Month: July 2022

Come on Palmy, Let’s Play! 

Looking for something to do with the whānau? We’ve got you covered!

Collect a postcard from any of our libraries and check out fun things to do in the Manawatū! Tick off each activity as you go. Once you’ve completed all 7 activities come back to the library and claim your prize!

Selector’s Picks #3

From Our Non-Fiction Shelves

In the media this week are two titles that have captured our attention already –

The first, Blue Blood: the inside story of the National Party in crisis by Andrea Vance, is a book for people of all political persuasions. It gives a blow by blow description of the key moments over the two years National Party lost its mojo,  and exposes what really went on behind the scenes. Entertaining, factual and well-written by political journalist with 20 years in the industry (from publishers blurb).  Jack Tame spoke with Andrea Vance about her book.

The Cereal Entrepreneur: a story of grit, courage and crunchy goodness by Kaz Staples is a story of survival. In 1997 with bills to pay the author decided to make Christmas cakes out of her home kitchen to sell at the local markets. Twenty-two years later, she sold the highly successful and sought-after cereal and snack brand, Puredelish.  Not so much a “how to” book this is a  story of ups & downs, the highs and lows, and in Kaz’s own words “… life is a miracle – there’s dark and light – you CAN survive it all and thrive through it all BUT you can’t have it all”. Listen to the full RNZ Nine to Noon interview.

What I’m reading

On a different note here are a few books I’ve enjoyed recently and a couple of new ones too that I’m looking forward to reading (they’re due out next month).

I’ve enjoyed reading Ruth Shaw’s book The Bookseller at the end of the world – it’s about a long life well  lived, about the value of leaving and then returning home, about finding the strength to survive the toughest times, and then the resilience to help others through theirs. And the importance through it all of books and reading – and Ruth’s desire to share that joy with community. I think if you read this book, you’ll be inspired and like me maybe you’ll soon be planning a trip to Lake Manapouri to visit Ruth’s wee bookshops. At times a tough read, but ultimately magical. (note: bookshops are open from late September until mid April,  so plan your trip accordingly!).

I’ve always loved Juliet Batten’s writing specifically her connection to spirit through nature. Her new book The Pomegranate Journal doesn’t disappoint. Now in her mid 70’s and facing physical decline she’s written this journal to “chart the way into her new life”.  Written in the form of journal entries some of the gems include – “pain is a symptom of transformation”; a moment of “gladness” in nature (the first dusky crimson blossoms of the pūriri tree) has the power to lift us out of a day of struggle; & the thought that coming back into the world of the young (when you’re old) is really to come full circle & it’s achievable if you stay upbeat, and engaged and make the effort to use language that breaches the age divide. This one warrants a second reading – and just maybe I’ve bought my own copy!!

Lastly, Nici Wickes’ A Quiet Kitchen is a real comfort read. Part journal/diary part recipe book the author shares her love of cooking and her experience of living solo – a consequence of lockdown (she loved it!) but also of her own life choices (Nici is happily single). She lives in Port Waikato and her book is infused with a wonderful sense of kiwiana, of the spirit of community and oh yes includes easy delicious recipes. I loved reading about Nici’s own midlife health challenges and how the love of home, cooking good food, a daily ocean swim (year round!), and being surrounded by a supportive community has nurtured her and is now allowing her to live her best most authentic life.

AND Coming Up!

There are two new titles from local authors being launched at the Central Library next month. A collection of poems and a family history. I’m excited to read them both.

Award winning local poet Tim Upperton is publishing his 3rd collection of poetry called  A Riderless Horse . It’ll be launched on Friday 12 August at 6:30pm in the Central Library. Sam Neill is a fan (say no more!) … very Palmy! 

In her first memoir My Italian destiny  Lynn Kirkland introduced the reader to the link with the Italian family who saved her father during the war. Our Italian Legacy tells of the unbroken connection of two families on opposite sides of the world and which now spans five generations. It’ll be launched at the City Library on Wednesday 17 August.

Central Library book group is back!

Do you enjoy reading and exploring new genres and different authors? Would you like to meet interesting people, talk about books, and discover some of your library’s hidden treasures? The Library Book Group offers all that and more!

The Central Library Book Group meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6pm in the Non Fiction area. We also have book groups at some of the other library locations.

There’s a different theme each month, rather than a set text. Group members can choose their own reading material, share old favourites with the group, or introduce us to new discoveries. Some examples of themes include:

  • books set in a small village or town
  • Lucky Dip – anything that jumps out at you as you’re browsing your shelves or the library’s collections.

