Tugga’s Mob: Our Interview with Ngaio Marsh Finalist Stephen Johnson

Continuing our short feature series on this year’s Ngaio Marsh Awards, we are delighted to have an exclusive interview and reading by debut novelist and Ngaio Marsh shortlisted author of Tugga’s Mob, Stephen Johnson.

Stephen has a fascinating background, first as a courier and driver for Topdeck Travel, taking passengers from London to Istanbul and then as a television producer for some of New Zealand’s most iconic news and sports programmes. Both of these life experiences inform many of the dramatic devices and locations Stephen uses in this novel. For example, the novel’s investigators are a television current affairs crew rather than the traditional detectives or private investigators.

Stephen describes himself as an accidental author who wrote the book whilst on an empty nest tour of Europe. The plot revolves around Judy Williams, a young backpacker whose dream of exploring Europe on her OE ends tragically in her murder. It is only the discovery of her diary thirty years later that leads to the investigation that finally puts matters to right. Tugga’s Mob has been described by many reviewers as a “compulsive page turner” that vividly brings to life some of Europe’s top tourist destinations.

We want to extend our biggest thank you to Stephen for his time and such a great interview. And we wish him and his fellow shortlisted authors good luck in the final awards ceremony. The finalists will be celebrated, and the winners announced, as part of a special event at this year’s WORD Christchurch Festival, held from 29 October to 1 November. Enjoy!

Below are some of the books that influenced Stephen Johnson and were mentioned in his interview:

Secret Seven on the trail / Blyton, Enid
“Something mysterious is going on at Tigger’s Barn, and the Secret Seven are intrigued. Peter thinks it’s all just gossip, but Jack isn’t so sure when he overhears a strange conversation. It looks like the Seven are on the trail of another exciting adventure! Solve the mystery!This edition features the classic text and comes with a Bonus Blyton section at the back with quizzes, puzzles and other bonus extras! .” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Call for the dead / Le Carré, John
“After a routine security check by George Smiley, civil servant Samuel Fennan apparently kills himself. When Smiley finds Circus head Maston is trying to blame him for the death, he begins his own investigation, meeting Fennan’s widow. On the very day Smiley is ordered off the enquiry he receives an urgent letter from the dead man. Do the East Germans – and their agents – know more about this man’s death than the Circus previously imagined?” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The Ipcress file / Deighton, Len
“Len Deighton’s classic first novel, whose protagonist is a nameless spy – later christened Harry Palmer and made famous worldwide in the iconic 1960s film starring Michael Caine. The Ipcress File was not only Len Deighton’s first novel, it was his first bestseller and the book that broke the mould of thriller writing. For the working class narrator, an apparently straightforward mission to find a missing biochemist becomes a journey to the heart of a dark and deadly conspiracy.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The Bourne identity : a novel / Ludlum, Robert
” His memory is a blank. His bullet-ridden body was fished from the Mediterranean Sea. His face has been altered by plastic surgery. A frame of microfilm has been surgically implanted in his hip. Even his name is a mystery. Marked for death, he is racing for survival through a bizarre world of murderous conspirators–led by Carlos, the world’s most dangerous assassin. Who is Jason Bourne? The answer may kill him. (Adapted from Catalogue)

Headhunters/ Nesbø, Jo
“Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, but one career simply can’t support his luxurious lifestyle. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Greve just so happens to mention that he owns a priceless Peter Paul Rubens painting–and Roger Brown just so happens to dabble in art theft. But when he breaks into Greve’s apartment, he finds more than just the painting.” (Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

A place of execution / McDermid, Val
In the village of Scardale, thirteen-year-old girls didn’t just run away. So when Alison Carter vanished in the winter of ’63, everyone knew it was a murder. Catherine Heathcote remembers the case well. A child herself when Alison vanished, decades on she still recalls the sense of fear. Now a journalist, she persuades DI George Bennett to speak of the hunt for Alison, the tantalizing leads and harrowing dead ends. But when a fresh lead emerges, Bennett tries to stop the story… ‘” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook

The faceless / Symon, Vanda
“Bradley is a middle-aged man trapped in middle-class New Zealand. One day, Bradley picks up a teenage hooker. Unfortunately he can’t keep it up and then she laughs at him. That was a mistake. He beats her, ties her up and takes her to an abandoned warehouse. Max is homeless. He eats from rubbish bins, bums cigarettes from anyone and anywhere, including the footpath. But Max has one friend and she has gone missing. If he is to find her he is going to have to call on some people from his past life and re-open old wounds.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

When she was good / Robotham, Michael
“Criminal psychologist Cyrus Haven and Evie Cormac return. Who is Evie, the girl with no past, running from? She was discovered hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a terrible crime. Her ability to tell when someone is lying helped Cyrus crack an impenetrable case. Now, the closer Cyrus gets to uncovering answers about Evie’s dark history, the more he exposes Evie to danger, giving her no choice but to run. Ultimately, both will have to decide if some secrets are better left buried and some monsters should never be named…” (Catalogue)

For more information on Stephen click here.

