Block of Books
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  • FLIRTING WITH FRENCH
    FLIRTING WITH FRENCH
    ALEXANDER WILLIAM
    ISBN: 9780715649954
    Title: FLIRTING WITH FRENCH
    Author: ALEXANDER WILLIAM
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    William Alexander is not just a Francophile, he wants to be French. It's not enough to explore the country, to enjoy the food and revel in the ambience, he wants to feel French from the inside. Among the things that stand in his way is the fact that he can't actually speak the language. Setting out to conquer the language he loves (but which, amusingly, does not seem to love him back), Alexander devotes himself to learning French, going beyond grammar lessons and memory techniques to delve into the history of the language, the science of linguistics, and the art of translation. Along the way, during his travels in France or following his passion at home, he discovers that not learning a language may be its own reward.

    Imprint: DUCKWORTH
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • 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
  • FOUR SEASONS IN ROME : On Twins Insomnia and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
    FOUR SEASONS IN ROME : On Twins Insomnia and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
    DOERR ANTHONY
    ISBN: 9780007265299
    Title: FOUR SEASONS IN ROME : On Twins Insomnia and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
    Author: DOERR ANTHONY
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    On the same day that his wife gave birth to twins, Anthony Doerr received the Rome Prize, an award that gave him a year-long stipend and studio in Rome...

    Four Seasons in Rome charts the repercussions of that day, describing Doerr's varied adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world, and the first year of parenthood. He reads Pliny, Dante, and Keats – the chroniclers of Rome who came before him – and visits the piazzas, temples, and ancient cisterns they describe. He attends the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II and takes his twins to the Pantheon in December to wait for snow to fall through the oculus. He and his family are embraced by the butchers, grocers, and bakers of the neighbourhood, whose clamour of stories and idiosyncratic child-rearing advice is as compelling as the city itself.

    This intimate and revelatory book is a celebration of Rome, a wondrous look at new parenthood and a fascinating account of the alchemy of writers.

    Imprint: FOURTH ESTATE
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • FROM BURMA TO MYANMAR : ON THE ROAD TO MANDALAY
    FROM BURMA TO MYANMAR : ON THE ROAD TO MANDALAY
    LAUBE LYDIA
    ISBN: 9781743053928
    Title: FROM BURMA TO MYANMAR : ON THE ROAD TO MANDALAY
    Author: LAUBE LYDIA
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    What a ride! In a death-defying taxi with no windows, I was flown along the roads in a howling gale. Horrible. I sat directly behind the driver hoping he would act as an air bag when the inevitable collision came. In that position I couldn't see the worst that was happening around us, like pedestrians peeling off our fenders.

    Lydia Laube is no stranger to near-death experiences, including several while travelling to, from and through Myanmar, or Burma as it was known on her first trip there. As ever, Lydia takes the route less travelled as she discovers this wondrous land, with its pagodas, markets and attractions - including the world's biggest python and book. Midst Myanmar's magic, she falls in love with a horse named Madonna, and manages to work through language barriers and poor directions.

    Imprint: WAKEFIELD
    RRP: $24.95

    Price: $24.95
  • FROM SOURCE TO SEA : Notes from a 215-Mile Walk Along the River Thames
    FROM SOURCE TO SEA : Notes from a 215-Mile Walk Along the River Thames
    CHESSHYRE TOM
    ISBN: 9781786852861
    Title: FROM SOURCE TO SEA : Notes from a 215-Mile Walk Along the River Thames
    Author: CHESSHYRE TOM
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: AUGUST 2018 NEW RELEASE

    Over the years, authors, artists, and amblers aplenty have felt the pull of the Thames, and now travel writer Tom Chesshyre is following in their footsteps. He's walking the length of the river from the Cotswolds to the North Sea--a winding journey of more than 200 miles. Join him for an illuminating stroll past meadows, churches, palaces, country (and council) estates, factories, and dockyards. Seeing some familiar sights through new eyes, and meeting a host of interesting characters along the way, Tom explores the living present and remarkable past of England's longest and most iconic river.

