Keep in touch with correct contact details

chalk board question what's your number?Please help us stay in touch by ensuring your telephone, email and address details are up to date and correct. Either complete your details online, or call 04 801-4089 (between 9am-5pm Mon-Fri) to check your details, or talk with a library staff member the next time you are in the library. Remember to check all the library cards in your family.

Occasionally we have important news to share with all customers and we want to make sure you get these messages. For example, early in 2019 we will be changing the way that customers access your library card (to renew or reserve), and login to online services (such as eLibrary resources such as PressReader, or Lynda.com) to be in step with other modern libraries.

Summer Reading Challenge for Kids

All of a sudden the end of the school year and Summer are nearly upon us, and lo and behold, it RAINS! Need an activity to occupy your kids’ imaginations? Print out a Summer Reading Challenge booklet for them (and explore our interactive list online!).

Every year the team at Wellington City Libraries put their heads together and come up with a list of 60+ amazing books. We then challenge kids aged 5 – 12 years to read as many books as possible from our Summer Reading Booklist between the 1st of December and the 31st of January. Once the kids have read a book, they go to the Kids’ Club page, write a review and win prizes!

P.S. You might find yourself reading their Summer Reading Challenge books as well!

Armistice Centenary: Remembering the Contributions of Māori, Chinese, and Pasifika Men

https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22893971
Pioneer Battalion performing a haka. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association:New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-013282-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22893971 

On Sunday 11 November the world commemorates 100 years since the signing of the armistice that ended the First World War in 1918. Over 100,000 New Zealanders served during the war and more than 18,000 were killed. This had a devastating affect on people at home and on November 11 1918 the armistice came as a huge relief that was met with joy and thankfulness. Armistice Day has since become a time to reflect on the losses of the war, the hopes of peace, and the contributions of all who served.

An often unknown part of New Zealand’s involvement in the First World War is the courageous participation of Māori, New Zealand Chinese, Cook Island Māori, Fijians, Niueans, Tongans, Samoans, Tuvaluans, and men from Kiribati and Norfolk Island. More than 2,200 Māori and around 500 Pasifika men served overseas with the New Zealand Forces. Just like other ANZAC soldiers these men left their homes, families, and cultures to go to the other side of the world and fight in what was hoped to be ‘the war to end all wars’. They frequently experienced racism, deprivation, and a lack of acknowledgement after the war of their valuable contribution. The story of Te Hokowhitu a Tu, the Māori Pioneer Battalion, is an important part of our First World War history and we have a good selection of items in our library that chronicle the Battalion and the involvement of soldiers from the Pacific.

To learn more, check out the display of books on the second floor at the Central Library and explore the titles and websites listed below:


Te Hokowhitu a Tu : the Maori Pioneer Battalion in the First World War / Christopher Pugsley.
“Distinguished military historian Chris Pugsley recounts the story of the Māori Pioneer Battalion for a new generation. Drawing on rare archival material and previously unpublished diaries and letters, he tells not only the wider story of the the Battalion’s military exploits but also gives a vivid account of the daily life of the soldiers on active service. Illustrated with a large number of fascinating photographs, the book also includes a complete list of all those soldiers who fought with the Battalion.” (Adapted from book cover)

Maiea te tupua : whānau accounts of Waikato-Maniapoto World War One veterans and one conscriptee : commemorating 100 years of World War One / produced by Pūrekireki Marae with the support from Te Pua Wānanga ̄ki te Ao of the University of Waikato, the Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust, the Maniapotō Māori Trust Board, Trust Waikato and Te Puni Kōkiri.
This beautifully illustrated book contains whānau accounts of Waikato-Maniapoto World War One veterans and one conscriptee. It was written by Tom Roa and Maehe Paki and gives moving personal accounts from family members.

