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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?

Mark Z Danielewski / House of Leaves - 13th Jun 2016

Have you read this book by Mark Danielewski?  Best to read it now before his 27-volume novel "The Familiar" is published and you no longer have time for this one!

This was Danielewski's debut novel and is variously described as thrilling, terrifying, distressing, un-put-downable, unforgettable, imaginative, scary, creepy, intelligent, troubling, frightening, nightmarish, and nothing like anything you have ever read before.  How can you resist?

Even the format of the text is unusual.  You can see a bit of what I mean in the accompanying photos but they cannot prepare you for the reality.  And here's a quote from the book to whet your appetite:

"To get a better idea try this: focus on these words, and whatever you do don't let your eyes wander past the perimeter of this page. Now imagine just beyond your peripheral vision, maybe behind you, maybe to the side of you, maybe even in front of you, but right where you can't see it, something is quietly closing in on you, so quiet in fact you can only hear it as silence. Find those pockets without sound. That's where it is. Right at this moment. But don't look. Keep your eyes here. Now take a deep breath. Go ahead, take an even deeper one. Only this time as you exhale try to imagine how fast it will happen, how hard it's gonna hit you, how many times it will stab your jugular with its teeth or are they nails?, don't worry, that particular detail doesn't matter, because before you have time to process that you should be moving, you should be running, you should at the very least be flinging up your arms-you sure as hell should be getting rid of this book-you won't have time to even scream.
Don't look.
I didn't."

from House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

We have both hardcover and softcover editions available so go ahead and order today.  

Culpeper's Herbal - 11th Jun 2016

Many of us have heard of Culpeper's Herbal but few of us have seen a copy like this.  It was published circa 1790 and is replete with lovely hand-coloured full-page plates.  

This particular volume is testimony to the art of restorative bookbinding.  This book arrived here without boards or spine.  We consigned it to the care of Michael O'Brien (now of Oamaru) who gave the book a sensitive and appropriately aged rebinding using contemporary endpapers and materials.  It is a really superb quality job.

If you are feeling wealthy and want to splash out, this is a beautiful book in a really fine craft binding.  If you're lucky enough to be in Dunedin, come in and have a look at it.

Che Guevara - his life and times - 10th Jun 2016

Che Guevara - his life and times We have just sold a copy of the book pictured here but if you are quick, there is one more available.  And if you are interested in the legendary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara then have a look at our catalogue.  We have plenty more books on his life and times such as Bolivian Diary by Che Guevara and Fidel Castro or Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War by Che Guevara. 

And of course we have copies of The Motorcycle Diaries - the story of his road trip from Brazil to Peru when he was a young medical student.  His memoir was made into a film starring Gabriel Garcia Bernal.  If you haven't read this book or seen the film then we think you should do both.  

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