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December 2012

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  • Books, General Monty, Lists, Reviews

    Best of 2012: Monty’s Pick

    18.12.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Best of 2012: Monty’s Pick

    Monty, who is fortunate enough to buy both the YA comics and the YA music, has found this list of best apps of 2012, which contains some incredible creative genius, and also a Monty recommendation:

    Chopsticks, Jessica Anthony.

    “After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As we flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song “Chopsticks.”

    “But nothing is what it seems, and Glory’s reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it’s up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along…” (goodreads.com)

    Monty adds that it’s “a mish-mash of styles and good on the expectations and pressures of society on teens, contains romance and ends with surprise and mystery – what more could you ask for?”

    Chopsticks is, as Monty says, a “multi-media extravaganza”! Visit the Chopsticks tumblr for more visuals, including a link to the app at the Apple store (for the downloading (note: it’s not a free app)).

    The School Library Journal reviewed both the book and the app.


  • Books, Fantasy, Raewyn, Reviews

    Some terrible magic this way comes

    17.12.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Some terrible magic this way comes

    Advent (Advent Trilogy book one), by James Treadwell

    A December night 1537 and a powerful mage boards a ship for England. There is a shipwreck and none survive. What has happened to the box he was carrying? The box with a magic mirror and ring inside?

    Present day: Gavin knows he is different. He still has his childhood imaginary friend, Miss Grey for a start and he dreams very strange dreams. His parents don’t like him and when they get the chance to go overseas, they pack him off to his Aunt Gwen who lives outside Truro, on an estate called Pendurra. But his aunt isn’t there to meet his train and she isn’t in her cottage and when a girl with dead eyes bangs on his door at midnight and then shuffles away, Gavin is certain this is not going to be an ordinary holiday! The next day he meets the owner of Pendurra and his daughter. The very same dead looking girl whom he’d seen the night before but now very much alive. Marina and Gavin spend time exploring, finding strange things happening and finally realise that ‘magic is rising…’

    ~ Raewyn


  • Books, Rachel and Rebecca

    R ‘n’ R with R ‘n’ R Vol. 1

    14.12.12 | Permalink | 2 Comments

    Hello, hello and welcome to Rest and Relaxation with us, Rachel and Rebecca. Check out that alliteration. The YA collection is full of incredible gems that for whatever reason, sometimes become hidden or forgotten about. Which is where we come in. We want to help you discover some of the marvels in our collection.

    So without further ado, we’re going to kick off the weekend with our first list; graphic novels that aren’t about super heroes. As awesome as graphic novels are (quick to read and often pretty to look at) they’re also mostly about super heroes doing super human things. Which is cool, but sometimes you need something a little different. So here’s our list of graphic novels that AREN’T about super heroes, but are about everyday people. Like you and me.

    Anya’s Ghost, Vera Brosgolbook cover courtesy of Syndetics

    Anya is your regular teenage girl dealing with an overbearing mother and the trials of high school (fitting in, bullying, crushes and the like). One day she meets the ghost of Emily Reilly, a girl her age who died 90 years or so earlier. At first all is well with Emily helping Anya cheat on tests in school and advising her in what to say to the cute boy. It all goes wrong however when Anya begins to question Emily’s motives…

    Page by Paige, Laura Lee Gulledgebook ocver courtesy of Syndetics

    Another one about your average girl. Paige has just moved to New York from rural Virginia (a distance the internet tells me is 543km, slightly further than moving from Wellington to Auckland) and is struggling to navigate the big city, not to mention a new school. Paige loves to draw and it is in the pages of her sketchbook that she tries to make sense of her new life, including trying out her secret identity: artist. As she becomes more confident in her drawing, she becomes more confident in her self.

