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

Tag: Lists

New Manga Series Hitting the Shelves Soon!

Manga readers — this one’s for you. The mysterious and powerful beings that dwell deep within the library’s core — yes, the very ones whose mystical and arcane energies power the growth of our collection — have turned their attention once again to manga, and are purchasing new titles and series at an unprecedented rate.

Below is a small selection of the new series currently on order — get in quick to reserve the first copies when they arrive! And don’t forget, you can find a list of all of the manga series and standalones we hold right here. Get in touch if there’s something super important you think we’re missing!

Jujutsu Kaisen / Akutami, Gege
This phenomenon of a manga probably needs no introduction. Its rise to prominence following the incredible popularity of the stunning MAPPA anime (seriously, check it out on Crunchyroll if you haven’t already) during the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of legendary. Now, at long last, the gorgeously-illustrated manga is entering our collection. Do yourself a favour and reserve it quickly — we can guarantee it won’t stay on the shelves for long!

Boruto : Naruto next generations / Kodachi, Ukyo
The first seven volumes of this highly-anticipated follow-up to the golden child of shōnen manga are available now on the library catalogue. Borrow and read to your heart’s content — and decide for yourselves if it’s a pale imitation of the original, or if it’s The Real Deal. As for myself, while I think  for the most part Boruto : Naruto Next Generations avoids some of the awkward filler and pacing issues that plagued the Naruto manga, and really comes into its own as a story the further you read.

Komi Can’t Communicate / Oda, Tomohito
This gem of a manga explores some issues that I’m sure will resonate with readers everywhere — social anxiety, friendship, how to bridge that gap between perception and reality. What I dig most about Komi Can’t Communicate is how the inner lives of the loveably awkward Komi and Tadano are given really full explorations on the page. We have the first 12 volumes on order for your enjoyment!

Fangirl : the manga / Rowell, Rainbow
Here’s one that I’m particularly interested in checking out when it arrives: the manga adaptation of Fangirl, a sweet coming-of-age tale of family, fanfiction, and (yes) first love from bestselling author Rainbow Rowell. I’m not familiar with the work of Sam Maggs and Gabi Nam, the team responsible for this adaptation, but at first glance it certainly seems like the premise of the novel is perfect for the manga treatment! Definitely check this out if you’re into Rowell’s work in the expanded universe of Simon Snow.

The way of the househusband / Oono, Kousuke
Regardless of your opinion on the hotly-anticipated-but-ultimately-controversial anime adaptation (streaming now on Netflix), The way of the househusband is definitely one of the more interesting manga series to have broken into the mainstream recently. The premise is simple, if a little wacky — feared Yakuza boss Tatsu (known as ‘The Immortal Dragon’ by his associates and rivals alike) retires from his life of hard-boiled crime to become a stay-at-home househusband to support his career-driven wife. The comedy potential is only too real. 

Keep your eyes peeled for more new additions to the manga collection in the coming weeks. We’ll keep it coming as long as you keep reading it!

From the Vaults V: Books Around the World

This next piece in our From the Vaults series, being an exploration of some of the hidden gems of the library’s vast collections, is a personal favourite of mine. Whether you’re looking for books to add to your reading list for your Connections internal in English, or are just hungering for a range of cultural perspectives and experiences to add to the pile of books waiting to be read on your bedside table, don’t worry folks — we got you. Our Books From Around the World booklist has just undergone its most comprehensive update in *checks notes* a whole decade, and our ambition is for it to contain at least one book by an author from every country in the world. No biggie.

 Just as Lisa doesn't wish to eat solely at Americatown, we don't want to read solely from Aotearoatown all the time either! (Okay yeah it's a stretch but look this is the best I've got)

So anyway, we’re gonna be straight up with you — though our ambitions are great, we haven’t yet lived up to them. There are around 40 countries (Andorra, Azerbaijan, etc.) that, despite our best research, we just can’t find books from — at least, not books that have been translated into English (if you find a book from a country we’ve missed, let us know!). But the vast majority of countries around the world have representation in our master list — from Bolivia and Uruguay, Vanuatu and Kiribati, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti, to Albania and Ukraine, Yemen and the UAE, the Philippines and Kazakhstan, Uganda and Angola; and many more besides. We’re pretty chuffed with it, if we’re being honest, and really recommend you check out the full list!

