WORD things to get excited about: Mark’s picks of the 2018 festival

The WORD Festival is arriving in Christchurch (29 August to 2 September) in a celebration of all things literary. There will be something for everyone with events ranging from the silly to the profound with over 120 authors, and close to 100 events across 30 venues. Below is just a tantalising taste of what this wonderful event has to offer, so feel free to explore the WORD Christchurch Festival programme in full.

So pull up a chair, get yourself a drink, and get ready to explore the wonderful world of the WORD.

Picks of WORD Christchurch 2018

The Politics of fiction (Saturday 1 September 4-5pm, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū)

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

There will be certain pieces of fiction that hold special places in the hearts of literature fans, and one of the reasons could be for political reasons. Join Ockham award winning author Pip Adam, with fellow authors Rajorshi Chakraborti, and Brannavan Gnanalingam in conversation with Julie Hill as they discuss the very topic of the politics of fiction looking at the way fiction can be more than mere entertainment, but can serve a role in helping create empathy and change perspectives.

Yaba Badoe: Fire, Stars and Witches (Saturday 1 September 2.30-3.30pm, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū)

Magical Realism is a beautiful genre of literature with narratives that can displace time and space or use magic as a metaphorical device through which to tell fantastic story rich in cultural relevance. A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars author Yaba Badoe is a great international author of the genre of magical realism in addition to being an accomplished filmmaker and will be in discussion with University of Canterbury PhD candidate Sionainn Byrnes. This talk promises to explore issues surrounding women in Africa in addition to magical realist fiction itself.

Laurie Winkless: Science and the City (Saturday 1 September 4-5pm, Phillip Carter Family Concert Hall)

A topic that should be at the heart of all Christchurch locals. Following the tragedy that was the Christchurch Earthquakes, everyone – bar none – has had an opinion on how the rebuild has progressed and what should have been done. Laurie Winkless, author of Science and the City, will provide specialised knowledge on the subject that is well informed through studies of cities from all over the world and explore the scientific considerations of cities.

New Regent Street Pop-Up Festival (Thursday 30 August, 6-7.20pm, New Regent Street)

A glorious event for young and old. The New Regent Street Pop-Up Festival is my favourite event from Word Festival’s prior, and it’s free! This event will bring world class talent to New Regent Street in multiple pop-up events as the street is turned into a festival celebrating the literary form. The New Regent Street Pop-Up Festival will make you wish New Regent street was like this everyday.

David Neiwert: Alt-America (Thursday 30 August 6-7pm, Philip Carter Family Concert Hall)

David Neiwert. Image supplied.

American journalist David Neiwert will be talking about his book Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Time of Trump, in an attempt to explain what is actually happening in the American political landscape at present. What promises to be a great and informative event, David Neiwert will historicise the rise of this seemingly overnight political phenomena to the 1990s as he discusses his work in tracking and following the far-right in American politics for multiple decades.

Ted Chiang: Arrival (Sunday 2 September 2.45-3.45pm. Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū)

The Science Fiction Author of Story of Your Life, which was adapted into the film Arrival, Ted Chiang will be in conversation with science fiction and fantasy author Karen Healey. Expect and interesting and philosophical conversation from this thought provoking and awarding winning author.

Find out more

The world of WORD: Dan’s picks of the 2018 festival

WORD Christchurch is back for 2018 and the programme is full of quality experiences of the written word!

Once again there’s everything from poetry sessions, confessional sessions, author and book-related panels, and even a whale-watching tour to beautiful Kaikoura!

