Reader’s choice: Engaging with fiction titles

Recent selections from our collection by patrons include thrillers, science fiction, historical and contemporary fiction. Some reviews will make you wonder if your reading experience will be a little or a lot different.

The Readers’ Choice selections are books nominated by people who want to pass on their reading experience to the library community. These selections are highlighted with Reader’s Choice stickers so that others can find great reading material. You can find slips for Reader’s Choice reviews in new books, or ask staff for one if you have a review or recommendation to embellish the library collection.

The last girl / Hart, Joe
“A mysterious worldwide epidemic reduces the birthrate of female infants from 50 percent to less than one percent. Medical science and governments around the world scramble in an effort to solve the problem, but twenty-five years later there is no cure, and an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women. Zoey and some of the surviving young women are housed in a scientific research compound dedicated to determining the cause. For two decades, she’s been isolated from her family, treated as a test subject, and locked away, told only that the virus has wiped out the rest of the world’s population.” (Catalogue)

“Although the pace was a bit slow to start it developed into a very exciting book. I look forward to the next in the series.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 stars)

The wife : a novel / Wolitzer, Meg
The Wife is a wise, sharp-eyed, compulsively readable story about a woman forced to confront the sacrifices she’s made in order to achieve the life she thought she wanted. But it’s also an unusually candid look at the choices all men and women make for themselves, in marriage, work, and life. With her skillful storytelling and pitch-perfect observations, Wolitzer invites intriguing questions about the nature of partnership and the precarious position of an ambitious woman in a man’s world.” (Catalogue)

“I thought this book very apt in this 125 years of suffrage, as Joan Castleman finally decides at the age of 64 years to have another chance at life.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5 star rating)

Man out of time / Bishop, Stephanie
“One summer, a long time ago, Stella sat watching her father cry while the sky clouded over. He had tried to make amends: for his failures, for forgetting to buy the doll she once hoped for, for the terrible things he had done. The first time Stella sensed that something was wrong was on her ninth birthday. There was an accident, and when she opened her eyes there was the tang of blood in her mouth. Leon was beside her. But not quite there. In the winter, when her father finally came home from hospital, he looked different. Looked at her differently. Now he was missing, and Stella held the key to his discovery. But did he want to be found?” (Catalogue)

“I thought this book was bleak and the only way I could deal with it was to dip into it every 20 pages or so.  Nothing like My Name Is Lucy Barton, which I loved.” (Unrateable)

The late bloomers’ club : a novel / Miller, Louise
“Two sisters, beloved diner owner Nora and her short-on-cash filmmaker sibling, Kit, are inheriting the property of local cake-making legend Peggy. The town is divided on whether the sisters should sell the land to a big-box developer, which Nora opposes, but everyone wants to find Peggy’s lost dog. Nora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner, is perfectly happy serving up coffee, and eggs-any-way-you-like-em to her regulars, and she takes great pleasure in knowing exactly what’s “the usual.” But her life is soon shaken when she discovers she and her free-spirited, younger sister Kit stand to inherit the home and land of the town’s beloved cake lady, Peggy Johnson.” (Catalogue)

“I thought this book was a great light read. I didn’t want to put it down.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 stars)

River under the road / Spencer, Scott
“Thirteen parties over the course of two decades–an opium infused barbeque, a reception for a doomed presidential candidate, a fund-raiser for a blind child who speaks in tongues, a visit to one of New York’s fabled sex clubs–brilliantly reveal the lives of two couples. Funny and cutting, affecting and expansive, River Under the Road is Scott Spencer’s masterpiece of all that lies beneath our everyday lives-a story about the pursuit of love, art, and money, and the inevitable reckoning that awaits us all.” (Catalogue)

“Well written and well developed characters.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐  (4/5 stars)

Belladonna / Drndić, Daša
“Andreas Ban is a writer and a psychologist, an intellectual proper, full of empathy, but his world has been falling apart for years. When he retires with a miserable pension and finds out that he is ill, he gains a new perspective on the debris of his life and the lives of his friends. In Belladonna, Dasa Drndic pushes to the limit the issues about illness and the (im)possibility of living (and dying) in contemporary, utterly dehumanised world where old age and illness are the scarlet letters of shame thrown in the face of the advertised eternal youth and beauty.” (Catalogue)

“Most interesting and unusual. I feel I should read it again to pick up all the points.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  (5/5 stars)

The history of bees / Lunde, Maja
“This novel follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees–and to their children and one another–against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis… Haunting, illuminating, and deftly written, The History of Bees is just as much about the powerful bond between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity.” (adapted from Catalogue)

“A great read… I can envision an film.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5 stars)

The orphan of Florence / Kalogridis, Jeanne
“In this irresistible historical novel set in the turbulent world of the Medicis, a young woman finds herself driven from pick-pocketing to espionage when she meets a mysterious man.” (Catalogue)

“Excellent, good storylines and interesting plot.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 stars)

LitCrawl is back at WCL!

