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Name the book from the first line - 29th May 2018

Name the book from the first line For anyone who checked out our Facebook page, the opening line was from Robin Hyde's The Godwits Fly. With the missing words put in, the opening line reads "Until the year after the war, life for the Hannays always meant other people's houses, and they wore out a long line of cats, invariably and irrespective of sex, named Tam."

Test yourself with the next three famous opening lines (answers below but don't peek)
"It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen."
"I was born in the city of Bombay... once upon a time."
"Call me Ishmael."

(George Orwell 1984 / Salman Rushdie Midnight's CHildren / Herman Melville Moby Dick)

Opening lines - 28th May 2018

Opening lines Just in case you've spent the weekend worrying over Friday's mystery dust jacket, it belonged to a Norman Mailer book called Ancient Evenings. Quite an unusual book which is not for the faint-hearted. 

This week we're abandoning dust wrappers and moving on to opening lines. There are many really famous opening lines. For example, see if you can get these three. You might get this first one "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man...." without my even having to finish it. Or this one, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."  And last for today, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

Answers: Jane Austen/Pride and Prejudice, Tolstoy/Anna Karenina, Dickens/A Tale of Two Cities.

Those were the easy ones. Try the challenge on our Facebook page if you are interested in testing your recall of memorable opening lines.

Last day of dust jackets - 25th May 2018

Last day of dust jackets Yesterday's dust jackets came from two very different authors. One is a famous New Zealand children's writer Margaret Mahy. The book was called The Magician of Hoad. If you haven't read any of her stories to your children, get started now. They are really enjoyable and generations of kiwi kids have grown up addicted to her books.

The second wrapper was from a book called The Comedians by Graham Greene, a very good read, as are all his books. I would say they are must-reads if you haven't already done so.

Try and see if you recognise the dust jacket of today's picture. Only one today as it is quite difficult (I think). A small hint: it is not the Lonely Planet Guide to Egypt.

More dust wrappers - 24th May 2018

You no doubt worked out what yesterday's two books were: one was The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger and the other was Isaac Asimov's I, Robot.  I don't think that version of dust jacket shown yesterday for Asimov's book is as good as some of the earlier ones but that won't affect the content. Both of the above books are definitely worth reading if you haven't already done so. You will find the Salinger in the literature section and the Asimov, unsurprisingly, in the sci fi room.

See how you go with today's two dust wrappers. Name of author and title of book needed.


More dust jackets - 23rd May 2018

We've been running a little competition on our Facebook page - name the author and book title from looking at the dust jacket.

You probably saw Monday's two and correctly identified them. One was Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest with Jack Nicholson on the cover in the title role of Randal McMurphy from the film version of the book (and remember the wonderful Nurse Ratched - which actress played her in the film?) The other was A Clockwork Orange by Anthony BUrgess. The cover had Malcolm McDowell in the lead role of the film version.

So can you name book title and author of today's two dust wrappers.

Book covers - 21st May 2018

This week we are having a look at a few book covers, usually known as dust jackets or dust wrappers. They haven't been around as long as you might imagine. They really came into their own after 1900 when the decoration moved from the book itself to the dust jacket. I think around the 1920s the habit of putting the publisher's blurb and critical praise on the back also became quite common.

There are some very collectible dust jackets, the presence of which can make the price of the book skyrocket. There have been several books written on the history of the dust jacket (more interesting than you might think) and there is an entire field of art and artists of the dust wrapper. 

Most of us would recognise a few of the more memorable dust jackets we've seen and I expect we've all got our favourites. Can you identify today's two?

A little teaser - 19th May 2018

A little teaser A little teaser.... our onehunga shop will be moving over the next month... I should be upset to be giving up our home of 35 years, but we have experienced a miracle, and instead of grieving i am excited by what is coming.... here's a photo of the incredible historic building we are going to 

No room at the inn - 18th May 2018

The office is now too crowded and there is no longer any room so today's two photos are outside. I'm afraid there are no points for guessing who they are this time as probably all New Zealanders will recognise them straight away.

Yesterday's photo was of Robin Hyde, a well known New Zealand poet and writer. She was quickly identified by Tony Eyre (again) but Lara Sanderson gained bonus points for adding her real name of Iris Wilkinson. Robin Hyde had a very interesting life that is worth reading about. We highly recommend her biography The Book of Iris: A Life of Robin Hyde. Her most famous novel is probably The Godwits Fly, also recommended reading. 

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