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Brighten your day with refreshing ideas – new Craft books for August

Are you looking for a quick and easy project? Here are some suggestions and ideas, including how to make slippers that fit like a dream. A perfect antidote to tortured toes, after you’ve danced the night away. Have fun!

Syndetics book coverKnitted & crocheted slippers / Alison Howard.
“Slippers make a superb gift, and home-made ones are the best. Making your own slippers is ideal, as you can make them to fit the wearer perfectly and add your own personal touch. This book has projects for girls and boys of all ages and adults too, from delicate ballet slippers and dainty Mary Janes to moccasin-soled slipper socks, chunky felted boots and sparkly party pumps. The book caters to all levels, from straightforward booties for beginners to slippers with details such as I-cords, pompoms, picot trims and lacy sock inserts. All the knitting and crochet stitches and techniques are presented in a clear and easy-to-follow style”. (Adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverMy rag doll / Corinne Crasbercu ; photography by Frédéric Lucano ; stylists: Sonia Lucano and Vania Leroy-Thuillier ; text by Dominique Montembault.
“Sew super cute rag dolls and their gorgeous clothes to make the perfect present for little girls. Crasbercu had designed patterns for 11 adorable dolls and a wide range of outfits and accessories to sew, including hats, shoes and bags. The basic doll pattern can be used to sew all the dolls and then altered according to hair and eye colour and hair style”.  (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLittle quilts : 15 step-by-step projects for adorably small quilts / Sarah Fielke & Amy Lobsiger.
“Packed with techniques, patterns, and inspiration for small-scale quilts. Doll-sized quilts can be completed relatively quickly and inexpensively. They can be made into pillow covers, runners, or wall decorations, or used as a lesson or as a trial for a larger project; and they can be swapped, gifted, or posted. In Little Quilts’ 15 step-by-step projects, sometimes the quilt is just one block, sometimes several blocks, but all have been designed with the same attention to detail as a full-sized quilt. Seven quilts have been designed by Sarah Fielke and seven by Amy Lobsiger, and the final quilt is a collaboration–with Amy making the central circle, then sending it to Sarah to turn it into a finished quilt. Techniques include hand and machine-quilting, traditional piecing, paper piecing, appliqué, and embroidery. The size of the quilts (nothing larger than 24×24 inches) will tempt you to try a new sewing technique or a new design concept, and you can follow the instructions or use them as inspiration for your own quilt design.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPictorial art quilt guidebook : secrets to capturing your photos in fabric / Leni Levenson Wiener.
“You’ll be surprised how easy it is to transform a photo into gallery-worthy fabric art with Leni Wiener’s simple methods. Leni walks you step by step through choosing the right fabrics; creating patterns with free software; depicting common elements, such as grass, trees, water, and faces; layering and sewing your collages; and finishing your work for display. Complete patterns and instructions for two quilts help get you started. Use the included Art Quilter’s Value Scale to choose the perfect light and dark fabrics for your quilts. Loaded with helpful photos, this guide is a virtual art class in a book”. (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe quilter’s appliqué workshop : timeless techniques for modern designs / Kevin Kosbab.
“A fresh take on quilting and applique. Kevin Kosbab shows quilters that not only is applique fun and easy to do, it can open up a world of design possibilities. “The Quilter’s Applique Workshop” teaches you everything you need to know to create applique both as embellishment and as the focus of projects. The book is divided into three sections that each explores a basic applique approach: raw-edge, prepared-edge, and needle-turn applique. Each section includes detailed instructions, tips, and illustrations. Twelve home-decor projects, including bed quilts, wall quilts, table runners/toppers, and pillows, illustrate the techniques and allow you to explore more specialized methods such as broderie perse, felt applique, and bias-tape applique. “The Quilter’s Applique Workshop” gives you the tools to mix and match applique techniques and create any design you can imagine.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGranny squares : all shapes & sizes ; Over 50 projects and techniques to give the classic crochet pattern a whole new look / Barbara Wilder and Beatrice Simon.
“These are not your granny’s granny squares! They’re young, hip, and sometimes not even square. More than 70 contemporary versions come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, along with fabulous finishing ideas. They’re attractive enough to use as an embellishment on a piece of clothing, as well as in traditional stitched-together projects. Many of the designs appear in different yarn weights and colors, allowing crocheters to personalize any of the items and get exactly the look they’re after. The wide selection features everything from ponchos and scarves to sweaters and skirts. – check book for accuracy” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New ‘Other Genre’ novels for August, this month featuring New Zealand writers

Another great selection from the most recently received novels by some outstanding New Zealand writers. Included are two collections of short stories, and several debut novels. Highly recommend is the latest work from Tina Shaw, titled The Children’s Pool.

Syndetics book coverPassing through / Coral Atkinson.
“Set in the port of Lyttelton, a community still recovering from World War I, the lives of four people with tragic pasts are intertwined by love, loss and a concern with raising the dead. There is Ro, the ex-army officer, who lies for a living, Nan, a young woman with genuine psychic gifts, Louisa an attractive war widow, and Harry the shell-shocked former soldier, who becomes Ro’s ultimate nemesis. In a world of shifting secrets, truth, lies and parlour tricks, lessons are learnt and lives changed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe red queen : short stories / Gemma Bowker-Wright.
“In her first collection of stories, Gemma Bowker-Wright leads us into the phases of transition and transformation in people’s lives: a dream job, a rare afternoon between son and father, a man losing his wife to Alzheimer’s, a first snow. Like the Red Queen of Through the Looking-Glass, many of these characters are running hard to stay in place, but moving ever forward.” (Adapted from Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverA history of crime : the southern double cross / Dinah Holman.
“The most dangerous people are those with the most to lose. It is 1887. The young colony of New Zealand is in the grip of a deep depression. Insolvent speculators conspire with corrupt politicians while Maori land slips from the hands of its owners. Into this landscape of barely suppressed conflict steps a young Anglo-French-Maori soprano, visiting New Zealand for the first time. Frederique Bonnell, known to her family as Riki, meets another performer, the Italian tenor Francesco Bartellin. Unofficially, Bartellin has been persuaded to spy on lawyer Thomas Russell and his powerful associates, whose tentacles penetrate the political establishment. Riki is pitched into this treacherous underworld when she witnesses the attempted murder of Kaituhi, a young Maori man apprehended in Russell’s shipboard cabin. Kaituhi and Riki are thrown overboard yet manage to save each other’s lives. Their plans to expose Russell are complicated by a growing attraction between Riki and Bartellin.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFringe benefits / Sandra Knight.
“ The Ladies of the Seekers Hair Fashions, a small suburban salon near Wellington, New Zealand, area tight-knit group. Sue Knovac, the owner, gets along very well with Rona, her senior stylist, and Lucy, her apprentice. The clients range from amusing to downright rude, but the person who has earned the top spot on their most-hated list is not a client but Frank Morton, their horrible landlord. He’s a nasty piece of work, and his treatment of his long- suffering wife, May can only be described as abominable. Sue, Rona, and Lucy fell sorry for May and decide to boost her self-esteem with a makeover. Things start to look up for May until she disappears.” (Adapted from Book Cover)

