One Year Till CoNZealand!

What will you be doing this time next year? With the strange and fluctuating state of the world at the moment it’s impossible to say for sure–but hopefully you’ll be joining us at CoNZealand! CoNZealand is the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, being held in Wellington from 29 July to 2 August 2020. That’s right, there’s only one year to go!

But what exactly happens at a World Science Fiction Convention, or WorldCon? Basically–a lot! There are writers’ workshops, specialist talks, gaming, cosplay, art exhibitions, charity auctions, parties, dances, masquerades, film festivals, autograph sessions, awards and more, all put together by fans. Each convention also has its own unique events: WorldCon 75 in Finland included a beer tram through Helsinki and a tour of the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant!

With 2020 rapidly approaching, the team at CoNZealand are putting together a convention of their own. They’ve already assembled a fantastic line-up of special guests, including Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon and toastmaster George R.R. Martin. We recently spoke to CoNZealand’s library liaison Jenny about how things have been going so far, and what’s coming up. Check out her answers below! (And remember, if you’d like to be part of CoNZealand, you can volunteer here.)

For those just discovering CoNZealand, could you please give an introduction to what it is?

CoNZealand is the 78th World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon), the world’s premier non-profit science fiction and fantasy convention. It has been running since 1939 (with a hiatus during World War Two), attracting thousands of writers, professional creatives and fans every year to talk about, celebrate and live science fiction and fantasy for five days. WorldCon is quite different from other events that may be more familiar, such as Armageddon Expo or ComicCon in the U.S. At CoNZealand you won’t buy a ticket, you buy a membership, because you’re not going to watch an event, you’re going to participate in panel sessions, workshops, Q & A sessions, music, gaming, costuming, as well as having the opportunity to mingle with celebrated authors and other fans.

One of the most impressive things about CoNZealand is the fact it’s run entirely by fans. Could you describe how this works?

As is often said, all the WorldCons are run by fans, for fans. Everyone taking part in running ConZealand is a volunteer, no one is paid, and any profit goes to charity. As soon as I knew about the ConZealand bid to run the 2020 WorldCon I volunteered to help. I highlighted areas where I thought I could be useful and ended up in the Promotions Division. There are 15 Divisions, each organising different aspects of running CoNZealand, and the Executive Division which oversees the whole convention planning and running. Any member of CoNZealand can volunteer to help before and during the convention, in big or little ways. It’s a great way to meet people from all around the world.

What do you think will make CoNZealand unique from other WorldCons?

WorldCons are a melting pot of participants and cultural styles, and CoNZealand will add a significant Kiwi “flavour” to the cultural mix. We expect there will be a great deal of interest in The Lord of the Rings films and other works from Weta Workshop – especially as our Wellington-based Artist Guest of Honour, Greg Broadmore, is currently working with Weta Workshop to develop an augmented reality game based on Greg’s retro sci-fi world of Dr Grordbort. With the presence of George R.R. Martin as our Toastmaster, we anticipate a lot of Game of Thrones fans will turn up too. Hopefully the Kiwi style will add a laid back, friendly atmosphere to proceedings.

What surprises and/or challenges have you encountered with CoNZealand preparations so far?

The challenges I’ve encountered are realising how much hard work is involved in running CoNZealand and fitting the work around a full-time job. It has also been a steep learning curve for me, I haven’t done project management or promotions work before so I’m learning as I go. I have also gained a lot from volunteering: I’ve learned a lot of new skills and I feel a great sense of achievement about what we are all creating.

What will the next few months of build-up have in store?

So much work to be done, so much work that all the volunteers are doing. The technology, financial, publications, events, and facilities management work is not my skill set so I’ve only seen a tiny fraction of the work they are doing. We are having staff meetings in July and October which will give me a better overview of all that is happening. On the promotions side I’m doing some blog posts (like this one), and I’m working on ways to effectively promote CoNZealand to libraries all around the country. We run stalls promoting CoNZealand at events all around the world: locally, we were at Wellington Armageddon and at Wellycon earlier this year, and you’ll have another opportunity to talk to us if you’re going to Auckland Armageddon in October.

What are you most excited about with CoNZealand?

I’ve only been to one WorldCon before, AussieCon 3 in 1999, and that was the most exciting, mind blowing experience. I’m not only going to another WorldCon, I’m helping to run it, and I feel like I’m part of creating something wonderful. I’m also excited about all the people I’ll meet who “get” science fiction and fantasy, and talking and hearing about aspects of the genre that I never knew existed.

