Don’t miss your chance to meet award winning author Isobelle Carmody !
Author of the popular Obernewtyn fantasy series and others, the award-winning Isobelle Carmody will be at the Wellington Central Library for this one-off interactive QnA discussion.
Discover her journey to becoming one of Australia’s most popular authors and hear about her inspirations and challenges. Come along with your own questions for Isobelle.
Wellington Central Library, Tuesday 6th August at 6.30pm
Free event, no bookings required – just turn up.
Isobelle’s books are really popular, you might know some of them:
The film festival has just started! This is super exciting to us, especially for Rachel who works it every year. Bonus points to you if you spot her while at a screening. You can pick up a brochure from any of your local libraries to see the enormous scope of what’s on. OR you can take our word for it and just pay attention to our picks…
New Zealand’s own Romeo and Juliet: A Love Song, directed by Tim van Dammen
This is the story you know transposed to the beachside Verona Campground not so very far from Auckland. It started as a soundtrack, with Shakespeare’s text being set to 21st-century Kiwi trailer trash pop. Yes it does need to be seen to be believed. Christopher Landon and Derya Parlak as Romeo and Juliet clearly belong together; they’re just so much prettier than anyone else. Their clashing clans are decked out in richly imagined array of riotous summery tackiness and perform with gusto.
The Selfish Giant, directed by Clio Barnard
This contemporary fable about the friendship of two 13-year-old boys of strikingly different temperaments falling under the influence of a scrap metal dealer who runs gypsy horse races on the side is partially modeled on Oscar Wilde’s story of the same name. Exciting, tough and superbly acted by a mix of non-professional and recognisable character actors, this is a bracing dispatch from the bottom of the heap.
Wadjda, directed and written by Haifaa Al Mansour
Set in Riyadh, Wadjda is not only the first full-length film to be entirely shot in Saudi Arabia, but it is also the first feature to be directed anywhere by a Saudi woman. In a country where women are not allowed to vote or drive, and cinema itself is banned, it’s already a surprising achievement. The film is as smart and funny as its young heroine, scoring its satiric points with a light hand, while never leaving us in any doubt that public life for a Saudi woman is seriously limited. If you see nothing else, see this. Super bonus points if you spot us both at screenings.
The Spectacular Now, directed by James Ponsoldt
This Sundance hit is a blessedly unaffected high school romance enacted with lovely directness by a superb duo of young performers. Miles Teller stars as a popular, all-round likeable boy whose easy-going charm may be more dependent on the hip flask in his pocket than he or anyone else realises. When his girlfriend tires of the good times, an unlikely new romance dawns with a much more introspective and conservative girl played brilliantly by Shailene Woodley.
The Bling Ring, directed by Sofia Coppola
Between 2008 and 2009 a gang of high-schoolers, who became known by the media as The Bling Ring, stole more than $3m in clothes, cash, jewellery and art from the homes of Paris Hilton (who makes a brief appearance), Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan and more. Using gossip sites like TMZ, they calculated when their victims would be out of town and googled their addresses. Easy as. Hilton was even so kind as to leave a key under her doormat. Not exactly criminal masterminds, The Bling Ring took selfies of themselves in designer swag and brazenly posted them on Facebook…
… we could go on for quite some time. You should definitely check out the brochure!
Soooo… have you seen the latest collection photoshoot from Alexander McQueen? The fall 2013 campaign, starring British model Edie Campbell, dropped only days ago and these get-ups are inteeeeeense!! Definitely not what I would call ready-to-wear, but still gorgeous; this collection has been inspired by Catholicism and the Virgin Queen Elizabeth I (amongst other things), and is a true spectacle. Think pearls, feathers, bodices, headwear… and lace. So much lace. Check out my selections below, or you can view the full campaign here.
And if you’re looking to update your hipster style or just have a bit of a laugh this weekend, may I recommend this book:
So you think you’re a hipster? : cautionary case studies from the city streets / Kara Simsek ; with illustrations by Paul Parker.
