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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.


The Beatles - by Julian Lennon & Brian Southall - 19th Sep 2016

Beatles' Memorabilia: The Julian Lennon Collection

With the new Beatles documentary/film coming out any day, this is a timely reminder of the huge collection of Beatles books we have, both in the shop and online.

Julian Lennon (son of John Lennon, just in case there is someone out there who doesn't know) is the owner of a unique collection of memorabilia, including guitars, clothing, letters, postcards, photographs and much more.  In this book he explains the sentimental value of many of these articles and shares the memories that they carry for him.  Here is his complete collection beautifully presented and fascinatingly discussed.  

The book is brand new and priced very reasonably (under $20.00 per copy).  It would make a great gift for the Beatles' fan in your life.  

The Sleepwalkers - 18th Sep 2016

In this detailed and interesting book Arthur Koestler takes a look at the history of cosmology. Beginning with the Babylonians and Ancient Greeks and working his way through several important figures such as Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton, he shows how our understanding of the universe has changed throughout the centuries.

While the history of science is an interesting topic on its own, this book goes much further. Delving into the political and personal biases of each great figure we also learn about how changing attitudes affected scientific discovery and research. The influence of religion and spirituality is also discussed, making this not only a fascinating account of scientific thought but also a study in philosophy and sociology.

Fair warms the cockles of your heart (well, ours anyway) - 16th Sep 2016

Letter from a customer received today

Dear Ruth, Tessa, Lily & Richard (and if possible, Mr. Jordan & Ms. Ewington):
Sorry for taking so long to provide you with feedback.  I wanted to make a special effort to thank you for my latest purchase “Farm Life in NE Scotland” by Ian Carter.

It arrived promptly and was very well packaged.  I received it in pristine condition – which was a real treat, considering it was a rare & used book.  I’m thrilled with my purchase all-in-all and want you all to know it, OK?  I would also like this praise to reach the ears of Mr. Jordan and Ms. Ewington if possible... please know that your Dunedin Store staff are superlative and efficient!
Rest assured that I will be purchasing from your store again in future – as I am now a loyal customer!!!  Feel free to use this feedback in any way you wish.  I shall shout your praises from the rooftops (if ever given the chance).
Respectfully yours,

Alan M

(Wish we could say we get one of these every day!!)

Office Move at Dowling Street - 15th Sep 2016

Great excitement here at Hard to Find Bookshop in Dunedin!

The office has moved from the back to the front of the building.  This may not seem a big deal to the rest of the world but it is to us.

For a start, the new office has natural light pouring in through a huge window and as summer is approaching we will be working in a sun-filled, light and airy office.  A real treat.

Ngaio Marsh has also decided to move with us (as you can see from the attached pictures) and we are very pleased to welcome her as an office-mate.  When you're in the shop, you'll be able to see her staring out over the top of the office door.

The hardworking staff have a new packaging and processing area too right beside the window.  A good move for all concerned.  


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