Recent contemporary Māori art books

Here are some picks of recent contemporary Māori art books — we hope you enjoy them. Included are a book of essays in memory of respected academic and curator Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, as well as books to accompany Lisa Reihana’s work representing New Zealand at the Venice Biennale. Plus, an introduction to the art of whaikōrero (oratory), and a beautiful tribute to the life achievements of Dame Rangimarie Hetet (1892 – 1995) and her daughter Diggeress Te Rangituatahi Te Kanawa (1920 – 2009), who were both tohunga of mahi raranga whatu (traditional Maori weaving experts).

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

(See also our post Remembering Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, for information about the memorial project by NZ artist Shannon Novak, who installed a small artwork in 10 locations around Wellington that Jonathan frequented and supported — including the Central Library.)

Syndetics book coverMāori art : history, architecture, landscape and theory / Rangihiroa Panoho ; with photographs by Mark Adams & Haruhiko Sameshima.
“Up until now books on Maori art have described the work as either traditional (carving, weaving, painting) or contemporary, work produced post-1950s. This book presents a unique focus on Maori art by exploring the connection between the traditional and contemporary, and the place of Maori art within an international context. Maori Art provides a framework for looking at Maori art in a new way and fills a gap in Maori art history – while there are myriad surveys of Maori art there is currently very little critical writing on Maori art and artists. The book is extensively illustrated with over 400 art works, landscapes and meeting houses, many never published before, including 100 specially commissioned photographs from renowned New Zealand photographers Mark Adams and Haruhiko Sameshima.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLisa Reihana: emissaries / Lisa Reihana.
“Lisa Reihana: Emissaries is a beautifully designed and exquisitely illustrated examination of one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most ambitious artworks, in Pursuit of Venus [infected], for its presentation at the 57th Venice Biennale. Comprising seven essays by leading scholars and curators, a lively conversational exchange, and insights into the career of Lisa Reihana (Ngāpuhi, Ngātihine, Ngāi Tu), the book provides a captivating account of the sources that influenced the artist’s expansive creative endeavour and how the Venice exhibition might be understood within the context of transnational indigenous art making.” (Auckland Art Gallery description)

Syndetics book coverIn pursuit of Venus / Lisa Reihana.
“Discover the histories and processes that led to the realisation of Lisa Reihana’s celebrated work in this exquisitely designed and illustrated book. Includes ten essays and a comprehensive interview with Reihana alongside two beautiful plate sections which highlight key scenes and characters from within this seminal work.” (Auckland Art Gallery description)

(You can also watch videos and can learn all about Lisa’s practice, motivation, and inspiration over at Te Papa’s pages dedicated to celebrating Lisa Reihana’s work at the Venice Biennale)

Overdrive cover Whaikorero, Poia Rewi (eBook)
“Anyone who has been welcomed on to a marae in New Zealand will understand that whaikorero – oratory – is at the heart of Maori culture. Whaikorero: The World of Maori Oratory is the first introduction to this fundamental Maori art to be widely published. It is based on broad research as well as oral histories from 30 of the leading exponents of whaikorero, many of whom have subsequently died. Author Poia Rewi’s informants are affiliated to many iwi including Tuhoe, Ngati Kahungunu, Te Arawa, Ngati Porou, Ngati Awa, Waikato-Maniapoto, Te Whakatohea, Nga Puhi and Ngati Whare. In Whaikorero, Poia Rewi assesses the origin and history of whaikorero; its structure, language and style of delivery; who may speak; and where speech happens. Featuring a range of sample whaikorero drawn from both oral and literary sources, the book provides examples of language for learners of Maori wishing to improve their whaikorero skills as well as being a major resource for all readers interested in Maori culture.”(Overdrive description)

