Launching City Voice: News you can use

One of Wellington’s most significant independent media outlets of the 1990s has been fully digitised and is now available to view on Wellington City Recollect.

City Voice Collection on Recollect

For just over eight years City Voice dominated Wellington’s alternative media scene. More than twenty years after its last issue was printed, the library’s archived collection of the weekly newspaper has been fully digitised and is available to view and search on our heritage platform Wellington City Recollect.

Andy Foster as a young city councillor on the cover of the oldest copy held in the collection

City Voice was founded by its editor Simon Collins and the journalist Jeremy Rose. They were soon joined by journalists Nick Bollinger, Mark Cubey & Rachel Woodley, the photographer David Gurr, the artist Chris Healey as well as a core of advertising, administration and distribution staff. The newspaper soon became the regular outlet for dozens of reviewers, columnists and journalism students and began the concept of a ‘paper within a paper’ where several pages would be regularly handed over to local communities who until then had few opportunities to have their voices heard.

Beginning at a time when access to the internet was still largely confined to universities and government institutions, City Voice distilled the talents of many local writers in a single publication before such output became diluted across a multitude of different online forums and websites.  It also provided a mouthpiece for a new generation of activists before the introduction of social media as well as holding the city council and local body politicians to account. Operating out of offices in Cuba Mall, it was owned by the Te Aro Publishing Cooperative Ltd with shares being held by around 160 people who had invested a total of $165,000 as core capital but the newspaper principally operated on its advertising revenue in an era before the widespread growth of the online advertising absorbed much of this income stream.

‘Humourbeasts’ Jermain Clement and Taika Waititi (aka Taika Cohen) appear on the cover of a 1999 issue

Every Thursday a new edition would hit the streets with 21,000 copies being delivered free to every letterbox in the CBD & the inner-suburbs and another 7000 copies available to be picked up in cafes or from newsstands scattered throughout the city. It soon became the go-to place to find out what was happening in the arts and theatre scene with extensive listings and reviews published every week.

However, it was with its news coverage that City Voice had its biggest impact. It avoided the crime, violence and scandal stories that often dominated main-stream media and instead covered local stories where it felt that the public could make a difference with issues such as the planned development of the waterfront or the inner-city motorway bypass. Controversial neo-liberal reforms which had become common within central-government in the early 1990s were starting to have an impact at a local level with various proposals to introduce user charges for social & community services and the paper helped galvanise opposition to many of these. City Voice became a democratic alternative to commercial media where the perceived need to ‘sell’ news was turning people (particularly youth) away from consuming it.

Later to become a city councillor, Laurie Foon states her views on the proposed ‘bypass’ through Te Aro in 1998

The newspaper became a ‘hot-house’ for young journalism students, many of whom went on to have notable careers in the media and communications industries. Volunteers gained experience in the field, assisting staff writers to research and write stories as well as helping out with page layouts and sub-editing. Regular columns provided an alternative take on main-stream staples such as car, fashion and restaurant reviews, the emphasis being on what most Wellingtonians actually consumed rather than expensive aspirational products and services which were often well beyond what many people could afford. Graphic design was also an important part of the newspaper and improvements in computer & printing technology over its eight-year run can be seen in the manner in which its ‘look’ developed.  Advertising ‘reps’ worked hard to constantly sell space in the paper to bring in the revenue required to pay staff and to keep the presses rolling. However, roles were not siloed and someone employed to sell advertising was welcome to try their hand at writing reviews while a journalist who had written an investigative article was just as likely to be helping with page layouts as print deadlines approached. 

Illustrating how some issues never change, this cover from 2000 details the concern of the city potentially losing ownership of its water assets.

However, despite its editorial success and impact, advertising revenue never fully met its costs, eventually resulting in capital reserves being drained. Investigative articles became too narrowly focussed on a small range of subjects and the arrival of the internet also started to have an impact following the launch of several local ISPs which drew readers away from print media as they discovered new online sources of news and information. In late 2000 the board of directors, aware of the personal liability they would be subject to if accused of ‘reckless trading’, decided to wind up the cooperative. After a brief hiatus, a new company was formed called City Voice Media Ltd which raised new capital and continued to publish the newspaper with a new look. However, it soon became apparent that the newspaper was no longer financially sustainable and its final issue was printed on 5th July 2001.  

City Voice on Recollect

Some of the information in this blog has come from the article “City Voice, an alternative to the corporate model” by Simon Collins & Jeremy Rose, published in Pacific Journalism Review, Vol.  10, No. 2 (2004).

Join the phenomena – Pachinko by Min Jin Lee


Pachinko is a ‘powerful story about resilience and compassion’ – Barack Obama.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee has become a cultural phenomenon over the last few years, gaining legions of fans and spawning a smash hit television series. Now, thanks to Libby, we are excited to offer this unlimited access to the eBook and audiobook for a limited time!

On its release in 2017, Pachinko gained rave reviews from the likes of from The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian. Reviewers have compared the book to the works of writers like Charles Dickens or John Galsworthy, thanks in part to its epic historical sweep and its emotional resonance.

The plot revolves around four generations of a Korean immigrant family who, after being exiled from Korea, forge a new life in their adopted homeland of Japan. Set between the years of 1910 and 1989, the novel covers a huge sweep of time when the vagrancies of history often played a pivotal role to the fates of all concerned. At the heart of the books, you’ll find an exploration of human relationships and the ups and downs of a family. Many themes are explored in an expressive and emotional style; amongst them themes of discrimination, family and cultural identity,  faith  and exclusion.

The book has been shortlisted for a whole plethora of prizes, including being a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction 2017. Since its release, it has sold over one million copies.

Now is your chance to grab an electronic copy of the book to see what the phenomenon is all about! Simply login to Overdrive or Libby with your library card to access a copy. Join the Pachinko phenomena and read now!

Overdrive cover Pachinko, Min Jin Lee (eBook)
“Yeongdo, Korea 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child, their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife.Following a man she barely knows to a hostile country in which she has no friends, no home, and whose language she cannot speak, Sunja’s salvation is just the beginning of her story. Through eight decades and four generations, Pachinko is an epic tale of family, identity, love, death and survival. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Pachinko,’Min Jin Lee (Audiobook)
“Yeongdo, Korea – 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child: their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then, Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife. Following a man she barely knows to a hostile country in which she has no friends, no home, and whose language she cannot speak, Sunja’s salvation is just the beginning of her story.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Tā Tipene O’Regan: Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year

E tipu e rea mo ngā rā o tō ao
Ko tō ringa ki ngā rākau ā te Pakeha Hei ara mō tō tinana
Ko tō ngākau ki ngā tāonga a ō tīpuna Māori
Hei tikitiki mō tō māhuna
Ko tō wairua ki tō Atua, Nānā nei ngā mea katoa

It is fitting, following the month of April, to celebrate the goals of, and awards bestowed upon Tā Tīpene O’Regan who relentlessly tackled head on, issues that confronted him and commanded his attention – be it a Tiriti claim, race relations, or other take. As his family said he was a man driven by issues rather than people.

“We must remember to remember – you can never have a vision of what you want to be unless you know where you’re from [to avoid] repeating the mistakes of the past.”

In the area of race relations he believes that Māori are here by right of their indigenous status and that all other peoples are here by right of Te Tiriti. He believes that we must continue to evolve and shape our view of New Zealand as we wish it to be. He is a man who did not fight for full reimbursement for all land lost – he had no wish to bankrupt the country in pursuit of an equitable monetary pay-out. The entire value of Treaty settlements over the past quarter of a century would cover superannuation payments for two months.

“I am concerned that in this great intersection of law and history, to which the Treaty and its outcomes have condemned us, we might begin to so devalue our past, that our history and tradition become mere opinion, blown by political winds and fanned by incessant gusts of media opportunism.’

He sought to invest and grow a putea in a way which would lift his people into an entrepreneurial economic future.

Last month Tā Tipene became the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. His life and achievements are set out in the following online articles and videos:

Tā Tipene O’Regan on Wikipedia

Tā Tipene O’Regan: a life spent building a bicultural nation, via RNZ

Tā Tipene O’Regan on Kā Huru Manu

Tā Tipene O’Regan announced as Companion at 2019 Research Honours Aotearoa, via The Royal Society

Tā Tipene O’Regan on Indigenous 100

‘Tūtae in my letterbox’: The flak Sir Tipene O’Regan got for leading Waitangi settlement, via Te Ao Māori News

In pulling together details of Tā Tipene’s life, I find it distressing that whānau should become unwitting victims of harassment and behaviour by people demanding their right to freedom of speech (and action) in order to “punish” a parent’s determination to hold fast to a line of firm belief. As Tā Tipene says, in his stories, it was this side of his life which was most hurtful to his family.

Kōrero by Tā Tipene is available on our catalogue:

New myths and old politics : the Waitangi Tribunal and the challenge of tradition / O’Regan, Tipene
“Negotiating a claim before the Waitangi Tribunal can involve troubling challenges to an iwi’s legitimacy, sometimes from unexpected places. In this unique behind-the-scenes account of the negotiation of Ngāi Tahu’s Waitangi Tribunal claim, Sir Tipene O’Regan describes what happened when claims of New Age mysticism attempted to undermine traditional whakapapa and academic scholarship”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

New Myths and Old Politics is also available to read for free online via Bridget Williams Books.

 

 

 

Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe, me he maunga teitei.
Seek the treasure that you value most dearly, if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.

He kōtuku rerenga kotahi: remembering Moana Jackson

He Tangata, he tangata, he tangata: of the people, by the people, for the people.
He hōnore, he korōria ki te Atua he maungārongo ki te whenua. He whakaaro pai ki ngā tāngata katoa.

