New popular non-fiction

Our recent pick for popular new books this month is as diverse as having books on detective work, the ISIS attack on Charlie Hebdo, an analysis on the use of bad words in the English language, the detrimental side of beauty and, of course, the hot topic of climate change and how to try and slow it down.

The adventures of Maud West, lady detective : secrets and lies in the golden age of crime / Stapleton, Susannah
“Maud West ran her detective agency in London for more than thirty years, having starting sleuthing on behalf of society’s finest in 1905. Her exploits grabbed headlines throughout the world but, beneath the public persona, she was forced to hide vital aspects of her own identity in order to thrive in a class-obsessed and male-dominated world. And – as Susannah Stapleton reveals – she was a most unreliable witness to her own life. Interweaving tales from Maud West’s own ‘casebook’ with social history and extensive original research, Stapleton investigates the stories Maud West told about herself in a quest to uncover the truth.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Disturbance / Lançon, Philippe
“Paris, January 7, 2015. Two terrorists who claim allegiance to ISIS attack the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. The event causes untold pain to the victims and their families, prompts a global solidarity movement, and ignites a fierce debate over press freedoms and the role of satire today. Philippe Lançon, a journalist, author, and a weekly contributor to Charlie Hebdo is gravely wounded in the attack. This intense life experience upends his relationship to the world, to writing, to reading, to love and to friendship. Disturbance is a book about survival, resilience, and reconstruction, about transformation, about one man’s shifting relationship to time, to writing and journalism, to truth, and to his own body.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Bad words and what they tell us / Gooden, Philip
“Philip Gooden shows how and why taboo words and contentious expressions, including those four-letter ones, were first used in English. He discusses the ways such words have changed over the years and explores how a single syllable or two may possess an almost magical power to offend, distress or infuriate. Bad Words investigates the most controversial and provocative words in the English language in a way that is both anecdotal and analytical.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Beauty / Lee, Bri
“In recent decades women have made momentous progress fighting the patriarchy, yet they are held to ever-stricter, more punishing physical standards. Self-worth still plummets and eating disorders are more deadly for how easily they are dismissed. In Beauty Bri Lee explores our obsession with thinness and asks how an intrinsically unattainable standard of physical ‘perfection’ has become so crucial to so many. What happens if you try to reach that impossible goal? Bri did try, and Beauty is what she learned from that battle: a gripping and intelligent rejection of an ideal that diminishes us all.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Cows on ice & owls in the bog : the weird and wonderful world of Scandinavian sayings / Montnémery, Katarina
“Scandinavians are cooler, sexier, and more stylish than the rest of us. They have a higher standard of living, greater economic opportunity and equality, the world’s best restaurants, and moody TV dramas involving murders and sweaters. But did you know, amidst the obsession with hygge, IKEA, and lagom, that Scandinavian sayings are absolutely BIZARRE? Take the Swedish ‘Skita i det bl a sk pet’, which roughly translates as ‘You’ve done a poop in the blue locker’.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Good economics for hard times : better answers to our biggest problems / Banerjee, Abhijit V.
“Figuring out how to deal with today’s critical economic problems is perhaps the great challenge of our time. Immigration and inequality, globalization and technological disruption, slowing growth and accelerating climate change–these are sources of great anxiety across the world. The resources to address these challenges are there–what we lack are ideas that will help us jump the wall of disagreement and distrust that divides us. If we succeed, history will remember our era with gratitude; if we fail, the potential losses are incalculable.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Ghostland : in search of a haunted country / Parnell, Edward
“In his late thirties, Edward Parnell found himself trapped in the recurring nightmare of a family tragedy. For comfort, he turned to his bookshelves, back to the ghost stories that obsessed him as a boy, and to the writers through the ages who have attempted to confront what comes after death. Ghostland is Parnell’s moving exploration of what has haunted our writers and artists – and what is haunting him. It is a unique and elegiac meditation on grief, memory and longing, and of the redemptive power of stories and nature.” (adapted from Catalogue)

After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair, And Restoration [hardback] / Buck, Holly Jean
“As the human species hurtles ever faster towards its own extinction geoengineering as a temporary fix to buy time for carbon removal, is a seductive idea. Can these technologies and practices be used as technologies of repair, to bring carbon levels back down to pre-industrial levels? Rejecting the idea that geoengineering is some kind of easy work-around, Holly Buck outlines the kind of social transformation that would be necessary to enact a programme of geoengineering in the first place.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Is there still sex in the city? / Bushnell, Candace
“The New York Times-bestselling author of Sex and the City takes a wry look at sex, dating, and friendship after age 50, with a smart, lively satirical story of marriage and children, divorce and bereavement, and the very real pressures on women to maintain their youth and have it all.” (Catalogue)

