Experience an underwater reef with Virtual Reality

Want to experience a coral reef with no diving gear required? Visit our Central Library and try out a full Virtual Reality experience for free

Explore a coral reef

Wednesday 21 Feb
12:30-2:00pm (Fully booked)

4:00-6:00pm (Fully booked)

Thursday 22 Feb
12:30-2:00pm (Fully booked)

4:00-6:00pm (Fully booked)

Friday 23 Feb
12:30-4:00pm (Fully booked)

All sessions will take place on the ground floor at Central Library, 65 Victoria Street.

Email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz to find out more.

This opportunity is happening to celebrate 2018 as the International Year of the Reef. We have two more IYOR 2018 events happening this month. They are:

 

Deep Water Coral Reefs of New Zealand Talk

Dr Ashley Rowden / NIWA

Coral on a coral reef

Friday 23 Feb
5:30-6:30pm
Ground floor, Central Library, 65 Victoria Street

Dr Ashley Rowden is a Principal Scientist in Marine Ecology at NIWA.

Dr Rowden’s talk will be about deep water coral reefs in New Zealand, which are different from shallow water reefs — with emphasis on the themes of the 2018 International Year of the Reef (threats, management, conservation and sustainable use) in a New Zealand context. He will share examples from research undertaken at NIWA.

 

A Special Virtual Reality Reef Demonstration

Taehyun Rhee /Associate Professor at Victoria University

Saturday 24 Feb
12:30-4:00pm (Fully booked)
Ground floor, Central Library, 65 Victoria Street

Taehyun Rhee is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science at Victoria University, as well as Deputy Director of Victoria’s Computational Media Innovation Centre (CMIC), and a founder of Mixed Reality startup DreamFlux. He is a founder and director of the Victoria Computer Graphics (VCG) Lab and the founding member of Victoria’s Computer Graphics Programme, established in collaboration with Weta Digital.

DreamFlux technology provides immersive VR experiences by realistically compositing digital content into 360° video. This process is achieved in real-time, allowing for interactive content. The seamless blending of digital content into the real world in an interactive setting allows for powerful applications in education, training, entertainment and more. Dreamflux technology mitigates potential visual discomfort in VR headsets by rendering at a high frame rate (90 FPS, stereo).

Coral reef

Rainbow Storytime!

Photo courtesy Upper Hutt City Library

Celebrate our Rainbow Families with a special storytime event at Wellington Central Library as part of Wellington Pride Festival! This special storytime event will be presented by the fabulous Drag Queen LaQuisha St Redfern and friends featuring books from our library collection. These Rainbow Storytime events help to teach children about acceptance with themes of family, love and friendship, being different and belonging, being unique and accepted and are for children, families and anyone who likes a good story!

Where: Wellington Central Library

When: Saturday 3rd March, 2-2.30pm

Read “An illustrated history of the Treaty of Waitangi” on Waitangi Day

If you are interested in learning more about the Treaty of Waitangi then don’t miss this eBook: An Illustrated History of the Treaty of Waitangi by Claudia Orange. You can read this eBook on our Bridget Williams Books Treaty of Waitangi Collection, by entering your library card details.

Syndetics book coverAn illustrated history of the Treaty of Waitangi / Claudia Orange.
“This book builds on Claudia Orange’s award-winning Treaty of Waitangi, using a wonderful range of photographs, maps and paintings to bring the Treaty’s history to life. Depictions of key players and moments sit alongside a clear and informative text that helps explain the history of this key document. Two peoples meeting, agreements made and broken, claims and protests: all are a part of the story of the Treaty from before its signing to the present day. Never before have the Treaty’s varied stories been made so accessible the general reader” (Syndetics Summary).

This is just one of the many excellent eBooks about the Treaty available through the Bridget Williams Books Treaty of Waitangi Collection.

Staff Picks CDs: The Best of 2017, Part 1

John, Neil J., Jackson and Alex select their favourite CDs of 2017 from our collection. There is a wide variety of music here and you might find something interesting or missed. Part 2 is coming soon so keep checking.

John’s Picks:

Real Estate – In Mind
Indie hipster heroes, Real Estate, deliver another portion of their gorgeous laid back jangle pop and it’s exactly what fans will expect –tremolo heavy guitars, lovely harmonies and bitter sweet songs, all delivered at a relaxed pace by musicians so tight as to appear telepathic.

Grandaddy – Last Place
Granddaddy were always singer/songwriter Jason Lyttle’s band and it’s great to hear his esoteric, slightly melancholic slacker take on existentialist angst once again.

 

Gas – Narkopop
Wolfgang Voigt follows up his 2000 ambient masterpiece ‘Pop’ and dives deeper into the original template, focusing on texture and reverberation and introducing sub bass pulses to create stunning symphonic electronic chamber music that is as meditative as it is unsettling.

Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble – Find Me Finding You
The demise of UK post rockers Stereolab left a gap in contemporary music, but vocalist Laetitia Sadier continues to create her surreal sensual pop informed by the harmonies and lush instrumentation of exotica, easy listening and tropicalia.

 

Laurel Halo – Dust
On ‘Dust’ her music remains as unclassifiable as ever and, as much jazz as electronica, has attained a new found warmth and softness with her treated vocals woven through absorbing and often playful sound textures and beats to create a collection of tracks as original and beguiling as anything you will hear this year.

Thurston Moore – Rock ‘n’ Roll Consciousness
Sonic Youth fans are in for a treat here as that legendary NY band’s guitarist, Thurston Moore, explores five lengthy, textural, guitar centred songs that are reminiscent of his playing on the groundbreaking Sonic Youth album, Daydream Nation.

