November Fiction Newsletter

Welcome to the monthly Fiction Newsletter. Here you will find our top three choices from each genre’s selected list of newly received fiction. This month we feature Suspense/Thriller fiction in our ‘Other Genres’ category all are guaranteed gripping page turners.

We sincerely hope you will enjoy our selections, and discover new writers, and genres you may not have tried before, happy reading.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

This month’s selection of New Contemporary Novels was comprised entirely of Award winning, international acclaimed writers; therefore selecting just three novels for this newsletter was extremely difficult. We hope you will be tempted to view the complete list of selections as there is great reading be found there.

Syndetics book cover Hag-seed : The tempest retold / Margaret Atwood.
“It’s got a thunderstorm in it. And revenge. Definitely revenge Felix is at the top of his game as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he’s staging a Tempest like no other: not only will it boost his reputation, it will heal emotional wounds. Or that was the plan. Instead, after an act of unforeseen treachery, Felix is living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda, and also brewing revenge. After twelve years, revenge finally arrives in the shape of a theatre course at a nearby prison. Here, Felix and his inmate actors will put on his Tempest and snare the traitors who destroyed him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The wonder : a novel / Emma Donoghue.
“Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl and soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Black rock white city / A. S. Patrić.
“During a hot Melbourne summer Jovan’s cleaning work at a bayside hospital is disrupted by acts of graffiti and violence becoming increasingly malevolent. For Jovan the mysterious words that must be cleaned away dislodge the poetry of the past. He and his wife Suzana were forced to flee Sarajevo and the death of their children. This is an essential story of Australia’s suburbs now, of displacement and immediate threat, and the unexpected responses of two refugees as they try to reclaim their dreams.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

Although this month’s selection of new Graphic novels included seven first volumes of new series, we have chosen the only three stand-alone titles for this newsletter. As you can see all three are highly accomplished, much praised graphic novelists and artists.

Syndetics book cover Something new : tales from a makeshift bride / by Lucy Knisley.
“DIY maven Lucy Knisley was fascinated by American wedding culture, but also sort of horrified by it. So she set out to plan and execute the adorable DIY wedding to end all adorable DIY weddings. And she succeeded.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Cigarette girl / Masahiko Matsumoto ; foreword by Yoshihiro Tatsumi ; translated by Spencer Fancutt, with assistance of Atsuko Saisho.
“Welcome to the quiet, evocative urban dramas of Masahiko Matsumoto, one of the leading lights of the Japanese alternative-comics movement known as “gekiga.” Originally published in 1974, these eleven stories now form the first English-language collection of Matsumoto’s mature work. His shy, uncertain heroes face broken hearts, changing families, money troubles, sexual anxiety, and the pressures of tradition, but with a whimsy and lightness of touch that is Matsumoto’s trademark.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Paul up North / Michel Rabagliati.
“Rabagliati continues his award-winning semi-autobiographical Paul series in this coming of age story. The action takes place in 1975-76 just before and during the summer Olympics in Montreal. Paul is now 16, a teenager, and he finds new experiences, changes schools, hitchhikes, falls deeply in love, gets dumped, smokes pot and drinks beer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Mysteries

Mysteries this month included three translated Scandinavian mysteries and several historical mysteries mixed with the customary cold cases, missing persons and kidnappings, found with in this genre. We have selected a mixed assortment for your enjoyment.

Syndetics book cover The owl always hunts at night / Samuel Bjork ; translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund.
“When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the scene is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene laboriously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found. Detective Mia Kruger has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team is unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Malice of waves / Mark douglas-Home.
“Cal McGill is the sea detective: an oceanographer and one-of-a-kind investigator who uses his knowledge of the waves to find where objects came from, or track where they’ve gone. For five years Priest’s Island has guarded the mystery of Max Wheeler’s disappearance. In this isolated township on the edge of the Atlantic, there are no secrets, except what really happened to fourteen-year-old Max. Now Cal McGill has taken up the quest. A grieving father, a community riven by tragedy and resentful of the suspicion all make a powder keg of secrets and vengeance ready to explode.” (Adapted from Syndectics summary)
Syndetics book cover Blind sight / Carol O’Connell.
“A blind child and a Catholic nun disappear from a city sidewalk in plain sight of onlookers. There, then gone, vanished in seconds. Those who witnessed the event still cannot believe it happened. Detective Kathy Mallory and the NYPD’s Special Crimes Unit enter the investigation when the nun’s body is found with three other corpses in varying stages of decomposition left on the lawn of Gracie Mansion, home to the mayor of New York City. Sister Michael was the last to die. The child, Jonah Quill, is still missing. Behind her back, the squad’s name for her is Mallory the Machine, yet she has a dark understanding of what it is to be human. A child is waiting, time is running out, and atop her list of liars is the mayor himself, and a theory of the crimes in which no sane cop could believe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

This month’s selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy included some well-known much acclaimed writers. With all the usual plots found in this genre, from alternative histories to zombies, there is no limit to the imaginations of these writers, giving readers a truly out of world experience.

Syndetics book cover Obelisk / Stephen Baxter.
“This collection contains stories set in the worlds of the bestselling duology ULTIMA and PROXIMA, which expand on the characters and worlds of that series, including two brand new short stories. There is also a selection of alternate histories and possible futures, building on Baxter’s work with Terry Pratchett on the LONG EARTH series.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The span of empire / Eric Flint, David Carrico ; with K.D. Wentworth.
“A new novel in the Jao Empire series. It has become clear to both the Jao and their human and Lleix partners that if they are going to defeat the Ekhat who have been terrorizing the galaxy for eons, they need more allies. To that end, Preceptor Ronz, guardian of Earth and greatest living strategist of the Jao, has harnessed the energy of Earth’s humans to create and send out an exploration fleet under the command of Caitlin Kralik. But after a long search, all the expedition has found are dead worlds and now-extinct intelligent species slaughtered by the genocidal Ekhat. Do they continue to search down the galactic arm in which Earth and the Jao worlds lie, or do they make an astounding leap in another direction?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The ghoul king / Guy Haley.
“The Knight, Quinn, is down on his luck, and he travels to the very edge of the civilized world, whatever that means any more, to restock his small but essential inventory. After fighting a series of gladiatorial bouts against the dead, he finds himself in the employ of a woman on a quest to find the secret to repairing her semi-functional robot. But the technological secret it guards may be one truth too many.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary

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Other genres

With Suspense/thriller being the feature of this month’s ‘Other Genres’ category, there was a great variation in location, time, character. The three selected for this newsletter are good examples of the amazing variation in the suspense/thriller genre.

Syndetics book cover Home / Harlan Coben.
“A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: what can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Out of bounds.
“When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car, a routine DNA test could be the key to unlocking the mystery of a twenty-year-old murder inquiry. Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is an expert at solving the unsolvable. With each cold case closed, justice is served. So, finding the answer should be straightforward, but it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Breaking cover / Stella Rimington.
“Liz Carlyle, still reeling from the aftershocks of a botched anti-terrorist operation in Paris, has been posted to MI5′s counter-espionage desk, where her bosses hope the relative calm might give her the chance to find her feet again. But they hadn’t counted on the fallout from Russia’s incursions into the Crimea and President Putin’s determination to silence those who would oppose him, wherever they may be living in the world. So it is not long before Liz finds herself on the hunt for a Russian spy on British soil, a spy whose intentions are unknown, and whose presence is a threat not only to Russian dissidents living in England but also to the security of the nation itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Business newsletter for November

Welcome to the November business newsletter. I hope you enjoy the books we have highlighted today. I’ve highlighted in the Library News, PressReader. Do take the time to check out this amazing resource. Magazines such as The Listener, Cuisine, NZ Business are all there in glorious colour!

Library News

Management

Syndetics book cover Beyond measure : the big impact of small changes / Margaret Heffernan.
“In Beyond Measure, Margaret Heffernan looks back over her decades spent overseeing different organizations and comes to a counterintuitive conclusion: it’s the small shifts that have the greatest impact. Heffernan argues that building the strongest organization can be accelerated by implementing seemingly small changes, such as embracing conflict as a creative catalyst; celebrating mistakes; and encouraging time off from work. Told with wry wit and knowing humor, Heffernan proves that it’s often the small changes that make the greatest, most lasting impact.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Social selling : techniques to influence buyers and changemakers / Tim Hughes and Matt Reynolds.
“As the digital landscape has changed buyers’ habits it’s increasingly difficult to reach them early enough in their decision-making process using traditional sales methods. Developing relationships with decision-makers through social networks has become an increasingly critical skill – enabling sales professionals to engage early on and ‘hack’ the buying process. Social Selling provides a practical, step-by-step blueprint for harnessing these specific and proven techniques. This is essential reading for sales professionals, digital sales directors, and SMEs who want to embrace the power of social selling in their organisation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The innovation maze : 4 routes to a successful new business case / Gijs Van Wulfen.
“Eighty percent of all innovation projects never even reach the market. This book shows you four different routes to successful new business cases for new products or services: 1. I have an idea; 2. I discovered a new technology; 3. I identified a relevant unsolved problem; 4. I face a business challenge – now what? For each of the four innovation routes you will get practical and visual checklists to answer vital questions like: How do I know there’s a need for it? How do I know I can realize a profit? You will end up with a great format for a successful new business case for your innovative ideas.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Chapter one : you have the power to change stuff / Daniel Flynn.
Chapter One is the story of three kids from Melbourne, Australia with zero experience in business who had an idea and the crazy belief that we all have the power to change stuff. It started with the World Water Crisis (and how to end it) but has developed into an award-winning consumer goods brand that empowers millions of people to fight poverty with every munch of muesli, sip of water or pump of hand wash. This is the story of epic proportions by Thankyou co-founder Daniel Flynn about Thankyou’s gut-wrenching decisions, wild mistakes and daring moves in business, marketing and social enterprise so far. You’ll understand that, no matter your walk of life, you too have the power to change stuff.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Personal Development

With this month’s titles, you will discover techniques and new insights to help you reshape your thoughts and emotions, change your habits and get to know yourself better.

Syndetics book cover Emotional agility : get unstuck, embrace change, and thrive in work and life
“Drawing on her deep research, decades of international consulting, and her own experience overcoming adversity after losing her father at a young age, David shows how anyone can thrive in an uncertain world by becoming more emotionally agile. To guide us, she shares four key concepts that allow us to acknowledge uncomfortable experiences while simultaneously detaching from them, thereby allowing us to embrace our core values and adjust our actions so they can move us where we truly want to go. Emotional Agility serves as a road map for real behavioral change–a new way of acting that will help you reach your full potential.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The five-day course in thinking
“Based on the tenet that an error can lead to the right decision, de Bono guides the reader through a series of non-mathematical problems and puzzles, all designed to help us analyze our personal style of thinking, work out its strengths and weaknesses, and to consider the potential methods that we never use. There are three courses, each five days long and each created to focus on a different style of thinking: The Bottles Problem, The Blocks Problem, and The L-Game, and finally The End Game. A true life-changer, this book will have you thinking in ways that you never thought were possible.” (Amazon.com)
Syndetics book cover Fish can’t climb trees : capitalize on your brain’s unique wiring to improve the way you learn and communicate
“The secret of successful communication and effective learning: We are all wired differently! And fish can’t climb trees. In your hands is everything you need in order to improve your learning and help you communicate with anyone. The Mercury Mode reveals how each of us, at any age, handles information in our own way. Use the Mercury Model to: uncover & claim your possibly hidden but authentic mental strengths; learn to converse with other people instead of just talking to yourself; resolve tensions and heal difficult relationships.” (Syndetics)

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Computing

You might not be so familiar with our ever growing collection of eBooks, especially on computing and technology. This month I’m bringing you a special edition on new computing eBooks, enjoy!

