All this way to meet you: New biographies

Recent Biography Picks

via GIPHY

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, and the one who doesn’t read, lives just one.” – George RR Martin

Dive into someone else’s life for a bit with our new biographies! This month we’ve got a wide range of stories, from standing in front of a Taliban warlord’s home to a drag queen’s rise to stardom. Other highlights from the below list include New York Times bestselling author Jami Attenberg on her journey as a writer, Miriam Margolyes on her rip-roaring life as an actor and The Sunday Times Memoir of the Year, Free : coming of age at the end of history.

I came all this way to meet you : writing myself home / Attenberg, Jami
“From New York Times bestselling author Jami Attenberg comes a dazzling memoir about unlocking and embracing her creativity-and how it saved her life”– Provided by publisher. Attenberg reveals the defining moments that pushed her to create a life and a voice she could claim for herself. Drawn to a life on the road, her wanderlust led her across the country and eventually around the globe. She began to reflect on the experiences of her youth, and began writing: researching articles for magazines, jotting down ideas for novels, and refining her craft, learning to trust her gut, and ultimately, trust herself. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Empower : conquering the disease of fear / Azim, Tareq
“If you knock on Wakil’s door, he’s going to kill you.” That’s what Tareq Azim’s guide told him, as they stood at the foot of the local Taliban warlord’s home. Most people would let fear get the better of them. However, Tareq had already conquered fear. He walked up to the door by himself, and gave three loud knocks.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The tick of two clocks : a tale of moving on / Bakewell, Joan
“Old age is no longer a blip in the calendar, just a few declining years before the end. Old age is now a major and important part of life: It should command as much thought – even anxiety – as teenagers give to exam results and young marrieds how many children to have . . . I am in my 80s and moving towards the end of my life. But in a more actual sense, I have moved from my dear home of 50 odd years into another . . . the home where I will be until the end.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Caught in the act : a memoir / Jenek, Shane
“Meet Shane Jenek. Raised in the Brisbane suburbs by loving parents, Shane realises from a young age that he’s not like all the other boys. At a performing arts agency he discovers his passion for song, dance and performance, and makes a promise to himself: to find a bigger stage. Meet Courtney Act. Born in Sydney around the turn of the millennium, Courtney makes her name in the gay bars of Oxford Street and then on Australian Idol. Over ten years later, she makes star turns on RuPaul’s Drag Race and Celebrity Big Brother UK, bringing her unique take on drag and gender to the world. Behind this rise to national and global fame is a story of searching for and finding oneself.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

This much is true / Margolyes, Miriam
“BAFTA-winning actor, voice of everything from Monkey to the Cadbury’s Caramel Bunny, creator of a myriad of unforgettable characters from Lady Whiteadder to Professor Sprout, Miriam Margolyes is the nation’s favourite (and cheekiest) treasure. Now at the age of eighty, she has finally decided to tell her life story, and it’s well worth the wait.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Did ye hear mammy died? / O’Reilly, Séamas
“Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? is Seamas O’Reilly’s memoir of growing up as one of eleven children in rural Northern Ireland in the 1990s after the death of their mother when Seamas was five. He delves into his family – his pleasingly eccentric, reticent but deeply loving father; his rambunctious siblings, intent on enforcing a byzantine age-based hierarchy; and the numerous bewildering friends, relations and neighbours who blew in and out to ‘help’. Seamas describes how his mother’s death changed his childhood relationships with everyone and everything, as knowledge of his tragic experience preceded him.” (Catalogue)

My mess is a bit of a life : adventures in anxiety / Pritchett, Georgia
“Television writer and producer Georgia Pritchett knows a thing or two about anxiety. From worrying about the monsters under her bed as a child (Were they comfy enough?), to embracing womanhood (One way of knowing you have crossed from girlhood to womanhood is that men stop furtively masturbating at you from bushes and start shouting things at you from cars. It’s a beautiful moment) to being offered free gifts after an award ceremony (It was an excruciating experience. Mortifying) worry has accompanied her at every turn. This memoir is a joyful reflection on just how to live and sometimes even thrive (sometimes not) with anxiety”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

Free : coming of age at the end of history / Ypi, Lea
“Lea Ypi grew up in one of the most isolated countries on earth, a place where communist ideals had officially replaced religion. Albania, the last Stalinist outpost in Europe, was almost impossible to visit, almost impossible to leave. It was a place of queuing and scarcity, of political executions and secret police. To Lea, it was home. People were equal, neighbours helped each other, and children were expected to build a better world. There was community and hope. Then, in December 1990, a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, everything changed.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

New Zealand motorsport life and culture : New transport books

This month’s picks heavily feature New Zealand’s motorsport life and culture – from Formula One in New Zealand and Australia, to Kiwi van conversions and #vanlife. Plus, the most comprehensive and detailed biography of Formula One legend Nick Lauda ever published – as told by Maurice Hamilton. Have a browse!

Formula One : the Australian and New Zealand story / Smailes, John
“Since 1950, fifteen Australians and nine New Zealanders have raced in world championship Formula One, the pinnacle of motor racing. Three – Jack Brabham, Denny Hulme and Alan Jones – have won the world title. Two have died in the attempt without ever facing the world championship starters’ lights. So few drivers make it to Formula One. Even fewer succeed in the fastest and most challenging four-wheeled sport of all. Now John Smailes, author of the bestselling Climbing the Mountain, Race Across the World, Mount Panorama and Speed Kings, gives us the definitive story of our involvement with Formula One… this is the must-have book for every Australian and New Zealand fan of Formula One.” (Catalogue)

Vantastic : van living, sustainable travel, food ideas, conversions / Ulman, Kate
“Pack down and hitch up, it’s time for the freedom of the road with Vantastic, your guide to life with a van or RV! In this revised edition, seasoned traveller Kate Ulman, of the popular blog and Instagram accounts Foxslane, provides practical tips and advice as well as comprehensive information on turning your dream of a #vanlife road trip into reality. … This guide also covers the people behind them – their designers, builders, collectors and users – in a celebration of Kiwi ingenuity, passion and determination.” (Catalogue)

Niki Lauda : the biography / Hamilton, Maurice
“The most comprehensive and detailed biography of Formula One legend Nick Lauda ever published, as told by Maurice Hamilton, who knew him for more than forty years. From the famous rivalry with James Hunt in the 1970s, as depicted in the film Rush, to working with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, Lauda’s career helped define modern F1. … Maurice Hamilton, who first met Lauda in 1971, draws together the remarkable story of one of the greatest stars in Formula One history. Based on interviews with friends and family, rival drivers and those he worked with later in his career, Niki Lauda is a superb and definitive tribute to a remarkable character, who died in May 2019 at the age of seventy.” (Catalogue)

RV there yet? : a guide to owning and using a recreational vehicle in New Zealand / Jessen, Don
“Travelling the length and breadth of New Zealand, you cannot help but notice the Recreational Vehicles (RV’s) parked at holiday spots across the country. These RV’s – now numbering 40,000+ in New Zealand – come in all shapes and sizes, from small self-contained vans to luxury multi-metre motorhomes. From choosing and setting up your RV, to living life on the open road, this book is designed to guide you through all stages of the decision-making process – from your RV dreams to the practical realities of RV ownership. There is also a glimpse into some of New Zealand’s outstanding RV’s and the people who inhabit them.” (Catalogue)

Life with cars : New Zealanders’ motoring memories 1950s-1980s / Barnett, Stephen
“Life with Cars is a like a national family photo album, albeit one with its focus on cars. It brims with evocative imagery of cars and automotive adventures from the 1950s to the 1980s, with the words of the contributors as told to the author. Their stories reflect New Zealanders’ creation and uptake of car culture – telling of breakdowns in the middle of nowhere, holidays at the beach, evading the law, Sunday drives and of course posing on, beside or in the much-loved four-wheeled family members.” (Catalogue)

Classic Jaguars in New Zealand : grace, space, pace / Waugh, Richard
“Published for the 100th anniversary of Jaguar’s origins in 2022, this new book tells the marque’s fascinating story with many informative New Zealand features. A wide range of classic saloons and sports cars are profiled from the early 1930s to the late 1990s, many of which became household names such as the Mark 2, E-Type and XJ6. The owners share experiences of their cherished Jaguars. Each car is superbly photographed to show their elegance in appealing detail and clearly demonstrate why classic Jaguars are acclaimed in New Zealand and around the world.” (Catalogue)

The bikes we built : a journey through New Zealand made bicycles / Kennett, Jonathan
“Take a ride through the history of 60 New Zealand-made bicycles, from 1869 to the present day. From the velocipede to the penny farthing, to the Chopper and the BMX, discover how Kiwis have reinvented the wheel over the last 150 years. Unearthing secrets from factories, garages, archives and museums, this book brings us the stories of New Zealand-made bikes.” (Catalogue)

Artists and their worlds : New art books

This month’s picks feature the worlds of artists and their influences — both the mundane and everyday, as well as the times they lived in. From the intimacy of objects arranged in still life, to the influence of their contemporaries and the wider world and time they lived in, there’s plenty to be discovered here. Have a browse!

Van Gogh and the artists he loved / Naifeh, Steven
“To us, Van Gogh’s paintings look utterly unique. His vivid palates and wildly interpretive portraits are unmistakably his — yet however revolutionary his style may have been, it was actually built on a strong foundation of paintings by other artists, both his contemporaries and those who came before him. Now, drawing on Van Gogh’s own thoughtful and often poetic comments about the artists he venerated, Steven Naifeh gives a gripping account of his deep immersion in their work.” (Catalogue)

Frida Kahlo : her universe.
“The iconic Mexican painter as seen through over 300 archival items, from her wardrobe to her personal art collection This compendium presents the rich diversity of themes, ideas, concepts and emotions generated around two fundamental, iconic figures of modern Mexico: painter Frida Kahlo and her husband, muralist Diego Rivera. More than 300 images from the archives of the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City offer readers a glimpse of Kahlo’s distinctive wardrobe and the impressive collections of popular and pre-Hispanic art she assembled with Rivera, her connection with photography and the history of La casa azul, her beloved cobalt-blue home that now serves as the museum’s main building.” (Catalogue)

The radical potter : the life and times of Josiah Wedgwood / Hunt, Tristram
“From one of Britain’s leading historians and the director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, a scintillating biography of Josiah Wedgwood, the celebrated eighteenth-century potter, entrepreneur, and abolitionist” (Catalogue)

This dark country : women artists, still life and intimacy in the early Twentieth century / Birrell, Rebecca
“Lemons gleam in a bowl. Flowers fan out softly in a vase. A door swings open in a sparsely furnished room. What is contained in a still life – and what falls out of the frame? For women artists in the early twentieth century, including Ethel Sands, Nina Hamnett, Vanessa Bell and Gwen John, who lived in and around the Bloomsbury Group, this art form was a conduit for their lives, their rebellions, their quiet loves for men and women. Gluck, who challenged the framing of her gender and her art, painted flowers arranged by the woman she loved; Dora Carrington, a Slade School graduate, recorded eggs on a table at Tidmarsh Mill, where she built a richly fulfilling if delicate life with Lytton Strachey. But for every artist we remember, there is one we have forgotten; who leaves only elusive traces; whose art was replaced by being a mother or wife; whose remaining artworks lie dusty in archives or attics…” (Catalogue)

Verrocchio, sculptor and painter of Renaissance Florence
“A comprehensive survey of the work of this most influential Florentine artist and teacher. Andrea del Verrocchio (c. 1435-1488) was one of the most versatile and inventive artists of the Italian Renaissance. He created art across media, from his spectacular sculptures and paintings to his work in goldsmithing, architecture, and engineering. His expressive, confident drawings provide a key point of contact between sculpture and painting. He led a vibrant workshop where he taught young artists who later became some of the greatest painters of the period, including Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Lorenzo di Credi, and Domenico Ghirlandaio. This beautifully illustrated book presents a comprehensive survey of Verrocchio’s art.” (Catalogue)

Endometriosis Awareness Month: Resources from the catalogue

Fine line illustration of bodies


It’s March and that means it’s Endometriosis Awareness Month.  Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition where endometrial tissue (the type of tissue in the lining of the uterus) grows elsewhere in the body. Even though 1 in 10 people with a uterus suffer endometriosis, very little is known about it and many cases go undiagnosed. It can be extremely painful, even debilitating, and a lot of sufferers find themselves struggling to find information on the condition.

If you are looking for information on endometriosis, we can help!  We have several resources in our collection, here are some you could give a try:

For more help with information and resources on endometriosis, go to Endometriosis New Zealand.


