A glorious celebration!

Celebrating Women’s Suffrage 125th anniversary with Wellington fiction authors

Wellington’s female voice. Those who identify as women in Wellington are well represented in our fiction collection. Why celebrate them separately? The ability to effect change begins with expression but channeling that into results means action through legislation in consideration of those views.  The political arena represents it’s voters and the right to vote for women over 21 began in a colonial corner of the world at the tail end of the 1800’s Aotearoa New Zealand.

There are some great tools to understand the lengths people went to in their efforts to secure the vote. The New Zealand history website has a database of those who signed the suffrage petition, you can fine this down to the street you live in to see who lived on your doorstep and agitated for the right to vote.  So looking at early New Zealand authors, Kathleen M. Beauchamp, Katherine Mansfield’s given name was too young to sign. But, search under the Beauchamp family name and Wellington has a single entry. Remember when Katherine Mansfield’s first published story was rediscovered in Wellington Central library?

Current women Wellington authors have a great range of talents, varieties of styles and audience.  These are tales of personal freedom, integrity, flawed individuals, empathy and self discovery from first time authors, poets, artists and experienced writers. Some are highlighted below:

The new animals / Adam, Pip
“Carla, Sharon and Duey have worked in fashion for longer than they care to remember — for them, there’s nothing new under the sun. They’re Generation X: tired, cynical and sick of being used. Tommy, Cal and Kurt are Millennials, they’ve come from nowhere, but with their monied families behind them they’re ready to remake fashion. They represent the new sincere, the anti-irony. Both generations are searching for a way out, an alternative to their messed-up reality. Pip Adam’s new novel walks the streets of Auckland city now, examining the fashion scene, intergenerational tension and modern life with an unflinching eye. From the the wreckage and waste of the 21st century, new animals must emerge.” (Catalogue)

Baby / Jochems, Annaleese
“Cynthia is twenty-one, bored and desperately waiting for something big to happen when her bootcamp instructor, the striking Anahera, suggests they run away together. With stolen money and a dog in tow they buy ‘Baby’, an old boat docked in the Bay of Islands, where Cynthia dreams they will live in a state of love. But there’s an intruder waiting to upset Cynthia’s plans and when a trip to an island utopia goes horribly wrong, a rot sets in on their relationship” — Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Mansfield and me : a graphic memoir / Laing, Sarah
“Katherine Mansfield is a literary giant in New Zealand-but she had to leave the country to become one. She wrote, ‘Oh to be a writer, a real writer.’ And a real writer she was, until she died at age 34 of tuberculosis. The only writer Virginia Woolf was jealous of, Mansfield hung out with the modernists, lost her brother in World War I, dabbled in Alistair Crowley’s druggy occult gatherings and spent her last days in a Fontainebleu commune with Olgivanna, Frank Lloyd Wright’s future wife. Sarah Laing wanted to be a real writer, too. A writer as famous as Katherine Mansfield, but not as tortured. Mansfield and Me charts her journey towards publication and parenthood against Mansfield’s dramatic story. Part memoir, part biography, part fantasy, it examines how our lives connect to those of our personal heroes.” (Catalogue)

The year of falling / Freegard, Janis
“Janis Freegard’s novel is a beguiling urban tale that moves from the hills of Brooklyn, Wellington, to the streets of Iceland via Takaka. Packed with characters who hold the reader to the page, The Year of Falling has the strut and gleam of a fairy tale while not being afraid of the stuff of flesh and blood that makes people act the way they do. A novel to fall into…but beware, you might find it hard to climb out again.” (Catalogue)

 

The chimes / Smaill, Anna
“After the end of a brutal civil war, London is divided, with slums standing next to a walled city of elites. In this alternate London, the past is a mystery, each new day feels the same as the last, and before is considered “blasphemy.” But Simon has a unique gift–the gift of retaining memories–that will lead him to discover a great injustice and take him far beyond the meager life as a member of Lucien’s gang. Before long he will be engaged in an epic struggle for justice, love, and freedom.” (Catalogue)

The shark party / Colson, Janet
“For Carla, February means the pressure of another birthday party for Nathan and his wealthy New York art world friends. She buys him a book about Kurt Schwitters, an artist he is thinking of collecting, but a chance encounter with a man in the bookstore changes everything. Patrick, an environmental filmmaker, challenges her relationship and her artistic ambition. In the wake of their fierce attraction, the unscrupulous world that has seduced Carla begins to unravel and the harder she tries to break free the tighter Nathan’s grip becomes. Art and illusion, possession and freedom are the heady components of Janet Colson’s psychological drama, The Shark Party.” (Catalogue)

The writers’ festival / Johnson, Stephanie
“Wit, compassion and insight combine in this entertaining novel that explores the politics and human comedy behind writers’ festivals and the publishing industry. Writers’ festivals can be hotbeds of literary and romantic intrigue, and the Oceania is up there with the best of them. Rookie director Rae McKay, recently returned from New York, fears she has bitten off more than she can chew. ” (Catalogue)