Overdrive cover Disrupted, by Dan Lyons (eBook)
“Dan Lyons was Technology Editor at Newsweek Magazine for years, a magazine writer at the top of his profession. One Friday morning he received a phone call: his job no longer existed. Dan had long reported on Silicon Valley and the tech explosion. Why not join it? HubSpot, a Boston start-up, was flush with $100 million in venture capital. They offered Dan a pile of stock options for the nebulous role of “marketing fellow”. What follows is a hilarious and excoriating account of Dan’s time at the start-up and a revealing window onto the dysfunctional culture that prevails in a world flush with cash and devoid of experience.” (adapted from Overdrive description)
Overdrive cover The Third Wave, by Steve Case (eBook)
“One of America’s most accomplished entrepreneurs—a pioneer who made the Internet part of everyday life and orchestrated the largest merger in the history of business—shares a roadmap for how anyone can succeed in a world of rapidly changing technology. Steve Case’s career began when he cofounded America Online (AOL) in 1985. In The Third Wave, which pays homage to the work of the futurist Alvin Toffler, Case takes us behind the scenes of some of the most consequential and riveting business decisions of our time while offering illuminating insights from decades of working as an entrepreneur, an investor, a philanthropist, and an advocate for sensible bipartisan policies.” (adapted from Overdrive description)
Overdrive cover Make: Arduino Bots and Gadgets, by Tero Karvinen (eBook)
“Want to build your own robots, turn your ideas into prototypes, control devices with a computer, or make your own cell phone applications? It’s a snap with this book and the Arduino open source electronic prototyping platform. Get started with six fun projects and achieve impressive results quickly. Gain the know-how and experience to invent your own cool gadgets. With Arduino, building your own embedded gadgets is easy, even for beginners.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

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New Zealand non-fiction

Always eclectic, new additions to the New Zealand Collection this month feature stories from a museum curator, a kiwi sanctuary, and poetry. The new book shelves of the NZ Collection have something to interest everyone.

Syndetics book cover The unburnt egg : more stories of a museum curator / Brian Gill.
“Museum natural history collections have been called libraries of life. In The Unburnt Egg Brian Gill continues his spellbinding stories from more than thirty years as a curator. Some tales are so bizarre they read like fiction: a population of ship rats decimating the entire wildlife of an island and then collapsing; birds leaving their young to be raised by other birds; frogs and lizards living in trees and flying. Others reveal the painstaking detective work involved in solving mysteries presented by police, biosecurity agencies, government departments and members of the public. Frogs’ legs on sale as chicken, a feather hidden in a bag of sugar, a live boa constrictor on a street in snake-free New Zealand–it’s all in a day’s work.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Project Kiwi : how one man’s passion for the land hatched New Zealand’s first community kiwi sanctuary/ Sue Hoffart.
Project Kiwi is New Zealand’s first community-led kiwi conservation project, on the Coromandel Peninsula.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Nothing for it but to sing : poems / Michael Harlow.
“Michael Harlow’s poems are small detonations that release deeply complex stories of psychological separations and attractions, of memory and desire. Frequently they slip into the alluring spaces just at the edges of language, dream and gesture, as they carefully lower, like measuring gauges, into the ineffable: intimations of mortality, the slippery nature of identity, longing, fear … This is a beautifully honed new collection.” (Syndetics summary)

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Travel stories & Guides

Let this month’s travel picks take you on a stroll. Take a meander through a damp and ephemeral landscape in Rain, test walking upside down in But What If We’re Wrong? all while being careful to not drop off the ‘edge of the Earth’ in Maps That Changed the World.

Syndetics book cover Maps that changed the world / edited by O. E. Clark ; introduction by Professor Jeremy Black.
“From beautifully engraved sixteenth-century Dutch maps to sinister Nazi maps, this stunning compendium features some of the most famous cartography ever created. Stretching back to when explorers feared dropping off the “edge of the world.” Organized chronologically, the collection shows the evolution of map-making from all corners of the globe.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Rain : four walks in English weather / Melissa Harrison.
“An evocative meditation on the English landscape in wet weather by the acclaimed novelist and nature writer, Melissa Harrison. Whenever rain falls, our countryside changes. Fields, farms, hills and hedgerows appear altered, the wildlife behaves differently, and over time the terrain itself is transformed. Blending her expeditions with reading, research, memory and imagination, Harrison reveals how rain is not just an essential element of the world around us, but a key part of our own identity too.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover But what if we’re wrong? : thinking about the present as if it were the past / Chuck Klosterman.
“But What If We’re Wrong? visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear to those who’ll perceive it as the distant past. Chuck Klosterman asks questions that are profound in their simplicity: How certain are we about our understanding of gravity? How certain are we about our understanding of time? What will be the defining memory of rock music, five hundred years from today? […] It’s about how we live now, once “now” has become “then”.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Mind and Body newsletter

Experiment with spices and flavours using eBook recipes from around the world, exercise using scientifically approved tips, and explore healthy living with the books we have selected for this month’s newsletter.

Library News

Cooking

With delectable recipes and dishes for every meal and occasion, this is a collection of cookbooks from around the globe.

Syndetics book cover Malaysia : recipes from a family kitchen / Ping Coombes.
“Drawing inspiration from her mother and from the late-night stalls and street markets in her hometown of Ipoh, Ping has put together over 100 delicious recipes that serve as a perfect introduction to the tastes and textures of Malaysian cooking. Chilli crab and caramel pork, spicy laksas and rendangs, satays and tangy sambals: these classic dishes are intensely satisfying to make, share and devour! Welcome to Ping’s family table – and as Ping’s mother would say, ‘sek fan la!’: come and eat!” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover L.A. Son : My Life, My City, My Food / Roy Choi ; with Tien Nguyen and Natasha Phan ; photographs by Bobby Fisher.
“A gritty, charming, and flavourful love letter to Los Angeles, L.A. Son is the story of Choi’s love of food and his evolution as a chef. Choi returns to his childhood afternoons at his parents’ Korean restaurant, his nights in L.A.’s illegal gambling halls and his pizza-fueled studying at the Culinary Institute of America before making his way into some of the best restaurants in America. Fully illustrated with full-color photography throughout, it includes 60 inspired recipes for everything from kalbi and kimchi to chorizo and carne asada.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Flavours of Urban Melbourne : 120 favourite restaurants, bars & cafes with their signature recipes / edited by Penny Cordner.
Flavours of Urban Melbourne takes you on an adventure through the diverse range of restaurants, cafes and bars that call this city home.” (Book Jacket)
Syndetics book cover Danish Cooking and Baking Traditions / Arthur L. Meyer ; illustrations by John A. Wilson.
“Meyer introduces readers to the best offerings of the Danish table – from soups, main courses, vegetables, and sauces to breads and sweets – in 170 recipes with step-by-step instructions.” (Syndetics summary)

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Sports, Fitness & Recreation

Reach beyond yourself. This selection covers a smorgasbord of interests; from sports involving working with animals, teamwork, and those that call upon personal interests.

Syndetics book cover After the Final Whistle : the first Rugby World Cup and the First World War / Stephen Cooper ; foreword by Jason Leonard, OBE.
“As Britain’s Empire went to war in August 1914, rugby players were the first to volunteer. They led from the front and paid a disproportionate price. In 1919, a grateful Mother Country hosted a rugby tournament: sevens teams at eight venues, playing 17 matches to declare a first “world champion.” There had never been an international team tournament like it. For the first time teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Britain, and France were assembled in one place. Rugby held the first ever “World Cup.” This is the story of rugby’s journey through World War I to its first World Cup, and how those values endure today.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Fight Like a Physicist : the incredible science behind martial arts / Jason Thalken, PHD.
Fight Like a Physicist provides an in-depth, sometimes whimsical look into the physics behind martial arts for sport and self-defense. Whether you are an experienced martial artist or a curious enthusiast, this book can give you an “unfair advantage” by unraveling the complex science of effective fighting techniques and examining the core principles that make them work.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Mountain Biking : The Manual / [Chris Ball and Huw Williams].
“This is an essential reference book for anyone wanting to learn more and improve their skills in mountain biking. Each chapter features step-by-step guidance and is supported by unique insights from today’s best riders.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Fast into the Night : a woman, her dogs, and their journey north on the Iditarod Trail / Debbie Clarke Moderow.
“A captivating memoir of one woman’s attempt to finish the Iditarod, led by her team of spunky huskies with whom she shares a fascinating and inextricable bond…. Fast into the Night is an exquisitely written memoir of a woman, her dogs, and what can happen when someone puts herself in that place between daring and doubt — and soldiers on.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover 101 Magic Tricks : any time, any place / Bryan Miles.
“Learn 101 simple magic tricks to astonish and amaze!….amaze everyone you know with easy-to-master tricks and illusions…. Bryan Miles will guide you through astonishing feats such as: the foundations of magic including: The Hand, The Deck of Cards, Mechanic’s Grip and Biddle Grip, Classic Two-Handed Spread, Cutting the Cards and magic at school or college, birthday magic, restaurant magi, and more.” (Syndetics summary)

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Religion and beliefs

August’s listed books are quite a mixed bunch, across a range of religions. However, they invite the reader to challenge their misconceptions, and look below the surface to think more deeply about our beliefs and moral decisions.

Syndetics book cover Islam evolving : radicalism, reformation, and the uneasy relationship with the secular West, by Taner Edis.
“How is Islam adapting to the rapid changes of the 21st century? Despite political unrest and terrorism, the author argues that many Muslim societies are successfully developing their own versions of modern life. In contrast to the secular liberal model that prevails in the West, Islam is demonstrating alternative ways to be modern while maintaining a distinctly Muslim worldview. Professor Edis, an American physicist with a secular viewpoint who was raised in Turkey, is uniquely qualified to evaluate the interplay of modern trends and Islamic values. He devotes separate chapters to prominent examples of what he calls Islam’s “pious modernity.” … This balanced overview of Islam’s relationship with the modern world will be of interest to open-minded readers in both the West and the East.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover When awareness becomes natural : a guide to cultivating mindfulness in daily life, by Sayadaw U Tejaniya ; edited by Robert French ; foreword by Steven Armstrong.
“Meditation is great – but it’s not what Buddhist practice is all about. That’s the message of this engaging and funny Burmese Buddhist monk, and it’s a message that is finding a significant following among Westerners in the Insight Meditation tradition. Sayadaw U Tejaniya teaches how to bring awareness to any sort of activity in order to discover deep insight and liberation from suffering. It works in sitting meditation, but it works just as well when sorting the laundry or doing data entry. “My teachings are nothing new,” he says. “They are, as always, based on the four foundations of mindfulness: awareness of the body, awareness of feelings and sensations, awareness of mind, and understanding of dhamma or nature, i.e., mind and matter.” (drawn from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Tears to triumph : the spiritual journey from suffering to enlightenment, by Marianne Williamson.
“The internationally recognized teacher, speaker, and New York Times bestselling author of A Return to Love argues that our desire to avoid pain is actually detrimental to our lives, disconnecting us from our deepest emotions and preventing true healing and spiritual transcendence. Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author, world-renowned teacher, and one of the most important spiritual voices of our time. In Tears to Triumph, she argues that we – as a culture and as individuals – have learned to avoid facing pain. By doing so, we are neglecting the spiritual work of healing” (drawn from the publisher’s description)
Syndetics book cover 30-second religion : the 50 most thought-provoking religious beliefs, each explained in half a minute, editor, Russell Re Manning ; contributors, Richard Bartholomew…[et al.]
As the title explains, this is not an in-depth study. It is designed to be a quick intro to the main beliefs and history of the major religions from around the world, allowing easy comparison across their main tenets, beliefs and practices, which can be an aid to further research.

