Community & Languages Newsletter for May

Welcome to another wonderful selection of books and DVDs to keep you up to date with the newest library arrivals including New Zealand history, movies such as the new Clint Eastwood’s meta literary drama ‘Trouble with the Curve’, ideas and tips for crafters, as well as, a broad range of Japanese literary fiction.
Choose your favourite books for a relaxing week ahead and enjoy!

Library News

New Zealand

Syndetics book coverA history of Antarctica / Stephen Martin.
“This revised and expanded book – first published in 1996 – traces the patterns of human activity in Antarctica, from the southern journeys of the 16th century to the modern expeditions of adventurers and tourists. Using material from diaries, letters, and fresh research, the book illuminates the main themes of Antarctic history with the personal stories and images of the men and women who explored, worked, and lived in this frozen and remote continent. The book examines such topics as the early Polynesian explorers, the amazing diversity of flora and fauna, the detailed geological features, etc. A History of Antarctica is about the people of Antarctica – those who have chosen to endure the risks and enjoy the rewards of conquering the world’s most forbidding land.”(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSurveying the Antarctic : the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition 1957-1958 / Eugene Brian Fitzgerald.
“This volume is the story of the first New Zealand Official Government Expedition to Antarctica. It is based on the diary, notes and memory of the author, together with the letters and accounts written by other members of the expedition.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverImages from Albertland : Harold Marsh, 1876-1948 / Paul Campbell.
“William Harold Marsh, farmer, father and adventurous photographer captured a time of enchantment, when life was lived at a slower place, governed by a different set of values and priorities and ambitions. One of the first generation of those immigrants who sailed around the world to settle in Albertland, 70,000 coastal acres on the Kaipara Harbour, in Northland, New Zealand, he has left a legacy of those times, a window into the past for those yet to come.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Heaphy Track / Chris Petyt.
“Heaphy he never actually followed the whole route. He along with Thomas Brunner and Kehu, their Maori guide, travelled down the coast in 1846 from the north and only traversed the coastal section of the track from the Heaphy River to the Kohaihai River. The first Europeans to traverse the route are only recorded as “Aldridge and his mate”. Following the discovery of gold in the Aorere Valley in late 1865, the route of the Heaphy Track was used by gold miners to traverse between the Aorere Goldfield and those that were subsequently discovered on the West Coast. Author Chris Petyt has dug deep and wide to assemble this first comprehensive account of the human history of the Heaphy Track. Today, the Heaphy is one of New Zealand’s premier walking tracks and the longest of the multi-day tracks designated by the Department of Conservation as Great Walks. Those contemplating a trip over the track will also find it useful as the final chapter is a guide to walking the track.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe story of a treaty / Claudia Orange.
“The Treaty of Waitangi is a central document in New Zealand history. This lively account tells the story of the Treaty from its signing in 1840 through the debates and struggles of the nineteenth century to the gathering political momentum of recent decades. The second edition of this popular book brings the story up to the present”–Back cover.

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New DVDs for May include the new Ken Loach, ‘The Angel’s Share’; comedies ‘Butter’ & ‘Pitch Perfect’; the new Clint Eastwood; meta literary drama ‘The Words’; an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s cult novel ‘On the Road’; & the acclaimed account of Polio victim Mark O’Brien’s experiences with a sex surrogate in ‘The Sessions’…

Cover imageThe angels’ share.
“Considering Loach has a reputation for bleak, brilliant dramas, some might be surprised to see the light comic touch he’s applied to this winning mix of comedy and drama. That said, it still has a fair amount to say. The Angel’s Share initially starts on a sombre note, as it’s not long before we meet the main characters in a courtroom. Here, they’re being sentenced for a series of offences, and young father Robbie is only saved from prison by the fact that his girlfriend is shortly to give birth. But from these foundations comes a triumph of a film, as community service brings whiskey into Robbie’s life. The Angel’s Share also certainly makes a few points as it tells its story, and there’s a political subtext here. Yet Loach injects warmth and humour into the film, and his young, inexperienced cast prove really rather special, too. Tonally, The Angel’s Share shifts around a little, and it does have a change of direction that’s likely to be divisive. Yet it’s a smart, enjoyable film…” (From review)

