Summer eReads – Escapism

Summer holidays is about having some me time, wherever you spend them. Sitting back and relaxing with a book, a bit of escapism – and what better than some easy reading novels, like a trashy romance, or a mystery or thriller you can’t put down.

Here’s an interesting fact: Romance is our most popular genre on OverDrive. The best thing about reading romance as an eBook is that no one knows what you are reading; they can’t see the cover with the topless hero with swooning maiden.

Summer Lovin’

eBook summer romances worth swooning over.

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.The Kiss Quotient

A woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way…Duke by Default

Everyone in Green Valley, Tennessee knows that the six bearded Winston brothers have been imbued with an unfair share of charm and charisma… and are prone to mischief.Dr. Strange Beard

He’s been a bad, bad rake — and it takes a governess to teach him a lessonThe Governess Game

A tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.All your Perfects

Deep within the peaceful heart of Amish country, a life-or-death emergency shatters a quiet world to its core. Between You and Me is an emotionally complex story of love and loss, family and friendship, and the arduous road to discovering the heart’s true path. Between You and Me

View Full List

If romance is not your thing and you prefer a fast-paced, spine tingling mystery or thriller, try out these latest eBooks.

It’s a mystery to me

eBook mysteries and thrillers to keep you reading this summer

She planned her own funeral. But did she arrange her own murder?The Word Is Murder

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are back in the New York Times bestselling series that Lee Child called “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”Island of the Mad

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .Jar of Hearts

What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all . . . ?Pieces of Her

New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger delivers yet another “punch-to-the-gut blend of detective story and investigative fiction” (Booklist starred review) Desolation Mountain

‘The Death of Mrs Westaway is Ruth Ware’s best: a dark and dramatic thriller, part murder mystery, part family drama, altogether riveting’ AJ FINN, bestselling author of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOWThe Death of Mrs Westaway

View Full List

Hidden Gems – Fugazi

After digging deep in the library catalogue, I found a couple of great things on one of my favourite bands, Fugazi. Fugazi is an American punk rock band from Washington D.C. that formed in 1987. The band consists of guitarists and vocalists Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto, bassist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty. Fugazi are the ultimate independent punk band, they staunchly refused big money offered by the major record labels, would only play all-ages gigs that were no more than $5 on the door and refused to sell merchandise.

Fugazi were a phenomenal live band and played 2 gigs in Christchurch (both at the Caledonian Hall) one in 1993 and one in 1997.  At the 1993 gig, a member of the audience was annoying Ian McKaye so much he was escorted out and offered his money back. On Ian McKaye’s record label Dischord you can access recordings of both these Christchurch shows. (If you have photos of either of these shows that you would like to share with the library please contact us or upload them to the Discovery Wall).

Top of the list to read is In on the Kill Taker by Joe Gross, which is part of the Bloomsbury 33 1/3 Series available via Bloomsbury Popular Music. Next up is Fugazi: Instrument a documentary film collaboration between Fugazi and Jem Cohen. This is available from Access Video which has an excellent range of music documentaries and live performances.

This book offers a little bit of back history before it looks at the making of the album In on the Kill Taker. It starts from the disastrous first recording with Steve Albini, to stories behind the writing and recording of songs like Smallpox Champion, Rend it, Public Witness Program and Instrument. This book is full of interludes and discusses how the band wrote songs, punk vs pop, and their live performances. Joe Gross also interviews long time friend of Fugazi, Jem Cohen who spent a lot of time recording their live shows and is also responsible for creating the cover art for this album.

After reading In on the Kill Taker by Joe Gross, I really wanted to see footage of Fugazi and was super excited to find the library had this 2 hours of footage from a collaboration between Fugazi and Jem Cohen. This video has footage covering the 10 year period of 1987-1996, and it captures the energy of their live performances. Fugazi are known for touring relentlessly and played over 1000 gigs around the world from 1987-2003.

Read more about Fugazi in Rock’s Back Pages.

Sirocco the rock star Kākāpō

My kids both loved the book Deadly Feathers by Des Hunt, I actually really enjoyed it too, made me want to go to Stewart Island. We loved reading about the kākāpō and Sirocco the Rock Star Kākāpō.

