Exciting New Online Resources

July is the time of year when Wellington City Libraries welcomes new products into our range of online resources.

We’re very happy to announce that soon, you will see some brand new resources over a wide range of subjects and covering many years of great content.

For lovers of science and nature, we are adding the Smithsonian Collection, as well as the latest magazines and archived editions of National Geographic and National Geographic Kids.

Family historians will enjoy an expanded archive of British Historical Newspapers, including more titles and time periods.

And the business world is represented with new access to The Economist Historical Archive 1843-2020.

However, July will also see the end of access to some of our existing products.  With some regret, we are saying good-bye to Lingogo and the Vogue Archive.  Tumblebooks will end, but we hope our young readers will continue to enjoying using Storybox.  Oddizzi is also not being renewed, but we hope that National Geographic Kids will be a great source of education and wonder.

You can learn more about all the online resources available through Wellington City libraries on our website.  All you need is your library card!

Be in with the in-crowd with Greta and Valdin: Our latest eLibrary promotion

Greta and Valdin cover against a photo of Auckland City

 

The modern world is too much for me. I feel like I’m George of the Jungle. —Greta

At the moment, for personal reasons, I don’t like reading things about people being in love with each other. —Valdin

Since its release in 2021, Greta and Valdin by Rebecca K. Reilly has become one of the must-read New Zealand novels. Its ultra-modern intelligent humour, often delivered in a razor-sharp pointed fashion, makes for a totally compelling read. Now, thanks to Libby, we are excited to offer unlimited access to the eBook.

The plot revolves around the smart and slightly quirky brother and sister co-narrators Valdin and Greta. They share an apartment in Auckland where they dissect the modern world; its ups and downs but especially each other’s personal lives. Both are seeking love: Valdin is still in love with his ex-boyfriend, whilst Greta is in love with her fellow English tutor Holly. The resulting observations and dialogue are pure comic gold. As one critic put it, the novel reads like “the strange love child of Shakespeare and Tinder”. What is even more remarkable is that Greta and Valdin is Reilly’s debut novel, which went on to win the Hubert Church Prize for Fiction for Best First Book at the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Now is your chance to grab an electronic copy of the book and laugh and cry with Greta and Valdin! Simply login to Overdrive or Libby with your library card to access a copy. Unlimited copies of these eBooks will be available from Monday the 27th of June to Sunday the 10th of July.

Dark deeds and fresh blood: 2022 Ngaio Marsh Award longlist revealed

The Ngaio Marsh Awards celebrate literary excellence in crime, mystery and thriller writing. This year’s longlist has just been announced — and what a fabulous and varied shortlist it is!

Composite graphic of covers of all the shortlisted titles

Included amongst its illustrious ranks we have novels set in Renaissance Florence,  1930s Singapore, New York City, and 1990s Auckland — with many established authors sitting alongside debut writers. The diversity of tropes, characters, styles, and settings is truly thrilling!

Now  in its twelfth year, The Ngaio Marsh Awards are, as always, a terrific showcase of exciting and innovative Aotearoa New Zealand storytelling that is truly world class. The finalists for both the Best Novel and Best First Novel categories will be announced in early August, and then the finalists will be celebrated and winners announced as part of a special event at this year’s WORD Christchurch Festival, to be held from 31 August to 4 September 2022.

Longlist for this year’s Best Novel prize:

About the longlisted titles:


City of vengeance / Bishop, D. V. 
“Florence. Winter, 1536. A prominent Jewish moneylender is murdered in his home, a death with wide implications in a city powered by immense wealth. Cesare Aldo, a former soldier and now an officer of the Renaissance city’s most feared criminal court, is given four days to solve the murder: catch the killer before the feast of Epiphany, or suffer the consequences. During his investigations Aldo uncovers a plot to overthrow the volatile ruler of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici. If the Duke falls, it will endanger the whole city. …” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

Before you knew my name / Bublitz, Jacqueline
“Dead girls don’t usually get to tell their story, but Alice Lee has always been a different type of girl. When she arrives in New York on her eighteenth birthday, carrying nothing but $600 cash and a stolen Leica in her bag, Alice is a plucky teenager looking to start a new life away from her dark past. Now she’s ‘Jane Doe’, ‘Riverside Jane’, an unidentified body on a slab at City Morgue…” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

The quiet people / Cleave, Paul
“Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful crime-writers. They have been on the promotional circuit, joking that no-one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living. So when their 7 year old son Zach goes missing, naturally the police and the public wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time – are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

To the sea / Crutchley, Nikki
“Keep a secret. Tell a lie. Protect the family. At all costs. A compulsively readable suspense thriller which will keep guessing and keep you up late into the night. Iluka has been the only home that 18-year-old Ana has ever known. The beautiful wild pine plantation overlooking the Pacific Ocean where her grandfather builds furniture, her aunt runs an artists’ retreat and her uncle tends the land, is paradise, a private idyll safe from the outside world. But the place holds a violent secret and when a stranger arrives, Ana will need to make a choice – to protect everything – and everyone – she holds dear – or tell the truth and destroy it all. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

Overdrive coverPolaroid Nights , Lizzie Harwood (ebook)
“Auckland city bars, 1996, when the click / whirr of a Polaroid 600 proved you were living your best life. Betty’s is on repeat: waitress till late, drink till dawn, in bed to forget. But partying like there’s no tomorrow is no fix for the problems crowding in. When her ex is murdered and left in her bed, Betty and her flatmate Alabama turn to the bar world to find out who did it. Was it the Psychic – or someone closer?” (Overdrive description)

Isobar precinct / Kasmara, Angelique
“Lestari Aris is a woman on the edge. Her tattoo studio on Karangahape Road is hammered by burglaries; the hangers-on in her life, from a teenage runaway to a married cop, are bonded to her for reasons she can’t fathom. And years after Lestari’s father disappeared, her Indonesian mother is still lost in a self-medicated blur. When a murder in Symonds Street Cemetery whirls Lestari into the orbit of an unpredictable drug, she uncovers a decades-long covert clinical study targeting rough sleepers and others on the fringes – and its dark connections with her own life and history. Everything is connected: the past is circling. How far will Lestari go to save someone she loves? ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

Nancy business / McDonald, R. W. R. 
“It’s been four months since Tippy, Uncle Pike and Devon were together for Christmas. Now back for the first anniversary of Tippy’s father’s death, the Nancys are reformed when Riverstone is rocked by an early morning explosion that kills three people and destroys the town hall. A new case is born. Is the accused bomber really guilty? Is there a second bomber? And if so, does that mean a threat to destroy Riverstone Bridge is real? And is asparagus a colour? Once again, it is up to the Nancys to go against the flow and ignore police orders to get to the truth. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook

She’s a killer / McDougall, Kirsten 
“The world’s climate is in crisis and New Zealand is being divided and reshaped by privileged immigrant wealthugees. Thirty-something Alice has a near-genius IQ and lives at home with her mother with whom she communicates by Morse code. Alice’s imaginary friend, Simp, has shown up, with a running commentary on her failings. But then she meets Erika – an actual genius full of terrifying ambition. It’s about what happens when we refuse to face our most demanding problems, told by a woman who is a strange and calculating force of chaos.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The last guests / Pomare, J. P.
“What do you do when you think no one is watching? Lina and Cain are doing their best to stay afloat. Money has been tight since Cain returned from active duty, and starting a family is proving harder than they thought. Putting Lina’s inherited lakehouse on Airbnb seems like the solution to at least one of their problems. The secluded house is more of a burden than a retreat, anyway, and fixing up the old place makes Cain feel useful for once. But letting strangers stay in their house might not be the best idea. Someone is watching – their most mundane tasks, their most intimate moments – and what they see will change everything.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The devils you know / Sanders, Ben
“Vincent needs a change. He’s spent the last fifteen years in covert operations for the U.S. government, but after a botched and fatal mission, he decides he’s done with pulling triggers for shadowy officialdom. He wants a rest from the violence. Vincent accepts a job in Santa Barbara, California, as head of security for supermarket mogul Eugene Lamar. It’s perfect: his main duty is driving the boss to and from golf, which means ample down-time for surfing, or sitting by the pool contemplating life – and how to live it with a zero body-count. He’s intrigued too by Lamar’s daughter .  And can Vincent keep her safe from the brutal characters who are after her father? …” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

Quiet in her bones / Singh, Nalini 
“When socialite Nina Rai disappeared without a trace, everyone wrote it off as another trophy wife tired of her wealthy husband. But now her bones have turned up in the shadowed green of the forest that surrounds her elite neighborhoods, a haven of privilege and secrets that’s housed the same influential families for decades. The rich live here, along with those whose job it is to make their lives easier. And some body knows what happened to Nina one rainy night ten years ago. Her son Aarav heard a chilling scream that night, and he’s determined to uncover the ugly truth that lives beneath the moneyed elegance . . . ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Join our Matariki Winter Reading Challenge!

This Matariki, we’re laying down a wero – how many of the pukapuka on our Reading List can you read?

We’ve picked 25 of our favourite pukapuka written by Māori writers, that were published in the last few years, and you can earn digital badges just by reading them and logging your read titles on BeanstackTau kē! The challenge is aimed adults and has something for everyone – titles include poetry, novels, short story collections and Young Adult novels, as well as non-fiction. There are nine badges to collect – one for each whetū in the Matariki cluster.

Matariki and winter is the perfect time to curl up with a book and set yourself a reading challenge that includes some amazing Māori writers that may be new to you! The challenge runs until August 31 and all of the books listed are available on our catalogue. Many of them are also available in our eLibrary, and one is on Bridget Williams Books.

Visit Beanstack to register and to take part. You can also participate on the app! Get the iOS version here and the Android version here.

Ngā mihi o Matariki, te tau hou Māori. Kia pai tāu pānui! Happy reading!

