Settle in for Winter nights with new library DVDs

New DVDs for June include the Tina Fey produced comedy ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, the return of crime favourite ‘Broadchurch’ for a final season and the lads from ‘Trainspotting’, acclaimed drama about an interracial marriage in 1958 Virginia with the Biopic ‘Loving’, the feel-good story of ‘A Street cat named Bob’, the remake of an NZ classic with ‘Pork Pie’, and the final chapter in the story of Marvel superhero Wolverine.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Season one.
“From the executive producers of 30 Rock (Tina Fey and Robert Carlock) comes the “wise, wicked comedy” (Jeff Jensen, EW), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Rescued after fifteen years in an underground doomsday cult, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) decides to rebuild her life in New York City armed with only a fifth-grade education and a firm belief that truly anything is possible. She quickly finds a roommate, Titus Andromedon (Primetime Emmy nominee Tituss Burgess), a job working for a spoiled Manhattan mom, Jacqueline Voorhees (Primetime Emmy nominee Jane Krakowski), and a new beginning. Watch season one of the Primetime Emmy-nominated series on these shiny discs that Kimmy is only now just learning about! That’s all thirteen episodes, back-to-back and uninterrupted, of the show critics rave is “packed liked 30 Rock with surreal zingers” (Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker).” (Editorial Reviews, Amazon.com)

Broadchurch. Series 3.
“Ellie and Hardy are called out to attend to a woman who has reported a serious sexual assault. They take the woman – Trish Winterman – to the SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) where she is examined. There’s no doubt she’s been raped – but where, and when, and by whom? Hardy and Ellie tell Trish that an ISVA, (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) will be in touch soon. This person will help and guide her through the legal and investigative process that will now unfold around her. Working on a clue found at Trish’s house, Hardy and Ellie discover the crime scene and call in SOCO to gather evidence. But it is an unusual and difficult crime scene – will they find anything useful? The initial forensics report confirms Hardy and Ellie’s earlier suspicions – this was not an opportunistic attack, it was planned. Hardy concludes that they have a serious sexual predator at large in the town, someone who may strike again.” (Syndetics summary)

Red Dog : true blue.
“Every legend has a beginning. When eleven year old Mick is shipped off to his grandfather’s cattle station in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia, he prepares himself for a life of dull hardship, but instead finds myth, adventure, and a friendship with a scrappy, one-of-a-kind dog that will change his life forever.” (Syndetics summary)

Aquarius.
“Clara, a 65 year old widow and retired music critic, was born into a wealthy and traditional family in Recife, Brazil. She is the last resident of the Aquarius, an original two-story building, built in the 1940s, in the upper-class, seaside Boa Viagem Avenue, Recife. All the neighboring apartments have already been acquired by a company which has other plans for that plot. Clara has pledged to only leave her place upon her death, and will engage in a cold war of sorts with the company. This tension both disturbs Clara and gives her that edge on her daily routine. It also gets her thinking about her loved ones, her past and her future.” (Syndetics summary)

Lovesong.
“Neglected by her husband, Sarah embarks on an impromptu road trip with her young daughter and her best friend, Mindy. Along the way, the dynamic between the two friends intensifies before circumstances force them apart. Years later, Sarah attempts to rebuild their intimate connection in the days before Mindy’s wedding.” (Syndetics summary)

T2 trainspotting.
“First there was an opportunity; then there was a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton returns to the only place he can ever call home. They are waiting for him: Spud, Sick Boy, and Begbie. Other old friends are waiting too: sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance.” (Syndetics summary)

Pork pie.
“Jon, a charming but out-of-luck novelist, musters the bravery needed to try and win back the love of his life by surprising her at a friend’s wedding. One problem: he’s in Auckland and the wedding is in Wellington. After a failed attempt to make the journey south in his bomby Holden, Jon hitches a ride with Luke, a sparky young dude driving a fancy new (and unbeknownst to Jon, stolen) yellow MINI Cooper….Soon after, undercover vegan-activist, Keira, climbs through the fast food drive-through window into the MINI bound for Wellington and the Blondini gang of three are formed. As they journey south, the most epic road trip of their lives ensues. To add to Jon’s romantic struggles, he and his two new mates become accidental outlaws on-the-run and soon have a frenzy of police and media hot in their pursuit…” (Description, Mightyape.co.nz)

Miss Sloane.
“In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. Known equally for her cunning and her track record of success, she has always done whatever is required to win. But when she takes on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds that winning may come at too high a price.” (Description, Mightyape.co.nz)

A street cat named Bob.
“Based on the international best selling book. The true feel good story of how James Bowen, a busker and recovering drug addict, had his life transformed when he met a stray ginger cat.” (Description, Mightyape.co.nz)

Loving.
“In 1958, in the state of Virginia, the idea of interracial marriage was not only considered to be immoral to many – it was also illegal. When Richard and Mildred fall in love, they are aware of the eyes staring at them and the words said behind their backs. It is when they get married, however, that words and looks become actions, and the two are arrested. The couple decide to take their case all the way to the Supreme Court to fight for their love in this passionate and gripping drama from acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols.” (Syndetics summary)

Logan.
“His Time Has Come. In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
Logan is a 2017 American superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman. The film is the tenth instalment in the X-Men film series, and the third film focused on Wolverine. This final chapter follows a past-his-prime Logan embarking on a road trip across America for one final mission.” (Description, mightyape.co.nz)

 

Recent books about Learning English

Featured this time are two series: Jetstream and Living Skills +

Syndetics book coverGeneral IELTS reading practice tests questions sets 1-5 : sample mock IELTS preparation materials based on the real exams : created by IELTS teachers for their students and for you / edited by Jams Hogan.
“These practice tests can enable you to improve your understanding of the IELTS general reading exam and increase your ability for taking the IELTS tests. Doing IELTS practice tests regularly, even daily, will help you get to the point where you can pass the real exam. This set of 5 General IELTS practice tests is ideal in helping you study further for you IELTS test. If you’re not doing an IELTS reading test every day for a few months before the exam, you’ll find it harder to get the band score you want…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Jetstream : elementary A / Jane Revell, Mary Tomalin.
Jetstream is the brand new Helbling Languages 6-level course for adult learners. Its carefully balanced pace and challenge offer a learning experience that is fun and motivating and which prepares students to use their English effectively in work and life”.” (from back cover)

Jetstream : elementary B / Jane Revell, Mary Tomalin.

