I love Halloween – in my opinion it’s the best holiday of the year. So every week in October I’ll be doing a round up of the best scary fiction, movies, crafts and other interesting bits and pieces. If I have time I might have a chat to the other librarians and get their recommendations as well.
If you’re like me, you want to get your costume and Halloween prep started early – we’ve got some great books on cosplay and other crafts!
Yaya Han is a big name in the cosplay world and she’s edited this great book of photos of amazing cosplayers – great inspiration for taking your halloween costume to the next level. 1000 incredible costume & cosplay ideas displays the best of the best. If you’re not quite at that level yet (like me) then pinterest is a great place to start.
There are quite a few awesome Halloween crafting books – it was hard to pick just a few! Here are some of my favourites: Artful Halloween, Creating your vintage Halloween and Glitterville’s handmade Halloween. There’s also the AntiCraft, one of my favourite craft books ever.
Hopefully you’ll enjoy these round-ups. You’ll certainly be ready by the time the 31st of October rolls around…
What waits in the woods, Kieran Scott
It’s a beautiful, sunny day. Callie Velasquez holds hands with her boyfriend Jeremy as they follow Callie’s new BFFs Penelope and Lissa up the trail. The four friends are embarking on a camping trip — a trip that immediately goes awry. They lose their way on the trail, and encounter a charismatic stranger with questionable motives. And when Callie stumbles upon a dead body, it becomes clear that the danger that lies in the woods is deadlier than she could have ever imagined. Tensions mount and friendships are tested as these teenagers try to survive the most sinister of circumstances. (Goodreads)
First lines: There’s no question things could have gone differently out there in those woods. One zipper more tightly zipped, one foot more carefully placed on a rotting wood plank and I might not be here today. I might be roaming free instead of sitting locked up in this hole, sucky my every meal through a straw, staring at a padded wall.
We all looked up, Tommy Wallach
Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever. But then we all looked up and everything changed.
They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we’d been, something that would last even after the end. Two months to really live. (Goodreads)
First lines: “It’s not the end of the world,” Stacy said.
Peter looked down. He ‘d been staring vacantly at the sky, replaying his brief conversation with Mr. McArthur in his head. He still wasn’t sure of what to make of it.
Black Dove, white raven, Elizabeth Wein
Emilia and Teo’s lives changed in a fiery, terrifying instant when a bird strike brought down the plane their stunt pilot mothers were flying. Teo’s mother died immediately, but Em’s survived, determined to raise Teo according to his late mother’s wishes-in a place where he won’t be discriminated against because of the color of his skin. But in 1930s America, a white woman raising a black adoptive son alongside a white daughter is too often seen as a threat. Seeking a home where her children won’t be held back by ethnicity or gender, Rhoda brings Em and Teo to Ethiopia, and all three fall in love with the beautiful, peaceful country. But that peace is shattered by the threat of war with Italy, and teenage Em and Teo are drawn into the conflict. Will their devotion to their country, its culture and people, and each other be their downfall or their salvation? (Goodreads)
First lines: Sindu told me I should aim for the sun. I still have a plane. There must be some way I can get Teo out safely. I think Momma’s hoard of Maria Theresa dollars is enough to pay for the travel. I am hoping my new passport is waiting for me in Addis Ababa. But Teo…Teo is trapped.
Along the river, Adeline Yen Mah
After a fall, CC is whisked away to a hospital. As she drifts in and out of consciousness, she is haunted by vivid dreams that seem strange—yet somehow familiar. Thus begins CC’s emotional journey back to a privileged life lived eight hundred years ago during the Song dynasty. CC is the daughter of a wealthy and influential man, but she finds herself drawn to a poor orphan boy with a startling ability to capture the beauty of the natural world. As the relationship between these two young people deepens, the transforming power of art and romantic love comes into conflict with the immovable rules of Chinese society. (Goodreads)
First lines: CC first noticed the woman in black when she stopped at the spice booth to buy salt and soya sauce. The market was packed with people. They crowded the narrow aisles between the stalls, jostling each other and bargaining for better value.
