Hot New Biographies For Cold Winter Months

Check out these new biographies in our collection.  From entertainers like Alan Cumming, Viola Davis and Hannah Gadsby to a Jubilee biography of Queen Elizabeth II, to an examination of the Silicon Valley powerful like Peter Thiel and the bookish tales of Ruth Shaw and Elizabeth Boyle, there’s something for everyone.

Baggage : tales from a fully packed life / Cumming, Alan
“In a series of episodes that are bookended by two marriages, the ending of his first to his wife, and the start of his second to his husband, Baggage charts Alan’s unique and wonderful career onstage and onscreen and all the times that Hollywood has, since his nervous breakdown at the age of twenty-eight, swooped into his life to whisk him away from all sorts of calamity or moments of personal destruction.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The bookseller at the end of the world / Shaw, Ruth
“Ruth Shaw weaves together stories of the characters who visit her bookshops, musings about her favourite books, and bittersweet stories from her full and varied life before bookshops. She sailed through the Pacific for years, was held up by pirates, worked at Sydney’s King’s Cross with drug addicts and prostitutes, campaigned on numerous environmental issues, and worked the yacht Breaksea Girl as an expedition/tourist boat with her husband, Lance.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

The contrarian : Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s pursuit of power / Chakin, Max
“A biography of venture capitalist and entrepreneur Peter Thiel, the enigmatic, controversial and hugely influential power broker who sits at the dynamic intersection of tech, business and politics. Since the days of the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s, no industry has made a greater global impact than Silicon Valley.” (Catalogue)

Fierce appetites : loving, losing and living to excess in my present and in the writings of the past / Boyle, Elizabeth
“Fierce Appetites is the exhilarating and deeply humane result. Not only does Elizabeth Boyle write dazzling accounts of ancient stories, familiar and obscure, from Ireland and further afield, but she uses her historical learning to grapple with the raw and urgent questions she faces, questions that have bedevilled people in every age. She writes on grief, addiction, family breakdown, the complexities of motherhood, love and sex, memory, class, education, travel (and staying put) with unflinching honesty, deep compassion and occasional dark humour.  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Finding me / Davis, Viola
“This is Viola Davis’ story, in her own words, and spans her incredible, inspiring life, from her coming-of-age in Rhode Island to her present day. Hers is a story of overcoming, a true hero’s journey.” (Catalogue)

No. 91/92 : a diary of a year on the bus / Elkin, Lauren
“A love letter to Paris and a meditation on how it has changed in two decades, evolving from the twentieth century into the twenty-first, from analog to digital”– Provided by distributor.” (Catalogue)

A queen for all seasons : a celebration of Queen Elizabeth II on her Platinum Jubilee / Lumley, Joanna
“A sparkling celebration of our much-loved Queen Elizabeth II for her Platinum Jubilee including special writings and illuminating insights around key moments in her 70-year reign, introduced and edited by her biggest fan Joanna Lumley. In 2022 Queen Elizabeth II celebrates seventy years as Queen and Head of the Commonwealth. She is Britain’s longest reigning monarch and the very first to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. A Queen For All Seasons, edited and introduced by Joanna Lumley, is a perceptive, touching and engaging tribute to this unique woman.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Ten steps to Nanette : a memoir situation / Gadsby, Hannah
“In her first book, the queer Australian comedian, writer, and actress takes us through the key moments in her life that ultimately led to the creation of Nanette and her startling declaration that she was quitting comedy. She traces her growth as a gay woman from Tasmania–where homosexuality was illegal until 1997–to her ever-evolving relationship with comedy, to her struggle with late-in-life diagnoses of autism and ADHD, and finally to the backbone of Nanette–the renouncement of self-deprecation, the rejection of misogyny, and the moral power of telling the truth” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Truly, madly : Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier and the romance of the century / Galloway, Stephen
“In 1934, a friend brought fledgling actress Vivien Leigh to see Theatre Royal, where she would first lay eyes on Laurence Olivier in his brilliant performance as Anthony Cavendish. That night, she confided, he was the man she was going to marry. There was just one problem: she was already married-and so was he. TRULY, MADLY is the biography of a marriage, a love affair that still captivates millions, even decades after both actors’ deaths.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Manifesto : on never giving up / Evaristo, Bernardine
“Evaristo’s astonishing nonfiction debut, Manifesto, is a vibrant and inspirational account of Evaristo’s life and career as she rebelled against the mainstream and fought over several decades to bring her creative work into the world. With her characteristic humor, Evaristo describes her childhood as one of eight siblings, with a Nigerian father and white Catholic mother, tells the story of how she helped set up Britain’s first Black women’s theatre company, remembers the queer relationships of her twenties, and recounts her determination to write books that were absent in the literary world around her. She provides a hugely powerful perspective to contemporary conversations around race, class, feminism, sexuality, and aging.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

For more biographies, go to our dedicated page on the library catalogue.

Kath’s Reviews: Film and Television

Kia ora!  I’m Kath, one of the branch librarians and I’m an avid film and television viewer.  I’m regularly diving deep into the excellent DVD collection we have in Wellington City Libraries, as well as content from Beamafilm and Kanopy — the two streaming platforms available to Wellington City Library customers.

In this new series of posts, I’m hoping to share some of the gems I come across each month with Pōneke film and television enthusiasts! Some of the excellent viewing I’ve seen recently include:

Ghostbusters Afterlife (2021) DVD

DVD Cover of Ghostbusters: AfterlifeIntended to be a sequel to the original 1980’s films, Ghostbusters Afterlife certainly captures the flavour of action-packed comedy from the original 1984 movie, which I saw at the drive-in when I was 13 years old! 

Connected through the original by the character of Egon Spengler, his estranged daughter and her kids move to his old farmhouse after his death.  Egon’s grandaughter Phoebe (McKenna Grace) has inherited her grandfather’s scientific curiosity and stumbles into his plans to save the world from an occultist determined to bring back Sumerian God Gozer.  Between Phoebe, her brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and friend Podcast (Logan Kim), the race is on to work out the vintage Ghostbusters technology and save the world.  Also stars Paul Rudd and Carrie Coon, with cameos from most of the original 1984 Ghostbusters cast.

Best bit: Paul Rudd walking through the Walmart.  If you know Paul Rudd at all, you’ll know why this is the best scene.

