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National Talk Like Shakespeare Day

Well met by blog-light dear reader! This morn thou shalt transpose thy common tongue from the likes of rude mechanicals to the lofty and joyous discourse of the sage Bard himself!

In other words, Happy National Talk Like Shakespeare Day!

Following the tradition started in 2009 by the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, NTLS Day celebrates Shakespeare’s birthday on the 23rd April (1564) by encouraging people to break out into their best Bard-ish slang. They even include a few pointers on their website, including:

  • Adding “eth” to the ends of verbs (e.g. she liveth, she laugheth, she loveth)
  • Bulk up your word count by adding “methinks”, “mayhaps”, or “forsooth”
  • Upgrade your insult repertoire with the occasional “fiendish codpiece”, “beef-witted lout”, or – if you’re really wanting to knock them down a peg – “the rankest compound of villainous smell that ever offended nostril” (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 3:5)
  • Alternatively, you might aim to woo a prospective suitor with a flowery sonnet or blazon (a poem that lists the admirable features of its subject), but BE FOREWARNED – Shakespeare’s own characters have found this to be something of a challenge.

“I can find no rhyme to ‘lady’ but ‘baby’, an innocent rhyme; for ‘scorn’ ‘horn’, a hard rhyme; for ‘school’ ‘fool’, a babbling rhyme: very ominous endings. No, I was not born under a rhyming planet, nor I cannot woo in festive terms.”                 
                         – Benedict (Much Ado About Nothing, 5:2:26-30)

Shakespeare’s Elizabethan audience might have equally struggled, since the majority of people actually spoke very differently to the characters in his plays! Despite the prevailing myth that Shakespeare’s dialogue reflected the everyday style of conversation, the Bard actually used a sort of ‘stage voice’ in order to give the play a more romantic and grandiose impact.

via GIPHY


Take a look here for more information on National Talk Like Shakespeare Day, or browse our impressive collection of Shakespearean or Bard-inspired works!

These violent delights / Gong, Chloe
“In 1926 Shanghai, eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, heir of the Scarlet Gang, and her first love-turned-rival Roma Montagov, leader of the White Flowers, must work together when mysterious deaths threaten their city.– Provided by Publisher.” (Catalogue)


William Shakespeare’s Much ado about mean girls / Doescher, Ian
“On Wednesdays we array ourselves in pink! Mean Girls gets an Elizabethan makeover in this totally fetch comedy of manners about North Shore High’s queen bees, wannabes, misfits, and nerds. Written in the style of the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Mean Girls tells the story of Cady Heron’s rise from home-schooled jungle freak to one of the most popular girls in school. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hamlet : a novel / Marsden, John
“This wonderful book, by one of Australia’s most loved and most read writers, takes Shakespeare’s famous play and makes it into a moving and full-blooded novel. John Marsden follows the contours of the original but powerfully re-imagines its characters and story lines, rather as Shakespeare treated his sources.” (Catalogue)

Much ado about nothing. / Shakespeare, William
“This exciting new series, produced in partnership with the RSC, is designed to introduce students to Shakespeare’s plays. Using trusted and established RSC approaches and vibrant RSC performance photographs, the series brings Shakespeare’s plays to life in the classroom and establishes a deeper understanding and lasting appreciation of his work.” (Catalogue)

The diary of William Shakespeare, gentleman / French, Jackie
“Part comedy, part love story, this book threads together Shakespeare’s life drawn from his plays. Could the world’s greatest writer truly put down his pen forever to become a gentleman? He was a boy who escaped small town life to be the most acclaimed playwright of the land. A lover whose sonnets still sing 400 years later; a glover’s apprentice who became a gentleman. But was he happy with his new riches? Who was the woman he truly loved? The world knows the name of William Shakespeare. This book reveals the man – lover, son and poet.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Ophelia thinks harder / Betts, Jean
“These 19 characters can be played with a minimum of 9 actors doubling, if preferred. A riotous reworking of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Featuring Ophelia, her maid, St Joan and a couple of locals — Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. (7 male, 12 female).” (Catalogue)

Third witch / French, Jackie
“A searing story of passion, betrayal, battles and love, this is Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ stripped of superstition, and its power and beauty refined into fewer words where good balances the evil and there is a happy ending – for some. Annie is not a witch, but when her mistress Lady Macbeth calls for a potion to ‘stiffen Macbeth’s sinews’, Annie is caught up in plots that lead to murder, kingship and betrayal. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Shakespeare : the world as stage / Bryson, Bill
“William Shakespeare, the most celebrated poet in the English language, left behind nearly a million words of text, but his biography has long been a thicket of wild supposition arranged around scant facts. With a steady hand and his trademark wit, Bill Bryson sorts through this colorful muddle to reveal the man himself. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

YOLO Juliet / Wright, Brett
“Two families at war. A boy and a girl in love. A secret marriage gone oh-so-wrong. What if those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet had smartphones? The classic Shakespeare play told through its characters texting with emojis, checking in at certain locations, and updating their relationship statuses” (Catalogue)

The book of Shakespearean useless information / Montague, Bruce
“This amusing but instructive book assembles many of the legends, lies, the imputations, and a host of uncommon facts from the late Tudor and early Jacobean period, loosely arranged in chronological order to establish William Shakespeare in his literary and historical setting. In doing so, it shows us the man and his time, thereby illuminating the greatest playwright who ever lived.” (Catalogue)

William Shakespeare’s Get thee back to the future! / Doescher, Ian
“Teenaged Marty McFly travels back in time from the 1980s to the 1950s, changing the path of his parents’ destiny…as well as his own. Now fans of the movie can journey back even further—to the 16th century, when the Bard of Avon unveils his latest masterpiece: William Shakespeare’s Get Thee Back to the Future!” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Weird Art (and How to Make It)!

In a world of incredible mainstream artists like Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh, some of the stranger, funnier, and more relatable creatives can be left flying under the radar. It can also make it more difficult for us – the artistic hoi polloi –  to find our own style and way of creating.

Perhaps you could be inspired by Tomislav Jagnjić, a Serbian concept artist and illustrator whose oeuvre includes titles such as “hey psst, wanna buy some cubes” and “can’t believe u forgot the scrolls, how am i supposed to resurrect the dragon now?”

Or maybe you could innovate like Thirza Schaap, a Dutch artist who’s been revamping beach trash to create a grim yet aesthetically pleasing commentary on sea pollution.

Or perhaps you’d rather focus on just one subject, and paint it with such determination that you’re eventually interrogated by police. Look no further than Alex Schaefer‘s fascination with painting the Chase Bank. On fire. Repeatedly.

via GIPHY

And if you’re ever feeling insecure about your work, just remember that  Massachusetts has it’s own museum dedicated entirely to celebrating “art too bad to be ignored” – pop on over here for a browse!

