Love and celebrations: New Weddings books

Weddings are deeply personal celebrations of who two people are separately, who they are and will become together, and the community who love them and celebrate with them. Sometimes though, it’s hard to know where to start — how do you plan such a special day? What parts of the day have meaning for you? Here are some book picks you can use as inspiration to plan your own special celebration — for you, your partner, your family and the people you love.

Syndetics book cover2brides 2Be : a same-sex guide for the modern bride / Laura Leigh Abby ; foreword by Trish Bendix.
“Author Laura Leigh Abby shares her own experiences navigating the world of lesbian wedding planning with a sense of humor and a dose of sass. She has advice on everything from the logistics of walking down the aisle to wording the invites, and she’s not afraid to throw all the rules out the window. With input from wedding industry professionals, 2Brides 2Be will enlighten brides on booking vendors, wrangling family and pulling off the wedding of her dreams.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWeddings in color : 500 creative ideas for designing a modern wedding / Vané Broussard and Minhee Cho ; photographs by Jainé M. Kershner ; styling by Michelle Edgemont.
“In this candy-colored guide, Vané Broussard (founder of the uber-popular blog Brooklyn Bride) and Minhee Cho (of the covetable paper company Paper+Cup) team up to present hundreds of entirely modern style ideas for every aspect of a wedding, in eight eye-catching and vibrant color palettes. From pretty floral crowns to die-cut invitations, altars made from balloons, and so much more, these ideas are anything but traditional. Simple DIYs will spark creativity while interviews with industry experts provide important insider info. Lusciously designed and bursting with vivid photography, Weddings in Color has everything brides need to design a stunningly colorful affair.” (Syndetics summary)

Our thoughts: This next one is a bit older, and a bit different, but wonderful. It’s a graphic novel from bestselling graphic novelist Lucy Knisley about her wedding process — and all the mixed feelings and expectations (her own and other people’s) that go along with it. It’s lovely and we include it here because organising a wedding can sometimes feel like a transformative process in itself as you figure out who you both are and what you want in a celebration, and what matters to you (family, friends, a delicious and beautiful cake, dancing!). Lucy Knisley shares her own process and the thoughts and feelings that helped build her wedding and what it meant to her:

Syndetics book coverSomething new : tales from a makeshift bride / by Lucy Knisley.
“A funny and whip-smart new book about the institution of marriage in America told through the lens of her recent engagement and wedding… The graphic novel tackles the all-too-common wedding issues that go along with being a modern woman: feminism, expectations, getting knocked over the head with gender stereotypes, family drama, and overall wedding chaos and confusion.” (Goodreads summary)

(Also available as an eBook on Overdrive)

Syndetics book coverCelebrate everything! : fun ideas to bring your parties to life / written and illustrated by Darcy Miller.
“The ultimate guide to making special occasions unforgettable. Darcy invites readers to dozens of parties she’s thrown, and shares hundreds of chic and cheerful ideas for ways to make a celebration personal. It’s a blueprint for making the best occasions in life even better, filled with fun ideas to inspire: everything from baby showers to birthday parties plus themes that turn any day into a celebration D.I.Y. craft projects and recipes insider sources and pro tips Darcy’s own inspirations” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverModern brides & modern grooms : a guide to planning straight, gay, and other nontraditional twenty-first-century weddings / Mark O’Connell ; foreword by Liza Monroy.
“Every fiancé(e) faces the question, how do I become something new without losing myself? Using his own story, author Mark O’Connell reflects on conflicts that arrive during wedding transitions, as well as various other transitions throughout your lives. As a psychotherapist, O’Connell offers ideas to bridge relational gaps with your partner, family, and friends. As a professional actor, he also offers insight into the ways your wedding is a theatrical production and how this can help you to conceptualize the event, consolidate your efforts, and increase creative collaboration as a couple. This will serve you not only on your big day, but also for the rest of your time together. Whether we’re straight, gay, or other, weddings inspire us to carve out more fun, freedom, recognition, life space, love space, and connubial space than we’ve ever had before.” (Syndetics summary)

Overdrive cover The Homemade Wedding Cake, Natasha Collins (eBook)
“Making your own wedding cake is easy when you’ve been shown the right materials and techniques, and this is the only book to teach you. It is full of step-by-step guidance and advice, with plenty of tips to help a novice create something stunning and inspirational. This visually enticing step-by-step cake baking and decorating manual makes DIY wedding cakes easily accessible for everyone. In text and images that are both instructional and entertaining, Natasha Collins takes the reader through the whole process of choosing their design, baking their cake, embellishing it, transporting it, presenting it and serving it, so that they can be certain of success at every stage. Every project includes a timetable indicating how long each part of the process will take, and gives a schedule for when the cake should best be decorated and set up in relation to when it is going to be eaten.” (Overdrive description)

(Also available as an eBook on Overdrive)

Tiny Houses & Small Spaces, Part Two

It might be my messy, cluttered home, or it might be living with the paraphernalia and gear a two-year-old requires, but the tiny house movement looms in my imagination, and the imagination of many people. Even if we can’t (or won’t) go there ourselves, sometimes just the idea that these cosy homes exist out in the wild with their spartan owners, is a comfort. So, here are some tiny house and wonderfully organised small space books you can browse if you’re like me, and sometimes get that yearning. (Part One is here)

Syndetics book cover150 best tiny home ideas / Manel Gutiérrez Couto.
“In recent years, tiny homes have not only become hugely popular because of their creative use of space but also necessary to deal with increasingly crowded living conditions. In this lush volume, you’ll discover the most current and effective trends in tiny home design that work to enhance the comfort and practicality of the home without sacrificing the design. Featuring 150 homes designed by world-renowned architects and designers, 150 Best Tiny Home Ideas is the must-have resource for those interested in the construction and design of small-space living.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny house designing, building, & living / by Gabriella and Andrew Morrison.
“Do you have what it takes to live tiny? Take the first step to achieving the dream of designing, building, and living in a tiny house (typically between 100-400 square feet). Idiot’s Guides: Tiny House Designing, Building, and Living is the one-stop guide into this innovative concept of minimalist living. Dozens of helpful images and a full-color insert displaying different types of tiny houses help you visualize your dream. The book explores what it mentally takes to become a tiny house dweller and covers the best approach to designing and building a house that ideally fits your needs. The book includes an in-depth discussion on foundation types, financing and insurance, and legal standards, as well as building techniques, must-have utilities, and going off the grid, and home placement. Functional suggestions for décor, storage, and more are also featured. Bonus: three tiny house floor plans to illustrate what these homes entail.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuilding small : sustainable designs for tiny houses & backyard buildings / David & Jeanie Stiles ; illustrations by David Stiles.
“Building Small is your key to joining the tiny house revolution with designs for homes as well as a range of backyard buildings including workspaces and sheds. There’s tons of practical how-to construction advice including best practices, common pitfalls and tips for the do-it-yourself carpenter. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny houses built with recycled materials : inspiration for constructing tiny homes using salvaged and reclaimed supplies / Ryan Mitchell.
“The tiny house movement is a big trend with a very small footprint. Extremely small house, with less than 1,000 square feet of space, are environmentally friendly, less expensive than typical homes, and often movable. Tiny Houses Built with Recycled Materials is full of ideas for using reclaimed materials and upcycled goods to construct a tiny house that is good for the earth and truly unique. Ryan Mitchell, author of The Tiny Life blog, shows you how to repurpose everyday items to create your new home, including shipping containers, salvaged barn wood, and reclaimed shingles. Featuring profiles on tiny house owners with photographs and floor plans of the homes, ideas on where to find materials, and what to look for and avoid when selecting reclaimed materials, Tiny Houses Built with Recycled Materials is a unique book perfect for your biggest DIY project yet!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover25 houses under 2500 square feet / edited by James Grayson Trulove.
“25 Houses Under 2,500 Square Feet discusses carefully defined spaces and how space can be used most effectively. The 25 recently-constructed homes featured are 2,500 feet and under with some as small as 640 square feet. An exciting collection — a charming one square foot in size — presents dream houses any person can relate to, as well as innovative and exciting designs sure to inspire and amaze.” (Syndetics summary)