Poppy (2021) DVD

This is a sweet new New Zealand film, the story of Poppy (Libby Hunsdale), a young woman with Down Syndrome who has the same hopes, dreams and ambitions of any young woman of her age.  She wants to get her drivers license, an apprenticeship as a mechanic and a sweet boyfriend.  However, her older brother Dave (Ari Boyland) is very protective of her and keeps her from the independence she seeks.  Poppy meets up with a former school friend, Luke (Seb Hunter) who needs his car repaired to enter the local burnout competition, a relationship that begins to open many doors of independence for Poppy.

Best bit: The burnout competition.  It’ll bring out the revhead in you.

Beaches (1988) DVD

The classic film from 1988 starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey.  Sometimes you just need a good cleansing cry and this is the film to do it.  After a chance meeting as girls, polar opposites CC and Hilary strike up a friendship that is kept alive over the years by letter writing.  They meet again as young adults and have a fractious relationship until Hilary learns she has a terminal disease.   If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must see classic.

Best bit: Any time Bette Midler sings.

Sweet CountrySweet Country (2017) Beamafilm

I am a big fan of director Warwick Thornton’s work, so I was thrilled when this one came to Beamafilm.  Starring New Zealand’s own Sam Neill, along with Australian acting legend Bryan Brown, and new talent  Aboriginal actors Hamilton Morris and Natassia Gorey-Furber.  The story of Sam (Morris) and Lizzie (Gorey-Furber), who go on the run after Sam kills a white station owner in self defence, and are hunted by Sargeant Fletcher (Brown) and his team.  Sam Neill plays kindly preacher Fred, who tries to help the couple find justice in an unjust world.

Best bit: Every moment that Hamilton Morris is on screen.  He is absolutely magnetic.

Temple Grandin (2010) DVD

DVD cover of Temple GrandinThis is the biopic of American scientist and animal behaviourist Temple Grandin, who has also become an advocate for autistic people in more recent times.  Growing up in a culture that doesn’t understand her autism, Temple (played by Claire Danes) is determined to forge a path in university as a young scientist.  Bullied by her mostly male peers, teachers and employers, Temple uses her gift of engineering and understanding animal behaviour to prove her worth as a talented scientist.

Best bit: Any of the scenes with Temple finding solace with horses or cows.  If you have a tender spot for animals, you’ll love just how she finds peace in their company.

Sing. 2 (2021) DVD

DVD Cover of Sing 2All the team are back in this sequel to the 2016 film of the same name.  Matthew McConaughey voices Buster Moon, the talent spotting koala determined to put on the best shows possible.  He takes his diverse team of talent to the big smoke to lay on an extravaganza, only to have to promise to get reclusive star Clay Calloway (a lion voiced by Bono) to join the show.  Each of the Sing crew have their own adventures and troubles in the big city and all have to work on their confidence before such a big audience.  Except perhaps Gunter (a pig, voiced by Nick Kroll) who never seems to have that problem.  A perfect movie for the whole family, it’s funny and entertaining while also having some amazing music.

Best bit:  The show-stopper at the end of course!

Venom. Let there be Carnage (2021) DVD

Eddie Brock and his symbiote Venom (both Tom Hardy) are back in this sequel and both seem to be in a downward spiral until they meet serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson, who is super creepy in this role) and accidentally infect him with symbiotic DNA as well, which creates the titular villain, Carnage.  If you enjoyed the first film, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one, it’s full of all the same kind of action and humour with a little extra Carnage thrown in.

Best bit: Venom’s relationship with bodega owner Mrs Chen.

My name is Gulpilil : this is my story of my story (2021) DVD

DVD cover of My Name is GulpililAn autobiographical documentary of late Aboriginal talent, David Gulpilil, created soon after his diagnosis with terminal lung cancer.  Right from the opening sequence, you’re treated to some beautiful cinematography and the enthralling story of the phenomenal life of Mr Gulpilil, who passed away in 2021.  Never one to shy away from the difficult topics, Mr Gulpilil covers his life on screen and off, his traditional upbringing in Arnhem Land, his years of addiction and his difficult relationships professionally and personally.

Best bit: That opening sequence as Mr Gulpilil walks with the emu is breathtakingly beautiful.

If you’d like to know what’s in our collection, you can go to our new DVD’s here, or check out Beamafilm and Kanopy.

I’d also love to hear your recommendations of films, TV series or documentaries from our collection in the comments below.

Subject spotlight: Mental health

We live in a fast paced world that can sometimes make us feel overwhelmed and anxious. We all need a bit of a mental health tune-up in these times, but often it can be difficult to know just what might work for you. This is where the beauty of a library membership comes into its own; we buy lots of different books and you can try them out without having to spend money on something that might not work for you.

Here are some suggestions from our new book list that might be useful to you. Remember, this list is just a handful of new titles.  For more help with finding resources you can always talk to your friendly librarian!

The well gardened mind : rediscovering nature in the modern world / Stuart-Smith, Sue
“How can getting outdoors help us to look after our mental health? In a powerful combination of contemporary neuroscience, psychoanalysis and brilliant storytelling, The Well Gardened Mind investigates the magic that many gardeners have known for years, working with nature can radically transform our health, wellbeing and confidence.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

52 ways to walk : the surprising science of walking for wellness and joy, one week at a time / Streets, Annabel
“52 Ways to Walk is a short, user-friendly guide to attaining the full range of benefits that walking has to offer–physical, spiritual, and emotional–backed by the latest scientific research to inspire readers to develop a fulfilling walking lifestyle” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The sleep fix : practical, proven, and surprising solutions for insomnia, snoring, shift work, and more / Macedo, Diane
“Roughly thirty percent of the population is estimated to be living with insomnia, while many more unknowingly suffer from other sleep disorders. Macedo learned the hard way how valuable sleep is, and how it affects everything from our heart to our brain to our immune system. She had tried sleep tip after sleep tip, but nothing worked. Attacking the problem as a journalist, she got to the bottom of what really keeps us from sleeping–and the various ways to fix it. Here she helps readers understand sleep biology, identify sleep obstacles, and shift their mindset–and maybe find a good night’s sleep.” (Catalogue)

Your head is a houseboat / Walker, Campbell
“In Your Head is a Houseboat, illustration sensation Campbell Walker demystifies brain functions, mental health, emotions, mindfulness and psychology – but with less complex terminology and more bizarre metaphors. This is a book filled with hilarious illustrations, simple journal exercises and words that will probably hit too close to home. It will help you to understand your own houseboat (or head) and ultimately make it a nicer place to live.” (Catalogue)

