Block of Books
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  • ACCIDENTAL DICTIONARY : The Remarkable Twists and Turns of English Words
    ACCIDENTAL DICTIONARY : The Remarkable Twists and Turns of English Words
    JONES PAUL ANTHONY
    ISBN: 9781783964383
    Title: ACCIDENTAL DICTIONARY : The Remarkable Twists and Turns of English Words
    Author: JONES PAUL ANTHONY
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Brimming with hidden histories and tantalising twists, The Accidental Dictionary tells the extraordinary stories behind ordinary words. Our everyday language is full of surprises; its origins are stranger than you might think. Any word might be knocked and buffeted, subjected to twists and turns, expansions and contractions, happy and unhappy accidents. There are intriguing tales behind even the most familiar terms, and they can say as much about the present as they do the past. Busking, for instance, originally meant piracy. Grin meant to snarl. A bimbo was a man, nice meant ignorant, glamour was magic and a cupboard was a table...

    Focusing on 100 surprising threads in the evolution of English, The Accidental Dictionary reveals the etymological origins and quirky developments that have led to the meanings we take for granted today. It is a weird and wonderful journey into words.

    "A real delight ... hidden gems nestle on every page" -- JaffaReadsToo

    "The Accidental Dictionary is certainly worth adding [to a bookshelf]... I knew very few of these, which is a good thing, and now I know more, which is a better one" -- Marcus Berkmann, Spectator Christmas books 2016

    Imprint: ELLIOTT AND THOMPSON
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • AUSTRALIAN BIRD GUIDE   -   Revised Edition
    AUSTRALIAN BIRD GUIDE - Revised Edition
    MENKHORST PETER
    ISBN: 9781486311934
    Title: AUSTRALIAN BIRD GUIDE - Revised Edition
    Author: MENKHORST PETER
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: BACK IN STOCK SOON

    Winner of the 2018 ABIA Small Publisher's Adult Book of the Year Winner of the 2017 Whitley Medal Australia’s avifauna is large, diverse and spectacular, reflecting the continent’s impressive range of habitats and evolutionary history. With specially commissioned paintings of over 900 species, The Australian Bird Guide is the most comprehensive field guide to Australian birds ever seen. This Revised Edition includes updated maps, artwork and species accounts, reflecting current knowledge of the biology and distribution of Australia’s birds. It features around 4700 specially commissioned colour illustrations of over 900 species, with particular emphasis on providing the fine detail required to identify difficult groups and distinctive plumages. Comprehensive species accounts have been written by a dedicated team of ornithologists to ensure identification details, distribution and status are current and accurate. A new easier-to-use index is also included. The Australian Bird Guide sets a new standard in field guides, providing an indispensable reference for all birders and naturalists looking to explore Australia’s magnificent and unique birdlife.

    Imprint: CSIRO PUBLICATIONS
    RRP: $49.99

    Price: $49.99
  • AUSTRALIAN BIRD NAMES : Origins and Meanings
    AUSTRALIAN BIRD NAMES : Origins and Meanings
    FRASER IAN / GRAY JEANNIE
    ISBN: 9781486311637
    Title: AUSTRALIAN BIRD NAMES : Origins and Meanings
    Author: FRASER IAN / GRAY JEANNIE
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK


    This Second Edition of Australian Bird Names is a completely updated checklist of Australian birds and the meanings behind their common and scientific names, which may be useful, useless or downright misleading! For each species, the authors examine the many-and-varied common names and full scientific name, with derivation, translation and a guide to pronunciation. Stories behind the name are included, as well as relevant aspects of biology, conservation and history. Original descriptions, translated by the authors, have been sourced for many species.


    As well as being a book about names, this is a book about the history of the ever-developing understanding of birds, about the people who contributed to this understanding and, most of all, about the birds themselves. This Second Edition has been revised to follow current taxonomy and understanding of the relationships between families, genera and species. It contains new taxa, updated text and new vagrants and will be interesting reading for anyone with a love of birds, words or the history of Australian biology and bird-watching.