All welcome! Come and indulge your love of books in a convivial and relaxed atmosphere.

If you have any questions, contact Nora:

New digital resources to explore

We’re excited to announce that we’ve added new online tools to our digital collection. LOTE Online for kids, Creativebug, the British Newspaper Archive and new Gale databases have been added to inspire you to explore the pathways of the world.  

LOTE stands for ‘languages other than English’, and is pronounced like the ‘loat’ in ‘float’. It has a catalogue of more than 1,600 digital books in more than 50 languages. It’s a fantastic way to help migrant tamariki hear, retain and read their mother tongue. It’s also great for new language learners of all ages to explore their chosen language by listening and reading.

Visit the Children’s Digital Library on our website to navigate to LOTE and our other fantastic Children’s apps. Keep your library card handy to sign in! 

Creativebug is the perfect place to pick up a new hobby! With over 1000 online classes, taught by renowned artists and crafters, you can learn to paint, knit, crochet, sew and more. Classes don’t expire, so you can learn at your own pace.

Visit Creativebug now to get started. You’ll need to create an account with your library card number.

The British Newspaper Archive is a database covering 300 years’ worth of British newspaper content. One of our team managed to search and find information about their 5x Great-Grandfather! It’s a fantastic resource for those researching their genealogy. 

The British Newspaper Archive is available only on a library computer, with up to 4 seats available at any given time for research. To access and view the archive you need to create an account using an email and password. By registering you’ll be able to view images/documents, keep track of your searches, and bookmark items into folders. 

To start researching, come visit us at the library to use a computer – we’ve got loads of cosy spots. 

We also have seven new Gale databases.

National Geographic Kids (Gale)

Explore amazing adventures in science, nature, culture, archaeology and space. 

Includes the complete run of the magazine from 2009 to the present. Provides authoritative, age appropriate digital content suitable for younger readers. 

National Geographic Virtual Library (Gale)

National Geographic Virtual Library includes the complete archive of National Geographic magazines from 1888 to the present, National Geographic: People, Animals and the World and National Geographic Kids. Along with a cross-searchable collection of National Geographic books, maps, images and videos. 

Australia and New Zealand (Gale OneFile)

Access content with a focus on Australia and New Zealand. 

This database features a variety of magazines, journals, news and multimedia sources, covering important issues and current events related to Australia and New Zealand. 

Smithsonian Collections Online (Gale)

Access America’s premier archive of culture and history. This database provides access to the following collections from the Smithsonian,  

  • Evolution of flight 1784 – 1991,  
  • Trade Literature and Merchandising of Industry,  
  • World’s Fairs and Expositions: Visions of Tomorrow, and the
  • Smithsonian and Air & Space magazine archive. 

Science (Gale In Context)

Access information on the latest developments across a range of scientific disciplines. Remain current with the latest scientific developments in the biological sciences, computing, engineering, technology and more. Updated daily. 

Pop Culture Studies (Gale OneFile)

Provides access to scholarly journals and magazines that analyse and contribute to popular culture. 

The Popular Culture Studies database offers useful information for researchers in social science, history, art or liberal arts courses. 

Military and Intelligence (Gale OneFile)

Covers all aspects of the past and current state of military affairs. 

Search scholarly journals, magazines, and reports covering all aspects of past and present military affairs. The database offers content in key subject areas including governmental policies, the socioeconomic effects of war, the structure of the armed forces and more. Updated daily. 

Click here to see all of our Gale databases.

Palmy Kids Read NZ’s Best

There’s more fun to be had this July with our new reading challenge for kids – Palmy Kids Read NZ’s Best!

We love the finalists of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults so much, we decided that a new Reading Challenge was in order. The challenge is for Tamariki and Rangatahi aged 4 to 19.

To complete the challenge you have to:

  • read at least one book,
  • write at least one book review, plus
  • earn any other four badges of your choice.

The challenge uses the Library’s online platform Beanstack for monitoring and encouraging reading. Join up and log your reading to earn virtual badges.

The Challenge kicks off on Friday 8 July (right at the start of the school holidays!) and finishes on Friday 12 August, following the book awards ceremony on Wednesday 10th when the winning books are announced. Will you read a winner? Join up here and we’ll see!

OR Download Beanstack from the Apple app store or Google Play Store.

