Category: Recent picks

Design details – Design & Architecture picks in March

Several exciting new titles have been added to our design & architecture sections recently, so take a look below for books on the past, present, and future of design, and examples of architects designing their own abodes for living and leisure. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverDesigner Maker User : An Introduction to Design
“Designers, makers and users are the three essential participants in the creation of any kind of design. Exploring these relationships enables us to understand how we shape the world and how it, in turn, shapes us. Designer Maker User traces the evolution of design, from its roots in the Industrial Revolution to its transformation by the digital explosion. Designer Maker User provides readers with an appreciation for the significance of design and its far-reaching impact on the world in which we live.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe new web typography : create a visual hierarchy with responsive web design / Stephen Boss, Jason Cranford Teague.
“With a vast selection of typefaces now available, there is no excuse for using boring typography in web design. The New Web Typography shows you how to implement web-safe fonts to create visually appealing and multi-browser-friendly websites while encouraging you to develop designs that express your own unique typographic voice. This book discusses general principles for choosing typefaces for on-screen display and tips for creating a visual hierarchy that works on monitors, tablets, and smartphones.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhere architects stay : lodgings for design enthusiasts / Sibylle Kramer.
“The combination of architecture and vacations is highly inspiring. It promises relaxation and pleasure, beauty and style, all in one. From the archaic forest hut in the mountain, the luxuriously decorated loft in a major metropolis, or the romantic idyllic house by the lake – these part-time dream houses allow visitors to forget the hustle and bustle of everyday life and they are the perfect place for a short escape or a longer time out.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPrint & pattern : nature / Bowie Style.
“The latest book based on the popular Print & Pattern blog, Print & Pattern: Nature celebrates beautiful surface designs, patterns, and motifs of leaves, insects, grasses, butterflies, and trees. Product areas covered include stationery, cards and giftwrap, fabrics, wallpaper, rugs, ceramics, homewares, gadget skins, and more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat’s So Great About the Eiffel Tower? : 70 Questions That Will Change the Way You Think About Architecture
“Why do we find the idea of a multi-colored Parthenon so shocking today? Why was the Eiffel Tower such a target for hatred when it was first built? Is the Sagrada Familia a work of genius or kitsch? Why has Le Corbusier, one of the greatest of all architects, been treated as a villain? This book examines the critical legacy of both well known and either forgotten or underappreciated highpoints in the history of world architecture. You may never look at architecture in the same way again!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArchitects’ homes / edited by Bethany Patch.
“This stunning book takes a rare glimpse into the intriguing and unique homes of some of the world’s best-known architects. How do these architects design their own private domains? How do their furnishing styles impact on the structural integrity of the space? How do these individuals express their interior design flair in their own haven? Combining rich photography and spectacular imagery with the personal stories of these industry professionals, this book provides a rich source for those keen to delve into the design aesthetics, concepts and innovations of leaders in their very own field.” (Syndetics summary)

The play’s the thing – Literature picks for March

Well so said Hamlet, and this month’s picks certainly seem to reflect this. We feature two collections of New Zealand plays and the prize -winning playscript on which the Oscar winning film “Fences” was based. Also on offer are books about Alice Munro, Maya Angelou, Jan Morris and Jonathan Swift – a rich harvest indeed.

Syndetics book coverMaya Angelou : adventurous spirit / Linda Wagner-Martin.
“A comprehensive biographical and critical reading of the works of American poet and memoirist Maya Angelou (1928-2014). Linda Wagner-Martin covers all six of Angelou’s autobiographies, as well as her essay and poetry collections, while also exploring Angelou’s life as an African American in the United States, her career as stage and film performer, her thoughtful participation in the Civil Rights actions of the 1960s, and her travels abroad in Egypt, Africa, and Europe.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe map and the clock : a laureate’s choice of the poetry of Britain and Ireland / edited by Carol Ann Duffy and Gillian Clarke.
The Map and the Clock is a celebration of the most scintillating poems ever composed on our islands. Curated by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and by Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales, this anthology gathers fourteen centuries of extraordinary verse – beginning with the first writings from the old languages of England and Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and culminating in some of our most recent poets.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeaths of the poets / Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts.
“From Chatterton’s Pre-Raphaelite demise to Keats’ death warrant in a smudge of arterial blood; from Dylan Thomas’s eighteen straight whiskies to Sylvia Plath’s desperate suicide in the gas oven of her Primrose Hill kitchen or John Berryman’s leap from a bridge onto the frozen Mississippi, the deaths of poets have often cast a backward shadow on their work.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA double sorrow : Troilus and Criseyde / Lavinia Greenlaw.
“When Chaucer composed Troilus and Criseyde he gave us, some say, his finest poem, and with it one of the most captivating love stories ever written. A Double Sorrow, Lavinia Greenlaw’s new work, takes its title from the opening line of that poem in a fresh telling of this most tortured of love affairs.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAlice Munro : Hateship, friendship, courtship, loveship, marriage ; Runaway ; Dear life / edited by Robert Thacker.
“The awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to the Canadian writer Alice Munro in 2013 confirmed her position as a master of the short story form. This book explores Munro’s work from a full range of critical perspectives, focussing on three of her most popular and important published collections: Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (2001), Runaway (2004), and her final collection Dear Life (2012).” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBats plays / Ken Duncum & Rebecca Rodden.
“Six seminal plays from Ken Duncum and Rebecca Rodden, whose playwriting partnership powered the vibrant theatre scene round Wellington’s BATS Theatre in the 1980s and 90s. These collected plays are boldly inventive, darkly comic and ceaselessly imaginative.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAriel : a literary life of Jan Morris / Derek Johns ; drawings by Jan Morris.
“Jan Morris is one of the great British writers of the post-war era. Soldier, journalist, writer about places (rather than ‘travel writer’), elegist of the British Empire, novelist, she has fashioned a distinctive prose style that is elegant, fastidious, supple, and sometimes gloriously gaudy.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFences / a play by August Wilson ; introduction by Lloyd Richards.
“Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. In his work, Mr. Wilson depicted the struggles of black Americans with uncommon lyrical richness, theatrical density and emotional heft, in plays that give vivid voices to people on the frayed margins of life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJonathan Swift : the reluctant rebel / John Stubbs.
“Born in Ireland in 1667, Jonathan Swift defiantly clung to his Englishness. He refused to relinquish this attachment even as corruption and injustice gradually led him to turn against the English government. In a long life, Swift proved a reluctant rebel, though one with a relish for the fight, and implacable when provoked – a voice of withering disenchantment unrivalled and a conscientious Anglican minister.” (Syndetics summary)

