The 2021 Ngaio Marsh Awards Shortlist

“Above all things — read. Read the great stylists who cannot be copied rather than the successful writers who must not be copied.”
― Ngaio Marsh, Death on the Air and Other Stories

The shortlist for this year’s Ngaio Marsh Awards has just been announced and what a powerful and diverse shortlist it is.  Included amongst its illustrious ranks we have Brannavan Gnanalingam’s Sprigs, the debut novel sensation The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle, which already has its film rights snapped up by Hollywood, and a whole host of other stunning works.

The Ngaio Marsh Awards began in 2010 with an aim to recognise and proclaim excellence in New Zealand mystery, crime, and thriller writing. It is presented to the best novel, best first novel, best nonfiction work, and this year a whole new category has been launched for novels for younger readers. Each of the books in all the categories need to have been published the preceding year.

We wish to extend our congratulations to all this year’s nominees and we don’t envy the judges’ task in selecting the final winners.

Best Nonfiction (biennial):

Weed: A New Zealand story (James Borrowdale)

Rock College: An unofficial history of Mount Eden Prison (Mark Derby)

From Dog Collar to Dog Collar (Bruce Howat)

Gangland (Jared Savage)

Black Hands: Inside the Bain family murders (Martin Van Beynen)

 

Inaugural Prize for Novel for Younger Readers:

Katipo Joe (Brian Falkner)

Red Edge (Des Hunt)

A Trio of Sophies (Eileen Merriman)

Deadhead (Glenn Wood)

 

Best Novel:

The murder club / Crutchley, Nikki
“When the first letter arrives saying that ‘tonight it begins’, journalist Miller Hatcher ignores it. But then the body of a murdered woman is discovered, strangled, a scarf around her neck. Cassie Hughes has always vowed to find the man who murdered her mother. Cassie knows he’s out there and wants him to pay, and Miller agrees to bring the cold case back into the public’s eye. Logan Dodds has been obsessed with true crime ever since his sister was murdered thirty years ago. He has turned his obsession into a career and has created the True Crime Enthusiasts Club and his newest venture, True Crime Tours.” (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)

The tally stick / Nixon, Carl
“Up on the highway, the only evidence that the Chamberlains had ever been there was two smeared tyre tracks in the mud leading into the almost undamaged screen of bushes and trees. No other cars passed that way until after dawn. By that time the tracks had been washed away by the heavy rain . . . It was a magic trick. After being in the country for only five days, the Chamberlain family had vanished into the air. The date was 4 April 1978. In 2010 the remains of the eldest Chamberlain child have been discovered in a remote part of the West Coast, showing he lived for four years after the family disappeared. Found alongside him are his father’s watch and what turns out to be a tally stick, a piece of wood scored across, marking items of debt. How had he survived and then died? Where was the rest of his family? And what is the meaning of the tally stick?”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

The secrets of strangers / Norman, Charity
“Five strangers, one cafe – and the day that everything changed. A regular weekday morning veers drastically off-course for a group of strangers whose paths cross in a London cafe – their lives never to be the same again when an apparently crazed gunman holds them hostage. But there is more to the situation than first meets the eye and as the captives grapple with their own inner demons, the line between right and wrong starts to blur. Will the secrets they keep stop them from escaping with their lives?” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Tell me lies / Pomare, J. P.
“Psychologist Margot Scott has a picture-perfect life: a nice house in the suburbs, a husband, two children and a successful career. On a warm spring morning Margot approaches one of her clients on a busy train platform. He is looking down at his phone, with his duffel bag in hand as the train approaches. That’s when she slams into his back and he falls in front of the train. Margot’s clients all lie to her, but one lie cost her family and freedom.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Best First Novel:

The girl in the mirror / Carlyle, Rose
“Identical twins only look the same … Beautiful twin sisters Iris and Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical and insecure, Iris has long been envious of open-hearted Summer’s seemingly never-ending good fortune, including her perfect husband Adam. Called to Thailand to help sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes. Now is her chance to take what she’s always wanted – the idyllic life she’s always coveted. But just how far will she go to get the life she’s dreamed about? And how will she make sure no one discovers the truth?” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Where the truth lies / Kilmore, Karina
“When investigative journalist Chrissie O’Brian lands a senior job at The Argus, she is desperate to escape the nightmares of her past. Her life has become a daily battle to resist numbing the pain. But her job is something she can do better than anyone else – and the only thing that keeps the memories at bay. A face-off on the waterfront between the unions and big business is just the kind of story to get her career back on track. But after a dockworker who confided in her turns up dead, Chrissie becomes obsessed with unravelling the truth. When a gruesome threat lands on her desk, it’s clear someone is prepared to do anything to stop her.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook

