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Month: November 2012 Page 1 of 2

Two Trailers

As it’s Friday, a diversion is required. First, the trailer for the City of Bones movie (due out in August next year). We were a bit slow out of the starting gates, but here it is in all its splendid glory:

Clary? Simon? Jace? Hopefully you think they are fitting. The official site for the movie is here.

Peter Jackson’s posted an interesting clip about the inner workings of the Hobbit movie making:

If you want to read the book before December 13th, reserve a copy here.

Food and Fashion On-board

My weekend was FUN. And even though it wasn’t especially fashion-related, I’m going to tell you aaaall about it because it was fab and I think you’ll love it!


One of my besties planned a Titanic-themed dinner party. The evening’s menu was based on the ACTUAL MENU that was served on the Titanic; the very last meal before the ship sank. I was worried the food would be bad / odd, and to be fair, we did make a couple of slight changes. For instance, we didn’t serve the squab (posh culinary term for pigeon. Yep… Google it if you dare, even the images are a tad graphic!) We also omitted the roast duckling. But otherwise, the food was pretty much what we would eat today, even if there were 11 courses! Featuring oysters, shrimp, beef, soup, salmon, salads, veges, pudding, jelly, éclairs, ice cream, cheese and crackers. Whew!


The punch romaine was a highlight; a fruity drink served in crushed ice. SO good. The salmon was incredible, and my greatest accomplishment was the jelly sculpture – tinned peaches with ginger beer! Nom!


Now to the fashion – the theme was black, so lbds for the ladies and suits with bowties for the guys. Negl, we felt sooooooo swank! I bought a backless, embroidered black shift dress for the occasion, worn with a gold tassled shawl and The Best Clutch Ever (seriously! See below and swoon). Sequined and bowed gold stilettos finished my look.


We didn’t quite push our authenticity as far as period costume – getting an outfit like that together would have been seriously hard work! If you do want the deets on creating a Titanic-esque costume, I suggest you look at this page. It tells your eeeeverything you need to know about dressing to board the Titanic. This site has photos of actual Titanic passengers that were onboard the ship. A tiny bit eerie but still very good viewing, and the very best example of what people actually wore on the Titanic.  You should also read this – apparently one of the most glam and major international fashion designers of the time was on board the Titanic!

The Belle Epoque era (which spanned 1890 to 1914; Titanic sank in 1912) is currently making its own fashion comeback. Belle Epoque styles were seen everywhere at this year’s Paris Fashion Week and Trelise Cooper has designed an entire range inspired by the era. This page is also a visual treat; it has a combo of legit Belle Epoque era dress and modern styles inspired by the originals (featuring examples by Dior and Zuhair Murad).

Photos from fashiongonerogue.com

Staging a titanic-themed dinner is def not for the faint-hearted – ours was soooo long in the planning and we even had meetings! It took quite a lot of coordination and commitment. But if you’d like to find out more and at least pore over some lush images, I recommend these titles:

book3Last Dinner on the Titanic / Rick Archbold
This book contains aaaall the details of the last meal on the Titanic, including recipes, what was used as decoration on the tables and lots of other random facts. An interesting read, even if you have no intention of cooking a thing.

book2Titanic Style: Dress and Fashion on the Voyage / Grace Evans
As the title suggests, this book gives you the full low-down on fashion and style onboard the Titanic.


bookTitanic: The Last Great Images / Robert D Ballard
This book captures the less glam side of the Titanic, and features lots of the pics of the wreckage. Again, a bit eerie, but still an interesting browse.

Vote for your favourite YA of 2012

It’s been a good year for reading, but we want to know what was your favourite of the most wanted new books of 2012*? Vote on our poll!

* For new books published this year: we acknowledge the awesomeness of The Hunger Games phenomenon, which would just need a poll with one option maybe?