Image from Amazon.comStage journeys : 10 short plays from New Zealand / by Paula Crimmens, Tim Hambleton, Richard Prevett, Kerrie Anne Spicer, Rex McGregor, Richard Bull, June Allen, Richard C. Harris, Nataliya Oryshchuk.
Stage Journeys is a collection of 10 award-winning New Zealand plays, each 10 minutes long with no more than 3 onstage characters. This collaboration, written by 9 talented New Zealand playwrights, offers a tantalising selection of genres and styles, suitable for all audiences. Each writer promises to take you on a rollercoaster ride of theatrical delight-from comedy through to drama and beyond.” (Syndetics summary)

Be creative this season! New Craft books for March

Take a look at a delightful selection of fun and easy to follow projects with ideas and instructions how to create simple and stylish pieces. Find some fantastic knitting, quilting and crocheting ideas for you to start your own project. Have fun!

Syndetics book coverMade in paracord! : 25 great jewelry, accessories, and home projects to knot / Caitlin Wynne.
“This collection of 25 designs, all created in brightly colored paracord, will inspire you to get knotting. There are no special skills required, and paracord is an easy, and easily available, material to work with, so you’ll be creating simple and stylish pieces in no time. You’ll find tons of accessories, including survival and other bracelets, key chains, bags, belts, and headbands, as well as homewares like wall hangings, hammocks, bowls and plates-and more!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover200 fun things to crochet : decorative flowers, leaves, bugs, butterflies, and more! / edited by Victoria Lyle.
“If you ever find yourself wondering what to crochet next, then just open this book, and you’re guaranteed to find the answer. 200 Fun Things to Crochet is an irresistible collection of cute little crochet projects for all levels of ability. Containing a mix of beautiful projects inspired by nature–crochet flowers, birds, bugs, leaves, and even sea creatures–as well as a collection of charming floral squares, you’ll want to pick up your hook, sort through your yarn stash, and get started right away.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesigner crochet accessories : fresh, new designs for hats + scarves + cowls + shawls + handbags + jewelry and more.
“Sometimes, all it takes is the right accessory to pull off a great look. And if that accessory happens to be handmade by you? All the better! In this book, popular author/designer/teacher Melissa Leapman shows you how to make more than 25 fresh and beautiful crocheted accessories. From winter warmers like cozy hats and scarves that make a statement to all-season wardrobe builders such as one-of-a-kind jewelry, colorful handbags, and stunning shawls, Melissa Leapman’s Designer Crochet Accessories has it all.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDresden carnival : 16 modern quilt projects, innovative designs / Marian B. Gallian and Yvette Marie Jones.
“A parade of modern Dresden quilts awaits, packed with playful colour choices, new layouts, and exciting borders. Peruse 16 projects, 4 bonus variations, and 5 alternate colourways, for creativity that knows no bounds! Basic needle-turn techniques are included, and patterns range from beginner-friendly to more advanced. These truly innovative Dresden blocks for the next generation take a perennial favourite and infuse it with pizazz!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitting without needles : a stylish introduction to finger and arm knitting / Anne Weil.
“Who knew you could actually knit without needles? Put down those complicated knitting projects that take forever to finish. Knitting Without Needles brings cool home, gifts, and clothing accessories–cowls, totes, rugs, poufs, scarves, and more–within arm’s reach. An all-in-one resource for a new kind of craft, this book shows you how to loop yarn with your fingers or your forearms with thirty patterns that are simple to follow and produce stylish results. Best of all, many of them knit up fast–in less than an hour!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverModern knits from Sweden : a warm mix of shawls, scarves, cowls, mittens, hats and more / Erika Åberg ; photography, Malin Nuhma.
“All your favorite contemporary knits, in one book: shawls, scarves, hats, wrist warmers, mittens, and gloves! With delightful easy-to-wear accessories in all styles and sizes, from classic and elegant to cozy and colorful, garter stitch and stockinette to entrelac and herringbone, Modern Knits from Sweden will keep any experienced knitter warm all winter long.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe knitted hat book : 20 knitted beanies, tams, cloches, and more.
“Brimming with quick and fun-to-knit designs for stitchers of all skill levels, The Knitted Hat Book features a modern take on classic knitted caps. In this top-notch collection, your favorite knitwear designers have created more than 20 head-turning toppers. Hats of all shapes and styles: berets, beanies, tams, cloches, toques, and more. Whether you’re looking for instant knitting gratification, a few chic designs to perk up your wardrobe, or the perfect small project to hone new skills, The Knitted Hat Book has you covered.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Keep ’em guessing – New eBook Fiction in March

Do you ever wonder about your neighbours? Sure, they look normal, but everyone’s got a secret or two. Several of this month’s new releases on Overdrive address this very question, including Marina Lewycka‘s latest novel, The Lubetkin Legacy. Add in great new crime fiction set in Belfast and Detroit, and you’ll have enough mystery to keep the whole street guessing!