The other thing we all love is a nature programme so I thought I would check out New Zealand Geographic TV. There is a huge selection from old classics like the Wild South series in the 80s to international series like Living World. I found a programme called To Save the Kākāpō that was filmed in 1997 when there were only about 50 kākāpō left and follows the very rare breeding season of the kākāpō. To Save the Kākāpō is filmed the year Sirocco hatched so is actually quite fascinating the lengths the volunteers went to help the kākāpō chicks.

The kākāpō only breeds when the rimu trees fruit, which is once every 2 to 4 years. This summer is expected to be another breeding season, even a bumper one, so hopefully they can increase the population from the current 154.

More about kākāpō

Off with her head!

I recently read an article about Marie Antoinette’s jewels been auctioned, which got me thinking about how far back our newspaper archives go and I thought try Proquest Historical Newspapers which has The Guardian (1821-2003), The Observer (1791-2003); Irish Times (1859-2010); Weekly Irish Times (1876-1958). So I simply put in “Marie Antoinette” in the search terms to see what I would get, I then re-ordered my search so I got the oldest items first and voilà, there in my search results was the Trial of Marie Antoinette and the Execution of the Queen of France, all from 225 years ago.

Trial of the Queen

The Observer published this article about the trial and execution of Marie Antoinette about 10 days after her execution.
This article includes commentary of the day some transcription from the trial including –

On Tuesday morning at nine o’clock, she was conducted in a private coach by Henroit, Commandant of the National Force of Paris, to the Revolutionary Tribunal. The people lined the streets, through which she passed, and repeatedly exclaimed “Vive la Republique!” …

The Greffier read the Act of Accusation as follows:

Marie Antoinette, widow of Louis Capet, has, since her abode in France, been the scourge and the blood sucker of the French.

Read the full article: FRANCE. (1793, Oct 27). The Observer (1791- 1900)

Execution of the Queen

Here is some of the account of the execution:

Nothing like sorrow or pity for the Queen’s fate was shown by the people, who lined the streets, through which she had to pass. On her arrival at the place de la Revolution, she was helped out of the carriage, and ascended the scaffold with seeming composure. She was accompanied by a Priest, who discharged the office of Confessor, and gave her absolution,before she was fixed to the fatal machine. She was in a half-mourning dress, evidently not adjusted with much attention. Her hands were tied behind her back, she looked around, apparently without much terror; her body being then bent forward by the machine,the axe was let down, and at once separated the head from the body. After the head was displayed by the Executioner, three young woman were observed dipping their handkerchiefs in the streaming blood of the deceased Queen. They were taken into Custody.

Read the rest of the article: EXECUTION of the QUEEN OF FRANCE. (1793, Oct 27). The Observer (1791- 1900)

Just for kids

Not Just for kids, it could also be for nostalgic adults, especially if you were a fan of The Electric Company or Sesame Street. I fondly remember the start of The Electric Company theme tune “Hey you Guuyyys!” I was also a huge Count von Count fan.(Possibly due to the NZ band Head like a Hole’s song 12). I am definitely going check out some of the clips of Bert & Ernie as I am curious as to whether they are more than just best friends. Whilst checking out Sesame Street, I got to see Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch both very entertaining what kid wouldn’t love a cookie munching maniac and grouchy green thing that lives in a trash can. I also loved the Muppets when I was a child so the collection from the Jim Henson Company also appeals, it has two seasons of The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss.

It could be possible you want some time out, and your small person to be entertained for a bit with something educational. Just for kids has thousands of videos and interactive games covering a huge range of subjects – reading, science, arts and maths, ABCs and 123s. The website is a kid-safe environment, all content reviewed, vetted and ad-free. Easy to use, fully responsive and mobile friendly, you can entertain your tamariki on the go. If Sesame Street or The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss is not for your child, they may like Franklin the Turtle, The Berenstain Bears or Arthur.

Important ‘Bird of the Year’ research

One thing New Zealand well does is birds.

We have great native birds, and some don’t even fly. If you listen to Radio New Zealand we have the bird call every morning.

