The Literary Legacy of Max Cryer

Max Cryer was many things in his life: a television personality, a musician, and a notable author. Some of his favourite topics to write about were cats and the history of words and phrases, especially New Zealand words. In honour of Cryer’s recent passing at the age of 86, here is a round-up of some of his most notable books:

The Godzone dictionary of favourite New Zealand words and phrases / Cryer, Max
“The Godzone Dictionary is a concise A – Z of the words and phrases that make our New Zealand language and speech patterns so different. Language expert Max Cryer examines a wide range of words and phrases, shedding light on their origin and offering helpful definitions. Slang words and expressions feature heavily, while one of the unique features of this book is the large number of Māori words that have become part of our common language in recent years.”–Publisher information.” (adapted from catalogue)

 

Curious English words and phrases : the truth behind the expressions we use / Cryer, Max
“‘Cloud nine’, ‘at the drop of a hat’, ‘spitting image’, ‘mollycoddle’, ‘rigmarole’, ’round robin’, ‘spill the beans’, ‘kick the bucket’, ‘balderdash’ and ‘touch wood’. There are so many curious words and phrases that we often use and yet haven’t you ever wondered why we say them, where they come from and what they mean? Written by language expert Max Cryer, Curious Words and Phrases has all the answers behind some of the most interesting and perplexing words and expressions in the English language.” (adapted from catalogue)

 

The cat’s out of the bag : truth and lies about cats / Cryer, Max
“In this book Max Cryer celebrates cats and all they have given to us. He describes the many words and expressions they have inspired, from ‘catnip’ and ‘catwalk’ to ‘the cat’s whiskers’ and ‘raining cats and dogs’, as well as famous cat characters like Garfield, Felix the Cat, The Cat in the Hat and Puss in Boots, songs as varied as ‘What’s New Pussycat?’ and ‘The Cats’ Duet’, and poems like ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ and ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’. In other chapters he explores cats’ attributes, the strength of their night vision and sense of smell, their sleep requirements, life expectancy and much more.”–Publisher information”. (adapted from catalogue)

 

Is it true? : the facts behind the things we have been told / Cryer, Max
“In this revealing book, Max Cryer explores the truth or otherwise of facts and beliefs we may have always been told are true, but which on closer examination may not be. In a wide-ranging book encompassing social history, language, music, politics, food, sport, the natural world and much more, we discover the truth behind some of our most cherished beliefs. For example: Do St Bernard dogs really carry brandy? Does Santa Claus come from the North Pole? Did Winston Churchill coin the term ‘Iron Curtain’? ‘OK’ is an American expression, right? Tulips come from Holland, don’t they?” (adapted from catalogue)

 

Every dog has its day : a thousand things you didn’t know about man’s best friend / Cryer, Max
“Every Dog Has Its Day’ is a unique collection of extraordinary stories, feats and facts that will both inform and entertain. Written with a delightfully light touch, Max Cryer dispels some myths about dogs and confirms why they occupy such a special place in our lives.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Curious English words and phrases : the truth behind the expressions we use / Cryer, Max
“Have you ever wondered where terms like ‘Angostura bitters’ and the ‘green room’ come from? Or why we call some people ‘lounge lizards’ and others ‘sugar daddies’? These are just a few of the words and phrases that language expert Max Cryer examines in this fact-filled new book. He explains where such colourful expressions come from, what they mean and how they are used. Along the way he tells a host of colourful anecdotes and dispels quite a few myths too.” (adapted from catalogue)

 

Preposterous proverbs : why fine words butter no parsnips / Cryer, Max
“Max Cryer looks at a vast array of proverbs from around the world. He has chosen some of the most interesting and perplexing, and with his characteristic wry wit he analyses their meaning and truth. A great book to dip into, Preposterous Proverbs will take you from Greece (‘A thousand men cannot undress a naked man’) and China (‘A dry finger cannot pick up salt’) to Japan (‘Fools and scissors must be carefully handled’) and India (‘A fat spouse is a quilt for the winter’)”–Publisher information.” (adapted from catalogue)

 

Who said that first? : the curious origins of common words and phrases / Cryer, Max
“We might think we know who first said ‘famous for fifteen minutes’, ‘annus horribilis’, ‘the cold war’ and ‘let them eat cake’, but Max Cryer has a surprise or two in store for you. In this very readable book, Max Cryer explores the origins of hundreds of expressions we use and hear every day – and comes up with some surprising findings.” (Catalogue)

