Block of Books
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  • WHY HOMER MATTERS
    WHY HOMER MATTERS
    NICOLSON ADAM
    ISBN: 9781627791793
    Title: WHY HOMER MATTERS
    Author: NICOLSON ADAM
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A journey through Homer's landscapes, bringing them from the backdrop of poetry to the present day.

    In a spectacular journey through mythical and modern landscapes, Adam Nicholson explores the places forever haunted by their Homeric heroes. South to East, from Sicily, awash with wild flowers overlooked by Italy's largest oil refinery, to Ithaca, southern Spain, the mountains on the edges of Andalusia and Extremadura, to the deserted, irradiated steppes of Chernobyl, where Homeric warriors still lie under the tumuli, unexcavated. This is a world of springs and drought, seas and cities, with not a tourist in sight. And all sewn together by the poems themselves, and their great metaphors of life and suffering. Showing us the real roots of Homeric consciousness, the physical environment that fills the gaps between the words of the poems themselves, Nicholson's is itself a Homeric journey.

    A wandering meditation on lost worlds, our interconnectedness with our ancestors and the surroundings we share. This is the original meeting of place and mind, our empathy with the past, our landscape as our drama.

    Following the acclaimed Gentry, which established him as one of the great landscape writers working today, Nicholson takes Homer's poems back to their source: beneath the distant, god-inhabited mountains, on the Trojan plains above the graves of the heroic dead, we find afresh the foundation level of human experience on earth.


    Imprint: HENRY HOLT
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • WHY THE GERMANS WHY THE JEWS
    WHY THE GERMANS WHY THE JEWS
    ALY GOTZ
    ISBN: 9781250062642
    Title: WHY THE GERMANS WHY THE JEWS
    Author: ALY GOTZ
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Why did the Holocaust happen in Germany, of all places? How did a country known for its culture and refinement turn so rabidly anti-Semitic? Why did a nation where Jews had full civil rights and many opportunities - a place that Jews had eagerly flocked to in the early twentieth century to escape racist persecution in Poland and Russia - turn upon them so violently just a few decades later?

    Countless people have grappled with these questions, but few have come up with answers as original and perceptive as those of German historian Götz Aly. Tracing the prehistory of the Holocaust - from the 1800s to the Nazis' assumption of power in 1933 - Aly shows that German anti-Semitism did not originate with racist ideology or religious animosity, as is often supposed. Instead, through striking statistics and economic analysis, he demonstrates that it was rooted in a more basic emotion: material envy. Resenting the success of the urban, well-educated Jewish minority in the rapidly modernizing world, Germans embraced compensatory theories of Jewish racial inferiority. And the growing resentment, pervading society, provided fertile ground for Hitler and his genocidal politics.

    Imprint: ST MARTINS PRESS
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • WHY THE WEST RULES - FOR NOW
    WHY THE WEST RULES - FOR NOW
    MORRIS IAN
    ISBN: 9781846682087
    Title: WHY THE WEST RULES - FOR NOW
    Author: MORRIS IAN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Why does the West rule? Eminent Stanford polymath Ian Morris answers this provocative question, drawing uniquely on 15,000 years of history and archaeology, and the methods of social science.
    In the middle of the eighteenth century, British entrepreneurs unleashed the astounding energies of steam and coal and the world changed forever. Factories, railways and gunboats then propelled the West's rise to power, and computers and nuclear weapons in the twentieth century secured its global supremacy. Today, however, many worry that the emergence of China and India spell the end of the West as a superpower.

    How long will the power of the West last? In order to find out we need to know: why has the West been so dominant for the past two hundred years?

    With flair and authority, historian and achaeologist Ian Morris draws uniquely on 15,000 years of history to offer fresh insights on what the future will bring. Deeply researched and brilliantly argued, Why The West Rules - For Now is a gripping and truly original history of the world.

    Imprint: PROFILE BOOKS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • WICKED BOY : The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer
    WICKED BOY : The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer
    SUMMERSCALE KATE
    ISBN: 9781408851166
    Title: WICKED BOY : The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer
    Author: SUMMERSCALE KATE
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord's. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents' valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building.
    When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the 'penny dreadful' novels that Robert loved to read.
    In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality it is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case, but also a compelling account of its aftermath, and of man's capacity to overcome the past.

