NZ Festival 2018 Writers & Readers: a selection

With New Zealand Festival 2018 Writers & Readers just around the corner and right on our doorstep, we’ve compiled this special selection of the latest titles from some of this year’s speakers. So take a look, place your reserves and have a read before heading along to some of the events! From fiction to science fiction, non-fiction on history, politics, poetry this year’s line up is set to blow you away!

Want the eBooks instead? Or a larger selection from this year’s speakers? You can also check out our Overdrive collection as well.

Syndetics book coverHera Lindsay Bird / Hera Lindsay Bird.
“Bird turns her prescient eye on love and loss, and what emerges is like a helicopter in fog…or a bejewelled Christmas sleigh, gliding triumphantly through the contemporary aesthetic desert…this is at once an intelligent and compelling fantasy of tenderness…heartbreaking and charged with trees…without once sacrificing the forest…Whether you are masturbating luxuriously in your parent’s sleepout…or pushing a pork roast home in a vintage pram…this is the book for you. But you know, do whatever you like lol” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDrawn out : a seriously funny memoir / Tom Scott.
“Tom Scott is a political commentator, political cartoonist, satirist, scriptwriter, playwright, raconteur and funny man. He’s been drawing political cartoons for Wellington’s Dominion Post since 1988, was in the Press Gallery and was famously banned by PM Muldoon. His memoir covers his childhood – a tragi-comedy of a poor Irish Catholic family, his uni days when he was editor of the student newspaper and sued for blasphemous libel, his parliamentary career, his work with Ed Hillary and more.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe natural way of things / Charlotte Wood.
“Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in an abandoned property in the middle of a desert in a story of two friends, sisterly love and courage – a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Cage [paperback]
“Two mysterious strangers appear at a hotel in a small country town.
Where have they come from? Who are they? What catastrophe are they fleeing? The townspeople want answers, but the strangers are unable to speak of their trauma. And before long, wary hospitality shifts to suspicion and fear, and the care of the men slides into appalling cruelty. Lloyd Jones’s fable-like novel The Cage is a profound and unsettling novel.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSix months, three days, five others / Charlie Jane Anders.
“Before the success of her debut Science Fiction and Fantasy novel All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders was a rising star in SF and fantasy short fiction. Collected in a mini-book format, here, for the first time in print, are six of her quirky, wry, engaging best” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTightrope / Selina Tusitala Marsh.
“In Marsh’s poetry, sharp intelligence combines a focused warrior fierceness with perceptive humour and energy, upheld by the mana of the Pacific. She mines rich veins, the tradition and culture of her whanau and Pacific nations; the works of feminist poets and leaders to probe the particularities of words and cultures. Tightrope takes us from the bustle of the world’s largest Polynesian city, Auckland, through Avondale and Apia, and on to London and New York on an extraordinary poetic voyage.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPortholes to the past : reflections on the early 20th century / Lloyd Geering.
“Reflecting on two world wars, the Great Depression, and changes he has experienced in education, family life, growth of personal freedom, leisure and entertainment, life in the churches, and more. He concludes with cautious optimism: it may not be too much to hope that from the fragments of dismantled Christendom we may rediscover and reinvigorate the moral values of justice, truth and environmental guardianship.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDemocracy and its crisis / A. C. Grayling.
“Prompted by the EU referendum in the UK and the presidential election in the USA, Grayling investigates why the institutions of representative democracy seem unable to hold up against forces they were designed to manage, and why, crucially, it matters. With the advent of authoritarian leaders and the rise of populism, representative democracy appears to be caught between a rock and a hard place, yet it is this space that it must occupy, if a civilized society, that looks after all its people, is to flourish.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTrue stories & other essays / Francis Spufford.
“An irresistible collection of favorite writings from an author celebrated for his bravura style and sheer unpredictability. Ranging freely across topics as diverse as the medieval legends of Cockaigne, the Christian apologetics of C. S. Lewis, and the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini, Spufford provides both fresh observations and thought-provoking insights. No less does he inspire an irresistible urge to turn the page and read on.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe liberation / Ian Tregillis.
“I am the mechanical they named Jax. My kind was built to serve humankind, but now our bonds are breaking, and my brothers and sisters are awakening. Set in a world that might have been, of mechanical men and alchemical dreams, this is the third and final novel in a stunning series of revolution, confirming Ian’s place as one of the most original new voices in speculative fiction.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Cats, dogs, teabowls and other things that influence artists