 

The infinite air / Kidman, Fiona
“A superbly written novel offering an intriguing interpretation of one of the world’s greatest aviators, the glamorous and mysterious Jean Batten. Jean Batten became an international icon in the 1930s. A brave, beautiful woman, she made a number of heroic solo flights across the world. The newspapers couldn’t get enough of her; and yet she suddenly slipped out of view, disappearing to the Caribbean with her mother and dying in obscurity in Majorca, buried in a pauper’s grave. Fiona Kidman’s enthralling novel delves into the life of this enigmatic woman, exploring mysteries and crafting a fascinating exploration of early flying, of mothers and daughters, and of fame and secrecy.” (Catalogue)

New DVDs for August

This month’s new DVDs include some blockbuster Marvel action with the new Avengers movie, acclaimed animation from Wes Anderson, coming of age drama from Tim Winton, savage political satire from Armando Iannucci, and clever silent thrills from husband and wife team John Krasinski & Emily Blunt.

Avengers. Infinity war
“As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality.” (Catalogue)

Isle of dogs
“When all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast Trash Island, 12-year-old Atari Kobayashi embarks on an epic journey in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots.” (Catalogue)

Mum. Series one & series two
Mum is a family comedy seen through the eyes of Cathy, a mother in her late fifties who finds herself at a milestone in life after the death of her husband. In series one, over the course of one year, starting with the funeral in January and ending on New Year’s Eve, Cathy sees her family pull around her and friendships deepen as hope glimmers on the horizon. In series two, from Cathy’s birthday to Fireworks night, we follow a year of her life as she moves closer and closer to Michael.” (Catalogue)

Occupied. Series 2.
“Six months after the first season concluded, the Russian occupation still holds Norway in a firm grip. Set in the near future, Norway is occupied by Russia on behalf of the European Union, due to the fact that the newly elected environmentally-friendly Norwegian government has stopped the all important oil and gas production in the North Sea…” (Catalogue)

Breath.
“Set in mid-70s coastal Australia. Two teenage boys, hungry for discovery, form an unlikely friendship with a mysterious older adventurer who pushes them to take risks that will have a lasting and profound impact on their lives.” (Catalogue)

A quiet place
“A family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threaten their survival.” (Catalogue)

The death of Stalin.
“When the tyrannical ruler Stalin dies, his hapless inner circle scrambles to come up with the next evolution of the revolution, but it’s clear everyone is really out for themselves. Proof that comedy, like politics, is all in the execution.” (Catalogue)

Love, Simon
“Everyone deserves a great love story, but for seventeen year old Simon Spier, it’s a little more complicated. He hasn’t told his family or friends that he’s gay, and he doesn’t know the identity of the anonymous classmate that he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life changing.” (Catalogue)

The endless
“This mind-bending thriller follows two brothers who receive a cryptic video message inspiring them to revisit the UFO death cult they escaped a decade earlier. Hoping to find the closure that they couldn’t as young men, they’re forced to reconsider the cult’s beliefs when confronted with unexplainable phenomena surrounding the camp. As the members prepare for the coming of a mysterious event, the brothers race to unravel the seemingly impossible truth before their lives become permanently entangled with the cult.” (Catalogue)

Box-set Bonanza: New CDs

We have an extensive box-set-CD’s collection and they keep coming! Check out some of these newly catalogued box-sets, including the Robert Plant’s 10 discs-set, and the 13 CDs-set by Ben Folds. They cost merely a dollar. Reserve them now or come in to check our big display.

Robert Plant – Nine lives
“Legendary vocalist Robert Plant’s extraordinary post-Led Zepplin career is celebrated in an inspired 10-Disc box encompassing his nine solo albums – expanded and remastered – plus a DVD with a one hour documentary.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Public Image Ltd – The Public Image is rotten (Songs from the heart)
“To celebrate their 40th Anniversary, John Lydon’s Public Image Ltd (PiL) are pleased to announce The Public Image is Rotten (Songs from the Heart) Box Set will be released on 20th July 2018, coming in the form of a staggering 5CD/2DVD, 6LP and Digital. The box set will feature the PiL Singles Collection (1978-2015), B-sides, Rarities and Radio Sessions, 12” Mixes, Unreleased Mixes and Tracks and a Live concert from New York Ritz in July 1989.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Ben Folds – Brick : the songs of Ben Folds 1994-2012
Brick – The Songs of Ben Folds, 1994-2012 features 13 CDs housed in a unique brick box set. This collection of 192 tracks spans the career to date of one of the most adventurous and exciting songwriters and performers of his generation, who has not only worked with a diverse range of artists including William Shatner, Sara Bareilles and Regina Spektor, but authors Nick Hornby and Neil Gaiman.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Bruce Springsteen – The album collection. Vol. 2, 1987-1996
“Cardboard sleeve box set release from Bruce Springsteen contains five albums released from “Tunnel of Love” (1987) through “The Ghost of Tom Joad” (1995) as well as two EP works “Chimes Of Freedom” & “Blood Brothers.” All albums are remastered for this release by Bob Ludwig and Toby Scott. Comes with a deluxe booklet. Each mini LP faithfully replicates its original vinyl design. Comes with lyrics and a description.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Flaming Lips – Seeing the unseeable : the complete studio recordings of The Flaming Lips 1986-1990
“Limited six CD set. Seeing The Unseeable: The Complete Studio Recordings Of The Flaming Lips 1986-1990 brings all four studio albums that the band released on Restless Records between 1984 and 1990. This set is also packed with rare recordings originally released as b-sides, flexi discs, and on various compilations.” (adapted from realgroovy.co.nz)