Have you ever wanted to write for Doctor Who and want to know how?

  • Have you ever wanted to write for Doctor Who and want to know how ?
  • Would you like to know about the process for writing for television ?

Well here is your chance.

As well as being the internationally bestselling author of Rivers of London series of books and graphic novels, the multitalented Ben Aaronvitch is also a scriptwriter for both Television and radio.

Ben has written for Casualty, Jupiter Moon, Blakes 7 and the longest running Science fiction series in the world Doctor Who. Indeed his first ever script for television was for Doctor Who. Remembrance of the Daleks: the first story in Doctor Who‘s twenty-fifth anniversary season.

Ben will be doing a very special online question and answer event for us in October and we need questions.

So if you’ve ever wanted to ask Ben Aaronovitch a question, now’s your chance!

Simply send us your questions via FacebookTwitterInstagram or email before the end of September and we’ll do our best to ask them during the event.

Overdrive cover Remembrance of the Daleks, Ben Aaronovitch (ebook)
“With unfinished business to attend to, the Seventh Doctor returns to where it all began: Coal Hill School in London in 1963. Last time he was here, the Doctor left something behind – a powerful Time Lord artefact that could unlock the secrets of time travel. Can the Doctor retrieve it before two rival factions of Daleks track it down? And even if he can, how will the Doctor prevent the whole of London becoming a war zone as the Daleks meet in explosive confrontation?” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Rivers of London [3] : black mould / Aaronovitch, Ben
“Something dark and slimy is dripping through the walls of suburban London. Not the usual stuff that smells funny and can be hell on the lungs, this mould is possessed by some dark power full of bad intentions. Looks like it’s another case for London’s one and only trainee wizard cop, Police Constable Peter Grant, and his reluctant partner, Sahra Guleed, set between Foxglove Summer and The Hanging Tree Aaronovitch is joined by Doctor Who writer Andrew Cartmel for this gripping new series.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

From the Rare Book Collection : Terentius Comico Carmine

Selected from our Rare Book Collection is this beautiful 1503 illustrated edition of Terentius Comico Carmine, a collection of comedies by the Roman playwright Publius Terentius Afer


Publius Terentius Afer (better known simply as ‘Terence’) was born into slavery in North Africa around 185 BC and was sold as a child to a Roman senator who took him back to Italy. His owner educated him and became so impressed with his wit and intelligence that he granted him his freedom.  Terence went on to write six plays based on the Greek Attic style of comedy, all of which survive to the present day. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, his plays survived as hand-written manuscripts which were preserved in monasteries for hundreds of years through the Dark Ages and into Medieval period. Following Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the movable-type printing press in the mid 15th century, Terence’s works were among the first plays to be printed in Europe. This copy was published by Johann Grüninger in Strasbourg at the very start of the 16th Century. Though today part of France, at the time the city was principally German speaking and was the centre of the early European printing industry.  

The protestant religious reformer Martin Luther became a great admirer of Terence and frequently mentioned his insights into human nature in his own writing. One famous Terence quote which has inspired many is Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto, or,  “I am human, so nothing human is alien to me”. Luther also suggested that his plays could be useful for teaching morals and ethics to youth. What makes this somewhat surprising is that Luther was known for his socially conservative views but Terence’s work is often bawdy with no shortage of risqué content.  His work Hecyra (aka The Mother in Law) of which three pages are shown here, is a good example of this. The play follows a young man who falls in love with a prostitute and includes drunken debauchery,  sex, domestic violence, and a farcical case of mistaken identity which wouldn’t be out of place in a Christmas pantomime…. but everything works out happily in the end.

