NaNoWriMo: Librarians’ recommendations & resources

To help out all of our budding author’s this National Novel Writing Month, we asked all of our librarians across the city for some of their best recommendations of books, online resources and more:

Paul and Zoe recommend Syndetics book coverBird by bird : some instructions on writing and life / Anne Lamott.
“If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a writer, what it means to be a writer, what the contents of your school lunches said about what your parents were really like, this books for you. From faith, love, and grace to pain, jealousy, and fear, Lamott insists that you keep your eves open, and then shows you how to survive. And always, from the life of the artist she turns to the art of life.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBoth Fiona and Debbie suggested  The exercise book : creative writing exercises from Victoria University’s Institute of Modern Letters / edited by Bill Manhire … [et al.].
“Writers of all skill levels can give their minds a work-out with this extensive book of writing prompts and exercises. Brimming with stimulating trigger ideas, the exercises help readers explore the nuts and bolts of the craft, from poetry and short fiction to scriptwriting, while helping to find inspiration everywhere.” (Syndetics summary) So obviously this one must be good!

Syndetics book coverMonty’s suggested you check out On writing / Charles Bukowski ; edited by Abel Debritto.
“Sharp and moving reflections and ruminations on the artistry and craft of writing from one of our most iconoclastic, riveting, and celebrated masters. In this collection of correspondence, letters to publishers, editors, friends, and fellow writers-the writer shares his insights on the art of creation. On Writing reveals an artist brutally frank about the drudgery of work and canny and uncompromising about the absurdities of life, and of art.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Jess & Celeste, both Stephen King fans suggested Syndetics book coverOn writing : a memoir of the craft / by Stephen King
“Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, Stephen King’s critically lauded, classic bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Celeste also rated the Goodreads list ‘Best Books on Writing’ which (suprise suprise) has Stephen King’s memoir as number 1!

Max from Karori loves Pinterest! You can search for writing hints, tips, tricks or images to help inspire you, and follow the WCL boards for recent picks.

If you’re like Jess and eBooks are your thing, make sure you check out the collection of Writings on Writings that she put together for you. Just download the Libby App or visit the Overdrive webpage to get started.

Prefer magazines? Fiona suggests you check out Mslexia: for women who write. as well as Writing Magazine. Both excellent resources for creative writers!

Paul had a bunch of suggestions for you, take a look at:

Syndetics book coverThe writer’s journey : mythic structure for writers / Christopher Vogler.
“The updated and revised third edition provides new insights and observations from Vogler’s ongoing work on mythology’s influence on stories, movies, and man himself. The previous two editons of this book have sold over 180,000 units, making this book a ‘classic’ for screenwriters, writers, and novelists.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnd Zen in the art of writing / Ray Bradbury.
“Bradbury, all charged up, drunk on life, joyous with writing, puts together nine past essays on writing and creativity and discharges every ounce of zest and gusto in him.” — Kirkus Reviews. “Zen and the Art of Writing is purely and simply Bradbury’s love song to his craft.” — Los Angeles Times” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnd The Paris review : interviews, I / with an introduction by Philip Gourevitch.
“How do great writers it? The Paris Review has elicited some of the most revelatory and revealing thoughts from the literary masters of our age. For more than half a century, the magazine has spoken with most of our leading novelists, poets, and playwrights, and the interviews themselves have come to be recognized as classic works of literature, an essential and definitive record of the writing life.” (Syndetics summary)

And Tim, a former NaNoWriMo survivor swears by It’s a minimalist text editor which goes full screen so you don’t have any distractions. He used it for all his incredible poetry and clever short stories. His other recommendation for would be to throw one’s phone down the back of the couch.

Best of luck! and make sure you check out and follow us on Facebook, and Instagram and Twitter @wcl_library for more survival tips and tricks.

Read before you crawl… a Poetry Showcase

If poetry is your thing then get ready to be excited for this year’s line up because poets are out in numbers! Mark your calendars for November 10th and start planning your crawl! For lovers of prose make sure you check out the LitCrawl Extended Programme as well, the Poetry Showcase is a must see! With so many poets, musicians and wordsmiths to chose from, here are our selections for must reads before the crawl!