Overdrive cover Tiny House Basics, Joshua Engberg (eBook)#1 Amazon Bestseller! Tiny House Basics ─ The joy of tiny house living Tiny house livfing is sustainable living: Tiny House Basics is an adventure in off grid living! In their debut book, tiny house living experts Shelley and Joshua Engberg show you how you can join the revolution to downsize to small space living without giving up everything you hold dear. This is not about downsizing drastically, or giving up a lot of your necessities. They show you how your life still can be comfortable and entertaining in a tiny house living environment. This is about redefining what a house is and mastering organization, location and happiness. You can still keep your closet full and pantry stocked. Tiny house living tips and tricks: As avid campers and off roaders, Shelley and Joshua present the best tips and tricks to help you enter the world of small space living.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCabin porn / collected by Beaver Brook ; edited by Zach Klein ; feature stories by Steven Leckart ; feature photography by Noah Kalina.
“Rural escapes for those yearning for a simpler existence, by the creators of the wildly popular tumblr Cabin Porn.
Created by a group of friends who preserve 55 acres of hidden forest in Upstate New York-Cabin Porn began as a scrapbook to collect inspiration for their building projects. As the collection grew, the site attracted a following, which is now a huge and obsessive audience. The site features photos of the most remarkable handmade homes in the backcountry of America and all over the world. It has had over 10 million unique visitors, with 350,000 followers on Tumblr. Now Zach Klein, the creator of the site (and a co-founder of Vimeo) goes further into the most alluring images from the site and new getaways, including more interior photography and how-to advice for setting up a quiet place somewhere. With their idyllic settings, unique architecture and cozy interiors, the Cabin Porn photographs, are an invitation to slow down, take a deep breath, and feel the beauty and serenity that nature and simple construction can create.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRock the shack / [edited by Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten, and Sofia Borges ; text and preface by Sofia Borges].
“From weekend homes to get-away cabins in the mountains, by the sea, or in the woods, this architecture embodies our longing for lounging in nature. For the first time in the history of humankind, more people live in cities than in the country. Yet, at the same time, more and more city dwellers are yearning for rural farms, mountain cabins, or seaside homes. These kinds of refuges offer modern men and women a promise of what urban centers usually cannot provide: quiet, relaxation, being out of reach, getting back to basics, feeling human again. Rock the Shack is a survey of such contemporary refuges from around the world–from basic to luxury. The book features a compelling range of sparingly to intricately furnished cabins, cottages, second homes, tree houses, transformations, shelters, and cocoons. The look of the included structures from the outside is just as important as the view from inside. What these diverse projects have in common is an exceptional spirit that melds the uniqueness of a geographic location with the individual character of the building’s owner and architect.” (Syndetics summary)

Tiny Houses & Small Spaces, Part One

It might be my messy, cluttered home, or it might be living with the paraphernalia and gear a two-year-old requires, but the tiny house movement looms in my imagination, and the imagination of many people. Even if we can’t (or won’t) go there ourselves, sometimes just the idea that these cosy homes exist out in the wild with their spartan owners, is a comfort. So, here are some tiny house and wonderfully organised small space books you can browse if you’re like me, and sometimes get that yearning.

