Category: Recent picks

New Mysteries for April

Among this month’s selected titles from the recently received new Mysteries are the latest work from popular authors, Ann Cleeves, Tana French and Charles Todd. There is also one debut mystery novel and one translated from the Swedish.

Syndetics book coverHidden depths / Ann Cleeves.
“A hot summer on the Northumberland coast and Julie Armstrong arrives home from a night out to find her son strangled, laid out in a bath of water and covered with wild flowers. This stylized murder scene has Inspector Vera Stanhope intrigued. But then another body is discovered in a rock pool, the corpse again strewn with flowers. Vera must work quickly to find this killer who is making art out of death. Local residents are forced to share their deepest, darkest secrets, as the killer watches, waits and plans to prepare another beautiful, watery grave.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSwiss vendetta / Tracee de Hahn.
“Inspector Agnes Luthi, a Swiss-American police officer in Lausanne, Switzerland, has just transferred to the Violent Crimes unit from Financial Crimes to try to shed all reminders of her old life following her husband’s death. Now, on the eve of the worst blizzard Lausanne has seen in centuries, Agnes has been called to investigate her very first homicide case. On the lawn of the grand Chateau Vallotton, at the edge of the lake, a young woman has been found stabbed to death.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe trespasser / Tana French.
“Being on the Murder squad is nothing like Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed it would be. Her partner, Stephen Moran, is the only person who seems glad she’s there. The rest of her working life is a stream of thankless cases, vicious pranks, and harassment. Antoinette is savagely tough, but she’s getting close to the breaking point. Their new case looks like yet another by-the-numbers lovers’ quarrel gone bad. There’s nothing unusual about Aislinn Murray–except that Antoinette’s seen her somewhere before, and that her death won’t stay in its neat by-numbers box.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWinter traffic / Stephen Greenall.
“Sutton doesn’t like the three a.m. phone calls. He should change his number, that way Rawson wouldn’t have it. Sutton’s best mate is a hero cop, but strife flows through him like a highway. He was supposed to die young. Maybe Millar will do it for him, she’s the hot young detective from Internal who still thinks intellect and integrity will take her places. If she doesn’t watch her step, she might find out what they are. This is the story of good dogs living in a bad-news town, a fragrant harbour city where the judges are dead, the vendettas lively and every glittering fortune hides a sin.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFor time and all eternities / Mette Ivie Harrison.
“Mormon bishop’s wife Linda Wallheim knows a bit about the LDS church’s history of polygamy, but for mainstream Mormons, that epoch ended in the 1890s. However, there are still sects of fundamentalist Mormons who still practice ‘the Principle of plural marriage’, in fact, some of them are living in plain sight here in Utah. Linda’s son Kenneth is marrying a young woman who was raised in a polygamist family, and tragically one of her family members is found murdered.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFalse fire : a Bea Abbot Agency mystery / Veronica Heley.
“Attending a birthday celebration for two young girls, Bea Abbot tries not to let superstition get the better of her when she realizes that there are thirteen people at dinner. What she doesn’t anticipate is that the evening will end in sudden, violent death. Chaos descends when a fire breaks out. While two members of the host family are rushed to the hospital, Bea and a fellow guest search for the birthday girls in a house which has been plunged into darkness.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe house with no rooms / Lesley Thomson.
“The summer of 1976 was the hottest in living memory. In the Botanical Gardens at Kew, a lost little girl stumbled upon a deserted gallery. Dizzied by the heat, she thought she saw a woman lying dead on the ground. But when she opened her eyes, the woman had gone.Forty years later, Stella Darnell, the detective’s daughter, is investigating a chilling new case. What she uncovers will draw her into the obsessive world of botany, and towards an unsolved murder that has lain dormant for decades.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRacing the devil / Charles Todd.
“Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge finds himself caught in a twisted web of vengeance, old grievances, and secrets that lead back to World War I. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWho watcheth / Helene Tursten ; translation by Marlaine Delargey.
“A woman is found dead in a cemetery, strangled and covered in plastic. Just a few days before her death, the victim had received a flower, an unintelligible note, and a photograph of herself. Detective Inspector Irene Huss and her colleagues on the Goteborg police force have neither clue nor motive to track in the case, and when similar murders follow, their search for the killer becomes increasingly desperate.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNothing but trouble : a Kevin Kerney novel / by Michael McGarrity.
“Kevin Kerney is approached by an old boyhood friend, Johnny Jordan, who convinces him to serve as a technical adviser for a contemporary Western movie to be shot in a remote part of southwestern New Mexico known as the Bootheel. Before actual filming begins, Kerney travels to the Bootheel to meet with Johnny and the chief production crew and finds the body of a young man on a road near an isolated Mexican border crossing. As Kerney’s probe deepens, it leads him suspect that either a local cop or the ranch manager on the Jordan spread might be involved.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Science Fiction and Fantasy for April

This month’s selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels contains the usual wide variety of imaginative plots readers of this genre have come to love. From cloning to immortality, reincarnation to psychic ability, slave traders to space spiders, all provide many hours of entertaining reading.

