Apirana Taylor entertains: Waitangi Day celebrations 2020

Wellington City Libraries present two sessions with Apirana Taylor, for school-age children, at He Matapihi Molesworth Library situated on the Ground Floor, National Library of New Zealand on Thursday 6 February as part of the Waitangi Day commemorations.

11.30 am
1pm

These two sessions will fall between the National Library’s two bilingual tours of He Tohu and will complement their programme.

Waitangi Day at He Tohu – ‘Walking backwards into the Future’

Waitangi Day at He Tohu is an opportunity for you and your whānau to see the Treaty of Waitangi.

Activities will include:
– whānau and bilingual He Tohu tours
– tours of National Library digitised collections
– a reading corner with books/ comics and other Treaty resources
– film from Nga Taonga Sound and Vision, and a
– kids’ craft table with Treaty-related activities to help the new generation walk backwards into the future.

Fiction Highlights for 2020!

The future is there… looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become.
― William Gibson, Pattern Recognition

With 2020 well under way and publishers and authors already clambering to hype up their next big book, what better time to look at just a few of the fiction titles we’re excited about reading in 2020.

January

First up in January, the sci-fi prophet William Gibson gives us Agency, a tale of an alternative future in which Hillary Clinton is in the White House and Brexit never occurred. His previous works include the seminal Neuromancer, the 1984 book that popularised the idea of cyberspace:


Agency / Gibson, William
“Verity Jane takes a job as the beta tester for a new product: a digital assistant, accessed through a pair of ordinary-looking glasses. “Eunice,” the disarmingly human AI in the glasses, manifests a face and a canny grasp of combat strategy. Realizing that her employers don’t know how powerful Eunice is, Verity decides that it’s best they don’t. Meanwhile, a century ahead in London, in a different time line entirely, Wilf Netherton works amid survivors of the slow and steady apocalypse known as the jackpot.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Neuromancer / Gibson, William
“The pioneering cyberpunk novel that predicted our obsession with the Internet. Henry Dorsett Case was the sharpest data-thief in the Matrix, until an ex-employer crippled his nervous system. Now a new employer has recruited him for a last-chance run against an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence. With a mirror-eyed girl street-samurai riding shotgun, he’s ready for a silicon-quick, bleakly prophetic adventure.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also in January there is a new novella from the master of spy thrillers Mick Herron titled The Catch. Previous works also include:

Spook street / Herron, Mick
“Twenty years retired, David Cartwright can still spot when the stoats are on his trail. Jackson Lamb worked with Cartwright back in the day. He knows better than most that this is no vulnerable old man. ‘The old bastard’ has raised his grandson with a head full of guts and glory. But far from joining the myths and legends of Spook Street, River Cartwright is consigned to Lamb’s team of pen-pushing no-hopers. So it’s Lamb they call to identify the body when Cartwright’s panic button raises the alarm at Service HQ.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

March

March sees the release of Hilary Mantel’s conclusion to her trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, and the book we think will be the biggest title of 2020: The Mirror and the Light. Will she win the Booker for a record breaking third time? We’ll need to wait and see. Previous books include the award-winning:

Bring up the bodies / Mantel, Hilary
“Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also in March we have Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet, in which O’Farrell imagines the story behind Shakespeare’s most famous play. Previous books include:

The vanishing act of Esme Lennox / O’Farrell, Maggie
“In the middle of tending to the everyday business at her vintage-clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfriend’s attempts at commitment, Iris Lockhart receives a stunning phone call: Her great-aunt Esme, whom she never knew existed, is being released from Cauldstone Hospital—where she has been locked away for more than sixty-one years. Iris’s grandmother Kitty always claimed to be an only child. But Esme’s papers prove she is Kitty’s sister, and Iris can see the shadow of her dead father in Esme’s face.” (Catalogue)

And rounding off March is Hugo Award-winning N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became, a story about an ancient evil threatening New York. We’re huge fans of her previous books and are really excited about her latest offering. One of  Jemisin’s previous Hugo winning works is:

The stone sky / Jemisin, N. K
“The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.  Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.  For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

April

April sees the release of perennial favourite Anne Tyler’s latest work, called Redhead by the Side of the Road. Previous favourites by Anne Tyler include:

A spool of blue thread : a novel / Tyler, Anne
“‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon.’ This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The whole family is on the porch, listening contentedly as Abby tells the tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different too: Abby and Red are growing older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them, and the fate of the house so lovingly built by Red’s father.” (Catalogue)

May

In May 2020 Roddy Doyle has a new novel released called Simply Love, in which some old friends consider youthful love and life during a Dublin pub crawl. Previous works include:

The guts / Doyle, Roddy
“You bet Jimmy Rabbitte has guts. In the 1980s, he aspired to bringing soul music to Dublin by forming a band called the Commitments, a rough-and-ready bunch whose escapades figured in Doyle’s eponymous debut novel. Decades later, undone by a cancer diagnosis, Jimmy journeys to the past to reunite with Commitments guitarist Liam “Outspan” Foster and eye-catching backup vocalist Imelda Quirk, as well as a long-lost brother. And he learns to love being a father again.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