LitCrawl is back and this year they are celebrating five years of the crawl! From 8 – 11 November you can get involved in over 50 events featuring writers, illustrators, storytellers, musicians, historians, taxidermists, performance artists and more! LitCrawl features the famous crawl on Saturday 10 November from 6pm to 9.15pm, during which there are 25 events in as many locations in Wellington’s CBD. The LitCrawl Extended programme is running again this year between Thursday 8th and Sunday 11th November and is a mixture of free and ticketed events, so make sure you mark your diaries and take a good look at the programme! There is something for everyone at LitCrawl! For the full programme see www.litcrawl.co.nz 

We have two very exciting events at Central this year!

True Stories Told Live is back! LitCrawl and the New Zealand Book Council are bringing True Stories Told Live back to Central on Saturday 10 November as part of Phase 1 of the crawl. From 6pm – 6.45pm an epic line up of writers deliver true stories on the theme of age. Featuring Victor Rodger, Eirlys Hunter, Lizzie Marvelly, Raymond Antrobus, Helen Heath and Kate Spencer. Hosted by Penny Ashton. To plan out the rest of your crawl, check out the full programme online.

And something for the kids! Earlier on Saturday 10 November bring the kids along to the first ever KidsCrawl. LitCrawl has joined forces with the amazing Annual (edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris) to create an adventure for the whole family. From 10-11am at the Central Library, you will be given a story map that takes you all over the library in search of Annual authors who have a story to tell… KidsCrawl is free but registration is essential so make sure you send an email to kidscrawl@litcrawl.co.nz to register your story hunters. For more information check out the website.

Read before you crawl…

The programme is out, you’ve seen then line up, now it’s time to get reading! Search the catalogue and place those reserves for the authors you are most excited to see and keep an eye out for our special Read Before You Crawl blogs which will be coming out weekly as we countdown to the big weekend!

Read before you crawl… Fiction Choices

Did someone say prizes?

In the lead up to LitCrawl we will have some tickets and books to give away! Make sure you keep an eye on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to be in it to win it!

Astounding tales and amazing stories: the best of this month’s Science Fiction releases

by the pricking of her thumb

Astounding tales and amazing stories from universes near and far beckon in this month’s selection of Science Fiction novels. Titles include a very welcome re-release of Isaac Asimov’s classic Foundation as well as Chinese Science Fiction master Cixin Liu’s Ball Lightning, in which he explores the ball lightning phenomenon with a personal (and almost obsessional) passion. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverThe winter vow / Tim Akers.
“Ruling with an iron hand, the Church has eliminated the ancient pagan ways. Yet demonic gheists terrorize the land, hunted by the Inquisition, while age-old hatreds rage between the north and the south. Three heroes–Malcolm and Ian Blakeley and Gwendolyn Adair–must end the bloodshed before chaos is unleashed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

 

Syndetics book coverFoundation / Isaac Asimov.
“The first volume in Issac Asimov’s world-famous saga, winner of the Hugo Award for Best All-Time Novel Series. Long after Earth was forgotten, a peaceful and unified galaxy took shape, an Empire governed from the majestic city-planet of Trantor. The system worked, and grew, for countless generations. Everyone believed it would work forever. Everyone except Hari Seldon. FOUNDATION is the story of the First Foundation, on the remote planet of Terminus, from which those secrets were withheld.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverXeelee : redemption / Stephen Baxter.  
“This is the centre of the Galaxy. And in a history without war with the humans, the Xeelee have had time to built an immense structure here. The Xeelee Belt has a radius ten thousand times Earth’s orbital distance. It is a light year in circumference. If it was set in the solar system it would be out in the Oort Cloud, among the comets – but circling the sun. If it was at rest it would have a surface area equivalent to about thirty billion Earths. But it is not at rest: it rotates at near lightspeed. And because of relativistic effects, distances are compressed for inhabitants of the Belt, and time drastically slowed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChercher La Femme / L. Timmel Duchamp.
“Diplomat Julia, a member of a socialistic human society known as the Pax, is the head of a mission to a far-off world, La Femme. The mission’s primary purpose is recovery of the first ship sent to make contact with La Femme’s inhabitants, though further diplomatic advancement is planned as well. Julia is distracted from the mission objectives by her deep analysis of her life thus far and the utopian ideal she lives by, particularly when she deals with her splintered crew.”  (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

 

