Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Damsels in distress

This month our history page features The Crusades, in particular recommending books by the specialist Christopher Tyerman. Also this month in history Queen Elizabeth I and Karl Marx died, the Free milk in school scheme began and Cyclone Bola struck.

Law for lunch

Have hire purchase agreements got you in knots? Who can do what with your personal information? Is family law more tangled than your family? How does parole work?
Find out at "Law for Lunch", a series of lunchtime talks at Wellington Central Library. Specialists will demystify the law around these issues and you can ask your own questions: Thursdays noon-1pm, 8-29 March. (more)

A shiny robot

Our craft recent picks bring you Russian punch needle embroidery (igolochkoy), a patchwork tortoise, medallion quilts, screen printing, patterns for experienced knitters, applique and Japanese paper-folding and more.

Counting head lice

A young Spanish militant, an inveterate womanizer, secret passion in East Africa, a darts groupie and a bizarre hospital are features of our latest contemporary fiction. Plus there's Norman Mailer's take on young Adolf Hitler.

Downright intimidating

Shed your reliance on Microsoft, create fur in Maya, try Ubuntu ('Linux for human beings', they claim), style with CSS, explore Wi-fi at home. Check out our computer recent picks for these subjects and more, including the indecipherable xmlrpclip, bz2 and optparse.

Pies and prejudice

Thousand-foot cliffs, cappuccino makers, Tibetan pilgrimages, pirate infested waters and holidays with dogs are featured in our recent travel picks. The very funny British music journo Stuart Maconie is horrified to realise he is becoming a Southerner, and goes in search of his Northern soul.

Brawlers, bawlers and bastards

For the best exciting raucous rock, lo-fi experimentation, lush harmonies, jazz standards, sugary summery sounding songs, and quirky folk, see our picks for the best music of 2006.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Mental illness

1 in 5 New Zealanders have to cope with some form of mental illness at some point in their lives - that equates to nearly half a million people. This month our health page features some mental illness resources.

An intoxicating summer fling

Soccer chicks, evil gangs, the crusades, a princess who prefers to play with frogs and a massive beast of unimaginable strength and rage. See our teen hype page.

A taste for matches

Arsonists, young renegades, highland castles, scandals and the torments of affluenza are sprinkled among our latest bestsellers. Some of the books are so new that they haven't reached your local library yet - look out for them later this week.

The ladies' loos

Climate change, the collapse of pot-friendly utopian community Rainbow Farm, the West's approach to fundamentalism, the history of duelling and sex in marriage are among the topics of our latest popular non-fiction recent picks.

Odd people in our parish

We have new fiction from Norman Mailer, Tim LaHaye, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Janet Evanovich, Anne McCaffrey, and many more. Among our new mysteries there are blood vendettas, shadow walkers, red chrysanthemums and "a thrust to the vitals". Among our new sf and fantasy there are changelings, eternal artifacts, sky people, and daughters of hounds. Our new DVDs include many TV comedies, celtic music, Serge Gainsbourg, Neko Case and the fascinating Beales of Grey Gardens. For full listings, see our booklists page.

Monday, 26 February 2007

Zola and Tintin

The British monarchy, Hitler's bandit hunters, European culture, an enormously successful Bronx heroin dealer, and fearsome vikings destroying monasteries are among the subjects of our latest history picks.

Paris exploded like a champagne bottle left in the sun

Tutu and Mandela, an enfant terrible, a nature conjurer, a fearsome warrior queen, a duchesses, British fascists, a Coro Street actress and a happy-go-lucky seadog are among those featured in our latest biography recent picks.

To act boldly

Purpose, mavericks, radical collaboration, tough choices, Carly Fiorina, zag strategy, excellence, meetings, influence and streetwise business planning are among the topics of our latest management recent picks.

Epic motorcycle journeys

Wanting a holiday with a difference? Why not try a road trip on a motorcycle? Check out our travel page for more information on motorcycle trips.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Music ad lib

Our radio show can be heard on Access Radio 783 AM, at 4.30pm, February 24th. Hear hurdgy gurdys and loud guitars from Sweden's Garmarna, one of Algerian Souad Massi's lovely ballads, very different kinds of Englishness from Black Box Recorder and Billy Bragg ... and much more.

Friday, 16 February 2007


Four new bestsellers - the story of Mukhtar Mai and honour crimes in Pakistan, NY Times journalist Frank Rich's investigation of the "decline and fall of truth" under Bush, and psychologist Oliver James' diagnosis of 'affluenza' among the unhappy middle classes. Plus, the 8 tribes of New Zealand.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Perennial quest for happiness

The power of kindness, our blatant disregard for worst-case scenarios, the spiritual roots of yoga, toxic language in the workplace and a guide to dying for New Zealanders are among our personal development recent picks.

Our lady of weight loss

Yoga therapy, fitness for those aged 50+, how to cope when someone close to you has depression, apple cider vinegar and the digestive system are the topics of some of our latest health recent picks. In 'Bad medicine', David Wootton argues that doctors have relied on patients' misplaced faith for thousands of years.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Project management

We have a new project management page. We will feature new articles and the best of our recent books. Our current featured article is 'Delivering Projects on Time' from Research Technology Management, which asks "which risk events are most likely to occur?" and "Which risk events will have the most severe impact on the project schedule?"

Nineteen goddesses

We have many fascinating new books on religion and beliefs.

Waitangi quiz

It's the last day to take part in our Treaty of Waitangi quiz.

