Block of Books
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  • BELLS OF OLD TOKYO
    BELLS OF OLD TOKYO
    SHERMAN ANNA
    ISBN: 9781529000498
    Title: BELLS OF OLD TOKYO
    Author: SHERMAN ANNA
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: PUBLICATION DELAYED

    In <i>The Bells of Old Tokyo</i>, Anna Sherman explores Japan and revels in all its wonderful particularity. As a foreigner living in Tokyo, Sherman’s account takes pleasure and fascination in the history and culture of a country that can seem startlingly strange to an outsider.

    Following her search for the lost bells of the city – the bells by which its inhabitants kept time before the Jesuits introduced them to clocks – to her personal friendship with the owner of a small, exquisite cafe, who elevates the making and drinking of coffee to an art-form, here is Tokyo in its bewildering variety. From the love hotels of Shinjuku to the appalling fire-storms of 1945 (in which many more thousands of people died than in Hiroshima or Nagasaki), from the death of Mishima to the impact of the Tohoku earthquake of 2011.

    For fans of <i>The Lonely City</i>, and <i>Lost in Translation</i>, <i>The Bells of Old Tokyo </i>is a beautiful and original portrait of Tokyo told through time.

    Imprint: PICADOR
    RRP: $19.99
    Price: $19.99
  • BEYOND POSSIBLE
    BEYOND POSSIBLE
    PURJA NIRMAL
    ISBN: 9781529312256
    Title: BEYOND POSSIBLE
    Author: PURJA NIRMAL
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: September 2020 New Releas

    My comfort zone begins where most individuals quit.

    As a kid in Nepal, I went barefoot because my family had nothing. That's how I developed the resilience I needed for joining the Gurkhas - one of the most fearless forces in the British Army. Then against all odds, I became the first ever Gurkha soldier in more than 200 years of history to join the Special Boat Service where I served in the some of the world's most dangerous warzones, kicking down doors to capture enemy gunmen and terrorist bomb makers.

    But elite combat wasn't enough. I wanted more of a test. That's where my next project came in, something nobody thought possible - to climb all fourteen "death zone" mountains in seven months. The previous standard for conquering the world's most dangerous peaks was seven years, ten months and six days. I smashed through that achievement in six months, breaking several world records in the process. I'd have been even quicker had I not been called in to lead four perilous, high-altitude rescue missions.

    I knew that to quit on the mountain was to die. Even though I'd only started my climbing a few years earlier, as a hobby, I found I was able to adapt quickly to the deadly conditions. I was rarely phased by the lung-burning temperatures or brutal winds and fatigue seemed to pass me by. Fear became irrelevant because I had belief. In the death zone, I came alive.

    There were intimidating challenges to negotiate away from the mountains, too. Financial hurdles had to be overcome in order to fund an expedition with a six-figure price tag. Political negotiations with the Chinese government were required to ensure my entry to Shishapangma. And as I broke several world records, my mother was hospitalized. As the youngest son in a Nepalese family I was duty bound to care for her. My world fell apart. But this is what happens when ambition meets limitless imagination.

    Beyond Possible: One Soldier, Fourteen Peaks - My Life In The Death Zone is the inside story of my incredible adventure.



    Imprint: Hachette Publishers
    RRP: $32.99
    Price: $32.99
  • BEYOND THE MAP : Unruly enclaves, ghostly places, emerging lands and our search for new utopias
    BEYOND THE MAP : Unruly enclaves, ghostly places, emerging lands and our search for new utopias
    BONNETT ALASTAIR
    ISBN: 9781781318034
    Title: BEYOND THE MAP : Unruly enclaves, ghostly places, emerging lands and our search for new utopias
    Author: BONNETT ALASTAIR
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A follow on from the critically acclaimed Off the Map, this is a timely and fascinating discussion of place, ownership and ideas of state.