E ngā uri whakatupu : weaving legacies : Dame Rangimarie Hetet and Diggeress Te Kanawa / authors, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Kahutoi Mere Te Kanawa, Rangituatahi Te Kanawa, Barbara Pareatai Moke.
“E Nga Uri Whakatupu is a beautiful tribute to the life achievements of Dame Rangimarie Hetet (1892 – 1995) and her daughter Diggeress Te Rangituatahi Te Kanawa (1920 – 2009), who were both tohunga of mahi raranga whatu (traditional Maori weaving experts). These women, of Ngati Maniapoto and Ngati Kinohaku descent, are acknowledged as New Zealand’s finest traditional Maori weavers. Their generosity of spirit and passion for the revival of Maori women’s arts gave new life to traditional Maori weaving and still inspire generations of the present. The Hetet and Te Kanawa collections comprise more than 75 individual pieces and represent the unbroken weaving traditions of one whanau that spans five generations, or over 150 years. It is the largest private collection of Maori traditional weaving from one family in the world.” (Publisher description)

Recent Parenting picks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pasefika eBooks you can borrow anytime

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overdrive cover Whispers and Vanities, Tamasailau M. Suaalii-Sauni (eBook)
“This collection of essays and selected poetry responds to an address on Samoan religious culture given by Samoa’s Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Tupuola Tufuga Efi, to the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions. The address challenges some fundamental aspects of and assumptions in modern Samoan indigenous religious culture. The essays and poetry form a carefully woven critique, from within and outside Samoa, of aspects of Samoa’s religious and cultural values.” (Overdrive description)

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

10 new Health books to check out this September

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One size does not fit all: New Design books

This month’s selection of new design books features Defined by Design, a book that delves into the hidden biases in everyday things, and how this ineffective design can affect our self-image, and even our health. From clothes to buildings to public transport, one size does not fit all.

Syndetics book coverRobot house : instrumentation, representation, fabrication / Peter Testa ; forewords by Greg Lynn and Eric Owen Moss.
“Robotics is the fastest-growing and most exciting area of development in architecture and architectural education for a generation, offering new paradigms for design and fabrication. Schools and practices around the world are installing machines, but few have the experience to appreciate the full design potential of their application. Robot House features projects produced by the most advanced robotics design studio in the world, often interacting with a wide range of technologies from motion capture to material science–a realm far beyond the capabilities of 3D printing.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe botanical hand-lettering workbook : draw whimsical & decorative styles & scripts / by Bethany Robertson.
“Learn the art of hand-lettering. This step-by-step workbook teaches you how to craft pretty letters and flowers of all sorts. Use your newfound botanical lettering skills to make cards, wedding invitations, banners, tags, paper bouquets and other fun projects.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe red thread : Nordic design.
“From literature to food, lifestyle to fashion, cinema to architecture, Nordic influence is evident throughout contemporary culture. The Red Thread: Nordic Design celebrates this deep-rooted aesthetic, showcasing the diversity of design from Scandinavia and Finland via more than 200 objects – from everyday items to exquisitely produced decorative glassware, and from traditional handmade textiles to mass-produced products found in homes across the globe. The title is taken from a metaphor, common in the Nordic countries, of a shared and highlighted characteristic (like a long connecting thread in woven material), that runs through and connects themes, ideas, stories, and, in this case, design.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDefined by design : the surprising power of hidden gender, age, and body bias in everyday products and places / Kathryn H. Anthony.
“This wide-ranging overview of design in everyday life demonstrates how design shapes our lives in ways most of us would never imagine. The author, a leading expert in social and psychological issues in design, uncovers the gender, age, and body biases inherent in the designs of common products and living spaces that we all routinely use. From the schools our children attend and the buildings we work in to ill-fitting clothes and one-size-fits-all seating in public transportation, restaurants, and movie theaters, we are surrounded by an artificial environment that can affect our comfort, our self-image, and even our health. This fascinating book will teach readers to recognize the hidden biases in certain products and places and to work for more intelligent and healthy design in all areas of life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJump start responsive web design / by Chris Ward.
“It used to be so simple. You made a website or application to work on a 15” monitor and, incompatibilities between browsers aside, you were done. Then along came mobile phones with web browsers and they ruined all our easy lives. Worse than that, people loved browsing the web on them! Fortunately, by using responsive web design techniques, you can use one set of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and display appropriate elements in an appropriate way to suit each platform. In Jump Start Responsive Web Design, you’l learn responsive techniques to make your designs look magnificent on any device, future-proof them, and reduce development time and budget.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Shard : the vision of Irvine Sellar / Howard Watson.
“In 2000, Irvine Sellar, a former market trader famous for helping to create the look of the Swinging Sixties on Carnaby Street, stood on a rooftop in Southwark, London, and decided to build the tallest building in western Europe. He had virtually no experience, and he wanted to build at the wrong height, in the wrong place, on the wrong side of the river and at the wrong time. Twelve years later, the Shard, a ‘vertical city’ designed by one of the world’s leading architects, Renzo Piano, changed the skyline of London. It immediately became one of the most instantly recognizable and admired contemporary buildings in the world. This is the story of one man’s vision for London and his determination to redefine an ancient but maligned part of the city despite seemingly insurmountable challenges. At every twist in the tale, Sellar refused to give up.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIllustration : what’s the point? / Mouni Feddag.
“Of all the graphic arts, illustration is currently the most dynamic and exciting. In every medium – advertising, book publishing, product design, houseware and home furnishings – new talents are emerging, making their mark and (in some cases) a fortune out of their illustration skills. But why? In this uniquely presented book, gifted illustrator Mouni Feddag takes on the subject and gives it the treatment it deserves.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTravels with Frank Lloyd Wright / Gwyn Lloyd Jones.
“By retracing Frank Lloyd Wright’s footsteps on journeys he made beyond his homeland of the USA, this book explores his global ambitions and his lasting legacy and offers an original and contemporary view of Wright and his architecture. By considering Wright beyond America, his architecture is critiqued against different cultural settings so that his architecture can be evaluated as emerging from a new globalized era of architectural production. It reflects on Frank Lloyd Wright as an early promoter of globalization – in fact, as the first international ‘starchitect’.” (Syndetics summary)