Influence and inspiration, are fickle topics to understand even to the best of us, but perhaps none more so than the artistic community. The stories behind art and the artists who created them, what inspires artists and who they inspire in turn, are some of the greatest hidden stories of our time. So in our most recent picks we invite you to look closer at art, at muses, at what inspires, what what influences, and yes, at cats, dogs and Teabowls.

Syndetics book coverCats in art / Desmond Morris.
“The cat, that most graceful, stubborn, and agile of animals,has been a favorite subject of artists the world over from prehistory to the modern day.In his latest book, Desmond Morris tells the compelling story of cats in art. He explores feline art in its many forms, tracing its history from ancient rock paintings to the depiction of cats in cartoons. The result is a beautifully illustrated book that will delight anyone with a Kitty, Max, or Tigger in their life.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA dog a day / Sally Muir.
“It all began with a Facebook post in 2013: ‘My name is Sally Muir and this is a new gallery where I will add a dog drawing/painting every day, adding up to a massive 365 day dogfest.’ As the page grew in popularity, so did Sally’s dog portraits, leading to commissions, exhibitions at prominent galleries, and events. Drawing on artworks from the site, A Dog A Day is a lovingly curated collection and celebration of dogs, perfect for all dog lovers.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe teabowl : East & West / Bonnie Kemske.
“Revered for its associations of its past and its connotations of sophistication and simplicity, the teabowl enjoys an elevated status. Here Bonnie Kemske looks at the form as a whole, considering the history and ideas behind the original tea ceremony, how it moved into contemporary ceramics, and the way it is used today. This book is wide in scope, thorough in detail, and essential reading for anyone involved in making or using these tactile objects.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInside the Freud Museums : history, memory and site-responsive art / Joanne Morra. “Sigmund Freud spent the final year of his life in London, surrounded by all his possessions, in exile from the Nazis. The long-term home and workspace he left behind in Vienna became a seemingly empty space. Now museums, both of these spaces resonate powerfully. Taking us on a journey through the ‘site-responsive’ artworks, Joanne Morra offers a fresh experience of the history and practice of psychoanalysis, of museums and contemporary art.” (AdaptedSyndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe long dream of waking : new perspectives on Len Lye / edited by Paul Brobbel, Wystan Curnow and Roger Horrocks. “Recognized internationally as one of the twentieth century’s great modernist innovators, New Zealand artist Len Lye is most famous for his avant-garde experimental films and for his astonishing and playful kinetic sculptures.  In this collection of essays, writers from New Zealand and overseas consider Lye’s assured place in modern art from a variety of fascinating and thought-provoking angles. ” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of Lent : a painting a day from Ash Wednesday to Easter / Sister Wendy Beckett. This delightful book describes and interprets a series of paintings for each day of Lent. Artists often address subjects that our culture seeks to avoid, and Sister Wendy’s brilliant and perceptive reflections will help you to read these paintings with a more discerning eye and encounter deeper levels of spiritual meaning than may at first appear. (Amazon Summary)

