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)

eLibrary spotlight: Naxos Jazz Library


Have you checked out Naxos Jazz Library? It’s a music streaming service that showcases classic and contemporary jazz albums; as well as pop, rock, electronic, blues and more! Free with your Wellington City Libraries card, sign-in and discover a new favourite album from their selection of over 32,000 artists. With new music being added to the collection weekly, you’ll want to keep checking back for more gems.

Naxos Jazz Library also let’s you create personalised, ad free, playlists! What kind of playlist will you make? Here’s one I’ve put together, stream these tracks for an eclectic start to your week.

Tracks to start your Monday morning the right way:

AXEL FLÓVENT: You Stay by the Sea You Stay By The Sea is from the debut studio album by Icelandic singer-songwriter Axel Flóvent. It’s a soft, sleepy track that perhaps won’t get you out of bed quickly, but pairs perfectly with with snoozing your alarm for an extra few minutes.

ALAYNA: Glowing Next up, we’ve got a homegrown tune for you. Rotorua-born Alayna is an exciting R&B singer making waves and burning bright with their track, Glowing. The vibes are immaculate, it’s a bop guaranteed to perfectly accompany a smooth cup of coffee. 

BANGS AND TALBOT: Sumthin’ Else! OK, time to get ready for the day. It’s a beautiful Wellington morning (hopefully), so open those curtains and great the sunny day with Bangs and Talbot’s shimmy inducing mod jazz track Sumthin’ Else!. The track’s flowing groove and toe-tapping syncopation is sure to be the perfect way to great the day.

ARK PATROL: King Now for something more upbeat. Hawaiian-born, Seattle-based producer Ark Patrol brings us this electronic jam, King, which will absolutely put some pep in your step. This tune, in my opinion, is best blasted from your car on the motorway, or through headphones while navigating the Lambton Quay lunch rush.

BRIAN AUGER: Search Party Now this should sufficiently jump-start you into the rest of your day.  Launch into Monday with jazz prog rock fusion musician Brain Augar’s track Planet Earth Calling. 

 

 

eLibrary spotlight: Bridget Williams Books Text Collection


What a nation or society chooses to remember and forget speaks to its contemporary priorities and sense of identity. Understanding how that process works enables us to better imagine a future with a different, or wider, set of priorities. – from BWB Books 

Bridget Williams Books has  just added the brand new publication, Fragments from a Contested Past: Remembrance, Denial and New Zealand HistoryAn investigation into how we as a country remember – or forget – difficult events from Aotearoa’s history, this publication documents the work of a team of five researchers as they explore how we remember our histories in Aotearoa. Fragments from a Contested Past: Remembrance, Denial and New Zealand History combines the first-hand field notes, archival and oral research to examine how we as New Zealanders engage with the history of Aotearoa.

If you’re interested in this text, you might also like the related talk below (hosted by Bridget Williams Books and City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi). In this video, Professor Joanna Kidman (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa Rangatira) of Victoria University of Wellington and historian Dr Vincent O’Malley examine the role of memory and forgetting in the context of nineteenth-century New Zealand conflicts.

Our Bridget Williams Books Text Collection holds a diverse group of short eBooks on the big issues facing New Zealand. Discover stories, insights and critical analyses by some of Aotearoa’s best writers and commentators. This collection is free with your Wellington City Libraries card. Access the Bridget Williams Books Text Collection here.


Below we’ve listed some other recent additions to the Bridget Williams Books Text Collection, which are also available in print at a selection of our library branches.

