December Community & Languages Newsletter

Welcome to this month’s book and DVD selection featuring history, cooking and crafts, foreign literature, awarded films, and more! A good range of topics to offer you lots of ideas, instant inspiration and entertainment. Have fun!

Library News

New Zealand

This month the New Zealand Collection takes a walk down memory lane reflecting on the New Zealand of childhoods. We also take a look into the Rugby World and the success of the All Blacks.

Syndetics book cover Taking my mother to the opera / Diane Brown.
“Many readers will recognise the New Zealand so vividly portrayed here, as Brown marshals deeply personal events and childhood memories in a delightfully astute, understated personal memoir.” (Abridged back cover)
Syndetics book cover A life on film / Geoff Murphy.
“‘I’m taking this bloody car to Invercargill!’ It was the line that had cinema audiences cheering. Goodbye Pork Pie became an instant classic, and announced the arrival of a major new talent in director Geoff Murphy. With his next two films, Utu and The Quiet Earth, he cemented his reputation as a pioneer of New Zealand cinema. He’d come a long way from his days as a struggling school teacher, and then a member of a madcap band of merry pranksters known as Blerta, founded by his great friend and collaborator Bruno Lawrence. But it was the same sense of adventure – with a healthy dose of Kiwi ingenuity – that defined every stage of his career. In this candid and funny memoir, Geoff Murphy looks back on a life in (and on) film – from do-it-yourself shoots in the 1960s to epic work on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Black obsession : the All Blacks’ quest for World Cup success / Gregor Paul.
“This thought-provoking book is a search for answers to the vexing phenomenon of why the world’s undisputed greatest rugby team can’t win the World Cup. It is an in-depth investigation that explores how societal change, combined with the arrival of professionalism, has impacted on the ability of the All Blacks to perform on the biggest stage. The end result is a compelling and authoritative read that gives the most detailed and comprehensive answer to a question everyone has asked but no one has ever satisfactorily answered.” (Abridged Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The antipodeans : a novel / Greg McGee.
“Beginning with the return to Venice of an old and sick man determined to confront his past, and accompanied by his daughter who is escaping hers, The Antipodeans spans three generations of a New Zealand family and their interaction with three families of Northern Italy. From Venice to the South Island of New Zealand, from the assassination of a Gestapo commander in the last days of Italian resistance in WWII to contemporary real estate shenanigans in Auckland, from political assassination in the darkest days of the Red Brigade to the vaulting cosmology of particle physics.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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DVDs

The highlights of new arrival DVDs include the long-awaited Woman in Gold and A Royal Night Out. Check out our new DVDs here and reserve the items you like.

cover image Woman in gold.
“Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann, starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt’s famous painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer Randy Schoenberg, she embarks upon a major battle which takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the U.S. Supreme Court.” (Syndetics summary)
cover image A royal night out.
A Royal Night Out is a film about one perfect, glorious evening in the lives of two real-life princesses. They are Elizabeth and Margaret Windsor and the night is 8 May 1945, V-E Night. The whole of London is on the streets to celebrate the official end of World War II in Europe. It is known the young princesses, aged 19 and 14, slipped out of the palace to join the communal euphoria and went dancing at the Ritz. They apparently returned to Buckingham Palace just after midnight. Directed by acclaimed UK director Julian Jarrold, A Royal Night Out is an affectionate ‘what-if’ story about the adventures Elizabeth and Margaret might have had on the joyous night that brought the whole of London together.” (Syndetics summary)
cover image Indian summers.
“Set against the sweeping grandeur of the Himalayas and tea plantations of Northern India, this epic drama tells the rich and explosive story of the decline of the British Empire and the birth of modern India, from both sides of the experience.” (Syndetics summary)
cover image Dior and I.
“A thrilling behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’s highly anticipated first Haute Couture collection as Christian Dior’s new Artistic Director. Beautifully melding the everyday, pressure-filled components of fashion with an elegant reverence for the history of Dior, Tcheng’s colorful homage is nothing short of magical.” (Syndetics summary)
cover image The salt of the earth : a journey with Sebastião Salgado.
“For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastião Salgado has been travelling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvation and exodus.” (Syndetics summary)

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Community Languages

Explore some delightful additions to our Community Languages collection including history, romance and suspense. Enjoy!

Syndetics book cover Rue des boutiques obscures / Patrick Modiano.
“Paul Modiano is a French writer who was born on July 30, 1945, in Boulogne-Billancourt. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2014 for his lifetime body of work. Modiano’s works explore the traumas of the Nazi occupation of France and the puzzle of identity. His preoccupation with the theme of identity can be seen throughout many of his works including his 2005 memoir entitled Un Pedigree. His mother and father began their clandestine relationship during occupied France. Growing up, his father was absent for most of his life and his mother was away frequently while on tour acting. He was alone much of the time and went to school because of government aid. His younger brother died of a disease at age 10 and this added to his “lost identity” feelings while growing up. Although he is well known in France, only about 12 of his works have been translated into English.” (Bowker Author Biography)
Syndetics book cover Etoile errante / J.M.G. Le Clézio.
“This is the story of two teenage girls on the threshold and in the aftermath of World War II: Esther, a French Jew who flees for Jerusalem with her mother, Elizabeth, just before the German occupation; and Nejma, a young Arab orphaned and unable to return to the ancient city of her birth, Akka, after the Israeli declaration of statehood.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Contigo en la distancia / Carla Guelfenbein.
“Spanish Description: Los laberintos del amor y la mentira, y el talento desigual como desafío de una pareja son los grandes temas de esta novela de Carla Guelfenbein. A Vera Sigall y Horacio Infante los une un amor de juventud y su pasión por la literatura. También un lazo misterioso que dos jóvenes, Emilia y Daniel, intentan desentrañar. Sin embargo, este no es el único enigma en sus vidas. Una mañana, Vera Sigall cae por las escaleras de su casa y queda en coma. Al principio, la noción de que su caída no fue un accidente aparece como una sospecha para Daniel. Pero con los días y las semanas, la duda irá creciendo hasta volverse una certeza. Emilia y Daniel se encontrarán en la búsqueda de la verdad acerca del accidente de la mítica escritora pero, sobre todo, en la necesidad de entender sus propios destinos.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Platos exprés : 175 deliciosas recetas listas en 30 minutos o menos / Liz Franklin ; [traducción, Eva María Cantenys Félez].
“Meal times are an opportunity to unwind and share quality time with your family–talking and laughing while enjoying savory food. This book shows you how to do just that while minimizing preparation and fuss. The cookbook is divided into six easy chapters featuring recipes that can be made in just 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 minutes. Forget prepared supermarket convenience meals or take-out. Instead, discover how to create scrumptious meals from fresh ingredients–quick. These recipes are loaded with homemade taste, are significantly cheaper than frozen dinners, and can be made in only a matter of minutes.” (Syndetics summary)

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Cooking

This collection of cookbooks will inspire you to create wholesome, healthy meals easily and without stress.

