The 2021 Sir Julius Vogel Award winners announced

Huge congratulations to Octavia Cade, winner of this year’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards for Best Novel with her enthralling cli-fi thriller The Stone Wētā.

The Sir Julius Vogel Awards are New Zealand’s very own annual celebration of home-grown science fiction and fantasy — with awards covering books, dramatic presentations, fan publications and much more.

Octavia won the Best Novel category with her book The Stone Wētā, a novel set in a time when the cold war of data preservation turns explosive. Trying to overcome this disaster and working in a claustrophobic network, a group of dedicated and isolated scientists are each faced with the question of how much they will risk for their colleagues, the future and the truth.

In other categories:

Best Youth Novel went to Chloe Gong for These Violent Delights.

Best Novella/Novelette went to A.J. Fitzwater for No Man’s Land.

Best Short Story went to Casey Lucas for For Want of Human Parts.

Best Collected Work award went to A.J. Fitzwater for The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper.

Our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted authors! Have a browse and a bit more of a read below!


The stone wētā / Cade, Octavia
“When the cold war of data preservation turns bloody – and then explosive – an underground network of scientists, all working in isolation, must decide how much they are willing to risk for the truth. For themselves, their colleagues, and their future. A claustrophobic and compelling cli-fi thriller by Octavia Cade”” (Adapted from Catalogue)

These violent delights / Gong, Chloe
“In 1926 Shanghai, eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, heir of the Scarlet Gang, and her first love-turned-rival Roma Montagov, leader of the White Flowers, must work together when mysterious deaths threaten their city.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover No Man’s Land, A.J. Fitzwater (ebook)
“While her brother fights a war on the other side of the world, Dorothea ‘Tea’ Gray joins the Land Service and is sent to work on a remote farm in the golden plains of North Otago, in the South Island of New Zealand. But Tea finds more than hard work and hot sun in the dusty North Otago nowhere—she finds a magic inside herself she never could have imagined, a way to save her brother in a distant land she never thought she could reach, and a love she never knew existed. Inspired by feminist and LGBTQ+ history and family wartime memories.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper, A.J. Fitzwater (ebook)
“Dapper. Lesbian. Capybara. Pirate. Cinrak the Dapper is a keeper of secrets, a righter of wrongs, the saltiest capybara on the sea and a rider of both falling stars and a great glass whale. Join her, her beloveds, the rat Queen Orvilia and the marmot diva Loquolchi, lead soprano of the Theatre Rat-oyal, her loyal cabin kit, Benj the chinchilla, and Agnes, last of the great krakens, as they hunt for treasures of all kinds and find adventures beyond their wildest dreams. Let Sir Julius Vogel Award-winning storyteller A.J. Fitzwater take you on a glorious journey about finding yourself, discovering true love and found family, and exploring the greatest secrets of the deep. Also, dapperness.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Year’s best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction & fantasy. V2
“Ancient myths go high-tech a decade after the New New Zealand Wars. Safe homes and harbours turn to strangeness within and without. Splintered selves come together again – or not. Twelve authors. Thirteen stories. The best short science fiction and fantasy from Aotearoa New Zealand in 2019. With works by: Juliet Marillier, Nic Low, Rem Wigmore, Andi C Buchanan, Octavia Cade, A.J. Fitzwater, Nicole Tan, Melanie Harding-Shaw, Alisha Tyson, James Rowland, Zoë Meager, and Casey Lucas.”  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Phantom National Poetry Day: Librarians’ Picks

Today is Phantom National Poetry Day – a one-day national poetry extravaganza to celebrate the poetry of Aotearoa. We’re always in the mood for poetry and we love the opportunity to revisit old favourites and discover new gems. Here, our librarians have shared some of their picks:

Celeste’s Pick:
Big weather : poems of Wellington
“Since the nineteenth century, Wellington has been the site and object of much literary activity and never more so than now. Where many of New Zealand’s leading poets once wandered, frequenting bars, delivering mail up the steepest of streets, raising their children in the suburbs, today’s XY generation are now vividly, energetically present, and recent poetry has kept track of the changing inner and outer life of the city. BIG WEATHER: Poems of Wellington captures the vivacity and diversity of the capital.” (adapted from catalogue)

Fiona’s Pick:
Other animals / Lloyd, Therese
“Focused on the theme of a well-lived life, Other Animals is the powerful and provocative first book from one of New Zealand’s most exciting new poets. With a uniquely lyrical voice, these works find their ways towards ideas of beauty, wisdom, and, ultimately, to a sense of joy in the world that only poetry can bring.” (Catalogue)

 

Susannah’s Pick:
Cat world : poems on cats / Jeune, Margaret
“Cat World by Margaret Jeune is a collection of poems about cats drawn from the author’s personal experiences as a cat owner and carer over many years.” (Catalogue)

This is Susannah’s cat Kedi, who is not included in the collection but who seconds Susannah’s purrrrfect choice.


Paige’s Pick:

Head girl / Sadgrove, Freya Daly
“‘The first time I read Freya’s work I thought . . . uh oh. And then I thought, you have got to be kidding me. And then I thought, God dammit. And then I walked around the house shaking my head thinking . . . OK – alright. And then – finally – I thought, well well well – like a smug policeman. Listen – she’s just the best. I’m going to say this so seriously. She is, unfortunately, the absolute best. Trying to write a clever blurb for her feels like an insult to how right and true and deadly this collection is. God, she’s just so good. She kills me always, every time, and forever.’ -Hera Lindsay Bird” (adapted from catalogue)

Alex’s Pick:
Under glass / Kan, Gregory
“A dialogue between a series of prose poems, following a protagonist through a mysterious and threatening landscape, and a series of verse poems, driven by the speaker’s compulsive hunger to make sense of things”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)
Also available on Libby as an eBook.

