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Shakespeare scholars & fans - 6th Oct 2017

Shakespeare scholars & fans Richard Paul Roe's
The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels

Sir Derek Jacobi said this book is "exciting, original and convincing" and another reviewer said it was "part thrilling detective story and part sober scholarly treatise".

The author used Shakespeare's plays Romeo & Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado about Nothing, The Tempest etc (all the 'Italian' plays) and tried to determine the exact location of nearly every scene. This book is the result of 20 years of travel around Italy and much painstaking analysis. It will apparently change the way we read Shakespeare and alter our opinion of who he really was.

The above is just one example of a whole load of books on Shakespeare that we have recently bought. Here are a few more to whet your appetite: How Shakespeare changed everything; Shakespeare's Insults; Gender in Play on the Shakespearean Stage; Bardisms; and Bill Bryson's Shakespeare.

Food lovely food - 5th Oct 2017

Lunch: pancetta, mozzarella and balsamic sandwiches with string chips

Dinner: crab bruschetta and parmesan twists to start followed by salmon with lemon-cream sauce, and then raspberry ripple semifreddo for dessert

That's making me hungry so how about spinach ravioli with basil oil, or baked haloumi with cherry tomato tarte tatin, or miso salmon with sesame aioli and a nice crunchy green salad?

If any of that sounds good to you, get a copy of one of Donna Hay's cookbooks such as
Donna Hay: Seasons: The Best of Donna Hay Magazine

Or any one of the many lovely books in our cookery section. Come in and have a look.

Agatha Christie fans - 4th Oct 2017

In the Footsteps of Agatha Christie
by Francois Riviere and photography by Jean Bernard Naudin

This book is a must for all Agatha Christie aficionados.  It starts off with her Torquay childhood and moves on to her time working as a volunteer nurse there in World War One, which is where her fascination with poisons came from. The book then traces Christie's life through the places she lived and where her stories were set. 

Visit Devon, which is the setting for many of her stories. Have a sojourn on Burgh Island, the setting for Ten Little Niggers or stop off in Nether Wallop and Middle Wallop where the Miss Marple series was filmed. 

It's not only a really beautiful, lavishlly illustrated volume, it is also an interesting approach to the biography of a much loved crime writer.

An un-put-down-able New Zealand novel - 3rd Oct 2017

An un-put-down-able New Zealand novel Sue Younger's
Days are Like Grass; A Novel

This is a novel about the wounds a family can make; about a woman caught between the past and the present and about her need to keep everybody safe. Especially herself

A beautiful New Zealand summer. An ugly past that won't stay buried. Paediatric surgeon Claire Bowerman has returned to Auckland from London. She loves her job repairing her small patients' wounds; tragically, wounds sometimes made by the children's own families. Her partner wants to marry Claire. He thinks New Zealand is the safest place on earth, worlds away from the violence he knew growing up. But Claire's daughter is full of questions about their past. When a family refuses medical treatment for their boy, Claire's story is in the headlines again. (Copied that from the blurb on the back of the book)

This should be a good read so I'm taking a copy home for the weekend hoping for some sun and some reading time in between the gardening tasks!

Curious English expressions - 2nd Oct 2017

Curious English expressions Why do we go Dutch? Why does someone kick the bucket? Who let the cat out of the bag? Why do you have a gut feeling? Why will you go come hell or high water? What do you butter someone up with? Why is it a seven-year itch? 

If you've ever wondered about any of the above phrases, then this is the book for you:
The Guinness Book of Curious Phrases
by Leslie Dunkling

You can find out how and when approximately 2000 expressions came into use and what their original meaning was (which in many cases was totally different). It is full of intriguing information and fascinating quotes. 

So why not indulge in a little bone idleness while you peruse this book and learn a few facts by heart so you can take a leaf out of someone's book at the next do you attend!

Opinionated Kiwis - 29th Sep 2017

Grumpy Old Men and/or Stroppy Old Women
47 Kiwi Blokes and/or 52 Kiwi Women, who have been around long enough to know, Tell You What is Wrong with the World

There is a great selection of famous men and women in these books - Tau Henare, Ruth Pretty, Kevin Ireland, Sue Kedgley, Martin Phillipps, Karen Soich, Brian Turner, Judith Ablett-Kerr, Roger Hall, Anne Kennedy, Sam Neill, Ans Westra - to name but a few. Not only are they all in these books along with lots more famous New Zealanders but they are definitely not shy of describing what drives them to distraction - in amusing detail!

Topics covered run the gamut from words and manners to architecture, Christmas, news, economists, and everything in between. Some pieces are serious and some trivial but they are all entertaining and worth reading. These books are irresistible and the only possible complaint is that they come to an end too soon - we could have done with 147 or 152 grumpy old men and women.

Olives - 28th Sep 2017

Olives Olives: cooking with them; selecting the appropriate cultivar, planting the trees, managing pests; dealing with disease; pruning and thinning; harvesting; and pressing.

The olive has become a very popular crop in New Zealand over the last few years and lots of new olive groves are being planted every day. There is a lot more to starting your own olive grove than just shoving a few plants in the ground.

The Olive Book
by Gareth Renowden

This will tell you everything you need to know about growing olives and managing your trees, whether you have a commercial orchard or a few trees in your back garden. Furthermore, it is specifically written for Australian and New Zealand conditions. Grab a copy and get your first trees into the ground. You'll be dipping bread into your very own oil before you know it. 

Antarctic - 27th Sep 2017

Antarctic The Antarctic from the Circle to the Pole
Photography by Stuart D Klipper
Essays by Stephen Pyne and William Fox

For many people, and for very good reason, the Antarctic continent is an endless source of fascination. In this lovely book, the photography of Stuart Klipper presents the majestic Antarctic in all its glory. His photographs mainly attempt to capture the breathtaking scenery and wildlfe but he also includes some intriguing (or depressing?) images of man's presence there in the way of solitary flags, frozen ships, tyre tracks through the snow and isolated tents.

As well as the stunning photos, there are also two essays: Mirror from An Other World by William L Fox and Beyond the Barrier: Ice into Art by Stephen J Pyne. There is also an interesting introduction by Guy Guthridge concentrating on what we have learned about the Antarctic since the 1950s.

This is a must for lovers of the Antarctic or for photographers or natural history buffs.l


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