New Books – 29 June

Hi readers, some treats this week:

Cover of What happened, Miss Simone

This biography caught my eye – the authorised story of Nina Simone.

What Happened, Miss Simone? is inspired by a documentary. Music journalist Alan Light (The Holy or Unbroken : Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley and the unlikely ascent of Hallelujah, and Lets Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain) draws on Nina’s diaries, rare interviews and her daughter’s memories to tell the story of the ‘real’ Miss Simone’ – a classically trained pianist, civil rights activist and one of the greatest artists of the last century. Did you know she rang David Bowie often? His cover of Wild is The Wind is one of my favourites.

Cover of The switchNext up, some Sci-fi. The Switch is Justina Robson’s twelfth book. She’s won two Arthur C. Clarke awards and been nominated for many others. GoodReads is calling this one ‘ground breaking.’

Harmony is a ‘perfect’ society. To maintain this illusion, the defective are ‘dealt with’ (eradicated). Nico and Twostar are two tough cookies from the slums. They are survivors. Can they overcome Nico being sentenced to death for murder, or the loss of his mind?

Cover of The river singsThe River Sings is Sandra Leigh Price’s second book. An historical novel, it has been awarded the Women’s Weekly Book Club Great Read seal of approval.

The River Sings follows the fortunes of Eglantine, from mysterious beginnings in London to her father’s transportation to the Australian colonies for pick-pocketing. Eglantine must live by her wits and follow his footsteps if she is to survive.

Cover of Lies the mushroom pickers toldIn Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told, by Tom Phelan, journalist Patrick Bracken returns to the village of his childhood in Gohen, Ireland. He’s come back to investigate two deaths that occurred when he was a child. Patrick knows the deaths weren’t accidental, the legal ruling, because he and his best friend were witnesses…

New Books – 23 June

Hi there, some great looking titles in the box this week.

CoverKatey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy, Futurama, Married with Children) has written an autobiography! Grace Notes tells the story of Sagal’s amazing and challenging life (not the least having a baby, told as a series of essays. Christina Applegate hails the memoir as “a beautiful poem…you will be transported…and healed.” Follow Katey Sagal on Twitter @KateySagal

CoverWildlife enthusiasts will love this biography The Durrells of Corfu. Those who loved reading Gerald Durrell’s stories of the exotic island and equally exotic pets will enjoy this. The author, Michael Haag, was family friend of Lawrence Durrell, Gerald’s father. The book includes photographs, excerpts from stories and an epilogue on Lawrence Durrell’s writing.

CoverClive Cussler’s new book Nighthawk is the 14th installment of the Numa Files (National Underwater and Marine Agency Foundation). A highly advanced spaceship disappears over the South Pacific. Kurt Austin and NUMA scramble to find it, and its unstable cargo before other nations can discover it. Great reviews. Keep track of his series with Fantastic Fiction.

CoverThe Other Hoffmann Sister by Ben Fergusson, is an Historic novel about a German family, set in Southwest Africa. When her sister Marguerite later goes missing after their return to Berlin, the mystery haunts Ingrid, but her search is interrupted by the onset of World
War I. His second novel, the story is described at atmospheric, accurate, elegant and engrossing.

CoverA Dog’s Way Home is another novel from W. Bruce Cameron, author of A Dog’s Purpose (recently on film). There are many wonderful tales of great animal journeys. In this story, Lucas has to give the dog he found as a puppy, as pitbulls are banned in Denver. Yet the bond between Bella and Lucas is so strong that Bella attempts a journey of 400 miles across Colorado wilderness.

CoverFamiliar Things is a bit of a gem. South-Korean writer Hwang Sok-Yong, is being hailed as ‘the most powerful voice in Asia’ (Kenzaburo Oe), this book as a ‘great political book’ (Critiques Libres).  Flower Island is a landfill, home to the poor who have been driven out of the city. Yet against the stark backdrop of reality, Ancient Spirits are about to reveal themselves…

Glam stuff from the selectors

For those of you who love to pore over glamorous pictures and design, we have some beautiful books for you this month.

Art Nouveau FashionArt Nouveau Fashion

A wonderful book to browse through. Enjoy the stunning and glamorous designs of Worth, Paquin, Poiret, Fortuny and many more. You will learn how the style overlaps with late Arts and Crafts movement in the 1890s and early Modernism in the 1910s, and then wallow in the beautiful pictures of Art Nouveau jewellery and accessories, and new colour photographs of gar­ments from the V&A’s collection.

Hollywood Frame by Frame

Cover of Hollywood Frame by FrameHundreds of never-before-published photos from the sets of some of the greatest films of the twentieth century. Hollywood’s biggest stars are caught with their guard down behind the scenes of movie classics from Some Like It Hot and Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Taxi Driver and The Silence of the Lambs. A treasure trove for any fan of Hollywood s Golden Age, this rare glimpse of the unseen silver screen will intrigue even movie buffs who think they’ve seen everything.