But for me, the biggest excitement surrounds the sheer diversity of options available to us, the reader/audience…

  • As stated above, you can take a Whale Watching (Tues 28 Aug) trip to Kaikōura. Hosted by authors Philip Hoare and David Neiwert, and travelling from Christchurch to rendezvous with Whale Watch Kaikōura for an early afternoon cruise out into the mighty ocean, you can encounter the ocean giants first hand, all the while having the author/hosts regale you with knowledge and stories.
  • Then there’s A Cabinet of Curiosities: Tiny Lectures on the Weird and Wonderful. (Fri 31 Aug – Sun 2 Sept) A series of quickfire 20min lectures on some of the more unusual aspects of our world; UFO’s, sexbots, mermaids…. you get the idea! These will be a great way to fill in some downtime between bigger events, such as…
  • Irvine Welsh: Trainspotting to Dead Men’s Trousers. (Fri 31 Aug) What an exciting opportunity to hear from the mind of the man who burst onto the scene in 1993 with what is now a modern classic! Welsh has written quite a few books centred on the characters featured in Trainspotting, but is this to be the last one…?!? He’s also a highly opinionated and politically-minded individual so there’s sure to be some Brexit talk during his talk.
  • Diary of a Bookseller (Sat 1 Sept) gives us an insight into the highs and lows in the life of a Scottish second-hand bookshop. It’s hosted by Shaun Bythell who will also be running Book Collectors Old and New (Fri 31 Aug) – a 3 hour interactive workshop on all things book collecting. Shaun co-hosts with Brian Phillips as they will impart all the knowledge you could want on the world of book collecting.
  • And how about a panel discussion with authors presenting readings of new writing on the music that has shaped them as artists and people. Soundtrack or, Dancing About Architecture (Sun 2 Sept) will see authors Philip Hoare, Pip Adam, Chris Tse, and Nic Low do just that. Musical styles and experiences will be as wide and varied as the work of the authors presenting.
  • And finally, the story of the editor-turned-bestselling author. A.J. Finn: The Woman in the Window (Sun 2 Sept) introduces us to the next big thing in thriller writing. Dan Mallory, writing under a pseudonym, is getting huge accolades from some big names in the genre and The Woman in the Window is already getting the silver-screen treatment. This will fascinating to hear him speak about how his years of editing set him up for the best possible crack at his own bestseller!

So there are my pics for this year’s festival – wide, rich, and varied. See you there for literary-themed goodness!

WORD Christchurch 2018: Moata’s picks of the festival

The release of the WORD Christchurch festival programme always presents a challenge for this library blogger – how many events can I reasonably manage to go to over 5 days? 

It’s a great problem to have, sure, but it still presents some logistical issues, and questions like “is it possible to overfill your brain?”

Still, I’ve done my best, poring through the 2018 programme. Below are my picks from this year’s festival (on 29 August – 2 September).

Picks of WORD Christchurch 2018

New Regent Street Pop-Up Festival (Thursday, 30 August, 6.30pm)

A fun-filled literary tour around the characterful spaces of New Regent Street and surrounds that you can pop in and out of according to your whim. Sessions on horror, sci-fi, erotica, poetry, comedy and much more, featuring emerging Christchurch writers and performers alongside well-established local, national and international talent. This is a free event and sounds like a lot of fun.

125 Years: Are We There Yet? (Thursday, 30 August, 7.30pm)

Georgina Beyer, Lizzie Marvelly, Anne Salmond, Paula Penfold and Sacha McMeeking, chaired by Kim Hill. Now that is a line-up of formidable, impressive women. Count me in.

KĀ HURU MANU: My names are the treasured cloak which adorns the land (Friday, 31 August, 10am)

Ngāi Tahu have been working on creating a comprehensive map that details the place names, stories, and important places for the iwi for many years now and Kā Huru Manu is the result – an online, fully referenced, searchable place names map that anyone can use. This free session is a must for nerds of the local history/mapping/iwi history variety.

You Write Funny! (Friday, 31 August, 5.30pm)

Lots of funny people in a room together is my idea of a good time. This session with have readings from Chris Tse, Megan Dunn, Annaleese Jochems, Erik Kennedy, and Ray Shipley.