50 insightful entries examining the self-proclaimed urban elite. Skinny jeans? Check. Charity-shop clothing? Check. Non-essential prescription glasses? Check. Beanie balanced artfully on the back of your skull? Check. These items have become the uniform for a new breed of young people – hipsters – determined to take over cities with their “alternative” ways whilst overloading on irony and striving to be original and creative. So You Think You’re a Hipster? examines what it takes to become one of this ever-growing tribe of middle-class urbanites, just as desperate to be accepted by their peers as they are to receive the next rent cheque from mum and dad. Over the following pages a series of hilarious case studies will identify typical examples of the subculture, helping you to avoid any future encounters with them. Take thrift-store guy, who at 35 still works selling worn sneakers and threadbare t-shirts for extortionate amounts and still dreams of one day getting his latest album reviewed on Pitchfork. Or the aspiring author who lugs around an oldfashioned typewriter to write down her inspirational musings at a moments notice. Then there’s ironic moustache man whose facial hair makes him feel like a highly individual fashion maverick, despite the fact all his graphic designer friends have one, too.
Another weekend in Wellington is lurking just ahead of us. Here’s some heads-ups for ways to spend it.
Soldout Splendour In The Grass has lured a whole bunch of epic bands down under this weekend but, and it’s a really big but, they’re all the way over in Australia’s New South Wales. If you want to get a sneak peak at some of the big acts (and there are plenty of them) you can do that right here at the “Best-Of-The-Fest” stream.
The Naked And Famous have dropped a new single from their upcoming second album In Rolling Waves.
There’s a good chance you’re not going to get to get to experience them while they’re here if you’re under 18, so here’s a short film with the Veils playing some of their tunes for you.
Enjoy your first week back at school!
Some fantasy, and a return to normality!
Raven Flight, Juliet Marillier – the second in the Shadowfell series. “Neryn has finally found the rebel group at Shadowfell, and now her task is to seek out the elusive Guardians, vital to her training as a Caller. These four powerful beings have been increasingly at odds with human kind, and Neryn must prove her worth to them. She desperately needs their help to use her gift without compromising herself or the cause of overthrowing the evil King Keldec. Neryn must journey with the tough and steadfast Tali, who looks on Neryn’s love for the double agent Flint as a needless vulnerability. And perhaps it is. What Flint learns from the king will change the battlefield entirely—but in whose favor, no one knows.” (goodreads.com)
Love in the Time of Global Warming, Francesca Lia Block (September) – “Seventeen-year-old Penelope (Pen) has lost everything – her home, her parents, and her ten-year-old brother. Like a female Odysseus in search of home, she navigates a dark world full of strange creatures, gathers companions and loses them, finds love and loses it, and faces her mortal enemy. In her signature style, Francesca Lia Block has created a world that is beautiful in its destruction and as frightening as it is lovely. At the helm is Pen, a strong heroine who holds hope and love in her hands and refuses to be defeated.” (goodreads.com) Perhaps this book’s title is a salute to Love in the Time of Cholera, a 20th century classic by Gabriel García Márquez?
Emerald Green, Kerstin Gier – the German title is – fantastically – Smaragdgrün. This is the conclusion to the Ruby Red trilogy. “Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is. She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along” (goodreads.com). Gideon, you dastardly young man.
Dear Margaret Mahy
We miss you. We miss your vibrant personality and most excellent wigs. We miss your humour, your descriptions, your characters and the way you made us believe in people. No one has master the art of writing longish short stories based on improbable casts of characters and far-fetched plots better than you. Nor has anyone done so with greater panache and infectious enjoyment. You are one of New Zealand’s greatest writers and as much as we love you, we want to thank you as well. For the 100 picture books, 40 novels and 20 collections of short stories that made us laugh, cry but most of all, believe. You sparked our imaginations over and over again and for that, we most sincerely thank you.
With love and respect,
R n R
Margaret Mahy worked as a librarian for more than 10 years before becoming a full-time writer. She has won many awards for her work including the Carnegie Medal and the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award and in 1993 she was awarded the Order of New Zealand. Her novels have been translated into German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Italian, Japanese, Catalan and Afrikaans.
The Margaret Mahy Medal Award was established by the New Zealand Children’s Book Foundation in 1991 to provide recognition of excellence in children’s literature, publishing and literacy in New Zealand. In March 2009 she was commemorated as one of the Twelve Local Heroes and a bronze bust of her was unveiled outside the Christchurch Arts Centre.
All in all, Margaret Mahy was an incredible woman. We’ve raved about some of her work before but here are (some more of) our personal favourites from her vast work:
We know you’re all far too old to be reading picture books but it’s impossible to leave these gems out! In fact we could probably do an entire post about the brilliance of Margaret Mahy’s picture books for readers of all ages. They’re witty, original, and damn good stories.
