If you don't find what you're looking for here, come and talk to us: we have many other interesting books on our shelves.
A Book is a Book by Jenny Bornholt and Sarah Wilkins $28
A book is different things to different people. This is a lovely and whimsical set of thoughts of what books can be and do, with entirely appealing illustrations. You will love this book.
The Book by Amaranth Borsuk $45
In attempting to define what constitutes a 'book' in an age when technology is helping us to re-examine the definitions of many cultural entities, Borsuk covers much interesting ground, both historical and speculative, approaching books as physical objects, as content, as ideas and as interface.
>> 'The Hand and the Page in the Digital Age.'
The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell $25
Franklin's Flying Bookshop by Jen Campbell and Katie Harnett $28
Franklin loves books and he loves reading to children, but people tend to be scared of him because he is a dragon. Fortunately, Luna knows all about dragons from reading many books about them, and the two spend many hours together discussing the books they have read. To share their love of books with others, they decide to open a flying bookshop (good idea).
Books Do Furnish a Painting by Jamie Camplin and Maria Ranauro $55
What is a book? This book lavishly illustrates the developing relationship between people and their books as recorded in paintings from the last 500 years.
Bookshops: A cultural history by Jorge Carrión $28
Personally, we're for them. An extended consideration of the importance of a bookshops as cultural and intellectual spaces.
100 Books that Changed the World by Scott Christianson and Colin Salter $30
A good selection of influential Anglophone and translated books, well illustrated with covers, portraits, &c.
Plotted: A literary atlas by Andrew DeGraff $48
A new way of thinking of familiar literary worlds is shown in the quirkily drawn maps of this enjoyable book.
Dear Reader by Paul Fournel $23
“Dear Reader is an enjoyable novel on several levels, from straightforward publishing-industry story, to a more personal story of time going by and loss, to the sheer technical virtuosity on display — both Fournel’s and translator Bellos'. Dear Reader is a good example of why the Oulipian method isn’t merely a game, but rather a surprisingly fertile approach to writing.” – The Complete Review
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe $30
14-year-old Dita is confined in the extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The several thousand residents of camp BIIb are inexplicably allowed to keep their own clothing, their hair, and, most importantly, their children. Fredy Hirsch maintains a school in BIIb. In the classroom, Dita discovers something wonderful: a dangerous collection of eight smuggled books. She becomes the books' librarian. Based on a true story.
Another History of the Children's Picture Book: From Soviet Lithuania to India by Giedre Jankeviciute and V. Geetha $70
How did the period of Soviet cultural outreach affect the production of children's books in other countries? Apart from the interesting text, which shifts the focus of international children's book production, the book is packed with delightful examples of illustration and book design.
Book Towns by Alex Johnson $33
Visit 45 towns around the world (including Featherston in New Zealand) that celebrate the printed word.
The Library: A catalogue of wonders by Stuart Kells $38
Kells runs his finger along the shelves and wanders the aisles of libraries around the world and through time, both real and imagined, with books and without, and ponders the importance of the library as a representation of the human mind.
Shakespeare's Library: Unlocking the greatest mystery in literature by Stuart Kells $40
Knowing what Shakespeare read would provide new levels of insight into his works, but which books did he read and where are they now?
The Clothing of Books by Jhumpa Lahiri $19
What role does a book jacket play in the relationship between a writer and a reader? What is the contribution of a designer to a work of literature? Elegantly written.
The Writer's Map: An atlas of imaginary lands by Hew Lewis-Jones $60
A beautifully presented celebration of literary maps, with contributions from Robert Macfarlane, Frances Hardinge, DAvid Mitchell, Coralie Bickford-Smith, Philip Pullman. Irresistible.
Packing My Library: An elegy and ten digressions by Alberto Manguel $45
When Manguel 'downsized' his home, he had to pack his library of 30000 volumes, knowing that he might never see many of them again. As he did so, his mind was filled with thoughts about literature and about our attachment to books. Fortunately, he has written this book of these thoughts.