Amusingly, the first two attempted performances of the play during the Classical period both ended somewhat disastrously. The first was in 165 BC when shortly before it was supposed to begin, a rumor spread that a tightrope-walker and boxers were about to perform and the theatre was suddenly swamped by people expecting to see circus acts. The second in 160 BC was cancelled after the theater was again overrun, this time by drunk gladiator supporters. It was finally performed successfully on its third attempt later the same year. Another curiosity is that it was long thought that a musical phrase which accompanies a single line of the text in Hecyra was the only remaining written description of the entire body of ancient Roman music. However, its authenticity is now disputed and it may have had 10th Century origins. 

Terence’s newfound popularity during the Renaissance followed the spread of the reformation to England and his work had a notable influence on Shakespeare nearly a century after the publication of this edition. One intriguing thought is the possibility that another copy of this edition could have ended up in Shakespeare’s own library. This now-500+ year old volume came into our collection after being  gifted to the institution shortly after the municipal library was founded in 1893. At some point the volume was rebound in vellum, a hard-wearing cream-colored covering made from calf skin which (unlike leather), does not go through a tanning process but is stretched and dried without significant chemical treatment. With the Central Library currently closed, the book is being carefully stored in a custom-made acid-free enclosure in a temperature and humidity controlled room at the Wellington City Archives.

Ask Ben Aaronovitch a question

The Rivers of London graphic novel series stand alone from the novels, featuring brand new stories. However the graphic novels have very much the same tone, feel and character as the novels.  One important difference is that in the graphic novels Ben collaborates with Andrew Cartmel, who he initially worked with on Doctor Who.

One suspects that Ben and Andrew’s previous experience in television will help considerably in Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s upcoming television adaption of the Rivers of London books.

And we are thrilled that in October Ben has agreed to do a pre-recorded Question and Answer online event–and we need your questions ideally by the end of this month.

So if you’ve ever wanted to ask Ben Aaronovitch a question, now’s your chance!

Simply send us your questions via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email until 30 September, and we’ll do our best to ask them during the event. And in the meantime, check out the selection of Ben’s work. Enjoy!


Rivers of London [1] : body work / Aaronovitch, Ben
“Peter Grant, having become the first English apprentice wizard in fifty years, must immediately deal with two different but ultimately inter-related cases. In one he must find what is possessing ordinary people and turning them into vicious killers, and in the second he must broker a peace between the two warring gods of the River Thames.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Rivers of London [2] : night witch / Aaronovitch, Ben
“Press-ganged into helping a Russian oligarch hunt for his missing daughter, PC Grant and his boss, Thomas Nightingale, London’s only wizarding cops, find themselves caught up in a battle between Russian gunmen, a monstrous forest creature – and their nemesis. But as Grant and Nightingale close in on the missing girl, they discover that nothing about this case is what it seems! ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Rivers of London [3] : black mould / Aaronovitch, Ben
“Something dark and slimy is dripping through the walls of suburban London. Not the usual stuff that smells funny and can be hell on the lungs, this mould is possessed by some dark power. Looks like it’s another case for London’s one and only trainee wizard cop, PC Peter Grant, and his reluctant partner, Sahra Guleed An all-new adventure for Ben Aaronvitch’s laconic, way-past-cool but slightly geeky trainee wizard and budding detective, Peter Grant.  ” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Update on Libraries’ events and programmes

With the move to Covid-19 Alert Level 1 all Wellington City Libraries branches will resume our programmes and events over the coming weeks. Please check our website for details. We will maintain the additional cleaning currently in place and encourage everyone to continue recording their visits using the QR codes.

“Thank you to everyone for patiently following the sign-in and physical distancing rules under the previous Alert level,” says Laurinda Thomas, Manager Libraries and Community Spaces. “When visiting we encourage you to use the hand sanitiser available and record your visits using the QR code posters so we can all help keep one another safe.”

“Over the coming week our teams will be busy setting up our popular programmes like Storytime and Baby Rock & Rhyme, and events, so visit our website to find out what you’ll be able to enjoy at your local branch and when.”

Visit wcl.govt.nz/calendar to see which programmes and events are coming up.

International crime inc. New Mystery fiction

Law and justice are not the same.”
― John Connolly.

The wide range and diversity of genres and writing styles to be found under the umbrella term of mysteries is amply demonstrated in this month’s new acquisitions list. We have a Ngaio Marsh shortlisted title from Renée. A couple of Scandinavian noir inflected tales from the dark north. Some more gentle entertaining crime tales from Rita Mae Brown and Mario Giordano. A new work from the perennially popular John Connolly and to wrap our selection up a sensational new Japanese crime voice Riku Onda whose book has gathered ecstatic reviews from his home country. Enjoy!

