23 June 2017

No charges. No trial. No escape.

So often in history, it is ideas that kill . . . What are the ideas that drive the Islamic State? How did it develop its unique form of apocalyptic violence? 

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=168567In this gripping account, Robert Manne traces how the Islamic State's worldview evolved, from the 1960s prison writings of Sayyid Qutb all the way to its glossy online magazine of horror, Dabiq . He reveals the crucial role of texts such as The Management of Savagery , and figures such as al-Zarqawi, who set out to pit Sunni against Shia, thus tearing Iraq apart. Shortly after the fall of Mosul in June 2014, US General Michael Nagata commented on the struggle against the Islamic State- 'We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.' By examining the beliefs and strategies at the heart of the Islamic State, Manne shows the spiral into terror and brutality as a dark ideology came into being. 'In the years since the spectacular emergence of al-Qaeda on September 11, 2001, and of its step-child the Islamic State a dozen years later, a great deal of thought has been devoted to how to kill jihadists, much less to how to understand them. 
In The Mind of the Islamic State Robert Manne has given us a crystal-clear guide to jihadist thought- why they do what they do and why they believe what they believe. Essential reading for anyone interested in terrorism and how it has evolved, this concise but thorough study takes one on a rich and fascinating journey of ideas, introducing a rogue's gallery of beguilingly dark characters. The Mind of the Islamic State is intellectual history at its most vital.

22 June 2017

Would you trade your soul mate for your soul? (Teen fiction)

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she'd be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters' demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear--before it's too late.

A Dark Artifices novel  - book two. 
Book one  -  Lady Midnight

21 June 2017

Beautiful new Junior Maoritanga picture books

Tino haka ngā tamariki katoa ki te patapatai....me Chrissy hoki 

Ke pō te ao i roto i te kauawhi o Ranginui me Papatūānuku. 

Ina puta te mōhio ki ā rāua tamariki he māramatanga kei waho i te aroha nui o ō rāua mātua ki a rāua anō, ka wehe te ao, ā ka puta ko Matariki.

He kaituhi rongonui a Gaving Bishop mōana tuhi kōero, tuhi whakaahua hoki. Rawe ki te hunga tamariki ana pukapuka. Kua utaina ki runga i a ia ngā whiwhinga taumata o Aotearoa, o te ao whānui hoki, mō ana pukapuka.

 E hāngai ana tēnei pūrākau ki ngā tīpuna o Gavin - he ingoa tahito a Hinepau, koianei hoki te ingoa o te whaea o Gavin. Nō Ngāti Awa a Hinepau, nō te hapū o Ngāti Pūkeko, nō waho mai o Whaktāne.

He pāmu tō Koro Meketānara, kei Aotearoa tonu - ā, kei taua pāmu ītahi kararehe whakaharahara! 

Kei te aha anō rātou ināianei?

Ko ngā wīra o te pahi ka taka-huri-huri huri noa i Aotearoa. Ekea te pahi, waiatatia mai!

20 June 2017

Not the left, but the right!

Much has been made of the research conducted into the left side of the brain - home to language and logic. The right side works in images, whole patterns and undefined feelings- none of which can be verbalized. This more elusive thinking often functions as what is loosely called 'intuition'.

In Atlas, de Bono shows us how to use the right side. It is an atlas because it is a visual reference of images and illustrations that point the reader in the right direction (literally). For anyone who has ever been told to trust their instinct, or who is concerned with management and decision-making, this book is a de Bono classic.

19 June 2017

Maria's Monday Morning Review...

Alison Weir is a noted historian who has written a number of non-fiction books and novels about the Tudor era and in particular Henry VIII, his wives and daughters. I have always enjoyed both genres.

Imagine my surprise when I started to get annoyed at how she was portraying Anne Boleyn in this book, particularly after I enjoyed Katherine of Aragon, the true Queen by the same author. (This is going to be a series of six books it seems). I decided, due to the fact Alison Weir writes so well, to stop being annoyed and finish the book and I truly did enjoy it. The author is excellent at writing what I call factual fiction. She is historically accurate while being able to flesh out history with fiction so that we can identify with these very complex characters.

The answer to my original annoyance came in the author's note at the end of the novel where Alison Weir writes:

"I could write another book on how this novel was constructed from the historical sources. Over the course of my years of study, I have seen perceptions of Anne Boleyn change substantially. I am aware that in some circles, particular on the internet, she has acquired celebrity status, and that she has become many things to many people and, in the process, controversial."

She is correct. I have been an 'Anne fan' for years and realized by reading this book I had in fact fallen into the trap of romanticizing her and seeing her as purely the victim, which in truth she wasn't. I'm aware in those times that women most certainly were pawns and the wives of Henry VIII were not different but Anne wasn't a saint by any means although I still believe she wasn't as bad as some have made out.  The ending of this book is certainly interesting also and adds yet more food for thought!

15 June 2017

Go Emirates Team New Zealand!

