Librarian Picks for January 2023

Published on 10 January 2023


Ever wondered what the staff at the Ōamaru Library are reading? Well, here's your chance!  Check out our nice big list below for all the goodies the staff read (or watched) during their festive holidays.

Lisa's Pick

What Your Chickens Want You to Know : Backyard chicken-keeping in Aotearoa by Dr Andrea Graves.


The most easy-to-read and fascinatingly interesting book about chicken keeping on a small scale.  It has so many practical tips about housing, feeding, chicken well-being and pertinent diagnostic information around health and behaviour issues that may arise within your flock how to deal with these.   What I enjoyed most about this book was how it steered me towards having a deeper relationship with my own chickens.  I truly appreciate their hilarious personalities, quirky traits and habits and I now understand more about them as an evolved species and as adorable animals (with eggy benefits!)   

Maclean's Pick

Over the New Year break, I indulged in many DVDs.  Some highlights were:


Free Guy: Ryan Reynolds is a bank teller, who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game. He decides to become the hero of his own story, one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way, before it is too late. Funny and up-to-the-minute, it’s great entertainment.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story: (Documentary) What do the most ravishingly beautiful actress of the 1930s and '40s and the inventor whose concepts were the basis of cell phone and Bluetooth technology have in common? They are both Hedy Lamarr, the glamour icon whose ravishing visage was the inspiration for Snow White and Cat Woman and a technological trailblazer who perfected a radio system to throw Nazi torpedoes off course during WWII.

Endeavour: (TV Series, 8 seasons) Shaun Evans stars as the peerless DC Endeavour Morse in nine unique mysteries of breathtaking complexity. Set against the historic spires of Oxford, and the constantly changing climate of 1960s Britain, these rich, filmic and emotionally epic stories combine dazzling thrills with cerebral puzzle-work. Prospering under the tutelage of DI Fred Thursday, the two men forge a cast-iron partnership, beginning with a tragic missing person's case in 1965, and continuing across the course of two further series, authored by Russell Lewis. Gathered together for the first time, they form a new, exciting and indispensable chapter for Colin Dexter's fiercely intellectual creation - one of the enduring figures of British cultural iconography.

Fiona's Pick

Poster Girl by Veronica Roth


A dystopian mystery that looks at the growing role of surveillance on society – a reflection on where we may be heading in the future. I picked this up as I enjoyed the Divergent series by the same author and it did not disappoint.

Jenny's Pick

Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires by Douglas Rushkoff


If you read any non-fiction book over Summer or in 2023, it must be this one. It is a disturbing and fascinating read, with the book starting with the author being invited to a remote location in the middle of desert and being asked by five of the richest men in the world, “when the big event comes, Alaska or New Zealand?” The author then goes on to discuss the evolution of technology, from the time where it purported to unleash the human imagination, to a state where now technology is used to make people more predictable, so the tech giants can make money.

People are products to be manipulated - what we buy, what we think and how we behave towards one another is manipulated by technology. Enabling us to escape from the real world itself, (or another planet), is the next step in the development of technology, meaning the virtual world will become much more appealing than the than the real world that technology is also helping to destroy. The goal of this approach is that we are being insulated from the true cost of human suffering – of car parks being created in school grounds because families who work for tech companies cannot afford houses and live in cars, or that when we open our shiny new cell phones where the glass surface is removed of the human fingerprints that assembled it by a cancer-causing cleaning agent.  

Rushkoff expounds that billionaire tech owners are accelerating the catastrophe, making the planet uninhabitable for anybody, so they can rebuild it and create the world 2.0. The irony is, even they cannot escape the world they have created, and that a world 2.0 will be, best case scenario, no better than the time of Genghis Khan.

Lynley's pick

RHS Gardening for Mindfulness by Holly Farrell.


This is a beautiful book that I am really enjoying. Holly Farrell shows us how gardening links us to the natural world and in it we can find a sense of calm in a matter of minutes. Experiencing gardening with a focus on each of the senses is explored. What a wonderful book!

Debbie's pick

Indian in 7 : delicious Indian recipes in 7 ingredients or fewer by Monisha Bharadwaj

Indian in 7 book cover.PNG

After years of experimenting, I just couldn't seem to get my butter chicken sauce tasting just like my favourite takeaway joints - that was until I discovered this book! As soon as I read Bharadwa's butter chicken recipe, I saw straight away that she'd listed the one ingredient I'd never come across before: dried fenugreek leaves. As soon as I added this ingredient to my sauce, I nailed it!

If you love the taste of Indian cuisine and you want to cook your own really tasty and authentic meals at home, you can do no better than this wonderful book.  Equally awesome, you only need 7 ingredients to cook.  I loved this book so much, I went straight out and bought my own copy. A massive win, win in my recipe book collection!

Kerrie's pick

Ledge by Stacey McEwan

Ledge book cover.PNG

A gritty fantasy with betrayal and vengeance aplenty. Can’t wait for the next one!

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