09/12/17

Consciousness Matters – An Enquiry into the Origin of Consciousness
Oliver Leech

9781911175827 Consciousness Matters addresses the age-old problem of the relationship between consciousness and the material world. In the course of exploring some of the history of this major philosophical subject it looks at a range of materialist responses, such as mind-brain identity theory, behaviourism, functionalism and supervenience, as explanations for consciousness.
Set against these positions is the view, first, that consciousness is neither material nor reducible to material and, second, that consciousness is a prerequisite for our knowledge of the material world. If the latter view is the case, the terms of the debate are shifted fundamentally.
The theories of idealism and dualism of the material and the conscious are considered.
Published: Sept 2017
Paperback: 154 pages
Price: £6.90
ISBN: 9-781911-175827


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In contrast to the dualism made famous by Descartes, according to which there is two-way causal interaction, the long-neglected theory of occasionalism is introduced and explained with reference to two significant philosophers associated with it. A case is made for a revival of occasionalism that takes into account a more modern perspective. The book ends with an acknowledgement that it has only scratched the surface of this vast and very challenging topic.
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08/23/17

The Impact Of World War One on the Smestow Vale Villages
David Taylor

9781911175742 Perhaps the most popular strand of the local history of War World One concerns those who died in the war, looking at their lives and war experience, particularly the action in which they died or the unit they served in. Another strand considers the Home Front, particularly in the towns and cities or in locations where a notable activity took place, such as Zeppelin Raids or explosives manufacture. However, there is a third strand, equally important but little investigated, and that is the impact of the war on rural communities. This booklet looks at one such community, on the edge of the Black Country but clearly rural in character, the villages of South Staffordshire centred on what is now known as Smestow Vale.
Published: Aug 2017
Extent: 64 pages
Paperback: £5.00
ISBN: 9-781911-175742



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These villages have their own tale to tell of what happened between 1914 and 1918. There were the absences and deaths of many young, and not so young, men. But also there were air raid precautions, lack of public transport, increasing food production for local towns and themselves, new housing requirements and many other irritations and difficulties caused by the war. Followed by the celebrations at the Armistice and the signing of the Peace Treaties, and then the commemorations for those who would never return. The Impact of World War One on the Smestow Vale Villages looks at these villages to find out what we can discern after 100 years of what life was like in the countryside during The Great War.
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08/19/17

The Shrewsbury Drapers Company
Nigel Hinton

9781911175803 A history of the Shrewsbury Drapers Company from the Middle Ages until the present day with special attention to the new Drapers' Almshouses. The Shrewsbury Drapers' Company looks at the effect of the Company on the town and on its development, the various charitable guilds and trusts connected with it and finally at the long struggle to create new almshouses for elderly citizens of the town and the successful conclusion to the project.
Published: Sept 2017
Extent: 250 pages
Paperback: £17.50
Hardback: £25.00
ISBN: 9-781911-175506



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Nigel is a chartered accountant with a passion for local history and cloud technology, he was master of the Shrewsbury Drapers Company in 2011/12.
He is married to Bridget they have three daughters and four grandchildren. Nigel`s other publications include Historical Hostelries with David Trumper, Silhouette, the story of the Little X, and a book for children, Baa Baa Blodwyn
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07/27/17

A grown-up gap-year spent in New Zealand
Godfrey Wilkinson

9781911175766 “Oh Bugger it! Why don’t we just go and live there?” Next morning we left our home behind and set off on the first leg of our great antipodean adventure.This is the story of a ‘grown-up gap-year’ spent in New Zealand. A melting-pot of recollections, reflections and abundant digressions, it is, by turns, tangentially informative, subjectively insightful and forthrightly irreverent. The author recounts, with frequent characteristically acerbic asides, the trials and tribulations, highs, lows and flat spots of stepping ‘outside the box’ and thirty years back in time, into a new life on the other side of the world. Along the way, he touches upon a diversity of nebulously related topics, amongst which teaching, long-distance walking, bureaucracy and drinking beer are recurrent themes. Anyone who has ever harboured a desire to seek out distant horizons will relate to the inherent urge to ‘up and go’ encapsulated in this account. Anyone who has never felt such wanderlust may find themselves re-evaluating their perspectives. Reading this book is unlikely to change your life but it just might change the way you think about it.  
Published: July 2017
Paperback: 278 pages
Price: £10.50
ISBN: 9-781911-175766

