New Wellington CBD library space named

The new central city library service being developed in the National Library has been given the name He Matapihi Molesworth Library.

The announcement brings Wellingtonians a step closer to enjoying the new cooperative space on the ground floor of the National Library, which is expected to open later this year. The space is being developed in partnership with Wellington City Council.

He Matapihi means ‘a window’, and the name was put forward by Mana Whenua.

National Librarian Bill Macnaught says the name is well-suited for the space. “A window has a view and a connection between spaces. The name highlights the important relationships between He Matapihi Molesworth’s Aotearoa collection, a new shared area, and the National Library’s He Tohu exhibition and collections. People need to continue to have access to the knowledge that both our libraries contain. School visits to He Tohu will be among those to benefit from the new shared space.”

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says it’s been a great opportunity to work in partnership with the National Library on the development. He says the new space will complement National Library’s collections and gives Wellingtonians access to the new library’s Aotearoa and Māori collection of over 5000 books. “He Matapihi Molesworth will be a welcome addition to Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre which opened earlier this year, and will also give library users another service at the other end of the central city area.”

The new library’s collection, which can be borrowed by members, will range over topics such as Māori and Māori local history, NZ fiction, biography, books in Te Reo, art and architecture, natural history, and general history and social comment. It also offers a children’s section, magazines, access to digital content, free WiFi, public PCs, printing and seating spaces.

Dedicated staff from Wellington City Libraries will provide the new service, answer questions and join up new members.

 

Ancestry in August – Family History Month 2019

August is Family History Month! Join us for talks by Suzanne Sutton-Cummings from the NZ Society of Genealogists (Hutt Valley Branch).

A Public Talk: Sharing Your Stories

  • Johnsonville Library – Friday 23rd August, 10.30-11.30am
  • Tawa Library – Monday 26th August, 11am-12noon

Suzanne will take us through ways to present your family history – from the basics of recording the details to tips on writing and editing, and creative ways to present and publish your stories, documents and photographs, both online and on paper. After each talk there will be an opportunity to consult with Suzanne about your projects and get further advice.

Research Your Family History

  • Johnsonville Library – Friday 23rd August, 1-4pm
  • Tawa Library – Monday 26th August, 1-4pm

Register to reserve time with a librarian for one-to-one help with your family history research – whether you would like help to get started or make some progress with your ‘brick walls’. You can also make an appointment to discuss your whakapapa research with Māori Specialist Ann Reweti. There is no charge for these appointments but bookings are essential.

Contact Johnsonville Library 477 6151 or Tawa Library 232 1690 for bookings.

Toni Morrison: a Personal Reflection

After the recent death of Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, our fiction selector Neil reflects on his memorable meeting with the literary great.

Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison has died at the age of 88. Many years ago I had the great privilege of running a book signing event for one of her novels. What I best remember is the way she could communicate to her audience even the darkest of events with great humanity and compassion. Though it was a long time ago, I can still recall how her presence lit up the room and how the audience hung rapt on every word she said.

Born in 1931, she said to biographers “Storytelling was part of family life.” After gaining a master’s degree at Cornell University she started a teaching and editing career before publishing her first novel, The Bluest Eye in 1970. What followed was a remarkable stream of stunning works, with razor sharp dissections of slavery and racism and their consequences for individuals and society. She was awarded just about every literary award available, including the Nobel Prize, the French Legion of Honour and the US Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In our ever more divided world, her messages about the corrosive power of racism and slavery are as powerful and important as they ever were. For more reflections on Toni Morrison, visit The Guardian tribute page.

Aging well, saving the most fragile lives and keto diet: New health books

The Age-Well Project features this month. It has been written to benefit the ‘sandwich generation’, those who work, bring up children, and look after parents all at the same time.