 

In praise of cats / Cryer, Max
“Did you know that the Bible does not mention cats at all? Do you know where the word caterpillar comes from? Why do we think cats have nine lives? How much of our great literature refers to cats–and what do authors say? These are the questions that many cat owners have pondered at one time or another. At last, all the cat references in our language have been gathered in one place to provide a informative, fun, and comprehensive resource on the feline species–it’s the cat’s pyjamas.” (Catalogue)

Catalogue search for World Languages

The easiest way to search for literature in our World Languages collection on our catalogue is to follow these steps:

  1. Enter the name of the language into the search box. For example “Hindi” https://catalogue.wcl.govt.nz/?section=search&term=hindi
  2. Then down the very bottom of the lefthand menu, click on “Language”.
  3. Then click on “Hindi”.
  4. From there you can narrow your search down further using the lefthand menu. Clicking on “Subject” will allow you to choose between Children’s and Adult literature.
  5. Once you have found a book you would like to reserve, click on the orange “Place Reserve” button and enter your account details.

Learning English as a second language

More IELTs texts for the learners of English as a second language, for both general and academic users. Also more Outcomes, and another in the Perspectives series, for you to improve your English skills!

Barron’s TOEFL iBT : internet-based test / Sharpe, Pamela J
“Barron’s newest edition of TOEFL iBT provides flexible study options to help you prepare for the test. This edition includes: Eight online full-length TOEFL iBT model tests with answer explanations: A review of required academic and language skills with four video lessons and a grammar review that supports the Speaking and Writing Sections: An online pronunciation guide that features over 200 campus flash cards with vocabulary terms and example sentences: MP3 audio files for all prompts: A general overview of the TOEFL iBT: PowerPoint review presentations with handouts, video lessons; and resources for tutors and teachers” (Catalogue)

Complete English All-in-one for ESL Learners / Swick, Ed
“Get seven times the language-learning expertise for the price of one book. More than two million students have turned to the Practice Makes Perfect series for a trusted guide to help build their language-learning skills. And, now this bestselling brand offers you all of the tools you need to improve your English in one value-packed workbook. Featuring seven titles in one volume, Practice Makes Perfect: Complete English All-in-One for ESL Learners provides a solid foundation of verbs, vocabulary and grammar, and conversational structures.” (adapted from catalogue)

IELTS 5 practice tests. (tests No. 16-20) / General set 4 : / Braverman, Simone
“General Set 4 from ‘High Scorer’s Choice’ series contains 5 full length IELTS practice tests (no. 16-20) and is a must-have study tool to achieve a high band score in IELTS. These tests feel as authentic as the real IELTS papers, and doing them at home is a great way to estimate your real IELTS score. Being a demanding test, IELTS requires a thorough preparation and these tests will help you master exam strategies, polish your techniques and raise your confidence.” (adapted from Catalogue)

IELTS 5 practice tests. (tests No. 21-25) / General set 5 : / Braverman, Simone
“Being a demanding test, IELTS requires a thorough preparation and these tests will help you master exam strategies, polish your techniques and raise your confidence. * 5 full-length General Training IELTS practice tests with answers. All writing tasks have model answers provided.” (adapted from Catalogue)

IELTS 5 practice tests. (tests No. 26-30) / General set 6 : / Braverman, Simone
“General Set 6 from ‘High Scorer’s Choice’ series contains 5 full length IELTS practice tests (no. 26-30) and is a must-have study tool to achieve a high band score in IELTS. All writing tasks have model answers provided.” (adapted from Catalogue)

IELTS 5 practice tests. (tests no. 21-25) / Academic set 5 : / Braverman, Simone
“Academic Set 5 from ‘High Scorer’s Choice’ series contains 5 full length IELTS practice tests (no.21-25) and is a must-have study tool to achieve a high band score in IELTS. These tests feel as authentic as the real IELTS papers, and doing them at home is a great way to estimate your real IELTS score. All writing tasks have model answers provided.” (adapted from Catalogue)

