Category: What’s on

Meet Manawatū author Vicky Adin

Award-winning historical fiction author Vicky Adin is coming to the library on Thursday 10 November to tell us about her New-Zealand inspired novels as part of our Writers and Readers programme.

Vicky describes herself as a genealogist in love with history and words. She loves to weave family stories and bygone days together in a way that brings the past alive. She recently won a Gold Medal in the Women’s Historical Fiction Category in The Coffee Pot Book Club Book of Year Award 2022 for Gwenna the Welsh Confectioner.

Her latest novel, Elinor, is a dual-timeline tale about discovering your roots. The story follows a rural family living in the Manawatū throughout the post-war years of the 1920s and into the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Vicky has many connections with the Manawatū. Her surname may be familiar to some. She married into a family who first came to Foxton in the 1860s. Many descendants still live in the area today. A wander around the cemetery will tell its own tale, or you could read her first book, The Disenchanted Soldier.

The Disenchanted Soldier is inspired by the true story of Daniel Adin, a British soldier fighting in the New Zealand Wars of 1864. Delve into the riveting experiences of a young British soldier in war-torn New Zealand and after, where Daniel, as patriarch and the father of World War One conscientious objectors, faces natural disasters, endures family tragedies and witnesses the birth of a nation.

We had a chat with Vicky to get the conversation started:

PNCL: Hi Vicky, please tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a Welsh-born, Cornish-raised Kiwi. I’m also a genealogist, antique lover, wife, mother, grandmother, and all-round nosy parker. I love Mediterranean food and red wine. Fortunately, I love to cook, but I love words more. My favourite past-time is delving into the past, looking at old photos, reading old newspapers and discovering those who shaped our world.

PNCL: What inspired you to write your latest book, Elinor?

Genealogical research. It’s such a mouthful, I wish there was a simpler word for it – but I find by digging into the social aspects of the past I understand more of how New Zealand developed as a nation. Elinor is not one person; she is a compilation of many women; women who survived whatever life threw at them. The fact she lived in Manawatū and for a short time in Pahīatua, is a bonus.

PNCL: What inspired you to write your latest book, Elinor?

New Zealand is a young country by world standards. After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, Pākehā immigrants began to arrive in their thousands to create a new way of life in an untamed land with little infrastructure. My stories reflect the everyday struggles of those immigrants to our beautiful country. Except there was nothing ordinary about how the women survived; women who rarely appear in the annals of history but who oversaw the birth of a nation and helped shape many lives. They are the people who inspire me.

PNCL: How many books have you written?

I have six books in The New Zealand Immigrant Collection – they are family sagas about overcoming the odds. Some are entirely historical, some are dual-timeline, others are contemporary novels about searching for the past. One of those stories, Gwenna the Welsh Confectioner is set in Karangahape Road at the turn of the 19th century. The other stories in the collection are The Disenchanted Soldier, The Cornish knot, Portrait of a man, Brigid : the girl from County Clare and The Costumier’s Gift.

Elinor is Book Two in a new series The Art of Secrets, a series about about finding your roots. Book 3 is due out next year.

You can meet and hear from Vicky at the Central Library, second floor, on Thursday 10 November at 10:30am. The event includes morning tea and a chance to win a prize. Please RSVP to vicky@vickyadin.co.nz

October School Holidays Week Two

WOAH – we’re about to head into week two of the October School Holidays! Halloween is coming near and we’ve got some spooky stuff to celebrate and more play outside with our mates Sport Manawatu in parks around the city. The final screening of the Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival, and a visit from Donovan Bixley, award-winning author and illustrator of kiwi faves Squawk!, Draw Some Awesome, and Ki te moe Aotearoa.

So grab your diary and take note of what’s coming up – we’ll see you here!

Monday 10 October

Look Up! Explore Our Universe! Reading Challenge

From 1 to 31 October, blast into a new reading challenge to celebrate International Space Week 2022. With NASA at My Library, explore and read about the universe at your own pace, and earn online badges along the way.