 

Shirley Collins – Lodestar
84 year old Shirley Collins, the “faerie queen” of UK psych folk, was finally coaxed back to a microphone by devoted fans and recorded live to laptop in her rural cottage accompanied by members of the next generation of folk musicians.

 

Dauwd – Theory of Colours
Electronic producers often find it difficult to maintain an entire album and it is nice to be able to report that UK artist Dauwd, bucks that trend with most of the seven tracks here maintaining a lovely rolling chilled rhythm with deep bass lines and skittering hi-hats pushing it all along.

LCD Sound System – American Dream
Seven years after they disbanded, we get the fourth LCD album and it’s as good as anything they have done. Anything but a cynical cash-in this album confirms James Murphy as a major artist.

 

Kraftwerk – 3D: The Catalogue – Box Set
German electronica pioneers, Kraftwerk, release their entire catalogue of eight discs once again, but the difference is that these are all recently recorded live versions, capturing the band using modern state of the art equipment with pristine clarity.

 

Grizzly Bear – Painted Ruins
The highly anticipated follow up to 2012’s ‘Shields’ from the darlings of the NY hipster scene doesn’t disappoint featuring all of the band’s distinctive touches – excellent musicianship, great arrangements, gorgeous melodies and inscrutable lyrics. They are here in Wellington for the NZ Festival in March.

Grayson Gilmour – Otherness
Wellington based multi-instrumentalist Grayson Gilmour plays everything but the drums and strings on this sophisticated, beautifully composed album that brims with heart while avoiding sentimentality.

 

Peaking Lights – The Fifth State of Consciousness
US husband and wife duo, Peaking Lights, gain more confidence with each release and with this, their fifth album, they effortlessly explore their relatively unique world of ‘80’s influenced cosmic dub/synth pop.

 

Washed Out – Mister Mellow
Released on the US Stone’s Throw label, Ernest Greene’s third record is an intoxicating blend of downbeat, free jazz, hip hop and lounge with spoken word samples thrown in to keep things interesting.

 

Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos
This is an intensely political record that harks back to the early days of hip-hop as the fiery UK poet directs her fine honed literary tirades at capitalism, gentrification, climate change, war, disconnectedness, isolation and more.

 

Machinedrum – Human Energy
Inspired by the California new age movement, Human Energy finds US electronic producer Travis Stewart, coming as close as he has come to the popular arena, featuring very catchy tunes, a range of guest r’n’b vocalists, great beats and excellent production to create a summer record of euphoric glitch pop.

Roman Flugel – All the Right Noises
Roman Flugel’s third album is “about the solitary time in hotel rooms between gigs, and that strange mixture of peace and isolation”, and he has created a collection of pieces that lie between ambient and dancefloor in the wonderful world of electronic listening music.

Brian Eno – Reflection
Brian Eno has finally created a piece of infinite music, via an iOS app, that generates music indefinitely without ever repeating itself. In these anxious times, this hour long excerpt is a welcome respite, presenting a peaceful and calming virtual river to sit beside.

 

The XX – I See You
The London trio’s third release in seven years finds The XX creating their gorgeous and beautifully produced take on pop throughout, arguably, their best record yet.

 

Lana Del Rey – Lust For Life
LA songstress Lana Del Rey matures into a true artist with her excellent fifth album that expands her sound palette and makes real her fascination with modern pop culture via guest appearances from Sean Lennon, Stevie Nicks, the Weeknd and A$AP Rocky.

 

Neil J’s Picks:

David Long, Richard Nunns and Natalia Mann – Utterance
This is a truly remarkable album, it is what great music sounds like, this is a major work in any sphere of artistic endeavour and it’s what many musicians strive their entire lives to achieve and is one of the finest albums in any genre from anywhere I have heard in a very long time . It is the culmination of a lifetime for Richard Nunns who knew from the start of the albums production it would be his last work and it sounds as if he has placed some deep aspect of his very being into the piece. It is a modern beautiful abstract work that is very aware of the deep spiritual and cultural traditions from which it springs and embraces these roots whilst being totally unique and new and timeless. Its powerful, emotional, challenging, spiritual and simultaneously personal and universal.

Blade runner 2049 : original motion picture soundtrack
Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack to Blade Runner 2049 is a startling, original and stunning work that ranges from faint melodic echoes of the original to dark, bleak, unsettling, industrial howls and cries, it’s a fantastic piece. Whilst many soundtracks are just designed as audio cues for events in the film, only the very best create atmosphere and add to a film rather than just compliment it. Wallfisch and Zimmer’s soundtrack joins the esteemed ranks of people like Ennio Morricone or Bernard Herrmann in creating a classic soundtrack that stands up on its own right even when its stripped away from the films visuals.

Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up
I love the Fleet foxes first two albums and was intrigued to hear that Crack up their third outing starts exactly where the last track of their second album Helplessness blues ends. No band is attempting to do what they do with their sound. It’s really hard to describe their work but here goes experimental, orchestral, modern folk music with a close affection for music from late 1960s American West coast Scene. People like Crosby, Stills and Nash or Joni Mitchell. Its lush, its gorgeous, its seductive and it has serious intent too one of my favourites of the year.

Perfume genius – No Shape
Perfume genius’s fourth album No shape is a lush, elaborate, decadent shape shifting album of contrasts. Moving effortlessly from haunting delicate fragile melodies that still somehow sound slightly damaged or decayed to uplifting euphoric rapturous elements often in the same piece of music.

Ross Harris – Requiem for the fallen
Ross Harris has had a very busy 2017 and for me this was his finest release and also the best new classical work I heard all year. A deeply emotional melancholic work, that drains the listener with its intensity (as a piece on this subject matter should) Its melodically subtle and is powerfully moving a piece that touches the heart in the saddest of ways. Its beautifully recorded and performed a stunning work in every way and my favourite classical work of 2017. Words by Vincent O’Sullivan.