 

Gábor’s Pick:
Postscripts / Sturm, J. C
J. C. Sturm was the writing name of Jacquie Baxter who for many years was the New Zealand Room librarian at the old Wellington Central Library. Postscripts is Sturm’s second book of poetry after Dedications (1996), though her work had appeared in numerous anthologies and journals as far back as 1947. Her poems cover a wide range of human experience, are often compelling, largely autobiographical and sometimes have a profoundly emotional impact as she reviews a life of loss and love, youth and age as seen from both Māori and Pakeha perspectives.

Neil’s Pick:
Reading the signs / Freegard, Janis
“The poems in Janis Freegard’s new collection take their starting point from the poet’s daily ritual of reading the tea leaves while writing in the Ema Saiko room in the Wairarapa. Reading the Signs is a series of linked poems that are thoughtful and humorous, provocative and tender, and come together as a quiet epic about a planet that is fast running out of puff.” (adapted from catalogue)

 

Steph’s Pick: (an old favourite and a new favourite, because choosing only one is impossible)
Fast talking PI / Marsh, Selina Tusitala
“‘Tusitala’ means writer of tales in Samoan, and Marsh here lives up to her name with stories of her life, her family, community, ancestry, and history. Her poetry is sensuous and strong, using lush imagery, clear rhythms and repetitions to power it forward. Her work deals specifically with issues that affect Pacific communities in New Zealand and indigenous peoples elsewhere, most recently focusing on the challenges and triumphs of being afakasi.” (adapted from the catalogue) – Also available on Libby as an eBook.

The savage coloniser book / Avia, Tusiata
“The voices of Tusiata Avia are infinite. She ranges from vulnerable to forbidding to celebratory with forms including pantoums, prayers and invocations. And in this electrifying new work, she gathers all the power of her voice to speak directly into histories of violence. The Savage Coloniser Book is a personal and political reckoning. As it holds history accountable, it rises in power.” (adapted from catalogue)

 

Special Mention:
Our very own poetry publication, Tūhono, is full of poems written by children and young adults of Pōneke on the theme of tūhono – connection, and we could all do with more of that right now. Find this heart-warming collection on Libby, there are 500(!) available to lend.

Tūhono. a journal of poetry by children and teens / 2020 :
“Tūhono : connection. This is the theme that binds together all 197 poems you are about to read, which were contributed by young Wellington writers aged 5-18 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout the month of November 2020. The year 2020 was challenging for many people. Some had to spend time apart from their friends and the people they love. Some had to find ways to live with uncertainty and the sense that everything might not be okay in the world. But taken together, these poems represent a constellation of thoughts, ideas, worries, anxieties, hopes, loves, and dreams about how we find ways to connect, even in the face of adversity.” (Catalogue)

Book Club “Always Available” eBooks

Kia ora koutou — Jonny from Wellington City Library here. We know that a lot of you are reading or listening to books using Overdrive or Libby, but sometimes it can be frustrating dealing with wait times for popular titles. That’s why I’m here to talk about “The Book Club”. Have a watch (or read) below!

The Book Club is a curated selection of over 200 titles that are always available. We’re talking eBook AND eAudiobooks, fiction AND non fiction, from around the world AND right here in Aotearoa. Big name authors too, winners of local and international awards as well as some in te reo maori and international languages. They’re always available — which is especially helpful right now, and in the future, if you can’t get to the library for whatever reason.

To see this collection, head to either Libby or Overdrive on the eLibrary page. On overdrive you’ll find The Book Club under “Collections”, in Libby they’re called Unlimited Book Club Loans (go to ‘More guides’, then ‘The Book Club’). They’re also available on their respective apps.

Remember, if you have any questions about any of our services, you can fill out our online support form, or reach us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), or email enquiries@wcl.govt.nz. Ka kite!

Ross Harris in conversation

The Kugels are a Klezmer group that features two former NZSO members, one Kiwi Jazz maestro, a fabulous vocalist and the New Zealand classical composer and Arts laureate Ross Harris. The members are Anna Gawn – vocals, Ross Harris – accordion, Robin Perks – violin, Debbie Rawson – clarinets xaphoon, and Nick Tipping – bass

The tunes they play include new compositions from both Robin Perks and Ross Harris as well as a selection of more traditional tunes. We were thrilled when Ross Harris agreed to be interviewed about The Kugels to tie in with the release of their second evocative CD The kugels at Breaker Bay and to tell us all about Klezmer; its history and its place in the contemporary music scene. The interview was done in conjunction with the Caffeine and Aspirin arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM.

Both Kugels CDs are available to borrow from the library along with a wide selection of Ross Harris compositions.

The Kugels at Breaker Bay. / Kugels
“This is the second release from the Wellington based Kugels the five-piece outfit which specialises in Klezmer and features some of New Zealand’ s finest classical musicians in their line-up. For a long time, they have been a bit of a hidden gem in the NZ music scene, but that changed recently when they did a sofa session with Bryan Crump. This latest release really shows how good they are, and includes emotive and atmospheric renditions of both traditional and original Klezmer pieces composed by arts laureate, and renown classical composer, Ross Harris.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Kugels play Klezmer by Ross Harris. / Kugels
“Ross Harris – The Kugels play Klezmer. … Melancholic, lyrical, delicate and beautiful , the music is played with grace and finesse by the Kugels who are the Wellington based quartet to which Ross Harris  belongs….” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

 

Symphony no. 5 ; Violin concerto / Harris, Ross
“Ross Harris’s Symphony No.5 uses as its core poems by Panni Palasti.  The moving poems in the piece are based on the personal experiences of the poet during World War Two and the subsequent Hungarian Revolution. The work creates complex orchestral movements around these poems. This particular recording has conductor Eckehard Steir steering the orchestra and he judges well the balance between the moments of ferocity and the work’s sonic ebb and flow.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Free Radicals / Free Radicals (Musical group)
“Wellington based Free Radicals :-Ross Harris and Jonathan Besser were active in the early 80s, described by one reviewer as ‘Eno meets industrial punk meets Stockhausen’. This compilation of archival recordings show the full range, scope and ambition of the pioneering outfit.” (adapted from Catalogue.)

