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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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Interesting new books about Politics

We have to wonder if we are able to learn from history. Wells’ The Rights of Man seems to apply as much today as when it was written 75 years ago.

Syndetics book coverThe rights of man ; or, What are we fighting for? / H.G. Wells.
“H. G. Wells wrote The Rights of Man in 1940, partly in response to the ongoing war with Germany. The fearlessly progressive ideas he set out were instrumental in the creation of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the EU’s European Convention on Human Rights and the UK’s Human Rights Act. When first published, this manifesto was an urgently topical reaction to a global miscarriage of justice. It was intended to stimulate debate and make a clear statement of mankind’s immutable responsibilities to itself. Seventy-five years have passed and once again we face a humanitarian crisis. In the UK our human rights are under threat in ways that they never have been before and overseas peoples are being displaced from their homelands in their millions…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSocial media and everyday politics / Tim Highfield.
“In Social media and everyday politics, Tim Highfield examines political thought as everyday occurrences on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Tumblr, Instagram and more.
He considers the personal and the political, the serious and the silly, and the everyday within the extraordinary as politics arises form seemingly banal and irreverent topics. The analysis features international examples and evolving practices…” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverIslamic exceptionalism : how the struggle over Islam is reshaping the world / Shadi Hamid.
“In Islamic Exceptionalism, Brookings Institution scholar and acclaimed author Shadi Hamid offers a novel and provocative argument on how Islam is, in fact, “exceptional” in how it relates to politics, with profound implications for how we understand the future of the Middle East. …Hamid argues for a new understanding of how Islam and Islamism shape politics by examining different models of reckoning with the problem of religion and state, including the terrifying–and alarmingly successful–example of ISIS… Islamic Exceptionalism is a vital contribution to our understanding of Islam’s past and present, and its outsized role in modern politics.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpooked : how the CIA manipulates the media and hoodwinks Hollywood / Nicholas Schou ; foreword by David Talbot.
“The American people depend on a free press to keep a close and impartial watch on the national security operations that are carried out in our name. While the press remains silent about its corrupting relationship with the intelligence community relationship that dates back to the Cold War, Schou will name names and shine a spotlight on flagrant examples of collusion, when respected reporters have crossed the line and sold out to powerful agencies. The book will also document how the CIA has embedded itself in liberal Hollywood to ensure that its fictional spies get the hero treatment on screen…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAgainst elections : the case for democracy / David van Reybrouck ; translated by Liz Waters.
“Democracy is in bad health. Against Elections offers a new diagnosis and an ancient remedy. Fear-mongering populists, distrust in the establishment, personality contests instead of reasoned debate: these are the results of the latest elections. In fact, as this ingenious book shows, the original purpose of elections was to exclude the people from power by appointing an elite to govern over them. Yet for most of its 3000-year history, democracy did not involve elections at all: members of the public were appointed to positions in government through a combination of volunteering and lottery…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMāori and Parliament : diverse strategies and compromises / edited by Maria Bargh.
Maori and Parliament provides a comprehensive and enlightening context for understanding both the historical and contemporary relationship between Maori and Parliament and highlights many of the issues which would arise in any discussion of New Zealand constitutional reform. There are three events looming which suggest that the status of Maori in Parliament is in for some significant challenges. The first is the impending review of constitutional issues and the Maori seats. Secondly, the proposed referendum on the future of the mixed member proportional system (MMP). Finally, the longer term question of whether New Zealand should become a republic, which would also necessitate lengthy debates about the place of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements in relation to Maori rights and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverListen, liberal, or, What ever happened to the party of the people? / Thomas Frank.
“It is a widespread belief among liberals that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, the country will be on the right course. But this is to fundamentally misunderstand the modern Democratic Party. Drawing on years of research and first-hand reporting, Frank points out that the Democrats have done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal. Indeed, they have scarcely dented the free-market consensus at all. In this critical election year, Frank recalls the Democrats to their historic goals-the only way to reverse the ever-deepening rift between the rich and the poor in America.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow did we get into this mess? : politics, equality, nature / George Monbiot.
How Did We Get into this Mess? assesses the state we are now in: the devastation of the natural world, the crisis of inequality, the corporate takeover of nature, our obsessions with growth and profit and the decline of the political debate over what to do. While Monbiot’s diagnosis of the problems in front of us is clear-sighted and reasonable, he also develops solutions to challenge the politics of fear. How do we stand up to the powerful when they seem to have all the weapons? What can we do to prepare our children for an uncertain future? Controversial, clear but always rigorously argued, How Did We Get into this Mess? makes a persuasive case for change in our everyday lives, our politics and economics, the ways we treat each other and the natural world.” (adapted from Book cover)

Hidden – Recent History Picks for August

Much is about what lays hidden under the surface in this month’s picks. Whether it be the beauty amid the grit, strategy under adversity, violence disguised by calm, or the tensions behind a façade, these reads promise compelling depths of meaning.