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Health

Most of us can describe ourselves as out of sync in one way or another, at some point in our lives, be it through chronic illness, allergies, depression, anxiety, alzheimer’s or autism (the list is not exhaustive). There may not be a miracle cure but we can all learn how to become “ordinarily well”. Here are some guides:

Syndetics book cover Eat complete : the 21 nutrients that fuel brainpower, boost weight loss, and transform your health
“From psychiatrist and author of Fifty Shades of Kale comes a collection of 100 simple, delicious, and affordable recipes to help you get the core nutrients your brain and body need to stay happy and healthy. Your brain burns more of the food you eat than any other organ. It determines if you gain or lose weight, if you’re feeling energetic or fatigued, if you’re upbeat or depressed. In this essential guide and cookbook, Drew Ramsey, explores the role the human brain plays in every part of your life, including mood, health, focus, memory, and appetite, and reveals what foods you need to eat to keep your brain properly fueled.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover When someone you know has depression : words to say and things to do
“In When Someone You Know Has Depression, Dr. Susan Noonan draws on first-hand experience of the illness and evidence-based medical information. As a physician she has treated, supported, and educated those living with-and those caring for-a person who has a mood disorder. She also has lived through the depths of her own mood disorder. This compassionate book offers specific suggestions for what to say, how to encourage, and how to act around a loved one-as well as when to back off.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The out-of-sync child grows up : coping with sensory processing disorder in the adolescent and young adult years
The Out-of-Sync Child Grows Up will be the new bible for the vast audience of parents whose children, already diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, are entering the adolescent, tween, and teen years, as well as those who do not yet have a diagnosis and are struggling to meet the challenges of daily life. This book offers practical advice on living with SPD, covering everyday challenges as well as the social and emotional issues that many young people with SPD face. Carol Kranowitz’s insights are supplemented by first-person accounts of adolescents and teens with SPD, sharing their experiences and hard-won lessons with readers.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover When Fraser met Billy
“Fraser was a two-year-old autistic child with a multitude of problems when he first met Billy at the cat protection shelter. Billy purred, laid his paws across Fraser and they have been inseparable ever since. Slowly but surely Billy has transformed Fraser’s life. Fraser’s mother Louise has watched her son move from being a child prone to anxiety, tantrums and sudden emotional meltdowns to now a much calmer, less moody four-year-old whose future looks a lot brighter. Their profound bond has immeasurably improved their lives and the family’s. Like A Street Cat Named Bob, this story will touch the hearts of all.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Eat to cheat dementia : what you eat helps you avoid it or live better with it
“As we live longer it’s essential we understand how best to maintain both body and brain so they can help us achieve all we wish for in life. This book is a companion to Ngaire’s ground-breaking book “Eat To Cheat Ageing”. It addresses the complexities of neuroscience and how what we eat can help or hinder our brains, whether you are in your 30s, 40s or 50s and looking ahead to your later years, currently in your 60s or beyond, wishing to make the most of life; whether you live with a dementia diagnosis or not, or care about someone who does.” (Syndetics)

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Personal Development

Live one week at your best and discover what you are capable of for the rest of your life. This is one of the principles you will explore with this month’s selection.

Syndetics book cover Hell week : seven days to be your best self
“Veteran paratrooper, successful entrepreneur and critically acclaimed performance consultant Erik Bertrand Larssen has helped catapult the success of countless high-achievers, including Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group, and Statoil ASA executives and Olympic medalist Martin Johnsrud Sundby and top golfer Suzann Pettersen. His life-altering and revered method improves performance by getting people to push themselves past the brink of self-imposed limitations. Central to his technique is the commitment to live and experience just one week as your best self. It’s this week that will be the catalyst to making the most of the rest of your life.” (Amazon.com)
Syndetics book cover The persuaders : the hidden industry that wants to change your mind
“The way human beings persuade one another is changing. Every day people will try to change your mind but they won’t reason with you. Instead you’ll be nudged, anchored, incentivised and manipulated in barely noticeable ways. It’s a profound shift in the way we interact with each other. Philosopher James Garvey explores the hidden story of persuasion and the men and women in the business of changing our minds. From the covert PR used to start the first Gulf War to the neuromarketing of products to appeal to our unconscious minds, he reveals the dark arts practiced by professional persuaders. The Persuaders is a call to think about how we think now.” (Syndetics)
wellbeing The philosophy of well-being : an introduction
“Recent studies into the science and psychology of well-being have propelled the topic to centre stage, and governments spend millions on promoting it. We are encouraged to adopt modes of thinking and behaviour that support individual well-being or ‘wellness’. What is well-being? Which theories of well-being are most plausible? In this rigorous and comprehensive introduction to the topic, Guy Fletcher unpacks and assesses these questions and many more.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The inner fix : be stronger, happier and braver
“With our lives being overrun by social media and celebrity culture, being twenty-something has become pretty complicated. Wanting things we can’t afford, finding ourselves stuck in a job we don’t enjoy, or still living at home with mum and dad, we reach for things to try to perk us up (sex, booze and drugs) – but eventually, they turn out to be the very things that bring us down. Having been caught in a cycle of self-destructive behaviour and come out the other side, Persia and Joey colourfully chart their lives from childhood insecurities to adolescent obsessions. This book teaches you how to stop worrying and start living. ” (Syndetics)

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Ideas & Society October Newsletter

The newest Vinyl collection is now available for lending. You will also enjoy the extra special book sale that will save you loads of money! And there are many fun activities to choose from, plus librarians’ picks of DVDs, music and much more!

Library News

Literature

“Bloomsbury South” is the appellation given by the authors to the Christchurch of the two decades between 1933 and 1953, a time of unique fusion between artists, writers, musicians, the establishment of a new new literary magazines and a specialist printing press. A true flowering of the arts in the antipodes. Also making waves this month is a new collection of essays entitled Extraordinary Anywhere. Read these lovely books and be a proud Kiwi.

Syndetics book cover Bloomsbury South : the arts in Christchurch, 1933-1953 / Peter Simpson.
“For two decades in Christchurch, New Zealand, a cast of extraordinary men and women remade the arts. Variously between 1933 and 1953, Christchurch was the home of Angus and Bensemann and McCahon, Curnow and Glover and Baxter, the Group, the Caxton Press and the Little Theatre, Landfall and Tomorrow, Ngaio Marsh and Douglas Lilburn. It was a city in which painters lived with writers, writers promoted musicians, in which the arts and artists from different forms were deeply intertwined.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The prose factory : literary life in England since 1918 / D. J. Taylor.
“Gossipy journalists, revolutionary poets, political novelists and influential professors: take a tour of twentieth century literary culture. The book DJ Taylor was born to write: award-winning literary biographer (won Whitbread Prize for biography of George Orwell), esteemed journalist and novelist (longlisted for Booker for Derby Day) is the expert on 20th century literary culture: he’s lived and worked through half of it! Insight into our world: shines a light on readers, writers, publishers, booksellers and magazine editors – and holds them up for scrutiny.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover On cats / Charles Bukowski ; edited by Abel Debritto.
“A raw and tenderly funny look at the human-cat relationship, from one of our most treasured and transgressive writers. “The cat is the beautiful devil.” Felines touched a vulnerable spot in Charles Bukowski’s crusty soul. For the writer, there was something majestic and elemental about these inscrutable creatures he admired, sentient beings whose searing gaze could penetrate deep into our being. Bukowski considered cats to be unique forces of nature, elusive emissaries of beauty and love.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Extraordinary anywhere : essays on place from Aotearoa New Zealand / editors Ingrid Horrocks & Cherie Lacey.
“This collection of personal essays, a first of its kind, re-imagines the idea of place for an emerging generation of readers and writers. It offers glimpses into where we are now and how that feels, and opens up the range and kinds of stories we can conceive of telling about living here. Contributors include Tony Ballantyne, Sally Blundell, Alex Calder, Annabel Cooper, Tim Corballis, Martin Edmond, Ingrid Horrocks, Lynn Jenner, Cherie Lacey, Tina Makereti, Harry Ricketts, Jack Ross, Alice Te Punga Somerville, Giovanni Tiso, Ian Wedde, Lydia Wevers, and Ashleigh Young.” (Syndetics summary).

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Religion & Beliefs

Two very different approaches to the questions of faith versus science are featured this month, together with a unique view of London, the Pyramid texts, and an award-winning book on religious violence.

Syndetics book cover Festivals in the Southern Hemisphere : insights into cosmic and seasonal aspects of the whole earth, by Martin Samson.
Many festivals draw on northern hemisphere seasons. This has led some to suggest that some festivals in the southern hemisphere should be celebrated at opposite times of the year: for example, celebrating Christmas in June. Rudolf Steiner shared cosmic, spiritual imaginations for the northern hemisphere, and in this book Martin Samson develops a useful equivalent guide for the southern hemisphere.
Syndetics book cover London : a spiritual history, by Edouardo Albert.
Viewing the expanse of religious history through the lens of one city provides a great snapshot of beliefs over the centuries. Albert discusses what its inhabitants believed and what they worshipped, delving into where, when, and how, and covering the landmarks, the names, the issues, and the arguments. It begins in early pagan times, and comes forward in time and is peppered with the author’s own spiritual journey.
Syndetics book cover The big question : why we can’t stop talking about science, faith, and God, by Alister McGrath.
“McGrath develops a perspective in which science and religion enrich rather than threaten one another. That perspective highlights the formative influence of Christian faith during the scientific revolution and exposes the urgent need to move beyond the limits of contemporary science to find transcendent sources of morality and meaning. … McGrath calls for a full-bodied humanism invigorated by both scientific reasoning and religious devotion.” (Drawn from Booklist, courtesy of Syndetics) Also by the same author: Inventing the universe : why we can’t stop talking about science, faith and God.
Syndetics book cover Pushing boundaries : New Zealand protestants and overseas missions, 1827-1939, by Hugh Morrison.
Quite a lot has been written on the very first wave of missionaries to come to New Zealand. But our understanding of why, within a generation or two, the settler church was sending missionaries from NZ, is weak. Hugh Morrison outlines why missions were important to the colonial churches. What motivated these New Zealanders to leave their new home to live elsewhere? Was it similar colonial trends of culture, empire, childhood and education, or something else?