Jetstream : pre-intermediate A / Jane Revell, Mary Tomalin.

Jetstream : pre-intermediate B / Jane Revell, Mary Tomalin.

Syndetics book coverDoing household chores / Carrie Gwynne. Keep it clean / PJ Gray.
“LIVING SKILLS: Build students living skills with this five-book set. Important aspects of living and managing basic skills on your own are explored in these nonfiction/fiction flip books. Topics include: finding a place to live and moving in, making a grocery list, buying groceries, housekeeping and keeping things clean, and cooking your meals.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFinding a place to live / Carrie Gwynne. A place of our own / PJ Gray.

Syndetics book coverMoving in / Carrie Gwynne. Pack up / PJ Gray.

Syndetics book coverSmart grocery shopping / Jane Gardner ; Shop smart / PJ Gray.

Syndetics book coverCooking your own meals / Carrie Gwynne. Dinner is served / PJ Gray.

Syndetics book coverLiving on a budget / Jane Gardner ; Road trip / PJ Gray.
“Build students’ personal finance skills with this five-book set. Important aspects of managing money are explored in these nonfiction/fiction flip books. Topics include: budgeting, opening a bank account, credit, coupons, and saving.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOpening a bank account / Susan Rose Simms ; The Guitar / Susan Rose Simms.

Syndetics book coverManaging credit / Jill Haney ; High cost / PJ Gray.

Syndetics book coverFinding a job / M.G. Higgins. Dream jobs / PJ Gray.
“JOB SKILLS: Build students job skills with this five-book set. Important aspects of jobs and managing basic skills on your own are explored in these nonfiction/fiction flip books. Topics include: preparing a resume, finding a job, job interview basics, how to act on the job, and employee rights.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLifeskills vocabulary. 1.
“With these workbooks you can teach real life words and skills that students can practice immediately. Furthermore, while teaching about employment forms and money management students are learning essential critical thinking, writing, and reading comprehension skills. Words are learned in context through a variety of high-interest activities including: safety signs and symbols, finding a job, personal health, cooking, smart shopping, legal documents, making a budget, and more. The self-directed activities require virtually no preparation and can be completed in one class period. ” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEveryday life math.
“These 112-page reproducible books include teacher notes and tips, answer keys, reference guides, lessons, unit reviews, and more. Units include: Personal Care, Health, Getting Around, Managing Time, Community, Thinking About the Future, Thrifty Thinking, Sustaining the World.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmart shopping math.
“Each book contains problems that involve estimation, equations, mental math, calculators, and critical thinking….include teacher notes and tips, answer keys, reference guides, lessons, unit reviews, and more. Units include: Retail & Wholesale, Reading Ads, Rental Sales, Buying on Layaway, Getting the Best Deal, Online Shopping, Shopping for a Neighbor, Second Time Around.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Recent titles on Cars and Transport

A wide selection this time, from bicycles to motorbikes, Land Rover to motor racing and speedway culture, Boeing to the RNZAF, and notable boats to product tankers!

Image from Fishpond.co.nzLaucala Bay : the story of the RNZAF in Fiji 1939 to 1967 / Bee Dawson.
“As the prospect of a Pacific war with Japan became likely in the 1930s, a Commonwealth defence conference decided which countries would be responsible for which parts of the Pacific. New Zealand was given responsibility for air reconnaissance for part of the ocean centred around Fiji. It was considered that this would best be done with flying boats. The air base at Laucala Bay was developed as part of the strategy to carry out this work. This account tells of the wartime crises and life when peace arrived, from the tracking of both aircraft and submarine activity, to the tragedies and rescues inevitable in times of war.” (Publisher information)

Image from Fishpond.co.nzKiwi speedway culture / Steve Holmes.
“Speedway racing is a form of motorsport born in the USA, but one which was quickly adopted here in New Zealand, dating back to the early 1900s. Speedway has evolved into possibly this country’s most successful racing arena, and one which has become typically unique to us, and our very unique interests. With 24 Speedway New Zealand affiliated race tracks spread throughout the country, local loyalty among fans is as intense and passionate as rugby, or any other sporting code. Kiwi Speedway Culture is a new book that goes beyond the gritty quarter mile dirt bullring ovals dotted throughout our landscape, and visits some of the characters involved.” (Publisher’s description)

Image from Fishpond.co.nzTasman echo alpha : an account of the NZ airline industry in the 1960’s when flying was dangerous and sex was safe / Guy Clapshaw.
Tasman Echo Alpha is a former Air New Zealand pilot’s imaginary recollections of aviation’s glorious days when pilots flew with navigators and flight engineers, and passengers dressed up to fly in those ‘magic flying machines’.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverClassics : great motorcycles and people / words by Shane Kelly ; photography by Geoff Osborne ; foreword by Graeme Crosby.
“A coffee table book featuring images and histories of iconic New Zealand motorcycles, as well as the people who made them famous. Includes the history of the bikes as well as the people associated with them. Each chapter provides a background that tells why the motorcycles are special, looking at the story of the marque as well as the individual machine. It’s not just about the motorbikes but the experiences of the people associated with them.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Kenny Smith scrapbook : a celebration of a Kiwi legend / Michael Clark.
“This biography covers Kenny Smith’s long career in motor racing, including the golden years of the late ’60s and ’70s when he raced alongside Bruce McLaren, Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Denny Hulme, Jackie Stewart and Chris Amon, the years he won New Zealand Grand Prix titles, and everything else he’s learnt along the way.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLand Rover : the story of the car that conquered the world / Ben Fogle.
“It is said that for more than half the world’s population, the first car they ever saw was a Land Rover Defender. It mirrors many of our national traits, stiff upper-lipped and slightly eccentric. The car has remained relatively unchanged for nearly seven decades and has spawned an industry that includes dozens of publications, car shows, clubs, associations and even model car collectors who dedicate their lives to the Land Rover. …After 67 years and 2 million vehicles the Land Rover Defender has ceased production, and this book is a fitting tribute to this most British institution which has stood as a beacon of durability and Britishness across the world.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBoeing : in photographs : a century of flight / Martin W Bowman.
“This mighty company evolved from the humble Pacific Aero Products Company, incorporated in Seattle in July 1916 and renamed Boeing Airplane Company in 1917. Boeing’s 100-year history spans decades of rich achievement and technological development, first with the manufacture of sea-planes, then fighters and, from the 1930s onwards, huge bombers, innovative transports and finally, gigantic airliners, missiles, rockets and vehicles for moon exploration. Boeing constantly evolved, setting out to develop an entirely new jet transport, and in 1954 the innovative 707 appeared.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNotable boats : forty remarkable craft, forty great adventures / Nic Compton with illustrations by Peter Scott.
“Whether used for transport, adventure, work, or sport, boats have played a vital role in human history and have inspired numerous stories. The 40 boats featured in Notable Boats will gently float you away with tales of bravery, adventure, and the odd moment of near catastrophe. The book skillfully balances intricate and beautiful visuals, attractively styled statistics, and gripping text…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFifty bicycles that changed the world / Alex Newson.
“The bicycle is the world’s most popular form of transport, and its design has evolved over the decades both in terms of style and technology. From high-performance cycles to practical run-arounds, conceptual bikes to commercial models, the bicycle means different things to different people, from a means of transportation to a hobby, a way of keeping fit or for competitive sport.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHarley-Davidson Sportster : sixty years / Allan Girdler ; photography by Jeff Hackett, David Blattel, and Dain Gingerelli.
“From its difficult birth, Harley-Davidson’s Sportster went from being a mid-twentieth-century correction to a twenty-first-century icon. …Right from the start the Sportster faced challenges, both from imported competition and from design flaws the resulted from rushing the bike to market. But the Sportster perservered through all of this, outlasting all its rivals to become one of the top selling motorcycles of the twenty-first-century.” (Book jacket)