Syndetics book coverMaori in the great war / James Cowan.
“In 1914 the population of New Zealand was little more than one million, of whom 50,000 were Maori. Eventually 2227 Maori men served overseas, the vast majority volunteers. 336 paid the supreme sacrifice, of whom 196 were killed in action or died of wounds. A further 734 were wounded, an over-all casualty rate approaching 50%. This revised; Maori in the Great War; contains appendices specifying full details of every soldier who served as well as the Roll of Honour.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNiue and the Great War / Margaret Pointer.
“The story of tiny Niue’s involvement in the Great War has captivated people since an account was first published by Margaret Pointer in 2000. In 1915, 160 Niuean men joined the NZEF as part of the 3rd Māori Reinforcements and set sail to Auckland and then Egypt and France. Most had never left the island before, or worn shoes before. Most spoke no English. Most significantly, they had no immunity to European disease. Within three months of leaving New Zealand, over 80 per cent of them had been hospitalised.” (Adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverKoe kau to’a na’anau poletau/Valiant volunteers: soldiers from Tonga in the Great War / Christine Liava’a.
“At the beginning of the Great War, 1914-1918, the British Empire rallied to Lord Kitchener’s call to arms. British men in Tonga, a protectorate of Britain, although never part of the Empire, heeded his call and enlisted in the Australian and New Zealand forces. Some Tongan men joined them. This book lists the names of these men with their military details, family information, awards, and their deaths. Many photographs are included. An overview of their service and a chronology of events are also given.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Le fitafita mai Samoa/The force from Samoa: soldiers from the Samoan Islands in the Great War / Christine Liava’a.
“At the beginning of the Great War, 1914-1918, Western Samoa was invaded and captured by a New Zealand force acting on behalf of Britain. Australia similarly invaded and captured German New Guinea. Thus the German possessions in the South Pacific were rendered incapable of assisting in the German war effort. American Samoa remained neutral until 1917, when American men were registered as available for service, Volunteers from both Western and American Samoa enlisted in New Zealand, Australia, America and Britain. This book lists all the men from the islands of Samoa who served in these forces, with their military details, family information, awards, and deaths. Photographs of as many as possible are included. An overview of the situation and events in Samoa, a chronology, and several appendices are also given.” (Syndetics summary)

Soldiers from the Pacific: the story of Pacific Island soldiers in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in World War One / Howard Weddell ; edited and produced by Peter Cooke, Defence of NZ Study Group.
“During World War One over 1,000 men from Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Samoa and Norfolk Island volunteered to join the New Zealand Military Forces. Their service included Gallipoli, France, Egypt and Palestine. Despite the fact that 107 of these men died of disease or enemy action, 73 were wounded in action and three became prisoners of war, regrettably their story has yet to be told. They served New Zealand and this is their story.” (Back cover)

Chinese Anzacs : Australians of Chinese descent in the defence forces 1885-1919 / by Alistair Kennedy.
Chinese ANZACs discusses the little known participation of Australian-born and New Zealand-born Chinese in the defence forces during the First World War. Includes a list of New Zealand-born Chinese in the NZEF 1915-1919.

Websites:

Te Puni Kōkiri: Kei Wareware Tātou, Lest We Forget

Te Ara: Māori Contingent in the First World War

New Zealand History: Māori in the NZEF Pioneer Battalion

Te Papa: Were there Pacific Islanders at Gallipoli in 1915?

Sunday 11 November 2018 Commemorations:

Armistice Day 2018 will be marked with events throughout New Zealand including the live-streaming of the Armistice Centenary National Ceremony at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in central Wellington. Check out this website for details: Armistice Centenary

Armistice Day

Remember Parihaka in 2018

The place I have measured out shall remain sacred for my people… I tell the assembled tribes that they shall not be lost.” – Te Whiti-o-Rongomai [1]

A kuia once showed me a piece of pounamu wrapped up underneath black netting. The opulence of the stone was obvious, but it was partially obscured by its binding. She told me that the stone represents Parihaka. The 19th century Parihaka story is one of New Zealand’s most important historical narratives, yet it is still under-recognised. Parihaka today is one of the most important communities in New Zealand, so it is crucial to become aware of its ongoing contributions, ambitions and significance.