Yummies for small tummies

Our new parenting titles look at teaching children mathematics, lesbian & gay parenting, toilet training, handling a break-up, special diets for children with disabilities, girl heroes and healthy yummy snack food.

Head-spinning, song-singing

We have a few new children's DVDs.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Three new bestsellers

Recent bestsellers include a book about why we have no idea how to make ourselves happy, a murder mystery set in an isolated settlement in Canada, 1867, and a, I suspect, Da Vinci Code rip-off, but if it isn't, please correct me.


Our latest fiction genre feature is Humour/Satire/Black comedy. Spend some time with aging dandy and terribly good secret agent Lucifer Box. Visit suburbia where serving pineapple with cottage cheese at a dinner party is the very height of glamorous sophistication. Meet God, a golfing enthusiast with a fragile ego, and a perpetually tipsy handyman, kleptomaniac ghost and sexy trout dealer.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

The end. Two Stars.

What does William of Mt Cook say is "the best book I've ever read!!!!!!!!!!!"? Learn what Jonathan of Paparangi has to say about green potatoes. Which Lemony Snicket book has "good twists & a reckless plot" according to Lydia of Ngaio? Find out on our kid's book reviews page.

Reserve your copy of Harry Potter

'Harry Potter and the deathly hallows' is due for release on July 21st. You can place a reserve here. We're buying heaps of copies and there'll be a quick turnover. Of course, if you don't want a 10-year-old who read the entire thing on the first day to tell you who dies, then you may have to buy a copy.

Teach a goat to dance

Email marketing, the secret of the pitch, smarter pricing, great managing, brand rejuvenation and project management are among the subjects of our latest management recent picks.

Sacrificed his soul

A doll-faced ex-con, gore-drenched zombie chronicles, a mysterious cabal of unnamed conspirators, Capote, a grumpy doctor, Superman and John Wayne are featured in our latest DVD picks.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Whip-smart critiques

German and Russian language magazines, biblical archaeology, ethical investing, NZ construction news, witty feminist critiques of pop culture, golf - our new magazines are a varied bunch.

Monday, 5 February 2007

Vividly palpable

All that stands between one man and the Mafia is a penguin. A child disappears without a trace. An insecure woman wishes she had a small bum. All this and more in librarian's choice.

A book I'd like to own

An intense book about a sad family, an excellent historical whodunit, a funny gripping page-turner, something a little repetitious, and the relationship between two well educated, neurotic and self analytical characters are among our fiction reader's choices.

Moral morass

An ancient cursed weaving, a butcher and a barista, Sir Isaac Newton, a recently blinded negotiator, a sewage tunnel, elevator surfing, a flawed man, a beloved pug, fishy histories and a former cheerleader are sprinkled throughout our latest mystery recent picks.

Misadventures in English

The end of Harry Potter, wedding readings, 100 must-read crime novels and how to communicate in French are among the subjects of our latest literature picks.

Unexpectedly touched by grace

Our selections from the long list for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize are featured in our new fiction picks. There are enchanting and horrifying tales about Tibet prior to the Chinese invasion, an Albanian psychological thriller, the fictionalised story of Blanche Wittman, a patient with hysteria who became Marie Curie's assistant, and books from Afghan, Norwegian and Austrian authors.

Load your iPod with Bach or Bono

Our latest classical music picks include local academic Inge van Rij's analysis of Brahms' songs in the groups in which he published them, an assessment of Indian music in the West and a book on neuroscience and music. New CDs include a two disc set in honour of Joan Sutherland's 80th birthday and Sting singing John Dowland, which has had mixed reviews.

Sunbathing tuna

Kangaroos grow on trees and llamas hum. Also, Bush's war on science, dazzling gems, shed science projects, the widening mismatch between our biology and our environment, game theory, sudoku and rainforests are among the subjects of our latest science books.

Friday, 2 February 2007

What's popular this month?

Your brain on music. Flight of the Conchords from 2002. Manga mania. The death of the English debutante. Londonistan. Ageless, youthful style (if it's ageless, why is it youthful?) Plus new fiction from Iain Banks, Rhonda Byrne and Marina Lewycka (of 'A short history of tractors in Ukrainian' fame). More here

Freshness of memory

A Shah's wife, the two Ronnies, polar hero Hubert Wilkins, Princess Masako and NZ scholar J.C. Beaglehole are among those featuerd in our most recent biographies.

Sidhe Fairy Fool

A shape-shifting black-panther, warring seraphs, a gigantic subterranean organism, a world where 99% of the population is lycanthropic and other oddities abound in our latest science fiction and fantasy picks. My fav is 'Eifelheim', a moving novel in which aliens land in a small German village just before the Black Death hits. Father Dietrich approaches the 'demons' like a natural philosopher, but sometimes he and his mediaeval townsfolk are the more alien to us.

Enduring wisdom of dogs

The kitchen gardens at Heligan, how to have a perfect pet, Oswald Blumhard (a New Zealand plant pioneer), homes in harmony with nature, loveable tarnished and tatty furniture and organic gardens are among the topics of our house and garden recent picks.

Vegetable-based desserts

Dazzle your dinner guests with coconut and kaffir lime pannacotta, a escabeche of freshwater trout with remoulade salad and Michael Cooper's pick of New Zealand wines. Cook a Chinese feast to impress the gods, or sneakily feed your guests a South Beach Diet meal (they claim to be delicious and healthy, but who knows). More in our cooking recent picks.


Māori art, a debut novel about a woman with both Māori and Pakeha whakapapa, education, the New Zealand wars and poems by Rangi Faith are among the featured books on our Māori recent books page.