Thursday, 30 April 2009

Books of the Week

A couple of books with a slightly local flavour this week.

Yates Landing. By Kate Stirling
This is a New Zealand historical romance set close to home for Rodney residents. The story is set on the Kaipara Harbour and the places plied by the boats in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Chloe Mainwell, a London belle, arrives at a situation that requires her to be married as soon as possible. Thomas Yates agrees to marry her and he brings her to New Zealand.
She faces all the hardships of life on a sailing ship for the long voyage by sea to New Zealand and her life with her new husband. This all becomes a huge challenge which she deals with the best way she knows how. The surroundings and the weather offers the biggest of these challenges and the outcome is not what she had expected.
Chloe soon becomes very settled into the rural way of life and becomes a regular visitor to and eventually resident in Dargaville.
This is a story that wends its way through the life of a young London woman, spanning through to her old age on the Northern Wairoa River, with all the issues that happen along the way.
Reviewed by Wellsford Library

This is a children's title, once again set on the Kaipara Harbour. Based on a real life family in 1920, this is still a work of fiction. And there is plenty that younger readers will be able to relate to here. First and foremost is every child's dream. Mum and Dad have gone away for a week and you are in charge. There are still jobs to do, but there is plenty of fun and mischief to be had as well.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

It's a Puzzle

This is my regular "Libraries are not just about books" entry. People are often surprised to find that we have a huge collection of children's jigsaw puzzles. They are one of the most popular items for our young patrons and their parents.

They range from simple five piece knob puzzles with big bright colours to help develop manual dexterity, right through to the more complicated puzzles which provide our librarians and volunteers with their daily intelligence tests (we have to put them together ourselves quite often so that we can check that all the pieces are there). From animals, trucks and Thomas the Tank Engine through to numbers, letters and match-up games, there is something for everyone.

You won't find the jigsaws out on the shelves, but we do have laminated sheets of all our puzzles for you to sort through and bring up to the desk. We will then find the jigsaw for you and hand it over. They range from small to rather large so be prepared.

Check out the range of jigsaws on this Rodney Libraries catalogue link.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Quantum theory cannot hurt you...

...but it sure can make your head spin.

Chown is one of the authors appearing at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival. (I figured that since I'd bought a ticket to see him I should read something he'd written.) 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.
The book is written in a relaxed style that takes you step by step through complex theories of how the universe works. It's divided into the "Small things" (quantum) and the "Big things" (everything else). The first half of the book concentrates on the peculiar properties of atoms and the world we can't see. The second half uses that information to explain why stars and galaxies are the way they are. (Well, it explains the current working theories anyway...)
This is 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.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Mayor Penny's Reading Challenge 2009

Term 2 has begun and May starts at the end of the week. Which is the signal for our annual children's reading challenge in Rodney to begin.

Mayor Penny Webster is once again challenging all the children in Rodney to "Read half an hour a day during the month of May". Information packs have been posted out to all schools who are distributing entry forms to their classes. If you don't get an entry form at school, you can always pick one up from your local Rodney Library.

Reading can be done anywhere (including at school). Once you have finished your reading for the day, colour in the date on the calendar in the entry form. At the end of May sign the form to say you have completed the challenge, get a caregiver or teacher to sign it as well and then get it to one of the Rodney Libraries by 10th June to be in the draw to win a new bike or one of our consolation prizes. PLUS if you come into the library and take out books with your library card twice during May you get a bonus entry and an extra chance to win.

Mayor Penny and Deputy Mayor John are visiting several schools to make the challenge in person and see how you are getting on with your reading. The Mayor's message is "Keep reading and the world is yours". Popular Kiwi author Joy Cowley has also lent her support to the challenge so look out for her message in the libraries.

So make sure you get your entry form and get ready to READ HALF AN HOUR A DAY DURING THE MONTH OF MAY!!