Jackson’s Picks:

Kendrick Lamar – Damn

 

 

 

Aldous Harding – Party

 

 

 

Jay Z – 4:44

 

 

 

Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!

 

 

 

Alex’s Picks:

Kendrick Lamar – Damn

 

 

 

Kelela – Take Me Apart

 

 

 

Dystopia! Aliens! Space! New sci-fi and fantasy novels

The latest science fiction and fantasy novels selected from the new material this month, include several that are dystopian themed, along with alien encounters and space warfare. Also several novels weave into their plots the present problems of global warming, war criminals, animal rights, and epidemics. All ensure fascinating, thrilling reading.

Syndetics book coverValiant dust / Richard Baker.
“Sikander Singh North has always had it easy, until he joins the crew of the Aquilan Commonwealth starship CSS Hector. As the ship’s new gunnery officer and the only Kashmiri officer, he must constantly prove himself better than his Aquilan crewmates, even if he has to use his fists. When the Hector is called to help with a planetary uprising, he’ll have to earn his unit’s respect, find who’s arming the rebels, and deal with the headstrong daughter of the colonial ruler, all while dodging bullets. Sikander’s military career is off to an explosive start but only if he and CSS Hector can survive his first mission.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe city of brass / S. A. Chakraborty.
“Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trades she uses to get by, palm readings, zars, and a mysterious gift for healing, are all tricks. But when Nahri accidentally summons Dara, an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior, to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to reconsider her beliefs. Dara tells Nahri an extraordinary tale about Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound. In Daevabad, within gilded brass walls laced with enchantments and behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments run deep. When Nahri decides to enter this world, her arrival threatens to ignite a war that has been simmering for centuries.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe spark / David Drake.
“In the time of the Ancients the universe was united,but that was so far in the past that not even memory remains, only the broken artifacts that a few Makers can reshape into their original uses. What survives is shattered into enclaves, some tiny, some ruined, some wild. Into the gaps between settlements have crept monsters. Some creatures are men, twisted into inhuman evil; some of them are alien to Mankind. There are things which are hostile to all life, things which will raven and kill until they are stopped. A Leader has arisen, welding the scattered human settlements together in peace and safety and smashing the enemies of order with an iron fist. In his capital, Dun Add, the Leader provides law and justice. In the universe beyond, his Champions advance and enforce the return of civilization. Pal, a youth from the sticks, has come to Dun Add to become a Champion.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGnomon / Nick Harkaway.Gnomon
“In a near-future Britain, a distributed surveillance-democracy called The System knows everything you, and can even spy on your mind. It’s a Panopticon country. But when state investigators then look into the head of a refusenik novelist named Diana Hunter, what they find there is not her life story but that of four other people, spread across thousands of years, all vibrantly real and each utterly impossible and before they can unravel that puzzle, Diana Hunter, shockingly, dies as a result of the investigation, an unheard of result in a perfect system which protects everyone from harm. That’s where Inspector Mielikki Neith comes in, a staunch believer in The System who is assigned to investigate the Hunter case. The only problem is that the teasing mysteries in the dead woman’s mind may change all that.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTerminal alliance / Jim C. Hines.Terminal Alliance
“The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. The Krakau’s first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it’s hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they’re no longer trying to eat everyone.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeacon 23 / Hugh Howey.
“For centuries, men and women have manned lighthouses to ensure the safe passage of ships. It is a lonely job and a thankless one for the most part, until something goes wrong, until a ship is in distress. In the 23rd century, this job has moved into outer space. A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at many times the speed of light. These beacons are built to be robust. They never break down. They never fail. At least, they aren’t supposed to.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNetherspace / Andrew Lane and Nigel Foster.
“Aliens came to Earth forty years ago. Their anatomy proved unfathomable and all attempts at communication failed. But through trade, humanity gained technology that allowed them to colonise the stars. The price: live humans for every alien faster-than-light drive. Kara’s sister was one of hundreds exchanged for this technology, and Kara has little love for aliens. So when she is drafted by GalDiv, the organisation that oversees alien trades, it is under duress. A group of colonists have been kidnapped by aliens and taken to an uncharted planet, and an unusual team is to be sent to negotiate. As an ex-army sniper, Kara’s role is clear. But artist Marc has no combat experience, although the team’s pre-cog Tse is adamant that he has a part to play. All three know that success is unlikely. For how will they negotiate with aliens when communication between the species is impossible?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAustral / Paul J. McAuley.
“The great geoengineering projects have failed. The world is still warming, sea levels are still rising, and the Antarctic Peninsula is home to Earth’s newest nation, with life quickened by ecopoets spreading across valleys and fjords exposed by the retreat of the ice. Austral Morales Ferrado, a child of the last generation of ecopoets, is a husky: an edited person adapted to the unforgiving climate of the far south, feared and despised by most of its population. She’s been a convict, a corrections officer in a labour camp, and consort to a criminal, and now, out of desperation, she has committed the kidnapping of the century. But before she can collect the ransom and make a new life elsewhere, she must find a place of safety amongst the peninsula’s forests and icy plateaus, and evade a criminal gang that has its own plans for the teenage girl she’s taken hostage.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDogs of war / Adrian Tchaikovsky.
My name is Rex. I am a good dog. Rex is also seven foot tall at the shoulder, bulletproof, bristling with heavy calibre weaponry and his voice resonates with subsonics especially designed to instil fear. Rex is a genetically engineered Bioform, a deadly weapon in a dirty war. He has the intelligence to carry out his orders and feedback implants to reward him when he does. All he wants to be is a Good Dog. And to do that he must do exactly what Master says and Master says he’s got to kill a lot of enemies. But who, exactly, are the enemies? What happens when Master is tried as a war criminal? What rights does the Geneva Convention grant weapons? Do Rex and his fellow Bioforms even have a right to exist? And what happens when Rex slips his leash?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe genius plague / by David Walton.
“Neil Johns has just started his dream job as a code breaker in the NSA when his brother, Paul, a mycologist, goes missing on a trip to collect samples in the Amazon jungle. Paul returns with a gap in his memory and a fungal infection that almost kills him. But once he recuperates, he has enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. Meanwhile, something is happening in South America; others, like Paul, have also fallen ill and recovered with abilities they didn’t have before. But that’s not the only pattern, the survivors, from entire remote Brazilian tribes to American tourists; all seem to be working toward a common, and deadly, goal.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Year Style: New beauty and fashion books