Syndetics book coverTiny house living : ideas for building & living well in less than 400 square feet / Ryan Mitchell.
“Tiny House, Large Lifestyle! Tiny homes are popping up across America, captivating people with their novel approach not only to housing, but to life. Once considered little more than a charming oddity, the tiny house movement continues to gain momentum among those who thirst for a simpler, “greener,” more meaningful life in the face of society’s “more is better” mindset. This book explores the philosophies behind the tiny house lifestyle, helps you determine whether it’s a good fit for you, and guides you through the transition to a smaller space. For inspiration, you’ll meet tiny house pioneers and hear how they built their dwellings (and their lives) in unconventional, creative and purposeful ways. They’ll invite you in, show you around their cozy abodes, and share lessons they learned along the way.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny houses / Mimi Zeiger.
“With “McMansions” increasingly giving way to “tiny” houses, the desire to downsize and be more ecologically and economically prudent is a concept many are beginning to embrace. Focusing on dwelling spaces all under 1,000 square feet, TINY HOUSES (Rizzoli, April 2009) by Mimi Zeiger aims to challenge readers to take a look at their own homes and consider how much space they actively use. Ranging from tree houses to floating houses, TINY HOUSES features an international collection of over thirty modular and prefab homes, each one embodying “microgreen living”, defined as the creation of tiny homes where people challenge themselves to live “greener” lives. By using a thoughtful application of green living principles, renewable resources for construction, and clever ingenuity, these homes exemplify sustainable living at its best.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTurning tiny : the small-living paradigm that’s reshaping the way we think, live and dream / compiled and presented by Darin Zaruba.
“Have you ever wondered what makes the tiny house movement an actual movement? Have you longed to hear the stories behind some of your favorite non-traditional homes? Do you wonder if the movement is more of a shift in thought rather than a blip on the architectural screen? Turning tiny is your direct-access pass into the minds and lives of tiny housers in various arenas including desgin, building, community planning, and the emerging business around it all. It is a collection of what and why 60+ contributing authors have turned tiny and continue to look in that direction.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe life-changing magic of tidying / Marie Kondo, translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano.
“Transform your home into a permanently clear and clutter-free space with the incredible KonMari Method. Japan’s expert declutterer and professional cleaner Marie Kondo will help you tidy your rooms once and for all with her inspirational step-by-step method. The key to successful tidying is to tackle your home in the correct order, to keep only the things you really love and to do it all at once – and quickly. After that for the rest of your life you only need to choose what to keep and what to discard.[…] Marie Kondo’s method is based on a ‘once-cleaned, never-messy-again’ approach. If you think that such a thing is impossible then you should definitely read this compelling book.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny homes on the move : wheels and water / Lloyd Kahn.
“Tiny Homes on the Move chronicles 21st-century nomads — people who inhabit homes that are compact and mobile, either on wheels or in the water. In photos and stories, this fascinating book explores modern travelers who live in vans, pickup trucks, buses, trailers, sailboats, and houseboats that combine the comforts of home with the convenience of being able to pick up and go at any time. With over 1,000 color photos accompanying the stories and descriptions of these moveable sanctuaries, this is a valuable and inspirational book for anyone thinking outside the box about shelter.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe big tiny : a built-it-myself memoir / Dee Williams.The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir
“Dee Williams’s life changed in an instant, with a near-death experience in the aisle of her local grocery store. Diagnosed with a heart condition at age forty-one, she was all too suddenly reminded that life is short, time is precious, and she wanted to be spending hers with the people and things she truly loved. That included the beautiful sprawling house in the Pacific Northwest she had painstakingly restored–but, increasingly, it did not include the mortgage payments, constant repairs, and general time-suck of home ownership. A new sense of clarity began to take hold: Just what was all this stuff for? Multiple extra rooms, a kitchen stocked with rarely used appliances, were things that couldn’t compare with the financial freedom and the ultimate luxury– time– that would come with downsizing. Deciding to build an eighty-four-square-foot house–on her own, from the ground up–was just the beginning of building a new life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLittle house on a small planet : simple homes, cozy retreats, and energy efficient possibilities / by Shay Salomon ; photographys by Nigel Valdez ; [foreword by Frances Moore Lappé].
“Living small frees up the mind, the wallet, and the soul. As economic uncertainties loom large, and the evidence mounts that humans are responsible for much of global warming, the “new” trend is beginning to seem old: new subdivisions filled with McMansions, the friend of a friend’s childless brother who just added on a third bedroom. Many of us have suffered the consequences of an inflated mortgage, an unmanageable construction project, or a house simply too large to keep clean. […] Pockets of people all over America are realizing the benefits of scaling down. They are designing a new dream, one that reunites extended families, makes space for friends, and emphasizes home life over home maintenance. Little House on a Small Planetis a guidebook to this movement, and an invitation to join.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPrefabulous small houses / Sheri Koones ; foreword by Robert Redford.Prefabulous Small Houses
“Prefab home construction has come into its own. Prefabricated homes used to be considered inferior to houses built on site, but not anymore. In Prefabulous Small Houses, best-selling author Sheri Koones presents 32 stunning prefabricated homes from around North America. 250 beautiful photographs and floorplans show the amazing breadth of styles available to today’s homeowners. […] All of the houses in Prefabulous Small Houses range from 325 sq. ft. to 2,000 sq. ft. and showcase construction methods perfect for any climate. Building better, building greener. All of the houses featured here are highly energy efficient and are built with sustainability in mind.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeautifully small : clever ideas for compact spaces / Sara Emslie ; photography by Rachel Whiting.
“In Chapter 1: Inspiration, Sara draws inspiration from truly tiny spaces such as boats and caravans as well as her own home–a diminutive workman’s cottage in a London suburb. In Chapter 2: Elements of Design, she discusses how even the most straightforward planning decisions can be complicated by the constraints of small spaces and suggests clever design solutions. The third chapter, Elements of Style, explores ideas for making compact interiors work through the use of creative styling and decoration. In Chapter 4, a series of case studies takes a closer look at imaginative treatments for pocket-size interiors, showcasing a variety of tiny spaces including a terraced ‘two-up, two-down’ worker’s cottage, a tiny studio apartment with a clever mezzanine that incorporates a bathroom, and a pint-sized coastal hideaway.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmall spaces for modern living : making the most of your indoor space.
“An increase in small, urban-style living and the evolution of new storage devices and space saving solutions makes this a valuable guide to creating and maintaining a stylish, contemporary home within a small or compact space. illusion of space. Explore fresh ideas for space saving, from cupboard hideaways and new loft spaces to display storage and clutter management. Whether you have a tiny suburban space, a city studio or a compact house, you should find all the advice and inspiration you need.” (Syndetics summary)

The humanity of the moment: Recent Photography books

Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is. — Anonymous

Art has the power to humanise the world, and we think some of the descriptors of this month’s photography books show how photography especially exhibits this power: “quiet but powerful”, “a beautiful and fascinating exploration”, and so many more. This month: read about how a new generation of young women artists are using photography and the internet to explore issues of self-image and female identity and the impact this is having on contemporary art, learn how to produce beautiful astronomical images, see portraits that capture the thoughtful and innocent side of London’s teenagers, and fall in love with 52 wise, healthy, and joyful 100-year-olds.

Syndetics book coverGirl on girl : art and photography in the age of the female gaze / Charlotte Jansen.
“A new generation of female artists is emerging who have grown up in a culture saturated with social media and selfies. This book looks at how young women are using photography and the internet to explore issues of self-image and female identity, and the impact this is having on contemporary art. Forty artists are featured, all of whose principal subject matter is either themselves or other women. Each is accompanied by a short profile based on personal interviews with the author, giving a fascinating insight into this exciting shift in female creativity.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of astrophotography / Ian Morison, Jodrell Bank, University of Manchester.
“In The Art of Astrophotography, astronomer and Popular Astronomy columnist Ian Morison provides the essential foundations of how to produce beautiful astronomical images. Every type of astroimaging is covered, from images of the Moon and planets, to the constellations, star clusters and nebulae within our Milky Way Galaxy and the faint light of distant galaxies. He achieves this through a series of worked examples and short project walk-throughs, detailing the equipment needed – starting with just a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera and tripod, and increasing in complexity as the book progresses.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover…isms : understanding photography / Emma Lewis.
“Isms: Understanding Photography packs an enormous amount of detail into a handy, attractive guide tracing the evolution of photography through a series of interconnected trends, groups, themes and movements – from the invention of the photographic process to the post-internet age. Organised chronologically, this is a uniquely international, comprehensive guide to photography with concise, readable and jargon-free but scholarly insight into major photographers, movements and themes of the past 170 years.In an age where photography is of more resonance and interest than ever before, Isms: Understanding Photography offers an in-depth and clear exposition of photography for the interested general reader or student.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLondon youth / Julian Mährlein.
“This is a quiet but powerful project capturing the thoughtful and innocent side of London’s teenagers. Too often, inner city kids are portrayed in a negative light or through the lens of fashion photography. Mahrlein’s portraits remind us of the humanity and individuality of a generation that is often overlooked or vilified.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe photo ark : one man’s quest to document the world’s animals / Joel Sartore ; foreword by Harrison Ford ; introduction by Douglas H. Chadwick.
“The lush and unique photography in this book represents National Geographic’s Photo Ark, a major initiative and lifelong project by photographer Joel Sartore to make portraits of the world’s animals–especially those that are endangered. His powerful message, conveyed with humor, compassion, and art: to know these animals is to save them. Sartore is circling the globe, visiting zoos and wildlife rescue centers to create studio portraits of 12,000 species, with an emphasis on those facing extinction. With a goal of photographing every animal in captivizty in the world, he has photographed more than 6,000 already and now, thanks to a multi-year partnership with National Geographic, he may reach his goal.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAging gracefully : portraits of people over 100 / Karsten Thormaehlen.
“Fall in love with 52 wise, healthy, and joyful 100-year-olds in this celebratory and uplifting art book. A beautiful and fascinating exploration of what it is like to be over 100 years old, Aging Gracefully invites readers to look into the face of a century of life experience with portraits of centenarians captured by the compassionate, minimalist lens of photographer Karsten Thormaehlen. The striking photographs are accompanied by short bios of the centenarians, featuring quotes and wisdom on love, food, humor, and living with grace.” (Syndetics summary)

