Friday, 29 January 2010

Anniversary Weekend

Cross your fingers that the weather stays fine for Auckland and Northland Anniversary Weekend, starting tomorrow.

Rodney Libraries will be open their usual hours over Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January. All libraries will be closed on Monday 1st February. Just advance notice that we will also be closed on Saturday 6 February (Waitangi Day)

For a lot of people Anniversary weekend is about the ocean - be it swimming, sailing, surfing or just lying on the beach. So drive safe there and back, and stay safe on the water.

Have an awesome weekend everyone.

Weekly roundup

Snippets from the book world this week include:

  • Celebrated author J D Salinger has passed away aged 91. His classic teen angst novel Catcher in the Rye published in 1951 remains a popular read. Read further details in this Business week news link.
  • Colm Toibin was pipped in the Costa Book of the Year Award by poet Christopher Reid and his collection The Offering. Read more on their website.
  • The Aurealis Awards for the best of Australia's science fiction, fantasy and horror have been announced. The complete list of winners is available on their website.
  • The Apple iPad was launched yesterday and there are plenty of reviews around. For an international viewpoint try the Guardian Books page, our friend Graham Beattie has several reviews on Beatties Book Blog and of course you can also check with some of the news websites such as

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Waitangi Day Events - Silverdale

Waitangi Day workshops and a Waitangi Day Family Festival will be held next week in Silverdale.

Treaty of Waitangi Workshops
Where: Te Herenga Waka o Orewa (Old Silverdale Primary School) 30 Foundry Rd, Silverdale.
When: 3rd, 4th & 6th February.

Wednesday 3rd February 2010
10-1pm for Youth
6–9.30 pm All Welcome

Thursday 4th February 2010
6 - 9.30pm All Welcome

To Register: ph Virginia 021 182 3782 or email.

Waitangi Day Family Festival
Saturday 6th February 2010 from 10am to 4pm
A FREE family fun filled day. Food and variety stalls, music and entertainment, art exhibitions, family activities. At Te Herenga Waka o Orewa (Old Silverdale Primary School) 30 Foundry Rd, Silverdale. For stall enquiries/info: ph Virginia 021 182 3782 or email

Can I pat that Dog?

It seems topical at the moment with the recent dog attacks and poor treatment of some of our furry friends, to remind everyone that there are ways to treat dogs, train dogs, act around dogs and more to the point not to act around dogs. Some of this of course is still not going to help in the situations where the dog attacks for no apparent reason, although having been brought up around animals all my life, my personal opinion is that good training in a loving home can go a long way.

Can I pat that Dog (Susan McLaine) is in Rodney Libraries children's non fiction collection. It is a perfect book to read with your children to make them aware that dogs are not toys and may not be happy all the time.

Another book which has just arrived in the library is Why is my Dog doing that? (Gwen Bailey) This is on the adult non-fiction shelves under 636.7 (where most of the dog training and education books are). An easy to read and very visual book to help you interpret the dogs behaviour.

There are plenty of books on training dogs for work, obedience, agility or simply as a friend for the family. Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan is very popular at present with How to Raise the Perfect Dog but there are many options so either check the catalogue under Call Number 636.7, do a subject search under Dogs or ask one of the librarians.

New puppies are part of the scene for some of us here at the Warkworth Library. Lisa has become a grandmum for little Maisie (a lovely white fluff ball who is going to present many challenges as it has just been discovered she is deaf). And a new Guide Dog puppy arrived for Christmas for our Library friends Gareth and Kate. Veda has already had his first visit to the library but will be invited along to meet everyone, hopefully before the end of term one (or you might have met him at the Warkworth Show). That's him in the photo and as you can see he has some ears to grow into and is a bundle of energy at the moment.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Quiz me

One of the highlights of our office morning is the quiz from the Dominion Post.* Most of the time someone is quick and confident in their answer - "The lawn."** Occasionally there will be a pause - "Sans...something."*** Very rarely there will be complete silence while everyone just looks at each other. ****

I think trivia appeals to many people. Books that are made up of lists of facts are lots of fun to read. I think they’re perfect for the last days of the school holidays. They can be picked up and put down during the trek from the shops to the beach to home. They’re always interesting.