Syndetics book cover Salads in a Jar / Courtney Roulston.
“In our busy lives, we are always looking for nutritious, delicious, satisfying meals that are fast and simple to prepare. Salads in a Jar will show you how you can take it to another level, layering jars with salads to create lunches or breakfasts on the go….the salads are portable, the packaging is environmentally friendly and the recipes are delicious. Because the salads can last for several days in the fridge, you can always have yummy breakfasts and lunches ready to go.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover From Venice to Istanbul / Rick Stein.
“From the mythical heart of Greece to the fruits of the Black Sea coast; from Croatian and Albanian flavors to the spices and aromas of Turkey and beyond–the cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean is a vibrant melting pot brimming with character. This book includes more than 100 spectacular recipes discovered by Rick during his travels. this collection of inspiring recipes evokes the magic of the Eastern Mediterranean at home.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Janella’s Super Natural Foods / Janella Purcell.
“With more than 150 fantastic recipes for healthy and delicious meals, desserts, snacks, drinks, and dressings,…Janella’s philosophy of using “food as medicine” is simple and easy to follow. Many of the recipes have been influenced by Janella’s travels to Italy, Japan, India, the Middle East, and South East Asia. Clearly marked with relevant codes–gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, raw, soy free, nut free, or grain free–each recipe also contains a few alternative ingredient suggestions to please all of the friends and family seated around your table. ” (Syndetics summary)

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Craft

There’s nothing more satisfying than making Christmas cards and gifts for your family and friends and you will find lots of new library books, packed with magical ideas and inspiration to help you make this season special.

Syndetics book cover Half yard Christmas : easy sewing projects using left-over pieces of fabric / Debbie Shore.
“Are you craving a crafty, creative Christmas? Let Debbie Shore show you how to create all the accessories you’ll need in the latest addition to her best-selling Half Yard series. Featuring six themed chapters – rustic, traditional, contemporary, monochrome, Scandinavian and kids – there’s something for everyone: you can select your favourite Christmas style or mix and match throughout your home. With over 30 simple, stylish projects requiring only half yards of fabric, this book will have you feeling festive in no time.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Handmade interiors / project editor, Laura Palosuo.
Handmade Interiors is the most comprehensive guide to soft furnishings and home sewing projects on the market. Handmade Interiors leads you through sewing projects such as how to sew curtains, a cushion cover or a Roman blind using step-by-step instructions and images. Compiled by experts in home design who offer advice on fabrics and variations to tailor to your specific home decoration needs. The easy to follow format makes this the perfect guide for novices and experts alike, covering the whole process of creating professional looking furnishings, from measuring, all the way through to installing your finished project.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Rubber band bracelets : 35 colorful projects you’ll love to make / Lucy Hopping.
“Everyone’s crazy for rubber-band jewelry! Discover how to make 3 fantastic designs for yourself and your friends. All you need to make the basic bracelets are colourful rubber bands, a loom that you can make yourself, a hook, and a clip or split ring–it’s that simple! The patterns in this book show you how to make a whole host of different items that you can customize by choosing your own colourways. Every one of these projects, from a pretty diamond bracelet to cute ladybug and bee bracelets, will inspire you to get crafting. All the projects have clear step-by-step illustrated instructions, so you’ll be an expert in no time!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Neck effects : 30 scarves, wraps, and cowls to knit for now.
“Nurture your neck! Neck Effects offers knitters a creative collection of 30 fresh, fashion-forward neckwear designs featuring Cascade Yarns’ Heritage line of luxurious, easy-care superwash merino blends. From cozy cables to delicate lace to stunning Fair Isle, knitters of every skill level will find projects that are destined to become modern classics–and that will make great gifts for anyone with a love of knits and a sense of style!” (Syndetics summary)

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New Zealand in German Samoa

On 29 August 1914, New Zealand troops arrived in Samoa and seized it from German control. This turned out to be a reasonably simple expedition but at the time it was regarded as potentially risky, with unknown consequences.

Samoa had been under German rule since 1900, but the presence of Germany in Samoa predates this. In 1855 Germany expanded its trading into the Pacific, initiating large-scale production of coconut, cacao and hevea rubber in Samoa (then known as the Navigator Islands). America and the United Kingdom also had business interests in the Pacific and opposed the German activity, which lead to the Second Samoan Civil War in 1899. Following this war, the Samoan islands were divided between the three opposing powers, with Germany being awarded what is today known as Western Samoa. It became regarded as the ‘jewel’ of German colonialism.

At the outbreak of war in 1914, Samoa was of moderate strategic importance to Germany. Using the radio transmitter located in the hills above Apia, German troops were able to send Morse code signals to Berlin, as well as communicate with the 90 warships in Germany’s naval fleet. Britain wanted this threat neutralised and New Zealand agreed to seize Samoa from Germany.

officers
Officers attached to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Samoa. Tattersall, Alfred James, 1866-1951 :Photographs of Samoa. Ref: PAColl-3062-3-18. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23195986

New Zealand troops departed from Wellington on the morning of Saturday 15 August in two ships, Monowai and Moeraki. These two ships had been requisitioned from the Union Steam Ship Company as transports, and were therefore slow and unarmed. These two unlikely war ships left the New Zealand convoy extremely vulnerable as they travelled to Samoa, especially as the location of the German East Asia Squadron was unknown to the Allies throughout their two week journey.

moeraki
S S Moeraki leaving Wellington. Dickie, John, 1869-1942 :Collection of postcards, prints and negatives. Ref: 1/1-002258-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22460165

When the New Zealand convoy reached French New Caledonia, they were joined by the Royal Australian Navy’s battlecruiser HMAS Australia, the light cruiser HMAS Melbourne and the French armoured cruiser Montcalm. While the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 is acknowledged as the birth of the Anzac legend, the first Australian–New Zealand military operation of the First World War was actually the capture of German Samoa in August 1914.

