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New Zealand from a different perspective - 30th Dec 2016

Dunnies, longdrops, outhouses, loos, bogs, 

If you're not familiar with the above words, you need to know that they are good kiwi words for the toilet or the WC or the lavatory (or whatever you call it where you come from) when it is rough and ready and mainly outside.

And if it isn't odd enough that we have such a plethora of words for what is effectively a hole in the ground, then odder still must be the fact that people have actually written books on the subject. I'm including just two here but there are more!

The Dunny Door ... and some more: A Celebration of Kiwi Loos, Longdrops and Little Houses
By Kevyn Male

North Island Back Country Dunnies: A Guide to Comfort Stops in the Bush
by Hans Willems

These are an affectionate but informative and amusing look at what is an essential facility. They come in all shapes and sizes and are made from all sorts of materials. They can be sited in the most unexpected, unusual or unlikely places and they can sometimes enhance and other times disgrace our great New Zealand outdoors.

Get a different perspective on tourism in New Zealand and entertain yourself into the bargain. Great photography and quite amusing.


A bit of ancient history - 29th Dec 2016

A bit of ancient history Raphael Patai
The Children of Noah: Jewish Seafaring in Ancient Times

This is a recreation of Jewish seafaring from Noah's voyage through to the Diaspora of late antiquity. Patai's book covers Biblical stories, Talmudic lore, and Midrash literature to shine a light on the world of these ancient mariners.

It is probably the most in depth book on this subject and it demonstrates the importance of the sea in early Jewish history. Patai begins with the flood in Genesis and profiles Noah, the earliest shipbuilder & seafarer. He also highlights the difficulty of adherence to Judaism and rabbinical laws which must have faced all those early Jews who set sail on the high seas.

This is a very careful study of a long neglected area of Jewish history and culture. It will also send you off in myriad other directions for further study.

Tractors Galore - 28th Dec 2016

The World Encyclopedia of Tractors and Farm Machinery
by John Carroll

In this book the author charts the history & development of the tractor and its manufacturers starting with the early days of the J.I Case Threshing Machine Company and its experimental gasoline tractor of 1892. He brings his history right up to date with the many state-of-the art machines now on the market.

Every piece of machinery is illustrated with either full colour photographs or with archive material for the older machines. 

The text is informative and includes technical specifications and detailed mechanical profiles for machinery from all around the world.

This would be a great gift for any vintage vehicle enthusiast and for that tractor-mad enthusiast you surely know.  If you are lucky enough to know someone who fits both descriptions, come on in to the shop and pick up a copy.

New Physics - 27th Dec 2016

New Physics Gary Zukav's The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics

Quantum mechanics. Relativity. Particle physics. Bell's theorum. Einstein. Max Planck. Niels Bohr. Heisenberg. Paul Dirac. Richard Feynman. Quasars. Quarks.

If the preceding words strike terror into your heart and paralysis into your brain, then you need to nip into the shop and pick up a copy of Zukav's book. It is a very, very good book for the interested layman. In it, Zukav attempts to get those without a scientific mind (me for one) to understand theoretical physics.

Despite the title, the book is not about eastern philosophies. It is about quantum physics and relativity. If your reaction up to now has been to pull up the metaphorical drawbridge & slam the door whenever you hear the word physics, this will change your mind. It is enjoyable and informative and will help those without mathematical or technical knowledge to understand modern science.

This book has been likened to reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by one critic. Why not give it a go? It might change your life forever.

As Albert Einstein said, "Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone."


A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols - 24th Dec 2016

Season's Greetings from all of us at Hard to Find Books.

Last minute purchase to round off your celebrations and fill someone's stocking:

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies: A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols
Christopher MOore, Michael P Spradlin, & Jeff Weigel (illus)

Please sing along to the tune of "We Three Kings"

We three spleens, you know where we are;
Two in the kitchen and one in the car.
We are still eating, people are fleeing.
Let's eat the one in the car.

O-ooh, spleens of wonder, they taste right.
We could eat spleens all day and night.
We're still eating, people screaming.
Let's eat until first light.

Season's Greetings


Overreating? Overindulging? Giving in to temptation? - 22nd Dec 2016

Overreating? Overindulging? Giving in to temptation? If you answered yes to any of the above questions (and who doesn't at this time of year?) then we have the book that will bring you back from the brink.

Weight Loss for Food Lovers:
Understanding our Minds and Why We Sabotage our Weight Loss

by Dr George Blair-West

If you have tried to lose weight and failed, read this book before you try again. It will not only save you money (only $10.00 for a brand new copy) but it will probably save your sanity as well.

This is not a diet book. It doesn't offer menus or calorie charts or exercise regimes. It won't offer quick weight loss followed by immediate weight gain (plus some). It won't even tell you what NOT to eat. That is what this book doesn't do.

What Dr Blair-West does is explain why most diets fail people (rather than the other way round). And you may not be surprised to read that he states the main reasons for failing are a genuine love of food, a rebellion against excessive deprivation, and the fact that there are actually benefits to being overweight. In other words, sometimes dieters actually sabotage their own weight loss plans.

This is a novel approach. Buy yourself a copy so you can get started straight after the festive season excesses are over and done with. 

Jackie Gleason: The second week of a diet is always easier than the first: by the second week, you're off it.

A Must for the Races - 21st Dec 2016

A Must for the Races Going to the races at New Year? This is the book you need before you go:-

Watching Racehorses: A Guide to Betting on Behaviour by Geoffrey Hutson

This is a book for all racegoers.  Wether you are a regular punter, an owner, a trainer, a horselover or a once-a-year wild-day-out-at-the-races partygoer, you need a copy of this book.

It describes how to pick winners based on observations in the mounting yard. Geoffrey Hutson started out with dismal failure (he only picked losers) and from that experience and thousands and thousands of hours of observation, he developed and perfected methods for picking winners. His analysis concentrates on the behaviour patterns of horses and how the behaviour influences performance.

Once you've read this book and its guide to betting,going to the races will never be the same again. Pop into the shop and get a copy so that your next visit to Wingatui produces fistfuls of winnings. At only NZ$10.00 per copy for a brand new book, you really can't go wrong. Bet on a sure thing!

The Book of Wooden Boats - 20th Dec 2016

Irresistable - beautiful wooden boats
Photography by Benjamin Mendlowitz & text by Maynard Bray
The Book of Wooden Boats in two volumes

These two beautiful books combine some marine history with marine photography which is an irresistable combination for anyone who likes beautiful old wooden boats - and who doesn't?

This is a celebration of traditional wooden boats, including sailboats, powerboats, working boats, open boats and yachts - and all built in wood (of course).

I think you will enjoy many a happy hour looking through this book whether you are a sailor, a boatbuilder, a boat renovator, a professional or just an interested landlubber. As one of the latter, I can honestly say that I could dream a weekend away just looking at these photographs. Get yourself a copy or buy one for any keen sailor you know. They are a must.

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