People of the Pacific: Recent Pasifika books

Miss Ulysses from Pukapuka

This collection of recent books has a little bit of everything for the keen reader; a diary, a sports star, a witch doctor and more. From Captain Cook’s voyages across the Pacific Ocean, to the 1970s dawn raids in New Zealand, this booklist is not one to miss if you’re wanting to brush up on a little bit of Pasifika history.

Syndetics book coverMiss Ulysses from Puka-Puka : the autobiography of a South Sea trader’s daughter / by Florence (Johnny) Frisbie ; edited and translated by her father, Robert Dean Frisbie.
Miss Ulysses from Puka-Puka (2nd ed) by Florence (Johnny) Frisbie is the first book written by a Polynesian woman. It tells the amazing story of a young girl growing up on a remote island in the Cook Islands group. Written when Johnny was between the ages of 12 and 14, and published in 1948 when she was 15, Johnny likens her travels through South Pacific islands to those of Ulysses in the Odyssey. Her grandmother’s extended family, the trading station operated by her father, the local witch doctor, a native missionary, her father’s mistress after the death of her mother, and her first boyfriend are among the characters she describes with unflinching honesty. Out of print for more than sixty years, Johnny has added two new chapters to this classic and compelling book and illustrated it with family photos and three maps.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Pacific : in the wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill / Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios.
“Captain James Cook first set sail to the Pacific in 1768 – 250 years ago. These vast waters, one third of the earth’s surface, were uncharted – but not unknown. A rich diversity of people and cultures navigated, traded, lived and fought here for thousands of years. Before Cook, the Pacific was disconnected from the power and ideas of Europe, Asia and America. In the wake of Cook, everything changed. Voyaging on a wide variety on vessels, from container ships to fishing trawlers and sailing boats, Sam crosses the length and breadth of the largest ocean in the world to experience for himself a contemporary journey in Cook’s footsteps, engaging the past and present in both modern and ancient cultural practice and peoples. Fascinating, engaging, fresh and vital – this is history – but not as you know it.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDawn Raid / Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith.
“Like many 13-year-old girls, Sofias main worries are how to get some groovy go-go boots, and how not to die of embarrassment giving a speech at school! But when her older brother Lenny starts talking about marches and protests and overstayers, and how Pacific Islanders are being bullied by the police for their passports and papers, a shadow is cast over Sofias sunny teenage days. Through her heartfelt diary entries, we witness the terror of being dawn-raided and gain an insight into the courageous and tireless work of the Polynesian Panthers in the 1970s as they encourage immigrant families across New Zealand to stand up for their rights.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTatau : a history of Sāmoan tattooing / Sean Mallon and Sébastien Galliot.
“The Sāmoan Islands are virtually unique in that tattooing has been continuously practised with indigenous techniques: the design of the full male tattoo, the pe’a, has evolved in subtle ways since the nineteenth century, but remains as elaborate, meaningful and powerful as it ever was. This richly illustrated cultural history is the first publication to examine 3000 years of Sāmoan tatau. Through a chronology vivid with people, encounters and events, it describes how Sāmoan tattooing has been shaped by local and external forces over many centuries. It argues that Sāmoan tatau has a long history of relevance both within and beyond Sāmoa, and a more complicated history than is currently presented in the literature.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy life, my fight / Steven Adams, with Madeleine Chapman.
“For the first time, Steven Adams shares the story behind his meteoric rise from the streets of Rotorua to his emerging stardom in the NBA.
Adams overcame the odds to become a top prospect in the 2013 NBA draft. From there he went on to secure a four-year contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder – making him New Zealand’s highest-paid sportsperson ever – and forge a reputation for his intense, physical style of basketball. In this intimate account of his life story so far, the seven-foot centre reflects on his humble upbringing, the impact of his father’s death when he was just 13, the multiple challenges and setbacks he has faced, early career-defining moments, and what basketball means to him.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPathway of the birds : the voyaging achievements of Maori and their Polynesian ancestors / Andrew Crowe.
“This book tells of one of the most expansive and rapid phases of human migration in prehistory, a period during which Polynesians reached and settled nearly every archipelago scattered across some 28 million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean, an area now known as East Polynesia. Through an engaging narrative and over 400 maps, diagrams, photographs, and illustrations, Crowe conveys some of the skills, innovation, resourcefulness, and courage of the people that drove this extraordinary feat of maritime expansion. In this masterful work, Andrew Crowe integrates a diversity of research and viewpoints in a format that is both accessible to the lay reader and required reading for any serious scholar of this fascinating region.” (Syndetics summary)

The Latest Books on Film and TV Series

Saturday Night at the Movies book cover

Check out some of these newly catalogued books on films and TV Series. They include the fascinating studies of popular TV series such as The Wire, and The Women Who Lived which tells stories about women in Doctor Who. Also, don’t miss the colourful book about the Wes Anderson’s latest work Isle of Dogs.