There is also Scottish crime writer Denise Mina’s latest dark and powerful crime novel The Less Dead which centres around real life murders of sex workers in Glasgow in the 1980s. Previous books include:

The red road / Mina, Denise
“Police detective Alex Morrow has met plenty of unsavory characters in her line of work, but arms dealer Mark Lynch ranks among the most brutal and damaged. Morrow is serving as a witness in Lynch’s trial, where the case hinges on his fingerprints found on the guns he sells. But when the investigation leads to a privileged Scottish lawyer who’s expecting to be assassinated after a money laundering scheme goes bad, Morrow has her hands full.” (Catalogue)

September

It has been 16 years since the release of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, however in September Susanna Clarke releases Piranesi. Expect another beautifully written otherworldly fantasy.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell / Clarke, Susanna
“Centuries ago, when magic still existed in England, the greatest magician of all was the Raven King. A human child brought up by fairies, the Raven King blended fairy wisdom and human reason to create English magic. Now at the beginning of the nineteenth century, he is barely more than a legend, and England, with its mad King and its dashing poets, no longer believes in practical magic.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

September also sees the very welcome return of  John Irving. His latest novel is billed as a ghost story about a mother and son called Darkness as a Bride. Previous John Irving books include:

Avenue of mysteries / Irving, John
“An older man named Juan Diego takes a trip to the Philippines, but he’s really thinking about his early years in Mexico, the dreams that pushed his life forward, and the memories that define his life now. Were the events he recalls inevitable? Says the author, “An aura of fate had marked him. The chain of events, the links in our lives–what leads us where we’re going, the courses we follow to our ends, what we don’t see coming, and what we do–all this can be mysterious, or simply unseen, or even obvious.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

There are also new novels out by Anne Enright, Graham Swift, Rose Tremain, Richard Ford, David Peace, Sebastian Barry, Elena Ferrante, Matthew Kneale and David Mitchell in 2020 to name but a few, but our final pick of new titles for this selection is Nick Hornby’s latest bittersweet novel about opposites attracting called Just Like You due out in September. Previous Nick Hornby novels include:

Funny girl / Hornby, Nick
“It’s the swinging 60s and the nation is mesmerized by unlikely comedy star Sophie Straw, the former Blackpool beauty queen. But when the script begins to get a bit too close to home, and life starts imitating art, they all face a choice. The writers, Tony and Bill, comedy obsessives, each harbour a secret. The male star Clive feels he’s destined for better things. And Sophie Straw, who’s changed her name and abandoned her old life, must decide whether to keep going, or change the channel.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Inspiring Craft projects for the New Year. Happy Crafting!

Find a variety of craft books, with wonderful ideas and reconsideration of craft, accompanied with step-by-step handy tips, how to make these fabulous creations. Have fun!

The art of pressed flowers and leaves / Ashmore, Jennie
“A ground-breaking book on the art of pressed flowers and leaf works from leading flower artist, Jennie Ashmore. She covers everything from the choice of flowers to the various methods of pressing them, to designing with the finished pressed flowers and leaves. Templates will help you get started, and a plant directory at the back of the book shows you what various plants look like when pressed.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Seasonal Scandi crafts : over 45 projects and quick ideas for beautiful decorations & gifts / Myers, Christiane Bellstedt
Create 45 simple projects with a Scandinavian flavour, including home decorations, garlands and beautiful gifts. Try out some simple embroidery on the lavender pillows, which would make great gifts. So why not get the family involved and make each season really special by making decorations together? You can then relive those happy memories each year as you decorate your home.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Knitting Stashbusters : 25 Great Ways to Use Up Your Yarn Leftovers of One Ball or Less / Goble, Fiona
“For knitters who want to know how to make use of their stash and avoid waste, this collection of 25 patterns has the answer. You can make a cute garland of hearts to brighten up a room, or knit a penguin toy for a new baby. Perhaps you’d like to make all sorts of cozies, or knit storage pots and a pencil case. Or you could choose to make a cute cottage doorstop using colors that match your own house.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Quick crafts for parents who think they hate craft / Scott-Child, Emma
“Skeleton Mask, Pompon Monsters, Paper Bag Stars, Woven Paper Chessboard, and more. Quick Crafts for Parents Who Think They Hate Craft is packed with 40 projects free from crazy origami to lose your cool over and glue to clean out of everyone’s hair. Get creative with your children even if you’re short on time (or patience). Split into four sections: play with it, wear it, spruce it up and useful things, all of the crafts have been created to ensure that play can continue once the crafting is over. Crafting doesn’t have to leave you cranky and the floor sticky” (adapted from Catalogue)

Knit shawls & wraps in 1 week : 30 quick patterns to keep you cozy in style / Greene, Marie
“It’s all about the layers in Marie Greene’s new collection of 30 stylish, versatile shawls, wraps and cowls. Easy to memorize and portable, these patterns range from voluminous wraps to cute cowls, making it easy to enjoy the satisfaction of a finished project or last-minute gift, even when your knitting time is limited. Whether you’re looking for a light spring layer, a summer statement piece or a thick toasty shawl, you’ll find a wide array of colors, shapes and yarn weights to complement your style, no matter the weather.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Beginner’s guide to colourwork knitting : 16 projects and techniques to learn to knit with colour / Austin, Ella
“If you long to knit stunning fair isle jumpers and brightly colored blankets for your home this is the perfect book. Learn all the techniques for how to start knitting with color and create really desirable projects as you learn. Choose from brightly colored stripy socks and work your way up to a patterned beanie hat and even a stunning sweater with a colorwork yoke. Even if you can only knit and purl–with this book you’ll be making gorgeous colorwork accessories before you know it” (Catalogue)

