Love and celebrations: New Weddings books

Weddings are deeply personal celebrations of who two people are separately, who they are and will become together, and the community who love them and celebrate with them. Sometimes though, it’s hard to know where to start — how do you plan such a special day? What parts of the day have meaning for you? Here are some book picks you can use as inspiration to plan your own special celebration — for you, your partner, your family and the people you love.

Syndetics book cover2brides 2Be : a same-sex guide for the modern bride / Laura Leigh Abby ; foreword by Trish Bendix.
“Author Laura Leigh Abby shares her own experiences navigating the world of lesbian wedding planning with a sense of humor and a dose of sass. She has advice on everything from the logistics of walking down the aisle to wording the invites, and she’s not afraid to throw all the rules out the window. With input from wedding industry professionals, 2Brides 2Be will enlighten brides on booking vendors, wrangling family and pulling off the wedding of her dreams.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWeddings in color : 500 creative ideas for designing a modern wedding / Vané Broussard and Minhee Cho ; photographs by Jainé M. Kershner ; styling by Michelle Edgemont.
“In this candy-colored guide, Vané Broussard (founder of the uber-popular blog Brooklyn Bride) and Minhee Cho (of the covetable paper company Paper+Cup) team up to present hundreds of entirely modern style ideas for every aspect of a wedding, in eight eye-catching and vibrant color palettes. From pretty floral crowns to die-cut invitations, altars made from balloons, and so much more, these ideas are anything but traditional. Simple DIYs will spark creativity while interviews with industry experts provide important insider info. Lusciously designed and bursting with vivid photography, Weddings in Color has everything brides need to design a stunningly colorful affair.” (Syndetics summary)

Our thoughts: This next one is a bit older, and a bit different, but wonderful. It’s a graphic novel from bestselling graphic novelist Lucy Knisley about her wedding process — and all the mixed feelings and expectations (her own and other people’s) that go along with it. It’s lovely and we include it here because organising a wedding can sometimes feel like a transformative process in itself as you figure out who you both are and what you want in a celebration, and what matters to you (family, friends, a delicious and beautiful cake, dancing!). Lucy Knisley shares her own process and the thoughts and feelings that helped build her wedding and what it meant to her:

Syndetics book coverSomething new : tales from a makeshift bride / by Lucy Knisley.
“A funny and whip-smart new book about the institution of marriage in America told through the lens of her recent engagement and wedding… The graphic novel tackles the all-too-common wedding issues that go along with being a modern woman: feminism, expectations, getting knocked over the head with gender stereotypes, family drama, and overall wedding chaos and confusion.” (Goodreads summary)

(Also available as an eBook on Overdrive)

Syndetics book coverCelebrate everything! : fun ideas to bring your parties to life / written and illustrated by Darcy Miller.
“The ultimate guide to making special occasions unforgettable. Darcy invites readers to dozens of parties she’s thrown, and shares hundreds of chic and cheerful ideas for ways to make a celebration personal. It’s a blueprint for making the best occasions in life even better, filled with fun ideas to inspire: everything from baby showers to birthday parties plus themes that turn any day into a celebration D.I.Y. craft projects and recipes insider sources and pro tips Darcy’s own inspirations” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverModern brides & modern grooms : a guide to planning straight, gay, and other nontraditional twenty-first-century weddings / Mark O’Connell ; foreword by Liza Monroy.
“Every fiancé(e) faces the question, how do I become something new without losing myself? Using his own story, author Mark O’Connell reflects on conflicts that arrive during wedding transitions, as well as various other transitions throughout your lives. As a psychotherapist, O’Connell offers ideas to bridge relational gaps with your partner, family, and friends. As a professional actor, he also offers insight into the ways your wedding is a theatrical production and how this can help you to conceptualize the event, consolidate your efforts, and increase creative collaboration as a couple. This will serve you not only on your big day, but also for the rest of your time together. Whether we’re straight, gay, or other, weddings inspire us to carve out more fun, freedom, recognition, life space, love space, and connubial space than we’ve ever had before.” (Syndetics summary)

Overdrive cover The Homemade Wedding Cake, Natasha Collins (eBook)
“Making your own wedding cake is easy when you’ve been shown the right materials and techniques, and this is the only book to teach you. It is full of step-by-step guidance and advice, with plenty of tips to help a novice create something stunning and inspirational. This visually enticing step-by-step cake baking and decorating manual makes DIY wedding cakes easily accessible for everyone. In text and images that are both instructional and entertaining, Natasha Collins takes the reader through the whole process of choosing their design, baking their cake, embellishing it, transporting it, presenting it and serving it, so that they can be certain of success at every stage. Every project includes a timetable indicating how long each part of the process will take, and gives a schedule for when the cake should best be decorated and set up in relation to when it is going to be eaten.” (Overdrive description)

(Also available as an eBook on Overdrive)

Road, rail & sky: New Transport books

Some fascinating new books on planes, trains, cars, rockets and bikes!

Image from fishpond.co.nzUnto the skies : a biography of Amy Johnson / K.A. Lalani.
“This is an extensive, fully-researched biography of Amy Johnson, Britain’s most famous aviatrix. Unto the Skies takes readers from the early days of her childhood and adolescence in Hull, through to her estrangement from her family in London, to the point where her love of flying led to the fame she later, albeit reluctantly, gained after her epic 1930 Australia flight. The story of Amy’s death is still surrounded by mystery, after she crashed into the Thames estuary and was drowned; her body was never recovered. Her story still serves as an inspiration to many, being Britain’s first qualified woman ground engineer – despite being told she would never be a flier – and completing her world-famous solo flight at the age of 26, before other setting other records.” (Publisher description)

