Book Club eBooks on Libby

Good books do not invite unanimity. They invite discord, mayhem, knife fights, blood feuds.”
― Joe Queenan

Running a book club has always had challenges:
Can everyone get a copy of the book in time?
Can all the members of the group afford the cost?
Will the overseas suppliers get extra copies in on time?

Well, help is at hand in the form of a new service from our electronic Libby/Overdrive collection.

The Book Club is a specially selected collection of over 400 Book club titles. All available to download instantly onto your electronic device.

With twenty four seven day access to all selected Book club titles, there is no waiting. Access is instant and there is no charge and no limit to the number of copies available. The title automatically expires once the borrowing period ends, so there is no need to worry about returning the book. The collection features fiction, poetry and Nonfiction titles including an extensive classic range of over 300 titles from The Art of War by Sun Tzu to Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.

There is also a carefully curated selection of Aotearoa Titles such as the Booker Award Winning The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton as well as a young adult selection and a children’s selection.

This new Book Club service is ideal for book clubs, book groups or just loose collections of friends or acquaintances who all want to read the same title at the same time. Though of course if you’re not part of a book club or reading group you are more than welcome to borrow any of these titles as an individual.

Below is just a very small selection of the titles available. To explore further go to our Libby/Overdrive site. Enjoy!

Overdrive cover Colin McCahon, Peter Simpson (ebook)
“The first of an extraordinary two-volume work chronicling forty-five years of painting by New Zealand’s most important artist, Colin McCahon.Colin McCahon (1919–1987) was New Zealand’s greatest twentieth-century artist. Through landscapes, biblical paintings and abstraction, the introduction of words and Maori motifs, McCahon’s work came to define a distinctly New Zealand modernist idiom. Collected and exhibited extensively in Australasia and Europe, McCahon’s work has not been assessed as a whole for thirty-five years.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Baby, Annaleese Jochems (ebook)
“Cynthia can understand how Anahera feels just by looking at her body.Cynthia is twenty-one, bored and desperately waiting for something big to happen. Her striking fitness instructor, Anahera, is ready to throw in the towel on her job and marriage. With stolen money and a dog in tow they run away and buy ‘Baby’, an old boat docked in the Bay of Islands, where Cynthia dreams they will live in a state of love. But strange events on an empty island turn their life together in a different direction.”(Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Walden, Henry David Thoreau (ebook)
“One of the most famous non-fiction American books, Walden by Henry David Thoreau is the history of Thoreau’s visit to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s woodland retreat near Walden Pond. Thoreau, stirred by the philosophy of the transcendentalists, used the sojourn as an experiment in self reliance and minimalism… Part autobiography, part manifesto Walden is a moving treatise on the importance distancing oneself from the consumerism of modern Western society and embracing nature in its place.”(Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Moby Dick, Herman Melville (ebook)
“The itinerant sailor Ishmael begins a voyage on the whaling ship Pequod whose captain, Ahab, wishes to exact revenge upon the whale Moby-Dick, who destroyed his last ship and took his leg. As they search for the savage white whale, Ishmael questions all aspects of life. The story is woven in complex, lyrical language and uses many theatrical forms, such as stage direction and soliloquy.”(Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Brain, David Eagleman (ebook)
“This is the story of how your life shapes your brain, and how your brain shapes your life.’ Join renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman on a whistle-stop tour of the inner cosmos. It’s a journey that will take you into the world of extreme sports, criminal justice, genocide, brain surgery, robotics, and the search for immortality. On the way, amidst the infinitely dense tangle of brain cells and their trillions of connections, something emerges that you might not have expected to see: you.”(Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit (ebook)
“A Field Guide to Getting Lost is an investigation into loss, losing and being lost. Taking in subjects as eclectic as memory and mapmaking, Hitchcock movies and Renaissance painting, Rebecca Solnit explores the challenges of living with uncertainty. Beautifully written, this book combines memoir, history and philosophy, shedding glittering new light on the way we live now.”(Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Pachinko, Min Jin Lee (ebook)
“Yeongdo, Korea 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child, their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife.Sunja’s salvation is just the beginning of her story. Through eight decades and four generations, Pachinko is an epic tale of family, identity, love, death and survival.”(Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Plank’s Law, Lesley Choyce (ebook)
“Trevor has known since he was ten years old that he has Huntington’s disease, but at sixteen he is informed that he has one year to live. One day while he’s trying to figure stuff out, an old man named Plank finds him standing at a cliff by the ocean. It’s the beginning of an odd but intriguing relationship. Both Trevor and Plank decide to live by Plank’s Law, which is “just live.” This means Trevor has to act on the things on his bucket list, like hanging out with real penguins, star in a science fiction movie and actually talk to Sara—the girl at the hospital who smiles at him. With the aid of Plank and Sara, Trevor revises his bucket list to include more important things and takes charge of his illness and his life.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

First collection of always available digital Book Club titles through the eBook and audiobook reading app Libby. For more information on how to get started with the Libby app, go to our eLibrary page or contact us here for further helpful assistance.

