Iris and the tiger, Leanne Hall
Twelve-year-old Iris has been sent to Spain on a mission: to make sure her elderly and unusual aunt, Ursula, leaves her fortune–and her sprawling estate–to Iris’s scheming parents. But from the moment Iris arrives at Bosque de Nubes, she realises something isn’t quite right. There is an odd feeling around the house, where time moves slowly and Iris’s eyes play tricks on her. While outside, in the wild and untamed forest, a mysterious animal moves through the shadows. Just what is Aunt Ursula hiding? But when Iris discovers a painting named Iris and the Tiger, she sets out to uncover the animal’s real identity–putting her life in terrible danger. (Goodreads)
First lines: No one had ever asked Iris to spy for them before. She wasn’t totally convinced she’d be any good at it. But Iris also wasn’t in the habit of saying no to her parents – they paid her so little regard as it was – and when they first sat her down to outline their plan, Iris felt the unfamiliar glow of their attention.
Songs that sound like blood, Jared Thomas
Roxy May Redding’s got music in her soul and songs in her blood. She lives in a hot dusty town and is dreaming big. She survives run-ins with the mean girls at high school, sings in her dad’s band and babysits for her wayward aunt. But Roxy wants a new start. When she gets the chance to study music in the big city, she takes it. Roxy’s new life, her new friends and her music collide in a way she could never have imagined. Being a poor student sucks… navigating her way through the pressure of a national music competition has knobs on it… singing for her dinner is soul destroying… but nothing prepares Roxy for her biggest challenge. Her crush on Ana, the local music journo, forces her to steer her way through a complex maze of emotions alien to this small town girl. Family and friends watch closely as Roxy takes a confronting journey to find out who the hell she is. (Goodreads)
First lines: Hanging Dad’s washing on the line straight after school on a Friday was the last thing I wanted to be doing. At least I was listening to Vance Joy and could smell the basil Dad was growing or I might have set his jocks on fire. Drives me crazy how he just leaves his things in the washing machine like that.
Battlesaurus: clash of empires, Brian Falkner
In this stunning sequel to a unique alt-history adventure, dinosaurs from a forbidden world have been turned into unstoppable weapons by one of the most ferocious military leaders of all time. In the wake of Napoléon’s crushing victory at Waterloo, the vicious French general Marc Thibault and his brigade of giant carnivorous battlesaurs have struck terror across Europe. England stands alone, but an invasion is looming. Its only hope is a secret attack led by a magician’s son named Willem deep inside enemy territory, to the very heart of Napoléon’s terrifying new army. Deception and betrayal threaten the mission from its outset, but the courage and perseverance of Willem the “saur killer” and his friends lead to a clash of titanic proportions.(Goodreads)
First lines: The young French soldier shivers, and not from the cold, although here at the parapet of the castle the wind is icy and pitiless. From behind him and below come deep grunting sounds and the rattle of chains. That area of the castle courtyard is covered with hastily erected screens of sailcloth to keep out prying, spying eyes.
Lonesome when you go, Saradha Koirala
Paige plays base in high school rock band Vox Pop, which means keeping a steady rhythm even in their most raucous rock and roll moments. But in the tense build-up to the Rockfest competition, Paige finds that she can’t control everything in her life, no matter how hard she practises and how loud she plays. There’s stuff happening in the band that she can’t put her finger on, a friend who can’t handle her own secret anymore and a mysterious guy who plays double bass like an angel. But there isn’t much time to sort things out – Rockfest looms and so does the end of school year, when everything will change for good. (Publisher information)
First lines: The stage is huge. Lighting rigs and speaker systems tower above us and there’s a noise I can’t yet place. Slowly I tune in to the rhythmic roaring of a vigorous crowd. They’re invisible; coloured lights glare down on me and I’m looking out into darkness.