landing
Tattersall, Alfred James, 1866-1951. New Zealand troops landing in Samoa during World War I. Making New Zealand :Negatives and prints from the Making New Zealand Centennial collection. Ref: MNZ-0366-1/4-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22716395

Upon reaching Samoa, it became known to the New Zealand convoy that the German defences there were in fact quite weak; they had only 20 troops and special constables armed with 50 aging rifles. The Samoa Advance Party of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force landed at Apia on 29 August with no opposition. It was later discovered that the German administration had received orders from Berlin not to oppose an Allied invasion.

camp
Part of camp, Malifa, Western Samoa. Hackworth, Philip Vernon, d 1960 :Photograph album. Ref: PA1-q-107-36-2. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22806414

A fortnight later, on 14 September, the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau arrived off Apia and the New Zealand garrison braced itself for large-calibre gunfire. Luckily, the cruisers left once their skippers realised that Samoa was no longer in German hands. Samoa was then declared to be under a New Zealand-run British military occupation. The British flag was raised outside the government building in Apia and Samoa became the second German territory, after Togoland in Africa, to fall to the Allies in the First World War.

troops
Star Boating Club :Photograph of members of the club who went to Samoa with Expeditionary Force, 1914.. Ref: PAColl-5216. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22348195

If you would like to learn more about New Zealand in German Samoa, we have some materials available:

Syndetics book coverFighting for empire: New Zealand and the Great War of 1914-1918 / Christopher Pugsley.
“One hundred thousand New Zealanders sailed to war between 1914 and 1918, and at the end of four years of conflict the country had suffered 60,000 casualties, including 18,000 dead. Dr Chris Pugsley’s account of the First World War (first published as a section in Scars on the Heart: 200 Years of NZ at War, Bateman, 1996), is a tale of learning about war the hard way, by bitter and costly experience, drawing on photographs, letters and diaries to examine the impact of war through the eyes of those involved. This lively mix of text, photographs and soldiers’ own accounts covers all aspects of the war: from NZ’s seizing German Samoa five days after war was declared, ANZAC Cove and Gallipoli, patriotism at home, Mounted Rifles in Sinai and Palestine, the role of our nurses, the Western Front, and ‘Sea Dogs and Flying Aces – how our sailors and airmen fought the war’.” (Syndetics summary)

THE SAMOA (N.Z.) EXPEDITIONARY FORCE
We have this book in our New Zealand Rare books collection. Published in 1924, it is in a fragile condition but may be viewed by request at the 2nd floor enquiries desk.

photoa 2photoa 1.jpga

Information sourced from NZ History and Wikipedia
Images sourced from Timeframes

A walk down memory lane – NZ Collection Recent Picks

This month the New Zealand Collection takes a walk down memory lane with two writers reflecting on the New Zealand of their childhoods. We also get a look into the lives of conservation stalwart Alan Mark and filmmaker Geoff Murphy. Design and art feature in books on vintage paua jewellery and the Wellington based WOW phenomenon. An historical whodunit set in Taranaki at a time of uneasy race relations in the 1880’s and a blog written by a dying father for his unborn daughter bring this New Zealand Collection recent arrivals almost to an end but in light of the upcoming weekend of Rugby world cup finals the last two picks are both All Black focused.

Syndetics book coverTaking my mother to the opera / Diane Brown.
“Many readers will recognise the New Zealand so vividly portrayed here, as Brown marshals deeply personal events and childhood memories in a delightfully astute, understated personal memoir.” (Abridged back cover)

Syndetics book coverThe dreaming land / Martin Edmond.
“In the evocative prose that makes him one of our finest writers, Martin Edmond recalls his experiences of growing up in rural New Zealand in the 1950s and 60s. The son of schoolteachers, Edmond’s early life was shaped by his father’s developing career and the moves it dictated: from Ohakune, to Greytown, to Huntly, to Heretaunga. The Dreaming Land shows us the making of a thinker and a writer. Edmond documents the people, locations, and events that made a lasting impression on him, and maps the development of his mental landscape, a landscape marked by curiosity, empathy and the capacity for acute observation.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA life on film / Geoff Murphy.
“‘I’m taking this bloody car to Invercargill!’ It was the line that had cinema audiences cheering. Goodbye Pork Pie became an instant classic, and announced the arrival of a major new talent in director Geoff Murphy. With his next two films, Utu and The Quiet Earth, he cemented his reputation as a pioneer of New Zealand cinema. He’d come a long way from his days as a struggling school teacher, and then a member of a madcap band of merry pranksters known as Blerta, founded by his great friend and collaborator Bruno Lawrence. But it was the same sense of adventure – with a healthy dose of Kiwi ingenuity – that defined every stage of his career. In this candid and funny memoir, Geoff Murphy looks back on a life in (and on) film – from do-it-yourself shoots in the 1960s to epic work on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStanding my ground : a voice for nature conservation / Alan F. Mark
“For more than five decades, Alan Mark has been a voice for conservation in New Zealand. From his call in the 1960s for the establishment of tussock-grassland reserves in the South Island high country to his involvement in the 2011–13 campaign to save the Denniston Plateau from mining, he has been a passionate and effective advocate for the preservation of areas of ecological importance. In Standing My Ground, Alan describes the challenges and achievements, the frustrations and successes that have made up his remarkable life, now in its ninth decade. As well as providing an important record of New Zealand’s conservation battles and documenting the life of an outstanding New Zealander, Standing My Ground is an inspiring reminder of the power of individuals to make a difference.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVintage paua shell jewellery : art souvenir, tourist kitsch, Kiwi icon / Elly van de Wijdeven.
“All vintage jewellery is collectible and none more so than that made from paua shell. No longer regarded as the tourist kitsch of yesteryear, the book explores this fascinating history and shares the many stories of how and why it came to be produced and by whom, and also who bought it and for what reason, whether as a souvenir of New Zealand or to commemorate a special place or event. The accompanying narrative traces its roots from the Classic pre-European Maori period, through the years of its main production in New Zealand from the 1920s to the 1980s, before the market was flooded by cheap, mass-produced imports, to its present status as Kiwi icon.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWorld of WearableArt : 30 designers tell their stories / text by Naomi Arnold.
“First book from the World of WearableArt with a serious text that focuses on the designers and their stories. Unprecedented interest in WOW, now in its 27th year, with an annual audience of over 45,000 attending the Awards Show in Wellington. Very appealing as an inspirational book for artists, designers, students and craftspeople.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe many deaths of Mary Dobie : murder, politics and revenge in nineteenth-century New Zealand / David Hastings.
“‘Shocking outrage’, the Evening Post in Wellington when they learned in November 1880 that a young woman called Mary Dobie had been found lying under a flax bush near Ōpunake on the Taranaki coast with her throat cut so deep her head was almost severed. In the midst of tensions between Māori and Pākehā, the murder ignited questions: Pākehā feared it was an act of political terrorism in response to the state’s determination to take the land of the tribes in the region. Māori thought it would be the cue for the state to use force against them, especially the pacifist settlement at Parihaka. Was it rape or robbery, was the killer Māori or Pākehā? In this book, David Hastings takes us back to that lonely road on the Taranaki coast in nineteenth-century New Zealand.” (Adapted from Publisher information)

