Show Day at Addington, 1947 : Picturing Canterbury

Show Day at Addington 1947. All dressed up in their best white dresses for day’s outing. Jim and Venis Olin with daughters Merle and Avis and friends Margaret and Natalie. Looking fresh on arrival but probably tired by the end of a hot NW day. Entry in the 2013 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt. Kete Christchurch. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 NZ

Freegal Friday: A little bit country

Christchurch music lovers – every week get your Freegal on and download your three free music MP3s.

Cover of Ryan Adams Cover of Leann Rimes Cover of The Planets Cover of Paloma Faith Cover of Jaws Cover of Willie Nelson

Download with your library card and PIN. What have you downloaded this week? Do tell!

Picture books: picks from our latest newsletter

Some picks from our October Picture Books newsletter:

Cover of Ivan Cover of Hug Machine Cover of Draw Cover of Creature Features Cover of Monsters love colours Cover of Don't call me sweet

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Have you read any of these books? If so, we’d love your feedback!

Climate change: a hot topic?

Cover of Climate Change 2013It seems on the subject of ‘climate change’ one is firmly in the ‘believer’ or ‘non-believer’ camp, and ne’r the twain shall meet.

What struck me in the lead-up to our recent election was that the subject of climate change was not a ‘hot topic’. I wonder if this may have something to do with the fact that the downfall of the recent Labor government in Australia, under the leadership of Julia Gillard, may be connected directly to the introduction of a carbon tax which has since been repealed by the current Liberal government. It appears it was hugely unpopular with voters.

Hot topic? Maybe like a hot potato too hot to handle?

Where is the voice from the people of New Zealand ? Which camp are you in? What are your thoughts and ideas on the subject of climate change ?

Consider this quote:

A small change can make a big difference. You are the only one who can make our world a better place to inhabit. So, don’t be afraid to take a stand.
Ankita Singhal

If you want to become better informed, the library gives you access to several useful resources, such as:

Why We Argue About Climate Change Cover of Global Warming: A Very Peculiar History : With No Added C02 Cover of Confronting Climate Change: Critical Issues for New Zealand

For yet more resources:

Naxos Theatre presents…

Logo of Naxos Video LibraryWhilst making myself aware of what library resources we have via the Source today I came upon ‘a gem’. Now I quite understand if you don’t think this tidbit of information is mind-blowing, because, let’s face it, we all appreciate different things.

If someone mentioned in passing that they had found a fantastic library resource all about the history of football which showed vintage games of yesteryear, you would probably find me in the foetal position banging my head on any available wall (not as easy as it sounds!).  But theatre productions – now, that’s a totally different ball game (every pun intended).

I clicked on Music, audio & video and chose the option Naxos Video Library. I then selected the option Genres and Programmes which showed me Theatre.  I would have had much more immediate fun if I hadn’t clicked on Opera, Monuments/History/Geography and Feature Films first, but maybe I had to wade my way through the potential of these first to truly experience the excitement I felt when – alphabetically by playwright’s surname – I found plays and theatre productions I had never heard of before. Some of these productions go back as far as 1960 with the most recent being a Shakespearean play put on at the Globe Theatre in 2011.

Cover of Much Ado About NothingAnyway, back to the 1960s and 70s…  Eli Wallach, Lee J. Cobb, Dustin Hoffman, Ingrid Bergman, William Hurt, Sissy Spacek, Jason Robards, Walter Matthau are just a few of the American actors who ‘trod the boards’ in their younger years before Hollywood beckoned. Some of the offerings are literally on stage sets, whilst others are televised versions of plays.

Chekov’s The Seagull , Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing are just a few of the more recognised plays, but there are also playwrights and plays I’ve never heard of before.

After much dithering I’ve decided to watch the 1979 production of Mourning Becomes Electra, Eugene O’Neill’s ‘classic American drama of love, revenge, murder and suicide’ with hopefully not a football in sight!

Have a look at the Naxos Music or Video Library next time you are on the library website – there’s a HUGE amount of material to cast your eye over.

 

Te Kupu o te Wiki – The Word of the Week

Kia ora. To celebrate Te Reo Māori we are publishing kupu (words).

Kīwaha (colloquialism)

Wheo kē
Buzzy

Kupu (word)

homai
pass (to me)

Homai kia toru ngā kapu.
Pass me three cups.

Maori
Browse our Te Reo Māori resources.

To boldly go where no machine has gone before

Unmanned space exploration and manned Earth exploration feature in our October Science and Nature Newsletter.

 

Book cover of Red Rover Book cover of The Human Age Book cover of Dreams of other worlds Book cover of Space chronicles Book cover of Gothan unbound Book cover of Voyager

If you like science books, the longlist for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books, has been announced.