Syndetics book coverThe fated sky / Mary Robinette Kowal.
The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars. Of course the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, but could the International Aerospace Coalition ever stand the thought of putting a woman on such a potentially dangerous mission? Could Elma knowingly take the place of other astronauts who have been overlooked because of their race? And could she really leave behind her husband and the chance to start a family? This gripping look at the real conflicts behind a fantastical space race will put a new spin on our visions of what might have been.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The point / Dixon, John
“Scarlett Winter has always been an outsider, and not only because she’s a hardcore daredevil and born troublemaker–she has been hiding superhuman powers she doesn’t yet understand. Now she’s been recruited by a secret West Point unit for cadets with extraordinary abilities. Scarlett and her fellow students are learning to hone their skills, from telekinetic combat to running recon missions through strangers’ dreamscapes. At The Point, Scarlett discovers that she may be the most powerful cadet of all. With the power to control pure energy, she’s a human nuclear bomb–and she’s not sure she can control her powers much longer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Ball lightning / Liu, Cixin
“When Chen’s parents are incinerated before his eyes by a blast of ball lightning, he devotes his life to cracking the secret of mysterious natural phenomenon. His search takes him to stormy mountaintops, an experimental military weapons lab, and an old Soviet science station. The more he learns, the more he comes to realize that ball lightning is just the tip of an entirely new frontier in particle physics. ” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

By the pricking of her thumb : a real-town murder / Roberts, Adam
“Private Investigator Alma is caught up in another impossible murder. One of the world’s four richest people may be dead – but nobody is sure which one. Hired to discover the truth behind the increasingly bizarre behaviour of the ultra-rich, Alma must juggle treating her terminally ill lover with a case which may not have a victim. Inspired by the films of Kubrick, this stand-alone novel returns to the near-future of The Real-Town Murders, and puts Alma on a path to a world she can barely understand.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The future is blue / Valente, Catherynne M.
“Collection of thirteen stories full of fable, fairy tale and myth.” From Hugo award winning author Catherynne M Valente. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Recently Arrived Classical Music CDs

Claudio Monteverdi CD cover

This week we’ve received a shipment of great new CDs, including some interesting composer-pairings curated by a couple of acclaimed instrumental soloists.

Messa a Quattro Voci et Salmi of 1650, Volume I and Volume II, Monteverdi (et. al.). Performed by The Sixteen.
“Monteverdi’s sacred vocal compositions introduced the expression of powerful and personal emotions to the world of church music. Whilst it took him a number of years to find fulfilment in his work, Monteverdi was a revered composer within his lifetime and his music is regarded as revolutionary, marking the change from the Renaissance style to that of the Baroque. [These discs comprise of] some of the finest works from Monteverdi’s years as director of music at St Mark’s in Venice, published posthumously…” (cover).

Transfigured Night, Haydn & Schoenberg. Performed by Alisa Weilerstein.
Transfigured Night brings together two outstanding composers associated with Vienna: Joseph Haydn and Arnold Schoenberg. The former is often seen as the oldest representative of the First Viennese School, whereas the latter founded the Second Viennese School, using the classicism of his predecessors to explore new, atonal musical paths into the twentieth century. By combining Haydn’s two cello concertos (in C-major and D-major) and Schoenberg’s symphonic poem Verklärte Nacht in the 1943 edition for string orchestra this album sheds a new, fascinating light on both Viennese masters. The connection between the stylistically contrasting pieces on this album is further enhanced by the inspired playing of American cellist Alisa Weilerstein and the Trondheim Soloists. For Weilerstein, this album is not only a fascinating exploration of the rich Viennese musical heritage, but just as much a confrontation with the dark history of a city her grandparents had to flee in 1938.” (amazon.com).

Schubert, Szymanowski. Performed by Lucas Debargue.
“Lucas Debargue’s third recording presents sonatas by Franz Schubert and polish composer Karol Szymanowski (1882 1937)… ‘Debargue is fantastically gifted: original, not tamed by any academicism, eccentric to the point of being mannered, but also thrilling as a result of his very personal tone.’ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.” (amazon.com)

Ngā haerenga me ngā tūhuratanga ohorere: Recent Picks from the Māori Collection

Pathway of the Birds book cover

Pathways, journeys, and startling discoveries feature in this month’s recent pick of new books from our Māori Collection along with some interesting items with a kaupapa Māori from the New Zealand Collection.

Explore the pathways our tūpuna took around the Pacific through Pathway of the Birds by Andrew Crowe, continue your te reo Māori journey with Scotty Morrison’s  Māori Made Easy 2, and follow the voyages of James Cook and first contact in the Pacific through the lens of the British Library’s Captain Cook collection in James Cook: The Voyages by William Frame. Finally, we highlight two articles in recent journals where you can learn of startling discoveries regarding the path of destruction an epidemic had among early nineteenth-century Māori, and read about an interesting archaeological quest in Murihiku.

