Month: December 2021

Top Ten.. Young Adult books of 2021

2021 is on its way out, and we’ve been pretending to be Santa by making lists. Only these lists are of the most checked out books of the year.

Everyone’s favourite (and the original) grumpy cat Garfield is very popular with Rangatahi Youth, but who can blame us? His sardonic approach to life and sense of humour is exactly what’s needed to get though a world gripped by a pandemic. Throw in some post-apocalyptic fiction and a bit of fantasy, and we’ve got 2021 wrapped. Here’s the most-checked-out books from our Rangatahi Youth section for the year:

10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs.

After a family tragedy, Jacob feels compelled to explore an abandoned orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales, discovering disturbing facts about the children who were kept there.

9. Garfield Chickens Out, by Jim Davis.

8. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.

The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games.

7. Garfield: large & in Charge, by Jim Davis.

5. Garfield Brings Home the Bacon, by Jim Davis.

4. Garfield Takes His Licks, by Jim Davis.

3. Garfield Cleans His Plate (his 60th book) by Jim Davis.

2. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins.

Ambition will fuel him. Competition will drive him. But power has its price. It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games.

1. The Maze Runner, by James Dashner.

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone.

He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside.

If any of these books catch your fancy, you can click on the linked title to go to our website, which will then show all of the formats of this book. Many of our books are available in a digital format as well as a physical book, so even if the physical book is on loan, you’re away on holiday or the Library is closed for the festive season, you can still get or reserve a copy for the hottest books your Library has on offer.

Top Ten… Adult Fiction books of 2021

If there ever was a year to escape to a fictional world, then we think 2021 ranks pretty high for escaping between the pages of a good book. Here’s the top ten adult fiction books checked out at the Library in 2021, by some highly-appreciated authors, including David Baldacci, Lee Child and Lucinda Riley.

10. The Book of Two Ways, by Jodi Picoult.

Dawn Edelstein knows everything there is to know about dying. She specialises in helping her clients make peace with the end of their lives. But as she’s flying home from her latest case, she is forced to confront her own mortality for the first time.

9. Daylight, by David Baldacci.

BI Agent Atlee Pine’s search for her sister Mercy clashes with military investigator John Puller’s high-stakes case, leading them both deep into a global conspiracy – from which neither of them will escape unscathed.

8. A Gambling Man, by David Baldacci.

The 1950s are on the horizon, and Archer is in dire need of a fresh start after a nearly fatal detour in Poca City. So Archer hops on a bus and begins the long journey out west to California, where rumor has it there is money to be made if you’re hard-working, lucky, criminal – or all three.

7. Turn a Blind Eye, by Jeffrey Archer.

William Warwick, now a Detective Inspector, is tasked with a dangerous new line of work, to go undercover and expose crime of another kind: corruption at the heart of the Metropolitan Police Force.

6. Blue Moon, by Lee Child.

In a nameless city, two ruthless rival criminal gangs, one Albanian, the other Ukrainian, are competing for control. But they hadn’t counted on Jack Reacher arriving on their patch.

5. Hidden in Plain Sight, by Jeffrey Archer.

William Warwick has been promoted to Detective Sergeant but his promotion has meant reassignment, along with the rest of his team, to the Drugs Squad in Southwark, where they are immediately tasked with apprehending a drug dealer known as ‘Viper’

4. The Sentinel, by Lee Child.

As always, Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there. One morning he ends up in a town near Pleasantville, Tennessee. But there’s nothing pleasant about the place.

3. Better Off Dead, by Lee Child.

Reacher never backs down from a problem. And he’s about to find a big one, on a deserted Arizona road, where a Jeep has crashed into the only tree for miles around.

2. A Time for Mercy, by John Grisham.

Deputy Stuart Kofer is a protected man. Though he’s turned his drunken rages on his girlfriend, Josie, and her children many times before, the police code of silence has always shielded him. But one night he goes too far.

1. The Missing Sister, by Lucinda Riley.

The six D’Aplièse sisters have each been on their own incredible journey to discover their heritage, but they still have one question left unanswered: who and where is the seventh sister?

If any of these books catch your fancy, you can click on the linked title to go to our website, which will then show all of the formats of your chosen book. Many of our books are available in a digital format as well as a physical book, so even if the physical book is on loan, you’re away on holiday or the Library is closed for the festive season, you can still borrow or reserve a copy for the hottest books your Library has on offer.

