Our Eketahuna librarian Corinna has created an awesome “reporting in” area for the children on the Summer Reading Programme – isn’t she clever! The kids are going to have great fun going to the “beach hut”. There is also a “fat lady” screen where kids can put their faces in for a photo opportunity, painted by Glen McDean of Sarah Jones, Eketahuna.
If your children or teenagers want to participate in the 2013/14 summer programme, there are some places left as below and/or check with your local library to see if a waitlist is operating:
Summer Beach Read (ages 2 to 10) – 10 places left at Eketahuna; none at Dannevirke, Woodville or Pahiatua.
iRead Book Quest (Year 7/8) - 3 places available at Eketahuna ; 1 place at Dannevirke ; 2 places at Woodville ; 5 places at Pahiatua.
Read+ (Year 9-13) – 1 place available at Eketahuna ; 2 places at Dannevirke ; 2 places at Woodville ; 6 places at Pahiatua.
Dannevirke and Pahiatua libraries are open as per usual, except for statutory holidays. Woodville and Eketahuna libraries last day is 24 December 2013, and they re-open again normal hours 6th January 2014.
All items being issued now (excluding DVDs) have an extended due date of 6 January 2014. And of course, you can renew your items online. So no excuse not to take piles of lovely books with you on holiday … or if that seems too bulky, don’t forget we have ebooks available that you can download to your device. If you’re not sure about how to do it, instructions are available at every branch, a librarian can assist you, or email email@example.com
Happy Holidays! We thank you for your custom this year, and wish you all a lovely Christmas and wonderful New Year – from Heather, Nikki, Natalie, Pamela, Monica and Tam (Dannevirke) ; Leilani, Sue and Raewyn (Woodville) ; Wyn and Danielle (Pahiatua) ; Corinna and Janice (Eketahuna).
I often think I suffer just a little from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Especially when it comes to reading. I’m a purest; if an author has taken the time to write more than one book about a character I think it’s only polite to read them in the order they were written. Series build as they go along. Each book adds to your collection of knowledge and rounds the characters off. The author doesn’t waste pages filling in the back story and if you read them out of order, all sorts of plot spoilers pop up. I remember not paying attention and reading Patricia Cornwall out of order. One of the characters died and then in the next book was very much alive, and it ruined all the other books for me because I knew he was going to die. A salutary lesson indeed, although Patricia didn’t help by killing the character off and then bringing him back anyway, rather like that scene in Dallas where Bobby had been in the shower for the whole series and it was all just a dream.
Now where was I?
Series. Oh yes. The new J R Ward novel “Possession”, a Fallen Angel novel, arrived on my desk after much anticipation, and I immediately reached for the catalogue and ordered the previous four. What followed was a fest of reading and a cautionary tale. These books are great. They can be read singularly, but why would you? There is so much information in each book that isn’t repeated or mentioned again, and the spoilers if you read them out of order, oh my gosh.But I digress.
“Possession” follows the battle for soul number 5 and is as grown up and filled with adult content as the previous 4. If you blush at Maeve Binchy, you probably won’t enjoy these books. The language is like the characters - hard and uncompromising. The scenes are graphic. Jim, the hero is as much an antihero. The characters he’s surrounded by are strong and aggressive and big, in every sense of the word, and the angels and demons that populate his life are just as richly drawn.
I love these books but there are a few niggles, which probably wouldn’t be a problem if I read them with a decent gap between, but one after the other shows up inconsistencies and poor proof reading. J R Ward (aka Jessica Bird) writes well. Her characters are rounded enough that you care what happens, but I think she may have gotten a little lazy by book 5 and might be coasting just a little. There’s a lot of repetition in the writing and the use of acronyms is simply annoying. I come from a military family and most of us have had some exposure to acronyms but really if you want to pepper them through your book provide a glossary, it detracts from the story when I have to try and guess what they stand for or worse Google them to get an idea. Then there’s the sloppy editing. In this book, one of the characters laments that he doesn’t know the heroines surname, yet not two pages before (and about half an hour in book time) she told him her full name! Shoddy. That’s not as bad though as a main character in book 4, who in book 2, stood on a land mine and lost the lower half of his leg and then, lo and behold, just walks with a limp in book 4 because obviously it grew back.
