Why we travel: latest additions in travel writing

This month’s latest travel titles ask: Why do we travel? What are we searching for? From pilgrimages to culinary explorations, from adrenaline seeking to peaceful wanderings, these books tell the stories of people who have sought something from their travels, and were quite often surprised at the results.

Overdrive cover Through the Embers of Chaos, Dervla Murphy (ebook)
As Dervla Murphy crisscrossed the Balkans in a series of bicycle journeys, she recorded the griefs and confusions of the ordinary people, many of whom had showed extraordinary courage and resilience during that terrible ‘decade of decay’ and whose voices were so little heard during the conflict.   (Adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover Stranger Country, Monica Tan (ebook)
What happens when a 32-year-old first-generation Australian woman decides to chuck in a dream job, pack a sleeping bag and tent, and hit the long, dusty road for six months? In mid-2016, Monica left Sydney, unsure of her place in Australia. Stranger Country is the riveting account of the six months Monica drove and camped her way through some of Australia’s most beautiful and remote landscapes. ( Adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover Alice to Prague, Tanya Heaslip (ebook)
In 1994, Tanya Heaslip left her safe life as a lawyer in outback Australia and travelled to the post-communist Czech Republic. Dismissing concerns from family and friends that her safety and career were at risk, she arrived with no teaching experience whatsoever, to work at a high school in a town she’d never heard of, where the winters are frigid and plunge to sub-zero temperatures. (Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover Fiva, Gordon Stainforth (ebook)
In 1969, teenage twin brothers Gordon and John Stainforth set out… to climb the highest rock face in Europe — Norway’s Troll Wall. Poor judges of their own abilities, experience, and gear, they began the climb convinced they would return to their tent in time for afternoon tea. Within hours of starting the route, things went terribly wrong. Fiva is the story that Gordon Stainforth lived to tell, 40 years later. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Walking to Jerusalem : blisters, hope and other facts on the ground : sacred and profane reflections on the Just Walk to Jerusalem 10 June – 2 November 2017 / Butcher, Justin
2017 marked three anniversaries for the Palestinian people: 100 years since the Balfour Declaration; 50 years since the Six-day War; and ten years since the Blockade of Gaza. As an act of penance, solidarity and hope, actor and musician Justin Butcher – along with ten other companions for the full route – walked from London to Jerusalem. (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover The Cafe de Move-on Blues, Christopher Hope (ebook)
In White Boy Running, Christopher Hope explored how it felt and looked to grow up in a country gripped by an ‘absurd, racist insanity’. On a road trip thirty years later, Christopher goes in search of today’s South Africa; post-apartheid… of a future when race and colour would not count. Framed as a travelogue, this is a darkly comic, powerful and moving portrait of South Africa – an elegy to a living nation. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover One More Croissant for the Road, Felicity Cloake (ebook)
The nation’s ‘taster in chief’ cycles across France in search of the definitive versions of classic French dishes. A land of glorious landscapes – a country large enough to give any journey an epic quality, but with a bakery on every corner. Each of the 21 ‘stages’ concludes with Felicity putting this new found knowledge to good use in a fresh and definitive recipe for each dish. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover Outpost, Dan Richards (ebook)
There are still wild places out there on our crowded planet. Through a series of personal journeys, Dan Richards explores the appeal of far-flung outposts. Their untamed nature is part of their beauty and such places have long drawn the adventurous, the spiritual and the artistic. Richards explores landscapes which have inspired writers, artists and musicians, and asks: why are we drawn to wilderness? (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Literary memoirs – new stories through essays and poetry

Our latest picks bring together a huge range of authors; some who are new to the game as well as some award-winning writers. Their stories bind together to show what it means to face adversity with resilience. These books, all of which are accessible digitally, bring humour and honesty, as well as an appreciation of what it means to share our stories.

