Mystery Writers Panel Author Feature: Jennifer Lane!

Are you a fan of mysteries?

The Ngaio Marsh Awards and Wellington City Libraries invites you to Mystery in the Library, a fantastic (and free!) after-hours event featuring four outstanding and highly acclaimed local storytellers.

WHEN: Saturday 13 April 2019
WHERE: Karori Library (Please note the new location for this event)
WHEN: 6pm-7.30pm

This year’s panel includes author Jennifer Lane!

Jennifer Lane’s debut novel, All Our Secrets, is the story of 11-year-old Gracie Barrett and her life in small town Australia in the 1980s. With religious tensions, serial murders and all the complications of being on the cusp of teenagehood, All Our Secrets is a work of insight and high excitement.

Book Review: All Our SecretsThe Reader, December 13, 2017

All Our Secrets was the winner of the Best First Novel Award at the Ngaio Marsh Awards, and has been described as “a hugely enjoyable mash-up of small town horror and coming-of-age story, with plenty of quirky and sometimes downright weird humour thrown in.” Lane has also published widely in journals across Aotearoa/New Zealand and Australia, including Southerly, Pulp, Viola Beadleton’s Compendium and Island.

So join us on Saturday, 13 April at 6pm at Karori Library to hear Jennifer Lane, Kirsten McDougall, Dame Fiona Kidman, Kelly Dennett and chairperson Brannavan Gnanalingam discuss some fantastic works of mystery!

Mystery Writers Panel Author Feature: Kirsten McDougall

Photo by Grant Maiden
Photo by Grant Maiden

Are you a fan of mysteries?

The Ngaio Marsh Awards and Wellington City Libraries invite you to Mystery in the Library, a fantastic (and free!) after-hours event featuring four outstanding and highly acclaimed local storytellers.

WHEN: Saturday 13 April 2019
WHERE: Karori Library (Please note the new location for this event)
WHEN: 6pm–7.30pm

This year’s panel includes author Kirsten McDougall!

We are totally thrilled to have the award-winning Wellington author Kirsten McDougall as one of our illustrious mystery writers panellists. McDougall’s critically-acclaimed book Tess is a wonderful, multi-layered can of worms, and Wairarapa’s answer to Southern Ontario Gothic. As The Listener describes it, “Tess is authentically, affectingly abrasive and vulnerable. The physical world is alive and jumping, and the narrative never lets go of your throat.”

As well as Tess, McDougall has published The Invisible Rider, as well as short stories and non-fiction in a range of books and journals. She has also given several excellent interviews about her writing process–including this great piece in The Pantograph Punch.

So join us on Saturday, 13 April at 6pm at Karori Library to hear Kirsten McDougall, Dame Fiona Kidman, Jennifer Lane, Kelly Dennett and chairperson Brannavan Gnanalingam discuss some fantastic works of mystery!

Mystery Writers Panel Author Feature: Dame Fiona Kidman!

Are you a fan of mysteries?

The Ngaio Marsh Awards and Wellington City Libraries invite you to Mystery in the Library, a fantastic (and free!) after-hours event featuring four outstanding and highly acclaimed local storytellers.

WHEN: Saturday 13 April 2019
WHERE: Karori Library (Please note the new location for this event)
WHEN: 6pm

This year’s panel includes a very special guest: Dame Fiona Kidman!

Fiona Kidman’s contribution to literature in Aotearoa/New Zealand has been immense. Since publishing her first novel in 1970, Kidman has gone on to create a powerful and imaginative body of work ranging from novels to short stories, memoirs to poetry, plays to radio series. She has won a range of awards, fellowships and residencies and in 1998 she was awarded a Dame Companion New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature.