    Geography is getting stranger. Out there, fleets of new islands are under construction and micro-nations are struggling into the light. As new borders and boundaries ebb and flow with increasing speed, it feels as if our old maps are being discarded, redrawn or torn up.
    Alastair Bonnett uncovers the stories of thirty-nine extraordinary places, each of which challenges us to re-imagine the world around us. From emerging islands, disruptive enclaves and bold utopian visions to uncanny ruins, ghostly tunnels and hidden landscapes – these are destinations that lie beyond ordinary coordinates.

    Imprint: AURUM PRESS
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • BIGGER BOOK OF EVERYTHING : A Visual Guide to Travel and the World
    BIGGER BOOK OF EVERYTHING : A Visual Guide to Travel and the World
    ISBN: 9781838690410
    Title: BIGGER BOOK OF EVERYTHING : A Visual Guide to Travel and the World
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    How do you wear a kilt, kiss a stranger, prevent a hangover, get out of a sinking car, predict the weather, play croquet, overtake a racing car, brew a great beer, repair a broken tooth, dive for pearls, and serve tea the Japanese way? This new and expanded edition, The Bigger Book of Everything, explains everything you could possibly need to know how to do and more. Infographics make essential (and some not-so-essential) skills easy to learn Enhances smart, safe, and exciting travel Follow-up to The Book of Everything (9781742209630) which sold 30,000 copies.

    Imprint: LONELY PLANET
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • BLOOD RIVER : A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart   -   (Vintage Voyages)
    BLOOD RIVER : A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart - (Vintage Voyages)
    BUTCHER TIM
    ISBN: 9781784875381
    Title: BLOOD RIVER : A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart - (Vintage Voyages)
    Author: BUTCHER TIM
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    VINTAGE VOYAGES- A world of journeys, from the tallest mountains to the depths of the mind

    When Daily Telegraph correspondent Tim Butcher was sent to cover Africa he quickly became obsessed with the idea of recreating H.M. Stanley's famous expedition - but travelling alone. Despite warnings that his plan was 'suicidal', Butcher set out for the Congo's eastern border with just a rucksack and a few thousand dollars hidden in his boots. Making his way in an assortment of vessels including a motorbike and a dugout canoe, helped along by a cast of characters from UN aid workers to a campaigning pygmy, he followed in the footsteps of the great Victorian adventurers.

    Imprint: Vintage
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • BONDI TO THE BALTIC
    BONDI TO THE BALTIC
    MCCOMBE JOHN
    ISBN: 9781925893199
    Title: BONDI TO THE BALTIC
    Author: MCCOMBE JOHN
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Two antique cars, a few old mates and the journey of a lifetime.

    Take a couple of vintage cars and their owners' determination to drive them on a pilgrimage from Australia to Finland and you have a fascinating story told through photos and the distillation of blogs and diary entries by some foolhardy, adventurous blokes.

    Starting out from Thailand, their travels took them through Laos, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Russia and Finland - a six-month journey spread over two legs in successive years.

    Told in an engaging, self-deprecating and personal style, the reader enters the journey, every step of the way: following the ancient Silk Road route into the mountains of south-west and western China and the Tibetan Plateau where Muslim and Buddhist communities have lived for centuries, through the '-stans', and beyond.

    Many an adventure, impossibly sticky situations, near misses and regular mechanical breakdowns were inevitably resolved with the support and civility towards this motley group of travellers in their ancient cars, by locals renowned for their hospitality. Nothing was ever too much trouble.

    They had no sponsor, no professional photographer or filmmaker, no journalist to publish the story, no 'name' to add fame and celebrity, no contract in the pocket for a coffee table book with quality photos and deep, or informed historical and cultural insights, and no travelling mechanical workshop. There was just a determination to get each of these old cars to Helsinki in one piece and smell the roses along the way.

    A must-read for men (and women) who dream ...