Libby available in Chinese : 中文版的Libby

It is now possible to use OverDrive’s award-winning app, Libby, in Simplified and in Traditional Chinese. If you already use Simplified or Traditional Chinese with your device, Libby will automatically browse, search and display account information in that language now. By changing the default language on your device within the settings, you can then view Libby in your newly chosen language.
现在可以用简体或者繁体中文来使用Overdrive获奖的 app Libby了。 如果您的设备本来就使用简体或者繁体中文的话,Libby会自动使用该语言进行浏览, 搜索或者显示您的账户信息。通过在设置里修改默认语言, 您就可以在Libby上使用所选择的语言。

We also have an eBook collection in Chinese on the OverDrive platform. To access the collection in your browser, go to our Overdrive website (this is a slightly different, alternate option for accessing the Overdrive platform — an alternative to the Libby website). Under the menu across the top left click on ‘Collections’, and then on ‘Chinese’ under ‘Special’. You should end up here Chinese Collection on Overdrive . The same collection is available on the Libby app. To find it on Libby, click on ‘Library’, and then click on ‘Explore’ — it is listed under ‘Guide: Chinese’.
在 Overdrive 平台上,我们也有中文电子书。您可以使用浏览器在 https://wcl.overdrive.com 获取, 在菜单的左上方点击Collections 然后在“Special”下面点击“Chinese” ,您会看到https://wcl.overdrive.com/library/chinese 这个页面。Libby 上也有同样的书集。 途径是:点击“Library”, 然后点击“Explore”, 然后在“Guide: Chinese” 里面就能找到。

You can also read the OverDrive site in Simplified Chinese. Across the very top right of the page there is an arrow next to ‘English’. Click this to change the browsing language to Simplified Chinese.
您也可以在 Overdrive页面里用简体中文阅读。 在页面的最右上方,有一个箭头就在“English” 旁边, 点击该箭头把浏览语言改成简体中文即可。

Book Club eBooks now ready to read on Libby

I once facilitated a book group every month on a Friday afternoon at the wonderfully diverse Newtown library involving 8 book-loving, library users. We would discuss the ideas, plots, characters, sense of place and theme of each book like this would be our last, usually over coffee, tea and scones.

Now, that sense of communal engagement can continue on a larger scale with our first collection of always available digital Book Club titles through the eBook and audio-book reading app Libby.

Libby Book Club

We have hundreds of titles to choose from across adult fiction, Aotearoa, nonfiction, kids and teen audiences for discovery by book groups, for community reads, and fiery or friendly discussion. Expect thought-provoking reads across genres like mystery, science fiction, classic literature, poetry and award-winning fiction but also best-selling popular biographies, science and business nonfiction.

Here’s a quick selectors pick of 10 of some of the always available titles ready to read now:

  1. The Luminaries by Eleanor Cotton
  2. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
  3. The Bitterroots by C J Box
  4. When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
  5. Hera Lindsay Bird by Hera Lindsay Bird
  6. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty
  7. Te Koparapara: An Introduction the the Maori World 
  8. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  9. Monster series by Michael Grant
  10. Mophead by Selina Tusitala Marsh

For even more options try our carefully chosen selection of over 370 classic novels by Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens – an entire pantheon of always available literary classics.

For more information on how to get started with the Libby app, go to our eLibrary page or contact us here for further helpful assistance.

The best of BBC audiobooks on Libby and OverDrive

In case you didn’t know, the BBC continues to add provocative, clever, funny shows on their various radio stations, only to then combine these complete seasons of unique, mostly-excellent content as audio books.

Over the last few years, we’ve added many of these daring, unique series on our OverDrive website, ready to be devoured in long and short sittings, or passively enjoyed whilst pruning the roses, and washing the car.

Below are recent BBC audio book favourites assembled to represent the many facets of the BBC comedy-template – original ghostly comic-dramas, expertly acted mockumentaries, intricately plotted true-life one-woman shows, panel shows devoted to the strange, curious and hilarious and small town comedy-monologues that reveal a regions very heart and soul.

Read further for brief reviews of these BBC-faves – good listening!

Overdrive cover The Hauntening, Tom Neenan (Audiobook)
Comic writer, Tom Neenan has authored a truly original combination of modern comic sitcom and Black Mirror-lite supernatural scenario. Demonic fridges threaten, dating apps haunt suddenly, and podcasts are inhabited by murderous spirits. Neenan adopts an awkward, self-obsessed persona lending an underlying vulnerability to spooky proceedings whilst the accomplished production is full of effective sound effects, ambience and sharp jokes. Expect the odd genuine scare, but more often a deep satisfying belly laugh.

