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Terrific New Book Recommendations from Book Chat

Terrific New Book Recommendations from Book Chat

If you're looking for a good book, chances are you'll find one or two among this list of top reads from Hastings Library Book Chat.

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Book Review: All That's Left to Say by Emery Lord

Book Review: All That's Left to Say by Emery Lord

Here's a review of a powerful and poignant novel, a thoughtful depiction of a tragedy and its aftermath.

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Reading Recommendations from Book Chat

Reading Recommendations from Book Chat

Historical fiction, mysteries as well as historical mysteries were popular choices at the latest Flaxmere Library Book Chat session.

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Book Review: 42 - The Wildly Improbable Ideas of Douglas Adams, edited by Kevin Jon Davies

Book Review: 42 - The Wildly Improbable Ideas of Douglas Adams, edited by Kevin Jon Davies

Here's a new book about Douglas Adams for all of you people who know which day of the year we celebrate Towel Day, and what goes into a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster.

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Summer Harvest Baking Club Update

Summer Harvest Baking Club Update

Baking Club is a popular library event, held on the first Tuesday morning of each month at Hastings Library (except this month when they postponed a week for Waitingi Day). Here's a sampling of the seasonal treats from their February meet-up.

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Some Recommendations from Young @ Heart Book Group

Some Recommendations from Young @ Heart Book Group

At the first Young @ Heart Book Club meeting for the year, novels based on a true story seemed to be the order of the day.

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Reviews for Two YA Novels that Pack a Wallop

Reviews for Two YA Novels that Pack a Wallop

You had better keep the tissues handy for these YA novel recommendations from Li.

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Tea with Tales

Tea with Tales

The first meeting of the New Year saw scones and book chat abound...

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Beamafilm for Waitangi Day

Beamafilm for Waitangi Day

Here's a look at some of the best in Kiwi film-making that you can watch on Beamafilm - a fine choice for Waitangi Day.

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A New Reading Year with Wine, Books & More

A New Reading Year with Wine, Books & More

Wine, Books & More had plenty of crime fiction plus a few surprises on the table at their latest meeting, the first of the year.

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Cool Books for Hot Days

Cool Books for Hot Days

Check out these thrilling suspense novels all set in the snow - just the thing to help you forget how hot it is outside.

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Nat Geo Kids – Kindling Children’s Curiosity Through the Holidays

Nat Geo Kids – Kindling Children’s Curiosity Through the Holidays

We take a look at Gale National Geographic Kids, an online resource packed with interesting articles, pictures and fun facts about the world around us, which you can read via the library website.

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We Review Two YA Murder Mysteries

We Review Two YA Murder Mysteries

What makes a really good mystery novel? Here's one book that really got everything right alongside another that really didn't.

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Some Reading Highlights from Flaxmere Library Book Chat

Some Reading Highlights from Flaxmere Library Book Chat

Recent meet-ups at Flaxmere Library Book Chat garnered some terrific reading recommendations.

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Young @ Heart Book Club on the Te Araroa Trail

Young @ Heart Book Club on the Te Araroa Trail

Hiking, adventure and endurance are themes in these two books enjoyed by the Havelock North book group who are forever Young @ Heart.

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Hastings Book Chat Round-Up

Hastings Book Chat Round-Up

Here's a look at the books Hastings Library Book Chat talked about at their last get-together for 2023.

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New Recommendations from Wine, Books and More

New Recommendations from Wine, Books and More

The team at Wine, Books & More certainly read a variety of books and you can see this in their latest list of top reads. There's bound to be a few here for your must-read list.

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Christmas and Britannica

Christmas and Britannica

We discover a wealth of interesting Christmas info through Britannica online, which you can find via the library website.

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Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Which is best, the book or the movie? This review takes a look at the prequel to the Hunger Games series which also hit the big screen earlier this year.

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Checking In with Tea with Tales

Checking In with Tea with Tales

We caught up with our book group for the vision impaired at their December meeting. As usual, there was some lively chat, a reading and a great list of book recommendations.

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More New Books for Holiday Reading: Genre Fiction

More New Books for Holiday Reading: Genre Fiction

What’s your favourite reading genre? Maybe you like a heart-warming romance or a pacey crime thriller. Have a look at at these new books from a variety of genres perfect for the hammock as you unwind after Christmas.

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December Baking Club Update

December Baking Club Update

Baking Club is a popular library event, held on the first Tuesday morning of each month at Hastings Library. Here's a sampling of the seasonal treats from their December meet-up.

