Thursday, 31 December 2009
This is the final book in the Millennium trilogy series and is perfect for the long weekend - if you can get a copy. All of the strands of the story finally come together. It's cleverly written with enough twists and turns and subplots to keep your attention. It might seem like a strange choice for the festive season but the ultimately the changes in Lisbeth's life promise a hopeful future. A very satisfying read.
Summary: Lisbeth Salander will have her revenge - against the man who tried to kill her, and against the government institutions that nearly succeeded in deliberately destroying her life... After sustaining appalling gunshot wounds to her head and her shoulder, she is in Intensive Care, and her most dangerous enemy is in the next-door ward. If she survives, she is set to face murder charges. Officially under police guard, she is allowed contact with only her surgeon or her lawyer. But Mikael Blomkvist, editor at Millennium magazine and Salander's self-appointed guardian angel, will not give up on this strangely compelling girl... With the covert aid of Blomkvist and his journalists at Millennium, Salander must first prove her innocence. Only then can she unmask the people behind the corrupt and secret manoeuvers that ruined her childhood and remain the rotten core of Swedish society.
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Sun Fest 2009 is the alcohol free New Years Eve party at Parakai
Music Mountain is just one of the New Year's Eve events in North Rodney
Eventfinder has listings for events in Matakana, Orewa, Huapai or throughout Auckland if you want to leave Rodney
Or you could just check out the music at your local Rodney Libraries and relax at home. To find all the music we have (and there are plenty of new ones) look at our Catalogue here. There is something for everyone, from inspirational and classical, to country, pop and rock. Whether you want party music or something in the background, have a look at our selection.
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
"Some rumours have been raised about the behaviour of tui, which has prompted Matt Halstead, Fabiana Kubke and John Montgomery from the University of Auckland to determine whether these rumours are, in fact, correct." There are fairly detailed instructions to follow (has to be near a man-made structure; date/time of sighting etc) but it's nothing too difficult. It would be a great project for the kids. Send them outside with hats and sunscreen and a notebook for a couple of hours.
If you're not sure what a tui looks like check out some of the photos on Flickr. They mostly look black from a distance and often the only way to distinguish them from a blackbird is the white tuft under their throat. If you're lucky enough to get close to one you'll discover that they're actually blue-green under all that black.
The Department of Conservation has some more information about the tui (and other birds.) This tour company (Kiwi Wildlife tours) has a gallery of bird sounds so you can hear what they sound like.
Once all the data is in the scientists will reveal all and let us know whether the rumours are true. Anyone got any speculations as to what they're looking for?
Thursday, 24 December 2009
We (rodneylibraries - Kris and kowhai reader - Anne) have been very good this year.
We have posted something on the Blog every day (almost- but sometimes we post twice a day so we think that all evens out). We have tried to let readers know about all the new books and some of the older ones that they might have missed. We have let you know what is happening in the library and in Rodney at large, from School Holiday Programmes to Santa Parades. And we've even posted the odd photo to show you what we have been up to. We've celebrated achievers and told you about all the things you can use and do at Rodney Libraries.
So you can see we have been very good and were wondering when you visited us this year you could leave some reading under our trees. All we want for Christmas is:
1. A second helping : more from Ladies, a plate by Alexa Johnston. Classic baking recipes that have been tested extensively - yes please!
2. True blood. The complete first season (R18) Based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. I tried to watch it on TV, really I did, but the ads just annoyed me.
3. Catching fire by Suzanne Collins. The sequel to "The Hunger Games" a fabulous teen fiction story about a competition where children/teens compete to the death in a televised contest in order to win prizes for their district. Is a little bit gruesome in places but has excellent characters with complicated relationships which make up the real story.
Kowhai Reader (Anne)
1. The Word Witch: Poems by Margaret Mahy, edited by Tessa Duder. There are old poems and new ones. Poems that are part of books and rhymes that became books. It's a book for old and young with both comedy and poignant verse. I'd love to have my own copy.
2. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. I loved her first novel The Historian and I see that this one is due out early in the new year, but if you could leave an advance copy under the tree so I can preview it for Rodney readers that would be great.
3. The Winner's Bible by Dr Kerry Spackman. Because I need all the help I can get.
Thank you very much Santa. Have a good night and fly safely.
Kris and Anne
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
From Tuesday 29 - Thursday 31 December the libraries will operate with normal hours but will close at 5pm.
Wellsford, Mahurangi East, Orewa, Helensville and Whangaparaoa libraries will open from 9.30am - 5pm. Warkworth and Kumeu libraries will be open from 9am - 5pm.
