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  • Books, New, Rebecca

    New Books

    01.07.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on New Books

    the one word titles edition:

    book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSurfacing, Nora Raleigh Baskin (192 pages) – Though only a sophomore, Maggie Paris is a star on the varsity swim team, but she also has an uncanny, almost magical ability to draw out people’s deepest truths, even when they don’t intend to share them. It’s reached a point where most of her classmates, all but her steadfast best friend, now avoid her, and she’s taken to giving herself away every chance she gets to an unavailable — and ungrateful — popular boy from the wrestling team, just to prove she still exists. Even Maggie’s parents, who are busy avoiding each other and the secret deep at the heart of their devastated family, seem wary of her. Is there such a thing as too much truth?

    First lines: “The most peaceful memory I have is of when I drown. And if I close my eyes, I can still see the sunlight, cut into white bands, broken at the water’s surface.”

    book cover courtesy of SyndeticsReach, Hugh Brown (256 pages) – Will Clark thinks he’s a socially inept bookworm who just happens to enjoy cross-country running and taekwondo. But then his mother returns after a five-year absence overseas, and he has his first full-contact taekwondo fight, and the gorgeous comic-reading Conway Jones asks if she can be his maths tutor … Will must reassess himself, and his past, as he reaches towards a new future and lets his dreams take flight.

    First lines: “‘You want a hand?’ Will called. Lloyd Clark, wiry and tireless, was digging in his huge vegetable garden, his white singlet patched with sweat.”

    book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTowering, Alex Flinn (293 pages) – Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her. Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again. Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now.

    First lines: “I had not been outside in years. I wasn’t sure how many, exactly, because I didn’t keep track from the beginning. I didn’t realize I’d need to.”

    book cover courtesy of SyndeticsScowler, Daniel Kraus (288 pages) – Nineteen-year-old Ry Burke, his mother, and little sister scrape by for a living on their dying family farm. Ry wishes for anything to distract him from the grim memories of his father’s physical and emotional abuse. Then a meteorite falls from the sky, bringing with it not only a fragment from another world but also the arrival of a ruthless man intent on destroying the entire family. Soon Ry is forced to defend himself by resurrecting a trio of imaginary childhood protectors: kindly Mr. Furrington, wise Jesus, and the bloodthirsty Scowler.

    First lines: “A tooth was missing and that was never a pleasant thing. It was going on thirty minutes that Ry and Sarah had been after it.”

    book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCharmfall, Chloe Neill (242 pages) – High school can be a battlefield, but for Lily Parker, surviving at St. Sophia’s School for Girls is a matter of life and death. When a Reaper infiltrates the school, Lily reaches deep into herself to draw out her magic—and finds that it’s gone! And it turns out she’s not alone. A magical blackout has slammed through paranormal Chicago, and no one knows what—or who—caused it. But Lily knows getting back her magic is worth the risk of going behind enemy lines.

    First lines: “His fur was silvery gray. His eyes shifted color between sky blue and spring green, and his ears were flat against his head. I’d tripped and fallen, which put me at eye level with the giant werewolf in front of me.”

    book cover courtesy of SyndeticsRun, Tim Sinclair (235 pages) – Dee lives for parkour and the alternative worlds he invents to escape his mundane life. He knows the city better than anyone – the hidden spaces at night, the views that no one else sees, from heights that no one else can scale. With parkour, he’s not running away. He’s free. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Soon, Dee is running for his life, running for real.

    First lines: “I walk. One foot and then the next, just like everyday people. Feet on the ground just like everyday people.”

    book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTrinkets, Kirsten Smith (275 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Moe’s Shoplifters Anonymous meetings are usually punctuated by the snores of an old man and the whining of the world’s unhappiest housewife. Until the day that Tabitha Foster and Elodie Shaw walk in. Tabitha has just about everything she wants: money, friends, popularity, a hot boyfriend who worships her…and clearly a yen for stealing. So does Elodie, who, despite her goodie-two-shoes attitude pretty much has “klepto” written across her forehead in indelible marker. But both of them are nothing compared to Moe, a bad girl with an even worse reputation. Tabitha challenges the three to a steal-off and so begins a strange alliance linked by the thrill of stealing and the reasons that spawn it.

