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March 2010

The Archives

  • Movies, Violet Beauregarde

    Eclipse continues teasing

    15.03.10 | Permalink | 1 Comment

    This time for one minute and thirty three seconds. Which is a whole lot longer than ten seconds. More of Taylor.

  • Library Serf

    Blog Updates

    11.03.10 | Permalink | Comments Off on Blog Updates

    Not wanting to trump the teaser for the trailer for the movie (Eclipse), but back to business: what’s going on on the blog?

    1) The number of authors listed on the “What to Read After” page has swelled from two to three (now including Robert Muchamore). There is more to come.

    2) The Crossover Books booklist (books that both teens and adults will enjoy) has (finally) been updated. Well done us. (See what other book list suggestions we have here.)

    mockingjay3) The third book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins now has a name, a book cover and a publication date. The name is Mockingjay, and we reported earlier that it’s due out in September, which is reasonably accurate: its official US date is now 24 August 2010. The cover is to the right over there. We’ll let you know when the library orders it so you can reserve your copy.

    4) You might have blinked and missed it, but we sent out a quick notification for the date for the Almost Amazing Race 2.0 (April 16). Registrations open on this blog soon are now open!

  • Movies, New, Violet Beauregarde

    Eclipse you tease you

    11.03.10 | Permalink | Comments Off on Eclipse you tease you

    A 10-second teaser for a trailer (I know) for the next Twilight film, Eclipse. The 90-second trailer will become available on the 11th at 6am PST (that’s Pacific Standard Time, a US timezone), which is, uh, 3am tomorrow morning? Maths is hard.

    Anyway, here’s the 10-second trailer, which has a shirtless Taylor Lauuuuuutner

  • Edna Welthorpe, Library, Today in History

    Today in History

    10.03.10 | Permalink | Comments Off on Today in History

    There is to be a big display about the architecture of the Parthenon and Acropolis* called “Masks of Time” on the first floor of the Central Library. It will run from Monday, the 15th of March to the 25th of March, and will have large models of the buildings, models of reliefs from the temples, and information panels. And and heaps more. AND it will coincide with Greek National Day on the 25th, which celebrates Greece’s independence.

    *The Acropolis is the name given to the small ‘city’ in Athens built in during the height of the Classical period in Greece, about 2,500 years ago. The Parthenon is the famous temple that sits atop the Acropolis.

  • Grimm, New

    New Books Again

    09.03.10 | Permalink | 1 Comment

    Cashing In, Susan Colebank (314 pages) – Reggie Shaw’s family has won the lottery. Sounds ideal, but Reggie’s life has been turned upside down. Suddenly she has new would-be friends, and the money thing is causing problems in her love life. Is becoming an overnight sensation a dream come true, or a bit of a nightmare?

    First sentence: I remember that the day was hot – no surprise there, since almost every day in Arizona is hot – and I had to put on deodorant twice.

    The Secret Year, Jennifer R Hubbard (192 pages) – Colt and Julia were in love, but secretly, so when Julia dies suddenly Colt is left to deal with the loss on his own. When he finds her journal he is consumed with questions about their relationship. [sad]

    First sentence: Julia was killed on Labor Day on her way home from a party.

    Very LeFreak, Rachel Cohn (303 pages) – Very is short for Veronica, a girl in her first year at Columbia University who has a rather large electronics habit which is causing her life to go off the rails. Her friends stage an intervention and Very is shipped off to a rehab centre. How will she cope without a virtual world?

    First sentence: It wasn’t the fact that Starbucks did not – would not – serve Guinness with a raw egg followed by an espresso chaser that was ruining Very’s hangover.

    Finding Freia Lockhart, Aimee Said (286 pages) – subtitled “How Not to be a Successful Teen”. Freia is under pressure to fit in with the popular group at school after her best friend starts hanging out with them, but is she really up to talking about popular girl type stuff, especially when she’s having to do the school musical? (Note: Glee-type references maybe?)

    First sentence: The moment I set foot on stage I know this is a big mistake.

    Some Girls Are, Courtney Summers (245 pages) – from the catalogue: “Regina, a high school senior in the popular–and feared–crowd, suddenly falls out of favor and becomes the object of the same sort of vicious bullying that she used to inflict on others, until she finds solace with one of her former victims.”

    First sentence: You’re either someone or you’re not.

    Panama, Shelby Hiatt (250 pages) – A fifteen year old girl moves to Panama at the time when the canal is being built. Looking for adventure, she meets Frederico. Perhaps he’ll do.

    First sentence: Mrs Ewing’s Friday reminder: “Put your books away. Don’t leave anything on top of your desk.”