Def Leppard – CD collection volume 1
“Def Leppard brings a box set with seven discs total, focusing on their recordings from the 1970’s to the 1980’s. Features SHM-CD format, except for Disc 7. Disc 1-4 are the original albums (“On Through the Night” to “Hysteria”). Disc 5 features their concert in 1983 at LA Forum. Disc 6 is a compilation with 10 rare tracks compiled by Joe Elliott. Disc 7 (standard CD format) is their commemorative debut EP (1979), becoming as CD format for the first time.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Rolling Stones – No security : San Jose ’99
“DVD-Video + 2CD. TRACKLISTING for 2CD+DVD: 1. Jumpin’ Jack Flash 2. Bitch 3. You Got Me Rocking 4. Respectable 5. Honky Tonk Woman 6. I Got the Blues 7. Saint of Me 8. Some Girls 9. Paint It Black 10. You Got the Silver 11. Before They Make Me Run 12. Out of Control 13. Route 66 14. Get Off of My Cloud 15. Midnight Rambler 16. Tumbling Dice 17. It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It) 18. Start Me Up 19. Brown Sugar 20. Sympathy for the Devil” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Grateful Dead – Anthem of the sun
“The CD includes two versions of the original album – one fully remastered from the original 1968 mix, and the other remastered from the more well-known 1971 mix. The set also includes a bonus disc with a previously unreleased complete live show recorded on October 22, 1967 at Winterland in San Francisco, this is the first known recording of the Grateful Dead with Mickey Hart, who joined the band in September 1967.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Fab gear : the British beat explosion and its aftershocks 1963-1967
“BRITISH BEAT was the term adopted to describe the exciting new sounds out of Liverpool and other cities in the wake of The Beatles’ explosion onto the world stage in 1963/64..Named after the slang term forever associated with The Beatles, this mammoth 6-CD box set offers around 180 tracks in chronological order from the mid-1960s, many of which are new to CD and some of which are previously unissued.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Spotlight on new classical CDs

This week we bring together some 21st century works and a couple of Baroque masters.

Circles: Piano Concertos, Bach, Glass. Performed by Simone Dinnerstein and A Far Cry.
A Far Cry is a Boston-based string orchestra that performs without a conductor; no mean feat! Together with pianist Simone Dinnerstein they perform two pieces composed 280 years apart, the Glass concerto, composed in 2017 for Dinnerstein, featuring here in its world premiere recording. The Bach concerto (BWV 1058) is a transcription (by the composer) of the violin concerto in A minor (BWV 1041).

The Händel Album. Performed by Artaserse and Philippe Jaroussky.
“This album, which focuses on arias from Handel’s more rarely-performed operas, is the first that Philippe Jaroussky has devoted entirely to the composer … Jaroussky brings his impeccable Handelian credentials to an entire album devoted to arias by the composer, who produced thirty-five operas for the London stage between 1711 and 1741… Jaroussky’s new album puts the emphasis on operas we are less likely to hear in the theatre or concert hall: Amadigi di Gaula; Arianna in Creta; Flavio, re di Longobardi; Giustino; Imeneo; Radamisto (represented by no fewer than four arias); Riccardo primo, re d’Inghilterra; Siroe, re di Persia and Tolomeo, re di Egitto” (Catalogue).

Doctor Atomic, John Adams. Performed by Gerald Finley and other soloists with the BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Adams.
“In this first recording of John Adams’s 2005 opera, Doctor Atomic, the composer leads the BBC Singers and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, with a cast led by Gerald Finley, who originated the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Longtime Adams collaborator Peter Sellars created the libretto, drawing from original sources to explore the final hours leading up to the first atomic bomb explosion at the Alamagordo test site in New Mexico in July 1945. ‘A magnificent accomplishment that easily takes its place alongside the other Adams-Sellars triumphs,’ exclaims the Los Angeles Times. ‘It contains music of unearthly splendor.'” (amazon.com).

