NZ Garden Bird Survey 26 June- 4 July

The New Zealand Garden Bird Survey is happening between 26 June to 4 July.

Would you like to join the rest of New Zealand and make a difference to the environment, while having fun spending 1 hour in your backyard watching birds?

Healthy bird populations can indicate that the environment is healthy. And you can help Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research understand what’s happening in the populations of all the birds around us, in city and garden environments, by counting birds in your backyard.

The best thing about this national event, is that you can also win a pair of Nikon Prostaff binoculars or a nature escape to Wellington.

You can find more details on the Garden Bird Survey website, and use the tally sheet to record your unique findings. The information is also available in Te Reo Māori.  And don’t forget to  join the exciting competition! There are also some cool children’s activities.

Get ready for this event and make use of the library books as helpful guides to help you locate the birds. Also find helpful resources from the citizen science collection blog.

A photographic guide to birds of New Zealand / Moon, Geoff
“A comprehensive guide to birds that includes species accounts which have been updated according to the 4th edition of the Ornithological Society’s official Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. It features photographs of the most commonly seen birds along with detailed information on distribution, habitat, behaviour and breeding.” (Catalogue)

 

How to watch a bird / Braunias, Steve
“As prize-winning journalist Steve Braunias stands on an apartment balcony on a sultry summer evening, a black-backed gull flies so close he is instantaneously bowled over with happiness: ‘I thought: Birds, everywhere. I wanted to know more about them. ‘This book is the result – a wondrous personal journey into the amazing world of birds, and the people ensnared, captivated and entranced by them: the passionate tribe of bird-watchers and twitchers.” (Catalogue)

 

Birds of New Zealand / Fitter, Julian
“An authoritative new photographic guide to the birdlife of New Zealand. this beautiful photographic guide is the ideal companion for travelling birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Featuring over 300 species of bird most likely to be seen in New Zealand, it is the only guide that anyone travelling to this fascinating region of the world will need. * Illustrated with over 600 full-colour photographs and featuring detailed species descriptions and distribution maps * Key information on national parks helps readers to find the best spots to discover each bird” (Adapted from the catalogue)

 

Shorebirds / Arkins, Alina
“Introduces common shore birds of New Zealand giving information about breeding, feeding, habitat, conservation and migration. Suggested level: primary, intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Beautiful birds of New Zealand / Ballance, Alison
“This book describes 100 birds, which covers all the NZ birds that you are most likely to see, including some rare and endangered birds. For each bird there is one page of accessibly written and highly informative text with one large photograph facing it.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Attracting birds and other wildlife to your garden in New Zealand / Ell, Gordon
“Birds in the New Zealand Garden was originally published in 1981 (and went on to reprint 11 times). In this highly practical new hardback book, which includes beautiful bird and nature photography by Geoff Moon and others, enticing birds, lizards, butterflies and other animals into your backyard is made simpler than ever, regardless of the size or style of your garden. Tricks ranging from building a bird table or a nest box to raising froglets or establishing a nature pond  tables listing ideal native and introduced shrubs and trees to provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies, bees and more.” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Bird words : New Zealand writers on birds
“New Zealand birds have inspired mythology, song, whimsical stories, detailed observation, humour and poetry. From the kakapo, kokako and kaka to the sparrow, starling and seagull, both native and imported birds have been immortalised in print. This is a varied and stimulating selection from the flocks of New Zealand writers who have given our birds a voice. They have brought extinct birds back to life and even enabled the kiwi to take flight on the page.”–Publisher information.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Whio : saving New Zealand’s blue duck / Young, David
“The blue duck, or whio, is one of New Zealand’s ancient treasures, a beautiful torrent duck that once lived on clear, fast-flowing rivers throughout most of the country. Sadly, this is no longer the case. The blue duck belongs to the not so well known ‘second tier’ of endangered species (including kaka, kea, parakeets and North Island brown kiwi) whose numbers have dropped alarmingly in the last 15 years. Whio tells the story of how a dedicated group of scientists, field workers and volunteers have set about saving the blue duck. ” (Adapted from the catalogue)

A naturalist’s guide to the birds of New Zealand / Thomas, Oscar
“This photographic identification guide to 239 bird species in New Zealand, including the most commonly seen, unique and endemic species, is perfect for resident and visitor alike. High-quality photographs from one of New Zealand’s youngest nature photographers are accompanied by detailed species descriptions, which include nomenclature, size, distribution, habits and habitat. The user-friendly introduction covers climate, vegetation, biogeography and the key sites for viewing the listed species. ” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Forest and ocean : bird songs. / Melbourne, Hirini “Hirini Melbourne was a tireless advocate of Maori language and culture and led by example. On this album are a selection of his songs in Te Reo, performed by the composer together with simple, intimate guitar accompaniment. Recordings of forest and ocean bird calls are sensitively woven into the recording. These songs are suitable for childrens’ choirs, too… A truly enjoyable album and an excellent resource for primary schools in particular.” (SOUNZ)

1-2-3 bird! / Gunson, Dave
“Racing birds, splashing birds, safari birds and party birds … Be a bird spotter! A fun counting book”. This book is available in both Maori and English.  (Adapted from the catalogue)

 

 

The cuckoo and the warbler : a true New Zealand story / Warne, Kennedy
“The Cuckoo and the Warbler tells the story of one of the most remarkable wildlife relationships in New Zealand, between pipiwharauroa, the shining cuckoo, and riroriro, the grey warbler. It is a story of tragedy, trickery and faithful care – and it plays out each spring and summer in the forests of Aotearoa. Although rarely seen by humans, the interaction of these two native birds is a striking example of nature’s inventiveness.” (Catalogue)

The indigo bird / Taylor, Helen J.
“Fantail is looking for Takahe, but where can he be? Is he playing with Weka in the snow or splashing in the puddles with Pukeko? Perhaps he’s hiding in plain sight! Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)

 

 

New legends of Aoteaora : New Zealand birds / Swadling, Irene
“A collection of six stories told in a traditional style about New Zealand birds and their environment. Suggestd level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

 

 

In the garden : explore & discover the New Zealand backyard / Candler, Gillian
“In the Garden introduces young children to common creatures they can find in a New Zealand garden. It is the only guide available for young children and families that shows creatures in their natural habitats, with sections on bees, wasps, butterflies, snails, lizards, and birds.  In the Garden is a finalist in the non-fiction section of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. ” (Adapted from the catalogue)

One lonely kākāpō : a New Zealand counting book / Morris, Sandra
“Introduces the numbers from one to ten alongside a variety of native New Zealand birds, reptiles and sea life.” (Catalogue)

 

 

 

12 huia birds = 12 manu huia / Stokoe, Julian
“12 beautiful huia birds play and sing in the forest. But is that a canoe arriving? A rat sniffling? A ship on the horizon? One by one, the huia start to disappear what will remain? 12 Huia Birds is a captivating celebration of one of our loveliest birds. Through gentle rhyme and colourful imagery it subtly conveys an environmental message and includes links to a 12 Huia Birds app, educational resources and games. This book has both English and Maori versions. ” (Adpated from the catalogue)

Wellington City Libraries Image Collections on Excio

Did you know you can enjoy library images and book covers as wallpaper on your phone or tablet? Wellington City Libraries offer image collections carefully curated by our own librarians on Excio, an app that brings beautiful images straight to your device.