Some of the books we have tracked down are among the first books written by an author from that country to have ever been translated into English — for example, Return to the enchanted island by Johary Ravaloson from Madagascar, published in 2019. Others are part of a long-standing tradition of literary translation that dates back decades or centuries — The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (France, 1844) for example, or I am fifteen and I don’t want to die by Christine Arnothy (Hungary, 1955). Others, like Consuming Ocean Island by Katerina Martina Teaiwa (Kiribati, 2015) or Legends, traditions and tales of Nauru by Timothy Detudamo (Nauru, 2008) are collections of stories drawn from the world’s various oral traditions, written down with permission from indigenous storytellers.

‘But,’ you may ask, ‘what sets your list apart from the myriad of other such lists I can find online?’ Well, for starters, these are all books that you can actually get your mitts on from your local library — just click the title, then ‘Place Reserve,’ then choose the library closest to your house, and the book will soon be yours! But beyond that, there is something else that makes this list special — you! Not you you, but teens in general — we’ve done our best to try and make sure that every book that makes it onto our list is in some way, shape or form about the experiences and lives of teenagers and young people. Taken together, you could see this list as a pretty comprehensive repository of stories about what it means and has meant to be a young person around the world and through history. And we reckon that’s pretty cool.

Anyway, here are some of my favourite books from the list — but don’t forget to check out the whole list (currently sitting at about 250 books!) for the complete picture.

Here the whole time / Martins, Vitor
Country of origin: Brazil
Setting: Metro Brazil; contemporary
Original language: Portuguese
Format: Novel
Themes: body positivity, bullying, coming-of-age, LGBTQ+, single-parent families, school, self-esteem

Year of the rabbit / Tian
Country of origin: Cambodia
Setting: Phnom Penh, Cambodia; 1970s
Original language: French
Format: Graphic novel
Themes: family, government and society, history, political refugees, war

Aya / Abouet, Marguerite
Country: Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Setting: Yopougon (Yop City), Côte d’Ivoire; 1978
Original language: French
Format: Graphic novel
Themes: adventure, community, family, friendship, neighbourhoods 

The field guide to the North American teenager / Philippe, Ben
Country of origin: Haiti/Canada
Setting: Montreal, Canada – Austin, Texas; contemporary
Original language: English
Format: Novel
Themes: coming-of-age, culture shock, friendship, moving countries, relationships, school, single-parent families

Moonstone : the boy who never was / Sjón
Country of origin: Iceland
Setting: Reykjavík, Iceland; 1918-19
Original language: Icelandic
Format: Novel
Themes: coming-of-age, epidemics, globalisation, history, LGBTQ+, masculinity

The forest of wool and steel / Miyashita, Natsu
Country of origin: Japan
Setting: Hokkaido, Japan; contemporary
Original language: Japanese
Format: Novel
Themes: careers, coming-of-age, music, small-town vs. big-city

Things fall apart / Achebe, Chinua
Country of origin: Nigeria
Setting: Àlà Ị̀gbò, Southeastern Nigeria; 1890s
Original language: English
Format: Novel
Themes: British imperialism, colonisation, government and society, history, justice, masculinity

Afakasi woman / Young, Lani Wendt
Country of origin: Samoa/New Zealand
Setting: Samoa (various)
Original language: English
Format: Short stories
Themes: community, everyday life, folklore, Pasifika culture, people and society, relationships, womanhood

New LGBTIQ+ Teen Reads on OverDrive

Look, I get it. Sometimes you just need someone to tell you what books to read. I understand that! There’s a lot of books out there — entirely too many to count — so the intrepid librarians behind our illustrious eBook collection on OverDrive and Libby have undertaken to sort these books into comprehensive, yet easily-digestible lists for your convenience. One such list in the Teen Reading Room is the LGBTIQ+ Teen Reads list, which has recently doubled in size thanks to the efforts of our mystical and talented library gremlins! Make sure to keep checking in as new lists are being worked on all the time.

LGBTIQ+ Teen Reads

This list pulls together a veritable panoply of the best of the best in LGBTIQ+ authors and titles for young adults — that’s you! Here are some of my current faves from this selection:

Overdrive cover We Contain Multitudes, Sarah Henstra (Audiobook)

This beautiful book, told as an epistolary story (through letters and diary entries) is a classic oppposites-attract romance set in a Minnesota high school. You may have to suspend your disbelief a little at the premise of this story (letter-writing pen pals in high school? In 2019? Sure, Jan), but give it some time. The characters are deftly drawn, the storytelling by turns cerebral and intensely emotional, and the language absolutely to die for. Plus it was my sister’s favourite read of 2019. Give it a whirl!