Product tankers / Nick Tolerton and Michael Pryce.
“Mention tankers, and most people think of the supertankers which trundle cargoes of crude oil to the world’s refineries. But the backbone of the world’s tanker fleet is made up of thousands of product tankers, familiar in ports all over the world, which distribute the cargoes of refined products as indispensable cogs in the wheels on international commerce. This book by New Zealand maritime writers Nick Tolerton and Captain Michael Pryce is the first detailed look at the history of these ocean workhorses, which evolved as a separate ship type abreast of the construction of larger and larger supertankers designed specially to carry crude oil.” (Book jacket)

Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks

It’s the perfect season to stay inside in your home and there is so much you can do, decorate, cook, organize and more. We’ve also hand picked a NZ home buyer’s book if you are interested in tips for buying a new home.

Syndetics book coverThe home decluttering diet : organize your way to a clean and lean house / Jennifer Lifford.
“When Lifford got serious about organizing her home, she decided to follow the principles of a typical diet designed to lose weight. Think of every item in your house– and every item you bring in– as calories in food. To maintain weight, calories in must equal calories out. To lose weight, calories in must be less than calories out. New habits must be developed; psychological issues must be addressed; and sensible rewards must be established. This yearlong plan can help you organize your way to a clean and lean house.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMorning, noon, night : a way of living / written by Jodie Harrison, Lucy Quick and Alex Hawkins.
A Way of Living charts the Soho House journey in design, food and drink. From the perfect burger to the most inspiring art, from afternoon tea to how to light a room. Developing themes from their first book Eat, Drink, Nap, Soho House shares hints and tips to get the best out of what is around us morning, noon and night. They have included their favourite recipes for every event, tips on creating an inspiring workspace, how to dress an outdoor space and much more…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe deckchair gardener : an improper gardening manual / Anne Wareham.
“For those who want to enjoy their garden but don’t have the time, knowledge or inclination to do the hard work involved, this book is an indispensable guide for quick and easy ways to look after your little patch of paradise. Weeding out unnecessary advice and pruning back complicated instructions, Anne Wareham provides you with humorous, honest tips and the essential information you need to look after your garden, saving your energy and your back.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverCushions, curtains & blinds : step by step / project editor, Anne Hildyard.
“With 25 easy and stylish sewing projects including pouffes, bedspreads, and Roman blinds, you can customise every inch of your home. Add beautiful finishing touches to your soft furnishing creations with advice from the experts on how to tailor each piece to your space, and mix and match patterns and prints to create beautiful effects. Cushions, Curtains and Blinds Step-by-Step uses simple step-by-step instructions and beautiful photography to help you achieve professional and personal results every time – the perfect guide to sprucing up your home.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuyer beware : a New Zealand home buyer’s guide / Maria Slade.
“Property prices going through the stratosphere, leaky buildings, P contamination, bullying body corporates – purchasing a house today can feel akin to entering a minefield. Written by a news journalist who has covered many of the horror stories, this book takes a no-holds-barred look at the challenges facing home buyers and offers savvy advice on how to navigate that minefield. It will appeal to all home buyers, from first-timers hoping for a small apartment to older people looking to downsize and everyone in between. With chapters on the search, mortgages and legal aspects, types of title, buying at auction, buying off plans, checks and warning signs, bodies corporate and the special problems to be found in Christchurch, there is plenty of information for everyone.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe little book of slow / Sally Wise & Paul McIntyre.
“Part nostalgia, part how-to guide, The Little Book of Slow offers practical suggestions, recipes and more for making delicious food from scratch and cultivating meaningful activities and pastimes. Bestselling cookbook author Sally Wise teams up with radio personality Paul McIntyre to help you slow your life down, relax and de-stress with vintage inspiration from a more leisurely time. Discover how to make your own bread, pickles and preserves, fresh cheeses and yoghurt. Pack the perfect picnic, cook over a campfire or host a vintage-style high tea. Or be inspired to take up slow hobbies and pastimes like beachcombing, collecting vinyl, playing boardgames or cards and holding dinner parties.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSowHow : a modern guide to grow-your-own veg / Paul Matson, Lucy Anna Scott.
“SowHow is an innovative grow guide for the modern gardener. With its fresh, bright design and clear-cut advice, this clever little book provides all the informstion you need to grow your own vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. Whether you are looking to fill a garden, ad allotment, or a patio pot, get going and grow with SowHow!” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe art of living with nature : 50 beautiful projects to bring the outside in / Willow Crossley.
“Learn how to make beautiful, nature-inspired, decorations, and arrangements with The Art of Living with Nature. Filled with tips and useful techniques to make the most out of your blooms, there will be a project to suit every occasion–whether you need napkin rings made of sea urchins, a stunning display of spring narcissi planted in wooden wine boxes, or a stylish wall display of antlers and feathers. By combining her passions for the great outdoors and natural beauty, Willow provides instructions about how to make the most of your flower-shop purchases, beachcombing bounty, home-grown harvests, and hedgerow finds.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe interior book / photographs by Eugeni Pons.
“The interior design of homes can be looked at as a reflection of contemporary lifestyle and of cultural changes in our society. Designing residential spaces is a complex undertaking on the part of the architect and interior designer, whose main goal is to reconcile practical requirements with the functional and aesthetic needs of their clients. This volume is a richly illustrated exploration of residential interior design room by room: entry halls and hallways, kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, home offices, and outdoor spaces.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEntertaining in the country : love where you eat : festive table settings, favorite recipes, and design inspiration / Joan Osofsky & Abby Adams ; principal photography by John Gruen.
“Carefully selected for their flair when it comes to entertaining, the hosts welcome the reader into their homes in New York’s bucolic Hudson Valley and New England. Featured are food star Julia Turshen and Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge; Dana Cowin of Food & Wine fame; and Erin French, the James Beard–nominated chef/owner of The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, Maine. Throughout are ideas for setting festive tables, floral choices, and decorative touches, as well as how to create a functional kitchen and well-stocked pantry. A list of sources of regional markets carrying local products rounds out this go-to entertaining guide.” (Provided by publisher)

