Reader Highlights from Summer Reading!

Check out these awesome photos of our enthusiastic readers photo highlights whilst participating in our Summer Reading Adventure! One of the challenges is to take your book outside and discover the great outdoors. For some, that’s finding solace from the summer heat under the shade of a leafy tree, for others its a secluded spot with a killer view!

Photo collage of lots of reading spots, including on the ferry, in the library, under tree branches, in a forest, on the couch at home, and on a garden swingPhoto collage of books outdoors - at the beach, by a bonfire, under a tree, watching the sunset

We also asked readers to get making! Whether it be a LEGO® architectural masterpiece or a crafty holiday project using all the bits and bobs, we wanted creativity to run free… and look at the masterful results of our readers!

Lego creations - a dragon, a moon landing module, a person, and Lego friends creations Crafty creations - a crochet monster, a mini loom weaving, a towel hoodie for after the pool

A library bingo grid sheet, with lots of activitiesThere’s also still time left to complete challenges and mark off your Library Bingo sheets! Simply drop by any Library branch and grab a Bingo sheet that’s full of fun activities to complete across the Summer Reading Adventure! Do you have a friend or family-member who isn’t tech-savvy but would love our Summer Reading Adventure? Recommend Library Bingo to them as a way to join the fun!

Help us reach our community goal of reading 20,000 books before the Summer Reading Adventure ends on January 31st!

(Note: Please return your completed Bingo sheet to your library by February 7th).

What’s hot, what’s not: Summer Reading Adventure reviews

Summer Reading Adventure - 1 December 2023 to 30 January 2024

Full information - Summer Reading Adventure 23/24

Have you ever harboured secret dreams about being a world-famous New York Times literary critic?

Or read a book that you simply must share with the world?

Or, conversely, want to spread the word about a tome that simply just wasn’t up to scratch?

One of the most popular activities in our Summer Reading Adventure, both with children and adults alike, are the reviews.

We’ve received over ten thousand reviews to date as part of this year’s Summer Reading Adventure. These range from twelve words or so long (short and sweet!), to pages in length; can be funny or serious or right on the money — it’s really up to you! (But please no straight copies of book cover reviews as we have to reject these.)

And whilst the prestige of a review well-written is reward enough, we also have some spot prizes to give out!

So, if being an ace book reviewer appeals to you, find details below about getting started with Summer Reading at the link below, and send us your reviews!

Summer Reading Adventure – All the info

To whet your appetite, below are just a few of the thousands of reviews we’ve already received. Have a read, and send us your reviews! Remember, it’s not just physical books — don’t forget to log your eBooks or audiobooks and help us reach our 20,000 collective target!

Night tribe / Butler, Peter
“YA fiction is not normally my thing, but I was compelled to check it out after hearing Kim Hill interview the author. The tag line is “Deep in a cave off the Heaphy Track an epic adventure unfolds” and the Heaphy Track and environs featured large in my childhood. The premise is that two rangitahi – Millie and Toby – become lost after setting out to find help when their mother breaks her leg in a side track on the Heaphy. They are then “rescued” by a group of people call themselves Night tribe, who dwell within the cave network that riddles the limestone country beneath the North-west Nelson region, yet remain hidden from the outside world. The tribe are supposedly the descendants a bunch of convicts escaped from Botany Bay and eventually shipwrecked on the remote coast above the Heaphy river after a skirmish with local iwi 200 years ago. Throughout the story line blends factual events with imaginary ones, the author having worked on the Heaphy and still lives in the Golden Bay region. His knowledge of the region shines through the work. His previous works were non fiction and this is his first YA book. While it wasn’t my thing overall, I feel it would appeal to its intended audience, and its great to see a New Zealand themed adventure story come to the YA market.” (Review by Linda)

One Piece Omnibus 67-68-69 : New World / Oda, Eiichirō
“Another fantastic volume, thank you Oda sensei. I particularly enjoyed the part just after Luffy ate a dragon, when that decapitated chauvinist Samurai kept scaring all those giant children held captive on the 50/50 punk island with his Marlin from Nemo “have you seen my son!?” schtick. Nice also to see Captain Smoker back in the fray, that guy’s so cool. Smoking TWO cigars at the same time? Inspired.” (Review by Ethan)