Syndetics book coverPathway of the birds: the voyaging achievements of Maori and their Polynesian ancestors / Andrew Crowe.
“This book tells of one of the most rapid phases of human migration in prehistory, a period during which Polynesians reached and settled nearly every archipelago scattered across some 28 million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean, an area now known as East Polynesia. An engaging narrative and over 400 maps, diagrams, photographs, and illustrations, convey some of the skills, innovation, resourcefulness, and courage of the people that drove this extraordinary feat of maritime expansion.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMāori made easy 2: the next step in your language-learning journey / Scotty Morrison.
“The bestselling Māori made easy gave learners an accessible and achievable entry into te reo Māori and Scotty Morrison now offers a second instalment to help readers continue their learning journey, picking up where the first volume left off. Māori made easy 2 unpacks more of the specifics of the language while still offering an easy, assured approach. By committing 30 minutes a day for 30 weeks, learners can build their knowledge in a practical, meaningful and fun way.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJames Cook: the voyages / William Frame with Laura Walker.
“Interweaving accounts of scientific discovery with the personal stories of the voyages’ key participants, this book explores the charting of the Pacific and the natural world by James Cook and his crew, the first encounters and exchange between Western and indigenous cultures, and the representation of the voyages in art. The illustrations include the only surviving paintings by Tupaia, a Polynesian high priest and navigator who joined the first voyage at Tahiti and sailed with Cook to New Zealand and Australia. James Cook: The Voyages offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to discover the extensive Captain Cook collection of the British Library, including original maps, artworks, journals, and printed books.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Turnbull Library Record, Volume 50, 2018 Death and Disease at the Dawn of New Zealand’s History is a compelling essay included in the Turnbull Library Record 2018. The author, Simon Chapple, explores evidence of an epidemic amongst Māori circa 1808 – 1810 that might have killed  up to 100,000 people. He argues that these numbers suggest that rather than the 100,000 pre-European population asserted by modern historians and demographers, there was a larger Māori population at the time of initial European contact and that there might have been a population of 200,000 or more. This could have implications for our understanding of colonisation in New Zealand. Definitely something to think about and explore further.

Journal of Pacific Archaeology, Volume 9, No.2, 2018 Read about the archaeological explorations on the Catlins coast at the pre-contact Māori habitation site of Kahukura in the article Excavations at Kahukura (G47/128), Murihiku. Find out about this archaeological journey through an exploration of the methodology behind the research and the resulting data on the way of life of the inhabitants.

 

Words from Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia: Māori Suffragist

In the 1890s, Māori women seeking the vote fought on two separate fronts; nationally for the New Zealand parliament, and also within Kotahitanga Māori parliament. Many Māori women dedicated themselves to their retaining ancestral lands and sought political power to aid their aims. Between 1886 and 1896, forty petitions around land issues were presented to the New Zealand parliament, signed by Māori women on behalf of themselves or their Iwi..[1]

Historian Tania Rei notes that the Māori women who signed the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) petition appeared to all have pākeha connections.[2] During the 1890s, a number of Māori women worked with both the WCTU and Kotahitanga.[3]

Image of Meri Mangakahia from Wellington Recollect's Trail of Light publication
Image of Meri Mangakāhia from Wellington Recollect’s Trail of Light publication

Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia was an eloquent speaker with excellent organisational flair. In 1893 she helped establish Ngā Kōmiti Wāhine, committees connected to kotahitanga that discussed issues such as family violence, smoking and retaining traditional Māori skills.[4]  She co-authored the significant Māori newspaper column Te Reiri Karamu (‘The Ladies’ Column’) in the Te Tiupiri (The Jubilee.)[5]  

Mangakāhia advocated for Māori women gaining the vote in Kotahintanga, which they eventually did in 1897. Mangakāhia’s connections to the WCTU are unclear, but the organisation’s initials were engraved into her beautiful wooden chest or “parliamentary cabinet”.[6]

Here’s a transcript of her 1893 address to kotahitanga.

 “I move this motion before the principle member and all honourable members so that a law may emerge from this parliament allowing women to vote and women to be accepted as members of the parliament.

Following are my reasons for presenting this motion that women may receive the vote and that there be women members:

  1. There are many women who have been widowed and own much land.
  2. There are many women whose fathers have died and do not have brothers.
  3. There are many women who are knowledgeable of the management of land where their husbands are not.
  4. There are many women whose fathers are elderly, who are also knowledgeable of the management of land and own land.
  5. There have been many male leaders who have petitioned the Queen concerning the many issues that affect us all, however, we have not yet been adequately compensated according to those petitions. Therefore I pray to this gathering that women members be appointed. Perhaps by this course of action we may be satisfied concerning the many issues affecting us and our land. Perhaps the Queen may listen to the petitions if they are presented by her Māori sisters, since she is a woman as well.”[7]

Sadly, considering how influential she was, little information is known about Mangakāhia. As her great-grandniece Emma Frost recently noted in an interview, “Māori women who shaped our nation were very invisible. There wasn’t a lot written about them.”[8]

This year, with Radio NZ coverage, promotion from Members of Parliament and a feature at the Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Are We There Yet? exhibit,  it seems we are moving towards Mangakāhia finally getting the recognition she deserves. 

