Cool stuff from the selectors: Fashion, architecture and insects

9780714873343On Eating Insects

In theory I like the idea of eating insects, it makes sense in a world where food could become scarce – it would seem that we are unlikely to run out of insects or plagues of locusts, but what about putting this into practice? “Bee Lave Taco or Moth Mousse” anyone?

On Eating Insects is not just about exotic sounding recipes, it gives us a holistic view of the subject with thought-provoking essays and fascinating stories of field trips into the world of the people who have eaten insects for centuries.  The political, cultural and ecological aspect of eating insects is also examined, creating a book that will leave you thinking, and perhaps looking at that ant nest in your garden in a slightly different light.

9780847858521The Art of Dressing: Ageless, timeless, original style

Style icon Tziporah Salamon profiles the chicest and most celebrated older women of today, while imparting practical tips on how to put together beautiful outfits

With headings such as “Good shoes and a good handbag are a must”, “Consider the whole effect: you are creating a work of art, a painting”, and “Enlist the services of a good seamstress and tailor” you would be forgiven for thinking that this book is not for the average middle-aged woman – and you would probably be right. However if you love to pore over books that include colour, style and a touch of whimsy then this is definitely the one for you.

As an aside, what is it with older women and hats?

9781614282273The big book of the Hamptons

Another book to peruse, salivate over, and wonder how some people have all the luck. I have been obsessed with the Hamptons and their general surrounds since I started reading fiction set in this location. The Hamptons are always depicted as full of beautiful but comfortable homes nestled near the beach, eccentric but lovable families, arty types, romantics….wealthy but not pushy.  This book does not disappoint.  It’s big and it’s full of photos.

There’s a reason why artists and writers, movie stars and moguls, musicians and composers, fashion designers and decorators, architects and craftsmen, fisherman and farmers have flocked to the Hamptons for all these years.  They are drawn by the glorious landscape, the extraordinary light, and the promise of pleasure.

9780714873497Mobitecture: Architecture on the move

The Camper Kart – a pop top in a shopping cart, the QTvan, a camper for mobilty scooters or the A47 mobile library – all the buildings in this book are designed to move.  Some are practical and actually work, some are purely experimental, and others are art installations.  There is sure to be plenty of inspiration for anyone interested in the idea of small houses, camping ideas or houses of the future.

New year, new you

Who do you want to be in 2017? Someone better organised/less stressed/fitter/richer/more fulfilled?

The only thing stopping you is you… or maybe it’s just that you haven’t found the right programme, philosophy or inspiration yet. That being the case, here are some suggestions to set you on the path of the righteous/smug.

Ditching bad habits

We’ve got resources to help you stop smoking, drinking, and advice on how to cope with other addictions and compulsions.

Cover of The mindfulness workbook for addiction Cover of Quit Cover of Healing the addicted brain Cover of Kick your habit

Diet and fitness

There are plenty of titles available with advice on improving your diet, or find an exercise regime that suits your lifestyle.

Cover of Exhausted to energized Cover of Eat to cheat ageing Cover of Feel good for life Cover of Gut gastronomy

Or are you just keen to keep your brain fit and healthy? There are programmes and exercises for flexing your cognitive muscles.

Maybe it’s just time to cope better with stress?

Cover of Our ageing brain Cover of Keep your brain alive Cover of Relax Cover of Do breathe

Money and finances

Is 2017 the year you show your mortgage who’s boss? Try some titles about personal finance, budgeting, and retirement planning.

Cover of Kill your mortgage Cover of The little book of thrift Cover of New Zealand retirement guide Cover of The great NZ work, money & retirement puzzle

Efficiency and organisation

Whether you want some advice on how to attack household tasks more efficiently, bring some orderliness to your possessions, or advice on time management, there are heaps of titles to choose from.

cover of The life-changing magic of tidying up Cover of If it's clutter Cover of Life hacks Cover of How to be a productivity ninja

Better living, everyone.

Cover of Big magic Cover of The achievement habit Cover of Find the good Cover of The school of greatness

Positive Ageing Expo – Monday 26 September

2016 is the 10th Positive Ageing Expo. This annual event marks the International Day of Older Persons. It’s on Monday 26 September from 9.30am to 2.30pm at Papanui High School.

older-user

Come along for information and advice on:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Recreation
  • Staying Safe
  • Nutrition
  • Social Opportunities
  • Transport Options
  • Potting a Plant by Rachel Vogan

A caterpillar bus will take people from the Sawyers Arms Road gates to the gymnasium where the exhibits. Parking for cars is available at the rear of the school. Over 120 exhibitors are offering services and information for older adults and their families.