Poūkahangatus / Tibble, Tayi
“This collection speaks about beauty, activism, power and popular culture with compelling guile, a darkness, a deep understanding and sensuality. It dives through noir, whakamā and kitsch and emerges dripping with colour and liquor. These poems time-travel through the powdery mint-green 1960s and the polaroid sunshine 1970’s to the present day. Their language and forms are liquid-sometimes as lush as what they describe, other times deliberately biblical or oblique.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

There’s no place like the internet in springtime / Kennedy, Erik
“Layering comedy over insight and pathos over comedy, mixing its flexible couplets with beautifully spiky free verse, Erik Kennedy’s first collection should climb up all the right charts: his phrases can go anywhere, then come back, and he has figured out how to sound both trustworthy and nonplussed, giddy and humble, in the same breath. Sometimes he impersonates spiny lobsters; sometimes he’s a socialist chambered nautilus. Sometimes he’s our best guide to the globe-trotting ridiculous.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Are friends electric? / Heath, Helen
“Offering a vivid and moving vision of a past, present and future mediated by technology, the first part of thisbold new collection is comprised largely of found poems which emerge from conversations about sex bots, people who feel an intimate love for bridges, fences and buildings, a meditation on Theo Jansens beautifully strange animal sculptures, and the lives of birds in cities. A series of speculative poems further explores questions of how we incorporate technology into our lives and bodies.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

The farewell tourist / Glenny, Alison
“Pushing the boundaries of what poetry might be The Farewell Tourist is haunting, many-layered and slightly surreal. In The Magnetic Process sequence a man and a woman inhabit a polar world, adrift in zones of divergence, where dreams are filled with snow, icebergs, and sinking ships. Their scientific instruments and observations measure a fragmented and uncertain space where conventional perspectives are violated. By turns mysterious, ominous and evocative, they represent connections to an obscured narrative of disintegration and icy melancholy.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

The ski flier / McMillan, Maria
“As it traverses various landscapes, The Ski Flier also moves through a world where strength and self doubt exist in the same moment. Maria McMillan’s vivid second full poetry collection takes in mountains and cities, dragons and daughters, hope and wish fulfilment, demolition and renewal. With shining intelligence these poems demand that we pay attention to where we have been and where we are now.” (Victoria University Press Summary)

he’s so MASC / Tse, Chris
He’s So MASC confronts a contemporary world of self-loathing poets and compulsive liars, of youth and sexual identity, and of the author as character–pop star, actor, hitman, and much more. These are poems that delve into worlds of hyper-masculine romanticism and dancing alone in night clubs. With it’s many modes and influences, an acerbic, acid-bright, yet unapologetically sentimental and personal reflection on what it means to perform and dissect identity, as a poet and a person.” (Adapted Sydnetics Summary)

Alzheimer’s and a spoon / Breslin, Liz
This collection takes its readers on a tangled trip. Public stories – a conversation at the Castle of the Insane, on-line quizzes to determine if you are mostly meercat or Hufflepuff. #stainlessteelkudos. Personal tales, of Liz’s babcia, a devout Catholic and a soldier in the Warsaw Uprising, who spent her last years with Alzheimer’s disease. There is much to remember that she so badly wanted to forget. What do you do when life gives you spoons? (Amazon Summary)

The facts / Lloyd, Therese
“Guided by the work of Anna Carson, these poems trace the end of a marriage, a toxic love affair, age and aging, and the deeper question of spiritual meaning. Running throughout is Therese Lloyd’s quest to prove that art is essential to life.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

XYZ of happiness / McCallum, Mary
“Poems of happiness… as it comes, when it’s missing and when it is hoped for.” –Back cover.” (Syndetics Summary)

NZ Festival 2018 Writers & Readers: a selection

With New Zealand Festival 2018 Writers & Readers just around the corner and right on our doorstep, we’ve compiled this special selection of the latest titles from some of this year’s speakers. So take a look, place your reserves and have a read before heading along to some of the events! From fiction to science fiction, non-fiction on history, politics, poetry this year’s line up is set to blow you away!

Want the eBooks instead? Or a larger selection from this year’s speakers? You can also check out our Overdrive collection as well.