As 29 April 2022 approaches, the effects of Covid19 means that once more Wellington City Libraries will not mark the signing of Te Tiriti in Te Whanganui-a-Tara with a three-pronged kōrero –i.e. a mana whenua summary of past actions, informed discussion of present aspects of te tiriti and then future thoughts as in: where to now.

The burning question for today is he kupu – “co-governance”.

How I wish that we could call upon Moana to offer up a wise, quiet, succinct non-inflammatory explanation, but, alas, he is no longer with us. This month we are totally devastated by his passing, and the many pages of social media commentary have highlighted and refreshed for us his many words of wisdom. Here was a man who quietly touched the hearts of so many people, yet remained absolutely centred on his whānau.

In his kōrero for the launch of “Imagining decolonisation” at Unity Books, he told us how he would approach an upcoming kōrero by going for a long walk, in order to think carefully of the words and ideas he wished to impart. And often his delivery would begin (or end) with a quiet little story involving a grandchild, and a vision for us all through a child’s lens.

Please find below he poroporoakī ki tēnei tangata mīharo.

Moana Jackson: His legacy will endure, via E-Tangata

Moana Jackson was the most articulate, original and forceful intellectual of his generation, via The Guardian

Moana Jackson has left us with the drive to keep fighting, via The Spinoff

Annette Sykes’ eulogy at Moana Jackson’s tangi.

Below is a list of books written by Moana Jackson, which are held in the library’s collection:

Imagining decolonisation.
“Seeks to demystify decolonisation using illuminating, real-life examples. By exploring the impact of colonisation on Māori and non-Māori alike, ‘Imagining decolonisation’ presents a transformative vision of a country that is fairer for all”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Imagining Decolonisation is also available to read for free online via Bridget Williams Books.

Like a beached whale : a consideration of proposed Crown actions over Maori foreshore claims / Jackson, Moana

Backgrounding the Paeroa Declaration / Jackson, Moana

The Maori and the criminal justice system : a new perspective = He whaipaanga hou / Jackson, Moana

We will not fill the void left by this unique man who had the ability to speak so softly with such devastatingly uncompromising words in explanation of Te Whakaputanga me Te Tiriti.

Moe mai ra e te Matua i roto i tō moenga roa, Haere ki Hawaiiki nui, Hawaiiki roa, ki Hawaiiki pamamao te huinga o ngā wairua o te pō, moe mai ra.

¡Día del idioma Español! Spanish Language Day

¡Qué bueno! Saturday 23 April is UN Spanish Language Day; a day which is celebrated around the world. There are over 530 million Spanish speakers worldwide and here at WCL, we have a huge collection of books in Spanish; over 700 items across our branches!

To browse our full collection of Spanish language books, go to our catalogue and click ‘Advanced’ at the far right of the search bar. From here, select ‘Call Number’ from the top drop-down menu and enter ‘Spanish’. Hit the ‘Advanced Search’ button and all of our Spanish language items will appear for you to browse, reserve and borrow!

Below is a selection of our newest Spanish language items, as well as some of our librarians’ favourite books by Spanish-speaking writers that have been translated into English. ¡Disfruta leyendo! Happy reading!

Del aire al aire / Guedea, Rogelio
“Meditaciones acerca de los limites entre la realidad y los suenos, estos micro-relatos crean un mundo imaginario que aparenta ser mas autentico que el mundo fisico. Vidas se esfuman en suenos y pensamientos se cristalizan en el curso de una vida a traves de estos cuentos.”” (Catalogue)

 

 

Violeta / Allende, Isabel
“Violeta viene al mundo un tormentoso día de 1920, siendo la primera niña de una familia de cinco bulliciosos hermanos. Desde el principio su vida estará marcada por acontecimientos extraordinarios, pues todavía se sienten las ondas expansivas de la Gran Guerra cuando la gripe española llega a las orillas de su país sudamericano natal, casi en el momento exacto de su nacimiento. En una carta dirigida a una persona a la que ama por encima de todas las demás, Violeta rememora devastadores desengaños amorosos y romances apasionados, momentos de pobreza y también de prosperidad, pérdidas terribles e inmensas alegrías.” (adapted from catalogue)

Habitaciones compartidas / Guedea, Rogelio
“Roque, profesor de literatura hispana en Nueva Zelanda, vive con su mujer e hijos y lejos de su México natal una rutina tranquila, incluso monótona. Un buen día recibe un correo electrónico de Diego Valente, contratado por la misma universidad, quien le pide consejo dada su inminente llegada a la ciudad, a fin de aclimatarse al entorno. Diego es también mexicano y viene acompañado de la encantadora Lía, su mujer, y sus dos hijos menores. Para Roque y los suyos este encuentro se antoja providencial, pues es la primera familia de compatriotas que fijará su residencia en el mismo lugar en el que viven desde hace ya siete años, lo que traerá un renovado aire a sus vidas. Sin embargo, lo que en un principio se adivina un futuro halagüeño, poco a poco se tornará para ambas parejas en un escenario cercano a la pesadilla…” (adapted from catalogue)

Lituma en los Andes / Vargas Llosa, Mario
“Ambientada en un remoto pueblo de montaña, Lituma en los Andes comienza como una novela policíaca sobre la desaparición de tres lugareños. El cabo Lituma y su ayudante Tomás sospechan de Sendero Luminoso, la organización guerrillera que viene sembrando el terror en el Perú. Pero la intriga adquiere visos inesperados cuando se descubren crueles prácticas ancestrales en la zona, y la narración va ganando dimensiones conforme las pesquisas se alternan con los recuerdos íntimos de los protagonistas. Con un virtuoso manejo de la trama, la psicología y los géneros, Mario Vargas Llosa ofrece al cabo una profunda meditación sobre la sociedad peruana y sus males históricos.”–Page [4] of cover.” (Catalogue)

In the time of the butterflies : a novel / Alvarez, Julia
“It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reports their deaths as accidental. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of Gen. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo s dictatorship. It doesn’t have to. Everybody knows of Las Mariposas The Butterflies. In this extraordinary novel, the voices of all four sisters Minerva, Patria, Maria Teresa, and the survivor, Dede speak across the decades to tell their own stories, from hair ribbons and secret crushes to gunrunning and prison torture, and to describe the everyday horrors of life under Trujillo’s rule. Through the art and magic of Julia Alvarez s imagination, the martyred Butterflies live again in this novel of courage and love, and the human cost of political oppression. ” (Catalogue)

Chronicle of a death foretold / García Márquez, Gabriel
“Santiago Nasar is brutally murdered in a small town by two brothers. All the townspeople knew it was going to happen – including the victim. But nobody did anything to prevent the killing. Twenty seven years later, a man arrives in town to try and piece together the truth from the contradictory testimonies of the townsfolk.” (Catalogue)

 

Like water for chocolate : a novel in monthly installments, with recipes, romances, and home remedies / Esquivel, Laura
“A #1 bestseller in Mexico in 1990, this charming, imaginative, and just plain fun novel of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico employs a winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit.” (Catalogue)

 

 

The tunnel / Sabato, Ernesto
“Infamous for the murder of Maria Iribarne, the artist Juan Pablo Castel is now writing a detailed account of his relationship with the victim from his prison cell- obsessed from the first moment he saw her examining one of his paintings, Castel had become fixated on her over the next months and fantasized over how they might meet again. When he happened upon her one day, a relationship was formed which swiftly convinced him of their mutual love. But Castel’s growing paranoia would lead him to destroy the one thing he truly cared about . . . ” (adapted from catalogue)

The house on Mango Street / Cisneros, Sandra
“The bestselling coming-of-age classic, acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught in schools and universities alike, and translated around the world–from the winner of the 2019 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Told in a series of vignettes-sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous-Sandra Cisneros’ masterpiece is a classic story of childhood and self-discovery. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.” (Catalogue)

The postman : a novel / Skármeta, Antonio
“The unforgettable inspiration for the Academy Award-winning Il Postino, this classic novel established Antonio Skarmeta’s reputation as “one of the most representative authors of the post-boom generation in contemporary Latin American letters”. Boisterously funny and passionate, The Postman tells of young love ignited by the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Set in the colourful, ebullient years preceding the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, the book has been translated into nearly twenty-five languages around the world.” – Fishpond

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)

 

Author interview: Physicist and science writer Laurie Winkless

Image of the Laurie Winkless with her new book Sticky.


Laurie Winkless is a physicist and science writer. She has contributed to Forbes Magazine and worked with both the Royal Society and The Naked Scientists. She has a BSc in Physics with Astrophysics from Trinity College Dublin, has worked at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre and has done some impressive mahi with the Materials Team at the National Physical Laboratory, focussing on thermoelectric energy harvesting!  She has also researched the use of nanomaterials in the space industry for the European Space Agency.

Her first book, Science, and the City: The Mechanics Behind the Metropolis, explains the science behind aspects of urban living, including skyscrapers and subways. She recently took some time out from her busy schedule to talk to us about her latest book, Sticky, which is an exploration of the amazing world of surface science.

This interview with Laurie Winkless was done in conjunction with the Caffeine and Aspirin arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM. Below is the podcast of that interview for your enjoyment:

We are thrilled that Winkless took time out from her very busy schedule to talk to us about her new book, her career, and loads of other fascinating scientific topics. We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to her.

 For more information on Laurie, visit https://www.lauriewinkless.com/

 And for more information on her new book Sticky, visit HERE. 

Both of Laurie’s books are available to borrow from the library.