Syndetics book coverOn the Trans-Alpine trail : a travel guide to the Great Alpine Highway and the Midland Railway / Geoffrey Churchman.
“Designed for those who travel on the TranzAlpine train through the Southern Alps from Christchurch to Greymouth, and those who do the route by car or bus, this book contains general details and historic facts about each of the localities and features of interest to be seen on both railway and highway, listed in geographical order from Christchurch. Extra chapters on practicalities and stopovers round out the information, which is accompanied by 34 photos (31 in colour) and a map.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Otago Central Railway : a tribute / Tony Hurst.
“A pictorial history of the spectacular Otago Central Railway that once stretched 236 km inland from Dunedin as far as Cromwell; now truncated to the 64 km as far as Middlemarch, the route of the highly popular Taieri Gorge Limited tourist excursion train. With the increasing popularity of both the Taieri Gorge Limited and the Otago Central Rail Trail walkway/cycleway which follows the old roadbed 150 km from Middlemarch to Clyde, this book has been republished so that visitors will be able to appreciate the way the railway once looked includingesphotos taken over 100 years.” (fishpond.co.nz)

Syndetics book coverApollo 8 : the thrilling story of the first mission to the Moon / Jeffrey Kluger.
“In August 1968, NASA made a bold decision: in just sixteen weeks, the United States would launch humankind’s first flight to the moon. Only the year before, three astronauts had burned to death in their spacecraft, and since then the Apollo program had suffered one setback after another. Meanwhile, the Russians were winning the space race, the Cold War was getting hotter by the month, and President Kennedy’s promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade seemed sure to be broken. But when Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders were summoned to a secret meeting and told of the dangerous mission, they instantly signed on…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAlternative drivestyles : New Zealand custom-built cars / Patrick Harlow.
“A wide of standard production cars is available, but their pre-packaged looks and specifications don’t meet the needs and tastes of many car enthusiasts. This book takes a comprehensive look at cars that have been given Custom Shop treatment, and in some cases entirely scratch built in New Zealand by enterprising and dedicated car enthusiasts. It presents details with colour photos throughout a wide range of cars from exotic and lavish to the simple and racey. It includes data and descriptions for each and road test results for several.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGondola / Donna Leon.
“Of all the trademarks of Venice none is more ubiquitous than the gondola. In Gondola, Donna Leon tells its fascinating story. First used in medieval Venice as a deftly manoeuverable getaway boat, the gondola evolved over the centuries into a floating pleasure palace, bedecked in silk, that facilitated the romantic escapades of the Venetian elite. Each boat’s 280 pieces are carefully fashioned in a maestro’s workshop. …the gondola is a work of art well worth the labour. And once its arched prow pushes off from the dock, the single Venetian at its oar just might break out in a barcarole, a popular Italian boat song. The best of these songs, as timeless as the allure of the gondola itself, are compiled into an accompanying CD.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChasing space : an astronaut’s story of grit, grace, and second chances / Leland Melvin.
“Leland Melvin is the only person in human history to catch a pass in the National Football League and in space. Though his path to the heavens was riddled with setbacks and injury, Leland persevered to reach the stars. While training with NASA, Melvin suffered a severe injury that left him deaf. Leland was relegated to earthbound assignments, but chose to remain and support his astronaut family. His loyalty paid off. Recovering partial hearing, he earned his eligibility for space travel.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe complete bike owner’s manual / authors, Claire Beaumont, Ben Spurrier.
“This is the complete reference guide to bike servicing and repair, and an essential hardback bible for every cyclist’s bookshelf. Incredible CGI illustrations show you every aspect of bike repair and maintenance more clearly than ever before, whether you’re a mountain biker, cycling commuter, or road racer. Learn how to replace or repair a chain, correct sagging suspension, fit brake cables, service a handlebar, and much more, with incredible up-close detail helping you to get your wheels turning again.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStars & cars : mythical pairings / Jacques Braunstein.
Stars & Cars is a celebration of the most unforgettable automotive moments in film, TV, and popular culture. Lavishly illustrated, it brings together the iconic cars that made an impact on our collective psyche, and the stars – the actors, musicians, writers, and painters – who drove, raced, collected, re-painted, crashed, or simply loved them to an obsessional degree. From James Dean and his ill-fated Porsche Spyder to the greatest Aston Martin moments in the Bond movies, from the heroic Minis in The Italian Job, to the eye-popping paint jobs on the psychedelic limos commissioned by The Beatles – all of the greatest collaborations between stars and cars are featured in the pages of this book.” (Syndetics summary)

Celebrating homemade: September Fashion and Beauty

Homemade makes a comeback this month with Folk Fashion celebrating the charms of the humble homemade garment, plus a new guide to making your own mineral makeup at home. We have new volumes on fashion heavyweights Balenciaga and Missoni, and a detailed look at the history of fashion illustration. There are also new style guides that will get your Parisian chic vibes and makeup on point for the new season.