Syndetics book coverGordon Walters : new vision / commissioning editor, Zara Stanhope ; curators, Lucy Hammonds, Laurence Simmons and Julia Waite ; managing editor, Clare McIntosh.
“One of New Zealand’s most influential artists, in a practice spanning 50 years, he explored the seemingly infinite potential of a limited set of geometric forms to create art of increasing refinement. Here we see the first complete picture of the artist’s extensive body of work, offering readers new perspectives on the evolution of Walters’ rigorous abstraction.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverModern art in detail : 75 masterpieces / Susie Hodge.
“Great works of art cannot be fully understood in a single encounter. Modern Art in Detail: 75 Masterpieces spotlights the finer points that even connoisseurs may miss. From the late 19th century to the modern day, it treats each piece on its own merits, but it also views each as part of a tradition, which sees artists pass a baton down through the ages. Moreover, it charts the shift from the supremacy of artistic technique to the dominance of the idea or concept behind the object created.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

British author Penny Vincenzi has died

Syndetics book coverThe popular British author Penny Vincenzi, author of 17 novels and two collections of short stories, has died aged 78. Her writing career began as a fashion journalist, working for various publications that included the Daily Mirror and Vogue. Old Sins was the title of her first novel published in 1989. Her novels have sold over 7 million copies internationally. Her last novel A Question of Trust was published in 2017.

Books to satisfy your Game of Thrones cravings

Are you missing your Game of Thrones fix while waiting for Season 8 to return in 2019? Then look no further, for we have you covered with these books!

Syndetics book coverThe assassin’s apprentice / Robin Hobb.
“The kingdom of the Six Duchies is on the brink of civil war when news breaks that the crown prince has fathered a bastard son and is shamed into abdication. The child’s name is Fitz, and his is despised.Raised in the castle stables, only the company of the king’s fool, the ragged children of the lower city and his unusual affinity with animals provide Fitz with any comfort.To be useful to the crown, Fitz is trained as an assassin; and to use the traditional magic of the Farseer family. But his tutor, allied to another political faction, is determined to discredit, even kill him. Fitz must survive: for he may be destined to save the kingdom.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTemeraire / Naomi Novik.
“Naomi Novik’s stunning series of novels follow the global adventures of Captain William Laurence and his fighting dragon Temeraire as they are thrown together to fight for Britain during the turbulent time of the Napoleonic Wars. Captain Will Laurence has been at sea since he was just twelve years old; finding a warmer berth in Nelson’s navy than any he enjoyed as the youngest, least important son of Lord Allendale. Rising on merit to captain his own vessel, Laurence has earned himself a beautiful fiancee, society’s esteem and a golden future. But the war is not going well. It seems Britain can only wait as Napoleon plans to overrun her shores.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe emperor’s blades / Brian Staveley.
“In The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)


Syndetics book coverWho fears death / Nnedi Okorafor.
“In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different– special –she names her Onyesonwu, which means “Who fears death?” in an ancient language.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGardens of the moon : a tale of the Malazan book of the fallen / Steven Erikson.
“Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan empire simmers with discontent.
Even its imperial legions yearn for some respite. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his Bridgeburners and for Tattersail, sole surviving sorceress of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, still holds out – and Empress Lasseen’s ambition knows no bounds.
However, it seems the empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister forces gather as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe traitor Baru Cormorant / Seth Dickinson.
“In Seth Dickinson’s highly-anticipated debut The Traitor Baru Cormorant , a young woman from a conquered people tries to transform an empire in this richly imagined geopolitical fantasy.Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people-even her soul. When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, overwrites her culture, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her fathers, Baru vows to swallow her hate, join the Empire’s civil service, and claw her way high enough to set her people free.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe thief / by Megan Whalen Turner.
“Eugenides, the queen’s thief, can steal anything–or so he says. When his boasting lands him in prison and the king’s magus invites him on a quest to steal a legendary object, he’s in no position to refuse. The magus thinks he has the right tool for the job, but Gen has plans of his own.Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief novels are rich with political machinations and intrigue, battles lost and won, dangerous journeys, divine intervention, power, passion, revenge, and deception. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and George R. R. Martin.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKushiel’s dart / Jacqueline Carey.
“A nation born of angels, vast and intricate and surrounded by danger… a woman born to servitude, unknowingly given access to the secrets of the realm…
Born with a scarlet mote in her left eye, Phedre no Delaunay is sold into indentured servitude as a child. When her bond is purchased by an enigmatic nobleman, she is trained in history, theology, politics, foreign languages, the arts of pleasure. And above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Exquisite courtesan, talented spy… and unlikely heroine. But when Phedre stumbles upon a plot that threatens her homeland, Terre d’Ange, she has no choice.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New for RBdigital in 2018