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Godfrey Wilkinson grew up in Lichfield, Staffordshire in the English Midlands: a city with a proud cultural heritage and an established tradition of landlocked introspection.In his mid-50s, after some 30-odd years as a Secondary School teacher (with occasional forays into the real world of Business and Commerce), he decided to get off the grid and realise a long-held ambition to experience the New Zealand dream. His occasional newsletters prompted friends to say, “You should write a book about it.” So he did. He currently lives with his wife, Jayne, and their New Zealand sheepdog, above a taverna overlooking the harbour of a small Greek fishing village.
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Malcolm Cowburn
Beyond drudgery: there is life after teaching


The title of the book is in Māori (‘Whā Kaupeka’) and then repeated in English (‘Four seasons in New Zealand’). Some chapter titles are in English and others in Māori indicating the emphasis of each section, I briefly offer the translation of the Māori words (with thanks to maoridictionary.co.nz): Pae Tawhiti (cast far away), Ngahuru (Autumn), Hōtoke (Winter), Kōanga (Spring) and Raumati (Summer). The attention to, and respect for Māori culture is one of the many strengths of this book.

In part personal memoir, drinking diary, nature journal, walker's log, cultural commentary and social polemic, this book is entertaining, informative and thought provoking. The author and his wife, both experienced teachers jaundiced with teaching policy and practice in the UK, decided to emigrate to New Zealand. The book is, in part an account of their experience. It captures, with humour, the frustrations of dealing with bureaucracies managing emi/immigration, house sale and purchase and employment in two countries at opposite ends of the globe. The acerbic eye of the author looks back in anger on the KPI driven world of English education managed by acquiescent careerists, and initially enthuses about the simple candour of staff-pupil relationships on the other side of the world. It is also an account of a long-distance walk undertaken by the author with two friends and his dog. The Cleveland Way is a 110 mile walk in North Yorkshire, England. The book is unified by the way it encounters the natural, cultural and historical worlds of both locations; these are well researched and expressed in an easy and accessible manner. The text is liberally punctuated with 'drinks breaks’ which the author manages with eloquent ease, savouring the new and relishing the familiar. The pains of emigration are not ignored, sadness and sorrow are economically yet powerfully expressed. Family ties and memories of England recur regularly throughout: humorously, for example, in the author’s early naturalist experiments that disturbed the, rhythms of family life, and poignantly in the references to his father. The book ends as it began with a refusal to accept life-numbing work conditions and a quest for adventure. The strength of this book is its clarity, and full-on engagement with the complexities and challenges of living fulsomely in the moment.  
07/26/17

Secrets of the Human Brain
Robert Pullen

534175 Dr Bob Pullen shines a spotlight on the human brain, which is so central to what we humans are. He explains how our brains are made up of nerve cells or neurons, which behave rather like batteries producing a small voltage which becomes the language of the nervous system, a bit like Morse code. Our neurons can also behave like computer-chips processing electronic data. He looks at the brains of other animals and explains how different parts of the human brain perform different tasks, some areas performing movement, others giving us our five senses. He describes the fascinating ways our brains can create visual illusions, how we produce language and speech, how we feel pain and what happens when we sleep and dream. The book also touches on the nature of consciousness itself.
Published:May 2017
Paperback:122 pages
Price:£7.00
ISBN:9-781911-175650