Syndetics book coverMessage to my girl : a dying father’s powerful legacy of hope / Dr Jared Noel with David W. Williams.
“Doctor Jared Noel knew he was dying for almost six years, from the age of 25. But when it looked as though he would not live to see the birth of his child, he began a Givealittle crowd-funding campaign to raise money for a course of chemo treatment that would keep him alive long enough to meet his unborn child. This remarkable campaign, covered by nationwide media, raised an incredible $170,000 in two days. Jared not only lived to see Elise born but also enjoyed her first nine months. Jared’s blog, initially written to alleviate boredom during rounds of chemotherapy, attracted hundreds of thousands of readers. This is Jared’s story, but it is also a profound meditation on life and death, and everything in between.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLegends in black : New Zealand rugby greats on why we win / Tom Johnson with Andy Martin, Geoff Watson and Margot Butcher.
“In the world of rugby, the All Blacks have an unsurpassed legacy of success. We are the best of the best. Legends in Black comprises frank, no-holds-barred interviews with New Zealand rugby greats, each sharing their thoughts on every aspect of what it means to be an All Black: first selection, the haka, international and provincial rugby, professionalism, team culture, camaraderie, technical advances, coaching and leadership. A one-of-a-kind account of New Zealand rugby, Legends in Black draws on unprecedented access to some of the biggest names in the game – revealing the secrets to why we win.” (Abridged Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlack obsession : the All Blacks’ quest for World Cup success / Gregor Paul.
“This thought-provoking book is a search for answers to the vexing phenomenon of why the world’s undisputed greatest rugby team can’t win the World Cup. It is an in-depth investigation that explores how societal change, combined with the arrival of professionalism, has impacted on the ability of the All Blacks to perform on the biggest stage. The end result is a compelling and authoritative read that gives the most detailed and comprehensive answer to a question everyone has asked but no one has ever satisfactorily answered.” (Abridged Syndetics summary)

New ‘Other Genres’ fiction for October featuring New Zealand writers

An amazing selection of new fiction from New Zealand writers, that reveals their skill and talent, over a wide range of different genres. We promise hours of entertaining and very satisfying reading.

Syndetics book coverA crooked rib / Judy Corbalis.
“A compelling novel based on the disastrous and scandalous marriage of New Zealand’s Governor Sir George Grey and his lively young wife, Eliza Lucy. Trapped in an increasingly loveless union, Sir George and his wife, Eliza Lucy, each sought affection elsewhere. Lady Grey’s indiscretion caused her to be cast off by her husband and vilified throughout colonial and domestic Victorian high society. Meanwhile the nature of Sir George’s liaison with his young Maori protégé was to remain only the subject of speculation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverR.H.I. : two novellas / Tim Corballis.
“A researcher sits in the archive of the British Psychoanalytic Society in London, examining fragile pieces of paper, small notebooks, and diaries. A writer in Berlin finds himself haunted by the city’s socialist-era buildings, and by their designer. Each begins to sketch the historical figure at the heart of his fixation. Joan Riviere was an early English psychoanalyst and Sigmund Freud’s earliest translator. Hermann Henselmann was a German architect, famous for many of the post-war buildings of the German Democratic Republic. The two novellas about their lives form an incomplete history of Europe’s 20th century-its wars, its politics and thought.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTrust no one : a thriller / Paul Cleave.
“A famous crime writer struggles to differentiate between his own reality and the frightening plot lines he’s created for the page. Jerry Grey is known to most of the world by his crime writing pseudonym, Henry Cutter–a name that has been keeping readers at the edge of their seats for more than a decade. Recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of forty-nine, Jerry’s crime writing days are coming to an end. His twelve books tell stories of brutal murders committed by bad men, of a world out of balance, of victims finding the darkest forms of justice. As his dementia begins to break down the wall between his life and the lives of the characters he has created, Jerry confesses his worst secret: The stories are real. He knows this because he committed the crimes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe lost one : the Romanov legacy / by Penelope Haines.
“She is an orphan, independent, unattached and free of any personal ties. So why is Purdie Davis, an unexceptional nurse from New Zealand, receiving unsolicited gifts? They are nothing ordinary but unusual, valuable antiques that must have a story behind them. Purdie doesn’t know their source, and has no idea of their significance. Is she wrong to find this attention menacing? A romantic saga spanning three generations, The Lost One begins as Kyril Komarov flees Moscow, escaping the Russian Revolution. The story crosses the globe as Purdie learns about her family and of the treasure entrusted to their protection at the dawn of the twentieth century, a treasure that now could put Purdie’s own life in danger.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJames Cook’s lost world / Graeme Lay.
“On his third and tragic voyage of discovery Captain James Cook traverses the world yet again, increasingly and uncharacteristically brutal toward his crew, and on a fateful course with destiny.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe antipodeans : a novel / Greg McGee.
“Beginning with the return to Venice of an old and sick man determined to confront his past, and accompanied by his daughter who is escaping hers, The Antipodeans spans three generations of a New Zealand family and their interaction with three families of Northern Italy. From Venice to the South Island of New Zealand, from the assassination of a Gestapo commander in the last days of Italian resistance in WWII to contemporary real estate shenanigans in Auckland, from political assassination in the darkest days of the Red Brigade to the vaulting cosmology of particle physics.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe battle of Messines Road / J.K. & W.J. Moloney.
The Battle of Messines Road is a commentary on the changing perception of war over time amongst New Zealanders, and is an invitation to remember what is slipping away from public consciousness, to explain to today’s generation (in this case exemplified by young Zac) the reason why medal-bedecked old men huddle around war memorials to the sound of the Last Post each year.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRoad from Rosehall / Mike Munro.
“When rural labourer George Munro, the author’s great-great grandfather, departs the family croft in the Scottish Highlands in 1851 and begins an emigrant’s journey, he joins an outflow of Scots who are seeking better lives in Britain’s colonies. With countless weeks of confinement in a sailing ship, vast and perilous oceans, the risk of falling victim to disease or skulduggery, and the uncertainty of what he will find in the far-off land where he plans to settle.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe party line / Sue Orr.
“Set in a vividly drawn farming community in 1970s New Zealand. The Baxters do not know their place. On the first of June every year, sharemilkers load their trucks with their families, pets and possessions and crawl along the highways towards new farms, new lives. They’re inching towards that ultimate dream, buying their own land. Fenward’s always been lucky with its sharemilkers: grateful, grafting folk who understand what’s expected of them, until now, when grief-stricken Ian Baxter and his precocious daughter, Gabrielle, arrive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTrifecta / Ian Wedde.
“Martin Klepka was one of the refugees of Nazism who famously brought Modernist architecture and ‘real coffee’ to New Zealand. Many years after his early death from a heart attack, his children are struggling in their different ways with the difficult legacy of their charismatic, overbearing father. Sandy, who was disliked by his father, is a cultural historian in the twilight of his career, disgraced, divorced and reduced to a .2 position at Auckland University. Veronica, who bored her father, is struggling with a failing art deco Napier tour company and an alcoholic husband. And Mick, Martin Klepka’s favourite, a gambling, methamphetamine and sex addict, is still living alone in the Red House, his father’s plagiarized masterpiece.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Ngaio Marsh Award for best crime novel announced