For reasons of their own / Stuart, Chris
“Robbie Gray, a talented but troubled Detective Inspector stationed in Melbourne, who has fallen foul of police bureaucracy, is called to a investigate a dead body found in a rural wetland swamp. Under-resourced, with a corpse that cannot be identified and no apparent motive for the murder, she fails to make headway. The Federal Police take over the investigation and ASIO becomes involved, focusing on a terrorism angle. Convinced they are misinterpreting the evidence, or worse, DI Gray begins her own investigation assisted by a young Aboriginal policeman….” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also on the list is  The Beautiful Dead by Kim Hunt and While the Fantail Lives by Alan Titchall.

Chinese Language Week 26 September – 2 October

We hope you had a good Mid-Autumn festival and this week we are looking forward to Chinese Language Week. Due to the alert levels, we are going to have the events online, so stay tuned in and enjoy!

Click here for Chinese Version 点击这里查看中文版

Chinese dance and cultural performance

Wellington Chinese Language School has infused Chinese language, classic and contemporary elements in their performance, and the show is full of energy and creativity. Watch online with your family!

Learn Chinese
Learning Chinese phrases has been made easy and fun. A Wellington mother and her child teach you these simple Chinese phrases, we hope you enjoy this fun video and try to learn a phrase or two as you watch!

If you’d like to learn more Chinese phrases and take advantage of the free reserve service, browse the large learning Chinese collection.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is a professional training platform contains 12,000 videos and free unlimited access. Now you can access 500 Chinese courses for upskilling on business analysis, data science, customer service, accounting, management and much more.

 

Chinese eBooks and eMagazines

OverDrive Chinese Reading Room has 1,000 Chinese eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines.  You can also search in Chinese (simplified or traditional).

 

 

 

 

 

Packing up Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui (Wellington Central Library)

We are excited to have started carefully packing up Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui – Wellington Central Library. Behind the hoardings, the experienced Crown Relocations team has begun the eight-week process of moving the historic fittings into storage for the next four years. This involves carefully removing, labelling, itemising, and wrapping the fixtures following the guidance of our heritage expert. They will also upcycle or recycle standard office furniture, or library equipment that is not going into storage or being used elsewhere within Council.

When?

They will work during the working week (Monday to Friday) and expect to finish by November, unless we experience a delay, such as an increase in Alert level.

How?

The team at Crown Relocation are working to lessen any noise for the neighbouring residents and businesses as much as they can by using the basement to move items out of the library. So please be aware of trucks entering and leaving the basement entrance on Harris Street.

If you’re walking into Te Ngākau Civic Precinct from Victoria Street you’ll see a small hoarding has been put up next to Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui. Behind it is a temporary skip bin where any rubbish or broken equipment is being put. If you happen to be in the Precinct when the bin is being replaced, please follow the signage and instructions of the Crown Relocations staff to keep everyone safe.

What’s next?

Over the coming four years we’re strengthening and modernising Te Matapihi. This includes installing base isolators; expanding levels three and four; designing spaces for our Libraries, City Archives, Council Service Centre, and Capital E to bring back Wellington’s much-loved community living room in the CBD.

From October, we will share regular updates on how the design for Te Matapihi is progressing through our Wellington City Libraries and Council newsletters, social media and websites. So sign up or follow the latest news at www.wellington.govt.nz/news-and-events/news-and-information

Council News and Information

Great Kererū Count: Finale!

 

The Great Kererū Count kicks off this Friday and runs until 26 September. Read on for more about how you can be involved!

Kererū: they’re the drunken, fame-hogging rock stars of the avian world–and we love them for it!

So what better way to celebrate kererū awesomeness than by joining in the final Great Kererū Count, one of Aotearoa’s most popular and successful citizen science projects. If you haven’t been involved in the Great Kererū Count before, don’t worry–the team at GKC have put together a FAQ to help you get started. And if you’re already a kererū counting expert, just grab your phone–and your mask–and prepare to count those kererū one last time!

Did you know that last year over 10,000 people were involved in the GKC, and they counted over 21,000 kererū. The kererū’s favourite tree to feed on is the kōwhai and over 60% of kererū sightings were in urban areas. If you want to know more, check out these fantastic interactive maps!