Have your say about Rodney

Rodney District Council invites you to have your say on a number of consultations. Included in these is the Diamond survey which is also running in the Rodney Times. The survey is intended to help RDC understand Rodney's communities. It takes around 5-10 minutes to do and gives people the opportunity to talk about the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of an area as well as to rate it according to its liveability, visitability, workability and investability. There's only one week left before this survey closes so get in and have your say.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Anzac Day Services

Rodney Libraries will be closed tomorrow in honour of ANZAC Day.

There are a number of services around the district. More details available via the Rodney District Council website.

Dawn service at the Cenotaph, Auckland War Memorial Museum (Auckland Domain) at 6am. Assemble at the Cenotaph at 5.30am for veterans' parade's 5.45am departure. Citizens' service at Cenotaph, Auckland War Memorial Museum, at 11am. Assemble at 10.30am for veterans' parade for 10.45am departure.

Dawn service at 6am (5.20am muster) at the Cenotaph in Parakai Domain, followed directly by a service at the Servicemen's Cemetery. Parade at 11am on Commercial Rd, Helensville, followed by service at RSA.

Service at 11am at the Leigh Cemetery.

Memorial parade at 9am at the Riverhead War Memorial Park gates.

Citizens' services: Silverdale RSA (11am), Silverdale Memorial Park (12.15pm), Remembrance Reserve Orewa (12.40pm) and Upper Waiwera Cenotaph (2.30pm).

Citizens' service Waimauku War Memorial Hall, Station Rd (10.30am); parade back to Waimauku RSA (11.30am).

Dawn parade, fall-in 6.30am, Civic parade, fall-in 10am. Both next to the Band Rotunda, Church St.

Dawn service at Memorial Gates, Port Albert Rd, Wellsford (6am). Fall-in outside Wrightsons at Port Albert Rd, 5.45am.


Lots of different News snippets from authors, books and the publishing world to finish off this week.

Novelist J.G. Ballard has passed away. He was best known for The Empire of the Sun which was turned into a movie. He was 78.

Marina Lewycka, who wrote the international bestseller A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian and Two Caravans, wants to join her husband of 22 years, Dave Feickert, in Wanganui. However, NZ Immigration have some red tape that has to be satisfied first. Read the full story on this link

To find out what books are going to be read, discussed, reviewed on National Radio during May, check out the NZ Booksellers Link.

If you are a Patricia Cornwell fan, how do you picture Kay Scarpetta? If they made a movie, who do you think should play her? Well check out one of New Zealand's best literary bloggers Graham Beattie on Beattie's Book Blog to find out what Hollywood has planned.

And I'v just discovered a whole new way to watch the new TVNZ book programme. I'v actually only just discovered the new TVNZ book programme because it's on TV6 and I don't receive that. However, to get my fix of The Good Word, hosted by Emily Perkins, I use the internet and TVNZ On Demand. One of our customers told me she does something similar, downloading the Book reviews off the podcast option on the National Radio website to her MP3 to listen to while walking.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Rodney Writes awards ceremony

The Rodney Writes Awards ceremony was held last night at Whangaparaoa Library. MC Stu Duvall presided over the celebration of creative writing on the theme "Going global." The three judges, Lorraine Orman (Young Writers), Helen Kirkman (Novice) and Sue Orr (Premier) commented positively on the depth and quality of the entries.

Congratulations to the winners.

Premier winner - John MacKinven
Premier runner-up - Beatrice Hale

Novice winner - Kayleen Hazlehurst
Novice runner-up - Catherine Bell

Young Writers winner - Eve Bain
Young Writers runner-up - Amy Jackson
Photos from the night and more details about the competition to come...

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Service to rededicate the War Memorial Plaque held at the Warkworth War Memorial Library

Yesterday morning a service was held to re-dedicate the War Memorial Plaque held at the Warkworth War Memorial Library. The plaque is an honour roll of Warkworth soldiers killed in World War One and World War Two. It is an important part of Warkworth’s history and contains the names of 34 local soldiers.