Whatever it is you want to say, and however it is you want to say it, get inspired by our collection on weird art (and how to make it)!


Find your artistic voice : the essential guide to working your creative magic / Congdon, Lisa
“This book is a guide to the process of artistic self-discovery”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)
The best art you’ve never seen : 101 hidden treasures from around the world / Spalding, Julian
“Across the globe there are scores of beautiful and unusual works of art that are largely unseen or fail to receive the critical acclaim they deserve. The Best Art You’ve Never Seen is your essential companion to this hidden world of artistic treasures.” (Catalogue)
You are an artist : assignments to spark creation / Green, Sarah Urist
“More than 50 assignments, ideas, and prompts to expand your world and help you make outstanding new things to put into it […] Full of insights, techniques, and inspiration from art history, this book opens up the processes and practices of artists and proves that you, too, have what it takes to call yourself one.”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Guerrilla Girls : the art of behaving badly / Guerrilla Girls (Group of artists)
“A compendium of artwork by the feminist activist group, the Guerrilla Girls.”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)
Art in minutes / Hodge, Susie
“The perfect compact reference guide for all would-be art buffs. Art historian Susie Hodge takes you on a whistle-stop international tour of all the major artistic cultures, movements, phases, developments, artists and themes, from Prehistoric art to Hyperrealism. Contents also include Greek classicism, Gothic art, the Renaissance, Baroque, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Cubism, surrealism, Pop art and Minimalism.” (Catalogue)


Unexpected art : serendipitous installations, site-specific works, and surprising interventions / Spring, Jenny Moussa
“Graffiti made from cake icing, man-made clouds floating indoors, a luminous moon resting on water. Collected here are dozens of jaw-dropping artworks – site-specific installations, extraordinary sculptures, and groundbreaking interventions in public spaces – that reveal the exciting things that happen when contemporary artists play with the idea of place. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Wall and piece / Banksy
“_______________Banksy. His work. Photographed. With comments by Banksy. In a book. This is that book._______________” (Catalogue)
Modern vintage Illustration / Dawber, Martin
“Past is prologue in this stunning survey of vintage-inspired illustrations that employ classic styles of artistic expression for up-to-date effects.” (Catalogue)
Muse : Uncovering the Hidden Figures Behind Art History’s Masterpieces / Millington, Ruth
“The fascinating true stories of thirty incredible muses–and their role in some of art history’s most well-known masterpieces. We instantly recognize many of their faces from the world’s most iconic artworks–but just who was Picasso’s ‘Weeping Woman’? Or the burglar in Francis Bacon’s oeuvre? Why was Grace Jones covered in graffiti? ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Te Reo Māori Comes to the Marvel Universe: New Comics and Graphic Novels

If there’s one thing we love here at the library, it’s a good comic book or two (or three). Luckily, our hard-working librarians have been breaking a sweat down in the book-mines (otherwise known as our offsite collection storage facility) to make sure that we have lots of new comics to fill the shelves and keep you, our beloved readers, in good reading spirits.

Here are just a few of our favourite recent additions to our comics and graphic novel collection. Hopefully you’ve seen a few of these gracing the shelves at a library near you — if not, click the titles below to get reserving!

Te pakanga a Ngāti Rānaki me Te Ranga-Tipua
“Ngāti Rānaki me Te Ranga-Tipua – mai anō i te wehenga of Rangi rāua ko Papa ko rāua tonu ngā tauā tuahangata rongonui katoa – ka wera te umu pokapoka o te ao tukupū i tēnei pakanga turaki aorangi… He kohinga nō ngā pakiwaituhi hirahira katoa i tēnei tekau tau kua hori – e huihui mai ai a Tua Rino, a Kāpene Amerika, a Toa, a Kaiora, a Katipō, a Tama-Werewere, a Matihao, a Whatupihi, a Rangipō, a Te Autō me te huhua noa atu i tēnei pūrākau e rerekē katoa nei ō rātou āhua ā muri ake nei. A compilation of 13 graphic novels describing the battle between the Avengers and the X-Men, a battle that has continued since the separation of Ranginui and Papatūānuku. The universe is ablaze from a battle that destroys entire planets. Features: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, and Magnet.” (Catalogue)

Oksi / Ahokoivu, Mari
“Poorling is a little bear. She’s a bit different from her brothers. Mother keeps their family safe. For the Forest is full of dangers. It is there that Mana lives, with her Shadow children. And above them all, Emuu, the great Grandma in the Sky. From the heart of Finnish folklore comes a breathtaking tale of mothers, daughters, stars and legends, and the old gods and the new.” (Catalogue)

Jujutsu kaisen. 10, Evening festival / Akutami, Gege
“In order to regain use of his crippled body, Kokichi Muta, otherwise known as Mechamaru, has been acting as an informant for the cursed spirits. He’s prepared for the betrayal when he’s thrust into a battle to the death against Mahito, but is knowing his enemy enough against a cursed spirit whose powers keep growing exponentially?” (Catalogue)

Nerdy librarians’ note: this volume heralds the beginning of the infamous Shibuya arc (explored further in volumes  11, 12, 13, and 14) — to be covered in the next season of the Jujutsu Kaisen anime. If you haven’t started reading Jujutsu Kaisen yet, you should absolutely not start here: find Volume 1 at your local library instead!


Friday. Book one, The first day of Christmas / Brubaker, Ed
“Friday Fitzhugh spent her childhood solving crimes and digging up occult secrets with her best friend Lancelot Jones, the smartest boy in the world. But that was the past, now she’s in college, starting a new life on her own. Except when Friday comes home for the holidays, she’s immediately pulled back into Lance’s orbit and finds that something very strange and dangerous is happening in their little New England town.” (Catalogue)

A-Okay / Greene, Jarad
“A-Okay by Jarad Greene is a vulnerable and heartfelt semi-autobiographical middle grade graphic novel about acne, identity, and finding your place.” (Catalogue)

Whistle : a new Gotham City hero / Lockhart, E
“Sixteen-year-old Willow Zimmerman reconnects with estranged family friend and real estate tycoon E. Nigma, but after he helps her earn enough for medical treatments for her mom she is attacked by the monstrous Killer Croc and upon waking after the fight she gains powers and insight she will need to make the right choices.” (Catalogue)

Tiny dancer / Siegel, Siena Cherson
“Siena Cherson Siegel dreamed of being a ballerina. Her love of movement and dedication to the craft earned her a spot at the School of American Ballet. Siena has worked hard her whole life to be a professional ballet dancer, then makes the difficult decision to quit dancing and tries to figure out what comes next. But what do you do when you have spent your entire life working toward a goal, having that shape your identity, and then decide it’s time to move on? How do you figure out what to do with your life? And how do you figure out who you are?” (Catalogue)