Embroidery now / Riggs, Jennifer Cardenas
“A beautiful guide to 30 modern hand embroidery projects for your home and wardrobe. Embroidery Now is a stylish hand-embroidery guide for the modern maker. You’ll learn about the materials included in the practice, nine different stitch techniques with illustrated step-by-step instructions, and 30 individual projects designed for you to use in your home and wardrobe. Packed with tips and tricks and a lot of inspiration, Embroidery Now shows that anything can be embroidered and gives you the confidence to continue to embellish your world through embroidery.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Craftfulness : mend yourself by making things / Davidson, Rosemary
“Integrating mindfulness, neuroscience, positive psychology, and creativity research, Craftfulness offers a thought-provoking and surprising reconsideration of craft, and how making things with your hands can connect us to our deepest selves and improve our well-being and overall happiness. Whether you knit, crochet, sculpt, weave, quilt, tat, draw, or bind books–working toward small, attainable goals gives us a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and control that is proven to positively impact our mental health and happiness, creating a safe space for failure, and ultimately, how to make peace with imperfection.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Mana Wahine readers: two unique volumes

These two readers have developed from many requests to Leonie Pihama and LindaTuhiwai Smith “to provide references or support in the area of Mana Wahine, both as theory and as lived ways of being.”

The two online readers have been produced by Te Kotahi Research Institute; supported by Ngā Pae o TeMāramatanga.

The scope of the two volumes are writings between 1987-2019, and the beautiful covers which were gifted by Robyn Kahukiwi represent ngā wāhine atua: Mahuika and Hineteiwaiwa.


Robyn Kahukiwa and Patricia Grace published the beautiful book He Wāhine Toa – and these two online readers bring other aspects to the power of women.

Please visit https://leoniepihama.wordpress.com/2020/01/07/mana-wahine-readers/ for the full description of the two volumes and thence to the digitised contents.

Escapes and Empires – History Recent Picks

This month’s picks feature Nazis in just under half of the selections, which seems slightly out of proportion but you know what you’re getting with this column by now. Wealthy heiress Gertrude Legendre escapes from them in A Guest of the Reich, following in the footsteps of Françoise Frenkel who did the same thing a few years earlier in A Bookshop in Berlin. Against this backdrop, Rafael Medoff looks into the policies of the United States regarding refugees during this time in The Jews Should Keep Quiet and the impact that had on the situation in Europe. Elsewhere, Robert W. Harms’s Land of Tears looks at the end of the 19th century in Africa as foreign powers and traders descended on the region.

All the president’s women : Donald Trump and the making of a predator / Levine, Barry
“Based on groundbreaking original reporting, an extensive new look at Donald Trump’s relationships with women, revealing new accusations of sexual misconduct, exploring the roots of his alleged predatory behaviour, and illustrating how Trump’s presidency has helped catalyse the #MeToo movement and revitalise women’s activism.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Land of tears : the exploration and exploitation of equatorial Africa / Harms, Robert W.
“In just three decades at the end of the nineteenth century, the heart of Africa was utterly transformed. Virtually closed to outsiders for centuries, by the early 1900s the rainforest of the Congo River basin was one of the most brutally exploited places on earth. In Land of Tears, historian Robert Harms reconstructs the chaotic process by which this happened.” (adapted from Catalogue)

A guest of the Reich : the story of American heiress Gertrude Legendre’s dramatic captivity and escape from Nazi Germany / Finn, Peter
“Gertrude ‘Gertie’ Legendre was a big-game hunter from a wealthy industrial family who lived a charmed life in Jazz Age America. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, she joined the OSS, the wartime spy organization that preceded the CIA. First in Washington and then in London, some of the most closely-held United States government secrets passed through her hands. In A Guest of the Reich, Peter Finn tells the gripping story of how in 1944, while on leave in liberated Paris, Legendre was captured by the Germans after accidentally crossing the front lines. Subjected to repeated interrogations, including by the Gestapo, Legendre entered a daring game of lies with her captors. The Nazis treated her as a “special prisoner” of the SS and moved her from city to city throughout Germany, where she witnessed the collapse of Hitler’s Reich as no other American did. After six months in captivity, Legendre escaped into Switzerland.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The Jews should keep quiet : Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust / Medoff, Rafael
“Based on recently discovered documents, The Jews Should Keep Quiet reassesses the hows and whys behind the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration’s fateful policies during the Holocaust. Rafael Medoff delves into difficult truths: With FDR’s consent, the administration deliberately suppressed European immigration far below the limits set by U.S. law. His administration also refused to admit Jewish refugees to the U.S. Virgin Islands, dismissed proposals to use empty Liberty ships returning from Europe to carry refugees, and rejected pleas to drop bombs on the railways leading to Auschwitz, even while American planes were bombing targets only a few miles away–actions that would not have conflicted with the larger goal of winning the war.” (adapted from Catalogue)