Losing Earth : a recent history / Rich, Nathaniel
“The most urgent story of our times, brilliantly reframed, beautifully told: how we had the chance to stop climate change, and failed. By 1979, we knew all that we know now about the science of climate change–what was happening, why it was happening, and how to stop it. Over the next ten years, we had the very real opportunity to stop it. Obviously, we failed. It is not just an agonizing revelation of historical missed opportunities, but a clear-eyed and eloquent assessment of how we got to now, and what we can and must do before it’s truly too late.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Inspiring Craft projects for the New Year. Happy Crafting!

Find a variety of craft books, with wonderful ideas and reconsideration of craft, accompanied with step-by-step handy tips, how to make these fabulous creations. Have fun!

The art of pressed flowers and leaves / Ashmore, Jennie
“A ground-breaking book on the art of pressed flowers and leaf works from leading flower artist, Jennie Ashmore. She covers everything from the choice of flowers to the various methods of pressing them, to designing with the finished pressed flowers and leaves. Templates will help you get started, and a plant directory at the back of the book shows you what various plants look like when pressed.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Seasonal Scandi crafts : over 45 projects and quick ideas for beautiful decorations & gifts / Myers, Christiane Bellstedt
Create 45 simple projects with a Scandinavian flavour, including home decorations, garlands and beautiful gifts. Try out some simple embroidery on the lavender pillows, which would make great gifts. So why not get the family involved and make each season really special by making decorations together? You can then relive those happy memories each year as you decorate your home.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Knitting Stashbusters : 25 Great Ways to Use Up Your Yarn Leftovers of One Ball or Less / Goble, Fiona
“For knitters who want to know how to make use of their stash and avoid waste, this collection of 25 patterns has the answer. You can make a cute garland of hearts to brighten up a room, or knit a penguin toy for a new baby. Perhaps you’d like to make all sorts of cozies, or knit storage pots and a pencil case. Or you could choose to make a cute cottage doorstop using colors that match your own house.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Quick crafts for parents who think they hate craft / Scott-Child, Emma
“Skeleton Mask, Pompon Monsters, Paper Bag Stars, Woven Paper Chessboard, and more. Quick Crafts for Parents Who Think They Hate Craft is packed with 40 projects free from crazy origami to lose your cool over and glue to clean out of everyone’s hair. Get creative with your children even if you’re short on time (or patience). Split into four sections: play with it, wear it, spruce it up and useful things, all of the crafts have been created to ensure that play can continue once the crafting is over. Crafting doesn’t have to leave you cranky and the floor sticky” (adapted from Catalogue)

Knit shawls & wraps in 1 week : 30 quick patterns to keep you cozy in style / Greene, Marie
“It’s all about the layers in Marie Greene’s new collection of 30 stylish, versatile shawls, wraps and cowls. Easy to memorize and portable, these patterns range from voluminous wraps to cute cowls, making it easy to enjoy the satisfaction of a finished project or last-minute gift, even when your knitting time is limited. Whether you’re looking for a light spring layer, a summer statement piece or a thick toasty shawl, you’ll find a wide array of colors, shapes and yarn weights to complement your style, no matter the weather.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Beginner’s guide to colourwork knitting : 16 projects and techniques to learn to knit with colour / Austin, Ella
“If you long to knit stunning fair isle jumpers and brightly colored blankets for your home this is the perfect book. Learn all the techniques for how to start knitting with color and create really desirable projects as you learn. Choose from brightly colored stripy socks and work your way up to a patterned beanie hat and even a stunning sweater with a colorwork yoke. Even if you can only knit and purl–with this book you’ll be making gorgeous colorwork accessories before you know it” (Catalogue)

Embroidery now / Riggs, Jennifer Cardenas
“A beautiful guide to 30 modern hand embroidery projects for your home and wardrobe. Embroidery Now is a stylish hand-embroidery guide for the modern maker. You’ll learn about the materials included in the practice, nine different stitch techniques with illustrated step-by-step instructions, and 30 individual projects designed for you to use in your home and wardrobe. Packed with tips and tricks and a lot of inspiration, Embroidery Now shows that anything can be embroidered and gives you the confidence to continue to embellish your world through embroidery.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Craftfulness : mend yourself by making things / Davidson, Rosemary
“Integrating mindfulness, neuroscience, positive psychology, and creativity research, Craftfulness offers a thought-provoking and surprising reconsideration of craft, and how making things with your hands can connect us to our deepest selves and improve our well-being and overall happiness. Whether you knit, crochet, sculpt, weave, quilt, tat, draw, or bind books–working toward small, attainable goals gives us a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and control that is proven to positively impact our mental health and happiness, creating a safe space for failure, and ultimately, how to make peace with imperfection.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The secret lives of designers: new books

