Block of Books
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  • REBEL WITHOUT A CLAUSE : Losing the Linguistic Plot
    REBEL WITHOUT A CLAUSE : Losing the Linguistic Plot
    BUTLER SUSAN
    ISBN: 9781760788322
    Title: REBEL WITHOUT A CLAUSE : Losing the Linguistic Plot
    Author: BUTLER SUSAN
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The English language is changing constantly. We invent new words and phrases, we mash up idioms, we mispronounce, misuse, misappropriate. Sue Butler has heard it all and is ready to defend and disagree with common usage. Veering from tolerance to outrage, she examines how the word sheila took a nose-dive after World War II, considers whether we should hunker or bunker down, and bemoans the emptiness of rhetoric. She shouts 'down with closure' as it leaps from the psychoanalyst's couch, explains why we've lost the plot on deceptively, untangles the manuka honey stoush, fathoms why the treatment of famous is infamous, and ponders whether you would, could or should ...

    Rebel without a Clause is a fascinatingly idiosyncratic romp through the world of words by lexicographer and former Macquarie Dictionary Editor, Sue Butler.

    Imprint: MACMILLAN
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • ROMANTIC AUSTEN
    ROMANTIC AUSTEN
    TUITE CLARA
    ISBN: 9780521054393
    Title: ROMANTIC AUSTEN
    Author: TUITE CLARA
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A full-length scholarly monograph examining Jane Austen's writings within the traditions of Romanticism. It argues that Austen's central position within the literary canon can only be fully understood by locating her work within Romantic cultural traditions. Taking the contemporary Austen revival as its cue, the study presents a series of historically contextualized readings of Austen's juvenilia (Catharine, or The Bower and The History of England), Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park and Austen's posthumously published novel, Sanditon, to examine ways in which Romantic-period definitions of nation, culture and literature continue to function in contemporary readings of Austen and her period. An investigation of the sexual politics of national culture, heritage culture and literary canon-formation informs the study's discussion of the relationship between Romanticism, Austen and the literary canon.

    Imprint: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY
    RRP: $57.99

    Price: $57.99
  • ROOTED : An Australian history of bad language
    ROOTED : An Australian history of bad language
    LAUGESEN AMANDA
    ISBN: 9781742236636
    Title: ROOTED : An Australian history of bad language
    Author: LAUGESEN AMANDA
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: November 2020 New Release

    Bugger, rooted, bloody oath...

    What is it about Australians and swearing? We've got an international reputation for using bad language (Where the bloody hell are ya?) and letting rip with a choice swear word or two has long been a very Aussie thing to do. From the defiant curses of the convicts and bullock drivers to the humour of Kath and Kim, Amanda Laugesen, director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre, takes us on a fascinating journey through the history of Australia's bad language to reveal our preoccupations and our concerns.

    Bad language has been used in all sort of ways in our history: to defy authority, as a form of liberation and subversion, and as a source of humour and creativity. Bad language has also been used to oppress and punish those who have been denied a claim to using it, notably Indigenous Australians and women. It has also long been subject to various forms of censorship.

    'If you've ever wondered why to use bad language in Australia is to 'swear like a bullocky', Amanda Laugesen's Rooted will give you the answer. Taking us on a colourful tour of more than two centuries of bad language that extends from the mildly offensive to the completely filthy, Laugesen tells the story of Australia through those words and phrases that have often been seen as unfit to print. This is an engrossing social history - a bloody beauty - from one of our leading experts on Australian English.' - Frank Bongiorno, Professor of History, The Australian National University

    Imprint: Newsouth Books
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • SCIENCE OF STORYTELLING : Why Stories Make Us Human, and How to Tell Them Better
    SCIENCE OF STORYTELLING : Why Stories Make Us Human, and How to Tell Them Better
    STORR WILL
    ISBN: 9780008276973
    Title: SCIENCE OF STORYTELLING : Why Stories Make Us Human, and How to Tell Them Better
    Author: STORR WILL
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Who would we be without stories?

    Stories mould who we are, from our character to our cultural identity. They drive us to act out our dreams and ambitions, and shape our politics and beliefs. We use them to construct our relationships, to keep order in our law courts, to interpret events in our newspapers and social media. Storytelling is an essential part of what makes us human.