Here are some of the books that the Library owns. (The subject heading is brilliant - Curiosities and wonders )

Guinness world records.

The New Zealand book of lists / John McCrystal & Steve Barnett.

A compendium of curious and unusual New Zealand information, including odd, arcane, extraordinary and surprising facts and figures and the sort of who knew? trivia that fills rainy afternoons at the bach. Lists include: New Zealand towns with the most brothels, gangs, weird crimes, dinosaurs most New Zealanders never knew we had, Shortland Street conquests, famous animals, uses of sphagnum moss, pubs on a university pub crawl, most popular snogging spots and more. It's wacky, fun, and more than a little bit weird.

This, that and the other / Mitchell Symons.
“All the facts from This Book, That Book and The Other Book updated in this giant paperback edition! Did you know that: a snail has about 25,000 teeth? Thomas Eddison, inventor of the light bulb, was afraid of the dark? The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue? Stalin's left foot had webbed toes?”

The world's greatest quiz book / written and compiled by Guy Campbell and Mark Devins
First published in Great Britain 2003 as three separate books (The world's greatest animal quiz book for kids, The world's greatest planet earth quiz book for kids and The world's greatest who, what, where, when quiz book for kids)

*You can read the daily papers on Press Display, a database which has images of newspapers from around the world on it.
** On what part of your property would you use a scarifier?
*** Which two-word French phrase, often used as the name for a place, means "without care"?
****Australian rugby league hero Wally Lewis' son is an actor in which TV soap opera?

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Warkworth Library Facelift

Warkworth War Memorial Library front of house is undergoing a facelift this week. We are revitalising our circulation and enquiry area and are all really excited about the update.

However, as with anything, there will be some disruptions this week at Warkworth. At different times some of our services will be down. This will affect our ability to check in on demand, search the catalogue, renew items and place holds. Issues may be done manually.

We apologise for the disruptions, noise and any inconvenience. Please bear with us.

The Life and Times of...

There is a danger in reading biographies, that you will find out things about someone you admired that takes some of the shine off. Autobiographies especially tread a very thin line between providing insightful personal reflections and self indulgent aggrandisement. I am never sure when reading a biography if I want to know that the subject is actually a real person just like me or if I want them to remain on a pedestal. The perfect combination is a little bit of both.

With this in mind I picked up Billy T: The life and times of Billy T James (Matt Elliott). The Kiwi comedic icon makes a wonderful subject, with his mana, personality and huge heart shining through the pages of the book. This was made possible by the contributions of Billy's widow Lynn and a large number of his family and friends. Snapshots of his life both in the public eye and away from it build a portrait of a man who was loved by so many, was innocent in many ways, worked hard at his craft, endured death threats and constant criticism that he was stereotyping Maori.

The book is more than just a biography of Billy. It also chronicles parts of the entertainment industry in New Zealand from the showbands, through to cabaret and Television. We also get an insight into the comedy industry and what makes people funny, as Billy drew on international comedians to hone his material and presentation. We also meet a wide array of Kiwi entertainers.

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the New Zealand entertainment industry, comedy or simply one of New Zealand's iconic figures.
As well as this biography, Rodney Libraries have several books, CD's and DVD's of Billy T. Check out this list on this catalogue link.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Happy birthday Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World!

Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World is 25 years old. For today only they have $5 entry. (News shared by @ViewAuckland on Twitter.) As part of the celebration they also have competitions and online kids activities.