Ever wanted to design your own home? Be a fashion director, or a product engineer? Welcome to our latest design booklist, where designers of all industries reveal their successes and share some of their most impressive projects. Along the way, learn some of the hidden stories and elements to the gadgets, structures, and even fonts that we use in our daily lives.

Australian designers at home / Rose-Innes, Jenny
Australian Designers at Home invites readers into the homes of 20 of the country’s leading names in interior design. With unfettered access to their most private retreats, we see where the best of the industry express their true, unfiltered selves. Find out what home means from the people who create them for a living.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Creative pep talk : inspiration from 50 artists / Miller, Andy J
“Every artist needs a little pep talk now and then. An inspiring tool and beautiful art book in one, Creative Pep Talk offers illustrated words of wisdom from 50 of today’s leading creative professionals. With full-color, typographic prints and explanatory statements from a host of creative luminaries–including Aaron James Draplin, Oliver Jeffers, Lisa Congdon, Mike Perry, and many others–this volume encourages artists to stay excited, experiment boldly, and conquer fear.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Defined by Design, Kathryn H. Anthony (ebook)
“This wide-ranging overview of design in everyday life demonstrates how design shapes our lives in ways most of us would never imagine. The author uncovers the gender, age, and body biases inherent in the designs of common products and living spaces that we all routinely use. This fascinating book—full of aha moments—will teach readers to recognize the hidden biases in certain products and places and to work for more intelligent and healthy design in all areas of life.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

The future of design : global product innovation for a complex world / Justice, Lorraine
“Design expert Lorraine Justice fully explores the factors that will determine your success and provides a unique framework for navigating the industry into the future. The Future of Design is practical, concise and includes guidelines for building and supporting creative teams, advice and strategies for evaluating product concepts, and interviews with product designers, inventors, and innovators from around the world.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Point of view : four decades of defining style / Goodman, Tonne
“Throughout her illustrious career, Tonne Goodman has made the famous stylish and the stylish famous. The Vogue fashion director has not only shaped the way women dress and see themselves, but she has also created a nexus in which the worlds of celebrity and style continually collide. Now, in Point of View, Goodman’s life and career are explored for the first time.” (Catalogue)

Built : the hidden stories behind our structures / Agrawal, Roma
“In Built, structural engineer Roma Agrawal takes a unique look at how construction has evolved from the mud huts of our ancestors to skyscrapers of steel that reach hundreds of metres into the sky. With colourful stories of her life-long fascination with buildings – and her own hand-drawn illustrations – Roma reveals the extraordinary secret lives of structures.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

ABC of typography / Rault, David
The ABC of Typography traces 3,500 years of type from Sumerian pictographs through Roman calligraphy to Gutenberg, the Bauhaus, and beyond. Brimming with insight and anecdote, this witty and well-informed graphic guide explores the historical, technological, and cultural shifts that have defined the look of the words we read.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Architects at home
“This stunning book takes you on a thrilling tour through the fascinating, eclectic and stylish abodes of some of the world’s best-known architects. Not only do these pages offer a rare glimpse into each architect’s personal, private environment, but each uniquely designed project provides insight into how each architect marries trends with their own personal philosophy, and how they inject interior design flair into their own contemporary domain.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Atlas of mid-century modern houses / Bradbury, Dominic
“A fascinating collection of more than 400 of the world’s most glamorous homes from more than 290 architects, the Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses showcases work by such icons as Marcel Breuer, Richard Neutra, Alvar Aalto, and Oscar Niemeyer alongside extraordinary but virtually unknown houses in Australia, Africa, and Asia.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Mana Wahine readers: two unique volumes

These two readers have developed from many requests to Leonie Pihama and LindaTuhiwai Smith “to provide references or support in the area of Mana Wahine, both as theory and as lived ways of being.”

The two online readers have been produced by Te Kotahi Research Institute; supported by Ngā Pae o TeMāramatanga.

The scope of the two volumes are writings between 1987-2019, and the beautiful covers which were gifted by Robyn Kahukiwi represent ngā wāhine atua: Mahuika and Hineteiwaiwa.