You, happier : the 7 neuroscience secrets of feeling good based on your brain type / Amen, Daniel G
“Reveals the seven neuroscience secrets to becoming more than 30 percent happier in just 30 days–regardless of your age, upbringing, genetics, or current situation.” (Catalogue)

The no worries guide to raising your anxious child : a handbook to help you and your anxious child thrive / Cassiday, Karen
“This two-in-one handbook will help you to understand your child’s anxiety and how to ease it, while also showing you how to reconcile your own fears and worries that come with raising an anxious child.” – back cover.” (Catalogue)

Seven and a half lessons about the brain / Barrett, Lisa Feldman
“Have you ever wondered why you have a brain? In seven short essays, neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett reveals mind-expanding lessons from the front lines of neuroscience research.” (Catalogue)

Rest + calm : gentle yoga and mindful practices to nurture and restore yourself / Hines, Paula
“A beautiful, practical guide to finding rest and calm even when it feels impossible. Are you tired and wired? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Here’s a radical idea – you deserve rest. In a world that often wants us to keep going no matter what, Rest + Calm is your gentle, nurturing and accessible guide to making space and time to come back home to yourself.” (Catalogue)

 

Filling Bellies on a Budget

It’s no secret that food costs are rising in Aotearoa and budgets are tightening for many people.  Whether you’re a traditional family household, a single person on your own, a house full of flatties, or any other configuration, keeping the food bills down while also feeding everyone nutritious and delicious meals is hard work.  The good news is, we have plenty of resources to help you find ways to fill bellies on a budget.

Destitute gourmet : over 80 affordable and tasty new recipes plus fan favourites / Gray, Sophie
“Packed with tips and tricks, this new book from Sophie includes 20 fan favourites from her earlier books, voted for by her loyal followers, plus over 80 new recipes. One-pan dinners, vegetarian recipes, meaty meals, salads and snacks plus baking and desserts -there’s something for everyone. Stick within your budget, but eat well and enjoy!”  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Eat well for less New Zealand / Van de Elzen, Michael
“The New Zealand version of Eat Well for Less was a big hit and had a huge impact on the families involved. This book gives all the recipes from series 1 and series 2, plus tips and tricks on tasty, easy and economical cooking from the hosts Michael Van de Elzen and Ganesh Raj. With nearly 70 recipes from light meals and snacks, to main meals and sweet treats…Includes ideas on smart shopping, nutrition, kitchen tips, and a peek at the participants from series 1 and how they fared after the cameras stopped rolling. Did the lessons they learned stick?!” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The thrifty pantry : budget-saver family favourites from under $2.50 per serve
“With 100 recipes using cupboard and freezer staples and each recipe costed, this will be your go-to cookbook for cooking on a budget. Chapters are organised into cost per serve, starting from just $2, plus there’s a handy recipe key for gluten free, vegetarian and freeze-ahead meals. Festive recipes get a budget overhaul as well, with recipes for Christmas on a shoestring. We also list our top 50 healthy pantry foods and include insider tips on how to organise your pantry. Triple tested, easy and delicious, this is budget family cooking at its best.” (Catalogue)

A girl called Jack : 100 delicious budget recipes / Monroe, Jack
“Jack is a woman of our times, facing head-on the realities of recession-hit Britain and responding with a ‘make do and mend’ way of thinking that we should all consider. When she found herself unemployed and with a food budget of just 10 pounds a week, she decided to address the situation by adapting her weekly shop and embracing the value range of her local supermarket. Keeping to her budget, she created recipe after recipe of nutritious food for herself and her son, which she then posted on her blog, A Girl Called Jack. In her first cookbook, Jack shows you how to adapt the way you shop to be less wasteful, and to value the techniques of inexpensive but good cooking.” (adapted from catalogue)

The thrifty veggie : economical, sustainable meals from store-cupboard ingredients / Graimes, Nicola
“Harness every season’s flavours with recipes combining fresh produce with lasting staples – clever and delectable vegetarian recipes that can make a real difference to your household budget. Seasonal eating – when done right – is wonderful for your tastebuds, your mind, and your bank account.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Weekly provisions : how to eat seasonally and love what’s left over / Duke, Kim “Weekly Provisions is packed with recipes for 12 complete menus – each with a starter, main, side dish and dessert – followed by more than 60 creative ideas for turning what’s left into new meals and snacks during the week. In today’s world, where money is tight and people are busy, taking some time at the weekend to cook and share a truly delicious meal that’s full of comforting goodness can help you to forget your worries, restore balance, and reconnect with loved ones. Best of all, it won’t fill you up for just one day, but leave enough for quick and cheap platefuls later in the week, with zero food waste.  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Broke vegan : over 100 plant-based recipes that don’t cost the earth / Sidey, Saskia
“Easy, affordable vegan recipes everyone will enjoy.  We all want to help do our bit to save the planet by moving towards a plant-based diet, but let’s face it: eating vegan can be expensive. With over 100 plant-based recipes using supermarket staples along with hints and tips for making your food go further, Broke Vegan will have you cooking meals time after time that save money and save the planet. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Fakeaway : healthy home-cooked takeaway meals / Bavin, Chris
“Join TV’s Chris Bavin for a fakeaway feast in over 120 simple recipes! Treat yourself and put takeaway food back on the menu with low-calorie curries, stir-fries, pasta dishes, pizzas, as well as good-old fish and chips. If you are vegan, vegetarian, dairy or gluten-free there are plenty of choices for you here. In this book, he shares his healthy ingredient swaps and savvy shopping ideas to buy everything you’ll need for a fakeaway feast.  Refreshingly practical, Fakeaway contains all the inspiration you need to make delicious meals for your family from scratch and on a budget. So put away the takeaway menus and recreate the meals you love but make them better for you.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

These are just some of the recent titles we have in our collection.  To browse some more, click here.  Bon apetit!

Endometriosis Awareness Month: Resources from the catalogue

Fine line illustration of bodies


It’s March and that means it’s Endometriosis Awareness Month.  Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition where endometrial tissue (the type of tissue in the lining of the uterus) grows elsewhere in the body. Even though 1 in 10 people with a uterus suffer endometriosis, very little is known about it and many cases go undiagnosed. It can be extremely painful, even debilitating, and a lot of sufferers find themselves struggling to find information on the condition.

If you are looking for information on endometriosis, we can help!  We have several resources in our collection, here are some you could give a try:

For more help with information and resources on endometriosis, go to Endometriosis New Zealand.


