Welcome to Muirs Bookshop

We are a large Independent bookshop in the Main Street of Gisborne offering a wide range of best-selling and eclectic literary fiction, non-fiction and carefully selected children’s books.  We also have an increasing second hand book selection in our Cemetery of Forgotten Books.

We have one of the most comprehensive collections of Maori books in print and most Maori children’s books too.

All Gisborne books still in print are on our shelves, as well as a great range in the  New Zealand reference section.

We offer the full shopping experience, tremendous selection, great reading atmosphere, gift-wrapping and a beautiful range of cards, and can even put things in the post for you.  The staff are all readers and only too willing to impart their knowledge and choices should you ask.

2020 October Update - Sorry our upstairs cafe has closed

Good reads from our collection.......

 

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

RRP $38

Emerging from London's psychedelic scene in 1967, folksinger Elf Holloway, blues bassist Dean Moss, guitar virtuoso Jasper de Zoet and jazz drummer Griff Griffin together created a unique sound, with lyrics that captured their turbulent lives and times. The band produced only two albums in two years, yet their musical legacy lives on.This is the story of the band's brief, blazing journey from Soho clubs and draughty ballrooms to the promised land of America, just when the Summer of Love was receding into something much darker - a multi-faceted tale of dreams, drugs, love, sexuality, madness and grief; of stardom's wobbly ladder and fame's Faustian pact; and of the collision between youthful idealism and jaded reality as the Sixties drew to a close.

A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom by John Boyne

RRP $37

Some stories are universal. Some are unique. They play out across human history, and time is the river that flows through them. This story starts with a family. For now, it is a father and a mother with two sons. One with his father's violence in his blood. One with his mother's artistry. One leaves. One stays. They will be joined by others whose deeds will determine their fate. It is a beginning. Their stories will intertwine and evolve over the course of two thousand years. They will meet again and again at different times and in different places. From Palestine at the dawn of the first millennium and journeying across fifty countries to a life amongst the stars in the third, the world will change around them, but their destinies remain the same. It must play out as foretold. From the award-winning author of The Heart's invisible Furies comes The Shadow of My Shadow, an epic tale of humanity.

Phosphorescence: On awe, wonder and things that sustain you when the world goes dark by Julia Baird

RRP $37

Over the last decade, we have become better at knowing what brings us contentment, well-being and joy. We know, for example, that there are a few core truths to science of happiness. We know that being kind and altruistic makes us happy, that turning off devices, talking to people, forging relationships, living with meaning and delving into the concerns of others offer our best chance at achieving happiness. But how do we retain happiness? It often slips out of our hands as quickly as we find it. So, when we are exposed to, or learn, good things, how do we continue to burn with them?

And more than that, when our world goes dark, when we're overwhelmed by illness or heartbreak, loss or pain, how do we survive, stay alive or even bloom? In the muck and grit of a daily existence full of disappointments and a disturbing lack of control over many of the things that matter most - finite relationships, fragile health, fraying economies, a planet in peril - how do we find, nurture and carry our own inner, living light - a light to ward off the darkness?

Summer by Ali Smith

RRP $34

In the present, Sacha knows the world's in trouble. Her brother Robert just is trouble. Their mother and father are having trouble. Meanwhile, the world's in meltdown---and the real meltdown hasn't even started yet. In the past, a lovely summer. A different brother and sister know they're living on borrowed time.

This is a story about people on the brink of change. They're family, but they think they're strangers. So: Where does family begin? And what do people who think they've got nothing in common have in common?

Summer.

Simply: Easy everyday dishes by Sabrina Ghayour

RRP $45

Sabrina Ghayour's new collection of unmissable dishes in her signature style, influenced by her love of fabulous flavours, is full of delicious food that can be enjoyed with a minimum of fuss. With sections ranging from Effortless Eating to Traditions With a Twist, SIMPLY provides over 100 bold and exciting recipes that can be enjoyed every day of the week.

The Stray Cats of Homs by Eva Nour

RRP $37

A cat has seven souls in Arabic. In English cats have nine lives. You probably have both nine lives and seven souls, because otherwise I don't know how you've made it this far.' Sami's childhood is much like any other - an innocent blend of family and school, of friends and relations and pets (including stray cats and dogs, and the turtle he keeps on the roof). But growing up in one of the largest cities in Syria, with his country at war with itself, means that nothing is really normal. And Sami's hopes for a better future are ripped away when he is conscripted into the military and forced to train as a map maker. Sami may be shielded from the worst horrors of the war, but it will still be impossible to avoid his own nightmare... Inspired by extraordinary true events, The Stray Cats of Homs is the story of a young man who will do anything to keep the dream of home alive, even in the face of unimaginable devastation. Tender, wild and unbearably raw, it is a novel which will stay with you for ever.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

RRP $35

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' story lines intersect?