Syndetics book coverFolk fashion : understanding homemade clothes / Amy Twigger Holroyd.
“Using the innovative metaphor of fashion as common land, Folk Fashion investigates the complex relationship between making, well-being and sustainability. Twigger Holroyd combines her own experience as a designer and knitter with first-hand accounts from folk fashion makers to explore this fascinating, yet under-examined, area of contemporary fashion culture.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMake your own pure mineral makeup : 79 easy hypoallergenic recipes for radiant beauty / Heather Anderson.
“Formulations for eye shadow, foundation, concealer, blush, highlighter, and more will help you create mineral-based powders free of fragrances, parabens, and toxins. You’ll also learn to make simple and safe lip balms and glosses. Many recipes include ingredients that help promote healthy skin, and the in-depth ingredient glossary and at-a-glance substitution chart identify properties such as oil-absorbing and healing, while also highlighting vegan options, so you can create cosmetics that meet your skin’s needs and reflect your personal values.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover100 years of fashion illustration / Cally Blackman.
“A visual feast of 400 dazzling images, this is a comprehensive survey of the genre over the last century. The book also offers an overview of the development of fashion, as seen through the eyes of the greatest illustrators of the day.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverParisian chic look book : what should I wear today? / Ines de la Fressange, Sophie Gachet ; photographs, Benoît Peverelli ; direction, Jeanne Le Bault ; Jeanne B. Cheynel, translator.
“Ines de la Fressange’s personal style is chic yet relaxed in every situation. In this sequel to her best seller Parisian Chic, the world’s favorite style icon demonstrates how to achieve her quintessentially Parisian look throughout the year. Her style secrets start with the building blocks of wardrobe staples which she combines with panache to suit every situation, adding seasonal items like costume bangles, a top in this season’s on-trend color, or the right shade of lip color.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWear and tear : the threads of my life / Tracy Tynan.
“Tracy Peacock Tynan grew up in London in the 1950’s and 60s, privy to her parents’ glamorous parties and famous friends. When Tracy started writing about her life she found that clothing was the focus of many of her stories. She recalls her father’s dandy attire and her mother’s Pucci dresses, as well as her parents’ rancorous marriage and divorce, her father’s prodigious talents and celebrity lifestyle, and her mother’s lifelong struggle with addiction. She tackles issues big and small using clothes as an entre–relationships, marriage, children, stepchildren, blended families, her parent’s decline and deaths, and her work as a costume designer are all recounted with humor, with insight, and with the special joy that can only come from finding the perfect outfit.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBalenciaga : shaping fashion / Lesley Ellis Miller.
“Cristobal Balenciaga (1895-1972) remains one of the most revered and enigmatic of fashion designers. This fully revised and extended edition of Balenciaga offers a thorough examination of the Spanish-born couturier’s designs and business practice, and places him firmly in the context of the time, looking at the country in which he learned his trade and the international fashion scene in which he matured and triumphed. His perfectionism, effortless, iconic style, and the wearability of his clothes continue to influence designers today.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMissoni : art colour / testi Luciano Caramel, Luca Missoni, Emma Zanella.
“Published on the occasion of the Missoni, Art, Colour exhibition, this visually rich book surveys the history and inspiration behind one of the most iconic fashion houses of all time. This book is both a celebration of the unmistakable Missoni style, whose innovative approach mixes color, pattern, and matter with an extraordinary sense of balance, and an exploration of works by artists who have influenced the designers over the course of their creative, cultural, and artistic journey.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe make-up manual : your beauty guide for brows, eyes, skin, lips and more / Lisa Potter-Dixon.
“A comprehensive make-up manual that details all aspects of make-up application, solutions to common problems, as well as tips and tricks for perfecting your look every time. So whether you’re looking for a fun and youthful, elegant and sophisticated, or one-off look, Lisa will show you how to make the most of your facial features and complexion in this her Make-up Manual.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Stravinsky on strings: New Classical CDs

This week we highlight an interesting selection of recent classical releases including some Baroque solo music performed on period instruments, Strauss Lieder, and a collection of works for violin and piano by Stravinsky, which is interesting in that Stravinsky claimed he wasn’t fond of the combination of strings and piano (according to Presto Classical).

Twelve Fantasias for Solo Flute, Telemann. Performed by Ashley Solomon.
“This recording offers the listener a rare opportunity to hear two unique baroque flutes, both made in 1760 alongside my favourite modern copy. In combining all three on this recording I hope it opens a new sound world for the listener and breathes fresh life into these well-known works by Telemann” (Ashley Solomon, on CD cover).

Piano Concertos Nos. 25 & 26, Mozart. Performed by Francesco Piemontesi and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
“Described as a ‘stellar Mozartian’ Francesco Piemontesi finds a perfect partner in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra whose impeccable credentials are widely acknowledge. Piemontesi has performed Mozart exclusively recently, including a critically acclaimed 2015 BBC Prom, a Mozart cycle at London’s Wigmore Hall which commenced in January, 2016 and continues in 2017 and Mozart concertos with the SCO. The Swiss pianist enjoys a particular insight into Mozart gaining a useful ‘love of detail’ from his teacher Alfred Brendel, who was himself renowned for his masterly interpretations of Mozart. This recording couples consecutive yet contrasting works from Mozart’s Vienna period: K.503 represents the longest and most substantial of his concert masterpieces and K.537 provides the soloist with an audience-pleasing cadenza. Conductor Andrew Manze, well-known as a HIP pioneer, shares Piemontesi’s approach to creating an authentic performance, making this somewhat of a Mozart dream team” (amazon.com).

Music for Violin, Volume 1, Stravinsky. Performed by Ilya Gringolts and Peter Laul.
This compilation is in large part a collection of works Stravinsky wrote for his violinist friend Samuel Dushkin, the idea being that Stravinsky and Dushkin would perform them together in recitals. Other works that feature are arrangements of some of pieces taken from some of Stravinsky’s more famous efforts, The Firebird, Petrushka for example. The CD rounds out with a Stravinsky arrangement of La Marseillaise written for solo violin.

Through Life and Love, Richard Strauss. Performed by Louise Alder.
“Hailed as ‘one of the brightest lyric-sopranos of the younger generation’… Louise has been held in high critical acclaim during her early career, and has recently been declared Young Singer of the Year at the 2017 International Opera Awards. She is also no stranger to Lieder, and has worked with pianist Joseph Middleton previously at the Leeds Lieder Festival. Joseph is considered a specialist in the art of song accompaniment… Through Life and Love sees Louise and Joseph perform some of the most beautiful Lieder in the repertoire, including Strauss’ ‘Die nacht, Standchen’ and ‘Rote Rosen’… (amazon.com).

New Graphic Novels for September

This month’s selection of new Graphic novels illustrates the diversity of this collection. The narratives range from comedy to tragedy, from modern life to horror, from the sublime to the surreal, and all with extraordinary art work. Highly recommended this month, but not for the faint hearted is Little Tulip, by Jerome Charryn and Francois Boucq.