A Court of thorns and roses, Sarah J. Maas
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
First lines: The forest had become a labyrinth of snow and ice. I’d been monitoring the parameters of the thicket for an hour, and my vantage point in the crook of a tree branch had turned useless. The gusting wind blew thick flurries to sweep away my tracks, but buried along with them any signs of potential quarry.
In a split second, Sophie McKenzie
Charlie’s life is torn apart by a terrorist bomb in a London market. Months later, she meets Nat, whose family was devastated by the same explosion. But as Charlie gets closer to Nat she uncovers secrets and a whole cast of shady characters that lead her to believe Nat knows more about the attack than he is letting on. (Goodreads)
First lines: I glanced at my phone. It was almost 3pm. Three pm was when the bomb would go off. I raced along the street, my heart banging against my ribs. I had to find Lucas. Canal Street market. That’s what the text had said. That was where Lucas would be.
Boys don’t knit, T.S. Easton (Librarian’s choice)
Ben Fletcher must get to grips with his more ‘feminine’ side following an unfortunate incident with a lollipop lady and a stolen bottle of Martini Rosso from Waitrose. All a big misunderstanding of course. To avoid the Young Offenders unit, Ben is ordered to give something back to the community and develop his sense of social alignment. Take up a hobby and keep on the straight and narrow. The hot teacher he likes runs a knitting group so Ben, reluctantly at first, gets ‘stuck in’. Not easy when your dad is a sports fan and thinks Jeremy Clarkson is God. To his surprise, Ben finds that he likes knitting and that he has a mean competitive streak. If he can just keep it all a secret from his mates…and notice that the girl of his dreams, girl-next-door Megan Hooper has a bit of a thing for him…(Goodreads)
First lines: Mum and Dad are at it again. They’re doing that thing where they make food-based double entendres all the time, thinking it goes over our heads. It goes over Molly’s head; she’s only six and she never listens to Mum or Dad anyway.
Saint Anything, Sarah Dessen
Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident? Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time. (Goodreads)
First Lines: “Would the defendant please rise.”
This wasn’t an actual question, even though it sounded like one. I’d noticed that the first time we’d all been assembled here, in this way. Instead, it was a command, an order. The “please” was just for show.
Read between the lines, Jo Knowles
Thanks to a bully in gym class, unpopular Nate suffers a broken finger—the middle one, splinted to flip off the world. It won’t be the last time a middle finger is raised on this day. Dreamer Claire envisions herself sitting in an artsy café, filling a journal, but fate has other plans. One cheerleader dates a closeted basketball star; another questions just how, as a “big girl,” she fits in. A group of boys scam drivers for beer money without remorse—or so it seems. Over the course of a single day, these voices and others speak loud and clear about the complex dance that is life in a small town. They resonate in a gritty and unflinching portrayal of a day like any other, with ordinary traumas, heartbreak, and revenge. But on any given day, the line where presentation and perception meet is a tenuous one, so hard to discern. Unless, of course, one looks a little closer—and reads between the lines. (Goodreads)
First lines: I step out of the mass of stinking bodies and get ready to catch the ball.
“Granger’s open!” someone yells.
Ben Mead has it. He pivots on one foot, trying to find an opening among the hands blocking his vision. He sees me and pauses doubtfully, then looks around for someone else. Anyone else.
Footer Davis is probably crazy, Susan Vaught (Librarian’s choice)
“Bless your heart” is a saying in the South that sounds nice but really isn’t. It means, “You’re beyond help.” That’s what folks say about fifth grader Footer Davis’s mom, who “ain’t right” because of her bipolar disorder. She just shot a snake in Footer’s yard with an elephant gun, and now she’s been shipped off to a mental hospital, and Footer is missing her fiercely yet again.