Syndetics book coverBad history : how we got the past wrong / Emma Marriott.
“Much of what we know about historical events is based on generally accepted ‘facts’: St Patrick was Irish; Roman gladiators would fight to the death; the Wild West was full of danger. Each entry in this informative book will discuss the case for and against these commonly accepted truths, and corrects what you thought you knew about history.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe fall of heaven : the Pahlavis and the final days of imperial Iran / Andrew Scott Cooper.
“An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran’s glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah’s widow, Empress Farah, Iranian revolutionaries and US officials from the Carter administration. The Fall of Heaven recreates in stunning detail the dramatic and final days of one of the world’s most legendary ruling families, the unseating of which helped set the stage for the current state of the Middle East.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAngela Merkel : Europe’s most influential leader / Matthew Qvortrup.
“With the storytelling gifts of a novelist, Matt Qvortrup gives readers unprecedented, personal insight into Frau Merkel’s upbringing under communism. This is the story–told for the first time in English–of how Merkel and her staff of mostly female advisors repeatedly outsmarted the old boys network of conservative male politicians in Germany, turning her country into a more liberal and more prosperous place.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLucie Aubrac : the French resistance heroine who outwitted the Gestapo / Siân Rees.
“In May 1943, a young Frenchwoman called Lucie Aubrac engineered the escape of her husband, Raymond, from the clutches of Klaus Barbie, the feared Gestapo chief later known as the “Butcher of Lyon.” Spirited out of France with Raymond by the RAF, Lucie arrived in London a heroine. Siân Rees’s penetrating, even-handed account offers a thrilling portrait of a brave, resourceful woman who went to extraordinary lengths for love and country.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAncient worlds : an epic history of east & west / Michale Scott.
“Acclaimed historian and TV presenter Michael Scott guides us through an epic story spanning ten centuries to create a bold new reading of the classical era for our globalised world. Scott challenges our traditionally western-focused perception of the past, connecting Greco-Roman civilisation to the great rulers and empires that swept across Central Asia to India and China resulting in a truly global vision of ancient history.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRio de Janeiro : extreme city / Luiz Eduardo Soares ; translated by Anthony Doyle.
“Luiz Eduardo Soares tells the story of Rio through the everyday lives of its people: gangsters and police, activists, politicians and struggling migrant workers, each with their own version of the city. Taking us on a journey into Rio’s intricate world of favelas, beaches and corridors of power, Soares reveals one of the most extraordinary cities in the world in all its seething, agonistic beauty.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe view from the corner shop : the diary of a wartime shop assistant / Kathleen Hey ; edited by Patricia and Robert Malcolmson.
“Kathleen Hey spent the war years helping her sister run a grocery shop in the Yorkshire town of Dewsbury. From July 1941 to July 1946 she kept a diary for the Mass-Observation project, recording the thoughts and concerns of the people who used the shop. What makes Kathleen’s account such a compelling read is the immediacy of her writing. People were pulling together on the surface, but there are plenty of tensions underneath.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrusade and jihad : origins, history and aftermath / Malcolm Lambert.
“Malcolm Lambert investigates the histories of Christianity and Islam to trace the origins and development of crusade and jihad. In a narrative that brims with larger than life characters – among them, Richard Lionheart, Nur al-Din, Saladin, Baybars and Ghengiz Khan – he describes the fiercely fought struggles to control the sacred places of the Middle East between the seventh and thirteenth centuries.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFor king and another country : Indian soldiers on the Western Front, 1914-18 / Shrabani Basu.
“Over a million Indian soldiers fought in the First World War, the largest force from the colonies and dominions. Their contribution, however, has been largely forgotten. Shrabani Basu delves into archives in Britain and narratives buried in villages in India and Pakistan to recreate the War through the eyes of the Indians who fought it. Above all, it is the great story of how the War changed India and led, ultimately, to the call for independence.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverZero hour : 100 years on : views from the parapet of the Somme / Jolyon Fenwick.
“The first day of the battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916, was the most devastating event of the First World War for the British army. 14 panoramas show the Somme’s major sites as they look today. Zero Hour is simultaneously a celebration of the renewing power of nature, and a powerful and unconventional reminder of the horrors of the past.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Volunteering in the Pacific: Central Library talk 22nd September