Syndetics book coverThe skill of our hands / Steven Brust and Skyler White.
“The Incrementalists are a secret society of two hundred people, an unbroken lineage reaching back forty thousand years. They cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with one another across nations and time. They have a very modest mission: to make the world better, a little bit at a time. Phil, the Incrementalist whose personality has stayed stable through more incarnations than anyone others, has been shot dead. They’ll bring him back, but first they need to know what happened. Their investigation will bring them up against corruption, racism, and brutality in high and low places alike. But the key may lay in one of Phil’s previous lives, in “Bleeding Kansas” in the late 1850s, and the fate of the passionate abolitionist we remember as John Brown.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe book of Etta / Meg Elison.
“Etta comes from Nowhere, a village of survivors of the great plague that wiped away the world that was. In the world that is, women are scarce and childbearing is dangerous, yet desperately necessary for humankind’s future. Mothers and midwives are sacred, but Etta has a different calling, as a scavenger. Loyal to the village but living on her own terms, Etta roams the desolate territory beyond: salvaging useful relics of the ruined past and braving the threat of brutal slave traders, who are seeking women and girls to sell and subjugate. When slavers seize those she loves, Etta vows to release and avenge them.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe warren / Brian Evenson.
“X doesn’t have a name. He thought he had one, or many,but that might be the result of the failing memories of the personalities imprinted within him. Or maybe he really is called X. He’s also not as human as he believes himself to be. But when he discovers the existence of another, above ground, outside the protection of the Warren, X must learn what it means to be human, or face the destruction of their two species.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe immortal bind / Traci Harding.
“When Sara is gifted a beautiful antique chair as a wedding present, she is completely unaware that it is one of a unique pair. On the other side of the world, the chair’s twin is presented to a reclusive artist, Jon, as a birthday gift. The two new owners are thrust into a mind-expanding adventure through the ages, medieval East Anglia, Scotland, France and India. In each instance they experience significant junctions in their lives past; to remember and redress ripples of karma they set in motion, and thwart an evil entity that still threatens their present day lives.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe stars are legion / Kameron Hurley.
“On the outer rim of the universe, a galactic war has been waged for centuries upon hundreds of world-ships. But these worlds will continue to die through decay and constant war unless a desperate plan succeeds. Anat, leader of the Katazyrna world-ship and the most fearsome raiding force on the Outer Rim, wants peace. To do so she offers the hand of her daughter, Jayd, to her rival. As Anat convinces her to spend the rest of her life wed to her family’s greatest enemy, it is up to Jayd’s sister Zan, with no stomach for war, to lead the cast off warriors she has banded together to victory and rescue Jayd. But the war does not go at all as planned.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpaceman of Bohemia / Jaroslav Kalfař.
“Orphaned as a boy, raised in the Czech countryside by his doting grandparents, Jakub Procha has risen from small-time scientist to become the country’s first astronaut. When a dangerous solo mission to Venus offers him the chance at heroism he’s dreamt of, he ventures boldly into the vast unknown. But in so doing, he leaves behind his devoted wife, Lenka, whose love, he realizes too late, he has sacrificed on the altar of his ambitions. Alone in Deep Space, Jakub discovers a possibly imaginary giant alien spider, who becomes his unlikely companion. Over philosophical conversations about the nature of love, life and death, and the deliciousness of bacon, the pair form an intense and emotional bond. Will it be enough to see Jakub through a clash with secret Russian rivals and return him safely to Earth for a second chance with Lenka?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSix wakes / Mur Lafferty.
“It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood. At least, Maria Arena had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone; her first memory was of how she died. Maria’s vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. And Maria wasn’t the only one to die recently.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHumans, bow down / James Patterson and Emily Raymond with Jill Dembowski ; illustrations by Alexander Ovchinnikov.
“The Great War is over. The Robots have won. The humans who survived have two choices, they can submit and serve the vicious rulers they created or be banished to the Reserve, a desolate, unforgiving landscape where it’s a crime to be human. The robots are not content, following the orders of their soulless leader; they’re planning to conquer humanity’s last refuge. With nothing left to lose, Six, a feisty, determined young woman, is a rebel with a cause. On the run for her life after an attempted massacre, Six is determined to save humanity before the robots finish what the Great War started and wipe humans off the face of the earth.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew York 2140 / Kim Stanley Robinson.
“As the sea levels rose, every street became a canal, every skyscraper an island. For the residents of one apartment building in Madison Square, however, New York in the year 2140 is far from a drowned city. There is the market trader, who finds opportunities where others find trouble. There is the detective, whose work will never disappear, along with the lawyers, of course. There is the internet star, beloved by millions for her airship adventures, and the building’s manager, quietly respected for his attention to detail. Then there are two boys who don’t live there, but have no other home, and who are more important to its future than anyone might imagine. Lastly there are the coders, temporary residents on the roof, whose disappearance triggers a sequence of events that threatens the existence of all and even the long-hidden foundations on which the city rests.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRadiant terminus / Antoine Volodine ; translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman ; foreword by Brian Evenson.
Radiant Terminus takes place in a Tarkovskian landscape after the fall of the Second Soviet Union. Most of humanity has been destroyed thanks to a number of nuclear meltdowns, but a few communes remain, including one run by Solovyei, a psychotic father with the ability to invade people’s dreams, including those of his daughters, and torment them for thousands of years. When a group of damaged individuals seek safety from this nuclear winter in Solovyei’s commune, a plot develops to overthrow him, end his reign of mental abuse, and restore humanity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Graphic Novels for April

There are some great graphic novels included in this month’s selection from our recently received new material. Two visually stunning works come highly recommend, Hubert by Ben Gijsemans and Garbage by Mathew Reichertz. There is also a new graphic novel from the very talented Jason Shiga that is brilliant.

