“Live forever” Our highlighted Crime and mystery titles

Ideas excite me, and as soon as I get excited, the adrenaline gets going and the next thing I know I’m borrowing energy from the ideas themselves.”
— Ray Bradbury.

OR

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”
— Joseph Brodsky

Killer, come back to me is one of this month’s newly acquired titles. It is a compendium of crime and mystery stories by one of America’s greatest storywriters of the 20th and early 21st century Ray Bradbury. Bradbury is perhaps best known for his science fiction works such as Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Martian Chronicles. However, as this collection amply shows he was adept at working in any fiction genre he choose. Many of his works have been adapted for television and film. He attributed becoming a writer to being touched on the nose at age 12 by a carnival entertainer with an electrified sword called Mr. Electrico who commanded him to “live forever”.


Killer, come back to me / Bradbury, Ray
“Celebrating Ray Bradbury’s centennial, a deluxe illustrated commemorative collection of his finest crime stories  Is it murder to destroy a robot if it looks and speaks and thinks and feels like a human being? Can a ventriloquist be incriminated by the testimony of his own dummy? Can a time traveler prevent his younger self from killing the woman they both loved? And can the survivor of a pair of Siamese twins investigate his own brother’s murder?” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The roots of evil / Jardine, Quintin
When struggling ex-copper Terry Coats was discovered in bed with an air hostess, his excuse that he was ‘going undercover’ cut no ice with the force – or his wife. But now he is brutally killed on Hogmanay night, it seems there may have been more to his plea. Dragged from the new year celebrations, Special Constable Sir Bob Skinner is shocked to find coats’ body alongside that of Griff Montell: his erstwhile protege, and former lover of Skinner’s own daughter, Alex. Could there be some dark truth under Coats’ cock -and -bull story, after all? ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Murder in old Bombay / March, Nev
“In 1892, Bombay is the center of British India. Nearby, Captain Jim Agnihotri lies in Poona military hospital recovering , with little to do but re-read the tales of his idol, Sherlock Holmes. The case that catches Captain Jim’s attention is being called the crime of the century: Two women fell from the busy university’s clock tower in broad daylight. Moved by Adi, the widower of one of the victims — his certainty that his wife and sister did not commit suicide — Captain Jim approaches the Parsee family and is hired to investigate what happened that terrible afternoon. ” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Murder by milk bottle / Truss, Lynne
“In the wake of two extremely high-profile murder cases, and with the summer of 1957 finally winding down, Constable Twitten is eagerly anticipating a quiet spell at work. But his hoped-for rest is interrupted when he and his colleagues find a trio of bodies, all murdered with the same unusual weapon: a milk bottle. The three victims are seemingly unconnected-a hardworking patrolman, a would-be beauty queen, and a catty BBC radio personality-so Constable Twitten, Sergeant Brunswick, and Inspector Steine are baffled. ” (Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Angels weep / Falconer, Colin
“Three can keep a secret. If two of you are dead… Two women are snatched off the streets of London in one weekend. DI Charlie George and his team get to work. The lives of these young women – one of them a mother – are on the line, and the clock is ticking. When they catch a lucky break from a CCTV camera, Charlie is sure they have their man. And that’s when he gets his first surprise. Because nothing about this case is simple and not everyone is quite what they seem. Charlie’s job is to find the missing women and get to the truth. But some people would rather the truth stays hidden – even when the bodies start to pile up…”(Adapted from Catalogue)

Once you go this far : a Roxane Weary mystery / Lepionka, Kristen
 Junior-high school nurse Rebecca Newsome was an experienced hiker–until she plummeted to her death at the bottom of a ravine in a Columbus metro park. Her daughter, Maggie, doesn’t believe it was an accident, and Rebecca’s ex-husband is her prime suspect. But he’s a well-connected ex-cop and Maggie is certain that’s the reason no one will listen to her. PI Roxane Weary quickly uncovers that the dead woman’s ex is definitely a jerk, but is he a murderer? As she pieces together the days before Rebecca died, what Roxane finds doesn’t quite add up.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook .

Fortune favors the dead : a novel / Spotswood, Stephen
“It’s 1942 and Willowjean “Will” Parker is a scrappy circus runaway whose knife-throwing skills have just saved the life of New York’s best, and most unorthodox, private investigator, Lillian Pentecost. When the dapper detective summons Will a few days later, she doesn’t expect to be offered a life-changing proposition: …
Three years later, Will and Lillian are on the Collins case: Abigail Collins was found bludgeoned to death with a crystal ball following a big, boozy Halloween party at her home–her body slumped in the same chair where her steel magnate husband shot himself the year before. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Murder in the band room / Snelling, Patricia
“After retiring as a Detective Inspector, Ann Grieves enjoys her cottage by the sea in the Auckland Region. When she isn’t sleuthing unfaithful spouses and small-time crooks, she enjoys a laid-back life walking the promenade with Scout, her ex-police Beagle dog or making preserves for the oldies in her street. Until a body turns up in her friend’s band room.”–Publisher.” (Catalogue)

New travel books: piranhas and poisonous spiders

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.