Robyn Kahukiwa and Patricia Grace published the beautiful book He Wāhine Toa – and these two online readers bring other aspects to the power of women.

Please visit https://leoniepihama.wordpress.com/2020/01/07/mana-wahine-readers/ for the full description of the two volumes and thence to the digitised contents.

Sustainability and the environment

Our sustainability books this month are amazing and they ranging from a great variety. In Off the Grid check houses that are self-sustaining; Inconspicuous consumption : the environmental impact you don’t know you have helps the reader to make better decisions for the future of the world; you can also learn how to take better care of bees in Protecting pollinators : how to save the creatures that feed our world; and many other picks on climate change. Enjoy!

Print books


Off the grid : houses for escape / Bradbury, Dominic
“Surveying some of the world’s most innovative off-grid homes, Off the Grid reveals the creative architecture and cutting-edge technologies that are redefining where and how we live–enabling us to escape to some of the most extraordinary and secluded natural environments on the planet. Dominic Bradbury tells the story of how innovative architects have made everyday living in the most wild and remote locations of the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia not only feasible, as all of the homes featured are largely self-sustaining in terms of energy, water, and in some cases food, but also a rewarding and tempting reality.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Inconspicuous consumption : the environmental impact you don’t know you have / Schlossberg, Tatiana
“Cataloging the complexities and frustrations of our carbon-intensive society with a dry sense of humor, Schlossberg makes the climate crisis and its solutions interesting and relevant to everyone who cares, even a little, about the planet. She empowers readers to think about their stuff and the environment in a new way, helping them make more informed choices when it comes to the future of our world. Most importantly, this is a book about the power we have as voters and consumers to make sure that the fight against climate change includes all of us and all of our stuff, not just industry groups and politicians.” (adapted from Catalogue)

More from less : the surprising story of how we learned to prosper using fewer resources–and what happens next / McAfee, Andrew
“In More from Less, McAfee argues that to solve our ecological problems we don’t need to make radical changes. America–a large, high-tech country that accounts for about 25% of the global economy–is now generally using less of most resources year after year, even as its economy and population continue to grow. What has made this turnabout possible? One thing, primarily: the collaboration between technology and capitalism, although good governance and public awareness have also been critical. McAfee does warn of issues that haven’t been solved, like global warming, overfishing, and communities left behind as capitalism and tech progress race forward.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Money : myths, truths and alternatives / Mellor, Mary
“In this highly topical book, Mary Mellor, an expert on money, examines money’s social, political and commercial histories to debunk longstanding myths such as money being in short supply and needing to come from somewhere. Arguing that money’s immense social value means that its creation and circulation should be a matter of democratic choice, Mellor advocates for a system that is driven more heavily by concerns for the environment and gender equality, musing that perhaps one day, money could become the root of all good.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Protecting pollinators : how to save the creatures that feed our world / Helmer, Jodi
“We should thank a pollinator at every meal. These diminutive creatures fertilize a third of the crops we eat. Yet half of the 200,000 species of pollinators are threatened. Protecting Pollinators breaks down the latest science on environmental threats and takes readers inside the most promising conservation efforts. Along with inspiring stories of revival and lessons from failed projects, readers will find practical tips to get involved. And they will be reminded of the magic of pollinators–the iconic monarchs, dainty hummingbirds, and homely bats alike who bring food to our tables.” (adapted from Catalogue)

eBooks

What we’re fighting for now is each other : dispatches from the front lines of climate justice / Stephenson, Wen
“In What We’re Fighting for Now Is Each Other, Stephenson tells his own story and offers an up-close, on-the-ground look at some of the remarkable and courageous people–those he calls “new American radicals”–Who have laid everything on the line to build and inspire this fast-growing movement. He argues that the movement is less like environmentalism as we know it and more like the great human-rights and social-justice struggles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from abolitionism to civil rights.–From publisher description.” (adapted from Catalogue)

This is not a drill : the Extinction Rebellion handbook
“It’s time. This is our last chance to do anything about the global climate and ecological emergency. Our last chance to save the world as we know it. Extinction Rebellion is a global activist movement of ordinary people, demanding action from Governments. This is a book of truth and action. It has facts to arm you, stories to empower you, pages to fill in and pages to rip out, alongside instructions on how to rebel – from organising a roadblock to facing arrest. By the time you finish this book you will have become an Extinction Rebellion activist. Act now before it’s too late.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Treading lightly : the hidden wisdom of the world’s oldest people / Sveiby, Karl-Erik
“Australian Aboriginals taught themselves thousands of years ago how to build a sustainable society in our fragile landscape. In a unique collaboration, a Swedish knowledge management professor finds out from an Aboriginal cultural custodian how they did it, and what we can learn from them.” (Catalogue)