Cover imageButter.
“Butter is a quirky film that sort of works as a straight-up comedy, and sort of works as the satire it seems intended to be. Jennifer Garner and Ty Burrell play Iowans Laura and Bob, whose lives have centered on the very Midwestern phenomenon of butter sculpture. Bob’s been having an affair with a cheeky stripper, Brooke (Olivia Wilde), who’s dying to figure out a way to go public with her affections for Laura’s husband. Enter the annual butter-sculpting contest. Bob’s decided to retire; Laura wants to carry on his tradition; Brooke wants to show up to cause emotional carnage. Then Destiny arrives. Destiny (Yara Shahidi) is an orphaned African-American girl and the foster child of well-meaning Ethan and Julie (Rob Corddry and Alicia Silverstone) and who has an almost unbelievable gift for, you guessed it, butter sculpture. What happens at the contest and in the small Iowa suburb is both a fascinating look at people’s unusual obsessions and a satire of those obsessions…” (From review)

Cover imagePitch perfect.
“Set appealingly on a college campus, with charming actors and a very funny script that will entertain fans, truly, from 10 to 90. The plot in Pitch Perfect follows the character of college freshman Beca (a delightful Anna Kendrick) as she decides to join her school’s a cappella women’s singing group. (Unlike on Glee, where the glee club is populated with outcasts, college a cappella groups are prestigious–and hard to get into.) Fellow singers include Brittany Snow as Chloe and Alexis Knapp as Stacie, a student who’s hilariously slutty and innocent at the same time. The faculty coordinator is Anna Camp, so memorable in The Help, and here both earnest and a bit naive. There’s also a potential love story between Beca and Jesse (Skylar Astin), a member of the male group at the same school. And the script, by sometime 30 Rock writer Kay Cannon, is witty, wry, and just silly enough…Pitch Perfect is a surprisingly fresh and smart take on young adulthood, with a soundtrack that will have you cheering…” (From review)

Cover imageAges of love.
“Sexy, romantic, adventurous and very funny, AGES OF LOVE examines three different couples united in their quest for love. “Youth” tells of Roberto, a young and ambitious lawyer who is going to marry Sara. His whole life is perfectly planned out. During a expropriation which he is in charge of, he meets Micol, a gorgeous and provocative young woman from a small village in Tuscany. And this is when things start to get complicated… In “Maturity” we meet Fabio, a famous anchorman, has been the perfect husband for twenty five years. At a party one night, he meets Eliana, a femme fatale full of surprises. This one-night stand proves to be more than what he bargained for when she refuses to leave… “Beyond” introduces us to Adrian, an American art history professor who moved to Rome after his divorce. He is friends with Augusto, the building’s concierge, whose ebullient daughter Viola is about to disrupt his peaceful existence and relight his fire…” (Syndetics summary)

Cover imageThe sessions.
“In adapting the remembrances of Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone), who spent most of his life in an iron lung, Australian filmmaker and fellow polio survivor Ben Lewin recounts his alternately sad and funny attempts to lose his virginity (O’Brien previously appeared as himself in Jessica Yu’s documentary Breathing Lessons). By 1988, the 36-year-old Berkeley writer had forged friendships with women, but romantic relationships eluded him. In discussing the matter with his therapist, she suggests Cheryl Cohen Greene (Helen Hunt), a wife, mother, and sexual surrogate. It’s a viable solution, but as a devout Catholic, Mark is uncomfortable with the idea of extramarital relations, so he shares his concerns with an open-minded priest (William H. Macy). With an absence of pity and an abundance of wit, Lewin documents Mark’s journey though this physical, emotional, and spiritual minefield, which takes a toll on Cheryl as well… If Hunt received a well-deserved Oscar nomination for her performance, which involves a fair amount of nudity, the Academy failed to recognize Hawkes, a regrettable omission as this fine actor succeeds in creating a fully rounded human being…” (From review)

Cover imageTrouble with the curve.
“The biggest surprise behind Trouble with the Curve, Eastwood’s first time in front of the camera since Gran Torino (and his first appearance in a film he hasn’t directed since 1993’s In the Line of Fire), is how resolutely unsurprising it is, telling its story with an unfashionably retro simplicity… Pulling a 180 from the methods espoused in Moneyball, Randy Brown’s script follows Gus (Eastwood), a cantankerous talent scout for the Atlanta Braves whose old-school ethics are on the outs. While on what may be his last recruiting trip, Gus is reunited with his estranged daughter (Amy Adams), an upwardly mobile attorney still smarting from her father’s distancing techniques. First-time director Robert Lorenz wisely places his actors front and center, with the sparkling Adams, Justin Timberlake, Matthew Lillard, and the great John Goodman all delivering terrifically tuned performances. Ultimately, though, Trouble with the Curve rises and falls with Eastwood, who keeps the material from drifting into cornball territory by sheer force of will…(From review)