Everyone in my family has killed someone / Stevenson, Benjamin
“A fun whodunit with quirky characters, a humorous narrator, relatable family drama (without any murder thus far in my family ), all while maintaining a sense of danger. My favorite book that I’ve read in the last 6 weeks. I’ll look out for new books from the author.” (Review by Tali )

Bowerbird blues / Parker, Aura
“OH MY GOODNESS! What a stunning book with the sweetest story. The artwork is breath-taking and deeply soothing in shades of blue, and the story is delicious poetry. This would be a lovely book to read aloud to little ones, have them read to you or to just enjoy on ones own, no matter the age. The depictions of Sydney are particularly wonderful.” (Review by Kath)

Beowulf : a verse translation
“This version of the greatest Old English epic poem to be preserved in the Nowell Codex is a simple presentation of the original text with heavy glossing on facing pages. If you want to understand the origins of epic fantasy in English literature, this is the place to start. Much has been made of the difficulty of reading and translating Beowulf, so if you are totally unfamiliar with the story or the language, I might suggest starting with the Seamus Heaney translation, or the great recent graphic novel adaptation by Santiago Garcia and David Rubin. But if you’re keen to jump into the original text, this is as good a place as any to do so. But look, I won’t lie to you. The story is as basic as they come (spoilers ahead). There’s this dude called Beowulf, he’s a big ol’ guy with big ol’ muscles, and he kills a big ol’ monster called Grendel for the crime of eating 30 Danish party-goers… every day for like 20 years (you would think the Danes might have called in the cavalry a little earlier but I guess they didn’t want to look like lil nerds who couldn’t even take down one monster). Then he kills another big ol’ monster who happens to be Grendel’s mum. Then he gets to sit around being king for a while before he has to kill — you guessed it — a third big ol’ monster. Except this one is a dragon and it sets him on fire and bites a hole in his neck, thus ending Beowulf’s story (though being the badass he is, being on fire and bleeding out doesn’t prevent him from killing the dragon anyway — his last words are basically “at least show me the sick loot I got for beating this boss” before dramatically dying all over his new pile of gold-plated dinnerware). So if you like monsters, magic, epic journeys and lots of blood and gore, Beowulf is the story for you! It’s basically LOTR (or like the second half of The Hobbit) but without all the filler. It’s not all doom and gloom though — the sċop (bard) who wrote the original version of the poem down devotes a weird amount of time to dunking on this loser Unferth who keeps trying and failing to talk down to our buddy Beowulf. Not cool, Unferth — in Beowulf’s words, “in helle sċealt werhðo drēogan, þēah þīn wit duge” (basically, “go to hell you big nerd.”) Classy!” (Review by Stephen)

Summer Reading Adventure: January update

Summer Reading Adventure - 1 December 2023 to 30 January 2024

Summer Reading 2023 BlogOur adult Summer Reading Adventure is now well and truly underway and will continue to run until the 31st of January. If you’re not already involved, it isn’t too late to join the excitement (details of how to do so below).

Below are just a few of the fun statistics from this year’s adventure so far:

  • We have 1474 readers taking part! (so far)
  • As of January the 9th, 12,431 books have been read. That’s roughly 4.2 books per adult.
  • So far, a whopping 10,208 book reviews have been submitted.
  • There’s been 2,862 quests completed, with the most popular adult ones being:
    • Take A Trip Down Memory Lane. Revisit one of your favourite books from your childhood!
    • Summer Listening: eAudiobooks. Listen to an eAudiobook from Libby or BorrowBox.

Continue reading “Summer Reading Adventure: January update”

Summer Reading is back!

Summer Reading 2023 Blog

Summer Reading 2023 Blog

Read books, explore the city, win prizes! This year the Summer Reading Adventure runs from 1 December 2022 — 31 January 2023, and we are inviting intrepid explorers of word and page of all ages to join us — children, teens, and adults!

Pre-registrations are open from the last week of November — find all the information over on our Summer Reading information page, or head straight to our Summer Reading Beanstack website to get started!

Continue reading “Summer Reading is back!”