Block of Books
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  • 100 BOOKS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
    100 BOOKS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
    CHRISTIANSON SCOTT
    ISBN: 9781849944519
    Title: 100 BOOKS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
    Author: CHRISTIANSON SCOTT
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    A chronological survey of the world's most influential books.

    Many books have become classics, must-reads or overnight publishing sensations, but how many can genuinely claim to have changed the way we see and think?

    In 100 Books that Changed the World, prize-winning author Scott Christianson brings together an exceptional collection of truly groundbreaking books - from scriptures that founded religions, to scientific treatises that challenged beliefs, to novels that kick-started literary genres. This elegantly designed book offers a sweeping, chronological survey of the most important books from around the globe, from the earliest illuminated manuscripts to the age of the ebook publication.

    Entries include: Iliad and Odyssey, Homer (750 BC), Gutenberg Bible (1450s), The Qur'an (AD 609-632), On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Nicolaus Copernicus (1543), Shakespeare's First Folio (1623), Philosophae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Isaac Newton (1687), Samuel Johnson's Dictionary (1755), The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith (1776), The Vindication of the Rights of Women, Mary Wollstonecraft (1792), The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1848), Roget's Thesaurus (1852), On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin (1859), The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud (1899), Lady Chatterley's Lover, D.H. Lawrence (1928), The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank (1947), Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (1964), A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking (1988).

    Imprint: BATSFORD
    RRP: $27.99

    Price: $27.99
  • AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WORDS : A Journey Through the English Language
    AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WORDS : A Journey Through the English Language
    JONES PAUL ANTHONY
    ISBN: 9781783964000
    Title: AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WORDS : A Journey Through the English Language
    Author: JONES PAUL ANTHONY
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: December 2018 New Release

    For armchair travellers and language nerds: the surprising stories behind places that have become words.

    Imprint: ELLIOTT AND THOMPSON
    RRP: $27.99
    Price: $27.99
  • ART OF READING : Lawrence Schwartzwald
    ART OF READING : Lawrence Schwartzwald
    SCHWARTZWALD LAWRENCE
    ISBN: 9783958295087
    Title: ART OF READING : Lawrence Schwartzwald
    Author: SCHWARTZWALD LAWRENCE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The Art of Reading presents New York photographer Lawrence Schwartzwald's (born 1953) candid images of readers, made between 2001 and 2017. Partly inspired by André Kertész's On Reading (1971), Schwartzwald's subjects are mostly average New Yorkers—sunbathers, a bus driver, shoeshine men, subway passengers, denizens of bookshops and cafes—but also artists (most notably Amy Winehouse at Manhattan's now-closed all-night diner Florent).

    In 2001 Schwartzwald's affectionate photo of a New York bookseller reading at his makeshift sidewalk stand on Columbus Avenue (and inadvertently exposing his generous buttock cleavage) caused a minor sensation: first published in the New York Post, it inspired a reporter for the New York Observer to interview the "portly peddler" in a humorous column titled "Wisecracking on Columbus Avenue" of 2001. Since then Schwartzwald has sought out his readers of books on paper—mostly solitary and often incongruous, desperate or vulnerable—who fly in the face of the closure of traditional bookshops and the surge in e-books, dedicating themselves to what Schwartzwald sees as a vanishing art: the art of reading.

    Imprint: STEIDL
    RRP: $50.00

    Price: $50.00
  • AUSTRALIAN BIRD GUIDE
    AUSTRALIAN BIRD GUIDE
    MENKHORST PETER ET AL
    ISBN: 9780643097544
    Title: AUSTRALIAN BIRD GUIDE
    Author: MENKHORST PETER ET AL
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Australia's avifauna is large, diverse and spectacular, reflecting the continents 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. The guide features close to 250 stunning colour plates, 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.

    The Australian Bird Guide sets a new standard in field guides, providing an indispensable reference for all birders and naturalists looking to explore Australias magnificent and unique birdlife.

    Imprint: CSIRO PUBLICATIONS
    RRP: $49.95

    Price: $49.95
  • 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: $99.99
  • BETTER BOOKS / BETTER BOOKZ : Art Anarchy Apostasy Counter-culture & the New Avant-garde
    BETTER BOOKS / BETTER BOOKZ : Art Anarchy Apostasy Counter-culture & the New Avant-garde
    KESHVANI ROZEMIN
    ISBN: 9783960984580
    Title: BETTER BOOKS / BETTER BOOKZ : Art Anarchy Apostasy Counter-culture & the New Avant-garde
    Author: KESHVANI ROZEMIN
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In the 1960s and ‘70s, the legendary independent London bookstore Better Books, located on the Charing Cross Road, was the hub for Britain’s counterculture, with the likes of Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Alexander Trocchi, John Latham, Jeff Nuttall, Bob Cobbing, Barry Miles and Gustav Metzger regularly giving readings and performances or exhibiting their works. Countless other writers and artists got their start there by encountering the books, authors or artists that would determine their vocations and change their lives. With its unique range of small-press/underground literature, poetry readings, film screenings and happenings, Better Books was the hub of London’s 1960s counterculture scene. This book is the first to examine this special historic moment. Gathering archival documents, previously unpublished texts and photographs with the voices of the protagonists who launched this revolution, this volume provides a secret history of the real London counterculture.

    Imprint: VERLAG JANNSEN
    RRP: $75.00

    Price: $75.00
  • BIBLIOPHILE : An Illustrated Miscellany
    BIBLIOPHILE : An Illustrated Miscellany
    MOUNT JANE
    ISBN: 9781452167237
    Title: BIBLIOPHILE : An Illustrated Miscellany
    Author: MOUNT JANE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    The ultimate gift for book lovers, this volume brims with literary treasures, all delightfully illustrated by beloved artist and founder of Ideal Bookshelf, Jane Mount.

    Imprint: CHRONICLE
    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
  • BOOK THIEVES : The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance
    BOOK THIEVES : The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance
    RYDELL ANDERS
    ISBN: 9780735221239
    Title: BOOK THIEVES : The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance
    Author: RYDELL ANDERS
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    While the Nazi party was being condemned by much of the world for burning books, they were already hard at work perpetrating an even greater literary crime. Through extensive new research that included records saved by the Monuments Men themselves—Anders Rydell tells the untold story of Nazi book theft, as he himself joins the effort to return the stolen books. When the Nazi soldiers ransacked Europe’s libraries and bookshops, large and small, the books they stole were not burned. Instead, the Nazis began to compile a library of their own that they could use to wage an intellectual war on literature and history. In this secret war, the libraries of Jews, Communists, Liberal politicians, LGBT activists, Catholics, Freemasons, and many other opposition groups were appropriated for Nazi research, and used as an intellectual weapon against their owners. But when the war was over, most of the books were never returned. Instead many found their way into the public library system, where they remain to this day.

    Now, Rydell finds himself entrusted with one of these stolen volumes, setting out to return it to its rightful owner. It was passed to him by the small team of heroic librarians who have begun the monumental task of combing through Berlin’s public libraries to identify the looted books and reunite them with the families of their original owners. For those who lost relatives in the Holocaust, these books are often the only remaining possession of their relatives they have ever held. And as Rydell travels to return the volume he was given, he shows just how much a single book can mean to those who own it.

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $27.99

    Price: $27.99
  • 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
  • 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: ACTIVE TITLE

    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • DREYERS ENGLISH : An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style
    DREYERS ENGLISH : An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style
    DREYER BENJAMIN
    ISBN: 9780812995701
    Title: DREYERS ENGLISH : An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style
    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: RANDOM HOUSE
    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
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