Block of Books
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  • BOOK TOWNS
    BOOK TOWNS
    JOHNSON ALEX
    ISBN: 9780711238930
    Title: BOOK TOWNS
    Author: JOHNSON ALEX
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Book Towns takes readers on a richly illustrated tour of these captivating literary towns, outlining the history and development of each community, as well as offering practical travel advice.

    Around 40 semi-official 'Book Towns' now exist around the world, with most concentrated in Europe, South-East Asia, North America and Australia, but until now, there has been no directory of their location, history and charm. Book Towns takes readers on a richly illustrated tour of these captivating literary towns, outlining the history and development of each community, as well as offering practical travel advice.

    The so-called 'Book Towns' of the world are dedicated havens of literature, and the ultimate dream of book lovers everywhere. Book Towns takes readers on a richly illustrated tour of the 40 semi-officially recognised literary towns around the world and outlines the history and development of each community, and offers practical travel advice.

    Many Book Towns have emerged in areas of marked attraction, such as Urena in Spain or Fjaerland in Norway, where bookshops have been set up in buildings including former ferry waiting rooms and banks. While the UK has the best-known examples at Hay, Wigtown and Sedbergh, the book has a broad international appeal, featuring locations such as Jimbochu in Japan, College Street in Calcutta, and major unofficial 'book cities' such as Buenos Aires.

    Imprint: FRANCES LINCOLN
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • BOOKS THAT SAVED MY LIFE : Reading for Wisdom Solace and Pleasure
    BOOKS THAT SAVED MY LIFE : Reading for Wisdom Solace and Pleasure
    MCGIRR MICHAEL
    ISBN: 9781925773149
    Title: BOOKS THAT SAVED MY LIFE : Reading for Wisdom Solace and Pleasure
    Author: MCGIRR MICHAEL
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Here are forty texts to read at some stage in your life- forty texts that can enrich you in all manner of ways. Some are recent, like Harry Potter; some ancient, like Homer and Lao Tzu. There are memoirs (Nelson Mandela), poetry (Les Murray) and many of the world's great novels, from George Eliot's Middlemarch to Toni Morrison's Beloved.

    Our guide, in entertaining short essays about personal encounters with each of these works, is Michael McGirr- schoolteacher and former priest, reviewer of hundreds of novels and lifelong lover of literature. His humour and insight shine through in stories that connect the texts he has selected with each other, and connect us to them.

    Never prescriptive, and often very funny, this book is an invitation to reflect on-and share with others-the extraordinary gift of reading. 'It is a gift that is taking me a lifetime to unwrap,' McGirr writes. 'The excitement has never worn off.'

    Imprint: TEXT PUBLISHING
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • BOOKSHOPS
    BOOKSHOPS
    CARRION JORGE
    ISBN: 9780857054463
    Title: BOOKSHOPS
    Author: CARRION JORGE
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Why do bookshops matter? How do they filter our ideas and literature? In this inventive and highly entertaining extended essay, Jorge Carrion takes his reader on a journey around the world, via its bookshops. His travels take him to Shakespeare & Co in Paris, Wells in Winchester, Green Apple Books in San Francisco, Librairie des Colonnes in Tangier, the Strand Book Store in New York and provoke encounters with thinkers, poets, dreamers, revolutionaries and readers.

    BOOKSHOPS is the travelogue of a lucid and curious observer, filled with anecdotes and stories from the universe of writing, publishing and selling books. A bookshop in Carrion's eyes never just a place for material transaction; it is a meeting place for people and their ideas, a setting for world changing encounters, a space that can transform lives.

    Written in the midst of a worldwide recession, BOOKSHOPS examines the role of these spaces in today's evershifting climate of globalisation, vanishing high streets, e-readers and Amazon. But far from taking a pessimistic view of the future of the physical bookshop, Carrion makes a compelling case for hope, underlining the importance of these places and the magic that can happen there. A vital manifesto for the future of the traditional bookshop, and a delight for all who love them.

    Imprint: MACLEHOSE
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • BRIEF TAKE ON THE AUSTRALIAN NOVEL
    BRIEF TAKE ON THE AUSTRALIAN NOVEL
    VERNAY JEAN-FRANCOIS
    ISBN: 9781743054048
    Title: BRIEF TAKE ON THE AUSTRALIAN NOVEL
    Author: VERNAY JEAN-FRANCOIS
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    From Jean-François Vernay, A Brief Take on the Australian Novel offers a sweeping view of Australian writing since colonialism. Written from an outsider's perspective, this single-authored overview will appeal to readers through its playful, jargon-free and potentially contentious account of the Australian novel. Vernay offers a unique and insightful perspective on Australian literature.

