23 October 2017

Sandman, (volume 5) - A game of you - reviewed by Cath

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=58424


My book this week is an oldie but a goodie. Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel series, Sandman, volume 5 A game of you has been remastered and looks amazing. 

The imagined landscapes of childhood for the stage for the  story of this long-forgotten corner of the Dreaming. Cracks appear in the wall that shields the waking world, and through those gaps a group of young New Yorkers is drawn inexorably into a realm that is both eerily familiar and disturbingly malignant. 

Gaiman’s The sandman is one of the most critically acclaimed graphic novels of all time, setting the standard for mature, lyrical fantasy in the comic book field.

20 October 2017

In a world full of Kardashians...


In the last few days Invercargill Library has been in the media after their take on a Kardashian magazine cover went viral. Other libraries around New Zealand have taken up the challenge, doing their individual takes on Kardashian covers. Here in South Taranaki we decided in a world full of Kardashians, we’d rather be Osbournes. With thanks to Invercargill Library for the inspiration!

New Young Adult fiction

Young adult fiction makes great reading for older adults too!

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=171896
RUBY
Haunted by her dead brother, unable to let him go, Ruby must figure out whether his nightly appearances in her dreams are the answer to her prayers--or a nightmare come true...

EVERETT
He's always been jealous of his dashing older brother. Now Everett must do everything he can to save his twin sister Ruby from his clutches.

DASHIELL
Charming, handsome, and manipulative, Dash has run afoul of some very powerful forces in the Land of the Dead. His only bargaining chips are Ruby and Everett. At stake is the very survival of the Bohnacker family, bodies and souls....




http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=172951
Callum Hunt's life has fallen apart. His friend is gone. The spy has escaped. His secret is out.

He is facing an existence behind bars, banished from the rest of the magical community for what he is - for what he might become. But a shocking revelation has promised freedom - at a cost. 

Will he stay strong, and faithful to his friends and teachers? Or take the risk, and destroy everything he's ever loved?








http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=173167
Seventeen-year-old Kat Hartland loathes Unrequited, the world's biggest boy band. And she must be the only girl ever who can't be bothered with perfect-looking Angus Marsden. Give her 5 Seconds of Summer. Now. Or maybe the seriously hot med student who rescued her on a train - and who could be Douglas Booth's twin! Perfect formal partner, right? 

But when Kat comes face to face with Angus Marsden himself, things start to get complicated. As in very complicated. Throw in a deranged female singer, final exams, a part in the musical, and a mum who just doesn't get it. And btw, where is Kat's best friend? 

When did life get so crazy ... especially since Kat's just an ordinary schoolgirl ... isn't she? 





http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=172960
Since sixteen-year-old Riley Strout lost her mother two years ago, her survival has depended on the quirky little family formed from a grief support group at school. Jay, Kate, and Noah understand her pain; each lost a loved one. The four have stuck together in spite of their differences, united by tragedies only they understand.

When Riley sees her mother shopping in a grocery store, she fears she is suffering from some sort of posttraumatic stress episode--until Jay and Kate report similar visions. Noah is the only one who hasn't shared their experience. He withdraws from the others, skeptical and distant, and then suddenly disappears.

Riley fears the worst. As she, Jay, and Kay frantically search for their missing friend, they are drawn into the mystery surrounding a famous relic that belonged to Jay's father--something that may contain clues about the afterlife. And in reaching for the ones who are gone, Riley uncovers hidden truths about those she hasn't yet lost.



http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=173433In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness -- and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer. 

 These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn't until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari -- a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl. Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. 




When she's offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend -- a slave boy from her betrothed's household --Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.








19 October 2017

Congratulations to George Saunders - winner of the Man Booker prize.

The American short story writer George Saunders has won the Man Booker prize for his first full-length novel, Lincoln in the Bardo.


His novel is based around a real event: the night in 1862 when Abraham Lincoln buried his 11-year-old son Willie in a Washington cemetery. Imagining the boy trapped in the Bardo – a Tibetan Buddhist term for a kind of limbo – Saunders’ novel follows the fellow dead, also trapped in the graveyard and unwilling to accept death, who observe the boy as he desperately waits for his father to return.

