Fashion Classics – Fashion and Beauty in July

July’s fashion and beauty edit is all about keeping things classic – we have shiny new volumes on legendary starlet Brigitte Bardot, the history of tweed and how to nail the perfect red lipstick. This month we’re also featuring hot menswear and London style. Celebrate the classics with July’s new books.

Syndetics book coverClassic style : hand it down, dress it up, wear it out / [interviews and text by] Kate Schelter ; foreword by Andy Spade.
“In Classic Style, fashion expert and illustrator Kate Schelter curates a collection of more than 150 iconic, essential classics–clothes, accessories, beauty products, objects, and travel items that exemplify great design, simplicity, and timeless style. Kate shows you how to develop your own style by following an easy mantra: buy less, buy better, reinvent what you already have, and own your look.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverLondon sartorial : men’s style from street to bespoke / Dylan Jones.
“Beginning with an exploration of London’s chicest urban villages, the book reflects the extraordinary eclecticism of the city’s street style–from envelope-pushing streetwear in Shoreditch to classic tailoring in Mayfair. Forays into the coolest and hardest-to-find menswear shops in the city at once reveal the sources of the fashions on display and capture the atmosphere of the capital. At the heart of the book are profiles of London’s top designers–from world renowned brands to up-and-coming names, these are the designers whose work is shaping the future of menswear.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLips : how to wear lipstick, lip gloss and lift your lip game / by Natasha Devedlaka-Price ; photography by Mick Ackland and Casey Moore.
“Around two-thirds of women count lipstick among their essential luxuries, one in three saying they won’t go without. Nothing makes a girl pop like a bright burst of color! And it takes just minutes to apply. Natasha starts with lip care – exfoliating and prepping – and the basics of applying lipstick. She teaches readers how to pick the best red for their skin tone, make lips look thinner or plumper, choose lipstick that lasts all day, and much more. Tutorials feature topics like how to wear matt lipstick, gloss, as well as trends like ombre, nude, contouring lips, and more.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLondon uprising : fifty fashion Designers, one city / edited by Tania Fares and Sarah Mower.
“London has long been a fashion-world capital, and the past fifteen years have been an especially fertile period in its centuries-long history of setting trends. This stunning book is an all-access pass into the world of designer fashion – an exclusive behind-the-scenes studio tour that calls in on fifty of the city’s leading design talents – London-based global superstars – all of whom open up about their practice and philosophy, and share a wealth of images from their private collections.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBrigitte Bardot : my life in fashion / Henry-Jean Servat ; translation, Mot.tif.
“Legendary actress Brigitte Bardot led fashion revolutions throughout her career; this retrospective includes BB’s comments on her iconic style in a rare, intimate interview. Brigitte Bardot is a style icon whose legacy has undeniably shaped the face of fashion as we know it. Evoking French style and the glamour of St. Tropez, her legacy endures–from ballerina slippers with sweeping skirts to figure-hugging knitwear, gingham fabrics and gypsy dresses, kohl eyeliner and tousled hair.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTweed / Fiona Anderson.
“The story of tweed is tied to a series of social, economic and cultural shifts that have molded its development. Exploring rural and urban contexts, this book reveals the important physical and conceptual relationships of tweed with landscape. Progressive changes in gender relations are also explored as a major factor in tweed’s evolution, from associations with particular ideals of masculinity into what is now a truly adaptable fashion textile worn by both sexes. This is the first book of its kind to recognize the importance of tweed to fashion innovation today.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAlone in a crowd : men in this town / Giuseppe Santamaria.
“Alone in a crowd, Giuseppe’s third title, once again turns the spotlight on men’s fashion in cities around the world – including his home-town Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, London, Paris, Florence, Madrid, New York, and his childhood home, Toronto. Some shots capture menswear enthusiasts outside the fashion week shows in respective cities, others celebrate the everydaystyle of men – on the streets, at work and at play.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New eAudiobook Fiction in June

When it comes to novels, the author traditionally takes pride of place. However with the rise of eAudiobooks, another role is becoming increasingly important: the narrator. An experienced narrator can make a good book great, and a great book unforgettable. This month’s eAudiobooks from Overdrive have just such narrators, including Sissy Spacek reading To Kill a Mockingbird and Benedict Cumberbatch reading Sherlock Holmes’ Rediscovered Railway Mysteries. Sign up here to listen in!