Syndetics book coverIsle of dogs / by Lauren Wilford and Ryan Stevenson ; foreword by Matt Zoller Seitz ; with an introduction by Taylor Ramos and Tony Zhou.
Isle of Dogs is the only book to take readers behind the scenes of the beloved auteur’s newest stop-motion animated film. ​Through the course of several in-depth interviews with film critic Lauren Wilford, writer and director Wes Anderson shares the story behind Isle of Dogs‘s conception and production, and Anderson and his collaborators reveal entertaining anecdotes about the making of the film, their sources of inspiration, the ins and outs of stop-motion animation, and many other insights into their moviemaking process. Previously unpublished behind-the-scenes photographs, concept artwork, and hand-written notes and storyboards accompany the text.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWill & Grace & Jack & Karen : life — according to tv’s awesome foursome / Emma Lewis ; illustrations by Chantel de Sousa.
“A fun guide to the important things in life, according to TV’s Will, Grace, Jack & Karen. Featuring fun and colorful illustrations throughout, Will & Grace & Jack & Karen brings you the questionable wisdom of TV’s awesome foursome. Find out which character is your true spirit animal with our handy quiz; get through your day with Karen Walker’s guide to drinking, and improve your job prospects with career advice from Jack McFarland. Full of inspiration, trivia, and hilarious quotes, Will & Grace & Jack & Karen is here to help you discover the secrets to maintaining the lifelong bonds between friends who are more like family.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe women who lived : amazing tales for future Time Lords / Christel Dee & Simon Guerrier.
“From Sarah Jane Smith to Bill Potts, from Susan Foreman to the Thirteenth Doctor, women are the beating heart of Doctor Who. Whether they’re facing down Daleks or thwarting a Nestene invasion, these women don’t hang around waiting to be rescued – they roll their sleeves up and get stuck in. Scientists and soldiers, queens and canteen workers, they don’t let anything hold them back. Featuring historical women such as Agatha Christie and Queen Victoria alongside fan favourites like Rose Tyler and Missy, The Women Who Lived tells the stories of women throughout space and time. Beautifully illustrated by a team of all-female artists, this collection of inspirational tales celebrates the power of women to change the universe.”  (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll the pieces matter : the inside story of The Wire / Jonathan Abrams.All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of the Wire
“The definitive oral history of the iconic and beloved TV show The Wire, as told by the actors, writers, directors, and others involved in its creation. With unparalleled access to all the key actors and writers involved in its creation, Jonathan Abrams tells the astonishing, compelling, and complete account of The Wire, from its inception and creation through its end and powerful legacy.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFrasier : a cultural history / Joseph J. Darowski, Kate Darowski.
“For eleven seasons, radio psychiatrist Frasier Crane contended with his blue-collar ex-cop father Martin, English caretaker Daphne, coworker Roz, and his younger brother Niles. Looking at the world through Frasier’s aristocratic, witty lens, the show explored themes of love, loss, friendship, and what it might mean to live a full life. Both fans and critics loved Frasier, and the show’s 37 primetime Emmy wins are the most ever for a comedy series. In Frasier: A Cultural History, Joseph J. Darowski and Kate Darowski offer an engaging analysis of the long-running, award-winning show, offering insights into both the onscreen stories as well as the efforts behind the scenes to shape this modern classic.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverActing & auditioning for the 21st century : tips, trends, and techniques for film, stage, digital and new media / Stephanie Barton-Farcas.
Acting & Auditioning for the 21st Century covers acting and auditioning in relation to new media, blue and green screen technology, motion capture, web series, audiobook work, evolving livestreamed web series, and international acting and audio work. Readers are given a methodology for changing artistic technology and the global acting market, with chapters covering auditions of all kinds, contracts, the impact of new technology and issues relating to disabled actors, actors of colour and actors that are part of the LGBTQIA community.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSaturday night at the movies : the extraordinary partnerships behind cinema’s greatest scores / Jennifer Nelson.
“A powerful score can make a movie truly extraordinary. The alchemy between composer and director creates pure cinematic magic, with songs and melodies that are recognizable and memorable. So what is their secret? Saturday Night at the Movies goes behind the scenes to reveal 12 remarkable partnerships, and how they have created the music that has moved millions. Discover how these collaborations began and what makes them so effective: the dynamic personalities, the creative chemistry, the flashes of genius. Featuring such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann, Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer, and James Horner and James Cameron, this book explores the creation of film favorites such as Back to the Future, Fargo, Edward Scissorhands and more.” (Syndetics summary)

In search of wisdom: Recent beliefs books

Whispers and Vanities book cover

Two important books lead the selections for November – gathering diverse reflections and essays on peace-making in Aotearoa, and Samoan indigenous spirituality. They are joined by two books on ancient mythologies, a vision of an inclusive Christianity through the prism of transgender issues, and tools drawn from Buddhist mindfulness teaching to overcome negative self-talk.

Syndetics book coverWhispers and vanities : Samoan indigenous knowledge and religion, edited by Tamasailau M. Suaalii-Sauni, Maualaivao Albert Wendt, Vitolia Mo’a, Naomi Fuamatu, Upolu Luma Va’ai, Reina Whaitiri, Stephen L. Filipo.
“The essays and poetry form a careful assessment of aspects of Samoa’s religious and cultural values, from within and outside Samoa, and respond to an address on Samoan religious culture given by Samoa’s Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Tupuola Tufuga Efi, to the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions. The address challenges some fundamental aspects of and assumptions in modern Samoan indigenous religious culture.” (Drawn from the publisher’s summary).

Syndetics book coverPursuing peace in Godzone : Christianity and the peace tradition, edited by Geoffrey Troughton and Philip Fountain.
“This follow-up to Saints and Stirrers brings the history of the Christian-inspired peace movement up to the present. Quaker pacifism, nuclear testing in the Pacific, Maori land alienation and cultural dispossession, apartheid in South Africa, protests at Waihopai and changing attitudes to Anzac Day are some of the topics that are of intense contemporary interest.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn search of wisdom : a monk, a philosopher, and a psychiatrist on what matters most, by Matthieu Ricard, Christophe André, Alexandre Jollien ; translated by Sherab Chödzin Kohn.
“Join these three luminaries as they share their views on how we uncover our deepest aspirations in life, the nature of the ego, living with the full range of human emotion, the art of listening, the temple of the body, the origin of suffering, the joy of altruism, true freedom, and much more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTransforming : the Bible and the lives of transgender Christians, by Austen Hartke.
“This provides access into an underrepresented and misunderstood community and will change the way readers think about transgender people, faith, and the future of Christianity. By introducing transgender issues and language and providing stories of both biblical characters and real-life narratives from transgender Christians living today, Hartke helps readers visualize a more inclusive Christianity, equipping them with the confidence and tools to change both the church and the world.” (Drawn from the publisher’s summary)