The blood-and-thunder Adventure on Hurricane Peak – yes, it’s another one for younger readers but it’s also a personal favourite from my childhood. I re-read it recently and it had me snorting with laughter. Set in the Unexpected School on top of Hurricane Peak and in the great city of Hookywalker below this blood-and-thunder adventure has the best characters. Villains, an inventor, a tartar of a principal, a boy and girl in need of an education, a cat masquerading as a headprefect, a magician practicing school teacher, an inquisitive postman and two school inspectors hopelessly out of their depth.
Kaitangata Twitch – Kaitangata is an island with a rocky fist punching skywards. In pre-European New Zealand the tiny island was the scene of awful happenings and now it seems to have a life of its own. It dreamt terrible dreams. The local tribe knew it was best to leave it alone. And so the island slept again. But now Kaitangata is twitching. It’s moving. It’s waking up! The last time it twitched was over 50 years ago and a girl disappeared without a trace, apparently swallowed up by the island. Now, it’s moving again. Dreaming again. Can Meredith, the dreamer of the family, save the island from an unscrupulous developer? It’s also been made into a tv series.
A dissolving ghost : essays and more – this is a collection of talks and articles, largely about children’s literature, plus a short story for adults and an interview with Margaret Mahy. Another such work is Notes of a Bag Lady.
And if you want more information about Margaret Mahy, these are some biographies:
Margaret Mahy : a writer’s life, by Tessa Duder – in which Margaret Mahy is described as “a brilliant essayist, an expert on children’s literature, a scholar and philosopher. For many fellow writers, teachers and librarians she was a treasured friend, supportive, generous and wonderful company. For children, she was the storyteller supreme, warm, full of wonder, magic and mischief – and on their side.” A biography for older readers.
Magical Margaret Mahy, by Betty Gilderdale – asks the questions who was Margaret Mahy? What was she like as a child? Where did her weird and wonderful ideas come from? A biography for younger readers.
with extraordinary protagonists:
Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo (432 pages) – Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all the while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long. The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the evil there but as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and further away from Mal.
First lines: “The boy and the girl had once dreamed of ships, long ago, before they’d ever seen the True Sea. They were the vessels of stories, magic ships with masts hewn from sweet cedar and sails spun by maidens from thread of pure gold.”
Pulse, Patrick Carman (371 pages) – In the year 2051, most Americans live in one of two gigantic, modern States. Faith Daniels discovers that she can move objects with her mind. This telekinetic ability is called a “pulse,” and her mysterious classmate Dylan has the same talent. They are part of a dwindling group that lives between the states and whose unusual abilities could help when the inevitable war begins.
First lines: “Faith Daniels was sleeping soundly when several things in her room began to move. She was a tall girl with long limbs that extended beyond the bed into the cool air of her bedroom.”
Spirit and Dust, Rosemary Clement-Moore (384 pages) – Daisy Goodnight can speak to the dead. It’s not the result of a head injury or some near-death experience. She was just born that way. And she’s really good at it. Good enough to help the police solve the occasional homicide. But helping the local authorities clear cold cases is one thing. Being whisked out of chemistry class by the FBI and flown to the scene of a murder/kidnapping in Minnesota? That’s the real deal. Before the promotion can go to Daisy’s head, she’s up to her neck in trouble. The spirits are talking, and they’re terrified. There’s a real living girl in danger. And when Daisy is kidnapped by a crime boss with no scruples about using magic—and Daisy—to get what he wants, it looks like hers is the next soul on the line.
First lines: “The local cops kept staring at me. I couldn’t decide if it was the plaid miniskirt in subarctic temperatures, or the fact they’d never seen anyone talk to the dead before.”
The Creative Fire, Brenda Cooper, (348 pages) – Ruby Martin expects to spend her days repairing robots while avoiding the dangerous peace-keeping forces that roam the corridors of the generation ship The Creative Fire. The social structure of the ship is rigidly divided, with Ruby and her friends on the bottom. Then a ship-wide accident gives Ruby a chance to fight for the freedom she craves. Her enemies are numerous, well armed, and knowledgeable. Her weapons are a powerful voice, a quick mind, and a deep stubbornness, If Ruby can’t transform from a rebellious teen to the leader of a revolution, she and all her friends will lose all say in their future.
