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?
If you’re a Jodi Picoult fan, and you’re interested in Between the Lines, the new novel she has written with her daughter Samantha Van Leer, then here’s a Radio New Zealand interview they did together today, talking about the inspiration for stories, who to cast in the movie, and other such writerly things.
Here’s a lovely salute to Margaret Mahy by American author Kristin Cashore, focussing on the many reasons why MM’s young adult writing is so wonderful, and so deservedly award-winning.
If you are interested in the Olympic Games and statistics, the New York Times has a map of medals won by country from 1896 to 2008. It is pretty cool (if you’re not into stats) and very interesting (if you are). In 1984 New Zealand won enough medals for “New Zealand” to appear on its circle.
NPR.com (National Public Radio, I believe) in the US is compiling a list of the best young adult novels ever. You can vote for your favourites (a bit of good taste from New Zealand won’t hurt).
Some quick random headlines to distract you from work:
The World Cup in Book Form
You will be pleased to read that New Zealand publishers are working overtime to produce books commemorating the epic victory. The NZ Booksellers site reports that the first books may be available from as early as tomorrow, which is also an epic effort, but doesn’t get a cup or a medal unfortunately.
Hunger Games Movie Poster Teasers
This week Hunger Games movie posters have been popping up on different sites all over the world wide web: see here for a summary of opinions. As for the posters: here are a few links:
Chaos at the Movies
Fans of the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness will be pleased to read that this is also going to be made into a movie(s)! The films are being made by the Hunger Games movie people, so they’ll appear in a couple of years. Go Manchee.
Today in History
And finally, because today’s news is tomorrow’s history: today and yet 121 years ago the first Labour Day was celebrated: read about it.
Good luck with your exam study! (Although you won’t need any luck, you’ll be amazing.)
While the Rugby World Cup is in action Wellington City Libraries have a competition running that gives you the chance to win an official RWC rugby ball, shirt, scarf, pins & keyring (RRP $200) kindly donated by the Wellington City Council. What do I have to do to win all that sweet swag you say? Well, have a look at the silhouettes of the eight famous number tens below…
Do you recognise any of them? Yes, no, maybe? You can take a guess and enter here (the names are listed, so even if you’re not a rugby scholar like me you still have a good shot). You have to be 14 and over to enter and the winner will be announced on the 30th of October so get your entries in before then, ok?
Please note: the judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
The Rugby World Cup begins tonight (as if you weren’t already aware), these links will help set the mood.
Google has been rugby-fied
Do you like fantasy sports? Play fantasy World Cup here
Stuff are doing a live blog
The library News Blog has a Cup Diary
The official youtube channel will keep you informed and entertained
There, now you are ready to settle in with some tasty snacks and catch the action. Who do you think will win? Who do you think will be the player of the tournament? Will the fact that I drew England in our office sweepstake cause me internal conflict?
It will be a fun six weeks.
Maybe it’s a bit counter intuitive to post about American football in the lead up week to the Rugby World Cup, however here are two similar covers that couldn’t slink under the radar:
Payback Time, Carl Deuker – told from the perspective of an un-athletic school sports reporter, Payback Time tells the story of a successful Seattle high school football team, and most particularly their secret weapon Angel.
Leverage, Joshua C Cohen – a challenging story of steroids, football, and bullying, and the way that things can escalate out of control in a terrible way.
There are more book cover patterns here.
The Central Library has recently expanded its’ YA non-fiction collection – just today actually – but because it has expanded so much I cannot possibly cover all of the new material in a single post. So for now, here are the newest sport titles.
Mana by James Kerr, photographs by Nick Danziger. This features page after page of black and white photos of the All Blacks playing, practicing the haka, listening quietly in meetings, relaxing (they seem pretty like pretty chill bros in these ones), eating, working out and showing off their sweet tats. Kind of “a day in the life” deal. Also there are photos of kids playing rugby, just like the real All Blacks, but smaller!
Golden Girls: Celebrating New Zealand’s six female Olympic gold medalists by Margot Butcher. The title of this book sparked quite some debate at Teen Blog HQ, is it “medallist” or “medalist”? Spellcheck, the Oxford Dictionary and we say “medalist”, but this book and the MacMillan UK Dictionary say “medallist”. All confusion aside, you can expect six stories about six champion female athletes.