New Vinyl additions to our unique collection

Check out some of these newly catalogued vinyl in our AV collection, including the fantastic new album by Jon Toogood’s The Adults and James Brown’s Live at the Apollo which captured his legendary performance. Come in and check the new and bigger displays for our unique vinyl collection. It keeps getting better!

Adults – Haja
“After releasing an album with Shihad in 2014, Jon began to search for ideas for the second chapter in the critically acclaimed Adults journey, eventually gathering inspiration from his wedding in Khartoum, Sudan and the traditional music, Aghani-Al-Banat, performed as part of the ceremony. Aghani-Al-Banat literally translates to ‘girls music’ and is one of the only aspects of Sudanese music that deals exclusively with women, their lives and their issues. After completing a recording session in Khartoum with an all-female group of musicians, Jon bought the recordings home to begin structuring an album around them, inviting co-producer Devin Abrams (Pacific Heights/Shapeshif­ter) to help shape the sound of what would become HAJA.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Kanye West – Ye
Ye is the second of five seven-track albums produced by West in what have been referred to as the “Wyoming Sessions”. West explained the album title, which is a diminutive of his own name commonly used in his songs, by stating: “I believe “ye” is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible it means “you”. So, I’m you, I’m us, it’s us. It went from Kanye, which means “the only one,” to just Ye.– just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything. The album is more of a reflection of who we are.” (adapted from realgroovy.co.nz)

B-52’s – The B-52’s
The B-52’s is the debut album by the Athens, Georgia based new wave band The B-52’s. The album cover was designed by Tony Wright. Produced by Chris Blackwell, The B-52’s peaked at #59 on the Billboard 200, and ‘Rock Lobster’ reached #56 on the Hot 100. The jerky, angular Funk was danceable. It’s all great fun.” (adapted from realgroovy.co.nz)

James Brown – Live at the Apollo
“Vinyl pressing of Live at the Apollo by James Brown and the Famous Flames, recorded at the Apollo Theater in Harlem on the night of October 24, 1962 at Brown’s own expense and released in 1963. Live at the Apollo was an amazingly rapid seller. It spent 66 weeks on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, peaking at #2. Many record stores, especially in the southeast U. S., found themselves unable to keep up with the demand for the product, eventually ordering several cases at a time.” (adapted from realgroovy.co.nz)

Dirty Projectors – Lamp lit prose
“Here David Longstreth’s band returns with a new album that is the yang to the yin of the 2017 effort. The songs signal a page turned for Longstreth: hope instead of heartbreak, a restorative balance. Guitars have returned to the Dirty Projectors’ world, intricate and gorgeous vocal harmony too.” (adapted from realgroovy.co.nz)

Spring beauty buzz – latest fashion and beauty books

This month we have a bumper crop of beauty books, just in time for the new season! Learn how to make your own products at home and get tips on how to achieve timeless elegance and beauty the French way. Our latest fashion selections include some sensational prints from Orla Kiely and a look at the effect of fashion on nature. All on the New Books shelves now!

