Community & Languages Newsletter for May

Welcome to a wonderful selection of new library books exploring NZ history, craft projects and cooking. Look for a new DVD or the latest books on French and Spanish literature. Delightful finds that you can read for basic information, inspiration and fresh ideas.

Library News

New Zealand

The past stories and history of New Zealand are not only the domain of the rich and famous. This month in the New Zealand collection we feature some stories of early pioneers whose names are not famous or well known but who played their part in the history of New Zealand.

Syndetics book cover Working lives c. 1900 : a photographic essay / Erik Olssen.
For the men and women of the skilled trades in the early 20th century, the skills and knowledge of their respective crafts were a source of identity and pride. Together with the so-called unskilled, who built the infrastructure for the new society, these workers laid the cultural and social foundations of a new and fairer society. This book uses photographs to show two processes fundamental to creating a new society: the transformation of swamp into farmland then city-scape, and the transplantation of the knowledge and skill required in the Old World that were essential to building a new world. (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Stolen lives : a New Zealand foster child’s story from the ’40s and ’50s / Netta England.
Netta and her older brother Ray hardly knew their mother. She was a strange woman who made occasional visits, and they did not even know they had a Father. Instead from a very early age they lived with foster parents and at school were treated as different. Growing up, Netta became increasingly aware that her foster mother disliked her. Though never starved, Netta suffered neglect, as well as mental, physical and sexual abuse. After her brother’s death in 1976, Netta, by then married with a grown up family, began her long journey to learn about and understand what had happened in the past. She wanted to find out if somewhere out there was a family, her own family that she could belong to. How would she find them, and would they want to know her? She needed to find her roots. Stolen Lives is the record of Netta’s journey from a neglected and abused state ward, to a woman who discovers her heritage and creates a positive life regardless of her upbringing. (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Vertical living : the Architectural Centre and the remaking of Wellington / Julia Gatley and Paul Walker.
“… we of this Architectural Centre in Wellington are a group of architects and draughtsmen and wood engravers and other people whose greatest claim to affiliation is an overriding enthusiasm for good design” – Design Review, 1948. In 1946, just as the Group was being established in Auckland, Wellington established the Architectural Centre. Members of both were young and idealistic, and they shared common beliefs – in the transformative potential of modern architecture, in need for urban development to be carefully controlled, in the desirability of planning for a better future. This book recovers the powerful history, politics and architecture of the Architectural Centre to return us to a vision of a modernist city, partially realised in Wellington New Zealand. Gatley and Walker begin writing the city back into the history of architecture in this country. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Read more


Some exciting new additions to our DVD collection this month, including the next season of Broadchurch and a Cilla Black biopic.

cover image Broadchurch. Series 2.
“Broadchurch: a town in shock, after the revelation of the identity of Danny Latimer’s killer. Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller find themselves drawn back into the case as it goes to court. Ellie, estranged from family and friends, only has Hardy to turn to. But Hardy is a man still haunted by illness and the case he never could solve–Sandbrook… Lives will be thrown under the spotlight, and the deepest secrets laid bare for all to see…” (Reviews,
cover image Hector and the search for happiness.
“…Featuring stunning performances from an all-star cast including Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard and Jean Reno. Hector (Simon Pegg – Shaun of the Dead, The Worlds End, Paul) is an eccentric yet loveable psychiatrist who finds himself at a crossroads in life; his patients just aren t getting any happier and his life is going nowhere. Feeling trapped between his mundane daily routine and his neurotic girlfriend, Clara (Rosamund Pike – Made in Dagenham, Jack Reacher), Hector decides to break away from his sheltered London life and go on a global quest to find out whether happiness truly exists – and more importantly, whether it exists for Hector…” (adapted from Product Description,
cover image Gallipoli.
“The spirit of our nation was forged on the shores of Gallipoli…and in the centenary year of the battle that shaped the ANZAC legend, comes a landmark drama event for every Australian. …As dawn breaks on April 25, 1915, ANZAC troops launch into battle on the beaches of the Gallipoli peninsula. Landing in the dark chaos is 17-year-old Thomas ‘Tolly’ Johnson, who has lied about his age to enlist, his older brother Bevan and their loyal mates. Thrown into the heart of a war they know little about, in a land utterly foreign to them, these brave yet frightened boys endure the next eight months simply trying to stay alive. By the time of the final evacuation, each will have learnt about courage, sacrifice and the importance of mateship.” (adapted from Editorial Reviews,
cover image Cilla.
“Priscilla White is a typist from a working class area of Liverpool who dreams of stardom; Bobby Willis is the chancer who ignores the city’s Protestant-Catholic divide to pursue her; Brian Epstein is the young genius who will later guide The Beatles to superstardom. Starring Sheridan Smith Cilla tells the true story of how the lives of these three intertwine to propel Cilla to the top of the charts and beyond… but at a cost… Set to an explosion of 60s music as the ‘Merseybeat’ sounds grips the country, Cilla explores the humble beginnings and little-known early years of a woman who went on to become an iconic TV star and household name.” (Editorial Reviews,

