Block of Books
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  • SHYAM : An Illustrated Retelling of the Bhagavata
    SHYAM : An Illustrated Retelling of the Bhagavata
    PATTANAIK DEVDUTT
    ISBN: 9780670084463
    Title: SHYAM : An Illustrated Retelling of the Bhagavata
    Author: PATTANAIK DEVDUTT
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In the forest of insecurities, is it possible to discover humanity through pleasure?
    Can we stop seeing each other as predator, prey, rival or mate, and rediscover ourselves as lovers?
    Does the divine reside in sensual delight, in emotional intimacy and in aesthetic experience?


    Yes, yes, yes.
    That is the promise of the Bhagavata.
    The Bhagavata is the story of Krishna, known as Shyam to those who find beauty, wisdom and love in his dark complexion. It is the third great Hindu epic after the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. However, this narration was composed in fragments over thousands of years, first as the Harivamsa, then as the Bhagavata Purana, and finally as the passionate songs of poet-sages in various regional languages.

    This book seamlessly weaves the story from Krishna's birth to his death, or rather from his descent to the butter-smeared world of happy women to his ascent from the blood-soaked world of angry men.

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • SICILY : A SHORT HISTORY FROM THE GREEKS TO COSA NOSTRA
    SICILY : A SHORT HISTORY FROM THE GREEKS TO COSA NOSTRA
    NORWICH JOHN JULIUS
    ISBN: 9781848548978
    Title: SICILY : A SHORT HISTORY FROM THE GREEKS TO COSA NOSTRA
    Author: NORWICH JOHN JULIUS
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The author of the classic book on Venice turns his sights to Sicily in this beautiful book full of maps and colour photographs.

    'I discovered Sicily almost by mistake . . .We drove as far as Naples, then put the car on the night ferry to Palermo. There was a degree of excitement in the early hours when we passed Stromboli, emitting a rich glow every half-minute or so like an ogre puffing on an immense cigar; and a few hours later, in the early morning sunshine, we sailed into the Conca d'Oro, the Golden Shell, in which the city lies. Apart from the beauty of the setting, I remember being instantly struck by a change in atmosphere. The Strait of Messina is only a couple of miles across and the island is politically part of Italy; yet somehow one feels that one has entered a different world . . . This book is, among other things, an attempt to analyse why this should be.'

    The stepping stone between Europe and Africa, the gateway between the East and the West, at once a stronghold, clearing-house and observation post, Sicily has been invaded and fought over by Phoenicians and Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, Goths and Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Germans, Spaniards and the French for thousands of years. It has belonged to them all - and yet has properly been part of none.

    John Julius Norwich was inspired to become a writer by his first visit in 1961 and this book is the result of a fascination that has lasted over half a century. In tracing its dark story, he attempts to explain the enigma that lies at the heart of the Mediterranean's largest island.

    This vivid short history covers everything from erupting volcanoes to the assassination of Byzantine emperors, from Nelson's affair with Emma Hamilton to Garibaldi and the rise of the Mafia. Taking in the key buildings and towns, and packed with fascinating stories and unforgettable characters, Sicily is the book he was born to write.

    Imprint: JOHN MURRAY
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • SILENCE : A CHRISTIAN HISTORY
    SILENCE : A CHRISTIAN HISTORY
    MACCULLOCH DIARMAID
    ISBN: 9780241952320
    Title: SILENCE : A CHRISTIAN HISTORY
    Author: MACCULLOCH DIARMAID
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE


    This book unravels a polyphony of silences from the history of Christianity and beyond. MacCulloch considers Judaeo-Christian borrowings from Greek explorations of the divine, and the silences which were a feature of Jesus' brief ministry. Besides prayer and contemplation, there are shame and evasion; careless and purposeful forgetting. Many deliberate silences are revealed: the forgetting of histories inconvenient to later Church authorities, and Christianity's problems in dealing honestly with sexuality. Behind all this is the silence of God. In a deeply personal conclusion, MacCulloch brings a message of optimism for those still seeking God beyond the clamour of over-confident certainties.

