The 1967 novel sold more than 30 million copies and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.
17 April 2014
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In Ōtautahi, Galaxy Records has X-Ray Charles live instore and rare and collectable vinyl from the vaults. Pennylane Records have pushed their Record Day stuff out to the afternoon of Friday 25 April.
From top 20 stuff to second hand 12 inch 80s vinyl, from the hottest French electropop to Kiwi dub – it’s all good at your local record store.
Some record store related reading:
- High fidelity (Nick Hornby book, and movie starring John Cusack)
- Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe books
- Old rare new : the independent record shop - a homage to the independent record shop, with interviews of a variety of music types like Everett True, Devendra Banhart and James Lavelle having their say on the joys of discovery.
- Books on the sound recording industry (including record labels)
I am also keen on reading about record labels – hoping to finish Facing the other way: The story of 4AD by Martin Aston over the Easter break. It is a splendid book.
The Library caters for music lovers well, we send you off to the record store better informed and give you the chance to try before you buy. See our Music pages for more information – and don’t forget next month is New Zealand Music Month and there will be performances in our libraries to liven up your May.
What do you think of record shops? Are you all about online music purchasing, or do you still love that vinyl?
16 April 2014
Some people might think that I love road works with all the road cones, big trucks and stop’n’go men.
I do, sort of. It is a sign that things are being repaired. There is a great website to help you get around the city and suburbs. With a bit of planning, you should be able to get to where you want to go without too much difficulty.
What I don’t like is being detoured down streets I have never been down and sent off in a direction I don’t want to travel in. When I find I’m speeding down the road at a top speed of 20 km/h, I try not to stress over the fact that I’m going to be late. Sometimes, no matter what road I go down, I get stuck in a slow line of traffic, going the wrong way.
When you are delayed by road works, what do you listen to?
P.S. Not enough road works in your life? CTV have turned our road cones into an entertaining short film.
15 April 2014
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I was six when my Grandmother handed me a cut out picture of Lady Diana Spencer from the Southland Times that announced her engagement to Prince Charles. She told me to keep a hold of this as the lady in the picture was going to be a Queen. I can remember the picture was in color which was rare for newspapers at that point. Lady Diana was wearing a red dress and I remember thinking how sophisticated she was. I have no idea of what happened to that photo but I do know that there was to be no happy ending for the lady in red.
We consciously and unconsciously “people watch” all the time. It was probably based on an evolutionary need to establish friend from foe but it continues to this day in our everyday habits and the media we watch. As a library we are here to cater for even your evolutionary requirements! If your needs are for research or pure evolutionary based interest then we have the online resources for you in the form of:
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: includes the ‘great and the good’ and the ‘bad and unusual’ people who are now dead having left their mark on the British empire.
- Biography in Context: information about more than one million people ranging from George Clooney to Boudicca.
There are stories of courage, malice and romance capturing the diversity of human conduct. All you need to examine the lives of people from nuclear physicists to royal mistresses is a library card number and password/PIN.
12 April 2014
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The latest title off my list of seven books from The Guardian Best Books of 2013 was the most challenging so far. William Boyd thought that Breakfast with Lucian by Geordie Greig was “fascinating, intimate… a revelation. Every question I had about Freud – from the aesthetic to the intrusively gossipy – was answered with great candour and judiciousness.”
Candour, yes. Judiciousness, I’m not so sure about. I really struggled with this book; not with reading it, but with reconciling my admiration for Freud’s paintings, my horror at his behaviour and my guilt at finding myself judging a great artist for the way he chose to live his life.
“Judge the art and not the artist,” I kept telling myself. None of us is perfect. He stayed friends with some of the women he treated so badly. Most of his acknowledged children loved him. He never pretended to be anything other than what he was.
But somehow none of it worked. I read it through to the end; it’s well written and I never considered not finishing it, but I was constantly gasping at Freud’s behaviour. Actually gasping out loud. Sometimes I had to put the book down to have a really good gasp. Next I’ll be reaching for the smelling salts.
Perhaps it was what Greig chose to concentrate on. Freud’s relationships with women as lovers and models are covered in detail, while his friendship with the Australian performance artist Leigh Bowery and the amazing works he produced using Bowery as a model are hardly alluded to at all. It may be that reproducing images featuring Bowery is problematical or too expensive. Or it could be that no-one except me is very interested in Bowery any more, whereas sex will always sell.
A few years ago I really enjoyed reading Man with a Blue Scarf, which was all about Freud’s practice, not his life. I think I’ll re-read that and get over myself.
What do you think about separating the art from the artist? Are there authors you won’t read because of what you know about their lives or their politics?
8 April 2014
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- Tony Benn, 1925-2014
British Labour Party politician, orator, campaigner and diarist, recognisable by his pipe, tape recorder and outsized mug
- Clarissa Dickson Wright, 1947-2014
Bombastic, outspoken lawyer who was brought to her knees by riches and alcoholism then rose again as a cook on Two Fat Ladies
- Ann Howard, 1934-2014
Opera singer who portrayed ‘witches and bitches’ and excelled as Carmen
- Bob Larbey, 1934-2014
Scriptwriter who mined the comic potential of suburbia in The Good Life, and Ever Decreasing Circles
- Kate O’Mara, 1939-2014
Actress best known for her role in Dynasty in the mid 1980s
- Alain Resnais, 1922-2014
French New Wave director celebrated for tackling in film Proustian themes of time and memory
- Richard Vaughan, 1927-2014
Medieval historian and ornithologist who studies bird life from Europe to the Arctic
6 April 2014
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Zeno Mayfield, the confident father, is an ex-mayor and now town lawyer who is doted on by his wife and daughters. Arlette Mayfield, the protective mother, is adapting to her daughters growing away from home. Juliet Mayfield, the eldest daughter, is the “good sister” whom everyone in town likes. Cressida Mayfield, the youngest daughter, is the “smart sister” who makes others feel uncomfortable. And lastly, earnest Brett Kincaid, Juliet’s fiancée, who is a disabled war veteran recently returned from the Iraqi War. They are a strong band of characters and create a dark and powerful story.
The story begins with Cressida who goes missing in the local mountains after last being seen in the company of a traumatised Brett. What happens to her and Brett? What are the effects of her disappearance on the family? Who and what do they all become? This poignant story is told from the perspective of each character, and whilst this style can seem at times seem disjointing, it does create further tension.
Carthage is not an easy read. How does a traumatised ex-soldier fit back into daily life in a small conformist town? How does this family cope with inner and outer conflict? What are the effects of violence and trauma on their lives? The good sister vs the smart sister, what are the long term effects of their sibling rivalry? The plot takes the reader on many twists and turns and by the end the characters have all been radically transformed. Is their transformation for the better or worse? Take time to read Carthage to find out.