Read more

Community Languages

Do you enjoy reading Foreign Literature or brushing up on your French and Spanish? Have a taste of the latest additions to our Community Languages section featuring a broad range of literary fiction, including biographies, romances, intriguing mysteries and more. Enjoy reading!

Syndetics book cover Suspended sentences : three novellas / Patrick Modiano ; translated from the French by Mark Polizzotti.
“In this essential trilogy of novellas by the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, French author Patrick Modiano reaches back in time, opening the corridors of memory and exploring the mysteries to be encountered there. Each novella in the volume– Afterimage , Suspended Sentences , and Flowers of Ruin –represents a sterling example of the author’s originality and appeal, while Mark Polizzotti’s superb English-language translations capture not only Modiano’s distinctive narrative voice but also the matchless grace and spare beauty of his prose. Modiano draws on his own experiences, blended with the real or invented stories of others, to present a dreamlike autobiography that is also the biography of a place. Orphaned children, mysterious parents, forgotten friends, enigmatic strangers–each appears in this three-part love song to a Paris that no longer exists. To read Modiano’s trilogy is to enter his world of uncertainties and the almost accidental way in which people find their fates”. (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)
Syndetics book cover El enigma del convento / Jorge Eduardo Benavides.
“1814. After demonstrating his loyalty to Fernando by fighting against the pro-independence colonists in the Americas, General Goyeneche is called to the Spanish Court to help the monarchy fight the liberal movement that is trying to reinstate the Constitution of Cádiz. But in these tumultuous times, everything moves along the fine line that separates loyalty from treason, and anyone can be accused of conspiring against the king. Because of that, the general embarks on a journey to recover compromising papers that are hidden in Peru, and which put his reputation, his fortune, and his life at risk. With admirable use of suspense, Jorge Eduardo Benavides constructs a novel full of intrigue, which has at its epicenter the Convent of Santa Catalina, in Arequipa, Perú. In its walls are important documents that could compromise the lives of all who appear in them. Only when evil breaks into the tranquil grounds of the convent, it will be necessary to keep safe the secrets that have been kept for centuries.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover La tierra de las mujeres : descubruerion su pasado, comprendieron su presente, dibujaron su futuro / Sandra Barneda.
“Gala Marlborough travels with her two daughters, Kate and Adele, to the small town of Ampurdán with the sole intention of receiving an inheritance from an unknown family member and then getting back to her life in New York as quickly as possible. She is unaware that this decision will set into action a perfect, subtle, and precise series of events that will unearth buried lies and family secrets, and heal souls that were lost in pain and bitterness. What was supposed to be a casual tourist trip takes a sharp turn towards self-discovery when they receive a strange invitation: the opportunity to participate in the “Women’s Circle.”” (Syndetics summary)
En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule : roman / Édouard Louis.
“Je suis parti en courant, tout à coup. Juste le temps d’entendre ma mère dire Qu’est-ce qui fait le débile là ? Je ne voulais pas rester à leur côté, je refusais de partager ce moment avec eux. J’étais déjà loin, je n’appartenais plus à leur monde désormais, la lettre le disait. Je suis allé dans les champs et j’ai marché une bonne partie de la nuit, la fraîcheur du Nord, les chemins de terre, l’odeur de colza, très forte à ce moment de l’année. Toute la nuit fut consacrée à l’élaboration de ma nouvelle vie loin d’ici”. En vérité, l’insurrection contre mes parents, contre la pauvreté, contre ma classe sociale, son racisme, sa violence, ses habitudes, n’a été que seconde. Car avant de m’insurger contre le monde de mon enfance, c’est le monde de mon enfance qui s’est insurgé contre moi. Très vite j’ai été pour ma famille et les autres une source de honte, et même de dégoût. Je n’ai pas eu d’autre choix que de prendre la fuite. Ce livre est une tentative pour comprendre.” (Publisher’s Description)

Read more


Enjoy our eclectic selection for this month.

