Block of Books
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  • MONTMARTRE : Paris's Village of Art and Sin
    MONTMARTRE : Paris's Village of Art and Sin
    BAXTER JOHN
    ISBN: 9780062431899
    Title: MONTMARTRE : Paris's Village of Art and Sin
    Author: BAXTER JOHN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In the second portrait of his series Great Parisian Neighborhoods, award-winning raconteur John Baxter leads us on a whirlwind tour of Montmartre, the hill-top village that fired the greatest achievements of modern art while also provoking bloody revolution and the sexual misbehavior that made Paris synonymous with sin

    High on the northern edge of Paris, Montmartre has always attracted bohemians, political radicals, the searchers for artistic inspiration as well as those hungry for pleasure. In its winding, windmill-shadowed streets, which, only fifty years before, saw the anarchist rising of the Commune, Renoir, Picasso and van Gogh seized a similar freedom to remake painting, while, in the tenderloin of Pigalle, Toulouse-Lautrec drew the cancan dancers of the Moulin Rouge, celebrating a hedonism that titillated the world,

    In Montmartre, bestselling author and IACP Award winner John Baxter lifts the curtain on a district that visitors to Paris seldom see. From the tumbledown workshops of the Bateau Lavoir in which Picasso and Braque created Cubism to Clichy's Cabaret of Nothingness where guests dined at coffins under lamps of human bones, the whole of this mysterious enclave is ours to explore.

    For visitors and armchair travelers alike, Montmartre captures the excitement and scandal of a fascinating quarter that condenses the elusive perfumes, colors and songs of Paris.

    Imprint: HARPER COLLINS
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • MONTPARNASSE : Paris's District of Memory and Desire
    MONTPARNASSE : Paris's District of Memory and Desire
    BAXTER JOHN
    ISBN: 9780062679048
    Title: MONTPARNASSE : Paris's District of Memory and Desire
    Author: BAXTER JOHN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In the third portrait of his series Great Parisian Neighborhoods, award-winning raconteur John Baxter takes readers on a dazzling excursion of Montparnasse.

    By the IACP Award-winning author of the national bestseller The Most Beautiful Walk in the World, MONTPARNASSE reveals the history and present delights of the iconic neighborhood that is best associated with the vibrant 1920-30s-era Paris-a romantic time and place evoked in Hemingway's memoir A Moveable Feast and Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. From the first meeting of Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald to their friendship's bitter conclusion; from the courage of the anti-Nazi resistance to the clubs where German generals partied; from the attempted murder of Samuel Beckett to the rise of Josephine Baker to stardom; from the high life of the Coupole and the Cafe du Dôme to the bawdy music halls of rue de la Gaité; no Paris quarter has witnessed more tumultuous events than Montparnasse.

    In a ground-breaking reappraisal of this most glamorous of Paris's districts, Baxter looks beyond the nostalgia to the secret history of Montparnasse, a district where desire effaced memory and every taste could be satisfied-even those which were unexpressed. If, as Oscar Wilde suggested, all good Americans went to Paris when they died, it was Montparnasse that brought them back to life.

    Imprint: HARPER COLLINS
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • MOST BEAUTIFUL WALK IN THE WORLD : A PEDESTRIAN IN PARIS
    MOST BEAUTIFUL WALK IN THE WORLD : A PEDESTRIAN IN PARIS
    BAXTER JOHN
    ISBN: 9780061998546
    Title: MOST BEAUTIFUL WALK IN THE WORLD : A PEDESTRIAN IN PARIS
    Author: BAXTER JOHN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Walking is the best way to experience the romance, history, and off-the-beaten-path pleasures of Paris (and life itself, perhaps). In that spirit, the author of the popular IMMOVEABLE FEAST: A PARIS CHRISTMAS, reveals the most beautiful walks through Paris, including the favorite routes of the many brilliant artists and writers who have called the city home. Paris, by history and design, is a walker's city. Plenty of guide books exist to explain where you are, but there are none on how best to get there on foot or what to look at while you walk. Not to mention the fact that some of the most interesting parts of the city are located on side streets and back alleys, far from the traditional tourist destinations. John Baxter's THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WALK IN THE WORLD is an unforgettably charming little book about Paris as a city where the act of walking has been raised to the level of art. It's also a unique and fascinating history of the city, as each walk tells a different side of the City of Lights. The narrative begins when, advised by his doctor to take more exercise, Baxter accepts an invitation from the director of the Paris Writers Workshop to give literary walks to visiting writers and students. As he plans these tours and makes a few trial attempts - some successful, some comically disastrous - he picks the brain of his friends and colleagues on what they regard as their 'most beautiful walk'. One tells him how she strolls along the edge of the Seine, under Pont Neuf, to the tiny triangular park at the point of the Ile de la Cite, where the Templars were burned. A famous chef walks Baxter through the professional cooks' favourite but little-known market at Place d'Aligre, overflowing with the best ingredients. Baxter also searches the work of earlier expatriate artists for their beautiful walks: Hemingway followed a particular route when he walked from Place de la Contrescarpe to visit Sylvia Beach at Shakespeare and Company bookshop. Gertrude Stein took the same constitutional each day, strolling down Rue de Fleurus to the seldom-visited Little Luxembourg Gardens. And of course Baxter discloses his own most beautiful walk.