 

Requiem for the fallen / Harris, Ross
“Requiem for the fallen honours the memory of soldiers who died in the First World War. Poetry by Vincent O’Sullivan is woven through the Latin of the Requiem Mass and carries many homespun New Zealand references. Horomona Horo’s taonga pūoro improvisations add a haunting beauty that could only be from Aotearoa.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

ComicFest 2021 to be redrawn another day

ComicFest 2021 logo

ComicFest 2021 logo

To keep everyone safe, organisers are cancelling ComicFest 2021 this Saturday (21 August 2021) as Aotearoa is now under Covid-19 Alert level four.

“We are gutted Saturday’s ComicFest is not going ahead, as we had such a fantastic line-up of amazing artists with many sessions fully booked – but people’s wellbeing comes first,” says Sam Orchard, Assistant Curator Cartoons and Comics National Library of New Zealand.

“The good news is thanks to the generous support of our artists and sponsors we have already agreed to bring ComicFest back once we have returned to Alert level 2 or lower – so watch this space!”

“The ComicFest team are working together on future options for this delivering this event. So, keep your cosplay costumes at the ready for when we can get all be together again,” says Wellington City Council’s Manager Libraries and Community Spaces Laurinda Thomas.

“While you’re staying safe at home, you can be inspired and entertained by our amazing artists who have shared their stories on the ComicFest webpage. ”

If you have registered for an event, we will email you to confirm that ComicFest has been cancelled and again when we have a new date for when ComicFest 2021 will return.

ComicFest is run in partnership with Wellington City Libraries and the National Library of New Zealand and key sponsors Graphic Comics, Gecko Press, Unity Books, and Wellington Zinefest.

Job Seekers at the Library

Job hunting can be a difficult and frustrating process. Writing or updating a CV, scrawling through employment websites, labouring over cover letters. The whole thing can be a bit of a nightmare.

Thankfully your local Wellington City branch library has a number of services to help make job seeking that little bit easier. Or, if you’re not able to visit, we have a number of online learning resources to help you upskill into a new role. Here are a few of the services we offer to help you on your job hunt.

Internet Access: There is both free internet and free computer access at your local library.

The truth of job hunting is that these days a lot of it is happening online. If you lack access to a device or the internet this makes the process particularly difficult. The good news is that both are available for free at your local library. All our libraries have free wifi; look for WellyWiFi in the list of networks that appear when WiFi is enabled on your device.

We also have a number of computers which you can use to access the internet. Log in to these using your library card and PIN or by getting a free log in ticket from the counter. Full information on library internet access.

Printing: Printing your first 10 A4 sides black and white at Wellington City Libraries is free of charge.

Whether you’re going place to place handing in résumés or you want to take your cover letter to an interview (even just for something to hold) you’ll need a printer. Thankfully printing is available at your local library branch. Printing is 20c per side of the page for A4 black and white –  Colour printing is $1.50c per A4 page. Full information and pricing for library printing.

Software available on the PCs includes: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint

Borrow a tablet: It is free to borrow an iPad Mini from the library for three weeks

Customers are able to borrow iPad minis for free for three weeks! From 15 August 2019, the iPads have become free to borrow. So you now can take the opportunity to get connected with family and friends, read the most recent eBooks and eAudio (Libby and Borrowbox), or update your computer skills with any one of the thousands of courses available (LinkedIn Learning).

Tablets are able to be borrowed at the following libraries : Te Awe, Miramar, Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie), Newtown, Island Bay, Mervyn Kemp (Tawa), Johnsonville, Khandallah, Cummings Park (Ngaio) and Karori. Information on customer iPads.

Job Seeking Resources: Books to help you apply for jobs.

A quick search on our catalogue reveals a large number of books designed to help you either gain employment or improve your employment situation. A quick search for key terms like “CV”, “resume” and even “job” will bring up a large collection of books and eBooks related to job seeking. If you needed help sorting through these titles and you are at one of our branches, a librarian will be more than happy to help you out.

Digital Resources: LinkedIn Learning is an educational online resource you can access for free with your library card

In addition to a number of eBooks we have a number of online upskilling resources and databases.  Perhaps the most popular of these is LinkedIn Learning. LinkedIn Learning is a video tutorial service the library subscribes to on your behalf that provides access to over 3,500 instructional videos on many topics including computer software, design, video editing, animation and business skills.

Log in with your library card number and PIN — for those of you who already have a library card, your pin number is the last four digits of your phone number. Don’t have a library card just yet? You can join online. If you encounter any problems please contact us and we’ll do our best to help.

Our exclusive author interview: John Summers on his latest book The Commercial Hotel

New Zealand writer and essayist John Summers has just published his latest work The Commercial Hotel.  John’s clever and often humorous book is part reportage, part memoir and is a meditation on his life and personal interests. Whilst the areas the book covers include John’s past, wider interests and obsessions, in doing so it also speaks to the reader about a wider story, about a side of New Zealand that is fast vanishing.

The book has a strangely modern, haunting quality to it. The Commercial Hotel in part achieves this by looking at some of the less celebrated and explored aspects of New Zealand’s recent past, especially in the more provincial areas of the country. By looking at things such as New Zealand Elvis impersonators, freezing works, night trains, hotel pubs and landfills he gets behind the surface of these things to reveal something deeper about life and death in New Zealand.

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing John about The Commercial Hotel in conjunction with the Caffeine and Aspirin arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM.