Irvine Welsh: Trainspotting to Dead Men’s Trousers (Friday, 31 August, 6pm)

Trainspotting is one of those seminal works that it feels like there was a distinct “before” and “after” of. To hear its author Irvine Welsh speak on this and his other literary outings is a rare treat. He will be “in conversation” with New Zealand author, Paula Morris.

Starry, Starry Night (Friday, 31 August, 8pm)

The Gala Showcase is always a great night out. It’s sort of a taster for the rest of the festival and this year will feature Robin Robertson, Hollie McNish, Sonya Renee Taylor, Rajorshi Chakraborti, Philip Hoare, Yaba Badoe and Joseph Hullen. John Campbell is in charge of making everyone feel welcome by lavishing compliments and being puppyishly excitable.

Bad Diaries Salon (Friday, 31 August, 10pm)

I was recently looking through a box of photos and came across one of my old diaries. Curious, I read one sentence on one page and then flung it back into the box hoping to distance myself as much as possible from the horror within. But other people’s diary entries? That’s a whole other thing. Getting authors to read from their diaries is a stroke of genius and something I will very much turn up for even though this time slot is past my bedtime.

Timey-Wimey Stuff (Saturday, 1 September, 11.30am)

I’m a sucker for a good title and this one tickles my Whovian tendencies – Ted Chiang, Whiti Hereaka, and Michael Bennett, talk time travel with literary academic Daniel Bedggood. This should make a nice companion piece to WORD Christchurch’s James Gleick event last year. 

Tāngata Ngāi Tahu (Saturday, 1 September, 1pm)

The researchers at Ngāi Tahu have been producing some outstanding biographical books, Tāngata Ngāi Tahu being one of them. There’s a lot of history than can be revealed in the stories of individuals, He Rau Mahara: to Remember the Journey of Our Ngai Tahu Soldiers being another great example of this. With so many stories that could be told, I’m curious to know how they choose who to focus on – so maybe I’ll find out at this free session.

Mortification (Saturday, 1 September, 5.30pm)

Writers Paula Morris, Steve Braunias, Megan Dunn and Irvine Welsh share stories of public shame, hosted by Robin Robertson. There’s a vein of confessional sessions running through this festival and this is just one of them. I want to go to ALL of them (see more below).

The Sex & Death Salon (Saturday, 1 September, 10pm)

Christchurch-born journalist, playwright, and actor Victor Rodger interrogates a selection of festival guests about taboo subjects. I’m imagining it as a no-holds barred chat show (Graham Norton but more rude?!) It’s in The Gym at The Arts Centre and it’s free!

Ted Chiang: Arrival (Sunday, 2 September, 2.45pm)

The poignant, thoughtful sci-fi movie Arrival was my favourite film of 2016, so it’s pretty exciting to have science fiction writer Ted Chiang who wrote the short story the film was based on at the festival. If I could only go to one thing this would probably be it.

The Nerd Degree (Sunday, 2 September, 5.45pm)

Part pop culture quiz game, part nerd-fest, all podcast, The Nerd Degree is always a good time. Their last outing at the 2016 festival which featured Caitlin Doughty and Alok Jha was no exception. (Full disclosure: I am a regular panelist on this show so I am slightly biased towards loving it but that doesn’t make me wrong)

A Cabinet of Curiosities: Tiny lectures on the weird and wonderful (Friday 31 August,
Saturday 1 September, Sunday 2 September – sessions at 4pm and 4,40pm)

This one’s a bit different and something like a literary festival lucky dip – seven writers, seven disparate topics. You won’t find out which writer or esoteric 20 minute lecture you’re going to get until you turn up… but there’s a gin cocktail included in the price of the ticket (the venue is The Last Word whisky bar) so either way it should make for a refreshing break between sessions.

This list may not be strictly achievable but it’s just so hard to choose! What’s on your WORD wishlist?