Overdrive cover Sarah Kendall–Australian Tales, Sarah Kendall (Audiobook)
Each one of Kendall’s Australian Tales is a complete and compelling story in its own right, but all the tales together represent a significant achievement of comic-tragic story telling. Each tale leaps backwards and forwards and time, challenging your attention and grabbing it at the same time, whilst remembering difficult teenage years, ongoing family tensions and those awkward yet unforgettable moments that create change and form identity. Kendall’s natural, funny narration is suited to the candid subject matter, providing carefully judged pathos and comic timing to proceedings. Winner of the 2018 Writers’ Guild Award for Best radio Comedy and the Silver Aria Award for Best Storytelling.

‘A mini masterpiece of tragicomic storytelling’ **** – The Times.

Overdrive cover Alex Horne Presents the Horne Section, The Complete Series 1-3, Alex Horne (Audiobook)
Famously partly responsible for TV series Taskmaster and classy intermissions on 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Alex Horne and the Horne Section also produced silly, brilliantly played musical radio comedy shows through 2012 – 2014. The complete series is frantically performed in front of a receptive studio audience, also starring special comedy guests like Nick Helm, Sara Pascoe and Matt Lucas. Song titles include ‘Ode To Tash’s Fashion Sense,’ ‘Those were the days (of the week)’ and ‘Battleships! theme song.’ Expect hours of punishing puns, hit-and-miss novelty songs and surprisingly competent musicality.

Overdrive cover Susan Calman–Keep Calman Carry On, Susan Calman (Audiobook)
‘My name is Susan Calman and I am a very tense person.’ So begins episode one of Keep Calman carry on. Susan Calman then begins to find some way to cope with her tension through trying something new, designed to distract, help unwind and relax. Whether through viewing art with Phill Jupitus, gardening with Val McDermid, visiting a music festival with Robin Ince or hill walking with Muriel Gray, Calman gamely and enthusiastically embraces new experiences with an open spirit and genuineness, unrelated to conventional ideas of success and failure. In this case, if you try, you succeed. Listening to this excellent series may make you want to be a better person.

Overdrive cover The Museum of Curiosity–Series 9-12, John Lloyd (Audiobook)
Now well into its tenth year, The Museum of Curiosity has become a reliable and ingenious mainstay of the UK comedy radio scene. Through 14 series, famed comedy producer John Lloyd has hosted comedians, historians, scientists, politicians and more from across the world in a compelling chat show devoted to the quirky, unusual and surprising. Each season is hosted by Lloyd with a different comedian including Bill Bailey, Jo Brand, Sean Lock, Sarah Millican and each episode introduces three new guests willing to add a virtual exhibition to the ever-growing curious museum of oddities. Each season is renewed by its new comedian co-host and the list of carefully chosen guests provide an old-school intelligence and fresh chemistry to proceedings – a series built to last.

Overdrive cover Mark Steel’s In Town–Series 7 & 8, Mark Steel (Audiobook)
Everyone lives in a small town, in one way or another and Mark Steel’s warm evocation of village, seaside and country life has become a portrait of enduring everyday strangeness. From rampant goats and peacocks over-running small holdings, to inland ‘seaside’ towns with identity crises, Steel identifies cultural quirks whilst warmly roasting the expectant helpless towns he visits. The best episodes involve the towns-folk themselves questioning Steels humourous, often honest observations (and biases) on the Loch Ness monster, Hepton Bridge or Matlock Bath. The many episodes of Mark Steel’s in Town combined almost equate to a complete life-time of observations, worth experiencing.

More BBC Audiobooks well worth listening to!

Overdrive cover It’s a Fair Cop–Series 1-3, Alfie Moore (Audiobook)
Ever wondered what sort of a police officer you might make? Alfie Moore spent eighteen years on the Humberside police force before turning to stand-up comedy. In each episode of this live stand up show, he takes his audience through a scenario based on a real life case, and tasks them with deciding how they would have acted in the circumstances.

“Brilliantly funny, genuinely hilarious” – David Mitchell

(adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Incredible Women, Series 1-6, Rebecca Front (Audiobook)
Rebecca Front and Jeremy Front star in this series of spoof documentaries looking at the lives of some extraordinary and unforgettable characters. We meet some truly remarkable women, such as controversial children’s writer and wolf enthusiast Eleanor Fane-Gore; ‘Media Integrity Czar’ Valerie Panther; MI5 whistle-blower Helen McKee; fashion guru Tish Watts; child star Mandy Fenwick; Irina Stonkus, soon to be the first woman on Mars; and National Treasure Dame Cicely Leyland.