Books

The First Breath: How Modern Medicine Saves The Most Fragile Lives / Gordon, Olivia
The First Breath is the first popular science book to tell the story of the fast developing fields of fetal and neonatal medicine. It explores motherhood and the female experience of medicine through Olivia’s personal story and sensitive, intimate case histories of other mothers’ high risk births.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The age-well project : easy ways to a longer, healthier, happier life / Streets, Annabel
“Annabel Streets and Susan Saunders spent their 30s climbing the career ladder, having children and caring for elderly parents – all at the same time. By their 40s, they were exhausted, stressed, sleeping too little and rushing too much. They began to ask whether the prolonged ill health and dementia suffered by their parents was their inevitable future too – could they do anything to avoid requiring their own children to care for them in old age?” (adapted from Catalogue)

The Healing Power Of Plants: The Hero House Plants That Love You Back / Bailey, Fran
“Plants make people happy. This gorgeous, modern guide features over 80 indoor plants that will turn your house into a happy, healthy, healing home. Discover plants that will clean the air you breathe, help you get a good night’s sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, help you get well soon, boost your brain power and bring greater joy and wellbeing into your life.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The beginner’s guide to intermittent KETO / Perillo, Jennifer
“Intermittent fasting and ketogenic diets are quickly becoming two of the hottest nutritional trends. Inside, you’ll find a breakdown of the science behind the benefits of ketosis and intermittent fasting and two 4-week meal plans — one for people who prefer to fast for a portion of every day, and one for people who prefer to fast a couple times a week — that will introduce you to the keto diet and keep you on track.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Living with it / Aisbett, Bev
“Panic attacks – approximately 5% of the population will experience them at some time or another. The dread of having an attack – they seemingly come out of nowhere – transforms the ordinary world of everyday life into a nightmare of anxiety and suffering. Bestselling author Bev Aisbett, a survivor of Panic Syndrome herself, has three basic messages: You can beat this. You are not alone. You will recover.” (adapted from Catalogue)

eBooks

Overdrive cover Burnout, Emily Nagoski (ebook)
“The gap between what it’s really like to be a woman and what people expect women to be is a primary cause of burnout, because we exhaust ourselves trying to close the space between the two. Sisters Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., the bestselling author of Come as You Are, and Amelia Nagoski, DMA, are here to help end the cycle of overwhelm and exhaustion, and confront the obstacles that stand between women and well-being.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover F*** You Cancer, Deborah James (ebook)
“Whilst this book doesn’t advocate throwing all advice down the kitchen sink, it will empower you to do things your way as you navigate the big C roller coaster. Deborah James, campaigner and co-presenter of the top-charting podcast You, Me and the Big C, will take you through every twist and turn, reminding you that it’s okay to feel one hundred different things in the space of a minute and showing you how you can still live your life and BE YOURSELF with cancer.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Gendered Brain, Gina Rippon (ebook)
“Drawing on her work as a professor of cognitive neuroimaging, Gina Rippon unpacks the stereotypes that bombard us from our earliest moments and shows how these messages mould our ideas of ourselves and even shape our brains. By exploring new, cutting-edge neuroscience, Rippon urges us to move beyond a binary view of our brains and instead to see these complex organs as highly individualised, profoundly adaptable, and full of unbounded potential.” (Overdrive description)

Audio Books

Overdrive cover Sober Curious, Ruby Warrington (Audiobook)
“Would life be better without alcohol? It’s the nagging question more and more of us are finding harder to ignore, whether we have a “problem” with alcohol or not. Drawing on research, expert interviews, and personal narrative, Sober Curious is a radical take down of the myths that keep so many of us drinking. Inspiring, timely, and blame free, Sober Curious is both conversation starter and handbook—essential information that empowers listeners to transform their relationship with alcohol, so we can lead our most fulfilling lives.” (Overdrive description)

In memory of Sandra Clarke

It was with sadness that Wellington City Libraries learned of the passing of Sandra Clarke recently.

In 2000, Welington City Libraries in association with Wellington Tenths Trust funded the first of four volumes of tūpuna living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara , 1840 (and  onwards).  Although Waitangi Tribunal report– from the onging claims process, gives a comprehensive insight into the history of the land –  missing from that history is the stories of people who lived and established a presence on these lands.

supplied by Libraries' staff
Research team of Lotofoa Fiu, Sandra Clarke, Neville Gilmore, Ann Reweti

Two researchers, Neville Gilmore (in association with then Wellington Tenths Trust), and Sandra Clarke began to fill in the gaps of a multitude of interconnecting relationships of the people of Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Not sure of our process, we sought a research assistant skilled in identifying land titles, and tracking  relationships through a myriad of government / archival historical files.  Sandra became that person for us, and her writing formed the basis of the four Tūpuna volumes published 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007.  The time factor for each volume was insane, but Sandra put her head down, and delivered to us a short one-pager bio each week, during the alternate years of– 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006.