A bookshop in Berlin : the rediscovered memoir of one woman’s harrowing escape from the Nazis / Frenkel, Françoise
“In 1921, Françoise Frenkel–a Jewish woman from Poland–fulfills a dream. She opens La Maison du Livre, Berlin’s first French bookshop, attracting artists and diplomats, celebrities and poets. The shop becomes a haven for intellectual exchange as Nazi ideology begins to poison the culturally rich city. Françoise’s dream finally shatters on Kristallnacht in November 1938, as hundreds of Jewish shops and businesses are destroyed. La Maison du Livre is miraculously spared, but fear of persecution eventually forces Françoise on a desperate, lonely flight to Paris. When the city is bombed, she seeks refuge across southern France, witnessing countless horrors: children torn from their parents, mothers throwing themselves under buses. Secreted away from one safe house to the next, Françoise survives at the heroic hands of strangers risking their lives to protect her.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Pacific : an ocean of wonders / Hatfield, Philip J.
“The immense stretch of the Pacific Ocean is inhabited by a diverse array of peoples and cultures bound by a common thread: their relationship with the sea. In this volume, the rich history of the Pacific is explored through specific objects, each one beautifully illustrated, from the earliest human engagement with the Pacific through to the modern day. Entries cover mapping, trade, whaling, flora and fauna, and the myriad vessels used to traverse the ocean. A new look at this fascinating ocean, considering the diversity of culture beyond the familiar viewpoint of colonial history.” (adapted from Catalogue)

For the record / Cameron, David
“The referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union in 2016 has been one of the most controversial political events of modern times. For the first time, the man who called that vote talks about the decision and its origins, as well as giving a candid account of his time at the top of British politics. David Cameron was Conservative Party leader during the largest financial crash in living memory. The Arab Spring and the Eurozone crisis both started during his first year as prime minister. The backdrop to his time in office included the advent of ISIS, surging migration and a rapidly changing EU.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Fatal Flaws and Wild Cards: New Mystery Fiction!

Ready for some New Year mysteries? Look no further than our first booklist for 2020! Top of the pile is The Wild Card by Renée (Ngāti Kahungungu). As Ataria Sharman explains in The Pantograph Punch,  protagonist Ruby Palmer “is no damsel-in-distress. She’s a theatre-stealing, boss ass wahine toa determined to solve the mystery of her friend’s death, even at risk to her own life.”

Also in this month is the fourth book in the Wyndham and Banerjee historical crime series by Abir Mukherjee as well as the second novel by German writer Simone Buchholz to be translated in to English. Enjoy!

The wild card / Renée
“Ruby Palmer has been dealt a rough hand. She was left in a kete at the back door of the Porohiwi Home for Children when she was a baby, and then at seven she discovered that Betty who stopped the bad stuff happening to Ruby at the Home has drowned. Now in her thirties, Ruby suspects her friend was murdered–her only lead is a notebook that uses the symbols on playing cards to tell a story she can’t understand. To discover the truth, Ruby needs to find the wild card, and fast.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The ashes of London / Taylor, Andrew
“London, 1666. As the Great Fire consumes everything in its path, the body of a man is found in the ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral. The son of a traitor, James Marwood is forced to hunt the killer through the city’s devastated streets. There he encounters a determined young woman who will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. When a second murder victim is discovered in the Fleet Ditch, Marwood is drawn into the political and religious intrigue of Westminster – and across the path of a killer with nothing to lose…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Death in the East / Mukherjee, Abir
“1922, India. Leaving Calcutta, Captain Sam Wyndham heads for the hills of Assam, to the ashram of a sainted monk where he hopes to conquer his opium addiction. But when he arrives, he sees a ghost from his life in London – a man thought to be long dead, a man Wyndham hoped he would never see again. Wyndham knows he must call his friend and colleague Sergeant Banerjee for help. He is certain this figure from his past isn’t here by coincidence. He is here for revenge . . .” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Beton Rouge / Buchholz, Simone
On a warm September morning, an unconscious man is found in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of Germany’s biggest magazines. He’s soon identified as a manager of the company, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in a similar way. Chastity Riley and her new colleague Ivo Stepanovic are tasked with uncovering the truth behind the attacks, an investigation that goes far beyond the revenge they first suspect . . . to the dubious past shared by both victims.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

One fatal flaw / Perry, Anne
“It is 1910 and a fire has left one criminal dead and another charged with murder. Convinced of his innocence, Jessie Beale begs barrister Daniel Pitt to defend him. It’s a hopeless case–unless Daniel can find a witness whose testimony on fire damage is so convincing that any jury would believe him. Daniel’s friend Miriam Croft was taught by forensic scientist Sir Barnabas Saltram, who has built his reputation on giving evidence of this kind. But when Saltram agrees to testify, Daniel starts a chain of devastating events.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Murder fest / Wassmer, Julie
“A local Arts Festival is being held to honour a cultural exchange visit from representatives of Borken – Whitstable’s Twin Town in Germany. Yet very soon, personality clashes surface among the participants; local politicians try to use the festival for their own ends while others jostle for improved billing on the festival programme. Tempers flare, old feuds re-surface and on the eve of the first event, a cryptic message – Murder Fest – is received by the local police.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Finding World Languages

The Central Library was the main home of Wellington City Library’s adult World Languages Collection. So where can you find our collections of books in other languages for adult readers now that Central is closed? Below are a list of languages and the branches they can be found at. Enjoy!