    There have been many attempts to understand what makes a good story – from Joseph Campbell's well-worn theories about myth and archetype to recent attempts to crack the ‘Bestseller Code'. But few have used a scientific approach. This is curious, for if we are to truly understand storytelling in its grandest sense, we must first come to understand the ultimate storyteller – the human brain.

    In this scalpel-sharp, thought-provoking book, Will Storr demonstrates how master storytellers manipulate and compel us, leading us on a journey from the Hebrew scriptures to Mr Men, from Booker Prize-winning literature to box set TV. Applying dazzling psychological research and cutting-edge neuroscience to the foundations of our myths and archetypes, he shows how we can use these tools to tell better stories – and make sense of our chaotic modern world.

    Imprint: William Collins
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • SENSE OF STYLE : THE THINKING PERSONS GUIDE TO WRITING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
    SENSE OF STYLE : THE THINKING PERSONS GUIDE TO WRITING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
    PINKER STEVEN
    ISBN: 9780241957714
    Title: SENSE OF STYLE : THE THINKING PERSONS GUIDE TO WRITING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
    Author: PINKER STEVEN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    What is the secret of good prose? Does it matter in an age of digital media? In this witty, mind-expanding book about the art and science of writing well, Steven Pinker shows that good style isn't just about rules - it's about empathy, coherence and adding beauty to the world.

    'Witty, direct and idiosyncratic . . . often laugh-out-loud funny . . . refreshingly uncensorious . . . It helps enormously that he is such a beautiful stylist himself.' Paula Byrne, The Times

    'Wonderful . . . No true lover of this chaotic, unregulated, magnificently vital language could fail to thrill.' Christopher Hart, Sunday Times

    'Brainy, funny . . . a comedy of linguistic bad manners.' Peter Conrad, Guardian

    'Outstanding . . . the one book I can unreservedly recommend as a guide on how to write well . . . unique as well as brilliant.' Oliver Kamm, The Times



    Imprint: Penguin Books
    RRP: $24.99
    Price: $24.99
  • SEVEN KINDS OF PEOPLE YOU FIND IN BOOKSHOPS
    SEVEN KINDS OF PEOPLE YOU FIND IN BOOKSHOPS
    BYTHELL SHAUN
    ISBN: 9781788166584
    Title: SEVEN KINDS OF PEOPLE YOU FIND IN BOOKSHOPS
    Author: BYTHELL SHAUN
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: December 2020 New Release

    Everyone knows who you find in bookshops: people who want to buy books. But, as Shaun Bythell, author of the bestselling Diary of a Bookseller and Confessions of a Bookseller, reveals, that's really only half the story.

    Join Shaun as he introduces us to seven bookshop characters, from the Person Who Doesn't Know What They Want (But Thinks It Might Have a Blue Cover) to the harried Parents Secretly After Free Childcare and all the way over to the erotica section, where we'll meet The Person Who Is Up to No Good.

    Affectionate, sardonic and laugh-out-loud funny, Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops is your indispensable guide to the flora and fauna of your local bookshop.

    Imprint: Allen and Unwin Publishers
    RRP: $14.99
    Price: $14.99
  • SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY PARIS : A HISTORY OF THE RAG AND BONE SHOP OF THE HEART
    SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY PARIS : A HISTORY OF THE RAG AND BONE SHOP OF THE HEART
    HALVERSON KRISTA [ED]
    ISBN: 9791096101009
    Title: SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY PARIS : A HISTORY OF THE RAG AND BONE SHOP OF THE HEART
    Author: HALVERSON KRISTA [ED]
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    A copiously illustrated account of the famed Paris bookstore on its 65th anniversary

    This first-ever history of the legendary bohemian bookstore in Paris interweaves essays and poetry from dozens of writers associated with the shop - Allen Ginsberg, Anaïs Nin, Ethan Hawke, Robert Stone and Jeanette Winterson, among others--with hundreds of never-before-seen archival pieces, including photographs of James Baldwin, William Burroughs and Langston Hughes, plus a foreword by the celebrated British novelist Jeanette Winterson and an epilogue by Sylvia Whitman, the daughter of the store’s founder, George Whitman. The book has been edited by Krista Halverson, director of the newly founded Shakespeare and Company publishing house.