Top Ten… Sound & Vision items of 2021

Continuing our review of the top picks by our community (by check-outs for the year), these are our most-borrowed (and beloved) Sound and Vision items for 2021. These titles are the most popular physical items loaned out from the library’s Sound & Vision collection, but don’t forget that these aren’t your only options! Your library card gives you access to Beamafilm, Kanopy and Kanopy Kids for music and film streaming, without the need to come into the Library. You can find thousands of titles in our Movies and Music section, wherever you are, whenever you fancy.

10. Avengers: Infinity War.

As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality.

9. Black Panther.

Centuries ago, five African tribes war over a meteorite containing vibranium. One warrior ingests a “heart-shaped herb” affected by the metal and gains superhuman abilities, becoming the first “Black Panther”.

You can also check out Marvel graphic novels and comics by searching our catalogue for Black Panther.

8. Nomadland.

Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad.

7. The Trench.

Set in the 48 hours leading up to the catastrophic Battle of the Somme in 1916, “The Trench” is the story of young men at war, as seen through the eyes of 17 year old Billy Macfarlane.

6. Radioactive.

From the 1870s to the modern era, Radioactive is a journey through Marie Curie’s enduring legacies — her passionate relationships, scientific breakthroughs, and the consequences that followed for her and for the world.

5. Wild Mountain Thyme.

Headstrong farmer Rosemary Muldoon has her heart set on winning her neighbour Anthony Reilly’s love. The problem is Anthony seems to have inherited a family curse, and remains oblivious to his beautiful admirer.

4. Greenland.

A family fights for survival as a planet-killing comet races to Earth.

3. Tenet.

Armed with only one word – Tenet – and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real-time.

2. The Call of the Wild.

The classic tale of a dog’s heroic adventures in the frozen Yukon. The Call of the Wild is a thrilling frontier adventure and uniquely American ode to the power of nature.

For those who prefer books to movies, the movie is based on the novel Call of the Wild, by Jack London.

  1. Wonder Woman 1984.

Wonder Woman’s latest big-screen adventure finds her facing a wide array of foes, including Maxwell Lord and Cheetah.

If any of these movies catch your fancy, you can click on the linked title to go to our website, which will then show all of the formats of this book. Many of our books are available in a digital format as well as a physical book, so even if the physical book is on loan, you’re away on holiday or the Library is closed for the festive season, you can still get or reserve a copy for the hottest books your Library has on offer.

Top Ten… Children’s books of 2021

It probably comes as no surprise to children and parents alike, that Dog Man and Dav Pilkey reign supreme in the popularity ranks! So, in favour of some balance, we’ve compiled Dog Man and added in more titles from the top 30 of children’s books. Because while it’s good to stick with a good thing, variety is the spice of life!

The Top Seven (Dog Man) titles are:

  1. Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey.
  2. Fetch-22 by Dav Pilkey.
  3. Cat Kid Comic Club (ok, admittedly not exactly Dog Man, sorry team), by Dav Pilkey.
  4. For Whom the Ball Rolls by Dav Pilkey.
  5. Brawl of the Wild by Dav Pilkey.
  6. Mothering Heights, by Dav Pilkey.
  7. Grime and Punishment, by Dav Pilkey.

Dog Man is a comedic graphic novel series about a dog headed cop protecting the city with his friends.

Coming in at number eight…

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball, by Jeff Kinney.

An unexpected inheritance gives the Heffley family a chance to make major improvements to their home. But they soon find that construction isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Rounding out our top ten, our ninth and tenth most popular children’s books are:

A tale of Two Kitties, and Unleashed, both by Dav Pilkey.

Other honourable mentions from the top 30 that are not Dog Man include:

The World’s Worst Parents, by David Walliams.

Are you ready to meet the worst parents ever? Sure, some parents are embarrassing – but they’re NOTHING on this lot. These ten tales of the world’s most spectacularly silly mums and deliriously daft dads will leave you rocking with laughter.

Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure, by Jeff Kinney.

Join Roland and his best friend, Garg the Barbarian, as they leave the safety of their village and embark on a quest to save Roland’s mom from the White Warlock. Will our heroes survive?

The Grinny Granny Donkey, by Craig Smith.