First lines: “Four men in red uniforms surrounded three men wearing dirty gray work clothes. The reds muscled the less fortunate men down an orange hallway. Uneven light showed the scars where bots and cargo carts had bumped the metal walls and two places where graffiti had been painted over.”
Stormbringers, Philippa Gregory (279 pages) – Luca Vero is a member of the secret Order of Darkness, tasked with searching out and reporting signs of the end of the world. With him are his loyal friend and servant Freize, and his clerk, Brother Peter, as well as the Lady Iolde and her mysterious servant-companion Ishraq. Luca and Isolde grow more and more attracted to each other as they continue their journey to unravel the mysteries throughout Christendom. But their travels are delayed by the uprising of an intense religious crusade that threatens the balance of the civilized world. Death lingers in the air as war ravages on, but this religious conflict is nothing compared to the arrival of an intense and deadly storm.
First lines: “The five travellers on horseback on the rutted track to Pescara made everyone turn and stare: the woman who brought them weak ale in a roadside inn; the peasant building a hewn stone wall by the side of the road; the boy trailing home from school to work in his father’s vineyard.”
Song of the Slums, Richard Harland (370 pages) – What if they’d invented rock ‘n roll way back in the 19th century? What if it could take over the world and change the course of history? In the slums of Brummingham, the outcast gangs are making a new kind of music, with pounding rhythms and wild guitars. Astor Vance has been trained in refined classical music. But when her life plummets from riches to rags, the only way she can survive is to play the music the slum gangs want.
First lines: “‘Come on down!’ called Verrol. There was an urgency in his voice that Astor hadn’t heard before. She joined the musicians down below, but when the young buzz guitarist offered her his instrument, she shook her head. ‘I can’t play that.'”
Imposter, Jill Hathaway (261 pages) – This is the follow up to Slide. Vee Bell is now more or less in control of her gift (or curse) of “sliding”—slipping into the mind of another person and experiencing life, briefly, through his or her eyes. But then Vee starts coming to in weird place, not knowing what she’s done. Someone is getting insider her head and messing with her mind, literally. As Vee finds herself in stranger and stranger situations with no memory of getting there, she begins to suspect that someone else she knows has the ability to slide. And this “slider” is using Vee to exact revenge.
First lines: “The dream always goes like this: I’m in the passenger seat of a car, racing down the interstate. The smell of gasoline stings my nostrils. My lips are moving, and sound is coming out, but my words don’t make sense. And I know what’s going to happen, but there’s nothing I can do about it.“
Touched, Corrine Jackson (341 pages) – You’d think being able to heal people with a touch would be a blessing. But to 17-year-old Remy O’Malley, it’s more like a curse. Every injury Remy heals becomes her own. She lives in fear of the day she’s forced to mend a wound from which she can’t recover – and she’s desperate to keep her ability a secret.
First lines: “Okay. This is going to hurt like hell. Taking a deep breath, I stepped into the room, my movements piercing the alcoholic haze insulating Dean.”
Keeper of the Black Stones, PT McHugh (366 pages) – Jason Evans, a shy, introverted high school freshman, thought that his mundane life was all there was – girls, golf, physics, and the occasional bully. Until he found out about the secrets his grandfather had been keeping from him … a set of stones that allowed him to jump through time … a maniacal madman who used the stones to shape history to his liking … and Jason’s own role as one of the few people in the world who could stop that man.
First lines: “The old soldier’s horse thundered across the plain toward the small village of Abergavenny, and death rode with him. The people of the village didn’t deserve to die, but within the next several hours, many of them would.”
17 & Gone, Nova Ren Suma (353 pages) – Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common – they are seventeen and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these visions, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? Is she next? Through Lauren’s search for clues, things begin to unravel, and when a brush with death lands Lauren in hospital, a shocking truth changes everything.
First lines: “Girls go missing every day. They slip out bedroom windows and into strange cars. They leave good-bye notes or they don’t get a chance to tell anyone… Girls make plans to go, but they also vanish without meaning to, and sometimes people confuse one for the other.”
Who needs a touch of glamour?! Hit up the enviable styles of Kylie Monigue, Kate Moss and Lady Gaga, along with a touch of awards’ night elegance, with these sweet reads:
Red carpet : 21 years of fame and fashion / photographs by Frank Trapper ; edited by Katrina Fried.