Bonus Citizen Science Resources:

Citizen science : how ordinary people are changing the face of discovery / Cooper, Caren B.
“Think you need a degree in science to contribute to important scientific discoveries? Think again. All around the world, in fields ranging from astronomy to zoology, millions of everyday people are choosing to participate in the scientific process. Working in cooperation with scientists in pursuit of information, innovation, and discovery, these volunteers are following protocols, collecting and reviewing data, and sharing their observations.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Smitten by giraffe : my life as a citizen scientist / Dagg, Anne Innis
“When Anne Innis saw her first giraffe at the age of three, she was smitten. She knew she had to learn more about this marvellous animal. Twenty years later, now a trained zoologist, she set off alone to Africa to study the behaviour of giraffe in the wild. Years later, Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey would be driven by a similar devotion to study the behaviour of wild apes.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The drama of conservation : the history of Pureora Forest, New Zealand
“This book offers a sweeping history of Pureora Forest Park, one of the most significant sites of natural and cultural history interest in New Zealand. The authors review the geological history of the volcanic zone, its flora and fauna, and the history of Maori and European utilization of forest resources.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Ngā uruora = the groves of life : ecology & history in a New Zealand landscape / Park, Geoff
“First published in 1995, Ngā Uruora took the study of New Zealand’s natural environment in radical new directions. Geoff Park’s research focuses on New Zealand’s fertile coastal plains, country of rich opportunity for both Maori and European inhabitants, but a country whose natural character has vanished from the experience of New Zealanders today.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Birdstories : a history of the birds of New Zealand / Norman, Geoff
“Norman covers a range of our bird families and individual species, and provides an up-to-date picture of how these birds are regarded by both Māori and Pākehā, the backstory of their discovery, and their current conservation status. Extensively illustrated with historic illustrations and contemporary artwork, this is a beautiful, comprehensive publication that will help New Zealanders realise what a taonga we have in our birds.” (Catalogue)

Ko Aotearoa tēnei : te taumata tuatahi : a report into claims concerning New Zealand law and policy affecting Māori culture and identity. / New Zealand.
“This report comes in the form of two steps: this first step tells the story – in abridged form – of Wai 262. The second step is Te Taumata Tuarua, in two volumes. The Wai 262 Claim on indigenous flora and fauna and Māori cultural and intellectual property rights covers issues around Māori science, legal, political, cultural and economic issues.” (Catalogue)

Visiting the library in Alert Level 2

covid19 logo

covid19 logo

“Under Alert level 2 all of our libraries will be open from Thursday 9 September, with a few changes to keep everyone safe and able to use our spaces,” says Laurinda Thomas, Libraries and Community Spaces Manager.

“This includes slightly reduced hours, strongly encouraging everyone to follow the social distancing, use hand sanitiser and wear masks.”

“To help ensure everyone can use our services and find their latest reads, we are asking people to again limit their visit to 30 minutes and come on your own or in small groups, where possible. We have temporarily suspended our events and programmes, such as Baby Rock and Rhyme as well. Please check the website before you visit, as some hours may have changed temporarily.”

“Everyone was amazing in following the hygiene measures and being kind to one another under the previous Covid-19 restrictions, so we hope everyone will be back to our new normal soon.”

When visiting any of our libraries:

  • Wear a mask if you are 12 years and over – unless you hold an exemption from the Ministry of Health Covid-19 website.
  • Most customer facing staff will also be wearing masks unless they are not required to for safety reasons.
  • Scanning or signing in is a condition of entry for all Council facilities and venues. This applies to visitors, contractors and couriers entering our spaces.
  • Limit your visit to 30 mins so we can provide all visitors with 2 metres social distancing – please follow the signs and guidance of our staff.
  • Use EFTPOS or other contactless payments if you can. We will accept cash but prefer not to for hygiene reasons.

You can return items from 10am Wednesday 8 September if your local library has an after-hours slot.

All programmes and events are cancelled for this week, please check back on our blog on Monday for an update.

For more information, please check our COVID-19 FAQs.

COVID-19 FAQs

Crochet Projects to Challenge You

I don’t know about any of you other crocheters, but I’m bored with crocheting granny squares and the afghan throw of eternity (it’s nearly big enough to cover a king size bed, twice, how do I stop??)  I have a huge yarn stash, built up after last year’s lockdown so that never be without yarn in a lockdown again, and of course, a lot more time to actually crochet, but inspiration has been lacking.   Then I realised I had access to Overdrive from home, and I went hunting for eBooks and online magazines to kickstart my crochet creativity.  I thought I’d share a few that I really enjoyed with you here:

Kawaii Crochet by Melissa Bradley – super easy amigurumi patterns for 40 very cute food toys.  I hadn’t attempted amigurumi before, and Kawaii Crochet was a great primer for getting started.  I made the cutest little lemon in about half an hour at my first attempt.