    Imprint: WILD DINGO PRESS
    RRP: $32.95

    Price: $32.95
  • BONNES VACANCES : A CRAZY FAMILY ADVENTURE IN THE FRENCH TERRITORIES
    BONNES VACANCES : A CRAZY FAMILY ADVENTURE IN THE FRENCH TERRITORIES
    MILLARD ROSIE
    ISBN: 9781849531498
    Title: BONNES VACANCES : A CRAZY FAMILY ADVENTURE IN THE FRENCH TERRITORIES
    Author: MILLARD ROSIE
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    'Looks like not many tourists visit St Pierre et Miquelon,' I mutter excitedly to Pip. 'That is why this trip is going to be so brilliant.' He looks at me questioningly. I am distracted by Gabriel's unusually pallid face. 'Oh my God, he's going to be sick.' Rosie set out on a tour of the French Overseas Departments and Territories (the 'Dom- Toms') with her husband and four young children, partly to make a documentary series but also to show the children it is possible to survive fourteen weeks without Hannah Montana. From Martinique to Reunion, crossing five continents, they eat stewed iguana, 400 croissants and - since the budget is small - copious amounts of Campbell's soup.
    Candid, darkly humorous and slightly mad, cut with a dash of French history, this memoir offers insights, amusement and hope for anyone who has ever travelled en famille.

    Imprint: SUMMERSDALE
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • CHIP SHOP IN POZNAN
    CHIP SHOP IN POZNAN
    AITKEN BEN
    ISBN: 9781785786266
    Title: CHIP SHOP IN POZNAN
    Author: AITKEN BEN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: August 2020 New Release

    'One of the funniest books of the year' - Paul Ross, talkRADIO

    WARNING: CONTAINS AN UNLIKELY IMMIGRANT, AN UNSUNG COUNTRY, A BUMPY ROMANCE, SEVERAL SHATTERED PRECONCEPTIONS, TRACES OF INSIGHT, A DOZEN NUNS AND A REFERENDUM.

    Not many Brits move to Poland to work in a fish and chip shop.

    Fewer still come back wanting to be a Member of the European Parliament.

    In 2016 Ben Aitken moved to Poland while he still could. It wasn't love that took him but curiosity: he wanted to know what the Poles in the UK had left behind. He flew to a place he'd never heard of and then accepted a job in a chip shop on the minimum wage.

    When he wasn't peeling potatoes he was on the road scratching the country's surface: he milked cows with a Eurosceptic farmer; missed the bus to Auschwitz; spent Christmas with complete strangers and went to Gdansk to learn how communism got the chop. By the year's end he had a better sense of what the Poles had turned their backs on - southern mountains, northern beaches, dumplings! - and an uncanny ability to bone cod.

    This is a candid, funny and offbeat tale of a year as an unlikely immigrant.

    Imprint: ICON
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • CITY OF DJINNS : A YEAR IN DELHI
    CITY OF DJINNS : A YEAR IN DELHI
    DALRYMPLE WILLIAM
    ISBN: 9780006375951
    Title: CITY OF DJINNS : A YEAR IN DELHI
    Author: DALRYMPLE WILLIAM
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    'Could you show me a djinn?' I asked. 'Certainly,' replied the Sufi. 'But you would run away.' From the author of the Samuel Johnson prize shortlisted 'The Return of a King', this is William Dalrymple's captivating memoir of a year spent in Delhi, a city watched over and protected by the mischievous invisible djinns. Lodging with the beady-eyed Mrs Puri and encountering an extraordinary array of characters - from elusive eunuchs to the last remnants of the Raj - William Dalrymple comes to know the bewildering city intimately. He pursues Delhi's interlacing layers of history along narrow alleys and broad boulevards, brilliantly conveying its intoxicating mix of mysticism and mayhem. 'City of Djinns' is an astonishing and sensitive portrait of a city, and confirms William Dalrymple as one of the most compelling explorers of India's past and present.

