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May Baking Club

May Baking Club

Fiona writes about making scones.

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Check Out the Shortlist for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2022

Check Out the Shortlist for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2022

Here’s a snapshot of the books that recently made the shortlist for the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction. Formerly the Orange Prize, this is a prestigious award in anybody’s book showcasing some brilliant and very readable novels. Why not give a couple a go.

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Hastings Library Book Chat Recommends

Hastings Library Book Chat Recommends

Here's the pick of the bunch from a great list of books the group have been sharing at Book Chat.

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Book Review: A Year with Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary

Book Review: A Year with Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary

Take a trip back to 1995 with a diary written by rock influencer, Brian Eno, with some oddly interesting insights into how the world of communication might look in the future.

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Easter Reading

Easter Reading

Here's some fiction just perfect for that Easter break, or anytime really, all available at the library.

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Book Review: We Could Be... Bowie and His Heroes

Book Review: We Could Be... Bowie and His Heroes

Since his death, Bowie has inspired a bunch of books, like this book of andecdotal encounters from Bowie obsessive and BBC reporter, Tom Hagler. Check out what our reviewer thought about it here.

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Two French Films and a Travel Diary

Two French Films and a Travel Diary

The library has a great selection of movies from a wide range of genres. Here's a quick review of two French comedies and a glimpse at the book that inspired one of them.

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Favourite Children's Books Part 4: Chapter Books

Favourite Children's Books Part 4: Chapter Books

These are the books we read with a torch under the bedcovers, thinking, "just one more chapter".

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Favourite Children's Books Part 3: Anthologies, Talking Books and More...

Favourite Children's Books Part 3: Anthologies, Talking Books and More...

Here's an assortment of old favourites that have been treasured for all kinds of reasons including story anthologies and talking books (just listen for the bell then turn the page).

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Favourite Children's Books: Part 2 - Early Readers

Favourite Children's Books: Part 2 - Early Readers

Here are our favourite early readers - the books that first got us or our children launched into independent reading. No wonder they still linger happily in our memories.

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Favourite Children's Books: Part 1 - Picture Books

Favourite Children's Books: Part 1 - Picture Books

We're celebrating Children's Book Day on 2 April by sharing the children's books we loved when we were small. Such a walk down memory lane. First up are our most memorable picture books. Which ones make your list?

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Book Review: Doomsday Clock by Geoff Johns

Book Review: Doomsday Clock by Geoff Johns

Here's look at two graphic novels that take you into the world of the Watchmen.

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Book Review: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Book Review: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

The new Kate Quinn novel looks at the important work of three women code breakers of Bletchley Park, their romances, friendships and heartbreak and where life took them after the war.

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Book Review: On Hampstead Heath by Marika Cobbold

Book Review: On Hampstead Heath by Marika Cobbold

JAM is happy to discover a new book from Marika Cobbold, an entertaining novel about fake news and the trouble it can bring.

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A Review of Some Stunning Graphic Novel Compendiums

A Review of Some Stunning Graphic Novel Compendiums

Graphic Novel fans will be sure to recognise the Fables series by Bill Willingham. Rob reviews this classic collection, now released in four hefty compendiums.

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Solving the Reader's Eternal Dilemma

Solving the Reader's Eternal Dilemma

Here's how to keep track of all those books you want to read using My Lists.

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Andrea's Non-Fiction Highlights

Andrea's Non-Fiction Highlights

Here are some brilliant self-help book recommendations from Andrea, who doesn't read a lot of non-fiction but found these books well worth picking up.

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Book Review: Unsettled Ground by Clare Fuller

Book Review: Unsettled Ground by Clare Fuller

Claire Fuller recently won the Costa 2021 Novel Award for Unsettled Ground. Here's what our reviewer, JAM, thought about it.

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Book Chat Recommends

Book Chat Recommends

Our first Book Chat for the year was at Flaxmere Library where the group got off to a flying start with some terrific reads.