So many things fell by the wayside in 2020 and adventures abroad were certainly one of them. As librarians, many of us this year have definitely leaned heavily on reading as an escape, and we wonder if you have too? Books about far-flung places have definitely been one way to broaden our horizons while we daydream about overseas travel.

In this spirit, here are some travel stories you can immerse yourself in while you stay closer to home this year. Read about epic voyages of discovery, travel misadventures (to make you glad to be home – piranhas, shark-infested waters, extreme weather, poisonous spiders and vindictive mosquitoes), as well as exploring the world from a different angle when life makes a change you didn’t expect. You’ll also find a good amount of history and geography to browse here, including An Atlas of Extinct Countries (a tour of places that no longer exist). Have a browse, and we hope you enjoy!

Image from Amazon.co.ukThe great journeys in history
“Marco Polo, Ferdinand Magellan, David Livingstone, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong: these are some of the greatest travellers of all time. This book chronicles their stories and many more, describing epic voyages of discovery from the extraordinary migrations out of Africa by our earliest ancestors to the latest voyages into space. In modern times, the last inhospitable ends of the earth were reached – including both poles and the world’s highest mountain – and new elements were conquered.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Blue sky kingdom : an epic family journey to the heart of the Himalayas / Kirkby, Bruce
“A warm and unforgettable portrait of a family letting go of the known world to encounter an unfamiliar one filled with rich possibilities and new understandings. In Blue Sky Kingdom, we follow Bruce and his family’s remarkable three months journey, where they would end up living amongst the Lamas of Zanskar Valley, a forgotten appendage of the ancient Tibetan empire. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover An Atlas of Extinct Countries, Gideon Defoe (ebook)
Prisoners of Geography meets Bill Bryson: a funny, fascinating, beautifully illustrated – and timely – history of countries that, for myriad and often ludicrous reasons, no longer exist. Countries die. Sometimes it’s murder, sometimes it’s by accident, and sometimes it’s because they were so ludicrous they didn’t deserve to exist in the first place.  This is an atlas of nations that fell off the map.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Bad tourist : misadventures in love and travel / Roberts, Suzanne
“Both a memoir in travel essays and an anti-guidebook, Bad Tourist takes us across four continents to fifteen countries, showing us what not to do when traveling. A woman learning to claim her own desires and adventures, Suzanne Roberts encounters lightning and landslides, sharks and piranha-infested waters, burning bodies, and brief affairs as she searches for the love of her life and finally herself. Throughout her travels Roberts tries hard not to be a bad tourist, but owing to her cultural blind spots, things don’t always go as planned. ” (Catalogue)

In praise of paths : walking through time and nature / Ekelund, Torbjørn Lysebo
“Torbj rn Ekelund started to walk everywhere after an epilepsy diagnosis affected his ability to drive. As he walks with shoes on and barefoot, through forest creeks and across urban streets, he contemplates the early tracks made by ancient snails and traces the wanderings of Romantic poets. If we still “understand ourselves in relation to the landscape,” Ekelund asks, then what do we lose in an era of car travel and navigation apps?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Image from fishpond.co.nz
Broken heels and bicycle wheels / Blair, Larry
“As 2018 drew to a close I embarked on what was to be my grand odyssey, a North – South walk of Aotearoa. Following the Te Araroa route, I was to walk 3,000km over the next six months. Spoiler: I didn’t. After some ups and downs, I binned that idea and had a crack at biking it instead. Broken Heels and Bicycle Wheels is my tale from that six month period. It’s a fairly raw retelling of my trip as I lived it, warts and all…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Walks on the wild side : exploring an unforgiving land / Pakenham, John
“In the early 1980s, John Pakenham walked a total of 1,500 miles, with a series of companions from the local Turkana and Samburu tribes, in the Great Rift Valley of northern Kenya. Repeatedly beset by extreme thirst and dehydration, bitterly cold torrential rains, poisonous spiders, and vindictive mosquitoes, he was lucky to live to tell his tale. Pakenham’s account provides a rare glimpse of a tough terrain” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Lonely Planet’s natural world.
“From Canada’s mysterious and untamed Great Bear Rainforest to the spiritually significant mountain of Kailash in Tibet, unearth 50 destinations all around the world which take you right back to the heart of the natural world. With a combination of beautiful illustration and photography throughout, as well as contributions from award-winning travel writers, this unique coffee table book is the quintessential guide to helping you reconnect with nature.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Comics in Conversation with Comics: Dial H for Hero Volume 2

This is the next in our Comics in Conversation with Comics series of posts, in which we explore comics and graphic novels that highlight, challenge, and celebrate the works that came before them, or say something about comics as an art form overall.