I am not Starfire / Tamaki, Mariko
“Seventeen-year-old Mandy, who dyes her hair black and hates almost everyone, is not like her mother, the tall, sparkly alien superhero Starfire, so when someone from Starfire’s past arrives, Mandy must make a choice about who she is and if she should risk everything to save her mom.” (Catalogue)

Asadora! Volume 1 / Urasawa, Naoki
“A deadly typhoon, a mysterious creature and a girl who won’t quit. In 2020, a large creature rampages through Tokyo, destroying everything in its path. In 1959, Asa Asada, a spunky young girl from a huge family in Nagoya, is kidnapped for ransom – and not a soul notices. When a typhoon hits Nagoya, Asa and her kidnapper must work together to survive. But there’s more to her kidnapper and this storm than meets the eye. When Asa’s mother goes into labor yet again, Asa runs off to find a doctor. But no one bats an eye when she doesn’t return – not even as a storm approaches Nagoya. Forgotten yet again, Asa runs into a burglar and tries to stop him on her own, a decision that leads to an unlikely alliance.” (Catalogue)

Stars in their eyes / Walton, Jessica
“Pop culture-obsessed Maisie can’t wait to get to her first Fancon. But being a queer, disabled teenager with chronic pain comes with challenges. Can Maisie make it through the day without falling over, falling in love or accidentally inspiring anyone? Maisie has always dreamed of meeting her hero, Kara Bufano, an amputee actor who plays a kick-arse amputee character in her favourite show. Fancon is big and exciting and exhausting. Then she meets Ollie, a cute volunteer who she has a lot in common with. Could this be the start of something, or will her mum, who doesn’t seem to know what boundaries are, embarrass her before she and Ollie have a chance?” (Catalogue)

From the Vaults VII: The Archives of Sexuality and Gender

As internet troglodytes naturalised denizens of the internet, it can sometimes be tempting to fall into the belief that everything there is to know can be found for free online. While it’s true that there is an awful lot of information out there, there are two really important things to be aware of:

  • Not everything you can read for free online is true (shocking thought, I know)
  • A lot of the really reliable, peer-reviewed stuff? Yeah. You gotta pay for that (and they wonder why disinformation is rife)

One of the most important, and coolest, things about the public library is that we can get our readers past those paywalls without you having to pay a cent — so you can get access to the most up-to-date, accurate, and reliable info at the low, low cost of typing in your library card number and trying to remember your PIN.

So today, we thought we would spotlight one of our favourite online resources — the Gale Archives of Sexuality and Gender. Whether you’re doing research for school, want to learn more about our queer elders, or are just curious about how societies all over the world have understood and approached questions of sexuality and gender across time — read on, fellow troglodyte, read on!

via GIPHY

Introducing the Archives of Sexuality and Gender

The Gale Archives of Sexuality and Gender is the largest digital collection in the world of primary sources to do with the history and study of sex, sexuality and gender. It’s split up into four different sections, all of which contain everything from magazines, photographs, cartoons, pamphlets, articles, historic books, government briefings, pieces of legislation, pieces of propaganda, and much more — all to do with how sexual norms have changed over time, the development of health education, social movements and activism, changing gender roles… the list goes on.

What’s in the Archives?

The four sections of the Archives are:

  1. International Perspectives on LGBTQ Activism and Culture
    What’s it about?
    This archive collects information about sexual and gender diversity in underrepresented areas of the world, including Oceania and Africa, with a special focus on activism and the global struggle for LGBTQIA+ rights and freedoms.
    What can I find here?
    Newspapers, magazines, cartoons, photographs, personal letters, and other files from prominent activists in Africa and Australia.
  2. LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940, Part I
    What’s it about?
    This archive focusses on grassroots movements that sprung up around the world in support of LGBTQIA+ rights during the mid-20th century, especially around the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
    What can I find here?
    Newsletters, community meeting documents, newspapers, research reports, government briefings, legislation, photographs, medical research, surveys, private letters.
  3. LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940, Part II
    What’s it about?
    This archive provides coverage of groups who, even within the LGBTQIA+ community, have not been as well represented as other activist groups, including religious queer communities as well as Two-Spirit, bisexual, transgender, and intersex communities. The focus in this archive is more on personal stories than on organisations.
    What can I find here?
    Oral histories, posters, interview transcripts, research papers, psychological surveys, personal letters, manuscripts.
  4. Sex and Sexuality, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century
    What’s it about?
    This archive focusses on understanding how various societies’ understanding of sexual and gender norms have changed from the 1500s through to today.
    What can I find here?
    Extremely rare books and manuscripts including poetry, fiction, historic guides to etiquette and behaviour, medical and scientific texts, law, religious literature, and the personal library of Dr. Alfred Kinsey (yes, that Kinsey)

How do I use the Archives?

Well, in some ways an archive is sort of like a microcosm of the general internet. Just like you can with Google, you can do a general search in the archive’s search engine, and it will bring up an array of results that may or may not include what you’re actually looking for.

But an archive like this one is a little bit cleverer than just any old search engine — so for us to get the most out of it, we have to be a little bit cleverer too!

For example, if you’re interested in learning about LGBTQIA+ history in New Zealand, you can use a special Publication Search to limit your results to only items that were ‘born’ in New Zealand. If what you’re looking for is really specific (e.g. “political posters produced in the 1980s in New Zealand relating to the AIDs crisis”), using a combination of Advanced Search tools will be your way to go.

But we can get even cleverer still! Here are two of our favourite ways to use the Archives:

Topic Finder

The Topic Finder helps you visualise connections between what you’ve searched, and other topics that you might not have even considered! This can be really helpful if you’re doing research for a project, for example, because using the Topic Finder, you can quickly see related topics you might like to look into further, that you wouldn’t have found if you were just doing a general search.

Plus, it looks super pretty — here’s a cute example of a quick search I did for “New Zealand” — as you can see, it has quickly broken down that huge topic into a whole bunch of more specific topics that it will be way easier for me to explore further:

The colours! So fetching!

Term Frequency

If you’re a language nerd like me, you’re super interested in how the language we use changes over time. And the language used to describe the LGBTQIA+ community changes frequently as social norms are challenged and eventually changed. The Term Frequency tool lets you see exactly how this works by showing letting you compare how often particular terms are referenced in written works throughout history.

This is a really interesting example — in the below graph, the black line traces usage of the word “transgender,” whereas the blue line traces the usage of the word “transsexual.” Note that “transsexual” was the more common word, until 1993, when transgender activist Leslie Feinberg popularised the use of the word “transgender” in her impactful novel Stone Butch Blues.

Look, a graph might not seem cool to you, but it seems really cool to us!