There are some good twists in this latest book but I didn’t enjoy it as much as much as previous ones. The characters seemed less likeable or maybe I just stopped caring, gasp. I can’t wait for the next two books and I’m sure I will read the whole lot again so forgive me if I repeat myself in a year. Blame bad editing or poor proof reading. The small annoyances do not detract from a stellar series and if you’re into paranormal and good old fashioned good versus evil give these a go, but please read them in order and maybe with a brief gap in between. Check out the catalogue now!
Until next time…
Isn’t it hard to buy Christmas gifts for some people? You know, the one’s that ‘have everything’. Well, your problem is solved!
The Book Seat (pictured) is available through each branch of Tararua District Library. This uniquely shaped mini bean bag comes in suede, comes in varying colours, and features a pocket at the back for reading glasses etc, and a perspex holder in the front to hold your pages open, or your tablet steady. Price is $44.95. See more details by clicking on our For Sale page.
Or if you’re going to gift a book, why not get it professionally covered beforehand? This will protect it from wear and tear. Prices range from $6 to $10 depending on the size of the item, or more if it’s very large. See more
We also have limited quantities remaining of “Dannevirke: the early years” by Rob McDonald. In stock at each of our branches. Postage is available for all items. See more
SPOILER ALERT - don’t read on if you are currently reading The Ranger’s Apprentice series! Spoilers ahead.
While this is a good children’s book, it’s lost in the great series that the Ranger’s Apprentice is. It does not add anything to the series and to use an old cliché, it’s just a fifth wheel. If the reader has read all the volumes to date, they will understand what I mean.
This book is set 15 years later and while it stretches the series of plot lines, it does not develop them well. These include the relationships between Jenny and Gila, and between Will and Alyss, which were the main theme of “The lost tales” (sorry the romantics amongst you). Then after three plus volumes and developing the theme of the Will and Alyss relationship and wedding, the very next volume she’s dead (sorry guys, I did warn you). There really needs to be another volume between “The lost tales” and this one to get some continuity.
So what are we left with? An out of place Rangers Apprentice. The Maddy and Will storyline mirrors the Will and Halt story, Will becoming more and more a Halt Character, and throw in the Horse story and Maddy’s horse Bumper becomes a Tug. Throw in a story that includes how Halt is impressed with Pauline’s about to remember the names of the “common” people, that was Gilan and the Baron in the last book, and one asks why it was needed?
We are then left with a Ranger’s Apprentice questing off to find their way, wave their master and find the great life is that of the ranger. Hello, the plagiarized story of The Ranger’s Apprentice volume one, if one can plagiarize one’s own work! So how does this book rate? As a one off book it’s a good read and well worth it, and a good lead into the Ranger’s Apprentice series, but as a volume of the series as a whole, all I could think is that Ranger Halt would think it over thought and not how the story should be.
- The Rangers Apprentice: The Royal Ranger- Review (zero2fiction.wordpress.com)
So what’s so special about 23 November 1963? No, it’s not my birthday (I’m old but not that old), but it is the birthday of one of the greatest programmes ever created. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, “Doctor Who” was born. Doctor Who is one of only three science fiction TV programmes that I can swear I have seen every episode of - 798 and counting (Space 1999 and original Star Trek are the other two programmes if you’re interested -can we all say nerd?).
Like every ABBA fan had his/her favourite group member, so does every Doctor Who fan have their favourite Doctor (controversial choice with me as I think Colin Baker ruled), favourite companion (Leela and my first crush) and favourite villain (I remember hiding behind the sofa when the Dalek appeared. As I’ve grown up now things have changed….and it’s those Weeping Angels that have me hiding behind the sofa)!