Endometriosis : natural and medical solutions / Cooke, Kaz

“Endometriosis a fun to read yet sensible explanation of the self-care, natural therapies and medical solutions for managing endometriosis.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Endometriosis : the complete reference for taking charge of your health / Ballweg, Mary Lou

“Bestselling health authors present must-have information for managing endometriosis. Endometriosis is a serious disease associated with pain, immune dysfunction, infertility, cancer, and autoimmune diseases that can be managed only through active, informed decision making. Developed by the Endometriosis Association, Endometriosis provides new information on treatments and lifestyle changes that gives people with endometriosis and their families the tools they need to successfully manage the disease. This authoritative guide contains groundbreaking new discoveries on endometriosis and its relationship to autoimmune problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and other poorly understood diseases. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

How to endo : a guide to surviving and thriving with endometriosis / Hustwaite, Bridget

“After years of dismissive doctors and misinformation, Bridget Hustwaite finally received a diagnosis for her intensely heavy periods, pulsing headaches and the excruciating abdominal pain that makes her ovaries feel like they are on fire. She has endometriosis – hard to pronounce, hard to diagnose and even harder to live with. Two excision surgeries and one thriving endo Instagram community later, Bridget knows firsthand how much personal research and self-advocating endo sufferers have to do just to have their pain acknowledged. With her trademark enthusiasm, Bridget has blended her own experience with a raft of tips and strategies from health experts and endo warriors to help you thrive whenever you can, and survive on days when you just can’t.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Explaining endometriosis / Henderson, Lorraine

“The most comprehensive handbook of up-to-date advice and information for sufferers of Endometriosis, a debilitating disease which affects approximately one in ten people with a uterus.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Private parts : how to really live with endometriosis / Thom, Eleanor

“Like 1 in 10 people with a uterus in the UK, Eleanor Thom has endometriosis and she thinks that it’s time to talk a bit more about our private parts. Part memoir, part guide book and part survival guide, Private Parts retraces Eleanor’s own journey with endometriosis, offering readers practical, down-to-earth and friendly advice covering everything from what actually happens in an internal exam, to finding the right specialist for you, the perfect post-op wardrobe and to why you should look to Frida Kahlo for inspiration in your darkest moments. Written for those looking to live well with their endometriosis and for those looking for help to understand the disease, this is a call to action for people to speak up about an illness which is still so misunderstood. Features exclusive interviews with Hilary Mantel, Paulette Edwards, Lena Dunham as well as insights from experts in the field.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Beating endo : a patient’s treatment plan for endometriosis / Orbuch, Iris

“Endometriosisis an inflammatory response that results when tissue is found outside the uterus, thereby initiating a disease process and an array of maladies accrue. Dr Iris Orbuch. is a surgeon and Amy Stein,a physical therapist, have seen endo’s harm and agony up close and personal and they have created this self-care guide for people with endometriosis about how to deal with their endometriosis in order to: 1) Avoid surgery (if at all possible), 2) What to do before surgery (should they absolutely need it); and how 3) To live and what to do post-surgery – so that the women afflicted by this disease, can reclaim their lives.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Vagina problems : endometriosis, painful sex, and other taboo topics / Parker, Lara

“In April 2014, Deputy Editorial Director at BuzzFeed Lara Parker opened up to the world in an article on the website: she suffers from endometriosis. And beyond that? She let the whole world know that she wasn’t having any sex, as sex was excruciatingly painful. Less than a year before, she received not only the diagnosis of endometriosis, but also a diagnosis of pelvic floor dysfunction, vulvodynia, vaginismus, and vulvar vestibulitis. Combined, these debilitating conditions have wreaked havoc on her life, causing excruciating pain throughout her body since she was fourteen years old. These are her Vagina Problems. It was five years before Lara learned what was happening to her body. Five years of doctors insisting she just had ‘bad period cramps,’ or implying her pain was psychological[…]With candid revelations about her vaginal physical therapy, dating as a straight woman without penetrative sex, coping with painful seizures while at the office, diet and wardrobe malfunctions when your vagina hurts all the time, and the depression and anxiety of feeling unloved, Lara tackles it all in Vagina Problems: Endometriosis, Painful Sex, and Other Taboo Topics with courage, wit, love, and a determination to live her best life” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Endo Unfiltered: How to take charge of your endometriosis and PCOS / Barnett, Erin

“The real life guide to endometriosis and PCOS (from someone who’s living it) from international reality TV star and health advocate Erin Barnett.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Resilient stitching: New craft books for your wellbeing

New Craft Books

via GIPHY

The weather’s getting colder and you know what that means! It’s the perfect time to get into a new cosy craft. We’ve compiled a handy list of recent additions to our collection, featuring how-to’s for a number of different delightful hobbies to do at home. Some highlights include Resilient stitch : wellbeing and connection in textile art, which considers how the art of textiles can influence the wellness of individuals and their communities, and Making a Living: How to Craft Your Business, a guide for making your love of crafting into a viable business practice. We’ve also got books for making cute crochet bags, building your own birdfeeder and making your own wardrobe from scratch.

Some of these books are on order, which means they are on their way but not currently on the shelf. Reserve them today to be one of the first to issue them, and happy crafting!

Crocheted bags : 25 quick and easy projects to make / Osmond, Emma
“Crochet your way from clutch to tote, making a variety of beautiful bags in between, with the latest title in the Weekend Makes series. Crochet has been brought bags up-to-date and now fills Instagram and Pinterest – not to mention catwalks and high-end fashion houses – with modern masterpieces. Grab your crochet hook and yarn and join the trend by creating a carrier for every outing.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Eco-resin Crafts : 30 Hand-crafted Projects for the Home / Oliver, Hazel
“Resin craft is a great way to make beautiful items for your home and jewellery for yourself or others.” (Catalogue)

Rag rug techniques for beginners : 30 planet -friendly projects using rag-rugging methods from around the world / Jackson, Elspeth
“Learn ten different rag-rugging methods and use them to create 30 stylish and practical items for yourself and your home. In Rag Rug Techniques for Beginners, Elspeth Jackson details ten methods that will help you learn the art of rag rugs, and inspire your craft creativity. Each chapter focuses on a different technique, from Shaggy to Locker Hooking, Loopy to Two-String Loom, and more. Elspeth will show you the skills, tools, and equipment you’ll need for each one, as well as providing advice on choices of fabrics and design.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Resilient stitch : wellbeing and connection in textile art / Wellesley-Smith, Claire
“Following on from her textile hit Slow Stitch , author Claire Wellesley-Smith considers the importance of connection and ideas around wellbeing when using textiles for individuals and communities, including practical ideas around ‘thinking-through-making’, using ‘resonant’ materials and extending the life of pieces using traditional and non-traditional methods. Contemporary textile artists using these themes in their work feature alongside personal work from Claire and examples from community-based textile projects.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Making a Living: How to Craft Your Business / Rochester, Sophie
“Carefully crafted to support anyone looking for practical, hands-on advice and inspiring stories to motivate them to make their dream business a reality. With chapters on market research, valuing & pricing your work, branding, marketing & sales, plus accounting & legal considerations, this is a step-by-step guide to getting your idea off the ground” (Catalogue)

The Wild Craft: Mindful, Nature-Inspired Projects for You and Your Home / Seixas, Catarina
“From botanical cookies, acorn coffee and wild green pesto, to making your own calendula salve and building a bird feeder The Wild Craft is filled with seasonal nature-based projects designed to reignite your love of the natural world and connect you to the earth.” (Catalogue)

Around the Kitchen Table: Good things to cook, create and do – the whole year through / Hansen, Sophie
“Best-selling Sophie Hansen and her artist and art teacher mum Annie Herron have teamed up – with recipes to cook, preserves to make, things to sketch, crafts for the not-crafty, and more.” (Catalogue)

The act of sewing : how to make and modify clothes to wear every day / Philip, Sonya
“A complete guide to sewing simple garments-with 4 full-size patterns-and all the tricks of alterations and embellishments explained so that you can make a wardrobe all your own”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

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”.

 

 

 

New DVDs for Te Awe

Featured covers of our new dvds

via GIPHY

Here are some new DVDs added to the catalogue over February, that are available at our CBD Te Awe branch and selected other locations.

New Material:
Raphael : the young prodigy.
Venom. Let there be Carnage
Brooklyn nine-nine. Season eight.
How to deter a robber
The hating game.
Ride the eagle.
Young Sheldon. The complete fourth season.
Agatha and the midnight murders
The many saints of Newark
Beginning
Eiffel
Lamb
Only the animals.
Silent night
Charmed. Season two.
The luminaries. Season 1.
Poppy
After we fell
I am mortal
Angela Black.
Last night in Soho
Nitram
Dear Evan Hansen

















 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Empire in Many Forms: March History Picks

This month’s history picks deal with the causes and consequences of imperial expansion – a timely investigation of how environmental damage and illness influenced the decline of the Roman Empire in Paul Stephenson’s New Rome, Paul Moon looks at the full context of colonisation in Aotearoa against the backdrop of the wider British imperial project, and Smedley Butler’s revelations about what his heroic war efforts enabled for American capitalism. A more personal look at the consequences are also examined in two of our World War 2-related titles, looking at survival in Auschwitz and the arrest of Anne Frank.

Always remember your name : a true story of family and survival in Auschwitz / Bucci, Andra
“On March 28, 1944, six-year-old Tati, her four-year-old sister Andra, and other members of the family were deported to Auschwitz. Their mother Mira was determined to keep track of her girls. After being tattooed with their inmate numbers, she made them memorize her number and told them to “always remember your name.” In keeping this promise to their mother, the sisters were able to be reunited with their parents when WWII ended. An unforgettable narrative of the power of sisterhood in the most extreme circumstances, and of how a mother’s love can overcome the most impossible odds.” (adapted from catalogue)

Athens : city of wisdom / Clark, Bruce
“Even on the most smog-bound of days, the rocky outcrop on which the Acropolis stands is visible above the sprawling roof-scape of the Greek capital. Athens presents one of the most recognizable and symbolically potent panoramas of any of the world’s cities: the pillars and pediments of the Parthenon–the temple dedicated to Athena, goddess of wisdom, that crowns the Acropolis–dominate a city whose name is synonymous for many with civilization itself.” (adapted from catalogue)

The betrayal of Anne Frank : a cold case investigation / Sullivan, Rosemary
“Who betrayed Anne Frank and her family? And why? Despite the many works devoted to Anne’s story, none has ever conclusively explained how these eight people managed to live in hiding undetected for over two years– and who or what finally brought the Nazis to their door. Sullivan introduces us to the investigators, explains the behavior of both the captives and their captors, and profiles a group of suspects. In doing so she brings to life wartime Amsterdam: a place where no matter how wealthy, educated, or careful you were, you never knew whom you could trust.” (adapted from catalogue)

Colonising New Zealand : a reappraisal / Moon, Paul
“Colonising New Zealand offers a radically new vision of the basis and process of Britain’s colonisation of New Zealand. It commences by confronting the problems arising from subjective and ever-evolving moral judgments about colonisation, and examines the possibility of understanding colonisation beyond the confines of any preoccupations with moral perspectives. This work changes profoundly the way New Zealand’s colonisation is interpreted, and provides a framework for reassessing all forms of imperialism” (adapted from catalogue)

Gangsters of capitalism : Smedley Butler, the Marines, and the making and breaking of America’s empire / Katz, Jonathan M.
“Smedley Butler was the most celebrated warfighter of his time. Bestselling books were written about him. Hollywood adored him. Wherever the flag went, “The Fighting Quaker” went-serving in nearly every major overseas conflict from the Spanish War of 1898 until the eve of World War II. Yet in retirement, Butler turned into a warrior against war, imperialism, and big business, declaring: “I was a racketeer for capitalism.” Tracing a path from the first wave of U.S. overseas expansionism to the rise of fascism in the 1930s to the crises of democracy in our own time, Gangsters of Capitalism tells an urgent story about a formative era most Americans have never learned about, but that the rest of the world cannot forget” (adapted from catalogue)

Ireland’s farthest shores : mobility, migration, and settlement in the Pacific World / Campbell, Malcolm
“Irish people have had a long and complex engagement with the lands and waters encompassing the Pacific world. As the European presence in the Pacific intensified from the late eighteenth century, the Irish entered this oceanic space as beachcombers, missionaries, traders, and colonizers. This volume investigates the extensive transnational connections that developed among Irish immigrants and their descendants across this vast and unique oceanic space, ties that illuminate how the Irish participated in the making of the Pacific world and how the Pacific world made them.” (adapted from catalogue)

New Rome : the empire in the east / Stephenson, Paul
“In New Rome, Paul Stephenson looks beyond traditional texts and well-known artifacts to offer a novel, scientifically-minded interpretation of antiquity’s end. It turns out that the descent of Rome is inscribed not only in parchments but also in ice cores and DNA. From these and other sources, we learn that pollution and pandemics influenced the fate of Constantinople and the Eastern Roman Empire. During its final five centuries, the empire in the east survived devastation by natural disasters, the degradation of the human environment, and pathogens previously unknown to the empire’s densely populated, unsanitary cities.” (adapted from catalogue)

Inspo for Your Space: New home and garden books

Get inspired with our new home and garden titles! Our latest books have helpful tips for spaces big and small, with a new book on interior ideas for tiny houses and a guide to container gardening in small spaces, as well as ideas for creating stylish and sustainable interiors. A New Leaf features homes around the world that incorporate beautiful plants in their living spaces, and Gardens for the Soul focuses on sustainable gardening practices that are beautiful and achievable. Get set for serious inspo.