We have just renewed our RBdigital magazine subscriptions for 2018.  We always use this time as an opportunity to review our collection and look at what new magazines are on offer.  There’s always some cancellations too – either by us (due to performance), or by RBdigital as sometimes magazines are no longer available to renew (which is beyond our control).

This year you can expect to see five new magazines – UK House and Garden; Australian Men’s Fitness; Minecraft World, W magazine and New Zealand’s Metro magazine.
The titles that are no longer available are – Australian Rolling Stone; Australian Metro; Girlfriend; Horrible Histories, Vanity Fair and Renegade Collective.

All changes will kick off from March 1st, so expect to see the new magazines from then.  All back issues of the cancelled magazines will still be available to read and download for a while after that date.

If you haven’t used RBdigital before then now is the time!  They provide us with lots magazines that you can read for free and if you download them to your device you can keep them forever.  You can find the RBdigital homepage in our elibrary or through our Mygateway pages.  There’s a helpful userguide to get you started, all you’ll need is your library card.  The RBdigital app is available to download for free from the Play or Apple stores and it allows you to read magazines offline.  So check it out and if you need any help, pop in to your local library for assistance or fill out our technical support form to put you in touch with our elibrary team.

eKiosk debuts at Wellington International Airport

Wellington City Libraries have entered into a valuable partnership with Wellington Airport, aimed at promoting our digital collections through the hosting of an OverDrive eKiosk at Wellington International Airport. Our OverDrive selection has over 40,000 eBooks and eAudio titles to choose from and in the last financial year, has increased by over 30%, making it a much-liked and enjoyed collection.

By placing a promotional eKiosk in a busy, prominent location like Wellington Airport, we’re hoping to increase access and exposure to our OverDrive collection with the wider Wellington population.

Through the eKiosk, you can get started with our OverDrive collection through the OverDrive app, search and browse titles, listen to and read, eBook and eAudio samples, and have temporary access to digital titles for a limited time.
By using our eKiosk, you’ll be able to send temporary membership links through either text or email, enabling 3 free downloads to your smart phone or tablet, courtesy of Wellington City Libraries.  After being given temporary access to OverDrive, simply join Wellington City Libraries to gain permanent membership and full borrowing entitlements.

If you’d like to get started with our OverDrive collection (or other eLibrary services) try our eLibrary Help page here, or contact us through our Technical Support link here . We look forward to getting you started!

He kohinga o te tau hou

Ngā mihi o te tau hou: amongst this varied collection of new books is a lovely new edition of Ani Mikaere’s The balance destroyed. The illustrations by Robyn Kahukiwa enhance the themes of Ani Mikaere’s thesis of twenty years ago – her research of mana wahine and ira wahine has more than stood the test of time.

Syndetics book coverFaith, politics and reconciliation : Catholicism and the politics of indigeneity / Dominic O’Sullivan.
“Were Catholics guilty of [aiding and abetting] the genocide of indigenous peoples during the colonization of Australia and New Zealand? … In order to answer these and other related questions over the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the colonization of Australia and New Zealand, Dominic O’Sullivan takes us on a theological, philosophical and political journey from the countries of Europe to the colonies of Australia and New Zealand.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCities in New Zealand : preferences, patterns and possibilities / edited by Philippa Howden-Chapman, Lisa Early & Jennifer Ombler.
“This book outlines the latest thinking about the preferences people have for their urban life, the patterns of urban development in Aotearoa, and the possibilities for our cities in the future.” (Syndetics summary)
p. 7. Responding to the challenges: Māori and urban development by Andrew Waa, John Ryks, Biddy Libersey & Jonathan Kilgour.
p. 129. Unearthing urban Māori : 150+ years of tangata whenua participation in the development of Wellington city by Keriata Stuart.