Overdrive cover To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
“Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Lady in the Van, by Alan Bennett
“An eccentric old lady moves into a quiet street in Camden Town. There she remains, installed in her van in glorious self-sufficiency, until the council instructs her to move on. Then a kind homeowner invites her to move her van into his garden – where she stays for the next fifteen years. This is the fascinating story of the genteel vagrant who found a unique place in Alan Bennett’s life and writing.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Afterlife of Stars, by Joseph Kertes
“When Russian tanks roll into the public squares of Budapest to crush the Hungarian Revolution, brothers Robert and Attila Beck flee with their family. As they travel through minefields both real and imagined, Robert and Attila grapple with sibling rivalry, family secrets and incalculable loss. Along the way they encounter mysterious fellow travellers, bewildering sights of a nation in transition and surprising hilarity, all in pursuit of the one place they thought they’d lost forever: home.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Curse of Crow Hollow, by Billy Coffey
“Everyone in Crow Hollow knows of Alvaretta Graves. Many call her a witch; others whisper she’s insane. Everyone agrees the vengeance Alvaretta swore at her husband’s death hovers over them all. That vengeance awakens when teenagers stumble upon Alvaretta’s cabin, incurring her curse. Now a sickness moves through the Hollow, and people are left to confront not only the darkness that lives on the mountain, but the darkness that lives within themselves.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Coroner’s Lunch, by Colin Cotterill
“Dr Siri Paiboun is a physician trained in Paris. For lack of other candidates, he has been appointed Laos’ state coroner. After months of boredom there is a sudden spate of bodies, one slain more mysteriously than the next. The government wants certain answers, but at his advanced age Dr Siri feels immune from bureaucratic pressure. His bosses aren’t happy with him – nor are the dead who come into his care. Eternity could be a long time to have the spirits mad at you.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Benedict Cumberbatch Reads Sherlock Holmes’ Rediscovered Railway Mysteries, by John Taylor
“Inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories, John Taylor has written four more mysteries featuring the world’s greatest detective. Read by acclaimed actor Benedict Cumberbatch, these new adventures share all the suspense of the original tales.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Rich People Problems, by Kevin Kwan
“When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside—but he’s not alone. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim on their matriarch’s massive fortune. With each family member vying to inherit Tyersall Park—a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore—Nicholas’s childhood home turns into a hotbed of speculation and sabotage.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Interesting Times, by Terry Pratchett
“There are many who say that the art of diplomacy is an intricate dance between two informed partners. There are others who maintain that it’s merely a matter of who carries the biggest stick. Like when a large, heavily fortified and armoured empire makes a faintly menacing request of a much smaller, infinitely more cowardly neighbour. It would be churlish, if not extremely dangerous, not to comply – particularly if all they want is a wizard…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover None But the Dead, by Lin Anderson
“Sanday, one of Britain’s northernmost islands. When human remains are discovered behind an old primary school, forensic expert Dr Rhona MacLeod arrives to excavate the grave. Then a series of unexplained incidents occur, apparently linked to the discovery of thirteen magic flowers representing the souls of dead children who had attended the school. But how did they die? And why are their deaths significant?” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Under Pressure, by Lori Foster
“Leese Phelps’s road hasn’t been an easy one, but it’s brought him to the perfect job—working for the elite Body Armor security agency. And what his newest assignment lacks in size, she makes up for in fire and backbone. But being drawn to Catalina Nicholson is a dangerous complication, especially since it could be the very man who hired Leese who’s threatening her. What Catalina knows could get her killed.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

New Books on Movies and TV for June

We have received a wide variety of new books on movies and TV programmes, including beautifully designed visual guidebooks for Rogue One, The Jungle Book and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Must-read titles are the biography of much-missed actress Carrie Fisher, as well as a history of Wellington’s iconic theatre BATS by Ken Duncum and Rebecca Rodden.

Syndetics book coverBats plays / Ken Duncum & Rebecca Rodden.
“Six seminal plays from Ken Duncum and Rebecca Rodden, whose playwriting partnership powered the vibrant theatre scene round Wellington’s BATS Theatre in the 1980s and 90s. Boldly inventive, darkly comic and ceaselessly imaginative, the plays collected here present a chilling one-woman vision of alienation (Polythene Pam); the comic and tragic impossibility of human connection (Truelove); an irresponsible punk couple horrified to find they’ve become parents to the Messiah (Flybaby); conjoined twins plunged into an off-kilter world of rampant advertising, animal terrorism and a perfume made from monkey semen (cult-classic JISM); a real-life 20th-century martyr tested to his limits in the afterlife by a vengeful gang of defrocked saints (The Temptations of St Max); and the not-so-quiet desperation of a fearful hoarder fighting to survive the night hours (Panic!). Supporting the plays are introductions and selected images from the writers and other BATS practitioners which vividly recapture a crucial time and place in New Zealand’s theatre history.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe princess diarist / Carrie Fisher.
“With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time–and what developed behind the scenes. Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of Rogue One, a Star Wars story / written by Josh Kushins ; forewords by Doug Chiang, Neil Lamont, and Gareth Edwards.
“This book is a visual chronicle of the Lucasfilm art department’s creation of new worlds, unforgettable characters, and newly imagined droids, vehicles, and weapons for the first movie in the Star Wars Story series — Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In the same format and style as Abrams’ The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the book gives readers unprecedented access to hundreds of concept paintings, sketches, storyboards, matte paintings, and character, costume, and vehicle designs.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of The jungle book / written by Ellen Wolff ; foreword by Jon Favreau.
“Beautifully designed and packed with behind-the-scenes details, The Art of The Jungle Book provides an in-depth look at Disney’s latest film. In this finely crafted book, dazzling concept art, behind-the-scenes photography, CG designs, and more come together to highlight the visual spectacle of the film. Delving into the film’s interpretation of iconic Jungle Book elements, from beloved characters such as Baloo and Bagheera to the jungle itself, the book features full-color images and gorgeous double-page spreads to illustrate the magic behind the art of the film.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFantastic beasts and where to find them : the art of the film / Dermot Power ; foreword by Stuart Craig.
The Art of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, edited by Dermot Power, concept artist on the film, takes you on a magical journey through a design process every bit as wonderful as that encountered by Newt Scamander in the wizarding world. Bursting with hundreds of production paintings, concept sketches, storyboards, blueprints and matte paintings, and filled with unique insights about the filmmaking journey from Stuart Craig and the artists themselves, this superb book – officially licensed by Warner Bros. Consumer Products – presents a visual feast for readers, and will welcome fans of Harry Potter films into the world of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBorn a crime : stories from a South African childhood / Trevor Noah.
“Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTim Burton : the iconic filmmaker and his work / Ian Nathan.
“Tim Burton is one of the most popular and remarkable filmmakers of the last 30 years, being responsible for such films as Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride and Alice in Wonderland. He is famed for the visually arresting style of his films that combine with highly original storylines. A truly international filmmaker, Tim Burton has carved a reputation as one of the world’s greatest creative directors. This stunning treasury explores the influences on his development as a filmmaker and assesses how he has captured the fruits of his imagination on screen.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGeorge Lucas : a life / Brian Jay Jones.
“On May 25, 1977, a problem-plagued, budget-straining independent science-fiction film opened in a mere thirty-two American movie theaters. Conceived, written, and directed by a little-known filmmaker named George Lucas, the movie originally called The Star Wars quickly drew blocks-long lines, bursting box-office records and ushering in a new way for movies to be made, marketed, and merchandised. It is now one of the most adored-and successful-movie franchises of all time. Now, the author of the bestselling biography Jim Henson delivers a long-awaited, revelatory look into the life and times of the man who created Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Indiana Jones.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI loved her in the movies : memories of Hollywood’s legendary actresses / Robert J. Wagner with Scott Eyman.
“In a career that has spanned more than sixty years Robert Wagner has witnessed the twilight of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the rise of television, becoming a beloved star in both media. During that time he became acquainted, both professionally and socially, with the remarkable women who were the greatest screen personalities of their day. Monroe, Gloria Swanson, Norma Shearer, Loretta Young, Joan Blondell, Irene Dunne, Rosalind Russell, Dorothy Lamour, Debra Paget, Jean Peters, Linda Darnell, Betty Hutton, Raquel Welch, Glenn Close, and the two women whom he ultimately married, Natalie Wood and Jill St. John.” (adapted from the book jacket)

