Local vinyl reviews for NZMM

NZ Music Month logo

To celebrate New Zealand Music Month, we’re showcasing New Zealand and Wellington artists on vinyl at some of our branches (Karori, Newtown, Kilbirnie and Cummings Park). This is in addition to our main vinyl collections in the Te Awe and Johnsonville Libraries.

In terms of physical format releases there are a lot of vinyl exclusives from local artists, so for NZMM 2024 we thought we would check some of those out…

Photo of a vinyl display at one of our libraries.

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Learn, Laugh, Fear: New graphic novels

If you want to be frightened, have a laugh or learn something new, we have an array of new graphic novels for your perusal. Click below to place a reserve or if you are lucky, the book might be available right now!

Mary Tyler Moorehawk / Baker, Dave
“Who is Mary Tyler Moorehawk? How did she save the world from a dimension-hopping megalomaniac? Why was her TV show cancelled after only nine episodes? These are just a few of the questions that young journalist Dave Baker begins to ask himself as he unravels the many mysteries surrounding the obscure comic book Mary Tyler MooreHawk. However, his curiosity grows into an obsession when he discovers that the reclusive creator of his favorite globe-trotting girl detective… is also named Dave Baker.” (Catalogue)

Shook! : a Black horror anthology
“This anthology is filled with stories from a range of award-winning Black writers and artists. Stemming from a love of Southern gothic horror, this anthology boasts a cadre of award winning or nominated writers representing awards such as the Will Eisner Awards, the Ringo Awards, the Hugo Awards, and is the largest collection of Glyph Comics Awards winners and nominees in a single publication.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Brandon Sanderson’s White sand : a Cosmere graphic novel / Sanderson, Brandon | audiobook available
“On the planet of Taldain, the legendary Sand Masters harness arcane powers to manipulate sand in spectacular ways. But when they are slaughtered in a sinister conspiracy, the weakest of their number, Kenton, believes himself to be the only survivor. Assassins are coming for them from all directions, and Kenton’s only true ally is Khriss, a visitor from the other side of the planet who has an agenda of her own to pursue.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Continue reading “Learn, Laugh, Fear: New graphic novels”

Explore the world through photography: Books from Te Pātaka

The below photography books, showcasing the perspectives of artists and their interesting moments snapped, open the door to “seeing what’s invisible to others.” Enjoy iconic photographs from New York, Delhi, Beijing, Brighton, Havana, and Hamburger; these images, captured by world famous photographers, explore city streets, the surreal, the story of food and even pets!

Shop cats of New York / Arslanian, Tamar
“They inhabit New York City’s most legendary and coziest spots–the Algonquin Hotel, a whiskey distillery, Bleecker Street Records, bookstores, and bike shops. As true New Yorkers, they perch on wine crates, classic hotel countertop, and depending on their mood, they may ignore enthusiastic admirers or offer a few delightful purr.  Popular cat blogger and Instagram pet photographer capture these deeply loved and well cared for animals and reveal how they came to reign over the Big Apple.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Surreal photography : creating the impossible / Bowker, Daniela
“This book demystifies the techniques used by modern surreal photographers, whether they favour straight-out-of-the-camera surrealism or sophisticated digital manipulations for creating extraodinary scenes. With contributions from numerous artists, including Natalie Dybisz, Jon Jacobsen and Patrick Desmet, readers will be able to explore many different styles, from impossible landscapes to unsettling portraits.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Feast for the eyes : the story of food in photography / Bright, Susan
“Food has been a much-photographed subject throughout the history of photography, across genres, including art and advertising. This is the first book to survey the rich history of food in photography, and the photographers who developed new ways of describing food in pictures. Through key images, Susan Bright explores the important figures and movements of food photography to provide an essential primer, from the earliest photographers to contemporary artists.” (Catalogue)

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National Flash Fiction Day: 22 June at Newtown Library


On Saturday 22 June, our good friends NFFD Te Whanganui-a-Tara branch are staging a very special, free event at Newtown Library from 2.30pm onwards!

When: Sat 22 June 2.30- 4.30pm

Where: Newtown Library

This is a free event and everyone is welcome!

Come and celebrate the shortest stories on the shortest day of the year, with a whole host of fabulous  Wellington writers and guest readers giving Flash Fiction readings of some of the shortlisted stories.

With guest reading authors, including:

Tim Jones

Mia Farlane

Kristen Philips

Rachel O’Neill

Oscar Sweetman

Maggie Rainey-Smith

Janis Freegard

and Sudha Rao

Master of ceremonies for the afternoon will be Constance Phua, with  other authors to be confirmed.  