    Imprint: Harper Collins
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • MOUNTAINS OF THE MIND : A History Of A Fascination
    MOUNTAINS OF THE MIND : A History Of A Fascination
    MACFARLANE ROBERT
    ISBN: 9781783784509
    Title: MOUNTAINS OF THE MIND : A History Of A Fascination
    Author: MACFARLANE ROBERT
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A new cover edition of this bestselling classic of nature writing.

    WINNER OF THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD

    Once we thought monsters lived there. In the Enlightenment we scaled them to commune with the sublime. Soon, we were racing to conquer their summits in the name of national pride.

    In this ground-breaking, classic work, Robert Macfarlane takes us up into the mountains: to experience their shattering beauty, the fear and risk of adventure, and to explore the strange impulses that have for centuries lead us to the world's highest places.

    Imprint: GRANTA
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • MUD AND STARS : Travels in Russia with Pushkin and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age
    MUD AND STARS : Travels in Russia with Pushkin and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age
    WHEELER SARA
    ISBN: 9780224098021
    Title: MUD AND STARS : Travels in Russia with Pushkin and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age
    Author: WHEELER SARA
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    To write this book award-winning writer Sara Wheeler travelled across eight time zones in Russia, from rinsed north-western beetroot fields and far-eastern Arctic tundra where Chukchi still hunt walrus to the cauldron of ethnic soup that is the Caucasus. Her guides were the writers of the Golden Age, Pushkin to Tolstoy via Gogol and Turgenev (broadly, the period between 1800 and 1910).

    Mostly, on her travels, she used homestays, spending many months in fourth-floor 1950s apartments with windowless bathrooms, sprawled on sofas with her hosts, watching television, her new friends bent over devices and moaning about Ukraine. She wrote Mud and Stars at a time of deteriorating relations between the West and Russia. Nationalism has besieged the country. People she stayed with or met on trains had no illusions about the kleptocracy under which they lived, but as they watched flickering images of Putin bending a piece of metal with his bare hands, the reprise was always, 'Yes, he's a monster. But he's our monster.'

    In these pages Wheeler searches for a Russia not in the news - a Russia of common humanity and daily struggles. Her aim is to show how the writers of the Golden Age represent their country, then and now. In doing so she resolved to give the 'ordinary' people of Russia - a country that occupies one sixth of the earth's land surface - a voice. Wheeler followed nineteenth-century footsteps in order to make connections between then and now, between the places where flashing-epauletted Lermontov died in the aromatic air of Pyatigorsk and sheaves of corn still stand like soldiers on a blazing afternoon, just like they do in Gogol's stories. On the Trans-Siberian in winter she crunched across snowy platforms to buy dried fish from babushki, and in summer sailed the Black Sea where dolphins leapt in front of violet Abkhazian peaks. There is a Russian literal landscape, and its emotional counterpart. Mud and Stars explores both.

    Imprint: Random House Publishing
    RRP: $35.00

    Price: $35.00
  • MUDLARKING : Lost and Found on the River Thames
    MUDLARKING : Lost and Found on the River Thames
    MAIKLEM LARA
    ISBN: 9781408889237
    Title: MUDLARKING : Lost and Found on the River Thames
    Author: MAIKLEM LARA
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    'Fascinating. Mudlarks are river scavengers, but Lara Maiklem is more like a time traveller' Guardian
    Mudlark (/'mAdla;k/) noun A person who scavenges for usable debris in the mud of a river or harbour

    Lara Maiklem has scoured the banks of the Thames for nearly twenty years, in pursuit of the objects the river unearths- from Neolithic flints to Roman hairpins, medieval buckles to Tudor buttons, Georgian clay pipes to Victorian toys. What began as a search for solitude came to reveal the story of a city, its people and their lost ways of life.
    *The No. 2 Sunday Times bestseller and the BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, now with full colour images*
    'Enchanting . . . I am quite tempted to join Maiklem on the riverbed looking for treasure' Sunday Times

    'No one has looked at these odd corners since Sherlock Holmes' Sunday Telegraph

    'A quirky and delightful read, wonderfully evocative of London's gloopy, ghost-haunted river' Daily Mail

    'Reveals to us the fascinating and poignant micro-world of London's history' Hallie Rubenhold, Baillie Gifford Prize-winning author of The Five

    Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • NEITHER HERE NOR THERE : Travels in Europe
    NEITHER HERE NOR THERE : Travels in Europe
    BRYSON BILL
    ISBN: 9781784161828
    Title: NEITHER HERE NOR THERE : Travels in Europe
    Author: BRYSON BILL
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: BACK IN STOCK SOON

    Bill Bryson’s first travel book, The Lost Continent, was unanimously acclaimed as one of the funniest books in years. In Neither Here nor There he brings his unique brand of humour to bear on Europe as he shoulders his backpack, keeps a tight hold on his wallet, and journeys from Hammerfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia. Fluent in, oh, at least one language, he retraces his travels as a student twenty years before.