And on right now is the Bird of Year competition, last year the Kea won. New Zealand Geographic called them “the mad geniuses of the bird world” because of the way way the experiment with things just fun. A group of Kea were filmed setting off stoat traps using sticks, just to make them go bang.

I do like the Kea but this year I think I am going to vote for the Royal Spoonbill (Kōtuku Ngutupapa) because it is kinda goofy looking and it has random feathers that look like a weird hairdo and it is New Zealand’s only cutlery themed bird. Another bird with a good barnet (hairdo) is the Rockhopper Penguin, he looks like the hipster penguin. My kids want to vote for the Kōkako. They actually want to vote for the South Island Kōkako but can’t because it is officially extinct but there are rumours that they are still alive in the depths of the bush. There is a $10,000 reward if you manage to photograph one which might be the reason they want to go tramping.

There are over 50 birds to choose from for the bird of the year and if you want to learn about a particular bird there are heaps of them featured in New Zealand Geographic. Find them all here in the New Zealand Geographic Archive.

More about native birds

Big Library Read – The Girl with the Red Balloon 1-15 October

No Holds, No Waitlist for Historical Fantasy eBook as Christchurch City Libraries Joins Largest Digital Book Club

You can enjoy Katherine Locke’s The Girl with the Red Balloon eBook for two weeks with no waitlist.

Christchurch City Libraries’ members can join thousands of readers worldwide in the largest global digital book club, Big Library Read. From Monday 1 October to Monday 15 October, booklovers can borrow, read and discuss award-winning author Katherine Locke’s The Girl with the Red Balloon eBook with no waitlists or holds by visiting http://christchurch.overdrive.com or downloading the Libby app. More than 19,000 libraries and schools around the world are participating.

Big Library Read is facilitated by OverDrive, the leading platform for eBooks, and eAudiobooks. It is available in more than 90 percent of public libraries in the U.S. and Canada. The Girl with the Red Balloon was chosen by a popular vote of readers and librarians.

“I grew up on family stories and to me, they were as powerful, transformative and magical as the fiction I read in books,” states Locke. “I hope you enjoy the story and, more importantly, I hope you swipe to the last page thinking about your family stories, the magic of your own story, and the magic of storytelling.”

The Girl with the Red Balloon tells the story of sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum who accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin and becomes caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall — but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything — including her only way home—to stop the process.

Big Library Read is an international reading program that simultaneously connects millions of readers around the world with an eBook through public libraries. The Girl with the Red Balloon is the 17th selection of this program which began in 2013 and takes place three times per year. The free program runs for two weeks and all you need is a Christchurch City Libraries card to get started. The Girl with the Red Balloon can be read on all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets and Chromebook™ without waitlists or holds. The title will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and there are no late fees.

The Girl With The Red Balloon

To join the discussion, learn about past Big Library Read eBooks and download Libby, visit biglibraryread.com.

eMagazines – recent additions to RBDigital

Cover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover imageCover image

The Suffrage Experiment in New Zealand

125 years ago – on 19 September 1893 – New Zealand women won the right to vote . Registrations closed six weeks after that date for the next election on 28 November. This would have been fairly exciting for New Zealand women but how did the rest of the world view our landmark decision? Armed with an excellent selection of newspaper archives from around the world, I have researched what was said. For this exercise I used Gale Primary Sources; it searches 19 digital archives of newspapers, periodicals, monographs and manuscripts.

Some of the most interesting articles quote other papers, and titles like ‘The New Zealand Experiment’ seemed to be popular.

VICTORY IN NEW ZEALAND. (1893, September 14). Women’s Penny Paper, (30), [465].

“With a slight feeling of envy, we offer our hearty congratulations to our fortunate sisters , who will now be the pioneers in the British Empire in the exercise of franchise.”

The Experiment in New Zealand. (1893, November 16). Women’s Penny Paper, (39), 620.

This article “The Experiment in New Zealand” has the review of the editor of the Australian edition of The Review of Reviews. This writer suggests what might happen in the upcoming elections.