Syndetics book coverLiving with the gods : on beliefs and peoples, by Neil MacGregor.
“Acclaimed art historian McGregor explores the relationship between faith and society. It examines mankind’s beliefs not from the perspective of institutional religions but according to how shared narratives have shaped societies–and what happens when different narratives run up against each other.” (drawn from the Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSacred Britannia : the gods and rituals of Roman Britain, by Miranda Aldhouse-Green.
“Two thousand years ago, the Romans sought to absorb into their empire what they regarded as a remote, almost mythical island on the very edge of the known world — Britain. What homegrown deities, cults, and cosmologies did the Romans encounter in Britain, and how did the British react to the changes? Aldhouse-Green examines the two-way traffic of cultural exchange and the interplay between imported and indigenous factions to reveal how this period on the cusp between prehistory and history knew many of the same tensions, ideologies, and issues of identity is still relevant today.” (drawn from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe triumph of Christianity : how a forbidden religion swept the world, by Bart D. Ehrman.
“From the bestselling author on early Christianity, this is the story of how Christianity grew from a religion of twenty or so peasants in rural Galilee to the dominant religion in the West in less than four hundred years. Christianity didn’t have to become so dominant, it easily could have remained a sect of Judaism. An immensely readable narrative, which upends the way we think about one of the most important cultural transformations our world has ever seen–one that revolutionized art, music, literature, philosophy, ethics, economics, and law.”(Drawn from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTalk to yourself like a Buddhist : five mindful practices to silence negative self-talk, by Cynthia Kane.
“If you talk to your friends in a negative manner, you will end up without friends. And if you talk to yourself in the same way, you will end up an emotional train wreck. Kane defines negative self-talk as the vehicle by which we pass judgments on ourselves for mistakes and circumstances, even for something as trivial as wearing the wrong shoes with the wrong belt. … Rooted in Buddhist teaching and incorporating contemporary mindfulness teachings, this book encourages readers to overcome both with internalized thoughts and spoken words. ” (drawn from the Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInside the atheist mind : unmasking the religion of those who say there is no God, by Anthony DeStefano.
“Aims to debunk the theories of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and others, through revealing their inconsistencies. He argues that atheism is a “religion” of its own, complete with a creed, a set of commandments and sacraments, and a rigid moral code with rewards and punishments and a “superstition” of the worst kind.” (Syndetics summary)

Nostalgia is popular this month in the NZ Collection

We hope that it will soon be the start of the golden weather for Wellington as here amongst the new books is Bruce Masons The End of the Golden Weather, the play which was first performed in 1959 and references a very different New Zealand from today. Also a nostalgic look at cars from the 1950’s to the 1970’s in We Had One of Those Too! There are biographies from Lizzie Marvelly and the iconic dance legend Jon Trimmer. Other topics include Eco homes, Anzacs, the Pacific, All Blacks and other sporting pursuits. As always a great variety on the new book shelves of the New Zealand Collection.

The end of the golden weather; a voyage into a New Zealand childhood. / Mason, Bruce
“First performed in 1959, The End of the Golden Weather has become a part of New Zealand history, a touchstone of New Zealand experience” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverWe had one of those too! / Stephen Barnett.
We Had One of Those Too! celebrates even more motoring memories from New Zealand’s golden age of motoring. Filled with a beautifully illustrated collection of cars, from the 1950s through to the 1970s, that Kiwis loved and drove during that period, this book is literally a nostalgic drive down memory lane. We Had One of Those Too! showcases the cars that have become icons of New Zealand popular culture, and that we, or our parents and grandparents owned. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEco home : smart ideas for sustainable New Zealand homes / Melinda Williams.
“Everything you need to know to build, renovate or just live in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. With loads of inspirational photographs of New Zealand homes, this book is packed full of practical and accessible information. It presents the modern home by moving from room to room, to look at structural materials, furnishings and general life hacks to improve your personal green-star rating. As well as the living spaces (kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, office, living area, utility rooms and outdoor areas) it also looks at the wider issues – why make an eco home at all?” (Syndetics summary)

Saviours of Zion : the Anzac story from Sinai to Palestine 1916-1918 / Archer, Christopher J.
“The book tells the story of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade (NZMR Brigade) which fought as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) in the Sinai and Syria/Palestine from 1916 through to 1918. They operated in the Sinai alongside four Australian Light Horse Brigades (ALH Brigades) as part of Lieutenant General Sir Philip Chetwode’s ‘Desert Column’ but after June, 1917 they were reconstituted as The ‘Australian and New Zealand Division’ under Lieutenant General, Sir Harry Chauvel who commanded the ‘Desert Mounted Corps'”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

That F word : growing up feminist in Aotearoa / Marvelly, Elizabeth
“A wake-up call and a battle-cry for all Kiwi women. Lizzie Marvelly tells the story of New Zealand’s feminist roots, then traverses the modern landscape, tearing apart areas of gender imbalance and pervading attitudes to Kiwi women. In particular, Lizzie examines how men have been brought up with certain values — the rugby, racing and beer mentality we know all too well. Lizzie grew up an ardent Chiefs and All Blacks fan, but a wiser head now recognises that there are still endemic issues for society to address. Lizzie speaks about her own first-hand experiences with sexism and male misconduct, while also offering advice to young girls on how to take full control of their lives.” (Catalogue)

Why dance? / Trimmer, Jon
“An autobiography of Sir Jon Trimmer. The book is in two parts. The first is a narrative of Sir Jon’s career. In the second part he discusses aspects of dance and his career and has tips for aspiring dancers –Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

New Zealand’s great walks : the complete guide / Hersey, Paul
New Zealand’s Great Walks are truly world class. In a country blessed with hundreds of spectacular tracks to choose from, these are considered the best of the best. They pass through some of our most breathtaking landscapes – including golden sand beaches, ancient rainforests and high mountains.” (Catalogue)

The Pacific : in the wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill / Wilson-Anastasios, Meaghan
“A rich, complex and engaging account of Cook’s voyages across the Pacific, from actor and raconteur Sam Neill, in which Sam Neill retraces Cook’s footsteps, in the 250th anniversary year of Cook’s first voyage. Captain James Cook first set sail to the Pacific in 1768 – 250 years ago. These vast waters, one third of the earth’s surface, were uncharted – but not unknown. A rich diversity of people and cultures navigated, traded, lived and fought here for thousands of years.” (Catalogue)

Sport and the New Zealanders : a history / Ryan, Greg
“For many in New Zealand, prowess at sport replaces the social graces; in the pubs, during the furious session between 5pm and closing time an hour later, the friend of a relative of a horse trainer is a veritable patriarch. Sport has played a central part in the social and cultural history of Aotearoa New Zealand throughout its history. This book tells the story of sport in New Zealand for the first time, from the Māori world to today’s professional athletes. Through rugby and netball, bodybuilding and surf lifesaving, the book introduces readers to the history of the codes, the organisations and the players.” (Catalogue)