With the Excio app you can follow collections of images which can be used as wallpapers on the home screen of your device. WCL is proud to offer 20 different collections of book covers including classics, graphic novels and children’s books! We also have a collection entirely dedicated to historical Wellington postcards, which draws from our own unique postcard collection.

Where available, the book cover images link directly to our OverDrive eBooks and audiobooks, allowing you to borrow and reserve as you go and you can even read Overdrive samples within the Excio app.

Browse Excio for yourself today! The app is available for both Android and iOS and is free to download.

Fashion, food, soil and survival: recent New Zealand non-fiction

…close your eyes and you can imagine what it might have been like to wear, how the wearer might have sounded as she walked… crisp silks rustling and swishing, and beads softly tinkling.

― Claire Regnault, Dressed: fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840-1910, p.9

This month we’re feeding our minds with some particularly beautiful pukapuka! They include Claire Regnault’s lavishly photographed history of Pākehā women’s fashion styles during the Victorian era; and the rich anthology of Te Mahi Oneone, uplifting the taonga that is the soil and from which flows identity and hauora (health). Just as the soil needs to be respected so does our kai, and Waste Not Want Not aims to break some food-wasting habits by providing recipes and strategies for loving our leftovers.

We’re also looking forward to dipping into Te Kai a te Rangatira. Created by rangatahi, it looks at what nourishes Māori leadership and includes interviews with over 100 leaders in their fields, including Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Che Wilson, Moana Jackson, Tā Tipene O’Regan, Tina Ngata and Patricia Grace.

Another important collection is Her Say ― maybe you’ve heard of Jackie Clark and The Aunties? They’re dedicated to helping women who are experiencing or have lived with domestic violence, and Clark is responsible for compiling this book and putting the words of women front and centre. Other winter reads are Pauling and Beatty’s lovingly researched Sharing the Mic: Community Access Radio in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the second edition of Bateman’s comprehensive field guide to the wildlife of New Zealand.

Happy winter reading e te whānau!

Dressed : fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840-1910 / Regnault, Claire
“This illustrated social history explores the creation, consumption and spectacle of fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand’s 19th century dress culture was heavily shaped by international trends and interactions with Māori, the demands of settler lifestyle and the country’s geographical and environmental conditions. Dressed teems with the fascinating, busy lives of early businesswomen, society women and civic figures.” (Catalogue)

Te mahi oneone hua parakore : a Māori soil sovereignty and wellbeing handbook / ed. Hutchings, Jessica and Jo Smith
“In te ao Māori, soil is taonga. It is also whanaunga – the root of tūrangawaewae and whakapapa. It is the source of shelter, kai and manaakitanga. Through a range of essays, profiles and recipes, this book seeks to promote wellbeing and elevate the mana of the soil by drawing on the hua parakore Māori organics framework as a means for understanding these wide-ranging, diverse and interwoven relationships with soil.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Image from Mighty ApeWaste not want not : fridge cleaner cooking / Burtscher, Sarah
“Waste Not Want Not is a cook book based on the top 10 foods thrown out in NZ. With 1.7 billion dollars of food wasted every year, this book brings the general household 80 delicious recipes and 40 plus tips and tricks on how to stop wasting food.” (Catalogue)
There’s a great article about this book over on RNZ’s website!

 

 

Te kai a te Rangatira : leadership from the Māori world
“The words in this book represent the collective effort of over thirty rangatahi who interviewed more than one hundred Māori spanning the length and breadth of Aotearoa. In both Te Reo and English, it explores the origins and values of Māori leadership, as well as the life experiences that nurture rangatira across different rohe, iwi and hapū.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Her say : survivors of domestic abuse tell their own stories / Jackie Clark and The Aunties
“This powerful new book features the stories of a number of very different New Zealand women, told in their own words. The collected stories chart their narrators’ lives and personal histories, through the lens of having lived with – and escaped – an abusive relationship. It’s a book for all women, showing how owning our stories gives us the power to write new endings. It will challenge, illuminate, and empower readers and the storytellers themselves.” (Adapted from publisher’s description) Available as an eBook.

Image from FishpondSharing the mic : community access radio in Aotearoa New Zealand / Pauling, Brian and Bronwyn Beatty
“From Invercargill to Auckland, community access radio has been broadcasting by, for and about New Zealanders across four decades. Using extensive interviews and in-depth research, Sharing the Mic tells the stories of the volunteers, staff and managers at the heart of access broadcasting and places the history of Aotearoa’s access radio within the wider media and technological changes of the last 40 years.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Image from FishpondWildlife of New Zealand : a Bateman field guide fully revised and expanded / Fitter, Julian
“The essential fully revised and expanded field guide to the wildlife of New Zealand. This field guide covers most of the birds, mammals and reptiles that you are likely to see, as well as a good selection of invertebrates and a large number of trees, shrubs and other plants. Accompanied by hundreds of colour photographs, the succinct species descriptions contain information on identification, distribution and biology.” (Adapted from publisher’s description)

“There’s only one Maltese Falcon” – our most recent selection of newly acquired crime and mystery novels

“If you lose a son, it’s possible to get another. There’s only one Maltese Falcon.” –Sydney Greenstreet as Kasper Gutman from the  1941 film The Maltese Falcon.

There's only one Maltese Falcon." -Kasper Gutman #SydneyGreenstreet #TheMalteseFalcon | Dark city, Giphy, Green street

The Alfred Hitchcock plot device known as the McGuffin is strongly in evidence in our recently acquired crime novel Blotto, Twinks and the Maharajah’s Jewel by Simon Brett. In the case of this book the McGuffin in question is a huge diamond, but what actually is a McGuffin?

Well, Hitchcock described it in this way: “The McGuffin is the thing that the spies are after, but the audience don’t care.” It is an event, object, or device, necessary to the motivation of the characters and the story, though largely irrelevant in itself.

