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  • Great Reads, Librarian's Choice, Lists, Rachel, Sci Fi, Science!

    Dystopias for all!

    29.04.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Dystopias for all!

    You probably know all about The Hunger Games and Divergent by now, right? And if you’re anything like me, they hooked you right in and you just can’t get enough of those dystopian wastelands. So future, much wow. There are heaps and heaps of really great dystopian novels which lurk in the shadows of their better-know literary cousins, but I’m here to shine a spotlight on a few of them.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBumped, Megan McCafferty

    “In 2036 New Jersey, when teens are expected to become fanatically religious wives and mothers or high-priced Surrogettes for couples made infertile by a widespread virus, sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony find in one another the courage to believe they have choices.” (from library catalogue)

    The first in a trilogy, as dystopias tend to be.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsPastworld, Ian Beck

    In 2050, Pastworld is a Victorian London themed park where teenaged Caleb meets 17-year-old Eve, who knows nothing of modern life outside Pastworld. They both become entangled in the diabolical plans of a murderer, revealing disturbing facts about the muddy origins of both Caleb and Eve’s lives.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLife As We Knew It, Susan Beth Pfeffer

    A meteor hits the moon, throwing it ever so slightly out of sync and causing disastrous havoc for everyone on Earth. Tsunamis, earthquakes and eruptions interrupt every day life what with the moon being out of whack. Told through the diary entries of 16-year-old Miranda, Life As We Knew It explores the struggle of Miranda and her family to survive through this catastrophe.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWither, Lauren DeStefano

    Modern science has turned every living human into a genetic timebomb, with men all dying at age twenty-five and women all dying at age twenty. In these cruel and unusual circumstances, young girls are kidnapped and forced to help repopulate the planet. This is the first in the Chemical Garden trilogy.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCinder, Marissa Meyer

    Cinder crosses a classic fairytale with cyborgs… Cyborg-ella! Cinder is a gifted cyborg mechanic living in New Beijing. She is reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entangled with Prince Kai’s, she finds herself forced to confront her own past in order to protect Earth’s future.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsShip Breaker, Paolo Bacigulupi

    Teenage Nailer works as a “ship breaker” scavenging copper from grounded oil tankers. But when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl aboard, Nailer must decide whether to strip the ship of its worth, or save the girl inside. This one is gritty and harsh and completely action-packed. It also has a follow-up companion novel called The Drowned Cities which takes place in the same universe.

    There are so many out there, what are your favourite dystopias?

  • Books, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Great Reads, Horror, Librarian's Choice, New, Nicola, Nostalgia, Sci Fi, Science!

    Best new graphic novels

    28.02.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Best new graphic novels

    Our graphic novel section is growing bigger by the day! Here are some of my picks, from the historical to the hysterical.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBoxers and Saints – Gene Luen Yang Book cover courtesy of Syndetics

    These two graphic novels tell the story of the Boxer rebellion from different points of view. The Boxer Rebellion was a clash between the occupying colonial powers in China and a pro-nationalist and anti-Christian movement that became known as the Boxers. Gene Luen Yang captures the hard lives of the protagonists: Little Bao, who fights for the Boxers, and Vibiana, who is Christian. Both books are heart-breaking stories of people caught up in larger events beyond their control.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun
    This book serves as a stand-alone inthe Sixth Gun series. The Horsemen go their seperate ways, trying to escape the dreadful choices they made. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who hasn’t read the Sixth Gun series, but for those who have, it’s an interesting look at our primary antagonists. As usual, the artwork is both lush and disturbing, with reddish tones and black shadows predominating.  The Sixth Gun was mentioned in one of my earlier blog posts about graphic novels, and is well worth picking up.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDoctor Who: Dead Man’s Hand
    Continuing the Western theme, here’s a new adventure featuring the Eleventh Doctor and Clara. They go to Deadwood, a frontier town in 1882, to pay their respects to the famous gunslinger, Wild Bill Hickock. But as always with the Doctor, nothing is as it seems.  The town is being terrorized by a sinister, masked gunman.  They meet up with real-life figures Calamity Jane and Oscar Wilde, who was on a tour of America at the time. (Bet you didn’t know that!) The art’s decent, but the real star is the story, which clips along in true Doctor Who style.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe thrilling adventure hour
    A comic anthology featuring a plethora of awesome stories, by a whole range of different authors and artists.  Western, science-fiction, steampunk, superheroes: there’s something here for everyone.  The art and writing is consistently amazing, keeping close to the “pulp” feeling of the book. My pick for best story? “Beyond Belief” a screwball comedy about a pair of psychics who keep the various supernatural factions of their city from war in between drinking cocktails and delivering killer quips.