The jersey : the secrets behind the world’s most successful team / Bills, Peter
“New Zealand rugby is a dynasty that transcends all national barriers. As a culture and a model of humility and consistent success, which have led them to three Rugby World Cups, the world of rugby continues to look to the New Zealand model for guidance. Traditionally, the renowned All Blacks and those charged with guiding them have kept their rules of engagement close to their chests. The Jersey tells an extraordinary story with unprecedented access and insight, and explores the basic requirements and immense challenges required not only to become number one in the world, but remain consistently at the top.” (Catalogue)

Rugby rebel : the All Black accused of being a traitor / Tobin, Christopher
Rugby Rebel investigates a sensational accusation made against brilliant All Black winger Duncan McGregor that he sold team secrets which cost the Original All Blacks their unbeaten record on the famous 1905 tour of Britain, France and the United States. What made it worse was that McGregor’s Accusers were some of his fellow All Blacks. But has his name been unfairly besmirched? This book tells McGregor’s extraordinary and previously untold story. Rugby Rebel shatters myths, offers new insights and provides enough information for the reader to decide whether McGregor was hero, or as his deractors claimed, villain.” (Catalogue)

Latest Sports and Fitness books

This selection features books on weird sporting events, mountain climbing, camping, running, soccer scandals through to biographies of sporting personalities. The armchair athlete will find inspiring reading in these fascinating accounts.

Syndetics book coverThe World’s 100 Weirdest Sporting Events : from gravy wrestling in Lancashire to wife carrying in Finland / Geoff Tibballs.
“When we think of the world’s great sporting events, we tend to focus on spectacles such as the World Cup, the Olympics or the Monaco Grand Prix. Yet there is also an alternative world of competition where participants risk life, limb and often dignity for meagre rewards in truly weird sporting pursuits. Step forward the Indonesian sport of sepak bola api, a variation of football in which the barefoot players kick a ball that is on fire; yak racing from Mongolia; Oregon’s Pig-N-Ford Races where drivers speed around the track while carrying a live pig under one arm; and Australia’s variation of the Boat Race. This book lists geographically the world’s 100 weirdest sports events, giving full details of their rules and colourful history.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRed Card : how the U.S. blew the whistle on the world’s biggest sports scandal / Ken Bensinger.
“Presents an account of the FIFA corruption scandal that implicated nearly every aspect of international soccer, sharing insights into the roles of key personalities while tracing the efforts of law enforcement officials to expose the truth.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBruce Lee : a life / Matthew Polly.
“The first noteworthy treatment of its subject–and a definitive one at that…Fascinating narrative threads proliferate.” — (The New York Times Book Review).
“Forty-five years after Bruce Lee’s sudden death at age thirty-two, journalist and bestselling author Matthew Polly has written the definitive account of Lee’s life. This is an honest, revealing look at an impressive yet imperfect man whose personal story was even more entertaining and inspiring than any fictional role he played onscreen.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTo the Mountains : a selection of New Zealand alpine writing / selected by Laurence Fearnley & Paul Hersey.
“This stylish hardback is an exciting compendium of adventure and nature writing, history, philosophy and literature, from the quirky to the sublime. Aimed at real mountaineers as well as the armchair variety.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat the Physio Saw/The Secret Footballer
“He’s back – and this time he’s got company. The Secret Footballer has teamed up with one of the most highly respected physios in the game to bring you the stories of a football season through the eyes of someone who has covered over 1000 games in his career and who knows the most intimate of details about every player he treats. Alongside this privileged glimpse into the physio’s world, The Secret Footballer will be telling his own tales of injury, pain and perseverance with his trademark insight and wit.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMurdoch : the All Black Who Never Returned / by Ron Palenski.
“The story of Keith Murdoch, who passed away earlier this year, is the great unsolved mystery of world rugby. The All Black who was sent home from the tour of the British Isles in 1972 and who exiled himself to the vastness of the Australian outback remains a banner headline in rugby memories. Murdoch only appeared publicly a few times in all those years since the tour, but never said much and nothing at all of the events of that night, or how he felt then and later. But now, the story can be told more fully than before through anecdotes and memories of teammates and colleagues and through the damning words of those who condemned him to his life on the run.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCamping with Kids : hundreds of fun things to do in the great outdoors / Simon McGrath.
“Seasoned camper Simon McGrath draws on a lifetime’s experience so your kids can enjoy every minute of their camping holiday. Start in your backyard and graduate to the wilderness. Go orienteering or hang out at a festival. Watch the sun rise or go on a night walk. Climb a mountain or spot a constellation. And cook up a storm – even in a storm. Camping With Kids has more than 300 cool ideas – from games for the car trip to recipes and adventure activities – to help you and your family get the most out of any camping experience.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Competitive Runner’s Handbook : the bestselling guide to running 5Ks through marathons / Bob Glover and Shelley-lynn Florence Glover.
“For both runners entering that first neighborhood race and elite marathoners, trainers Bob and Shelly-lynn Florence Glover’s completely revised guide is the book on training to compete. The Competitive Runner’s Handbook offers all the latest information needed to design basic training programs; special workouts to increase strength, endurance, and power; schedules and worksheets to develop individual goals; and specifics on preparing for all kinds of races’with an emphasis on the 10K and the marathon. Informed by their over thirty years of coaching experience, the Glovers give winning tips on alternative training, footwear and diet, as well as sensible advice on balancing running with work and home life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Girl who Climbed Everest / Bonita Norris.
“What drives us to go to our limits and beyond? What does it take to make dreams come true over all else? And how can you turn fear into courage? From Everest to K2, The Girl Who Climbed Everest is the story of Bonita Norris’ journey undertaking the world’s toughest and most dangerous expeditions. Once an anxious teenager with an eating disorder it was the discovery of a passion for climbing that inspired Bonita to change her life. An indispensable and important book for anyone who has ever doubted their potential or put limits on themselves – whatever challenge you face or ambitions you want to achieve, The Girl Who Climbed Everest will inspire you to take action and live life more fearlessly.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe official history of the FIFA World Cup / FIFA World Football Museum.
The Official History of the FIFA World Cup is an authoritative and comprehensive review of the 20 FIFA World Cups to have taken place since the inaugural tournament in 1930. Packed with stunning photography, exclusive interviews of the biggest stars of each edition, unique official documents and statistics from the FIFA World Football Museum. This unique book features the biggest stars and many previously unknown ones too, all with a unique worldwide point of view.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNorth : Finding my way while running the Appalachian Trail / Scott Jurek with Jenny Jurek.
“From the author of the bestseller Eat and Run, a thrilling new memoir about his grueling, exhilarating, and immensely inspiring 46-day run to break the speed record for the Appalachian Trail. With his wife, Jenny, friends, and the kindness of strangers supporting him, Jurek ran, hiked, and stumbled his way north, one white blaze at a time. A stunning narrative of perseverance and personal transformation, North is a portrait of a man stripped bare on the most demanding and transcendent effort of his life. It will inspire runners and non-runners alike to keep striving for their personal best.” (Syndetics summary)

