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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. 

Very little room in the office - 17th May 2018

Another mystery portrait manages to squash in to join the literary crew in our office. It is getting very crowded in there. Can you identify this one? Hint: she is also a New Zealand writer and joins her fellow literati Ngaio Marsh, David Ballantyne, and yesterday's Maurice Gee (correctly identified by several people but most speedily by Tony Eyre who wins again).

Actually, we are hoping that this mystery photo guessing competition has sparked a desire to read more New Zealand literature and to try out a few authors you may not have come across before. Make sure you ask for the NZ fiction section when you come in to the shop and feel free to ask the friendly helpful staff for their own recommendations and favourites.

Getting crowded in the office - 16th May 2018

The latest arrival in the office is another well known New Zealand writer, joining crime writer Ngaio Marsh (identified by Vanda Symon) and author David Ballantyne (correctly named by Tony Eyre). He is pictured here with the two previous mystery portraits

Here's hoping someone can name today's portrait - another prolific writer and author of many famous New Zealand novels. Once he is named by one of our clever customers, you can then peruse a list of his works either in the New Zealand literature section in our shop or on our website. He is another must-read author if you haven't read him yet.

Another office visitor - 15th May 2018

Yesterday's mystery woman was immediately identified as Ngaio Marsh by well known Dunedin author Vanda Symon. And like Ngaio Marsh, she also writes crime fiction, notably the Sam Shephard detective series. If you haven't read any of her books, you should give them a go. Rumour has it that Vanda Symon is also very deserving of congratulations as she has just become Dr Vanda Symon!

Today, the office has another visitor joining Ngaio Marsh. See if you can identify the next mystery man whose photo is attached here.

New visitor to the office - 14th May 2018

New visitor to the office Feast your eyes on this photo and see if you know who the new visitor to our office is. She has taken up residence on the wall looking out of the office door over the large room. She can even spy on you over the top of the closed door.

You've probably read some of her books or seen film adaptations. She was a very prolific writer. Guess who.

A Clockwork Orange - 11th May 2018

A Clockwork Orange Stanley Kubrick's or Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange

If you were listening to National Radio this week, you might have heard an interview wth a very successful New Zealand cheesemaker. While discussing his training and work experience, he mentioned that he had had a spell at a cheesemaker's in Childwickbury, which is the tiny Hertfordshire village where Stanley Kubrick lived. . . . 

. . . . which brings me to today's book: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Many people have seen the film by Stanley Kubrick but not read the book and it is worth reading. Why not pop in to the shop and grab one of the few remaining copies we have in stock - they are usually quite hard to come by and sell very quickly.

It is billed as a dystopian satirical black comedy - but don't let that put you off. It's an unusual and interesting read even though it is now well over 50 years old. 

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - 10th May 2018

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
This is a really great science fiction book by the American writer Philip K Dick. You probably already know that it is the book on which the film Blade Runner was based. If you haven't seen the film or read the book (unlikely, I know), then rush into the shop and buy yourself a copy before you dash off to watch the film.

This is probably Philip K Dick's best known novel but he was a prolific writer and even if you've read this one, there are plenty more to choose from. We have a good selection of science fiction and fantasy in the shop, so come in and browse or have a look on line. 

The King James Bible - 9th May 2018

The King James Bible Alister McGrath
In The Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and how it changed a Nation, a Language and a Culture

The author is well placed to have written this book. He is Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Oxford and has written widely in his field.

Early attempts to translate the bible into English ran into all sorts of problems (as you will discover in this book when you read it).  It could even be dangerous for the translator as he might be seen as a traitor. As a bible in English was accessible to all sorts, it might threaten the position of the church and king. However, demand for a bible in English continued to increase. Some translations were not to the liking of James I and so eventually he authorised his own translation; hence the name of our most common bible.

There were some great errors in the early editions. One such error no doubt created consternation at the time but would not even raise an eyebrow in today's world: "Thou shalt commit adultery."

Take this recommendation: "McGrath's history of the King James Bible’s creation and influence is a worthy tribute to a great work and a joy to read."

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