Home, garden and D.I.Y.

This month’s Home Garden and DIY blog features books for adding  popular plants such as Fiddle Leaf Figs and decorative stands to your indoor space;  creating your own yogurt and food wrap;  and planting luscious edible garden.

Stash knitting : 25 quick and easy projects to make / Osmond, Emma
“Make the most of that stash of yarn that so many of us have lurking in a cupboard or drawer with this exciting collection of patterns. Each fun project uses between 2 and 4 balls of yarn to create something delightful for your home, to give as a gift or to enjoy yourself. Suitable for different levels of knitting expertise, there’s something to suit every knitter and every stash.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Ultimate storage solutions
“Tackle your biggest storage problems with our all-new organization book, The Family Handyman Ultimate Storage Solutions. Inside you’ll discover 450+ clever projects & tips that will help you manage the mess in one weekend or less. Designed for every level of do-it-yourselfer, we’ve included a 54-page DIY skills tutorial that shows you how to correctly use tools and complete project tasks. And a special section on Hacks and Shortcuts” (adapted from Catalogue)

The generous gardener : private paradises shared / Donald, Caroline
“What do the celebrated actors, the bestselling novelist, the Nepalese Sherpa and the famous model have in common? Like millions of us, they love their gardens–and with good reason, too. Gardening is an art form through which we can all express ourselves. In the words of that grande dame of gardeners Penelope Hobhouse, “Gardening makes people happy.” And, as gardening editor of The Sunday Times, Caroline Donald has been allowed beyond the gate of many a private paradise to share this passion.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Living decor : plants, potting and DIY projects / Colletti, Maria
Living Decor shows you how to integrate greenery to your space …a manual to introducing the life and beauty of plants into your home in creative ways. This guide to houseplants guides you through modern trends in filling your space with plants, such as display with macramé , concrete planters, new plant stands for popular botanicals like Fiddle Leaf Figs and Monstera, and also shows what a beautiful, unique and even artistic experience living with plants can be. (adapted from Catalogue)

The DIY style finder / Wood, KariAnne
“Home decor expert KariAnne Wood takes you on a tour of five different home representing five different design styles, all with the goal of helping you create a style that is uniquely your own. Get the confidence you need to create a look you’ll love. From the entryway to the living room to the kitchen to outdoor spaces, you’ll find tips and decorating inspiration for each of these different styles–to encourage you to create a home that’s amazingly, wonderfully, uniquely YOU.” (adapted from Catalogue)

A garden can be anywhere : creating bountiful and beautiful edible gardens / Kranz, Lauri
“Edible Gardens LA founder Lauri Kranz shares her secrets for planning, planting, growing, and maintaining luscious edible gardens, no matter the setting or size of the plot. Through gorgeous gardens created for her well-known clientele, Lauri shares her essential methods for growing abundant organic food. This practical guide is built around Lauri’s philosophy that nourishment and beauty are not separate goals.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The Kew gardener’s guide to growing herbs : the art of science to grow your own herbs / Farrell, Holly
The Kew Gardener’s Guide to Growing Herbs is an exquisite mix of practical and giftable gardening reference for beginners and enthusiasts who want to grow herbs beautifully. Combines practical advice, 12 easy to follow projects and choice illustrations from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew archive.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Homemade : 80+ household essentials to inspire your everyday / Ozich, Eleanor
“In Homemade, bestselling cookbook author Eleanor Ozich shares clever, eco-conscious recipes for daily household goods – all incredibly easy to make at home.You’ll learn to create your own homespun essentials, such as mayonnaise, crackers, yoghurt, bread, muesli bars, hummus, cheese, and more.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Make a home to love : how to bring joy, order and beauty into your home the Scandinavian way / McNamara, Anna-Carin
Make a Home to Love takes you through ten simple steps that will help you to review your home and turn it into a place you can love and be proud of for years to come. Written by Swedish-born interior designer Anna-Carin McNamara, the book offers practical, accessible advice on how to turn any home into a stylish Scandinavian sanctuary.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Outer order inner calm : declutter & organize to make more room for happiness / Rubin, Gretchen
“With 150 concrete clutter-clearing ideas, insights, strategies, and sometimes surprising tips, Gretchen tackles the key challenges of creating outer order by explaining how to ‘make choices’, ‘create order’, ‘know yourself’, ‘cultivate useful habits’ and, of course, how to ‘add beauty’. At home, at work, and in life, when we get our possessions under control, we can create a more serene environment.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Saving our health one meal at a time

This month’s selection of cook books feature nutritional advice on brain health, how to balance your micro-biome for gut health, and how to replace ‘dieting and deprivation with nutrition and nourishment’. Also featured are books on the secrets of saving money in the kitchen by eating real food (even on a budget), plus frugal eating by using all the scraps to make really great delicious recipes. And best of all learn about vegan gardening and growing techniques for self-suffiency and a smaller carbon foot print. And much more.


