Tricky little title changes

The Guardian has recently published an article about why American publishers sometimes change the titles of books. In fact they don’t only change titles, they will also change names, places and spelling. The writer from The Guardian doesn’t really have an answer to why this happens, but happen it does and can be confusing for library users – and librarians!

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is a good example. It was originally published as Cross Stitch. Then there is The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman which became The Golden Compass, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone became Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Looking at these titles, it is hard to understand why they were changed. It is a tricky business though, as often it can look like your favourite author has published a new book only to be met with disappointment when the story starts to feel very familiar!

When a new title is given to a book, our wonderful cataloguers always add an entry to the catalogue record that lets you know that the book has two titles.

Notes: Also published as: Cross stitch. London : Rowan, 1992.
or
Notes: Originally published as: Northern lights. London : Scholastic, 1995.

And whatever title you type in will take you to the correct book.

978043995178497817847513719780807281956

The Politics of Fiction – WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

When I think of politics I think of well…Politics… Statements, speeches, dogma perhaps, deeply held beliefs, politicians! So I went along to The Politics of Fiction with probably the wrong idea. I should also come clean and admit that I haven’t read any of the three authors’ books. I feel like a bad bad blogger, but have paid penance by purchasing all three books at the end of the session.

Brannavan Gnanalingam , Pip Adam, and Rajorshi Chakraborti. Image supplied.
Brannavan Gnanalingam , Pip Adam, and Rajorshi Chakraborti. Image supplied.

The information about the session gave an indication of what the idea of politcal fiction means to the contributors.

Join Pip Adam, and Rajorshi Chakraborti, who both teach creative writing to people living in prisons, and Brannavan Gnanalingam to to discuss with Julie Hill the politics of writing fiction, and how it can become a tool to create empathy across divides.

Sounds good doesn’t it? As Rajorshi said, politics with a small ‘p’. So we call rule out anything about politicians then?

Julie Hill did a lovely job asking questions that suggested she had read these books in depth and done her research. (Ahem).The highlight for me, as it always is in these sessions, is when an author reads from their own book.  Why is this always so satisfying? Is it that the author knows their characters so well that they bring them to life, and gives them gravitas and personality that another reader can’t?

This was a session that wasn’t overly popular, perhaps the ‘p’ word put people off, and that is a shame because it was really interesting and a nice way to finish the day. For me fiction needs to be entertaining, to hold my attention. The characters need to be real and flawed beings, but if there is a message with a small ‘p’ then all the better

“Often my writing is a way to work out somthing i dont understand.”

“Invisible  people with invisible troubles”

“Existensial incompetence”

“I write about what we dont see”

“Sita (a character in Sodden Downstream) listens to people. She listens and learns and breaks down barriers”

Find works by n our collection by:

Follow our coverage of WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

The Neu! Ōtautahi! Incident – WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

I’m sure we all remember the cool kids at school and that sense of wanting to be part of that group.  Well when I go to a writers’ festivals I desperately want to be one of those cool kids, the ones who have the right words at the right times, who hang out together and talk about writery things (or so I imagine) , who have witty meaningful conversations…. All The Time, who are clever, funny and just love hanging out with each other, and maybe me?  The reality is I sit there like everyone else in my allocated seat, and sadly make no new best friends.

Such were my feeelings at Neu! Ōtautahi.  Clutching my plastic cup of wine I kept a steely gaze on The Poets who chatted happily in their front row seats, who clapped and cheered each other on, one big happy poetic family.  How I wished I could be one of them, but sadly not a poetic line has ever past through these fingertips, gosh I barely even read poetry, but when someone performs their poems for me I am smitten.

This was a great night’s entertainment – surprisingly funny, energising, and the time flew by. These are the cool kids on the block, poets no less. I want to be in their gang.

Featuring:
Michael Pedersen (Scotland)
Hollie McNish (UK)
Pati Solomona Tyrell & Manu Vaeatangitau (FAFSWAG) (NZ)
Samuel Flynn Scott (NZ)
Hera Lindsay Bird (NZ)
Omar Musa (AUS)
Leilani Banday (US)

Follow our coverage of WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

Kā Huru Manu: My names are the treasured cloak which adorns the land: WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

Takerei Norton and Helen Brown along with David Higgins from the cultural mapping team at Ngāi Tahu presented a session on Kā Huru Manu, the Ngāi Tahu digital atlas dedicated to recording and mapping traditional Māori place names and histories in the Ngāi Tahu tribal area.

David Higgins set the scene for what would prove to be a wonderful adventure into place names of Te Waipounamu.  David was one of the first people to provide material for the mapping project, and his involvement was acknowledged as being important  for encouraging others to become involved and highlights a vital aspect of the project – the need for trust and the building of relationships. Past attempts had been made to create an atlas or list of place names but all to often mistakes were made, be it incomplete information, shortened names, wrong spelling etc.  It highlighted for me the  importance of inclusiveness and the willingness and need to leave the office and travel to the people on their local marae –  to build trust so that the conversations can be ongoing.