This is just a highlighted selection of our new acquisitions, to see this month’s the full list, and previous months, click here.

The dirty south / Connolly, John
“It is 1997, and someone is slaughtering young black women in Burdon County, Arkansas.But no one wants to admit it, not in the Dirty South. In an Arkansas jail cell sits a former NYPD detective, stricken by grief. He is mourning the death of his wife and child, and searching in vain for their killer. He cares only for his own lost family.But that is about to change . . . Witness the becoming of Charlie Parker.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Furmidable foes / Brown, Rita Mae
” Harry, Susan Tucker, and their friends are busy planting flowers and trimming hedges to get the church grounds in shape for the big day. But a note of a menace mars the beautiful spring: The brewery owned by Janice Childs and Mags Nielsen,  gets robbed, is this the work of a random thief? Or is something more sinister afoot? When Jeannie Cordle drops dead at a charity auction, poisoned by a fatal weed, Harry’s worst suspicions are confirmed: a killer lurks in their midst. Although she can’t yet prove it. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Auntie Poldi and the handsome Antonio / Giordano, Mario
All the beloved, irascible Auntie Poldi wanted from her Sicilian retirement was time to enjoy the sunshine, a free-flowing supply of wine, and a sultry romance with Chief Inspector Vito Montana. But then her idyll is rudely disrupted by the last person she wants to see on her doorstep: John Owenya, detective inspector with the Tanzanian Ministry of Home Affairs, who is also her estranged lying cheat of a husband. Not only is John’s sudden reappearance putting a kink in Poldi’s dreamy love affair with Montana, but his presence also comes with a plea for help–and unwanted clashes with the Mafia.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Death deserved / Horst, Jørn Lier
“Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrom never shows at the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. When celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrom’s home later that day, she finds the door unlocked and signs of a struggle inside. Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missing-persons investigation.Traces of Nordstrom soon show up at different locations, but the appearance of the clues appear to be carefully calculated … evidence of a bigger picture that he’s just not seeing… (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Aosawa murders / Onda, Riku
“On a stormy summer day in the 1970s the Aosawas, owners of a prominent local hospital, host a large birthday party in their villa on the Sea of Japan. The occasion turns into tragedy when 17 people die from cyanide in their drinks. The only surviving links to what might have happened are a cryptic verse that could be the killer’s, and the physician’s bewitching blind daughter, Hisako, the only family member spared death. The youth who emerges as the prime suspect commits suicide that October, effectively sealing his guilt while consigning his motives to mystery.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The wild card / Renée
“Ruby Palmer has been dealt a rough hand. She was left in a kete at the back door of the Porohiwi Home for Children when she was a baby, and then at seven she discovered that Betty who stopped the bad stuff happening to Ruby at the Home has drowned. Now in her thirties, Ruby suspects her friend was murdered,  her only lead is a notebook that uses the symbols on playing cards to tell a story she can’t understand, but there are other clues too: the man in the balaclava who attacks her when she starts to investigate, and break-ins at the local theatre where Ruby is playing  in The Importance of Being Earnest. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Gallows Rock / Yrsa Sigurdardottir
On a jagged, bleak lava field just outside Reykjavik stands the Gallows Rock. Once a place of execution, it is now a tourist attraction. Until this morning, when a man was found hanging from it…The nail embedded in his chest proves it wasn’t suicide. But when the police go to his flat, a further puzzle awaits: a four-year-old boy has been left there. He doesn’t seem to have any link with the victim, his parents cannot be found, and his drawings show he witnessed something terrible.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A private cathedral / Burke, James Lee
“After finding himself caught up in one of Louisiana’s oldest and bloodiest family rivalries, Detective Dave Robicheaux must battle the most terrifying adversary he has ever encountered: a time-traveling superhuman assassin.  In order to defeat him and rescue Johnny and Isolde, Robicheaux will have to overcome the demons that have tormented him throughout his adult life–alcoholism, specters from combat in Vietnam, and painful memories of women to whom he opened his heart only to see killed. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Outages and changes this weekend

This weekend, there will be a planned catalogue and check your card outage from 6am Saturday 19 September until Sunday afternoon to allow us to update our systems. During this time, some of our eLibrary and database services will also be affected — see timeline below.