The aquarium has come a long way from it's beginnings as sewerage holding tanks under the Auckland waterfront. Construction on the tunnels started in 1984 using an innovative technique to mold plastic sheets to the correct curve and dimension. The Underwater World opened in 1985. It was an immediate success. Tragically Mr Tarlton died only a few weeks after the opening. The staff have continued to develop the aquarium, opening the Antarctic Encounter in 1995.

There are three different experiences that visitors can go on. Antarctic Encounter, Underwater World and Animal Adventures. (I don't know if the reduced entry fee applies to all experiences.)

The website has a short biography of Mr Tarlton.

Library books:

Throw me the wreck, Johnny : memories of Kelly Tarlton, the man behind the legend by Steve Locker-Lampson. (1996)
"The interviews ... for this book took place between March 1995 and March 1996 ... the majority of his friends and colleagues remain hale in both limb and memory"-- p. 9."

Kelly : the adventurous life of Kelly Tarlton by E.V. Sale. (1988)

Friday, 22 January 2010

Friday Snippets

Time for another quick roundup of news in the literary world.

Several authors are visiting Aotearoa in early 2010.
  • Orange Prize winner Andrea Levy will be here 22-26 March promoting her new book The Long Song. Details will available from her publisher Hachette shortly, but Auckland is included in the tour.
  • Neil Gaiman is visiting in March and is just one of the authors who is part of the International Arts festival in Wellington. I am disappointed that he is not coming north but will be able to get a first hand report from one of my colleagues who already has her tickets to the capital. For details of other authors visit the festival website.
  • Monica Lewycka is tourning in February and will be at the Womens Bookshop in Auckland on Tuesday 23rd Feb,
  • Psychologist John Aiken is speaking in Auckland on Sunday 14th February on his new book Accidentally Single
  • Patrick Ness will be here 11th and 12th March. He is the author of the very popular Chaos Walking Trilogy and many of us are waiting for the third book.

In other news, novelist Robert B Parker passed away this week aged 77. He has written almost 40 novels, many featuring tough Boston PI Spenser (his first name was never disclosed). And Alan Duff has admitted he may not be able to pay back the $3.6million owed to his credits before the Court appointment deadline in May. For more details on these stories check out the website.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Party Time

International storyteller Andy Wright is travelling around Rodney at present, wowing the crowds of children and their parents who are attending our Summer Reading Programme Finale Parties.

Andy was in the north yesterday entertaining at Wellsford, Warkworth and Mahurangi East Libraries. With stories from around the world, including Africa and Japan (those are the ones I heard, but he does something different at every library).

The children at Warkworth were entertained by the story of the "Singing Turtle" who did wonderful impersonations of singing like a lion, dolphin, snake and among many other animals suggested by the group of excited children, including (of all things) a cockroach. Andy did not miss a beat keeping the crowd of young and old enthralled and I arrived at work this morning to a number of emails saying how fantastic he was.

Andy is out west today entertaining at Helensville and Kumeu, before moving to Hibiscus Coast to do shows at Orewa and Whangaparaoa. Or to find out more about him go to his storytelling website

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Celebration of the Local History collections

At Whangaparaoa Library this morning librarians, genealogists and local historians celebrated the next development in the Local History collection at Rodney Libraries. The Library has purchased copies of existing microfilms of the Rodney & Waitemata Times, Kaipara & Waitemata Echo, Hibiscus Coaster and the River Valley News from the Alexander Turnbull Library. The Auckland Museum loaned the Library copies of the Rodney Times newspapers which were microfilmed to create an almost complete collection of papers from 1901-1955. This is a rich source of historical information. The papers had to be conserved and crated very carefully before being sent down to Wellington to be processed.

The microfilms compliment the newspaper index which is available through Local History Online.

Local History Online is a combined collection of local history indexes of Rodney, North Shore and Waitakere Libraries. The indexes can be used to research a local event, historical building, or notable local person etc. Indexes are continually being updated. The Newspaper indexes cover selected articles in the community newspapers of Rodney, North Shore and Waitakere. The Image indexes cover digital image collections of North Shore and Waitakere Libraries.