The story of Parihaka is centred in Taranaki, but the struggles and trials of its people covered much of the length of the country. In this blog post we will focus on the places in Wellington entwined with the history of the people of Parihaka, and take a look at the ways Wellingtonians can recognise and remember Parihaka this year.

Josiah Martin, ‘Parihaka’ – Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (1880) https://www.aucklandartgallery.com/explore-art-and-ideas/artwork/8060

During the 1860s, the prophets Te Whiti and Tohu rose to national prominence among Māori. They were recognised as “the two birds of knowledge” by King Tawhiao. [2] Their community at Parihaka became a haven for Māori, and a place of peaceful resistance to unlawful land confiscation and encroaching settlement. One of those that found their home at Parihaka was Titokowaru, the great military leader of the Māori forces in the Taranaki War of 1868 – 1869. Titokowaru laid down his gun, and took up the plough and the raukura (albatross feather, symbol of peace).

Te Whiti, Tohu, and also Titokowaru led a peaceful campaign of resistance that consisted of ploughing up confiscated land, removing surveying pegs and placing fencing. In response, the government arrested the successive waves of protestors. On 5 November 1881, Parihaka was invaded by a military force of 1600 armed constabulary. Those Māori who were not originally from the Parihaka area were scattered, the buildings were damaged, violence was inflicted against the people and their leaders were arrested. Te Whiti and Tohu were held without trial for two years, before returning home in 1883.

The community Te Whiti and Tohu nurtured still thrives today. It is a place for reconciliation. It is a place to contemplate where we have been and where we are going. Recently, in 2016, the Mayor of New Plymouth, Andrew Judd, led a hikoi walk of peace from New Plymouth to Parihaka.[3]

Memorial Plaque at Pukeahu War Memorial Park dedicated to Taranaki Prisoners

Prisoners in Mt. Cook

In 1879, 195 arrested ploughmen were held in the Mt. Cook Police Barracks. The peaceful protesters were never tried. Instead, they were shipped to the South Island, to take them further away from the influence of Te Whiti. Government legislation enabled indefinite detainment without trial or punishment. But, ploughmen were put to work on infrastructure in the South Island.[4]

The Prophet in Wellington

In the mid-1880s, there was discontent among coastal Māori, around policy on land the government leased from them. They were especially concerned with the large surveying costs that were deducted from the rent due to them.[5] Māori also desired the return of the lands unlawfully confiscated from them.[6]

In 1886, Te Whiti sent men to plough some of the confiscated land. In response, the government arrested Te Whiti and other leaders. After trial in New Plymouth, Te Whiti, Titokowaru and eight others were sent to Wellington aboard the Hinemoa.[7] Te Whiti was held in the Terrace Gaol for two and a half months before his Supreme Court trial.[8] Te Whiti appeared before Chief Justice Sir James Prendergast, the same Chief Justice who called the Treaty of Waitangi a “simple nullity” in 1877.[9] Te Whiti maintained that he had merely entered onto his own land.

Te Whiti was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment and fined £100.[10] While in prison, Te Whiti was frequently visited by Taare Waitara, a rich Atiawa part-European landowner from Wellington. Waitara married Te Whiti’s daughter and helped develop Parihaka with his finances.[11] Te Whiti’s return journey to Parihaka was “leisurely” and “royal” as he passed through Waikanae , Otaki and Whanganui.[12]

Te Whiti remained an advocate for Māori land rights and peace until his death in 1907.

The memorial outside the Dominion Museum

A Place to Remember

At Pukeahu War Memorial Park, on the north-west corner of the old Dominion Museum building, there is a memorial dedicated to the people of Taranaki and Parihaka who were imprisoned in the Mount Cook barracks. The memorial represents a prisoner wrapped up in a blanket. The base of the monument is formed of stones from Taranaki. As you wander through the city, this is the perfect spot to take a moment to reflect on the Parihaka history of struggle and on the legacy of peace.

