Books


Cover image of "Making music in New Zealand"I would love to be a musician. Not even a professional musician, just someone who can casually pick up an instrument and effortlessly create songs that make others want to stop and listen. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who would be offered money NOT to sing. My perfectionist tendencies paired with my lack of patience have prevented me from learning how to play the guitar (or any other musical instrument for that matter) because, well, if I’m not good at something instantly, I just give up. Forget all this “you’ll get better with practice” rubbish. I want to be a musical genius NOW.

If you want to read about other New Zealanders with the music bug, here’s some New Zealand fiction featuring musicians

Book cover of Ready to FlyOr if you prefer to draw inspiration from real life:

And for those of you who do possess both talent and dedication, the library has a bunch of “teach yourself” resources for aspiring musicians.

I can still live vicariously through other New Zealand musicians, though. I can watch them, listen to them, and read about them. Heck, if I really like them, I might even follow them…on Twitter.

South Library Learning Centre is celebrating with HNN students (Hillmorton Network News) and Hillmorton High School at their latest TV broadcast. They have just learned how to script-write an interview, film using dual cameras, and edit with keys and cutaways for added interest!

Episode 3 celebrates student, school and community successes. These students could be destined for Weta Studios and might even follow in  Sir Peter Jackson’s footsteps!

Here is their latest work:

In our Learning Centre, students experience e-learning programmes aligned with the New Zealand Curriculum document. These programmes provide learning in a technology-rich environment and the teaching within these programmes keep abreast with the latest teaching philosophies and strategies.

If you are interested in working with us to tailor an existing programme or work alongside us  please contact us Tel: 941 5140 or  Learningcentre@ccc.govt.nz

This month’s fantasy fiction newsletter includes new titles from Lev Grossman and Terry Goodkind  plus a selection of titles for those who enjoy a bit of blood and gore.

Cover of The House of War and Witness Cover of Severed Souls Cover of The Magician's land Cover of The Shadow Throne Cover of The Book of Life Cover of The Crimson Campaign
read the newsletter online to see all the titles.

Read the latest editions of any of our newsletters or subscribe to get them delivered direct to your inbox by going to our newsletters page.

I have written before about blogs being turned into books. At that time it was a bit of a novelty, but no longer. A very random check of the library catalogue comes up with 44 blog titles bought for this year, so far!  These titles range from self-help books to craft and travel. Some are only available as eBooks and are quite possibly self-published.  Others have been picked up by very mainstream publishers.  It makes sense then that when a blog has thousands of followers it will create quite a buzz for the book, creating an easy marketing exercise for publishers perhaps?

Cover of Design Bloggers at HomeCooking, crafting, travelling or dealing with addiction and health issues etc., lend themselves well to a blog format. Alongside the ideas and information around their chosen topic the blogger often includes plenty of human interest; small titbits about their life making the  blog all the more enjoyable as you feel part of the their daily existence. The joy of the blog is therefore the interaction between the reader and the blogger, the up-to-the-minute experiences that you can click into on a daily basis, the highs and the lows shared, not to mention plenty of photos and tutorials.

Cover of Mrs D Is Going WithoutDoes this translate well into a book? I’m not sure. The book enables the author to present the parts of their blog, for example the recipes, crafts or experiences that have had the most online success, and this sounds like a good process. Not so good if you have been an avid follower of the blog as no doubt there will be plenty of repetition. The missing ingredient for me would be what makes the blog unique, and that is the human interaction, the comments from readers and the community that develops around the blog.  That said, the book will reach a different audience perhaps and will of course bring more readers to the blog. A Win-Win as they say.

So if you are interested in giving blogging a go, and are perhaps thinking that you might get picked up by some huge publisher and make your millions, here are some titles to get you started.

Cover of Picture Perfect Social MediaMollie Makes: Blogging: The guide to Creative Content.*  This is a special edition of the Mollie Makes magazine and has some great ideas for those of you interested in the creative crafty side of things.

Picture Perfect Social Media. Great advice for the all important visual impact of your blog.

Blog Wonderful. The author spent a year growing her following and documenting what worked, and what didn’t.

Blogging and Tweeting Without Getting Sued. Sounds like a sensible book to read before you get started!

Every time you post a blog or tweet you may be subject to the laws of more than 200 jurisdictions throughout cyberspace. As more than a few bloggers or tweeters have discovered, you can be sued in your own country, or arrested at the airport heading off to a holiday in another country.

WordPress, the platform we use for this blog also has some handy hints on how to turn a blog into a book.

*To find Mollie Makes: Blogging: The guide to Creative Content in the catalogue, click on View subscription and availability details and look for call number 745.5 MOL BLOGGING 2014.

War, disaster and the internet telling you stuff that isn’t true?! It can only be the September History and Current Events newsletter.

Book cover of The Darkest Days Book cover of Female Tommies Book cover of The dog who could fly Book cover of Inside Syria Book cover of A sea in flames Book cover of The big truck that went by

Subscribe to our newsletters and get our latest titles and top picks straight from your inbox.