Syndetics book coverTelevision : a biography / David Thomson.
“In just a few years, what used to be an immobile piece of living room furniture, which one had to sit in front of at appointed times in order to watch sponsored programming on a finite number of channels, morphed into a glowing cloud of screens with access to a near-endless supply of content available when and how viewers want it. With this phenomenon now a common cultural theme, a writer of David Thomson’s stature delivering a critical history, or “biography” of the six-decade television era, will be a significant event which could not be more timely. With Television, the critic and film historian who wrote what Sight and Sound’s readers called “the most important film book of the last 50 years” has finally turned his unique powers of observation to the medium that has swallowed film whole.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe platinum age of television : from I love Lucy to The walking dead, how TV became terrific / David Bianculli.
“Television shows have now eclipsed films as the premier form of visual narrative art of our time. This new book by one of our finest critics explains–historically, in depth, and with interviews with the celebrated creators themselves–how the art of must-see/binge-watch television evolved. Television has triumphantly come of age artistically; David Bianculli’s book is the first to date to examine, in depth and in detail and with a keen critical and historical sense, how this inspiring development came about.” (Syndetics summary)

New eBook Fiction in June

Lakes are meant to be beautiful or romantic, or even a source of national pride, but there’s just something a bit spooky about them. Several authors of our new eBook fiction from Overdrive have been inspired by the creepiness of lakes, from Sarah Bailey’s The Dark Lake to John Farrow’s Perish the Day. There’s even an ominous lake story set right here in New Zealand: See You in September, by Charity Norman. So why not sign up to Overdrive and help us plumb the hidden depths…

Overdrive cover The Dark Lake, by Sarah Bailey
“A beautiful young teacher has been murdered, her body found in the lake, strewn with red roses. Policewoman Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock pushes to be assigned to the case, concealing the fact that she knew the murdered woman in high school. But that’s not all Gemma’s trying to hide. As the investigation digs deeper, other secrets threaten to come to light, secrets that were supposed to remain buried.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Perish the Day, by John Farrow
“A co-ed is found murdered on campus, her body scarcely touched. Coincidentally (or not), a college custodian is also found dead. While an epic rainstorm assails Holyoake, a third crime scene is revealed: a professor, formerly a spy, has been shot dead in his home. Sergeant-Detective Émile Cinq-Mars must uncover the links between the disparate groups before the next victim is selected for an elaborate initiation into murder…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Chocolate Tin, by Fiona McIntosh
“At the end of the war, Captain Harry Blakeney discovers a dead soldier in a trench. In the man’s possession is a love note, tucked inside a tin of chocolates. In pursuit of the note’s author, Harry travels to Rowntree’s chocolate factory, where his life becomes inextricably bound with Alexandra Frobisher – a modern-thinking woman with hopes of a career in the chocolate-making town of York. Only together will they be able to unlock secrets of the past and offer each other the greatest gift for the future.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Earth Cries Out, by Bonnie Etherington
“After the accidental death of Ruth’s five-year-old sister, their father decides that atonement and healing are in order, and that taking on aid work in a mountain village in Irian Jaya is the way to find it. While her parents find it a struggle to save themselves, let alone anyone else, Ruth seeks redemption in bearing witness to and passing on the stories of those who have been silenced – even as she is haunted by questions about what it means to witness and who gets to survive.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover See You In September, by Charity Norman
“Having broken up with her boyfriend, Cassy accepts an invitation to stay in an idyllic farming collective in New Zealand. Overcome by the beauty of the valley and swept up in the charisma of Justin, the community’s leader, Cassy becomes convinced that she has to stay. As Cassy becomes more and more entrenched, her frantic parents fight to bring her home—before Justin’s prophesied Last Day can come to pass.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover When Death Draws Near, by Carrie Stuart Parks
“Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before Gwen can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. When her digitally-obsessed teenage daughter joins her there, Gwen turn her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a serpent-handling church. Can Gwen uncover the truth before she becomes a victim herself?” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Wetlands, by Charlotte Roche
“With her jaunty dissection of the sex life and the grooming habits of the novel’s 18-year-old narrator, Helen Memel, Charlotte Roche has turned the previously unspeakable into a national conversation. Wetlands gives a detailed topography of Helen’s haemorrhoids, continues into the subject of anal intercourse and eventually reaches avocado pits as objects of female sexual satisfaction and – here is where the debate kicks in – just possibly female empowerment.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Secret History of Moscow, by Ekaterina Sedia
“Galina is a young woman caught, like her contemporaries, in the seeming lawlessness of the new Russia. In the midst of this chaos, her sister Maria turns into a jackdaw and flies away—prompting Galina to join Yakov, a policeman investigating a rash of recent disappearances. Their search will take them to the underground realm of hidden truths and archetypes, to find themselves caught between reality and myth, past and present, honor and betrayal . . . the secret history of Moscow.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover A Book of American Martyrs, by Joyce Carol Oates
“Gus Voorhees, a pioneer in women’s reproductive rights and controversial abortion provider, is ambushed by hardline Christian Luther Dunphy and shot dead. The killing leaves in its wake two fatherless families: the Voorheeses and the Dunphys. When the daughters of the two families glimpse each other at the trial of Luther Dunphy, their initial response is mutual hatred. But their lives are tangled together, and throughout the events that follow, neither can quite forget the other.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Devil’s Bible, by Dana Chamblee Carpenter
“The Devil’s Bible. Once considered an eighth wonder of the world, the ancient book is shrouded in mystery. No one knows who wrote it or where it was written. Even dry-boned scholars whisper about the secrets hidden in the book: how it calls to the power-hungry. How it drives people mad. How it was written in the shadows by the hand of the devil himself. But no one knows the truth—no one except Mouse…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

