Recent Literature for International Women’s Day

“I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

To celebrate International Women’s Day for 2020, our recent literature picks for this month feature a wealth of outstanding female writers. We take a look at seasoned favourites such as Elena Ferrante and Louisa May Alcott, as well as fresh voices in poetry and biographical literature.

This year the theme for IWD is ‘Each for Equal’ – how we can use our individuality as part of a bigger whole to stand up for gender equality. In this booklist, we’ve focused on the shared experience of womanhood, as well as coming-of-age in a time where women’s voices have never been louder or more important. There’s heaps to pick from for your next read, and we guarantee you’ll find inspiration, empathy, joy and sorrow, and perhaps even a deeper understanding of what it means to be female in today’s world.

Overdrive cover She Speaks, Yvette Cooper (ebook)
“In this timely and personal selection of exceptional speeches, Yvette Cooper MP tells the rousing story of female oratory. From Boudica to Greta Thunberg and Margaret Thatcher to Malala, Yvette introduces each speech and demonstrates how powerful and persuasive oratory can be decidedly female. Written by one of our leading public voices, this is an inspirational call for women to be heard across the globe.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Incidental inventions / Ferrante, Elena
“‘This is my last column, after a year that has scared and inspired me.’ With these words, Elena Ferrante bid farewell to her year-long collaboration with the Guardian. For a full year she penned short pieces; the subjects ranged from first love to climate change, from enmity among women to the adaptation of her novels to film and TV. Gathered here  and accompanied by… Andrea Ucini’s intelligent, witty, and beautiful illustrations, this is a must for all Ferrante fans.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Vanity Fair’s women on women
“Vanity Fair’s Women on Women features thirty of the best profiles, essays, and columns on female subjects written by female contributors to the magazine over the past thirty-five years. Many of these pieces constitute the first draft of a larger cultural narrative. They tell a singular story about female icons and identity over the last four decades—and about the magazine as it has evolved under the editorial direction of Tina Brown, Graydon Carter, and now Radhika Jones, who has written a compelling introduction.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Crazy Brave, Joy Harjo (ebook)
“In this transcendent memoir, grounded in tribal myth and ancestry, music and poetry, Joy Harjo details her journey to becoming a poet. Born in Oklahoma, the end place of the Trail of Tears, Harjo grew up learning to dodge an abusive stepfather by finding shelter in her imagination, a deep spiritual life, and connection with the natural world. Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, Crazy Brave is a haunting, visionary memoir about family and the breaking apart necessary in finding a voice.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, Anne Boyd Rioux (ebook)
In Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, Anne Boyd Rioux brings a fresh and engaging looks at the circumstances leading Louisa May Alcott to write Little Women and why this beloved story of family and community ties set in the Civil War has resonated with audiences across time. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Naked in the Promised Land, Lillian Faderman (ebook)
“Born in 1940, Lillian Faderman is the only child of an uneducated and unmarried Jewish woman who left Latvia to seek a better life in America. Desperately seeking to make her life meaningful, she studied at Berkeley; paying her way by working as a pin-up model and burlesque dancer… she became a brilliant student and the woman who becomes a loving partner, a devoted mother, an acclaimed writer and ground-breaking pioneer of gay and lesbian scholarship. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Make it scream, make it burn : essays / Jamison, Leslie
“The author of New York Times best sellers like The Empathy Exams, Jamison returns with 14 fresh essays blending memoir, criticism, and journalism. Among her subjects: 52 Blue, the world’s loneliest whale; the awful yet somehow remote Sri Lankan civil war; and a museum exhibiting relics of broken relationships. With the virtuosic synthesis of memoir, criticism, and journalism for which she has become known, Jamison offers 14 new essays that are by turns ecstatic, searching, staggering, and wise.” (Catalogue)

Overdrive cover I Hope We Choose Love, Kai Cheng Thom (ebook)
“A heartbreaking yet hopeful collection of personal essays and prose poems, blending the confessional, political, and literary, Kai Cheng Thom dives deep into the questions that haunt social movements today. With the author’s characteristic eloquence and honesty, I Hope We Choose Love proposes heartfelt solutions on the topics of violence, complicity, family, vengeance, and forgiveness. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Ordinary Girls, Jaquira Díaz (ebook)
In this searing memoir, Jaquira Díaz writes fiercely and eloquently of her challenging girlhood and triumphant coming of age. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz’s memoir provides a vivid portrait of a life lived in (and beyond) the borders of Puerto Rico and its complicated history—and reads as electrically as a novel.
(Adapted from Overdrive description)

Constellations : reflections from life / Gleeson, Sinéad
“How do you tell the story of life that is no one thing? How do you tell the story of a life in a body, as it goes through sickness, health, motherhood? And how do you tell that story when you are not just a woman but a woman in Ireland? In this powerful and daring memoir in essays Sinéad Gleeson does that very thing. In writing that is in tradition of some of our finest writers and yet still in her own spirited, warm voice, Sinéad takes on journey that is both personal and yet universal in its resonance.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Drawing and Painting Guides: New Art Books

If your new year’s resolution was to pick up some artistic skills, you’re in luck! This month we’ve got an influx of great arty how-to, including drawing, sketching, and painting. Maybe even branch out further and try paint pouring with The Paint Pouring Workshop, or get into comics and animation with Draw Great Characters and Creatures.