Two very famous examples of McGuffins are the Maltese Falcon in the book by Dashiell Hammett and as described by George Lucas himself (perhaps controversially)  R2D2 in Star Wars: A New Hope (Episode IV) the first 1977 Star Wars film .  Of course, novels employ many other plot drivers and in many of this month’s selection of recently acquired crime novels the main plot driver is the old classic, the burning desire to solve a ghastly crime. Below is a selection of our newly acquired crime novels.

Blotto, Twinks and the Maharajah’s jewel / Brett, Simon
“An idle conversation on the merits of the glorious game with an old Etonian chum is just the excuse Blotto needs to put himself forward for a cricket tour to foreign climes… and so begins the next adventure for our intrepid duo, So Twinks joins Blotto on a steamer bound for India, one that is full of young woman desperate to marry well there — only once having encountered the dashing Blotto, a lot of them fancy the idea of getting married before they reach their destination. And, unbeknownst to the siblings, also on the ship is the international jewel thief M. le Vicomte Xavier Douce, passing himself off as one of Blotto’s cricketing entourage.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A man named Doll / Ames, Jonathan
“Happy Doll is a charming, if occasionally inexpert, private detective living just one sheer cliff drop beneath the Hollywood sign with his beloved half-Chihuahua half-Terrier, George. A veteran of both the Navy and LAPD, Doll supplements his meager income as a P.I. by working through the night at a local Thai spa that offers its clients a number of special services. Armed with his sixteen-inch steel telescopic baton, biting dry humor, and just a bit of a hero complex, the ex-cop sets out to protect the women who work there from clients who have trouble understanding the word “no.”  (Catalogue)

House with no doors / Noon, Jeff
“At first glance, Leonard Graves’ death was unremarkable. Sleeping pills, a bottle of vodka, a note saying goodbye. But when Detective Henry Hobbes discovers a grave in the basement, he realizes there is something far more sinister at work. Further investigation unearths more disturbing evidence. Scattered around the old house are women’s dresses. All made of the same material. All made in the same colours. And all featuring a rip across the stomach, smeared in blood. As the investigation continues and the body count rises, Hobbes must also deal with the disappearance of his son–” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Figure in the photograph / Sullivan, Kevin
“1898. Juan Cameron’s father is killed while working as a photographer amidst the chaos of war in Cuba, but his last pictures reveal a sinister truth to his final moments. Juan travels to Scotland to grieve with family and immerses himself in the study of photography. When he invents a device that inadvertently solves a crime, local law enforcement recruit him to help stop a brutal serial killer plaguing the streets of Glasgow.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

The Oxford Brotherhood / Martínez, Guillermo
“Mathematics student G is trying to resurrect his studies, which is proving difficult as he finds himself — and not for the first time — drawn into investigating a series of mysterious crimes. After meeting with a member of the Lewis Carroll Brotherhood, a startling new discovery by Carroll’s great niece rocks Oxford, leading to deadly plots, salacious pictures and murder. G must stretch his mathematical mind to its limits to solve the mystery and understand the cryptic workings of the Brotherhood. Until then, nobody, not even G, is safe.”–Publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

City of vengeance / Bishop, D. V.
“Florence. Winter, 1536. A prominent Jewish moneylender is murdered in his home, a death with wide implications in a city powered by immense wealth. Cesare Aldo, a former soldier and now an officer of the Renaissance city’s most feared criminal court, is given four days to solve the murder: catch the killer before the feast of Epiphany, or suffer the consequences. During his investigations Aldo uncovers a plot to overthrow the volatile ruler of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici. If the Duke falls, it will endanger the whole city. ….” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook. 

The Marlow Murder Club / Thorogood, Robert
“Judith is 77 years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink. One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

 

Before you knew my name / Bublitz, Jacqueline
“Ruby Jones is a lonely Australian woman trying to put distance between herself and a destructive relationship back home, and is struggling in the aftermath of being the person to find Alice’s body. When she encounters Death Club, a small group of misfits who meet at bars around the city to discuss death and dying, she finds a safe space to explore her increasing obsession with the girl and her unidentified killer. Alice, seemingly stuck between life and death, narrates Ruby’s story, hoping that this woman will help her come to terms with what happened and help identify her body. ” (Catalogue)

Kaiārahi Kohikohinga – Māori reference collection is now available

Our Māori reference collection, one of the country’s best collections of Māori books, can now be requested. These can be identified in the catalogue as held at the Offsite Maori Collection, with a location of heritagequeries@wcc.govt.nz.

Please use this email address heritagequeries@wcc.govt.nz to make your request and one of our team will retrieve it for you. Don’t forget to let us know your library card number and which branch you would like to view the book at. You will receive two emails, one confirming the request, and the second when the book has arrived at the branch. This is a free request service.

Most books will be available for you to consult for three weeks at the library branch. If you don’t need the books for three weeks, just let the staff in the branch library know and they will return the book for you.

If you need to renew the item for a further 3 weeks, make a request through the same email heritagequeries@wcc.govt.nz and the library team will check if there is another customer waiting.

Further details about the collection.

John Steinbeck’s lost Werewolf novel discovered!

“Even a man who is pure in heart,
And says his prayers by night,
May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms,
And the moon is full and bright.”
― Curt Siodmak

The discovery of a complete John Steinbeck novel would always be big news, but the fact that it is a werewolf novel from the time before he was famous makes it a ‘Wow’ find. Called Murder at Full Moon, despite the author’s best efforts, it failed to find a publisher when he wrote the book back in 1930.

The story is a pulp detective work set in a Californian coastal town beset by a series of gruesome murders. And is very different in style, tone and content from the works that would eventually win the Nobel prize for Steinbeck. Sadly, as yet, there is no planned publication date for the work.

Werewolves as a concept were widespread in European folklore from medieval times onwards, indeed at the same time as the notorious witch trials there were werewolf hunts. Indeed werewolves as supernatural creatures date from much earlier times and feature in many world cultures; there are a few references to men changing into wolves in ancient Greek literature. There is even reference to a potential lover jilted because she had turned her previous mate into a wolf in The Epic of Gilgamesh (the oldest known work of Western prose circa  2100 BC). They feature in several gothic horror works from the 19th century and, of course, werewolves have taken on a romantic mantle in many recent novels, inspired in part by Stephenie Meyer’s  hugely popular Twilight series of books and films.

Just remember, as they say in the fabulous What We Do in the Shadows, they are “werewolves, not swearwolves.” Below are just a few werewolf related picks from our collections.