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An Interview with Marie Munro - author of Te Wharau o Kui

An Interview with Marie Munro - author of Te Wharau o Kui

Hastings District Libraries recently interviewed Marie Munro whose book "Nana's Shed" - "The Wharau of Kui" features as our last StoryWalk book for Summer Sparks. Read Hana's interview here.

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Library Li's Top Reads from 2021

Library Li's Top Reads from 2021

Our Li reads a lot of books so her top selection from 2021 is bound to be interesting.

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Top 2021 Reads from the Librarians - Part 7: Non-Fiction, Graphic Novels and More

Top 2021 Reads from the Librarians - Part 7: Non-Fiction, Graphic Novels and More

Here are some of the best non-fiction and graphic novels we read as well as one serious disappointment as we wrap up the year that was 2021 and begin a whole new reading year.

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Top 2021 Reads from the Librarians - Part 6: Young Adult and Junior Fiction

Top 2021 Reads from the Librarians - Part 6: Young Adult and Junior Fiction

The YA section of the library is well worth checking out for some thought-provoking and entertaining reads. Here are some that our librarians particularly enjoyed plus a bunch of children's novels from Emma's top reads list.

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Top 2021 Reads from the Librarians - Part 5: Speculative Fiction

Top 2021 Reads from the Librarians - Part 5: Speculative Fiction

Including genres of science fiction and fantasy these books are packed with interesting worlds - some of them huge feats of imagination, others build a world not so different from our own. Here are the spec fic titles that we loved in 2021.

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Top 2021 Reads from the Librarians - Part 4: Mysteries and Suspense

Top 2021 Reads from the Librarians - Part 4: Mysteries and Suspense

There's nothing like a good mystery or a ripping yarn packed with suspense. This is a very mixed batch of novels, but are all recommended by our library team to keep you gripped until the last page.

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Top 2021 Reads from the Librarians - Part 3: Historical Fiction

Top 2021 Reads from the Librarians - Part 3: Historical Fiction

When we live in uncertain times, it can be a blessing to escape into a book to another time and place, where things are possibly even more uncertain or on the other hand more romantic. Here are our favourite historical reads for the last year.

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Top 2021 Reads from the Librarians - Part 2: Contemporary Fiction

Top 2021 Reads from the Librarians - Part 2: Contemporary Fiction

Contemporary Fiction is one of those terms we give to books that are not any particular genre but tend to mirror social issues of our time. So these might include humorous novels as well as serious ones, character-driven stories as well as page-turners. One thing the books on this list all have in common is that they are all terrific reads.

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Top 2021 Reads from HD Librarians - Part 1

Top 2021 Reads from HD Librarians - Part 1

We've been asking library staff the tough question: What books did you enjoy most in 2021? We'll be running a bunch of posts on this theme, and to start the ball rolling, here are some picks for the year from AM.

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Fiction to Get You in the Mood for Christmas

Fiction to Get You in the Mood for Christmas

Every year there’s a swag of new books with a Christmassy theme, just perfect when you want to take a break from the Christmas rush. Fans of mysteries, romance and chick lit will be well catered for with this selection of books which are all either in our collection or coming soon to the library.

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Book Review: A Famished Heart by Nicola White

Book Review: A Famished Heart by Nicola White

A new series of Irish detective stories begins with this novel set in 1980s Dublin. Fans of Benjamin Black and Dervla McTiernan might like to try it out. Read the review here.

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Book Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Book Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Our reviewer had his first experience of an e-audiobook with this sci-fi thriller and surprised himself with how much he enjoyed the experience. Read on for the review.

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Connecting Bluetooth Hearing Aids to Audiobooks

Connecting Bluetooth Hearing Aids to Audiobooks

Bluetooth is shortwave wireless technology that can connect devices. Did you know that many hearing aids have this technology? Pair this with our e-library apps, and you can enjoy audiobooks directly to your hearing aids. Here's how:

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Wine Books & More Recent Reads

Wine Books & More Recent Reads

Wine Books and More met again after a spell of several months so they had a lot of bookish conversation to catch up with. Here’s a list of books they talked about - and these are just the good ones!