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • SILK ROAD : A NEW HISTORY
    SILK ROAD : A NEW HISTORY
    HANSEN VALERIE
    ISBN: 9780190218423
    Title: SILK ROAD : A NEW HISTORY
    Author: HANSEN VALERIE
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    The Silk Road is as iconic in world history as the Colossus of Rhodes or the Suez Canal. But what was it, exactly? It conjures up a hazy image of a caravan of camels laden with silk on a dusty desert track, reaching from China to Rome. The reality was different--and far more interesting--as revealed in this new history.In The Silk Road, Valerie Hansen describes the remarkable archeological finds that revolutionize our understanding of these trade routes. For centuries, key records remained hidden-sometimes deliberately buried by bureaucrats for safe keeping. But the sands of the Taklamakan Desert have revealed fascinating material, sometimes preserved by illiterate locals who recycled official documents to make insoles for shoes or garments for the dead. Hansen explores seven oases along the road, from Xi'an to Samarkand, where merchants, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers mixed in cosmopolitan communities, tolerant of religions from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism. There was no single, continuous road, but a chain of markets that traded between east and west. China and the Roman Empire had very little direct trade. China's main partners were the peoples of modern-day Iran, whose tombs in China reveal much about their Zoroastrian beliefs. Silk was not the most important good on the road; paper, invented in China before Julius Caesar was born, had a bigger impact in Europe, while metals, spices, and glass were just as important as silk. Perhaps most significant of all was the road's transmission of ideas, technologies, and artistic motifs.The Silk Road is a fascinating story of archeological discovery, cultural transmission, and the intricate chains across Central Asia and China.

    Imprint: OXFORD
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • SILK ROADS : A New History of the World
    SILK ROADS : A New History of the World
    FRANKOPAN PETER
    ISBN: 9781408839997
    Title: SILK ROADS : A New History of the World
    Author: FRANKOPAN PETER
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A major reassessment of world history in light of the economic and political renaissance in the re-emerging east - and a fascinating rediscovery of the seductive cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, Isfahan and Constantinople.


    The sun is setting on the Western world. Slowly but surely, the direction in which the world spins has reversed: where for the last five centuries the globe turned westwards on its axis, it now turns to the east.

    For centuries, fame and fortune were to be found in the west - in the New World of the Americas. Today, it is the east which calls out to those in search of riches and adventure. Sweeping right across Central Asia and deep into China and India, a region that once took centre stage is again rising to dominate global politics, commerce and culture.

    A major reassessment of world history, The Silk Roads is a dazzling exploration of the forces that have driven the rise and fall of empires, determined the flow of ideas and goods and are now heralding a new dawn in international affairs.

    Imprint: BLOOMSBURY
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • SITA : An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana
    SITA : An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana
    PATTANAIK DEVDUTT
    ISBN: 9780143064329
    Title: SITA : An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana
    Author: PATTANAIK DEVDUTT
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    It is significant that the only character in Hindu mythology, a king at that, to be given the title of ekam-patni-vrata, devoted to a single wife, is associated with the most unjust act of abandoning her in the forest to protect family reputation. This seems a deliberate souring of an uplifting narrative. Ram's refusal to remarry to produce a royal heir adds to the complexity. The intention seems to be to provoke throught on notions of fidelity, property and self-image.

    And so the mythologist and illustrator Devdutt Pattaanik retells the Ramayana, drawing attention to the many oral, visual and written retellings composed in different times, in different places, by different poets, each one trying to solve the puzzle in its own unique way.

    This book approaches Ram by speculating on Sita: her childhood with her father, Janaka, who hosted sages mentioned in the Upanishads; her stay in the forest with her husband, who had to be a celibate ascetic while she was in the prime of her youth; her interactions with the women of Lanka, recipes she exchanged, emotions they shared; her connection with the earth, her mother, and with the trees, her sisters; her role as the Goddess, the untamed Kali as well as the demure Gauri, in transforming the stoic prince of Ayodhya into God.

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • SIX DAY WAR : The Breaking of the Middle East
    SIX DAY WAR : The Breaking of the Middle East
    LARON GUY
    ISBN: 9780300222708
    Title: SIX DAY WAR : The Breaking of the Middle East
    Author: LARON GUY
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    One fateful week in June 1967 redrew the map of the Middle East. Many scholars have documented how the Six Day War unfolded, but little has been done to explain why the conflict happened at all. As we approach its fiftieth anniversary, Guy Laron refutes the widely accepted belief that the war was merely the result of regional friction, revealing the crucial roles played by American and Soviet policies in the face of an encroaching global economic crisis, and restoring Syria's often overlooked centrality to events leading up to the hostilities. The Six Day War effectively sowed the seeds for the downfall of Arab nationalism, the growth of Islamic extremism, and the animosity between Jews and Palestinians. In this important new work, Laron's fresh interdisciplinary perspective and extensive archival research offer a significant reassessment of a conflict-and the trigger-happy generals behind it-that continues to shape the modern world.