Stamp in the creek / David McGill.
“And in the sleepy village of Kotuku the young postmaster has his office safe stolen and his son kidnapped by outsiders after a valuable stamp. The village gets in behind against those who employ car conversion, stand-over tactics, blackmail and whatever it takes to get the stamp. The politicians and post office hierarchy are more concerned about a public service scandal in election year. The concluding comic novel in the Cavanagh family trilogy set in the fictional version of the author’s hometown of Matata.” (Adapted from Beattie’s Book Blog)

Syndetics book coverThe Syrian connection / Ross Meurant.
“Alain Foveaux, a former New Zealand military officer, is contracted to use his knowledge of the Middle East to procure phosphate from Syria for export to New Zealand, in defiance of American sanctions. His odyssey through a country on the brink of civil war reunites him with Valentina Golosapova, a former lover and KGB agent, now operations controller for Russian covert action in Syria. With Russian help, the New Zealander sets up a labyrinth of bank accounts to evade the American blocks on payments to Syria, provoking aggressive initiatives by the local CIA operative. When Syrians, Russians and Americans meet, there are brutal encounters in the field with Alain caught in the crossfire.” (Adapated from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn between the after / Lilla Nicholas-Holt.
“Bo, one of twenty-four striking sisters cloned from older sister Megan, is able to revisit history in person, finding answers to well-known mysteries and discovering what the Sphinx of Giza holds in a hidden chamber deep within. The Light of Ra is a living thing, an encoded light language that views your present, past and future lives, holding energy documentation of every human being since time first began. Through the Light of Ra, Bo discovers the astounding phenomenon of reality beyond human reality. In this nonphysical dimension, she perceives her whole self, and travels between her past and future lives. She learns that she can choose her next life-path, choose her parents and the circumstances in which she will live, discovering her final as being the most incredible and wondrous incarnation on Earth.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTenderness : stories / Sarah Quigley.
“A collection of stories from a prize-winning writer, some short, some long, set in locations that span the globe, all exploring the theme encapsulated by the title: tenderness. With a mixture of humour and compassion, each story carries the punch of a compacted novel, highlighting those illuminating moments of human connection.” (Adapted from Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverThe children’s pond / Tina Shaw.
“Jessica Pollard has moved to Turangi to be near her son Reuben who is in prison there. While working at a trout-fishing lodge on the Tongariro River, Jessica slips into a relationship with a handsome, charming Maori lawyer. When the body of the lawyer’s troubled niece Chantelle is found in the Children’s Pond, Jessica’s own past as a teenager in prison comes back to haunt her. What really happened to her all those years ago? And what is the connection with Chantelle’s death?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSanctum / Harmon Sueno.
“Leaving New Zealand for a post at Vagabond adventure travel magazine in Vancouver in Canada, Teal, a travel writer meets the beautiful Brody at a party. A love affair ensues which is cut short when Teal is swept away on assignment. A few years later, Teal heads off to find the Apurimac ‘The Great Speaker’, the start of the Amazon River, and, in a remote village, once again finds Brody who is teaching English to the local Quechua population. She imparts to him knowledge of a strange and marvelous location in the Andes and takes Teal there to discover his cosmic origins. The experience leaves Teal’s and Brody’s lives altered forever, sending them each on a separate journey that will take them hurtling towards destinies that neither can comprehend until they meet again, deep in the planet’s inner worlds.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Cooking recent picks for August

In this month’s selection we have loads of decadent dessert ideas and cakes galore. We include delicious and indulgent specialty cakes, wedding cakes, two gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free recipe books, and finally a book on making dairy products at home, from butter to sour cream to feta cheese. Check them out below!

Syndetics book coverDecadent Gluten-Free Treats : with tempting vegan & dairy-free options / Tamara Jane ; photography by Devin Hart.
“Created especially to cater for people on a restricted diet, there are recipes that are free from gluten, others that are free from eggs or dairy and some that are suitable for vegans … Each recipe is annotated gluten, dairy, egg or nut free for quick and easy reference and all the special ingredients are listed and explained at the front of the book” (Publisher information)