“Bless their hearts” is also what folks say about Cissy and Doc Abrams, two kids who went missing after a house fire. Footer wants to be a journalist and her friend Peavine wants to be a detective, so the two decide to help with the mystery of the missing kids. But when visiting the crime scene makes Footer begin to have “episodes” of her own, she wonders if maybe she’s getting sick like her mom, and that’s a mystery that she’s not at all sure she wants to solve. (Goodreads)
First lines: The day my mother exploded a copperhead snake with an elephant gun, I decided I was genetically destined to become a felon or a big-game hunter. That was good, since I had tried being a ballerina, poet, artist and musician, and I sucked at all of those.
Part-time Princesses, Monica Gallagher (Librarian’s Choice)
Working as costumed princesses at the local amusement park is a nice gig, but it’s not what Courtney, Amber, Tiffany, and Michelle want to do with their lives. These queens of high school have their own plans for life post-graduation, and they do not involve fixed games and fried pickles. But when all their plans fall apart, what are the girls to do? Left with no other options, they decide to keep their part-time jobs as princesses–for the moment. But even that plan is threatening to fall apart, thanks to the sudden and increasing muggings plaguing the park and chasing away customers. With their back-up jobs in peril, the girls have no choice but to take matters into their own hands and fight back. But the more they work to save the park, the more their part-time jobs become full-time, and the more their carefully-planned futures get pushed to the wayside. Will these princesses ever get their lives back on track?
Will they even want to? (Goodreads)
Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula, Andi Watson (Librarian’s choice)
Princess Decomposia is overworked and underappreciated. This princess of the underworld has plenty of her own work to do but always seems to find herself doing her layabout father’s job, as well. The king doesn’t feel quite well, you see. Ever. So the princess is left scurrying through the halls, dodging her mummy, werewolf, and ghost subjects, always running behind and always buried under a ton of paperwork. Oh, and her father just fired the chef, so now she has to hire a new cook as well. Luckily for Princess Decomposia, she makes a good hire in Count Spatula, the vampire chef with a sweet tooth. He’s a charming go-getter of a blood-sucker, and pretty soon the two young ghouls become friends. And then…more than friends? Maybe eventually, but first Princess Decomposia has to sort out her life. And with Count Spatula at her side, you can be sure she’ll succeed. (Goodreads)
The Great New Zealand Remix and Mashup Competition
“Organised by Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand, DigitalNZ and the National Library of New Zealand and enabled by Mix & Mash Sponsors and Partners, Mix & Mash 2013 will promote and celebrate the creative reuse of New Zealand’s common cultural heritage.
“Mix & Mash wants all New Zealanders, young and old, to tell new stories by adapting and remixing Public Domain and Creative Commons licensed content.” (more here)
Mixed and mashed entries on the theme “Stories about the Past” will be showcased in May, and there will be prizes! If you feel virtually crafty and you’re interested, visit the Mix & Mash website for dates, rules, definitions, ideas and sources of (legal-to-use) images, music, video and other data. (Note: work produced for school assessments is accepted!)
You can make Robert Pattinson’s face through the gentle art of cross-stitch, thanks to the Guardian online. Here are some books in the library on cross-stitch so that you can learn how to make your own fabric Edward. A good Christmas gift in these lean times. I’m hoping for a cross-stitched Taylor Lautner, as he’d make a great cushion.
Tomorrow (the 11th of July, from 1pm at the Town Hall) is the Japanese Festival (as mentioned here) and, with that in mind, here’s our Top Ten Japanese-related material (mostly) in the YA area. In no particular order.
1. Final Fantasy VII : Advent Children (ファイナルファンタジーVII アドベントチルドレン) – This is based on the highly-regarded console game, and although it might be a little incomprehensible if you’re not familiar with Final Fantasy it’s still a spectacular CGI film. (Website.)
2. Kino No Tabi (or Kino’s Journey : The Beautiful World, キノの旅), by Keiichi Shigusawa – This is the first in a series of novels about Kino, who travels through many unique lands with her talking motorcycle. That might sound a little twee, but the story looks at some pretty profound themes. We’ve only the first book, for now (sadly).
