Wednesday, 26 September 2007

These four walls

Given the precarious state of the music business it's almost hard to believe that Shawn Colvin has been making music for over 20 years, and not just putting out average albums with the occasional hyped 'comeback', but making a consistent body of work that builds on itself making each new album her best yet. With only 2 new albums in the last 11 years it's probably no surprise that she hasn't scaled the commercial heights she deserves, but this CD, her first for the new 'Nonesuch' label, is as good as anything she has done before. Working once again with producer/songwriter John Leventhal she once again delivers a stellar set of songs, melodic & finely crafted, yet lacking in any unnecessary flourishes, and as always her lyrics are able to tell stories of the ups and downs of life & relationships in fresh new ways. Highly recommended.

Featured album: These four walls, by Shawn Colvin

For more music reviews check out our Popular Music Staff Picks

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Cheesy Wotsits and a stuffed otter

In this month's kids' fiction recent picks you'll find... a stuffed otter, Bionicles and the Island of Doom, Rainbow Magic fairies, a ballerina, and the Undy family. Plus, the next book in the CatKid series.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Es Cuba : Life and love on an illegal island

This month our travel recent picks are full of intriguing travel memoirs set in exotic destinations - Cuba, Casablanca, France, Nepal, Tibet...

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Spongebob and Elvis Presley

Our new kids' sound and vision recent picks include Dora, Spongebob and Hello Kitty, plus the soundtrack of Cars, and favourite Island songs from Disney's Lilo & Stitch. Elvis Presley (being Lilo's favourite singer!) of course features, along with some more typical Hawaiian music performed by the Kamehameha Schools Children's Chorus...

Monday, 10 September 2007

The power of a positive NO

In our September personal development recent picks we feature the latest book from bestselling author William Ury, 'The power of a positive NO : how to say no and still get to yes', as well as a guide to beating stress and Peter Walsh's 'It's all too much : a guide to living a richer life with less stuff' (click the title link on the page to go through to the catalogue and view excerpts and an annotation). Have a look!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Transformers and the Yuk Factor

This month's kids' non-fiction recent picks include the ultimate guide to the Transformers (mythology, history, profiles of key characters from the different generations...), and 'The Yuk Factor' - a book which will test your yucky knowledge and answer such burning questions as 'Why was worm stew eaten in the Middle Ages?' (really - why?!) and 'What is onychophagia?' (compulsive nail-biting). Also included this month - 'The 7 day bully-buster', and 'Buzz' (a guide to every creeping, crawling, flying, sticking, stinging, poisoning, recycling, buzzing insect you can imagine). All this and more - have a look!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Chocolate & Zucchini

Campside cooking, tempting vegetarian recipes, 'The complete Middle East cookbook', gluten-free recipes, food customs and traditions, cookies, cakes and cupcakes, and 'Chocolate & Zucchini' - the cookbook born of the blog of the same name. Featuring beautiful recipes (not just zucchini and chocolate, although a few incorporate both ingredients...) from a Parisian woman who learned to cook in San Francisco, 'Chocolate & Zucchini' is a must-see! All this and more in our September cooking recent picks.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Cyborg secret agents and vampire sleuths

Cyborg secret agents, black holes, a futuristic noir thriller, the fifth book in Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series, a version of MI5 that deals with supernatural threats, a vampire sleuth, and the latest from Stephen Baxter - all in this month's science fiction recent picks.

The hunt for a missing masterpiece

To whet your interest - in this month's non-fiction recent picks you'll find: the incredible story of the theft of a great painting and the brilliant detective who gets it back; the tale of Samuel Plimsoll MP, "The Sailor's Friend", who worked with his wife Eliza to defend sailors against nefarious and unsafe practices at sea in nineteenth century Britain; a history of spies and subversion in New Zealand; a shocking look at the debt industry and how today's credit merchants are trying to get everyone into the credit game; the Middle East and US foreign policy; a manga version of the Bible - and much more.

Monday, 3 September 2007

I was a Plunket baby

In our September New Zealand recent picks you'll find: Volume 2 of Taiawhio (18 new conversations with contemporary Maori artists), 100 years of Plunket, a photographic guide to New Zealand insects, New Zealand mysteries that have intrigued the nation (con artists, conspiracies, disappearances, deaths, mysterious creatures and unusual visitors), mushrooms and fungi of New Zealand, foodie adventures in Auckland, and much more...

Journeys with the black dog

This month's health recent picks feature an anatomist's guide to your organs and your health, coping with radiotherapy, making autism a gift (a positive, practical guide for those who are affected by autism and autism spectrum disorders), Oliver Sacks' 'The man who mistook his wife for a hat', inspirational stories of bringing depression to heel, and why we need disease - an evolutionary perspective.

Super happy crochet cute!

In this month's craft recent picks... Amigurumi - Japanese-inspired dolls that have motivated crocheters everywhere to grab their hooks and create collections of irresistibly funky-cute creatures; collaborative quilting and beaded crazy quilting; patchwork projects to use up that fabric hoard or 'stash'; a selection of books on feltmaking (also known as felting). Have a look!