Aotearoa newsletter for April 2013

Welcome to our Aotearoa newsletter. This month we have a good selection of books that you will enjoy. April is also the month of the 45th anniversary of the Wahine disatser. Check our Heritage topic on the subject, as well as other sites such as DigitalNZ, NZonScreen, NZ History Online, and Te Ara.

Library News

New Zealand Non-Fiction

This month the New Zealand Collection features history of Antarctica and also some great new and revised New Zealand history. This includes an item that focuses on teaching history to secondary school students. The last book is a study of issues faced by whānau in Māori education.

Syndetics book coverA history of Antarctica / Stephen Martin.
“This revised and expanded book – first published in 1996 – traces the patterns of human activity in Antarctica, from the southern journeys of the 16th century to the modern expeditions of adventurers and tourists. Using material from diaries, letters, and fresh research, the book illuminates the main themes of Antarctic history with the personal stories and images of the men and women who explored, worked, and lived in this frozen and remote continent. The book examines such topics as the early Polynesian explorers, the amazing diversity of flora and fauna, the detailed geological features, etc. A History of Antarctica is about the people of Antarctica – those who have chosen to endure the risks and enjoy the rewards of conquering the world’s most forbidding land.”(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSurveying the Antarctic : the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition 1957-1958 / Eugene Brian Fitzgerald.
“This volume is the story of the first New Zealand Official Government Expedition to Antarctica. It is based on the diary, notes and memory of the author, together with the letters and accounts written by other members of the expedition.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverImages from Albertland : Harold Marsh, 1876-1948 / Paul Campbell.
“William Harold Marsh, farmer, father and adventurous photographer captured a time of enchantment, when life was lived at a slower place, governed by a different set of values and priorities and ambitions. One of the first generation of those immigrants who sailed around the world to settle in Albertland, 70,000 coastal acres on the Kaipara Harbour, in Northland, New Zealand, he has left a legacy of those times, a window into the past for those yet to come.” (Syndetics summary)

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Māori

Three books this month give us snippets and stories of the land. There is the walking tour of 200 sites throughout New Zealand, a story of the gifting of Lake Wairarapa, along with the background environmental, archaeological “moulding of its landscape”, and then the account of the settlement and development of Hokowhitu in Palmerston North. A fascinating special issue of NZJES discusses Kaupapa Māori.

Syndetics book coverExploring Aotearoa : short walks to reveal the Māori landscape / Peter Janssen.
“A walking guide containing around 200 short walks that explore Māori features of the landscape”–Publisher information.
“Author Peter Janssen has researched the fascinating background to each site, drawing on Māori oral and written history to relate the creation myths, battle scenes, momentous events and cultural detail underlying these sites”–Back cover

Syndetics book coverWairarapa Moana : the lake and its people / general editor: Ian F. Grant.
“Wairarapa Moana tells the story of the North Island’s largest lake complex from the mists of Māori myths to the realities of today’s environmental problems. Thirteen contributors … have written about Māori and Pākehā history, the area’s archaeology and the moulding of its landscape , the control of water in Wairarapa Moana’s complex of lakes, rivers and wetlands, about the diverse and sometimes rare fauna and flora, and about the clashes between European farming and Māori cultural values. Most significantly, there is also the little known saga of the Māori gifting of Lake Wairarapa to the Crown in 1896, the subsequent trail of broken promises and deceit until, finally, the people of Wairarapa Moana triumphed with their successful development of the Pouākani lands in the Waikato”–back cover

Hokowhitu : the story of settlement and development / Garry O’Neill.“Hokowhitu tells the story of settlement in pre-European times, and the reserve land retained by the Rangitāne when the Government purchased Te Ahu-a-Turanga block of land in 1864. As the township of Palmerston North developed the Māori Reserve was subdivided ito seven blocks and allocated to the principal families of the Rangitāne. Each family negotiated the rights to mill the trees”–Preface, p. 4.

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History

Below is a selection of the latest history books we have received in March. It is an ecclectic mix that deserves your attention!

Syndetics book coverIke and Dick : portrait of a strange political marriage / Jeffrey Frank.
“Examines the relationship between Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, from the politics that divided them to the marriage that united their families. Despite being separated by age and temperament, their association evolved into a collaboration that helped to shape the nation’s political ideology, foreign policy, and domestic goals.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe birth of the West : Rome, Germany, France, and the creation of Europe in the tenth century / Paul Collins.
“The tenth century dawned in violence and disorder. Charlemagne’s empire was in ruins, most of Spain had been claimed by Moorish invaders, and even the papacy in Rome was embroiled in petty, provincial conflicts. To many historians, it was a prime example of the ignorance and uncertainty of the Dark Ages. Yet according to historian Paul Collins, the story of the tenth century is the story of our culture’s birth, of the emergence of our civilization into the light of day. The Birth of the West tells the story of a transformation from chaos to order, exploring the alien landscape of Europe in transition. It is a fascinatingnarrative that thoroughly renovates older conceptions of feudalism and what medieval life was actually like. The result is a wholly new vision of how civilization sprang from the unlikeliest of origins, and proof that our tenth-century ancestors are not as remote as we might think.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe presidents club : inside the world’s most exclusive fraternity / Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy.
“The Presidents Club, established at Dwight Eisenhower’s inauguration by Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, is a complicated place: its members are bound forever by the experience of the Oval Office and yet are eternal rivals for history’s favor. Among their secrets: How Jack Kennedy tried to blame Ike for the Bay of Pigs. How Ike quietly helped Reagan win his first race in 1966. How Richard Nixon conspired with Lyndon Johnson to get elected and then betrayed him. How Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter turned a deep enmity into an alliance. The unspoken pact between a father and son named Bush. And the roots of the rivalry between Clinton and Barack Obama.
Timemagazine editors and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy offer a new and revealing lens on the American presidency, exploring the club as a hidden instrument of power that has changed the course of history.” (Syndetics summary)

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Sport

Rock climbing, running, Texas hold’em, tango, kung fu, and judo are a few of the subjects covered in this month’s selection of Recent Picks.

Syndetics book coverThe Fastest Man Alive : the true story of Usain Bolt / Usain Bolt with Shaun Custis.
“A skinny kid from the Jamaican parish of Trelawny, Usain Bolt’s life changed in August 2008 when the Olympic 100-meter starter pistol was followed just 9.69 seconds later by his streak across the finish line and the first of his three gold medals was placed around his neck. In this illustrated celebration of his influences,background, and career trajectory, Bolt shares his story of growing up playing cricket and soccer, and discovering that he could run very fast. He shares stories of his family, friends, and the laid-back Jamaican culture, and reveals what makes him tick, where he gets his motivation, and where he takes his inspiration. He tells of the dedication and sacrifices required to get to the top, and also discusses fast food, partying, music, fast cars, and that signature lightning bolt pose.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverRock Climbing : a guide to skills, techniques and training / Jack Griffiths.
“A comprehensive guide for both novice climbers starting out in the sport, and experienced climbers who want to improve their rope work, technique and knowledge of rock climbing.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverThe Fundamentals of Judo / Ray Stevens and Edward Semple.
“An instructional book that gives an in-depth analysis of some of the core techniques that define Judo as a fighting art and how students should practise and develop these key skills….. Ray Stevens is a 6th Dan in Judo and has a long and distinguished competitive record for Judo. Edward Semple is a British Judo Association coach, an Amateur Boxing Association instructor and holds a Judo Black Belt.” (Global Books)

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Aotearoa enewsletter for February 2013

Welcome to our February Aotearoa enewsletter. We hope you enjoy the items that our librarians have selected for you this month. If you think our collection is missing something, fill in a suggestion to buy online. March is NZ Book Month and we have a page dedicated to New Zealand authors on our website, check it out!

Library News

New Zealand Non-Fiction

From the mountains to the oceans, the urban forest to an island, this month’s collection features a look at New Zealand’s diverse natural and urban environments. There is also a timeline of key events in our history in “Nation Dates” and the last book “Sinai Journal” looks at 30 years of New Zealand’s involvement in multinational foces.

Syndetics book coverAbove the treeline : a nature guide to alpine New Zealand / Alan F. Mark ; contributions by David Galloway, Rod Morris, David Orlovich, Brian Patrick, John Steel and Mandy Tocher.
“This first ever field-guide to New Zealand’s rich and diverse alpine environment includes: an informative introduction on alpine habitats and ecology; detailed descriptions of more than 675 species of flowering plants; a visual guide to easily recognised flowering-plant genera ; sections on conifers, ferns, mosses and liverworts, lichens and fungi; coverage of alpine fauna, including birdgs and lizards, butterflies and moths, grasshoppers, beetles and other invertebrates.–Cover”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCoastal fishes of New Zealand / Malcolm Francis.
“Coastal Fishes of New Zealand provides a comprehensive, informative and up-to-date identification guide to the fishes likely to be encountered by New Zealand divers and fishers. Illustrated with over 275 superb colour photographs of live fish in their natural habitats, this book includes all of New Zealand’s common reef fishes, and also many of those that live in other habitats. Using the latest research, marine scientist Malcolm Francis also provides a wealth of other information about identifying features, geographical distribution, habitat and size for 221 species of fish. Other interesting biological features, such as feeding, growth, spawning and behaviour are also discussed. If you were to have one book on the abundant fish life found around our coasts, this is the one to own.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAuckland’s remarkable urban forest / Mike D. Wilcox.
“Auckland’s Remarkable Urban Forest provides a comprehensive account of the trees and forests of Auckland. It covers trees to be found in the parks, reserves, campuses, school grounds, cemeteries and historic homesteads of the city; public native bush reserves within the urban Auckland area; native revegetation projects undertaken by community groups; exotic woodlands; street trees; trees of suburban home gardens; notable trees; flowering trees; tree health, forest climbers weeds; utilisation and management of the urban forest”. (Syndetics summary)

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History

We hope you enjoy the selection of recent history books for February 2013. Countries featured are Australia, Great Britain and America. We also have the story of a man looking for his ancestors. Fascinating!

Syndetics book coverBatavia : betrayal, shipwreck, murder, sexual slavery, courage, a spine-chilling chapter in Australian history / Peter FitzSimons.
“Batavia is the greatest story in Australia’s history. The Shipwreck of the Batavia combines in just the one tale the birth of the world’s first corporation, the brutality of colonisation, the battle of good vs evil, the derring-do of sea-faring adventure, mutiny, ship-wreck, love, lust, blood-lust, petty fascist dictatorship, criminality, a reign of terror, murders most foul, sexual slavery, natural nobility, survival, retribution, rescue, first contact with native peoples and so much more. Described by author Peter FitzSimons as “a true Adults Only version of Lord of the Flies, meeting Nightmare on Elm Street,” the story is set in 1629, when the pride of the Dutch East India Company, the Batavia, is on its maiden voyage en route from Amsterdam to the Dutch East Indies, laden down with the greatest treasure to leave Holland…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBritain’s empire : resistance, repression and revolt / Richard Gott.
“This revelatory new history punctures the still widely held belief that the British Empire was an enlightened and civilizing enterprise of great benefit to its subject peoples. Instead, Britain’s Empire reveals a history of systemic repression and almost continual violence, showing how British rule was imposed as a military operation and maintained as a military dictatorship. For colonized peoples, the experience was a horrific one-of slavery, famine, battle and extermination.
Yet, as Richard Gott illustrates, the empire’s oppressed peoples did not go gently into that good night. Wherever Britain tried to plant its flag, there was resistance. From Ireland to India, from the American colonies to Australia, Gott chronicles the backlash. He shows, too, how Britain provided a blueprint for the genocides of twentieth-century Europe, and argues that its past leaders must rank alongside the dictators of the twentieth century as the perpetrators of crimes against humanity on an infamous scale. In tracing this history of resistance, all but lost to modern memory, Richard Gott recovers these forgotten peoples and puts them where they deserve to be: at the heart of the story of Britain’s empire.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPrairie fever : British aristocrats in the American West, 1830-1890 / Peter Pagnamenta.
“From the 1830s onward, a succession of well-born Britons headed west to the great American wilderness to find adventure and fulfillment. They brought their dogs, sporting guns, valets, and all the attitudes and prejudices of their class. Prairie Fever explores why the West had such a strong romantic appeal for them at a time when their inherited wealth and passion for sport had no American equivalent.” (Syndetics summary)

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Sport

This month’s selection of new books include books on cricket, boxing, martial arts, cycling golf, poker, swimming, running, sports coaching, bridge and more.

