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Crafts - 1st Aug 2016

There are so many different handcrafts to choose from that deciding what to try can be a bit bewildering.  However, the wonderful diversity on offer means that there is probably something for you whether you're a novice or a professional.

Think of sewing, knitting, embroidery, quilting, weaving, basketry, straw work or crochet and then consider all the different varieties within each of those fields and you could try a new handcraft every year without ever getting bored.  

Our books cover step-by-step instructions, planning, design, basic principles, colours, patterns, fabrics & materials, practical tips, helpful hints and a huge wealth of useful advice on every aspect of whichever craft you decide to have a go at.

Come in and browse our selection in the shop or have a look at our online stock and get knitting, weaving, sewing, embroidering, tatting or quilting today.  Don't delay or you won't get all your Christmas presents made in time!

Inventions from the Shed - 30th Jul 2016

Inventions from the Shed by Jim Hopkins and Julie Riley Inventions from the Shed by Jim Hopkins and Julie Riley

Do you think you possess the iconic Kiwi ingenuity? Whether you're a budding inventor looking for some inspiration or just enjoy stories of everyday New Zealanders creating something extraordinary, this book makes for an interesting read or a great bragging point to share with your overseas friends. 

It features more than 100 original inventions for farming, fishing, computers, transport, office work, building, parenting, extreme sports, everyday life and more - all designed and built by Kiwis in their own shed. 

Stop by for some ideas on your way to grab a piece of 4x2 and some number 8 wire and get inventing!

New Zealand Books - 29th Jul 2016

We have so many New Zealand new arrivals in our Dunedin store that we have dedicated a whole new table to them.

Whether you're looking for local histories, biographies, quality literature or NZ specific books on anything from gardening and geography to art and engineering, chances are we'll have what you are after!

Not in Dunedin? We have over 13,000 New Zealand titles listed online and more being added every week.

Bags and Purses - 27th Jul 2016

There is a bag museum in Amsterdam called (informatively but rather unimaginatively) 'The Museum of Bags and Purses'.  

This book equally imaginatively titled 'Bags' offers an overview of some of the bags in that collection.  It covers the history, the uses, and the design of all sorts of bags over the last 500 years.  Included are pouches, wallets, chatelaines, reticules, travel bags, minaudieres, vanity cases, evening bags, designer bags and more.  This is a must for enthusiasts and professionals alike.  

If you just happen to be an inveterate collector of handbags then this will give you material for justifying your next unnecessary purchase.  You can learn all sorts of useful information from this book as well as trivia like what kind of bags Madonna prefers.  

Then you could move on to Michael Tonello's (much more imaginatively named) book 'Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Bag''.  

Tattoos - 26th Jul 2016

"A good tattoo has a story which runs much deeper than the skin."  If you are interested in the stories behind the tattoos, you won't go wrong with "Inked" by Carey Hart, a fascinating collection of profiles and personal stories behind each tattoo.

Maybe you're thinking of getting a tattoo.  It's not a bad idea to have a look at the huge array of body art on offer, from ancient designs of primitive tribes to the fashion statements of today, from hearts & flowers to tigers & dragons, from traditional to photographic, from abstract to simple script, from portraiture to totally weird, or from the occult to cartoons.

Looking through the books will not only inspire you, it will help you to work out what you want. It will give you a respect for the artistry of the tattooists and an understanding of the global appeal of tattoo art.  

Check out our great selection of books, either in the shop or in the online catalogue.

It's in the Post - 23rd Jul 2016

It's in the Post: The Stories Behind New Zealand Stamps by Richard Wolfe

When was the last time you sent something by post? No email or text can induce quite so much excitement as receiving a handwritten letter - at least until lotto jumps on the digital bandwagon! 

While sadly few seem to regard it as a viable form of communication these days, post has played an important part in the lives of people for centuries. As result, the stamps used can tell us a lot about how our country has changed over the years.

This book gives a great snapshot of the history, culture, and views of New Zealand over the years. From the first stamps printed for New Zealand in London 1855, to the modern stamps we see today, each provides an insight into important events, changing attitudes and national identity of the population.

This is a fantastic little book for the devoted philatelist, someone with an interest in history or design, or just the casual reader.

It might just inspire you to pick up a pen and write to somebody - keep the stamp designers creating new art and the postal service running! 

Music music music - 22nd Jul 2016

Not only do we already have a great selection of books on music but coming soon-ish to the Legendary Hard To Find Bookshop is our new music room.

We have a huge selection of sheet music (which isn't quite sorted yet but keep watching this space).  There is classical and pop, piano and organ, choral and popular songs, banjo and guitar, violin and viola, clarinet and saxophone, and more, more, more.  We will have something for every musician (once it is all organised and set out neatly).  

Meanwhile, feast your eyes on this blast from the past:  a selection of old popular songs from Hollywood musicals and films.  


Answers to yesterday's Southern NZ place name quiz - 21st Jul 2016

How did you get on?  Feel free to dispute any of our findings and lodge a complaint.
1. The Maori name for Lake Manapouri was Moturau, from 'motu' island and 'rau' lots and it was a good descriptive name for it.  Nobody really knows how it ended up with the wrong name!

2. Waitaki would be pronounced Waitangi (just as Aoraki/Aorangi and Otakou/Otago are the same) in the Northern dialects.  The Southern dialect famously doesn't have the 'ng' sound.  

3. Middlemarch is named after George Eliot's novel of the same name.  No - just joking. There were apparently two creek boundaries or 'marches' and that is what it is named after.  Much more mundane. 

4. It is the Clutha River.  Most places named after Robert Molineux/Molyneux (Captain Cook's sailing master) have since had their names changed and he has fallen somewhat into obscurity.

5. Named after Captain William Cargill.  The Gaelic prefix inver- means 'at the mouth of' but is normally only applied to a river and not to a man's name.

6. The Maori name for Rock & Pillar was Patearoa.  That name is now claimed only by the small settlement 19km from Ranfurly - and it has a fabulous pub if you are ever out that way!!

7.  For a while, Roxburgh was known as Teviot.  

8. An English prizefighter, William Abednego Thompson was known as Bendigo.  He gave his name to an Australian boxer after whom the Australian goldfield was named.  It was brought from there to Otago.  

Think of all the wonderful history/trivia/facts/figures you could learn and bore your friends with if you had one of these books.  

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