The buried book : the loss and rediscovery of the great Epic of Gilgamesh / Damrosch, David
“Composed in Babylonia more than three thousand years ago, The Epic of Gilgamesh is the story of one hero’s travels in search of immortality, of a vengeful goddess, a cunning serpent, and a devastating flood. It was the world’s first great epic, which would later be echoed in The Odyssey, the Bible, and The Thousand and One Nights. But in 612 B.C., the clay tablets that bore the story were lost – buried in the burning ruins of the palace of Ashurbanipal, the last great king of Assyria, as his enemies laid his kingdom to waste.”(Adapted from Catalogue)

What we do in the shadows
“A comedy Horror Mocumentary by Taika Waititi set in Wellington and revolving round a group of flat sharing vampires and their adventures with amongst others Wellington based Werewolves. The film boasts great well timed humour throughout, and went on to spawn not one but two,  television series:-   one a reimaging of the movie itself the other the  Wonderful Wellington Paranormal. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Mongrels / Jones, Stephen Graham
“Set in the deep South, Mongrels is a deeply moving, sometimes grisly, and surprisingly funny novel that follows an unnamed narrator as he comes of age under the care of his aunt and uncle — who are werewolves.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Weird women : classic supernatural fiction by groundbreaking female writers: 1852-1923
“As railroads, industry, cities, and technology flourished in the mid-nineteenth century, so did stories exploring the horrors they unleashed. This anthology includes ghost stories and tales of haunted houses, as well as mad scientists, werewolves, ancient curses, mummies, psychological terrors, demonic dimensions, and even weird westerns. Two acclaimed experts in the genre  Lisa Morton and Leslie S Klinger  compile this  brand-new volume of supernatural stories showcasing  female horror writers from 1852-1923.”  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Blood bound / Briggs, Patricia
“Jalopy mechanic and were-creature Mercedes Thompson can change into a coyote whenever she wants to. As a favor, she agrees to back up vampire friend Stefan when he confronts another of his kind. But, being demon-possessed, that vampire proves deadlier than most and before she can do anything to help, Mercedes is in the middle of a war with vampires and werewolves.” (Catalogue)

 

The bloody chamber and other stories / Carter, Angela
“The bloody chamber — The courtship of Mr. Lyon — The tiger’s bride — Puss-in-Boots — The Erl-King — The snow child — The lady of the house of love — The worewolf — The company of wolves — Wolf-Alice.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Shiver / Stiefvater, Maggie
“In all the years she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house, Grace has been particularly drawn to an unusual yellow-eyed wolf who, in his turn, has been watching her with increasing intensity.” (Catalogue)

 

 

The last werewolf / Duncan, Glen
“Jake Marlowe has been alive too long. For two hundred years he has roamed the world, enslaved by his lunatic appetites, tormented by his first and most monstrous crime. But as Jake counts down to suicide, a violent murder and an extraordinary meeting plunge him back into the desperate pursuit of life, and the dangerous possibility of love.” (Catalogue)

 

Wolf rain / Singh, Nalini
“Kidnapped as a young girl, her psychic powers harnessed by a madman, Memory lives a caged and isolated existence . . . until she comes face-to-face with a wolf. Labelled an empath by her bad-tempered rescuer, Memory knows that her ‘gift’ is nothing so bright. It is a terrible darkness that means she will always be hunted. But Memory is free now and she intends to live. A certain growly wolf can just deal with it. Alexei prefers to keep his packmates at bay, the bleak history of his family a constant reminder that mating, love, hope is not for him, but soon, he must make a choice: risk everything or lose Memory to a murderous darkness that wants to annihilate her from existence .” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Twilight / Meyer, Stephenie
“In spite of her awkward manner and low expectations, she finds that her new classmates are drawn to this pale, dark-haired new girl in town. But not, it seems, the Cullen family. These five adopted brothers and sisters obviously prefer their own company and will make no exception for Bella. Bella is convinced that Edward Cullen in particular hates her, but she feels a strange attraction to him, although his hostility makes her feel almost physically ill. He seems determined to push her away – until, that is, he saves her life from an out of control car. Bella will soon discover that there is a very good reason for Edward’s coldness. He, and his family, are vampires – and he knows how dangerous it is for others to get too close.” (Catalogue)
Click here for the availability of the film on DVD.

From the Rare Book Collection: Queen Victoria’s signed copy of her published journals

Only a few British monarchs have ever written books. As a young king, Henry VIII published an attack on the Protestant reformer Martin Luther many years before his own split with the Catholic church.

Eight decades later, James IV of Scotland (later to become James I of the newly formed United Kingdom) wrote a variety of works including an epic poem, a treatise against tobacco and a study of witchcraft and demonology which was later used by William Shakespeare as one of his main sources for Macbeth. However, only one monarch has ever published what essentially is an autobiography during their life; Queen Victoria and her book Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands.

Queen Victoria’s book in the library’s Rare Book Collection

Queen Victoria reigned for nearly 64 years following her coronation in 1837.  In 1842 when she was aged 23, she and Prince Albert travelled to Scotland for a holiday shortly after marrying. Their experiences on that trip made a lasting impression on them both and she soon became the first monarch since Charles I to have a home in Scotland. Victoria and Albert returned in 1844 and again three years later. In 1848 Albert acquired a lease on Balmoral Castle and its associated estate of 17,400 acres in the Deeside region, about 80 km west of Aberdeen and then purchased it using his own inherited wealth in 1852. In due course this isolated area was to become Victoria’s spiritual home and she returned there with her family almost every year for the rest of her life. These retreats allowed the royal couple to cast off much of the rigid formality of court protocol and to gain some sense of what it might be like to live a ‘normal’ life. Victoria and her family would roam the hills and explore the wild mountain streams as they chose. Continue reading “From the Rare Book Collection: Queen Victoria’s signed copy of her published journals”

Best First Book Awards: The Winners!

Congratulations to all the recently announced MitoQ Best First Book Awards winners at the 2021 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. They show what a vibrant and thriving literary scene we have at the moment–one we should be proud of. Surprisingly all the winners this year were Wellington based. The winners were:

Fiction: Victory Park by Rachel  Kerr

Poetry: I Am A Human Being by Jackson Nieuwland​

General Non-Fiction: Specimen: Personal Essays by Madison Hamill

Illustrated Non-Fiction: Hiakai: Modern Māori Cuisine by Monique Fiso


We have recently had the great pleasure of hosting events on and offline for three of the winners!