The Whangaparaoa Library also officially welcomed the Hibiscus Coast Branch of the NZ Genealogy Society to their new home in the library. The group moved from Orewa Library late last year.

Special thanks to the following organisations:
Auckland Museum

Turnbull Library
Palmerston North Libraries

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Good Things I wish you

I’m not exactly sure why I picked up the book Good Things I wish You by Manette Ansay. I think it might have been the byline “Author Jeanette Hochmann is treading water”. It almost certainly wasn’t because it was about the musicians and composers of the mid 19th century, Robert & Clara Schumann and their relationship with protégé Johannes Brahms. I enjoy an eclectic mix of music but have never been driven to wonder about the lives of these classicists.

However, I found this an easy book to get into and it drew me along with some fascinating insights and an interesting plot. She draws comparisons between her own relationships and those of Clara. It is a work of fiction, and the author makes this very clear. However for those that want more, she has plenty of references including photographs and excerpts from diaries and letters written by the historic trio.

In the end our main character draws her own conclusions as to whether or not there was an “indiscreet” relationship between Clara and Johannes, something which is apparently still debated. This book was a good read, offering more than just a story, but food for thought and to follow up on if you wish.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Get email notification before your books are due

Life is busy. Sometimes library items are the last thing on your mind and when you do remember them it's too late. Rodney Libraries sends out email courtesy notices before your items are due to help you out.
A courtesy notice is an email reminder that your items are due a few days before they have to be returned. Then you can either renew or return them. No more late return charges!
All you have to do is add your email address to your My Info account (you'll need your card number and PIN to get into the account. If you have problems please email us or talk to a librarian the next time you're in the library.)

Friday, 15 January 2010

Ignite - Evolve - Liberate Yourself for 2010

Some of us were lucky enough to hear motivational speaker Sally Anderson recently. It was a riveting, energy filled and inspiring presentation - just right for the beginning of the year when we all have great ideas of what we would like to achieve, be it beating past demons, taking on new challenges or simply being the best that we can be (not wanting to mention the "R" word).

Sally recommended some further reading, and having checked the shelves of the Rodney Libraries I see that we hold a lot of it. So here is the list with links provided so you can pick the best one for you.

Passionate Marriage – Author Robert Schnarch (We don't hold this but we have ordered his latest book Intimacy & Desire: Awaken the passion in your marriage)
5 LOVE Languages – Author Gary Chapman

Ask & It Is Given – Author Esther & Jerry Hicks
The Amazing Power Of Deliberate Intent – Author Esther & Jerry Hicks (we don't have this specific book but we do have others so click on the authors names above).
Think & Grow Rich – Author Napoleon Hill
The Magic Of Believing – Author Claude Bristols
The Dynamic Laws Of Prosperity – Author Catherine Ponder
The Millionaire Maker: Act, Think & Make Money The Way The Wealthy Do - Author Loral
Secret To Attracting Money CD's – Joe Vitale – - (They absolutely ROCK). We don't have these in the library but we do have a couple of his books so click on his name to see if they can help you.

Leadership – Following your calling
Even Eagles Need A Push – Author David McNally
Synchronicity: The Inner Path Of Leadership – Author Joseph Jaworski

Excuse Me Your Life Is Waiting – Author Lyn Grabhorn
10 Secrets To Success & Inner Peace – Author Wayne Dyer

The Winners Bible – Author Dr Kerry Spackman
Who Stole My Mojo – Author Gary Bertwhistle
The Compassionate Samurai – Author Brian Klemmer
A New Earth – Author Eckhardt Tolle
Why Me Why This Why Now – Author Robyn Norwood
Born To Succeed – Author Colin Turner
A Course In Miracles – The Inner Peace Foundation
– A lifetime read by your bed

And here is the link through to Sally's website for you to find out more on how to Ignite - Evolve and Liberate your 2010

Summer Reading Reviews

After concentrating on the reviews from the boys earlier in the week, it's time to find out what the girls have been reading today.