New DVDs this month

Some classy crime among the new DVDs as Rowan Atkinson takes on the role of the classic Detective Maigret, the BBC version of Sherlock Holmes returns for another season, and Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano is back for one last season. New movies also include the latest edition of the Star Wars franchise, the old fashioned romantic drama of ‘Allied’, and the acclaimed Ken Loach film ‘I, Daniel Blake’; while new TV includes the 2nd season of the critically acclaimed FX series ‘The Americans’ which has finally been released here.

Maigret.
Maigret sets a trap – Montmartre, Paris. A serial killer is stalking the streets. Five women are dead and the people are afraid to go out after dark. The newspapers are rife with speculation. And Chief Inspector Maigret is without a lead and under great pressure… Maigret’s dead man – One February morning, an agitated man calls the Police judiciary asking for Maigret. He claims he’s being followed by someone trying the kill him. The night, his body is found, his face badly beaten, stabbed to death. Ridden with guilt for not having ‘saved’ his dead man, Maigret is determined to find the murderer.” (Syndetics summary)

Sherlock. Series four.
“Sherlock returns with three brand-new feature length episodes, promising laughter, tears, shocks, surprises and extraordinary cases. The eagerly anticipated fourth series, produced by Hartswood Films, begins with the nation’s favourite detective, the mercurial Sherlock Holmes, back once more on British soil. Meanwhile, Doctor Watson and his wife, Mary, prepare for their biggest ever challenge – becoming parents for the first time. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman reprise their iconic roles as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in the hit drama written and created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.” (Mightyape.co.nz)

Fantastic beasts and where to find them.
“It opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident, were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.” (Syndetics summary)

Inspector Montalbano. Volume 7.
“The brooding and moody yet somehow magnificent Luca Zingaretti returns for one final series. This time around, the new Montalbano films will be released in 2 segments Volume 7 will feature 2 films, A Delicate Matter and The Mud Pyramid.” (Syndetics summary)

I, Daniel Blake.
“From acclaimed director Ken Loach comes this astonishing story of triumph and adversity in modern day Britain. Daniel Blake has worked as a joiner for most of his life in Newcastle. Now, for the first time ever, he needs help from the State. He crosses paths with single mother Katie who is battling to keep her two young children fed. Daniel and Katie find themselves in a no-man’s land, striving to pull themselves out of the welfare bureaucracy of modern day Britain. Award winning and critically lauded, I, Daniel Blake is the vital film for our times.”–eOne.

Little men.
“Jake (Theo Taplitz) is a quiet, sensitive middle schooler with dreams of being an artist. He meets the affably brash Tony (Michael Barbieri) at his grandfather’s fu­neral, and the unlikely pair soon hit it off. The budding friendship is put at risk, however, when a rent dispute between Jake’s father, Brian (Greg Kinnear), and Tony’s mother, Leonor (Paulina Garcia), threatens to become contentious.” (Mightyape.co.nz)

Rogue One : a Star Wars story.
“In a period of great conflict, a group of unlikely heroes led by Jyn Erso, a daring fugitive, and Cassian Andor, a rebel spy, band together on a desperate mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAllied.
“The story of intelligence officer Max Vatan, who in 1942 North Africa encounters French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Reunited in London, their relationship is threatened by the extreme pressures of the war.” (Syndetics summary)

The Americans. The complete second season.
“Technological advances have escalated Cold War tensions to an all-time high, and undercover KGB operatives Elizabeth and Philip Jennings face the growing threat of discovery. As their assignments grow more deadly, their family is in more danger, and their loyalties are tested like never before.” (Syndetics summary)

Humans. 2.0.
“Humans is set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a ‘synth’–a highly–developed robotic servant eerily similar in appearance to humans. These incredible machines share our homes, our jobs and our lives and so become the objects of our fear, hatred, lust and even love. The Hawkins family struggles to put past events behind them. Their efforts are complicated further when they are unexpectedly drawn into battles being waged by their old conscious synth friends. As their emotional capabilities expand, the synths are pushed to the limit as they confront huge moral questions about their place in the world.” (Syndetics summary)

New Popular non-fiction books

Our first book this month follows a currently hot topic, that of gender bias in the workplace. Then follow some books on politics, including a wry take on the recent USA election, by author P. J. O’Rourke. We end with a good old fashioned Cold War spy story.