In his review for the Guardian, fellow author Hari Kunzru praised Lincoln in the Bardo as “a tale of great formal daring”, adding: “[It] stands head and shoulders above most contemporary fiction, showing a writer who is expanding his universe outwards, and who clearly has many more pleasures to offer his readers.”

Written almost entirely in dialogue, the novel also includes snippets of historical texts, biographies and letters, some of which contradict each other and others that Saunders, 58, even created himself.
Accepting the prize, a composed Saunders called it “a wonderful honour” and thanked his wife Paula as “precious friend, visionary and artistic hero, my guide always to the higher ground even when I have to go kicking and screaming”.

Read the entire article - theguardian.com
Credits for information above - Sian Cain  


Reserve Lincoln in the Bardo 

The American Civil War rages while President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son lies gravely ill. In a matter of days, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy's body. From this seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling, supernatural domain both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself trapped in a transitional realm - called, in Tibetan tradition, the bardo - and as ghosts mingle, squabble, gripe and commiserate, and stony tendrils creep towards the boy, a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie's soul. Unfolding over a single night, Lincoln in the Bardo is written with George Saunders' inimitable humour, pathos and grace. 


Here he invents an exhilarating new form, and is confirmed as one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Deploying a theatrical, kaleidoscopic panoply of voices - living and dead, historical and fictional - Lincoln in the Bardo poses a timeless question: how do we live and love when we know that everything we hold dear must end?

 

18 October 2017

Three Sisters Island series - reviewed by Maria

I was not always a fan of Nora Roberts until I discovered how truly excellent she is at writing trilogies, especially ones that have a mystical magical theme running through them that crosses between the past and into the present.  As with other trilogies she has written along these lines the Three Sisters Island series has characters so intense that it gives me goosebumps. Three Sisters Island was raised by magic centuries ago to protect those in the future, however three women in the modern day are related to those three sisters from the past and the dark that destroyed the past is back to try to wreak havoc in the present.  

I have only read books one and two in the series and book three is taunting me from the kitchen table and I really need to make time to finish this trilogy. I recommend the series to fans of Nora Roberts and fans of magic, mysticism and past lives.


http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=172374
When Nell Channing arrives on Three Sisters Island, she believes that she's finally found refuge from the terrifying life she fled so desperately eight months ago. But even in this quiet, peaceful place, Nell never feels entirely at ease. Careful to conceal her true identity, she takes a job as a cook at the local bookstore cafe - and begins to explore her feelings for the island sheriff, Zack Todd.
Just as Nell starts to wonder if she'll ever be able to break free of her fear, she realises that the island suffers under a terrible curse - one that can only be broken by the descendants of the Three Sisters, the witches who settled the island back in 1692. And now, with the help of two other strong, gifted women - and with the nightmares of the past haunting her every step - she must find the power to save her home, her love and herself . . .





http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=22549
Ripley Todd just wants to live a quiet, peaceful kind of life. Her job as a sheriff's deputy keeps her busy and happy, and she has no trouble finding men when she wants them - which, lately, isn't all that often. She's perfectly content, except for one thing: she has special powers that both frighten and confuse her - and though she tries hard to hide them, she can't get them under control... 

Distraction soon arrives in the handsome form of MacAllister Booke - a researcher who's come to investigate the rumours of witchcraft that haunt Three Sisters Island. Right from the start, he knows there's something extraordinary about Ripley Todd. 

It's not just her blazing green eyes and her sultry smile. There's something else. Something he can detect, but she'll never admit. 





http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=172373
Mia Devlin knows what it's like to love with your whole heart - and then watch your love walk away. Years ago, she and Sam Logan shared an incredible bond built on passion, legend, and fate. But then one day he fled Three Sisters Island, leaving her lost in memories of the magic they shared - and determined to live without love...