For nearly 50 years the plaque has been part of the local library. It was first installed in the Warkworth War Memorial library built in 1960. In 1994, more space was needed to accommodate the library and the War Memorial library was moved to its current location at Baxter Street.

The plaque has recently been refurbished with the assistance of Mr Kay Sutcliffe of the RSA and help from local businesses. Matakana Sawmill donated the macrocarpa timber for the plaque, Signs by Two Brothers refurbished the sign and Clear Coatings provided a gloss finish.

Thank you to those attending, the band, library staff and volunteers who helped to bring the day to fruition. Thank you to the members of the community who donated their time, materials and skills to produce the magnificant plaque and most importantly the members of the community who had the foresight to build the Warkworth War Memorial Library as a living monument for the inspiration and wellbeing of future generations.
Communities will be honouring the brave men and women who fought and died for us this Saturday in ceremonies to commemorate ANZAC day. Every town throughout New Zealand has built icons to remember the war - such as gates, cenotaphs, plaques, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the wharenui at Te Kaha on the East Coast, and libraries such as our very own Warkworth War Memorial Library. It is a time to also remember members of our community who are currently serving overseas in peace-keeping forces.

We will remember them.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Text BARBARA to 8981

Come on Rodney. Time to get those fingers working and get in behind our Favourite Olympian Barbara Kendall as she battles it out on the dance floor tonight against Tamati Coffey for the 2009 Dancing with the Stars Trophy.

I am not ashamed to put up my hand and say that I love this programme. I wish I could dance like they do. Putting grace, passion and power into the music.

If you are at all interested in dancing, then the library is a good place to start as we have lots of books on all sorts of dancing. At the moment some of our libraries are even having displays and free lessons as part of our school holiday programme "I like to move it". Kumeu Library had an awesome response to their ballet session last week.

To check out the gossip behind the scenes on the TV show check out their website. To find books in the library about ballroom dancing view this Library catalogue link for books, music and DVD's. For dance in general view this link for all your different options.

And you can also catch Barbara's biography Wind Driven at your local Rodney Library as well.


Monday, 20 April 2009

Author Talk - What Not to Eat

Joan Buchanan started her career in health training at National Women's Hospital and then attended a course at south Pacific College. Short courses with various organisations including Blackmore's. She owned a herbal importing business before giving it up to look after her parents.

She diagnosed a friend as having problem with Gluten a number of years ago. There were little resources' around at the time she and did some research to help her. At the moment she is completing a correspondence course with the Naturopathic College of New Zealand.

Joan ran a course at Orewa College last term called What Not to Eat that focused on dietary information helping people to excluded foods that cause allergy e.g. gluten, wheat, dairy, nuts and eggs another course is planned for Term 2.

She will be talking about Living free while Gluten free and will have samples of gluten free products, recipes and suppliers details to share at Mahurangi East Library Wednesday 29 April 2009 at 2pm.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Best Sellers in New Zealand

I think I have mentioned before that what is HOT in the shops is usually just as HOT in the library. Here's a quick look at the best sellers for the fortnight to 4th April 2009.

NZ Fiction – Adults
1 The 10PM Question, Kate De Goldi
2 Mister Pip, Lloyd Jones
3 Isle of Tears, Deborah Challinor
4 Bold Blood, Lindy Kelly
5 On Top of Everything, Sarah-Kate Lynch

NZ Non-fiction – Adults
1 Walking in Light, Kelvin Cruickshank
2 Robyn Martin's Best Recipes for Crockpots and Slowcookers, Robyn Martin
3 Bake, Allyson Gofton
4 100 Ways to Use Slow Cookers and Crockpots, Alison Holst & Simon Holst
5 Edmonds Cookery Centenary Edition

International Fiction – Adults (excluding NZ)
1 Handle with Care, Jodi Picoult
2 Gone Tomorrow, Lee Child
3 Corsair, Clive Cussler
4 Once in a Lifetime, Cathy Kelly
5 The Italian Wedding, Nicky Pellegrino