Our fashion favourites this month include a close look at Yves Saint Laurent’s famous accessories and a very glamorous edition chronicling the drag queens and kings of New York. Our Vogue On: collection continues to grow with the addition of Calvin Klein and Jean Paul Gaultier, and we have a new book of clean beauty recipes; perfect for hitting those eco-friendly new year’s resolutions!

Syndetics book coverFashion & lifestyle photography : succeed in the commercial world and become a stand-out photographer / Dixie Dixon.
“Practical advice on fashion photography and inspirational images from professional photographer Dixie Dixon. From finding your vision, to building your dream team, this book will provide you with the essential gear and know-how to capture the looks of the media world that leap off the page or screen.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverClean beauty : recipes to manage your beauty routine, naturally / by Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic, Clean Beauty Co.
“Join the clean beauty revolution that’s taking the nation by storm and discover the delights of making your own beauty products in the comfort of your own home. Scrub that bad day away with a coffee body scrub, or take a long restorative bath with a coconut milk soak. Perhaps you fancy fixing those split ends with a banana split hair mask. Whatever the problem, the Clean Beauty girls have a homemade recipe that you can whip up in no time. So what are you waiting for? Join the revolution today!” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYves Saint Laurent accessories / Patrick Mauriès.
“‘One can never overstate the importance of accessories. They are what turns a dress into something else. I like dresses to be sober and accessories to be wild’, Yves Saint Laurent, 1977. Yves Saint Laurent Accessories introduces readers to a prominent yet rarely seen side of Saint Laurent’s art, leading them backstage and through the history of a house that helped to shape the course of fashion.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDrags / photographed by Gregory Kramer ; designed by Rachel Bernstein.
“A photo series documenting the drag queens and kings of New York City, through glamorous black-and-white photographs. Presented in the style of classic fashion portraiture, the collection features legends – and up-and-coming legends – in glamorous black and white, full-length studio portraits. Inspired by Irving Penn, each photo brings out the spirit of the performer through subtle pose, gesture and facial expression.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFashion together : fashion’s most extraordinary duos on the art of collaboration / edited by Lou Stoppard ; foreword by Andrew Bolton.
“This stylish volume, compiled by Lou Stoppard, editor-at-large of London’s SHOWstudio, delves into the behind-the-scenes worlds of the fashion industry’s most intriguing partnerships to explore what, exactly, makes these pairs such magical duos. Profound, funny, and provocative, the conversations range from childhood inspirations to nitty-gritty industry details to advice on how to succeed in the fashion business today.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAndrogyne : fashion + gender / Patrick Mauriès ; text translated from the French by Barbara Mellor.
“In January 2011, Jean Paul Gaultier’s haute couture runway show ended with the image of a willowy blonde bride in a diaphanous gown. The bride was a man, and one of the first models to walk for both men’s and women’s collections. The event marked the start of a trend. From the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first century, the genders have blended. Patrick Mauries presents a cultural history of androgyny drawing on the worlds of art and literature to give us a deeper understanding of the strange but timeless human drive to escape from defined categories.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMod New York : fashion takes a trip / edited by Phyllis Magidson and Donald Albrecht ; foreword by Whitney W. Donhauser ; with essays by Kwame S. Brathwaite [and 4 others].
“Mod New York traces the fashion arc of the 1960s and 1970s, a tumultuous and innovative era that continues to inspire how we dress today. Accompanying a major exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York, this book is beautifully illustrated by two hundred groundbreaking and historically significant designs all drawn from the renowned costume collection at MCNY.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVogue on Calvin Klein / Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni.
“In Vogue on Calvin Klein fashion journalist Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni explores Calvin Klein’s creation of one of the greatest fashion brands of today. His stylish and provocative campaigns, and use of celebrities has changed the face of American advertising.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

 

Syndetics book coverVogue on Jean Paul Gaultier / Carolyn Asome.
“Seen as an enfant terrible when he first burst on to the fashion scene, Jean Paul Gaultier retains this ‘bad boy’ image while garnering respect for his mastery of classical cutting and tailoring techniques. With stunning images from the pages ofVogue by photographers like Mario Testino, his avant-garde creations and cutting-edge designs reveal Gaultier’s unerring instinct for how women want to dress.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Graphic biographies & first volumes: new graphic novels

This month’s selection of new graphic novels includes the first volumes of four new series. There are also two brilliant graphic biographies, one by Jose-Louis Bocquet on Josephine Baker, the Afro-American dancer that became the sensation of Paris in the 1930s and the other by David Kushner and Koren Shadmi on Gary Gygax, the creator of the Dungeon and Dragons game that became a global phenomenon.