Jackson Nieuwland

I am a human being / Nieuwland, Jackson
“Poet Jackson Nieuwland’s first published collection is a beautiful, complex and surreal body of work. The poems within are very intimate and display vulnerability, and fragility. Working with the concept that no single word can adequately defines us and the multiplicity of who we are and what we have, the potential to become is explored in a sequence of poems such as I am an egg, I am a tree, I am a beaver, I am a bear, I am a bottomless pit, etc. The works within are delicately accompanied by Steph Maree’s line drawings.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Madison Hamill

Specimen : personal essays / Hamill, Madison
“A father rollerblading to church in his ministerial robes, a university student in a leotard sprinting through fog, a trespass notice from Pak’nSave, a beautiful unborn goat in a jar … In scenarios ranging from the mundane to the surreal, Madison Hamill looks back at her younger selves with a sharp eye. Was she good or evil? Ignorant or enlightened? What parts of herself did she give up in order to forge ahead in school, church, work, and relationships, with a self that made sense to others?” (Catalogue)


Rachel Kerr

Victory Park / Kerr, Rachel
“Kara lives in Victory Park council flats with her young son, just making a living by minding other people’s kids – her nightly smoke on the fire escape the only time she can drop her guard and imagine something better. But the truth is life is threadbare and unpromising until the mysterious Bridget moves in to the flats. The wife of a disgraced Ponzi schemer she brings with her glamour and wild dreams and an unexpected friendship.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Wadestown Library temporary closure, 24-27 May

Photo of Wadestown Library exteriorWadestown Library will be closed from Monday 24 May 2021 to Thursday 27 May (inclusive) for heating installation.

The returns chute will also be closed. We encourage our customers to hold on to their items during this time or to return them to another branch library.

You can visit our nearest branches at:

We look forward to welcoming you back from 10am, Friday 28 May 2021.

Thank you for your patience while we complete this upgrade.

New Titles for Job Seekers

Whether seeking a job or a promotion, the world of employment can be intimidating. From how to format résumés to help writing cover letters, our library collection has a number of books and eBooks to make the process a little bit easier. All books listed here are from the last two years to provide the most up to date advice about employment.

While the titles here cover job seeking and wellbeing, we also have many titles which focus on the more nitty gritty side of job hunting. Feel free to get in touch or talk to a librarian at your local branch if you have any questions.

Book CoverWhy losing your job could be the best thing that ever happened to you : five simple steps to thrive after redundancy

“Being made redundant is one of the hardest challenges you will face. But, with the right support and advice, it could be an opportunity. It can be a moment to stop, think and make positive changes. It might even be the best thing that ever happened to you.”

“Eleanor Tweddell works with organisations and individuals going through redundancy. In this comforting and enlightening book, she draws on her experience, as well as conversations with her clients, to show how we can learn to adapt and thrive during one of our most difficult and transformative experiences.” (From catalogue)

Coming back : how to win the job you want when you’ve lost the job you need

Coming Back Book Cover

“Bestselling author and four-time Pulitzer Prize-nominee Fawn Germer offers advice about how to present yourself in the best possible way and make sure you stay relevant and valuable as an employee.” –Newsweek

“Powerful tactics (and some much-needed tough love) calls to action, helping professionals who feel they’re in a stalemate in their careers learn, re-tool, connect, grow, and get ready to work again.” –Forbes

“A street smart, inspiring, practical, and utterly honest book for renewing or resuming your career.” (Extract from catalogue)

#Entry Level Boss book cover#EntryLevelBoss : a 9-step guide for finding a job you like (and actually getting hired to do it)

“Banging your head against the wall with the job search? #ENTRYLEVELBOSS will help you stop freaking out. Miserable in your current role but no idea what to do next? With this book you’ll be able to make a decision, no personality tests required. Convinced that you are the most unhireable person on this planet? That’s statistically improbable – and you’ll be amazed at how employable you’ll be by the time you have finished reading.” (Extract from catalogue)

Long life learning : preparing for jobs that don’t even exist yetLong Life Learning book cover

“Long Life Learning: Preparing for Jobs That Don’t Even Exist Yet offers readers a fascinating glimpse into a near-future where careers last 100 years, and education lasts a lifetime. The book makes the case that learners of the future are going to repeatedly seek out educational opportunities throughout the course of their working lives — which will no longer have a beginning, middle, and end. Long Life Learning focuses on the disruptive and burgeoning innovations that are laying the foundation for a new learning model that includes clear navigation, wraparound and funding supports, targeted education, and clear connections to more transparent hiring processes.” (Extract from catalogue)

Own it. Love it. Make it work. Book coverOwn it, love it, make it work : how to make any job your dream job

“If you experience the ‘Sunday night scaries,’ count down the days to the weekend, or dread the thought of another day at work, maybe you can only see two options to escape your current misery: quit your job or stay and suffer.”

“There is another option.”

“In Own It. Love It. Make It Work, one of America’s top productivity consultants, reveals why you don’t have to rely on your company, nor your boss, for your professional fulfilment. Instead, you can take ownership of your career, your life, and your happiness–right now.” (Extract from catalogue)

Ancestry Library – at home access extended till 30 September 2021

Ancestry Library is a research database for genealogists and family history enthusiasts that can help you trace your family history, with records from the US, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Normally only available in-person at our libraries, during the last year, with kind permission from the people at Ancestry and ProQuest, Wellington City Libraries’ cardholders have been able to access Ancestry from their own homes. This access was due to expire, but has now been extended until 30 September 2021.

Log in to Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library includes online access to historical births, deaths and marriages and electoral rolls, and you can follow all kinds of family history leads through scans of these documents and more.

Login to Ancestry Library with your library card details and get started tracing your family history today! You can also find more helpful links and advice on family history research on our Genealogy Topic Guide.

A word of warning — starting family research and the thrill of the hunt can be quite addictive, so be careful you don’t get lost chasing leads down too many rabbit holes!

Featherston Library events at Booktown Karukatea Festival, 6-9 May 2021

Featherston Booktown (the only book town in New Zealand Aotearoa), will soon be hosting its sixth annual book festival. We’ve had a good perusal of this year’s programme — and what a fabulous line up of authors are going to be in attendance!

This year’s festival, like previous years, is aimed at book lovers of all ages — so there should be something for everyone. Featherston Library is hosting several events as part of the Featherston Booktown event that will appeal to families, including events featuring Donovan Bixley and Kimberly Andrews.

As a special, pre-festival taster for anyone considering attending, we thought we’d spotlight below just a few of the exciting authors who will be there, as well as some of their books to whet your appetite. Other amazing authors who will be there (not featured below), include Selina Tusitala Marsh, Gavin Bishop, Rose Lu and so many more.

Joy Cowley

We honestly can’t imagine that the wonderful Joy Cowley needs any introduction, but we’ll certainly attempt to provide one!

Joy is a prolific and celebrated author of both children’s and adult books (more than 600 titles!) and a patron for many years of the Storylines Children’s Literature Foundation. In 2018 she was awarded the Order of New Zealand, and over the years Joy has been very generous with her time and appeared at a number of events at Wellington City Libraries. Joy is a resident of Featherston and in 2017 she agreed to be Featherston Booktown’s Patron.

