herbs you’ve grown yourself.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Dumpling Sisters Cookbook : over 100 favourite recipes from a Chinese family kitchen / Amy and Julie Zhang.
“Dedicated to and destined to be adored by every Chinese food lover, this book is full of Chinese-food favourites, impressive sharing dishes and even sweet treats that have been little acknowledged in a western understanding of Chinese food – until now. This is Chinese home cooking at its best.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverV is for Vegan / Kerstin Rodgers aka MsMarmiteLover ; photography by Jan Baldwin.
“A bright and creative vegan cookbook that will change your perception of veganism forever. This is the perfect book for vegans, the vegan-curious and those just looking to cut down on their meat intake.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCurious Barista’s Guide to Coffee / Tristan Stephenson ; with photography by Addie Chinn.
“The definitive guide to the extraordinary world of coffee from growing and roasting to brewing and serving the perfect cup. The ultimate guide to the history, science and community behind coffee…..Coffee offers 25 recipes for coffee-based drinks and baked treats to serve them with. From iced to Irish, espresso martinis to coffee beer, this is an essential anthology for the coffee enthusiast.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMagic Soup : food for health and happiness / Nicole Pisani and Kate Adams.
“There is something about soup that has both the ability to revitalise and to soothe. They are packed with nutrition and offer variety, deliciousness and comfort as well as being a fantastic aid for weight-loss. Soup’s versatility and health benefits are captured in MAGIC SOUP.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGo Clean & Lean with Carie.
“Simplicity around eating clean and wholesome foods that are naturally wheat and gluten free with minimal to no added sugars! This is a resource tool and recipe book rolled into one. It offers a down to earth and easy to understand approach to eating healthy.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Best Homemade Kids’ Snacks on the Planet : more than 200 healthy homemade snacks you and your kids will love / Laura Fuentes, founder of MOMables.com.
If you’re a parent or a caregiver, you know that kids are hungry all the time. And while you want to give them the best, snack time can be a true test. How do you avoid the convenient-but-unhealthy storebought treats and instead provide something that not only tastes good, but is good for them them too? With The Best Homemade Kids’ Snacks on the Planet, you’ll find more than 200+ great ideas for solving the snack conundrum.” (Syndtics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Beetlebung Farm Cookbook : a year of cooking on Martha’s Vineyard / Chris Fischer with Catherine Young ; photographs by Gabriela Herman ; design & letterpress by Emma Young.
“Chris Fischer is a chef, farmer, and writer whose roots on the island run twelve generations deep. His cooking combines practical, rural ingenuity with skill acquired in the world’s leading kitchens. Beetlebung Farm, his grandparents’ five-acre parcel in the town of Chilmark, is both Fischer’s inspiration and the source for the fine raw materials he showcases…..In this beautifully illustrated homage to the family and community that raised him, Fischer weaves seasonal menus through stories of growing up on the island……The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook is a clear and essential record of contemporary New England cuisine.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHog : proper pork recipes from the snout to the squeak / Richard H. Turner.
Hog is a celebration of all things pig from the king of meat himself, Richard H. Turner – from breeds and rearing, to butchering and preparing, with techniques, features and more than 150 recipes for nose to tail eating. The comprehensive range of dishes includes hams, bacon, sausages, charcuterie, pates, confits, roasts, grills, hotpots, ragouts, pies, casseroles, scratchings, crackling, trotters and much more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Geeky Chef Cookbook : unofficial recipes from Doctor Who, Game of thrones, Harry Potter, and more : real-life recipes for your favorite fantasy foods / Cassandra Reeder, the Geeky Chef.
“Geek out with recipes inspired by books, movies, television, and video games! You’ve conquered comic con. You binge watch Star Wars regularly. Now, it’s time to get your geek on in the kitchen! Cassandra Reeder loves to cook, and she’s a bona-fide mega-geek. Comic-lover, avid gamer, and sci-fi and fantasy lover, she started The Geeky Chef in 2008. She creates real-life recipes for all the delicious foods you’ve seen in your favorite sci-fi and fantasy movies, TV shows, and video games.”(Syndetics summary)


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