Atlas of interior design / Bradbury, Dominic
“A geographically organized survey of the world’s most desirable and iconic residential interiors from the 1940s to today. ‘The Atlas of Interior Design’ is an unparalleled global tour of more than 400 captivating residential interiors from the past eight decades. From classic to contemporary, minimal to maximal, the homes included illuminate the design tropes unique to their location’s context, while others confound preconceived ideas of vernacular design to spectacular effect. Exceptional photography and a descriptive text accompanying each project enrich this thoroughly researched and comprehensive volume.” (Catalogue)

Modern container gardening : how to create a stylish small-space garden anywhere / Palmer, Isabelle
“Whether you have a roof terrace, a tiny balcony or just a window sill, there’s no excuse not to do some gardening. Isabelle Palmer shows just how easy it is to make the most of every little space. The chapters include the basics, how to make a garden in a day, weekend projects, one-pot wonders, window boxes and finishing touches. With clear step-by-step instructions and advice on which plants suit your space, as well as how to care for them, this is an accessible book for anyone looking to start their own small garden.” (adapted from catalogue)

A blissful nest : designing a stylish and well-loved home / Dempsey, Rebekah
“In Blissful Nest, celebrated interior designer Rebekah Dempsey offers hundreds of fresh and attainable design ideas to show you how to discover your interior style and create a home that best reflects your personality and the way you live”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

 

The garden book.
“A beautifully illustrated A-to-Z who’s who of the world’s finest garden-makers, planters, horticulturists, and their signature works from throughout history, spanning all styles and continents. From the first religious gardens to Dan Pearson’s heavenly Tokachi garden in Japan today, each entry illustrates a key work by the designer, describes the garden, and evokes the unique spirit and ethos of their work. Images span four millennia, from ancient Persian gardens to the naturalistic designs of today. An exquisite gift and invaluable and authoritative reference for gardeners and garden lovers alike.” (adapted from catalogue)

150 best tiny interior ideas / Zamora Mola, Francesc
“Over the past decade, tiny spaces have grown in popularity thanks to skyrocketing real estate costs, increased awareness of climate change, and a return to urban living. But a smaller living space doesn’t mean sacrificing sophistication or comfort. 150 Best Tiny Interior Ideas showcases the latest ideas of internationally renowned architects and designers who have devised beautiful, practical, and eco-friendly solutions adapted to the specific needs and tastes of their clients. All of the projects featured are under 1,100 square feet and show off the latest innovations in small space design from around the world.” (adapted from catalogue)

Country gardens in Australia
“From fragrant rose-filled beds and wild, forest-like backyards to hardy native-filled gardens and verdant outback oases, Country Style’s first garden book brings together a collection of the most beautiful gardens from around Australia. A labour of love for most, a country garden provides respite and calm from the paddocks beyond and a place for farming families to gather. Filled with Country Style’s trademark photography, this book tells the stories of the people behind the gorgeous gardens and is packed with inspiration for you to start planting”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

Relaxed living, happy home : a simple guide to creating sustainable and beautiful interiors / Bartlett, Atlanta
“Presents an interior design philosophy that emphasizes quality over quantity and combines practicality with personalization, focusing on such elements as working with existing architecture and selecting colors, fabrics, and accessories.” (Catalogue)

 

A new leaf / McCormac, Pip
“A celebration of the modern and stylish homes that reinvent the humble house plant as a coveted design object. The book spotlights 20 houses around the world, each illustrated with a selection of images of the entire home with particular emphasis on their plantlife. Each section includes an interview with the owners, walking the reader through the plant choices they made and the impact they had on their unique aesthetic. Pip McCormac’s informative text and Jen Haslam’s expert curation make A New Leaf invaluable to interior design lovers and those seeking inspiration on how to incorporate plants in their lives.” (adapted from catalogue)

Gardens for the Soul : Sustainable and Stylish Outdoor Spaces / Bird, Sara/ Duchars, Dan
“Gardens for the Soul shows how a sustainable and eco-friendly ethos can be at the heart of creating a beautiful garden, whatever its location or size. ” (Catalogue)

 

 

Life in a French Country House : Entertaining for All Seasons. / Castellane, Cordelia de
“With individual sections dedicated to seasonal tableware, recipes, interior design, flower arranging, and more, readers will delight in learning how to re-create chic French style for special events and everyday occasions alike. Accompanying personal archival photos, exclusive images of vibrant table settings and decor at Cordelia’s gorgeous private residence in the French countryside brim with effort-less flair. Complete with informative captions and texts, this book is a must-have guide on how to bring French joie de vivre to your home” (adapted from catalogue)

Yates garden guide.
“This new edition of Yates Garden Guide has been fully revised and updated to help today’s gardeners tame big backyards, create stylish retreats, tend productive and decorative plantings, and get the most out of smaller spaces. With chapters on planning gardens, choosing feature plants and growing trees, shrubs, fruit, vegetables, flowers, indoor plants and lawns, the new Yates Garden Guide provides details on more than 1000 exotic and native plants, advice on soils, climate, planting, feeding and maintaining gardens, guides on what to sow and grow throughout the year, and comprehensive problem-solving charts to help you identify and deal with all kinds of pests and diseases”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

New CDs for Te Awe

New CDs at Te Awe March


via GIPHY

Statler: Well, it was good.
Waldorf: Ah, it was very bad.
Statler: Well, it was average.
Waldorf: Ah, it was in the middle there.
Statler: Ah, it wasn’t that great.
Waldorf: I kind of liked it.”
-‘The Muppet Show’.

I’m Mark, the Music & Film Specialist at Wellington City Libraries (I also run the Libraries’ Wellington Music Facebook page). Every month my colleague Neil and I cast our eye over the new material we have been buying for the Music collection at our CBD Te Awe library, and pick out some interesting titles across a range of music genres to review. Our limit is a few lines only. Do we actually know anything about new music? Can you encapsulate an entire album in just a couple of lines? Are we just too old to understand what most of this music is banging on about?
Read on to find out…

Ash and bone. / Long, David
Mark: Atmospheric instrumental avant-classical pieces from the multi-talented Long (The Labcoats, Teeth, numerous film works). The album merges elements of his various musical identities, from experimental textures, to muted chamber elements, to touches of synths and electronica. A bit on a Tuba may be followed by a banjo or an electric guitar, then some ethereal flute, discordant trumpet and some soothing synth washes. Full of tension & release, the album never settles on a genre, reflective of its composers musical spirit.
Neil: David Long is a New Zealand music legend. A founding member of the Mutton Birds, long time soundtrack creator for Peter Jackson’s films with a plethora of awards for production, composition and playing as well, and that’s just scratching the surface. ‘Ash and Bone’, his latest release on Rattle Records, sees him in full blown experimental mode. The album defies easy classification. Acoustic-electronics, Alt chamber-experimental and instrumental have all been mentioned. This is very much its own creature: a rich, deep, and rewarding listen.

The boy named If / Costello, Elvis
Mark: Have to admit that the last Elvis album I recall listening to was Momofuku, but he seems to be having a bit of a late career renaissance with 2018’s Look Now, 2020’s Hey Clockface and now this new album. ‘The boy named If’ harks back to a late 80s Attractions sound, alongside his trademark lyrical barbs and the tight backing of his long-time musical cohorts. A sort of linking concept ,of a boy becoming a man, frames these swinging melodic rockers and subtle ballads. There’s a real cohesiveness and energy here, someone mining their back catalogue for modern inspiration as opposed to nostalgic re-tread.
Neil: ‘The boy named If” is a spikey and punchy album with a raw edge. Elvis Costello’s latest album sounds like an older version of himself has travelled back in time to the beginning of his career to create a new work. The album is infused with the urgent trademark sound of his first releases,whilst also incorporating his life experience since those days into the work.

Laurel hell. / Mitski
Mark: 6th album from Mitski Miyawaki, following 2018’s Be the Cowboy, where she adopted the persona of a frustrated married woman. ‘Laurel Hell’ shifts back to a more personal perspective, with a super-slick 80’s indie pop sheen. Two tracks (‘The Only Heartbreaker’ and ‘Love Me More ) date from 2021. The former made President Barack Obama’s list of top songs of 2021, which he tweets out every year, and the Guardian recently claimed she is the currently the best young songwriter coming out of the U.S. This is a super catchy, big synthy-pop album that seems destined to be her mainstream breakthrough. Another highlight is the album’s complex layered lyrics that deal with relationships and issues relevant to both millennials & Gen Z. Really good.
Neil: Mitski’s sixth album wears it’s 80’s influences very much to the fore. But this isn’t the cheesy 80’s, this is the sharp and ultra-cool 80’s. ‘Laurel Hell’ comes resplendent with sharp lyrics and infectious synth hooks, all combining to create a strong emotional impact.

Ants from up there / Black Country, New Road
Mark: This might definitely be a case of being too old to fathom this band’s music. Singer Isaac Wood’s has a distinctive voice (a bit reminiscent of Jarvis Cocker), and on the band’s (acclaimed) 2nd album he meanders through a series of moody vignettes with a backing that sounds like free-jazz meets baroque pop. There are no ‘singles’ or anything like that, just lot of impressionistic lyrics that are ultra serious and then dryly witty. Alternately a baffling & fascinating listen.
Neil: American minimalism joins forces with post punk guitars, and Jarvis Cocker vocal and lyrical stylings, in this much heralded and lauded second release from Black Country, New Road.

This quiet room. / Vietnam (Musical group)
Mark: Vietnam formed at high school in Wainuiomata forty years ago, and were active in the Wellington music scene from 1981-85. They reformed in 2017 to celebrate the reissue of their self-titled 1985 debut, leading to a desire to record a final album. The members are now based between Sydney and Wellington. ‘This quiet room’ is a really solid and catchy album, made up of new studio recordings of unreleased material from their live gigs, along with a bunch of new tracks. They wear their influences on their sleeves (The Cure, Joy Division), but it merges with that distinctively NZ 80’s jangle pop sound to give it a different take.
Neil: Wellington band Vietnam has now claimed the world record for the longest period between releases. It’s been 37 years since the release of their self-titled EP! However, listening to the album, it sounds like time has stopped in its tracks for the post punk outfit. This album, with the exception of superior production values, could have been release way back then. If, like me, you’re a fan of music from this point in time, especially in New Zealand, then this may well work for you. It’s an atmospheric, finely crafted, sonic time machine.

No medium. / Rosali
Mark: The 3rd album from Philadelphia Americana artist. This made a Guardian list of Hidden Music gems from 2021. This is a really nice album; A merging of country-rock elements with classicist singer-songwriter pop, focusing on the travails of love & relationships. It sounds a lot like early Aimee Mann in places, so definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of Aimee Man. And who isn’t?….
Neil: : There is some dark territory explored in ‘No Medium’. Death, loss, and addiction, to name but a few. The album gets its title from a quote from Jane Eyre, and Rosali has the perfect plaintive voice to convey the emotions to be found in these dark places. Her gifted backing musicians sound like they are channelling the country incarnation of Neil Young’s Crazy horse, and the two fit seamlessly together. It is a taut, mutedly intense album full of raw emotion.

De pelicula / Limiñanas
Mark: This is another album that made the Guardian list of Hidden Music Gems from last year. Psych-rock duo the Limiñanas join forces with DJ Laurent Garnier to create the ‘soundtrack’ to an imaginary movie about a couple of teenage runaways (Juliette and Saul) on a heady booze-fuelled road trip through the South of France. Swirling techno beats, dreamlike loops, and psychedelic motorik grooves pulsate in a hedonistic peon to escapism.
Neil: Designed as a modern French psychedelic rock album that is the accompanying soundtrack for an imaginary cult road movie, De pelicula is very 60’s hip. Lots of fuzzy guitars and mega cool (in a French road movie way). It moves effortlessly from trance, dreamlike elements, to night club cool swing in its psychedelic-ness.

Heisei no oto : Japanese left​-​field pop from the CD age, 1989​-​1996.
Mark: This compilation captures Japanese music from a pivotal time, when technology was drastically changing what ‘sounds’ it was possible to create. The project of 2 owners of Osaka record stores, their version of crate digging was to highlight a bunch of tracks that were only available on CD during this fertile period – when the medium became the dominant force in music listening. Opposed to other collections that focus on music from city environs, or the Japanese idea of ‘Environmental Music’, this compilation takes a broader approach, to encompasses dance, electronica, funk, new age & pop. Full of lost gems.
Neil: Like all compilations of this type, this is a mixed bag. Japanese pop from this period was particularly interesting because it was at this juncture in time that the explosion of New Technology (especially in the availability and cost of mass market Synths and drum machines) really hit. This in turn fuelled new ideas and approaches to music. It’s been lovingly curated through some deep and dedicated music crate diving over the years, and spreads its musical net very widely. Fascinating stuff, linked largely by the effect that this New Technology was having on Japanese pop.

Space 1.8. / Sinephro, Nala
Mark: Space is the place on this debut album from Caribbean-Belgian, London-based, Jazz composer/harpist Nala Sinephro. Gathering some of the new stars of the UK Jazz scene (including Nubya Garcia), she has created an ambient Jazz classic. Pedal harp, modular synths, and saxophones combine in a swirl of liquid soundscapes to form warm meditative pieces. Like the soundtrack to a journey through the cosmos, or through’s one’s own mind. Deeply relaxing.
Neil: Nala Sinephro uses and blurs the use of acoustic and electronic elements in this ambient cosmic Jazz piece. It is an intimate, mellow, and very relaxing work; yet never dull, more a transfixing lure of sound. It feels like a new movement has begun with albums like this and Promises, the album by Floating Points and Pharoah Sanders in its fold.

Forfolks. / Parker, Jeff
Mark: Second solo guitar album from the Tortoise guitarist. For this album he created a hook, made a groove on his guitar, sampled this short snippet, then looped it so he can play over and around it – in a similar way to the overdubbing of pianists Lennie Tristano or Bill Evans. Unique rhythms and chromatic changes hold your interest throughout this introspective album.
Neil: Forfolks comprises of eight tracks that could loosely be described as techno dream; Trance, ambient, modern solo classical guitar combined with jazz underpinnings. If all that sounds a bit much, have no fear. This is a soft and gentle work from the Tortoise guitarist. A meditative and inspiring musical work that demonstrates virtuosic experimental guitar playing going with a tranquil flow that never feels difficult.

Seventeen going under. / Fender, Sam
Mark: This made the Guardian’s Top 20 for the Best Albums of 2021. An album of bitter lamentations on the state of life for young people in the UK; it speaks to being trapped in living situations that foster bad habits and poor mental health, and abandoned by politicians and collapsing social infrastructure. Lyrically it’s a bit depressing, but the music is almost a polar opposite – a series of pounding, Springsteen-esque anthems that rouse the blood to fight for your place and overcome whatever sets you back.
Neil: The second album from the English musician Sam Fender is a punchy, bruisingly honest account of his recent years and is written in that orbit where the personal and wider social concerns mix and intertwine. His song writing skills have really expanded and bloomed, bringing the lyrical content sharply to the fore. In some ways it reminded me of the early Jam, with its energy and focus on socio personal themes.