You can watch Joy below being interviewed by Wallace Chapman on National Radio in 2018:

David Riley will also be launching his latest biography in his Wāhine Toa series about inspiring New Zealand women at the festival, and the subject is none other than Joy Cowley. More information — David Riley Joy Cowley Book Launch Event.

It’s honestly impossible for librarians to choose a single favourite Joy Cowley book, but we’ve included one of our best-loved titles below with the caveat that there are so many more to enjoy!

Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s farm / Cowley, Joy
“Tired of being washed by Mrs. Wishy-Washy, a cow, pig, and duck leave her farm and head for the city.” (Catalogue)

More from Joy Cowley

Madison Hamill

Madison Hamill is based in Wellington. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters. Her work has appeared in The Spinoff, Sweet Mammalian, Turbine Kapohau and Pantograph Punch, and you can find her book of essays Specimen : personal essays on our catalogue (and a description below).

A reading from Madison of her Specimen collection featured in our Home with Ghosts video series last year — you can watch below:

Specimen : personal essays / Hamill, Madison
“A father rollerblading to church in his ministerial robes, a university student in a leotard sprinting through fog, a trespass notice from Pak’nSave, a beautiful unborn goat in a jar… In scenarios ranging from the mundane to the surreal, Madison Hamill looks back at her younger selves with a sharp eye. Was she good or evil? Ignorant or enlightened? What parts of herself did she give up in order to forge ahead in school, church, work, and relationships, with a self that made sense to others? With wit and intelligence, these shape-shifting essays probe the ways in which a person’s inner and outer worlds intersect and submit to one another. It is a brilliantly discomfiting, vivid and funny collection in which peace is found in the weirdest moments. ‘I never felt that I was looking at fine writing – only at astonishing writing.’–Elizabeth Knox.” (Catalogue)

Rachel Kerr

Rachel Kerr is a Wellington writer who lives in Island Bay with her family. Her debut novel Victory Park was published in 2020, and she was kind enough to appear at a Newtown Library writer’s panel earlier this year (‘Writers on Newtown’).

She is studying te reo Māori, has degrees in film and creative writing, and has worked as a librarian for Te Kooti Whenua Māori and Judicial Libraries. Watch Rachel share her writing tips as part of NaNoWriMo in 2020 below:

Victory Park / Kerr, Rachel
“Kara lives in Victory Park council flats with her young son, just making a living by minding other people’s kids – her nightly smoke on the fire escape the only time she can drop her guard and imagine something better. But the truth is life is threadbare and unpromising until the mysterious Bridget moves in to the flats. The wife of a disgraced Ponzi schemer she brings with her glamour and wild dreams and an unexpected friendship. Drawn in, Kara forgets for a moment who she’s there to protect.” (Catalogue)

Ben Brown

Ben Brown was awarded the 2011 Maori Writers’ Residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre. This book’s English edition was shortlisted for the 2005 Russell Clark Award, and the Maori edition was shortlisted for LIANZA 2005 Book Award.

Ngā raukura rima tekau mā rima / Brown, Benjamin
“This is the Maori language edition of Fifty-Five Feathers. Pukeko is worried about her friend Gecko who seems to be suffering in the cold of winter. So she asks Wise Old Tree for some advice. ‘Make him a cloak of fifty-five feathers,’ she is told. So Pukeko sets out to help her friends. A delightful and beautifully illustrated story, brought to you by the author-illustrator team who produced Natural New Zealand ABC Wallchart and The Thief of Colours” (Catalogue)

Browsing our collections from home : some tips

Too many results when you search the catalogue, and you’re not sure which book to reserve? How do you choose the best match for your interests? Here are some ideas for you to try.

  1. Use the advanced search link from catalogue.wcl.govt.nz/ which gives you more options to try or combine different types of search (eg title starts with …).
    Catalogue search…
  2. In the search results page, use the left hand menu to narrow down the results by location, what’s available to borrow today, format (such as book), subject (to exclude fiction, for example, if you’re interested in growing roses), or publication year (if you’re interested in newer items. You can select more than one of these filters.

    catalogue search showing filter options

  3. Swap to a flow view as shown in red above. This may be quicker to scan covers across the top of the screen.
  4. Once you’ve identified a possible item, click on the title link. Select the Related option from the left hand side, and for many books there are additional details such as contents pages, further descriptions from the publisher, author information, series information, together with reviews from readers or sources such as the Guardian or Publishers Weekly. If you’d like to add your own review to any book, there’s a link to do that directly from this page.
    catalogue page showing where to find reviews
  5. Ask one of our librarians working at the Off-site Storage (Te Pātaka) to select a few titles on your topic via this request form. These items will be delivered to the library branch you have chosen, and will work like a reserve : you will be notified when they arrive and have a week to pick them up. This request service is free, but other fees may apply (for example if DVDs are requested, the standard issue fee will apply, uncollected items will incur the expired reserves fee).
    Request form

One of our library team will be happy to show you how to use any of these options if you’d like more help.

Join the City Nature Challenge!

Wellington is teeming with wildlife, from mountains to the sea. Celebrate it with the City Nature Challenge!

Started in 2016, the City Nature Challenge has two parts: the first is observational, with participants setting out into the wilds–and back gardens–of Wellington to document as many plants and animals as they can via the iNaturalist app. Part two begins directly afterwards, and is based around identification.

Keen to be involved? It’s easy: just download the iNaturalist app and join the Wellington City Nature Challenge group! Part one begins on 30 April and runs until 3 May. And if you need help with the iNaturalist app, you can visit our drop-in session at Wadestown Library on Saturday, 1 May.

Several librarians have been kind enough to put together blogs about their own City Nature Challenge experiences. Check out Leif Hōne’s excellent blog below!


Leif Hōne

Kia ora e hoa mā!!

Joining me today is the iNaturalist app which brings about awareness of the Council’s Nature in the City programme. This programme is desgined to draw in rangatahi and interested parties, in identifying and documenting the city’s wildlife so that we can use this data captured to better understand the challenges being faced and how we can meet those challenges. It’s all about your part that you’ll play by participating.

Before embarking on this challenge, I want to predict what I think I will see out there in the wilds haha. I live near Tui and other birds, so I am guessing I will be able to spot a lot of harakeke bushes (flax), perfect for doing raranga – if they’re big enough, and if Hineiwaiwa allows.

I also think I will see lots of introduced species of tree and shrub that may overtake our native collections. This is unfortunately a common reality across Aotearoa, but I am hoping my prediction for the area I’m located in will be wrong. I will need to climb Mt. Ahumairangi and scope it out! Lesh go!