Syndetics book coverPaul Cleave has won this year’s Ngaio Marsh Award for his crime novel titled Five Minutes Alone.
This is his eighth crime novel, the first was published in 2006 and was titled The Cleaner. This is the second time he has won this award, winning previously in 2011, with his novel titled Blood Men published in 2010.
His novels have been translated into fifteen languages, and many have been shortlist for international crime writing awards.

Not One More Acre: A Conversation with Ans Westra at the Central Library

Ans Westra Poster6smallb

This October marks the 40th anniversary of the 1975 Māori Land March – when Dame Whina Cooper lead marchers to Parliament to protest the loss of Māori lands. “Not One More Acre of Māori Land” became the catch-cry of the marchers, who left Te Hāpua in the far north on 14 September as a group numbering no more than 50, and eventually reached Wellington on 13 October as a powerful hikoi numbering at over 5000.

Iconic photographer Ans Westra captured this event and on Tuesday 6 October Wellington Central Library will be hosting a talk with this renowned and well-loved photographer, who will describe her experience of attending and photographing the historic march. From Thursday 1st October there will also be an exhibition of contact sheet prints of Ans Westra’s photographs of the arrival of the march in Wellington on 13 October 1975.

A Conversation with Ans Westra
Tuesday 6 October at 12.30pm
2nd floor, Central Library

Syndetics book coverWashday at the pa / photographs by Ans Westra ; with text by Mark Amery.
Washday at the pa, by New Zealand premier photographers Ans Westra, was first published as a photo-story booklet in 1964 by the Department of Education for use in Primary Schools, but all 38,000 copies were withdrawn following a campaign by the Maori Women’s Welfare League that it would have a ‘detrimental effect’ on Maori people – and that the living conditions portrayed within the book were atypical. A second edition of the booklet was published the same years with some images omitted. This edition is a selection of these two editions together with photographs of the washday family taken in 1988, and includes essays by arts critic, journalist and broadcaster Mark Amery detailing the controversy and background of Washday at the pa.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNga tau ki muri = Our future / Ans Westra.
“This timely and visionary new book includes 137 Westra photographs of the New Zealand landscape, with text contributions from Hone Tuwhare, Russel Norman, Brian Turner, David Eggleton and David Lange, who wrote a short piece for Ans as part of an unrealised book project in 1987. Well known for her iconic black and white documentation of Maori culture, Ans Westra is also known for her colour works, which show concern for New Zealand’s destiny, “an island exploited by various waves of settlement”. Shot with Ans’ trusty Rolleiflex camera, the sometimes damning images in Our Future have been made over the last 20 years. “The purpose of the book is to give a directive to the country, an awareness of things changed and lost within its short history. If we don’t plan for the long term and keep taking stop-gap measures, we leave very little behind. Instead of becoming like the rest of the world, this beautiful place should become a shining example of hope for survival in a newly balanced environment.” –Ans Westra.” (Syndetics summary)

Whina [videorecording] : mother of the nation.
“The autobiography of Maori land activist Dame Whina Cooper filmed two years before she died. Born in an earth-floor whare she became a teacher, gum digger, rugby coach, midwife, a tribal leader, president of Maori Women’s Welfare League and controversial leader of the Maori Land March. Who organized her first public protest at the age of 18.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverHīkoi : forty years of Māori protest / Aroha Harris.
“What have Maori been protesting about? What has been achieved? This book provides an overview of the contemporary Maori protest ‘movement’, a summary of the rationale behind the actions, and a wonderful collection of photographs of the action u the protests, the marches and the toil behind the scenes. And it provides a glimpse of the fruits of that protest u the Waitangi Tribunal and the opportunity to prepare, present and negotiate Treaty settlements; Maori language made an official language; Maori-medium education; Maori health providers; iwi radio and, in 2004, Maori television.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandboek : Ans Westra photographs / [exhibition curator and coordinator, Luit Bieringa ; texts, Cushla Parekowhai [et. al]].

Ans Westra [videorecording] : private journeys/public signposts / director, Luit Bieringa ; producer, Jan Bieringa.
New Zealand photographer, Ans Westra, talks about her career.

New ‘Other Genres’ fiction: this month featuring New Zealand writers

Another amazing selection of new fiction from New Zealand writers in this month’s ‘Other Genres’ category. Highly recommended is the long awaited new novel from Patricia Grace, titled Chappy.

