Thursday, February 24, 2011

Top 5 books I spotted on Manukau Library's display shelf that staff hollered at me to put back

List by Tosca

"Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own."
- William Hazlitt

We've recently re-located and are now settling in to the new building on Osterley Way and it's pretty but oh! I miss the cataloguing team :( And if I'm honest I'll admit that I miss the new books trolley just as much. For the last two and a half years it had been my pleasure (and probably their burden) to sit over the wall from cataloguing staff where, I assure you, every day there was like my own personal Christmas. I miss them. And I feel slightly guilty that I so easily look to Manukau Library (on the floor below me) to take their place...

I visit Manukau Library at least once a day for blog inspiration, book ideas and a reminder that everything I do here in Digital Services is, ultimately, about and for our customers. It's a kind of a touchstone, I guess. Yesterday, feeling terrible about not updating the blog more often this month (I'm sorry!), I popped in to the branch and, naturally enough, drifted toward their 'Selected for your enjoyment' display shelf...and raided it almost entirely of books *guilty look* Some of which make up this list *smug look* One of the staff there jokingly called out, 'No! Tosca! You put those back!' It gave me great pleasure to say, 'No! If I take them it means you're doing your job right.' Now that I've flicked through them and generally oohed and aahed over the pictures or recipes (while resisting the temptation to dog ear the pages) they can now have them back :) I'll even slide them back on to the display shelf where I got them from.

If you haven't yet had the chance to visit the new premises please do - it's well worth it! Drop by the front desk and say hello to the staff and show your library-love by taking all of their display books home (so they can holler at you, too) :P

Going green : hints & tips to reduce your carbon footprint / Vivian Head
This book gives you useful hints and tips on how to become eco-friendly, for example, Avoid buying produce in fancy packaging, ride your bike to work instead of driving, grow a garden full of flowers and vegetables and many more.

Tosca's comment: A year or so ago my parents abandoned their children for the wilds of Taipa. It was a surprise. When they said they wanted to live simply and leave as small a carbon footprint as possible well, that bit wasn't so surprising. For as long as I can remember my mum recycled everything, grew her own fruit and vegetables, owned an agitator washing machine until I was 15 (and even then we only got an automatic because the old machine was beyond repair - dad sighed with relief and we cheered), used cloth nappies for all of us and, generally, tried her best to teach us to do the same. It didn't work BUT my siblings and I appreciate and love her effort all the same. This book is here simply because when I saw it, it reminded me of my parents AND this is my list so I can do that :)

The passing world, the passage of life : John Hovell and the art of kōwhaiwhai / Damian Skinner
"Kowhaiwhai, according to John Hovell, is about process, a shorthand summary of the passage of life, and a space within the whare whakairo (decorated meeting house) for the Maori artist to express his wry and droll view of human nature. This book looks at John Hovell's life and work, his ongoing interest in kowhaiwhai, and locates him within a larger story of Maori art. From the mid-1960s, Hovell was part of the contemporary Maori art movement, exhibiting his paintings alongside artists such as Paratene Matchitt and Sandy Adsett, and taking part in the activities of organisations such as the Maori Artists and Writers Society. Since the mid-1980s Hovell has been designing and producing kowhaiwhai and murals for marae projects in Auckland, the Coromandel peninsula and the East Coast. He has established a reputation as a kowhaiwhai artist of note, working alongside tohunga whakairo (carving experts) such as Pakiriki Harrison. Richly illustrated with over 100 colour images of Hovell's painting and kowhaiwhai projects, this book demonstrates that Hovell is an important artist who has made a substantial contribution to contemporary Maori visual culture" -- Publisher's description.

Tosca's comment: Did this book only catch my eye because I'm Maori? I'm not sure. I do know that I was intrigued by the cover image of octopuses, ducks, seagulls and various other birds and wondering how they fit into kowhaiwhai. I don't know art but I do know what I like (cliché, but true) and Hovell's contemporary Maori artwork is stunning.

Slow cooking : easy one-pot dishes for the slow cooker, oven and hob / Antony Worrall Thompson ; photography by Elizabeth Zeschin
"Antony's 100 one-pot dishes for the slow cooker, the oven and the hob are wonderfully easy to make. Once you have put the ingredients into the casserole, you just leave them to cook while you get on with something else. Many of the recipes use inexpensive ingredients, including beans, lentils and cheap cuts of meat - which are deliciously succulent after hours in the pot. Perfect for the family table!" -- Publisher's description.

Tosca's comment: I like the idea of slow cooking because most of the end result pictures seem to resemble what anything I cook looks like - mushy and brown. I've never done slow cooking before it but I'm going to try it just once with one of the recipes from here. Watch this space...

100 meals in minutes / Ainsley Harriott
Ainsley Harriott is one of the UK's favourite television chefs and loved for his flavoursome food. For this book, Ainsley has picked 100 recipes that can be made simply and easily for your family and friends. Cook with confidence - 100 of Ainsley's Favourite recipes.

Tosca's comment: Can you tell that I chose these last two books because I'd skipped lunch and was hungry beyond common sense? That doesn't mean I don't heart Ainsley, because I do. He's funny and cooks the yummiest looking food that I can't re-create to save myself but having fun trying to do so anyway.

The big book of softies : 44 friends for you to sew, knit and crochet
Softies galore! These cute and cuddly creations will melt your heart and bring a smile to the face of everyone they meet. Homemade softies are a worldwide craze, and this bumper collection includes all the toys you could ever wish to make. Here you'll find everything you need to create your very own plush pals: patterns, step-by-step instructions, and plenty of hints and tips. The softies are made using a range of techniques, from simple hand-sewing to crochet, so there's something to suit everyone - from complete beginners to experienced crafters. What are you waiting for? Grab a needle and thread and some gorgeous vintage fabric, and get crafting! Once you start, you'll want to make them all.

Tosca's comment: As a child I was a pickle-people maker extraordinaire. Don't make me explain what that was but know that it involves pantyhose, cotton wool, beads and needles *sigh* That was about the extent of my craft-ability. I don't knit, crochet, tat, quilt, spin, macarame, paint, draw or anything like that but I know, I am absolutely convinced, that I would be awesome at making soft toys :)

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