A family guide to waste-free living : simple ways to eliminate waste in the home, at work & out in the world / Carter, Lauren
“This is a practical and inspiring resource for anyone wanting to live more sustainably. Inside you’ll find: Simple activities for the whole family ; Instructions on building waste-free kits for around the house and out and about; A plan for creating change by advocating to government and business; Tackle our ever-growing waste problem with all the information, advice, budget-friendly recipes and projects you’ll need to start reducing waste in your life. This is a specially formatted fixed layout ebook that retains the look and feel of the print book.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Escapes and Empires – History Recent Picks

This month’s picks feature Nazis in just under half of the selections, which seems slightly out of proportion but you know what you’re getting with this column by now. Wealthy heiress Gertrude Legendre escapes from them in A Guest of the Reich, following in the footsteps of Françoise Frenkel who did the same thing a few years earlier in A Bookshop in Berlin. Against this backdrop, Rafael Medoff looks into the policies of the United States regarding refugees during this time in The Jews Should Keep Quiet and the impact that had on the situation in Europe. Elsewhere, Robert W. Harms’s Land of Tears looks at the end of the 19th century in Africa as foreign powers and traders descended on the region.

All the president’s women : Donald Trump and the making of a predator / Levine, Barry
“Based on groundbreaking original reporting, an extensive new look at Donald Trump’s relationships with women, revealing new accusations of sexual misconduct, exploring the roots of his alleged predatory behaviour, and illustrating how Trump’s presidency has helped catalyse the #MeToo movement and revitalise women’s activism.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Land of tears : the exploration and exploitation of equatorial Africa / Harms, Robert W.
“In just three decades at the end of the nineteenth century, the heart of Africa was utterly transformed. Virtually closed to outsiders for centuries, by the early 1900s the rainforest of the Congo River basin was one of the most brutally exploited places on earth. In Land of Tears, historian Robert Harms reconstructs the chaotic process by which this happened.” (adapted from Catalogue)

A guest of the Reich : the story of American heiress Gertrude Legendre’s dramatic captivity and escape from Nazi Germany / Finn, Peter
“Gertrude ‘Gertie’ Legendre was a big-game hunter from a wealthy industrial family who lived a charmed life in Jazz Age America. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, she joined the OSS, the wartime spy organization that preceded the CIA. First in Washington and then in London, some of the most closely-held United States government secrets passed through her hands. In A Guest of the Reich, Peter Finn tells the gripping story of how in 1944, while on leave in liberated Paris, Legendre was captured by the Germans after accidentally crossing the front lines. Subjected to repeated interrogations, including by the Gestapo, Legendre entered a daring game of lies with her captors. The Nazis treated her as a “special prisoner” of the SS and moved her from city to city throughout Germany, where she witnessed the collapse of Hitler’s Reich as no other American did. After six months in captivity, Legendre escaped into Switzerland.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The Jews should keep quiet : Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust / Medoff, Rafael
“Based on recently discovered documents, The Jews Should Keep Quiet reassesses the hows and whys behind the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration’s fateful policies during the Holocaust. Rafael Medoff delves into difficult truths: With FDR’s consent, the administration deliberately suppressed European immigration far below the limits set by U.S. law. His administration also refused to admit Jewish refugees to the U.S. Virgin Islands, dismissed proposals to use empty Liberty ships returning from Europe to carry refugees, and rejected pleas to drop bombs on the railways leading to Auschwitz, even while American planes were bombing targets only a few miles away–actions that would not have conflicted with the larger goal of winning the war.” (adapted from Catalogue)

