Books to read this Heritage Month

Take a look at Southland’s rich heritage during March - walk through our historic buildings, find out more about your street and sample our history and culture with these titles.

Heritage buildings, people and stories are all combined in this highly illustrated history of Invercargill.  The format is easy to read with many photographs of early Invercargill that he inherited from his father, Frederick Hall-Jones.

Place a hold on Old Invercargill

Southland has a rich industrial heritage covering many early industries- flax, timber, flour milling, ship and bridge building, agriculture and mining. This book covers the whole of New Zealand with a few references to some local heritage sites. Illustrated throughout with photographs and section diagrams.  Reference only.

From traditional Maori dwellings and early European houses through to villas, bungalows and the introduction of the state house are all covered in this comprehensive history and style book on old New Zealand houses. A great source book if you are wanting to restore your old villa to its original style.

Place a hold on Old New Zealand Houses 1800-1940

 A fascinating look at the origin of the street and  suburb names of Invercargill and the surrounding area, ”What’s In a Name” also tells you how Invercargill got its name and which streets have had a change of name. There are lots of pictures and maps showing how the city used to look, and when and why boundaries have changed.

Place a hold on Whats in a Name?

This book is an account of the life of Robert Duncan Yule, a pioneer settler of Invercargill, and his family. It also chronicles the restoration of their family home by the Troopers Memorial Corner Charitable Trust. Their home in Ness Street is now the oldest registered wooden building in Invercargill and has been named “Yule House”.

Place a hold on The Yule family of "Yule House"

The foreword says “the cookery book was compiled during the progress of the most terrible war the world has seen.”  The funds from the sale of the cookery book went to the Southland Provincial patriotic Fund to be used for the benefit of the soldiers. Reference only.

This book contains information and photographs on the history of trams in Invercargill.  Reference only.

Heritage Month runs Southland-wide this March. Visit the Heritage South Facebook Page for details on this year's Heritage Month events.

Not your usual love story. Romance films that don’t always end with a Happy Ever After.

Romance doesn’t always end with “and they all lived happily ever after.”   But it’s the romantic journey from beginning to end that keeps us entertained.   We decided to share some romantic movies that might scare you, make you laugh, make you cry, maybe even make you wish you were single again.

When Lily, a shy fast-food restaurant cashier and hopeless romantic, and Jarrod, another forsaken eccentric, connect at a 'come as your favourite animal' party, it's a match seemingly made in outcast heaven.

Place a hold on Eagle vs Shark

'R' is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is different from his fellow Dead. Then he meets Julie. She's the opposite of everything he knows: warm, bright - and very much alive. For reasons he can't understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins. But their grim, rotting world won't be changed without a fight...

Place a hold on Warm Bodies

Alex is a handsome school teacher in his mid thirties and his parents want him to marry a good Greek girl. But Alex falls hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Eve, a lawyer, whose parents are Lebanese Muslim. Like oil and water, the two should never mix, only how can they stop themselves from falling in love?

Place a hold on Alex & Eve

Ex-maid of honor Eloise, having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text, decides to hold her head up high and attend her oldest friend's wedding anyway. She finds herself seated at the 'random' table in the back of the ballroom with a disparate group of strangers.

Place a hold on Table 19

Five years after losing the love of her life, one moment suddenly changes Nikki forever... at first sight and with one glimpse, she falls in love again. The object of her affection, Tom, is the man of her dreams - a handsome art teacher with a big heart, kind smile and zest for life. And he just happens to look exactly like Nikki's deceased husband, Garrett. Seduced by the chance to re-live her first true love, Nikki spirals into a fantasy world of life with Tom as Garrett.

Place a hold on The Face of Love

Meet charming and jobless Scott Pilgrim. A bass guitarist for garage band, the 22-year-old has just met the girl of his dreams, literally. The only catch to winning Ramona Flowers? Her seven evil exes are coming to kill him. As Scott gets closer to Ramona, he must face an increasingly vicious rogues' gallery from her past. If he hopes to win his true love, he must vanquish them all.