    First lines: “The people who say Portland is a place where hipster thirtysomethings go to retire clearly have never been to Lake Oswego”


  • Simon, Sport

    Parkour

    08.09.10 | Permalink | Comments Off on Parkour

    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.


  • Games, Internet, Interview, Movies, Simon, Sport

    Bunch of links

    27.05.09 | Permalink | 1 Comment

    Is zombie fiction the new vampire fiction? Zombies rise in teen lit. (Read our interview with Amanda Ashby, author of The Zombie Queen of Newbury High.)

    Two mothers spend US$28,000 to get Twilight star Robert Pattinson to kiss their daughters. (You can also pay to be taken on a tour of the film set in Vancouver, Canada: “Twilight fans don’t have to schlep all the way out to New Zealand for their fan fix.” Hah.) There are some exclusive pictures from New Moon here.

    Peter Jackson and director Guillermo del Toro discuss their plans for the forthcoming films of The Hobbit. (Del Toro is in Wellington, and was recently interviewed by Stuff.)

    Could a virtual racing champion be turned into a real-life racing champion? Well?

    Chase cryptids via CryptoZoo. The game’s creator was inspired by freerunners in Wellington (you can even see the library). We’re famous!


  • Internet, Simon, Study

    More Parkour (on wheels)

    21.04.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on More Parkour (on wheels)

    As readers of this blog know, I really like parkour/free-running. (Previous posts.) And you should too. After the ‘more’ there’s an incredible Youtube clip of someone riding a bike up, down, and over all things urban. (It’s really called freestyle BMX.) Enjoy, and don’t try any stunts yourself

    Read more…


  • Flash games, Simon

    Run, lol, run

    26.02.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on Run, lol, run

    Mirror’s Edge is a new console game that uses the sport of free-running, or parkour. You can play a 2-dimensional platform Flash version of the game – Mirror’s Edge 2D – for free! It’s pretty addictive. I freely admit to playing it all morning.


  • Competition, Simon, Sport

    Free-running championships

    06.09.08 | Permalink | Comments Off on Free-running championships

    More free-running news!

    The world’s first free-running championships took place in London last Wednesday. Contestants had to complete a course (and provide their own soundtrack) and were judged for their ‘flow’ by other free-runners. The BBC have a brief video interview with the organiser of the event. The winner was American Gabe Nunez (who can be seen in this 3 Doors Down music video), while second and third places were won by Britons.

    I don’t think the 2012 London Olympics have a demonstration sport picked out yet …


  • Internet, Simon, Sport

    Keep on moving

    01.09.08 | Permalink | 2 Comments

    If you read our post on parkour and free running last month and are keen to further your interest, check out Parkour New Zealand, the NZ Parkour portal. It has videos taken around the country, and a forum for like-minded people. The Wellington subforum has the most posts, which is a good sign!


  • Internet, Michael, Sport

    L’art du déplacement

    07.08.08 | Permalink | 3 Comments

    The thing I really like about alternative sports is that when any sport starts to become a bit too mainstream someone dreams up something new. When adrenalin junkies got bored with bungy jumping and skydiving they came up with base jumping, which stepped things up to a whole new level.

    Free-running is an especially interesting development because although it’s a physical activity it is not considered a sport. Free-running developed out of Parkour which originated in France in the 1990s. The idea of Parkour is the aim of moving from one point to another as effeciently and quickly as possible with the abilities of the human body. Both are considered to be more of a physical or performance art. Where the two movements differ is that Parkour is all about efficiency of movement whereas free-running is about absolute freedom and expression of movement.

    The development of free-running is a move towards the mainstream – there is even a world championship run by Urban Freeflow next month in London. This is in conflict with the principles of the art so it will be interesting how it handles this development like many alternative sports before it. Some groups are performing in movies like Bond and The Bourne Ultimatum. There was even a challenge on Top Gear where free-runners raced a car to the centre of a city. Anyway there is no point talking about an activity that is all about movement, so here is a clip from Wellington – where free-running has quite a following (the back of the central library is popular) – after the jump, and for much, much more, check out this page.

    Read more…