Syndetics book coverMoonshine. Vol. 1 / Brian Azzarello, writer ; Eduardo Risso, art & colors.
“This first volume in a new series is set during Prohibition, and deep in the backwoods of Appalachia, and tells the story of Lou Pirlo, a city-slick “torpedo” sent from New York City to negotiate a deal with the best moonshiner in West Virginia, Hiram Holt. Lou figures how hard could it be to set-up moonshine shipments from a few ass-backward hillbillies? What Lou doesn’t figure on is that Holt is just as cunning as ruthless as any NYC crime boss and Lou is in way over his pin-striped head. Because not only will Holt do anything to protect his illicit booze operation, he’ll stop at nothing to protect a much darker family secret, a bloody, supernatural secret that must never see the light of day, or better still, the light of the full moon.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJessica Jones [1] : uncaged! / writer, Brian Michael Bendis ; artist, Michael Gaydos.
“A lot has changed in the Marvel Universe and there are many secrets hiding in the shadows, secrets only a special woman like Jessica Jones can hope to uncover. Alias Investigations is open for business, and of all the many mysteries to discover, her new case may be the most dangerous one.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJosephine Baker / written by José-Louis Bocquet ; art by Catel Muller ; historical consultant, Jean-Claude Bouillon-Baker.
“Josephine Baker (1906-1975) was nineteen years old when she found herself in Paris for the first time in 1925. Overnight, the young American dancer became the idol of the Roaring Twenties, captivating Picasso, Cocteau, Le Corbusier, and Simenon. In the liberating atmosphere of the 1930s, Baker rose to fame as the first black star on the world stage, from London to Vienna, Alexandria to Buenos Aires. After World War II, and her time in the French Resistance, Baker devoted herself to the struggle against racial segregation, publicly battling the humiliations she had for so long suffered personally. A victim of racism throughout her life, Josephine Baker would sing of love and liberty until the day she died.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTo have & to hold / Graham Chaffee.
“Set in October 1962, while the world holds its collective breath awaiting the possibly apocalyptic climax of the unfolding Cuban Missile Crisis, the banality of everyday life goes on and Lonnie and Kate Ross confront their own domestic cold war. As Kate, frustrated and disillusioned, looks outside her marriage for satisfaction, Lonnie’s justifiable suspicions of his wife’s infidelity lead him down a deadly road of increasing paranoia and violence as he seeks to reclaim what he’s lost.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMutiny Bay / Antoine Cossé.
“1519. A Spanish fleet leaves Seville, heading west. Portuguese Captain Magellan is convinced of the existence of a South American strait that will expedite trade with the Indonesian Spice Islands. Months later, in a deserted and inhospitable land, mutiny brews, and two men are marooned and the world explodes in a riot of hallucinatory colour.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOn the Camino / Jason.
“Northwestern Spain, observed with the eye of an artist, chronicling both the good (people, conversations) and the bad (blisters, bedbugs) he encountered on his journey. Full of quiet incidents, odd encounters, small triumphs, and the occasional setback, On the Camino is the first implicitly autobiographical long-form work by a master cartoonist.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRise of the dungeon master : Gary Gygax and the creation of D&D / David Kushner and Koren Shadmi.
Rise of the Dungeon Master tells, in graphic form, the story of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and; Dragons, one of the most influential games ever made. Like the game itself, the narrative casts the reader into the adventure from a first person point of view, taking on the roles of the different characters in the story. Gygax was the son of immigrants who grew up in Lake Geneva, WI, in the 1950s. An imaginative misfit, he escaped into a virtual world based on science fiction novels, military history and strategic games like chess. In the mid-1970s, he co-created the wildly popular Dungeons & Dragons game, determining the rules and inventing the signature 20-sided dice. Starting out in the basement of his home, he was soon struggling to keep up with the demand.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA.D. : after death / written by Scott Snyder ; illustrated by Jeff Lemire.
“Set in a future where a genetic cure for death has been found. Years after the discovery, one man starts to question everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past and his own mortality. This is a unique combination of comics, prose, and illustration.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBoundless / Jillian Tamaki.
“Jenny becomes obsessed with a strange “mirror Facebook,” which presents an alternate, possibly better, version of herself. Helen finds her clothes growing baggy, her shoes looser, and as she shrinks away to nothingness, the world around her recedes as well. The animals of the city briefly open their minds to us, and we see the world as they do. A mysterious music file surfaces on the internet and forms the basis of a utopian society-or is it a cult? This collection of short stories is a showcase for the masterful blend of emotion and humour of award-winning cartoonist Jillian Tamaki.” (Adapted from
Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeadman : dark mansion of forbidden love / Sarah Vaughn, writer ; Lan Medina & Phil Hester, illustrators.
“Boston Brand is a dead man walking. More than walking, actually his uncanny abilities enable him to float, fly and seize control of the bodies of the living. He’s no mere ghost. He’s something more powerful, more heroic, he is Deadman and he’s about to meet Berenice, a living woman with powers of her own. Separated by the boundary between life and death, yet able to walk between both worlds, Deadman and Berenice must work together to unravel the mystery of the Manor and defeat the dark forces that threaten to erupt.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Foreign Language books

New titles in French and German now available – just in time for summer!

