Thursday, August 30, 2012

Father's Day - Add this to your book list

With Father's Day this Sunday I'd suggest ditching the usual Hankies and Tie and getting him something cool.

First up is the official book

Warbirds Over Wanaka 2012

It's the Official Book of the 2012 Airshow.  A nice 'oggle' at some pretty cool craft.  given many of these plaes are over 50 year's old it's still pretty stunning that not only can they fly but they can perform the amazing acrobatics that they do.  This is mainly a coffee table book, worth stocking up on for the den, or maybe the book shelf in the back room khazi.  It's got plenty of pics, is pretty lite on the detail, though.  mind, there's a hundred books on the spics and specs of a Spitfire or a Mustang.  so over all, a pretty cool 'stocking filler'.

for more action, purchasing and next shows go to:

Geek Dad by Ken Denmead

this is really the book of the website.  It's nearly the ultimate DIY project guide for techie dads raising kids in their own geeky image.  kinda in the spirit of The Dangerous Book for Boys.  Whilst our dad's frowned at our pathetic attempts to bait hooks, whittle and smoke fish or maybe kill icecream container garden herbs or burn pancakes on a tin can stove, this book really acknowledges today's dads are way more tech-savvy.  that doesn't mean we still cant programme our videos or figure out the best escape routes in Doom 2 but at least we can come up with some really cool home projects and disguise them as fun!

Supergeek,and father of two,Ken Denmead is an engineer (what a surprise) and editor of the incredibly popular GeekDad blog on  His series of Geek dad books, to which this is the first, is idea-packed guide and pretty much guaranteed to help dads and kids enjoy the magic of playtime together and tap into the infinite possibility of their imagination. Ultimately most of the cool and nifty ideas are aimed at boys, or girls with brothers.  After all i can't imagine there's much call for exploding barbies or balloon powered My little Pony carts in my house of three girls BUT as a bit of a geek dad I had to give some of these a go. 

The illustrations throughout,this book offers projects for all ages to suit any time frame or budget, which i like.  Owning heaps a Lego seems par for course, so in a couple of cases i had to increase the 'recipes' to account for the substitution of Duplo blocks and My Little Pet Shop figurines - But hey!.

Stuff I wanted to try, but my wife won't let me is a fly at night-time kite ablaze with lights or the launch of a a video camera with balloons.  On the cards is the  “Best Slip n’Slide Ever,”a guaranteed thrill ride apparently (especially at a 45 degree angle!).  I did make a sort of working lamp with LEGO bricks and CDs and a couple of prototype board games plus some Mentos powered exploding ice cubes (can't tell you that one on the web, though Home land security might be watching - lol)
Brimming with endlessly fun and futuristic tidbits on everything from gaming to gadgets,
Esentiall GeekDad helps every tech-savvy father unleash his inner kid-and bond with the next generation of brainiacs.  All Groove Listeners should own a copy - or at least visit the website:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tonite the kid talks to author Nicky Pellegrino about her new book "When in Rome".

Tonite the kid talks to author Nicky Pellegrino about her new book "When in Rome". 
A captivating tale of music, food and love, set in the glamorous “La Dolce Vita” era of 1950s Rome.
Serafina is a young woman growing up in a tiny apartment in Trastevere. She spends her days busking for coins in the street with her sisters; spending the money on tickets for movies featuring her idol Mario Lanza.
And then the famous singer comes to Rome and a new world opens up. Fame, parties, wealth – she draws close to it all.
Almost everything familiar in Serafina’s life begins to change. When she falls in love with two difficult men, she experiences joy and heartbreak, facing difficult choices that threaten her own future.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Dinner - By Herman Koch

"How far would you go to protect your child?" asks author Hermann Koch. Husband and wife Paul and Claire Lohman are out to dinner with Paul’s brother. The evening will not be fun. The restaurant's over-priced, pretentious, the maitre' d is boring and over bloated. Everything on the menu is organically grown and tested within an inch of it's gastronomic life! As the night goes on things get even worse! The parents much now discuss what their two teenage sons have been up to - and that is a far worse prospect! Koch's book is dark, moody and provocative, exploring how far a parent would go to save their lil darlings from the results and consequences of outrageous behaviours!
It would be easy to fall into a stream of conscious negativity about the depths of human folly here, yet Koch rises over this. he does, as many TVshows, murder novels and movies done before him place the reader in the seat with the parents. The recent show "The Slap" (and its novel predecessor) does the same thing. We are forced to take sides and change our beliefs against the practicalities of rescuing the situation. This is not the spine chiller I was promised, and I'm kind of glad of that. I didn't want to be led into a dark corner and forgotten. I want optimism- otherwise why would I read to the end. The movie '13' was one of those situations where you can never win, and I didn’t want to be in that position Koch leaves the door ajar, just far enough to make our escape.
Still we have a number of questions ahead of us: To whom and to what do we owe our loyalty? When do state-defined abstractions like justice, and truth, apply? Are 'natural’ institutions like the family an excuse or a rationale to disobey the law? What is a family in any case? What kind of responsibility do we have towards others? Are we really responsible for our own actions? Are we responsible for our child's actions? When is a child not a child?
Ok, The Dinner is not the kind of novel that pretends to be the proving ground of all these dilemmas more a novel of provocations. it likes to sit on the outside and prod at bubbles of morality as they float gamely by. By all means read and think and question, just don't expect this book to resolve anything. you have been warned.