Mackenzie had to read about a famous person and she chose a book called Who is Queen Elizabeth by June Eding. She didn't like King Henry VIII very much but enjoyed reading about England at the time of Elizabeth I and especially when the English Navy defeated the Armada (Spanish Navy). Mackenzie also read The Black Stallion and Flame by Walter Farley (one of my favourites at her age). She thought is was awesome, very exciting and gave it five stars.

Ashleigh had to read a non-fiction book about animals and her review is on Whales and Dolphins by Caroline Bingham. She called the book interesting with lots of information, although she did think she might have to get another book out as well if she was using it to do a school project.

Nicole thought Pish Posh by Ellen Potter was very exciting. She recommends it as a book where the mystery is a bit different because you can't guess the ending.

Rowan read a New Zealand book Big Fish Little Fish by Melanie Drewery. Her favourite character was Grandad and her least favourite was Jim. She thought it was awesome and interesting and particularly liked when they went fishing.

Ashleigh reviewed the Ingo trilogy by Helen Dunmore (Ingo, The Tide Knot and The Deep). This magical trilogy is based on the mermaid legend and she thinks it is an awesome series.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Rodney Writes!

The Rodney Writes writing competition 2010 is open for entries. The theme is "Your Story". You can write a short story up to 2,500 words on any topic of your choice. Write to inspire, provoke, excite or entice your reader.

An entry form can be picked up from any of the Rodney Libraries or it's available here in PDF.

There are three categories:
Premier Award: 1st prize $1000, runner up $500
Open only to entrants who have had creative writing published or broadcast for payment previously.

Novice Award: 1st prize $500, runner up $200
Open only to entrants who have not had creative writing published or broadcast for payment previously.

Young Writers Award: 1st prize $500, runner up $200
Open only to entrants under the age of 18 as at 1 January 2010.

Important dates:
Entries open - now!

Closing date: 5 March 2010
Awards evening: 5 May 2010

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Library on Location

The 143rd Warkworth A & P Show is held this weekend. Cross your fingers for fine weather on Saturday 16th January because the Library will be there.

We took the Library to the Show for the first time last year and got a fantastic response from the community. This year we are back, bigger and brighter than ever.

One of the highlights will be the 15 minute storytimes we will be having. I will be encouraging you all (big and small) to join me in songs, rhymes and if you are good, will read you some stories as well. We have some fantastic new picture books just in, plus some classics, which I know you will enjoy.

Storytimes will be held:
  • 10 am
  • 11 am
  • 12 noon
  • 1 pm

There will also be books for sale, if you have your library card with you there are books that can be taken out and if you don't have a library card at all, we can sign you up. We also have photos and information about all our Library Programmes.

Look out for the big white van with the big red van painted on the side of it. We are right next to the Rodney District Council tent and look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Summer Reading programmes continue

There is only one week left for children to complete the Rodney Libraries two Summer Reading Programmes. Dive into Reading has been focussed on the 5 - 8 year olds and encouraging them to show off their reading skills to the librarians, while Library Monopoly has been encouraging the older children to read a range of different books as they roll the dice on our special Board.

The book reviews are flooding in. Here are some more recommended by our young readers.

The book Chantelle enjoyed most was Fartsy Claus by Mitch Chivus. This picture book was exciting & funny with (of course) Santa being the favourite character. The part Chantelle liked best was "All of it especially when Santa ate the beans and didn't stop farting. I recommend this book because: it is a very funny book for children." Chantelle gave it a Star Rating of ***** for Awesome.

Jacob took a book I recommended to him from the Adult non-fiction shelves, The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden. This has lots of things for boys (big and little) to do or read about together. Jacob was particularly interested in the rules to soccer but said the whole book was exciting with "lots of historical facts and it teaches you how to do lots of cool stuff". It also got *****.