Browse these recent DVD arrivals!

New DVDs include action with the origin of King Kong; foreign drama with acclaimed films ‘The Innocents’, ‘A Man called Ove’ & the latest season of Danish TV show ‘The Legacy’; biographical Holocaust drama ‘Denial’ & the World War II story of ‘The zookeeper’s wife’; and the timely Presidential conspiracy at the heart of Series 6 of ‘Homeland’.

Kong : Skull Island.
“The show reimagines the origin of the mythic Kong in a compelling, original adventure. In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific, as beautiful as it is treacherous, unaware that they’re crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong.” (Syndetics summary)

Call the midwife. Series six ; 2016 Christmas special.
“This series sees the nuns receive an SOS call from a mission hospital in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Under the hot sun, the Nonnatus family face some of their toughest challenges yet. Back in Poplar, the rather austere Sister Ursula is appointed the new head of Nonnatus House, demoting Sister Julienne to an ordinary member of staff. She is not the only one to face challenges closer to home. Series 6 sees the nuns and nurses laugh together and cry together, supporting each other as never before.” (Syndetics summary)

Denial.
“When Deborah Lipstadt speaks out against Holocaust denier David Irving over his falsification of history, she discovers that the stakes are higher than ever in the battle for historical truth. Now faced with a libel lawsuit in British court, Lipstadt and her attorney have the heavy burden of proving that the Holocaust actually happened, in a riveting legal fight with stunning consequences.” (Syndetics summary)

Mr. Selfridge. Season four
“Nine years have passed and Harry Selfridge is at the pinnacle of his wealth and celebrity and enjoying the frenzy of the roaring 20s. But in this buzzing, fast-evolving world, Harry is splashing his cash in an unprecedented, dangerous way. As he parties and gambles with stage stars, the Dolly Sisters, and pursues risky new business ventures, the trials and tribulations of our other much loved characters, and a handful of new comers, also unfold. Lady Mae returns to London to rebuild her life whilst Mardle and Grove thrash out their differences, and Kitty and Frank embark on the biggest challenge to their relationship yet. This final series chronicles Harry’s epic rollercoaster ride as he begins to lose grip on his empire, alongside the fortunes of all those whose lives he has touched.” (Syndetics summary)

Ghost in the shell.
“In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people’s minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that she has been lied to: her life was not saved, it was stolen.” (Syndetics summary)

The zookeeper’s wife.
“The real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński, have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When the Germans invade their country, they are forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck. To fight back on their own terms, Antonina and Jan covertly begin working with the Resistance.” (Syndetics summary)