Sam has now returned to Three Sisters with hopes of winning back Mia's affections. He is puzzled when she greets him with icy indifference - for the chemistry between them is still sizzling and true. Angry, hurt and deeply confused, Mia refuses to admit that a passion for Sam still burns up her heart. But she'll need his help - and his powers - to face her greatest, most terrifying challenge. And as the deadline for breaking a centuries-old curse draws near, they must take the first steps toward destiny - and come together to turn back the dark . . .






































I have only read books one and two of the series and book three is taunting me from the kitchen table because I simply must find the time to read the final part of this really good trilogy by Nora Roberts.


I never used to read this author and in fact would steer clear of her books for some reason, however I have become a fan of her trilogies especially the ones with an ancient magic theme that runs through the modern world and crosses inbetween. I find that Nora Roberts can craft these characters so well that you get goose bumps.  In the Three Sisters Island series each book relates to one of the three modern day witches whose bloodlines goes back to the original three sisters. Each sister from past to present has a task to achieve or the island itself will be destroyed.

I am totally hooked into this and recommend the series to Nora Roberts fans!



17 October 2017

The war has begun...

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=173295
For time out of mind, bloodthirsty demons have stalked the night, culling the human race to scattered remnants dependent on half-forgotten magics to protect them.

Two heroes arose-men as close as brothers, yet divided by bitter betrayal. Arlen Bales became known as the Painted Man, tattooed head-to-toe with powerful magic symbols that enable him to fight demons in hand-to-hand combat-and emerge victorious. Ahmann Jardir, armed with magically warded weapons, called himself the Deliverer, a figure prophesied to unite humanity and lead them to triumph in Sharak Ka-the final war against demonkind.

But in their efforts to bring the war to the demons, Arlen and Jardir have set something in motion that may prove the end of everything they hold dear-a Swarm. Now the war is at hand, and humanity cannot hope to win it unless Arlen and Jardir, with the help of Arlen's wife, Renna, can bend a captured demon prince to their will and force the devious creature to lead them to the Core, where the Mother of Demons breeds an inexhaustible army.

Trusting their closest confidantes, Leesha, Inevera, Ragen, and Elissa, to rally the fractious people of the Free Cities and lead them against the Swarm, Arlen, Renna, and Jardir set out on a desperate quest into the darkest depths of evil-from which none of them expects to return alive.

Book five of The demon cycle series.

16 October 2017

Easy low-carb slow cooking - reviewed by Cath

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=165078


I like to cook a few meals on a Sunday afternoon, and put them into the fridge and freezer, so I don’t have to cook during the week. 


This book has sensible recipes, clear instructions, and doesn’t need a lot of fancy ingredients. It’s suitable for people following Ketogenic, Paleo and LCHF (low carb, high/healthy fat) diets. 










The blurb:

Finally, a Low Carb Cookbook with Prep-and-Go Recipes for Healthy Living

Low-carb diets are more popular than ever. Limiting refined carbohydrates and increasing healthy fats and proteins can help you lose weight and improve cardiovascular health. Cooking your own meals is essential when trying to eat a low-carb diet, as dining out or buying prepared foods can make it difficult to adhere to a low-carb lifestyle.

With this in mind, Robin Donovan, New York Times bestselling co-author of Dr. Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Diet, has created the ultimate low-carb cookbook. By using healthy, truly low-carb ingredients, Easy Low-Carb Slow Cooking is the only low carb cookbook that allows you to enjoy flavorful meals that are good for your waistline and your wallet. By gearing these recipes to the convenience and ease of the slow cooker, prep time and cleanup has never been simpler.

More than 125 "prep-and-go" slow cooker recipes designed to make a low-carb, high fat diet easier than ever Truly low-carb, high fat dishes that follow ketogenic dietary guidelines, as well as "Make It Paleo" substitution tips Detailed nutritional information for each recipe, including macro nutrient percentages for carbs, fat, and protein

Enjoy low carb cooking recipes such as: Frittata with Cherry Tomatoes, Asparagus & Thyme * Cinnamon Crunch Coffee Cake * Curried Broccoli, Cheddar & Toasted Almond Soup * Bacon-Wrapped Chicken with Barbecue Sauce * Thai Red Curry Beef with Coconut Sauce * Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Cheesecake * and more!