#inspired – Fashion and Beauty picks for June

June’s fashion and beauty update has plenty to get you #inspired – we have new style guides and makeup guides, as well as a peek at men’s street style across four continents. We have a book which promises the best skin of your life and a new volume all about fashion’s social media stars. We also get a close-up look at some of history’s most famous fashion moments, all gorgeously portrayed in bright and whimsical illustrations. Let us inspire you this winter!

Syndetics book coverDigit@l girls : fashion’s new tribe : risk takers, rule breakers, and disrupters / Marko MacPherson ; design by Shawn Dahl ; edited by Nicole Phelps ; text by Steff Yotka and Emily Siegel.
“Today’s leading online cultural influencers the female bloggers, designers, entrepreneurs, and activists who are shaping what’s hot and what’s not in fashion, beauty, and personal style. This book presents to readers the worlds of these stylish mavens and how they dress and style themselves. This of-the-moment volume is a must-have for fashionistas, beauty lovers, and those interested in following or following in the footsteps of these inspirational women.” (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverThe makeup of a confident woman : the science of beauty, the gift of time, and the power of putting your best face forward / by Trish McEvoy with Kristin Loberg.
“Internationally recognized makeup artist and trailblazing entrepreneur Trish McEvoy reveals her revolutionary, proven system that teaches women everywhere at any age to achieve total beauty security and confidence in this inspirational full-color playbook that is part empowering manifesto, part comprehensive how-to guide. Infused with Trish’s trademark charisma, this motivational, must-have resource is filled with highly practical takeaways and tutorials that will equip you with the tools to face life at your most beautiful and self-assured.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverThe way she wears it : the ultimate insider’s guide to revealing your personal style / Dallas Shaw.
“In The Way She Wears It, fashion illustrator and It girl Dallas Shaw shows you how to mix up your closet and shop like a rock star. Organized around a range of challenges, this lookbook-meets workbook-is a must for every woman, whether you’re a fashion novice trying to figure out your signature style, a fashionista who wants to step up her game, or the most stylish presence in the room looking to stay ahead of the competition.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverAlone in a crowd : men in this town / Giuseppe Santamaria.
“Photographer, blogger, art director and fashion enthusiast Giuseppe Santamaria invites us on a journey across four continents to explore men’s street style in eight inspiring cities – New York, Toronto, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, London, Florence and Paris. This striking photographic collection showcases unique men and their styles, from the classic silhouettes of Italian tailoring to the eccentric outfits of Manhattan and downtown Tokyo. Alone In A Crowd is a global sartorial adventure that captures the relationship of place, personality and fashion.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverTrue style is what’s underneath : the self-acceptance revolution / a style like u manifesto by Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum.
“In True style is what’s underneath, the mother-daughter duo behind the popular YouTube channel StyleLikeU and its viral video series, ‘The what’s underneath project’, celebrate the transformative power of personal style. Their manifesto and the diverse individuals featured within it reveal how style is not about what you wear, but rather the result of radical self-acceptance.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverGroundbreaking fashion / Jane Rocca ; illustrations by Juliet Sulejmani.
“A celebration of fashion’s most adventurous, outrageous moments. The modern history of fashion has always had significant turning points that altered everything that came afterwards. This book honours and celebrates these groundbreaking fashion moments. Each of the 100 fashion turning points is illustrated and put into its historical context — how and why it was ahead of the curve.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverThe young skin diet : science-based recipes & treatments to reveal your best skin ever / Michelle Lee.
“Get the diet book your skin has been waiting for! Learn how you can turn back the clock on skin aging.” (Amazon.com)

Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks

It’s the perfect season to stay inside in your home and there is so much you can do, decorate, cook, organize and more. We’ve also hand picked a NZ home buyer’s book if you are interested in tips for buying a new home.