Kārearea / Stephens, Mamari
“Writings on life, law and culture”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

 

 

 

Kāinga : people, land, belonging / Tapsell, Paul
“Through his own experience and the stories of his tīpuna, Paul Tapsell (Te Arawa, Tainui) charts the impact of colonisation on his people. Alienation from kāinga and whenua becomes a wider story of environmental degradation and system collapse. This book is an impassioned plea to step back from the edge. It is now up to the Crown, Tapsell writes, to accept the need for radical change.”–Publisher information.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

He pou hiringa : grounding science and technology in Te Ao Māori
“‘The creation of new science requires moving beyond simply understanding one another’s perspectives. We need to find transformative spaces for knowledge exchange and progress.’ Māori have a long history of innovation based on mātauranga and tikanga, the knowledge and values passed down from ancestors. Yet Western science has routinely failed to acknowledge the contribution of Indigenous peoples and their vital worldviews.”–Publisher information.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The history of a riot / Davidson, Jared
“In 1843, the New Zealand Company settlement of Nelson was rocked by the revolt of its emigrant labourers. Over 70 gang-men and their wives collectively resisted their poor working conditions through petitions, strikes and, ultimately, violence. Yet this pivotal struggle went on to be obscured by stories of pioneering men and women ‘made good’. The History of a Riot uncovers those at the heart of the revolt for the first time. Who were they? Where were they from? And how did their experience of protest before arriving in Nelson influence their struggle? By putting violence and class conflict at the centre, this fascinating microhistory upends the familiar image of colonial New Zealand”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

 

 

 

eLibrary spotlight: Mango Languages

Is learning a new language one of your goals, but you’re not quite sure where to start? Maybe you’re excited at the prospect of travelling, and would like to be able to navigate other countries with more confidence? If so, you could give Mango Languages a try! Available via our eLibrary page with your Wellington Cities Libraries card, Mango Languages is an online language learning resource that makes committing to learning a new language achievable and fun!

How you take in a new language differs from person to person, so Mango Languages utilises intelligent algorithms to “learn how you learn and adapt accordingly”. As well as this, Mango Languages utilises native speaking audio resources and a conversation based learning methodology to help you jump into a new language quickly, with confidence. 

a screenshot example of Mango Languages lesson interface


Each language is broken down into detailed chapters; Each chapter covers how to converse in all sorts of situations and contexts, including introductions and small talk, university life, travel and food and dining. Each lesson, built around an example conversation, offers opportunities to learn by listening, reading and by recording yourself and listening back to how you sound compared to a native speaker (this can be a little scary, but is super helpful!).

Lessons are also supplemented with other learning tools, for example quizzes. The resource also provides colour mapping onto sentences to reveal relationships between languages and cultural notes that provide extra context to what you’re learning, with the goal of facilitating a deeper understanding of your chosen language.

example of Mango Language's extra context feature
Mango Languages provides lesson on over 70 languages, and it’s free with your library card. Give it a go! Au revoir!

 

 

eLibrary spotlight: The New York Times


Did you know that your library card gives you free online access to The New York Times? The New York Times offers our members the opportunity to login each day with your library card details and claim a “group pass” which gives 24 hours’ access to their websites & smartphone app. 

The New York Times provides access to expertly produced and deeply researched journalism. From breaking world news to thoughtful opinion pieces, it’s a great way to stay up to date on world issues. As well as this, their website provides a collection of other exciting resources, some of which we’ve listed below. You can access The New York Times for free through our eLibrary portal here.


TimesMachine – Time-travel through The New York Times’ archive and view their past newspapers collection.

Podcasts – Listen to fascinating podcasts; The New York Times produces an array of thought-provoking shows including their current events show The Daily, the debate based The Argument and, our favourite of course, The Book Review.

Games- Are you a Wordle fan, but wish you had more daily ways to challenge your brain? Try The New York Times’ selection of games, including the mini crossword and sudoku.

Trending Highlights – Our modern media landscape can be quite overwhelming! For a quick overview of what’s happening in the zeitgeist, scroll through their handy trending page! This feature sorts through their website to bring you their most-read stories of the moment.

The Learning Network – Resources for teachers and activities for students; The Learning Network brings current events to the classroom with student opinion questions, quizzes, country of the week, word of the day and more!

Wirecutter – Independent product reviews on a wide variety of products. Are you looking to buy a new air fryer, or wanting the best mattress for people who sleep on their stomach? Wirecutter’s mission is to “save you time and eliminate the stress of shopping” with the promise that they will only suggest a product once their writers and editors “have deemed something the best through rigorous reporting and testing”.

