What a pleasure it is to see you return in-store since we have moved to COVID Alert Level 2! Our community has been re-stocking the bookshelves and finally receiving those long-awaited special orders that were held in Auckland over the higher alert levels.
Many of you were entertained online during lockdown with our humorous ‘Welcome Back’ signage. There was truly such an unanticipated amazing response online, and we are glad we could provide some laughter during a challenging time.
There have been so many great titles arriving in the store and there will be many more on the way before Christmas. Whether you’re a fan of crime fiction or looking for the latest non-fiction brain bender to sink your teeth into, have a browse or chat to our wonderful bookselling team.
Book to Film Adaptations & The Rise of Streaming Services
The growing success of book to film adaptations is boosting the popularity and sales of titles gracing screens large and small. Although we have seen this play out on the cinematic big screen for many years, streaming giants such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+ are bringing this to our at-home devices for binge-worthy consumption.
COVID related lockdowns and isolation has only further fuelled the desire for quality storytelling content. The immediacy and convenience of subscription streaming services is changing the influence of book to film adaptions in the modern pop-culture zeitgeist.
‘Dune’ by Frank Herbert is revived with a new film adaptation by Denis Villeneuve coming to cinemas later this year. This is the third live-action adaptation of Herbert’s sci-fi novel. Featuring an acclaimed ensemble including Oscar Isaac, Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård and Dave Bautista, it seems the Dune series will continue its popularity in the coming months.
For fans of crime fiction, season one and two of ‘You’ on Netflix is an addictive and chilling watch. Based on the books by Caroline Kepnes, Joe Goldberg begins an obsessive romance with upcoming writer Guinevere Beck, whose delusions will begin his downfall. Caroline’s third installment ‘You Love Me’ was released this year and will be the inspiration for the third season of the Netflix series – with a fourth (currently untitled) book in the works.
‘Arsène Lupin – Gentleman Thief’ by Maurice Le Blanc is a collection of stories which follow the charming and determined Arsène Lupin, a pain for the wealthy and a friend of the poor. Set in early 20th century France, Le Blanc’s stories have inspired the Netflix series ‘Lupin’. The series begins with Assane Diop seeking to avenge his father’s death, Assane takes inspiration from the tales of Arsène Lupin and employs their mastery of cunning and thievery to expose the criminals responsible. Starring Omar Sy as the lead, there are two seasons of the show to enjoy, alongside Maurice’s Lupin stories.
Not just for young-adult readers to enjoy, ‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo has been popular since the new Netflix series released in April this year. Author Leigh Bardugo released the first ‘Grishaverse’ novel in 2012, and continued to write several novels set in this immersive world. With adventurous plots, compelling characters and a dark edge; season one of ‘Shadow and Bone’ has a been a huge success and a testament to Bardugo’s captivating stories.
Kiwi Picture Books For Childrens’ Reading
Bedtime isn’t always easy, especially when dealing with COVID lockdowns and isolation. ‘The Great Kiwi Bedtime Book’ by Donovan Bixley has detailed eye-catching illustrations of Aotearoa’s native animals settling down as they get ready for bed. A calming story and beautiful setting make this kiwi book the ideal to read with your kids as night-time settles in.
You’ve probably heard of Mittens the iconic Wellingtonian cat who wonders the streets of Te Aro in the central business district. If you haven’t – Mittens is a beloved Turkish Angora who isn’t afraid to wander into businesses, churches or retail stores and accept attention from locals.
The cat’s roamings have been documented online for some time, with fans reaching across New Zealand and even overseas. Mittens’ owner Silvio Bruinsma has written ‘The Adventures of Mittens – Wellington’s Famous Purr-sonality’, with a charming rhyming story accompanied by illustrations by Phoebe Morris. Parents and children alike will enjoy the fun and adventure of Mittens the Wellingtonian cat.
Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
Since 1975 Aotearoa has been celebrating Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori/Māori Language Week. We can celebrate and learn about Te Reo and Te Ao Māori in different ways; following the key hautau (ideas) here are some books that can help you on your way whether you are a beginner or wanting to expand your knowledge.
Kōrero – Speak
If you’re looking for an easy way to start speaking Te Reo and integrate this into your everyday life take a look at Hēmi Kelly’s ‘A Māori Phrase A Day’. The phrases are explained with added context and handy word lists/definitions to improve your learning experience. Providing 365 relevant and helpful phrases this book makes it easy to get stuck into learning and speaking Te Reo Māori.