Glyn had to read a funny book and chose Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People by Dave Pilkey. He recommends this book because it was cool and funny. He especially liked when George and Harold changed the letters on a sign next to the teacher's entrance. it was from "push button to open door" to "push on butt to open door".

Miles had to read a book that I recommended to him. I gave him a couple of options and he read Gladiator Boy, one of our new books by David Grimstone. He found it really exciting with a mysterious ending because you don't know what's going to happen next. Miles recommends this book, not only because of the story, but because of the interesting descriptive words and the great illustrations. He will definitely be reading the next book to find out what happens to Decimus Rex. This was one of the best book reviews I have received so far this summer.

Duncan thought that the Louis Sachar classic young adult novel Holes was awesome, describing it as exciting funny and scary all at the same time. He thought the best part was when Stanley crashed the water truck in a hole. Duncan recommends this book because of the way it is written and how there is a goal in what they (the characters) do, which I thought was a very perceptive comment.

I seem to have concentrated mainly on the boys this time round, so later in the week I will let you know what the girls have been reading.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Other people's favourites

These holidays I've been reading books that other people have recommended to me. I'm not sure whether they're all favourites (if so, I know at least one very disturbed person...) or just titles that have come up in conversation. We were talking about the books they like to re-read so there has to be some kind of love in there.

Being dead by Jim Crace.
If I'd read the summary I would have known what this book was going to be about. Essentially it's a beautifully written explanation of what happens to a corpse when it decays. Warning - don't read it when you're eating unless you have a strong stomach.
Summary: Lying in the sand dunes of Baritone Bay are the bodies of a middle-aged couple. Celice and Joseph, in their mid-50s and married for more than 30 years, are returning to the seacoast where they met as students. Instead, they are battered to death by a thief with a chunk of granite. Their corpses lie undiscovered and rotting for a week, prey to sand crabs, flies, and gulls. . . From that moment forward, Being Dead becomes less about murder and more about death. Alternating chapters move back in time from the murder in hourly and two-hourly increments. As the narrative moves backward, we see Celice and Joseph make the small decisions about their day that will lead them inexorably towards their own deaths."--

The Corfu trilogy by Gerald Durrell.
After years of hearing about "My family and other animals" I finally cracked and read the trilogy. Guess what? It's the perfect book for summer. It describes long hot lazy days with lots of insects and birdlife. Gerald has a lot of freedom to roam about Corfu by himself and with other people getting into some remarkable situations. His family (as seen from his perspective) are crazy funny.
Summary: 'The Corfu Trilogy' consists of the popular classic 'My Family and Other Animals' and its sequels, 'Birds, Beasts and Relatives' and 'The Garden of the Gods'. All three books are set on the enchanted island of Corfu in the 1930s, and tell the story of an eccentric English family who moved there.

Good omens : the nice and accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter, a witch : a novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
A Pratchett/Gaiman crossover? Brilliant. Written before they became famous this is an interesting mix of their two styles. It's clever and loud out loud funny in places. The ending may seem a bit deus ex machina but you can't accuse them of keeping it secret....
Summary: The world is going to end next Saturday, just before dinner, but it turns out there are a few problems--the Antichrist has been misplaced, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse ride motorcycles, and the local representatives from heaven and hell decide, on the whole, they prefer the Earth the way it is.

