Books on CD: a new lease on borrowing life!

The Origin audiobook cover

Audiobooks are free at Wellington Central Library! If you’re downloading or listening on CD there is no charge and the lending period for books on CD is still four weeks. We have collected all of the CD audiobooks at the Central Library and you can now find them at the end of the Fiction collection on the ground floor, just to the side of the Fiction Enquiries desk.

Books on CD are a curious phenomena in the story telling world- a whole book read to you as you choose to hear it! No USB port in your vehicle? Books on CD are great for a road trip, lengthy car trips become a time to enjoy a tale. A ten CD set can be devoured in one sitting, well you might need a comfort stop or three. Admittedly, there is the odd cringe at the delivery of the occasional narrator, but the variety of classic titles to newly published material, read by an array of performers means that there is plenty to choose from.

There are some great titles to borrow have look at some of our new acquisitions below:

Earthly remains / Leon, Donna
“During an interrogation Commissario Guido Brunetti acts rashly, doing something he will quickly come to regret. In the aftermath, he begins to doubt his career choices and realises that he needs a break. Granted leave from the Questura, Brunetti is shipped off to a villa on Sant’Erasmo- a place of rest, reflection, and reading. Then David Casati, the caretaker, goes missing after a storm, and Brunetti feels compelled to investigate.” (Catalogue)

Death of a ghost / Beaton, M. C
“When Police Sergeant Hamish Macbeth hears reports of a haunted castle near Drim, he assumes the eerie noises and lights reported by the villagers are just local teenagers. Still, Hamish decides that he and his policeman, Charlie “Clumsy” Carson, will spend the night at the ruined castle to get to the bottom of the rumors once and for all. There’s no sign of any ghost… but a dead body propped against the wall. Something strange and deadly is going on at the castle, and Hamish must get to the bottom of it before the “ghost” can strike again…” (Catalogue)

The last Tudor / Gregory, Philippa
“The latest novel from Philippa Gregory features one of the most famous girls in history, Lady Jane Grey, and her two sisters, each of whom dared to defy her queen. At seventeen, Lady Jane Grey was England’s queen for nine days before Mary Tudor claimed the throne and had her executed. Jane’s younger sister, Katherine, was locked in the Tower of London by queens Mary and Elizabeth to prevent her producing a Tudor son. But the last Grey sister, a beautiful dwarf disregarded by the court, keeps her family’s secrets.” (Catalogue)

A legacy of spies / Le Carré, John
“Spymaster le Carré returns with his greatest creation, George Smiley. Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, has retired to his family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London are to be scrutinised by a generation with no memory of the Cold War.” (Catalogue)

The house of unexpected sisters / McCall Smith, Alexander
“Precious Ramotswe and Grace Makutsi investigate a new mystery and learn valuable lessons about first impressions and forgiveness in this latest installment of this irresistibly charming series. Precious Ramotswe has always idolised her father, the late Obed Ramotswe. She feels that she knows all about his life, but does she? Sometimes our parents surprise us, and we discover that things were not quite what we thought them to be.” (Catalogue)

The terranauts / Boyle, T. Coraghessan
“It’s 1994, and in the Arizona desert a grand experiment is underway. As climate change threatens the earth, eight scientists, four men and four women dubbed the “Terranauts,” are to live under glass in a prototype of an off-earth colony. With humor and wit, T.C. Boyle inhabits the perspectives of the players in this survivalist game, illuminating the inherent fallibility of human nature.” (Catalogue)

Origin : a novel / Brown, Dan
“In keeping with his trademark style, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art, and architecture into this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind’s two most enduring questions, and the earthshaking discovery that will answer them.” (Catalogue)

The woman in the window : a novel / Finn, A. J
“A twisty, powerful Hithcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house. Finn’s white-knuckler defines the term hot debut. Its heroine, the reclusive Anna Fox, hides away in her New York apartment tippling wine, watching old movies, and looking out the window, most recently at the husband, wife, and teenage son who just moved in across the way. Then she sees-or thinks she sees-something shocking, and what follows has wracked nerves enough to merit Gone Girl/Girl on the Train comparisons. (Catalogue)

Reader’s Choice Fiction selections

Sometimes reading gives you those “I can’t believe they did that!” moments, when an author turns around a plot or a character arc, or kills off the last person you expected!  Sometimes you get an “I see what they did there” when writing unexpectedly speaks directly to your own life experience. Sometimes you want to tell someone about it…

The Readers’ Choice selections are books nominated by people who want to pass on their reading experience to the library community. These selections are highlighted with Reader’s Choice stickers so that others can find great reading material.  You can find slips for Reader’s Choice reviews in new books, or ask staff for one if you have a review or recommendation to embellish the library collection.