    Imprint: PERENNIAL
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • CLIMBING DAYS
    CLIMBING DAYS
    RICHARDS DAN
    ISBN: 9780571311934
    Title: CLIMBING DAYS
    Author: RICHARDS DAN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    In Climbing Days, Dan Richards is on the trail of his great-great-aunt, Dorothy Pilley, a prominent and pioneering mountaineer of the early twentieth century. For years, Dorothy and her husband, I. A. Richards, remained mysterious to Dan, but the chance discovery of her 1935 memoir, Climbing Days, leads him on a journey. Perhaps, in the mountains, he can meet them halfway?

    Following in the pair's footholds, Dan begins to travel and climb across Europe, using Dorothy's book as a guide. Learning the ropes in Wales and Scotland, scrambling in the Lake District, scaling summits in Spain and Switzerland, he closes in on the serrate pinnacle of Ivor and Dorothy's climbing lives, the mighty Dent Blanche in the high Alps of Valais.

    What emerges is a beautiful portrait of a trailblazing woman, up to now lost to history - but also a book about that eternal question: why do people climb mountains?

    Imprint: Faber and Faber
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • COAST TASMANIA : SEASCAPES FROM THE ROARING FORTIES
    COAST TASMANIA : SEASCAPES FROM THE ROARING FORTIES
    WILSON ANDREW
    ISBN: 9780992303686
    Title: COAST TASMANIA : SEASCAPES FROM THE ROARING FORTIES
    Author: WILSON ANDREW
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Andrew Wilson has an eye for the dramatic and this is a very fresh pictorial portrait of Tasmania. There are extreme wilderness spots reached only by sea and some others of inhabited and favorite recreational areas, but all of them show the beauty and the extremes brought about by being in the path of the roaring forties.

    Andrew Wilson is fast being recognised as the preeminent contemporary Tasmanian photographer and this book supports and enhances that claim.

    Imprint: DIRECT FROM SUPPLIER
    RRP: $79.95

    Price: $79.95
  • COLOSSUS OF MAROUSSI
    COLOSSUS OF MAROUSSI
    MILLER HENRY
    ISBN: 9780141980546
    Title: COLOSSUS OF MAROUSSI
    Author: MILLER HENRY
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    'Out of the sea, as if Homer himself had arranged it for me, the islands bobbed up, lonely, deserted, mysterious in the fading light'

    Enraptured by a young woman's account of the landscapes of Greece, Henry Miller set off to explore the Grecian countryside with his friend Lawrence Durrell in 1939. In The Colossus of Maroussi he describes drinking from sacred springs, nearly being trampled to death by sheep and encountering the flamboyant Greek poet Katsumbalis, who 'could galvanize the dead with his talk'. This lyrical classic of travel writing represented an epiphany in Miller's life, and is the book he would later cite as his favourite.

    'One of the five greatest travel books of all time.' Pico Iyer



    Imprint: PENGUIN MODERN CLASSICS
    RRP: $26.99
    Price: $26.99
  • COUCHSURFING IN CHINA : Encounters and Escapades beyond the Great Wall
    COUCHSURFING IN CHINA : Encounters and Escapades beyond the Great Wall
    ORTH STEPHAN
    ISBN: 9781760642358
    Title: COUCHSURFING IN CHINA : Encounters and Escapades beyond the Great Wall
    Author: ORTH STEPHAN
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    China can be a challenging travel destination, with its strict visa conditions, the language barrier and internet censorship. Couchsurfer Stephan Orth chooses a different path than most and gains an insider view of the nation, directly from the living rooms of locals. He talks to them about their dreams and fears, and about where this huge country is heading. Concrete facades sometimes conceal great surprises, and Orth is on a mission to discover the real China.

    In Couchsurfing in China, the award-winning travel journalist spends three months exploring the Middle Kingdom- from the gamblers' paradise of Macau, to the mountainous region of Yunnan Province, to the city of Dandong on the North Korean border. Orth visits high-tech megacities and remote villages, meeting artists critical of the regime and ethnic minorities forced into re-education camps. Utterly out of place, he finds himself censored as a guest on live TV and almost joins an outlawed sect.