Looking forward to:

Struck by lightning: the Carson Phillips journal, Chris Colfer. Chris Colfer is a ridiculously busy person, we think. Not only is he Kurt, and a Golden Globe winning actor, but he also writes – books and screenplays. Struck By Lightning is being made into a film (so read the book first, because that’s usually the best way round!). “Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker. At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school.” (amazon.com)

Pirate cinema, Cory Doctorow. It’s been a while since Little Brother. In Pirate Cinema he tackles illegal downloading in a dystopian future United Kingdom. “Trent McCauley is sixteen, brilliant, and obsessed with one thing: making movies on his computer by reassembling footage from popular films he downloads from the net. In the dystopian near-future Britain where Trent is growing up, this is more illegal than ever; the punishment for being caught three times is that your entire household’s access to the internet is cut off for a year, with no appeal. Trent’s too clever for that too happen. Except it does, and it nearly destroys his family. Shamed and shattered, Trent runs away to London, where he slowly he learns the ways of staying alive on the streets. This brings him in touch with a demimonde of artists and activists who are trying to fight a new bill that will criminalize even more harmless internet creativity, making felons of millions of British citizens at a stroke. Things look bad. Parliament is in power of a few wealthy media conglomerates. But the powers-that-be haven’t entirely reckoned with the power of a gripping movie to change people’s minds…” (goodreads.com)

I am Number Four: the lost files: the legacies, Pittacus Lore. These are three novellas, originally published in e-format as Six’s Legacy, Nine’s Legacy and The Fallen Legacies. Some back story to help fill in the time before the next of the Lorien Legacies is published maybe?

Neon Wishlist

I have to say, I’m really digging the neon trend at the mo. I didn’t think I would. I was initially gutted to see its return because, for me, neons conjured up mental images of ghastly tracksuits, sweatbands, leg warmers and all manner of  80s nastiness. But neon items have been given a shake-up (thankfully) and I’m loving it. Who’d have thought?!

The key is to keep it chic.

Diane von Furstenburg does it well:










But gotta say, Gisele does it best!

Photos: Fashion Gone Rogue

Those pants are amaze and the shoes, to die for.

I really love a neutral colour palette with pops of neon accent. Am in desperate need of this dress; the pop of neon tulle underneath an otherwise very plain skater dress is rad! Would look great with this ring. This dress (in neon peach) will probably be my next purchase and I am in LOVE with this bag. Sigh. I also think this dress is fabulous; it’s a gorgeous meeting of the neon and chambray trends which are hot for this summer. There are loads of cool accessories around, too; my picks are these and also these (the pink). A tad ridiculous, I know, but SO COOL.

However, if straight-up 80s neon really is your thing, have a peek at these… Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Also! On a more local note! If you are a lover of jewellery (like… me, for instance), there’s a hot new jewellery exhibition at Toi Poneke Gallery on Abel Smith Street. It opens TODAY! and is called Street Shifts, focusing on the significance of urban spaces. Check it!

New Books

The Voyage of the Unquiet Ice, by Andrew McHagan (384 pages) – This is book two of the Ship Kings series. I haven’t read the first one, sorry! You should though. BECAUSE. In this volume, Dow Amber has at last a ship, but he does he – an outsider! – belong with the Ship Kings? Also he has to travel to the frozen north to save the empire from rebellion and treachery.

First line: ‘In the beginning – at least as Ship Kings scholars would tell the tale – there was only inhabitated land in all the world, and that was Great Island.

The Girl with Borrowed Wings, by Rinsai Rossetti (290 pages) – Frenenqer Paje feels trapped by the desert she lives in, and the rules set by her father. She meets a boy who happened to be a shapechanger – a ‘Free’ – who has no obligations and not attachments. He shows her the freedom she wants and is that a little romance? Why yes, the blurb seems to hint at it.

First line: ‘I am unlike most other people because I began, not in the body of my mother, but in the brain of my father.

Oblivion, by Anthony Horowitz (667 pages) – This is book five (and the last book!) in the Power of Five series. It has a lot of pages! Just over 666, which would sort of seem appropriate as it’s about earth getting (almost) destroyed by the powers of darkness. There’s an app you can download that makes the cover ‘come alive’ when you hold your cellular telephone in front of it. I am trying it! Well hey that’s pretty cool

First lines: ‘It was the week before my sixteenth birthday when the boy fell out of the door and eveything changed. Is that a good start? Miss Keyland, who taught me at the village school, used to say that you have to reach out and grab the reader with the first sentence.

The Paladin Prophecy, by Mark Frost (549 pages) – This is the first in a series. Will West has always been encouraged by his parents to NOT do his best but to stay in the middle of his class. When he mistakenly reveals that he’s some kind of genius he is recruited by a secret organisation with super technology, and he begins to notices that men in dark hats and cars are following him and his family everywhere. Also there is a centuries-old war between secret societies that he’s now a part of, alarmingly. 

First line: ‘“The Importance of an Orderly Mind” – Will West began each day with that thought even before he opened his eyes. When he did open them, the same words greeted him on a banner across his bedroom wall: “#1: THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ORDERLY MIND.”