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History

Every month is a reminder that history reading lets us travel through multiple dimensions, a space heightened through time, shedding light on both the most exhausted and uncharted grounds.

Syndetics book cover Sunken cities : Egypt’s lost worlds : the BP exhibition / edited by Franck Goddio and Aurélia Masson-Berghoff.
“This book showcases a spectacular collection of artefacts, coupled with a retelling of the history by world-renowned experts in the subject (including the sites’ long-term excavator), bringing the reader face-to-face with this vibrant ancient society.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Fear drive my feet / Peter Ryan.
“At age eighteen, Peter Ryan was an intelligence operative, patrolling isolated regions of New Guinea during World War II. Isolated, with Japanese forces closing in, he endured the hardships of the jungle without adequate supplies, a radio, or even a proper map. Ryan’s gripping account has become a classic memoir of the war in the Pacific, rarely out of print in forty years.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The art of time travel : historians and their craft / Tom Griffiths.
“No matter how practised we are at history, it always humbles us. No matter how often we visit the past, it always surprises us. The art of time travel is to maintain critical poise and grace in this dizzy space.’ In this landmark book, eminent historian and award-winning author Tom Griffiths explores the craft of discipline and imagination that is history.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The drone eats with me : a Gaza diary / Atef Abu Saif.
“An unforgettable rendering of everyday civilian life shattered by the realities of twenty-first-century warfare. Israel’s 2014 invasion of Gaza lasted 51 days, killed 2,145 Palestinians (578 of them children), injured over 11,000 people, and demolished more than 17,000 homes. Atef Abu Saif, a young father and novelist, puts an indelibly human face on these statistics, providing a rare window into the texture of a community and the realities of a conflict that is too often obscured by politics.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Rio de Janeiro : extreme city / Luiz Eduardo Soares ; translated by Anthony Doyle.
“Luiz Eduardo Soares tells the story of Rio through the everyday lives of its people: gangsters and police, activists, politicians and struggling migrant workers, each with their own version of the city. Taking us on a journey into Rio’s intricate world of favelas, beaches and corridors of power, Soares reveals one of the most extraordinary cities in the world in all its seething, agonistic beauty.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science

Scientific writing can take many forms, and these latest arrivals to the collection are evidence of a happy marriage of science and story-telling. Muse on personal stories behind big inventions, the biographies of three very different scientists, or the challenge of explaining complex stuff using only the 1,000 most popular words in our language.

Syndetics book cover Houston, we have a narrative : why science needs story, by Randy Olson.
“Hollywood has a lot to teach scientists about how to tell a story – and, ultimately, how to do science better.” In this book Olson sketches out a blueprint to turn the dull into the dramatic. He first outlines the problem that when scientists tell us about their work, they pile one detail on top of another. But they need to understand the core of narrative – momentum (“And”), conflict (“But”), and resolution (“Therefore”) (or ABT). Taking this approach, audiences sit enthralled for hours (watching TED talks on youtube?).
Syndetics book cover The human side of science : Edison and Tesla, Watson and Crick, and other personal stories behind science’s big ideas, by Arthur W. Wiggins and Charles M. Wynn Sr. ; with cartoon commentary by Sidney Harris.
“”This lively and humorous book focuses attention on the fact that science is a human enterprise. The reader learns about the foibles and quirks as well as the admirable ingenuity and impressive accomplishments of famous scientists who made some of the greatest discoveries of the past and present. Examples abound: Robert Hooke accused Isaac Newton of stealing his ideas about optics. Plato declared that the works of Democritus should be burned. …book takes the reader behind the scenes of scientific research to shine new light on the all-too-human people who “do” science.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Penguins, pineapples & pangolins : first encounters with the exotic, by Claire Cock-Starkey.
Can you remember the first time you saw an elephant? In these modern times every child has seen a video clip, or a photo at the very least, of far away animals or plants. But, if we travel back in time a few hundred years, to the age of exploration or before trades routes became more frequented, people were discovering new animals, food or other cultures for the first very first time – with absolutely no frame of reference. Based on stories gleaned from the British Library archives, this new book reflects the awe and wonder these fresh encounters.
Syndetics book cover The man who knew infinity : a life of the genius Ramanujan, by Robert Kanigel.
“In 1913, a young unschooled Indian clerk wrote a letter to G H Hardy, begging the preeminent English mathematician’s opinion on several ideas he had about numbers. Realizing the letter was the work of a genius, Hardy arranged for Srinivasa Ramanujan to come to England. Thus began one of the most improbable and productive collaborations ever chronicled. With a passion for rich and evocative detail, Robert Kanigel takes us from the temples and slums of Madras to the courts and chapels of Cambridge University, where the devout Hindu Ramanujan, “the Prince of Intuition,” tested his brilliant theories alongside the sophisticated and eccentric Hardy, “the Apostle of Proof.” (Syndetics summary)

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Latest releases – Fiction Newsletter

Welcome to the fiction Newsletter, where we bring you the highlights of our monthly fiction selections of recently received new material from all genres. We hope you will find some entertaining reading and be tempted to try new authors, or titles from a different genre.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

Contemporary fiction means all that is modern and current, and our selection from this month’s new material gives wonderful examples of this, from well- known writers such as Dave Eggers to young authors such as Eowyn Ivey with her highly praised second novel.

Syndetics book cover Heroes of the frontier : a novel / Dave Eggers.
“Josie and her children’s father have split up, she’s been sued by a former patient and lost her dental practice, and she’s grieving the death of a young man senselessly killed. When her ex asks to take the children to meet his new fiancée’s family, Josie makes a run for it, figuring Alaska is about as far as she can get without a passport. Josie and her kids, Paul and Ana, rent a rattling old RV named the Chateau, and at first their trip feels like a vacation. But as they drive, pushed north by the ubiquitous wildfires, Josie is chased by enemies both real and imagined, past mistakes pursuing her tiny family, even to the very edge of civilization.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover To the bright edge of the world / Eowyn Ivey.
“Authorized to lead an 1885 winter exploratory expedition up the Wolverine River into the Alaska interior, Lt. Col. Allen Forrester leaves his wife of a few short months to travel more than 1,000 miles over the most hostile terrain imaginable. Woefully unprepared for the climate, scarcity of food, and potentially hazardous exchanges with the native inhabitants, he and his men find a land that is as deadly as it is mysterious and beautiful. Meanwhile, bride Sophie faces a difficult pregnancy alone in Vancouver, WA. The entire novel consists of the correspondence between the couple-neither of them knowing if those letters will even reach the other. Interspersed are other letters between an exhibitor in Alaska and Allen’s great nephew who wants the Forresters’ story to be curated and preserved.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The invoice : a novel / Jonas Karlsson ; translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.
“A passionate film buff, whose life revolves around his part-time job at a video store, the company of a few precious friends, and a daily routine that more often than not concludes with pizza and movie in his treasured small space in Stockholm. When he receives an astronomical invoice from a random national bureaucratic agency, everything will tumble into madness as he calls the hotline night and day to find out why he is the recipient of the largest bill in the entire country. What is the price of a cherished memory? How much would you pay for a beautiful summer day? How will our carefree idealist, who is content with so little and has no chance of paying it back, find a way out of this mess?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

With the beginning of four new series in this month’s selection of new graphic novels, there is some great reading to look forward to. Providence. Act 1 by Alan Moore is one of these, and is an examination of the work of the popular horror writer H. P. Lovecraft.

Syndetics book cover Bloody Mary / Garth Ennis, writer ; Carlos Ezquerra, artist.
“In a world only slightly worse than our own, a third great European conflict has dragged the major powers into a lethal war of attrition. Whole nations are ruined, with the death toll running into many millions. Now, Mary Malone, the most dangerous assassin in a land of killers, finds herself set against adversaries whose evil insanity knows no bounds. Together with her sidekick the Major, delusional but deadly, Mary must face both a man who cannot die and a crazed cult leader whose flock are all too ready to die for him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Megg & Mogg in Amsterdam : and other stories / Simon Hanselmann.
“Megg the witch, Mogg the cat, their friend Owl, and Werewolf Jones struggle unsuccessfully with their depression, drug use, sexuality, poverty, lack of ambition, and their complex feelings about each other. Megg and Mogg decide to take a trip to Amsterdam for some quality couple time, although the trip gets off to a rocky start when they forget their antidepressants. They need Owl to come and help them save their relationship” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Providence. Act 1 / story, Alan Moore ; art, Jacen Burrows.
“Alan Moore’s quintessential horror series has set the standard for a terrifying examination of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. It is being universally hailed as one of Moore’s most realized works in which the master scribe has controlled every iota of the story, art, and presentation. The result has been a masterpiece like no other, unparalleled in tone and content, and a true must have addition to his essential works in the field.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Mysteries

This month’s selection from the recently received new mystery novels are set in a wide variety of places. Unfortunately we can only choose three for this newsletter and so have chosen the most far-reaching of locales.

Syndetics book cover Journey under the midnight sun / Keigo Higashino ; translated by Alexander O. Smith, with Joseph Reeder.
“A twenty-year-old murder. A chain of unsolvable mysteries, can one detective solve this epic riddle? When a man is found murdered in an abandoned building in Osaka in 1973, unflappable detective Sasagaki is assigned to the case. He begins to piece together the connection of two young people who are inextricably linked to the crime; the dark, taciturn son of the victim and the unexpectedly captivating daughter of the main suspect. Over the next twenty years we follow their lives as Sasagaki pursues the case, which remains unsolved, to the point of obsession.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover In the month of the midnight sun / Cecilia Ekbäck.
“Stockholm 1856. A telegram arrives on the Minister of Justice’s desk, with the news of a massacre on one of Lapland’s mountains; a priest, a law enforcement officer, and a local settler have been slaughtered by one of the indigenous Sami people. The murderer is in custody; he refuses to talk. The Minister dispatches his son-in-law, a geologist, to investigate for there is more than one reason to visit Blackasen: it is a mountain with many secrets, a mountain that has never been mapped. Magnus does not journey alone. The Minister’s daughter, in disgrace, is sent with him. What they discover about the murders and what lies behind them will be as nothing compared with what they discover about themselves.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover A rising man / Abir Mukherjee.
“Captain Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard detective, is a new arrival to Calcutta. Desperately seeking a fresh start after his experiences during the Great War, Wyndham has been recruited to head up a new post in the police force. But with barely a moment to acclimatise to his new life or to deal with the ghosts that still haunt him, Wyndham is caught up in a murder investigation that will take him into the dark underbelly of the British Raj. With rising political dissent and the stability of the Raj under threat, Wyndham and his two new colleagues, arrogant Inspector Digby and British-educated, but Indian-born Sergeant Banerjee, one of the few Indians to be recruited into the new CID embark on an investigation that will take them from the luxurious parlours of wealthy British traders to the seedy opium dens of the city.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

Many hours of pure escapism are guaranteed with our selection of new science fiction and fantasy novels, where the imagination of the writers knows no bounds.