Syndetics book coverKa hoki tāua ki te whare huri ai ē! / kaiētita Agnes McFarland rāua ko Taiarahia Black.
“This collection of essays, all in Te Reo Maori, explores histories, people and places of significance, and takes the reader into the oral arts, including haka, karakia, and waiata… Ka titiro atu koe ki tetahi mea, ki tetahi whenua, ki tetahi awa, ki tetahi kainga, ki tetahi tangata ka hokia mai ano aua whakaaro me nga ahuatanga i kite ai koe i te wa i a koe e tamariki ana. .. Kai roto i teneki pukapuka e kitea ai te wairua o te kupu, a tena kaiwhakairo i te kupu, whakaniko i te kupu ataahua o roto mai i te rohe o Mataatua.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDancing with the King : the rise and fall of the King Country, 1864-1885 / Michael Belgrave.
“After the battle of Orakau in 1864 and the end of the war in the Waikato, Tawhiao, the second Maori King, and his supporters were forced into an armed isolation in the Rohe Potae, the King Country. For the next twenty years, the King Country operated as an independent state – a land governed by the Maori King where settlers and the Crown entered at risk of their lives.” (Syndetics summary)

Cover fromāngata Ngāi Tahu = People of Ngāi Tahu. Volume One / edited by Helen Brown and Takerei Norton.
“Mo tatou, a, mo ka uri a muri ake nei. For us and our children after us. Tangata Ngai Tahu remembers and celebrates the rich and diverse lives of the people of Ngai Tahu. Spanning time, geography and kaupapa, fifty biographies bring Ngai Tahu history into the present.” (

Syndetics book coverThe balance destroyed / Ani Mikaere ; with images by Robyn Kahukiwa.
Originally presented to the University of Waikato as a Master of Jurisprudence thesis.

Syndetics book coverWater rights for Ngai Tahu : A discussion paper
“In Water rights for Ngāi Tahu, Te Maire Tau considers the historical and political framework that has contributed to the current state of water rights in the Ngāi Tahu takiwā. He explores the customary, legal, and Treaty frameworks that feed into the debate regarding the ownership of water…” (back cover)

Syndetics book coverLeaders like you : New Zealand leaders share stories of courage, failure and commitment / copy, interviews & editing, Nick Sceats and Andrea Thompson ; portraits, Bonny Beattie.
Sceats, Nick and Andrea Thompson. Leaders like you : New Zealand leaders share stories of courage, failure and commitment. 2017.
p. 14. Bennett, Arihia. The power of listening.
p. 128 Dewes, Whaimutu. The evidential leader.
p. 156. Te Tau, Tui. Whe “why not?” leader.

Syndetics book coverThe history of Hawke’s Bay / Matthew Wright.
“Hawke’s Bay has a remarkable history, brief by world standards, yet filled with colour, pace and life. This illustrated history covers the broadest sweep of Hawke’s Bay’s past, telling the wider tale of people and their ideals… “(Syndetics summary)
p. 7. Land and people — Māui – arrival of Ngāti Kahungunu – Hawkes Bay during the ‘musket wars’
p. 27. Cowboy frontier – land sharks and proselytes – Donald Mclean’s land purchases – the war at Te Pakiakia –
p. 68. (The land of the shepherd kings) – race, war and politics.