Syndetics book coverJohn Milton’s Paradise lost / Pablo Auladell ; translated from the Spanish by Ángel Gurría.
“Paradise Lost , Milton’s epic poem, charts humanity’s fall from grace and the origin of the struggle between God and Satan, good and evil, life and death. In the aftermath of the Angels’ devastating defeat in the war for Heaven, Satan determines to seek his revenge. First published nearly 350 years ago, Paradise Lost has now been reimagined by the Spanish artist Pablo Auladell.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHubert / Ben Gijsemans ; translated from the Dutch by Julia Blackburn and Sandra van Beek.
“Hubert is a solitary man who shapes his life by going to museums. He talks to few people and only about museums and art. When his neighbor downstairs, a lonely woman, tries to seduce him, he doesn’t understand. He takes photos of the pictures he likes, usually of beautiful women, and paints copies of the paintings at home. There is only one real woman who fascinates him; she lives in the opposite building and he can see her balcony from his window.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLucia / Andy Hixon.
“Lucia is a hard town, full of hard people. It stands looking out across the unforgiving sea that is slowly swallowing it. Its people are all unemployed, with nothing to live for but a pint and fight. Among them are Brick and Morty, one a disabled, heartbroken divorcee and aspiring writer, the other his best friend and protector, a fantasist and aspiring Ultimate Fighting Welterweight Champion of the world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStardust nation / [written by] Deborah Levy ; [illustrated by] Andrzej Klimowski.
“For the high-flying, heavy-drinking advertising boss Tom Banbury, the art of persuasion relies on an infiltration of the consumer’s mind. In the case of his colleague and confidante Nikos Gazidis, the overdeveloped sense of empathy that makes him so well suited to the business has resulted in a strange psychiatric condition. Nick has unwittingly crashed into the consciousness of his boss. While Tom drinks to forget the troubles of his earthly life, Nick is forced to confront a past that is not his own. But can this peculiar bond be broken? Or has Nikos Gazidis taken an empathetic leap too far?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSP4RX / Wren McDonald.
“SP4RX is the story of mankind clawing for survival. Set in a future where a class system has emerged, the world is divided into four levels, with the elite ruling from the extravagant top level. SP4RX, a young hacker who lives off grid, hacks into corporations and sells stolen data to wealthy buyers on the black market – just your average thief. Mega Corporation Structus Industries introduces a welfare program called the “Elpis Program”, which allows the working class to apply for Cybernetic implants to make workers more efficient. On the surface, it seems like a program to empower the poor and allow them to rise to the ranks of the elite. But SP4RX soon discovers all is not as it seems.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLast gang in town / Simon Oliver, writer ; Rufus Dayglo, artist.
“1976: the country coming apart at its flared corduroy seams, a decade after the Great Train Robbery, when British crime has gone decidedly soft in the middle. Time for a new generation of criminals to rise: a band of snotty nosed heroes driven by destiny and cheap cider, who will strike fear back into the establishment, put art back into crime and crime back into art, and pull off what will become known as the heist of the century.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKill six billion demons. Book one / created by Tom Parkinson-Morgan.
“In this the first story collection of the popular web comic Kill Six Billion Demons, sorority sister Allison Ruth must travel to Throne, the ancient city at the center of the multiverse, in an epic bid to save her boyfriend from the clutches of the seven evil kings that rule creation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGarbage / Mathew Reichertz ; [introduction by Benjamin Woo ; afterword by Robin Metcalfe].
“Garbage is an architectural-scale series of panels that transform a gallery into a comic book. Taken together the paintings tell the story of neighbours in Halifax’s North End and a mysterious couch which shows up one morning on the narrator’s front curb. As the narrator confronts his neighbours, asking where it came from, he gains insight into their lives as well as his own. Garbage collects these paintings into a graphic novel with a commentary by curator Robin Metcalfe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMirror : the mountain / by Emma Rios & Hwei Lim.
“A mysterious asteroid hosts a collection of strange creatures, man-animal hybrids, mythological creatures made flesh, guardian spirits, cursed shadows, and the humans who brought them to life. But this strange society exists in an uneasy truce, in the aftermath of uprisings seeking freedom and acceptance that have only ended in tragedy. As the ambitious, the desperate and the hopeful inhabitants of the asteroid struggle to decide their shared fate, a force greater than either animal or human seems to be silently watching the conflict, waiting for either side to finally answer the question: what is worthy of being human?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDemon. Volume 1 / Jason Shiga.
“No matter how hard he tries, Jimmy Yee cannot die. A noose around his neck, a razor across his wrist, and even a bullet to his head all yield the same results: he awakes from each suicide attempt, miraculously unharmed, in his shabby room at the Sunbeam Motel. Has he gone mad? Or has he truly died and found himself in hell? Jimmy is willing to tear the world down around him to get at the truth. Highly analytical and utterly unscrupulous, he is uniquely suited to unraveling this bizarre mystery.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Health food fix – New Cooking books

Making and enjoying healthy meals doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming, boring or expensive. Make life easy with this collection of healthy recipes cookbooks.

