Top Staff Picks - January 2021

Looking for something new to read/watch/listen? Get inspired with our Team Picks!

Each month we choose just six of our many new arrivals to share with you all. We'll let you know what we think is hot across Fiction, Non-Fiction, DVDs and Kids.

Remember, if you can’t regularly make it into the library to take a look around, you can use your library card to reserve items to pick up across our 15 fifteen branches or you can take a look at our online eResources that enable you to read, watch or listen at your leisure. Find out more about our eResources under our Library Online section. 


Non-Fiction Picks

Gangland: New Zealand's Underworld of Organised Crime by Jared Savage

Inside New Zealand's underworld of organised crime. New Zealand is now one of the most lucrative illicit drug markets in the world. Organised crime is about making money. It's a business. But over the past 20 years, the dealers have graduated from motorcycle gangs to Asian crime syndicates and now the most dangerous drug lords in the world - the Mexican cartels. In Gangland, award-winning investigative reporter Jared Savage shines a light into New Zealand's rising underworld of crime and violent gangs.


Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America by David Kamp 

In this nostalgia-filled book, Kamp gives you a behind-the-scenes look at how beloved children’s TV program Sesame Street and others were created.  An experiment in using television to encourage children’s learning, these programs focused on low-income children, who lacked access to other educational resources.  Kamp explores the many issues the show experienced in its infancy, the way different political landscapes shaped it through the years, as well as the challenges the show continues to face today.  Fans of Big Bird, Oscar, and Cookie Monster will be fascinated by Kamp’s account of what went on behind the scenes and how these Muppets have come to hold such a special place in our hearts.


Fiction Picks

The Secret Life Of Mr. Roos by Hakan Nesser 

In the third novel of the Inspector Barbarotti series, Ante Valdedmar Roos is a dull individual with a boring job who lives with his wife and two stepdaughters. When Valdemar wins the lottery, he quietly quits his job (he doesn’t tell his wife and pretends to go to work as he used to) and buys a remote cabin in the woods where he is able to be himself amongst a peaceful environment. However his routine is rudely interrupted by an intruder, Anna Gambowska, a runaway from a drug rehabilitation centre. An unlikely friendship begins to develop. Not long after, Anna’s past comes to haunt her, and an incident occurs that will change their lives forever. This novel has elements of master storytelling as well as magnificent characterisation. The novel had a slow start but it gets interesting when elements of crime and police work creep in.


The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

From the bestselling author of The Mother-In-Law, The Good Sister is spine tingling and totally unpredictable.

Fern and Rose are twins: Rose, with a home and a husband, is supposedly the responsible one. Fern is a quirky but free spirited librarian. Rose has always been Fern’s protector from the time they were small; especially from their mother who was portrayed as a sociopath. Only Rose could see their mother’s dark side but Fern always saw the good in everyone. When Fern decides to help her sister achieve her desire of having a baby, dark secrets from the past are stirred up.  The novel is fast-paced with some unexpected twist and turns and is highly recommended to fans of mystery and suspense.

Film Pick

Toast by Nigel Slater

To coincide with the release of a major film adaptation, this is a new edition of Nigel Slater's much-loved and acclaimed memoir. Toast is the ultimate nostalgia trip through everything edible in 1960’s Britain. Based on the heart-wrenchingly bittersweet story of food writer Nigel Slater’s childhood and set to the songs of Dusty Springfield, Toast is a delicious love letter to the tastes and smells that a young boy associates with his journey into adulthood.

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Kids Pick

The Kid Who Came From Space by Ross Welford

A fantastic new story from the bestselling author of Time Travelling with a Hamster and The 1,000-year-old Boy. If you enjoy space and mystery then this is the book for you! Join Ethan on his mission to find his missing twin sister, Tammy.  With the help of his friend Iggy, Suzy the trained chicken, the mysterious Hellyann & a spaceship called Philip, Ethan embarks on an exciting adventure to get his sister back. This book is for anyone who loved the humour of WALL-E, the action of STAR WARS and the deeply touching emotion.