Overdrive cover The Lubetkin Legacy, by Marina Lewycka
“North London in the twenty-first century: a place where a son will adopt an old lady to impersonate his departed mother, rather than lose the council flat. A time of golden job opportunities, though you might have to dress up as a coffee bean or work as an intern at an undertaker. A place rich in language – whether it’s Romanian, Russian or buxom housing officers talking managementese. Marina Lewycka is back in this hilarious, farcical, tender novel of modern issues and manners.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Telex from Cuba, by Rachel Kushner
“Fidel and Raúl Castro are in the hills, descending only to burn sugarcane plantations and recruit rebels. Rachel K. is in Havana’s Cabaret Tokio, entangled with a French agitator trying to escape his shameful past. Everly and K.C. are growing up in the dying days of a crumbling American colony, about to discover the cruelty and violence that have created their childhood idyll.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly, by Adrian McKinty
“Belfast 1988: a man has been shot in the back with an arrow. It ain’t Injuns and it isn’t Robin Hood. But uncovering exactly who has done it will take Detective Inspector Sean Duffy down his most dangerous road yet, a road that leads to a lonely clearing on the high bog where three masked gunmen will force Duffy to dig his own grave.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer
“Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father’s closet. It is a search that will lead him through New York, history and himself towards some kind of peace.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Flea Palace, by Elif Shafak
“Bonbon Palace was once a stately apartment block in Istanbul. Now it is a dilapidated home to ten wildly different individuals. There’s a womanising, hard-drinking academic with a penchant for philosophy; a ‘clean freak’ and her lice-ridden daughter; a lapsed Jew in search of true love; and a charmingly naïve mistress. When the garbage at Bonbon Palace is stolen, a mysterious sequence of events unfolds that result in a soul-searching quest for truth.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover My Sister’s Bones, by Nuala Ellwood
“Kate Rafter is a high-flying war reporter. She’s the strong one. The one who escaped Herne Bay and their father. Her sister Sally didn’t. Instead, she drinks. But when their mother dies, Kate is forced to return to the old family home. And on her first night she is woken by a terrifying scream. What secret has Kate stumbled upon? And is she strong enough to uncover the truth . . . and make it out alive?” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Mackenzie’s Mountain, by Linda Howard
“Mary Elizabeth Potter is a self-appointed spinster with no illusions about love. When she meets Wolf Mackenzie, a man with a chip on his shoulder the size of Wyoming, she sets out to convince the whole town he’s a man worth loving. But Wolf’s not sure he’s ready for the taming of Wolf Mackenzie.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Fear, by Dirk Kurbjuweit
“Randolph insists he had a normal childhood, though his father kept thirty loaded guns in the house. Now he has an attractive, intelligent wife and two children, enjoys modest success and has just moved into a beautiful flat in a respectable part of Berlin. Life seems perfect—until his wife, Rebecca, meets the man living in the basement below. Their downstairs neighbour is friendly at first, but soon he starts to frighten them—and when Randolph fails to act, the situation quickly spins out of control.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover August Snow, by Stephen Mack Jones
“Tough, smart, and struggling to stay afloat, former detective August Snow is the embodiment of Detroit. It’s not long before he’s summoned to the home of business magnate Eleanore Paget, who wants August to investigate the increasingly unusual happenings at her private wealth management bank. August declines, and a day later, Paget is dead. What begins as an inquiry into Paget’s death soon drags August into a rat’s nest of Detroit’s most dangerous criminals.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton
Cry the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its contemporaneity, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry the Beloved Country is a work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Aussie rock – New Books on Popular Music

New books on popular music feature some Aussie stuff; intriguing inside stories of Midnight Oil and The Go-Betweens, and Dig: Australian rock and pop music, 1960-85 would be the perfect accompaniment to them. As always, fantastic biographies, this time about legends such as Brian Wilson, Phil Collins and Johnny Marr, have been added. Check them out!