Syndetics book coverHerman Melville’s Moby Dick / Chabouté ; translation, Laure Dupont.Moby Dick
“In striking black-and-white illustrations, Chaboute retells the story of the Great American Novel. Captain Ahab strikes out on a voyage, obsessively seeking revenge on the great white whale that took his leg.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLittle Tulip / Jerome Charyn and François Boucq.
“A serial killer haunts the city streets, a stalker of isolated women who leaves a Santa Claus hat at the scene of his crimes. Pavel, a Russian emigre assists the police investigation as a sketch artist. But Pavel’s true calling is as a tattoo artist, and the so-called Bad Santa killings conjure up memories of the nightmarish world in which he learned his craft: a Russian prison camp that shattered his childhood and destroyed his family. Shifting between the living hell of a 1940s Siberian gulag and the crime-ridden chaos of New York City during the 1970s, this graphic novel’s stunning artwork provides an atmospheric backdrop to its tale of corruption, murder, and revenge.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpaniel rage / Vanessa Davis.
“Semi-autobiographical but more observational than confessional, a young single Jewish woman in New York accounts of dating woes, misunderstandings between her and her mother, and conversations with friends, anecdotes about her anxieties and wry truths about the contradictions of life in the big city.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPretending is lying / Dominique Goblet ; translated by Sophie Yanow in collaboration with the author.
“The first book to appear in English by the acclaimed Belgian artist Dominique Goblet, Pretending is Lying is a memoir unlike any other. In a series of dazzling fragments–skipping through time, Goblet examines the most important relationships in her life: with her partner, Guy Marc; with her daughter, Nikita; and with her parents.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Black Monday murders. Volume 1, All hail, God Mammon / words by Jonathan Hickman ; art by Tomm Coker.
“A new crypto-noir series about the power of dirty, filthy money and exactly what kind of people you can buy with it. THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS is classic occultism where the various schools of magic are actually clandestine banking cartels that control all of society: a secret world where vampire Russian oligarchs, Black popes, enchanted American aristocrats, and hitmen from the International Monetary Fund work together to keep global control.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe coldest winter / written by Antony Johnston ; illustrated by Steven Perkins.
“A pre-equal to The Coldest City, again set in Cold War-ear Berlin. After a string of botched assignments for MI6 in Berlin, David Perceval is being sent home. His final mission before leaving, the defection of a Soviet scientist, goes badly wrong, as the coldest winter for 30 years descends on Europe. With transport out of Berlin impossible, and the KGB searching everywhere for their lost scientist, Perceval must improvise a deadly game of cat and mouse through the frozen city to keep the Russians at bay, and deliver his own unique brand of revenge.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSnotgirl. Vol. 1, Green hair don’t care / script, Bryan Lee O’Malley ; art, Leslie Hung ; created by Bryan Lee O’Malley & Leslie Hung.
“Who is Lottie Person? Is she a gorgeous, fun-loving social media star with a perfect life or a gross, allergy-ridden mess?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSeven to Eternity. Vol. 1, The god of whispers / written by Rick Remender ; drawn by Jerome Opeña ; edited by Sebastian Girner.
“The God of Whispers has spread an omnipresent paranoia to every corner of the kingdom of Zhal; his spies hide in every hall spreading mistrust and fear. Adam Osidis, a dying knight from a disgraced house, must decide about joining a hopeless band of magic users in their desperate bid to free their world of the evil God.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWeird detective / script by Fred Van Lente ; art by Guiu Villanova.
“The streets of New York have been plagued by a pattern of crimes too weird and bizarre for the average detective. Lurking in the evidence are shadows of loathsome horrors from beyond space and time, seeking to usher in the unimaginable evil of the Old Ones. The only man capable of fighting against the unspeakable terrors isn’t a man at all. Detective Sebastian Green is one of them it takes a monster to catch a monster.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSnow day / Pierre Wazem, writer ; Antoine Aubin, artist ; Mark Bence, translator.
“A young outsider sheriff struggles in a small, isolated, snow-covered town populated by hard, brutal people who don’t take kindly to strangers. It’s a place where everyone minds their own business and folks do as they please. That is, until the calm, quiet sheriff decides to do his job properly and uphold the law.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The humanity of the moment: Recent Photography books

Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is. — Anonymous

Art has the power to humanise the world, and we think some of the descriptors of this month’s photography books show how photography especially exhibits this power: “quiet but powerful”, “a beautiful and fascinating exploration”, and so many more. This month: read about how a new generation of young women artists are using photography and the internet to explore issues of self-image and female identity and the impact this is having on contemporary art, learn how to produce beautiful astronomical images, see portraits that capture the thoughtful and innocent side of London’s teenagers, and fall in love with 52 wise, healthy, and joyful 100-year-olds.