 

 

 

eLibrary Spotlight: LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning Logo

LinkedIn Learning Logo with photos of people studying


Did you know that your library card gives you access to LinkedIn Learning? Available through our online resources, LinkedIn Learning is a video tutorial service providing access to over 12,000 instructional videos on many topics including computer software, design, video editing, animation and business skills.

LinkedIn Learning keeps track of your progress as you make your way through their courses, lets you save courses into customisable “collections” and provides personalised recommendations based on your previous learning history. The homepage also has a handy goal tracker, so you can set how much learning you would like to achieve per week.

To check out LinkedIn Learning for yourself, simply navigate to our online resources page here. After following the link, you just need to enter your library card number and pin. Unsure where to start? Here are some of LinkedIn Learning’s courses to get you inspired!


Photos of people job hunting


If you’re job hunting in 2022:
Job Interview Nano Tips with Madeline Mann

What do you say when a job interviewer asks what kind of salary you’re looking for? Does it matter what you wear for a job interview? How should you follow up after an interview? In this series of microlearning videos, Madeline Mann covers the important questions many job interviewees ask themselves, providing quick, to-the-point answers. (Adapted from LinkedIn Learning)

Finding a New Job during the Great Reshuffle

During the “great reshuffle” of people and talent, more people are aligning their passions and purpose with what they do. Whether you are job seeking or career switching, learn how to put together an action plan to achieve your dreams as the job market heats up and new opportunities appear. (Adapted from LinkedIn Learning)


If you’re starting your own business:
43 Ideas for Starting a Side Business

It’s a great time to explore creating a side business that can earn you extra income. In this course, Dana Robinson, a serial entrepreneur and attorney, shares 43 ideas for making additional income. Dana offers an array of options, including being a voice artist, turning trash into treasure (and selling it for a profit), landing copyediting gigs, becoming a virtual assistant, and working in real estate management. (Adapted from LinkedIn Learning)

20 Questions to Help You Start a Business

Starting a business can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Where do you start? How do you find customers? How do you market and scale your business? In this course, learn how by answering 20 essential questions that can help you get a clearer picture of the kind of business you want to run. (Adapted from LinkedIn Learning)

Entrepreneurship: Finding and Testing Your Business Idea

The prospect of starting your own business from scratch can feel at once exhilarating and overwhelming. Before you launch a new business, it’s critical that you validate and test your ideas to determine if they represent legitimate market needs. In this course, Dave Crenshaw helps you determine first which businesses are best suited to you as an entrepreneur, and then how to brainstorm ideas and identify which idea is a real opportunity. (Adapted from LinkedIn Learning)



If you want to get into coding:
HTML Essential Training

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the foundation of website and web application development. It allows you to ensure that your content is understood by both segments of your audience: the people who watch, read, or listen to your content, and the computers that display it. In this course, learn how to craft excellent HTML with the pieces that HTML itself has to offer. (Adapted from LinkedIn Learning)

CSS Essential Training

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a stylesheet language that allows you to control the appearance of your webpages. In this hands-on course, Christina Truong demonstrates the concepts that form the foundation of CSS, explaining what you need to know to tweak existing CSS and write your own. (Adapted from LinkedIn Learning)


If you’re an artist looking to upskill:
Motion Graphics

Transform shapes, icons, and text into compelling motion graphics. This series demonstrates techniques you can use to take your animation skills to the next level. Join mograph artist EJ Hassenfratz as he shows you tips and tricks you can use while leveraging the powerful features in Cinema 4D and Adobe After Effects. (Adapted from LinkedIn Learning)

Illustrator 2021 Essential Training

Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator 2021 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Instructor Tony Harmer covers the essentials of Illustrator 2021, including artboards, workspaces, layers, and shapes. (Adapted from LinkedIn Learning)

Become a Portrait Photographer

Learn the essential lighting and posing techniques for portrait photographers. Whether you are shooting business portraits, sport stars, or family photographs, this path will provide you with expert insight into best practices for posing and lighting your subjects. (Adapted from LinkedIn Learning)

 

 

 

 

eLibrary spotlight: Environmental Studies in Context (Gale)

Image of a forest road with the Gale logo


Have you checked out our eLibrary resource Environmental Studies in Context? Provided by Gale, it is a database filled with curated, educational resources about the physical, social, and economic aspects of environmental issues. Their collections are made up of accurate and peer-reviewed material,  and are created by a global network of scholars and educators.