‘This is not just good, it’s excellent and shows that quality writing can transform radio comedy into something that’s laugh-out-loud funny.’ Radio Times

(adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Tim Key’s Late Night Poetry Programme–The Complete Series 1-4, Tim Key (Audiobook)
Ever wondered just how much of life you can understand through poetry? Tim Key is never far from stage and screen – from Peep Show to Alpha Papa to Taskmaster. But now he’s back doing what he does best – attempting to recite poetry whilst tormenting his friend and musician, the equally brilliant, and long suffering, Tom Basden. From ruminating on the meaning of family via his narrative poem The Godfather, attempting to get to the bottom of death via his poem The Boy Who Faked His Own Death, and also organising an impromptu stag party, Tim Key uses poetry to help him understand every situation.

‘In any other sphere apart from comedy, we’d probably class this way of looking at the world as certifiable. Here it feels like genius.’ The Telegraph

(adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Infinite Monkey Cage, Series 6-9, Brian Cox (Audiobook)
Brian Cox and Robin Ince present a witty, irreverent look at the world according to science. The Infinite Monkey Cage has become one of BBC Radio 4’s most popular science based programmes. In each episode physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince delve into a particular field of science, with the help of guests from the worlds of science, academia and entertainment.

(adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover It’s Not What You Know, Series 1-3, BBC Radio Comedy (Audiobook)
What would Jonathan Agnew do if he wasn’t a cricket commentator? Who would play Romesh Ranganathan in a film of his life? What’s the naughtiest thing Sara Pascoe did as a child? It’s not what you know, but who you know that matters… and indeed, how well you know them. The show is a bit like ‘Mr and Mrs’, except that it’s not played by husbands and wives. Instead, panellists can pick anyone they like: dad, cousin, best friend, mother-in-law. All these burning questions, and more, will be answered in this BBC comedy panel show hosted by Miles Jupp, and Joe Lycett where panellists are tested on how well they know their nearest and dearest.

(adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover My Teenage Diary, Various (Audiobook)
Forty-five episodes from Series 1-8 of the Sony Award-winning BBC Radio comedy show, hosted by Rufus Hound

(adapted from Overdrive description)

Life, death and everything in between – new health books

Our final book this month is one written about an “…account of the author’s experiment with microdoses of LSD…”
Interesting?
Yes!

eBooks

Overdrive cover An Elegant Defense, Matt Richtel (ebook)
“A magnificently reported and soulfully crafted exploration of the human immune system–the key to health and wellness, life and death. An epic, first-of-its-kind book, entwining leading-edge scientific discovery with the intimate stories of four individual lives, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist. It is a fascinating and engrossing account of the latest, and quite astonishing, discoveries involving the human immune system and how it works.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Heartland, Nathan Filer (ebook)
“Schizophrenia: whether it’s the associations it conjures or the people it brings to mind, it is a word we all have a view on. How we perceive it – and how we treat people living with it – is at the core of how we understand mental health. But what do we really know? How much time do we spend listening? Do we truly comprehend this complex and often contradictory diagnosis?” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover How Death Becomes Life, Joshua Mezrich (ebook)
“Gripping and evocative, How Death Becomes Life takes us inside the operating room and presents the stark dilemmas that transplant surgeons must face daily: how much risk should a healthy person be allowed to take to save someone she loves? Should a patient suffering from alcoholism receive a healthy liver? The human story behind the most exceptional medicine of our time and it is a poignant reminder that a life lost can also offer the hope of a new beginning.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Seven Signs of Life, Aoife Abbey (ebook)
“Grief. Anger. Joy. Fear. Distraction. Disgust. Hope. All emotions we expect to encounter over our lifetime. But what if this was every day? For a doctor in Intensive Care this is part of the job. Dr Aoife Abbey shows us what a doctor sees of humanity as it comes through the revolving door of the hospital and takes us beyond a purely medical perspective. Told through seven emotions, Seven Signs of Life is about what it means to be alive and how it feels to care for a living.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Books

Living & caring : a guide for carers and people with Parkinson’s / Andrews, Ann
“This book is for people with Parkinson’s and the people who care for them: husbands, wives, civil union partners, children, friends and neighbours. By covering the care partnership from both sides of the caring coin, readers can be sympathetic to each other’s perspectives and work together on solutions for each unique relationship and situation.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Loving someone who has dementia : how to find hope while coping with stress and grief / Boss, Pauline
“It′s not about the usual techniques, but about how to manage on-going stress and grief. The book is for caregivers, family members, friends, as well as educators and professionals, anyone touched by the epidemic of dementia. Dr. Boss helps caregivers find hope in “ambiguous loss” having a loved one both here and not here, physically present but psychologically absent.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The Recovery Mama guide to your eating disorder recovery in pregnancy and postpartum / McCabe, Linda Shanti
“This book supports pregnant women and new mothers struggling with changing body image, eating disorders, postpartum depression or perinatal anxiety. Many of the emotional challenges of recovering from an eating disorder – isolation, perfectionism and identity issues – are compounded during pregnancy or early motherhood, when women also have to tackle hormone fluctuations, food cravings and perceived pressures to lose baby weight.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Walking : one step at a time / Kagge, Erling
“Placing one foot in front of the other, the journey of discovery, and the joy of exploration, are intrinsic to our nature. Our ancestors travelled long distance on foot, gained new experiences, and learned from them, but as universal as walking is, each of us will experience it differently. Walking is the antidote to the speed at which we conduct our lives–our insistence on rushing, on doing everything in a precipitous manner.” (adapted from Catalogue)