Kidman’s latest work, This Mortal Boy, tells the story of Albert Black, one of the last people executed in New Zealand. It’s been called “powerful and haunting… and bloody convincing”, and has been shortlisted for the Acorn Prize as part of the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

So join us on Saturday, 13 April at 6pm at Karori Library to hear Fiona Kidman, Jennifer Lane, Kelly Dennett, Kirsten McDougall and chairperson Brannavan Gnanalingam discuss some fantastic works of mystery!

Wellington City Libraries: a Diversity of Voices

Author Brannavan Gnanalingam recently wrote an article in Overland on the tragic events in Christchurch, as well as his own experience of living in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The article is a powerful and confronting read, and included in it are his ideas for what it would take to truly change our approach to diversity and difference. Gnanalingam writes about the importance of prioritising diverse voices; about self-reflection and admitting mistakes; the need to listen, and listen some more.

Here at Wellington City Libraries we’d like to do what we can to embrace these ideas. We want to promote a range of stories that reflect the diversity of our city’s communities. We want to listen to those communities, and provide them with an opportunity to be heard.

And that’s where you come in. Let us know what you like to read, which authors you want to hear from, or anything else in the world of fiction. You could email us, or contact us via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We hope to travel out to you, too, learning and listening to your stories.

To start things off, we’ve chosen some titles that begin to reflect the range of stories in Wellington and the wider world. Arohanui, Pōneke.

Overdrive cover The Moor’s Account, by Laila Lalami
“In 1527 the Spanish conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez arrived on the coast of Florida with hundreds of settlers, and claimed the region for Spain. Within a year, only four survivors remained: three noblemen and a Moroccan slave called “Estebanico”. The official record contains only the three freemen’s accounts. The fourth, to which the title of Laila Lalami’s masterful novel alludes, is Estebanico’s own.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover As the Earth Turns Silver, by Alison Wong
“It’s 1905 and brothers Yung and Shun eke out a living as green grocers near Wellington’s bustling Chinatown. Nearby, Katherine McKechnie struggles to raise her rebellious son and daughter following the death of her husband. Chancing upon the grocery store one day, Katherine is touched by Yung’s unexpected generosity. In time, a clandestine relationship develops between the immigrant and the widow, a relationship Katherine’s son Robbie cannot abide…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Lights of Pointe-Noire, by Alain Mabanckou
“Alain Mabanckou left Congo in 1989, not to return until a quarter of a century later. When at last he comes home to Pointe-Noire, he finds a country that in some ways has changed beyond recognition. As he delves into his childhood and the strange mix of belonging and absence that informs his return, he slowly builds a stirring exploration of the way home never leaves us, however long ago we left.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Unquiet Dead, by Ausma Zehanat Khan
“Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto: the body of Christopher Drayton is found at the foot of the cliffs. Muslim Detective Esa Khattak and his partner Rachel Getty are called in to investigate. As the secrets of Drayton’s role in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide of Bosnian Muslims surface, the harrowing significance of his death makes it difficult to remain objective. In a community haunted by the atrocities of war, anyone could be a suspect.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson
“When a young Arab-Indian hacker–who protects watched groups from surveillance–discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, he finds himself in a life and death struggle against forces seen and unseen. A cool and sophisticated page-turner that will enchant readers who love the works of Philip Pullman and Neil Gaiman.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Boy Overboard, by Peter Wells
“Jamie is eleven, on the threshold of discovery. But he can’t find the map that will explain where he fits in or who he is. His parents are away and he is staying with family friends. The sea is rising towards high tide, and he is a boy overboard.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover A Case of Two Cities, by Qiu Xiaolong
“Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau is summoned by an official of the party to take the lead in a corruption investigation–one where the principle figure has long since fled to the United States. But he left behind the organization and his partners-in-crime, and Inspector Chen is charged to uncover those responsible and act as necessary to end the corruption ring.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Potiki, by Patricia Grace
“In a small coastal community threatened by developers who would ravage their lands, it is a time of fear and confusion–and growing anger. The prophet child Tokowaru-i-te-Marama shares his people’s struggles against bulldozers and fast money talk. When dramatic events menace the marae, his grief and rage threaten to burst beyond the confines of his twisted body.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Happy Marriage, by Tahar Ben Jelloun
“In The Happy Marriage, the internationally acclaimed Moroccan author Tahar Ben Jelloun tells the story of one couple—first from the husband’s point of view, then from the wife’s—just as legal reforms are about to change women’s rights forever. In their absorbing struggle, both sides of this modern marriage find out they may not be so enlightened after all.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Mystery Writers Panel–Now at Karori Library!