Syndetics book coverGirl on girl : art and photography in the age of the female gaze / Charlotte Jansen.
“A new generation of female artists is emerging who have grown up in a culture saturated with social media and selfies. This book looks at how young women are using photography and the internet to explore issues of self-image and female identity, and the impact this is having on contemporary art. Forty artists are featured, all of whose principal subject matter is either themselves or other women. Each is accompanied by a short profile based on personal interviews with the author, giving a fascinating insight into this exciting shift in female creativity.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of astrophotography / Ian Morison, Jodrell Bank, University of Manchester.
“In The Art of Astrophotography, astronomer and Popular Astronomy columnist Ian Morison provides the essential foundations of how to produce beautiful astronomical images. Every type of astroimaging is covered, from images of the Moon and planets, to the constellations, star clusters and nebulae within our Milky Way Galaxy and the faint light of distant galaxies. He achieves this through a series of worked examples and short project walk-throughs, detailing the equipment needed – starting with just a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera and tripod, and increasing in complexity as the book progresses.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover…isms : understanding photography / Emma Lewis.
“Isms: Understanding Photography packs an enormous amount of detail into a handy, attractive guide tracing the evolution of photography through a series of interconnected trends, groups, themes and movements – from the invention of the photographic process to the post-internet age. Organised chronologically, this is a uniquely international, comprehensive guide to photography with concise, readable and jargon-free but scholarly insight into major photographers, movements and themes of the past 170 years.In an age where photography is of more resonance and interest than ever before, Isms: Understanding Photography offers an in-depth and clear exposition of photography for the interested general reader or student.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLondon youth / Julian Mährlein.
“This is a quiet but powerful project capturing the thoughtful and innocent side of London’s teenagers. Too often, inner city kids are portrayed in a negative light or through the lens of fashion photography. Mahrlein’s portraits remind us of the humanity and individuality of a generation that is often overlooked or vilified.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe photo ark : one man’s quest to document the world’s animals / Joel Sartore ; foreword by Harrison Ford ; introduction by Douglas H. Chadwick.
“The lush and unique photography in this book represents National Geographic’s Photo Ark, a major initiative and lifelong project by photographer Joel Sartore to make portraits of the world’s animals–especially those that are endangered. His powerful message, conveyed with humor, compassion, and art: to know these animals is to save them. Sartore is circling the globe, visiting zoos and wildlife rescue centers to create studio portraits of 12,000 species, with an emphasis on those facing extinction. With a goal of photographing every animal in captivizty in the world, he has photographed more than 6,000 already and now, thanks to a multi-year partnership with National Geographic, he may reach his goal.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAging gracefully : portraits of people over 100 / Karsten Thormaehlen.
“Fall in love with 52 wise, healthy, and joyful 100-year-olds in this celebratory and uplifting art book. A beautiful and fascinating exploration of what it is like to be over 100 years old, Aging Gracefully invites readers to look into the face of a century of life experience with portraits of centenarians captured by the compassionate, minimalist lens of photographer Karsten Thormaehlen. The striking photographs are accompanied by short bios of the centenarians, featuring quotes and wisdom on love, food, humor, and living with grace.” (Syndetics summary)

Cuba people two : more street photography from Cuba Street Wellington, Aotearoa-New Zealand / Mary Hutchinson.
Mary Hutchinson is a Wellington based photographer who enjoys photographing urban areas. This is the book accompaniment to her 2017 Cuba People Two exhibition, at Matchbox Studios, Wellington. (Information obtained from artist’s website)

How do you paint a war? New Art books

Our picks of the new art books this time round include public art projects from Australia and round the globe, plus: a tribute to the memory of Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, a history of queer art from around the world since 1900, and some remarkable botanical sketchbooks from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. This quote, on the topic of Australian war art from World War One, also touched us:

Among all the forms of national memory and commemoration, it falls to the artists to paint a war. When war is as traumatic as the Great War, the artists’ burden is so much greater

Syndetics book coverTo paint a war : the lives of the Australian artists who painted the Great War, 1914-1918 / Richard Travers.
“Among all the forms of national memory and commemoration, it falls to the artists to paint a war. When war is as traumatic as the Great War, the artists’ burden is so much greater. The Australian artists who painted World War I approached their subject personally, in ways that reflected their experience of the war. Grace Cossington Smith painted on the home front. Hilda Rix Nicholas suffered personal loss beyond words. Tom Roberts, George Coates, and Arthur Streeton served as wardsmen in a military hospital in London. George Lambert travelled to Anzac Cove in 1919 to make the definitive record of the war at Gallipoli. Some contributed as members of the official war artists’ scheme. Others painted as eyewitnesses of the unfolding tragedy. Yet others painted from their hearts. Their work, in all its richness and variety, is a sweeping painterly chronicle of the war, and a vital part of Australia’s heritage.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverThe short story of art : a pocket guide to key movements, works, themes & techniques / Susie Hodge.
“The Short Story of Art is a new and innovative introduction to the subject of art. Simply constructed, the book explores 50 key works, from the wall paintings of Lascaux to contemporary installations, and then links these to sections on art movements, themes, and techniques. The design of the book allows the student or art enthusiast to easily navigate their way around key periods, artists and styles. Accessible and concise, it simplifies and explains the most important and influential concepts in art, and shows how they are linked.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverColonial Gothic to Māori renaissance : essays in memory of Jonathan Mane-Wheoki / edited by Conal McCarthy & Mark Stocker.
“Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (1943–2014) was a much loved and respected academic and curator of broad and varied interests, who made an immense contribution to New Zealand art history over almost half a century. His scholarship was matched by a terrific generosity of spirit and personal charisma. Colonial Gothic to Māori Renaissance is a remarkable tribute to his memory from friends, colleagues and former students alike. Its contents are as varied and interesting as the man himself: Victorian church architecture and liturgy, mysticism, the New Zealand International Exhibition of 1906, the Toi Te Papa exhibition of 2006, traditional and contemporary Māori art, and the artists Thomas Benjamin Kennington, Gottfried Lindauer, Colin McCahon, Tony Fomison, Philip Clairmont and Emily Karaka are all included here. Beautifully illustrated and scholarly yet readable, this book is a powerful testament to the inspiration of a remarkable person.” (Victoria University Press)

