Block of Books
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  • 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
  • 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: ACTIVE TITLE

    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
  • 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
  • GREAT SONG CYCLE : Portland to Los Angeles on Two Wheels and a Song
    GREAT SONG CYCLE : Portland to Los Angeles on Two Wheels and a Song
    WALLFISCH JOANNA
    ISBN: 9781760800956
    Title: GREAT SONG CYCLE : Portland to Los Angeles on Two Wheels and a Song
    Author: WALLFISCH JOANNA
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    An adventurer at heart, in August 2016 Joanna embarked on a solo concert tour of the West Coast of the USA...by bicycle. Over the course of 1,154 miles (1,860 km) she performed 16 solo shows between Portland and Los Angeles carrying her musical instruments, camping gear, and everything else she needed upon her bike. This book follows Joanna’s journey from the moment the idea was sparked in Brooklyn to the triumphant completion at Santa Monica Pier, and everything in between. Throw in some sex, drugs, cooperative accomodation services, sleazy men and, of course, more than a little music, and Joanna will take you on the ride of her life.


    This book follows Joanna's journey from the moment the idea was sparked in Brooklyn to the triumphant completion at Santa Monica Pier, and everything in between. Throw in some sex, drugs, cooperative accomodation services, sleazy men and, of course, more than a little music, and Joanna will take you on the ride of her life.

    Imprint: University of WA Publishing
    RRP: $26.99

    Price: $26.99
  • 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
  • HIMALYA : A Literary Homage to Adventure Meditation and Life on the Roof of the World
    HIMALYA : A Literary Homage to Adventure Meditation and Life on the Roof of the World
    GOKHALE NAMITA [ED]
    ISBN: 9781611805901
    Title: HIMALYA : A Literary Homage to Adventure Meditation and Life on the Roof of the World
    Author: GOKHALE NAMITA [ED]
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Intimate, exhilarating writings on adventure, meditation, and life in the captivating wildness of the Himalayan Mountains.

    For some, the Himalaya is a frontier against which to test themselves. Others find refuge and tranquility in the mountains, a place where they can seek their true selves, perhaps even God. And over millennia, the mountains have cradled civilization itself and nurtured teeming, irrepressible life. With over thirty essays, this comprehensive volume brings together a dazzling range of voices revealing accounts of great ascents and descents.
    One piece details a "mutiny" on Kanchenjunga from Aleister Crowley, the self-avowed "wickedest man in the world," who dabbled in black magic and devil worship. Mark Twain's essay shares the simple pleasure of riding a hand-car down the railway track from Darjeeling. Looking for the snow leopard in Ladakh, one writer ends up finding himself. A resident of a Sherpa village writes a heartfelt account of the aftermath of an avalanche that killed porters and climbers on Everest; a prisoner in Dehra Dun jail draws solace from visits by birds and small animals; and the fragrance of lime makes a traveler's night in a remote Garhwal village memorable for all time. Seperated into three parts--Adventure, Meditation, and Life--with excerpts from historical travel logs, poetic reflections, and personal narratives, this diverse collection has something to appeal to every reader.

    Imprint: SHAMBALA
    RRP: $38.00

    Price: $38.00
  • HIPPIE
    HIPPIE
    COELHO PAULO
    ISBN: 9780143794110
    Title: HIPPIE
    Author: COELHO PAULO
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In Hippie Paulo Coelho takes us back in time to relive the dream of a generation that longed for peace and dared to challenge the established social order - authoritarian politics, conservative modes of behaviour, excessive consumerism, and an unbalanced concentration of wealth and power.
    Following the 'three days of peace and music' at Woodstock, the 1969 gathering in Bethel, NY that would change the world forever, hippie paradises began to emerge all around the world. In the Dam Square in Amsterdam, long-haired young people wearing vibrant clothes and burning incense could be found meditating, playing music and discussing sexual liberation, the expansion of consciousness and the search for an inner truth. They were a generation refusing to live the robotic and unquestioning life that their parents had known.
    At this time, Paulo is a young, skinny Brazilian with a goatee and long, flowing hair who wants to become a writer. He sets off on a journey in search of freedom and a deeper meaning for his life- first, with a girlfriend, on the famous 'Death Train to Bolivia', then on to Peru and later hitchhiking through Chile and Argentina.
    His travels take him further, to the famous square in Amsterdam, where Paulo meets Karla, a Dutch woman also in her 20s. She convinces Paulo to join her on a trip to Nepal, aboard the Magic Bus that travels across Europe and Central Asia to Kathmandu. They embark on a journey in the company of fascinating fellow travellers, each of whom has a story to tell, and each of whom will undergo a transformation, changing their priorities and values, along the way. As they travel together, Paulo and Karla explore their own relationship, an awakening on every level that brings each of them to a choice and a decision that sets the course for their lives thereafter.