Are you a fan of mysteries?

The Ngaio Marsh Awards, in association with Wellington City Libraries, invites you to Mystery in the Library, a fantastic (and free!) after-hours event featuring four outstanding and highly acclaimed local storytellers.

Dame Fiona Kidman, Jennifer Lane, Kelly Dennett and Kirsten McDougall will discuss how they craft memorable characters and page-turning storylines, whether fictional or factual, and infuse their books with real-life issues and insights into people and society. Brannavan Gnanalingam will prosecute the offenders.

WHEN: Saturday 13 April 2019
WHERE: Karori Library (Please note the new location for this event)
WHEN: 6pm — 7.30pm

Panelists include:

Dame Fiona Kidman has published over 30 books, including novels, poetry, non-fiction and a play. She has worked as a librarian, radio producer and critic, and as a scriptwriter for radio, television and film. Her latest novel, This Mortal Boy, has been shortlisted for the 2019 Ockhams and the 2019 NZ Booklovers Awards.

Jennifer Lane is a copywriter, short story writer, and author. Her debut novel, All Our Secrets, won a 2018 Ngaio Marsh Award and has been called “a hugely enjoyable mash-up of small town horror and coming-of-age story, with plenty of quirky and sometimes downright weird humour thrown in” (New Zealand Herald).

Kelly Dennett is a news director at The Sunday Star-Times, and lives in Wellington. She was previously a senior journalist for the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday, and a crime and justice reporter for Fairfax Media. Her first book, The Short Life and Mysterious Death of Jane Furlong has been called a “brave look at a cold case” (Otago Daily Times).

Kirsten McDougall is a Wellington publicist and author. Her second book, Tess, was a finalist for the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel and longlisted for the 2018 Ockhams. It is a gothic tale centred on a teen runaway who becomes entwined in the family troubles of a man who picks her up from the side of the highway. “A gripping novella about a troubled teen” (New Zealand Listener).

eResources in Focus – Gale Interactive: Human Anatomy

The study of human anatomy has always been a tricky business. The key problem is the subject matter: namely the body, and the need for a spare, unclaimed one on which to begin your studies. The ancient Greek anatomist Herophilus, renowned for conducting the first systematic dissection of a human body, was accused of practicing on living prisoners, while fans of The Frankenstein Chronicles will be aware that this problem continued into the 19th century, with resurrection men exhuming dead bodies and selling them to medical schools for anatomical instruction.

However medical schools aren’t the only places to get such queries. Here at Wellington City Libraries we also get requests for anatomy-based resources, generally from students studying biology and art. And–thankfully!–we don’t have to resort to resurrection men, with the arrival of a great new database: Gale Interactive: Human Anatomy!

Gale Interactive: Human Anatomy (GIHA) describes itself as an “innovative learning aid that allows students to examine virtual 3D dissections and immerse themselves in interactive research”, but for a fuller sense of what it’s capable of, it’s best to have a closer look.

When you log in to GIHA, the first thing you’ll be presented with is a virtual cadaver. This can be a bit daunting to start with, so to make things as easy as possible GIHA separates the body into different regions, such as the head, neck and abdomen, as well as systems such as the circulatory and digestive systems.

Once you’ve decided which area to explore, GIHA will then isolate it for you–and you can begin pulling it apart! Each section of the body can be rotated and examined, with intuitive controls based around your mouse. GIHA will also inform you about your chosen area with a series of bullet points, articles and a quiz.