Grinny Granny Donkey likes to dunk biscuits in her tea, fall asleep in the sun, play her banjo, and cuddle up to her pint-sized granddaughter, Dinky . . . and she has a tendency to lose her false teeth! She’s a clinky-clanky, dunky-drinky … you know how it goes … grinny granny donkey!

Karen’s Roller Skates, by Katy Farina.

It’s going to be a great weekend! Karen has new roller skates and is a very good skater. She’s looking forward to trying some new tricks. But, oh no! Karen falls down and has to go to the hospital. Her wrist is broken! Karen is determined to get everyone she knows — plus someone famous — to sign her cast.

The Sewer Rat Stink, by Geronimo Stilton.

Geronimo and his friend Hercule Poirat venture into the sewers to find the origin of the horrible stink that’s driving all the mice away from New Mouse City–and learn an important lesson about recycling.

The 130 Storey Treehouse, by Terry Denton.

Andy and Terry have added 13 new levels to their treehouse and now it’s even more out of this world than before! There’s a soap bubble blaster, a GRABINATOR (it can grab anything from anywhere at any time), a time-wasting level, a toilet paper factory (because you can never have too much toilet paper), a room full of mechanical grandparents…

Code Name Bananas, by David Walliams.

1940. Britain is at war with Nazi Germany. Eleven-year-old Eric spends his days at the place that makes him most happy: London Zoo. And there’s one animal in particular he loves: Gertrude the gorilla. With bombs falling all over London, Eric must rescue Gertrude. Together with his Uncle Sid, a keeper at the zoo, the three go on the run. But while hiding out at the seaside they uncover a top-secret Nazi plot…

If any of these books catch your fancy, you can click on the linked title to go to our website, which will then show all of the formats of this book. Many of our books are available in a digital format as well as a physical book, so even if the physical book is on loan, you’re away on holiday or the Library is closed for the festive season, you can still get or reserve a copy for the hottest books your Library has on offer. For very popular titles like Dogman it’s a good idea to place a hold on your chosen book – we’ll email you when the copy has been returned and is waiting for you!

Top Ten… Adult Non-Fiction books of 2021

As another year draws to a close, we thought it would be fun to look at what some of our most-borrowed (and beloved) items were for 2021. The search has uncovered some surprises and confirmed what we already suspected – this list of adult non-fiction proves that we love a good mystery, we love a story of triumph, and that we love to cook. Starting with our most popular books at the top – here’s some inspiration for your reading list. They’ve got the public vote that they’re good!

10. Wild at Heart: The Dangers & Delights of a Nomadic Life, by Miriam Lancewood.

Miriam Lancewood’s first book Woman in the Wilderness told how she and her husband, Peter, lived for six years in the wilderness of New Zealand, hunting and gathering, and roaming the mountains like nomads. A year later they left New Zealand to explore other wild places.

9. Becoming, by Michelle Obama.

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private. A deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations.

8. A Richer You: How to Make the Most of Your Money, by Mary Holm.

Author and New Zealand’s financial expert on how to make your money work in the real world. We live in uncertain times. But this need not affect how you can make the most of your money.

7. 7 Ways, by Jamie Oliver.

Naked Chef television personality Jamie Oliver has looked at the top ingredients we buy week in, week out. We’re talking about those meal staples we pick up without thinking – chicken breasts, ground beef, eggs, potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, and shares 7 achievable, exciting and tasty ways to cook 18 of our favorite ingredients.

6. The Cause of Death, by Cynric Temple-Camp.

Spontaneous combustion and exhumation, drug mules and devil-worshippers, a gruesome killing beneath the Palmerston North Airport control tower, a mysterious death in an historic homestead, rare diseases, drug-mules, devil-worshippers, a first-hand dissection of the infamous Mark Lundy case … provincial pathologist Dr Cynric Temple-Camp lifts the lid on the most unusual stories of death and murder he has encountered during his 30-year career

5. Bella: My Life in Food, by Annabel Langbein.

Annabel Langbein, New Zealand’s well-known food writer, writes about her remarkable life and how food has shaped it, highlighting some of the recipes that have resonated most strongly with her over the years.

4. Impossible: My Story, by Stan Walker.

Stan Walker speaks with startling honesty about abuse and addiction, hardship and excess, cancer and discrimination, and growing up in a family where love and violence were horribly entwined.

3. Supergood, by Chelsea Winter.

 These plant-based recipes are 100% meat-free, egg-free and dairy-free with loads of gluten-free options to inspire every cook.