Find out more

Astroman at the Court Theatre – We talk to writer Albert Belz

One of the prizes in our Winter Read Challenge for teens is three double passes to see Astroman at The Court Theatre. This show is on from 27 October to 10 November. It sounds like a ripper – the 80s, video games, and Michael Jackson moves:

It’s 1983, and young Hemi ‘Jimmy’ Te Rehua knows how to dominate the games at the Whakatāne Astrocade Amusement Parlour. Too smart for his own good, Jimmy has a knack for trouble.

In this vid, playwright Albert Belz talks about Astroman to The Court Theatre’s Artistic Director Ross Gumbley.

We asked Albert a few questions:

How would you describe your play Astroman in a couple of sentences?

A coming of age story set in the small town N.Z. 1980s where a young boy genius discovers what it really means to be brave.

Do you have any tips for teens who want to get into writing plays?

Write with humour about the things that make you most angry.

What are your fave things – games, books, comics, movies, tv etc?

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Kia ora Albert, and good luck to all of you entering the Winter Read Challenge.

More about Albert

Los Angeles, North West Corner: Picturing Canterbury

Los Angeles, North West Corner. Kete Christchurch. Los_Angeles___North_West_Corner. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

Los Angeles is a bungalow at 110 Fendalton Road built in 1909.

Photograph taken 21 March 2003.

Do you have any photographs of Los Angeles bungalow or Fendalton Road? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Los Angeles is one of the earliest examples of a California bungalow to be built in New Zealand. It was constructed sometime between 1909 and 1913 for its owner, Captain James McDonald, a trader. Opinion differs as to the origins of the material used in its construction. One tradition states that the kitset form of the house was brought out from California by McDonald. The other, that only the weatherboards and cedar shingles were imported from the United States. However, the chimneys, roadside fences, and verandah pillars were built from Canterbury riverstones.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

Staff picks for the Winter Reading Challenge (for ages 13 to 18)

How are you going with the Winter Reading Challenge? We have highlighted some of the fab books picked by teens, now here are some staff picks to help you tick off some challenges:

The first book in a series

Truly Devious Maureen Johnson
Unsolved mysteries, kidnapping, murder, and super smart teenagers at an isolated boarding school in Vermont. Alina

The Raven Boys Maggie Stiefvater
The story of Blue, the only non-psychic in her family of fantastic women, and the Raven Boys – four boys from a private school on a quest for a dead Welsh King. Full of humour, teen angst, almost-kisses and magic. (Also available as an audiobook.) Alina

Chaos Walking trilogy Patrick Ness
Todd Hewitt is the last man on the planet. All the females are gone, you can read everyone’s thoughts, and nothing is quite as it seems. A brilliant series, fantastic as an audiobook, and coming out as a movie in 2019. Kate

Find more:

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A book that was made into a movie

The Hate U Give Angie Thomas
When Starr witnesses the death of her childhood friend at the hands of a police officer, she struggles to decide what to do — speak up against injustice, or keep her family safe? (Read it before the movie comes out in October!) Alina

Everything Everything Nicola Yoon
What do you do when you literally can’t leave the house, and the thing you want most in the world is just outside the front door? Kate

Every Day David Levithan (picked by Saskia, Cashmere High Library)

The Book Thief Markus Zuzak (picked by Saskia, Cashmere High Library)

The Maze Runner James Dashner

The Fifth Wave Rick Yancey

Ready Player One Ernest Cline

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A book with non-human characters

Year of the Griffin Diana Wynne Jones
When Elda, the griffin daughter of the great Wizard Derk, arrives for schooling at the Wizards’ University, she encounters new friends, pirates, assassins, worry, sabotage, bloodshed, and magic misused. Alina

Find books about:

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A graphic novel/comic book

Nimona Noelle Stevenson
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Alina

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Ryan North
She’s part squirrel, part girl – she’s Squirrel Girl! Lots of fun, lots of laughs. Kate

One punch man

Spill Zone Scott Westerfeld

Find more:

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A love story

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You Lily Anderson
A loose retelling of Much Ado About Nothing featuring fandom, extra-smart teens and a lot of snark. Alina

