Hastings District Libraries

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Third Thursday Book Club reads

Miss Chopsticks by Xinran

Sisters Three, Five and Six leave their peasant Chinese community to seek their fortunes as migrant workers in the big city. Deemed, as female members of a large family, not important enough to merit a name, only a number, the city has plenty of shocks in store for the uneducated and unsophisticated sisters.


The Secret Museum by Molly Oldfield
Molly Oldfield's (who does research for the TV programme QI) Secret Museum is a unique treasure trove of the most intriguing artifacts hidden away in museum archives from all over the world - curated, brought to light, and brought to life in this beautifully illustrated collection.  

Spy Games by Adam Brookes
Journalist Philip Mangan is in hiding in East Africa, fearing he will be killed by Chinese agents who believe he is a British spy. But when he is caught in a terrorist attack, the arrival of a shadowy figure in its wake blows Mangan back into the eye of the storm. , and no one can be trusted to protect them.

I Think I Love You by Alison Pearson
This novel, set in the '70s and the present day, is about teen obsession, rites of passage and one girl's infatuation with David Cassidy. It's about love in many forms, but first love in particular, how it shapes us and imprints us.

Valerie: the autobiography by Valerie Adams

In her book the traditionally media-shy Adams talks about her humble upbringings - she was born in Rotorua to a Tongan mother and an English father - and raised mainly in south Auckland. She will talk about her incredibly successful partnership with coach Kirsten Hellier and, for the first time, shed light on the dramatic disintegration of that partnership in 2010. But perhaps most importantly, she will talk about what it's like to achieve at the very highest level...and to regularly look out from the centre of the sporting dais.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley

Strange things are afoot in Andrew Michael Hurley’s Gothic tale, The Loney. Not overly creepy at first, the story begins with the discovery of a body following a landslide in a grim part of northern England, atmospherically called Coldbarrow. The narrator decides to tell his view of events that happened forty years before.

As a boy of fifteen, the narrator – we never learn his name – spends Easter with his parents, his brother Andrew, their priest and several parishioners at an old house called Moorings. It is a kind of pilgrimage - the boys’ mother is intent that Andrew, who is slow and never speaks, will be cured when they visit a nearby shrine. We already know from the first chapter that Andrew has been given that second chance, but what is the real nature of the miracle that cures him?

Hurley is a brilliant story teller, slowly building up tension with revelation after revelation. We learn about the sudden death of the previous priest, Father Wilfred, shot through with accounts of his strict religious fervour. There is light relief in the power play between the female characters: newly engaged Miss Bunce and Esther, the boys’ devout mother. There are quaint and sinister locals and weird noises in the night. Moorings is filled with secrets and peculiar taxidermy.

In the distance the wild coast beckons the boys to explore the perilous spit at Coldbarrow, so quickly cut off from the tide. Danger lurks in many quarters, but when it takes hold of people’s imaginations the story takes a darker turn. Amid all this, Hurley probes the workings of faith with perception and humanity. The Loney is one of those books that gives you a lot to think about, but is a ripping read as well, earning for its author a Costa First Novel Award.

While The Loney is not available at this library, you can order it as a City Loan - just another of the many services available at Hastings District Libraries.

More about Andrew Michael Hurley

More about City Loans

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

What the Teen Book Club Has Been Reading

Hi everyone! Every second week Hastings Library hosts the Teen Bookclub. It’s filled with fun and laughter and a lot of talk about books. Check out what we’ve been reading this week!:

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?
The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?
What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.
Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

I loved this book! If you’re ever having an ordinary or blah day read this book and find out that we’re all extraordinary in an ordinary kind of way.

People would kill to be thin.
Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled “Cruise to Lose” is billed as “the biggest cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised—dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days—it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host, Tom Forelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.
But will they die for it, too?

If you think diet pills are the solution to getting thin think again! Cruises, cannabilism, addiction and diet pills are just some of the interesting quirks this book explores. Recommended by Hannah.


Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.

Jessica loved this book! Action, romance and drama, what more could you ask for?

It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.
And then you're dead.

When sixteen-year-old Kaelyn lets her best friend leave for school without saying goodbye, she never dreams that she might not see him again. But then a strange virus begins to sweep through her small island community, infecting young and old alike. As the dead pile up, the government quarantines the island: no one can leave, and no one can come back.
Those still healthy must fight for the island’s dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.
Because how will she go on if there isn't?