Sandra’s personal experience in tracking and recording the lives of both her paternal and maternal forbears was a lifelong commitment and several of her research papers have been deposited with Alexander Turnbull Library.

image courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library
Maori group wearing cloaks. Ref: 1/2-113796-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22891113

An example of Sandra’s research tenacity is this photograph above, discovered at Alexander Turnbull Library – which she linked to Ropiha Moturoa and whānau outside his neat weather-board house at Pipitea.

Photo supplied by Libraries’ staff. Sandra, with her tartan scarf, is second from right.

Discovering the Bard with Bloomsbury Drama Online

It’s not always easy to love Shakespeare. It can be tricky making sense of thou, thee, thy and thine, or navigating your way around an iambic pentameter. For a lot of people, their first (and last) experience of the Bard is listening to his work being recited in their high school English class–not always the most magical of settings.

And yet, over 400 years after Shakespeare’s death, his plays are still works of great power, intensity–and magic. But how to escape those early experiences and discover this? The easiest way is often to head along to a theatre and watch a performance. Words that seem incomprehensible on the page quickly make sense when delivered by an actor or actress. Sentences that seem dull and long-winded in the classroom are suddenly filled with sex and sword-fights.

But what if you can’t make it, or want a sneak peek before heading along? Well, that’s where Bloomsbury Drama Online comes in!

Bloomsbury Drama Online is Wellington City Libraries’ premier database for the performing arts. As well as containing playtexts for each of Shakespeare’s works, there’s also a fantastic collection of live video recordings. Interested in Hamlet? Bloomsbury Drama Online has recordings of four different productions, including two from the Royal Shakespeare Company and a fantastic adaptation with Hamlet played by Maxine Peake.

With over 3,000 plays, 350 audio plays and 150 hours of video, Bloomsbury Drama Online isn’t just restricted to Shakespeare, either. In it you can find the works of celebrated playwrights from Tony Kushner to Caryl Churchill, Anton Chekhov to Bertolt Brecht, and many, many more. There’s also context and criticism to add further depth to your experience.

What if this isn’t enough, though? You’ve seen the plays, you’ve read the texts–but you want more? Then it’s time to visit Bloomsbury Drama Online’s final section: Theatre Craft. Here you’ll find everything you need to start learning about the practicalities of acting, from introductory works such as Acting Characters and Mastering the Audition to specialist texts such as Stage Combat Arts.

To get started, just grab your library card and make your way to Bloomsbury Drama Online!

No Moore! Alan Moore announces his retirement from the graphic novel world

None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with YOU. You’re locked up in here with ME. ― Alan Moore, Watchmen

Legendary, iconic, genre-breaking and redefining graphic novelist Alan Moore has just announced he will do one last graphic novel before he retires – the final installment of his The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series.

His works have attracted in turn rapturous praise and acclaim, as well as controversy and outrage. Works such as his Swamp Man series, V for Vendetta, Watchman and arguably his masterwork The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have no doubt revolutionised the graphic novel genre elevating it to the lofty position of high serious art.

His uncompromisingly brutal, honest and occasionally explicit approach to his work has gained him a huge legion of fans but has often put his works in conflict with more conservative reviewers and authorities. A self-confessed anarchist, his V for Vendetta masked protagonist has been widely adopted by activists in various protest movements.

He started his career writing Future Shocks for 2000AD before being head hunted by DC Comics where he chose to write for one of their lesser known characters Swamp Thing, turning it into a masterpiece about ecology and humanity way beyond the original confines of the character. What followed was a remarkable list of ground breaking works such as Batman: the Killing Joke, Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Providence, Neonomicon, From Hell and Promethea to name but a few.

