Comics to Television – Graphic Novel showcase.

Television has long looked to other sources for creative inspiration for its programmes, the world of classic novels has been regularly plundered.  And there has also been a long standing tradition of adapting comic books. As far back as the 1950’s and 60’s the small screen created series featuring many famous comic creations such as Superman,  the archly camp Adam West’s  Batman and in the 1970’s Linda Carter made the role of Wonder woman her own . More recently there has been a whole raft of graphic novels that have been given the green light for small screen adaptation. And to celebrate both past and present we have created a graphic novel showcase to celebrate the rich and diverse contribution graphic works that are either showing, regarded as classics or are in development for the small screen . Below is just a small taster of this fabulous Graphic novel showcase to whet your appetite. Enjoy.

Now showing.

The Umbrella Academy. Volume 1, Apocalypse suite / Way, Gerard
“Way, of the East Coast rock band My Chemical Romance, makes his comics writing debut in this outrageous superhero epic that Grant Morrison calls “an ultraviolet psychedelic sherbet bomb of wit and ideas.” (Catalogue)

Doom Patrol. Vol. 1, Brick by brick / Way, Gerard
“Casey Brinke is a young EMT, working the graveyard shift and dealing with a past so bizarre, she’s not sure what’s real and what’s make-believe. With her partner, Sam Reynolds, she’s about to blaze a path through the darkest alleys and blackest hours of the city. The people she finds there–Robotman, Crazy Jane, Negative Man, and Flex Mentallo– will blow your mind. Together, these incredible beings have redefined what it means to be a superhero. Now their power rests in eager new hands.” (Catalogue)

Happy! / Morrison, Grant
Meet Nick Sax, a corrupt, intoxicated ex-cop turned hit-man, adrift in a stinking twilight world of casual murder, soulless sex, eczema, and betrayal. With a hit gone wrong, a bullet in his side, the cops and the mob on his tail, and a monstrous child killer in a Santa suit on the loose, Nick and his world will be changed forever this Christmas — by a tiny blue horse called Happy Collects issues #1-4 of the mini-series.” (Catalogue)

Coming soon.

Watchmen / Moore, Alan
“Exceptional graphic artwork brings to life the story of the Watchmen as they race against time to find a killer, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.” (Catalogue)

Y : the last man [1] : unmanned / Vaughan, Brian K
“This is the saga of Yorick Brown—the only human survivor of a planet-wide plague that instantly kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome. Accompanied by a mysterious government agent, a brilliant young geneticist and his pet monkey, Ampersand, Yorick travels the world in search of his lost love and the answer to why he’s the last man on earth.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Invincible : ultimate collection, Volume 1 / Kirkman, Robert
“Mark Grayson is just like most everyone else his age. He’s a senior at a normal American high school. He has a crappy part time job after school and on weekends. He likes girls quite a bit but quite doesn’t understand them. He enjoys hanging out with his friends and sleeping late on Saturdays (at least until the good cartoons come on). The only difference between Mark and everyone else his age is that his father is the most powerful superhero on the planet, and as of late, he seems to be inheriting his father’s powers. But that’s only the beginning of Mark’s problems (Catalogue)

Classics. 

Batman ’66. Vol. 1 / Parker, Jeff
“Put on your go-go boots and get ready to “Batusi” back to the Swingin’ 60s as DC Comics reimagines the classic Batman TV series in comics form for the first time These all-new stories portray The Caped Crusader, The Boy Wonder and their fiendish rogues gallery just the way viewers remember them.” (Catalogue)

Astro Boy. Volume 6 / Tezuka, Osamu
“In the wake of the critical acclaim of the incredible Metropolis animated feature, interest in the work of Osamu Tezuka, creator of Metropolis and the godfather of Japanese comics and animation, has never been greater, and Astro Boy is the flame that ignited the modern manga and anime industries. Perhaps the most endearing, and enduring, character to emerge from Tezuka’s volcanic imagination, Astro Boy thrills, amuses, and warms the hearts of readers of all ages. ” (Catalogue)

Ghost in the shell : stand alone complex. Episode 1, Section 9 / Kinutani, Yū
“Stand Alone Complex takes place in the year 2030, in the fictional Japanese city of New Port. When a high-ranking government official is kidnapped, the Prime Minister must call in his top crime fighting force known as Section 9. Lead by the beautiful (and deadly) Major Kusanagi, the cybernetically enhanced squad must use all their skill to take down the kidnappers and rescue the hostages. But that’s only half of the mission; can Kusanagi and company find out who’s behind the kidnapping, and, more importantly, just what they’re after?” (adapted from Catalogue)