Deadwater Lane, by Stephen Barker (290 pages) – When Christopher (Christo) was younger he was in a car accident that killed an elderly man and left him with a slight brain injury that has reduced his memory. He also got blamed, and as part of his community service he must help a lonely old man. His best friend has betrayed him with his girlfriend and so Christo seeks revenge (inspired by The Count of Monte Cristo). The best revenge is classical, usually.

First lines: ‘When I think back carefully I can see now that Ferdy was smiling. The dash threw up an eerie blue light and I remember a cold twinkle in his eyes as the grin began to spread across his face; teeth picked out ultra-white amongst purple shadows.

The Crimson Crown : A Seven Realms Novel, by Cinda Williams Chima (598 pages) – This is the last book in the series. Which is just as well because 1. you can read them all now and  be satisfied with a conclusion, and 2. we are literally running out of room on the shelves to accomodate them. They are big books! So, 3. imagine relaxing on a beach (or wherever) while on holiday reading them. Don’t get sand in them though.

First lines: ‘It was the largest gathering of the Spirit clans Raisa had ever seen. They came from all over the Fells – from Demonai Camp to the west, from Hunter’s Camp to the east, and from the rugged northern reaches and the river valleys near the West Wall.’

Dustlands : Rebel Heart, by Moira Young (424 pages) – This is book two in the Dustlands trilogy, and is, according to the cover, better than The Hunger Games. Truly a claim to test (by reading them all). Anyway, here’s the synopsis from Amazon: ‘Saba has rescued her kidnapped brother and defeated the fanatical Tonton. But the price to be paid for her violent victory is terible. Jack has disappeared – and can no longer be trusted. A new and formidable enemy is on the rise in the dustlands. No one is safe. And Saba must confront the terrible secret hidden in the darkest depths of her soul.’

First lines: ‘It’s late afternoon. Since morning, the trail’s been following a line of light towers. That is, the iron remains of what used to be light towers, way back in the Wrecker days, time out of mind.

Zom-B, by Darren Shan (217 pages) – B. Smith has a racist dad, nightmares about killer babies, and a lot of other things to deal with. He finds it easier to agree with his father, rather than argue, especially since his dad is abusive as well as a bigot. However, when there’s a zombie apocalypse, and B’s school is attacked, B must ally himself with anyone he can if he wants to survive. Serious real-world issues + addition of supernatural gore, and the first in a series (of three I think).

First line: ‘It was the darkest, most wretched hour of the night when the dead came back to life and spread like a plgue of monstrous locusts through the village of Pallaskenry.

Cuttlefish, by Dave Freer (299 pages) – This is alternative-history fiction! And I leave it to the catalogue to explain. ‘In an alternate 1976 dominated by coal power and the British Empire, Clara Calland and her mother, an important scientist, embark on a treacherous journey toward freedom in Westralia aboard a smugglers’ submarine, the Cuttlefish, pursued by Menshevik spies and Imperial soldiers.’

First lines: ‘It was after midnight, and London’s lights shimmered on the waters that had once been her streets. Something dark moved down there, in the murky depths.’

Poison Tree, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (219 pages) – Might copy & paste this one as well, since its blurb is pretty oblique and difficult to summarise: ‘Alysia has quickly moved to a position of responsibility in SingleEarth, working among shapeshifters and witches who fight against vampires, but she is hiding secret alliances that could put her fellow mediators at risk.’

First lines: ‘There was blood on her hands, congealing slowly. The body in her arms was cold, its once-vibrant cheer forever vanished from the world.

Starstruck, by Lauren Conrad (293 pages) – The latest Fame Game novel, about a bunch of people in Hollywood who star in a reality show about a bunch of people in Hollywood, written by someone who was in a (slightly-scripted, apparently?) reality show about a bunch of people in Hollywood. So somewhat authentic. In this book Madison does time, Kate has a hit single, and Carmen is overshadowed by her mother.

First line: ‘Madison Parker stood in the echoing marble foyer of the Beverly Hills Courthouse, her back pressed against the wall and he purse clutched tightly in her freshly manicured fingers.

Shadows, by Ilsa J. Bick (518 pages) – Book two of the Ashes trilogy. An apocalyptic thriller full of horror and gore and a love triangle, according to (the somewhat mixed) reviews on Amazon.com. If that sounds like your cup of tea, read the first book, er, first.

