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Allen Ginsberg - 22nd Feb 2017

The Book of Martyrdom & Artifice: First Journals and Poems 1937-1952
Allen Ginsberg / Juanita Lieberman Plimpton & Bill Morgan (Eds)

Allen Ginsberg kept a diary his entire life starting at the age of eleven. The most important and formative years of his life are covered in these early journals. Ginsberg insisted that they not be published during his lifetime because of their candour.

Some were written during the years he formed friendships with the likes of Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and William S Burroughs, widely known as the Beat Generation. They cover tragedies, murders, burglary, psychiatric hospital admission, broken hearts and his struggle to fit in a heterosexual world.

Get yourself a copy of these journals of Allen Ginsberg - you won't regret it. Also in the same volume are 50 previously unpublished poems and some rare photographs: 

How Love Works - 21st Feb 2017

How Love Works Me in You and You in Me: How Love Works
by Portia Nelson

This book calls itself a warm, wise and funny guide. It purportedly explains in a simple and concise way how life works.

Here's a taster:
It's a dreary day...
Let's just stay inside. 
We can pretend that 
Kisses are brushes
and that we are
each other's canvases.

Come in and get a copy and find out what it's all about. Alternatively, if this isn't your sort of thing, just get a good book, go home, relax and spend the evening reading.

Myths - 18th Feb 2017

Myth New Zealand
by Justin Brown

Do we really have a Number 8 wire mentality - and if so, what do we use it for?
Whatever happened to the 'good keen man'?
Where is the new generation of Burt Munroes?
Why can't you find pavlova in restaurants if it is the national dish?
Is it still a great place to bring up kids?

All these questions and many more are addressed in this lighhearted look at some popular Kiwi myths.

Whether you're a Kiwi or not, this is an interesting and thought-provoking look at modern New Zealand and if you enjoy it, Justin Brown has written many more books you might like to look at.

Physics and Super Heroes - 17th Feb 2017

Physics and Super Heroes The Physics of Super Heroes

James  Kakalios, who wrote the above book, is a professor of physics at the University of Minnesota. He wrote the book because of the popularity of his seminar titled "Everything I Know about Physics I Learned by Reading Comic Books". 

If superheroes stepped out of the comic, could they work their wonders in a world constrained by the laws of physics?
How strong would Superman have to be to leap tall buildings in one bound?
Could Storm of the X-Men control the weather?

James Kakalios provides brilliant explanations while introducing both classical and cutting-edge concepts in physics, including what Superman's strength can tell us about the Newtonian physics of force, mass, and acceleration; what villains like Electro and Magneto tell us about electricity and magnetism; how Iceman's powers show the principles of thermal dynamics; what the Human Top can tell us about angular momentum.... and more!

His love of both comics and physics shines through and makes this a must-read.

Tea and coffee - 15th Feb 2017

By Joel, David, & Karl Schapira The Book of Coffee and Tea
by Joel Schapira, David Schapira and Karl Schapira

This might be the only book coffee and tea lovers need. It tells you everything you need to know including how to

  • distinguish between varieties of coffee
  • choose the best method of brewing
  • make the perfect cup of coffee at the ideal temperature
  • recognize all the myriad types of tea
  • blend and prepare your own teas
  • appreciate quality and freshness
  • find the best coffee, tea, equipment & accessories
This is a thorough and comprehensive reference on the subject of tea and coffee and is packed with lore, tradition and expert information.

Flood - 14th Feb 2017

Massive hail storm hit Dunedin yesterday as you will all know. As a result, we had flooding and water damage in several parts of the shop. Worst hit was the music room which is now waterlogged and will take some time to dry out. But the office and the internet stock did not escape entirely unscathed.

Look at these pictures and weep!

Golf and Humour - 11th Feb 2017

Golf and Humour The Art of Coarse Golf
by Michael Green and drawings by John Jensen

"Most of us have no holes-in-one or abatrosses to dream over, merely memories involving .... the humiliating crash of breaking glass that follows the use of a three-wood off the fairway."

This is a must for every golfer or would-be golfer but can also be enjoyed by the non-golfer. The book is entertaining and amusing and is packed full of anecdotes and "advice" on how to manage at golf. It is accompanied by John Jensen's lovely illustrations which perfectly complement the text.

There are lots of other books in this humorous series: The Art of Coarse Cricket, The Art of Coarse Drinking, The Art of Coarse Rugby, The Art of Coarse Acting, The Art of Coarse Sailing and more. It is worth looking to see if Mr Green has written one about your favourite pastime. You will be charmed while you read and then it will double up as a gift for a like-minded friend.

Wood engravings - 10th Feb 2017

Lines of Light: The Wood Engravings of Campbell Smith
by Ann McEwan

Campbell Smith is a New Zealand artist who was born in Masterton in 1925. He was a huge admirer of the Englishman Thomas Bewick, who is considered the 'father' of wood engraving, and this led eventually to his own fascination with the medium.

"Wood engraving, with its black and white image, is something close to music. It is a form of art which invites the engraver to make a statement: for me, that is about life and living in this country, New Zealand."

Ann McEwan's lovely book showcases Campbell Smith's art, which itself demonstrates his love of his native country and his feel for rural New Zealand. You cannot fail to be charmed by this book and converted (if you are not already a fan) to this simple, direct and intimate art form.

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