Syndetics book coverVisionaries : creating a modern Guggenheim / [curator], Megan Fontanella
“Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim celebrates the late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century masterworks at the core of the institution’s holdings, and the trailblazers – artists and early patrons alike – whose contributions helped define the forward-looking identity of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Central to Visionaries is the story of museum founder Solomon R. Guggenheim, who with support from his trusted advisor, Hilla Rebay, become a great champion of ‘nonobjective’ art and assembled a radical collection against the backdrop of economic crisis and war in the 1930s and ’40s.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRunning the city : why public art matters / Felicity Fenner.
“Leading Australian curator Felicity Fenner profiles activity-based and pop-up contemporary public art projects from Australia and around the globe. Running the City explores art projects that bring together diverse disciplines and cultures – including running, cycling, architecture, and guerilla gardening. From runners taking to the streets of Sydney’s CBD in Runscape to Work No. 850, where athletes sprinted through the corridors of Tate Britain, the book surveys recent art projects that utilise the city both as subject matter and a site for art.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA queer little history of art / Alex Pilcher.
“The last century has seen a dramatic shift in gender and sexual identities for both men and women, reflected in artistic experimentation as artists have sought to challenge social conventions and push the boundaries of what has been deemed acceptable. The result is a wealth of deeply emotive and powerful art intended to express a range of desires and experiences but also to question, criticize, and provoke dialogue. This generously illustrated book showcases the breadth and depth of queer art from around the world since 1900, exploring identity, eroticism, relationships, hidden desires, love, and gender, revealing how experiences have also been shaped by class and ethnicity, and how art itself has played a key role in changing attitudes and crystalizing identities in different historic and contemporary contexts.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBotanical sketchbooks / compiled by Helen & William Bynum.
“Recording the world of plant and animal life and documenting the strange beauty of the natural world have been human passions ever since the first cave paintings. While there are many histories of botanical art featuring beautiful paintings and finished drawings, the artists’ preparatory sketches, first impressions, and scribbled notes on paper are rarely seen. But it is often these early attempts that give us real insight into the firsthand experiences and adventures of the botanists, artists, collectors, and explorers behind them. This exquisite visual compendium of botanical sketches by eighty artists from around the world brings these personal and vividly spontaneous records back into the light. Filled with remarkable images from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, sourced from the unparalleled collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Library, Art & Archives, and other libraries, museums, and archives, Botanical Sketchbooks also provides fascinating biographical portraits of the intriguing characters featured within, including such renowned artists, scientists, and amateur botanists as Leonardo da Vinci, Georg Dionysius Ehret, Carl Linnaeus, Maria Sibylla Merian, Mark Catesby, and Helen and Margaret Shelley (sisters of the novelist Mary Shelley), among many others.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArt record covers / Francesco Sampinato ; ed. Julius Wiedemann.
“An unprecedented collection of artists’ record covers from the 1950s to today. Since the dawn of modernism, visual and music production have had a particularly intimate relationship. From Luigi Russolo’s 1913 Futurist manifesto L’Arte dei Rumori (The Art of Noise) to Marcel Duchamp’s 1925 double-sided discs Rotereliefs, the 20th century saw ever more fertile exchange between sounds and shapes, marks and melodies, and different fields of composition and performance. In Francesco Spampinato’ unique anthology of artists’ record covers, we discover the rhythm of this particular cultural history. The book presents 500 covers and records by visual artists from the 1950s through to today, exploring how modernism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art, postmodernism, and various forms of contemporary art practice have all informed this collateral field of visual production and supported the mass distribution of music with defining imagery that swiftly and suggestively evokes an aural encounter.” (Syndetics summary)

Recent Parenting picks

It’s been a little while since our last picks of the parenting books, so we’ve included a few excellent titles we couldn’t go past from slightly further back as well as some wonderful new titles for you to browse. First up, the amazing Emily Writes! Plus the NZ Birthday Cake Book, and Scotty and Stacey Morrison’s Māori at home.

Syndetics book coverRants in the dark : from one tired mama to another / Emily Writes.
“Popular blogger Emily Writes gives words of encouragement to sleep-deprived parents everywhere. With two small boys, both non-sleepers, Emily finds herself awake in the wee small hours night after night. Her writing is often done then, and she offers her own often hilarious and always heart-warming experiences to other exhausted parents. She describes the frustrations as well as the tender moments of real parenting, as opposed to what you thought it was going to be like, or what well-meaning advice-givers tell you it should be like. A must-have for all new parents and parents-to-be. A lovely gift package.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe great New Zealand birthday cake book / cake designer Jazmine Nixon ; recipes Dean Brettschneider ; project editor Wendy Nixon.
“The Great New Zealand Birthday Cake Book features 80 memory-making cakes with a stunning range of creations to suit any occasion. From bears, boats and ballerinas to pigs, pirates and princesses – and even the latest in emojis – The Great New Zealand Birthday Cake Book has the perfect cake for everyone. The book is designed to guide you step-by-step through all the basics with plenty of practical design and decorating tips. A laminated A1 template sheet tucked into the back cover of the book will help you create any cake you desire. We’ve even created some spectacular looking cakes for adults to further broaden appeal, so with 80,000 birthdays celebrated each week in New Zealand there is sure to be a cake to delight everyone.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMāori at home : an everyday guide to learning the Māori language / Scotty and Stacey Morrison.
“An introduction to the Mori language … covers the basics of life in and around a typical Kiwi household.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThings that helped : essays / Jessica Friedmann.
“Through the tide of hormones ebbing and flowing my body, and the little runnels of blood and the sour tang of my breasts, I lay awake, listening, and thinking of breath and of water. I had broken my relationship with sleep. In this stunning collection, Jessica Friedmann navigates her journey through postpartum depression after the birth of her son, Owen. Drawing on critical theory, popular culture, and personal experience, her wide-ranging essays touch on class, race, gender, and sexuality, as well as motherhood, creativity, and mental illness. Occasionally confronting, but always powerfully moving and beautifully observed, Things That Helped charts Jessica’s return into the world- a slow and complex process of reassembling what depression fractured and sometimes broke.” (Syndetics summary)

Overdrive cover How to DAD, Volume 2, Jordan Watson (eBook)
“OK, hurry up and grab me. We don’t have long before the publishers realise I’m not one of those fancy parenting-help people. In here, you’ll find some sort-of helpful tips, some pictures, some words and a few crack-up dad tales. I might not be a fancy parenting person, but I am a black belt in Dadding. Yes, that’s a thing. It’s totally a thing. I’m still making silly parenting videos, I’m still non-PC and I’m still a DAD. This is How to DAD: Volume 2. Back of book bit: DONE.”(Overdrive description)