Syndetics book coverA life in pattern / Orla Kiely.
“Orla Kiely has opened her archives to explore a life dedicated to print. From her earliest and most iconic pattern, Stem, to the evolution of her print design encompassing the worlds of fashion, homewares and beyond, Orla shares the full range of patterns and designs that she has produced since establishing her brand in 1995. This is a celebration of Orla’s entire body of work — of colour, of print and of a handbag loved by women all over the world.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Fashion Show : History, Theory and Practice
“Take up your all-access pass to one of the most dynamic areas of the international fashion industry. Lavishly illustrated and packed with industry insights, The Fashion Show is the must-have guide to showing off a collection. Future fashion designers, fashion marketers, fashion managers, fashion PRs – and creative practitioners looking to learn more about this fascinating part of the industry, you are cordially invited to join Gill Stark in the front row of The Fashion Show.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFresh & pure : organically crafted beauty balms & cleansers / Jules Aron.
“Tired of wondering exactly what went into her beauty products, holistic health and wellness coach Jules Aron decided to make her own. In Fresh & Pure, Aron explains how to use fruit, flowers, herbs, and minerals to craft healthy beauty products that promote radiant skin, strong nails, and shiny hair. With this helpful guide, readers will be able to pamper themselves from head to toe with aromatic, forward-thinking potions like charcoal soap, strawberry rose facial mist, pineapple sunflower body scrub, and aloe and avocado hair conditioner.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFashioned from nature / edited by Edwina Ehrman.
“Fashion has always sought to celebrate nature – in spite of this reverence for the natural world, fashion seems destined to harm it. With essays spanning the 17th century to the present day, Fashioned from Nature examines our dependence on the natural world. Considering the effects of land clearance, insecticides and water consumption not to mention washing after every wear at 140F and the answer may not be as clear cut as it first appears. No fashion choice will ever be without impact, but this book will stimulate debate and empower readers to question their role as consumers.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhole beauty : daily rituals and natural recipes for lifelong beauty and wellness / Shiva Rose ; photographs by Ngoc Minh Ngo.
Whole Beauty is a practical, inspiring, stunningly beautiful guide to following a whole beauty practice at home. Here is the recipe for Rose’s iconic rose hip facial serum, as well as 40 other recipes for masks and exfoliants, hair-care products and detoxes, and even DIY deodorant and toothpaste. She explains Ayurvedic practices, such as dry brushing and oil pulling, and home-cleansing rituals, such as smudging with burning sage; shares a dozen tonics, including Celestial Nog and Summer Lover; and offers an entire chapter on the use of essential oils, both on the body and in the home.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAgeless beauty : the secrets to French elegance / Clémence von Mueffling with Karen Moline.
“Discover the best-kept beauty secrets from three generations of editors and experts at Vogue Paris. Clémence Von Mueffling draws on her family’s wisdom and passion to show how you can achieve effortless French beauty at any age. Filled with tips, intimate anecdotes and expert interviews, Ageless Beauty is sure to become every woman’s definitive beauty guide.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAgeless beauty the French way : secrets from three generations of French beauty editors / Clémence von Mueffling with Karen Moline.
“From three generations of French beauty experts, Ageless Beauty the French Way is the ultimate book of tips, products, practices and French beauty secrets in ten categories such as Hair, Skin, Makeup, Sleep, and Perfume. Weaving wisdom from all three women with insiders tips from top beauty experts, Clémence shares both timeless and age-specific information in three categories– Jeunesse (15-35), Plénitude (35-55), and Maturité (55+)–creating a wonderful guide that any woman can cherish throughout her life, and pass down to her daughter through the years.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

A measure of darkness – new Mysteries

“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

This month’s selection of new mystery novels features several detectives with very different investigating techniques — from a septuagenarian version of classic hard-boiled detective Philip Marlowe (from author Lawrence Osborne), to a another remote Shetland investigation for Ann Cleeve’s much loved detective DI Jimmy Perez. Also included is the internationally critically acclaimed novel Stick together — by Sophie Hénaff —  about corruption at the very highest levels of the Parisian police force and the oddball team of misfits that set out to clean this mess up. All this makes for what we feel is a very satisfying alternative to the more usual police procedural mystery! Enjoy.

Syndetics book coverOnly to sleep : a Philip Marlowe novel / Lawrence Osborne.
“The year is 1988. The place, Baja California. And Philip Marlowe – now in his seventy-second year – is living out his retirement in the terrace bar of the La Fonda hotel. Sipping margaritas, playing cards, his silver-tipped cane at the ready. When in saunter two men dressed like undertakers, with a case that has his name written all over it. For Marlowe, this is his last roll of the dice, his swan song. His mission is to investigate the death of Donald Zinn – supposedly drowned off his yacht, and leaving behind a much younger and now very rich wife. But is Zinn actually alive? Are the pair living off the spoils?” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverWild fire / Ann Cleeves.
“Welcoming. Wild. Remote. Drawn in by the reputation of the islands, an English family move to the area, eager to give their autistic son a better life. But when a young nanny’s body is found hanging in the barn of their home, rumours of her affair with the husband begin to spread like wild fire. With suspicion raining down on the family, DI Jimmy Perez is called in to investigate, knowing that it will mean the return to the islands of his on-off lover and boss Willow Reeves, who will run the case. Perez is facing the most disturbing investigation of his career. Is he ready for what is to come?” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverStick together / Sophie Hénaff ; translated from the French by Sam Gordon.
“After their successful solving of three cold cases and exposing corruption at the very highest level of the Paris police force, Anne Capestan’s squad of misfits and no-hopers should be in a celebratory mood. However, now despised by their colleagues at 36 quai des Orfèvres and worried for their future, morale has never been lower among the members of the Awkward Squad. Capestan does her best to motivate her troops, but even she cannot maintain a cheerful façade when she has to investigate the murder of Commissaire Serge Rufus, the father of her ex-husband. Worse, it soon appears that his murder is linked to two other victims, both of whom were warned by the killer before they struck…” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverBetty Church and the Suffolk vampire / M.R.C. Kasasian.
“Inspector Betty Church — one of the few female officers on the force — has arrived from London to fill a vacancy at Sackwater police station. But Betty isn’t new here — this is the place she grew up.  Time ticks slowly in Sackwater, and crime is of a decidedly lighter shade. Having solved the case of the missing buttons, Betty is called to the train station to investigate a missing bench. But though there’s no bench, there is a body. A smartly dressed man, murdered in broad daylight, with two distinctive puncture wounds in his throat…” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverToucan keep a secret / Donna Andrews.
“Meg Langslow is at Trinity Episcopal locking up after an event and checking on the toucan Meg’s friend Reverend Robyn Smith is fostering in her office. After hearing a hammering in the columbarium, Meg finds an elderly parishioner lying dead on the floor of the crypt. Several niches have been chiseled open; several urns knocked out; and amid the spilled ashes is a gold ring with a huge red stone. Toucan Keep a Secret is the latest book in author Donna Andrews’ hilarious Mag Langslow mystery series.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverAunt Dimity and the King’s Ransom / Nancy Atherton.Aunt Dimity and the King’s Ransom
“On a dull and dreary October day, Lori Shepherd and her husband Bill set off for the historic town of Rye, on the southeast coast of England, for a quiet weekend together without the kids. Bill must first pay a visit to a reclusive client–but after Lori drops him off, a powerful storm drives her off course and leaves her stranded in an ancient, rambling inn called The King’s Ransom. When Lori is spooked by ghostly noises in the night, Aunt Dimity reminds her rather tartly that not all ghosts intend to harm the living.”  (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverAn unfinished murder / Ann Granger.
“As young children, Josh Browning and his sister, Dilys, stumbled across a dead body while playing on the outskirts of their Cotswold village. Terrified by what they’d seen, neither of them told a soul. Now, twenty years later, Josh finds the dead woman’s charm bracelet among his sister’s possessions. Who better to tell than his trusted friend, the man he gardens for, retired Superintendent Alan Markby? As Markby listens to Josh’s confession, alarm bells start to ring. The dates and details tie in with a missing person case that was never solved.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverA measure of darkness : a novel / Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman.
“Former star basketball player Clay Edison is busy. He’s solved a decades-old crime and redeemed an innocent man, earning himself a suspension in the process. Things are getting serious with his girlfriend. Plus his brother’s fresh out of prison, bringing with him a whole new set of complications. Then the phone rings in the dead of night. A wild party in a gentrifying East Bay neighborhood. A heated argument that spills into the street. Gunshots. Chaos. For Clay and his fellow coroners, it’s the start of a long night and the first of many to come. The victims keep piling up. What begins as a community tragedy soon becomes lurid fodder for social media.”  (Adapted from Syndetics)