Syndetics book coverSweet/ Valerie Gordon ; photographs by Pedem + Munk.
“Gordon, founder of the acclaimed Valerie’s Confections, shares her passion for creating high-quality pastries and candies. Full-color photographs highlight the simple beauty of Gordon’s creations, which can be mastered by the home cook with a little effort.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverKonditor & Cook : deservedly legendary baking / Gerhard Jenne.
“Let Konditor & Cook sprinkle some magic over your baking… Konditor & Cook are famous for their stylish cake creations: the iconic Magic Cakes, Boston Brownie, Curly Whirly Cake… Now you can re-create their legendary celebration cakes, tarts, brownies, slices, mini-bakes, cupcakes, muffins and buns at home with Gerhard Jenne’s simple recipes.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverWedding Cakes / by Rosalind Miller.
“This book is a luxurious source of inspiration as well as a clear how-to of high end wedding cake making and decorating. With easy-to-follow instructions and beautiful step-by-step photography it takes the cake maker through the construction of each individual sugar flower and decoration, so that the reader can either replicate the cakes, or pick and choose techniques from each, to achieve their own unique creation.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverLick the Bowl Good : classic home-style desserts with a twist / Monica Holland.
“No meal is complete without dessert. Popular food blogger Monica Holland brings you an enticing collection of comforting homemade classics with a modern twist. Find inspiration in her fun, whimsical recipes that reinvent old favorites and create exciting new flavor combinations. Enjoy dozens of irresistible recipes from Grandma’s chocolate layer cake and cream cheese swirl snickerdoodle blondies to blueberry vanilla yogurt popsicles and Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies. Brightened with full-color photography throughout, the carefully tested recipes are not only gorgeous to the eye, they’re achievable for both the experienced baker and those just venturing out into the wonderful world of baking. Whether you need a bake sale treat or are having a midnight cravings for milk and warm-from-the-oven cookies, Lick the Bowl Good is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNaturally Sweet & Gluten-Free : Allergy-Friendly Vegan Desserts : 100 recipes without gluten, dairy, eggs, or refined sugar / Ricki Heller ; photography by Celine Saki.
“You’ll make delicious – and healthy – changes to the way you bake with Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free. Ricki Heller provides all the tools you need to make wonderful desserts and to receive the benefit of her wealth of experience.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverIndulgent Cakes : luscious cakes to delight your every whim / editorial & food director Pamela Clark.
“There’s nothing quite like a home-baked cake and this is the ultimate collection of recipes – both classic and contemporary – that are deeply indulgent, incredibly moreish and unparalleled in their deliciousness….there’s a fantastic treat for every occasion in this epic collection.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSweet & Vicious : Baking with Attitude / Libbie Summers ; photography by Chia Chong.
Sweet & Vicious has recipes so enticing, you’ll be pre-heating the oven before you’ve finished chapter one. The photos are so sexylicious – yes, it’s a word because I’m a writer and I said so – you’ll want to lick the pages. Libbie Summers literally puts the icing on the cookbook cake. More please.” (Mary Kay Andrews – Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverCakes in Bloom : The Art of Exquisite Sugarcraft Flowers / Peggy Porschen ; photography by Georgia Glynn Smith.
“The ultimate reference and inspiration for sugarcrafters, this book reflects Peggy’s mastery of a breath-taking array of flowers, creatively used on a variety of cakes. Peggy demonstrates a broad range of techniques, embracing all the basics as well the particular skills needed to make each individual flower. As with all her creations, Peggy’s cakes are as good to eat as they are to look at, so there are signature recipes for delicious cakes and fail-safe fillings.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWintersweet : Seasonal Desserts to Warm the Home / Tammy Donroe Inman.
“Donroe Inman, a food blogger with a culinary degree, has worked for Cook’s Illustrated magazine and TV show America’s Test Kitchen. Her debut cookbook encourages readers to spend their winters in a warm kitchen preparing comforting seasonal desserts such as pear crostada, brown butter pecan ice cream, and gingersnap-crusted pumpkin cheesecake.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverThe Creamery Kitchen : discover the age-old tradition of making fresh butters, yogurts, creams, and soft cheeses at home / Jenny Linford ; photography by Clare Winfield.
“Easy step-by-step recipes for fresh dairy products, including butter, yogurt, labneh, sour cream, cream cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, feta, and more. This is the perfect book for anyone with a passion for good honest food.” (Book Jacket)

NZ Post Book Awards winners!

Last night the winners of the 2014 NZ Post Book Awards were revealed at the official awards ceremony here in Wellington. The judging panel was comprised of acclaimed New Zealand artist, Dick Frizzell; award-winning Radio New Zealand presenter, Kim Hill; poet and novelist, Elizabeth Smither; and literary critic, Peter Simpson, and the panel was convened by broadcaster Miriama Kamo.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAnd now for the winners! The biggest prize of the awards, the title of New Zealand Post Book of the Year (and $15,000!) went to Peter McLeavey: The life and times of a New Zealand art dealer by Jill Trevelyan. Congratulations!

The category prize-winners were awarded to:
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Fiction)
Us, Then by Vincent O’Sullivan (Poetry)
Coast: A New Zealand journey by Bruce Ansley & Jane Ussher (Illustrated non-fiction)
and another prize for Peter McLeavey: The life and times of a New Zealand art dealer by Jill Trevelyan (General non-fiction)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe winner of the ever-popular People’s Choice award also went to The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton and finally, the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice award went to Molesworth: Stories from New Zealand’s largest high country station by Harry Broad & Rob Suisted.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees in this year’s awards! You can reserve any of these books from our collection by following the links above. You can also read the press release about the winners and the judges’ report over on the Booksellers website.

Come and meet all the winning authors at our event being held today at Wellington Central Library. Kim Hill will be hosting a discussion between the winning authors about their writing, the challenges they face, upcoming projects, where their inspiration comes from and the books they have on their own “to-read” lists. Join us for the discussion on the ground floor of Central library today at 12.15pm.

Check out our event over on Facebook, and we’ll see you there!

New Zealand’s history, not just the rich and famous

The past stories and history of New Zealand are not only the domain of the rich and famous. This month in the New Zealand collection we feature some stories of early pioneers whose names are not famous or well known but who played their part in the history of New Zealand.

