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Footrot Flats - 29th Sep 2016

Murray Ball and the Footrot Flats collection

The series is written & illustrated by New Zealand cartoonist Murray Ball.  His brilliant drawings are the perfect foil to the lively and humorous stories.  It's hard not to love Wal and the Footrot Flats gang and there is a real treat in store for anyone not yet familiar with them.

The books deal with the daily exploits of the farmer Wal and his sheepdog "Dog" on the Footrot Flats farm.  Lots of other animals have starring roles too - turkey, goat, goose, horse and Major the pig-dog to name a few.   Wal's family, friends & neighbours contribute to the humorous portrayal of the farming life and their are plenty of others with cameo roles.

We have a huge selection of Footrot Flats books both in the shop and in our online catalogue.  Lighten up your life  with a little laughter and start collecting the entire set or brighten up someone else's life and buy them a copy as a present.  

A Wild Moose Chase - 28th Sep 2016

A Wild Moose Chase by Ken Tustin with foreword by Philip Holden
Fiordland.  New Zealand.  Hunting.  Moose.  Modern-day odyssey.  These may not sound very likely bedfellows (or book-fellows) but they form the basis of this story which recounts the remarkable adventures of Ken Tustin in his search for the New Zealand moose.  They are all vital elements of the tale.

His quest took him many years and required a dedication and determination to find the elusive moose which had not been seen for decades and was considered by many to have died out.  In fact, given how unsuitable the remote Fiordland environment is for moose, it would be almost a miracle if a few had somehow survived.

For anyone who loves hunting, likes a mystery, enjoys an adventure or just has an interest in wildlife and nature, this book is a fascinating read.

It is not only a heartwarming story, it is glimpse into a very different lifestyle to the one most of us live.  Not only that, it will probably send you out to buy a pair of tramping boots and a map of Fiordland and to start planning your next holiday straight away.


Fabulous children's story - 27th Sep 2016

Billy: The Most Horrible Boy in the World
By Michael Dugan and illustrated by Brett Colquhoun

This is a really fabulous children's story / picture book published by Puffin.  

As you can see, the illustrations are superb.  They are simple black and white pen & ink pictures conveying a wealth of information and emotion with a few strokes.  There are some really vile details which will appeal to children of all ages (although maybe not to very sensitive under-fives).  

The story is a moral one where Billy gets his just desserts in the end but in between his second birthday and his final comeuppance, there are quite a few amusing adventures.

We hadn't noticed this book in our stock but today one of our very regular young customers called Alice brought it up to the counter to show us.  (She was chuckling).

We really love it and thank Alice for showing it to us.

Back Pain: The Scourge of a desk-bound society - 26th Sep 2016

The horrors of back pain, neck strain, headaches, sciatica and other associated problems.

Nigel Howard's Alternative Answers to Back Problems: The Complete Conventional and alternative guide to treating back pain
Andrew Wilson's Are You Sitting Comfortably? may be just what you're looking for.

Whether you've got a short-term complaint or a more serious long-term problem, back pain can be quite debilitating and can prevent you from concentrating or doing your job effectively.  

These books (and many others in stock) can answer your questions, give advice, treat and/or alleviate your pain, teach you about correct posture and choosing a chair, and much more.

There is information from back specialists and explanation of the various alternative remedies available to you such as acupuncture, reflexology, t'ai chi, aromatherapy, colour therapy and even self-hypnosis.  

Get reading today and sort that pain out before it ruins your life.


Sleeping, snoozing, dozing, napping, - 23rd Sep 2016

Sleeping, snoozing, dozing, napping, Sleepfaring: A Journey through the Science of Sleep
by Jim Horne

Everyone does it.  We can't exist without it. We have to get enough of it to function.  And in the main, it is rather enjoyable.  It's sleep.

Jim Horne, the author of this book, is Professor of Psychophysiology and Director of the Sleep Research Centre.  Here he looks at the science and secrets behind sleep and the enormous amount that scientists and researchers still don't understand about it.  Sleep is a process involving many parts and many substances within the brain and is much more complex than just a nice rest with dreams!

He looks at brain physiology, psychology and medical factors affecting sleep. We learn about the body clock, sleep deficit or deprivation, REM sleep, current sleep research, and how fundamental sleep is to our ability to think and make decisions.  

You might even find a few practical hints to help you get a better night's sleep if you happen to have problems sleeping.

The Earth from the Air - 22nd Sep 2016

Yann Arthus-Bertrand's The Earth from the Air 365 Days

These are the most amazing aerial photographs you'll ever see.  They are inspiring and really beautiful.  This is the world as you've never seen it before.

There is a photograph for each day of the year.  The images cover every corner of every continent from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from dizzy peaks to desert plains, from pristine coral islands to flood devastated villages.  Each image is accompanied by a brief, pertinent, informative comment from an environmentalist.

This book will stop you in your tracks.  Photography at its best. Sensational.

Beer and Food - 21st Sep 2016

Beer and Food by Bill Taylor - a real 'glass' act.

Everyone loves food.  Most people love beer.  Lots of people love cooking. Here is a book that combines three of nearly everyone's favourite things: beer, food and cooking.

Given there has been a real explosion in craft & boutique breweries recently, this is a great time to experiment with matching different beer styles with food. Start by trying out some of the delicious recipes in this book and seeing if you agree with the chefs' suggestions about what beer to drink with them.  

Most people think of matching wines with food so here is a chance to branch out and try harmonising fine beer with favourite dishes.  You might become a convert.  

This is more than just a cookbook, it also looks at the history of brewing, the many varieties of beer available and how to pour with perfect foam.  It even tells you how and why to use beer warmers (??).  Read the book and you'll find out. ( I was not convinced!)

Buy this book, get cooking and impress your friends.


GUNPOWDER - 20th Sep 2016

Gunpowder: A History of the Explosive that Changed the World
By Jack Kelly

Apparently, Chinese alchemists invented gunpowder to frighten evil spirits way back in the 10th century.  It was a mixture of saltpetre, sulphur and charcoal (well, it probably still is - clearly I am one who should read this book all the way through instead of skimming!).

It is probably responsible for Western expansionism, the industrial revolution, the end of feudalism, and all sorts of technological innovations.

This book about gunpowder blends science and technology with military, economic. and social history.  It also gives some fascinating insights into people as diverse as Guy Fawkes (no surprise there), Hernan Cortes (less obvious) and Michelangelo (a bit of an unexpected entrant in the cast of gunpowder heroes).  

Wendell Phillips said, "What gunpowder did for war, the printing press has done for the mind.” so if gunpowder is anywhere near as important as the printing press, then it is definitely worth reading this fascinating volume and learning a bit more about it.


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