Overdrive cover Common People, Kit de Waal (ebook)
Common People is a collection of essays, poems and memoir written in celebration, not apology: these are narratives rich in barbed humour, reflecting the depth and texture of working-class life, the joy and sorrow, the solidarity and the differences.. Here, Kit de Waal brings together thirty-three established and emerging writers who invite you to experience the world through their eyes(Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Burst of Light, Audre Lorde (ebook)
Winner of the 1988 Before Columbus Foundation National Book Award, this path-breaking collection of essays is a clarion call to build communities that nurture our spirit. “This was my first time reading Audre Lorde (finally!) and now I can’t wait to devour everything she ever wrote. This was the kind of book that you end up highlighting so many great quotes, words you want to memorize, apply, breathe. Empowering read.” — Litsy
(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Places I Stopped on the Way Home, Meg Fee (ebook)
In Places I Stopped on the Way Home, Meg Fee plots a decade of her life in New York City… Weaving together her joys and sorrows, expectations and uncertainties, aspirations and realities, the result is an exhilarating collection of essays about love and friendship, failure and suffering, and above all hope. Join Meg on her heart-wrenching journey, as she cuts the difficult path to finding herself and finding home. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Certain Loneliness, Sandra Gail Lambert (ebook)
After contracting polio as a child, Sandra Gail Lambert progressed from braces and crutches to a manual wheelchair to a power wheelchair—but loneliness has remained a constant, from the wild claustrophobia of a child in body casts to just yesterday, trapped at home, gasping from pain. A Certain Loneliness is a meditative and engaging memoir-in-essays that explores the intersection of disability, queerness, and female desire with frankness and humor.  (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Show Them a Good Time, Nicole Flattery (ebook)
An urgent and unforgettable collection of stories, Show Them a Good Time explores types – men and women, their assigned roles and meanings – in modern society. The characters in these magnificently accomplished stories are haunted as much by the future as they are by their pasts. Exuberant, irreverent and loaded with dark humour, Show Them a Good Time marks the arrival of a strikingly original new Irish voice in fiction. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Science of Storytelling, Will Storr (ebook)
Stories mould who we are, from our character to our cultural identity. In this scalpel-sharp, thought-provoking book, Will Storr demonstrates how master storytellers manipulate and compel us… Applying dazzling psychological research and cutting-edge neuroscience to the foundations of our myths and archetypes, he shows how we can use these tools to tell better stories – and make sense of our chaotic modern world. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About, Michele Filgate (ebook)
Fifteen brilliant writers explore what we don’t talk to our mothers about, and how it affects us, for better or for worse. While some of the writers in this book are estranged from their mothers, others are extremely close. André Aciman writes about what it was like to have a deaf mother. Melissa Febos uses mythology as a lens to look at her close-knit relationship with her psychotherapist mother. And Julianna Baggott talks about having a mom who tells her everything. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover White, Bret Easton Ellis (ebook)
Bret Easton Ellis has wrestled with the double-edged sword of fame and notoriety for more than thirty years now, since Less Than Zero catapulted him into the limelight in 1985, earning him devoted fans and, perhaps, even fiercer enemies. He encounters various positions and voices controversial opinions, more often than not fighting the status quo. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault, Cathy Guisewite (ebook)
From the creator of the iconic “Cathy” comic strip comes her first collection of funny, wise, poignant, and incredibly honest essays about being a woman in what she lovingly calls “the panini generation.” Now Guisewite returns with her signature wit and warmth with this debut essay collection about another time of big transition, when everything starts changing and disappearing without permission: aging parents, aging children, aging self stuck in the middle. (Overdrive description)

Visit us at the library on the 29th May – Teacher’s Strike Day

On Wednesday 29th May most schools will be affected by the Teacher’s Strike, so we have put together some events and activities to help keep kids entertained! All our branch libraries will be open (including the brand-new Arapaki!) so come along for some games, storytimes, and of course, lots of books!

Branch Libraries which are hosting activities are:


Cummings Park Library

Pre-school storytime 10:30-11am
Come play chess all day! 10:00 am – 5:00 pm


Johnsonville and Tawa Libraries

Will be showing family movies all day, contact Johnsonville or Tawa library staff for viewing times.


Karori Library

Pre-school storytime 10:30 – 11:00 am
Big Lego blocks out for play 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Fun with Robots 2:00 – 3:00 pm


Miramar Library

Crafterschool session 3:00 – 4:30 pm


Newtown Library

Let’s Go Lego 3:30 – 4:30 pm


Kilbirnie Library

Pre-school storytime 10:30 – 11:00 am
Board game fun 3:30 – 5pm


All of these are free with no bookings required, just come on in!