Normal opening hours resume on Tuesday 5 January.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
A reminder that the second checkins at your local library should be done before Christmas (unless you have contacted us to make other arrangements). So only a couple of days left to do this. We know it is a busy time of the year, so give us a call if you want to keep your place.
With the first check-ins for Library Monopoly, we are starting to receive our first reviews. Here are a couple that we have received at Warkworth.
Summer thought Nancy Drew - Sleepover Sleuths was awesome and gave it five stars. Summer says it is an "exciting, fantastic, fun mystery book about friendship, helping people, sleepovers and owning up to friends".
Miles called Zac Power - Volcanic Panic "energizing" which I thought was a stunning word to use in a book review. His favourite bit was when Zac saw a glowing rock outside his classroom window and he went to look at it. The rock cracked open to reveal a mission disc. The disc told him details of his next mission. Miles likes how the story was set out, particularly the ending and fave it four stars.
Monday, 21 December 2009
Here's an excerpt from the bulletin announcing the lineup to date:
The Auckland Writers & Readers Festival is proud to announce that the following international guests will appear at the 2010 festival:
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. The sequel, Committed, is a meditation on the history, culture, politics, trials and tribulations of marriage.
John Carey is a distinguished critic, reviewer, broadcaster, Man Booker judge, and biographer of the Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Golding.
Rick Gekoski, bestselling author of Tolkien’s Gown, takes us on a literary journey in his bibliomemoir Outside of a Dog.
The prolific and much-loved Thomas Keneally’s most recent novel is The People’s Train. He has just published the first in a three-volume history of the Australian people, Australians: Origins to Eureka.
In Seven Days in the Art World sociologist Sarah Thornton looks at all aspects of buying, selling, and creating serious art.
Jill Dawson’s sixth novel, The Great Lover, is a fictional life of Rupert Brooke.
Yiyun Li’s A Thousand Years of Good Prayers was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and won the Guardian First Book Award. Her new novel, The Vagrants, is based on the true story of a young woman sentenced to death in 1979 China for her loss of faith in Communism.
Su Tong won the 2009 Man Asia Literary Prize for The Boat to Redemption. A major figure in China’s literary scene, his best-known work is Wives and Concubines, which was made into the film Raise the Red Lantern.
Independent journalist and blogger Antony Loewenstein writes about the internet in The Blogging Revolution and the Israel/Palestine conflict in his bestselling My Israel Question.
Ben Naparstek, the 23-year-old editor of Australia’s influential magazine, The Monthly, recently published In Conversation, a collection of interviews with 39 of the world’s best writers.
John Freeman, the new editor of Granta, explores the history of communication in Shrinking the World: The 4,000-year story of how email came to rule our lives.
Adrian Wooldridge, management editor of The Economist, joins us to talk about his latest book (co-authored with John Micklethwait, The Economist’s editor-in-chief), God is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith is Changing the World.
More guests, including New Zealand writers, will be announced in February 2010. Final programme details will be released in March and tickets go on sale through The Edge Ticketing Service in April.
Friday, 18 December 2009
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society / Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows. Sometimes I read the latest craze and sometimes I hold out just... because. However I am glad I eventually joined the queue and read this delightful book. It was wonderfully charming, offsetting the angst and blood of the vampire craze that was happening at the same time. And if you liked that then you will probably also like The school of essential ingredients / Erica Bauermeister. which I read later in the year and was on my Top 5 short list.
No time for goodbye / Linwood Barclay. For the first time this year, I delved more into the crime and thriller genre. This was one of the best. A 14 year old girl wakes one morning to find that her entire family has disappeared. 25 years later she is no closer to the truth - but it is just around the corner if she wants to find it.
Honourable Mentions should go to The host : a novel / Stephenie Meyer. (which in some ways I rate above Twilight as being a more adult book), The magician's elephant / Kate DiCamillo ; illustrated by Yoko Tanaka. (magical children's fiction), An echo in the bone : a novel / Diana Gabaldon. (got me back into the Outlander series and wanting to know what happens next) and The tomorrow code / Brian Falkner. (quite a novelty reading a young adult fiction book and being able to recognise the places as the action travels through Rodney)
Thursday, 17 December 2009
The Mr. Bean collection. Vols. 1, 2, 3 (G)
Merry Christmas Mr. Bean
The Billy T James show. Vol. 2 (PG)
It's Christmas time in the James' household and naturally Billy has decided to take control of the festivities. As the rain dampens and delays Billy's plan for a real traditional "Kiwi Christmas", he amuses everyone as they wait for dinner to cook, by recounting the stories of Christmas past.
