Librarian’s Choice – Graphic Novels on Overdrive

Here’s our recs for the best comics from our Overdrive collection to borrow and download to your electronic device of choice. From supernatural horror and classic manga, slice-of-life and high fantasy, life in the apocalypse to superheroes saving the world, there’s something for everyone on Overdrive!

Overdrive cover Hellboy Omnibus Volume 1, Mike Mignola (ebook)
“The Hellboy saga begins—with over 300 pages drawn by Mignola! For the first time, Hellboy’s complete story is presented in chronological order for the ultimate reading experience. The story jumps from Hellboy’s mysterious World War II origin to his 1994 confrontation with the man who summoned him to earth, and the earliest signs of the plague of frogs. Avoiding his supposed fate as the herald of the end of the world, Hellboy continues with the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, fighting alongside Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and drafting Roger Homunculus into his own ill-fated service with the B.P.R.D.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover JLA: Earth 2, Grant Morrison (ebook)
“They are the world’s gravest super-villains: Ultraman, Owlman, Superwoman, Power Ring and Johnny Quick—the legendary Crime Syndicate of Amerika! Nothing has ever seriously threatened the global corruption they proudly enforce, but now a twisted mirror image of the CSA has arrived from the flip side of reality. Can anything stop this so-called ‘Justice League,’ or will the stable, perfect evil of the Earth 2 fall victim to the tyranny of law, righteousness and freedom?” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover An Aria for the End Times, Andrew MacLean (ebook)
“The premiere graphic novel from underground sensation Andrew MacLean (Head Lopper), ApocalyptiGirl is an action-packed sci-fi epic! Alone at the end of the world, Aria is woman with a mission! Traipsing through an overgrown city with her only companion, a cat named Jelly Beans, Aria’s search for an ancient relic with immeasurable power has been fruitless so far. But when a run in with a creepy savage sets her on a path to complete her quest, she’ll face death head on in the hopes of claiming her prize and, if all goes according to plan, finally returning home.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Giant Days Volume 1, John Allison (ebook)
“Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends because their dorm rooms were next to each other. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of hand-wringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 1, Kieron Gillen (ebook)
“Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you?re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever. Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1-5.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Nimona, Noelle Stevenson (ebook)
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Astro Boy, Volumes 1 & 2, Osamu Tezuka (ebook)
“Dark Horse proudly presents one of the crown jewels of manga-Astro Boy! Created by the late Osamu Tezuka, a revered animator and cartoonist (who created over 150,000 pages of comics in his career!) considered the Walt Disney of Japan, Astro Boy was the first manga series to be adapted to animation and became a worldwide phenomenon, making Astro Boy the Mickey Mouse of anime-a jet-powered, super-strong, evil-robot-bashing, alien-invasion-smashing Mickey Mouse, that is! Exciting, whimsical, and touching, Astro Boy hearkens back to the classic era of comics and animation, featuring stories that readers young and old will enjoy.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Is This Guy For Real?, Box Brown (ebook)
“Comedian and performer Andy Kaufman’s resume was impressive—a popular role on the beloved sitcom Taxi, a high-profile stand-up career, and a surprisingly successful stint in professional wrestling. Although he was by all accounts a sensitive and thoughtful person, he’s ironically best remembered for his various contemptible personas, which were so committed and so convincing that all but his closest family and friends were completely taken in.
Why would someone so gentle-natured and sensitive build an entire career seeking the hatred of his audience?” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

LitCrawl: True Stories Told Live at Central library

That’s right! It’s LitCrawl time again and that means it’s time to get excited because this year is going to be on a whole different level!

With the addition of LitCrawl Extended and events running across the whole weekend, starting on Friday 10th November all the way through to Sunday the 12th, it’s time to come into the library, grab your programme and start planning your crawl.

We will be hosting True Stories Told Live as part of LitCrawl Phase 1, starting at 6pm at the Central Library on Saturday November 11th.

This years theme is ‘Quiet Revolutions’. Totally unscripted, no power points or cue cards, just storytelling in its rawest form!

Featuring Makerita Urale, Witi Ihimaera, Hēmi Kelly, Renèe, Lucy Revill, Rajorshi Chakraborti and Eamonn Marra it’s going to be an unmissable event!

To help everyone get excited and pumped for their crawl, we’ve asked our librarians to share their recommendations. Just like True Stories Told Live, we just asked for everyone’s picks, no theme, no time, no parameters just Librarian’s choices, straight from the heart!