VSA talk poster PNGAre you interested in hearing the exciting stories of volunteering overseas? Do you have skills and are willing to make a change to a country in the Pacific? Come along to the VSA talk “Jandals as work boots, sports shoes adn formal attire” at the Central Library on 22nd of September, 2016 at 6:00pm on the ground floor and hear the experiences of former volunteer Max Honey.

Max undertook a Volunteer Service Abroad assignment in 2013 as a youth worker in Santo, Vanuatu. Come and join Max as he talks about the heat, the fun and most of all the people who inspired him to return to New Zealand to become a teacher.

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New DVDs for August

New DVDs for August include: the blockbuster Batman v Superman: dawn of justice a new Coen Brothers comedy set in Hollywood’s Golden Age; a sequel to the 2002 hit My big fat Greek wedding; a new HBO show set in the music scene in 1970s New York; an acclaimed feature documentary on the stories of students who have been sexually assaulted on American university campuses; the latest season of House of Cards and more….

cover imageMahana.
“In the 1960s on the east coast of New Zealand, two Maori sheep-shearing families – the Mahanas and the Poatas – are longstanding enemies and commercial rivals. 14-year-old Simeon Mahana, the youngest son, is in conflict with his traditionalist grandfather, Tamihana. As Simeon unravels the truth behind the longstanding family vendetta, he risks not just his own future prospects, but the cohesion of the entire tight-knit society.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe hunting ground.
The Hunting Ground is a critically acclaimed feature documentary that chronicles the personal stories of students who have been sexually assaulted on American university campuses. Interweaving observational footage, expert insights and first-person testimonies, the film follows survivors pursuing both their education and justice in the face of institutional failure to respond effectively and appropriately to their reports. This confronting expose of sexual assault on American university campuses has sparked a national debate in the United States about rape culture, sexual consent and victim support.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageBatman v Superman : dawn of justice.
“From director Zack Snyder (Man of Steel) comes Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, starring Oscar-winner Ben Affleck (Argo) as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) as Superman/Clark Kent in the characters’ first big-screen pairing. Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before. (Product Description, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageHail, Caesar!
“Four-time Oscar®-winning* filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, True Grit, Fargo) write and direct Hail, Ceasar!, an all-star comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Channing Tatum, Hail, Ceasar! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.” (Description, MightyApe.co.nz)

cover imageMy big fat Greek wedding. 2.
“The Portokalos Family is back as the original cast of the 2002 blockbuster hit reunite in this hilarious sequel. This time, Nia Vardalos (Toula) and John Corbett (Ian) are joined by new cast members, Rita Wilson and John Stamos. After spending most of their time focusing on their troubling teenage daughter, Toula and Ian are facing marital problems while also having to deal with yet another Greek wedding – this time, even bigger and fatter.” (Editorial Reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageThe last panthers.
“A thrilling six-part crime drama series, based on real events. At the beginning of the millennium, major cities across Europe were targeted in a series of daring jewellery robberies carried out by the ‘Pink Panthers’ – a gang famed for their bold daylight raids and movie-style getaways. But after terrorising Europe’s jewellers for a decade, they suddenly disappeared. Now, a heist in the south of France bears all the hallmarks of the Panthers. What starts with diamonds, leads to guns, drugs, high-finance and involves the corridors of power in the EU, the City of London and the murky world of Europe’s criminal underworld, uncovering a new breed of criminal – the ‘Banksters’.” (Adapted from description, MightyApe.co.nz)

cover imageHouse of cards. The complete fourth season.
“Season 4 begins Commander-in-Chief Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) fighting for his political life with principled insurgent Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) threatening to wrest the Democratic Party presidential nomination from him. Yet the biggest menace to his Presidency is posed by someone closer, First Lady Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) who has disappeared since her bombshell announcement at the end of season 3. But it soon becomes apparent that Claire is merely the start of his difficulties as unhappy ghosts of his past re-emerge to haunt him.” (Description, Mightyape.co.nz)