Dan Carter: A tribute to the All Black’s perfect 10 by John Matheson. Like a biography, but in coffee table book form and with more photos. Follow his story from precocious youngster to the hyperbolic quote generating machine (eg. “… is the ‘Koh-i-Noor’ diamond of his time”) he is today. Not sure if it mentions his clothing chain or not.
All White Fever: New Zealand’s road to the World Cup by John Matheson. Remember that time the All Whites made it to the Football World Cup in South Africa? It was pretty sweet. If you’ve forgotten some of the glorious details (tsk) or just want to relive it in text with photos form, now you can. It still makes me feel proud to see a photo of Tim Brown tackling Cesc Fabregas.
WWE Encyclopedia: The definitive guide to World Wrestling Entertainment by Brian Shields and Kevin Sullivan. All the information you could possibly fit into a coffee table sized book on wrestling! From Abe “knuckleball” Schwartz to Zeus and all the Honkytonk Men and Ric Flairs in between. Pro wrestling in the 1980’s was hi-larious btw.
Fight by Eugene S. Robinson. Covers pretty much everything you could think of about fighting. From the greatest boxing matches to knife techniques, there is even mention of my favourite ‘so terrible it’s fantastic’ martial arts movie, Gymkata. If that isn’t exhaustive enough, then I don’t know what to tell you.
If these new titles prove popular (and really, why wouldn’t they?) there will be more YA non-fiction popping up at branches too. Fashion and arts coming tomorrow.
Rose Sees Red, Cecil Castellucci (197 pages) – It is 1982 in New York and Rose is a ballet dancer who attends the High School of Performing Arts. Yrena is Rose’s neighbour, a visiting Russian dancer who, due to the Cold War between USSR and the United States, is all but a prisoner in her apartment. One night Yrena, intent on experiencing New York life, escapes through Rose’s apartment window, and the two hit the town for a wild night of adventure.
First sentence: I was black inside so I took everything black.
The Children of the Lost, David Whitley (357 pages) – the second book in the Agora trilogy that began with The Midnight Charter. Mark and Lily are exiled from the city of Agora, and find refuge in a small nearby village. Lily is happy, but Mark longs to return to Agora to take revenge and find answers.
First sentence: Gradually, Lily became aware that she was being watched.
Kick, Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman (197 pages) – Ross Workman wrote to Walter Dean Myers saying he was a fan of his books and Walter Dean Myers replied saying let’s write a book together, so they did. True story. Kick is about a troubled boy who’s an excellent football (soccer) player, on his way to the state cup final, until he ends up in jail. Can he and his mentor, a policeman called Sergeant Brown, turn his life around?
First sentence: Bill Kelly and I had been friends since we played high school basketball together.
I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend, Cora Harrison (342 pages) – Jenny Cooper is Jane’s cousin, and goes to live with the Austens, which is an education in the world of balls, beautiful dresses, turns about the room, gossip, and other such things. When she (Jenny) falls in love, Jane is there to help her out.
First sentence: It’s a terrible thing to write: Jane looks like she could die – but it’s even worse to have the thought jumping into your mind every few minutes.
Pathfinder, Orson Scott Card (657 pages) – Rigg is able to see into people’s paths, a secret he shares only with his father. When his father dies, Rigg learns that he’s been keeping a whole lot of other secrets, about Rigg and his family. Rigg has other powers…
First sentence: Rigg and Father usually set the traps together, because it was Rigg who had the knack of seeing the paths that the animals they wanted were still using.
Firespell, Chloe Neill (278 pages) – Lily is a new girl at an exclusive academy and she doesn’t fit in and has no friends apart from her roommate Scout. When she discovers that Scout has magical powers and protects the city from supernatural monsters, Lily is keen to help, but can she, if she has no powers of her own?
First sentence: They were gathered around a conference table in a high-rise, eight men and women, no one under the age of sixty-five, all of them wealthy beyond measure.
The Body at the Tower, Y S Lee (344 pages) – the second book in the Agency Victorian detective series (the first is A Spy in the House). Mary Quinn, under cover, investigates the mysterious scandals surrounding the building of the Houses of Parliament, but there are distractions (suspicious workmates, past secrets, and the return of James Easton).
First sentence: A sobbing man huddles on a narrow ledge, clawing at his eyes to shield them from the horror far below.
