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Books Just Added

A list of titles most recently added to the Scheme. View the full catalogue or login to add a title to your booklist.

 

Genre : Non Fiction: New Zealand
Year : 2021
Pages : 291
Tim Heath's decision to go to teachers' college may have been pragmatic - they paid an allowance - but once there he was bitten by the education bug and clocked up more than forty years at the chalk face. Big schools, small schools, urban and rural schools, a stint in Samoa, and more with the Correspondence School, Tim has been there and done that.

Encapsulated by the subtitle, 'the joys, ambitions, ideals, stuff-ups and heartaches of a teaching life', this open and honest memoir brings together the professional and private lives of a thoughtful and passionate New Zealand educator. [Larger font]


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"One of the more enjoyable NZ books that I've read - very interesting and enjoyable."

"The author is self-effacing and often funny. The situations and stories he writes about are poignant and his frustration with himself and bureaucracy is evident."

"Because it's set in New Zealand, his experiences will resonate with most readers."

"The book is well-written and easy to read."

"Tim's private life is vulnerably and honestly exposed in a careful way."

"Tim weaves his philosophy of education through his experience of being a teacher in the system in a seamless way."

"Tim's passion for education seeps through."

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Categories: Non-fiction NZ, Community, Contemporary, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Learning, Social commentary/perspectives, 2023 Titles, Larger font

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 370
A mother and father both wanting what is best for their critically ill child but coming to different conclusions about the path ahead...

Max and Pip Adams love each other and their young son but when they cannot agree on the way forward, it is up to a London court to rule on Dylan's treatment.

With alternating chapters presenting both possible outcomes of this decision, this is a clever and moving story with emotional heft that explores the consequences of an impossible choice.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"It is very well written and explores the topic well. I was not surprised to read that the author has faced this impossible decision herself."

"I have never read a book like this before. I had to take time to read it and not be overwhelmed by the content. It's a 10/10 for me."

"The story is very well told."

"It is never didactic and at no time pushes us to make a particular decision about the best thing to do in such a high pressure, high stakes situation."

"There is a huge amount to discuss and explore in this book and I think it would make an excellent BDS book."

"Each character tells the story from their point of view and it is a wonderful device for allowing us to experience the trauma before us."

"Someone who has lost a child may find this raw and challenging to read."

"I gave this book 9 out of 10 which is very high for me."

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Categories: Fiction, Grief/loss, Human Rights, Medical/Health, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, England, UK, 2023 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction: New Zealand
Year : 2021
Pages : 363
When the Nazari family left Taliban-dominated Afghanistan seeking a better life in 2001, it would have been impossible to foresee the dangerous journey that would eventuate, culminating in rescue from the Norwegian freighter, the Tampa and resettlement in Christchurch. Life in the Garden City would also be eventful over time, not only with the challenges faced by all refugees but the earthquakes and mosque shootings as well.

Combining an ongoing examination of Afghanistan and the global system of refugee management with the inspiring story of a resilient family, this is a remarkable memoir notable for its hope, determination and achievement. [Larger font]


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"An 'easy read' and a page turner - especially through the chapters on their experience at sea."

"A unique and important book for all, but especially New Zealand."

"This memoir is educating, uplifting and inspirational."

"The author's scholastic ability, work ethic and determination has resulted in his hugely successful achievements."

"I think most readers will find this book inspirational."

"It's not pleasant to read of the Taliban atrocities not of the conditions on the boat, but it is important that these be included as part of the whole story."

"Highly recommended. It's a real feel-good story."

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Categories: Non-fiction NZ, Biography, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Human Rights, Political, Social commentary/perspectives, Afghanistan, 2023 Titles, Larger font

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 212
Growing up, Homeira Qaderi was a stroppy teenager daring to homeschool girls in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. Her rebellious nature never abated and following marriage at seventeen, life as a refugee in Teheran, opportunities for higher education and then a return to post-Taliban Kabul, she remained staunch, particularly when her husband decided to take a second wife.

Promptly divorced for her defiance in opposing his intention, her toddler son was taken from her (as permitted by Afghan law).

In this powerful and riveting memoir, the author, a writer and activist for women's rights, shares the story of her life and directly addresses her son who was told she was dead.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Absolutely engaging, and beautifully translated."

"It's a heart-wrenching and powerful read."

"Absolutely amazing read."

"It's a powerful and eye-watering read. I only hope she is able to see her son again."

"The book covers a hugely eventful period, told sparsely and concisely in many respects."

"I found the earlier chapters moved more slowly, the later chapters became mor significant and seemed more animated."

"It's an incredibly sad story, but as it's quite a small read (212 pages), it's not difficult to read."

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Categories: Non fiction, Biography, Contemporary, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Gender Issues, Grief/loss, Human Rights, Letters/Diaries, Morals/Ethics, Political, Social commentary/perspectives, Translation, Afghanistan, 2023 Titles

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2021
Pages : 420
The Cleverleys are the perfect family you love to hate. At first glance, successful and influential and at second glance, well… not quite. George is an obnoxious BBC radio host and Beverley, a romance writer, is a snob of the highest order. And then there are their three adult children, Nelson, Elizabeth and Achilles.

When Elizabeth's latest desperate attempt to be a social media influencer goes awry there is chaos, and as the family's lives unravel, readers have a front row seat to a world controlled by social media.

A thought-provoking and satirical delight.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"The book is very funny but frightening with how the world of social media has taken over the society that the family lives in."

"Very contemporary and therefore relevant to our own lives."

"Well-written and very readable."

"Readers can ask themselves how they might be manipulated by social media."

"A very modern book that discusses the issues around social media."

"I enjoyed the author name-dropping, mainly British celebrities."

"Boyne is very funny as he makes a point in his sarcasm."