Autoboyography Christina Lauren
It can be hard enough being a gay teenager when you live somewhere liberal and progressive. It’s even harder in the middle of Mormon Utah. Kate

Eleanor & Park Rainbow Rowell (picked by Kim)

Emergency Contact Mary H.K. Choi (picked by Alina)

Pieces of You Eileen Merriman (picked by Rachel from Scorpio Books) [NEW ZEALAND]

Find more:

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Listen to a podcast or audiobook

Nation Terry Pratchett
Finding himself alone on a desert island when everything and everyone he knows and loved has been washed away in a huge storm, Mau is the last surviving member of his nation. He’s also completely alone – or so he thinks until he finds the ghost girl. Narrated by Tony Robinson (don’t worry, he doesn’t sound like Baldrick from Blackadder in this). Alina

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Benjamin Alire Saenz
Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before. Superbly narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Alina

Find more:

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A book about identity

Lies We Tell Ourselves Robin Talley
In 1959 Virginia, Sarah, a black student who is one of the first to attend a newly integrated school, forces Linda, a white integration opponent’s daughter, to confront harsh truths when they work together on a school project. Alina

I am Thunder Muhammad Khan
Muzna is a regular British teenager, so how does she end up involved with Islamic radicals? Kate

A quiet kind of thunder Sarah Barnard
Being a teenager is hard. Being a teenager with anxiety is even harder. And being a teenager with anxiety who doesn’t speak is even harder again… especially when love’s involved. Kate

Girl mans up M-E. Girard
Pen doesn’t want to be a boy – she just wants to look like one, and that confuses people. This is her look at frenemies, love, and teen pregnancy. An awesome read – I wish it had been written when I was a teenager! Kate

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index Julie Israel (picked by Rachel from Scorpio Books)

Girl Missing Sophie McKenzie (picked by Saskia, Cashmere High Library)

You’re welcome, universe Whitney Gardner

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda Becky Albertalli

Find more:

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A dystopian novel

Chaos Walking trilogy Patrick Ness
Todd Hewitt is just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man. But his town has been keeping secrets from him. Secrets that are going to force him to run. (First in a series and also available as an audiobook.) Alina

Little Brother Cory Doctorow
A standalone cyber-thriller packed full of teen hackers, revolution, terrorism, a police state, and an awesome romance. Alina

The Giver Lois Lowry (picked by Julianne)

Replica Lauren Oliver

Flawed Cecelia Ahern

Find more:

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Inspirational biographies

Hope in a Ballet Shoe Michaela DePrince
Adopted in the United States, a young girl from Sierra Leone dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer. A great read, even if you’re not a dancer. Kate

In the sea there are crocodiles: The story of Enaiatollah Akbar Fabio Geda
Based on the true story of 10-year-old Enaiatollah’s escape from Afghanistan, and his journey across the mountains and seas to safety in Italy. Kate

In order to live Yeonmi Park (picked by Saskia, Cashmere High Library)

Being Jazz Jazz Jennings

Never fall down Patricia McCormick (a work of fiction based on the true story of a Cambodian child soldier).

Find more:

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More recommendations

Personal recommended reads from librarians – from classics to new publications!

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Rachel from Scorpio Books recommended these books for teens:

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Saskia from Cashmere High’s library recommendeds the following good reads:

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More reading ideas

Enter the Winter Read Challenge and win prizes!

Give Me Money $$$

We could all do with a bit of a cash injection, no more so than when you are a student. If you don’t fancy racking up a huge student loan, you could try applying for a grant or a scholarship. Generosity has a database called GivME with over 4000 scholarships and grants for students.

You don’t have to be an outstanding academic or sportsperson (although those scholarships are also listed) you might just have the right set of credentials like ex student of Canterbury Secondary School or the child or grandchild or a service or ex-service person. There is grants for all levels of study from school age to PhD.