eAudioBooks

Overdrive cover A Really Good Day, Ayelet Waldman (Audiobook)
“A revealing, courageous, fascinating, and funny account of the author’s experiment with microdoses of LSD in an effort to treat a debilitating mood disorder, of her quest to understand a misunderstood drug, and of her search for a really good day. Drawing on her experience as a federal public defender, and as the mother of teenagers, and her research into the therapeutic value of psychedelics, Waldman has produced a book that is eye-opening, often hilarious, and utterly enthralling.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

No Moore! Alan Moore announces his retirement from the graphic novel world

None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with YOU. You’re locked up in here with ME. ― Alan Moore, Watchmen

Legendary, iconic, genre-breaking and redefining graphic novelist Alan Moore has just announced he will do one last graphic novel before he retires – the final installment of his The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series.

His works have attracted in turn rapturous praise and acclaim, as well as controversy and outrage. Works such as his Swamp Man series, V for Vendetta, Watchman and arguably his masterwork The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have no doubt revolutionised the graphic novel genre elevating it to the lofty position of high serious art.

His uncompromisingly brutal, honest and occasionally explicit approach to his work has gained him a huge legion of fans but has often put his works in conflict with more conservative reviewers and authorities. A self-confessed anarchist, his V for Vendetta masked protagonist has been widely adopted by activists in various protest movements.

He started his career writing Future Shocks for 2000AD before being head hunted by DC Comics where he chose to write for one of their lesser known characters Swamp Thing, turning it into a masterpiece about ecology and humanity way beyond the original confines of the character. What followed was a remarkable list of ground breaking works such as Batman: the Killing Joke, Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Providence, Neonomicon, From Hell and Promethea to name but a few.

It is beyond doubt that his influence on the graphic novel world and on culture and society beyond those confines has been substantial.


The complete Alan Moore Future shocks / Moore, Alan
“The entire run of short stories created for 2000 AD by the most celebrated author in comics history, Alan Moore. Each one is like a small episode of the Twilight Zone. For the Future Shocks series of short stories with a twist ending, Alan Moore created some of his most exciting, memorable and explicitly entertaining work. Also featured in this collection are his short Time Twister tales – including the famous and poignant story The Reversible Man where one man’s life is told in reverse.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Providence. Act 1 / Moore, Alan
“Alan Moore’s quintessential horror series has set the standard for a terrifying examination of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. It is being universally hailed as one of Moore’s most realized works in which the master scribe has controlled every iota of the story, art, and presentation. The result has been a masterpiece like no other, unparalleled in tone and content, and a true must have addition to his essential works in the field.” (Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Batman: The Killing Joke, Alan Moore (ebook)
“This is the unforgettable work that forever changed Batman’s world, adding a new element of darkness with its unflinching portrayal of The Joker’s twisted psyche. Writer Alan Moore, acclaimed author of WATCHMEN and V FOR VENDETTA, offers his take on the disturbing relationship between The Dark Knight and his greatest foe. The Clown Prince of Crime has never been more ruthless than in this brutal tale.” (Overdrive description)

Watchmen / Moore, Alan
“Exceptional graphic artwork brings to life the story of the Watchmen as they race against time to find a killer, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.” (Catalogue)

Saga of the Swamp Thing. Book two / Moore, Alan
“Created out of the swamp by a freak accident, Swamp Thing is an elemental creature who uses the forces of nature and wisdom of the plant kingdom to fight the polluted world’s self-destruction. Alan Moore took the Swamp Thing to new heights in the 1980s with his unique narrative approach. His provocative and groundbreaking writing, combined with masterly artwork by some of the medium’s top artists, made SWAMP THING one of the great comics of the late twentieth century.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Volume I, 1898 / Moore, Alan
“The Victorian Era draws to a close and the twentieth century approaches. It is a time of great change and an age of stagnation, a period of chaste order and ignoble chaos. It is an era in need of champions. In this amazingly imaginative tale, literary figures from throughout time and various bodies of work are brought together to face any and all threats to Britain.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover V for Vendetta, Alan Moore (ebook)
“A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V FOR VENDETTA takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet. In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything, comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts in this gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Chain Reaction: Complete Series 5, BBC (Audiobook)
Chain Reaction is the entertaining BBC Radio 4 tag talk show where this week’s guest is next week’s interviewer. Famous names from the world of show business choose who they would like to chat to, and must submit to being questioned in their turn the week after. In this fifth series, guests (and hosts) include Jenny Éclair, Jimmy Carr, Matt Lucas, Johnny Vegas, Stewart Lee, Alan Moore and Brian Eno.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Infinite Monkey Cage, Series 2, Brian Cox (Audiobook)
“The second series of the Sony Radio Academy Gold Award-winning BBC Radio 4 show in which physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince take a witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science. Episode 3 sees special guests Jonathan Ross, graphic novelist Alan Moore and string theorist Brian Greene joining Brian Cox and Robin Ince for a special science-fiction-themed edition of the show.” (Overdrive description)

