Block of Books
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  • 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: ACTIVE TITLE

    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
  • FUCKING APOSTROPHES
    FUCKING APOSTROPHES
    GRIFFIN SIMON
    ISBN: 9781785781414
    Title: FUCKING APOSTROPHES
    Author: GRIFFIN SIMON
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    A hilarious, furious and profoundly useful short guide to the most maddening punctuation in English.

    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
  • GATE OF LILACS : A VERSE COMMENTARY ON PROUST   **Special Price**
    GATE OF LILACS : A VERSE COMMENTARY ON PROUST **Special Price**
    JAMES CLIVE
    ISBN: 9781509812356
    Title: GATE OF LILACS : A VERSE COMMENTARY ON PROUST **Special Price**
    Author: JAMES CLIVE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Over a period of fifteen years Clive James learned French by almost no other method than reading À la recherche du temps perdu. Then he spent half a century trying to get up to speed with Proust's great novel in two different languages. Gate of Lilacs is the unique product of James's love and engagement with Proust's eternal masterpiece.

    With À la recherche du temps perdu, Proust, in James's words, 'followed his creative instinct all the way until his breath gave out', and now James has done the same. In Gate of Lilacs, James, a brilliant critical essayist and poet, has blended the two forms into one.

    I had always thought the critical essay and the poem were closely related forms . . . If I wanted to talk about Proust's poetry beyond the basic level of talking about his language - if I wanted to talk about the poetry of his thought - then the best way to do it might be to write a poem.There is nothing like a poem for transmitting a mental flavour. Instead of trying to describe it, you can evoke it.

    In the end, if À la recherche du temps perdu is a book devoted almost entirely to its author's gratitude for life, for love, and for art, this much smaller book is devoted to its author's gratitude for Proust.

    Imprint: PICADOR
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $12.95
  • GREAT BOOKS OF CHINA
    GREAT BOOKS OF CHINA
    WOOD FRANCES
    ISBN: 9781786694522
    Title: GREAT BOOKS OF CHINA
    Author: WOOD FRANCES
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Great Books of China offers concise introductions – each of them accompanied by generous quotation (in English) from the book in question – to sixty-six works in the canon of Chinese literature. The books chosen reflect the chronological and thematic breadth of Chinese literary tradition, ranging from such classics as The Book of Songs and the Confucian Analects , through popular dramas and novels ( The Romance of the Western Chamber ; The Water Margin ), twentieth-century political and biographical works ( Quotations from Chairman Mao , the autobiography of the last emperor) and modern novels that are little known in the West ( Memories of South Peking , Six Chapters from a Cadre School Life ). Frances Wood presents a comprehensive, accessible and richly informative primer for the uninitiated; a box of delights that opens up an entire literary culture to the inquisitive reader.

    Imprint: HEAD OF ZEUS
    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
  • GREEKS HAD A WORD FOR IT
    GREEKS HAD A WORD FOR IT
    TAYLOR ANDREW
    ISBN: 9780593075715
    Title: GREEKS HAD A WORD FOR IT
    Author: TAYLOR ANDREW
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Do you ever search in vain for exactly the right word? Perhaps you want to articulate the vague desire to be far away. Or you can't quite convey that odd urge to go outside and check to see if anyone is coming. Maybe you're struggling to express there being just the right amount of something – not too much, but not too little. While the English may not have a word for it, the good news is that the Greeks, the Norwegians, the Dutch or possibly the Inuits probably do.

    Whether it's the Norwegian forelsket (that feeling of euphoria at the start of a love affair) or the Indonesian jayus (a joke so poorly told and so unfunny that you can't help but laugh), this delightful smörgåsbord of wonderful words from around the world will come to the rescue when the English language fails. Part glossary, part amusing musings, but wholly enlightening and entertaining, The Greeks Had a Word For It means you'll never again be lost for just the right word.

    Imprint: BANTAM
    RRP: $27.99

    Price: $27.99
  • HISTORY OF THE BOOK IN 100 BOOKS
    HISTORY OF THE BOOK IN 100 BOOKS
    CAVE RODERICK
    ISBN: 9781743317143
    Title: HISTORY OF THE BOOK IN 100 BOOKS
    Author: CAVE RODERICK
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    At this crucial time for the future of books as we know them today, this volume tells the story of the book from the very beginning.

    The ebook age has taken 'the book' to a turning point. But in fact, casting off old technologies and taking on new ones has been part of the history of the book since Egyptian times.From inscriptions on tombs to the first writings on papyrus; how scrolls gave way to the first bound "codex" books in Roman times; from exclusive and expensive hand-scribed books, to the creation of movable type, and the invention of printing for the masses; and from the printed book to the digital book, the ebook reader ... and beyond.