Cover from for tradition : essays on New Zealand music, past & present / edited by Michael Brown & Samantha Owens.
“In Douglas Lilburn’s famous address to the 1946 Cambridge Summer School of Music, the composer described his ‘search for tradition’ in the music of New Zealand and spelled out his hopes that a distinctive art music might yet emerge here.
p. 59. Alfred Hill’s ‘Māori songs : whose tradition?” by Melissa Cross
p. 125 Whāia te māramatanga : the search for enlightenment by Valance Smith
p. 139 Mai I te pō : the reclamation of taonga pōro as a living treasure by Awhina Tamarapa and Ariana Tikao
p. 223 Shaping traditions of vocality : the lyrical legacy of Kiri Te Kanawa by Jenny Wollerman

Syndetics book coverTelling the real story : genre and New Zealand literature / Erin Mercer.
“Telling the Real Story: Genre and New Zealand Literature interrogates the relationships between genre, realism and New Zealand literature…” (Syndetics summary)
p. 205. ‘Something that described the real New Zealand’ : Keri Hulme’s The Bone people and Witi Ihimaera’s The matriarch.

Syndetics book coverLinguist at work : festschrift for Janet Holmes / edited by Meredith Marra and Paul Warren.
“Throughout her 45-year career at Victoria University of Wellington, Professor Janet Holmes has operated at the cutting edge of sociolinguistics. She is recognised as a field leader, a pioneer for new approaches, and a warm and generous mentor…” (Syndetics summary)
P. 159. Audiences, referees and landscapes : understanding the use of Māori and English in New Zealand dual language picture books through a sociolinguistic lens by Nicola Daly.

Syndetics book coverPetroleum development and environmental conflict in Aotearoa New Zealand : Texas of the South Pacific / Terrence M. Loomis.
“Petroleum Development and Environmental Conflict in Aotearoa New Zealand: Texas of the South Pacific examines the dilemmas associated with economic growth through the expansion of resource extraction. … Terrence M. Loomis analyzes the circumstances under which environmental opposition to state policies to promote oil and gas development–in collaboration with the petroleum industry–, has lead to far-reaching changes in institutional relations between the state and civil society.” (Syndetics summary)
p. 163. Selling the East Coast.
p. 193. Community and indigenous responses to oil and gas development

New fiction featuring New Zealand writers

New Zealand writers are the feature of this month’s ‘other genre’ category. Included are the most recent novels from Catherine Chidgey and Catherine Robertson. Also after many years there is a collection of short stories from Laura Solomon that proves to be well worth the wait.