International Non-fiction – Adults (excluding NZ)
1 Marley and Me, John Grogan
2 Dear Fatty, Dawn French
3 Dreams from my Father A Story of Race and Inheritance, Barack Obama
4 Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything, Elizabeth Gilbert
5 Ripley's Believe it or Not!, Geoff Tibballs

And rather than listing them all, it probably comes as no surprise to anyone that Stephenie Meyer filles the top five slots on the Children and Teens List with her Twilight series still going as strong as ever.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Welcome home King Odysseus

Scholars think they have pinned down the date that King Odysseus returned home from the Trojan war to save his wife who was beset with suitors trying to win her hand. April 16, 1178 B.C. They are basing their findings on a number of assumptions about star positions described in Homer's epic poem.
Clues include:
- Six days before the slaughter, Venus is visible and high in the sky.
- Twenty-nine days before, two constellations -- the Pleiades and Bootes -- are simultaneously visible at sunset.
- Thirty-three days before,
Mercury is high at dawn and near the western end of its trajectory.
There is also a total eclipse of the sun on the day.

The library has several copies of Homer's works - the Odyssey and the Iliad. We also have the DVD Troy. Nobody is really sure if the story that is being told accurately reflects what happened during and after the Trojan war. One of the scholars involved says "What we'd like to achieve is to get the reader to pick up the 'Odyssey' and read it again, and ponder. And to realize that our understanding of these texts is quite imperfect, and even when entire libraries have been written about Homeric studies, there is still room for further investigation."

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Auckland Writers and Readers Festival

2009 is the tenth anniversary year of the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival! Created in 1999 by a committed group of writers and book lovers eager for an Auckland festival of ideas celebrating books and reading, this year the Festival is on from 13 -17 May 2009 at the Aotea Centre.

Our library cousins from Christchurch City Libraries always come up and write a comprehensive report on the event so there's no need to miss out if you can't make it into the city. Here's their report from last year.

This year there are a number of free events along with ticketed events.

One of the free events is "Can you hear me Whangaparaoa?" Friday 15 May 1.30pm Lower NZI Room – Aotea Centre.
"Janet Frame and Charles Brasch in their own words. The Janet Frame Literary Trust presents the première of a tribute session in honour of Charles Brasch's 100th anniversary in 2009. This performance consists entirely of original passages written by Janet Frame and Charles Brasch, sourced mostly from their unpublished letters.
The readings portray the relationship between Frame and Brasch, and range from their early correspondence concerning Frame's submissions to Landfall in the 1940s, to Frame's reminiscences about Brasch after his death in 1973. "Can you hear me, Whangaparaoa?" is the first line of a poem Brasch dedicated to Frame on his deathbed. The readings were selected by Frame executors Pamela Gordon and Denis Harold with the cooperation of Brasch executor Alan Roddick."

We've all heard of Janet Frame (and her house on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula) but Charles Brasch was a mystery to me until I looked him up. Here's a description from a past exhibition at the University of Otago. "Charles Brasch (1909-1973), literary editor, poet and patron. Born in Dunedin, and educated at Waitaki Boys' High School and St John's College, Oxford. He lived abroad for many years working as a teacher in England, as an archaeologist in Egypt, and as a civil servant in wartime London. He returned to New Zealand and founded Landfall in 1947."
Next I checked the library catalogue and found a couple of titles that look interesting. I'll let you know what they're like.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Warkworth War Memorial Library

Warkworth Public Library was one of New Zealand's "living" War Memorials - a building for the community which was opened and dedicated in May 1961 (the original being in Alnwick Street for those of us who remember it).

With the arrival of the wonderful new Memorial Plaque which was installed late last year, and in the lead up to ANZAC Day 2009, the Library are holding are rededication ceremony next Tuesday, 21st April starting at 9.30 am in the old Masonic Lodge Hall next door to the Library.

