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Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Month: June 2010 Page 1 of 3

Comment And Win!

winWe have some sport themed prizes to give away; All Whites posters courtesy of New Zealand Football and Rip Curl Pro Search surfing DVDs courtesy of Kiwi Surf. If they sound like your cup of tea, be one of the first two people to comment on this post and they’re yours. Easy.

Five New CDs

Rap veterans De La Soul took a look back upon their careers in 2003 and realised they had accumulated enough “hits” to seperate out the “greatest” ones onto a CD and make a nice sounding compilation out of it. Timeless was the aptly named result. Includes the fantastic; Me, Myself and I, Ring Ring Ring (Hey Hey Hey) and the fantastically named; Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa

Progression Vol. 2 promises on the cover to be “A journey through the big room club sounds of 2009”. A quick google search sheds no light on what exactly big room clubs sound like, but as it’s a Ministry Of Sound compilation, big trance records are a good guess. Features remixes of tracks by Oliver Twizt, Juan Kidd, Cunnie Williams, MDX and other artists.

After looking through the liner notes of Bi-On-Ic, Christina Aguilera’s new album, I can inform you that she’s taken a leaf out of the Lady Gaga book of fashion. Has she been similarly influenced music-wise? Probably. The cover is pretty exciting, it’s a hologram that when tilted at the correct angle, makes her look like a robot. +1 for robots.

Local dubsters, Fat Freddy’s Drop have been to the UK recently. They played some shows and whatnot and now we have live documentation, Live at Roundhouse London. It only has six songs on it, but they are all well over 10 minutes long. So don’t be fooled looking at the tracklisting and thinking you’re getting “shortchanged” somehow.

Hey, remember Pluto? Their rhythm section formed a side project called Nightchoir, which has now turned into a middle project (that’s the opposite of side project, right?). Anyway, 24 Hours Of Night is what they’ve come up with and early reviews call it “staggeringly beautiful” a “focused vision” and “alt-country”. Pretty much sums it up for me.

New! Books!

Not too many this week. Sorry, bibliophiles!

Monsters of Men : Chaos Walking Book 3, by Patrick Ness (602 pages! Massive) – This is the third and final volume in the Chaos Walking trilogy, which are all always out and have a hefty reserve queue. It’s won awards! This is a ‘heart-stopping novel about power, survival, and the devastating realities of war.’ Awesome.

First line: ‘“War,” says Mayor Prentiss, his eyes glinting. “At last.”

When Courage Came to Call, by L. M. Fuge (326 pages) – This was started by the author when she was 10, and finished when she was 14. It’s set in the fictional city of Zamascus, just as it is invaded by the nasty Inigo, and Imm and his brother must do whatever they can to survive.

First line: ‘I was in the teaching house when the first bomb hit.

Slice : Juicy Moments from my Impossible Life, by Steven Herrick (222 pages) – ‘Darcy can cope with parents, parties, punch-ups, his infatuation with the beautiful Audrey, even the misadventures of kayaking on a school excursion. If only he’d learn to keep his mouth closed.’ (Pulled from the back blurb.)

First lines: ‘My name is Darcy Franz Pele Walker. Ignore the middle names. I do.

Possessing Jessie, by Nancy Springer (88 pages) – Jessie’s popular brother died a week ago, and when she starts imitating the way he cut his hair, wearing his clothes, and even copying the way he walked, her mother seems to brighten and she (Jessie, not the mother!) becomes the centre of attention at school. But soon this ‘weird obsession’ take over! A remarkably complex story for a book of only 88 pages.

First line: ‘Jessie put on her brother’s True Athlete T-shirt.

Jack Flint and the Dark Ways, by Joe Donnelly (276 pages) – This is the third Jack Flint book. Sorcerers, gargoyles, nightshades, giant spiders, and all kinds of evil badness get in Jack’s path as he continues his search for his old man.

First line: ‘Jack Flint had never felt so completely alone in his life.

Darke Academy : Blood Ties, by Gabriella Poole (288 pages) – This, the second Darke Academy book, has vampires, fairies, and (obviously!) supernatural content, according to the subject headings in the catalogue.

First lines: ‘“Hey kiddo. Are we keeping you up?” The voice sounded familiar, but somehow muffled and distant.

