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Athol's Chair - 22nd Jun 2016

Many of you have either seen Athol on guard at the entrance of the Dunedin shop or you have spotted photos of him on our website.  However, it is his chair which is today's feature.

You may have heard of the long-running television series "Xena, Warrior Princess" or you may have been a keen viewer of the programme.  Athol's chair was originally designed and built for the set of Xena.  The owner of Hard to Find Books bought the chair when filming ended and the set was being dismantled.

Along with the chair, we have a great array of weird, wacky and wonderful objects collected by Warwick and on display in the Dunedin shop.  Have a look at the gallery - perhaps you have some quaint, quirky, quality article that you feel compelled to donate!

Michael King's biography of Janet Frame - 21st Jun 2016

Wrestling with the Angel: A Life of Janet Frame
by Michael King

This book is leaving us today and going to a new and very appropriate home at the Dunedin Public Library where it will be reverently valued and cared for. It will form part of the Reed Association Collection.

What makes this volume special is that it is Janet Frame's own copy and it is an association copy inscribed, signed and dated  by  Michael King to Janet Frame in July 2000. You can see its inscription in the accompanying image.  It is a unique historical item featuring the two most important New Zealand writers of their era.  There is also an image of a newspaper cutting featuring this book when it was sold by the Janet Frame Estate.

We do have a number of scarce signed copies of Janet Frame titles, including other fascinating association copies (either listed on our website now, or imminent).  Already uncommon, signed copies will become rarer.  By comparison, signed association copies of Katherine Mansfield titles are as rare as hens' teeth and fetch huge prices!

Johann Wolfgang Goethe - 20th Jun 2016

Goethe's Werke

This magnificent five-volume set is in the original German.  It is published in Stuttgart by Deutsche Verlags Anhalt.

The brown buckram boards are beautifully decorated in attractive muted tones of brown, blue, green and gold with title in gilt lettering to spine & front board.  Two cherubs sit on either side of a harp on the front board surrounded by decorative panelling.   

There are numerous delicate black&white illustrations throughout the books.

This would be a stunning gift for the German literature scholar in your midst.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat - Oliver Sacks - 18th Jun 2016

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat - Oliver Sacks In this fascinating book neurologist Oliver Sacks recounts some of his most interesting case histories. A man who lost the ability to recognise everyday objects and people's faces, a woman who doesn't feel her limbs are her own, twins who could figure out in seconds what day of the week Christmas will fall on in 8000 years but can't grasp basic multiplication, and many more.

While describing the science behind what his patients are experiencing, Dr Sacks also reveals the people behind the diagnoses, how they cope and in some cases how they learn to embrace their disorder and use it to their advantage.

This book will entertain, educate, inspire, and above all give you a greater appreciation for the complex workings of the human brain.

A must-read for anyone interested in psychology, neurology, or how we perceive the world around us.

Personal Memoirs (so much more than a factual biography) - 17th Jun 2016

Do you enjoy reading true accounts but find many biographies too dry?  Are you fascinated by life in other countries?  Do you have an interest in people's memories and experiences? Have a look at these books:

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books / Azar Nafisi
Street Without a Name: Childhood & Other Misadventures in Bulgaria / Kapka Kassabova
Forbidden Love: A Harrowing Story of Love & Revenge in Jordan / Norma Khouri
The Lost Pilot: A Memoir / Jeffrey Paparoa Holman
Princess: The Treatment of Women in Saudi Arabia / Jean P Sasson
Father Joe: The Man Who Saved my Soul / Tony Hendra

They cover diverse countries such as Bulgaria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and people as diverse as a Benedictine priest, a WW2 pilot, a princess, and someone who ran a bookclub for reading banned Western literature.

No prizes for guessing which book the last description matches.  

Gunsmiths / gun manufacturers - 16th Jun 2016

Was your interest piqued by yesterday's books on rifles and pistols?  Why not check out our collection of books on gunsmiths and gun manufacturers?

There's a beautiful deluxe edition in a slipcase of "The Henry Rifle: The Story of Benjamin Tyler and His Famed Repeating Rifle".  Not only a fascinating story of a gunsmith but a lovely limited edition copy of this book (lettered copy C).  

Or check out The Early Purdeys, The Colt Whitneyville-Walker, or the manufacture of early Dutch Firearms.

There's an interesting book on the gunsmith John Dafte, a 17th Century London gunmaker.  It is fully illustrated with colour and black&white photographs and plenty of plans & drawings, including a detailed illustrated catalogue of the 19 surviving specimens of his guns.

Just browse the website and you'll find much much more.

Guns / weapons - 15th Jun 2016

Searching for a book on a specific gun?  Looking for a biography of a particular arms manufacturer? Trying to find a history of a certain weapon?  

On our website, you can search using the key words field.  By entering just the word 'weapons' you then get a list of 100+ books to peruse.  Try entering the word 'gun' and you will get 70-odd items to browse.  

We have a huge selection of books on weaponry and associated fields.  Come in and browse (if you are in Dunedin or Onehunga) or just browse on line.  

Queen's Birthday - 14th Jun 2016

Two very different novels about the Queen; apt as she's just celebrated her 90th birthday.  The first is "The Autobiography of the Queen" by Emma Tennant.

We asked an 89-year-old customer what she thought of Emma Tennant's book.  She said, "It's all right.  I wouldn't rave over it - but then I imagine it's not meant to be raved over.  It's quite nice in its portrayal of the Queen."  We asked what she meant and her impromptu review turned a little more positive. " It says, 'Never before met a frowning face.' and I don't suppose she has.  All sorts of little things like that in everyday life that she (the Queen) had never come across."

But it is the second book by Alan Bennett, "The Uncommon Reader" which received the best review. " A really lovely book, a pleasure to read, an intriguing idea.  Definitely to be recommended. I could happily read it again and I've already read it twice."

We have copies of both books so why not give them both a read and add your comments to this customer's review?

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