Syndetics book coverProgrammed inequality : how Britain discarded women technologists and lost its edge in computing / Marie Hicks.
“In 1944, Britain led the world in electronic computing. By 1974, the British computer industry was all but extinct. What happened in the intervening thirty years holds lessons for all post-industrial superpowers. In Programmed Inequality, Marie Hicks explores the story of labor feminization and gendered technocracy that undercut British efforts to computerize. That failure sprang from the government’s systematic neglect of its largest trained technical workforce simply because they were women. Hicks explains why, even today, possessing technical skill is not enough to ensure that women will rise to the top in science and technology fields.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow the hell did this happen? : the election of 2016 / P.J. O’Rourke.
“This election cycle was so absurd that celebrated political satirist, journalist, and die-hard Republican P. J. O’Rourke endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. As P.J. put it, “America is experiencing the most severe outbreak of mass psychosis since the Salem witch trials of 1692. So why not put Hillary on the dunking stool?” In How the Hell Did This Happen?, P.J. brings his critical eye and inimitable voice to some seriously risky business. Following his come-to-Satan moment with Hillary and the Beginning of End Times in November, P.J. reckons with a new age: “America is experiencing a change in the nature of leadership. We’re getting rid of our leaders. And we’re starting at the top.”” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDemocracy for realists : why elections do not produce responsive government / Christopher H. Achen, Larry M. Bartels.
Democracy for Realists assails the romantic folk-theory at the heart of contemporary thinking about democratic politics and government, and offers a provocative alternative view grounded in the actual human nature of democratic citizens. Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. When parties are roughly evenly matched, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns beyond the incumbents’ control; the outcomes are essentially random. Thus, voters do not control the course of public policy, even indirectly…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat we do now : standing up for your values in Trump’s America / edited by Dennis Johnson and Valerie Merians.
“This collection of essays by progressive leaders suggest actual strategies on how to move forward in resistance to a Trump administration.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUtopia for realists : how we can build the ideal world / Rutger Bregman ; translated from the Dutch by Elizabeth Manton.
“From one of Europe’s leading young thinkers, a brief history of utopia and a pragmatic manifesto for how to improve the lives of the 99 percent today. A majority of Americans report that they would take two extra weeks of vacation above two extra weeks of salary, half of all business professionals say that their work offers no meaning or significance, and nearly half of all American jobs are at a high risk of being usurped by machines. Meanwhile, after working all day at jobs we often dislike, we buy things we don’t need. Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian, reminds us it needn’t be this way-and in some places it isn’t.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover“Curbing catastrophe : natural hazards and risk reduction in the modern world / Timothy H. Dixon.
“What does Japan’s 2011 nuclear accident have in common with the 2005 flooding of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina? This thought-provoking book presents a compelling account of recent and historical disasters, both natural and human-caused, drawing out common themes and providing a holistic understanding of hazards, disasters and mitigation. The book shows how billions of dollars and countless lives could be saved by adopting longer-term thinking for infrastructure planning and building, and argues that better communication is vital in reducing global risks and preventing future catastrophes.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTo be a machine : adventures among cyborgs, utopians, hackers, and the futurists solving the modest problem of death / Mark O’Connell.
“Transhumanism is a movement pushing the limits of our biology–of our senses, intelligence, and life spans. It has been quietly exerting its influence on technology for decades, but in the last few years it has achieved critical mass, finding support among some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley and beyond. In To Be a Machine, journalist Mark O’Connell explores the staggering (and terrifying) possibilities that present themselves when you think of your body as an outmoded device. In investigating what it means to be a machine, he offers a surprising meditation of what it means to be human.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Times companion to 2016 / [edited by Ian Brunskill].
“… brings together some of the best articles – and photographs and graphics – published by The Times between September 2015 and August 2016. … a lively mix of news features and reportage, profiles and interviews, opinion columns and expert analysis.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverConnected world : from automated work to virtual wars : the future, by those who are shaping it / Philip Larrey.
“The world as we know it is changing. Driverless cars, drone deliveries and autonomous weapon systems are no longer the stuff of science fiction. But what’s next for technology and business, and what impact will it have on our society? In Connected World. Philip Larrey of the Pontifical Lateran University explores the consequences of the new digital age in conversation with an unparalleled set of global thought-leaders…..” (adapted from Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe man with the poison gun : a Cold War spy story / Serhii Plokhy.
“In the fall of 1961, KGB assassin Bogdan Stashinsky defected to West Germany. After spilling his secrets to the CIA, Stashinsky was put on trial in what would be the most publicized assassination case of the entire Cold War. The publicity stirred up by the Stashinsky case forced the KGB to change its modus operandi abroad and helped end the career of Aleksandr Shelepin, one of the most ambitious and dangerous Soviet leaders. Stashinsky’s story would inspire films, plays, and books–including Ian Fleming’s last James Bond novel, The Man with the Golden Gun. A thrilling tale of Soviet spy craft, complete with exploding parcels, elaborately staged coverups, double agents, and double crosses…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Some popular new non-fiction books for your reading pleasure

Some ‘better news’ books this time, beginning with The Fix. “Just when it looks like the world’s problems couldn’t get much worse, The Fix cuts through the gloom like a ray of sunshine” says Adam Grant. Find it, and more, in this month’s selections.