Syndetics book coverThe home decluttering diet : organize your way to a clean and lean house / Jennifer Lifford.
“When Lifford got serious about organizing her home, she decided to follow the principles of a typical diet designed to lose weight. Think of every item in your house– and every item you bring in– as calories in food. To maintain weight, calories in must equal calories out. To lose weight, calories in must be less than calories out. New habits must be developed; psychological issues must be addressed; and sensible rewards must be established. This yearlong plan can help you organize your way to a clean and lean house.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMorning, noon, night : a way of living / written by Jodie Harrison, Lucy Quick and Alex Hawkins.
A Way of Living charts the Soho House journey in design, food and drink. From the perfect burger to the most inspiring art, from afternoon tea to how to light a room. Developing themes from their first book Eat, Drink, Nap, Soho House shares hints and tips to get the best out of what is around us morning, noon and night. They have included their favourite recipes for every event, tips on creating an inspiring workspace, how to dress an outdoor space and much more…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe deckchair gardener : an improper gardening manual / Anne Wareham.
“For those who want to enjoy their garden but don’t have the time, knowledge or inclination to do the hard work involved, this book is an indispensable guide for quick and easy ways to look after your little patch of paradise. Weeding out unnecessary advice and pruning back complicated instructions, Anne Wareham provides you with humorous, honest tips and the essential information you need to look after your garden, saving your energy and your back.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverCushions, curtains & blinds : step by step / project editor, Anne Hildyard.
“With 25 easy and stylish sewing projects including pouffes, bedspreads, and Roman blinds, you can customise every inch of your home. Add beautiful finishing touches to your soft furnishing creations with advice from the experts on how to tailor each piece to your space, and mix and match patterns and prints to create beautiful effects. Cushions, Curtains and Blinds Step-by-Step uses simple step-by-step instructions and beautiful photography to help you achieve professional and personal results every time – the perfect guide to sprucing up your home.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuyer beware : a New Zealand home buyer’s guide / Maria Slade.
“Property prices going through the stratosphere, leaky buildings, P contamination, bullying body corporates – purchasing a house today can feel akin to entering a minefield. Written by a news journalist who has covered many of the horror stories, this book takes a no-holds-barred look at the challenges facing home buyers and offers savvy advice on how to navigate that minefield. It will appeal to all home buyers, from first-timers hoping for a small apartment to older people looking to downsize and everyone in between. With chapters on the search, mortgages and legal aspects, types of title, buying at auction, buying off plans, checks and warning signs, bodies corporate and the special problems to be found in Christchurch, there is plenty of information for everyone.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe little book of slow / Sally Wise & Paul McIntyre.
“Part nostalgia, part how-to guide, The Little Book of Slow offers practical suggestions, recipes and more for making delicious food from scratch and cultivating meaningful activities and pastimes. Bestselling cookbook author Sally Wise teams up with radio personality Paul McIntyre to help you slow your life down, relax and de-stress with vintage inspiration from a more leisurely time. Discover how to make your own bread, pickles and preserves, fresh cheeses and yoghurt. Pack the perfect picnic, cook over a campfire or host a vintage-style high tea. Or be inspired to take up slow hobbies and pastimes like beachcombing, collecting vinyl, playing boardgames or cards and holding dinner parties.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSowHow : a modern guide to grow-your-own veg / Paul Matson, Lucy Anna Scott.
“SowHow is an innovative grow guide for the modern gardener. With its fresh, bright design and clear-cut advice, this clever little book provides all the informstion you need to grow your own vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. Whether you are looking to fill a garden, ad allotment, or a patio pot, get going and grow with SowHow!” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe art of living with nature : 50 beautiful projects to bring the outside in / Willow Crossley.
“Learn how to make beautiful, nature-inspired, decorations, and arrangements with The Art of Living with Nature. Filled with tips and useful techniques to make the most out of your blooms, there will be a project to suit every occasion–whether you need napkin rings made of sea urchins, a stunning display of spring narcissi planted in wooden wine boxes, or a stylish wall display of antlers and feathers. By combining her passions for the great outdoors and natural beauty, Willow provides instructions about how to make the most of your flower-shop purchases, beachcombing bounty, home-grown harvests, and hedgerow finds.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe interior book / photographs by Eugeni Pons.
“The interior design of homes can be looked at as a reflection of contemporary lifestyle and of cultural changes in our society. Designing residential spaces is a complex undertaking on the part of the architect and interior designer, whose main goal is to reconcile practical requirements with the functional and aesthetic needs of their clients. This volume is a richly illustrated exploration of residential interior design room by room: entry halls and hallways, kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, home offices, and outdoor spaces.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEntertaining in the country : love where you eat : festive table settings, favorite recipes, and design inspiration / Joan Osofsky & Abby Adams ; principal photography by John Gruen.
“Carefully selected for their flair when it comes to entertaining, the hosts welcome the reader into their homes in New York’s bucolic Hudson Valley and New England. Featured are food star Julia Turshen and Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge; Dana Cowin of Food & Wine fame; and Erin French, the James Beard–nominated chef/owner of The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, Maine. Throughout are ideas for setting festive tables, floral choices, and decorative touches, as well as how to create a functional kitchen and well-stocked pantry. A list of sources of regional markets carrying local products rounds out this go-to entertaining guide.” (Provided by publisher)

New eAudiobook Non-Fiction in May

There’s nothing like a secret to get you reading, and this month’s selection of eAudiobook non-fiction from Overdrive has a heap of them. What goes on in the universe? What goes on in North Korea? What went on in the brain of a deceased American footballer (and the corporation they worked for)? All these mysteries – and more! – will be revealed. Just sign in to Overdrive and prepare to never see the world in the same way again…

Overdrive cover Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
“What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these questions than acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in digestible chapters consumable anytime in your busy day.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Concussion, by Jeanne Marie Laskas
“Dr Bennet Omalu had no idea that the body of an American footballer would change his life, and ultimately the world. Dr Omalu found that the psychosis suffered by “Iron Mike” Webster was the result of years of blows to the head in games. He knew it would keep killing other sportsmen unless something was done. He believed that the N.F.L., one of the most powerful corporations in America, would welcome the discovery. Instead, Omalu himself became a target.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Lost Art of Listening, by Michael P. Nichols
“In this thoughtful and witty book, experienced therapist Michael P. Nichols, PhD, provides vivid examples, easy-to-learn techniques and practical exercises for becoming a better listener and making yourself heard and understood, even in difficult situations.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Secrets of My Life, by Caitlyn Jenner
“In her new memoir, Caitlyn Jenner chronicles her life as Bruce and her brave transition into womanhood. The book covers Caitlyn Jenner’s childhood as Bruce Jenner and rise to fame as a gold-medal-winning Olympic decathlete; her marriages and her relationships with her children; her transition; and her experience as the world’s most famous transgender woman.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Dear Leader, by Jang Jin-Sung
“Jang Jin-sung held one of the most senior ranks in North Korea’s propaganda machine. Among his tasks were developing the founding myth of North Korea, posing undercover as a South Korean intellectual and writing epic poems in support of the dictator, Kim Jong-il. Yet he could not ignore his conscience. After breaking security rules, Jang Jin-sung was forced to flee for his life: away from lies and deceit, towards truth and freedom.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover My Adventures with God, by Stephen Tobolowsky
My Adventures with God is a series of short stories exploring the idea that most people’s lives seem to fit into the template of the Old Testament. Tobolowsky’s stories tell of a boy growing up in the wilds of Texas, finding and losing love, losing and finding himself—all told through the prism of the Torah and Talmud, mixed with insights from science, and refined through a child’s sense of wonder.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Road to Jonestown, by Jeff Guinn
“Jeff Guinn examines the life of Jim Jones, from his extramarital affairs, drug use and fraudulent faith healing to the fraught decision to move almost a thousand of his followers to the jungles of Guyana. Guinn provides stunning new details of the events leading to the fatal day in November, 1978 when more than nine hundred people died—including almost three hundred infants and children—after being ordered to swallow a cyanide-laced drink.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover How to Be a Bawse, by Lilly Singh
“From actress, comedian and YouTube sensation Lilly Singh (aka Superwoman) comes the definitive guide to being a BAWSE – a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently and smiles genuinely because they’ve fought through it all and made it out the other side. Told in her hilarious, bold voice that’s inspired over 9 million fans, and using stories from her own life to illustrate her message, Lilly proves that there are no shortcuts to success.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Tranny, by Laura Jane Grace
“A searing account of the search for identity and self, Tranny reveals the struggles and victories that Laura Jane Grace, the lead singer of the cult punk rock band Against Me! experienced in her quest for gender transition. Grappling with sex, drugs, failed marriages, music and soul, this memoir paints a vivid portrait of one of the most revolutionary transgender icons of our time.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish
Trump Revealed offers the most thorough and wide-ranging examination of Donald Trump’s public and private lives to date, from his upbringing in Queens and formative years at the New York Military Academy, to his turbulent careers in real estate and entertainment, to his astonishing rise as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