If you have a scientific bent, but still enjoy a good photograph then Molecules could fill all your needs!

MoleculesGray goes beyond the 118 elements in the periodic table to explore, through fascinating stories and stunning photographic imagery, what he considers to be the most essential and interesting of the millions of possible chemical bonds. At the beginning of Molecules, Gray explains what molecules and compounds are, what holds them together and how they form bonds, the difference between ionic and covalent bonds, how molecules get their names and what their scientific names mean and the difference between organic and inorganic compounds.

Ladybird : a cover story : 500 Iconic coversLadybird

The size of an original ladybird book (a mite thicker though) and scanned directly from Ladybird’s own archives – tattered jackets, battered edges and all – made our selector feel very nostalgic.

It contains 500 iconic covers from the Ladybird archives, ranging from the most-loved covers of the 1940s, 50s and 60s to some of the more unusual and striking Ladybird covers from the 1970s and 80s. This book showcases personal favourites from Ladybird staff both past and present, and those of Ladybird fans from around the world.

One from left field and a nominee for best title of the year….

Cover of Behold the beautiful dung beetleBehold the beautiful dung beetle 

Surprisingly lovely to look at with impressive watercolours,  you will learn everything you ever wanted (or didn’t want) to know about the dung beetle. For example did you know that there are over 5000 species of dung beetle and they can make a cow pat disappear in 24 hours?

Next Reads – keep up with the latest books

Next Reads
From thrillers to armchair travel, biographies to DIY, keep up to date with the latest titles and best picks.

Please please tell me now, is there something I should know?


These were the years of MTV and John Hughes movies; the era of big dreams and bigger shoulder pads … Inept flirtations. Dumb crushes. Deplorable fashion choices. Members Only jackets. Girls, every last one of whom seems to be madly in love with the bassist of Duran Duran.

It’s true, in the 80s all the girls loved John Taylor, bassist for Duran Duran.

This is the fertile territory of Talking to girls about Duran Duran, a novel by Rob Sheffield, author of Love is a mix tape.

But I reckon the thinking girl’s Durannie crumpet was singer Simon Le Bon. He’s got a lovely library too.

New books this week in the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre (ANZC)

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the number of new books that you really want to read but can’t imagine where you’ll find the time? Well prepare to feel even worse, because there are some fascinating new books in our reference centre – ANZC.  Most of these books will also have borrowable copies in the library.

coverAbout 30 years ago Robert Long dropped out of Medical School and took up life in remote Westland. Since then he has been joined in this frontier land by wife Catherine and  2 children He tells the story in A life on Gorge River : New Zealand’s remotest family..

coverIn After Andrew: two kiwis cross Australia by Bill Lennox, Bill retraces the steps of his grandfather, Andrew Lennox, from Adelaide to Darwin in 1899. Bill had the help Andrew’s unpublished manuscript of his experiences, and a car, which beats the transport that Andrew endured.

From rags to rivets: the Trevor Bland story: a biography compiled and written by Ron Pemberton, is the story behind one of the founding members and driving forces behind the New Zealand Warbirds Association. If the words Vampire, Venom and Hawker Hunter strike a thrill in your heart then you really need to read this book.

Cornelius & co: collected working class verse, 1996-2008 by John O’Connor is an anthology which springs from the author’s background of working class Irish Catholic Addington.

Continue reading

Zombies to ferrets to whisky – this week’s new books

CoverEvery Thursday we update our RSS with new non-fiction, fiction and just ordered titles. Here’s a selection of those ‘just ordered’ – so fresh they haven’t even made into the shelf:

Australian theme


 And more …

Hot hot hot off the shelf – stylish reads

Ah new books, catnip for librarians and library users alike. Here are some style new books for livening up a chilly day:

  • Taschen’s London – Taschen books are always a visual delight, with production values to die for and this is a spectacular example.  It contains: “the complete collection of Angelika Taschen’s sleeping, eating, and shopping recommendations …  Highlights include: Number Sixteen, a ‘South Kensington chic’ hotel in a beautiful Victorian townhouse set in a romantic garden; the Wolseley, a grand cafe and restaurant in a reconverted 1920s car showroom beautifully renovated by David Collins …”

Some more new makeup, fashion and body art titles:

What are you waiting for? Hot newbies

CoverHere’s a few on my list of eagerly awaited titles:

  • The Passage by Justin Cronin – when I heard it touted as a cross between Stephen King’s The Stand and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, I was sold.
  • The Tree Show by Mark Ryden. Gorgeous freaky girls, beguilingly creepy.
  • Awkward Family Photos – there’s a whole site of them, now read the book and be amazeballed by the bad jerseys, bouffy hair and Deidre Barlow specs.

Check our New Titles to find out about other new arrivals or check our RSS Feeds (hot off the press every Thursday):

What book can’t you wait to read?