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Category: Books Page 1 of 79

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)

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.

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.

 

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.

Marvellous Books to Make You Cry

Today we’re here to celebrate a truly undervalued batch of books. We librarians can spend days waxing poetic over our collections of thrilling mysteries, sublime fantasies and illuminative non-fiction, but today I am here to advocate the unique pleasures of a book-induced sob-fest.

Book Cry (noun):                                                                                         The cathartic experience of weeping, wailing, bawling, blubbering, sobbing and/or crying over a book.

There’s nothing like a good ol’ fashion book cry to ease some tension, which not only helps improve your overall mood, but actually helps detoxify the body! (After, of course, you have recovered from the literary trauma of seeing two beloved characters torn apart.)

via GIPHY

So if your eyeballs feel in need of a good cleaning, read on for a tear-inducing collection of marvellous books to make you cry:

The song of Achilles / Miller, Madeline
“Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. […] Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative connection gives way to a steadfast friendship. […] Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. “–Author website.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The fault in our stars / Green, John
“Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.” (Catalogue)
Bridge to Terabithia / Paterson, Katherine
“[…] When Lesley’s family moves to a rural community, they are regarded with some curiosity – a family with so many books, and no television. Jess Aarons is disturbed by Lesley, who challenges his accepted order of things. Then tragedy strikes.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
All the light we cannot see / Doerr, Anthony
“Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History […] When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast […] In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. […] Interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

All the bright places / Niven, Jennifer
“Told in alternating voices, when Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school–both teetering on the edge–it’s the beginning of an unlikely relationship, a journey to discover the “natural wonders” of the state of Indiana, and two teens’ desperate desire to heal and save one another” Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

The memory book / Avery, Lara
“When a rare genetic disorder brings dementia, steals away her memories, and produces physical deterioration, a high school valedictorian with big plans to flee her small town records notes in a journal to her future self, documenting moments great and small.” (Catalogue)
If I stay / Forman, Gayle
“Life is wonderful for seventeen-year-old Mia, a talented cellist with family, friends and boyfriend. But life can change in an instant – a terrible car accident and everything is different.” (Catalogue)

Trigger Warning: Some of these books deal with difficult subjects, such as illness, sexual abuse, and suicide.

If you are struggling with mental health, then you can free call or text 1737 for support from a trained counsellor, or reach out to:

Lifeline
0800 543 354
Free text 4357 (HELP)

Youthline
0800 376 633
Free text 234

Everything Orange!

All of us will surely know by now that we are in Orange, as we have been at this traffic light level for pretty much all of December so far. I’m sure that as avid library users you will already know all about visiting the library under Orange – wear your mask and scan your vaccine pass or exemption if you’re over twelve – but I feel there is more to be explored around the orangeness of Orange than mere alert levels.

In controversial Orange news, I have learned through this recent Spinoff article that while the Covid Traffic Light system uses the colours Red, Orange, and Green, the official colours of the literal physical traffic lights that are liberally spotted around our country are Red, Green, and Yellow.

Three traffic lights in a row. The left has a green light chosing, the centre has an orange light showing, and the right has a red light showing.

Image: Traffic Signals by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence

Look at these traffic lights! This is an instructional picture from the Waka Kotahi website accompanied by the instructional caption “A yellow signal means the lights will soon turn red”. This is very interesting since it is extremely clear that the coloured circle in the centre traffic light is so obviously orange. Like, they made the picture, if they’re calling it yellow why not make the picture yellow as well?

Anyway, while the certainty that orange is orange and yellow is yellow may be falling out from under our feet, let me return to my original subject of Orange in general.

I think Orange is an excellent colour. It’s such a happy colour, it’s the colour of the sun’s rays shining on the iconic Chelsea Golden Syrup Tin, and it’s great for hi-vis vests if you’re a cyclist, contractor, or builder.

Speaking of Golden Syrup, let me bring your attention to a rather orange book:

Edmonds cookery book.
The Edmonds cookbook is a classic, it fits right in here with that orange cover, and it contains a recipe for a Golden Syrup Steamed Pudding. What’s not to like?!

Golden Syrup Steamed Pudding is also a perfect Christmas pudding. Just saying.

In search of other Orange activities to keep you occupied over the summer, I’ve trawled through our vast selection of elibrary resources, but unfortunately not many of them really scream Orange.

We do have a fantastic language-learning service called Mango Languages, a name that just promises orangeness but in actual fact doesn’t deliver much Orange, even in the logo. Still, if you don’t let lack of actual orangeness get in the way of perceived orangeness you could give it a go!

We do have some other actually-orange things in the library that could get you excited…

…while you’re sitting back in the sun, enjoying your Golden Syrup pudding, what better thing to do than get into a good book?

Here’s a selection of books that I’ve grouped together simply based on the orange-ivity of their covers. There’s a wide range of genres here, from New Zealand fiction to romance to classic literature to adventure, but they’re all Orange! Which one are you most interested in?