Going nuts for guts: New Cooking books!

The Nourishing Cook book cover

It seems the world is very conscious of health issues in an age where obesity, auto-immune diseases and other chronic conditions are prevalent. The vast number of conflicting information available makes it difficult for people to choose the healthy life-style they want. Not to worry – this selection of books will help you make well-informed choices; they all agree on gut health being a priority to regaining a healthier lifestyle, by choosing to eat for gut health.

Syndetics book coverSmart Baby Cookbook : boost your baby’s immunity and brain development / Lauren Cheney.
“A blueprint for your child’s nutrition and brain health Doctor-approved and parent-tested, the Smart Baby Cookbook helps you give your young one a head-start for a healthy life, beginning with the best first foods, through to finger foods and family meals.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Happy Gut : feel-good recipes and remedies for better gut health / Reece Carter.
“The whole wellness world is going nuts for guts, and with good reason. The discovery that the gut and brain are not distinct and separate entities but closely connected is life-changing for everyone. Now, it is impossible to ignore the importance of gut health to chronic health complaints. In this vibrant book, naturopath, Garden Apothecary guru and Herb Nerd Reece Carter offers gentle traditional remedies born of the naturopathic tradition that you can make at home, as well as the most effective, easy and delicious ‘food as medicine’ recipes to help you feel better. Powered by the latest research into the gut-brain axis, The Happy Gut will show you the pathway to everyday good gut health.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPure & Simple : a natural food way of life / Pascale Naessens ; translator, Marguerite Storms.
“In Pure and Simple, Pascale Naessens shares her method for staying happy, healthy, and slim, with more than 60 recipes. She recommends a lifestyle that embraces only natural, unprocessed foods, but she is not advocating for a diet dominated by restrictions. Instead she celebrates delicious meals, pleasure, and health. Her approach has only one rule–no carbohydrates with protein. So, you can eat anything you want, but not together. You don’t need to count calories or restrict portion sizes. You will cook delicious food simply and easily. You can drink wine. You will be satisfied. And you will enjoy your food with relish.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Nourishing Cook / Leah Itsines.
“This isn’t an ordinary cookbook; it’s a creative guide that will inspire you to have a go and learn just how simple it is to cook delicious and nutritious meals that everyone will want to eat. Self-taught cook and food blogger Leah Itsines is happiest when she’s preparing delicious food for the people she loves. She’s on a mission to help others make healthy eating an easy lifestyle choice by promoting creativity and confidence in the kitchen. With over 100 colourful recipes that are close to Leah’s heart, The Nourishing Cook will inspire you to have a go and learn for yourself just how effortless it is to create nutritious meals that everyone will want to eat…. the key ingredient is balance – if you enjoy a varied diet that is flexible and full of wholefoods, you needn’t deprive yourself of anything!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMacros : a wellness and lifestyle guide to transform your body / by Sophie Guidolin.
“Sophie Guidolin has a very simple philosophy for nutrition: eat well, live well. Her latest book includes delicious recipes for clean eating as well as advice on macro nutritional counts, a 7-day meal plan and an exercise program. Sophie is an inspirational mother of four. Her authentic voice has resonated with her one million followers, with whom she shares her parenting, relationship, exercise and nutrition journeys.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Ultimate Gutfixx : how to be successful living a plant-based lifestyle / Scott Mathias.
“At last, a solution to gut issues, which becomes a lifestyle for the health of the human body and planet earth, all wrapped into one very interesting and informative read. Scott Mathias is a ‘self healed’, upwardly mobile 60+ year old vegan chef and ‘gut whisperer’. He is renowned for his inspirational best selling raw vegan recipe books. Now he has stepped off the pages and into his own lifestyle likening it to that led by the humble hippopotamus. Scott shares his wisdom around taking a 24 hour approach to his health and using the rhythm of the day – as the hippo does – and identifies food for elimination, food for ingestion, digestion and absorption and foods for the fasting hours.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Wicked Healthy Cookbook : free. from. animals. / Chad Charno, Derek Sarno, and David Joachim ; foreword by Woody Harrelson ; photographs by Eva Kosmas Flores.
“[This book] takes … plant-based cooking to a whole new level. The chefs have pioneered innovative cooking techniques such as pressing and searing mushrooms until they reach a rich and delicious meat-like consistency. Inside, you’ll find informative sidebars and must-have tips on everything from oil-free and gluten-free cooking to organizing an efficient kitchen”–Amazon.com.