100 years of Ulysses: His Excellency Mr Peter Ryan in conversation

“Everybody knows now that Ulysses is the greatest novel of the century”

Anthony Burgess

The novel Ulysses by James Joyce is regarded as one of the great classic modernists works of the 20th century. It is often cited as one of the greatest works of literature ever and has even been described in some circles as the greatest work of fiction ever. It was published 100 years ago on the 2nd of February, which was also the date of Joyce’s fortieth birthday.

Ulysses is set over the course of one day  the 16th of June  in Dublin in 1904 and the book follows the encounters and interactions of Leopold Bloom. The 16th of June is now widely celebrated in Joyce circles across the world and called Bloomsday.  Ulysses is loaded with detail and rich characterisation and uses allusions, parodies, and puns galore and, as it progresses, imitates the styles of English literature at different periods. Throughout the novel Joyce draws parallels between the events in the book and Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey – indeed it is named after the poems hero protagonist Ulysses (Odysseus).

The book has had a checkered past – banned in many countries over claims of obscenity, due to the explicit nature of some passages. And there have been controversies as to which version of the text constitutes the definitive work.

To tie in with this global celebration we have teamed up with the Embassy of Ireland in New Zealand / Aotearoa to do a very special interview with His Excellency Mr Peter Ryan, Ambassador of Ireland to New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga  who talks about his passion for Ulysses and James Joyce, and highlights just a few of the 100th anniversary celebration events to be held here and around the world. You can listen to that interview below, or visit Wellington City Libraries’ Mixcloud collection here.

To celebrate this very special occasion, we have three copies of Joyce’s masterpiece, kindly donated by the Embassy of Ireland in New Zealand Aotearoa, to give away on Bloomsday – Thursday this week! To win a copy, snap a photo of a book by an Irish author that you have seen in our libraries and tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #wclbloomsday. The first three entries we receive on the day (Thursday 16 June) will win a copy of the book many have described as the greatest ever written. Too easy! This competition is open to Wellington residents and is only running on Thursday 16 June.

Ulysses / Joyce, James
“Following the events of one single day in Dublin, the 16th June 1904, and what happens to the characters Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom and his wife Molly, Ulysses is a monument to the human condition. It has survived censorship, controversy and legal action, and even been deemed blasphemous, but remains an undisputed modernist classic: ceaselessly inventive, garrulous, funny, sorrowful, vulgar, lyrical and ultimately redemptive. It confirms Joyce’s belief that literature ‘is the eternal affirmation of the spirit of man’. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Ulysses, James Joyce (ebook)
“James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is said to be one of the most important works in Modernist literature. It details Leopold Bloom’s passage through Dublin on an ordinary day: June 16, 1904. Causing controversy, obscenity trials and heated debates, Ulysses is a pioneering work that brims with puns, parodies, allusions, stream-of-consciousness writing and clever structuring. Modern Library ranked it as number one on its list of the twentieth century’s 100 greatest English-language novels and Martin Amis called it one of the greatest novels ever written”. (Overdrive description)

Ulysses / Joyce, James
“Presents a recording of the novel which describes the adventures and exploits of Leopold Bloom as he wanders through Dublin on a single day, June 16, 1904. Set within the context of Homer’s Odyssey, Joyce uses stream of consciousness as a literary device to illuminate the internal thoughts of Bloom, his wife, Molly, and other assorted characters.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Ulysses / Kenner, Hugh
“With characteristic flair, Kenner explores the ways Joyce teaches us to read his novel as Joyce taught himself to write it: moving from the simple to the complex, from the familiar to the strange and new, from the norms of the nineteenth-century novel to the open forms of modernism.” (Catalogue)

 

Breach of all size : small stories on Ulysses, love and Venice
“This book bridges two anniversaries. Ulysses by James Joyce was published in 1922. Venice was founded in 421. The title Breach of All Size is Joyce’s pun on Venice landmark Bridge of Sighs but could as easily describe his sprawling modernist classic, which clocks in at 265,222 words. To celebrate both anniversaries, 36 Aotearoa writers were asked to write love stories set in Venice and inspired by words from Ulysses, but to steer the opposite course and keep them short. How short? 421 words, of course.”(Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover The James Joyce BBC Radio Collection, James Joyce (Audiobook)
Three BBC radio productions of major works by James Joyce Ulysses :In this full-cast dramatisation of Joyce’s epic modernist novel, the stories of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom combine as they meander through Dublin in the course of one day, 16 June 1904. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: An abridged reading of James Joyce’s autobiographical masterpiece portraying the adolescence of Stephen Dedalus, who must question the culture and religion of his native land before he can break free to become an artist. Dubliners This abridged collection of fifteen naturalistic tales depicts an array of characters from childhood, through adolescence, to maturity. Stories of love, loss, friendship, marriage, politics and family combine to create a unified world and a celebration of a city. and James Joyce – A Biography Gordon Bowker’s comprehensive study explores Joyce’s years spent in exile in Europe, and examines how his life shaped his genius.
(Adapted from Overdrive description)

Author interview: Anthony Lapwood

Anthony Lapwood photo used with the kind permission of Te Herenga Waka University Press and copyrighted by Ebony Lamb.

Anthony Lapwood’s (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Whakaue and Pākehā) fabulous collection of short stories Home Theatre has just been released. Home Theatre is a collection of dreamlike, interlinked short stories set in a Wellington apartment building that was formerly a radio factory. They are loosely connected by a recurring, time travelling, character that features in several of the stories. Whilst there is definitely a magical realist feeling to some aspects of the stories, there are also elements of social realism and social commentary, for example apartments in the stories are damp or suffer from ant invasions. The tales in the collection range in time, from the early 20th to modern times. Most of the stories are also strongly driven by both plot and character. A sense of community, or lack of it, also features in several stories. It all makes for a thoroughly compelling and enthralling read. The collection has already received glowing critical responses from the likes of Radio New Zealand.

We were thrilled when Anthony  took time out from his very busy schedule to discuss Home Theatre, and we wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to him. For more information visit  Te Herenga Waka University Press.

This interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin, the arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM. It was conducted by host Tanya Ashcroft. You can hear the interview, as well as find a selection of Anthony Lapwood’s work that is available to borrow, below.


Home Theatre / Lapwood, Anthony
Home Theatre is a collection of dreamlike, interlinked short stories set in a Wellington apartment building that was formerly a radio factory.”

Middle distance : long stories of Aotearoa New Zealand
“The stories in Middle Distance travel from the empty expanses of the southern ocean to the fall of a once great house, from the wharekai of a marae to the wasteland of Middle America. Longer than a traditional short story and shorter than a novella, the long story is a form that both compresses and sprawls, expands and contracts, and which allows us to inhabit a world in one sitting.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction and fantasy, V3
“When borders closed last year, Kiwi science fiction and fantasy took readers on flights of imagination through space and time. This anthology contains a selection of the best short science fiction and fantasy stories published by Aotearoa New Zealand writers in 2020.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Poet interview: essa may ranapiri

Echidna is a dangerous animal; she pokes holes in men just to

remind them what kind of monster she is wakes up every single

morning and chooses violence cos what choice does she really have?

essa may ranapiri


Layered meanings that weave three strands of tradition together; Māori esoteric knowledge, Christianity and Greek mythology, into a queerer whole. This is what’s at the heart of essa may ranapiri’s ((Ngāti Wehi Wehi, Ngāti Raukawa-ki-te-Tonga, Te Arawa, Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Pukeko, Ngāti Takatāpui, Na Guinnich, Highgate) second collection of poetry, Echidna. The poems in the Echidna follow their very own interpretation of the myth of Echidna, the Greek mother of monsters, now living in a colonised world with other deities such as Prometheus and Māui. The collection is also very much in conversation with the works and ideas of many other writers such as Keri Hulme, Milton, Hinemoana Baker, Joshua Whitehead and R.S. Thomas, to name but a few.

The poems contained within are unapologetic and raw; embracing gender fluid and non-binary people, building on its own world out of a community of queer and Māori/Pasifika writing whilst also, carefully, placing itself in a whakapapa of takatāpui storytelling.

We are thrilled that ranapiri took time out from their very busy schedule to talk to us about Echidna and we wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to them. For more information, visit Te Herenga Waka University Press.

This interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin, the arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM. It was conducted by host Tanya Ashcroft. You can hear the interview, as well as find a selection of essa may ranapiri’s work that is available to borrow, below.

 


 

Echidna / ranapiri, essa may
“The poems in the Echidna follow their very own interpretation of the myth of Echidna the Greek mother of monsters. Now living in a colonised world with other deities such as Prometheus and Māui . The collection are also very much in conversation with the works and ideas of many other writers such as Keri Hulme, Milton,  Hinemoana Baker, Joshua Whitehead  and R.S. Thomas to name but a few.”

Ransack / ranapiri, essa may

” Poems that address the difficulty of assembling and understanding a fractured, unwieldy self through an inherited language – a language whose assumptions and expectations ultimately make it inadequate for such a task. These poems seek richer, less hierarchical sets of words to describe ways of being.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Poetry New Zealand yearbook. 2022
“Poetry New Zealand, this country’s longest-running poetry magazine, showcases new writing from New Zealand and overseas. This issue features 151 poems by 131 poets, including David Eggleton, Janet Newman, Therese Lloyd, essa may ranapiri, Victor Billot, Amber Esau, Elizabeth Morton, Vaughan Rapatahana, Jordan Hamel and Vana Manasiadis. It also includes the winning entries in the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook student poetry competition, essays and reviews of 38 new poetry books.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Poetry New Zealand Yearbook. 2020
“Each year Poetry New Zealand, this country’s longest-running poetry magazine, rounds up new poetry, reviews and essays, making it the ideal way to catch up with the latest poetry from both established and emerging New Zealand poets. Issue #54 features 130 new poems (including by this year’s featured poet, rising star essa may ranapiri, and C.K. Stead, Elizabeth Smither, Kevin Ireland, Chris Tse, Gregory Kan, Fardowsa Mohammed and Tracey Slaughter); essays (including a graphic essay by Sarah Laing); and reviews of new poetry collections. Poems by the winners of both the Poetry New Zealand Award and the Poetry New Zealand Schools Award are among the line-up.” (Catalogue)

Lunchtime talk: CERT NZ on Internet security and your business

Come along to this presentation by CERT NZ on cyber security! Find out how to identify and keep your businesses safe from ransomware, phishing and other common threats.