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Coming to a Screen Near You

Coming to a Screen Near You

Many readers enjoy screen adaptations of books, but if you’re like me, you prefer to read the book first – just in case the tv series or movie spoils the book for you. There are quite a few new adaptations popping up to see now or in the near future. Here’s a few to look out for.

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Books We Loved at Book Chat

Books We Loved at Book Chat

Flaxmere Book Chat met up again for the first time in a while, eager to share and discuss their favourite reads. And it seems crime fiction and historical novels were the most popular. Here's a few that hit the spot.

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Book Review: I Couldn't Love You More

Book Review: I Couldn't Love You More

According to the blurb, Esther Freud's latest novel is 'about love, motherhood, secrets and betrayal - and how only the truth can set us free'. Here's our review.

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Advanced Pre-Teen Reads #8: NZ fiction

Advanced Pre-Teen Reads #8: NZ fiction

This is the eighth in a series of blog posts focussed on Advanced Pre-Teen Readers (APTRs) - Library Li

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Advanced Pre-Teen Reads #7: Fantasy

Advanced Pre-Teen Reads #7: Fantasy

This is the seventh in a series of blog posts focussed on Advanced Pre-Teen Readers (APTRs) -Library Li

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Advanced Pre-Teen Reads #6: Junior fiction for all!

Advanced Pre-Teen Reads #6: Junior fiction for all!

This is the sixth in a series of blog posts focussed on Advanced Pre-Teen Readers (APTRs) - Emma L

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Advanced Pre-Teen Reads #5: Non-fiction

Advanced Pre-Teen Reads #5: Non-fiction

This is the fifth in a series of blog posts focussed on Advanced Pre-Teen Readers (APTRs) - Emma L

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Advanced Pre-Teen Reads #4: Adventure

Advanced Pre-Teen Reads #4: Adventure

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts focussed on Advanced Pre-Teen Readers (APTRs) - Emma L

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Advanced Pre-Teen Reads #3: War stories and historical fiction

Advanced Pre-Teen Reads #3: War stories and historical fiction

This is the third in a series of blog posts focussed on Advanced Pre-Teen Readers (APTRs) - Emma L

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Advanced Pre-Teen Readers #2: Classics

Advanced Pre-Teen Readers #2: Classics

This is the second in a series of blog posts focussed on Advanced Pre-Teen Readers (APTRs) - Emma L

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Book Review: The Appeal by Janice Hallett

Book Review: The Appeal by Janice Hallett

One murder. Fifteen suspects. Can you uncover the truth? A clever debut that puts the reader into the minds of two people tasked with uncovering a miscarriage of justice. See if you can spot the clues.

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Advanced Pre-Teen Readers #1: Help and ideas for your voracious reader

Advanced Pre-Teen Readers #1: Help and ideas for your voracious reader

This is the first in a series of blog posts focussing on Advanced Pre-Teen Readers (APTRs) - Emma L

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Book Review: 'Til Wrong Feels Right: Lyrics and Photographs by Iggy Pop

Book Review: 'Til Wrong Feels Right: Lyrics and Photographs by Iggy Pop

A book about "Pop songs", not the top ten on the hit parade, but the songs by Iggy Pop. 'Til Wrong Feels Right will also take you back to the glorious era of Lou Reed and David Bowie - here's what our reviewer thought about it.

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Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Here's our review of a novel about a small community, the families that live there and what happens when different codes of behaviour clash. Little Fires Everywhere has been a runaway hit - see what all the fuss is about.

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Ngaio Marsh Awards Finalists - the best in Kiwi Noir

Ngaio Marsh Awards Finalists - the best in Kiwi Noir

A brilliant selection of new crime/mystery books (fiction and non fiction) made the Ngaio Marsh longlist this year. At last, the finalists were announced just last week. Here's who made the cut.