Get out there yourselves and enjoy identifying native and non-native species of plant life, and having fun! Learning is ka pai.


Related Resources

Wildlife of New Zealand / Suisted, Rob
“Wildlife of New Zealand includes not merely the flagship species but a unique assembly of fascinating plants and animals that have evolved amid habitats ranging from alpine peaks, open scrub and subtropical forest to wetlands, rocky or sandy shores and the open Pacific. Well researched and informative captions from Matt Turner make this not only a stunning photographic collection, but also a very useful reference.” (Catalogue)

Māori and the environment : kaitiaki
“The New Zealand environment has been allowed to deteriorate, but it is not too late to undo the damage. This book advocates the adoption of the kaupapa of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) to preserve what is left and to restore the lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands, and foreshore of New Zealand.” (Catalogue)

Wild encounters : a Forest & Bird guide to discovering New Zealand’s unique wildlife.
“Wild Encounters is your complete guide to more than twenty of the best nature experiences New Zealand has to offer. Each entry contains maps, travel details and what to see and do, all accompanied by beautiful photographs.” (Catalogue)

Comics in Conversation with Cinema: Justice League – The Director’s Cuts

After years of fan campaigning, Zack Snyder’s Justice League has finally arrived on our screens. The newly expanded film restores the initial vision of the auteur director behind 300, Watchmen and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and is loosely based on Justice League: Origin by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee.

Snyder certainly had the track record to adapt DC Comics’ premiere super-team to the silver screen, having a number of comic-to-film adaptations under his belt already and a distinct aesthetic directly inspired by comic books. But there are many Justice League stories worthy of adaptation into film (particularly from JLA, the deliberately cinematic and much beloved series that ran from 1997 to 2006), just as there are many directors who would be perfect to adapt them.

So if you’re after more of the World’s Greatest Superheroes (or some great film recommendations), here are my picks for Justice League comics based on what directors would best adapt them into movies.

JLA : New world order – Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, 2012)

When Justice League was relaunched as JLA in 1997 by Grant Morrison and Howard Porter, their intent with the series was to tell big-scale stories like a blockbuster movie in comic form. The first story of their run, New World Order, delivers on exactly that, featuring an invasion by superheroes from another planet that opens with a giant spaceship over the White House (just like Emmerich’s Independence Day, coincidentally released the same year) and continues heightening the stakes from there. If they made a JLA movie in the 90s, you could absolutely see Emmerich as a front-runner for the director’s chair.

Bonus trivia: Every issue of JLA: New World Order is named after a sci-fi movie from the 1950s: THEM!, The Day the Earth Stood Still, War of the Worlds, and Invaders from Mars.

JLA : Earth 2 – Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Starship Troopers)

A good version of Lex Luthor recruits the JLA to help him fight the Crime Syndicate of Amerika (not a typo), their evil equivalent from an parallel Earth made of anti-matter, where reality, history and morality is reversed. People’s hearts are on the right side of their body instead of the left, pirates and gangsters are worshipped as heroes, executions are televised, and the dollar bills have “In Mammon We Trust” written on them, referencing the demon of greed. It brings to mind some of Paul Verhoeven’s best satire in Robocop and Starship Troopers, where the excesses of American capitalist and military society are heightened to ludicrous absurdity.

Bonus trivia: JLA: Earth 2 was later adapted into an animated film, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, in 2010.

Justice –  George Miller (Mad Max, Happy Feet)

Justice hits all the beats of a great Justice League story: big action, great character moments, and deep-cut references from across DC history, but the main conceit of Justice is that the Legion of Doom, convinced that they are saving humanity from a coming apocalypse that the Justice League can’t prevent, become the story’s heroes. While George Miller would be a great choice for any superhero movie for his skill at directing action and tone, what makes Justice an ideal story for him would be the Legion of Doom as a cult of personality believing they know what’s best for society. It’s a theme that Miller has explored throughout his filmography, from the various desert demagogues of the Mad Max wastelands to the conservative penguin hegemony of Happy Feet.

Bonus trivia: In 2007, George Miller was tapped to direct a Justice League movie called Justice League: Mortal, but due to the success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Warner Bros decided to focus on solo hero movies and the film was shelved indefinitely.

JLA: Golden Perfect – Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman 1984)

After facing a crisis of conscience, Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth is destroyed, and with it, the very concept of truth itself has been fractured — and the Justice League must contend with a world capriciously redefined by the dreams and fears of the human race. When explaining her writing process for WW84, Patty Jenkins said she wanted to write a superhero movie where at the end, nobody dies and the day is saved with a conversation rather than with brute strength. Golden Perfect hits on a lot of similar themes and ideas (WW84‘s Wishing Stone also has a similar effect on the world as the Lasso of Truth breaking), and while she would be repeating herself, it would be interesting to see Jenkins’ take on the rest of the Justice League.

Bonus trivia: Wonder Woman has also appeared in a solo animated film, and appears in the DC Animated Movie Universe beginning with Justice League: War.

Justice League Dark – Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim)

Justice League Dark was created to highlight DC’s stable of magical and horror-influenced heroes such as John Constantine, Zatanna, Swamp Thing, and Deadman, who fight the supernatural threats that the regular flavour Justice League can’t handle. While there was an animated film that came out in 2017, Guillermo Del Toro has been trying to make a live-action Justice League Dark film since 2013. Given his experience in directing fantasy action and surreal horror (the first issue of the series has the Justice League contend with a storm made of human teeth, for starters), giving Del Toro the chance would be a no-brainer.

Bonus trivia: While Del Toro has set aside working on Justice League Dark (for now), a TV series is currently in development for HBO Max, spearheaded by J.J. Abrams.

JLA : the hypothetical woman – Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker)

The Justice League of America is caught in a harrowing situation after being sent by the United Nations Security Council to intervene in a South American nation ruled by an iron-fisted dictator. In response, the world’s nations start stockpiling discarded supervillain weapons and alien spacecrafts and repurposing them into weapons out of fear the Justice League will do the same to them. An underrated Justice League story that weds traditional superhero tropes to the realism of international relations and military strategy, this is probably the only JLA story I could see Kathryn Bigelow adapting.

Bonus trivia: JLA: The Hypothetical Woman is drawn by artist Jose-Luis Garcia Lopez, who is responsible for the DC Comics Style Guide, the official reference guide book for all DC Comics merchandise.

Women of influence: recent beliefs arrivals

One of the strengths of the modern era is the celebration of diverse voices. These voices have always been present, but may have been lost in the crowd, or over-looked for a variety of reasons. This list contains several additions to our collection which begin to explore these different perspectives – from the first biography of the woman who raised Buddha, to the Muslim Princess who became a British spy during World War Two.