    Ichiro, Ryan Inzanabook cover courtesy of Syndetics

    After the death of his American father in war, Ichiro is raised by a Japanese mother in New York City. Because of his dual heritage Ichiro finds it difficult to figure out where he fits in, he looks Japanese but feels like a regular American teenager. During a business trip to Japan he is left with his grandfather who teaches him Japanese history and myths. One night Ichiro discovers they might not be just myths and that the world of the gods really does exist. In some form. Ichiro is a beautiful coming of age story for anyone who love myths and legends about the gods. 

    Lola, Elbert Orbook cover courtesy of Syndetics

    Jesse sees dead people. He’s the only one who can, aside from his grandmother, who has just passed away. Jesse has to travel with his family from his home in Canada to the Philippines where he was born, although he dislikes it more and more each time he goes there. When he arrives, Jesse has to deal with rogue spirits, on his own this time. Lola deals with loss and grief in different forms, with a twist of dark humour.

    Chimichanga, Eric Powellbook cover courtesy of Syndetics

    Chimichanga is the tale of Lula, a young bearded girl in a traveling circus of, well, fairly average people, really. While wandering one day, Lula trades some of her beard hair for a large egg, which hatches into a new friend named Chimichanga, Chimi for short. He joins Lula’s circus act, but the other performers grow jealous of the attention Chimi draws, and they begin to plot their revenge. It sounds weird, and frankly, it is. The characters are a bit grotesque – I don’t recommend eating lunch while you read (I learnt the hard way). However, it’s also rather touching, and Lula is utterly charming.

    The Never Weres, Fiona Smythbook cover courtesy of Syndetics

    A few hundred years in the future, humans are on the verge of extinction. Babies can no longer be born, and human cloning has still not been perfected. At age 15, three of the youngest people on Earth are just trying to go to high school and get on with their lives. But when they stumble upon an unsolved case of a missing girl, it might just lead them to saving the world. Each of the three teens has a distinctive personality, and the art in The Never Weres keep you wanting to turn those pages.

    And that’s it from us today! We really hope you’ve enjoyed our recommendations and perhaps found something new to feast your eyes on. We’ll be back shortly with a (vaguely) Christmas themed post, so keep your eyes peeled! If you have any thoughts on underappreciated items in our collection, or any suggestions or feedback for future topics, please leave a comment below.


  • Fashion Friday, Style Catalogue

    Ferragamo First

    14.12.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Ferragamo First

    salvatoreferragamocampaign4

    I don’t know if you remember, but I’m quite the Salvatore Ferragamo fan. Mostly I’m in love with their scarves, but I am a huge fan of pretty much everything they do. And guess what?! Ferragamo is now the first label to have held a runway show INSIDE THE LOUVRE.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ferragamo was recently the exclusive sponsor of a Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition held at the Louvre, and this won them permission to hold their much-awaited Cruise Collection 2013 fashion show on the famed, historical premises; the first ever. Oh the glamour! I would’ve given my pretty much anything to have been there but I had to make do with this video. It’s 20 (glorious) minutes long so I recommend you get comfy! These are two of my fave looks from the Louvre runway.

    salvatore-ferragamo6-399x600salvatore-ferragamo

    To celebrate this fabulous first, I’ve been for a rummage in the Ferragamo archives at fashiongonerogue.com and pulled out some of my most favourite Ferragamo moments…

    salvatore-ferragamo1salvatore-ferragamo18
    salvatore-ferragamo35
    testino3testino1
    All photos from fashiongonerogue.com

    We do have some luscious Salvatore Ferragamo books here at the library as well…

    1454-fc-tSalvatore Ferragamo : the art of the shoe, 1898-1960.

     

     

     

    index1Salvatore Ferragamo : evolving legend 1928-2008 / [editing, Emanuela Di Lailo, Raffaella Gallio ; Christopher Shanti Evans … [et al.]].

     

     

     

    So, there we have it! Two of my fave designers in just two weeks! Oh, contain me.


