Forever strong: New health books in the collection

Whether you’re wanting to build your body strength, understand autism, build resilience in the face of a changing climate or get a good night’s sleep, we’ve got plenty of new health books in the collection to walk you through your health journey.  Try some of these we’ve selected below:

Forever strong : a new, science-based strategy for aging well / Lyon, Gabrielle
“After years of watching patients cycle through her practice, Dr Gabrielle Lyon noticed a pattern. While her patients struggled with a wide range of conditions, they all suffered from the same core problem: they had too little muscle rather than too much fat. When we think about muscle, we tend to think about strength or aesthetics, but in reality, muscle accounts for so much more than that. As the body’s largest endocrine organ, muscle actually determines everything about the trajectory of health and aging.  Now, Dr Lyon offers an easy-to-follow food, fitness, and self-care program anchored in evidence and pioneering research that teaches you how to optimize muscle-no matter your age or health background.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The neuroscience of yoga and meditation / Fair, Brittany
“An accessible introduction to how yoga and meditation affect the brain. Each chapter will guide the reader through the latest yoga and meditation research and break down complex topics into easily digestible points. The book also explores the current limitations in studying these practices and offers tools for interpreting scientific literature.” (Catalogue)


Unique : what autism can teach us about difference, connection and belonging / Rodgers, Jodi
“Beloved star of ABC TV’s award-winning Love on the Spectrum and disability rights advocate Jodi Rodgers shares stories from her three-decade career working with the autistic community and calls for a more inclusive and accepting society where we are more empathetic and curious about all the relationships in our lives. With dozens of moving stories, Jodi’s book will give readers a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the neurodiverse community around them. Above all, it will inspire a profound sense of belonging, revealing that we’re much more similar than we think and that all of our differences are worth celebrating.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The wisdom of plagues : lessons from 25 years of covering pandemics / McNeil, Donald G.
“Many science reporters understand the basics of diseases-how a virus works, for example, or what goes into making a vaccine. But very few understand the psychology of how small outbreaks turn into pandemics: How everyone from hunters to farmers to guano-diggers gets exposed to animal diseases. How diseases spread through networks of similar people and by “mass-gathering” events. Why people refuse to believe they’re at risk, or why they reject protective measures like quarantine or vaccines. THE WISDOM OF PLAGUES is ultimately about what we can do to improve global health and be better prepared for the next pandemic, which is coming.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

10-minute strength training exercises for seniors : exercises and routines to build muscle, balance, and stamina / Deboo, Ed
“Staying strong and flexible becomes even more important as we age. This guide to exercise for seniors makes it easy to stay in motion with short and simple exercises you can do anytime and anywhere. No equipment required–Get strong at home with bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, and push-ups, along with moves that can be done with items you have on hand like soup cans and gallon jugs. No matter your age or current fitness level, these exercises can be modified to work for you! Live longer and stronger with 10-Minute Strength Training Exercises for Seniors.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Surviving extreme weather : the complete climate change preparedness manual / Hawke, Mykel
“The world has changed, and impacts of global warming means weather events like extreme heat, wildfires, hurricanes, and droughts are now being felt by all of us. In Surviving Extreme Weather, Mykel Hawke, a renowned survivalist and bestselling author of Hawke’s Special Forces Survival Handbook and Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual, and British meteorologist Jim N. R. Dale, share their expert knowledge and personal experiences while offering valuable insights into the science behind our new weather and how to apply situational awareness, preparedness, and psychology to survive.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

On call / Meredith, Ineke
“It’s all in a mad day’s work: the good, the bad and the crazy. From a man who swallowed fishhooks to a patients playing pranks, emergency operations in the wee hours, constantly being mistaken for a nurse, and holding hands through silent goodbyes, this is a book about the strange, messy, intense world of surgery. When Ineke’s parents in Samoa fall ill, she is torn between her roles as a surgeon, a daughter, and a single working mother. Are the sacrifices of a life in scrubs worth it? Laugh-out-loud and sobering in equal turns, On Call is a memoir from inside the operating room and everything it takes to survive.” (Catalogue)

Sleepless : discovering the power of the night self / Abbs, Annabel
“Sleepless combines science, historical research, and personal experience to explore the complicated relationship women have with darkness. Her night journeys range from quiet country fields to brightly lit city streets to the darkest reaches of the Arctic Circle. And from women of the past — Lee Krasner, Virginia Woolf, Louise Bourgeois, and dozens more — who opened their minds on sleepless nights, to contemporary women who found a form of healing in darkness. Cut loose from the anxiety of insomnia, numerous women discovered strength, imagination, and inner knowledge at night. Many also learned to-finally-sleep.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

When things stick : untangling your body from old patterns / Choi, Sue J.
“This book is for people who have tried multiple mind-body paths already and still feel frustrated that they can’t see the changes they seek. “Through instructional videos, stories, and contextual information, you’ll learn how to use a multi-sensory approach to posture and walking as a path to self-regulation.” (Catalogue)


For more new books in the collection, go to:

“Genghis Khan bathed in sherbet ice cream”: New science fiction and fantasy

It extols death with the luminescent brilliance of a dying star. It is Genghis Khan bathed in sherbet ice cream. The mantis shrimp is the harbinger of blood-soaked rainbows.