    Like a film narrator, he speaks directly to the reader, offering close-ups on particular works alongside panoramic views of the literary landscape. One can imagine the reader as part of an audience in a darkened cinema, absorbed in exciting action on the silver screen.

    Born of an Australian mother and a French father, Jean-François Vernay grew up in New Caledonia's multicultural community which shares some of Australia's characteristics, including a convict heritage and a complex history of settlement. Using Peter Carey and Christopher Koch as a starting point, he has been researching Australian fiction for 20 years and has published widely in the field, both in French and in English. Dr Vernay is an energetic critic, editor, creative writer and cultural commentator. His fiction and nonfiction books have appeared in France, Australia and in the United States.

    Imprint: WAKEFIELD
    RRP: $29.95

    Price: $29.95
  • BROWSE : Love Letters to Bookshops Around the World
    BROWSE : Love Letters to Bookshops Around the World
    SMITH ALI
    ISBN: 9781782272960
    Title: BROWSE : Love Letters to Bookshops Around the World
    Author: SMITH ALI
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: December 2018 New Release

    A celebration of bookshops all over the world, by an award-winning cast of writers including Ali Smith, Andrey Kurkov, Elif Shafak and Daniel Kehlmann, now in paperback.

    A cabinet of curiosities, a time machine, a treasure trove - we love bookshops because they possess a unique kind of magic. In Browse Henry Hitchings asks fifteen writers from around the world to reveal their favourite bookshops, each conjuring a specific time and place.
    Ali Smith chronicles the secrets and personal stories hidden within the pages of secondhand books; Alaa Al Aswany tells of the Cairo bookshop where revolutionaries gathered during the 2011 uprisings; Elif Shafak evokes the bookstores of Istanbul, their chaos and diversity, their aroma of tobacco and coffee. Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor recalls the quandary of choosing just one book at a favourite childhood store in Nairobi, while Iain Sinclair shares his grief on witnessing a beloved old haunt close down. Others explore bookshops they have stumbled upon, adored and become addicted to, from Delhi to Bogota.
    These inquisitive, enchanting pieces are a collective celebration of bookshops - for anyone who has ever fallen under their spell.

    Contributors include: Alaa Al Aswany (Egypt); Stefano Benni (Italy); Michael Dirda (USA); Daniel Kehlmann (Germany); Andrey Kurkov (Ukraine); Yiyun Li (China); Pankaj Mishra (India); Dorthe Nors (Denmark); Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (Kenya); Elif Shafak (Turkey); Ian Sansom (UK); Iain Sinclair (UK); Ali Smith (UK); Sasa Stanisic (Germany/Bosnia); Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Colombia)

    Imprint: PUSHKIN PRESS
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • COMPACT OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
    COMPACT OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
    3RD REVISED EDITION
    ISBN: 9780199532964
    Title: COMPACT OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
    Author: 3RD REVISED EDITION
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE


    Imprint: OXFORD
    RRP: $59.95
    Price: $59.95
  • CONCISE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
    CONCISE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
    12TH EDITION
    ISBN: 9780199601080
    Title: CONCISE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
    Author: 12TH EDITION
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    100 years after its first publication, the twelfth edition of this world-famous bestseller gives the most up-to-date picture of the English language today. The original 1911 edition, revolutionary at the time for its focus on current English and its use of illustrative examples, combined a succinct yet approachable style with coverage of everyday as well as specialist terms. This centenary edition continues this ground-breaking tradition, giving you rich authoritative coverage of English as it is used today. Explore our language resources on oxforddictionaries.com, Oxford's home for dictionaries and language reference. Updated regularly with the latest changes to words and meanings, the site provides hundreds of thousands of definitions, synonyms, and pronunciations in a range of languages. Access the highest quality language content, built from our extensive research, for free on your desktop or device.

    Imprint: OXFORD
    RRP: $63.99

    Price: $63.99
  • DAEMON VOICES : Essays on Storytelling
    DAEMON VOICES : Essays on Storytelling
    PULLMAN PHILIP
    ISBN: 9781910200964
    Title: DAEMON VOICES : Essays on Storytelling
    Author: PULLMAN PHILIP
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A masterful collection of essays on storytelling by Philip Pullman, one of our greatest writers.