Root & Leaf : big, bold vegetarian food / Harris, Rich
“In this exciting book vegetables take centre stage as Rich Harris explores the many ways of using them, including pickling, smoking and fermenting, alongside the more traditional roasting and braising. Rich’s use of vegetables focuses on flavour, bringing out the natural tastes of vegetables and playing with complementary textures and qualities… Rich’s recipes show you how to celebrate vegetables in their delicious and varied glory.” (Catalogue)

Fear-Free Food : how to ditch dieting and fall back in love with food / Hobbs, Nicola Jane
“Imagine having a peaceful relationship with food. One which leaves you feeling healthy, happy and full of life. No anxiety or guilt. No calorie counting or cutting out food groups. In Fear-Free Food, nutritionist and Intuitive Eating Counsellor Nicola Jane Hobbs shows you how to break free from the toxic messages of diet culture, make peace with food and discover how to truly nourish yourself.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Cooking with Scraps : turn your peels, cores, rinds, and stems into delicious meals / Hard, Lindsay-Jean
“Stop throwing away your food scraps and start enjoying them on your table’ A collection of 80 surprising, creative, delicious recipes for anyone who wants to cook smart, sustainable, and impressive meals out of unused bits of produce, cheese rinds, stale bread, and other oft-discarded foods.” (Catalogue)

The Vegan Cook & Gardener : growing, storing and cooking delicious healthy food all year round / Warren, Piers
“This book shows what fruit and vegetables you can grow at home, how to store any excess to keep you going all year round, and how to prepare your produce with a selection of satisfying and delicious recipes. Discover the fun and huge sense of satisfaction that comes from cooking something you have produced yourself. Learn about vegan gardening, self-sufficiency, year round growing techniques and seasonal recipes, fruits and vegetables, herbs, salads and sprouts, challenging crops, plus lots of vegan resources.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Great Taste : cooking (and eating) from morning to midnight / Kosann, Danielle
“Founders of popular website ‘The New Potato’ mixes food with lifestyle in this trendy, healthy cookbook: funny anecdotes, celebrity run-ins, and a healthy serving of fashion. Sisters Danielle and Laura Kosann have always loved cooking and eating out. Now, their debut cookbook brings together antics and anecdotes with 85 original recipes that anyone can make, as long as they’re hungry and have a kitchen.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Chinese Soul Food : a friendly guide for homemade dumplings, stir-fries, soups, and more / Chou, Hsiao-Ching
Chinese Soul Food draws cooks into the kitchen with recipes that include sizzling potstickers, stir-fries that are unbelievably easy to make, saucy braises, and soups that bring comfort with a sip. These are dishes that feed the belly and speak the universal language of “mmm!” You will find helpful tips and techniques, such as caring for and using a wok and how to cook rice properly, as well as a basic Chinese pantry list that also includes acceptable substitutions.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Better Brain Food : eat to cheat dementia and cognitive decline / Hobbins, Ngaire
“International expert on nutrition for older people, dietician Ngaire Hobbins presents a compelling argument that the food you eat can make a big difference to your quality of life as you age. Combined with delicious recipes from Michelle Crawford that offer optimal nutrition for brain health, Better Brain Food is the lifestyle guide you need as you or those you love grow older.” (Catalogue)

Catherine Saxelby’s Complete Food and Nutrition Companion : the ultimate A-Z guide. / Saxelby, Catherine
“Despite the huge gains in nutritional knowledge, healthy eating has not become easier. In our time-poor society, fewer people regularly cook and eat at home, and many rely on take-away and fast foods. In effect, we are suffering from malnutrition in the midst of plenty, along with many modern lifestyle diseases: obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. With more than 500 entries covering whole foods, processed foods, additives, nutrients, supplements and more, this is the ultimate family reference for good health and nutrition.” (adapted from Catalogue)

A Kitchen Fairytale : healing with food, delicious recipes for everyone / Van der Byl-Knoefel, Iida
“Written by ‘expert patient’ Iida, who has used the principles of plant-based wholefoods with no added sweeteners, fats or oils to regain her own health. This cookbook explicitly follows the approach of the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis and also provides help with other autoimmune conditions. It shows how anyone eating according to those principles can do so simply, sustainably and enjoyably–and inclusively so that family and friends can eat the same way whether they have health issues or not.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The Man Booker International and Translated Fiction!