The innocents.
“Warsaw, December 1945: the Second World War is finally over and Mathilde is treating the last of the French survivors of the German camps. When a panicked Benedictine nun appears at the clinic one night begging Mathilde to follow her back to the convent, what she finds there is shocking: a holy sister about to give birth and several more in advanced stages of pregnancy.” (Syndetics summary)

The legacy. III.
“In Season 3, Signe has big visions and plans to expand her farm with a neighbouring farmer. Emil has moved into Gronnegard where he takes care of Melody among other things. Gro challenges the Art Centre’s conventional thinking and discovers new sides of her self. Frederick is a successful abros, and hardly ever comes home, until he has to dive into an emotionally complicated investigation.” (Syndetics summary)

A man called Ove.
“Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon; the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him ‘the bitter neighbour from hell’. But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.” (Syndetics summary)

Homeland. The complete sixth season.
“After thwarting a terrorist attack at Berlins Hauptbahnhof Station during the climactic finale of season five, season six picks up several months later following the recent election of the new President of the United States. Carrie Mathison is back on American soil, living in Brooklyn, NY, and working at a foundation that provides aid to the Muslim community living in the United States. As her estranged mentor Saul Berenson and Dar Adal begin preparations for the new President-elect, Quinn, left clinging to life at the end of last season, is convalescing stateside.” (Syndetics summary)

New books on Movies & TV

A variety of new books on movies and TV programmes have been added to our collection recently. They include the intriguing study about movies adapted from comics (and vice versa) and the history of Wellington summer Shakespeare. See also the fascinating biographies of Charlotte Rampling and Ava Gardner.

Syndetics book coverWho I am / Charlotte Rampling ; with Christophe Bataille ; translated from the French by William Hobson with Charlotte Rampling.
“Oscar-nominated Charlotte Rampling most recently appeared in hit ITV drama Broadchurch, the BBC’s London Spy and HBO’s Dexter, and the feature film 45 Years. Having shied away from biographies and autobiographies (“too personal”) Rampling has now written Who I Am (first published in French) a lyrical, and intimate self-portrait via reminiscences. Written in a style that gives a unique insight into her screen persona, it is an idiosyncratic and beguiling insight of one of the most consistently adventurous and interesting actors.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKirk and Anne : letters of love, laughter, and a lifetime in Hollywood / Kirk and Anne Douglas ; with Marcia Newberger.
“Film legend Kirk Douglas and Anne Buydens, his wife of nearly sixty-three years, look back on a lifetime filled with drama both on and off the screen. Sharing priceless correspondence with each other as well as the celebrities and world leaders they called friends, Kirk and Anne is a candid portrayal of the pleasures and pitfalls of a Hollywood life lived in the public eye.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAva : a life in movies / Kendra Bean and Anthony Uzarowski.
“Renowned for her screen performances, down-to-earth personality, and love affair with Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner left an indelible mark on Hollywood history. Her adventurous life story is told through authoritative text and hundreds of photos in Ava: A Life in Movies.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJean Renoir : a biography / Pascal Mérigeau ; translated by Bruce Benderson ; foreword by Martin Scorsese.
“Originally published in France in 2012, Pascal Merigeau’s definitive biography of legendary film director Jean Renoir is a landmark work–the winner of a Prix Goncourt, France’s top literary achievement. Now available in the English language for the first time, Jean Renoir: A Biography is the definitive study of one of the most fascinating and creative artistic figures of the twentieth century.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFences / a play by August Wilson ; introduction by Lloyd Richards.
“From legendary playwright August Wilson, the powerful, stunning dramatic work that won him critical acclaim, including the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize. Denzel Washington’s film adaptation received nominations for awards from the Academy Awards, African-American Film Critics Association, American Film Institute, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and NAACP Image Awards, among others.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWellington Summer Shakespeare, 1983-2017 / David Lawrence.
“Since its first production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1983, the Wellington Summer Shakespeare has become an unmissable annual event, staging some of the liveliest Shakespeare productions performed in New Zealand. Over 33 years, the Summer Shakespeare has enthralled audiences, introduced new generations of theatregoers to Shakespeare in performance, and played a formative role in the early careers of many of New Zealand’s leading creatives. Wellington Summer Shakespeare 1983-2017 collects photos, ephemera and memories from some of the plays’ directors to document the evolution of Wellington’s only large-scale, large-cast, outdoor theatre event.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverT2 trainspotting / screenplay by John Hodge ; based on the books Porno and Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh.
“First there is an opportunity, then there is a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton returns to the only place he can ever call home. They are waiting for him, of course: Spud, Sick Boy, and Frank Begbie. But they are not alone. Other old friends are waiting too: sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance. Mark Renton returns, to the chaos of life and death.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMovie comics : page to screen/screen to page / Blair Davis.
“Adaptations of comics have been an integral part of American cinema from its very inception, with comics characters regularly leaping from the page to the screen and cinematic icons spawning comics of their own. Movie Comics is the first book to study the long history of both comics-to-film and film-to-comics adaptations, covering everything from silent films starring Happy Hooligan to sound films and serials featuring Dick Tracy and Superman to comic books starring John Wayne, Gene Autry, Bob Hope, Abbott & Costello, Alan Ladd, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.” (Syndetics summary)