If words were flowers. / Harding, Curtis
Mark: 3rd album from the Michigan R&B singer who fuses vintage soul sounds with touches of contemporary Hip-Hop, indie rock & psychedelica. Harding mines the Southern Soul style for his retro influences, fusing it with various other musical forms to frame contemporary issues of political & social unrest, which he then filters through universal songs about love & understanding.
Neil: Curtis Harding’s ‘If words were flowers’ has all the hallmarks of a vintage R&B/soul album from the 1970’s, but is also aware of our modern music environment, incorporating rap elements in places. As is fitting of music evoking this time, it is a bass heavy, echo laden outing. The optimistic viewpoint of soul and funk music of the 1970’s is also strongly recalled in the lyrics. To give you a flavour of what to expect, if Curtis Mayfield was around today he might well be producing work in this vein.

Lonely Guest. / Lonely Guest
Mark: Musical project conceived by Tricky, featuring guests such as Idles’ Joe Talbot, Maxïmo Park’s Paul Smith, Polish singer Marta Złakowska, Oh Land, Breanna Barbara & the late Lee Scratch Perry. Minimalist electronica, Hip-Hop and downtempo ballads all merge in a place where desperation and romance hold equal sway.
Neil: Tricky’s latest musically alter ego ‘Lonely Guest’, finds him collaborating with a whole host of musical guests. The result is a trip-rock, stripped back, dark organic work. While sparse in many ways – the whole ten track album is only 25 mins long – it’s an artistically accomplished and thrillingly varied work that still contains a unified feel. I particularly enjoyed the Lee Scratch Perry collaborative piece ‘Atmosphere’.

One year. / Blunstone, Colin
Mark: The 1971 debut solo album from the frontman of ground-breaking 60’s band The Zombies, reissued for its 50th anniversary. A classic baroque-chamber-pop album, helmed by his immaculate & mesmerising vocal delivery. Gentle chamber-styled acoustic numbers sit next to blue-eyes soul laments and baroque string interludes – all tinged with the melancholy resulting from a crushing breakup. Delicate and wistful music that ponders the universal themes of lost love and regret. If you enjoyed this check out: Tea & symphony : the English baroque sound 1968-1974.
Neil: ‘One year’ is a re-release of the classic 1971 debut solo album from The Zombies lead vocalist Colin Blunstone. It is a gorgeous, sad, and romantic singer-songwriter composition; a breakup album. It is listed in The Guardian’s 1,000 albums to hear before you die and rightly so. If you are unfamiliar with it, it has some similarities to the work of Nick Drake or the solo guitar outings of Neil Young in the early 1970’s, though it is very much its own unique and personal work. If you like this kind of music, then this is a must listen.

Tell me what you miss the most. / Tasha
Mark: Second album from a Chicago songwriter who combines R&B, pop & folk. The songs are focused on the differing stages of relationships in all their shades, specific moments of those relationships with a backing of gentle lilting acoustic guitars and flutes. A lovely breezy ‘guitar-soul’ vibe, similar to Corinne Bailey-Rae or Nilüfer Yanya, while some tracks have a fuller band sound, complete with sweeping strings. It may be a bit too easy listening in places, however dismissing this as quintessential ‘coffee-table music’ negates the level of sincerity and musicianship at play here.
Neil: ‘Tell me what you miss the most’ is a subtle and intimate album that explores various states of relationship. The second album from this Chicago artist, it is a very carefully hewn creation. Everything in the album is stripped away to a bare minimum to reveal the emotional core of the work: vocals, guitar and sparingly, delicately applied atmospheric, instrumentation. It’s another gorgeous solo work that again reminds me of this month’s touch stone artist Nick Drake.

Bloodmoon. I. / Converge
Mark: Metalcore pioneers team up with doom-folk songstress Chelsea Wolfe, her writing partner Ben Chisolm and Cave In‘s Stephen Brodsky. Agitation and unease abound, as pounding and visceral meets symphonic and melodic. The ‘grandiose’ button is firmly pushed into the red… Worth checking out if you’re a fan of either artist.
Neil: Converge have been on a thirty-year musical journey before arriving at ‘Bloodmoon. I.’, their tenth album. The hardcore band have enlisted the collaborative creative energies of Chelsea Wolfe, Ben Chisolm, and Stephen Brodsky to bring something new to the mix. This is a much more expansive outing than their usual oeuvre; it employs a much wider sound palette and is grander in scale and ambition than much of their previous work.

Private space / Jones, Durand
Mark: More meticulously re-created retro-soul from Durand Jones & the Indications. Synths & velvety strings add a more late night 70s Disco vibe to this one. The opening track addresses the similar kind of social agitation & unrest that The Isley Brothers, The Temptations or Earth, Wind & Fire might have sung about when they made similar music in the 70’s – however most of the tracks focus on a positive groove of togetherness, love, connection, and friendship.
Neil: The full force of a 70’s disco funk soul vibe informs every aspect of ‘Private space’. From the lyrical content to the funky groove rhythms, it is a superbly crafted recreation of the kind of album that wouldn’t have been out of place in 1974, and would have probably featured high in the charts of the time.

Vital / Big Brave
Mark: This 5th album from Montreal Experimental rock trio Big Brave also ended up on the Guardian list of overlooked albums from 2021. Though beginning their career playing stripped down folk, Big Brave developed a more heavier drone metal sound, and this album is regarded as the artistic culmination of that shift. Massive riffs meet slabs of sculptured noise and rumbling drones. A truly immersive album, best listened to on a loud stereo system or on headphones. The female vocals of Robin Wattie also give it a distinct identity within this male dominated genre.
Neil: The experimental Montreal metal trio Big Brave’s latest album has at its core gigantic, thunderous, oceanic raw waves of drone guitar. A Sonic cliff of power that eventually dissipates, crumbles and fades. The anguished emotionally charged vocals interspersed are reminiscent of P J Harvey or Patti Smith. An intense and relentless listen. A powerhouse of an album, best played very very loud.

Projector. / Geese (Musical group)
Mark: Post-punk outfit from Brooklyn, who began playing together at High school. Their 2020 home demos attracted the attention of multiple labels, leading to the release of their acclaimed debut album ‘Projector’ on Partisan Records [IDLES, Fontaines D.C]. They bring an amalgam of post-rock, post-punk, prog and indie-rock elements together. There are hints of influences like The Strokes, Parquet Courts, Television, Coldplay, Radiohead, Alt-J, and Krautrock; all taken, thrown together, and morphed into their own angular sound. An energetic new take on the traditional ‘guitar-rock’, Geese are from a generation that follows no prescribed musical rule book. Ones to watch.
Neil: There has been a lot of hype and buzz surrounding the Brooklyn band Geese, and their debut album ‘Projector’. The album is resplendent with post-punk styled, cut-time rhythms, and angular guitars. It is also alive with edgy energy and inventiveness, reminding me in places of Talking Heads, especially in their early pre-Eno guitar heavy years

Planet Her. / Doja Cat
Mark: Doja Cat is the quintessential 21st century artist, melding everything from Rap to Pop, Trap, R&B, or Reggaeton to create edgy tunes (and social media content) full of her distinctive rapping, pop-culture references and hyper-sexual attitude. All the musical eclecticism wouldn’t work if the hooks weren’t so good, and the production is so crisp and detailed that she manages to glide effortlessly from one style to another. But is it all just premeditated versatility designed to create TikTok dance crazes, rather than a genuine musical identity? Maybe she’s just a reflection of the growing power of Tik-Tok to create stars outside of the traditional music industry.
Neil: Pop-rap queen and social media sensation Doja Cat release ‘Planet Her’ is a loosely themed concept album. Doja Cat is a very 21st century artist, so she wears the ‘concept’ elements of the album with a studied breezy indifference. Musically, the album is an eclectic mix of pop and rap with a strong melodic sensibility.

Entertaining, emotional & eye-opening: our latest biographies

Take a peek at some of our most recent biographies.  Unprotected : a memoir is gay black actor Billy Porter’s testimony to the power of talent and courage that overcame an environment of abuse, racism, and homophobia.  John Higgs helps us better understand the poet, artist and visionary that was William Blake in William Blake vs the world. Experience the global refugee crisis through the eyes of Mondiant Dogon, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, as he recounts a saga of horror, deprivation, frustration and ultimately hope in Those we throw away are diamonds. Read on to find more of our latest biographies.

Act like you got some sense : and other things my daughters taught me / Foxx, Jamie
“In this hilarious and heartfelt memoir, award-winning, multi-talented entertainer Jamie Foxx shares the story of being raised by his no-nonsense grandmother, the glamour and pitfalls of life in Hollywood, and the lessons he took from both worlds to raise his two daughters” (Catalogue)
“A practical, sometimes profane, always entertaining guide to the fine art of parenting.” (Kirkus Review)

Unprotected : a memoir / Porter, Billy
“Before Billy Porter was slaying red carpets and giving an iconic Emmy-winning performance in the celebrated TV show Pose; before he was the groundbreaking Tony and Grammy Award-winning star of Broadway’s Kinky Boots, Porter was a young boy in Pittsburgh who was seen as different, who didn’t fit in. At five years old, Porter was sent to therapy to ‘fix’ his effeminacy. He was endlessly bullied at school, sexually abused by his stepfather, and criticized at his church. Porter came of age in a world where simply being himself was a constant struggle.”(Catalogue) Also available an eBook and as an eAudiobook narrated by the man himself!

William Blake vs the world / Higgs, John
“Poet, artist and visionary, William Blake was an archetypal misunderstood genius. His life passed without recognition and he worked without reward, mocked, dismissed and misinterpreted. Yet from his ignoble end in a pauper’s grave, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual art of the Romantic Age. Taking the reader on wild detours into unfamiliar territory, John Higgs places the bewildering eccentricities of a most singular artist into context. And although the journey begins with us trying to understand him, we will ultimately discover that it is Blake who helps us to understand ourselves.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Going there / Couric, Katie
“For more than 40 years American journalist Katie Couric has been an iconic presence in the media world. In her brutally honest memoir, she reveals how she has balanced her personality, intellectual curiosity and desire to be taken seriously while facing a host of challenges: an eating disorder, sexism, the perils of celebrity– and rebuilding her life with two young daughters after her husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer. Couric writes about the culture at CBS– rife with gender inequality and predatory behaviour–and the downfall of Matt Lauer.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Those we throw away are diamonds : a refugee’s search for home / Dogon, Mondiant “A stunningly beautiful and heart-breaking lens on the global refugee crisis, from a man who faced the very worst of humanity and survived to advocate for refugees everywhere. One night when Mondiant Dogon, a Bagogwe Tutsi born in Congo, was very young, his family fled into the bush after learning that they were to be killed within hours. Beginning their long and dangerous journey into Rwanda, his family made their way to the first of several UN tent cities in which they would spend the next quarter century. Against all odds, and through grit and good fortune, he managed to be one of the few Congolese Tutsis to receive an education in Rwanda. Eventually, Dogon came to the US and became an advocate for his people. ” (Adapted from catalogue)

Odd boy out / Brandreth, Gyles Daubeney
“In Odd boy out, Giles Brandreth provides a revealing and entertaining account of growing up and coming of age in an apparently well-to-do but always strapped-for-cash middle-class English family. It is a story about the ordinary things – family life, happiness, ambition and love, but it also about adventures – meeting princes and presidents, visiting death-row in America, exploring the sex clubs of Copenhagen. It is a story of a boy blessed with wit, what he got up to and who he met in those remarkable years after the Second World War.” (Adapted from catalogue). Also available as a eBook.

Mind-boggling: new science

There is no system more complex than the human mind. With this month’s top science picks, delve into some insightful reads that aim to shed light on just how powerful this fascinating organ can be.

Cured : the power of our immune system and the mind-body connection / Rediger, Jeffrey
“Dr Jeff Rediger, a world-leading Harvard psychiatrist, has spent the last fifteen years studying thousands of individuals from around the world, examining the stories behind extraordinary cases of recovery from terminal illness. In Cured, he explains the vital role that nutrition plays in boosting our immunity and fighting off disease, and he also outlines how stress, trauma and identity affect our physical health. In analysing the remarkable science of recovery, Dr Rediger reveals the power of our mind to heal our body and shows us the keys to good health.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Connections : a story of human feeling / Deisseroth, Karl
“Addressing some of the most timeless questions about the human condition while illuminating the roots of misunderstood disorders such as depression, psychosis, schizophrenia and sociopathy, Connections transforms the way we understand the brain, and our selves..” (Catalogue)

 

Being you : a new science of consciousness / Seth, Anil K.
“Anil Seth, one of Britain’s leading neuroscientists, charts the developments in our understanding of consciousness, revealing radical interdisciplinary breakthroughs that must transform the way we think about the self. Seth puts forward an exhilarating new theory about how we experience the world that should encourage us to view ourselves as less apart from and more a part of the rest of nature. Seth’s revolutionary framework for consciousness will turn what you thought you knew about yourself on its head.” (Adapted from Fishpond)

This is your mind on plants : opium – caffeine – mescaline / Pollan, Michael
“Of all the many things humans rely on plants for, surely the most curious is our use of them to change consciousness: to stimulate, calm, or completely alter, the qualities of our mental experience. In This Is Your Mind On Plants, Michael Pollan explores three very different drugs – opium, caffeine, and mescaline – and throws the fundamental strangeness of our thinking about them into sharp relief.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Head first : a psychiatrist’s stories of mind and body / Santhouse, Alastair
“What does it mean to be well? Is it something in our body? Or, is it rather something subjective — something of the mind? Psychiatrist Dr Alastair Santhouse draws on his experience of treating thousands of hospital patients to show how our emotions are inextricably linked to our physical wellbeing. Our minds shape the way we understand and react to symptoms that we develop, dictate the treatments we receive, and influence whether they work. Written with honesty, compassion, and a wry sense of humour, Head First examines difficult cases that illuminate some of our most puzzling and controversial medical issues. “–Publisher’s description.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

How to keep your brain young / Phelps, Kerryn
“How to Keep Your Brain Young details the fundamentals of a healthy brain, from diet and exercise to gut microbiome and mindfulness techniques, and shows us how to feel sharper, kick out the brain fog and retain mental acuity in later life. Drawing on years of clinical experience and the latest research, How to Keep Your Brain Young is the ultimate guide for happy, healthy grey matter.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The World in your Kitchen: our latest cookbooks

Our latest selection of  new cookbooks brings the world to your kitchen! This month we have new books on cuisines from Colombia, Italy and Istria, as well as the latest collection of recipes from Samoan-born New Zealand chef Monica Galetti, At Home. We also have new books on herbs, baking and salads, as well as plant-based and vegetarian recipes.  And for those wanting to improve their skills in the kitchen, Kitchen Hacks is full of tips and tricks to make dinner time that bit easier. Our latest cookbook picks have something to suit everyone’s tastes, diets and desires!