The Man Booker International Prize recognises material that has been crafted in concert by both an author and translator, and the importance of their relationship in shaping the language and understanding of the story. This year the Man Booker International Prize went to Omani writer Jokha Alharth and translator Marilyn Booth for Celestial Bodies, the first time an Arabic writer has been awarded the 14-year-old prize.

Also on the shortlist: Guzel Yakhina’s Zuleikha, a fictionalized account of the author’s grandmother and her expulsion to Siberia as part of Stalin’s forced de-kulakization program of the 1930s. Conflict and close proximity of your enemies is addressed in Homeland while in Death is Hard Work Khalid Kahlifa looks at the division within a family as a deathbed wish places siblings on a dangerous road.


Full Man Booker International Prize Shortlist

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
The Years by Annie Ernaux, translated by Alison L. Strayer

The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, translated by Anne McClean

The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zerán, translated by Sophie Hughes

The Pine Islands by Marion Poschmann, translated by Jen Calleja


For access to the shortlisted titles (as well as a few bonus works!) simply click on the items below:

Drive your plow over the bones of the dead / Tokarczuk, Olga (print) (eBook)
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead takes place in a remote Polish village, where Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs. Filled with wonderful characters like Oddball, Big Foot, Black Coat, Dizzy and Boros, this subversive, entertaining noir novel offers thought-provoking ideas on our perceptions of madness, injustice and getting away with murder.” (Adapted from the catalogue.)

Overdrive cover The Years / Annie Ernaux (ebook)
The Years is both an intimate memoir “written” by entire generations, and a story of generations telling a very personal story. Like the generation before hers, the narrator eschews the “I” for the “we” (or “they”, or “one”) as if collective life were inextricably intertwined with a private life that in her parents’ generation ceased to exist.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

The shape of the ruins / Vásquez, Juan Gabriel
“When a man is arrested at a museum for attempting to steal the bullet-ridden suit of a murdered Colombian politician, few notice. But soon this thwarted theft takes on greater meaning as it becomes a thread in a widening web of popular fixations with conspiracy theories, assassinations, and historical secrets; and it haunts those who feel that only they know the real truth behind these killings.” (Adapted from the catalogue.)

The pine islands / Poschmann, Marion
“When Gilbert Silvester, a journeyman lecturer on beard fashions in film, awakes one day from a dream that his wife has cheated on him, he flees–immediately, irrationally, inexplicably–for Japan. In Tokyo he discovers the travel writings of the great Japanese poet Basho. Suddenly, from Gilbert’s directionless crisis there emerges a purpose: a pilgrimage in the footsteps of the poet to see the moon rise over the pine islands of Matsushima.” (Adapted from the catalogue.)

Homeland / Aramburu, Fernando
“Miren and Bittori have been best friends all their lives, growing up in the same small town in the north of Spain. With limited interest in politics, the terrorist threat posed by ETA seems to affect them little. When Bittori’s husband starts receiving threatening letters from the violent group, however–demanding money, accusing him of being a police informant–she turns to her friend for help. But Miren’s loyalties are torn: her son Joxe Mari has just been recruited . . .” (Adapted from the catalogue.)

The old slave and the mastiff / Chamoiseau, Patrick
“In the darkness, an old man grapples with the spirits of all those who have gone before him; the knowledge that the past is always with us, and the injustice that can cry out from beyond the grave. From a writer hailed by Milan Kundera as the “heir of Joyce and Kafka,” The Old Slave and the Mastiff portrays the demonic cruelties of the slave trade and its human costs–a wise, loving tribute to the Creole culture of Martinique.” (Adapted from the catalogue.)

Death is hard work / Khalīfah, Khālid (print) (eBook)
“Abdel Latif, an old man, dies peacefully in a hospital bed in Damascus. Before he dies, he tells his youngest son Bolbol that his final wish is to be buried in the family plot in their ancestral village of Anabiya in the Aleppo region. Though Abdel Latif was not the ideal father, Bolbol decides to persuade his older brother Hussein and his sister Fatima to accompany him and their father’s body to Anabiya. But the country is a warzone . . .” (Adapted from the catalogue.)

Zuleikha / I︠A︡khina, Guzelʹ
“Soviet Russia, 1930. Zuleikha, the “pitiful hen,” lives with her brutal husband Murtaza and her mother-in-law. When Murtaza is executed by communist soldiers, she is sent into exile to a remote region on the Angara River in Siberia. Hundreds die of hunger and exhaustion on the journey and over the first difficult winter, yet exile is the making of Zuleikha. As she gets to know her fellow survivors, Zuleikha begins to build a new life far removed from the one she left behind.” (Adapted from the catalogue.)

Politics, economics, ambition: New non-fiction books

From politics, to changing the world as a millennial, our recent books for this month are very diverse.