Syndetics book coverOur stories : the way we used to be : the New Zealand that time forgot… / edited by Ian Wishart.
Every day, thousands of news stories are published in New Zealand, chronicling the big events and the small. Most of these stories are long forgotten by the time historians get around to compiling the ‘official record’ of our country. Discover the heroes and villains of our past through long forgotten news stories, and find out how life really was in pioneer New Zealand. (Adapted from back cover)

Syndetics book coverWorking lives c. 1900 : a photographic essay / Erik Olssen.
For the men and women of the skilled trades in the early 20th century, the skills and knowledge of their respective crafts were a source of identity and pride. Together with the so-called unskilled, who built the infrastructure for the new society, these workers laid the cultural and social foundations of a new and fairer society. This book uses photographs to show two processes fundamental to creating a new society: the transformation of swamp into farmland then city-scape, and the transplantation of the knowledge and skill required in the Old World that were essential to building a new world. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRough on women : abortion in 19th-century New Zealand / by Margaret Sparrow.
“Stories of abortion in 19th-century New Zealand, from newspaper accounts, court records and coroner’s reports”–Publisher information. The women in this book are all long dead and little is known of their inner lives. Most of what we know about them comes from coroners’ reports and newspaper accounts, and in many cases we know more about their abortionists than the women themselves. Women obtained abortions by whatever means they could, despite the dangers of poisoning, haemorrhage, and infection. And abortionists did their work despite the threat of long prison sentences or even the death penalty. (Adapted from back cover)

Syndetics book coverStolen lives : a New Zealand foster child’s story from the ’40s and ’50s / Netta England.
Netta and her older brother Ray hardly knew their mother. She was a strange woman who made occasional visits, and they did not even know they had a Father. Instead from a very early age they lived with foster parents and at school were treated as different. Growing up, Netta became increasingly aware that her foster mother disliked her. Though never starved, Netta suffered neglect, as well as mental, physical and sexual abuse. After her brother’s death in 1976, Netta, by then married with a grown up family, began her long journey to learn about and understand what had happened in the past. She wanted to find out if somewhere out there was a family, her own family that she could belong to. How would she find them, and would they want to know her? She needed to find her roots. Stolen Lives is the record of Netta’s journey from a neglected and abused state ward, to a woman who discovers her heritage and creates a positive life regardless of her upbringing. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPete the Bushman : hunting tales and back-country lessons from a wild West Coaster / Peter Salter with Nigel Zega.
The adventures of Pete the Bushman, a wild West-coaster from Pukekura, New Zealand’s answer to Crocodile Dundee and a man who owns his own town. This book about a true New Zealand bushman, of a life lived against the grain, of adventure in New Zealand’s thickest wilderness and a lifestyle any Kiwi bloke would envy. Pete the Bushman has lived a life inseparable from the bush – these are his stories of running down deer on foot, heli-hunting in his own chopper, finding the perfect woman and eking out a living from the bush. He and his wife Justine run the Bushman’s Centre, 35 mins south of Hokitika, established in 1991 as a place to show visitors how local people use the South Island forest. Also known as ‘Possum Pete’, the Bushman is one of the eccentric and colourful characters featured on TVNZ’s ‘This Town’. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVertical living : the Architectural Centre and the remaking of Wellington / Julia Gatley and Paul Walker.
“… we of this Architectural Centre in Wellington are a group of architects and draughtsmen and wood engravers and other people whose greatest claim to affiliation is an overriding enthusiasm for good design” – Design Review, 1948. In 1946, just as the Group was being established in Auckland, Wellington established the Architectural Centre. Members of both were young and idealistic, and they shared common beliefs – in the transformative potential of modern architecture, in need for urban development to be carefully controlled, in the desirability of planning for a better future. This book recovers the powerful history, politics and architecture of the Architectural Centre to return us to a vision of a modernist city, partially realised in Wellington New Zealand. Gatley and Walker begin writing the city back into the history of architecture in this country. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJourney to a hanging / Peter Wells.
“In 1865, Rev Carl Sylvius Volkner was hanged, his head cut off, his eyes eaten and his blood drunk from his church chalice. One name – Kereopa Te Rau (Kaiwhatu: The Eye-eater) – became synonymous with the murder. In 1871 he was captured, tried and sentenced to death. But then something remarkable happened. Sister Aubert and William Colenso – two of the greatest minds in colonial New Zealand – came to his defence. Regardless, Kereopa Te Rau was hanged in Napier Prison. But even a century and a half later, the events have not been laid to rest. Questions continue to emerge: Was it just? Was it right? Was Kereopa Te Rau even behind the murder? And who was Volkner – was he a spy or an innocent?” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverHow we remember : New Zealanders and the First World War / edited by Charles Ferrall and Harry Ricketts.
“Essays by a raft of historians, writers and other prominent figures reflect on our different forms of remembering and re-membering, what we have cherished and valued, forgotten and ignored, constructed and reframed” (Publisher information)

Syndetics book coverVictory : New Zealand airmen and the fall of Germany / Max Lambert.
“Here are the vivid, inspiring and previously unpublished stories of the New Zealand fliers – most in their early 20s, some still teenagers – who lived and died in the service of their country while flying with the Royal Air Force from bases in Britain and from airfields in northwest Europe after the invasion of 1944, published to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D Day and the beginning of the end of World War II” (Publisher information)

New Fitness and Sport books for August

This month we feature three books about cycling, including a portrait of Chris Froome, the 2013 Tour de France winner. We also feature books about sailing, hunting, equestrian and soccer, and a collection of sport-related infographics. Check them out below!

