Hard To Find Books

Search For Hard To Find Books

Advanced Search

Hold Tight Please! - 16th Mar 2018

Don McAra's
Hold Very Tight Please! The Cable Cars of New Zealand

Cable cars used to run up and down the streets of Dunedin in the good old days and for many people they are gone but not forgotten.

This lovely book of Don McAra's paintings brings alive those old cable cars and the days when the streets were thronging with them. This isn't just of interest to transport enthusiasts; it will appeal to anyone who remembers this vanished but much loved passenger system. 

You can see why the cable car was king when you peruse this book.


The Best of Whim Wham - 15th Mar 2018

The Best of Whim Wham Whim Wham was the pen-name of Allen Curnow when he wrote in the New Zealand Herald, the CHristchurch Press etc. Here's a taster from the time of the infamous under-arm bowling incident.

Sir, let's be grateful for the Game of Cricket
And I'll tell you why.
Could anything Else make our Rob and their Mal
See eye to eye?
Though I imagine our Ocker opposite number
Wouldn't care much
For the Muldoon idiom, and especially 
That 'yellow' touch.
Still, you can't say they didn't both step out
of the political role,
On the issue of a bowler and a ball his brother
Told him to bowl.
Now the fingers have been wagged and the breasts beaten, 
And the matches won,
We can laugh up our cynical sleeves, I suppose,
About what's been done -
And the old hands of cricket will grieve for 
The game that's past -
White the Tee-vee sponsors and Mr Packer have
The laugh that's last.
And the PMs can get back to the serious business
Of arguing out relations
(in the spirit of the game, of course) between
Our two great nations,
And I have this odd thought, however they play,
It's obvious that neither
Can say some government policy 'isn't cricket' -
Cricket isn't either!

THis is a very entertaining way to study history.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - 14th Mar 2018

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was written by Mary Ann Shaffer. Annie Barrows did the rewrites and editing for her and so she is listed as a co-author.

If you haven't read this book yet, now is a good time to grab a copy. If you (like me) read it when it first came out about 8 years ago, now is a good time to re-read it. I can't remember much about it other than that I enjoyed it.

We are suggesting reading it because the film version of the book is about to be released. I have never heard of any of the actors or actresses in the film but that doesn't mean they're not well known (just that I'm not up with the times). The film is a British historical drama directed by Mike Newell and it stars Lily James, Michiel Huisman, Jessica Findlay, Matthew Goode and Katherine Parkinson. If you nodded through that list knowingly, lots of points to you for being more trendy than me.

Anyway, read the book before you see the film!


A Back Country Miscellany - 12th Mar 2018

A Back Country Miscellany Brian Turner
Into the Wider World: A Back Country Miscellany

What he says under his breath when someone says he's been wasting his time, "You Calvinist cretin, you dreary, self-opinionated, unworldly twat." and he opines, "They do not mean that I have been doing nothing.....They mean that I have been doing things they are not interested in."

Brian Turner is a keen fisherman (which is what I think he had been doing when accused as above), hunter, cyclist, climber and conservationist as well as being a respected and well known author and poet. This is a book to cherish and dip into again and again. It features beautiful photography by Grahame Sydney and Gilbert van Reenan and a fascinating selection of essays and poetry about the back country.

"..you have to accept that millions of sandflies are intent on unceasing intimate relations with any and every piece of you that you are foolish enough to bare."


Ngai Tahu - 9th Mar 2018

Ngai Tahu Rawiri Te Maire Tau
Nga Pikituroa o Ngai Tahu / The Oral Traditions of Ngai Tahu

In this book, Tau examines the waiata, karakia, whakapapa (songs, chants & genealogies, for those who don't know), myths, rituals, traditions and place names of Ngai Tahu. He addresses the question of what is myth and what history. He looks at the differences between the traditions and beliefs of Ngai Tahu and other tribes.

Ths is not meant to be a history of Ngai Tahu; rather it is a fascinating investigation into how, why and by whom the tribe's traditions were formed and how much the oral traditions can tell us about Ngai Tahu's past.

Chinese Poetry - 8th Mar 2018

Chinese Poetry Translations from the Chinese
by Arthur Waley & Illustrated by Cyrus Le Roy Baldridge

Chinese traditional poetry has a strict form: a fixed number of syllables per line and rhyming is obligatory.

By Yang-ti (AD 605-617), Emperor of the Sui dynasty
WInter Night

My bed is so empty that I keep on waking up;
As the cold increases, the night-wind begins to blow,
It rustles the curtains, making a noise like the sea:
Oh that those were waves which could carry me back to you!

Science - 7th Mar 2018

Science Roger Penrose's
The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe

As you might guess from the title, this is a comprehensive account of the physical universe and its underlying mathematical theory. You apparently need no special scientific or mathematical knowledge to read it! I am not convinced.

I glanced inside at the index and caught sight of complex-number calculus, Fourier hyperfunctions, manifolds of n dimensions, fibre bundles, Minkowskian geometry, Lagrangian formalism, quantum field theory, supra-dimensionality, and Schrodinger-Newton states. At that point I was pretty convinced that you needed slightly more knowledge of science and maths than I posses. I gave it one more chance and opened the book at random. The equations that confronted me cemented my first impression.

YOu are no doubt more au fait with maths and science than I am. Come on in and get a copy. The book has had superb reviews and, by all accounts, Penrose conveys a feeling for the deep beauty and philosophical implications of our universe. Maybe you can explain it all to me!

Jean-Paul Sartre - 5th Mar 2018

Jean-Paul Sartre Words
by Jean-Paul Sartre

I am not even going to try and write about the above book as the blurb on the back says it far better than I ever could. I shall plagiarise.
"Reminiscences of a precocious childhood spent within the confines of French provincialism before the First World War. After his father's early death, Sartre was brought up at his grandfather's home in a world even then 80 years out of date. In Words he recalls his illusion-ridden childhood - dominated by a false conception of life, ideas and literature - and considers its effect on his work. Essential background to the philosophy of one of the world's profoundest thinkers, this self-analysis is also a brilliant study in child psychology and a witty, lucid story that will delight all those who have previously found Sartre over-complex."{

site powered by - Turboweb :: Simple Web Manager