The speakers, Takerei Nathan and Helen Brown stressed how the website has been created without a huge fascination with software and the whistles and bells that can accompany digital achievements.  However, that said, this is a fantastic website  and many a web designer could learn something about visuals, layout and the sheer in-depth nature of what this site contains.

This project is self funded by Ngāi Tahu, so no need for compromise and shortcuts.  A dedicated group of people have travelled the South Island visiting marae, verifying, researching, talking  and gathering colossal amounts of information. Each place name, be it a river, settlement, a place for kai, traditional travel routes, rivers and lakes is extensively checked and rechecked to make sure that to the best of their ability the information they have is correct.  Nothing goes on the website until there is complete approval from the marae.  Over 6000 place names have been identified, but so far about 1600 names are in the atlas, the marae will say when the rest of the names can be unlocked and made public.

Dive into the website Kā Haru Manu , look at the map and see all those thousands of green dots that signify an important place name, and then spot the small red dots that signify native reserves – a map can say a thousand words, the red dots are few and far between.  Read the stories and discover so much about where we live and our history.

This was a wonderful session with a group of enthusiastic and dedicated people.  Top this session off with an hour of Dame Anne Salmond and you have the makings of a great way to spend a dreary Christchurch Friday morning.

 

WORD Christchurch Festival: Black Marks on the White Page

With WORD Christchurch Festival at the forefront of my mind at the moment, having bought my tickets yesterday (and by the way the session Motherhood is selling out fast [SOLD OUT now! Ed.] ) I was intrigued to find an article by UK author Natasha Carthew about an idea for a Working Class Writers Festival in Britain.

On 12th July, Carthew tweeted to her 1,700 followers: “Comrades! This is a call to arms – we’ve got to get ourselves a #WorkingClassWriters Lit Fest! I’ve been doing the circuit and we’re a bit underrepresented int we?”

Carthew, who has written three books of poetry, and two YA books published by Bloomsbury, wants to ensure that publishing recognises writing from across the social spectrum.

She said: “I think it’s really important to enhance, encourage and increase representation from working class backgrounds, which can be quite underrepresented at other literary festivals. I feel we are an equally talented group of people that do not get enough exposure, young people from similar backgrounds especially need to have something to aspire to, something that is reflective of their society and writers they can relate to and look up to.”

The first thoughts that came to mind are would we have such a thing here, would we call it “Working Class”, do we think of class in the same way that they do in Britain? I grew up in a home where we referred to ourselves (proudly I might add) as Working Class, but it is not something you hear much today in New Zealand.

9780143770299Perhaps the closest comparison for New Zealand and the issues of inclusiveness/exclusion will be at the WORD session Black Marks on a White Page: A Roundtable...

Join contributors to last year’s superb anthology of Oceanic writing, Black Marks on the White Page,  for a roundtable discussion for Māori and Pasifika writers. Co-editor Tina Makereti, who worked on the book with Witi Ihimaera, will be joined by Victor Rodger, Nic Low, Paula Morris and Tusiata Avia to share tips on writing, and for a talanoa on the challenges and opportunities facing writers in Aotearoa and internationally.

WORD Christchurch Festival and Book Towns

My tickets are booked for the WORD Christchurch Festival and I am happily attending an eclectic bunch of sessions, starting with Alt-America and ending with The Sex and Death Salon.  What I enjoyed about the last festival was the feeling of being surrounded by people who love books. The buzz and the talk is booky and fun. There are groups of people chatting away about the last session, or the books they might have bought – and the awe and excitement of meeting their favourite author.

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With this in mind I was delighted to see my reserve for Book Towns: Forty-five paradises of the printed word arrive on my desk this morning. This small book contains anecdotes of Books towns around the world, many being part of the International Organisation of Book Towns. Many towns have numerous bookshops, but these towns have embraced books as a way of driving tourism and regenerating communities faced with economic collapse and unemployment.

Featherston in the Wairarapa is featured.

CoverWigtown also warrants a chapter. Shaun Bythell, owner of The Bookshop – and writer of the uber-popular Diary of a Bookseller will be here for WORD Christchurch.

Shaun Bythell. Image supplied.
Shaun Bythell. Image supplied.

The effect of becoming a Book Town can be far-reaching with many organising Book Festivals, accommodation and craft outlets to support the whole book experience. Pop up book towns are now becoming a feature – unused empty spaces are taken over by booksellers, often alongside a festival and featuring local artisans, music and food, as well as all the wonderful books of course.

Perhaps an idea for Christchurch?

Cool stuff from the Selectors: Feeding frenzy

Eating. It’s the most natural thing in the world yet it is becoming increasingly loaded with emotion and so-called science. This can leave the most sensible of us awash in recipes and diet plans.