Rhapsodie française : roman / Antoine Laurain.
“Antoine Laurain’s new novel combines his trademark charm with a satirical take on modern France. Middle-aged doctor Alain Massoulier has received a life-changing letter–thirty-three years too late. Lost in the Paris postal system for decades, the letter from Polydor, dated 1983, offers a recording contract to The Holograms, in which Alain played lead guitar. Back then The Holograms had believed in their cutting-edge sound. However, the music industry remained indifferent, and eventually the band split up, each going their own way. Alain is overcome by nostalgia, and is tempted to track down the members of the group. But in a world where everything and everyone has changed…where will his quest take him?” (Translated from the Syndetics summary)

“Le nouveau roman d’Antoine Laurain combine son charme de marque avec un regard satirique sur la France moderne. Le docteur d’âge moyen Alain Massoulier a reçu une lettre qui change la vie – trente-trois ans trop tard. Perdue dans le système postal parisien depuis des décennies, la lettre de Polydor, datée de 1983, propose un contrat d’enregistrement à The Holograms, dans lequel Alain jouait de la guitare. À l’époque, les Holograms avaient cru en leur son de pointe. Cependant, l’industrie de la musique est restée indifférente, et finalement le groupe s’est séparé, chacun allant de son côté. Alain est envahi par la nostalgie et est tenté de traquer les membres du groupe. Mais dans un monde où tout et tout le monde a changé … où sa quête le mènera-t-il?” (Syndetics summary)

2084 : la fin du monde / Boualem Sansal.
“It is the year 2084. In the kingdom of Abistan–named after the prophet Abi, earthly messenger of the god Yolah–citizens submit to a single god, demonstrating their devotion by kneeling in prayer nine times a day. Autonomous thought has been banned, remembering is forbidden, and an omnipresent surveillance system instantly informs the authorities of every deviant act, thought, or idea. The kingdom is blessed and its citizens are happy, filled with a sense of purpose and piety. Those who are not–the heretics–are put to death by stoning or beheading in city squares. But Ati has met people who think differently; in ghettos and caves, hidden from the authorities, exist the last living heretics and free-thinkers of Abistan. Under their influence, Ati begins to doubt. He begins to think. Now, he will have to defend his thoughts with his life.” (Summary from Syndetics and Amazon)

“Nous sommes en l’année 2084. Dans le royaume d’Abistan – nommé d’après le prophète Abi, messager terrestre du dieu Yolah – les citoyens se soumettent à un seul dieu, démontrant leur dévouement en s’agenouillant dans la prière neuf fois par jour. La pensée autonome a été bannie, le souvenir est interdit et un système de surveillance omniprésent informe instantanément les autorités de tout acte, pensée ou idée déviant. Le royaume est béni et ses citoyens sont heureux, remplis d’un sens du but et de la piété. Ceux qui ne le sont pas – les hérétiques – sont mis à mort par lapidation ou décapitation sur les places de la ville. Mais Ati a rencontré des gens qui pensent différemment; dans les ghettos et les grottes, cachés aux autorités, existent les derniers hérétiques et libres-penseurs d’Abistan. Sous leur influence, Ati commence à douter. Il commence à penser. Maintenant, il devra défendre ses pensées avec sa vie.” (Translated from the Syndetics and Amazon summary)

Maman a tort / Michel Bussi.
“Nothing is more ephemeral than the memory of a child …When Malone, at the age of three and a half, claims that her mother is not her real mother, even if it seems impossible, Vasile, a school psychologist, believes it. He is the only one. He must act quickly. Discover the hidden truth. Find help. That of the commander Marianne Augresse for example. For, already, Malone’s memories are disappearing. They only hang on a thread. The countdown has begun. Who is really Malone?”(Translated from the Amazon summary)

“Rien n’est plus éphémère que la mémoire d’un enfant…Quand Malone, du haut de ses trois ans et demi, affirme que sa maman n’est pas sa vraie maman, même si cela semble impossible, Vasile, psychologue scolaire, le croit. Il est le seul. Il doit agir vite. Découvrir la vérité cachée. Trouver de l’aide. Celle de la commandante Marianne Augresse par exemple. Car, déjà, les souvenirs de Malone s’effacent. Ils ne tiennent plus qu’à un fil. Le compte à rebours a commencé. Qui est vraiment Malone?”(Amazon summary)

La vie est facile, ne t’inquiète pas : roman / Agnès Martin-Lugand.
“Depuis son retour d’Irlande, Diane a tourné la page sur son histoire tumultueuse avec Edward, bien décidée à reconstruire sa vie à Paris. Avec l’aide de son ami Félix, elle s’est lancée à corps perdu dans la reprise en main de son café littéraire. C’est là, aux Gens…, son havre de paix, qu’elle rencontre Olivier. Il est gentil, attentionné et surtout il comprend son refus d’être mère à nouveau. Car Diane sait qu’elle ne se remettra jamais de la perte de sa fille. Pourtant, un événement inattendu va venir tout bouleverser : les certitudes de Diane quant à ses choix, pour lesquels elle a tant bataillé, vont s’effondrer les unes après les autres. Aura-t-elle le courage d’accepter un autre chemin?” (Amazon summary)

“Since returning from Ireland, Diane has turned the page on her tumultuous history with Edward, determined to rebuild his life in Paris. With the help of her friend Félix, she launched herself into the recovery of her literary café. It is here, at Gens …, her haven of peace, that she meets Olivier. He is kind, attentive and above all he understands her refusal to be a mother again. Because Diane knows she will never recover from the loss of her daughter. However, an unexpected event will come to disrupt everything: Diane’s certainties about her choices, for which she has fought so much, will collapse one after the other. Will she have the courage to accept another path?” (Translated from the Amazon summary)

 

Zero : sie wissen, was du tust : Roman / Marc Elsberg.
“A boy is shot. His death leads the journalist Cynthia Bonsant to the acclaimed Internet platform Freemee. While investigating in more detail, she becomes the hunted…” (Translated from the Syndetics summary)
“Ein Junge wird erschossen. Sein Tod führt die Journalistin Cynthia Bonsant zur renommierten Internetplattform Freemee. Während sie genauer untersucht, wird sie zur gejagten…” (Syndetics summary)

Die Geschichte der Bienen : Roman / Maja Lunde ; aus dem Norwegischen von Ursel Allenstein.
“England in 1852: The biologist and seed dealer William can not leave his bed for weeks. As a researcher he sees himself as failing, his mentor Rahm has turned away, and the business is broke. But then he comes up with an idea that could change everything – the idea for a completely new hive. Ohio, USA in 2007: Beekeeper George works hard for his dream. The farm is supposed to grow bigger, to take over his son Tom someday. Tom dreams of journalism. Until one day the unbelievable happens: The bees disappear.