 

Title details for 100 Micro Crochet Motifs by Steffi Glaves - Wait list

100 Micro Crochet Motifs by  Steffi Glaves – I cannot resist a tiny crochet and these are perfect for making into earrings.  Or perhaps add to berets and beanies to give them a pretty twist.  Again, these patterns are easy to follow and are a good way to use up the leftover bits of yarn from earlier projects.

 

Title details for Yarn Bombing by Mandy Moore - Available

Yarn Bombing by Mandy Moore – want to jazz up the neighbourhood on your socially distanced walk?  Learn a little about the history of yarn bombing/graffiti, seek out some inspiration and find some patterns to create for your first yarn bomb projects.

 

Title details for My First Crochet Book by CICO Books - Wait list

My First Crochet Book by CICO Books – if you have bored kids, involve them in crochet.  This junior crochet book is written in simple language, has plenty of starter projects that both you and the kids can get into.  Crochet is excellent for young minds and hands.  It’s very calming, you can find a crochet hook that suits small hands without having to buy special junior ones, it’s inexpensive to start (a ball of acrylic yarn is the best place to start) and there’s a completed project at the end.

Title details for Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workshop by Ellen Gormley - Available

Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workshop by Ellen Gormley – Ok maybe you do want to work on an Afghan throw of eternity.  That’s the thing with Afghan rugs and throws, you can just keep going at them and watch them grow.  This book will kick you off if you’ve never made an Afghan design before and give you inspiration for some new ones.

 

Title details for How to Make 100 Crochet Appliques by Deborah Burger - Available

How to Make 100 Crochet Appliques by Deborah Burger – another book of small, stashbuster patterns, great for making patches for clothes, bags, hats, you name it.  I can see some of them as brooches too.  Lots of themes and motifs for you to work your way through.

 

Title details for Lacework for Adventurous Crocheters by Margaret Hubert - Available

Lacework for Adventurous Crocheters by Margaret Hubert – perhaps your crochet skills are a little more advanced than mine and you’d love to give some fine lacework a go.  I haven’t had a go at these yet, but I did drool over the patterns and styles on offer.  One day I hope to have the confidence to have a go at these.

 

These are just the tip of the iceberg for the books and magazines you can find on Overdrive for crochet, not to mention all of the other craft topics available.  You can find more crochet books and magazines here.

Happy stitching!

Library Lockdown Distractions: WCL podcast series

 

Turn It Up Movie GIF

In this series of blogs, we want to focus on some small element of our fabulous resources and in this blog, we would like to place the spotlight on our very own podcast collection, which features a wide diversity of recordings made especially by the library, often in conjunction with partners.

The recordings vary in length from 15 mins to an hour; from concise, in-depth one to one interviews with award winning authors, to recordings of some of our many and diverse public events. They include a wide range of content: African poetry readings to Ngaio Marsh mystery fiction panels to Comicfest panels and beyond.  Click here to access the full list but for a small taster of what we have on offer just look below. Perfect long or short term lockdown distractions.

New Together We Read title: Scrublands by Chris Hammer

Wellington City Libraries joins hundreds of public libraries and thousands of readers across New Zealand and Australia in offering the latest Together We Read: AU/NZ digital book club selection, Scrublands by Chris Hammer. From 1-15 September, patrons can enjoy Australian author Chris Hammer’s award-winning crime novel, Scrublands, as an eBook or eAudiobook for free.

 

Readers can access the digital book with no waitlists or holds by downloading the Libby app or by visiting wcl.lib.overdrive.com. You can also participate in an online discussion with other readers across both countries.

In Scrublands, a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners before being shot dead himself in an isolated country town. A year later, troubled journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals about the priest and incidents leading up to the shooting don’t fit with the accepted version of events his own newspaper reported in an award-winning investigation. Martin can’t ignore his doubts, nor the urgings of some locals to unearth the real reason behind the priest’s deadly rampage.

Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking new development rocks the town, which becomes the biggest story in Australia. Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to discover a truth that becomes darker and more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town’s secrets stay buried.

Try the opening chapter here. Scrublands is available to lend as an eBook and also as an audiobook from this Wednesday 1 September!