So what?

Armed with your new array of tools and techniques, go forth and explore! There is so much interesting, exciting, challenging, inspiring, and thought-provoking stuff in this archive just waiting to be found. Go on! Find it!

A Guide to Competitive PowerPointing

There’s a new fad of educational entertainment sweeping throughout the country: The PowerPoint Night. Brought to you by the kind of people who enjoy using slideshows to rank the hotness of the Greek Pantheon, or to methodically explain who they would most enjoy slapping with a wet sock, the PowerPoint Night is a vessel for unadulterated chaos. With great transitions.

So today I’m here to help you on your path to PowerPoint glory with some handy resources and suggestions to get you started. Such as this absolutely vital guide:
PowerPoint 2010 / Wood, William
“Provides step-by-step screen shots that show you how to tackle more than 130 PowerPoint 2010 tasks. Each task-based spread covers a single technique, sure to help you get up and running on PowerPoint 2010 in no time.” (Catalogue)

Because I’m sure none of you have ever used Microsoft Office, Google Slideshow, or Canva in your entire lives. Once you’ve got your hands on this sweet little guide and kicked your dial-up internet into life, here are a few ideas for your very own PowerPoints:

via GIPHY

How to Assemble a Hatred Bouquet

Strange new times call for strange new methods of communication! I propose we revive the practice of communicating through flowers, and – although you can use your linguistic floral skills to say anything – I would vote for focusing your PowerPoint on how to make your bouquet a declaration of eternal animosity. Who wouldn’t want to make their menacing more aesthetic?

A Victorian flower dictionary : the language of flowers companion / Kirkby, Mandy
“Early Victorians used flowers as a way to express their feelings– love or grief, jealousy or devotion. Now modern-day romantics are enjoying a resurgence of this bygone custom. Kirkby shares the historical literary, and cultural significance of flowers.” (Catalogue)

Kate Greenaway’s Language of flowers. / Greenaway, Kate
“Contains alphabetical lists of flowers and the meanings associated with them.” (Catalogue)

DIY Conspiracy Theory

In case the Victoria University Flat Earth Society Facebook page isn’t quite scratching that conspiratorial itch, why not make up your own? PowerPoint night can be the perfect opportunity to make your case for the huge, telepathic platypus that may or may not be living at the centre of the earth.

100 things they don’t want you to know / Smith, Daniel
“Unsolved mysteries, strange disappearances, suspicious cover-ups, and consiracy theories. Discover the secrets they don’t want you to know. – Who was Jack the Ripper? – Why was Lee Harvey Oswald shot? – Where did the Nazis stash their gold? – Who are the real Men-in-Black? – Did the lost cosonauts ever exist? – Who really discovered America? – Why was Stonehenge built? – Did aliens send the “Wow” signal? – Who stole the Irish crown jewels? – How will the world end?” — from back cover” (Catalogue)

Conspiracy theories & secret societies for dummies / Hodapp, Christopher
“Entering the world of conspiracy theories and secret societies is like stepping into a distant, parallel universe where the laws of physics have completely changed: black means white, up is down, and if you want to understand what is really going on, you need a good reference book.” (Catalogue)

Plan Your Own Funeral

What better way to celebrate life than by having a party at the end? Or by having a picnic? A flash mob? Hiring the Wiggles to perform before your open casket? The choice is yours, so get choosing and announce your plans via PowerPoint!

The party of your life : get the funeral you want by planning it yourself / Dillman, Erika
“The Party of Your Life is a lively, irreverent guide to putting the F-U-N back in funeral […] With the help of The Party of Your Life, the newly dead will rest in peace knowing the tips in the book have helped reduce the drama and strain on their survivors, who are likely experiencing the most painful time of their lives.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

They both die at the end / Silvera, Adam
“In a near-future New York City where a service alerts people on the day they will die, teenagers Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio meet using the Last Friend app and are faced with the challenge of living a lifetime on their End Day.” (Catalogue)

Zodiac Signs As….

An oldie but a goodie – why not embrace PowerPoint night to explore some astrological niches? You could pontificate over zodiac signs as panic-buying items (Taurus as toilet-paper & Pisces as flour for sure), tag them as Barbie characters, or discuss what famous landmarks you would most like to eat (Stonehenge looks nice and crunchy). For a little more background info from which to build your case, check out some of our astrology collection:


Nasty astrology : what your astrologer won’t tell you! / MacDonald, Richard
“Exploring exactly what hidden demons lurk within other people’s psyches, this book reveals all the unspoken truths about people’s star signs. Aren’t you bored with all the astrology books that tell you what a nice person everyone is? Don’t you know, deep down, that there are some very unpleasant aspects to all our characters? Wouldn’t you like to know the truth about the other signs? What makes them tick? What their dark little secrets are?” (Catalogue)

Cinemastrology : the movie lover’s guide to the sun, the moon, and the stars / Wonderly, Stella
“Let the celestial signposts of the zodiac guide you to your next cinematic adventure. With Cinemastrology, you’ll find new flicks, view forgotten favorites from a new perspective, make film-watching plans with a friend or date, and even learn a few things about yourself along the way. Cinemastrology will illuminate the sun-sign secrets of some of cinema’s biggest stars, movies, and moviemakers. But the main star is you! Book jacket.” (Catalogue)

So whether you need some free internet with which to get crafting, or are looking to utilise our magnificent and eclectic collection, come on down to your local library for Peak PowerPointing Perfection.

Prime Minister Muldoon vs. Aliens

New Zealand Prime Minister Rob Muldoon might be most remembered for drunkenly announcing a snap election in 1984 (which he lost). But have you heard the story of the time that PM Muldoon demanded that the NZ Defence Force get to the bottom of an apparent case of … UFOs?

The scene: the late 70s, a time of economic inflation, energy crisis and copious moustaches. On a fateful night in December 1978, a few cargo pilots would have an experience they would never forget.

In the skies high over the Kaikōura Ranges, the crew on a freight run by Safe Air Ltd Cargo noticed lights dancing around their Armstrong Whitworth aircraft. Some of the lights seemed to follow the same trajectory as their own aircraft, for several minutes. Captain Powell also picked up an object moving towards him travelling at more than 10,000 miles an hour! The lights varied in size, and some were allegedly as large as a house. These objects even appeared on air traffic control radar in Wellington!

Raising the stakes even higher, a TV news crew from Australia promptly joined the action, and boarded another flight on the 30th December 1978, equipped with cameras – and they got results on film! In a world first, these lights were recorded on film and monitored by Wellington air traffic control. Journalist Quentin Forgarty described seeing “…this string of lights, it started as a small pinpoint of light then grew into this large pulsating globe with tinges of orange and red.”