Overdrive cover Botanical Line Drawing, Peggy Dean (ebook)
Botanical Line Drawing teaches you how to start with the simplest doodles, building into more elaborate, delicate illustrations. These simple line drawings will allow you to branch out and have fun with your own personal style, as well as inspire you to add flourishes to other projects.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Draw great characters and creatures : 75 art exercises for comics and animation / Johnson, Beverly
“Learn to make your characters unique, compelling and lifelike with these 75 exercises for all skill levels, including beginners. Topics include tools and materials; shapes; personalities; facial expressions; body language; character interaction; and costuming. Character types featured include more than just humans; learn how to draw animals, plants, creatures and more.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The 15-minute artist : the quick and easy way to draw almost anything / Holmes, Catherine V.
“If you want to draw but think you don’t have the time to learn -or feel too intimidated to start- 15-Minute Artist invites you to jump in. Bestselling author Catherine Holmes provides more than 60 step-by-step projects for depicting animals, food, plants, household items, and more–and you can complete each one in just 15 minutes. Her tutorials break the process down so you can achieve quick, satisfying results.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The paint pouring workshop : learn to create dazzling abstract art with acrylic pouring / Ferro, Marcy
“Jump into the exciting world of paint pouring — and instantly create dazzling, abstract art — with this comprehensive how-to guide by the popular founder of the Mixed Media Girl YouTube channel. In this fun, colorful guide, Marcy Ferro explains everything about working in this popular form.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Ink : do more art / Davies, Bridget
Ink is the first in an exciting new practical-art series on popular mediums, including acrylic, oil, pencil and gouache. The books will cover painting techniques, creative ideas and applications, and the fun of mixing with other mediums. Many of the techniques and ideas will be demonstrated through the work of some of the world’s greatest artists and illustrators. With its contemporary aesthetic and accessible content, the series will appeal to artists of all abilities.” (Catalogue)

Urban sketching step by step / Meier-Pauken, Klaus
“The next inspiring instalment by artist and architect Klau Meir-Pauken, showing you how to sketch our industrial, hustling, urban world – and discover your inner artist. Reawaken the art of our ancestors and join the growing movement of reactionary artists, and learn how to capture our fast-paced world in this inspiring book by popular artist and author, Klaus Meier-Pauken.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Painting masterclass : creative techniques of 100 great artists / Hodge, Susie
“The book is organized into seven chapters covering important genres: nudes, figures, landscapes, still life, heads, fantasy and abstraction. Each chapter selects a cross section of artists and examines their practice in detail, using key paintings. Light and shade, rhythm, form, space, contour and composition are all covered in detail.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The field guide to drawing & sketching animals / Pond, Tim
“Artist Tim Pond’s lively and engaging book fuses science with art, providing the reader with the skills, techniques and knowledge they need to create sketches of animals filled with life and movement. Combining scientific knowledge with expert practical guidance is key to creating successful drawings of animals, and Tim’s ability to convey this in a way that is both accessible and engaging makes this a unique and inspiring guide suitable for artists of all levels.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Local Literature: New Books

We’re reading a lot of local fiction and non-fiction lately, because it’s so good! Stories from New Zealanders make us feel reminiscent and connected, as well as providing the satisfaction that comes from supporting local writers. Some of these voices are new, some of them have been around for a while but still have new perspectives to share.

This month, notable titles include the swirling poetry of Between You and these Bones; and The Braided River, an anthology of migrant essays compiled by Diane Comer, who draws on how essays continue to be an expression of oneself and migration in a shifting world. We finish off with a current Librarian’s Choice, All Who Live on Islands, which perhaps proves Comer’s hypothesis true.

