Wellington City Libraries

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Teen Blog

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

Tag: eBooks

From Broadway to Bookshelf

We all know how it is. One minute you’re idly searching Spotify for your next musical theatre fix. The next minute it’s 3am and you’re four months deep into a dangerous obsession with Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill musical soundtrack and you can’t stop singing the alto part to “You Learn” over and over again even though you’ve been kicked out of home because no one wants to listen to that much alto. It’s fine, you tell yourself. All I need is Alanis. The world of jukebox musicals will keep me warm at night.

Dear reader, it is true that we all need Alanis. But we also need a balanced cultural diet that includes reading material and audiobooks to keep us off the streets. That’s where the library’s OverDrive collection comes into play again. Read on for a juicy selection of some of our musical theatre-related reads to keep you on the straight and narrow when all seems lost to the world of the musical soundtrack album.

Overdrive cover The Movie Musical!, Jeanine Basinger (ebook)
This book is an in-depth look at the singing, dancing, happy-making world of Hollywood musicals, beautifully illustrated in color and black-and-white—an essential text for anyone who’s ever laughed, cried, or sung along at the movies. Leading film historian Jeanine Basinger reveals, with her trademark wit and zest, the whole story of the Hollywood musical, from Fred Astaire, whom she adores, to La La Land, which she deplores. Whether analyzing a classic Gene Kelly routine, relishing a Nelson-Jeanette operetta, or touting a dynamic hip hop number (in the underrated Idlewild), Basinger is a canny and charismatic guide to the many ways that song and dance have been seen—and heard—on film. (adapted from OverDrive description)

Overdrive cover Dear Evan Hansen, Val Emmich (Audiobook)
A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation. This audiobook version of the novel based on the incredible 2015 musical by Pasek, Paul and Levenson is beautifully narrated by Ben Levi Ross (Evan Hansen, US Tour), Mike Faist (Connor Murphy, original cast), and Mallory Bechtel (Zoe Murphy, original cast) in this incredibly personal and human reading. Listen now — you won’t regret it.

Overdrive cover Writing Better Lyrics, Pat Pattison (ebook)
Have you ever fancied yourself a Broadway lyricist? This book is the book for you. This revised and updated 2nd Edition of the classic must-have guide for budding songwriters provides effective tools for everything from generating ideas, to understanding the form and function of a song, to fine-tuning lyrics.

Overdrive cover Les Misérables, Victor Hugo (ebook)
Look, I hear you. This book is long. But just listen for a moment — it wasn’t adapted into one of the most popular and enduring musicals of all time for nothing. This book has it all — love, death, revolution, defeat, victory, class struggles — and its rambling delightfully labyrinthine plot will keep you occupied for hours. If that all sounds like too much, we also have the eAudio version. Don’t say we aren’t kind to you. But be kind to yourself and pick this up while the Duke Classics edition is always available!

Now, get out there and read!

Libraries in the Time of COVID

Peeps, it’s a weird time for all of us, librarians included, as we attempt to navigate the apocalypse with nary an open library in sight from which to retrieve the objects of our solace — books. But fear not! The library, in its wisdom, has foreseen such a calamity and from the depths of its vast reserves of online material has produced a bounteous temple of all things YA — the OverDrive Teen Reading Room. All you need is a library card (click here to grab one if you haven’t already) and all the reading material you could ever need is at your fingertips from the comfort of whichever anti-viral fortress you’re currently holed up in. Check the list below for some of my faves:

Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe / Sáenz, Benjamin Alire
Guys, I don’t want to freak you out but READ THIS BOOK NOW. This is the OverDrive eAudiobook version, so you don’t even have to read words, just zone out and let Saenz’s perfectly spare, searing prose transport you. This is a gorgeous story of family, friendship, love, pain, illness, recovery, and discovery that paints in poignant, pointillistic detail the agony and anticipation of leaving childhood behind and moving somewhere new. Waste no more time, and while you’re at it read everything else Saenz has ever written. You won’t regret it.