There  will  also be book giveaways and the sharing of kai. And the National Flash Fiction Day NZ Youth Judge will also be present!

NFFD is a community-run literary event that celebrates the best short fiction every year on 22 June, the shortest day of the year. Nau mai rā tātou katoa | Everybody is welcome.

If you can, please bring a plate to share

See here for further details.

Beyond limitation: New personal growth books

Human beings face both real and perceived limitations, influenced by our beliefs and the workings of our brains. These beliefs can be inherently limiting. It’s through understanding these mental limitations deeply that we cultivate personal growth and ultimately transcend some of them.

Reconsidering the idea that distraction is purely negative allows us to recognize its potential benefits. Exploring our limited choices in depth can help us gain clarity around what to pursue and what to “give up” on. Memory also has its limits, but by understanding these boundaries we can use this knowledge to our advantage. Love can find its way through all our constraints. Staying silent can also be a self-imposed limitation, preventing authentic self-expression.

The following personal development books may help you break free from these limited perceptions and challenge both real and perceived boundaries:

On Giving Up / Phillips, Adam
“To give up or not to give up? The question can feel inescapable but the answer is never simple. Giving up our supposed vices is one thing; giving up on life itself is quite another. One form of self-sacrifice feels positive, something to admire and aspire to, while the other is profoundly unsettling, if not actively undesirable. There are always, it turns out, both good and bad sacrifices, but it is not always clear beforehand which is which. We give something up because we believe we can no longer go on as we are. In this sense, giving up is a critical moment: an attempt to make a different future. Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips illuminates both the gaps and the connections between the many ways of giving up and helps us to address the central question: What must we give up in order to feel more alive?” (Adapted from publisher and catalogue)

The Power of Distraction: Diversion and Reverie From Montaigne to Proust / Aloisi, Alessandra
“Aloisi challenges the traditional view that distraction is detrimental and should be “avoided” for better living and work. Arguing that distraction is a creative, subversive, and aesthetic capability that can lead to inspiration and serendipitous discoveries. Drawing on a wide range of classic and contemporary sources, she contrasts the traditional association of distraction with sin or melancholy with the idea that it is often when we stop focusing on a problem that inspiration strikes, as is often the case with artists. Aloisi also examines the political value of distraction, arguing that in an age of constant technological demands for our attention, distraction provides a “slight revolt” from societal codes and behaviours, as suggested by Bergson. By combining philosophy, literature, art, and politics, the book encourages readers to rethink their attitudes toward attention and consider the productive potential of daydreams and distractions.” (Adapted from catalogue)

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New craft and hobby books to curl up with this winter

Winter is just right around the corner, and the chilling weather is well underway. Cosy up this season making handmade creations for your home or yourself.  Whether you want to restore a piece of old furniture or take on a delightful but quirky cat cross-stitch pattern, be inspired by books showcasing clear step-by-step photographs and easy-to-follow techniques. We’ve rounded up this month’s new titles that will surely bring warmth to your creative self. So, grab your knitting needles, crochet hooks, and sewing kits – let’s start making!

A handmade cottage : the art of crafting a home / Seymour, Jodie May
“It’s possible to create a picture-perfect cottage frugally and simply with some creative ideas and a little DIY know-how. Jodie May Seymour shares her projects and ideas for every room in the house using simple craft and DIY techniques. Almost everything can be made by an absolute beginner, yet there are also inspiring projects that will appeal to the more skilled crafter. From candles and lampshades to dressers and curtains, this guide offers a variety of DIY projects and introduces some of the most useful techniques such as sanding, sewing, and painting. Whether you want to restore old furniture, repurpose forgotten fabrics, or decorate your home using natural materials, you can create a beautiful and unique home on a tight budget.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Peter Panda and pals : 10 sweet and easy amigurumi designs to crochet / Vindevogel, Femke
“Crochet Peter Panda and his amigurumi friends: 10 quirky animals to brighten your day. Be captivated by the personalities of Peter Panda and his whimsical friends! Femke Vindevogel invites you to crochet 10 irresistible animals, each one with its own uplifting story to tell.  Between 18cm (7in) and 26cm (10in) high, yet with personalities much bigger, these toys burst onto the scene with their Scandi palette, joyful outlook and smart accessories. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Cross stitch with cattitude : 20 pawsome designs / Congdon, Emma
“In this collection of 20 projects, bestselling cross stitch designer Emma Congdon gets inside the mind of a finickity feline to deliver a humorous selection of projects that will chime with cat owners everywhere. Easy-to-follow full-colour charts, step-by-step instructions on the techniques, and a gifty package make this ideal for beginners.” (Catalogue)


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