Event:  

Bridget Williams Books Winter Series: Parihaka: Plunder and Aftermath with Hon. Mahara Okeroa and Dr. Rachel Buchanan

Monday 5 November, 6:00 – 7:20 pm (doors open 5.30 pm)

National Library of New Zealand, Corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Thorndon, Wellington

Join Taranaki kaumātua and Treaty negotiator Hon. Mahara Okeroa (Taranaki, Te Ātiawa) and Dr. Rachel Buchanan (Taranaki, Te Ātiawa), author of BWB Text Ko Taranaki Te Maunga, at the National Library for the anniversary of te pāhuatanga, the invasion of Parihaka.

Recommended Reading:

Ko Taranaki te maunga by Rachel Buchanan

Ask that Mountain: the story of Parihaka by Dick Scott

Te Whiti O Rongomai and the Resistance of Parihaka by Danny Keenan

Parihaka : The Art of Passive Resistance

[1] G. W. Rusden History of New Zealand (Melville, Mullen and Slade: 1895), p.218. quoted in Bernard Gadd, ‘The Teachings of Te Whiti O Rongomai, 1831-1907,’ The Journal of the Polynesian Society Volume 75 (1966).

[2] Hikoi Ki Te Waipounamu (2000), p.8.

[3] Deena Coster, ‘Peace Hikoi to Parihaka Presents New Possibilities for Partnership between Maori and Pakeha,’ Stuff (2016) https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/80694456/peace-hikoi-to-parihaka-presents-new-possibilities-for-partnership-between-maori-and-pakeha

[4] Parihaka Memorial, (Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Herritage, 2015) https://mch.govt.nz/pukeahu/park/significant-sites/parihaka-memorial

[5] Danny Keenan, Te Whiti O Rongomai and the Resistance of Parihaka (Huia Publishers, 2015), pp.220-224.

[6] Danny Keenan, Te Whiti, p.224.

[7] Dick Scott, Ask That Mountain: The Story of Parihaka, pp.152-153.

[8] Danny Keenan, Te Whiti, pp.224-225.

[9] ‘Chief Justice declares treaty “worthless” and a “simple nullity” (Ministry for Culture and Heritage, 2018) https://nzhistory.govt.nz/the-chief-justice-declares-that-the-treaty-of-waitangi-is-worthless-and-a-simple-nullity

[10] Dick Scott, Ask That Mountain, p.153.

[11] Dick Scott, Ask That Mountain, p.153.

[12] Dick Scott, Ask That Mountain, p.153.

2018 Hugo Award Winners — plus, Worldcon coming to NZ in 2020!

The news that the 78th Worldcon (World Science Fiction Convention, the annual convention of the World Science Fiction Society) would be coming to Wellington in 2020 was greeted with excitement and no small amount of anticipation in our libraries! We hope you’re just as excited, and if you’re just coming to the news now, the icing on the cake is that master storyteller George R. R. Martin has been announced as Master of Ceremonies.

But, it’s not just the Master of Ceremonies announcement that has us salivating. All elements, strands and areas of the science fiction community will be catered for, and plans are afoot for the genre to be celebrated in style with events, workshops, signings and much, much more!

One aspect of Worldcon that has us the most excited, is that every year Worldcon hosts science fiction’s most prestigious awards, the Hugo Awards.  The Hugo awards are the science fiction world’s equivalent of the Pulitzers, the Oscars and the Grammys all rolled into one (we exaggerate, but only slightly!). It’s a wide and inclusive list this year. In past years, some of science fiction’s most loved authors have been recipients — Neil Gaiman, Isaac Asimov, Connie Willis, Philip K. Dick, and Ursula K. Le Guin, amongst others.

This year’s Worldcon was in San José, California, and below you’ll find this year’s celebrated authors and their wonderful novels — recommended loudly by librarians near and far. Choose any one for an immersive reading experience, ideas that will expand and entertain, and the best of the best science fiction has to offer. Have a browse and join us in our excitement for 2020 and Wellington’s very own host city experience!

