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Amazing Survival Story - 20th Apr 2018

Amazing Survival Story The Boat
by Walter Gibson

This book tells the story of one of the most astonishing instances of human endurance and what must be one of the most terrifying episodes in maritime history.

Just after the fall of Singapore in 1942, a Dutch ship the Rooseboom sailed from Padang with 500 evacuees, mostly British civilians and soldiers. She was torpedoed in the dead of night on the way to Ceylon and sank within a few minutes.

Only one lifeboat floated and 135 people crowded into it with only enough room to stand upright. They were adrift with almost no food or water for 28 days until it washed up on the shores of an island off Sumatra. Only four were still alive. One of them is the author of this book and he recounts his miraculous survival and the journey of horror, heroism, tragedy, murder, and treachery.

The Improbability Principle - 18th Apr 2018

The Improbability Principle If things are incredibly unlikely, why do they keep on happening?  Why don't the laws of chance prevent the unexpected happening so often? Are simply unbelievable events in fact just happy (or unhappy) coincidences. 

To get answers to the above, you need to read David Hand's The Improbability Principle. It will appeal to people who love stories about startling coincidences and stunningly rare events but also to those who want to know what links gambling, the weather, creative writing and the origin of life, among other things.

Here's hoping those of us who read it will learn how to win the lottery, how to get the weather forecast correct occasionally, how to predict the future and how not to lose money on the stock market. Actually, I'd settle for the second of those.

Lost in translation - 17th Apr 2018

Lost in translation Anyone who has taught English as a foreign or second language knows that there are many entertaining moments and memories which come from the errors that students make. The same is obviously true for any other language: think of the classic error of learners of French who are surprised by how many men are celibate. Menus and hotel signs are also a great source of merriment. "Please hang yourself on door" is a well known instruction to guests who do not wish to be disturbed and "Eat kids free" is not uncommon. Any teacher can keep you amused with lists of their students' mistakes and if you have ever chuckled over examples of this kind, you may also enjoy today's book.

Is That a Fish in Your Ear? The Amazing Adventure of Translation
by David Bellos

This is a must read for anyone who is interested in words and language. It attempts to answer the question of how we really make ourselves understood to other people and show that translation is at the heart of everything we do.

Machiavelli - 16th Apr 2018

Machiavelli For Beginners is a series of books which takes relatively complex ideas and simplifies them so that they are accessible to beginners (hence the titles). The books are presented in a comic strip or graphic novel format, with the cartoon drawings complementing the text. The series covers all sorts of topics and people. Here are a few: Philosophy for Beginners, Postmodernism for Beginners, Dante for Beginners, Plato for Beginners, Islam for Beginners, Democracy for Beginners. There is a very long list of titles to choose from.

Why not start with the one on Machiavelli:
Machiavelli for Beginners
by Patick Curry and Oscar Zarate (Illus)

Get yourself this easy introduction to the life and ideas of Machiavelli and put yourself in the best possible position to read his famous book The Prince. Although it was published 400 years ago, it remains a relevant analysis of politics, government and power.


Gustav Klimt - 13th Apr 2018

I don't know how anyone could fail to like the work of Gustav Klimt (Austrian artist)- but I daresay there are some. However, there are also some lucky ones who as yet are unfamiliar with his paintings and still have that treat in store. A good start would be Gilles Neret's Gustav Klimt 1862-1918 - and luckily we have a copy of that in the shop.

Or you could take an imaginative approach to art appreciation and browse only books on artists whose surnames begin with k: try Kiefer, Klee, Kamenev, Kandinsky or Kokoschka.

And while you're here, you could peruse other artists in our large art section. You might well like a book or two on Egon Schiele, a protege of Gustav Klimt's, even though his surname does not begin with k. 

Being Good is Overrated - 12th Apr 2018

Being Good is Overrated Life tends not to reward the good so you might as well live a decadent, sinful, lavish, self-indulgent life doing exactly what makes you happy. If you happen to be one of those rare people who find it hard to spend money, eat whatever you like, splurge on treats, sleep late, relax, and ignore irritating chores - then you need this book. You will find it is a comprehensive guide.

A Year of Living Sinfully: 7 Deadly Sins, 365 Days
A Self-serving Guide to Doing Whatever the Hell you Want

By Eric Grzymkowski

Drive at your own speed / Take the largest piece of pizza or cake / Drink a $200 bottle of wine / Call in sick / Stay in bed all day / Cycle without a helmet / Get a massage / Pretend you've lost your voice / Avoid the mirror all day.

"Never believe in mirrors or newspapers" John Osborne

IQ Tests - 11th Apr 2018

IQ Tests Whether you're in a panic about an upcoming IQ test, want to improve your IQ rating, enjoy pitting your wits against the quiz writers or just like showing off your scores, this book will provide you with hours of entertainment and self-improvement.

The Times Book of IQ Tests
by Ken Russell and Philip Carter

ALLEGED ARTIFICE is an anagram of which two words that are similar in meaning?
Find two five-letter boats out of these 10 letters: A A E F K K R R Y Y
What number comes next? 3412, 4223, 2334, 3442, ?
Which is the odd one out? warble, splutter, babble, prate, drawl
Mary has a third as many again as Mike who has a third again as Molly. In total they have 148. HOw many has each?

I can't show you any of the picture puzzles here so you'll just have to pop into the shop and peruse our many books on puzzles and games of all kinds. You'll find chess, crosswords, IQ tests, sudoku, mathematical and logic puzzles, word games, cryptic clues, trivia quizzes, riddles, patterns and more. You can check out our selection and check your answers to the above questions at the same time.

Every Kind of Weather - 9th Apr 2018

Every Kind of Weather Given the weather forecast for tonight and the next couple of days, you could be forgiven for thinking this is about snow, gales, rain and miserable conditions. It is not.

This book is a collection of Bruce Mason's essays, letters and criticism selected from his almost thirty years of comment on New Zealand's cultural life. There is everything from literary criticism to comment on the Beatles' visit, musical appreciation to linguistic observation on the kiwi accent, and letters to many famous New Zealanders (and foreigners too) such as Witi Ihimaera, Charles Brasch, Sylvia Ashton Warner and Roger Hall.

This may be The End of the Golden Weather for us (pun intended) but this collection of writings by Bruce Mason will keep you entertained for hours as you snuggle down in front of the fire and keep out of the cold.


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