Block of Books
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  • 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: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    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 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: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    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: $26.99

    Price: $26.99
  • 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
  • GENTLE ART OF TRAMPING
    GENTLE ART OF TRAMPING
    GRAHAM STEPHEN
    ISBN: 9781448217243
    Title: GENTLE ART OF TRAMPING
    Author: GRAHAM STEPHEN
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: June 2019 New Release

    'Know how to tramp and you know how to live - Know how to meet your fellow-wanderer, how to be passive to the beauty of Nature and how to be active to its wildness and its rigour'
    The tramp is a friend of society; a seeker, they pay their way if they can. One includes in the category "tramp" all true Bohemians, pilgrims, explorers afoot, walking tourists, and the like. Tramping is a way of approach, to Nature, to your fellow-man, to a nation, to beauty, to life itself. It is a gentle art and there is much to learn; illusions to overcome, prejudices and habits to be shaken off.
    Originally published in 1926, The Gentle Art of Tramping is a guide for anyone who has dreamed of taking to the road with nothing more than a bag full of essentials and big ideas. It gives guidance on walking, being open to discovery and being kind - advice as relevant now as it was then.

    Imprint: BLOOMSBURY
    RRP: $27.99
    Price: $27.99
  • GHOSTS OF SPAIN
    GHOSTS OF SPAIN
    TREMLETT GILES
    ISBN: 9780571279395
    Title: GHOSTS OF SPAIN
    Author: TREMLETT GILES
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    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: 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
  • 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
  • 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: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • 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
  • HOLY COW : AN INDIAN ADVENTURE
    HOLY COW : AN INDIAN ADVENTURE
    MACDONALD SARAH
    ISBN: 9781863253260
    Title: HOLY COW : AN INDIAN ADVENTURE
    Author: MACDONALD SARAH
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A rollercoaster ride through a land of chaos and contradiction with a woman on a mission to save her soul, her love life - and her sanity.

    After backpacking her way around India Sarah Macdonald decides she hates the country with a passion. When a beggar reads her palm and insists she will one day return - and for love - she screams 'Never!' But twelve years later the prophecy comes true.

    When the love of her life is posted to India, Sarah follows him to the most polluted city on earth, New Delhi. It seems like the ultimate sacrifice for love and it almost kills her - literally. After being cursed by a naked sadhu smeared in human ashes Sarah almost dies from double pneumonia, but not before facing some serious questions about her fragile mortality and inner spiritual void - not to mention some unsightly hair loss. It's enough to send a rapidly balding atheist on a wild rollercoaster ride through India in search of the meaning of life and death. With the help of the Dalai Lama, a goddess of healing hugs and a couple of Bollywood stars - among many, many others - Sarah discovers a hell of a lot more."

    Imprint: BANTAM
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • 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: 9781847925787
    Title: HORIZON
    Author: LOPEZ BARRY
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    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: BODLEY HEAD
    RRP: $37.99

    Price: $37.99
  • 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: ACTIVE TITLE

    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
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