Arabic

Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Kilbirnie branch

Chinese

Lao Zhong yi / Gao, Mantang Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Karori and Newtown branches, as well as our newly opened branch, Johnsonville Library at Waitohi.

We also have eBooks and eAudiobooks in Chinese available to borrow from anywhere through the Overdrive service. You can read them online through our website, or on your device through the Libby app. All you need to login is your library card number, and your 4 digit PIN.

Chinese eBooks & eAudiobooks

Gujarati

Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Kilbirnie branch.

Hindi

Amma. / Shinghal, RajjanBoth fiction and non-fiction is available at our Kilbirnie branch. Our newly opened branch, Johnsonville Library at Waitohi, has a collection in Hindi as well. Johnsonville also has the magazine, Grishobha, which is free to borrow for one week. Karori, Miramar, and Newtown branches also have this magazine.

Panjabi

Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Newtown branch.

Samoan

Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Newtown branch.

Sinhalese

Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Kilbirnie branch.

Tamil

Both fiction and non-fiction is available at our Kilbirnie branch.

Fiction New (and Like New!)


The first new books for the year are in! Included in this month’s selection is Becky Manawatu’s debut novel Auē. Auē has been called a “contemporary story of loss, grief and domestic violence – but also of hope” and has been getting some great feedback. Check out RNZ’s interview with Manawatu here, and a preview of the first chapter via The Spinoff here.

Also in: re-releases, including the combined works of Giorgio Bassani with The Novel of Ferrara and the first English language edition of Irina Odoyevtseva’s Isolde. And of course there’s also a great range of page-turning summer reads, including Danielle Steel’s Spy: a Novel and Westwind by Ian Rankin. Enjoy!

Auē / Manawatu, Becky
“Taukiri was born into sorrow. Auē can be heard in the sound of the sea he loves and hates, and in the music he draws out of the guitar that was his father’s. It spills out of the gang violence and the shame he feels about abandoning his eight-year-old brother to another violent home. But Arama is braver than he looks, and he has a friend and his friend has a dog, and the three of them together might just be strong enough to turn back the tide of sorrow.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The novel of Ferrara / Bassani, Giorgio
“Set in the Italian town of Ferrara, these six interlocking stories present a world of unforgettable characters: the doctor whose homosexuality is tolerated until he is humiliatingly exposed by a scandal; a survivor of the Nazi death camps whose neighbors’ celebration of his return gradually turns to ostracism; a man who has never recovered from the wounds inflicted in youth. Above all, the city itself assumes a character and a voice, deeply inflected by the Jewish community to which the narrator belongs.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

I am God / Sartori, Giacomo
I am God. Have been forever, will be forever. Forever, mind you, with the razor-sharp glint of a diamond, and without any counterpart in the languages of men. So begins God’s diary of the existential crisis that ensues when, inexplicably, he falls in love with a human. And not just any human, but a geneticist and fanatical atheist who’s certain she can improve upon the magnificent creation she doesn’t even give him the credit for. It’s frustrating, for a god…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Westwind / Rankin, Ian
“After his friend suspects something strange going on at the launch facility where they both work–and then goes missing–Martin Hepton doesn’t believe the official line of “long-term sick leave”. He leaves his old life behind, aware that someone is shadowing his every move. The only hope he has is his ex-girlfriend Jill Watson–the only journalist who will believe his story. But neither of them can believe the puzzle they’re piecing together–or just how shocking the secret is that everybody wants to stay hidden…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Hunter’s moon : a novel in stories / Caputo, Philip
Hunter’s Moon is set in Michigan’s wild, starkly beautiful Upper Peninsula, where a cast of recurring characters move into and out of each other’s lives, building friendships, facing loss, confronting violence, trying to bury the past or seeking to unearth it. Once-a-year lovers, old high-school buddies on a hunting trip, a college professor and his wayward son, a middle-aged man and his grief-stricken father, come together, break apart, and, if they’re fortunate, find a way forward.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

This is yesterday / Ruane, Rose
“Alone and adrift in London, Peach is heading into her mid-forties with nothing to show for her youthful promise but a stalled art career and the stopgap job in a Mayfair gallery that she’s somehow been doing for a decade. She is too young to feel this tired, and far too old to feel this lost. When Peach is woken one night with news that her father, who has Alzheimer’s disease, is in intensive care, she can no longer outrun the summer of secrets and sexual awakenings that augured twenty-five years of estrangement from her family.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

In love with George Eliot : a novel / O’Shaughnessy, Kathy
“Marian Evans is a scandalous figure, living in sin with a married man, George Henry Lewes. She has shocked polite society, and women rarely deign to visit her. In secret, though, she has begun writing fiction under the pseudonym George Eliot. As Adam Bede‘s fame grows, curiosity rises as to the identity of its mysterious writer. Gradually it becomes apparent that the moral genius Eliot is none other than the disgraced woman living with Lewes…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