And why have I submitted this as a library review? Well, Tararua District Library has a great collection of Doctor Who books - fiction and non-fiction, as well as DVDs and books from the spin-off series Torchwood. Most of these been written by screen writers from the show itself, such as Steve Cole, and JT Cogan.
So go down to your local library and check it out, or you will be exter…exter..extermin…extremely nagged until you do!
- Darren Russell
And don’t forget…
“The Day of The Doctor” 50th Anniversary special screening on Prime TV Sunday 24th November 9am, and again 8.30pm.
You might wonder why a New Zealand library blog is mentioning the 50th anniversary of the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy. Well, even though this was well before my time, it did affect the people of my parents generation – even on the other side of the world. They both recall exactly where they were when they heard the shocking news … as do many. To me, it seems as though a little bit of ‘innocence’ was eroded by this event – people started to accept the bad things that happened more.
The suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, was also murdered before being brought to trial, so his guilt was never proven and the crime remains unpunished. There are many conspiracy theories about who was allegedly behind both Kennedy and Oswald’s deaths, helping to maintain an enduring fascination for many people, young and old alike.The 50th anniversary is being marked in Dallas, Texas, where he died. Dallas will host a variety of events, highlighted by an observance on Friday, the actual anniversary, where the assassination occurred — Dealey Plaza. Other cities around the USA are also marking the event.
There are a plethora of television shows coming to N.Z. screens shortly, and several new books have been published as well. Available now, in fact, is “JFK: the smoking gun” by Colin McLaren. McLaren is an ex-cop who studied the evidence, including 10,000 pages of transcripts, discovered witnesses the Warren Commission failed to call, and uncovered exhibits and testimonies that were hidden until now. He touts that he proves, finally, who really did kill the president, and it’s far more outrageous than any conspiracy theory. I won’t spoil it for you … to find out, reserve it now!
- JFK conspiracy theories still abound 50 years later (star-telegram.com)
- The one JFK conspiracy theory that could be true (fox2now.com)
I really enjoyed ’The Promise’ by Anne Weisgarber, which was long listed for the Orange Prize. I learnt something as well. I love how you can pick up a work of fiction and learn new things. For instance, I never knew Galveston was an Island off the Coast of Texas. I never knew the Galveston Hurricane was, and still is, the deadliest natural disaster ever to strike the United States. All I knew of Galveston was from the song by Glenn Campbell .. remember?Beautiful song, and I now have it firmly entrenched in my mind.. an ear worm I think this is called.
“..Galveston, oh, Galveston,
I still hear your seawaves crashin,
while I watch the cannons flashin’.
I clean my gun, and dream of Galveston…”
The story starts in 1900, Dayton, Ohio, where young Catherine Wainwright flees from scandal. Her rescue comes in the arms of an old childhood suitor who she agrees to marry. She heads to Galveston Island believing him to be a poor second best and thinking he knows nothing of her past. He is now a widower with a small child who has been cared for by Nan Ogden, the doting housekeeper, who is none too happy at Catherine’s appearance. The story is narrated alternatively by Catherine and Nan, two very different women. The story occurs amidst the oppressive, sweltering heat on Galveston Island, in the lead up to the 1900 Hurricane which took so many lives.
If you love historical fiction, then this book is must read. I found this book to be beautifully written and would rate it 8/10. Reserve now.
I’m a Bryson fan…his Short History of Nearly Everything is never far out of reach, and Thunderbolt Kid is one of the funniest, most whimsical things I’ve ever read. So I seized One Summer eagerly, anticipating a rare feast of Brysonesque trivia, delivered in his usual matey style.
It’s a feast indeed – I was delighted by Bryson’s take on the USA at the height of the Roaring Twenties, a decade that encapsulated and magnified all the contradictions of America. One Summer is a 500–page cascade of entertaining, intriguing, head-scratching and jaw-dropping nuggets.