Syndetics book coverGood to Glow : feel good food / Tali Shine, Steph Adams.
“This book is your guide to the world’s hippest and most delicious, healthy and organic cafes! It features unique and exclusive recipes and signature dishes from destination spots handpicked by the author, Tali Shine. You will find mouth-watering recipes for juices and smoothies, brunches, dinners, as well as sweets and treats. Good to Glow is your go-to travel and health guide that will get you on the road to a glowing lifestyle. With numerous useful health advice and tips from the real experts and a glossary for global locations in one separate chapter.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSuperfoods Super Fast / by Michael van Straten & Barbara Griggs.
“This book is for anyone who wants fuel their body with superfoods and needs to do it super fast! It’s packed with 100 amazingly nutritious recipes to make in 210 minutes or less… Julie Montatagu’s vegetarian recipes are fast, simple and specially designed for busy people who love to eat deliciously healthy food.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverOh She Glows Every Day : quick and simply satisfying plant-based recipes / Angela Liddon.
“Angela Liddon’s eagerly awaited follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Oh She Glows Cookbook, featuring more than one hundred quick-and-easy whole-foods, plant-based recipes to keep you glowing every day of the year.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe Gut Makeover Recipe Book / Jeannette Hyde, nutritional therapist BSc.
“Transform your body, mind and health with the Gut Makeover now. The Gut Makeover Recipe Book makes this lifestyle easier than ever. There’s no calorie counting, you won’t go hungry and you’ll find out how to fit the Gut Makeover around family life. Packed with easy, delicious and nourishing recipes, all of which have been carefully crafted by nutritional therapist Jeannette Hyde. The Gut Makeover Recipe Book also explains the revolutionary new science that reveals that the state of our gut is central to our weight and health. This is more than another fad diet. This is a lifestyle you’ll want to adopt for life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpice Health Heroes / Natasha MacAller ; photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
“The alchemy of roasting and blending the perfect spice mix is a careful balance of sweet, sour, bitter and spicy that can elevate a dish to something truly special. But beyond their remarkable taste, many spices have huge benefits to health and nutrition that are only now beginning to be recognized in the Western world. This beautiful cook book includes a detailed study of the history, myths and traditional uses of spices. Spice Health Heroes takes you on a journey through the spice cabinet and will inspire you to add a fragrant spice to every meal.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHealing Bone Broth Recipes : incredibly flavorful dishes that nourish your body the old-fashioned way / Sharon Brown, with Reb Brown.
“Transform your health with simple Paleo and gluten-free recipes utilizing the concentrated nutrients of bone broth, a buzzword ingredient for healthy food celebrated by Paleo dieters. Healing Bone Broth Recipes teaches readers how to incorporate bone broth into their diets with 100 family-friendly and delicious Paleo and gluten-free recipes….the simple recipes in Healing Bone Broth Recipes are sure to bring everyone together over a delicious, healthy meal.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Wholefood Pantry : change the way you cook with 175 healthy toolbox recipes / Amber Rose.
“Rid your cupboards of ready-made ‘staples’ and change the way you cook with this essential collection of healthy recipes for stocks, sauces, spice mixes, butters, oils, ferments, cultures, chutneys and more.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverSuper Foods & Power Juices / editorial & food director, Pamela Clark.
“Full of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, super foods help provide you with energy and nutrients to live your life to the full.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book cover100 Days of Real Food : fast & fabulous : the easy and delicious way to cut out processed food / Lisa Leake.
“In her first cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food, Lisa Leake revealed how simple it is to think out of the box in the kitchen by replacing unhealthy prepackaged and processed foods with “real food”. Now, Lisa is back with 100 quick-and-easy recipes and simple cheat sheets that will work with every family’s busy lifestyle. Along with these family-friendly recipes, 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous incorporates ideas for adult, big-kid, and little-kid packed lunches and new seasonal meal plans and shopping lists.” (Syndetics summary)

 

New Classical CDs

This week we throw the spotlight on some new Bach arrivals, some astonishing pieces of great Baroque music.

Goldberg Variations, J. S. Bach. Performed by Beatrice Rana.
“In the wake of unanimous critical acclaim for her recording debut in concertos by Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, Beatrice Rana responds with a courageous solo outing, exploring Bach’s masterwork in the variation form with a rewarding, personal journey through the composer’s incredible contrapuntal writing and the range of the emotional worlds distilled in each of the Aria’s 30 permutations” (cover).

St Matthew Passion, J. S. Bach. Performed by Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists together with various soloists, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.
“It strikes me that Bach made a quite extraordinary imaginative leap when he conceived this dazzling, multi-dimensional piece of music theatre. In avoiding the typically saccharine, maudlin approach his contemporaries sometimes adopted in their Lutheran oratorio-Passions, Bach’s whole focus is on justifying Luther’s great claim for music, that its notes should ‘make the text come alive'” (John Eliot Gardiner, p14 of liner notes).