 

References

  1. Tania Rei, Māori Women and the Vote (1993, ) p.13 .
  2. Rei, p.27.
  3. Rei, pp.39-40, 47.
  4. Rei, p.19.
  5. ‘Meri Mangakāhia addresses the Kotahitanga Māori parliament’, URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/page/meri-mangak%C4%81hia-addresses-kotahitanga-m%C4%81ori-parliament, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 24-Jul-2018
  6. Mana : the Maori news magazine for all New Zealanders, Dec 2007/Jan 2008; n.79: p.76.
  7. Adapted from a translation by Charles Royal in Charlotte Macdonald, Merimeri Penfold and Bridget Williams (eds), The book of New Zealand women Ko kui ma te kaupapa, Bridget Williams Books, Wellington, 1991, p. 413.
  8. RNZ, Emma Frost and Jesse Mulligan,  ‘Unsung Heroes of New Zealand’s Suffrage Movement’ (2018) https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/2018652496/unsung-heroes-of-new-zealand-s-suffrage-movement

Chinese Language Week Events at Wellington City Libraries!

Come along to the popular Chinese culture and language events during New Zealand Chinese Language Week! Experience Chinese culture with our programme of free events, including brilliant dance and music performances, hosted by Central Library and Newtown Library.

You can also get a free tangram game from any of our libraries.
2018年 新西兰中文周,请点击阅读

Tai Chi Demonstration, Newtown Library: 11:00-11:30am, 29 September

Celebrate Chinese Language Week, in the whānau (family) area at Newtown Library, by practicing peaceful movement with us.

Dance and opera performance, Central Library: 11:00am-12:00 pm, 29 September

Enjoy a snapshot of Chinese culture and history through artistically presented dance, music, songs, martial arts, and calligraphy performances. A wonderful show all will enjoy! Brought to you by the New Zealand Chinese Culture & Art Association.

Chinese language lesson, Central Library 1:00-2:00 pm, 29 September

Take this perfect opportunity to learn Chinese from an experienced teacher from the China Cultural Centre in New Zealand. You will learn basic communication words and essential greetings and phrases. Plus, you will access the librarian’s recommended books and resources for you to continue your language journey after the class.

Manawa Ora Childrens Choir, Newtown Library: 2:00-3:00 pm, 29 September

Come along and sing songs from all over the world with the Manawa Ora children’s choir! This is an interactive performance for all ages.

Dance and music performance, Central Library: 2:00-3:00 pm, 29 September,by Wellington Chinese Language School

Enjoy the creative dance and music performance combining traditional with contemporary dance and music. Brought to you by the Wellington Chinese Language School.

Chinese Story Times for Children
Come along to the Central Library for a storytime in Mandarin!

Chinese (Mandarin) story times, Central Library: 10:30-11:00 am, Thursday 27 September.

Read Chinese magazines online with Wellington City Libraries DragonSource database 

Read thousands of Chinese magazines on your laptop or phone! Phoenix Weekly, Readers, San Lian life magazine, and many more are available to access with your library card.

Read Chinese newspapers and books online
Discover Chinese cooking, classic and contemporary literature, and latest news, online via PressReader , the New York Times (Chinese language version), and  Chinese eBooks via Overdrive. All for free with your library card!

New Non-Fiction arrivals

Prime Movers book cover

A very interesting mix of books this month, including one on Adam Smith, an MI6 spy inside al-Qaeda and ‘The perfectionists : how precision engineers created the modern world’.

Prime movers : from Pericles to Gandhi : twelve great political thinkers and what’s wrong with each of them / Mount, Ferdinand
“The lives of men such as Jesus Christ, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke , and Thomas Jefferson are discussed and comparisons are drawn between the various approaches each figure promoted in their works – whether philosophical, or political theories.” (Syndetics summary, adapted)

Text, lies and cataloging : ethical treatment of deceptive works in the library / Brubaker, Jana
“The library profession values objectivity and accuracy, qualities that can be difficult to reconcile when a work is controversial. This book addresses ethical considerations, particularly for cataloguers, and proposes cataloguing solutions. The approaches suggested are provocative and designed to spark debate. … Deceptive literary works mislead readers and present librarians with a dilemma. Whether making recommendations to patrons or creating catalog records, objectivity and accuracy are crucial–and can be difficult to reconcile when a book’s authorship or veracity is in doubt… (Catalogue (adapted))

