Thursday, 7 April 2016

Three Words - NZ, Women, Comics

I'm a huge fan of short comics. Upon discovering NZ author (as well as comic artist and zine-maker) Sarah Laing, I fell in love with the simplicity of her autobiographical comics. After this, I kept seeing her work everywhere. And then I noticed - I kept seeing NZ comic artists everywhere. And a lot of them were women. Or, they've been there the whole time, and I never bothered to look.

But now, I'm bothering.

Earlier this year, Three Words: an anthology of Aotearoa/NZ women's comics was published. A whole anthology of comics from our very own artists, from all over the country, with the purpose of getting our creative women and their work out from the shadows and into a book - into your libraries, onto your coffee tables, into your hands.

And the theme? Simple - each artist would give three words to another, and in return, receive three words from someone else. Then, they incorporate those words into a comic (literally or figuratively) which you get to feast your eyes on.

With a huge variety of artists - from those who breathe comics, to those who are doing them for the first time - Three Words is a diverse and fantastic way to get to know the women who you probably pass on the street, and the creativity that they put on the page.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A Little Bit Of Something New

I love finding new things and, as always, our hardworking selectors at Auckland Libraries have been busy ordering heaps of new titles to add to our collections.

It's always exciting and interesting seeing what is coming out; a new book by a favourite author, a sequel you've been waiting absolutely ages for or a title that sounds and looks intriguing that you just have to add it to your holds lists.

That Sugar Guide  ---  The Girl Who Fell ---  Wink Poppy Midnight  ---  What's For Dinner  ---  At The Edge Of The Orchard  ---  See Me  ---  The Ice Child  ---  Crow of Mist and Fury  --- Six of Crows  ---  The Glittering Court

And it's not just new books that we order but new music CD's, DVDs, AudioBooks, ebooks and eaudio, magazines and a host of other things, all to enhance our collection.

We find a lot of our new titles by looking through magazines and newspapers, websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook.... you name it and our selectors are looking through it.

Of course we miss things too, mostly because there is just so much information for us to look through.  We is why we rely on you, our customers, to let us know if we have missed something.

Water or Gold  ---  Harmony House  ---  Lukas Graham  ---  Mind of Mine  ---  Telluric  ---  I'll Forget 17  ---  Blues of Desperation  ---  Beautiful Lies  ---  Know-it-all  ---  The Narrows

Many of our new titles are from customer suggestions which is just awesome - would you believe we get around 900 suggestions for purchase a week.

Now that is pretty wonderful.

So check out some of the new titles in our collection and maybe make a few suggestions of your own.

Spotlight  ---  The Dressmaker  ---  Human Universe  ---  Suffragette  ---  Brooklyn  ---  The Night Manager  ---  In The Heart Of The Sea  ---  The Peanuts Movie  ---  iZombie  ---  Ripper Street

Monday, 4 April 2016

Olfactory Observations with Lizzie Ostrom

I love perfume. I love it as much as a person on a pretty stringent budget can – I usually can’t afford it, thusly, I love to read about it. I spend an inordinate amount of time trawling on, and if I’m honest I feel that my profile there is the most revealing profile of myself on any social media forum. I think knowing that I *will* wear Autumn/Winter scents in Spring/Summer, that I am definitely not above wearing Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy, and that I suffered an addiction to Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium during my formative years is pretty much all you need to know about me.

Perfume can say a lot about a person – about their real or imagined selves, or at least whether or not you could stand being in a tight space with them.
In Lizzie Ostrom’s Perfume: A Century of Scents, you learn that it can say a lot about people in a much broader sense – politically, socially, geographically and more. As a harbinger of cultural developments and nuances, perfume is convincing and enthralling. Via a selection of 100 perfumes spanning 1900-1999, Ostrom waxes philosophical about their meaning, function, and creation and there is some interesting and still very relevant content – for instance, the fa├žade (and ensuing mark up!) of ‘natural’ products (newsflash: a lot of toxic chemicals are natural), the cult of the celebrity and the ever-present devices of the advertising industry – how it has changed, and how it really hasn’t changed.

As a cultural investigation, it is impressive. But it’s also just fun to read, especially if you’re like me and are a person who loves perfume, and finds themselves asking strangers “Are you wearing Kenzo???” or slightly unnerving them by guessing which scent they’re wearing (I do this to patrons frequently, I’m not sure if they’re actually unnerved but I will definitely suggest Ostrom’s book to them in the future).

Whether you grew up during the 40’s and wore Madame by Rochas, or the 70’s when Jovan Musk was all the rage, or the 90’s when everyone wanted to smell fresh and preppy and loved Tommy Girl (memories of walking down Jervois Road with my mother as child come flooding back whenever I smell this!) – I think you will enjoy it. I remain heartbroken that Cacharel’s LouLou didn’t make the list, but I am willing to forgive.

Enjoy! And P.S - isn't Lizzie Ostrom gorgeous??? You can marvel at her here.