Endometriosis : natural and medical solutions / Cooke, Kaz

“Endometriosis a fun to read yet sensible explanation of the self-care, natural therapies and medical solutions for managing endometriosis.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Endometriosis : the complete reference for taking charge of your health / Ballweg, Mary Lou

“Bestselling health authors present must-have information for managing endometriosis. Endometriosis is a serious disease associated with pain, immune dysfunction, infertility, cancer, and autoimmune diseases that can be managed only through active, informed decision making. Developed by the Endometriosis Association, Endometriosis provides new information on treatments and lifestyle changes that gives people with endometriosis and their families the tools they need to successfully manage the disease. This authoritative guide contains groundbreaking new discoveries on endometriosis and its relationship to autoimmune problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and other poorly understood diseases. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

How to endo : a guide to surviving and thriving with endometriosis / Hustwaite, Bridget

“After years of dismissive doctors and misinformation, Bridget Hustwaite finally received a diagnosis for her intensely heavy periods, pulsing headaches and the excruciating abdominal pain that makes her ovaries feel like they are on fire. She has endometriosis – hard to pronounce, hard to diagnose and even harder to live with. Two excision surgeries and one thriving endo Instagram community later, Bridget knows firsthand how much personal research and self-advocating endo sufferers have to do just to have their pain acknowledged. With her trademark enthusiasm, Bridget has blended her own experience with a raft of tips and strategies from health experts and endo warriors to help you thrive whenever you can, and survive on days when you just can’t.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Explaining endometriosis / Henderson, Lorraine

“The most comprehensive handbook of up-to-date advice and information for sufferers of Endometriosis, a debilitating disease which affects approximately one in ten people with a uterus.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Private parts : how to really live with endometriosis / Thom, Eleanor

“Like 1 in 10 people with a uterus in the UK, Eleanor Thom has endometriosis and she thinks that it’s time to talk a bit more about our private parts. Part memoir, part guide book and part survival guide, Private Parts retraces Eleanor’s own journey with endometriosis, offering readers practical, down-to-earth and friendly advice covering everything from what actually happens in an internal exam, to finding the right specialist for you, the perfect post-op wardrobe and to why you should look to Frida Kahlo for inspiration in your darkest moments. Written for those looking to live well with their endometriosis and for those looking for help to understand the disease, this is a call to action for people to speak up about an illness which is still so misunderstood. Features exclusive interviews with Hilary Mantel, Paulette Edwards, Lena Dunham as well as insights from experts in the field.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Beating endo : a patient’s treatment plan for endometriosis / Orbuch, Iris

“Endometriosisis an inflammatory response that results when tissue is found outside the uterus, thereby initiating a disease process and an array of maladies accrue. Dr Iris Orbuch. is a surgeon and Amy Stein,a physical therapist, have seen endo’s harm and agony up close and personal and they have created this self-care guide for people with endometriosis about how to deal with their endometriosis in order to: 1) Avoid surgery (if at all possible), 2) What to do before surgery (should they absolutely need it); and how 3) To live and what to do post-surgery – so that the women afflicted by this disease, can reclaim their lives.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Vagina problems : endometriosis, painful sex, and other taboo topics / Parker, Lara

“In April 2014, Deputy Editorial Director at BuzzFeed Lara Parker opened up to the world in an article on the website: she suffers from endometriosis. And beyond that? She let the whole world know that she wasn’t having any sex, as sex was excruciatingly painful. Less than a year before, she received not only the diagnosis of endometriosis, but also a diagnosis of pelvic floor dysfunction, vulvodynia, vaginismus, and vulvar vestibulitis. Combined, these debilitating conditions have wreaked havoc on her life, causing excruciating pain throughout her body since she was fourteen years old. These are her Vagina Problems. It was five years before Lara learned what was happening to her body. Five years of doctors insisting she just had ‘bad period cramps,’ or implying her pain was psychological[…]With candid revelations about her vaginal physical therapy, dating as a straight woman without penetrative sex, coping with painful seizures while at the office, diet and wardrobe malfunctions when your vagina hurts all the time, and the depression and anxiety of feeling unloved, Lara tackles it all in Vagina Problems: Endometriosis, Painful Sex, and Other Taboo Topics with courage, wit, love, and a determination to live her best life” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Endo Unfiltered: How to take charge of your endometriosis and PCOS / Barnett, Erin

“The real life guide to endometriosis and PCOS (from someone who’s living it) from international reality TV star and health advocate Erin Barnett.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

A Body Positive booklist for the New Year

It’s January and that means we’re being bombarded from all angles with diet ads, fitness challenges, and the endless “New Year, New Me” messages.  It can be hard keeping these negative body messages at bay, especially after the Christmas/New Year period when we’ve all been enjoying the celebratory kai and chilling out over summer.

Thankfully, there are plenty of excellent books available to help you get back to loving your body and feeling good about yourself.  Here are a few we have in our collection:


Body positive power : how learning to love yourself will save your life / Crabbe, Megan Jayne
“We’ve been convinced that happiness is something that only comes once we hit that goal weight, get those washboard abs, shrink ourselves down and change every part of ourselves. We believe that our bodies are the problem, but this is not true. It’s how we’ve been taught to see our bodies that’s the problem… It’s time for us all to stop believing the lies we’ve been fed about what it means to be beautiful, and take our power back. Megan’s body image issues began when she was five years old. She spent her childhood chasing thinness, and at fourteen found herself spiralling into anorexia. After recovery she spent years dieting, binging, losing and gaining weight. But then she found body positivity, quit dieting, and finally escaped the cult of thin. Now she’s determined to let as many people as possible know the truth: that we are all good enough as we are.” (Catalogue)

The body is not an apology : the power of radical self-love / Taylor, Sonya Renee
“Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies. The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world–for us all” (Catalogue)

Size sexy : how to look good, feel good, and be happy – at any size / Ellis, Stella
“”I like to say that my hourglass figure is more like an hour and a half”–Stella, as quoted in O Magazine. To become a “muse” to Jean-Paul Gaultier, you have to be someone special, and Stella Ellis filled that role when she rocked the modeling world.” (Catalogue)

More than a body : your body is an instrument, not an ornament / Kite, Lexie
“Positive body image isn’t believing your body looks good; it is knowing your body is good, regardless of how it looks. How do you feel about your body? Have you ever stayed home from a social activity or other opportunity because of concern about how you looked? Have you ever passed judgment on someone because of how they looked or dressed? Have you ever had difficulty concentrating on a task because you were self-conscious about your appearance? Our beauty-obsessed world perpetuates the idea that happiness, health, and ability to be loved are dependent on how we look, but authors Lindsay and Lexie Kite offer an alternative vision.” (Catalogue)