Syndetics book coverRace to Truth / Emma O’Reilly.
“When Emma O’Reilly joined the US Postal cycling team in 1996, she could have no idea how she would become a central figure in the biggest doping scandal in sporting history. Yet when Lance Armstrong, starting his comeback from cancer, signed for US Postal, it was Emma, the only woman on the team, who became his personal soigneur. This is the definitive inside story of that time, and of the enormous repercussions that resonate to this day for Emma, Lance and the whole sport.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMaking it Happen : The Autobiography / Carl Hester.
“Carl Hester is one of the greatest ever equestrians, leading Great Britain to Gold Medal victory at the London 2012 Olympics. In these vibrant memoirs, he tells the incredible story of the passion for horse-riding which revolutionised his life and made him the champion he is today. A first-class sportsman and a witty and engaging writer, Carl now offers his admirers the opportunity to read an intelligent, humorous and, above all, inspiring account of his life – from the ups and downs of his career to the motivations and techniques which have helped him to win 63 national titles, represent Team GB at four Olympic Games, two World Championships and seven European Championships, and become one of the best riders – and horsemen – in the world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverComplete Outdoors Encyclopedia / by Vin T. Sparano.
“There may be a new publisher, hundreds of new photos and drawings, and new sections on survival, water sports, and all-terrain vehicles, but this book retains its basic format and its editor, which have served it well for three previous editions. Sparano’s long experience as an outdoor writer and as editor of Outdoor Life magazine is especially evident in the detailed hunting and fishing chapters.” (Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverSportographica / Martin & Simon Toseland.
Sportographica blends sporting statistics from around the world with stylish and memorable infographics – including the youngest-ever Formula One winners, the world’s richest sports teams, the oldest sporting rivalries and the worst footballers’ hairstyles.” (Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverPlayers First : Coaching from the Inside Out / John Calipari and Michael Sokolove.
“In Players First, John Calipari relates for the first time anywhere his experiences over his first four years coaching the Kentucky Wildcats, college basketball’s most fabled program, from the doldrums to a national championship, drawing lessons about leadership, character, and the path to personal and collective victory. At its core, Calipari’s coaching philosophy centers on keeping his focus on the players–what they need to get the best out of themselves and one another.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWapiti Hunting in New Zealand / Simon Gibson.
“How to hunt wapiti, keeping fit and mentally focused, the right food, reading the weather, travelling Fiordland’s daunting terrain safely plus information on every block fill the pages of this book along with dozens of colour images that portray the wapiti and the wapiti country in all its beauty. Written by a man who loves the beauty, challenge and danger of the wapiti country, this book adds to many books written about one of the world’s great game animals.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book cover101 Great Youth Soccer Drills : great drills and skills for better fundamental play / Robert Koger.
“101 Great Youth Soccer Drills is an exhaustive collection of the very best drills available, providing a solid foundation for you to build your players’ skills. Filled with simple step-by-step instructions and diagrams, plus a sample practice program, this encyclopedia of drills provides you with solid skill-building fundamentals as well as the advanced techniques you need to get your players in top form.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYoga for Cyclists / Lexie Williamson.
Yoga for Cyclists uses yoga postures to both stretch and lengthen those short, tight cycling hotspots in a way that is time-efficient and highly targeted.” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)
“This is the ideal, no-nonsense resource, where every stretch, strengthening posture, breathing or recovery technique relates back to its impact on performance.” (Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverThe Climb / Chris Froome with David Walsh.
“The Climb tells the extraordinary story of Chris Froome’s journey from a young boy in Kenya, riding through townships and past wild animals, and with few opportunities for an aspiring cyclist, to his unforgettable yellow jersey victory in the 2013 Tour de France. A journey unlike any other in the history of cycling, Froome has crossed continents, overcome the death of his mother and conquered debilitating illness to follow his dreams and represent Team GB and Team Sky. He has experienced soaring triumphs, humbling defeats, a public rivalry with Bradley Wiggins and, most recently, the pressures of Lance Armstrong’s legacy. Extraordinary, revealing and life-affirming, The Climb is a story of determination, hardship and unimaginable success” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverHigh Performance Sailing : Faster Racing Techniques / Frank Bethwaite.
“One of the most readable books on the complex subject of sailing faster, and without doubt, a must for every racing sailor…A classic which no serious racing yachtsman should be without.” (Kevin Hughes – Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverSkipper’s Cockpit Racing Guide : For Dinghies, Keelboats and Yachts / Tim Davison.
The Skipper’s Cockpit Racing Guide is an at-a-glance reference for dinghy and yacht racers, covering everything they need to know to improve their performance – and win….this guide covers an enormous amount of detail in a simple, easy to follow format.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Science Fiction and Fantasy novels for August

The first books in four new series are featured in this month’s selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels. Highly recommend is the sophisticated high tech, psychological murder mystery, The Forever Watch by David Ramirez.

Syndetics book coverHalf a king / Joe Abercrombie.
“As a younger son born with a crippled hand, Prince Yarvi never expected to be sitting on the black throne. But when his father and brother are killed, Yarvi is crowned and almost immediately betrayed. He will face attempted assassination, being sold into slavery, and countless threats to his life, but his oath to avenge the death of his father won’t let Yarvi quit. He must find allies if he wants to take back his kingdom, but he must also find his own self-confidence.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Midnight witch / Paula Brackston.
“On the eve of World War I, Lady Lilith Montgomery goes through two major life events: the loss of her beloved father, the Duke of Radnor, and taking his place as the head of the Lazarus Coven. Lilith struggles with her new responsibilities and expectations (both as a witch and as an aristocrat), defying both when she falls in love with aspiring artist Bram Cardale, who belongs to neither her coven nor her class. The coven is responsible for safeguarding an elixir that can grant life itself, but there are rival necromancers who want it for their own.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe girl in the road / Monica Byrne.
“In India in the latter half of the twenty-first century, Meena survives what she believes is an assassination attempt after discovering a snake in her bed. Fleeing this threat to her life, she decides to track down the woman responsible for the death of her parents more than a quarter-of-a-century ago in Ethiopia. Meena knows her journey won’t be an easy one. She intends to travel along the Trail, a bridge used to harness energy that runs across the Arabian Sea.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThief’s magic / Trudi Canavan.
“The first book in a new series titled Millennium’s rules. Tyen, scholar and ambitious archaeologist, uncovers an ancient magic tome, a font of potentially dangerous information, forged from the body of an unwilling woman named Vella. Rielle struggles against the strictures of polite society, where inborn magical gifts can too easily lead to arrest and assault, and where women are expected to submit to loveless arranged marriages. Tyen’s empathy for Vella, and his desire to protect her from the machinations of others, forces him to flee. Rielle’s desire for love and a self-directed life similarly sees her cast out from the ranks of the powerful, consigned to a fate few would seek.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe truth is a cave in the Black Mountains : a tale of travel and darkness with pictures of all kinds / written by Neil Gaiman with illustrations by Eddie Campbell.
“Beautifully illustrated by renowned artist Eddie Campbell, this is a four-color edition of Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novelette “The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains”, a haunting story of family, the otherworld, and retribution” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIrenicon / Aidan Harte.
“The first book in a new series titled Wave trilogy. In this alternate timeline, Christ was killed as an infant, and his mother became venerated in his stead. Fourteen centuries later, science has brought wonders to Italy and terrors as well: the Concordian Empire launched the Wave against the city of Rasenna, its strongest enemy, leaving behind the Irenicon River to divide Rasenna geographically and politically. Contessa Sofia Scaligeri intends to strong-arm a reunion between the city’s feuding houses when she takes power on her upcoming 17th birthday. Captain Giovanni, a young Concordian engineer whose work requires him to bridge the Irenicon for an imperial army, and who hopes to unite Rasenna using the bridge and a personal sacrifice. Sofia’s support of Giovanni makes them both targets of powerful enemies, former friends, and possibly the sentient Irenicon itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPrince of fools / Mark Lawrence.
“The first book in a new series titled, Red Queen’s war. Prince Jalan Kendeth, 10th in line for the throne and a self-described coward, has few life ambitions beyond drinking, gambling, and womanizing. But the Dead King is raising a vast army that threatens Jalan’s home of Red March. Jalan’s grandmother, the Red Queen, has a secret weapon: a mysterious sorceress called the Silent Sister. Jalan knows the Silent Sister is capable of horrors, but that knowledge doesn’t protect him when he and enslaved Norse warrior Snorri ver Snagson are caught in one of her spells. Bound by magic, the two men become unlikely traveling companions.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe forever watch / David Ramirez.
“Over 300 years after Earth became uninhabitable, the last remaining humans are on a huge spacecraft, the Noah, seeking a new home. The confined, dystopian society is one in which women are knocked unconscious to breed offspring they are never allowed to see, and people buy one another’s memories to have experiences such as petting a cat. Information is tightly controlled. Bureaucrat Hana Dempsey teams up with her lover, police detective Leon Barrens, to solve a mystery: his mentor, Callahan, was brutally killed, possibly by a serial murderer known as Mincemeat. Their perilous quest for the truth leads to a series of existential secrets about the last human society and its prospects.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe iron wolves : a blood, war & requiem novel / Andy Remic.
“The first book in a new series titled Rage of kings. Thirty years ago, General Dalgoran tried to reunite the elite Iron Wolves for a new battle against the twisted forces of Orlana the Changer, but the years have taken their toll, and the Wolves are not what they used to be.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe silk map : a Gaunt and Bone novel / by Chris Willrich.
“Married treasure hunters and adventurers Imago Bone and Persimmon Gaunt lost their only child they will do anything to get back the magic scroll that entraps their son. This includes making a deal with the Monkey God, who will retrieve the scroll if Gaunt and Bone steal precious ironsilk cocoons for her.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