Internet celebrity : understanding fame online / Abidin, Crystal
“…The face of internet celebrity is rapidly diversifying and evolving. Online and mainstream celebrity culture are now weaving together, such that breakout stars from one-hit viral videos are able to turn their transient fame into a full-time career. This book presents a framework for thinking about the different forms of internet celebrity that have emerged over the last decade, taking examples from the Global North and South, to consolidate key ideas about cultures of online fame…” (Catalogue (adapted))

Nine lives : my time as MI6’s top spy inside al-Qaeda / Dean, Aimen
“A compelling and invaluable account of life inside al-Qaeda through the eyes of a first-rate spy. As one of al-Qaeda’s most respected scholars and bomb-makers, Aimen Dean rubbed shoulders with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and swore allegiance to Osama bin Laden himself. His job was already one of the most dangerous in the world. But what the others didn’t know was that he was working undercover for MI6. This is the story of a young Muslim determined to defend his faith, even if it meant dying for the cause, the terrible disillusionment that followed when he realised he was fighting on the wrong side, and the fateful decision to work undercover with his sworn enemy.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Rethinking school : how to take charge of your child’s education / Bauer, Susan Wise
“With boldness, experience, and humor, Susan Wise Bauer turns conventional wisdom on its head. When a serious problem arises at school, the fault is more likely to lie with the school, or the educational system itself, than with the child. In five illuminating sections, Bauer teaches parents how to flex the K-12 system, rather than the child. As the author of the classic book on home-schooling, The Well-Trained Mind, Bauer knows how children learn and how schools work. Her advice here is comprehensive and anecdotal, including material drawn from experience with her own four children and more than twenty years of educational consulting and university teaching.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Politics for the new dark age : staying positive amidst disorder / Skews, Anthony
“Our societies are growing more unequal, more hierarchical, meaner and less human every year. Voters appalled by the direction of current politics respond to leaders that articulate a cohesive and genuine progressivism. This book provides the framework for politicians and activists to deliver that vision, organised around the themes of cooperative solutions to social problem-solving and a social contract centered on rights and the equal dignity of all people.” (Catalogue)

The perfectionists : how precision engineers created the modern world / Winchester, Simon
“New York Times best-selling Winchester charts the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age with an eye to a single factor: precision. Standards of measurement, machines that made machines, the Hadron Collider-all have required and engendered ever greater precision. But are we missing the importance of craft and art and the messy reality of the world? (Catalogue (adapted))

Authentocrats : culture, politics and the new seriousness / Kennedy, Joe
Authentocrats critiques the manner in which post-liberal ideas have been mobilised underhandedly by centrist politicians who, at least notionally, are hostile to the likes of Donald Trump and UKIP. It examines the forms this populism of the centre has taken in the United Kingdom and situates the moderate withdrawal from liberalism within a story which begins in the early 1990s. In this book, we see how this spurious concern for “real people” is part of a broader turn within British culture by which the mainstream withdraws from the openness of the Nineties under the bad-faith supposition that there’s nowhere to go but backwards. Authentocrats charges liberals themselves with fuelling the post-liberal turn, and asks where the space might be found for an alternative.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Fair shot : rethinking inequality and how we earn / Hughes, Chris
“To help people who are struggling, Hughes proposes a simple, bold solution: a guaranteed income for working people, including unpaid caregivers and students, paid for by the one percent. Hughes believes that a guaranteed income is the most powerful tool we have to combat poverty.” (Book jacket)

Adam Smith : what he thought, and why it matters / Norman, Jesse
“This book is not only a biography. It dispels the myths and debunks the caricatures that have grown up around Adam Smith. It explores Smith’s ideas in detail, from ethics to law to economics and government, and the impact of those ideas on thinkers as diverse as Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek. At a time when economics and politics are ever more polarized between left and right, this book, by offering a Smithian analysis of contemporary markets, predatory capitalism and the 2008 financial crash, returns us to first principles and shows how the lost centre of modern public debate can be recreated.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Invisible countries : journeys to the edge of nationhood / Keating, Joshua
“What is a country? While certain basic criteria–borders, a government, and recognition from other countries–seem obvious, journalist Joshua Keating’s book explores exceptions to these rules, including self-proclaimed countries such as Abkhazia, Kurdistan, and Somaliland, a Mohawk reservation straddling the U.S.-Canada border, and an island nation whose very existence is threatened by climate change. Through stories about these would-be countries’ efforts at self-determination, as well as their respective challenges, Keating shows that there is no universal legal authority determining what a country is. He argues that although our current world map appears fairly static, economic, cultural, and environmental forces in the places he describes may spark change.” (Catalogue)

Dance your socks off in the school holidays!