The Oatmeal

Welcome to our latest selection of newly acquired fantasy and science fiction titles. Every month we endeavour to highlight new books that aren’t necessarily the highest profile releases or even a reflection of the bestseller lists (although we do sometimes include titles that are on both); instead, we like to select books that have some unusual aspect that catches our attention, that maybe fall off the beaten track, but that we think you might enjoy. From that selection, we then like to go even further and turn the spotlight on one particular title.

For this month’s spotlight book, the book that literally caught our eye (pun intended) was Red side story by Jasper Fforde — a book in which people’s standing in society depends on their ability to perceive colour.

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New Book by Daniel Clowes: Recent graphic novels

Daniel Clowes is one of the great alternative comic book writers of all time, with titles such as Ghost World and Like a velvet glove cast in iron. He has returned after 7 years with a new book called Monica, about a woman searching for her freewheelin’ parents who abandoned her when she was a child. If Daniel Clowes is not your thing, we also have a great selection of other new graphic novels such as a new Hellboy title and a memoir by Ai Weiwei.

If you love comics and graphic novels, don’t miss ComicFest on 4th May at the National Library! It will be a fun day of workshops, talks, comic giveaways, and live drawing with some incredible artists!

Monica / Clowes, Daniel
“A dazzling, spectacular tapestry of interconnected narratives that together tell a life story. After being abandoned by her freewheelin’ parents in childhood, succeeds in clawing her way to the top – only to lose it all in a stroke of bad luck. She lives out the rest of her days in search of her parents, encountering a cast of eccentric characters who help to piece together her story. Mysterious, uncategorisable and quintessentially Clowesian, here is a multi-layered masterpiece born of a lifetime of inspiration.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Zodiac : a graphic memoir / Ai, Weiwei | ebook available
“Ai Weiwei and Italian comic artist Gianluca Costantini present Zodiac, Ai Weiwei’s first graphic memoir. Inspired by the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac, Ai Weiwei masterfully interweaves ancient Chinese folklore with stories of his life, family, and career. They will find not only a personal history of Ai Weiwei and an examination of the sociopolitical climate in which he makes his art, but a philosophical exploration of what it means to find oneself through art and freedom of expression.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hellboy in love / Mignola, Michael
“Ghosts, ghouls… girlfriends? Love blooms between Hellboy and archaeologist Anastasia Bransfield – when they aren’t busy chasing goblins through the UK, fighting shadow ghosts in Turkey, and investigating film sets haunted by unsettled spirits in India, that is! This volume collects three stories of Hellboy and Anastasia’s misadventures, plus bonus material!” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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Deconstruction and Reconstruction – New Personal Growth Books

These new books critically examine how dominant ideas and power dynamics have influenced our interpretation and application of shared concepts. They question established paradigms and power structures, offering a range of perspectives from sexual wellness and psychology to the history of emotions and the intersection of philosophy, politics, and drug use. They delve into how external forces, such as psychological studies or the experience of grief, can shape one’s sense of self. They also primarily challenge or reframe common beliefs, assumptions, and narratives around these subjects, encouraging us to think critically about the forces that shape our personal and societal narratives.

Come Together: The Science (and Art) of Creating Lasting Sexual Connections / Nagoski, Emily
“A leading sexual wellness educator, tackles the often misunderstood topic of sex in long-term relationships. Challenging conventional wisdom and harmful assumptions, she explores what truly fulfilling sex looks like through inclusive stories and examples. The book aims to help pairs overcome obstacles like relationship conflicts, gendered beliefs about sex, and body image issues. With insight, humor, and empathy, it offers a radically transformed approach to sex and desire, empowering readers to create lasting, fulfilling sexual connections in their long-term relationships.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Data Baby: My Life in a Psychological Experiment / Breslin, Susannah
“In Data Baby, Susannah Breslin recounts her extraordinary childhood as a research subject in a renowned 30-year study of personality development at UC Berkeley. Decades later, grappling with an abusive marriage and breast cancer, she investigates how being raised under scrutiny shaped her identity and choices. Her compelling, provocative quest uncovers long-buried secrets behind the study, raising profound questions about whether it truly understood her better than she knew herself. With brave honesty and wit, her universal story explores the tension between allowing technology to define us and discovering our authentic selves in an era of increasing data-driven self-optimization. Her life-changing journey as one of history’s most studied individuals illuminates why we turn out the way we do.” (Adapted from publisher and catalogue)

Grief is For People / Crosley, Sloane
“Sloane Crosley’s poignant memoir explores loss and the complexities of mourning after her closest friend’s death by suicide. With disarming wit and empathy, Crosley embarks on a quest to understand grief, upending conventional narratives and offering a category-defying elegy that resonates deeply in our grief-stricken times. Hailed as one of the most anticipated books of the year, it’s a suspenseful and moving portrait of friendship, family, and the struggle to hold on to the past without being consumed by it.” (Adapted from catalogue)

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What Have We Here? New Biographies in the Collection

There is something magical about delving into the life of a person who is so different to yourself, and finding out that despite their extraordinary lives, we all have much in common.  This month’s new crop of biographies in the collection showcases many amazing lives while also highlighting the shared humanity of us all.  Try these titles to get you started.