Pioneering Reggae musician and producer Lee Scratch Perry has passed at 85

The unpredictable, eccentric, maverick, pioneering Reggae producer, and musical genius Lee Scratch Perry has passed at 85.

Lee Scratch Perry was born into harsh poverty in rural Jamaica and throughout his life walked a very thin line between genius and insanity. He worked in various menial jobs before moving to Kingston in the early 60’s where he eventually started working with Clement “Coxsone” Dodd and his touring sound system. Dodd and Perry eventually expanded into record production and, beginning a pattern that would follow Perry his whole life, Perry subsequently fell out with Dodd and went on to form his own Upsetter label.

Around this time, he produced many of  Bob Marley’s key early works, such as African Herbsman and had a profound effect on the young Marley’s creative vision and approach. Following the now clearly emerging pattern, the pair fell out after Lee Scratch Perry sold the master tapes of this early classic without Marley’s knowledge or consent.

His adventurous, ever-exploring production work in his legendary four track twelve-foot square Black Ark Studio in the mid to late 70’s cemented his reputation with a string of critically and commercially albums. And along the way with fellow sonic pioneer King Tubby, he was one of the key creative forces to create Dub music. However, his eccentric behaviour continued and came to a head in 1979, when fuelled by huge amounts of work, ganga and rum, he burnt the studio to the ground, believing it possessed and walked off into the wilderness. He eventually moved to Switzerland after spending time in the U.S, Amsterdam, and London, and only last year returned to Jamaica.

His later work was inconsistent but did include some fabulous collaborations with the likes of The Ord, The Beastie Boys and The  Clash, as well as fellow producers Adrian Sherwood and Mad Professor as well as several excellent solo albums. He also picked up a Grammy in 2003. During these later years was a failed attempt to rebuild the Black Ark studio, a plan which included a duck pond in the drum booth. It is an understatement to say we shall not see the likes of Lee Scratch Perry again.

We have an extensive selection of Lee Scratch Perry produced and created albums in our collection; below are just a few of our personal favourites. To see all of the Lee Scratch Perry works we have in our collection click here.

Arkology. / Perry, Lee
“Purportedly the definitive Lee “Scratch” Perry compilation, the three-CD set Arkology is loaded with good intentions and is carefully constructed, but with a back catalog like Perry’s — where it’s nearly impossible to find out what’s what — definitive in this case is a dream. Still, the compilers have done a fine job of providing an overview of Perry’s career that makes sense musically, historically, and culturally. For those who want to jump headlong into Perry’s world, this is the way to go.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

African herbsman / Marley, Bob
“The legendary Bob Marley and the Wailers album produced by Lee Scratch Perry.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

 

 

 

Lee Perry and King Tubby in dub confrontation. / Perry, Lee
“King Tubby and Lee Scratch Perry deep in the cauldron of creativity that invented Dub reggae” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

 

 

The sound doctor : Lee Perry and the sufferers’ Black Ark singles and dub plates, 1972-1978. / Perry, Lee
“The Sound Doctor is one in a series of U.K. label Pressure Sounds compilations unearthing obscured sounds from Perry’s short-lived but intensely innovative Black Ark years. Much of the music here is transferred from dub plates, hissy acetate discs made directly from the soundboard in single editions to test how a mix would translate to vinyl.” (adapted from catalogue)

Super ape / Perry, Lee
” Often arguably cited as one of Lee Scratch Perry’s finest outings, but with so many exceptional albums it is a hard call to make. What there is no argument about is that  Super Ape is without any question an unparalleled dub and psychedelic reggae classic.” (Adapted from Catalogue). This is the vinyl copy; to check availability of the CD click here.

 

Scratch came Scratch saw Scratch conquered. / Perry, Lee
“Highly-regarded late period (2008) album from dub and reggae legend Lee Scratch Perry’. (Adapted from catalogue).

 

 

 

Blackboard jungle dub / Upsetters
“Essential Dub reggae album from Lee Scratch Perry and the Upsetters”(Adapted from catalogue)

 

 

 

Rootz reggae dub. / Perry, Lee
“On Rootz Reggae Dub Perry is doing his typical free-associative muttering over tasteful, slightly echoey backing tracks, featuring rudimentary percussion by Perry himself, as well as spirited backing vocals by Detroit trio Dames Brown and the Groovematist.  Essentially, it’s a lot of touching on past glories without really creating anything that stands up to them. Nevertheless, there are a few standout moments  which are calm, spacious, and pleasantly weird. ” (adapted from catalogue)

Rainford. / Perry, Lee
“Rainford contains all of Lee Perry’s unique stylings his wonderful iconic unmistakable vocal drawl and his trade mark free form lyrical style superbly combined with U Sounds musical production. The later dub remixed version Heavy rain is also worth a mention it is weirder and warmer and arguably an even better version of the material in Rainford.” (adapted from catalogue)
Click here for the availability of Heavy Rain.