Recommended by Hollie – Great read, as if we weren’t scared enough by real life flu virus’ here’s the book version!

Alex, 14, goes to bed in December, and wakes in June, in a strange house to a strange family. In the mirror, he sees Flip. Unless Alex finds out what's happened and how to get back to his own life,  he may be trapped forever inside a body that belongs to someone else. What is identity, the will to survive, and what will we sacrifice to survive?

Highly recommended by Vaari

It's the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O'Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there's a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.
The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can't remember what happened, she doesn't know how she got there. She doesn't know why she's in pain. But everyone else does.
Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don't want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town's heroes...

In bookclub we share everything we’ve read, including the really bad ones. This slots really nicely into this category! This book was hideous – that is the actual word used by Jessica. I’ve also read it and unfortunately can see how this is reflected in our society today.

By MzLib

Monday, 25 April 2016

Poppy Places

The Poppy Places Trust’s request that we help identify, mark and tell the stories of streets and other memorials to those who have served New Zealand overseas in the military gives us the opportunity to find out some fascinating stories of love, loss, bravery and honour.

A wide range of likely “Poppy Places” in the Hastings area have been identified, on www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/hastings-poppy-places and interested members of the public, family or friends of those honoured and Council staff are working together to develop the stories and register them with the Poppy Places Trust – www.poppyplaces.nz.

Anyone who would like to know more or to help with research is welcome to contact Council on poppyplaces@hdc.govt.nz or phone 871 5000 and talk to Cherie. The library also has a host of research material and stories for those who want to know more about this chapter of our history and has created a database of Hawke’s Bays’ fallen soldiers that people can search at www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/anzac.

Books and resources that might help anyone interested…

Sunday, 24 April 2016

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Lucy Barton lies in a New York hospital, seriously and mysteriously ill following surgery.
Her mother keeps vigil beside her bed; Lucy's husband rarely visits, and she has contact with her children by telephone only.
We learn that Lucy had a impoverished childhood and an uneasy relationship with her parents and siblings as an adult.  Conversations with her mother are a minefield of unanswered questions, inconsistent remembering, and efforts to right the wrongs of the past.
Pulitzer prize winner Elizabeth Strout writes convincingly about fraught family relationships and the overriding need for parental love, even when the parent is the cause of suffering.
An unassuming novel with underlying powerful truths.

Posted by Katrina
Catalogue link: My Name is Lucy Barton

Friday, 22 April 2016

The Best of Nordic Noir

If you’re a Scandi crime lover, you’ll be thrilled by the 2016 Petrona Award shortlist, just announced. Or maybe you just really liked Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy and have been eager to take your reading beyond Mankell and Nesbo. So authors honoured by the Petrona Award with its chilling snowflake logo could be a good place to begin. Here are some of the titles shortlisted that you can find at Hastings District Libraries:

The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum

In Norway, Fossum is queen of Nordic Noir and has won awards for her Inspector Sejer series featuring one of the genre’s more mild mannered and polite detectives. Social awareness, inequality and the lasting effects of crime on vicitims are some of the recurring themes in her work. In this novel, Sejer must investigate the death of an 18-month-old child whose mother’s story doesn’t quite stack up.

The Caveman by Jorn Lier Horst

Sticking with the Norwegians, Horst  is a former policeman turned whodunit author. His police detective, William Wisting, is another crime fighter with a conscience plus an understanding for the dark side of human nature. In The Caveman, Wisting investigates the lonely death of a neighbour whose body was not discovered for four months.

Dark As My Heart by Antti Tuomainen

Journalist turned novelist Antti Tuomainen had a big hit with his third novel The Healer, winning a Clue Award in his home country of Finland. Dark As My Heart tells the story of a man searching for justice over the disappearance of his mother thirteen years before. It has been described as Hitchcockian in its plotting with shades of a modern Greek tragedy. The bleak but stunning Finnish countryside makes its presence felt in the background.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

Picking up where the late Stieg Larsson left off with his Millennium trilogy was always going to be a tall order, but David Lagercrantz seems to have pulled it off with panache. In the new book, Blomkvist is contacted by a specialist in A.I. who disregards a warning his life is in danger, begging Millennium to publish his story. Super-hacker, Lisbeth Salamander, also a target of cyber gangsters, gets caught up in the same conspiracy. Lagercrantz is a superb writer, so this must be a strong contender.

Catalogue links: 
The Drowned Boy
The Caveman
Dark As My Heart
The Girl in the Spider's Web

More about the Petrona Award