Syndetics book coverHide your heart / Tracey Alvarez.
“Alexandra Lauren Knight has reinvented herself in the safety of her rural New Zealand hometown to become Lauren Taylor. She’s cut all ties with her past as a former model whose ex-husband turned out to be ruthless in both the boardroom and the bedroom. While Alexandra allowed other’s expectations to propel her into the spotlight, Lauren prefers the safety of anonymity; restoring classic cars with her brother, and snuggling with her four-year-old son. Nate Fraser, a burned-out photojournalist, plans to fix up the property next door to Lauren and sell it as a celebrity retreat. Always on the move, Nate is only comfortable with short-term assignments and even shorter-term relationships. But it’s not just his buyer’s tight deadline or that the restoration is far beyond his expertise which turns a short-term project into an ordeal. Nate’s plan of travelling the globe is in jeopardy-created by the intensity of his growing feelings for Lauren and her little boy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe invisible mile / David Coventry.
“The 1928 Ravat-Wonder team from New Zealand and Australia were the first English-speaking team to ride the Tour de France. From June through July they faced one of toughest in the race’s history: 5,476 kilometers of unsealed roads on heavy, fixed-wheel bikes. They rode in darkness through mountains with no light and brakes like glass. They weren’t expected to finish, but stadiums filled with Frenchmen eager to call their names. The Invisible Mile is a powerful re-imagining of the tour from inside the peloton, where the test of endurance, for one young New Zealander, becomes a psychological journey into the chaos of the War a decade earlier.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEvery five minutes / Bronwyn Elsmore.
“Gina, if that is her real name, wakes to an autumn morning and, against her better judgement, selects a light dress to wear to work. Deliberately, she misses the bus and walks into the city, then turns and walks back home. This is not a day for work. Tomorrow, in her navy pantsuit, she will be there. Today she will spend with a white dog and a remarkable man. Every Five Minutes is also about the colour cornflower blue, beaches, parks, city streets, exotic places, coffee, flowers, polished stones, a unicorn and a swan, words, theatre, movies, music, and love. But most of all it’s about Gina, the dog, and the man.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChappy / Patricia Grace
“Uprooted from his privileged European life and sent to New Zealand to sort himself out, twenty-one-year-old Daniel pieces together the history of his Maori family. As his relatives revisit their past, Daniel learns of a remarkable love story between his Maori grandmother Oriwia and his Japanese grandfather Chappy. The more Daniel hears about his deceased grandfather, the more intriguing, and elusive,Chappy becomes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStarlight Peninsula / Charlotte Grimshaw.
“Eloise Hay lives on the Starlight Peninsula. Every weekday she travels into the city to work at Q TV Studio, assisting with the production of a current affairs show. One night she receives a phone call that will change her life forever. Thrown into the turmoil of a sudden marriage break-up, Eloise begins to perceive that a layer of the world has been hidden from her. Seeking answers, she revisits a traumatic episode from her past, and in doing so encounters an odd-eyed policewoman, a charismatic obstetrician, a German psychotherapist, and a flamboyant internet pirate wanted by the United States government. Each of these characters will reveal something about the life of Eloise Hay, answering questions that she hasn’t, until now, had the courage to ask.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNo relation / Thomas Pors Koed.
“The difference between actuality and fiction is principally one of exclusion. The short pieces that comprise this collection of short stories test the potencies of this exclusion: how are characters, and how are the readers affected by what is not related, by what is withheld, by what has been potentised by exclusion or by the impossibility of inclusion? (Adapted from Book cover)

Too many cooks / by Renee.
“Someone burned Hester’s house down. She’s going to find them and when she does, she’s going to burn their house down. An eye for an eye. That’s what life’s about, decides Hester. Ex-Senior Sergeant, ex-friend, Auden Porohiwi is very interested in Hester’s plans, does he know who the arsonist was? Is he protecting someone? Does he know what Hester’s planning? Who cares, thinks Hester, it’s now or never. So it’s now. (Adapted from Books cover)

Syndetics book coverSomething is rotten / Adam Sarafis.
“When budding writer Brent Taylor dies a horrific death in the Auckland University Library, his friend, sex worker Jade Amaro, refuses to believe it is suicide. She seeks help from Sam Hallberg, a former government advisor on terrorism, now working as a mechanic. As Sam reluctantly agrees to look into the death, a hunt for a lost manuscript leads him ever deeper into a complex case of corruption and deceit. Meanwhile, Sam’s friend, brilliant business journalist Lynette Church, embarks on an investigation of dirty political dealings with major global implications, and with ties to the Iraq War.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHere comes the sun, perhaps? : a collection of short stories / Brian Wilson and Mark Wilson.
“This collection of short stories by Brian Wilson also includes 3 short stories by Mark Wilson and 4 poems by Brian Wilson. Some of the thirty stories collected here humorous, while others are thought provoking, but all very entertaining, and are set in New Zealand, China, Japan, England, Zambia, India, and Fiji.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Kaitiakitanga Pasifika / Cathie Koa Dunsford.
“Kaitiakitanga Pasifika draws on the brilliance of the historical celestial navigation of the Pacific, evoking past voyages through contemporary navigational wayfinding using renewable energy. It draws together a visionary movement of indigenous Pacific people who combine the ancient wisdom of kaitiakitanga and modern ecological knowledge.” (Adapted from Book cover)

New ‘Other Genres’ for June: This month New Zealand Fiction

New Zealand fiction is featured in this month’s ‘Other Genres” category. This selection includes historical, contemporary, humorous and satirical fiction. Highly recommended is the new novel from Adrienne Jansen, titled A Line of Sight.

