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Why Italians Love to Talk About Food - 9th Aug 2017

Why Italians Love to Talk About Food Why Italians Love to Talk About Food: A Journey through Italy's Great Regional Cuisines from the Alps to Sicily

When Elena Kostioukovitch first visited Italy, she was struck by the difference in culture, in particular the way Italians talk so passionately about food. 

In this book she visits Italy region by region, detailing the enormous variety of local dishes. But this book isn't just about delicious meals. It delves into the culinary history behind the dishes of each region, when certain ingredients were introduced to Italy and how their use has changed over time. It also gives an insight into the diversity of Italian people and their culture - what makes each region unique and how different people talk about their love of food.

This is certainly worth a read for anyone who loves talking about food as much as Italians do, or anyone interested in Italian culture and history. 

SAVE the HARD TO FIND BOOKSHOP! - 3rd Aug 2017

A historic building and an iconic secondhand bookstore need your help
Before getting to the point, here’s a bit of a preamble…

The bookshop began as a hobby in a garage back in 1983, a real bookstore in 1984,  and found its present home in Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand in 1988. It was founded on my passion and obsession for books of all kinds, and I believe we have created a store with an essence of magic, pleasure and surprise, a repository of learning, knowledge and entertainment. The books in the shop are complemented by the store itself - a several storey nineteenth century chaotic shambles of a timber building with well-worn wooden stairs and original wallpaper still hanging (just) from the walls. It is both a cultural icon and an economic anachronism with a unique bookish atmosphere available to all incomes and tastes.
        Many thousands of customers from around the world have visited as children, supplied themselves as students, and now bring their children to experience the piles of tumbling books and half-hidden treasures. Hundreds more people have worked short or longterm with us over the last 34 years and helped shape the shop as it now is.
       Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction... which is why this email has arrived in your inbox. The landlord hasn’t  maintained the building for the last twenty years and is now signalling a massive rent increase, one we won’t to be able to afford. Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit. Despite working pretty much seven days a week I don’t own properties or have savings or bankable assets. The business has been a labour of love which pays our wages and continues to give a great many people of all ages pleasure, but there are no gold bars buried in the garden (we’ve looked).
     As the only resort i can think of we have come up with a crowdfunding campaign, and we are hoping you can help us by either preferably donating at this secure crowdfunding site…https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/hardtofindbookshop      or if that does not sit well with you, perhaps supporting us by purchasing some books from us online at our website www.hardtofind.co.nz
     Thanks for taking the time to read this letter.  Any help you can give us is greatly appreciated. Please do pass this on to anyone you know who may be interested, particularly any philanthropic millionaires or billionaires.

Regards, Warwick (the helmsman) and the team at Hard to Find Bookshop

The Cloud Garden - 1st Aug 2017

The Cloud Garden The Cloud Garden by Tom Hart Dyke and Paul Winder

This book comes highly recommended by one of our customers. 

It is the story of a botanist named Tom Hart Dyke, whose passion for orchids leads him to travel to places many of us have never heard of. By chance he meets adventurous Paul Winder and together they decide to travel to the notorious Darien Gap.

The Darien Gap is a strip of land between Panama and Colombia. Mostly swampland and jungle, it is a place the Lonely Planet Guide's advice for is 'Don't even think about it!'. Despite hearing many stories of abduction and murder they decide the risk is worth it - Tom for the orchids, Paul for the thrill of the journey.

Tom and Paul certainly get their excitement and adventure, in fact a lot more than they had hoped for. A story of survival, kidnapping, and 'extreme horticulture' this is one armchair travel book that really will have you on the edge of your seat.

Latin - 27th Jul 2017

Latin Latin for All Occasions (Lingua Latina Occasionibus Omnibus)
by Henry Beard

Think you don't need this? Think again! Soon you'll be wondering how you managed without.

Pick up line: Frequentasne hunc locum?
At Customs: Nihil declaro.
Homework not done: Canis meus id comedit.
Excuse for lateness: Horologium manuale meum stitit.
Art exhibition comment: Cum musis deditus non sim, nosco quod amo.
Chat with longsuffering young colleague: Cum tam iuvenis eram quam nunc es ....

You've got the idea now I'm sure. Bore all your friends to death, scare off most strangers, and irritate anyone who actually has studied Latin - just get a copy of this little book.  

English translations below for the unimaginative:
Do you come here often / Nothing to declare / The dog ate it. / My watch stopped /
I don't know much about art but I know what I like. / When I was your age ......


Short stories - 26th Jul 2017

For anyone thinking of attending the Dan Davin Short Story Conference in Invercargill next month, reading a few New Zealand short stories would be a good way to get into the mood.

I have started with a volume of Phillip Wilson's short stories called South Pacific Street. I chose it for three reasons. Firstly, the book contains twelve stories, each with diverse writing style and distinct flavour and content. Secondly, one of Phillip Wilson's daughters is giving a paper on his short stories so reading these should serve as a bit of preparation. And furthermore, Phillip Wilson's other daughter is one of the keynote speakers.

However, you could choose from any number of other talented NZ short story writers: try Elizabeth Smither, Fiona Kidman, Patricia Grace, Catherine Chidgee, Bill Manhire to name but a few. Pop into the shop or look at the online stock.

Dan Davin Short Story Conference - 24th Jul 2017

From 1st to 3rd September in Invercargill:
The New Zealand Short Story 'its traditions & departures'

An opportunity to celebrate Southland-born author Dan Davin as one of the fathers of the modern New Zealand short story, and the development of the New Zealand short story to today. 

Some of New Zealand’s foremost writers including Owen Marshall, Fiona Kidman and Tracey Slaughter will attend. Janet Wilson will be a keynote speaker. It will be the first conference for many years devoted entirely to the short story and its place in New Zealand literature.

Follow this link for more information, programme, registration etc http://www.dandavin.org.nz/dan-davin-conference-2017.html

Walk around Dunedin - 21st Jul 2017

Walk around Dunedin Buildings of Dunedin: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to New Zealand's Victorian City
by Hardwicke Knight & Niel Wales

You can't possibly be thinking of walking around Dunedin today BUT when the weather improves you could get hold of a copy of this fantastic little book and wander around the city looking at all the buildings (not just the Victorian ones either).

Dunedin hasn't lost quite as many of its heritage buildings as some other cities in New Zealand (although it has still allowed far too many to go) so it is considered by some to be of national architectural importance.

You couldn't fail to enjoy dipping into this book for information and the pleasure can only be enhanced if you combine it with actually wandering the streets and looking at the actual houses themselves. Come in and get a copy.


Lovely old pubs - 20th Jul 2017

Lovely old pubs Pubs o' the South: A Collection of Paintings and Drawings of the Public Houses of Otago, Dunedin, Central Otago, Southland & Invercargill
by John Husband

I'm quite partial to pubs, particularly old ones. I not only like sitting in them with a drink but I also like looking at them. This book contains lovely pencil drawings of many of the famous old pubs around the South.

Among the extant, you'll find the Carey's Bay Hotel, the Cardrona Hotel, The Albion at Luggate, The Vulcan, Oturehua Tavern and many more. Among the sadly-no-more are Chicks Hotel, Lumsden's Royal Mail Hotel, The Railway Hotel at Ida Valley, The Empire and, again, many many more.

This is a lovely book to flick through and, as well as the drawings, there is a one-page history of each pub, and often the story of its sad demise. Apart from that, you could easily use it as a guide to the South of the South Island and plan your travel route to see as many of these as you can.

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