There are even opportunities for those who are working and want to some help with professional development. New funding opportunities are added all the time, so once you have created you logon using your library card and password/PIN we suggest you check back in to see if anything new has been added.

So login, find your fund, apply and hope some cash is coming your way.

Christchurch kids! Give Tūranga’s Bookbots Earth names & win prizes! (2 to 31 July)

Kids can win awesome prizes by filling out this special online survey. All you have to do is help name Tūranga’s intergalactic heroes, the Bookbots.

During the month of July, local primary and intermediate students can vote on their favourite names for the digital characters and go in the draw to win prizes, including a real-life interactive robot for their school, with training provided by PBTech, and a class workshop with Imagination Station. Bluetooth speakers from Spark and giant Bookbot wall decals are also up for grabs.

Voting is open to local primary and intermediate students until 31 July 2018 (limited to one entry per student).

Harry Potter’s Birthday Celebrations

On Tuesday 31 July at Parklands Library and Fendalton Library (and a bit earlier on Friday 13 July at Shirley Library) Christchurch City Libraries will be celebrating Harry Potter Day. This is a day to recognise our enjoyment of J.K. Rowling’s literary creation Harry Potter, fittingly on his birthday. Lovable, bespectacled Harry and his friends stormed into our collective minds over two decades ago. Hard to believe!

You are invited to come along to our family friendly Harry Potter Day events. See our calendar for dates and times. Personally, I don’t think I want to get too close to Dobby’s lost sock…but there will also be a storytimes, potions class and wand-making craft along with other marvellous activities.

Harry Potter display
Harry Potter display. South Library. Tuesday 26 July 2016. Flickr 2016-07-26- IMG_5247

What was Harry up to on the 31st of July? Well:

  • 1980 Harry was born to James and Lily Potter.
  • 1991 Rubeus Hagrid came to the hut-on-the-rock where the Dursleys were hiding out, to hand deliver Harry his Hogwarts acceptance letter.
  • 1992 The Dursley family had dinner with Mr and Mrs Mason while Dobby and Harry argued in the background- prompting Dobby to cast a hover charm over a giant pudding – which was then unceremoniously deposited on top of Mrs Mason. This resulted in the Ministry of Magic sending Harry (unjustly) a warning letter rebuking the use of underage magic.
  • 1996 Harry celebrated his 16th birthday at the Burrow.
  • 1997 Harry turned 17 and received a birthday kiss from Ginny Weasley, much to the revulsion of her brother Ron.

Every HP fan has the books proudly lined up on their bookcase. My copies of The Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban are hard-backed, beautifully illustrated by Jim Kay and reside in a shelf all of their own. I have given husband a strict Christmas/birthday present list covering the next three years. This will take care of the remaining volumes.

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You will find the complete Harry Potter series on our catalogue. Readwatchlisten or download Harry.

I first discovered that I love reading fantasy when I picked up The Lord of the Rings as an almost teenager. As I broadened my fantasy horizons, I eventually ceased to read anything else, and wondered what it was that drew me in. When I would read these books or watch the films it was as though I was dead to the outside world. I was so entranced, and remained so long after I’d put down the book. They left me spellbound and strangely nostalgic, for something I couldn’t grasp.

I think it must be pure escapism. I like to dwell on the element of setting when I am reading  having no qualms about toiling through pages upon pages of lavish, descriptive world building – the foundations of any fantasy tome. Themes and values which underpin fantasy also captivate me: the pull between good and evil: and values such as friendship, loyalty, perseverance or fighting and suffering for something greater than yourself. These things are nice to believe in – and being packaged in such a pleasing way with none of the bothers or constraints of reality – of course I would be drawn in like so many others.