Looking forward to the holidays? So are we! There are heaps of great activities planned for you. Here’s the low down…

Royal New Zealand Ballet Dance Workshops

Inspired by The Nutcracker these 45 minute sessions give children, aged 5-8 years, a chance to dance!  Places are limited so register early for these popular workshops at the RNZB website

Tawa Community Centre: 2nd October 10 – 10.45am

Newlands Community Centre: 2nd October 2 – 2.45pm

Wellington Central Library: 3 October 10 – 10.45am (This Workshop Is Full)

Island Bay Community Centre: 4 October 10 – 10.45am

 

Diorama Workshop and Competition

Be in to win a family pass to the RNZB’s The Nutcracker Season! Work together with your friends & family and recreate your favourite scene from The Nutcracker in a shoebox diorama. Bring your own shoebox and use our craft supplies. These workshops are open to families with children of all ages. Bookings are required for these workshops, please contact the host library to register.

Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: 2nd October 10.30 – 11.30am

Wadestown Library: 2nd October 11am – 12pm

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: 2nd October 2.30 – 3.30pm

Karori Library: 3rd October 2.30 – 3.30pm

Wellington Central Library: 10th October 11am – 12pm (Bookings not required)

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: 10th October 2 – 3pm (Bookings not required)

Brooklyn Library: 11th October 11am – 12pm

Khandallah Library: 11th October 11am – 12pm

Johnsonville Library: 11th October 2 – 3pm (Bookings not required)

 

Family Movies

Bring a blanket and pillow, and relax at our fun family movies. A different G rated movie from the library collection will be showing each time, and are suitable for the whole family.  Ideal for children aged 4+ years accompanied by their caregivers. Bookings required for the evening movies at Johnsonville, Newtown, and Karori Libraries.

Wellington Central Library: 1st – 12th October, at 2pm in the children’s section (no movie showing on 7th October)

Johnsonville Library: 5th October 5.30 – 7pm (Reserve your place by contacting the event library)

Newtown Library: 5th October 6 – 7.30pm (Reserve your place by contacting the event library)

Karori Library: 11th October 6 – 7.30pm (Reserve your place by contacting the event library)

 

Let’s Go lego

At Let’s Go Lego, your creative skills will be put to the test as you use our Lego collections to design and build your masterpieces. Each session will have a different theme that will inspire you to hone your skills and become your very own Lego Legend. Bookings not required. Suitable for children aged 5+ years accompanied by their caregivers.

Wadestown Library: 2nd October 11am – 12pm

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: 4th October 3.30 – 4.30pm

Khandallah Library: 5th October 3.30 – 4.30pm

Karori Library: 6th October 2 – 3pm

Tawa Community Centre: 8th October 10am – 12pm

Miramar Library: 10th October 10.30 – 11.30am

Tawa Library: 11th October 3.30 – 4.30pm

Island Bay Community Centre: 12th October 10.30 – 11.30am

Johnsonville Library: 12th October 3.30 – 4.30pm

Newtown Library: 13th October 10.30 – 11.30am

 

Storytelling and Puppet Making

Come and listen to the story of The Nutcracker and be transported into the enchanting world of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Mouse King. Followed by a fantastical puppet making workshop where you will create your own magical puppets to tell a story! Suitable for children aged 4+ years accompanied by their caregivers.

Newlands Community Centre: 9th October 2 – 3.30pm

 

Gamesfest

Bring your own, or use the board games supplied, and challenge yourself and your friends to victory. Aim for a Scrabble high score, show your hand or perhaps perfect your poker face in your favourite card game! Suitable for children aged 6+ years accompanied by their caregivers.

Central Library: 3rd and 10th October 5.30 – 8pm

 

Stories @ Six

Come along for a fun family story evening run by the community for the community. Bring the family and enter into a magical time of stories and fantasy. Stories @ Six is ideal for families with children aged 4+ years.

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: 4th October 6 – 6.30pm

 

Beyblade Tournament

Let the battle of the Beyblades begin! Bring your own Beyblades or use the library ones, and challenge your friends to a battle. Who will emerge victorious? Suitable for children aged 6+ years accompanied by their caregivers.

Newtown Library: 4th October 3 – 4pm

Lego Stop-Motion Movie Workshop

Work as a team and learn how to create a stop motion film using ‘Stop Motion Studio’ and LEGO. BYOD tablet, or borrow one of the library ones (limited supply available). Reserve your place by contacting Tawa Library as numbers are limited. Suitable for children aged 7+ years accompanied by their caregivers.

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: 5th October 10.30 – 11.30am (Bookings required, please contact the library)

 

All events are free. Parents/caregivers are expected to accompany and supervise children at all activities. Contact the host library for more information about each event.