The paper nautilus : a trilogy / Jackson, Michael
The Paper Nautilus is about loss – the forms it takes, how we go on living in the face of it, and the mysterious ways that new life and new beginnings are born of brokenness. The paper nautilus provides a vivid image of this interplay of death and rebirth since, for new life to begin, the angelically beautiful but fragile shell that sustained a former life must be shattered. This book crosses and blends genres most engagingly.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Haare Williams : words of a kaumātua / Williams, Haare
“A kaumātua – an elder of the Māori people – reflects in poetry and prose on his journey from te ao Maori on the East Coast to contemporary Auckland, New Zealand. And in his poetry and prose, in te reo Maori and English, Haare has a unique ability to capture both the wisdom of te ao Maori and the transformation of that world. This book, edited and introduced by acclaimed author Witi Ihimaera, brings together the poetry and prose of Haare Williams to produce a work that is a biography of the man and his times, a celebration of a kaumatua and an exemplar of his wisdom.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The braided river : migration and the personal essay / Comer, Diane
“This book explores contemporary migration to New Zealand through an examination of 200 personal essays written by 37 migrants from 20 different countries, spanning all ages and life stages. Throughout, Diane Comer, both migrant and essayist herself, demonstrates the versatility of the personal essay as a means to analyze and understand migration, an issue with increasing relevance worldwide.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Black and the White / Cochrane, Geoff
“The Black and the White is a new work – witty, fearless, formidably concise – from one of the most distinctive voices in New Zealand Poetry.” (Source: Victoria University Press)

All the juicy pastures : Greville Texidor and New Zealand / Schwass, Margot
“Greville Texidor – one-time Bloomsbury insider, globetrotting chorus-line dancer, former heroin addict, anarchist militia-woman and recent inmate of Holloway Prison – became a writer only after arriving in New Zealand as a refugee in 1940. All the Juicy Pastures tells the story of Greville Texidor’s extraordinary life in full for the first time, and puts her small but essential body of work in vivid context. Illustrated with many never-before-seen photographs, it restores an essential New Zealand writer to new generations of readers.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Between you and these bones / Soul, F. D.
“Acclaimed Instagram poet F.D. Soul (@featherdownsoul) debuts a new poetry collection, telling her own invigorating, unapologetic narrative of love, loss, and adversity. Soul’s words pulse, they are alive on the page, attesting to the significance of Between You and These Bones in the modern world. From celebrated New Zealand poetess F.D. Soul comes her highly anticipated second collection of poetry, prose, illustrations, and wisdom.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

All who live on islands / Lu, Rose
All Who Live on Islands introduces a bold new voice in New Zealand literature. In these intimate and entertaining essays, Rose Lu takes us through personal history to explore friendship, the weight of stories told and not told about diverse cultures, and the reverberations of our parents’ and grandparents’ choices. Frank and compassionate, Rose Lu’s stories illuminate the cultural and linguistic questions that migrants face, as well as what it is to be a young person living in 21st-century Aotearoa New Zealand.” (Adapteed from Catalogue)

The secret lives of designers: new books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goals, resolutions, and learning at Arapaki in 2020

2019 has been a year of big changes for us here at Wellington City Libraries. Our first library in the CBD network following Central’s closure opened up in Manners Street in June and it’s been all a-go. The team here at Arapaki Manners Library thought the best way to reflect on our crazy year would be to get excited and set some goals for 2020.

We’ve asked our team to share some of their New Year’s resolutions and highlight their go-to resources in our collection that will help them make their 2020 dreams come true! Maybe you have some resolutions in mind already or maybe you can take some inspiration from the team.


Will:
“My resolution for the new year is to learn more about our history prior to the 1950’s – as a history student, it’s pretty imperative! Specifically, I want to engage more with the history of our colonisation and with how that history is being represented today. With that in mind, my 2020 resolutions book is Tina Ngata’s crucial work critiquing Tuia 250, Kia Mau: Resisting Colonial Fictions. In it, she analyses the government’s decision to ‘commemorate’ the ‘encounter’ that was the arrival of Captain Cook on these shores, exposing perpetuated falsehoods around our history and encouraging all of us to commit to the ongoing work of coming to terms with colonisation – both in our history, and in our present.”

Kia mau : resisting colonial fictions / Ngata, Tina
“This book is a compilation of essays written by Tina Ngata about New Zealand’s TUIA250 Commemorations of James Cook’s voyages to New Zealand and the Pacific. She discusses Cook’s voyage as a military deployment, the influence of the Doctrine of Discovery, the specific spots of Cook’s crimes in NZ, the participation of Māori in the commemorations and the inappropriateness of a settler government centring the story of invasion and colonisation.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Joseph:
“2020 is destined to be my year of textures. Despite issuing this book previously, and it sitting unopened in my staff-room locker, this year I am knuckling down and escalating my dreams of becoming embroiled in embroidery. Flowers, bees, paisley & patterns!”