Gennaro’s limoni : vibrant Italian recipes celebrating the lemon / Contaldo, Gennaro
“In Italian cooking, the lemon is as essential as olive oil and no part of it is wasted — flesh, pith, and skin are chopped into salads, juice is drizzled over meat and veggies and used in desserts and drinks, the leaves are used to wrap meat, fish, and cheese, while the aromatic zest adds complexity to a dish’s flavor. Join Gennaro in celebrating the lemon with this exciting collection of inspirational recipes.” (Catalogue)

Istria : recipes and stories from the hidden heart of Italy, Slovenia and Croatia / Bacchia, Paola “Istria is the heart-shaped promontory at the northern crux of the Adriatic Sea, where rows of vines and olives grow in fields of red earth. Here, the cuisine records a history of changing borders – a blend of the countries that have shared Istria’s hills and coasts and valleys. This book is a record of traditions, of these cultures and of Paola’s family: recipes from her childhood, the region’s past, and family and friends who still live beside the Adriatic coast. Among recipes for semolina dumplings, beef and pork goulash and apricot strudel are memories of the region and stories of the recipes’ authors: the Italian-Istrians who remained in the region after the 1940s, and those who left for new countries” (adapted from catalogue)

Colombiana : a rediscovery of recipes & rituals from the soul of Colombia / Velasquez, Mariana
“A cookbook featuring 100 recipes that offer a contemporary take on traditional Colombian cooking”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

The sweet roasting tin : one tin cakes, cookies & bakes / Iyer, Rukmini
“From the bestselling author of The Roasting Tin series, comes seventy-five easy and delicious one-tin bakes in one sweet package. From crave-worthy cakes and brownies to moreish muffins and loaves, simply pop your ingredients in a tin and let the oven (or for minimum-effort bakes, the fridge!) do the work. Keeping with her ethos of ‘minimum effort, maximum flavour’, Rukmini Iyer’s one-tin bakes are simple to prep, but still offer great-tasting results. From easy bakes to showstopping sensations, this book is for anyone who wants to bake using everyday ingredients and store cupboard staples”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

Herb : a cook’s companion / Diacono, Mark
“Packed with ideas for enjoying and using herbs, Herb is much more than your average recipe book. Mark shares the techniques at the heart of sourcing, preparing and using herbs well, enabling you to make delicious food that is as rewarding in the process as it is in the end result. The book will explore how to use herbs, when to deploy them, and how to capture those flavours to use when they might not be seasonally available. The reader will become familiar with the differences in flavour intensity, provenance, nutritional benefits and more, and over 100 innovative recipes that make the most of your new herb knowledge.” (adapted from catalogue)

Plant over processed : 75 simple & delicious plant-based recipes for nourishing your body and eating from the earth / Hannemann, Andrea “Andrea Hannemann believes that food is the fuel of life, and that consuming a nourishing, plant-based diet is the gateway to ultimate health. Andy’s mantra, “plant over processed,” embodies the way she eats and feeds her family of five in their home in Oahu, Hawaii. Andy was once addicted to sugar and convenience foods and suffering from a host of health issues. Fed up with spending time and money on specialists, supplements, and fad diets, she quit animal products and processed foods cold turkey, and embarked on a new way of eating.” (adapted from catalogue)

At home : my favourite recipes for family & friends / Galetti, Monica
“Monica Galetti’s career has taken her from her home in Samoa and New Zealand to the professional kitchens of London. Her new cookbook, At Home, showcases the easy, everyday dishes she enjoys at home, with family and friends, using simple ingredients that everyone will enjoy. From breakfast time and midweek suppers to celebrations, gatherings and the perfect Sunday lunch.” –Inside jacket.” (Catalogue)

Kitchen hacks & recipes
“Most cooking skills develop with practice and time, but sometimes it’s just a little trick that takes a dish from good to extraordinary. This book has tips on knife skills, food storage, preparation, food waste, time saving and the foundations of flavour”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

Salad : 70 delicious recipes for every occasion / Flanagan, Margo
“All eaters are welcome in this cookbook, with these recipes suitable for anyone and everyone, whether you’re gluten free, dairy free, plant-based, flexitarian, FODMAP or an absolute meat lover. Margo and Rosa show how to create the perfect salad, including a step-by-step guide to your essential ingredients, pantry staples, the layering process, a guide to dressings, and how to combine flavours and textures, giving you the confidence to put together sensational salads with what you have on hand. Salads are a perfect way to explore the world of wholefoods and incredible produce, so start making them the heart of your meal because life is too short to eat a bad salad.” (adapted from catalogue)

The weekday vegetarians / Rosenstrach, Jenny
“In her newest cookbook, columnist Jenny Rosenstrach writes about being a “weekday vegetarian,” i.e. eating a vegetable-based diet during the week and saving meaty splurges for the weekend. The Weekday Vegetarians shows readers how she got her family on board with meat-free meals. Organized by meal type, The Weekday Vegetarians offers one hundred recipes with excellent and practical tips. And who knows–maybe like Jenny’s family, the more you practice being “weekday vegetarians,” the more you will notice plant-based eating creeping into your weekends!” (adapted from catalogue)

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)

 

 

 

 

Wonderland and Legendary Icons: New fashion & beauty

Iconic fashion legends dominate our latest batch of new fashion and beauty titles, with new books about Maurizio Gucci, Karl Lagerfield and Wonderland; a beautiful new book featuring the work of legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz. We also have screen buffs covered this month with Fashion in Film, chronicling the contributions of fashion designers to cinema, as well as an in-depth look at the costumes worn in Emmy Award-winning series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Our beauty edit rounds off our selection with a beauty and style guide for men, plus a new look at mindful beauty and skincare.

The house of Gucci : a sensational story of murder, madness, glamour, and greed / Forden, Sara Gay
“The sensational true story of murder, madness, glamour, and greed that shook the Gucci dynasty, now fully updated with a new afterword. On the morning of March 27, 1995, four quick shots cracked through Milan’s elegant streets. The Gucci story is one of glitz, glamour, and intrigue—a chronicle of the rise, near fall, and subsequent resurgence of a fashion dynasty. Beautifully written, impeccably researched, and widely acclaimed, The House of Gucci is a page-turning account of high fashion, high finance, and heartrending personal tragedy.” (adapted from catalogue)

Karl : no regrets / Hourcade, Patrick
“The artist Patrick Hourcade met Karl Lagerfeld in 1976, sparking a friendship that would last more than twenty years, strengthened by their shared passion for eighteenth-century art. Patrick Hourcade recounts the story of their aesthetic complicity, through previously unpublished documents and a unique biography in which he reveals Karl Lagerfeld in all of his splendor as well as his weaknesses. This intimate story introduces the colorful cast of characters who were important to the designer, and, most importantly, the two great loves of Karl’s life: his mother Elisabeth and Jacques de Bascher.”–Provided by publisher.” (adapted from catalogue)

Wonderland / Leibovitz, Annie
“Legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz’s surprising account of her encounters with fashion over five decades. Includes 350 extraordinary images (many of them previously unpublished) featuring a wide and diverse range of subjects: Nicole Kidman, Serena Williams, Pina Bausch, RuPaul, Cate Blanchett, Lady Gaga, Matthew Barney, Kate Moss, Natalia Vodianova, Rihanna, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Karl Lagerfeld, Nancy Pelosi. With a foreword by Anna Wintour.” — Provided by publisher” (adapted from catalogue)

Fashion in film / Laverty, Christopher
“A beautiful compendium of famous fashion designers, their gorgeous creations and the film stars that wore them. Fashion designers have been involved in movies since the early days of cinema. Fashion in Film celebrates the contributions of fashion designers to cinema, exploring key garments, what they mean in context of the narrative, and why they are so memorable. Illustrated with beautiful film stills, fashion images and working sketches, this book will appeal to lovers of both fashion history and cinema.” (adapted from catalogue)

Silk : fibre, fabric and fashion
“Silk has long captured the imagination of peoples round the globe, inspiring creativity in the making of luxurious textiles. This major new survey draws on the exceptional collections of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and explores tradition and innovation across the history and geography of silk production, celebrating the ingenuity and skill of designers and makers. This compendium showcases a rich variety of artworks, furnishings and clothing, including fashions from recent designer catwalk shows in North America, Asia and Europe. In association with the Victoria and Albert Museum.” (adapted from catalogue)

Madly marvelous : the costumes of the marvelous Mrs. Maisel / Zakowska, Donna “Step into the wardrobe of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning series from Amazon Prime Video set in the late 1950s about a young Manhattan housewife whose life taken an unexpected turn when she discovers she has a gift for stand-up comedy. Costume designer Donna Zakowska reveals her early sketches, fitting photos, and finished costumes in this survey of spectacular looks from the show’s initial seasons. With a nuanced color palette and bold style, Zakowska’s award-winning costumes pop onscreen and off the page, and set a fashionable tone for this witty, brash, and poignant comedy.”–Back cover.” (adapted from catalogue)

Face values : beauty rituals and skincare secrets / Batliwalla, Navaz
“Discover the new skincare secrets, wellness rituals and beauty philosophies from those redefining modern beauty. Face Values is packed with insights and inspiration on skincare, make-up, haircare, fragrance and wellness. Delve inside the bathroom cabinets and make-up bags of fashion designers, beauty writers, make-up artists, perfumers and eco-entrepreneurs, and discover their skincare secrets, beauty philosophies and essential daily rituals. Embracing modern values of understated style, sustainability and anti-perfectionism, this book reveals the benefits of a positive and mindful approach to beauty, wellness and self-care.” (adapted from catalogue)

Vain glorious : a shameless guide for men who want to look their best / Langmead, Jeremy
“Should I tint my eyebrows? How can I get a squarer jawline? Which style of trouser would make my legs look longer? Leading lifestyle columnist and magazine editor, Jeremy Langmead, has men constantly asking him for answers to these questions and more. In Vain Glorious , he teams up with Harley Street aesthetic doctor David Jack to lift the lid on all the anti-ageing and beauty secrets now available for men, from Botox to hair thickening treatments. Vain Glorious is an honest and practical guide to help men feel comfortable in their own skin”–Publisher’s description.” (adapted from catalogue)

“None of us can change the things we’ve done”: New Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Expanse GIF by Amazon Prime Video

Gif via Giphy.

“None of us can change the things we’ve done. But we can all change what we do next.” – Fred Johnson

One of the most successful and acclaimed science fiction series in recent years has been The Expanse series, written jointly by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck who collectively call themselves S. A. Corey. Both the novels and television series have been heaped with accolades. And in this month’s newly acquired science fiction and fantasy we have The Leviathan Falls; the much anticipated ninth and final instalment of the series. (There are also nine short stories and novellas to accompany the series.)

The Expanse universe started life as an idea by Ty Franck for a massive multiplayer online role-playing game and then a table top role-playing game, before it morphed at Daniel Abraham’s suggestion into its present fiction and television forms.

The authors are on record as saying they were inspired in some small ways by Alfred Bester’s The Stars My destination, Frederik Pohl’s Gateway, and Ridley Scott’s Alien, though the whole series is its own unique, complex, and fabulous imagined universe which, incidentally, won the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Series. The Expanse is widely regarded as one of the finest science fiction series in recent years and comes highly recommended. ( And you can borrow both the books and the series from us; see below for details).

Also of note in this month’s selection is Sinopticon: a celebration of Chinese science fiction; yet another reminder of how strong science fiction and fantasy writing is in that country at the moment.

Leviathan falls / Corey, James S. A
“The Laconian Empire has fallen, setting the thirteen hundred solar systems free from the rule of Winston Duarte. But the ancient enemy that killed the gate builders is awake, and the war against our universe has begun again. In the dead system of Adro, Elvi Okoye leads a desperate scientific mission to understand what the gate builders were and what destroyed them, even if it means compromising herself and the half-alien children who bear the weight of her investigation. ” (Adapted from Catalogue) For the availability of  The expanse. Seasons one, two and three are also available.