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

This week in Christchurch history (27 October – 2 November)

29 October 1830
Te Rauparaha charters the “Elizabeth” (under the unscrupulous Captain Stewart) and sails for Akaroa.

30 October 1985
Writer-in-Residence at Canterbury University, Keri Hulme wins internationally prestigious Booker McConnell prize for her novel The Bone People.

31 October 1912
Opening of Queen’s Theatre, the city’s first purposebuilt picture theatre. The building was latterly the M. W. Arcade.

1 November 1906
New Zealand International Exhibition (the biggest in the country to that time) opens in Hagley Park. Over 1 million people visited the exhibition during the next few months. A branch railway line was built across North Hagley Park to service the exhibition. The attractions included New Zealand’s first professional symphony orchestra [conducted by Alfred Hill], and the first Dominion pipe band contest which was won by the Dunedin Highland Pipe Band.

Captain Lorraine's balloon shown taking off from Lancaster Park, 3 Nov. 1899  [1899], CCL PhotoCD 7, IMG0084
Captain Lorraine’s balloon shown taking off from Lancaster Park, 3 Nov. 1899 [1899], CCL PhotoCD 7, IMG0084
1 November 1921
Woolston Borough joins City.

1 November 1989
New Christchurch City Council established by amalgamation of the old City, Waimairi District, Riccarton Borough, Heathcote County and parts of Paparua and Eyre Counties.

2 November 1899
Balloonist Captain Lorraine lost at sea after an ascent from Lancaster Park.

2 November 1914
Riccarton (Deans) Bush presented to the city by the Deans family.

Christchurch chronology
A timeline of Christchurch events in
chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

More October and November events in our Christchurch chronology.

Ground Control to Major Tom

Book cover of An Astronaut's guide to lifeGround Control to Major Tom…Ground Control to Major Tom…some sentences are impossible to say just once and thanks to David Bowie, Ground Control to Major Tom is one of them.

David Bowie isn’t the reason that song has been in my head recently though, it’s all thanks to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.

Chris’s performances of songs in the International Space Station, beamed back to Earth culminated in a performance of Space Oddity in May 2013. Now he has released his autobiography – An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything.

Chris mixes details of life on the International Space Station and his training as an astronaut with life lessons he believes have helped him achieve success in life and space.

Book cover of postcards from spaceThere has also been a simplified version of his biography published for kids – Postcards from space, which features a lot of beautiful photographs taken by Chris while he was in space.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth was featured in our October Science and Nature Newsletter, along with a lot of other great space reads including Neil deGrasse Tyson and Red Rover: inside the story of robotic space exploration.

 

Read the book before you see the film

How many times do you read a book and like it, then hear that it is being made into a movie? It seems that a really good book may have qualities that don’t translate to a good movie.

Cover of Gone GirlIt was said once – and I can’t remember who said it – that more bad books make good films rather than the other way round. Mario Puzo’s The Godfather is a good yarn, but a long way from being a great piece of literature. The film version, however, is one of the great American movies of all time with the bad bits – especially the sex scenes that even Harold Robbins might laugh at – jettisoned.

What can make a book fall over when it hits the screen? Reviews have been less than enthusiastic for the film version of S. J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep and it may be that gimmick-style revelations at the end can’t work when the many readers of the novel know them. Will this make the film version of Gone Girl, expected soon, go the same way?

Cover of Z for ZachariahThere are, however, some interesting adaptations coming up and they may work well on the screen. The film of Z for Zachariah, the classic YA novel by Robert C. O’Brien, may be the first major movie filmed on location in Port Levy and a cast that includes Chris Pine, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Margot Robbie sounds promising.

Further up the island, in the Marlborough Sounds, filming has begun on an adaptation of the excellent novel by M. L. Stedman, The Light Between Oceans, the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who find a boat washed ashore with a dead man and an infant on board. Their decision to raise the child as their own drives the plot of the novel which is actually set in Australia. The film has Michael Fassbender, Rachel Weisz and Swedish actress Alicia Vikander in the cast.

Cover of A Hologram for the KingOne of my favourite writers –if you like state of the nation novels – is Dave Eggers and the film version of A Hologram for the King is an interesting choice for a big American film in that it’s about a middle class man trying to hold himself and his family together as the world economy falters by trying to sell himself and his ideas to the burgeoning Arabian world. Tom Hanks is in the lead.

The dystopian world of J. G. Ballard is perfectly captured in his High Rise which is set in a luxury high rise building where things start to go wrong, leading to a major social breakdown. The novel, firmly set in the Thatcher era, has been on the cards for decades and is only now coming to film with Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans and Sienna Miller in the cast.

Cover of The Family FangNicole Kidman’s career may be faltering at the moment, but good on her for buying the rights to one of the most outrageous and funny novels, around, Kevin Wilson’s The Family Fang, featuring the worst parents imaginable, a couple of performance artists and their children who live in permanent embarrassment at the idiotic performances their parents dream up. Kidman and Jason Bateman play the parents with Bateman directing. Continue reading