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New Books Just In for the Holidays

New Books Just In for the Holidays

What kind of books do you like to peruse over the holiday period when the turkey’s been eaten and the Christmas mince pies are gone? Here’s a look at a few recent releases that caught my eye, beginning with some non-fiction.

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Looking Back on Some Festival Highlights

Looking Back on Some Festival Highlights

We recently had a very well attended Readers and Writers Festival here in Hawke's Bay. Here's Miss Moneypenny's festival review.

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More Ripping Reads from Flaxmere Library Book Chat

More Ripping Reads from Flaxmere Library Book Chat

Readers looking for a good book could do worse than check out the recommendations from Flaxmere Library Book Chat. It’s a wide selection of books with something for everyone.

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November Baking Club Update

November Baking Club Update

Baking Club is a popular library event, held on the first Tuesday morning of each month at Hastings Library. Here's a sampling of the delectables from their November meet-up.

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Catching Up With Tea With Tales

Catching Up With Tea With Tales

Tea with Tales is a book group for people with impaired vision who meet on the first Monday of the month. There's always plenty of interesting discussion.

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Celebrating Geography Awareness Week with NZ Geographic

Celebrating Geography Awareness Week with NZ Geographic

We take a peek at an awesome online resource - the digital version of NZ Geographic magazine, which you can access with your library card.

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A Dip into Recollect on Armistice Day

A Dip into Recollect on Armistice Day

A new visual timeline about World War I brings history alive - and it's waiting for you on the library's Recollect site.

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Recommended Reading from Young @ Heart Book Group

Recommended Reading from Young @ Heart Book Group

The latest meeting of the Young @ Heart book group was at a café and fuelled by great coffee they had plenty of terrific book advice to share.

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More Recommendations from Hastings Library Book Chat

More Recommendations from Hastings Library Book Chat

Catch up with the eager readers that meet every third Wednesday at Hastings Library.

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Book Review: Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

Book Review: Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

We take a look at Ann Patchett's latest novel, a contemplation on love, marriage and family and the choices we make.

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Wine, Books & More Reading Update

Wine, Books & More Reading Update

We check in with the evening book group: Wine, Books & More to see what books they've been excited to recommend.

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Reading Highlights from Young at Heart Book Club

Reading Highlights from Young at Heart Book Club

The Havelock North Young at Heart book club meet on the first Thursday of the month. Here are the top picks from their October meeting.

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Book Review: Katherine Mansfield's Europe by Redmer Yska

Book Review: Katherine Mansfield's Europe by Redmer Yska

On the anniversary of Katherine Mansfield's birth, here's a look at a gorgeous book about the iconic New Zealand born author.

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More from Tea with Tales

More from Tea with Tales

See what they've been reading at this month's Tea with Tales - the Hastings Library book group of readers with significant vision loss.

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Checking Out Gale Books and Authors

Checking Out Gale Books and Authors

Gale Books and Authors is packed with user-friendly info for all book lovers - and it's a free online resource you can access through your library.

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More Recommendations from Book Chat

More Recommendations from Book Chat

Old favourites like Diana Gabaldon and Tim Winton as well as new releases found their way to the table at Hastings Book Chat's last catch-up.

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Touching Base with Young @ Heart Book Club

Touching Base with Young @ Heart Book Club

This book club has been meeting at Havelock North Library for over a decade. They always enjoy a wide selection of books. Here are some highlights from their September get-together.

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Spring Reading

Spring Reading

What are you reading this Spring? Here's an assortment of novels that you might find appealing as the weather warms up.

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Dropping in at Cuppa Tech

Dropping in at Cuppa Tech

Here's a look at one of the library's popular programmes that helps people get to grips with their techy problems.

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Celebrating Chinese Language Week

Celebrating Chinese Language Week

From learning Chinese to finding out about Chinese culture or history, the library's a good place to start for celebrating Chinese Language week.

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Tea with Tales - Meet the Library Book Group with a Difference

Tea with Tales - Meet the Library Book Group with a Difference

Tea with Tales is the monthly book group held at Hastings War Memorial Library for people with significant vision loss. Every month they sample a book and discuss their reading.

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Reading Along with Flaxmere Book Chat

Reading Along with Flaxmere Book Chat

Extraordinary stories of survival sat next to cosy crime novels and swashbuckling historical fiction at our last September Book Chat.

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Top Reads Recommended by Flaxmere Book Chat

Top Reads Recommended by Flaxmere Book Chat

Have a look to see what the bookworms have been recommending at Flaxmere Book Chat. You're sure to pick up a tip for an excellent read.