Cuba people two : more street photography from Cuba Street Wellington, Aotearoa-New Zealand / Mary Hutchinson.
Mary Hutchinson is a Wellington based photographer who enjoys photographing urban areas. This is the book accompaniment to her 2017 Cuba People Two exhibition, at Matchbox Studios, Wellington. (Information obtained from artist’s website)

How do you paint a war? New Art books

Our picks of the new art books this time round include public art projects from Australia and round the globe, plus: a tribute to the memory of Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, a history of queer art from around the world since 1900, and some remarkable botanical sketchbooks from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. This quote, on the topic of Australian war art from World War One, also touched us:

Among all the forms of national memory and commemoration, it falls to the artists to paint a war. When war is as traumatic as the Great War, the artists’ burden is so much greater

Syndetics book coverTo paint a war : the lives of the Australian artists who painted the Great War, 1914-1918 / Richard Travers.
“Among all the forms of national memory and commemoration, it falls to the artists to paint a war. When war is as traumatic as the Great War, the artists’ burden is so much greater. The Australian artists who painted World War I approached their subject personally, in ways that reflected their experience of the war. Grace Cossington Smith painted on the home front. Hilda Rix Nicholas suffered personal loss beyond words. Tom Roberts, George Coates, and Arthur Streeton served as wardsmen in a military hospital in London. George Lambert travelled to Anzac Cove in 1919 to make the definitive record of the war at Gallipoli. Some contributed as members of the official war artists’ scheme. Others painted as eyewitnesses of the unfolding tragedy. Yet others painted from their hearts. Their work, in all its richness and variety, is a sweeping painterly chronicle of the war, and a vital part of Australia’s heritage.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverThe short story of art : a pocket guide to key movements, works, themes & techniques / Susie Hodge.
“The Short Story of Art is a new and innovative introduction to the subject of art. Simply constructed, the book explores 50 key works, from the wall paintings of Lascaux to contemporary installations, and then links these to sections on art movements, themes, and techniques. The design of the book allows the student or art enthusiast to easily navigate their way around key periods, artists and styles. Accessible and concise, it simplifies and explains the most important and influential concepts in art, and shows how they are linked.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverColonial Gothic to Māori renaissance : essays in memory of Jonathan Mane-Wheoki / edited by Conal McCarthy & Mark Stocker.
“Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (1943–2014) was a much loved and respected academic and curator of broad and varied interests, who made an immense contribution to New Zealand art history over almost half a century. His scholarship was matched by a terrific generosity of spirit and personal charisma. Colonial Gothic to Māori Renaissance is a remarkable tribute to his memory from friends, colleagues and former students alike. Its contents are as varied and interesting as the man himself: Victorian church architecture and liturgy, mysticism, the New Zealand International Exhibition of 1906, the Toi Te Papa exhibition of 2006, traditional and contemporary Māori art, and the artists Thomas Benjamin Kennington, Gottfried Lindauer, Colin McCahon, Tony Fomison, Philip Clairmont and Emily Karaka are all included here. Beautifully illustrated and scholarly yet readable, this book is a powerful testament to the inspiration of a remarkable person.” (Victoria University Press)

Syndetics book coverVisionaries : creating a modern Guggenheim / [curator], Megan Fontanella
“Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim celebrates the late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century masterworks at the core of the institution’s holdings, and the trailblazers – artists and early patrons alike – whose contributions helped define the forward-looking identity of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Central to Visionaries is the story of museum founder Solomon R. Guggenheim, who with support from his trusted advisor, Hilla Rebay, become a great champion of ‘nonobjective’ art and assembled a radical collection against the backdrop of economic crisis and war in the 1930s and ’40s.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRunning the city : why public art matters / Felicity Fenner.
“Leading Australian curator Felicity Fenner profiles activity-based and pop-up contemporary public art projects from Australia and around the globe. Running the City explores art projects that bring together diverse disciplines and cultures – including running, cycling, architecture, and guerilla gardening. From runners taking to the streets of Sydney’s CBD in Runscape to Work No. 850, where athletes sprinted through the corridors of Tate Britain, the book surveys recent art projects that utilise the city both as subject matter and a site for art.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA queer little history of art / Alex Pilcher.
“The last century has seen a dramatic shift in gender and sexual identities for both men and women, reflected in artistic experimentation as artists have sought to challenge social conventions and push the boundaries of what has been deemed acceptable. The result is a wealth of deeply emotive and powerful art intended to express a range of desires and experiences but also to question, criticize, and provoke dialogue. This generously illustrated book showcases the breadth and depth of queer art from around the world since 1900, exploring identity, eroticism, relationships, hidden desires, love, and gender, revealing how experiences have also been shaped by class and ethnicity, and how art itself has played a key role in changing attitudes and crystalizing identities in different historic and contemporary contexts.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBotanical sketchbooks / compiled by Helen & William Bynum.
“Recording the world of plant and animal life and documenting the strange beauty of the natural world have been human passions ever since the first cave paintings. While there are many histories of botanical art featuring beautiful paintings and finished drawings, the artists’ preparatory sketches, first impressions, and scribbled notes on paper are rarely seen. But it is often these early attempts that give us real insight into the firsthand experiences and adventures of the botanists, artists, collectors, and explorers behind them. This exquisite visual compendium of botanical sketches by eighty artists from around the world brings these personal and vividly spontaneous records back into the light. Filled with remarkable images from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, sourced from the unparalleled collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Library, Art & Archives, and other libraries, museums, and archives, Botanical Sketchbooks also provides fascinating biographical portraits of the intriguing characters featured within, including such renowned artists, scientists, and amateur botanists as Leonardo da Vinci, Georg Dionysius Ehret, Carl Linnaeus, Maria Sibylla Merian, Mark Catesby, and Helen and Margaret Shelley (sisters of the novelist Mary Shelley), among many others.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArt record covers / Francesco Sampinato ; ed. Julius Wiedemann.
“An unprecedented collection of artists’ record covers from the 1950s to today. Since the dawn of modernism, visual and music production have had a particularly intimate relationship. From Luigi Russolo’s 1913 Futurist manifesto L’Arte dei Rumori (The Art of Noise) to Marcel Duchamp’s 1925 double-sided discs Rotereliefs, the 20th century saw ever more fertile exchange between sounds and shapes, marks and melodies, and different fields of composition and performance. In Francesco Spampinato’ unique anthology of artists’ record covers, we discover the rhythm of this particular cultural history. The book presents 500 covers and records by visual artists from the 1950s through to today, exploring how modernism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art, postmodernism, and various forms of contemporary art practice have all informed this collateral field of visual production and supported the mass distribution of music with defining imagery that swiftly and suggestively evokes an aural encounter.” (Syndetics summary)