Expressing and finding ourselves through storytelling: latest literature titles

Our newest non-fiction literature titles celebrate storytelling and humanity.
These books pull together writing and identity, entwining them in a way that makes for a pleasurable read but will also leave you thinking about what it means to live and be yourself. Check out essay compilations, an insightful read by Alex Johnson on the influence of books, and a recent addition to our RBdigital magazine catalogue, Popshot (which, incidentally, also had its latest issue centered around identity – we are taking this as a sign that we are doing something right here).


Notes to self : essays / Pine, Emilie
“In this vivid and powerful collection of essays, Emilie Pine boldly confronts the past to better understand herself, her relationships and her role in society. Courageous, humane and uncompromising, devastatingly poignant and yet never self-pitying, these pieces investigate and challenge society’s assumptions around pain, strength, resilience and identity, ultimately embracing joy and hope in the business of living.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Bookends : collected intros and outros / Chabon, Michael
“In Bookends, Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon offers a compilation of pieces about literature-age-old classics as well as his own-that presents a unique look into his literary origins and influences, the books that shaped his taste and formed his ideas about writing and reading. Ultimately, this thought-provoking compendium is a series of love letters and thank-you notes, unified by the simple theme of the shared pleasure of discovery ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Human relations and other difficulties / Wilmers, Mary-Kay
“Mary-Kay Wilmers has been a giant of the English literary world for decades. She was integral in the founding of LRB in 1979 during the year-long lock-out at The Times and has served as its editor in chief since 1992. This collection of Mary-Kay Wilmers’ essays, book reviews, short articles and obituaries handles subjects from mistresses to marketing, and seduction to psychoanalysts, all with Wilmers’ trademark insightful wit.  This creates a portrait of a particular slice of English culture in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.” (Catalogue)

The coolest monsters / Baxter, Megan
“Grounded in personal experience these essays ask through narrative what it means to be a rebel girl, a rebel teenager, and a rebel woman in a world that seems to offer no real alternative to traditional roles. The essays travel with the narrator from a summer camp in Maine, to opal mining in Nevada, to the story of a deadly thunderstorm in Vermont, to hunting for ginseng, asking the questions about belonging, expectation and, ultimately, if there is a chance for real happiness.” (Catalogue)

So here I am : speeches by great women to empower and inspire / Russell, Anna
So here I am is a celebration of empowering speeches by women throughout history and today. ‘History has many themes, one of them is that women should be quiet’; for too long, the female voice has not been part of the public sphere, perhaps with rare exceptions. Dip into this curated selection of women’s voices who need to be heard, now. This shot of inspiration serves as a reminder that despite all adversity, nevertheless, she persisted.” (Catalogue)

Shelf life : writers on books and reading / Johnson, Alex
“‘Books; reading, collecting and the physical housing of them has brought the book-lover joy – and stress – for centuries. Enjoy serious speculations on the psychological implications of reading from a 19th century philosopher, and less serious ones concerning the predicament of dispensing with unwanted volumes or the danger of letting children (the ‘enemies of books’) near your collection.” (Catalogue)

Salt on your tongue : women and the sea / Runcie, Charlotte
“In Salt On Your Tongue Charlotte explores what the sea means to us, and particularly what it has meant to women through the ages. This book is a walk on the beach with Turner, with Shakespeare, with the Romantic Poets and shanty-singers. In mesmerising prose, Charlotte Runcie explores how the sea has inspired, fascinated and terrified us… Navigating through ancient Greek myths, poetry, shipwrecks and Scottish folktales, Salt On Your Tongue is about how the wild untameable waves can help us understand what it means to be human.” (Catalogue)

Popshot Magazine
Popshot is an illustrated literary magazine that publishes short stories, flash fiction, and poetry from the literary new blood.

 

 

 

 

Finding inspiration – The latest books and magazines in art

Our newest additions to the collection have a shared focus on mixed media, and how we can use this to really convey our perceptions of the world. We take a look at New Zealand artist Douglas MacDiarmid, some new approaches to how we create art, and finish off with a highlight of some of our digital magazines available through RBdigital, including our recent subscription to the Australian storytelling magazine Dumbo Feather.