Syndetics book coverThe single dad’s guide to the galaxy : parenting in the real world / Roger McEwan.
“‘I’ve experienced all the different roles you have to play when there’s nobody else around: a parent, a dad, a father, a stand-in mum, a confidant, always a butler or maid, a teacher and, most crucially, a friend.’In this enlightening but also very practical book, Roger McEwan shares the lessons he’s learned from years as a solo dad.It is not, he insists, a self-help book. But amidst the rich, always fascinating, often hilarious experiences of his times with his two children are dozens and dozens of useful pieces of advice for parents – from developing a great relationship with your ex (if you can) to letting the children pick the clothes they want to wear, teaching them to cook, and acknowledging that changing a toilet roll is too complex for anyone under the age of eighteen to understand” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverParenting through the storm : find help, hope, and strength when your child has psychological problems / Ann Douglas.
“Raising a child or teenager with a psychological condition is a “perfect storm” of stress, sadness, and uncertainty. How can you find the best treatments and help your child overcome emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges–while keeping yourself and your family strong? As a parent, you may feel isolated and alone, but the reality is that a lot of families are in the same boat. Ann Douglas knows firsthand just how daunting it can be. In this compassionate and empowering guide, she combines the vital lessons she has learned with vivid stories from other parents and advice from leading psychologists. The book cuts through the often-confusing clinical jargon and speaks from the heart about what matters most: the well-being of your child.” (Syndetics summary)

Pasefika eBooks you can borrow anytime

Need a good read? Including Albert Wendt and Selina Tusitala Marsh, here are just a few eBook titles to whet your appetite. Sign up to Overdrive and get started borrowing…

Overdrive cover Nuanua, Albert Wendt (eBook)
“Edited by Albert Wendt and copublished the University of Hawaii Press, Nuanua is an anthology of short stories, extracts from novels, and poems written since 1980 in the Pacific Islands. It remains an essential resource for teachers of Pacific literature.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Whetu Moana, Robert Sullivan (eBook)
“Whetu Moana is the first anthology of contemporary Polynesian poetry in English edited by Polynesians. It collects poems written over the last twenty years from more than 60 poets in Aotearoa, Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue and Rotuma. Well-known poets like Hone Tuwhare, Alistair Campbell and Haunani-Kay Trask are joined by talented young voices, the poets appearing in alphabetical order in a way that presents both an overall Polynesian identity and a focus on individual style. Traditional laments mix with street-smart rap rhythms; images of seascapes and landscapes mingle with shots of urban slums. Political anger is a powerful force in these poems but many are personal and particular. Whetu Moana reveals an active, changing, varied, creative scene, which confronts both a complex colonial past and a fast-moving global present with energy, courage and vitality.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Dream Fish Floating, Karlo Mila (eBook)
“Professor Konai Helu Thaman (Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor, and UNESCO Chair in teacher education & culture – The University of the South Pacific) says this about the collection: This is a refreshing and welcome addition to the growing list of women’s writing in Oceania. Karlo draws wisdom and compassion from her ancestral cultures but is not constrained by them. Honest and unafraid, she has spread her net wide in order to capture the many concerns that many people are grappling with as they face the realities of a globalised and impersonal world. Written with passion, persistence and sensitivity, her poems are insightful, challenging and sometimes provocative. This book should inspire others, especially women, to share their experiences with the rest of the world.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Adventures of Vela, Albert Wendt (eBook)
“Journey through the many stories and worlds of the immortal Vela – Vela, so red and ugly at birth they called him the Cooked; Vela the lonely admirer of pigs and the connoisseur of feet; Vela the lover of song maker Mulialofa the Boneman. Follow him down through the centuries on his travels, encountering the single-minded society of the Tagata-Nei and the Smellocracy of Olfact. Accompany him, too, as he recounts the stories of Lady Nafanua, the fearsome warrior queen, before whose powers travelling chroniclers still bow down today.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Ancestry, Albert Wendt (eBook)
“Albert Wendt’s new collection of short stories explores the nature of family, tradition and culture through the eyes of those seemingly caught between the realities of modern contemporary life and the ancestral ties of their heritage. With a deft touch, he draws us into his characters’ lives and with equal parts wisdom and wit, he exposes them to us. This is a masterful meditation on the ties that bind people together across time and place.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Fast Talking PI, Selina Tusitala Marsh (eBook)
“Fast Talking PI is the first ‘singular, confident and musical’ collection of poetry by Auckland writer Selina Tusitala Marsh. ‘Tusitala’ means writer of tales in Samoan, and Marsh here lives up to her name with stories of her life, her family, community, ancestry, and history. Her poetry is sensuous and strong, using lush imagery, clear rhythms and repetitions to power it forward. The list poem is a favourite style, but she also writes with a Pacific lyricism entirely her own. Fast Talking PI is structured in three sections, ‘Tusitala (personal), ‘Talkback’ (political and historical) and ‘Fast Talking PI’ (already a classic). In poems like ‘Guys Like Gauguin’ she writes as a ‘calabash breaker’, fighting back against historic injustices; but in other poems she explores the idea of the calabash as the honoured vessel for identity and story. Ultimately, though, Marsh exhorts herself to ‘be nobody’s darling’, as a writer she is a self-proclaimed ‘darling in the margins’, and Fast Talking PI proves it – a generous work that will thrill readers; ‘a map in our arms / to get us over the reef’; and a tremendous first book.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Whispers and Vanities, Tamasailau M. Suaalii-Sauni (eBook)
“This collection of essays and selected poetry responds 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. The essays and poetry form a carefully woven critique, from within and outside Samoa, of aspects of Samoa’s religious and cultural values.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature, Jane Stafford (eBook)
“‘What, after all, is the truth of a place that has only just been worked into language?’ From Polynesian Mythology to the Yates’ Garden Guide, from Allen Curnow to Alice Tawhai, from Jessie Mackay to Alison Wong, from Julius Vogel to Albert Wendt, from the letters of Wiremu Te Rangikaheke to the notebooks of Katherine Mansfield – Maori, Pakeha, Pasifika, and Asian New Zealanders have struggled for two and a half centuries to work the English language into some sort of truth about this place. The Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature brings together for the first time in one volume this country’s major writing, from the earliest records of exploration and encounter to the globalised, multicultural present. Editors Jane Stafford and Mark Williams range across novels and stories, poems and plays, letters and diaries, comics and songs to collect the defining stuff of our literary heritage. The contents will delight and provoke: Erewhon and The Heart of the Bush; Man Alone and ‘No Ordinary Sun’; The God Boy and Hicksville; ‘The Gumboot Song’ and The Vintner’s Luck. Through an imaginative selection and illuminating introductions, Stafford and Williams provide new paths into our writing and our country. For students and readers, at home and overseas, the Anthology of New Zealand Literature will be the indispensable introduction for years to come to what’s worth reading and why.” (Overdrive description)