The level, Olivia Levez
Frances is alone on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. She has to find water and food. She has to survive. And when she is there she also thinks about the past. The things that she did before. The things that made her a monster. Nothing is easy. Survival is hard and so is being honest about the past. Frances is a survivor however, and with the help of the only other crash survivor, she sees that the future is worth fighting for.(Goodreads)
First lines: They all know what I’ve done. Of course they do. That’s why they leave me well alone. Hi I’m Rufus! is fascinated, like I’m some frickin sideshow. You can tell because his eyes are on me every time I look.
Breathing under water, Sophie Hardcastle
Ben and Grace Walker are twins. Growing up in a sleepy coastal town it was inevitable they’d surf. Always close, they hung out more than most brothers and sisters, surfing together for hours as the sun melted into the sea. At seventeen, Ben is a rising surf star, the golden son and the boy all the girls fall in love with. Beside him, Grace feels like she is a mere reflection of his light. In their last year of school, the world beckons, full of possibility. For Grace, finishing exams and kissing Harley Matthews is just the beginning. Then, one day, the unthinkable. The sun sets at noon and suddenly everything that was safe and predictable is lost. And everything unravels.(Goodreads)
First lines: Chilled bones. Red skin. White clouds exhaled as teeth chatter, and the ocean, just waiting for them…Beneath a silk veil of silence, feet sprint across wet grass, wet sand, and then lift.
Drag teen, Jeffrey Self
Debut YA author Jeffery Self takes us on a road trip with an insecure high school senior who has one goal: to be the first in his family to leave Clearwater, Florida, and go to college. The problem is, he has zero means of paying for school — until his friends convince him to compete in a drag teen competition for a college scholarship. (Goodreads)
First lines: This isn’t one of those stories about a heartwarming journey toward accepting my cursed homosexual identity. No. First of all, being gay is far from a case. It’s like an extra order of fries at Wendy’s because the lady in the window isn’t paying attention while she fills your bag.
To mark the New Zealand Music Month why don’t we read books related to music? It’s a subject that I love and the first two books in the list are my favourites.
Eleanor & Park / Rainbow Rowell.
“Bono met his wife in high school, Park says. So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers. I’m not kidding, he says. You should be, she says, we’re 16 . What about Romeo and Juliet? Shallow, confused, then dead. I love you, Park says. Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers. I’m not kidding, he says. You should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.” (Syndetics summary)
Playlist for a broken heart / Cathy Hopkins.
“When Paige finds an old mix CD in a local charity shop, she can’t help but wonder about the boy who made it and the girl he was thinking of when he chose the songs. The tracks tell the story of a boy looking for his perfect girl, a story of being alone, being let down, misunderstood and not knowing where to turn. Following the clues of the music, Paige sets out to find the mysterious boy, going from gig to gig and band to band, hoping to track him down. But will who she finds at the end of the trail, be the boy she’s imagined?” (Syndetics summary)
Hold me closer : the Tiny Cooper story / by David Levithan.
“Especially for those of us who ordinarily feel ignored, a spotlight is a circle of magic, with the strength to draw us from the darkness of our everyday lives. Watch out, ex-boyfriends, and get out of the way, homophobic coaches. Tiny Cooper has something to say–and he’s going to say it in song. Filled with honesty, humor, and “big, lively, belty” musical numbers, Hold Me Closer is the no-holds-barred (and many-bars-held) entirety of the beloved musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson , the award-winning bestseller by John Green and David Levithan. Tiny Cooper is finally taking center stage . . . and the world will never be the same again.” (Syndetics summary)
Coda / Emma Trevayne.
“Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem-the Corp has certainly seen to that. By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the Corp holds control over all citizens, particularly conduits like Anthem, whose life energy feeds the main power in the Grid. Anthem finds hope and comfort in the twin siblings he cares for, even as he watches the life drain slowly and painfully from his father. Escape is found in his underground rock band, where music sounds free, clear, and unencoded deep in an abandoned basement. But when a band member dies suspiciously from a tracking overdose, Anthem knows that his time has suddenly become limited. Revolution all but sings in the air, and Anthem cannot help but answer the call with the chords of choice and freewill. But will the girl he loves help or hinder him?” (Syndetics summary)
so claims a song by CSS (they’re pretty rad).