Syndetics book coverThe fix : how nations survive and thrive in a world in decline / Jonathan Tepperman.
“From immigration reform to energy resources, from political paralysis to inequality and extremism, we are beset by a raft of huge and seemingly insurmountable issues… What goes under-reported are the success stories. Here, taking ten of the most knotty issues we face today, Jonathan Tepperman examines unsung individuals’ bold and innovative attempts against all odds and expectations to solve some of the important problems governments have struggled with for decades. The solutions described in the book aren’t speculative: they’ve all already been tried, and they work. Controversial, provocative but always stimulating, Tepperman here offers a powerful, data-driven case for optimism.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAge is just a number : what a 97-year-old record-breaker can teach us about growing older / Charles Eugster with Matt Whyman.
“Retired dental surgeon Charles Eugster rekindled a love of competitive rowing he’d neglected for most of his adult life at the age of 63. He took up bodybuilding at the age of 87. And at the age of 95 he started sprinting for the first time in his life, becoming World Champion at 200m indoor and 400m outdoor. He is a world record holder for his age group in a number of sports, and has 40 Gold Medals for World Masters Rowing. In this book, Charles shares his journey and his passionate belief that growing older needn’t slow you down. And he shows his readers how taking on new challenges, learning new things, and improving your body as it ages is not only fun, but rewarding for the individual, and beneficial to society.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverProgress : ten reasons to look forward to the future / Johan Norberg.
“It’s on the televisions, in the papers and in our minds. Every day were bludgeoned by news of how bad everything is. Financial collapse, unemployment, growing poverty, environmental disasters, disease, hunger, war. But the rarely acknowledged reality is that the economic and social progress of the past few decades has been unprecedented and that by almost any index you care to identify, things are markedly better now than they have ever been for almost everyone alive. Examining official data from the worlds most trusted institutions like the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, political commentator Johan Norberg traces just how far we have come in tackling the greatest global problems.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHalf the sky : how to change the world / Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
“Two Pulitzer Prize winners issue a call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women in the developing world. They show that a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad and that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAttack of the 50 ft. women : how gender equality can save the world! / Catherine Mayer.
“Not a single country anywhere in the world has achieved gender equality. In more than a few countries, progress for women has stalled or is reversing. Voters in the United States chose a misogynist over a female candidate for President. Yet in many of these countries, the majority of politicians and business leaders profess to believe in gender equality-as well they might. One report predicts a boost to global GDP of GBP8.3 trillion by 2025 simply by making faster progress towards narrowing the gender gap…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe four-dimensional human : ways of being in the digital world / Laurence Scott.
“A constellation of everyday digital phenomena is rewiring our inner lives. We are increasingly coaxed from the three-dimensional containment of our pre-digital selves into a wonderful and eerie fourth dimension, a world of ceaseless communication, instant information and global connection. Our portals to this new world have been wedged open, and the silhouette of a figure is slowly taking shape. But what does it feel like to be four-dimensional? How do digital technologies influence the rhythms of our thoughts, the style and tilt of our consciousness? What new sensitivities and sensibilities are emerging with our exposure to the delights, sorrows and anxieties of a networked world? And how do we live in public, with these recoded private lives?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWe do things differently : the outsiders rebooting our world / Mark Stevenson.
“Our systems are failing. Old models – for education, healthcare and government, food production, energy supply – are creaking under the weight of modern challenges. As the world’s population heads towards 10 billion, it’s clear we need new approaches. Futurologist Mark Stevenson sets out to find them, across four continents. From Brazilian favelas to high tech Boston, from rural India to a shed inventor in England’s home counties, ‘We Do Things Differently’ travels the world to find the advance guard re-imagining our future.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMan of iron : Thomas Telford and the building of Britain / Julian Glover.
“The enthralling biography of the shepherd boy who changed the world with his revolutionary engineering and whose genius we still benefit from today… With his revolutionary vision, Telford invented the modern road and created the backbone of our national road network, tying England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales together, resulting in his being dubbed ‘The Colossus of Roads’. His elegant bridges are the greatest of the pre-twentieth century, the Menai Bridge a wonder of its time and our own while the famous Pontcysyllte aqueduct in Wales with its dramatic and alarming exposed heights is a UNESCO world heritage site and still a huge draw for tourists…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe master algorithm : how the quest for the ultimate learning machine will remake our world / Pedro Domingos.
Algorithms increasingly run our lives. They find books, movies, jobs, and dates for us, manage our investments, and discover new drugs. And in the world’s top research labs and universities, the race is on to invent the ultimate learning algorithm: one capable of discovering any knowledge from data, and doing anything we want, before we even ask. Pedro Domingos, one of the field’s leading lights, lifts the veil for the first time to give us a peek inside the learning machines that power Google, Amazon, and your smartphone. Step by step, he assembles a blueprint for the future universal learner – the Master Algorithm – and discusses what it means for you, and for the future of business, science, and society… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe brain defense : murder in Manhattan and the dawn of neuroscience in America’s courtrooms / Kevin Davis.
“In 1991, the police were called to East 72nd St. in Manhattan, where a woman’s body had fallen from a twelfth-story window. The woman’s husband, Herbert Weinstein, soon confessed to having hit and strangled his wife after an argument, then dropping her body out of their apartment window to make it look like a suicide. Shortly after Weinstein was arrested, an MRI revealed a cyst the size of an orange on his brain’s frontal lobe, the part of the brain that governs judgment and impulse control. The Weinstein case marked the dawn of a new era in America’s courtrooms.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe kingdom of women : life, love and death in China’s hidden mountains / Choo WaiHong.
“This is one of the last matriarchal societies on earth, where the women hold power. They make the major decisions, control household finances, have rightful ownership of land and property and full rights to the children born to them. Most notably, the Mosuo practice something called ‘walking marriage’ where, from the age of 13, women can choose to take lovers – as many or as few as they wish – from men within the tribe. Choo Waihong discovered the Mosuo several years ago and lived with them for six years, becoming part of a Mosuo family and of the wider community – the only non-Mosuo to have ever done so. The story of her time in the remote mountains of China is both poignant and compelling: a vibrant glimpse into a way of life that teeters on the knife-edge of extinction.” (Syndetics summary)

New DVDs to watch out for

New DVDs include Marvel Studios hit ‘Doctor Strange’; a new documentary directed by a Kiwi & another about one of our most famous pop songs; the Golden Globe nominated true story ‘Hacksaw Ridge’; the latest Tom Cruise adaptation from Lee Child’s ‘Jack Reacher’ series; the new Tom Ford thriller ‘Nocturnal Animals’; and heartfelt Spanish drama ‘Truman’.

A flickering truth.
A Flickering Truth documents the remarkable true story of exiled filmmaker Ibrahim Arify as he returns to his native Afghanistan. Tasked with restoring 8000 hours of lost Afghan films, his job is all the more formidable considering the medium has been outlawed by the Taliban government for many years. Unearthing dusty reels of film, some dug out of collapsing barns, others hidden in ceilings and many discovered by pure chance, Ibrahim must also deal with people too scared to act after so many years of oppression. Directed by respected New Zealand documentary filmmaker Pietra Brettkelly (Maori Boy Genius), A Flickering Truth explores a war-torn world in search of the truth, elusive as it has been for Afghanistan, highlighting the significance and power of film preservation.” (Syndetics summary)

Poi E : the story of our song.
“In 1984, ‘Poi e’ reached Number 1 on the NZ Pop Charts and broke every musical record. It remained in the charts for 34 weeks. It outsold ‘Thriller’, ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You’ and every other hit of 1984. It has been in the Top 10 in New Zealand, every decade for the past 30 years. It was also the first Number 1 song written and released entirely in Te Reo Māori. To put it simply, this small song changed New Zealand, forever. ‘Poi e’ has become New Zealand’s unofficial national anthem. With humour, energy and emotion, the movie Poi e is the story of how that iconic song gave pride to generations of New Zealanders.” (Syndetics summary)