Recent contemporary Māori art books

Here are some picks of recent contemporary Māori art books — we hope you enjoy them. Included are a book of essays in memory of respected academic and curator Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, as well as books to accompany Lisa Reihana’s work representing New Zealand at the Venice Biennale. Plus, an introduction to the art of whaikōrero (oratory), and a beautiful tribute to the life achievements of Dame Rangimarie Hetet (1892 – 1995) and her daughter Diggeress Te Rangituatahi Te Kanawa (1920 – 2009), who were both tohunga of mahi raranga whatu (traditional Maori weaving experts).

Syndetics book coverColonial Gothic to Māori renaissance : essays in memory of Jonathan Mane-Wheoki / edited by Conal McCarthy & Mark Stocker.
“Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (1943–2014) was a much loved and respected academic and curator of broad and varied interests, who made an immense contribution to New Zealand art history over almost half a century. His scholarship was matched by a terrific generosity of spirit and personal charisma. Colonial Gothic to Māori Renaissance is a remarkable tribute to his memory from friends, colleagues and former students alike. Its contents are as varied and interesting as the man himself: Victorian church architecture and liturgy, mysticism, the New Zealand International Exhibition of 1906, the Toi Te Papa exhibition of 2006, traditional and contemporary Māori art, and the artists Thomas Benjamin Kennington, Gottfried Lindauer, Colin McCahon, Tony Fomison, Philip Clairmont and Emily Karaka are all included here. Beautifully illustrated and scholarly yet readable, this book is a powerful testament to the inspiration of a remarkable person.” (Description from Victoria University Press)

(See also our post Remembering Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, for information about the memorial project by NZ artist Shannon Novak, who installed a small artwork in 10 locations around Wellington that Jonathan frequented and supported — including the Central Library.)

Syndetics book coverMāori art : history, architecture, landscape and theory / Rangihiroa Panoho ; with photographs by Mark Adams & Haruhiko Sameshima.
“Up until now books on Maori art have described the work as either traditional (carving, weaving, painting) or contemporary, work produced post-1950s. This book presents a unique focus on Maori art by exploring the connection between the traditional and contemporary, and the place of Maori art within an international context. Maori Art provides a framework for looking at Maori art in a new way and fills a gap in Maori art history – while there are myriad surveys of Maori art there is currently very little critical writing on Maori art and artists. The book is extensively illustrated with over 400 art works, landscapes and meeting houses, many never published before, including 100 specially commissioned photographs from renowned New Zealand photographers Mark Adams and Haruhiko Sameshima.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLisa Reihana: emissaries / Lisa Reihana.
“Lisa Reihana: Emissaries is a beautifully designed and exquisitely illustrated examination of one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most ambitious artworks, in Pursuit of Venus [infected], for its presentation at the 57th Venice Biennale. Comprising seven essays by leading scholars and curators, a lively conversational exchange, and insights into the career of Lisa Reihana (Ngāpuhi, Ngātihine, Ngāi Tu), the book provides a captivating account of the sources that influenced the artist’s expansive creative endeavour and how the Venice exhibition might be understood within the context of transnational indigenous art making.” (Auckland Art Gallery description)

Syndetics book coverIn pursuit of Venus / Lisa Reihana.
“Discover the histories and processes that led to the realisation of Lisa Reihana’s celebrated work in this exquisitely designed and illustrated book. Includes ten essays and a comprehensive interview with Reihana alongside two beautiful plate sections which highlight key scenes and characters from within this seminal work.” (Auckland Art Gallery description)

(You can also watch videos and can learn all about Lisa’s practice, motivation, and inspiration over at Te Papa’s pages dedicated to celebrating Lisa Reihana’s work at the Venice Biennale)

Overdrive cover Whaikorero, Poia Rewi (eBook)
“Anyone who has been welcomed on to a marae in New Zealand will understand that whaikorero – oratory – is at the heart of Maori culture. Whaikorero: The World of Maori Oratory is the first introduction to this fundamental Maori art to be widely published. It is based on broad research as well as oral histories from 30 of the leading exponents of whaikorero, many of whom have subsequently died. Author Poia Rewi’s informants are affiliated to many iwi including Tuhoe, Ngati Kahungunu, Te Arawa, Ngati Porou, Ngati Awa, Waikato-Maniapoto, Te Whakatohea, Nga Puhi and Ngati Whare. In Whaikorero, Poia Rewi assesses the origin and history of whaikorero; its structure, language and style of delivery; who may speak; and where speech happens. Featuring a range of sample whaikorero drawn from both oral and literary sources, the book provides examples of language for learners of Maori wishing to improve their whaikorero skills as well as being a major resource for all readers interested in Maori culture.”(Overdrive description)

E ngā uri whakatupu : weaving legacies : Dame Rangimarie Hetet and Diggeress Te Kanawa / authors, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Kahutoi Mere Te Kanawa, Rangituatahi Te Kanawa, Barbara Pareatai Moke.
“E Nga Uri Whakatupu is a beautiful tribute to the life achievements of Dame Rangimarie Hetet (1892 – 1995) and her daughter Diggeress Te Rangituatahi Te Kanawa (1920 – 2009), who were both tohunga of mahi raranga whatu (traditional Maori weaving experts). These women, of Ngati Maniapoto and Ngati Kinohaku descent, are acknowledged as New Zealand’s finest traditional Maori weavers. Their generosity of spirit and passion for the revival of Maori women’s arts gave new life to traditional Maori weaving and still inspire generations of the present. The Hetet and Te Kanawa collections comprise more than 75 individual pieces and represent the unbroken weaving traditions of one whanau that spans five generations, or over 150 years. It is the largest private collection of Maori traditional weaving from one family in the world.” (Publisher description)

Recent Parenting picks

It’s been a little while since our last picks of the parenting books, so we’ve included a few excellent titles we couldn’t go past from slightly further back as well as some wonderful new titles for you to browse. First up, the amazing Emily Writes! Plus the NZ Birthday Cake Book, and Scotty and Stacey Morrison’s Māori at home.

