Thursday, 28 December 2006

Holiday reading

Amazon book jacket The latest New Zealand recent picks include a short history of sheep, memorable moments in New Zealand sport, and in time for any holiday travelling: a small epic journey down State Highway 1, plus holiday homes and baches to rent.

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

The hottest pop star

New to our YA CD collection - art metal from Isis, electro pop from Gwen Stefani, melodic songwriting from Fall Out Boy , urban music from the soundtrack of Dave Chappelle's Block Party and more. New to our YA DVD collection - Flight of the albatross, Pirates of the Caribbean: dead man's chest, She's the man, Pop star and more. Check out our CD and DVD Hype page for details.

Donkey carol

We have Christmas music on CD and DVD, including 'The Baroque Christmas album', 'The three tenors: Christmas', Bach's 'Christmas Oratorio' (BWV 248), and 'The Nutcracker Suite (Shchelkunchik)' by Tchaikovsky. We also have scores for carols and instrumental classical music. More information is available on our Classical Christmas music page.

Holiday hours and children's programmes

Remember to check our Christmas & New Year holiday hours. Children's holiday programmes are on this week in our libraries - come along for Christmas storytimes and crafts.

Fiction and magazines still for sale

At discounted prices. Come into Central to pick up some bargains - magazines 20c and fiction $1.

Radio Show Dec 30th

"Music Ad Lib", hosted by our own library staff music enthusiasts, airs monthly on Access Radio 783 AM, at 4.30pm for 30 minutes. Our December 30th show will feature whatever you want to call it (more info).

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Skulls of Moas

Our science page has a feature on the National Library's digitisation of the fascinating Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1868-1961. 'Transactions' features a wealth of New Zealand zoological, botanical and geological information. As well as the full text, you can also browse the picture gallery full of fossils, botanical illustrations and more.

Friday, 15 December 2006

Manly misbehavior

Our latest biography picks include books about Helen of Troy, Gordon Ramsay, and Irina Baronova (one of the 'Three baby ballerinas' featured in the documentary Ballet Russes). 'Romancing Spain: a memoir' is a love story. 'Nabeel's song' by Jo Tatchell is the story of the Yasin family who opposed Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime.

Metanarrative, prolepsis, amplification

Hidden beliefs in Shakespeare's works, the pleasures of the novel and the secrets of bestselling author Janet Evanovich are amnog our literature recent picks. We have new 'dummies' books on Jane Austen and technical writing, plus 'Writing your first novel' by John Reynolds, for aspiring NZ writers.

New graphics books

Our new graphics books look at harmonious use of colour, knowing the needs of your clients, anime techniques, the poster and more.

Great art has dreadful manners

Our new art books look at the photographic portrait, art crime, organic architecture, the symbolism in Renaissance art, legends of NZ design and more. In 'Things I didn't know', critic Robert Hughes looks back on his life.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

A hilarious riot of teenage fumblings

A boy dressed in silks and white wigs; hard-case Nail in his dodgy van; a weird, black, oily substance is oozing from fire hydrants and faucets; raving cannibals; a hacker extraordinaire; forcible recruitment by the M16; a headstrong who doesn't want to be rescued; a boring seaside town; skincare made from porridge. Check out our hype page for new teen books.

Who would you most like as your best friend?

In our latest hype survey, would you pick Naruto Uzumaki, Holden Caulfield, Draco Malfoy, R2-D2, or ??? as your best friend?

Season's greetings

Seasons greetings to our senior library users, from our Housebound and Talking Book Services. For Christmas book, film and music recommendations, New Year's picks, recommended websites and information on our services, visit our seniors page.

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Holiday hours

Our holiday hours are up on the website. Ones to remember - all WCL libraries are closed Sunday 24th to Tuesday 26th December and Sunday 31st December to Tuesday 2nd January. Check the site for our reduced opening hours. On 3rd January, all libraries resume normal hours.

Monday, 11 December 2006

Chess may alter the structure of the brain

The PlayStation Portable, Jiu-jitsu, serious mountain biking, marathons and trout fishing are among our sport, recreation and fitness recent picks. The 'Know the game' series of short books give good intros to various sports.

Author visit - Redmer Yska

WCL is pleased to welcome Redmer Yska, the author of Wellington: Biography of a City, who will be at Central Library on 13 December (5pm) to talk about his book. This is in conjunction with Reed Publishers.

A predictable love story

Our staff DVD picks include a perennial Christmas favourite, the best B-movie ever made, lots of cigarettes, an idiotic dinner party guest, a dashing vagabond and an elaborate heist of a shipment of Swiss gold.

A melancholic refrain

If you want to hear the frenzied guitar solo in Radiohead's 'Paranoid Android' played on the tuba, explore 30 years of Rough Trade, experience a strange and intoxicating mix of traditional and psychedelic folk, push the boundaries of drones, dance around the living room to Noel Coward gone techno, celebrate Christmas with the dour Aimee Mann or hear the best jazz pianist of the moment, visit our staff CD picks for December.

Pirates ahoy!