Syndetics book cover The Swarm / Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston.
“Earth survived the attack of the first Formic scoutship. But can the heroes of that first invasion save humanity from the full fleet that’s on its way? The Swarm picks up a few years after the conclusion of the First Formic War series. Earth has begun preparing a desperate defense. The Hegemon, Polemarch, and Strategos are in place, and the newly minted International Fleet is working with corporate forces to build an armada and weapons as fast as possible. Will it be enough? And can humanity overcome the dangers posed by political machinations, careerism, international squabbles, and petty bureaucracy?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Time siege / Wesley Chu.
“A sequel to Time Salvager, a futuristic saga that pits fugitive time traveler James Griffin-Mars and his allies, who seek to rescue a ravaged Earth from utter destruction, against Valta, the megacorporation that rules the galaxies. While James and Grace Priestly, the Mother of Time, embark on an interplanetary search for a cure for James’s unwell sister, Sasha, scientist Elise Kim and the Elfreth tribe seek refuge from Valta’s ruthless Senior Securitate Kuo on “the dreaded Mist Isle,” formerly Manhattan.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Dark matter : a novel / by Blake Crouch.Dark Matter
“Brilliant scientist Jason Dessen was on the verge of a major breakthrough when his life took a different turn instead of completing his work on quantum superposition, he married his pregnant girlfriend and now lives a relatively happy life as husband to the gorgeous Daniela, father to teenage Charlie, and professor of undergrad physics at a small Chicago-area college. All is well if not very exciting until the night he is abducted and bludgeoned, and wakes up in a different time and place or, perhaps, it’s a different plane. It appears there is another world, one where Jason didn’t marry Daniela but went on to create a box that can transport someone into a parallel universe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

Debut novelists are the feature in our ‘Other Genre’ category of selected new additions to the collection. As these are first novels, we are sure there will be many that will excite many readers, with their writing skill and inventive narratives, perhaps earning many followers eager for future novels.

Syndetics book cover Cooking for Picasso : a novel / Camille Aubray.
“Juan-les-Pins, the French Riviera, 1936: Ondine is a sixteen-year old girl working at her family’s cafe when she is called upon to cook for Picasso, who has secretly rented a nearby villa. Picasso is successful, powerful, and virile, yet he is also a man beset by his own demons, and he’s at a great crossroads in his personal and professional life. The spirited Ondine is just beginning to discover her own talents and appetites, and she quickly blossoms in many ways from her encounter with Picasso – each inspires the other. New York, 2016: Celine, Ondine’s American granddaughter, decides to embark on a journey to the French Riviera in a quixotic quest to do what her fragile mother Julie is no longer able to do, that is, to find out what really happened when her grandmother Ondine crossed paths with the great Picasso and possibly recover a lost family treasure.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The nix / Nathan Hill.
“In Norwegian folklore, a nix is a spirit, sometimes appearing as a white horse, that steals children away. It’s 2011, and college professor Samuel Andresen-Anderson has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. She abandoned the family when he was a boy; now she’s re-appeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news and inflames a politically divided country. To save her Samuel will uncover long buried secrets that stretch across generations and have their origin all the way back in Norway. As he does so Samuel will relearn everything he thought he knew about his mother, and himself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The paper house / Anna Spargo-Ryan.
“Heather and Dave have found the perfect place to raise their first child. The house has character, but it’s the garden that really makes it: red-faced impatiens, pockmarked gums, six upright pittosporums to keep the neighbors out. It’s a jungle, a hiding place, a refuge, and then, without warning, that life is over. Heartbreaking, fearless, and ablaze with a coruscating beauty all its own, The Paper House tells the story of a woman sinking into the depths of grief, and the desperate efforts of her loved ones to bring her up for air.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Ideas and Society eNewsletter for September

Enjoy our newly arrived eBooks including Breaking Connections that takes us places in NZ and Hawaii. Plus there’s the story of computer scientist and code breaker Alan Turing and many other mind opening books. You are also invited to join us at our Vinyl collection launch party on the 24th of September.

Library News

Literature

This month’s titles from Overdrive are set across the globe, from the sand hills of Nebraska to a Swedish caravan park. And we haven’t forgotten the Pacific: Breaking Connections by Albert Wendt takes place in both New Zealand and Hawaii. So have your map, compass and e-reader at the ready, and enjoy!

Overdrive cover Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain, by Barney Norris
“One quiet evening in Salisbury, the peace is shattered by a serious car crash. At that moment, five lives collide – a flower seller, a schoolboy, an army wife, a security guard and a widower. As one of those lives hangs in the balance, the stories of all five unwind, drawn together by connection and coincidence into a web of love, grief, disenchantment and hope that perfectly represents the joys and tragedies of small town life.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)
Overdrive cover Reconstructing Amelia, by Kimberly McCreight
“Single mother Kate is in the meeting of her career when she is interrupted by a call to say her teenaged daughter Amelia has been suspended from school. Torn between her head and her heart, Kate eventually arrives at St Grace’s, only to find her daughter has jumped off the roof of the school, apparently in shame. A grieving Kate can’t accept that her daughter would kill herself: Amelia would never leave her alone like this. So begins an investigation into Amelia’s troubled world.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)
Overdrive cover Breaking Connections, by Albert Wendt
“A dynamic group has emerged in Auckland whose members refer to themselves as the Tribe. Mainly Polynesian, they grow up together and become successful professionals, bound by the self-destructive Aaron. But when Daniel receives a call in Hawaii telling him Aaron has been killed, he must return to New Zealand and step into the most dangerous crisis he has ever faced. What has the Tribe become?” (Adapted from Overdrive description)
Syndetics book cover Writing your legacy : the step-by-step guide to crafting your life story / Richard Campbell M.Ed., Cheryl Svensson, Ph.D.
“Craft a meaningful life story! A written legacy of your life–one that encompasses experiences, lessons learned, failures and triumphs–is a gift your family and friends will cherish for years to come. Writing this story may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Writing Your Legacy is a step-by-step guide to chronicling a life story that reflects your true self. Leave an eloquent record of your life for future generations.” (Syndetics summary)

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Popular Non-Fiction

An interesting collection this month takes us on journeys around the globe and back in time.

Syndetics book cover This brave new world : India, China and the United States / Anja Manuel.
“In the next decade and a half, China and India will become two of the world’s indispensable powers–whether they rise peacefully or not. During that time, Asia will surpass the combined strength of North America and Europe in economic might, population size, and military spending. Both India and China will have vetoes over many international decisions, from climate change to global trade, human rights, and business standards…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The Nordic theory of everything : in search of a better life / Anu Partanen.
“A Finnish journalist, now a naturalized American citizen, asks Americans to draw on elements of the Nordic way of life to nurture a fairer, happier, more secure, and less stressful society for themselves and their children. Moving to America in 2008, Finnish journalist Anu Partanen quickly went from confident, successful professional to wary, self-doubting mess. She found that navigating the basics of everyday life–from buying a cell phone and filing taxes to education and childcare–was much more complicated and stressful than anything she encountered in her homeland… As Partanen explains step by step, the Nordic approach allows citizens to enjoy more individual freedom and independence than we do…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Man (dis)connected : how the digital age is changing young men forever / Philip Zimbardo and Nikita D. Coulombe.
“Masculinity is in meltdown. Young men are failing as never before : academically, socially and sexually. But why? And what needs to be done? Internationally-acclaimed psychologist Philip Zimbardo, and research partner Nikita Coulombe, show how symptoms include excessive gaming and porn use, apathy and drug abuse. They argue that digital technologies create alternative worlds that many boys find less demanding and more rewarding than real life, yet which are ultimately harmful.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover A million years in a day : a curious history of everyday life from the Stone Age to the phone age / Greg Jenner.
“Who invented beds? When did we start cleaning our teeth? How old are wine and beer? Which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? What was the first clock? Every day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old. Structured around one ordinary day, [this book] reveals the astonishing origins and development of the daily practices we take for granted… It is the story of your life, one million years in the making.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Religion & Beliefs

August’s listed books are quite a mixed bunch, across a range of religions. However, they invite the reader to challenge their misconceptions, and look below the surface to think more deeply about our beliefs and moral decisions.

Syndetics book cover Break the norms : questioning everything you think you know about God and truth, life and death, love and sex, by Chandresh Bhardwaj.
“Have you ever felt like you’re living out a script written for you by others–in your work, your relationships, or spirituality? “To break through the norms we’ve been conditioned to believe is an act of rebellion,” writes Chandresh Bhardwaj. “We must be prepared to be brutally honest. We must overturn our assumptions and unlearn our suffering. We must be willing to discover our real reasons for being alive….Authenticity is inherent each of our souls. When we start to be authentic, we start to get back in touch with our divine source.” (drawn from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Why be Jewish? : a testament, by Edgar M. Bronfman.
Completed just weeks before the author’s death, this charts his respect and love for his Jewish faith. This is a personal journey and walk through the main ideas and beliefs, explaining meanings and traditions gathered over a lifetime of study. He explains that even secular Judaism is still immersed in moral values derived from the ancient texts.
Syndetics book cover Queer virtue : what LGBTQ people know about life and love and how it can revitalize Christianity, by Reverend Elizabeth M. Edman.
“Christianity, at its scriptural core, incessantly challenges its adherents to rupture false binaries, to “queer” lines that pit people against one another. Thus, Edman asserts that Christianity, far from being hostile to queer people, is itself inherently queer. Arguing from the heart of scripture, she reveals how queering Christianity – that is, disrupting simplistic ways of thinking about self and other – can illuminate contemporary Christian faith. Pushing well past the notion that “Christian love = tolerance,” Edman offers a bold alternative: the recognition that queer people can help Christians better understand their fundamental calling and the creation of sacred space where LGBTQ Christians are seen as gifts to the church.” (Drawn from the Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The cities that built the Bible, by Robert R. Cargill.
“For many, the names Bethlehem, Babylon, and Jerusalem evoke epic stories from the Bible – fortresses, moonlit mangers or magnificent temples. This is a magnificent tour through fourteen cities: the Phoenicia cities of Tyre, Sidon, Ugarit, Nineveh, Babylon, Megiddo, Athens, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Qumran, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Rome, with dig sites, ruins, and relics. An interesting and informative adventure through time.

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Science

Scientific writing can take many forms, and these latest arrivals to the collection are evidence of a happy marriage of science and story-telling. Muse on personal stories behind big inventions, the biographies of three very different scientists, or the challenge of explaining complex stuff using only the 1,000 most popular words in our language.

