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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.  

QUIZ TIME - 20th Jul 2016

How many of these questions about names & places in southern New Zealand can you answer without using Google?
  1. What was the correct Maori name for Lake Manapouri (think lots of islands)?
  2. What would the Waitaki River be called if pronounced with a Northern Maori dialect rather than the Southern Maori dialect?
  3. Who or what is Middlemarch named after?
  4. What was Molyneux River actually named in the end?
  5. Who was Invercargill named in honour of?
  6. What was the Maori name for the Rock and Pillar Range?
  7. What was Roxburgh formerly known as?
  8. What did fighter William Abednego Thompson give his name to?
To learn the answers, you can either buy a copy of Names and Places in Southern New Zealand by George Griffiths or Place Names of New Zealand by AW Reed or Wise's Every Place in New Zealand (they are a source of fascinating tidbits of history and folklore) or you can wait for the answers tomorrow.  

Alternatively, you could use Google and then see if the answers you find match ours!

Agatha Christie - 19th Jul 2016

New arrivals!!
We have a great selection of Agatha Christie hardbacks with lovely dust jackets.  These are published by Agatha Christie Ltd but faithfully reproduce the dustwrappers as they originally were when first published from the 1920s onwards.

The original dust jackets are extremely hard to come by and are incredibly expensive if you can find one.  The last one Warwick sold went for $5000.  This is probably the nearest most of us are going to get to one.

Come in and have a look.  They are on our 'new arrivals' trolley in the Dunedin shop at the moment.  There are lots of titles you might not have come across before.  

And if you browse our online stock, you will find over 270 listings for all sorts of books by and/or about Agatha Christie.  

Tintin - 18th Jul 2016

Name Tintin's white dog and what breed he is (Keep reading for answer)

The Adventures of Tintin is one of the most enduringly popular comics of all time.  They were written by Herge, the pen name of Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi (very useful to remember if you are ever playing the well known game "Name 10 famous ......" (Belgians).

The series consists of 24 adventures which take place all over the world.  They concern the exploits of Tintin and Snowy (his wire fox terrier), Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus and others.  

There have been films, television series and documentaries of Tintin and there are even Tintin shops selling Tintin merchandise.  There is an Herge museum too.

And someone called Frederic Tuten has written a novel about Tintin as an adult.  I haven't read it but you could buy a copy, read it and write a review for us.  That would be great.

Or you could just try and collect all 24 books in the series.

Trip to Rio for the Olympics? - 16th Jul 2016

Essential guide books and phrase books

Once you make it to Brazil, you'll need to know what to do, where to go and what sights to see. You'll also want to know how to order some delicious Brazilian food or ask for a drink in a beachside bar in Brazilian Portuguese.  Make sure you try the famous caipirinha.  Mmmm!

What better way to prepare than to read a few guidebooks to get the lowdown on the best places to go and then carry a phrase book to help you ask directions and get what you want.

We have a great selection of travel guides and phrase books at prices far below the cost of new books.  Come in and have a look or browse through our online stock.  We don't just cover Brazil. We have guides to all sorts of countries and phrase books for all sorts of languages.  

You're bound to want to see a bit of the rest of South America, so pick up a Spanish phrase book as well.  Happy travelling

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