 

Sticky: The Secret Science Of Surfaces / Winkless, Laurie
“In Sticky, physicist Laurie Winkless brings the amazing world of surface science to the popular science market. Using her characteristic fun and relaxed tone, she introduces us to the glues, adhesives and textures that rule and improve stickiness to give plants and animals an advantage, as well as uncovering the physics behind our sense of touch.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Science and the city : the mechanics behind the metropolis / Winkless, Laurie
“A window into the hidden science and engineering that are the backbone and lifeblood of the city, now and in the future.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Thank you Pōneke for the cans you donated!

Our ‘Cans for Fines’ campaign ran for the whole month of February and was a great success! We received 1309 cans in total,  brought by over 200 Wellington City Libraries’ customers.

All cans were donated to Wellington City Mission, especially for their Social Supermarket. This supermarket is based in Newtown, and is open and free to anyone in Wellington in need of some extra help.

 

With the extra pressure and challenges that Omicron brings, ‘Cans for Fines’ came at just the right time for us. The much-needed cans have helped to keep the shelves of our Social Supermarket stocked and we can continue to support those that need us. We were thrilled with the response and support of the Wellington community. From all of us at The Wellington City Mission, thank you!”

Kath Bier, Wellington City Mission

Thank you Pōneke for taking part in this campaign, your cans helped a lot of people.

International Women’s Day: Tuesday 8 March

We’re celebrating International Women’s Day with these epic books from our collection, featuring stories of courageous, creative, bold, brave, smart, successful, athletic and generally awesome women from Aotearoa and around the world.

Kia pai tāu pānui! Happy reading!

Nuku : stories of 100 indigenous women / Matata-Sipu, Qiane
“The power of storytelling is evident in our earliest pūrākau. Stories can change the world. It is how our tūpuna passed on their knowledge, the blueprint for living well, for generations. Through telling their stories, the women in this book seek to influence the world around them. The youngest is 14 and the eldest is in her mid-70s. They are wāhine Māori, Moriori, Pasifika, Melanesian, Wijadjuri, Himalayan and Mexican”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)

 

Bookish broads : women who wrote themselves into history / Marino, Lauren
“Women have written some of our most extraordinary literary works while living in societies and cultures that tried to silence them. These women dared to put pen to paper to express the multifaceted female experience. In Bookish Broads, Lauren Marino celebrates fierce, trailblazing female writers, reworking the literary canon that has long failed to recognize the immense contributions of women. Featuring more than 50 brilliant bookish broads, Marino cleverly illuminates the lives of the greats as well as the literary talents history has wrongfully overlooked.” (adapted from catalogue)

Ngā Mōrehu = The survivors : the life histories of eight Māori women
“In eight remarkable oral histories, NGA MOREHU brings alive the experience of Maori women from in the mid-twentieth century. The title, ‘the survivors’, refects the women’s connection with the visionary leader Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki and his followers, who adopted the name ‘Nga Morehu’ during the wars of the 1860s. But these women are not only survivors: they are also the chosen ones, the leaders of their society. They speak here of richly diverse lives – of arranged marriages and whangai adoption traditions, of working in both Maori and Pakeha communities. They pay testimony to their strong sense of a shared identity created by religious and community teachings.” (adapted from catalogue)

Women in sports : 50 fearless athletes who played to win / Ignotofsky, Rachel
“Illustrated profiles of fifty pioneering female athletes, from the author of the New York Times bestseller Women in Science. A charmingly illustrated and inspiring book, Women in Sports highlights the achievements and stories of fifty notable women athletes. Covering more than forty sports, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about notable women’s teams throughout history, pay and media statistics for female athletes, and muscle anatomy. Women in Sports celebrates the success of the tough, bold, and fearless women who paved the way for the next generation of athletes” (adapted from catalogue)

But I changed all that : ‘first’ New Zealand women / Tolerton, Jane
“But I Changed All That is a collection of New Zealand women ‘firsts’, from Kate Sheppard in 1893 to Kristine Bartlett, Katie Milne and Jacinda Ardern in 2018. The 76-page book contains portraits of New Zealand women who broke new ground, with extended captions, including a quote from each subject.” (Catalogue)

 

Bad girls throughout history : 100 remarkable women who changed the world / Shen, Ann
“The 100 revolutionary women featured in this illustrated book were bad in the best sense of the word: they challenged the status quo and changed the rules for those who followed. From ancient times through present day, from pirates to artists, scientists to spies, these courageous women achieved unprecedented feats and left a permanent mark on human history.”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Pasifika women : our stories in New Zealand / Kailahi, Sandra
“Sandra Kailahi has interviewed 20 Pacific women that have worked tirelessly within the New Zealand community to better the lives of their peoples. Included are politicians, artists, writers, church representatives, sportswomen, community leaders and many more. The interviews cover early lives to the present, and showcase the strengths and depths of knowledge the women contribute to New Zealand society every day. Each biography is accompanied by Eimi Tamua’s beautifully shot portrait, as well as imagery from the contributors’ private collections of photographs.” (Catalogue)

Little leaders : bold women in black history / Harrison, Vashti
“Based on her popular Instagram posts, debut author/illustrator Vashti Harrison shares the stories of 40 bold African American women who shaped history.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Women artists A to Z / LaBarge, Melanie
“From household names like Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe, to French-born Australian artist Mirka Mora, to underrepresented creators such as Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Xenobia Bailey, this empowering alphabet picture book features a variety of genres – painting, drawing, sculpture, and more. Each lushly illustrated spread summarises the artist’s work in one word, such as ‘D is for Dots’ (Yayoi Kusama) and ‘N is for Nature’ (Maya Lin), and gives the essential information to know about the creator.” (adapted from catalogue)

We should all be feminists / Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
“What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of ‘Americanah’ and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’. With humour and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century – one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviours that marginalise women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics.” (adapted from catalogue)

On this day she : putting women back into history, one day at a time / Bell, Jo
“An inspiring collection that shines a light on incredible women who were never given the acknowledgement they deserved. Here are the women whom time has forgotten; those who didn’t make it into the history books and those whom society failed to uphold as significant figures in their own right. Finally, we shall know their stories.” (Catalogue)

Women in science : 50 fearless pioneers who changed the world / Ignotofsky, Rachel
“The New York Times bestseller Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world.” (Catalogue)

Virtual Escape from Te Pātaka Library

This game is situated in Te Pātaka Library, which is the off-site storage facility for our huge collection of books, DVDs, CDs and vinyl. To introduce you to this potentially unfamiliar library space, we’ve created  a virtual reality escape game! Can you escape from Te Pātaka library?

Instructions on how to play:

    • Click and drag your mouse to explore the 360 degree photos of Te Pātaka library’s collection.
    • Click on the items around the library to get the clues, and click on the ‘X’ on the top right corner to close the clues. Hover over the items will also give you some clues.
    • When you find an item, select it to reveal its library related question. The answer to this question (shall be entered at the second item) unlocks that item, and so on.
    • If you typed the wrong answer at first, close the box first and re-type the answer.
    • Enter your answers in lower case and leave no spaces between the words.
    • You may want to refresh the page if needed.
    • For example, if you open an item and it asks you the question:
      Which library database is not a magazine database?
      PressReader, Magazines on Libby,  Oxford Art Online, or NZ Geographic
      The answer is Oxford Art Online (type the answer ‘oxfordartonline‘ at another item in that room) would unlock that item.
    • Enjoy!

Announced: the longlist for the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction

The longlist for the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction (the fiction element of The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards)  has just been announced.  And as always it reflects the rich, diverse, and vibrant literary scene in New Zealand. In this blog we are going to take a very quick look at the ten fiction contenders, but we strongly recommend a close look at the equally excellent Non-Fiction categories.

In the longlist this year we have…

Gigi Fenster’s A Good Winter; a gripping dark and, in some respects, demanding thriller set in an apartment block among a group of women. The novel was initially abandoned by the author who said “The lead character took over the work in not-so-good ways.’ Gigi eventually submitted it to and won the Michael Gifkins prize. Aljce in Therapy Land by Alice Tawhai is the debut novel from the acclaimed short story writer. Online relationships, stoned characters and logic, workplace bullying, quantum physics all overlayed with aspects of Alice in Wonderland in this smart, funny, and complex work.  Entanglement by Bryan Walpert is a multi-layered, multi-faceted work that weaves big ideas about the nature of existence and time into the integral fabric of the plot, whilst also being very personal about the characters’ inner lives. In Stephanie Johnson’s Everything Changes the central characters buy a rundown motel as a way of restarting their lives in this moving and funny work. A brother and sister from a Māori-Russian-Catalonian family negotiate the stormy waters of modern romance, largely from the Auckland apartment they share, in Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly, described by one reviewer as “part Shakespeare, part Wes Anderson”.

In Whiti Hereaka’s Kurangaituku a part bird, part woman central character “the Kurangaituku” retells her life from her inception till her death and beyond. This mythological tale is about love, in both its destructive and creative aspects. Sue Orr’s Loop Tracks is set in two time periods; the late 1970’s in Auckland and 2019 in Wellington, and centres around young sixteen-year-old Charlie’s choices and decisions in 1978, and how they flow into her 2019 future.  She’s a Killer by Kirsten McDougall is set in the very near future in New Zealand where the effects of climate change are really beginning to bite and affect both our physical world but also our society in this sharp and darkly funny work. Confidence tricksters, compulsive liars and jumbled up childhood memories all feature in Emma Neale’s excellent first collection of short stories Pink Jumpsuit: short fictions, tall truths. And to round up the list is Clare Moleta’s Unsheltered; a powerful tale of a woman’s search for her daughter set against a background of destructive weather and social disintegration.

As always there are several novels that might have made the cut but didn’t,  the most notable being  Jacqueline Bublitz’s wonderful Before You Knew My Name.

We have also had the recent pleasure of having Kirsten McDougall in conversation with Rajorshi Chakraborti and interviewing Bryan Walpert  about their nominated books; you can watch these interviews at the end of this blog.