    Imprint: YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS
    RRP: $49.99

    Price: $49.99
  • SIX MINUTES IN MAY : How Churchill Unexpectedly Became Prime Minister
    SIX MINUTES IN MAY : How Churchill Unexpectedly Became Prime Minister
    SHAKESPEARE NICHOLAS
    ISBN: 9781784701000
    Title: SIX MINUTES IN MAY : How Churchill Unexpectedly Became Prime Minister
    Author: SHAKESPEARE NICHOLAS
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    London, early May 1940: Britain is on the brink of war and Neville Chamberlain’s government is about to fall. It is hard for us to imagine the Second World War without Winston Churchill taking over at the helm, but in SIX MINUTES IN MAY Nicholas Shakespeare shows how easily events could have gone in a different direction.

    The first land battle of the war was fought in the far north, in Norway. It went disastrously for the Allies and many blamed Churchill. Yet weeks later he would rise to the most powerful post in the country, overtaking Chamberlain and the favourite to succeed him, Lord Halifax.

    It took just six minutes for MPs to cast the votes that brought down Chamberlain. Shakespeare shows us both the dramatic action on the battlefield in Norway and the machinations and personal relationships in Westminster that led up to this crucial point. Uncovering fascinating new research and delving deep into the backgrounds of the key players, he has given us a new perspective on this critical moment in our history.

    Imprint: VINTAGE
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • SKULLS : AN EXPLORATION OF ALAN DUDLEYS CURIOUS COLLECTION
    SKULLS : AN EXPLORATION OF ALAN DUDLEYS CURIOUS COLLECTION
    WINCHESTER SIMON
    ISBN: 9781579129125
    Title: SKULLS : AN EXPLORATION OF ALAN DUDLEYS CURIOUS COLLECTION
    Author: WINCHESTER SIMON
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Skulls is a spellbinding exploration of more than 300 different animal skullsamphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptileswritten by New York Times bestselling author, Simon Winchester. At the center of Skulls is a stunning, never-before-seen-in-any-capacity, visual array of the skulls of more than 300 animals that walk, swim, and fly. The skulls are from the collection of Alan Dudley, a British collector and owner of what is probably the largest and most complete private collection of skulls in the world. Every skull is beautifully photographed to show off its most fascinating features and to give the reader the most intimate view possible. Where possible, cross-sections and additional angles are also shown. Along with the imagery, each skull includes a short explanatory essay, taxonomy, biological data, skull details, comparative skeletal anatomy, and other pertinent information. The text is written by bestselling and internationally renowned author, Simon Winchester, and covers the story of Alan Dudley and his collection, as well as the biology, history, and iconography of skulls throughout the world. Includes 550 highest-quality, visually arresting photographs throughout.

    Imprint: BLACK DOG LEVENTHAL
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • SLOTHS! : A Celebration of the World's Most Maligned Mammal
    SLOTHS! : A Celebration of the World's Most Maligned Mammal
    HARTSTON WILLIAM
    ISBN: 9781786494221
    Title: SLOTHS! : A Celebration of the World's Most Maligned Mammal
    Author: HARTSTON WILLIAM
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In public estimation and scientific investigations, sloths have undergone an astonishing transformation in the course of the past few years. Thanks largely to YouTube clips posted by the sloth orphanage in Costa Rica, sloths have attracted a vast audience of admirers. Instead of seeing them as ridiculous anachronisms of which we know little, they have turned into creatures considered by many to be the most endearing on earth.

    Over much the same period, scientific investigations have also changed our view of sloths. No longer are they seen as total misfits in the modern world but, in the words of one specialist sloth investigator, they are 'masters of the alternative lifestyle'.

    While giving plenty of opportunity with its illustrations for the sloth-lovers among us to enjoy their smiles and apparent vulnerability, this book will also cover the fascinating history of the sloths, from the prehistoric Ground Sloth to modern pygmy sloths in Panama, the current state of the science of sloths and will reveal the truth behind sloth behaviour.

    Imprint: ATLANTIC BOOKS
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • SOMME
    SOMME
    SEBAG-MONTEFIORE HUGH
    ISBN: 9780141043326
    Title: SOMME
    Author: SEBAG-MONTEFIORE HUGH
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    No conflict better encapsulates all that went wrong on the Western Front during World War I than the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The tragic loss of life and stoic endurance by troops who walked towards their death is an iconic image - but this critically-acclaimed bestseller, on the four months of battle, shows the extent to which the Allied armies were in fact able to break through the German front lines again and again. In eight years of research, Hugh Sebag-Montefiore has found extraordinary new material from Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, and the British - from heartbreaking diaries and letters to hitherto unseen Red Cross files - recounting their experiences amid the horror of war. It has been hailed as the best book about the battle, which, though not an Allied victory, was the beginning of the slide towards German defeat.