  • Events, Games, Happenings, Internet, Music, Science!, Wellington

    Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, 27-28/4

    26.04.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, 27-28/4

    Kia ora!

    Welcome to the weekend. What to do, what to do?

    If you find yourself wandering about Newtown this weekend why not check out Wellington Festival Of Circus? If having clowning & cabaret up in your face isn’t doing it for you maybe Darren Shan could keep you in theme but through the safety of bound text?

    If you’re more of a performer then a watcher have you considered entering this years Smokefree Rockquest? It’s the 25th year this right-of-passage is running and man has it fostered all sorts of household name kiwi musicians. Need some inspiration? Here’s a surface scratching list of previous contestants including Kimbra and last years winners New Vinyl. Take yourself on a journey through our CD collection.

    The curtain falls on Game Masters at Te Papa this weekend. The amazing exhibition that caters to almost every level of gamer was borrowed from the incredible ACMI in Melbourne’s Federation Square and includes Pacman, Space Invaders and Sonic!

    New music on the playlist shelf this week includes ex-Wellingtonian Willy Moon and half New Zealand alt-indie darlings The Veils with their fourth album.

    Ever wondered what happens when you wring a soggy towel out in space? Here’s the answer:

    – Physics, fascinating!

    That’s what’s a going down.

    Fowler out.

  • Art, Isn't that cool?, Library Serf, Not Library Related, Science!

    Cool Space Photos

    06.03.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Cool Space Photos

    If you shoot a satellite into space, give it a camera and nothing better to do, it takes really great photos of earth.

    Some highlights: Ireland, complete with aqua-coloured plankton blooms, the Hawaiian Islands, and the Great Barrier Reef.

    (Found via metafilter)

  • Competition, Internet, Science!, Simon

    Google Global (!) Youth Science Fair

    14.01.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Google Global (!) Youth Science Fair

    Google is running a Global Science Fair for teens. As it is global, anyone in the world can enter. Even a NZer. Especially a NZer, since we’re quite good at innovation and science. Entrants (i.e. everyone reading this I hope*) need to be between the ages of 13 and 18, and can work solo or in groups of up to three. You enter it online obviously! 

    *The prizes are beyond awesome. They are actually epic. Guys you need to win this.

  • Most Wanted, Science!, Simon

    Most Borrowed for 2010

    13.01.11 | Permalink | 1 Comment

    Which items were borrowed the most from the library last year? By harnessing the power of computers, I can tell you what they were! Definite winners were Stephenie Meyer and Robert Muchamore, unsurprisingly (perhaps they should write a book together and it would be the most popular book ever written?); Glee, also unsurprisingly; and Old Dogs, surprisingly.

    The most borrowed item overall (out of everything!) was a magazine from the Young Adult collection; Simpsons Comics.

    (There’s no point in listing the most borrowed YA non-fiction, as they’re mostly all study guides (Year 13 Bio is #1); 100% Gleek and Sam Stern’s Eat Vegetarian are the top non-study guide non-fiction books popular with borrowers, who are predominately vegetarian Gleeks.)

    1o Most Borrowed YA Fiction
    1. Brigands M.C., by Robert Muchamore
    2. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
    3. Breaking dawn, by Stephenie Meyer
    4. Shadow wave, by Robert Muchamore
    5. Fallen, by Lauren Kate
    6. The general, by Robert Muchamore
    7. Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer
    8. The hunger games, by Suzanne Collins
    9. Tomorrow, when the war began, by John Marsden
    10. The awakening, by L. J. Smith

    10 Most Borrowed YA Movies
    1. Alice in Wonderland
    2. How to train your dragon ; plus, Boneknapper dragon
    3. Percy Jackson & the lightning thief
    4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    5. Avatar
    6. Glee. Season 1, volume 2, Road to regionals
    7. Old dogs
    8. Letters to Juliet
    9. The last song
    10. G-Force

    10 Most Borrowed YA Comics
    1. Big bratty book of Bart Simpson.
    2. Simpsons comics : dollars to donuts
    3. Twilight : the graphic novel. Volume 1
    4. Ghostopolis
    5. Naruto. Vol. 40, The ultimate art
    6. Maximum Ride : the manga. Vol. 3
    7. Skeleton key
    8. The Simpsons : treehouse of horror : dead man’s jest.
    9. Naruto. Vol. 23, Predicament
    10. Big beastly book of Bart Simpson.