1637 : Dr. Gribbleflotz and the soul of Stoner / Offord, Kerryn
“Thomas “the Great Stoner” Stone once performed miraculous surgery upon Phillip Theophrastus Gribbleflotz, the World’s Greatest Alchemist, using his bare hands, no anesthesia, producing no pain, and leaving no scar. It would have been wonderful if it was real. But Dr. Tom Stone, the face of modern medicine, has been engaging in fake treatments-bringing all modern medicine into question. Phillip, who has learned a thing or two about actual science from those uptime elopers from Grantville, West Virginia, decides to go to Padua and turn his problems into Tom Stone’s problems.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

This broken world / Gannon, Charles E
“Since boyhood, Druadaen expected he’d ascend to the command of an elite legion and become the leader his father predicted he would be. However, fate had something different in store. Assigned instead to a small group of outriders tasked with watching nearby kingdoms, Druadaen discovers that the world beyond his homeland is riddled with impossibilities. How do humanoid raiders, known as the Bent, suffer staggering losses and yet return as a vast horde every decade? How do multi-ton dragons fly? How have fossils formed in a world which sacrists insist has existed for only ten millennia? ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The god of lost words / Hackwith, A. J
“To save the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, former librarian Claire and her allies may have to destroy it first. Claire, the rakish Hero, the angel Rami, and the muse turned librarian Brevity have accomplished the impossible by discovering the true nature of unwritten books. But now that the secret is out, Hell will be coming for every wing of the library in its quest for power. To protect the Unwritten Wing and stave off the insidious reach of Malphas, one of Hell’s most bloodthirsty generals, Claire and her friends will have to decide how much they’re willing to sacrifice to keep their vulnerable corner of the afterlife. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The untold story / Cogman, Genevieve
“Time-traveling Librarian spy Irene has faced unimaginable challenges across a multitude of worlds, but to keep her friends safe, Irene will have to do what has never been attempted and cut through the tangled web of power at the heart of the Library. Irene is trying to learn the truth about Alberich-and the possibility that he is her father. When the Library orders her to kill him, and then Alberich himself offers to sign a truce, she has to discover why he originally betrayed the Library. With her allies endangered and her strongest loyalties under threat, she will have to trace his past across multiple worlds and into the depths of mythology and folklore, to find the truth and uncover why the Library was first created” (Adapted from Catalogue)

You feel it just below the ribs : a novel / Cranor, Jeffrey
“Born at the end of the old world, Miriam grows up during The Great Reckoning, a sprawling, decades-long war that nearly decimates humanity and strips her of friends and family. Devastated by grief and loneliness, she emotionally exiles herself, avoiding relationships or allegiances, and throws herself into her work — disengagement that serves her when the war finally ends, and The New Society arises. To ensure a lasting peace, The New Society forbids anything that may cause tribal loyalties, including traditional families. Suddenly, everyone must live as Miriam has chosen to — disconnected and unattached…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Constance / FitzSimmons, Matthew
“In the near future, advances in medicine and quantum computing make human cloning a reality. For the wealthy, cheating death is the ultimate luxury. For young Constance “Con” D’Arcy, who was gifted her own clone by her late aunt, it’s terrifying. After a routine monthly upload of her consciousness–stored for that inevitable transition–something goes wrong. When Con wakes up in the clinic, it’s eighteen months later. Her recent memories are missing. Her original, she’s told, is dead. If that’s true, what does that make her? The secrets of Con’s disorienting new life are buried deep. So are those of how and why she died.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Sinopticon : a celebration of Chinese science fiction
“Presents a collection of the best Chinese science fiction stories from thirteen writers, translated into English for the first time. Including  Last save by Gu Shi, Tombs of the universe by Han Song,  Qiankun and Alex by Hao Jingfang, Cat’s chance in hell by Nian Yu, Return of Adam by Wang Jinkang, Rendevous: 1937 by  Zhao Haihong, Heart of the museum by Tang Fei,  Great migration by Ma Boyong, Meisje met de parel by Anna Wu,  Flower of the other shore by  A Que, Absolution experiment by Bao Shu, Tide of moon city by Regina Kanyu Wang and Starship: library by Jiang Bo.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Staff Picks: The Best DVDs of 2021

Here we have the very best DVDs of 2021, as selected by our own WCL librarians. All of these titles are available to loan!

Mark’s Picks:
Mare of Easttown
What more can you say about this great show that hasn’t already been said? A fantastically nuanced TV role from Kate Winslet, that embedded itself into the cultural zeitgeist of 2021. In a suburb of Philadelphia, Winslet plays Mare Sheehan, a former local basketball hero whose last minute shot won a State Championship, and who is now – 25 years later – a beleaguered police detective investigating the recent murder of a teenage mother, while also trying to balance the demands of her multi-generational family, the failure to solve an ongoing cold case of a missing girl, and a personal life that is fraying at the edges. The mechanics of the mystery itself are fairly conventional, with its ‘Dead girl-small town suspicions’ plot, but by focusing the story around the complicated family life & personal struggles of Winslet’s main character, it add layers not often found in other shows of the same ilk. Or sometimes found, but only in the lives of the male lead characters.

Synchronic
Every year throws up some interesting low-budget indie sci-fi, and from 2021 we had ‘Synchronic’ from Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson (Spring, The Endless). Anthony Mackie & Jamie Dornan are Steve & Dennis, paramedics in New Orleans, who begin to get call outs to a series of strange incidents where people are either dead in bizarre circumstances, or have wild, incoherent, stories to explain their injuries. All the cases are linked to a new designer drug called Synchronic, and the incidents become personal when Dennis’ daughter is identified as missing from one of the scenes where someone died from taking the drug. Steve attempts to track down the source of the drug, leading to an encounter with the drugs creator – who tells him Synchronic has some unique side effects…To say any more would spoil the plot of this intriguing, low-key sci-fi. Another example in a line of films with minimal characters, effects, or locations (Time Lapse, Coherence, Primer etc). that chooses to focus on ideas rather than explosions.

Nobody
Every year also throws up some ridiculous, yet hugely entertaining, action flick, and last year’s was ‘Nobody’. Directed by Russian director Ilya Naishuller (Hardcore Henry) and written by Derek Kolstad (creator of the John Wick franchise) sees Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) play Hutch Mansell, a seemingly average middle aged office worker. However, much like John Wick, Hutch is not the mild-mannered guy he is pretending to be, and when his frustrations with his hum-drum life and a recent home-robbery boil over, he ‘helps out’ a young woman on a bus being harassed by a gang of thugs. This, however, only causes him to become the target of a vengeful Russian drug lord, and what follows is a hugely entertaining action-fest full of bonkers violence, absurdly entertaining scenes, and a good deal of tongue in cheek self-awareness. This works in the same way the first Taken worked, as Odenkirk seems the last actor to be believable as a ruthless killing machine, just as Liam Neeson initially was. Tons of fun. (Mark)

Continue reading “Staff Picks: The Best DVDs of 2021”

New DVDs for Te Awe

Image of some of our new dvds on an abstract blue background.

Image featuring some of our new dvds

Here are some new DVDs added to the catalogue over January, available at our CBD Te Awe branch and other selected locations.

New Material:
Van Gogh : of wheat fields and clouded skies.
My name is Gulpilil : this is my story of my story
The comeback trail
Body brokers
Mare of Easttown
Midsomer murders. Season 22, Part 1
Blue bayou
Fanny Lye deliver’d.
The match
Halloween kills
Annette
The Nevers. Season 1, Part 1.
No time to die
Pig
The Great War
Broken trail : the complete mini series.













Attenborough nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Sir David Attenborough is one of the nominees for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Attenborough has been most famous for his wildlife TV series. He also wrote many books and won numerous awards include BAFTA and Emmy awards, and he was knighted in 1985. Let’s dive through the library books into Attenborough’s world.

David Attenborough : the early years / Attenborough, David
“David Attenborough’s books and broadcasts have opened up the incredible world of natural history to millions of viewers and listeners. Specially recorded for audio, David Attenborough’s earliest adventures are sometimes life-threatening, often hilarious and always totally absorbing. Also included is David Attenborough In His Own Words, a collection of interviews taken from the BBC radio and TV archives.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Life in the undergrowth / Attenborough, David
“This illustrated book by veteran naturalist Sir David Attenborough offers a rare glimpse into the secret life of invertebrates, “Small by virtue of their lack of backbones, this group of living things plays a surprisingly large role in the evolutionary cycle.” Life in the Undergrowth, part of his innovative series on natural history topics, looks at invertebrates the world over: their arrival on land and mastery of every habitat, and their fantastic variety of hunting and highly organized social behaviors.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Journeys to the other side of the world : further adventures of a young naturalist / Attenborough, David
“The further adventures of a young David Attenborough – from Madagascar and New Guinea to the Pacific Islands and the Northern Territory of Australia. Following the success of the original Zoo Quest expeditions, in the late 1950s onwards the young David Attenborough embarked on further travels to encounter world’s remarkable cultures, and animals such as paradise birds, chameleons, sifakas and many more animals.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Living planet : the web of life on earth / Attenborough, David”
“A new, fully updated narrative edition of David Attenborough’s seminal biography of our world, The Living Planet. Single species, and often whole communities adapt to extreme living conditions. These adaptations can be truly extraordinary: fish that walk or lay eggs on leaves in mid-air; snakes that fly; flightless birds that graze like deer; and bears that grow hair on the soles of their feet He also addresses the urgent issues facing our living planet: climate change, pollution and mass extinction of species.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Drawn from paradise : the discovery, art and natural history of the birds of paradise / Attenborough, David
“‘David Attenborough’s journey through the cultural history of the most exquisite and extravagant, colourful and intriguing families of birds. David Attenborough and Errol Fuller trace the natural history of these enigmatic birds depicted in western art throughout the centuries, featuring beautiful illustrations by such luminary artists as Jacques Barraband, William Hart, John Gould, Rubens and Breughel, to name but a few. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

 

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still and untroubled: New crime and mystery titles

A selection of book covers from our recent booklist

A selection from our new mystery picks

I am, as it is bliss to be, Still and untroubled.

― Charlotte Brontë,


There’s a whole sub-genre of crime and detective fiction which stars real life historical characters as the investigating detectives. Just a few of these historical characters, turned fictional detectives, include Oscar Wilde, Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, and Agatha Christie.  There’s even a Barrack Obama and Joe Biden mystery series, where the current and former American presidents form the sleuthing duo. One particularly unlikely, fictionalised team that I particularly like is the Raymond Chandler and Boris Karloff team up, found in Kim Newman’s Something More than Night. In this month’s newly acquired crime and mystery titles, we can add The Bronte sisters to these illustrious ranks.

In The Red Monarch, literature’s most famous siblings are also amateur detectives. The tale is set around the time of their self-published collection Poems of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, where the sisters adopted male names as they thought it would help sales and avoid gender prejudice. The collection was published at their own expense, and sadly sold exactly two copies. In The Red Monarch, the sisters are also battling against a slum dwelling criminal gang.

Other highlights from the below list include a tale that takes us on the Trans-Siberian Express, a police transcriber and a mystery set on a cocoa plantation in Ecuador.

The red monarch / Ellis, Bella
“The Bronte sisters’ first poetry collection has just been published, potentially marking an end to their careers as amateur detectors, when Anne receives a letter from her friend Lydia Robinson. Lydia has eloped with a young actor, Harry Roxby. Harry has become embroiled with a criminal gang and is in terrible danger after allegedly losing something very valuable that he was meant to deliver to their leader. . She knows there are few people who she can turn to in this time of need, but the sisters agree to help Lydia, beginning a race against time to save Harry’s life.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Death on the Trans-Siberian Express / Farrington, C. J.
“Olga Pushkin, Railway Engineer (Third Class) and would-be bestselling author, spends her days in a little rail-side hut with only Dmitri the hedgehog for company.  And one day Olga arrives at her hut only to be knocked unconscious by a man falling from the Trans-Siberian, an American tourist with his throat cut from ear to ear and his mouth stuffed with 10-ruble coins. Another death soon follows. But with no leads to follow and time running out, has Olga bitten off more than she can chew?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Bryant & May : London Bridge is falling down / Fowler, Christopher
“When 91-year-old Amelia Hoffman died in her top-floor flat on a busy London road, : she slipped through the cracks in a failing system. But detectives Arthur Bryant and John May of the Peculiar Crimes Unit have their doubts. Bryant is convinced that other forgotten women with hidden talents are also in danger. And, curiously, they all own models of London Bridge. With the help of some of their more certifiable informants, the detectives follow the strangest of clues in an investigation that will lead them through forgotten alleyways to the city’s oldest bridge in search of a desperate killer.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A question of guilt / Horst, Jørn Lier
“In 1999, seventeen-year-old Tone Vaterland was killed on her way home from work. Desperate for a conviction the police deemed the investigation an open-and-shut case and sent her spurned boyfriend, Danny Momrak, down for murder. But twenty years later William Wisting receives a puzzling letter. It suggests the wrong man was convicted for Tone’s death and the real murderer is still out there. Wisting is quickly thrown into a terrifying race against time where he must find the sender, decipher this mysterious letter and catch the real killer before they strike again.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Spanish daughter / Hughes, Lorena
“Inheriting a cocoa plantation in Vinces, Ecuador, that someone will kill for, Puri, after her husband is murdered, assumes his identity to search for the truth of her father’s legacy and learn the identity of the enemy who stands in her way of claiming her birthright.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Mrs. Rochester’s ghost : a thriller / Marcott, Lindsay
“Jane has lost everything: job, mother, relationships, even her home. A friend calls to offer an unusual deal–a cottage above the crashing surf of Big Sur on the estate of his employer, Evan Rochester. In return, Jane will tutor his teenage daughter. She accepts. But nothing is quite as it seems at the Rochester estate. Though he’s been accused of murdering his glamorous and troubled wife, Evan Rochester insists she drowned herself. Jane is skeptical, but she still finds herself falling for the brilliant and secretive entrepreneur and growing close to his daughter…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The shadows of men : a novel / Mukherjee, Abir
“Calcutta, 1923. When a Hindu theologian is found murdered in his home, the city is on the brink of all-out religious war. Can the officers of the Imperial Police Force–Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant “Surrender-Not” Banerjee–track down those responsible in time to stop a bloodbath? Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and taking the detectives all the way to bustling Bombay, the latest instalment in this remarkable series presents Wyndham and Banerjee with an unprecedented challenge. Will this be the case that finally drives them apart?” (Catalogue)

Hello, transcriber / Morrissey, Hannah
“Every night, while the street lamps shed the only light on Wisconsin’s most crime-ridden city, police transcriber Hazel Greenlee listens as detectives divulge Black Harbor’s gruesome secrets. As an aspiring writer, Hazel believes that writing a novel could be her only ticket out of this frozen hellscape. And then her neighbor confesses to hiding the body of an overdose victim in a dumpster. The suspicious death is linked to Candy Man, a notorious drug dealer. Now Hazel has a first row seat to the investigation and becomes captivated by the lead detective…” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Library lover’s day: Find your perfect match!