Montacute House, by Lucy Jago (278 pages) – A boy is found dead, and Cess’s friend disappears; are they connected? Cess thinks so, and attempts to solve the mystery, becoming involved in a ‘terrible intrigue’. Set in 1596, and there may be witches.

First lines: ‘“Ugh, droppings between my toes.’ Cess kicked off her clogs anyway, because they were rubbing.

Checkered Flag Cheater, by Will Weaver (198 pages) – Trace Bonham (not Tracy Bonham! Let’s be clear) is the teen driver for a professional Super Stock racing team. He always wins on the track and off the track, but does he deserve it? Let the title offer a clue.

First line: ‘Trace Bonham poked the Seek button.

Breathless, by Jessica Warman (311 pages) – Katie Kitrell is a swimming prodigy, and at her new school she tries to become popular as well as a swimming star, all the while she’s trying to cope with the recent death of her older, institutionalised brother.

First line: ‘There’s a man feeding the koi in our fishpond because my parents don’t want to do it themselves.

One New Book and a Clip

The new book:

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella, Stephenie Meyer (178 pages) – I have been told that Stephenie Meyer says you should probably read this book before seeing the Eclipse movie. No pressure: you’ve got a week. Bree Tanner, as you know, had the misfortune to live in the area when Victoria was creating her vampire army – this tells you all about Bree’s vampire life, from go to woah.

The clip:

As people have been discussing what’s the new vampire (although, what with The Vampire Diaries finally being on TV and Eclipse and all you’d be forgiven for thinking that vampires are the new vampire), we thought we’d add this clip below to the mix. Maggie Stiefvater, author of Shiver (a book about werewolves) and Ballad (a book about fairies) has her own theory:

We quite like this idea. We think it has legs. (Also: Linger, the sequel to Shiver, will be out soon.)

Hello birdie

Landcare Research would like your help for the 2010 Garden Bird Survey. It takes an hour, and all you need to do is count the different bird species you see in your backyard, school, park, garden, or meadow (I think that covers it). It’s been going on for a few years now, and the results are used to find out if common bird populations are increasing or decreasing. SO if you want to do it you can go to this webpage and download an identification flyer with a recording form. Will house sparrows win for the fourth year running? Will silvereyes make a late resurgence?

Smart Girls at the Party

Smart Girls at the Party is a digital TV series in which Amy Poehler interviews girls who do really cool stuff (the latest has someone who makes robots! And also is an archer). It’s won a Webby! And it is also very funny. And inspiring. You should watch it (the second series has just begun).

Here, Listen

rolling stonesThe Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main St. has been given a deluxe reissue, presumably for its 38th anniversary. On disc number one is the original classic (really, classic) album from 1972, considered by many as the definitive Rolling Stones work and on disc number two are ten bonus tracks originally left on the cutting room floor, but recently given a re-working. Kind of a borrow one free, get another one free deal there.

glee 3Glee : the music. Volume 3, Showstoppers deluxe is the latest from the Glee stable of cover versions. Included on this volume are Glee-a-fied tracks by The Beatles, Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, Lionel Richie, Parliament and a whole lot more. It also features a guest spot from Olivia Newton-John. So far five Glee soundtracks have been released – that’s a lot.

jack johnsonThis month polite soft-rocker Jack Johnson released his latest, To The Sea. Mellow acoustic strumming and sleepy grooves with introspective lyrics sit side by side on this one. Jack Johnson fact: he was a professional surfer at the age of 17, but injured himself in his first competition and decided music was the better route. Then his first five albums went platinum and it seemed to be a wise choice.

black keysThis is a short paragraph about an album by The Black Keys. The name of this album is Brothers. This album is their sixth and it seems to be their big commercial breakthrough, reaching number three on the Billboard charts on debut – deservedly so, because it is great. Once I saw them play live and the drummer was playing so hard he broke one of his sticks, but then he picked up another one out of his kit and kept playing without missing a beat. Good stuff.

Australian drum and bassers Pendulum have a new one called Immersion on our shelves. It includes an appearance from Prodigy’s Liam Howlett. Pendulum have received a lot of praise from the drum and bass community since their beginnings in 2002 and it has continued with this release. Make your house sound like a commercial for a snowboard shop.