    Imprint: CSIRO PUBLICATIONS
    RRP: $54.99
    Price: $54.99
  • AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DICTIONARY : AUSTRALIAN WORDS AND THEIR ORIGINS
    AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DICTIONARY : AUSTRALIAN WORDS AND THEIR ORIGINS
    MOORE BRUCE
    ISBN: 9780195550269
    Title: AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DICTIONARY : AUSTRALIAN WORDS AND THEIR ORIGINS
    Author: MOORE BRUCE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The Australian National Dictionary (AND) is a dictionary of Australianisms. It includes words and meanings that have originated in Australia, that have a greater currency within Australia than elsewhere, or that have a special significance in Australian history. Whereas the first edition of the dictionary, published in 1988, contained about 10,000 headwords, compounds, idioms, and derivatives, this second edition contains over 16,000. The AND differs from general dictionaries in being based on historical principles, in the manner of the comprehensive Oxford English Dictionary (OED). The aim of AND2 is to chart the historical development of Australian words the definitions begin with the oldest sense and move through to the most recent sense. As part of this history, it includes all obsolete words and all obsolete senses; because it is concerned with the complete history of a word, the historical dictionary places more emphasis on the etymology of a word than does the general dictionary.

    Imprint: OXFORD
    RRP: $175.00

    Price: $79.99
  • BAGELS BUMF AND BUSES : A Day in the Life of the English Language
    BAGELS BUMF AND BUSES : A Day in the Life of the English Language
    HOROBIN SIMON
    ISBN: 9780198832270
    Title: BAGELS BUMF AND BUSES : A Day in the Life of the English Language
    Author: HOROBIN SIMON
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Where do our everyday words come from?

    The bagel you eat for breakfast, the bumf you have to wade through at the office, and the bus that takes you home again: we use these words without thinking about their origins and how their meanings have changed over time. Simon Horobin takes the reader on a journey through a typical day, showing how the words we use to describe routine activities - getting up, going to work, eating meals - have surprisingly fascinating histories.

    Imprint: OXFORD
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • BECAUSE INTERNET : Understanding how language is changing
    BECAUSE INTERNET : Understanding how language is changing
    MCCULLOCH GRETCHEN
    ISBN: 9781529112825
    Title: BECAUSE INTERNET : Understanding how language is changing
    Author: MCCULLOCH GRETCHEN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: March 2020 New Release

    THE ACCLAIMED NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER.

    Because Internet is for anyone who's ever puzzled over how to punctuate a text message or wondered where memes come from. It's the perfect book for understanding how the internet is changing the English language, why that's a good thing, and what our online interactions reveal about who we are.

    Language is humanity's most spectacular open-source project, and the internet is making our language change faster and in more interesting ways than ever before. Internet conversations are structured by the shape of our apps and platforms, from the grammar of status updates to the protocols of comments and @replies. Linguistically inventive online communities spread new slang and jargon with dizzying speed. What's more, social media is a vast laboratory of unedited, unfiltered words where we can watch language evolve in real time.

    Even the most absurd-looking slang has genuine patterns behind it. Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch explores the deep forces that shape human language and influence the way we communicate with one another. She explains how your first social internet experience influences whether you prefer 'LOL' or 'lol', why -sparkly tildes- succeeded where centuries of proposals for irony punctuation had failed, what emoji have in common with physical gestures, and how the artfully disarrayed language of animal memes like lolcats and doggo made them more likely to spread.

    'McCulloch is such a disarming writer - lucid, friendly, unequivocally excited about her subject - that I began to marvel at the flexibility of the online language she describes, with its numerous shades of subtlety.' New York Times

    Imprint: Random House Publishing
    RRP: $19.99
    Price: $19.99
  • BIRD BY BIRD
    BIRD BY BIRD
    LAMOTT ANNE
    ISBN: 9781786898555
    Title: BIRD BY BIRD
    Author: LAMOTT ANNE
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: February 2020 New Release

    Bird by Bird is the bible of writing guides - a wry, honest, down-to-earth book that has never stopped selling since it was first published in the United States in the 1990s. Bestselling novelist and memoirist Anne Lamott distils what she's learned over years of trial and error. Beautifully written, wise and immensely helpful, this is the book for all serious writers and writers-to-be.

    Imprint: Canongate Books
    RRP: $22.99
    Price: $22.99
  • CABINET OF LINGUISTIC CURIOSITIES : A Yearbook of Forgotten Words
    CABINET OF LINGUISTIC CURIOSITIES : A Yearbook of Forgotten Words
    JONES PAUL ANTHONY
    ISBN: 9781783964390
    Title: CABINET OF LINGUISTIC CURIOSITIES : A Yearbook of Forgotten Words
    Author: JONES PAUL ANTHONY
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Open the Cabinet to leap back in time, learn about linguistic trivia, follow a curious thread or wonder at the web of connections in the English language.