Big shiny spaceships and cool robots: our Hard Science Fiction showcase

Levathian Wakes book cover

“The History Of The Universe In Three Words.
CHAPTER ONE
Bang!
CHAPTER TWO
Sssss
CHAPTER THREE
Crunch
THE END.”
― Iain M. Banks

Sophisticated artificial intelligence, gleaming robots, vast intergalactic space ships and enviable technology rooted in scientifically feasible ideas: these are just some of the trademark characteristics of the genre known as Hard Science Fiction! This month we’ve dedicated our science fiction showcase to these very works, so if you like your spacecraft big and shiny and your space suit mega-practical and hi-tech, then this showcase is very much for you. Enjoy!

Below is just a tiny selection of our favourite titles that fit into this genre.

Syndetics book coverExcession / Iain M. Banks.
Two and a half millennia ago, the artefact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared. Now it is back.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe complete robot / Isaac Asimov.
“Isaac Asimov’s Robot series – from the iconic collection I, Robot to four classic novels – contains some of the most influential works in the history of science fiction. Establishing and testing the three laws of robotics, they continue to shape the understanding and design of artificial intelligence to this day. Could a robot ever show true creativity? Is it wise to trust self-driving cars? Will robotic body parts transform human beings into machines? Will organic technology allow robots to become human? The Complete Robot combines the stories in I, Robot and The Rest of the Robots.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLeviathan wakes / James S.A. Corey.
“Two hundred years after migrating into space, mankind is in turmoil. When a reluctant ship’s captain and washed-up detective find themselves involved in the case of a missing girl, what they discover brings our solar system to the brink of civil war, and exposes the greatest conspiracy in human history. Leviathan Wakes is the breakneck science fiction adventure that launched the epic bestselling Expanse series.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe naked god / Peter F. Hamilton.
“Quinn Dexter is loose on Earth, destroying the giant arcologies one at a time. As Louise Kavanagh tries to track him down, she manages to acquire some strange and powerful allies whose goal doesn’t quite match her own. The campaign to liberate Mortonridge from the possessed degenerates into a horrendous land battle, the kind which hasn’t been seen by humankind for six hundred years; then some of the protagonists escape in a very unexpected direction. Joshua Calvert and Syrinx fly their starships on a mission to find the Sleeping God — which an alien race believes holds the key to overthrowing the possessed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNinefox gambit / Yoon Ha Lee.
“To win an impossible war Captain Kel Cheris must awaken an ancient weapon and a despised traitor general. Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics. Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake. If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAltered carbon / Richard K. Morgan.Altered Carbon
“In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”) making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChasm City / Alastair Reynolds.Chasm City
“The once-utopian Chasm City–a domed human settlement on an otherwise inhospitable planet–has been overrun by a virus known as the Melding Plague, capable of infecting any body, organic or computerized. Now, with the entire city corrupted–from the people to the very buildings they inhabit–only the most wretched sort of existence remains. For security operative Tanner Mirabel, it is the landscape of nightmare through which he searches for a low-life post-mortal killer. But the stakes are raised when his search brings him face to face with a centuries-old atrocity that history would rather forget.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRed Mars / Kim Stanley Robinson.Red Mars
From the first pioneers who looked back at Earth and saw a small blue star, to the first colonists – hand-picked scientists with the skills necessary to create life from cold desert – Red Mars is the story of a new genesis. It is also the story of how Man must struggle against his own self-destructive mechanisms to achieve his dreams: before he even sets foot on the red planet, factions are forming, tensions are rising and violence is brewing… for civilization can be very uncivilized.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Procedural Crime Writers: Our latest crime fiction showcase.

“He was pushing fifty, with a face life had chewed on, and long wisps of graying hair parted low on one side and combed over his balding pate.”

Patricia Cornwell, Postmortem

Police procedural crime novels place the emphasis on investigative procedure. The investigative procedure often carried out by a police officer, a forensic scientist or someone closely associated with a police department- rather than the more traditional private investigator. Sometimes unlike traditional ‘whodunnits,’ the identity of the criminal is revealed at the start of the book, inverting the traditional narrative structure turning the readers’ interest in the book into a ‘how to catch em’. These novels attempt to correctly depict police activities, and procedure, and to accurately portray police-related topics such as interrogation, autopsies, gathering evidence and acting within existing real legal constraints.

Below is just a small sample of the books featured in this showcase.  Enjoy.