The 2021 Sir Julius Vogel Award winners announced

Huge congratulations to Octavia Cade, winner of this year’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards for Best Novel with her enthralling cli-fi thriller The Stone Wētā.

The Sir Julius Vogel Awards are New Zealand’s very own annual celebration of home-grown science fiction and fantasy — with awards covering books, dramatic presentations, fan publications and much more.

Octavia won the Best Novel category with her book The Stone Wētā, a novel set in a time when the cold war of data preservation turns explosive. Trying to overcome this disaster and working in a claustrophobic network, a group of dedicated and isolated scientists are each faced with the question of how much they will risk for their colleagues, the future and the truth.

In other categories:

Best Youth Novel went to Chloe Gong for These Violent Delights.

Best Novella/Novelette went to A.J. Fitzwater for No Man’s Land.

Best Short Story went to Casey Lucas for For Want of Human Parts.

Best Collected Work award went to A.J. Fitzwater for The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper.

Our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted authors! Have a browse and a bit more of a read below!


The stone wētā / Cade, Octavia
“When the cold war of data preservation turns bloody – and then explosive – an underground network of scientists, all working in isolation, must decide how much they are willing to risk for the truth. For themselves, their colleagues, and their future. A claustrophobic and compelling cli-fi thriller by Octavia Cade”” (Adapted from Catalogue)

These violent delights / Gong, Chloe
“In 1926 Shanghai, eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, heir of the Scarlet Gang, and her first love-turned-rival Roma Montagov, leader of the White Flowers, must work together when mysterious deaths threaten their city.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover No Man’s Land, A.J. Fitzwater (ebook)
“While her brother fights a war on the other side of the world, Dorothea ‘Tea’ Gray joins the Land Service and is sent to work on a remote farm in the golden plains of North Otago, in the South Island of New Zealand. But Tea finds more than hard work and hot sun in the dusty North Otago nowhere—she finds a magic inside herself she never could have imagined, a way to save her brother in a distant land she never thought she could reach, and a love she never knew existed. Inspired by feminist and LGBTQ+ history and family wartime memories.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper, A.J. Fitzwater (ebook)
“Dapper. Lesbian. Capybara. Pirate. Cinrak the Dapper is a keeper of secrets, a righter of wrongs, the saltiest capybara on the sea and a rider of both falling stars and a great glass whale. Join her, her beloveds, the rat Queen Orvilia and the marmot diva Loquolchi, lead soprano of the Theatre Rat-oyal, her loyal cabin kit, Benj the chinchilla, and Agnes, last of the great krakens, as they hunt for treasures of all kinds and find adventures beyond their wildest dreams. Let Sir Julius Vogel Award-winning storyteller A.J. Fitzwater take you on a glorious journey about finding yourself, discovering true love and found family, and exploring the greatest secrets of the deep. Also, dapperness.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Year’s best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction & fantasy. V2
“Ancient myths go high-tech a decade after the New New Zealand Wars. Safe homes and harbours turn to strangeness within and without. Splintered selves come together again – or not. Twelve authors. Thirteen stories. The best short science fiction and fantasy from Aotearoa New Zealand in 2019. With works by: Juliet Marillier, Nic Low, Rem Wigmore, Andi C Buchanan, Octavia Cade, A.J. Fitzwater, Nicole Tan, Melanie Harding-Shaw, Alisha Tyson, James Rowland, Zoë Meager, and Casey Lucas.”  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Phantom National Poetry Day: Librarians’ Picks

Today is Phantom National Poetry Day – a one-day national poetry extravaganza to celebrate the poetry of Aotearoa. We’re always in the mood for poetry and we love the opportunity to revisit old favourites and discover new gems. Here, our librarians have shared some of their picks:

Celeste’s Pick:
Big weather : poems of Wellington
“Since the nineteenth century, Wellington has been the site and object of much literary activity and never more so than now. Where many of New Zealand’s leading poets once wandered, frequenting bars, delivering mail up the steepest of streets, raising their children in the suburbs, today’s XY generation are now vividly, energetically present, and recent poetry has kept track of the changing inner and outer life of the city. BIG WEATHER: Poems of Wellington captures the vivacity and diversity of the capital.” (adapted from catalogue)