In this post we’ll be taking a look at the recent DC Comics series Dial H for Hero, by writer Sam Humphries and artist Joe Quinones.

Dial H for Hero is one of DC Comics’ more obscure series, but it’s a title that has a strong following among comic writers for its seemingly infinite potential. First appearing in House of Mystery #156 in January 1966, the premise centres around the H-Dial, a mysterious rotary phone (ask your parents) that, when H-E-R-O is dialled on it, can transform the caller into a random superhero. 

The 2019 Dial H for Hero series finds the Dial in the hands of two teen runaways, Miguel Montez and Summer Pickens, and this time the dial not only changes them into different comic heroes, but different art styles. These moments are the main draw of the series, referencing famous comics outside of the DC universe such as Dragon Ball, Krazy Kat, Peanuts, Tank Girl, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and paying homage to such celebrated artists like Dan Clowes, Mike Allred, Alex Toth, Rob Liefeld, Moebius and more over the course of the series’ twelve issues.

We’ve listed some of the best comic homages from the second volume, with links to the relevant comics that inspired them if you want to check them out from our collection. You can also jump away now and reserve both volumes of Dial H for Hero if you don’t want to be spoiled on the story.

Continue reading “Comics in Conversation with Comics: Dial H for Hero Volume 2”

December Fashion and Beauty Edit

Check out our latest fashion and beauty edit! There’s a strong focus on eco fashion this month as well as natural approaches to beauty, makeup and hair care. Our favourite pick this round is Chinatown Pretty – it’s full of the most amazing street style photos as well as sweet and touching stories of the seniors themselves. Place your reserve to have a look through it yourself.

Wear, repair, repurpose : a maker’s guide to mending and upcycling clothes / Fulop, Lily
“In with the old, out with the new–reclaiming your closet and reducing fashion waste starts here. Repair your favorite socks with style, add flair with personalized patches, and turn ripped jeans into an embroidered masterpiece. For beginner and experienced makers, Lily Fulop’s guide to mending and upcycling is your colorful companion to ditching fast fashion and extending the lifecycle of all your favorite clothes.” (adapted from catalogue)

Chinatown pretty : fashion and wisdom from Chinatown’s most stylish seniors / Lo, Andria
“Humans of New York meets Advanced Style in Chinatown for a celebration of Chinese American culture, active old-age, and creative style. Chinatown Pretty features beautiful portraits and heartwarming stories of trend-setting seniors across six Chinatowns. This is a celebration of Chinese-American culture, active old-age, and creative style. ” (adapted from catalogue)

The chiffon trenches : a memoir / Talley, André Leon
“From the pages of Vogue to the runways of Paris, this deeply revealing memoir by a legendary style icon captures the fashion world from the inside out, in its most glamorous and most cutthroat moments. At once ruthless and empathetic, this engaging memoir tells with raw honesty the story of how Andr not only survived the brutal style landscape but thrived–despite racism, illicit rumors, and all the other challenges of this notoriously cutthroat industry–to become one of the most renowned voices and faces in fashion.” (adapted from catalogue)

Fibershed : growing a movement of farmers, fashion activists, and makers for a new textile economy / Burgess, Rebecca
“There is a major disconnect between what we wear and our knowledge of its impact on land, air, water, labor, and human health. Even those who value access to safe, local, nutritious food have largely overlooked the production of fiber. In Fibershed readers will learn how natural plant dyes and fibers such as wool, cotton, hemp, and flax can be grown and processed as part of a scalable, restorative agricultural system.” (adapted from catalogue)

The Scandinavian skincare bible : the definitive guide to understanding your skin / Gillbro, Johanna
“The Swedish bestseller that will revolutionise the way you treat your skin. Beautiful, healthy skin is a holy grail for teens with acne and adults with wrinkles alike, and multi-step beauty routines are all the rage. Using cutting-edge research about the microbiome, as well as the relationship between gut health and skin, The Scandinavian Skincare Bible challenges how we look at beauty today.” (adapted from catalogue)

The botanical beauty hunter : natural recipes and rituals for skincare, haircare and cosmetics / Dixon, Maddy
The Botanical Beauty Hunter addresses beauty from the inside out with sustainable, healthy, and natural choices for our skin-care and cosmetics that will enhance beauty at any age. The Botanical Beauty Hunter is a practical guide filled with recipes, advice and the secrets behind everything natural beauty, from ancient Ayurvedic beauty rituals to superfoods to eat for healthy beautiful skin.” (adapted from catalogue)

Festive vegan feasts

Looking for some delicious vegan options for the holidays? Find something delicious below! We’ve also included a link to browse more vegan cookbooks on our catalogue.