Syndetics book coverLinda’s Pick: Tess / Kirsten McDougall.
“In the silence she could hear the oncoming hum, like a large flock approaching. She didn’t want to hear his story; she’d had enough of them. Tess is on the run when she’s picked up from the side of the road by lonely middle-aged father Lewis Rose. With reluctance, she’s drawn into his family troubles and comes to know a life she never had. Set in Masterton at the turn of the millennium, Tess is a gothic love story about the ties that bind and tear a family apart.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJamie’s Pick: Crisis four : a Nick Stone thriller / Andy McNab.
“Ex-SAS trooper Nick Stone is clever, ruthless and very effective, it is no surprise that he is hired by British Intelligence. Sarah Greenwood is beautiful, intelligent and cunning, and the only woman Stone has ever truly opened up to. But now he has been ordered to hunt her down. Hotly pursued through the American wilderness, Stone finds himself at the center of a deadly game of cat and mouse and must get to the heart of a terrifying conspiracy theory to which only Sarah holds the key.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFrith’s Pick: Iceland / Dominic Hoey.
“Aspiring musician Zlata meets graffiti artist and part-time drug dealer Hamish at a party. Together, they start to get their lives on track Zlata gets her record deal and album tour, and Hamish gets an exhibition of his art in Auckland, then in Tokyo. Then one of their group of friends kills someone, and everything starts to unravel as they deal (or not) with the aftermath” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTim’s Pick: Leave before you go / Emily Perkins.
No New Zealand novel better captures the sad ambience of finding yourself a little older than you feel ready for and also you’ve just locked yourself out of your flat again. In a good way.
“A generation’s dilemma: should we find real jobs & relationships & houses, or shall we sit here, watch TV & maybe think about going out later? Leave Before You Go is a witty novel from last year’s winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReece’s Pick: The crossing / by Cormac McCarthy.
“In The Crossing, Cormac McCarthy fulfills the promise of All the Pretty Horses and at the same time give us a work that is darker and more visionary, a novel with the unstoppable momentum of a classic western and the elegaic power of a lost American myth.  An essential novel by any measure, this is a luminous and appalling book that touches, stops, and starts the heart and mind at once.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJess’ Pick: Daughter of the forest / Juliet Marillier.
“A tale of history and heritage, myth and magic, legend and love. Lord Colum of Sevenwaters is blessed with seven children, but it is Sorcha, the youngest and only daughter, who is destined to defend her family and protect their land. The only one who escapes the cruel influence of her father’s new wife, exiled and cast out into the forest and the terrifying world beyond, Sorcha falls into the hands of the feared enemy. Now she is torn between a life she has always known and a love that only comes once.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverZuhara’s Pick: Gone with the wind / by Margaret Mitchell.
“Often remembered for the epic film, Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life. A sweeping story of tangled passion and courage, Margaret Mitchell brings to life the unforgettable characters that have captured readers for over seventy years.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPaul’s Pick: The unthinkable thoughts of Jacob Green : a novel / by Joshua Braff.
“It’s 1977, housewarming, Annie Hall and bar mitzvah parties punctuate Jacob Green’s childhood and require command performances by all the Green family members. Jacob doesn’t mean to disappoint his father, but he can’t help thinking the most unthinkable (and very funny) thoughts about public-school humiliation, Hebrew-school disinclination, and in-home sex education (with the live-in nanny!). This self-assured, comic, yet piercing first novel deftly captures the struggle of an imperfect boy trying to become a suitable son.” ( Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeth’s Pick: The English patient / Michael Ondaatje.
“Set during the end of World War II, this novel explores the lives of four very disparate people who find themselves holed up together in a ruined villa north of Florence as the war retreats around them. Michael Ondaatje is the author of Running in the Family and In the Skin of a Lion.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLigia’s Pick: The book of disquiet / Fernando Pessoa ; edited by Jerónimo Pizarro; translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa.
“An “autobiography” or “diary” containing exquisite melancholy observations, aphorisms, and ruminations, this classic work grapples with all the eternal questions. Now, for the first time the texts are presented chronologically, in a complete English edition by master translator Margaret Jull Costa.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSela’s Pick: The bronze horseman / Paullina Simons.
“The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler’s armies attack Russia and yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Tatiana and Alexander’s impossible love threatens to tear the family apart and expose Alexander’s dangerous secret, a secret as devastating as the war itself.” (Syndetics summary)

 

Litcrawl 2017

Strange science at the library

Check out some of the more bizarre books about science found at the library. In amongst the time spent by scientists trying to find the cure for cancer, the common cold and global warming, they manage to get up to some pretty crazy things!