Feed / Anderson, M. T
It may seem a little on the nose to be recommending dystopian fiction right now, but hear me out. This modern classic is absolutely worth a read — it takes a peek beneath the veil and examines human nature with a kind of clarity seldom seen in any fiction. Unsettling? Yes. Frightening? Probably. Un-put-downable? Absolutely.

An unofficial encyclopedia of strategy for Fortniters / Rich, Jason
We understand it’s not entirely impossible that there may be some people out there who are choosing to spend their isolation period not reading, but gaming. We have you nerds covered as well! The Unofficial Encyclopedia of Strategy for Fortniters is just one part of a gaming eBook collection that includes titles on Fortnite, Minecraft, Terraria, and more. Can’t go outside? Make your own outside, inside!

Finally, I wanted to do a special plug for our wonderful OverDrive LGBTIQ+ Reading Room. We’ve pulled together our favourite titles from across the rainbow spectrum and curated the ultimate collection of LGBTIQ+ reads for you to enjoy. There’s heaps to choose from across fiction and nonfiction, eBook and eAudio — biographies, romance, YA fiction, the arts, crime and mysteries, social comment and social issues, personal essays, poetry, and much much more. Feel free to send through a request if we’re missing a title you think we should have!

Even though our physical sites are closed, we’re here for you still. Follow us on social media or comment on one of these posts if you want to stay in touch. We’ll be keeping you up to date with books, websites, resources and other cool stuff and general distraction during these spooky, spooky times. Stay safe and stay indoors!

New Overdrive eBooks

We’re always adding new books to our Overdrive eBook (and eAudiobook) collection. Here are some highlights!

What Color is Your Parachute for Teens. This is a go-to resource for people looking for career advice. As the title suggests, this edition is customised for the needs of teenagers. Note: it’s American, but it has lots of transferable advice!

K-Pop Now! : the Modern Music Revolution. It is possible we could have New Zealand’s largest lending K-Pop collection, which is free to borrow for three weeks – just head to the Korean Collection on the first floor of the central library (more titles coming shortly). “K-Pop Now! takes a fun look at Korea’s high-energy pop music…. It features all the famous groups and singers, and takes an insider’s look at how they have made it to the top” (Overdrive).

The Suicidal Peanut, Matthew J. Metzger. Well, we couldn’t go past this title! “Life’s not easy when your mum’s nuts, your uncle is becoming your aunt, and one of your crushes could — and probably would — break your face if he found out how you felt about him.That’s Tab’s life, though, malevolent gods and all. His text-flirting with Demi, the brother of his best friend, is going nowhere: Demi already has a boyfriend and anyway, who dates their best friend’s twin? But then, the pining after Nick is going nowhere either, because Nick probably likes gay-bashing on Friday nights for fun. He’s gorgeous, but he’s dangerous, and Tab knows better than that.So what’s a bit of harmless flirting, when one is taken and the other is straight? It’s just a bit of fun.That is until Demi is suddenly single, and Nick is not looking as straight and scary as he was before” (Overdrive).

Thieving Weasels, Billy Taylor (eAudio). Cameron Smith is actually Skip O’Rourke, on the run from his con-artist, scamming family. As Cameron, he’s living a great scam-free life, until he’s tracked down by his uncle and ‘convinced’ to take part in one last con. This could get messy.

The Raven King, Maggie Stiefvater. We have the last book in the popular Raven Cycle in both eBook and eAudio.

For more Overdrive materials visit the Teens eReading Room.

New YA eBooks

We are happy to see that five copies of Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard have just arrived in a pallet load of books from the United States, with three more coming soon, so good news for fans of Red Queen! Calamity by Brandon Sanderson arrived yesterday-ish also, yay.

Today we’re highlighting a batch of new realistic fiction we’ve ordered for the Overdrive eBook collection.