13 October 2017

Sous Vide!

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=173026
Discover the best way to cook everything: sous vide! Once only found professional kitchens--with machines costing thousands of dollars--sous vide has been reimagined. 

Over the past five years, some creative companies have pioneered tools that look somewhat like large immersion blenders and cost less than $200. With sous vide, food is sealed inside a plastic bag and submerged in hot water for long, slow cooking. The result is reliably juicy meat and tender vegetables; no moisture is lost. Temperature can be maintained to tenth-of-a-degree precision. 

From America's Test Kitchen to Alton Brown, America has an interest in the best way to cook anything. Sous vide delivers restaurant quality meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, and more. 



Recipes can be as basic as the classic sous vide steak, simply seasoned and seared on the grill. However, spice blends, marinades, and various other flavours can be built into the process. Additionally, new sous vide chefs have plenty of questions. How long do you need to cook different cuts of beef with different thicknesses? What foods might cook together at the same temperature range--and should I use the same pouch for different elements of a dish or not? Sous vide can be used for all sorts of recipes, from custards to speedily infusing vodka with herbs to create gin.

10 October 2017

A trial with complications, a trial like no other

When feisty lawyer Sasha Stace secures the acquittal of a sleazy politician charged with rape, it¿s one legal victory too many. Disillusioned, she looks to the High Court bench for more fulfillment. But before she can become a judge, there`s one more criminal defense a trial with complications, a trial like no other. The man arrested for murder is her former lover, the lawyer seeking Sashas help in the case is the daughter she gave up for adoption over thirty years ago and the ambitious, grudge-holding prosecutor is closely connected to an attorney general who does not want her involved. 

In Presumed Guilty, Mark McGinn continues to delight his fans with scintillating courtroom scenes, memorable characters and ingenious plot twists that keep the pulse racing and the pages turning until the end.

09 October 2017

One must be very careful what one seeks . . .

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=172472
A score of years after he first walked into the histories of Men, Anasurimbor Kellhus rules all the Three Seas, the first true Aspect-Emperor in a thousand years.

The masses worship him as a living god, though a few dare claim he's a walking demon. With Proyas and Saubon as his Exalt-Generals, he leads a holy war deep into the wastes of the Ancient North, intent on destroying Golgotterath and preventing the Second Apocalypse.

His wife and consort, Esmenet, meanwhile, remains in Momemn, where she struggles to rule not only his vast empire, but their murderous children as well. And Achamian, who lives as a Wizard in embittered exile, undertakes a mad quest to uncover the origins of the Dunyain. But Achamian, of all people, should know that one must be very careful what one seeks . . .

06 October 2017

200 Women

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=172327
200 women from around the world, famous and unknown, answer the same 5 questions, such as "What really matters to you?" and "What would you change in the world if you could?" 

The answers are inspiring, moving, sometimes funny, sometimes painful, but always powerful. 

Interviewees include Graca Michel, widow of Nelson Mandela and an impressive political and social activist, author Margaret Atwood, Nobel laureate Jody Williams, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and women from around the world making a difference. 






Each interview is accompanied by a photographic portrait, resulting in a volume that is compelling in word and image as it is global in its scope. It is published to coincide with an interactive website, and a photographic exhibition which MAY come to New Zealand. New Zealand interviewees include, Louise Nicholas, Marilyn Waring, Damaris Coulter, Kimbra Johnson, Lydia Ko, Marama Fox, Eva McGauley and Karen Walker.

05 October 2017

The gift of a lifetime?

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=172576
Anna Browne is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life in the City. She doesn't expect to be noticed and is happy with her quiet life: a good job on reception at The Daily Messenger newspaper, a comfortable apartment and a small but loyal group of friends. Anna has everything she wants. 

But someone has been watching Anna Browne. And they think she deserves more.When a parcel arrives addressed to Anna, she has no idea who has sent it. Inside she finds a beautiful gift: one that is designed to be seen. And so begins a series of incredible deliveries, each one bringing Anna further out of the shadows and encouraging her to become the woman she was designed to be. As Anna grows in confidence, others begin to notice her: and her life starts to change. 