More vegan holiday cookbooks


Vegan Christmas cookbook : over 70 amazing recipes for the festive season / Oakley, Gaz
“The first ever vegan Christmas cookbook, from YouTube and Instagram sensation Avant Garde Vegan. Vegans and vegetarians everywhere will have the best holiday period ever with Gaz Oakley’s fantastic alternatives to the traditional turkey and trimmings. Gaz is an expert in bold flavors and textures, so everyone can enjoy a spectacular centerpiece and amazing food throughout the festive season. ” (Catalogue)

The superfun times vegan holiday cookbook : entertaining for absolutely every occasion / Moskowitz, Isa Chandra
“Bestselling author, vegan goddess, and comfort food queen Isa Chandra Moskowitz is back with her biggest book ever — to prove that making festive vegan food for any occasion can be easy, delicious, and superfun. You’ll start with New Year’s, stop for Valentine’s Day on the way to Easter and Passover, and cook through Hanukkah, and Christmas. And with more than 250 seasonal recipes, you’ll mix, match, and remix for every celebration in between — filling your life with holiday cheer the whole year round.” (Catalogue)

Happy vegan Christmas / Jönsson, Karoline
“Roasted nuts and vegetables, fragrant citrus and cloves, jewelled lingonberries and cardamom buns fresh from the oven – these are the delights that make a Scandinavian vegan Christmas. Inspired by classic Scandinavian Christmas cooking and seasonal dishes from around the world, this is a treasure trove for vegans, veggies and flexitarian foodies. Inspired by both classic Scandinavian holiday cooking, as well as seasonal dishes from around the world, this is an indispensable treasure trove for the vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian foodie. Roasted nuts and vegetables, fragrant citrus and cloves, jeweled lingonberries, and cardamom buns fresh from the oven–these are the delights that make a Scandinavian vegan Christmas.” (Catalogue)

Vegan Christmas / Fitzjohn, Audrey
“This book is a foolproof guide to making plant-based meals for the holidays. You could start your guests with a round of blinis and faux caviar. Then, when they’re getting snacky, bring out the arancini and dairy-free aioli. When you’re laying out the big dinner spread, you can offer your vegan guests tempeh and mashed sweet potatoes, stuffed pumpkin, and many more devilishly starchy options. Then, for dessert, roll out the chocolate truffles, a black forest cake, fruit pies, and more Plus, who even needs meat or animal products, when you’re surrounded by your friends and family?” (Catalogue)

New Music at Te Awe

I’m Mark, the Customer Specialist for Music & Film at Wellington City Library. Here is some of the new and material we have been buying for the Music collection at our CBD Te Awe branch.
My colleague Neil & I decided to do a quick one line review of these titles. Do we actually carefully appraise & select the latest new music releases for your listening pleasure? Or do we just buy every third item on the list and hope it works out? Do we actually know anything about new music? Does our Council have any Style? Read on to find out…

Foothills / Bats (Musical group)
Neil: Melodic chilled Kiwi-Americana. Perfect to relax to watching the sun go down with a cold beer on the deck.
Mark: More jangle-pop goodness. The line-up’s longevity & connection create a familial musical landscape where they can traverse any emotion with melodic and emotional authenticity.

Hey U X. / Benee
Neil: Gen z Tik tok star Benee follows up her “Supalonely” smash hit with a surprisingly honest and thoughtful teen angst album.
Mark: Her voice & style recall Lorde, Clairo or Billie Eilish, but it’s to her lyrical skills that turn this into a fun & engagingly cohesive reflection of Gen Z life & themes in 2020.

My echo. / Veirs, Laura
Neil: My Echo is Laura Veirs’ 11th album a deeply, personal outing about the disintegration of her marriage.
Mark: Quality songs emerging out of emotional discontent. Not as depressing or insular as it sounds. Honestly.

Shadow of fear. / Cabaret Voltaire
Neil: Fits in very well with Cabaret Voltaire’s (now just Richard H Kirk) back catalogue, both the very early old scratchy experimental material and the more smooth funky dance works of the 80’s. Old fans will be very happy.
Mark: First album in 26 years. Old school tricks meet new sounds with a cyberpunk vibe. Plays like the soundtrack to a William Gibson novel.

