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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.  

Children's Books - 9th Jun 2016

We have a huge selection of children's books in the shop and on line.  Many of your old favourites could turn out to be favourites for your children too.  

Remember Noddy, Biggles, Famous Five, Secret Seven, Rupert Bear, Tintin, Asterix, Nancy Drew, Heidi, Harry Potter?  The list goes on and on and the chances are we've got a copy.

Remember Arthur Ransome, Enid Blyton, LM Montgomery, AA Milne, Roald Dahl, Hans Christian Anderson, CS Lewis, Rudyard Kipling?  The list goes on and on and the chances are we've got copies of their books too.

In Pursuit of Plants by Philip Short - 8th Jun 2016

This would be a great gift for a botanist, plant lover, gardener, or in fact anyone with an interest in the plant collectors of the 19th & early 20th century.  A really good book to have by your bed or on a coffee table and dip in and out as the mood takes you.  

The book is a mixture of scientific exploration, travel, biographical details of the collectors, and some excerpts from each person's first-hand journals and letters.  There are some beautiful botanical illustrations and modern photographs as well.  

The book is in pristine condition,  as is the dust jacket, and at only NZ$14.00 you couldn't get a better deal.   You can order it now on our beautiful new website.

Game of Thrones first edition book just arrived - 16th May 2016

Game of Thrones first edition book just arrived Suprisingly scarce internationally, we have a first edition of the first book in the Game of Thrones series by George R R Martin (TV version now showing on Soho Channel in NZ). It is a beautiful fresh clean copy, bound to only improve in value as the series progresses. This British first edition precedes the American first edition, so is the TRUE first edition. Your chance to grab it now, as it evolves to the stature of J R R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (and how weird is it that they both have the "R R" middle initials). Click here to take a closer look or to purchase.

P G Wodehouse first edition from 1905 - 16th May 2016

P G Wodehouse first edition from 1905 These are like hens teeth - a clean tidy first edition of P G Wodehouse classic " The Head of Kays" from 1905. Sadly missing the frontis illustration (but all the other plates are present) it is a VERY desirable copy and is unlikely to be with us long

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