Eavesdropping Underwater: an Interview with Olivia Price!

Why do scientists eavesdrop on whales and dolphins? What can recordings of whale and dolphin sounds tell us? How do you even record the sound that these creatures make? And what’s it like to go to Antarctica?

Join us on Saturday, May 25 at Te Papa for a FREE talk by NIWA scientists Dr Giacomo Giorli and Olivia Price to hear the answers!

As part of the build-up to Eavesdropping Underwater, we interviewed Olivia Price about her role as a Marine Physics Technician for NIWA.

Can you tell us a bit about your role at NIWA?

I work within a team of physical oceanography technicians to maintain, deploy and recover science equipment that records information about our oceans’ physical properties (i.e. temperature, salinity, oxygen). These properties can tell us a lot about ocean currents and features which provide food and the right kind of conditions for marine life to thrive.

You’re a Qualified PADI Dive Master. What does that entail? How deep have you dived?

I started with a PADI Open Water course in 2014 and have been hooked ever since! A Divemaster certification allows me to act as an assistant to a Dive Instructor and has taught me rescue diving skills. My Divemaster assessment was in Milford Sound, which was the best diving I have ever done! We dived alongside sheer underwater cliffs to 38m (PADI limits are 40m) and saw a very special black coral – that underwater looks white. These corals have been building their underwater forests in Milford for 200 million years.

You were part of a recent journey to the Antarctic onboard a NIWA research vessel. Can you tell us what living on board was like in those conditions?

NIWA’s flagship vessel, the Tangaroa is a multi-purpose research vessel designed to investigate New Zealand’s marine resources and environment. Inside the accommodation, you would never know you’re in Antarctica until you look out the window. It is toasty warm and the cooks aboard are known for their epic meals. With very limited internet/phone access and not seeing another ship for six weeks, it felt like our crew were completely isolated from the rest of the world. This isolation and extreme cold conditions meant we needed to prepare for any kind of emergency- so there was plenty of survival training before we left port and plenty of drills aboard. As we steamed south, each day got longer until we were experiencing 23 hours of daylight. Even then the sun didn’t fully set, instead skimming the horizon. This meant plenty of hours for whale watching and spotting icebergs!

As well as passive acoustic moorings, the “whale listening posts”, you also use physical oceanographic moorings & an ASL echosounder. Can you tell us the difference between these, what they measure and what you hope to achieve from the data recovered?

Passive acoustic moorings (PAM) take a bit of explaining, which will be easier to convey with pictures on Saturday. The physical oceanography moorings have a set of instrumentation on them recording physical properties (i.e. temperature, oxygen and salinity) that will help give an insight into how fresh water coming off the Ross Ice Shelf is interacting with our deep oceans. On the mooring is also some current meters that measure the strength and direction of water flow. The Ross Ice Shelf is particularly important as it is the largest freshwater reserve in Antarctica!
The ASL is an acoustic sounder that measures the amount of Antarctic krill in the water by sending and listening out for sound pings. These krill are a key food source for the Adelie Penguins that live on Cape Adare.

The voyage also focused on some of the tiniest organisms in the ocean – the phytoplankton and bacteria. Can you talk about how data on these is collected, and what it is for?

These amazing little organisms are collected using a CTD Rosette which has a bunch of bottles on it that allows us to collect water samples at different water depths. Several scientists worked hard to analyse phytoplankton and bacteria community structure across the Ross Sea. Although these organisms aren’t visible to our eyes, there are ridiculous amounts of them in the ocean and they are incredibly important. Phytoplankton produce around 70% of the air we breathe, I like to call them the humble trees of the ocean!

What was your favourite wildlife memory from your journey on the Tangaroa?

It is so hard to pick one as we saw a lot of beautiful animals! A moment I will never forget is when we reached the edge of the sea ice at dusk and saw multiple groups of Adelie penguins swimming and leaping into the ice for the night. I felt like I had jumped into a David Attenborough scene.

For more insights into Olivia’s work, join us at Eavesdropping Underwater: the Sounds of Whales and Dolphins on Saturday, May 25 at Te Papa!

Eavesdropping Underwater: an Interview with Giacomo Giorli!