    1 January quaaltagh (n.) the first person you meet on New Year's Day
    1 April dorbellist (n.) a fool, a dull-witted dolt 12 May word-grubber (n.) someone who uses obscure or difficult words in everyday conversation
    25 Septembertheic (adj.) an excessive drinker of tea
    24 Decemberdoniferous (adj.) carrying a gift

    Paul Anthony Jones has unearthed a wealth of strange and forgotten words: illuminating some aspect of the day, or simply telling a cracking good yarn, each reveals a story. Written with a light touch that belies the depth of research it contains, this is both a fascinating compendium of etymology and a captivating historical miscellany. Dip into this beautiful book to be delighted and intrigued throughout the year.

    "Cracking open its beautifully crafted cover is like peeking into an old, mysterious cabinet ... The book's conceit is brilliant, the writing is crisp, and the tales are well-chosen and captivating" - Mashed Radish

    Imprint: ELLIOTT AND THOMPSON
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • 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
  • DEVILS DICTIONARY
    DEVILS DICTIONARY
    BIERCE AMBROSE
    ISBN: 9781851245079
    Title: DEVILS DICTIONARY
    Author: BIERCE AMBROSE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: BACK IN STOCK SOON

    In 1881 Ambrose Bierce, journalist and former soldier for the Union army in the Civil War, began writing satirical definitions for the San Francisco Wasp, and then for William Randolph Hearst's San Francisco Examiner. Bierce was launched on a journalistic career that would see him liked and loathed in equal measure - and earn him the title of `the wickedest man in San Francisco'.


    In his column, Bierce, a contemporary of Mark Twain, brought his biting black humour to bear on spoof definitions of everyday words, writing deliberate mistranslations of the vocabulary of the establishment, the Church and the politics of his day, and shining a sardonic light on hypocrisy and deception.


    These columns formed the beginnings of a dictionary, first published in 1906 as The Cynic's Word Book. Over 100 years later, Bierce's redefinitions still give us pause for thought - REPORTER, n. A writer who guesses his way to the truth and dispels it with a tempest of words; UN-AMERICAN, adj. Wicked, intolerable, heathenish; POLITICS, n. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage - making for a timely new edition of this irreverent and provocative satire.

    Imprint: BODLEIAN LIBRARY
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • DICTIONARY OF THE UNDOING
    DICTIONARY OF THE UNDOING
    FREEMAN JOHN
    ISBN: 9781472154774
    Title: DICTIONARY OF THE UNDOING
    Author: FREEMAN JOHN
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    For John Freeman - literary critic, essayist, editor, poet and 'one of the preeminent book people of our time' (Dave Eggers) - it is a rare moment when words are not enough. But in the wake of the election of 2016, words felt useless, even indulgent. Action was the only reasonable response. He took to the streets in protest, and the sense of community and collective conviction felt right. But the assaults continued - on citizens' rights and long-held compacts, on the core principles of our culture and civilization, and on our language itself. Words seemed to be losing the meanings they once had and Freeman was compelled to return to their defense. The result is his DICTIONARY OF THE UNDOING.

    From A to Z, 'Agitate' to 'Zygote,' Freeman assembled the words that felt most essential, most potent, and began to build a case for their renewed power and authority, each word building on the last. The message that emerged was not to retreat behind books, but to emphatically engage in the public sphere, to redefine what it means to be a literary citizen.

    With an afterword by Valeria Luiselli, DICTIONARY OF THE UNDOING is a necessary, resounding cri de coeur in defense of language, meaning, and our ability to imagine, describe, and build a better world.