Doctor Strange.
“From Marvel Studios comes “Doctor Strange,” the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing-and hope-in an unlikely place: a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange-armed with newly acquired magical powers-is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.” (Syndetics summary)

Jack Reacher. Never go back.
“Tom Cruise returns as Jack Reacher in this sequel based on Lee Child’s bestse­lling novel Never Go Back, which finds the itinerant problem-solver accused of murder, and learning that he may have a child he has never met.
JACK REACHER returns to the headquarters of his old unit, only to find out he’s now accused of a 16-year-old homicide. Jack Reacher must uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear his name. On the run as a fugitive from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever.” (Description, mightyape.co.nz)

Hacksaw Ridge.
“Directed by Mel Gibson and with 9 AACTA award wins and 3 Golden Globe nominations, this Australian production is an extraordinary true story. Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun.
Doss was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic he single-handedly rescued the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was injured by a grenade and hit by snipers.” (Description, mightyape.co.nz)

Sunset song.
“SUNSET SONG is an epic, award-winning film set in Scotland from acclaimed filmmaker, Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea, Of Time and the City), starring Agyness Deyn, Peter Mullan (My Name is Joe) and Kevin Guthrie (Sunshine On Leith).
Based on Lewis Grassic Gibbons novel, widely considered the classic Scottish novel of the 20th century, SUNSET SONG is the story of Chris Guthrie, a young women, living on a working farm who must battle tradition, change and societys expectations to forge her own voice. As World War One looms, and with moments of heartbreak and pain, celebration and joy, Chris stands strong, drawing from the ancient land in looking to the future.” (Description, Mightyape.co.nz)

The accountant.
“Christian Wolff is a math savant who works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division starting to close in, he takes on a legitimate client, a robotics company where an accounting clerk has discovered a discrepency involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, the body count starts to rise.” (Syndetics summary)

Truman.
“TRUMAN is a funny, heartfelt portrait of friendship, and life’s unexpected ups and downs. When theatre actor Julián receives an unexpected visit from his childhood friend Tomás, the encounter is bittersweet. This reunion is their first meeting in many years, triggered by Julian’s failing health. Tomas is baffled by his friend’s decision to forgo treatment and instead focus on putting his affairs in order: distributing possessions, reconciling past disputes, and, most importantly, finding a home for his beloved Boxer, Truman. It’s this task that is causing Julián the greatest concern. A witty, moving and hugely entertaining reflection on human connection, and a reminder that the best friendships are, indeed, forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

La belle saison.
“1971. Delphine, a twenty-something farm girl of humble means, takes a huge step by packing up and moving to Paris, searching for independence and a life beyond the duties of her rural upbringing. It’s not long before she is drawn to dynamic thirty-something Carole who is actively involved in the emerging feminist movement. Carole lives with her boyfriend, but the two women quickly fall head over heels, and become inseparable. Their bliss is interrupted, however, when a family emergency forces Delphine back to the farm and to her mother, and Carole decides to follow her. There, the couple has to face a far different reality…” (Syndetics summary)

Nocturnal animals.
“Susan (Amy Adams) is living through an unfulfilling marriage when she receives a package containing a novel manuscript from her ex-husband, Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal). The Novel is dedicated to her but its content is violent and devastating. Susan cannot help but reminisce over her past love story with the author. Increasingly she interprets the book as a tale of revenge, a tale that forces her to re-evaluate the choices that she has made, and reawakens a love that she feared was lost.” (Syndetics summary)

Billy Lynn’s long halftime walk.
“The film is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing Iraq battle and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour. Through flashbacks, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day football game, the film reveals what really happened to the squad – contrasting the realities of the war with America’s perceptions.” (Syndetics summary)

Recent books on sustainability and the environment

Creatures are featured in this month’s blog! Especially Chickens and Bees… And a beautiful book of tiny shelters ends our selection.

Image from Amazon.comBackyard chickens : how to keep happy hens / Dave Ingham.
“A henkeeping companion to the bestselling Backyard Bees, covering everything you need to know about keeping chickens even in urban areas.” (Syndetics summary)
” Keeping a few hens was once only for rural dwellers with big yards – or inner-city hippies. Now it’s mainstream and an attractive proposition wherever you live. Fluffy little recycling units that eat weeds, bugs and scraps and turn them into organic eggs – what’s not to love? Chickens are great backyard pets for young and old – they’re a natural extension for everyone with a vegie patch, and for those who like eggs but are concerned about the welfare of commercial hens.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverGood soil : manure, compost and nourishment for your garden / Tina Råman, Ewa-Marie Rundquist, Justine Lagache.
“Maximise your garden, whatever you grow in it, with some Swedish expertise. Plants need nutrients to grow, flower and bear fruit, nutrients that can be found in offal, the sea, fire, rocks, rubbish and, of course, dung heaps. Tina Raman digs into every aspect of nurturing your soil, from chemistry and biology to history and philosophy, giving you practical advice, generous tips and above all masses of inspiration” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverMy zero-waste kitchen : easy ways to eat waste free / writer and editor, Ruth O’Rourke-Jones.
“Looking to live sustainably without overhauling your life? My Zero-Waste Kitchen shows you how to put the three R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle – into practice in the kitchen. Discover the secrets of sustainability, including shopping wisely, which foods you can freeze, and how to turn your scraps into delicious dishes and snacks such as falafel, pesto, and even melt-in-the-mouth cake. Handy tips and tricks will help you live sustainably without making huge changes, and guide you to a sustainable kitchen, with advice on kitchen equipment, food storage, growing herbs, and meal-planning tips.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGardening with chickens : plans and plants for you and your hens / Lisa Steele.
“Welcome to a world where chickens and gardens coexist! Join Lisa Steele, chicken-keeper extraordinaire and founder of Fresh Eggs Daily, on a unique journey through the garden. Start by planning your garden and learning strategies and tips for keeping your plants safe while they grow. Plant with purpose, choosing from a dozen plans for theme gardens such as Orange Egg Yolks or Nesting Box Herbs. Or choose a design that’s filled with edibles – sharing the bounty with your family and your feathered friends. Then comes the fun part: enjoy the harvest, even let the chickens graze!” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWelcome to the farm : how-to wisdom from the Elliott homestead / Shaye Elliott.
“Whether you want to dabble in the homesteading movement or immerse yourself completely in the do-it-yourself, back-to-basics lifestyle, Welcome to the Farm is a comprehensive, fully illustrated guide to growing the very best food right in your own backyard. Shaye Elliott takes readers on a journey that teaches them how to harvest baskets full of organic produce, milk a dairy cow (and make butter), plant a homestead orchard, can jams and jellies, and even raise chickens and bees.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe bee keeper’s field guide : a pocket guide to the health and care of bees / David Cramp.
“This guide is designed for beekeepers to carry with them and use in the apiary and out in the field. It is a diagnostic tool and an aide memoire for the hobbyist and for the professional beekeeper, who may know what to do but will at times need the information close to hand.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverDIY solar projects : small projects to whole-home systems : tap into the sun / Eric Smith and Philip Schmidt with Troy Wanek.
“Put the sun to work in your home with the new, expanded edition of the popular 2011 title DIY Solar Projects. Like the original, this edition offers small-scale, achievable solar projects that homeowners can build and install themselves. From cooking in solar ovens to mounting solar panels on your roof, this book teaches how to take advantage of solar energy.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe urban farmer / Justin Calverley & CERES (Center for Environmental Research and Strategies).
“Producing our own fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs and honey is perfectly possible in a suburban space, and this practical guide will help urban dwellers develop a more sustainable existence. With a deep knowledge of permaculture and organic gardening, horticultural expert Justin Calverley shows you how to establish a diverse urban farm, whether in your own backyard, a courtyard or even a balcony…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverShallow-pit garden composting : the easy, no-smell, no-turning way to create organic compost for your garden / Caleb Warnock.
“With shallow pit composting, the compost doesn’t need to be turned, never smells and is ready in half the time of barrels or kits. Shallow-pit composting works with Mother Nature, letting her do the work.”—cover page 4.