Why do scientists eavesdrop on whales and dolphins? What can recordings of whale and dolphin sounds tell us? How do you even record the sound that these creatures make? And what’s it like to go to Antarctica?

Join us on Saturday, May 25 at Te Papa for a FREE talk by NIWA scientists Dr Giacomo Giorli and Olivia Price to hear the answers!

As part of the build-up to Eavesdropping Underwater, we interviewed Dr Giacomo Giorli about his role as a marine mammal acoustician. Dr Giorli’s work has taken him around the world, from studying dolphins in the Ligurian Sea to investigating predator-prey relationships in the waters of Hawaii. He has continued this work at NIWA, including involvement in a pioneering underwater sound project that recently gained national headlines.

What first drew you to oceanography?

Curiosity. I grew up close to the sea, and I was just curious about it.

What makes you most excited in your current job at NIWA?

The possibility to study many species in the Southern Ocean that we know almost nothing about, and the incredible amount of technology that we have at NIWA to conduct research.

You recently discovered clicks from unknown beaked whales in the Cook Strait. What would you like to do next to follow up this research?

That work was the result of a study conducted by all the researchers that authored the paper, and not just my “discovery”. It was a collaborative work. One important thing to note is that we did not discover unknown or new species of beaked whales (as many people always think). We recorded echolocation signals from beaked whales in Cook Strait that were not previously described in literature. We know the signals are from beaked whales, but we do not know what species of beaked whales are producing them. I guess a natural follow up to this research would be to identify the species that are using these sounds.

You’ve also studied the foraging behaviours of sperm whales and other toothed whales in Hawaii. What was it like completing this research, and what were the results?

That research is far from completed. In reality what I was studying in Hawaii was just the tip of the iceberg of deep sea predator-prey studies involving deep diving toothed whales. The toothed whale species studied in that research are species that dive very deep to search for food. They can dive deeper than 1 km. Because of this, it is essentially impossible to observe their behaviour directly. One can go in the African savanna and observe predator behaviour directly. Think about cheetahs hunting. We all are familiar with videos of cheetahs chasing impalas. What I want to point out is that when you have to deal with working in the deep ocean in general, making observations is incredibly challenging. We face the problem of observing how deep sea prey drives the distribution and behaviour of their predators.

In Hawaii, I tested new acoustic technology that would allow researchers to understand how prey availability and type could influence the behaviour of the deep diving predators (toothed whales). Data indicated that sperm whales, for example, foraged more where they had chances of finding larger prey, rather than where they had chances to find more prey. It seems counter-intuitive that they would rather go in a place where there is less potential prey. It suggests that these predators are somehow picky in choosing their prey.

As well as whales, your work also involves recording sounds from creatures as tiny as marine algae. What are the similarities and differences in working at these different scales?

The research I did on algae with my colleagues in the U.S. was a laboratory experiment. We did not go to sea. Algae do not have a sound generator like vocal cords. The sound is produced by oxygen bubbles that are expelled from the algal tissue during photosynthesis. However, the signal processing techniques we used to analyse the acoustic data are pretty much the same used for cetacean bio-acoustics research.

If money wasn’t a problem, what would be your ideal research project?

I guess the ideal research project in Marine Sciences is the one that ends well without failures of instrumentations and other things that can go wrong at sea.

For more insights into Dr Giorli’s work, join us at Eavesdropping Underwater: the Sounds of Whales and Dolphins on Saturday, May 25 at Te Papa!

‘How To Get Published’ event: Getting to know the panel

XYZ of Happiness book cover

How To Get Published

Join us on Saturday December 1st, 1:30pm at the Central Library for a public talk and Q&A session on “How to get published”. There is a great panel for this exciting event made up of top industry experts from New Zealand’s publishing industry.

Getting to know the panel

As a precursor to our “How To Get Published” event, we are going to do a weekly feature blog on the members of the panel and their specialist areas of interest in the publishing world.

Get to know this weeks featured panelist: Mary McCallum.

Mary McCallum is the publishing director of two Wellington presses – established Mākaro Press and new The Cuba Press. The two presses cover fiction, poetry, non-fiction, memoir and children’s books through a variety of imprints, but she has a particular passion for publishing and editing NZ literary fiction and poetry as she is a novelist and poet herself.