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The book looks at the physical division of the brain into left and right cerebral hemispheres and describes how these differ between men and women. And what happens when the brain goes wrong; how can it be examined? A damaged brain can cause difficulties, illness and disorder. Remarkable modern methods of examination such as measuring brain waves and magnetic resonance imaging are simply and clearly explained. The brain is more than a normal organ. It governs how we think and makes us self-aware. Bob Pullen considers the mind, life and death, as well as our place in the universe.
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06/6/17

Words to be performed from under a table by the last of us
James Parker

9781911175698 First there was Love and Suicide.
Then, we felt a heat and hell closing in.
Soon there will be the realisation that
broken will always be broken.
But now, we follow the writer, the observer and the lost mind through the various stages of one man’s life using poetry, sketches, short stories and observations.

A writer, an observer, a lost mind.
A journey inside, outside and
beyond the musings of one man.
Published: June 2017
Paperback: 138 pages
Price: £7.99
ISBN: 9-781911-175698


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06/5/17

An account of the achievements of John White, one of the true founding fathers of America
David Cuckson

9781911175643 John White was a man of vision. He was rector of the town of Dorchester in the English county of Dorset from 1605 until his death in 1648. Under his leadership, after a disastrous fire, the town was transformed into a model caring community, embodying his Puritan ideals. He then sought to export this model across the Atlantic, to what was becoming known as New England. He became the driving force behind the Dorchester Company and then the Massachusetts Bay Company, and he inspired many folk from Dorset and the surrounding area to emigrate and found a new Dorchester in Massachusetts. He also lived to see some of these early settlers go on to found what became known as Windsor in Connecticut. This is his story, and theirs, a story of new worlds at home and abroad.
Published: May 2017
Paperback: 98 pages
Price: £6,99
ISBN: 9-781911-175643



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David Cuckson studied law and theology at the University of Cambridge. He has worked as a Congregational/ United Reformed Church minister and as a solicitor in local government and in private practice. He is now retired and lives in Dorchester.
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06/5/17

In 1980, Boxer Walker was voted the best scrum half in the world
Mike Gardner

9781911175582 Boxer Walker was voted the best scrum half in the world in 1980. The incredible story of his life is in part, a social history of a half-forgotten era, when coal mines were the economic bed rock of close-knit communities across the north. He shines a light into what life was like in a claustrophobic Cumbrian pit deep below the Irish Sea and you will join him in the Workington Town dressing room when they beat mighty Wigan to win the Lancashire Cup for the only time in the club’s history. You will also find out about the great players and coaches who helped to burnish his rugged skills and why he was always a prized target for violent forwards, years before the slick presentation of the Super League by Sky TV with its HD quality pictures and video replays.
Published: May 2017
Paperback: 356 pages
Price: £15.00
ISBN: 9-781911-175582


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Boxer’s story is full of highs and lows, including the day he was felled so heavily at the Recreation Ground, that a rumour spread around the terraces that the tackle had killed him. Always exciting, uplifting, poignant, revealing and ultimately triumphant, Boxer: The Life of a Cumbria Great is a towering story of one of Cumbria’s finest-ever home-grown players and of a sporting character almost without compare.
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Rugby League Express

In a warts and all account, Gardner doesn't shy away from the fact that Boxer Walker could mix it with the best, almost a prerequisite of a scrum half's armoury in an era when every number seven was a target for enforcers. The award-winning author has written a superb account of a glorious career and this book is a must-read for every rugby league fan.

Adrian Durham, Talksport presenter, journalist and author

Mike Gardner paints a clear and poignant picture of Boxer as he is today, wonderfully written. Overall I enjoyed the description of old school rugby league, as well as the spirit and strength of the game in Cumbria. The photographs are a joy - plenty of them, and capturing an era and an area. The picture of the steps early in the book is awesome! Congratulations, loved it! The author should feel very proud

Rugby League Journal

It is all part of Mike Gardner's skills as a writer in taking us behind the scenes to the 'dark and mysterious' areas of rugby league that the fan doesn't see but only those who played the game can reveal. His descriptive talents and way with words at times present the story in an novel-esque style