To add to the dilemma of what to eat as adults, we are now increasingly concentrating on what to feed our children. Now in “my day” (yes I know that sounds dreadful but I can’t think of any other way to put it) we blended up a bit of pumpkin, threw in some cheese ( if we had any),  pureed apple or banana and that was that. Did this lead to lack of vitamins, macro-nutrients, poor eating habits and an addiction to sugar? I really don’t know… My children seem reasonably healthy, but with the addition of twins to our family I am aware that there is much discussion, and a certain amount of anxiety amongst new parents when faced with the endless opinions and debate around food.

So here are some new titles that will either help or hinder the feeding process!

CoverLittle Foodie: recipes for babies and toddlers with taste

Michele Olivier describes herself as a complete control freak and I have to agree with her. The book emanates from a blog she created when feeding her daughter Ellie and is full of organic, fresh, tasty meals. She suggests all you “need is a couple of hours each month  and a passion to give your baby the best”.  Good luck with that.

CoverBaby-led Feeding

This book is very attractive with colour pictures accompanying  each recipe and plenty of interesting ideas for first food. I struggled a bit with the cost factor of strawberry and goat cheese spread, simple poached salmon (I can’t even afford this for the adults in my family let alone the children) and tomato fennel soup, but that aside there are some good ideas in here for all the family.

CoverBaby Food Matters: what science says about how to give your child healthy eating habits for life

For those of you who are serious about this baby feeding business!  Packed full of ideas including the blindingly obvious “… don’t pressure him to eat past the point at which he feels full” or “limit unhealthy foods and snacks” to in-depth information and charts for average daily energy requirements in the first year of life, recommendations for the required amount of vitamin D, and how to cope with fussy eaters. There are no pretty pictures in this book!

CoverPet Cookbook: Easy everyday recipes for happy healthy pets

Now that we are educated on how to feed our children we can turn our attention to the family pet with the Pet Cookbook: Easy everyday recipes for happy healthy pets. Treat them to watermelon pupsicles, a tasty salmon log, pupcakes, chicken scramble (apparently chickens love this even though they are eating their own) and a super smoothy.  Heck, use these recipes yourself – they look great!

Cool stuff from the Selectors: New Children’s books

Here are some books that our Children’s Selector has suggested for sharing with children.

Who doesn’t love a good rhyme?  Generations of children have joined in, memorised and loved rhymes over the years and here are some new ones to enjoy.

Cover of Playtime Rhymes9780838912164Cover of The Golden Mother Goose

Cover of Under the silver moon

When looking for books for children don’t overlook the nonfiction section.  These books are interesting, full of great stories and pictures.

9781787410695Cover of The squirrel's busy yearCover of It's a puppy's life

Cover of Earth! My first 4.54 billion yearsCover of Whose home is this?Cover of Amazing animal friendships

Cool stuff from the Selectors: Fiction and daughters

It would seem there is a daughter for every occupation, including a blind astronomer and a Can Opener.

Cover of The Glovemaker's DaughterCover of the Captain's DaughterCover of The Silk Merchant's DaughterCover of The Freemason's daughterCover of The Blind Astronomer's DaughterCover of The Locksmith's DaughterCover of The naturalist's daughterCover of The weaver's daughterCover of The doctor's daughterCover of The Shipbuilder's DaughterCover of The Lightkeeper's DaughtersCover of The Diplomat's daughterCover of The Sugar Planter's daughterCover of The Maskmaker's DaughterCover of The Painter's DaughterCover of The mad scientist's daughterCover of The Beekeeper's daughterCover of The murderer's daughterCover of The Can Opener's daughterCover of The Taxidermist's DaughterCover of The Undertaker's DaughterCover of The Bonesetter's DaughterCover of The Policeman's daughter

What really happened on the Channel Islands during WWII?

I never wanted to read  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I’m not a fan of books based on letters – I find it hard to gain an interest in the characters.  I did however see the movie. I quite liked it, (especially the clothes, but that probably isn’t really the basis for a good movie)  However, what it did do was pique my interest in a part of World War II that I knew nothing about.

CoverCover

The library has recently purchased a title that was originally published in 1995,  The Model Occupation: The Channel Islands under German rule 1940-1945 by Madeleine Bunting. This is a fascinating story of what actually happened and the author looks at a variety of previously unanswered questions. Why wasn’t there a resistance movement against the German occupation, how did Britain manage and cope with the occupation, and what of the Islanders themselves – were the stories true of collaboration, or was it just a means of survival. Was this all a dirty secret that Britain didn’t want the rest of the world to know about, and what has been the impact on these Islands and their inhabitants?

Although I wasn’t a fan of either the book or the movie, they did create a curiosity and interest in the occupation and the toll it took on the Islands’ inhabitants.  I recommend this book if, like me you knew nothing about this time in history.