Syndetics book coverDig : Australian rock and pop music, 1960-85 / David Nichols ; foreword by Dave Graney.
“A comprehensive and highly readable history of the first quarter-century of Australian rock and pop music, Dig appeals to everyone with more than a passing interest in rock ‘n’ roll. Those whose knowledge of Australian rock and pop does not extend far beyond the Easybeats, AC/DC, Little River Band and Nick Cave can discover a wealth of music beyond those star names; while even those familiar with the work of the Missing Links, Pip Proud, Radio Birdman and the Moodists learn much about the scenes and connections that produced these bands and dozens of others.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMidnight Oil : the power and the passion / Michael Lawrence.
“Midnight Oil are one of the most ‘Australian’ rock bands this country has produced. Born from the Australian pub rock scene that gave us AC/DC, Cold Chisel and INXS, the Oils were able to break out of that scene without compromising themselves in any way. Indeed, their breakthrough overseas record was the most Australian album they made. But it wasn’t just the subject matter that made them fiercely Australian; it was their stubborn independence, and their refusal to play the rock’n’roll game and respect its rules and masters.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGrant & I : inside and outside the Go-Betweens / Robert Forster.
Grant & I is the story of the friendship and collaboration of Grant McLennan and Robert Forster, who gave Australia The Go-Betweens. At its heart is a privileged insight into a prolific artistic collaboration that lasted three decades, and an extraordinary friendship that rode out the band’s break-up to remain strong until Grant’s premature death in 2006. Unconventional in lineup and look, noted for near misses and near hits, always a beat to one side of the mainstream – the band’s unusual beginnings were followed by twists that often confounded its members as well as fans and record companies.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI am Brian Wilson : a memoir / Brian Wilson ; with Ben Greenman.
I Am Brian Wilson reveals as never before the man who fought his way back to stability and creative relevance, who became a mesmerizing live artist, who forced himself to reckon with his own complex legacy, and who finally completed Smile, the legendary unfinished Beach Boys record that had become synonymous with both his genius and its destabilization. Today Brian Wilson is older, calmer, and filled with perspective and forgiveness.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCured : the tale of two imaginary boys / Lol Tolhurst.
“A deeply rebellious, sensitive, tough, and often surprisingly “normal” young man, Robert Smith was from the start destined for stardom, a fearless non-conformist and provocateur who soon found his own musical language through which to express his considerable and unique talent. Intensely lyrical and evocative, gripping and unforgettable, Cured is the definitive story of a singular band whose legacy endures many decades hence, told from the point of view of a participant and eyewitness who was there when it happened-and even before it all began.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSet the boy free : the autobiography / Johnny Marr.
“An artist who helped define a period in popular culture, Johnny Marr tells his story in a memoir as vivid and arresting as his music. The Smiths, the band with the signature sound he cofounded, remains one of the most beloved bands ever, and have a profound influence on a number of acts that followed–from the Stone Roses, Suede, Blur, and Radiohead to Oasis, The Libertines, and Arctic Monkeys. Rising above and beyond the personal struggles and bitter feuds, Marr delivers the story of his music and his band, sharing the real insights of a man who has made music his life, and finally giving fans what they’ve truly been waiting for.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNot dead yet : the memoir / Phil Collins.
Not Dead Yet is Phil Collins’s candid, witty, unvarnished story of the songs and shows, the hits and pans, his marriages and divorces, the ascents to the top of the charts and into the tabloid headlines. As one of only three musicians to sell 100 million records both in a group and as a solo artist, Collins breathes rare air, but has never lost his touch at crafting songs from the heart that touch listeners around the globe. This is Phil Collins as you’ve always known him, but also as you’ve never heard him before.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverZayn.
“After five years of massive success with One Direction, ZAYN launched his career as a solo artist with Mind of Mine, becoming one of the most successful artists in the world. Never-before-released photos give readers insight to ZAYN, no-holds-barred. Gorgeously designed with hundreds of full-color photographs and Zayn’s notes, drawings, song lyrics, and personal stories, the book captures Zayn’s most private moments and his candid feelings on fame, success, music, and life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFortunate son : my life, my music / John Fogerty with Jimmy McDonough.
“Creedence Clearwater Revival is one of the most important and beloved bands in the history of rock, and John Fogerty wrote, sang, and produced their instantly recognizable classics: “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Born on the Bayou,” and more. Now he reveals how he brought CCR to number one in the world, eclipsing even the Beatles in 1969. By the next year, though, Creedence was falling apart; their amazing, enduring success exploded and faded in just a few short years. Fortunate Son takes readers from Fogerty’s Northern California roots, through Creedence’s success and the retreat from music and public life, to his hard-won revival as a solo artist who finally found love.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYou’re making me hate you : a cantankerous look at the common misconception that humans have any common sense left / Corey Taylor.
“Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor’s third book is a searingly hilarious trawl through the endless backwaters of human stupidity. Funny, profane, blasphemous, and above all right on target, You’re Making Me Hate You is pure Corey Taylor unleashed, exposing the underbelly of human depravity in all its ragged glory.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLoose canon : the extraordinary songs of Clive James & Pete Atkin / Ian Shircore.
“For the last fifty years, Clive James has been writing remarkable songs – witty, moving, sometimes satirical, often thrillingly poetic – with his musical partner, Pete Atkin. They’ve written more than two hundred together, releasing the first album of their work in 1970 and the last in 2015. Stephen Fry is a huge fan, as his dazzling foreword to this book proves. And Clive himself believes these songs are the best things he’s ever done. Loose Canon explores the sparkling lyrics and brilliantly memorable tunes that have won Clive and Pete a fanatical cult following but still managed to remain the British music industry’s best kept secret.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAltamont : the Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the inside story of rock’s darkest day / Joel Selvin.
“Celebrated rock journalist Joel Selvin tells the definitive story of the Rolling Stones’ infamous Altamont concert in San Francisco, the disastrous historic event that marked the end of the idealistic 1960s. The product of twenty years of exhaustive research and dozens of interviews with many key players, including medical staff, Hells Angels members, the stage crew, and the musicians who were there, and featuring sixteen pages of color photos, Altamont is the ultimate account of the final event in rock’s formative and most turbulent decade.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLove for sale : pop music in America / David Hajdu.
“In Love for Sale, David Hajdu–one of the most respected critics and music historians of our time–draws on a lifetime of listening, playing, and writing about music to show how pop has done much more than peddle fantasies of love and sex to teenagers. From vaudeville singer Eva Tanguay, the “I Don’t Care Girl” who upended Victorian conceptions of feminine propriety to become one of the biggest stars of her day to the scandal of Blondie playing disco at CBGB, Hajdu presents an incisive and idiosyncratic history of a form that has repeatedly upset social and cultural expectations.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeatles gear : all the Fab Four’s instruments from stage to studio–the ultimate edition / Andy Babiuk.
“This ultimate guide to all the gear used by the Beatles details exactly which guitars, drums, amplifiers, and keyboards the Fab Four embraced throughout their brief but revolutionary career. John, Paul, George, and Ringo’s moves from cheap early instruments to the pick of 1960s technology are carefully and entertainingly documented in an easy-to-read narrative, fully illustrated with many previously unseen photographs, a cache of rare memorabilia, and a unique collection of specially photographed instruments used by the Beatles. This landmark book is perfect for the fan absorbed by music rather than hairstyles, and for any reader with an abiding interest in the 1960s.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Spotlight on solo and chamber music – New classical CDs