This resource contains information on 446 issues related to Environmental Studies, spanning the agriculture industry, fast fashion, climate change and more. Gale has also included an in-built note-taking function, perfect for saving key quotes and research data for later. Environmental Studies in Context is the perfect place to deep dive into a new topic of interest, and is available for free with your Wellington City Libraries card. Login and start exploring through our eLibrary here.

Photo of wind turbines For instance, have you ever heard about the concept of green technology? Gale defines green technology as “technology that conserves energy while producing few or no emissions.”. The concept encompasses many types of technology, such as solar panels and electric cars, and aims to “harness power available in nature without destroying nature in the process”.

Green technology is not just a beacon of hope in terms of living sustainably on Earth, it has also led to scientists discovering creative solutions to other world problems. For example, green technology may be able to support parts of the world where the availability and reliability of electricity is currently lacking. It has also lead to advancements in food production; in the future, farmers will hopefully be able to utilise green technology to improve their irrigation systems and reduce food waste. 

For any passionate environmentalists who would like some book recommendations, we’ve also included a booklist below. Happy researching!

Salmon: A Fish, The Earth, And The History Of A Common Fate / Kurlansky, Mark
“In his new global food history, Mark Kurlansky says if we can save the salmon, we can save the world. Centuries of our greatest assaults on nature, from overfishing to dams, from hatcheries to fish farms, from industrial pollution to the ravages of climate change, can be seen in their harrowing yet awe-inspiring life cycle.” (Catalogue)

Environment Aotearoa : a collection of essays / Cleave, Peter
“This grew out of studies and discussions on the health of localities that I had been doing on the Manawatu River and on other places around New Zealand so the series was called Environment Aotearoa… This research, this thinking on the environment has, in the main, appeared since the turn of the century. Many of the ideas involved have been around for a lot longer but there is a fair bit of new writing in this mix and it came across to me at least as fresh and refreshing.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Wild souls : freedom and flourishing in the non-human world / Marris, Emma
“From an acclaimed environmental writer, a groundbreaking and provocative new vision for our relationships with-and responsibilities toward-the planet’s wild animals […] When is it right to capture or feed wild animals for the good of their species? How do we balance the rights of introduced species with those already established within an ecosystem? (Adapted from Catalogue)

Climate Aotearoa : what’s happening & what can we do about it?
“Climate Aotearoa outlines the climate situation as it is now, and as it will be in the years to come. It describes the likely impact on the environment and on our day-to-day living situation. It suggests the changes you can make for maximum impact, what we should be asking of our government and what we should be asking of our business community. In doing so, this is a hopeful book – actions can make a difference.” — Publisher’s website.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Beloved beasts : fighting for life in an age of extinction / Nijhuis, Michelle
“A vibrant history of the modern conservation movement–told through the lives and ideas of the people who built it. In the late nineteenth century, as humans came to realize that our rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving other animal species to extinction, a movement to protect and conserve them was born. In Beloved Beasts, acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the movement’s history” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The great derangement : climate change and the unthinkable / Ghosh, Amitav
“Is our imagination adequate to the realities of global warming? The novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that we need art and literature to help us imagine our future in the Anthropocene, but that they are falling short of the task. If culture cannot help us see the realities of our plight, then our era, which so congratulates itself on its self-awareness, may come to be known as the time of the Great Derangement.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Living with the anthropocene : love, loss and hope in the face of environmental crisis
“Australia — and the world — is changing. On the Great Barrier Reef corals bleach white, across the inland farmers struggle with declining rainfall, birds and insects disappear from our gardens and plastic waste chokes our shores. The 2019–20 summer saw bushfires ravage the country like never before and young and old alike are rightly anxious. Human activity is transforming the places we live in and love. In this extraordinarily powerful and moving book, some of Australia’s best-known writers and thinkers — as well as ecologists, walkers, farmers, historians, ornithologists, artists and community activists — come together to reflect on what it is like to be alive during an ecological crisis.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of Our Favourite Libby Audiobooks of 2021