Find out more and sign up here.

Grab and Go Activity Pack: Spooktacular Halloween Fun

Central Library; Main Desk, first floor.

Get your Halloween started a little early with some craft bits and bobs. It’s a whole bag of Spooktacular fun!

Grab and Go packs are available in limited numbers

Aimed at ages 5+

Tuesday 11 October

Canine Friends Pet Therapy Visit

Central Library; Children’s Zone, 2-3pm

Come read to our dog pals from Canine Friends Pet Therapy. They’re excellent listeners!

Pop-up Play with Sport Manawatū

Te Pātikitiki Library; 157 Highbury Ave, 2-3:30pm

Let’s have some fun in our local parks with the crew from Sport Manawatū.

Don’t forget to slip, slop and wrap!

Wednesday 12 October

Pop-up Play with Sport Manawatū

Terrace End School, 10-12noon

Let’s have some fun in our local parks with the crew from Sport Manawatū.

Don’t forget to slip, slop and wrap!

Brazilian Kids Movie Festival – Turma da Monica, Uma Aventura no Tempo/ Monica’s Gang in an Adventure in Time

Central Library; Mezzanine, 10:30am – 12noon

Our heroes need to take a trip in a Time Machine, to recoup the essence of the four elements before the Earth gets frozen. The Gang will face the dangers of the Ancient History.

Find out more about the Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival.

Te Pātikitiki Rocks!

Te Pātikitiki Library, 57 Highbury Ave. 11am – 12:30pm.

Rock painting for all. We have all the stuff, so come along and paint up some rocks with us.

Please bring stones to paint if you have them.

Free event.

Pop-up Play with Sport Manawatū

Village Valley Centre; Ashhurst, 2-4pm

Let’s have some fun in our local parks with the crew from Sport Manawatū.

Don’t forget to slip, slop and wrap!

Thursday 13 October

See Award Winning Illustrator Donovan Bixley in Action

Central Library; Children’s Zone, 2-3pm

In this fun family event Donovan will read from his books and share his best drawing tips and ideas for budding artists. PLUS, be the first in the world to get your paws on Donovan’s brand new full colour Flying Furballs annual/comic book Take-Off! from Paper Plus Palmerston North.

Donovan Bixley is the author/illustrator of several award winning books. Find a selection of his work at the Library.

Friday 14 October 2022

Freaky Friday – Spooktacular Halloween Story Time

Central Library, Children’s Zone, 10 – 11am

Scary, spooky, and strange stories to fright and delight. Dress up in your Halloween costume if you dare and come join in the fun. Aimed at ages 5+

Bring your Hell Reading Pizza Wheels along to do a book chat after, or grab a wheel to start!

Pop-up Play with Sport Manawatū

Awapuni Park, 10am-12noon

Let’s have some fun in our local parks with the crew from Sport Manawatū.

Don’t forget to slip, slop and wrap!

We hope you had an out-of-this-world school holidays! If you want to keep the good times rolling, our Reading Challenge is still open for new registrations. It’s not too late to jump aboard the space ship, so sign up here.

October School Holidays – Week One

It’s the October School Holidays! No doubt your tamariki are super excited, but if you’re wondering how to keep them entertained, the Library is here to help you! We’ve got activities happening in our Community Libraries and at the Central Library on the Square. From author visits, the Brazilian Kids Film Festival, grab-and-go bags, and a NEW reading challenge, we’ve got loads to pack the first week of your school holidays.

All through the holidays

Look Up! Explore Our Universe! Reading Challenge

From 1 to 31 October, blast into a new reading challenge to celebrate International Space Week 2022. With NASA at My Library, explore and read about the universe at your own pace, and earn online badges along the way.

Find out more and sign up here.

Saturday 1 October

Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival: O Menino no Espelho/ The Boy in the Mirror

Central Library; Ground Floor, 3:30-5:30pm

Fernando is a kid who lives all his fantasies in an intense way and with lots of imagination. Together with his friend Mariana and his dog Capeto, he commands a secret society and solves great mysteries like a ‘haunted house’.