New Popular non-fiction books

Our first book this month follows a currently hot topic, that of gender bias in the workplace. Then follow some books on politics, including a wry take on the recent USA election, by author P. J. O’Rourke. We end with a good old fashioned Cold War spy story.

Syndetics book coverProgrammed inequality : how Britain discarded women technologists and lost its edge in computing / Marie Hicks.
“In 1944, Britain led the world in electronic computing. By 1974, the British computer industry was all but extinct. What happened in the intervening thirty years holds lessons for all post-industrial superpowers. In Programmed Inequality, Marie Hicks explores the story of labor feminization and gendered technocracy that undercut British efforts to computerize. That failure sprang from the government’s systematic neglect of its largest trained technical workforce simply because they were women. Hicks explains why, even today, possessing technical skill is not enough to ensure that women will rise to the top in science and technology fields.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow the hell did this happen? : the election of 2016 / P.J. O’Rourke.
“This election cycle was so absurd that celebrated political satirist, journalist, and die-hard Republican P. J. O’Rourke endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. As P.J. put it, “America is experiencing the most severe outbreak of mass psychosis since the Salem witch trials of 1692. So why not put Hillary on the dunking stool?” In How the Hell Did This Happen?, P.J. brings his critical eye and inimitable voice to some seriously risky business. Following his come-to-Satan moment with Hillary and the Beginning of End Times in November, P.J. reckons with a new age: “America is experiencing a change in the nature of leadership. We’re getting rid of our leaders. And we’re starting at the top.”” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDemocracy for realists : why elections do not produce responsive government / Christopher H. Achen, Larry M. Bartels.
Democracy for Realists assails the romantic folk-theory at the heart of contemporary thinking about democratic politics and government, and offers a provocative alternative view grounded in the actual human nature of democratic citizens. Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. When parties are roughly evenly matched, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns beyond the incumbents’ control; the outcomes are essentially random. Thus, voters do not control the course of public policy, even indirectly…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat we do now : standing up for your values in Trump’s America / edited by Dennis Johnson and Valerie Merians.
“This collection of essays by progressive leaders suggest actual strategies on how to move forward in resistance to a Trump administration.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUtopia for realists : how we can build the ideal world / Rutger Bregman ; translated from the Dutch by Elizabeth Manton.
“From one of Europe’s leading young thinkers, a brief history of utopia and a pragmatic manifesto for how to improve the lives of the 99 percent today. A majority of Americans report that they would take two extra weeks of vacation above two extra weeks of salary, half of all business professionals say that their work offers no meaning or significance, and nearly half of all American jobs are at a high risk of being usurped by machines. Meanwhile, after working all day at jobs we often dislike, we buy things we don’t need. Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian, reminds us it needn’t be this way-and in some places it isn’t.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover“Curbing catastrophe : natural hazards and risk reduction in the modern world / Timothy H. Dixon.
“What does Japan’s 2011 nuclear accident have in common with the 2005 flooding of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina? This thought-provoking book presents a compelling account of recent and historical disasters, both natural and human-caused, drawing out common themes and providing a holistic understanding of hazards, disasters and mitigation. The book shows how billions of dollars and countless lives could be saved by adopting longer-term thinking for infrastructure planning and building, and argues that better communication is vital in reducing global risks and preventing future catastrophes.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTo be a machine : adventures among cyborgs, utopians, hackers, and the futurists solving the modest problem of death / Mark O’Connell.
“Transhumanism is a movement pushing the limits of our biology–of our senses, intelligence, and life spans. It has been quietly exerting its influence on technology for decades, but in the last few years it has achieved critical mass, finding support among some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley and beyond. In To Be a Machine, journalist Mark O’Connell explores the staggering (and terrifying) possibilities that present themselves when you think of your body as an outmoded device. In investigating what it means to be a machine, he offers a surprising meditation of what it means to be human.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Times companion to 2016 / [edited by Ian Brunskill].
“… brings together some of the best articles – and photographs and graphics – published by The Times between September 2015 and August 2016. … a lively mix of news features and reportage, profiles and interviews, opinion columns and expert analysis.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverConnected world : from automated work to virtual wars : the future, by those who are shaping it / Philip Larrey.
“The world as we know it is changing. Driverless cars, drone deliveries and autonomous weapon systems are no longer the stuff of science fiction. But what’s next for technology and business, and what impact will it have on our society? In Connected World. Philip Larrey of the Pontifical Lateran University explores the consequences of the new digital age in conversation with an unparalleled set of global thought-leaders…..” (adapted from Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe man with the poison gun : a Cold War spy story / Serhii Plokhy.
“In the fall of 1961, KGB assassin Bogdan Stashinsky defected to West Germany. After spilling his secrets to the CIA, Stashinsky was put on trial in what would be the most publicized assassination case of the entire Cold War. The publicity stirred up by the Stashinsky case forced the KGB to change its modus operandi abroad and helped end the career of Aleksandr Shelepin, one of the most ambitious and dangerous Soviet leaders. Stashinsky’s story would inspire films, plays, and books–including Ian Fleming’s last James Bond novel, The Man with the Golden Gun. A thrilling tale of Soviet spy craft, complete with exploding parcels, elaborately staged coverups, double agents, and double crosses…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Some popular new non-fiction books for your reading pleasure