Syndetics book cover The invention of science : a new history of the scientific revolution, by David Wootton.
We live in a world made by science. How and when did this happen? This book tells the story of the extraordinary intellectual and cultural revolution that gave birth to modern science, and mounts a major challenge to the prevailing orthodoxy of its history. … “[this] is a truly remarkable piece of scholarship. His work has an ingenious and innovative linguistic foundation, examining the invention and redefinition of words as tracers of a new understanding of nature and how to approach it. His erudition is awesome, and his argument is convincing.” Owen Gingerich, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Harvard University.
Syndetics book cover The human side of science : Edison and Tesla, Watson and Crick, and other personal stories behind science’s big ideas, by Arthur W. Wiggins and Charles M. Wynn Sr. ; with cartoon commentary by Sidney Harris.
“This lively and humorous book focuses attention on the fact that science is a human enterprise. The reader learns about the foibles and quirks as well as the admirable ingenuity and impressive accomplishments of famous scientists who made some of the greatest discoveries of the past and present. Examples abound: Robert Hooke accused Isaac Newton of stealing his ideas about optics. Plato declared that the works of Democritus should be burned. …book takes the reader behind the scenes of scientific research to shine new light on the all-too-human people who “do” science.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover Penguins, pineapples & pangolins : first encounters with the exotic, by Claire Cock-Starkey.
Can you remember the first time you saw an elephant? In these modern times every child has seen a video clip, or a photo at the very least, of far away animals or plants. But, if we travel back in time a few hundred years, to the age of exploration or before trades routes became more frequented, people were discovering new animals, food or other cultures for the first very first time – with absolutely no frame of reference. Based on stories gleaned from the British Library archives, this new book reflects the awe and wonder these fresh encounters.
Syndetics book cover Prof : Alan Turing decoded : a biography, by Dermot Turing.
If you enjoyed the Imitation Game, dip into this biography of Alan Turing by his nephew, Sir Dermot Turing. We meet him in the film as mathematician, codebreaker, computer scientist, and as a war hero underestimated and mistreated by his own country. This is a fresh look at the influences on Alan Turing’s life and creativity, and the later creation of a legend. This is a unique family perspective drawing on sources only recently released to the UK National Archives, including photos.

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The latest Fiction Newsletter

Welcome to the latest Fiction Newsletter where we have collected three titles from this month’s fiction recent picks as an appetiser. This month’s ‘Other Genres’ selection features New Zealand writers. We hope that you will find some wonderful reading from amongst all this new fiction, no matter what genre you prefer.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

A wide range of genres were included in this month’s selection of new Contemporary Fiction. The following three are examples of this with historical, translated and futuristic novels chosen for this month’s newsletter.

Syndetics book cover Field service / Robert Edric.
“Morlancourt, Northern France, 1920.In the aftermath of the world’s bloodiest conflict, a small contingent of battle-worn soldiers remains in France. Captain James Reid and his men are tasked with the identification and burial of innumerable corpses as they come to terms with the events of the past four years. The stark contrast between the realities of burying men in France and the reports of honouring the dead back in Britain is all too clear. But it is only when the daily routine is interrupted by a visit from two women, both seeking solace from their grief, that the men are forced to acknowledge the part they too have played.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The Mandibles : a family, 2029 – 2047 / Lionel Shriver.
“In 2029, the United States is engaged in a bloodless world war that will wipe out the savings of millions of American families. Overnight, on the international currency exchange, the “almighty dollar” plummets in value, to be replaced by a new global currency, the “bancor.” In retaliation, the president declares that America will default on its loans. “Deadbeat Nation” being unable to borrow, the government prints money to cover its bills. What little remaining savings are been rapidly eaten away by runaway inflation .The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their ninety-seven-year-old patriarch dies. Once the inheritance turns to ash, each family member must contend with disappointment, but also, as the U.S. economy spirals into dysfunction, the challenge of sheer survival.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Six four / Hideo Yokoyama ; translated from the Japanese by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies.
“For five days in January 1989, the parents of a seven-year-old Tokyo schoolgirl sat and listened to the demands of their daughter’s kidnapper. They would never learn his identity. They would never see their daughter again. For the fourteen years that followed, the Japanese public listened to the police’s apologies. They would never forget the botched investigation that became known as ‘Six Four’. They would never forgive the authorities their failure. For one week in late 2002, the press officer attached to the police department in question confronted an anomaly in the case. He could never imagine what he would uncover. He would never have looked if he’d known what he would find.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

Guaranteed for diversity of theme, artwork and genre, the Graphic Novel collection never fails to entertain and fascinate readers. Deciding on just three as a temptation for readers is always difficult.

Syndetics book cover 365 days / by Julie Doucet.
“A year in the life of a world-renowned artist. This visual journal, starting in late 2002, is an idiosyncratic collision of her various creative interests, wherein personal narrative, collage, and drawing begin to tell the story of her pursuits into printmaking and beyond, chronicling her maturation as a mid-career artist and her fluid extension into a broader arts community.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Beverly / by Nick Drnaso.
“A darkly funny portrait of middle America seen through the stunted, numb minds of its children. Connected by a series of gossipy teens, the modern lost souls of Beverly struggle with sexual anxieties that are just barely repressed and social insecurities that undermine every word they speak. A group of teenagers pick up trash on the side of the highway, flirting, preening, and ignoring a potentially violent loner in their midst. A young woman experiences a traumatic incident at the pizza shop where she works and the fallout reveals the racial tensions simmering below the surface. Precisely and hauntingly recounted, each chapter of Beverly reveals something new and yet familiar, about the world in which we live.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Rosalie Lightning : a graphic memoir / by Tom Hart and Rosalie Lightning and Leela Corman and the residents of New York City, Gainesville, Florida, New Mexico, and Hawaii, as well as various singer-songwriters, film directors, actors, animators, comic artists, donors, lovers and friends.
“Cartoonist Tom Hart’s New York Times bestselling is a touching and beautiful graphic memoir about the untimely death of his young daughter, Rosalie. His heart-breaking and emotional illustrations strike readers to the core, and take them along his family’s journey through loss. Hart creatively portrays the solace he discovers in nature, philosophy, great works of literature, and art across all mediums in this expressively honest and loving tribute to his daughter.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Mysteries

The three translated novels included in this month’s selection of new Mystery Fiction have been chosen for this newsletter. Do check the complete list of selections for other new mysteries by some very talented writers.

Syndetics book cover The silent dead / Tetsuya Honda ; translated by Giles Murray.
“When a body wrapped in a blue plastic tarp and tied up with twine is discovered near the bushes near a quiet suburban Tokyo neighborhood, Lt. Reiko Himekawa and her squad take the case. The victim was slaughtered brutally, his wounds are bizarre, and no one can figure out the “what” or the “why” of this crime. Reiko makes a discovery that leads the police to uncover eleven other bodies, all wrapped in the same sort of plastic. Only a few of the bodies are identifiable and those that are have connection to each other. The only possible clue is a long shot lead to a website spoken only in whispers on the Internet, something on the dark web known as “Strawberry Night”.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Stalker / Lars Kepler ; translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.
“A video-clip is sent to the National Criminal Investigation Department. Someone has secretly filmed a woman through her window from the garden. The next day she is found dead after a frenzied knife-attack. The police receive a second film of another unknown woman. There is no way of identifying her before time runs out. When her husband finds her he is so traumatized that he cleans the whole house and puts her to bed. He may have seen a vital clue, but is in such an extreme state of shock that the police are unable to question him. Psychiatrist Erik Maria Bark is called in to hypnotize him but what the man tells him under hypnosis leads Erik to start lying to the police. If the lights are on, a stalker can see you from outside. But if the lights are off, you can’t see a stalker who is already inside the house.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The dying detective / Leif G.W. Persson ; translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.
“Retired Chief of the National Crime Police and Swedish Security Service Lars Martin Johansson has just suffered a stroke. He is paying the price for a life of excess – stress, good food and fine wine. With his dangerously high blood pressure, his heart could fail at the slightest excitement. In the hospital, a chance encounter with a neurologist provides an important piece of information about a 25-year-old murder investigation and alerts Lars Martin Johansson’s irrepressible police instincts. Lars Martin Johansson is determined to solve the atrocious crime even from his deathbed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

This month’s selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels included five debut novelists, all bound to have readers eagerly waiting their next publications. We have chosen new work from three very popular, veteran writers for this newsletter.

Syndetics book cover War factory / Neal Asher.
“The second book in the Transformation series. Thorvald Spear, resurrected from his death over a hundred years earlier, continues to hunt Penny Royal, the rogue AI and dangerous war criminal on the run from Polity forces. Beyond the Graveyard, a lawless and deadly area in deep space, Spear follows the trail of several enemy Prador, the crab-like alien species with a violent history of conflict with humanity. Blite, captain of a bounty hunting ship, hands over two prisoners and valuable memplants from Penny Royal to the Brockle, a dangerous forensics entity under strict confinement on a Polity spaceship that quickly takes a keen interest in the corrupted AI and its unclear motives. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The seascape tattoo / Larry Niven and Steven Barnes.
“Aros of Azteca and Neoloth-Pteor are the deadliest of enemies: Swordsman and Sorcerer, locked in mortal combat, who have tried to kill each other more times than either can count. But when the princess Neoloth loves is kidnapped, there is only one plan that offers any hope of rescueand that requires passing off the barbarian Aros as a lost princeling and infiltrating the deadliest cabal of necromancers the world has ever seen. They cannot trust each other. They will betray or kill each other the first chance they get. But they’re all each other has.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Age of myth / Michael J. Sullivan.
“This is the first in a proposed five book series five-book series. Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

The feature of this month’s Other Genres category is New Zealand fiction. Included in this month’s newsletter selection are new novels from two of New Zealand’s most talented, popular writers.

Syndetics book cover The quiet spectacular / Laurence Fearnley.
“Loretta is a school librarian, who embarks on compiling The Dangerous Book for Menopausal Women while waiting to collect her son from after-school activities. Chance is a teenager, who discovers an unusual creative outlet to offset the strain of her controlling mother. Riva is the founder of a wetlands sanctuary, who is seeking a way to fulfil her promise to her dying sister to do something ‘absolutely spectacular’. Within a clearing in the woods by a lake there is a den, a secret sanctuary and eventual meeting place for all three women.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover All day at the movies / Fiona Kidman.
“Life isn’t always like it appears in the movies. In 1952, Irene Sandle takes her young daughter to Motueka. Irene was widowed during the war and is seeking a new start and employment in the tobacco fields. There, she finds the reality of her life far removed from the glamour of the screen. Can there be romance and happy endings, or will circumstances repeat through the generations? Each subsequent episode in this poignant work follows family secrets and the dynamics of Irene’s children. The story doesn’t just track their lives, but also New Zealand itself as its attitudes and opportunities change and reverberate through the decades.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The case of the missing body / Jenny Powell.
“The Case of the Missing Body is the true and unusual story of Lily, who has no sense of her body. She has struggled with the effects of this her whole life. Desperate to try anything to ‘be normal’, a nevertheless skeptical Lily agrees to begin work with her physiotherapist in a gymnasium. One extraordinary day, working in the gym, Lily discovers she has shoulder blades. All her life she has thought people only felt their heads, with thoughts trailing along in and behind them. Now she has shoulder blades. There is nothing easy about what is to follow. Neither Patrick (the physiotherapist) nor Lily could have predicted it. But with help from professionals, the writer of this beautiful, moving memoir becomes her own detective, searching for clues to help her find her own body.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Business e-newsletter for September 2016

Welcome to the latest edition of the Business e-newsletter . We have some great books for you.