Syndetics book coverRants in the dark : from one tired mama to another / Emily Writes.
“Popular blogger Emily Writes gives words of encouragement to sleep-deprived parents everywhere. With two small boys, both non-sleepers, Emily finds herself awake in the wee small hours night after night. Her writing is often done then, and she offers her own often hilarious and always heart-warming experiences to other exhausted parents. She describes the frustrations as well as the tender moments of real parenting, as opposed to what you thought it was going to be like, or what well-meaning advice-givers tell you it should be like. A must-have for all new parents and parents-to-be. A lovely gift package.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe great New Zealand birthday cake book / cake designer Jazmine Nixon ; recipes Dean Brettschneider ; project editor Wendy Nixon.
“The Great New Zealand Birthday Cake Book features 80 memory-making cakes with a stunning range of creations to suit any occasion. From bears, boats and ballerinas to pigs, pirates and princesses – and even the latest in emojis – The Great New Zealand Birthday Cake Book has the perfect cake for everyone. The book is designed to guide you step-by-step through all the basics with plenty of practical design and decorating tips. A laminated A1 template sheet tucked into the back cover of the book will help you create any cake you desire. We’ve even created some spectacular looking cakes for adults to further broaden appeal, so with 80,000 birthdays celebrated each week in New Zealand there is sure to be a cake to delight everyone.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMāori at home : an everyday guide to learning the Māori language / Scotty and Stacey Morrison.
“An introduction to the Mori language … covers the basics of life in and around a typical Kiwi household.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThings that helped : essays / Jessica Friedmann.
“Through the tide of hormones ebbing and flowing my body, and the little runnels of blood and the sour tang of my breasts, I lay awake, listening, and thinking of breath and of water. I had broken my relationship with sleep. In this stunning collection, Jessica Friedmann navigates her journey through postpartum depression after the birth of her son, Owen. Drawing on critical theory, popular culture, and personal experience, her wide-ranging essays touch on class, race, gender, and sexuality, as well as motherhood, creativity, and mental illness. Occasionally confronting, but always powerfully moving and beautifully observed, Things That Helped charts Jessica’s return into the world- a slow and complex process of reassembling what depression fractured and sometimes broke.” (Syndetics summary)

Overdrive cover How to DAD, Volume 2, Jordan Watson (eBook)
“OK, hurry up and grab me. We don’t have long before the publishers realise I’m not one of those fancy parenting-help people. In here, you’ll find some sort-of helpful tips, some pictures, some words and a few crack-up dad tales. I might not be a fancy parenting person, but I am a black belt in Dadding. Yes, that’s a thing. It’s totally a thing. I’m still making silly parenting videos, I’m still non-PC and I’m still a DAD. This is How to DAD: Volume 2. Back of book bit: DONE.”(Overdrive description)

Syndetics book coverThe single dad’s guide to the galaxy : parenting in the real world / Roger McEwan.
“‘I’ve experienced all the different roles you have to play when there’s nobody else around: a parent, a dad, a father, a stand-in mum, a confidant, always a butler or maid, a teacher and, most crucially, a friend.’In this enlightening but also very practical book, Roger McEwan shares the lessons he’s learned from years as a solo dad.It is not, he insists, a self-help book. But amidst the rich, always fascinating, often hilarious experiences of his times with his two children are dozens and dozens of useful pieces of advice for parents – from developing a great relationship with your ex (if you can) to letting the children pick the clothes they want to wear, teaching them to cook, and acknowledging that changing a toilet roll is too complex for anyone under the age of eighteen to understand” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverParenting through the storm : find help, hope, and strength when your child has psychological problems / Ann Douglas.
“Raising a child or teenager with a psychological condition is a “perfect storm” of stress, sadness, and uncertainty. How can you find the best treatments and help your child overcome emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges–while keeping yourself and your family strong? As a parent, you may feel isolated and alone, but the reality is that a lot of families are in the same boat. Ann Douglas knows firsthand just how daunting it can be. In this compassionate and empowering guide, she combines the vital lessons she has learned with vivid stories from other parents and advice from leading psychologists. The book cuts through the often-confusing clinical jargon and speaks from the heart about what matters most: the well-being of your child.” (Syndetics summary)

Pasefika eBooks you can borrow anytime

Need a good read? Including Albert Wendt and Selina Tusitala Marsh, here are just a few eBook titles to whet your appetite. Sign up to Overdrive and get started borrowing…