“Librarian’s Choice” – these are books we love!

While browsing our shelves, you may have noticed gold stickers reading “Librarians choice” on the front covers of many books. These stickers denote books which librarians throughout the Wellington City Libraries network have singled out for various reasons — it could be that the book is a particularly beautiful book, a very good exploration of a particular topic, or a story well told. Our picks reflect the diverse (and sometimes highly specific!) interests of our individual staff members, so it is a very eclectic mix — but certain constants still apply. Generally, books marked “Librarian’s Choice” will be well written, well-presented and provide an interesting insight into their subject matter. These are books we love and want to share with you!!

Librarian’s Choice stickers are used throughout the library, on all kinds of material – you will see them on novels in the fiction section, on CDs and DVDS in our Sound & Vision collection, and on non-fiction books.
Do look for them!!

Librarians Choice 072

This month we have a large display highlighting these books in the middle of the first floor — pop up and take a look!

Reader’s Choice

We also have blue “Reader’s Choice” stickers, that mark books which readers have recommended. You are welcome to nominate books for inclusion in this category — and we would love your contributions! Forms are available throughout the library, as well as on our Fiction library guide. If you really love a certain book then it is amost certain that someone else will too. It’s all about sharing, community and great reads — let us know which books you love!

New Books on Popular Music

Kiwi rock icon Dave McArtney, Paul McCartney and Joy Division are just some of the names featured in this month’s new books on popular music. You’ll also find new talent Bruno Mars, the legendary soul label Stax Records, the longtime music columnist and interviewer Lisa Robinson’s memoir, and Mad World, which is a unique study of new wave music in the 80s, offering intriguing reads. Check them out!