News: We will be participating with the region’s other public libraries in the Wellington Region Business Expo 2016 at Westpac Stadium on 20th September. Please come along and say hello to us at Stands 77 and 78. While there, ask us to demonstrate the new and improved PressReader. And, if you don’t already use Lynda.com for free via your Wellington City Libraries card, ask us to show you this wonderful e-learning tool.

Library News

Management

There are some great new books on management this month, covering making a difference, determination and diversity.

Syndetics book cover A world of difference : leading in global markets with cultural intelligence / Felicity Menzies.
“Having a diverse workforce makes “A World of Difference”. Companies and organisations that have a diverse workforce benefit from increased innovation, creativity, performance and a better bottom line. However, not everyone has the Cultural Intelligence (CQ) to work with people from other countries and cultures. Cultural Intelligence develops through education, training, and experience. A good place to start to find out more about CQ is Felicity Menzies’ new book. Filled with a mix of anecdotes drawn for the author’s personal experiences and research on this topic, Menzies helps leaders to understand Cultural Intelligence and how it can give them an enviable competitive advantage.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Instant networking : the simple way to build your business network and see results in just 6 months / Stefan Thomas.
“Networking is something that many of us dread and try to avoid at all costs. But no longer the sole remit of sales people, it has become a vital business skill for us all. Many experts believe that you need to be super confident or a brilliant presenter in order to network to the best of your ability but networking has changed. Let Stefan Thomas show you how to take a fresh look at Networking 2.0 and teach you how networking is no longer just something we do with other people and it’s no longer an activity, it’s a new way of thinking and acting. Instant Networking will show you how to build networking into all that you do, whether you’re self-employed, fresh out of education and ready to take on the world or just ready to make your presence known.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Grit to great : how perseverance, passion, and pluck take you from ordinary to extraordinary / by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval.
“We are all dazzled by the notion that there are some people who get ahead, who reach the corner office because they are simply gifted, or well-connected, or both. But research shows that we far overvalue talent and intellectual ability in our culture. The fact is, so many people get ahead–even the gifted ones–because they worked incredibly hard, put in the thousands of hours of practice and extra sweat equity, and made their own luck. And Linda and Robin should know–they are two girls from the Bronx who had no special advantages or privileges and rose up through their own hard work and relentless drive to succeed to the top of their highly competitive profession.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Difference makers : a leader’s guide to championing diversity on boards / Dr Nicola Howe, Alicia Curtis.
“Outstanding insight into how to effectively embrace diversity – a roadmap for creating better organisations, better companies and a better society. Includes practical tools, checklists and activities for both the aspiring and experienced director. If you seriously want to make a difference – you must read Difference Makers. A sound rationale highlighting the importance of diversity in achieving good governance … a nuanced and thoughtful resource designed to help meet the challenge. Together Nicky and Alicia founded the Engaging Young Leaders on Aged Care and Community Boards governance program, and as a consequence they were driven to share their findings and experiences in this fascinating book.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Computing

Different themes are coming through our new computer books this month. Raspberry Pi continues to be popular, Linux apparently will always have new books explaining its multiple uses together with books like Macs for dummies. Come with me and let’s explore our brand new collection.

Syndetics book cover Raspberry Pi cookbook / Dr. Simon Monk.
“With millions of new users and several new models, the Raspberry Pi ecosystem continues to expand. The second edition of this popular cookbook provides more than 240 hands-on recipes for running this tiny low-cost computer with Linux, programming it with Python, and hooking up sensors, motors, and other hardware–including Arduino and the Internet of Things.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Big data : does size matter? / Timandra Harkness.
“From the first tally, scratched on a wolf bone over thirty thousand years ago, to the Large Hadron Collider, which produces forty million megabytes of data per second, data is big, and getting bigger.
Nobody needs a degree in computer science to follow Harkness’s exploration of what mega data can do for us–and what it can’t or shouldn’t. BIG DATA asks you to decide: Are you a data point, or a human being?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Learn & use Linux made easy / Maxwell Cooter and David Cartwright.
“This is a highly accessible guide to the complex and highly customisable operating system Linux. Featuring step-by-step guides on a variety of topics, including how to choose and set up your distro, informative guides to many different distros including Ubuntu, Fedora and Red Hat, as well as advice on Linux firewalls and setting up your wireless network.” (adapted from Goodreads summary)
Syndetics book cover Embed with games : a year on the couch with game developers / Cara Ellison.
“In January of 2014 Cara wasn’t quite making rent but her cultural criticism on games for places like The Guardian seemed pretty popular. On a whim she pledged to her Twitter followers that she would do gonzo journalism and travel each month to stay with game creators she found across the world, if they put a bit of money towards it. Cara put a page up on Patreon and said if it got to $1000 that would be enough for her first flight. She thought it would never get there… Within an hour this ‘cyberpunk hair-dyed Attenborough’ had kicked herself out of her home and sent herself hurtling across a year of four continents, living on gamemakers’ couches, writing about their cities and creations. Six hundred readers funded her round-the-world trip, from London to Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne. This is a collected work of all the essays Cara wrote along the way, a map of independent game creation as she found it.” (Book jacket)

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Travel stories & Guides

Trail enthusiasts should check out The 50 Greatest Walks in the World. Alternately, if reading about travel is more your thing, then the novelist Russell Banks has written Voyager : travel writing.

Syndetics book cover The 50 greatest walks of the world / Barry Stone.
“With walks that will appeal to everyone regardless of ability, The 50 Greatest Walks of the World includes American classics such as the Appalachian Trail, Buckskin Gulch, and the Bright Angel Trail to Phantom Ranch, as well as personal favourites such as Italy’s Cinque Terre Classic and the Isle of Skye’s Trotternish Ridge, one of Britain’s finest ridge traverses with almost 2,500m of ascents. Whether it’s a climb, a stroll, or a life-changing slog, this book has the walk for you.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover A boy of China : in search of Mao’s lost son / Richard Loseby.
“The author’s search for a son of Chinese leader Chairman Mao, who was abandoned by Mao in 1934 during the famous Long March. The search takes the author all over China, from Shanghai west to Tibet and Sichuan then to Jiangxi in the southeast. He describes the places he visits, his discoveries and his meetings with fascinating characters along the way.” (Syndetics summary)

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Fiction newsletter for August

Welcome to the latest Fiction newsletter where we are pleased to keep you updated about new additions to our Fiction collection. We have selected the most highly regarded new works from some highly talented authors (some well-known and others debut) to tempt your reading preferences and perhaps also to try a different genre.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

Our selection from this month’s New Contemporary fiction recently added to the collection was truly global, with each novel’s location set in a vast number of countries. This assured many hours of thought provoking, fascinating reading.

Syndetics book cover Waking lions / Ayelet Gundar-Goshen ; translated from the Hebrew by Sondra Silverston.
“A neurosurgeon runs an illegal immigrant over in his car. There are no witnesses, and the man will die in any case-so why endanger his career and report the accident? But the next day, the victim’s wife knocks on the doctor’s door and makes him an offer which will completely derail his well-ordered life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Barkskins : a novel / Annie Proulx.
“In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord, a “seigneur”, for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters, barkskins. René is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman and their descendants live trapped between two inimical cultures. But Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away from the seigneur, becomes a fur trader, and then sets up a timber business. Barkskins tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years, their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand, under stunningly brutal conditions, the revenge of rivals, and cultural annihilation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The Gustav sonata / Rose Tremain.
“Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in ‘neutral’ Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem a distant echo. But Gustav’s father has mysteriously died, and his adored mother Emilie is strangely cold and indifferent to him. Gustav’s childhood is spent in lonely isolation, as time goes on, an intense friendship with a boy of his own age, Anton Zwiebel, begins to define Gustav’s life. Jewish and mercurial, a talented pianist tortured by nerves when he has to play in public, Anton fails to understand how deeply and irrevocably his life and Gustav’s are entwined.” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

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Graphic novels

As always expected this selection of new Graphic novels goes form the sublime to the bizarre, and everything in between. This genre not only provides some great reading, but always wonderful visual satisfaction.

Syndetics book cover Invisible Republic. Volume 01 / created by Gabriel Hardman & Corinna Bechko.
“Arthur McBride’s regime has fallen. His planet has been plunged into chaos, his story shrouded in mystery, until reporter Croger Babb discovers the journal of Arthur’s cousin, Maia. Inside is the violent, audacious, hidden history of the legendary freedom fighter. Erased from the official record, Maia alone knows how dangerous her cousin really is, and what truly happened to bring him to power.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Headspace / writen by Ryan K. Lindsay ; illustrated by Eric Zawadzki & Sebastian Piriz.
“The inhabitants of Carpenter Cove discover their strange town is actually a construct in the mind of a killer. Shane, the sheriff, wants to get back to his real life but one dark connection between him and the killer is going to make him rethink everything.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Gahan Wilson’s Out there / editor, Gary Groth.
“Out There features the over 250 cartoons that Wilson drew during his tenure with the magazines as well as all four covers he rendered,none of which have seen the light of day since their first appearance 50 years ago. Wilson also contributed short stories, movie, and book reviews, which are included as well. Out There resurrects hundreds of virtually unseen cartoons by one of the 20th century’s masters of the form.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Mysteries

Many hours of thrilling entertainment are provided with the selection of new Mystery novels this month. They included some very popular writers of this genre and were set in a vast range of countries.

Syndetics book cover The dove’s necklace : a novel / Raja Alem ; translated from the Arabic by Katharine Halls and Adam Talib.
“When a dead woman is discovered in Abu Al Roos, one of Mecca’s many alleys, no one will claim the body because they are ashamed by her nakedness. Following Detective Nassir’s investigation of the case, the secret life of the holy city of Mecca is revealed, a city, and a civilization, at once beholden to brutal customs, and reckoning (uneasily) with new traditions.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Apothecary Melchior and the mystery of St Olaf’s Church / Indrek Hargla.
“Set in fifteenth-century Tallinn when Estonia is at the edge of Christian lands and the last foothold before the East: a town of foreign merchants and engineers, dominated by the mighty castle of Toompea and the construction of St Olaf’s Church, soon to become the tallest building in the world. Apothecary Melchior is a divisive figure in the town: respected for his arcane knowledge and scientific curiosity but also slightly feared for his mystical witchdoctor aura. When a mysterious murder occurs in the castle, Melchior is called in to help find the killer and reveals a talent for detection.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The final word : a novel / Liza Marklund ; translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.
“Annika Bengtzon has spent her career telling stories that need to be heard. As a journalist, she’s always been at the front line of criminal reporting, alongside the investigating officers. And now a court case that she’s been reporting on, the savage murder of a homeless man, has begun to attract a lot of attention. With the stakes rising by the day, Annika is once again flung to the heart of a complex case. But nagging at the back of her mind is her sister’s mysterious absence. After a series of anxious text messages, she’s not heard another word. In the midst of a tense public situation, Annika’s own complicated past looks set to rear its head. Some voices refuse to be silenced.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

This month’s selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels brings as always imaginative narratives, characters and themes, from many highly acclaimed writers.