GIHA can even be used in conjunction with a 3D printer to produce models of different body parts, so if there’s a specimen you’re particularly interested in you can keep it for yourself (without fear of breaking the Human Tissue Act). To get started, just head to our eResources and log in with your library card–scalpel not required!

Life after End Times: New Biographies

No one tells you this

Tara Westover never went to school. She didn’t visit the doctor. Instead, she spent her childhood working in a junkyard and preparing for the biblical End of Days. But as her family grew abusive, she knew she had to escape. She began to educate herself, and ten years later she was in the UK, completing a PhD at Cambridge University. Her biography, Educated, is one of nine fantastic new titles in this month’s collection. From Costa-winning Bart van Es’ The Cut Out Girl to Hollywood’s Eve by Lili Anolik, the list below highlights why memoir is one of the most dynamic genres in contemporary writing. Enjoy!

Another Planet: a Teenager in Suburbia / Thorn, Tracey
“In a 1970s commuter town, Tracey Thorn’s teenage life was forged from what failed to happen. Her diaries were packed with entries about not buying things, not going to the disco, the school coach not arriving. Returning more than three decades later to Brookmans Park, scene of her childhood, Thorn takes us beyond the bus shelters and pub car parks, the utopian cul-de-sacs and the train to Potters Bar, to the parents who wanted so much for their children, the children who wanted none of it.” (Catalogue)

The cut out girl: a story of war and family, lost and found / Van Es, Bart
“Bart van Es left Holland for England many years ago, but one story from his childhood never left him. It was a mystery: a young Jewish girl named Lientje had been taken in during the war by relatives and hidden from the Nazis. The girl had been raised by her foster family as one of their own, but then, after the war, there was a falling out. What was the girl’s side of the story, Bart wondered? What really happened during the war, and after?” (Catalogue)

Educated: a memoir / Westover, Tara
“Tara Westover grew up preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. As she grew older, her father became more radical, and her brother, more violent. At sixteen Tara decided to educate herself. Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from her Idaho mountains, over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled too far. If there was still a way home.” (Catalogue)

No one tells you this: a memoir / MacNicol, Glynnis
“If the story doesn’t end with marriage or a child, what then? This question plagued Glynnis MacNicol on the eve of her 40th birthday. Despite a successful career as a writer, and an exciting life in New York City, Glynnis was constantly reminded she had neither of the things the world expected of a woman her age: a partner or a baby. She knew she was supposed to feel bad about this, but Glynnis refused to be cast into either of those roles and yet the question remained: what now?” (Catalogue)

Reporter: a memoir / Hersh, Seymour M
“Seymour Hersh’s fearless reporting has earned him fame, front-page bylines in virtually every major newspaper in the free world, honours galore and no small amount of controversy. Now in this memoir, he describes what drove him and how he worked as an independent outsider, even at the nation’s most prestigious publications. This is essential reading on the power of the printed word at a time when good journalism is under fire as never before.” (Catalogue)

Inheritance: a Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love / Shapiro, Dani
“In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets–secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love.” (Catalogue)

All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf / Smyth, Katharine
“Katharine Smyth was a student at Oxford when she first read Virginia Woolf’s modernist masterpiece To the Lighthouse in the comfort of an English sitting room, and in the companionable silence she shared with her father. After his death–a calamity that claimed her favourite person–she returned to that beloved novel as a way of wrestling with his memory and understanding her own grief.” (Catalogue)

On Sunset: a memoir / Harrison, Kathryn
“Noted for her boundary-breaking memoirs as well as her fiction, Harrison introduces us to her fur trapper-turned-Model T Ford salesman grandfather and her grandmother, born into a privileged Jewish merchant family in Shanghai, who raised her in a Tudor mansion above Sunset Boulevard until the money ran out. A childhood at once privileged and unusual, filled with the mementos and echoes of their impossibly exotic and peripatetic lives.” (Catalogue)