Syndetics book coverCreole belle / James Lee Burke.Creole Belle
Creole Belle finds Dave Robicheaux languishing in a New Orleans recovery unit since surviving a bayou shoot-out. The detective’s body is healing; it’s his morphine-addled mind that conjures spectral visions of Tee Jolie Melton, a young woman who in reality has gone missing. An iPod with an old blues song left by his bedside turns Robicheaux into a man obsessed… And as oil companies assign blame after an epic disaster threatens the Gulf’s very existence, Robicheaux unearths connections between tragedies both global and personal–and faces down forces that can corrupt and destroy the best of men.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeath at sea: Montalbano’s early cases / Andrea Camilleri; translated by Stephen Sartarelli.
“A collection of mysteries, from the title story, Death at Sea, in which the alleged manslaughter of an engineer upon a fishing trawler leads Inspector Montalbano to uncover an even more sinister crime, Andrea Camilleri takes his readers through eight cunning cases from the Vigàtan police files. Starting with an arson attack on a hotel that leaves the distraught owner as the chief suspect; to the mysterious case of a woman who goes missing in an underpass with a million lira in her handbag; to a threat on Montalbano’s own life, as an anonymous motorcyclist takes a shot at the detective.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe cleaner / Paul Cleave.The Cleaner
“Three-letter word for omniscient being, middle letter O. Joe. After all, Joe is in control of everything in his simple life, including both his day job at the police department and his ‘night work’. Nor is he bothered by the daily news reports of the Christchurch Carver, who, they say, murdered seven women. But Joe knows the Carver only killed six. He knows that for a fact. And Joe is going to find that copy-cat killer, he’s going to punish him for the one, then frame him for the other six. It’s a perfect plan because he already knows he can outwit the police.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverScarpetta / Patricia Cornwell.
“Leaving behind her forensic pathology practice in South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta takes up an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured patient in a psychiatric ward. The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk – and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard. He says his injuries were sustained in the course of a murder, that he did not commit. ” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLast bus to Woodstock / Colin Dexter.
“The death of Sylvia Kaye figured dramatically in Thursday afternoon’s edition of the Oxford Mail. By Friday evening, Inspector Morse had informed the nation that the police were looking for a dangerous man – facing charges of wilful murder, sexual assault and rape. But as the obvious leads fade into twilight and darkness, Morse becomes more and more convinced that passion holds the key.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Black Dahlia / James Ellroy.
“Los Angeles, 1st January 1947- a beautiful young woman walked into the night and met her horrific destiny. Five days later, her tortured body was found drained of blood and cut in half. The newspapers called her ‘The Black Dahlia’. Two cops are caught up in the investigation and embark on a hellish journey that takes them to the core of the dead girl’s twisted life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe fire engine that disappeared / Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö.
“A dingy Stockholm apartment house under police surveillance blows up in an explosion that kills at least three people. Martin Beck doesn’t suspect arson or murder until he discovers a peculiar link with suicide that same day.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBound / Vanda Symon.
“A brutal home invasion shocks the nation. A man is murdered, his wife bound, gagged and left to watch. But when Detective Sam Shephard scratches the surface, the victim, a successful businessman, is not all he seems to be. And when the evidence points to two of Dunedin’s most hated criminals, the case seems cut and dried… until the body count starts to rise. Meanwhile, Sam is in big trouble again.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The 2019 Nebula long list has been announced

The long list for the 2018 Nebula best novel award has just been announced. The Nebula’s are one of the most prestigious awards in the Science Fiction and Fantasy community and are awarded annually by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. They aim to recognise the best works of science fiction or fantasy published in America the previous year. They were first awarded in 1966 and now feature six categories the most recent category addition was in 2018 when a Best Game writing category was added. The latest list of nominees is incredibly varied and shows just how strong and vibrant the Science Fiction genre is.

The full fiction finalists list:

The poppy war / Kuang, R. F.
“A powerful epic fantasy novel with roots in the 20th-century history of China. Opium runs through the heart of the Nikara Empire, a constant reminder of the war with the Federation of Mugen that brought it to the empire’s shores. A war that only ended thanks to three heroes – the Vipress, the Dragon Emperor and the Gatekeeper – known as the Trifecta. They were legendary figures, each bestowed with god-like powers, who united the warlords of the Empire against the Federation. Decades have passed. The Trifecta is shattered; the Dragon Emperor is dead, the Gatekeeper is missing, and the Vipress alone sits on the throne at Sinegard. Peace reigns, yet the poppy remains.” (Catalogue)