Syndetics book cover Company Town / Madeline Ashby.
“New Arcadia is a city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, now owned by one very wealthy, powerful, byzantine family: Lynch Ltd. Hwa is of the few people in her community (which constitutes the whole rig) to forgo bio-engineered enhancements. Still, her expertise in the arts of self-defense and her record as a fighter mean that her services are yet in high demand. When the youngest Lynch needs training and protection, the family turns to Hwa. But can even she protect against increasingly intense death threats seemingly coming from another timeline?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The blood red city / Justin Richards.
“The alien Vril are waking, and the Never War is heating up. Colonel Brinkman and his team at Station Z desperately need answers; they have to discover exactly what they are facing and how the attack will come. But the information doesn’t come easily. With a major Vril offensive imminent, the Nazis step up their own project to exploit Vril weapons and technology. Major Guy Pentecross must travel to the ruined deathtrap of the most dangerous city in the world to track down the one man who can help. This the second book of the Never War series continues a secret history of the Second World War in which humanity itself is fighting for survival.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Central Station / Lavie Tidhar.
“A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper. When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the data stream of a mind. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik, a damaged cyborg soldier. His father is terminally-ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return. Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation, a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness, are just the beginning of irrevocable change.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

Short story reading is so satisfying when reading time is limited and with Short Stories being this month’s highlighted genre in our ‘Other Genres’ category we offer a wonderful selection. There are many different writers, relating a diverse variation of short Fiction.

Syndetics book cover The pier falls : and other stories / Mark Haddon.
“Nine brilliant stories from a much acclaimed writer. Set in the Victorian era and the future, in commonplace and supernatural worlds, the stories are united by a cast of dispossessed characters plagued by violence or despair.” (Adapted from Book cover)
Syndetics book cover Some possible solutions : stories / Helen Phillips.
“A spine-tingling new collection, the “unique”and “wickedly funny” Helen Phillips offers an idiosyncratic series of “what-ifs” about our fragile human condition. Forced to navigate these bizarre scenarios, Phillips’ characters search for solutions to the problem of how to survive in an irrational, infinitely strange world. In dystopias that are exaggerated versions of the world in which we live, these characters strive for intimacy and struggle to resolve their fraught relationships with each other, with themselves, and with their place in the natural world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Deleted scenes for lovers / Tracey Slaughter.
“Seventeen powerful stories of contemporary New Zealand life from a writer whose penetrating gaze reveals the full experience of her characters’ lives, tragic, comic, rich.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Fiction Newsletter for July

Welcome to the latest Fiction Newsletter. This month we feature New Zealand writers in our ‘Other Genres’ category, as there are some talented new writers emerging. We have highlighted some wonderful novels from all our categories of recent picks, to ensure many hours of great reading during the long nights of mid-winter.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

Deciding on the novels to highlight in this month’s newsletter has been difficult due to the extraordinary number of brilliant writers recently received into the fiction collection. The following titles are just a taste of some great reading from the recent selection.

Syndetics book cover Zero K : a novel / Don DeLillo.
“Jeffrey Lockhart’s father, Ross, is a billionaire in his sixties, with a younger wife, Artis Martineau, whose health is failing. Ross is the primary investor in a remote and secret compound where death is exquisitely controlled and bodies are preserved until a future time when biomedical advances and new technologies can return them to a life of transcendent promise. Jeff joins Ross and Artis at the compound to say “an uncertain farewell” to her as she surrenders her body.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The Loney / Andrew Michael Hurley.
“When the remains of a young child are discovered during a winter storm on a stretch of the bleak Lancashire coastline known as the Loney, a man named Smith is forced to confront the terrifying and mysterious events that occurred forty years earlier when he visited the place as a boy. At that time, his devoutly Catholic mother was determined to find healing for Hanny, his disabled older brother. And so the family, along with members of their parish, embarked on an Easter pilgrimage to an ancient shrine. But not all of the locals were pleased to see visitors in the area. And when the two brothers found their lives entangling with a glamorous couple staying at a nearby house, they became involved in more troubling rites… Smith feels he is the only one to know the truth, and he must bear the burden of his knowledge, no matter what the cost.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The bricks that built the houses / Kate Tempest.
“Becky, Harry, and Leon are leaving London in a fourth-hand Ford with a suitcase full of stolen money, in a mess of tangled loyalties and impulses. But can they truly leave the city that’s in their bones? This novel reaches back through time, through tensely quiet dining rooms and crassly loud clubs–to the first time Becky and Harry meet. It sprawls through their lives and those they touch, of their families and friends and faces on the street, revealing intimacies and the moments that make them. And it captures the contemporary struggle of urban life, of young people seeking jobs or juggling jobs, harboring ambitions and making compromises.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

Chosen for this newsletter are the only three stand-alone stories, from this month selection of new Graphic Novels, as the others were all the first volumes of new series.

Syndetics book cover My degeneration : a journey through Parkinson’s / Peter Dunlap-Shohl.
“How does one deal with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease at the age of forty-three? My Degeneration, by former Anchorage Daily News staff cartoonist Peter Dunlap-Shohl, answers the question with humor and passion, recounting the author’s attempt to come to grips with the “malicious whimsy” of this chronic, progressive, and disabling disease.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Beef with tomato / Dean Haspiel.
“A native New York bruiser is fed up with life in the dregs of a drug-addled Alphabet City where his neighbors are shut-ins and his bicycle is always getting stolen. He escapes from Manhattan to make a fresh start in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, only to face a new strain of street logic, where most everything he encounters is not as it seems.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Becoming unbecoming / Una.
“A devastating personal account of gender violence told in comic book form, set against the backdrop of the 1970s Yorkshire Ripper man-hunt. It’s 1977 and Una is 12. A serial murderer is at large in West Yorkshire and the police, despite spending more than two million man-hours hunting the killer and interviewing the man himself no less than nine times, are struggling to solve the case. As this national news story unfolds around her, Una finds herself on the receiving end of a series of violent acts for which she feels she is to blame. Unbecoming explores gender violence, blame, shame, and social responsibility.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Mysteries

This month’ new Mysteries includes the first novel by Chinese writer Song Ying, titled Apricot’s revenge: a crime novel, is set in China. It promises an ingenious plot, providing captivating reading, and is highly recommended.

Syndetics book cover Little Sister / David Hewson
“Kim and Mia Timmers were ten years old when they were accused of murdering the rest of their family and the lead singer of the world famous band, The Cupids. The sisters, who have been in a Marken institution for ten years, are now due for release. Pieter Vos, DI in the Amsterdam police, is given cause to re-open the case when the girls disappear along with a nurse who was supposed to escort them to a half-way house. It soon becomes evident that there is more than meets the eye at Marken, and senior staff at the institution are beginning to panic as they fear certain secrets might come to light. When the dead body of the nurse washes up on the beach at Marken, it becomes clear that someone is posing as the third sister, Little Jo, who died ten years ago.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover In the cold dark ground / Stuart MacBride.
“Sergeant Logan McRae is in trouble. His missing-persons investigation has just turned up a body in the woods, naked, hands tied behind its back, and a bin bag duct-taped over its head. The Major Investigation Team charges up from Aberdeen, under the beady eye of Logan’s ex-boss Detective Chief Inspector Steel. And, as usual, she wants him to do her job for her.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Apricot’s revenge : a crime novel / Song Ying ; translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin.
“A business tycoon in China is found dead; he apparently suffered a heart attack while swimming. But soon it becomes clear that he was murdered. Three immediate beneficiaries of his death become the suspects: the vice president of the company, Zhou, who is in line to take over his position; his young widow, Zhu, who stands to inherit a huge amount of wealth; and his arch business rival, Hong. Nie Feng, a young investigative reporter for a magazine, interviewed the victim just a few days before he died. Through his own research, Nie Feng discovers a new suspect who is not on the police’s radar.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

As readers of this genre expect they will be transported to new worlds, populated by a wide range of diverse characters, and placed in the most amazing situations. Each novel in this selection illustrates the brilliant imagination shown by each author.

Syndetics book cover Transgalactic / James Gunn.
“When Riley and Asha finally reached the planet Terminal and found the Transcendental Machine, a matter transmission device built by an ancient race, they chose to be “translated.” Now in possession of intellectual and physical powers that set them above human limitations, the machine has transported them to two, separate, unknown planets among a possibility of billions. Riley and Asha know that together they can change the galaxy, so they attempt to do the impossible, find each other.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The map of bones / Francesca Haig
“Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that has laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair, one is an Alpha, physically perfect in every way; and the other an Omega, burdened with deformity, small or large. With the Council ruling an apartheid-like society, Omegas are branded and ostracized while the Alphas have gathered the world’s sparse resources for themselves. Though proclaiming their superiority, for all their effort, Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: whenever one twin dies so does the other.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Barren Cove : a novel / Ariel S. Winter.
“The robot Sapien is a relic of a bygone age, searching for meaning in a world where his outdated allegiances to a time long past have left him isolated and hopeless. Seeking peace and quiet, he retires to a beach house at Barren Cove, a stately Victorian manor even more antiquated than he. He becomes increasingly fascinated with the family whose lives are entwined with the home, angry and rebellious Clark: flamboyant Kent: fragile, beautiful Mary; and most of all, Beachstone, the mysterious man whose history may hold all the answers Sapien has been searching for.” (Adapted from Syndetic summary)

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Other genres

The New Zealand writers featuring this month in our ‘Other Genre’ category reflect a wide range of theme. From historical to contemporary national issues, romance to time travel, all open some new and thought provoking views on our society.

Syndetics book cover The blackbird sings at dusk / Linda Olsson.
“One winter evening, Elias, a young artist, watches a woman move into his apartment building. After closing her door, however, she is not seen again. A misdirected letter finally gives Elias the opportunity to make contact. But inside her dark apartment, Elisabeth refuses to respond to his knock. Her only company is the Woman in Green, an unbidden vision from her childhood dreams. Elias, meanwhile, is not to be deterred and draws his friend Otto, an elderly widower, into his attempts to entice Elisabeth into the world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Something else / David Parkyn.
“In a city threatened by drought, in a country wracked by unusual weather patterns, in an empty building about to be demolished, a fugitive from art contemplates a blank canvas, a jar of old brushes and a fresh page in his journal. As he surveys the grounds on which he’s lived and worked ‘a mutinous crew’ conspires to take him on a voyage of salvage and recovery, into inner city Auckland of the ‘sixties to revisit the deaths in which he believes his early obsession is implicated. A voyage to illuminate a looming personal and global disaster, to navigate the boundaries of art and politics, obsession and friendship and the shifting shores of modern art movements.” (Adapted from Book cover)
Syndetics book cover The last time we spoke / Fiona Sussman.
“One mild summer evening in rural New Zealand the lives of Carla Reid, a middle-aged farmer’s wife, and Ben Toroa, an illiterate teen, brutally collide. Neither will be the same again, their futures forever linked. In the bleak aftermath of this home invasion, this novel traces both Carla and Ben’s journey as they each try to make sense of their new reality. Carla’s long road from rage and resentment interleaves with Ben’s time in prison as he hardens into manhood. Set again these parallel stories is also the voice of a Maori ancestor who looks down from Beyond, transporting the story to a wider historical stage.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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