    Imprint: BLOOMSBURY
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • WICKED BUGS : The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects
    WICKED BUGS : The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects
    STEWART AMY
    ISBN: 9781565129603
    Title: WICKED BUGS : The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects
    Author: STEWART AMY
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: SEPTEMBER 2017 NEW RELEAS

    In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world, Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes—creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world’s most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the 'bookworms' that devour libraries, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary powers of six- and eight-legged creatures.

    Imprint: ALGONQUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
  • WICKED BUGS : THE LOUSE THAT CONQUERED NAPOLEONS ARMY AND OTHER DIABOLICAL INSECTS
    WICKED BUGS : THE LOUSE THAT CONQUERED NAPOLEONS ARMY AND OTHER DIABOLICAL INSECTS
    STEWART AMY
    ISBN: 9781604692945
    Title: WICKED BUGS : THE LOUSE THAT CONQUERED NAPOLEONS ARMY AND OTHER DIABOLICAL INSECTS
    Author: STEWART AMY
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world, Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes-creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs.

    From the world's most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the bookwormsA" that devour libraries, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary powers of six- and eight-legged creatures. Intricate and strangely beautiful etchings and drawings by Briony Morrow-Cribbs capture diabolical bugs of all shapes and sizes in this mixture of history, science, murder, and intrigue that begins-but doesn't end-in your own backyard.

    Imprint: TIMBER PRESS
    RRP: $25.99

    Price: $25.99
  • WICKED PLANTS : The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities
    WICKED PLANTS : The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities
    STEWART AMY
    ISBN: 9781565126831
    Title: WICKED PLANTS : The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities
    Author: STEWART AMY
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: SEPTEMBER 2017 NEW RELEAS

    A tree that sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed that stops the heart; a shrub that causes paralysis; a vine that strangles; and a leaf that triggered a war. In Wicked Plants, Stewart takes on over two hundred of Mother Nature’s most appalling creations. It’s an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend. You’ll learn which plants to avoid (like exploding shrubs), which plants make themselves exceedingly unwelcome (like the vine that ate the South), and which ones have been killing for centuries (like the weed that killed Abraham Lincoln's mother).

    Imprint: ALGONQUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
  • WILD PLACES
    WILD PLACES
    MACFARLANE ROBERT
    ISBN: 9781783784493
    Title: WILD PLACES
    Author: MACFARLANE ROBERT
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A new cover edition of the classic bestseller of British nature writing.

    Are there any genuinely wild places left in Britain and Ireland? Or have we tarmacked, farmed and built ourselves out of wildness?

    In his vital, bewitching, inspiring classic, Robert Macfarlane sets out in search of the wildness that remains.

    Imprint: GRANTA
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • WILD SEA : A History of the Southern Ocean
    WILD SEA : A History of the Southern Ocean
    MCCANN JOY
    ISBN: 9781742235738
    Title: WILD SEA : A History of the Southern Ocean
    Author: MCCANN JOY
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: JUNE 2018 NEW RELEASE

    Flowing completely around the Earth and unimpeded by any landmass, the Southern Ocean reaches from the seasonally-shifting ice continent of Antarctica to the southern coastlines and islands of Australia, New Zealand, South America and South Africa. Joy McCann interweaves the fascinating environmental and cultural histories of the Southern Ocean.

    Imprint: NEW SOUTH
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • WINTER KING : The Dawn Of Tudor England
    WINTER KING : The Dawn Of Tudor England
    PENN THOMAS
    ISBN: 9780141986609
    Title: WINTER KING : The Dawn Of Tudor England
    Author: PENN THOMAS
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: JULY 2018 NEW RELEASE

    In his remarkable debut, Penn vividly recreates the dark and turbulent reign of Henry VII. He traces the transformation of a young, vulnerable boy, Prince Henry, into the aggressive teenager who would become Henry VIII, and of Catherine of Aragon, his future queen. And at the book's heart is the tragic, magnetic figure of Henry VII - controlling, paranoid, avaricious, with a Machiavellian charm and will to power. It is 1501. Henry VII has won the throne of England through luck, guile and ruthlessness. But for many he remains a usurper. Now, his elder son is to marry, in a wedding upon which the fate of the country, and the entire Tudor dynasty, will hang . . .