The surrogate / Jensen, Louise
“Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream. But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets. And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye. As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family.” (Catalogue)

“I thought this book was a really good psychological thriller with a good twist at the end.  Overall would recommend it to other fans of Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, The Couple Next Door, etc.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4/5 stars)

Stick together / Hénaff, Sophie
“After their successful solving of three cold cases and exposing corruption at the very highest level of the Paris police force, Anne Capestan’s squad of misfits and no-hopers should be in a celebratory mood. However, now despised by their colleagues at 36 quai des Orfevres and worried for their future, morale has never been lower among the members of the Awkward Squad. Capestan does her best to motivate her troops, but even she cannot maintain a cheerful facade when she has to investigate the murder of Commissaire Serge Rufus, the father of her ex-husband.” (Catalogue)

“I thought this book was entertaining and well written with characters that were unusual enough to be memorable.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 stars)

A dangerous crossing / Khan, Ausma Zehanat
” For Inspector Esa Khattak and Sergeant Rachel Getty, the Syrian refugee crisis is about to become personal. Esa’s childhood friend, Nathan Clare, calls him in distress: his sister, Audrey, has vanished from a Greek island where the siblings run an NGO. Audrey had been working to fast-track refugees to Canada, but now, she is implicated in the double-murder of a French Interpol agent and a young man who had fled the devastation in Syria.” (Catalogue)

“The murders are incidental to the main (or more important) story – that of life as a refugee in a Greek refugee camp.  It is written from an outsider’s perspective, but I almost felt I was in the camp at times…” ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 stars)

The girl in the moon / Goodkind, Terry
Angela juggles multiple jobs to live a secluded life in a cabin in the mountains. But she also lives a secret life, right under everyone’s noses. Because her family’s bloodline carries the ability to recognize killers, she adopts a solitary, violent existence in service of her own, personal mission in life. When Angela unexpectedly finds herself the prey of a group of international terrorists, she is the only one who knows the truth of what they are about to do. She might look like an unlikely hero. She might also be our only hope.” (Catalogue)

“Fantastic. I will definitely read other books written by this author. I hope this author writes further in the series with the lead female, Angels Constantine.” (no star rating given)

I am watching you / Driscoll, Teresa
“A missing girl. A tormented witness. A web of lies. And someone is watching… When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it – until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls – beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard – has disappeared. A year later, Anna is still missing. Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night – and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own. Someone knows where Anna is – and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ells.”  (Catalogue)

“I thought this book was an excellent read. A great story that kept me glued.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5 star rating)

2015 Ngaio Marsh Award

Syndetics book coverThe Ngaio Marsh Award made annually for the best crime, thriller or mystery written by a New Zealand citizen or resident, began in 2010. It show cases some of the best writing in this genre, and this year’s short-list is no exception. Featuring five of the country’s best known writers, the decision of the judging panel will be difficult.
The shortlist is:
Paul Cleave for Five minutes alone
Barbara Ewing for The Petticoat men
Paddy Richardson for Swimming in the dark
Tina Shaw for The Children’s pond
Paul Thomas for Fallout
The winner will be announced on 4th October in Christchurch.

2013 Ngaio Marsh Award shortlist announced

Recently the shortlist for New Zealand’s own Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel was announced in Christchurch. This award began in 2010 to recognise and proclaim excellence in New Zealand mystery, crime and thriller writing. In association with the Christchurch Writers’ Festival Trust it is presented to the best novel published the preceding year.

Past winners have been in 2012, Neil Cross for his novel, Luther: the calling, in 2011 Paul Cleave for his novel Blood Men, and in 2010 Alix Bosco for his novel Cut & Run.