Syndetics book coverMurder & matchmaking / Debbie Cowens.
“It is a truth universally known that a mother in possession of a surfeit of daughters must be in want of eligible bachelors. Less well documented are the extremes to which she might go if her daughters’ prospects are endangered by other neighbourhood beauties. Murder and Matchmaking is a dark comedy that answers the question: if Mrs Bennett is so worried about what will happen to her if her daughters don’t marry, why doesn’t she really do something about it?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA line of sight / Adrienne Jansen.
“One afternoon Graham and Nick go out rabbit shooting. They spot some local cannabis growers on their land, and fire a warning shot to scare them off. One of the shots hit and a man is killed. A Line of Sight is a book about the lengths a person is willing to go to prove they’re not guilty of a crime they well have committed. It’s about male friendships, the emotional effects of war and a young blind boy name Swan, whose unexpected insight changes everything.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe writers’ festival / Stephanie Johnson.
“Writers’ festivals can be hotbeds of literary and romantic intrigue, and the Oceania is up there with the best of them. Rookie director Rae McKay, recently returned from New York, fears she has bitten off more than she can chew. Pressure comes not only from local and international writers but also from the prestigious Opus Book Award, which this year is being hosted by the festival. Add to that high-level diplomatic fallout surrounding a dissident Chinese writer, and Rae’s slowly disintegrating private life and ongoing dramas. This novel explores the contemporary phenomenon of the public face of the writer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe hiding places / Catherine Robertson.
“When April Turner’s small son is killed by a car, she decides she is no longer entitled to anything but the barest existence. Five years on, she has shed everything and everyone she loves, and expects to be this way for ever. Then a letter arrives from an English solicitor, informing April that she is the last surviving heir to Empyrean, a long-abandoned country house. At first, April resists. But with the letter comes a map full of tiny mysteries, and she is drawn all the way from New Zealand to the English countryside, and into a small but intriguing circle of people: musician Oran, who remains loyal to his faithless wife; Jack, who lives wild in the woods with a dog; and Sunny, Lady Day, approaching ninety but more vital than others half her age. Sunny knew Empyrean in its prime, and her stories bring the past to life. But will April be prepared to give up her principles and start coming alive again herself?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCurrents of change / Darian Smith.
“When Sara O’Neill goes on the run, she believes the tiny town of Kowhiowhio is just the sanctuary she needs. Her family’s old colonial house needs repair, but it’s safe from the abusive husband she left behind. However, a hostile local holds a grudge and a dangerous presence haunting her new home threatens Sara’s chance at peace. How can she create a new life while dealing with ghosts from the old?” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverMaybury Place / Keitha Smith.
“Maybury Place. Tranquil, safe, and neighbourly. Until new residents move in to Number Seven and shatter the peace. Within hours of their arrival four-year old Matthew Fleming has vanished. When the residents rally to search for the young boy they find their new neighbors hostile and uncaring about Matthew’s fate. Events escalate when strange characters start visiting Number Seven, the police are seen calling and one of their homes is robbed. Suspicions grow, causing the original neighbors to unite, determined to defend Maybury Place from unsavory elements. But is everything quite as it seems? Are the new inhabitants as bad as everyone fears? And has the prior tranquility of Maybury Place merely masked hidden secrets?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeath and forgiveness / Jindra Tichá.
“Anna has flown from New Zealand to her native Prague to nurse her dying mother. The night after the funeral she receives a phone call with the news that her husband Jan has committed suicide in faraway Dunedin.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSeason of salt & honey / Hannah Tunnicliffe.
“Francesca ‘Frankie’ Caputo has it all figured out. She’s finally going to marry the man she loves and then they will live happily ever after. But when a freak accident cuts her fiancé Alex’s life tragically short, all of Frankie’s future plans suddenly disintegrate. Drowning in grief, Frankie flees from her overbearing Italian-American family, and escapes to an abandoned cabin owned by Alex’s parents in a remote part of Washington forest. As her heart slowly begins to heal, Frankie discovers a freedom that’s both exhilarating and unsettling to everything she has always known for sure. So when her old life comes crashing back in, Frankie must decide: will she slip quietly back into her safe, former existence? Or will a stronger, wiser Frankie Caputo stand up and claim her new life?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary

Syndetics book coverIn the neighbourhood of fame / Bridget van der Zijpp.
“Rock musician Jed Jordan’s former fame means the events in his life have become public property. Years after ‘Captain of the Rules’ made him world famous in New Zealand, Jed is living quietly in an Auckland suburb with his family, growing peppers and recording in his home studio, when some disturbing new attention threatens to tear his world apart. Also profoundly affected are three women whose lives are closely caught up in Jed’s: his wife; a childhood friend who has returned from Australia for her father’s funeral; and the fifteen-year-old Jed chats to in the local dog park.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe predictions / Bianca Zander.
“Gaialands, a bucolic vegan commune in the New Zealand wilderness, is the only home fifteen-year-old Poppy has ever known. It’s the epitome of 1970s counterculture, a place of free love, hard work, and high ideals, at least in theory. But Gaialands’s strict principles are shaken when new arrival Shakti claims the commune’s energy needs to be healed and harnesses her divination powers in a ceremony called the Predictions. Poppy is predicted to find her true love overseas, so when her boyfriend, Lukas, leaves Gaialands to fulfill his dream of starting a punk rock band in London, she follows him. In London, Poppy falls into a life that looks very like the one her prediction promised, but is it the one she truly wants?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Meet Robin Robilliard, author of Hard Country

This June, Wellington residents will have 3 chances to meet with Robin Robilliard, author of Hard Country, number two best seller for non-fiction books on the Paper Plus book chain list,  and 4th on the Sunday Star Times best selling biographies list two weeks ago. She will be giving public talks at the following:

Kilbirnie Library – June 18th  6.30pm 

Wellington Central Library – June 19th 6pm

Johnsonville Library – June 20th 11.30am

6 c_Robby Robilliard 9781775536635

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the story of an amazing woman and her family’s who achieved the impossible on a Golden Bay Farm and ask her questions about her biography.

As Robin put it “Managing to survive without bankruptcy, as had our three predecessors on Rocklands, is the real success story”.
One thing a fiercely independent young married couple knew for sure when they were planning their farming future together was that they never wanted to work for anyone else.
It’s this resilient and pioneering spirit that runs through Robin (Robby) Robilliard’s absorbing new memoir as this marvellous and sprightly octogenarian reflects on her life with husband Garry and their family the isolated Golden Bay, at the very tip of South Island, far away from family and friends. When they arrived there in 1957 it was a very different place to the vibrant and richly diverse community there is today.

You can listen to the interview Robin had with Kim Hill here

NZ Collection Recent Picks

Roses are red, violets are blue, here’s some New Zealand poetry and some other topics too! A mixture of poetry, caravans, horses, New Zealand Women, exploration, jewellery and murder cover some of the variety of topics of the recent arrivals in the New Zealand Collection this month.