Books

Ctrl alt delete : how politics and the media crashed our democracy / Baldwin, Tom
“Something has gone badly wrong: people loathe politicians, distrust the press and increasingly fear each other. Interviewing everyone from Tony Blair to Michael Gove, top journalists to Russian bloggers, and tech giant execs to online activists, Tom Baldwin describes a vicious battle for control of the news agenda, at the expense of public trust and the value of truth.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The future of shopping : where everyone is a retailer / Snoeck, Jorg
“Traditional retail is no more. It has been rendered obsolete by developments in economy, demography, and technology in particular. The Internet has taken over the role of retail in its massive possibilities in distribution of products. Anyone can open a store today, from producers attempting to sell their products without any intermediaries to consumers themselves. The Future of Shopping opens up a window into these trends and evolutions, offers insight into their catalysts, and lays out a framework for adapting your brand to the consumer of today and tomorrow.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Ambition : what New Zealanders think and why it matters / Fry, Julie
“Many commentators say New Zealanders lack ambition, and that aspects of the New Zealand character or our comfortable lives limit our achievements. We are said to be too keen on time off, too concerned about everyone fitting in, suspicious of people who try too hard, enthusiastic about humility, afraid of risk and failure, and relatively unmotivated everywhere but on the sports field. And yet Kiwis achieve at the very highest levels, both at home and overseas. This book looks at what ambition means to New Zealanders.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The sisterhood : a love letter to the women who have shaped me / Buchanan, Daisy
“Daisy’s memoir The Sisterhood explores what it’s like to live as a modern woman by examining some examples close to home – her adored and infuriating sisters. In this tender, funny and unflinchingly honest account Daisy examines her relationship with her sisters and what it’s made up of – friendship, insecurity jokes, jealousy and above all, love – while celebrating the ways in which women connect with each other and finding the ways in which we’re all sisters under the skin.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The moment of lift : how empowering women changes the world / Gates, Melinda
“For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission. Her goal, as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, invest in women. In this candid and inspiring book, Gates traces her awakening to the link between women’s empowerment and the health of societies.” (adapted from Catalogue)

eBooks

Overdrive cover Black against Empire, Joshua Bloom (ebook)
Black against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. The authors analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the Party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the Party at its peak of influence.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Don’t Knock the Hustle, Craig S. Watkins (ebook)
“Young adults are coming of age at a time when work is temporary, underpaid, incommensurate with their education, or downright unsatisfying. Despite these challenges, media scholar S. Craig Watkins argues that this moment of precarity is rife with opportunities for innovation, and that young adults are leading the charge in turning that into an inventive and surprisingly sustainable future. As a result, society is expanding its understanding of who we think of as innovators and what qualifies as innovation, while wealth is spreading beyond traditional corridors of powerful tech companies, venture capitalism, and well-endowed universities.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover How to Understand Your Gender, Alex Iantaffi (ebook)
“Have you ever questioned your own gender identity? Do you know somebody who is transgender or who identifies as non-binary? Do you ever feel confused when people talk about gender diversity? This down-to-earth guide is for anybody who wants to know more about gender, from its biology, history and sociology, to how it plays a role in our relationships and interactions with family, friends, partners and strangers.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Leading from the Emerging Future, Otto Scharmer (ebook)
“We have entered an age of disruption. Financial collapse, climate change, and a growing gap between rich and poor are but a few of the signs. Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer ask, why do we collectively create results nobody wants? Meeting the challenges of this century requires updating our economic logic and operating system from an obsolete “ego-system” focused entirely on the well-being of oneself to an eco-system awareness that emphasizes the well-being of the whole.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early), Scott Rieckens (ebook)
“What if a happier life was only a few simple choices away? A successful entrepreneur living in Southern California, Scott Rieckens had built a “dream life”: a happy marriage, a two-year-old daughter, a membership to a boat club, and a BMW in the driveway. But underneath the surface, Scott was creatively stifled, depressed, and overworked trying to help pay for his family’s beach-town lifestyle. Then one day, Scott listened to a podcast interview that changed everything. Five months later, he had quit his job, convinced his family to leave their home, and cut their expenses in half.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Dublin Noir: New Mystery Fiction

What exactly makes a murderer? What leads to the decision to kill? These are the questions Irish author Olivia Kiernan considered when writing the second book in her Frankie Sheehan series, The Killer in Me. The Financial Times has called The Killer in Me fresh, tense and gruesome, while the Wall Street Journal described it as a “captivating new thriller.” Now you, too, can discover why it just might be one of the best police procedural stories this year.