Continue reading “A measure of darkness – new Mysteries”

Comfortable and eco-friendly homes

Build or style your home using ideas, tips and information from these new books. Read about trends in residential design (including modular and environmentally minded housing), smart homes, styling thrifty chic interiors, building with recycled materials and more. Have a browse and enjoy!

Movable architecture
“Recycling materials to build with is becoming increasingly acceptable and encouraged as the world moves towards greener architecture. This book features creative container architecture and also focuses on its advantages from a green perspective. Inspiration for architects and designers alike, this book promotes sustainable housing in an informative and accessible format.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Thrifty chic : interior style on a shoestring / Bauwens, Liz
“Learn how to reuse, recycle, restyle, restore, and revamp your old furnishings to create a stylish and unique home, without spending a fortune! Whether you are on a tight budget, or simply want to give your existing home a new look, Thrifty Chic provides a treasure trove of ideas at your fingertips.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Prefab housing and the future of building : product to process / Aitchison, Mathew
“As we stand on the cusp of a fundamental restructuring of the housing and building industries, this book provides a timely overview of prefabricated and modular housing. The current international housing shortages and affordability crises have given a new urgency to the need to transform building construction in the 21st century. Richly illustrated and drawing on historical examples and contemporary design studies, the book takes the reader through the history, theory and design of the prefab, leading up to a discussion of contemporary problems and opportunities.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

New eco homes / Gutiérrez, Manel Couto
“Discover the latest in eco-friendly home architecture and design. New Eco Homes features twenty-two sustainable homes from around the globe that showcase the newest innovations in environmentally minded home design.   Inside you’ll find the latest design strategies such as various ways to use natural light and ventilation to reduce energy consumption, new methods to integrate home construction into the surrounding landscape, and the numerous recycled and green construction materials that are available today.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Going green with vertical landscapes
“In the 21st century the architects and designers of urban spaces face great challenges to integrate nature in order to transform cement forests into forest cities . Perhaps the best solution is to go green with vertical landscapes. More than just a decorative trend, this is a means of bringing life and greenery into metropolitan areas by using different framing systems to create compositions of plant life and adapt them to diverse settings, including offices, factories, parking lots, hotels, and installations within larger parks. ” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Creating the vintage look : 35 ways to upcycle for a stylish home / Laycock, Ellie
“Upcycling is about taking something old, vintage, treasured or possibly even broken, and giving it a new lease on life by turning it into something new. Its a thrifty way of decorating and enhancing your home that avoids waste, but is also stylish.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

 