At this point, Prime Minister Muldoon took a strong personal interest in the lights watched by many witnesses and thousands more people on television. The ‘ Kaikōura Lights’ were to be the first – and only – UFO sighting in New Zealand that lead to a full investigation. An air force Orion was sent on a reconnaissance mission and a Skyhawk jet fighter was put on stand-by to investigate any further sightings. The air force prepared a detailed document, but, alas, the mysterious lights were chalked up to lights from a Japanese squid fleet, the glow of the planet Venus or apparently even moonlight bouncing off cabbages. The radar detections in Wellington were blamed on atmospheric disturbances.

I for one and not entirely convinced by these banal explanations… perhaps you might want to do some further UFO investigation with these items from our collection and local resources👽

What to do if you see a UFO | The Spinoff

josie_UFOA comprehensive guide from The Spinoff, which even includes a link to the 1978 Kaikōura footage!

How UFOs conquered the world : the history of a modern myth / Clarke, David
“A history of the various manifestations and shifting meaning of the Twentieth Century’s single great contribution to mythology: the UFO. Neither a credulous work of conspiracy theory nor a sceptical debunking of belief in ‘flying saucers’, How UFOs Changed the World explores the origins of UFOs in the build-up to the First World War and how reports of them have changed in tandem with world events, science and culture. The book will also explore the overlaps between UFO belief and religion and superstition.” (Catalogue)

The UFO files the inside story of real-life sightings / Clarke, David
“Original records newly released by the Ministry of Defence and now held at The National Archives in Kew reveal how British Intelligence and the CIA investigated many Cold War sightings. This title presents the story of over 200 years of UFO sightings drawing on the formerly secret reports from the Ministry of Defence.” (Catalogue)

Fake news : separating truth from fiction / Miller, Michael
“This title explores journalistic and fact-checking standards, Constitutional protections, and real-world case studies, helping readers identify the mechanics, perpetrators, motives, and psychology of fake news. A final chapter explores methods for assessing and avoiding the spread of fake news.” (Catalogue)

The NZ files : UFOs in New Zealand / Hassall, Peter
“New Zealand has had its share of mysterious happenings and unidentified flying objects, and this attempts a history of UFOs in New Zealand. There have been hundreds of recorded sightings this century and possibly thousands more not recorded.” (Catalogue)

The Manga Behind the Best Anime of the Year

The 6th annual Crunchyroll Anime Awards took place last week, with anime fans turning out in their millions to vote for their favourite shows, characters, artists, voice actors, directors, fight scenes (!), and musical tracks from the last year of anime. Many of the category nominees and winners were spawned from manga, and as you know, we’re big on manga here at the library. So, here are the manga series you can find gracing the shelves of our libraries that are behind this year’s award-winning anime adaptations. Get in quick to reserve ’em, they won’t stay on the shelves long!

(Or if you find yourself having to wait, why not check out our full manga collection here?)

Attack on Titan / Hajime Isayama

{shōnen: action, dark fantasy, post-apocalyptic}

“For the past century, what’s left of mankind has hidden in a giant, three-walled city, trapped in fear of the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they came from or why they are bent on consuming human-kind, but the sudden appearance of an enormous Titan is about change everything.” (Catalogue)

Category wins:

  • Anime of the Year
  • Best Antagonist — Eren Jaeger
  • Best Japanese VA Performance — Yuki Kaji as Eren Jaeger
  • Best Opening Sequence — ‘Boku no Sansou’ by Shinsei Kamattechan

Category nominations:

  • Best Action
  • Best Protagonist — Eren Jaeger
  • Best Fight Scene — Eren Jaeger vs. War Hammer Titan
  • Best Japanese VA Performance — Ayane Sakura as Gabi Graun
  • Best Russian VA Performance — Vlad Tokarev as Eren Jaeger
  • Best Ending Sequence — ‘Shogeki’ by Yuko Ando

Beastars / Paru Itagaki

{shōnen: coming-of-age, drama, fantasy}

“At a high school where the students are literally divided into predators and prey, it’s personal relationships that maintain the fragile peace. Who among them is a Beastar an academic and social role model destined to become a leader in a society naturally rife with mistrust?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Category nominations:

  • Best Romance
  • Best Opening Sequence — ‘Kaibutsu’ by Yoasobi
  • Best Ending Sequence — ‘Yasashii Suisei’ by Yoasobi

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations / Ukyo Kodachi

{shōnen: adventure, fantasy}

“Naruto was a young shinobi with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He achieved his dream to become the greatest ninja in his village, and now his face sits atop the Hokage monument. But this is not his story… A new generation of ninja are ready to take the stage, led by Naruto’s own son, Boruto!” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Category nominations:

  • Best Fight Scene — Naruto Uzumaki vs. Isshiki Otsutsuki

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba / Koyoharu Gotōge

{shōnen: adventure, dark fantasy, martial arts}

“In Taisho-era Japan, Tanjiro Kamado is a kindhearted boy who makes a living selling charcoal. But his peaceful life is shattered when a demon slaughters his entire family. His little sister Nezuko is the only survivor, but she has been transformed into a demon herself! Tanjiro sets out on a dangerous journey to find a way to return his sister to normal and destroy the demon who ruined his life.” (Catalogue)

Category wins:

  • Best Film
  • Best Animation — Ufotable Studios
  • Best Score — composers Yuki Kajiura and Go Shiina
  • Best Ending Sequence — ‘Shirogane’ by LiSA
  • Best French VA Performance — Enzo Ratsito as Tanjiro Kamado
  • Best Latin American VA Performance — Irwin Daayán as Kyojuro Rengoku
  • Best Russian VA Performance — Islam Gandzhaev as Tanjiro Kamado

Category nominations:

  • Best Action

Fruits Basket / Natsuki Takaya

{shōjo: comedy, romance, supernatural}

“After a family tragedy turns her life upside down, plucky high schooler Tohru Honda takes matters into her own hands and moves out…into a tent Unfortunately for her, she pitches her new home on private land belonging to the mysterious Sohma clan, and it isn’t long before the owners discover her secret. But, as Tohru quickly finds out when the family offers to take her in, the Sohmas have a secret of their own–when touched by the opposite sex, they turn into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.” (Catalogue)

Category nominations:

  • Best Drama
  • Best Romance
  • Best Girl — Tohru Honda
  • Best English VA Performance — Laura Bailey as Tohru Honda

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure / Hirohiko Araki

{shōnen: adventure, fantasy, supernatural}

“Young Jonathan Joestar’s life is forever changed when he meets his new adopted brother, Dio. For some reason, Dio has a smoldering grudge against him and derives pleasure from seeing him suffer. But every man has his limits, as Dio finds out. This is the beginning of a long and hateful relationship!” (Catalogue)