Check out audio on ABC Australia :

Thursday, August 23, 2012



We're playing tracks from Iva's debut and talking about her tour:  Here are the details

Close your eyes and imagine yourself in street soul heaven listening to a rootsy, soulful and unique voice. Now open your eyes and meet Iva Lamkum – this outstanding 22-year-old Wellington singer/song writer is bursting to make an impression on the NZ music scene.

Born a Kiwi, Iva has New Zealand, Samoan and Chinese blood running through her veins. She is the complete package who pens lyrics and finds melodies that match her soulful sounds, beliefs and original sense of fashion. But it is her voice that is her greatest asset. As soon as you hear it, you know it is something special. Her rich tone gives her a truly unique sound that makes you want to sit up and take notice.

2008 will be a big one for Iva. The skilful artist is about to release her first self-titled EP featuring six tracks, produced by independent label Base Promotions Ltd in Wellington.

A signature track on her all-original EP is Kung Fu Grip – a song already well-known amongst her Wellington and MySpace fan base. Kung Fu Grip is a song close to Iva’s heart and warns about judging people by their image. Other songs featured on the EP are Water, Fine Water Part II, White Roses, Bye Be Gone and Rain.

The EP follows her first recording last year on the Nuclear Free Nation Aotearoa New Zealand compilation singing DJ/producer Benny Tones’ track, Within The Clouds, the lyrics written by Iva. Iva’s track sits on the compilation alongside top names such as Hollie Smith, Anika Moa, Katchafire, Herbs, Kora and Trinity Roots. Iva is currently working on adding her soulful sound to Sola Rosa's new album due for release later this year.

Iva comes from a soul and jazz background with a touch of underground hip hop, but she prefers to call her style “street soul”. She is an all round performer, who can not only sing and write but also plays guitar and drums.

“Music is a problem solver. When I’m angry I listen to a lot of rock, I listen to gospel songs to keep me on track. Music has become more personal, it’s a means of expressing myself in all situations. No matter what you do in life, music will inspire you.”

Iva attended St Anne’s Primary and St Catherine’s College, both in Wellington, before leaving after her seventh form year in 2003 to study music, business and computing. Music has always been a hobby since realising she could sing at the young age of nine. But it wasn’t until people approached her later in life with compliments about her abilities that she started to realise she could take her hobby and passion further.

She has become an integral part of the Wellington music scene in the past few years and has played with some of the city’s finest musicians at gigs, concerts and festivals. Iva now has her own band of professional musicians who are respected in their own right, giving her a consistency of sound both at live gigs and in the recording studio.

There is now a ground swell of interest in the soulful sound that is Iva Lamkum. A complete package that will appeal to a wide range of music lovers.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Search for Anne Perry...AKA Juliet Hulme

In 1994, director Peter Jackson released the film Heavenly Creatures, based on a famous 1950s matricide committed in New Zealand by two teenage girls embroiled in an obsessive relationship. This film launched Jackson's international career. It also forever changed the life of Anne Perry, an award-winning, bestselling crime writer, who at the time of the film's release was publically outed as Juliet Hulme, one of the murderers. A new light was now cast, not only on Anne's life, but also her novels, which feature gruesome and violent deaths, and confronting, dark issues including infanticide and incest. Acclaimed literary biographer, Joanne Drayton, intersperses the story of Anne's life with an examination of her writing, drawing parallels between Anne's own experiences and her characters and storylines. Anne's books deal with miscarriages of justice, family secrets exposed, punishment, redemption and forgiveness, themes made all the more poignant in light of her past. Anne has sold 25 million books worldwide and published in 15 different languages, yet she will now forever be known as a murderer who became a writer of murder stories. Drayton was been given unparalleled access to Anne, her friends, relatives, colleagues and archives to complete the book. The result is a compelling read which provides an understanding of the girl Anne was, the adult she became, her compulsion to write and her view of the world.
The Cater Street Hangman: A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel - The first book in Perry’s bestselling Victorian crime series, bringing together Inspector Thomas Pitt and Charlotte Ellison
Panic and fear strike the Ellison household when one of their own falls prey to the Cater Street murderer. While Mrs. Ellison and her three daughters are out, their maid becomes the third victim of a killer who strangles young women with cheese wire, leaving their swollen-faced bodies on the dark streets of this genteel neighborhood. Inspector Pitt, assigned to the case, must break through the walls of upper-class society to get at the truth. His in-depth investigation gradually peels away the proper veneer of the elite world, exposing secrets and desires until suspicion becomes more frightening than truth. Outspoken Charlotte Ellison, struggling to remain within the confining boundaries of Victorian manners, has no trouble expressing herself to the irritating policeman. As their relationship shifts from antagonistic sparring to a romantic connection, the socially inappropriate pair must solve the mystery before the hangman strikes again.
Rich with authentic period details, The Cater Street Hangman hooks readers from the moment the sparks first fly between Charlotte and Thomas.
Joanne Drayton has a doctorate from the University of Canterbury, has published papers on art history and theory, and lectured and taught since 1981.
She is the author of four highly regarded biographies of early 20th century New Zealand women artists and writers. These are: Edith Collier: Her life and work 1885-1964 (1999), Rhona Haszard: An experimental expatriate New Zealand artist (2002), Frances Hodgkins: A Private Viewing (2005) and Ngaio Marsh: Her Life in Crime (2008).
Joanne was awarded a National Library Fellowship in 2007 to research and write her biography of Marsh.
Joanne has curated exhibitions of Collier, Haszard, Hodgkins and D.K. Richmond’s work, and publishes in art history and theory.
She lectures at Unitec on design theory and 19th and 20th century art history.

 More research: Ian Rankin talks to Anne Perry (Juliet Hulme) 

Reflections of the Past - The Parker Hulme Murder