As part of this system update, after many years of faithful service, the Classic and Easyfind catalogues will no longer be available, while our main New Catalogue will also be getting some new features. In the coming week, we’ll spotlight a few of these — but many mirror well-loved features of our old catalogues, as well as some new functionality that we’re excited to be able to share very soon!

Outage Timeline

Friday 18/09

Friday evening — some of our online resources become unavailable, but Overdrive, RBDigital and Beamafilm are unaffected all weekend.

See details for PressReader and Kanopy below.

Saturday 19/09

From 6am — the library catalogue & check your card outage begins.

PressReader — if you log into PressReader before this time via the app or website, you will still have access over the weekend.

Kanopy — if you log into Kanopy before this time via the app or website, you will still have access over the weekend.

Sunday 20/09

In the afternoon the catalogue and all eResources become available again, and the outage finishes.

If you need help with your library card during the outage, please contact our library branches during opening hours or get in touch via email and we’ll be happy to help!

Email enquiries@wcl.govt.nz

The Great Kererū Count is here!

Of all the birds native to Aotearoa, there are none quite like the “gluttonous and glamorous” kererū. Famous for their drunken antics–as well as their appearance in numerous works of art–the kererū is a particularly popular bird, frequently gracing parks, forests and back gardens across the country.

However the life of a kererū is not all fame and fortune: they also play a vital role in New Zealand’s forests. Kererū are the only remaining species that can successfully disperse the seeds from some of our largest native trees, including tawa, taraire, pūriri and matai. Without kererū our forests would be in serious trouble.

Hence the importance of the Great Kererū Count! The Great Kererū Count is the largest citizen science project in the country, and has been running for the last four years. One of the great things about it is its simplicity: all you have to do is wait for the week of the count (this year it runs from 18-27 September), then count any kererū you see as part of timed surveys or chance encounters. From here you send your observations through to the people at Kererū Discovery and the Urban Wildlife Trust (options here) and you’re done!

Want more kererū fun in your life? Head along to the official Great Kererū Count website for a range of resources, and don’t forget to share and tag your kererū photos to go in to win some great prizes!

Related Resources:

Native birds of New Zealand / Hallett, David
Native Birds of New Zealand is a photographic book of New Zealand native birds that will appeal to the casual bird-watcher as well as the ornithologist. The photographs in this book have been taken by David Hallett, one of New Zealand’s leading wildlife photographers.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Which New Zealand bird? : a simple step-by-step guide to the identification of New Zealand’s native & introduced birds / Crowe, Andrew
“This book covers 98 endemic, native, introduced, or migrant bird species from all of the main habitats in New Zealand. Nine identification habitats feature four similar-looking birds with simple tips for telling them apart. Each bird receives a code, from 1-100, indicating how easy the bird is to find. There are also distribution maps for each bird.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

New Zealand birds in pictures / Chen, Kimball
“From the barely-visible wings of the flightless kiwi to the immense wingspan of the wandering albatross, New Zealand’s fragile island ecosystem is home to a diverse array of spectacular birds. Delve into the fascinating world of our feathered friends with author and wildlife photographer Kimball Chen.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

New Zealand bird calls / Moon, Lynnette
“Lynnette Moon gives 60 concise accounts of the country’s best-loved birds, covering their habitat, appearance and behaviour. A description of their calls, along with photographs from the magnificent collection of her late husband Geoff Moon completes an attractive, fact-filled and useful guide. 60 links to birds’ songs and calls, recorded in the wild by renowned wildlife sound recordist John Kendrick and prepared for this collection by Karen Baird of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Birds of New Zealand : a photographic guide / Scofield, R. Paul
“From the Kermadecs to Campbell Island, beloved endemics to passing vagrants, albatrosses and shearwaters to kiwi and kaka, Birds of New Zealand is the ultimate guide to this country’s extraordinary avian life. It is illustrated with almost 1000 new photographs and uses the latest information from birders and biologists to draw a definitive introduction to bird identification and behaviour.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Birdstories : a history of the birds of New Zealand / Norman, Geoff
“A fascinating, in-depth account of New Zealand’s birds, which spans their discovery, their place in both Pākehā and Māori worlds, their survival and conservation, and the illustrations and art they have inspired. Geoff Norman covers a range of our bird families and individual species, and provides an up-to-date picture of how these birds are regarded by both Māori and Pākehā, the backstory of their discovery, and their current conservation status.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

e-Resources:

New Zealand Geographic: NZ Geographic has been celebrating our people, places, wildlife and environment for two decades. Its archives hold more than 600 in-depth features about our country, natural history and culture.