cover imageVinyl. The complete first season.
“The music scene in 1970s New York is still awash in sex and drugs, but rock ‘n’ roll is giving way to an era of punk, disco and hip-hop. Desperately trying to navigate the changing landscape is American Century Records founder and president Richie Finestra, whose passion for music and discovering talent has gone by the wayside. With American Century on the verge of being sold, a life-altering event rekindles Finestra’s pro­fessional fire, but it may leave his personal life in ruins.” (Description, MightyApe.co.nz)

cover imageScandal. The complete fourth season
“After the shocking events surrounding President Grant’s re-election, a newly fragile Olivia has gone off the grid. But her plan to “stand in the sun” with Jake is derailed when Quinn tracks her down with news of Harrison’s death. Once back in D.C., Olivia struggles to reconnect with her embittered “gladiators”. There, she’s finally forced to confront the unspeakable evil her father has wrought. And once she chooses sides against him, there’s no turning back.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageLove, Rosie.
“A heart-warming, modern and romantic comedy-of-errors. Since the age five, Rosie and Alex have been best friends, facing the highs and lows of growing up side by side. A fleeting shared moment, one missed opportunity, and the decisions that follow send their lives in completely different directions. As each navigates the complexities of life, love, and everything in between, they always find their way back to each other, but is it just friendship, or something more?” (Syndetics summary)

Family History Month – Part 3

As Family History month continues so does the list of genealogy resources available at Wellington City Libraries. For this post we feature a handy hint from our Local History Specialist, Gábor, that you can use when using the historic ‘Birth, Death and Marriage’ database in order to get a specific date for the event you are searching for. Also some help in finding passenger lists for ships that came to New Zealand, World War 1 service records and the type of information you can find searching through the NZ Gazette. You can find a display of these genealogical resources from this series of blogs on the second floor of Wellington Central Library.

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PASSENGER LISTS
When did your ancestors arrive in New Zealand? How did they get here? Where did they come from? Passenger lists can help you answer all these questions.
If you already know the name of the ship, or which port they might have arrived at in NZ, or roughly when, you can find many passenger lists on:

Denise and Peter’s
Over 1000 passenger lists, which can be searched by the name of the ship or port of arrival.

New Zealand Bound
Passenger lists arranged by port of arrival. Excellent tips on calculating year of arrival and other details, and many links to other sites containing passenger lists and all sorts of information related to shipping.

If you’re starting from scratch, without any immigration details, you can search by your ancestor’s name to find a passenger list on:
Family Search – Archives NZ Passenger Lists, 1839-1973
Search by the name of your ancestor, or browse the collection by port of arrival, year and ship. There are good tips for searching the lists.

Papers Past
Ships’ arrivals were usually reported in the newspapers, sometimes with a list of the passengers and often with interesting details about the sailing.

WORLD WAR 1 RECORDS ON ARCHWAY
If you had a relative serving in WW1 their military record will give a thorough description their military service – from when they enlisted, through wartime and beyond. Besides valuable information like birthdate and place, and next of kin, you can find out all sorts of interesting details about them, like the colour of their eyes and condition of their teeth!
Personnel files of WW1 servicemen are held at Archives NZ. The files are made up of numerous documents (attestation papers, medical history, casualty forms etc) that have been compiled into one file for each soldier. The files have been digitised and can be searched by name on ARCHWAY

PAPERS PAST
For adding depth and fascinating detail to your family history research, you can’t go past Papers Past.
This website of digitised newspapers from the National Library’s collection of NZ (including Maori) and Pacific newspapers is continuously being extended – both date ranges and titles. You can search for specific people, places, events etc, or browse through papers – what you find will provide insights into the social, economic and political times in which your ancestors lived.
The new version of the website was launched recently and has more than just newspapers. It is divided into 4 sections – Newspapers, Magazines and Journals, Letters and Diaries, and Parliamentary Papers. Searching is easier, with “a cleaner, more modern interface…and search tools have been improved, making it easier to search groups of papers, pick date ranges, and scan results”.

BIRTH, DEATH and MARRIAGE: Obtaining specific dates

After a change in legislation in the mid-2000’s, tighter restrictions on accessing birth, death and marriage (BDM) data were introduced which saw the end of the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) providing annual datasets. These had been published on microfiche up to 1990 (which the central library continues to hold) and as computer files from 1991 onwards. However this change also saw the DIA make “historic” BDM data available and searchable online providing the following conditions are met:

1. The birth occurred more than 100 years ago
2. The marriage occurred more than 80 years ago
3. The death occurred more than 50 years ago OR the deceased was (or would have been had they still been alive today) at least 80 years of age. For example, the registration of someone who passed away in 1995 aged 60 can now be searched for as they would have been over 80 today.