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham.
The last time I tried to read a book by this author someone had ripped out the last few pages so I have no idea what happened. Thankfully this hadn't happened to this book. Well written, easy to read. Some startling scenes interspersed with descriptions of day-to-day life.
Summary: In the community of Waknut it is believed mutants are the products of the Devil and must be stamped out. David's ability to communicate by "thought shapes" is a dangerous secret. When he and his friends are discovered, the results are horrific.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Literary Snippets

Lots of questions and snippets for the start of 2010.
  • What would Sir Arthur Conan Doyle think of the latest reincarnation of his unkillable hero Sherlock Holmes? I have not yet seen Robert Downey Jr's version in full (although the trailer looks very entertaining and it is on my must see list). Nor have I read any of the books. I have heard from some people that the movie is awesome but have also read comments elsewhere that has suggested that the author would not have appreciated it. For those that want to check out previous Holmes' and compare check out our Rodney Libraries catalogue here.
  • Colm Toibin has fought off competition from Man Booker-winner Hilary Mantel to pick up the Costa Novel Award for his sixth book Brooklyn (Viking). Raphael Selbourne, Patrick Ness, Graham Farmelo, and poet Christopher Reid were the other category winners as independent publishers picked up four of the five gongs. Click here for the full Guardian UK article.
  • Sad news for Marion Keyes fans posted on her website this month. Marion discloses that she is suffering from severe depression which is affecting her ability to eat, sleep, read and write. Read her post on her Blog link here. We wish her all the best in her fight against this devastating illness and that she manages to climb out of the black hole. In the meantime there are still plenty of titles to enjoy. You can find them on this Rodney Libraries catalogue link.
  • The summer edition of the NZ Book Council newsletter Booknotes is out. Read more on their website link here.
  • Several Kiwis from the literary world were recognised in the New Years Honours list. Forgive me if I have missed anyone, but they include Elizabeth Ann Mallinson, QSM, Wellington, for services to publishing, in particular children's literature who became an Officer of the Order of New Zealand and Jill Ethel Eggleton, Auckland, for services to education and literacy who became a Queens Service Order Companion.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Summer Reading Book Reviews

Our young Library Monopoly readers are letting us know what they like to read with the book reviews that they write as part of the challenge. Here are another bunch.

Jodie liked A Touch of Magic (part of Linda Chapman's My Secret Unicorn series) because it was exciting and was about horses, which she loves. She rated it Awesome. Another horse and animal fan is Tayla who wrote me two reviews. She calls both Stardust and New Beginnings exciting, scary and great fantasy books.

Ashleigh called Chocolate Wishes by Fiona Dunbar both interesting and magical, especially if you also like cooking.

I think I might have to read The Bridge in the Clouds by William Corlett after Nathan told me about it. He said it is exciting, funny, sad and scary all at the same time. It is part of the Magician's House series so I might need to start at the beginning with The Steps up the Chimney.

Emily is a fan of The Sister Club by Megan McDonald. She recommends this funny book for girls which is about the mystery of the missing glitter nail polish.

Jacob was a fan of The Bombing of Darwin by Alan Tuck which is part of the My Story series. He rated this exciting, tense, sad and factual book Awesome.

Glynn was another who wrote me two reviews. Astro Boy which is a new book by Tracey West was "very very exciting and very funny" while Attack of the Bum-biting sharks by Matt Kain was very funny. Both got the five star rating.

I haven't got a name on the review of A Horse of her own which is another new book, this one by Annie Wedekind. But it also got an Awesome ***** rating and is recommended as a "well written book about the friendship between a girl and a horse".

Duncan and Jaccoa are both comics fans, calling The Big Bad Book of Bart Simpson and Tin Tin and the Broken Car exciting and funny.

Good work to our Monopoly readers. I look forward to seeing more of these reviews. Everyone should be on their third checkins this week around Rodney so I am sure there will be more reviews poring in.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Auckland Museum FREE

One of my ... goals this year (I don't do resolutions so saying goals makes it sound better to me) is to get more cultured. And top of the list of things I want to do is visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum, something I haven't done since I was a teenager (in other words, almost so long ago I can't remember).