The America’s Cup is the world’s oldest sporting trophy, first contested in 1851 when the schooner America crossed the Atlantic and beat 15 British yachts. Emirates Team New Zealand, challenging for the 35th America’s Cup, had its beginnings in the New Zealand Challenge team which contested the 1987 America’s Cup event, sailed at Fremantle, Western Australia. To understand how we got to this point, check out https://emirates-team-new-zealand.americascup.com/en/history.html
On Sunday 18 June Emirates Team New Zealand will begin challenging for the America’s Cup in Bermuda, and need to win 8 out of 13 races. Bring it on!

If you’d like to know more the America’s Cup, Sir Peter Blake or Peter Montgomery aka the voice of yachting, check out these books:



14 June 2017

Maria reviews...

I have been a fan of Mark Lawrence ever since I read Prince of Thorns. His books hook me in like a shepherd nabbing a sheep with a crook and keep me there until the end.

Red Sister, the first of a new trilogy, is no different and eclipses his previous books with superior ease. This book snatched me from reality in a heartbeat, drew me in and didn't let go until Nona was done. I lived every single moment with her, every twist, turn and puzzle and shared in her bloody, glorious and triumphant conclusion. Two hours of brilliance that I couldn't put down from the first word until the very last.

In my eyes Mark Lawrence is one of the very best fantasy fiction authors on the market today.

The blurb: At the Convent of Sweet Mercy, young girls are raised to be killers. In some few children the old bloods show, gifting rare talents that can be honed to deadly or mystic effect. But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don't truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls. A bloodstained child of nine falsely accused of murder, guilty of worse, Nona is stolen from the shadow of the noose. It takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist, but under Abbess Glass's care there is much more to learn than the arts of death. Among her class Nona finds a new family--and new enemies. Despite the security and isolation of the convent, Nona's secret and violent past finds her out, drawing with it the tangled politics of a crumbling empire. Her arrival sparks old feuds to life, igniting vicious struggles within the church and even drawing the eye of the emperor himself. Beneath a dying sun, Nona Grey must master her inner demons, then loose them on those who stand in her way.

13 June 2017

Sleep Baby Sleep

Annie Schrijver is just twenty-two years old. She works in the picturesque Albert Cuyp flower market where her father has a stall. Brimming with personality, she's always been popular with the customers. But then she goes missing, only to be found barely alive, tied to a stone angel in a graveyard, surrounded by a ring of fire. Her body contains traces of a drug which connects the police to a previous case: the Sleeping Beauty murders.

But Annie seems to have been the lucky one, as a body is found nearby, freshly tattooed with three words: Sleep Baby Sleep.

It is summer and Amsterdam is full of tourists drunk or high on all that it has to offer. The drum of music from a make-shift DJ booth near the zoo is deafening, and empty frites cones and beer cans litter the streets. But the atmosphere has sinister undercurrents as a killer is at work in a city where crime pays and tentions run high.

Detective Pieter Vos knows that if he is to outwit the murderer, he will need to employ everything he has to avert a greater tragedy.

12 June 2017

From the sleep whisperer...

From the man dubbed the 'Sleep Whisperer' comes a brand-new approach to fixing your sleep, once and for all. Challenging the reader to take control and to stop hiding behind excuses for a bad night's sleep, neurologist W. Chris Winter explains the basic, often-counterintuitive rules of sleep science. Dr Winter explores many revolutionary findings, including surprising solutions for insomnia and other sleep disturbances, empowering readers to stop taking sleeping pills and enjoy the best sleep of their lives. 

Written in a clear and entertaining way, The Sleep Solution contains tips, tricks, exercises, and illustrations throughout. Dr Winter is an international expert on sleep and has helped many thousands of patients including professional athletes rest better at night. Now, he's ready to help you.

09 June 2017

Maria reviews...

It's a well known fact that I have raved like a running rabbit about this authors previous books so don't expect that to change now!

I feel Sharon Bolton has excelled herself with Dead Woman Walking and I could not put this book down without a fight. I love to try and work out a plot for myself and usually can but the twists and turns kept me puzzling until the very end. No one was who I thought they were, nothing was like I thought it might be and just when I thought I had it figured out, I didn't!

This is a book filled with intricate plots within plots and there are chapters which give us a glimpse of the characters past which are then neatly woven into the present day scenes and Sharon Bolton keeps us racing along in this gripping novel.

A quick reminder that Sharon Bolton is also S. J. Bolton.

08 June 2017

Cath reviews...

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=136865Roz Chast and her parents didn’t talk about ageing and death, because if you don’t talk about it, it won’t happen. Except it did. Her parents lived well into their 90s and they had to deal with dementia, broken hips, bedsores and the high cost of assisted living. 

In this graphic novel Chast is both brutally honest and incredibly funny – it is illustrated with family photos and documents, and line drawings.

I nursed my own mother for 15 years so much of this was very familiar, although in our case we did talk about things; the good, the bad and the painful. This is a great book for anyone who has ageing parents, or who is going to one day age themselves – yes, that’s right, everyone should read this because in the end it’s all about us.