Image of a book inside a heart with the title Library Lover's Day Find your perfect match

Did you know that February 14th is Library Lover’s Day? Find your perfect match below, or perhaps check if any of our new books catch your eye.

Apparently, the whole month of February is Library Lover’s Month, so you may want a few more book recommendations! To help with this, we’ve compiled a list of some recent additions to our romance collection below. Happy reading!


Hana Khan carries on / Jalaluddin, Uzma
“Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighborhood of Toronto. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighborhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Perfect timing : a novel / Nicholls, Owen
“What happens when you meet the right person at the wrong time–over and over again? Up-and-coming musician Tom thinks he met the love of his life one night a year ago, but thanks to a made-up girlfriend, he’s pretty sure he’s never going to see her again. If it weren’t for the painkillers the doctor gave him for his dislocated shoulder, he could’ve explained what really happened; but now the moment for explanations has gone, so he just keeps writing obscure songs about her in the wild hope that she’ll hear one on the radio and understand. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The secrets of Ashmore Castle / Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia
“1901. When The Earl of Stainton dies in a tragic hunting accident, Giles, the eldest son of the noble Tallant family must step forward to replace him as the head of the family. But Giles has avoided the Castle and his stifling relatives for years, deciding instead to forge his own path away from the spotlight. In Kensington, Kitty Bayfield, the painfully shy but moneyed daughter of a Baronet, has just left school with her penniless companion Nina. Nina captures the new Earl’s heart, but only Kitty can save his family from their debts, and soon Giles must choose between his duty and his heart.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Road to Rosalee / Magro, Mandy
“City girl Melody Harrison finds herself questioning everything in the wake of her mother’s deathbed confession of a long-held secret – a secret that drives her far into the outback, to the wide-open skies of Rosalee Station… Matt and Sarah Walsh have finally reached a time in their lives where they are at peace, but their happiness is again thrown into turmoil when Matt answers the door to a young woman with shocking news. But what is the truth? Only by offering her sanctuary at Rosalee Station will they find space to come to grips with each other” (Adapted from Catalogue)

When the war was here / Veletzos, Roxanne
“Hungary, 1943. As war encroaches on the country’s borders, willful young Eva arrives in the idyllic town of Sopron […] Longing for freedom from her domineering father, she counts the days to her upcoming nuptials to a kind and dedicated Red Cross doctor whom she greatly admires. But Eva’s life changes when she meets Aleandro, a charming and passionate Romani fiddler with a love for painting. With time and profound class differences against them, Eva and Aleandro still fall deeply in love – only to be separated by a brutal act of hatred.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

 

 

 

“I didn’t have time to be anyone’s muse… Our New Fiction Titles

“I didn’t have time to be anyone’s muse… I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist.” – Leonora Carrington.

If you were lucky enough to go to the recent exceptional Surrealist exhibition at Te Papa, you may well have looked in wonder at Again the Gemini are in the Orchard, a painting by Leonora Carrington. In our recently acquired fiction titles we have a fictionalised account of one of the periods of her life called Leonora in the Morning Light by Michaela Carter.
Leonora Carrington was one of the leading lights of the surrealist movement, whose contribution and involvement until recently was largely ignored. She led an extraordinary, remarkable, and fascinating life. (View all our  books by or about Leonora Carrington here).

Born into a rich but constricted English family, against which she rebelled at every chance, after being expelled from various schools, she attended art school before eventually fleeing the country to go to Paris to join the Surrealists. She subsequently formed an artistic and personal relationship with the artist Max Ernst. This period was interrupted by World War Two; Ernst was arrested by the Nazis from which Leonora fled, ending up in a Spanish asylum. She was rescued from this asylum by her former nanny. Entering a marriage of convenience with the Mexican Ambassador allowed her to emigrate to Mexico. In Mexico City she when on to forge a career as one of the most important, innovative, and personally unique of all the Surrealists. She was also a highly accomplished writer of fiction, short fiction and autobiography.

Another title we were excited to see in the newly acquired recent fiction titles is the hugely recommended Huia short stories 14: Contemporary Māori fiction.

Leonora in the morning light / Carter, Michaela
“1937. British socialite and painter Leonora Carrington meets Max Ernst, an older, married artist whose work has captivated Europe. She follows him to Paris, and gains recognition under her own name. When Max and his circle are denounced as “degenerates” and arrested, Leonora battles terrifying circumstances to survive. 1940. A train carrying exiled German prisoners from a labor camp arrives in southern France, but face capture by the Nazis. Only one man does not flee, determined to ride the train until he reaches home, to find a woman he refers to simply as “her.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The echo chamber / Boyne, John
“What a thing of wonder a mobile phone is. Six ounces of metal, glass and plastic, fashioned into a sleek, shiny, precious object. At once, a gateway to other worlds – and a treacherous weapon in the hands of the unwary, the unwitting, the inept. The Cleverley family live a gilded life, little realising how precarious their privilege is, just one tweet away from disaster. George, the patriarch, is a stalwart of television interviewing, a ‘national treasure’ (his words), his wife Beverley, a celebrated novelist (although not as celebrated as she would like), and their children, Nelson, Elizabeth, Achilles, various degrees of catastrophe waiting to happen.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook. 

What storm, what thunder / Chancy, Myriam J. A.
“At the end of a long, sweltering day, as markets and businesses begin to close for the evening, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive with a secret daughter; the daughter, Anne, an architect , Leopold, who pines for a beautiful call girl; Sonia and Ma Lou, the old woman selling produce in the market who remembers them all. Artfully weaving together these lives, witness is given to the desolation wreaked by nature and by man. ” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

The sentence / Erdrich, Louise
“A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store’s most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls’ Day, but she simply won’t leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading with murderous attention, must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hana Khan carries on / Jalaluddin, Uzma
“Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighborhood of Toronto. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast. Soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening her mother’s restaurant. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The cat who saved books : a novel / Natsukawa, Sōsuke
“Bookish high school student Rintaro Natsuki is about to close the second hand bookstore he has inherited from his beloved bookworm grandfather. However, one day, a talking cat named Tiger appears and asks Rintaro to save books with him. Of course, “ask” is putting it politely — Tiger is demanding Rintaro’s help. The world is full of lonely books, left unread and unloved, and only Tiger and Rintaro can liberate them from their neglectful owners. And so, the odd couple begin an amazing journey, entering different mazes to set books free.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Dog park / Oksanen, Sofi 
“Helsinki, 2016. Olenka sits on a bench, watching a family play in a dog park. A stranger sits down beside her. Olenka startles; she would recognize this other woman anywhere. After all, Olenka was the one who ruined her life. And this woman may be about to do the same to Olenka. Yet, for a fragile moment, here they are, together–looking at their own children being raised by other people. Moving seamlessly between modern-day Finland and Ukraine in the early days of its post-Soviet independence.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Comfort me with apples / Valente, Catherynne M.
“A woman who believes she is living a perfect life begins to wonder why her husband is away at work so much, and also what is in the locked basement she is not permitted to enter.Sophia was made for him. Her perfect husband. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect. It’s just that he is away so much, so often. He says he misses her, so it must be true. But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Strange things. Dark things. The look on her husband’s face when he comes back from a long business trip. The questions he will not answer…” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook .

Huia short stories. 14, Contemporary Māori fiction.
“These stories present the best writing from the Pikihuia Awards for Māori writers 2021. The authors are a mix of new writers and known authors. The stories they tell have characters that will stay with you, descriptions that evoke strong sense of time and place, and situations that are funny, tense, sad and wistful.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook. 

Staff Picks: The Best CDs of 2021

Image featuring some of our top picks


Mark’s Pick:
Vulture prince. / Aftab, Arooj [VINYL ONLY]
“Vulture Prince” is the third album from Brooklyn-based Pakistani composer Arooj Aftab. It made ‘Best of the Year’ picks even halfway through last year, and has been pressed on Vinyl 3 times since it came out last April – all of which sold out almost instantly. It’s critical & commercial success led to her being nominated for two Grammys, Best New Artist and Best Global Music Performance, as well as being signed to major label, Verve Records. An amazing sounding album, a mixture of chamber jazz, Hindustani classical minimalism & neo-Sufi, centered around her crystal clear voice. A truly beautiful and haunting work.

Mother. / Sol, Cleo
There was a lot of Neo-soul this year. A lot. I listened to a good percentage of it, and Cleo Sol’s ‘Mother’ was the best of the bunch. A mellow, tender, beautifully sung homage to motherhood. These lovely delicate songs have a real sense of intimacy, and at times the minimalist production from partner Inflo (who was recently announced as Producer of the Year in 2022’s Brit awards) makes you feel you are hearing a bunch of personal demos that were never meant to be shared.

Lindsey Buckingham. / Buckingham, Lindsey
The ex-Fleetwood Mac-er returns with a delayed album – originally cut in 2018. It is perhaps his most ‘pop’ outing and most FM sounding solo album yet. Mirage-era stylings, double tracked vocals, and catchy choruses surround a set of songs that focus on band & domestic disharmonies. Few artists of his generation can claim to be still making music this strong.

 

Shinji’s Pick’s:
Mother. / Sol, Cleo
A member of the London’s avant-soul unit ‘Sault’, Cleo Sol’s sophomore album is a reflection of herself having become a mother during the pandemic. It’s an intimate affair featuring medium/slow soul ballads. Surrounded by the warm, tender arrangements, her voice is charming and graceful.

 

Nine. / Sault 
Sault’ also released another edgy album ‘NINE’ – more personal than previous albums but black proud and social justice are still its core. The both are a must-listen.

 

 

What we call life. / Rakei, Jordan
The Tokoroa-born, sweet-sounding soul singer Jordan Rakei steadily developes his style with every outing. This latest album from Ninja Tune takes us on an intimate, emotional journey, showing his mutuality both as an artist and a person. His dance/house project Dan Kye’s ‘Small Moments’ (Vinyl only) is also quite good.

 

Harbour. / Herskedal, Daniel
Tuba is usually not considered a lead instrument, but the Norwegian tubaist Daniel Herkedal has made his mark as an outstanding player and band leader. Nature often inspires his works, in this album his trio brilliantly transforms images of Norwegian seaside into their music. You can feel a combination of warmth and cool air in the rich, open soundscapes that they create. Akin to ECM, it’s a sublime jazz album.

Phantasmagoria, or, A different kind of journey / Aarset, Eivind
Norwegian jazz guitarist Eivind Aarset is a master of creating inventive sonic layers and tonal richness. Aarset’s new album finds him in superb form. Showing impressive range, from the gentle ambient tracks to the eccentric guitar improvised prog-rock, it offers a sophisticated, expansive musical journey.

Becca Stevens & the Secret Trio. / Stevens, Becca
The ‘jazzy but not quite jazz’ singer Becca Stevens has worked with numerous artists, including David Crosby for his brilliant ‘Here If You Listen’. Her new project with the Secret Trio, who’s roots range from  Turkish to Armenian and Macedonian, offers a unique hybrid music of folk, jazz and world music. This work gets better with every listen.

 

The eternal rocks beneath. / Priddy, Katherine
Praised by the likes of Richard Thompson and Vashti Bunyan, young English folk singer Katherine Priddy debuted with an exceptional album. Showing her love of Nick Drake, her songs are alluring. The band supports marvellously, but it is her captivating voice that takes your breath away. Everything is so natural here, a promising a star is about to be born.

 

Invisible cities = Le città invisibili / Winged Victory for the Sullen
The 2021 album from this ambient duo is a collaboration with a theatre production, directed by London Olympics ceremony video designer Leo Warner. The show, in turn, was is based on Italo Calvino’s classic novel ‘Invisible Cities’. This duo, once again, has created a stunning score which masterfully weaves the medieval feeling into the ethereal, ambient soundscape. Sublime.

 

Déjà vu [deluxe] / Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
[Box set/re-issue]
The 1970 original album climbed up to No.1 and stayed 88 weeks in the USA top 100 charts. In 2021, this iconic masterpiece finally got a deluxe edition (4CDs + 1LP). Including 38 tracks of demos and outtakes, a lot of tracks here have never been released before and, as well as this, they prove how genius these musicians are. The Laurel Canyon community also must have stimulated their creativity, which is evident in the intriguing documentary ‘Laurel Canyon’.

Kid A mnesia / Radiohead
[Box set/re-issue]
The 21st century opened with this revolutionary music. ‘Kid A’ (2000) and ‘Amnesiac’ (2001) were recorded together but issued a year apart. This re-issue offers previously unreleased tracks on the third disc, which is fascinating. Their bold creative mojo and exceptional talent made Radiohead a one-and-only supergroup. 20 years on, they are still standing tall.

Aretha. / Franklin, Aretha
Aretha Franklin, the ‘Queen of Soul’, had a career which spanned 6 decades, and this smartly compiled box set should be welcomed by both dedicated fans and novices to her music. It’s almost an ideal ‘best album’ of her music, and would be a wonderful accompaniment to the nice biographical film ‘Respect’.