  • Open the app
  • Choose Library as the organisation
  • Search for Palmerston North
  • Touch Sign Up!
  • Then join the challenge

World Chocolate Day

7 July is World Chocolate Day, and we’re at the table to help you celebrate this beloved treat. From books for Children, delicious recipe books, movies from around the world, and sweet, chocolatey fiction… we’ve got some delicious options to curl up with (mug of hot chocolate compulsory, of course!)

Charlie and the chocolate factory, by Roald Dahl

Mr Willy Wonka, the most wondrous inventor in the world, opens his gates of his amazing chocolate factory to five lucky children. Gobstoppers, wriggle sweets and a river of melted chocolate delight await – Charlie needs just one Golden Ticket and these delicious treats could all be his!

Find it in the Library, plus the original (best) movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Beans to chocolate, by Sarah Ridley

Everyone loves chocolate, especially kids! This Children’s book shows you where it comes from, how it’s made and ends up on supermarket shelves. Follow the story of chocolate through the farming process to manufacturing.

Find it in the Library

A wizard’s guide to defensive baking, by T. Kingfisher

Not so much into chocolate? Prefer something a little thrilling? This is one of librarian Craig’s favourite books, described as definitely more bakery than chocolate, but it’s gorgeous!

Fourteen-year-old Mona isn’t like the wizards charged with defending the city. Her familiar is a sourdough starter and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt’s bakery making gingerbread men dance. But Mona’s life is turned upside down when she finds a dead body on the bakery floor. An assassin is stalking the streets of Mona’s city, preying on magic folk, and it appears that Mona is his next target.

Find it in the Library.

Whittaker’s : a passion for chocolate since 1896

Whittaker’s is a much-loved Kiwi brand and a genuine family business going back four generations. This luscious book takes a light-hearted look at the history of the business, and how the chocolate is made, and then gives a range of fully tested recipes.

Find it in the Library

Chocolate alchemy : a bean to bar primer : creating your own truffles, candies, cakes, fudge and sipping chocolates, by Kristen Hard

Feeling cheffy? This collection of 100 fresh recipes celebrates bean-to-bar chocolate from the ground up. Including a revolutionary recipe for making chocolate from scratch from cacao beans.

Find it in the Library

Chocolate, by Dom Ramsey

Chocolate is a decadent and in-depth exploration of the world’s favourite sweet treat. From cacao’s origins, trace the journey of chocolate across the globe, with tips on how to make, buy, taste, and cook with this delicious treat. With 15 indulgent recipes worthy of a chocolatier, try something delicious with Chocolate.

Find it in the Library

There’s always room for chocolate : recipes from the Chocolate Room

This curated collection of more than 80 recipes, that all chocolate lovers must have in their arsenal, features the very best versions of the most essential chocolate desserts and confections, from updated, improved classics to cult favorites. From cakes and cookies to pies and puddings, bonbons and beverages, it’s a complete guide to chocolate at home.

Find it in the Library

I quit sugar with Sarah Wilson : the ultimate chocolate cookbook, by Sarah Wilson

Are you avoiding sugar? Sarah Wilson and her IQS team taught the world to quit sugar in eight weeks. In this book Sarah incorporates her mindful, sustainable and economical practices to ditch the guilt and show how to quit sugar without also quitting chocolate.

Find it in the Library

Sweet Fiction

Avoid the kitchen with a good book! We’ve got a rollicking collection of mysteries and crime fiction with some sweet settings:

Find sweet mystery and crime fiction for Adults, or check out The Quality Street series; the story of three plucky factory girls, set against the backdrop of Britain’s beloved wrapped chocolate.

Find sweet fiction for Tamariki


Described as “a delicious comic fable” this film is set in a small French village where life has remained unchanged for 100 years. When a single mother and her young daughter move to rural France and open a chocolate shop – with Sunday hours – across the street from the local church, they are met with some resistance from the rigidly moral community. But as soon as the townspeople discover their delicious products, their attitudes begin to change.

Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel

As the youngest daughter, Tita is forbidden by Mexican tradition to marry. Instead, she pours all of her emotions into her delicious recipes, which she shares with readers along the way.When Tita falls in love with Pedro, he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. Unfortunately, he’s married to her sister…

Find it in the Library

Murder, She Baked

Murder, She Baked is an American/Canadian television film series, based on the mystery novels written by Joanne Fluke.

Find the full collection in the Library

Find more Joanne Fluke in the Library (for those who prefer books)