On swift horses / Pufahl, Shannon
“Muriel is newly married and restless, transplanted from her rural Kansas hometown to life in a dusty bungalow in San Diego. She misses her freethinking mother and her sly, itinerant brother-in-law, Julius, who made the world feel bigger than she had imagined. And so she begins slipping off to the Del Mar racetrack to bet and eavesdrop, learning the language of horses and risk. Meanwhile, Julius is testing his fate in Las Vegas, working at a local casino where tourists watch atomic tests from the roof.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Spy : a novel / Steel, Danielle
“At eighteen, Alexandra Wickham is presented to King George V and Queen Mary in an exquisite white lace and satin dress her mother has ordered from Paris. But fate, a world war, and her own quietly rebellious personality lead her down a different path. By 1939, England is at war. Alex makes her way to London as a volunteer in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry. But she has skills that draw the attention of another branch of the service. Fluent in French and German, she would make the perfect secret agent…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Isolde / Odoevt︠s︡eva, Irina
“Left to her own devices, fourteen-year-old Russian Liza meets an English boy, Cromwell, on a beach. He thinks he has found a romantic beauty; she is taken with his Buick. Restless, Liza, her brother Nikolai and her boyfriend enjoy Cromwell’s company–until his mother stops giving him money. First published in 1929, Isolde is a startlingly fresh, disturbing portrait of a lost generation of Russian exiles.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Goals, resolutions, and learning at Arapaki in 2020

2019 has been a year of big changes for us here at Wellington City Libraries. Our first library in the CBD network following Central’s closure opened up in Manners Street in June and it’s been all a-go. The team here at Arapaki Manners Library thought the best way to reflect on our crazy year would be to get excited and set some goals for 2020.

We’ve asked our team to share some of their New Year’s resolutions and highlight their go-to resources in our collection that will help them make their 2020 dreams come true! Maybe you have some resolutions in mind already or maybe you can take some inspiration from the team.


Will:
“My resolution for the new year is to learn more about our history prior to the 1950’s – as a history student, it’s pretty imperative! Specifically, I want to engage more with the history of our colonisation and with how that history is being represented today. With that in mind, my 2020 resolutions book is Tina Ngata’s crucial work critiquing Tuia 250, Kia Mau: Resisting Colonial Fictions. In it, she analyses the government’s decision to ‘commemorate’ the ‘encounter’ that was the arrival of Captain Cook on these shores, exposing perpetuated falsehoods around our history and encouraging all of us to commit to the ongoing work of coming to terms with colonisation – both in our history, and in our present.”

Kia mau : resisting colonial fictions / Ngata, Tina
“This book is a compilation of essays written by Tina Ngata about New Zealand’s TUIA250 Commemorations of James Cook’s voyages to New Zealand and the Pacific. She discusses Cook’s voyage as a military deployment, the influence of the Doctrine of Discovery, the specific spots of Cook’s crimes in NZ, the participation of Māori in the commemorations and the inappropriateness of a settler government centring the story of invasion and colonisation.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Joseph:
“2020 is destined to be my year of textures. Despite issuing this book previously, and it sitting unopened in my staff-room locker, this year I am knuckling down and escalating my dreams of becoming embroiled in embroidery. Flowers, bees, paisley & patterns!”

Boho embroidery : modern projects from traditional stitches / Vogelsinger, Nichole
“Hello, embroidery. Meet textile art. Let’s talk about the time when embroidery and textile art met… they formed a unique pairing of modern, chic design using traditional methods. Author Nichole Vogelsinger introduced these two mediums to each other, creating an entirely new way to play with needle, thread and fabric.” (Catalogue)

Tessa:
“In 2020 my resolution is to eat more vegetarian and vegan meals. I know that reducing my intake of dairy and meat is a positive way to help reduce carbon emissions, and while i’m not ready to completely commit to becoming fully vegetarian or vegan, I do want to start thinking of meat as a sometimes food rather than the main event at every dinner. One quick search through the cookbooks at Arapaki and I’ve found piles of delicious, colourful vegetarian and vegan recipes to try throughout the year, as excellent sign that this might be a resolution that I can actually stick to!”

The flexible vegetarian / Pratt, Jo
Whether you’re an occasional meat-eater, a vegetarian who needs to cook for meat-eaters, or even a dedicated veggie, you’ll find this book filled with delicious and practical flexitarian recipes for every lifestyle.” (Catalogue)

Jo:
“My 2020 resolution is simple – pat more dogs. This is a beautiful book which has trapped many a librarian at Arapaki – whenever it gets returned it always manages to linger in our workroom longer than strictly necessary. ‘From a Labrador that likes opera to a kleptomaniac miniature groodle, and a loveable one eyed Jack Russel to a farting bulldog…’ What’s not to love?”

The year of the dogs / Musi, Vincent J
“As a National Geographic photographer, Vince Musi travelled the world to photograph lions, tigers and bears. All that changed when he decided to open a hometown studio to photograph dogs. His stunning portraits are matched with witty ‘dogographies’ and a comic blend of Vince’s own personal stories. Now, for the first time, The Year of the Dogs brings together this eccentric cast of characters in one volume, doggone guaranteed to put a smile on the face of anyone who loves animals.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Petra:
“2020 will be the year I travel the world, experiencing different cultures, customs, and perspectives through books. I want to make my way through the library’s wide and varied collection of translated fiction, starting in Japan. I am particularly intrigued by Hiro Arikawa’s novel, The Travelling Cat Chronicles.