  • Books, Reviews, Simon

    Best of 2012: MY pick

    13.12.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Best of 2012: MY pick

    Radiant Days : A Novel, Elizabeth Hand

    This is a book about Merle, a young artist who goes homeless in the late ’70s after her heart is broken. It is also about the nineteenth-century French poet Arthur Rimbaud, who, at the age of 16, was already on the way to becoming an established writer. He and Merle meet up via time travel, but this is not a science-fiction novel; this is about the isolation and transcendence of art. Arthur Rimbaud (a real person!) was a hero of mine when I was a teen and so I was thrilled to read a story in which he is a character. AND furthermore the book is beautifully written, something you’d always hope for but is especially appropriate in this case.

    Here are more reviews and information.


  • Books, Lists

    Best of 2012: Stephanie’s Pick

    12.12.12 | Permalink | 2 Comments

    The Fault in our Stars, John Green

    “Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

    “Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

    “Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.” (goodreads.com)

    Also really liked:

    The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

    The Diviners, Libba Bray

    Every Day, David Levithan


  • Books, New, Simon

    New Books

    10.12.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on New Books

    Pirate Cinema, by Cory Doctorow (384 pages) – In near-future England, the law has become really tight with digital downloads. If you’re caught three times your household’s internet is blocked for a year. Which is actually not too dissimilar to NZ, actually. Anyway, sixteen-year-old Trent, moviemaker and downloader, gets banned, nearly destroying his family – they all rely on the internet for work. He runs away to London and joins up with like-minded people who are fighting the wealthy media conglomerates that control the government.

    First line: ‘I will never forget the day my family got cut off from the Internet, I was hiding in my room as I usually did after school let out, holed up with a laptop I’d bought thirdhand and that I nursed to health with parts from here and there and a lot of cursing and sweat.

    Burning Blue, by Paul Griffin (293 pages) – Rich, popular, and pretty Nicole is attacked by someone who throws acid on her face, disfiguring her. Quiet hacker Jay, who goes to her school, decides that he will find out who it was that attacked Nicole, and in the process he begins to fall for Nicole, whose personality is pretty attractive also, evidently.

    First lines: ‘I was at the cemetery when it happened. I didn’t even know Nicole at the time. Well, I knew of her. Everybody did.

    All You Never Wanted, by Adele Griffin (225 pages) – Alex is super-pretty, and her parents are rich, so she lives the life. Her sister, Thea, doesn’t quite have the looks, however, and she’s jealous of Alex’s boyfriend, Joshua. They have the house to themselves one weekend and plan a party; Thea also plans to sabotage Alex’s relationship, and she will do anything to get the life that Alex wants. ANYTHING

    First line: ‘She gets into the car and then she can’t drive it. Can’t even start the engine for the gift of the air conditioner. She is a living corpse roasting in sun-warmed leather.

    The Blood Keeper, by Tessa Gratton (422 pages) – Mab Prowd is a blood witch, and spends her time practising blood magic on the remote Kansas farm where she and other blood witches hang out, doing their thing (i.e., blood magic) and avoiding non-blood magic studies. Mab accidently activates a long-dead and powerful curse, which messes with her magic. It does result in her meeting Will Sanger, a local boy, for whom she develops an attachment. Ooooh

    First line: ‘The last thing the Deacon said to me before he died was “Destroy those roses.”

    The Lost Prince, by Julie Kagawa (395 pages) – This is book five of The Iron Fey series. It’s about fairies! But not Rainbow Magic fairies, that’s for sure. In this volume Ethan Chase, whose dislike of the Faery realm is such that he ignores them all, has to break his own rules when the Fey start to disappear and his family is endangered.

    First lines: ‘My name is Ethan Chase. And I doubt I’ll live to see my eighteenth birthday. That’s not me being dramatic; it just is.

    Illumination, by Karen Brooks (664 pages) – This is book III of The Curse of the Bond Riders, following on from Tallow and Votive. Now Tallow ‘sets in motion forces beyond her control. From Serenissima to Farrowfare, enemies – as well as those she has always trusted – plot to ensure her compliance and, ultimately, destruction. But in doing so, they make a fatal mistake – they underestimate her and the power she can wield.’ Yes I just copied and pasted that

    First lines: ‘Dawn infused the glade with a sickly light. In the distance, an owl gave a tired hoot and a gentle wind stirred the trees.