21 years of red carpet events as captured by Frank Trapper. Includes Grammy, Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe events.
Kylie fashion / Kylie Minogue & William Baker ; foreword by Jean Paul Gaultier.
Published as part of the K25 celebrations this year, Kylie / Fashion is the official book celebrating twenty-five years since Kylie burst onto the music scene with The Locomotion and I Should Be So Lucky. This dazzling book celebrates her numerous and ground-breaking collaborations with the world’s great fashion designers.
Lady Gaga : critical mass fashion / by Lizzy Goodman.
“Packed with 120 full-color photos of the new queen of pop, this volume celebrates the fashion of the edgy, wildly original Lady Gaga, catching this rocketing star at her most outrageous, most revealing, and most fashionable.” (Syndetics summary)
Kate Moss : style : inside the world’s most famous wardrobe / Angela Buttolph.
“A stylish celebration of top model Kate Moss’s life in fashion. Arguably the most famous style icon of recent decades, Kate Moss is certainly one of the most photographed and talked-about celebrities of our time. Kate’s unique personal experience of the fashion industry has meant she has worked with the best designers, photographers and stylists, and worn the world’s most beautiful clothes from a very early age. Kate’s sense of style is now innate, instinctive and impeccable. Her fresh approach to dressing has turned her into a style icon for millions who buy her designs at Topshop, and emulate her style. This book not only explores the elements of Moss’s style, but her eye for putting her look together — not only where she shops and what she buys, but why. We all want a little bit of the Moss Style Mojo, and this book unravels her formula; taking us not just inside her wardrobe, but inside her head. “From the Trade Paperback edition.”” (Syndetics summary)
The complete book of Oscar fashion : 75 years of glamour on the red carpet / Reeve Chace.
“This book presents the pageantry of Oscar fashion in photos culled from 75 years of Academy Awards ceremonies. Take a walk down the Red Carpet and see the stars. Scrutinize the fashions worn by Norma Shearer in the 1920’s to Audrey Hepburn in the 1950’s and the current day trends with the likes of Halle Berry and Cameron Diaz.” (Goodreads summary)
How’re your holidays going? Great, we hope! Here’s this weeks run down of Wellington’s weekend fun times to help keep them lively.
Firstly though, did you know we’re having a sweet games fest at Wellington Central Library over the next few Wednesdays? We’ll supply the warmth and games, all you need to do is turn up!
Ever wondered what goes on behind the doors of the St James at the Royal New Zealand Ballet company? They’re having an open day this Saturday for all you keenly interested ballerdudes and ballerettes.
Want to spend the weekend watching baby pandas? Well you can! Thanks to Atlanta Zoo’s Lun Lun you can watch TWO baby pandas (twins). Woah!
There’s a swell looking, all ages, fundraising performance at Paramount Theatre of Echolalia. Here’s a brief description; “Inspired by the humour and directness of autistic children while working on a holiday program, McArthur’s delightful character Echo doesn’t register social niceties. A young woman on the spectrum preparing for a much needed job interview, Echo unwittingly puts our unspoken social rules under the spotlight…and finds a lot of them wanting.”
If none of that floats your boat, why not spend the weekend making a robot that can do flips like this one?
Another gut-wrenching war thriller, the end of two series (one dystopian, one spy), and the other side of the story…
Rose Under Fire, Elizabeth Wein (September) – this is another World War 2 thriller from the author of Code Name Verity, and we’re super excited! “While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?” (goodreads.com)
Champion, Marie Lu (November) – the final book in the Legend trilogy. “He is a Legend. She is a Prodigy. Who will be Champion? June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic – and each other – and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has.” (goodreads.com)
Just One Year, Gayle Forman (October) – Willem gets a crack at telling his story in this parallel/sequel to Just One Day. We suggest you probably read Day first, and also we won’t say too much here for fear of *spoilers*. So, what’s it all about then? “Equal parts romance, coming-of-age-tale, mystery and travel romp (with settings that span from England’s Stratford upon Avon to Paris to Amsterdam to India’s Bollywood) Just One Day and Just One Year show how in looking for someone else, you just might wind up finding yourself.” (goodreads.com) Looking forward to Bollywood!
United We Spy, Ally Carter (September) – the final in the Gallagher Girls series from the queen of teen spies. “Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie – and her country – forever.” (goodreads.com)