Community & Languages eNewsletter for May

The Community & Languages eNewsletter for this month sees a feature on new Spanish language items, recipes and movies from all over the world and a focus on the Christchurch earthquakes.

Library News

New Zealand

With the one year anniversary of the devastating Christchurch earthquake recently remembered, our picks of the recent New Zealand books this month include a number of new books on Christchurch – including a beautiful artist’s tribute to the buildings of Christchurch, stories of people trapped during the earthquake, and books that tell of the ordeal of living in the city and dealing with the aftermath of the quake.

Syndetics book coverShaken, not stirred : family survival in a quake zone / Amanda Cropp.
“Imagine sharing a portable toilet with your neighbours for months on end, showering in a shipping container in the fire station car park, or travelling for three hours a day on six different buses to get to and from school. Such was life in post-quake Christchurch for Amanda Cropp and her family. Quake damaged roads make travel a nightmare. Yet despite all this, life carries on. The quakes have reinforced the importance of family and friends, and a sense of humour is indispensable. This book will make you laugh and cry. It is funny, provocative and poignant, and shows that living in a disaster zone brings communities together, that people do indeed step up and look after one another. This is a story about the resilience of a community suddenly struggling with the simplest of daily chores in a time of crisis.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTrapped : remarkable stories of survival from the 2011 Canterbury earthquake / Martin van Beynen ; foreword by Bob Parker.
“The Canterbury earthquake of February 2011 altered landscape, history, and most importantly, human lives. Many perished and the lives of thousands were upended. In Trapped, Martin van Beynen documents with sensitivity and unerring detail the personal experiences of more than thirty quake survivors – before, during and after the event – in their own words.At once poignant, dramatic and enthralling, their stories record a defining moment in Canterbury’s history and testify to the courage and heroism of everyday people.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFrom crank handles to hydraulics : a history of cranes in New Zealand / by John Carter.
“Cranes of various shapes and sizes have helped shape our nation dating back from around 1840 and today rank as the most familiar item of equipment involved on construction and other sites throughout the country. This book is the first ever produced in New Zealand detailing how cranes and other lifting devices have evolved over the decades. It is an easy read for people of all ages and includes how cranes assisted in the colonisation of New Zealand via the ports and railways and mentions of some of the country’s historical events which necessitated the use of cranes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Some new DVDs to hit the shelves here at Wellington City Libraries for April include the new documentary on New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham; acclaimed animated feature ‘The Illusionist’; a biography on the life of autistic scientist Temple Grandin; ‘Red Dog’ the highest grossing Australian film of 2011; a new French comedy with Audrey Tautou; & the Foo Fighters documentary ‘Back & Forth’…

Cover imageBill Cunningham New York.
“Richard Press’s flattering, but never fawning portrait of New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham distinguishes itself from most other art and fashion documentaries. First of all, Cunningham doesn’t produce work that ends up on gallery walls. Instead, his candid snapshots of the city’s most fashionable citizens have graced the paper’s Style section for decades… Navigating New York with his humble Schwinn, clad in his blue canvas jacket, Cunningham doesn’t miss a trick or a trend. In an era when anyone can take a digital photo and upload it to the Internet, he still shoots on film, and style mavens pour through his columns, “On the Street” and “Evening Hours,” to see what’s hip and whether or not they made the cut… Press always returns to Cunningham, whose joie de vivre will surely prove irresistible even to those who normally couldn’t care less about cameras and clothes. (Description from

Cover imageThe illusionist.
“The Illusionist (2010) is director Sylvain Chomet’s homage to French writer-director-actor Jacques Tati…Basedon a script Tati wrote but never produced, the film focuses on a sleight-of-hand magician whose career founders as television and rock and roll supplant traditional entertainment. During a trip to a remote village in Scotland–where pub goers still appreciate his act–the magician encounters Alice, a teenage girl who works as a maid. When he departs, Alice follows him to Edinburgh, seeking a more glamorous life. In addition to his stage gigs, the Illusionist works at various odd jobs to support Alice, whom he treats as an adopted daughter. The Illusionist is told with only minimal dialogue. However, in place of the manic energy of Triplets, The Illusionist is permeated with a wistful melancholy for a fading era, a fading talent, and, ultimately, a fading relationship…(Adapted from review)