Syndetics book coverElephants on acid : and other bizarre experiments / Alex Boese.
A fascinating account of some of the stranger experiments from history that were done in the name of science. In the ‘a tad creepy’ basket we have zombie kittens and the 1970s Stanford Prison experiment.  In the ‘scratch your head and ask why’ basket we have the difference between Coke and Pepsi (you may think you can taste it, but you can’t actually) and whether your dog is likely to go get help if you are in distress (unlikely). (Staff member)

Syndetics book coverWhy don’t penguins’ feet freeze? and 114 other questions : more questions and answers from the popular “last word’ column / edited by Mick O’Hare.
In this book of questions from New Scientist’s popular Last Word column, all sorts of odd questions are posed (and answered). If you want to know why supermarket bags are so noisy, why milk will run down the bottle if you pour it too slowly or why planes can fly upside down, just grab this book to find out! (Staff member)

Syndetics book coverIg Nobel prizes : the annals of improbable research / Marc Abrahams.
In 2010 the Ig Nobel Physics prize was won by three ladies from the University of Otago for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in winter, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes. A trick I learnt growing up in Dunedin is that old wooly rugby socks are the best sort for wearing over your shoes. (Staff member)

Syndetics book coverThe hungry scientist handbook : electric birthday cakes, edible origami, and other DIY projects for techies, tinkerers, and foodies / Patrick Buckley and Lily Binns.
Did you know that cooking is actually chemistry? Delicious, tasty chemistry? Have you ever fancied making icecream with liquid nitrogen, or making edible origami? These and many more ideas bring science into the kitchen and onto the plate. (Staff member)

Syndetics book coverHow many licks? : or, how to estimate damn near anything / Aaron Santos.
Have you ever wondered how many grams of tea it would take to make the Boston harbour palatable? Or how long it would take to eat the Stay Puft Man from Ghostbusters? If you have, this book will show you how to go about estimating the answers to all sorts of wacky questions. (Staff member)

Taking inspiration from genius

This month’s picks from the photography book collection:

yearinphotosA Year in Photography – Magnum Archive
The aristocracy of photography featured in another awe inspiring book. A Year in Photography, despite what its title may suggest is not about one single year but about 365 different days spanning over more than 60 years. A weighty book of a square format, this is the ultimate coffee table “brick” that you can open at any page, flick through in any order and find images to spur your imagination. Visual quality on every page. The text is kept to its strict minimum: The photographer, the place, the date.

3 favourites: Alessandra Sanguinetti on 21 May 2002; Trent Park on 29 June 2006; Thomas Dworzak on 15 December 2002. What are yours?

syndetics-lcBrian Brake: Lens on the World
Published to coincide with his retrospective exhibition at Te Papa earlier this year, this is the chance to discover or re-visit Brake’s prolific career, in a quality publication, in photographs and text ordered chronologically. A must read and a great reference book.

syndetics-lc
Maori Art
To expand on the chapter on Object Photography in the Lens on the World book, Brian Brake’s talent with light is illustrated here in his photographs of Maori artefacts taken from museum collections in the 70s. His work put the spotlight on Maori art, giving it a wider audience and paved the way for some talented photographers of taonga in practice today. A beautiful sample of his craft at work to highlight the craft of others.

syndetics-lcStreet Photography Now
We love to watch ourselves and our fellow human beings. In the context of the urban environment mostly, this book depicts human drama in all its glory and grit, through images from 46 different artists in the field of street photography. Compelling viewing structured in 5 sections introduced by insightful texts. Each section presents a dozen photographers and a succinct selection of their work.  My favourite? There are so many! But I will say that I am particularly partial to Alex Webb’s vibrant and dramatic tableaux of humans in the actions of everyday life. I found the composition of Nick Turpin’s image p206 quite brilliant too. But I could cite many more. Have a look for yourself.

And finally…. The book on techniques.

They tend to be so much less attractive and yet, how do we improve ourselves and take inspiration from all these wonderful displays of genius without some technical guidance?

syndetics-lcUnderstanding Close-up Photography is a very interesting source of useful information on this particular type of photography.
Some dramatic images are presented, technically analysed and shown in their wider context. This book is a mine of technical knowledge, examples are attractive and highly achievable. A brilliant inspiration for close-up experimentation.You will never look at a spider web in the same way again…