    8th Grade Superzero, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (324 pages) – This was one of the Amazon Best Books of the Month (January 2010). After embarrassing himself at the start of the school year, Reggie McKnight is trying to fly under the radar, but winds up involved in everything, from a school election to volunteering at a homeless shelter. This book has excellent reviews.

    First sentence: Everyone knows what’s up, because it’s the first day of school and I set the tone.

    Sistrsic92 (Meg), Cheryl Dellasega (226 pages) – “As she tries to attract a boyfriend and deal with her beautiful but troubled half-sister, artistically talented high school sophomore Meg records her thoughts and feelings in a blog–accessible only to her three closest friends.” (catalogue)

    First sentence: After five years of creating dozens of cute little pink diaries (okay, one was purple), I’ve decided to go online and create a blog – and a safe one where my private thoughts won’t be spread all over the Internet.

    Don’t Ask, Hilary Freeman (213 pages) – Lily’s boyfriend seems perfect, but he has a mysterious past that he won’t divulge, so Lily decides to find out about him. Seems like a good idea, but things get complicated.

    First sentence: Jack was perfect.

    Soul Enchilada, David MacInnis Gill (356 pages) – Amazon reports this novel has “weirdness to spare”. There’s Bug Smoot, who’s a high school graduate with a dodgy car. It turns out that her grandfather sold his soul to pay for it, literally. Her crush, who is a car-wash person but also an agent for the International Supernatural Immigration Service, might come to her rescue.

    First sentence: Most folks don’t know the exact time that life’s going to be over.

    The Returners, Gemma Malley (257 pages) – Will Hodge has nightmares, both sleeping and waking. He dreams of concentration camps, and notices he’s being followed by a group of people called The Returners, who say they know him from another time in history. Set in a dystopian future.

    First sentence: There was this day, a few weeks ago.

    Hearts at Stake, Alyxandra Harvey (248 pages) – the cover says “being a vampire princess really bites.” Solange Drake, vampire queen in waiting, is kidnapped and must be rescued by her brother Nicholas and her best friend Lucy, who is human. Lucy, it seems, has the hardest task, trying to rescue Solange and not be tempted by Nicholas.

    First sentence: Normally, I wouldn’t be caught dead at a field party.

  • Grimm, Separated at Birth

    Separated at Birth: Title Twins

    08.03.10 | Permalink | Comments Off on Separated at Birth: Title Twins

    In order to prove that Wellington City Libraries has rather a lot of books, CDs and things for you to borrow here’s the “Separated at Birth: Title Twins” game. Hopefully to be accompanied by the “Separated at Birth: Cover Twins” game.

    So, it goes a little something like this: some books have rather similar titles. If they do (and the title is unusual-ish) they’ll appear on this here blog. If you’ve come across interestingly similar book titles then let us know (leave a comment or something).

    (Two recent new arrivals gave me the idea.)

    Twin One

    Listen Taylor is a relatively normal girl whose relatively normal (apart from the name) life is upturned by her father dating someone from the wacky Zing family. Lotus Lowenstein, on the other hand, has a slightly less normal fixation on all things French in general and existentialism in particular.

    The Spell Book of Listen Taylor, Jaclyn Moriarty

    The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein, Libby Schmais

    Twin Two

    The first type of finding has to do with working out who you are; the second type has to do with stumbling across an urn in the back of a taxi.

    Finding Freia Lockhart, Aimee Said

    Finding Violet Park, Jenny Valentine

    Twin Three

    John Green’s first novel is arranged in a “before” and “after” structure, with everything hinging on one life-defining moment in a high school student’s life. Melina Marchetta’s first novel follows Josie Alibrandi through her final year of high school, and was made into a very successful movie in 2000 (which the library has). Interestingly, Looking for Alaska looks like it’s going to be made into a movie too (take your hankie when you go).

    Looking for Alaska, John Green

    Looking for Alibrandi, Melina Marchetta

    Twin Four

    These are quite different. A Northern Light is the story of Mattie Gokey, who gets caught up in the Big Moose Lake murder case (an actual event in 1906). Big Moose Lake is in upstate New York. Northern Lights follows Lyra as she travels north in search of her friend Roger Parslow and Lord Asriel. Northern Lights is known as The Golden Compass in the United States and won the Carnegie Medal in 1995; A Northern Light is known as A Gathering Light in the United Kingdom and won the Carnegie Medal in 2003. Huh.

    Northern Lights, Philip Pullman

    A Northern Light, Jennifer Donnelly

    Am in connect the dots heaven.