    George Whitman opened his bookstore in a tumbledown 16th-century building just across the Seine from Notre-Dame in 1951, a decade after the original Shakespeare and Company had closed. Run by Sylvia Beach, it had been the meeting place for the Lost Generation and the first publisher of James Joyce’s Ulysses. (This book includes an illustrated adaptation of Beach’s memoir.) Since Whitman picked up the mantle, Shakespeare and Company has served as a home-away-from-home for many celebrated writers, from Jorge Luis Borges to Ray Bradbury, A.M. Homes to Dave Eggers, as well as for young authors and poets. Visitors are invited not only to read the books in the library and to share a pot of tea, but sometimes also to live in the bookstore itself--all for free.

    More than 30,000 people have stayed at Shakespeare and Company, fulfilling Whitman’s vision of a “socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore.” Through the prism of the shop’s history, the book traces the lives of literary expats in Paris from 1951 to the present, touching on the Beat Generation, civil rights, May ’68 and the feminist movement--all while pondering that perennial literary question, “What is it about writers and Paris?”

    Imprint: Thames & Hudson Publishing
    RRP: $55.00

    Price: $55.00
  • SHAKESPEARES LIBRARY : Unlocking the Greatest Mystery in Literature
    SHAKESPEARES LIBRARY : Unlocking the Greatest Mystery in Literature
    KELLS STUART
    ISBN: 9781925603774
    Title: SHAKESPEARES LIBRARY : Unlocking the Greatest Mystery in Literature
    Author: KELLS STUART
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Millions of words of scholarship have been expended on the world’s most famous author and his work. And yet a critical part of the puzzle, Shakespeare’s library, is a mystery. For four centuries people have searched for it: in mansions, palaces and libraries; in riverbeds, sheep pens and partridge coops; and in the corridors of the mind. Yet no trace of the bard’s manuscripts, books or letters has ever been found.

    The search for Shakespeare’s library is much more than a treasure hunt. The library’s fate has profound implications for literature, for national and cultural identity, and for the global Shakespeare industry. It bears upon fundamental principles of art, identity, history, meaning and truth.

    Unfolding the search like the mystery story that it is, acclaimed author Stuart Kells follows the trail of the hunters, taking us through different conceptions of the library and of the man himself. Entertaining and enlightening, Shakespeare’s Library is a captivating exploration of one of literature’s most enduring enigmas.

    Imprint: Text Publishing
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • THINKING INSIDE THE BOX
    THINKING INSIDE THE BOX
    RAPHEL ADRIENNE
    ISBN: 9781472144638
    Title: THINKING INSIDE THE BOX
    Author: RAPHEL ADRIENNE
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The crossword is a feature of the modern world, inspiring daily devotion and obsession not just from everyday citizens looking to pass the time but icons such as President Bill Clinton and Martha Stewart. It was invented in 1913, almost by accident, when a newspaper editor at the New York World was casting around for something to fill some empty column space for that year's Christmas edition. Almost overnight, it became a roaring commercial success, and ever since then has been an essential ingredient of any newspaper worth its salt. Indeed, paradoxically, its popularity has never been greater, even as the world of media and newspapers, its natural habitat, has undergone a perilous digital transformation. But why, exactly, are its satisfactions so sweet that over the decades it has become a fixture of breakfast tables, bedside tables and commutes, and even given rise to competitive crossword tournaments?

    Blending first-person reporting from the world of crosswords with a delightful telling of its rich literary history, Adrienne Raphel dives into the secrets of this classic global pastime. At the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, she rubs shoulders with elite solvers of the world, doing her level best to hold her own; aboard a crossword-themed cruise she picks the brains of the enthusiasts whose idea of a good time is a week on the high seas with nothing but crosswords to do; and, visiting the home and office of Will Shortz, New York Times crossword puzzle editor and US National Public Radio's official Puzzlemaster, she goes behind the scenes to see for herself how the world's gold standard of puzzles is made.

    Equal parts ingenious and fun, THINKING INSIDE THE BOX is a love letter to the infinite joys and playful possibilities of language, a treat for die-hard cruciverbalists and first-time crossword solvers alike.

