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Games, sports, and pastimes - 11th Oct 2016

Let's have a game of Scat.  I challenge you to a round of Club Snatch.  What about playing Whip Tag?   Why don't we try Throw at the Cock?  How about a go at Catch the Cane? An evening of parlour games would be fun.

You won't have heard the above refrains for many a decade (if ever) but you might remember skittles, tiddley-winks, Looby Loo, quoits, Old Maid and Crambo (or of course you might not).

These books on sports, games, and pastimes offer a fascinating insight into bygone times. You could study them for the history alone but they also offer the chance to revive some of the forgotten entertainments and hobbies of the past.  The range of outdoor and indoor amusements covered is astounding. It's hard to imagine there could be so many.  

The selection includes activities for the playground, the classroom, the gymnasium, the home, the sports field, and the general outdoors.  There is everything from professional sports to ball games, word games, tricks, dominoes, animal sports, exercises, jingles, songs, races, team competitions, mechanical and arithmetical puzzles, card games, marbles and much, much more.  You almost have to see them to believe.

Come and have a look at these lovely old volumes and lose yourself in another world or choose from the rest of our books on games, pastimes and hobbies. You can't fail to be enchanted.

Attention cookery fans and lovers of Spanish food - 10th Oct 2016

Simone and Ines Ortega's 1080 Recipes

This book has been the best-selling cookbook in Spain for over 30 years.  It is the real bible of authentic Spanish cooking (just as The Silver Spoon is for Italian cooks).  

There are recipes from every region of Spain covering every conceivable type of dish: think of appetizers, sauces, stews, soups, vegetables, rice & grains, fish, seafood, meat, poultry, game, offal and, of course, desserts.

The book is presented in a simple classic style which showcases the recipes, the flavours and the glories of Spanish food rather than the food photography or locations.  The drawings are simple sketches and very appealing in their own way. 

Spanish cuisine has been rapidly growing in popularity and for good reason.  Let this book take you on a delicious journey through hundreds of recipes (well, 1080 judging by the title).  Whether you are a committed fan or a newcomer, there is something here for absolutely everyone. We urge you to have a go and impress your friends. Buen provecho!

Keep calm and read this book - 8th Oct 2016

Endangered Pleasures by Barbara Holland Endangered Pleasures: In defence of Naps, Bacon, Martinis, Profanity, and Other Indulgences

Do you find yourself grimacing at the sound of your morning alarm yet hitting snooze because the idea of hearing it again is still slightly more bearable than actually getting out of bed? Scalding your throat with tasteless instant coffee while frantically typing away at your desk? Refusing that second glass of wine or piece of chocolate because it's 'not good for you'? 

Time to kick back, relax, and let Barbara Holland explain the joy of indulging in the forbidden and frowned upon - from finding delight in disaster to simply drinking, sleeping and eating too much. Bacon isn't usually considered a healthy option but sometimes mental health food is just as important! 

These quirky, whimsical and humorous essays are perfect to pair with a relaxing bath, afternoon coffee or late-night snack.

More children's books - 7th Oct 2016

The Girl Who Hated Books by Manjusha Pawagi, illustrated by Leanne Franson

This is a lovely story about a girl called Meena who hates reading and hates books.  She doesn't know her name means "fish" in ancient Sanskrit because she never looks anything up.  

One day she and her cat Max have an exciting but endearing adventure right in their own living room.  They accidentally knock over a huge pile of the hated books thus unleashing all the animals inside them.  There is a heartwarming happy ending to the tale.  

The lively full-page colour illustrations by Leanne Franson are a perfect accompaniment to the story and work well whether you're reading the story aloud or your kids are reading it to themselves.

Pop in and buy a copy for only $4.00 and while you're here, check out our great selection of children's literature and visit the dedicated children's area in the shop.  

Kiwi road, rail and air transport - 6th Oct 2016

New Zealand on the Move by Matthew Wright

From horse-drawn carts to steam engines and from aeroplanes to classic cars, this book presents a survey of New Zealand's transport history.  

Matthew Wright provides us with loving portraits of 100 planes, lorries, cars, motorcycles and trains, including the iconic, the much-loved, the quirky and the plain mad.  Each one is accompanied by a beautiful photograph.

There is even a wonderful image of the tiny Austin Seven 'Chummy' in the mid-1920s with an astounding 10 men crammed into (or onto) it.    

Buy this book and treat yourself to a nostalgic journey through some of the magnificent machines that have played such a huge part in New Zealand's transport history.

Alun Leach-Jones - 3rd Oct 2016

Alun Leach-Jones: Painting and Sculpture 
Essays by Jonathan Goodman and Rex Butler and an Interview with Alun Leach-Jones by Brett Ballard

The marvellous painter and sculptor Alun Leach-Jones was born in the UK but moved to Australia and is generally considered to be an Australian artist.  This book contains not only a superb selection of his paintings and sculptures but also fascinating essays by New York critic Jonathan Goodman (Shadows, Essences and Distillations) and Brisbane critic Dr Rex Butler (Allegories of Feeling). There is an interview by curator and gallery manager Brett Ballard with Mr Leach-Jones which explores the artist's voice behind the paintings and sculpture.

This book showcases a significant collection of Leach-Jones' work and admirably highlights his brilliant use of colour in his paintings and the complexity in his bronze sculptures. Whether you are already a fan or you are not yet familiar with this artist, this lovely book is a must for all art lovers.


The Library: A World History - 1st Oct 2016

For thousands of years books have been among the most valued objects we have, and we have built many spectacular buildings to home them. This stunning book by architectural historian James BD Campbell and photographer Will Pryce showcases some of the most impressive and important buildings in the world.

From ancient ruins to modern institutions, gilt and leather clad tomes to trusty paperbacks, the authors have visited eighty different libraries around the world. They weave literary history and architecture into a fascinating account of how our places of learning have changed over the years.

This would make a perfect gift for the devoted bibliophile or architecture enthusiast.

Attention motorcycle racing fans - 30th Sep 2016

John Britten by Tm Hanna 
John Britten: The Boy Who Did Do Better by Jennifer Beck

This is a biography of John Britten, a really great New Zealand hero.  It covers his childhood and then moves on through his early forays into prototype motorcycles and his various failures and triumphs in design and engineering.

Working with a very small team in Christchurch, John Britten designed and built the Britten V-twin motorcycle, which was the fastest four-stroke bike in the world for a time.  The feat of beating some of the biggest and best bike manufacturers in the world is a testament to his passion and brilliance.  

If you are a Britten fan, then you can't do better than get a copy of the children's version of Britten's biography for your kids.  It is a lovely true story of an ordinary boy who overcame real difficulties at school.  Despite his report cards usually saying "could do better", he proved everyone wrong and went on to do much, much better; hence the title of this biography. 

Britten's design and engineering genius have been an inspiration to many. His life and his extraordinary achievements have relevance and appeal far beyond just those who are interested in motorbikes.  Read this book and marvel.


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