Who knows where my armchair travels will take me next?
Wherever it is, I hope there are more cats.”

The travelling cat chronicles / Arikawa, Hiro
“With simple yet descriptive prose, this novel gives voice to Nana the cat and his owner, Satoru, as they take to the road on a journey with no other purpose than to visit three of Satoru’s longtime friends. Or so Nana is led to believe . . . With his crooked tail–a sign of good fortune–and adventurous spirit, Nana is the perfect companion for the man who took him in as a stray. And as they travel in a silver van across Japan, with its ever-changing scenery and seasons, they will learn the true meaning of courage and gratitude, of loyalty and love.” (Catalogue)

Moshi Moshi / Yoshimoto, Banana
“In Moshi-Moshi, Yoshie’s much-loved musician father has died in a suicide pact with an unknown woman. It is only when Yoshie and her mother move to Shimo-kitazawa, a traditional Tokyo neighborhood of narrow streets, quirky shops, and friendly residents that they can finally start to put their painful past behind them. With the lightness of touch and surreal detachment that are the hallmarks of her writing, Banana Yoshimoto turns a potential tragedy into a poignant coming-of-age ghost story and a life-affirming homage to the healing powers of community, food, and family.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Gus:
“For Christmas, my mum’s partner bought the whole family a ukelele each. I’m a music fan, but I’ve never had any real aspiration to learn how to play music. Now that I’ve had an instrument thrust upon me, I’ve decided to make my New Year’s resolution to learn to play the ukelele and to have at least three songs down perfectly by the end of the year. So far i’m only up to the first two notes of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, but hey, it’s a start!”

Learn to play the ukulele : a simple and fun guide for complete beginners / Plant, Bill
“This book will teach you basic playing techniques for the ukulele. No prior musical experience is assumed. You will learn how to hold the instrument, position the hands, strumming techniques, basic chords and beyond. Music theory is included, but the emphasis is on getting up to speed and on with the fun of playing quickly.” (Catalogue)

Amelia:
I te tau 2020, kei te pīrangi au ki whakapai i tāku reo Māori. In 2018 and 2019 I took a few Māori classes but, of course, with learning a language lots of practise is key and sometimes life can get in the way. My goal for 2020 is to continue my reo journey and improve my ability to read, write, and speak our indigenous language.

Māori made easy : for everyday learners of the Māori language. Workbook/Kete 1 / Morrison, Scotty
“Fun, user-friendly and relevant to modern readers, Scotty Morrison’s Maori Made Easy workbook series is the ultimate resource for anyone wanting to learn the basics of the Maori language. By committing just 30 minutes a day for 30 weeks, learners will adopt the language easily and as best suits their busy lives.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Te anuhe tino hiakai / Carle, Eric
“With the same beautiful illustrations and dye cut pages as the original book, the te reo Maori translation retains the humour and quirky character of the little caterpillar and simplicity of the story.” (Catalogue)

Home Fires: Books that Defined a Decade

I would not have you descend into your own dream. I would have you be a conscious citizen of this terrible and beautiful world.  — Ta-Nehisi Coates

How do you define a decade–especially one like the 2010s? The past ten years have contained so many political and economic shifts, so many changes in technology and language and beliefs that it seems impossible to sum it all up without leaving out someone–or something–of critical importance. It’s the same when trying to make a list of the decade’s best books: there are so many fantastic titles, so much variety, that twenty works can never do it justice.

Instead, the selection of books below is just one path through the fiction and non-fiction of the past ten years. It has stories of the Great Migration; stories about girls made of sticks; stories of religion (both real and more squiddy); stories of science and history and what’s still to come. So choose a year, choose a book and venture back in time into the strangely familiar world of 2010-2019.

(For more options, check out our alternative Best Books of the Decade, Librarians’ Choice Fiction or Librarians’ Choice Non-Fiction booklists for 2019!)

2010

Kraken / Miéville, China
“Deep in the research wing of the Natural History Museum is a prize specimen, something that comes along much less often than once in a lifetime: a perfect, and perfectly preserved, giant squid. But what does it mean when the creature suddenly and impossibly disappears? A dark urban fantasy thriller from one of the all-time masters of the genre. Mieville has won the British Fantasy Award (twice), the Arthur C. Clarke Award (three times), and the Locus Award (four times).” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The warmth of other suns : the epic story of America’s great migration / Wilkerson, Isabel
“From 1915 to 1970, the exodus of almost six million black citizens changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

2011

A visit from the Goon Squad / Egan, Jennifer
“Jennifer Egan’s spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other’s pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locales as varied as New York, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

In the garden of beasts : love, terror, and an American family in Hitler’s Berlin / Larson, Erik
“Berlin, 1933. William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany. The ambassador has little choice but to associate with key figures in the Nazi party, and his increasingly concerned cables make little impact on an indifferent US State Department. Meanwhile his daughter is drawn to the young men of the Third Reich, and has a succession of affairs with senior party players…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