Gather round me hearties for a pirate storytime. Solve the treasure map, and make pirate hats, parrots and swords. Dress up as a pirate or have your face painted! Any naughty children may have to walk the plank... Come to our holiday programmes and become a pirate, play Playdough Pictionary, make some funky fridge magnets, meet a friendly fireman and celebrate Christmas.

Slowly awakening taniwha

New Zealand before the Treaty, the Pakeaka educational programme, meeting houses, Matariki and Māori health are among the topics covered in our Māori recent picks.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Heated debate

Would you eat your neighbour? Does China have a ravenous hunger? Have the majority of people evolved beyond war? Has terrorism taken over the modern world? Are you an ambivalent consumer? What is the meaning of wife? These questions may be answered by our new popular non-fiction, but having done nothing more than admire their covers, I offer no guarantees.

New computer books

Photoshop CS2, software security, open source software, blog design solutions, computing for seniors, podcasting - these topics and more are discussed in our new computer books.

Stunningly, uproariously bizarre

Circus performers, pirates, an erudite martini-swilling dog, Steve Irwin, graphic French horror, Vicky Pollard, thumbsuckers, crime solving math professors - they're all here among our DVD recent picks.

Poison-laced champagne

Brawls, ranting, gory shapes, demon spawn, true guffaws, rumpled library-scholars, sexy scam artists, tentative love affairs, Highlands villages, immoral appetites and a barrister turned monk - to unravel these strands, you must investigate our mystery recent picks.

Perfect happiness may exist only in our minds

Explore positive psychology, grow older healthily, pursue happiness, cope with stress and pain, come to a new understanding of religion - these subjects and more are covered in our new self help recent picks.

Blissed out hippies

Our popular music recent books look at U2, David Crosby, trumpeter James Morrison and AC/DC. In 'I was there: the gigs that changed the world,' Mark Paytress shows us what it would have been like to see the Beatles in one of their lunchtime spots in 1963 at the Cavern.

Best book lists

In addition to our favourite books of 2006, we're gathering together the picks of magazines and newspapers. The New York Times '10 best books' includes Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart, Special topics in calamity physics by Marisha Pessl, The looming tower, Al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright and The omnivore's dilemma, a natural history of four meals by Michael Pollan. Check out what the Guardian, Times, New Statesman, Washington Post and others have to say on our fiction page.

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

What we've got

What new fiction, books on CD and DVDs arrived this month? Visit the booklists page to find out. We also list some of the most popular items this month, including Clive James's 4th volume of unreliable memoirs, new novels by Terry Pratchett, Elizabeth George and Mark Haddon, and CDs by The Be Good Tanyas and The Beatles.

The power of nice

Rev up your workplace, move from conflict to collaboration, write a great CV, kick-start your business, win the knowledge transfer race - all this and more in our management recent picks. You can also learn from great thinkers such as Viscount Horatio Nelson and some psychologist from The Apprentice.

Prise oneself from one's armchair

"Every lady should, to my mind, know how to use a revolver. She may at any time be in China or some other country where there are savage natives," Walter Winans, 1904. In addition to some antique advice in 'The lost art of travel: a handbook of modern adventurer' by Vic Darkwood, our travel recent picks look at Tuscany, Rio, Indian rail journeys, Northland and the Himalayas.

Monday, 4 December 2006

Of whirlwind underground

Learn to play accordion music, Verdi, Lilburn ... all this and more in our classical music recent picks, this month featuring scores and songbooks.

Sub-zero heroes

Our children's AV recent picks include DVDs of Curious George, Fungus the Bogeyman, Angelina Ballerina (a mouse), Bob the Builder, Tractor Tom and more. New CDs to soothe babies include 'Peaceful baby' and 'Sleepy baby', and you can then put on 'Playful baby' to wake them up.

Chainsaws in the bedrooms

Read our new Children's fiction and experience the difficulty of ruling the Faerie Realm, being chased by the FBI and Hairless Joe and an ambush of Father Christmas. In 'Parent Swap', a secret agency helps children find perfect parents. In 'The Charioteer of Delphi', rival racing factions are embroiled in sabotage, secret identities and a deadly curse.

A one-whiskered rat

Christmas, blue kangaroos, grumpy ducks, wise old tomcats, pharaohs and Kylie can be found in our latest children's picture books.

Metallic threads

Brown grocery bags, screenprinting, quilt folklore, crochet techniques, yoga bags and machine embroidery are among the topics of our recent craft picks. Learn how to make greeting cards, beaded bags, embroidered flowers and more.

He was a lowly hussar

New books by Michael Dobbs, Sue Townsend, Stephen King and Martina Cole (as plastered on posters around town) are among our contemporary fiction recent picks. Long-estranged fathers, Norfolk craft shops, partying girlfriends, perilous journeys, poultry keeping, influenza and the blind ineptitude of Westminster men are featured.

The infamous Chopine

Stripes, puppets, t-shirts, pictograms, fashion culture, alphabets, body painting, traditional Indian designs and the eroticism of ancient shoe lacing are among the topics of our new design books.

Molecular gastronomy

Polenta, squid, Bellinis, moist beef, sinking souffles, cheat's pizza and fried shallotts are discussed in our new cooking books. Ruth Pretty, Biba Caggiano, Bill Granger, Julie Biuso and Alison herself are among the writers.