Syndetics book coverHera Lindsay Bird / Hera Lindsay Bird.
“Bird turns her prescient eye on love and loss, and what emerges is like a helicopter in fog…or a bejewelled Christmas sleigh, gliding triumphantly through the contemporary aesthetic desert…this is at once an intelligent and compelling fantasy of tenderness…heartbreaking and charged with trees…without once sacrificing the forest…Whether you are masturbating luxuriously in your parent’s sleepout…or pushing a pork roast home in a vintage pram…this is the book for you. But you know, do whatever you like lol” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDrawn out : a seriously funny memoir / Tom Scott.
“Tom Scott is a political commentator, political cartoonist, satirist, scriptwriter, playwright, raconteur and funny man. He’s been drawing political cartoons for Wellington’s Dominion Post since 1988, was in the Press Gallery and was famously banned by PM Muldoon. His memoir covers his childhood – a tragi-comedy of a poor Irish Catholic family, his uni days when he was editor of the student newspaper and sued for blasphemous libel, his parliamentary career, his work with Ed Hillary and more.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe natural way of things / Charlotte Wood.
“Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in an abandoned property in the middle of a desert in a story of two friends, sisterly love and courage – a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Cage [paperback]
“Two mysterious strangers appear at a hotel in a small country town.
Where have they come from? Who are they? What catastrophe are they fleeing? The townspeople want answers, but the strangers are unable to speak of their trauma. And before long, wary hospitality shifts to suspicion and fear, and the care of the men slides into appalling cruelty. Lloyd Jones’s fable-like novel The Cage is a profound and unsettling novel.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSix months, three days, five others / Charlie Jane Anders.
“Before the success of her debut Science Fiction and Fantasy novel All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders was a rising star in SF and fantasy short fiction. Collected in a mini-book format, here, for the first time in print, are six of her quirky, wry, engaging best” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTightrope / Selina Tusitala Marsh.
“In Marsh’s poetry, sharp intelligence combines a focused warrior fierceness with perceptive humour and energy, upheld by the mana of the Pacific. She mines rich veins, the tradition and culture of her whanau and Pacific nations; the works of feminist poets and leaders to probe the particularities of words and cultures. Tightrope takes us from the bustle of the world’s largest Polynesian city, Auckland, through Avondale and Apia, and on to London and New York on an extraordinary poetic voyage.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPortholes to the past : reflections on the early 20th century / Lloyd Geering.
“Reflecting on two world wars, the Great Depression, and changes he has experienced in education, family life, growth of personal freedom, leisure and entertainment, life in the churches, and more. He concludes with cautious optimism: it may not be too much to hope that from the fragments of dismantled Christendom we may rediscover and reinvigorate the moral values of justice, truth and environmental guardianship.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDemocracy and its crisis / A. C. Grayling.
“Prompted by the EU referendum in the UK and the presidential election in the USA, Grayling investigates why the institutions of representative democracy seem unable to hold up against forces they were designed to manage, and why, crucially, it matters. With the advent of authoritarian leaders and the rise of populism, representative democracy appears to be caught between a rock and a hard place, yet it is this space that it must occupy, if a civilized society, that looks after all its people, is to flourish.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTrue stories & other essays / Francis Spufford.
“An irresistible collection of favorite writings from an author celebrated for his bravura style and sheer unpredictability. Ranging freely across topics as diverse as the medieval legends of Cockaigne, the Christian apologetics of C. S. Lewis, and the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini, Spufford provides both fresh observations and thought-provoking insights. No less does he inspire an irresistible urge to turn the page and read on.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe liberation / Ian Tregillis.
“I am the mechanical they named Jax. My kind was built to serve humankind, but now our bonds are breaking, and my brothers and sisters are awakening. Set in a world that might have been, of mechanical men and alchemical dreams, this is the third and final novel in a stunning series of revolution, confirming Ian’s place as one of the most original new voices in speculative fiction.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Māori Boy: a conversation with Witi Ihimaera

Last week, I had the great pleasure of attending an author talk with Witi Ihimaera about his latest book, Māori Boy, held at National Library. Māori Boy: a memoir of childhood is a recollection of the author’s early life growing up near Gisborne in the 1940s and 1950s. As a life-long fan of Ihimaera’s writing, I was really excited and interested to hear him speak about his experiences of writing the book and about some of the events and relationships in his childhood which inspired it. The event was incredibly well attended, creating a need for extra seats as well as more speakers; testifying to the popularity of this iconic New Zealand writer. The audience were also treated to a brief teaser video of Lee Tamahori’s upcoming film The Patriarch, which is based on Ihimaera’s well-loved novel Bulibasha. I was also lucky enough to get my shiny new copy of the book signed!