Cast your vote at the library from 11th-22nd September

The New Zealand General Election is happening on Saturday 23 September – but you don’t need to wait until then to cast your vote. If you want to vote before election day, for any reason, you can. And if you haven’t enrolled yet, you can do that right up until Friday 22 September, and cast your vote at the same time.

From Monday 11 September, the following libraries have advance voting booths:

  • Central Library (Mezzanine Room)
  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library
  • Newtown Library
  • Miramar Library
  • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library
  • Wadestown Library

These Wellington City Council-run community centres have advance voting:

  • Newlands Community Centre
  • Tawa Community Centre

Please visit the elections.org.nz website to check the hours that advanced voting operates, or to find out more information about this year’s general election.

Image from elections.org.nz

Ballot box

War and Feeds: Recent History picks

This month we have a collection of history books covering Turkey, Mozambique, Irish transportation and London, balanced out by an examination of the gastronomic habits of Queen Victoria and their context in the development of Western food, and a look back at the areas and cultures surrounding Ancient Greece and Rome.

Syndetics book coverTurkey : a modern history / Erik J. Zürcher.
“This revised edition builds upon and updates its twin themes of Turkey’s continuing incorporation into the capitalist world and the modernization of state and society. Zürcher argues that Turkey’s history between 1908 and 1950 should be seen as a unity, and offers a strongly revisionist interpretation of Turkey’s founding father, Kemal Atatürk. Zürcher focuses on the growth of mass politics; the three military coups; the thorny issue of Turkey’s human right’s record; the alliance with the West and relations with the European Community; Turkey’s ambivalent relations with the Middle East; the increasingly explosive Kurdish question; and the continuing political instability and growth of Islam.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe barbarians / Peter Bogucki.
“We often think of the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome as discrete incubators of Western culture, places where ideas about everything from government to art to philosophy were free to develop and then be distributed outward into the wider Mediterranean world. But as Peter Bogucki reminds us in this book, Greece and Rome did not develop in isolation. All around them were rural communities who had remarkably different cultures, ones few of us know anything about. Telling the stories of these nearly forgotten people, he offers a long-overdue enrichment of how we think about classical antiquity.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe new sultan : Erdogan and the crisis of modern Turkey / Soner Cagaptay.
“In a world of rising tensions between Russia and the United States, the Middle East and Europe, Sunnis and Shiites, Islamism and liberalism, Turkey is at the epicentre. And at the heart of Turkey is its right-wing populist president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Here, leading Turkish expert Soner Cagaptay will look at Erdoğan’s roots in Turkish history, what he believes in and how he has cemented his rule, as well as what this means for the world. The book will also unpick the ‘threats’ Erdogan has worked to combat – from the liberal Turks to the Gulen movement, from coup plotters to Kurdish nationalists – all of which have culminated in the crisis of modern Turkey.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFloating prisons : Irish convict hulks and voyages to New South Wales 1823-1837 / Anne McMahon ; introduction by Matthew Richardson.
“Most people think of Australia’s convict past as decidedly English. Anne McMahon tells the story of the Irish prisoners roped into the British transportation scheme. Poverty, civil unrest and overcrowded prisons in Ireland from 1823 to 1837 led to thousands of men being sentenced to transportation to Australia. They were confined mainly to hulks moored in Cork Harbour and at Kinstown near Dublin. Violence, illness and meagre rations were the norm. Anne McMahon’s vivid descriptions of what it was really like to endure transportation, squalid living conditions and long sea voyages reveals the Irish convict experience.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA short history of Mozambique / Malyn Newitt.