China, in the year 2098: The worker Tao pollinates by hand trees, because bees are no longer there. More than anything she wants a better life for her son Wei-Wen. But when he has a mysterious accident, suddenly everything is at stake: the life of her child and the future of humanity.

How everything is connected with everything: Maja Lunde is rousing and poignant about loss and hope, about the coexistence of generations and the invisible bond between the history of humans and the history of bees. It poses some of the most pressing issues of our time: how do we deal with nature and its creatures? What future do we leave for our children? What are we ready to fight for?” (Translated from the Amazon summary)

“England im Jahr 1852: Der Biologe und Samenhändler William kann seit Wochen das Bett nicht verlassen. Als Forscher sieht er sich gescheitert, sein Mentor Rahm hat sich abgewendet, und das Geschäft liegt brach. Doch dann kommt er auf eine Idee, die alles verändern könnte – die Idee für einen völlig neuartigen Bienenstock.

Ohio, USA im Jahr 2007: Der Imker George arbeitet hart für seinen Traum. Der Hof soll größer werden, sein Sohn Tom eines Tages übernehmen. Tom aber träumt vom Journalismus. Bis eines Tages das Unglaubliche geschieht: Die Bienen verschwinden.

China, im Jahr 2098: Die Arbeiterin Tao bestäubt von Hand Bäume, denn Bienen gibt es längst nicht mehr. Mehr als alles andere wünscht sie sich ein besseres Leben für ihren Sohn Wei-Wen. Als der jedoch einen mysteriösen Unfall hat, steht plötzlich alles auf dem Spiel: das Leben ihres Kindes und die Zukunft der Menschheit.

Wie alles mit allem zusammenhängt: Mitreißend und ergreifend erzählt Maja Lunde von Verlust und Hoffnung, vom Miteinander der Generationen und dem unsichtbaren Band zwischen der Geschichte der Menschen und der Geschichte der Bienen. Sie stellt einige der drängendsten Fragen unserer Zeit: Wie gehen wir um mit der Natur und ihren Geschöpfen? Welche Zukunft hinterlassen wir unseren Kindern? Wofür sind wir bereit zu kämpfen?”(Amazon summary)

Star Trek books & DVDs

If you are enjoying the brand new series Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix, then you might want to check out our collection of Star Trek books and DVDs. If you’d like to get out and about, there’s also Summer Star Trek being performed in Aro Park tonight and tomorrow – fun for the whole family!

Syndetics book coverStar Trek beyond : the makeup artistry of Joel Harlow / Joe Nazzaro.
“With the release of Star Trek Beyond in 2016, viewers were given a spectacular visual treat as a whole host of new aliens made their appearance for the first time in the rebooted franchise. At the heart of the process of bringing these breathtaking intergalactic species to life was Academy Award-winning make-up artist Joel Harlow. Together with his team of amazingly talented creatives, Harlow set to work on creating aliens from over 50 different races for the film and documented the entire creative process for each one in exhaustive detail, from preliminary sketches to final make-up application.” (Syndetics summary)

Image from Amazon.co.ukStar Trek. Beyond / Paramount Pictures and Skydance present ; a Bad Robot/Sneaky Shark/Perfect Storm Entertainment production ; a Justin Lin film.
“Dispatched on a rescue mission to the farthest reaches of space, the USS Enterprise is ambushed by Krall, a ruthless enemy sworn against the Federation. Crash-landing on an uncharted hostile world, Captain Kirk, Spock, and the crew are separated with no means of escape. Only Jaylah, a rebellious alien warrior, can help them reunite and find a way off the planet in a race against time to stop Krall’s deadly army from triggering all-out galactic war.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSet phasers to stun : 50 years of Star Trek / Marcus Berkmann.
“Forty-seven years after NBC killed it off, Star Trek celebrates its half-century in a state of rude health. Boldly going where several other people have been before, Marcus Berkmann tells the story of this sturdy science fiction vehicle from its first five-year mission (rudely curtailed to three), through the dark years of the 1970s, the triumphant film series and The Next Generation, to the current ‘reboot’ films, with a younger cast taking on the characters of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and co.” (Syndetics summary)

Image from Amazon.co.ukStar Trek. Into darkness / Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions present a Bad Robot production ; a J.J. Abrams film.
“When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find that an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving the world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe fifty-year mission : the complete, uncensored, unauthorized oral history of Star Trek : the first 25 years / Edward Gross & Mark A. Altman.
“This is the unauthorized, uncensored and unbelievable true story behind the making of a pop culture phenomenon. The original Star Trek series debuted in 1966 and has spawned five TV series spin-offs and a dozen feature films. The Fifty-Year Mission is a no-holds-barred oral history of five decades of Star Trek, told by the people who were there. Make no mistake, this isn’t just a book for Star Trek fans. Here is a volume for all fans of pop culture and anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of a television touchstone.” (Syndetics summary)