Embrace yourself / Brumfitt, Taryn
“Body positivity from the maker of documentary Embrace – how to love the skin you’re in and embrace yourself.” (Catalogue)

Screw inner beauty : lessons from the fat-o-sphere / Harding, Kate
“A sassy, sexy, no-holds-barred book for everyone – fat or thin – who’s tired of being told they are too big, thin, tall, short, wrinkly.” (Catalogue)

Fattily ever after / Yeboah, Stephanie
“Twenty-nine-year-old plus-size blogger Stephanie Yeboah has experienced racism and fat-phobia throughout her life. From being bullied at school to being objectified and humiliated in her dating life, Stephanie’s response to discrimination has always been to change the narrative around body-image and what we see as beautiful. In her debut book, Fattily Ever After, Stephanie Yeboah speaks openly and courageously about her own experience on navigating life as a black, plus-sized woman telling it how it really is and how she has managed to find self-acceptance in a world where judgment and discrimination are rife.” (Catalogue)

Happy fat / Hagen, Sofie
“‘I am a fat person and I love my body. I feel lucky to be able to say that – it has taken a lot of work and a lot of time. I want to tell you what I have learned and how I got here.’ In Happy Fat, comedian Sofie Hagen shares how she removed fatphobic influences from her daily life and found self-acceptance in a world where judgement and discrimination are rife. Part memoir, part social commentary, Happy Fat is a funny, angry and impassioned look at how taking up space in a culture that is desperate to reduce you can be radical, emboldening and life-changing.” (Catalogue)

And a few titles for kids:


Bodies are cool / Feder, Tyler
“Illustrations and easy-to-read, rhyming text celebrate bodies of all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors, with different kinds of hair, eyes, spots, scars, and more.” (Catalogue)

All bodies are good bodies / Barkla, Charlotte
“Bold and beautiful, loud and proud, All Bodies are Good Bodies is an uplifting book about different body features and types. Through playful rhyme, it promotes the development of body acceptance and celebrates inclusivity and individuality.” (Catalogue)

Beautifully me / Noor, Nabela
“Zubi, a happy Bangladeshi girl, is excited about her first day of school, but at breakfast she is puzzled by her mother and older sister worrying about being “too big,” and even at school she hears other people criticizing each other’s bodies, and she starts to worry that maybe something is wrong with how she looks–until her declaration at dinner that she is on a diet makes her family realize what they have been doing wrong.” (Catalogue)

Vale Indigenous Australian Actor David Dalaithngu

Sad news from across the ditch that Indigenous Australian actor, dancer and didgeridoo player David Dalaithngu has lost his battle with lung cancer at age 68.

Warning: This story contains the name and images of a deceased Indigenous person.

Born in  approximately 1953 in Arnhem Land in the far north of Australia,  Mr Dalaithngu was raised in the traditional culture of his Yolgnu people, not encountering white people until he was about 8 or 9.  Most famous around the world for his role in Crocodile Dundee and Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, Mr Dalaithngu has been a stalwart of the Australian film industry since his film debut at 18 in the 1971 film Walkabout.

You can read more about his life in his biography, Gulpilil by Derek Rielly (eBook).

To mark his passing and celebrate his life, we’ve put together a list of his films available through our collection and/or Beamafilm and Kanopy.


Walkabout – watch on Beamafilm
“Nicolas Roeg’s mystical masterpiece chronicles the physical, spiritual, and emotional journey of a sister and brother abandoned in the harsh Australian outback. Joining an Aboriginal on his walkabout – a tribal initiation into manhood – these modern children pass from innocence into experience as they are thrust from the comforts of civilisation into the savagery of the natural world.” (Description from our Catalogue)
DVD on our catalogue or watch Walkabout on Kanopy

Mad Dog Morgan – watch on Beamafilm
“Set in gold rush-era Victoria, and based on a true story, this violent, rollicking portrayal of infamous Irish outlaw Dan Morgan, a bravura performance from an intense Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now) is a classic of Australia’s ’70s cinema renaissance. A prospector who turns to crime and opium after failing at gold mining, Dan Morgan spends six brutal years in prison before terrorising country Victoria with a young Aboriginal, David Dalaithngu (Walkabout, The Tracker). Having escaped into NSW, the bush ranger and his accomplice easily dodge the police and mercilessly intimidate the wealthy land owners but wracked by madness and a lust to avenge an earlier attack from an irate squatter, the notorious Mad Dog makes a perilous journey back into Victoria.” (adapted from Beamafilm description)
Or, watch Mad Dog Morgan on Kanopy

Storm Boy – watch on Beamafilm (1976)
“Storm Boy lives with his recluse father on South Australia’s lonely and beautiful coast. Here his free spirit roams with his pet pelican Mr. Percival and his secret Aboriginal friend Fingerbone Bill. He knows no other world. Suddenly there are intruders, the local school teacher who wants him to take lessons, a resentful wildlife ranger, duck shooters… Storm Boy, growing up is forced to choose between a life of continued isolation and the challenges of the outside world.” (Description from our catalogue)
DVD on our Catalogue, or watch Storm Boy on Kanopy

The Last Wave – watch on Beamafilm
“Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Peter Weir explores a startling world on the brink of apocalypse in The Last Wave, a time and place where Mother Nature and human nature are destined to collide in catastrophic disaster. When lawyer David Burton is assigned a case to defend a group of indigenous Australian men, he is unprepared for the nightmares and dreamscapes ahead. Accused of murdering one of their own, the men stand trial amidst suspicious circumstances and, as Burton becomes plagued by unsettling visions, he is drawn to the mysterious Chris Lee (AFI Award winner David Dalaithngu, Storm Boy, The Tracker) for answers to his torment. As the erratic climate turns dangerous, Burton senses a greater power at play, where tribal customs and the ancient ideas of Dreamtime may be more than just an ominous warning.” (adapted from Beamafilm description)
DVD on our Catalogue or watch The Last Wave on Kanopy

Crocodile Dundee I [&] II (DVD)
“The adventures of Crocodile hunter Michael J. Dundee, in the wild outback of Australia and the wild streets of New York City.” (Catalogue description)

Rabbit-proof fence (DVD)
“In 1931, three aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their homes to be trained as domestic staff and set off on a trek across the Outback.” (Catalogue description)

