2009’s crop of Christmas tunes

It’s always interesting to see who releases a Christmas album at the end of each year. This year, those who are prepared to ‘Pa rum pa pum pum’ with the little drummer boy or ‘Fa la la la la’ while decking the halls are a mixture of the expected and the surprising. One of the most surprising is Bob Dylan with his Christmas in the heart. He’s singing old favourites such as ‘Here comes Santa Claus’ and ‘Silver Bells’. It was been receiving good reviews. Proceeds are going to charity.

New Zealand Christmas albums

Another album for Charity is Merry Christmas baby, a New Zealand compilation with proceeds going to Plunket. It includes the Jordan Luck band doing ‘Barbie dolls for Baghdad’ as well as other Kiwi favourites such as Opshop, Jackie Clarke, Whirimako Black, Hollie Smith and Annie Crummer.

The other New Zealand Christmas albums for 2009 are from Hayley Westenra and her Christmas Magic album with familiar seasonal carols and popular Christmas songs. It includes a duet with Ronan Keating. Howard Morrison has also posthumously released the Christmas collection which has 14 classic carols.

Classics and crooners

Neil Diamond’s A cherry cherry Christmas includes brand-new yuletide performances penned by Neil plus re-mastered seasonal classics.

Sting doesn’t quite commit to a Christmas album settling with a winter themed album conjuring the season of spirits featuring Christmas carols and lullabies spanning the centuries on If on a winter’s night.

This year’s crooner release is another Frank Sinatra one. Christmas with friends the friends being Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme, Tony Bennett & Bill Evans and Ray Charles & Betty Carla.

Other albums coming soon to a library near you are Timeless Christmas with the greats, Country Christmas collection, Christmas crooners collection and R&B Christmas Hits.

For more Christmas music, see:

Terrisa, Selection and Access Librarian

Harbour Kitchens

I notice that Harbour kitchens : celebrating Lyttelton, its food and people is on order, and should hopefully arrive in our libraries soon.  This is a wonderful cookbook, produced by parents from Lyttelton main and Lyttelton West Schools as a fundraising project.  Gone are the days of photocopied sheets of recipes hurriedly put together by the local PTA.  Harbour kitchens could well stand beside costlier and well-known cookery books and feel proud!

I like a cookbook to be crammed full of colourful photos, and Harbour kitchens has plenty of luscious looking food as well as photos of local personalities and school children, all taken by Lyttleton photographers. The recipes are supplied by local restaurants as well as parents and people associated with the school, so there is a lovely variety of flavours to choose from.  I was lucky enough to be given a copy of this book and have already enjoyed cooking a number of the recipes.  They have turned out beautifully and almost look like the photos! (A sign of a good cook book I think).

What a wonderful fundraising project, as well as a peek into what makes Lyttelton such an interesting place to live.  The local Library is rather good as well I hear!