A good winter. / Fenster, Gigi
“I looked after Lara. We both looked after Sophie and her baby. We had to. It’s not like Sophie was going to look after that baby herself. All she was interested in was weeping and wailing for her dead husband. She was so busy weeping and wailing for her dead husband that she rejected his baby who was right in front of her. When Olga’s friend Lara becomes a grandmother, Olga helps out whenever she can. After all, it’s a big imposition on Lara, looking after her bereaved daughter and the baby. And the new mother is not exactly considerate. But smoldering beneath Olga’s sensible support and loving generosity is a deep jealous need to be the centre of Lara’s attention and affection—a need that soon becomes a consuming, dangerous and ultimately tragic obsession.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook. 

Aljce in therapy land / Tawhai, Alice
“On her first day the sky had a salmon tint to it; after the rain, and before the cloud entirely cleared, as if it had been put into a washing machine with roses. Someone was probably really annoyed at the way they had run. Aljce parked in the asphalt car park outside the Therapy Hub. She was looking forward to her new job. It would be an exciting adventure with new challenges.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Entanglement / Walpert, Bryan
“A memory-impaired time traveller attempts to correct a tragic mistake he made in 1977 when, panicked, he abandoned his brother on a frozen lake in Baltimore. Decades later, in 2011, a novelist researching at the Centre for Time in Sydney becomes romantically involved with a philosopher from New Zealand. Another eight years on, and a writer at a lake retreat in New Zealand in 2019 obsesses over the disintegration of his marriage following another tragedy. Are these separate stories, or are they one? Is the time traveller actually travelling? Can the past be changed? As the answers to these questions slowly emerge, the three tales become entangled, along with the usual abstractions: love, desperation and physics.” (Catalogue)

Everything changes / Johnson, Stephanie
Buying a rundown motel to start a new life — what could possibly go wrong? In this funny and moving novel, prize-winning author Stephanie Johnson turns her wry eye on us. ‘What a fabulous read. Stephanie Johnson’s characters choose an old motel with little to offer except an amazing view in order to start a ‘new life’. Their first guests are a classic cast of the sorrowful and dysfunctional that every-day life throws at us these days.  This is her best book ever, and I loved every page of it.’ – Fiona Kidman” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Greta & Valdin / Reilly, Rebecca K
“Valdin is still in love with his ex-boyfriend Xabi, who used to drive around Auckland in a ute but now drives around Buenos Aires in one. Greta is in love with her fellow English tutor Holly, who doesn’t know how to pronounce Greta’s surname, Vladislavljevic, properly. From their Auckland apartment, brother and sister must navigate the intricate paths of modern romance as well as weather the small storms of their eccentric Māori-Russian-Catalonian family” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook. 

Kurangaituku / Hereaka, Whiti
“In the void of time, Kurangaituku, the bird-woman, tells the story of her extraordinary Life – the birds who first sang her into being, the arrival of the Song Makers and the change they brought to her world, her life with the young man Hatupatu, and her death. But death does not end a creature of imagination like Kurangaituku. In the underworlds of Rarohenga, she continues to live in the many stories she collects as she pursues what eluded her in life. This is a story of love – but is this love something that creates or destroys?” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Loop tracks / Orr, Sue
“It’s 1978: the Auckland abortion clinic has been forced to close and sixteen-year-old Charlie has to fly to Sydney, but the plane is delayed on the tarmac. It’s 2019: Charlie’s tightly contained Wellington life with her grandson Tommy is interrupted by the unexpected intrusions of Tommy’s first girlfriend, Jenna, and the father he has never known, Jim. The year turns, and everything changes again… written in real time against the progress of the Covid-19 pandemic and the New Zealand General Election and euthanasia referendum” (Adapted from Catalogue)

She’s a killer / McDougall, Kirsten
“The world’s climate is in crisis and New Zealand is being divided and reshaped by privileged immigrant wealthugees. Thirty-something Alice has a near-genius IQ and lives at home with her mother with whom she communicates by Morse code. Alice’s imaginary friend, Simp, has shown up, with a running commentary on her failings. ‘I mean, can you even calculate the square root of 762 anymore?’ The last time Simp was here was when Alice was seven, on the night a fire burned down the family home. Now Simp seems to be plotting something. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Pink jumpsuit : short fictions, tall truths / Neale, Emma
“In Emma Neale’s first collection of short fiction, the tales range from the surreal to the real; from the true to the tall. This collection includes some of her internationally recognised flash fiction and more extended examinations of the eerie gaps and odd swerves in intimate relationships. There are confidence tricksters, compulsive liars, emotional turn-coats, the pulse of jumbled childhood memory still felt in adult life, the weird metamorphosis of fantasy hardening into reality…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Unsheltered / Moleta, Clare
“Against a background of social breakdown and destructive weather, Unsheltered tells the story of a woman’s search for her daughter. Li never wanted to bring a child into a world like this but now that eight-year-old Matti is missing, she will stop at nothing to find her. As she crosses the great barren country alone and on foot, living on what she can find and fuelled by visions of her daughter just out of sight ahead, Li will have every instinct tested. She knows the odds against her: an uncompromising landscape, an uncaring system, time running out, and the risks of any encounters on the road. ” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Wai 262 Claim

Over 3000 claims have been made to the Waitangi Tribunal during its first 40 years of existence.

Having worked on historical district enquiries, the Tribunal now endeavours to complete the kaupapa enquiries — which cover issues of national significance. Wai 262 claim is a kaupapa inquiry — often referred to as the Flora and Fauna claim.

A report was issued in 2011 for the claim, brought by six iwi, but there is a continuing feeling of dissatisfaction with that report as unfinished business. All six original iwi representatives are now deceased. The breadth of the claim is immense:

The report encompassed the issues of taonga works and intellectual property (trademarks and copyright); taonga species and intellectual property (patents and plant variety rights); management of the environment generally (the Resource Management Act) and the conservation estate specifically (the Department of Conservation); te reo Māori (including tribal dialects); rongoā Māori; the negotiation of international agreements; and the Crown’s control or funding of mātauranga Māori across archives, libraries, museums, the regime governing protected objects, education, the arts.

He Manutukutuku is a commemorative issue for the 40th anniversary of the Waitangi Tribunal. Paul Hamer, p. 56, describes the Wai 262 claim:

Wai 262 is also regarded as the Tribunal’s first ever whole-of-government inquiry, in that it scrutinised the policies and performance of 20 government departments and agencies.

The original claimants: (representing Ngāti Kurī, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, and Ngāti Koata) were profiled at the Wai 262 Online Symposium, Waipapa Marae on 19 July 2021. Intro-Speaker presentations from the Wai 262 online symposium and speaker Maui Solomon’s presentation can be viewed online.

You can also watch the full length film Wai 262 online (via NZ On Screen).

Ko Aotearoa tēnei : te taumata tuarua : a report into claims concerning New Zealand law and policy affecting Māori culture and identity. / New Zealand.

“This version is the full 2-volume report and addresses the Wai 262 claim concerning New Zealand law and policy affecting Maori culture and identity. Te Taumata Tuarua describes the claim in depth and gives the Waitangi Tribunals findings and recommendations concerning intellectual property in ‘taonga works’ created by weavers, carvers, writers, musicians, artists, and others; Maori interests in the genetic and biological resources in indigenous flora and fauna, which are the subject of increasing scientific and commercial interest; Maori involvement in decision-making on resource management and conservation; Crown support for te reo Maori, the Maori language; Crown control of matauranga Maori (Maori knowledge and ways of knowing) in arts, culture, heritage, broadcasting, education, and science; rongoa Maori or traditional healing; and Maori input into New Zealand’s positions on international instruments.” (Description from Fishpond)

Interview with Portico Prize winning author Sally J Morgan

Sally J Morgan - Toto

Debut novel Toto Among the Murderers by Sally J Morgan, is a dark, compelling, and immersive work that recently won the Portico Prize for Literature — a British prize given to a work that evokes the “spirit of the North of England”. The book was also longlisted for the 2021 Acorn Prize for Fiction.

We were thrilled when Sally agreed to talk to us about ‘Toto Among the Murderers’ and what it feels like to win one of the big fiction prizes! She even gave us an exclusive sneak peek into her thoughts about her new book, still at the writing stage. Have a listen and read more about Sally below…

Please note: this interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin, an arts and entertainment review show on RadioActive FM. The interview was conducted by Caffeine and Aspirin host, Tanya Ashcroft.

Sally J Morgan was born in the Welsh mining town of Abertyleri and describes her childhood as nomadic — following her father’s career in the motor trade across Britain. Sally graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and eventually moved to New Zealand where she is now a professor at Massey University in Wellington.

As a young woman she was once offered a lift by the serial killers Fred and Rose West. Sally declined, but that experience planted the seeds for Toto Among the Murderers.

We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to Sally for both the interview and for her kind permission to reproduce the photographs in this blog — all © Sally J Morgan. (Photographer: Jessica Chubb)

Toto among the murderers / Morgan, Sally J

“It is 1973 and Jude – known to her friends as Toto – has just graduated from art school and moves into a house in a run-down part of Leeds. Jude is a chaotic wild child who flirts with the wrong kind of people, drinks too much and gets stoned too often. Never happy to stay in one place for very long, her restlessness takes her on hitchhiking jaunts up and down the country. Her best friend, Nel, is the only steady influence Jude has but Nel’s life isn’t as perfect as it seems.”

“Reports of attacks on women punctuate the news and Jude takes off again, suffocated by an affair she has been having with a married woman. But what she doesn’t realise is that the violence is moving ever closer to home: there is Janice across the road who lives in fear of being beaten up again by her pimp and Nel, whose perfect life is coming undone at her boyfriend’s hands. At the same time infamous murderers, Fred and Rosemary West, are stalking the country, on the lookout for girls like Jude.” (Catalogue)

Fiction predictions: Novels to watch for in 2022 Part Two

“We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from another’s vantage point, as if new, it may still take the breath away.”