The Doomsday Box, Herbie Brennan (328 pages) – a Shadow Project book. Time travel is possible, trouble is someone (secret codename Cobra) has used it to transport the black plague into the 21st Century. The supernatural teen spies of the Shadow Project must avert disaster, while also averting their own disaster, on the run from the KGB in Moscow in the 1960s.
First sentence: Opal fastened the strap around her ankle and stood up to admire her new shoes.
Zora and Me, Victoria Bond and T R Simon (170 pages) – based on events in the life of author Zora Neale Hurston. When a young man’s body is found on train tracks in a small Florida town Zora thinks she knows who did it, so she and her friends set out to prove her theory and search for the truth. Narrated by Zora’s best friend Carrie, hence the title.
First sentence: It’s funny how you can be in a story but not realise until the end that you were in one.
The False Princess, Eilis O’Neal (319 pages) – Nalia believes herself to be princess of Thorvaldor, but discovers she’s actually a stand in. She’s cast out, called Sinda, and sent to live with her unwelcoming aunt in a village where she (Sinda) learns she has magic, which is Sinda’s ticket out, albeit a dangerous ticket. This one is called “A dazzling first novel” and “an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance”, which sounds great.
First sentence: The day they came to tell me, I was in one of the gardens with Kiernan, trying to decipher a three-hundred-year-old map of the palace grounds.
Fallout, Ellen Hopkins (663 pages) – the companion to Crank and Glass. About Kristina’s three oldest children, who must climb out from under their mother’s meth addiction and the hold it has over the family. Novel in verse form.
First sentence: That life was good / before she / met / the monster, / but those page flips / went down before / our collective / cognition.
Accomplice, Eireann Corrigan (259 pages) – Two friends stage a kidnapping as a joke and in order to gain notoreity. Of course this is going to be a very bad idea indeed.
First sentence: The picture they usually use is one from the Activities spread of the yearbook.
Some new documentaries on DVD!
“Reptile agent Dr. Brady Barr has spent his entire career studying some of the world’s most amazing and deadliest animals. In the hit series Dangerous Encounters, Barr travels around the globe on a series of death-defying, hair-raising expeditions to study reptiles and other wildlife in their native habitats. His main goal is to study these animals before their habitat is destroyed to better understand what they need to survive in the wild. Best of Dangerous Encounters features Barr’s most dangerous moments with some of the planet’s most unapproachable animals, including his headline-making bite from a 12-foot reticulated python” (cover)
“Every four years the world stops to watch football’s best of the best. Over a billion people tuned in to see if the Netherlands or Spain would be the 2010 FIFA World Cup Champions. Neither country had ever won the cup, so it would be a first for one of them. Here is the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final from start to finish including the presentations – an unforgettable souvenir for every fan of the beautiful game” (cover)
“Here are the highlights of the 2010 FIFA World Cup including all the action from each group – A through to H, Round 16, the quarter finals, semi-finals, and the final itself. The goals, the drama, interviews and excitement – all the highlights are here, followed by the final summary from SBS special commentators Les Murray and Craig Foster” (cover)
Features all three matches played by the New Zealand team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. I don’t want to ruin the ending, but the All Whites ended the tournament as the only undefeated team. Relive the magic.
A group of men, set out on their seventh motorbike adventure together. Then they jump all their bikes of big cliffs and things and they crash, breaking bones and causing fleshwounds while Papa Roach, Powerman 5000, White Zombie etc. shout things. Mission accomplished?
An acoustic performance taped at Sony Music Studios in New York City on November 18, 1993 for the television series MTV Unplugged. Features two songs not originally broadcast plus five previously unreleased rehearsal performances.
“On October 9, 2004, at a sold-out performance in New York’s Madison Square Garden, longtime rap superstars the Beastie Boys revolutionized the formula for concert films by distributing cameras to fifty audience members and encouraging them to shoot their own footage of the musical performance. Capturing the event in a completely fresh and prismatic way, these fifty filmmakers used their diverse points-of-view to bring to life the total experience of a Beastie Boys concert, from the stage to the back rows, from the performers to the adoring fans.” (cover)
It’s been an age since we linked to some parkour/freerunning videos. So we must remedy that! Watch this video and marvel as gravity is defied.
Do you like this? Go to the NZ Parkour Association website!
ETA: some more on parkour, here’s a summary of Chase Armitage (professional free runner (which you can be)) and his talents.
The window is the best bit.