Library News 10 December 2021

Published on December 10, 2021


Top 10 New Teen Fiction

Alma Presses Play by Tina Cane
Fix by J. Albert Mann
Kingston and the Echoes of Magic
The Corpse Queen by Heather M. Herrman
The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur
Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber
So, this is Christmas by Tracy Andreen
Home Wrecker by Deanna Cameron
Spark Hunter by Sonya Wilson
In the Wild Light by Jeff Zenner

Pam Coleman

Community Engagement Librarian

Ready or not, this year is almost over — which means it’s time for the entire book world to round up the best books of 2021! I’ve looked back over the entire year of my own reading which I’ve discovered has been fairly eclectic, covering nonfiction, fantasy, thrillers, Young adult and children’s, with a couple of autobiography’s in there too.

 As well as reading across genres, my list tells me a story of the emotional connection I get from reading. I demand books which make me laugh, cry and learn. There are books which have brought comfort and books which have challenged me.  

Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel ‘Klara and the Sun,’ was longlisted for the Booker Prize for 2021, and with good reason. It tells the story of Klara, an artificial friend. Beginning in a store, Klara observes the world around her with a keen eye and the innocence of childhood. When she is finally purchased to be the friend for a young woman, she soon discovers that her new friend is sick. However, Klara’s role is more than it appears to be. This book is so full of heart and hope in a time that seems utterly hopeless, making it the perfect read for 2021

On bookshelves around the world, surrounded by ordinary books bound in paper and leather, rest other volumes of a distinctly strange and grisly sort: those bound in human skin. In Dark Archives, Megan Rosenbloom, a librarian and journalist, seeks out the historic and scientific truths behind anthropodermic bibliopegy—the practice of binding books in this most intimate and frankly taboo, covering. Dozens of such books live on in the world’s most famous libraries and museums. Dark Archives exhumes their origins and brings to life the doctors and murderers who make and collect them. Rosenbloom tells the story of how her team of scientists, curators, and librarians test rumored anthropodermic books, untangling the myths around their creation and reckoning with the ethics of their custodianship. I enjoyed how it was equal parts detective work, academic intrigue, history, and medical curiosity: It was a book as rare as I have ever read.

New York Times bestselling author, superstar comedian, and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word in this hilarious but also heartfelt memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself.

I listened to the audio version of this book on our eLibrary app Libby, and I must tell you it is the BEST way to experience Hart’s book. You hear it in his own words, with his tone, timing, inflection and little extras he throws in just for the audio book. Honestly, I think reading the traditional book would deprive you of at least half of the joy of the experience. His life began in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys.

The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero. But Kevin Hart was able to defy the odds and turn it around. He took me on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today. Along the way he also made me laugh, heartily.

So how will you choose your favourite books of 2021? Pop into your local library and share your picks.

What’s On


Iris Reesby Exhibition: GeriARTtric, Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō Gallery
New Arts Collective Exhibition: Kotahi Tonu te Wairua o Nga Mea Katoa, December 18, 2021 to March 06, 2022, Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom

Friday 10 December

Friday Concert: Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, 12pm

SeniorNet: Get help with your tablets, phones and laptops

  • Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom 10am-12pm
  • Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō 2pm -4pm


Friday 17 December

Friday Concert: Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, 12pm

SeniorNet: Get help with your tablets, phones and laptops

  • Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom 10am-12pm
  • Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō 2pm -4pm


Kiwiana Summer Reading Programme Registrations open 29th November 2021

The Summer Reading Programme will run in Levin, Foxton and Shannon Libraries from 13th December to 21st January. The programme aims to encourage and promote books, libraries and the fun of reading through incentive awards, activities and storytellers. Children will read a library book, write or draw a review, come to the library to report in and talk about the book or complete a review online. You can also pick up some craft activities from your library to keep you busy at home.

Those who complete the programme will receive an invitation to the Grand Finale. Each child will be presented with a certificate and a new book. This year the finale in Levin and Foxton will be at the pools. Shannon children will have a party in Shannon library.

These programmes are offered free of charge with support from the Friends of the library.

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