 

Advance recommendations for great new fiction titles

Rosewater book cover

There are lots of new titles coming in from talented authors in the next few months. That means getting in quick if you want you be reading them soon!

Our advance recommendations for up and coming titles include crime writing and thrillers; titles where political and social values are explored and Science Fiction and fantasy works were the possibilities of the mind and potential realities are explored.

Excitement has been building for the new Haruki Murakami book titled Killing Commendatore which  is due to published 9 October 2018. The new novel, written in homage to the The Great Gatsby, has already been censored in Hong Kong. Opaque wrappers are required wherever the book is for sale or loan, libraries there will only allow borrowing to patrons over 18 years of age.

Already on our library shelves  is the new Kate Atkinson novel, Transcription, along with Belinda Bauer’s Snap. Yet to be published, Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver brings together two timelines  in the same location and  focuses on families facing challenges due to changing cultures. Kingsolver’s deft handling of family dynamics and the impacts of change bring this tale to life. Mohammed Hanif delivers two sides to modern conflict with Red Birds. Three times Hugo winner Science Fiction writer N K Jemisin has a new short story collection called How long ’til black future month? which delivers a kaleidoscopic view of her imagination.  Tade Thompson’s  Rosewater, is named after a town, grown up around an alien entity embedded in Nigerian soil. Once a year the biodome surrounding the incomer opens…

See below, for these and more titles, coming soon to a library near you!

Transcription / Atkinson, Kate
“In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever. Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.” (Catalogue)

Love is Blind [paperback] / Boyd, William
Love is Blind is a tale of dizzying passion and brutal revenge; of artistic endeavour and the illusions it creates; of all the possibilities that life can offer, and how cruelly they can be snatched away. At once an intimate portrait of one man’s life and an expansive exploration of the beginning of the 20th century, Love is Blind is a masterly new novel from one of Britain’s best loved storytellers.” (Catalogue)

 

Killing Commendatore / Murakami, Haruki/ Gabriel, Philip (TRN)/ Goossen, Ted (TRN)
“The much-anticipated new novel from the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of 1Q84 and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Killing Commendatore is an epic tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art–as well as a loving homage to The Great Gatsby–and a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers.” (Catalogue)

 

Bridge of clay. / Zusak, Markus
Bridge of Clay is about a boy who is caught in the current – of destroying everything he has, to become all he needs to be. He’s a boy in search of greatness, as a cure for memory and tragedy. He builds a bridge to save his family, but also to save himself. It’s an attempt to transcend humanness, to make a single, glorious moment: A miracle and nothing less.” (Catalogue)

 

Red Birds [paperback] / Hanif, Mohammed
“Written with his trademark wit, keen eye for absurdity and telling important truths about the world today, Red Birds reveals master storyteller Mohammed Hanif at the height of his powers.
An American pilot crash lands in the desert and takes refuge in the very camp he was supposed to bomb.  In the camp, teenager Momo’s money-making schemes are failing. His brother left for his first day at work and never returned, his parents are at each other’s throats, his dog is having a very bad day, and an aid worker has shown up wanting to research him for her book on the Teenage Muslim Mind.” (Catalogue)

Unsheltered / Kingsolver, Barbara
“Brilliantly executed and compulsively readable, Unsheltered is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum, as they navigate the challenges of surviving a world in the throes of major cultural shifts. In this mesmerizing story told in alternating chapters, Willa and Thatcher come to realize that though the future is uncertain, even unnerving, shelter can be found in the bonds of kindred–whether family or friends–and in the strength of the human spirit.” (Catalogue)

Snap / Bauer, Belinda
“On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. “Jack’s in charge,” she’d said. “I won’t be long”. But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever. Three years later, Jack is still in charge – of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they’re alone in the house, and – quite suddenly – of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother.” (Catalogue)

Rosewater (The Wormwood Trilogy, 1) [paperback] / Thompson, Tade
“Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers. Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, coming to a realization about a horrifying future.” (Catalogue)

How Long ’til Black Future Month?: Stories [paperback] / Jemisin, N K
“In these stories, Jemisin sharply examines modern society, infusing magic into the mundane, and drawing deft parallels in the fantasy realms of her imagination. Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow South must save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises.” (Catalogue)

Lethal White / Galbraith, Robert
“When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story.  Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside. ” (Catalogue)

In a House of Lies / Rankin, Ian
“A missing private investigator is found, locked in a car hidden deep in the woods.  Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is part of a new inquiry, combing through the mistakes of the original case.  Every officer involved must be questioned, and it seems everyone on the case has something to hide, and everything to lose. But there is one man who knows where the trail may lead – and that it could be the end of him: John Rebus.” (Catalogue)