Overdrive cover Lizard Radio, Pat Schmatz (ebook)

I totally dig this oddball dystopian coming-of-age novel (with lizard-people aliens!) wrapped in layers of mysticism, cyber-tech, and explorations of gender identity. Kivali is a “bender,” a young person who doesn’t conform to the extremely rigid gender culture of the all-powerful Gov’s future society, sent to mandatory rewiring in a gruelling CropCamp with other nonconforming teens. From all quarters, Kivali is faced with the question — who are you? — a question she refuses to take at face value, and challenges in different ways throughout the book. A must-read for nonbinary teens everywhere!

Overdrive cover My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen, David Clawson (ebook)

This book is a super sweet modern fairytale — a kind of Cinderella for the modern sensibility. It has its moments of darkness, sure, and like many of the mainstays of queer literature some of its musings on issues of sexuality, family, money and stability, and self-doubt will hit home a little too squarely for some. But where My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen really shines, for me, is in its lighter moments — how a random encounter with a drag queen can sweep joy into your world; how getting swept off your feet by sudden, unexpected romance can feel easier and lighter than breathing. This book is a celebration of all things glitter and warmth, and it invites you to the party every time.

Overdrive cover The Full Spectrum, David Levithan (ebook)

This is a Very Cool and Most Timely collection of poems, essays, and stories written by young adults and teens from across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. The writings cover a massive range of topics — coming out, dealing with family (supportive and not so much), navigating friendships that suddenly seem to have taken on a new dynamic, questions of faith and identity, and much more. Plus it’s all been pulled together by none other than the legendary David Levithan, and rad queer poet Billy Merrell, whose 2017 novel Vanilla is also a Must Read for fans of poetry and queerness.

Overdrive cover You Asked for Perfect, Laura Silverman (ebook)

Ya okay so this book is just painfully, beautifully relatable on so many levels. Perfectionist attitude towards school keeping you down in terms of life? Check. So worried about the future that you’re losing your grip on what’s happening right now? Check. Queer and stressed? Yep, that’s one big ol’ checkeroon. But don’t worry friends, all is not lost, because books like this are here to save the day! As the wonderful Bill Konigsberg puts it in his back-cover review, “[the book] hit me straight in the heart.”

Overdrive cover Finding Nevo, Nevo Zisin (ebook)

This powerful autobiography should be a required read for anybody to whom questions of identity are important. I can’t put it any better than the OverDrive description, so let me quote from it: “Meet Nevo: girl, boy, he she, him, her, they, them, daughter, son, teacher, student, friend, gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, homosexual, Jew, dyke, masculine, feminine, androgynous, queer. Nevo was not born in the wrong body. Nevo just wants everyone to catch up with all that Nevo is.” Read it now!

Overdrive cover The Rest of Us Just Live Here, Patrick Ness (ebook)

Patrick Ness’s trademark poetic and slightly oblique style is really brought to bear in this sci-fi deconstruction to end all sci-fi deconstructions. What if something remarkable and improbable is happening in your town (dark and mystical forces colliding; people’s family members disappearing in the woods; extra-terrestrial beings descending from the Great Beyond to wreak terror and destruction, only to be stopped at the last minute by an ordinary teen who just happens to be the only one with the power to stand up to what may or may not be the gods of old made manifest in this realm), but you’re not the Chosen One? You’re just a background character (in most books like this, you’d be among the first to go, possibly before we even got to hear your tragic backstory) and you’d really like it to stay that way. You’re not trying to save the world, you’re just trying to make it through the day without embarrassing yourself too much. This book’s queerness is part of its fabric without being the main focus — you should read it anyway, because it’s Just That Good, Folks.

Overdrive cover The Falling in Love Montage, Ciara Smyth (ebook)

This novel balances tongue-in-cheek witticisms with clear-eyed sincerity in an absolutely gorgeous way. Saoirse, 17, dealing with many issues in her life beyond her recent breakup with her ex, Hannah, meets Ruby, one of the most instantly loveable characters of any in books on this list. Ruby believes in true love, you see, and invites Saoirse to make a rom-com out of their lives together, complete with long, meaningful glances on Ferris wheels, ‘spontaneous’ skinny dipping late at night, and yes, a falling-in-love-montage just like in the movies. Not that the book is all bubbles and soft lens filters, but definitely one to curl up with under the covers, wearing out your face from all the smiling.