We have plenty of copies available here at the library:

Syndetics book coverMāori boy : a memoir of childhood / Witi Ihimaera.
Maori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood is the first volume of Witi Ihimaera’s enthralling memoir, packed with stories from the formative years of the bestselling author of Whale Rider and Pounamu, Pounamu. He tells of his early life in rural and small town New Zealand, of family secrets, of facing anguish and challenges, and of laughter and love.” (from randomhouse)

ComicFest Profile: Greg Broadmore 101

The Shmuck_webGB_KSC resized

Greg Broadmore will take part in a panel talk with fellow Weta Workshop artist, Paul Tobin on Saturday the 2nd of May, between 12 and 1pm at the Central library. Images from their brilliant film and comic works as well as items from the Weta Cave will be on display. It’s going to be a lot of fun and before the afternoon in question, here’s a quick profile accompanied by pictures from this multi-talented artists imagined worlds.

Best known in comic circles for his work on the thoroughly imagined and awesomely funny, Dr Grordbort series, Greg Broadmore has also worked as a children’s illustrator, as designer of public art works such as the Tripod sculpture in Courtney Place, but also as concept designer and sculpture on films such as King Kong, The Adventures of Tintin and District 9.


Concept painiting from District 9 of the Exo suit. Greg Broadmore 2008

His Dr Grordbort comic series is a wonderfully exaggerated comic parody of ancient and violent colonial attitudes personified in the faux-British form and murderous swagger of one Lord Cockswain.


Page from ‘Triumph : unnecessarily violent tales of science adventure for the simple and unfortunate.’

The steam-punk  influenced Science Fiction comicsDoctor Grordbort’s contrapulatronic dingus directory,’ Victory: Scientific adventure violence for young men and literate women and Triumph: Unnecessarily violent tales of scientific adventure’ for the simple and unfortunate,’ form the backbone of the Doctor Grordbort comic legend and narrative but this has now extended into intricate ray-gun and weapon replicas, and subsequently into an international touring show that swung through blustery ole Wellington in early 2013!


Doctor Grordbort’s exceptional exhibition

Whilst we wait for the further lusty adventures of Dr Grordbort, Greg continues to work for Weta Workshop on the Dr Grordbort universe in its many guises, along with occasional film work and inspired illustrations!


Girl and tyrant lizard friend

For more ComicFest information and an events timetable go here to our events calender or Facebook page, and check out the display items from Weta Cave on Central’s 1st floor from the 17th of April.

As the fearless Lord Cockswain would say, and quite about another issue all together, probably alien related – but let’s be clear, ah – definitely comic inspired…  “Quit Lolly-Gagging, man, off you go!”

From our librarians: NZ Book Month picks

Earlier this month, we asked our colleagues what their favourite New Zealand book was – here are the results:

Syndetics book coverDreamhunter / Elizabeth Knox.Dreamhunter
“I think I would have to say it’s Elizabeth Knox’s Dreamhunter, I read it when I was 17 and still remember parts of it vividly, and keep wanting to read it again!” (Ottilie)

Syndetics book coverReach / Hugh Brown.
“It is such a wonderful story about growing up in NZ” (Dani)

Syndetics book coverPotiki / Patricia Grace.
“For me, it would probably have to be Potiki by Patricia Grace. It opened a window into a different world for me, one I have been learning about ever since. It is beautifully written and I’ve reread it 4 times, which is very unusual for me!” (Pippa)

Syndetics book coverThe kindness of strangers : (kitchen memoirs) / Shonagh Koea ; with illustrations by Peter Wells.
“I’ve read embarrassingly little New Zealand literature but my favourite so far would be In the Kindness of Strangers: Kitchen Memoirs by Shonagh Koea.” (Beth)

Syndetics book coverWork in progress / by Paul Thomas.
“I really like Paul Thomas’ “Work in Progress”. Its an old one though. What I like about it is the way he writes about day to day things with wit and humour and ravishing honesty.” (Kim)