The calculating stars / Kowal, Mary Robinette
“On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process. Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Blackfish City / Miller, Sam J
“After the climate wars, a floating city was constructed in the Arctic Circle. Once a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering, it has started to crumble under the weight of its own decay – crime and corruption have set in, a terrible new disease is coursing untreated through the population, and the contradictions of incredible wealth alongside deepest poverty are spawning unrest. Into this turmoil comes a strange new visitor – a woman accompanied by an orca and a chained polar bear. She disappears into the crowds looking for someone she lost thirty years ago, followed by whispers of a vanished people who could bond with animals. Her arrival draws together four people and sparks a chain of events that will lead to unprecedented acts of resistance.” (Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverSpinning silver / Naomi Novik
Spinning Silver is a new take on the classic fairytale Rumpelstiltskin. Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father is not a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has left his family on the edge of poverty – until Miryem intercedes. Hardening her heart, she sets out to retrieve what is owed, and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. But when an ill-advised boast brings her to the attention of the cold creatures who haunt the wood, nothing will be the same again.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Already highly regarded is the stunning Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. It is an urban fantasy adventure novel written from a Native American viewpoint set in a future climate changed ravaged Earth,  its a powerful, unique and gripping read.

Currently available on our eBook Overdrive service:

Overdrive coverWitchmark, C. L. Polk (ebook)
“In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Celebrate Wellington Pride – Queer Fiction 2019

New Zealand Queer fiction lost a significant voice with the death of Peter Wells in February 2019. Both in film and writing Wells explored, exposed and celebrated the variety of queer experience from a New Zealand perspective. To celebrate the upcoming two weeks of Pride celebrations in Wellington you can find a swathe of queer fiction at the Central Library.

Our queer fiction selection features classics through to new material across time and place by LGBTQI+ authors, and works including characters with a queer viewpoint. Explore lives, orientations, identities and experiences outside the binary. 

In addition to library print material there is an online lending collection through OverDrive LGBTIQ+ Reads for a great range of reading and listening material.

Willa & Hesper / Feltman, Amy
“Willa’s darkness enters Hesper’s light late one night in Brooklyn. Theirs is a whirlwind romance until Willa starts to know Hesper too well, to crawl into her hidden spaces, and Hesper shuts her out. Told from alternating perspectives, and ending in the shadow of Trump’s presidency, Willa & Hesper is a deeply moving, cerebral, and timely debut” (adapted from Catalogue)

Call me by your name / Aciman, André
“Andre Aciman’s Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliff side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. It is an instant classic and one of the great love stories of our time.” (Catalogue)

The Beatrix gates : PM Press outspoken authors / Pollack, Rachel
“A queer cult favorite, The Beatrix Gates is a colorful mix of science fiction, magic realism, memoir, and myth exploring themes of spirituality and transformation. Courage and cowardice contend in a literary odyssey unlike any other.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Annabel / Winter, Kathleen
“Kathleen Winter’s stunning debut novel, a #1 national bestseller, is a beautifully sensitive story of family, identity, and the yearning to belong. A child born in 1968 in Labrador, Canada, seems to be both boy and girl-a secret kept by the midwife and the parents, who opt to raise him as Wayne. Eventually, Wayne must acknowledge his second self, a girl he privately calls Annabel.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Boy overboard / Wells, Peter
“An achingly insightful coming-of-age novel about discovering sexuality and selfhood. 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 Catalogue)

The price of salt / Highsmith, Patricia
“Therese, a struggling young sales clerk, and Carol, a homemaker in the midst of a bitter divorce, abandon their oppressive daily routines for the freedom of the open road, where their love can blossom. But their newly discovered bliss is shattered when Carol is forced to choose between her child and her lover. Erotic, eloquent, and suspenseful, this story offers an honest look at the necessity of being true to one’s nature.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Disobedience / Alderman, Naomi
“In suburban north-west London the Orthodox Jewish community of Hendon quietly conducts its daily life. When a beloved rabbi dies, his passing brings his wayward daughter home. For the past ten years Ronit has been living the life of a modern New York woman; returning home, she’s looking forward to catching up with old friends, perhaps settling old scores. But it soon becomes clear that Hendon and Ronit don’t fit.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Our young man : a novel / White, Edmund
Our Young Man follows the life of a gorgeous Frenchman, Guy, as he goes from the industrial city of Clermont-Ferrand to the top of the modeling profession in New York City’s fashion world, becoming the darling of Fire Island’s gay community. Surveying the full spectrum of gay amorous life through the disco era and into the age of AIDS, Edmund White (who worked at Vogue for ten years) explores the power of physical beauty to fascinate, to enslave, and to deceive with sparkling wit and pathos.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The house of impossible beauties / Cassara, Joseph
The House of Impossible Beauties follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene and the Christopher Street Piers as they flee their traumatic pasts and band together to form the city ‘s first all-Latino House. Told in a voice that brims with wit, rage, tenderness and fierce yearning. The House of Impossible Beauties is a tragic story of love, family and the resilience of the human spirit.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Bingo love / Franklin, Tee
“When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.” (Amazon.com)