Place a hold on Scott Pilgrim vs The World

It's William Shakespeare's epic and searing tale of love. An ageless story from the world's most renowned author is re-imagined for the 21st Century. This adaptation is told in the lush traditional setting it was written, but gives a new generation the chance to fall in love with the enduring legend.

Place a hold on Romeo and Juliet

The road to true love is never easy and never smooth . It’s not a Mills and Boon world out there and sometimes being a little bit out of the ordinary can make a difference. Be different, take a risk, hug a Zombie… maybe!

The ultimate guide to podcasts about books, by readers, for readers!

A podcast is like a downloadable radio episode you can listen to anytime that comes out periodically. There are heaps out there and it can be overwhelming to sort through the good from the bad.

So to help you out, we have created this list of book themed podcasts for you to enjoy.

Smart Podcast, Trashy Books

Each week on Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, Sarah Wendell interviews authors, readers, reviewers, bloggers, publishing professionals, editors, and librarians about romance novels, which are among the most popular genres in fiction worldwide.

 Plus, they always recommend some books they're reading and really enjoying. 

Recommended for: Those who love to read romance novels

Crime Time Podcast

Crime Time is a weekly book podcast talking mystery, thriller, sci-fi, horror & crime fiction. Hosted by two Aussie women: Lee and Eddie.  It's like listening in on a conversation between two friends.  

Recommended for: Those who like darker reads.

Book Club for Masochists

Book Club for Masochists

A podcast run by a group of Canadian and American librarians. Their slogan is 'Becoming better library staff by reading books we hate'.

Every month they read books from a new, randomly picked genre then  discuss their reading choices, experiences, opinions, appeal factors, and other related topics as friends and library workers.

Recommended for: All book lovers


MuggleCast is the most-listened to Harry Potter podcast online, and the only one to release on a regular and timely schedule. Pioneering the Harry Potter podcast phenomenon in August 2005, MuggleCast has continued to bring its listeners the most entertaining and thought-provoking discussions. "With each new episode we discuss everything Harry Potter: the latest news, the Potter books, Fantastic Beasts, The Cursed Child, and more!"

Recommended for: Harry Potter fans

Book Riot

Book Riot is a great book-related website with lots of interesting articles and fun lists and stuff.

They host a few different podcasts, including All the books! Which talks about new releases, and Recommended which is a new podcast which has “interesting people talking about their favourite books”

Recommended for: All book lovers

The Nerd Factor: a Library Podcast

The Nerd Factor: a Library Podcast is an hour long weekly podcast from the Madison County Public Library in Kentucky, USA. Hosts April, Brandon, and CC are nerds who also happen to be librarians and each bring their own signature flavour to the show. Additionally, each episode can surely be "tied in" with one of the many library services provided at MCPL. "The episodes include many things:  fun, casual, thought-provoking, topical, and every so often contain a few all-out hilarious moments that we hope our audience will enjoy!" 

Recommended for: All book lovers

A Stab in the Dark

Best-selling author and comic Mark Billingham presents a brand new crime fiction podcast series bringing together the very best super-sleuths from literature and television. Each episode of A Stab in the Dark sees a set of two brand new guests from the worlds of TV and books assemble to discuss the inner workings of crime fiction.

Recommended for: Those who love crime fiction

The world of podcasts is huge – if there’s a topic there’s likely a podcast dedicated to it.  Give it a go yourself, and if you have a podcast you'd love to recommend to us then be sure to let us know on our Facebook Page.

Tangent teens tell us the books they think every teen should read.