There will be entertainment throughout the day. Food and beverages available to purchase, and there will also some free light refreshments.

older-ereader-user

Memory bags arrive at South Library

Memory bags can be beneficial for people with dementia. The memory bags contain a selection of objects chosen to help stimulate the senses and promote reminiscing and discussion.

Memory bag number 4: Kitchen
The kitchen memory bag

The bags can be issued on a library card for four weeks. Our new memory bags have four themes:

They are located alongside the Large print collection at South Library.

Kim
Acting Team Leader Outreach and Learning

Inclusion Matters

Inclusion matters posterWe all think we know what it means to have different capacities than everyone else to do everyday tasks… but do we really understand?

Ask yourself who you see when you think of somebody who has an impairment, a disability, someone who is differently abled?

Do you see a wheelchair, a crutch, a cane? Somebody who has a carer with them?

Or do you see somebody who looks just like you, who goes about their day just like you?

Nearly a quarter of the adult New Zealand population (21 percent) identifies in some way as disabled and for people over the age of 65 it increases to over half the population (59 percent) according to the Disability Survey for 2013. I don’t know about you but I don’t see all that many wheelchairs, crutches and canes. Most impairments are hidden. We may not notice them in everyday interactions. We need to be aware of the needs of others.

Just because you do not wear glasses and have no cane doesn’t mean you can see. You can be functionally blind but able to see just enough to navigate into and around buildings but unable to read signs and fill out forms or use self-service points. Somebody without a wheelchair or crutches may have muscular weakness which leaves them unable to stand for any length of time and unable to lift and carry luggage, groceries or shop purchases.

What do we do when we see somebody struggling?  Do we assume they are fine struggling on by themselves? Do we ask if they need help?

Better still do we build our buildings and service points with everyone in mind?

You may say we do we bear in mind wheelchair access by having light switches at a lower height and ramps but have they been test driven by someone in a wheelchair before your business opened? Only then will you know if you have thought of all the barriers and are truly barrier free. Do not forget it only takes one link in the chain to break to make all your efforts in vain.

On the 3rd of December it is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Time to include everyone because inclusion matters. We subtly exclude people when we focus on the impairment and not the ability. How can we support people to continue living their lives fully in society?

Have you ever seen people ignore somebody and talk to the person they came with? Would you like being spoken about as if you where not really there?

You may think you would never ignore somebody in this way but if you do not give consideration to everyone when you plan services, websites and buildings you are in effect ignoring and excluding a large part of the population. With that in mind Christchurch City Libraries strives to serve everyone. Let us know how we can improve and serve you better by contacting us.

Accessibility tips

Check out our page on help in using the library where you can find out about captioned DVDs, large print and talking books as well as our eResources including eBooks where you can change the font size. If you want help with using our library eResources come along to one of our computer drop in sessions.

New technologies especially in the field of communications have come a long way but not everyone has access to them. Mobile phones can help with vision impairments as an installed magnifying glass app can be a great help. Our library computers for public use also have some accessibility tools installed.

I have a tip for searching our library catalogue. Did you know you can search the catalogue for accessible formats?

Click on ‘Search’Search Button

Select ‘Accessible Formats’ from the  ‘All Formats’ dropdown list.

Select ‘Keyword’.

Enter your search word e.g. Lee Child, then click on the magnifying glass magnifying glass icon

Screenshot of catalogue search

Can you recommend any other useful apps or tips to help?

For more library resources about accessibility check out:

United Nations accessibility resources:

Never too old to learn

Cover of The Mature Student's handbookDo you envy those with a bit of paper from university? Do you think “If I had the chance I could do that”?

Did you try university when you were younger and wonder if you could give it another try?

Are you are over 55 years of age and have not studied for the last five years? If you are you can apply for the Deans Award which will pay half of your fees.

Stepping Stones A Guide for Mature-aged Students at University Book coverHave you always had an interest in Greek myths or Medieval Europe, or wished you had learnt Māori or French at school? Do you want to read the great works of English or find out about Picasso? Do you want to explore what makes science good bad or bogus or discuss god and human freedom determinism then the University of Canterbury have the course for you.