Corpses, Castles, Cannibals: New Mystery Fiction

This month’s new mystery titles feature the work of Japanese writer Keigo Higashino. Winner of the Edogawa Rampo Prize for his debut novel After School, Higashino’s body of work has grown to include several award-winning detective series and short story collections (as well as a picture book!). His latest work, Newcomer, weaves together nine self-contained stories, and has been called “a genre-splicing masterclass in crime fiction.”

We’ve also got a range of other great works, from Peter James’ Dead at First Sight to Simon Beaufort’s Watchers of the Dead. And for some extra insight into David Hewson’s new mystery set on the remote Faroe Islands, check out this excellent Behind the Book feature. Enjoy!

Newcomer / Higashino, Keigo
“Detective Kyoichiro Kaga has just been transferred to a new precinct in the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo. Newly arrived, but with a great deal of experience, Kaga is promptly assigned to the team investigating the murder of a woman. But the more he investigates, the greater number of potential suspects emerges. Buried somewhere in the woman’s past, in her family history, and the last few days of her life is the clue that will lead to the murderer.” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Dead at first sight / James, Peter (print), (eBook)
“Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to investigate the suicide of a woman in Brighton, that is clearly not what it seems. As his investigations continue, a handsome Brighton motivational speaker comes forward. He’d discovered his identity is being used to scam 11 different women, online. Roy Grace realizes he is looking at the tip of an iceberg. A global empire built on clever, cruel internet scams and the murder of anyone who threatens to expose them.” (Catalogue)

The body in the castle well / Walker, Martin
“A rich American art student, Claudia, is found dead at the bottom of a deep well in an ancient hilltop castle. Claudia’s grieving mother arrives, her family’s White House connections get the US Embassy and the FBI involved. Bruno tries to trace the people and events that led to her death. This takes Bruno down a trail that leads him from the ruins of Berlin in 1945, to France’s colonial war in Algeria. The long arm of French history has reached out to find a new victim.” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Women of the dunes / Maine, Sarah
“In AD 800 there is Ulla, lost in a foreign country after her lover is brutally killed. Ellen, a servant-girl in the 1800s, catches the unwanted attentions of the master of the house’s lascivious son. And, in the present day, there is Libby – an archaeologist who is determined to uncover an age-old mystery. The fates of these three women become ever more tightly bound around the legend of Ulla.” (Adapted from the catalogue)

 Devil’s Fjord / Hewson, David (print), (eBook)
“Newly-appointed District Sheriff Tristan Haraldsen and his wife Elsebeth are looking forward to a peaceful semi-retirement in the remote fishing village of Djevulsfjord on the stunningly beautiful island of Vagar. But when two boys go missing during the first whale hunt of the season, the repercussions strike at the heart of the isolated coastal community. As he pursues his investigations, Tristan discovers that the Mikkelsen brothers aren’t the first young men to have vanished on Vagar. . .” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Watchers of the dead / Beaufort, Simon
“December 1882. Attending the opening of the new Natural History Museum, reporter Alec Lonsdale and his colleague Hulda Friederichs are shocked to discover a body in the basement, hacked to death. Suspicion immediately falls on a trio of cannibals, brought over from the Congo as museum exhibits. Alec however has his doubts–especially when he discovers that three other influential London men have been similarly murdered.” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Cruel acts / Casey, Jane (print), (eBook)
“How can you spot a murderer? Leo Stone is a ruthless killer–or the victim of a miscarriage of justice. A year ago, he was convicted of the murder of two women and sentenced to life in prison. But now he’s free, and according to him, he’s innocent. DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent are determined to put Stone back behind bars where he belongs, but the more Maeve finds out, the less convinced she is of his guilt. Have they been wrong about Stone from the start?” (Adapted from the catalogue)

A beautiful corpse / Daugherty, Christi (print), (eBook)
“With its antebellum houses and ancient oak trees draped in a veil of Spanish moss, Savannah’s graceful downtown is famous around the world. When a woman is killed in the heart of that affluent district, the shock is felt throughout the city. Only twenty-four years old, Naomi Scott was just getting started. There are no witnesses to the crime. The police have three suspects. All three men claim to love her. Could one of them be her killer?” (Adapted from the catalogue)

The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Neil Gaiman, Author

The fabulous, ubiquitous, library-loving Neil Gaiman has just announced that his beloved Sandman series of graphic novels has been green-lit as an eleven-part Netflix series.