I think teenagers should read it because it’s a very gripping, detailed book. It has some romance and action. It’s a good story for those who like history, war, and a little death.
Tangent Teen - Ella
Age: 14
Every teenager should read this because it has a very important theme behind it. It also can make people think and perceive the world in a different way.
Tangent Club logo
Age: 14
24 Teens. 12 Districts. 3 books. 1 winner.
Tangent Teen - Hannah
Age: 14
I recommend this book for teenagers as it gives you information about Norse gods in a fun way.
Tangent Teen - Sophie
Age: 14
It’s GREAT!! Focuses on teamwork. Is very engaging.
Tangent Club logo
Age: 14
14 kids, stranded in a shop with everything they could possibly want. Sounds pretty good, until they find out that when they go outside they will either turn into serial killer, paranoid freaks, get covered in boils, or are simply unable to reproduce. How will they find their family and survive?
Tangent Teen - EmmaP
Age: 12
Do you like action and plot twists? If yes you would love to read The Recruit. It is about a boy called James. My personal favourite part is when the basic training kids go one a holiday because they have finished basic training. WARNING: don’t read to people under the age of 12 years there are some very gross scenes.
Tangent Teen - Xanthe
Age: 13
Do you like action and plot twists? If yes you would love to read The Recruit. It is about a boy called James. My personal favourite part is when the basic training kids go one a holiday because they have finished basic training. WARNING: don’t read to people under the age of 12 years there are some very gross scenes.
Tangent Teen - Emma K
Age: 14

The best of 2017. Our Staff Pick’s for the year.

Our staff picks collection has been around for three years now, and encompassed over 350 items. These are books, games and DVDs we have loved, and decided must be highlighted to you all.

We talked to our staff about all the recommendations they had given this year, to create this list, of their best read/watch for 2017.

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

Set in a Viking like world, where the strength of a man is based on how well he can fight. Prince Yarvi is a weakling in the eye of his father. Born with one crippled arm, he cannot fight. Left for dead after his fathers death, the prince must use the one weapon he has, his mind, to overcome his enemies and take back what is rightfully his. Full of great characters, action and plot twists.

Place a hold on Half a King

Rated by:

Chris Broad
Collections Assistant

Utopia (UK TV Series)

Twisted. Too real. And really quite freaky. A fantastic conspiracy thriller.

Place a hold on Utopia

Rated by:

Cris Crighton
Preschool Librarian

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Women discover they now have the power to inflict pain, or even death, just through a touch. Suddenly, the power balance shifts in the world – and women become objects of fear for many men. How do the women respond to their new-found position? A prize-winning page-turning thriller that is also thoroughly thought-provoking.

Place a hold on The Power

Rated by:

Angela Bain
H&C Team Leader

Written in Red by Anne Bishop

In a world where humans exist at the sufferance of the Others, Meg is a human on the run who takes refuge within the domain of the Others. What ensues is a story full of intrigue, drama and comedy which combine to create a binge-worthy book.

Place a hold on Written in Red

Rated by:

Megan Findlater
Children's Librarian

Redemption at Hacksaw Ridge by Booton Herndon

He faced insults and threats because he would not carry arms in war. His faith saved lives and he became a hero.

Place hold on Redemption at Hacksaw Ridge

Rated by:

Linda Te Au
H&C Manager

Tiny Tabletop Gardens by Emma Hardy

Great ideas and projects for limited space. Loved all the different containers used, makes you start thinking of other things you can put plants in. Very easy to follow instructions and which plants are best to use in a small space.

Place a hold on Tiny Tabletop Gardens

Rated by:

Staff Member Image - Debs
Debra Robinson

'48 by James Herbert

An action book set in a world where Nazis have won the war by unleashing a gruesome disease as biological warfare. What more can you ask for?

Place a hold on '48

Rated by:

Bonnie Mager
D&C Manager

The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

In 1986, twenty year old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, abandoned his car, and walked into the woods.For nearly three decades this man lived a solitary existence with virtually no human contact, his family assuming he was dead. Author Michael Finkel, set out to find the truth, the motivation behind Christopher Knight’s self-imposed exile – why he disappeared and what he learned in the process.

Place a hold on The Strange in the Woods

Rated by:

Staff Member - Jill H
Jill Harpur
Non-fiction Collection Specialist
Do you love our Staff picks collection? Be sure to check out the display within the library, or search the online collection of Staff Picks.