Overdrive cover Rainbow Revolutionaries, Sarah Prager (ebook)

The LGBTIQ+ Teen Reads curated list doesn’t just include fiction, but a great amount of nonfiction as well. This is a compelling collection of autobiographies covering the lives and times of 50 very rad and very revolutionary queer people spanning continents and centuries, who have left some indelible mark on culture, society, and what-it-means-to-be-queer-ness at some point in their lives. The people discussed range from the super well-known (the Frida Kahlos, Alan Turings, and Harvey Milks of this world) to the less well-known, at least in Western pop culture (Maryam Molkara, Nzinga, Al-Hakam II, and Tshepo Ricki Kgositau, to name a few), all  accompanied by Sarah Papworth’s striking and energising art and Sarah Prager’s concise and, at times, searing descriptions. 

Overdrive cover Are You Listening?, Tillie Walden (ebook)

I had to end this selection with one of my absolute favourite reads in recent months — Tillie Walden’s atmospheric, surreal, breathtaking ride of a graphic novel in Are You Listening? I don’t want to spoil too much of the story, but prepare yourself for a real emotional rollercoaster, and one of the most arresting and most genuine depictions of a moment of real human connection that I can remember seeing in a book (or anywhere else, for that matter). I read this one in a single sitting, oblivious to the world around me, and to be honest I can’t imagine anyone putting it down before the end. Do yourself a favour and pick this one up as soon as you can — you definitely won’t regret it.

Spring is here!

And it has sprung! I’ve found some vaguely Spring inspired books to get us into the swing of Spring. It’s about fresh starts and new beginnings, so I’ve found a few fitting books for the new season!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSplintered, A. G. Howard

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. (Goodreads)

We also have the sequel Unhinged, if you’d like to continue reading this saga!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSweethearts, Sara Zarr

As children, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were both social outcasts. They were also one another’s only friend. So when Cameron disappears without warning, Jennifer thinks she’s lost the only person who will ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed. Known as Jenna, she’s popular, happy, and dating, everything “Jennifer” couldn’t be—but she still can’t shake the memory of her long-lost friend. When Cameron suddenly reappears, they are both confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have taken. (Syndetics)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Leslye Walton

Born with bird wings, Ava Lavender is well aware that love has long made fools of her family. When pious Nathaniel Sorrows mistakes her bird wings for angel wings, 16-year-old Ava faces the man’s growing obsession, which comes to a head with the rain and feathers that fly through the air during a nighttime summer solstice celebration. (Syndetics)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Museum of Intangible Things, Wendy Wunder

Hannah and Zoe haven’t had much in their lives, but they’ve always had each other. So when Zoe tells Hannah she needs to get out of their down-and-out New Jersey town, they pile into Hannah’s beat-up old Le Mans and head west, putting everything—their deadbeat parents, their disappointing love lives, their inevitable enrollment at community college—behind them. As they chase storms and make new friends, Zoe tells Hannah she wants more for her. She wants her to live bigger, dream grander, aim higher. And so Zoe begins teaching Hannah all about life’s intangible things, concepts sadly missing from her existence—things like audacity, insouciance, karma, and even happiness. (Syndetics)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Voice Inside My Head, S. J. Laidlaw

Seventeen-year-old Luke’s older sister, Pat, has always been his moral compass, like a voice inside his head, every time he has a decision to make. So when Pat disappears on a tiny island off the coast of Honduras and the authorities claim she’s drowned – despite the fact that they can’t produce a body – Luke heads to Honduras to find her because he knows something the authorities don’t. From the moment of her disappearance, Pat’s voice has become real, guiding him to Utila, where she had accepted a summer internship to study whale sharks. Once there, he meets several characters who describe his sister as a very different girl from the one knows. Does someone have a motive for wanting her dead? Determined to get to the bottom of Pat’s disappearance, Luke risks everything, including his own life, to find the answer. (Syndetics)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLiv, Forever, Amy Talkington

When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved. But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. (adapted from Goodreads)

P.S. Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for The Iron Trial!