― Alan Moore, Watchmen

And so once again we peer into the tea leaves of the future, stranded at the bottom of the cracked bone china teacup, from the Sunday best tea set, and put our powers of divination to use, to divine what literary gems have coalesced from the collective imaginations of the global literary community for the second half of 2022.

Scheduled to be released in July is The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton, the sequel to bestselling The Miniaturist, set again in Amsterdam in the 17th-century Amsterdam.

In August we have Amit Chaudhuri’s Sojourn, which explores Berlin’s legacy of division.

We loved Mordew, which introduced us to Alex Pheby’s weird and wonderful Mervyn Peake inspired fantasy world, so we are thrilled to see the announcement of Malarkoi, the second instalment of the series.

We also enjoy a tale with a dramatic shipwreck, so another novel slated for release in August that immediately caught our attention was The Night Ship by Jess Kidd; a tale of imagination, shipwrecks and mutiny that connects two children living two centuries apart.

Unsurprisingly one theme that many authors have explored in recent years is the ongoing environmental collapse that we are currently experiencing. Venomous Lumpsucker by Ned Beauman is one such work; it’s from the author of Boxer, Beetle so is bound to be an interesting and unusual read,  and finally for August we have another instalment of Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh’s crime series titled The Long Knives.

Robert Harris is acclaimed worldwide for his immersive historical fiction novels such as Enigma and Pompeii to name but two, so his latest novel Act of Oblivion about events in the wake of the execution of Charles I is highly anticipated.  Also due in October winner of the Women’s prize for Literature Kamila Shamsie releases her latest book about power and friendship and it is titled Best of Friends.

In September Nobel prize winner Orhan Pamuk releases Nights of Plague, a historical novel set during the tail end of the Ottoman empire.

In graphic novel circles Alan Moore is a legend with works like the classic Watchmen, V For Vendetta and The Saga Of Swamp Thing in his portfolio. Alan announced he was retiring from writing graphic novels in 2016 to concentrate on fiction writing.  His two novels so far are Voice of the Fire and Jerusalem, so it is with some excitement we look forward to reading his new collection of short fiction called Illuminations. One debut we await with much interest is from actor Paterson Joseph; his novel The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho revolves around the real-life story of Charles Ignatius Sancho the British abolitionist, writer and composer who was born on a slave ship and eventually became one of the leading lights of Regency London. And to round off our advanced peek of what’s to come in 2022, we have a gothic father and son road trip set in the era of Argentina’s military junta from international Booker shortlisted Mariana Enriquez; that book is titled Our Share of Night.
The miniaturist / Burton, Jessie
“On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office—leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin. But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Friend of my youth / Chaudhuri, Amit
“A novelist named Amit Chaudhuri visits his childhood home of Bombay. The city, reeling from the memory of the 2008 terrorist attacks, weighs heavily on Amit’s mind, as does the unexpected absence of his childhood friend Ramu, a drifting, opaque figure who is Amit’s last remaining connection to the city he once called home.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Mordew / Pheby, Alex
” God is dead, his corpse hidden in the catacombs beneath Mordew. In the slums of the sea-battered city, a young boy called Nathan Treeves lives with his parents, eking out a meager existence by picking treasures from the Living Mud and the half-formed, short-lived creatures it spawns. Until one day his desperate mother sells him to the mysterious Master of Mordew. The Master derives his magical power from feeding on the corpse of God. But Nathan, despite his fear and lowly station, has his own strength–” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The hoarder / Kidd, Jess
“Maud Drennan – underpaid carer and unintentional psychic – is the latest in a long line of dogsbodies for the ancient, belligerent Cathal Flood. Yet despite her best efforts, Maud is drawn into the mysteries concealed in his filthy, once-grand home. She realises that something is changing: Cathal, and the junk-filled rooms, are opening up to her. With only her agoraphobic landlady and a troop of sarcastic ghostly saints to help, Maud must uncover what lies beneath Cathal’s decades-old hostility, and the strange activities of the house itself. And if someone has hidden a secret there, how far will they go to ensure it remains buried?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Madness is better than defeat / Beauman, Ned
“In 1938, two rival expeditions set off for a lost Mayan temple in the jungles of Honduras. One intends to shoot a comedy on location while the other plans to disassemble the temple and ship it back to New York. A stalemate ensues. Twenty years later a rogue CIA agent sets out to exploit it as a geopolitical pawn – unaware that the temple is the locus of grander conspiracies. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Crime / Welsh, Irvine
“Now bereft of both youth and ambition, Detective Inspector Ray Lennox is recovering from a mental breakdown induced by occupational stress and cocaine abuse, and a particularly horrifying child sex murder case back in Edinburgh. On vacation in Florida, his fiancee, Trudi, is only interested in planning their forthcoming wedding, and a bitter argument sees a deranged Lennox cast adrift in strip-mall Florida. He meets two women in a seedy bar, ending up at their apartment for a coke binge interrupted by two menacing strangers…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Pompeii / Harris, Robert
“A sweltering week in late August. Where better to enjoy the last days of summer than on the beautiful Bay of Naples? But even as Rome’s richest citizens relax in their villas around Pompeii and Herculaneum, there are ominous warnings that something is going wrong.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an Audiobook.

 

Home fire / Shamsie, Kamila
“Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she is finally studying in America, resuming a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London – or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream: to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. Then Eamonn enters the sisters’ lives. Handsome and privileged, he inhabits a London worlds away from theirs. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The red-haired woman / Pamuk, Orhan
“On the outskirts of a town thirty miles from Istanbul a master well digger and his young apprentice are hired to find water on a barren plain. As they struggle in the summer heat, excavating without luck meter by meter, the two will develop a filial bond neither has known before. The pair will come to depend on each other, and exchange stories reflecting disparate views of the world. But in the nearby town, where they buy provisions and take their evening break, the boy will find an irresistible diversion. The Red Haired women…” (Catalogue)

Jerusalem : a novel / Moore, Alan
“In the half a square mile of decay and demolition that was England’s Saxon capital, eternity is loitering between the firetrap housing projects. Embedded in the grubby amber of the district’s narrative among its saints, kings, prostitutes, and derelicts a different kind of human time is happening, a soiled simultaneity that does not differentiate between the petrol colored puddles and the fractured dreams of those who navigate them.  An opulent mythology for those without a pot to piss in, through the labyrinthine streets and pages of Jerusalem tread ghosts that sing of wealth and poverty…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Things we lost in the fire : stories / Enriquez, Mariana
“A haunting collection of short stories all set in Argentina reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortazar, by an exciting new international talent. Stories include The dirty kid, The inn, The intoxicated years,  Adela’s house, Spider web, End of term,  No flesh over our bones, The neighbor’s courtyard, Under the black water and Green red orange.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an Audiobook.

Interview: Sam Duckor-Jones on his new work “Gloria”

Image of the very pink inside of Gloria


The fabulous local poet and artist Sam Duckor-Jones made waves across international headlines recently, following his ongoing five-year transformation of an 83-year-old church in Greymouth. Designed as a “queer place of worship”, Duckor-Jones is in the process of turning the church into an innovative, immersive work of art. The space, which Duckor-Jones refers to as Gloria, is coloured in a resplendent, veritable explosion of pink hues and tones. It also, delightfully, includes a huge pink neon “Gloria” sign over the altar. The work also features a unique congregation of 50 Papier-mâché people.

Sam says in the Guardian piece about the work that he wants Gloria to “belong to the community”. It has already become a destination for visitors within our shores, and one suspects that when our borders eventually open will attract a lot of visitors from further afield. We were very fortunate to be able to interview Duckor-Jones last year (in conjunction with Radioactive FM), when he talked to us about his poetry and his plans for Gloria (long before word of the work had reached the international media).

You can listen to that interview conducted by Liam Wild below, and read the Guardian piece here.  If you’d like to know more about Duckor-Jones’ work, you can follow this link to his profile at Bowen Galleries.

As well as his artistic practice, Duckor-Jones is also an acclaimed poet. You can borrow his poetry collections from us, which we have collated into a handy booklist at the end of this blog post.