Click below to hear the interview:


The Commercial Hotel / Summers, John
Combining reportage and memoir, The Commercial Hotel is a sharp-eyed, poignant yet often hilarious tour of Aotearoa: a place in which Arcoroc mugs and dog-eared political biographies are as much a part of the scenery as the hills we tramp through ill-equipped. We encounter Elvis impersonators, the eccentric French horn player and adventurer Bernard Shapiro, Norman Kirk balancing timber on his handlebars while cycling to his building site, and Summers’s grandmother: the only woman imprisoned in New Zealand for protesting World War Two. And we meet the ghosts who haunt our loneliest spaces.” (Publisher information) 

The mermaid boy / Summers, John
“From Christchurch to China, from mattress manufacture to Burmese medicine, these true stories explore one man’s experience with the exotic and the mundane. Witty, perceptive, and often surprising, The Mermaid Boy introduces striking new ways to write about love, travel, and home.” (Publisher information) 

He Timotimo: Free Te Reo Māori Taster Sessions

Nau mai, haere mai to ‘He Timotimo’, Wellington City Libraries’ new te reo Māori taster sessions!

We know it can be scary to start learning a new language and that te reo Māori classes fill up quickly in Wellington so we are pleased to announce that we have free, friendly classes Monday evenings starting Monday 9 August that are available for bookings now.

Book online

These are introductory classes for beginners and will have a new topic each week as a taster, he timotimo, to get you started. The sessions will be fun and you will be supported as you learn the basics with our specially designed programme developed by Neavin Broughton and taught in association with Jordana Turahui.

When?

Mondays, 5:30-6:30pm, starting August 9 and running for six weeks

Where?

Cummings Park Library, 1a Ottawa Rd in Ngaio.

(2 stops North from the Wellington Railway Station on the Johnsonville Line.)

What?

These taster sessions are suitable for absolute beginners and we are now taking bookings. Each class will feature a new topic. Bookings will be essential for each date as numbers are limited. As each week is booked separately you don’t need to worry if you have to miss a week.

The classes are informal and you will not need textbooks or other materials, you might just want to bring a notebook and pen to take some notes.

How to Book?

Book online for each session. If you have any questions please Contact Us.

Interview with award-winning NZ author Lee Murray – coming 25 July

The fabulous Lee Murray recently won two Bram Stoker Awards®; the Oscars for dark writing and the world’s premier literary horror awards!  One in the category Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection for Grotesque: Monster Stories and the other for Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women in the category of Superior Achievement in an Anthology.

Lee has also recently been nominated in the Shirley Jackson Awards for Black Cranes,  shortlisted for the Ladies of Horror Fiction Awards in the Short Fiction Category for ‘Heart Music’ from Grotesque: Monster Stories, is a nominee in Horror Fiction in the Skoutz Awards for Beutezeit, the German translation of Into the Mist and is also currently nominated in four categories of New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards (Novel, Short Fiction, Collection, and Services to Science Fiction and Horror).

So, with all these awards and accolades pouring in we thought what better time to approach Lee about the possibility of doing an interview. So next Sunday 25 July at 7.30 pm as a Facebook premier FREE event we have an exclusive in-depth interview and reading with Lee where she talks in detail about her work, inspirations, background, and a whole host of other topics. For anyone interested in Lee’s work or, indeed, speculative fiction or horror in general, the interview is unmissable.

To make sure you are first in line to see this exclusive interview, keep a close eye on our Facebook page. After the premier on Sunday 25th of July 2021 the interview will be available to view at any time.

We wish to expend our heartfelt thanks to Lee and her film crew Dhaivat Mehta and Harry Oram. Find out more about Lee’s work by visiting her website.

Browse Lee’s work in our catalogue:

Black cranes : tales of unquiet women
“Almond-eyed celestial, the filial daughter, the perfect wife. Quiet, submissive, demure. In Black Cranes, Southeast Asian writers of horror both embrace and reject these traditional roles in a unique collection of stories which dissect their experiences of ‘otherness,’ be it in the colour of their skin, the angle of their cheekbones, the things they dare to write, or the places they have made for themselves in the world. Black Cranes is a dark and intimate exploration of what it is to be a perpetual outsider.” (Catalogue)

Into the ashes / Murray, Lee
” The nation’s leaders scoff at the danger. That is; until the ground opens and all hell breaks loose. The armed forces are hastily deployed; NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna and his section tasked with evacuating civilians and tourists from Tongariro National Park. It is too little, too late. With earthquakes coming thick and fast and the mountains spewing rock and ash, McKenna and his men are cut off. Their only hope of rescuing the stranded civilians is to find another route out, but a busload of prison evacuees has other ideas. And, deep beneath the earth’s crust, other forces are stirring, ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Into the sounds / Murray, Lee
“On leave, and out of his head with boredom, NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna joins biologist Jules Asher on a Conservation Department deer culling expedition to New Zealand’s southernmost national park. Despite covering an area the size of the Serengeti, only eighteen people live in the isolated region, so it’s a surprise when the hunters stumble on the nation’s Tūrehu tribe, becoming some of only a handful to ever encounter the elusive ghost people. Besides, there is something else lurking in the sounds, and it has its own agenda. When the waters clear, will anyone be allowed to leave?​”(Adapted from Catalogue)

Into the mist / Murray, Lee
“When New Zealand Defense Force Sergeant Taine McKenna and his squad are tasked with escorting a bunch of civilian contractors into Te Urewera National Park, it seems a strange job for the army. Taine draws on ancient tribal wisdom as he becomes desperate to bring his charges out alive. Will it be enough to stop the nightmare? And when the mist clears, will anyone be left?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Te korero ahi kā : To speak of the home fires burning
“Here, between the realms of the Sky Father and Earth Mother, hellhounds race, ghosts drift and the taniwha stalks. Home fires drive them back, sparking stories and poems that traverse seconds, eons, and parsecs. Tales of gatekeepers, cloak wearers, and secrets. Of pigs with AK-47s or ruby-hued eyes, of love-struck moa, and unruly reflections. Stark truths and beautiful possibilities. Te Korero Ahi Kā-to speak of the home fires burning-is an anthology of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, showcasing work from award-winning and emerging members of SpecFicNZ (New Zealand authors, poets, artists of speculative fiction. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