We extend a cordial invitation to our community to come along and take part. We are also celebrating in the Library with a display and books from our heritage. We also encourage you to contribute to this display by colouring in one of our Anzac Poppies and dropping it in to us (or draw your own).

"May it (the library) give service to the district and community as well as did those who gave service in a wider sphere" said then Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr Gotz. The Library moved from Alnwick Street, to it's present site in Baxter Street overlooking the river in 1994.

The history of the Warkworth War Memorial Library goes much further back than this. The re-dedication of the Memorial Plaque is just a warm up for the Library's 150th birthday at the beginning of July 2009.

Monday, 13 April 2009

I Like to Move It!

Get active, get fit or get the rhythm at Rodney Libraries during the April School Holidays. Here's a quick run down of what is on and when.

Wednesday 15 April @ 3pm - Let's Dance
Tuesday 21 April @ 10am - We're going on a Bear Hunt
Thursday 23 April @ 10am - Four!!!

Tuesday 14 April @ 10.30am - Stories, fun and movement
Thursday 16 April @ 10.30am - Listen to ballet stories and dance with a ballet teacher
Wednesday 22 April @ 10.30am - We're going on a Bear Hunt

Tuesday 14 April @ 10.30am - Talent Show - Watch our Irish dancer and Belly dancer, then show us what you can do
Tuesday 21 April @ 10.30am - Let's Limbo with special guest Clifford the Big Red Dog

Tuesday 14 & 21 April @ 2 pm - Keep up the Tempo with Shaolin Kempo
Wednesday 15 & 22 April @ 2pm - Bit by Bit, Keep Fit
Thursday 16 & 23 April @ 2pm - At a Glance, it's Scottish Dance
Friday 17 April @ 5.30pm - Take a Chance, it's a Yee-Ha Line Dance!
Monday 20 April @ 11am - Craft for Pre-schoolers
Friday 24 April @ 2pm - Hyper Hip-Hop!
Come early - Limited places for each class.

Wednesday 15 April @ 10.30am - Scottish Dancers
Thursday 16 & 23 April @ 10.30am - Push Play Neighbourhood Active Stories
Wednesday 22 April - Something special - watch this space!!!

Tuesday 14 & 21 April @ 10.30am - Get Active with Sue

Storytimes to suit 8 - 10 years - Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10.30am
Wednesday 22nd April @ 2pm - Live Dance demonstration by Creative Dance students

Thursday, 9 April 2009


A bunch of snippets and headlines from around the world to finish off a short week. Click on the headline to read the full story.

Two new Crichton novels planned - Possibly strange as Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton passed away last year. However one was completed before his death and the other will be written based on his notes.

Cheese wins top prize - I can't remember if I have posted this before, but I have seen it on several websites so it is worth a repeat. It refers to an international award for most unusual title for a book. Previous winners include one close to my heart "Bombproof your horse" (which I personally believe from experience to be impossible, but that's another story).

You know you are in a place where books are reviewed subjectively and honestly when the first words of a review are "Oh Lordy. It was a struggle to get through this book." That place is the Scoop Review of Books. It's wholly kiwi and I'm not even going to tell you which book it was they were talking about. But it's certainly worth a visit for up to date news from the New Zealand book world.

And don't forget one of our other favourite Kiwi book sites Beattie's Book Blog. Former publisher and editor (and sometimes Rodney resident) Graham Beattie talks about things local and international for book lovers. If you are looking for inspiration for the next book to read, you could do worse than stop here.

Have a fantastic (and safe) Easter everyone.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Making Auckland Greater

Yesterday the government released their decision on the Royal Commission on Auckland Goverenance report. According to the website, this is what it means for Rodney residents

"If you currently live in Rodney, you will live within the Auckland Council boundaries.
You will get to vote for the Auckland Council Mayor and councillors in October 2010. The boundaries for the wards will be decided by the Local Government Commission by April 2010.
You and your local community will be represented at a local level by Local Boards.
Voters can elect representatives on these boards in the local elections in October 2010.
The present Rodney District Council will go out of existence as a result of these changes."