For some people, music is what keeps them going. It can be an essential part of coping and survival and can help people in ways even they can’t understand. It could be the melody, an intense beat or the maybe lyrics blasting through your headphones which make you think the song was written just for you. For whatever reason, music makes us feel things both good and bad. For some characters in the books below, music is what keeps them going through some especially difficult times.
Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
“Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.” (goodreads.com)
Eleanor has a pretty difficult home life, and Park enables and encourages her obsession with music. It helps her get through some pretty traumatic times and the 80s tunes Eleanor connects with relate just so to her life and surroundings. AND Rainbow Rowell herself published some playlists on her blog that inspired and represent each of the main characters, so you could listen to those while you read this amaaaazing book and truly immerse yourself in the experience! Just a suggestion. (You can find the playlists here at Rainbow Rowell’s blog)
P.S. We also have this as a book on cd!
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
“It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.” (goodreads.com)
Nick and Norah’s first connection is formed via the playlists Nick makes for his then-girlfriend Tris, who is also Norah’s friend. Tris couldn’t care less about the thought and effort put into these playlists for her, but Norah feels a connection to the person who compiled them and… well you’ll see when you read it 🙂 We also have the dvd, which is just 80c to issue using your YA library card!
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
“Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.” (goodreads.com)
We have the movie version of this too! These music books sure lend themselves well to film adaptations, huh?
The Vinyl Princess, Yvonne Prinz
“Allie, a sixteen-year-old who is obsessed with LPs, works at the used record store on Telegraph Ave. and deals with crushes–her own and her mother’s–her increasingly popular blog and zine, and generally grows up over the course of one summer in her hometown of Berkeley, California.” (WCL catalogue)
The Vinyl Princess covers a bunch of niche areas – LP collecting, zine-making, blogging (although these are all becoming pretty ubiquitous) – so if you relate to any of these pasttimes, this may just be the book for you!
Fat Kid Rules the World, K. L. Going
Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius. Soon, Curt has recruited Troy as his new drummer, even though Troy can’t play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troy’s own life, forever. (edited from goodreads.com)
Fat Kid Rules The World achieves something great in the way music, and particularly the energy of drumming is described. It could so easily fall flat, but Going really captures the energy and essence of a punk drummer.
Chopsticks, Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral
This one looks like it’ll all be sunshine and happiness, but don’t be fooled: “In a love story told in photographs and drawings, Glory, a brilliant piano prodigy, is drawn to Frank, an artistic new boy, and the farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness until the only song she is able to play is ‘Chopsticks.'” So it’s kind of a graphic novel – there’s something for everybody!
We hope you’ve enjoyed NZ Music Month 2014, maybe came to one (or more!) of our library music events and we look forward to doing it all over again next year! If there were any highlights of NZMM that you’d like to tell us about, please do so in the comments! I’ll be back to regular scheduled posting next week – who’s excited for TFIOS? 😉
We’re past the halfway mark through NZ Music Month now, so better make the most of it! Don’t forget we have Harriet and the Matches performing at Newtown library this Friday the 23rd of May, we’ll see you there at 7pm!
In the mean time, have a dance party in your living room to these fab songs and videos from NZ artists!
Here’s Lorde performing Tennis Court at the Billboard Music Awards the other day
Settle Down by Kimbra
Apple Pie Bed by Lawrence Arabia
It’s Choade My Dear by Connan Mockasin
Dominion Road by The Mutton Birds (an oldie but a goodie)
40 Years by The Phoenix Foundation (this one’s directed by Taika Waititi who directed the movie Boy)
And finally Just A Boy by Pikachunes
This post was brought to you by Gina at Newtown library’s genius (Gina-us?) suggestions! With much enthusastic nodding and encouragement from myself.