Hollywood’s Eve: Eve Babitz and the secret history of L.A. / Anolik, Lili
“LA in the 1960s was the pop culture capital of the world–a dream factory. Eve Babitz was the ultimate factory girl, a pure product of the city. The goddaughter of Igor Stravinsky and a graduate of Hollywood High, Babitz posed, at age twenty, playing chess with the French artist Marcel Duchamp. She was naked; he was not. The photograph made her an instant icon of art and sex. Babitz spent the rest of the decade on the Sunset Strip, honing her notoriety. Then, at nearly thirty, her It girl days numbered, Babitz was discovered–as a writer…” (Catalogue)

The Hazards of Time Travel with eAudiobook Fiction!

Hazards of time travel

If you’re a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale, good news! Overdrive has added another dystopian masterpiece to its eAudiobook collection: Hazards of Time Travel by the legendary Joyce Carol Oates. Hazards of Time Travel tells the story of a near-future America where the punishment for challenging the state is to be separated from your friends, family and even your own name–by being sent back in time to the 1950s! There are also classics from Agatha Christie, Karl Ove Knausgaard and Alice Munro as well as the excellent new Things We Lost in the Fire. Enjoy!

Overdrive cover Hazards of Time Travel, by Joyce Carol Oates
“When a recklessly idealistic girl in a future society dares to test the perimeters of her world, she is punished by being sent back in time to a region of North America–Wainscotia, Wisconsin–that existed 80 years before. Cast adrift in time, she is set upon a course of ‘rehabilitation’–but she falls in love with a fellow exile and starts to question the constraints of her new existence, with results that are both devastating and liberating.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Dear Life, by Alice Munro
“Moments of change, chance encounters, twists of fate that create a new way of thinking or being: the stories in Dear Life build to form a radiant, indelible portrait of just how dangerous and strange ordinary life can be. The collection includes four powerful pieces, including ‘Autobiographical in Feeling’, set during the time of Munro’s own childhood.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover My Struggle, by Karl Ove Knausgaard
My Struggle: Book One introduces readers to the audacious, addictive and profoundly surprising international literary sensation that is the provocative and brilliant six-volume autobiographical novel by Karl Ove Knausgaard. It has already been anointed a Proustian masterpiece and is the rare work of dazzling literary originality that is intensely, irresistibly readable.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Pieces of Her, by Karin Slaughter
“Andrea Oliver’s mother, Laura, is the perfect small-town mum. Laura lives a quiet but happy life in sleepy beachside Belle Isle. She’s a pillar of the community. But when Andrea is caught in a random violent attack at a shopping mall, Laura intervenes and acts in a way that is unrecognisable to her daughter. It’s like Laura is a completely different person–and that’s because she was. Thirty years ago. Before Andrea. Before Belle Isle…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Murder in Mesopotamia, by Agatha Christie
“It was clear to Amy Leatheran that something sinister was going on at the Hassanieh dig in Iraq; something associated with the presence of ‘Lovely Louise’, wife of celebrated archaeologist Dr Leidner. In a few days’ time Hercule Poirot was due to drop in at the excavation site. But with Louise suffering from terrifying hallucinations, and tension within the group becoming almost unbearable, Poirot might just be too late… ” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Spare Room, by Helen Garner
“Helen lovingly prepares her spare room for her friend Nicola. She is coming to visit for three weeks, to receive treatment she believes will cure her cancer. From the moment Nicola staggers off the plane, gaunt and hoarse but still somehow grand, Helen becomes her nurse, her guardian angel and her stony judge. The two women—one sceptical, one stubbornly serene—negotiate an unmapped path towards the novel’s terrible and transcendent finale.”
(Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Things We Lost in the Fire, by Mariana Enriquez
“An arresting collection of short stories, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortazar, by an exciting new international talent.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett
“Susan had never hung up a stocking. She’d never put a tooth under her pillow in the serious expectation that a dentally inclined fairy would turn up. It wasn’t that her parents didn’t believe in such things. They didn’t need to believe in them. They know they existed. They just wished they didn’t.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover True Grit, by Charles Portis
“Mattie Ross, a fourteen-year-old girl from Dardanelle, Arkansas, sets out to avenge her Daddy who was shot to death by a no-good outlaw. Mattie convinces one-eyed “Rooster” Cogburn, the meanest U.S. marshal in the land, to ride along with her. In True Grit, we have a true American classic, as young Mattie–as vital as she is innocent–outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten men of the trail in a legend that will last through the ages.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Half a Creature from the Sea: eBook Fiction for the Holidays!