Syndetics book coverThe blue / Mary McCallum.
“Lilian lives in an isolated island community at the mouth of Tory Channel trying to make the best of a life that has at its core a secret grief. It is 1938 and for three months of every year the men take to the sea to hunt whales with fast boats and explosive harpoons. This year, the whales aren’t the only ones returning – Lilian’s troubled son Micky has come home too. In this rugged, unsettled world, things are not always what they seem.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

 

XYZ of happiness / McCallum, Mary
“Poems of happiness… as it comes, when it’s missing and when it is hoped for.”  (Catalogue)

 

 

 

Modern Bodies: The Best of Dance Biographies

No art form better captures the passion and politics of humanity than dance. From the Soviet-American ballet rivalry of the Cold War to the rise of Lindy Hop in 1920s Harlem to the emergence of waacking from the LGBTQI clubs of 1970s LA, dance explores—and occasionally crosses—boundaries of nation, culture, gender and sexuality. New Zealand is no exception, and as part this year’s Dance Week we’ve got Dancing Through the Pages, a series of talks and performances by Wellington-based dancers and artists. And if you can’t wait until then, we’ve also got some great dance biographies, from Vaslav Nijinsky to Michael Jackson and beyond!


Syndetics book coverNijinsky / Lucy Moore.
“The first major biography for forty years tells the tragic story of ballet’s great revolutionary, Nijinsky. ‘He achieves the miraculous,’ the sculptor Auguste Rodin wrote of Vaslav Nijinsky. He embodies all the beauty of classical frescoes and statues. Like so many since, Rodin recognised that in Nijinsky classical ballet had one of the greatest and most original artists of the twentieth century, in any genre.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverModern bodies : dance and American modernism from Martha Graham to Alvin Ailey / Julia L. Foulkes.
“In 1930, dancer and choreographer Martha Graham proclaimed the arrival of “dance as an art of and from America.” Through their art, modern dancers challenged conventional roles and images of gender, sexuality, race, class and regionalism. Modern Bodies exposes the social dynamics that moved modern dance to the edges of society, a place both provocative and perilous.” (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 was 19 years old when she found herself in Paris for the first time. Overnight, the young American dancer became the idol of the Roaring Twenties, captivating Picasso, Cocteau, Le Corbusier and Simenon. After World War II, Baker devoted herself to the struggle against racial segregation, battling the humiliations she had for so long suffered. She would sing of love and liberty until the day she died.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverHe’s got rhythm : the life and career of Gene Kelly / Cynthia Brideson & Sara Brideson.
“He sang and danced in the rain, proclaimed New York to be a wonderful town and convinced a group of Parisian children that they had rhythm. One of the most influential and respected entertainers of Hollywood’s golden age, Gene Kelly revolutionized film musicals with his innovative and timeless choreography.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverDarcey Bussell / Darcey Bussell.
“Darcey Bussell is widely considered to be one of the greatest English ballerinas of all time. Her stellar career spanned two decades of magnificent dance where she worked with Dame Margot Fonteyn, observed an aging Nureyev, crossed swords with rival prima ballerina Sylvie Guillem, argued the finer points of technique with Sir Kenneth MacMillan and danced for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverMoonwalk / Michael Jackson.
Moonwalk is the only book about his life that Michael Jackson ever wrote. It chronicles his humble beginnings in the Midwest, his early days with the Jackson 5 and his unprecedented solo success.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverAmerica dancing : from the cakewalk to the moonwalk / Megan Pugh.
“An exuberant history of American dance, told through the lives of virtuoso performers who have defined the art. The history of American dance reflects the nation’s tangled culture. Dancers from wildly different backgrounds learned, imitated and stole from one another. Audiences everywhere embraced the result as deeply American.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverRemembering Nureyev : the trail of a comet / Rudi van Dantzig ; translation by Katie de Haan.
“Famously volatile, fickle in his passions for people, but with astonishing charisma onstage and off, Rudolf Nureyev is regarded as one of the greatest male ballet dancers of the twentieth century. This is a book balletomanes cannot miss, with an eagle-eyed sharpness that never dissolves into hagiography or gossip.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

It’s NZ Dance Week Question Time!

We are counting down to NZ Dance Week (5, 6, 7, 8… get it?) and are getting SO excited for what’s happening at Central Library that week, that librarians have been started tapping and jiving through the shelves! So in the lead up to Dancing Through The Pages we quizzed our upcoming performers about their favourite books and current reading habits!