This week among the new additions we found these interesting gems.

Rafał Blechacz, Johann Sebastian Bach.
“Rafał Blechacz, ‘a superlative pianist’ (BBC Music Magazine), further demonstrates his versatility in his first album devoted to Bach. Among the highlights of his wide-ranging programme are the Italian Concerto, one of Blechacz’s signature pieces (‘His reading was, above all, a model of textural transparency’ – Portland Press Herald), and the Partita No. 1 (‘It was immediately clear from the first sweet, liquid notes that Blechacz is a musician in service to the music, searching its depths, exploring its meaning and probing its possibilities’ – Washington Post)” (cover).

Flute Quartets, Mozart. Performed by the Brodsky Quartet and Lisa Friend.
“Members of the Brodsky Quartet meet the internationally famous flautist Lisa Friend in an album of key works of the flute repertoire: Mozart’s flute quartets. Highly praised for previous recordings, her own compositions, solo recitals in Europe, the US, and Asia, as well as appearances with prestigious orchestras, Lisa Friend devotes her very first recording on Chandos to witty, colorful interpretations or Mozart. The flute quartets of Mozart are central to the classical flute repertoire – and deservedly so: the composer’s characteristic charm, wit, beauty, and elegance are in evidence throughout” (amazon.com).

Voyages: Orgue de la Philharmonie de Paris. Performed by Olivier Latry.
Organ compilations are unique in that they are a recording of a specific instrument installed in a specific space. Olivier Latry says, “A space within a space, bonded for all time with the environment in which it is housed, the inherent rapport between the organ which we are about to hear and its surroundings means that it is without a shadow of doubt the soul of the Philharmonie. May the listener relax and be transported to rediscover universal music illuminated by an instrument with so many attributes” (cover).

Piano Trios Op. 65 & 90, Dvořák. Performed by Trio Wanderer.
“The Trio Wanderer pays tribute to Dvořák and his last two trios, including the rarely played no. 3 in F minor, heartfelt and sombre. The famous Dumky Trio… opens this new recording. Passionate and melancholy by turns, it is also the most innovative and the freest of Dvořák’s trios…” (cover).

New eAudiobook Fiction

What do exorcisms, flesh-eating ants and nuclear weapons disguised as dumplings have in common? They all feature in this selection of new fiction eAudiobooks from Overdrive! If you think a few flesh-eating ants might come in handy, be sure to sign up with Overdrive here.