Tour the far reaches of space – new Science Fiction

From a galaxy far, far away comes our most recent selection of  scintillating  new Science Fiction titles — featuring some of the genre’s most popular writers. Included in this month’s selections are new works by Benedict Jacka and Mercedes Lackey; and highly recommended by us is the reissue of Binti by Nnedi Okorafor — which won the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novella (and would be a top choice if you are looking for a Star Wars  read to curl up with in the colder weather).  The icing on the cake this month is a very welcome reissue of one of our favourite Science Fiction books by one of our favourite Science fiction writers — the masterwork that is “The Lathe of Heaven”, by Ursula K Le Guin.  Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverThe lathe of heaven : a novel / Ursula K. Le Guin.The Lathe of Heaven
“In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George’s dreams for his own purposes.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverAdrift / Rob Boffard.
“In the far reaches of space, a tour group embarks on what will be the trip of a lifetime – in more ways than one . . .
For one small group, a tour of the nearby Horsehead Nebula is meant to be a short but stunning highlight in the trip of a lifetime. But when a mysterious ship destroys Sigma Station and everyone on it, suddenly their tourist shuttle is stranded. They have no weapons. No food. No water. No one back home knows they’re alive. And the mysterious ship is hunting them.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverRecord of a spaceborn few / Becky Chambers.
“Hundreds of years ago, the last humans on Earth boarded the Exodus Fleet in search of a new home among the stars. After centuries spent wandering empty space, their descendants were eventually accepted by the well-established species that govern the Milky Way. But that was long ago. Today, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, the birthplace of many, yet a place few outsiders have ever visited. ” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKill the farm boy / Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson.Kill the Farm Boy: The Tales of Pell
“In an irreverent new series in the tradition of Monty Python, the bestselling authors of the Iron Druid Chronicles and Star Wars: Phasma reinvent fantasy, fairy tales, and floridly written feast scenes. Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, a hero, the Chosen One, was born . . . and so begins every fairy tale ever told. This is not that fairy tale. There is a Chosen One, but he is unlike any One who has ever been Chosen. And there is a faraway kingdom, but you have never been to a magical world quite like the land of Pell.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverArabella the Traitor of Mars
“Hail the conquering heroes! The tyrant, Napoleon, has been defeated with Arabella and the crew of the Diana leading the final charge. But, victory has come at a tremendous cost. Britain’s savior, Lord Nelson, has not survived the final battle and the good people of the Diana must now return to London as both heroes and pallbearers. At last husband and wife, Arabella and Captain Singh seem to have earned the attention of great men, ones who have new uses in mind for the Mars Company captain and his young wife. Both Company and Crown have decided that it is time to bring Mars into the folds of Empire, and they think Singh is the perfect man to do it.”  (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverMarked / Benedict Jacka.Marked
“Alex Verus is tracking down dangerous magical items unleashed into the world by Dark Mages – however, when the Light Council decide they need his help in negotiating with the perpetrators, Alex must use all his cunning and magic to strike a deal. The ninth novel in the urban fantasy series which began with Fated – the Alex Verus novels are magic-filled fan favourites, perfect for readers of Jim Butcher and Ben Aaronovitch.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverAvalanche / written by Mercedes Lackey with Cody Martin, Dennis Lee & Veronica Giguere ; edited by Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon.
“Ultima Thule has been destroyed — but somehow the Thulians mounted an even bigger force to destroy Metis. The Metisians that escaped the carnage and destruction of their secret city now must somehow find somewhere safe to go — without getting snapped up by various world governments. And now the Thulians have changed their tactics to blitz guerilla warfare.”  (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverBinti / Nnedi Okorafor.
Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs. Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.”  (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverCondomnauts
“In the 24th century, Josue Valdes’ rise from the slums Rubble City, Cuba to one of the galaxy’s most accomplished explorers was nothing short of meteoric. Once an orphan who spent his childhood on the street racing cockroaches for cash, Josue found his true-calling: a sexual ambassador for humanity and the Nu Barsa colony. Following the success of Super Extra Grande and A Planet for Rent, the wildly inventive and sexually progressive Condomnauts is a raucous and uproarious adventure that would make even Barbarella blush.”  (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverAlliancesThrawn: Alliances (Star Wars)
“‘I have sensed a disturbance in the Force.’ Ominous words under any circumstances, but all the more so when uttered by Emperor Palpatine. On Batuu, at the edges of the Unknown Regions, a threat to the Empire is taking root — its existence little more than a glimmer, its consequences as yet unknowable. But it is troubling enough to the Imperial leader to warrant investigation by his most powerful agents: ruthless enforcer Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn.”  (Adapted from Syndetics)

Who’s reading what? Our most popular Fiction

The avid readers of Wellington have been spending these long winter nights, chilly commutes, and chance sunny spells devouring the latest offerings of the fiction world.  What have been the most favourite titles this past season? Interest in Pip Adam’s new award winning title means The New Animals is in a favoured position amongst readers. Adam has received high praise for writing technique and her faceted nuanced characters that live beyond accepted palatable current Auckland stereotypes.