Find out more about the Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival.

Monday 3 October

Grab and Go Activity Pack: Give Me Some Space

Central Library; Main Desk, first floor.

Blast off the school holidays by celebrating International Space Week. Create your own planet and rock your own rocket!

Aimed at ages 5+

*Grab and Go packs are available in limited numbers

Tuesday 4 October

Pop-up Play with Sport Manawatū

Te Pātikitiki Library; 157 Highbury Ave, 2-3:30pm

Let’s have some fun in our local parks with the crew from Sport Manawatū.

Don’t forget to slip, slop and wrap!

Canine Friends Pet Therapy Visit

Central Library; Children’s Zone, 2-3pm

Come read to our dog pals from Canine Friends Pet Therapy. They’re excellent listeners!

Wednesday 5 October

Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival: O Cavaleiro Didi e a Princesa Lili/ The Knight Didi and Princess Lili

Central Library; Mezzanine, 10:30am – 12:00noon

Didi plays King Lindolfo’s groom and valet, a faithful servant to the royal family. After the King’s death, his evil brother Jafar tries to seize the throne.

Find out more about the Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival.

Te Pātikitiki Rocks!

Te Pātikitiki Library, 57 Highbury Ave. 11am – 12:30pm.

Rock painting for all. We have all the stuff, so come along and paint up some rocks with us.

Please bring stones to paint if you have them.

Free event.

Thursday 6 October

‘Monarchs of Aotearoa’ with author Erin Willson @ Central

Central Library; Children’s Zone, 10–11am

Join visiting author Erin Willson and celebrate the magical Monarch butterfly and the unique story of their journey to Aotearoa. With a very special story time, you’ll also learn how you can care for Monarch butterflies in your garden and take home your own swan plant seedling.

‘Monarchs of Aotearoa’ with author Erin Willson @ Te Pātikitiki Library

Te Pātikitiki Library, 57 Highbury Ave, 2 – 3pm

Join visiting author Erin Willson and celebrate the magical Monarch butterfly and the unique story of their journey to Aotearoa. With a very special story time, you’ll also learn how you can care for Monarch butterflies in your garden and take home your own swan plant seedling.

Friday 7 October

Freaky Friday – Give Me Some Space! Story Time

Central Library; Children’s Zone, 10am – 11am

Board the spaceship and travel to new spaces and places with stories from Planet Library.

*Bring your Hell Reading Pizza Wheels along to do a book chat after or grab a wheel to start.

Aimed at ages 5+

Saturday 8 October

Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival: Taina 2, A Aventura Continua/ Taina 2: A New Amazon Adventure

Central Library; Ground Floor, 3:30pm – 5:30pm

The young warrior Indian Taina must battle against biopirates. She is joined by a new boy from the big city and an Indian girl who wants to follow her steps as a protector of the jungle.

Find out more about the Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival.

We hope you have a blast in the first week of the school holidays, and we’re looking forward to seeing you here soon!

Future Living Skills

Would you and your whānau like to be more sustainable in your daily lives?

There are some very good reasons to take up sustainable practices.  Not only are they kinder to our climate and planet, but they will often save you money and have multiple health benefits too.

The journey towards sustainability can be much easier with the support of others and reliable information at hand.  With that in mind, Environment Network Manawatu (ENM) is offering a new series of workshops on practical sustainability known as “Future Living Skills”.  This series follows on from three successful series held by the Palmerston North City Council last year.   

Facilitated by experts from the community and the council, the 8 workshops are based on freely available learning guides. Topics range from growing your own food, to travel options, minimising waste, eco-building, community resilience, and more! 

Friendly and informal, the workshops are a great opportunity to learn from others in the room, as well as sharing your own ideas, challenges and tips.  What do you know that you’d like to share? 

You will also hear about some local sustainability initiatives, such as the new Repair Café, the Plastic Pollution Challenge, the Manawatū Food Action Network, and many other local opportunities for connecting with others who are making a practical and positive contribution to our community and environment. 