Syndetics book coverThe Amazing Queen : Winning With Your Queens / Clement Wong.
“The first bridge book on winning by skillful bidding and play surrounding the queens from queen camouflage to queen sacrifice (both real and sham) to queen defence inspired by the author’s 1993 Bols Tip of Queening your Defence. Covers bidding, declarer play, opening leads and responses, exit cards, entries, and defense with strong trumps. Clear, to-the-point analyses of nearly 100 hands, many played by international experts.”–Publisher description.

Syndetics book coverCoaching Excellence / Frank Pyke, editor.
“No single resource can convey everything that a coach should know and do. So Coaching Excellence does the next best thing: it builds on the basics to provide you with a wealth of information so you can become more adept in your role as an excellent coach. Eighteen experts offer the best knowledge, research and insights that you can apply in working with your athletes, players and teams.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverThe World’s Toughest Endurance Challenges / Richard Hoad and Paul Moore.
“The World’s Toughest Endurance Challenges is a truly inspiring and beautiful collection of what we can achieve when racing to the limits. With full-colour stunning photography, coverage of every detail of these cruel challenges and including accounts of competitors who have lived to tell the tale, this book is a wonderful testament to those who face Mother Nature and survive.” (Library Catalogue)

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Aotearoa eNewsletter for January

Welcome to our January enewsletter. We have an array of books to choose from, surely one will take your fancy! Also check out this blog post about what is happening around the city in February, there is lots to celebrate indeed…

Library News

New Zealand Non-Fiction

The New Zealand Collection has some fascinating new arrivals this month and includes some beautifully illustrated books. Leading the way is the new edition of Buller’s Birds of New Zealand. There is also the story of Moa, a celebration of New Zealanders who dared to dream and a boxing scrapbook about the sport of boxing in New Zealand. In Born to a Changing World the experience of childbirth in nineteenth century New Zealand is narrated from letters and diaries.

Syndetics book coverBuller’s birds of New Zealand : the complete work of J.G. Keulemans / [text by] Geoff Norman.
“A complete, all-new edition of the classic 19th century ornithological paintings of John Gerrard Keulemans for Walter Buller’s iconic A History of the Birds of New Zealand, featuring fresh reproductions of original watercolour paintings. Each exquisite bird image is accompanied by Buller’s descriptive text as well as up-to-date taxonomic information in English and Te reo Māori. This edition makes available the masterpieces inside the rarely seen, and highly valued, original books”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverMoa : the life and death of New Zealand’s legendary bird / Quinn Berentson.
“The moa were the most unusual and unique family of birds that ever lived, a clan of feathered monsters that developed in isolation for many, many millions of years. They became extinct reasonably quickly after the arrival of the Maori, and were a distant memory by the time European explorers arrived. So the discovery and identification of their bones in the 1840s was a worldwide sensation, claimed by many to be the zoological find of the century. This book begins by recounting the story of discovery, which was characterised by an unbelievable amount of controversy and intrigue. Since then there has been an unbroken chain of new discoveries, culminating with intriguing revelations in recent years about the moa’s biology, that have come to light through DNA testing and radio-dating. This is a fascinating and important book that richly recounts the life and death of our strangest bird. Packed with a fantastic range of illustrations, MOA fills an important gap in our natural history literature, a popular but serious book on this national icon”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBorn to a changing world : childbirth in nineteenth-century New Zealand / Alison Clarke.
“Emerging from diaries, letters and memoirs, the voices of this remarkable book tell a new story of life arriving amidst a turbulent world. Before the Plunket Society, before antibiotics, before ’safe’ Caesarean sections and registered midwives, nineteenth century birthing practice in New Zealand was typically determined by culture, not nature or the state. Alison Clarke works from the heart of this practice, presenting a history balanced in its coverage of social and medical contexts. Connecting these contexts provides new insights into the same debates on childhood – from infant feeding to maternity care – that persist today. Tracing the experiences of Māori and Pākehā birth ways, this richly illustrated story remains centered throughout on birthing women, their babies and families”–Publisher information.

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Māori

This month, three of the books delve into stories of peoples’ lives – there are ten Māori role models, and life stories of Pineaha Murray of Ngāti Apa in the far north, and Tama Poata renowned activist, pursuer of intellectual property, and filmmaker, actor, and director of indigenous films. There is an attractively illustrated history of Plimmerton, and a very special book by Pā Henare Tate.

Syndetics book coverMaori role models II : inspirational kōrero from inspirational Māori / [author/researcher: Te Aorangi Harrington ; translator/editor: Paora Tibble].This book in both English and Te Reo Māori, records conversations with another 10 inspirational Māori role models – Kaa Williams, Temepara o Ngā Ratana Ngārangioue Isaacs, Lisa Tāmati, Ruben Wiki,, Theresa Reihana, Todd Couper, Shelley Kitchen, Te Hāmua Nikora, Hana O’Regan, Dr Tony Ruakere. This booklet is published by Te Kiko Charitable Trust. “[The role models] responses to the questions provide an insight into their thoughts on topics such as success, motivation, education and the future”–preface.

Syndetics book coverOnSong : stories behind New Zealand’s pop classics / Simon Sweetman.
“On Song is a lively journey through New Zealand’s diverse pop landscape. Prolific music journalist Simon Sweetman has interviewed the writers and performers of beloved Kiwi classics, presenting ‘in conversation’ text that illuminates the fascinating stories behind the pop songs we all know and love”–Publisher information. Contents include: E ipo / Prince Tui Teka ; Drive / Bic runga ; In the morning / Anika Moa ; System virtue / Emma Paki ; Chains – DLT feat / Che Fu ; French letter / Herbs.

Syndetics book coverA seat at the table of my elders / Pineaha Murray.
“Pineaha Murray is an elder of Ngāti Kurī of the Far North and in this personal account he tells of his ancient forebears’ place in the northern tip of NZ – the Three Kings, Tom Bowling Bay and Parengarenga Harbour. Memories, history, myths and legends unfold and provide a rich personal story and a social history of northern communities”–Publisher information.

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History

Another mixed bag of history picks this month: Pineaha Murray, Rasputin, JFK and more. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverRasputin : the untold story / Joseph T. Fuhrmann.
“Using material from newly opened Soviet archives, particularly the correspondence of Czar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, Fuhrmann, an emeritus professor of history at Murray State University in Kentucky, extends the range of his Rasputin: A Life (1990). He shows how an obscure Russian Orthodox monk became a close adviser to the czar and czarina, particularly after he predicted the recovery of their son, Alexis, from a possibly fatal illness in 1909. Alexandra turned to him for advice on Russia’s WWI military campaign, and he influenced the appointment of high officials. This outsize influence, and rumors that Rasputin was pro-German, impelled a cabal of members of the nobility to assassinate him in December 1916. Fuhrman provides graphic details of the murder and weighs the evidence that the British Secret Intelligence Service participated in the plot. Fuhrmann draws a complex portrait of a dissolute alcoholic figure who allegedly raped at least one woman, yet he was seen by his many followers as a starets (charismatic holy man). Fuhrmann does not provide a final appraisal of Rasputin’s significance in the immediate prerevolution period. Still, this vivid, briskly written biography brings to life one of the most colorful and sinister figures in modern Russian history. Illus. Agent: Andrew Lownie, Andrew Lownie Literary Agency. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverWebs of empire : locating New Zealand’s colonial past / Tony Ballantyne.
“Positions New Zealand within these ‘webs of empire’, connecting Gore and Chicago, Māori and Asia, India and newspapers, whalers and writing. His work breaks open the narrative of colonisation to offer sharp new perspectives on New Zealand history”–Back cover.

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Sport

This month in our sport and fitness picks: learn about the joys of riding a bike in New Zealand and read about the mental tenacity needed for mountaineering expeditions. Plus, stories of our cross-country biking champions, cricket tales and fishing around New Zealand.

Syndetics book coverMarathons of the World / Hugh Jones and Alexander James.
“Selecting only 50 races to be included in this book was a harder task than it might seem, as the multitude of international marathons has extended itself to almost every country and territory of the World. From the North Pole, Antarctica and the Sahara Desert to islands so small they struggle to lay out a 42km route, the sheer variety on offer dazzles the imagination. Running has proved something of a recession-proof industry and even at a time of economic downturn, more races are being staged in more remote parts of the world……” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverEasy Rider : A Kiwi’s Guide to Cycling / Jon Bridges.
“Outlines the many joys of riding a bike in New Zealand, and provides a complete beginners’ guide – from riding for fun, to commuting, riding for fitness, mountain biking and even racing. We learn about the reasons for, the reasons against (there aren’t any), the basics of buying a bike and getting started, riding in New Zealand traffic, training and racing, safety and etiquette, maintenance, gizmos, gadgets, Lycra – and so much more.” – Cover flap.

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Aotearoa newsleter for November

November is gone and it’s time to put the Christmas tree up and to look for those Christmas presents. Check out Beattie’s Book Blog: The 10 Best Books of 2012, The Listener’s The 100 best books of 2012, and The New Zealand Herald’s Best books – an epic Christmas list for book buying ideas for family and friends. Wellington City Libraries also have concessions cards available for purchase: a great gift for keen library users.

Library News

New Zealand Non-Fiction

The New Zealand Collection has some fascinating new arrivals this month and includes some beautifully illustrated books. Leading the way is the new edition of Buller’s Birds of New Zealand. There is also the story of Moa, a celebration of New Zealanders who dared to dream and a boxing scrapbook about the sport of boxing in New Zealand. In Born to a Changing World the experience of childbirth in nineteenth century New Zealand is narrated from letters and diaries.

Syndetics book coverBuller’s birds of New Zealand : the complete work of J.G. Keulemans / [text by] Geoff Norman.
“A complete, all-new edition of the classic 19th century ornithological paintings of John Gerrard Keulemans for Walter Buller’s iconic A History of the Birds of New Zealand, featuring fresh reproductions of original watercolour paintings. Each exquisite bird image is accompanied by Buller’s descriptive text as well as up-to-date taxonomic information in English and Te reo Māori. This edition makes available the masterpieces inside the rarely seen, and highly valued, original books”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverMoa : the life and death of New Zealand’s legendary bird / Quinn Berentson.
“The moa were the most unusual and unique family of birds that ever lived, a clan of feathered monsters that developed in isolation for many, many millions of years. They became extinct reasonably quickly after the arrival of the Maori, and were a distant memory by the time European explorers arrived. So the discovery and identification of their bones in the 1840s was a worldwide sensation, claimed by many to be the zoological find of the century. This book begins by recounting the story of discovery, which was characterised by an unbelievable amount of controversy and intrigue. Since then there has been an unbroken chain of new discoveries, culminating with intriguing revelations in recent years about the moa’s biology, that have come to light through DNA testing and radio-dating. This is a fascinating and important book that richly recounts the life and death of our strangest bird. Packed with a fantastic range of illustrations, MOA fills an important gap in our natural history literature, a popular but serious book on this national icon”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBorn to a changing world : childbirth in nineteenth-century New Zealand / Alison Clarke.
“Emerging from diaries, letters and memoirs, the voices of this remarkable book tell a new story of life arriving amidst a turbulent world. Before the Plunket Society, before antibiotics, before ’safe’ Caesarean sections and registered midwives, nineteenth century birthing practice in New Zealand was typically determined by culture, not nature or the state. Alison Clarke works from the heart of this practice, presenting a history balanced in its coverage of social and medical contexts. Connecting these contexts provides new insights into the same debates on childhood – from infant feeding to maternity care – that persist today. Tracing the experiences of Māori and Pākehā birth ways, this richly illustrated story remains centered throughout on birthing women, their babies and families”–Publisher information.

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Māori

Tattooing seems to be a flavour of the month. There is a beautifully illustrated book of over 20 tattooists – including artists of tā moko, and tatau. As well, there are theses by Rawinia Higgins and Ridgely Dunn.

Syndetics book coverMai i te kākano / nā Hēni Jacob.
“Mai i te Kākano aims to help Māori language speakers and learners sustain more animated, in-depth conversations in Māori. It gives examples of alternative and fun ways to say things in everyday situations. Included are sections on Māori idiom and metaphor, common errors, useful phrases, and examples of language in use in a vaiety of settings, including in the home, at the supermarket, at the beach, and on the sports field”–back cover.