Described by Warner Brothers as a massive deal, Sandman will be one of the most expensive TV series ever made. Fans will be mega-excited by the news and desperate to see the final product–alas, still a long way off. Several previous attempts to film Sandman have fallen by the wayside with one potential director describing the series as “unfilmable”.

Neil Gaiman is of course no stranger to film and TV adaptations of his work or indeed writing directly for either medium. Just a brief overview of his writing credits brings such notable films and programmes as Good Omens, American Gods, Coraline, Stardust and Mirrormask as well as several Doctor Who episodes and one episode of Babylon 5!

Sandman was originally–and famously–pitched as a Wild Cards story to George R. R. Martin, but was turned down due to Neil Gaiman’s relatively unknown status at the time. Undeterred, Gaiman went on to write the graphic novels that would become the legends that they are. Here for your delight and entertainment is just a small sample of the numerous, wonderful Neil Gaiman titles we have for you in our libraries. Enjoy!


Syndetics book coverThe Sandman. Vol. 1, Preludes & nocturnes / Neil Gaiman, writer; Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, artists.
Also available as an Ebook “In Preludes and Nocturnes, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his 70 year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverAmerican gods [1]: shadows / story and words by Neil Gaiman; script and layouts by P. Craig Russell; art by Scott Hampton.
“This supernatural American road trip fantasy tells the story of a war between the ancient and modern gods. Shadow Moon gets out of jail only to discover his wife is dead. Defeated and broke, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who employs him to serve as his bodyguard–thrusting Shadow into a deadly world where a god war is imminent.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Also available: American Gods the television series. Click here for availability of Season One.

Syndetics book coverStardust / Neil Gaiman; original frontispiece and chapter-opening art by Charles Vess.
Also available as an eAudiobookAmong the wondrous, beautiful, and strange literary offspring conceived by Neil Gaiman is his magical 1997 fantasy novel, Stardust, remains a top favorite. An enchanting adult fairy tale about a young man who travels beyond the boundaries of his small village to find a fallen star and win the heart of the woman he loves–the basis for the hit motion picture.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Also available: Stardust the film. Click here for availability.

Syndetics book coverGood omens / Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
Also available as an eAudiobook “There is a hint of Armageddon in the air. According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture. So if they going to stop it from happening, they’ve got to find and kill the AntiChrist. There’s just one glitch: someone seems to have misplaced him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverCoraline / Neil Gaiman; illustrated by Chris Riddell.
Also available as an eBook “There is something strange about Coraline’s new home. It’s not the mist, or the cat that always seems to be watching her, nor the signs of danger that Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, her new neighbours, read in the tea leaves. It’s the other house – the one behind the old door in the drawing room. Another mother and father with black-button eyes and papery skin are waiting for Coraline to join them there. And they want her to stay with them. For ever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Also available: Coraline the film. Click here for availability.

Syndetics book coverFragile things: short fictions and wonders / Neil Gaiman.
“Fragile Things is a sterling collection of exceptional tales from Neil Gaiman, multiple award-winning author. A uniquely imaginative creator of wonders whose unique storytelling genius has been acclaimed by a host of literary luminaries from Norman Mailer to Stephen King, Gaiman’s astonishing powers are on glorious displays in Fragile Things. Enter and be amazed!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Syndetics book coverNorse mythology / Neil Gaiman.
Also available as an eAudiobook “Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary.)

Families, love and glamour! New biographies at your library.

Find out who was the real Wallis Simpson in a new biography about the glamorous American and her life. Read about Olivia Newton-John, one of the most successful and loved entertainers and her tireless journey to becoming a force for good in the world. Choose your favourite titles either as books or ebooks and enjoy reading!

Books
Inheritance : a memoir of genealogy, paternity, and love / Shapiro, Dani
“What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us?
In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Don’t let me down : a memoir / Hosier, Erin
“Erin Hosier’s coming-of-age was full of contradiction. Born into the turbulent 1970s, she was raised in rural Ohio by lapsed hippies who traded 1960s rock ‘n’ roll for 1950s-era Christian hymns. Her mother’s newfound faith was rooted in a desire to manage her husband’s mood swings, which could alternately fill the house with music or with violence. Don’t Let Me Down is about a brave girl trying to navigate family secrets and tragedies and escape from small-town small-mindedness.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Don’t stop believin’ / Newton-John, Olivia
“For more than five decades Olivia Newton-John has been one of our most successful and adored entertainers. A four-time Grammy Award winner, she is one of the world’s best-selling recording artists of all time, with more than 100 million albums sold. Olivia has always radiated joy, hope and compassion – determined to be a force for good in the world. Now she is sharing her journey, from Melbourne schoolgirl to international superstar, in this deeply personal book.” (adapted from Catalogue)