Te Hāhi Mihinare = the Māori Anglican Church, by Hirini Kaa.
Anglicanism arrived in New Zealand with the first English missionaries in 1814 but was spread widely by Māori evangelists. They profoundly influenced some key iwi, who adapted and made it their own. The ways in which Mihinare (Māori Anglicans) engaged with the settler Church in New Zealand and created their own unique church is an important narrative in NZ church history. This ground-breaking addition explores the birth, development and challenges in the ongoing life of Te Hāhi Mihinare.

The woman who raised the Buddha : the extraordinary life of Mahāprajāpatī, by Wendy Garling
“In this first full biography of Mahaprajapati, The Woman Who Raised the Buddha presents her life story, with attention to her early years as sister, queen, matriarch, and mother, as well as her later years as a nun. Drawing from story fragments and canonical records, Wendy Garling reveals just how exceptional Mahaprajapati’s role was as leader of the first generation of Buddhist women, helping the Buddha establish an equal community of lay and monastic women and men.” (Catalogue)

Warriors, witches, women : mythology’s fiercest females, by Kate Hodges.
Explore 50 of mythology’s fiercest females in this modern retelling of great legends – from feminist fairies to bloodsucking temptresses, half-human harpies and protective Vodou goddesses. Meet Circe, The righteous Furies, fun-loving Ame-no-Uzume, the fateful Morai sisters. Fire your imagination and be empowered by this great anthology of notorious, demonised and overlooked women.(drawn from the Catalogue)

Women of the Vatican : female power in a male world, by Lynda Telford.
Telford explores the lives of women who have had personal and unofficial influence at the Vatican over the centuries. The women discussed in this book include mistresses as well leaders such as Catherine de Medici, Empresses Maria Teresa of Austria and Catherine of Russia. This makes some controversial claims, but it explores the Catholic Church’s sometimes overlooked different power bases.

Affirming : a memoir of faith, sexuality, and staying in the church, by Sally Gary.
“In this deeply personal memoir, Sally traces the experiences, conversations, and scriptural reading that culminated in her seeing her sexuality as something that made sense within the context of her faith–not outside of it or in opposition to it. … Sally’s story–one of heritage, learning, courage, and love–is written especially for the generations of LGBTQ Christians after her who are questioning whether they can stay part of the church they call home.” (Catalogue)

Amazing Muslims who changed the world, by Burhana.
Meet just some of the amazing Muslim men and women who have changed our world – from pirate queens, nurses, warriors, scientists, actors, and mathematicians, to courageous ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things. Who was the first scientist to prove theories about how light travels, hundreds of years before Isaac Newton? Who was the Indian Princess who became a British spy during WWII? (drawn from the Catalogue)

Faith after doubt : why your beliefs stopped working and what to do about it, by Brian D. McLaren.
McLaren, a former pastor and now an author, speaker, and activist shows how old assumptions are being challenged in nearly every area of human life, not just theology and spirituality. He proposes a four-stage model of faith development – Simplicity, Complexity, Perplexity, and Harmony – and offers a path forward that can help sincere and thoughtful people leave behind unnecessary baggage and intensify their commitment to what matters most.” (drawn from the Catalogue)

The book of queer prophets : 24 writers on sexuality and religion
As the title suggests, this is a thoughtful exploration of faith in the modern era: How does it feel to be excluded from a religious community because of your sexuality? Why do some people still believe being LGBT is a sin? Jeanette Winterson tackles religious dogma, Amrou Al-Kadhi writes about trying to make it as a Muslim drag queen in London, John Bell writes about his decision to come out later in life, and Kate Bottley explains her journey to becoming an LGBT ally.

Hope in times of fear : the resurrection and the meaning of Easter, by Timothy Keller
The different Resurrection accounts of Jesus in the Gospels agree that Jesus’ female followers were the first to visit the empty tomb. Yet none of his most loyal and steadfast followers recognised him at first. Nothing had prepared even his disciples for that moment when they met the resurrected Jesus. All physically saw him and yet did not truly see him. It was only when Jesus invited them to see who he truly was that their eyes were open. Read about the meaning of Easter as the central message of the Christian faith.

Vogue and the First World War

The article begins with the headline “The New Declaration of Independence”. Over the following page it goes on to examine shifting global power dynamics, explaining that “the spirit that made it impossible for the thirteen American colonies to remain vassals of Great Britain, makes it equally impossible that our nearly fifty states rest under the perpetual threat involved in Prussian militarism and imperial Pan-Germanism.” This article isn’t from the New York Times; it won’t be found in Papers Past. Instead it comes from one of Wellington City Libraries’ most interesting online resources: the Vogue Archive.

Vogue’s coverage of the First World War is significant for several reasons: for starters its variety. Just a brief search of the Archive using the keyword “War” between 1917 and 1918 brings up articles addressing everything from practical fashion advice (“Dressing on a War Income”) and the role of women in relief work (“The Woman’s Share of War”) to the importance of Liberty Loans (“If We Would Win This War”) and changes in mourning practices (“The Mode in Mourning”).

“An astonishing number of smart and individual mourning costumes are to be seen in New York at present.”

While the Archive doesn’t have any articles addressing New Zealand war experiences, it does give a unique insight into the experiences of women–especially those of the upper classes–in the U.S., U.K. and France. Articles often describe families who, up until 1914, had spent their lives moving between New York, London, Paris and Munich. As “As Seen By Him” notes, “Countless Americans are as much at home in Austria and Belgium as they are at home in America”. The same article directly addresses this assumed middle and upper class readership, noting that “however much we sympathise with our foreign friends, we have our own people to consider first, and we cannot let the working classes which depend on us, suffer because we are in mourning.”

“Peril is near you. Disaster is in the air. You must flee–flee.”

But perhaps the most surprising finds in the Vogue Archive are the in-depth articles that show why the magazine is arguably the birthplace of New Journalism. One such article appears in the August 1, 1916 edition under the title “Following the Fortune Tellers of War”, and tells the story of the rise of fortune tellers in wartime Paris.

While the author, initialled as A.S., is critical of these clairvoyants and card readers, she visits no less than ten of them, with each one describing wild futures that end in the death of husbands, the birth of twins, sea voyages and the disappearance of friends. While the claims sound outrageous to a modern reader–and, it turns out, A.S.–they were probably an accurate description of many people’s lives (and futures) in Paris at the time.

To begin your own discovery of the Vogue Archive, go to Wellington City Libraries’ eLibrary and search under “V” in the A-Z of Resources (the Vogue Archive can also be found in the Art and Design topic). You’ll need your library card number and your PIN, then you’re ready to search. Alternatively, click here to go straight to the Vogue Archive.