We wish to extend our heart felt thanks to Sam Duckor-Jones and interviewer Liam Wild for this wonderful interview. All photographs in this blog are copyrighted and reproduced with the kind permission of Sam Duckor-Jones


Party legend / Duckor-Jones, Sam
“Sam Duckor Jones’s first poetry collection was a tour of small towns, overgrown lawns, and giant clay men. In Party Legend he turns once again to questions of existence but at an even bigger scale. These are poems about creation, God, intimacy, the surreality of political rhetoric, misunderstandings at the supermarket – and they are fearless in form and address. Though Party Legend is often wildly funny, it is also, in its Duckor-Jonesian way, tender-hearted and consoling.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

People from the pit stand up / Duckor-Jones, Sam
“This is the voice of someone who is both at home and not at home in the world. Sam Duckor-Jones’s wonderfully fresh, funny, dishevelled poems are alive with art-making and fuelled by a hunger for intimacy. Giant clay men lurk in salons, the lawns of poets overgrow, petrolheads hoon along the beach, birds cry ‘wow-okay, wow-okay, wow-okay’.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Out here : an anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa
“A remarkable anthology of queer New Zealand voices. We became teenagers in the nineties when New Zealand felt a lot less cool about queerness and gender felt much more rigid. We knew instinctively that hiding was the safest strategy. But how to find your community if you’re hidden? Aotearoa is a land of extraordinary queer writers, many of whom have contributed to our rich literary history. But you wouldn’t know it. Decades of erasure and homophobia have rendered some of our most powerful writing invisible. Out Here will change that. This landmark book brings together and celebrates queer New Zealand writers from across the gender and LGBTQIA+ spectrum .” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Short poems of New Zealand
” Funny, startling, poignant, illuminating, and always succinct, this anthology celebrates the many moods and forms of the short poem and demonstrates its power in holding our attention. Included here are famous names like Manhire, Glover, Hulme, Bethell, and Cochrane, amongst many new and rediscovered gems.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Annual. 2
“Annual 2 contains all-new material for 9- to- 13-year-olds. The result is a highly original, contemporary take on the much-loved annuals of the past – all in one beautiful package. Alongside familiar names publishing for children – Gavin Mouldey, Sarah Johnson, Ben Galbraith, Barry Faville, Giselle Clarkson, and Gregory O’Brien – you’ll find the unexpected, including a new song by Bic Runga, a small-town mystery by Paul Thomas, and a classic New Zealand comic illustrated by new talent Henry Christian Slane. Smart and packed with content, a book for the whole family.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Fiction predictions: Novels to watch for in 2022

If I’m remembered 100 years from now, I hope it will be not for looks but for books. – Dolly Parton

So, with 2022 now well and truly started, we find ourselves at the perfect juncture in time to dust off our crystal ball to ascertain what fictional treasures may be in store for 2022. To get you in the mood for these titles, we have listed some of the previous works by the authors discussed at the end of this piece. Of course, there are many titles to be published that aren’t yet announced or on publisher’s schedules. Our crystal ball advises that you should check our fiction blog regularly for more fantastic fiction predictions.

To kick off January, we have The Sentence by Louise Erdrich, a story of bookshops and ghosts from the Pulitzer-winning author. For February, we have a new novel from author Monica Ali; Love Marriage, billed as a study of contemporary society, follows a wedding that brings together two families and their cultures.

Marian Keyes’ new book  Again, Rachel is a sequel to Rachel’s Holiday, set twenty-five years after the first book. Also in February, the pleasures of beauty and the senses are celebrated by a writer in Christos Tsiolkas’ 7 ½

March sees the release of one of the books we are very excited by (which incidentally is accompanied by its own tie-in album). The wonderful iconic, immortal of country music Dolly Parton releases her first ever novel called Run, Rose, Run in conjunction with James Patterson, who recently also teamed up with US ex-president Bill Clinton to release a joint novel; the  thriller is reportedly about a young singer-songwriter. On a slightly different vein we have Marlon James’ second book that celebrates African mythology called Moon Witch, Spider King and the purchase of the Holy Grail by an elderly woman is the premise of the graphic novel by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran called Chivalry.

April sees the follow up to the Booker prize winning Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart called Young Mungo, about the dangerous love between two Glaswegian men. Also, in April we have Companion Piece by Ali Smith and a new novel from the Station Eleven author Emily St John Mandel called Sea of Tranquility a tale of parallel worlds, time travel and pandemics.

In May we have a darkly humorous novel of revenge, murder and love set in pandemic Australia from Steve Toltz called Here Goes Nothing.

And finally, for the end of this first instalment for 2022 in June we have the following  Ghost Lover by Lisa Taddeo, Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh about medieval fiefdom, occult forces, and cannibalism, Sandra Newman’s The Men (about a parallel world where every male person suddenly vanishes) and Fight Night by Canadian writer Miriam Toews, about an eccentric and fierce household of women.

Keep your eyes peeled on our social media for part two coming soon.

The night watchman : a novel / Erdrich, Louise
“It is 1953. Thomas Wazhushk is a prominent Chippewa Council member, trying to understand a new bill that is soon to be put before Congress. The US Government calls it an ’emancipation’ bill; but it isn’t about freedom – it threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land, their very identity. How can he fight this betrayal? Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Pixie – ‘Patrice’ – Paranteau has no desire to wear herself down on a husband and kids. She works at the factory, earning barely enough to support her mother and brother, let alone her alcoholic father. But Patrice needs every penny if she’s ever going to get to Minnesota to find her missing sister Vera.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Brick lane : a novel / Ali, Monica
“Nanzeen, married off to an older man, moves from her Bangladeshi village to live with him in London in the 1980s and 1990s, where she raises a family, learns to love her husband, and comes to a realization that she has a voice in her own life.” ( atalogue) Also available as an eBook.

 

Rachel’s holiday / Keyes, Marian
“The fast lane is too slow for twenty-seven-year-old Rachel Walsh, who has a fondness for recreational drugs and good-looking men. And New York City is the perfect place for a young Irish female to overdo…everything! But then the merry-go-round stops short. In quick succession, Rachel loses her job, her best friend, and the boyfriend she adores…and wakes up in a hospital emergency room, having overindulged…” (Adapted from  atalogue) Also available as an eBook. 

 

Damascus / Tsiolkas, Christos
“‘They kill us, they crucify us, they throw us to beasts in the arena, they sew our lips together and watch us starve. They bugger children in front of fathers and violate men before the eyes of their wives. The temple priests flay us openly in the streets and the Judeans stone us. We are hunted everywhere and we are hunted by everyone. We are despised, yet we grow. We are tortured and crucified and yet we flourish. We are hated and still we multiply. Why is that? You must wonder, how is it we survive?’ ” (Adapted from catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The president is missing / Clinton, Bill
“The White House is the home of the President of the United States, the most guarded, monitored, closely watched person in the world. So how could a U.S. President vanish without a trace? And why would he choose to do so? An unprecedented collaboration between President Bill Clinton and the world’s bestselling novelist, James Patterson, The President Is Missing is a breathtaking story from the pinnacle of power.” (catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

 

Black leopard, red wolf / James, Marlon
“Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter – and he always works alone. But when he is engaged to find a child who disappeared three years ago, he must break his own rules, joining a group of eight very different mercenaries working together to find the boy. Following the lost boy’s scent from one ancient city to another, into dense forests and across deep rivers, Tracker starts to wonder: Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And most important of all, who is telling the truth and who is lying?” (Adapted from catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

American gods / Gaiman, Neil
“Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and king of America. Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.” (Adapted from catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Shuggie Bain / Stuart, Douglas
“Shuggie’s mother Agnes walks a wayward path: she is Shuggie’s guiding light but a burden for him and his siblings. Married to a philandering taxi-driver husband, Agnes keeps her pride by looking good-but under the surface, Agnes finds increasing solace in drink, and she drains away all the family has to live on–on cans of extra-strong lager hidden in handbags and poured into tea mugs. Agnes’s older children find their own ways to get a safe distance from their mother, abandoning Shuggie to care for her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety. Shuggie is meanwhile struggling to somehow become the normal boy he desperately longs to be.” (Adapted from catalogue) Also available as an eBook

Summer / Smith, Ali
“In the present, Sacha knows the world’s in trouble. Her brother Robert just is trouble. Their mother and father are having trouble. Meanwhile, the world’s in meltdown–and the real meltdown hasn’t even started yet. In the past, a lovely summer. A different brother and sister know they’re living on borrowed time. This is a story about people on the brink of change. They’re family, but they think they’re strangers. So: Where does family begin? And what do people who think they’ve got nothing in common have in common? Summer.” (Adapted from catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Station eleven / Mandel, Emily St. John
“One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.” (Adapted from catalogue) Also available as an eBook. 

Quicksand : a novel / Toltz, Steve
“Liam, a policeman and aspiring author, looks for inspiration to his best friend, Aldo, a hapless criminal with a knack for misfortunes who is trying to win back his ex-wife.” (Adapted from catalogue)

 

 

Animal / Taddeo, Lisa
‘”I drove myself out of New York City where a man shot himself in front of me. He was a gluttonous man and when his blood came out it looked like the blood of a pig. That’s a cruel thing to think, I know. He did it in a restaurant where I was having dinner with another man, another married man. Do you see how this is going?” At thirty-six, Joan knows more than most of the price of pleasure, the quotidian horror of being a woman at the mercy of a man. She knows men, too – their penchant for cruelty, the violence she has absorbed over decades that now threatens to burst from her own hands.” (Adapted from catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Death in her hands / Moshfegh, Ottessa
” While on her normal daily walk with her dog, our protagonist comes across a note. Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her dead body. Our narrator is deeply shaken. She is new to this area, and she knows very few people. Her brooding about this note quickly grows into a full-blown obsession, and she begins to devote herself to exploring the possibilities of her conjectures about who this woman was and how she met her fate.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The heavens / Newman, Sandra
“A young man, Ben, meets a young woman, Kate — and they begin to fall in love. From their first meeting, Ben knows Kate is unworldly and fanciful, so at first he isn’t that concerned when she tells him about the recurring dream she’s had since childhood. In the dream, she’s transported to the past, where she lives a second life as Emilia, the mistress of a nobleman in Elizabethan England. But for Kate, the dream becomes increasingly real and compelling until it threatens to overwhelm her life.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Women talking / Toews, Miriam
“Between 2005 and 2009, in a remote religious Mennonite colony, over a hundred girls and women were knocked unconscious and raped, by what many thought were ghosts or demons, as a punishment for their sins. As the women tentatively began to share the details of the attacks-waking up sore and bleeding and not understanding why-their stories were chalked up to ‘wild female imagination.’ Women Talking is an imagined response to these real events. Eight women, all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their colony and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in, meet secretly in a hayloft with the intention of making a decision about how to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Keri Hulme 1947-2021: Works and Tributes

It is not often that the death of one of our very own homegrown authors receives instant world-wide recognition as portrayed in this collection of images and tributes below. But never has any of our authors managed to win a Booker Prize with their first novel, and at the same time, inserted a Māori and multicultural voice into the landscape of prize-winning international literature.