Also new to Wellington City Libraries this month: the latest works from Christi Daugherty, S.C. Perkins and Scottish author (and founder of the Bloody Scotland crime writing festival) Alex Gray. Enjoy!

Only the dead can tell / Gray, Alex
“When Dorothy Guildford is found stabbed to death in her home, all signs point to her husband, Peter. The forensic psychologist is convinced there’s more to the case than meets the eye but Police Scotland are certain they have their man. While DC Kirsty Wilson searches for evidence that will put Peter away for good, she is shocked to discover a link to a vast human-trafficking operation . . .” (Adapted from the catalogue.)

The killer in me / Kiernan, Olivia
“Murder convict Sean Hennessy is released from prison to return to a seaside community in Dublin. He has always professed his innocence. But within months of his release, two bodies appear in the peaceful suburb of Clontarf. With a TV documentary pushing the public’s sympathies in Hennessy’s direction, the original evidence against him is called into question and Detective Frankie Sheehan finds herself doubting her original analysis of the case.” (Adapted from the catalogue.)

Murder once removed / Perkins, S. C.
“According to her friends, Lucy Lancaster, Austin, Texas genealogist, has never been drunk. Tipsy, sure, but drunk? No way. So when she arrives back at her office from a three-martini lunch a few sheets to the wind, it’s a notable occasion. Even more momentous is what her client, Austin billionaire Gus Halloran, has announced on live television with a blotto Lucy standing at his side: Texas senator Caleb Applewhite might be responsible for the murder of Seth Halloran.” (Adapted from the catalogue.)

A dangerous collaboration / Raybourn, Deanna
“Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall when her natural historian colleague Stoker’s brother calls in a favour. On the pretext of wanting a companion to accompany him to Lord Malcolm Romilly’s house party, Tiberius persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancée–much to Stoker’s chagrin. But upon arriving, it becomes clear that the party is not as innocent as it had seemed.” (Adapted from the catalogue.)

A beautiful corpse / Daugherty, Christi
“With its antebellum houses and ancient oak trees draped in a veil of Spanish moss, Savannah’s graceful downtown is famous around the world. When a woman is killed in the heart of that affluent district, the shock is felt throughout the city. But for crime reporter Harper McClain, this story is personal. The corpse has a familiar face . . .” (Adapted from the catalogue.)

New DVDs at the Libraries

Glass DVD cover

DVDs at our new Arapaki branch and across the library network for May include Peter Jackson’s acclaimed WWI documentary as well as his adaptation of ‘Mortal Engines’ by Philip Reeve, M. Night Shyamalan’s follow up to 2001’s classic ‘Unbreakable’, a new horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, historical drama with ‘Mary Queen of Scots’, the award winning ‘The Favourite’, and some female centric sci-fi with ‘Annihilation’.

They shall not grow old
“Marking the centenary of the First World War, internationally renowned director Peter Jackson uses the voices of the veterans combined with original archival footage to bring to life the reality of war on the front line for a whole new generation. Footage has been colorized and transformed with modern production techniques to present never-before-seen detail.” (Catalogue)

Aquaman
“An action-packed adventure that reveals the origin story of half-human, half- Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime–one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but also to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be: a king.” (Catalogue)

Glass
“For one special security guard, tracking people down is a paranormal sort of hobby. Able to use his rare abilities to find people, David Dunn is suddenly given a job that seems more daunting than all the others before it. He’ll need to find Kevin Wendell Crumb, and time is of the essence. But part of the problem is that Crumb is an extremely disturbed man and with 24 personalities, he’s a lot more complicated than the others Dunn has found.” (Catalogue)

Castle Rock. The complete first season.
“A psychological horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, it is an original story that combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. The fictional Maine town of Castle Rock has figured prominently in King’s literary career: Cujo, The Dark Half, IT and Needful Things, as well as novella The Body and numerous short stories such as Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption are either set there or contain references to Castle Rock.” (Catalogue)

Mary Queen of Scots
“Queen of France at sixteen, widowed at eighteen, Mary Stuart defies pressure to remarry and instead returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. By birth, she also has a rival claim to the throne of Elizabeth I, who rules as the Queen of England. Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both Queens, driving them apart, as each woman experiences the bitter cost of power.” (Catalogue)

Mortal engines
“Hundreds of years after our civilization was destroyed, a new world has emerged. A mysterious young woman named Hester Shaw leads a band of outcasts in the fight to stop London, now a giant predator city on wheels, from devouring everything its path.” (Catalogue)

The favourite
“Early eighteenth-century England is at war with the French. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne, and her friend Lady Sarah tends to her ill health. When a new servant Abigail arrives, Sarah takes her under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become time-consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps in to fill in as the Queen’s companion. Their growing friendship gives her a chance to fulfill her ambitions, and no one will stand in her way.” (Catalogue)