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Book Review: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Book Review: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Here's a pacey read which teams a New York college girl with a small problem with a reclusive alcoholic former spy as secrets from two world wars collide. Readers who enjoy stories about resistance fighters, spies and female agents during wartime, might want to put The Alice Network on their must-read list.

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What have Wine Books and More been reading?

What have Wine Books and More been reading?

It's been a few months since we had an update on the reading habits of our Wine Books and More attendees. Let's have a quick catch up!

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Book Review: An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P D James

Book Review: An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P D James

Our reviewer happened upon this e-audiobook when browsing the library's e-collection and was pleasantly surprised. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman is a classic, old-school detective novel from a master storyteller.

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Book Chat's Winter Reading

Book Chat's Winter Reading

There's nothing like curling up with a book as winter sets in. Flaxmere Book Chat has been reading some terrific books and had some lively chat over recent weeks. Here's a selection of books they particularly enjoyed.

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Book Review of The Ox: the Last of the Great Rock Stars

Book Review of The Ox: the Last of the Great Rock Stars

Read our review of this authorised biography of The Who's John Entwistle by Paul Rees, music journalist. Entwistle was a founding member and bass guitarist for this iconic band. But how does the 60's rock 'n roll lifestyle stack up in today's world?

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Booker Prize News

Booker Prize News

The longlist is out for the 2021 Man Booker Prize. Often considered the cream of the crop of the fiction awards, this list is eagerly awaited by many. Check out the details here.

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Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns by John Green

If you're doing the Turn Up the Heat reading challenge this year, you may have come across the task: Millennial problems - read a YA or Junior book. Here's an author our reviewer JAM came across you might like to try.

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Purple Covers but No Purple Prose - Some Reading Suggestions for TUTH

Purple Covers but No Purple Prose - Some Reading Suggestions for TUTH

Librarians and booksellers alike sometimes get challenging requests for a book, including the much quoted line: "I can't remember the title but the cover was blue." This has inspired one of our Turn Up the Heat Challenges: Read a book with a purple cover. Here are a few recommendations:

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The Famoux by Kassandra Tate

The Famoux by Kassandra Tate

Looking for some book ideas for the TUTH challenge: Millennial Problems? The Famoux by Kassandra Tate could fit the bill. It also ticks the box for A book with a Purple Cover.

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What the Hell Did I Just Read? by David Wong

What the Hell Did I Just Read? by David Wong

In an undisclosed small American town strange things are afoot. An unlikely trio try to get to the bottom of things in this dark, comic, sci-fi thriller.

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Katarina Te Heikoko Mataira

Katarina Te Heikoko Mataira

Rāhoroi 29th Haratua Saturday 29th May, standing at the waharoa of Waipatu marae, the kaikaranga calls us on, we slowly walk toward Heretaunga haukūnui, the dew cleanses this wet grey day, whānau from ngā hau e wha ascend in unison, for the relaunching of this book ‘Te ātea’ written by Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira:and whakaahua (illustrations by Para Matchitt).

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The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

“She just wanted – had always wanted – a good book to read.”

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I Learnt it From a Book: Fashion Origami

I Learnt it From a Book: Fashion Origami

I have always admired origami and have been slightly (read more than slightly) jealous of people who could actually follow written instructions and create the most beautiful origami pieces.

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Emma's Favourite Reads for 2020

Emma's Favourite Reads for 2020

From picture books to young adult to adult fiction and some seriously thought-provoking non-fiction, Emma picks her reading highlights for the bumpy ride that was 2020.

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Nigel's Top Ten by Stephen King

Nigel's Top Ten by Stephen King

I’ve been on a Stephen King binge this year – my ultimate goal is to read all of his works within in next couple of years (I’m about halfway there). Here are the books that make my top ten by King so far...

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A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

JAM reviews Isabel Allende's latest historical novel. It's a moving love story set in difficult political times. It follows Spanish doctor, Victor Dalmau through Spain's Civil War to the new life he forges in Chile.

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