The symbol remains. / Blue Öyster Cult
Neil: Another (one of several) blasts from the past. Founder members Donald Roeser and Eric Bloom are now 72 and 75, but this doesn’t stop them delivering a classic rock epic that is sure to please previous followers. Go, go Godzilla.
Mark: First album in 19 years. A journey through solidly catchy hard rock, metal & pop anthems, with riffs and energy that much younger bands would kill for.

Empty body. / Spook The Horses
Neil: Loud, experimental post metal at its best and a marked departure from their previous outings. If you are into this particular style of music an exceptional piece of work.
Mark: One of Wgtn’s strongest bands return with a bold piece of re-invention. Powerful vocals dip in and out of heavy instrumental tracks full of controlled dissonance. Brooding & intense.

Swirling. / Sun Ra Arkestra
Neil: Another album many years in the making, with Ra himself gone to a different plane. His long time collaborator and friend 96 year old Marshall Belford Allen takes over the helm. Brilliant stuff that really captures the chaotic genius of the outfit when Ra was around. “The Future is now”.
Mark: First album in 20 years. This month’s theme obviously…Always too atonal & weird for straight ahead Jazz-ers, the music of Sun Ra found a second life with the rise of Afrofuturism. The influential space-age Jams now anchor the centre of so many music & cultural strands.

Whatever it is. / Hello Forever
Neil: Psychedelic sun-drenches California vibes for the 21st century. Self confessed influences of the Beach Boys and The Mamas & Papas.
Mark: A tribute to a bygone time of sunshine, harmonies, & positive vibes. Gorgeous multi-layered harmonies and positive messages.

No need to argue [deluxe] / Cranberries (Musical group)
Neil: Not my favourite band at all…
Mark: Ignore Neil. The Cranberries are awesome. Great second album brimming with the song-writing confidence of a successful debut. Only 17 million copies worldwide. Nice reissue that rounds up B-sides, demos & some live tracks.

Archives. Volume 1, The early years (1963-1967). / Mitchell, Joni
Neil: Bob Dylan, nah. Neil Young, maybe. Joni Mitchell, now your talking. The beginnings of the finest songwriter North America (Canada to be precise) has ever produced, rarities galore a genius gearing up to true greatness.
Mark: Not a fan. If all the ‘Jazz people’ on her albums had actually made Jazz albums instead…And surely Bryan Adams is really the finest songwriter to ever come out of Canada.

Idiot prayer : Nick Cave alone at Alexander Palace. / Cave, Nick
Neil: Nick Cave, a solo piano in an empty Alexander palace playing songs old and new and even one cover (T-Rex). Spellbinding stuff and a must for any Cave fan.
Mark: Raw and powerful. A soothing tonic for 2020.

Pieces of you. / Jewel
Neil: 25th anniversary release of the singer songwriter Jewel’s debut album . When it was initially released it sold less than 3000 copies and was largely ignored by critics and the buying public, though it did have a few A list musician supporters. But the album would eventually sell over 12 million copies in the US alone.
Mark: A singer whose unique beguiling voice and personal songs were almost completely out of step with the prevailing musical currents of the time. A fascinating essay & multi-disc look at how actual music label support, gruelling touring, & the support of Bob Dylan & Neil Young created one of the biggest selling debut albums of all time.

Layla and other assorted love songs. / Derek and the Dominos
Neil: Another re-issue. Surprisingly unpopular with critics and fans initially, but went on to platinum status quickly and is now regarded as one of Eric Claptons favourite moments. Personally I prefer Cream hammering it out!
Mark: I think Clapton’s best moments can be found on Edge of Darkness, but this classic album has plenty of iconic moments.

Let me be good to you : the Atlantic & Stax recordings (1960-1968). / Thomas, Carla
Neil: A welcome compilation of the much under-rated honey-voiced Carla Thomas, one of the Wiggin Casino favourites!
Mark: The Queen of Stax records, her career sadly ended with the demise of the label. This fantastic set rounds up all her albums bar one. Fantastic voice and the deep grooves of the best Stax musicians. What more could a Soul-fan ask for?

Summerteeth [deluxe]. / Wilco
Neil: Alt-country fave’s Wilco move away from their country roots in this lush textured highly successful album.
Mark: Psychedelic hued, Big Star tinged Power-Pop that still ranks as one of their best albums. The endless studio tinkering and musical layers hid a drug fuelled uncertainty that surfaced in some dark & unsettling lyrics lending the album a deeper resonance that still enthralls.