10 new Health books to check out this September

This month we have a variety of new Health books for your reading pleasure. Perhaps start with the mysteries of the mind and explore new research on behavior, mental illness, anxiety and the power of mind over matter. If memoirs are your thing, check out the unbelievable stories of a veteran New Zealand pathologist, a former model turned health & fitness writer and a critically ill musician turned musical healer.

Syndetics book coverBehave : the biology of humans at our best and worst / Robert M. Sapolsky.
“From the celebrated neurobiologist and primatologist, a landmark, genre-defining examination of human behavior, both good and bad, and an answer to the question: Why do we do the things we do? Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA beginner’s guide to losing your mind / Emily Reynolds.
“Living with mental illness is isolating, infuriating and painful – but also very boring and, sometimes, kind of gross. A Beginner’s Guide to Losing Your Mind is a companion to make the journey feel a little less lonely. A blackly funny, deeply compassionate and extremely practical book. A candid exploration of mental illness that is both a personal account of what it’s like to live with mental illness and a guide to dealing with and understanding it.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCure : a journey into the science of mind over body / Jo Marchant.
“A rigorous, skeptical, deeply reported look at the new science behind the mind’s extraordinary ability to heal the body. While we accept that stress or anxiety can damage our health, the idea of ‘healing thoughts’ was long ago hijacked by New Age gurus and spiritual healers. Drawing on the very latest research, Marchant explores the vast potential of the mind’s ability to heal, acknowledges its limitations, and explains how we can make use of the findings in our own lives.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeautiful bodies : a memoir / Kimberly Rae Miller.
“What is the ideal body? Knowing she’s far from alone in this struggle, Kim sets out to find the objective definition of this seemingly unattainable level of perfection. Warm, funny, and brutally honest, Beautiful Bodies is a blend of memoir and social history that will speak to anyone who’s ever been caught in a power struggle with his or her own body…in other words, just about everyone.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWild Mediterranean : the age-old, science-new plan for a healthy gut, with food you can trust / Stella Metsovas.
“The key to great digestive health lies in rewilding the gut and keeping the diverse microbes that inhabit it happy and thriving. In Wild Mediterranean Stella Metsovas breaks down the complex science behind digestive health and shares a deceptively simple and down-to-earth plan for ending the digestive issues that can have far-reaching effects on our everyday lives.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe cause of death / Dr Cynric Temple-Camp.
“Strange and shocking stories of death and murder in provincial New Zealand. You won’t believe these stories happened in New Zealand… Forensic and coronial pathologist Dr Cynric Temple-Camp lifts the lid on some of the most fascinating cases he’s worked on during his 30-year career as a pathologist.  This book will shock and entertain, make you squirm but also occasionally pull at the heartstrings.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNatural defense : enlisting bugs and germs to protect our food and health / Emily Monosson.
“For more than a century, we have relied on chemical cures to keep our bodies free from disease and our farms free from bugs and weeds. We rarely consider human and agricultural health together, but both are based on the same ecology, and both are being threatened by organisms that have evolved to resist our antibiotics and pesticides.  Fortunately, scientists are finding new solutions that work with, rather than against, nature.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnxiety for beginners : a personal investigation / Eleanor Morgan.
“Combining her own experiences, with extensive research, experts (neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists and fellow sufferers), Morgan explores not just the roots of her own anxiety, but also investigates what might be contributing to so many of us suffering around the world. Anxiety for Beginners is a book about acceptance, as Morgan discovers the ways in which people can live a life that is not just manageable but enjoyable, learning to accept anxiety, rather than spending a life fighting and being ashamed of it.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYou are getting sleepy : lifestyle-based solutions for insomnia / Paul Glovinsky PhD & Arthur Spielman PhD.
“Good sleep is an elusive goal: the harder you try, the less likely you are to be successful. Insomnia is stoked by different habits, schedules, stresses, beliefs, and even personality types, but there is no single pill or therapy to reverse it. While insomnia treatments can set the stage, the best thing a person can do to ready themselves for sleep is “getting sleepy.”  True sleepiness is the only reliable portal to sleep and You Are Getting Sleepy will guide you there.” ( Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWaking the spirit : a musician’s journey healing body, mind, and soul / Andrew Schulman ; with an afterword by Marvin A. McMillen, M.D., FACS, MACP.
“The astounding story of a critically ill musician who is saved by music and returns to the same hospital to help heal others. Schulman expertly weaves cutting-edge research on neuroscience and medicine, as well as what he’s learned as a professional musician, to explore the power of music to heal the body and awaken the spirit. ” (Adapted Syndetics summary)