At the edge
“Step up, as close as you dare… …to a place at the edge of sanity, where cicadas scritch across balmy summer nights, at the edge of town, where the cellphone coverage is decidedly dodgy, at the edge of space, where a Mimbinus argut bounds among snowy rocks, at the edge of the page, where demon princes prance in the shadows, at the edge of despair, where 10 darushas will get you a vodka lime and a ring side seat, at the edge of the universe, where time stops but space goes on… From the brink of civilisation, the fringe of reason, and the border of reality, come 23 stories infused with the bloody-minded spirit of the Antipodes. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Blood of the sun / Rabarts, Dan
“There’s been a gang massacre on Auckland’s Freyberg Wharf. Body parts everywhere. And with the police’s go-to laboratory out of action, it’s up to scientific consult Pandora (Penny) Yee to sort through the mess. It’s a hellish task, made worse by the earthquake swarms, the insufferable heat, and Cerberus’ infernal barking. And what’s got into her brother Matiu? Does it have something to do with the ship’s consignment? Or is Matiu running with the gangs again? Join Penny and Matiu Yee for the family reunion to end all family reunions, as the struggle between light and dark erupts across Auckland’s volcanic skyline.”–Publisher description.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Teeth of the wolf / Rabarts, Dan
“Scientific consultant Penny Yee has barely drawn breath before Detective Inspector Tanner assigns her another suspicious death, with Matiu tagging along for the ride. That’s fine as long as he stays outside the crime scene tape, but when one of Matiu’s former cronies turns up dead, Penny wonders if her brother might be more than just an innocent bystander. While she’s figuring that out, the entire universe conspires against her, with a cadaver going AWOL, her DNA sequencer spitting the dummy, and the rent due any day.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hounds of the underworld / Rabarts, Dan
“On the verge of losing her laboratory, her savings, and all respect for herself, Pandora (Penny) Yee lands her first contract as scientific consult to the police department. Only she’s going to need to get around, and that means her slightly unhinged adopted brother, Matiu, will be doing the driving.  Matiu doesn’t like anything about this case, from the voices that screamed at him when he touched that bowl, to the way his hateful imaginary friend Makere has come back to torment him, to the fact that the victim seems to be tied up with a man from Matiu’s past, a man who takes pleasure in watching dogs tear each other to pieces for profit and entertainment.” (Catalogue)

A foreign country : New Zealand speculative fiction
“Strange creatures are loose in Miramar, desperate survivors cling to the remains of a submerged country, humanity’s descendants seek to regain what they’ve lost, and the residents of Gisborne reluctantly serve alien masters. The visions of New Zealand – and beyond – painted in this collection of short stories are both instantly recognisable, and nothing like the place we know. A FOREIGN COUNTRY brings together the work of established authors and fresh voices to showcase the range of stories produced by New Zealand’s growing community of speculative fiction writers.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Regeneration : New Zealand speculative fiction II
“Some things are gone forever; but that is not the end. There are new lives to be lived, new discoveries to be made, changes to be fought for, enjoyed, or feared. Experience worlds where existence continues beyond death and much-wanted babies become something else entirely. Where humanity endures in hostile environments, societies adapt to new challenges and inventions, and strange creatures live secretly among us. Travel from a curiously altered Second World War to other universes at the end of time, taking in diverse visions of New Zealand and worlds beyond along the way. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Visit our Central Library collection at Te Pātaka for some winter reading

The Te Pātaka Collection and Distribution Centre houses Wellington Central Library’s collection. This is a rare opportunity to visit, browse and borrow!

Details:

What? Te Pātaka Open Days

Date: Wednesday 14 July; Thursday 22 July — see topics per day below

Location: Johnsonville (details on registration)

Please remember to bring your library card

On the hunt for some crafting ideas? Missing all those classic graphic novels, DVDs or biographies? Or treat yourself to a swag of history, beliefs, cookery or photography books.

We’ll be opening our Te Pātaka Collection Centre to customers on two days during the school holidays. You’ll be able to browse and borrow books from our off-site storage collection. Some of the collection is on rolling stacks, so different areas of the collection will be more accessible at different times. If possible, choose the time slot which matches your interest as it will be easier for you to see that topic then. If the area you’re interested in isn’t listed below, you are still welcome and we will do our best to make it work.

Spots are limited and visits are restricted to one hour, so bookings will be essential — view and book session times and topics available below. We can’t wait to see you!

Times and topics

Teen only slot: 3pm, Thursday 22nd (but teens are of course welcome at any time).

Available at any session:

  • Fiction
  • Large print
  • Biography
  • Science and health
  • Graphic novels
  • Teen fiction and graphic novels
  • Children’s fiction and comics
  • Picture books

Wednesday 14 July — Topics and Time Slots

Time slots and topics available per time slot for Wednesday 14 July
2-3pm 3-4pm 4-5pm
  • Computing
  • Gardening
  • Photography
  • Travel
  • DVDs Movies
  • Popular CDs

Book for 2-3pm, 14 July

  • Self-help
  • Cooking
  • Music books
  • World Wars history
  • DVDs TV series
  • Classical CDs

Book for 3-4pm, 14 July

  • Economics and finance
  • Business and management
  • Film
  • NZ history
  • DVDs TV series
  • Magazines

Book for 4-5pm, 14 July

Thursday 22 July — Topics and Time Slots

Time slots and topics available per time slot for Thursday 22 July
10-11am 11am-12pm 12-1pm 3-4pm
  • Social issues
  • Art / photography
  • Sports and games
  • Cooking
  • DVDs TV series
  • Popular CDs

Book for 10-11am, 22 July

  • True Crime
  • Craft
  • Poetry
  • Art/architecture
  • DVDs Movies
  • Magazines

Book for 11am-12pm, 22 July

  • Languages
  • Cooking
  • Literature
  • Songbooks
  • DVDs Movies
  • Music Scores

Book for 12-1pm, 22 July

Teen only session.