The office : the Christmas specials (M)
Three years after the cameras stopped rolling, the BBC returns to Wernham Hogg to catch up with the staff, past and present, of the most famous paper merchants in Slough.
A Christmas carol - the versions (Story: A miser learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future.)
An all dogs Christmas carol (G)
Bah, humduck! : a Looney Tunes Christmas (G)
Blackadder's: A Christmas carol (PG)
A Christmas carol (Broadcast BBC Television in 1977 )(G)
A Christmas Carol (Broadcast BBC Television in 1977. (PG)
The Muppet Christmas carol (G)
And I couldn't resist - my favourite title...
Olive, the other reindeer (G)
Olive is really a kind-hearted dog who sets out to save Christmas when she hears that Blitzen is injured and Santa can't find a replacement.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Thursday 17 December Whangaparaoa Library 6.30pm
Friday 18 December Orewa Library 4pm
Friday 18 December Warkworth Library 6pm
They involve storytelling, rhymes and Christmas carols. Children are being encouraged to dress up in festive themed costumes for the sessions.
Monday, 14 December 2009
Quantum theory cannot hurt you : a guide to the universe / Marcus Chown.The book is about modern physics, specifically quantum theory and Einstein's general theory of relativity. I like popular science books. Although this one alleges it can be "read in a morning" I must confess that I had to keep putting it down to mull over the ideas within it. Unlike most of the books that I have to put down though, this one kept me coming back. One of the few science books I've read where I actually feel as if I have a good grasp of the contents after I'd finished reading it. Recommended.
The household guide to dying : a novel / by Debra Adelaide.
The book is narrated by Delia. She is a mum, a wife, the author of several 'how-to' books celebrating the 'household arts'... and she is dying. The story charts her coming to terms with her past and planning the future for her children. She writes lists planning her daughters' far-off weddings. She writes her column. She plans a raid on the neighbours garden. She encourages her husband to think about a new partner after she is dead. (That doesn't go so well.) A wonderful story about a difficult topic. Warm, funny, ultimately uplifting.
Friday, 11 December 2009
The New Zealand Plant Doctor - Andrew Maloy. Great Q & A format.
Textbook Romance: a step-by-step guide to getting the guy - Zoe Foster with occasionally useful comments by Hamish Blake.
A Mess of Iguanas, A Whoop of Gorillas... An Amazement of Animal Facts - Alon Shulman.
The New Vampires Handbook: A guide to creatures of the night - Miles Proctor
The Accidental Billionaires: Sex, money, betrayal and the founding of Facebook - Ben Mezrich
I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas: Gifts, decorations and recipes that use less and mean more - Anna Getty.
Wyse Words: A Dictionary for the Bewildered - Pascale Wyse
In a Word: The essential tool for finding the perfect word - Mark Broatch
Evolution: The Story of Life - Douglas Palmer & Peter Barrett (A impressive looking Natural History Museum publication)
Seasons - Donna Hay (the best from the magazine)
Plus several new titles in the 501 Must Do, Must Go, Must See... etc series. Look for:
501 Must-Be-There Events
501 Must Drive Cars
501 Must Take Journeys
501 Must See Movies
501 Must Read Books
and especially for the holiday season 501 Must-Drink Cocktails
And that's just a small taste. I'll find some fiction and children's titles for you next week. Have an awesome weekend everyone.
Image credit Kris Litman.
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Peter Gordon : a culinary journey is the result of more than 25 years' cooking experience and travel throughout the world exploring different cuisines, foods, tastes and cooking ideas. In this magnificently photographed book, Peter Gordon presents 80 delicious recipes which epitomise fusion cooking. Fusion is a culinary method that integrates various regional flavours and cooking techniques in order to create innovative new tastes.
Shop local, eat well : cooking with seasonal produce in New Zealand / Kathryn Hawkins and Laura Faire.
It has become perfectly normal in New Zealand to eat strawberries in June, or to mix a salad from ingredients grown thousands of kilometres apart. However ... what we gain in variety we often lose in quality and flavour - not to mention the harm we do to the environment in the process. In this book, the authors explain how easy it is to eat according to nature's calendar ... inspiring you to get the best out of locally sourced produce while doing your bit to save the planet.
Dine in / Adam Newell
Michelin-star chef Adam Newell presents a range of accessible, round-the-clock recipes perfectly suited to sharing with family and friends. Ideal food for every occasion ... also contains ideas and hints for improving your culinary repertoire and for ensuring every meal is a resounding success ... Many of the recipes ... are favourite menu items from Adam's popular restaurant Zibibbo in Wellington.