Organ Works, volume 2, J. S. Bach. Performed by Masaaki Suzuki.
“For [this volume], Suzuki returned to more familiar ground – the chapel of the Kobe Shoin Women’s University where the great majority of his recordings with Bach Collegium Japan have taken place. The chapel houses a French classical organ built in 1983 by Marc Garnier, and on it Suzuki performs a highly symmetrical programme with the large-scale chorale partita BWV 768 at its centre. The work is known as ‘Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig’, although the chorale text that it is structured upon most probably is that of ‘O Jesu, du edle Gabe’. On either side the partita is flanked by an arrangement by Bach of concertos by Vivaldi, and a chorale prelude on ‘Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier’. The album opens and closes with a Prelude and Fugue, in G major and C major respectively” (amazon.com).

Projects to celebrate the season – New Craft books

Have fun working on new projects with ideas and easy to master instructions from our newly arrived craft books. See below for details of our monthly knitting group gatherings at the Central library. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverThe art of living with nature : 50 beautiful projects to bring the outside in / Willow Crossley.
“Learn how to make beautiful, nature-inspired, decorations, and arrangements with The Art of Living with Nature. Divided into five separate chapters: Woodland, Flora, Fauna, Edibles, and Beach, The Art of Living with Nature contains 50 innovative ideas to decorate your home, ranging from hellebores displayed in test tubes to wreaths made from hydrangeas. Filled with tips and useful techniques to make the most out of your blooms, there will be a project to suit every occasion.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMaking concrete pots, bowls, & platters : 35 stylish and simple projects for the home and garden / Hester Van Overbeek.
“Create 35 beautiful planters, decorations, and gifts–all using concrete. You will find everything you need to know–what type of concrete to buy, how to use it, and how to decorate it–explained in a comprehensive techniques section. From there you can make chic and on-trend home accessories such as upside-down plant pots, a concrete vase with a wooden base, serving platters, a letter-shaped bookend, fruit bowls, and much more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of stone painting : 30 designs to spark your creativity / F. Sehnaz Bac.
“Transform ordinary stones into colorful works of art with this easy-to-follow guide. Starting with the basics — including finding and choosing stones as well as tools and materials — the guide offers a variety of techniques, including painting stones with colors or inks, painting on natural stone, and sealing the finished work. Projects range from simple to advanced and include suggestions for indoor and outdoor display, as well as instructions on how to style wearable objects such as pendants.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThread painting : bunnies in my garden / Jenny McWhinney.
“Thread painting is the term for using colored thread embroidery to create artistic, dimensional images. Using Jenny McWhinney’s wonderfully easy-to-follow directions, even novice embroiderers can recreate her 12 delightful rabbit-themed designs. Use them on garments, household objects, bags . . . anything you want! Tracing patterns and stitch diagrams are included for every one, and 100 color photographs document the projects in various stages.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTatted lace accessories / Donatella Ciotti.
“In her latest book, Donatella Ciotti teaches the reader how to make tatted lace, also known as “frivolité”- a durable yet delicate form of lace constructed using a series of knots and loops. Although it has been a traditional craft for centuries, Donatella’s step-by-step instructions focus on more modern needle techniques, making the craft accessible to a contemporary audience. This book includes 22 gorgeous designs to make including bracelets, earrings, necklaces and brooches, illustrated and explained with diagrams and step-by-step photography.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFloristry now : flower design and inspiration / Paula Pryke, OBE.
“The defining characteristic of Paula Pryke’s work is her consummate use of colour and structure – her bold colour choices first brought her to attention when she started out, and throughout her career she has never failed to challenge and excite. In this invaluable book Paula shares her design secrets.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe flower chef : a modern guide to do-it-yourself floral arrangements / Carly Cylinder ; edited by Amara Holstein.
The Flower Chef is a modern, comprehensive guide to floral design that caters to all readers–from beginners who have never worked with flowers before and are looking for a new creative outlet, to decorators, party planners and photographers looking to liven up their spaces. Even professionals will find ways to update their techniques! Filled with beautiful photographs and easy-to-follow instructions, this is the go-to guide to floral design that every flower lover will want to add to their collection.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Come along to the Central Library Knitting Group!

On the fourth Saturday of each month our knitting group meets between 1 and 4PM on the first floor of the Central library. You can knit for charity — premature babies, foster kids, the Women’s refuge, the night shelter, the SPCA — or spend some time on your own project. It’s a casual affair – just turn up on the day you want at the time you want to knit and chat. If you would like to learn to knit or crochet we have experienced knitters to help you. A free sandwich lunch, sweets, tea and coffee are provided.

Knitting Group photo

Knitting for premature babies at the Wellington Hospital Neonatal intensive care unit. Saturday February 25th 2017.

New Mystery novels

In this month’s selection of new mystery novels recently added to our collection there are several characters with very different occupations investigating murder and crime. There are journalists, forensic scientists, nurses, women clergy, university lecturers and doctors. All provide a satisfying alternative to usual police procedural mystery.