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Celebrating a Year of Beamafilming

Celebrating a Year of Beamafilming

One viewer looks at some of the highlights from a year of streaming Beamafilm.

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New Books (and Old) Recommended by Wine, Books and More

New Books (and Old) Recommended by Wine, Books and More

You never know what's going to turn up on the table at our popular evening book group, Wine, Books and More.

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Using Libby on Your Computer

Using Libby on Your Computer

Discover new browsing possibilities with libbyapp.com

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Catching Up with Bakers Club

Catching Up with Bakers Club

Bakers Club is a popular library event, held on the first Tuesday morning of each month at Hastings Library. Here's a sampling of the delectables from their last meet-up.

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Hastings District Libraries Archive Digitisation

Hastings District Libraries Archive Digitisation

Take a look behind the scenes at a massive project involving the library's archives.

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Flaxmere Book Chat Recommends

Flaxmere Book Chat Recommends

Flaxmere Library has a keen bunch of readers that meet fortnightly on a Tuesday morning for Book Chat. Here are the top reads that turned up on the table at their last meeting.

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What's So Special about the Topic of Poos and Farts?

What's So Special about the Topic of Poos and Farts?

Ahead of the library's special reboot of Poos and Farts Storytime, we reflect on a genre that can be guaranteed to capture young readers' attention.

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Let's Celebrate Cook Islands Language Week

Let's Celebrate Cook Islands Language Week

Here's a look at some of the library books and online resources for learning about the Cook Islands language - this week as well as any week of the year.

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Wine, Books & More Catch-Up

Wine, Books & More Catch-Up

See what our popular evening book group has been reading.

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Meet New Children's Author, Nicola Kenny

Meet New Children's Author, Nicola Kenny

Nicola Kenny has turned her digi-tech experience into an engaging new series of children’s books.

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The Low-down on Unreliable Narrators

The Low-down on Unreliable Narrators

Here's a hand to help you select a book for the TUTH Unreliable Narrator Challenge.

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Explore the Global Issues Database

Explore the Global Issues Database

If you’re interested in international politics and current affairs, here’s a library hosted database you might want to check out.

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Book Chat Catch-Up for June

Book Chat Catch-Up for June

We check in again with the book lovers at Hastings Book Chat to see what they recommend.

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A Spotlight on Barbara Kingsolver

A Spotlight on Barbara Kingsolver

We take a look at the books that have made Barbara Kingsolver one of the world's best-loved authors of literary fiction.

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Virtual Wine, Books & More - a Different Kind of Book Group Experience

Virtual Wine, Books & More - a Different Kind of Book Group Experience

Here's the perfect book group for when you can't get to book groups in real life. This year it is also a Turn Up the Heat Challenge.

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New Reading from Book Chat

New Reading from Book Chat

We caught up with Hastings Book Chat to see what books have kept them up at night lately.

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Book Review: Mother's Boy by Patrick Gale

Book Review: Mother's Boy by Patrick Gale

Here's what we thought of Patrick Gale's latest book, a look at the life of Cornish poet Charles Causley.

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Catching Up with Wine, Books and More

Catching Up with Wine, Books and More

Yet again, a wide range of reading made it to the table at last month’s Wine, Books & More, our monthly Tuesday evening library book club.

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Get in the Mood for Nerdvana

Get in the Mood for Nerdvana

Nerdvana is our annual tribute to all things nerdy. From VR gaming to Cosplay; D&D to Anime - you get the picture. There's a ton of cool free activities planned over several days beginning on May the Fourth. But you can have a little bit of Nerdvana any day...

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RIP Anne Perry (28.10.38 - 10.4.23)

RIP Anne Perry (28.10.38 - 10.4.23)

Popular crime novelist Anne Perry died earlier this month. We look back on Anne Perry's long career as an author of historical mysteries.

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Recent Reads at Wine, Books & More

Recent Reads at Wine, Books & More

See what the team have been reading at Wine, Books & More - the library's Tuesday evening book club.

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April Baking Club Update

April Baking Club Update

Easter treats

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March Highlights at Book Chat

March Highlights at Book Chat

After a small hiatus in Book Chat get-togethers, it was fantastic to see the group again and talk about our reading. Here are just some of the books that kept us happy in February - March.

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You Had Me at the Word

You Had Me at the Word "Library"

Booklovers are often attracted to a book which has the word "library" in the title. Our reviewer, Lara, gives us the lowdown on four such reads as well as a list of more "library" books to try.