My brother’s husband. Volume 1 / Tagame, Gengoroh
“Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in contemporary Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki, father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji’s past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in. What follows is an unprecedented and heartbreaking look at the state of a largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it. (Please note: This book is a traditional work of manga, and reads back to front and right to left.)” (Catalogue)

Wandering son. Volume one / Shimura, Takako
“Shuichi and his friend Yoshino have a secret: Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy. A sensitive masterpiece from Japan’s most prominent creator of LGBT manga. Wandering Son is a sophisticated work of literary manga translated with rare skill and sensitivity by veteran translator and comics scholar Matt Thorn.” (Catalogue)

 

Infographics to understand global economy: new non-fiction books

From amazing infographics to help you understand global economy; through how to save the planet we live on; to ideas to thrive in retirement, our new non-fiction books will have something for everyone.

The global economy as you’ve never seen it / Ramge, Thomas
“An ingeniously conceived tour of the global economy and all its key components, deconstructed piece by piece in 99 illuminating, full-color infographics.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The uninhabitable earth : life after warming / Wallace-Wells, David
“Without a revolution in how we approach climate change and adjustments to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century. The Uninhabitable Earth is both a synthesis of the latest science and an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Around the world in 80 words : a journey through the English language / Jones, Paul Anthony
“In this captivating round-the-world jaunt, Paul Anthony Jones reveals the intriguing tales behind how 80 different places came to be immortalised in our language. Beautifully designed, consistently entertaining and ideal for dipping into, Around the World in 80 Words is the perfect gift: a whimsical voyage through the far-flung reaches of the English language.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Not fade away : how to thrive in retirement / Dodd, Celia
“Retirement is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be yourself and do what you want to do. It offers new possibilities for personal growth through learning, retraining, travelling and friendship. But it is also one of the biggest transitions we face, and brings huge psychological and emotional challenges. Not Fade Away inspires you to make up your own mind and take control of your future. And that, experts agree, is the key to a good retirement.” (adapted from Catalogue)

AI superpowers : China, Silicon Valley, and the new world order / Lee, Kai-Fu
“As Sino-American competition in AI heats up, Lee envisions China and the US forming a powerful duopoly in AI. He outlines the upheaval of traditional jobs, how the suddenly unemployed will find new ways of making their lives meaningful, and how the Chinese and American governments will have to cope with the changing economic landscape.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Unquiet women : stories from the dusk of the Roman Empire to the dawn of the Enlightenment / Adams, Max
“In this exploration of the lives of women living between the last days of Rome and the Enlightenment, Max Adams triumphantly overturns the idea that women of this period were either queens, nuns or invisible. A kaleidoscopic study of women’s creativity, intellect and influence, Unquiet Women brings to life the experiences of women whose stories are all too rarely told.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The future is Asian : commerce, conflict, and culture in the 21st century / Khanna, Parag
“In the 19th century, the world was Europeanized. In the 20th century, it was Americanized. Now, in the 21st century, the world is being Asianized. The “Asian Century” is even bigger than you think. Far greater than just China, the new Asian system taking shape is a multi-civilizational order spanning Saudi Arabia to Japan, Russia to Australia, Turkey to Indonesia–linking five billion people through trade, finance, infrastructure, and diplomatic networks that together represent 40 percent of global GDP.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Kafka’s last trial : the case of a literary legacy / Balint, Benjamin
“The story of the international struggle to preserve Kafka’s literary legacy. Kafka’s Last Trial begins with Kafka’s last instruction to his closest friend, Max Brod: to destroy all his remaining papers upon his death. But when the moment arrived in 1924, Brod could not bring himself to burn the unpublished works of the man he considered a literary genius–even a saint. Instead, Brod devoted his life to championing Kafka’s writing, rescuing his legacy from obscurity and physical destruction.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Monochrome Masterpieces

In this post we take a look at some of the iconic albums and hidden gems in our CD and vinyl collection. All of these titles have black and white photographs as album art. Check out these excellent and eclectic albums.