2. The Official New Zealand Road Code 2019/20: Including Licence and Study Guide.

Your guide to becoming a safe and responsible driver. The essential for all learner drivers!

1. The Quick and the Dead: True Stories of Life and Death from a New Zealand Pathologist, by Cynric Temple-Camp.

A dead body without a trace of trauma; alien parasites; worms of the brain; crocodile attacks; bizarre eating disorders and surgical puzzles. Pathologist, former medical officer and self-confessed death-aficionado Cynric Temple-Camp’s compelling stories will leave you with a new lease on life, as he seeks answers to the questions posed by disease and death.

If any of these books catch your fancy, you can click on the linked title to go to our website, which will then show all of the formats of your chosen book. Many of our books are available in a digital format as well as a physical book, so even if the physical book is on loan, you’re away on holiday or the Library is closed for the festive season, you can still borrow or reserve a copy for the hottest books your Library has on offer.

Library Hacks: Google sign in super tip

Here’s a cool tip to save you a few precious seconds when signing in to your Google account.

Did you you know that you don’t have to type in the @gmail.com part of your email address to sign in?!

So if your email address is samsmith2468@gmail.com just enter samsmith2468 and then your password. So easy!

Remember, this only works for Google/Gmail accounts.

@libraryhacks are a new series of technology and library related tips to help make your life easier – look out for them.

New Zealand’s Christmas Tree

One of the joys of the festive season is seeing all the pōhutukawa trees flowering. The strong green and bold red really help gives the tree its nickname as the ‘New Zealand Christmas Tree’.

We often see stunning scenic shots of pōhutukawa on beaches but here in Palmy we love our pōhutukawa trees in Te Marae o Hine The Square. You can even catch a glimpse of these trees from the windows overlooking The Square on the First Floor of Central Library.

Did you know that the pōhutukawa, while a native plant of New Zealand, is actually not native to our region? Its natural habitat ranges from the North Cape to Tokomaru Bay on the east coast of the North Island, up and over o Urenui, north of New Plymouth on the west. It once formed an almost continuous band of forest along most of the northern coastline.

A map of the North Island showing the distribution of pōhutukawa. A thick red line extends from Gisboune to north of New Plymouth.
Pōhutukawa distribution, by @gallicist on Twitter.

The exact natural southern limit of pohutukawa’s original range is difficult to know because the trees have been so widely planted.

Pōhutukawa can live for hundreds of years in their natural coastal environment. While it is common to see 100-year-old trees growing in home gardens, both pōhutukawa and northern rātā (another tree known as the New Zealand Christmas Tree) can probably live up to 1000 years.

If you want to find some information on the pōhutukawa and other native trees, we have some great books in our catalogue. Search Native New Zealand Trees on the library website here. From John T Salmon’s Native trees of New Zealand to Robert Venell’s The Meaning of Trees and Andrew Crowe’s Which native tree? New Zealand native trees: a simple guide to their identification, ecology and uses, the library can help you discover more about our native taonga this summer – ideally under the shade of a blooming pōhutukawa tree.

Summer Holiday Open Hours

As 2021 comes to an end, the Library’s open hours will be different for the two weeks covering Christmas and New Year.

On Thursday 23 December all Library sites – Central Library, Community libraries, Youth Space and Blueprint will close early at 12noon.

Central Library will open for three days before New Year: on Wednesday 29 December, Thursday 30 December, and Friday 31 December from 9am to 5pm.

It will then be closed for New Year and the Statutory Holiday days, opening again on Wednesday 5 January for our normal hours.

Our Community Libraries in Ashhurst, Awapuni, Roslyn and Te Pātikitiki will be closed from 12noon on Thursday 23 December and will open at 10am on Wednesday 5 January.

Youth Space will be closed on the Thursday 23 December and will open at 10am on Wednesday 5 January.

Blueprint will be closed from 12noon on Thursday 23 December and will open to the public in Wednesday 12 January. If you get any great creative ideas over the festive break, be sure to book a session with Blueprint to make your ideas a reality.

The Mobile Library is patiently waiting for when we can hit the road and see you in the community, so will not be operating during the summer holiday.

Please note that Library hours are dependent on the Covid-19 Traffic Light System. We recommend checking our hours on the website (in the top right corner of our website) to check what hours we are open.

We wish you a happy festive season and a happy 2022.