3. Anything by Studio Ghibli Inc. (株式会社スタジオジブリ) – The films produced by Studio Ghibli are some of the best out there. Most people have seen Spirited Away (the first anime to win an Academy Award), but Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle are definitely worth the 50c rental fee. And Ponyo (trailer) is at this year’s Wellington Film Festival (on the 17th and 19th of July).
4. Tekkon Kinkreet (鉄コン筋クリート) – Another anime that I highly recommend; it’s stylistic and lush to look at (the backgrounds are works of art). The story – about two orphans who take on the yakuza – is multi-layered and moving. (Trailer.)
5. Usagi Yojimbo : Volumes 1– (兎用心棒), by Stan Sakai – This epic comic series is about Usagi, a samurai who happens to be a rabbit (everyone is some sort of animal). He’s modelled on the real-life samurai/swordsman/writer/philosopher, Miyamoto Musashi, whose life truly was epic. The 23rd volume is due out later this month.
6. Number9Dream, by David Mitchell – Grimm recommended this book, about 19-year-old Japanese student, Eiji, who has come to Tokyo to search for his father. There’s an excerpt to read here. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2001.
7. Naruto : Volumes 1- (ナルト) – Naruto Uzumaki is a young ninja-in-training. He also has the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox within him, which means that if he can control it he can be a pretty powerful ninja. There are at least 45 in the series (held at the library, anyway) so there’s a lot to keep you going. Failing that, there is …
8. all the other manga we have. Which is loads.
9. Aranzi Aronzo’s books, Cute Stuff and The Cute Book. Aranzi Aronzo is a Japanese company that specialise in ‘cute, strange, cool, silly, a little bit horrible, stupid and comfortable’ design, and these two books show you how to make some very, very cute (kawaii, or Japanese cute) felt toys. Cute! They have a website.
10. Sushi for Dummies, by Judi Strata – Knowing how to make sushi (寿司) is one of those skills that everyone should know, as it’s a) delicious and b) healthy as anything, and c) pretty easy to make. This book isn’t in the YA area but we must include it in this list anyway.
Hello again. Here is this week’s (and last week’s) shipment of new books. Hopefully some will interest you!
Sam Stern’s Student Cookbook, by Sam Stern and Susan Stern (266 pages) – This is young Sam’s fourth cookbook. His first few books were written for teens who wanted to cook food that wasn’t too challenging, but not too basic as well. This book is for teens and students have have left home and need to fend for themselves, and who don’t want to eat spag bol every night for three years, like I did.
Runescape : The Official Handbook (110 pages) – Runescape is a free online adventure game that boasts more players than World of Warcraft. Which is pretty impressive, although it is free and you don’t need to buy a game to play it. This book has maps, guides, and all that kind of thing to help both new players and old players.
The Book of Big Excuses, by Tracey Turner (156 pages) – This non-fiction book looks at famous and funny excuses for lateness, accidents, mistakes, and bad behaviour. It also suggests excuses that the reader may want to utilise should the occasion present itself. (There aren’t any that might explain an overdue library book, unfortunately.)
Somebody’s Crying, by Maureen McCarthy (371 pages) – Three years ago Alice’s mother was murdered, and the killer was never found. Alice, her cousin and his friend, are drawn together by mystery – but what are they hiding?
First sentence: ‘Hearing his voice after so long was weird to say the least.‘
Exposure, by Mal Peet (439 pages) – This is the third novel about Peter Faustino, South America’s top football journalist. It is also a rework of Shakespeare’s Othello; South American football hero Otello marries Desmeralda, pop-star daughter of a right-wing politician.
First sentence: ‘The boy with all the dreadlocks had two lines of business: cars and the patio trade.‘
In Too Deep : An Elite Novel, by Jennifer Banash (246 pages) – This is the second book in a series about a group of affluent teens living in New York’s Upper East Side. (The Upper East Side is a borough in Manhattan.) There is a website for the series.