Future Living skills is hosted by the City Library and run by ENM.

Are you interested?  We’d love to have you join us!

To find out more or register visit https://enm.org.nz/news-1/future-living-skills, or check out ENM’s Facebook event and page.  Please note that numbers are limited and pre-registration is required (at the link above). Confirmation of the dates sessions will be sent to you..

Registration costs $40 but this fee is optional.

Future Living Skills was developed collaboratively by local government in NZ and is supported by Palmerston North City Council.  It is published by an independent charity called Sustainable Living Education Trust – www.sustainableliving.org.nz   

Any questions, please email Sally Pearce at support@enm.org.nz

The Gautam family, Chida, Chiteeze, Phampha, Salafa and Saafal, planted veggies, flowers and a plum tree.      

Find the sign, earn a takawai (waterbottle)

As part of our celebration for Mahuru Māori, and continuing te wiki o te reo Māori a bit more, we have a special challenge for you. The library has signs in te reo Māori across all of our floors. Your challenge is to find the sign to earn a takawai – a drink bottle.

Find the right sign on the right day from 14 – 20 September between 2pm – 3pm. One of our kaimahi will be waiting nearby, and when you tell them the sign, you win a takawai!

The sign for Wenerei – Wednesday (14 September) is: Nau mai haere mai ki Te Ara Whānui o te Ao. Found on the Welcome Wall, Mezzanine Floor

The sign for Tāite – Thursday (15 September) is: Kōpae Ataata/Movies. Found in the Sound and Vision area, Mezzanine Floor.

The sign for Paraire – Friday (16 September) is: Kaupapa Māori. Found in Heritage, Second Floor

The sign for Hātarei – Saturday (17 September) is: Kia Ora/Hello. Found on the First Floor

The sign for Rātapu – Sunday (18 September) is: Ō Pukuhohe/Humour. Found in the Children’s area, First Floor.

The sign for Mane – Monday (19 September) is: maru āhuru mōwai/your living room. Found in the Sound and Vision area, Mezzanine Floor.

The sign for Tūrei – Tuesday (20 September) is: pukapuka hou/new books. Found in the Fiction area, First Floor.

Good luck, and we’ll see you between 2-3pm with your takawai!

A Chat with Tim Saunders

Manawatū farmer and poet Tim Saunders is coming to the Library as our guest author for Off The Page on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd September. On Friday Tim will discuss his work and books with (also a) poet and farmer Janet Newman. On Saturday he is hosting a poetry workshop. Registrations are open to attend the workshop – contact genny.vella@pncc.govt.nz to book your seat.

We asked Tim a few questions about his life and work to get the conversation started:

PNCL: You mention some great dog names in the article on The Spinoff. What’s the best dog name you’ve heard?

Tim: Most working dogs need a short, sharp name that rolls off the tongue easily. We have Sam at the moment, and before him we had Chip and Zing and Boss and Pete. Dad once bought a dog called Phillip, but had to change its name to Pip because yelling “Go away back Phillip” was too much of a mouthful. I also knew a shepherd once who named every single dog he owned Ned. He ran a pack of around 10 working dogs, and we were inundated with dogs whenever he shouted “Get in behind Ned.”

PNCL: When drafting sheep, do you count them in multiples? (eg. fives? twos?) Does that affect the rhythm of your poetry?

Tim: Dad used to tell me to count their legs and then divide by four… There are many rhythms on the farm that can influence poetry. Working with animals and observing the changes in season give poetry a natural metre and cadence. Animals have a particular poetry in the way they move and behave, and to capture their essence and beauty in words is very satisfying.

PNCL: Tell us the best farming TV show theme tune. You can choose either A Dog’s Show or Country Calendar. Which will it be?

Tim: Maybe mash-up between the two – we could call it A Dog’s Calendar.

Q: How old were you when you noticed a poetic tendency? What were your early poems about?