If you want you can study for as little as one semester and take on subject or you could study for a year and get a Certificate of Proficiency in that course or courses. If you want to take a few courses and study part-time without studying for a degree you can get a Certificate in Arts. There are further options of a Certificate in Languages or Te Pourua Reo: Diploma in Languages (Te Reo Māori) for those who do not wish to complete a full degree or if you decide you can complete a Bachelor of Arts. You can even select your own programme of study with the help of a Student advisor.

If you need to speak to somebody who studied at University as an older student then I have the chap for you. Dr. Jefferey Paparoa Holman from UC Arts Lifelong Learning would be happy to talk to you about his experiences of starting out late in life on a university degree.

Mature students their life experience to their course of study bringing a whole new perspective to classes. Mature students are motivated and know how to work and apply themselves they give their experience to society. University life now has much more support for students than in the past and you do not have to buy as many books as much is available online.

How to study again book cover

Have I perked your interest? Have a look at our library resources on how to study again and studying in New Zealand as a mature student.

Are you or have you studied as a mature student? Share your story with us.

Positive Ageing Expo – Monday 28 September 2015

Positive Ageing Expo 2015The International Day of Older Persons (1 October) is just round the corner, which means that it’s almost time for the yearly Positive Ageing Expo.

The Expo will take place on Monday 28 September, from 9.30am to 2.30pm. As in past years, the Expo will be held at Papanui High School, and promises to be a fun day combining information about services for older adults with free entertainment.

Exhibitors will include:

  • health and wellbeing organisations, including the Canterbury DHB and Pegasus Health;
  • non-government organisations;
  • banks and Government organisations;
  • community organisations and trusts;
  • rest homes and retirement villages;
  • law services;
  • emergency services;
  • service clubs.

VanAnd of course staff from various units of the Christchurch City Council will also be there. Make sure to pop in to visit our mobile library van which will be parked onsite. We look forward to saying hello and to chatting about the many ways in which we can help you enjoy our vast selection of print, audio and online resources.

See you there!

Festival made accessible

Catalogue search for Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami in audiobook formatAbout now you may be wondering what happened to your good intentions of reading all those interesting books by those fascinating authors you heard about at WORD Christchurch or missed out on hearing at Auckland Writers Festival. Never fear, a solution is near!

Listen to your festival favourites

You may have not enough hours in the day to sit by the fire and read your fill of festival authors but help is at hand. You need not miss out on this year’s Auckland festival headliner Haruki Murakami. Try listening to his work in an audiobook. We have him available in downloadable audiobook from Overdrive and on CD.

Catalogue search for Hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world by Haruki Murakami i n audiobook formatFill in your spare moments on the bus or in the car, or while you vacuum the house, rake the leaves or paint the fence, or while exercising the dog or yourself by listening to an audiobook. If you have had a particularly tiring day and find you’re too tired to read, rather than turning on the television, snuggle up in a chair with an audiobook and soon you will be relaxed. Having trouble sleeping? My mother swears by lulling English voices as a sure-fire cure for insomnia.

Often audiobooks and large print titles have no reserve list so while others are waiting for a print edition, get ahead of the crowd. Better still, even if there is a wait list downloadable audiobooks on Overdrive do not have a reserve charge.

Catalogue search for H is for Hawke by Helen MacDonald in audiobook formatOverdrive is one of our suppliers of audiobooks and ebooks. You can find all their titles in our catalogue.

As well as Murakami, you might also try Booker Prize-winning novelist Ben Okri whose novel The Age of Magic has been newly released and is available on CD. Sometimes the CD format can be limiting as it requires you to be stationary. Happily we have Helen MacDonald’s H is for Hawk as an ISIS audiobook that is a clever format which you can download to your laptop and transfer to your MP3 player, freeing you up to listen to it anywhere.

The thousand autumns of Joseph de Zoet in audiobook formatA standout from Word Christchurch was the charming David Mitchell. Your ears can ring with the sounds and atmosphere of old Japan listening to his exotic enthralling tale The thousand autumns of Jacob de Zoet on CD.

 

 

Large print – easy to read!

If reading is difficult at night when the light is bad, or because you struggle with print at the end of a tiring day spent staring at a computer screen, large print may be the answer! Why not try David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green or The Thousand Autumn’s of Joseph de Zoet or Xinran’s touching Miss Chopsticks.