This talk is aimed at the business community, but content will also be of interest to individuals — all welcome!

Click through for more details!

Continue reading “Lunchtime talk: CERT NZ on Internet security and your business”

Visiting the library under Orange settings

As of Thursday 14 April 2022, all libraries in the Wellington City Libraries’ network remain open under Orange settings of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, with masks required.

To keep everyone safe please:

  • wear a mask unless you have an exemption
  • follow any guidance from our staff or signs
  • stay home if you’re unwell, or someone in your household has tested positive for Covid-19
  • be kind – library staff are doing their best to offer our full range of services and facilities

At Orange, programming can be run, and we have resumed events and programmes from Tuesday 7 June 2022.

From time to time, we may have to postpone or cancel events if there are staff shortages and we will give as much notice as possible if this happens.

Check the Event Calendar and our social media for any updates.
If you’re unwell, please stay home until you’ve recovered.

Event calendar

The Hive Makerspace at Johnsonville Library in Waitohi has re-opened for visits. They are also accepting Laser cutter and 3D Printing jobs over email. More details on our Makerspace page.

The Hive Makerspace

All library members can continue to access a huge range of online resources via our eLibrary – this includes eBooks, magazines, movies, and online courses.

Answers to frequently asked questions about library services under Orange settings can be found on our COVID faqs.

COVID faqs

If you have any queries, please contact Wellington City Libraries by calling 04 801 4040 during office hours or email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz. Alternatively, you can message us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz

Events and opening hours from Tues 7 June

hand showing update sign

hand showing update sign

Kia ora koutou! We are so excited to let you know that this week, from Tuesday 7 June, we’re extending our hours and many of our programmes and events are resuming.

Our “new” normal hours are a bit different from our pre-COVID opening hours — read on to find out more!

You might be aware that since last year, we’ve been running shorter hours across most of our libraries to manage the demands of COVID. This has been especially important during Omicron, as so many of our staff have been unwell with COVID, or have had to isolate as household contacts.

In the last month we’ve been gradually returning to normal staffing levels, and we’re now ready to extend hours at some branches from today, Tuesday 7 June.

Our “new” normal hours are a bit different from our pre-COVID opening hours. We hope you’ll have a chance to check your favourite branches and find new times to visit and borrow!

Author interview: Jordan Hamel


Jordan Hamel is a Pōneke-based writer, poet and performer. He was the 2018 New Zealand Poetry Slam champion and represented NZ at the World Poetry Slam Champs in the USA in 2019. He is the co-editor of Stasis Journal and co-editor of the climate change poetry anthology No Other Place to Stand (Auckland University Press). He was a 2021 Michael King Writer-in-Residence and placed third in the 2021 Sargeson Prize judged by Patricia Grace. He has had poetry, essays and stories published in The Spinoff, The Pantograph Punch, Newsroom, Sport, NZ Poetry Shelf, Landfall, Turbine | Kapohau and elsewhere.

Hamel’s debut collection, Everyone is everyone except you has just been published by Dead Bird Books and is an excellent, deeply intelligent and entertaining collection. We were lucky enough to have Hamel drop by to talk about his new book, New Zealand poetry, Briscoes and much more. Check out our delightful interview with him below!


Reserve Hamel’s book, as well the other collections mentioned in this interview, via the booklist below!

Everyone is everyone except you / Hamel, Jordan

National anthem / Hassan, Mohamed
“National anthem is a menagerie of exiled memories. A meditation on the beauty and madness of migration, nationalism and the enduring search for home.” (Catalogue)

Conventional weapons / Slaughter, Tracey
“Conventional Weapons is lyrical and dirty, sexy and dark – it is cul-de-sac life, viewed through a grimy ranch slider. These poems closely observe the beauty and depravity of human nature, revealing lives that are hard-bitten and sometimes tragic, but in Tracey Slaughter’s hands they become radiant.” (Catalogue)

Head girl / Sadgrove, Freya Daly
“‘The first time I read Freya’s work I thought . . . uh oh. And then I thought, you have got to be kidding me. And then I thought, God fucking dammit. And then I walked around the house shaking my head thinking . . . OK – alright. And then – finally – I thought, well well well – like a smug policeman. Listen – she’s just the best. I’m going to say this so seriously. She is, unfortunately, the absolute best. Trying to write a clever blurb for her feels like an insult to how right and true and deadly this collection is. God, she’s just so good. She’s the best. She kills me always, every time, and forever.’ –Hera Lindsay Bird” (Catalogue)

Children’s Programmes Returning at Orange!

decorative graphic showing two cute whale and crocodile charactes

decorative graphic showing two cute whale and crocodile charactesKia ora koutou! We are so excited to let you know that next week, from the 7th of June, some of our popular children’s programmes are returning to our libraries! It’s been some time since we have been able to run these events in a consistent way for you all, so we thought we’d lay out the current schedule for you below. We can’t wait to see you there!

With COVID -19 still in the community, please remember that all of these days and times are subject to staff availability, and we may need to change them from time to time. The library’s event calendar will always have the right days and times!

Continue reading “Children’s Programmes Returning at Orange!”

Author interview: Murdoch Stephens in conversation

Photo copyright Ehsen Hazaveh.

Acclaimed novelist  Murdoch Stephens has just released his latest novel, Down from Upland.

Down from Upland is a Wellington-based domestic novel about two millennials, Jacqui and Scott, and their teenage son. As the plot progresses, they  deal with some of  the issues that might occupy some Wellingtonian middle-class minds, like how to raise a teenager and how to operate in an open marriage, as well as how to navigate the perceived complexities of being a public servant or, indeed,  what is deemed acceptable behaviour in modern day Wellington. Down from Upland is a wonderful satirical tale of modern life set in a modern-day Wellington; the book is biting  in places, often wryly funny with many layers of meaning woven in.

Murdoch Stephens has written many books many such as On the conditions and possibilities of Helen Clark taking me as her Young Lover under the pseudonym of  Richard Meros.

As well as writing, Murdoch also wears many other hats. He is one of the founding editors behind Lawrence and Gibson publishing house, and in 2013 he launched the Doing Our Bit advocacy campaign, which eventually led to the New Zealand’s  government doubling its refugee quota to 1500 places. When not writing fabulous books about our lives and times he is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies at the University of Auckland, having previously lectured at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand.

We are thrilled that Murdoch  took time out from his very busy schedule to talk to us about Down from Upland, and we wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to him. For more information visit www.lawrenceandgibson.co.nz

This interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin, the arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM. You can hear the interview below. You will also be able to place a reserve for Down from Upland, which is due into the library soon.

Please note that issues of a sexual nature are discussed in this interview.

 

Doing our bit : the campaign to double the refugee quota / Stephens, Murdoch
“In 2013, Murdoch Stephens began a campaign to double New Zealand’s refugee quota. Inspired by his time living in Aleppo, Syria, over the next five years he built the campaign into a mainstream national movement – one that contributed to the first growth in New Zealand’s refugee quota in thirty years. Doing Our Bit is an insider’s account of political campaigning in New Zealand.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Rat king landlord / Stephens, Murdoch
“Colossal rats invade from the town belt. Your rent is going up but everyone is calling it a summer of love. Cryptic posters appear around Wellington inciting people to join an evening of mayhem. Until now the rats have contented themselves with scraps. But as summer heats up and the cost of living skyrockets, we can no longer ignore that our friends are seeking their own rung on the property ladder.”–Publisher’s website.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

$30 meat pack : the complete written correspondence between Richard Meros and Creative New Zealand. volume two. / Meros
“$30 Meat Pack is the second volume of correspondence between Richard Meros and Creative New Zealand, following on from Beggars and Choosers which Scoop Review of Books called a ‘devilishly clever work of satire’. Volume two sees a right wing government champion art for the sake of the nation, restructuring Creative New Zealand and reorienting artists away from glum navel gazing and towards a bright future of belt-tightening. Featuring applications such as Baby Boomer Funeral, Hugo’s there! Mr Chavez what are we to do about our right wing government? and Dating Westerners: tips for the new rich from the developing world.” (Catalogue)

Zebulon : a cautionary tale / Meros
“Youth, it has to be said, are wholly incautious in action and in thought. They spit polemic in the same manner as their quieter elders hock chewing tobacco and betel nut loogies. But when adolescent beliefs fade, how do the no-longer younger deal with the stains of their pubescence? Through this keening recollection of his sunflower youth, Richard Meros provides his own answer to this perennial question.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Beggars & choosers volume 1. / Meros
“The trials and tribulations of the professional arts applicant make up Moers’ latest novella. With the usual comic aplomb, Meros and a range of Creative New Zealand characters exchange application forms, supporting documents and budgets aplenty.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

 

On the conditions and possibilities of Helen Clark taking me as her young lover / Meros
” A wicked and sharply humorous political satire about the New Zealand government and the prime minister of the time Helen Clark. First published in 2005 with a new edition released in 2008, by the pseudonymous author Richard Meros, and an adapted play of the same name was later written by Arthur Meek and Geoff Pinfield ” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Launching City Voice: News you can use

One of Wellington’s most significant independent media outlets of the 1990s has been fully digitised and is now available to view on Wellington City Recollect.

City Voice Collection on Recollect

For just over eight years City Voice dominated Wellington’s alternative media scene. More than twenty years after its last issue was printed, the library’s archived collection of the weekly newspaper has been fully digitised and is available to view and search on our heritage platform Wellington City Recollect.