2018 Hugo Award Winners

Best Novel:

Syndetics book coverThe stone sky by  N.K. Jemisin.
“The shattering conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed  trilogy that began with The Fifth Season, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2016, and The Obelisk Gate, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2017. The Moon will soon return — whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women. Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Best Related Work:

Syndetics book coverNo Time to Spare : Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K Le Guin. 
“In her last great frontier of life, old age, Ursula K. Le Guin explored new literary territory — the blog, a forum where she shined. The collected best of Ursula’s blog, No Time to Spare presents perfectly crystallized dispatches on what mattered to her late in life, her concerns with the world, and her wonder at it: “How rich we are in knowledge, and in all that lies around us yet to learn. Billionaires, all of us.”” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Best Graphic story:

Syndetics book coverMonstress. Volume two, The blood / Marjorie Liu, writer ; Sana Takeda, artist.
“The Eisner-nominated Monstress is back! Maika, Kippa,and Ren journey to Thyria in search of answers to her past… and discover a new, terrible, threat.”
(Adapted from Syndetics)

Best Young Adult book:

Syndetics book coverAkata warrior by (the fantastic) Nnedi Okorafor.
(Sequel to Akata Witch)
“A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, an American-born girl Nigerian girl, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society. As she began to develop her magical powers, Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book. With the support of her Leopard Society friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face, Anyanwu, she will travel through worlds both visible and invisible to the mysteries town of Osisi, where she will fight a climactic battle to save humanity.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Fiction showcase: The origins of the Ripping Yarn novel

Ripping Yarns map graphic

Our featured fiction showcase of books for September is called Ripping Yarns in which we have selected novels that share the common thread of being rip-roaring, adrenaline pumping tales of action and adventure, and are usually tales of daring and heroism. Today we have interpreted the term to cover a wide selection of authors, genres and writing styles.

The genre originated in the Victorian times with authors like Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle and was subsequently continued by writers like H. G. Wells, Jack London, Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Buchan. Now the term is so wide it covers everything from science fiction to crime and general fiction and a whole host of sub-genres. The only linking factor is the author’s commitment to tell a rattling good adventure story. So with all that in mind, we thought we would feature a selection of the classic authors in this selection. These selections can also be found on Overdrive and in the physical library collections in the fiction section.

