Top Staff Picks - May 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

The Mirror Book : A Memoir by Charlotte Grimshaw 

I have a strong temptation to merely quote Emma Espiner’s insightful and entirely perfect review of this book, as it captures so much the rawness, the humanity, the honesty and relevance of this book. Espiner captures it beautifully: “Grimshaw’s unnerving approach to storytelling is to show you something sacred, and then slide it out from beneath you.” This is a story is about reality, other’s realities, knowing those close to us and knowing ourselves. This act of truly “knowing” is made even more difficult when your father is literary treasure CK Stead, who has set your narrative of her own story in his autobiography – a close family, an idyllic childhood, a house full of books. Here, in this book, Charlotte offers up her own story, her own experiences – and often in an arresting way which makes the book so relatable. “This is what I knew from experience: when things go wrong there’s a cascade effect, life narrows, you start making the wrong choices, you lessen the ability to look after yourself, and without support the choices you make are increasingly bad. The worse shape you’re in, the crueller the world becomes.” By revealing and deciding upon her own narrative, in its complexity and intimacy, Charlotte Grimshaw has done something tremendously powerful. In her sharing of her own story, we are offered a gift to help us navigate our own lives and create narratives of our own.



Farm For Life : Mahi, Mana and Life On The Land by Tangaroa Walker

In 2012 when Tangaroa Walker was winning the Young Māori Farmer Award, he asked the question – when will technology be integrated into farming? The Southland contract milker and social media star answered that question for himself with Farm4Life – a digital content platform for the rural sector which has reached millions and has placed Tangaroa Walker as a true community and industry leader (as if running a successful dairy farm isn’t enough!). Farm for life: mahi, mana and life on the land tells this extraordinary man’s story. It’s a story of how farming helped Tangaroa Walker realise his own dreams. This inspiring true story is a book for everybody: he addresses physical and mental health, business and management, personal motivation and more - not just farming. It’s an honest, insightful, humorous and moving story from a truly remarkable individual.


Fiction Picks

Find You First by Linwood Barclay 

The New York Times bestselling author of Elevator Pitch returns with another riveting thriller about Miles, a terminally ill millionaire, in search for his possible heirs. A vicious killer is one step ahead of him and one by one they are mysteriously eliminated.  In this explosive thriller Miles reconnects with one of his heirs, Chloe, and they both are thrown into a rollercoaster ride of a series of mysterious and terrifying events. Barclay has also introduced a few compelling characters, adding complexity to the plot – Pritkin (Miles’ antithesis), Gilbert (his easy going brother who is married to a woman whom he doesn’t trust) and a few of Miles’ assistants. The intricate plot comes together at the end, making it a thrilling read.


Other Women by Cathy Kelly

Three friends come together in the throes of married life, family dramas, and romantic entanglements - in a story told with Cathy Kelly's trademark warmth and honesty.   The book centres around three women, Marin, Bea and Sid.  All very different, but each at a crossroad in life.  The story starts with a fantastic prologue which will keep you guessing all the way through.  The strength of female friendships and solidarity are apparent and as the book progresses, this really draws you in and makes for an interesting read.  In the messy reality of marriage, family and romance, sometimes it's the women in our lives who hold us together.

Film Pick

Wonder Woman 1984 directed by Patty Jenkins

Wonder Woman's next big-screen adventure finds her facing a wide array of foes, including Maxwell Lord and Cheetah.  Set in the 1980s, with all the crazy costumes and big hair of that decade in abundance, Diana must decide whether fulfilling her greatest wish is worth the cost to her own powers and the world at large.  An enjoyable romp, with some silly moments, for fans of the DC super-hero universe.


Kids Pick

The Unintentional Adventures Of The Bland Sisters: The Jolly Regina by Kara LaReau

Jaundice and Kale Bland are two sisters who avoid excitement at any cost. One day, they are kidnapped by an all-female band of pirates. Unwillingly, they're swept into a high-seas romp that might just lead to solving the mystery of what happened to their missing parents.  A humorous story, in a similar spirit to A Series of Unfortunate Events and Incorrigible children of Ashton Place.