Overdrive cover Nuanua, Albert Wendt (eBook)
“Edited by Albert Wendt and copublished the University of Hawaii Press, Nuanua is an anthology of short stories, extracts from novels, and poems written since 1980 in the Pacific Islands. It remains an essential resource for teachers of Pacific literature.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Whetu Moana, Robert Sullivan (eBook)
“Whetu Moana is the first anthology of contemporary Polynesian poetry in English edited by Polynesians. It collects poems written over the last twenty years from more than 60 poets in Aotearoa, Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue and Rotuma. Well-known poets like Hone Tuwhare, Alistair Campbell and Haunani-Kay Trask are joined by talented young voices, the poets appearing in alphabetical order in a way that presents both an overall Polynesian identity and a focus on individual style. Traditional laments mix with street-smart rap rhythms; images of seascapes and landscapes mingle with shots of urban slums. Political anger is a powerful force in these poems but many are personal and particular. Whetu Moana reveals an active, changing, varied, creative scene, which confronts both a complex colonial past and a fast-moving global present with energy, courage and vitality.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Dream Fish Floating, Karlo Mila (eBook)
“Professor Konai Helu Thaman (Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor, and UNESCO Chair in teacher education & culture – The University of the South Pacific) says this about the collection: This is a refreshing and welcome addition to the growing list of women’s writing in Oceania. Karlo draws wisdom and compassion from her ancestral cultures but is not constrained by them. Honest and unafraid, she has spread her net wide in order to capture the many concerns that many people are grappling with as they face the realities of a globalised and impersonal world. Written with passion, persistence and sensitivity, her poems are insightful, challenging and sometimes provocative. This book should inspire others, especially women, to share their experiences with the rest of the world.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Adventures of Vela, Albert Wendt (eBook)
“Journey through the many stories and worlds of the immortal Vela – Vela, so red and ugly at birth they called him the Cooked; Vela the lonely admirer of pigs and the connoisseur of feet; Vela the lover of song maker Mulialofa the Boneman. Follow him down through the centuries on his travels, encountering the single-minded society of the Tagata-Nei and the Smellocracy of Olfact. Accompany him, too, as he recounts the stories of Lady Nafanua, the fearsome warrior queen, before whose powers travelling chroniclers still bow down today.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Ancestry, Albert Wendt (eBook)
“Albert Wendt’s new collection of short stories explores the nature of family, tradition and culture through the eyes of those seemingly caught between the realities of modern contemporary life and the ancestral ties of their heritage. With a deft touch, he draws us into his characters’ lives and with equal parts wisdom and wit, he exposes them to us. This is a masterful meditation on the ties that bind people together across time and place.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Fast Talking PI, Selina Tusitala Marsh (eBook)
“Fast Talking PI is the first ‘singular, confident and musical’ collection of poetry by Auckland writer Selina Tusitala Marsh. ‘Tusitala’ means writer of tales in Samoan, and Marsh here lives up to her name with stories of her life, her family, community, ancestry, and history. Her poetry is sensuous and strong, using lush imagery, clear rhythms and repetitions to power it forward. The list poem is a favourite style, but she also writes with a Pacific lyricism entirely her own. Fast Talking PI is structured in three sections, ‘Tusitala (personal), ‘Talkback’ (political and historical) and ‘Fast Talking PI’ (already a classic). In poems like ‘Guys Like Gauguin’ she writes as a ‘calabash breaker’, fighting back against historic injustices; but in other poems she explores the idea of the calabash as the honoured vessel for identity and story. Ultimately, though, Marsh exhorts herself to ‘be nobody’s darling’, as a writer she is a self-proclaimed ‘darling in the margins’, and Fast Talking PI proves it – a generous work that will thrill readers; ‘a map in our arms / to get us over the reef’; and a tremendous first book.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Whispers and Vanities, Tamasailau M. Suaalii-Sauni (eBook)
“This collection of essays and selected poetry responds to an address on Samoan religious culture given by Samoa’s Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Tupuola Tufuga Efi, to the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions. The address challenges some fundamental aspects of and assumptions in modern Samoan indigenous religious culture. The essays and poetry form a carefully woven critique, from within and outside Samoa, of aspects of Samoa’s religious and cultural values.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature, Jane Stafford (eBook)
“‘What, after all, is the truth of a place that has only just been worked into language?’ From Polynesian Mythology to the Yates’ Garden Guide, from Allen Curnow to Alice Tawhai, from Jessie Mackay to Alison Wong, from Julius Vogel to Albert Wendt, from the letters of Wiremu Te Rangikaheke to the notebooks of Katherine Mansfield – Maori, Pakeha, Pasifika, and Asian New Zealanders have struggled for two and a half centuries to work the English language into some sort of truth about this place. The Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature brings together for the first time in one volume this country’s major writing, from the earliest records of exploration and encounter to the globalised, multicultural present. Editors Jane Stafford and Mark Williams range across novels and stories, poems and plays, letters and diaries, comics and songs to collect the defining stuff of our literary heritage. The contents will delight and provoke: Erewhon and The Heart of the Bush; Man Alone and ‘No Ordinary Sun’; The God Boy and Hicksville; ‘The Gumboot Song’ and The Vintner’s Luck. Through an imaginative selection and illuminating introductions, Stafford and Williams provide new paths into our writing and our country. For students and readers, at home and overseas, the Anthology of New Zealand Literature will be the indispensable introduction for years to come to what’s worth reading and why.” (Overdrive description)

Featured books: The history of science

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.
— Albert Einstein

Syndetics book coverThe age of wonder : how the Romantic generation discovered the beauty and terror of science / Richard Holmes.The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science
“Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and winner of the Royal Society Prize for Science Books, Richard Holmes’s dazzling portrait of the age of great scientific discovery is a groundbreaking achievement. The book opens with Joseph Banks, botanist on Captain Cook’s first Endeavour voyage, who stepped onto a Tahitian beach in 1769 fully expecting to have located Paradise. Back in Britain, the same Romantic revolution that had inspired Banks was spurring other great thinkers on to their own voyages of artistic and scientific discovery – astronomical, chemical, poetical, philosophical – that together made up the ‘age of wonder’. In this breathtaking group biography, Richard Holmes tells the stories of the period’s celebrated innovators and their great scientific discoveries: from telescopic sight to the miner’s lamp, and from the first balloon flight to African exploration.” (Goodreads review)

Syndetics book coverNewton and the counterfeiter : the unknown detective career of the world’s greatest scientist / Thomas Levenson.
“In 1695, Isaac Newton—already renowned as the greatest mind of his age—made a surprising career change. He left quiet Cambridge, where he had lived for thirty years and made his earth-shattering discoveries, and moved to London to take up the post of Warden of His Majesty’s Mint.Newton was preceded to the city by a genius of another kind, the budding criminal William Chaloner. Thanks to his preternatural skills as a counterfeiter, Chaloner was rapidly rising in London’s highly competitive underworld, at a time when organized law enforcement was all but unknown and money in the modern sense was just coming into being. Then he crossed paths with the formidable new warden. In the courts and streets of London—and amid the tremors of a world being transformed by the ideas Newton himself had set in motion—the two played out an epic game of cat and mouse.” (Goodreads review)

Syndetics book coverThe immortal life of Henrietta Lacks / Rebecca Skloot.The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
“Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells — taken without her knowledge in 1951 — became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew” (Goodreads review)

Syndetics book coverThe ghost map : the story of London’s most terrifying epidemic–and how it changed science, cities, and the modern world / Steven Johnson.
“From Steven Johnson, the dynamic thinker routinely compared to James Gleick, Dava Sobel, and Malcolm Gladwell, The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero, Dr. John Snow. It’s the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure — garbage removal, clean water, sewers — necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time.” (Goodreads review)

Syndetics book coverThe philosophical breakfast club : four remarkable friends who transformed science and changed the world / Laura J. Snyder.
“The Philosophical Breakfast Club recounts the life and work of four men who met as students at Cambridge University: Charles Babbage, John Herschel, William Whewell, and Richard Jones. Recognizing that they shared a love of science (as well as good food and drink) they began to meet on Sunday mornings to talk about the state of science in Britain and the world at large. Inspired by the great 17th century scientific reformer and political figure Francis Bacon ‘another former student of Cambridge’ the Philosophical Breakfast Club plotted to bring about a new scientific revolution. And to a remarkable extent, they succeeded, even in ways they never intended.” (Goodreads review)