Syndetics book coverNew Zealand tattoo : in the home of the tattooist’s art / Chris Hoult ; text by Steve Forbes” [This book] presents the view from a cross-section of tattoo studios in 2012. Featuring photography of the tattooists and the tattooed, it profiles over 20 leading artists and gives insights into both the history and the renaissance of all three traditions: tā moko (Māori tattoo), tatau (Pacific Islands tattoo) and tattoo (European and Asian forms)”.–back cover.

Syndetics book coverIf I only had time / John Rowles with Angus Gillies.
“Here [John Rowles] speaks candidly with Angus Gillies, noting the tremendous achievements as well as the pressures and mishaps along the way. An irrepressible optimist, John tells a story that’s full of humour and is hard to put down.”–inside jacket. An easy read, but fascinating tale of the boy from Kawerau who made it to London, Las Vegas, Hawai’i and everywhere in between.

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History

Our new history books this month have something to interest everyone: Norse exporers, lady spies, retro Sydney, what it was to live when Shakespeare was about, and more. Happy reading!

Syndetics book coverVikings / Neil Oliver.
“The Vikings famously took no prisoners, relished cruel retribution, and prided themselves on their bloody-thirsty skills as warriors. But their prowess in battle is only a small part of their story, which stretches from their Scandinavian origins to America in the west and as far as Baghdad in the east. As the Vikings did not write their history, we have to discover it for ourselves, and that discovery, as Neil Oliver reveals, tells an extraordinary story of a people who, from the brink of destruction, reached a quarter of the way around the globe and built an empire that lasted nearly two hundred years. Drawing on the latest discoveries that have only recently come to light, Neil Oliver goes on the trail of the real Vikings. Where did they emerge from? How did they really live? And just what drove them to embark on such extraordinary voyages of discovery over 1000 years ago? VIKINGS will explore many of these questions for the first time in an epic story of one of the world’s great empires of conquest.” (Fishpond)

Syndetics book coverChurchill’s angels : how Britain’s women secret agents changed the course of the Second World War / Bernard O’Connor.
“Over 70 female agents were sent out by Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the Second World War. These women – as well as others from clandestine Allied organisations – were flown out and parachuted or landed into occupied Europe on vital and highly dangerous missions: their job was to work with resistance movements both before and after D-Day. Bernard O’Connor relates the experiences of these agents of by drawing on a range of sources, including many of the women’s accounts of their wartime service. There are stories of rigorous training, thrilling undercover operations evading capture by the Gestapo in Nazi-occupied France, tragic betrayals and extraordinary courage.” (Global Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverRetro Sydney / Ian Collis.
“Sydney in the 1950s and 1960s…This unique collection of vintage shots from amateur family photographers includes rare and never-before-seen material. It features timeless photographs of the stunning harbour and the creation of the Opera House, classic Royal Easter Show shots, the Queen’s visits and the pastimes the city loves – sport, recreation and fashion”–Back cover.

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Sport

Arm-chair sports lovers – recline and enjoy reading about your favourite sports, be it sailing, tennis, cycling, game design, mountain climbing, kung fu, “glamping”, chess, walking. And the sports enthusiasts can find tips and tactics to improve their fitness and their game.

Syndetics book coverRamble On : The Story of Our Love for Walking Britain / Sinclair McKay.
“…Ramble On, published to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Ramblers ” Association, tells the story of how country walks and rambling were transformed from a small and often illegal pastime to the most popular recreational activity in the country. But the story of rambling is not so much about parliamentary acts as it is about the remarkable people who campaigned for (and in some cases against) the pastime….” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverCan We Have Our Balls Back, Please? / Julian Norridge.
“How the British invented sport (and then almost forgot how to play it)”–Cover.
“From the beginnings of ‘the beautiful game’ – raucous matches of folk football with hundreds of players – to the original bowls (a thin excuse for drunken gambling), here is everything you need to know about the very British love of sports and all the great games it’s produced.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverTennis Skills & Drills / Joey Rive, Scott C. Williams.
Over 110 Proven Drills in “Tennis Skills & Drills “demonstrate appropriate technique with descriptions for players to master a skill and then use that targeted skill during competition. From singles and doubles coverage to movement and tactical drills, the comprehensive coverage and full-color photos will lead you to more victories on the court. -(Library Catalogue)

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Aotearoa newsletter for October

September is gone and Spring is truly upon us now with blossoms galore and nesting birds all around. What will October bring? Well as far as the Aotearoa newsletter is concerned, lost of very interesting new books that will keep you occupied for the next four weeks. They deal with New Zealand records, New Zealand crimes, Māori histories, Kiwi fiction and other books about history and sports in general. We’d also like to draw your attention to a resource online called PapersPast which “contains more than two million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1945 and includes 77 publications from all regions of New Zealand”. Enter your street address or your name to see if your house or name appears back in time!

Library News

New Zealand Non-Fiction

New to the New Zealand Collection this month you can read some interesting facts about New Zealand in “60 Million Gingernuts, a book of New Zealand records”. “All the Commissioner’s Men” is another look into the New Zealand high profile murder inquiry into the Crewe murders. Also meet three New Zealanders famous for very different reasons, Auckland Politician Sir Dove-Myer Robinson, hunter and artist Stag Spooner and novelist and biographer James McNeish. The last book showcases Taranaki treasures and stories taken from the collections of Puke Ariki.

Syndetics book cover60 million gingernuts : a book of New Zealand records / Peter Janssen.
This book gathers together New Zealand’s most amazing, inspiring and bizarre records. With chapters on nature, history, people, manmade wonders, popular culture, sport, eating and drinking, this extensive book will captivate both young and old, Kiwi and tourist, from quiz teams to high school students. Did you know: New Zealand’s highest bridge is on the railway line from Napier to Gisborne. The bridge crosses the Mohaka River 97 metres above the water; Auckland s Pasifika festival is the country s largest festival with over 200,000 people attending. It is also the largest Pacific festival in the world; New Zealand s most popular biscuit is the Gingernut with Griffin s Gingernuts selling nearly 3 million packets every year. Toffee Pop Originals (2,394,000 packets) and Superwine (2,393,000 packets) are neck and neck for second and third place; New Zealand s coldest temperature was recorded at Ranfurly on 17 July 1903, the thermometer plummeted to a record -25 degrees. The lowest North Island temperature is -13.6 recorded at the Chateau Tongariro. The coldest temperature recorded in the world was -89.6 at Vostok Station in Antarctica in 1983. There are many, many more fascinating records inside this addictive book.(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll the commissioner’s men / Chris Birt. The killing of Jeanette and Harvey Crewe at Pukekawa, South Auckland, is indelibly burnt into the memory of anyone resident in New Zealand at that time. Most Kiwis know that an innocent man was arrested and spent almost 10 years in prison for two murders he did not commit The story of Arthur Thomas has been well told. The subsequent condemnation by a Royal Commission of Inquiry of two former detectives is also well documented. What has never been disclosed however is the extent of the malpractice which occurred in that double homicide inquiry. Not even the Thomas Royal Commission got to examine that, for reasons All The Commissioner’s Men explains in great depth. Written by veteran journalist, researcher and author Chris Birt (The Final Chapter – third NZ best seller for three weeks in 2001) this new book reveals, for the first time ever, that more than two detectives were involved n this corrupt investigation, and that key players in that nasty game suppressed crucial witness statements, any one of which would have proved categorically that Arthur Thomas was not the murderer. (Syndetics summary)

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Māori

This month there’s a strong theme of reo – self-tuition in grammar and greetings for formal occasions as well as Katerina Mataira’s collection of stories in te reo, for teens. An interesting publication from Huia, showcases Māori scholars writing on the history of Aotearoa New Zealand, there’s Paula Morris’s New Zealand Post fiction award winner, Rangatira and 100 sports heroes.

Syndetics book coverHuia histories of Māori : ngā Tāhuhu Kōrero / edited by Danny Keenan.
“This comprehensive history of Aotearoa New Zealand is written entirely by Māori scholars actively researching and writing in their respective fields. Huia Histories of Māori takes a fresh look at what Māori history is and how it differs markedly from those histories of Māori formerly portrayed, providing both fresh views on events in the past as well as new insights into customary Māori constructions of ‘history’” – (adapted from Back cover summary)

Syndetics book coverTe wahapū : launch yourself into te reo Māori / Ian Cormack.
“Te Whahapū is the second book in this comprehensive, enjoyable and easily understandable self-tuition course for Māori language… The books offer a reference text, workbook and audio resource all in one. They are structured in units, each opening with a dialogue and followed by explanations of words, experessions and language patterns.” – (adapted from Back cover summary)

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History

There’s something for everyone this September. We have a right mash-up of history picks this month: the mystery of the WWII kissing sailor, Kiwi convicts, Queen Victoria, Mexico, the Arctic, and more. Have a browse!

Syndetics book coverThe kissing sailor : the mystery behind the photo that ended World War II / Lawrence Verria & George Galdorisi ; foreword by David Hartman.
“It’s an iconic image, a sailor kissing a nurse in New York City’s Times Square. Photographed on August 14, 1945, by legendary photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt and published in Life, it captures a historic moment, the end of WWII. It’s a safe bet that most of the book’s potential readers have seen the photograph, but who are the people in it? That’s the mystery Verria and Galdorisi attempt to solve in this fascinating piece of detective work. Over the years, there have been numerous theories, and numerous people have come forward saying they are the sailor or the nurse. Verria and Galdorisi offer what they hope is undeniable proof of the unnamed couple’s true identities. They make a persuasive case, assessing the validity of some of the claimants’ stories, using various investigative techniques, including some very clever photographic comparisons, to zoom in on two specific persons who seem to fit the bill. Ultimately, you either accept the authors’ conclusions or you don’t, but you can’t deny that the book provides an intriguing and unique perspective on one of the twentieth century’s most memorable moments.” – (adapted from Booklist summary)

Syndetics book coverConvicts : New Zealand’s hidden criminal past / Matthew Wright.
“New Zealand’s Pakeha origin as a bolt-hole for convicts escaping Australia, a place where former convicts joined whaling and sealing gangs, and where sea captains thumbed their noses at the law, has been quietly forgotten. It has become a hidden part of our past, buried under the convenient fiction that the Treaty of Waitangi is the sole pivot of New Zealand’s colonial story. In Convicts: New Zealand’s Hidden Criminal Past, noted historian Matthew Wright challenges that notion. Our early nineteenth-century Pakeha past is, at least in part, a story of convicts who had found their way past the edge of the law, an age of heroic tales of survival, scurrilous deeds, cannibalism and piracy.Matthew Wright is one of New Zealand’s most published historians and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of University College, London. ‘Matthew Wright is one of our most prolific social historians, an assiduous researcher and an engaging writer.’” – (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

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New Zealand Fiction

From Short Stories to Science Fiction and Fantasy, this selection of new fiction show cases the diversification and skill of New Zealand writers.

cover imageGeist / Philippa Ballantine.
“The first in a new series. Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off malevolent hauntings by the geists. Sorcha Faris , a powerful member of the Order of the Deacons, is dispatched to an isolated village to aid a Priory plagued by violent Geist activity.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA man melting : short stories / Craig Cliff.
“This collection of stories moves from the serious and realistic to the humorous and outlandish, each story copying an element from the previous piece in a kind of evolutionary chain. “A Man Melting” was awarded the 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize Best First Book.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Sport

This month’s selection includes books on card games, golfing tips, fishing, rugby, football and more. Enjoy.