Cover imageTemple Grandin.
“Grandin, who is now in her 60s, has accomplished a good deal more than a great many “normal” folks, let alone others afflicted with the autism that Grandin overcame on her way to earning a doctorate and becoming a bestselling author and a pioneer in the humane treatment of livestock. The doctor who diagnosed her at age 4 said she’d never talk and would have to be institutionalized. Only through the dogged efforts of her mother (Julia Ormond)…did Grandin learn to speak; to go to high school, college, and grad school; and to become a highly productive scientist…Danes, who is in nearly every scene of director Mick Jackson’s film, is remarkable, embodying Grandin’s various idiosyncrasies…Captivating, compelling, and thoroughly entertaining, Temple Grandin is highly recommended…(Adapted from review)

Cover imageRed Dog.
“Dampier, Western Australia, 1971. A wild and desolate place where workers from all over the world come to sweat away. When the sun goes down, these grafters make their way to the industrial hick town’s only pub where they drink, recall their homes and get involved in fights. But this particular night things are somewhat quieter than usual. In the back room a dog is drawing its last breath. But this isn t just any old cur, this is Red Dog, a dog everybody here knows and loves, and about whom everyone has a story to tell. No doubt about it, Red Dog really is a character and tonight everyone is prepared to agree for once. Full of comedy, romance and heart-warming drama RED DOG has won numerous awards and has stormed the box office in Australia to become the highest grossing Australian film of 2011 and reach the Top 10 Australian films of all time…” ( description)

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Community Languages

Do you enjoy reading Spanish Literature, or brushing up on your Spanish? Take a look at the latest titles added to our Community Languages section. We have expanded the range of Spanish books to include literary work, historical fiction and crime, as well as, books on cooking and health. There are also copies of the Guinness World Records, 2012 Edition, featuring the incredible world of record breaking. Here is a small selection of books you can find. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverCuentos completos / Julio Cortázar.
Presents the Argentine author’s collections of short fiction, including some of his best-known works, in chronological order.
“The first of three exceptional volumes of short stories written by this immortal master. His stories are a brilliant painting of improbable, magical and tender beings. They are the best mixture of his Literature, and are also the opportunity to embark on an endless trip. This volume includes: La otra orilla, Bestiario, Las armas secretas, and Final del juego.” – (adapted from summary)

Syndetics book coverEl otoño del patriarca / Gabriel García Márquez.
“Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born in Aracataca, Colombia. Acclaimed for both his craft and his imagination, he has been called a master of myth and magical realism (a style of literature that makes use of fantastical, highly improbable, and sometimes supernatural events and characters). His stories depict a world shaped by myth, history, politics, and nature. Garcia Marquez first created Macondo, his fictional town, in his short story collections Leaf Storm (1955) and No One Writes to the Colonel (1961), but it was the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) that brought both Macondo and Garcia Marquez to world attention. One Hundred Years of Solitude traces a century in the town’s history, from its founding through its destruction by a cyclone. Skillfully blending the fantastic, the mythical, and the commonplace in a humorous and powerful narrative, Garcia Marquez tells a moving tale of people locked in an isolation, partly of their own making and partly due to U.S. and European cultural and political domination of Latin America. With this work, Garcia Marquez established himself internationally as a major novelist, and his reputation has continued to grow since he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982.” – (adapted from Bowker author biography)

Syndetics book coverEl cuaderno de Maya / Isabel Allende.El cuaderno de Maya: Una Novela
“This story is about Maya Vidal, a nineteen year old female, born in Berkeley, California, US. Maya is a refugee with a temporary passport. Her parents named her Maya, meanung ’spell, illusion, dream’ in Hindi. Maya, though, feels that this name is not suited to her personality and character and that’s how her story begins..” – (adapted from Book jacket summary)

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This month check out a delectable extravganza of food from around the world. Food from Arabia, Morocco, Mexico and … Mt Eden!