Searches on the BDM website normally produces a year and a reference number of an event which can be used to obtain a full print-out or certificate. However by manipulating the search parameters, you can force the database to produce the actual date (day, month and year) that the event took place. Start by running a search that produces a BDM result of the name of someone you are interested in. Then gradually start to narrow the time-frame being searched for in the “Search from date” and the “Search to date” options. Start by narrowing the year; if the name suddenly disappears you will know the event is outside of the date parameters you have set. When a year is isolated, start to narrow the range of months being searched, again making sure the name you seek continues to result from a search, then do the same for the day within the month. When the “search from” and “search to” dates are exactly the same and the name you are looking for still results when a search is run, you know that you have isolated the exact date of the birth, death or marriage. Try it at BDM - Historical Records online

The NZ GAZETTE

The New Zealand Gazette is a weekly publication of government proclamations and is a massive source of genealogical information. Published since the earliest days of the colony, the gazette holds information about land transfers, bankruptcy notices & business liquidations, military call-up lists, local council information and a huge wealth of other information. One of the most useful areas of the gazette for the family historian are the lists of names (and often addresses) of individuals applying for formal registration within certain occupations. Occupations which required registration include doctors, nurses, teachers, electricians, boilermakers, engine drivers, architects and any number of other roles including positions such as Justices of Peace. One of the issues with the NZ Gazette was that until recently it was very difficult to find any information about an individual without knowing the date a gazette “notice” was published. Today we have access to a searchable database containing all copies of the NZ Gazette from 1841 through to 2014. As the database is a commercial product, it is not available online but rather must be used on a computer set aside for family history purposes at the Central Library. Ask at the reference desk on the 2nd floor for details.

New Science Fiction and Fantasy novels for August

Two alternative history narratives are included in this month’s selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels. One is a debut novel by Nina Allan, who is joined in this selection by four other debut novelists. Another debut novelist is Curtis C. Chen whose novel, a satirical outer space thriller, titled Waypoint Kangaroo comes highly recommended.