Book for 3-4pm, 22 July

Browse all sessions on our Calendar

Matariki 2021 at your libraries!

Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau!

From 2 – 10 July, Wellington City Libraries is celebrating Matariki with a range of events, crafts, storytelling sessions, and experiences for whānau and tamariki all over our city. Don’t forget to also check out the Wellington City Council website to find out about the huge range of exciting activities taking place outside our libraries during Matariki.

Continue reading “Matariki 2021 at your libraries!”

COVID-19 Update : Libraries at Level 1

covid19 logo

COVID-19 logoWellington will move to COVID Alert Level 1 from 11:59pm, 29 June 2021.

We ask everyone to continue recording your visits to our branches using the QR codes.

With libraries returning to Level 1 tomorrow, our events and programmes for kids, teens and families resume. Please check the Libraries’ event calendar for details of what’s on.

If you have any questions please contact Wellington City Libraries by calling 04 801 4040 during office hours or email enquiries@wcl.govt.nz

Read more about our libraries at Level 1

NZ Garden Bird Survey 26 June- 4 July

The New Zealand Garden Bird Survey is happening between 26 June to 4 July.

Would you like to join the rest of New Zealand and make a difference to the environment, while having fun spending 1 hour in your backyard watching birds?

Healthy bird populations can indicate that the environment is healthy. And you can help Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research understand what’s happening in the populations of all the birds around us, in city and garden environments, by counting birds in your backyard.

The best thing about this national event, is that you can also win a pair of Nikon Prostaff binoculars or a nature escape to Wellington.

You can find more details on the Garden Bird Survey website, and use the tally sheet to record your unique findings. The information is also available in Te Reo Māori.  And don’t forget to  join the exciting competition! There are also some cool children’s activities.

Get ready for this event and make use of the library books as helpful guides to help you locate the birds. Also find helpful resources from the citizen science collection blog.

A photographic guide to birds of New Zealand / Moon, Geoff
“A comprehensive guide to birds that includes species accounts which have been updated according to the 4th edition of the Ornithological Society’s official Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. It features photographs of the most commonly seen birds along with detailed information on distribution, habitat, behaviour and breeding.” (Catalogue)

 

How to watch a bird / Braunias, Steve
“As prize-winning journalist Steve Braunias stands on an apartment balcony on a sultry summer evening, a black-backed gull flies so close he is instantaneously bowled over with happiness: ‘I thought: Birds, everywhere. I wanted to know more about them. ‘This book is the result – a wondrous personal journey into the amazing world of birds, and the people ensnared, captivated and entranced by them: the passionate tribe of bird-watchers and twitchers.” (Catalogue)

 

Birds of New Zealand / Fitter, Julian
“An authoritative new photographic guide to the birdlife of New Zealand. this beautiful photographic guide is the ideal companion for travelling birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Featuring over 300 species of bird most likely to be seen in New Zealand, it is the only guide that anyone travelling to this fascinating region of the world will need. * Illustrated with over 600 full-colour photographs and featuring detailed species descriptions and distribution maps * Key information on national parks helps readers to find the best spots to discover each bird” (Adapted from the catalogue)

 

Shorebirds / Arkins, Alina
“Introduces common shore birds of New Zealand giving information about breeding, feeding, habitat, conservation and migration. Suggested level: primary, intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Beautiful birds of New Zealand / Ballance, Alison
“This book describes 100 birds, which covers all the NZ birds that you are most likely to see, including some rare and endangered birds. For each bird there is one page of accessibly written and highly informative text with one large photograph facing it.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Attracting birds and other wildlife to your garden in New Zealand / Ell, Gordon
“Birds in the New Zealand Garden was originally published in 1981 (and went on to reprint 11 times). In this highly practical new hardback book, which includes beautiful bird and nature photography by Geoff Moon and others, enticing birds, lizards, butterflies and other animals into your backyard is made simpler than ever, regardless of the size or style of your garden. Tricks ranging from building a bird table or a nest box to raising froglets or establishing a nature pond  tables listing ideal native and introduced shrubs and trees to provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies, bees and more.” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Bird words : New Zealand writers on birds
“New Zealand birds have inspired mythology, song, whimsical stories, detailed observation, humour and poetry. From the kakapo, kokako and kaka to the sparrow, starling and seagull, both native and imported birds have been immortalised in print. This is a varied and stimulating selection from the flocks of New Zealand writers who have given our birds a voice. They have brought extinct birds back to life and even enabled the kiwi to take flight on the page.”–Publisher information.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Whio : saving New Zealand’s blue duck / Young, David
“The blue duck, or whio, is one of New Zealand’s ancient treasures, a beautiful torrent duck that once lived on clear, fast-flowing rivers throughout most of the country. Sadly, this is no longer the case. The blue duck belongs to the not so well known ‘second tier’ of endangered species (including kaka, kea, parakeets and North Island brown kiwi) whose numbers have dropped alarmingly in the last 15 years. Whio tells the story of how a dedicated group of scientists, field workers and volunteers have set about saving the blue duck. ” (Adapted from the catalogue)

A naturalist’s guide to the birds of New Zealand / Thomas, Oscar
“This photographic identification guide to 239 bird species in New Zealand, including the most commonly seen, unique and endemic species, is perfect for resident and visitor alike. High-quality photographs from one of New Zealand’s youngest nature photographers are accompanied by detailed species descriptions, which include nomenclature, size, distribution, habits and habitat. The user-friendly introduction covers climate, vegetation, biogeography and the key sites for viewing the listed species. ” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Forest and ocean : bird songs. / Melbourne, Hirini “Hirini Melbourne was a tireless advocate of Maori language and culture and led by example. On this album are a selection of his songs in Te Reo, performed by the composer together with simple, intimate guitar accompaniment. Recordings of forest and ocean bird calls are sensitively woven into the recording. These songs are suitable for childrens’ choirs, too… A truly enjoyable album and an excellent resource for primary schools in particular.” (SOUNZ)