Walliams in audio and large print formats

Book cover for Demon Dentist by David Walliams in Playaway formatNothing like a bedtime story so why not borrow one of our children’s titles by the hit author David Walliams in an audiobook format to lull your darlings to sleep? We have audiobooks on CD, preloaded mp3 players, and downloadable audiobooks for your enjoyment.

If you have a child who is yet to find their stride with reading a wonderful way to introduce the love of books is by reading along to an audiobook so why not borrow the book and the audiobook together? We have Demon Dentist as a Playaway, a preloaded audiobook in its own wee player. All you or your child has to do is press play and you can carry it around with you. Ideal for children who are always on the move.

If small print is an obstacle try these David Walliams titles in large print.

Catalogue search for Mr Stink by David Walliams in large printCatalogue search for Ratburger by David Walliams in large print formatThe boy in the dress by David Walliams in Large Print format

More festival goodies

Arthritic Hips, Hard Livin’ and the Best Sneer in Town

Book cover of Rocks OffYay, oh Yah… I’m off to see Billy Idol next year, we’ve got the tickets and everything. Not only is Mr Idol on the bill, but also Cheap Trick .

All the hard living, pushing retirement acts of my ‘yoof’ seem to have run out of money, or are craving the limelight, or both because so many of them are heading this way in the next few months, or have been here this year.

We went to see The Rolling Stones on the 22 November which was indeed epic and the best live gig I have ever been to, and I know several fellow middle-agers loved heading off to see Rod Stewart in Dunedin and will be there to see Elton John in Wellington.

Just as an aside, in keeping with the aged rockers theme, I discovered a site that constantly updates the combined ages of The Rolling Stones, which at writing, was 283 years and 39 days.

Book cover of Kicking and DreamingA quick poke around ticketing sites shows a plethora of names from the past; Heart, Foreigner, Three Dog Night are doing a three group gig, Kenny Rogers, Yes, The Seekers, Joan Armatrading, and Jethro Tull are all on their way and even Paul Simon’s and Sting’s egos are planning a double billing.

Of course many will involve travel if you wish to relive your youth, but it’s a small price (well, not really) to get to sit with a bunch of other ‘old folk’ singing along to your favourites, marvelling at their skills and buying some coveted ‘merch’ while telling yourself, “Glad I got to see them while they’re still alive”.

But if you want to enjoy the music without parting with the cash for tickets, travel and merchandise, you can visit your local library, or indeed, visit us online at home, where you can  grab CDs, DVDs of live concerts and indulge in a little downloading through Freegal. This is where library customers can download free songs, or even videos from the Sony catalogue.

Book cover of Hey JoEven some of the aforementioned artists are there, such as The Seekers, Kenny Rogers, Paul Simon and Three Dog Night.

And then you have them on your phone, your tablet, your laptop… forever!

There are also some great biographies and autobiographies to read on these eternal artists, some authorized, many not, and some of the great ones are written by ex-wives, roadies and those close to the action and the excess.

So get your groove on, be it live, at your nearest library or in the privacy of your home or car.

Great galloping grannies

Cover of The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the RulesThe writing is on the wall for restful retirements and going gently into that good night. It’s just not enough now to hand out sweeties to the grandkiddies and have a monthly perm. And no one is expecting any words of wisdom from you either.

Instead pensioners are required to recreate themselves. Nowadays, you must become more interesting, eccentric even. And don’t start whimpering that you have no good role models,  because here’s two for starters:

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared was first past the starter’s post in this new geriatric genre. Hot on its heels we have The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules. And despite the light approach in this book, the message  is clear that we take bad care of our elders: the old ladies work out that they would be better treated in prison than in their old people’s homes, hence their crime spree.

And if you do have to reminisce (“when we” this and “when we” that), make sure you’re upbeat and that they get the message that growing old is So Much Fun. And that you really want them to know that you had The Time of Your LifeCover of The Time of Your Life, an adorable little book of quotes and witticisms compiled by John Burningham.

Everything goes full circle, so they say, and you might like to scrap actual reading and dip into a couple of adult picture books instead. Granny Alphabet by Tim Walker has gorgeous, quirky little sketches of game old birds.You’ll probably recognise someone you know – and it may well be yourself!

Live your life to the full, is what comes across so humorously in all these books. But I’d also like to read some factual accounts of pensioners camel packing across the Nullarbor Plain, or paddling up the Mekong. Do you have any suggestions for me?