Perfume eBook cover

When the food is done and the relatives have gone and you’ve finally cleaned away the dishes, the best bit of the holidays can finally begin: reading all your new books! But you don’t want to read just any book, you need one with the proper spirit–and that’s exactly what we’ve included in this list! From the snowy solstice of The Dark is Rising to the family politics of The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, each of these titles has a hint of holiday magic. Enjoy!

Overdrive cover The Dark Is Rising, by Susan Cooper
“It is Midwinter’s Eve, the night before Will’s eleventh birthday. But there is an atmosphere of fear in the familiar countryside around him. Will is about to make a shocking discovery – that he is the last person to be born with the power of the Old Ones, and as a guardian of the Light he must begin a dangerous journey to vanquish the terrifyingly evil magic of the Dark.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman
“Malcolm Polstead’s Oxford life has been one of routine, ordinary even. He is happiest playing with his daemon, Asta, in their canoe. But now as the rain builds, the world around Malcolm and Asta is, it seems, set to become increasingly far from ordinary. Finding himself linked to a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua, Malcolm is forced to undertake the challenge of his life and to make a dangerous journey that will change him and Lyra for ever…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, by Joshua Braff
“It’s 1977. Jacob Green, a Jewish kid from suburban New Jersey, sits on the stairs during his family’s housewarming party, waiting for his father, Abram—charming host, everyone’s best friend and amateur emcee—to introduce him to the crowd. But when the confetti settles and the drapes are drawn, the affable Abram Green becomes an egotistical tyrant whose emotional rages rupture the lives of his family.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Johnny and the Dead, by Terry Pratchett
“Not many people can see the dead (not many would want to). Twelve-year-old Johnny Maxwell can. And he’s got bad news for them: the council want to sell the cemetery as a building site. But the dead have learnt a thing or two from Johnny. They’re not going to take it lying down . . . especially since it’s Halloween tomorrow. Besides, they’re beginning to find that life is a lot more fun than it was when they were . . . well . . . alive.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
“Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Perfume, by Patrick Süskind
“In 18th century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His name was Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and if his name has been forgotten today, it is certainly not because Grenouille fell short of those more famous blackguards when it came to arrogance, immorality or wickedness, but because his sole ambition was restricted to a domain that leaves no traces in history: scent.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon
“Grady Tripp is an over-sexed, pot-bellied, pot-smoking, ageing wunderkind of a novelist now teaching creative writing at a Pittsburgh college while working on his 2,000-page masterpiece, Wonder Boys. When his rumbustious editor and friend, Terry Crabtree, arrives in town, a chaotic weekend follows – involving a tuba, a dead dog, Marilyn Monroe’s ermine-lined jacket and a squashed boa constrictor.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Half a Creature from the Sea–A Life in Stories, by David Almond
“An anthology of dark, powerful and moving short stories from master storyteller David Almond, inspired by his childhood in the north-east of England. These stories take place in a real world – but in fiction, real worlds merge with dreamed worlds. Real people walk with ghosts and figments. Earthly truth goes hand-in-hand with watery lies.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Other Wind, by Ursula K. Le Guin
“The sorcerer Alder fears sleep. He dreams of the land of death, of his wife who died young and longs to return to him so much that she kissed him across the low stone wall that separates our world from the Dry Land-where the grass is withered, the stars never move, and lovers pass without knowing each other. The dead are pulling Alder to them at night. Through him they may free themselves and invade Earthsea.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Christmas at the Romanovs: New eBook Non-Fiction