A bookshop in Berlin : the rediscovered memoir of one woman’s harrowing escape from the Nazis / Frenkel, Françoise
“In 1921, Françoise Frenkel–a Jewish woman from Poland–fulfills a dream. She opens La Maison du Livre, Berlin’s first French bookshop, attracting artists and diplomats, celebrities and poets. The shop becomes a haven for intellectual exchange as Nazi ideology begins to poison the culturally rich city. Françoise’s dream finally shatters on Kristallnacht in November 1938, as hundreds of Jewish shops and businesses are destroyed. La Maison du Livre is miraculously spared, but fear of persecution eventually forces Françoise on a desperate, lonely flight to Paris. When the city is bombed, she seeks refuge across southern France, witnessing countless horrors: children torn from their parents, mothers throwing themselves under buses. Secreted away from one safe house to the next, Françoise survives at the heroic hands of strangers risking their lives to protect her.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Pacific : an ocean of wonders / Hatfield, Philip J.
“The immense stretch of the Pacific Ocean is inhabited by a diverse array of peoples and cultures bound by a common thread: their relationship with the sea. In this volume, the rich history of the Pacific is explored through specific objects, each one beautifully illustrated, from the earliest human engagement with the Pacific through to the modern day. Entries cover mapping, trade, whaling, flora and fauna, and the myriad vessels used to traverse the ocean. A new look at this fascinating ocean, considering the diversity of culture beyond the familiar viewpoint of colonial history.” (adapted from Catalogue)

For the record / Cameron, David
“The referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union in 2016 has been one of the most controversial political events of modern times. For the first time, the man who called that vote talks about the decision and its origins, as well as giving a candid account of his time at the top of British politics. David Cameron was Conservative Party leader during the largest financial crash in living memory. The Arab Spring and the Eurozone crisis both started during his first year as prime minister. The backdrop to his time in office included the advent of ISIS, surging migration and a rapidly changing EU.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Fatal Flaws and Wild Cards: New Mystery Fiction!

Ready for some New Year mysteries? Look no further than our first booklist for 2020! Top of the pile is The Wild Card by Renée (Ngāti Kahungungu). As Ataria Sharman explains in The Pantograph Punch,  protagonist Ruby Palmer “is no damsel-in-distress. She’s a theatre-stealing, boss ass wahine toa determined to solve the mystery of her friend’s death, even at risk to her own life.”

Also in this month is the fourth book in the Wyndham and Banerjee historical crime series by Abir Mukherjee as well as the second novel by German writer Simone Buchholz to be translated in to English. Enjoy!

The wild card / Renée
“Ruby Palmer has been dealt a rough hand. She was left in a kete at the back door of the Porohiwi Home for Children when she was a baby, and then at seven she discovered that Betty who stopped the bad stuff happening to Ruby at the Home has drowned. Now in her thirties, Ruby suspects her friend was murdered–her only lead is a notebook that uses the symbols on playing cards to tell a story she can’t understand. To discover the truth, Ruby needs to find the wild card, and fast.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The ashes of London / Taylor, Andrew
“London, 1666. As the Great Fire consumes everything in its path, the body of a man is found in the ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral. The son of a traitor, James Marwood is forced to hunt the killer through the city’s devastated streets. There he encounters a determined young woman who will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. When a second murder victim is discovered in the Fleet Ditch, Marwood is drawn into the political and religious intrigue of Westminster – and across the path of a killer with nothing to lose…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Death in the East / Mukherjee, Abir
“1922, India. Leaving Calcutta, Captain Sam Wyndham heads for the hills of Assam, to the ashram of a sainted monk where he hopes to conquer his opium addiction. But when he arrives, he sees a ghost from his life in London – a man thought to be long dead, a man Wyndham hoped he would never see again. Wyndham knows he must call his friend and colleague Sergeant Banerjee for help. He is certain this figure from his past isn’t here by coincidence. He is here for revenge . . .” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Beton Rouge / Buchholz, Simone
On a warm September morning, an unconscious man is found in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of Germany’s biggest magazines. He’s soon identified as a manager of the company, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in a similar way. Chastity Riley and her new colleague Ivo Stepanovic are tasked with uncovering the truth behind the attacks, an investigation that goes far beyond the revenge they first suspect . . . to the dubious past shared by both victims.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

One fatal flaw / Perry, Anne
“It is 1910 and a fire has left one criminal dead and another charged with murder. Convinced of his innocence, Jessie Beale begs barrister Daniel Pitt to defend him. It’s a hopeless case–unless Daniel can find a witness whose testimony on fire damage is so convincing that any jury would believe him. Daniel’s friend Miriam Croft was taught by forensic scientist Sir Barnabas Saltram, who has built his reputation on giving evidence of this kind. But when Saltram agrees to testify, Daniel starts a chain of devastating events.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Murder fest / Wassmer, Julie
“A local Arts Festival is being held to honour a cultural exchange visit from representatives of Borken – Whitstable’s Twin Town in Germany. Yet very soon, personality clashes surface among the participants; local politicians try to use the festival for their own ends while others jostle for improved billing on the festival programme. Tempers flare, old feuds re-surface and on the eve of the first event, a cryptic message – Murder Fest – is received by the local police.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Finding World Languages

The Central Library was the main home of Wellington City Library’s adult World Languages Collection. So where can you find our collections of books in other languages for adult readers now that Central is closed? Below are a list of languages and the branches they can be found at. Enjoy!