Andy Foster as a young city councillor on the cover of the oldest copy held in the collection

City Voice was founded by its editor Simon Collins and the journalist Jeremy Rose. They were soon joined by journalists Nick Bollinger, Mark Cubey & Rachel Woodley, the photographer David Gurr, the artist Chris Healey as well as a core of advertising, administration and distribution staff. The newspaper soon became the regular outlet for dozens of reviewers, columnists and journalism students and began the concept of a ‘paper within a paper’ where several pages would be regularly handed over to local communities who until then had few opportunities to have their voices heard.

Beginning at a time when access to the internet was still largely confined to universities and government institutions, City Voice distilled the talents of many local writers in a single publication before such output became diluted across a multitude of different online forums and websites.  It also provided a mouthpiece for a new generation of activists before the introduction of social media as well as holding the city council and local body politicians to account. Operating out of offices in Cuba Mall, it was owned by the Te Aro Publishing Cooperative Ltd with shares being held by around 160 people who had invested a total of $165,000 as core capital but the newspaper principally operated on its advertising revenue in an era before the widespread growth of the online advertising absorbed much of this income stream.

‘Humourbeasts’ Jermain Clement and Taika Waititi (aka Taika Cohen) appear on the cover of a 1999 issue

Every Thursday a new edition would hit the streets with 21,000 copies being delivered free to every letterbox in the CBD & the inner-suburbs and another 7000 copies available to be picked up in cafes or from newsstands scattered throughout the city. It soon became the go-to place to find out what was happening in the arts and theatre scene with extensive listings and reviews published every week.

However, it was with its news coverage that City Voice had its biggest impact. It avoided the crime, violence and scandal stories that often dominated main-stream media and instead covered local stories where it felt that the public could make a difference with issues such as the planned development of the waterfront or the inner-city motorway bypass. Controversial neo-liberal reforms which had become common within central-government in the early 1990s were starting to have an impact at a local level with various proposals to introduce user charges for social & community services and the paper helped galvanise opposition to many of these. City Voice became a democratic alternative to commercial media where the perceived need to ‘sell’ news was turning people (particularly youth) away from consuming it.

Later to become a city councillor, Laurie Foon states her views on the proposed ‘bypass’ through Te Aro in 1998

The newspaper became a ‘hot-house’ for young journalism students, many of whom went on to have notable careers in the media and communications industries. Volunteers gained experience in the field, assisting staff writers to research and write stories as well as helping out with page layouts and sub-editing. Regular columns provided an alternative take on main-stream staples such as car, fashion and restaurant reviews, the emphasis being on what most Wellingtonians actually consumed rather than expensive aspirational products and services which were often well beyond what many people could afford. Graphic design was also an important part of the newspaper and improvements in computer & printing technology over its eight-year run can be seen in the manner in which its ‘look’ developed.  Advertising ‘reps’ worked hard to constantly sell space in the paper to bring in the revenue required to pay staff and to keep the presses rolling. However, roles were not siloed and someone employed to sell advertising was welcome to try their hand at writing reviews while a journalist who had written an investigative article was just as likely to be helping with page layouts as print deadlines approached. 

Illustrating how some issues never change, this cover from 2000 details the concern of the city potentially losing ownership of its water assets.

However, despite its editorial success and impact, advertising revenue never fully met its costs, eventually resulting in capital reserves being drained. Investigative articles became too narrowly focussed on a small range of subjects and the arrival of the internet also started to have an impact following the launch of several local ISPs which drew readers away from print media as they discovered new online sources of news and information. In late 2000 the board of directors, aware of the personal liability they would be subject to if accused of ‘reckless trading’, decided to wind up the cooperative. After a brief hiatus, a new company was formed called City Voice Media Ltd which raised new capital and continued to publish the newspaper with a new look. However, it soon became apparent that the newspaper was no longer financially sustainable and its final issue was printed on 5th July 2001.  

City Voice on Recollect

Some of the information in this blog has come from the article “City Voice, an alternative to the corporate model” by Simon Collins & Jeremy Rose, published in Pacific Journalism Review, Vol.  10, No. 2 (2004).

Update on email notifications

hand showing update sign

Unfortunately, over the past week there was an outage of our email notifications, which meant they failed to send. While this issue is now resolved, this means that if you have reserves available, or items coming due (or overdue) you won’t have been alerted by email.hand showing update sign

If you have active loans or reserves, please check your library card via the online catalogue or via our WCL Mini app, to see their current status.

We apologise if you were affected by this issue. If you would like to contact library staff about your account, please visit your local branch library, or email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz 

Join the phenomena – Pachinko by Min Jin Lee


Pachinko is a ‘powerful story about resilience and compassion’ – Barack Obama.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee has become a cultural phenomenon over the last few years, gaining legions of fans and spawning a smash hit television series. Now, thanks to Libby, we are excited to offer this unlimited access to the eBook and audiobook for a limited time!

On its release in 2017, Pachinko gained rave reviews from the likes of from The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian. Reviewers have compared the book to the works of writers like Charles Dickens or John Galsworthy, thanks in part to its epic historical sweep and its emotional resonance.

The plot revolves around four generations of a Korean immigrant family who, after being exiled from Korea, forge a new life in their adopted homeland of Japan. Set between the years of 1910 and 1989, the novel covers a huge sweep of time when the vagrancies of history often played a pivotal role to the fates of all concerned. At the heart of the books, you’ll find an exploration of human relationships and the ups and downs of a family. Many themes are explored in an expressive and emotional style; amongst them themes of discrimination, family and cultural identity,  faith  and exclusion.

The book has been shortlisted for a whole plethora of prizes, including being a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction 2017. Since its release, it has sold over one million copies.

Now is your chance to grab an electronic copy of the book to see what the phenomenon is all about! Simply login to Overdrive or Libby with your library card to access a copy. Join the Pachinko phenomena and read now!

Overdrive cover Pachinko, Min Jin Lee (eBook)
“Yeongdo, Korea 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child, their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife.Following a man she barely knows to a hostile country in which she has no friends, no home, and whose language she cannot speak, Sunja’s salvation is just the beginning of her story. Through eight decades and four generations, Pachinko is an epic tale of family, identity, love, death and survival. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Pachinko,’Min Jin Lee (Audiobook)
“Yeongdo, Korea – 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child: their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then, Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife. Following a man she barely knows to a hostile country in which she has no friends, no home, and whose language she cannot speak, Sunja’s salvation is just the beginning of her story.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Appy Seniors events for Techweek22 | 16 to 22 May

Techweek is a nationwide series of events, showcasing and celebrating New Zealand innovation providing a platform for everyone to meet, share ideas and create connections to enhance our future world.

Wellington City Libraries’ is taking part on techweek with Appy Seniors events in six of our libraries and one Community Centre. Check the full list, per location, on the document below. Registration is encouraged and the links to each event is also on the document.

Author Interview: Nikky Lee in conversation


How long can it take to write an epic young adult fantasy novel ?
How do you go about creating an immersive and detailed fantasy world ?
How do you go about writing believable and compelling fantasy creatures ?
What does it take as a writer to bring such a huge project to a successful fruition ?
What is it like to win a PitDark publishing competition ?
And indeed what is a PitDark publishing competition ?

Well, our interview with debut fantasy novelist Nikky Lee reveals the answers to all these questions.

Fantasy novelist Nikky Lee has just released her first full length novel, The Rarkyn’s Familiar. The book  is a thrilling, young adult high fantasy epic tale (the first in a series), set in a wonderfully imagined and detailed fantasy universe.  The tale revolves round a young girl, Lyss, who accidently gets magically bonded to a half bird half  person creature called a Rarkyn; A bond that threatens to drive her mad. The book is a quest tale that features various forms of magic, and a narrative where different types of worlds intersect . At its core, the novel explores themes of acceptance, revenge, redemption and how to deal with anxiety.

Lee grew up in Western Australia and now lives in Aotearoa New Zealand with a husband, a dog and a couch potato cat. Whilst The Rarkyn’s Familiar is Nikky’s first novel, it is far away from her first published work. Nikky has already won a whole host of awards for her short stories, as well as being published in numerous magazines, anthologies. Nikky has also had works broadcasted on the radio.

We are thrilled that Nikky Lee took time out from her very busy schedule to discuss her new book, and we wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to her. For more information visit www.nikkythewriter.com.

This interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin, the arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM. You can hear the interview below. You can also place a reserve for The Rarkyn’s Familiar which is due into the library soon, for details see below.

Rarkyn’s Familiar. / Lee, Nikky
“A perfect story for fans of Sarah J. Maas’ THRONE OF GLASS. An orphan bent on revenge. A monster searching for freedom. A forbidden pact that binds their fates. Lyss had heard her father’s screams, smelled the iron-tang of his blood. She witnessed his execution. And plotted her revenge. Then, a violent encounter traps Lyss in a blood-pact with a Rarkyn from the otherworld, imbuing her with the monster’s forbidden magic-a magic that will erode her sanity. To break the pact, she and the Rarkyn must journey to the heart of the Empire. All that stands in their way are the mountains, the Empire’s soldiers, and Lyss’ uneasy alliance with the Rarkyn. But horrors await them on the road-horrors even Rarkyns fear. The most terrifying monster isn’t the one Lyss travels with. It’s the one that’s awoken inside her. Monsters of a feather flock together.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Comicify Your Life: ComicFest Art Competition Results

The big day is finally here, and the ComicFest 2022 livestream is in full swing as we write these words! In the lead-up to the launch of this programme, aspiring comic artists and illustrators from across Wellington submitted their finest and most creative works to our Comicify Your Life drawing competition. Artists submitted autobiographical works across four age categories (5-8, 9-12, 13-17, and 18+), and were vying for a range of thematic category awards, as well as the coveted Grand Prizes, generously supported by Unity Books and Gecko Press.