Fiona’s Pick:
Other animals / Lloyd, Therese
“Focused on the theme of a well-lived life, Other Animals is the powerful and provocative first book from one of New Zealand’s most exciting new poets. With a uniquely lyrical voice, these works find their ways towards ideas of beauty, wisdom, and, ultimately, to a sense of joy in the world that only poetry can bring.” (Catalogue)

 

Susannah’s Pick:
Cat world : poems on cats / Jeune, Margaret
“Cat World by Margaret Jeune is a collection of poems about cats drawn from the author’s personal experiences as a cat owner and carer over many years.” (Catalogue)

This is Susannah’s cat Kedi, who is not included in the collection but who seconds Susannah’s purrrrfect choice.


Paige’s Pick:

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 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 kills me always, every time, and forever.’ -Hera Lindsay Bird” (adapted from catalogue)

Alex’s Pick:
Under glass / Kan, Gregory
“A dialogue between a series of prose poems, following a protagonist through a mysterious and threatening landscape, and a series of verse poems, driven by the speaker’s compulsive hunger to make sense of things”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)
Also available on Libby as an eBook.

 

Gábor’s Pick:
Postscripts / Sturm, J. C
J. C. Sturm was the writing name of Jacquie Baxter who for many years was the New Zealand Room librarian at the old Wellington Central Library. Postscripts is Sturm’s second book of poetry after Dedications (1996), though her work had appeared in numerous anthologies and journals as far back as 1947. Her poems cover a wide range of human experience, are often compelling, largely autobiographical and sometimes have a profoundly emotional impact as she reviews a life of loss and love, youth and age as seen from both Māori and Pakeha perspectives.

Neil’s Pick:
Reading the signs / Freegard, Janis
“The poems in Janis Freegard’s new collection take their starting point from the poet’s daily ritual of reading the tea leaves while writing in the Ema Saiko room in the Wairarapa. Reading the Signs is a series of linked poems that are thoughtful and humorous, provocative and tender, and come together as a quiet epic about a planet that is fast running out of puff.” (adapted from catalogue)

 

Steph’s Pick: (an old favourite and a new favourite, because choosing only one is impossible)
Fast talking PI / Marsh, Selina Tusitala
“‘Tusitala’ means writer of tales in Samoan, and Marsh here lives up to her name with stories of her life, her family, community, ancestry, and history. Her poetry is sensuous and strong, using lush imagery, clear rhythms and repetitions to power it forward. Her work deals specifically with issues that affect Pacific communities in New Zealand and indigenous peoples elsewhere, most recently focusing on the challenges and triumphs of being afakasi.” (adapted from the catalogue) – Also available on Libby as an eBook.

The savage coloniser book / Avia, Tusiata
“The voices of Tusiata Avia are infinite. She ranges from vulnerable to forbidding to celebratory with forms including pantoums, prayers and invocations. And in this electrifying new work, she gathers all the power of her voice to speak directly into histories of violence. The Savage Coloniser Book is a personal and political reckoning. As it holds history accountable, it rises in power.” (adapted from catalogue)

 

Special Mention:
Our very own poetry publication, Tūhono, is full of poems written by children and young adults of Pōneke on the theme of tūhono – connection, and we could all do with more of that right now. Find this heart-warming collection on Libby, there are 500(!) available to lend.

Tūhono. a journal of poetry by children and teens / 2020 :
“Tūhono : connection. This is the theme that binds together all 197 poems you are about to read, which were contributed by young Wellington writers aged 5-18 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout the month of November 2020. The year 2020 was challenging for many people. Some had to spend time apart from their friends and the people they love. Some had to find ways to live with uncertainty and the sense that everything might not be okay in the world. But taken together, these poems represent a constellation of thoughts, ideas, worries, anxieties, hopes, loves, and dreams about how we find ways to connect, even in the face of adversity.” (Catalogue)

Book Club “Always Available” eBooks

Kia ora koutou — Jonny from Wellington City Library here. We know that a lot of you are reading or listening to books using Overdrive or Libby, but sometimes it can be frustrating dealing with wait times for popular titles. That’s why I’m here to talk about “The Book Club”. Have a watch (or read) below!

The Book Club is a curated selection of over 200 titles that are always available. We’re talking eBook AND eAudiobooks, fiction AND non fiction, from around the world AND right here in Aotearoa. Big name authors too, winners of local and international awards as well as some in te reo maori and international languages. They’re always available — which is especially helpful right now, and in the future, if you can’t get to the library for whatever reason.