Some ‘better news’ books this time, beginning with The Fix. “Just when it looks like the world’s problems couldn’t get much worse, The Fix cuts through the gloom like a ray of sunshine” says Adam Grant. Find it, and more, in this month’s selections.

Syndetics book coverThe fix : how nations survive and thrive in a world in decline / Jonathan Tepperman.
“From immigration reform to energy resources, from political paralysis to inequality and extremism, we are beset by a raft of huge and seemingly insurmountable issues… What goes under-reported are the success stories. Here, taking ten of the most knotty issues we face today, Jonathan Tepperman examines unsung individuals’ bold and innovative attempts against all odds and expectations to solve some of the important problems governments have struggled with for decades. The solutions described in the book aren’t speculative: they’ve all already been tried, and they work. Controversial, provocative but always stimulating, Tepperman here offers a powerful, data-driven case for optimism.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAge is just a number : what a 97-year-old record-breaker can teach us about growing older / Charles Eugster with Matt Whyman.
“Retired dental surgeon Charles Eugster rekindled a love of competitive rowing he’d neglected for most of his adult life at the age of 63. He took up bodybuilding at the age of 87. And at the age of 95 he started sprinting for the first time in his life, becoming World Champion at 200m indoor and 400m outdoor. He is a world record holder for his age group in a number of sports, and has 40 Gold Medals for World Masters Rowing. In this book, Charles shares his journey and his passionate belief that growing older needn’t slow you down. And he shows his readers how taking on new challenges, learning new things, and improving your body as it ages is not only fun, but rewarding for the individual, and beneficial to society.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverProgress : ten reasons to look forward to the future / Johan Norberg.
“It’s on the televisions, in the papers and in our minds. Every day were bludgeoned by news of how bad everything is. Financial collapse, unemployment, growing poverty, environmental disasters, disease, hunger, war. But the rarely acknowledged reality is that the economic and social progress of the past few decades has been unprecedented and that by almost any index you care to identify, things are markedly better now than they have ever been for almost everyone alive. Examining official data from the worlds most trusted institutions like the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, political commentator Johan Norberg traces just how far we have come in tackling the greatest global problems.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHalf the sky : how to change the world / Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
“Two Pulitzer Prize winners issue a call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women in the developing world. They show that a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad and that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAttack of the 50 ft. women : how gender equality can save the world! / Catherine Mayer.
“Not a single country anywhere in the world has achieved gender equality. In more than a few countries, progress for women has stalled or is reversing. Voters in the United States chose a misogynist over a female candidate for President. Yet in many of these countries, the majority of politicians and business leaders profess to believe in gender equality-as well they might. One report predicts a boost to global GDP of GBP8.3 trillion by 2025 simply by making faster progress towards narrowing the gender gap…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe four-dimensional human : ways of being in the digital world / Laurence Scott.
“A constellation of everyday digital phenomena is rewiring our inner lives. We are increasingly coaxed from the three-dimensional containment of our pre-digital selves into a wonderful and eerie fourth dimension, a world of ceaseless communication, instant information and global connection. Our portals to this new world have been wedged open, and the silhouette of a figure is slowly taking shape. But what does it feel like to be four-dimensional? How do digital technologies influence the rhythms of our thoughts, the style and tilt of our consciousness? What new sensitivities and sensibilities are emerging with our exposure to the delights, sorrows and anxieties of a networked world? And how do we live in public, with these recoded private lives?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWe do things differently : the outsiders rebooting our world / Mark Stevenson.
“Our systems are failing. Old models – for education, healthcare and government, food production, energy supply – are creaking under the weight of modern challenges. As the world’s population heads towards 10 billion, it’s clear we need new approaches. Futurologist Mark Stevenson sets out to find them, across four continents. From Brazilian favelas to high tech Boston, from rural India to a shed inventor in England’s home counties, ‘We Do Things Differently’ travels the world to find the advance guard re-imagining our future.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMan of iron : Thomas Telford and the building of Britain / Julian Glover.
“The enthralling biography of the shepherd boy who changed the world with his revolutionary engineering and whose genius we still benefit from today… With his revolutionary vision, Telford invented the modern road and created the backbone of our national road network, tying England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales together, resulting in his being dubbed ‘The Colossus of Roads’. His elegant bridges are the greatest of the pre-twentieth century, the Menai Bridge a wonder of its time and our own while the famous Pontcysyllte aqueduct in Wales with its dramatic and alarming exposed heights is a UNESCO world heritage site and still a huge draw for tourists…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe master algorithm : how the quest for the ultimate learning machine will remake our world / Pedro Domingos.
Algorithms increasingly run our lives. They find books, movies, jobs, and dates for us, manage our investments, and discover new drugs. And in the world’s top research labs and universities, the race is on to invent the ultimate learning algorithm: one capable of discovering any knowledge from data, and doing anything we want, before we even ask. Pedro Domingos, one of the field’s leading lights, lifts the veil for the first time to give us a peek inside the learning machines that power Google, Amazon, and your smartphone. Step by step, he assembles a blueprint for the future universal learner – the Master Algorithm – and discusses what it means for you, and for the future of business, science, and society… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe brain defense : murder in Manhattan and the dawn of neuroscience in America’s courtrooms / Kevin Davis.
“In 1991, the police were called to East 72nd St. in Manhattan, where a woman’s body had fallen from a twelfth-story window. The woman’s husband, Herbert Weinstein, soon confessed to having hit and strangled his wife after an argument, then dropping her body out of their apartment window to make it look like a suicide. Shortly after Weinstein was arrested, an MRI revealed a cyst the size of an orange on his brain’s frontal lobe, the part of the brain that governs judgment and impulse control. The Weinstein case marked the dawn of a new era in America’s courtrooms.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe kingdom of women : life, love and death in China’s hidden mountains / Choo WaiHong.
“This is one of the last matriarchal societies on earth, where the women hold power. They make the major decisions, control household finances, have rightful ownership of land and property and full rights to the children born to them. Most notably, the Mosuo practice something called ‘walking marriage’ where, from the age of 13, women can choose to take lovers – as many or as few as they wish – from men within the tribe. Choo Waihong discovered the Mosuo several years ago and lived with them for six years, becoming part of a Mosuo family and of the wider community – the only non-Mosuo to have ever done so. The story of her time in the remote mountains of China is both poignant and compelling: a vibrant glimpse into a way of life that teeters on the knife-edge of extinction.” (Syndetics summary)