Because You’ll Never Meet Me, Leah Thomas. “Ollie and Moritz are two teenagers who will never meet. Each of them lives with a life-affecting illness. Contact with electricity sends Ollie into debilitating seizures, while Moritz has a heart defect and is kept alive by an electronic pacemaker. If they did meet, Ollie would seize, but turning off the pacemaker would kill Moritz. Through an exchange of letters, the two boys develop a strong bond of friendship which becomes a lifeline during dark times—until Moritz reveals that he holds the key to their shared, sinister past, and has been keeping it from Ollie all along.” (Overdrive catalogue)

Nowhere But Here, Katie McGarry. “Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re… family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.” (Overdrive catalogue)

Frankie and Joely, Nova Weetman. “Frankie and Joely are best friends. They love each other like no one else can. It’s summer and, together, the girls are escaping the city and their mums for a week of freedom in the country. But when Joely introduces Frankie to her country cousins, Thommo and Mack, it soon becomes clear that something other than the heat is getting under their skin. As the temperature rises, local boy Rory stirs things up even more and secrets start to blister. Will they still be ‘Frankie and Joely’ by the end of their holiday?” (Overdrive catalogue)

Overdrive eBooks are free to borrow and reserve, and are issued for three weeks. There are no overdue fees associated with them either, so they’re great for mildly disorganised people.

New eBooks

Each month we get new e-stuff, which is available to borrow for three weeks for free, with free reserves!

Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell. We now have this very popular novel as an eBook, so if the print copy is never on the shelf when you want it this is an alternative (although I note our 3 eBook copies are out just as I type this, but! you never know!). Also, we really recommend it!

A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas. Published this year, this is the first book in a new series (we think) by the author of the Throne of Glass books, featuring faeries of the menacing kind; not very rainbow magic. (Incidentally we also have e versions of the Throne of Glass series.)

Edgewater, Courtney Sheinmel. The print version of this book just arrived yesterday, so the eBook won the race. Edgewater is the name of the falling-down dilapidated house on the cover. The story’s about Lorrie, who wrestles with being the poor kid in a rich town, until she meets Charlie (rich kid in rich town) and discovers she’s not the only one with shameful secrets, and in fact there might be a connection between hers and Charlie’s.

Very soon (like, tomorrow we hope) we will also have available: Happily Ever After, Kiera Cass. The print version of this won the race, just, so if you’ve reserved it it’s probably on its way to a library near you. This is the collection of Selection short stories and extras, much anticipated. We have other Selection eBooks also, starting with the first one on eBook and eAudiobook.

Fashion eBooks

So, this morning I made a new discovery. We have some really good fashion reads on Overdrive, our eBook site!!

Don’t get me wrong, I am a massive fan of real ink and paper books. I enjoy the tactile quality of a real book and especially real fashion books, because they’re often so gorgeous with lushly printed images and beautifully set out headings and chapters. However, fashion eBooks are so incredibly handy, it’s hard not to love them too!! Perfect for when you can’t get to the library, or if you need a book to read on the go (and, tbh, some fashion books really aren’t a great size or shape (or weight!!) for carrying around with you).

Even better, you don’t specifically need an eReader to enjoy them. I’ve been reading a few on my phone, so even though the screen is obviously way bigger on an eReader, it’s totally fine without one! Just go to the Overdrive page on our website, search ‘fashion’ and check the results. There are a couple I have my eye on, and we’re adding to our eBook collection all the time. Enjoy?

ebook
Photo: Carrie at wishwishwish

Lots of new eBooks!

If you’re an eBook reader, then good news! We’ve got lots of new eBooks, courtesy of both Overdrive and Bolinda Digital.

New from Overdrive

Heaps and heaps, including:

Bolinda

These are all new to Wellington City Libraries. Authors include Jaclyn Moriarty (of Feeling Sorry for Celia fame – although sadly no Feeling Sorry for Celia yet), Meg Cabot, John Marsden and many more!

To read Bolinda eBook titles on a mobile device, just download the BorrowBox app:

On desktop computers, you can download titles from our Bolinda website straight to Adobe Digital Editions (like for Overdrive eBooks).

Do check our eBooks out! Literally!