2012

The testament of Mary / Tóibín, Colm
“Toibin’s Mary is nothing like you’d expect, especially if your religious views run to the traditional. She doesn’t think Jesus was the Son of God, that his death had any significance, and that the motley men surrounding him (her “keepers” now) are holy disciples. She also blames herself for abandoning her son on the Cross to save her own life. In a voice that is both tender and filled with rage, The Testament of Mary tells the story of a cataclysmic event which led to an overpowering grief.” (Adapetd from the Catalogue)

Names for the sea : strangers in Iceland / Moss, Sarah
“Sarah Moss had a childhood dream of moving to Iceland. In 2009, she saw an advertisement for a job at the University of Iceland and applied on a whim, despite having two young children and a comfortable life in Kent. The resulting adventure was shaped by Iceland’s economic collapse, the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull, a woman who speaks to elves and a chef who guided Sarah’s family around the intricacies of Icelandic cuisine.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

2013

The luminaries / Catton, Eleanor
“It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to stake his claim in New Zealand’s booming gold rush. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: a wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous cache of gold has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Going clear : Scientology, Hollywood, and the prison of belief / Wright, Lawrence
“Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology. At the book’s centre, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: L. Ron Hubbard and his successor, David Miscavige.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

2014

Cuckoo song / Hardinge, Frances
“When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out. Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. A breathtakingly dark and twisted tale from award-winning author Frances Hardinge.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The sixth extinction : an unnatural history / Kolbert, Elizabeth
“Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. But this time around, the cataclysm is us… The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

2015

A manual for cleaning women : selected stories / Berlin, Lucia
A Manual for Cleaning Women compiles the best work of the legendary short-story writer Lucia Berlin. With the grit of Raymond Carver, the humor of Grace Paley, and a blend of wit and melancholy all her own, Berlin crafts miracles from the everyday, uncovering moments of grace in the Laundromats and halfway houses of the American Southwest, in the homes of the Bay Area upper class, among switchboard operators and struggling mothers, hitchhikers and bad Christians.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Between the world and me / Coates, Ta-Nehisi
“Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men–bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this history? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

2016

The vegetarian : a novel / Han, Kang
“Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people, but their marriage is interrupted when Yeong-hye decides to become a vegetarian. In South Korea, where societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye’s decision is an act of subversion. Her rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre forms, leading her bland husband to acts of sexual sadism. His cruelties drive her towards attempted suicide and hospitalisation, spiralling her further into fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming–impossibly, ecstatically–a tree.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

How to survive a plague : the story of how activists and scientists tamed AIDS / France, David
“This is the story of the men and women who, watching their friends and lovers fall, ignored by the nation at large, and confronted with hatred, chose to fight for their right to live. With unparalleled access, David France illuminates the lives of extraordinary characters, including the closeted Wall Street trader-turned-activist; the high school dropout; the South African physician and the public relations executive.” (Adapetd from the Catalogue)

2017

Home fire / Shamsie, Kamila
“Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings, she is finally studying in America, resuming a dream long deferred. But she can ‘t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London or their brother, Parvaiz, who ‘s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles ‘ Antigone, Home Fire is a compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and politics collide.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Driving to Treblinka : a long search for a lost father / Wichtel, Diana
“Diana Wichtel was born in Vancouver. Her mother was a New Zealander, her father a Polish Jew who had jumped off a train to the Treblinka death camp. When Diana was 13 she moved to New Zealand with her mother, sister and brother. Her father was to follow. Diana never saw him again. Many years later she sets out to discover what happened to him. This unforgettable narrative is  a reflection on the meaning of family, the trauma of loss, and the insistence of memory.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

2018

Convenience store woman / Murata, Sayaka
“Keiko has never fit in, neither in her family, nor in school, but when at the age of eighteen she begins working at the Hiiromachi branch of “Smile Mart,” she finds peace and purpose in her life. In the store, unlike anywhere else, she understands the rules of social interaction–many are laid out line by line in the store’s manual–and she does her best to copy the dress, mannerisms, and speech of her colleagues, playing the part of a “normal” person excellently, more or less…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Fire and fury : inside the Trump White House / Wolff, Michael
“With extraordinary access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff reveals what happened behind-the-scenes in the first nine months of the most controversial presidency of our time. Since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the world has witnessed a stormy, outrageous, and absolutely mesmerizing presidential term that reflects the volatility and fierceness of the man elected Commander-in-Chief.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

2019

Black leopard, red wolf / James, Marlon
“Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter – and he always works alone. But when he is engaged to find a child who disappeared three years ago, he must break his own rules, joining a group of eight very different mercenaries working together to find the boy. Drawing from vivid African history and mythology, Marlon James weaves a saga of breathtaking adventure and powerful intrigue – a mesmerising, unique meditation on the nature of truth and power.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

This land is our land : an immigrant’s manifesto / Mehta, Suketu
“There are few subjects in American life that prompt more discussion and controversy than immigration. But do we really understand it? In This Land Is Our Land, the renowned author Suketu Mehta attacks the issue head-on. Drawing on his own experience as an Indian-born teenager growing up in New York City and on years of reporting around the world, Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)