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MUSIC - 31st Jan 2017

MUSIC The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature
by Daniel Levitin

Daniel Levitin is now a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience but has also been a session musician, sound engineer and record producer. This little introduction will go some way to explaining his fascination with music and human nature.

In this book Levitin blends art and science in describing how music has played a pivotal role in the creation of society. He addresses the role of music in the evolution of language, thought and culture. 

He covers every kind of music from Bach to Beatles, rock to reggae and Mozart to marimba (via Matinee Idle, of course). If you have any interest in music at all, this is a fascinating read.

Winnie the Pooh - 30th Jan 2017

A first edition of AA Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh with illustrations by Ernest H Shepard

This beautiful first edition of AA Milne's classic children's book was published by Methuen & Co in 1926. The famous illustrations by Ernest Shepard are familiar to nearly everyone and deservedly much admired.

This edition has lovely dark green fine cloth boards with an appealing gilt motif of Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin on the front. The upper page edges are gilt too. The front & rear eps are illustrated with a map of the area where Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Pooh, Kanga, the Heffalumps and Christopher Robin live.

This book isn't cheap but how often do you get the chance to buy a first edition of such a classic? 

The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum - 28th Jan 2017

The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum Richard Fortey was a senior palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. In his book Dry Store Room No. 1 he takes us on a tour of the collection of fascinating specimens held there.
It is filled with stories of the interesting characters who worked in the museum, ground breaking and strange discoveries, and, of course, enough natural history to entertain and educate both science enthusiasts and casual readers.

If your wallet isn't quite up to travelling all the way to London to see the marvellous museum in the flesh (or should I say bone?), then we think this great $10 book is a fantastic compromise!

Imaginary places - 27th Jan 2017

I'm not sure you can live without a copy of this classic reference work of imaginary places, enchanted worlds, lands of horror, and realms of delight. Le Figaro reviewed it as "The best possible guide to the geography of the imagination". 

Cast your mind back over your reading life and you will find that it is populated by an astonishing diversity of imaginary places: think Atlantis, Middle Earth, Moominland, the Snow Queen's Castle, El Dorado, Erewhon, Earthsea, Lilliput, Narnia, Cyclop's Island or Bluebeard's Castle.

This wonderful resource takes you on a tour of over 1200 imaginary cities, islands, countries & continents invented by writers from Homer's day to the present and illustrated with lovely maps and drawings. Whether you are an avid reader, a fantasy fan, or an inveterate browser, this is a must have: a tour de force of literary imagination.

The Dictionary of Imaginary Places
by Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi

Andy Warhol - 26th Jan 2017

Andy Warhol The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

Reading the autobiography of Andy Warhol and finding out more about this world famous artist seemed like a good idea. Someone whose images are so instantly recognisable by a huge percentage of the world, and not just the art world, must merit closer acquaintance, or so I reasoned.

The book was published in 1975 and deals with his fame in the 1960s and 1970s as well as his childhood. Andy Warhol discusses food, beauty, sex, love, fame, work, money, New York and, of course, himself. He seems to honestly describe both good and bad times in his life. Sadly he died in 1987 so we will never know how he would have fared in old age and whether he would have changed as most of us do.

It's quite philosophical and quite unusual as a biography. It's worth a read whether you are interested in his art or not.

Wicked & Son of a Witch - 21st Jan 2017

Wicked & Son of a Witch Many people enjoy reading the stories they loved as children again as an adult. But with so many books around and so little time to read them all sometimes it feels as though you should be reading something new rather than rereading old favourites. 

Gregory Maguire's series 'The Wicked Years' may be the answer fans of The Wizard of Oz are looking for - his books are a revision of the story for adults, set in the same world but told from a different point of view - discover why the wicked witch of the west is so wicked and what the private lives of the Tinman and other characters are like.

We have just added the first omnibus edition of Wicked & Son of a Witch our catalogue (the first two books in the series). It looks to be a great read for any fantasy fan wanting to relive a bit of their childhood.

Maori tattooing - 19th Jan 2017

Moko: Maori tattooing in the 20th Century
By Michael King with photography by Marti Friedlander

In 1970, Michael King and Marti Friedlander travelled around New Zealand to find and speak to those who had been tattooed in the traditional manner. They located 71 women who had been given the moko, several whose chisel tattoos dated back to the end of the nineteenth century, and others whose tattoos came from a more recent needle technique.

King & Friedlander interviewed and photographed this unique group of women, all of whom are now long gone. As Michael King wrote, "I salute the kuia moko. I farewell them again with respect as they disappear from our lives, though not from our memories."

This book of photographs illustrates not only the moko itself but also the women who proudly wore it and the environments in which they lived. 


Travel - 18th Jan 2017

Travel Travel or armchair travel; take your pick. We've got what you need in either case.

Today's book is by the world's best known travel writer Paul Theroux and is called
The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific.

Maybe you are planning to travel to one of the stunning Pacific Islands and want to get in the mood before you go. Perhaps you just want to read about them from the comfort of your own home. Or possibly you are currently in New Zealand and feeling a bit deprived as the summer degenerates once again into yet more gale force winds, rain, hail, sleet showers, and single-figure temperatures and you need to read about a tropical paradise or five.

Whatever your reason, this book is a great read. It is eloquently written (as you'd expect) and it is informative, packed with adventure, charming, quirky and bound to make you wish you were there, His travels took him to the Solomons, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Tahiti, the Marquesas and Easter Island so he's got most places covered. 

Come in and check out our travel section for guidebooks etc or our travel writing section for an interesting selection covering most countries around the world.

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