1-2-3 bird! / Gunson, Dave
“Racing birds, splashing birds, safari birds and party birds … Be a bird spotter! A fun counting book”. This book is available in both Maori and English.  (Adapted from the catalogue)

 

 

The cuckoo and the warbler : a true New Zealand story / Warne, Kennedy
“The Cuckoo and the Warbler tells the story of one of the most remarkable wildlife relationships in New Zealand, between pipiwharauroa, the shining cuckoo, and riroriro, the grey warbler. It is a story of tragedy, trickery and faithful care – and it plays out each spring and summer in the forests of Aotearoa. Although rarely seen by humans, the interaction of these two native birds is a striking example of nature’s inventiveness.” (Catalogue)

The indigo bird / Taylor, Helen J.
“Fantail is looking for Takahe, but where can he be? Is he playing with Weka in the snow or splashing in the puddles with Pukeko? Perhaps he’s hiding in plain sight! Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)

 

 

New legends of Aoteaora : New Zealand birds / Swadling, Irene
“A collection of six stories told in a traditional style about New Zealand birds and their environment. Suggestd level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

 

 

In the garden : explore & discover the New Zealand backyard / Candler, Gillian
“In the Garden introduces young children to common creatures they can find in a New Zealand garden. It is the only guide available for young children and families that shows creatures in their natural habitats, with sections on bees, wasps, butterflies, snails, lizards, and birds.  In the Garden is a finalist in the non-fiction section of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. ” (Adapted from the catalogue)

One lonely kākāpō : a New Zealand counting book / Morris, Sandra
“Introduces the numbers from one to ten alongside a variety of native New Zealand birds, reptiles and sea life.” (Catalogue)

 

 

 

12 huia birds = 12 manu huia / Stokoe, Julian
“12 beautiful huia birds play and sing in the forest. But is that a canoe arriving? A rat sniffling? A ship on the horizon? One by one, the huia start to disappear what will remain? 12 Huia Birds is a captivating celebration of one of our loveliest birds. Through gentle rhyme and colourful imagery it subtly conveys an environmental message and includes links to a 12 Huia Birds app, educational resources and games. This book has both English and Maori versions. ” (Adpated from the catalogue)

Fashion, food, soil and survival: recent New Zealand non-fiction

…close your eyes and you can imagine what it might have been like to wear, how the wearer might have sounded as she walked… crisp silks rustling and swishing, and beads softly tinkling.

― Claire Regnault, Dressed: fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840-1910, p.9

This month we’re feeding our minds with some particularly beautiful pukapuka! They include Claire Regnault’s lavishly photographed history of Pākehā women’s fashion styles during the Victorian era; and the rich anthology of Te Mahi Oneone, uplifting the taonga that is the soil and from which flows identity and hauora (health). Just as the soil needs to be respected so does our kai, and Waste Not Want Not aims to break some food-wasting habits by providing recipes and strategies for loving our leftovers.

We’re also looking forward to dipping into Te Kai a te Rangatira. Created by rangatahi, it looks at what nourishes Māori leadership and includes interviews with over 100 leaders in their fields, including Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Che Wilson, Moana Jackson, Tā Tipene O’Regan, Tina Ngata and Patricia Grace.

Another important collection is Her Say ― maybe you’ve heard of Jackie Clark and The Aunties? They’re dedicated to helping women who are experiencing or have lived with domestic violence, and Clark is responsible for compiling this book and putting the words of women front and centre. Other winter reads are Pauling and Beatty’s lovingly researched Sharing the Mic: Community Access Radio in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the second edition of Bateman’s comprehensive field guide to the wildlife of New Zealand.

Happy winter reading e te whānau!

Dressed : fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840-1910 / Regnault, Claire
“This illustrated social history explores the creation, consumption and spectacle of fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand’s 19th century dress culture was heavily shaped by international trends and interactions with Māori, the demands of settler lifestyle and the country’s geographical and environmental conditions. Dressed teems with the fascinating, busy lives of early businesswomen, society women and civic figures.” (Catalogue)

Te mahi oneone hua parakore : a Māori soil sovereignty and wellbeing handbook / ed. Hutchings, Jessica and Jo Smith
“In te ao Māori, soil is taonga. It is also whanaunga – the root of tūrangawaewae and whakapapa. It is the source of shelter, kai and manaakitanga. Through a range of essays, profiles and recipes, this book seeks to promote wellbeing and elevate the mana of the soil by drawing on the hua parakore Māori organics framework as a means for understanding these wide-ranging, diverse and interwoven relationships with soil.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Image from Mighty ApeWaste not want not : fridge cleaner cooking / Burtscher, Sarah
“Waste Not Want Not is a cook book based on the top 10 foods thrown out in NZ. With 1.7 billion dollars of food wasted every year, this book brings the general household 80 delicious recipes and 40 plus tips and tricks on how to stop wasting food. Sarah Burtscher looks at the top 10 foods we tend to waste and pairs them with yummy recipes – including Forgotten Vegetable Soup and Easter Spiced Whole Orange Cake.” (Adapted from RNZ article and catalogue)
There’s a great article about this book over on RNZ’s website!

Te kai a te Rangatira : leadership from the Māori world
“The words in this book represent the collective effort of over thirty rangatahi who interviewed more than one hundred Māori spanning the length and breadth of Aotearoa. In both Te Reo and English, it explores the origins and values of Māori leadership, as well as the life experiences that nurture rangatira across different rohe, iwi and hapū.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Her say : survivors of domestic abuse tell their own stories / Jackie Clark and The Aunties
“This powerful new book features the stories of a number of very different New Zealand women, told in their own words. The collected stories chart their narrators’ lives and personal histories, through the lens of having lived with – and escaped – an abusive relationship. It’s a book for all women, showing how owning our stories gives us the power to write new endings. It will challenge, illuminate, and empower readers and the storytellers themselves.” (Adapted from publisher’s description) Available as an eBook.