Syndetics book coverThe race / Nina Allan.
“In a future scarred by fracking and ecological collapse, Jenna Hoolman’s world is dominated by illegal smartdog racing: greyhounds genetically modified with human DNA. When her young niece goes missing that world implodes. Christy’s life is dominated by fear of her brother, a man she knows capable of monstrous acts and suspects of hiding even darker ones. Desperate to learn the truth she contacts Alex, who has his own demons to fight and Maree, a young woman undertaking a journey that will change her world forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWar factory / Neal Asher.
“The second book in the Transformation series. Thorvald Spear, resurrected from his death over a hundred years earlier, continues to hunt Penny Royal, the rogue AI and dangerous war criminal on the run from Polity forces. Beyond the Graveyard, a lawless and deadly area in deep space, Spear follows the trail of several enemy Prador, the crab-like alien species with a violent history of conflict with humanity. Blite, captain of a bounty hunting ship, hands over two prisoners and valuable memplants from Penny Royal to the Brockle, a dangerous forensics entity under strict confinement on a Polity spaceship that quickly takes a keen interest in the corrupted AI and its unclear motives. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe book of Esther : a novel / Emily Barton.The Book of Esther: A Novel
“Eastern Europe, August 1942. The Khazar kaganate, an isolated nation of Turkic warrior Jews, lies between the Pontus Euxinus (the Black Sea) and the Khazar Sea (the Caspian). It also happens to lie between a belligerent nation to the west that the Khazars call Germania–and a city the rest of the world calls Stalingrad. Only Esther, the daughter of the nation’s chief policy adviser, sees the ominous implications of Germania’s disregard for Jewish lives. Only she realizes that this isn’t just another war but an existential threat. After witnessing the enemy warplanes’ first foray into sovereign Khazar territory, Esther knows she must fight for her country.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTracer / Rob Boffard.
“A huge space station orbits the Earth, holding the last of humanity. It’s broken, rusted, falling apart dirty, overcrowded and inescapable. What’s more, there’s a madman hiding on the station. He’s about to unleash chaos. And when he does, there’ll be nowhere left to run.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWaypoint Kangaroo / Curtis C. Chen.
“Kangaroo isn’t your typical spy. Sure, he has extensive agency training, access to bleeding-edge technology, and a ready supply of clever (to him) quips and retorts. But what sets him apart is “the pocket.” It’s a portal that opens into an empty, seemingly infinite, parallel universe, and Kangaroo is the only person in the world who can use it. But he’s pretty sure the agency only keeps him around to exploit his superpower. After he bungles yet another mission, Kangaroo gets sent away on a mandatory “vacation:” an interplanetary cruise to Mars. While he tries to make the most of his exile, two passengers are found dead, and Kangaroo has to risk blowing his cover. It turns out he isn’t the only spy on the ship-and he’s just starting to unravel a massive conspiracy which threatens the entire Solar System.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAdmiral / Sean Danker.Admiral
“He is the last to wake. The label on his sleeper pad identifies him as an admiral of the Evagardian Empir, a surprise as much to him as to the three recent recruits now under his command. He wears no uniform, and he is ignorant of military protocol, but the ship’s records confirm he is their superior officer. Whether he is an Evagardian admiral or a spy will be of little consequence if the crew members all end up dead. They are marooned on a strange world, their ship’s systems are failing one by one, and they are not alone.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe seascape tattoo / Larry Niven and Steven Barnes.
“Aros of Azteca and Neoloth-Pteor are the deadliest of enemies: Swordsman and Sorcerer, locked in mortal combat, who have tried to kill each other more times than either can count. But when the princess Neoloth loves is kidnapped, there is only one plan that offers any hope of rescueand that requires passing off the barbarian Aros as a lost princeling and infiltrating the deadliest cabal of necromancers the world has ever seen. They cannot trust each other. They will betray or kill each other the first chance they get. But they’re all each other has.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverToo like the lightning / by Ada Palmer.
“Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away. The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech. What seem to us normal gender distinctions are now distinctly taboo in most social situations. And most of the world’s population is affiliated with globe-girdling clans of the like-minded, whose endless economic and cultural completion is carefully managed by central planners of inestimable subtlety. And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destabilize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe raft / Fred Strydom.
“The day every person on earth lost his and her memory was not a day at all. In people’s minds there was no actual event and thus it could be followed by no period of shock or mourning. There could be no catharsis. Everyone was simply reset to zero.” On Day Zero, the collapse of civilization was as instantaneous as it was inevitable. A mysterious and oppressive movement rose to power in the aftermath, forcing people into isolated communes run like regimes. Kayle Jenner finds himself trapped on a remote beach, and all that remains of his life before is the vague and haunting vision of his son. Kayle finally escapes, only to find a broken world being put back together in strange ways. In his relentless search for his son, Kayle will discover more than just his lost past, he will discover the truth behind Day Zero, a truth that makes both fools and gods of men.’ (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAge of myth / Michael J. Sullivan.
“This is the first in a proposed five book series five-book series. Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Recent interesting new non-fiction books

Featuring the much anticipated How did we get into this mess? by George Monbiot.