Syndetics book coverGolf’s Moment of Truth : How to play under pressure and conquer the choke point / Robin Sieger.
“Whether amateur or Tour professional, every golfer will experience that crucial moment when victory hinges on just one shot. Make it, they win; blow it and they will re-live the memory on the golf course for years to come. They have arrived at their personal ‘moment of truth’. The question is: can they do it? The follow-up to his successful Silent Mind Golf, and second in a major new four-book series, this new title sees Robin Sieger explore the concept of ‘choking’ and apply his easy-to-grasp mental conditioning techniques to help golfers at all levels perform under pressure.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverUltimate Book of Card Games : The comprehensive guide to more than 350 card games / by Scott McNeely ; illustrations by Arthur Mount.
“Classic and comprehensive, this guide to over 350 games is sure to appeal to all ages. From Bridge to Poker and Solitaire to Hearts, card games are a beloved source of entertainment and competition (and they are recession proof!). This authoritative book is ideal for every household, college dorm, family cabin, or neighborhood bar that has a pack of cards……” (Syndetics summary)

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Aotearoa eNewsletter for September

September is finally here, so technically speaking spring has officially started. I’m not sure if the weather has caught up with the news yet!
While its still cooler outside, take some time out to catch up on the libraries new selection books in the Aotearoa newsletter.  It covers all our favourite things – beer, Piri Weepu, interesting New Zealand histories, Dickens, Austen and golf – so truly something for everyone!

New Zealand Non-Fiction

This months New Zealand recent picks offer a diverse variety of titles, something for everyone!

Syndetics book coverPiri, straight up : cups, downs & keeping calm / with Heather Kidd.
“Piri Weepu’s story is one of the most fascinating New Zealand rugby stories ever told. Born into a strong rugby league family – Piri’s brother Billy actually played for the Kiwis – Piri has risen to the very pinnacle of rugby union, while at the same time never losing his great love of the 13-man code. At 28 and in the year of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, Weepu was finally given his opportunity and didn’t he take it well. For years he had been in the shadows of Jimmy Cowan (not to mention a number of other first-choicers) but on the world stage, Piri stepped up to the mark and won the hearts of a nation. He kicked the goals for the All Blacks, he kicked for position and, in the absence of the incomparable Dan Carter, he ran the backline. His man of the match performance for the All Blacks in the quarter-final against Argentina and then another superb display against arch-rivals Australia in the semi-final cemented his place in New Zealand rugby folklore.” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverBeer nation : the art & heart of Kiwi beer / Michael Donaldson.
“Pull up a bar stool, and listen to the life story of beer in New Zealand . . .Highly illustrated, meticulously researched and warmly told, Beer Nation recounts the early history of beer, exposes the modern age of commerce and big business, and charts the rise of contemporary boutique breweries – through interviews and first-hand stories from the personalities behind beer and brewing in New Zealand. Michael Donaldson’s rich and engaging narrative is complemented by images from brewers’ private collections as well as quotes and archival photography. Beer Nation will inform, delight and awaken your thirst for New Zealand’s favourite beverage.” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverConvicts : New Zealand’s hidden criminal past / Matthew Wright.
“New Zealand’s Pakeha origin as a bolt-hole for convicts escaping Australia, a place where former convicts joined whaling and sealing gangs, and where sea captains thumbed their noses at the law, has been quietly forgotten. It has become a hidden part of our past, buried under the convenient fiction that the Treaty of Waitangi is the sole pivot of New Zealand’s colonial story.In Convicts: New Zealand’s Hidden Criminal Past, noted historian Matthew Wright challenges that notion. Our early nineteenth-century Pakeha past is, at least in part, a story of convicts who had found their way past the edge of the law, an age of heroic tales of survival, scurrilous deeds, cannibalism and piracy.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Māori

This month there’s a strong theme of reo – self-tuition in grammar and greetings for formal occasions, history and more.

Syndetics book coverHuia histories of Māori : ngā Tāhuhu Kōrero / edited by Danny Keenan.
“This comprehensive history of Aotearoa New Zealand is written entirely by Māori scholars actively researching and writing in their respective fields. Huia Histories of Māori takes a fresh look at what Māori history is and how it differs markedly from those histories of Māori formerly portrayed, providing both fresh views on events in the past as well as new insights into customary Māori constructions of ‘history’” – (adapted from Back cover summary)

Syndetics book coverTe wahapū : launch yourself into te reo Māori / Ian Cormack.
“Te Whahapū is the second book in this comprehensive, enjoyable and easily understandable self-tuition course for Māori language… The books offer a reference text, workbook and audio resource all in one. They are structured in units, each opening with a dialogue and followed by explanations of words, experessions and language patterns.” – (adapted from Back cover summary)

Syndetics book coverRangatira : a novel / by Paula Morris.
“This intriguing and engrossing novel vividly brings to life colonial New Zealand and Victorian England through the eyes of a Ngati Wai rangatira. Paula Morris has done an extraordinary job capturing the life of her tupuna, Paratene Te Manu, and gives him a voice that is at once authentic and insightful.” – (Carol Hirschfeld)

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History

Dickens, Austen, Nixon. Sound like an odd mixture? Well, they’re all in our picks of the recent history books this month.

Syndetics book coverA guide to Dickens’ London / Daniel Tyler.
“To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, a generously illustrated guide to the city that was perhaps the greatest of his characters. From Newgate Prison to Covent Garden and from his childhood home in Camden to his place of burial in Westminster Abbey, this guide traces the influence of the capital on the life and work of one of Britain’s best-loved and well-known authors. Featuring more than 40 sites, places of worship and of business, streets and bridges, this comprehensive companion not only locates and illustrates locations from works such as Great Expectations and Little Dorrit but demonstrates how the architecture and landscape of the city influenced Dickens’ work throughout his life. Each site is illustrated with substantial quotations from Dickens’ own writing about the city he loved.” (Global Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverAll roads lead to Austen : a yearlong journey with Jane / Amy Elizabeth Smith ; illustrations by Lucia Mancilla Prieto.
“In this humorous memoir, devoted Austen fan Smith, a writing and literature teacher, sets out to discover whether Austen’s magic translates for readers in six Latin American countries (Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina), where she organizes book clubs to discuss Spanish translations of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma. Though Smith continuously calls attention to her limited Spanish language skills, she skillfully highlights how and why certain Spanish words are apt for describing Austen’s world and characters. Austen’s work provides a touchstone for surprising discussions about class, gender, and race, as well as history and literature. Smith’s account reads like an educational travel blog, full of colorful characters, overviews of the history and the traditions of each culture, as well as reflections on her own preconceived assumptions and stereotypes. This enjoyable book should appeal to fans of literature and travel, especially those interested in Latin America.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverWatergate : the hidden history : Nixon, the Mafia, and the CIA / Lamar Waldron.
“One vast conspiracy begets another in this meticulous but unconvincing theory of the Watergate scandal. Historian Waldron argues that Vice President Richard Nixon was the “driving force” behind joint CIA-Mafia plots to assassinate Fidel Castro in 1959-1960. Waldrop further says that, as president, Nixon instigated the Watergate break-ins, undertaken by his “Plumbers” unit of old CIA Cuba hands, mainly to find a dossier that he feared could expose those earlier schemes. The author presents an exhaustive, lucid chronicle of Cuba and Watergate machinations and decades of Nixon sleaze: dirty campaign tricks, quid-pro-quo Mafia bribes, burglaries, and other felonies by his White House staff. But Waldron’s central claims about Nixon’s involvement in Castro-assassination plots and his Watergate motives are shaky and based largely on stray, ambiguous comments by marginal figures, “associate”-tracing through degrees of separation, and much rank speculation, all backed by confusing source notes. (Much of the book is a rehash of his similarly massive and implausible Legacy of Fear, which argued that the Mafia assassinated President Kennedy.) Readers will learn a lot from Waldron about America’s Cuba policy and Nixon’s many misdeeds, but the author’s search for a narrow logic behind Nixon’s omnidirectional paranoia and criminality distorts more than it clarifies.” (Publisher Weekly)

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Sport

Golfing, shooting, fighting – all sorts of athletic pursuits are highlighted in our sports collection this month.

Syndetics book coverThe Unstoppable Golfer : trusting your mind & your short game to achieve greatness / Bob Rotella with Bob Cullen.
“Dr. Bob Rotella is the pre-eminent golf psychologist to the game’s top players. He has coached stars like Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke-and he has offered his advice to golfers of all skill levels in his bestselling books, including Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect and Golf Is a Game of Confidence. Now, he tackles the mind’s role in the most difficult aspect of golfing …. Bob Rotella was the Director of Sports Psychology for twenty years at the University of Virginia, where his reputation grew as the person champions talked to about the mental aspects of their game.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverThe Power of Shaolin Kung Fu : harness the speed and devastating force of Southern Shaolin jow ga kung fu / Ronald Wheeler.
“From its early beginnings in the ancient Shaolin Buddhist monasteries of China to its depiction in scores of contemporary martial arts films, the classical style of Shaolin Kung Fu continues to reign supreme as the original and most important body of martial arts techniques in the world. This book offers readers a comprehensive course in the fundamental movements that have been practiced and perfected by warrior monks for centuries.” (Syndetics annotation)

Syndetics book coverThe Instinctive Shot : The Practical Guide to Modern Game Shooting / Chris Batha.
“The Instinctive Shot is a practical, straight-forward manual on how to become a better game shooter. The author gives step-by-step explanations of the correct shooting action needed to build a consistent swing and balanced move to the bird, regardless of species or type of shooting – the essential sequence of Eye Brain Hand synchronisation that creates an Instinctive Shot. For Chris Batha, this is a compilation of information and experiences gleaned from his life-long passion for game shooting. His advice is easily understood and alternative suggestions are offered wherever possible. Both clear and concise, The Instinctive Shot emphasises the practical, while not forgetting the theoretical. This book not only describes how to shoot , but it is a reference book covering all aspects of world-wide game shooting from guns, quarry and equipment to etiquette and attire this is a volume for the game wing shooter to refer to time and time again.” (Amazon.com)

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Aotearoa Newsletter for August

Some lovely new New Zealand and Maori non-fiction has arrived for you to enjoy this month. Check out the great selection below!

There’s also some good news for those of you who like to be cozy and snuggled inside on cold winter evenings – the library has increased the lending period for boxed set DVDs. You can now have your fave TV series, or catch up on some quality TV viewing, over three weeks instead of one. And there’s no extra cost – boxed set DVDs are still only $8. Read all about these changes HERE.

New Zealand Non-Fiction

This month’s selection includes books on well known topics in New Zealand. Keith Hunter investigates the 40 year old unsolved case of the Crewe murders, John Julian investigates the Rena disaster and twice Olympic gold medal winner Mark Todd publishes his autobiography. There is also a look at fifty years of the work ofIan Athfield – the architect who designed our very own library building, as well as many of Wellington’s other architectual landmarks. In the graphic novel format “Ngarimu Te Tohu Toa” recounts how Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu became the first Māori soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

Syndetics book coverBlack tide : the story behind the Rena disaster / John Julian.
“Tells the real story of the Rena. The Rena, a 236-metre-long container ship was making 17 knots when she ploughed into the Astrolabe Reef at 2:20am on Wednesday 5 October 2011. She was on her way from Napier towards Tauranga carrying 1368 containers along with 1700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and 200 tonnes of marine diesel. The scene was set for a major economic and environmental catastrophe; a race against time for salvors working in hideous conditions to stem the black tide.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSecond chance : the autobiography / Mark Todd with Kate Green.
“Mark Todd’s eventing career is the stuff of legend and encompasses one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time. When he ‘retired’ from competing in eventing in 2000, he had already been named ‘Rider of the Century’ for his natural empathy with a horse and his extraordinary success, which included back-to-back Olympic gold medals, five Burghley wins and three Badminton victories. He has also show jumped to Olympic level and trained winners on the racecourse.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAthfield Architects / Julia Gatley.
“Over many years, Ian Athfield and his team at Athfield Architects have reshaped New Zealand architecture – from the Buck House at Te Mata Estate to Wellington’s Civic Square, from Jade Stadium to Athfield’s own sprawling settlement on the Khandallah hills. Reflecting on half a century of work, Julia Gatley’s landmark book introduces a major body of architecture through modernism, postmodernism and beyond.” – (adapted from Publisher’s summary)

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Māori

Two links to te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, this month : Alice Te Punga-Somerville’s Once were Pacific, with a lovely front cover by Michel Tuffery, and a very attractive Huia Publishers’ graphic novel of Ngarimu, the VC hero of WWII, with pictures by Andrew Burdan.