Arabic

Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Kilbirnie branch

Chinese

Lao Zhong yi / Gao, Mantang Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Karori and Newtown branches, as well as our newly opened branch, Johnsonville Library at Waitohi.

We also have eBooks and eAudiobooks in Chinese available to borrow from anywhere through the Overdrive service. You can read them online through our website, or on your device through the Libby app. All you need to login is your library card number, and your 4 digit PIN.

Chinese eBooks & eAudiobooks

Gujarati

Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Kilbirnie branch.

Hindi

Amma. / Shinghal, RajjanBoth fiction and non-fiction is available at our Kilbirnie branch. Our newly opened branch, Johnsonville Library at Waitohi, has a collection in Hindi as well. Johnsonville also has the magazine, Grishobha, which is free to borrow for one week. Karori, Miramar, and Newtown branches also have this magazine.

Panjabi

Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Newtown branch.

Samoan

Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Newtown branch.

Sinhalese

Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Kilbirnie branch.

Tamil

Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Kilbirnie branch.

Fiction New (and Like New!)


The first new books for the year are in! Included in this month’s selection is Becky Manawatu’s debut novel Auē. Auē has been called a “contemporary story of loss, grief and domestic violence – but also of hope” and has been getting some great feedback. Check out RNZ’s interview with Manawatu here, and a preview of the first chapter via The Spinoff here.

Also in: re-releases, including the combined works of Giorgio Bassani with The Novel of Ferrara and the first English language edition of Irina Odoyevtseva’s Isolde. And of course there’s also a great range of page-turning summer reads, including Danielle Steel’s Spy: a Novel and Westwind by Ian Rankin. Enjoy!

Auē / Manawatu, Becky
“Taukiri was born into sorrow. Auē can be heard in the sound of the sea he loves and hates, and in the music he draws out of the guitar that was his father’s. It spills out of the gang violence and the shame he feels about abandoning his eight-year-old brother to another violent home. But Arama is braver than he looks, and he has a friend and his friend has a dog, and the three of them together might just be strong enough to turn back the tide of sorrow.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The novel of Ferrara / Bassani, Giorgio
“Set in the Italian town of Ferrara, these six interlocking stories present a world of unforgettable characters: the doctor whose homosexuality is tolerated until he is humiliatingly exposed by a scandal; a survivor of the Nazi death camps whose neighbors’ celebration of his return gradually turns to ostracism; a man who has never recovered from the wounds inflicted in youth. Above all, the city itself assumes a character and a voice, deeply inflected by the Jewish community to which the narrator belongs.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

I am God / Sartori, Giacomo
I am God. Have been forever, will be forever. Forever, mind you, with the razor-sharp glint of a diamond, and without any counterpart in the languages of men. So begins God’s diary of the existential crisis that ensues when, inexplicably, he falls in love with a human. And not just any human, but a geneticist and fanatical atheist who’s certain she can improve upon the magnificent creation she doesn’t even give him the credit for. It’s frustrating, for a god…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Westwind / Rankin, Ian
“After his friend suspects something strange going on at the launch facility where they both work–and then goes missing–Martin Hepton doesn’t believe the official line of “long-term sick leave”. He leaves his old life behind, aware that someone is shadowing his every move. The only hope he has is his ex-girlfriend Jill Watson–the only journalist who will believe his story. But neither of them can believe the puzzle they’re piecing together–or just how shocking the secret is that everybody wants to stay hidden…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Hunter’s moon : a novel in stories / Caputo, Philip
Hunter’s Moon is set in Michigan’s wild, starkly beautiful Upper Peninsula, where a cast of recurring characters move into and out of each other’s lives, building friendships, facing loss, confronting violence, trying to bury the past or seeking to unearth it. Once-a-year lovers, old high-school buddies on a hunting trip, a college professor and his wayward son, a middle-aged man and his grief-stricken father, come together, break apart, and, if they’re fortunate, find a way forward.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

This is yesterday / Ruane, Rose
“Alone and adrift in London, Peach is heading into her mid-forties with nothing to show for her youthful promise but a stalled art career and the stopgap job in a Mayfair gallery that she’s somehow been doing for a decade. She is too young to feel this tired, and far too old to feel this lost. When Peach is woken one night with news that her father, who has Alzheimer’s disease, is in intensive care, she can no longer outrun the summer of secrets and sexual awakenings that augured twenty-five years of estrangement from her family.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