Category nominations:

  • Best German VA Performance — Marios Gavrilis as Dio Brando

Jujutsu Kaisen / Gege Akutami

{shōnen: adventure, dark fantasy, supernatural}

“Yuji Itadori is resolved to save the world from cursed demons, but he soon learns that the best way to do it is to slowly lose his humanity and become one himself! In a world where cursed spirits feed on unsuspecting humans, fragments of the legendary and feared demon Ryomen Sukuna were lost and scattered about. Should any demon consume Sukuna’s body parts, the power they gain could destroy the world as we know it…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Category wins:

  • Best Action
  • Best Girl — Nobara Kugisaki
  • Best Fight Scene — Yuji Itadori and Aoi Todo vs. Hanami
  • Best Character Design — designs by Tadashi Hiramatsu and Gege Akutami
  • Best German VA Performance — René Dawn-Claude as Satoru Gojo
  • Best Portuguese VA Performance — Leo Rabelo as Satoru Gojo

Category nominations:

  • Anime of the Year
  • Best Protagonist — Yuji Itadori
  • Best Fight Scene — Itadori and Kugisaki vs. Eso and Kechizu
  • Best Director — Sunghoo Park
  • Best Animation — MAPPA Studios
  • Best Opening Sequence — ‘Vivid Vice’ by Who-ya Extended
  • Best English VA Performance — Adam McArthur as Yuji Itadori
  • Best French VA Performance — Mark Lesser as Satoru Gojo
  • Best Latin American VA Performance — José Gilberto Vilchis as Satoru Gojo
  • Best Portuguese VA Performance — Amanda Brigido as Nobara Kugisaki

Overdrive coverKaguya-Sama: Love is War / Akasaka, Aka

{seinen: psychological, romantic comedy, slice-of-life}

“As leaders of their prestigious academy’s student council, Kaguya and Miyuki are the elite of the elite! But it’s lonely at the top… Luckily for them, they’ve fallen in love! There’s just one problem—they both have too much pride to admit it. And so begins the daily scheming to get the object of their affection to confess their romantic feelings first…Love is a war you win by losing.” (OverDrive description)

Category nominations:

  • Best Latin American VA Performance — Jessica Ángeles as Kaguya Shinomiya

Komi Can’t Communicate / Tomohito Oda

{shōnen: coming-of-age, romantic comedy, slice of life}

“Socially anxious high school student Shoko Komi would love to make friends, but her shyness is interpreted as reserve, and the other students keep her at a distance. Only timid Tadano realizes the truth, and despite his own desire to blend in, he decides to help her achieve her goal of making 100 friends.” (Catalogue)

Category wins:

  • Best Comedy

Category nominations:

  • Best Romance
  • Best Girl — Shoko Komi

My Hero Academia / Kōhei Horikoshi

{shōnen: adventure, fantasy, superheroes}

“Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all, gives him a chance to change his destiny…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Category nominations:

  • Best Antagonist — Tomura Shigaraki

One Piece / Eiichirō Oda

{shōnen: adventure, fantasy}

“As a child, Monkey D. Luffy dreamed of becoming King of the Pirates. But his life changed when he accidentally ate the Gum-Gum Fruit, an enchanted Devil Fruit that gave him the ability to stretch like rubber. Its only drawback? He’ll never be able to swim again– a serious handicap for an aspiring sea dog! Years later, Luffy sets off on his quest to find the One Piece, said to be the greatest treasure in the world…” (OverDrive)

Category nominations:

  • Best Portuguese VA Performance — Carol Valença as Monkey D. Luffy
  • Best Russian VA Performance — Polina Rtischeva as Monkey D. Luffy

Re:Zero: Starting Life in Another World / Tappei Nagatsuki

{shōnen: adventure, dark fantasy, isekai}

“Subaru Natsuki was just trying to get to the convenience store but wound up summoned to another world. He encounters the usual things–life-threatening situations, silver haired beauties, cat fairies–you know, normal stuff. All that would be bad enough, but he’s also gained the most inconvenient magical ability of all–time travel, but he’s got to die to use it. How do you repay someone who saved your life when all you can do is die?” (Catalogue)

Category nominations:

  • Best Antagonist — Echidna
  • Best Portuguese VA Performance — Luísa Viotti as Echidna

Sailor Moon / Naoko Takeuchi

{shōjo: fantasy, magical girl}

“Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), and together, they fight the forces of evil!” (Catalogue)

Category nominations:

  • Best Spanish VA Performance — Adelaida López as Usagi Tsukino

The Way of the Househusband / Kousuke Oono

{seinen: action, comedy, slice of life}

“It’s a day in the life of your average househusband if your average househusband is the legendary yakuza “the Immortal Dragon”! A former yakuza legend leaves it all behind to become your everyday househusband. But it’s not easy to walk away from the gangster life, and what should be mundane household tasks are anything but!” (Catalogue)

Category nominations:

  • Best Spanish VA Performance — Marc Zanni as Tatsu

Lastly, we’d like to give a special shout-out to perennial cult classic and fan favourite Cowboy Bebopwhich was nominated for Best Latin American VA Performance, for José Vilchis’ performance as Spike Spiegel. We sadly don’t have this in our collection, but we do have DVDs of the original anime series and movie as well as Rose Bridge’s excellent book for the 33 1/3 series dissecting the official soundtrack:

Yōko Kanno’s Cowboy bebop soundtrack / Bridges, Rose
“Cowboy Bebop is one of the most beloved anime series of all time, and if you ask its fans why, you can expect to hear about its music. Composer Yoko Kanno created an eclectic blend of jazz, rock, lullabies, folk and funk (to list just a few) for Cowboy Bebop’s many moods and environments. Cowboy Bebop’s blend of science fiction, westerns and gangster films promised to be “the work which becomes a new genre itself,” and only Kanno’s score could deliver.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Your reading guide on how NOT to get murdered

This is a blog post NOT for the faint hearted. This is NOT a blog post full of hearts, flowers and romantic embellishments.  What you’re about to read is raw, gritty, deadly, but could very well save your life and may help you avoid getting murdered. This is a post for teens addicted to true crime stories/podcasts and interested in fiction, on ‘how NOT to get murdered,’  inspired by A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson.

Here are some basic tips on how NOT to get murdered?

  • Read the following books as cautionary tales that may prompt you to follow the advice above.

image courtesy of syndeticsA good girl’s guide to murder.

“The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. But having grown up in the small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final-year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?” (Catalogue). Also available as an

image courtesy of syndeticsGood girl, bad blood.

“Pip Fitz-Amobi is not a detective anymore. Her true crime podcast about the murder case she solved last year has gone viral. Yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her. But she will have to back on her word when some close to her goes missing and the police can’t do anything about it.” Also available as an eAudiobook.

image courtesy of syndeticsThey wish they were us.