During the ComicFest 2022 livestream, following a fantastic illustration workshop from the incomparable Kay O’Neill, we announced the category awards and the Grand Prize winners for each age group for the Comicify Your Life competition. You can see a gallery of the winning images below (click or tap on each image to view the full-size scan). Congratulations to all our winners — we will be contacting you all over the coming days to organise the delivery of your prizes.

Themed Spot Prizes

Grand Prize: Ages 5-8

5-8 category winner: Ehan

 

Grand Prize: Ages 9-12

9-12 category winner: Sophia

 

Grand Prize: Ages 13-17

13-17 category winner: Jaime

 

Grand Prize: Ages 18+

18+ category winner: Kiri

 

Congratulations to all of our prize-winners, and a massive thank you to everyone who submitted a piece of work to this competition!

ComicFest 2022 is Sat 7 May! How to ask your questions

It’s the eve of ComicFest! Join us online all day tomorrow (Saturday 6 May) from 9am for this fantastic – and totally free – national celebration of all things comics-related in New Zealand!

ComicFest 2022 website, programme and livestream!

ComicFest artists include Dylan Horrocks, Giselle Clarkson, Jem Yoshioka, Jonathan King, Kay O’Neill, Mary Guo, Michel Mulipola, Sarah Laing and Tara Black.

Although we won’t be together in person, we still want to give you the opportunity to ask our amazing artists questions!

Q&A: Handing you the (proverbial) mic!

This year, our Q&A sessions will be hosted via a moderating platform called Slido. To submit your questions on the day, go to slido.com and enter our participant code ComicFestNZ.

Or, scan the QR code below to enter the chat!

Author Interview: Ngaio Marsh winner Brannavan Gnanalingam

Brannavan Gnanalingam is one of the most accomplished authors working in New Zealand/Aotearoa today. A Wellington lawyer as well as a writer, his past three novels have all been listed for Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. His novel, Sprigs, won the 2021 Ngaio Marsh award and was described by Kim Hill as “scarily contemporary and realistic story…an extraordinary piece of writing”.

Gnanalingam’s latest book, Slow Down, You’re Here, is fresh off the press and has already gathered glowing reviews. In brief, the novel revolves around the arrival of an old flame into a dead-end marriage. Filled with unexpected twists and turns which propel the plot forwards; this book is a fast paced, page turning domestic thriller. It’s funny, smart and touching with truly relatable characters. As well as this, the novel is also an exploration of serious moral questions, including issues racism and class. In short, it is a fantastic engaging read.

We are thrilled that Brannavan Gnanalingam took time out from his very busy schedule to discuss his new book, and we wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to him. For more information visit http://www.lawrenceandgibson.co.nz/

This interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirinthe arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM. It was conducted by host Tanya Ashcroft. You can hear the interview, as well as find a selection of Brannavan Gnanalingam’s work that is available to borrow, below.

 


Slow down you’re here. / Gnanalingam, Brannavan
“Kavita is stuck in a dead-end marriage. A parent of two small kids, she is the family’s main breadwinner. An old flame unexpectedly offers her a week away in Waiheke. If she were to go, she’s not sure when – or if – she’d come back.”
( Adapted from catalogue)

 

You should have come here when you were not here / Gnanalingam, Brannavan
“The intriguing title of this novel by Wellington writer Brannavan Gnanalingam derives from a statement made by Parisians to their Nazi occupiers in World War II when the Germans expressed being underwhelmed by the attractions of the French capital. This postmodern travelogue tells the lonely tale of Veronica, a thirty-something asexual female journalist from New Zealand who travels to Paris late as a freelance journalist only to find the city indifferent to and from her.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Sprigs / Gnanalingam, Brannavan
“It is Saturday afternoon and two boys’ schools are locked in battle for college rugby supremacy. Priya – a fifteen year old who barely belongs – watches from the sidelines. Then it is Saturday night and the team is partying. Priya’s friends have evaporated and she isn’t sure what to do. In the weeks after ‘the incident’ life seems to go on. But when whispers turn to confrontation, the institutions of wealth and privilege circle the wagons.” ( Adapted from Catalogue )

Sodden downstream / Gnanalingam, Brannavan
“Thousands flee central Wellington as a far too common ‘once in a century’ storm descends. For their own safety, city workers are told that they must go home early. Sita is a Tamil Sri Lankan refugee living in the Hutt Valley. She’s just had a call from her boss – if she doesn’t get to her cleaning job in the city she’ll lose her contract.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Credit in the straight world / Gnanalingam, Brannavan
“‘Credit in the straight world’ charts the fortunes of Frank Tolland as he casts off an ignoble birth to become the singular leader of business and community in small-town New Zealand. Told through the eyes of his mute brother, George, this novel is a sharp and satirical account of a small-town finance company, and sweeps through the dramatic economic changes of the 20th and the 21st centuries.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A briefcase, two pies and a penthouse : a novel / Gnanalingam, Brannavan
“Rachel McManus has just started at the New Zealand Alarm and Response Ministry. One of the few females working there, she is forced to traverse the peculiarities of Wellington bureaucracy, lascivious colleages, and decades of sedimented hierarchy. She has the chance to prove herself by investigating a suspected terrorist, who they fear is radicalising impressionable youth and may carry out an attack on the nation’s capital.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Getting under sail / Gnanalingam, Brannavan
“Morocco to Ghana. Overland. Three New Zealanders. Armed with a guide book and stereotypes. They go being warned of danger, poverty and war by people who had never been there. They end up embroiled in a civil war – but it wasn’t really anything to do with Africa.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Tā Tipene O’Regan: Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year

E tipu e rea mo ngā rā o tō ao
Ko tō ringa ki ngā rākau ā te Pakeha Hei ara mō tō tinana
Ko tō ngākau ki ngā tāonga a ō tīpuna Māori
Hei tikitiki mō tō māhuna
Ko tō wairua ki tō Atua, Nānā nei ngā mea katoa

It is fitting, following the month of April, to celebrate the goals of, and awards bestowed upon Tā Tīpene O’Regan who relentlessly tackled head on, issues that confronted him and commanded his attention – be it a Tiriti claim, race relations, or other take. As his family said he was a man driven by issues rather than people.

“We must remember to remember – you can never have a vision of what you want to be unless you know where you’re from [to avoid] repeating the mistakes of the past.”

In the area of race relations he believes that Māori are here by right of their indigenous status and that all other peoples are here by right of Te Tiriti. He believes that we must continue to evolve and shape our view of New Zealand as we wish it to be. He is a man who did not fight for full reimbursement for all land lost – he had no wish to bankrupt the country in pursuit of an equitable monetary pay-out. The entire value of Treaty settlements over the past quarter of a century would cover superannuation payments for two months.

“I am concerned that in this great intersection of law and history, to which the Treaty and its outcomes have condemned us, we might begin to so devalue our past, that our history and tradition become mere opinion, blown by political winds and fanned by incessant gusts of media opportunism.’

He sought to invest and grow a putea in a way which would lift his people into an entrepreneurial economic future.

Last month Tā Tipene became the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. His life and achievements are set out in the following online articles and videos:

Tā Tipene O’Regan on Wikipedia

Tā Tipene O’Regan: a life spent building a bicultural nation, via RNZ

Tā Tipene O’Regan on Kā Huru Manu

Tā Tipene O’Regan announced as Companion at 2019 Research Honours Aotearoa, via The Royal Society

Tā Tipene O’Regan on Indigenous 100

‘Tūtae in my letterbox’: The flak Sir Tipene O’Regan got for leading Waitangi settlement, via Te Ao Māori News

In pulling together details of Tā Tipene’s life, I find it distressing that whānau should become unwitting victims of harassment and behaviour by people demanding their right to freedom of speech (and action) in order to “punish” a parent’s determination to hold fast to a line of firm belief. As Tā Tipene says, in his stories, it was this side of his life which was most hurtful to his family.

Kōrero by Tā Tipene is available on our catalogue:

New myths and old politics : the Waitangi Tribunal and the challenge of tradition / O’Regan, Tipene
“Negotiating a claim before the Waitangi Tribunal can involve troubling challenges to an iwi’s legitimacy, sometimes from unexpected places. In this unique behind-the-scenes account of the negotiation of Ngāi Tahu’s Waitangi Tribunal claim, Sir Tipene O’Regan describes what happened when claims of New Age mysticism attempted to undermine traditional whakapapa and academic scholarship”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

New Myths and Old Politics is also available to read for free online via Bridget Williams Books.

 

 

 

Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe, me he maunga teitei.
Seek the treasure that you value most dearly, if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.

Enter the ComicFest Multiverse with Beanstack

With ComicFest 2022 hitting the screens on Saturday 7 May, the capital’s comic book fans will be looking for ways to get hyped in advance of joining the veritable galaxy of comic creators we have lined up for the big day. You’re in luck — through our Beanstack platform, we have devised the perfect tool for anyone seeking entry to the ComicFest multiverse.

Visit our Beanstack site to start exploring the ComicFest multiverse!

What is Beanstack?

Beanstack is a digital platform and app that adds a bit of spice to our reading lives by allowing you to earn virtual badges and achievements (and sometimes real-world goodies too!) by reading and participating in activities and challenges. You can sign up for Beanstack at any time in order to:

  • Log reading books and minutes spent reading;
  • Earn reading streaks for reading on consecutive days;
  • Write, draw, or film book reviews;
  • Receive recommendations of books in our catalogue from our librarians and from other readers;
  • Engage in fun reading-related challenges and activities throughout the year to earn achievements and prizes!

While you have access to all of the above features at any time, our creative librarians are always dreaming up ideas for special Challenges to add even more flavour to your reading experience — many of the kids of the city will have experienced this with the Summer Reading Adventure or View Finders challenges already — now it’s the turn of the adults and teens as well!

What is the ComicFest 2022 Beanstack Challenge?

