Books, Grimm, New

More New Books Again Again

09.09.15 | Permalink | Comments Off

This week, the sequel to a smash-hit, the third book in a really popular New Zealand series, and something new.

Girl Online On Tour, Zoe Sugg. This is the follow up to the runaway smash hit Girl Online and it’s due to be released at the end of October. “Penny’s bags are packed. When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can’t wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend. But, between Noah’s jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she’s really cut out for life on tour. She can’t help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot… and her blog, Girl Online. Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?” (

Being Magdalene, Fleur Beale. This is the follow-up to I Am Not Esther and I Am Rebecca (in that order) and it should be here soonish. “Four years have passed since Rebecca ran away. The community simmers with tension and rumours of an approaching split, and life has become terrifying for Rebecca’s remaining siblings as Elder Stephen seizes any chance to take revenge on them. Twelve-year-old Magdalene lives in fear that her strong-willed little sister, Zillah, will be his next target. The girls have run out of people who can protect them. To Zillah their path is clear but Magdalene is torn. How can she cause more hurt and shame for her parents? But, equally, how can she face a life with no freedom to be herself? And another question scares her most of all. Without the elders’ suffocating rules that tell her how to live, who would Magdalene be?” (

Dangerous Lies, Becca Fitzpatrick. This is the new book by the author of the Hush, Hush series (due in November). “Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life. After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer. But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows. As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…” (

Adrienne, Events, Happenings, Internet

Free coding workshops

07.09.15 | Permalink | 2 Comments

Coding workshop image

Ever wanted to create your own website or online game? Book your place at the two FREE coding workshops during the October School Holidays.

Workshop One:

Building with jQuery – 1Oct, 9.30am-3.30pm, Wellington Central Library (Mezzanine Meeting Room)
For people with little or no previous experience with JavaScript, but confidence in HTML and CSS, this workshop introduces attendees to what’s possible with jQuery: from hand-coding using jQuery’s convenient collection of functions, to using complex plugins written by other jQuery developers.

-Confidence with writing HTML and CSS
-Familiarity with copying, renaming and moving files
-A Mac or Windows computer with Internet access
-Admin rights to install new applications
-Excitement about learning jQuery!

Attendees leave the workshop at the end of the day with their work published online as a live website.

This workshop is free, and open to those aged 10-18yrs old (and any teachers that want to learn also!). Places are limited, registrations are essential. Go to for more info and to register


Workshop two:

Building with Python - 2Oct, 9.30am - 3.30pm, Wellington Central Library (Mezzanine Meeting Room)
A great option for beginners with little or no prior programming experience, Building with Python offers a broad taster of the language, while providing a solid basis for more advanced programming.

-Familiarity with copying, renaming and moving files
-A Mac or Windows computer with internet access
-Python 3 pre-installed (from
-Excitement about learning to code!

Attendees leave the workshop at the end of the day with a simple text-based game of their own creation.

This workshop is free, and open to those aged 13-18yrs old (and any teachers who want to learn also!). Places are limited, registrations are essential. Go to  for more info and to register.


Fashion Friday, Style Catalogue

September Fashion

04.09.15 | Permalink | Comments Off

September is BIG in the fashion world. It’s when the new year and new season of fashion starts; all the biggest fashion weeks happen all over the world and September fashion magazine issues are always super fat – crammed with all the looks and collections for the upcoming season. As Candy Pratts Price of Vogue fame claims: “September is the January in fashion”.

If you haven’t seen The September Issue, then you need to get it out now. It’s all about the preparation that went into the publication of Vogue’s September 2007 issue. A bit of an oldie (released 2009) but such a goodie – it gives an amazing insight into the making of the world’s most famous fashion magazine, as well as a front row seat to watch the politics play out between editor Anna Wintour and style guru Grace Coddington. It also features cameo appearances by the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Oscar de la Renta and always hilarious Andre Leon Talley. A must-watch!


Books, Grimm, New

We’ve ordered these new books

02.09.15 | Permalink | Comments Off

People are saying good things about these books!