    Whether braving the homicidal motorists of Paris, being robbed by gypsies in Florence, attempting not to order tripe and eyeballs in a German restaurant or window-shopping in the sex shops of the Reeperbahn, Bryson takes in the sights, dissects the culture and illuminates each place and person with his hilariously caustic observations. He even goes to Liechtenstein.

    Imprint: Black Swan
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • NEW MAP FRANCE : Unforgettable Experiences for the Discerning Traveller
    NEW MAP FRANCE : Unforgettable Experiences for the Discerning Traveller
    YPMA HERBERT
    ISBN: 9780500294956
    Title: NEW MAP FRANCE : Unforgettable Experiences for the Discerning Traveller
    Author: YPMA HERBERT
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Following New Map Italy, the second book in Herbert Ypma's series is the ultimate visual guide to to the finest hotels and experiences France has to offer.

    Today's discerning traveller is looking not merely for luxury but for a unique experience. But in this age of low-cost flights and easy travel, how do you avoid the crowds and find the hidden gems? Not via sponsored search results or thousands of indistinguishable reviews, that's for sure. What you need is on-the-ground, in-person, tried-and-trusted knowledge.

    In this new guide to France - the most visited country on the planet - Herbert Ypma surprises and delights with his unequalled eye for detail and his unerring ability to judge what makes the difference between a good experience and a truly memorable one. The numerous experiences and tips that he maps out across the length and breadth of France fall into four key categories. 'Staying in Character' presents thirtyfive places to stay, from the grand to the eccentric, all embodying the soul and character of their setting - whether it's bedding down in a surf shack at Soulac-surMer or soaking up centuries of history at the luxurious Château de Canisy. 'Eclectic Experiences' offers thirty stand-out experiences, from climbing the Dune de Pyla to salsa-dancing in a calanque (a fjord-like inlet); 'Legend for Lunch' points you in the direction of twenty of the most authentic places to eat, while 'Convincing Context' presents ten experiences enhanced by nuggets of history.

    Together they amount to a new map of authentic French experiences, making this the must-have 21st-century guide for the world's most exacting traveller.

    Imprint: Thames & Hudson Publishing
    RRP: $59.99

    Price: $59.99
  • NEW MAP ITALY : Unforgettable Experiences for the Discerning Traveller
    NEW MAP ITALY : Unforgettable Experiences for the Discerning Traveller
    YPMA HERBERT
    ISBN: 9780500292884
    Title: NEW MAP ITALY : Unforgettable Experiences for the Discerning Traveller
    Author: YPMA HERBERT
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Today's discerning traveller is looking not merely for luxury but for a unique experience. But in this age of low-cost flights and easy travel, how do you avoid the crowds and find the hidden gems? In this new guide to Italy, Herbert Ypma surprises and delights with his unequalled eye for detail and his unerring ability to judge what makes the difference between a good experience and a truly memorable one. The eighty-five experiences and tips that he maps out across the length and breadth of Italy makes this the must-have 21st-century guide for the world's most exacting traveller.

    Imprint: Thames & Hudson Publishing
    RRP: $59.99

    Price: $59.99
  • NINE LIVES : In Search of the Sacred in Modern India
    NINE LIVES : In Search of the Sacred in Modern India
    DALRYMPLE WILLIAM
    ISBN: 9781408878194
    Title: NINE LIVES : In Search of the Sacred in Modern India
    Author: DALRYMPLE WILLIAM
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A Buddhist monk takes up arms to resist the Chinese invasion of Tibet - then spends the rest of his life trying to atone for the violence by hand printing the best prayer flags in India. A Jain nun tests her powers of detachment as she watches her best friend ritually starve herself to death.

    Nine people, nine lives; each one taking a different religious path, each one an unforgettable story. William Dalrymple delves deep into the heart of a nation torn between the relentless onslaught of modernity and the ancient traditions that endure to this day.

    Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • NORTH KOREA JOURNAL
    NORTH KOREA JOURNAL
    PALIN MICHAEL
    ISBN: 9781786331908
    Title: NORTH KOREA JOURNAL
    Author: PALIN MICHAEL
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    THE BOOK BEHIND THE HIT CHANNEL 5 DOCUMENTARY

    A glimpse of life inside the world's most secretive country, as told by Britain's best-loved travel writer.