Syndetics book coverGutter black : a memoir / Dave McArtney.
“An intimate, raw memoir by a founding member of one of NZ’s iconic rock bands, Hello Sailor; a tale of creativity, misadventure, success and excess. Dave McArtney was one of New Zealand’s best known musicians and songwriters. As a founding member of the legendary Hello Sailor, he wrote or co-wrote most of their best known songs, including ‘Gutter Black,’ one of the country’s best known and best loved hits. In this long-awaited memoir, completed just weeks before his untimely death, Dave gives the reader an access-all-areas pass to the life of a working rock’n’roll musician. ‘Gutter Black’ is the definitive account of the man, the bands and the music that rocked a nation” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUnknown pleasures : inside Joy Division / Peter Hook.
“One of the progenitors of what became alternative rock, Joy Division pioneered a sound that would reverberate for decades, inspiring a litany of bands in its wake. The recording career of the band was tragically cut short by the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis . Founding member and bassist Peter Hook recounts the history of Joy Division, offering insight, righting wrongs, and separating fact from fiction. Hook is humble and affable and his tone is more like that of a lengthy discussion with a pal at the pub, rather than a studied, academic assessment of the band and its legacy. This warts-and-all approach results in a warm, occasionally melancholy reminiscence, as Hook discusses the band’s process, as well as its members’ willful ignorance of Curtis’s declining mental state. Hook has written one of the warmest, most honest musical memoirs in recent memory.” (adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverMan on the run : Paul McCartney in the 1970s / Tom Doyle.
“The 1970s were not kind to Sir Paul McCartney. Blamed for the breakup of The Beatles, critically savaged by rock critics for seemingly inconsequential LPs and silly love songs such as “Silly Love Songs,” McCartney seemed as lost and obsolete as his fellow ex-Beatles by the decade’s end. But accomplished rock journalist Doyle (The Glamour Chase) presents a solid, detailed, and, above all, honest reappraisal of McCartney’s work that tells a compulsively readable tale “of a man living outside normal society and, for better or for worse, acting on his own tangential whims, during a chaotic and fascinating period of his life.” (adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverRocks off : 50 tracks that tell the story of The Rolling Stones / Bill Janovitz.
“In this glimmering set of unabashed fan’s notes, guitarist and music writer Janovitz (Exile on Main Street) enthusiastically and movingly traces the evolution of the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band, song by song. Although the Stones started out as a cover band, they soon ascended to pantheon of rock music history as a result of their original compositions. Janovitz points out that “the music of the Stones has mirrored and provided a soundtrack for their own generation”. Reading Janovitz is like sitting with a friend in a basement surrounded by albums, and spending the entire day listening to, arguing about, and worshipping the many licks that have become part of our musical vocabulary.” (adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverRespect yourself : Stax Records and the soul explosion / Robert Gordon.
“In the late 1950s, Jim Stewart, and his sister, Estelle Axton, moved their little fledgling recording studio into the defunct Capitol Theater in Memphis, Tenn., opening their doors and establishing the record label that gave birth to gritty, funky soul music. A masterful storyteller, music historian Gordon (It Came from Memphis) artfully chronicles the rise and fall of one of America’s greatest music studios, situating the story of Stax within the cultural history of the 1960s in the South. Gordon deftly narrates the stories of the many musicians who called Stax home, from Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, and Otis Redding to Isaac Hayes, Sam and Dave, and the Staples Singers, as well as the creative marketing and promotional strategies-the Stax-Volt Revue and Wattstax.” (adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverBruno Mars / Emily Herbert.
“Bruno Mars has sold over 115 million records worldwide as a singer, producer and songwriter. Two of his singles, Just The Way You Are and Grenade, are the two most sold singles digitally of all time. Mars is a Grammy and Brit Awards winner and is second only to Elvis Presley in the speed with which five of his singles got to number one. He performed during the half time show at the 2014 Super Bowl. The book includes Mars’ childhood in Honolulu and finding fame as a child star from the age of four, his signing to Motown, then Atlantic Records and songwriting for stars including Alexandra Burke and the Sugababes, and the story behind the debut album Doo-Waps and Hooligans in 2010 and the immediate global success, spawning hit singles and an international tour. It also details his Grammy nominations and the music collaborations that followed, his second album Unorthodox Jukebox and his continued world wide success and interviews with family, friends and music producers.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThere goes gravity : a life in rock and roll / Lisa Robinson.
“During her 40 plus years as a music writer and columnist (New Musical Express, NY Post, Vanity Fair), Robinson has conducted a wealth of high-profile interviews-Patti Smith, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Jay Z, Eminem. These immersive tales from the hotels and backstage rooms of many larger-than-life musicians form a fly-on-the-wall adventure through the last half century of music. She had early success with interviews because, initially, she didn’t see herself as a rock critic (often writing gossip about fashion) and was cautious to judge, leaving the drug exposes to others. Tellingly, although she was entertained by the likes of Jagger and enthrall by Led Zeppelin, when Robinson was in New York she would head straight to CBGB’s to see Television and The New York Dolls, of whom she has been a longstanding champion. For Robinson, writing about the scene “felt like a ‘calling’.” Whether I was in a private plane with the Rolling Stones or standing in two inches of beer.at CBGB’s-it was exactly where I wanted to be.” Her excitement is palpable and will leave you wanting to put your lighter in the air.”(adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverMad world : an oral history of new wave artists and songs that defined the 1980s / Lori Majewski, Jonathan Bernstein ; foreword by Nick Rhodes ; afterword by Moby.
“Writing an oral history of new wave music is an appreciably tall order given its sheer breadth and lack of distinct genre boundaries. Clearly recognizing this, coauthors -Majewski and Bernstein (Pretty in Pink) have taken a generally sound approach in this book. Eschewing a comprehensive take, they instead focus on one song per artist included and use introductory descriptions, interviews, and where-are-they-now updates to provide a snapshot of where the song (and artist) fit within the movement. Their selections lean more toward new wave’s pop-heavy and audience-friendly period in the early 1980s, which means that bands closer to the post-punk spectrum, goth rock groups in particular, receive less attention. Yet they demonstrate a strong knowledge of their subject without (mercifully) being overly glib or snarky in tone. Fans looking for juicy specifics likely won’t be disappointed with the detail-laden interviews, particularly with verbal grenades lobbed between A Flock of Seagulls and many other artists.” (adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverGlen Campbell : life with my father / Debby Campbell & Mark Bego.
“Debby Campbell writes her story of a father and his devoted daughter from her heart, and from her diary. She has shared some of the most rewarding years in her father’s life. And now, for the first time, she blows the lid off all of Glen Campbell’s family secrets. It is about a family bound together by Glen’s talent, and ultimately torn apart in the name of money and power.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverFace the music : a life exposed / Paul Stanley.
“Before Stanley cofounded the rock band KISS, he was Stanley Harvey Eisen, a boy born partially deaf with a stump for an ear. Kids were unkind, and he had an unhappy childhood and unsatisfying family life. College wasn’t for him, but he found his calling in writing and performing music, not letting his birth defect stop him. After working hard and hanging out with the right people, KISS became larger than life for a time, but drugs and egos interfered. Stanley never gave up, though, and managed to keep the band alive as musicians came, went, or lost focus and as the music scene changed. This year marks the 40th anniversary of KISS’s first album, and Stanley has seemingly found happiness and stability with the current lineup of members, his children, and his second wife. The author is the last of the founding KISS members to tell his story in a book and the result is entertaining and revealing.” (adapted from Library Journal)

New DVDs for August

New this month are foreign dramas in ‘The Past’ from the director of ‘A Separation’ and the uplifting Laos film ‘The Rocket’; award-winning US dramas in ‘Nebraska’ and ‘Dallas Buyers Club’; and some good laughs with ‘Le Week-end’ & ‘Cuban Fury’.