Syndetics book coverThe switch / Chris Goodall.
“How will the world be powered in ten years’ time? Not by fossil fuels. Energy experts are all saying the same thing: solar photovoltaics (PV) is our future. …Solar panels are being made that will last longer than ever hoped; investors are seeing the benefits of the long-term rewards provided by investing in solar; in the Middle East, a contractor can now offer solar-powered electricity far cheaper than that of a coal-fired power station… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow did we get into this mess? : politics, equality, nature / George Monbiot.
“George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent, critics of the current consensus. How Did We Get into this Mess?, based on his powerful journalism, assesses the state we are now in: the devastation of the natural world, the crisis of inequality, the corporate takeover of nature, our obsessions with growth and profit and the decline of the political debate over what to do. …How do we stand up to the powerful when they seem to have all the weapons? What can we do to prepare our children for an uncertain future?.. (adapted from Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe fire this time : a new generation speaks about race / edited by Jesmyn Ward.
“National Book Award-winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time. …Jesmyn Ward knows that Baldwin’s words ring as true as ever today. In response, she has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe joy of tax : how a fair tax system can create a better society / Richard Murphy.
“…Whilst we may not like tax very much, in contrast it is clear that we really do like the public services which governments provide. So much so, in fact, that for most of the last 300 years, people have been more than happy for governments to run deficits by spending more than they raise in taxation. 2008 apparently changed all that. The issues of debt, deficits, cuts and austerity have dominated the political agenda ever since…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLes Parisiennes : how the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation in the 1940′s / Anne Sebba.
“New York Times bestselling author Anne Sebba explores a devastating period in Paris’s history and tells the stories of how women survived–or didn’t–during the Nazi occupation. Paris in the 1940s was a place of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation, and secrets. When the Nazis and the puppet Vichy regime began rounding up Jews to ship east to concentration camps, the full horror of the war was brought home and the choice between collaboration and resistance became unavoidable.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe new odyssey : the story of Europe’s refugee crisis / Patrick Kingsley.
“…Throughout 2015, Kingsley travelled to 17 countries along the migrant trail, meeting hundreds of refugees making epic odysseys across deserts, seas and mountains to reach the holy grail of Europe. This is Kingsley’s unparalleled account of who these voyagers are. It’s about why they keep coming, and how they do it. It’s about the smugglers who help them on their way, and the coastguards who rescue them at the other end. The volunteers that feed them, the hoteliers that house them, and the border guards trying to keep them out. And the politicians looking the other way…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWe’re all going to die / Dr. Leah Kaminsky.
“The one certainty about life is that everybody is going to die. Yet somehow as a society we have come to deny this central fact we ignore it, hoping it will go away. Ours is an aging society, where we are all living longer, healthier lives, yet we find ourselves less and less prepared for our inevitable end… As Leah says in this uplifting book, ‘If we truly open ourselves up to the experiences of those directly confronted with their own mortality, maybe we will overcome our own tunnel vision and decide to live our lives more fully.’–Backcover.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTribe : on homecoming and belonging / Sebastian Junger.
“From the author of The Perfect Storm and War comes a book about why men miss war, why Londoners missed the Blitz, and what we can all learn from American Indian captives who refused to go home. Tribe is a look at post-traumatic stress disorder and the challenges veterans face returning to society. …Sebastian Junger argues that the problem lies not with vets or with the trauma they’ve suffered, but with the society to which they are trying to return… It is one of the ironies of the modern age that as affluence rises in a society, so do rates of suicide, depression and of course PTSD… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe 100-year life / Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott.
“Does the thought of working for 60 or 70 years fill you with dread? Or can you see the potential for a more stimulating future as a result of having so much extra time? Many of us have been raised on the traditional notion of a three-stage approach to our working lives: education, followed by work and then retirement.But this well-established pathway is already beginning to collapse – life expectancy is rising, final-salary pensions are vanishing, and increasing numbers of people are juggling multiple careers…” (Book jacket)

New Graphic Novels for August

Another great selection of recently received Graphic Novels, from award winning to heart wrenching, there is something for every fan of this collection. Highly recommend is Beverly by Nick Drnaso. Do not be deceived by the subtle art work, in this work every frame depicts modern American life, not necessarily at its best.