Local hip-hopper David Dallas used to be known as Con Psy and was one half of Frontline. He dropped the moniker for his solo career because he never introduced himself to people using his alias and felt more comfortable using his birth name. Anyway, his second, Something Awesome is now available.

lcdA contender for Teen Blog album of 2010 is This Is Happening by James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem. Murphy has stated in interviews that this will be his last album as LCD Soundsystem and if so, boy oh boy has he gone out on a high note. More excellent dance music for the rock kids, especially the David Bowie sampling All I Want.

Teen Blog Upgrade

In order to create more “atmosphere” on the blog, we have devised an optional “upgrade” so that your browsing experience feels more like it’s happening inside a World Cup stadium in South Africa. To switch over to vuvuzela mode click here.

Look at these New Books

Harmonic Feedback, by Tara Kelly (280 pages) – Drea has ‘a touch of Asperger’s’, and is obsessed with music. When she moves to a new town AGAIN she – at long last! – makes some friends, and even finds love maybe.

First lines: ‘One in thirty-eight. Bet on a single number in roulette, and those are the odds of winning.

Boys That Bite : A Blood Coven Vampire Novel, by Mari Mancusi (262 pages) – Looks like we’ve got a new (and ‘refreshingly different’) vampire series. Sunny is dragged to something called Club Fang by her sister, Rayne, and finds out that the members are not just playing dress-up – she gets bitten and has a week to undo it.

First line: ‘You know, being bitten by a vampire one week before prom really sucks.

90 Packets of Instant Noodle, by Deb Fitzpatrick (307 pages) – Joel and his chum Craggs drink, steal, and generally cause havoc together. SO Joel’s dad, with the police, send them off to a remote bush shack for 90 days. Where, presumably! all they have to eat are noodles.

First line: ‘It was Dad who finally snapped over what had been going on.

Thirteen Days to Midnight, by Patrick Carman (296 pages) – Jacob Fielding is given the rather enviable power of indestructability, and begins to use his new power for good. BUT there’s a curse to the ability, and he has thirteen days to sort it out.

First line: ‘Jacob Fielding stood in a small room and stared at a body.

The Prince of Mist, by Carlos Ruis Zafon (202 pages) – A ‘haunting story of magic, mystery and adventure’, about a boy who moves to a house overlooking the sea and the mysterious (and terrifying!) Prince of the Mist. And a weird, staring cat.

First line: ‘Max would never forget that faraway summer when, almost by chance, he discovered magic.

Every Little Thing in the World, by Nina de Gramont (282 pages) – Sydney is sixteen, and going off the rails. So her parents send her to one of those ‘hard-love’ wilderness camps in the Canadian wilds for four weeks of Bear Grylls-lite survivalism. But! She is pregnant. Whatever will she do?

First line: ‘Natalia and I stole her mother’s new blue Cadillac and drove out to Overpeck to find Tommy.

The Cardturner : A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker, by Louis Sachar (336 pages) – Alton’s rich, old and blind uncle asks him to attend bridge games with him. Which is a good plan when there’s an inheritance to think about! Alton soon learns a lot about his family history and himself as one mystery after another are discovered.

First line: ‘Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve had it drilled into me that my uncle Lester was my favourite uncle.

With a Sword in My Hand, by Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem and Pat van Beirs (266 pages) – An ‘enthralling medieval adventure’ about Marguerite, who refuses to conform to type, and learns how to use a sword, ride horses, and outwit the boys. The Court of Flanders has other ideas! This has won loads of awards, and is based on the real Marguerite van Male.

First line: ‘The knights of Flanders and Brabant will swear allegiance to the infant in its cradle.

The Beastly Bride : Tales of the Animal People, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (500 pages) – This is a large collection of original stories and poems about shapechangers – werewolves, vampires, and so on – with illustrations by Charles Vess.

I Love You Zelda Bloo, by Gretel Killeen (183 pages) – Zelda Blookwell is the daughter of famous parents. She gets kidnapped when she goes with her mother to interview child soldiers, and while trying to survive she meets – and falls in love with! – Saro.

First line: ‘Help me. Can you help me? Please!

Palace Beautiful, by Sarah DeFord Williams (232 pages) – Sadie and best friend Bella find a secret room in the attic of their house, and there they discover a diary written one Helen during the 1918 ‘flu epidemic (which killed 50 million people worldwide!). As the girls try to find out what happened to Helen, Sadie’s ‘worries about her own family come closer to reality.’

First line: ‘My sister Zuzu says no one can remember the day they born, but I do.