Is underground / Aiken, Joan
“Bound to keep a promise to her dead uncle, Is travels to the mysterious north country to find two missing boys, one of them a prince, and to discover why so many children in London are disappearing.” (Catalogue)

Felix ever after / Callender, Kacen
“Felix Love has never been in love, painful irony that it is. He desperately wants to know why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. He is proud of his identity, but fears that he’s one marginalization too many– Black, queer, and transgender. When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages, Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. He didn’t count on his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi-love triangle.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook

Perfect on paper / Gonzales, S.
“Seventeen-year-old Darcy Phillips, a bisexual girl who gives anonymous love advice to her classmates, is hired by the “hot” guy at school to help him get his ex back. When Darcy is caught in the act of collecting letters from locker 89– out of which she has been running her advice service– she is blackmailed into becoming his personal dating coach. If word gets out that Darcy is behind the locker, some things she’s not proud of will come to light. What could go wrong?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Juggling with mandarins / Jones, V. M.
“Thirteen-year-old Pip finds a talent he never dreamed he had, and is determined it will remain one area of his life his domineering dad can’t touch. Somehow, Pip must find the courage to confront his father and claim the right to live his life on his own terms.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

And mandarins are basically smaller superior oranges anyway.

To kill a mockingbird / Lee, Harper
“A young girl growing up in an Alabama town in the 1930s learns of injustice and violence when her father, a widowed lawyer, defends a black man falsely accused of rape.” (Catalogue)

Trash / Mulligan, Andy
“Three friends. Raphael, Gardo and Rat. Living on a heap of trash, a lifetime of sifting rubbish. One day they find something extraordinary – a deadly secret. From that moment they are hunted without mercy. With danger snatching at their heels, the boys are chased from the city’s dirty gutters to its wealthy avenues. But they can’t run for ever. They need a miracle.” (Catalogue)

Nice try, Jane Sinner / Oelke, Lianne
“Jane Sinner, a 17-year-old dropout, sets out to redefine herself through a series of schemes and stunts, including participating in a low-budget reality TV show at her local community college”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

First test / Pierce, Tamora
“Ten-year-old Keladry of Mindalen, daughter of nobles, serves as a page but must prove herself to the males around her if she is ever to fulfill her dream of becoming a knight.” (Catalogue)

A tyranny of petticoats : 15 stories of belles, bank robbers & other badass girls
“From pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago, take a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Bridge of Clay / Zusak, Markus
“Upon their father’s return, the five Dunbar boys, who have raised themselves since their mother’s death, begin to learn family secrets, including that of fourth brother Clay, who will build a bridge for complex reasons, including his own redemption.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

And if you’ve made it this far, I hope that by now I’ve managed to remove or weaken the exclusive association of Orange with Covid. I’m sure that you’ll be simmering with rage over the officially-yellow traffic lights, off to bake a tasty snack, diving deep into an Orange read, or some other Orange-related activity!

Jólabókaflóð: ‘Tis the Season for Reading

Of all the weird, wonderful, and wintery traditions surrounding the Christmas season, I am here today to introduce you to the gift-giving practice of young librarians’ dreams: Jólabókaflóð.

Jólabókaflóð, which loosely translates to “Christmas Book Flood”, is the Icelandic practice of gifting and exchanging books on Christmas Eve. Dating all the way back to WWII (when paper was one of the few commodities not subject to severe rationing), jólabókaflóð is now harkened by the distribution of an annual catalogue of new publications. Although this catalogue (the snappily entitled ‘Bókatíðindi’) is sadly beyond our reach, it is my pleasure to bring you some of the latest and greatest YA additions to the library catalogue. I would suggest you read these, buy them, and then merrily sling them at all your bookish friends.

Now, I will be the first to admit that – when browsing for books – I automatically drift towards the fantasy section. However not everyone out there has the same excellent taste as me, so I’ve branched out in order to offer you a slightly more accommodating collection of potential gifts for your upcoming jólabókaflóð festivities:


The Raven Boys / Stiefvater, Maggie
“Though she is from a family of clairvoyants, Blue Sargent’s only gift seems to be that she makes other people’s talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys from the expensive Aglionby Academy, she discovers that he has talents of his own–and that together their talents are a dangerous mix.” (Catalogue)

The inexplicable logic of my life : a novel / Sáenz, Benjamin Alire
“Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?” (Catalogue)

Children of blood and bone / Adeyemi, Tomi
“Seventeen-year-old Zélie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue princess Amari fight to restore magic to the land and activate a new generation of magi, but they are ruthlessly pursued by the crown prince, who believes the return of magic will mean the end of the monarchy.” (Catalogue)

The apple tart of hope / Fitzgerald, Sarah Moore
“Oscar Dunleavy, who used to make the world’s most perfect apple tarts, is missing, presumed dead. No-one seems too surprised, except for Meg, his best friend, and his little brother Stevie. Surrounded by grief and confusion, Meg and Stevie are determined to find out what happened to Oscar, and together they learn about loyalty and friendship and the power of never giving up hope.” (Catalogue)