The report can be found here.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Storylines Notable Books 2009

The Storylines Community has published its list of Notable Books for 2009. These were selected from all New Zealand books published for the children and young adult market in 2008.

Picture Books 2009
Herbert, the Brave Sea Dog by Robyn Belton
The Apple by Ben Brown, illustrated by Tracy Duncan
Kei te Pehea Koe?: How Do You Feel? by Tracy Duncan
Every Second Friday by Kiri Lightfoot, illustrated by Ben Galbraith
Piggity-Wiggity Jiggity Jig by Diana Neild, illustrated by Philip Webb
The Seven Stars of Matariki by Toni Rolleston-Cummins, illustrated by Nikki Slade-Robinson
Roadworks by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Brian Lovelock
The Were-Nana by Melinda Szymanik, illustrated by Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson

Junior Fiction 2009
Five (and a Bit) Days in the Life of Ozzie Kingsford by Val Bird, illustrated by Rebecca Cundy
Night Hunting by Deborah Burnside, illustrated by Jeff Fowler
Big Fish, Little Fish by Melanie Drewery
Payback by Michelle Kelly
Old Drumble by Jack Lasenby
Thornspell by Helen Lowe
Land of Promise: The Diary of William Donahue, Gravesend to Wellington, 1839-40 [My Story] by Lorraine Orman
"Why I Hate School" by Michael Fatarsky by Kris Stanhope
Freaky Fish by Feana Tu'akoi, illustrated by Eleanor Meecham [Kiwi Bites]

Young Adult Fiction 2009
Juno of Taris by Fleur Beale
The 10pm Question by Kate De Goldi
The Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner
Scorched Bone by Vince Ford [Chronicles of Stone, Book 1]
Gool by Maurice Gee
Shadow of the Mountain by Anna Mackenzie

Non-fiction 2009
Piano Rock: A 1950s Childhood by Gavin Bishop
High-tech Legs on Everest by Mark Inglis with Sarah Ell
Let's Get Art: Children Look at Contemporary New Zealand Art by Brad Irwin, illustrated by John Ward Knox
Juicy Writing: Inspiration and Techniques for Young Writers by Brigid Lowry
Atoms, Dinosaurs & DNA: 68 Great New Zealand Scientists by Veronika Meduna & Rebecca Priestley
Back and Beyond: New Zealand Painting for the Young and Curious by Gregory O'Brien
Learn to Skateboard with Luka - Ko te Akonga ki te Papa Retireti I te Taha o Luka by Lee and Errol Petra, translation by Tokikapu Peta
How to Make a Piupiu by Leilani Rickard

Find more information at

Friday, 3 April 2009

Catalogue unavailable

Scheduled Maintenance Outage
The online catalogues and Pay Online services on Rodney Libraries website will be unavailable from 8 to 8.30am on Sunday April 5th. This is for scheduled maintenance on our proxy server. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

I Like to Move It!

School Holidays are coming up and once again your local Rodney Libraries have scheduled a series of events for the children of the district. You can choose between Bear Hunts, Dancing (Scottish, Hip-hop, Ballet & Country), exercise, active stories and even a special guest at one of the libraries (think Big Red Dog).

Check out posters and handouts in your local library.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

An Important Policy Announcement

Due to the current economic climate Rodney Libraries are re-evaluating all our resources and expenditure. As a result of this review, it has been brought to our attention that many of the authors we stock are dead.

Extensive studies have established that dead authors are largely unproductive. The decision has been made to remove all material attributed to dead authors.

More effort will be expected from living authors to fill the spaces vacated. Living authors who are deemed to be unproductive will be declared dead and their works removed.

The deadline for public submissions to this policy is 12pm April 1 2009.