The four novels shortlisted for 2013 are The Laughterhouse by Paul Cleave, Little Sister by Julian Novitz, Faceless by Vanda Symon and Death on Demand by Paul Thomas.

Syndetics book cover Syndetics book cover Syndetics book cover Syndetics book cover

The winner will be announced on 2nd December 2013.

Popular author Tom Clancy has died

Syndetics book coverThe very popular American thriller author Tom Clancy has died aged 66. Born in Baltimore, where spent his life. After graduating in 1969 and before embarking on a literary career he ran an independent insurance agency. His first novel, The Hunt for the Red October, was published in 1984 and set a new genre of detailed military science and espionage storylines. A prolific writer, he was only one of three authors to have sold 2,000,000 copies of a title on first printing in the 1990’s and that was for his fifth novel, titled Clear and Present Danger. Some of his novels were adapted to film. He was also the co-founder of the video game developer Red Storm Entertainment; over fifty video games were released based on his novels and characters.

Need a new tattoo? : Life after the Millenium Trilogy

David Fincher’s remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has spawned a second wave of enthusiasts seeking out Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy in print. Starting with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the Millenium Trilogy follows journalist Mikael Blomkvist and hacker Lisbeth Salander through a series of conspiracies, murders and dark familial secrets. If you’ve seen the films but have yet to read the books, it’s well worth diving in. Though you’ll anticipate some twists and turns, you’ll also be rewarded with greater plot detail and a more thorough joining of the dots than is possible within the space of a film.

If you’ve already read the series, you might be wondering where to go next. Featured below is a list of titles that in some way echo the themes, characters and feel of the Millenium Trilogy. Cosy mystery fans and other delicate souls avert your eyes! Several of the authors are quite prolific, so if you find one you like there’ll be more to explore.

Syndetics book coverNemesis / Jo Nesbø ; translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett.
“In Nemesis, a Norwegian bestseller translated to English, Harry Hole is an alcoholic detective heading straight for trouble. While his girlfriend is away, he reunites with a former lover, Anna, in a one-night stand. The next day, he wakes up alone, and Anna is found dead. The case is ruled a suicide, but Hole doesn’t believe it. While he quietly investigates her death, another case is building that must be solved. A string of bank robberies have left the city ravaged and several people dead, ruthlessly gunned down. The bank robbers are professional, leaving no trace of evidence behind. Hole begins to receive cryptic anonymous e-mails from someone who knows everything, including where he was last night.” (Gale Books & Authors)
Jo Nesbo will be visiting Wellington for the Writers and Readers Week in March 2011.

Syndetics book coverMiss Smilla’s feeling for snow / Peter Hoeg ; translated from the Danish by F. David.
“Smilla Jasperson is an outsider, an exile from the vast white wastes of her birth, an icy, bitter, and intellectual woman. She loves or needs no one, but is touched when a small Greenlander boy in her building, Isaiah, needs her help. When Isaiah dies mysteriously, Smilla is determined to understand why. Despite the official attitude that Isaiah’s death was accidental, she digs for answers–and runs headlong into a vast and frightening conspiracy of which Isaiah was only one casualty.” (Gale Books and Authors)

Syndetics book coverBox 21 / Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström.
“Another best-selling Swedish crime thriller translated for American audiences, this book is the work of TV personality Roslund and former criminal and current youth worker Hellstrom. Their dark and gritty tale revolves around Lithuanian sex slaves Lydia and Alena, vicious and rarely convicted mob enforcer Jochum Lang, and Hilding Oldeus, a desperate heroin junkie. Their stories converge when cranky, old-fashioned police inspector Ewert Grens is assigned to the investigation of Lydia’s horrific murder by her pimp, Lang and Oldeus get out of jail, and Grens resumes his crusade to put Lang away permanently.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverHypothermia / Arnaldur Indridason ; translated by Victoria Cribb.
“Against the backdrop of Reykjavik, Iceland, police detective Erlendur is investigating the apparent suicide of a troubled young woman named Maria. The more Erlendur learns about Maria, however, the more he suspects that she did not take her own life. Rather, Erlendur believes Maria was murdered as the result of an unusually evil scheme. As more details about Maria’s case are revealed, Erlendur examines his own life, the choices he has made, and the misdeeds of his past that remain unresolved. Hypothermia is the sixth book in Arnaldur Indridason’s Reykjavik Thriller series, which also includes Arctic Chill and The Draining Lake.” (Gale Books & Authors)