The ComicFest 2022 Beanstack Challenge is our latest offering, designed to get you immersed in the ComicFest 2022 multiverse ahead of the big day. When you sign up, you’ll be challenged to:

  • Explore the unique artistic worlds of our wonderful ComicFest creators — a star-studded cast including such greats as Tea Dragon tamer Kay O’Neill, cartoonist extraordinaire Dylan Horrocks, pro-wrestler and Sāmoan superhero Michel Mulipola, and webcomic megastar Jem Yoshioka;
  • Track down and read all of the books, webcomics, zines, and anthologies our ComicFest artists have created — be warned, this task could keep you occupied for a very long time!
  • Get geared up to submit your finest cartoonish creations for the Comicify Your Life art competition — entries are closed as of 1 May 2022 — but by all means keep on creating! We love to see your work!

Each digital badge you earn puts you in the running to win some awesome ComicFest spot prizes, all while immersing you in the amazing world of New Zealand comics and their creators. The challenge runs until Saturday 21 May, so you can keep exploring even after ComicFest 2022 is done and dusted.

How do I sign up?

Comic fans of any age can register for the ComicFest 2022 Beanstack Challenge by visiting our Beanstack site and hitting the “Register an Individual or Family” button. After that, you’ll be asked if you would like to register for the ComicFest 2022 challenge!

It’s also super easy to use Beanstack on your phone or mobile device. You just need to:

  • Download the Beanstack Tracker app (Google Play) (App Store)
  • Open the app
  • Choose ‘Library’ as the Organisation
  • Search for Wellington City Libraries
  • Touch Sign Up!

So go on and get signed up today — we can’t wait to see you there!

Author interview: Christine Leunens

When Christine Leunens’s latest novel In Amber’s Wake was released recently, it shot to the top of the bestselling charts and was buoyed by a raft of rave reviews. The narrative, an astute and powerful study of personal relationships, is set in the 1980’s and is interwoven with dramatic New Zealand historical events: including the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, the Springbok Tour and the mass anti-nuclear movement of the time. It’s a page turning story, a display of deep insights into the way in which the human psyche operates.

Christine’s most recent previous novel, Caging Skies, was adapted into the multi-award winning black comedy film JoJo Rabbit directed by Taika Waititi. In Amber’s Wake has already been optioned for movie adaptation by the team that brought us the movie Thelma and Louise, so when the chance to interview Christine Leunens arose we jumped at it.  You can view this specially created interview below.

We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to Alexandre de Maupeou ,who did the filming and editing. We’d also like to thank Nick Young from The Greenpeace Photo Library and New Zealand National Libraries Archives for permission to use the copyrighted images used in the film. A huge thanks to Christine Leunens herself for her valuable time and this insightful and thoughtful interview.


In Amber’s wake / Leunens, Christine
“Set in New Zealand during the fast-changing, tumultuous 1980s era of the anti-nuclear movement, Springbok rugby tour protests, and the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, this romantic drama is as unpredictable as it is powerful and heartfelt. Ethan Grieg, a film student, is in love with his close friend Amber Deering, an environmental activist, who lives at her family’s seemingly picture-perfect stud farm. Amber loves Ethan dearly, but not in the way that Ethan longs for. Instead, the man Amber chooses is widower Stuart Reeds, a charming, refined British investor almost two generations older than her. As a Korean war veteran, Stuart is mentally prepared for the long, subtle war that begins between his young rival and himself for Amber’s heart. When secrets become exposed and nothing is as it seems, each will be cornered into committing acts they could have never predicted. This powerful, gripping story leaves in its wake lingering themes on the complex nature of love, social fabric, international politics, and fundamental notions of right and wrong.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Caging skies / Leunens, Christine
“An avid member of the Hitler Youth in 1940s Vienna, Johannes Betzler discovers his parents are hiding a Jewish girl named Elsa behind a false wall in their home. His initial horror turns to interest–then love and obsession. After his parents disappear, Johannes is the only one aware of Elsa’s existence in the house and the only one responsible for her survival. By turns disturbing and blackly comic, haunting and cleverly satirical, Christine Leunens’s captivating and masterful novel–sold in 16 countries and the basis for a major forthcoming film by Taika Waititi ( Thor: Ragnorak, What We Do in the Shadows)–examines this world of truth and lies, laying bare the darkest corners of the human soul.”–Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Jojo Rabbit
“A World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy named Jojo whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

He kōtuku rerenga kotahi: remembering Moana Jackson

He Tangata, he tangata, he tangata: of the people, by the people, for the people.
He hōnore, he korōria ki te Atua he maungārongo ki te whenua. He whakaaro pai ki ngā tāngata katoa.

As 29 April 2022 approaches, the effects of Covid19 means that once more Wellington City Libraries will not mark the signing of Te Tiriti in Te Whanganui-a-Tara with a three-pronged kōrero –i.e. a mana whenua summary of past actions, informed discussion of present aspects of te tiriti and then future thoughts as in: where to now.

The burning question for today is he kupu – “co-governance”.

How I wish that we could call upon Moana to offer up a wise, quiet, succinct non-inflammatory explanation, but, alas, he is no longer with us. This month we are totally devastated by his passing, and the many pages of social media commentary have highlighted and refreshed for us his many words of wisdom. Here was a man who quietly touched the hearts of so many people, yet remained absolutely centred on his whānau.

In his kōrero for the launch of “Imagining decolonisation” at Unity Books, he told us how he would approach an upcoming kōrero by going for a long walk, in order to think carefully of the words and ideas he wished to impart. And often his delivery would begin (or end) with a quiet little story involving a grandchild, and a vision for us all through a child’s lens.

Please find below he poroporoakī ki tēnei tangata mīharo.

Moana Jackson: His legacy will endure, via E-Tangata

Moana Jackson was the most articulate, original and forceful intellectual of his generation, via The Guardian

Moana Jackson has left us with the drive to keep fighting, via The Spinoff

Annette Sykes’ eulogy at Moana Jackson’s tangi.

Below is a list of books written by Moana Jackson, which are held in the library’s collection:

Imagining decolonisation.
“Seeks to demystify decolonisation using illuminating, real-life examples. By exploring the impact of colonisation on Māori and non-Māori alike, ‘Imagining decolonisation’ presents a transformative vision of a country that is fairer for all”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Imagining Decolonisation is also available to read for free online via Bridget Williams Books.

Like a beached whale : a consideration of proposed Crown actions over Maori foreshore claims / Jackson, Moana

Backgrounding the Paeroa Declaration / Jackson, Moana

The Maori and the criminal justice system : a new perspective = He whaipaanga hou / Jackson, Moana

We will not fill the void left by this unique man who had the ability to speak so softly with such devastatingly uncompromising words in explanation of Te Whakaputanga me Te Tiriti.

Moe mai ra e te Matua i roto i tō moenga roa, Haere ki Hawaiiki nui, Hawaiiki roa, ki Hawaiiki pamamao te huinga o ngā wairua o te pō, moe mai ra.

¡Día del idioma Español! Spanish Language Day

¡Qué bueno! Saturday 23 April is UN Spanish Language Day; a day which is celebrated around the world. There are over 530 million Spanish speakers worldwide and here at WCL, we have a huge collection of books in Spanish; over 700 items across our branches!

To browse our full collection of Spanish language books, go to our catalogue and click ‘Advanced’ at the far right of the search bar. From here, select ‘Call Number’ from the top drop-down menu and enter ‘Spanish’. Hit the ‘Advanced Search’ button and all of our Spanish language items will appear for you to browse, reserve and borrow!

Below is a selection of our newest Spanish language items, as well as some of our librarians’ favourite books by Spanish-speaking writers that have been translated into English. ¡Disfruta leyendo! Happy reading!

Del aire al aire / Guedea, Rogelio
“Meditaciones acerca de los limites entre la realidad y los suenos, estos micro-relatos crean un mundo imaginario que aparenta ser mas autentico que el mundo fisico. Vidas se esfuman en suenos y pensamientos se cristalizan en el curso de una vida a traves de estos cuentos.”” (Catalogue)

 

 

Violeta / Allende, Isabel
“Violeta viene al mundo un tormentoso día de 1920, siendo la primera niña de una familia de cinco bulliciosos hermanos. Desde el principio su vida estará marcada por acontecimientos extraordinarios, pues todavía se sienten las ondas expansivas de la Gran Guerra cuando la gripe española llega a las orillas de su país sudamericano natal, casi en el momento exacto de su nacimiento. En una carta dirigida a una persona a la que ama por encima de todas las demás, Violeta rememora devastadores desengaños amorosos y romances apasionados, momentos de pobreza y también de prosperidad, pérdidas terribles e inmensas alegrías.” (adapted from catalogue)

Habitaciones compartidas / Guedea, Rogelio
“Roque, profesor de literatura hispana en Nueva Zelanda, vive con su mujer e hijos y lejos de su México natal una rutina tranquila, incluso monótona. Un buen día recibe un correo electrónico de Diego Valente, contratado por la misma universidad, quien le pide consejo dada su inminente llegada a la ciudad, a fin de aclimatarse al entorno. Diego es también mexicano y viene acompañado de la encantadora Lía, su mujer, y sus dos hijos menores. Para Roque y los suyos este encuentro se antoja providencial, pues es la primera familia de compatriotas que fijará su residencia en el mismo lugar en el que viven desde hace ya siete años, lo que traerá un renovado aire a sus vidas. Sin embargo, lo que en un principio se adivina un futuro halagüeño, poco a poco se tornará para ambas parejas en un escenario cercano a la pesadilla…” (adapted from catalogue)

Lituma en los Andes / Vargas Llosa, Mario
“Ambientada en un remoto pueblo de montaña, Lituma en los Andes comienza como una novela policíaca sobre la desaparición de tres lugareños. El cabo Lituma y su ayudante Tomás sospechan de Sendero Luminoso, la organización guerrillera que viene sembrando el terror en el Perú. Pero la intriga adquiere visos inesperados cuando se descubren crueles prácticas ancestrales en la zona, y la narración va ganando dimensiones conforme las pesquisas se alternan con los recuerdos íntimos de los protagonistas. Con un virtuoso manejo de la trama, la psicología y los géneros, Mario Vargas Llosa ofrece al cabo una profunda meditación sobre la sociedad peruana y sus males históricos.”–Page [4] of cover.” (Catalogue)