Syndetics book coverDear sweet Harry / Lynn Jenner.
“Fantastically diverse collection of poetry from a super-naturally talented writer.” (Monty)

Syndetics book coverIt’s love, isn’t it? : the love poems / Alistair Te Ariki Campbell and Meg Campbell ; with an introduction by Joy MacKenzie.
“Poetic tit for tat as Alistair and Meg, often on opposing pages, write poetry on the same events in their life but from, of course, differing and often completely opposite points of view. Affirming and heartbreaking.” (Monty)

Syndetics book coverMr. Allbones’ ferrets : an historical pastoral satirical scientifical romance, with mustelids / Fiona Farrell.
”Currently mine is Mr Allbone’s Ferrets by Fiona Farrell. Wonderfully written, quirky and fun.” (Sara)

Syndetics book coverSoundtrack : 118 great New Zealand albums / Grant Smithies.
“Why? Because the author’s choice of records highlights the eclectic range of music that NZ is famous for……and because he writes about each album in an engaging and highly entertaining style.” (John)

Syndetics book coverFaces in the water
“I think Faces in the Water by Janet Frame needs to be on the list if it’s not already!” (Emily)

Syndetics book coverMemé : the three worlds of an Italian-Chinese New Zealander / Memé Churton.
“A NZ book that I enjoyed reading and was really touched by its narrative is the biography titled, ‘Memé: the three worlds of an Italian-Chinese New Zealander’ by Memé Churton.  Memé married a New Zealander after the 2nd WW and ended up settling in Auckland in the 1950’s. Her life story is set against a dramatic backdrop of history and was shaped by her dynamic personality and the lives of the people who crossed her path. The story has impressed me as I can so very much relate to Memé’s insights into the European lifestyle and family upbringing, and , I can also share her thoughts related to the culture shock that she experienced, when she first arrived in New Zealand. I would recommend this biography to those who love history, politics and intercultural relations.” (Celia)

Syndetics book coverThe Halfmen of O / Maurice Gee.
“I really like the Halfmen Of O series by Maurice Gee. I remember listening to them on the radio when my children were small and they were just great stories.” (Sylvia) (Raewyn & Tamadea’s picks too)

Syndetics book coverThe scarecrow / by Ronald Hugh Morrieson.
“My pick for fiction would have to be “The Scarecrow” by Ronald Hugh Morieson. It’s a savagely comic look at murder, sex, adolescence and family in a small New Zealand town during the Depression. Unlike a lot of New Zealand literature, it’s not dour or po-faced. The characters are brilliantly written, despite some of them being quite grotesque. It is also has probably the best opening line of any NZ novel: “The same week our fowls were stolen, Daphne Moran had her throat cut. ” It really sets up the wonderful mixture of murder and the mundane that run through the entire novel.” (Nicola)

The Godwits Fly by Robin Hyde
“A wonderful work of New Zealand literature which evocates a vivid image of early 20th Century Wellington with all its sights, smells and characters.” (Gabor)

Daylight / Elizabeth Knox.
“Randomly, probably something by Elizabeth Knox, probably Daylight (everyone else would say The Vintner’s Luck maybe – I even prefered The Angel’s Cut to TVL).” (Bridget)

Sons for the return home / by Albert Wendt.
“My new favourite is already a classic – Sons for the Return Home, by Albert Wendt, which despite having two degrees in English I read for the first time only this year.  I like it for its vivid and bittersweet romance (I’m a sucker) and also the specificity of the largely Wellington / Victoria University setting. Although named locations are kept to a minimum in keeping with the book’s light touch, it’s easy to follow the characters as they move from Rankine Brown quad to the Mount Street Ceremony, drive out to Newtown and catch the cable car to Upland Road – the very same streets we tread!

