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A real treat - 17th Nov 2016

Afternoon tea

One of our loyal regular customers came into the shop with a magnificent offering today.  She had popped into the Wolf at the Door cafe in Carroll Street (Dunedin) on the way here and had purchased the beautiful cinnamon scrolls you can see in the attached pictures. She generously donated them to the hardworking bookshop staff.

The staff discussed the merits of immediate consumption versus delayed gratification and, in the end, plumped for the latter. A great deal of willpower was required to hold off until 4pm for afternoon teatime but it was worth the wait!

We have now wolfed the lot so if you are on your way in to the bookshop to purchase some reading for the weekend, I'm afraid you have missed out on the cinnamon scrolls - but there are PLENTY of books to choose from.

A huge thank you for the lovely treat.


Secrecy Cryptography Ciphers - 16th Nov 2016

Secrecy Cryptography Ciphers Simon Singh's The Code Book

Simon Singh is a physicist and he wrote the book Fermat's Last Theorem.  As such, he is well placed to author this history of codes.  He approaches the subject from the point of view of linguistics, mathematics, science, technology and history.

The text is illustrated with many examples of code and the colourful personalities behind them (Mary Queen of Scots, for example).

Singh looks at code-creation and code-breaking from military espionage to modern computers as he charts the evolution of codes and their relevance today. 

At the end of the book, Singh includes a world-wide Cipher Challenge.  He offered a massive reward to the first reader to successfully crack it.  Maybe you should pop in to the shop, buy a copy and have a go at winning the 10,000 pounds!


Most recent book buy - 15th Nov 2016

The intrepid, fearless, energetic and enthusiastic Hard to Find buyers set off in a large hired truck yesterday to do a huge book buy in Timaru.  A pair of tired, worn out but satisfied and euphoric buyers returned in the early evening with the truck packed to the gunwales.

Some heavy hitters were on hand when they arrived back to lug the boxes up the first flight of stairs and cram them into one of the book aisles, thus temporarily blocking access, as you can see from the photos. There they will remain until they've been processed and cataloguing can begin.  It's quite a daunting task but all in a day's work for our brave buyers.

Today, one was sporting injuries and staggering around in pain after packing and carrying such heavy loads but both were happy with the interesting selection they had purchased and looking forward to the next step. You just can't keep a good buyer down!

Leonard Cohen - 14th Nov 2016

It was a sad day for music, songwriting and poetry when Leonard Cohen died. He will be sorely missed.

Many of us have been fans for decades and have eagerly followed the release of each one of his books and albums. Some of us are lucky enough to have seen him live in concert. If the other concerts were anything like the one I attended, they would have been truly moving occasions. I felt it was a privilege to have been able to be there.

Now he has gone, perhaps you would like to read one of his own books (Beautiful Losers, The Favourite Game, Energy of Slaves, Selected Poems, Flowers for Hitler, or Parasites of Heaven, to name but a few) or maybe you would like to read something about him such as a biography or Vinson & Friedlander's Songs of Leonard Cohen. Come in to the shop or have a look on our website. You are bound to find something of interest.

He was one of the greats of the music world and some feel that if any musician was going to get the Nobel Prize then he should have been the one.  What do you think?

Steam Trains - 11th Nov 2016

Glorious South Island Steam Power
By Robert John

The author bills this book as a 'blast from the past' and it certainly brings back happy memories if you are of a certain age.

Whether you are a steam engine fan or just interested in a bit of local history, this is a lovely book with beautiful photography. There are pictures of the trains all over the south and on the West Coast. Flick through and mourn all the stations and tracks that have disappeared.

You can't really beat the sight of a glorious steam locomotive roaring along the tracks with a plume of smoke trailing behind so come in and get yourself a copy of this newly republished book or buy one as a perfect Christmas present for the railway fan in your life.


PUBS galore - 10th Nov 2016

Pubs with Personality
by Peter Janssen & Steve Reid

The subtitle is "A Personal Selection of over 150 of New Zealand's Best Pubs."

What a great way to see New Zealand: buy this book and make it a mission to visit every single one of the 150 pubs mentioned and see if you can add another 150 of your own.  

It will take you to every corner of the country and offer you some lovely places to eat, drink and stay.  The authors have separated the brilliant from the boring, the outstanding from the the ordinary, and the magic from the mundane to save you time.

There is information on how to find the pub, its food & pricing, a bit of its history, and some indication of the ambience and accommodation.  This could work as a travel guide in its own right.  Whether you are visiting New Zealand from abroad or you live here, this is a vital and fun accessory for your journey.

Questions and Answers - 9th Nov 2016

Fascinating Facts Fascinating Facts & Curious Questions

This little book answers perplexing puzzles and confounding conundrums by using a simple question and answer format.  The questions are grouped into five sections dealing with animals, words & phrases, weird laws, people & nature, and a ragbag category.

Which section do you think these questions belong to and do you know the answers?
Why is Bob your uncle?
Can you die laughing?
Do all animals have red blood?
Under what circumstances is murder legal in Hong Kong?

You'll be a real hit at the local quiz nights after reading this book.  Pop into our shop and buy a copy.  


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.

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