Syndetics book coverThe mysterious island / Jules Verne ; with an introduction by R.G.A. Dolby.
Jules Verne (1828-1905) is internationally famous as the author of a distinctive series of adventure stories describing new travel technologies which opened up the world and provided means to escape from it. The collective enthusiasm of generations of readers of his ‘extraordinary voyages’ was a key factor in the rise of modern science fiction.
“In The Mysterious Island a group of men escape imprisonment during the American Civil War by stealing a balloon. Blown across the world, they are air-wrecked on a remote desert island. In a manner reminiscent of Robinson Crusoe, the men apply their scientific knowledge and technical skill to exploit the island’s bountiful resources, eventually constructing a sophisticated society in miniature. The book is also an intriguing mystery story, for the island has a secret.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe bottle imp : in English and Samoan / Robert Louis Stevenson ; introduced by Roger G. Swearingen ; edited by Robert Hoskins.
“Robert Louis Stevenson considered his supernatural short story ‘The Bottle Imp’ one of his best. A Faustian folktale transplanted to the Pacific, ‘The Bottle Imp’ was the only one of Stevenson’s works to be translated into a Polynesian language in his lifetime, as the Samoan O le Fagu Aitu. Featuring an extensive introduction by Stevenson scholar Roger G Swearingen, and accompanied by the original illustrations, this edition is the first to publish the English and Samoan versions together.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe return of Sherlock Holmes ; & His last bow / Arthur Conan Doyle ; with an afterword by David Stuart Davies.
“Three years after his supposed death at the Reichenbach Falls, Sherlock Holmes returns to 221B Baker Street, to the astonishment of Dr Watson and the delight of readers worldwide. From kidnapped heirs to murder by harpoon, Holmes and Watson have their work cut out for them in these brilliant later tales. This collection also includes His Last Bow, a series of recollections from an older Sherlock Holmes of further adventures from his life. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe thirty-nine steps / John Buchan ; with and introduction and notes by Sir John Keegan.
“Richard Hannay has just returned to England after years in South Africa and is thoroughly bored with his life in London. But then a murder is committed in his flat, just days after a chance encounter with an American who had told him about an assassination plot which could have dire international consequences. An obvious suspect for the police and an easy target for the killers, Hannay goes on the run in his native Scotland where he will need all his courage and ingenuity to stay one step ahead of his pursuers.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTarzan of the apes / Edgar Rice Burroughs ; edited with an introduction and notes by Jason Haslam.
“Tarzan first came swinging through the jungle in the pages of a pulp-fiction magazine in 1912, and subsequently in the novel that went on to spawn numerous film and other adaptations. In its pages we find Tarzan’s origins: how he is orphaned after his parents are marooned and killed on the coast of West Africa, and is adopted by an ape-mother. He grows up to become a model of physical strength and natural prowess, and eventually leader of his tribe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe time machine / H.G. Wells.
“Late in the nineteenth century, a Victorian scientist shows his disbelieving dinner guests a device he claims is a Time Machine. Respectable London scarcely has the imagination to cope with him. A week later they reconvene to find him ragged, exhausted and garrolous. The tale he tells is of the year 802,701 – of life as it is lived in exactly the same spot in what once had been London. He has visited the future of the human race and encountered beings that are elfin, beautiful, vegetarian, and leading a life of splendid idleness. But this is not the only lifeform that exists in Eden – in the tunnels beneath paradise lurks man’s darker side.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Ripping Yarns promo iamge

New audio gear you can borrow: PreSonus StudioLive AR12

Libraries are no longer just places to get books. Need a PA system for a party, a speaking engagement, or a wedding? Playing a live or studio gig? Need to do some recording in the field, or hook up some gear to your laptop and make a new album at home? The new WCL Music Equipment collection has what you need. We love Wellington music at Wellington City Libraries and we are here to help you make it.

The PreSonus is a 14-channel Hybrid Mixer that makes it simple to mix and record live shows, studio productions, band rehearsals, podcasts and much more, and is the latest addition to our Music Equipment Lending Collection. The full specs can be found here.

Mixer/Recorder Kit:
Case Contents:
• 1x PreSonus StudioLive AR12
• 1x USB cable
• 1x Power Cable
• 1x Shure SM57 Mic
• 1x Shure SM58 Vocal Mic
$50 rental fee for 4 days
Overdue charge: $10 per day

Terms and Conditions to borrow this equipment are in place to ensure the safe use of the equipment and its timely return. A library fee ($50) will be payable to borrow for this equipment and borrower discounts (e.g. Community Services Card) do not apply. If the equipment is returned late, overdue fines will be payable ($10 per day).

To make a booking, fill out the Music Equipment form, telling us your details, specify the PreSonus Kit (agreeing to the terms and conditions) and a staff member will contact you to confirm your pickup time.

We have tablets available to borrow at most libraries

Customer tablet with booksSince earlier this year, adult customers have been able to borrow   iPad minis for 3 weeks from the Second Floor desk at the Central Library. They are now also available at the following libraries: Miramar, Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie), Newtown, Island Bay, Mervyn Kemp (Tawa), Johnsonville, Karori and Cummings Park (Ngaio)!

These tablets are perfect if you would like to become more familiar with the library’s eResources such as free eBooks (Overdrive), newspapers (PressReader), magazines (RBdigital), and other online resources. Loans are $5, and community card discounts apply.  Tablets are reset between each customer and renewals are not possible.

Please make a booking if you would like an introduction to the library’s eResources, and a staff member will contact you to confirm your tablet pickup time. Alternatively, ask one of our staff at the libraries above about borrowing a tablet, and if one is available you will be able to borrow it immediately.