The mule
“Earl Stone, a man in his 80’s who is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Easy enough, but, unbeknownst to Earl, he’s just signed on as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. He does well – so well, in fact, that his cargo increases exponentially, and Earl is assigned a handler. But he isn’t the only one keeping tabs on Earl; the mysterious new drug mule has also hit the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates. And even as his money problems become a thing of the past, Earl’s past mistakes start to weigh heavily on him, and it’s uncertain if he’ll have time to right those wrongs before law enforcement, or the cartel’s enforcers, catch up to him.” (Catalogue)

Annihilation.
“Biologist and former soldier Lena is shocked when her missing husband comes home near death from a top-secret mission into The Shimmer, a mysterious quarantine zone from which no one has ever returned. Now, Lena and her elite team must enter a beautiful, deadly world of mutated landscapes and creatures, to discover how to stop the growing phenomenon that threatens all life on Earth.” (Catalogue)

The Expanse: the best sci-fi around?!

Leviathan Wakes cover

Stars are better off without us.”
― James S.A. Corey, Leviathan Wakes

Written by James S. A. Corey (the pen name used by collaborators Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), the Expanse series has gained wide-ranging critical and popular success. The Expanse is set in the near future where humankind has colonized the solar system. One of the core themes is the vastness of the universe and the difficulties humans have in relating to its scale and alienness.

The eighth book in the series, Tiamat’s Wrath, was released last month, while the fourth series of the television adaptation is due to air later this year. With a total of four Hugo and three Saturn Award nominations between them, both the books and television series are definitely worth getting your teeth into. Enjoy!


Syndetics book coverLeviathan wakes / James S.A. Corey.
“Two hundred years after migrating into space, mankind is in turmoil. When a reluctant ship’s captain and washed-up detective find themselves involved in the case of a missing girl, what they discover brings our solar system to the brink of civil war, and exposes the greatest conspiracy in human history.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
For The Expanse Season One DVD availability click here.

Syndetics book coverCaliban’s war / James S.A. Corey.
“For someone who didn’t intend to wreck the solar system’s balance of power, Jim Holden did a pretty good job of it. While Earth and Mars have stopped shooting each other, the core alliance is shattered. Then, on one of Jupiter’s moons, a single super-soldier attacks, slaughtering soldiers indiscriminately. The race is on to discover whether this is the vanguard of an alien army, or if the danger lies closer to home.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Also available as an eAudiobook. For The Expanse Season Two DVD availability click here.

Syndetics book coverAbaddon’s Gate / James S. A. Corey.
“For generations, the solar system was humanity’s great frontier. Until now. The alien artefact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has emerged to build a massive structure: a gate that leads into a starless dark. Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of ships going out to examine the artefact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding. The greatest danger is the one they brought with them.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiamat’s wrath / James S.A. Corey.
“Thirteen hundred gates have opened to solar systems around the galaxy. But as humanity builds its interstellar empire in the alien ruins, the mysteries and threats grow deeper. Elvi Okoye begins a desperate search to discover the nature of a genocide that happened before the first human beings existed, and to find weapons to fight a war against forces at the edge of the imaginable.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Popular Music CDs at Arapaki

It’s very good news that physical CDs are back on our shelves. Our first pop-up library Arapaki offers a small but varied range of music including new releases by our very own Aldous Harding and Vampire Weekend. Come on down to Arapaki at 12 Manners Street and check them out!

Designer. / Harding, Aldous
“An artist of rare calibre, Aldous Harding does more than sing; she conjures a singular intensity. Her body and face a weapon of theatre, Harding dances with steeled fervor, baring her teeth like a Bunraku puppet’s gnashing grin. Her debut release with 4AD, 2017’s Party (produced with the award-winning John Parish) introduced a new pulse to the stark and unpopulated dramatic realm where the likes of Kate Bush and Scott Walker reside. In April, Aldous Harding returns with Designer less than two years after the breakthrough album.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

I am easy to find / National (Musical group)
I Am Easy To Find is the band’s eighth studio album and the follow-up to 2017’s GRAMMY-award winning release Sleep Well Beast. A companion short film with the same name will also be released. The film was directed by Mike Mills (20th Century Women, Beginners), and starring Alicia Vikander. Mills, along with the band, is credited as co-producer of the album, and the album features vocal contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Lisa Hannigan, Mina Tindle and more.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