It is beyond doubt that his influence on the graphic novel world and on culture and society beyond those confines has been substantial.


The complete Alan Moore Future shocks / Moore, Alan
“The entire run of short stories created for 2000 AD by the most celebrated author in comics history, Alan Moore. Each one is like a small episode of the Twilight Zone. For the Future Shocks series of short stories with a twist ending, Alan Moore created some of his most exciting, memorable and explicitly entertaining work. Also featured in this collection are his short Time Twister tales – including the famous and poignant story The Reversible Man where one man’s life is told in reverse.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Providence. Act 1 / Moore, Alan
“Alan Moore’s quintessential horror series has set the standard for a terrifying examination of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. It is being universally hailed as one of Moore’s most realized works in which the master scribe has controlled every iota of the story, art, and presentation. The result has been a masterpiece like no other, unparalleled in tone and content, and a true must have addition to his essential works in the field.” (Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Batman: The Killing Joke, Alan Moore (ebook)
“This is the unforgettable work that forever changed Batman’s world, adding a new element of darkness with its unflinching portrayal of The Joker’s twisted psyche. Writer Alan Moore, acclaimed author of WATCHMEN and V FOR VENDETTA, offers his take on the disturbing relationship between The Dark Knight and his greatest foe. The Clown Prince of Crime has never been more ruthless than in this brutal tale.” (Overdrive description)

Watchmen / Moore, Alan
“Exceptional graphic artwork brings to life the story of the Watchmen as they race against time to find a killer, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.” (Catalogue)

Saga of the Swamp Thing. Book two / Moore, Alan
“Created out of the swamp by a freak accident, Swamp Thing is an elemental creature who uses the forces of nature and wisdom of the plant kingdom to fight the polluted world’s self-destruction. Alan Moore took the Swamp Thing to new heights in the 1980s with his unique narrative approach. His provocative and groundbreaking writing, combined with masterly artwork by some of the medium’s top artists, made SWAMP THING one of the great comics of the late twentieth century.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Volume I, 1898 / Moore, Alan
“The Victorian Era draws to a close and the twentieth century approaches. It is a time of great change and an age of stagnation, a period of chaste order and ignoble chaos. It is an era in need of champions. In this amazingly imaginative tale, literary figures from throughout time and various bodies of work are brought together to face any and all threats to Britain.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover V for Vendetta, Alan Moore (ebook)
“A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V FOR VENDETTA takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet. In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything, comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts in this gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Chain Reaction: Complete Series 5, BBC (Audiobook)
Chain Reaction is the entertaining BBC Radio 4 tag talk show where this week’s guest is next week’s interviewer. Famous names from the world of show business choose who they would like to chat to, and must submit to being questioned in their turn the week after. In this fifth series, guests (and hosts) include Jenny Éclair, Jimmy Carr, Matt Lucas, Johnny Vegas, Stewart Lee, Alan Moore and Brian Eno.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Infinite Monkey Cage, Series 2, Brian Cox (Audiobook)
“The second series of the Sony Radio Academy Gold Award-winning BBC Radio 4 show in which physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince take a witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science. Episode 3 sees special guests Jonathan Ross, graphic novelist Alan Moore and string theorist Brian Greene joining Brian Cox and Robin Ince for a special science-fiction-themed edition of the show.” (Overdrive description)

Looking for a movie to watch tonight?

To start you on your Kanopy and Beamafilm movie journey we’ve got some librarian recommendations for you – of course! 

Monty, the digital selector (and long-time film fan) has created a playlist of his cult movie favourites in Kanopy.  Both Kanopy and Beamafilms allow you to create lists of your must-watch movies, which can be saved to your account.  Both also keep details of your viewing history.  So you’ll always be able to find something to watch!