The lost Berlin tapes / Fitzgerald, Ella
Neil: It’s difficult to say anything about Ella Fitzgerald that hasn’t been said. This legend ‘s reputation will not be diminished by this new release.
Mark: Recorded a couple of years after her legendary 1960 concert album Mack the Knife, this set of tapes was lost in Verve label owner Norman Granz’s private tape archive for over 50 years! It’s Ella. We don’t need to say anymore really…

Hey clockface. / Costello, Elvis
Neil: One of the best albums of 2020.
Mark: Just when you’ve decided to finally give up on him forever, he shows he can still draw on the energy and signwriting mojo of his younger self to take you through a cleverly diverse musical journey of moods and styles that’s still distinctly EC.

The raging wrath of the Easter Bunny demo. / Mr. Bungle
Neil: Re-hash of their original cassette demo. Hear them at their nascent beginning.
Mark: 2020 re-recording which sees original members and friends re-create the lo-fi trash metal of their original debut. Bungle Grind on…

Crooked piece of time : the Atlantic & Asylum albums (1971-1980). / Prine, John
Neil: Bob Dylan said that “Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism, and who are we to disagree.
Mark: Remastered versions of the first seven studio albums of his career, recorded with Atlantic Records and Asylum Records. Considered an American Treasure who influenced evyone from Dylan to Wilco.

Long hot summers : the story of The Style Council. / Style Council
Neil: So what did Paul Weller do when he left the Jam? Well he formed the soulful more op orientated Style Council, an eighties take of the classic Motown/American soul RnB sound of the fifties.
Mark: Smooth Jams…

The unstoppable rise of Progressive Pulp

If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”

Philip K. Dick

Progressive Pulp is a new trend in science fiction that we have seen emerging in recent years, where the fast paced, page turning, addictive aspects of old fashioned pulp fiction are being reimagined or merged with bigger more serious ideas or concepts  such as explorations of gender or racial oppression.  Some authors are working almost exclusively in this new genre, e.g. Adam Christopher, whilst others are releasing individual titles that fit into this exciting and fast-growing sub-genre. Below are a couple of the authors and books we consider as fitting into this new Progressive Pulp category. Enjoy.


Ring shout : or, Hunting Ku Kluxes in the end times / Clark, P. Djèlí
“D. W. Griffith is a sorcerer, and The Birth of a Nation is a spell that drew upon the darkest thoughts and wishes from the heart of America. Now, rising in power and prominence, the Klan has a plot to unleash Hell on Earth. Luckily, Maryse Boudreaux has a magic sword and a head full of tales. When she’s not running bootleg whiskey through Prohibition Georgia, she’s fighting monsters she calls Ku Kluxes. She’s damn good at it, too. But to confront this ongoing evil, she must journey between worlds to face otherworldly nightmares–and her own demons. Together with a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Harrow the ninth / Muir, Tamsyn
“She answered the Emperor’s call. She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend. In victory, her world has turned to ash. Nothing is as it seems in the halls of the Emperor, and the fate of the galaxy rests on one woman’s shoulders. Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath — but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

I only killed him once : a Ray Electromatic mystery / Christopher, Adam
“Another Hollywood night, another job for electric-detective-turned-robotic-hitman Raymond Electromatic. The target is a tall man in a black hat, and while Ray completes his mission successfully, he makes a startling discovery–one he soon forgets when his 24-hour memory tape loops to the end and is replaced with a fresh reel… When a tall man in a black hat arrives in the offices of the Electromatic Detective Agency the next day, Ray has a suspicion he has met this stranger before, although Ray’s computerized boss, Ada, is not saying a thing. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Condomnauts / Yoss
“In the 24th century, Josu Vald’s rise from an orphan in the slums of Rubble City, Cuba to one of the galaxy’s most accomplished explorers was nothing short of meteoric. On the streets, Josue raced cockroaches for cash–until he discovered his true-calling: as a sexual ambassador for humanity and the Nu Barsa colony. Every so-called “condomnaut” knows that diplomacy and trade deals depend on sexual pacts in the galactic community–and every encounter becomes a close encounter, a wildly inventive and unapologetic tale that would make even Barbarella blush.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Altered carbon / Morgan, Richard K.
“In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”).  Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, now he is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats “existence” as something that can be bought and sold. (Adapted from Catalogue)