Kai ora : fresh, healthy food made with aroha / Anne Thorp
Anne Thorp is the sparkling host of the popular Kai Ora cooking show on Māori Television and The Living Channel. Cooking fresh ingredients simply to deliver maximum zest, zing and health is her focus. Anne's recipes also incorporate indigenous ingredients that give her food a truly New Zealand flavour. They're cooked with tons of aroha and served with flair.
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Over the stones
It’s only a pauper
Who nobody owns”
Sally put this on my desk last week and recommended it with the words “It is good” (somehow these words on the page don’t quite reflect the reverent tone this was spoken in). Fellow author Diana Wynne Jones (Howls Moving Castle) described it as “The best book Neil Gaiman has ever written” which is high praise indeed for an award winning and very popular writer of graphic novels, children’s and adults fiction.
Nobody Owens is a living human toddler, who just happens to have been adopted by the residents of the local graveyard, who just happen to be… dead. The ghosts don’t know his name so they call him Nobody, Bod for short. Bod grows up in the graveyard which has plenty of dangers (the sleer, the ghouls) but many friends (although sometimes it is hard to decide at the beginning of the chapter whether the ghosts/people that Bod meets are friend or foe (I will leave it to you to discover which category Liza the witch or Miss Lupescu fit into). Overseeing everything is Bod’s guardian, the mysterious Silas. Outside the gates of the graveyard has it’s own perils as the man with knife who dispatched Bod’s first family (the human one) is still searching for him to finish the job.
This is a fantastically entertaining book which sits on our Teen fiction shelves, but could equally be satisfying for adults and children. It would make a great read-aloud for families or classrooms. One of my best reads of the year.
Monday, 7 December 2009
We weren't sure what the weather was going to be like so chose to go with a minimalist float. We had a bunch of people walking alongside the vehicle miming to songs and handing out feathers and balloons. It was great!
The best thing about Santa Parades is the number of community organisations who get involved. Have a look at our small Flickr photo set to see pictures of some of them.
Also - a huge thank you to the Coastguard who jumpstarted the car after the battery went flat!
Friday, 4 December 2009
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Christmas storytime sessions involve storytelling, rhymes and Christmas carols. Children are being encouraged to dress up in festive themed costumes for the sessions.
Thursday 17 December
Whangaparaoa Library 6.30pm
Friday 18 December
Orewa Library 4pm
Warkworth Library 6pm
Monday 21 December
Kumeu Library 10.30am
Tuesday 22 December
Mahurangi East Library 10.30am
Wednesday 23 December
Wellsford Library 10.30am
Helensville Library 3pm
Claire and Jamie are so well known to their fans, that it is hard to write a review as I feel many out there know them better than me, and without giving too much away. But here goes my best attempt.
Diana Gabaldon said when we went to see her in North Shore earlier this year, that this novel has four parts to it, as symbolised by the emblem on the front of the book. Claire and Jamie return and we follow their journey (along with Ian) from the Fraser's Ridge in North Carolina back to Scotland (although as you would expect with these two, they are interrupted from taking the direct route there). I was thrilled that we also get to follow Brianna and Roger in the twentieth century, battling their demons from the past and trying to put down roots for themselves and their children. The third viewpoint is told from that of Lord John whose world of intrigue is reintroduced to the storyline and the fourth is a fully grown figure of his stepson William, now a Lieutenant in the British Forces in the colony. Those who have followed the series since Cross Stitch will know William's background and what it might mean to where the author will lead us.
There are some new characters to meet along the way (such as Denny and Rachel Hunter) as well as some old (Jenny Fraser Murray). With the addition of some cameos from famous figures from the American War of Independence recognised even in New Zealand (Benedict Arnold and Benjamin Franklin) and the tangled lives they lead courtesy of Diana Gabaldon and it all makes for sometimes complex but enjoyable reading.
An Echo in the Bone starts off at a slow and deliberate pace, carefully setting the scene. At times I found the density of the detail and slow pace infuriating, something I occasionally found in the past with some of the middle volumes of the series. However, this book picked up speed as we moved away from Fraser's Ridge and into some of the intial battles of the War of Independence. By the end (page 814), I was incredibly out of breath as the plot had galloped through last 100 pages. So much was happening as each of the storylines sped towards the other.
As I said at the outset, don't expect to come to the end and find all the answers. This is a cliffhanger of the best variety. I can only hope that Diana Gabaldon finishes her promotional tour soon, manages to rest up over the Christmas break and sits down to put pen to paper early in the New year. I read A Breath of Snow and Ashes because I wanted to know how she wrapped things up but now I simply want more. The sooner, the better as far as I am concerned as I desperately want to know what happens next.