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Worms - 16th Feb 2018

Worms Everyone knows about Charles Darwin and his biological theory of evolution and the survival of the fittest but not everyone knows that Darwin devoted the last years of his life to the study of the earthworm. Why would he do that? Because the humble earthworm has a profound role in the ecosystem. It tills the soil, destroys microscopic organisms which cause plant disease, breaks down toxins and turns waste into rich compost. 

Charles Darwin was not alone in his fascination with the creature. Amy Stewart has written a book called The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms

Reading it is not only an enlightening educational experience but it is also enjoyable and knowing something more about the creatures on which the rise  - and possibly the future -  of civilisation may depend is definitely worthwhile

Death Sentence: The Decay of Public Language - 14th Feb 2018

Death Sentence: The Decay of Public Language "Every day we are confronted with debased, depleted sludge: in the media, in companies, in the public service, from government, at work...... This new public language ....... is a dead language: devoid of lyric or comic possibility and incapable of emotion, complexity or nuance"

If that strikes a chord with you, then you will want to read this book:
Don Watson's Death Sentence: The Decay of Public Language

His book is part diatribe, part reflection on public language and part an attack on those who use these weasel words and thus kill joy, imagination, wit and clarity.

Christchurch earthquake - 13th Feb 2018

Christchurch earthquake Martin Van Beynen
Trapped: Remarkable Stories of Survival from the 2011 Canterbury Earthquake

This book documents the experiences of 30 survivors of the Canterbury earthquake in February 2011 in their own words. 
"I had a very definite feeling of forty-nine years on the planet and felt it was a significant amount of life." David Horsley
"There's no good reason why I'm alive today. By all the odds, I should be dead." Tim Cronshaw
"I just started to laugh because the church was trying to kill me." Sue Spigel
"I thought,'Hell, I'm stuck; I'm going with the building.'" Lyn Reid
"I remember more and more pressure coming on and thinking, I don't know how much more I can take." Ann Brower

A satisfied customer maybe? - 12th Feb 2018

A satisfied customer maybe? We have just received this lovely collage from Di Lewis. She was in the shop a couple of weeks ago and must have been inspired by what she saw. Afterwards, she created this lovely collage and she has generously sent it to us. We are posting on our website and on our Facebook page so you can all enjoy her creativity and so hopefully she can see how grateful we are. Thank you to Di.

New Zealand myths & legends - 9th Feb 2018

New Zealand myths & legends Myths and Legends of Aotearoa
Retold by Annie Rae Te Ake Ake

Fifteen Maori stories are retold in this book by Annie Rae Te Ake Ake. The stories are illustrated by secondary school pupils from all around New Zealand. These timeless tales hold the interest whether you're a first-time reader of the legends or you're reading myths you learnt about as a child to your own children.

Learn about Rangi, Papatuanuku, Tane, Tangaroa, Rongi and many other gods. Fascinating stories whose aim is to strengthen awareness of Maori wisdom and spirit. As Witi Ihimaera said, "If the children of the present are not involved in the telling of the stories of the past, New Zealand will have an incomplete future."

Numismatics - 8th Feb 2018

Numismatics Coins: An Illustrated Survey 650BC to the Present Day
Martin Jessop Price (Ed)

This book was published by Methuen in association with British Museum Publications Ltd and comes in a black slipcase. There are 20 contributing experts who wrote the essays which cover a survey of coins from the time of the Ancient Greeks. The book is lavishly illustrated from the British Museum collections.

It covers the history from before coinage through the Hellenistic kingdoms and the Roman Empire on to Byzantium, Christendom and on to modern coinage and paper money (and all the other bits I have left out).

This is definitely a must-read for any numismatist but it also serves as a thorough introduction to the history for anyone interested (or about to develop an interest) in coins or collecting.


Bonking - 7th Feb 2018

Bonking Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
by Mary Roach

Roach is a science writer with a sense of humour and a topic which is of interest to all. Rather than tell you about this book, I am going to quote from a few reviews, which will give you a much better idea.

"This book is - if not better than the act itself - then a hilarious and entertaining alternative."
AJ Jacobs

"Lucky for us, Mary Roach is a writer impervious to embarrassment."
H Sides

"Mary Roach plunged into the little-known realm of sex research and brought forth an account that is at once revealing - alarmingly so - and very, very funny. She studs her journey with a multitude of knee-crossing bits of fact that will enliven bedtime conversation everywhere."
Erick Larson

New Zealand Jade - 6th Feb 2018

Russell J Beck's
Mana Pounamu: New Zealand Jade

Given that today is Waitangi Day, it seemed appropriate to feature a book about pounamu or jade which has traditionally played a pivotal role in Maori culture. It has always been important in tools, weapons, ornaments, art, and as currency. It has become a national symbol for New Zealand.

This book is a must for anyone interested in New Zealand history. It tells the story of jade, its origins, varieties, its physical properties, and its role in Maori myths and legends. It also deals with methods of carving the beautiful stone. 

This is the revised and updated edition of the book which was first published in 1984.

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