Syndetics book coverTe ara : Māori pathways of leadership = Der Weg der Māori / Krzysztof Pfeiffer and Paul Tapsell ; [editor, Peter Dowling ; German translation, Katya Sharpe, Lena Fraser-Landmann ; Māori translation, Hone Sadler].
“Te Ara is a Maori story of tribal leadership from the time our ancestors first ventured into the Pacific over 3000 years ago up to today’s global challenges.” – (adapted from Back cover summary)

Once were Pacific : Māori connections to Oceania / Alice Te Punga Somerville.
“Explores the relationship between indigeneity and migration among Māori and Pacific peoples. Once Were Pacific considers how Māori and other Pacific peoples frame their connection to the ocean, to New Zealand, and to each other through various creative works. In this sustained treatment of the Māori diaspora, Māori scholar Alice Te Punga Somerville provides the first critical analysis of relationships between Indigenous and migrant communities in New Zealand.” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverNgārimu : te Tohu Toa / nā Andrew Burdan ngā pikitia.
“Tells the story of Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu, the first Māori soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross, describing the battle on the 26 & 27th of March 1943 in which he fought heroically, but was killed. Suggested level: secondary.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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History

Before Tom Cruise started divorcing wives, Henry VIII had the biggest “celebrity” divorce around! This month’s history books include a new account of this famous divorce. We also have some great new New Zealand histories, along with looks at the Kings of Scotland and the twelve Caesars. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverThe divorce of Henry VIII : the untold story from inside the Vatican / Catherine Fletcher.
“Given the amount of material available on the Tudors, it’s difficult to think that anyone even remotely interested in this era is unfamiliar with the particulars of Henry VIII’s attempts to seek a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and the resulting political and religious fallout. Fortunately, in her first book, Fletcher (history, Univ. of Durham, England) has found a new angle by focusing on a little-known figure: Gregorio Casali, England’s Italian-born ambassador to Rome. As one of the diplomats charged with securing the Pope’s approval for the divorce, Casali played a central role in the dealings at the papal court. Though some biographical gaps remain, the information Fletcher has uncovered about Casali’s life-full of clashing politics, professional rivalries, and deep family loyalties-provides a fresh perspective on the proceedings of the divorce attempt as well as an in-depth look at the complex world of 16th-century diplomacy. ” – (adapted from Library Journal summary)

Syndetics book coverThe meeting place : Māori and Pākehā encounters, 1642-1840 / Vincent O’Malley.
“The Meeting Place is an examination of relationships between Maori and Pakeha focusing predominantly on the period between 1814 and 1840 when, O’Malley argues, both peoples lived/inhabited a ‘middle ground’- in the historian’s Richard White’s phrase – in which neither could dictate the political, economic or cultural rules. Vincent O’Malley begins by introducing readers to pre-1814 encounters between Maori and European from, Tasman and Cook to sealers and whalers. He then provides a thematic analysis of the 1814 to 1840 period, looking at economic, religious, political and sexual encounters as Maori and Pakeha sorted through the meanings of land, money, gods, leaders and sex. Finally, O’Malley looks at why and how the middle ground gave way to a world in which Pakeha had enough power to dictate terms. The Meeting Place draws on an impressive range of sources to offer a welcome addition to works concerning Maori-Pakeha interaction in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries including those by Anne Salmond, James Belich, Judith Binney, Hazel Petrie, and others. It will appeal to the every general reader interested in New Zealand history but will also be useful for teaching. Its coverage of several major historical debates is likely to serve existing university courses throughout New Zealand as well as the senior secondary school curriculum.” – (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

Syndetics book coverThe grand tour / Agatha Christie ; edited by Mathew Prichard.
“In 1922 Agatha Christie set sail on a 10-month voyage around the British Empire with her husband as part of a trade mission to promote the forthcoming British Empire Exhibition. She kept up a detailed weekly correspondence with her mother, describing in detail the exotic places and people she encountered as the mission travelled through South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada. Previously unpublished letters are accompanied by hundreds of photos taken on her portable camera as well as some of the original letters, postcards, newspaper cuttings and memorabilia collected by Agatha on her trip. The Grand Tour is a book steeped in history, sure to fascinate anyone interested in the lost world of the 1920s. Coming from the pen of Britain’s biggest literary export and the world’s most widely translated author, it is also a fitting tribute to Agatha Christie and is sure to fascinate her legions of worldwide fans.” – (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

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Sport

Sail, run, cycle and unicycle faster with the help of some of our new books! We’ve also got nuggets of sporting trivia, and a look at the world of sports psychology.

Syndetics book coverCyclosportive+ : Preparing for and Taking Part in Long Distance Cycling Challenges / Chris Sidwells.
“Cyclosportives, or long-distance cycle rides, are growing in popularity all over the world. From the Etape du Tour – where cyclists get to ride a stage of the Tour de France – to the Tour of Flanders or the Etape Caledonia in Scotland, these events are pulling big numbers and attracting a range of cyclists. In this new book, bestselling author Chris Sidwells explains how to choose the right sportive, prepare for it both mentally and physically, and get yourself and your bike to the finish line.” – (adapted from Global Books summary)

Syndetics book coverUnicycling : First Steps, First Tricks / Andreas Anders-Wilkens & Robert Mager ; [translated by Andreas Anders-Wilkens and Mark Berninger].
“Presents information and tips for beginning and advanced uncyclists, along with varieties of unicycle and unicycle team sports.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBe a Better Runner : real-world, scientifically proven training techniques that will dramatically improve your speed, endurance, and injury resistance / Sally Edwards, Carl Foster, Roy M. Wallack.
“Written by marathoner and Triathlon Hall of Fame inductee Sally Edwards, Be A Better Runner addresses every possible concern from posture and form to nutrition, footwear and race strategy.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Aotearoa Newsletter for July

Lots of lovely new Maori, history and New Zealand fiction to look at and enjoy this month. You know the drill – you can reserve these titles if they’re not on the shelf. Happy reading!

Library News

Māori

Syndetics book coverPorowhita = Circle songs : two new karakia and twelve new round songs in Māori and English for classrooms, choirs and communities / Sean O’Connor.
“These fourteen new compositions offer classrooms, choirs and communities a chance to rediscover ’round’ singing and its unique musical and social dynamic. Round singing invites equal participation, a balance of following and leading, and a development of heightened musical and social awareness through interwoven melody and rhythm, creating harmony. Weaving together Te reo and English with voices and movement, standing in the circle, singing of the circle of the year, and of proverbs, awakenings and karakia that carry simple but beautiful wisdom.” – (Book cover description)

Syndetics book coverThe meeting place : Māori and Pākehā encounters, 1642-1840 / Vincent O’Malley.
“Vincent O’Malley suggests a solution emerged {to enable the two peoples to live together} at a cultural meeting place in which neither party was able to dictate the rules of engagement…That shared meeting place eroded after 1840 as Pākehā became powerful enough to dictate terms.” – (Back cover description)

Syndetics book coverTiki and temple : the Mormon mission in New Zealand, 1854-1958 / Marjorie Newton.
Details many events that happened from the very beginning of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand in the 1850s. Behind each is a story of faith, devotion, and many hardships.
“The New Zealand Mission of the Mormon Church was virtually two missions – one to the English-speaking immigrants and their descendants, and on to the tangata whenua –people of the land” – (Back cover description)

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History

Syndetics book coverThe grand tour / Agatha Christie ; edited by Mathew Prichard.
“In 1922 Agatha Christie set sail on a 10-month voyage around the British Empire with her husband as part of a trade mission to promote the forthcoming British Empire Exhibition. She kept up a detailed weekly correspondence with her mother, describing in detail the exotic places and people she encountered as the mission travelled through South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada. Previously unpublished letters are accompanied by hundreds of photos taken on her portable camera as well as some of the original letters, postcards, newspaper cuttings and memorabilia collected by Agatha on her trip. The Grand Tour is a book steeped in history, sure to fascinate anyone interested in the lost world of the 1920s. Coming from the pen of Britain’s biggest literary export and the world’s most widely translated author, it is also a fitting tribute to Agatha Christie and is sure to fascinate her legions of worldwide fans.” – (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

Syndetics book coverJackie, Ethel, Joan : the women of Camelot / J. Randy Taraborrelli.
“The Kennedys once again are the focus of a biography, but this time the stories bring together three women who married into the famous family: Jackie Bouvier, Ethel Skakel, and Joan Bennett. Although their childhoods are briefly visited, it is the years of Camelot that are the main focus here, with much attention to its poignant collapse upon the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. Filled with anecdotes derived from an exhaustive list of sources, including interviews and personal letters, there are enough tantalizing interpersonal scenes to keep even the most experienced Kennedy watcher alert. Taraborrelli keeps true to his focus by emphasizing the wives’ reactions, feelings, and accomplishments rather than shifting to the Kennedy family members themselves. Although the narrative borders on the melodramatic at times, the comfortable pace, coupled with a rich reading by Beth Fowler, makes this a necessary purchase for any public library collection.” – (adapted from Library Journal summary)

Syndetics book coverThe queens’ London : the metropolis in the Diamond Jubilee years of Victoria & Elizabeth II / Jon Curry & Hugo Simms.
“In the last years of the nineteenth century, The Queen’s London: A Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Great Metropolis was published. The work, a collection of some of the finest photographs of the capital ever taken, was produced to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of her most excellent Majesty Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India. In 2012, when the eyes of the world will be on London, The Queens’ London brings this story up to date. Pairing these beautifully captured vintage views with 180 images taken from identical vantage points in the London of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, it gives the reader a fascinating perspective on the history behind London’s familiar streets.” – (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

Syndetics book coverColonel Gaddafi’s hat : the real story of the Libyan uprising / Alex Crawford.
“Colonel Gadaffi’s Hat is both a gripping and deeply moving account of the Libyan uprising from the lone journalist who was able to report from the rebel army convoy that captured Green Square, in the heart of Tripoli. Alex Crawford’s daring reports were beamed across news networks from around the globe, and against a dramatic backdrop of celebratory gunfire, Alex and her team showed the world the final symbolic moments of the fall of a regime that had held power for more than 40 years. The euphoria and chaos of that atmosphere of jubilation was soon overcome by the realities of conflict, and the story of the following days that Alex so viscerally tells in this remarkable account is an eye-opening journey full of human stories that are both shocking and touching. A portrait of the last gasps of Gaddafi’s regime, Crawford’s book is an extraordinary insight into modern political conflict and the nature of journalism. The first journalist to be on the scene at a number of key points in the Libyan conflict, Alex has been arrested, shot at, tear gassed and interrogated in the course of her career, and paints a fascinating picture of war journalism. A heart-stopping ride through a dramatic moment in modern history, Colonel Gadaffi’s Hat is a window into both the craft of journalism and the amazing story of Libya’s road to Freedom.” – (adapted from Global Books in Print summary)

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New Zealand Fiction

Syndetics book coverUnnatural selection : a novel / Philip Eastwood.
Loki Blake has never seen the sun, the sky or the stars. No one has. For centuries they’ve been hidden by an oily blanket of cloud the never breaks or disperses. This is the city of Luxor. Long ago when oceans flooded and fossil fuels ran out Luxor rose out of the chaos, becoming the most powerful city in the world, thanks to its industries, fuelled by the fat of animals. As the fumes from burning tallow spread outward, so did Luxor’ s influence. Now Loki’s going to a place beyond the tallow clouds, to a faraway colony of Trasmundo to search for strange and mythical animals, trying to save them from extinction before the clouds of Luxor’s industries spread further. But someone wants Loki to fail and they’re prepared to kill. (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverA foreign country : New Zealand speculative fiction / edited by Anna Caro and Juliet Buchanan.
Strange creatures are loose in Miramar, desperate survivors cling to the remains of a submerged country, humanity’s descendants seek to regain what they’ve lost, and the residents of Gisborne reluctantly serve alien masters. The visions of New Zealand, and beyond, painted in this collection of short stories are both instantly recognisable and nothing like the place we know. (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverFosterling / Emma Neale.
A young man is found unconscious in a remote forest. He is over seven-feet tall, his skin covered in thick hair, which reminds onlookers of an animal’s pelt. When has wakes in a city hospital, he is eerily uncommunicative. Speculation begins. (Book cover)

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Sport

Syndetics book coverDance With Me : Ballroom Dancing and the Promise of Instant Intimacy / Julia A. Ericksen.
“In Dance With Me , Julia Ericksen, a competitive ballroom dancer herself, takes the reader onto the competition floor and into the lights and the glamour of a world of tanned bodies and glittering attire, exploring the allure of this hyper-competitive, difficult, and often expensive activity…” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEngage : The Fall and Rise of Matt Hampson / Paul Kimmage.
“The shocking, controversial, and moving story of Matt Hampson, the rugby player who dislocated his neck and was paralyzed in an England training session “Engage!” was the last word Matt Hampson heard before dislocating his neck while in rugby training with other young England hopefuls…… In that moment his life changed forever. Paul Kimmage went to visit Matt as he recuperated, and wrote an award-winning piece on him for the Sunday Times . They struck up a friendship which led to this spectacular book – where Paul tells Matt’s whole story,….a story of terrible sadness yet unadorned triumph and joy, of anger yet of reconciliation and peace – and of a boy who became a man.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Aotearoa Newsletter for June

There’s of new New Zealand books for you to enjoy in this month’s Aotearoa newsletter, plenty to keep you occupied during the colder months!
Don’t forget you can reserve any of these titles online, you just need your library card.