eBooks
Overdrive cover Untitled, Anna Pasternak (ebook)
“Who was the real Wallis: an opportunistic American social climber, a master manipulator or the true love of Edward’s life? Amid the cacophony of condemnation her story has become obfuscated. Untitled is an intimate biography of one of the most misunderstood women in British royal history. Yet Edward gave up the British throne, the British Empire and his position as Emperor of India, to marry his true love, American divorcee Wallis Simpson.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Churchill, Andrew Roberts (ebook)
“Winston Churchill towers over every other figure in twentieth-century British history. By the time of his death at the age of 90 in 1965, many thought him to be the greatest man in the world. There have been over a thousand previous biographies of Churchill. Andrew Roberts now draws on over forty new sources, including the private diaries of King George VI, used in no previous Churchill biography to depict him more intimately and persuasively than any of its predecessors.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Power through winter with these recent fitness books

Most of the books on offer this month are available as eBooks. Download them on your device and enjoy the helpful advice in the titles (like “Food for Fitness”, “The 4 Hour Body”, and “The Pop-Up Gym”), on ways to get fit and have the body you always wanted (The Body You Want in the Time You Have).

Overdrive cover Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for Women, Gavin Morey (ebook)
“Based on a real-life challenge, these books demonstrate how you can achieve your dream body in just 12 weeks! Covering fitness, health and nutrition, the book contains workouts with different exercises to choose from, explaining their purpose and technique. With the basics of training explained, the book also contains info on what health and fitness tests are used and the training routine followed.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for Men, Gavin Morey (ebook)
“Based on a real-life challenge, this book demonstrate how you can achieve your dream body in just 12 weeks! Want to eat more healthily? The book contains a guide to having a daily balanced diet with easy-to-follow recipes, detailed weekly shopping lists, along with a daily food diary for the reader to keep a log of their own nutritional intake.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Anita Bean’s Sports Nutrition for Women, Anita Bean (ebook)
“Women who exercise regularly have specific nutritional needs. Carefully researched and fully up to date, and written by an experienced sports nutritionist, Anita Bean’s book is written in a clear and accessible way to appeal directly to active women.
This book covers topics such as exercise and the menstrual cycle, bone health, disordered eating, weight loss and iron deficiency anaemia. A recipe section gives women lots of ideas for healthy and easy-to-cook meals.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Pop-up Gym, Jon Denoris (ebook)
“Fitness trainer to a host of busy people including actors, TV presenters and politicians, Jon Denoris has created a series of exercises and routines, most of which can be carried out almost anywhere: in the home, at work or outdoors. Hardly any of them require any equipment. Dumbbells and a medicine ball will come in useful for a few of the exercises, and also a stability ball, but that is all. Suitable for readers who don’t have time to go to a gym, don’t want to spend a lot of money on equipment and have limited time.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Walking for Fitness, Pleasure and Health, Helen Vause (ebook)
“Walking is one of the most popular fitness and recreational activities for people of all ages, and medical experts have endorsed it as a way of improving health and well-being and prolonging life. Useful information on everything from motivation, weight loss and nutrition to pedometers, coping with injuries and training for events is given in a simple and non-technical way.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Ageless Body, Peta Bee (ebook)
From Gwen Stefani to Naomi Watts, a new breed of 40 and 50 plus women are redefining not just what an ageless body looks like, but whats entailed in achieving it. A dramatic shift in body expectations in the last few years means that, despite being plagued by a slowing metabolism and a naturally-occurring loss of muscle mass, pre- and post-menopausal women can realistically aim for the healthy, well-functioning body they crave as well as a physique that looks good with a flat stomach and sculpted arms.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Men’s Health the Body You Want in the Time You Have, Myatt Murphy (ebook)
“The former fitness editor of Men’s Health magazine presents the ultimate no-excuses workout book for time-pressed men and women at every fitness level.
For most people, the hardest hurdle to overcome in following a fitness regimen is simply finding the time to do it. But as this book shows, it is possible to burn fat, build muscle, and stay fit – no matter how much (or little) time one has!” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The 4-Hour Body, Timothy Ferriss (ebook)
“Whatever your physical goal, The 4-Hour Body eclipses every other health manual by sharing the best kept secrets in the latest science and research to provide new strategies for redesigning the human body. International bestselling author, Timothy Ferriss, helps you reach your true genetic potential in 3-6 months with a commitment of less than four hours per week. You can pick and choose from a menu of options, from simple to extreme, for dramatic body changes.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Food for Fitness, Anita Bean (ebook)
“A sports nutrition guide and recipe book rolled into one, Food for Fitness dispels popular myths and gives you the tools you need to reach your maximum performance. Food for Fitness is the ultimate resource for anyone who is serious about sport or fitness. Now in its fourth edition, this bestselling book has been updated to include the very latest nutrition research for exercise and performance, and is packed with easy, delicious and nutritious recipes and snacks and helpful new menu plans.” (Overdrive description)