To remember this original and important voice in Aotearoa New Zealand literature, we’ve collected some links and works below:

Keri Hulme Resources:

New Zealand Electronic Text Centre: Full list of Keri Hulme’s work.

Audio:

Ngā Taonga: Hulme on winning the Booker Prize.
Ngā Taonga: Hulme interviewed about the Booker Prize by Maggie Barry.
Library of Congress: Hulme reading from her work.

Video:

NZ On Screen: Kai Purakau – The Storyteller (Excerpts).
NZ On Screen: Arts All Blacks announcement by John Clarke.

Articles and Profiles:

Tu Tangata: “A Conversation with Keri”.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu: Article series.
Ruminator: “Beyond the Headland: An Encounter with Keri Hulme”.
Academy of New Zealand Literature: Profile.
Read NZ: Profile.
Britannica: Biography.

Tributes:

Stuff: “An Icon Who Showed What Was Possible”.
The Guardian: “Keri Hulme, New Zealand’s first Booker prize-winning writer, dies aged 74”.
New York Times: “Keri Hulme, New Zealand’s First Booker Prize Winner, Dies at 74”.
Washington Post: “Keri Hulme, Booker Prize-winning author from New Zealand, dies at 74”.

Booklist:


The bone people / Hulme, Keri
“A story of Kerewin, a despairing part-Māori artist who is convinced that her solitary life is the only way to face the world. Her cocoon is rudely blown away by the sudden arrival during a rainstorm of Simon, a mute six-year-old whose past seems to hold some terrible trauma.” (Catalogue)

Strands / Hulme, Keri
“This second collection of poems by the Booker Prize-winning author of The Bone People is made up of three parts. Hulme’s verse is loose, sometimes including passages of prose, but is shaped by a powerful romantic drive and a sophisticated attention to the behaviour of language.” (Catalogue)

Stonefish / Hulme, Keri
“A collection of short stories and poems by the only New Zealand writer to win the Pegasus Prize for Māori Literature and the Booker Prize.” (Catalogue)

Q&A with author T. J. Klune

We are absolutely thrilled to announce the release of our recent interview with the wonderful T.J. Klune!

T.J. is one of the world’s most popular names in contemporary fantasy and romance fiction, whose work emphasizes positive LGBTQ+ characters. His just-released novel Under the Whispering Door is compelling and engrossing, a romantic fantasy story which deals with universal themes of life, death, grief and second chances.

Picture of T. J. Klune, seated outside in the snow with his dog

If you haven’t come across his works, his breakout novel The House in the Cerulean Sea, set in an orphanage for magical beings on an island, has justifiably been called a “Warm hug of a book”; a thoroughly recommended read with important messages about, friendship healing, inclusion and finding out who you really are.

Under the Whispering Door is equally compelling and engrossing — about a ghost who refuses to cross over, and the ferryman and his team tasked with helping him. Both novels have been huge bestsellers, and T.J. Klune is also a nominee for the 2021 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature and won the Alex Award.

So, we are delighted to be posting  this touching, entertaining, insightful, poignant, and funny interview. We thoroughly enjoyed doing the interview and think you will enjoy hearing it just as much. We wish to extend our most heartfelt thanks to T.J. Klune, Tor Books and Macmillan Publishers for making it happen.

You can borrow T.J. Klune’s books from the library (see below) or buy them from any good bookshop.

Catalogue links for T.J. Klune’s books

Under the Whispering Door / Klune, TJ
The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through.” When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead. And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.
But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days. An uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home..” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook and an Audiobook

The house in the Cerulean Sea / Klune, TJ
“A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret. Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist.” ( Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook and an Audiobook.

The Extraordinaries / Klune, TJ
“If being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom was a superpower, Nick Bell would be a hero. Instead he’s just a fanboy with ADHD, posting online. After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), he sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Flash fire / Klune, TJ
“Through bravery, charm, and an alarming amount of enthusiasm, Nick landed himself the superhero boyfriend of his dreams. Now instead of just writing stories about him, Nick actually gets to kiss him. But having a superhero boyfriend isn’t everything Nick thought it would be–he’s still struggling to make peace with his own lack of extraordinary powers. When new Extraordinaries begin arriving in Nova City–siblings who can manipulate smoke and ice, a mysterious hero who can move objects with their mind, and a drag queen superhero with the best name and the most-sequined costume anyone has ever had–it’s up to Nick and his friends Seth, Gibby, and Jazz to determine who is virtuous and who is villainous.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive coverBrothersong, TJ Klune (ebook)
“In the ruins of Caswell, Maine, Carter Bennett learned the truth of what had been right in front of him the entire time. And then it—he—was gone.
Desperate for answers, Carter takes to the road, leaving family and the safety of his pack behind, all in the name of a man he only knows as a feral wolf. But therein lies the danger: wolves are pack animals, and the longer Carter is on his own, the more his mind slips toward the endless void of Omega insanity.
What Carter finds will change the course of the wolves forever.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive coverHow to Be a Normal Person, TJ Klune (ebook)
“Gustavo Tiberius is not normal. He knows this. Everyone in his small town of Abby, Oregon, knows this. Until Casey, an asexual stoner hipster and the newest employee at Lottie’s Lattes, enters his life. For some reason, Casey thinks Gus is the greatest thing ever. And maybe Gus is starting to think the same thing about Casey, even if Casey is obsessive about Instagramming his food. But Gus isn’t normal and Casey deserves someone who can be. Suddenly wanting to be that someone, Gus steps out of his comfort zone and plans to become the most normal person ever. After all, what could possibly go wrong?” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive coverThe Art of Breathing, TJ Klune (ebook)
“Tyson Thompson graduated high school at 16 and left the town of Seafare, Oregon, bound for what he assumed would be bigger and better things. He soon found out the real world has teeth, and he returns to the coast with four years of failure, addiction, and a diagnosis of panic disorder trailing behind him. But shortly after he arrives home, Tyson comes face to face with inevitability in the form of his childhood friend and first love, Dominic Miller, who he hasn’t seen since the day he left Seafare. As their paths cross, old wounds reopen, new secrets are revealed, and Tyson discovers there is more to his own story than he was told all those years ago.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Visit Te Pātaka’s Virtual Reading Room

Te Pātaka holds Central Library’s huge collection of books, DVDs, CDs and vinyl. Now you can virtually visit the amazing Te Pātaka collection with this panoramic interior view. It even comes with the library sounds that you may miss (or wish to turn off, and now you can!)

Click and drag your mouse to move through the photo and enjoy the added links to parts of our collection via the catalogue.

Cop26: The UN Climate Change Conference

In just under two weeks, 30,000 people from across the globe will descend on Glasgow for a meeting that’s been called “the world’s best last chance to get runaway climate change under control.” But what exactly is it?

What is Cop26?

Cop26 is the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, with 197 countries coming together to work out how to tackle the climate emergency. These meetings have been happening every year since 1995, with the most well known being the 2015 Cop21 in Paris, which resulted in the landmark Paris Agreement.

Why is the Paris Agreement important?

The key to the Paris Agreement is the commitment to keep global warming below an average of 2C, with efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5C. To reach this goal, each country has decided on its own target of greenhouse gas reduction, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Countries are required to update their NDCs every five years, which is one of the reasons this year’s conference is so significant.

What should I look out for?

The biggest questions at Cop26 will probably revolve around updated NDCs–how much more greenhouse gas reduction will countries commit to? However there are a lot of other vital areas of discussion, including international funding to help developing countries reduce their carbon emissions.

The New Zealand delegation to Cop26 will have several areas of focus, but two to watch out for are the amplification of Pacific voices and also discussions around methane.

How do I find out more?

Cop26 will be covered by news outlets around the world, although the only New Zealand journalist going to the conference in person is business and climate reporter Rod Oram. The official Cop26 website is available here and the action can also be followed via Twitter.

Books:


This changes everything : capitalism vs. the climate / Klein, Naomi
“In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

All we can save : truth, courage, and solutions for the climate crisis
“Women are on the front line of the climate-change battle, and are uniquely situated to be agents of change. Today, across the world, from boardrooms and policy positions to local communities, from science to activism, women everywhere are using their voices to take leadership and call for action on climate change. This anthology is a collection and celebration of these diverse voices, asking critical questions and providing invaluable insight and solutions.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Drawdown : the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming
“In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. One hundred techniques and practices are described here–some are well known; some you may have never heard of.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The uninhabitable Earth : life after warming / Wallace-Wells, David
“It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible. Without a revolution in how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth could become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Doughnut economics : seven ways to think like a 21st century economist / Raworth, Kate
“Kate Raworth sets out seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does. Along the way, she points out how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create economies that are regenerative and distributive by design. Simple, playful, and eloquent, Doughnut Economics offers game-changing analysis and inspiration for a new generation of economic thinkers.” (Catalogue)

Braiding sweetgrass : indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants / Kimmerer, Robin Wall
“As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The new climate war : the fight to take back our planet / Mann, Michael E.
“Recycle. Fly less. Eat less meat. These are some of the tactics that we’ve been told can slow climate change. But most of these recommendations are a result of a multi-pronged marketing campaign that has succeeded in placing the responsibility for fixing climate change squarely on the shoulders of individuals. Fossil fuel companies have followed the example of other industries deflecting blame or greenwashing.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Library Databases:

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

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

LinkedIn Learning: LinkedIn Learning is a video tutorial service providing access to over 12,000 instructional videos on many topics, including several aspects of the climate emergency.

Now available to watch: Wellington writer Anne Harré in conversation with Dame Fiona Kidman

For your delight, edification, and enjoyment our very special interview with debut crime novelist and author of The Leaning Man Anne Harré in conversation with Dame Fiona Kidman.