Syndetics book coverMicro shelters : 59 creative cabins, tiny houses, tree houses, and other small structures / Derek “Deek” Diedricksen.
“If you dream of living in a tiny house, or creating a getaway in the backwoods or your backyard, you’ll love this gorgeous collection of creative and inspiring designs for cabins, forts, studios, and other microshelters.” (Syndetics summary)

New books about Learning English

The library has recently received these books on learning English as a second language.

Syndetics book coverIELTS. 11 : general training with answers : authentic examination papers.
“This 11th collection of examination papers for IELTS provides all the exam practice you need, [containing]: Four complete tests for General Training candidates; a useful introduction to the exam together with an explanation of the scoring system; answer keys and recording scripts; photocopiable answer sheets so you can practice transferring your answers”–Back cover.

Syndetics book coverEnglish for everyone. Practice book, Level 1 beginner / Thomas Booth.
English for Everyone is an exciting and comprehensive self-study course for adults learning English as a foreign language. Learn English by reinforcing key language skills, grammar rules, and vocabulary with listening, speaking, reading, and writing exercises. This Level 1 Beginner’s guide introduces topics such as jobs and routines, leisure activities, and the home. Audio material is provided at every stage through the English For Everyone website and Android/iOS apps to provide vital experience of spoken English and make even tricky phrases easy to understand. Perfect for personal study or to support exams including TOEFL and IELTS.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEnglish for everyone course book. Level 2, beginner / Rachel Harding.
“…This Level 2 Beginner’s guide introduces topics such as emotions, actions and activities, and numbers, dates, months and seasons. Audio material is provided at every stage through the English For Everyone website and Android/iOS apps to provide vital experience of spoken English and make even tricky phrases easy to understand…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEnglish for everyone. Course book, Level 3 intermediate / Gill Johnson.
“…This Level 3 Intermediate guide introduces topics such as skills and tasks, giving instructions, and relationships and problem solving. Audio material is provided at every stage through the English For Everyone website and Android/iOS apps to provide vital experience of spoken English and make even tricky phrases easy to understand… ” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEnglish for everyone. Practice book, Level 3 intermediate / author, Barbara MacKay.
“…This Level 3 Intermediate guide introduces topics such as skills and tasks, giving instructions, and relationships and problem solving. Audio material is provided at every stage through the English For Everyone website and Android/iOS apps to provide vital experience of spoken English and make even tricky phrases easy to understand…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEnglish for everyone. Course book, Level 4 advanced / Victoria Boobyer.
“…This Level 4 Advanced guide introduces topics such as family life, business, and news and the media. Audio material is provided at every stage through the English For Everyone website and Android/iOS apps to provide vital experience of spoken English and make even tricky phrases easy to understand…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEnglish for everyone. Practice book, Level 4 advanced / author, Claire Hart.
“…This Level 4 Advanced guide introduces topics such as such as family life, business, and news and the media. Audio material is provided at every stage through the English For Everyone website and Android/iOS apps to provide vital experience of spoken English and make even tricky phrases easy to understand…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Occupational English test : official OET preparation materials : practice book : all professions. Listening, Set 1.
“The Occupational English Test (OET) is designed to meet the specific English language needs of the healthcare sector. It assesses the language proficiency of healthcare professionals who wish to register and practise in an English-speaking environment.” — Back cover.

Occupational English test : official OET preparation materials : practice book : all professions. Listening, Set 2.
“The Occupational English Test (OET) is designed to meet the specific English language needs of the healthcare sector. It assesses the language proficiency of healthcare professionals who wish to register and practise in an English-speaking environment.” — back cover.

Syndetics book coverOxford picture dictionary / Jayme Adelson-Goldstein, Norma Shapiro.
“The Oxford Picture Dictionary provides a fully integrated vocabulary development program, progressing from essential words to the more complex, delivered in short, thematic units..So, what’s new in the Third Edition? 11 new and expanded topics. What words do students need to navigate a doctor’s appointment? Or on their first day at a new job? New and expanded topics – Illnesses and Medical Conditions, Health Insurance, Cyber Safety, Job Search, Career Planning, Soft Skills, First Day on the Job, Inside a Company, Information Technology, Digital Literacy, Internet Research – focus on the important life skills students need today.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)