Syndetics book coverNone but the dead / Lin Anderson.
“Sanday, one of Britain’s northernmost islands, inaccessible when the wind prevents the ferry from the mainland crossing, or fog grounds the tiny island hopping plane. When human remains are discovered to the rear of an old primary school, forensic expert Dr Rhona MacLeod and her assistant arrive to excavate the grave. When the suspicious death of an old man in Glasgow appears to have links with the island, DS Michael McNab is dispatched to investigate. As the weather closes in, the team are presented with a series of unexplained incidents, apparently linked to the discovery of thirteen magic flowers representing the souls of dead children who had attended the island school where the body was discovered. But how and in what circumstance did they die, and why are their long forgotten deaths significant to the current investigation?” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMurder at the house of rooster happiness / David Casarett, M.D.
“Ladarat Patalung is the first and only nurse detective in Thailand. Two nights ago, a young woman brought her husband into the emergency room of the Sriphat Hospital in Thailand, where he passed away. A guard thinks she remembers her coming in before, but with a different husband, one who also died. Ladarat Patalung, for one, would have been happier without a serial murderer, if there is one, loose in her hospital. Then again, she never expected to be a detective in the first place and now, has no choice but to investigate.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFalse tongues : a Callie Anson mystery / Kate Charles.
“The Reverend Callie Anson should have learned her lesson by now: revisiting the past is seldom a good idea. But she succumbs to peer pressure and attends a reunion at her theological college in Cambridge, where she is forced to confront painful memories and the presence of her clueless ex, Adam. In London, police officers Neville Stewart and Mark Lombardi are involved with the latest stabbing of a teenager. The police find themselves plunged into the queasy world of cyber-bullying, where nothing may be as it seems. While they’re apart, Callie and Mark’s relationship is on hold, and his Italian family continues to be an issue. Will Mark realize, before it’s too late, that while his family will always be important to him, he is entitled to something for himself?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRight behind you : a novel / Lisa Gardner.
“Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah is about to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner. A call comes in about a double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe bone field / Simon Kernick.
“1990. A young woman goes missing while backpacking in Thailand, she is never seen again. Her bones are discovered 6000 miles away in an English field and, within hours, the boyfriend who reported her disappearance all those years ago is dead. So begins a hunt to solve her murder that will take DI Ray Mason and PI Tina Boyd into a dark and terrifying world of corruption and deadly secrets, where murder is commonplace, and nothing and nobody is safe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe hollow men / Rob McCarthy.
“Dr. Harry Kent likes to keep himself busy, juggling hospital duties with his work as a police surgeon for the London Metropolitan Police, anything to ward off the memories of his time as an army medic. Usually the police work means minor injuries and mental health assessments. But teenager Solomon Idris’s case is different. Idris has taken eight people hostage in a fast-food restaurant, and is demanding to see a lawyer and a BBC reporter. Harry is sent in to treat the clearly-ill teenager before the siege goes horribly wrong. When Solomon’s life is put in danger again at a critical care ward, it becomes clear he knows something people will kill to protect.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe enemy within / Edward Marston.
“Pentonville Prison. Wally Hibbert is serving a long sentence for arson. But after befriending and tricking one of the officers, Hibbert makes an audacious escape. Inspector Marmion, the detective who arrested Hibbert, is warned to watch his back, but it seems that Hibbert has another target in his murderous sights. However, the investigation is mired in confusion, the identities of killer and victim become increasingly ambiguous.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCity of strangers : a novel / Louise Millar.
“When Grace and her childhood sweetheart Mac come home from their honeymoon in Thailand, they’re shocked to find a dead body beside their pile of unopened wedding presents. The police are unable to ID the man, so it is assumed that he was a burglar who died from natural causes. Little do they know that evidence for a rather different story is hidden right beneath their apartment.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhen death draws near / Carrie Stuart Parks.
“Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky, a small town facing big-city crime. But before Gwen can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. Gwen suspects a connection between the rapist and the “accidental” deaths that are happening around town, but the local sheriff has little interest in her theories. Gwen turns her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a serpent-handling church. She could get a handsome reward for uncovering illegal activity, a reward she desperately needs. But snakes aren’t the only ones ready to kill.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhere I can see you / by Larry D. Sweazy.
“Haunted by the disappearance of his mother when he was eight years old, detective Hud Matthews begins his own investigation to find out what really happened so many years before. When a rare murder occurs in the lakeside community, Hud’s veteran skills are called upon to capture the killer. Pulled deep into the threads of the community with ties to the past, Hud quickly becomes a target, not only of the killer, but of those who wish the past to be left alone. As Hud gets closer to discovering the truth about the crimes, he has to face a choice of enforcing the law, or stepping outside of it to make sure that his version of justice is served.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Contemporary Fiction

There are four award winning authors included in this month’s selection of new Contemporary Novels. These are Paul Auster, Sebastian Barry, Bernard Schlink, and George Saunders, an award winning short story writer with his first novel, titled Lincoln in the bardo.