    Illustrating this story with lavish photography of some of the most treasured artefacts from the world's historic collections, A History of the Book in 100 Books traces mankind's 5,000-year quest to communicate ideas and knowledge.

    Imprint: ALLEN AND UNWIN
    RRP: $35.00

    Price: $35.00
  • HOW TO BE A WRITER : WHO SMASHES DEADLINES CRUSHES EDITORS AND LIVES IN A SOLID GOLD HOVERCRAFT
    HOW TO BE A WRITER : WHO SMASHES DEADLINES CRUSHES EDITORS AND LIVES IN A SOLID GOLD HOVERCRAFT
    BIRMINGHAM JOHN
    ISBN: 9781742234847
    Title: HOW TO BE A WRITER : WHO SMASHES DEADLINES CRUSHES EDITORS AND LIVES IN A SOLID GOLD HOVERCRAFT
    Author: BIRMINGHAM JOHN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    This gonzo guide is a lesson in the practicalities of writing: how to be productive, professional and maybe one day even pay the rent.

    Topics covered include ‘How to slay writer’s block’, ‘What the hell is workflow?’, ‘How to write 10,000 words in a day’ and ‘The best apps for writers’.

    How to Be a Writer is a kick-arse writing guide with a tough-love approach, written for the internet generation. John Birmingham is lauded as a prolific writer working across multiple genres. Here he shares his secrets. And some hard-core, real-world practical advice. And a few excellent descriptions of explosions.

    Imprint: NEW SOUTH
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • HOW TO WRITE LIKE TOLSTOY : A Journey into the Minds of Our Greatest Writers
    HOW TO WRITE LIKE TOLSTOY : A Journey into the Minds of Our Greatest Writers
    COHEN RICHARD
    ISBN: 9781786071651
    Title: HOW TO WRITE LIKE TOLSTOY : A Journey into the Minds of Our Greatest Writers
    Author: COHEN RICHARD
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A Spectator Best Book of the Year

    For anyone who has ever identified with a character from fiction, been seduced by a first sentence or been profoundly moved by a story's end, How to Write Like Tolstoy is a wonderful and illuminating journey into the minds and imaginations of the world's greatest writers.

    What made Nabokov choose the name Lolita? Why did Fitzgerald tell The Great Gatsby in the first person? How did Kerouac, who raged against revision, finally come to revise On the Road? Why did Martin Amis give up on writing about sex? Veteran editor Richard Cohen draws on a vast and eclectic reservoir of knowledge to reveal what makes good prose soar. From plot and character development to dialogue and point of view, the motivations, obsessions, tricks and talents of a host of great novelists are brought to the fore, their published works mined and private beliefs unearthed. There's the nature of originality as plagiarism is discussed, and a weighing of the odds when trying to write about physical intimacies. And how to begin…Or end? From first page to last, How to Write Like Tolstoy is a unique exploration of the act and art of writing, one which enriches our experience of reading both the classics and the best modern fiction, and provokes in us an overwhelming urge to read and to write.

    Imprint: ONE WORLD
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • ILLUSTRATED DUST JACKET 1920-1970
    ILLUSTRATED DUST JACKET 1920-1970
    SALISBURY MARTIN
    ISBN: 9780500519134
    Title: ILLUSTRATED DUST JACKET 1920-1970
    Author: SALISBURY MARTIN
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In the modern era, the "beautiful book," an art object in its own right, has become the key to the ongoing attraction of print publishing as physical books continue to distinguish themselves from the screen. Author Martin Salisbury traces the evolution of the book jacket from its functional origins as a plain dust protector for expensively bound books to its elaboration as an artistic device to catch the eye of browsing book buyers. The increasing awareness of the jacket's potential to serve as a marketing tool across various areas of the publishing world--from literary fiction to academic titles, and children's books--meant a proliferation of illustrative treatments. The book jackets reproduced here reflect the changing visual styles and motifs of the passing century, beginning with the Art Deco period and continuing through Modernism, the playful Thirties, the pre- and postwar Neo-Romantics, the new consumerism and realist subject matter of the Fifties, and the Pop Art of the Sixties. Featuring talent from the US and UK, Cover Up: The Illustrated Book Jacket explores the pictorial dust jacket through a selection of more than 300 key works and artists that influenced the course of book jacket design.

