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New Simultaneous Collections on OverDrive!

We heard a rumour that you guys might quite like books. We also like books. So, we’ve created a new collection of always-available eBooks and audiobooks for you to enjoy any time, anywhere. Check out the Teen Book Club Reads section on OverDrive or Libby for the full list, but for now, here are some of our faves:

Overdrive cover Two Boys Kissing, David Levithan (ebook)
{LGBTQ+, romance, slice-of-life}
Two Boys Kissing is a cornerstone work of queer YA literature. Told from the perspectives of four boys “under the watchful eyes of a Greek chorus of a generation of men lost to AIDS,” this book explores questions of identity and emotion, and the often intimate connections between history and the personal. While you’re drying your eyes and restoring your breathing patterns to normal following this essential book, check out our LGBTQIA+ Fiction booklist for your next literary fix.

Overdrive cover Aspiring, Damien Wilkins (ebook)
{NZ author, small town, coming-of-age}
We’ve already talked about our enduring love for this book, which is a finalist in the 2020 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, on a previous post on this very blog. Trust us when we say that you will not regret immersing yourself in the unforgettably wry and observational voice of 15-year-old Ricky, crafted and shaped by Damien Wilkins’ bold and beguiling prose.

Overdrive cover Monster, Michael Grant (ebook)
{dystopian, science fiction, action}
From the author of the crazily popular Gone series comes this new trilogy, available for the first time on OverDrive as a Book Club read. In the aftermath of the Perdido Beach meteorite and the deadly wave of mutations that followed, Earth is once again being struck by meteorites bearing an even more deadly virus. This time, the whole world is exposed, and humans are beginning to change, again, some gaining unfathomable power. Sound like your kind of thing? We have the follow-ups Hero and Villain available for your delectation as well.

Overdrive cover You Can Do a Graphic Novel, Barbara Slate (ebook)
{non fiction, art, creative writing, comics}
If you’ve ever been interested in the art of creating graphic novels and comics, this nifty guide is meant for you! It starts at the start — with the story — and shows you the ropes as you move through the whole creative process, from drawing techniques and layout/structure tips, to how to deal with creative block and building strong and recognisable characters. Who knows, we may just see your work on our shelves in the zine collections at Arapaki, He Matapihi, and Newtown Libraries!

Overdrive cover Feminism, Nadia Abushanab Higgins (ebook)
{non fiction, feminism, social sciences, women}
This book is a concise and well-written introduction to the concepts and movements embodied by the word ‘feminism,’ which author Nadia Abushanab Higgins describes as “America’s new F-word.” Although it does have an undeniable focus on the history and contemporary definitions of feminism in the United States, it still provides a useful international perspective on the movement through really interesting profiles of pioneers including Gloria Steinem, Rebecca Walker, Elizabeth Stanton, and more. If you’re interested in the intersectionality between feminism and the Black Lives Matter and #GiveNothingToRacism movements, we have a great introduction for you here.

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 Audiobooks

If you like listening to books rather than just reading all the time, don’t forget we’ve got collections of audiobooks, both eaudio and books on CD, with new things being added regularly.

For example, new and newish books on CD include:

Half Lost, Sally Green. We got the audiobook before the print one arrived, go figure. We’re excited to read (or listen to, even) this last instalment in the Half Bad trilogy.

Stars Above, Marissa Meyer. This is a collection of Lunar Chronicles short stories, and I have to say it’s fantastic. Some of the stories introduce our favourite characters as children, one’s a sort of happily ever after (no spoilers here, really!), and another is a really cool reworking of the Little Mermaid. We’re really keen to see what she does next (we will find out at the end of the year).

The Rest of Us Just Live Here, Patrick Ness. Here’s the blurb (because it’s quite cool and Patrick Ness-like): “What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.”

New and newish Overdrive eaudiobooks include:

Dead Gorgeous, Malorie Blackman. “Life is tough for Nova. Her frantic parents are obsessed by running their hotel and her older sister seems too grown-up and good-looking to spend time with her any more. Then Nova meets the gorgeous Liam and things start to look up. But Liam is having an even worse time than she is. He’s permanently stuck at the hotel and he can’t attract his brother’s attention either. At least Liam can see how hard Nova is struggling – and, in fact, she’s the only one who can see him at all! Could a new friendship between them help them both see the light at the end of the tunnel?” (Overdrive)

The Revolution of Ivy, Amy Engel. “Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty-forced marriages and murder plots-for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall’s borders. But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy’s life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she’s fought for.” (Overdrive)

This is Where the World Ends, Amy  Zhang. “Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivien moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship—as long as no one finds out about it. But then Janie goes missing and everything Micah thought he knew about his best friend is colored with doubt.” (Overdrive) This is highly recommended.

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.

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!

The new and improved Overdrive

Overdrive – the home of many of WCL’s e-audiobooks and all the e-books – has had a makeover. The new site features are explained in this news post here. Included is an introductory tutorial, hosted by a polite and competent Overdrive librarian.

Recent ebooks

More from the library’s Overdrive ebook collection:

After Obsession, Carrie Jones & Steven E Wedel. “Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can’t stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone- is haunting them. They’re wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it’s neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It’s Alan’s cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life-and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.” (goodreads.com)

Beautiful Creatures series (first 3), Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Since the movie’s out, you might like to re-read these – they’re getting popular again. The regular books are here also.

The movie website is here, and FB here.

Dust Girl, Sarah Zettel. A fairy story with an edge. “Callie LeRoux lives in Slow Run, Kansas, helping her mother run their small hotel and trying not to think about the father she’s never met. Lately all of her energy is spent battling the constant storms plaguing the Dust Bowl and their effects on her health. Callie is left alone when her mother goes missing in a dust storm. Her only hope comes from a mysterious man offering a few clues about her destiny and the path she must take to find her parents in ‘the golden hills of the west’: California. Along the way she meets Jack, a young hobo boy who is happy to keep her company – there are dangerous, desperate people at every turn. And there’s also an otherworldly threat to Callie. Warring fae factions, attached to the creative communities of American society, are very much aware of the role this half-mortal, half-fae teenage girl plays in their fate.” (goodreads.com)

Every You, Every Me, David Levithan. “In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs – some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him… messing with him… threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he’s been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan’s starting to believe it’s Ariel that’s behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself.” (goodreads.com)

Queen of the Night, Leanne Hall. The sequel to This is Shyness. “The dark is dangerous. So is the past. So are your dreams. For six months Nia – Wildgirl – has tried to forget Wolfboy, the mysterious boy she spent one night with in Shyness – the boy who said he’d call but didn’t. Then Wolfboy calls. The things he tells her pull her back to the suburb of Shyness, where the sun doesn’t rise and dreams and reality are difficult to separate. There, Doctor Gregory has seemingly disappeared, the Darkness is changing and Wolfboy’s friend is in trouble. And Nia decides to become Wildgirl once more.” (goodreads.com)

If you want to find out more about library e-books, there’s more information in this post right here.

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