Dancing in the Dark, by Robyn Bavati (290 pages) – Ditty’s very religious parents forbid her to take ballet lessons. So she starts ballet in secret! Of course the will come a point when the two world clash.

First line: ‘I’m lying on my bed, staring at the peeling paper on the wall in my room.

Henrietta Hornbuckle’s Circus of Life, by Michael de Guzman (152 pages) – Twelve-year-old Henrietta is a clown, as are her parents. In fact! Everyone she knows is a clown, because she is with a small travelling circus. She (and the other clowns) are on their way to New York City for a ‘climactic performance’, but first life throws a pie right in her kisser.

First line: ‘She stood at the stern of the ferry as it pulled away from the Connecticut shore.

The Alpha Bet, by Stephanie Hale (233 pages) – The admirably-named Grace Kelly Cook is only sixteen when she graduates from high school, and decides to join the Alpha Sorority at college. She lies a little bit on her application! So now she’s fearful of being discovered. And also she has to do something called the ‘Alpha Bet’, a super-secret series of tasks.

First line: ‘“It’s a dorm, Mom, not the Playboy Mansion,” I whisper in her ear, hoping she’ll stop throwing her evil eye looks around at all the kids in my new dorm.

Beautiful Monster, by Kate McCaffrey (231 pages) – All this typing! I will just C&P this book’s synopsis. “Tessa’s brother is dead, and her Mum is so deeply enmeshed in grief she might as well be too. Tessa is left with no-one to turn to but Ned. He’s been her staunchest ally, privy to her deepest secrets. But even Ned has a dark side. He knows all her weak spots and will exploit every one to keep her by his side.”

First lines: ‘The school bus hisses to a stop. Tessa Edwards looks up from her maths book as Camilla lifts her bag onto her shoulder.

Choppy Socky Blues, by Ed Briant (259 pages) – Jason’s father is a movie stuntman and a karate blackbelt. He’s also a liar who left his family, according to Jason, who vows to never do karate as a consequence. But then Jason meets Tinga, who is gorgeous and is going for her blue belt – Jason (rashly!) says he is too, and the only one who can help him is his dad.

First line: ‘My name is Jason Smallfield, I’m fourteen, and my father is an Imperial storm trooper.

Raven Speak, by Diane Lee Wilson (254 pages) – Asa and her horse Rune make a run for it when her clan’s wise man – who is hungry for power (and horsemeat) while Asa’s Viking chief father is away – demands Rune be sacrificed. Asa finds shelter with an old, one-eyed woman with a pair of ravens. The old woman also demands a sacrifice …

First line: ‘In the pale light of a wintry morning seven men saddled their ship across bucking white waves.

Split, by Swati Avasthi (282 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Jace is thrown out of his home by his abusive father, and goes to live with his older brother, who long ago left to escape the abuse.

First line: ‘Now I have to start lying. While I stare through the windshield at the building my brother lives in, I try to think up a good lie.

A Wizard of Mars, by Diane Duane (549 pages) – This here book is number nine in the Young Wizards series, in which Kit and Nina ‘manage to wangle their way onto an elite team sent to investigate the mysterious, long-sought “message in a bottle” that holds the first clues to the secrets of the ancient Martian race

First lines: ‘The problem, Kit thought, scowling at the paper, isn’t the basic shape, so much. It’s what to do with the legs …

My Private Pectus, by Shane Thamm (278 pages) – ‘A story about footy, cars and a young man who discovers that revealing his greatest secret is the only way to hold on to the people he loves.‘ (I just copied that from the back cover.)

First line: ‘Dad just landed the job as assistant rugby league coach at St Philip’s College.

John Green on the All Whites on Twitter

John Green, co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Web 2.0 enthusiast had this to say about the All Whites’ effort against Italy at the World Cup (so we thought it was worth a mention): “A heroic, relentless performance by #NZL. Just unbelievable. I am kind of in tears to be honest.” (In context here. He’s set up a special world cup Twitter account @johnsworldcup, plus his regular Twitter account is @realjohngreen, complete with a million + followers.) Needless to say, we like John Green.

Speaking of Twitter, Wellington City Libraries is on Twitter too (@wcl_library). You can follow us for updates on recently acquired interesting library items, what’s going on at the moment, and notifications of new blog posts, like on this here blog, for example.

This post was brought to you by Library Serf, in the absence of regular football reporter, Roberto B, who is recovering.

(Thanks to Kym for info too.)

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