    Imprint: THAMES & HUDSON
    RRP: $50.00

    Price: $50.00
  • IN SEARCH OF LOST BOOKS
    IN SEARCH OF LOST BOOKS
    VAN STRATEN GIORGIO
    ISBN: 9781782273721
    Title: IN SEARCH OF LOST BOOKS
    Author: VAN STRATEN GIORGIO
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    These are the mythical books that were burnt, torn, stolen, or simply disappeared, but which certainly existed. In this elegiac and gripping volume, Giorgio van Straten is by turns detective and spy, traveller and scholar, as he sifts through clues, pursues leads, and interviews experts to discover the stories of these eight lost tomes, and their authors. His pursuit takes him around the world, and across decades, to discover serendipitous encounters and unexpected connections. From Byron's England to Sylvia Plath's, and on to France in the 1920s and Hemingway, across Gogol's Russia and from there to the Spanish frontier where Walter Benjamin tried to flee his destiny, from Nazi-occupied Poland where Bruno Schulz was killed in an argument between German officers and finally to a remote village in Canada where Malcolm Lowry took refuge ...

    Romano Bilenchi The Avenue
    Lord Byron Memoirs
    Ernest Hemingway Juvenilia
    Bruno Schulz The Messiah
    Nikolai Gogol Dead Souls (part II)
    Malcolm Lowry In Ballast to the White Sea
    Walter Benjamin What was in the Black Suitcase
    Sylvia Plath Double Exposure
    These are the lost books.

    Imprint: PUSHKIN PRESS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • IN THE SHADOW OF AGATHA CHRISTIE : Classic Crime Fiction by Forgotten Female Writers 1850-1917
    IN THE SHADOW OF AGATHA CHRISTIE : Classic Crime Fiction by Forgotten Female Writers 1850-1917
    KLINGER LESLIE S
    ISBN: 9781681776309
    Title: IN THE SHADOW OF AGATHA CHRISTIE : Classic Crime Fiction by Forgotten Female Writers 1850-1917
    Author: KLINGER LESLIE S
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Agatha Christie is undoubtedly the world's best-selling mystery author, hailed as the "Queen of Crime," with worldwide sales in the billions. Christie burst onto the literary scene in 1920, with The Mysterious Affair at Styles; her last novel was published in 1976, a career longer than even Conan Doyle's forty-year span.The truth is that it was due to the success of writers like Anna Katherine Green in America; L. T. Meade, C. L. Pirkis, the Baroness Orczy, and Elizabeth Corbett in England; and Mary Fortune in Australia that the doors were finally opened for women crime-writers.

    Authors who followed them, such as Patricia Wentworth, Dorothy Sayers, and, of course, Agatha Christie would not have thrived without the bold, fearless work of their predecessors-and the genre would be much poorer for their absence. So while Agatha Christie may still reign supreme, it is important to remember that she did not ascend that throne except on the shoulders of the women who came before her-and inspired her-and who are now removed from her shadow once and for all by this superb new anthology by Leslie S. Klinger.

    Featuring: Mary Fortune, Harriet Prescott Spofford, Ellen Wood, Elizabeth Corbett, C. L. Pirkis, Geraldine Bonner, Ellen Glasgow, L. T. Meade, Baroness Orczy, Augusta Großer, M. E. Graddon, Anna Katherine Green, Carolyn Wells, Susan Glashell

    Imprint: PEGASUS BOOKS
    RRP: $36.99

    Price: $36.99
  • JANE AUSTEN AND THE BODY : The Picture of Health
    JANE AUSTEN AND THE BODY : The Picture of Health
    WILTSHIRE JOHN
    ISBN: 9780521024990
    Title: JANE AUSTEN AND THE BODY : The Picture of Health
    Author: WILTSHIRE JOHN
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Jane Austen has been read as a novelist of manners, whose work discreetly avoids discussing the physical. John Wiltshire shows, on the contrary, how important are faces and bodies in her texts, from complainers and invalids like Mrs Bennet and Mr Woodhouse, to the frail, debilitated Fanny Price, the vulnerable Jane Fairfax, and the 'picture of health', Emma. Talk about health and illness in the novels is abundant, and constitutes community, but it also serves to disguise the operation of social and gender politics. Behind the medical paraphernalia and incidents are serious concerns with the nature of power as exerted through and on the body, and with the manifold meanings of illness. 'Nerves', 'spirits', and sensibility figure largely in these books, and Jane Austen is seen to offer a critique of the gendering power of illness and nursing or attendance upon illness. Drawing both on modern - medical and feminist - theories of illness and the body as well as on eighteenth-century medical sources to illuminate the novels, this book offers new and controversial, but also scholarly, readings of these familiar texts.

    Imprint: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY
    RRP: $63.99

    Price: $63.99
  • KNOWLEDGE IS BEAUTIFUL
    KNOWLEDGE IS BEAUTIFUL
    MCCANDLESS DAVID
    ISBN: 9780007427925
    Title: KNOWLEDGE IS BEAUTIFUL
    Author: MCCANDLESS DAVID
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    In this mind-blowing follow-up to the bestselling Information is Beautiful, the king of infographics David McCandless uses spectacular visuals to reveal unexpected insights into how the world really works.

    Imprint: COLLINS
    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
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