First line: ‘FUBAR: that was Jed’s name for it. Once a Marine, always a Marine. He didn’t know what to call the kids. Some said zombies, but that wasn’t right.

Yesterday, by C. K. Kelly Martin (355 pages) – This is about sixteen-year-old Freya Kallas, who lives in a future (2063) where climate change has left the world a bit of a dystopic nightmare. It is also about a Freya Kallas who lives in Toronto in 1985 and whose memory is a bit fuzzy. If that makes sense? To explain further might spoil things! Noooo

First line: ‘When I’ve wailed for so long and so hard that my throat is in shreds and my fingernails ripped and fingertips bloody from clawing at the door, I collapse in front of it curled up like a dead cat I saw on an otherwise spotless sidewalk as a child once.

Black Spring, by Alison Croggan (286 pages) – This story is inpired by Wuthering Heights, which is, if you’ve not read it, a gothic classic. However, this has – judging from the cover’s synopsis  –  witchcraft thrown in to make it even more gothic. Gothicky? You know.

First line (I wanted to add the excellent second line but it’s too long): ‘After the last long winter, I needed to get as far away from the city as I possibly could.

Goodreads Choice Awards 2012

Another Top 10 list! This time, you can vote for your favourite (if you are on goodreads.com). To vote for your favourite general YA go here, or for YA fantasy choose from this fine selection.

These are the the Goodreads Top 10 YA Fiction for 2012 (in no particular order):

The Goodreads Top 10 YA Fantasy for 2012 (again in no particular order):


reached 2Reached by Ally Condie (conclusion to the best-selling Matched trilogy) has arrived!

As you can see, we have many copies. This is necessary, because there’s currently 37 people patiently waiting. But not for long! Reserve it now, if you haven’t already.


Got a puzzling law question? Lawspot is a Wellington-based website that aims to provide answers to people’s legal queries. So you can find out about the legalities of downloading MP3s from YouTube for example.

While Lawspot isn’t a substitute for personalised, one-to-one legal advice, it’s a great way of finding out general information. If you’re interested in the law in general you can also browse through answers to see what legal concerns people have.

We – Wellington City Libraries – also have a range of useful online law databases, courtesy of mygateway.info.

If you’re interested in studying law (and staying in Wellington while doing so), the Victoria University Law Faculty has all the info, obvs. – including a video that features impressive Wellington buildings and scenery (and two tiny clips of people in lectures).

Loving Love Hotel


Prepare to swoon, because there’s an exciting new fashion label that you are going to love!

Love Hotel is designed by Harriet and Ella Garland-Levett, Wellington-based sisters from Hawkes Bay. They recently showed at the first-ever Wellington Fashion Week in the Young Designer section, and carried off the Kirkcaldie and Stains Buy New Zealand Made New Designer award. Sweet! Even sweeter, this means they get to stock their fab collection at the famed Wellington department store, plus they get a cash prize from the Buy New Zealand Made organisation, helping them to manufacture their lovely threads.

The current collection, titled Avec Amour, is super-feminine and features beautiful chiffon in flattering shapes, with hand-drawn screen-printed designs. So pretty! I knew you be enthralled, so I took it on myself to go check it all out in person. Hard life.









My fave is the Marie-Antoinette dress in cream; the fan design is gorgeous. Can’t wait to wear mine with a belt, patterned black tights and either a black blazer (funky formal) or a pastel-toned cardi (cute casual). I think it would also look great worn knotted at the waist with jeans. Or as a top tucked into a black skirt with a nice bright cardi or blazer over top. Oh, the possibilities! Am also in lust with the spotted dresses; pink for me, please.


The label is also being stocked at a newly-opened pop-up shop in Dukes Arcade, specialising in New Zealand designer labels. Check it!

For more info and inspiration from New Zealand fashion and designers, you should check out our collection. May I suggest this book in particular; it has rants on a number of local favourites (including Starfish and WORLD, woot) and also features patterns as well as a few how-to guides, if you are craftily-inclined. I would suggest reserving this one to avoid disappointment, as it’s proved pretty popular so far. Do that here.

Syndetics book coverHome sewn : with patterns from 10 leading New Zealand designers.
“Profiles 10 leading New Zealand designers, each of whom share a pattern from one of their stunning collections. With gorgeous colour photographs, simple instructions and how-to tutorials, Home Sewn gives you the tools you need to create your own designer garment at home”–Cover verso.

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