What have we here? : portraits of a life / Williams, Billy Dee
“Billy Dee Williams was born in Harlem in 1937 and grew up in a household of love and sophistication. He studied painting, before setting out to pursue acting with Herbert Berghoff, Stella Adler, and Sidney Poitier. He became a true pop culture icon when, as the first Black character in the Star Wars universe, he played Lando Calrissian in George Lucas’s The Empire Strikes Back.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Beyond hope : from an Auckland prison to changing lives in Afghanistan / Shah, Bariz
“At age 18, Bariz Shah ended up in an Auckland prison. As an Afghan migrant who was deeply affected by 9/11, Bariz spiralled from schoolyard fights into crime and drugs – until prison made him rethink the story of his life. Years later, in Christchurch, Bariz had turned everything around when a terrorist walked into the local mosque and took the lives of 51 people in his community. Driven by a new purpose, Bariz and his wife Saba raised money to return to Afghanistan and establish 51 small businesses in honour of those they lost. In this memoir about finding self-belief, belonging and positive change, Bariz’s story reminds us that we always have the power to change ourselves for the better.” (Catalogue)

Molly / Butler, Blake
“Blake Butler and Molly Brodak instantly connected, fell in love, married and built a life together. Nearly three years into their marriage, grappling with mental illness and a lifetime of trauma, Molly took her own life. In the days and weeks after Molly’s death, Blake discovered shocking secrets she had held back from the world, fundamentally altering his view of their relationship and who she was.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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Feijoa Fever: New Popular Non-Fic

Feijoa season is upon us! This abundant little fruit is everywhere in autumn – falling off trees and filling up bags and containers, ready to share. But how exactly did a South American fruit nestle itself so neatly into the hearts of people all across Aotearoa? Kate Evans asks that question and more in her book Feijoa: A Story of Obsession & Belonging. 

Explorations of culture and history through the lens of one specific type of food are not unusual: there have been books written about milk, salt, sugar, bread, olive oil, the general concept of breakfast, and even two on cod – and that’s only scraping the surface. Whether you love them or hate them, it’s about time feijoas made the list, because this back-garden fruit has a global story, and a fascinating one at that. Click below to place a reserve, and browse the rest of our non-fiction picks for the month.

Feijoa : a story of obsession & belonging / Evans, Kate
“The feijoa comes from the highlands of Southern Brazil and the valleys of Uruguay, where it was woven into indigenous and Afro-Brazilian cultures. Today, it is celebrated by one small town in the Colombian Andes, and has become an icon of community and nationhood in New Zealand. Feijoas are among only a handful of plants that have made the journey from the wild to the orchard in the last few generations, providing a rare opportunity to watch, up close, the myriad ways plants seduce us. Feijoa is a book about connection: between people and plants, between individuals, between cultures, across disciplines, celebrating the ways our lives and loves intersect in surprising ways.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Material world : the six raw materials that shape modern civilization / Conway, Ed
“Sand, iron, salt, oil, copper and lithium: the struggle for these fundamental materials has created empires, razed civilizations, and fed our ingenuity and our greed for thousands of years. Though we are told we now live in a weightless world of information, we dug more stuff out of the earth in 2017 than in all of human history before 1950. And it’s getting exponentially worse. Even as we pare back our consumption of fossil fuels we continue to redouble our consumption of everything else. Why? Because these ingredients are the basis for everything. Our modern world would not exist without them, and the hidden battle to control them will shape our future. This is a story of our past and future, from the ground up.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A day in the life of Abed Salama : a Palestine story / Thrall, Nathan
“Milad is five years old and excited for his school trip to a theme park on the outskirts of Jerusalem, but tragedy awaits – his bus is involved in a horrific accident. His father, Abed, rushes to the chaotic site, only to find Milad has already been taken away. Abed sets off on a journey to learn Milad’s fate, navigating a maze of physical, emotional, and bureaucratic obstacles he must face as a Palestinian. Interwoven with Abed’s odyssey are the stories of Jewish and Palestinian characters whose lives and pasts unexpectedly converge. A Day in the Life of Abed Salama is a deeply immersive, stunningly detailed portrait of life in Israel and Palestine, and an illumination of the reality of one of the most contested places on earth.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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