Cover imageThe words.
“In the framing device, bestselling author Clay Hammond (a very good Dennis Quaid) reads passages from his novel, The Words, about Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper), a struggling writer whose fiancée, Dora (Zoë Saldana), sticks by him during the years he spends toiling away on his first book. Though he isn’t without ability, he can’t find a taker, so he gets a mailroom job with a publishing house. While honeymooning in Paris, Dora buys him a vintage satchel in which he finds an unsigned manuscript. After she breaks into tears at the beauty of the prose–thinking she’s finally gotten a true glimpse of his talent–he publishes The Window Tears under his own name, and it becomes a literary phenomenon, but then a shadowy figure starts following him around. The Old Man (Jeremy Irons) turns out to have ties to the text, which centers on a young American (Ben Barnes) stationed in France during World War II, who loses his heart to literature and love (Nora Arnezeder) in ways both wonderful and terrible. The three story strands…couldn’t be timelier in light of the plagiarism scandals that have been rocking the publishing world…” (From review)

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Community Languages

Take a look at our latest additions to our Japanese collection featuring a broad range of literary fiction, including historical romances, intriguing mysteries as well as, some of the latest DVDs. Pick up your favorites for a relaxing week ahead and enjoy!

FutariFutari / Kodemari Rui.
ふとした出会いから始まった「ふたり」の物語は、私たちの心を震わせる。” ( summary)

kurenaiKurenai : 1 / Watanabe Jun’ichi.
“わたしはもう女ではないのだろうか―原宿に店を持つ28歳の帽子デザイナー・木之内冬子は、筋腫を取り除くだけの予定で臨んだ手術で子宮を摘出。ことあるごとに煩悶するようになる。かつて不倫関係にあった建築家の貴志との関係が再燃し、別れようと決意するが…性に惑う女性が新しい日々を得るまでを描く、異色の大作。” ( summary)

daburuDaburu / Fukamachi Akio.
“薬物密売で急成長する犯罪組織で、刈田は名を馳せていた。だが、最愛の弟を守るため組織の掟を破ったことから、ボスの神宮に弟と元恋人を殺される。自身も瀕死の重傷を負った刈田は奇跡的に回復した後、顔も声も変えて古巣に潜る賭けに出た。全ては神宮への復讐を果たすため…。ミステリー界に新たな地平を切り拓いた一大エンタテインメント。” ( summary)

PeruseusuzaPeruseusuza ryūseigun : faindāzu koshoten yori / Wilson Robert Charles;Mogi Takeshi.
““発見者”の名を持つ謎めいた古書店を接点として、広大無辺な宇宙とささやかな日々の営みが交錯する。古書、望遠鏡、チェス盤、鏡―ささいなきっかけがもたらす非日常への誘いは、やがて秘められた世界、正気と狂気の狭間へと、人々を導いてゆく。ヒューゴー賞・星雲賞を受賞した『時間封鎖』の著者が新たな側面を見せる、時に妖しく、時に幻想的に描かれた、珠玉の連作短編集。” ( summary)

Ōgon no saruŌgon no saru / Kashimada Maki.
“一流ホテルの地下のバーで宿泊客たちが酒を飲む。新婚の夫婦、兄と妹、愛人たちに囲まれる退廃的な女、物欲しげな男たち。裏の林を夜毎に若い女が歌い、徘徊する。激しくぶつかり、やがて溶け合う思弁と肉体の蠢き。三部からなる表題作と、ジャズのインプロビゼーションのように美しい中篇「ブルーノート」。” ( summary)

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Welcome to this month’s selection of irresistible books on knitting, weaving and embroidery, as well as, beautifully finished accessories for your home. Satisfy your creative urge, experiment a little with new ideas and learn great techniques through the numerous step-by-step instructions and, if you fancy a pot of tea, take a look at the gorgeous collection of colourful tea cosies, created by J. Occleshaw. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverKnit a monster nursery : practical and playful knitted baby patterns / Rebecca Danger ; [photography by Brent Kane].
“Knit up a delightful collection of fun yet practical monster themed projects your little ones are sure to love. From the creative mind behind the best-selling “Big Book of Knitted Monsters” comes an adorable collection of more than 16 knitted toys, clothing, accessories, and nursery decorations that you’ll love knitting for the little one in your life. Stitch a roomful of fun and practical items – suitable for both boys and girls, and for knitters of all levels – including an irresistible monster mobile, baby blankets, blocks, booties, bookends, rattles, hats, and more!” (Adapted from review)