Library News

Māori

This month’s recent picks showcases the variety of people who call New Zealand home, from Tāngata Whēnua to Irish immigrants to those of Jewish descent.

Syndetics book coverStones bones steam / Philip Andrews.
“Looks at Māori myths and landforms; power of ignimbrite eruptions; early geological exploration; past discoveries of moa, mosasaur and other fossils; the man who made artificial geysers; Rotorua’s great bores versus geysers controversy; and geology in verse” – (adapted from Back cover)

Syndetics book coverBog Irish Micks : the O’Brien family from Scariff : a family history / by Kath Woodley.
“Chronicles the families started by the five children of John O’Brien and Margaret Malone, all of whom left Scariff, Ireland for New Zealand between 1874 and 1883.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJewish lives in New Zealand : a history / Leonard Bell and Diana Morrow, editors.
“The census tells us that 8000 New Zealanders actively identify as Jewish and it is estimated that the broader population is probably around 25,000. There has never been an authoritative history of this country’s Jewish population and yet people of Jewish descent (both secular and religious) have played vital roles in all aspects of our society throughout its history. Auckland alone has had five Jewish mayors. Jews have been prominent in New Zealand’s business, cultural, intellectual, political, medical, intellectual life and more since the 1840s, and successive waves of immigration have added to the tapestry of New Zealand Jewry. This significant book covers key sectors of activity with specialist writers assigned to each. Richly illustrated, it slots another important piece into the jigsaw of our history.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFor gallant service rendered : the life & times of Samuel Austin, NZ Cross, 1831-1903 / Barbara Mabbett.
“Samuel Austins military career began with the British army and ended with the Wanganui Native Contingent in their campaign to capture Te Kooti in 1870. Drawn extensively from Austins own diary, this is the story of his adventurous life as a soldier, settler, and family man. From his childhood in Ireland and service with the 65th Regiment, it vividly details the extensive action he took part in during the turbulent years of the New Zealand Wars, and his later life as a colonist in the growing town of Wanganui.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBishop Monrad in Aotearoa : Ditlev Gothard Monrad’s life and his legacy to New Zealand / edited by Ian Macfarlane ; [text edited by Robin Briggs].
“Monrad cam to Aotearoa New Zealand in 1866 and for almost most three years carried out the strenuous work of being a settler, clearing the land and establishing a farm in the Manawatū. In 1869 he returned to Denmark, but members of his family continued his pioneer work in New Zealand. Before he left , Monrad gave his treasured collection of prints of etchings and engravings by masters of European art to the government and people of New Zealand. This collection is help at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.” – (adapted from Back cover)

Syndetics book coverMāori and social issues / edited by Tracey McIntosh and Malcolm Mulholland.
“This volume canvases a range of social issues that are significant for a better understanding of the experiences and social environment of Māori and highlight the need to ensure research-based solutions to the challenges presently faced– a collection of chapters by specialists in their disciplinary areas from various social and health sciences.” – (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverTe hao nui = The great catch / edited by Fiona McKergow and Kerry Taylor ; photography by Michael Hall.
“Provides … insights into the history, people and places of Manawatū and beyond. Based on the collections of Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History, it reveals the stories of 40 treasured objects, from taonga Māori to domestic craft, children’s toys to early industrial design. Te Hao Nui: The Great Catch also casts light on how museums build their collections, and the legacy these offer future generations” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)

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History

We have some great new history books this month from a Kiwi in Afganistan to when U-boats Attack. Plus revolution in Egypt, a look at the Tower of London, and the assassination of Lincoln. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverZen under fire : a New Zealand woman’s story of love and war in Afghanistan / Marianne Elliott.
“I am about to be left in charge of the office. I’m not sure I am ready for the responsibility, so I double-check with my boss. He reassures me. ‘You’ll be fine, Marianne. As long as no one kills Amanullah Khan, you’ll be fine.’ By midday, Amanullah Khan is dead.” In 2006 Marianne Elliott, a human rights lawyer from New Zealand, is stationed with the UN in Herat. Several months into her new role an important tribal leader is assassinated while she is in charge of the local UN office. She must try to defuse the situation before it leads to widespread bloodshed. ZEN UNDER FIRE is a vivid and deeply personal account of a young woman’s time living and working as a peacekeeper in one of the world’s most notorious battlegrounds. As well as sharing the incredible details of her UN work in and around Herat and the remote province of Ghor, Marianne tells of the shattering effects of this high-stress, high-danger environment on her and her relationships – and how, amid the turmoil, she begins to find her way back to herself.” – (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

Syndetics book coverKilling Lincoln : the shocking assassination that changed America forever / Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever
“O’Reilly, the popular and controversial cable news commentator, teams here with Dugard (Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone) to cover Lincoln’s assassination in a simple and morally unambiguous style. They offer no new insights into the death of Lincoln, just a sensationalist retelling of a familiar story. In pages filled with conjecture about the mental states of the protagonists, the authors succinctly describe the closing battles of the Civil War, the assassination, and its aftermath. They frequently speculate on conspiracy theories that involved secretary of war Edwin M. Stanton in the assassination plot, but they never make accusations except to say his behavior was “suspicious.” It will be interesting to see whether fans of O’Reilly’s television show will flock to his first foray into history the way they have to his books on contemporary issues. VERDICT Written from an unapologetically northern perspective, this book is not for academics but may appeal to readers who enjoy fast-paced, conjectural popular history. It includes an appendix reprinting the Harper’s Weekly account of the assassination written soon after.” – (adapted from Library Journal summary)

Syndetics book coverCairo : my city, our revolution / Ahdaf Soueif.
“They wanted me to talk to them, to tell them stories about it, to tell them how, on the 28th of January when we took the Square and The People torched the headquarters of the hated ruling National Democratic Party, The (same) People formed a human chain to protect the Antiquities Museum and demanded an official handover to the military; to tell them how, on Wednesday, February 2nd, as The People defended themselves against the invading thug militias and fought pitched battles at the entrance to the Square in the shadow of the Antiquities Museum, The (same) People at the centre of the square debated political structures and laughed at stand-up comics and distributed sandwiches and water; to tell them of the chants and the poetry and the songs, of how we danced and waved at the F16s that our President flew over us. People everywhere want to make this Revolution their own, and we in Egypt want to share it.”
Ahdaf Soueif was born and brought up in Cairo. When the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 erupted on January 25th, she, along with thousands of others, called Tahrir Square home for eighteen days. She reported for the world’s media and did – like everyone else – whatever she could.” – (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

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Sport

Fancy walking the length of New Zealand? Then get to know the Te Araroa Trail in one of the highlights added to our catalogue this month. There are also two takes on running; barefoot and ultra marathon. If the outdoor exertion seems to much in this chill, then a definitive English translation of Aaron Nimzowitch’s My system is great news for chess enthusiasts at all levels.

Syndetics book coverA Walking Guide to New Zealand’s Long Trail : Te Araroa / Geoff Chapple.
“This is the guidebook of Te Araroa Trail: The Long Pathway, a continuous trail running from Cape Reinga to Bluff …..The book maps the 3000-kilometre trail in 40-kilometre sections, with maps by leading map maker Roger Smith of Geographx. Author Geoff Chapple is a modern-day visionary who took the concept of a continuous trail running the length of New Zealand and turned it into a reality…” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA life Without Limits / Chrissie Wellington ; with Michael Aylwin.
“Chrissie Wellington is the world’s No 1 female Ironman triathlete, a triple World Champion and World Record holder. In 2009 she was voted Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year, and in 2010 was awarded the MBE. She is the undefeated champion of Triathlon, having won twelve Ironman titles from twelve races. She set a new World Record of 8 hours 19:13 at Quelle Roth Germany in 2010, which slashed over 14 minutes from the previous record and where she was only beaten by six men. She went on to improve this time by another minute in the 2011 race. She also set a new world record for the fastest ever Ironman sanctioned event at Ironman South African in April 2011…..This is the remarkable story of how a Norfolk girl, (a sporty kid, swimming, playing hockey, running, but never excelling and always more interested in the social side of the sports scene) became a world champion.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy System : A Chess Manual on Totally New Principles / Aaron Nimzowitch ; [translated by Ian Adams].
“For the first time, an English-speaking audience can appreciate the true nature of this famous classic chess book, as this brand-new translation recreates the author’s original intention…..This is the first new English translation in decades and, unlike previous translations, does not censor or dilute the author’s writing.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInto the Silence : The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest / Wade Davis.
“In a monumental work of history and adventure, ten years in the writing, Wade Davis asks not whether George Mallory was the first to reach the summit of Everest, but rather why he kept on climbing on that fateful day. His answer lies in a single phrase uttered by one of the survivors as they retreated from the mountain: ‘The price of life is death.’ Mallory walked on because for him, as for all of his generation, death was but ‘a frail barrier that men crossed, smiling and gallant, every day’.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Aotearoa Newsletter for April

Hurray – time to enjoy some time off and lots of chocolate for Easter! Hopefully you all get to have a bit of break.

Don’t forget though that the libraries are closed for the public holidays – Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday.   But if you’re looking for a library-fix then I think that the great selection of new Aotearoa books in this newsletter will be just enough to get you through!

Library News

New Zealand Non-Fiction

With the one year anniversary of the devastating Christchurch earthquake recently remembered, our picks of the recent New Zealand books this month include a number of new books on Christchurch – including a beautiful artist’s tribute to the buildings of Christchurch, stories of people trapped during the earthquake, and books that tell of the ordeal of living in the city and dealing with the aftermath of the quake. (Also included, a few extra titles – including the revised and updated New Zealand Small Business Book.)

Syndetics book coverChristchurch : an artists’ tribute / compiled by Denis Robinson.
“Denis Robinson has compiled a moving tribute to Christchurch with a collection of paintings of the city as it was before the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Many artists returned to old sketchbooks, to discover drawings still waiting to be painted, and these new artworks sit alongside paintings completed in earlier days and others sourced especially for inclusion in this book. With a foreword from Mayor Bob Parker, this is a book that will be treasured by Cantabrians and visitors to Christchurch alike.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverShaken, not stirred : family survival in a quake zone / Amanda Cropp.
“Imagine sharing a portable toilet with your neighbours for months on end, showering in a shipping container in the fire station car park, or travelling for three hours a day on six different buses to get to and from school. Such was life in post-quake Christchurch for Amanda Cropp and her family. Quake damaged roads make travel a nightmare. Yet despite all this, life carries on. The quakes have reinforced the importance of family and friends, and a sense of humour is indispensable. This book will make you laugh and cry. It is funny, provocative and poignant, and shows that living in a disaster zone brings communities together, that people do indeed step up and look after one another. This is a story about the resilience of a community suddenly struggling with the simplest of daily chores in a time of crisis.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFrom crank handles to hydraulics : a history of cranes in New Zealand / by John Carter.
“Cranes of various shapes and sizes have helped shape our nation dating back from around 1840 and today rank as the most familiar item of equipment involved on construction and other sites throughout the country. This book is the first ever produced in New Zealand detailing how cranes and other lifting devices have evolved over the decades. It is an easy read for people of all ages and includes how cranes assisted in the colonisation of New Zealand via the ports and railways and mentions of some of the country’s historical events which necessitated the use of cranes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Māori

This month there is a fascinating book on early New Zealand photography which shows not only well-known portraits and scenes, but gives insightful stories into their backgrounds.

