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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.

Antarctica - 4th Nov 2016

Call of the Ice: Fifty Years of New Zealand in Antarctica
by David L Harrowfield

With the creation of the world's largest marine reserve just agreed and signed, a book about Antarctica is very topical.

David Harrowfield's book celebrates and commemorates New Zealand's 50 years of involvement in this remote but beautiful continent. He documents the experiences and opinions of the many New Zealanders who have worked there and highlights their impressive contributions.

For the many of us who have never been to the Antarctic (and are never likely to go) this book gives a rare insight into life in one of the most unforgiving and challenging environments in the world.


LITERARY DOG OWNERS Doggerel: Poems about Dogs

This is the book for all those people in your life who love dogs and love poetry - I just hope we've got enough copies to cover the huge demand there will be from that demographic. You had best get in quick so your family and friends don't miss out!

From William Cowper to Thomas Hardy and from Edward Lear to Stevie Smith, this collection provides a tribute to man's best friend.  Some of the most famous poets of all time celebrate our canine friends.  From basset hounds to beagles and from poodles to pointers, you will find charming tributes to what is many people's favourite animal.  Here is a tiny taster;

O happy dogs of England
Bark well as well you may
if you lived anywhere else
You would not be so gay

O happy dogs of England
Bark well at errand boys
If you lived anywhere else
You would not be allowed to make such an infernal noise.  
(Stevie Smith)

New science fiction room - 2nd Nov 2016

New science fiction/fantasy room opened today

We have opened a new room dedicated to science fiction & fantasy so we will be massively expanding the number of books to choose from over the next few weeks.  There will be all the old favourites such as Philip K Dick, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Orson Scott Card, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Arthur C Clarke to name but a few.  There will, of course, also be loads of the more modern writers such as Stephen Lawhead, Terry Goodkind, George RR Martin, Robert Jordan and all your favourites.  

Come in and have a look and let us know if you like the new layout and while you're here, you can stock up on pre-Christmas reading.

Have to confess that we have also snuck in the true crime section so the first sentence of this is not entirely true.  Just economical with the truth.


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