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Book Review: Mrs Jewell and the wreck of the General Grant

Book Review: Mrs Jewell and the wreck of the General Grant

Mrs Jewell and the wreck of the General Grant is a historical novel based on an actual shipwreck which occurred off the Auckland Islands in 1866. Written by local Hawke’s Bay author, Cristina Sanders, it’s also shortlisted at this year’s Ockham Awards. You can read JAM's review here.

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Wine, Books & More Recommended Reading: Part 2

Wine, Books & More Recommended Reading: Part 2

Read on to discover even more fabulous books. Here's what else the crew at the Wine, Books & More book group have been reading.

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Wine, Books & More Recommended Reading: Part 1

Wine, Books & More Recommended Reading: Part 1

The well-read folk who attend Tuesday evening’s Wine, Book & More book club at Hastings Library sure get through a lot of books. Here's the first of two posts about the books discussed at their last meet-up.

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A New Year of Recommendations from Book Chat

A New Year of Recommendations from Book Chat

Hastings Library Book Chat began the new year with some amazing books and some lively discussion. Find out what books hit the spot over Christmas and New Year.

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Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Non-Fiction

Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Non-Fiction

Our favourite non-fiction reads of the last year seem to divide neatly into two types of reading matter - personal stories and information. Here are the ones we liked best.

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Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Speculative Fiction

Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Speculative Fiction

If you want to try some of the best fantasy and science fiction novels at the library, this could be the list for you.

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Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Romantic and Feel-Good Fiction

Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Romantic and Feel-Good Fiction

If you fancy curling up with a lovely, warm-hearted read, you might try one of these novels recommended by the team here at the library.

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Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Historical Fiction

Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Historical Fiction

Historical novels are always popular, and with such a huge range of places and periods to choose from, there's something to appeal to everyone.

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Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Literary Fiction

Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Literary Fiction

These are the books that impressed us for their originality, the cleverness of the writing, and the power of the ideas they expressed. Have a look if you're after a slower, deeper read that will stay with you long after the last page.

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Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Contemporary Fiction

Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Contemporary Fiction

These are the books we loved that tend to be about people in everyday modern life - stories that are easy to relate to.

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Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Crime and Suspense Fiction

Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Crime and Suspense Fiction

We're finishing off the year with a look at the books that have hit the spot with our library staff, beginning with their favourite mysteries and thrillers.

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Some More Book Club Reading

Some More Book Club Reading

If you're looking for some book recommendations, you could do worse than check out what the team has been reading at Flaxmere Library Book Chat. Here's what they raved about during their November sessions.

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Where the Crawdads Sing - Which is better: the book or the movie?

Where the Crawdads Sing - Which is better: the book or the movie?

We've had copies of the book, Where the Crawdads Sing in the libraries for a couple of years and they're still almost always out. So if you haven't read it yet should you jump straight in and watch the movie?

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Book Review: The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

Book Review: The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

The author who brought us 'The Appeal' gives the reader a second puzzling crime novel that will keep you guessing.

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Review - Vā: Stories by Women of the Moana (and meet one of the authors!)

Review - Vā: Stories by Women of the Moana (and meet one of the authors!)

Our annual Book Lovers Night is on the 23rd of November. Our guest author on the night is Nafanua Kersel, whose work appears in this stunning anthology.

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Dinovember: All About Dinosaurs

Dinovember: All About Dinosaurs

Hana gives us the lowdown on Dinovember - a very important month on the library calendar or indeed any calendar for dinosaur lovers, young and old.

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Wine, Books and More: October Reading

Wine, Books and More: October Reading

I'm not sure when I've seen such a curious variety of books as this list of recommended reads from the group that meets at our monthly Wine, Books and More sessions.

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October Baking Club Update

October Baking Club Update

Bake from a library book - so many to choose from!

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New Reading from Book Chat

New Reading from Book Chat

Here's what the group from Flaxmere Book Chat have been talking about lately.

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Book Review: Blackstar Theory: the last works of David Bowie by Leah Kardos

Book Review: Blackstar Theory: the last works of David Bowie by Leah Kardos

Our reviewer and David Bowie fan has a gander at the latest book about rock's eternal chameleon, chronicling the story around the productive final years of Bowie's life.

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Book Review: Three Women and a Boat by Anne Youngson

Book Review: Three Women and a Boat by Anne Youngson

Here's a philosophical sort of novel that will take you down the canals of England, from the author who gave us Meet Me at the Museum.

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Adopted: Loss, love, family and reunion by Jo Willis and Brigitta Baker

Adopted: Loss, love, family and reunion by Jo Willis and Brigitta Baker

An honest book about closed adoption in New Zealand.