Syndetics book cover Kenkō Kitchen / Kate Bradley ; photography by Elisa Watson.
“In Kenko Kitchen, Kate Bradley shares a range of healthy and delicious foods that are easy to prepare, with ingredients available from the local store. Featuring a host of vegan recipes that are also gluten- and sugar-free for those with fructose and gluten intolerances, and delicious raw food, detoxifying, and macrobiotic recipes, Kenko Kitchen is perfect for everyone from whole foods newcomers to long time whole-foods devotees, health-conscious food lovers, vegans, and those with dietary intolerances.”(Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Clean Slate : A Cookbook and Guide : reset your health, detox your body, and feel your best / from the editors of Martha Stewart living.
“This book emphasizes eating clean, whole, unprocessed foods as part of a primarily plant-based diet, with delicious and healthy recipes that make it easy to do just that…You’ll find guidelines for re-stocking your pantry with whole grains, beans and legumes, lean proteins, and healthy fats; glossaries of the best sources of detoxifiers, antioxidants, and other health-boosting nutrients; and menus for a simple 3-day cleanse and a 21-day whole-body detox, with easy-to-follow tips and strategies for staying on track.”–Publisher.
Syndetics book cover Healthy Eating to Reduce the Risk of Dementia : 100 fantastic recipes based on extensive, in-depth research / Margaret Rayman, Katie Sharpe, Vanessa Ridland & Patsy Westcott ; photography by Will Heap.
“Dementia affects nearly 36 million people worldwide, with 7.7 million new cases every year, and has a dramatic impact on sufferers and their families. There is evidence, however, that a healthy lifestyle and diet, especially in mid-life, can help to reduce the risk of developing dementia. In this much-needed book, Margaret Rayman and her team of nutritional experts give clear and effective guidelines on how to adapt your diet and lifestyle to help protect you against this condition.”(Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The 52 new foods challenge : a family cooking adventure for each week of the year / Jennifer Tyler Lee.
“In this book, and the Crunch a Color game that complements it, we meet a mom, advocate, and inspiration who helps families move from bland to bountiful plates from the freezer section to the farmers market. Through an ingenious and simple game, The 52 New Foods Challenge inspires kids, their parents, friends, and families to get into the kitchen to cook, taste, and eat healthy, unprocessed foods together.This book may actually help families save the health of our children, our nation, and perhaps our planet as well!” (Books in Print)

Read more


Find lots of ideas and easy to follow designs in this brilliant collection of crochet, knitting and quilting newly arrived library books.
It’s the perfect time now that winter is approaching to knit a stylish sweater or wrap yourself up in a crochet shawl and feel warm and elegant!
And if you are a pet lover, take a look at some modern and functional design ideas for your cat or dog. Until next time, happy crafting!

Syndetics book cover Bright young things : modern baby and children’s knitting patterns / MillaMia ; [writing, Katarina Rosén ; design, Helena Rosén ; photography, Emma Norén.].
“Bright Young Things celebrates colour with a vibrant collection of baby and children’s knitting patterns, inspired by clashing patterns and playful, quirky designs. Featuring patterns for dresses, jumpers, cardigans, outerwear, accessories, babygrows and blankets, for babies and toddlers up to age 5. With patterns suitable for beginners and the more experienced knitter.” (Publisher’s description)
Syndetics book cover Boho crochet : 30 hip and happy projects / project editor, Hazel Eriksson.
“Express yourself with vintage motifs in contemporary color combinations. Whether you?re new to the crochet scene or already an expert, this collection will inspire you to create exciting, original pieces with the look you love. Show your style with 30 cool and unconventional projects Create a boho tote bag, shawl, blanket, pillow, and coasters Find your crochet groove with easy-to-follow patterns, step-by-step photos, and expert tips” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Printmaking : 20 projects for friends to make / Super+Super [text by Claire Culley & Amy Phipps].
“What could be better than getting together with friends and getting creative? If you fancy stamping some personality on anything from napkins to canvas shoes then this book of print making from the new Super+Super series is for you. With 20 projects to get your creative teeth into, this quirky step-by-step guide to print making is full of fun. Projects include invitations, napkins, tea towel and wrapping paper.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Materially crafted : a DIY primer for the design-obsessed / Victoria Hudgins ; photography by Jocelyn Noel.
“Design enthusiasts are bombarded with beautiful inspiration at every turn, but many lack the foundation necessary to re-create their dream projects. “Materially Crafted” is a must-have guide for design mavens seeking to develop their DIY chops, even if they’re embracing their crafty side for the first time. Victoria Hudgins, creator of the popular design blog “A Subtle Revelry,” uncovers the best and least intimidating ways to work with the most popular crafting materials–from spray paint and concrete to thread, wax, and paper–and presents more than 30 easy projects to get everyone started.” (Syndetics summary)

Read more