The inspiring story of a son and his dying mother, who form a 'book club' that brings them together as her life comes to a close. For fans of Tuesdays With Morrie and The Last Lecture.
Mary Anne Schwalbe is waiting for her chemotherapy treatments when Will casually asks her what she's reading. The conversation they have... read more
In the tradition of the best writing on human behaviour and moral choices in the face of disaster, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at New Orleans' Memorial Medical Center during Hurricane Katrina and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst... read more
Books That Changed the World tells the fascinating stories behind 50 books that, in ways great and small, have changed the course of human history. Andrew Taylor sets each text in its historical context and explores its wider influence and legacy. Whether he's discussing the incandescent effect of The Qu'ran, the enduring inf... read more
Early one autumn afternoon in pursuit of an elusive book on her shelves, Susan Hill encountered dozens of others that she had never read or forgotten she owned or wanted to read for a second time. The discovery inspired her to embark on a year-long voyage through her books, forsaking new purchases in order to get to know her ... read more
Susan Hill wrote Howard’s End is on the Landing some time ago to chronicle a year spent reading only books from her own bookshelves. I read this recently, and found myself looking back at my own shelves. It is easy to miss books in the constant wave of new releases, so I’m happily starting Ann Patchett&r... read more
The author is the sort of person who learned about sex from her father's copy of "Fanny Hill", and who once found herself poring over a 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only thing in her apartment that she had not read at least twice. This title recounts her lifelong obsession with books.
Reading is a revolutionary act, an act of engagement in a culture that wants us to disengage. In The Lost Art of Reading, David L. Ulin asks a number of timely questions - why is literature important? What does it offer, especially now? Blending commentary with memoir, Ulin addresses the importance of the simple act of readin... read more
For more than 40 years, Karl Stead has been New Zealand's leading literary and cultural critic. Whether writing about Christianity or a trip to Croatia, he always brings a clear personal point of view, a strong analytical bent, and a witty pen to his work. In this latest collection of critical writing, a sequel to his success... read more
This witty, clever, mind-expanding and original book is destined to become a classic.
A professor for over 40 years, Jim Flynn found fewer and fewer of his students were in love with reading. However, they were willing to try if he gave them lists. This inspired him to create the definitive list: books so wonderful ... read more
In the summer of 1858, in a garden behind Christ Church in Oxford, Charles Dodgson-better known by his pseudonym Lewis Carroll-dressed the six-year-old Alice Liddell in ragamuffin's clothes, draped the folds of cloth low enough to expose her bare chest, asked her to look deep into his eyes-and then snapped the camera's shutte... read more
The silhouette of Tintin is one of the most recognisable visual icons of the modern world, having first appeared in Belgium in 1929. In this fully revised and expanded edition of this popular pocket-sized reference book the authors offer a comprehensive and critical overview of the Tintin series. Starting with the character's... read more
J.R.R. Tolkien's admirers form an international community of writers, scholars, and artists. This richly illustrated anthology gathers together three decades of work dedicated to the master of fantasy. With poems, stories, songs, and dozens of illustrations, " A Tolkien Treasury is a unique celebration of the author and his c... read more
In the beginning was the word HOBBIT. It was to be the single most important word to ever inspire Professor Tolkien to write a story. And what a story it was! Most authors create characters and then find names for them, but for Tolkien it was words themselves that suggested characters, creatures, plots, places, and even entir... read more
What are the top one hundred words we use the most? How should anchovy, chastisement and tryst be pronounced? How good are you at spelling the most commonly misspelt words and names? For the answers to these andquestions and much more, sit back and let Richard Anthony Baker take you on a journey through the English language. ... read more
I stood in the dark with many others, some of them close enough to touch, some further away. One by one they turned, light fell on faces that were at once strange and familiar, and they began to speak or sing. Soon the riot of their voices was everywhere, the plane of memory tilted at 36,000 feet, fractals caught in the blink... read more
A collection of personal essays and writing from David Malouf to celebrate his 80th birthday. Topography, geography, history. Multiculturalism, referendums, the constitution and national occasions. Parental and grandparental romances, the sensual and bountiful beauty of Brisbane, the mysterious offerings of Queenslander house... read more
What would happen if I stopped to consider how Middlemarch has shaped my understanding of my own life? Why did the novel still feel so urgent, after all these years? And what could it give me now, as I paused here in the middle of things, and surveyed where I had come from, and thought about where I was, and wondered where I ... read more
Why is it that some of the greatest works of literature have been produced by writers in the grip of alcoholism, an addiction that cost them personal happiness and caused harm to those who loved them? In "The Trip to Echo Spring", Olivia Laing examines the link between creativity and alcohol through the work and lives of six ... read more
Remember letters? They were good, weren't they? The thrill of receiving that battered envelope with its longed-for contents - all the better for the wait...
For the Love of Letters is a celebration of letter-writing in all its guises, a showcase for the masterpieces we would all write if we had the time and inclination... read more
It’s hard not to think that this generation is missing out by not writing or receiving posted letters. The thought, the writing, the expressive language, the waiting and the joy of finding a special letter in the letterbox. I have boxes of sorted letters from friends and family, having lived overseas for many years. Thi... read more
Did Shakespeare's doctors addle his brain with mercury, leading to his early retirement? Was Jane Eyre inspired by the plagued school that claimed the Bronte clan? Did writing 1984 kill George Orwell?
Many of our most beloved scribes struggled to conquer not just writer's block but a bevy of medical maladies. John Ross ... read more
The Bucket by Allan Ahlberg is the enthralling childhood story of one of Britain's best-loved children's authors. 'My mother, who was not my mother, I see her now, her raw red cleaner's hands twisting away at her apron as she struggled to speak. Adoption was a shameful business then in many people's eyes, the babies being mos... read more