So I must take advantage of the offer of all Rodney residents getting into the Museum free until the end of February. Here's the press release:

For the first time in 10 years, Auckland residents will not need to pay an admission fee when visiting the Auckland Museum this summer.
As part of ongoing 80th birthday celebrations, the Museum is offering Aucklanders the opportunity to come and see the improvements within the Museum and enjoy a range of exciting summer exhibitions and programmes.
Free admission to the Museum will run from December 4 2009 to February 28 2010. Taking advantage of this offer is as simple as bringing along proof of residency (rates bill, utility bill, library card, or mail indicating residential address) plus one form of photo ID (eg Drivers license, passport).
As residents of the Auckland Region, all Rodney residents can take advantage of this offer.
To ensure this initiative has no impact on the rates levy, the Museum will continue to charge entry fees to special exhibitions and will increase the suggested donation to $10.00 for non-Aucklanders.
To find out more about this offer visit the Auckland Museum website.

Might see you there.

Photo from Auckland Museum website.

2010 : odyssey two by Arthur C. Clarke.

This seems like an appropriate time to promote this book...

2010 : odyssey two / Arthur C. Clarke.
The Leonov is beaten to Jupiter by a Chinese mission which lands on Jupiter's moon, Europa, and falls victim to its unknown terrain. The last astronaut to die on the alien surface broadcast a message - there is life on Europa

Sequel to...
2001 : a space odyssey (based on the screenplay by Arthur C. Clarke & Stanley Kubrick.)
On the moon an enigma is uncovered. So great are the implications of the discovery that, for the first time, men are sent out deep into the solar system. However, before they reach their destination, things begin to go wrong. The author co-wrote the screenplay for the film "2001: A Space Odyssey".

Sequel is...
2061 : Odyssey three

Arthur C.Clarke's space saga contines in 2061, when an Earth vessel landing on Halley's Comet marks the beginning of another confrontation between Heywood Floyd and David Bowman - or whatever Bowman has become - a newly independent HAL and the unseen alien power that controls the destiny of Earth.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2010. It's been incredibly busy in the library this morning as we try to check in the backlog of what you have all been reading (and you have been reading lots!).

So have I. In fact I panicked over last weekend about the fact that I had done heaps of reading and none of the jobs that needed to be done around the house. Although as someone pointed out, it was supposed to be a holiday for me as well. So here are the first (brief) reviews of the year aka What Kowhai Reader read over Christmas.

Every Demon has his day (Cara Lockwood) combines chick-lit and romance with demons and ghosts all with a touch of humour (which includes a pop princess and a talking dog). It is light and good fun - the perfect beach read.

This Year It Will be Different (Maeve Binchy). This popular author serves up festive fare in short story form.

Piano Rock (Gavin Bishop) The childhood of popular NZ children's writer at Lake Wakatipu. These were days that I could relate to - kids were allowed to be kids, building huts and enjoying the outdoors in a simpler time. It's a biography that can be found in the Adult non-fiction section, but would be equally at home in the hands of the young reader.

Listen to the Wind (Greg Mortenson). The picture book version of Dr Greg and Three Cups of Tea. Illustrated in collage form and with photographs from Pakistan of the actual project, this was a lovely book.

Noone bought me The Word Witch (Editor Tessa Duder) for Christmas so I had to borrow the Magical Verse of Margaret Mahy from the library. The books contains a variety of verse from silly to serious, for young and old, and is still on my "Must Buy" list.

Punter's Turf (Peter Klein) brings crime and mystery to the world of thoroughbred racing in Australia. If you like the idea of a Dick Francis type read set across the Tasman, this is for you.

The Goblin and the Empty Chair (Mem Fox). Another picture book, from a master Australian storyteller, this is a lovely fairy tale of friendship and compassion.

The Marvel Encyclopedia (updated and expanded). I am a bit of a graphic novel (formerly known as comic) fan, and Christmas was a great time to flick through this 2009 guide tot he characters of the Marvel universe. For those that are looking for the total picture, there is also a DC Comics Encyclopedia.

hmmm - looking at the list, it's not much wonder hardly any work got done at home. What books did you all read over the festive break?