Audio Content


OverDrive our popular eBook and downloadable eAudiobook platform has reproduced! No longer do kids and teens have to trawl through bodice rippers and murder mysteries, instead they can go straight to a collection aimed purely at their level and interests. Each has their own attributes:

OverDrive for kidsOverDrive for Kids: Lots of princesses, ponies and pinkness, snot, trucks, and noise.

OverDrive for TeensOverDrive for Teens: The highs and lows of body image, relationships and the occasional supernatural romantic conflict, adventure, death, and grunting.

The wonderful thing about eBooks and eAudiobooks for kids and teens is that there are no fines. Digital files are unchewable and are impossible to lose under the couch or under the landfill that makes up a teenager’s bedroom. They are also somewhat more interactive than print so keep kids and teens reading while maintaining a semblance of “street” credibility.

Have a look today and see what you think. You can get back to the main OverDrive collection by hitting the Home button to the top left of the screen.

Cover of I hate to readLittle boys are different to little girls. Nowhere was this made more obvious to me than when I visited my two and a half year old nephew Oscar, who had a shiny black eye. Apparently he threw himself off the couch before his Mum could catch him and clobbered the side of a coffee table. It didn’t seem to worry him any, but he didn’t see the stares we were getting from strangers!

Now you can put it all down to biology or social conditioning but little boys seem to have no idea that gravity does actually apply to them. They take sitting still as a sign of defeat! Now it would be wrong to generalise. I personally bit the head off my sisters Barbie and had a farm set. My parents thought I would be a vet or a serial killer. So not all girls like pink and not all boys are trouble. Regardless of where they fall on the spectrum we all want them reading. So how do we get  boys to read?  Here are a few ideas if you think reading in a more interactive way would help…..

  • TumbleBook Library: Online books that are animated, can be narrated by the author or read aloud. Aimed at the under 12 year olds.
  • TumbleBook Cloud: Online books that include graphic novels and audio books. Aimed at those between 12-17!
  • OverDrive: Downloadable eBooks and audiobooks aimed at toddlers up. From picture books to gruesome adventures all at the touch of a button.

The other lesser known joy in using these products is that they are impossible to chew and will give you no overdue fines! Have a play and see if it works!

Poetry and Short Story reference centreIf your knowledge of poetry amounts to dirty limericks written on toilet walls and you are still in recovery from the behemoth book that was The Luminaries then we have the electronic resource for you! Poetry and Short Story Reference Centre contains thousands of classic and contemporary poems, as well as short stories, biographies and authoritative essays on such topics as poetic forms, movements, and techniques.

It practically comes with a guarantee that once you start using it you will come over all wordy and enigmatic like Byron! Don’t know who Byron is? To the square for a public flogging I say.

 Poetry & Short Story Reference Centre provides:

  • Over 700,000 full-text poems, both classic, contemporary and international;
  • More than 51,000 full-text short stories;
  • Over 10,000 dramatic works;
  • More than 2,300 audio recordings of poets reading their own works and the works of other poets;
  • High-quality videos provided by the Academy of American Poets;
  • Over 450 explications of both classic and contemporary poems.

Expand your mind for pleasure or education with this resource that is available from home or in any community library. All you need is your library card number and password/PIN.

 

 

Literary Reference Centre PlusRegardless if it is in electronic or paper format, the written word is everything. We communicate our thoughts, feelings and discoveries by writing them down and showing them to others. The format may have changed but content is everything. If what you have written is important then it will outlive you by a millennium.

A perfect combination of thought and format are literary databases. They are electronic but their goal is to gather the written word together within a searchable container. They may be online but they exist due to our enduring fascination with the written word. Perfect examples of this would be:

  • Literary Reference Center Plus: (New) From Austen to Zola and back again. Thousands of  plot summaries and author biographies and interviews. It also includes classic and contemporary poems, short stories and classic novels.
  • LitFinder: Full text poems, short stories, essays, speeches, plays, novels and more. Look for the poem  Still I Rise by Maya Angelou if you need your spirits lifted!
  • Poetry and Short Story Reference Center: Full text poems and short stories. Includes audio readings of poems.
  • Novelist Plus: The place to go if you are hunting down ideas for books to read. Includes thematic book lists, recommended reads  and read-a-likes.

This is but a sample of our literary electronic resources in the Source. All you need to a gateway of thought and  feelings is your library card number and password/PIN.

The Great NZ songbookWhen life is not going well I regress into 1960s pop music. It is my happy place largely because it brings back childhood memories of my father playing his vinyl records on a record player that had its needle carefully weighed down with a five cent piece. (Yes I am old!)

No one escapes the influence of music in their lives. It can bring back happy as well as painful memories. In fact I still can’t listen to Red Hot Chilli Peppers without thinking of an old boyfriend that broke my heart – more than once! We have a wonderful electronic resource at the library that has allowed me to explore my memories through music and refresh my rather stale music collection. It is called Freegal and with it you can download a ton of memories and melodies.

Freegal includes every genre of music you can image and includes a lot of Kiwi music to enjoy as well. Unfortunately I will have to avoid the Supergroove tracks which remind me of yet another boyfriend. Maybe it is time for some music therapy?

You can download up to three songs a week or one song and one music video all for free if you are a library customer. All you need is a library card number and password/PIN  and a need for inspiration.