"The threads all come together very satisfactorily as the story builds to its climax."

"The characters, while all are caricatures, are also frighteningly believable."

"The characters are uniformly horrible and it's quite unusual for a book to have such awful people as the protagonists."

"I thought the ending was a little twee."

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Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, England, UK, 2023 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2021
Pages : 268
The nineteenth century philosopher Soren Kierkegaard clearly knew a thing or two about walking, when he said, 'Every day, I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness'. He would not have been aware of the anatomical and evolutionary history that has allowed humankind to walk upright but paleoanthropologist Jeremy Desilva does.

With these details at his fingertips, readers are confidently escorted through seven million years of evolution, exploring the history of bipedalism and its role in our well-being.

Lively, informative and peppered with engaging personal anecdotes, this is a fascinating account of 'how walking upright made us human'.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"An excellent account of the origins of the bipedal/upright stance of homo sapiens."

"The general reader will find this book engaging as well as informative."

"An excellent introduction to the topic with engaging personal anecdotes."

"It's well-written and informative. It's important to look back over the last 7 million years of evolution."

"Very interesting discussion around cultural evolution and how bipedalism influenced such things as midwifery."

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Categories: Non fiction, Learning, Science & Technology, 2023 Titles

Genre : Fiction: New Zealand
Year : 2022
Pages : 306
Emily Kirkland's return to New Zealand to care for her father Felix, who has developed dementia, has some unexpected consequences. She is able to deepen their previously distant relationship, but distressingly he seems emotionally caught up with a tragic event from twenty five years earlier when neighbour and friend Leah Parata went missing in the bush and was never found. Just what was it about Leah's disappearance that could be causing Felix - a rural GP - so much angst?

Set in the shadows of the Ruahine Ranges, this multi-layered story weaves a small-town mystery with an empathetic and insightful understanding of dementia.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"The author has a gift for understanding characters and delivering stories in a multitude of layers."

"Fantastic story, I could not put it down."

"Great characters. The situation was both sad and complex."

"You have to keep reading until the end to find out what happened."

"I highly recommend the book. It's a sensitive topic, well handled."

"The author has told the story with sensitivity and the book has great atmosphere."

"The author has portrayed well the gradual unravelling of the father with dementia."

"I did guess the likely reason for the woman's disappearance and this reduced the level of tension."

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Categories: Fiction NZ, Grief/loss, Love story, Medical/Health, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, 2023 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2021
Pages : 322
Well and truly embedded in the literary world, Ann Patchett can turn her hand to both fiction and non fiction, and in this collection of essays, she welcomes readers into her life with more than twenty pieces to ponder.

Reflecting on what matters most in life - including of course, family, friendship, marriage and writing - her trademark elegant and lucid writing is on display.

Transforming the personal into the universal, this book is an engrossing and stimulating read from a consummate storyteller.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I love Ann Patchett. I love all her books."

"I love the way Ann Patchett writes her wonderful prose and her view of the world."

"The dark and light shades in this book are perfectly balanced between humour and sadness."

"I think this book would appeal to most readers, but maybe older people would find it more satisfying."

"Patchett's personality and attitudes are amusingly and happily revealed in many different scenarios."

"The author has great skill in conveying her feelings and emotions succinctly."

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Categories: Non fiction, Short story/essay, Essays/Columns, Literature oriented, 2023 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2021
Pages : 310
When Toufah won a national competition that promised a full scholarship to any university in the world, it was the first step to fulfilling her dreams. But it turned into a nightmare when she was raped by the president of her West African country, The Gambia. With both her own and her family's safety at risk, she fled to Senegal and then sought refuge in Canada, eventually being in a position to publicly expose the since deposed dictator.

Introducing readers to the history and culture of The Gambia, this is a powerful and inspiring memoir of the courageous young woman and now advocate, who led the way for an African #MeToo movement. [Larger font]


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Well-written and easily readable."

"As well as reading about the abuse Toufah rose above, the reader also learns about a small African country and its culture."

"It is inspiring in the way Toufah can rise above the trauma and use it as a way of helping others."

"What a remarkable story - there's no doubt of its veracity."

"This is a remarkable story of huge bravery and determination, not without personal struggles and of overcoming all obstacles in her way."

"She was not yet 19 when she escaped from her native country and this makes her story all the more outstanding."

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Categories: Non fiction, Biography, Contemporary, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Human Rights, Morals/Ethics, Canada, 2023 Titles, Larger font, Gambia

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2021
Pages : 278
Astrobiologist Theo Byrne has a demanding day job simulating possible life on other planets, but the biggest challenge he faces is raising his young neurodiverse son alone, after his wife dies. Robin, aged nine, is a troubled youngster intensely focused on the state of the environment and is unable to understand why no one is doing anything about it.

From the joy and wonder of the natural world and society's failure to protect it, to the experimental neurological therapy Robin undergoes, this is a wholly original and thought-provoking story distinguished by its beautiful relationship between a father and his son, and the more urgent question of the future of the planet.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"This book is gripping. Robbie especially is a very compelling character."

"This is a heartfelt and heart-breaking story. A 10 out of 10."

"All the characters were very real. Robin, the troubled boy, is truly beautiful."

"I found the astrobiology facts to be fascinating."

"I would love to discuss how the rest of my group reacted to the book."

"I thought it was a very original vehicle for discussing many themes, especially climate change, the consequences of human intervention and violation of the natural environment."

"I was fascinated by the references to the President - clearly Donald Trump, but never named as such."

"There are some very weighty themes. Although an easy enough and quite compelling read, it is not something you can read on a surface level."

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Categories: Fiction, Community, Contemporary, Environmental, Grief/loss, Medical/Health, Relationships, Science & Technology, Social commentary/perspectives, America, 2023 Titles

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