Boho embroidery : modern projects from traditional stitches / Vogelsinger, Nichole
“Hello, embroidery. Meet textile art. Let’s talk about the time when embroidery and textile art met… they formed a unique pairing of modern, chic design using traditional methods. Author Nichole Vogelsinger introduced these two mediums to each other, creating an entirely new way to play with needle, thread and fabric.” (Catalogue)

Tessa:
“In 2020 my resolution is to eat more vegetarian and vegan meals. I know that reducing my intake of dairy and meat is a positive way to help reduce carbon emissions, and while i’m not ready to completely commit to becoming fully vegetarian or vegan, I do want to start thinking of meat as a sometimes food rather than the main event at every dinner. One quick search through the cookbooks at Arapaki and I’ve found piles of delicious, colourful vegetarian and vegan recipes to try throughout the year, as excellent sign that this might be a resolution that I can actually stick to!”

The flexible vegetarian / Pratt, Jo
Whether you’re an occasional meat-eater, a vegetarian who needs to cook for meat-eaters, or even a dedicated veggie, you’ll find this book filled with delicious and practical flexitarian recipes for every lifestyle.” (Catalogue)

Jo:
“My 2020 resolution is simple – pat more dogs. This is a beautiful book which has trapped many a librarian at Arapaki – whenever it gets returned it always manages to linger in our workroom longer than strictly necessary. ‘From a Labrador that likes opera to a kleptomaniac miniature groodle, and a loveable one eyed Jack Russel to a farting bulldog…’ What’s not to love?”

The year of the dogs / Musi, Vincent J
“As a National Geographic photographer, Vince Musi travelled the world to photograph lions, tigers and bears. All that changed when he decided to open a hometown studio to photograph dogs. His stunning portraits are matched with witty ‘dogographies’ and a comic blend of Vince’s own personal stories. Now, for the first time, The Year of the Dogs brings together this eccentric cast of characters in one volume, doggone guaranteed to put a smile on the face of anyone who loves animals.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Petra:
“2020 will be the year I travel the world, experiencing different cultures, customs, and perspectives through books. I want to make my way through the library’s wide and varied collection of translated fiction, starting in Japan. I am particularly intrigued by Hiro Arikawa’s novel, The Travelling Cat Chronicles.

Who knows where my armchair travels will take me next?
Wherever it is, I hope there are more cats.”

The travelling cat chronicles / Arikawa, Hiro
“With simple yet descriptive prose, this novel gives voice to Nana the cat and his owner, Satoru, as they take to the road on a journey with no other purpose than to visit three of Satoru’s longtime friends. Or so Nana is led to believe . . . With his crooked tail–a sign of good fortune–and adventurous spirit, Nana is the perfect companion for the man who took him in as a stray. And as they travel in a silver van across Japan, with its ever-changing scenery and seasons, they will learn the true meaning of courage and gratitude, of loyalty and love.” (Catalogue)

Moshi Moshi / Yoshimoto, Banana
“In Moshi-Moshi, Yoshie’s much-loved musician father has died in a suicide pact with an unknown woman. It is only when Yoshie and her mother move to Shimo-kitazawa, a traditional Tokyo neighborhood of narrow streets, quirky shops, and friendly residents that they can finally start to put their painful past behind them. With the lightness of touch and surreal detachment that are the hallmarks of her writing, Banana Yoshimoto turns a potential tragedy into a poignant coming-of-age ghost story and a life-affirming homage to the healing powers of community, food, and family.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Gus:
“For Christmas, my mum’s partner bought the whole family a ukelele each. I’m a music fan, but I’ve never had any real aspiration to learn how to play music. Now that I’ve had an instrument thrust upon me, I’ve decided to make my New Year’s resolution to learn to play the ukelele and to have at least three songs down perfectly by the end of the year. So far i’m only up to the first two notes of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, but hey, it’s a start!”

Learn to play the ukulele : a simple and fun guide for complete beginners / Plant, Bill
“This book will teach you basic playing techniques for the ukulele. No prior musical experience is assumed. You will learn how to hold the instrument, position the hands, strumming techniques, basic chords and beyond. Music theory is included, but the emphasis is on getting up to speed and on with the fun of playing quickly.” (Catalogue)

Amelia:
I te tau 2020, kei te pīrangi au ki whakapai i tāku reo Māori. In 2018 and 2019 I took a few Māori classes but, of course, with learning a language lots of practise is key and sometimes life can get in the way. My goal for 2020 is to continue my reo journey and improve my ability to read, write, and speak our indigenous language.

Māori made easy : for everyday learners of the Māori language. Workbook/Kete 1 / Morrison, Scotty
“Fun, user-friendly and relevant to modern readers, Scotty Morrison’s Maori Made Easy workbook series is the ultimate resource for anyone wanting to learn the basics of the Maori language. By committing just 30 minutes a day for 30 weeks, learners will adopt the language easily and as best suits their busy lives.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Te anuhe tino hiakai / Carle, Eric
“With the same beautiful illustrations and dye cut pages as the original book, the te reo Maori translation retains the humour and quirky character of the little caterpillar and simplicity of the story.” (Catalogue)

Global Adventures: New Travel Books

This month’s line-up of travel writing showcases an extensive look at destinations around the globe. A new year calls for a new Best in Travel from Lonely Planet, as well as a couple of other awe-inspiring travel guides.