The lives of Jill Newman and her friends look perfect, but nothing is as it seems. Jill’s best friend, the brilliant, dazzling Shaila, was killed by her boyfriend, but suddenly Jill starts getting texts proclaiming his innocence. But digging deeper could mean putting her friendships, and her future, in jeopardy.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe murder game.

“Luke Chase’s roommate Oscar convinces him to sneak out of their boarding school dorm to meet up with a couple of girls in the forest, have a good time, and no one will ever know. When the wife of one of their teachers is found dead in the woods the next morning, the group decides to solve the murder on their own. Will they be able to catch the killer before the killer catches them? — adapted from back cover.” (Catalogue). Also available as an eBook.

image courtesy of syndeticsWhite rabbit, red wolf.

“A gripping and gloriously treacherous thriller without guide ropes or safety nets. Leave all certainties by the door.” Frances Hardinge A taut thriller about murder, maths and the mind. Peter Blankman is afraid of everything but must confront truly unimaginable terror when his mother is attacked. Seventeen-year-old Peter Blankman is a maths prodigy. He also suffers from severe panic attacks. Afraid of everything, he finds solace in the orderly and logical world of mathematics and in the love of his family: his scientist mum and his tough twin sister Bel, as well as Ingrid, his only friend. However, when his mother is found stabbed before an award ceremony and his sister is nowhere to be found, Pete is dragged into a world of espionage and violence where state and family secrets intertwine. Armed only with his extraordinary analytical skills, Peter may just discover that his biggest weakness is his greatest strength.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe boyband murder mystery.

“When frontman Frankie is arrested on suspicion of murdering his oldest friend Evan, Harri feels like her world’s about to fall apart. But quickly she realises that she – and all the other Half Light superfans out there – know and understand much more about these boys than any detective ever could. Now she’s rallying a fangirl army to prove Frankie’s innocence – and to show the world that you should never underestimate a teenage girl with a passion.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsPride and premeditation.

“Perfect for fans of the Lady Janies and Stalking Jack the Ripper, the first book in the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries series is a clever retelling of Pride and Prejudice that reimagines the iconic settings, characters, and romances in a thrilling and high-stakes whodunit. When a scandalous murder shocks London high society, seventeen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seizes the opportunity to prove herself, despite the interference of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates. Convinced the authorities have imprisoned the wrong person, Lizzie vows to solve the murder on her own. But as the case-and her feelings for Darcy-become more complicated, Lizzie discovers that her dream job could make her happy, but it might also get her killed.” (Catalogue). Also available as an eBook and an eAudiobook. 

image courtesy of syndetics#MurderTrending.

“In the near future, citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society’s most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the prison island Alcatraz 2.0. Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, about to be the next victim of the app, found guilty of murdering her stepsister. But Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn’t commit. Her newly formed posse, the Death Row Breakfast Club, needs to prove she’s innocent before she ends up murdered for the world to see. That’s if The Postman’s cast of executioners don’t kill them off one by one, first.” — Adapted from jacket. Available as an eBook.

image courtesy of syndetics#MurderFunding.

“WELCOME TO WHO WANTS TO BE A PAINIAC?, the latest reality TV show on the hunt for the next big-hit serial killer. But don’t worry-no one is actually going to murder anyone, as real as the fake gore and pretend murder may appear . . . uh, right? Seventeen-year-old Becca Martinello is about to find out. When her perfectly normal soccer mom dies in a car crash, a strange girl named Stef appears and lets Becca know that her deceased mom was none other than one of Alcatraz 2.0’s most popular serial killers-Molly Mauler. Soon, Becca ends up on Who Wants to Be a Painiac? to learn the truth about her mom’s connection to Molly Mauler, but things turn sinister when people are murdered IRL. Will Becca uncover dark secrets and make it out of the deadly reality show alive? Or will she get cut?” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsTwo can keep a secret.

“The New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying is back with an all-new, page-turning mystery perfect for fans of Riverdale! Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows. The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing. Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.” (Catalogue).

For more reading guides on how NOT to get murdered, click here.

 

It was a Dark and Stormy Night….

With the upcoming release of “Death on the Nile” in cinemas, now seems like an excellent time to commemorate the sprawling stacks of mystery fiction throughout Wellington City Libraries. From our iconic Agatha – the creator of Hercule Poirot and his “little grey cells” – and classics such as Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, to the modern stylings of Karen M. McManus and Maureen Johnson, we have a wide selection from the “criminal classes” on offer.

Although mysteries and criminal acts have been appearing in works of fiction for millennia, the mystery genre as we know it today started with Edgar Allan Poe, whose short story entitled “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841) introduced the reading world to it’s first fictional detective – Auguste Dupin. Dupin (along with his anonymous narrator friend) is the semi-monastic, enigma-loving basis for the ‘gentleman detective’ character type that came into popularity during the Golden Age of Detective Fiction in the early-mid 20th century.

via GIPHY

The hot new ‘whodunnit’ style modelled by Poe was rapidly taken up by other authors, including Mary Roberts Rinehart. Referred to as the ‘American Agatha Christie’, Rinehart’s works established the “had I but known” trope (a style of narrative foreshadowing that hints at a looming tragedy or disaster) into the ever-growing mystery genre.

These days, the mystery and crime genre has a happy fat beast of a following, and can be categorised into four sub-genres:

  • The Detective Novel, which follows a primary detective figure as they hijink and deduce their way through a case.
  • The Cosy Mystery, which follows a primary detective figure as they hijink and deduce their way through a case, but make it wholesome.
  • Caper Stories, featuring the grand heists, swindles and crimes from the perspective of the criminal(s) themselves.
  • The Police Procedural, in which the protagonist is typically part of a larger police force.

So sit back and relax one dark and stormy night (a muggy evening will also work) with these highlights from our mystery collection, and see if you can beat the detectives to figure out ‘whodunnit’.

