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Istanbul - 14th Jun 2017

Istanbul Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities
by Bettany Hughes

This book is a biography of what used to be called Byzantium, then Constantinople and now Istanbul. It is a historical journey through the many incarnations of one of the world's greatest cities. It is peopled by emperors, viziers, caliphs, and sultans along with the hundreds of thousands of nameless men and women who have continuously populated Istanbul for so many centuries.

As the gateway between East, West, North and South, it has served as the capital of the Late Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires. It has been visited by fire, siege, battle, invader, conqueror, friend, foe, crusader, plague, war and just about every religion under the sun. Its culture, art, architecture and history is beyond compare.

Bettany Hughes takes the reader on a dazzling journey filled with history, colour, imagination, life and romance through the many incarnations of this amazing city. 


Quotations - 12th Jun 2017

Quotations Guess who:
I hate housework. You make the beds, you do the dishes, and six months later, you have to start all over again.

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

- Is your husband religious?
- Oh yes. He thinks he's God Almighty.

Wagner has some wonderful moments but awful quarter-hours.

A classic is a book that everybody is assumed to have read and often think they have.

If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing.

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

You need The Funniest Thing You Never Said: The Ultimate Collection of Humorous Quotations by Rosemarie Jarski (ed)

Answers: Joan Rivers / Mark Twain / Mrs David Frost / Rossini / Alan Bennett /
Philip Larkin / Douglas Adams

Short Stories - 9th Jun 2017

Everyone loves short stories, especially good ones! And because everyone does, we have a dedicated short-story section which is easy and pleasant to browse. As well as the books in the shop, we also have a huge selection of short story collections in our on-line stock.

For a long time, the short story was a rather badly treated poor relation and was not given the attention or acclaim it deserved. However, for some time now, it has been recognised as a valuable genre in its own right and has many enthusiastic and critical supporters. If you are not yet one of the fans, now is a good time to give it a go. For a start, it is nowhere near as daunting as deciding to read all the Russian greats or Proust's Remembrance of Things Past!

You could start off from a nationality point of view with collections of French, German, Latin American, New Zealand or Nigerian short stories or you could try a selection of a particular author such as Somerset Maugham or Owen Marshall. It doesn't matter where or how you start, just that you do. Maybe I am preaching to the converted!

New Zealand aviation history - 8th Jun 2017

In 1940, Air New Zealand route mileage was 1343 (Auckland-Sydney) and the first year's passengers totalled 1461. Thirty years later in 1970, the route mileage was 42,659 and passengers were nearing the 300,000 mark. 

That first scheduled flight was by S30 Empire Class flying-boat from Auckland's Waitemata Harbour to Sydney's Rose Bay and took nine hours. The flying-boat was called "Aotearoa" and, although a commercial flight, could only accommodate 19 passengers. 

All this fascinating information, and much much more, can be found in a book called
Air New Zealand's First 30 Years: Tiga Puloh Tauri which was published in 1970 to mark Air New Zealand's 30th anniversary.

A small oblong quarto volume of blue heavy card boards with turquoise, white & gilt lettering to the front board, it is thoroughly illustrated, packed with information, and very difficult to get hold of.

Eminent Outlaws - 7th Jun 2017

Eminent Outlaws Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, James Baldwin, Christopher Isherwood, 
Allen Ginsberg, Edward Albee, Edmund White, Armistead Maupin, Marty Crowley et al: what do they have in common? Just have a look at the title of Christopher Bram's book Eminent Outlaws:The Gay Writers who Changed America and you will have the answer.

This book chronicles fifty years of change in the USA, from the civil rights movement to AIDS and beyond, by "weaving the writers' lives, ambitions, affairs, feuds, and loves" into a narrative which provides a very different approach to 20th Century America. 

These gay writers, who are major cultural figures and whose names are known to all, were very influential with their novels, poetry, and plays. Christopher Bram writes a fascinating combination of cultural history, literary criticism and biographical detail which brings not only the period but also the writers alive. This history of gay writing and gay writers is not to be missed.

The Science of Harry Potter - 6th Jun 2017

The Science of Harry Potter Is travel by broomstick or portkey possible? Could a creature resembling a Hinkypunk or a three headed dog really exist? Why are witches and wizards depicted wearing pointy hats?

The Science of Harry Potter: How Magic Really Works by Roger Highfield delves into the magical world of Harry Potter and answers these questions and many more. JK Rowling's world may not be as far-fetched as it sounds - with science we are well on our way to creating an invisibility cloak or even a hat capable of reading thoughts.

Covering potions, spells, transport, beasts, curses and much more, this book shows how magical modern science and technology can be and may give comfort to those still hoping their Hogwarts acceptance letter just got lost mid-flight.

Commando Comics - 5th Jun 2017

Commando Comics Like old soldiers, old comics never die! so revisit your past:

The Dirty Dozen: The Best 12 Commando Comic Books Ever!
Edited by George Low, Commando Editor

Inland Navy, Riley's Rifle, Aces Wild, The Ship-Busters
Mustang Patrol, Death Patrol, Glider Ace, Trouble Spot
Battle Wagon, Three Two One Zero, March of the Monsters, Man of Iron

Here is Commando's ultimate collection of Second World War stories. These 12 were selected by George Low, who said it was no easy task to choose the "best" for this collection as there had been so many good stories and so much great artwork since 1961. He writes in his introduction that perhaps you'll find an old favourite you've all but forgotten or recognise a certain artist's style that you particularly admired.

Revive your comic-book battle lust: "Donner und Blitzen" "Gott im Himmel" "Achtung" "Englischer Schweinhund" "Aaaaaargghhh!"

Tennyson - 2nd Jun 2017

Tennyson's Works
This is a really beautiful volume of the poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson. The book was published in 1911 by Macmillan & Co and is a small octavo with lovely polished navy blue leather boards. There is gilt decorative rule to the board edges and to the spine. The title is in gilt lettering inside a red panel between the five raised bands to the spine. The page edges are marbled as are the eps and there is dentelle to the board fore-edges. Inside, there is a frontispiece portrait of Tennyson with tissue guard.

You couldn't ask for a nicer volume to hold while you read through The Lady of Shalott or peruse Enoch Arden or memorise Morte d'Arthur. 

Break, break, break,
On they cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

Break, break, break, 
At teh foot of they crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
will never come back to me.

(Apologies for missing two verses)


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