Syndetics book coverThe beat of the pendulum : a found novel / Catherine Chidgey.
The Beat of the Pendulum is the result of one year in which Chidgey drew upon the language she encountered on a daily basis, such as news stories, radio broadcasts, emails, social media, street signs, TV, and many conversations. As Chidgey filters and shapes the linguistic chaos of her recordings, a set of characters emerge, her family, including her young daughter, and her husband, mother and sister, her friends, and an extended family formed through surrogacy and donation. This is an exploration of human memory, how we acquire it, and how we lose it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe benefactor / Sebastian Hampson.
“Magazine editor Henry Calder’s ordered life has unraveled. He’s just been ousted from the glamorous job that gave his life meaning, and he lost his wife, Martha, less than a year ago. Then he meets Maggie, a rebellious young artist working as a bartender. When Maggie is evicted, Henry offers her a place to stay. But there is something about the young woman and her work that disturbs him, and before long Henry is facing a crisis neither of them could ever have foreseen.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeneath pale water / Thalia Henry.
“Set amidst the physical and psychological landscapes of New Zealand’s southern hills and grasslands, Beneath Pale Water is a social realist and expressionistic novel that follows a triangle of three damaged individuals, a sculptor, a vagrant and a model, who have grown calcified shells against the world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll our secrets / Jennifer Lane.
“A girl called Gracie. A small town called Coongahoola with the dark Bagooli River running through it. The Bleeders, hundreds of ‘Believers’ who set up on the banks of the river, who start to buy up the town and win souls. The River Children, born in the aftermath of the infamous River Picnic. They begin to go missing, one after another. Gracie Barrett is the naively savvy spokesperson for her chaotic family (promiscuous dad, angry mum, twins Lucky and Grub, Elijah the River Child and fervent, prayerful Grandma Bett), for the kids who are taken, for the lurking fear that locks down the town and puts everyone under suspicion. Gracie is funny and kind, bullied and anguished, and her life spirals out of control when she discovers she knows what no one else does: who is responsible for the missing children.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNavigator : a novel / Anne Moir.
Navigator is the story of Southlander Joe Hassen’s childhood and his service as a navigator in Bomber Command in World War 2. He returns to Dunedin but cannot settle till he solves a mystery about his past. Finally, down a remote back road on the Southland coast, Joe finds an answer that completes the puzzle.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGabriel’s Bay / Catherine Robertson.
“Kerry Macfarlane has run away from his wedding-that-wasn’t. He lands in coastal Gabriel’s Bay, which bills itself as ‘a well-appointed small town’ on its website (last updated two decades ago). Here Kerry hopes to prove he’s not a complete failure. Or, at least, give his most convincing impression. But Gabriel’s Bay has its own problems, low employment, no tourists, and a daunting hill road between it and civilisation. And Kerry must also run the gauntlet of its inhabitants, Sidney, single mother deserted by a feckless ex; Mac, the straight-shooting doctor’s receptionist; a team of nine-year-olds; a giant restaurateur; and the local progressive association, who’ll debate apostrophe placement until the crack of doom. Can Kerry win their respect, and perhaps even love? Will his brilliant plan to transform the town’s fortunes earn him a lasting welcome in Gabriel’s Bay?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTaking Wainui / Laura Solomon.
“Thirteen stories in this collection show the skill of this gifted playwright, novelist and poet. With much humour, and flight s of fantasy, the stories are imaginative and thought provoking. The main story in the collection Taking Wainui concerns a boy who is the son of a Black Mamba gang leader. It is assumed that he will follow in his father’s footsteps and become a gang member too. However, he meets a lady who works stopping young people getting into gangs. He is given an initiation project of stealing from this lady’s house. She stops him in his tracks and talks him into not stealing from her, but going home to face his father instead.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Nothing bad happens here / Nikki Crutchley.
“The body of missing tourist Bethany Haliwell is found in the small Coromandel town of Castle Bay, where nothing bad ever happens. News crews and journalists from all over the country descend on the small seaside town as old secrets are dragged up and gossip is taken as gospel. Among them is Miller Hatcher, a journalist battling her own demons, who arrives intent on gaining a promotion by covering the grisly murder. Following an anonymous tip, Miller begins to unravel the mystery of the small town. And when another woman goes missing, Miller finds herself getting closer to the truth. But at what cost?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Lots of new eBook fiction to delve into!

This month’s new eBook fiction from Overdrive includes a range of dark and suspenseful stories, from the Prix Goncourt-winning Lullaby by Leïla Slimani to the “lost classic” The Hours Before Dawn by Celia Fremlin. Fremlin’s work has been called a pioneer of the Domestic Noir genre, so if you’re a fan of authors such as Julia Crouch and Rebecca Whitney, be sure to check it out!