Into the Unknown: The Secret WWI Diary of Kiwi Alick Trafford No. 25/469 by Ian Trafford

RRP $38

A personal account of WWI from the diaries of a Gisborne farm boy, shaped into a gripping narrative by the diarist's grandson 100 years later. Follow Alick as he moves from his last night on the farm in early 1916, through enshipment and training, then off to the battle fields of France and Belgium, occupied Germany and back home. His treasured diaries covered the tedium, the mud, the fear and sorrow, the discomfort, the periods of leave and the letters from those back home. See the war unfold through Alick's eyes and learn about his and his companions' attitudes to the army, to female company, to the enemy soldiers, to the hospitality provided by people under pressure, to the war itself. And after the drama and tragedy of war, comes the return home and the efforts required to make a living while remaining steadfastly silent about the traumas of those terrible years - an unseen fight that continued and affected generations to come.

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

RRP $40

Discover the very special book that has captured the hearts of millions of readers all over the world. 'Feeling a little blue? Meet the new Winnie the Pooh.' The Daily Mail 'A wonderful work of art and a wonderful window into the human heart' Richard Curtis A book of hope for uncertain times. Enter the world of Charlie's four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons. The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared millions of times online - perhaps you've seen them? They've also been recreated by children in schools and hung on hospital walls. They sometimes even appear on lamp posts and on cafe and bookshop windows. Perhaps you saw the boy and mole on the Comic Relief T-shirt, Love Wins? Here, you will find them together in this book of Charlie's most-loved drawings, adventuring into The Wild and exploring the universal thoughts and feelings that unite us all.

Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh

RRP $35

A triumphant blend of horror, suspense and pitch-black comedy, from the Booker-shortlisted authorWhile on her daily walk with her dog in the nearby woods, our protagonist comes across a note, handwritten and carefully pinned to the ground with stones. Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn't me. Here is her dead body. Shaky even on her best days, The Vanishing Halfshe is also alone, and new to this area, having moved here from her long-time home after the death of her husband, and now deeply alarmed. Her brooding about the note grows quickly into a full-blown obsession, as she explores multiple theories about who Magda was and how she met her fate. Her suppositions begin to find echoes in the real world, and the fog of mystery starts to form into a concrete and menacing shape. But is there either a more innocent explanation for all this, or a much more sinister one - one that strikes closer to home?In this razor-sharp, chilling, and darkly hilarious novel, we must decide whether the stories we tell ourselves guide us closer to the truth or keep us further from it.

Wild by Kristin Hannah

RRP $35

From the New York Times number one bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah, comes Wild, a remarkable story about the resilience of the human spirit, the triumph of hope, and the promise of new beginnings. In the rugged Pacific Northwest of the United States lies the Olympic National Forest - a vast expanse of impenetrable darkness and impossible beauty. From deep within this mysterious land, a six-year-old girl appears. Speechless and alone, she offers no clue as to her identity, no hint of her past. Having retreated to her hometown after a scandal left her career in ruins, child psychiatrist Dr. Julia Cates begins working with the extraordinary little girl. Naming her Alice, Julia is determined to free her from a prison of unimaginable fear and isolation, and discover the truth about Alice's past. The shocking facts of Alice's life test the limits of Julia's faith and strength, even as she struggles to make a home for Alice - and find a new one for herself.

Falastin by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley

RRP $60

An evocative collection of over 110 unforgettable recipes and stories from the co-authors of Jerusalem and Ottolenghi- The Cookbook, and Ottolenghi SIMPLE.Travelling through Bethlehem, East Jerusalem, Nablus, Haifa, Akka, Nazareth, Galilee and the West Bank, Sami and Tara invite you to experience and enjoy unparalleled access to Sami's homeland. As each region has its own distinct identity and tale to tell, there are endless new flavour combinations to discover.The food is the perfect mix of traditional and contemporary, with recipes that have been handed down through the generations and reworked for a modern home kitchen, alongside dishes that have been inspired by Sami and Tara's collaborations with producers and farmers throughout Palestine.With stunning food and travel photography plus stories from unheard Palestinian voices, this innovative cookbook will transport you to this rich land.So get ready to laden your table with the most delicious of foods - from abundant salads, soups and wholesome grains to fluffy breads, easy one-pot dishes and perfumed sweet treats - here are simple feasts to be shared and everyday meals to be enjoyed. These are stunning Palestinian-inspired dishes that you will want to cook, eat, fall in love with and make your own.

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

RRP $35

From the international bestselling author of Room. In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city centre, where expectant mothers who have come down with an unfamiliar Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia's regimented world step two outsiders: Doctor Kathleen Lynn, on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney. In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other's lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.

A Private Cathedral by James Lee Burke

RRP $38

Detective Dave Robicheaux is caught in the crossfire of Louisiana's oldest and bloodiest gangland feud...From the wreckage of Louisiana's oldest and family rivalry, Detective Dave Robicheaux faces his most sinister enemy yet . . .Isolde and Johnny - the star-crossed teenage heirs to New Iberia's criminal empires - have run away together, and Robicheaux is tasked with finding them. But when his investigation brings him too close to both Isolde's mother and her father's mistress, the venomous mafioso orders a hit on Robicheaux and his partner, Clete Purcel.In order to rescue the young lovers, and save hi self, Robicheaux must face a terrifying time-traveling superhuman hitman capable of inflicting horrifying hallucinations on his victims, and overcome the demons that have tormented him his whole life...