    Imprint: SUMMERSDALE
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • FROM THE HOLY MOUNTAIN : A JOURNEY IN THE SHADOW OF BYZANTIUM
    FROM THE HOLY MOUNTAIN : A JOURNEY IN THE SHADOW OF BYZANTIUM
    DALRYMPLE WILLIAM
    ISBN: 9780006547747
    Title: FROM THE HOLY MOUNTAIN : A JOURNEY IN THE SHADOW OF BYZANTIUM
    Author: DALRYMPLE WILLIAM
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The third book from the most gifted young travel writer at work today, author of the best-selling In Xanadu ('one of the best travel books produced in the last twenty years' - Scotland on Sunday) and City of Djinns ('the best travel book I have ever read' - George Mackay Brown).

    In the spring of 587 AD, two monks set off on an extraordinary journey that would take them in an arc across the entire Byzantine world, from the shores of the Bosphorus to the sand dunes of Egypt. On the way John Moschos and his pupil Sophronius the Sophist stayed in caves, monasteries and remote hermitages, collecting the wisdom of the stylites and the desert fathers before their world shattered under the great eruption of Islam. More than a thousand years later, using Moschos's writings as his guide, William Dalrymple set off to retrace their footsteps.

    Despite centuries of isolation, a surprising number of the monasteries and churches visited by the two monks still survive today, surrounded by often hostile populations. Dalrymple's pilgrimage took him through a bloody civil war in eastern Turkey, the ruins of Beirut, the vicious tensions of the West Bank and a fundamentalist uprising in southern Egypt. His book is an elegy to the slowly dying civilisation of Eastern Christianity and the peoples that have kept its flame alive. It is a rich and gripping blend of history and spirituality, adventure and politics, laced with a thread of black comedy familiar to readers of Dalrymple's previous work.

    Imprint: PERENNIAL
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • GERMANY : Portrait of a Fascinating Country
    GERMANY : Portrait of a Fascinating Country
    VERLAG KUNTH
    ISBN: 9783955044121
    Title: GERMANY : Portrait of a Fascinating Country
    Author: VERLAG KUNTH
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: AUGUST 2017 NEW RELEASE

    Germany is beautiful; everyone who has ever travelled between the Baltic Sea and the Alps knows it. Pick up this book and embark on a journey through this unique and unbelievably diverse country in the heart of Europe.

    Magnificent photographs capture the splendour of sunny coasts and soaring mountains, majestic palaces, remote monasteries, and striking castles. This book is a testament to Germany's wealth of beauties, both natural and architectural. It will surprise you again and again with astonishing discoveries, hidden treasures, amazing panoramas and moving insights.

    Whether you are an aspiring traveller or a Deutschophile, it is the perfect declaration of love for a wonderful country.

    Imprint: MONACO BOOKS
    RRP: $50.00

    Price: $50.00
  • GHOSTS OF SPAIN
    GHOSTS OF SPAIN
    TREMLETT GILES
    ISBN: 9780571279395
    Title: GHOSTS OF SPAIN
    Author: TREMLETT GILES
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A newly revised and updated edition of Guardian journalist Giles Tremlett's journey through contemporary Spain examining the darker sides of its history.

    The Spanish are reputed to be amongst Europe's most voluble people. So why have they kept silent about the terrors of the Spanish Civil War and the rule of Dictator Generalisimo Francisco Franco? The appearance - sixty years after that war ended - of mass graves containing victims of Franco's death squads has finally broken what Spaniards call 'the pact of forgetting'. At this charged moment, Giles Tremlett embarked on a journey around Spain - and through Spanish history.

    Tremlett's journey was also an attempt to make sense of his personal experience of the Spanish. Why do they dislike authority figures, but are cowed by a doctor's white coat? How had women embraced feminism without men noticing? What binds gypsies, jails and flamenco? Why do the Spanish go to plastic surgeons, donate their organs, visit brothels or take cocaine more than other Europeans?

    Imprint: FABER AND FABER
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • GILDED CHALET : Travels in Literary Switzerland
    GILDED CHALET : Travels in Literary Switzerland
    ROONEY PADRAIG
    ISBN: 9781857886528
    Title: GILDED CHALET : Travels in Literary Switzerland
    Author: ROONEY PADRAIG
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    In the summer of 1816 paparazzi trained their telescopes on Byron and the Shelleys across Lake Geneva. Mary Shelley babysat and wrote Frankenstein. Byron dieted and penned The Prisoner of Chillon. His doctor, Polidori, was dreaming up The Vampyre. Together they put Switzerland on the map. Switzerland has always provided a refuge for writers attracted to it as an escape from world wars, oppression, tuberculosis...or marriage. For Swiss writers from the country was like a gilded prison. The Romantics, the utopians and other spiritual seekers viewed Switzerland as a land of milk and honey, as nature's paradise. In the twentieth century, spying in neutral Switzerland spawned the finest espionage and detective fiction.