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • WITCH : A History of Fear from Ancient Times to the Present
    WITCH : A History of Fear from Ancient Times to the Present
    HUTTON RONALD
    ISBN: 9780300229042
    Title: WITCH : A History of Fear from Ancient Times to the Present
    Author: HUTTON RONALD
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The witch came to prominence—and often a painful death—in early modern Europe, yet her origins are much more geographically diverse and historically deep. In this landmark book, Ronald Hutton traces witchcraft from the ancient world to the early-modern stake.


    This book sets the notorious European witch trials in the widest and deepest possible perspective and traces the major historiographical developments of witchcraft. Hutton, a renowned expert on ancient, medieval, and modern paganism and witchcraft beliefs, combines Anglo-American and continental scholarly approaches to examine attitudes on witchcraft and the treatment of suspected witches across the world, including in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Australia, and North and South America, and from ancient pagan times to current interpretations. His fresh anthropological and ethnographical approach focuses on cultural inheritance and change while considering shamanism, folk religion, the range of witch trials, and how the fear of witchcraft might be eradicated.

    Imprint: YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS
    RRP: $59.99

    Price: $59.99
  • WITCHES : SALEM 1692
    WITCHES : SALEM 1692
    SCHIFF STACY
    ISBN: 9781474602266
    Title: WITCHES : SALEM 1692
    Author: SCHIFF STACY
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's niece started to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before panic had infected the entire colony, nineteen men and women had been hanged, and a band of adolescent girls had brought Massachusetts to its knees.

    Vividly capturing the dark, unsettled atmosphere of seventeenth-century America, Stacy Schiff's magisterial history draws us into this anxious time. She shows us how quickly the epidemic of accusations, trials, and executions span out of control. Above all, Schiff's astonishing research reveals details and complexity that few other historians have seen.

    Imprint: WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • WITH OUR BACKS TO THE WALL : VICTORY AND DEFEAT IN 1918
    WITH OUR BACKS TO THE WALL : VICTORY AND DEFEAT IN 1918
    STEVENSON DAVID
    ISBN: 9780141020792
    Title: WITH OUR BACKS TO THE WALL : VICTORY AND DEFEAT IN 1918
    Author: STEVENSON DAVID
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    At the beginning of 1918 Britain and France faced a nightmare. As Germany launched a final, deadly onslaught, defeat looked certain. Yet only a few months later the Allies had turned disaster to triumph. How did this happen?David Stevenson retells the story of 1918, the First World War's year of reckoning. He goes to the roots of this dramatic reversal of fortune, laying bare the nerve-wracking decisions on both sides, examining the closely-fought offensives and counter-offensives, and capturing the sheer uncertainty faced by leaders, as Haig ordered his troops to fight to the last man: 'with our backs to the wall'.

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • WOMEN WHO FLEW FOR HITLER : The True Story of Hitler's Valkyries
    WOMEN WHO FLEW FOR HITLER : The True Story of Hitler's Valkyries
    MULLEY CLARE
    ISBN: 9781447274230
    Title: WOMEN WHO FLEW FOR HITLER : The True Story of Hitler's Valkyries
    Author: MULLEY CLARE
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Hanna Reitsch and Melitta von Stauffenberg were talented, courageous and strikingly attractive women who fought convention to make their names in the male-dominated field of flight in 1930s Germany. With the war, both became pioneering test pilots and both were awarded the Iron Cross for service to the Third Reich. But they could not have been more different and neither woman had a good word to say for the other.
    Hanna was middle-class, vivacious and distinctly Aryan, while the darker, more self-effacing Melitta, came from an aristocratic Prussian family. Both were driven by deeply held convictions about honour and patriotism but ultimately while Hanna tried to save Hitler's life, begging him to let her fly him to safety in April 1945, Melitta covertly supported the most famous attempt to assassinate the Führer. Their interwoven lives provide a vivid insight into Nazi Germany and its attitudes to women, class and race.

