Time is running out!

Unless you’ve got a Tardis handy, you’ve only got one week left to hand in your sonic screwdrivers to Central Library Peterborough! Our Create Your Own Sonic Screwdriver Competition ends this Sunday 20th September* at 5.00pm, so get your entries in quick to be in with a chance to win some great prizes.

I’ll be sad to say goodbye to our shiny Dalek (Peterborough’s security guard stand-in kindly loaned by Addington Books) so thank goodness we’re getting some sonic screwdrivers to arm ourselves with in case we get overrun with Cybermen wanting to use our wi-fi.

Dalek at Central Library Peterborough
Dalek Flickr 2015-08-15-IMG_7550

Create Your Own Sonic Screwdriver entry form

*Coincidentally this the same day that season 9 of Doctor Who premieres on Prime.

If you like TV, you might like …

Winter time often finds me on the couch, in front of the fire watching TV. I found an article on an American website with a list of book titles to go with  favourite TV programmes, and this got me thinking about programmes featuring on our screens at the moment.  

CoverWhat could you offer to the ‘Coronation Street’  addict? I thought of Swallowing Grandma by Kate Long, a quirky story with the understated humour that makes The Street so popular.

The Vampire Diaries’ is easy – we have the books by L.J. Smith, and Charlaine Harris does a good line in vampires.

‘Brothers and Sisters’ might be a bit harder,  although I am enjoying reading Jennifer Johnston, who has a liking for tricky family relationships.

‘Top Model’ devotees might enjoy books about Pattie Boyd, Kate Moss and Marie Helvin and ‘Midsummer Murder’ watchers have probably read all the books by P.D. James and Ruth Rendell, but could well like  Simon Brett and Catherine Aird.

A previous  post talked about The Wire;  does it have anything similar in fiction, and what about Outrageous Fortune

I’m going to have a Glee-ful Easter

MicrophoneI’m sure I don’t have to tell you again how much I love Glee.  Some of my colleagues share my glee  for Glee and think it’s awesome that I have a desktop background with Mr Schuster and Sue Silvester, while others walk past my desk rolling their eyes and wonder why a guy in his mid-twenties has a fascination with a musical TV show set in a highschool.   I’ve never really cared what other people think of me and I’m happy to admit that I’m slightly obsessed with this show. 

While other people will be going away for their Easter weekend, going to the mall to shop or catching the remaining rays of Summer sunshine,  I will be lounging on my couch having a Glee marathon.  The season one DVD is released this Thursday in New Zealand and I’ll be lining up to get my copy.  I’ll have to apologise in advance to my neighbours who’ll be subjected to catchy pop songs (and my singing) one after the other for an entire day.  I can’t wait!

We have Glee: Season One on order at the library so if you’d like to have your own Glee marathon, or maybe take it one episode at a time, you can place a reserve on it now.

New Zealand: Land of the hobbits?

A Journey through New Zealand Film book cover

Bret: Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson put New Zealand on the map, but he put it on the map as Middle-earth, not as New Zealand.

Jemaine: A lot of what Jackson purports to be true about New Zealand is actually a lie.

Bret: Despite what you may believe from watching The Lord of the Rings, New Zealand does not have a large hobbit population.

Jemaine: At least not as many as he makes out. (Flight of the Conchords)

When travelling around or living overseas, how many people say “Oh, New Zealand! Yes, I know it – I’ve seen the Lord of the Rings movies!” after you tell them where you are from?

I think it is fair to say that while the film adaptations of J.R.R Tolkien’s epic fantasy novel(s) do showcase some of the incredible scenery we have outside our doors, that’s where the references to New Zealand stop. But what films or television series do offer a snap shot of our country as it really is? Is there a single movie that captures completely the very essence of what it means to be Kiwi? Or is every film just one taste from a very diverse pavlova?

New Zealand is producing more and more fantastic films and television series each year which celebrate Kiwi culture and people. Internationally, we are now becoming just as well known for our struggling musical duos in skinny jeans as for our hobbits and whale-riding girls. But surely there is more about us that we can show the world, too. Bro’Town is now being screened in 6 other countries, including Portugal. I personally think everyone needs to meet Cheryl West and her lovely family.

Other essential viewing may be: Black Sheep, Eagle vs. Shark, Secondhand Wedding, No.2, Snakeskin, In My Father’s Den, World’s Fastest Indian, Scarfies, Goodbye Pork Pie, Sione’s Wedding, as well as many more.

If you wanted to introduce someone to your New Zealand through a film or television series, what would you recommend they watch?

Are you suffering Glee withdrawal symptoms?

The first season of one of the best shows on TV ended on Friday night with a great episode that had all the singing, dancing, and drama that I have come to love.  If you watch Glee you know what an awesome show it is and if you don’t watch it you really don’t know what you’re missing.  For the uninitiated Glee is set in McKinnley High School in America and is about the ups and downs of a group of teenagers who belong to the school’s Glee Club (like our school choirs but so much better).  All the stereotypical high school groups are thrown in with lots of teenage issues, which doesn’t make it sound all that appealing but when you add some great musical numbers such as ‘Don’t Stop Believing,’ ‘My Life Would Suck Without You,’ ‘Jump,’ and ‘Gold Digger,’ and some cool dance moves you’ve got a great show.

The music is the best part of the show for me and I can’t get enough of the songs.  While driving to the West Coast and back last week both of the soundtracks got played endless times yet I didn’t get sick of the songs.  If you’re like me I’m sure you’ll have the songs stuck in your head for days.  We now have both Volume One and Volume Two in the library to help you get over your Glee withdrawal symptoms so that you can survive until Season Two returns later in the year.

Vampire romance (but not a lovelorn teen in sight)

You’d have to be living in a box (or a coffin?) not to realise that vampires are hot right now.  First there was the release of the first Twilight film (based on the Stephenie Meyer book), and more recently HBO series True Blood has garnered ex-pat Anna Paquin a Golden Globe for best actress in a TV series.

The show is based on Charlaine Harris’s Southern vampire series of novels and is less well know than the phenomenally successful Twilight but is much more to my tastes, being a bit more “adult” in nature.  The man responsible for bringing True Blood to the TV screen is Alan Ball (better known as the creative force behind another death fixated series, namely Six Feet Under) and in doing so he has provided all those things that HBO does so well, sex, violence, swearing,  substance abuse, dark humour, oh, and did I mention sex? 

I’ve been reading the books upon which the series is based and they are saucy, humorous, seductive and are a fast, well-paced read.  No delusions of literary grandeur here just good, old-fashioned blood-sucking fun.  The books revolve around the character of  Louisiana native Sookie Stackhouse: waitress, telepath, and one half of a pretty sexy human/vampire couple.  The other half is one Civil War-vintage Bill Compton, who I’m pretty sure could kick Edward Cullen’s sulky butt (if he felt so inclined).  The novels all take place in a world where the invention of synthetic blood (by the Japanese, natch) means that vampires no longer need to hide, but can “come out of the coffin” mainstreaming into human society, voting, buying blood at bars, etc.  Though of course there is still deep-seated prejudice and suspicion from much of the human populace and Sookie finds that having a “pale and interesting” boyfriend isn’t without its complications (and dangers).

Hopefully, one of the New Zealand television channels will pull finger and buy the series for broadcast here.  With the local interest provided by the winsome Miss Paquin I think they’d be on to a winner.  It just remains to be seen how late in the night they screen it.  It sure ain’t for kiddies.