The In Crowd

Here at the library we keep tabs on which books and authors are most popular and we also create lists. So, here’s a couple:

Most Issued YA Titles, 2013

  1. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
  2. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
  3. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  4. Guardian Angel, Robert Muchamore
  5. Insurgent, Veronica Roth
  6. The Fault in our Stars, John Green
  7. Shadow Wave, Robert Muchamore
  8. People’s Republic, Robert Muchamore
  9. Brigands M.C., Robert Muchamore
  10. City of Lost Souls, Cassandra Clare

Most Issued YA Authors, 2013

  1. Robert Muchamore
  2. Cassandra Clare
  3. Sara Shepard
  4. James Patterson
  5. Suzanne Collins
  6. Anthony Horowitz
  7. Tamora Pierce
  8. John Marsden
  9. Michael Grant
  10. Meg Cabot

Obviously the more books you’ve published the better your chance of featuring on this list (hello James Patterson), so Suzanne Collins has done well to be at number 5 with only 3 young adult books! The Hunger Games trilogy was borrowed 902 times last year, which is amazing really.

Horn Book Fanfare 2012

One final list of book highlights from 2012, this  one from The Horn Book (including books for kids also), which is a well-regarded book reviewing magazine (and a hornbook is also a “primer for study” according to Wikipedia).

Highlights from this list include The Fault in Our Stars, The Brides of Rollrock Island, Code Name Verity. It’s nice to know that The Horn Book agrees with us!

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?

Amazon’s Top Ten Books for Teens in 2012

Terrifyingly it’s already that time of year when Amazon produces its best books of the year lists. The Top 20 list for teens is here. It’s an interesting, varied collection, with some of our favourites of 2012.

  1. Reached, Ally Condie – we’re still waiting patiently for this. You can reserve it though!
  2. The Fault in our Stars, John Green
  3. Son, Lois Lowry – we’ve just ordered this one.
  4. Insurgent, Veronica Roth
  5. Days of Blood & Starlight, Laini Taylor – again, we’re waiting patiently (join the queue!).
  6. The Kill Order, James Dashner – The Maze Runner prequel.
  7. Dodger, Terry Pratchett
  8. The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater – one of our favourites of the year. Perfect for after-exam recovery (you can suspend your reserve until after you’ve finished).
  9. Every Day, David Levithan
  10. The Diviners, Libba Bray – Grimm is half way through (it’s quite epic).
  11. Seraphina, Rachel Hartman
  12. Pandemonium, Lauren Oliver
  13. Cinder, Marissa Meyer
  14. Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas
  15. Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo
  16. Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein – loved this book. One of our favourites of the year also.
  17. Why We Broke Up, Daniel Handler – who is also Lemony Snicket.
  18. Grave Mercy, R L LaFevers – again, this was a great read.
  19. The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Emily M Danforth
  20. For Darkness Shows the Stars, Diana Peterfreund – we’ve just ordered this one too.

Most Borrowed for 2010

Which items were borrowed the most from the library last year? By harnessing the power of computers, I can tell you what they were! Definite winners were Stephenie Meyer and Robert Muchamore, unsurprisingly (perhaps they should write a book together and it would be the most popular book ever written?); Glee, also unsurprisingly; and Old Dogs, surprisingly.

The most borrowed item overall (out of everything!) was a magazine from the Young Adult collection; Simpsons Comics.

(There’s no point in listing the most borrowed YA non-fiction, as they’re mostly all study guides (Year 13 Bio is #1); 100% Gleek and Sam Stern’s Eat Vegetarian are the top non-study guide non-fiction books popular with borrowers, who are predominately vegetarian Gleeks.)

1o Most Borrowed YA Fiction
1. Brigands M.C., by Robert Muchamore
2. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
3. Breaking dawn, by Stephenie Meyer
4. Shadow wave, by Robert Muchamore
5. Fallen, by Lauren Kate
6. The general, by Robert Muchamore
7. Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer
8. The hunger games, by Suzanne Collins
9. Tomorrow, when the war began, by John Marsden
10. The awakening, by L. J. Smith

10 Most Borrowed YA Movies
1. Alice in Wonderland
2. How to train your dragon ; plus, Boneknapper dragon
3. Percy Jackson & the lightning thief
4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
5. Avatar
6. Glee. Season 1, volume 2, Road to regionals
7. Old dogs
8. Letters to Juliet
9. The last song
10. G-Force

10 Most Borrowed YA Comics
1. Big bratty book of Bart Simpson.
2. Simpsons comics : dollars to donuts
3. Twilight : the graphic novel. Volume 1
4. Ghostopolis
5. Naruto. Vol. 40, The ultimate art
6. Maximum Ride : the manga. Vol. 3
7. Skeleton key
8. The Simpsons : treehouse of horror : dead man’s jest.
9. Naruto. Vol. 23, Predicament
10. Big beastly book of Bart Simpson.