The amazing Maurice and his educated rodents / Pratchett, Terry
” Every town on Discworld knows the stories about rats and pipers, and Maurice – a streetwise tomcat – leads a band of educated ratty friends (and a stupid kid) on a nice little earner. Piper plus rats equals lots and lots of money. Until they run across someone playing a different tune. Now he and his rats must learn a new concept: evil . . .” (Catalogue)

Illuminae / Kaufman, Amie
“The planet Kerenza is attacked, and Kady and Ezra find themselves on a space fleet fleeing the enemy, while their ship’s artificial intelligence system and a deadly plague may be the end of them all”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

In order to ascertain quality YA recommendations, I must confess that I turned to younger family members for aid. Yes that’s right, I have informants amongst the youth of today. And my research has led me to believe that the youth of today like frogs (that’s understandable, y’all need the serotonin). So here’s one more recommendation:

Frog and Toad : the complete collection / Lobel, Arnold
“Once upon a time there were two good friends, a frog and a toad. From writing letters to going swimming, telling stories to finding lost buttons, Frog and Toad are always there for each other – just as best friends should be.” (Catalogue)



So there you have it! ‘Tis the season for friends, family, food, and a colossal number of books. From all of us here at Wellington City Libraries, Merry Christmas and Happy Jólabókaflóð!

And remember that Santa Claus is also… technically… a cryptid.

Summer Reads + Things To Do With Your Friend/Crush

It’s Summer! School’s out and the world is your proverbial oyster. But maybe you’re not sure what to read over the break? Perhaps you’re feeling bored and have forgotten what to do with that mythical concept called free time? Look no further, we’ve got you covered! I’ve put together a list of some excellent books, and not only that, each book has an accompanying activity to invite your friend/crush to! Now go get some books, and have an excellent Summer break.

The way you make me feel / Goo, Maurene
“Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #1 : Take a Sunday walk down the waterfront to the Habourside Market for some food truck and dog-spotting galore!

Love & gelato / Welch, Jenna Evans
“Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, and she’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years?” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #2 : Go get some refreshing gelato/ice-cream.

Happily ever afters / Bryant, Elise
“Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. The only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing. When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just…gone. Tessa needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #3 : Go for a wander around Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s many second-hand bookstores and try to find the perfect/weirdest book. 

Leah on the offbeat / Albertalli, Becky
“Leah Burke is an anomaly in her friend group: the only child of a young, single mom; her life is decidedly less privileged. Even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends– not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. When her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways, it’s hard for Leah to strike the right note.  If only real life was as rhythmic as her drumming…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #4 : Take inspo from our music loving protagonist Leah and go see a band at Gardens Magic. Make sure to get there early to secure a good picnic spot, and don’t miss the light installations around the gardens.

Summer of salt / Leno, Katrina
“No one on the island of By-the-Sea would call the Fernweh women what they are, but if you need the odd bit of help, such as a sleeping aid concocted by moonlight, they are the ones to ask. Georgina Fernweh waits for the tingle of magic in her fingers– magic that has already touched her twin sister, Mary. But with her eighteenth birthday looming at the end of her last summer on the island, Georgina fears her gift will never come.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #5 :  Go to the beach! The beach is great! Just remember to be safe; use plenty of sunblock and NEVER LOOK A SEAGULL DIRECTLY IN THE EYES.

Keep my heart in San Francisco / Coombs, Amelia Diane
“Caroline “Chuck” Wilson has big plans for spring break—but her dad wrecks those plans when he asks her to spend vacation working the counter at Bigmouth’s Bowl, her family’s failing bowling alley. Making things astronomically worse, Chuck finds out her dad is way behind on back rent—meaning they might be losing Bigmouth’s, the only thing keeping Chuck’s family in San Francisco.things” (Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #6 : Go bowling! It’s a fun activity to do in your spare time. It might seem uncool, but personally that’s just how I roll. I wonder how many of these puns I can sneak into this blog post before Stephen asks me to spare you all from my jokes. I might be told to put a pin in it, but I will keep making puns forever until I am banned and if that happens…I will go on strike. Anyways, go bowling.

Editor’s note: Your pun quota is getting awfully close to being full, Alayne. I’m watching you. — SC

I think I love you / Desombre, Auriane
“A YA contemporary rom com about two girls who start as rivals but after a twist of events, end up falling for one another—at least they think so. A pitch perfect queer romance. Arch-nemeses Emma, a die-hard romantic, and more-practical minded Sophia find themselves competing against one another for a coveted first-prize trip to a film festival in Los Angeles . . . what happens if their rivalry turns into a romance?” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #7 : The easy offer here is that you simply go to a movie, but everyone goes to the movies. Why not have a go at making a movie? Lots of films are shot on phones these days and you can even checkout the filmmaking courses on LinkedIn Learning, free with your library card.

This time will be different / Sugiura, Misa
“Katsuyamas never quit — but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop. She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of. Then her mom decides to sell the shop — to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #8 : Do you know about Wellington’s Hidden Gardens? Until December 15th, you can discover seven hidden gardens across Pōneke. There will be secret events happening at every garden, and each is designed to a specific theme. For more information, check out the Wellington City Council website here.

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