The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku

RRP $38

Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you. Eddie Jaku always considered himself a German first, a Jew second. He was proud of his country. But all of that changed in November 1938, when he was beaten, arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Over the next seven years, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors every day, first in Buchenwald, then in Auschwitz, then on a Nazi death march. He lost family, friends, his country. Because he survived, Eddie made the vow to smile every day. He pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom and living his best possible life. He now believes he is the 'happiest man on earth'. Published as Eddie turns 100, this is a powerful, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful memoir of how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.

Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman

RRP $35

It's a belief that unites the left and right, psychologists and philosophers, writers and historians. It drives the headlines that surround us and the laws that touch our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Dawkins, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we're taught, are by nature selfish and governed by self-interest. Humankind makes a new argument: that it is realistic, as well as revolutionary, to assume that people are good. The instinct to cooperate rather than compete, trust rather than distrust, has an evolutionary basis going right back to the beginning of Homo sapiens. By thinking the worst of others, we bring out the worst in our politics and economics too. In this major book, internationally bestselling author Rutger Bregman takes some of the world's most famous studies and events and reframes them, providing a new perspective on the last 200,000 years of human history. From the real-life Lord of the Flies to the Blitz, a Siberian fox farm to an infamous New York murder, Stanley Milgram's Yale shock machine to the Stanford prison experiment, Bregman shows how believing in human kindness and altruism can be a new way to think - and act as the foundation for achieving true change in our society. It is time for a new view of human nature.

The Bluffs by Kyle Perry

RRP $37

At the bottom of the world, there is an island. It is a land of rugged wilderness, of ice and snow and blistering heat, of the oldest trees on earth . . . They say tigers still roam there. They say other things roam, too. When a school group of teenage girls goes missing in the remote wilderness of Tasmania's Great Western Tiers, the people of Limestone Creek are immediately on alert. Three decades ago, five young girls disappeared in the area of those dangerous bluffs, and the legend of 'the Hungry Man' still haunts locals to this day. Now, authorities can determine that the teacher, Eliza Ellis, was knocked unconscious, so someone on the mountain was up to foul play. Jordan Murphy, the local dealer and father of missing student Jasmine, instantly becomes the prime suspect. But Detective Con Badenhorst knows that in a town this size - with corrupt cops, small-town politics, and a teenage YouTube sensation - everyone is hiding something, and bluffing is second nature. When a body is found, mauled, at the bottom of a cliff, suspicion turns to a wild animal - but that can't explain why she was discovered barefoot, her shoes at the top of the cliff, laces neatly tied.

Out Of The Ordinary

I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf by Grant Snider - $30

It's no secret, but we are judged by our bookshelves. We learn to read at an early age, and as we grow older we shed our beloved books for new ones. But some of us surround ourselves with books. We collect them, decorate with them, are inspired by them, and treat our books as sacred objects. In this lighthearted collection of one- and two-page comics, writer-artist Grant Snider explores bookishness in all its forms, and the love of writing and reading, building on the beloved literary comics featured on his website, Incidental Comics. With a striking package including a die-cut cover, I Will Judge You By Your Bookshelf is the perfect gift for bookworms of all ages.

Intimations: Six Essays by Zadie Smith - $16

There will be many books written about the year 2020- historical, analytic, political and comprehensive accounts. This is not any of those. Written in the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, as the global situation changed almost hourly, Intimations is a series of six deeply personal essays responding to the ever-evolving experience of lockdown. Crafted with Zadie's trademark intelligence, wit and style but also suffused with a striking intimacy and tenderness, these essays attempt to organize the feelings and thoughts that the events of 2020 so far have provoked. A vital work of art, a gesture of connection and an act of love, Intimations is an essential book in extraordinary times.

Teach Your Dog Maori by Anne Cakebread - $18

A light-hearted, fully-illustrated retro-style picture book with 60+ words and phrases for you to practise your Maori with your furry best friend. Suitable as a first introduction to Maori for learners of all ages, for tourists who would like a fun way to pick up a few basic words when visiting New Zealand, and as a revision book for adults who haven't used their Maori for a while.

Match a Pair of Birds: A Memory Game - $26

Match the male and female pairs of 25 species of birds from around the world in this beautifully illustrated memory game. To play, simply place the cards face down and see if you can remember where the matching bird is located. Collect more pairs than your opponent to win! With all kinds of species - from the barn owl to the blue tit and the ostrich to the macaw - this fun and educational game is an ideal gift that will appeal to bird lovers everywhere.

Bug Bingo - $40

This beautifully illustrated bingo game features 64 species of bugs from around the world. Identify all kinds of insects - from the giant hawker dragonfly to the kissing bug and the orchid bee to the sacred scarab - mark them off on your card and bingo! Bug Bingo brings a fun and educational twist to the traditional game as players learn the names and colourings of both favourite species like the honey bee and more exotic bugs like the vampire moth. Contains one masterboard, 64 superbly illustrated bug tokens, 12 bingo cards and brightly coloured counters for you to mark up your card, as well as a leaflet containing basic information and a few quirky traits for all of the bugs featured.