Syndetics book coverThe fossil hunter : dinosaurs, evolution, and the woman whose discoveries changed the world / Shelley Emling.The Fossil Hunter: Dinosaurs, Evolution and the Woman Whose Discoveries Changed the World
“Mary Anning was only twelve years old when, in 1811, she discovered the first dinosaur skeleton — of an ichthyosaur — while fossil hunting on the cliffs of Lyme Regis, England. Until Mary’s incredible discovery, it was widely believed that animals did not become extinct. The child of a poor family, Mary became a fossil hunter, inspiring the tongue-twister, ‘She Sells Sea Shells by the Seashore’. She attracted the attention of fossil collectors and eventually the scientific world. Once news of the fossils reached the halls of academia, it became impossible to ignore the truth. Mary’s peculiar finds helped lay the groundwork for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, laid out in his On the Origin of Species. Darwin drew on Mary’s fossilized creatures as irrefutable evidence that life in the past was nothing like life in the present. A story worthy of Dickens, The Fossil Hunter chronicles the life of this young girl, with dirt under her fingernails and not a shilling to buy dinner, who became a world-renowned paleontologist.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIngenious pursuits : building the scientific revolution / Lisa Jardine.
“In this fascinating look at the European scientific advances of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, historian Lisa Jardine demonstrates that the pursuit of knowledge occurs not in isolation, but rather in the lively interplay and frequently cutthroat competition between creative minds. The great thinkers of that extraordinary age, including Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, and Christopher Wren, are shown in the context in which they lived and worked. We learn of the correspondences they kept with their equally passionate colleagues and come to understand the unique collaborative climate that fostered virtuoso discoveries in the areas of medicine, astronomy, mathematics, biology, chemistry, botany, geography, and engineering. Ingenious Pursuits brilliantly chronicles the true intellectual revolution that continues to shape our very understanding of ourselves, and of the world around us.” (Goodreads review)

Syndetics book coverGalileo’s daughter : a historical memoir of science, faith and love / Dava Sobel.
“Inspired by a long fascination with Galileo, and by the remarkable surviving letters of Galileo’s daughter, a cloistered nun, Dava Sobel has written a biography unlike any other of the man Albert Einstein called “the father of modern physics – indeed of modern science altogether.” Galileo’s Daughter also presents a stunning portrait of a person hitherto lost to history, described by her father as ‘a woman of exquisite mind, singular goodness, and most tenderly attached to me’. The son of a musician, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) tried at first to enter a monastery before engaging the skills that made him the foremost scientist of his day. Though he never left Italy, his inventions and discoveries were heralded around the world. Most sensationally, his telescopes allowed him to reveal a new reality in the heavens and to reinforce the astounding argument that the Earth moves around the Sun. For this belief, he was brought before the Holy Office of the Inquisition, accused of heresy, and forced to spend his last years under house arrest. Of Galileo’s three illegitimate children, the eldest best mirrored his own brilliance, industry, and sensibility, and by virtue of these qualities became his confidante.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRosalind Franklin : the dark lady of DNA / Brenda Maddox.
“In 1962, Maurice Wilkins, Francis Crick, and James Watson received the Nobel Prize, but it was Rosalind Franklin’s data and photographs of DNA that led to their discovery. Brenda Maddox tells a powerful story of a remarkably single-minded, forthright, and tempestuous young woman who, at the age of fifteen, decided she was going to be a scientist, but who was airbrushed out of the greatest scientific discovery of the twentieth century.” (Goodreads review)

Overdrive cover Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shetterly (eBook)
“Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets and astronauts into space. Among these problem solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly these overlooked math whizzes had shots at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia, and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black West Computing group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War and complete domination of the heavens.” (Goodreads review)

Syndetics book coverLost history : the enduring legacy of Muslim scientists, thinkers, and artists / Michael Hamilton Morgan ; [foreword by King Abdullah II of Jordan].
“In an era when the relationship between Islam and the West seems mainly defined by mistrust and misunderstanding, we often forget that for centuries Muslim civilization was the envy of the world. […] Michael Hamilton Morgan reveals how early Muslim advancements in science and culture lay the cornerstones of the European Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and modern Western society. As he chronicles the Golden Ages of Islam, beginning in 570 a.d. with the birth of Muhammad, and resonating today, he introduces scholars like Ibn Al-Haytham, Ibn Sina, Al-Tusi, Al-Khwarizmi, and Omar Khayyam, towering figures who revolutionized the mathematics, astronomy, and medicine of their time and paved the way for Newton, Copernicus, and many others. And he reminds us that inspired leaders from Muhammad to Suleiman the Magnificent and beyond championed religious tolerance, encouraged intellectual inquiry, and sponsored artistic, architectural, and literary works that still dazzle us with their brilliance. Lost History finally affords pioneering leaders with the proper credit and respect they so richly deserve.” (Syndetics summary)

Treaty talks at Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui in April/May

Wellington Treaty Network has joined with Wellington City Libraries in 2017 to host three events in April and May to commemorate the signing of Te Tiriti in Wellington Harbour, 1840.

We thank Robyn Kahukiwa for her kind permission to use her image created for the Haeata Collective exhibition at the City Gallery, 1990

We thank Robyn Kahukiwa for her kind permission to use her  image created for the Haeata Collective exhibition at the City Gallery, 1990.

The programme will be:

Rangtiratanga in reverse : the Government’s review of Te Ture Whenua Māori by Liz Mellish and Morrie Love

Friday 28 April, 12.30-1.15pm
Children’s and Young Adults’ area, Ground Floor, Central Library

Liz Mellish is chair of Palmerston North  Māori Reserve Trust, and Morrie Love is chair of the Wellington Tenths Trust.

Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill [update], is in its final step, due to become an act at the end of this month. We are pleased to host Liz Mellish, Federation of Māori Authorities representative on an advisory committee for the establishment of  the Māori Land Service,  and Morrie Love, who will attempt to guide us through the complex issues surrounding the  Te Ture Whenua Bill/Act.

Changing the narrative, the story of Māori law and Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlement, with Carwyn Jones

Friday 5 May,  12.30-1.15pm
Children’s and Young Adults’ area, Ground Floor, Central Library

Carwyn Jones, of Ngāti Kahungunu and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki iwi,  is a senior law lecturer at Victoria University. His area of expertise is Te Tiriti O Waitangi, Māori Customary Law and Māori Land Use. We look forward to an opportunity to learn of the latest developments  on the claims and settlement processes.

Here is a link to Carwyn’s book, published recently in 2016:

Vic Uni Book CoverNew treaty, new tradition : reconciling New Zealand and Māori law / Carwyn Jones.
“While Indigenous peoples face the challenges of self-determination in a postcolonial world, New Treaty, New Tradition provides a timely look at how the resolution of historical Treaty of Waitangi claims continues to shape the culture of all who are involved – Maori and government alike.” (Syndetics summary)

Te Tiriti in schools and the community  :  new resources to support engagement with the Treaty ; a talk by Tamsin Hanly and Jen Margaret

Friday 12 May, 12.30-1.15pm
Children’s and Young Adults’ area, Ground Floor, Central Library

Jen Margaret is an author and a very respected and committed presenter of Treaty workshops, and workshops for organisational change.

Here is a link to her book Working as Allies: supporters of indigenous justice reflect on the Library Catalogue.

Tamsin Hanly will shortly launch her latest publication in the field of New Zealand education, and her colourful website includes: A Critical guide to Māori and Pākehā histories of Aotearoa New Zealand

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