    Acclaimed biographer Clare Mulley gets under the skin of these two distinctive and unconventional women, giving a full - and as yet largely unknown - account of their contrasting yet strangely parallel lives, against a changing backdrop of the 1936 Olympics, the Eastern Front, the Berlin Air Club, and Hitler's bunker. Told with brio and great narrative flair, The Women Who Flew for Hitler is an extraordinary true story, with all the excitement and colour of the best fiction.

    Imprint: PAN
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • WOOD FOR THE TREES : The Long View of Nature from a Small Wood
    WOOD FOR THE TREES : The Long View of Nature from a Small Wood
    FORTEY RICHARD A
    ISBN: 9780008104696
    Title: WOOD FOR THE TREES : The Long View of Nature from a Small Wood
    Author: FORTEY RICHARD A
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: JUNE 2017 NEW RELEASE

    From one of our greatest science writers, this biography of a beech-and-bluebell wood through diverse moods and changing seasons combines stunning natural history with the ancient history of the countryside to tell the full story of the British landscape. ‘The woods are the great beauty of this country… A fine forest-like beech wood far more beautiful than anything else which we have seen in its vicinity' is how John Stuart Mill described a small patch of beech-and bluebell woodland, buried deeply in the Chiltern Hills and now owned by Richard Fortey. Drawing upon a lifetime of scientific expertise and abiding love of nature, Fortey uses his small wood to tell a wider story of the ever-changing British landscape, human influence on the countryside over many centuries and the vital interactions between flora, fauna and fungi.

    The trees provide a majestic stage for woodland animals and plants to reveal their own stories. Fortey presents his wood as an interwoven collection of different habitats rich in species. His attention ranges from the beech and cherry trees that dominate the wood to the flints underfoot; the red kites and woodpeckers that soar overhead; the lichens, mosses and liverworts decorating the branches as well as the myriad species of spiders, moths, beetles and crane-flies. The 300 species of fungi identified in the wood capture his attention as much as familiar deer, shrews and dormice.

    Fortey is a naturalist who believes that all organisms are as interesting as human beings – and certainly more important than the observer. So this book is a close examination of nature and human history. He proves that poetic writing is compatible with scientific precision. The book is filled with details of living animals and plants, charting the passage of the seasons, visits by fellow enthusiasts; the play of light between branches; the influence of geology; and how woodland influences history, architecture and industry. On every page he shows how an intimate study of one small wood can reveal so much about the natural world and demonstrates his relish for the incomparable pleasures of discovery.

    Imprint: COLLINS
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • WORLD IN A GRAIN : The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization
    WORLD IN A GRAIN : The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization
    BEISER VINCE
    ISBN: 9780399576423
    Title: WORLD IN A GRAIN : The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization
    Author: BEISER VINCE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: AUGUST 2018 NEW RELEASE

    The gripping story of the most important overlooked commodity in the world--sand--and the crucial role it plays in our lives.


    Except for water and air, sand is the natural resource that we consume more than any other-more than oil, more than natural gas. Every concrete building and paved road on Earth, every computer screen and silicon chip, exists because of sand. From Egypt's pyramids to the Hubble telescope, from the world's tallest skyscraper to the sidewalk below it, from Chartres' stained-glass windows to Chihuly sculptures to your iPhone, sand shelters us, empowers us, engages us, and inspires us. It's the ingredient that makes possible our cities, our science, our lives-and our future.

    And we're running out of it.

    The World in a Grain is the compelling true story of the hugely important and diminishing natural resource that grows more important every day, and some of the people who use it, sell it, recycle it, and destroy it. It's also a provocative examination of the serious human and environmental costs surrounding sand and the profound global significance, which has received little public attention. Award-winning journalist Vince Beiser delves deep into this world, explaining why sand is so crucial to modern life. Along the way, readers encounter sand pirates, become aware of child sand miners, and learn that not all sand is created equal: Some of the easiest sand to get to is the least useful. The result is an entertaining and eye-opening work, one that is both unexpected and involving, full of fascinating detail and populated by surprising people.

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $44.99

    Price: $44.99
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