Take a look at our Tartan Noir

Scottish crime novels cover a wide diversity of styles and themes. Ranging from gritty neo-realistic urban crime novels, exemplified by writers like Stuart McBride, to a much more genteel pastoral style from M. C. Beaton and Joyce Holm. There are also mavericks in the genre, people like Christopher Brookmyre, who taps into a rich and deep vein of black Scottish satirical humour in his thrilling works. Another person who explores different aspects of the genre is Paul Johnson, whose body politic merges the genres of crime and science fiction in a peculiarly Scottish fashion. Perhaps one of the best indicators for the popularity is the large variety of works translated into film and television series, such as M. C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth. 

If you’d like to give these authors a try, check out our Tartan Noir display in the Fiction area at Central Library on the ground floor. Our displays change around frequently, so now is the perfect time to come and browse these Scottish crime authors all in one place.

Keen to try some of these authors online? Wellington City Libraries’ collection on Overdrive has a Tartan Noir list with audiobooks and eBooks free to download or listen to online.

Wellington is welcoming Scottish crime author Denise Minain a LitCrawl event in early September. This will be a chance to hear one of Scotland’s great contemporary writers, don’t miss out!


Bloody Scotland
“A collection of crime stories set in iconic Scottish structures.” (Catalogue)
From Edinburgh Castle to the Fourth Bridge these short stories from a range of authors will introduce you to well known Scottish places through the voices of Scottish crime writers including Val McDermid, Doug Johnstone, Stuart MacBride and more.

Death of a nurse / Beaton, M. C
“James Harrison has recently moved to a restored hunting lodge in Sutherland with his gorgeous private nurse Gloria Dainty. When Hamish visits Mr Harrison to welcome him to the neighbourhood, the old man treats him very rudely. Gloria apologises for her employer’s behaviour, and Hamish invites her out for dinner. Hamish waits for Gloria at the appointed restaurant. And waits. But Gloria never shows up. Four days later, her body washes up on the beach near Braikie. Hamish must find out who killed the beautiful new resident of Sutherland, and why, before the murderer strikes again.” (Catalogue)

Want you gone / Brookmyre, Christopher
“What if all your secrets were put online? Sam Morpeth is growing up way too fast, left to fend for a younger sister with learning difficulties when their mother goes to prison. But Sam learns what it is to be truly powerless when a stranger begins to blackmail her online. Meanwhile, reporter Jack Parlabane has finally got his career back on track, but his success has left him indebted to a volatile source on the wrong side of the law. Thrown together by a mutual enemy, Sam and Jack are about to discover they have more in common than they realise – and might be each other’s only hope.” (Catalogue)

Missing link / Holms, Joyce
“A puzzling new case for sparkling detective duo Fizz and Buchanan. Always in search of a good story, Fizz Fitzgerald finds it hard to hide her impatience when elderly Mrs. Sullivan is shown into her office. Genteel and motherly, Mrs. Sullivan can only spell one thing: boredom. Fizz is more than shocked, therefore, when Mrs. Sullivan asks Fizz to help prove her guilty of murder. Could this story be too good to be true? Fizz is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery and ropes in long-suffering partner-in-crime, Tam Buchanan.” (Catalogue)

Skeleton blues : a Quint Dalrymple mystery / Johnston, Paul
“Independent Edinburgh, spring 2034. The weather’s balmy, there’s a referendum on whether to join a reconstituted Scotland coming up — and a tourist is found garotted. As usual, maverick detective Quint Dalrymple is called in to do the Council of City Guardians’ dirty work. For the first time in his career, Quint is stumped by the complexity of the case. An explosion at the City Zoo is followed by the discovery of another body, and the prime suspect is nowhere to be found.” (Catalogue)

The long drop : a novel / Mina, Denise
“William Watt’s wife, daughter, and sister-in-law are dead, slaughtered in their own home in a brutal crime that scandalized Glasgow. Despite an ironclad alibi, police zero in on Watt as the primary suspect, but he maintains his innocence. Distraught and desperate to clear his name, Watt puts out a bounty for information that will lead him to the real killer. Based on true events, The long drop is an explosive, unsettling novel about guilt, innocence and the power of a good story to hide the difference.” (Catalogue)

Man Booker Prize 2018 longlist announced

The Water Cure book cover

…and the longlist includes a graphic novel!