Hopefully you’re celebrating NZ Music Month with us by listening to more local artists! I thought I would highlight a few recent-ish NZ releases we have in our collection, with some help from very music-savvy fellow librarian Kim. Let us know what you agree or disagree with, and please leave us some of your favourite NZ artists in the comments!
The Love Club EP by Lorde
Dating earlier than her hit album Pure Heroine, The Love Club EP (first released for free on SoundCloud) contains the ubiquitous ‘Royals’ along with four other songs not on her full length album. ‘Bravado’, ‘Biting Down’, ‘Million Dollar Bills’ and ‘The Love Club’ are all excellent songs, and have a slightly different sound to Pure Heroine – perhaps a little cheekier? In any case, any Lorde fan needs to listen to this EP.
Brightly Painted One by Tiny Ruins
I saw Tiny Ruins a.k.a Hollie Fullbrook when she opened for Calexico last year and they were both excellent! Morphing from gentle and folky to classical-sounding with strings and looping back around again, Tiny Ruins keeps it interesting. She has been compared to Beth Gibbons from Portishead AND Nick Drake, so if that’s not a recommendation, I don’t know what is.
Goin’ Steady by Newtown Rocksteady (adult collection, costs $1)
13-piece Newtown Rocksteady’s extended EP documents their musical progression over the last four years, representing and reinventing the 60s Jamaican vibe known as rocksteady. Rocksteady mixes together reggae, dub, ska and dancehall music, all perfect for a good boogie which they provided in droves at the Newtown and Womad festivals earlier this year. If you get the chance to see them live, do! They provide amazing entertainment and you’ll be blown away by their collective talent, not to mention their 5-piece horn section.
Louis Baker by Louis Baker (adult collection, costs $1)
Wellington local Louis Baker is sometimes mellow and completely soulful. His sound has been compared to Jeff Buckley – these are some amazing comparisons being made to our local talents! He’s very talented and grew up in Coromandel Street, Newtown. His self titled EP made it to number 8 in the NZ charts, check it out for yourself!
And then we have some faves that don’t have CDs out in the library yet:
Brockaflower Saurus-Rex (and the Blueberry Biscuits)
This 9-piece band’s first album is full on but spacious, allowing everyone their own instrument space – an impressive feat with so many people and instruments demanding attention. But they make it work, and very harmoniously, too. As for genre, they’re a bit funk, a bit psychedelic and a bit “neo-soul” (who even names music genres these days?) and they’ll keep you grooving with each song full of energy. They have an album out titled “Build It” but we sadly don’t have it in the library. You can listen to it in full here on SoundCloud though!
Speaking of genre names, Estère’s probably takes the cake – “electric blue witch hop”. She is a singer/songwriter/beatmaker/producer from Wellington and this whole album was made and recorded in her bedroom. She uses loops of live instruments, has an MPC named Lola and has been likened to Erykah Badu with her sometimes raspy and always stunning vocals. Although we don’t have her album here in the library yet, you can listen to it on SoundCloud for free, and even download it for free from Estère’s Bandcamp page!
1 ‘Find you’, Zedd, ft. Matthew Koma and Miriam Bryant
2 ‘Beating Heart’, Ellie Goulding
3 ‘Fight for You’, Pia Mia, ft. Chance the Rapper
4 ‘Hanging On’ (I See MONSTAS remix), Ellie Goulding
5 ‘I Won’t Let You Go’, Snow Patrol
6 ‘Run Boy Run’, Woodkid
7 ‘Backwards’, Tame Impala and Kendrick Lamar
8 ‘I need you’, M83
9 ‘In Distress’, A$AP Rocky, ft. Gesaffelstein
10 ‘Lost and Found’ (ODESZA remix), Pretty Lights
11 ‘Stranger’, Skrillex, ft. KillaGraham From Milo & Otis & Sam Dew
12 ‘Dream machines’, Big Deal
13 ‘Dead in the water’, Ellie Goulding
The big winner is Ellie Goulding!