IELTS 5 practice tests. (tests No. 26-30) / Academic set 6 : / Braverman, Simone
“Academic Set 6 from ‘High Scorer’s Choice’ series contains 5 full length IELTS practice tests (no.26-30). Being a demanding test, IELTS requires a thorough preparation and these tests will help you master exam strategies, polish your techniques and raise your confidence. All writing tasks have model answers provided.” (Catalogue)

Perspectives. 4, Workbook
“Perspectives teaches learners to think critically and to develop the language skills they need to find their own voice in English. The carefully guided language lessons, real-world stories, and TED Talks motivate learners to think creatively and communicate effectively. In Perspectives, learners develop an open mind, a critical eye, and a clear voice in English.” (Catalogue)

Outcomes. Elementary student’s book / Dellar, Hugh
“This lexically rich course emphasises students’ need to have the conversations in English that they would in their own language. This new edition contains more contemporary and global content, reflecting English as it is used in the world and is visible via rewritten texts and new National Geographic photos and videos. There is a strong emphasis on real and natural English usage so students can develop the English language skills necessary for the real world.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Outcomes. Advanced student’s book / Dellar, Hugh
“Real situations, real language, real outcomes. The second edition of Outcomes is the only course that is consistently focused on helping students achieve the real world communicative outcomes they want and need.” (Catalogue)

Teach yourself with our new language learning kits

Image from Syndetics

Are you wanting to learn another language? Then take a look at our collection of Living Language learning kits. The Living Language series has learning kits in 3 levels: Essential, Complete, and Platinum. Kits are $3 for to borrow for 4 weeks.

Syndetics book coverArabic [kit].
“Arabic, Essential Edition is a unique multimedia introduction to Modern Standard Arabic. At the core of Arabic, Essential Edition is the Living Language Method(tm), based on linguistic science, proven techniques, and over 65 years of experience. Our method teaches you the whole language, so you can express yourself, not just recite memorized words or scripts.
* 2 Books: 10 lessons, additional review exercises and dialogues, a grammar summary, and a complete guide to Arabic Script.
* 3 Audio CDs: Vocabulary, dialogues, audio exercises, and more–listen while using the books or use for review on the go.” (Abridged from the Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverRussian. Intermediate [kit] / [written by Constantine Muravnik].
“Russian, Complete Edition is a unique multimedia course that takes you from a beginner to an advanced level in one convenient package.
At the core of Russian, Complete Edition is the Living Language Method(tm), based on linguistic science, proven techniques, and over 65 years of experience. Our method teaches you the whole language, so you can express yourself, not just recite memorized words or scripts.
* 3 Books: 46 lessons, additional review exercises, culture notes, and a grammar summary.
* 9 Audio CDs: Vocabulary, dialogues, audio exercises, and more–listen while using the books or use for review on the go.” (Abridged from the Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverSpanish.
“Complete Spanish is a unique multimedia program that takes you beginner to advanced level in one convenient package.
* 3 Books: 46 lessons, additional review exercises, culture notes, an extensive glossary, and a grammar summary–plus a bonus notebook
* 9 Audio CDs: Vocabulary, dialogues, audio exercises, and more–listen while using the books or use for review on the go.” (Abridged from the Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverJapanese.
“At the core of Platinum Japanese is the Living Language Method(tm), based on linguistic science, proven techniques, and over 65 years of experience. Our four-point method teaches you the whole language so you can express yourself, not just recite memorized words or scripts.
* 4 BOOKS: 46 lessons, additional review exercises, culture notes, study tips, and an extensive glossary–plus a guide to reading and writing Japanese, including explanations of hiragana, katakana, and kanji symbols.
* 9 AUDIO CDS: Vocabulary, dialogues, audio exercises, and more–listen with the books or use for review on the go. ” (Abridged from the Syndetics summary).

New Foreign Language books

New titles in French and German now available – just in time for summer!