Reading a good fantasy novel always ends with me underlining compelling passages every few pages (not on any library copy, of course). I do love quotes. Here is an excellent Harry Potter passage which always makes me chuckle:

“Non-magic people (more commonly known as Muggles) were particularly afraid of magic in medieval times, but not very good at recognizing it. On the rare occasion that they did catch a real witch or wizard, burning had no effect whatsoever. The witch or wizard would perform a basic Flame Freezing Charm and then pretend to shriek with pain while enjoying a gentle, tickling sensation. Indeed, Wendelin the Weird enjoyed being burned so much that she allowed herself to be caught no less than forty seven times in various disguises.” 

Wendelin the Weird sounded like a bit of a fetishist.

So I hope you have read Harry Potter. If not, shame on you. Join the library it’s free and you can borrow Harry. If you have and are wondering “what can I read next, that is Harry Potter, but at the same time not?”, then we subscribe to some fantastic eResources. Our reading advisory eResources – Novelist Plus, Novelist K8 (Novelist Plus for kids) and Books & Authors are designed for librarians and library patrons to assist with finding your next read. They will help you ferret out exactly what you liked about a book, and recommend material based on this input.

Of course, you could always turn to the walking reading advisory resource – your local librarian.

To conclude, here is a short list of fantasy reads I believe anyone interested in the genre should tick off. In no particular order:

Curate Your Own Personal Film Festival (from the Library DVD Collection)

The Press reporter Charlie Gates wrote a fascinating article about the decline in DVD rental stores in Christchurch: Ghosts and survivors in fading DVD market. There may be fewer places to hire DVDs from, but you can still get ’em at your local library!

Because I am decidedly average at getting to the movies, the library DVD collection is there to rectify my movie fails. I watched The Last Jedi recently, re-watched the beautiful Japanese animated time-travel body swap movie Your Name, and am looking forward to watching Lady Bird and Phantom Thread.

DVDs - Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre
DVDs at Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre. Flickr Sumner-2017-08-18-DSC03137

This led me to make my own list of an imaginary Film Fest of recent(ish) NZ docos!

New Zealand Docos

No Ordinary Sheila

The story of this writer, illustrator, natural historian and outdoors adventurer Sheila Natusch.

Spookers

“Every weekend come rain, hail or shine, this diverse group of amateur performers unite to terrify punters at the southern hemisphere’s largest scream park, situated in a former psychiatric hospital. Director Florian Habicht reveals the transformative and paradoxically lifesaving power of belonging to a community that celebrates fear. “

Poi E

“With humour, energy and emotion, the movie Poi e is the story of how that iconic song gave pride to generations of New Zealanders.”

My Year With Helen

“With unique access to high-ranking candidate Helen Clark, award-winning filmmaker Gaylene Preston casts a wry eye on proceedings as the United Nations turns itself inside-out choosing a new Secretary-General.”

McLaren

The story of Formula One motor racing team originator Bruce McLaren “A fearless racing driver, a visionary and brilliant engineer”.

Pecking Order

“Join members of the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club in the lead up to the NZ National Championships, as they battle history and each other in a quest for glory and for the love of their birds.”

Seven Rivers Walking

“With walkers, rafters, farmers and fishing folk, we journey the alpine to spring rivers of Canterbury. Exploring above and below the surfaces, uncovering ways through our current freshwater crisis. This lyrical documentary from New Zealand is an intimate portrait of the struggles around water – globally the most precious resource of our time. ”

Tickled

“After stumbling upon a bizarre “competitive endurance tickling” video online, wherein young men are paid to be tied up and tickled, reporter David Farrier reaches out to request a story from the company. “

The Art of Recovery

“As demolition gangs reduce ruins to rubble, a dynamic group of artists, innovators and entrepreneurs are bringing life back to the streets of post-quake Christchurch, empowering the people and creating a promising future for a dynamic new city. ”

Hip Hop-eration

“These Hip-hoppers may each be almost a century young, but for Kara (94), Maynie (95) and Terri (93), the journey to the Las Vegas World Hip Hop Dance Championships is just the beginning of a life’s journey. ”

Find New Zealand documentary films in our collection.