Image from FishpondSharing the mic : community access radio in Aotearoa New Zealand / Pauling, Brian and Bronwyn Beatty
“From Invercargill to Auckland, community access radio has been broadcasting by, for and about New Zealanders across four decades. Using extensive interviews and in-depth research, Sharing the Mic tells the stories of the volunteers, staff and managers at the heart of access broadcasting and places the history of Aotearoa’s access radio within the wider media and technological changes of the last 40 years.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Image from FishpondWildlife of New Zealand : a Bateman field guide fully revised and expanded / Fitter, Julian
“The essential fully revised and expanded field guide to the wildlife of New Zealand. This field guide covers most of the birds, mammals and reptiles that you are likely to see, as well as a good selection of invertebrates and a large number of trees, shrubs and other plants. Accompanied by hundreds of colour photographs, the succinct species descriptions contain information on identification, distribution and biology.” (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Comics in Conversation with Literature: The Immortal Hulk – Part 2

Read Part one in this blog series

The Immortal Hulk is the newest comic to feature Dr Bruce Banner and his green alter ego, and since the series’ debut in 2018, it’s become a massive hit with fans and critics. Written by Al Ewing and drawn by Joe Bennett, the series centres on a new revelation about the character: Bruce Banner can die but the Hulk cannot, which makes them, as the title suggests, immortal.

Thanks to this undead twist, Ewing and Bennett use the story opportunity to turn Hulk into a horror book. The newly-minted Immortal Hulk battles such terrors as radioactive zombies, paranormal possessions, city-destroying kaiju, the Devil, the legions of Hell, and — my personal favourite — Xemnu the Titan, a cyborg yeti alien who can manipulate people’s memories through smartphones.

The other unique angle to The Immortal Hulk is that every issue opens with a quote from a famous book or writer, chosen by Ewing to give thematic weight to each issue and something for the audience to ponder on a close reading. Below, I’ve picked out some of the best opening quotations from volumes four to six of The Immortal Hulk, and linked them to the works of their respective writers so you can find them in our collection.

If you want to read the comic first, you can order the first volume here or read it on Overdrive here (and check out the previous edition of this blog to read about all the references in the first three volumes). If you’ve read up to volume four, order it here or read it on Overdrive here.


Opening Quotations from The Immortal Hulk

Behold: I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard. I cry aloud, but there is no judgement.

The Book of Job

Catalogue link for The book of Job : a contest of moral imaginations / Newsom, CarolThe Book of Job is one of the most discussed books of the Bible, and also the one most frequently quoted in The Immortal Hulk. In the Book, God tests the faith of a pious man, Job, by robbing him of all his family and possessions, and when Job tries to know why God has punished him, he is only shown how much he doesn’t know. Ewing returns to Job as a motif whenever the Immortal Hulk is being tested, whether it be by shady government black-ops hunting him down, the return of old enemies, or with his own inner turmoil.

Nothing valued is here. What is here is dangerous and repulsive to us. This message is a warning about danger.

Catalogue link for The age of radiance : the epic rise and dramatic fall of the Atomic Era / Nelson, CraigThese phrases aren’t from a work of literature, but from the United States Department of Energy. A growing concern in the organisation is how to warn people in the far future to stay away from nuclear waste disposal sites; these phrases were written to help design pictographs that best symbolise the danger represented by radiation to potentially illiterate future humans. Ewing uses these phrases as opening quotes in the issue where Shadow Base, the government black site hunting the Hulk, create a new version of the classic Hulk foe The Abomination, not knowing the danger they are getting into by creating a Hulk of their own.

I would eat his heart in the marketplace

Catalogue link for Much ado about nothing / Shakespeare, William A running theme in The Immortal Hulk is anger, particularly the double standard invoked when women express it as opposed to men. In issue 19, Bruce Banner’s ex-wife Betty returns as the Red Harpy, a giant crimson bird-woman set on revenge against the Hulk for all the ways he ruined her life. The opening quote of the issue is an expression by Much Ado‘s character Beatrice, wishing that she had a man’s social privilege to publicly hold a man to task for slandering her friend. In Red Harpy’s case, however, she decides to take Beatrice’s metaphor very, very literally…

That stony law I stamp to dust, and scatter religion abroad to the four winds as a torn book, & none shall gather the leaves…

Catalogue link for William Blake, selected poetryIn issue 26, after defeating and taking over Shadow Base, the Hulk decides to use its resources to launch a revolution against the powers-that-be, stating that he wants to ‘end the human world’. His friends and allies, however, are skeptical at whether Hulk’s mission will prove effective. Ewing once more returns to poet and artist William Blake, this time citing a passage from his America: A Prophecy, a book of poetry written about the revelatory potential of the American Revolution.

Such is the condition of organic nature! Whose first law might be expressed in the words, ‘Eat or be eaten!’

Catalogue link for Erasmus Darwin : a life of unequalled achievementIn issue 29, the CEO of the Roxxon corporation sends out a wave of giant monsters to attack Phoenix, Arizona to discredit Bruce Banner and prop up Roxxon’s own Hulk, Xemnu the Titan, as a hero. They are heralded by the above line, a poetic description of nature’s voracity by naturalist Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles) from his book Phytologia. It proves literal too, as one monster eats the Hulk whole, leaving him to fight its car-sized internal parasites.

O’Brien’s looking skittish, but he’ll be fine once his blood’s up. Harryhausen is raring to go. Oh–and they didn’t feed Lovecraft today…

The four giant monsters that attack Phoenix all have codenames referencing Hollywood visual effects artists and horror writers:

Catalogue link: King Kong Catalogue link: Clash of the Titans Catalogue link: The complete fiction of H. P. Lovecraft Catalogue link: The vintage Ray Bradbury