    Imprint: Hachette Publishers
    RRP: $29.99
    Price: $29.99
  • TOUGH ENOUGH : Arbus Arendt Didion McCarthy Sontag Weil
    TOUGH ENOUGH : Arbus Arendt Didion McCarthy Sontag Weil
    NELSON DEBORAH
    ISBN: 9780226457802
    Title: TOUGH ENOUGH : Arbus Arendt Didion McCarthy Sontag Weil
    Author: NELSON DEBORAH
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    This book focuses on six brilliant women who are often seen as particularly tough-minded: Simone Weil, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Diane Arbus, and Joan Didion.

    Aligned with no single tradition, they escape straightforward categories. Yet their work evinces an affinity of style and philosophical viewpoint that derives from a shared attitude toward suffering. What Mary McCarthy called a 'cold eye'? was not merely a personal aversion to displays of emotion: it was an unsentimental mode of attention that dictated both ethical positions and aesthetic approaches.

    Tough Enough traces the careers of these women and their challenges to the pre-eminence of empathy as the ethical posture from which to examine pain. Their writing and art reveal an adamant belief that the hurts of the world must be treated concretely, directly, and realistically, without recourse to either melodrama or callousness. As Deborah Nelson shows, this stance offers an important counter-tradition to the familiar postwar poles of emotional expressivity on the one hand and cool irony on the other. Ultimately, in its insistence on facing reality without consolation or compensation, this austere 'school of the unsentimental'? offers new ways to approach suffering in both its spectacular forms and all of its ordinariness.

    Imprint: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PR
    RRP: $47.99

    Price: $47.99
  • WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT BOOKS : The History and Future of Reading
    WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT BOOKS : The History and Future of Reading
    PRICE LEAH
    ISBN: 9780465042685
    Title: WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT BOOKS : The History and Future of Reading
    Author: PRICE LEAH
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Around 2000, people began to believe that books were on verge of extinction. Their obsolescence, in turn, was expected to doom the habits of mind that longform print had once prompted: the capacity to follow a demanding idea from start to finish, to look beyond the day's news, or even just to be alone. The "death of the book" is an anxiety that has spawned a thousand jeremiads about the dumbing down of American culture, the ever-shorter attention spans of our children, the collapse of civilized discourse.

    All of these anxieties rely on the idea of a golden age, when children and adults alike sat quietly for long stretches reading edifying literature that improved our minds and souls. A booklover by temperament as much as profession, literature professor Leah Price wanted to believe that. But as a historian of the book, searching out the traces of long-dead readers through their marginalia and their unbroken spines, she began to wonder if our current digital discontents were stirring up nostalgia for a past that had never existed.

    When you look at old books, what do you find? A few well-greased pagespreads limply scattered among hundreds that remained spotlessly crisp; essays stained with beer from reading aloud at the pub; novels crumpled from being hidden in a pocket. From the eighteenth-century dawn of mass literacy to the Cold-War-era triumph of the paperback, few books were read cover-to-cover, meditatively, in silence. We have been shocked - shocked!--by data from Kindle that shows that most readers start books but rarely finish them, or skip large sections in between. But it has always been so. And in fact, for much of history, "deep" reading was strongly discouraged. Doctors and clergymen warned that print could addict, distract, or corrupt--not the ideas it contained, but the very experience of running one's eyes over a page. Over the centuries, children and women especially were repeatedly warned not to spend too much time reading, lest it excite their minds and distract them from other, more edifying tasks.

    Impatient with untempered book worship, Price emphasizes the continuities between past and present reading practices, and dispels the myth of the Golden Age of Print on multiple fronts. An anti-nostalgic examination of the past, present and future of reading, WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT BOOKS will fascinate bibliophiles and readers of all stripes.

    Imprint: BASIC BOOKS
    RRP: $39.99
    Price: $39.99
  • WORD DROPS : A Sprinkling of Linguistic Curiosities
    WORD DROPS : A Sprinkling of Linguistic Curiosities
    JONES PAUL ANTHONY
    ISBN: 9781783964376
    Title: WORD DROPS : A Sprinkling of Linguistic Curiosities
    Author: JONES PAUL ANTHONY
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    If you're logofascinated, you are literally spellbound by language. Word Drops is a language fact book unlike any other, its linguistic tidbits all falling together into one long interconnected chain just with each fact neatly 'dropping' into place beside the next.