Syndetics book coverModern Flavours of Arabia / Suzanne Husseini ; photography by Petrina Tinslay.
“Authentic Arabian dishes inspired by Suzanne’s fondest food memories are blended with an elegant, modern take: crepes are speckled with pistachios and sweetened with rose syrup, and scones are enhanced with dates, orange and cardamom. The classics are here too: tabbouleh, hummus, shawarma and homemade labneh. These are the foods that Suzanne loves to cook for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and she wants us to love making them, when recreating the same flavours at home. Luscious photography, warm personal stories and ideas on how to serve each dish make MODERN FLAVOURS OF ARABIA a feast for the palate as well as for the eyes.” – (adapted from Global Books summary)

Syndetics book coverDulcie May Kitchen Everyday / Natalie Oldfield ; photography by Todd Eyre ; food styling by Michelle Burrell.
“From breakfast to light lunch and beyond, these simple, tasty dishes are among those favourites prepared and served everyday by Natalie and her family in their food store and at home. The recipes offer a fresh look at how to eat well every day, in the signature Dulcie May Kitchen style.” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverAn everlasting meal : cooking with economy and grace / Tamar Adler
“Adler, who opened a farm-to-table restaurant in Georgia and cooked at Chez Panisse (Alice Waters here contributes a foreword), offers insight into how to make simple foods into enjoyable meals, e.g., food scraps that are normally thrown away are instead used for soups, bones for stock, and orange peels for marmalade. In the chapter “How To Boil Water,” she encourages readers to put on a pot of water, then figure out what to throw in it-vegetables, pasta, potatoes, beans, even meat-increasing flavor with each item. Adler devotes a chapter to eggs, which can easily create a meal via a variety of cooking techniques, and she includes a recipe for Tortilla Espanola (simply potatoes, onions, and eggs). She also offers inspiration for making an exciting salad from in-season produce.” – (adapted from Library Journal summary)

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Satisfy your creative urge and experiment with new ideas and tips for making fabulous handmade gifts and home projects, without emptying your wallet! This month’s book selection offers you new techniques and step-by-step instructions how to do your own knitting, sewing and beading projects. Get creative and have fun!

Syndetics book coverWeekend handmade : more than 40 projects + ideas for inspired crafting / Kelly Wilkinson ; photographs by Thayer Allyson Gowdy.
“In Weekend Handmade, author Kelly Wilkinson encourages readers to celebrate the joy of crafting, both for the satisfaction of making something by hand, and because the finished items serve as reminders of time taken to slow down and create – no matter the day of the week. The book is organized into three sections: Make offers projects to wear or decorate with; Grow presents projects inspired by gardens, fields, and farmer’s markets; and Gather spotlights projects that enrich casual get-togethers. With clear, step-by-step instructions, every project in “Weekend Handmade” –from aprons, tablecloths, and marmalade to a memory box and a chandelier–can be completed in a few hours or over the course of a weekend.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHop skip jump : 20 eco-friendly toys to sew / Fiona Dalton.
“This book shows us how to make 20 gorgeous soft toys using natural and repurposed materials. It’s so much more special to give a handmade gift than to purchase something mass-produced. Here you’ll find a raft of fun and easy-to-sew toys, including Arnold the penguin, Doris the sausage dog and Harriet the tortoise.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover75 fish, shells, coral & marine creatures to knit and crochet / Jessica Polka.
“There are many unusual creatures featured in this book. They are well done and very realistic looking. ‘The Deep’ ones, especially the Anglerfish, whose mouth could, just for fun, be used as a place to store a ring or bracelet. The Brine Shrimp, Zebra Dartfish, Blue Line Grouper, and Pufferfish are just some of the fishes that look fun to make. It’s nice to see some suggestions as what to do with these kinds of items. The last section shows 7 projects. They are: Sea Fig Corsage, Atoll Ceiling Mobile, Sea Shell Beach Hat, Seaweed Scarf, Shoal Necklace, Deep Sea Diorama (a favourite), and Coral Cushion. It’s nice to see some suggestions as what to do with these kinds of items. Perfect for people who love the sea, or live by water and would like to do some cute decorating, or for those who just want to create novel knitted or crocheted items.” – (adapted from summary)

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