In love with George Eliot : a novel / O’Shaughnessy, Kathy
“Marian Evans is a scandalous figure, living in sin with a married man, George Henry Lewes. She has shocked polite society, and women rarely deign to visit her. In secret, though, she has begun writing fiction under the pseudonym George Eliot. As Adam Bede‘s fame grows, curiosity rises as to the identity of its mysterious writer. Gradually it becomes apparent that the moral genius Eliot is none other than the disgraced woman living with Lewes…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

On swift horses / Pufahl, Shannon
“Muriel is newly married and restless, transplanted from her rural Kansas hometown to life in a dusty bungalow in San Diego. She misses her freethinking mother and her sly, itinerant brother-in-law, Julius, who made the world feel bigger than she had imagined. And so she begins slipping off to the Del Mar racetrack to bet and eavesdrop, learning the language of horses and risk. Meanwhile, Julius is testing his fate in Las Vegas, working at a local casino where tourists watch atomic tests from the roof.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Spy : a novel / Steel, Danielle
“At eighteen, Alexandra Wickham is presented to King George V and Queen Mary in an exquisite white lace and satin dress her mother has ordered from Paris. But fate, a world war, and her own quietly rebellious personality lead her down a different path. By 1939, England is at war. Alex makes her way to London as a volunteer in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry. But she has skills that draw the attention of another branch of the service. Fluent in French and German, she would make the perfect secret agent…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Isolde / Odoevt︠s︡eva, Irina
“Left to her own devices, fourteen-year-old Russian Liza meets an English boy, Cromwell, on a beach. He thinks he has found a romantic beauty; she is taken with his Buick. Restless, Liza, her brother Nikolai and her boyfriend enjoy Cromwell’s company–until his mother stops giving him money. First published in 1929, Isolde is a startlingly fresh, disturbing portrait of a lost generation of Russian exiles.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

New items for Cars and Transport

Our first book is an autobiography by a top young New Zealand rally driver. Our pick for this month also include Really? a collection of Jeremy Clarkson’s motoring journalism; The World’s Great Rail JourneysAutopia is the essential guide to the future of our greatest invention, the car; and Supercars which is a celebration of the Supercar in all its glory. Enjoy!

Driven / Paddon, Hayden
“Hayden Paddon was just a boy growing up in Geraldine – in love with driving and dreaming big. Starting with nothing, and determined to beat the odds, he set out on a phenomenal 20-year pathway to the World Rally Championship, where he footed it with the best rally drivers on the planet. But it didn’t come easy. In Driven, Paddon details the many highs and lows along his road to the top. Driven is a mile-a-minute autobiography that celebrates self-belief, hard work and turning dreams into reality.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Really? / Clarkson, Jeremy
“From his first job as a travelling sales rep selling Paddington Bears to his latest incarnation as gentleman farmer, Jeremy Clarkson’s love of cars has seen him through some deeply trying times. And in a world so persistently infuriating there’s sometimes nothing for it but to throw up your hands and ride full-throttle over the speed-bumps. Fuelled by hi-octane enthusiasm and irrepressible curiosity, he’s put his foot down again.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The world’s great rail journeys : 50 of the most spectacular, luxurious, unusual and exhilarating routes across the globe / Solomon, Brian
“A portrait in words and photographs of over 50 of the world’s most exciting, unusual and exotic railway journeys, including North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia. The World’s Great Rail Journeys is perfect for all railway enthusiasts, whether actual or armchair travellers.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Autopia : the future of cars / Bentley, Jon
“Cars are one of the most significant human creations. They changed our cities. They changed our lives. They changed everything. But in the next thirty years, this technology will itself change enormously. If Google get their way, are we all going to be ferried around in tiny electric bubble-cars? Or will we watch robots race a bionic Lewis Hamilton? And what about the future of classic cars? Fully designed with illustrations and photographs, this will be the perfect Christmas gift for car and technology enthusiasts everywhere.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Supercars
“Supercars are the purest and most extreme expression of automotive performance there is – and no one knows their supercars more than the Top Gear Magazine team. From the stylish curves and cutting-edge technology to the absurd power and baffling price-tags, this book is a celebration of the Supercar in all its glory. With all new selections including electric supercars, the stunning full-colour photography and hair-raising visuals will take you under the hood of the fastest, and most ridiculous cars on the planet. This is Top Gear Ultimate Supercars. Buckle up. Are you ready?” (adapted from Catalogue)