Nite flights by the Walker Brothers (1978)
The Walker Brothers were the three non-biologically-related kings of baroque pop in the 1960s, best known for their moody hits The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore and Make it Easy on Yourself. In the late 60s, Scott Walker, the group’s most acclaimed member, went solo and released a series of heavily orchestrated albums filled with ennui and references to art-house movies. Scott is cited as one of David Bowie’s foremost influences, and it shows. On this 1978 album The Walker Brothers explored uncharted territory. This project was apparently inspired by Bowie’s Heroes, and that also shows.

The album’s opening track Shutout is a masterpiece: the hauntingly avant garde vocal harmonies pare well with the raw propulsion of the incandescent guitar solo. The song is distinguished by a driving baseline that sounds like it came from an alternate universe where disco was a dark and nihilistic genre. Then the Electrician turns the dread up to unprecedented heights before breaking into an overture of blissful strings. The first four songs are effectively a Scott Walker solo EP and stand together as a monumental statement. The production on the other tracks is certainly worth perusing, but those first four songs ShutoutFat Mama KickNite Flights and The Electrician are incomparable. This album can also be considered somewhat rare, and it isn’t available on Spotify, so make sure to pick it up next time you come into the library!

TA1300 by Denzel Curry (2018)
Denzel Curry’s most ambitious project to date is full of aggressive SoundCloud anthems, including Sumo and Clout Cobain. On this album Curry has clearly carved out his own corner of the hip-hop world. Curry generally raps forcefully on lo-fi trap influenced beats, but still leaves some space for r&b tinged instrumentation whether of the soulful or synth-pop variety on tracks Black Balloons and Cash Maniac respectively. Standout track, Vengeance, is a terrifying vision featuring an extremely malicious verse from avant-garde rapper JPEGMAFIA and a visceral shouted feature from trap-metal rapper Zillakami.

If you still need convincing of Denzel Curry’s merit and skill, check out his pumping cover of Rage Against the Machine’s Bulls on Parade.

Party by Aldous Harding (2017)
Gothic tones and the misty port hills linger over Harding’s spellbinding sophomore effort. Harding’s lyrical subject matter is every bit as entrancing as her folk guitar. Unique song titles like What if Birds Aren’t Singing, They’re Screaming punctuate a superb New Zealand album. Another underrated highlight is the album closer, Swell Does the Skull. Harding’s distinctive voice is memorable, cohesive and enchanting. With Harding’s upcoming Designer album due for release shortly, now’s the perfect time to catch up with her discography.

Songs for Drella by Lou Reed and John Cale (1990)
Upon the death of Andy Warhol, two illustrious alumni of the Velvet Underground reunited to produce this sublime record amidst a temporary detente in their relationship. The production is excellent, the biographical subject matter is engaging and the album stands up as a testament to two incandescent chemistry of two of the greatest musical minds of the 20th century. Recommended tracks include Open House and Style it Takes.

Rest by Charlotte Gainsbourg (2017)
Gainsbourg weaves together traditional French pop sounds with contemporary palettes to create a grand statement. The drums, pianos and synthesizers summon dark and foreboding dirges on tracks like Lying With You and Ring-A-Ring O’ Roses. Federico Garcia Lorca once wrote “I am the elephantine shadow of my own tears.” Similarly, Rest appears to be an immense product of Gainsbourg’s own grief, as Pitchfork writer Olivia Horn notes. The album highlight is Deadly Valentine, a dreamy pop song punctuated by a funky baseline and a richly arranged chorus.

Feast your eyes on these! Graphic novels new to your library shelves

The talent and variety in this cache of new graphic novels is gratifying and inspiring. These creators have been galvanised by celebrities alive and not so alive, translating their ideas into captivating visual stories.


Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry ghosts / Bourdain, Anthony 
On a dark, haunted night, a Russian Oligarch dares a circle of international chefs to play the samurai game of 100 Candles–where each storyteller tells a terrifying tale of ghosts, demons and unspeakable beings–and prays to survive the challenge. Inspired by the Japanese Edo period game of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai, Hungry Ghosts reimagines the classic stories of yokai, yorei, and obake, all tainted with the common thread of food.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Stairway. Volume one / Hawkins, Matt
“In 2012 geneticists discovered how to write information on DNA, record data like on a computer hard drive. What if what we used to call junk DNA had information left from millions of years ago? A post-graduate student discovers how to unlock this information and parts of bio-schematics and data are found in certain people.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Dull Margaret / Broadbent, Jim
“Inspired by Dulle Griet (aka Mad Meg), Pieter Bruegel’s 16th-century painting of a ‘strong, intense woman striding determinedly across a violent landscape’, Dull Margaret is the first graphic novel by Academy Award winning actor Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones) and artist Dix (best known for his comics in the Guardian).” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Mirenda. Vol. 1 / Wilkins, Grim
“A jungle woman gets a mysterious demon trapped in her leg and must go on an extraordinary adventure. Artist/writer GrimWilkins plays with the possibilities of comic storytelling, letting the visuals carry the weight. Originally appearing in Island magazine, Mirenda picks up the gauntlet left by the works of Moebius and Frazetta and runs with it. Collects chapters 1 through 5.” (Catalogue)