Bryson has a way of digging out captivating and obscure particulars on any given subject, favourable and unfavourable, thereby creating balance, but more importantly, entertainment. Any author taking on even five months of such an epically eventful year is an act of bravado, but Bryson goes further, bringing us plenty of background and context to his main subjects. These include baseball, aviation, high finance and associated scandals, prohibition and organised crime, politics/scandals, domestic terrorism, boxing, television, eugenics and race policy, and flagpole–sitting…but there is so much more.
Here are a few little nuggets to tempt you:
- Meet a virginal young man named Charles Lindbergh, whose idea of a good joke was to fool a friend into drinking kerosene. Lindbergh packed his lanky limbs into his flimsy, cramped Spirit of St Louis with a packed lunch, and won the race to be first to fly across the Atlantic. He became the most famous man on the planet, which ruined his life.
- Four powerful international bankers gathered on Long Island that summer. One of these men subsequently became the chief banker for the Nazis. Another was an English neurotic who believed he could walk through walls, and whose death was suspected to have been caused by a cow. At their meetings, these four men instituted policy which led to the Great Depression.
- While this odd quartet were laying the groundwork for the Wall St Crash, President Coolidge, surely the laziest president in American history, was on a three-month vacation, traipsing about Dakota in a ludicrous cowboy costume. Coolidge didn’t run for a second term, possibly because he couldn’t be bothered, but more likely because he could see the Great Depression approaching, and left the mess for the next guy.
- One last example of Bryson’s fascinating trivia: the era’s champion flagpole–sitter was Shipwreck Kelly, who sat on a bar-stool–sized seat attached to the top of a flagpole, preferably atop some high building. Huge crowds gathered to watch him. Kelly, “The Luckiest Fool Alive,” once perched continuously on a flagpole for 49 days without a break. He would occasionally stand up to stretch and take a bow, which would bring a roar from the hopeful crowd. He ate and shaved up there, smoking four packs of cigarettes per day. (Bryson briefly speculates how Kelly dealt with bodily functions, but I won’t spoil that for you). Kelly was completely unconstrained, and would sleep by locking his ankles around the flagpole and inserting his thumbs into holes drilled in the sides of his seat.
One Summer: America 1927 is a sprawling tour de force from Bill Bryson – first class, highly recommended. Reserve it.
Reviewed by Keith
- One Summer by Bill Bryson, review (telegraph.co.uk)
- Bill Bryson’s ‘One Summer: America, 1927′ takes you back (knoxnews.com)
- One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson – review (theguardian.com)
If you enjoy cooking programmes, you might be familiar with Si King and Dave Meyers of Hairy Bikers fame. I have enjoyed watching them stuff their faces with delicious breads from around Europe, and wished I could join them. Now, after reading about their struggles to lose six stone between them, I’m partly glad I wasn’t gorging with them!
Naturally, the gastronomic duo still want to ‘eat like Kings’, and we, the general public, benefit from this, as their latest book is filled with easy, do-able recipes. Si and Dave take everyday foods that we love, such as Doner Kebabs and fish cakes and put their low-fat spin on it. Add their dieter’s versions of roast lamb and roast beef, along with a hundred or two other recipes, make this book a real winner for me. Sections covered include breakfast and brunch, real food fast, family favourites, food from afar, something sweet, snacks and salads…and did you know there is a ‘Hairy Bikers Diet Club‘?! Pretty cool.
In addition, the recipes really are easy, with substitutions found in any pantry. Dave and Si also write a bit of a foreword with tips that helped them lose weight, and the pair of them write as they talk, which makes for very easy reading.
I am seriously thinking about buying this book. 5/5 stars. Only $1 to reserve a copy at your local branch today!
- Tam Jones
Kids, want to win awesome prizes? Earn books? Be entertained by fabulous storytellers? Now’s your chance! Pre-enrol or register your interest now, and confirm after 25 November!
There are two amazing Children’s Reading Programmes on this summer through your local Community Library. Registration begins Monday 25 November 2013. But you can pre-enrol now! Hurry in as places are limited.