Stone Rider, David Hofmeyr. “In the vein of The Outsiders and the early Western novels of Elmore Leonard, this inventive debut novel, a cross between the cult classic Mad Max movie series and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, blends adrenaline-fueled action with an improbable yet tender romance to offer a rich and vivid portrayal of misfits and loners forced together in their struggle for a better life. Adam Stone wants freedom and peace. He wants a chance to escape Blackwater, the dust-bowl desert town he grew up in. Most of all, he wants the beautiful Sadie Blood. Alongside Sadie and the dangerous outsider Kane, Adam will ride the Blackwater Trail in a brutal race that will test them all, body and soul. Only the strongest will survive. The prize? A one-way ticket to Sky-Base and unimaginable luxury. And for a chance at this new life, Adam will risk everything.” ( The Outsiders, westerns, Mad Max, and super-depressing apocalyptic literature? Sounds exciting!

The Fixer, Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The first book in a planned new series. “Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather’s ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems. And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess’s classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting – and complicated – for Tess. Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.” (

Took, a Ghost Story, Mary Downing Hahn. Everyone loves a good ghost story. “Thirteen-year-old Daniel Anderson doesn’t believe Brody Mason’s crazy stories about the ghost witch who lives up on Brewster’s Hill with Bloody Bones, her man-eating razorback hog. He figures Brody’s probably just trying to scare him since he’s the new kid … a ‘stuck-up snot’ from Connecticut. But Daniel’s seven-year-old sister Erica has become more and more withdrawn, talking to her lookalike doll. When she disappears into the woods one day, he knows something is terribly wrong. Did the witch strike? Has Erica been ‘took’?” (

I Crawl Through It, A. S. King. From the author of Please Ignore Vera Dietz. “Four talented teenagers are traumatized – coping with grief, surviving trauma, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults – and they’ll do anything to escape the pressure. They’ll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them… until they learn the only way to escape reality is to fly right into it.” ( Surreal is the word!


The Shepherd’s Crown: goodbye, Terry Pratchett

01.09.15 | Permalink | Comments Off

Terry Pratchett was one of the best loved and most prolific authors of all time. He’s best known for his Discworld series, as well as his collaboration with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens. He was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, and then died on March 12, aged 66. This is a brief summary, of course: there will be longer obituaries that do real justice to this warm, funny man who advocated for environmental issues, freedom of speech and the right to die. He leaves behind his loving family and many friends. But I don’t feel qualified to write about his life, really, but I do know I can talk about his books. I’ve read them avidly since I was 12 and was still avidly reading them 14 years later, eagerly anticipating each new title. It’s hard to believe there’ll be no more – they’ve been such a fixture of mine and many other people’s lives for so many years. But the books that he left are so utterly brilliant that we could have had half their number and still been blessed with one of the funniest, wisest and most true series of books that have ever been written.

The Discworld series were, for me, the height of the comedic fantasy genre. But they weren’t just funny. They were clever. The Discworld series showed a fantasy world that changed: what happens, he asked, when a fantasy world develops the printing press? The Mail System gets reformed? The invention of paper money? The characters changed too: Tough-as-nails copper Sam Vimes fought dragons and other such odd antagonists until he found himself (much to his discomfort) a Duke. Susan, the granddaughter of Death went from being an orphaned schoolgirl to helping save existence. Then there was Tiffany Aching, an eleven year old girl who wanted to be a witch and became one. I’m sure there are many of you who grew up with her. Or how about Moist Von Lipwig, a small time hustler to (semi) reputable government official? This is leaving aside the Lancre Witches and the rest of the Anhk-Morepork City Watch, of course. Everyone grew. Everyone changed. This was not an immaculate fantasy world but one that lived and breathed and was absolutely recognisable even despite the trolls and dwarves and dragons. The Discworld series never felt anything less than inhabited, as if even the bit-players could wander off the page and live their own complete lives, far away from the main storyline.