    10 Most Borrowed YA CDs
    1. Glee : the music. Volume 3, Showstoppers deluxe.
    2. Now that’s what I call music 33.
    3. Teenage dream, by Katy Perry
    4. Now that’s what I call music 34.
    5. From the inside out, by Stan Walker
    6. Glee : the music. Volume 1.
    7. Can’t be tamed, by Miley Cyrus
    8. Rokstarr, by Taio Criz
    9. Glee : the music. Volume 2.
    10. Glee : the music : the power of Madonna.

  • Science!, Simon, Space: The Final Frontier

    Across the universe

    07.10.10 | Permalink | Comments Off on Across the universe

    The Scale of the Universe – from the very largest (i.e the universe) to the very smallest (Quantum foam! for real!). Presented so that you get a sense of scale. We are so small. So very, very small.

    What isn’t depicted is the resulting existential void you may find yourself in. See you there!

  • Internet, Science!, Simon

    Isn’t technology marvellous

    21.07.10 | Permalink | 1 Comment

    Shibuya-giant-barcodeTwo weeks ago we posted a weird, black and white square and asked that you figure it out. Only two people did! That’s no good. It was, in fact, a QR code, which you photograph with your cellphone. Your phone cleverly translates it into an URL and takes you to a webpage. It’s big in Japan you know. Here’s how you do it.

    1. Make sure your cellphone is able to even do it! Look at this list or even just google your phone’s brand and ‘QR code’. If your cellphone can’t do it, then, I guess that’s too bad.
    2. Find some compatible software to download to your cellphone. Not all software will work on all phones. Again, check sites like this one.
    3. Install the software. Hopefully your phone will know what to do. Mine did. <3
    4. Start the application, take a photo of a QR code*, and be amazed.

    Charges may apply. See your cellular phone provider for more details! (Usually it’s about $1 for 10MB.)

    *You might find them in books, or magazines, or who knows where. Billboards? You can make your own QR code.

  • Adrienne, Competition, Science!


    10.02.10 | Permalink | Comments Off on ReelScience

    Are you curious about science? Or do you love filmmaking but aren’t too keen on science?


    ReelScience is a competition for senior secondary school students (Yr 11 – Yr13) that starts on February 10th. To enter you’ll have to make a 2min short film on any aspect of science. There are cool prizes up for grabs like a Mac and film courses. This here clip tells you all about it (or check out their website).

  • DVDs, Jack, Science!

    Documentary Madness

    24.09.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on Documentary Madness

    Well, as long as five new DVDs is considered mad it’s madness. All kinds of bases are covered by this selection, and here they are…

    brady barrBest of Dangerous Encounters with Brady Barr follows a reptile expert as he does all sorts of silly things in the name of science.  My favourite bit is when he wears a 200 pound kevlar suit covered in hippo dung to extract sweat from a hippo.

    The Most Extreme is a series that follows all sorts of extreme behaviour in the animal kingdom. Fighters, Stinkers, Gluttons and many more are looked at in these fantastically shot episodes originally made for Animal Planet.

    Sticking with the extreme, Gravity Games H2O is a four disc box set filled with wakeboarding, tow-in surfing, motorcross, kite surfing and other assorted watery hijinks. Except for the motorcross, I can’t explain it’s inclusion unless they somehow ride on water. Now that’d be extreme.

    Ultimate Factories is a National Geographic series that goes to, well, ultimate factories. In this one they go see how Ferraris and M1 Tanks are produced. So if you’ve ever wondered how they put them together, now you can find out.

    Naked Science: Surviving nature’s fury is a three disc set in the excellent National Geographic Naked Science series. These episodes look at asteroids, the Bermuda Triangle, alien contact and other popular and controversial scientific topics.

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