Overdrive cover My Best Friend’s Exorcism, by Grady Hendrix
“High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since the fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act … different. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries—and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Fields Where They Lay, by Timothy Hallinan
“It’s three days until Christmas and Junior Bender, Hollywood’s fast-talking fixer for the felonious, finds himself hired to solve a shoplifting problem at the run-down Edgerton Mall. But Junior’s surveillance operation doesn’t go well: two people are dead and it’s obvious that shoplifting is the least of the mall’s problems. To prevent further deaths, Junior must confront his dread of Christmas, both present and past.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Gentleman from Japan, by James Church
“Under the guise of machinery for making dumplings, a Spanish factory is secretly producing a key component in the production of nuclear weapons. When information finds its way to Western intelligence agencies that this “dumpling maker” is meant for North Korea, orders go out that the shipment must be stopped. Inspector O is recruited to assist, leading him into a maze of cracked mirrors and deadly double blinds in his most elaborate mystery yet.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Heat and Light, by Jennifer Haigh
Heat and Light depicts a community blessed and cursed by its natural resources. Soaring and ambitious, it zooms from drill rig to shareholders’ meeting to the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor to the ruined landscape of the ‘strippins,’ haunting reminders of Pennsylvania’s past energy booms. This is a dispatch from a forgotten America; a work of searing moral clarity from one of the finest writers of this generation.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Invasive, by Chuck Wendig
“FBI consultant Hannah Stander is in an airport, waiting to board a flight home, when she receives a call from Agent Hollis Copper. “I’ve got a cabin full of over a thousand dead bodies,” he tells her. What Hannah finds is a murder that points to the impossible: someone weaponizing the natural world in a most unnatural way. Hannah knows there are a million ways the world can end, but she just might be facing one she could never have predicted.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Swing Time, by Zadie Smith
“Two brown girls dream of being dancers – but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either… Moving from north-west London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Drowning Lesson, by Jane Shemilt
“The Jordan family thought they would return from their gap year abroad enriched, better people, a closer family. Not minus one child. A year on, Emma remains haunted by the image of that empty cot, thousands of miles away, the chasm between her and the rest of the family growing with each day that Sam remains missing. Is her son still out there? Will the mystery about what happened that night ever be unravelled?” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover We Are All Made of Glue, by Marina Lewycka
“When Georgie Sinclair spots Mrs Shapiro, her eccentric old Jewish neighbour, rummaging through her skip in the middle of the night, it’s just the distraction she needs from her own slightly disastrous life. And although they mistrust each other at first, a firm friendship is formed. So when two slimy estate agents start competing to trick Mrs Shapiro into selling her mansion, Georgie must step in and help her new friend. Along the way she uncovers the long buried mysteries of Mrs Shapiro’s past…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Mothers, by Brit Bennett
“It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance – and the subsequent cover-up – will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Carousel Court, by Joe McGinniss
Carousel Court is the story of Nick and Phoebe Maguire, a young couple who move cross-country to Southern California in search of a fresh start for themselves and their infant son following a trauma. But they arrive at the worst possible economic time. Trapped, broke and desperate, Nick and Phoebe each devise their own plan to claw their way back into the middle class and beyond. Hatched under one roof, their two separate, secret agendas will inevitably collide.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Prophetic insights – New eBook Fiction

What will 2017 bring? It’s hard to say with certainty, but perhaps some clues lie in this month’s new releases from Overdrive. Will there be drama and mystery as seen in The Paris Librarian? Tragedy and conflict as portrayed by Even in Paradise? Or the dark humour of The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green? For more prophetic insights, sign up now!

Overdrive cover The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, by Joshua Braff
“Jacob Green doesn’t mean to disappoint his family, but he can’t help thinking the most unthinkable (and very funny) thoughts. If only he could confront his overbearing father and tell him he doesn’t want to sing in synagogue, attend est classes or write the perfect thank-you note. But, of course, he can’t. That would be unthinkable.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Forty Rooms, by Olga Grushin
“A modern woman will inhabit forty rooms in her lifetime. They form her biography, from childhood to death. For our protagonist, the first rooms she is aware of are those that make up her family’s Moscow apartment. We follow this child as she leaves home to study in America, and discovers sexual happiness and love. But her hunger for adventure will open up more ambiguous rooms, rooms full of ghosts and unknown trade-offs.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover One Hundred Twenty-One Days, by Michèle Audin
“This debut novel by mathematician and Oulipo member Michèle Audin retraces the lives of French mathematicians over several generations through World Wars I and II. The narrative oscillates stylistically from chapter to chapter—at times a novel, fable, historical research or diary—locking and unlocking codes, culminating in a captivating, original reading experience.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Dying Trade, by Peter Corris
“Meet Cliff Hardy. Smoker, drinker, ex-boxer. And private investigator. When the wealthy Bryn Gutteridge hires Hardy to help his sister, it looks as if blackmail is the problem. Until the case becomes more brutal, twisted and shocking than even Hardy could have guessed. Described by The Age as ‘a quintessentially Australian literary icon.'” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Even in Paradise, by Elizabeth Nunez
“Peter Ducksworth, a Trinidadian widower of English ancestry, retires to Barbados. He decides to divide his land among his three daughters while he is alive, his intention not unlike that of King Lear. But Lear made the fatal mistake of confusing flattery with love, and so does Ducksworth. Feeling snubbed by his youngest daughter, Ducksworth decides that only after he dies will she receive her portion of the land, setting in motion the very strife he hoped to prevent.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Paris Librarian, by Mark Pryor
“Hugo Marston’s friend Paul Rogers dies unexpectedly in a locked room at the American Library in Paris. The police conclude that Rogers died of natural causes, but Hugo is certain mischief is afoot. As Hugo delves into the library’s stacks, he begins to hear rumours about a famous actress, a recently donated collection and a dagger. But to uncover the truth, he must return to the scene of a decades-old crime.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Some Women, by Emily Liebert
“Annabel Ford has everything under control, but when her husband announces that he’s leaving, she’s blind-sided. Piper Whitley has done her best to balance it all—raising her daughter Fern by herself while advancing her career. Only now that she’s met the man of her dreams, Fern’s absentee father shows up, throwing everything into a tailspin. Mackenzie Mead has many reasons to count her blessings, but with an imperious mother-in-law and a husband with whom she can no longer connect, something has to give.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Bohr Maker, by Linda Nagata
“Nanotechnology saturates the world, but strict laws regulate its use, and death follows for those caught in violation. The threat of death means little though, to a man already condemned to die. Nikko—post human, desperate to escape his fate—steals a forbidden nanomachine. But the theft goes awry and the nanomachine escapes into the wild–igniting a desperate race to contain it before the definition of ‘human’ changes for all time.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness tells the story of Charles Marlow, an English man who journeys into the African jungle. The difference between Conrad’s novella and other classic adventure fictions, like Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, is that Heart of Darkness goes beyond classic motifs to explicitly deal with questions of racism, exploitation and colonization. Readers ultimately understand that the darkness of the title does not only stand for the horrors in the African wilderness, but for the cruelty of the colonizer’s heart.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

New Zealand stories – New ‘Other Genres’ for February

New Zealand writers are featured in this month’s ‘Other Genres’ selection of new material. There are several historical novels that bring into focus New Zealand’s political, cultural and social development over the last century. Highly recommend it the new novel by award winning author Karen Hay, titled The March of the Foxgloves.