Our picks from Kanopy

Access Kanopy About Kanopy

Monty, who buys the library’s eBooks and eAudiobooks, has chosen his favourites:

Hidden – Caché (2005)
“A married couple is terrorized by a series of surveillance videotapes left on their front porch.” (From IMDb)
Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Night on Earth (1991)
“An anthology of 5 different cab drivers in 5 American and European cities and their remarkable fares on the same eventful night. ” (From IMDb)
Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Paris, Texas (1984)
“Travis Henderson, an aimless drifter who has been missing for four years, wanders out of the desert and must reconnect with society, himself, his life, and his family.” (From IMDb)
Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Our picks from Beamafilm

Access Beamafilm About Beamafilm

Kerry, the serials librarian (that’s magazines and newspapers), has chosen her top three, past-film-festival, documentaries in Beamafilm.

Dior and I (2014)
“A thrilling behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’s highly anticipated first Haute Couture collection as Christian Dior’s new Artistic Director.” (From Catalogue)

Take Every Wave (2017)
“This is the remarkable story of an American icon who changed the sport of big wave surfing forever. Transcending the surf genre, this in-depth portrait of a hard-charging athlete explores the fear, courage and ambition that push a man to greatness–and the cost that comes with it.” (From IMDb)

A Band Called Death (2012)
“A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded.” (From IMDb)

Online movie streaming has arrived at Wellington City Libraries

Two streaming platforms — Kanopy and Beamafilm — are now available for you to watch a huge selection of indie and world movies, film festival favourites, award-winning documentaries, classic cinema and kids movies!

On our website, you can access both of these streaming platforms from our eLibrary homepage.

You’ll find some introductory information below, but if you’d like to compare the two services and find out more, we’ve created this handy comparison chart — see how both Kanopy and Beamafilm work and what features they offer. (Plus, both the Kanopy and Beamafilm websites have comprehensive help pages if you need more information.)

About Kanopy

Access Kanopy

What is Kanopy? What kind of movies does it have?

Kanopy is a streaming platform that focuses on thoughtful entertainment, including some of the world’s best cinema.  They offer over 30,000 movies, with new titles added every month.

It will also give you access to Kanopy Kids, for kids’ content, and The Great Courses collection for lectures from top scholars around the world.

Who can access it?

It’s available to Wellington City adult residents, ratepayers and workers — access it with your library membership. Not a member? Find about more about joining.

How many movies can I watch?

You’ll get 6 movie credits per month, which means you’ll be able to watch 6 movies for free, and those credits will reset at the beginning of each month.

(Every movie you start watching with Kanopy counts against your play credits, with the exception of Kanopy Kids content and The Great Courses collection.)

How do I use it?

To watch movies:

  • Visit either wcl.kanopy.com, or go through our eLibrary homepage and choose ‘Kanopy’
  • Create a Kanopy account — you’ll be prompted to select your library (Wellington City Libraries), and confirm your library card details – then away you go!

Films can be streamed from any internet connected device including computers, phones or tablets and on TV’s via Chromecast, AppleTV or HDMI.  There’s also an app for Android and IOS devices.

Beamafilm

Access Beamafilm

What is Beamafilm? What kind of films does it have?

Beamafilm is a streaming platform that has a curated collection of international movies and documentaries, with a strong Australasian focus.  They have over 500 movies to choose from and new titles are added regularly. 

Who can access it?

It’s available to anyone who holds a Wellington City Libraries’ adult membership card (any adult membership card type). Just login using your library card details, then create a Beamafilm account to start watching movies.

Not a member? Find about more about joining

How many movies can I watch?

Unlimited! There are no monthly limits on how many films you can watch.

How do I access it?

Unlike Kanopy, with Beamafilm you’ll need to authenticate that you’re a Wellington City Libraries borrower every time you access the site:

  • Visit our eLibrary home page and click on Beamafilm, or visit wellingtoncitylibraries.beamafilm.com. Enter your library card details
  • Once you’ve authenticated, you’ll be able to either set up your Beamafilm account or log in to your existing Beamafilm account and start watching

Please note, using your Google or Facebook account to log in is currently not available as an option — we’re working on this.

Films can also be streamed from any internet connected device including computers, phones or tablets and on TV’s via Chromecast, AppleTV or HDMI.

Wellington City Libraries’ Alternative Booker Longlist!