The proposition (DVD)
“A story of class, race, colonisation and of one family’s violent destiny played out against the searing backdrop of Australia in the 1880s.” (Catalogue description)

Ten canoes (DVD)
“Ten canoes tells the story of the people of the Arafura swamp, in their language, and is set a long time before the coming of the Balanda, as white people were known. Dayindi covets one of the wives of his older brother. To teach him the proper way, he is told a story from the mythical past, a story of wrong love, kidnapping, sorcery, bungling mayhem and revenge gone wrong.” (Catalogue description)
Or watch Ten Canoes on Kanopy

Australia (Blu-ray)
“In northern Australia at the beginning of World War II, an English aristocrat inherits a cattle station the size of Maryland. When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn stock-man to drive 2,000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country’s most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor only months earlier.” (Catalogue description)

Charlie’s country (DVD)
“Blackfella Charlie is getting older, and he’s out of sorts. The Government Intervention is making life more difficult on his remote community, what with the proper policing of whitefella laws that don’t generally make much sense, and Charlie’s kin and ken seeming more interested in going along with things than doing anything about it. So Charlie takes off, to live the old way, but in so doing, sets off a chain of events in his life that has him return to his community chastened, and somewhat the wiser.” (Catalogue description)

Goldstone (DVD)
“Indigenous Detective Jay Swan arrives in the frontier town of Goldstone on a missing persons enquiry. What seems like a simple light duties investigation opens a web of crime and corruption. Jay must pull his life together and bury his differences with young local cop Josh, so together they can bring justice to Goldstone.” (Catalogue description)

Cargo (DVD)
“An ecological collapse has seen the human population take to an orbital existence aboard a fleet of intergalactic space stations. Rumour had it that a distant habitable planet exists in the outer realms and CARGO concerns the intense and atmospheric journey one crew embarks on in order to find paradise”–Container.” (Catalogue description)

Storm boy (2018) (DVD)
“A contemporary retelling of Colin Thiele’s classic Australian tale. When Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman starts to see images from his past that he can’t explain, he’s forced to remember his childhood and how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an extraordinary orphaned pelican, Mr Percival.” (Catalogue description)

Gulpilil – One Red Blood, watch on Kanopy
“GULPILIL – ONE RED BLOOD takes us from the world of cinema to Dalaithngu’s homeland and back again. It charts his career from his origins as a strictly tribal man who spoke no English, through his transformation to a jet-setting movie star. The film traces how Dalaithngu’s acting work declined during the 80s and how he was overlooked for over a decade. With his latest roles in Rabbit Proof Fence and The Tracker, Dalaithngu is once again back in the spotlight.” (Description from Kanopy)

Note: In many Indigenous Australian cultural practices, those that have died are not referred to by their name as a mark of respect.  Mr Dalaithngu’s family have requested that he be referred to as David Dalaithngu.  We have left the title of his biographical book and film with the original name so that they can be found in the library collection.

Vote for Bird of the Year 2021

It’s that time of the year again, when we all get the opportunity to vote for our favourite New Zealand Bird of the Year.  Whether you’re a purist who insists that only birds qualify, or one of these new radicals championing a *gasp* mammal (the pekapeka-tou-roa or long-tailed bat), there’s a bird to suit everyone’s tastes.  From cheeky kākā, to those chonky kererū or the tiny tītīpounamu with their bumblebee sized hatchlings, New Zealand birds are fascinating and sadly, all too many of them are at risk of disappearing altogether.

If you’re not sure what birds you might like to vote for, we’re here to help, with plenty of books about the birds of New Zealand, whether you’re backyard bird watcher, a recreational twitcher or a serious ornithologist, we’ve got something for you.  Here are a selection of titles:

A naturalist’s guide to the birds of New Zealand / Thomas, Oscar

“This photographic identification guide to 239 bird species in New Zealand, including the most commonly seen, unique and endemic species, is perfect for resident and visitor alike. High-quality photographs from one of New Zealand’s youngest nature photographers are accompanied by detailed species descriptions, which include nomenclature, size, distribution, habits and habitat. The user-friendly introduction covers climate, vegetation, biogeography and the key sites for viewing the listed species. Also included is an all-important checklist of all of the birds of New Zealand encompassing, for each species, its common and scientific name, IUCN status.” (Catalogue)

The brilliance of birds : a New Zealand birdventure / Wishart, Skye

“Who knew that the morepork, our forest-dwelling owl, can turn its head 270 degrees? Or that the eastern bar-tailed godwit triples its body weight before undertaking an epic and continuous migration of 11,000 kilometres? Or that the tūī has two voiceboxes – enabling it to duet with itself – one producing sounds too high-frequency for humans to hear?” (Catalogue)

 

Birdstories : a history of the birds of New Zealand / Norman, 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. Extensively illustrated with historic illustrations and contemporary artwork, this is a beautiful, comprehensive publication that will help New Zealanders realise what a taonga we have in our birds.” (Catalogue)

 

The hunters : the precarious lives of New Zealand’s birds of prey / Stewart, Debbie.

“The majestic New Zealand falcon in flight looks like a sleek killing machine – but it is one of the most endangered and misunderstood birds in our nation today. This landmark book presents all of our amazing birds of prey, from the cute ruru (or morepork) we hear calling in the night, to the hawks that hover over roadkill on our highways. Stunning photographs show the lives of these birds in intimate close-ups, and the stories make a case for their continuing protection as a vital part of our fragile ecosystem.” (Catalogue)

The field guide to the birds of New Zealand / Heather, B. D.

“The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand is the modern classic of the genre – the tried and trusted reference for lovers of New Zealand birds. Comprehensive, reliable and easy to use, this revised edition features: 374 species, including 11 new additions – the book’s biggest revision since first publication ; 85 stunning colour paintings of New Zealand birds, including rare and recently extinct species ; an introduction to key bird-watching sites ; distribution maps and an in-depth guide to field identification ; an additional handbook section that includes information on the distribution, habitat, population, conservation, breeding, behaviour and feeding habits of each species. The only field guide to New Zealand birds officially endorsed by the Ornithological Society of New Zealand, this is the most authoritative reference available – a wonderful celebration of our extraordinary and diverse birdlife.” (Catalogue)

Buller’s birds of New Zealand : the complete work of JG Keulemans / Keulemans, J. G.