    Imprint: CORSAIR
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • 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: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    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
  • DREYERS ENGLISH : An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style : The UK Edition
    DREYERS ENGLISH : An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style : The UK Edition
    DREYER BENJAMIN
    ISBN: 9781529124279
    Title: DREYERS ENGLISH : An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style : The UK Edition
    Author: DREYER BENJAMIN
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A witty, informative guide to writing from Random House’s longtime copy chief and one of Twitter’s leading language gurus—in the tradition of The Elements of Style

    “Utterly delightful . . . will stand among the classics on how to use the English language properly.”—Elizabeth Strout

    We all write, all the time: books, blogs, emails. Lots and lots of emails. And we all want to write better. Benjamin Dreyer is here to help.
    As Random House’s copy chief, Dreyer has upheld the standards of the legendary publisher for more than two decades. He is beloved by authors and editors alike—not to mention his followers on social media—for deconstructing the English language with playful erudition. Now he distills everything he has learned from the myriad books he has copyedited and overseen into a useful guide not just for writers but for everyone who wants to put their best prose foot forward.
    As authoritative as it is amusing, Dreyer’s English offers lessons on punctuation, from the underloved semicolon to the enigmatic en dash; the rules and nonrules of grammar, including why it’s OK to begin a sentence with “And” or “But” and to confidently split an infinitive; and why it’s best to avoid the doldrums of the Wan Intensifiers and Throat Clearers, including “very,” “rather,” “of course,” and the dreaded “actually.” Dreyer will let you know whether “alright” is all right (sometimes) and even help you brush up on your spelling—though, as he notes, “The problem with mnemonic devices is that I can never remember them.”
    And yes: “Only godless savages eschew the series comma.”
    Chockful of advice, insider wisdom, and fun facts, this book will prove to be invaluable to everyone who wants to shore up their writing skills, mandatory for people who spend their time editing and shaping other people’s prose, and—perhaps best of all—an utter treat for anyone who simply revels in language.

    Imprint: CENTURY PUBLISHER
    RRP: $35.00

    Price: $35.00
  • FICTION ACROSS BORDERS : Imagining the Lives of Others in Late-Twentieth-Century Novels
    FICTION ACROSS BORDERS : Imagining the Lives of Others in Late-Twentieth-Century Novels
    BLACK SHAMEEM
    ISBN: 9780231149792
    Title: FICTION ACROSS BORDERS : Imagining the Lives of Others in Late-Twentieth-Century Novels
    Author: BLACK SHAMEEM
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Theorists of Orientalism and postcolonialism argue that novelists betray political and cultural anxieties when characterizing "the Other." Shameem Black takes a different stance. Turning a fresh eye toward several key contemporary novelists, she reveals how "border-crossing" fiction represents socially diverse groups without resorting to stereotype, idealization, or other forms of imaginative constraint. Focusing on the work of J. M. Coetzee, Amitav Ghosh, Jeffrey Eugenides, Ruth Ozeki, Charles Johnson, Gish Jen, and Rupa Bajwa, Black introduces an interpretative lens that captures the ways in which these authors envision an ethics of representing social difference. They not only offer sympathetic portrayals of the lives of others but also detail the processes of imagining social difference. Whether depicting the multilingual worlds of South and Southeast Asia, the exportation of American culture abroad, or the racial tension of postapartheid South Africa, these transcultural representations explore social and political hierarchies in constructive ways.
    Boldly confronting the orthodoxies of recent literary criticism, Fiction Across Borders builds upon such seminal works as Edward Said's Orientalism and offers a provocative new study of the late twentieth-century novel.

    Imprint: COLUMBIA UNI PRESS
    RRP: $69.00
    Price: $69.00
  • 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
  • FIERCE BAD RABBITS : The Tales Behind Children's Picture Books
    FIERCE BAD RABBITS : The Tales Behind Children's Picture Books
    POLLARD CLARE
    ISBN: 9780241354780
    Title: FIERCE BAD RABBITS : The Tales Behind Children's Picture Books
    Author: POLLARD CLARE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    What is The Tiger Who Came to Tea really about?
    What has Meg and Mog got to do with Polish embroidery?
    Why is death in picture books so often represented by being eaten?

    Fierce Bad Rabbits takes us on an eye-opening journey on a pea-green boat through the history of picture books. From Edward Lear through to Julia Donaldson, Clare Pollard shines a light on some of our best-loved childhood stories and what they really mean, weaving in tales from her own childhood and her re-readings as a parent. Because the best picture books are far more complex than they seem - and darker too. Monsters can gobble up children and go unnoticed, power is not always used wisely, and the wild things are closer than you think. Sparkling with wit, magic and nostalgia, Fierce Bad Rabbits will make you see even stories you've read a hundred times afresh.

    Imprint: Fig Tree
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
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