Unlike Australia and Canada, New Zealand as a post-colonial country doesn’t have much city-specific literature, but Sons for the Return Home does something to address that. It never makes the city ‘home’, however, and a large part of the story is addressing the issue of where, with whom, immigrant communities and the Pasifica protagonist can be at home. I loved it. ” (Frith)

Six little New Zealanders / by Esther Glen ; illustrated by Els Noordhof.
“If I’m allowed to mention two – I also recommend the mostly-forgotten Black Boots and Button-hooks series and Six Little New Zealanders – childrens’ books written in the first half of the 20th Century and set in pioneer and colonial times. Black Boots and Buttonhooks is much like a New Zealand version of Little House on the prairie – based on the real childhood of the authors mother in the un-colonised King Country. It’s well worth a read!” (Frith)

Plumb / Maurice Gee.
“Changed my life” (Neil)

Further picks:

Syndetics book coverLonely margins of the sea / Shonagh Koea. (Joy)
Purple heart / by Andrew Fiu. (Magalie)
The foreign woman / Fiona Kidman. (Ada)
No left turn / Chris Trotter. (Tamadea)
The changeover : a supernatural romance / Margaret Mahy. (Tamadea)

The latest 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)

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 below country / Nicholas Edlin.
“Mae Glass is the daughter of a once famous American novelist. From New York to Auckland via post-war Korea, her colourful childhood is itself the stuff of stories. More than thirty years later she travels back to booming Seoul, which is preparing to host the Olympic Games. Accompanied by a quirky, dubious team of guides, she tries to uncover the dark secret of her father’s wartime exploits, only to be besieged by all manner of ghost from her past.” – (adapted from Book cover )

Syndetics book coverThe circus of ghosts / Barbara Ewing.
“New York, late 1840s, and in the wild, noisy, brash and beautiful circus of Silas P. Swift a shadowy, mesmeric woman entrances crowds because she can unlock the secrets of troubled minds. Above them all her daughter sweeps and soars: acrobat and tightrope-walker. The mysterious woman can help so many others, but she cannot unlock dark, literally unspeakable, memories of her own. In London memories fester in the mind of an old and venomous duke of the realm. He plots, with an unscrupulous lawyer (and a huge financial reward) against the mother and the daughter: to kill one, and to abduct the other and bring her across the Atlantic to him”. – (adapted from description)

Syndetics book coverThe trouble with fire / Fiona Kidman.
“This collection of short stories range in time from the colonial period to present day New Zealand, all written with subtlety and insight. They explore how we are all touched and sometimes scarred by the flames of emotion.” – (adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe conductor / Sarah Quigley.
“In June 1941, Nazi troops march on Leningrad and surround it. Hitler’s plan is to shell, bomb, and starve the city into submission. Most of the cultural elite are evacuated early in the siege, but Dmitri Shostakovich, the most famous composer in Russia, stays on to defend his city, digging ditches and fire-watching. At night he composes a new work. But after Shostakovich and his family are forced to evacuate, only Karl Eliasberg, a shy and difficult man, conductor of the second-rate Radio Orchestra, and an assortment of musicians are left behind in Leningrad to face an unendurable winter and start rehearsing the finished score of Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony.” – (adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverScarlet / Leigh Marsden.
“George is captivated by Cass and who could blame her? Cass is beautiful, sexy and outgoing and she and George run riot through the bars and beds of night-time Auckland. But are George and Cass just girls having fun, or is there something more going on? As George sinks deeper into the nightlife her dark past begins to emerge.” – (adapted from Book cover)

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)

Syndetics book coverBy any means / Ben Sanders.
“Friday rush hour, Auckland city. A lone shooter fires across a packed street and kills a man. Detective Sergeant Sean Devereaux is assigned the case. He’s not complaining, his Friday nights are seldom better spent. But the inquiry is not straightforward. Witness accounts are conflicting. The dead man appears to be an unintended victim, with the true target unknown. It’s a homicide that leaves police with no initial suspects and no apparent motive.” – (adapted from Book cover)

A cure for the post Film Festival Blues

The film festival is over but these new additions to the New Zealand collection may help to keep the post film festival blues away. The Film Archive has released the very beautiful, New Zealand film: an illustrated history. Other new additions are The Last Train to Paradise: Journeys from the Golden Age of New Zealand railways and for an interesting browse through Wellington “The Wellington Book” is a book about Wellington captured with illustrations rather than photgraphs.