It’s been another bumper year for fully produced and crisply realised audiobooks from publishers all over the world. From humorous memoirs, to full-cast productions, to expertly performed mysteries full of suspense and tension, there’s never been such interest  in the convenience and immersion provided by  a good spoken-word book!

As part of our annual revision of Libby’s best titles in 2021, we’ve provided curated lists of our librarians favourite Adult, Children’s and YA titles of the year on our Libby landing page, so maybe we could consider the digital audiobook titles below a wide-ranging Best Of the ‘Best Of’s’? Regardless, these 2021 audiobook titles all come heartily recommended!

Overdrive cover Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro (Audiobook)
“Klara and the Sun is the first novel by Kazuo Ishiguro since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 2017. From the bestselling and Booker Prize winning author of Never Let me Go and The Remains of the Day, a stunning new novel that asks, what does it mean to love? A thrilling feat of world-building, a novel of exquisite tenderness and impeccable restraint, Klara and the Sun is a magnificent achievement, and an international literary event.”  (Libby description)

Overdrive cover One Last Stop, Casey McQuiston (Audiobook)
“For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures. But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train. Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.” (Libby description)

Overdrive cover Under the Whispering Door, TJ Klune (Audiobook)
“When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead. Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over. But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life. When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days. By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, this absorbing tale of grief and hope is told with TJ Klune’s signature warmth, humor, and extraordinary empathy.” (Libby description)

Overdrive cover 1979, Val McDermid (Audiobook) 1979.
“It is the winter of discontent, and reporter Allie Burns is chasing her first big scoop. There are few women in the newsroom and she needs something explosive for the boys’ club to take her seriously. Soon Allie and fellow journalist Danny Sullivan are exposing the criminal underbelly of respectable Scotland. They risk making powerful enemies – and Allie won’t stop there. When she discovers a home-grown terrorist threat, Allie comes up with a plan to infiltrate the group and make her name. But she’s a woman in a man’s world . . . and putting a foot wrong could be fatal. A brilliant novel by a supremo of the genre at the height of her powers. An unmissable new series.” (Libby description)

Continue reading “Some of Our Favourite Libby Audiobooks of 2021”

Summer reads from our Overdrive comic collection

Make the most of your downtime this summer and catch up on a series you’ve been putting off with our comic collections on Overdrive. We’ve got a range of long-running series for all ages and fans, as well as some recent graphic novel hits from 2021.

Just download the Overdrive app to your device of choice, find Wellington City Library in the library listings, sign in with your library card number and PIN (the last four digits of your phone number), and download a great comic like one of these!

Omnibus Editions 

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The best way to get into a long-running series is to grab an omnibus. These collections have anywhere from 20 to 50 issues apiece to keep you covered for any long rides or beach reading. For fantasy fans, we’ve got the first four Omnibuses of Mike Mignola’s beloved Hellboy, five collections of Stan Sakai’s celebrated Usagi Yojimbo saga, and an omnibus of the The Witcher comic series. If you’ve just caught up on The Boys on Amazon or rewatched Avatar The Last Airbender or Buffy over the lockdowns, why not check out the comics as well?

TV and Film 

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Speaking of film and TV, 2021 was a huge year for comic-to-film adaptations. The first season of Invincible dropped and rocked viewers with its epic battles and family melodrama; if you can’t wait until the next season, you can read the entire series in three big compendiums on Overdrive. For the Marvel fans, we’ve also got collections of Shang-Chi, the original Eternals series by Jack Kirby, and the first four volumes of the most recent Venom comic. Tales from the Umbrella Academy: You Look Like Death continues the Umbrella Academy story from the hit comic and Netflix show. And if the recent Denis Villeneuve film wasn’t enough for you, you can also check out Dune: the Graphic Novel, Book 1

Finally, you can also catch up on the Marvel Star Wars books, including the first four volumes of Star Wars and all five volumes of the acclaimed Darth Vader run by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larocca.