 

Neil J’s Pick’s:
Promises / Floating Points
This is my person pick for best of 2021. Many albums strive to be as beautifully mellow and profoundly intense. They nearly always fail to some degree or another. This album is as close to perfection as I have heard in many a year, an outstanding masterpiece that will rightly regarded as such long after 2021 is a distant memory. Recorded over the course of five years, this album is a hybrid of ambient, free-form jazz and classical. The result is an album that is elegant, refined, and full of quiet moments of sonic beauty. Although it is an experimental album, it’s an exceptionally balanced, considered, and timeless work. To really appreciate it, a relaxed deep listen is highly recommended. A perfect way to unwind from the rigors of the day.

Nine. / Sault
The enigmatic and mysterious music collective Sault release another vital album. Unsurprisingly as an ever-changing music collective, there is a rich tapestry of sounds and approaches in ‘Nine’. The overall effect though feels totally unified and coherent. The tracks are urban, dark, and edgy with real grit. In the mix there are elements of rap, grime Afro Beat and even some Tom Tom’s club’s style funk. The content of the album is largely about growing up in modern London. This is a fresh and surprising album, stunning in its contemporary urgency.

Geist. / Lay, Shannon
Shannon Lay’s Geist is a deliberately wistful, transcendent, and spiritual album. Lay uses multi tracked choral vocals with a constantly flowing, and evolving acoustic guitar as its core. The effect is distinctive, expressive, quiet, and lovely. An evocative pastoral psychedelic folk work reminiscent of artists like Vashti Bunyan, I particularly enjoyed her cover of Syd Barrett’s ‘Late night’.

 

Buda / Buda, Luke
One of the core creative forces behind the mighty The Phoenix Foundation releases (with a lot of help from his friends) his third solo effort, this time simply called Buda. It is an impressive work, interspersed with a lot of the hallmark touches he brings to his other work in The Phoenix foundation. This album is wryly funny, poetic, serious when it needs to be and shows us why he is one of our finest musicians.

Black sea golden ladder. / Kingi, Troy
The supremely gifted musical chameleon that is Troy Kingi has shown his musical versatility over several wonderful albums on several occasions in recent years, but who would have thought that his latest musical incarnation would be as a mellow folk maestro? The resulting album is a beautiful, and chilled outing, like watching the sun go down on the fragile dream of a late autumn day. Delaney Davidson’s voice adds just a little grit and darkness to the proceedings.

M’berra / Khalab
This is one of those album’s that really transports the listener to new worlds. It is a collaborative work between electronic Italian D.J. Khalab and the M’berra Ensemble, a community of musicians living in the M’berra refugee camp. The resulting album, both ancient and futuristic, is a breath-taking work of fantastically sculptured tracks and diverse sounds, featuring a dazzling array of instruments from traditional Mali instruments to synth bass’s and guitar.

Bright green field. / Squid (Musical group)
An album of angular music, coupled with angry off kilter lyrics that illuminate the song writers’ discomfort with the modern World. In places, it sounds slightly reminiscent of an early English, pre-Eno, Talking Heads. Seemingly unconcerned about creating a single musical identity, they use whatever style suits that particular track from throwing in punk, krautrock, dub, jazz, and funk into this potent mix of an album.

New long leg. / Dry Cleaning (Musical group)
I really loved this album, it sounded new and fresh and vitally edgy. Managing to sound quirky, surreal, approachable and experimental all at the same time, is it a release I strongly suspect will be on lots of best of 2021 lists.

 

 

The new blue : Pixie Williams reimagined.
Pixie Williams was one of the first ever superstars of the New Zealand music scene. She was a trailblazing pioneer; her song ‘Blue smoke’ was a huge international hit in 1951 covered by many artists, including Dean Martin. A compilation of her work was recently rescued from oblivion, called For the record : the Pixie Williams collection, 1949-1951, and was rereleased in 2011. ‘The New Blue’ is a collection of modern NZ artists paying tribute to her and her art, covering her best known pieces fabulously well with style and panache. This is a perfectly executed, modern nostalgic time machine of an album.

Optimisme. / Songhoy Blues
Crossing musical and cultural boundaries at will, ‘Optimisme’ is a joyous explosion of an album. Driving percussion and scorching guitar riffs come together with political, social and personal lyrics that are sung in several languages and never sound laboured or preachy. The music is exhilarating and unstoppable, you cannot but help feel that many huge stadium acts would be jealous and in awe of the energy pouring out of this release.

 

Gus’ Picks:
The blue elephant. / Berry, Matt
Something I can only describe as “what if Tame Impala travelled back in time and did an album with the Kinks”. Hands down the best summer album of 2021.
Favourite track: Summer Sun

 

 

Skin. / Crookes, Joy
A polished, bold debut neo-soul album for anyone with an Amy Winehouse-sized hole in their heart.
Favourite track: Feet Don’t Fail Me Now

 

 

Prioritise pleasure. / Self Esteem
A pop solo act that goes big and goes hard one minute and becomes a tender pick-me-up the next. Everyone could use a little Self Esteem boost.
Favourite track: Prioritise Pleasure

 

 

Jubilee. / Japanese Breakfast
An eclectic album of 80s city pop, soft ballads, and dreamy croons. A balanced breakfast indeed.
Favourite track: Paprika

 

 

Call me if you get lost. / Tyler, the Creator
No-one quite nails the feeling unique to creatives of alternating triumph and melancholy quite like Tyler Baudelaire, aka Bunny Hop, aka Wolf Haley etc. etc. Call Me If You Get Lost is more of a fun mixtape jam session than the more emotionally introspective albums of his recent output, and while it took me a while to appreciate, by the end of 2021 it became a staple of my playlists.
Favourite track: CORSO

Dune : original motion picture soundtrack
The space bagpipes must flow! I, for one, am always up for a eardrum rattling from the Zimmer Man, and Dune does not disappoint. Combining electrified strings, throat singing, epic brass, Middle Eastern choirs and the aforementioned space bagpipes, this score truly worthy of a space epic.
Favourite track: Armada

 

Yasuke : music from the Netflix original anime series
With the anime Yasuke, Flying Lotus finally gets to lend his unique blend of hip hop and electronica to scoring an animated series, and he succeeds immensely. As Samurai Champloo creator (and one-time FlyLo collaborator) Shinichiro Watanabe proved, there’s something about blending hip hop and samurai that just works.
Favourite track: Your Day Off

 

Han’s Picks:
L.A.B. V. / L. A. B
Another awesome album from L.A.B, with songs that are funky, chilled out and make you automatically feel free and summery. Favourite tracks on this album are: ‘Under The Sun’, with it’s country twang and catchy chorus, ‘All Night’, which brings the groove and makes you want to dance and their latest smooth sounding single ‘Mr Reggae’.

 

Little oblivions. / Baker, Julien
An emotional outpouring of deep and self-loathing lyrics ,with a voice that is raw, vulnerable and magical, makes for a brilliant third solo album from Julien Baker.

 

 

Sour. / Rodrigo, Olivia
If you have ever had your heart broken and not been sure of yourself, then you will easily relate to the lyrics on this album. Songs like ‘Traitor’ and ‘Happier’ convey familiar feelings of being hurt by relationships breaking down. ‘Brutal’, the first track, is probably the best with all of her thoughts and annoyances with life on display in a snarly pop punk style. Very impressive debut album from this new pop superstar.

 

OK human. / Weezer
This is Weezer in a completely different form, with none of the guitar sound that is associated with the band. Instead, they have opted for an orchestral sound, which is new for them and definitely works as a change. The opening track ‘All My Favourite Songs’ is brilliant and the chorus is incredibly catchy and anthemic. ‘Grapes of Wrath’ is a big advert for Audible, but I don’t mind it as I like all the book references in that track. These songs were written during the pandemic and as a result are extremely relatable.

Van Weezer. / Weezer
In contrast to Ok Human, Van Weezer brings all the guitars back for a more familiar Weezer sound. On the track ‘The End of the Game’, the lyrics are “I know that you would crank this song, air guitaring with your headphones on”’ and it definitely makes me want to do that. So, turn it up and have some fun jumping up and down to this homage to Van Halen!

 

Greg’s Pick:
Leave love out of this. / Tonnon, Anthonie
If you don’t have children, you rely on friends and colleagues to recommend new music to you. This was recommended to me by Martin. This is pop music with social, political and economic messages woven easily and naturally through the lyrics. The title track was nominated for the 2021 Silver Scroll Award.

 

Joseph’s Pick’s:
Godzone. / Sulfate
[VINYL ONLY]
Godzone by Sulfate was a local standout for me.

 

 

 

Martin’s Pick:
Leave love out of this. / Tonnon, Anthonie
A strange mixture. This album sounds like a cross between Ultravox and Gary Numan with some distinctly New Zealand social commentary thrown in. In some ways the music is reminiscent of simple 80’s synth, which I like, but it is also the use of his voice that grabs the attention. It is at both very unmelodic almost banal, but with great range and control. It doesn’t sound, from what I have said, to be so good does it? But it is! It’s interesting, mostly uplifting and overall a joy to listen to. It’s different and fresh and I think positive, which is a rare thing in these times.

Mikaela’s Pick’s:
Jubilee. / Japanese Breakfast

 

 

 

 


Charlotte’s Picks:
Collapsed in sunbeams. / Parks, Arlo
Chemtrails over the country club. / Del Rey, Lana
In these silent days. / Carlile, Brandi
Valentine. / Snail Mail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Neil P’s Picks:
De pelicula / Limiñanas
Earth trip. / Rose City Band
Comfort to me. / Amyl and the Sniffers
Afrique victime. / Moctar, Mdou
Yol. / Altın Gün
Henki / Dawson, Richard
La Luz. / La Luz
Sometimes I might be introvert. / Little Simz
Introducing… Aaron Frazer. / Frazer, Aaron
Invisible cities = Le città invisibili / Winged Victory for the Sullen
Genesis. / Xixa
Forest of your problems. / Snapped Ankles
Black sea golden ladder. / Kingi, Troy
Pale horse rider. / Hanson, Cory
Geist. / Lay, Shannon


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COVID Calamities & Anxiety Antics: Our latest Biographies

Living through a pandemic brings all sort of challenges that we have to contend with. This latest selection of biographies brings laugh out loud moments, stories of perseverance and courage, and even a local mystery to distract and entertain us.

Theroux the keyhole / Theroux, Louis
“Step inside Louis’ life like never before as he turns his critical eye on himself, his home, and family and tries to make sense of our weird and sometimes scary world. Like millions of others, Louis’ plans were mothballed by the onset of COVID. Unable to escape to the porn sets, prisons and maximum-security psychiatric units that are his usual journalistic beat, he began reporting on a location even more full of pitfalls and hostile objects of inquiry: his own home during a pandemic. Honest, hilarious and heart warming Theroux the keyhole is a diary of the weirdness of family life in Covid World.” (Adapted from catalogue)

My mess is a bit of a life : adventures in anxiety / Pritchett, Georgia
“Multi award winning television writer and producer (Veep, Succession, The Thick of it, Miranda) Georgia Pritchett knows a thing or two about anxiety. From a worrier as a child to an adult living with sometimes crippling anxiety, she takes us through her life sharing stories with warmth and humour. Told in comic vignettes, this delightfully offbeat, painfully honest and snort out aloud funny memoir is a joyful reflection on just how to live and sometimes even thrive (sometimes not) with anxiety” (Adapted from catalogue)

Start your engines / Briggs, Sam
“UK CrossFit superstar Sam Briggs, aka ‘The Engine’, is a true hero in the sport, with a level of endurance unparalleled in the game. From being kicked out of ballet as a child, to qualifying for the CrossFit game 7 times, this is the story of how Sam got to the top of her sport, and battled with everything she had to stay there. Start Your Engines is the story of how, with a combination of grit, training and dogged motivation, it’s never too late to achieve your dreams.” (Adapted from catalogue)

The opposite of butterfly hunting / Lynch, Evanna
“Cast as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films, Evanna Lynch has long been viewed as a role model for people recovering from anorexia. Here, in her memoir, Evanna confronts all the complexities and contradictions within herself and reveals how she overcame a serious eating disorder, worked to conquer her self-hate and began to confront her fear of leaving the neatness and safety of girlhood for the unpredictable journey of being a woman, all in the spotlight of international fame. This is a story of the tragedy and the glory of growing up, of mourning girlhood and stepping into the unknown, and how that act of courage is the most creatively liberating thing a woman can do”. (Catalogue)

Come back to Mona Vale : life and death in a Christchurch mansion / McKinnon, Alexander
“A beautifully written, compelling narrative/memoir that sets about unravelling the mysteries and anomalies behind the public history of a wealthy Christchurch business family in the first half of the 20th century. The story unfolds like a crime or detective tale, and also delves into the history of the Canterbury settlement, contrasting Christchurch’s public values, aspirations and beauty with its murkier private behaviour. The story is told with a graceful touch and an eye for the vivid, comic and telling detail. Alexander McKinnon’s exploration of his family’s past is the record of a beautiful and grand (yet gradually crumbling) manor interwoven with social history – with a sense of the Gothic, of obsession, and of a tight-knit circle where secrets wreak a terrible climax leading to a form of inter-generational haunting.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Chaise longue / Dury, Baxter
“Methods of parenting and education have progressed in recent years, especially compared to some of the more casually experimental routes inflicted on children of artistic professionals in the 70s and 80s. One experience that would take some beating is that endured by Baxter Dury. When punk rock star Ian Dury disappeared to make films in the late 80s, he left his teenage son in the care of his roadie, in a rundown flat in Hammersmith. But this was no ordinary roadie; this was the Sulphate Strangler. The Strangler, having taken a lot of LSD in the 60s, was prone to depression, anger and hallucinations. He was also, as the name suggests, a drug dealer. What could possibly go wrong? Chaise Longue is an intimate account of the adventures, escapades, and perilous times of Dury’s childhood set in bohemian west London populated with feverishly grubby characters. Narrated in Dury’s candid tone, both sad and funny, this moving story will leave an indelible imprint on its readers.” (Adapted from catalogue)