I do not share the pessimism of the age about the novel. They are one of our greatest spiritual, aesthetic and intellectual inventions.”

— Richard Flanagan, Man Booker acceptance speech

It’s arrived: the longlist for the literary world’s most prestigious prize! But did the judges get it right? Were the best books really selected? Well, in a slightly mischievous vein we’ve examined the best titles of recent months and selected the ones that, in our opinion, should have, could have, might have been on the 2019 Booker longlist.

To start off with we’ve got our very own This Mortal Boy from Fiona Kidman, as well as the fabulous Tina Makereti’s The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke. Then of course there’s Ali Smith’s Spring and Ian McEwan’s Machines Like Me. Books from a clutch of less famous authors also thoroughly impressed us, including Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and The Chain by Adrian McKinty. So, for your consideration, here is Wellington City Libraries’ alternative Booker longlist!

Is there anything we missed out? Is there a novel you think should have made the cut? Then please, let us know.

This mortal boy / Kidman, Fiona  (print) (eBook)
“Albert Black, known as the ‘jukebox killer’, was only 20 when he was convicted of murdering another young man in a fight at a milk bar in Auckland on 26 July 1955. His crime fuelled growing moral panic about teenagers, and he was to hang less than five months later, the second-to-last person to be executed in New Zealand. But what really happened? Was this a love crime, was it a sign of juvenile delinquency? Or was this dark episode in our recent history more about our society’s reaction to outsiders?”  (Adapted from catalogue)

The imaginary lives of James Pōneke / Makereti, Tina (print) (eBook)
The hour is late. The candle is low. Tomorrow I will see whether it is my friends or a ship homewards I meet. But first I must finish my story for you. My future, my descendant, my mokopuna. Listen? So begins the tale of James Poneke–orphaned son of a chief; ardent student of English; wide-eyed survivor. All the world’s a stage, especially when you?re a living exhibit. But anything can happen to a young New Zealander on the savage streets of Victorian London.” (Adapted from catalogue)

The porpoise / Haddon, Mark
“A newborn baby is the sole survivor of a terrifying plane crash. She is raised in wealthy isolation by an overprotective father. She knows nothing of the rumours about a beautiful young woman, hidden from the world. When a suitor visits, he understands far more than he should. Forced to run for his life, he escapes aboard The Porpoise, an assassin on his tail… So begins a wild adventure of a novel, damp with salt spray, blood and tears.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Machines like me and people like you / McEwan, Ian
“Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding. Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London. Ian McEwan’s subversive and entertaining new novel poses fundamental questions–what makes us human? Our outward deeds or our inner lives? Could a machine understand the human heart?” (Adapted from catalogue)

Spring : a novel / Smith, Ali (print) (eBook)
“From the Man Booker-short-listed author of Autumn and Winter comes the highly anticipated third novel in the acclaimed Seasonal Quartet. On the heels of Autumn and Winter comes Spring, the continuation of Ali Smith’s celebrated Seasonal Quartet, a series of stand-alone novels, separate but interconnected (as the seasons are), wide-ranging in timescale and light-footed through histories.” (Adapted from catalogue)

The chain / McKinty, Adrian
“You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped. The stranger then explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child–within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim’s parents kidnap yet another child. And most importantly, if you don’t kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Big sky / Atkinson, Kate
“Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village in North Yorkshire, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son Nathan and ageing Labrador Dido. It’s a picturesque setting, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes. Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, seems straightforward, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network–and back into the path of his old friend Reggie.” (Adapted from catalogue)

On earth we’re briefly gorgeous : a novel / Vuong, Ocean
“A young man named Little Dog writes a letter to his mother, who cannot read, investigating a family history begun in Vietnam. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness.” (Adapted from catalogue)

The old drift : a novel / Serpell, Namwali (print) (eBook)
“Namwali Serpell’s ground-shaking debut novel is an epic story of three generations of three Zambian families–one black, one brown and one white. Unfolding over 200 years, but set mainly in the twentieth century, one family begins in Italy, another in England and the third in Zambia. The three families’ lives become entwined as each is plagued by a curse passed on down the generations.” (Adapted from Catalogue)