    Imprint: DAVID FICKLING BOOKS
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • DEATH SENTENCE : The Decay of Public Language
    DEATH SENTENCE : The Decay of Public Language
    WATSON DON
    ISBN: 9780143790983
    Title: DEATH SENTENCE : The Decay of Public Language
    Author: WATSON DON
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: MARCH 2018 NEW RELEASE

    Part diatribe, part cool reflection on the state of Australia's public language, Don Watson's Death Sentence is scathing, funny and brilliant.

    ' ... in public life the language has never been held in less regard. It withers in the dungeons of the technocratic mind. It is butchered by the media. In politics it lacks all qualifications for the main game.'

    Almost sixty years ago, George Orwell described the decay of language and why this threatened democratic society. But compared to what we now endure, the public language of Orwell's day brimmed with life and truth. Today's corporations, government departments, news media, and, perhaps most dangerously, politicians - speak to each other and to us in cliched, impenetrable, lifeless sludge.

    Don Watson can bear it no longer. In Death Sentence, part diatribe, part cool reflection on the state of Australia's public language, he takes a blowtorch to the words - and their users - who kill joy, imagination and clarity. Scathing, funny and brilliant, Death Sentence is a small book of profound weight - and timeliness.

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • DRAFT NO 4 : On the Writing Process
    DRAFT NO 4 : On the Writing Process
    MCPHEE JOHN
    ISBN: 9781925603651
    Title: DRAFT NO 4 : On the Writing Process
    Author: MCPHEE JOHN
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The long-awaited guide to writing long-form non-fiction by the legendary author and teacher.

    In Draft No. 4 John McPhee shares insights he has gathered over his long career, and has refined while teaching at Princeton University, where he has nurtured some of the most highly regarded writers of our time. He discusses structure, diction and tone, observing that ‘readers are not supposed to notice the structure. It is meant to be about as visible as someone’s bones’.

    This book is a vivid depiction of the writing process, enriched by personal reflections on the life of a writer. Everything in this luminous book is enlivened by McPhee’s keen sense of writing as a way of being in the world.

    Imprint: TEXT PUBLISHING
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • ETYMOLOGICON : A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language
    ETYMOLOGICON : A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language
    FORSYTH MARK
    ISBN: 9781785781704
    Title: ETYMOLOGICON : A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language
    Author: FORSYTH MARK
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    What is the actual connection between disgruntled and gruntled? What links church organs to organised crime, California to the Caliphate, or brackets to codpieces?

    The Etymologicon is all about the strange connections between words. It's an occasionally ribald, frequently witty and unerringly erudite guided tour of the secret labyrinth that lurks beneath the English language, taking in monks and monkeys, film buffs and buffaloes, and explaining precisely what the Rolling Stones have to do with gardening.

    It's become a classic of writing about the English language. If you're interested in etymology, you need to have read this book!

    Imprint: ICON
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • EVERY WORD IS A BIRD WE TEACH TO SING : Encounters with the Mysteries & Meanings of Language
    EVERY WORD IS A BIRD WE TEACH TO SING : Encounters with the Mysteries & Meanings of Language
    TAMMET DANIEL
    ISBN: 9780340961377
    Title: EVERY WORD IS A BIRD WE TEACH TO SING : Encounters with the Mysteries & Meanings of Language
    Author: TAMMET DANIEL
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A mind-expanding, deeply humane tour of language(s) - and those who speak, study, and invent them - by the bestselling author of BORN ON A BLUE DAY and THINKING IN NUMBERS.

    Is vocabulary destiny? Why do clocks 'talk' to the Nahua people of Mexico? Will A.I. researchers ever produce true human-machine dialogue? In this mesmerizing collection of essays, Daniel Tammet answers these and many other questions about the intricacy and profound power of language.

    In EVERY WORD IS A BIRD WE TEACH TO SING, Tammet goes back in time to explore the numeric language of his autistic childhood; in Iceland, he learns why the name Bl r became a court case; in Canada, he meets one of the world's most accomplished lip readers. He chats with chatbots; contrives an 'e'-less essay on lipograms; studies the grammar of the telephone; contemplates the significance of disappearing dialects; and corresponds with native Esperanto speakers - in their mother tongue.