What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund $35
Peter Mendelsund has designed some of the best book covers of recent years, and one of the reasons that they are so successful is that they arise from his careful reading of the texts. In this book, which reminds me of Ways of Seeing and The Medium is the Massage in its interplay of image and text giving an appealingly light touch to a heavy subject, he is particularly interested in the visual effects of reading. These visual effects are non-optical and comprise mental images fished into awareness by the ‘unseen’ black hooks of text; they are the fictional correlative of the visual effects fished into awareness by ‘actual’ optical stimulation. I suppose a difference between reading text and reading actuality is that when reading text the scope of our awareness has been set for us by the authority of the author (our surrogate self), whereas actuality is undifferentiated and incomprehensibly overstimulative and the necessary repression of stimuli in the reading of it is dependent on personality, conditioning, socialisation and practicality. Emphasising that he is interested in the experience of reading rather than the memory of reading (if such a distinction can be sensibly made), Mendelsund treats in depth an aspect of what I would call ‘the problem of detail’: what is the role of the reader in ‘completing’ the text? Whereas the reader’s ‘actual’ experiences of course inform and colour their reading of detail, I’m not sure I entirely agree with Mendelsund’s opinion that when reading we ‘flesh out’ characters in our imagining of them or place them in ‘familiar’ contexts – while we are reading we may well also indulge in such extra-textual self-massage, but I don’t think that this is the reading itself.
Rare Books Uncovered: True stories of fantastic finds in unexpected places by Rebecca Rego Barry $28
Artists Who Make Books edited by Andrew Roth, Philip Aarons and Claire Lehmann $180
500 images, 32 varied and outstanding contemporary artists whose practice includes making books. Impressive, and full of interesting ideas.
>> Sample pages on our website!
The Books that Shaped Art History: From Gombrich and Greenberg to Alpers and Krauss edited by Richard Shone and John-Paul Stonard $35
Influential art writers consider the work of influential art writers, including Nikolaus Pevsner's Pioneers of the Modern Movement, Alfred Barr's monograph on Matisse, E.H. Gombrich'sArt and Illusion, Clement Greenberg's Art and Culture, and Rosalind Krauss's The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths. Required reading.
As You Will: Carnegie Libraries of the South Pacific by Mickey Smith $50
Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie's philanthropic trust established 2,509 library buildings throughout the English-speaking world between 1886 and 1917. This book of well-observed photographs and documentary images records the 23 libraries established in the South Pacific (18 of them in New Zealand). A few have been demolished, others have been repurposed, some are still used as libraries.
The destruction of the 'I'.
Dear Fahrenheit 451: A librarian's love letters and break-up notes to her books by Annie Spence $28
Read this with a pencil at the ready: not only will you be making yourself a reading list, you'll be wanting to start writing love letters and break-up notes to the books that you love or that have disappointed you.
In Search of Lost Books: The forgotten stories of eight mythical volumes by Giorgio van Straten $23
Just because these books have been lost from history for one reason or another hasn't prevented them from being culturally important and the foci of intense speculation. What are we to make of the memoirs of Lord Byron, the magnum opus of Bruno Schulz, the Hemingway novel mislaid at the Gare de Lyon, the second part of Gogol's Dead Souls or the contents of Walter Benjamin's suitcase?
Reading Art: Art for book lovers by David Trigg $60
Over 250 works of art from all periods depicting people reading books.
Great Books of China by Frances Wood $45
Offers concise introductions - each of them accompanied by generous quotation (in English) from the book in question - to sixty-six works in the canon of Chinese literature. The books chosen reflect the chronological and thematic breadth of Chinese literary tradition, ranging from such classics as The Book of Songs and the Confucian Analects, through popular dramas and novels (The Romance of the Western Chamber; The Water Margin), twentieth-century political and biographical works (Quotations from Chairman Mao, the autobiography of the last emperor) and modern novels that are little known in the West (Memories of South Peking, Six Chapters from a Cadre School Life).
The Little Library Cookbook by Kate Young $45
100 recipes for dishes mentioned in favourite books. Includes Marmalade (A Bear Called Paddington), Tunna Pannkakor (Pippi Longstocking), Crab & Avocado Salad (The Bell Jar), Stuffed Eggplant (Love in the Time of Cholera), Coconut Shortbread (The Essex Serpent), Madeleines (In Search of Lost Time), Figs & Custard (Dubliners), Chocolatl (Northern Lights) and Smoking Bishop (A Christmas Carol).
"A work of rare joy, and one as wholly irresistible as the food it so delightfully describes. It is a glorious work that nourishes the mind and spirit as much as the body, and I could not love it more." - Sarah Perry (author of The Essex Serpent)
>> Crytallised ginger to please Agatha Christie
Literary Landscapes: Charting the worlds of classic literature $55
What can finding out more about the places in which books are set help us to appreciate those books more deeply? Well illustrated and documented.
Bibliophile: An illustrated miscellany for people who love books by Jan Mount $50
A love letter to all things bookish, quirkily illustrated with hand-drawn stacks of books, bopokshops (including Unity Auckland!), bookshop cats, &c.
Bibliophile diary 2019 $40
Bibliophile notecards $30