Textile landscape : painting with cloth in mixed media / Holmes, Cas
“Textile Landscapes demonstrates how to develop your approach to textile art with a focus on using found objects and paint and stitch on cloth and paper. Cas looks at both urban and intimate spaces, capturing the changing seasons, the technical aspects of painting and dying cloth, experimenting with photos, creating stitchscapes, attaining inspiration from found objects, and so much more.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Overdrive cover Paint Pouring, Rick Cheadle (ebook)
“Paint Pouring is a form of abstract art that uses acrylic paints with a runny (fluid) consistency. The acrylic paints react with each other when combined to make interesting and visually organic motifs. Fluid acrylics can be used on many types of substrates through various techniques such as pouring, dripping, swirling, glazing, dipping, and more to create dazzling and masterful effects.”
(Adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Colours of a life : the life and times of Douglas MacDiarmid / Cahill, Anna
“This biography is the lively, persuasive and colourful story of a talented bisexual man who had to leave New Zealand to find a life as a painter on his own terms. Now almost 95, still resident in Paris, he is oldest survivor of his extraordinary generation of creative New Zealanders, and perhaps a missing link — the one who got away and slid under the radar for choosing to pursue a global career rather than a domestic living.” (Catalogue)

 

Overdrive cover The Watercolor Course You’ve Always Wanted, Leslie Frontz (ebook)
Through thoughtful discussion, expert instruction, and in-depth step-by-step demonstrations, Leslie Frontz shows readers how to eliminate common barriers to achieve beautiful, captivating watercolor paintings. Beginning with teaching readers how to see with an artist’s eye, Frontz then establishes how watercolor painters build on this skill by making timely decisions throughout the creation process. (Overdrive description)

 

Dumbo Feather
Dumbo Feather is an iconic Australian magazine. Published quarterly for seven years, and hailed around the world as a design leader, it is a magazine like no other. Our readers are people who want to be told a different story than the one they hear every day. Each quarterly issue features five extended (20 page) profiles of people worth knowing, across enterprise, education, science, sport, politics, fashion and the arts. Whether they’ve touched millions, or just those around them, we take the time to get to know these people, and ask them to tell us their stories. (RBdigital description)

Artists & Illustrators
Artists & Illustrators is the UK’s best-selling magazine for artists and art lovers, providing advice and inspiration every month. Whether you favour oils or watercolours, portraits or landscapes, abstract art or botanical illustration, Artists & Illustrators brings a refreshing blend of creativity and advice every four weeks throughout the year. (RBdigital description)

Meaningful discoveries: Latest Travel Books

With an increasing focus on ‘top ten’ type destinations and planning, sometimes we forget that the best places to visit are often those along the road less travelled. Our latest books hope to inspire readers to trust the adventure and thrill of discovery. A few of our picks show a new side to popular destinations, while others give some first-hand perspective on how we can open our hearts and minds to the wonder of wherever we may end up.

Green nomads, wild places / Brown, Bob
Visit some of the most remote and beautiful places of south and west Australia in Green Nomads Wild Places, Bob Brown and partner Paul Thomas’s three-month adventure across Australia. They floated in hidden harbours and on ancient rivers, climbed over age-old rock formations, and camped at isolated Bush Heritage Australia properties. Bob Brown and Paul Thomas remind us how extraordinary and diverse is our natural world.” (Catalogue)

Rediscovering travel : a guide for the globally curious / Kugel, Seth
“An indispensable companion for rookie and veteran travelers alike that promises to revolutionize both how and why we vacation. Woven throughout with vivid tales of his perfectly imperfect adventures, Rediscovering Travel explains–often hilariously–how to make the most of new digital technologies without being shackled to them… Kugel shows how we too can rediscover the joy of discovery.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Sicilian splendors : discovering the secret places that speak to the heart / Keahey, John
Sicilian Splendors explores the history, politics, food, Mafia, and people which John Keahey encounters throughout his travels during his return to Sicily. Through conversing with natives and immersing himself in culture, Keahey illustrates a brand new Sicily no one has ever talked about before. Keahey not only serves as a guide through the marvel of Sicily’s identity, but he also looks deeply into Sicily’s soul.” (Catalogue)