We will be getting this! We have other movie soundtracks in the Young Adult collection also: The Great Gatsby, Catching Fire, City of Bones, Avengers, Glee (lots of Glee, lots and lots of Glee) and much more.
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!
This weeks weekend is all about the stars, every pun intended. It’s official Matariki celebrations have started and as a continuation from last weekend there are a host of events about the town to keep us all entertained.
Like any good New Year shindig Matariki’s all about reflecting on the year that has past and ushering in, hopefully, an even better one. While looking back and forward can mean a whole lot of different things to all of us the spirit of the season is to come together, share and celebrate. So with that in mind here’s a run down of Matariki inspired events to get us out and about with our municipal kinfolk.
As usual our shiny waterfront centrepiece Te Papa has a plethora of things on. They’re putting on a concert series with some great artists appearing Friday night including; Whirimako Black, Mihirangi and J & his geeks for all you NZ’s Got Talent fans. A clebration of the last year in New Zealand film making will happen on Sunday under the moniker of Matariki Film Festival: Whanau Shorts 2013. A Matariki craft village will also pop up on Saturday in the foyer to showcase a wide range of crafts for all you bohemian folk. This year there is an emphasis on navigation and it could be a great time for all you young adventurers to scrub up on South Pacific exploration.
Just outside Te Papa there will also be waka tours on Saturday.
One of our other swell museums, the Museum of Wellington: City & Sea is currently running an exhibition celebrating the creativity of us all here at Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui (the head of Maui’s fish).
In sport the local roller derby girls meet again in TSB for a bout between Smash Malice & Brutal Pageant.
If you’ve tuned in to find something for your playlist this week why not try Portugal. The Man. Off of their new album Evil Friends here’s ‘Atomic Man’. Happy weekend!
What up! Another weekend looms and here’s some sweet stuff to do with it.
No doubt you’ve heard about The Great Gatsby (a lot) by now, it feels like they’ve been building hype for eternity. It’s finally here and it looks pretty suave! (Rated M)
But did you know it was a book first? Sure was, it’s an American Classic by one great F. Scott Fitzgerald. Also, it’s not The GG’s first dance across the silver screen.
Sporty peepz! The Championship Tournament of the Woman’s Basketball League is at Te Rauparaha Arena over at neighb’s Porirua. Maori ball game Ki o Rahi will have a Matariki special in Waitangi Park from 6pm Friday night (brought to you by body R2R).
The other big thing this weekend is our (Wellington’s) Jazz Festival. Before you scoff take note, Jazz is the original bad boy of music. You can thank it for paving the way to all our modern jams and the term “hipster”. Appreciate. There is a caps worthy TONNE of events going down for it. One pretty special looking one is the pop up jams planned for the city streets Friday and Saturday – keep your eyes peeled.
Feeling exhausted yet?
Here’s our weekly run down of what’s on about this splendid city during the weekend.
The mind blowing moving image exhibition “Moving On Asia” has only a fortnight left at Wellington’s City Gallery.
Our freshest up and coming young comedians perform at Bats theatre in “Class Comedians“.
After some free film? The New Zealand Film Archive is currently hosting Samin Son TV – a self titled exhibition of Son’s time in the Korean Army. It sounds pretty interesting and is… the big ol’ price of NOTHING.
The Documentary Edge Film Festival continues.
In music news it’s still New Zealand Music Month. Lorde released the music video for Royals (below) this week – she’s going to be a superstar. The Naked And Famous snuck this single, ‘A Source Of Light’, into the webosphere off of their upcoming remixes and b-sides follow up to Passive Me, Aggressive You.
Big international drops for the weekend playlist include The National’s ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ (itunes streaming), Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’ (itunes streaming) and Vampire Weekend’s ‘Modern Vampires Of The City’.
Canada’s most famous (and only) astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield returned to earth this week but not before gifting planet earth another of his amazing videos. Music + science = awesome!