U.F.O.F. / Big Thief
“U.F.O.F., F standing for ‘Friend’, is the name of the highly anticipated third record by Big Thief. Their songs represent an emotional bravery and realness that weaves intimate relationships with the listener, a phenomenon that has made them one of the most widely-respected bands of the current era.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Father of the bride. / Vampire Weekend
“Father of the Bride is the highly anticipated new album from Vampire Weekend, and is the band’s fourth full length release. It is the follow up to 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City, which won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 2014. Father of the Bride is produced by founding band member Ezra Koenig, and Ariel Rechtshaid (Adele, Madonna etc.). The album features 18 songs, including “Harmony Hall,” “Big Blue,” “2021,” and “Sunflower.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Why hasn’t everything already disappeared? / Deerhunter
“What they spend their time doing instead is reinventing their approach to microphones, the drum kit, the harpsichord, the electromechanical and synthetic sounds of keyboards. Whatever guitars are left are pure chrome, plugged straight into the mixing desk with no amplifier or vintage warmth. The result is as thrilling, haunting, and unpredictable as anything in their roughly 15 year career.” (adapted from amazon.com)

On the line. / Lewis, Jenny
“Jenny Lewis’ fourth solo album, featuring 11 original songs written by Lewis and recorded at Capitol Records’ Studio B. Lewis is joined on the album by such legendary artists as Beck, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Jim Keltner and Ringo Starr.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Ripples. / Brown, Ian
“2019 release from the former Stone Roses vocalist. Ripples is Brown’s first solo album in 10 years and serves as the long-awaited follow-up to 2009’s My Way. Brown self-produced and wrote a majority of Ripples, as well as created the artwork and played most of the instruments heard throughout the record. His sons have co-writing credits on three songs and provided additional instrumental contributions.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

What to read now Game of Thrones has ended!

Broken Kingdoms cover

Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Are you one of the hordes of people suffering from Game of Thrones withdrawal symptoms? Are you missing the dragons? The action? The intrigue? Are you wondering where to go for fantastic new fantasy–or perhaps you even want a story that explores different concepts and ideas?

Then fear not, help is at hand! We’ve selected a sample of the best fantasy epics around–and all of them are available from your friendly neighbourhood library branch or as part of our eLibrary. Enjoy!

(For our more extensive Overdrive list of recommendations click here.)


Syndetics book coverThe broken kingdoms / N.K. Jemisin.
“In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a strange homeless man on an impulse. This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city. And Oree’s guest is at the heart of it. . . ” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFool’s assassin / Robin Hobb.
“FitzChivalry–royal bastard and former king’s assassin–has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock, Fitz is now married to his childhood sweetheart and leading the quiet life of a country squire. At least he is, until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers. Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one . . .” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Also available as an eBook.

Syndetics book coverThe sorcerer’s daughter: the defenders of Shannara / Terry Brooks.
“The mysterious, magic-wielding Druid order has existed for long ages, battling any evil that threatens the Four Lands–and struggling to be understood and accepted by outsiders. But their hopes of building goodwill are dashed when a demon’s murderous rampage at a peace summit leaves their political opponents dead–casting new suspicions upon the Druids and forcing them to flee from enemies both mortal and monstrous.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Also available: The Shannara Chronicles television series. Click here for availability of Season One and here for availability of Season Two.

Syndetics book coverLeague of dragons / Naomi Novik.
“Napoleon’s invasion of Russia has been roundly thwarted. But even as Capt. William Laurence and the dragon Temeraire pursue the retreating enemy through an unforgiving winter, Napoleon is raising a new force, and he’ll soon have enough men and dragons to resume the offensive. While the emperor regroups, the allies have an opportunity to strike first and defeat him once and for all–if internal struggles and petty squabbles don’t tear them apart.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Also available as an eBook.

Syndetics book coverHeir to Sevenwaters / Juliet Marillier.
“Lady Aisling of Sevenwaters has given birth to another child–a new heir. But the family’s joy turns to despair when the baby is taken from his room and something unnatural is left in his place. Clodagh must enter the showy Otherworld and confront the powerful prince who rules there.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVoyager: Outlander Book 3 / Diana Gabaldon.
“Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had travelled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her–and her body still cries out for him in her dreams. Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived . . .” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Also available: the Outlander television series. Click here for availability.

Overdrive cover “Savage Sword of Conan, Volume 1, Roy Thomas (ebook)
In the mid 1970s following the colossal success of Conan the Barbarian, Roy Thomas helped expand the universe of Conan to showcase further stories and the talents of some of the comics industry’s best with the equally popular Savage Sword of Conan magazine. Now, for the first time in over thirty years, these primal tales, featuring Robert E. Howard’s most popular character, are available, collecting all Savage Sword Conan stories beginning with issue one.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Pawn of Prophecy / David Eddings (ebook)
Myths tell of the ancient wars of Gods and men, and a powerful object–the Orb–that ended the bloodshed. As long as it was held by the line of Riva, it would assure the peace. But a dark force has stolen the Orb, and the prophecies tell of war. Young farm boy Garion knows nothing of myth or fate. But then the mysterious Old Storyteller visits his aunt, and they embark on a sudden journey.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Syndetics book coverThe priory of the orange tree / Samantha Shannon.
“The House of Berethnet has ruled for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction–but assassins are getting closer. Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, protecting her with forbidden magic. Across the dark sea, Tane is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Also available as an eBook.