We also go back to the classic travelogue, this time with a fast-paced twist featuring almost every country and destination there is. Whirlwind journeys like these aren’t for the faint of heart, proven by some of the most notable travellers of our time such as Nuseir Yassin and Mark Beaumont with their record breaking itineraries. Their new releases, together with other tales of adventure, are bound to leave you feeling at least a little bit wanderlust.

Best in travel 2020 / Bindloss, Joseph
“Drawing on the knowledge and passion of Lonely Planet’s staff, we present a year’s worth of inspiration to take you out of the ordinary and into the unforgettable. We reveal how well-planned, sustainable travel can be a force for good: for the environment, for local people and for yourself – and include ways to help lower your carbon footprint and protect the areas you visit on your travels.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Around the World in 60 Seconds, Nuseir Yassin (ebook)
In 2016, Nuseir Yassin quit his job to travel for 1,000 consecutive days.  While he journeyed from country to country, Nas uploaded a 60-second video per day to highlight the amazing, terrifying, inspiring and downright surprising… Thirteen million followers later, Nas Daily has become the most immersive travel experience ever captured, and finally shows us what we’ve all been looking for: each other. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Passages / Trubridge, Linda
“When Linda and David sold the house they had built to last a lifetime and abandoned a thriving career for a nomadic life, they discovered more about the world and themselves than they ever imagined. Voyaging halfway around the world with their two young sons, this is a story about the challenges of maintaining a relationship and nurturing children in extreme circumstances.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Epic journeys : 245 life-changing adventures
“This large-format, comprehensive book offers the itineraries of a lifetime for explorers and adrenaline junkies alike. You’ll also find everything you need to know for the ultimate epic journey: what to see, when to go, and what to do. This collection, complemented by top ten lists and adventurer essays covering everything from the best hiking trails to the top wildlife parks, will lead you to new heights of exploration.” (Catalogue)

Around the world in 80 days : my world record breaking adventure / Beaumont, Mark
“On Monday 18th September 2017, Mark Beaumont pedalled through the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes earlier he set off from the same point, beginning his attempt to circumnavigate the world in record time. Covering more than 18,000 miles and cycling through some of the harshest conditions one man and his bicycle can endure, Mark made history.” (Catalogue)

How to be a family : the year I dragged my kids around the world to find a new way to be together / Kois, Dan
“What happens when one frustrated dad turns his kids’ lives upside down in search of a new way to be a family? In this eye-opening, heartwarming, and very funny family memoir, the Kois … land in New Zealand, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, and small-town Kansas. Will this trip change the Kois family’s lives? Or do families take their problems and conflicts with them wherever we go? ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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

Ten years a nomad : a traveler’s journey home / Kepnes, Matt
“After quitting his 9-5 job more than ten years ago, Matt realized that living life meant more for him than simply meeting traditional milestones like buying a car, paying a mortgage, and moving up the career ladder. With almost nothing tangible to show for it after traveling over 500,000 miles and staying in 90 different countries, Matt has compiled his favorite stories and experiences in this travel manifesto to show a different side of life.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Elsewhere : one woman, one rucksack, one lifetime of travel / Boland, Rosita
“From her first life-changing solo trip to Australia, Rosita Boland was enthralled by travel. In the last thirty years she has visited some of the most remote parts of the globe carrying little more than a battered rucksack and a diary. In a series of jaw-dropping, illuminating and sometimes heart-breaking essays, Elsewhere is a book that celebrates the life well-travelled in all its messy and wondrous glory.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Perceptions of Art: New Books

Check out some of the recent additions to our art sections – this time with a focus on how we look at and appreciate different works of art. These books span from classical paintings, all the way through to modern design and the creativity of artificial intelligence.