So polish your reading glasses people, or if you’re not occularly enhanced, get comfy and prepare to join the judges’ dilemma of who wrote it better. Or with the most finesse, or used the most raw material. In short, which of these will be the one to grab you?

Author (country/territory) –  Title (imprint)
Belinda Bauer (UK) – Snap (Bantam Press)
Anna Burns (UK) –  Milkman (Faber & Faber)
Nick Drnaso (USA) – Sabrina (Granta Books) (Graphic Novel)
Esi Edugyan (Canada) – Washington Black (Serpent’s Tail)
Guy Gunaratne (UK) – In Our Mad And Furious City (Tinder Press)
Daisy Johnson (UK) – Everything Under (Jonathan Cape)
Rachel Kushner (USA) – The Mars Room (Jonathan Cape)
Sophie Mackintosh (UK) – The Water Cure (Hamish Hamilton)
Michael Ondaatje (Canada) – Warlight (Jonathan Cape)
Richard Powers (USA) – The Overstory (Willian Heinemann)
Robin Robertson (UK) – The Long Take (Picador)
Sally Rooney (Ireland) – Normal People (Faber & Faber)
Donal Ryan (Ireland) – From A Low And Quiet Sea (Doubleday Ireland)

There are some clear favourites amongst Wellington readers.  Warlight by Michael Ondaatje has been one of July’s most popular library lends.  Ondaatje recently received the Golden Man Booker for The English Patient.


Warlight / Ondaatje, Michael
“In a narrative as mysterious as memory itself – at once both shadowed and luminous – Warlight is a vivid, thrilling novel of violence and love, intrigue and desire. It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz and years of war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth.  A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand in that time, and it is this journey – through reality, recollection, and imagination – that is told in this magnificent novel.” (Catalogue)

The water cure / Mackintosh, Sophie
Imagine a world very close to our own: where women are not safe in their bodies, where desperate measures are required to raise a daughter. This is the story of Grace, Lia, and Sky kept apart from the world for their own good and taught the terrible things that every woman must learn about love. And it is the story of the men who come to find them – three strangers washed up by the sea, their gazes hungry and insistent, trailing desire and destruction in their wake.” (Catalogue)

Snap / Bauer, Belinda
“On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack’s in charge, she’d said. I won’t be long. But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever. Three years later, Jack is still in charge – of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they’re alone in the house, and – quite suddenly – of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother… ” (Catalogue)

The overstory / Powers, Richard
The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond… There is a world alongside ours – vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

In our mad and furious city / Gunaratne, Guy
“For Selvon, Ardan and Yusuf, growing up under the towers of Stones Estate, summer means what it does anywhere: football, music, freedom. But now, after the killing of a British soldier, riots are spreading across the city, and nowhere is safe. While the fury swirls around them, Selvon and Ardan remain focused on their own obsessions, girls and grime. Their friend Yusuf is caught up in a different tide, a wave of radicalism surging through his local mosque, threatening to carry his troubled brother, Irfan, with it. Provocative, raw, poetic yet tender, In our mad and furious city marks the arrival of a major new talent in fiction.” (Catalogue)

The long take : or, a way to lose more slowly / Robertson, Robin
“Walker, a young Canadian recently demobilised after war and his active service in the Normandy landings and subsequent European operations. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and unable to face a return to his family home in rural Nova Scotia, he goes in search of freedom, change, anonymity and repair. We follow Walker through a sequence of poems as he moves through post-war American cities of New York, Los Angles and San Francisco.” (Syndetics summary)
You can find this title in the Wellington City Libraries poetry collection.