- Summer Beach Read for children up to Year 6
Children aged 2 to Year 6 “report in” to library staff and tell them about the library book they have read, in their own words. This usually takes 10 minutes or less. To finish, children do a minimum of 4 reports, and a maximum of 6. Children can do up to two reports per week (i.e. 2 books), and remote members can report-in by email (written reports). If you are traveling, children can report-in at other participating libraries. Children earn small gifts as incentives along the way. Completion (4 reports) earns an invitation to the Finale event, plus a free book, medallion & certificate.
- iRead Book Quest for Years 7 and 8
Same as above, except reviews are written in a booklet provided (i.e. not oral reviews) and includes a technology draw (be in to win a Tablet or iPod).
READ+ programmefor year 9-13 high school students, attending school or resident in Tararua.
Same as iRead programme with a separate technology draw AND for every 3 book reviews you do, you earn a FREE book (your choice from a limited selection). We expect a reasonable effort for reviews at this level. There may also be a few special events just for you! Pre-enrol now as limited places.
In my opinion, Stephen King fans have gone a long time between drinks. I have long thought that King’s best work is in the past. Although I’ve read most of King’s books, and admire his work very much, his recent novels have left me thinking sadly: too many words, too much time invested for not enough return. I recall his best novels; The Stand, The Tommyknockers, and the classic The Shining. These are powerful stories, gripping, scary and suspenseful. However, I reckon only King’s die-hard fans have relished his recent efforts, such as that thing about JFK’s assassination, and Under The Dome, which I only just managed to finish…the scariest thing about the latter was the prospect of dropping it on my foot.
That said, I galloped through Doctor Sleep. This picks up thirty or so years after the events at the Overlook Hotel, related in The Shining. Danny Torrance, the psychic boy from that novel, is now all grown up. In Doctor
Sleep, Dan is battling a severe alcohol problem, having been driven to the bottle as a means of blocking out his ‘shine,’ as he calls the visions that beset him. Dan finds salvation in AA, and a job at a hospice, where he uses his unique abilities to comfort the dying.
Enter the True Knot, the second string of the story…the Knot are vampire-like critters who roam the highways of America in campervans. Although they appear to be soft retirees, the type generally found in roadside MacDonalds, these ancient beings get their sustenance by homing in on psychic children and torturing them to death for their psychic essence, or “steam.” The third string of the story involves Abra, a young girl, who shows powerful psycho–kinetic abilities from birth. The True Knot get wind of Abra when she’s in her early teens, and they’re desperate to get their talons on her. King skillfully brings the three strings of his story together into a showdown at the unholy place where the Overlook once stood.
Comparisons are odious, but Doctor Sleep is, after all, being touted as a sequel to The Shining…so I’ll compare them. Doctor Sleep is no Shining, but it’s far better than anything King has written for ages. It’s a worthy sequel, a gripping read, and it certainly kept me up late.
“Unravelling” is a Young Adult book by Elizabeth Norris – the first in a series. It’s a dystopian science fiction I guess you’d say. Set in the current time, it’s the story of 17 year old Janelle Tenner – a pretty blonde, smart, Californian surfer girl. But life is not all roses for her; she’s had to be a surrogate mother to her little brother for years, as her mother struggles with uncontrolled Bipolar, and her FBI agent father is always working. And then, she dies.
Inexplicably, a teenage boy called Ben brings her back to life with the touch of his hand. Doctors find evidence of a recently healed broken spine… How can Ben have done this? And when he did it, Janelle saw into his soul – saw through his eyes that he has loved her for years, ever since she saved him from drowning, and she never even knew.
As her father is investigating the person who killed her, Janelle can’t help snooping in her fathers files and finds out that someone has been opening wormholes to another universe, and each time people are dying horribly. Each time, the two universes are getting drawn together… if they collide, it will be the end for both. Her father is trying to stop it, but the countdown is on and there are less than 24 days left before the end of all things. Meanwhile, she is trying to understand Ben and his abilities, while succumbing to the strong feelings they now share.
I found this book quite enjoyable – a little bit of romance, science fiction, and paranormal. Like a mixture of Twilight, Fringe and Sherlock Holmes. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.