Look again : how to experience the Old Masters / Ward, Ossian
“An approachable guide to Old Masterpaintings from a newperspective that offers a simple aid to looking at and demystifying the often obscure strategies of the greatest painters of all time. Look Again does not deny the specific complexities and barriers associated with looking at art from other eras, instead it offers methods that not only provide the viewer with the tools to interpret the art, but also assumes that we intuitively hold some of this knowledge within ourselves already.” (adapted from Catalogue)

From A to Eames : a visual guide to mid-century modern design / Whybrow, Lauren
“This sophisticated A to Z picture book for adults is an illustrated journey through midcentury modern design, perfect for any reader with a keen eye for style. With eighty tales of design, laid out in a fun and easy-to-read A to Z format, design lovers will be reading this book to each other before bed. If you didn’t know that E stands for Eames, Egg Chair, and Elrod House (or don’t know what any of those words actually mean) then this book belongs on your coffee table. And if you can’t afford an Eames coffee table, then rejoice in knowing that From A to Eames makes an inexpensive and equally satisfying alternative.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Old in Art School, Nell Painter (Audiobook)
Following her retirement from Princeton University, celebrated historian Dr. Nell Irvin Painter surprised everyone in her life by returning to school-in her sixties-to earn a BFA and MFA in painting. In Old in Art School, she travels from her beloved Newark to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design; finds meaning in the artists she loves. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Great women artists
“Five centuries of fascinating female creativity presented in more than 400 compelling artworks and one comprehensive volume. In museums, galleries, and the art market, previously overlooked female artists, past and present, are now gaining recognition and value. This essential volume reveals a parallel yet equally engaging history of art for an age that champions a greater diversity of voices.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Colin McCahon : there is only one direction. Vol. I 1919-1959 / Simpson, Peter
“The first of an extraordinary two-volume work chronicling forty-five years of painting by New Zealand’s most important artist, Colin McCahon. This material enables us to begin to understand McCahon’s work as the artist himself conceived it. This will be the definitive work on New Zealand’s leading artist for many years to come.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The creativity code : how AI is learning to write, paint and think / Du Sautoy, Marcus
“As humans, we have an extraordinary ability to create works of art that elevate, expand and transform what it means to be alive. But can machines be creative? Marcus finds out how long it might be before machines come up with something creative, and whether they might jolt us into being more imaginative in turn. The result is a fascinating and very different exploration into both AI and the essence of what it means to be human.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Almost lost arts : traditional crafts and the artisans keeping them alive / Freidenrich, Emily
“The perfect antidote to the digital age. This book celebrates twenty artisans around the world who are breathing new life into traditional crafts. Gorgeous photographs reveal these craftspeople’s studios, from Oaxaca to Kyoto and from Milan to Tennessee. Two essays explore the challenges and rewards of engaging deeply with the past. With an elegant three-piece case and foil stamping, this rich volume will be an inspiration to makers, collectors, and history lovers.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The story of painting : how art was made.
“A fascinating new history of art, this gloriously illustrated book reveals how materials, techniques, and ideas have evolved over the centuries, inspiring artists and giving them the means to create their most celebrated works. Covering a comprehensive array of topics. The Story of Painting follows each step in the evolution of painting over the last 25,000 years, from the first cave paintings to the abstract works of the last 150 years.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Rick Steves Europe’s top 100 masterpieces : art for the traveler / Steves, Rick
“This essay collection features Rick’s unique take on Europe’s best-known works of art, from the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa to Picasso’s Guernica, providing historical context as well as a personal examination of the pieces. The book also covers Europe’s most striking architecture… sure to inspire both history buffs and novice travelers alike.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

New in Literature

New literature has arrived! Spanning local and international writers, this month we’ve got an abundance of fresh poetry, essays, and short story anthologies. Find out who’s writing what in New Zealand in Fresh Ink, or perhaps delve deep into the intricacies and ambiguities of Shakespeare’s works with This is Shakespeare. 

I’m telling the truth, but I’m lying : essays / Ikpi, Bassey
“Having emigrated from Nigeria to America at age four, Ikpi assimilated uneasily but became a spoken word artist with HBO’s Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam. Strong on the outside but crumbling on the inside, she was eventually hospitalized and diagnosed with Bipolar II. Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are–and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Labels and Other Stories, Louis de Bernières (ebook)
Full of wit, warmth and charm, Louis de Bernières’ Labels and Other Stories features tales from throughout his career as a masterful storyteller and transports us around the globe, from the London Underground to Turkish ruins to the banks of the Amazon. In this worldly and entertaining collection of stories, we are equally enchanted by familiar and fantastical occurrences, by de Bernières’ wry sense of humour and powerful imagination. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Coventry : essays / Cusk, Rachel
“Lauded for the precision of her prose and the quality of her insight, Cusk is a writer of uncommon brilliance. Coventry encompasses memoir, cultural criticism, and writing about literature, with pieces on family life, gender, and politics. Named for an essay in Granta, this collection is pure Cusk and essential reading for our age: fearless, unrepentantly erudite, and dazzling to behold.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Fresh ink : a collection of voices from Aotearoa New Zealand, 2019.
“An anthology of short stories, extracts from novels, poetry and artwork, from established and respected New Zealand writers as well as some lively ‘fresh ink’ from previously unpublished literary voices.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Counting backwards : poems, 1975-2017 / Dunmore, Helen
“Winner of the Costa Book of the Year for her final collection, Inside the Wave, Helen Dunmore was as spellbinding storyteller in her poetry and in her prose.  Counting Backwards is a retrospective covering ten collections written over four decades, bringing together all the poems she included in her earlier selection, Out of the Blue (2001), with all those from her three later collections, Glad of These Times (2007), The Malarkey (2012) and Inside the Wave (2017), along with a number of earlier or previously uncollected poems.” (Catalogue)