    Part detective work, part treasure chest, The Gilded Chalet takes you on a grand tour of the birthplace of our best-loved stories, revealing how Switzerland became the landscape of our imagination.

    Imprint: NICHOLAS BREALEY
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • GLASS HALF FULL : The Ups and Downs of Vineyard Life in France
    GLASS HALF FULL : The Ups and Downs of Vineyard Life in France
    FEELY CARO
    ISBN: 9781849539913
    Title: GLASS HALF FULL : The Ups and Downs of Vineyard Life in France
    Author: FEELY CARO
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Hail at harvest time is every wine grower's nightmare. For Sean and Caro Feely, a couple whose love of wine led them to create an organic vineyard in France, it's just one of many challenges they face. Join Caro as she juggles family duties, relationship crises and the struggle to make natural wine in harmony with the environment.

    Imprint: SUMMERSDALE
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • GODDESS IN THE STONES : Travels in India
    GODDESS IN THE STONES : Travels in India
    LEWIS NORMAN
    ISBN: 9781780601083
    Title: GODDESS IN THE STONES : Travels in India
    Author: LEWIS NORMAN
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Not for Norman Lewis the tourist sights of Delhi and Rajasthan. His travels in India begin in the impoverished, overpopulated and corrupt state of Bihar, scene of a brutal caste war between the untouchables and higher-caste gangsters. From these violent happenings, he heads down the west coast of Bengal and into the highlands of Orissa to testify to the life of the caste-free indigenous ‘tribals’, who have survived here in isolation. There is much to be learned from these threatened cultures and Lewis is the perfect guide.

    Imprint: ELAND
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • GOLDEN MOMENTS OF PARIS : A GUIDE TO THE PARIS OF THE 1920S
    GOLDEN MOMENTS OF PARIS : A GUIDE TO THE PARIS OF THE 1920S
    BAXTER JOHN
    ISBN: 9780984633470
    Title: GOLDEN MOMENTS OF PARIS : A GUIDE TO THE PARIS OF THE 1920S
    Author: BAXTER JOHN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Following the popular 'Chronicles of Old Paris', in 'The Golden Moments of Paris', John Baxter has uncovered more fascinating true stories about the characters that gave Paris its "character" in the years between World War I and World War II.

    Explore more about one of the world's most beautiful and loved cities in 26 fact-filled, humorous, and dramatic stories about the famed Annees Folles–the Crazy Years—at the turn of the 20th century in Paris. Learn about Gertrude Stein and her famous writers' salon, Salvador Dali and the Surrealists, the birth of Chanel No. 5, and the antics of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the "lost generation."
    Then see what these areas look like today by following along on the guided walking tours of Paris's historic neighbourhoods and the cafes, clubs, and brothels that were home to the intellectuals, artists, and Bohemians, illustrated with colour photographs and period maps.

    If you enjoyed Woody Allen’s film 'Midnight in Paris', you'll love this book.

    Imprint: MUSEYON
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • GRAPE EXPECTATIONS : A FAMILYS VINEYARD ADVENTURE IN FRANCE
    GRAPE EXPECTATIONS : A FAMILYS VINEYARD ADVENTURE IN FRANCE
    FEELY CARO
    ISBN: 9781849532570
    Title: GRAPE EXPECTATIONS : A FAMILYS VINEYARD ADVENTURE IN FRANCE
    Author: FEELY CARO
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    'Delicious'. I licked my lips. The wine filled me with joy. A picture of a vineyard drenched in sunlight formed in my mind. Sean drew me rudely back to the lounge of our semi-d. 'How can they be in liquidation if they make wine this good?' When Caro and Sean find the perfect ten-hectare vineyard in Saussignac, it seems their dreams of becoming wine-makers in the south of France are about to come true. But they arrive in France with their young family (a toddler and a newborn) to be faced with a dilapidated eighteenth-century farmhouse and an enterprise that may never, ever make them a living. Undeterred by mouse infestations, a leaking roof, treacherous hordes of insects, visits from the local farm 'police' and a nasty accident with an agricultural trimmer, Caro and Sean set about transforming their 'beyond eccentric' winery into a successful business as they embark on the biggest adventure of their lives - learning to make wine from the roots up.