But who is sending these mysterious gifts, and why?

04 October 2017

Evie's Magic Bracelet (Junior Ficton)

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=172427
The first in a magical, exciting series by Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill. Perfect for fans of Rainbow Magic and My Little Pony!

What if you had a special bracelet that gave you the power to talk to animals? 

One morning Evie gets a parcel in the post from her Grandma Iris in Jamaica. Inside layers of tissue and colourful ribbons is a beautiful bracelet!

Evie's going to need the bracelet - and a brave heart - when her friend meets a frightened silver unicorn. But she's always ready to have some magical adventures!






http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=172426
The second in a magical, exciting series by Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill. Perfect for fans of Rainbow Magic and My Little Pony!

What if you had a magic bracelet that allowed you to bring toys to life? 

Evie's grandma has sent her another parcel. Inside layers of tissue and colourful ribbons is a beautiful bracelet!

This time, the bracelet lets her bring things to life. But when a stuffed toy becomes a cute little puppy with a mind of his own, Evie and her friends are off on a magical adventure!




03 October 2017

From the author of How To Train Your Dragon

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=172011
This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught since birth to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide. Perfect for boys and girls who love fantasy adventure...

Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests. Until the Warriors came...

Xar is a Wizard boy who has no Magic, and will do anything to get it. Wish is a Warrior girl, but she owns a banned Magical Object, and she will do anything to conceal it. 

 In this whirlwind adventure, Xar and Wish must forget their differences if they're going to make it to the dungeons at Warrior Fort. Where something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring...

02 October 2017

Every life has a price... (teen fiction)

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=172395
Emmett Atwater isn't just leaving Detroit; he's leaving Earth. Why Babel recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on his contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family, forever.

As he and nine other teenagers wormhole their way through space, Emmett discovers that each recruit must earn the right to travel down to Eden. There, Babel will use them to mine a substance that's quietly become the most valuable in the world. For the chosen ten, every training session is measured, every point matters, and Emmett will do anything to win.

But Babel's ship is full of secrets. And as Emmett uncovers the truth, he realizes he's not fighting for wealth or glory. He's fighting for his life.



Emmett accepts an interstellar space contract but learns en route that to win the promised fortune he and nine other recruits face a brutal competition, putting their very humanity at risk.

29 September 2017

Seeing Red - reviewed by Maria

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=168893&query_desc=kw%2Cwrdl%3A%20Seeing%20red
In recent years I've not been a Sandra Brown fan, and not read as much suspense as I used to. Seeing Red has changed my mind on both fronts. This is one of her best books in years.

To start with I wasn't sure however as this author seemed to have a knack of making you think too much has been revealed too soon and you get comfortable with your thoughts about the plot. About half way in you realise you actually have no idea who did it at all and I was second guessing myself until the culprit was actually revealed!

Although this a romantic suspense I didn't find the romance overshadowed the suspense which makes for better reading for me. The author threw in a spicy sex scene or two but really I was focused a lot more on the plot.  I like a multilayered thriller with strong characters and a good narrative and this did it for me.


The blurb: Kerra Bailey is a TV journalist hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to new heights. Twenty-five years ago, Major Franklin Trapper became a national icon when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors to safety after the bombing of a Dallas hotel. For years, he gave frequent speeches and interviews but then suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all media. Now Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get an exclusive with the Major--even if she has to secure an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper.

Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, Trapper wants no association with the bombing or the Major. Yet Kerra's hints that there's more to the story rouse Trapper's interest despite himself. And when the interview goes catastrophically awry--with unknown assailants targeting not only the Major, but also Kerra--Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he's going to track down the gunmen . . . and finally discover who was responsible for the Dallas bombing.

Kerra is wary of a man so charming one moment and dangerous the next, and she knows Trapper is withholding evidence from his ATF investigation into the bombing. But having no one else to trust and enemies lurking closer than they know, Kerra and Trapper join forces to expose a sinuous network of lies and conspiracy--and uncover who would want a national hero dead.