Rhapsodie française : roman / Antoine Laurain.
“Antoine Laurain’s new novel combines his trademark charm with a satirical take on modern France. Middle-aged doctor Alain Massoulier has received a life-changing letter–thirty-three years too late. Lost in the Paris postal system for decades, the letter from Polydor, dated 1983, offers a recording contract to The Holograms, in which Alain played lead guitar. Back then The Holograms had believed in their cutting-edge sound. However, the music industry remained indifferent, and eventually the band split up, each going their own way. Alain is overcome by nostalgia, and is tempted to track down the members of the group. But in a world where everything and everyone has changed…where will his quest take him?” (Translated from the Syndetics summary)

“Le nouveau roman d’Antoine Laurain combine son charme de marque avec un regard satirique sur la France moderne. Le docteur d’âge moyen Alain Massoulier a reçu une lettre qui change la vie – trente-trois ans trop tard. Perdue dans le système postal parisien depuis des décennies, la lettre de Polydor, datée de 1983, propose un contrat d’enregistrement à The Holograms, dans lequel Alain jouait de la guitare. À l’époque, les Holograms avaient cru en leur son de pointe. Cependant, l’industrie de la musique est restée indifférente, et finalement le groupe s’est séparé, chacun allant de son côté. Alain est envahi par la nostalgie et est tenté de traquer les membres du groupe. Mais dans un monde où tout et tout le monde a changé … où sa quête le mènera-t-il?” (Syndetics summary)

2084 : la fin du monde / Boualem Sansal.
“It is the year 2084. In the kingdom of Abistan–named after the prophet Abi, earthly messenger of the god Yolah–citizens submit to a single god, demonstrating their devotion by kneeling in prayer nine times a day. Autonomous thought has been banned, remembering is forbidden, and an omnipresent surveillance system instantly informs the authorities of every deviant act, thought, or idea. The kingdom is blessed and its citizens are happy, filled with a sense of purpose and piety. Those who are not–the heretics–are put to death by stoning or beheading in city squares. But Ati has met people who think differently; in ghettos and caves, hidden from the authorities, exist the last living heretics and free-thinkers of Abistan. Under their influence, Ati begins to doubt. He begins to think. Now, he will have to defend his thoughts with his life.” (Summary from Syndetics and Amazon)

“Nous sommes en l’année 2084. Dans le royaume d’Abistan – nommé d’après le prophète Abi, messager terrestre du dieu Yolah – les citoyens se soumettent à un seul dieu, démontrant leur dévouement en s’agenouillant dans la prière neuf fois par jour. La pensée autonome a été bannie, le souvenir est interdit et un système de surveillance omniprésent informe instantanément les autorités de tout acte, pensée ou idée déviant. Le royaume est béni et ses citoyens sont heureux, remplis d’un sens du but et de la piété. Ceux qui ne le sont pas – les hérétiques – sont mis à mort par lapidation ou décapitation sur les places de la ville. Mais Ati a rencontré des gens qui pensent différemment; dans les ghettos et les grottes, cachés aux autorités, existent les derniers hérétiques et libres-penseurs d’Abistan. Sous leur influence, Ati commence à douter. Il commence à penser. Maintenant, il devra défendre ses pensées avec sa vie.” (Translated from the Syndetics and Amazon summary)

Maman a tort / Michel Bussi.
“Nothing is more ephemeral than the memory of a child …When Malone, at the age of three and a half, claims that her mother is not her real mother, even if it seems impossible, Vasile, a school psychologist, believes it. He is the only one. He must act quickly. Discover the hidden truth. Find help. That of the commander Marianne Augresse for example. For, already, Malone’s memories are disappearing. They only hang on a thread. The countdown has begun. Who is really Malone?”(Translated from the Amazon summary)

“Rien n’est plus éphémère que la mémoire d’un enfant…Quand Malone, du haut de ses trois ans et demi, affirme que sa maman n’est pas sa vraie maman, même si cela semble impossible, Vasile, psychologue scolaire, le croit. Il est le seul. Il doit agir vite. Découvrir la vérité cachée. Trouver de l’aide. Celle de la commandante Marianne Augresse par exemple. Car, déjà, les souvenirs de Malone s’effacent. Ils ne tiennent plus qu’à un fil. Le compte à rebours a commencé. Qui est vraiment Malone?”(Amazon summary)