The provocative Colette / Goetzinger, Annie
“From her marriage at the age of 20, until her divorce, this snapshot of Colette’s life focuses on her formative years. Incredibly complex, powerfully determined, truly gifted, Colette challenged herself to reinvent her life and assert herself as a free woman. She helped to free women in their thinking and became member and then president of France’s prestigious Academie Goncourt, among many other honors as one of France’s preeminent authors. For mature readers.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The realm. Volume 2 / Haun, Jeremy
“Fifteen years ago, our world was overrun by creatures of myth; orcs, dragons, and other nameless horrors threw the entire planet into total chaos. Today, the shattered remnants of civilization must fight just to survive in a deadly new era of violence and mayhem. While a powerful sorcerer marshals his forces, a group of warriors embark on a journey to reclaim our world from growing darkness.” (Back cover)

Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 : Hammerhead / Diggle, Andy
“Bond is assigned to hunt down and eliminate Kraken, a radical anti-capitalist who has targeted Britain’s newly-upgraded nuclear arsenal. But all is not as it seems. Hidden forces are plotting to rebuild the faded glory of the once-mighty British Empire, and retake by force what was consigned to history. 007 is a cog in their deadly machine – but is he an agent of change, or an agent of the status quo? Loyalties will be broken, allegiances challenged. But in an ever-changing world, there’s one man you can rely on: Bond. James Bond.” (Catalogue)

Hedy Lamarr : an incredible life / Roy, William
“From a childhood filled with curiosity and ambition despite the stereotypes imposed on her, to an abusive marriage that she ingeniously escaped from, to finding her way to stardom in the City of Angels in the face of rampant sexism and harassment, Hedy Lamarr would not only become a glamorous star of the Golden Age of Hollywood, alongside icons like Judy Garland and Clark Gable, but also an unparalleled inventor.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Beatles : yellow submarine / Morrison, Bill
“The Beatles are recruited by the Captain of the Yellow Submarine to help him free Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the world of Pepperland from the music-hating Blue Meanies. The music-loving, underwater paradise of Pepperland has been overrun by the music-hating Blue Meanies and their leader, Chief Blue Meanie. Pepperland’s mayor sends aging sailor, Young Fred out in the fabled Yellow Submarine to find help.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Simple quilting & stitching – New Craft books at your library!

Discover how to make the quilting process simple and enjoyable! Visit the world of embroidery and find useful ideas and tips how to make your projects come together!

Garden stitch life : 50 embroidery motifs & projects to grow your inspiration / Aoki, Kazuko
“In Garden Stitch Life, embroidery artist Kazuko Aoki invites you into her enchanting world of garden-themed embroidery. You’ll get a glimpse into her creative process, from sketching and selecting thread colors to stitching tips and techniques, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at her atelier, garden, and other inspiring locales. In addition to dozens of botanical motifs, you’ll also find designs based on the author’s favorite things in life: food, travel, and design. Projects include samplers, collages, patches, bags, table linens, and more!”-(Cover).

Mary Thomas’s dictionary of embroidery stitches : the classic guide / Eaton, Jan
”First published in 1934, this indispensable handbook has long been a well-loved favourite of novice and experienced embroiderers alike. This new, redesigned edition includes the internationally-renowned embroiderer Jan Eaton’s revisions to the original text, and a preface by famed embroiderer Mary Corbet.” – (Publisher’s description).

Modern memory quilts : a handbook for capturing meaningful moments : 12 projects + the stories that inspired them / Paquette, Suzanne
“Create modern heirloom quilts! 12 exciting designs for memory keeping, with the stories that inspired them. Learn tips for sewing with clothing to preserve the past and celebrate the future. Make gifts for children, honour a lost loved one, and celebrate your family’s legacy.”–Back cover.