Image from Amazon.co.ukStar Trek [videorecording] / Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment present a Bad Robot production ; a film by J.J. Abrams.
“On the day of James Kirk’s birth, his father dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious alien vessel. He was searching for Ambassador Spock, who is a child on Vulcan, disdained by his neighbors for his half-human nature. Twenty years later, Kirk has grown into a young troublemaker. He is inspired by Capt. Christopher Pike to fulfill his potential in Starfleet, even though he annoys his instructors. Suddenly, there is an emergency on Vulcan when the Romulan Nero comes from the future to take revenge on the Federation. The newly commissioned USS Enterprise is crewed with promising cadets like Uhura, Sulu, Chekov and even Kirk himself thanks to Leonard McCoy’s medical trickery. Together, this crew will travel to the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStar Trek costumes : five decades of fashion from the final frontier / Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann ; introduction by Robert Blackman.
“This deluxe book showcases the unique costumes of the Star Trek saga, taking in fifty years of iconic and hugely influential designs. Drawing on the entire franchise, including all twelve films and six TV series, Star Trek: Costumes explores the creation of some of the most memorable garb in the galaxy, telling the complete story of how Star Trek’s outlandishly chic wardrobe has been expanded in increasingly thrilling ways throughout the years. From the classic Starfleet uniforms and daringly provocative outfits of The Original Series to flowing Vulcan robes, flamboyant Ferengi fashions, and formidable Klingon wedding attire, Star Trek: Costumes explores how these designs have played a key role in transporting fans to distant worlds and alien cultures over the last five decades.” (Abridged from the Syndetics summary)

Image from Amazon.co.ukStar Trek : stardate collection.
“The Stardate collection includes all ten of the original Star Trek motion pictures: Star Trek: the motion picture (132 min.) (1979) / — Star Trek: the wrath of Kahn (113 min.) (1982) / — Star Trek: the search for Spock (105 min.) (1984) / — Star Trek: the voyage home (119 min.) (1986) / — Star Trek: the final frontier (106 min.) (1989) / — Star Trek: the undiscovered country (110 min.) (1991) — Star Trek: generations (110 min.) (1994) / — Star Trek: first contact (111 min.) (1996) / — Star Trek: insurrection (103 min.) (1998) / — Star Trek: nemesis (116 min.) (2002)” (Amended from the Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStar Trek cross-stitch / by John Lohman.
“Live Long and Cross-Stitch! Ever wondered what Spock would look like on a baby’s onesie? Well, now you can see, in this fun collection of thirty cross-stitch projects made with love by Star Trek fans. If you’re looking for ideas for putting your favorite character on a tote bag or pillow–or perhaps hanging a lovely framed “Qo’noS Sweet Qo’noS” in the entryway to let everyone know that a Klingon-speaker lives here–then look no farther. Whether you’re a lifelong Trekkie or just a Starfleet cadet, you can show your Star Trek pride by decorating your home, your clothes, and your children with cross-stitched Star Trek quotes and iconic images.” (Syndetics summary)

New films and TV shows to feast your eyes on!

New DVDs feature ever popular TV series such as The Crown and the Game of thrones seventh season and recent hit movies American Made and Victoria & Abdul. Exciting DVDs keep coming. Click here to check them out.

The crown. The complete first season.
“The British Empire is in decline, the political world is in disarray, and a young woman takes the throne … a new era is dawning. Queen Elizabeth II is a 25-year-old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world’s most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with legendary Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.” (Syndetics summary)

An inconvenient sequel : truth to power.
“Former Vice President Al Gore presents evidence that the negative effects of global warming have increased since the release of the film ‘An inconvenient truth’ a decade earlier.” (Syndetics summary)

The dark tower.
“The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.” (Syndetics summary)

Hampstead.
“Living on the edge of Hampstead Heath, Emily Walters can’t quite focus on the things that need attention in her life, like her lovely old apartment, her diminishing finances or even her son. Everything changes when she meets the eccentric, unkempt Donald, who has lived harmoniously on the Heath for 17 years in a ramshackle hut. Now. property developers are attempting to evict him. As Emily steps up to defend Donald in the escalating battle, she soon finds that, despite his gruff exterior, there is something special about this gentle and unconventional man.”–Container.

Gilmore girls : a year in the life.
“The revival of the series is set about ten years after the finale of the original series.” (Syndetics summary)

Legion. The complete season one.
“David Haller is a troubled young man diagnosed as schizophrenic, but after a strange encounter, he discovers special powers that will change his life forever.” (Syndetics summary)

Taboo.
“London 1814. Taboo follows James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy), a man who has been to the ends of the earth and comes back irrevocably changed. Believed to be long dead, he returns home to London from Africa to inherit what is left of his father’s shipping empire and rebuild a life for himself. But his father’s legacy is a poisoned chalice, and with enemies lurking in every dark corner, James must navigate increasingly complex territories to avoid his own death sentence. Encircled by conspiracy, murder and betrayal, a dark family mystery unfolds in a combustible tale of love and treachery.” (Syndetics summary)

Victoria & Abdul
“Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.” (Syndetics summary)

American made
“The story of Barry Seal, an American pilot who became a drug-runner for the CIA in the 1980s in a clandestine operation that would be exposed as the Iran-Contra Affair.” (Syndetics summary)

The trip to Spain
“Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on another deliciously deadpan culinary road trip. This time around, the guys head to Spain to sample the best of the country’s gastronomic offerings in between rounds of their hilariously off-the-cuff banter. Over plates of pintxos and paella, the pair exchange barbs and their patented celebrity impressions, as well as more serious reflections on what it means to settle into middle age.” (Syndetics summary)

The expanse. Season one
“A thriller set two hundred years in the future, after mankind has colonized the solar system. A hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain come together for what starts as the case of a missing young woman and evolves into a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.” (Syndetics summary)

Game of thrones. The complete seventh season
“The long winter is here. The penultimate Season 7 of this blockbuster hit series focuses on a convergence of armies and attitudes that have been brewing for years.” (Syndetics summary)