“Presents the full set of artworks created by JG Keulemans for “A history of the birds of New Zealand” by Walter Buller.” (Catalogue)

 

Land of birds : an illustrated tribute to the birds of New Zealand / Meyer-Westfeld, Niels

“Land of Birds is a stunning new book of New Zealand bird illustrations. Using the structure of a naturalist’s journal, Niels Meyer-Westfeld has created a very personal and sensitive tribute to this country’s remarkable birdlife. The heart of the book is his beautifully detailed illustrations of birds, covering all of our best-loved wetland, sea and forest species. The main illustrations are supported by beautifully rendered sketches and working drawings. Accompanying the illustrations is text from the author, which provides information about the species, and anecdotes about the process of creating his artwork. His text is also an impassioned call for a greater awareness of the wider threats that so much of our endangered birdlife faces in New Zealand. Land of Birds will appeal to anyone with a passion for New Zealand’s flora and fauna, particularly birds, as well as those with an interest in illustration and art.” (Catalogue)

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. Many books in the past have been aimed at the serious ornithologist, with illustrations designed to show distinct feather patterns but not to create an image that is also pleasing to the eye. The photographs in this book have been taken by David Hallett, one of New Zealand’s leading wildlife photographers, who captures the beauty of New Zealand’s native birds in their natural environment, from the subtropical north to the Sub-Antarctic Islands, and from the oceans to the alpine meadows of the Southern Alps. The text is kept short and avoids the in-depth academic material found in some of the very good reference books on the market. It does include all the interesting facts that set our native birds apart, presented in a short, concise format that makes the book ideal for browsing. With the advent of digital photography, many more birders are now equipping themselves with cameras as well as binoculars when they go into the field, creating an increasing awareness of wildlife photography. This trend, combined with the affection New Zealanders have for their native birds, makes Native Birds of New Zealand a book that will have widespread appeal.” (Catalogue)

Birds of New Zealand : a photographic guide / Scofield, R. Paul

“[An] introduction to the identification and behaviour of this country’s extraordinary avian life. From the Kermadecs to Campbell Island, from beloved endemics to passing vagrants, from albatrosses and shearwaters to kiwi and kākā, the book ranges widely. Key features include: expert and up-to-date information on the 345 bird species found in New Zealand ; almost 1000 new photographs illustrating key identification characteristics and variation by age and sex ; authoritative text covering identification, behaviour, distribution and taxonomy ; Māori, English and scientific names.” (Catalogue)

Shorebirds of New Zealand : sharing the margins / Woodley, Keith

“Shorebirds of New Zealand is a beautiful, informative and lyrical account of the many shorebirds found here – those living and breeding in the same area year after year, those that migrate within New Zealand, and those whose migrations link the hemispheres. It examines the lifecycles, habits and histories of our shorebirds, such as red knots (some 50,000 of which reach New Zealand from Siberia annually), or red-necked stints (birds the size of a sparrow that make a similar journey), and our own shorebirds – stilts and oystercatchers, terns and gulls, dotterels and wrybills, snipes and godwits. Author Keith Woodley connects these shorebirds with everyday people and the environment, looking into our social and cultural values, the work of researchers and community conservation groups, as well as the ways in which our lives impact those of shorebirds – both harmoniously and harmfully. Shorebirds of New Zealand is a significant and thought-provoking book, with many stories to tell and a strong environmental message elegantly stated. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Birds of New Zealand / Suisted, Rob

“New Zealand boasts exceptional species of birds; a quarter of the birdlife lives nowhere else on the planet. With the concerted focus on bird recovery, through sanctuaries, the Department of Conservation and volunteer groups, native birds are abundant, and those struggling species are continually growing in population. Rob Suisted has captured these beautiful birds in remarkable, vibrant photographs, with individual portraits and habitat shots. The four main habitats – forest, wetlands, sea and coast, and open country are introduced by Alison Dench’s thoroughly researched text. Extended captions accompany each photograph. This attractive, colourful book is a wonderful expression of New Zealand’s most interesting birdlife.” (Catalogue)

Food, Glorious Food

Is there anything quite as comforting to read about than food? Be it the biography of a chef or food critic, a history of a particular food, or just a really good cook book, books about food have been a favourite for generations. Here are some books in our collection that you might like to sink your teeth into:

Scoff : a history of food and class in Britain / Vogler, Pen
“Avocado or beans on toast? Gin or claret? Nut roast or game pie? Milk in first or milk in last? And do you have tea, dinner or supper in the evening? In this fascinating social history of food in Britain, Pen Vogler examines the origins of our eating habits and reveals how they are loaded with centuries of class prejudice. Bringing together evidence from cookbooks, literature, artworks and social records from 1066 to the present, Vogler traces the changing fortunes of the food we encounter today, and unpicks the aspirations and prejudices of the people who have shaped our cuisine for better or worse.” (adapted from catalogue)

A cook’s tour : in search of the perfect meal / Bourdain, Anthony
“Inspired by the question, ‘What would be the perfect meal?’, Anthony sets out on a quest for his culinary holy grail. Our adventurous chef starts out in Japan, where he eats traditional Fugu, a poisonous blowfish which can be prepared only by specially licensed chefs. He then travels to Cambodia, up the mine-studded road to Pailin into autonomous Khmer Rouge territory and to Phnom Penh’s Gun Club, where local fare is served up alongside a menu of available firearms. In Saigon, he’s treated to a sustaining meal of live Cobra heart before moving on to savor a snack with the Viet Cong in the Mecong Delta. A Cook’s Tour recounts, in Bourdain’s inimitable style, the adventures and misadventures of America’s favorite chef.” (adapted from catalogue)

Hungry : a memoir of wanting more / Dent, Grace
“From an early age, Grace Dent was hungry. As a little girl growing up in Currock, Carlisle, she yearned to be something bigger, to go somewhere better. Hungry traces Grace’s story from growing up eating beige food to becoming one of the much-loved voices on the British food scene. It’s also everyone’s story – from treats with your nan, to cheese and pineapple hedgehogs, to the exquisite joy of cheaply-made apple crumble with custard. Warm, funny and joyous, Hungry is also about love and loss, the central role that food plays in all our lives, and how a Cadbury’s Fruit ‘n’ Nut in a hospital vending machine can brighten the toughest situation.” (adapted from catalogue)