Different ways of telling stories: New Graphic Novels

This month’s selection of newly acquired Graphic Novels is a deliciously rich cornucopia of voices, graphic styles and different ways of telling stories. From the wonderfully poignant, funny and  compassionate story that is Ross Murray’s Rufus Marigold about a primate suffering from anxiety to legendary graphic novelists Frank Millers latest outing called Xerxes: the fall of the House of Darius and the rise of Alexander, from Max de Radigues unique mother and son take on the Bonnie and Clyde story to the second much anticipated Kabul disco instalment by Nicolas Wild. The rich variety of the graphic novel World is show cased to its fullest extent. Enjoy.

Syndetics book coverA fire story / Brian Fies.
“Early morning on Monday, October 9, 2017, wildfires burned through Northern California, resulting in 44 fatalities. In addition, 6,200 homes and 8,900 structures were destroyed. Author Brian Fies’s first hand account of this tragic event is an honest, unflinching depiction of his personal experiences, including losing his house and every possession he and his wife had that didn’t fit into the back of their car. In the days that followed, as the fires continued to burn through the area, Brian hastily pulled together A Fire Story and posted it online–it immediately went viral.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe weatherman. Vol. 1 / writer, Jody LeHeup ; artist, Nathan Fox.
“Local weatherman and fun-loving amnesiac Nathan Bright was just a normal guy living the good life on terraformed Mars. But the past Nathan didn’t know he had comes back to murder him when he’s accused of carrying out the worst terrorist attack in human history–an event that wiped out nearly the entire population of Earth. Collecting The Weatherman#1-6” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Xerxes : the fall of the House of Darius and the rise of Alexander / Miller, Frank
The ongoing Greek rebellion against Persian tyranny reaches a turning point after the destruction of the city of Sardis and the later battle of Marathon: on a military campaign to vanquish the city of Athens and silence the Greeks once and for all, Xerxes, Persian Prince, watches as his father, King Darius, falls in battle.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Rufus Marigold / Murray, Ross
“Rufus Marigold is a primate with a problem. He suffers acutely from anxiety and every social encounter is a harrowing ordeal. A budding artist, Rufus spends his days working in an office. As life become increasingly more of a struggle, Rufus yearns to be defined as something other than an a complete nervous wreck. This volume collects and significantly expands upon the original web comic, resulting in a darkly hilarious yet moving account of living with anxiety.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Ice Cream Man. Volume two, Strange Neapolitan / Prince, W. Maxwell
“This critically acclaimed series of not-so-sweet singular stories continues with four more tales of woe, redemption, and unlimited toppings. Collects ICE CREAM MAN #5-8
” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Bastard / Radiguès, Max de
“A mother and son “Bonnie & Clyde” star in this internationally acclaimed graphic novel thriller! After taking part in a historic heist — 52 simultaneous robberies at the same time, in the same city — May and Eugene, a young mother and her preteen son, are on the run not only from the law and double-crossed former accomplices, but also their violent past. They crisscross the United States, encountering mysterious truckers, ambitious bandits, and senior citizens living off the grid — while flashbacks show the reader how they got into this deadly situation. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Kabul disco. Book 2, How I managed not to get addicted to opium in Afghanistan / Wild, Nicolas
“It’s 2005. Nicolas Wild is a French cartoonist. He’s broke and about to be homeless. He’s a man without a plan. That is until destiny shows up in his email box: a paid job . . . In Afghanistan In his graphic Travelogue series, Nicolas Wild brilliantly explores the differences between the Afghan cultures around him and his own, as he and his fellow expat friends crash Asura celebrations, avoid the afterlife and muse on the differences between Christian Easter egg hunts and Islamic penance.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Polar. Came from the cold / Santos, Victor
“Ripped out of retirement by an assassination attempt, the world’s most deadly spy–the former agent known as Black Kaiser–is a wanted man that’s wanted . . . dead On a collision course with his former employer, the Damocles Agency, Black Kaiser goes head to head with a stab-happy, psychotic torture expert and a seductive but deadly redhead. His mission only ends if he dies or kills everyone out to get him, and he’s not in the habit of dying. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)