    The Assassin’s Curse, by Cassandra Rose Clarke (298 pages) – Ananna is told that she has to marry some dude from another pirate clan. She’s not keen so abandons ship, only to have an assassin sent after her. She accidently misuses her magic, cursing them both – her and the assassin – and binding them together. To break the curse they must complete three tasks, and soon romance blossoms betwixt them, yarrr.

    First line: ‘I ain’t never been one to trust beautiful people, and Tarrin of the Hariri was the most beautiful man I ever saw.

    99 Flavours of Suck, by Tania Hutley (237 pages) – Kane’s mother is a dog-whisperer with her own television show, and together they track down a sheep-killing dog for her show. He gets bitten and transforms into some kind of werewolf, which results in nonstop itching (among other things). The only way to break the curse is a kiss from his soulmate, Pippa, who unfortunately hates his guts.

    First line: ‘On my babe-scale, Pippa Jensen shoots past infinity.

    The Dark Unwinding, by Sharon Cameron (318 pages) – Katherine is told to sort out her uncle, who is reportedly insane and squandering the family fortune. However, she finds that he’s a genius with clockwork who has employed an entire village of people rescued from London workhouses, and his apprentice is hot. She’s torn between the family she’s part of, the people he’s helping, and the hot apprentice in this romantic gothic adventure.

    First lines: ‘Warm sun and robin’s-egg skies were inappropriate conditions for sending one’s uncle to a lunatic asylum. I had settled this point four hours earlier, while miles of road slipped beneath the carriage wheels.

    Regine’s Book : A Teen Girl’s Last Words, by Regine Stokke (329 pages) – Regine Stokke was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008, and started a blog in which she  wrote about the last year of her life (she died a year later). This book is reproduction of her blog and many of the comments she received from the hundreds of followers she had, and is full of photos, and you might need a box of tissues with you when you read it.

    First line: ‘Tuesday, Nov 4 2008 – Disclaimer; I’ve decided to start a blog about what it’s like to get a life-threatening disease. Some of the content will therefore be too heavy for some people.

    The Shadow Society, by Marie Rutkoski (408 pages) – At the age of five, Darcy Jones was abandoned outside a firestation in Chicago. She doesn’t remember much but the new boy – Conn – at her high school awakens old memories. She discovers that she’s in fact from an alternate timeline where the Great Chicago Fire never happened and where Shades prey on humans. She must infiltrate the Shadow Society to reveals what the Shades have planned.

    First line: ‘Knowing what I know now, I’d say my foster mother had her reasons for throwing a kitchen knife at me.

    Game Changer, by Margaret Peterson Haddix (250 pages) – KT Sutton is the star pitcher of her softball team, and so her life is pretty much softball-centred. However, she blacks out during a game and awakens in a world where sports and academia have reversed roles. Sports is taught all day long, with hours of tedious practice, while everyone obsesses over after-school academic competition.

    First lines: ‘KT Sutton swung her arm in a phantom arc. Her hand released a phantom ball. The perfect pitch.


  • Books, Grimm, Reviews

    Best of 2012: Grimm’s Pick

    10.12.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Best of 2012: Grimm’s Pick

    The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

    All her life, Blue has been told if she kisses her true love he will die. But! Blue’s not too cut up about this, because there are more important things to worry about when you’re a feisty, creative, intelligent young woman who lives in a house full of quirky psychics (therefore the prediction of future doom). Blue’s not psychic herself, so she’s surprised when on St Mark’s Eve – when the spirits of those who will die in the next twelve months walk the Corpse Road – she sees Gansey. The psychics say this is either because Blue will kiss him or just plain kill him, one or t’other. When Gansey turns out to be a Raven Boy – a student at the elite Aglionby academy – Blue decides it’s probably the latter. When she meets him, she’s fairly sure this is the case (best to steer clear then). But Blue’s drawn to Gansey and his Raven friends, who are on a quest to discover the resting place of the long-dead (or rather long-sleeping) Glendower. Gansey is convinced Glendower is around these parts, and that he will grant his waker (being, if all things go to plan, Gansey) a favour.