In the devil’s garden : a sinful history of forbidden food / Allen, Stewart Lee
“Among the foods thought to encourage Lust, the love apple (now known as the tomato), has become the world’s most popular vegetable. But until the nineteenth century the love apple was considered Satanic by many because of its similarity to the mandrake, a plant believed to be possessed by demonic spirits. Filled with Incredible history and the author’s travels to many exotic locales, In the Devil’s Garden also features recipes like the Matzoh-ball stews outlawed by the Spanish Inquisition and the forbidden “chocolate champagnes” of the Aztecs. This is truly a delectable book that will be consumed by food lovers, culinary historians, amateur anthropologists, and armchair travellers alike.” (adapted from catalogue)

Toast / Slater, Nigel
“TOAST is top food writer Nigel Slater’s eat-and-tell autobiography. Detailing all the food, recipes and cooking that have marked his passage from greedy schoolboy to great food writer, this is also a catalogue of how the British have eaten over the last three decades.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Ultimate food journeys : the world’s best dishes & where to eat them
“[A] book for food-lovers with an interest in travel–and ardent travelers with a passion for food. … [also] has helpful sightseeing itineraries, hotel recommendations, and hundreds of restaurant choices.” (Catalogue)

 

Plenty : a memoir of food & family / Howard, Hannah
“A moving reflection on motherhood, friendship, and women making their mark on the world of food from the author of Feast” (Catalogue)

 

 

 

Chocolate wars : from Cadbury to Kraft : 200 years of sweet success and bitter rivalry / Cadbury, Deborah
“Beginning with an account of John Cadbury, who founded the first Cadbury’s coffee and chocolate shop in Birmingham in 1824, ‘Chocolate Wars’ goes on to chart the astonishing transformation of the company’s fortunes under his grandson George. But while the Cadbury dynasty is the fulcrum of the narrative, this is also the story of their Quaker rivals, the Frys and Rowntrees, and their European competitors, the Nestles, Suchards and Lindts. These rivalries drove the formation of the huge chocolate conglomorates that still straddle the corporate world today, and have first call on our collective sweet tooth.” (adapted from catalogue)

Bread & butter : history, culture, recipes / Snapes, Richard
“A celebration of bread and butter’s divine partnership, covering history, culture and recipes.” (Catalogue)

 

 

 

Special bonus read:

Food isn’t medicine : challenge nutribollocks & escape the diet trap / Wolrich, Joshua
“The first NHS doctor to take a public stand against diet culture and empower you to do the same. Losing weight is not your life’s purpose. Do carbs make you fat? Could the keto diet cure mental health disorders? Are eggs as bad for you as smoking? No, no and absolutely not. It’s all what Dr Joshua Wolrich defines as ‘nutribollocks’ and he is on a mission to set the record straight. As an NHS doctor with personal experience of how damaging diets can be, he believes every one of us deserves to have a happy, healthy relationship with food and with our bodies. His message is clear- we need to fight weight stigma, call out the lies of diet culture and give ourselves permission to eat all foods. Food Isn’t Medicine wades through nutritional science (both good and bad) to demystify the common diet myths that many of us believe without questioning. If you have ever wondered whether you should stop eating sugar, try fasting, juicing or ‘alkaline water’, or struggled through diet after diet (none of which seem to work), this book will be a powerful wake-up call. Drawing on the latest research and delivered with a dose of humour, it not only liberates us from the destructive belief that weight defines health but also explains how to spot the misinformation we are bombarded with every day. Dr Joshua Wolrich will empower you to escape the diet trap and call out the bad health advice for what it really is: complete nutribollocks.” (Catalogue)

Crochet Projects to Challenge You

I don’t know about any of you other crocheters, but I’m bored with crocheting granny squares and the afghan throw of eternity (it’s nearly big enough to cover a king size bed, twice, how do I stop??)  I have a huge yarn stash, built up after last year’s lockdown so that never be without yarn in a lockdown again, and of course, a lot more time to actually crochet, but inspiration has been lacking.   Then I realised I had access to Overdrive from home, and I went hunting for eBooks and online magazines to kickstart my crochet creativity.  I thought I’d share a few that I really enjoyed with you here:

Kawaii Crochet by Melissa Bradley – super easy amigurumi patterns for 40 very cute food toys.  I hadn’t attempted amigurumi before, and Kawaii Crochet was a great primer for getting started.  I made the cutest little lemon in about half an hour at my first attempt.

 

Title details for 100 Micro Crochet Motifs by Steffi Glaves - Wait list

100 Micro Crochet Motifs by  Steffi Glaves – I cannot resist a tiny crochet and these are perfect for making into earrings.  Or perhaps add to berets and beanies to give them a pretty twist.  Again, these patterns are easy to follow and are a good way to use up the leftover bits of yarn from earlier projects.

 

Title details for Yarn Bombing by Mandy Moore - Available

Yarn Bombing by Mandy Moore – want to jazz up the neighbourhood on your socially distanced walk?  Learn a little about the history of yarn bombing/graffiti, seek out some inspiration and find some patterns to create for your first yarn bomb projects.

 

Title details for My First Crochet Book by CICO Books - Wait list

My First Crochet Book by CICO Books – if you have bored kids, involve them in crochet.  This junior crochet book is written in simple language, has plenty of starter projects that both you and the kids can get into.  Crochet is excellent for young minds and hands.  It’s very calming, you can find a crochet hook that suits small hands without having to buy special junior ones, it’s inexpensive to start (a ball of acrylic yarn is the best place to start) and there’s a completed project at the end.

Title details for Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workshop by Ellen Gormley - Available

Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workshop by Ellen Gormley – Ok maybe you do want to work on an Afghan throw of eternity.  That’s the thing with Afghan rugs and throws, you can just keep going at them and watch them grow.  This book will kick you off if you’ve never made an Afghan design before and give you inspiration for some new ones.

 

Title details for How to Make 100 Crochet Appliques by Deborah Burger - Available

How to Make 100 Crochet Appliques by Deborah Burger – another book of small, stashbuster patterns, great for making patches for clothes, bags, hats, you name it.  I can see some of them as brooches too.  Lots of themes and motifs for you to work your way through.

 

Title details for Lacework for Adventurous Crocheters by Margaret Hubert - Available

Lacework for Adventurous Crocheters by Margaret Hubert – perhaps your crochet skills are a little more advanced than mine and you’d love to give some fine lacework a go.  I haven’t had a go at these yet, but I did drool over the patterns and styles on offer.  One day I hope to have the confidence to have a go at these.

 

These are just the tip of the iceberg for the books and magazines you can find on Overdrive for crochet, not to mention all of the other craft topics available.  You can find more crochet books and magazines here.

Happy stitching!