  • Events, Library Serf

    Coming Soon: TAAR 2.0

    08.03.10 | Permalink | 3 Comments


    Almost Amazing Racers: the Almost Amazing Race version 2.0 will be wending its almost amazing way to you on Friday April 16th 2010 (last day of school holidays).

    Registrations open soon. In the mean time, make a note of the date and start getting your team ready (max. 4 people).

    Should be almost amazing!

  • Grimm, Top 10

    Top 10: Collaborative Fiction

    05.03.10 | Permalink | Comments Off on Top 10: Collaborative Fiction

    What’s harder than writing a novel? Writing a novel with someone, quite possibly. What if you want to call your character Harriet but your co-writer’s heart is set on Mildred? What if they think that your favourite bit of purple prose is total rubbish? What if they change their mind half way through and want to kill everyone off in a boating disaster? One way around this problem, as many writers have discovered, is to do the different perspectives thing; each take your own character, and Bob’s your uncle. Others are obviously just very good team players. Here is a collection of writings produced by more than one person. (This post inspired by starting reading Beautiful Creatures, which is number one on the list just for continuity’s sake.)

    1. Beautiful creatures, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. In their inteview with Amazon.com, they say they bat their story back and forth, a bit like a literary ping pong ball. Have to say, that sounds like the fun approach.
    2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green and David Levithan. The separate and yet together approach, with both authors writing about two characters with the same name. This is being published next month, but in anticipation of it being good here it is on my list.
    3. Nick and Norah’s infinite playlist, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (again). Also again, the different perspectives approach.
    4. Bass ackwards and belly up : a novel, Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain. Likened to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Bass ackwards tells its story from the perspectives of four characters.
    5. Hot mail, Tessa Duder and William Taylor. Two characters, one male and one female, of quite different backgrounds, email each other in this New Zealand story. The cool thing about it is that Tessa Duder and William Taylor actually wrote it this way, via email, without discussing the plot beforehand.
    6. The Spiderwick Chronicles, Holly Black (who wrote Ironside etc), co-authored this children’s series with David DiTerlizzi.
    7. Mercedes Lackey, the queen of collaboration. Not so much a book as a person, Mercedes Lackey has worked with Andre Norton, Piers Anthony, C J Cherryh, Marion Zimmer Bradley.
    8. House of night series, P C and Kristin Cast. The first in our family sub-section. I can’t imagine writing a series of novels with my mum. Again according to Amazon.com P C Cast writes the first draft of the story, leaving bits for Kristin Cast to fill in and change.
    9. A mother’s gift, Britney and Lynne Spears. Yes, that Britney Spears, Lynne Spears being her mum. Amazon.com tells me it’s a rags to riches tale (the review also calls it “treacly”).
    10. The Brothers Grimm. Again, not a book, but probably the most famous story-telling-collaborating family. Plus they have a cool name.

  • Grimm, New

    Some new books

    04.03.10 | Permalink | Comments Off on Some new books

    The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein, Libby Schmais (275 pages) – Lotus says on the back cover, “This year, I will become an existentialist, go to France and fall in love (hopefully in Paris) with a dashing Frenchman named Jean something. We will both be existentialists, believe in nothingness, and wander around Paris in trench coats and berets.” Needless to say, Lotus loves all things French and sets up a French culture club at her school, which consists of her, her friend Joni and the handsome Sean. Things possibly go a bit awry on a trip to Montreal. Told in diary form and possibly (I say possibly) will be liked by Georgia Nicholson fans.

    First sentence: As you may have guessed, my name is Lotus Lowenstein and this is my diary.

    Secret Army, Robert Muchamore (Henderson’s Boys, 363 pages) – This also has what appears to be a large extract from the last CHERUB book Shadow Wave (yet to be published). In Secret Army, it is January 1941 and Charles Henderson is back in Britain, “but will the military establishment allow him to enact a plan to train teenagers as spies?” (says the website) This looks to be the beginning of the CHERUB campus – you can see how it all began!

    First sentence (of chapter one): “Stand by yer beds!” Evan Williams shouted.

    Beautiful Creatures, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (563 pages) – a veritable doorstop of a book at nearly 600 pages, Beautiful Creatures already features in our monthly Most Wanted list. We are currently reading it to see if it is Twilight-y. Ethan Wate has been having strange recurring dreams about an unknown beautiful girl. On the first day back at school there are rumblings about a new girl in town (nobody is ever new in the town of Gatlin), and Ethan’s life takes an unexpected and unsettling turn when dream and reality mingle. That’s the start, at any rate. A gothic southern supernatural romance.

