Explore Polynesian culture this Polyfest at the Library

Murihiku Polyfest is back for 2018! From 27-31 August, join us at ILT Stadium Southland for a week of incredible cultural performances from early childhood, primary, and secondary school students. Tickets can be purchased from TicketDirect or ILT Stadium Southland.

The remarkable story of Tupaia, Captain Cook's Polynesian navigator

Includes articles from the past and present about Maori and Polynesian cultures

A pictorial book about the Fijian Islands, some of the best places to go, as well as the culture and a little bit of history.

Draws on the extensive collection of the Auckland Museum and includes whale bone, shark teeth, jade, tapa and shells

Recipes and stories from the heart of Polynesia along with some history and traditions.

Details the key elements of Cook Islands culture including language, religion, rites of passage, personality, and cultural aspects of food.

Make sure to book your tickets from TicketDirect or ILT Stadium Southland!

Book Lovers Day: Our favourite books in 5 words or less

To celebrate Book Lovers Day we have reviewed some of our most loved books!

Forest bathing.... might be naughty!

Jumble, avarice, blood, friendship, carrots

An exhilarating tale of friends persevering

I devoured this series!

Cyborgs, fairytales, Cinderella on steriods

Monkeys... the Earth isn’t flat

Don't be an a******

Best book supporting libraries, EVER!

Play me: no strings attached!

I ugly cried.... in public!

Amazing, Emotional, Inspirational, Gutsy, Uplifting!

...LOMU!... OGH!... OGH!

American tragedy, scapegoat, media circus

Wrap up this July with these winter reads

Keep warm this winter with a good read. Check out some of our favourite recent fiction and non-fiction releases below!

Fiction

Yu-jin wakes up covered in blood, his mother dead. He knows he’ll be accused so tries to solve the murder himself. Inspired by a true story, this book took South Korea by storm.

A wonderful crime novel that will make you cry, laugh, and gasp!
Angela
Team Leader
Heritage & Collections

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive, but not how to live. One simple act of kindness is about to change that.

The latest captivating story in Lucinda Riley’s epic series about two women searching for a place to call home.

I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart. Based on a true story.

Non-Fiction

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. A universal and inspiring coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers.

What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Humorous, surprising and informative.

The first ever memoirs from the bestselling adventure author. Wilbur Smith shares his extraordinary true life stories that have inspired his fiction.

The inside story of the stormy first nine months of Donald Trump’s term as President.

A solo trans-Tasman sailor’s battle to survive for twenty lonely, challenging days in a tiny life raft.

What are your favourite books to curl up in front of the fire with?

Anzac Reads for Kids & Young Adults

With ANZAC day right around the corner, we have picked out our top suggestions for must-read ANZAC themed books.

Non-Fiction

This book exposes the rich history behind Anzac Day; seeking to answer the many questions children often ask their parents and teachers around the 25th of April every year. It covers all aspects of Anzac Day, from the Gallipoli Campaign and the Great War, right through to the format of the commemorative services held annually throughout the country.

The fascinating true tales of the mascots and working animals that helped Anzac soldiers, sailors, pilots and medics do their jobs in wartime.

Fiction

Billy, a 17-year-old shepherd working on a farm in the Manawatu, lies about his age and enlists in the army. We follow his and his mate Jack’s journey in the Mounted Rifles from their Awapuni training camp, to Egypt before being shipped out – without their horses – to Gallipoli. There they discover that war isn’t the big adventure they thought it would be.  It is the first book in the series that tracks each year in World War 1, each focusing on different aspects of the war. 

It’s 1915 and sixteen-year-old Flora Wentworth’s comfortable life is turned upside down when visiting Cairo with her archaeologist father. She watches with growing alarm as first a trickle and then a flood of wounded soldiers are shipped into the city from Gallipoli. She is soon transporting injured soldiers and helping out exhausted nurses and managing to fall in love along the way.

Evan travels with his father to the Dardenelles to aid the Allied soldiers when they are captured by the Turks. They are launched into an epic journey, living on their wits and the kindness of strangers as they escape. The gripping story of an incredible journey behind enemy lines told in diary form that is an eye-opening adventure story that cleverly explores both sides of the war.

For young Private Peaceful, looking back over his childhood while he is on night watch in the battlefields of the First World War, his memories are full of family life deep in the countryside: his mother, Charlie, Big Joe, and Molly, the love of his life. Too young to be enlisted, Thomas has followed his brother to war and now, every moment he spends thinking about his life, means another moment closer to danger.

Like many of his mates from the bush, Frank Ballantyne is keen to join the grand adventure and do his bit. So Frank ups his age and volunteers with his horse Daisy … and his dad. In the deserts of Egypt and Palestine, to Gallipoli, then the famous charge at Beersheba, through to the end of the war and its unforgettable aftermath, Frank’s story grows out of some key moments in Australia’s history. This is the powerful story of a young man’s journey towards his own kind of bravery.

Picture Books

Maybe, somewhere, on the other side of the world, a child remembered not just the thunder of gunfire but the sound of a soldier softly playing a violin; the story of a rescued violin and an extraordinary musician Otago’s Alexander Aitken.

This picture book takes children through an ANZAC Day dawn service, placing images of the service alongside images of the soldiers at war. A gentle, simple, yet powerful introduction to the bittersweet memorial.

“War is stupid,” mumbled Tyson as he slammed the last photo album shut. He pushed it roughly back into the box and slapped the lid down, hard. There was no way he was going to the Dawn Parade with Mum and Poppa tomorrow. Why celebrate something so terrible? But after listening to the stories about the soldiers in his family Tyson feels differently and goes to the parade.

Love these recommendations? Then be sure to pop into the Library and check one out today! But not on ANZAC day, we will be closed.

Ockham Book Awards finalists: described in five words or less!

The Ockham Book Awards celebrate New Zealand’s finest literary fiction and non-fiction each year, over three categories. To celebrate the announcement of the shortlist nominations, we asked our staff to describe each nominee in five words or less.

Acorn Foundation
Fiction Prize Nominees

Intriguing, strange, tense, and fun!

Historical novel with vivid and intense details.

Compelling, thought-provoking and moving.

Intense and disturbing tale about Millennials

Illustrated Non-Fiction Award Nominees

Worlds collide, travel and encounters

Essays exploring Walters' "New Vision"

Tōtara in Aotearoa including Southland

Nature and wildlife in Otago

Royal Society Te Apārangi
General Non-Fiction Award Nominees

Evolving relationship between Māori and Pākehā

Life of a journalist and cartoonist

Early Encounters between Māori and Europeans

Obsessive search for wartime dad

Poetry Award Nominees

Stimulating, thoughtful, pleasurable and distinctive

Transformative poetry about the natural world

Poetry that paints a picture

Engaging poetry with great imagery

If you are interested in reading one of these books, be sure to place a hold on them online, or pop in and grab one. For more information on the books and awards visit the Ockham Awards webpage.