La vie est facile, ne t’inquiète pas : roman / Agnès Martin-Lugand.
“Depuis son retour d’Irlande, Diane a tourné la page sur son histoire tumultueuse avec Edward, bien décidée à reconstruire sa vie à Paris. Avec l’aide de son ami Félix, elle s’est lancée à corps perdu dans la reprise en main de son café littéraire. C’est là, aux Gens…, son havre de paix, qu’elle rencontre Olivier. Il est gentil, attentionné et surtout il comprend son refus d’être mère à nouveau. Car Diane sait qu’elle ne se remettra jamais de la perte de sa fille. Pourtant, un événement inattendu va venir tout bouleverser : les certitudes de Diane quant à ses choix, pour lesquels elle a tant bataillé, vont s’effondrer les unes après les autres. Aura-t-elle le courage d’accepter un autre chemin?” (Amazon summary)

“Since returning from Ireland, Diane has turned the page on her tumultuous history with Edward, determined to rebuild his life in Paris. With the help of her friend Félix, she launched herself into the recovery of her literary café. It is here, at Gens …, her haven of peace, that she meets Olivier. He is kind, attentive and above all he understands her refusal to be a mother again. Because Diane knows she will never recover from the loss of her daughter. However, an unexpected event will come to disrupt everything: Diane’s certainties about her choices, for which she has fought so much, will collapse one after the other. Will she have the courage to accept another path?” (Translated from the Amazon summary)

 

Zero : sie wissen, was du tust : Roman / Marc Elsberg.
“A boy is shot. His death leads the journalist Cynthia Bonsant to the acclaimed Internet platform Freemee. While investigating in more detail, she becomes the hunted…” (Translated from the Syndetics summary)
“Ein Junge wird erschossen. Sein Tod führt die Journalistin Cynthia Bonsant zur renommierten Internetplattform Freemee. Während sie genauer untersucht, wird sie zur gejagten…” (Syndetics summary)

Die Geschichte der Bienen : Roman / Maja Lunde ; aus dem Norwegischen von Ursel Allenstein.
“England in 1852: The biologist and seed dealer William can not leave his bed for weeks. As a researcher he sees himself as failing, his mentor Rahm has turned away, and the business is broke. But then he comes up with an idea that could change everything – the idea for a completely new hive. Ohio, USA in 2007: Beekeeper George works hard for his dream. The farm is supposed to grow bigger, to take over his son Tom someday. Tom dreams of journalism. Until one day the unbelievable happens: The bees disappear.

China, in the year 2098: The worker Tao pollinates by hand trees, because bees are no longer there. More than anything she wants a better life for her son Wei-Wen. But when he has a mysterious accident, suddenly everything is at stake: the life of her child and the future of humanity.

How everything is connected with everything: Maja Lunde is rousing and poignant about loss and hope, about the coexistence of generations and the invisible bond between the history of humans and the history of bees. It poses some of the most pressing issues of our time: how do we deal with nature and its creatures? What future do we leave for our children? What are we ready to fight for?” (Translated from the Amazon summary)

“England im Jahr 1852: Der Biologe und Samenhändler William kann seit Wochen das Bett nicht verlassen. Als Forscher sieht er sich gescheitert, sein Mentor Rahm hat sich abgewendet, und das Geschäft liegt brach. Doch dann kommt er auf eine Idee, die alles verändern könnte – die Idee für einen völlig neuartigen Bienenstock.

Ohio, USA im Jahr 2007: Der Imker George arbeitet hart für seinen Traum. Der Hof soll größer werden, sein Sohn Tom eines Tages übernehmen. Tom aber träumt vom Journalismus. Bis eines Tages das Unglaubliche geschieht: Die Bienen verschwinden.

China, im Jahr 2098: Die Arbeiterin Tao bestäubt von Hand Bäume, denn Bienen gibt es längst nicht mehr. Mehr als alles andere wünscht sie sich ein besseres Leben für ihren Sohn Wei-Wen. Als der jedoch einen mysteriösen Unfall hat, steht plötzlich alles auf dem Spiel: das Leben ihres Kindes und die Zukunft der Menschheit.

Wie alles mit allem zusammenhängt: Mitreißend und ergreifend erzählt Maja Lunde von Verlust und Hoffnung, vom Miteinander der Generationen und dem unsichtbaren Band zwischen der Geschichte der Menschen und der Geschichte der Bienen. Sie stellt einige der drängendsten Fragen unserer Zeit: Wie gehen wir um mit der Natur und ihren Geschöpfen? Welche Zukunft hinterlassen wir unseren Kindern? Wofür sind wir bereit zu kämpfen?”(Amazon summary)