    Imprint: HAMISH HAMILTON
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • HOMAGE TO BARCELONA
    HOMAGE TO BARCELONA
    TOIBIN COLM
    ISBN: 9780330373562
    Title: HOMAGE TO BARCELONA
    Author: TOIBIN COLM
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    This book celebrates one of Europe's greatest cities -- a cosmopolitan hub of vibrant architecture, art, culture and nightlife. It moves from the story of the city's founding and its huge expansion in the nineteenth century to the lives of Gaudi, Miro, Picasso, Casals and Dali. It also explores the history of Catalan nationalism, the tragedy of the Civil War, the Franco years and the transition from dictatorship to democracy which Colm Toibin witnessed in the 1970s. Written with deep knowledge and affection, Homage to Barcelona is a sensuous and beguiling portrait of a unique Mediterranean port and an adopted home. 'Toibin has the narrative poise of Brian Moore and the patient eye for domestic detail of John McGahern, but he is very much his own man' Observer 'Having lived in Barcelona off and on since the 70s, Toibin knows all the fascinations of its sensuous Mediterranean history and lifestyle and "the most precious jewels in the city's treasury of bars" ...Toibin is the perfect guide' Chicago Tribune

    Imprint: PICADOR
    RRP: $20.99

    Price: $20.99
  • HORIZON
    HORIZON
    LOPEZ BARRY
    ISBN: 9781529111248
    Title: HORIZON
    Author: LOPEZ BARRY
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: April 2020 New Release

    'The greatest nature writer in the world ... He is also the greatest travel writer ... an astounding new memoir' Sunday Times

    'Horizon is magnificent; a contemporary epic' Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland

    From the author of the classic Arctic Dreams comes a vivid recollection of his travels around the world and the encounters that have shaped an extraordinary life.


    Taking us nearly from pole to pole - from modern megacities to some of the earth's most remote regions - and across decades of lived experience, Barry Lopez gives us his most far-ranging yet personal work to date, in a book that describes his travels to six regions of the world- from Western Oregon to the High Arctic; from the Galapagos to the Kenyan desert; from Botany Bay in Australia to finally, unforgettably, the ice shelves of Antarctica.

    Lopez also probes the long history of humanity's quests and explorations, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada, the colonialists who plundered Central Africa, an enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific, a Native American emissary who found his way into isolationist Japan, and today's ecotourists in the tropics.

    Throughout his journeys - to some of the hottest, coldest, and most desolate places on the globe - and via friendships with scientists, archaeologists, artists and local residents, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world.

    Horizon is a revelatory, epic work that voices concern but also hope - a book that makes you see the world differently, and that is the crowning achievement by one of America's great voices.

    Imprint: Random House Publishing
    RRP: $22.99
    Price: $22.99
  • HUNGRY : Eating Road-Tripping and Risking it All with Rene Redzepi, the World's Greatest Chef
    HUNGRY : Eating Road-Tripping and Risking it All with Rene Redzepi, the World's Greatest Chef
    GORDINIER JEFF
    ISBN: 9781785785856
    Title: HUNGRY : Eating Road-Tripping and Risking it All with Rene Redzepi, the World's Greatest Chef
    Author: GORDINIER JEFF
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Feeling stuck in his life, New York Times food writer Jeff Gordinier met Rene Redzepi, the Danish chef whose restaurant, Noma, has been repeatedly voted the best in the world. 

    A restless perfectionist, Redzepi was at the top of his game but looking to shutter his restaurant and set out for new places, flavours and recipes.
     

    This is the story of their four-year culinary adventure. In the Yucatan jungle, Redzepi and Gordinierseek the perfect taco and the secrets of mole. On idyllic Sydney beaches, they forage for sea rocket and wild celery. On a boat in the Arctic Circle, a lone fisherman guides them to - perhaps - the world's finest sea urchins. Back in Copenhagen, Redzepi plans the resurrection of his restaurant on the unlikely site of a garbage-filled empty lot. 

    Hungry is a memoir, a travelogue, a portrait of a chef, and a chronicle of the moment when daredevil cooking became the most exciting and groundbreaking form of artistry.

    Imprint: ICON
    RRP: $35.00

    Price: $35.00
  • I MAY BE SOME TIME : The Story Behind the Antarctic Tragedy of Captain Scott
    I MAY BE SOME TIME : The Story Behind the Antarctic Tragedy of Captain Scott
    SPUFFORD FRANCIS
    ISBN: 9780571346783
    Title: I MAY BE SOME TIME : The Story Behind the Antarctic Tragedy of Captain Scott
    Author: SPUFFORD FRANCIS
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A new edition of the classic study of the expeditions to the South Pole, and why we are so fascinated with exploring vast, empty, and extreme landscapes.