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September Baking Club update

September Baking Club update

We bake with vegetables and Emma's cookies turn green

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August Reading Recommendations from Book Chat

August Reading Recommendations from Book Chat

Hastings Book Chat meets just once a month on the third Wednesday of the month and for these keen readers, there’s always heaps to talk about. Here’s an assortment of the books particularly enjoyed for all kinds of reasons from their August meeting.

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The NZSA Regional Roadshows: What Do People Get Up to at Writers Forums?

The NZSA Regional Roadshows: What Do People Get Up to at Writers Forums?

Writing can be a solitary activity. But every so often writers feel the need to get together in small group meetings or at larger, annual or biannual conferences. If you're not a writer you might wonder what on earth there is to talk about. Our blogger shares her experiences at one held last weekend in Napier.

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Old-fashioned baking

Old-fashioned baking

Emma writes about a mysterious cheeseless cheese cake she tried at August's Baking Club.

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Flatulence, animal droppings, and toilet training: a guide to books in our collections

Flatulence, animal droppings, and toilet training: a guide to books in our collections

Always on the look-out for interesting themes for children's Storytime, our team have collated a bunch of books about flatulence, bums and the like - surprisingly popular with the littlies - along with something for caregivers tasked with toilet training.

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Book Review: Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

Book Review: Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

Here's a look at one of the books that recently made The Booker Prize longlist. If you're worried that this means that Oh William! will be too cerebral for you, fear not! This novel is just as readable as it is entertaining.

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NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults: Best First Book NZSA Award

NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults: Best First Book NZSA Award

This is the final category in this year's NZ Book Awards for Children and YA. It’s amazing that three of these first books are also shortlisted in other categories. Such promising new talent!

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NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults: Te Kura Pounamu Award

NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults: Te Kura Pounamu Award

The Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award recognises the best in books for children written in te reo. This stunning shortlist are beautiful children’s books but could also appeal to anyone who is learning te reo Māori.

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NZ Book Awards for Young Readers: Illustration Award

NZ Book Awards for Young Readers: Illustration Award

Wonderful artwork can really make a story. These are the books on the shortlist for the Illustration award in this year’s NZ Book Awards for Children and YA – also known as the Russell Clark Award.

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NZ Book Awards for Children and YA: Non-Fiction Award

NZ Book Awards for Children and YA: Non-Fiction Award

You'll spot some familiar names in this year’s line-up for the NZ Book Awards for Children and YA Non-Fiction Award. With books about Maori Gods, discovering your inner artist, feelings, arachnids and Māori trail-blazers, there is definitely something here for everyone.

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Turn Up the Heat with Poetry

Turn Up the Heat with Poetry

Emma shares poetry collections our staff have loved.

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New Zealand Book Awards for Young Readers 2022: YA Fiction Award

New Zealand Book Awards for Young Readers 2022: YA Fiction Award

I don’t know how the judges are going to decide on a winner for this year’s Young Adult Fiction Award – a hotly contested prize in the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Have a look at the line up and see if you’re not as stumped as I am as to who should win.

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NZ Book Awards for Children and YA: Picture Book Award

NZ Book Awards for Children and YA: Picture Book Award

We’re taking a look at the Picture Book Award in our second post on the NZ Book Awards for Children and YA. Always a popular category in the competition, the shortlisted books feature wordplay, animal mischief, fiendish wheke and haka crazy nanas - along with gorgeous illustrations of course.

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The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

We’re running a few posts on the books that have made the finals in the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, showcasing the finalists and their shortlisted titles. First up is the shortlist for Junior Fiction, a varied list of terrific new books for young chapter-book readers.

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Recommended by Book Chat

Recommended by Book Chat

The group at Flaxmere Library Book Chat have had enjoyed some terrific reads in recent weeks. Here are just a few that really hit the spot.

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Book Review: The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves

Book Review: The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves

The latest Vera Stanhope mystery and number nine in Cleeves's super-popular series is the perfect book you can pick up and put down again. Until the action heats up. Read our review here.

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June Baking Club: International

June Baking Club: International

Emma tastes her way around the world

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Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

A novel about a fictional Hollywood star that reads like a memoir. - our reviewer will have you putting this one on your must-read list.

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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

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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Library Blog He Kete Kōrero

Check our Library' Blog for reviews and book news.

Send Us a Review!

We welcome reviews of books, eBooks and audiobooks you have read for our Library Blog.  Maybe your book group has been reading a particular title or author?  If you would like to submit a review for us to consider, please email us at libraries@hdc.govt.nz

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