Superheroes

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If you’re looking for a sizeable superhero story to tide you over this summer, why not check out Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers, starting in Avengers: Disassembled and continuing in the first four volumes of his New Avengers run, which has Spider-Man and Wolverine join the team for the first time. For the MCU fans, we have the Young Avengers Ultimate Collection, collecting the first twelve issues of the teenage heroes inspired by the Avengers, some of whom started appearing in this years’ Disney+ shows. And for more Marvel-set teen drama, there’s The Runaways, the hit comic by Saga writer Brian K Vaughn and Ms Marvel artist Adrian Alphona, about a group of teenagers who go on the run after learning that their parents are supervillains.

We have the first six volumes of both Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run on Black Panther, and the first six volumes of Al Ewing and Joe Bennett’s The Immortal Hulk, both critically-acclaimed series that revitalised their respective characters and came to a close this year. On the DC side, we’ve got Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s opening issues on Batman, the ‘Court of Owls’ storyline, and Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly’s beloved All-Star Superman. And to put you in the Christmas mood, what better book than Klaus, the secret superhero origin of Santa Claus himself?

Graphic Novels 

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For mature readers, there’s a number of long-running graphic novel series on Overdrive as well. For the history nerds, there’s Shigeru Mizuki’s Showa, a four-volume series cataloguing the history of Japan during the era of Emperor Showa from 1926 to 1989. From Image Comics, we have the first nine volumes of both the pop-god urban fantasy series The Wicked + The Divine, and the space epic on love, war, and parenting Saga (which is coming back from hiatus in January, so now’s the best time to catch up!). And with Taika Waititi announced to direct the film of Jodorowsky and Moebius’ acclaimed space epic The Incal, why not check out the original comic?

We’ve also acquired a number of new graphic novels to read digitally, including cartoonist Andi Watson’s dark comedy The Book Tour, Tania Ford and Nnedi Okorafor’s sci-fi immigration parable (and winner of the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Work) LaGuardia, Alison Bechdel’s newest comic The Secret to Superhuman Strength, and Emei Burrel’s political biography We Served the People: My Mother’s Stories.

Manga 

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Overdrive is the place to be to get your manga fix, whether to catch up on a series or check out a classic from the long history of Japanese comics. For starters, we’ve got the first six volumes of Kousuke Oono’s recent hit The Way of the Househusband, which follows a yakuza giving up the criminal life to pursue the path of quiet domesticity. Plus, the first 10 volumes of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the first 10 of Naruto, the first six of Bloom Into You, and all 27(!) currently published volumes of My Hero Academia.

When you’ve caught up on your series, why not check out a classic manga as well? We have the first 8 volumes of the original Astro Boy series by ‘god of manga’ himself Osamu Tezuka, two omnibuses of the ‘magical girl’ series, Cardcaptor Sakura, and the whole series of 90s sports manga Ping Pong in its two volume ‘Full Game’ editions.

Children’s Comics

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We have comics to keep kids of all ages and interests entertained this summer. Our Overdrive collection has 24 volumes of the long-running Pokémon Adventures manga, which goes through all the Pokemon games and generations in comic form, and every volume of both Dav Pilkey’s beloved Dog Man, and the Eisner award-winning Lumberjanes.

For lovers of magic and mythology, we have all the collections of The Magical Adventures of Phoebe and Her Unicorn, as well as George O’Conner’s hit comic of Greek mythology retellings The Olympians and the Dragon Kingdom of Wrenley series, starting with The Coldfire Curse.

And while Comicfest sadly didn’t come to pass in 2021, you can read the comics of New Zealand comic artists on Overdrive, like Johnathan King’s new mystery comic The Inkberg Enigma and Kay O’Neill’s Tea Dragon series, starting with The Tea Dragon Society.