First sentence: ‘Madison Macallister straightened the silken sleeve of her floral-patterned black and crimson wrap dress, and stabbed her fork into the desiccated remains of her smoked salmon salad, bringing a mouthful of baby greens up to her matte ruby-red lips.‘
Stolen Car, by Patrick Jones (229 pages) – Danielle lives in a trailer park with her clueless mother. She meets up with Reid, whose life seems to revolved around fast cars, parties, and his sleazy friends. Danielle’s best friend Ashley is determined to rescue her from this increasingly out-of-control life …
First sentence: ‘I’m fifteen years old and I’m driving a stolen car.‘
Spanking Shakespeare, by Jake Wizner (287 pages) – Shakespeare Shapiro hopes that his writing project – a memoir – will bring him ‘respect, admiration, and a girlfriend … or at least a prom date.’ He hates his name, his family is eccentric, and he’s pretty socially inept. Very funny, according to reviews.
First sentence: ‘It’s hard to imagine what my parents were thinking when they decided to name me Shakespeare.‘
The Fledging of Az Gabrielson : The Clouded World Book 1, by Jay Amory (347 pages) – Az is one of the Airborn, a race with wings who live high above the ground. Az, alas, has no wings and so can’t fly. He’s asked to go beneath the clouds to see what’s happening with the lifts that are supposed to carry the goods the Airborn need to survive, and which have been failing.
First sentence:’The airbus touched down outside the Museum of Arts, Sciences and History and opened its door to let out thirty students from High Haven senior school.‘
The Fatal Child, by John Dickinson (547 pages) – The sequel to The Cup of the World and The Widow and the King.
Cruisin’, by Brian Caswell (149 pages)
Ocean Pearl, by J. C. Burke (331 pages) – The second ‘Starfish Sisters’ book.
The library has a massive collection of local and international zines*. Check out the library’s zine page for more information. The annual Zinefest is tomorrow; here are the details!
* Independently and inexpensively produced magazines, usually with a fairly limited circulation.
The 2nd annual Wellington Zinefest is returning this Saturday November the 15th. The Wellington City Libraries’ Zine Collection will be there, along with your favourite zine librarians, so even if you have empty pockets, you can still come along and browse our diverse range of zines. There will also be heaps of other ziney stalls, workshops and talks to get you into the DIY spirit. Oh and food, there will be tasty treats too!
And if you’re keen on zines, look for this book in the library: Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine? : The Art of Making Zines and Mini Comics, by Mark Todd. A great place to start, especially if you can’t make it to the Zinefest.
This Saturday, the 16 of August, the Southeast Asia Night Market will be held at the TSB Arena from 2pm to 10pm. There will be delicious Southeast Asian snacks; non-stop entertainment; dance and music; martial arts demonstrations from Thailand, the Philippines and Viet Nam; Indonesian and Malaysian Batik demonstrations; Indonesian puppets (Wayang Kulit); and traditional games of Southeast Asia.
Directions may be found here.
Fashion 101 : A Crash Course in Clothing, by Erika Stalder – This mighty fine book contains over 300 illustrated wardrobe items in alphabetical order, from a-line dresses, clam diggers and palazzo pants to pouchettes, riding boots and madras shorts. Each entry explains the item’s history, its place in fashion, and even provides an illustration on what the item of clothing should look worn. Fabrics, patterns, cuffs and sleeves and many sartorial terms are all explained in detail. An excerpt is available online.
See also these items held by the library:
Tease : 50 Inspired T-shirt Transformations by Superstars of Art, Craft & Design
I Wanna Make My Own Clothes, by Clea Hantman
Teen Vogue magazine (website)
Design, Cut and Shape, by Hazel King
More info about NZ fashion can be found at the Runway Reporter website.
Don’t forget that registration for SubText08 is open! You will need to have registered to win prizes – these are drawn weekly once it begins.
Also! The Get off Yer Art! competition at Kilbirnie library is already taking entries. You’re on holiday now and it’s cold outside; what better time to explore your inner artiste?
More details about SubText08 are available at this here.