There was so much heart in the stories of these people. They struggled through their fights with the big bads, yes, but the books never wandered from that sense of playful absurdity. But they never felt less realistic for it. It seemed perfectly feasible that a world that contained an orang-utan librarian at a university could also contain some of the best literary depictions of the poor, the sad, and the truly evil. Evil was not ever separate, either: Pratchett depicted it in all its forms, from external supernatural horror to, even worse, the evil that ordinary people are capable of when they can. He shone a harsh light on the ignorant and the greedy. But this was balanced out by a sense of hope – sometimes people can be better than the sum of their parts. Sometimes people can be noble, good, brave or kind. Sometimes all four at once. And sometimes that was all that was needed to win the battle, if not the war.

It seems that I’m leaving the most important bit until last: these books were laugh-out-loud funny.

So reading The Shepherd’s Crown, the final Discworld book, was a heart-rending experience. Not just because the book is, in itself, very sad, but because also I know there’ll be no more. It’s a bittersweet end; we’re all leaving the Discworld for good. But what Terry Pratchett left us was a wealth of books, an enduring legacy, a world that you can discover anew every time you open one of his books. Not only that, but Terry Pratchett the man left his mark on philanthropic works, such as Alzheimer’s Research UK, and was a Orangutan Foundation Trustee.

The tributes have flowed thick and fast, and this is just one of the many. But they are well deserved.

“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”
― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

dystopia, New

New books

28.08.15 | Permalink | Comments Off

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsOur endless numbered days, Claire Fuller

Peggy Hillcoat is eight years old when her survivalist father, James, takes her from their home in London to a remote hut in the woods and tells her that the rest of the world has been destroyed. Deep in the wilderness, Peggy and James make a life for themselves. They repair the hut, bathe in water from the river, hunt and gather food in the summers and almost starve in the harsh winters. They mark their days only by the sun and the seasons. When Peggy finds a pair of boots in the forest and begins a search for their owner, she unwittingly begins to unravel the series of events that brought her to the woods and, in doing so, discovers the strength she needs to go back to the home and mother she thought she’d lost. After Peggy’s return to civilization, her mother learns the truth of her escape, of what happened to James on the last night out in the woods, and of the secret that Peggy has carried with her ever since. (Goodreads)

First lines: This morning I found a black-and-white photograph of my father at the back of the bureau drawer. He didn’t look like a liar. My mother, Ute, had removed the other pictures of him from the albums she kept on the bottom shelf of the bookcase, and shuffled around all the remaining family and baby snapshots to fill the gaps.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsUnworthy, Joanne Armstrong.

Nearly two hundred years after a killer disease swept the planet, an island nation continues its isolated survival due to the ruthless dedication of its military. The laws and culture of the country are based on the survival of the fittest, distrust of disease, and control of the general population.
Marked at birth as “Unworthy” to be raised, a young woman questions the necessity for the cruel practice, so many years after the Isolation was declared. She embarks on a journey which will uncover truths about her past and about her society which she could never have imagined.(Goodreads)

First lines: It is not unheard of to receive a summons to the General’s office, but it is unusual. Alex loops the brush back onto its peg and leaves the stables, crossing the training yard near the climbing wall. Shouts of encouragement mixed in equal parts with insults reach him on the damp spring air.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe memory hit, Carla Spradbery

On New Year’s Eve, Jess’s life is unrecognizable: her best friend is in the hospital, her boyfriend is a cheater. A drug-dealing cheater it would seem, after finding a stash of Nostalgex in his bag. Nostalgex: a drug that stimulates memory. In small doses, a person can remember the order of a deck of cards, or an entire revision guide read the day before an exam. In larger doses it allows the user detailed access to their past, almost like watching a DVD with the ability to pause a moment in time, to focus on previously unnoticed details and to see everything they’ve ever experienced with fresh eyes. As Leon, the local dealer, says ‘it’s like life, only better.’ What he fails to mention is that most memories are clouded by emotions. Even the most vivid memories can look very different when visited. Across town Sam Cooper is in trouble. Again. This time, gagged and bound in the boot of a car. Getting on the wrong side of a drug dealer is never a good idea, but if he doesn’t make enough money to feed and clothe his sister, who will? On New Year’s Day, Jess and Cooper’s worlds collide. They must put behind their differences and work together to look into their pasts to uncover a series of events that will lead them to know what really happened on that fateful New Year’s Eve. But what they find is that everything they had once believed to be true, turns out to be a lie …(Goodreads)

First lines: The memory came in much the same way as a dream. Barely detectable at first, it curled into existence like smoke, growing denser until there was nothing but the vision, as if it were all happening for the first time.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe night we said yes, Lauren Gibaldi

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.
But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan. And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of. Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future. (Goodreads)

First lines: Meg is in front of my house in ten minutes and twenty-seven seconds.
“You’re late,” I joke, sinking into her car’s leather seats.
“Shut up,” she says, smiling. “You ready?”