In order of the week’s performances, we kicked things off with choreographer and Artistic Director of Java Dance Theatre Sacha Copland.

So Sacha, tell us what are you reading at the moment?
“I usually have a few books on the go at any one time. For fun I am reading The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur.  For research for my next work I am reading The Brilliant History of Colour in Art by Victoria Finlay and Chocolate Nations, Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa by Orla Ryan. I am really interested in exploring colour more. There is too much monochrome! Also my next work is about chocolate so I have to research every aspect of it before I make it, the good, the bad and the ugly.”

What about your all-time favourite book character?
“This is tricky to answer! Maybe Aomame, a martial-arts instructor and physical therapist from Haruki Murakami’s IQ84. I also love Aliena in The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.”

Next up we have contemporary dancer and choreographer Lucy Marinkovich along with saxophonist and composer Lucien Johnson who answered our questions with the same creative partnership that we will hear more about at ‘A Song & Dance’!

What are you two reading at the moment?
Lucien: “Talking to My Daughter about the Economy by Yanis Varoufakis
Lucy: “Bright Air Black by David Vann (in preparation for the NZ Festival show OrphEus: a dance opera).”

Do you two have a favourite dance book or magazine?
Lucien: “For me it’s a music book: Music is my Mistress by Duke Ellington.”
Lucy: “Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild.”

Lucien, what about your favourite book to recommend?
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin or Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T Anderson.”

For the final act we asked the same round of quickfire questions to the man behind ‘The Story of LARK’ Louglan Prior, RNZB dancer, choreographer and filmmaker extraordinaire!

What are you reading at the moment?
The History of Bees by Maja Lunde.”

Your all-time favourite book character?
“Albus Dumbledore.”
(We can’t fault you there, #WCLLovesHarryPotter!!)

What about your favourite book to recommend?
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.”

And final question, do you have a favourite dance book or magazine?
David Hallberg’s autobiography – A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back and DANZ Magazine.”

Want to know more about Dancing Through the Pages and what’s happening for NZ Dance Week? Check out wcl.govt.nz/danceweek for all of the info, add the Facebook Event to your calendar and follow the hashtag #nzdw2018! We hope to see you there!

Pro-tip: don’t miss our most recent biographies booklist! We’ve hand-picked a selection of some of the prominent dancers in history, from Gene Kelly to Michael Jackson. We couldn’t resist making a list of our favourite dance movies as well, what better reason to relive Footloose is there! Take a look!

NZDW 2018

An evening with astrophotographer Mark Gee

Have you ever sat under the stars, gazed at the night sky and wished you could capture it? Seen photos of the milky way, looked down at your camera and wondered how on earth they did it?

If that sounds like you, then come along to the Central Library and hear Wellington based astrophotographer Mark Gee talk about his photographic journey and share his story of how he came to be the self-taught award winning photographer he is today!

A post shared by Mark Gee (@theartofnight) on Swing by the library after work on Wednesday April 4th at 6pm to meet the man himself and hear about the Art of Night, and learn how you can get started, how to use social media as a marketing tool, and how you can continue to develop as a photographer.

Mark will be talking for about 30 minutes so there will be plenty of question time as well!

Looking for more resources for your own photography?

Check out the free online course available through Lynda.com, with courses on everything from Photography 101, to Exploring Composition, How to Create a Portfolio, using Photoshop, and even Aerial Photography with Drones and a how to on Landscape Photography: Iceland!

All you need to login in your Library card number and your last name.

You can also take a look at our Photography Recent Picks Blog or check out our new collection on Overdrive: Get Creative With Design & Photography

LitCrawl: True Stories Told Live at Central library

That’s right! It’s LitCrawl time again and that means it’s time to get excited because this year is going to be on a whole different level!

With the addition of LitCrawl Extended and events running across the whole weekend, starting on Friday 10th November all the way through to Sunday the 12th, it’s time to come into the library, grab your programme and start planning your crawl.

We will be hosting True Stories Told Live as part of LitCrawl Phase 1, starting at 6pm at the Central Library on Saturday November 11th.

This years theme is ‘Quiet Revolutions’. Totally unscripted, no power points or cue cards, just storytelling in its rawest form!