Syndetics book coverPablo / by Julie Birmant & Clément Oubrerie ; translated by Edward Gauvin.
“This award-winning graphic biography of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) captures the prolific and eventful life of one of the world’s best-loved artists. Pablo explores Picasso’s early life among the bohemians of Montmartre, his turbulent relationship with artist/model Fernande Olivier, and how his art developed through friendships with poets Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire, the painter Georges Braque, and his great rival Henri Matisse. Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie depict a career that began in poverty and reached its climax with the advent of cubism and modern art.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover365 days / by Julie Doucet.
“A year in the life of a world-renowned artist. This visual journal, starting in late 2002, is an idiosyncratic collision of her various creative interests, wherein personal narrative, collage, and drawing begin to tell the story of her pursuits into printmaking and beyond, chronicling her maturation as a mid-career artist and her fluid extension into a broader arts community.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeverly / by Nick Drnaso.
“A darkly funny portrait of middle America seen through the stunted, numb minds of its children. Connected by a series of gossipy teens, the modern lost souls of Beverly struggle with sexual anxieties that are just barely repressed and social insecurities that undermine every word they speak. A group of teenagers pick up trash on the side of the highway, flirting, preening, and ignoring a potentially violent loner in their midst. A young woman experiences a traumatic incident at the pizza shop where she works and the fallout reveals the racial tensions simmering below the surface. Precisely and hauntingly recounted, each chapter of Beverly reveals something new and yet familiar, about the world in which we live.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRosalie Lightning : a graphic memoir / by Tom Hart and Rosalie Lightning and Leela Corman and the residents of New York City, Gainesville, Florida, New Mexico, and Hawaii, as well as various singer-songwriters, film directors, actors, animators, comic artists, donors, lovers and friends.
“Cartoonist Tom Hart’s New York Times bestselling is a touching and beautiful graphic memoir about the untimely death of his young daughter, Rosalie. His heart-breaking and emotional illustrations strike readers to the core, and take them along his family’s journey through loss. Hart creatively portrays the solace he discovers in nature, philosophy, great works of literature, and art across all mediums in this expressively honest and loving tribute to his daughter.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKill your boyfriend / Vinamarama : the deluxe edition / written by Grant Morrison ; art by Philip Bond with D’Israeli.
“Originally published in 1995, Kill Your Boyfriend is an over-the-top black comedy of rebellion and teen romance topped with a heady mix of random violence and dark humor. In the complete miniseries Vinamarama #1-3, Ali and his witty, vivacious arranged bride, Sofia, are forced to delay their new life together in order to stop a stream of ancient Indian demons that have crawled from the bowels of Earth to use Britain as a battleground.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMidnighter. Volume 1, Out / written by Steve Orlando ; art by ACO, Stephen Mooney, Alec Morgan, Hugo Petrus.
“Between the supercomputer wired into his brain and the enhancements saturating his body, the living weapon known as Midnighter doesn’t face a lot of real challenges to his uncanny combat skills. But someone has managed to do the impossible: break into the God Garden, defeat Midnighter’s creator, the Gardener, and make off with every piece of exotically lethal tech that she had locked away for safekeeping. Now, insanely dangerous weapons are beginning to pop up all over the globe, wreaking havoc on society and complicating Midnighter’s professional and personal life. As the outbreaks pile up, tracking them back to the original thief becomes an overriding imperative– especially since weapons weren’t the only things stolen from the Gardener’s vault.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWas she pretty? / Leanne Shapton
“A dreamy exploration of relationships and jealousy, pithy and deadpan, this is no self-help book. What’s left when a relationship ends? Where does jealousy come from? Delicately and sensitively, Was She Pretty? brings the reader deep into a circle of phantoms: its intimate liaisons, embarrassing secrets, and sardonic anecdotes, a testimonial to the power of observation and misapprehension.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSecret Six. Volume 1, Friends in low places / written by Gail Simone ; art by Ken Lashley, Dale Eaglesham, Tom Derenick, Drew Geraci.
“Six strangers are brought together under mysterious circumstances for an explosive first issue that will leave everyone asking, “What is the Secret?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInsufferable. Volume 1 / writers, storytellers, artists, Mark Waid, Peter Krause, Nolan Woodard.
“What happens when your crime-fighting sidekick grows up to be an arrogant, ungrateful thug who makes Kanye look humble? Worse, what on Earth could force the two of you together for one last case? Nocturnus and his former protege, Galahad, will find out-if they don’t kill one another first.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStarve. Vol. 1 / created by Brian Wood, Danijel Zezelj and Dave Stewart.
“Once the world’s most famous chef, Gavin Cruikshank’s been in a self-imposed exile for years. His little foodie television program has since evolved into Starve, an arena sport that pits chef against chef for the pleasure of their super-rich patrons. It’s a stain on a once-noble profession, and Chef Gavin is ready to go to war to stop it. Two things stand in his way: his arch rival Roman Algiers, and his adult daughter Angie, who probably just wants her dad back and acting normal.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Vinyl collection launch party!

They say a good wine matures with age and the same could be said for a good record. Analogue is back and our new vinyl collection will be launched via a party on the afternoon of Saturday the 24th of September between 12:00 and 4:00pm. You can expect copious giveaways, informative and entertaining talks and non-stop music!

Here’s how it will happen:

12 – 1pm – Turn up and listen to the music as our DJs play their favourite tracks, or select a song you want played from our new collection. Be in with a chance to win dozens of free album download codes.

1 – 2.30pm – Vinyl panel discussion with journalist and musician Nick Bollinger, DJ and Death Ray records’ Pinky Tuscadero, and musician and vinyl devotee Liz Matthews of Hex. More panelists to be confirmed…

2.30 – 4.00pm – More music from our DJ’s, prizes, and chances to suggest your favourite music from our collection. Be the first to take home vinyl from the collection in our ‘new’ cardboard satchels.

See you there!

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…

Garbage – Strange little birds
Dinosaur Jr – Give a glimpse of what yer not
Van Morrison – …It’s too late to stop now… : volumes II, III, IV & DVD

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