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

Non fic graphic

Fiction isn't everybody's vibe, so here we highlight the non-fiction that stood out in our reading year, as well as a couple of graphic novels that got us talking. And if you read The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, maybe you loved it, or like Lara was very disappointed. It's all good.
Click on the titles for links to the catalogue.

Non-fiction

Hastings Libraries have a host of wonderful art books to help you get creative. Lisa discovered the Kawaii art books – learn how to create the 'super cute' Japanese cartoon style that’s all the rage. You can draw kawaii, model clay kawaii and even crochet kawaii. It’s no wonder that these books are extremely popular. You might like this one: How to Draw Cute Kawaii in simple steps.

The Forager’s treasury: The essential guide to finding and Using Wild Plants in Aotearoa by Joanna Knox
This book helps you find edible plants in either urban or rural wildernesses, how to harvest and use them. There are recipes as well as medicinal uses that will inspire and enlighten any novice forager. A classic best-seller revised and updated and treasure trove of fascinating information. (Selected by CC)

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn:
An inspiring memoir that follows a couple as they negotiate both terminal illness as well as homelessness. Walking the South West Coast Path from Somerset to Dorset, Raynor’s husband begins to feel better. A life-affirming read about grief and the healing power of the natural world. (Selected by Christine)

Transgressing Tikanga: Captured by Māori: First-hand accounts 1816-1884 by Trevor Bentley:
A collection of 20 first-hand accounts of pakeha captured by or living with Māori in the early 19th century.  Their stories were reproduced here from books, newspaper articles and other sources; some of their stories were so popular with sensational “captured by the cannibals”, accounts going worldwide.  I read about Caroline Perret from Taranaki 1874 who was seized and taken up north towards the Kauri fields where she worked and assimilated into life with her captors.  This book is for anyone who wants to broaden their knowledge of Aotearoa, New Zealand history, which predominantly has been written by Pakeha. It is written with insight and details an exploration of Maori life.  A Good Read. (MM)

Graphic Novels
Naruto series by Ukyo Kodachi:
 A new generation of shinobi are training to be ninjas, but Boruto would rather play video games than train. Or will his desire to beat his father prevail? An exceptional Manga series. (Selected by JMM)

A Study in Pink by Jay
I’m not usually a graphic novel reader, but with Turn up the Heat having a “graphic novel version of a book” and another reading challenge “a book in a different format than what you normally read,” I grabbed this modernised Sherlock Holmes. It follows the BBC adaptation closely. Even though I’ve seen the TV version so the dialogue was familiar I still found myself laughing along with parts of the graphic novel. (From Lara)

And a bonus – least favourite of the year: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill – Abbi Waxman
I was madly frustrated by this book. I wanted to love it. I loved the idea of it. But it really fell short. The concept is charming, and it was mostly an easy, light-hearted read, however... Throw in a few ableist slurs, a poor attempt at LGBT+ representation, flimsy character development, and a white woman who refers to grilled cheese as her "spirit animal" and you have really got more cringe than I can handle. So disappointed. (From Lara)

 

19 January 2022

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