Syndetics book coverThe Autoimmune Solution Cookbook : over 150 delicious recipes to prevent and reverse the full spectrum of inflammatory symptoms and diseases / Amy Myers, M.D.
“The companion cookbook to the revolutionary New York Times bestseller The Autoimmune Solution, filled with more than 150 nutritious, easy-to-prepare, every day recipes to heal symptoms of inflammation and autoimmune disorders, including Graves’ Disease, Psoriasis, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Celiac disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and Multiple sclerosis. The Autoimmune Solution Cookbook delivers more than 150 grain-free recipes designed to prevent and reverse the full spectrum of autoimmune diseases, including allergies, obesity, asthma, cardiovascular disease, fibromyalgia, lupus, IBS, chronic headaches, fatigue, multiple sclerosis, colitis, Graves’ disease, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Food Medic : recipes + fitness for a healthier, happier you / Dr Hazel Wallace.
“Junior Doctor, personal trainer and Instagram hit Dr Hazel Wallace’s first book brings you over 70 nutritional recipes to look and feel amazing whilst debunking the diet myths.’I’m a girl who juggles two jobs, who loves to lift, who adores real food – and can’t resist chocolate. As a junior doctor and a personal trainer, I know that we all feel our best when we are free of illness, full of energy and at a healthy weight – and I know it can be done, even if you lead the busiest of lives! I want to show you that eating the most natural, unrefined and unprocessed wholefood ingredients can be enjoyable, uncomplicated and easy to incorporate into a busy lifestyle. I want this book to change your life.’Hazel x” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Autoimmune Protocol Made Simple Cookbook : start healing your body and reversing chronic illness today with 100 delicious recipes / Sophie Van Tiggelen.
“The Autoimmune Protocol Diet is gaining attention as the top health-supportive diet for the 50 million people suffering from autoimmune conditions; however living the AIP way can feel confusing and overwhelming. You may have no idea where to start and are overwhelmed by the seemingly endless list of foods to avoid and strict guidelines to adhere to — the reality is that you can do the AIP diet easily (and deliciously!) This book makes AIP clear and understandable with short, succinct explanations of the different AIP approaches and 100 AIP-compliant recipes that are inventive and delicious — and don’t make you feel like you are eating on a restricted diet.” (Syndetics summary)

Popular Reads: New Non-Fiction

In the wake of a recent scary article from Nature about Climate Change, and the recent IPCC warning document, our leading book this month asks Can democracy handle climate change? It is followed by a book that bemoans the present unwillingness of people to believe in scientific evidence.

Can democracy handle climate change? / Fiorino, Daniel J.
“Global climate change poses an unprecedented challenge for governments across the world. In this incisive book, Daniel Fiorino challenges the assumptions and evidence offered by sceptics of democracy and its capacity to handle climate change. Democracies, he explains, typically enjoy higher levels of environmental performance and produce greater innovation in technology, policy, and climate governance than autocracies. Rather than less democracy, Fiorino calls for a more accountable and responsive politics that will provide democratically-elected governments with the enhanced capacity for collective action on climate and other environmental issues.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Denialism : the dangers of irrational thinking and ignoring science experts / Specter, Michael
“There is so much confusing and conflicting information about the world in which we live that the truth can be impossible to find. The rise of modern scepticism against fake news is to be celebrated, but this cultural shift has led to a world where opinion is as valuable as fact. The existence of climate change; the safety behind eating genetically modified foods; and the effectiveness of herbal remedies over newly developed medicines are all hotly debated subjects and yet the science, rather than the rhetoric, is almost unanimous. Denialism brilliantly exposes the irrational pseudoscience and scare-mongering that increasingly get in the way of the truth and sensible decision-making. Specter demonstrates how key areas of modern life from basic health, to the environment and overall scientific progress are being dangerously misdirected and why facts must be put back to the heart of our judgements and belief.” (Catalogue)

Talking to women / Dunn, Nell
“In 1964, Nell Dunn spoke to nine of her friends over a bottle of wine about men, sex, work, money, babies, freedom and love. Novelist Edna O’Brien remembers being ‘very frightened’ of having her nipples touched. The Pop Artist Pauline Boty says she got married to the ‘first man I could talk very freely to'” (Catalogue (adapted))

No place like home : repairing Australia’s housing crisis / Mares, Peter
“It is generally accepted that Australia is in the grip of a housing crisis. But we are divided – along class, generational and political lines – about what to do about it. Award-winning journalist Peter Mares draws on academic research, statistical data and personal interviews to create a clear picture of Australia’s housing problems and to offer practical solutions. Expertly informed and eminently readable, No Place Like Home cuts through the noise and asks the common-sense questions about why we do housing the way we do, and what the alternatives might be.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Cyberwar : how Russian hackers and trolls helped elect a president : what we don’t, can’t, and do know / Jamieson, Kathleen Hall
“In Cyberwar, the eminent scholar Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who sifted through a vast amount of polling and voting data, is able to conclude with a reasonable degree of certainty that Russian help was crucial in elevating Trump to the Oval Office. The question of how Donald Trump won the 2016 election looms over all of the many controversies that continue to swirl around him to this day. In particular, was his victory the result of Russian meddling in our political system? Up until now, the answer to that has been equivocal at best given how difficult it is to prove.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Disrupt and deny : spies, special forces, and the secret pursuit of British foreign policy / Cormac, Rory
“The untold story of Britain’s covert military and intelligence operations since the end of World War II, and its secret scheming against enemies, as well as friends… In Disrupt and Deny, Rory Cormac tells the remarkable true story of Britain’s secret scheming against its enemies, as well as its friends; of intrigue and manoeuvring within the darkest corridors of Whitehall, where officials fought to maintain control of this most sensitive and seductive work; and, above all, of Britain’s attempt to use smoke and mirrors to mask decline. He reveals hitherto secret operations, the slush funds that paid for them, and the battles in Whitehall that shaped them.” (Catalogue (adapted))

The mushroom at the end of the world : on the possibility of life in capitalist ruins / Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt
“A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction.”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

I’m absolutely fine! : a manual for imperfect women / Rivkin, Annabel
“I’m absolutely fine but I slightly need to pee, I followed the road less travelled and now I don’t know where the hell I am, I may bleed to death shaving my legs, I just ate the fridge, my soul aches, ducking hell, my sock is slipping off inside my shoe, another week has ended without me becoming accidentally rich, I just put my keys in the fridge, my jeans hate me, unexpected object in the bagging area, I haven’t slept since 2012, I’ve got road rage, I’ll have a café mocha vodka valium latte to go please, where’s my phone? My anxieties have anxieties, no… not like that – here, I’ll do it, do I have to do everything? WTF? Is it just me? We gnaw on that, don’t we? Is it just me? Well, look around. Look at the egg-freezing, the brain freezing, the soul freezing, the terror, the Tinder, the rage, the resolution, the ‘hear me roar’, the panic, the power, the regret, the chin hairs, the hyper-connectedness, the divorce, the shame, the empathy, the conversation, the sheer potential. Welcome to Midulthood: a place where we recognise that we are all more alike than we are unalike. Of course it’s not just you. If we’re not in it together, we’re not in it at all…” (Catalogue)