Environmental Studies in Context: Environmental Studies In Context -The Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources focuses on the physical, social, and economic aspects of environmental issues.

Our current obsession with pandemic fiction

How quickly one accepts the incredible if only one sees it enough.”

― Richard Matheson, I Am Legend

In the strange and uncertain times we find ourselves living in many commentators have said that the  world feels more like a Science Fiction story than normal reality. And given this fact it is not surprising that pandemic fiction has become suddenly very popular. Perhaps by reading about something we understand it more and fear it less.  There is a rich literary tradition of writing novels about plagues and pandemics that range from Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron written in 1353, right up to the remarkable president The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue released earlier year but written before the Covid 19 outbreak. Here is a list of some of the most notable pandemic reads.

The decameron / Boccaccio, Giovanni
“The year is 1348. The Black Death has begun to ravage Europe. Ten young Florentines–seven women and three men–escape the plague-infested city and retreat to the countryside around Fiesole. At their leisure in this isolated and bucolic setting, they spend ten days telling each other stories–tales of romance, tragedy, comedy, and farce–one hundred in all. The result, called by one critic “the greatest short story collection of all time” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an audiobook. 

The plague / Camus, Albert
“The townspeople of Oran are in the grip of a deadly plague. Fear, isolation and claustrophobia follow as they are forced into quarantine. Each person responds in their own way to the lethal disease: some resign themselves to fate, some seek blame, and a few, like Dr Rieux, resist the terror. The Plague is in part an allegory of France’s suffering under the Nazi occupation, and a story of bravery and determination against the precariousness of human existence. “ (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an audiobook. 

I am legend / Matheson, Richard
“Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth…but he is not alone. Every other man, woman, and child on Earth has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville’s blood. By day, he is the hunter, stalking the sleeping undead through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn. How long can one man survive in a world of vampires?” (Catalogue) Also available as an audiobook.

The book of M / Shepherd, Peng
In the middle of a market in India, a man’s shadow disappears. As rolling twenty-four-hour news coverage tries to explain the event, more cases are discovered. The phenomenon spreads like a plague as people learn the true cost of their lost part: their memories. Two years later, Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods in Virgina. They have settled into their new reality, until Max, too, loses her shadow. ” (Catalogue) Also available as an audiobook.

Overdrive cover The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World, Yuri Herrera (ebook)
Hilarious and horrifying, Yuri Herrera’s The Transmigration of Bodies is a gritty, feverish novella, written in dazzling prose that is both bawdy and poetic. A plague has brought death to the city. Two feuding crime families with blood on their hands need our hard-boiled hero, The Redeemer, to broker peace. Both his instincts and the vacant streets warn him to stay indoors, but The Redeemer ventures out into the city’s underbelly to arrange for the exchange of the bodies they hold hostage. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Station eleven / Mandel, Emily St. John
“‘ The Georgia Flu explodes over the surface of the earth like a neutron bomb. News reports put the mortality rate at over 99%. WEEK TWO – Civilization has crumbled.YEAR TWENTY – A band of actors and musicians called the Travelling Symphony move through their territories performing concerts and Shakespeare to the settlements that have grown up there. Twenty years after the pandemic, life feels relatively safe. But now a new danger looms, and he threatens the hopeful world every survivor has tried to rebuild.” (Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The year of the flood / Atwood, Margaret
“After ecological disaster hits, trapeze dancer Ren and Toby, leader of a group called God’s Gardeners, are the only survivors-except for some scary gene-spliced life forms. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God’s Gardeners, predicted the waterless flood. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. By turns dark, tender, violent, & hilarious.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The Old Drift : a novel / Serpell, Namwali
“Those buzzing mosquitoes? They’re a Greek chorus. As the generations pass through Old Drift , their lives–their triumphs, errors, losses and hopes–emerge through a panorama of history, fairytale, romance and science fiction. From a woman covered with hair and another plagued with endless tears, to forbidden love affairs and fiery political ones, to homegrown technological marvels like Afronauts, microdrones and viral vaccines. ” (Catalogue) Also available as an audiobook.

The pull of the stars / Donoghue, Emma
“.In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city centre, where expectant mothers who have come down with an unfamiliar Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders: Doctor Kathleen Lynn, on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.