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMy heart and other black holes, Jasmine Wanga

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness. There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner. Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.(Goodreads)

First lines: Music, especially classical music, especially Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor, has kinetic energy. If you listen hard enough, you can hear the violin’s bow trembling above the strings, ready to ignite the notes. To set them in motion. And once the notes are in the air, they collide against one another. They spark. They burst.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe almost king, Lucy Saxon

Aleks Vasin is the youngest of four brothers, each with his path mapped out. But Aleks doesn’t want to work in his father’s shop and live with his family in a village in the westernmost corner of Siberene. And when he hears his parents fretting about money, he decides to save them the cost of his keep and leave. First he heads south – though everyone tells him not to – to Rudavin, headquarters of the kingsguard, and he signs up for the army, little knowing what brutality it entails. After only a few weeks, Aleks realizes that this garrison is full of liars and thieves; he’s signed away four years of his life to a commander who steals his money and a captain who’s already hurt Aleks’s beloved horse. This is not a noble destiny. After a brutal beating, Aleks escapes, hoping to find safety and a new life somewhere in the north. And there, this deserter finds love, adventure, and a skyship in which he might just prove himself a hero after all – if he can evade the soldiers who seek to capture him. (Goodreads)

First lines: Aleks was woken by a deafeningly loud klaxon, and jolted up out of his narrow cot bed, blue eyes wide in alarm.
“Relax, new boy, it’s just the wake-up call,” Jarek groaned from the bed beside his, plugging his ears with his fingers. The klaxon shut off, and Aleks relaxed even as he reddened with embarrassment, hearing a few men snigger at his overreaction. Not the best start for his first day as a cadet.

Books, Grimm, New

YET More Upcoming Fiction to Reserve

19.08.15 | Permalink | Comments Off

We have been busy ordering! Here’s a selection of highly-recommended books.

The Six, Mark Alpert. “Adam’s muscular dystrophy has stolen his mobility, his friends, and in a few short years, it will take his life. Virtual reality games are Adam’s only escape from his wheelchair. In his alternate world, he can defeat anyone. Running, jumping, scoring touchdowns: Adam is always the hero. Then an artificial intelligence program, Sigma, hacks into Adam’s game. Created by Adam’s computer-genius father, Sigma has gone rogue, threatening Adam’s life-and world domination. Their one chance to stop Sigma is using technology Adam’s dad developed to digitally preserve the mind of his dying son. Along with a select group of other terminally ill teens, Adam becomes one of the Six who have forfeited their bodies to inhabit weaponized robots. But with time running short, the Six must learn to manipulate their new mechanical forms and work together to train for epic combat…before Sigma destroys humanity.” (

Blood Will Tell, April Henry. The sequel to The Body in the Woods, and great if you like mysteries and thrillers. “When a woman’s body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward teen who lives only a few blocks away, owns several knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of a Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. How is this even possible? And can Alexis and Ruby find a way to help clear Nick’s name before it’s too late?” (

Beastly Bones, William Ritter. This is the follow-up Jackaby novel. “In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer R. F. Jackaby are called upon to investigate the supernatural. First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.” (

Books, Grimm, New

More Upcoming Fiction to Reserve

12.08.15 | Permalink | Comments Off

Here’s a selection of interesting-looking stuff that should be arriving around about the time to start thinking about thinking about study plans for exams. This is always the way!