Syndetics book coverThe Assyrian girl / Thomas W Devine.
“Security contractor, Matt Couper, returns from Iraq with memories of a fifteen year old Assyrian girl, Tara Nasrim, whose life he saved. Five years later, as a refugee, Tara shows up in New Zealand. Even there, Islamic extremism rears its head. Religion clashes with love, vengeance is pursued, and Matt’s world overturns.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe march of the foxgloves / Karyn Hay.
“A late 19th century tale of triumph over obsession and humiliation. London, 1893, and Frances Woodward is tormented by the restrictions of her puritanical father and the cruelties of 19th century narcissist, Benedict Hunt. Having meted out a particularly creative form of revenge upon Hunt, Frances transcends the social norms of the late-Victorian era and travels alone to the far-flung colony of New Zealand, where she is forced to look beyond the establishment life seemingly pre-ordained for her. Falling in with other artists and non-conformists, and inspired by the revolution in thinking brought about by heroic literary figures and social reformers of the time, Frances forges a new path of her own making” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWe the ones / Julie Helean.
“Struggling with their own disparate agendas, members of this dysfunctional yet fervent anti-racism cell embark on an earnest quest to disrupt the celebrations planned for the 150-year anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi. As Waitangi Day draws near, Charlie, disgruntled with her Pakeha anti-racism group’s endless meetings, leadership squabbles and debates over rhetoric, joins her Maori flat mate Kat on a reckless journey to sabotage the 1990 celebrations and stop the Queen from attending. With growing disregard to consequences, the pair commits to do whatever it takes to have the Treaty honoured and the Maori flag flying at Waitangi.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLewisville / Alexandra Tidswell.
“Martha Grimm has a sorrowful secret, and her daughter Mary Ann is the only other person in New Zealand who knows it. Growing up dirt-poor in Willoughby, Warwickshire, in 1814, Martha dared to imagine a different life. Now she is a wealthy and respectable Wellington settler half a world away. But the cost has been high. Martha cannot speak of the past or the people she left behind. The story of one woman’s ambition, of escape and reinvention, and the bittersweet consequences of achieving one’s dreams.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA striking truth / Helen McNeil.
“Leo Harris, union president at the mill in a one-industry town in the rural heartland, has a problem. So long as I live and breathe, he says, I’ll stand up to power. But the mill’s CEO insists this was a showdown waiting to happen. It’s 1986 and the entire town and its people are caught in the stalemate between the two. With their livelihoods, their families, their identities under siege, everyone must choose where their loyalties ultimately lie. It’s not just about work; marriages, family relationships, whakapapa are in jeopardy and long held secrets burst to the surface.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSecond time around / E.M. Richmond.
“Established business journalist Georgia Hayden is asked to interview an old friend, Quinn Masters when he returns to New Zealand from the UK where he has been for the past twelve years. Quinn’s wife, and mother of his teenage daughter, died in a tragic accident thirteen years earlier. Georgia is divorced from her husband and has a two year old son. When they meet they discover a mutual attraction, but are both gun-shy. If they can get past their own issues, they may find love is indeed lovelier the second time around.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA French wedding / Hannah Tunnicliffe.
“Max is turning forty. All he wants for his birthday is for his six oldest friends to come to France to eat, dance, drink and laugh for one weekend, and to finally declare his secret, undying love for his best friend, Helen. Juliette gave up the dream of owning an acclaimed Parisian restaurant and returned to her tiny coastal village to nurse her aging parents, but she finds her home much changed, even the boulangerie where she first learned to love baking has fallen upon hard times. Now, as she tries to find her way to a new future, Max’s birthday weekend may just provide the new beginning Juliette is wishing for, but at whose cost?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFurry blur : tales of flash fiction / Barbara Unković.
“Bold, distinctive and written with an acute sense of observation, these diverse tales highlight Unkovic’s skill as a talented writer of Flash Fiction. A unique collection of twenty-eight tales with clear-cut voices from sweet to shocking.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Science Fiction and Fantasy novels for February

Normal by Warren Ellis is our highly recommend title from this selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels recently received by Wellington City Libraries. The selection also includes this genres most popular themes, genetic engineering, shapeshifting, space warfare, artificial intelligence and magic, just to highlight some of the great choices for readers.