To see this collection, head to either Libby or Overdrive on the eLibrary page. On overdrive you’ll find The Book Club under “Collections”, in Libby they’re called Unlimited Book Club Loans (go to ‘More guides’, then ‘The Book Club’). They’re also available on their respective apps.

Remember, if you have any questions about any of our services, you can fill out our online support form, or reach us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), or email enquiries@wcl.govt.nz. Ka kite!

Ross Harris in conversation

The Kugels are a Klezmer group that features two former NZSO members, one Kiwi Jazz maestro, a fabulous vocalist and the New Zealand classical composer and Arts laureate Ross Harris. The members are Anna Gawn – vocals, Ross Harris – accordion, Robin Perks – violin, Debbie Rawson – clarinets xaphoon, and Nick Tipping – bass

The tunes they play include new compositions from both Robin Perks and Ross Harris as well as a selection of more traditional tunes. We were thrilled when Ross Harris agreed to be interviewed about The Kugels to tie in with the release of their second evocative CD The kugels at Breaker Bay and to tell us all about Klezmer; its history and its place in the contemporary music scene. The interview was done in conjunction with the Caffeine and Aspirin arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM.

Both Kugels CDs are available to borrow from the library along with a wide selection of Ross Harris compositions.

The Kugels at Breaker Bay. / Kugels
“This is the second release from the Wellington based Kugels the five-piece outfit which specialises in Klezmer and features some of New Zealand’ s finest classical musicians in their line-up. For a long time, they have been a bit of a hidden gem in the NZ music scene, but that changed recently when they did a sofa session with Bryan Crump. This latest release really shows how good they are, and includes emotive and atmospheric renditions of both traditional and original Klezmer pieces composed by arts laureate, and renown classical composer, Ross Harris.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Kugels play Klezmer by Ross Harris. / Kugels
“Ross Harris – The Kugels play Klezmer. … Melancholic, lyrical, delicate and beautiful , the music is played with grace and finesse by the Kugels who are the Wellington based quartet to which Ross Harris  belongs….” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

 

Symphony no. 5 ; Violin concerto / Harris, Ross
“Ross Harris’s Symphony No.5 uses as its core poems by Panni Palasti.  The moving poems in the piece are based on the personal experiences of the poet during World War Two and the subsequent Hungarian Revolution. The work creates complex orchestral movements around these poems. This particular recording has conductor Eckehard Steir steering the orchestra and he judges well the balance between the moments of ferocity and the work’s sonic ebb and flow.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Free Radicals / Free Radicals (Musical group)
“Wellington based Free Radicals :-Ross Harris and Jonathan Besser were active in the early 80s, described by one reviewer as ‘Eno meets industrial punk meets Stockhausen’. This compilation of archival recordings show the full range, scope and ambition of the pioneering outfit.” (adapted from Catalogue.)

 

Requiem for the fallen / Harris, Ross
“Requiem for the fallen honours the memory of soldiers who died in the First World War. Poetry by Vincent O’Sullivan is woven through the Latin of the Requiem Mass and carries many homespun New Zealand references. Horomona Horo’s taonga pūoro improvisations add a haunting beauty that could only be from Aotearoa.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

ComicFest 2021 to be redrawn another day

ComicFest 2021 logo

ComicFest 2021 logo

To keep everyone safe, organisers are cancelling ComicFest 2021 this Saturday (21 August 2021) as Aotearoa is now under Covid-19 Alert level four.

“We are gutted Saturday’s ComicFest is not going ahead, as we had such a fantastic line-up of amazing artists with many sessions fully booked – but people’s wellbeing comes first,” says Sam Orchard, Assistant Curator Cartoons and Comics National Library of New Zealand.

“The good news is thanks to the generous support of our artists and sponsors we have already agreed to bring ComicFest back once we have returned to Alert level 2 or lower – so watch this space!”

“The ComicFest team are working together on future options for this delivering this event. So, keep your cosplay costumes at the ready for when we can get all be together again,” says Wellington City Council’s Manager Libraries and Community Spaces Laurinda Thomas.

“While you’re staying safe at home, you can be inspired and entertained by our amazing artists who have shared their stories on the ComicFest webpage. ”

If you have registered for an event, we will email you to confirm that ComicFest has been cancelled and again when we have a new date for when ComicFest 2021 will return.

ComicFest is run in partnership with Wellington City Libraries and the National Library of New Zealand and key sponsors Graphic Comics, Gecko Press, Unity Books, and Wellington Zinefest.