A good time to be a girl : don’t lean in, change the system / Morrissey, Helena
“Five years have passed since women were exhorted to ‘Lean In’. Over that time, the world has transformed beyond all expectations. But why should anyone ‘lean in’ to a patriarchal system that is out of date? Why not change it entirely for the good of us all?” (Catalogue)

The Skripal files : the life and near death of a Russian spy / Urban, Mark
The Skripal Files is the definitive account of how Skripal’s story fits into the wider context of the new spy war between Russia and the West. The Skripal Files explores the time Skripal spent as a spy in the Russian Military Intelligence, how he was turned to work as an agent by MI6, his imprisonment in Russia and his eventual release as part of a spy-swap that would bring him to Salisbury, where on that fateful day he and his daughter found themselves fighting for their lives.” (Catalogue)

The spy and the traitor : the greatest espionage story of the Cold War / Macintyre, Ben
“A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain’s greatest historians. On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket. The man was a spy. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever…” (Catalogue)

Paint like a girl! – Art, History and Feminism

Madam & Eve book cover

As the world marches to the chant of “Girl Power!” and we bear witness to #MeToo, and as here in New Zealand we celebrate 125 years of Suffrage, we are observing a resurgence of feminism and watching as the waves of change filter across our perceptions, society and history. The world of art; ever the medium of visionaries, rebels, leaders and forward thinkers, has a hidden history that is fervently female. In this month’s recent picks, we invite you to open your minds and look at art through the eyes of feminism and equality. From fresh looks at art history, to records of important social movements, from local pioneers such as Elizabeth Lissaman, to looking at how women represent each other through art. Explore this special collection of new books that reflects these times and our changing perceptions.

Madam & Eve : women portraying women / Rideal, Liz
“How do women paint or photograph each other? How do they represent each other in performance or sculpture? Explore the female gaze as it focuses on other women, as an artist and a curator investigate the work of over 200 artists.  The result is an amazing parade of artworks: eye-catching, poignant, powerful, political, idiosyncratic, playful, awkward, passionate, sexy and positive. It is also an eloquent examination of the impact that the feminist movement has had on contemporary art.” (Catalogue)

Art unfolded : a history of art in four colours / Street, Ben
“Trace the history of art through 48 paintings and four colors. Blue: the color of the beyond and the divine. Red: the color of blood, purity and sensuality. Green: the color of new life, but also of sickness and death. Gold: the color of wealth, attributed to the things we value most. These four colors tell the history of art in a way that few other details can and  grant us access to fascinating stories, both of individual works of art and the world in which they were created.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

A mouth is always muzzled : six dissidents, five continents, and the art of resistance / Hopkinson, Natalie
“As people consider how to respond to a resurgence of racist, xenophobic populism, A Mouth Is Always Muzzled tells an extraordinary story of the ways art brings hope in perilous times. Weaving disparate topics from sugar and British colonialism to attacks on free speech and Facebook activism and traveling a jagged path across the Americas, Africa, India, and Europe, Hopkinson, argues that art is where the future is negotiated.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

A big important art book (now with women): profiles of unstoppable female artists–and projects to help you become one /Krysa, Danielle
“Walk into a museum, or open an art book, and you’ll probably be left wondering: where are all the women artists? This book offers an exciting alternative to this male-dominated art world, showcasing the work of contemporary women artists alongside creative prompts that will bring out the artist in anyone.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Ninth Street women : Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler : five painters and the movement that changed modern art / Gabriel, Mary
“Set amid the most turbulent social and political period of modern times, Ninth Street Women is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, always exhilarating chronicle of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting–not as muses but as artists.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Significant others : creativity & intimate partnership
“Biographies of artists and writers have traditionally presented an individual’s lone struggle for self-expression. In this book, critics and historians challenge these assumptions in a series of essays that focus on artist and writer couples who have shared sexual and artistic bonds. Featuring duos such as Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel, Sonia and Robert Delaunay, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverForms of enchantment : writings on art & artists / Marina Warner.
“Here, Warner captures the visual experience of the work of a diverse group of artists, with a notable focus on the inner lives of women, through an exploration of the range of stories and symbols to which they allude in their work. With illustrations of the works being described, Marina Warner’s writing unites the imagination of artist, writer, and reader, creating a reading experience that parallels the intrinsic pleasure of looking at art.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Reading art : art for book lovers / Trigg, David
“As every book tells a story, every book in art is part of an intriguing, engaging, and relatable image. Books are depicted as indicators of intellect in portraits, as symbols of piety in religious paintings, as subjects in still lifes, and as the raw material for contemporary installations. Reading Art spotlights artworks from museums and collections around the globe, creating a gorgeous, inspiring homage to both the written word and to its pivotal role in the visual world.” (Syndetics Summary)

All too human : Bacon, Freud and a century of painting life
“A new account of one of the most distinctive and fascinating chapters of modern British art: how artists have used painting to record their personal, sensuous and often intense experiences of life. Spanning a century, this history encompasses a diverse but related group of painters, who focused on the depiction of the human figure and the everyday landscape they inhabited. Despite their differences, they all shared a similarly intense and scrutinizing gaze, and remained loyal to their pursuit of intimate and powerful representations of reality.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverElizabeth Lissaman : New Zealand’s Pioneer Studio Potter
“Tracing the life and work of Elizabeth Lissaman OBE (1901-1991), Marlborough-born, Lissaman potted continuously for almost 70 years until 1990, spanning much of New Zealand’s twentieth-century studio pottery movement. This volume is illustrated with over 100 pieces of Lissaman’s pottery, selected from leading private and public collections, such as those from the Marlborough Museum who aim to ensure the legacy of Lissaman and that she may be celebrated as an icon of New Zealand Culture.” (Adapted Back Cover Summary)

Fantasy with wings: Recently published Dragon reads!

Dragon's Code

Dragons are a huge influence in fantasy writing. They are embedded in storytelling traditions from European legends of beasts snacking on villages, ripe for a conquering by a hero, to Chinese and East Asian elemental figures, kin to the people of the land. Many authors have worked these figures into tales contemporary and as part of creating new worlds.