“The new voters, it is suggested will apply quite new tests to candidates. A candidate, one critic argues, who is old, bald, and, say, bandy-legged, will have no chance of winning the suffrages of the voters in petticoats, as against a candidate who is young, has good teeth, and parts his hair in the middle.”

Pretty Souls! (1893, November 28). Fun [UKP], LVIII(1490), 229.

“…with the result that women are now entitled vote for parliamentary candidates in New Zealand. They were not keen to learn their fate, as the empty benches showed. But a correspondent supplies the key to their apparent apathy. A “Society” wedding was in progress a few yards off! Pretty Souls! “

Hope for New Zealand. (1894, February 25). Rocky Mountain News, p. 12

This article reports on another article that appeared in The Nineteenth Century quoting it:

“The colony is now committed to a course of extreme radical legislation. Such are the results of the female franchise! IT is to be hoped that it will be a warning to English conservatives. We shall probably for some years to come be a dreadful object lesson to the rest of the British Empire. We must trust to beer and the banks to save us from absolute ruin.”

Women Voters in New Zealand. (1894, April 8). New York Herald [European Edition], p. 6.

A report on women voter numbers –

“Dunedin had 7,644 women on the roll, and only 1,338 failed to record their votes. Many of the the absentees were no doubt deterred by the heavy rains which fell on the polling day.”

“…and in Christchurch 5,989 out or 6,710 went to the poll.”

WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE IN NEW ZEALAND. (1894, August 18). Nottinghamshire Guardian, p. 8.

“An interview with Mrs. Sheppard, New Zealand deserves to be called the land of political experiments. Its rulers, with a boldness that would startle even many Democratic English politicians, are passing into law measure after measure of radical reform. Among other changes universal suffrage was last year conferred on adult women, married as well as single, irrespective of property qualifications.”

The journalist finishes his article with this summary:

Mrs Sheppard is the very opposite of the bogey “advanced women.” held up to frighten reformers. Handsome, well proportioned, and with a glow of health in her cheeks, she is a good representation of the Colonial woman at her best, strong physically and mentally.

The Suffrage Experiment in New Zealand. (1893, December 7). Women’s Penny Paper, (42), 669.

This article reports on a number of other newspapers views on in particular the quotes from a article in The Melbourne Age of October 21 1893.

“….the bulk of their womankind did not demand it and did not want it. The agitation was “got up by a few women” – chiefly women’s Christian associations and kindred bodies..”

Woman in New Zealand. (1894, January 1). Daily Inter Ocean, p. 14.

Mr Webster relays his views on the election in New Zealand in November 1893.

“It was rather amusing” continued Mr. Webster, “to note the eagerness which the ladies working on the committees brought in voters of their own sex to the polls. Wherever a voter had a baby a member of the committee remained to care for it while the mother recorded her vote. Everything was conducted in the most orderly manner, no rowdyism was apparent.” …”All the same” concluded Mr. Webster in a regretful tone of voice, “I cannot, while appreciating the advantages that are certain to result, but imagine that the dainty blush of womanhood is somewhat blurred when woman steps into the arena of political strife.”

WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE IN NEW ZEALAND: LADY VOTERS GOING TO THE POLL AT DEVONPORT, NEAR AUCKLAND. (1894, January 27). Graphic

Spring it on – Get Healthy

The best part about spring is the end of winter and the days getting longer and warmer. It’s also a time to look after your health, and Christchurch City Libraries has some great health eResources for you to get information on everything from the common cold to yoga. Start with Consumer Health Complete and Health & Wellness Resource Center.

Some things to research may include:

The common cold
These always lurk around into spring – discover what scientists have found so far in their quest for a cure.

Food tribes
Thinking about joining the Paleo gang or doing the plant-based vegan thing? Explore some scientific facts first.

Medicines
The Gale Encyclopedia of Prescription Drugs: A Comprehensive Guide to the Most Common Medications is a great resource if you want to find out more about a medicine that you have been prescribed.

Fighting allergies
Flowers and grasses spring into life and release pollen, which won’t fill you with joy if you suffer from hay fever. Find out the latest information and remedies to help with your allergies.

Getting fit
If you’re starting up your exercise regime again after a winter break, be sure not to injure yourself – get some tips on getting fit.