Syndetics book cover4 3 2 1 : a novel / Paul Auster.
“On March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four Fergusons made of the same genetic material, four boys who are the same boy, will go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Loves and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Chapter by chapter, the rotating narratives evolve into an elaborate dance of inner worlds enfolded within the outer forces of history as, one by one, the intimate plot of each Ferguson’s story rushes on across the tumultuous and fractured terrain of mid twentieth-century America.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDays without end : a novel / Sebastian Barry.
“Thomas McNulty, barely seventeen and having fled the Great Famine, signs up for the U.S. Army in the 1850s. With his brother in arms, John Cole, Thomas fights in the Indian Wars and, ultimately, the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships, the men find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they see and are complicit in.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe book of mirrors / E.O. Chirovici.
“Princeton, 1987 : renowned psychologist Professor Joseph Weider is brutally murdered . New York, twenty-five years later : literary agent Peter Katz receives a manuscript. Or is it a confession ?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWar and turpentine : a novel / Stefan Hertmans ; translated from the Dutch by David McKay.
“The life of Urbain Martien–artist, soldier, survivor of World War I, lies contained in two notebooks he left behind when he died in 1981. His grandson, a writer, retells his story, the notebooks giving him the impetus to imagine his way into the locked chambers of Urbain’s memory.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Nowhere man / Gregg Hurwitz.
“He was once called Orphan X. As a boy, Evan Smoak was taken from a children’s home, raised and trained as part of a secret government initiative buried so deep that virtually no one knows it still exists. But he broke with the program, choosing instead to vanish off grid and use his formidable skill set to help those unable to protect themselves. One day, though, Evan’s luck ran out. Ambushed, drugged, and spirited away, Evan wakes up in a locked room with no idea where he is or who has captured him. As he tries to piece together what’s happened, testing his gilded prison and its highly trained guards for weaknesses, he receives a desperate call for help.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDear Mr M / Herman Koch.
“Mr M is being watched. As a famous writer, he is no stranger to the limelight, although interest in his work has been dwindling of late. His print runs are smaller than they used to be, and so are the crowds at his bookshop signings. But there is someone still interested in Mr M and keeping an extremely close eye on him, someone whose own story bears more than a passing resemblance to the plot of Mr M’s bestselling thriller, in which a teacher has an affair with a student, only to be brutally murdered by the girl and her teenage boyfriend. In Mr M’s book, the body is never found, but in real life, bodies have an awkward habit of turning up.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBehind her eyes / Sarah Pinborough.
“Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But when she meets David Young, successful and charming, Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife Adele, beautiful, elegant and sweet, Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her. But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks. Is David really is the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears? Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLincoln in the bardo : a novel / George Saunders.
“February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.
Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo, a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe woman on the stairs / Bernhard Schlink ; translated from the German by Joyce Hackett and Bradley Schmidt. 
“For decades the painting was believed to be lost. But, just as mysteriously as it disappeared, it reappears, an anonymous donation to a gallery in Sydney. The art world is stunned, so are the three men who loved the woman in the painting, the woman on the stairs. One by one they track her down to an isolated cottage in Australia. Here they must try to untangle the lies and betrayals of their shared past, but time is running out.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCity of friends / Joanna Trollope.
“The day Stacey Grant loses her job feels like the last day of the only life she’d ever known. For who was she if not a City high-flyer, Senior Partner at one of the top private equity firms in London? As Stacey starts to reconcile her old life with the new, one of long days at home with her dog and ailing mother, waiting for her successful husband to come home she at least has The Girls to fall back on. The girls, now women, had been best friends from the early days of university right through their working lives, and for all the happiness and heartbreaks in between. But these career women all have personal problems of their own, and when Stacey’s redundancy forces a betrayal to emerge that was supposed to remain secret, their long cherished friendships will be pushed to their limits.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Recent Religion picks for March

Fresh off the printing press is a guide-book to Martin Luther’s Reformation locations, an introduction to a Buddhist approach to economics, and two books of special interest to Jewish readers.

Syndetics book coverMuslim integration : pluralism and multiculturalism in New Zealand and Australia, edited by Erich Kolig and Malcolm Voyce.
This collection discusses the future of religio-cultural pluralism, multicultural policies, and the growing demands for greater emphasis on assimilation. Contributors examine issues such as parallel societies, Islamophobia, radicalization, tolerance, adaptation and mutual adjustment, legal pluralism, the role of mosque architecture, and media depictions of Muslims are examined. (Drawn from publisher’s summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Islamic Jesus : how the King of the Jews became a prophet of the Muslims, by Mustafa Akyol.
“Akyol exposes an extraordinary historical connection between Judaism, Jewish Christianity and Islam–a major mystery unexplored by academia. From Jesus’ Jewish followers to the Nazarenes and Ebionites to the Qu’ran’s stories of Mary and Jesus, The Islamic Jesus will reveal links between religions that seem so contrary today.” (drawn from the Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuddhist economics : an enlightened approach to the dismal science, by Clair Brown.
Traditional economics measures the ways in which we spend our income, but doesn’t attribute worth to the crucial human interactions that give our lives meaning. Clair Brown, an economics professor at U.C. Berkeley and a practicing Buddhist, has developed a holistic model, which emphasises interdependence, shared prosperity, and happiness into her vision for a sustainable and compassionate world. This leads us to think mindfully as we go about our daily activities, and offers a way to appreciate how our actions affect the well-being of those around us.