10 Most Borrowed YA CDs
1. Glee : the music. Volume 3, Showstoppers deluxe.
2. Now that’s what I call music 33.
3. Teenage dream, by Katy Perry
4. Now that’s what I call music 34.
5. From the inside out, by Stan Walker
6. Glee : the music. Volume 1.
7. Can’t be tamed, by Miley Cyrus
8. Rokstarr, by Taio Criz
9. Glee : the music. Volume 2.
10. Glee : the music : the power of Madonna.

Best Of 2010 : Music

At the end of every year, every single website is contractually obligated by the internet to publish a list of their top ten albums released that year. Not wanting to void our contract and, let’s be honest, because it’s fun too, here’s ours.

The rules are that it must have been both released and catalogued into the YA collection in 2010.

10. BARB – BARB
Local goodness from Liam Finn, Connan Mockasin and pals. Felt like this one flew under the radar a little bit, undeservedly so.

9. Dum Dum Girls – I Will Be
The best of the lo-fi indie girl band bunch in a year that said bunch was of a ubiquitously high quality.

8. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot, The Son Of Chico Dusty
On this album Big Boi proved that he is far from just “that other dude from Outkast”

7. Connan Mockasin – Please Turn Me Into The Snat
My favourite NZ release of the year. It’s a psychedelic pop gem.

6. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
Apparently this is the last album from Damon Albarn’s cartoon band. If so, it was a great one to go out on.

5. The White Stripes – Under Great White Northern Lights
No new material, just some great live performances of old favourites, rarities and a brilliant behind the scenes DVD

4. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles II
The noisiest and most “punk rock” electro band returned with their second and it stayed on my ipod all year long.

3. Pavement – Quanrantine The Past
Do greatest hits albums qualify for lists like this? Seeing as it’s my list, I’d say yes. More so because this is some of the best indie rock ever made. Ever.

2. The Black Keys – Brothers
This album not only features the best use og guitar and drums this year, but also the cover features the best use of Cooper Black.

1. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
Pretty much the perfect electro album. Which is more than enough to qualify for album of the year.

So there you go. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section. Perhaps write your own, discussion generating list?

Stuff (for the teen age)

Stuff for the Teen Age is the New York Public Library’s list of the best stuff for teens from that year. You should take a look! We have some – if not most  – of it. True, the list includes Xbox games, Justin Bieber, and a whole load of manga*, but we have the books and many CDs covered.

They also have a blog you should add to your RSS feed (along with this blog).

* We’re getting in a lot more manga and anime soonish though

Amazon’s Top 10 Books for Teens

It’s Best Books of the Year season again! Amazon.com has published it’s best of 2009 list – you can see it here, but I thought I’d provide catalogue links below, so you can reserve and read and see what you think.

  1. Beautiful Creatures, Margaret Stohl 
  2. Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater
  3. Going Bovine, Libba Bray
  4. Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld
  5. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, Phillip M Hoose
  6. Marcelo in the Real World, Francisco X Stork
  7. Fire, Kristin Cashore
  8. The Ask and the Answer, Patrick Ness
  9. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
  10. If I Stay, Gayle Forman

Top 10 Top 10

Throughout 2008 we wrote up a number of Top 10 lists of all things related to the library’s teen collection. Here is – in no particular order! – the Top 10 Top 10 lists from last year.

1. Top ten: New Zealand books –  I would add Kate De Goldi’s The 10pm Question to this list
2. Top ten CDs from 2008 – according to us, anyway
3. Top ten: Chick Lit – Also called ‘Chicken Lit’ when it’s intended for teens
4. Top ten: Ghost stories
5. Top ten DVDs based on books – see also Top ten books being turned into movies
6. Top ten antiheroes
7. Top ten fight scenes in a movie
8. Top ten: General fiction with teenage narrators
9. Top ten YA CDs old enough to have a YA card
10. Top ten YA spy books

The full list may be found under the Top 10 tag, where our obsession with lists becomes frighteningly apparent.