    On his travels, Orth uncovers the complicated realities of life in a country that encompasses a bewildering mixture of old and new, natural and artificial, beautiful and chaotic - a place poised to become the future number-one world power. The result is an intriguing travelogue full of insight, humour and revelation.

    Imprint: Black Inc.
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • COUCHSURFING IN RUSSIA : Friendships and Misadventures Behind Putin's Curtain
    COUCHSURFING IN RUSSIA : Friendships and Misadventures Behind Putin's Curtain
    ORTH STEPHAN
    ISBN: 9781760640231
    Title: COUCHSURFING IN RUSSIA : Friendships and Misadventures Behind Putin's Curtain
    Author: ORTH STEPHAN
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    An unconventional travelogue of Russia, a country that inspires both fear and fascination.

    'In the late summer of 2016,' writes award-winning travel writer Stephan Orth, 'a journey to Russia feels like visiting enemy territory.'

    In this humorous and thought-provoking book, Orth ventures through that vast and mysterious land to uncover the real, unfiltered Russia not seen in today's headlines- authentic, bizarre, dangerous, and beautiful. Sidestepping the well-trod tourist path by staying with an eclectic array of hosts, he bumps into gun nuts, internet conspiracy theorists, faux shamans, and Putin fans; learns to drive in death-defying Russian style; and discovers how to cure hangovers by sniffing rye bread. But he also sees a darker side of the country, witnessing firsthand the effects of Putin's influence in the run-up to the American election and the power of propaganda in this 'post-fact' era.

    Weaving everything together with thoughtfulness and warmth, Orth follows the bestselling Couchsurfing in Iran with another complex, funny, and personal travelogue - a colourful portrait of a fascinating and misunderstood country.

    Imprint: Black Inc.
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • CULTURE TRAILS
    CULTURE TRAILS
    ISBN: 9781786579683
    Title: CULTURE TRAILS
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Hemingway's Cuba, jazz in New Orleans, the Italian Renaissance: whether it's art, music, literature or cinema, there's something for everyone in this follow-up to Wine Trails and Food Trails. We present ideas and itineraries for 52 weekends of culture heaven, packed with expert recommendations, maps and advice on how to get there and where to stay. We've searched the globe to find 52 cultural enclaves where the arts have had a profound, lasting impact and local culture is being protected and nurtured; where old customs hold true and new ones are being forged; and where the past is melding with the future in fascinating ways.

    Highlights include: Aboriginal art in Australia's Northern Territory On a classical high in Vienna Confronting Soviet ghosts in Bulgaria Exploring a Latin American literary legacy Myths and legends of old Hong Kong Discovering Havana's music scene Copenhagen's design and urban environment Oxford's storytellers Ancient religion of Ethiopia Finnish sauna culture Picasso on the Riviera Walking in the footsteps of Vikings Rajasthan's open-air art galleries Medici Florence Bob Marley reggae trail Taiwanese folklore reimagined Vintage Hollywood Deep South blues trail

    Imprint: LONELY PLANET
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • DANUBE
    DANUBE
    MAGRIS CLAUDIO
    ISBN: 9781784871314
    Title: DANUBE
    Author: MAGRIS CLAUDIO
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In this fascinating journey Claudio Magris, whose knowledge is encyclopaedic and whose curiosity limitless, guides his reader from the source of the Danube in the Bavarian hills through Austro-Hungary and the Balkans to the Black Sea. Along the way he raises the ghosts that inhabit the houses and monuments - from Ovid to Kafka and Canetti - and in so doing sets his finger on the pulse of Central Europe, the vital crucible of a culture that draws on influences of East and West, of Christendom and Islam.

    Imprint: Vintage Classics
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
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