New eBook Fiction in May

There’s a distinctly piratical theme to this month’s new eBook fiction from Overdrive. And while the temptation to write the rest of this blog in a piratical accent is strong, I’ll refrain from any “Arrrghs” or “Shiver Me Timbers”. Did you know the pirate accent is actually based on that of the West Country in England (specifically the Dorset accent of actor Robert Newton)? The West Country has also been home to a great range of authors, from Agatha Christie to Jacqueline Wilson. Whatever your tastes, sign up to Overdrive to share in the literary plunder!

Overdrive cover Pirate Latitudes, by Michael Crichton
“Jamaica 1665. A lone British outpost in Spanish-controlled Caribbean waters. Its capital, Port Royal, is a cutthroat town of taverns and bawdy houses – and the last place anyone would expect an attack to be launched on a Spanish stronghold. Yet that is the plan of renowned privateer Captain Charles Hunter and Charles II’s ruling governor, Sir James Almont. If they succeed they will make history … and a fortune in gold.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Romance Reader’s Guide to Life, by Sharon Pywell
“Growing up in the shadow of the Second World War, the lives of sisters Lilly and Neave could not be more different. While Lilly is breaking hearts, Neave escapes reality in an illicit copy of The Pirate Lover. When the men return from war, the sisters are expected to settle down; instead they set out to create a makeup empire. But just as business is taking off, Lilly disappears. Desperate to find her, Neave discovers a whole new meaning to the truth being stranger than fiction.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Pigs in Heaven, by Barbara Kingsolver
“Six-year-old Turtle Greer witnesses a freak accident at the Hoover Dam during a tour of the Grand Canyon. Her insistence on what she has seen, and her mother’s belief in her, lead to a man’s dramatic rescue. The mother and adopted daughter duo soon become nationwide heroes – even landing themselves a guest appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show. But Turtle’s moment of celebrity draws her into a conflict of historic proportions…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Golden Legend, by Nadeem Aslam
“When shots ring out on the Grand Trunk Road, Nargis’s husband dies before she can confess to him her greatest secret. Under threat from a military intelligence officer, who demands that she pardon her husband’s American killer, Nargis fears that the truth about her past will be exposed. Against this background of violence, two outsiders – the Christian, Helen and the mysterious Imran – try to find an island of calm in which their love can grow.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Carnival Sky, by Owen Marshall
“Sheff is disillusioned with journalism and, with plans to travel overseas, chucks in his job. But first he goes south to Alexandra, where his father is dying. He becomes caught up with his family in the agonising inertia of waiting for approaching death. Slowly he comes to terms with suppressed issues of loss, love, resentment and commitment, and acknowledges he must reach out for new relationships.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Corrag, by Susan Fletcher
“The Massacre of Glencoe happened in February 1692 when thirty-eight members of the Macdonald clan were killed by soldiers. Fifty miles to the south Corrag is condemned for her involvement, accused of witchcraft and awaits death. Charles Leslie, an Irish propagandist, hears of the massacre and comes to question her. As Corrag tells her story, a friendship develops between them that alters both their lives.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Into the Darkest Corner, by Elizabeth Haynes
“Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Lee is gorgeous, charismatic and spontaneous – almost too perfect to be true. But there’s a darker side to Lee. As his behaviour becomes increasingly controlling, Catherine is more and more isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, she plans her escape. And she succeeds. Four years later, Catherine dares to believe she might be safe. But is she?” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Not So Much, Said the Cat, by Michael Swanwick
“The master of literary science fiction returns with this dazzling new collection. Michael Swanwick takes us on a whirlwind journey across the globe and across time and space, where magic and science exist in possibilities that are not of this world. These tales are intimate in their telling, galactic in their scope, and delightfully sesquipedalian in their verbiage. Join the caravan through Swanwick’s worlds and into the playground of his mind.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Last Night at the Lobster, by Stewart O’Nan
“The Red Lobster chain restaurant perched in a run-down American mall hasn’t been making its numbers and headquarters has pulled the plug. But manager Manny DeLeon still needs to navigate a tricky last shift and a final onslaught of hungry lunatics. All the while, he’s wondering how to handle the waitress he’s still in love with, his pregnant girlfriend and the location of the Christmas present that will make it all better.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Great and Secret Show, by Clive Barker
“In the little town of Palomo Grove, two armies are amassing; forces shaped from the hearts and souls of America. In this New York Times bestseller, Barker unveils one of the most ambitious imaginative landscapes in modern fiction, creating a new vocabulary for the battle between good and evil. From the first stirring of consciousness to a vision of the end of the world, The Great and Secret Show is a breath-taking journey.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)