This is Shakespeare / Smith, Emma
“This electrifying new book thrives on revealing, not resolving, the ambiguities of Shakespeare’s plays and their changing topicality. It introduces an intellectually, theatrically and ethically exciting writer who engages with intersectionality…  The Shakespeare in this book poses awkward questions rather than offering bland answers, always implicating us in working out what it might mean. This is Shakespeare. And he needs your attention.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover joinedupwriting, Roger McGough (ebook)
For fifty years, Roger McGough has delighted readers with poetry that is at once playful and poignant, intimate and universal. In his latest collection, he explores the whole gamut of the human experience, from forgotten friendships and family life, to the trauma of war and contemporary politics, wittily showing us who we are in all our shades of light and dark. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Mouth Full of Blood, Toni Morrison (Audiobook)
Spanning four decades, these essays, speeches are heart-stoppingly introduced by a prayer for the dead of 9/11, a meditation on Martin Luther King and a eulogy for James Baldwin. Morrison’s Nobel lecture, on the power of language, is accompanied by lectures to Amnesty International and the Newspaper Association of America. A Mouth Full of Blood is a powerful, erudite and essential gathering of ideas that speaks to us all. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Tales and Travelogues in Unexpected Places

This month we’ve got a lot of new travel writing hitting our shelves, featuring both some tourist favourites and remote destinations. We whirl from the Arctic to the Antarctic with some of the best travel writers of our time, stopping along the way in places such as Spain and Pakistan. Whether you are interested in culture, science, or just the human experience of travelling to new places, this booklist has you covered.

Overdrive cover My Midsummer Morning, Alastair Humphreys (ebook)
Seasoned adventurer Alastair Humphreys pushes himself to his very limits – busking his way across Spain with a violin he can barely play. The journey was his most terrifying yet, risking failure and humiliation every day, and finding himself truly vulnerable to the rhythms of the road and of his own life. But along the way, he found humility, redemption and triumph. It was a very good adventure. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Sun Is a Compass, Caroline Van Hemert (Audiobook)
In March of 2012 [Caroline Van Hemert] and her husband set off on a 4,000-mile wilderness journey from the Pacific rainforest to the Alaskan Arctic, traveling by rowboat, ski, foot, raft, and canoe.  A unique blend of science, adventure, and personal narrative, the book explores the bounds of the physical body and the tenuousness of life in the company of creatures whose daily survival is nothing short of miraculous. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Bowing to Elephants, Mag Dimond (ebook)
In Bowing to Elephants, a woman gazes into the feathery eyes of a 14,000-pound African elephant and looks for answers to old questions in Vietnam and the tragically ravaged landscape of Cambodia. Dimond journeys to far-flung places―into the perfumed chaos of India, the nostalgic, damp streets of Paris, the gray, the reverent and silent mountains of Bhutan, and the gold temples of Burma. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Fifteen million years in Antarctica / Priestley, Rebecca
“Rebecca Priestley longs to be in Antarctica. But it is also the last place on Earth she wants to go. Fifteen Million Years in Antarctica offers a deeply personal tour of a place in which a person can feel like an outsider in more ways than one. With generosity and candour, Priestley reflects on what Antarctica can tell us about Earth’s future and asks: do people even belong in this fragile, otherworldly place?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Couchsurfing in Russia, Stephen Orth (ebook)
In this humorous and thought-provoking book, Orth ventures through that vast and mysterious land to uncover the real, unfiltered Russia not seen in today’s headlines: authentic, bizarre, dangerous, and beautiful. Orth follows the bestselling Couchsurfing in Iran with another complex, funny, and personal travelogue – a colourful portrait of a fascinating and misunderstood country. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

The crow eaters : a journey through south Australia / Stubbs, Ben
“Outsiders think of South Australia as being different, without really knowing much about it. Combining his own travel across the state with an investigation of its history, Ben Stubbs seeks to find out what South Australia is really like. In the spirit of the best travel writing and literary non-fiction, he lingers in places of quiet beauty and meets some memorable people… Stubbs brings this diverse state to life.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