Syndetics book coverBeing here : selected poems / Vincent O’Sullivan.
“BEING HERE is the first book to survey the entire span of Vincent O’Sullivan’s poetry, from Bearings (1973) to new poems first published in this volume. On display is the full range of the wit, intellectual agility and arresting beauty of one of New Zealand literature’s finest poets. Hardback, Cover painting by Karl Maughan Vincent O’Sullivan is one of New Zealand’s leading writers, author of the biography of John Mulgan, Long Journey to the Border, the novels Let the River Stand and Believers to the Bright Coast, and many plays and collections of short stories and poems. He is joint editor of the five-volume Letters of Katherine Mansfield and has edited a number of major anthologies. He lives in Dunedin.” (Abridged Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJerusalem sonnets, love, Wellington Zoo / David Beach.
“In his fourth collection David Beach tackles a subject inescapable for any New Zealander writing sonnets; a subject inescapable for any writer of sonnets at all; and a subject which is just inescapable.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhistling in the dark / John O’Connor.
“Whistling in the Dark comprises two approximately equal sections: (1) poems and (2) prose poems; both sections were written between 1994 and 2012. The poems cover a range of topics and themes and include ‘Mother and Child’, the winning poem of the Poetry Society’s International Poetry Competition, 2006. All poems have been previously published in magazines, journals and anthologies. The prose poems are, more accurately, a combination of prose poems and hybrid forms of the prose poem. As such they represent a departure from the standard prose poem as found in NZ and international journals and magazines. Again, there is a range of topics and themes and most of the pieces have been previously published in magazines, journals and anthologies. Whistling in the Dark is the 11th book of poems by John O’Connor.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDear Neil Roberts / Airini Beautrais.
“It is November 18, 1982. Neil Ian Roberts is 22 years old. He walks up to the Police Computer Centre in Whanganui, at 12.35am. Who was Neil Roberts? This is the search for the story of a quiet young man, an anarchist, a figure who moves differently, or vanishes altogether, in different versions of history. How are such people remembered; how are they forgotten? As much a work of documentary as poetry, this extraordinary book considers the uncomfortable event of Neil Roberts’s death, its significance in the context of 1980s New Zealand, and how this action has reverberated through others’ lives, including the poet’s own.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA great indoors for the great outdoors : the story of Liteweight caravans / Don Jessen.
“In 1946, a practical-minded New Zealander became interested in caravans as a way of holidaying and decided to build one for his family in his garage. From this humble beginning a story of Kiwi ingenuity emerged, with Liteweight Caravans growing to become an iconic New Zealand brand, which for over four decades led the country, and sometimes the world, in technical design and innovation. Liteweight produced more caravans than any other caravan manufacturer in New Zealand and, today, more than 25 years after the factory closed, the majority of its caravans are still in use. This is a story as much about people as it is of caravans, and the person at the heart of the story is Tek Jessen, Liteweight¿s founder.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBridled passion : a tribute to our Kiwi equestrians / Margot Butcher.
“New Zealand equestrians riding high have become a regular source of pride for Kiwis. Bridled Passion is a beautiful compendium dedicated to celebrating the 30-year success story of New Zealand’s best equestrian sportspeople and their fine-tuned steeds. From 1960 Olympics pioneer Andrew White through to the magic medal-winning moments of Sir Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson, Sally Clark, Blyth Tait, Tinks Pottinger, Vaughn Jefferis and their contemporaries, this book celebrates New Zealand’s high-performance equestrian story; the riders and horses through whose exploits we have discovered the thrill of a fast, clean cross-country and the agony of a clipped rail!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNiue 1774-1974 : 200 years of contact and change / Margaret Pointer.
“Tiny Niue lies alone in the south Pacific, a single island with formidable cliffs rising from the deep ocean. Far from the main shipping routes and with a daunting reputation, “Savage Island” did not naturally invite visitors. Yet Niue has a surprisingly rich history of contact, from the brief landings by James Cook in 1774 through to the 19th-century visits by whalers, traders, and missionaries, and into the 20th century when New Zealand extended its territory to include the Cook Islands and Niue. Using a wide range of archival material from Niue, New Zealand, Australia, and Britain, Margaret Pointer places Niue center stage in an entertaining and thoroughly readable account of this island nation through to 1974, when Niue became self-governing.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKobi Bosshard : goldsmith / Damian Skinner.
“A survey of the work and ideas of a leading New Zealand jeweller who has been critical to the development of studio craft in Aotearoa. Born in Switzerland, Kobi Bosshard came to New Zealand in 1961. His expertise as a traditionally trained goldsmith is centre stage in this beautifully illustrated book, which is published as part of Objectspace’s Masters of Craft series. Written by art historian Damian Skinner, it provides a perceptive and informative discussion of Bosshard’s life and work, describing over five decades of contemporary jewellery that explores the possibilities of the craftsperson’s role in creating sophisticated and unique objects for people to wear and own.” (Inside front cover)

Syndetics book coverDumont d’Urville : explorer & polymath / Edward Duyker.
“Explorer Jules-Sébastien-César Dumont d’Urville (1790-1842) is sometimes called France’s Captain Cook. Born less than a year after the beginning of the French Revolution, he lived through turbulent times. He was an erudite polymath: a maritime explorer fascinated by botany, entomology, ethnography and the diverse languages of the world.” (Dust jacket)

Syndetics book coverAll those yesterdays / Elspeth Biss. “This is a story many New Zealand women – particularly those who grew up in the country – will identify with. Elspeth Biss was brought up on Hawke’s Bay farms in the 1940’s; attended boarding school in the 1950’s; trained as a nurse, married and had her children in the 1960’s. As she writes: The 1960’s may well have been ‘The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius’, as the popular song had it, with the Beatles, Mary Quant and the mini-skirt, but for me and most of my friends it was a decade of child raising, washing nappies, Plunket and kindergartens.” (Abridged Back Cover)

Syndetics book coverMurder that wasn’t : the case of George Gwaze / Felicity Goodyear-Smith.
“This book tells the story of the case of Zimbabwean-born New Zealand resident George Gwaze, twice charged and twice acquitted of the rape and murder of his 10-year-old adopted niece, Charlene Makaza. When Charlene was found unconscious one morning, gasping for breath, with a high fever and lying in a pool of diarrhea, her family rushed her to the Christchurch 24-hour clinic. She was treated for overwhelming sepsis and transferred to the hospital, but sadly her life could not be saved. What unfolds next is a surreal set of events so improbable that they seem fictitious. Murder That Wasn’t meticulously explores the facts surrounding this case based on scientific, medical, and court records and individual interviews to tell this family’s extraordinary story.” (Syndetics summary)