People & Places Newsletter – December 2014

Welcome to the final People and Places newsletter of 2014! We’ve had an exciting year, and we hope you’ll find some gems from our selections to read over the summer break. In this newsletter we have some biography, travel and New Zealand selections, and we will have some new history selections in our next newsletter in 2015.

Library News

Biography

This time we feature a number of well-known figures – Sophia Loren, Stephen Fry, and David Hockney, among others, as well as exploring some British family history with Alison Light. We also examine the life of Queen Victoria, and a collection of stories about female friendship.

Syndetics book cover Yesterday, today, tomorrow : my life / Sophia Loren.
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is Sophia Loren’s definitive autobiography, revealing her personal journey from the hardship of her childhood in Naples to her life as a screen legend, sharing stories of work, love, and family. Each chapter begins with a letter, a document, a photograph, or object that prompts her reminiscences.” (Summary from Global Books)
Syndetics book cover More fool me / Stephen Fry.
“Stephen Fry invites readers to take a glimpse at his life story in the unputdownable More Fool Me. ‘Oh dear I am an arse. I expect there’ll be what I believe is called an “intervention” soon. I keep picturing it. All my friends bearing down on me and me denying everything until my pockets are emptied. Oh the shame.’ In his early thirties, Stephen Fry – writer, comedian, star of stage and screen – had, as they say, ‘made it’. What could possibly go wrong?” (Wellington City Libraries catalogue note)
Syndetics book cover Daring : my passages : a memoir / Gail Sheehy.
“The author of the classic New York Times bestseller Passages returns with her inspiring memoir–a chronicle of her trials and triumphs as a groundbreaking “girl” journalist in the 1960s, to iconic guide for women and men seeking to have it all, to one of the premier political profilers of modern times.” (Wellington City Libraries catalogue note)
Syndetics book cover Hockney : the biography. Volume 2, 1975-2012 / Christopher Simon Sykes.
“In this fascinating and entertaining second volume, Christopher Sykes explores the life and work of Britain’s most popular living artist. Picking up Hockney’s story in 1975, this volume finds him flitting between Notting Hill and California, where he took inspiration for the swimming pool series of paintings; creating the acclaimed set designs for operas around the world; and embracing emerging technologies – the camera and fax machine in the 1970s and 80s, and most recently the iPad.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Victoria : a life / A.N. Wilson.
“When Queen Victoria died in 1901, she had ruled for nearly sixty-four years. She was mother of nine and grandmother of forty-two, and the matriarch of Royal Europe, through the marriages of her children. To many, Queen Victoria is a ruler shrouded in myth and mystique – an ageing, stiff widow, paraded as the figurehead to an all-male imperial enterprise. But in truth, Britain’s longest reigning monarch was one of the most passionate, expressive, humorous and unconventional women who ever lived, and the story of her life continues to fascinate.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Common people : the history of an English family / Alison Light.
“Family history is a massive phenomenon of our times but what are we after when we go in search of our ancestors? Beginning with her grandparents, Alison Light moves between the present and the past, in an extraordinary series of journeys over two centuries, across Britain and beyond. Epic in scope and deep in feeling, Common People is a family history but also a new kind of public history, following the lives of the migrants who travelled the country looking for work. Original and eloquent, it is a timely rethinking of who the English were – but ultimately it reflects on history itself, and on our constant need to know who went before us and what we owe them.” (Summary from Global Books)
Syndetics book cover Just between us : Australian writers tell the truth about female friendship / foreword by Helen Garner ; edited by Maya Linden, Miriam Sved, Maggie Scott, Natalie Kon-yu and Christie Nieman.
“Empathetic, supportive and respectful… Or competitive, manipulative and downright bitchy? Or somewhere in between? In Just Between Us, a host of Australia’s best-loved female writers bare all on this age-old quandary: Are female friendships all-natural and nurturing? Or are some more damaging than delightful” (Syndetics summary).

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Travel stories & guides

The story of the youngest sailor to ever circumnavigate the globe is the first in our travel books this month, an amazing story. Then, we’re off to… London, New Zealand’s State Highway 1, New York, and finally Marrakesh. We also have some amazing maps for you to check out to help you get there! Happy reading!