    When Captain Scott died in 1912 on his way back from the South Pole, his story became a myth embedded in the national imagination. Everyone remembers the doomed Captain Oates's last words: 'I'm just going outside, and I may be some time.' Francis Spufford's celebrated and prize-winning history shows how Scott's death was the culmination of a national enchantment with vast empty spaces, the beauty of untrodden snow, and perilous journeys to the end of the earth.

    Imprint: Faber and Faber
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • IN EUROPE   (Vintage Classic Europeans Series)
    IN EUROPE (Vintage Classic Europeans Series)
    MAK GEERT
    ISBN: 9781784874995
    Title: IN EUROPE (Vintage Classic Europeans Series)
    Author: MAK GEERT
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    TRANSLATED FROM THE DUTCH BY SAM GARRETT


    The Vintage Classics Europeans series - with covers provided by textile design firm Wallace Sewell, these are must-have editions of European masterpieces, celebrating the warp and weft of a shared literary treasury.


    In 1999, journalist and historian Geert Mak criss-crossed the continent in the simple yet monumental quest to trace European twentieth-century history as the world slipped into the twenty-first. In Europe is a dazzling account of that journey, and combines the larger story of Europe with intimate, vivid detail. It is also now a poignant reminder that the European project was then and is now a unprecedented experiment; that we still have ‘a great deal to tell each other and a great deal to explain.’

    Imprint: VINTAGE CLASSICS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • IN OTHER WORDS
    IN OTHER WORDS
    LAHIRI JHUMPA
    ISBN: 9781408866139
    Title: IN OTHER WORDS
    Author: LAHIRI JHUMPA
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    From the bestselling Pulitzer Prize winner: a stunning non-fiction debut, written in Italian: a memoir about her encounters living, speaking and writing in a language not her own - her most intimate, revealing and exciting book to date.


    In Other Words is at heart a love story - of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. Although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterwards, full mastery had always eluded her. So in 2012, seeking full immersion, she decided to uproot herself, her husband and two children, and move to Rome for 'a trial by fire, a sort of baptism' into a new world and way of being.

    Over the course of three years, Lahiri read, spoke, wrote - even in her journal - solely in Italian, slowly beginning to feel she could not only communicate in Italian, but fully express herself, even in fiction. In spare and luminous prose, and drawing, too, on Lahiri's parent's own experiences with another culture when they first came to America, In Other Words explores the often emotionally fraught links between identity and language. It is a book about exile, linguistic and otherwise, written with an intensity and clarity not seen since Nabokov.

    A startling act of self-reflection; a powerful exploration of a surprising, life-changing passion; and a provocative, piercingly eloquent book that showcases a remarkable writer's signature gifts, it is her most intimate, revealing and exciting book to date.

    Imprint: BLOOMSBURY
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • IN PATAGONIA
    IN PATAGONIA
    CHATWIN BRUCE
    ISBN: 9780099769514
    Title: IN PATAGONIA
    Author: CHATWIN BRUCE
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Beautifully written and full of wonderful descriptions and intriguing tales, In Patagonia is an account of Bruce Chatwin's travels to a remote country in search of a strange beast and his encounters with the people whose fascinating stories delay him on the road.

    Imprint: Vintage Classics
    RRP: $14.99

    Price: $14.99
  • IN PATAGONIA   -   (Vintage Voyages)
    IN PATAGONIA - (Vintage Voyages)
    CHATWIN BRUCE
    ISBN: 9781784875367
    Title: IN PATAGONIA - (Vintage Voyages)
    Author: CHATWIN BRUCE
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

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

    Beautifully written and full of wonderful descriptions and intriguing tales, In Patagonia is an account of Bruce Chatwin's travels to a remote country in search of a strange beast and his encounters with the people whose fascinating stories delay him on the road.

    Imprint: Vintage
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • IN SICILY
    IN SICILY
    LEWIS NORMAN
    ISBN: 9781780600093
    Title: IN SICILY
    Author: LEWIS NORMAN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    In Sicily is a loving take on an extraordinary island, based on Norman Lewis’s sixty-yearlong fascination with all things Sicilian! Few places on earth have escaped the singular eye of Norman Lewis, but always, in the course of his long career, he has come back to Sicily. From his first wartime visit – to a land untouched since the Middle Ages – through his frequent returns, he has watched the island and its people as they have changed over the years! Dedicated to a Sicilian journalist killed by a Mafia bomb, he rarely lets us forget the presence of organized crime. We benefit from his friendships with policemen, journalists and common people. Moreover, he writes beautifully of landscape and language, of his memories of his first father-in-law (professional gambler, descendant of princes and member of the Unione Siciliana), of Sicily's changing sexual mores, of the effects of African immigration, of Palermo and its ruined palaces – and of strange superstitions, of witches and bandits and murder.

    Imprint: ELAND
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
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