Librarian Picks for November 2022

Published on 01 November 2022


Ever wondered what the staff at the Ōamaru Library are reading? Well here's your chance!  Check out our list below for all the goodies the staff are reading and their reviews for November 2022. 

Fiona's pick: 

The Improbable Life of Ricky Bird by Diane Connell (Adult Fiction)


Ricky is an exceptional child navigating many challenging situations as a 12-year-old. This is a complex story that leaves the reader feeling emotionally connected to Ricky and wanting to gather her up in a big hug and look after her. 


Kerrie's pick:

The Darkening by Sunya Mara (Young Adult Fiction) 


A dark and emotionally charged fantasy. I can't wait for the next book. 


Maclean's picks:

David Byrne's American Utopia (Documentary DVD)


Pared back to a bare stage and all musicians carrying their instruments means the focus becomes about human to human connections. Spike Lee directs this live stage show, filled with ideas and music to inspire you. Defies description, but well worth watching!!

Love and Other Thought Experiments by Sophie Ward (Adult Fiction)


This is a highly unusual novel, mixing philosophic conundrums with wildly differing personal viewpoints. The initial premise is fantasy based, but the ensuing stories make this a unique and thoughtful read. 


Susanna's picks:

A Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer (Adult Non Fiction)


A fun and informative history book - like Horrible Histories but for grown-ups! Mortimer delivers history in an engaging (and accessible!) way via present tense. It's packed full of detail, but I never lost interest in it. If you're looking for a glimpse into what life was like in 14th century England, this book is the way to go.   


Unraveller by Frances Hardinge (Young Adult Fiction)


Frances Hardinge is a master of speculative fiction. I adored her book, 'A Skinful of Shadows', so was eager to jump into this one - and it did not disappoint. The writing in Unraveller is just as artful and eloquent as ever. The story centres around Kellen, a young man with a gift for 'unravelling' curses  - the only problem is, he's cursed as well. This is a beautifully woven tale - highly addictive! 

Glenys' pick:                   

Burning Man: The Ascent of D.H Lawrence by Frances Wilson (Adult Non Fiction)


The publicity commented: “History has remembered him, and not always flatteringly, as a nostalgic modernist, a sexually liberator, a misogynist, a critic of genius, and a sceptic who told us not to look in his novels for 'the old stable ego', yet pioneered the genre we now celebrate as auto-fiction. But where is the real Lawrence in all of this, and how - one hundred years after the publication of Women in Love - can we hear his voice above the noise?”

I found it an easy yet illuminating exploration of not just the writer but also the world in which he existed. As a man always on the move, the book is helpfully divided into geographic sections reflecting his life as he searched for utopia. It certainly prompted me to reach for Lawrence’s titles I have not read.






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