Syndetics book coverKnits at home : rustic designs for the modern nest / Ruth Cross ; with photography by Ben Anders.
“One of the trademarks of Ruth Cross, the knitting design company British knitting designer Ruth Bridgeman founded in 2004, is the use of traditional stitches – garter, stockinette, seed and cables – to create texture on items not normally covered with wool, such as vases or furniture. But the traditional nature of Ruth Cross designs is also one of the book’s weaknesses. While the book includes 22 projects, ranging from sachets to rugs, it offers nothing the enterprising knitter could not achieve on his or her own with existing stitch dictionaries. Another weakness is the narrow palette of grey, cream, and black used in almost every project. Such limits are a barrier to inspiration from the otherwise excellent photographs. Still, for the knitter who wants to incorporate his or her craft into her home decor, this book offers a one-stop shop for is pretty patterns for pillows, throws and wall hangings. And the real value of the book lies in the author’s organic approach to knitting, building one stitch on top of another to achieve texture, while her mantra that knitting should always be fun will serve knitters of all levels well. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.” (Publisher Weekly) (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe shape of knitting : a master class in increases, decreases, and other forms of shaping : with 20+ projects / Lynne Barr ; photographs by Thayer Allyson Gowdy ; photostyling by Karen Schaupeter.
” Lynne Barr is one of my favourite brains in knitting. She’s not afraid to explore, de-and re-constuct to hit on something new and inventive. In this book Lynne searches methodes for shaping flat and dimensional knotted fabrics, as well as, new techniques she has mastermanded. Twenty-four fashion-fresh projects make exploring these skills a fascinating adventure!”–Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverTea cosies / Jenny Occleshaw.
“This book has a delightful collection of unique, easy-to-make tea cosies to cheer every table. It includes projects duitable for experienced crafters and newcomers alike and, every project is explained using easy-to-follow instructions”.–Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverAlastair Morton and Edinburgh Weavers : visionary textiles and modern art / Lesley Jackson.
“Edinburgh Weavers was one of the most important textile companies of the twentieth century. Alastair Morton, visionary art director of the company, commissioned a remarkable series of textiles from leading British artists, including Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Elisabeth Frink, as well artist-designers, such as Marion Dorn, Ashley Havinden and Lucienne Day. Morton was also a gifted artist, textile designer and weaver in his own right. This long overdue study traces his wide-ranging career and records the history of Edinburgh Weavers and the glorious textiles it produced. Drawing on the V&A’s extensive archive this impressive book features over 300 images of artists’ textiles unparalleled in quality and scope and is an invaluable resource.”–Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverEmbroidery : traditional techniques and contemporary applications for hand and machine embroidery / Sophie Long.
“Needlecrafts are currently enjoying a healthy revival as a whole new generation of crafters pick up their needles and get involved. With a plethora of social groups, blogs, and websites such as Etsy and Design Sponge now targeted specifically at a younger, hipper demographic, embroidery has cast off its image as an old fashioned hobby to become more popular than ever before. With its combination of step-by-step tutorials, practitioner profiles, and inspirational galleries full of bang up-to-date modern pieces, Embroidery introduces an authoritative new style of reference that is guaranteed to appeal to a new generation of embroidery enthusiasts, sewers, and needlecrafters of all levels.”–Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHappy home : everyday magic for a colourful life / Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau ; foreword by Holly Becker of Decor8.
“This book shows people how the basics of everyday life can be made so much more enjoyable by bringing colour and a sense of fun to daily living, whether by using colourful accessories in the kitchen or by introducing colourful fabrics, textures and hints of humour in to the living room. Danish design is not all about cool and calm interiors. It is all about fun, colour and enjoyment. The book features RICE style applied to a variety of homes, from a contemporary Copenhagen apartment to a simple country retreat, a comfortable family home to an ultra modern studio space. Happy Home is a beautiful demonstration of the RICE ethos, and how its warm and caring, fun and funky aesthetic can be applied in living spaces, kitchens, bedrooms, children’s rooms and outdoor areas.” (Adapted from review)

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