    In May 2018, former Monty Python stalwart and intrepid globetrotter Michael Palin spent two weeks in the notoriously secretive Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a cut-off land without internet or phone signal, where the countryside has barely moved beyond a centuries-old peasant economy but where the cities have gleaming skyscrapers and luxurious underground train stations. His resulting documentary for Channel 5 was widely acclaimed.

    Now he shares his day-by-day diary of his visit, in which he describes not only what he saw - and his fleeting views of what the authorities didn't want him to see - but recounts the conversations he had with the country's inhabitants, talks candidly about his encounters with officialdom, and records his musings about a land wholly unlike any other he has ever visited - one that inspires fascination and fear in equal measure.

    Written with Palin's trademark warmth and wit, and illustrated with beautiful colour photographs throughout, the journal offers a rare insight into the North Korea behind the headlines.

    Imprint: Hutchinson
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND
    NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND
    BRYSON BILL
    ISBN: 9781784161194
    Title: NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND
    Author: BRYSON BILL
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In 1993, before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire to move back to the States for a few years with his family, Bill Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. His aim was to take stock of the nation’s public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite; a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy; place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells; people who said ‘Mustn’t grumble’ and ‘Ooh lovely’ at the sight of a cup of tea and a plate of biscuits; and Gardeners’ Question Time. Notes from a Small Island was a huge number-one bestseller when it was first published, and has become the nation’s most loved book about Britain, going on to sell over two million copies.

    Imprint: BLACK SWAN
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • OAXACA JOURNAL
    OAXACA JOURNAL
    SACKS OLIVER
    ISBN: 9781447208341
    Title: OAXACA JOURNAL
    Author: SACKS OLIVER
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Oliver Sacks, the bestselling author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, is most famous for his studies of the human mind: insightful and beautifully characterized portraits of those experiencing complex neurological conditions.

    However, he has another scientific passion: the fern. Since childhood Oliver has been fascinated by the ability of these primitive plants to survive and adapt in many climates.

    Oaxaca Journal is the enthralling account of his trip, alongside a group of fellow fern enthusiasts, to the beautiful province of Oaxaca, Mexico. Bringing together Oliver's endless curiosity about natural history and the richness of human culture with his sharp eye for detail, this book is a captivating evocation of a place, its plants, its people, and its myriad wonders.

    Imprint: PICADOR
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • OFF THE MAP
    OFF THE MAP
    BONNETT ALASTAIR
    ISBN: 9781781313619
    Title: OFF THE MAP
    Author: BONNETT ALASTAIR
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    From forgotten enclaves to floating islands, from hidden villages to New York gutter spaces, Off the Map charts the hidden corners of our planet. And while these are not necessarily places you would choose to visit on holiday - Hobyo, the pirate capital of Somalia, or Zheleznogorsk, a secret military town in Russia - they each carry a story about the strangeness of place and our need for a geography that understands our hunger for the fantastic and the unexpected. But it also shows us that topophilia, the love of place, is a fundamental part of what it is to be human. Whether you are an urban explorer or an armchair traveller, Off the Map will inspire and enchant. You'll never look at a map in quite the same way again.

    Imprint: AURUM PRESS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • OLD WAYS : A JOURNEY ON FOOT
    OLD WAYS : A JOURNEY ON FOOT
    MACFARLANE ROBERT
    ISBN: 9780141030586
    Title: OLD WAYS : A JOURNEY ON FOOT
    Author: MACFARLANE ROBERT
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The "Old Ways" is the stunning new book by acclaimed nature writer Robert Macfarlane. Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize 2012. Following the tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea paths that form part of a vast ancient network of routes criss-crossing the British Isles and beyond, Robert Macfarlane discovers a lost world - a landscape of the feet and the mind, of pilgrimage and ritual, of stories and ghosts; above all of the places and journeys which inspire and inhabit our imaginations.

    Imprint: Penguin Books
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • ON PERSEPHONES ISLAND : A Sicilian Journal
    ON PERSEPHONES ISLAND : A Sicilian Journal
    SIMETI MARY TAYLOR
    ISBN: 9781780601076
    Title: ON PERSEPHONES ISLAND : A Sicilian Journal
    Author: SIMETI MARY TAYLOR
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    American Mary Taylor Simeti arrived in Sicily after college to work as a volunteer on Danilo Dolci’s remarkable social welfare programme, but went on to marry and make her life here. On Persephone’s Island chronicles a year in the life of the island: its seasons and its sacred festivals, its almonds and oranges, its demanding family life, its casual assassinations and village feasts, its weather and its people. Written by a fascinated outsider, she also has the intimacy of an insider: wife to a Sicilian, mother to two Sicilian teenagers, gardener, cook and carer for a suspicious mother-in-law.

    Imprint: ELAND
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
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