The Library of Souls, Ransom Riggs (September/October). The final instalment of the trilogy with the weird photos is almost here! “Time is running out for the Peculiar Children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They’ll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater dangers than ever… Will Jacob come into his own as the hero his fellow Peculiars know him to be? This action-packed adventure features more than 50 all-new Peculiar photographs” (

Dark Tide, Jennifer Donnelly (October). “Once a lost and confused princess, Serafina is now a confident leader of the Black Fin Resistance (BFR). While she works on sabotaging her enemy and enlisting allies for battle, her friends face challenges of their own. Ling is in the hold of Rafe Mfeme’s giant trawler, on her way to a prison camp. Becca meets up with Astrid and learns why the Ondalinian mermaid is always so angry: she is hiding a shameful secret. Ava can’t return home, because death riders await her arrival. And it is getting more and more difficult for Mahdi, Serafina’s betrothed, to keep up the ruse that he is in love with Lucia Volerno. If Lucia’s parents become suspicious, his life–and all of Sera’s hopes–will be extinguished. Political intrigue, dangerous liaisons, and spine-tingling suspense swirl like a maelstrom in this penultimate book in the WaterFire saga.” (

Sky Key, James Frey (October). The sequel to The Calling, from one of the collaborators behind Pittacus Lore. “Endgame is here. Earth Key has been found. Two keys – and nine Players – remain. The keys must be found, and only one Player can win. Queens, New York. Aisling Kopp believes the unthinkable: that Endgame can be stopped. But before she can get home to regroup, she is approached by the CIA. They know about Endgame. And they have their own ideas about how it should be Played. Ideas that could change everything. Kingdom of Aksum, Ethiopia. Hilal ibn Isa al-Salt narrowly survived an attack that leaves him horribly disfigured. He now knows something the other Players do not. But the Aksumites have a secret that is unique to their line. A secret that can help redeem humanity – and maybe even be used to help defeat the beings behind Endgame. London, England. Sarah Alopay has found the first key. She is with Jago – and they are winning. But getting Earth Key has come at a great cost to Sarah. The only thing that keeps the demons at bay is Playing. Playing to win. Sky Key – wherever it is, whatever it is – is next. And the nine remaining Players will stop at nothing to get it.” (

And finally, for fans of The Selection:

Happily Ever After, Kiera Cass (October). This is a collection of four Selection-related short stories, plus also: a bonus epilogue! Where are they now! Maps! Illustrations! Scenes from Celeste’s point of view! Bonus Lucy scenes! A cornucopia of extras. Can’t wait.

Competition, M?ori Language Week, Māori literature

Te rārangi toa. Anō te pai!!

05.08.15 | Permalink | Comments Off

Tēnā koutou ki a koutou ngā kaituhituhi o te motu nei.  Pārekareka ana te pakiwaitara o te whakataetae Maiwahtuhituhi  ki a mātou??

Ngā mihi nui ki Te Rauhina kei Te Kura Kāreti Kōtiro o Te Whanganui-a-Tara.  Ko Te Rauhina te toa matua o te whakataetae katoa

Kua riro i a ia tētahi rorohiko pōnaho, (Samsung 7” lite tablet),  Mīharo kē!

Ka mihi hoki ki Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Te Ara Hou, kua riro i a

koutou he haki hei hoko pukapuka ( $250.00) te mea nei rua tekau ma rima ngā takiuru  i tuku mai ki te whakataetae nei.

Kua riro i a Waimirirangi te paraihe angitu a te kaiwhakawā, he haki hei hoko pukapuka, he rawe tānā tuhituhi i te Rāmere!!

Ākuanei ka tuku imera ki a koutou ngā toa.

Ngā mihi ki a koutou katoa kua tuku whiti hei hapai i te kaupapa Māwhaituhituhi!!

Ka mau te wehi!!






Competition, M?ori Language Week, Māori literature

Kātahi kua oti te paki, kei te āta whiriwhiri māua i te toa!

03.08.15 | Permalink | Comments Off

Kua oti te paki – engari kei te whakaaro tonu mātou kō wai te toa o te whakataetae! Nau mai anō ki tēnei whārangi ki te pānui i te pakiwaitara katoa, ā hei te Rāapa ka whakapuaki te toa rangatira ki kō nei hoki. Ākuanei, e hoa mā!

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