Featuring Makerita Urale, Witi Ihimaera, Hēmi Kelly, Renèe, Lucy Revill, Rajorshi Chakraborti and Eamonn Marra it’s going to be an unmissable event!

To help everyone get excited and pumped for their crawl, we’ve asked our librarians to share their recommendations. Just like True Stories Told Live, we just asked for everyone’s picks, no theme, no time, no parameters just Librarian’s choices, straight from the heart!

Syndetics book coverLinda’s Pick: Tess / Kirsten McDougall.
“In the silence she could hear the oncoming hum, like a large flock approaching. She didn’t want to hear his story; she’d had enough of them. Tess is on the run when she’s picked up from the side of the road by lonely middle-aged father Lewis Rose. With reluctance, she’s drawn into his family troubles and comes to know a life she never had. Set in Masterton at the turn of the millennium, Tess is a gothic love story about the ties that bind and tear a family apart.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJamie’s Pick: Crisis four : a Nick Stone thriller / Andy McNab.
“Ex-SAS trooper Nick Stone is clever, ruthless and very effective, it is no surprise that he is hired by British Intelligence. Sarah Greenwood is beautiful, intelligent and cunning, and the only woman Stone has ever truly opened up to. But now he has been ordered to hunt her down. Hotly pursued through the American wilderness, Stone finds himself at the center of a deadly game of cat and mouse and must get to the heart of a terrifying conspiracy theory to which only Sarah holds the key.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFrith’s Pick: Iceland / Dominic Hoey.
“Aspiring musician Zlata meets graffiti artist and part-time drug dealer Hamish at a party. Together, they start to get their lives on track Zlata gets her record deal and album tour, and Hamish gets an exhibition of his art in Auckland, then in Tokyo. Then one of their group of friends kills someone, and everything starts to unravel as they deal (or not) with the aftermath” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTim’s Pick: Leave before you go / Emily Perkins.
No New Zealand novel better captures the sad ambience of finding yourself a little older than you feel ready for and also you’ve just locked yourself out of your flat again. In a good way.
“A generation’s dilemma: should we find real jobs & relationships & houses, or shall we sit here, watch TV & maybe think about going out later? Leave Before You Go is a witty novel from last year’s winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReece’s Pick: The crossing / by Cormac McCarthy.
“In The Crossing, Cormac McCarthy fulfills the promise of All the Pretty Horses and at the same time give us a work that is darker and more visionary, a novel with the unstoppable momentum of a classic western and the elegaic power of a lost American myth.  An essential novel by any measure, this is a luminous and appalling book that touches, stops, and starts the heart and mind at once.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJess’ Pick: Daughter of the forest / Juliet Marillier.
“A tale of history and heritage, myth and magic, legend and love. Lord Colum of Sevenwaters is blessed with seven children, but it is Sorcha, the youngest and only daughter, who is destined to defend her family and protect their land. The only one who escapes the cruel influence of her father’s new wife, exiled and cast out into the forest and the terrifying world beyond, Sorcha falls into the hands of the feared enemy. Now she is torn between a life she has always known and a love that only comes once.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverZuhara’s Pick: Gone with the wind / by Margaret Mitchell.
“Often remembered for the epic film, Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life. A sweeping story of tangled passion and courage, Margaret Mitchell brings to life the unforgettable characters that have captured readers for over seventy years.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPaul’s Pick: The unthinkable thoughts of Jacob Green : a novel / by Joshua Braff.
“It’s 1977, housewarming, Annie Hall and bar mitzvah parties punctuate Jacob Green’s childhood and require command performances by all the Green family members. Jacob doesn’t mean to disappoint his father, but he can’t help thinking the most unthinkable (and very funny) thoughts about public-school humiliation, Hebrew-school disinclination, and in-home sex education (with the live-in nanny!). This self-assured, comic, yet piercing first novel deftly captures the struggle of an imperfect boy trying to become a suitable son.” ( Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeth’s Pick: The English patient / Michael Ondaatje.
“Set during the end of World War II, this novel explores the lives of four very disparate people who find themselves holed up together in a ruined villa north of Florence as the war retreats around them. Michael Ondaatje is the author of Running in the Family and In the Skin of a Lion.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLigia’s Pick: The book of disquiet / Fernando Pessoa ; edited by Jerónimo Pizarro; translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa.
“An “autobiography” or “diary” containing exquisite melancholy observations, aphorisms, and ruminations, this classic work grapples with all the eternal questions. Now, for the first time the texts are presented chronologically, in a complete English edition by master translator Margaret Jull Costa.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSela’s Pick: The bronze horseman / Paullina Simons.
“The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler’s armies attack Russia and yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Tatiana and Alexander’s impossible love threatens to tear the family apart and expose Alexander’s dangerous secret, a secret as devastating as the war itself.” (Syndetics summary)

