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Kung Fu - 8th Nov 2016

Kung Fu The Wisdom of Kung Fu
by Michael Minick

"Read a few more books and talk a little less."  Chen Chiju

That quote is probably not one you would automatically associate with Kung Fu. If that is the case for you, then you might be interested in reading Michael Minick's book.

It is a comprehensive guide to the ancient art of kung fu, which has been around for over five thousand years. He looks at its history from its start as a simple form of boxing right through to the art it is today.  

What I didn't know is that kung fu is not just a martial art, it is actually a way of life and encompasses self-defence, Chinese medicine, alchemy, weaponry, scholarship and philosophy (hence the gem of a quote at the start).  

The book also contains over 500 sayings embodying the wisdom of kung fu.  They make for very interesting reading and are certainly thought-provoking.  

Come in and get a copy of The Wisdom of Kung Fu or have a look at all the other books we have on eastern philosophies and martial arts and choose something to suit you.

Antarctica - 4th Nov 2016

Call of the Ice: Fifty Years of New Zealand in Antarctica
by David L Harrowfield

With the creation of the world's largest marine reserve just agreed and signed, a book about Antarctica is very topical.

David Harrowfield's book celebrates and commemorates New Zealand's 50 years of involvement in this remote but beautiful continent. He documents the experiences and opinions of the many New Zealanders who have worked there and highlights their impressive contributions.

For the many of us who have never been to the Antarctic (and are never likely to go) this book gives a rare insight into life in one of the most unforgiving and challenging environments in the world.


LITERARY DOG OWNERS Doggerel: Poems about Dogs

This is the book for all those people in your life who love dogs and love poetry - I just hope we've got enough copies to cover the huge demand there will be from that demographic. You had best get in quick so your family and friends don't miss out!

From William Cowper to Thomas Hardy and from Edward Lear to Stevie Smith, this collection provides a tribute to man's best friend.  Some of the most famous poets of all time celebrate our canine friends.  From basset hounds to beagles and from poodles to pointers, you will find charming tributes to what is many people's favourite animal.  Here is a tiny taster;

O happy dogs of England
Bark well as well you may
if you lived anywhere else
You would not be so gay

O happy dogs of England
Bark well at errand boys
If you lived anywhere else
You would not be allowed to make such an infernal noise.  
(Stevie Smith)

New science fiction room - 2nd Nov 2016

New science fiction/fantasy room opened today

We have opened a new room dedicated to science fiction & fantasy so we will be massively expanding the number of books to choose from over the next few weeks.  There will be all the old favourites such as Philip K Dick, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Orson Scott Card, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Arthur C Clarke to name but a few.  There will, of course, also be loads of the more modern writers such as Stephen Lawhead, Terry Goodkind, George RR Martin, Robert Jordan and all your favourites.  

Come in and have a look and let us know if you like the new layout and while you're here, you can stock up on pre-Christmas reading.

Have to confess that we have also snuck in the true crime section so the first sentence of this is not entirely true.  Just economical with the truth.


DCC Building Warrant of Fitness - 1st Nov 2016

No time for the normal book-related item today. Books have been temporarily ousted by more momentous events. Today heralds the start of the Dunedin City Council's new Building Warrant of Fitness compliance programme.  

The (possibly aptly?) named form SS 15.2 has been delivered to us.  It must be completed by all retail premises EVERY day. In order to complete the form, all FINAL EXIT doors must be checked EVERY day to ensure that they are not blocked or locked or barred or cluttered by obstacles. Once this check has been carried out, the form SS 15.2 must be filled in to indicate compliance with the checking requirement.
The form SS 15.2 must be kept on the premises at all times and can be checked by the Council's inspector at any time.  Failure to produce a correctly filled in form SS 15.2 can result in a $1000 fine and the cancellation of the Building Warrant of Fitness certificate, which means no trading allowed.

One wonders what would happen if there were a fire? The booklet might be burned to a crisp as employees beat a hasty retreat to safety without stopping to collect it. How could a business then prove that the regulation had been complied with?  Would there be a $1000 fine for that? What if there were a burglary and the SS 15.2 booklet was inadvertently stolen? Would there be a $1000 fine for that? What if a FINAL EXIT was blocked and this was duly noted EVERY DAY on the Council's form SS 15.2?  There presumably would be no $1000 fine for that as there appears to be no requirement to DO anything other than complete the form.

Ralph Steadman & Hunter S Thompson - 31st Oct 2016

The Joke's Over: Bruised Memories: Gonzo, Hunter Thompson and Me
by Ralph Steadman

Billed as "Ralph and Hunter,  a great British original on a great American original: Butch and Cassidy on acid."

With a recommendation like that, it's hard to imagine who could resist this book.  But wait - there's more! The foreword is written by Kurt Vonnegut, a friend of both Steadman and Thompson. Surely an irresistable line-up.

It is also hard to imagine that any of the above need any introduction: Ralph Steadman is one of the greats of British cartooning; and Hunter S Thompson was an American journalist and author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a book which Steadman illustrated.

In The Joke's Over Steadman writes of the decades of friendship and professional collaboration between him and Thompson.  It is a remarkable memoir not only because of its subject but also because of the impressive talent of its author.  

Kurt Vonnegut describes Hunter S Thompson as "a gun nut and drug abuser and heavy consumer of grain alcohol....." and Ralph Steadman as "the most gifted and effective existentialist graphic artist of my time."   He also says that until he read & met Thompson, he would have thought it impossible for anyone whose brains were so saturated with mind-benders to make sense on a telephone, let alone write so well.  The book has got to be worth reading!

Read this often hilarious memoir and laugh and despair in equal measure.  And after that, you could move on to Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas or some of Hunter S Thompson's other books.  


My Heart in Company - 29th Oct 2016

My Heart in Company – The Work of J. M. Barrie and the Birth of Peter Pan by Timothy G. Young

This beautiful book was published by The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University. It showcases some of the art, journals, notes and manuscripts relating to J. M. Barrie and the writing of Peter Pan.

Each page features a photograph of the unique item and a brief description of its history and significance, as well as other interesting information about the writer and his life and influences.

The book is in chronological order, enabling the reader to admire the development of Barrie’s work along with the fascinating photographs and stunning illustrations.

We have a brand new copy in our Dunedin store for only $16.50 – a book for anyone who was a fan of Peter Pan in their childhood (and undoubtedly still is) to flick through and admire.

My Family and Other Animals - 28th Oct 2016

Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals

Many of us will be religiously glued to the tv every Wednesday evening at 8.30pm watching the BBC series (remake) of Gerald Durrell's book My Family and Other Animals.  If you missed the first episode on Wednesday, we strongy suggest you do a catch-up and then join the rest of us addicts. It is exactly the kind of programme that the BBC do so beautifully.  It is superbly made with an excellent cast and is very entertaining.  This is seriously good TV.

If I'm recommending the programme, imagine how wonderful the books must be (because they are always better than the film version).  Literally millions of people have loved and laughed at the quirks and foibles of the Durrell family.

If you are not yet familiar with Gerald Durrell's books, you have a treat in store. My Family and Other Animals, Birds, Beasts & Relatives, and The Garden of the Gods tell the story of Durrell's childhood on the Greek island of Corfu. They are light, humorous and entertaining as you can sort of tell from his choice of titles.  Come into the shop and buy yourself some books or if you can't come in, then just order a few on line.  

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