02 June 2017

A never-before-seen Gemmell novel

An ambidextrous killer is raping and murdering women, leaving virtually no evidence behind, and struggling journalist Jeremy Miller wishes he was covering the case. 

Instead, he's stuck with heart-warming local stories about paraplegic teenagers and elderly psychic ladies. So when his stories and the murder case start to converge no one is more surprised than Jeremy. 

Or, it turns out, more at risk.

01 June 2017

'You can't tell me you haven't heard.'

'Heard what?'
'About the lynching over in Marvel.'
'The what?'

Meet Ottie Lee Henshaw. Quick of mind and pleasing to the eye, she navigates a stifling marriage, a lecherous boss, and on one day in the summer of 1920, an odyssey across the countryside to witness a dark and fearful celebration.

Meet Calla Destry. A young black woman desperate to escape a place where the stench of violence hangs heavy in the air, and to find the lover who has promised her a new life.

Every road leads to the bedlam of Marvel. There are buses laid on and Klan members gathering. On the road lives will collide and be changed forever. The Evening Road is the story of two remarkable women on the move through an America riven by fear and hatred, eager to flee the secrets they have left behind.

31 May 2017

He promised her his heart. She promised him a son.

Sarai, the last child of her aged father, is beautiful, spoiled, and used to getting her own way. Even as a young girl, she is aware of the way men look at her, including her half brother Abram. 

When Abram finally requests Sarai's hand, she asks one thing--that he promise never to take another wife as long as she lives. Even her father thinks the demand is restrictive and agrees to the union only if Sarai makes a promise in return--to give Abram a son and heir. Certain she can easily do that, Sarai agrees.

But as the years stretch on and Sarai's womb remains empty, she becomes desperate to fulfill her end of the bargain--lest Abram decide that he will not fulfill his. 

To what lengths will Sarai go in her quest to bear a son? And how long will Abram's patience last?
Jill Eileen Smith thrilled readers with The Wives of King David series. Now she brings to life the strong and celebrated wives of the patriarchs, beginning with the beautiful and inscrutable Sarai.

30 May 2017

Alice Miranda and Judy Moody

Alice-Miranda is set for a luxurious cruise aboard the royal yacht Octavia, where Aunty Gee is hosting the wedding of Aunt Charlotte and Lawrence Ridley. Even Ambrosia Headlington-Bear has come along, much to her daughter Jacinta's surprise. 

Wild weather and rumours of a jewel thief throw the travellers into turmoil, but something else is giving Alice-Miranda one of her strange feelings. Why does the ship's doctor look so familiar? And who is the shy blond boy hiding in one of the suites? 

When Alice-Miranda seeks help from an unexpected source, will they manage to set things to rights in time for the celebrations? 

Judy is learning about the Amazing Human Body. That means skeletons and skulls, and a cloning experiment that could just create some double trouble for Judy and her friends.

Doctor Judy Moody is sure to tickle your funny bone and put you in a very Judy Moody mood!

29 May 2017

Maria reviews....

I loved the other two books I've read by this author however Tawhito is the crowning glory. There are characters from the previous books woven into the story and it is like meeting old friends as you dream your way through the book with Cara.

But, the main drawcard for me was how this book makes you think, really makes you think!  You find yourself taking a step back from your life, and pausing to think over lines in the book.

If you let it, this book will make you reconsider your life even though it's fiction.  Oh and there is a little surprise if you turn the book over....

The blurb: This novel tells the story of Cara, a millennial blogger who, in the aftermath of a traumatic event, wakes up in an enchanted, remote, bush hideaway.

Devoid of technological devices, released from the pressures of her busy modern life, and inspired by the magically-gifted people she encounters, Cara searches for her own inner talent.

Once she discovers her gift, can Cara use it to overcome her previous trauma and reconcile magic with her modern life-style back home?

17 May 2017

Norway, AD785. A wild place, a place of blood...

Fighting in Sweden for an ambitious warlord, Sigurd Haraldarson and his small but loyal band of oathsworn warriors are winning fame and reputation. But Sigurd knows that to take on his hated enemy, the oath-breaker King Gorm - the man who betrayed his father, a man Sigurd has vowed to kill - he must earn riches enough to build an army.

Many believe Sigurd to be Ooin-favoured, but his exploits have drawn the eye of another god, too: Loki the Trickster, and when a daring assassination attempt goes wrong, Sigurd finds himself a prisoner of the powerful Jarl Guthrum. Bound like a slave, his luck having seemingly deserted him, Sigurd is taken to the sacred temple at Ubsola, a place where the blood of human sacrifice flows to appease the gods. 

It is at Ubsola that Sigurd will face the sacrificial knife. And it is here that he will find a powerful relic, the great spear that was said to have once belonged to Odin himself. With such a spear in his possession Sigurd might now assemble a host strong enough to challenge King Gorm and wreak the revenge he craves.