 

Litcrawl 2017

Treaty talks at Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui in April/May

Wellington Treaty Network has joined with Wellington City Libraries in 2017 to host three events in April and May to commemorate the signing of Te Tiriti in Wellington Harbour, 1840.

We thank Robyn Kahukiwa for her kind permission to use her image created for the Haeata Collective exhibition at the City Gallery, 1990

We thank Robyn Kahukiwa for her kind permission to use her  image created for the Haeata Collective exhibition at the City Gallery, 1990.

The programme will be:

Rangtiratanga in reverse : the Government’s review of Te Ture Whenua Māori by Liz Mellish and Morrie Love

Friday 28 April, 12.30-1.15pm
Children’s and Young Adults’ area, Ground Floor, Central Library

Liz Mellish is chair of Palmerston North  Māori Reserve Trust, and Morrie Love is chair of the Wellington Tenths Trust.

Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill [update], is in its final step, due to become an act at the end of this month. We are pleased to host Liz Mellish, Federation of Māori Authorities representative on an advisory committee for the establishment of  the Māori Land Service,  and Morrie Love, who will attempt to guide us through the complex issues surrounding the  Te Ture Whenua Bill/Act.

Changing the narrative, the story of Māori law and Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlement, with Carwyn Jones

Friday 5 May,  12.30-1.15pm
Children’s and Young Adults’ area, Ground Floor, Central Library

Carwyn Jones, of Ngāti Kahungunu and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki iwi,  is a senior law lecturer at Victoria University. His area of expertise is Te Tiriti O Waitangi, Māori Customary Law and Māori Land Use. We look forward to an opportunity to learn of the latest developments  on the claims and settlement processes.

Here is a link to Carwyn’s book, published recently in 2016:

Vic Uni Book CoverNew treaty, new tradition : reconciling New Zealand and Māori law / Carwyn Jones.
“While Indigenous peoples face the challenges of self-determination in a postcolonial world, New Treaty, New Tradition provides a timely look at how the resolution of historical Treaty of Waitangi claims continues to shape the culture of all who are involved – Maori and government alike.” (Syndetics summary)

Te Tiriti in schools and the community  :  new resources to support engagement with the Treaty ; a talk by Tamsin Hanly and Jen Margaret

Friday 12 May, 12.30-1.15pm
Children’s and Young Adults’ area, Ground Floor, Central Library

Jen Margaret is an author and a very respected and committed presenter of Treaty workshops, and workshops for organisational change.

Here is a link to her book Working as Allies: supporters of indigenous justice reflect on the Library Catalogue.

Tamsin Hanly will shortly launch her latest publication in the field of New Zealand education, and her colourful website includes: A Critical guide to Māori and Pākehā histories of Aotearoa New Zealand

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Enjoy the magical worlds of Roald Dahl these holidays!

The waiting is over! Here’s what’s happening in the July School Holidays at a library near you…

Due to the release of the movie The BFG and with 2016 being his 100th birthday, we are celebrating that amazing author – Roald Dahl.

He is many people’s favourite author and his books have become classics for a number of generations. Lots have been turned into movies too – The BFG, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Witches, Matilda…

During the school holidays kids can whizz-pop their way into a library for some whoopsy-splunkers fun! We will be exploring the life of Roald Dahl, learning Gobblefunk (the language of The BFG), competing in a clever matching game, and creating dream jars. Your kids will be frothbuggling if they miss this one.

Here’s the details:

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Thursday 14th July, 11am

Miramar Library: Friday 15th July, 2pm

Karori Library: Tuesday 19th July, 11am

Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Tuesday 19th July, 2pm

Central Library: Wednesday 20th July, 11am

Johnsonville Library: Thursday 21st July, 11am

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Friday 22nd July, 11am

Our School Holiday activities are suitable for 6-12 year olds and last one hour. They are free and bookings are not required – just turn up.

jul16-roald-dahl