Christmas means family and togetherness, but what if your family members are the autocratic rulers of the Russian Empire, known for their disastrous wars, bloody massacres and friendships with unreliable holy men? That’s the question author Helen Rappaport ponders in The Race to Save the Romanovs. Why was it that after Tsar Nicholas II was imprisoned following the October Revolution, not one of his cousins in Europe’s wide network of monarchies came to his rescue? Read on (or sign up) to find out!

Overdrive cover The Race to Save the Romanovs, by Helen Rappaport
“On 17 July 1918, the Russian Revolution came for the former Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their children – Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexey. Why were the world’s mightiest nations powerless to save the Romanovs? Helen Rappaport reveals a tragic story of fierce loyalty, bitter rivalries and devastating betrayals, culminating in the execution of the abandoned Imperial family.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Dopesick, by Beth Macy
“Beth Macy takes us into the heart of America’s struggle with opioid addiction. From distressed small communities in Central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs and once-idyllic farm towns, this powerful and moving story illustrates how a national crisis became so firmly entrenched. And at the heart of the narrative is one large corporation: Purdue.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Cave, by Liam Cochrane
“When the 12 young members of the Wild Boars soccer club walked into a Thai cave with their coach, they expected to be out by nightfall. A birthday cake waited in the fridge for one boy, another boy had a tutoring class. Then a sudden monsoonal downpour flooded their route out. They were trapped. So began the greatest search-and-rescue mission in living memory.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Meghan, by Andrew Morton
“In this biography of the duchess-to-be, acclaimed royal biographer Andrew Morton goes back to Meghan’s roots, interviewing those closest to her to uncover the story of her childhood, growing up in The Valley in LA and her breakout into acting. Finishing with an account of her romance with Prince Harry, Morton reflects on the impact that Meghan has already made on the rigid traditions of the House of Windsor.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Women, Equality, Power, by Helen Clark
“Helen Clark has been a political leader for more than 40 years. She entered parliament in 1981, led the Labour Party to victory in 1999 and was Prime Minister of New Zealand for nine years. She then took on a critical international role as Administrator of the UN Development Programme. One of her key focuses throughout this time has been the empowerment of women and she has paved the way for other women to step up and lead.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Life You Can Save, by Peter Singer
“Most of us are absolutely certain that we wouldn’t hesitate to save a drowning child. Yet while thousands of children die each day, we spend money on things we take for granted, and would hardly miss if they were not there. Is that wrong? If so, how far does our obligation to the poor go?” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Chasing Hillary, by Amy Chozick
“Hillary Clinton dominated Amy Chozick’s life for more than a decade. Here, she tells the inside story of Clinton’s pursuit of the US presidency in a campaign book like no other. Chozick comes to understand what drove Clinton, how she accomplished what no woman had before, and why she ultimately failed. Poignant, illuminating, laugh-out-loud funny, Chasing Hillary is a campaign book like never before.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Brotopia, by Emily Chang
“In this powerful exposé, journalist Emily Chang reveals how Silicon Valley got so sexist despite its utopian ideals, why bro culture endures despite decades of companies claiming the moral high ground (Don’t Be Evil! Connect the World!)—and how women are finally starting to speak out and fight back.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Islamic Enlightenment, by Christopher de Bellaigue
“The Muslim world has often been accused of a failure to modernise and adapt. Yet in this sweeping narrative and provocative retelling of modern history, Christopher de Bellaigue charts the forgotten story of the Islamic Enlightenment – the social movements, reforms and revolutions that transfigured the Middle East.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)