The Kansas City star quilts sampler : 60+ blocks from 1928 to 1961
“Explore the archives of the Kansas City Star newspaper’s quilt-block patterns with the best designs from 1928- Meet the women who brought quilting to the newspaper, as profiled by best-selling author and quilt historian Barbara Brackman.1961”–Back cover.

Simple quilts for the modern home / Soebbing, Stephanie
Bright, fun, and simple-to-stitch quilts for beginning sewers–and everyone who loves modern style. Twelve projects range from lap to king-sized quilts.” “–Back cover.

Austin A40, Teslas and more: New Cars and Transport books

From old cars to the super technological Tesla and various expeditions through space. We have them all for this month’s new books.

Missions to the moon : the story of man’s greatest adventure brought to life with augmented reality / Rod Pyle ; foreword by Gene Kranz.
“With dozens of stunning photographs and fascinating memorabilia track the birth of the space race and Yuri Gagarin’s first space flight, to the many successes and failures of the Apollo mission, all the way to that boots-on-the-ground moment we have come to know so well.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

We had one of those too! / Barnett, Stephen
We Had One of Those Too! celebrates even more motoring memories from New Zealand’s golden age of motoring. Filled with a beautifully illustrated collection of cars, from the 1950s through to the 1970s, that Kiwis loved and drove during that period, this book is literally a nostalgic drive down memory lane.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Electric motorcycles and bicycles : a history including scooters, tricycles, segways and monocycles / Desmond, Kevin
“Since 1881, isolated prototypes of electric tricycles and bicycles were patented and sometimes tested. Limited editions followed in the wartime 1940s, but it was not until the lithium-ion battery became available in the first decade of this century that urban pedelecs and more powerful open-road motorcycles became possible and increasingly popular. The author covers the lives of the innovative engineers who have developed these e-wheelers.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Interplanetary robots : true stories of space exploration / Pyle, Rod
“Exploring the planets has been a goal of America’s space program since the dawn of the space race. This insider’s perspective examines incredible missions of robotic spacecraft to every corner of our solar system and beyond. Award-winning science writer Rod Pyle profiles both the remarkable spacecraft and the amazing scientists and engineers who made them possible.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Kaikoura job : rebuilding KiwiRail’s main north line / Merrifield, A. L. R.
“The sea-level mountain railway has a long story of dramatic moments and events. The men who completed it in the 1930s and 1940s always referred to it as ‘The Kaikoura Job’. This is the story of the scenic coastal line, from its early beginnings through to the reconstruction efforts following the devastating 2016 earthquake.” (Catalogue)

Insane mode : how Elon Musk’s Tesla sparked an electric revolution to end the age of oil / McKenzie, Hamish
“Tesla is a car company that stood up against not only the might of the government-backed Detroit car manufacturers, but also the massive power of Big Oil and its benefactors, the infamous Koch brothers. The award-winning Tesla Model 3, a premium mass-market electric car that went on sale in 2018, has reconfigured the popular perception of Tesla and continues to transform the public’s relationship with motor vehicles.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Don’t make me pull over! : an informal history of the family road trip / Ratay, Richard
“In the days before cheap air travel, families didn’t so much take vacations as survive them. Between home and destination lay thousands of miles and dozens of annoyances, and with his family Richard Ratay experienced all of them–from being crowded into the backseat with noogie-happy older brothers, to picking out a souvenir only to find that a better one might have been had at the next attraction, to dealing with a dad who didn’t believe in bathroom breaks.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Penguin book of outer space exploration : NASA and the incredible story of human spaceflight
“From Sputnik to SpaceX, the story of that journey is told as never before in The Penguin Book of Outer Space Exploration. Renowned space historian John Logsdon traces the greatest moments in human spaceflight by weaving together essential, fascinating documents from NASA’s history with his expert narrative guidance.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverWally Funk’s race for space : the extraordinary story of a female aviation pioneer / Sue Nelson.
“In 1961, Wally Funk was among the Mercury 13, the first group of American pilots to pass the ‘Women in Space’ programme. Wally sailed through a series of rigorous physical and mental tests, her scores beating many of the male candidates’, including those of John Glenn, the first American in orbit. But just one week before she was due to enter the final phase of training, the programme was abruptly cancelled. A combination of politics and prejudice meant that none of the women ever flew into space.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Driven : the men who made Formula One / Eason, Kevin
“This colourful and compelling account of the extraordinary flourishing of Formula One explores the quirks and extravagances of the men who converged – in one generation – to shape their sport; disparate characters with a common impulse: they were racers – and they were driven.” (Adapted from Catalogue)