There are a wealth of new titles featuring scaled, fire breathing, winged creatures. The McCaffrey clan’s Pern saga has another twist to the tale with Gigi McCaffrey’s Dragon’s codeand the soon to be released Fire & Blood: 300 Years Before Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History) by George R.R. Martin, delves into the history of the Dragonlords. Ursula le Guin’s Earthsea stories have all been gathered into a gorgeous new illustrated edition, The Books of Earthsea, celebrating the 50 years since the publication of A Wizard of Earthsea and N K Jemisin’s new short story collection How long ’til black future month? has dragons haunting post hurricane Katrina New Orleans.

See below for more recently published dragon reads.

Syndetics book coverFire & Blood : 300 Years Before a Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History)
“The thrilling history of the Targaryens comes to life in this masterly work by the author of A Song of Ice and Fire. Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen–the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria–took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire & Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow Long ’til Black Future Month?: Stories
“In these stories, Jemisin sharply examines modern society, infusing magic into the mundane, and drawing deft parallels in the fantasy realms of her imagination. Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow South must save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story The City Born Great, a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis’ soul” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDragon’s code / Gigi McCaffrey.Dragon’s Code: Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern
“The last time Thread attacked Pern, the world was unprepared for the fight–until the Oldtimers appeared. These courageous dragonriders arrived from the past, traveling four hundred years to help their descendants survive. But the collision of past and present took its toll. While most of the displaced rescuers adapted to their new reality, others could not abide the jarring change and found themselves in soul-crushing exile, where unhappiness and resentment seethed… Now, in a world already beset by Thread, another, more insidious danger looms: For the first time in living memory, dragons may be on the verge of fighting dragons.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverScales of empire / Kylie Chan.
“Corporal Jian Choumaliis on the mission of a lifetime – security officer on one of Earth’s huge generation ships, fleeing Earth’s failing ecosystem to colonise a distant planet. The ship encounters a technologically and culturally advanced alien empire, led by a royal family of dragons. The empire’s dragon emissary offers her aid to the people of Earth, bringing greater health, longer life, and faster-than-light travel to nearby stars.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe forbidden city / Deborah A. Wolf.
“The Dragon King is dying. As heir to his throne Sulema must be trained to take his place, yet the more she learns, the less she trusts the sinister agendas that surround her. Knowing that her life hangs in the balance, Sulema seeks to return to the Zeera. Salvation may lie with her mother, Hafsa Azeina, who walks the dark and deadly pathways of the Dreaming Lands. To save her daughter, the dreamshifter will be forced to strike a pact with her greatest enemy, a huntress who would rather kill her than assist her.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe empire of ashes / Anthony Ryan.The Empire of Ashes
“For hundreds of years, the Ironship Trading Syndicate was fueled by drake blood–and protected by the Blood-blessed, those few who could drink it and wield fearsome powers. Drake of unimaginable power has risen, and it commands an army of both beasts and men. Humanity itself is at stake, but with the aid of ancient knowledge, revolutionary technology and unexpected allies, all hope is not lost. Saving the world will require sacrifice, as Clay, Lizanne and Hilemore will see all they know either consumed by flames or reborn from the ashes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStygian / Sherrilyn Kenyon.
“Born before man recorded time, I lived for thousands of years believing myself to be something I’m not. Lied to and betrayed by gods, Daimons and Dark-Hunters, I’ve struggled to find my way in a world where I’ve been cursed since the moment I was prematurely ripped from my mother and planted into the womb of an innocent woman who thought me her son. Trained as a slayer and predator, I learned to fit in and stay low. To become a tool for evil. Until I was sent to kill the one woman I couldn’t. My hesitation cost her her life. Or so I thought…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpymaster / Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes.
“The start of a swashbuckling adventure from New York Times bestselling author Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes.
Captain Kate Fitzmaurice was born to sail. She has made a life of her own as a privateer and smuggler. Hired by the notorious Henry Wallace, spymaster for the queen of Freya, to find a young man who claims to be the true heir to the Freyan, she begins to believe that her ship has finally come in.” (Syndetics summary)

 

 

Becoming–with Michelle Obama!

November is a big month in the world of biography! The reason? It’s the launch of Michelle Obama’s highly anticipated memoir, Becoming. Becoming covers everything from childhood to work to politics–as well as more recent goings-on at the White House. And while Obama is currently on a stadium-sized book tour in the US, you can get a sneak preview of your own by checking out a sample chapter in the Guardian (and don’t forget to have a browse of our other great new biographies, too!).

Syndetics book coverBecoming: a memoir / Michelle Obama
“In her memoir, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her–from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverInheritance: a memoir of genealogy, paternity, and love / Dani Shapiro
“In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets–secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverIn pieces: a memoir / Sally Field
“In this intimate, haunting literary memoir, an American icon tells her own story for the first time–about a challenging and lonely childhood, the craft that helped her find her voice and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother. Powerful and unforgettable, In Pieces is an inspiring and important account of life as a woman in the second half of the twentieth century.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverSmall fry / Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Small Fry is Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s poignant story of a childhood spent between two imperfect but extraordinary homes. Scrappy, wise and funny, young Lisa is an unforgettable guide through her parents’ fascinating and disparate worlds. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is an enthralling book by an insightful new literary voice.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverMad, bad, dangerous to know: the fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce / Colm Tóibín
“From Colm Tóibín comes an intimate study of Irish history and literature told through the lives and work of three men–William Wilde, John Butler Yeats and John Stanislaus Joyce–and the relationships they had with their sons. Tóibín recounts the resistance to English cultural domination, the birth of modern Irish cultural identity and the extraordinary contributions of these complex and masterful authors.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverHeavy: an American memoir / Kiese Laymon
“In this powerful and provocative memoir, genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies and deception does to a black body, a black family and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverBrutally honest / Melanie Brown
“As one-fifth of the iconic Spice Girls and judge on X Factor and America’s Got Talent, Melanie Brown, a.k.a Scary Spice, has been an international star since her twenties. Brutally Honest is an exposé of the struggles and acute pain that lay behind the glamour and success.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary.)