A bit of local nostalgia

Gods and Little Fishes: A Boy and A Beach is set in the most lucrative spot in the country: New Brighton.

Yes, New Brighton! Before the 80s and the opening up of weekend trading to the rest of the country, this local community had a buzz about it that brought swarms of ‘townies’ to the seaside in Christchurch. With a theatre, pier, shops, surf … it was a giant playground. And this is where writer Bruce Ansley grew up. After chatting with some old mates at the New Brighton Working Mens Club he decided to not let the glory days of this era go by unnoticed and wrote a memoir of his growing up years. Alternately poignant and hilarious, this book comes highly recommended for those who love local history and a good laugh.

Strawberry Fields forever

December 8  is the anniversary of John Lennon’s death. cover

Christchurch has its own memorial to John Lennon – a plaque surrounded by wild strawberries in Little Hagley Park. The mayor, Vicki Buck,dedicated the field 9 October 1990. This was in response to a request by Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, to local authorities around the world asking them to commemorate what would have been Lennon’s 50th birthday and also the 10th anniversary of his death with the planting of a strawberry field. The plaque was removed but returned during the SCAPE biennial celebrations 20 September 2008 by artist Paul Johns.
(I found this information in the Miscellaneous file of our Christchurch Street and Place Names resource)

John Lennon’s life, works and death have been examined in detail in books and film.

Do you have a favourite Lennon song?  I was remembering Norwegian Wood which a fan site tells me was largely written by John with a few extra bits from Paul.

Unwrap a good read this Christmas

Christmas displayI love a good surprise. I also love surprising others with good things.

Here at the Central Library, we want to surprise YOU. We’ve wrapped up a whole bunch of good reads for you to rip into over your Christmas break. Throw away your holiday reading lists. Choose your books by size or colour of the wrapping paper instead.

Indulge the kid in you and grab as many as your arms can carry (let’s face it, most of the fun is in the unwrapping!). Keep it under the tree as an extra ‘present’ to open on Christmas Day or tear into it as soon as you’ve issued it to your library card.

Maybe you’ll discover your new favourite author, or try a genre you’ve never read before…

Go on, surprise yourself!