Tim: I didn’t really start to write poetry until I was in my thirties. I have always written short stories, but poetry seemed quite daunting and academic. I think the way it was taught at school didn’t help. But as I got older I really started to appreciate the craft of writing poetry, and the ability to convey a story using its most basic elements. I have never taken a formal class or workshop on poetry, I learnt the craft purely from reading poems and taking them apart to see how they worked. I try to write poems from my own observations and experiences, but they are not always rurally based.

Q: Is there a season that particularly resonates with or inspires you for your writing?

Tim: I think the changes between seasons are inspiring. The little gaps where the elements are neither one thing nor the other. Those times that we don’t normally notice, the gradual changes. That’s where the magic happens.

Thanks Tim! We’re looking forward to having you this week. And we look forward to welcoming the public to talk seasons, farming and poetry with us.

3 Burning Questions – Crime After Crime

We are thrilled to host Crime After Crime: the world’s finest crime writers come to Palmerston North on 13 September. We expect a criminally good night!

Val McDermid is considered to be crime-writing royaly. Over 18 million copies of her books have sold to date, and there have been several TV adaptions. Her latest book, 1989 is the second book in the Allie Burns series.

Michael Robotham is Australia’s hottest crime writer; his Joseph O’Loughlin series was a worldwide bestseller and is currently being adapted for the screen. He’s also well known for his bestseller The Secrets She Keeps, now an award-winning TV drama with Season 2 streaming now on TVNZ+. His latest book is Lying Beside You.

Rotorua-born J.P. Pomare’s debut novel Call Me Evie won the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel, and his second book In the Clearing will soon grace our screens via Disney+. His fifth book, The Wrong Woman, is out now.

To get our interrogation started, we sent 3 burning questions to the authors. Here’s what they had to say for themselves.

What’s the weirdest thing in your (writing-related) search history?

J.P.POMARE: The one thing I think that has put me on a watchlist (If I am on one) was ‘How to drown a child’ which I searched for In The Clearing

VAL MCDERMID: It would have to be a toss-up between ‘home-made bomb 1994’ and ‘how to climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle on Sgurr Alasdair.’ And lots of searching for accurate names for characters of different nationalities. ‘Most common Lithuania surnames,’ that sort of thing.

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM: When I was writing Bombproof, I had to research how to make a homemade bomb known as the ‘Mother of Satan’. I was convinced that the security services were going to pick up on trigger words and come storming into my house to arrest me.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you know how the book will end when you start writing?

J.P.POMARE: I know how the book is going to end, but I’m still a pantser when it comes to the writing. I view the end of the story as a point on the compass and will generally head in that direction but won’t follow a map, or have a plan as to what is going to happen. I just like to be surprised as I write.

VAL MCDERMID: I used to be a plotter. When I started out, I thought plotting was my weakest area, so I worked hard on getting the story coherently laid out on file cards before I started. Then that suddenly stopped working for me mid-book. Now, I know the broad brush strokes of the story, the ending I’m aiming for and a couple of crucial turning points along the way. Writing is a process, and we don’t always control what works for us!

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM: I’m definitely a pantser. When I was writing LYING BESIDE YOU, I was three quarters the way through and still didn’t know who the villain was going to be.

One of the benefits is that I make each of the suspects equally credible, because I don’t know who I’m going to choose. I think sometimes when you know too early, you can make the villain either too obvious, or tried to hide them too well and not give the reader a chance to guess the ending. I figure, that if I don’t see the twists coming – neither will the reader.

What pseudonym would you use if you had to go on the run after a – hopefully non-lethal – crime?
J.P.POMARE: Paul Gilbert — it might be a little obvious, and I’m sure Reid would figure it out in ten seconds but it’s my middle name and my Grand Mothers Maiden name.

VAL MCDERMID: Something really bland and common. Emma Taylor, Sarah Robertson, Jane Brown. That sort of thing. And if I dyed my hair its original colour, nobody would recognise me!

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM: Inspector Endeavour Morse. (Nobody would ever suspect me of anything).

Tickets are now sold out.