Syndetics book coverNew Zealand film : an illustrated history / edited by Diane Pivac with Frank Stark and Lawrence McDonald.
“The age of cinema began in Paris in 1895. Within a year New Zealanders saw their first films and in fewer than five they were making their own. New Zealand Film: An Illustrated History is the first book to provide a comprehensive overview of New Zealand film and film making from the very beginning. With contributions from 24 top film writers, historians, household names and industry insiders, this book is an entertaining narrative of more than a century of film making and an essential reference tool for students and film buffs alike.” (Summary adapted from Syndectics)

Syndetics book coverLast train to paradise : journeys from the golden age of New Zealand railways / Graham Hutchins.
“‘Last Train to Paradise’ describes the halcyon days of New Zealand rail, some of which the author was fortunate enough to experience personally. The ‘name’ trains and journeys cover a considerable period of New Zealand’s history, from the late 1800s, through the ‘golden’ era of train travel. The book includes a wide variety of fascinating and unfamiliar photographs, not just of the trains themselves but also of the characters who travelled in them.” (Summary adapted from Syndectics)

Syndetics book coverThe Wellington book / Jess Lunnon … [et al.].
“This book is all about imagination. It captures the Wellington your camera can’t in 120 gloriously illustrated pages. If you would like a visually diverting and mildly educational memento, feast your eyes on this.” (Back Cover)

Syndetics book coverYvonne Rust, QSM : maverick spirit / Theresa Sjoquist.
“Yvonne Rust: Maverick Spirit is the fascinating, richly illustrated biography of Northland’s iconic artist, pioneer potter, and inspired arts educator, Yvonne Rust, QSM. Yvonne grew up during the Depression years as the only white child in Te Hapua, in the Far North. She graduated with a Dip.FA in 1946, and went on to teach art in schools. As a painter and at the forefront of the pottery movement in the 1950s, she worked closely with such luminaries as Barry Brickell, Ted Bracey, Faith McManus, Richard Parker, Sir Jon Trimmer and Michael Trumic. She believed New Zealand had its own spirit and she sought relentlessly to express it.”(Summary adapted from Syndectics)

Syndetics book coverKarori and its people / edited by Judith Burch & Jan Heynes.
“This book traces Karori’s transition from its beginnings as a rural outpost in the 1840’s, through to the thriving community it is today – one of New Zealands largest and most significant suburbs.” (Back Cover)

History is King

Many of the New Zealand collection newest titles this month have a history focus. A collection of writings from one of the most widely read New Zealand historians Michael King heads the list.

Syndetics book coverThe silence beyond / selected writings by Michael King ; with an introduction by Rachael King.
“The Silence Beyond is a wide-ranging and often personal collection of King’s writings – many in print for the first time or no longer available – including essays, talks and eulogies for friends.” –Back cover.

Syndetics book coverWellington’s railways : colonial steam to Matangi / David Parsons.
“An illustrated record of the Wellington railway system. David Parsons documents progress of the greater Wellington railway system and motive power development through to introduction of the new Matangi multiple units. Also covered are associated transport modes including tramways, the cable car, rail ferries and rail air, with a chapter covering rail transport museums situated within the suburban network. This book is profusely illustrated with colour and black-and-white photographs of motive power variants, stations and associated infrastructure”.(Summary from Syndectics)

Syndetics book coverKarori and its people / edited by Judith Burch & Jan Heynes.
This book traces Karori’s transition from its beginings as a rural outpost in the 1840’s, through to the thriving community it is today – one of New Zealands largest and most significant suburbs. (Summary adapted from the back cover)

Syndetics book coverJohn Larkins Cheese Richardson : ‘the gentlest, bravest and most just of men’ / Olive Trotter.
“This biography recalls Richardson’s life of service in mid-nineteenth-century New Zealand. An Englishman born in Bengal, Richardson’s public life began in Dunedin, a small New Zealand town. Of note is his push for equal education for women, and his lengthy report on the rabbit population problem, foreseeing modern invasive species regulations. Illustrated with period photographs. Trotter is a Dunedin-based writer. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (” (Summary from Syndectics)

Syndetics book coverShaping Godzone : public issues and church voices in New Zealand 1840-2000 / Laurie Guy.
Churches as institutions, and Christians as individuals and groups, have made significant and often contentious contributions to shaping private and public morality and issues of social justice in New Zealand. Laurie Guy provides a lively account of Church and Christian involvement in a selection of these issues. This ground-breaking book highlights the influence of the church in the shaping of ‘Godzone’ – Aotearoa New Zealand. (Summary adapted from Syndectics)

Syndetics book coverNew Zealanders in focus : the documentary photography of Peter James Quinn.
“Peter James Quinn is one of New Zealand’s preeminent social documentary photographers. His images are revealing, offering insights into the nature of society we thought we knew well. His are images of humanity, pride, sadness, unbridled joy all approached with compassion and humour”.(Summary from Syndectics)

All New Zealand Sports & Fitness

For all of you New Zealand manly blokes!

