Book Club Reads

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Book Club Reads

The Marlborough District Library (Blenheim) Book Club meets the last Thursday of each month at 6.30 pm.

The Picton Library Book Club meets the first Thursday of the month at 6.30 pm. Please email pictonlibrary@marlborough.govt.nz if you wish to attend.

The Marlborough District Library (Blenheim) Book Club read digital books last month. This month our theme is wild.

The Anthropocene Reviewed: essays on a human-centered planet by John Green

Adult non-fiction 306 GRE

The Anthropocene is the current geological age, in which human activity has profoundly shaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, John Green reviews different facets of the human-centred planet-from the QWERTY keyboard and Staphylococcus aureus to the Taco Bell breakfast menu--on a five-star scale. Complex and rich with detail, the Anthropocene's reviews have been praised as "observations that double as exercises in memoiristic empathy.

See if The Anthropocene Reviewed is available on our catalogue or place a hold

Ask that Mountain: the story of Parihaka by Dick Scott

Adult non-fiction 993.488

A fearless and ground-breaking investigation of the government-sanctioned land grab at Parihaka, and one of New Zealand's most influential, must-read histories.

Parihaka has become a byword for Maori refusal to yield land, culture and dignity to New Zealand's colonial government. Well after the end of the New Zealand Wars, the people of this small settlement at the foot of Mt Taranaki held out against the encroachments of Pakeha settlers in a struggle that swapped the weapons of war for the weapons of peace.

Taking as their symbol the white feather, the chiefs Te Whiti and Tohu led Parihaka in one of the world's first-recorded campaigns of passive resistance. Maori ploughmen wrote its message across the settlers' pastures, and Maori fencers underlined the point by throwing barriers across the queen's highways. Withstanding repeated military action, the spirit of resistance born at Parihaka kept alive the flame of that supposedly 'dying race', the Maori.

Ask That Mountain draws on official papers, settler manuscripts and oral history to give the first complete account of what took place at Parihaka. Now in its ninth edition, this seminal work was in 1995 named by the Sunday Star-Times as one of the ten most important books published in New Zealand.

See if Ask that Mountain is available on our catalogue or place a hold

The Bombay Prince by Sujata Massey

Adult fiction

November, 1921. Edward VIII, Prince of Wales and future ruler of India, is arriving in Bombay to begin a four-month tour. The Indian subcontinent is chafing under British rule, and Bombay solicitor Perveen Mistry isn't surprised when local unrest over the royal arrival spirals into riots. But she's horrified by the death of Freny Cuttingmaster, an eighteen-year-old female Parsi student, who falls from a second-floor gallery just as the prince's grand procession is passing by her college. Freny had come for a legal consultation just days before her death, and what she confided makes Perveen suspicious that her death was not an accident. Perveen, who strongly identified with Freny - another young Parsi woman fighting hard against the confines of society's rules and expectations - feels terribly guilty for failing to help her. Perveen steps forward to assist Freny's family in the fraught dealings of the coroner's inquest, and when Freny's death is ruled a murder, Perveen knows she can't rest until she sees justice done. But Bombay is erupting: as armed British secret service march the streets, rioters attack anyone with perceived British connections and desperate shopkeepers destroy their own wares so they will not be targets of racial violence. Can Perveen help a suffering family when her own is in danger?

See if The Bombay Prince is available on our catalogue or place a hold

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Teen fiction

A wicked mash-up of fairy tale and Terminator—set in a Star Wars kind of world—Marissa Meyer's Cinder is a fresh and fiercely ingenious futuristic retelling of Cinderella

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl...

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the centre of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.

See if Cinder is available on our catalogue or place a hold

The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley

Adult fiction

CeCe D'Apliese has never felt she fitted in anywhere. Following the death of her father, the elusive billionaire Pa Salt - so-called by the six daughters he adopted from around the globe and named after the Seven Sisters star cluster - she finds herself at breaking point. Dropping out of art college, CeCe watches as Star, her beloved sister, distances herself to follow her new love, leaving her completely alone. In desperation, she decides to flee England and discover her past; the only clues she has are a black-and-white photograph and the name of a woman pioneer who lived in Australia over one hundred years ago. En-route to Sydney, CeCe heads to the one place she has ever felt close to being herself: the stunning beaches of Krabi, Thailand. There amongst the backpackers, she meets the mysterious Ace, a man as lonely as she is and whom she subsequently realizes has a secret to hide. A hundred years earlier, Kitty McBride, daughter of an Edinburgh clergyman, is given the opportunity to travel to Australia as the companion of the wealthy Mrs McCrombie. In Adelaide, her fate becomes entwined with Mrs McCrombie's family, including the identical, yet very different, twin brothers: impetuous Drummond, and ambitious Andrew, the heir to a pearling fortune. When CeCe finally reaches the searing heat and dusty plains of the Red Centre of Australia, she begins the search for her past. As something deep within her responds to the energy of the area and the ancient culture of the Aboriginal people, her creativity reawakens once more. With help from those she meets on her journey, CeCe begins to believe that this wild, vast continent could offer her something she never thought possible: a sense of belonging, and a home.

See if The Pearl Sister is available on our catalogue or place a hold

White Highlands by John McGhie

Adult fiction

Kenya, 1952, a colony on the edge. Settlers drink sundowners on the veranda but the servants can't be trusted. Beyond manicured lawns, in the dark of the forest, freedom is stirring. Johnny Seymour has seen too much war and seeks solace photographing East African wildlife. But when isolated white families are slaughtered by Mau Mau gangs, the British respond brutally and Johnny is reluctantly pulled into the horror. After his African driver Macharia disappears, Johnny is forced to confront shocking truths about his own country and ask how far he'll go to help a friend. Nearly sixty years later, disgraced young barrister Sam Seymour knows nothing about her grandfather. Even his name is taboo. All she understands is that Johnny did something so awful that his only son - her father - had to be rescued from Kenya. Now as veteran Mau Mau fighters demand reparations for past sins, she's been offered a chance to unpeel history and discover why. In a narrative spanning the generations, White Highlands follows Sam and Johnny as they confront the might of the British state. One man stands in both their way - Grogan Littleboy, a ruthless colonial survivor who'll do anything to defeat Mau Mau, past and present.

See if White Highlands is available on our catalogue or place a hold