Syndetics book coverAn atheist and a Christian walk into a bar… : talking about God, the universe, and everything, by Randal Rauser and Justin Schieber.
“Theology professor Rouser and YouTube personality Schieber offer complex, rigorous arguments that will challenge the thinking of believers and atheists alike…. They argue about whether testimony is valid evidence, what the major theological disagreements between religions suggest, what the creator’s seeming hostility to the universe means, whether the neat mathematical pattern of the universe proves intentional design, and how to best explain the problem of human suffering…” (From Publisher Weekly courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe story of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert.
Although found in the language section, this book will be of interest to religious scholars. It shares the history of the development of the Hebrew language until modern times, as well as how religions have imbued it with rich symbolic power.

Syndetics book coverThe genius of Judaism, by Bernard-Henri Lévy ; translated by Steven B. Kennedy.
Chapter headings include : The strength of the Jews ; Jewish France ; How modern Judaism abolished the idea of revolution ; The temptation of Nineveh. What does it mean to be a Chosen People? ; Thus spake Jonah ; The Ninevites of Ukraine and Libya ; Does God arrive as an idea or through faith?

Syndetics book coverMaking sense of God : an invitation to the skeptical, by Timothy Keller.
Timothy Keller invites skeptics to consider that as human beings, we cannot live without meaning, satisfaction, freedom, identity, justice, and hope. Christianity provides us with unsurpassed resources to meet these needs. Written for both the ardent believer and the skeptic, Making Sense of God shines a light on the profound value and importance of Christianity in our lives. (Drawn from the publisher’s summary)

Syndetics book coverMartin Luther’s travel guide : 500 years of the ninety-five theses : on the trail of the Reformation in Germany, by Cornelia Dömer.
It’s often quite fun to set yourself a mission when travelling. If you’re planning a European trip, here’s an opportunity to make that mission places connected to Martin Luther – each town, castle, and church where the famed German preached, spoke ….. or fought. Travelers will find information on the historic towns of Dresden, Eisleben, Erfurt, Gotha, Leipzig, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Weimar, and Worms. Also includes stories about Luther’s life and work as well as maps, and timelines.

Syndetics book coverLive better : a book of spiritual guidance, by Sophie Golding.
“Your spiritual journey can take many forms, and it’s important to choose the path that’s right for you. This handbook will introduce you to traditions and practices with the power to open your heart and broaden your mind. Along with practical tips and enlightening quotes, the insights here are stepping stones towards a better life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAtlas of Christian history, by Tim Dowley ; cartographer, Nick Rowland.
“Concise, helpful text, written by acknowledged authorities, guide the experience and interpret the visuals. … The atlas is broken into five primary parts that correspond well to most major introductions to the topic. The final section on the modern era pays significant attention to the growth of Christianity as a global religion. Extensive maps are provided that illuminate Christianity in Asian, African, and Latin American contexts.” (drawn from the Publisher’s description).

Some New Classical CDs

This week we spotlight some new and interesting chamber compilations: an early Baroque exploration of the seasons on viola da gamba, Rachmaninov piano trios, and an arrangement of two Philip Glass études for piano and string quartet.

Preghiera: Rachmaninov Piano Trios. Performed by Gidon Kremer, Giedré Dirvanauskaitè, Daniil Trifonov.
“Legendary Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer celebrates his 70th birthday with an all-Rachmaninov recital in partnership with brilliant young Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov and Lithuanian cellist Giedré Dirvanauskaitè. The two Trios élégiaques are prefaced by Fritz Kreisler’s haunting arrangement of themes from the Piano Concerto No. 2″ (cover).

Piano Works, Philip Glass. Performed by Víkingur Ólafsson.
“Visionary Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson celebrates Philip Glass’s 80th birthday with his personal selection of pieces from the minimalist master’s two books of solo piano Études – works in which, Ólafsson says, ‘Glass seems to be exploring the very essence of his ideas’ – together with brand-new reworkings for piano and string quartet of two of the Études plus the hypnotic ‘Opening’ from Glass’s classic 1982 album Glassworks…” (cover).

New Era, Stamitz, Danzi, Mozart. Performed by Andreas Ottensamer.
“Andreas Ottensamer’s third solo album is dedicated to the Mannheim School: the 18th century melting pot of revolutionary musical experimentation. Attracting the best musicians from all over Europe, Mannheim became the birthplace of the modern orchestra and the source for the first great clarinet concertos. Featuring duets with his outstanding Berliner Philharmoniker colleagues Albrecht Mayer and Emmanuel Pahud, Andreas celebrates this new era of explosive, colourful and virtuosic music” (cover).

The Four Seasons, Christopher Simpson. Performed by Sirius Viols.
“Antonio Vivaldi was not the only composer of the Baroque who used the idea of the seasons to write his most popular work, they also inspired Christopher Simpson, the best viola da gamba virtuoso of the early English Baroque to use the theme for composition. Now Hille Perl and her ensemble, Sirius Viols, have recorded this colourful piece, a work abounding in dynamism, virtuosity and experimental verve. They guide the listener on a musical tour of icy winter, burgeoning spring and sultry summer all the way to multi-coloured autumn” (cover).


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