In the time of the butterflies : a novel / Alvarez, Julia
“It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reports their deaths as accidental. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of Gen. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo s dictatorship. It doesn’t have to. Everybody knows of Las Mariposas The Butterflies. In this extraordinary novel, the voices of all four sisters Minerva, Patria, Maria Teresa, and the survivor, Dede speak across the decades to tell their own stories, from hair ribbons and secret crushes to gunrunning and prison torture, and to describe the everyday horrors of life under Trujillo’s rule. Through the art and magic of Julia Alvarez s imagination, the martyred Butterflies live again in this novel of courage and love, and the human cost of political oppression. ” (Catalogue)

Chronicle of a death foretold / García Márquez, Gabriel
“Santiago Nasar is brutally murdered in a small town by two brothers. All the townspeople knew it was going to happen – including the victim. But nobody did anything to prevent the killing. Twenty seven years later, a man arrives in town to try and piece together the truth from the contradictory testimonies of the townsfolk.” (Catalogue)

 

Like water for chocolate : a novel in monthly installments, with recipes, romances, and home remedies / Esquivel, Laura
“A #1 bestseller in Mexico in 1990, this charming, imaginative, and just plain fun novel of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico employs a winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit.” (Catalogue)

 

 

The tunnel / Sabato, Ernesto
“Infamous for the murder of Maria Iribarne, the artist Juan Pablo Castel is now writing a detailed account of his relationship with the victim from his prison cell- obsessed from the first moment he saw her examining one of his paintings, Castel had become fixated on her over the next months and fantasized over how they might meet again. When he happened upon her one day, a relationship was formed which swiftly convinced him of their mutual love. But Castel’s growing paranoia would lead him to destroy the one thing he truly cared about . . . ” (adapted from catalogue)

The house on Mango Street / Cisneros, Sandra
“The bestselling coming-of-age classic, acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught in schools and universities alike, and translated around the world–from the winner of the 2019 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Told in a series of vignettes-sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous-Sandra Cisneros’ masterpiece is a classic story of childhood and self-discovery. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.” (Catalogue)

The postman : a novel / Skármeta, Antonio
“The unforgettable inspiration for the Academy Award-winning Il Postino, this classic novel established Antonio Skarmeta’s reputation as “one of the most representative authors of the post-boom generation in contemporary Latin American letters”. Boisterously funny and passionate, The Postman tells of young love ignited by the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Set in the colourful, ebullient years preceding the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, the book has been translated into nearly twenty-five languages around the world.” – Fishpond

Join us online for ComicFest 2022 – Saturday 7 May!

ComicFest logo

Join us online on Saturday 7 May for this fantastic – and totally free – national celebration of all things comics-related in New Zealand! Follow the livestream on the day on our YouTube channel, and register your interest in ComicFest at the link below and we’ll send you updates and reminders ahead of the day.

Register your interest in ComicFest

ComicFest this year features a whole galaxy of Aotearoa’s finest graphic artists and authors, and we’re so excited to share the programme with you! A big thank you to our all-important sponsors – National Library, Graphic comics, Gecko Press, Unity Books and Wellington Zinefest.

For more information on all the events at ComicFest, scroll further down the page for our complete programme, but expect panel discussions, presentations, workshops and loads of fun!


Full ComicFest 2022 Programme


Saturday 7 May

ComicFest 2022 logo

9 – 9:15am | Welcome to ComicFest 2022!

A welcome and overview of ComicFest, our exciting guests and options for streaming. We’re so excited to bring ComicFest 2022 to you! Meet your hosts and hear about what we have planned for the day.

Kay's comic self-portrait

9:15 – 10:15am | Meet Everybody’s Favourite Axolotl, Dewdrop — with Creator Kay O’Neill

Kids (and big kids) are welcome to join the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning illustrator and graphic novelist Kay O’Neill (author and illustrator of The Tea Dragon Society series) to help create friends old and new for their character, Dewdrop the Axolotl.

Suggested for: ages 4+

10:15 – 10:30am | Announcing the ComicFest drawing competition winners

Join us as we announce the winners of our ComicFest drawing competition!

Winners will be announced for the four age-based categories: 0–8, 9–12, 13–17 and 18+

Michel's comic self-portrait

10:30 – 11:30am | How to Draw Heroes — a Masterclass with Michel Mulipola

A how-to masterclass with Michel Mulipola who will show you he goes about drawing and creating heroes. Crack the code of superhero creation in this live workshop!

Michel Mulipola is a Samoan comic book artist who has two big passions in life — comics and wrestling — and who, when he gets the chance, likes to combine the two. His works often feature Pasifika wrestling heroes and recent historical heroes.

Michel will demonstrate the tools he uses to digitally create whilst drawing live (and live streaming) on the big screen! Bring pen and paper, and join in with Michel as he provides story-telling tips, panel composition ideas and illustration guidance.

Suggested for: ages 8+

Jem's comic self-portrait

11:45am – 12:45pm | Weekly Webcomics — Tips and Tricks with Jem Yoshioka

Join Jem Yoshioka, the talented webcomic artist behind Circuits and Veins and Folk Remedy as she takes you through the tools of the trade, and provides tricks and tips for getting your webcomic online.

Photo of Jonathan

12:50 – 1:20pm | Storytelling with Jonathan King

Jonathan King until very recently was best known as the acclaimed film director of films such as the hugely successful dark horror comedy Black Sheep and the remake of the NZ Children’s classic film Under the Mountain starring Sam Neill.

But that all changed when he released his first ever graphic novel in 2020 — The Inkberg Enigma. Aimed at children eight and up, it’s hugely enjoyable for adults too.

Come along and hear more from Jonathan about storytelling — from all his different creator perspectives.

1:30 – 2:30pm | New Voices, New Perspectives — a Panel Discussion

Featuring Mary Guo, Tara Black, Jem Yoshioka, and chaired by Sam Orchard

The world of graphic art is changing at an amazingly rapid pace — a veritable revolution has been happening in recent years. Developments have included: new definitions of what comprises a graphic work, new platforms with global reach for people to view your work and new high-tech tools to create your works.

This panel features some of the New Zealand artists at the vanguard of these changes, discussing the new opportunities for artists, the challenges inherent in these changes, and — finally — how artists go about taking full advantage of these new frontiers.

Giselle's comic self-portrait

2:45 – 3:45pm | Giselle Clarkson — from commission to ComicFest artwork

Once you get a commission, how do you go about generating creative ideas that meet that brief? Indeed, how do you get a commission in the first place? And what do briefs usually entail?

All will be revealed in this event with the incredibly talented graphic illustrator Giselle Clarkson.

Giselle’s illustrative works include: The Gobbledegook Book: A Joy Cowley Anthology, Egg and Spoon: An Illustrated Cookbook, Secret World of Butterflies and Hazel and the Snails.

Suggested for: ages 8+

Dylan's comic self-portrait

3:50 – 4:10pm | Dylan Horrocks — Comics in New Zealand and Memoir

Dylan Horrocks is a cartoonist best known for his graphic novel Hicksville and his scripts for the Batgirl comic book series. His works are published by the University of Auckland student magazine Craccum, Australia’s Fox Comics, the current affairs magazine New Zealand Listener from 1995 to 1997, the Canadian publishers Black Eye Comics and Drawn and Quarterly, and the American publishers Vertigo and Fantagraphics Books. He currently serialises new work online at Hicksville Comics.

Hear what Dylan has to say about comics in New Zealand and memoir.

Sarah's comic self-portrait

4:15 – 4:45pm | Sarah Laing — Comics and Memoir

Sarah is a Wellington-based writer and illustrator who has had novels, short stories and the graphic memoir Mansfield and Me published. Her collection of comics from the past ten years, Let Me Be Frank, was published by VUP in late 2019. She also the co-editor of Three Words: An Anthology of Aotearoa/NZ Women’s Comics and has illustrated a number of children’s books.

Hear what Sarah has to say on comics and memoir.

4:45 – 5pm | ComicFest wrap-up and thank yous!

And that’s a wrap from us for 2022! Hear all our thank yous to our wonderful guests, and to you, our very excellent audience. We hope you enjoyed ComicFest 2022!

Big Library Read: Questlove’s Music is history

Music is History Big Library Read

 

This month’s Big Library Read, Libby’s “global ebook club” , showcases his fourth book called Music is history. In Music is history, Questlove uses his encyclopaedic knowledge of music and history as a lens to examine American history. Specifically, he examines how specific tracks and albums encapsulate certain moments in time in American history over the past fifty years. Questlove is in a truly unique position to tell this history; he’s part of the story and a student of both music and the wider reaches of cultural history. Big Library Read is an opportunity for library users around the world to read the same digital title at the same time. So, from April 4th to April 18th, you can participate in this global ebook club, without any wait lists or holds.

Questlove is one of the most high profile and well-known musician/ producers around. as well as being an author, music journalist, and award-winning  film director. A self-confessed obsessive music crate digger and music historian, over the course of the last thirty years or so he has played a key role in the hip hop and sampling scene. He’s also gone on to produce countless artists, such Amy Winehouse and Al Green to name but two.

In Music is history, Questlove selects tracks from his birth in 1971 to the present day to illustrate how music and American history reflect each other. It is a hugely informative and entertaining work, and the tracks Questlove selects are wide ranging, eclectic and fascinating. They really demonstrate his formidable knowledge. It’s all done in a highly readable and personable style, certainly a must read for music buffs and cultural historians.

To learn more about the Big Library Read, follow this link. You can borrow Music is history via ebook here or audiobook here

To give you a flavour of the book, below is just a tiny selection of the albums containing some of the tracks Questlove uses to illustrate his points.