    What's more, throughout, footnotes are used to give informative and intriguing background to some of the most bizarre facts, covering everything from traditional Inuit games to the origin of the Bellini cocktail, from the precise length of one 'jiffy' to what the Romans thought hoopoe birds ate, and from what to expect on a night out with Dr Johnson to Samuel Pepys's cure for a hangover. Want to know the longest palindrome in Morse code, or who The Great Masticator was? Curious to know what Norwegian steam is, or what a jaaaar is? The answers are all here.

    For all of the logofascinated among us, this is an immensely pleasurable and unpredictable collection that is guaranteed to raise eyebrows (the literal meaning, incidentally, of supercilious).

    'Brilliant for anyone interested in the effervescent oddness of English' --Stig Abell

    Imprint: ELLIOTT AND THOMPSON
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • WORD FOR TODAY
    WORD FOR TODAY
    SUSSEX ROLY
    ISBN: 9780702263064
    Title: WORD FOR TODAY
    Author: SUSSEX ROLY
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Did you know that the word salary comes from the Latin sal for 'salt', since part of the payment to Roman soldiers was in salt? That braces and suspenders used to refer to different items of clothing? Or that trolls have migrated from fairytales to online discussion forums?

    The English language is currently going through a period of tremendous ferment, growth and expansion. Old 'rules' are being challenged, or weakened. New ones are emerging. And mistakes and misuses are popping up with all the speed that the internet can provide. For over two decades, linguist Roly Sussex has documented the nature and evolution of the English Language on his popular weekly ABC Radio program 'Word for Today'.

    For the first time, the best of these reflections on word origins, neologisms and misuses are collected in this witty and insightful book. With Word for Today, you'll always have a word for tomorrow.

    Imprint: University of Queensland Press
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • WORDS THAT GO PING
    WORDS THAT GO PING
    LASSERRE BARBARA
    ISBN: 9781760632199
    Title: WORDS THAT GO PING
    Author: LASSERRE BARBARA
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    If it goes 'moo' then every child knows it's a cow. If it goes 'Wham! Bam! Crash!' we're in a fast-paced comic. But what goes 'krknout'?

    Barbara Lasserre takes us on a playful journey through the delightful world of words that mimic sounds. Normally relegated to children's books, cartoons and comedians, she shows how these often ancient words reveal unexpected things about the way we think, speak and act.

    A book for anyone who loves playing with words.

    'When it comes to the crunch, Words That Go Ping is bound to reverberate. Zipping between Norwegian kisses and Japanese silence, my brain is still humming.' - David Astle, writer, crossword maker and general word nerd

    'An immensely satisfying book covering a neglected aspect of language with impeccable skill, and written in an open, flowing and humorous style.' - Susan Butler AO, inaugural editor of the Macquarie Dictionary

    'Barbara Lasserre has conjured up a magical world of word mimicry. Her wondrous little book will delight all who love language.' - Richard Walsh, author and publisher

    Imprint: ALLEN AND UNWIN
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • WRITERS JOURNEY
    WRITERS JOURNEY
    VOGLER CHRISTOPHER
    ISBN: 9781615933150
    Title: WRITERS JOURNEY
    Author: VOGLER CHRISTOPHER
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: September 2020 New Releas




    Imprint: Newsouth Books
    RRP: $49.99
    Price: $49.99
  • WRITERS JOURNEY : Mythic Structure for Writers   -   25th Anniversary Edition
    WRITERS JOURNEY : Mythic Structure for Writers - 25th Anniversary Edition
    VOGLER CHRISTOPHER
    ISBN: 9781615933235
    Title: WRITERS JOURNEY : Mythic Structure for Writers - 25th Anniversary Edition
    Author: VOGLER CHRISTOPHER
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Originally an influential memo Vogler wrote for Walt Disney Animation executives regarding The Lion King, The Writer's Journey details a twelve-stage, myth-inspired method that has galvanised Hollywood's treatment of cinematic storytelling. A format that once seldom deviated beyond a traditional three-act blueprint, Vogler's comprehensive theory of story structure and character development has met with universal acclaim, and is detailed herein using examples from myths, fairy tales, and classic movies.

    This book has changed the face of screenwriting worldwide over the last 25 years, and continues to do so.

    Imprint: MICHAEL WIESE PUBLICATIONS
    RRP: $49.99

    Price: $49.99
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