Exploring New Zealand fiction online

CoverI like to read a bit of New Zealand fiction, but lately I have run out of ideas on what to read next, so I decided to have a bit of a poke around on our website in search of inspiration.

Book awards are always a good place to start of course and being a bit of a crime buff  I started with the latest Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel. This year’s winner, Blood men by Paul Cleave, looks like a starter to me.

Then I moved on to the New Zealand Post Book Award for fiction. The Hut Builder by Laurence Fearnley won the Fiction prize in 2011. This author is entirely new to me. The book is described in the Sunday Star- Times reviewer  as having “enormous integrity, is beautifully written and quietly proud of its Southern roots”. Sounds interesting. The New Zealand Book Council site described an earlier novel as ‘exquisitely realised… exact, sparing, lovely’

Taking a look in the new BiblioCommons catalogue, I found a lists on topics from New Zealand crime novels to New Zealand historical fiction (many new authors). The great Kiwi novel list introduced me to an earlier novel by Fearnley and a fantasy novel set in Christchurch.

There were also some hidden gems. A search for the Auckland Readers & Writers Festival in our blog led me to an interview with Vincent Ward mentioning his book The Past Awaits – not fiction but I thought it looked interesting. I also picked up a reference to Christchurch writer Tusiata Avia. Another entirely new author to follow up.

NZ on screen also opened up a new approach with its New Zealand Book Month Collection which allowed me to view a 1996 documentary on Hone Tuwhare and a selection of  films based on New Zealand books, including State of Siege, a Vincent Ward adaptation of one of Janet Frame’s novels.

All together I thought it a pretty useful experience and I’ll know where to go next time I need to branch out.

Come to some NZ Book Month events this week

Two events are being held this week by Christchurch City Libraries to celebrate New Zealand Book Month. Why not get out of the house for a bit and enjoy some fun and some company?

Keep your spirits up!

Image from our collectionIf you are like me, now that the adrenalin-filled first few days after the earthquake are over, you may be feeling somewhat flat.  Or perhaps you are angry with Mother Earth for the way it has suddenly (and literally!) pulled the rug out from under our feet.

There is no doubt that life has changed in many ways for all of us, and it can be easy to let feelings of helplessness, frustration, sorrow  or pure numb shock overwhelm us.  As Richard’s earlier post outlined, there are many resources available to help us cope.  These resources tell us that some of the most important things we can do is support one another in the community and try to build some enjoyment in each day.

So how do we do this? Well, one way is to go out and attend events in the community. Don’t forget that while many programmes and activities have been cancelled, some are still taking place:

Also keep an eye on:

And visit us here on the Christchurch City Libraries Blog – we’ll do our best to keep you up-to-date. Why not share your tips for getting through? We’d love to hear from you.