Wending my way between libraries I invariably used to spend the travelling time with the radio on, listening to myself trilling a completely unnecessary accompaniment to Kenny Rogers’ Coward of the County and The Gambler (seemingly the only two songs on the radio station).

It got to the stage where, similar to the Pavlov Dogs experiment (luckily without salivation being involved), as soon as the music commenced I would be ‘lyric and intonation perfect’. Yet when it stopped I wouldn’t even remember what the lyrics were, let alone having drawled along with them convincingly.

Realising that drastic action was needed, I decided to listen (and perhaps accompany) some other form of entertainment. That’s when spoken word CDs came to my attention.

Cover of Murder in the TitleSimon Brett’s Charles Paris character has been adapted for radio with the amazing Bill Nighy playing the title role (just as I envisaged him sounding when I was reading the books).

Charles is a middle-aged jobbing actor who, when not attempting reconciliations with his ex-wife Frances and indulging in both pithy and acrimonious verbal exchanges with his long-suffering agent, appears to stumble upon ‘murders’ with more regularity than his often lamented ‘potted’ acting jobs.

My time spent with Murder in the Title and Cast, in Order of Disappearance was brief but memorable and I am looking forward to listening to the other four spoken word CDs in this series in the library collection… The contemporary settings and authentic sound effects combined with the very witty dialogue really had me feeling I was THERE experiencing the story with them.

Cover of The Inspector McLevy MysteriesSticking with my murder/mystery genre, I then embarked on David Ashton’s  The Inspector McLevy Mysteries. Again, originally a BBC radio play, but now I had a chance to relinquish my South East Counties accents and polish up my rusty Scottish accents!

Inspired by the real-life memoirs of a Victorian Inspector in Scotland, James McLevy prowls the dark streets of 1860s Edinburgh bringing criminals to justice, with the assistance of Constable Mulholland.

With dour, dogged, determination, Edinburgh’s ‘Finest’ and I foiled an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria; lamented the death of a novice team member of the Force and brought a vicious serial killer to Justice –  and all achieved whilst behind the wheel of a car with my newly acquired and authentic Scots accent! Note to Mel Gibson, should he ever decide on a sequel to Braveheart

OK, so you don’t need to ‘react’ with them like I choose to do, but they are still really good to listen to – funny, realistic, poignant. Have you tried any? Which ones would you particularly recommend?

Photo of road works

Road works in Hercules Street, Shirley.
Photo by Valerie Livingstone.

Some people might think that I love road works with all the road cones, big trucks and stop’n’go men.

I do, sort of. It is a sign that things are being repaired. There is a great website to help you get around the city and suburbs. With a bit of planning, you should be able to get to where you want to go without too much difficulty.

What I don’t like is being detoured down streets I have never been down and sent off in a direction I don’t want to travel in.  When I find I’m speeding down the road at a top speed of 20 km/h, I try not to stress over the fact that I’m going to be late. Sometimes, no matter what road I go down, I get stuck in a slow line of traffic, going the wrong way.

My solution is talking books. I get to hear quite a few on my way to work. At the moment, it’s Three Men in a Boat, but I have listened to Agatha Christie and Torchwood.

When you are delayed by road works, what do you listen to?

P.S. Not enough road works in your life? CTV have turned our road cones into an entertaining short film.

When you read a short story, you come out a little more aware and a little more in love with the world around you. ~George Saunders.

I have always enjoyed reading short stories, most probably because I have the attention span of a gnat coupled with a huge need to dissect and psychoanalyze given situations to their ‘bare bones’. Well, nobody’s perfect…

Cover of Summer LiesAt a recent Book Discussion Scheme Bookclub the members (including myself) were given Summer Lies by Bernhard Schlink to read – a very good example of this genre – several short stories of exceptional quality.

Schlink’s characters are all so believable that it is quite frightening at times. They have lived the majority of their lives; spun their dreams; lived through their hopes, fears and ambitions – they have a history which, given that the majority of them are in late Middle Age or the ‘Autumn’ years, naturally provides the platform for reflection in these stories. I proceeded with the last story first – just love to live my life ‘On The Edge’! – and was instantly gripped by The Journey to the South.

I could understand and – if not exactly empathize – certainly see how Nina had become disappointed in life because of the decisions she’d made at an earlier time. The wistful ‘If only’ factor is such a common human behaviour when diverse personalities start to reflect on their earlier years. Her inability to face the truth behind her earlier decisions in life now unsettle her. It is only when she forces herself to view her actions objectively that she does become happier.

Cover of Don't Panic, Head for the HillsThe library has short stories literally throwing themselves off the shelves.  Simply typing in ‘short stories’ in the catalogue search box brought up a staggering 4356 results – I was so overwhelmed I quickly started applying ‘filters’ to keep the whole exercise manageable.

I immediately relate to the catchy, pithy titles  such as Don’t Panic, Head for the Hills or Shallow Are the Smiles at the Supermarket (what a truism), but always make time tor revisit my perennial favourites  such as The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham; The Grass Harp by Truman Capote and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. What a choice!  And not only in book form – for those of you who prefer listening to reading, short stories on audiobooks in a number of different formats abound.

Who else out there in ‘reading land’ has a particular short story favourite they might want to share with others?

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This month’s science fiction newsletter includes the following titles:

The Time Traveller's Almanac Iron winter by Stephen Baxter Work done for hire by Jow Haldeman Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie Orfeo by Richard Powers A pleasure to burn by Ray Bradbury

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