Syndetics book coverHunter / Graeme Marshall.
“Graeme Marshall has always loved to write. This, his tenth book, is devoted to his passion for hunting. He wrote his first magazine article for fledgling Rod and Rifle in 1981 and has contributed to every issue bar one since then. Whilst most of his books have revolved around trout fishing this is his fourth hunting book, including the most recent, Aerial Hunter, The Dick Deaker Story.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverSouth Island Trout Fishing Guide / John Kent ; photography by Patti Magnano Madsen.
“John Kent’s South Island Trout Fishing Guide is a comprehensive guide to the South Island’s incomparable trout fishing waters. More than 400 rivers and 150 lakes are described, along with their location, access, fishing season and appropriate techniques and flies. This book will be of special interest to anglers who enjoy the challenge of exploring and fishing new water.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverThe New Zealand tramper’s handbook : everything you need to know to stay safe and have fun / Sarah Bennett & Lee Slater.
“New Zealand has some of the most magnificent and accessible wilderness areas on earth, and exploring them on foot is both exhilarating and rewarding. The key to an enjoyable and safe outdoor adventure lies in sound preparation, and THE NEW ZEALAND TRAMPER’S HANDBOOK is an excellent starting point. Aimed at beginner trampers, it gives practical and sensible information on: clothing, footwear and equipment; maps and navigation; weather, river crossings and other challenges; safety and survival skills; camping tips and hut etiquette; the trampers’ pantry – eating well on the track; useful pre-trip checklists.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverBlue Water : Stories from a Life Afloat / Lindsay Wright.
“Blue Water is a book for all those who hear the call of the ocean and dream of whenthey can next go down to the sea.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverHooked on Hunting : Stories from the Bush / Martin Brenstrum.
“Martin Brenstrum has been exploring New Zealand’s backcountry since as far back as he can remember. In HOOKED ON HUNTING he shares a decade and a half of hunting yarns (and a few good fishing yarns along the way), from the days when you could go bush in the morning and be home in the evening with a deer cheque in your pocket and a satisfied, if knackered, grin on your face. Recalling the many friends he hunted with and the often hugely entertaining – at least in the telling – experiences they had in all weathers, in all conditions, but invariably with equal doses of enthusiasm and determination, Brenstrum also shares his keen knowledge of their quarry, the surrounds and the skills needed to be successful in the rough terrain they traversed. Thoroughly engaging reading, this is not a book just for hunters but for anyone who enjoys a good yarn.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFishing New Zealand : Over 1000 Fishing & Diving Spots / [edited by] Mark Draper, Tony and Jenny Enderby.
Book includes
– North Cape to Stewart Island boat fishing & diving spots
– shore fishing & fresh water spots
– marine charts & topographic maps
– GPS marks, target species, best conditions & expert tips.

Syndetics book coverThe New Zealand Pig Hunter’s Handbook : and Resource Guide / Paul Askin.
“At last a book that covers all aspects of pig hunting in New Zealand, practical information based on experience, written by a skilled and knowledgeable hunter. It covers everything an aspiring hunter needs to know and a lot of information an experienced hunter can learn from.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverFly Fishing in New Zealand Lakes / John Kent & David Hallett.
“New Zealand has a worldwide reputation as a fly fisher’s paradise. Renowned author and trout-fishing specialist John Kent has selected 20 of the very best lakes, covering both the North and South islands, and presents here, complete with stunning photography by David Hallett, a complete guide to New Zealand’s premier fly fishing spots.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverSoft Plastic Bait Fishing in New Zealand / John Eichelsheim.
“Fishing with soft plastics has continued to grow in New Zealand. The baits continue to catch more fish. John Eichelsheim has returned to the file to update and revise the text with new develolpments in the soft bait revolution. John is perfectly placed as a freelance writer for a number of fishing and boating magazines – and a keen fisherman – to be able to access key information related to soft baits.” (Global Books)