Ako – Learn
‘Mauri Ora’ by Peter Alsop is a beautiful book inside and out. Full of whakatauki – proverbs that are passed down from one generation to the next, this book has many virtues of Te Ao Māori to share. Accompanied by captivating photographs, ‘Mauri Ora’ is a profoundly wise read and and enjoyable way to broaden your Te Reo knowledge.
Tākaro – Play
‘Tākaro’ is a fun way to get the whole whānau learning some Te Reo. Interactivity and play greatly enhances the learning experience and why not get the family together to enjoy an entertaining card game.
Each card features a number of symbols. Each of these symbols will have a direct Māori translation, which players will need to memorize and learn. Players will flip over two cards competing to find the matching symbols; the first player to call out the correct translation wins the round.
‘Tākaro’ can be played by ages 4+ with each round lasting 10-15 minutes. It will rely on the recognition of 57 various symbols, and the correct pronunciation of their Māori names. By the end of the game, players will be able to confidently recall a number of the symbols and their corresponding te reo Māori translations helping to expand their vocabulary.
The Rise Of Booktok
Social media is once again changing the way we tell and appreciate stories. TikTok (whether you love it or hate it) is having a huge influence on book sales around the world. ‘BookTok’ is the side of the platform where fans and authors alike can share their latest obsessions, theories and tributes to their favourite reads.
New Zealand author Chloe Gong released her debut novel ‘These Violent Delights’ in 2020 and became a New York Times best-selling author. An enthralling novel set in 1920s Shanghai, Chloe’s book is a YA must-read, and a particularly viral success. Chloe’s earnest and funny TikTok content has aided in propelling her novel to the top of the sales charts & getting more young readers in her series and more.
Although it may not be the platform for everyone, Tiktok is getting more youth and young adults into the literary space. Its influence is propelling debut novels to new heights and renewing interest in older releases – we’ve noticed a notable number of customers keen to order or read Madeline Miller’s ‘The Song of Achilles’ and ‘Circe’ released in 2011/2018 respectively. ‘BookTok’ is clearly a force to be reckoned with.
Gift Ideas – For The Foodie
It seems that many of us are trying to get the jump on our holiday shopping this year, and often we see people gifting recipes books for friends and family this festive season. Here are some current ideas for your gift-giving needs in 2021!
A recipe book called ‘Salad’ may not be your first idea for gifting, but this book by the ‘Two Raw Sisters’ has 70 fresh, imaginative recipes just ideal for the approaching summer weather. From the meat lover in your family to the gluten/dairy-free; Margo and Rosa have fresh versatile recipes to suit any palate or dietary need.
For the health-focused foodie in your life, this book is all about making the most of everyday ingredients because ‘life is too short to eat a bad salad’. If you snap up one in-store, you might be lucky enough to pick up a signed copy!
Gift Ideas – For The Foodie
Great for the celebrity chef enthusiast.
With an expansive career, restaurants, and several awards to his name Rick Stein is no stranger to the world of food. Rick has written over 25 books and presented even more food television series which have graced screens across the world.
His new book ‘Rick Stein At Home’ is quite different from other releases. Stepping away from specific countries and cuisines, Rick shares his favourite homecooked meals and family classics. A talented presenter and storyteller; Rick Stein adds a personal touch to this book and includes a variety of personal stories from his life and career.
This book would be great for fans of Stein, or for a keen cook who enjoys whipping up dishes for friends and family to share.
Gift Ideas – For The Foodie
Great for the fan of modern cuisine
Monique Fiso is a superstar from Aotearoa who is taking the food world by storm. Her book ‘Hiakai’ won best-illustrated non-fiction at the 2021 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards!
After spending much time internationally working in Michelin-star restaurants, Monique returned to NZ in 2016 to begin a pop-up venture ‘Hiakai’. Hiakai has transformed into an award-winning restaurant in Wellington and inspired this beautiful book.
This book is bound to be a treasure in the foodie’s collection; including over 30 recipes highlighting Māori cuisine, an array of personal stories, foraging notes, and pages describing the history of kai Māori. This publication is visually stunning and you can appreciate the thought and passion Monique puts into her craft.