Hot books in the city – listen to Alexander McCall Smith, Camilla Lackberg & more in Christchurch

Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival is underway, Auckland Writers Festival kicks off on the 14 May. Our own The Press Christchurch Writers Festival is going to take Christchurch by storm in August, but in the meantime they – in association with the Auckland Writers Festival – are bringing some pretty fabulous authors to Christchurch next week.

Get in amongst it!

Cover of Letters from Everest Cover of The Forever Girl Cover of Modern World architecture

HLJ---dashHuw Lewis-Jones

a stunning slide show from The Conquest of Everest: Original Photographs from the Legendary First Ascent with images from the book and commentary, including excerpts from the letters George Lowe sent home.”

McCall-Smith-Alexander-credit-Chris-Watt--webAlexander McCall Smith

One of the world’s most prolific and successful authors, Alexander McCall Smith’s popular No 1 Ladies’ Detective Series – now in its 15th year – has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.

Jonathan-GlanceyJonathan Glancey

British architectural critic, writer and broadcaster discusses the future of cities as globalism challenges local identities. This lecture will be particularly relevant to a Christchurch audience.

Cover of Buried angelsCamilla-Lackberg_webCamilla Lackberg

Swedish crime-writing sensation.

  • and in association with Bookenz – An Hour with Camilla Lackberg
    Wednesday 14 May, 7.30pm
  • Book here
  • Search our catalogue for Camilla Lackberg

May is the Month for Music Madness

I made a pact with my husband this year.  We would go to as many live gigs as we could get to and afford, and so far this year has been very rewarding. NZ Music Month at Christchurch City Libraries

With New Zealand Music month upon us, there are a wealth of local and wider New Zealand based acts to catch up with at your local library in addition to the usual offerings around town, and no matter what your tastes, you will find some great music to listen to.

With a range of venues in the city, and lots of musicians keen to entertain, there’s something on every day of the week. We have become the unofficial stalkers of a few local acts we love, such as Vintage Blue, a mellow polished duo that perform anything from jazz and old standards to the latest pop hit, with great arrangements.

We’ve seen The Johnny’s twice this year. They are a Nelson based, all  girl, Johnny Cash tribute band that really rocks, with a show that leaves you exhilarated. Runaround Sue is a local band, with the famous music legend Al Parks on guitar. Their high energy mix of originals and covers is well worth looking out for. Tami Neilson is an award winning musical force. She has the most amazing voice and channels such country greats as Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. But her own songs are the real standouts, ranging from honky tonk to blues and country through  a 50’s rockabilly filter. Her latest album, Dynamite, is yet to grace the library shelves, but keep an eye out, it’s truly awesome.

Devilish Mary and the Holy Rollers are another local combo we’ve fallen in love with. I love their passion and energy. The local live music scene is certainly alive and well and many of the suburbs are seeing a resurgence in bars and other music venues to offer people a great night out in our ever transforming city. Addington has The Pedal Pusher and the Cargo Bar along with The Dux Live, and  there is The Miller Bar and the addition recently of Sullivans, who have decamped from their pre-quake Manchester street site. Riccarton’s  Trevinos and Fox and Ferret are popular haunts, as is the Fox and Ferret at The Palms. Revival Bar and Tequilla Mockingbird on Victoria Street, The Darkroom on St Asaph Street, Barretta on St Asaph Street and The Monday Room on Moorhouse Avenue and the new and flash Carlton on the Carlton Corner are a few that are close to the CBD and offering anything from quiet duos to rock and roll and trip hop dance music. The Bog Bar has reopened on Victoria street recently too. The Eastern

Lyttelton’s iconic Wunderbar is a funky wee venue and The Lyttelton Yacht Club has proved to be a wonderful location for Al Park’s talented finds, after his iconic bar bit the dust. Great Christchurch musicians such as The Eastern and Lindon Puffin, who will be both performing at Linwood Library at Eastgate during May Music Month, have been known to perform in the seaside town.

Find out more about Christchurch music venues online. So head to your local, or go to another suburb and check out the offerings.

Make sure you check out the live music at a library near you as well in May.

If you have a local haunt or great band you love to listen to, do share!

South Learning Centre holiday highlights

Our first ever Minecraft Craft Holiday Programme – including 3D printing, Sketch Up to design keyrings, Huma beads of Minecraft characters, Printcraft to design students own buildings, Tinkercad to design and 3D print jewellery and electronics to make a Redstone light.


Keep your eyes peeled for more afterschool and holiday programmes at your library.


War books in Gale Virtual Reference Library

Gale Virtual Reference Library gives you access to over 200 electronic reference books covering virtually any subject, including health, business, careers, history, literature, biography, science, travel and more.

Some war-related titles have just been added to this colllection:

Cover of Auschwitz Cover of Hiroshima Cover of The Normandy beaches