This comprehensive overview traces the evolution of modern Mozambique, from its early modern origins in the Indian Ocean trading system and the Portuguese maritime empire to the fifteen-year civil war that followed independence and its continued after-effects. Malyn Newitt explores the historical roots of Mozambican disunity and hampered development, beginning with the divisive effects of the slave trade, the drawing of colonial frontiers in the 1890s and the lasting particularities of the north, centre and south, inherited from the compartmentalized approach of concession companies. (Abridged from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverFractured lands : how the Arab world came apart / Scott Anderson.
“In 2011, a series of anti-government uprisings shook the Middle East and North Africa in what would become known as the Arab Spring. Few could predict that these convulsions, initially hailed in the West as a triumph of democracy, would give way to brutal civil war, the terrors of the Islamic State, and a global refugee crisis. But, as New York Times bestselling author Scott Anderson shows, the seeds of catastrophe had been sown long before. In this gripping account, Anderson examines the myriad complex causes of the region’s profound unraveling, tracing the ideological conflicts of the present to their origins in the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003 and beyond.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe greedy queen : eating with Victoria / Annie Gray.
“From Dr Annie Gray – What does it mean to eat like a queen? The Greedy Queen celebrates Victoria’s appetite, both for food and, indeed, for life. From intimate breakfasts with the King of France, to romping at tea-parties with her children, and from state balls to her last sip of milk, her life is examined through what she ate, when and with whom. Voracious and adventurous in her tastes, Queen Victoria was head of state during a revolution in how we ate – from the highest tables to the most humble. Bursting with original research, The Greedy Queen considers Britain’s most iconic monarch from a new perspective, telling the story of British food along the way.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBloody history of London : crime, corruption and murder / John D. Wright.
“From plagues and poverty to financial scandals, serial killers to public executions, mad monarchs to barbaric mental asylums, Bloody History of London reaches deeply into the city’s long history and ranges widely across the social, political and cultural life of the metropolis. From political skullduggery among the Tudors to the Cold War Profumo scandal and assassination of Georgy Markov, the book is a lively account across almost 2,000 years of London history.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

New albums on vinyl

Check out some of these newly catalogued albums in our growing vinyl collection. They include the debut album by the Dunedin band Élan Vital and the Sufjan Stevens’ new project Planetarium.

Élan Vital / Shadow self
“Élan Vital comprising Renee Barrance (keyboards, vocals), Danny Brady (synths, drum machines, live mixing, vocals) and Nikolai Sim (bass) – formed in 2015 in Dunedin’s None Gallery, an undefined artist-run creative community in a former pharmaceutical factory which is also the home of Death And The Maiden. The expression Élan Vital describes the vital force or impulse of life. The music on Shadow Self seems to symbolise that life impulse in an ambiguous zone between machine and human worlds.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

U2 / The Joshua tree.
“30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION : (2LP) 2017 remastered reissue of landmark 1987 album featuring ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ & ‘With Or Without You’.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Sufjan Stevens / Planetarium.
“2LP set. New 2017 collaborative album with his drummer James McAlister, plus Bryce Dessner (The National) and composer Nico Muhly! Songs inspired by the solar system, originally performed in 2013 for the Brooklyn Academy Of Music.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard / Murder of the universe
“‘Murder Of The Universe’ is the second of five albums from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard set for release in 2017. Broken down into 3 distinct ‘chapters’, the 21-track album is concerned with the downfall of man and the death of the planet.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Arcade Fire / Everything now
“‘Everything Now’ is the 5th studio album from Arcade Fire. The thirteen track album features the lead single ‘Everything Now’ and was produced by Arcade Fire, Thomas Bangalter and Steve Mackey, with co-production by Markus Dravs.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)