Syndetics book cover One girl, one dream / Laura Dekker.
“The amazing autobiographical account of the youngest ever solo circumnavigation of the Earth. Aged just 14, New Zealand-born Laura Dekker defied the authorities and braved the open oceans to realise her dream of becoming the youngest ever sailor to circumnavigate the Earth. When she finished the journey she was still only 16, the youngest ever person to achieve this feat. Her extraordinary story is both a real-life adventure for all ages, and an inspirational account of how a free spirit and will to succeed can accomplish anything”–Publisher information.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The hunt : London / David Leppan.
“London is huge, but come with us, and you’ll have a jolly good time! Discover milliners and shoemakers who’ll feather your cap and put a spring in your step, vintage boutiques galore and interior design shops. Hungry? There are also organic cafés, old pubs, fine-dining restaurants and everything in between. Delightful museums and art galleries, plus verdant parks aplenty too. Off you go, cheerio! This beautiful little guide fits snugly in the back pocket of your jeans, or neatly in your favorite clutch, and is packed with the inside scoop on old-school favorites, eccentric gems and hip newcomers to lively London.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover View from the road / photography by Arno Gasteiger ; text by Kennedy Warne.
“At 2047 kilometres long and stretching from the southernmost tip of the South Island to Cape Reinga, State Highway 1 links this country’s five main cities, and countless towns and blink-of-an-eye settlements in between. It’s also the perfect route from which to explore this country’s geographical diversity, traversing expansive plains and a so-called desert, meandering around rugged coastlines, crossing rivers and harbours, and skirting the country’s largest lake. In View from the Road, photographer Arno Gasteiger travels from Bluff to the Far North capturing the people, places and landmarks to be discovered along New Zealand’s most important highway, while Kennedy Warne reflects on the organic evolution and quirks of this often travelled, but perhaps little known, stretch of road.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover New York / edited and produced by viction:ary ; concepts & art direction by Victor Cheung.
“Local artists and creatives offer an inside look at New York City from its famous sights and restaurants, to lesser-known and up-and-coming spots. Their recommendations include going for a ride on Janes Carousel, viewing the art and shopping at Tara McPherson and Sean Leonards Cotton Candy Machine, shopping for vinyl at Bleeker Street Records, stopping by Ovenly for their salted chocolate chip cookies, and dining on oysters and absinthe at Maison Premiere.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Only in New York / Lily Brett.
“Lily Brett’s love affair with New York began as an outsider in her late teens when she was posted on assignment there as a young Australian rock journalist. In her early forties she returned, together with her soul mate and three children, to start a new life, and for the last twenty-five years she has called New York home.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Marrakech express : (on and off the rails in the Sultans’ Kingdom) / Peter Millar.
“Back in 1969 when Morocco’s ancient capital was a hashish-clouded hippie mecca, Crosby Stills and Nash recorded their cheesy (and hopelessly inaccurate) foot-tapping anthem ‘Marrakesh Express”. A generation on, award-winning journalist, author and one-time glam-rock fan Peter Millar uses what is now the country’s best visited tourist destination as the embarkation point for a literally reverse-engineered train journey through this still exotic, diverse and challenging North African country, struggling to maintain its unique blend of tradition and tolerance in the turbulent winds of the Arab Spring.” (Book jacket)
Syndetics book cover Great maps / Jerry Brotton.
“The world’s most fascinating maps explored and explained. Great Maps takes you on a journey through the history of maps, from ancient maps such as medieval mappa mundi to Google Earth. Each map provides a window into the age in which it was created and the world view at the time, as well as showing you what was known and unknown by people of the period. Great Maps includes over 55 maps from all around the world, from the first mercator atlas to the latest world maps, visually analysing each one with the help of graphic close-ups.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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New Zealand

A chance discovery of some long forgotten photographic plates and a public appeal via a television news program led to us being able to meet the Berry Boys. They were first noted in a documentary screened in August on TV1. They are now in our featured new arrivals to the New Zealand Collection. The Berry Boys are some of the 130 ordinary World War One servicemen in uniforms whose photographs were amongst those photographic plates. The book and documentary are about these soldiers and their families. Also featured is another new book on WWI that has been published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the war’s outbreak, as well as portraits of New Zealand wildlife and lifestyle.