Filmed at her publisher’s office by Wellington City Library staff. This wide-ranging interview with Anne covers The Leaning Man’s origins and creation, her love of Wellington and how Anne approaches her writing, not to mention how it feels to release your first novel.

Anne Harré’s debut novel The Leaning Man is a newly-released, gripping, suspenseful page-turning thrill ride of a book (you are very likely to stay up very late to see what happens next). It is set in our very own windy Wellington and in some respects is a love letter to the city with its perfectly visualised, vivid, and evocative descriptions of the capital. And to top it all one of the locations in the book is our very own Te Awe Library, with accompanying fictional librarian.

The book has already gained glowing reviews in The Listener, The Dominion Post as well as RNZ.

We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to Anne Harré, Dame Fiona Kidman and Mary McCallum for making this interview happen. This interview was done in conjunction with The Cuba Press and Creative New Zealand.

The leaning man / Harré, Anne
“It’s Saturday night down on the wharf. Celebrations are in full swing for the Westons’ fortieth wedding anniversary. Their daughter Stella has returned from London to attend. Once shoulder-tapped as detective material, a few bad decisions and a questionable ethical dilemma saw her leave the force under a cloud. She’s now a private investigator in London, reduced to filming errant husbands for court cases. She doesn’t want to be home. Later that night her best friend Teri is found dead in a lane in the central city. Her phone is missing. It looks like suicide, but Stella won’t believe it.” (Catalogue)

This mortal boy / Kidman, Fiona
“Albert Black, known as the ‘jukebox killer’, was only twenty when he was convicted of murdering another young man in a fight at a milk bar in Auckland on 26 July 1955. His crime fuelled growing moral panic about teenagers, and he was to hang less than five months later, the second-to-last person to be executed in New Zealand. But what really happened? Was this a love crime, was it a sign of juvenile delinquency? Or was this dark episode in our recent history more about our society’s reaction to outsiders.” (Catalogue)

World Menopause Day: 18 October

By Sarah Connor, founder of the grassroots project Menopause Over Martinis.

Every year, World Menopause Day is held on 18 October to raise awareness of menopause and the support options available for improving health and wellbeing.

Despite menopause/te ruahinetanga being a natural, normal and inevitable stage of life, it’s a topic that isn’t often talked about – at home, work or in our community. I certainly didn’t grow up knowing what to expect.

In early 2019, I crash landed in perimenopause: the years before periods come to an end. At 46, I experienced a pile up of symptoms without knowing why. Not feeling like my usual happy-and-healthy self was a worrying, confusing and sometimes lonely experience.

I’ve since learned that people experience menopause differently just as they experience puberty or pregnancy differently. The hormonal changes during menopause can result in 30+ symptoms for one to ten years – cognitively, physically, and emotionally – most commonly from the age of 40.

Having the support of my partner, friends, family, colleagues and health professionals made a big difference. Accessing credible information via the many resources available in my local library was hugely useful: books written by medical practitioners and health professionals, and authors of personal essays too.

Booklist:

To celebrate World Menopause Day, our team has put together a sample of the resources, including a book list, to inform and support people going through menopause/te ruahinetanga.

For more books, visit the Book River on our Catalogue. You can also access menopause-related eBooks and eAudiobooks via Overdrive or the Libby app.

Overdrive cover Peppermint Magazine
Peppermint is a green fashion magazine, covering eco and ethical style with a fun, fresh, intelligent and positive spin. Included in the Spring 2021 issue is ‘Pause for Thought: Conversations about Menopause.'” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

What fresh hell is this? : perimenopause, menopause, other indignities, and you / Corinna, Heather
“Perimenopause and menopause experiences are as unique as all of us who move through them. With practical, clear information and support, inclusive of those with disabilities, queer, transgender, nonbinary and other gender-diverse people, people of colour, working class and others who have long been left out of the discussion, What Fresh Hell Is This? is the cooling pillow and empathetic best friend to help you through the fire.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The new hot : navigating the menopause with attitude and style / Mathews, Meg
“When Meg Mathews hit menopause she was shocked at the lack of awareness, understanding and support shown to women – and also found the information available far too dreary. After getting her symptoms under control she became determined to help other women avoid an experience like hers. The New Hot is her no-holds-barred guide to menopause designed to entertain and empower women in equal measure.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The menopause manifesto : own your health with facts and feminism / Gunter, Jen
“Menopause is not a disease–it’s a planned change, like puberty. And just like puberty, we should be educated on what’s to come years in advance. Knowing what is happening, why, and what to do about it is both empowering and reassuring. Filled with practical, reassuring information, this essential guide will revolutionize how women experience menopause.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Your menopause bible / Phillips, Robin N
“‘The most authoritative and up-to-date sourcebook on menopause, created by a team of experts in gynaecology, psychology, sexuality, nutrition and exercise. Provides practical and reassuring advice on all aspects of menopause, from recognising and easing the symptoms of hormonal insufficiency to maintaining bone health and general well-being.’ — from back cover.” (Catalogue)

Flash count diary : a new story about the menopause / Steinke, Darcey
“By weaving together her personal story with philosophy, science, art, and literature, the author provides an exploration into aspects of menopause that have rarely been written about, including the changing gender landscape that reduced levels of hormones brings, the actualities of transforming desires, and the realities of prejudice against older women.” (Catalogue)

Hot flushes, cold science : the history of the modern menopause / Foxcroft, Louise
“A powerful, taboo-shattering history of the menopause, from wandering wombs to HRT.” (Catalogue)

The complete guide to the menopause : your toolkit to take control and achieve life-long health / Mukherjee, Annice
“Dr Annice Mukherjee went through the menopause at just 41 following a breast cancer diagnosis, and she is also a top UK hormone specialist with nearly 30 years of experience. In this book she combines her medical expertise and personal experience to develop an essential menopause toolkit offering balanced, practical and comprehensive advice.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The M word : how to thrive in menopause / Mansberg, Ginni
“A practicing GP and mother who has just turned 50 herself, Dr Mansberg has written a solution-focused book for understanding, embracing and (even) enjoying this stage in a woman’s life. She outlines medical science, explaining what happens at a cellular level in the body once key hormones begin to diminish; she details symptoms and experience; then explores pros and cons of treatment options.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hormone repair manual : every woman’s guide to healthy hormones after 40 / Briden, Lara
“Lara Briden, author of the international bestseller Period Repair Manual, has more than 20 years’ experience in women’s health. Her fresh approach aims to overturn the stigma of perimenopause and menopause and show women that many symptoms are temporary and manageable, emotional challenges can present an opportunity to thrive and a focus on health during this period can bring benefits for years to come.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Menopause : women tell their stories
“No one asks a woman: ‘How’s the menopause?’ Unlike pregnancy, it is a private, sometimes lonely time, and often distressing for a woman and her uncomprehending family. Debra Vinecombe has interviewed 20 women whose honesty, warmth and touches of humour take the reader into their homes, doctors’ rooms, and work places.” (Catalogue)

Other Resources:

Interview: Both Feet in Paradise author Andy Southall

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson.

New Zealand writer Andy Southall has just released his second novel Both Feet in Paradise.  Andy’s mysterious, compelling, suspenseful thriller is occasionally surreal and chock full of unexpected twists and turns. It is set in Samoa, and along with its other attributes, is also a love letter to the island.

Andy has already published two travelogues: One Hundred Days in Samoa and 28 Days in Sri Lanka. His debut novel Making Meredith was about an amateur genealogist traveling to the north of England hoping to research his mother’s father.

During our interview with Andy we talked about his travel writing, the processes he uses whilst creating his work and how his mentorship with Pip Adam helped him finish the book. The resulting interview is a fascinating insight into Andy’s writing practice and also a great non plot spoiler accompaniment to Both Feet in Paradise. Andy was interviewed in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM.

Overdrive cover Both Feet in Paradise, Andy Southall (ebook)
“After months of researching butterflies in Sāmoa, Adam is looking forward to returning home to his family. Then his transfer to the airport doesn’t arrive. Worse, a hastily arranged taxi takes him not to departures but an empty field in the middle of nowhere, and he misses his flight. As he fails to find alternative ways off the island – other flights, ferries, even seagoing yachts – he grows increasingly frustrated, especially as all overseas phone lines and emails seem to be down as well. In a café, he meets Eve, who offers to help him. Adam decides he has to trust her, for there is no one else. Yet he has a strange feeling he’s met her before …” (Adapted Overdrive description)

The Only Living Lady Parachutist: interview with author Catherine Clarke

Image of Leila Adair during her tour of Aotearoa New Zealand in 1894,
courtesy of Palmerston North City Library

The Only Living Lady Parachutist is a remarkable novel by Catherine Clarke based in fact about aerial acrobat daredevil, Lillian (aka Leila Adair). Leila was a smoke balloonist who was billed on flyers of the time as ‘The Aerial Queen’; she toured New Zealand in 1894 and her performance included aerial acrobatics followed by death-defying parachute jumps from her balloon.  A risky endeavour at the best of times, and one that was often fraught with danger. Catherine’s book takes much of the historical information available about Leila and turns it into a compelling, fascinating, fictional page-turner of a read.

As well as being a compulsive read, the book is a fascinating insight into New Zealand and the wider world of the time, not to mention society’s perceptions of pioneering daredevil women who pushed the boundaries of what was perceived as acceptable for the time.

So, for your delight and edification, this is our exclusive, in-depth interview with Catherine Clarke, where she talks about her novel in detail, the fascinating historical and societal context behind aerial acrobats of the time, her research methods and a whole host of other topics. For anyone interested in New Zealand history, or how to create captivating historical based fiction, the interview is unmissable.

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