Off the rails : a train trip through life / Severgnini, Beppe
“In this witty and entertaining collection of travel tales, an acclaimed journalist explores what his rail journeys have taught him about culture and identity. Filled with memorable characters and perceptive observations, it demonstrates–hilariously–what unites us.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive coverJapan Just for You, Denise Stephens (ebook)
Japan Just for You is for people wanting to create their own trip to Japan instead of doing someone else’s ‘must-see’ itinerary. Learn how to put your trip together, including how to make choices and decisions on your itinerary. There are some extremely popular and world-famous places which you may want to visit, or you may want to see the less-explored regions, or perhaps a bit of both.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive coverAlone Time, Stephanie Rosenbloom (ebook)
“Travel writer Stephanie Rosenbloom explores the joys and benefits of being alone in four mouth-watering journeys to the cities of Paris, Istanbul, Florence and New York. This is a book about the pleasures and benefits of savouring the moment, examining things closely, using all your senses to take in your surroundings, whether travelling to faraway places or walking the streets of your own city.”  (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Lands of Lost Borders, Kate Harris (ebook)
Lands of Lost Borders, winner of the 2018 Banff Adventure Travel Award, is the chronicle of Harris’s odyssey. Lands of Lost Borders explores the nature of limits and the wildness of the self that can never fully be mapped. Lands of Lost Borders celebrates our connection as humans to the natural world, and ultimately to each other—a belonging that transcends any fences or stories that may divide us.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

School holiday fun at Wellington City Libraries

This school holidays brings a bunch of great events where kids can explore earth science, learn about the environment, or kick back and watch a movie. From virtual reality to craft activities, there is something for all ages.

Let’s Go Lego

At Let’s Go Lego, children’s creative skills will be put to the test as they use our Lego collections to design and build masterpieces. Each session will have a different theme that will inspire kids to hone their skills and become a Lego Legend. Bookings not required. Suitable for ages 5+

Monday 15th April, 3.30 – 4.30pm at Newtown Library

Tuesday 16th April 1 – 3pm at Island Bay Community Centre

Thursday 18th April 10am – 12pm at Churton Park Community Centre

Saturday 20th April 2 – 3pm at Karori Library

Earth Science 101

Join experts from Victoria University to learn about the amazing geology of our city – rock formations, fault lines, earthquakes and more. Come along prepared to do some hands-on science as well! Suitable for ages 5+.

Monday 15th April 2 – 3pm at Johnsonville Library

Tuesday 16th April 2 – 3pm at Karori Library

Wednesday 17th April 11am – 12pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library

Wednesday 17th April 2 – 3pm at Miramar Library

Family Movie

Bring a blanket and pillow, and relax at our fun family movies. A different G rated movie from the library collection will be showing each time, and are suitable for the whole family. Recommended for ages 4+.

Thursday 18th April 4 – 5.30pm and 6 – 7.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library

Easter Rock Painting

At this kid’s craft session, little ones can paint up some special rocks to hide around the suburb for Easter. No need to bring anything, we’ve got the rocks, the paint, the brushes and more! #WGTNRocks. Suitable for ages 4+.

Thursday 18th April 1 – 3pm at Island Bay Community Centre

Recycled Art

Kids can let out their inner artist as we use recyclable material to create inspiring artworks from scratch! They can join in to make a huge collaborative sculpture, or make your their piece to take home. Suitable for ages 4+.

Wednesday 17th April 2 – 3.30pm at Newlands Community Centre

Thursday 18th April 11am – 12pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library

Wednesday 24th April 10am – 12pm at Churton park Community Centre

Friday 26th April 11am – 12pm Wadestown Library

VR Experience

Virtual reality (VR) offers us a new and exciting way to learn about science and the world around us. Children can explore the wonders of our planet’s most extreme locations from the comfort of your local library. Numbers are limited, bookings required. Reserve seats by contacting the event library. Suitable for ages 6+.

Tuesday 23rd April 2 – 3pm at Johnsonville Library

Wednesday 24th April 2 – 3pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library

Friday 26th April 11am – 12pm at Khandallah Library

Friday 26th April 2 – 3pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library

Green Storytime

Help the library celebrate the lead-up to Earth Day by coming along to this special storytime all about the environment – and how we fit in it! Magical eco-stories and crafts for the whole family to enjoy. Suitable for all ages.

Tuesday 16th April 2 – 3pm at Brooklyn Library

Saturday 27th April 11am – 12pm Karori Library

All events are free. Bookings are not required, except for the VR experience. All children must be accompanied by caregivers at every event.