    Imprint: SUMMERSDALE
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • HALL OF A THOUSAND COLUMNS
    HALL OF A THOUSAND COLUMNS
    MACKINTOSH-SMITH TIM
    ISBN: 9780719565878
    Title: HALL OF A THOUSAND COLUMNS
    Author: MACKINTOSH-SMITH TIM
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Tim Mackintosh-Smith continues in the footsteps of Moroccan traveller Ibn Battutah, revealing the rich tales of an India far off the beaten path of Taj and Raj

    All the best armchair travellers are sceptics. Those of the fourteenth century were no exception: for them, there were lies, damned lies, and Ibn Battutah's India.

    Born in 1304, Ibn Battutah left his native Tangier as a young scholar of law; over the course of the thirty years that followed he visited most of the known world between Morocco and China. Here Tim Mackintosh-Smith retraces one leg of the Moroccan's journey -- the dizzy ladders and terrifying snakes of his Indian career as a judge and a hermit, courtier and prisoner, ambassador and castaway. From the plains of Hindustan to the plateaux of the Deccan and the lost ports of Malabar, the author reveals an India far off the beaten path of Taj and Raj.

    Ibn Battutah left India on a snake, stripped to his underpants by pirates; but he took away a treasure of tales as rich as any in the history of travel. Back home they said the treasure was a fake. Mackintosh-Smith proves the sceptics wrong. India is a jewel in the turban of the Prince of Travellers. Here it is, glittering, grotesque but genuine, a fitting ornament for his 700th birthday.

    Imprint: JOHN MURRAY
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • HAVANA : A Subtropical Delirium
    HAVANA : A Subtropical Delirium
    KURLANSKY MARK
    ISBN: 9781632863928
    Title: HAVANA : A Subtropical Delirium
    Author: KURLANSKY MARK
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A city of tropical heat, sweat, ramshackle beauty, and its very own cadence--a city that always surprises--Havana is brought to pulsing life by New York Times bestselling author Mark Kurlansky.

    Award-winning author Mark Kurlansky presents an insider's view of Havana: the elegant, tattered city he has come to know over more than thirty years. Part cultural history, part travelogue, with recipes, historic engravings, photographs, and Kurlansky's own pen-and-ink drawings throughout, Havana celebrates the city's singular music, literature, baseball, and food; its five centuries of outstanding, neglected architecture; and its extraordinary blend of cultures.

    Like all great cities, Havana has a rich history that informs the vibrant place it is today--from the native Taino to Columbus's landing, from Cuba's status as a U.S. protectorate to Batista's dictatorship and Castro's revolution, from Soviet presence to the welcoming of capitalist tourism. Havana is a place of extremes: a beautifully restored colonial city whose cobblestone streets pass through areas that have not been painted or repaired since long before the revolution.

    Kurlansky shows Havana through the eyes of Cuban writers, such as Alejo Carpentier and José Martí, and foreigners, including Graham Greene and Hemingway. He introduces us to Cuban baseball and its highly opinionated fans; the city's music scene, alive with the rhythm of Son; its culinary legacy. Through Mark Kurlansky's multilayered and electrifying portrait, the long-elusive city of Havana comes stirringly to life.

    Imprint: BLOOMSBURY
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • HEAD OVER HEEL : Seduced by Southern Italy
    HEAD OVER HEEL : Seduced by Southern Italy
    HARRISON CHRIS
    ISBN: 9781857886467
    Title: HEAD OVER HEEL : Seduced by Southern Italy
    Author: HARRISON CHRIS
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A wonderfully vivid, tender, funny and absurd journey into the heart of Southern Italy.

    A whitewashed fishing village, a shapely signorina and an infatuated Aussie - head over heels on the heel of the boot. This is Chris Harrison's story of falling in love with bella Daniela and leaving his Australian life for her sun-drenched Italian home. Starting off in her village in Puglia, Chris takes us on a vivid and hilarious journey into the heart of southern Italy, along the way introducing us to a cast of eccentric characters. There's a policeman who rearranges crimes to suit the necessary forms, a doctor who prescribes patients his homemade lemon liqueur, and - the biggest challenge of all - Daniela's mamma, who is determined to convert him to the Catholic faith, supervise his choice of underwear, and build a second storey on her stucco home where the unlikely couple might live happily ever after.

    Can their relationship possibly survive or will the sweet life turn sour? This is an enchanting tale of amore, Italian style.

    Imprint: NICHOLAS BREALEY
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
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