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Colin McCahon / December 1951 to May 1952 - 13th Oct 2016

Check this out.  It's pretty amazing and you are unlikely to ever come across it again.

This is a rare facsimile reprint of the Hocken Library original.  As you can see from the accompanying photos, the original was dedicated to Charles Brasch by Colin McCahon in his own handwriting in 1959.  

The booklet contains 15 drawings by Colin McCahon accompanied by short pieces of handwritten text on separate pages telling the life of Jesus.

"This is a cold land. Light candles against the oncoming dark. The word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. Give us Jesus. They crucified him (dividing his clothing amongst them). He is dead. And is risen again."

It is an imperial octavo booklet with manila card covers tied with thin strips of black ribbon. It is unpaginated but contains about 22 pages, 15 of which are charcoal drawings by McCahon done between 1951 and 1952.  It was originally published by the Hocken Library in 1976.  If you are looking for something very special and you have money to burn (NZ$4,500.00) then this might be the unique investment you are looking for.

Cocktails - 12th Oct 2016

Mmmmmmm!  Caipirinha. Dry martini. Champagne Napoleon. Harvey Wallbanger. Lime Shooter. Cape Codder.

Those are just a few of the delicious, lipsmackingly good cocktails you can make with the help of a cocktail handbook: you could be tempted by a Mohican, or a gimlet, a daiquiri, a rusty nail, or a pisco sour.

Whether your spirit of choice is gin, rum, whisky, vodka, brandy, tequila or bourbon, you will find plenty of appealing cocktails to whip up and clear, simple instructions on how to make them.  All the basics are covered, such as useful equipment, measures, types of glasses, and the liqueurs and mixers you will need.

Whether you are going to host a sophisticated cocktail evening, invite a few friends over for a bbq, or have a relaxing gathering with friends, you will find the way to be creative and imaginative with the recipes in these books.  And if you've got kids, there are loads of non-alcoholic beverages to concoct as well. 

Come and have a browse through our selction.  


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.


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