Syndetics book coverNecrotech / K C Alexander.
“Street thug Riko has some serious issues: memories wiped, reputation tanked, girlfriend turned into a tech-fueled zombie and the only people who can help are the mercenaries who think she did them over. In an apathetic society devoid of ethics or regulation, where fusing tech and flesh can mean a killing edge or a killer conversion, a massive conspiracy is unfolding that will alter the course of the human condition forever. With corporate meatheads after her and a necro-tech blight between her and salvation, Riko is going to have to fight meaner, work smarter, and push harder than she’s ever had to.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIllicit / Cathy Clamp.
“When a border dispute between two bear clans destabilizes shapeshifter relations throughout Europe and threatens to reveal their existence to humans, the Sazi High Council orders both sides to the negotiation table. The peace talks take place in Luna Lake, the American community where all shifter species live in harmony. Dalvin Adway, a Wolven agent, is startled to find Rachel Washington in Luna Lake. The last time he saw her, they were children in Detroit. Then she was kidnapped and, he thought, murdered. She’s stunned to see Dalvin and learn that he, too, is an owl-shifter. Their wary friendship is on the brink of becoming something more when conspiracy and betrayal cause the peace talks to break down. The fight between the bear clans will be settled through a form of traditional challenge, a risky tactic that might lead to full-blown war.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSinners / Larry Correia & John Ringo.
“With New Orleans out of control, Chad Oliver Gardenier, one of Monster Hunter International’s premier hunters, has been dispatched from Seattle to reinforce the beleaguered members of MHI’s Hoodoo Squad in their fight against darkness. Chad had once taken a werewolf while wearing only jogging gear. With half a dozen loup garou appearing every full moon, houdon necromancers, fifty-foot bipedal crocodiles and more vampires than a Goth concert, New Orleans in the ’80s gives a whole new perspective to the term “Hell on Earth.” Chad may be able to collect enormous bounties but there’s one catch: he has to stay alive to do it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInto the guns / William C. Dietz.
“On May Day, 2018, sixty meteors entered Earth’s atmosphere and exploded around the globe with a force greater than a nuclear blast. Earthquakes and tsunamis followed, as China mistakenly attacked Europe, Asia, and the United States. As refugees across America band together and engage in open warfare with the military over scarce resources, a select group of individuals make a power play to rebuild the country.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNormal / Warren Ellis.
“When Adam Dearden, a foresight strategist, arrives at Normal Head, he is desperate to unplug and be immersed in sylvan silence. But then a patient goes missing from his locked bedroom, leaving nothing but a pile of insects in his wake. A staff investigation ensues; surveillance becomes total. As the mystery of the disappeared man unravels Adam uncovers a conspiracy that calls into question the core principles of how and why we think about the future, and the past, and the now.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRogue One : a Star Wars story / Alexander Freed.
“The Rebellion has learned of a sinister Imperial plot to bring entire worlds to their knees. Deep in Empire-dominated space, a machine of unimaginable destructive power is nearing completion, a weapon too terrifying to contemplate and a threat that may be too great to overcome. If the worlds at the Empire’s mercy stand any chance, it lies with an unlikely band of allies: Jyn Erso, a resourceful young woman seeking vengeance; Cassian Andor, a war-weary rebel commander; Bodhi Rook, a defector from the Empire’s military and Baze Malbus; and K-2SO, a deadly Imperial droid turned against its former masters. In their hands rests the new hope that could turn the tide toward a crucial Rebellion victory, if only they can capture the plans to the Empire’s new weapon.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe operator / Kim Harrison.
“Peri Reed’s job eats away at her personal life, but for a special task agent in hiding, forgetting the past can be a blessing. Betrayed by the man she thought she loved and the agency that turned her into the very thing she fought against, Peri abandoned the wealth and privilege of Opti for an anonymous life riddled with memory gaps and self-doubt. But when a highly addictive drug promises to end her dependency on those who’d use her as a tool for their own success, she must choose to either remain broken and vulnerable or return to the above-the-law power and prestige she once left: strong but without will, for whoever holds her next fix, will hold her loyalty.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe hammer and the blade / Paul S. Kemp.
“Robbing tombs for fun and profit might not be a stable career, by Egil and Nix aren’t in it for the long-term prospects. Egil is the hammer-wielding warrior-priest of a discredited god. Nix is a roguish thief with just enough knowledge of magic to conjure up trouble. Together, they seek riches and renown, yet often find themselves enlisted in lost causes, generally against their will. The trouble starts when Nix and Egil kill the demonic guardian of a long-lost crypt, nullifying an ancient pact made by the ancestors of an obscenely powerful wizard. Now the wizard will stop at nothing to keep that power from slipping away, even if it means freeing a rapacious beast from its centuries-old prison.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInsurgence / Ken MacLeod.
“Die for the company , live for the pay. The ultimate pay-off is DH-17, an Earth-like planet hundreds of light years from human habitation. Ruthless corporations vie over the prize remotely, and war is in full swing. But soldiers recruited to fight in the extremities of deep space come with their own problems: from A.I. minds in full rebellion, to Carlos ‘the Terrorist’ and his team of dead mercenaries, reincarnated from a bloodier period in earth’s history for one purpose only to kill. But as old rivalries emerge and new ones form, Carlos must decide whether he’s willing for fight for the company or die for himself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover1635 : the wars for the Rhine / Anette Pedersen.
“In the year 1635, the Rhineland is in turmoil. The impact of the Ring of Fire, the cosmic accident which transported the small modern West Virginia town of Grantville to Europe in the early seventeenth century, has only aggravated a situation that was already chaotic. Archbishop Ferdinand of Cologne is determined to restore the power of the Catholic Church over the middle Rhine, the so-called “Bishop’s Alley,” and has unleashed a plot for that purpose. But that same middle Rhine is territory which Landgrave William V of Hesse-Kassel is determined to seize for himself, under the guise of expanding the influence of the United States of Europe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)


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