    A joyous romp through the world of words, letters, stories, and meanings, EVERY WORD IS A BIRD WE TEACH TO SING explores the way communication shapes reality. From the art of translation to the lyricism of sign language, these essays display the stunning range of Tammet's literary and polyglot talents.

    Imprint: HODDER & STOUGHTON
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 9TH EDITION
    FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 9TH EDITION
    PIZZEY GRAHAM / KNIGHT FRANK
    ISBN: 9780732291938
    Title: FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA 9TH EDITION
    Author: PIZZEY GRAHAM / KNIGHT FRANK
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The definitive and most respected guide to Australian bird identification and a must for both experts and amateurs. First published in 1980, Graham Pizzey's field guide combines a depth and breadth of knowledge with beautiful, full-colour illustrations by Frank Knight. This 9th edition is even more user-friendly than the 8th edition. The species entries are ordered as per the new taxonomic order of C&B 2008 and the guide is more suitable to be used as a quick reference due to the inclusion of associated colour-tabs. It has also been brought up-to-date with the inclusion of a number of new species, encompassing significantly more Vagrants (very occasional visitors to Australia, mostly storm assisted) which will have their own discrete Vagrants section at the back of the book. It also contains a longer Quick Reference Guide than the 8th edition, spanning over a few pages, with presenting images alongside the species group names.

    Imprint: HARPER COLLINS
    RRP: $45.00
    Price: $45.00
  • FLORENCE : A Delicate Case
    FLORENCE : A Delicate Case
    LEAVITT DAVID
    ISBN: 9781632863751
    Title: FLORENCE : A Delicate Case
    Author: LEAVITT DAVID
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Why has Florence always drawn so many English and American visitors? (At the turn of the century, the Anglo-American population numbered more than thirty thousand.) Why have men and women fleeing sex scandals traditionally settled here? What is it about Florence that has made it so fascinating--and so repellent--to artists and writers over the years?
    Moving fleetly between present and past and exploring characters both real and fictional, Leavitt's narrative limns the history of the foreign colony from its origins in the middle of the nineteenth century until its demise under Mussolini, and considers the appeal of Florence to figures as diverse as Tchaikovsky, E.M. Forster, Ronald Firbank, and Mary McCarthy. Lesser-known episodes in Florentine history--the moving of Michelangelo's David, and the construction of temporary bridges by black American soldiers in the wake of the Second World War--are contrasted with images of Florence today (its vast pizza parlors and tourist culture). Leavitt also examines the city's portrayal in such novels and films as A Room with a View, The Portrait of a Lady and Tea with Mussolini.

    Imprint: BLOOMSBURY
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $14.99
  • FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS : A Celebration of the Written Word
    FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS : A Celebration of the Written Word
    TARRANT GRAHAM
    ISBN: 9781786852700
    Title: FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS : A Celebration of the Written Word
    Author: TARRANT GRAHAM
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    From banned books to feuding authors, from literary felons to rejected masterpieces, from tips for aspiring writers to stand-out book lists, this treasure trove of compelling facts, riveting anecdotes and extraordinary characters is every book-lover's dream: a book about books and the people who write them. Read all about it!

    Imprint: SUMMERSDALE
    RRP: $22.99
    Price: $22.99
  • FUCKING APOSTROPHES
    FUCKING APOSTROPHES
    GRIFFIN SIMON
    ISBN: 9781785781414
    Title: FUCKING APOSTROPHES
    Author: GRIFFIN SIMON
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Apostrophes are a f'ing pain. The rules about how to use them are complicated, and have evolved haphazardly.

    Originally written as advice by a copywriter for designers - wont to insert and remove apostrophes at will, for visual effect - this is a light-hearted, pocket-sized guide to getting the f'ing things right.

    Simon Griffin lets off steam so that we don't have to, showing precisely why 'Rhianna and Jennifer's photos were all over the internet' is quite different to 'Rhianna's and Jennifer's photos' or what words apostrophes are replacing in sentences such as 'He'd like you to buy him some cocaine', or 'They've got it all on camera.'

    Elegantly produced, this is the perfect gift for any pedant, as well as an indispensable guide in all our moments of grammar-related frustration.

    WARNING: CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE!

    Imprint: ICON
    RRP: $16.99

    Price: $16.99
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