Cover imageI, Frankenstein.
“Otherworldly action thriller directed by Stuart Beattie and starring Aaron Eckhart and Bill Nighy. 200 years on from his formation, Dr. Frankenstein (Aden Young)’s immortal creation Adam (Eckhart) still walks the earth. Caught in the middle of a war between the benevolent Gargoyles led by Leonore (Miranda Otto) and malevolent demonic forces who are hunting him down, Adam is forced to confront those who seek to exploit his unnatural ability to live forever and put an end to their aim of destroying mankind…” (description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover ImageDallas buyers club.
“Matthew McConaughey gives the performance of his career in this uplifting and powerful film inspired by true events. Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) sees his free-wheeling life overturned when he’s diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. Determined to survive, Woodroof decides to take matters in his own hands by tracking down alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. After finding an unlikely ally in Rayon (Jared Leto), he establishes a hugely successful “buyers’ club” and unites a band of outcasts in a struggle for dignity and acceptance that inspires in ways no one could have imagined. Co-starring Jennifer Garner, Dallas Buyers Club is “deeply moving. A livewire of a movie!” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)…” (description from amazon.com)

Cover ImageCuban fury.
“Beneath Bruce Garrett’s shabby, overweight exterior, the passionate beating heart of a salsa king lies dormant. Only one woman can reignite his Latin fire, but first Bruce must learn how to unshackle his dancing beast, regain his long-lost swagger, and claim the love of his life. Spotlight hits, sweat drips, heels click…” (Syndetics summary)

Cover ImageThe pretty one.
“Laurel has always been the odd wallflower, choosing to live at home with her father, while her glamorous identical twin, Audrey, possesses the confidence and appeal to succeed in the big city. When tragedy strikes and Laurel is mistaken for her twin sister, she makes the impulsive decision to assume her sister’s identity and become The Pretty One. As she eases into her new, independent existence, Laurel discovers that she’s capable of accomplishments she had never dreamed of before; excelling in a career, maintaining friendships and even finding love.” (Syndetics summary)

Cover ImageVampire Academy.
“Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir are best friends at a hidden boarding school for Moroi (mortal peaceful vampires) and Dhampir (half-vampire/half-human guardians to the Moroi). However, all is not as it seems at St. Vladimir’s Academy and threats lurk both from within the walls of the academy and from the Strigoi (immortal, evil vampires) who ruthlessly hunt the Moroi. Rose will do anything protect Lissa from those who intend to harm her and fearing for their lives, the girls escape from St. Vladimir’s only to be quickly recaptured and plunged back into a world of danger which they must face head-on… (description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover ImageLe week-end.
“A married English couple take a weekend trip to Paris to celebrate their 30th anniversary, hoping to revive some long forgotten amour. While there, they re-evaluate their lives, both individually and collectively, before running into an old acquaintance who will act as the catalyst for things to come.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageJustified. The complete fourth season.
“In Season 4, Raylan will start to pick at the thread of a cold case over 30 years in the making, unraveling a riddle that echoes all the way back to his boyhood and his criminal father’s bad dealings. Meanwhile Boyd Crowder finds his grip on Harlan loosening due to a Pentecostal preacher with a penchant for theatrics and a knack for manipulation to rival his own.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageCrimes of passion.
“Based on the classic mystery novels by Maria Lang and starring Wallander’s Ola Rapace, Crimes of Passion is a collection of stylish whodunnits set in post-war Sweden. The brainy and beautiful Puck is a university student obsessed with crime novels, so when she finds herself in the middle of mystery and murder, she’s never short on ideas and insights. She’s also in love with fellow academic Einar, who is as drawn to her as he is to medieval history. Together with Einar’s childhood friend, Police Commissioner Christer, they witness the passions, betrayals and intrigue in the lives of respectable and seemingly quiet-living Swedes. Crimes of Passion is set in the magical beauty of the lake region of Bergslagen in south central Sweden. It may be far north on the globe, but given their steamy passions and secret lives, there’s nothing chilly about these characters from Lang’s famous mysteries.” (Syndetics summary.)

cover imageHannah Arendt.
“A biopic of Hannah Arendt, the influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist. Arendt’s reporting on the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann in The New Yorker, controversial both for her portrayal of Eichmann and the Jewish councils, introduced her now-famous concept of the ‘Banality of Evil.’ Using footage from the actual Eichmann trial and weaving a narrative that spans three countries, von Trotta beautifully turns the often invisible passion for thought into dramatic cinema.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageThe rocket.
“Laos: A ten year old boy, Ahlo, who is believed to bring bad luck, is blamed for a string of disasters. When his family loses their home and are forced to move, Ahlo meets the spirited orphan Kia and her eccentric uncle Purple: an ex-soldier with a purple suit, a rice-wine habit and a fetish for James Brown. Struggling to hang on to his father s trust, Ahlo leads his family, Purple and Kia through a land scarred by war in search of a new home. In a last plea to try and prove he s not cursed, Ahlo builds a giant explosive rocket to enter the most lucrative but dangerous competition of the year: the Rocket Festival. As the most bombed country in the world shoots back at the sky, a boy will reach to the heavens for forgiveness. Gripping yet heart-warming…” (Abridged  description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe past.
“Following a four-year separation, Ahmad returns to Paris from Tehran, upon his French wife Marie’s request, in order to finalize their divorce procedure. During his stay, Ahmad quickly discovers the conflicting nature of Marie’s relationship with her daughter, Lucie. But Ahmad’s attempts to build bridges between the two soon begin to encroach on Marie’s new partner, Samir (Tahar Rahim, A Prophet), and as tensions begin to mount it soon becomes clear that the past is only close behind. Directed by Palme d’Or winner Asgar Farhadi (A Separation) and featuring an unforgettable central performance by Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) that earned her the Best Actress award at Cannes 2013, The Past is a tight-knit family drama as gripping as any thriller…” (description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageNebraska.
“From Academy Award winner Alexander Payne, the director of Sideways and The Descendants, comes the film that critics are calling “An American Masterpiece.” When a father (Bruce Dern) and his adult son (Will Forte) embark on a journey to claim a million-dollar prize, what begins as a fool’s errand becomes a search for the road to redemption. Discover why Nebraska is “one of those movies I’ll watch for the rest of my life…” (description from Amazon.com)

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