Blood of the Sun / Rabarts, Dan.
“There’s been a gang massacre on Auckland’s Freyberg Wharf. Body parts everywhere. And with the police’s go-to laboratory out of action, it’s up to scientific consult Pandora (Penny) Yee to sort through the mess. It’s a hellish task, made worse by the earthquake swarms, the insufferable heat, and Cerberus’ infernal barking. And what’s got into her brother Matiu? Does it have something to do with the ship’s consignment? Or is Matiu running with the gangs again? Because if he’s involved, Penny will murder him herself… Matiu can taste the chaos in the air. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Ready Player Two / Cline, Ernest
“In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the Oasis. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines — puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Trail of lightning / Roanhorse, Rebecca
“In a world sinking beneath climate-warmed waves, Maggie works as a monster hunter in Dinétah, once the Navajo reservation. There, she encounters a creature that out-Grendels Grendel and seeks help from medicine man Kai Arviso. Maggie Hoskie is a Din tah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The southern book club’s guide to slaying vampires / Hendrix, Grady
” Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club.  One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor’s handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. Little by little, James will insinuate himself into Patricia’s life and try to take everything she took for granted–including the book club–but she won’t surrender without a fight in this blood-soaked tale of neighborly kindness gone wrong.” (Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Creature Feature. Our spotlight on Tina Makereti

The hour is late. The candle is low. Tomorrow I will see whether it is my friends or a ship homewards I meet. But I must finish my story for you first. My future, my descendant, my mokopuna. Listen.’ —Tina Makereti from The Imaginary Lives of James Poneke. 

Tina Makereti’s fabulous fourth book The Imaginary Lives of James Poneke was shortlisted for: The New Zealand Heritage Book Awards and Longlisted for Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and the International Dublin Literary Award. The story of a young Maori boy put on display as a curiosity in Victorian London the tale is told from the first person and is an enthralling, compassionate and engrossing read that deals with big issues that are all still very relevant to this day.

Tina is one of the four authors at our unmissable Monsters in the Garden event which will have conversations and readings from Tina as well as Elizabeth Knox, Dylan Horrocks and Craig Gamble the event is Free and all are very welcome.

______________________________

9th December 2020

Te Awe Library – 29 Brandon Street

12.30pm to 1.30 pm

______________________________

Where the Rēkohu bone sings / Makereti, Tina
“In the 1880s, Mere yearns for independence. Iraia wants the same but, as the descendant of a slave, such things are hardly conceivable. One summer, they notice their friendship has changed, but if they are ever to experience freedom they will need to leave their home in the Queen Charlotte Sounds. A hundred years later, Lula and Bigs are born. The birth is literally one in a million, as their mother, Tui, likes to say. When Tui dies, they learn there is much she kept secret and they, too, will need to travel beyond their world, to an island they barely knew existed. Neither Mere and Iraia nor Lula and Bigs are aware that someone else is part of their journeys. He does not watch over them so much as through them, feeling their loss and confusion as if it were his own.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Once upon a time in Aotearoa / Makereti, Tina
“Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa explores a world where mythological characters and stories become part of everyday life. Old and new worlds co-exist, cultures mingle, and magic happens. Familiar characters appear, but in these versions the gods live in a contemporary world and are motivated by human concerns. In this perplexing world, characters connect with each other and find ancient wisdom that carries them through. Bold and sexy, this collection is a crafty combo of mystery and history that makes the old new.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Black marks on the white page
“Stones move, whale bones rise out of the ground like cities, a man figures out how to raise seven daughters alone. Sometimes gods speak or we find ourselves in a not-too-distant future. Here are the glorious, painful, sharp and funny 21st century stories of Maori and Pasifika writers from all over the world. Vibrant, provocative and aesthetically exciting, these stories expand our sense of what is possible in Indigenous Oceanic writing. Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti present the very best new and uncollected stories and novel excerpts, creating a talanoa, a conversation, where the stories do the talking.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The imaginary lives of James Pōneke / Makereti, Tina
” All the world’s a stage, especially when you’re a living exhibit. But anything can happen to a young New Zealander on the savage streets of Victorian London. When James meets the man with laughing dark eyes and the woman who dresses as a man, he begins to discover who people really are beneath their many guises.Although London is everything James most desires, this new world is more dark and dazzling than he could have imagined.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Audible audiobooks through BorrowBox

Did you know that Audible audiobooks are available to library users through Wellington City Libraries’ eLibrary app BorrowBox?

Download the BorrowBox app, choose Wellington City Libraries as your preferred library, enter your card number and pin — and you have access to over 400 Audible original audiobook titles!

Audible are ‘the largest producer and provider of spoken word entertainment, with genre-bending audible originals, and binge-worthy audiobooks’, and having sampled many of their meticulously recorded, carefully constructed audio productions, we think they do a wonderful job!

To set you on your way, here are 7 favourite Audible original titles available now through our BorrowBox service. Listen well!