Syndetics book coverMatatoa : fathers & sons / produced and edited by Marina Sciascia, Hilary Pedersen, Brian Morris.
“Porangahau is a significant coastal district, long settled by Ngati Kere iwi and later by high profile early colonisers. Like its highly successful predecessors ‘Hakui Mothers Of Porangahau’ and ‘Tuahine Sisters Of Porangahau,’ the book is a compilation of family- written stories initiated by local women Marina Sciascia and Hilary Pedersen of Te Hanganui Partnership (The Work Of Two). ‘Matatoa Fathers And Sons’ is packed with information. Whakapapa, genealogy, early history and personal recollections sit side by side contained within 450 pages and 300 photographs.” – (excerpts from Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverEarly New Zealand photography : images and essays / edited by Angela Wanhalla and Erika Wolf.
Includes: Persistant images ; Maori photographs in English museum collections by Jocelyne Dudding ; Foy Brothers’ portrait of Ana Rupene Whetuki and child by Ken Hall ; Text and image in Alfred Burton’s photograph of the scene of the ‘Hursthouse outrage’ at Te Kumi (1885 by Christine Whybrew ; Photography and the ethnological macabre by Roger Blackley.

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History

Our picks of the new history books this month includes a beautiful book describing the first encounters Māori had with paper and writing, and the first relationships between Māori and Europeans in the earliest school. Letters to the editor from William Colenso, suggested by some to be an early version of “blogging”. Conspiracy theorists will love the new JFK assination take in “LBJ: the mastermind if the JFK assassination”. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverThe great divide : history and human nature in the old world and the new / Peter Watson.
“Jared Diamond’s 1999 international bestseller GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL sought to explain the rise of the West; why it was that the ‘Old World’ civilizations reached the point at which they could discover and conquer those of the ‘New World’. Peter Watson develops this a great deal further. For 15,000 years mankind existed on both hemispheres of the planet but with no contact between them. Radically different civilizations produced startlingly different mindsets and cultures. One would wipe out the other in within a generation of first contact. THE GREAT DIVIDE will be the first book to reveal just what was lost in the clash of civilizations that ended thousands of years of separate development. In IDEAS, Peter Watson demonstrated an impressive mastery of every historical discipline. Now he will bring his ability to tell a complex big story in an accessible way to explain how the very different conditions of the Americas affected human civilization, religion, agriculture, technology and above all, thought. Contrasting these strands with the history of the ‘Old World’ is a radical new way to examine the political and intellectual history of mankind.” – (Global Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverGive your thoughts life : William Colenso’s letters to the editor / compiled by Ian St George.
“‘…you have the Press, both open and free: use it. Give your thoughts life; let all good measures be brought forward, discussed, and well ventilated.’ – William Colenso, writing to the Hawkes Bay Herald in 1859. The provincial newspaper columns were the ‘public spheres’ of their time, places for geographically separated individuals to contribute opinions to the debates of an immature democracy. But equally they were the vehicles for the passionately held views of bigots egged on by unscrupulous editors eager for exciting copy. These letters from Colenso, and their replies, show colonial politics to be argumentative, fervent and nasty – and the rants of opinionated, self-styled experts are thrilling in their vehemence.” – (Global Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverLBJ : the mastermind of the JFK assassination / Phillip F. Nelson.
“Nelson is not the first to suggest that Lyndon Johnson masterminded JFK’s murder. Readers of Barr McClellan’s Blood, Money & Power (2003) will note that Nelson goes over much of the same ground, casting LBJ as a ruthless, manipulative power-seeker who, in order to avoid being dropped from the reelection ticket (and to avoid the inevitable scandal from past indiscretions), decided his only option was to have the president killed. But Nelson’s boundless enthusiasm, not to mention his (mostly) consistent theory of how it all was arranged and then covered up, should sell the book to conspiracy mavens. Keen-eyed readers will notice that the author’s argument ultimately rests on a simple assertion: LBJ was the only person who could possibly arrange JFK’s assassination, so therefore. axiomatically. he did it. If you buy that, the rest of the author’s arguments flow (mostly) logically; if you don’t, well, the book is still a fascinating read, full of some very clever creative thinking. On the conspiracy-theory plausibility scale, where 1 is crackpot nonsense and 10 is rigorous and persuasive, this one is close to a 7: Nelson definitely hasn’t proven LBJ’s guilt, but he’s built an intriguing and thought-provoking case.” – (Booklist)

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Sport

There’s a good workout for the mind as well as the body in this month’s recent picks selection for Sport and Fitness.

Syndetics book coverWild Horizons : More Great Hunting Adventures / Greig Caigou.
“Greig’s first book, Hunting Adventures, shared the experience of an ordinary New Zealand hunter who gets out into the back-country whenever he can. In this second volume, he still aims to get beyond the road-end and into more wild horizons” – (Book cover description)

Syndetics book coverRugby League Through the Decades : all the players, all the statistics– everything that’s happened in rugby league since 1907 / Ian Collis, Alan Whiticker.
“A celebration of each epoch of the game throughout Australian history. Including almost 1000 images, many never before published, rare memorabilia, season records and international details, it is completely up to the minute with chapters about recent events, new clubs and fresh controversy. Also covers tour matches from Perth to Brisbane and points in between.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInside the Divide : one city, two teams, the Old Firm / Richard Wilson.
“Since 1888, Rangers and Celtic football clubs have been locked into an intense and frequently explosive rivalry: Rangers the product of West Scotland’s Protestant establishment, Celtic the team founded to raise money for the Catholic underclass of Glasgow.On 2 January 2010 the two teams met in the Old Firm’s New Year Derby, a fixture that had been banned for ten years because of the trouble it brought with it. Richard Wilson puts that game at the centre of a book which delves into the history and widens out to the cultural resonance of the fixture within Scotland. It is a potent mix of close-up observation and big-picture thinking, with insight, understanding and depth.” – (adapted from Global Books summary)

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Aotearoa eNewsletter for March

Some topical titles for March – plenty to commemorate a year since the Christchurch earthquake and a somewhat humorous look at Australian prime ministers.  A great selection of new books truth be told – so get reserving!

Also, don’t forget that the new season of Law for Lunch kicks off this Wednesday at the Central Library, with a talk about relationship property.

New Zealand Non-Fiction

Topics of the moment are covered in our New Zealand new book picks this month (rugby, wearable arts and Christchurch pre- and post-earthquake). To round off our selection, we also have Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthries’ book The Big Kahuna, which has generated a lot of interest since being discussed on National Radio.

Syndetics book coverGwenda Turner’s Christchurch : an enchanted journey through the garden city / written, illustrated and designed by Gwenda Turner.
“The essence of Christchurch, its elegance and charm, are captured forever by artist Gwenda Turner in this truly memorable book. Using a blend of old photographs, mementos and original paintings, this book is both a tribute and a celebration of the Garden City.” (Adapted from inside front cover)

Syndetics book coverChristchurch : a portrait of yesterdays / [Graham Stewart].
“The author spent the first week of February – two weeks before the earth moved – shooting a photographic essay of Christchurch and the suburbs to complement photographs he had taken in the early 1950’s. His colour photographs taken in February suddenly became yesterdays pictures. The photograph of the cathedral on the front cover was taken on 2 February, 20 days before the earthquake.” (Inside back cover)

Syndetics book coverEarthquake : Christchurch, New Zealand, 22 February 2011 / text by Chris Moore and Press Journalists ; images by Press and Fairfax photographers ; picture research by Jude Tewnion.
“Powerfully and movingly written by a number of Press staffers and illustrated with striking images from the Press team. DVD includes footage taken 10 minutes after the quake, many personal stories plus the incredible footage that screened at the Day of Remembrance.” (Back cover)

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Māori

This month there is a fascinating book on early New Zealand photography which shows not only well-known portraits and scenes, but gives insightful stories into their backgrounds.

Syndetics book coverWhaikōrero. Tangata whenua 1 : a study of formal speeches of welcome made by the host delegation in indigenous oral literature / by Sam Rerekura.
“I am privileged to share with you the notion that the tikanga rituals of welcoming visitors and feeding them on the marae, originate from the heavens…. This is the second of a set of four resources created to instruct stage one students in whaikōrero. It focuses on speeches made by the tangata whenua or host people when welcoming visitors.” – (Introduction)

Syndetics book coverAlways speaking : the Treaty of Waitangi and public policy / edited by Veronica M.H. Tawhai and Katarina Gray-Sharp.
“The place of the Treaty of Waitangi in public policy has undergone radical changes over the past few decades in response to debates on the role of the Treaty in New Zealand’s development. In this publication, the foremost Māori thinkers provide insights on the current place of the Treaty, the challenges faced and possibilities for further development” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)

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History

In this month’s pick on new history books you’ll find ‘The Twitter Year’, a look at 2011 through the medium of social media. Ever wondered where your name comes from and how it relates to your family history? Take a peek at ‘Surnames, DNA, and Family History’. ‘The good, the bad & the unlikely: Australia’s prime ministers’ shows us that maybe our lot aren’t that bad after all; and Michael E. Smith has an up-to-date revisionist look at the history behind the interesting Aztec peoples. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverThe Twitter year : 365 days in 140 characters / compiled by Kate Bussmann.
“The first ever social-media almanac presents 12 months as witnessed by the 100-million-strong tweeting community. It captures a dramatic year in news, culture and sport, from the death of Osama Bin laden to the Royal Wedding – all told through tweets, graphics and fascinating facts. Distilling from the 230 million tweets that are now sent each day, this is history through a lens.” (Library Catalogue)
In the year the social network celebrates its 5th birthday, Twitter continues to grow at an incredible rate. There are now over 200 million accounts across the world, including Lady Gaga, the British monarchy, Lord Voldemort and a lot of pets. A Twitter Year gathers some of the funniest and sharpest tweets to bring you a unique celebration of the way we talk now. (Global Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverSurnames, DNA, and family history / George Redmonds, Turi King, and David Hey.
“This book combines linguistic and historical approaches with the latest techniques of DNA analysis and show the insights these offer for every kind of genealogical research. It focuses on British names, tracing their origins to different parts of the British Isles and Europe and revealing how names often remain concentrated in the districts where they first became established centuries ago. In the process the book casts fresh light on the ancient peopling of the British Isles. The authors consider why some names die out, and how others have spread across the globe. They use recent advances in DNA testing to discover whether particular surnames have a single, dual or multiple origins and whether various forms of a name have a common origin. They show how information from DNA canbe combined with historical evidence and techniques to distinguish between individuals with the same name and different names with similar spellings and to identify the name of the same individual or family spelt in various ways in different times and places. Clearly written and illustrated with hundreds of examples, this book will be welcomed by all those engaged in genealogical research, including everyone seeking to discover the histories of their names and families.” (Global Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverThe good, the bad & the unlikely : Australia’s prime ministers / Mungo MacCallum.
Good drinkers, bad swimmers and unlikely heroes. Since the nation’s birth in 1901, twenty-seven politicians have sat in Australia’s driving seat. Their time at the top has ranged from eight days for Frank Forde to eighteen years for Bob Menzies. Whatever the length of their term, each prime minister has a story worth sharing. Edmund Barton united the bickering states in a federation; Billy Hughes knocked US president Woodrow Wilson down a peg or two. The unlucky Jimmy Scullin took office days before Wall Street crashed into the Great Depression, while John Curtin admirably rose to the challenge of wartime leadership. The much-loved Ben Chifley refused to wear a dinner suit to meet the king, and Jolly John Gorton’s partying lost him the job. With characteristic wit and expert political knowledge, Mungo MacCallum brings the nation’s leaders to life on the page. THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UNLIKELY tells the fascinating tales of the men and woman who’ve had a fair crack at running the country. It is a wonderfully entertaining education. (Global Books In Print)

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New Zealand Fiction

From Short Stories to Science Fiction and Fantasy, this selection of new fiction show cases the diversification and skill of New Zealand writers.

cover imageGeist / Philippa Ballantine.
“The first in a new series. Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off malevolent hauntings by the geists. Sorcha Faris , a powerful member of the Order of the Deacons, is dispatched to an isolated village to aid a Priory plagued by violent Geist activity.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA man melting : short stories / Craig Cliff.
“This collection of stories moves from the serious and realistic to the humorous and outlandish, each story copying an element from the previous piece in a kind of evolutionary chain. “A Man Melting” was awarded the 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize Best First Book.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Sport

This month’s picks cover classic summer activities like cycling, tennis, swimming, cricket. Also, gain insight into the likes of Theo Walcott and Shane Watson with some sporting biographies.