    The Raven Boys is like a supernatural double mystery story (one obvious, one that gradually reveals itself), and if the start sounds like a romance, you might be surprised (don’t be deterred!). There’s a large cast of characters, and they’re all distinct and interesting: I couldn’t decide who I liked best, the competition was stiff. The final sentence is really very good. This book received a lot of advance publicity (um, some of it from me here) and is on its way to being a film.

    I also particularly liked this year:

    Grave Mercy, Robin LaFevres

    Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein

    Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore

    Quintana of Charyn, Melina Marchetta


  • Fashion Friday, Style Catalogue

    Viva Valentino!

    07.12.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Viva Valentino!

    karo

    I LOVE Valentino. Just sayin’! And at the mo, he has a totes amaze exhibition on in London, ‘Valentino: Master of Couture’, to celebrate 50 years of his ultra-glam Valentino Garavani brand. You can see some sweet pics here and here. The exhibition features 130 glorious gowns designed by Valentino, and worn by the likes of Grace Kelly, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sophia Loren, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Onassis and Gwyneth Paltrow. A-list, much?! He even crafted a spectacular pearl-encrusted wedding dress for Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece in 1955. It took 25 seamstresses 4 months to create. Wowzers! While I do have a couple of beloved Valentino gems in my collection, I def don’t have that!

    Although thought you may enjoy a wee peek at my 70s Valentino handbag…

    photo_3

    My winter scarf:

    photo_2

    And my shining star! The wallet!

    photo_1

    Although am thinking I have to re-ebay the wallet; it is so exceptionally gorgeous that I’m terrified of damaging it and consequently never use it out of pure fear.

    I also thought this was a good opportunity to go delving into the Valentino archives for a few of my faves…
    karo3valentinoprefall25valentino6valentino

    All photos from fashiongonerogue.com

    We also have some Valentino treats for you here at the library.

    imagesValentino [videorecording] : the last emperor / Acolyte Films presents a film by Matt Tyrnauer.
    I particularly recommend this one. SUCH a good watch! Valentino himself cracks me up, and you won’t beliiiieeeve the opulent lifestyle he leads. Seriously out of control. It also features beautiful footage of his 45th anniversary celebrations (make sure you scroll to the bottom of that link, the pictures are beautiful and truly exquisite). $4 for one week!

    Syndetics book coverValentino : a grand Italian epic / Armando Chitolina, (ed.) ; [authors], Matt Tyrnauer, [Suzy Menkes] ; directed and produced by Benedikt Taschen ; [English translations, Chris Miller … [et al.]].
    This book is also a lush treat, and was released around the same time as the momentous 45th anniversay of Valentino.

     

    And lastly! There’s now a Valentino Garavani museum online. Excite!


  • Books, Library Serf

    Best of 2012: Andrée’s pick

    06.12.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Best of 2012: Andrée’s pick

    Sea Hearts, a.k.a. The Brides of Rollrock Island, Margo Lanagan

    “On remote Rollrock Island, men go to sea to make their livings – and to catch their wives. The witch Misskaella knows the way of drawing a girl from the heart of a seal, of luring the beauty out of the beast. And for a price a man may buy himself a lovely sea-wife. He may have and hold and keep her. And he will tell himself that he is her master. But from his first look into those wide, questioning, liquid eyes, he will be just as transformed as she. He will be equally ensnared. And the witch will have her true payment. Margo Lanagan weaves an extraordinary tale of desire, despair, and transformation. With devastatingly beautiful prose, she reveals characters capable of unspeakable cruelty, but also unspoken love.” (goodreads.com)


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