There is a decent helping of gritty mystery writing from the likes of Jo Nesbø and Donna Leon. Jo Nesbø’s Macbeth is one in the Hogarth Shakespeare series preceded by Edward St. Aubyn’s treatment of King Lear in Dunbar. North American President turned author Bill Clinton writing with James Patterson has also captured the capital’s attention, as have writing luminaries Ali Smith and Michael Ondaatje.  Below are the top 10 titles by issues in August.

1. Macbeth / Nesbø, Jo
“When a drug bust turns into a bloodbath it’s up to Inspector Macbeth and his team to clean up the mess. He’s also an ex-drug addict with a troubled past.He’s rewarded for his success. Power. Money. Respect. They’re all within reach.But a man like him won’t get to the top. Plagued by hallucinations and paranoia, Macbeth starts to unravel. He’s convinced he won’t get what is rightfully his. Unless he kills for it.” (Catalogue)

2. The woman in the window / Finn, A. J
“It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.
Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours.
But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?” (Catalogue)

3. The temptation of forgiveness / Leon, Donna
“As the twenty-seventh novel unfolds in Donna Leon’s exquisite chronicle of Venetian life in all its blissful and sordid aspects, Brunetti pursues several false and contradictory leads while growing ever more impressed by the intuition of his fellow Commissario, Claudia Griffoni, and by the endless resourcefulness and craftiness of Signorina Elettra, Patta’s secretary and gate-keeper. Exasperated by the petty bureaucracy that constantly bedevils him and threatens to expose Signorina Elettra, Brunetti is steadied by the embrace of his own family and by his passion for the classics.” (Catalogue

4. The new animals / Adam, Pip
Carla, Sharon and Duey have worked in fashion for longer than they care to remember — for them, there’s nothing new under the sun. They’re Generation X: tired, cynical and sick of being used. Tommy, Cal and Kurt are Millenials, they’ve come from nowhere, but with their monied families behind them they’re ready to remake fashion. They represent the new sincere, the anti-irony. Both generations are searching for a way out, an alternative to their messed-up reality. Pip Adam’s new novel walks the streets of Auckland city now, examining the fashion scene, intergenerational tension and modern life with an unflinching eye. From the the wreckage and waste of the 21st century, new animals must emerge.” (Catalogue)

5. The punishment she deserves / George, Elizabeth
“No. 1 New York Times best-selling George returns with the next mystery featuring DI Thomas Lynley and his partner DS Barbara Havers, who’s in the lead here. Approached by a Member of Parliament with a request to investigate the supposed suicide of a constituent’s son, New Scotland Yard’s assistant commissioner sees an opportunity to stick Havers with an impossible case and thence get rid of her. (He’s not a fan.) George’s last title was in 2015, so folks will be clamoring. Award-winning author Elizabeth George delivers another masterpiece of suspense in her Inspector Lynley series.” (Catalogue)

6. Dear Mrs. Bird : a novel / Pearce, A. J.
“London, 1940. Emmeline Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent suddenly seem achievable. But the job turns out to be working as a typist for the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. The irrepressible Emmy keeps writing letters in this hilarious and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times.” (Catalogue)

7. The President is missing / Clinton, Bill
“The President is Missing. The world is in shock. But the reason he”s missing is much worse than anyone can imagine. With details only a President could know, and the kind of suspense only James Patterson can deliver.” (Catalogue)

8. An unsuitable match / Trollope, Joanna
“Rose Woodrowe is getting married to Tyler Masson – a wonderful, sensitive man who is head-over-heels in love with her. The only problem? This isn’t the first time for either of them, and their five grown-up children have strong opinions on the matter… Who to listen to? Who to please? Rose and Tyler are determined to get it right this time, but in trying to make everyone happy, can they ever be happy themselves?” (Catalogue

9. Winter / Smith, Ali
“Following Autumn, the first of four novels named for the seasons and drawing on their moods, Smith takes an icy look at the era of Brexit and fake news, examining themes of history and memory and celebrating our will to survive. Winter. It makes things visible. Ali Smith’s shapeshifting Winter casts a warm, wise, merry and uncompromising eye over a post-truth era in a story rooted in history and memory and with a taproot deep in the evergreens, art and love.” (Catalogue)

10. Warlight / Ondaatje, Michael
“In a narrative as mysterious as memory itself – at once both shadowed and luminous – Warlight is a vivid, thrilling novel of violence and love, intrigue and desire. It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz and years of war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined to protect, and educate… But are they really what and who they claim to be? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand in that time, and it is this journey – through reality, recollection, and imagination – that is told in this magnificent novel.” (Catalogue)