Syndetics book coverCold Water Souls / Chris Nelson.
“Cold Water Souls” goes in search of surfing’s cold water pioneers, from the wilds of Alaska to the frozen wastes of Nova Scotia, and from Scotland’s storm-lashed north coast to Japan’s Hokkaido island. Surf writer Chris Nelson has teamed up with some of world’s top surf photographers to produce this stunning account of the world’s most extreme surfing environments.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInto the Silence : The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest / Wade Davis.
“If the quest for Mount Everest began as a grand imperial gesture, as redemption for an empire of explorers that had lost the race to the Poles, it ended as a mission of regeneration for a country and a people bled white by war.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Aotearoa Newsletter for February

Welcome to the first Aotearoa newsletter!

This is the perfect time to invite you to join Wellington City Libraries in celebrating Waitangi Day. The libraries won’t be open for the holiday, but we will be celebrating at the Wharewaka on the waterfront. We’re hosting storytime sessions with poet and novelist Apirana Taylor at 10.40 and 11.30.  There’ll also be free badges and book giveaways.  Hope to see you there!

Library News

New Zealand Non-Fiction

Topics of the moment are covered in our New Zealand new book picks this month (rugby, wearable arts and Christchurch pre- and post-earthquake). To round off our selection, we also have Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthries’ book The Big Kahuna, which has generated a lot of interest since being discussed on National Radio.

Syndetics book coverSonny Bill Williams : the story of rugby’s new superstar / John Matheson.
“Sonny Bill Williams: The story of rugby’s new superstar tells the story of Williams stunning transformation from one of league’s ‘most hated’ to one of rugby’s ‘most loved’.” (adapted from back cover)

Syndetics book coverOff the wall : the World of WearableArt/ photography by Martin de Ruyter, Neil Price, Rohit Chawla and Daniel Rose.World of Wearable Art
“All new photos of garments from the last two shows, as well as new photos of some of the most extraordinary award-winning entries from the last decade”–Cover.

Syndetics book coverChristchurch : a portrait of yesterdays / [Graham Stewart].
“The author spent the first week of February – two weeks before the earth moved – shooting a photographic essay of Christchurc and the suburbs to complement photographs he had taken in the early 1950’s. His colour photographs taken in February suddenly became yesterdays pictures. The photograph of the cathedral on the front cover was taken on 2 February, 20 days before the earthquake.” (Inside back cover)

Syndetics book coverThe big kahuna : tax and welfare / [Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthrie].
“The big kahuna takes as its base assumption that we don’t, as a society, accept that huge differences in income are acceptable and that we therefore choose to redistribute wealth. While they are generally regarded as separate, the tax and welfare systems are fundamentally both methods of doing just that – redistributing income from those who have plenty to those who don’t.” –Back cover.

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Māori

This month there are two interesting books for te reo students: loan words, and a book of phrases. There’s a very comprehensive, heavy publication of Māori freshwater fisheries, a description of trading cultures of the North, a beautifully illustrated collection of kākahu from Te Papa, and no. 9 in the series of Huia short stories.

Syndetics book coverThe Raupō phrasebook of modern Māori : the user-friendly guide for all New Zealanders / Scotty Morrison. “The phrasebook also covers dialects, grammar and pronunciation ; answers to key questions ; idioms and slang ; proverbs ; and provides information on the ever-changing history of te reo Māori”–back cover”.

Syndetics book coverTrading cultures : a history of the Far North / Adrienne Puckey. “This is the story of how and why Māori and Pākehā in one area of Aotearoa New Zealand related, reacted, traded, negotiated and sometimes married, from the times they first met in the 1700s and 1800s until today. It is the socio-economic and political history of Te Hiku o Te Ika-a-Māui that views the economy as a social system, through which people exchange goods and services within communities, and between communities and the wider world”–p.iv.

Syndetics book coverHuia short stories. 9, Contemporary Māori fiction. From the Pikihuia Awards for Maori Writers 2011. Stories by: PJ Akuhata, Tania Bayer, Sharon Clair, Piripi Evans, Ann French, Anahera Gildea, Olivia Giles, K-T Harrison , Hira Hunapo, Mataia Keepa, Te Atawhai Kumar, Robert Madden, Dionne Norman, Raschel-Miette, Terence Rissetto, Marama Salsano, Mark Sweet, Gordon Te Araroa-Ham, Fred Te Maro, Erin Thompson-Pou, Anita Tipene, Helen Waaka, T.C. Waikato, Lesley Rain Walker, Challen Wilson ; 26 stories in English; 5 stories in Maori.

Syndetics book coverKo Aotearoa tēnei : te taumata tuarua : a report into claims concerning New Zealand law and policy affecting Māori culture and identity.
“This three volume report addresses the Wai 262 claim concerning law and policy affecting Māori culture and identity, intellectual property in ‘taonga works’, Māori interests in genetic and biological resources in indigenous flora and fauna, Māori involvement in decision-making on resource management and conservation, Crown support for te reo Māori, Crown control of mātauranga Māori, and rongoa Māori and Māori input into NZ’s positions on international instruments”–back cover.

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History

There’s a great selection of new history books at the library this month – here are our picks! Choose from a chronicle of history’s 100 worst atrocities to the mystery, murder and intrigue surrounding Alexander the Great, the Borgias, and the Elizabethan Court. Have a browse:

Syndetics book coverThe great big book of horrible things : the definitive chronicle of history’s 100 worst atrocities / Matthew White.
“The subtitle might be a little grandiose (can one writer’s opinions be definitive?), but the book is undeniably compelling. The author, an expert in atrocitology (a useful word he appears to have made up), has put together a serious and seriously interesting collection of events that have resulted in massive loss of human life. From Alexander the Great to the collapse of the Mayan Empire to the Crusades to the Napoleonic Wars to WWII to Saddam Hussein to the genocide in Rwanda, the author takes readers on a lively, opinionated, fact-filled trip through the violent history of humankind. White makes sure to give us all the important facts (death toll, time frame, historical context, etc.), but he also provides some entertaining commentary (History likes the Third Crusade. This was the classy crusade, where wise and virtuous kings hacked each other apart with honor and style). For students, the book is a very useful and informative supplement to history texts. For the general reader, it’s a very good way to browse the dark side of human history.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverThe Borgia chronicles / Mary Hollingsworth.
“The Borgia family of Renaissance Italy has become a byword for pride, lust, cruelty, avarice, splendour and venomous intrigue. They have inspired abomination and fascination in almost equal measure, comparable to the Corleone clan depicted in Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather. Indeed, Puzo himself featured the Borgias in his last novel, The Family, and the Borgias have inspired many other works of fiction together with plays, films, and even an opera – Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia. Of Spanish origin, the Borgias came to prominence in the Italy of the 15th century, at a time when the spiritual values of the medieval Church were being swept aside by the worldly secularism of the Renaissance. They also became notorious for licentiousness, venality and indeed all forms of immorality, while at the same time their patronage of the arts helped to bring about some of the greatest artistic masterpieces of the Renaissance.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverGhost on the throne : the death of Alexander the Great and the war for crown and empire / James Romm.
“In this fast-paced and absorbing account, Bard College classics professor Romm chronicles the political intrigues and military conflicts of the half-dozen generals who struggled for power after Alexander the Great’s death in 323 B.C.E. The goal for each was control over an empire stretching from the Danube to the Indus. Because Alexander left no will or obvious successor, his seven closest friends – the Bodyguards – fought not only to preserve Alexander’s Macedonian empire but also among themselves to mark out territory to rule. Drawing deeply on sources such as Plutarch’s Lives and the anonymous The Lives of the Ten Orators, Romm brings to life the Bodyguards and their struggles to maintain their territories.” (Publishers Weekly)

Syndetics book coverLady Almina and the real Downton Abbey : the lost legacy of Highclere Castle / by the Countess of Carnarvon.
“The remarkable story behind the real Downton Abbey. Lady Fiona Carnarvon became the chatelaine of Highclere Castle – the setting of the hit series Downton Abbey – eight years ago. In that time she’s become fascinated by the rich history of Highclere, and by the extraordinary people who lived there over the centuries. One person particularly captured Fiona’s imagination – Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. Almina was the illegitimate daughter of banking tycoon Alfred de Rothschild. She was his only daughter and he doted on her. She married George, the Earl of Carnarvon, at 19 with an enormous dowry. At first, life at Highclere was a dizzying mix of sumptuous banquets for 500 and even the occasional royal visitor. Almina oversaw 80 members of staff – many of whom came from families who had worked at Highclere for generations. But when the First World War broke out, life at Highclere changed forever.” (Global Books In Print)

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New Zealand Fiction

From Short Stories to Science Fiction and Fantasy, this selection of new fiction show cases the diversification and skill of New Zealand writers.

Syndetics book coverA man melting : short stories / Craig Cliff.
“This collection of stories moves from the serious and realistic to the humorous and outlandish, each story copying an element from the previous piece in a kind of evolutionary chain. “A Man Melting” was awarded the 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize Best First Book.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTortolona / Thomas W. Devine.
“Seven Caribbean tourists become pawns in the struggle for ideological and political control of Tortolona when a Cuban-trained army officer, Martin Levera, seeks to overthrow the dictatorship of Mathew Duppie. When Levera lead his mutineers aggainst the rest of the Tortolonan Army all their lives are in peril whatever the outcome.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe sweet second life of Darrell Kincaid / Catherine Robertson.
“No one knows ‘happy endings’ like romance novelist Darrell Kincaid. In the act of adding the final full stop to her ninth book, Darrell has a revelation: it’s not the ending that really matters but what comes next. Darrell now sees that when her husband Tom died she lost more than the man she loved. She lost her own ‘happy ever after’. Darrell knows she has a choice. She can stay in New Zealand and live a half-life, or she can leave in search of something, perhaps someone else.” – (adapted from Book cover)

The flax trader : a historical novel / Brad Bradley. A historical novel based on the adventurous life og Jon W. Harris, earliest settler of Poverty Bay.
Going to sea at an early age, he works as a convict overseer in NSW where he encounters the infamous Rev. Samuel Marsden and suffers his first tragedy. Later trading around the coast of New Zealand, he marries high-born Tukura. The clash of Harris’s rationality with religious and superstitious beliefs in Maroi and European society leads to dire consequences, as his world is turned upside down by the deaths and betrayal of the women he loves, and finally the Hauhau and Te Kooti rebellion. (Book cover)

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Sport

This month’s picks cover classic summer activities like cycling, tennis, swimming, cricket. Also, gain insight into the likes of Theo Walcott and Shane Watson with some sporting biographies.

Syndetics book coverZinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance / Lennard Zinn ; illustrated by Todd Telander.
“Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance” is the world’s best-selling book on mountain bike maintenance and repair. This smartly organized and clearly illustrated guide–now in two colors for easier reference–can make a bike mechanic out of anyone. Lennard Zinn’s expert advice makes quick work of mountain bike repair. Newcomers and experienced mechanics alike will benefit from the hundreds of illustrations, the exploded views of how components go together, and Zinn’s practical, time-saving tips…… no matter what mountain bike you may have in your garage, chances are you’ll find it–and the way to fix it–in these pages.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWatto / Shane Watson with Jimmy Thomson.
“For Shane Watson, this was a body blow, even more devastating than the injuries that had stalled his promising career. It felt like the end of his boyhood dreams of being Australia’s number one all-rounder. He was shattered. He might never wear the Baggy Green again, even as a batsman. With so many talented young players available, he was losing the weapon that made him stand out from the crowd.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Sports Insider : A Life Among Champions / Jack Ralston with Steve Kilgallon.
“Jack Ralston is New Zealand’s ultimate sports insider. Having started his sporting career training with Arthur Lydiard, he went on to head up Nike Sports Marketing working with greats like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Carl Lewis. Drawn back to New Zealand, Jack then worked for the New Zealand Rugby Union, trained triathletes like Hamish Carter and worked with Round-the-World yachting syndicates. He’s a businessman, a sportsman, a trainer and a great story teller.” (Global Books)

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