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark /Gillian Flynn

For more than 10 years, a mysterious and violent predator committed 50 sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated 10 sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website True Crime Diary, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called the Golden State Killer. Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death – offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth.

(Adapted from BorrowBox Description)

The Rosie result / Graeme Simsion

Hilarious and thought-provoking, with a brilliant cast of characters, The Rosie Result is the triumphant final instalment of the internationally best-selling series that began with The Rosie Project.
Until 12 years ago, geneticist Don Tillman had never had a second date. Then he developed The Wife Project and met Rosie, ‘the world’s most incompatible woman’. Now, having survived 4,380 days of marriage, Don’s life-contentment graph, recently at its highest point, is curving downwards.

Rosie has just returned to work and is struggling with an obnoxious coworker. Don, meanwhile, is in hot water after his latest lecture goes viral. But their real worry is their son, Hudson, who is having trouble at school: his teachers say he isn’t fitting in with the other kids.
For Don, learning to be a good parent as well as a good partner will require the help of friends old and new. It will mean letting Hudson make his way in the world and grappling with difficult truths about his own identity. It will also mean opening a cocktail bar.

(Adapted from BorrowBox Description)

The Body / Bill Bryson

Bryson turns his attention inwards to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up.

A wonderful successor to A Short History of Nearly Everything, this book will have you marvelling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again.

(Adapted from BorrowBox Description)

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle / Stuart Turton

Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.
It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy.

As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.
The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath …

(Adapted from BorrowBox Description)

Dishonesty is the Second-Best Policy / David Mitchell

But if you’re determined to give it a go, you might enjoy this eclectic collection (or eclection) of David Mitchell’s attempts to make light of all that darkness. Scampi, politics, the Olympics, terrorism, exercise, rude street names, inheritance tax, salad cream, proportional representation and farts are all touched upon by Mitchell’s unremitting laser of chit-chat, as he negotiates a path between the commercialisation of Christmas and the true spirit of Halloween.

Listen to this book and slightly change your life!

(Adapted from BorrowBox Description)

A Gentleman in Moscow / Amor Towles

On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov – recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt – is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol.
Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. But instead of his usual suite, he must now live in an attic room while Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval.
Can a life without luxury be the richest of all?

(Adapted from BorrowBox Description)

Norse Mythology / Neil Gaiman

The great Norse myths, which have inspired so much of modern fiction, are dazzlingly retold by Neil Gaiman. Tales of dwarfs and frost giants, of treasure and magic, and of Asgard, home to the gods: Odin the all-father, highest and oldest of the Aesir; his mighty son Thor, whose hammer Mjollnir makes the mountain giants tremble; Loki, wily and handsome, reliably unreliable in his lusts; and Freya, more beautiful than the sun or the moon, who spurns those who seek to control her.
From the dawn of the world to the twilight of the gods, this is a thrilling, vivid retelling of the Norse myths from the award-winning, bestselling Neil Gaiman.

(Adapted from BorrowBox Description)

Your Lucky (eBook) Day is here!

Skip the waiting line and borrow the most popular eBooks and audiobooks with our Lucky Day eBook and eAudiobook titles!

Overdrive Lucky Day Promotional Image - It's your Lucky Day

These titles can be found, borrowed and read on a first-come, first-served basis through Libby — the award-winning, one-tap reading app from OverDrive (read more about getting started with Libby). The program is meant to be a bit like the serendipity of picking up popular titles off the shelf in a library.

Browse our Lucky Day Collection

The easiest way to find available titles for both our adult and kids Lucky Day collections is to scan the homepage of either Libby or OverDrive for our special Lucky Day curated lists.

Because our Lucky Day titles turn over so quickly, it’s difficult to provide direct links to Lucky Day copies  (only the ones currently available will show), but examples of recent titles are best-selling fiction eBooks like Fair Warning by Michael Connelly, The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult and The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Recent New Zealand non-fiction titles include Maori Made Easy by Scotty Morrison, Impossible: My Story by Stan Walker and Bella: My Life in Food by Anabel Langbein.

You can browse what’s available right now on our Lucky Day shelf. The list of titles will change as books are returned to the collection, so check back often.

Lucky Day titles are a bit different to regular lending copies. They are:

  • Available for 14 days (as opposed to 21 days)
  • Not able to be reserved
  • Not able to be renewed

For even more Lucky Day titles, try our Kids Lucky Day collections, full of the most popular kids authors and titles like Harry Potter, Diary of  a Wimpy Kid and David Walliams stories, sure to make you smile.

For more information on our Kids Lucky Day collections, read this excellent post from our Kids blog by our Children’s coordinator, Stephen!