From the lion’s mouth : a journey along the Indus / Campbell, Iain
“An insightful portrait of Pakistan with themes of religion, culture and hospitality in an account of travelling… Engrossing and eye-opening, Iain Campbell’s account of his travels through this mesmerising land will appeal to travellers, mountaineers, trekkers, wilderness enthusiasts, anyone interested in the culture and history of the subcontinent, and fans of quality travel writing.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

North Korea journal / Palin, Michael
“In May 2018, Michael Palin spent two weeks in the notoriously secretive Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a cut-off land without internet or phone signal… Written with Palin’s trademark warmth and wit, and illustrated with beautiful colour photographs throughout, the journal offers a rare insight into the North Korea behind the headlines.” (Catalogue)

What happens when travel and history intersect: Latest travel titles

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
– Marcel Proust

Part travelogue and part social commentary, this month’s recent picks go beyond whirlwind sightseeing tours and deep into often less-explored regions. Uncovering national histories and culture as they go, authors such as Ben Aitken and David Eimer delve further than most in their travels. The Frayed Atlantic Edge provides new perspectives on old coastlines by kayak, while Out of Istanbul takes readers on a historical journey of the Silk Road by foot.

If you’re after the thrill of travel writing that brings you to new places and people, this booklist is for you.

Overdrive cover The Frayed Atlantic Edge, David Gange (ebook)
“Over the course of a year, leading historian and nature writer David Gange kayaked the weather-ravaged coasts of Atlantic Britain and Ireland from north to south: every cove, sound, inlet, island. Drawing on the archives of islands and coastal towns, as well as their vast poetic literatures in many languages, he shows that the neglected histories of these stunning regions are of real importance in understanding both the past and future of the whole archipelago.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Savage Dreamland, David Eimer (ebook)
“For almost fifty years Burma was ruled by a paranoid military dictatorship and isolated from the outside world. David Eimer travels throughout this enigmatic nation, from the tropical south to the Burmese Himalayas in the far north, via the Buddhist-centric heartland and the jungles and mountains where rebel armies fight. In his vivid and revelatory account of life, history, culture and politics, Eimer chronicles the awakening of a country as it returns to the global fold.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Bells of Old Tokyo, Anna Sherman (ebook)
“In The Bells of Old Tokyo, Anna Sherman explores Japan and revels in all its wonderful particularity. Following her search for the lost bells of the city – the bells by which its inhabitants kept time before the Jesuits introduced them to clocks – to her personal friendship with the owner of a small, exquisite cafe, who elevates the making and drinking of coffee to an art-form, here is Tokyo in its bewildering variety.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

China tripping : encountering the everyday in the People’s Republic
“This unique book is the first to bring together a group of influential China experts to reflect on their cultural and social encounters while travelling and living in the People’s Republic. Filling an important gap, it allows scholars, journalists, and businesspeople to reflect on their personal memories of China. Covering nearly a half-century from 1971 to the present, these stories open a vivid window on a rapidly evolving China and on the zigzag learning curve of the China trippers themselves.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Around the World in 80 Trains, Monisha Rajesh (ebook)
“Packing up her rucksack—and her fiancé, Jem—Monisha embarks on an unforgettable adventure that will take her from London’s St Pancras station to the vast expanses of Russia and Mongolia, North Korea, Canada, Kazakhstan, and beyond. Monisha offers a wonderfully vivid account of life, history and culture in a book that will make you laugh out loud—and reflect on what it means to be a global citizen—as you whirl around the world in its pages.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Out of Istanbul : a journey of discovery along the Silk Road / Ollivier, Bernard
“Heading east out of Istanbul, Ollivier takes readers step by step across Anatolia and Kurdistan, bound for Tehran. We accompany Ollivier as he explores bazaars, mosques, and caravansaries–true vestiges of the Silk Road itself–and through these encounters and experiences, gains insight into the complex political and social issues facing modern-day Turkey.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Behind Putin’s curtain : friendships and misadventures inside Russia / Orth, Stephan
 “Orth ventures through that vast and mysterious territory to uncover the real, unfiltered Russia not seen in today’s headlines: authentic, bizarre, dangerous, and beautiful. Weaving everything together with thoughtfulness and warmth, Orth follows the acclaimed Couchsurfing in Iran with yet another complex, funny, and personal travelogue–a colorful portrait of a fascinating and misunderstood country.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A chip Shop in Poznań : my unlikely year in Poland / Aitken, Ben
“Not many Brits move to Poland to work in a fish and chip shop. Fewer still come back wanting to be a Member of the European Parliament. Travel writer Ben Aitken moved to Poland in 2016… This candid, funny and off-beat book is the account of his year in Poland, as an unlikely immigrant. This is a bittersweet portrait of an unsung country, challenging stereotypes that Poland is a grey, ex-soviet land, and revealing a diverse country, rightfully proud of its colourful identity.” (Adapted from Catalogue)