    First sentence: There were only two kinds of people in our town.

    Loot, Grace Cavendish (The Lady Grace Mysteries, 201 pages) – a favourite YA series. When the crown of St Edward goes missing, Lady Grace must find out what has happened to it without anyone knowing that a) it’s gone missing and b) she’s trying to find it. Elizabeth I will not be amused if she is “publicly humiliated” (as the back cover puts it).

    First sentence: Here I am, squashed into a corner of my bedchamber, far from the fire, while Mary Shelton and Lady Sarah Bartelmy fuss about new gowns that the Maids have been gifted.

    Gone, Lisa McMann (214 pages) – the cover says that this the final book in the Wake trilogy, but trilogies have a habit of being tricksy and growing a fourth leg. Still, we must take it at its word: those of you who have read and enjoyed Wake and Fade must read this (let us know if it is indeed the end)! Janie must (she thinks) disappear in order to give Cabel a fighting chance at a normal life, but then a mysterious stranger arrives on the scene and Janie’s future is not what it once seemed, in fact it appears to be a whole lot worse. Tense.

    First sentence: It’s like she can’t breathe anymore, no matter what she does.

    Geek Magnet, Kieran Scott (308 pages) – KJ is a geek magnet, but would like to be a superstud-basketball-star-Cameron magnet (and isn’t). Tama Gold, most popular of the popular girls, kindly thinks she has the solution to KJ’s problem, but is KJ ready for such a radical turn of events? A theatrical story: “a novel in five acts”.

    First sentence: Okay, so I was dizzy with power.

    The Walls Have Eyes, Clare B Dunkle (225 pages) – the sequel to The Sky Inside. Martin’s family are the targets of a totalitarian government, and Martin must rescue his parents (having saved his sister Cassie), but things are treacherous, agents are following him, and Cassie looks like she’s in danger again…

    First sentence(s): “She melted down? Completely?”

    Viola in Reel Life, Adriana Trigiani (282 pages) – Viola is a New Yorker at boarding school in the middle of nowhere in Indiana. Needless to say she very much doesn’t like it to begin with, but just maybe it grows on her a little bit.

    First sentence: You would not want to be me.

    Waiting for You, Susane Colasanti (322 pages) – a love triangle story that’s very happy being a love triangle story. Marisa likes Derek (I think), but he has a girlfriend. She doesn’t particularly like Nash, but Nash likes Marisa. Plus there are other complicating factors in Marisa’s life, from family to friends, to school… Might be a good one for fans of Elizabeth Scott, Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti.

    First sentence: The best thing about summer camp is the last day.

    The Girl with the Mermaid Hair, Delia Ephron (312 pages) – Sukie is obsessed with the way she looks, so when her mother gives her a beautiful antique full length mirror this seems like the perfect gift, but the mirror possibly reveals more about Sukie than just her appearance.

    First sentence: Sukie kept track of herself in all reflective surfaces: shiny pots, the windowed doors to classrooms, shop windows, car chrome, knives, spoons.

    Funny How Things Change, Melissa Wyatt (196 pages) – “Remy, a talented, seventeen-year-old auto mechanic, questions his decision to join his girlfriend when she starts college in Pennsylvania after a visiting artist helps him to realize what his family’s home in a dying West Virginia mountain town means to him.” (catalogue summing it up well) This story has good reviews: “Good writing drives stellar characterization of this strong but introspective protagonist struggling with his own version of the universal questions of who he is and what matters most” (School Library Journal via amazon.com). I’d like a review like that one day.

    First sentence: On his arm – just above his left hand – were three black letters.

    Dreams of the Dead, Thomas Randall (The Waking, 276 pages) – Kara moves to Japan and to a new school where she makes friends with Sakura, whose sister was murdered on school grounds… and the killer was never found. Things get pretty bad: Kara has strange nightmares, then more bodies appear… is this Sakura’s murdered sister exacting revenge? Or Sakura? Or some other sinister thing? The book also has a “sneak peak” at the sequel.

    First sentence: Akane Murakami died for a boy she did not love.

    There are more books (yet more), so back soon.

  • Capt. Walker de Planck, Competition, Youth Politics

    Yes, Youth Minister

    04.03.10 | Permalink | Comments Off on Yes, Youth Minister

    youth-parliament-logoYouth Parliament 2010 is beginning in July. To become a youth parliamentarian you must be selected by your local MP, or you could enter this competition being run by MP Phil Twyford. Youth Parliament can influence NZ policy and members learn allllll about government procedure and democracy.

    Also, you can join the Youth Press Gallery to report on the Youth Parliamentarians. You must be a youth!

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