The head on the door [deluxe] / Cure
“Contents CD1: Inbetween days — Kyoto song — The blood — Six different ways — Push — The baby screams — Close to me — A night like this — Screw — Sinking.CD2 (Rarities 1984-1985): Notes Originally released in 1985 – includes bonus disc.” ( Adapted from Catalogue )

 

It takes a nation of millions to hold us back [3 CD]. / Public Enemy
“It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, a record that rewrote the rules of what hip-hop could do. That’s not to say the album is without precedent, since what’s particularly ingenious about the album is how it reconfigures things that came before into a startling, fresh, modern sound. Public Enemy used the template Run-D.M.C. created of a rap crew as a rock band, then brought in elements of free jazz, hard funk, even musique concrète, via their producing team, the Bomb Squad, creating a dense, ferocious sound unlike anything that came before.  ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Maggot brain. / Funkadelic
“It starts with a crackle of feedback shooting from speaker to speaker and a voice intoning, “Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time, for y’all have knocked her up” and talking about rising “above it all or drown in my own sh*t.” This could only have been utterly bizarre back in 1971 and it’s no less so decades later; though the Mothership was well on its way already, Maggot Brain really helped it take off. ~ Ned Raggett” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Parade : music from the motion picture Under the cherry moon / Prince
“Undaunted by the criticism Around the World in a Day received, Prince continued to pursue his psychedelic inclinations on Parade, which also functioned as the soundtrack to his second film, Under the Cherry Moon. Originally conceived as a double album, Parade has the sprawling feel of a double record, even if it clocks in around 45 minutes. — If it had been expanded to a double album, Parade would have equaled the subsequent Sign ‘o’ the Times, but as it stands, it’s an astonishingly rewarding near-miss. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Police. / Police (Musical group)
“To coincide with their 30th anniversary reunion tour in 2007 the Police released the anthology The Police, the first two-CD retrospective ever assembled on the group. They may not have had a double compilation to their credit, but they had single discs and box sets, which may raise the question of whether they need a set like this — and the answer is yes, but this set falls just a bit short of being the definitive Police double disc. At only 28 tracks, this feels a little too slim.  ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Creative quest / Questlove
“Questlove – musician, bandleader, designer, producers, culinary entrepreneur, professor, and all-round cultural omnivore – draws on a life-time experience to offer insights into how to build the best creative life, and how to let the best creative life build you. Questlove has worked with or around hundreds of other artists, and engaged in dialogue with them regarding the creative process, whether in person or from an appreciation of their work: musicians like D’Angelo and Björk, filmmakers like Ava DuVernay and Mike Birbiglia, comedians, chefs, designers, writers, and more.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Mo’ meta blues : the world according to Questlove / Questlove
“Mo’ Meta Blues is a punch-drunk memoir in which Everyone’s Favorite Questlove tells his own story while tackling some of the lates, the greats, the fakes, the philosophers, the heavyweights, and the true originals of the music world. He digs deep into the album cuts of his life and unearths some pivotal moments in black art, hip hop, and pop culture.”–Book jacket.” (Catalogue)

 

Soul train : the music, dance, and style of a generation / Questlove
“From Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of the award-winning hip-hop group the Roots, comes this vibrant book commemorating the legacy of Soul Train—the cultural phenomenon that launched the careers of artists such as Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5, Whitney Houston, Lenny Kravitz, LL Cool J, and Aretha Franklin. Questlove reveals the remarkable story of the captivating program, and his text is paired with more than 350 photographs of the show’s most memorable episodes and the larger-than-life characters who defined it: the great host Don Cornelius, the extraordinary musicians, and the people who lived the phenomenon from dance floor. Gladys Knight contributed a foreword to this incredible volume. Nick Cannon contributed the preface.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Dr Rangi Matamua in conversation about Māori astronomy and star lore


Photo used with the kind permission of ‘The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes Secretariat’; all rights reserved.

Dr Rangi Matamua (Tūhoe) is one of Aotearoa’s top science communicators, a professor at the University of Waikato and an expert in the fields of Māori astronomy and star lore, as well as Māori language development, research and revitalisation. Not only is he an expert in these fields but he loves to talk about them and travels extensively throughout the country giving public lectures about Matariki and Māori astronomy.

Dr Matamua received the Prime Minister’s Science Prize and won the 2020 Callaghan Medal, as well as being awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Society Te Apārangi in recognition that his work “has revolutionised understandings of Māori astronomy, and in particular Matariki”.

Dr Matamua has been critical of the way Western scientific astronomy  belittles or ignores traditional Māori knowledge. One of his future plans to address this imbalance is to create a Māori observatory, based on a traditional observatory but also using modern technology and knowledge. He is also the author of several excellent books on these subjects.

This interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin, the arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM and was conducted by host Tanya Ashcroft.

We are thrilled that Dr Matamua took time out from his very busy schedule to talk to us about his new book, his career, and loads of other fascinating scientific topics, and we wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to him. For more information visit https://livingbythestars.co.nz/.

Dr Matamua’s books are available to borrow from the library; see details below.

Matariki : te whetū tapu o te tau / Matamua, Rangi
“In midwinter, Matariki rises in the pre-dawn sky, and its observation is celebrated with incantations on hilltops at dawn, balls, exhibitions, dinners and a vast number of events. The Matariki tradition has been re-established, and its regeneration coincides with a growing interest in Māori astronomy. Still, there remain some unanswered questions about how Matariki was traditionally observed. What is Matariki? Why did Māori observe Matariki? How did Māori traditionally celebrate Matariki? When and how should Matariki be celebrated? This book seeks answers to these questions and explores what Matariki was in a traditional sense so it can be understood and celebrated in our modern society.”(Adapted from Catalogue)

Matariki : the star of the year / Matamua, Rangi
“In midwinter, Matariki rises in the pre-dawn sky, and its observation is celebrated with incantations on hilltops at dawn, balls, exhibitions, dinners and a vast number of events. The Matariki tradition has been re-established, and its regeneration coincides with a growing interest in Māori astronomy. Still, there remain some unanswered questions about how Matariki was traditionally observed. These include: What is Matariki? Why did Māori observe Matariki? How did Māori traditionally celebrate Matariki? When and how should Matariki be celebrated? There has been a resurgence of interest in and celebration of Matariki, and this book provides accessible information about its meaning and significance, how to locate Matariki and when, traditional customs and knowledge regarding Matariki and current-day practices”( Adapted from Catalogue)

Ngā kete mātauranga : Māori scholars at the research interface
“In this beautiful and transformative book, 24 Maori academics share their personal journeys, revealing what being Māori has meant for them in their work. Their perspectives provide insight for all New Zealanders into how mātauranga is positively influencing the Western-dominated disciplines of knowledge in the research sector. It is a shameful fact, says co-editor Jacinta Ruru in her introduction to Ngā Kete Mātauranga, that in 2020, only about 5 percent of academic staff at universities in Aotearoa New Zealand are Māori. Tertiary institutions have for the most part been hostile places for Indigenous students and staff, and this book is an important call for action. ‘It is well past time that our country seriously commits to decolonising the tertiary workforce, curriculum and research agenda,’ writes Professor Ruru.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Author Interview: Poet, novelist & short story writer Maggie Rainey-Smith

Amongst many other things Maggie Rainey-Smith is a poet, novelist, and short story writer. And just recently Maggie released her latest collection of poetry called Formica.

Formica is an honest and humorous collection of poems written in an unsentimental fashion that both speaks of Maggie herself and her individual history but also the wider issues that envelope individual lives. The poems in the collection are rooted in the 1950s, avoiding the pitfalls of nostalgia, the poems instead give the reader a more precise and unsentimental look at life.

The collection moves from youth to warrior crone and also pays homage to love in its various forms.

Maggie uses as her raw material the lives of all women of her generation –  “lives too often defined by their fertility and kitchen appliances when there was fun and fulfilment to be had elsewhere. Not that Maggie doesn’t adore her Kenwood mixer, but it lines up with abiding friendships, granddaughters, travel, sex and the joy of words.”

She is a remarkable talent and when the opportunity to interview her about Formica arose, we leapt at it. This interview with  was done in conjunction with the Caffeine and Aspirin arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM and was conducted by Caffeine and Aspirin host, Tanya Ashcroft. Below is the podcast of that interview for your enjoyment:

We are thrilled that Maggie took time out from her very busy schedule to talk to us about Formica, her life, and her writing career. We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks.

Content warning: interview includes adult themes

Maggie’s books are available to borrow from the library.

About turns: a novel / Rainey-Smith, Maggie
“Irene has a secret. It slips out inadvertently during book club when the wine has been flowing too freely. Her teenage years as a marching girl are not something she had wanted her friend Ferrida to know about. She’s always wanted Ferrida’s approval, for her friendship is as important and fraught as the one with Paula, when they marched together all those years ago. But friends don’t necessarily march to the same beat, and Irene finds it hard to keep step. ABOUT TURNS, with its humorous insights into New Zealand women and their allegiances, will have you and your friends laughing in unison.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Turbulence / Rainey-Smith, Maggie
“Adam is fortyish, coasting along and relatively content while his glamorous partner, Louise, takes centre stage. But half a lifetime ago, his aspirations were higher and he was certain about the future he’d share with Judy. When an unexpected invitation arrives, uncomfortable truths resurface and the secrets of the past spill out. How will Adam manage to attend a reunion in the company of both Louise and Judy – not to mention stepfatherhood and a state of siege at work? ” (Catalogue)

Daughters of Messene / Rainey-Smith, Maggie
“Your history, Artemis, is full of female warriors.” Artemis has the name of a goddess, but she has trouble living up to it. Instead she usually just runs away. She’s running now … away from the married man she’s been seeing, and the Greek community in New Zealand who think they know what’s best, and into the arms of family in the Peloponnese that she’s never met. She carries her mother’s ashes and an ipod with recordings, which bit by bit tell the shocking story of what happened to Artemis’ grandmother during the Greek Civil War.” (Adapted from Catalogue)