Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Top 5 random display books from Manukau Library

List by Tosca

"What is more important in a library than anything else - than everything else - is the fact that it exists."
- Archibald MacLeish, "The Premise of Meaning," American Scholar, 5 June 1972

What is more important in a library is that I am able to get my hands on anything and everything that catches my interest for whatever awful reason - sense of humour, nostalgia, knowledge. I am forever raiding the downstairs library. No matter how many books I have on the go at any time (as of Friday I had something like 4 requests available for pickup, 21 on the way, 28 issued to my card) - I still think there's room for more. Or at least, that's what I tell myself just before I pop downstairs to steal books off their shelves. Today's list is a quick roundup of my latest batch of Oh-look!-Books!-I-gotta-have-them!-Need-them!-Want-them-now! that I borrowed from Manukau Library. And yes, that is how I talk out loud and in my head.

Things you might want to know: You can turn on your reading history in My Info! It's a nifty little thing if you're the sort of reader who likes to keep track of everything they read. As a rule, I'm not, but occasionally I like to do a bit of a check and see how much I'm reading and how much of it is trashy/quality and whether or not I need to even it out a bit. To switch on your reading history:
1. Log in to My Info with your barcode and PIN
2. Under My Preferences click My Reading History
3. Click the Opt In button

My Info will now start keeping track of all physical items issued to your card from this point on. Give it a go :-)

And now - the books!

Sourdough : from pastries to gluten-free wholegrain breads / Yoke Mardewi
Following on from the hugely successful, Wild Sourdough, comes another great cookbook from sourdough specialist, Yoke Mardewi. Yoke's passion for sourdough has led to her discovery of completely new recipes and techniques for this book, including recipes for sourdough croissants, pastries, gluten-free whole grains, soft sourdough rolls and loaves, and more. Join the bread-making revolution and learn the art of making sourdough bread. It will nourish you, body and soul.

Tosca's comment: It's food. When *isn't* food good?

Sharing stitches : one-of-a-kind projects to sew and swap / Chrissie Grace
The most exciting part of collaborating with others is the inspiration you gain. Your take on a subject will be completely and totally different than someone else's. When we completed the round robin project for this book and I got it back in the mail, I was in tears over the talent encompassed in that package. While the thirteen artists had been given the same theme, they all had expressed a different interpretation.
Helps the reader create sewn items, from practical housewares to fabric jewellery. This title features two large-scale collaborative projects - an art quilt and a 'round robin' quilted journal - and a variety of techniques that go beyond simple sewing, including fabric painting, hand-embroidery and fabric photo transfers.

Tosca's comment: My mum was (is?) a crafty kind of mum and her mum was (is?), too. In fact, Gran and Great Gran were guns at sewing, knitting, crocheting, macrame, spinning and weaving. I remember holidays in Hicks Bay with the grandmothers dyeing flax to make kono (baskets) and kete (kits). As a kid my mum handmade a lot of what we wore or had around the house; patchwork quilts, floral arrangements, flax baskets and kete and wreaths. I suspect the wreaths were made in Relief Society at church but I'm not 100% sure about that. I have limited craft ability. Luckily I get much enjoyment out of the small bit I can do. Having limited abilities, however, doesn't stop me from grabbing up and any all arts and crafts books to flip through and contemplate how badly I can mangle a project.

The art instinct : beauty, pleasure, & human evolution / Denis Dutton
...the passion for art and its creation is a human instinct...
The Dinka have a connoisseur's appreciation of the patterns and colours of the markings on their cattle. The Japanese tea ceremony is regarded as a performance art. Some cultures produce carving but no drawing; others specialize in poetry. Yet despite the rich variety of artistic expression to be found across many cultures, we all share a deep sense of aesthetic pleasure. The need to create art of some form is found in every human society. In The Art Instinct, Denis Dutton explores the idea that this need has an evolutionary basis: how the feelings that we all share when we see a wonderful landscape or a beautiful sunset evolved as a useful adaptation in our hunter-gather ancestors, and have been passed on to us today, manifest in our artistic natures. Why do people indulge in displaying their artistic skills? How can we understand artistic genius? Why do we value art, and what is it for? These questions havelong been asked by scholars in the humanities and in literature, but this is the first book to consider the biological basis of this deep human need. This sparking and intelligent book looks at these deep and fundamental questions, and combines the science of evolutionary psychology with aesthetics, to shed new light on longstanding questions about the nature of art.

AUP new poets. 4 / Chris Tse, Erin Scudder, Harry Jones
(Loving isn't quite like being loved -
each is everything, and neither is enough -
I hope I won't always have to choose between them.)

"This fourth in AUP's New Poets series includes three very different voices. Chris Tse's work draws fascinatingly on his family history and Chinese heritage. His selection, 'Sing Joe', includes narrative poems about his great-grandparents' emigration to New Zealand and about his own childhood and his research to uncover their story. Erin Scudder writes sophisticated, dark and flavoursome poetry with close attention to the sound and shape of words. In its treatment of motive and emotion her work feels at once personal and universal, specific yet interested in archetypes and tropes. Harry Jones writes accomplished, elegant, formally adept work. He has a flair for the gorgeous lyric, but his selection, 'Beyond Hinuera', also has a subtle range. Together the work of these three writers feels substantial and pleasingly distinct." -- Publisher's description.

Tank spotter's guide / compiled by Marcus Cowper and Christopher Pannell
Invented during World War I to break the grim deadlock of the Western Front trenches, tanks went on to revolutionize warfare. From the lightning Blitzkrieg assaults of World War II, to the great battles in the Middle Eastern desert, tanks have become one of the key components of the 'combined arms' philosophy of the modern battlefield. This pocket guide makes accessible to 'rivetheads' everywhere essential information to identify 40 of history's most fearsome tanks, including Germany's Tiger, Russia's T-34, America's Sherman and Panther, and France's FT-17. Each tank is presented with a detailed drawing to aid recognition.

Tosca's comment: Here purely because I have an awful sense of humour. The first thing I thought of when I saw this title was that tanks could be useful in a zombie attack. My second thought was, 'IT COULD SO HAPPEN!' There's no way I'm prepared for a zombie attack and, in weaker moments, this concerns me - although not enough to do anything practical (??) about it, obviously - but if the world were suddenly overrun by or zombies...I'd be up the proverbial. I'm quite convinced that tanks could be helpful but there's a lot I don't know about them. Would I know their fuel capacity? Or their fording capability? What about their combat weight? If push came to shove, would I know what their trench-crossing capabilities were and how best to harness that/avoid that? Probably not. Until now... So yeah, they could be helpful in a zombie attack. Yes, it's true. Some nights I have far too much time on my hands.

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