Syndetics book coverThe man from Beijing / Henning Mankell ; translated by Laurie Thompson.
“When 19 people are brutally murdered in Hesjovallen, Sweden, a judge named Birgitta Roslin becomes interested in the case. Birgitta realizes that she is distantly related to a number of the victims, so she travels to the small town to look for answers. Although the local police are unhappy about her investigations, Birgitta finds a diary that gives clues about possible motives for the crime. It seems that the murder victims were descendants of a man who oversaw Chinese workers who helped build the first American transcontinental railroad. The overseer was a cruel man who mistreated the Chinese workers. After Birgitta learns that other people related to the overseer were murdered in the United States, she suspects that the murders were motivated by violence that occurred more than a century earlier.” (Gale Books & Authors)

Syndetics book coverThe black path / Åsa Larsson ; translated by Marlaine Delargy.
“On an early spring night in northern Sweden, the body of a woman is discovered by a fisherman. Police inspector Anna-Maria Mella and her colleague Sven-Erik Stalnacke are called to Tornetrask to investigate. Identifying the body as Inna Wattrang, the head of information for Kallis Mining, Mella soon learns that Wattrang was severely tortured before she was murdered. Wanting to learn more about Kallis Mining before she meets with its owner Mauri Kallis, Mella turns to attorney Rebecka Martinsson for help in sifting through information about the company. Although Martinsson is happy to help Mella with the investigation, she is still recovering herself from a previous case. Investigating both Kallis and Wattrang’s brother, Diddi, Mella soon learns that Kallis Mining’s business dealings may be the cause of Wattrang’s death.” (Gale Books & Authors)
Also available as an eBook

Syndetics book coverThe informationist / Taylor Stevens.
“In The Informationist by Taylor Stevens, a missing-persons case draws Vanessa Michael Munroe back to the treacherous region of Africa she escaped as a teenager. While living with her missionary parents in Cameroon, Vanessa ran off with a shady gun-runner before giving up her risky lifestyle for a job in the States. Working as an informationist in Texas, Vanessa gathers intelligence for prominent clients. When a wealthy businessman, Richard Burbank, needs help locating his missing daughter in Africa, Vanessa agrees to return. Back in Africa, Vanessa meets up with her ex, Francisco Beyard, and confronts the dangers she left behind.” (Gale Books & Authors)

Syndetics book coverThe reversal / by Michael Connelly.
“The Reversal is a mystery novel by Michael Connelly, author of the Harry Bosch series. When convicted child killer Jason Jessup is set free after new DNA evidence clears his name, lawyer Mickey Haller is determined to prove that Jessup is indeed guilty. He enlists the help of LAPD Detective Harry Bosch to prove once and for all that Jessup is a cold-blooded killer. Unfortunately, time and evidence are stacked against Bosch and Haller–if they aren’t quick enough, Jessup may claim another victim. Connelly is the bestselling author of The Scarecrow and The Lincoln Lawyer.” (Gale Books and Authors)
Also available as an eBook or downloadable audiobook

For more read-alike suggestions, try Books & Authors, a book recommendation tool the library subscribes to. Just type in the name of a book you’ve enjoyed and it will (in many cases) provide you with a list of similar or related reads. They also have recommended title lists for a variety of genres; award winners; book reviews and a search tool where you can choose plot elements and other features you might enjoy in a novel.

See also our previous post on Stieg Larsson read-alikes

Who writes like… Stieg Larsson

If you’ve read the Millennium trilogy (whilst consuming large quantities of coffee and cheese and pickle sandwiches) and want to read something similar next, here are some authors to try:

Karin Alvtegen
Ake Edwardson
Kjell Eriksson
Karin Fossum
Matti Joensuu
Mari Jungstedt
Camilla Lackberg
Asa Larsson
Jo Nesbo
Hakan Nesser
Anders Roslund
Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Johan Theorin

Read all these and you’ll be an expert on Scandinavian murder mysteries (for example, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are all represented here).

More “who writes like” suggestions can be found on the library’s fiction page here.