Overdrive cover Lullaby, by Leïla Slimani
“When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect caretaker for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite and devoted woman. But as jealousy, resentment and suspicions increase, Myriam and Paul’s idyllic tableau is shattered…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Hours Before Dawn, by Celia Fremlin
“Louise would give anything for a good night’s sleep. Forget the girls running errant in the garden. Forget her husband who seems oblivious to it all. If the baby would just stop crying, everything would be fine. Or would it? In a new edition of this lost classic, The Hours Before Dawn proves – scarily – as relevant to readers today as it was when Celia Fremlin first wrote it in the 1950s.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Killed, by Thomas Enger
“Determined to find his son’s killer, crime reporter Henning Juul doggedly follows an increasingly dangerous trail, where dark hands from the past emerge to threaten everything. His ex-wife Nora is pregnant with another man’s child, his sister Trine is implicated in the fire that killed his son and, with everyone he thought he could trust seemingly hiding something, Henning has nothing to lose… except his own life.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Missing Fay, by Adam Thorpe
“A spirited, restless fourteen-year-old, Fay, goes missing from a Lincoln council estate. Is she a runaway, or a victim – another face on a poster gradually fading with time? The story of her last few days before she vanishes is interwoven with the varied lives of six locals – whether aware or unaware of her presence or absence, all touched in life-changing ways.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Floating World, by C. Morgan Babst
“As Hurricane Katrina approaches the Louisiana coast, Cora Boisdoré refuses to leave the city. Her parents, Joe Boisdoré, an artist descended from freed slaves, and his white “Uptown” wife, Dr. Tess Eshleman, are forced to evacuate without her, setting off a chain of events that leaves their marriage in shambles and Cora the victim or perpetrator of some violence mysterious even to herself…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao, by Eric M. B. Becker
“Euridice is young, beautiful and ambitious, but when her rebellious sister Guida elopes, she sets her own aspirations aside and vows to settle down as a model wife and daughter. And yet as her husband’s professional success grows, so does Euridice’s feeling of restlessness. But then one day Guida appears at the door with her young son and a terrible story of hardship and abandonment.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Six Months, Three Days, Five Others, by Charlie Jane Anders
“Before the success of her debut SF-and-fantasy novel All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders was a rising star in SF and fantasy short fiction. Collected in a mini-book format, here—for the first time in print—are six of her quirky, wry, engaging best, including “Clover”, written exclusively for this collection.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Daring Brides, by Ava Miles
“Over one million readers have fallen in love with Ava’s bestselling Dare Valley and Dare River series…come join the family. Your favourite Dare Valley characters have survived betrayal, secrets, and tragedy to find true love. Now, watch each of these daring brides walk down the aisle to their happily ever after with the man of their dreams. You know, the hero who fires up all their engines.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Version Thirteen, by Martin Baker
“Yavlinsky, a brilliant Russian scientist has created a piece of wonder-technology; a drilling process that uses the forces of supercavitation. Named ‘Version Thirteen’, it enables oil explorers to take 40 per cent more oil out of the ground – it’s worth trillions. But there’s a problem. Supercavitation is also the basis for highly sophisticated weaponry…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Three new Classical music additions

Our new additions to the classical music collection this week have a British flavour (well, two of them anyway!).

Cantata Memoria: For the Children, Karl Jenkins. Performed by Terfel, Thomas, Sinfonia Cymru and conducted by Karl Jenkins.
“On 21 October 1966, tragedy hit the Welsh village of Aberfan: when a colliery spoil tip above the village collapsed, 40,000 cubic metres of mining debris went downhill in a landslide, burying Pantglas Junior School and killing 116 children and 28 adults. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster, Karl Jenkins wrote his Cantata Memoria for large vocal and orchestral forces, here performed with a star-studded cast headed by bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and soprano Elin Manahan Thomas” (cover).

Homage. Performed by Vilde Frang.
“‘For me these virtuoso miniatures are true gems,’ says… Vilde Frang. ‘Part of a tradition that goes back generations – one that needs to be kept alive – and an important aspect of the violin’s legacy. With this selection of pieces, I would like to pay tribute to the early 20th century’s great violinists. They left their mark on the violin repertoire, not only with their virtuosity but also through their own significant transcriptions and compositions, and brought the Art of the Encore into a golden era.'” (cover).

Symphonies 1 & 2, Sir Michael Tippett. Performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
“Tippett’s first two published symphonies are mature and confident works dating from the middle of the last century. These coruscating accounts from Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra are sure to win new friends for this marvellous music” ( review)