Book cover of the autobiography of jack the ripperJack the Ripper has finally, conclusively, definitely been identified (again). 126 years after the murders that shocked the world, we’ve finally found our man (or woman). Was it Scotland Yard? Was it the CIA? Was it rediscovered CCTV footage taken an amazing 54 years before CCTV was invented? No, it was “armchair detective” Russell Edwards who has just published Naming Jack the Ripper. Edwards used DNA from a shawl to positively (?) identify Aaron Kosminski as the killer. Public interest in Jack the Ripper has never really waned and we have a good selection of the books published; both non-fiction (I’m using that term loosely) and fiction including the acclaimed Ripper Street TV series. I’ve read them all and here is my list of the top 5 Jack the Ripper suspects, from least to most preposterous:

  1. Renowned artist Walter Sickert was called out by mystery writer Patricia Cornwell in the optimistically named Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed. Cornwell used DNA from some Ripper letters to prove that Sickert was Jack the Ripper. To my mind, she just proved that maybe he wrote some Ripper letters, or maybe not, testing DNA that old can be problematic.
  2. Another artist, Frank Miles, was accused in Thomas Toughill’s The Ripper Code, although you may have already known this if you’d read The Picture of Dorian Gray. Oscar Wilde helpfully left some clues to Miles true identity encoded alien-messages-in-pyramids-style in the tome. If you think that is crazy enough to be higher up on this list, you have obviously not read many Jack the Ripper books.
  3. If you are going to be name a random historical figure as a serial killer, why not aim high? Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward has been named in numerous volumes but Melvyn Fairclough’s The Ripper & the Royals is the one you can pick up from our libraries.
  4. Book cover of uncle jackTony Williams had a esteemed distant-ancestor, Sir John Williams. Sir John was a successful obstetrician, doctor to the royal family and founded The National Library of Wales. Tony did a bit of research and found a smoking-gun in the Library archive, well actually it was a rusted-scalpel. Many extrapolations later and Uncle Jack was the result. I really thought that was the low-point until the next title appeared…
  5. On the plus side, someone realised there was no way Sir John Williams could be Jack the Ripper, on the negative side, they think it is his wife. Poor Mary Williams, all she did was get married to a book-loving doctor and now she is named as a Ripper suspect. At least they didn’t have children, because if I was one of there descendants I would be pretty peeved about the whole thing.

Will we ever know the truth about the identity of Jack the Ripper? If I did, I wouldn’t write it in this blog post. As the above titles show, there’s money to be made and no lack of publishers ready to print any crazy theory someone is willing to propose.

Whangia ka tupu, ka puawai

That which is nurtured, blossoms and grows

Christchurch City Libraries hold many taonga. Ngā Pounamu Māori Collection is one of them. Filled with history, art, mahi toi,  te Reo Māori, tikanga, kaupapa, whakapapa, politics, moemoea, traditions, kōrero, whānau me pūrākau.

Each library has someone who is the kaitiaki of that librarys’ Ngā Pounamu Collection (Ngā Kaiāwhina) and we recently shared some pukapuka from this collection.

This is what was on show. Quite a variety indeed!  We hope there will be some discovery moments for our blog readers as you venture into this awesome collection.

  • Native Land Court 1862-1887: a historical study, cases and commentary / Richard Boast, 346.043 BOA – fascinating history, history of the Maori Land Court and over 100 principal cases including text and introductory commentary explaining the case and its significance.
  • Ora Nui, Maori Literary Journalcover for Ora Nui – collection of different works from different authors, great starting point. (Available as an free downloadable eBook).
  • Choosing a Māori Name for your baby / Miriama Ohlson – transliterations and  traditional names.
  • Māori Agriculture, Elsdon Best – Interesting reading in context. A good start but does need to come with a proviso, also available online. Library disclaimer: Elsdon Best has come under criticism over some of his work.
  • Apirana Taylor – poet, short story and novel writer. A Canoe in Midstream
  • cover for parihaka - the art of passive resistanceParihaka the art of passive resistance,- edited by Te Miringa Hohaia, Gregory O’Brien and Lara Strongman –  well written and capturing interest
  • Ben Brown< “amazing” performance poet.
  • Hone Tuwhare Tuwhare – poetry made into music. Not by wind ravaged (Parihaka)
  • Te Rongoa Māori / PME Williams
  • Tikao Talks / Teone Taare Tikao – a must read! Traditions and tales as told by Teone Tikao (Rapaki) to Herries Beattie. Related information can be found in Tī Kōuka Whenua.
  • A Booming in the night / Benjamin Brown and Helen Taylor – beautiful!! Childrens. More from these two.
  • cover for Ko Wai Kei te Huna?Ko Wai E Huna Ana? / Satoru Ōnishi – Childrens, Te Reo Māori publication
  • Toddling into Te Reo(series), reprinted 2014 by Huia Print – Childrens – nice to have the translations at the back, good to let parents know about this, colourful and thoughtful
  • He aha tenei? / Sharon Holt – Childrens Reo Singalong Written in Te reo Māori and includes translation and CD.
  • Five Māori Painters / 759.993 – gorgeous!! See the exhibition and interviews.
  • Matters of the Heart / Angela Wanhalla – A history of interracial marriage in New Zealand. Evocative of the time periods, good for seeing family connections
  • Cover of The Last MaopoThe last Maopo / Wiremu Tanai Kaihau Maopo – WW1 commemorations, letters that he sent home to a friend about his experiences as part of the second Maori contingent in WW1, personal story woven into it. 2014 publication
  • e Whai / Briar O’Connor – the art/activity of making string patterns – fun, informative and nostalgic.

 

 

 

More recommendations  from Ngā Pounamu Māori.

 

cover for Mau Mokocover from huia histories of māoricover from Once upon a time in aotearoa

Whaia te iti kahurangi ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei

Aim for the highest cloud so that if you miss it, you will hit a lofty mountain.

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 817 other followers