Death on the Nile / Christie, Agatha
“[…] The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile is shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway has been shot through the head. She was young, stylish and beautiful, a girl who had everything – until she lost her life. […] Yet in this exotic setting’ nothing is ever quite what it seems…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

One of us is lying / McManus, Karen M.
“When the creator of a high school gossip app mysteriously dies in front of four high-profile students, all four become suspects. It’s up to them to solve the case”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

A study in scarlet / Doyle, Arthur Conan
“A Study in Scarlet was flung like a bombshell into the field of detective fiction. Join Dr. Watson as he first meets the brooding Holmes and as they locate their now famous apartment at 221B Baker Street in the midst of a case that spans two continents.” (Catalogue)

Truly devious / Johnson, Maureen
“When Stevie Bell, an amateur detective, begins her first year at a famous private school in Vermont, she sets a plan to solve the cold case involving the kidnapping of the founder’s wife and daughter shortly after the school opened. […] The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” […] But the past has crawled out of its grave: Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy.– Adapted from dust jacket.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Two Flights Up / Rinehart, Mary Roberts
“From the outside, it seems like the three women of the Bayne house are frozen in time […]. Into this steps Howard Warrington, a bond salesman who answers an advertisement to rent the Baynes’ extra room. He finds the house to be full of old secrets and quiet grudges, and he soon grows to hate his life there. But when Margaret attempts to kill herself, he realizes how dark life is for the women Bayne — and how difficult it might be for him to escape.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Firekeeper’s daughter / Boulley, Angeline
“Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, either in her hometown or on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. […] When Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source of a new drug. How far will she go to protect her community, if it threatens to tear apart the only world she’s ever known? — adapted from jacket” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The inheritance games / Barnes, Jennifer
“When a Connecticut teenager inherits vast wealth and an eccentric estate from the richest man in Texas, she must also live with his surviving family and solve a series of puzzles to discover how she earned her inheritance.” (Catalogue)
The hound of the Baskervilles : another adventure of Sherlock Holmes / Doyle, Arthur Conan
“The terrible spectacle of the beast, the fog of the moor, the discovery of a body, this classic horror story pits detective against dog. When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on the wild Devon moorland with the footprints of a giant hound nearby, the blame is placed on a family curse. It is left to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson to solve the mystery of the legend of the phantom hound before Sir Charles’ heir comes to an equally gruesome end.” (Catalogue)

Little grey cells : the quotable Poirot / Christie, Agatha
“Discover the man behind the moustache in this book of one-liners by the world’s most famous Belgian detective, revealing the wit and wisdom of Hercule Poirot and his creator, Agatha Christie. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Literary Cookbooks for Edible Inspiration

You know what two things are great? Books and food. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, if only there was a way to bring these two great things together!”

Well be despondent no longer! Because I am about to introduce you to some of the literary cookbooks we have in our collection.

These are cookbooks full of recipes inspired by the food in fiction, the deftly described deliciousness, the succulent snacks that your favourite characters munch on at feasts or as they head off on an adventure. Did you find your mouth watering as you read about the fellowship snacking on Lembas Bread in the Lord of the Rings? Or maybe you got a hankering for some forbidden Turkish delight such as that given to Edmund by the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Or perhaps your stomach started grumbling at the mention of Deeper’n’Ever Turnip’n’Tater’n’Beetroot Pie in Mossflower? Whatever your literary cravings, there’ll be a cookbook out there with something that will entice you.

So let’s have a look at these cookbooks, paired with the books that inspired them. After all, what better summer activity can there be than to lie in the sun with a book while snacking on the same thing as the character you’re reading about!

The Anne of Green Gables cookbook : charming recipes from Anne and her friends in Avonlea / Macdonald, Kate
This book contains recipes inspired by the food written about in Anne of Green Gables, but it also has some of L.M. Montgomery’s own recipes because the book was written by one of her granddaughters!

There are quotes from the book paired with each recipe so you can see how the food fits in with which book and which character.

Anne of Green Gables series / Montgomery, L. M.
Admittedly, I found Anne a bit annoying. But more people love her!


Jolly good food : recipes / McEvedy, Allegra
Relive some childhood nostalgia (if you were a child who read Enid Blyton, that is) and eat some tasty food. Enid Blyton’s books are full of wonderful descriptions of picnics and midnight feasts and “lashings of ginger beer” and this cookbook has recipes from or inspired by many of her books!

Enid Blyton has written many, many books, so here are a couple of suggestions to get you started:

Famous Five Series / Blyton, Enid
The classic adventure series featuring Julian, Dick, Anne, George, and of course Timmy!

The Faraway Tree Series / Blyton, Enid
Some fantastical ridiculousness. Also, in newer editions of these books, Fanny has been renamed Frannie. Just putting it out there.


A literary tea party : blends and treats for Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo, and book lovers everywhere / Walsh, Alison
This book features a plethora of recipes inspired by many, many books. There are recipes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Brian Jacques’ Redwall Series, Sherlock Holmes, The Hobbit, Agatha Christie, The Borrowers


The little library cookbook : 100 recipes from your favourite stories / Young, Kate
This one’s another collection of treats from a wide variety of books. If you like the sound of  Choclatl from His Dark Materials, Marshmallows from Tomorrow When the War Began, or Pear and Lemon Cake from Comet in Moominland then check it out!


The Pooh cook book: inspired by “Winnie-the-Pooh” and The house at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne; / Stewart, Katie

I’m mainly featuring this book because some part of me sniggered at the title. My childish proclivities aside, it does contain a lot of tasty recipes! From Poohanpiglet Pancakes and Biscuit Cake, to Honey Tart and Toad in the Hole, there’ll be something for everyone!

Winnie-the-Pooh / Milne, A. A.
Because who doesn’t wish they were a Bear of Very Little Brain living in the woods with a pot of honey and all your friends nearby?


Roald Dahl’s revolting recipes / Dahl, Roald
“Recipes for savouries, puddings, cakes, sweets and drinks, all of which have appeared in Roald Dahl’s books.” (Catalogue)

We’ve also got Roald Dahl’s Even More Revolting recipes!

Like Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl has written a LOT. Here are a couple of highlights:

Matilda / Dahl, Roald
Ah, Matilda. She’s super-smart, she loves books, and she’s great at pranks that serve some good comeuppance. Why not make yourself one of Trunchbull’s cakes and enjoy it while you read?

Skin and other stories / Dahl, Roald
You’ve surely read his fantastic children’s books, but have you read any of his much creepier works for older readers?

If you haven’t, well… They’re quite different!


The unofficial Narnia cookbook : from Turkish delight to gooseberry fool–over 150 recipes inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia / Bucholz, Dinah
Now the tasty food you make will distract you from the fact that somehow Christmas is still a holiday over in a whole other fantasy world Father Christmas has to sneak in to deliver presents.

The chronicles of Narnia / Lewis, C. S.
Definite classics. But Susan deserved better.


The Unofficial Recipes of The Hunger Games
This cookbook takes you on a culinary journey through all three of The Hunger Games books. It starts you off with the more basic food Katniss and her family were eating in District 12, then there’s the decadent food of the Capitol, the meal on the train on the way to the Quarter Quell, and the food offered in District 13.

If you’re feeling adventurous there are some more questionable sounding recipes you can try as well, such as “Charred Tree-Rat” and “Mom Everdeen’s Breakfast of Mush”.

The Hunger Games / Collins, Suzanne
Some good teen dystopia. And it’s confirmed that Panem is a future version of North America.

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