Syndetics book cover Berry boys : portraits of First World War soldiers and families / Michael Fitzgerald and Claire Regnault.
Berry and Co, established in 1897 by William Berry, was a Wellington photographic studio producing commissioned portraits for the first decades of the twentieth century. In the 1990s, a tenant of 147 Cuba Street, Wellington, discovered around 3,000 glass plate negatives in a cupboard. This transpired to be the remarkable Berry and Co Collection. Amongst the studio portraits in the collection are around 130 showing ordinary World War One servicemen in uniforms, sometimes posing with families and friends. Many of these would have been taken before the men left to fight, or while on leave from the European theatres of war. Together, they offer a potent snapshot of the New Zealand of the time and the changing face of the war itself. But who were they? What happened to them in the war? Do they have any descendants still alive? If so, Te Papa wanted to make contact to learn more about their lives. On 29 September 2013, TVNZ’s Sunday programme spread the word, and a remarkable public response helped reunite many soldiers with their identities. A new TVNZ documentary, Berry Boys: The Speakers for the Dead, about the Berry soldiers’ stories will screen later in 2014
Syndetics book cover Holding on to home : New Zealand stories and objects of the First World War / Kate Hunter and Kirstie Ross.
“An illustrated social history about New Zealand’s experience in the First World War”–Publisher information. The Great War seeped and stormed into every aspect of New Zealanders’ lives, from the frontline to the family home. The things that survived – a crumpled theatre ticket, an engraved cigarette case, a knitting pattern, a crucifix made from rifle cartridges – are emotional touchstones that bring this distant event back into our hands. Historians Kate Hunter and Kirstie Ross have scoured museums and archives across the country to uncover these personal possessions and the stories they tell.
Syndetics book cover Frank Worsley : Shackleton’s fearless captain / John Thomson : [edited by Judith Watson].
“This book is a biography of Frank Worsley, without doubt one of New Zealand’s greatest, but largely unsung adventuring heroes. Born in Akaroa… the greatest adventure of his life began when he became the captain of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance, which was trapped in pack ice on the 1914-1916 Antarctic expedition and slowly crushed. The crew of 28 spent over a year camped on the Antarctic ice before Shackleton, Worsley and four others sailed a tiny lifeboat across the wild Southern Ocean to South Georgia to summon help for the rest of the men, who were all eventually rescued. This 17-day journey remains one of the greatest ever feats of seamanship and relied totally on Worsley’s brilliant navigation. For the rest of his life he continued to seek adventures in a manner contemporaries described as ‘fearless’.” (Adapted from publisher’s description.)
Syndetics book cover Paradise saved : the remarkable story of New Zealand’s wildlife sanctuaries and how they are stemming the tide of extinction / David Buter, Tony Lindsay & Janet Hunt.
“Tells the gripping story of how we are turning back the tide of extinction. It is a celebration of pioneering science and a national survey of the sanctuaries, little and big, that are protecting native species and reintroducing them to areas where they had once been extinct. It covers over 130 sanctuaries, with up to date information on where to find them, how to visit and how to do your part”–Back cover.
Syndetics book cover Lazy days : painting the Kiwi lifestyle / Graham Young.
Join artist Graham Young on a painted journey through everyday life in New Zealand” (back cover)
Syndetics book cover Visible : 60 women at 60 / photography by Jenny O’Connor.
“Photographer Jenny O’Connor was born in 1952, the year that the highest number of births was recorded in New Zealand. She, and the women who feature in Visible, are part of the ‘baby boom’ generation. In 2011, as Jenny headed toward her 60th birthday in 2012, she began to wonder how other women nearing this same milestone felt about themselves, how society saw them and what their thoughts about their future were. Jenny’s desire to explore these questions was how this book began; by talking to 60 women who were 60 when she took their photograph. The words are theirs, writing whatever each wanted to say about themselves.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Beyond the state : New Zealand state houses from modest to modern / text, Bill McKay and Andrea Stevens ; photography Simon Devitt.
“A full colour illustrated history of New Zealand’s state housing traditions featuring modern-day examples of 14 state houses located around the country, ranging from original to dramatically renovated.” (Publisher’s description)

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