    Imprint: VIKING
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • SOMME  -  UPDATED EDITION
    SOMME - UPDATED EDITION
    PRIOR ROBIN / WILSON TREVOR
    ISBN: 9781742235028
    Title: SOMME - UPDATED EDITION
    Author: PRIOR ROBIN / WILSON TREVOR
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    In the long history of the British Army, the Battle of the Somme was its bloodiest encounter. Between July 1 and mid-November 1916, 432,000 of its soldiers became casualties – about 3,600 for every day of battle. German casualties were far fewer despite British superiority in the air and in lethal artillery.

    What went wrong for the British, and who was responsible? Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson have examined the entire public archive on the Battle of the Somme to reconstruct the day-by-day course of the war. The result is the most precise and authentic account of the campaign on record and a book that challenges almost every received view of the battle. The colossal rate of infantry casualties in fact resulted from inadequate fire support; responsibility for tactical mistakes actually belonged to the High Command and the civilian War Committee. Field-Marshall Haig, the records show, was repeatedly deficient in strategy, tactics, command, and organisation. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers died for a cause that lacked both a coherent military plan and responsible political leadership. Prior and Wilson decisively change our understanding of the history of the Western Front.

    Imprint: UNSW PRESS
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • SONS OF CAIN : A History of Serial Killers from the Stone Age to the Present
    SONS OF CAIN : A History of Serial Killers from the Stone Age to the Present
    VRONSKY PETER
    ISBN: 9780425276976
    Title: SONS OF CAIN : A History of Serial Killers from the Stone Age to the Present
    Author: VRONSKY PETER
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Before the term was coined in 1981, there were no "serial killers." There were only "monsters"-killers society first understood as werewolves, vampires, ghouls and witches or, later, Hitchcockian psychos.

    In Sons of Cain-a book that fills the gap between dry academic studies and sensationalized true crime-investigative historian Peter Vronsky examines our understanding of serial killing from its prehistoric anthropological evolutionary dimensions in the pre-civilization era (c. 15,000 BC) to today. Delving further back into human history and deeper into the human psyche than Serial Killers-Vronsky's 2004 book, which has been called the definitive history of serial murder-he focuses strictly on sexual serial killers- thrill killers who engage in murder, rape, torture, cannibalism and necrophilia, as opposed to for-profit serial killers, including hit men, or "political" serial killers, like terrorists or genocidal murderers.

    These sexual serial killers differ from all other serial killers in their motives and their foundations. They are uniquely human and-as popular culture has demonstrated-uniquely fascinating.

    Imprint: BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
    RRP: $27.99

    Price: $27.99
  • SOPHIE SCHOLL AND THE WHITE ROSE
    SOPHIE SCHOLL AND THE WHITE ROSE
    DUMBACH ANNETTE NEWBORN JUD
    ISBN: 9781786072504
    Title: SOPHIE SCHOLL AND THE WHITE ROSE
    Author: DUMBACH ANNETTE NEWBORN JUD
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    This is the gripping story of the five Munich university students who set up an underground resistance movement in World War II, featured in the award-winning Oscar-nominated film, Sophie Scholl - The Final Days. This 75th anniversary edition commemorates the 75 years since their arrest & execution in 1943. This updated edition includes a new preface and more photos.

    Imprint: ONE WORLD
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • SOULS OF CHINA : The Return of Religion After Mao
    SOULS OF CHINA : The Return of Religion After Mao
    JOHNSON IAN
    ISBN: 9780141986081
    Title: SOULS OF CHINA : The Return of Religion After Mao
    Author: JOHNSON IAN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In no society on Earth was there such a ferocious attempt to eradicate all trace of religion as in modern China. But now, following a century of violent antireligious campaigns, China is awash with new temples, churches, and mosques - as well as cults, sects, and politicians trying to harness religion for their own ends. Driving this explosion of faith is uncertainty - over what it means to be Chinese, and how to live an ethical life in a country that discarded traditional morality and is still searching for new guideposts.

    The Souls of China is the result of some fifteen years of studying and travelling around China. The message of Ian Johnson's extraordinary book is that China is now experiencing a 'Great Awakening' on a vast scale. Everywhere long-suppressed religions are rebuilding, often in new forms, and reshaping the values and behaviours of entire communities.

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • SOUTH AUSTRALIA ON THE EVE OF WAR
    SOUTH AUSTRALIA ON THE EVE OF WAR
    OPPENHEIMER MELANIE [ED]
    ISBN: 9781743054741
    Title: SOUTH AUSTRALIA ON THE EVE OF WAR
    Author: OPPENHEIMER MELANIE [ED]
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In August 1914 South Australians - much like their fellow Australians around the country - enthusiastically displayed their patriotism when war was announced. It's a story we know well, but what do we know of South Australia in the lead up to the First World War? What was it like to live there at the time? What were South Australians talking about?

    Imprint: WAKEFIELD
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
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