GREAT Book Gifts For Every Personality

DIVINE ENCOUNTERS: Sacred Rituals and Ceremonies in Asia by Hans Kemp explores sacred rituals from all over Asia for the first time in book form. This is an intense look at an Asia hiding in plain sight with magnificent color photography.

Kemp’s information on ceremonies and festivals together with images depicting the ceremonies in detail make the book a valuable source for both lovers and students of Asian culture alike. At first sight, Asia’s rich and enigmatic culture seems to have fallen victim to the headlong pursuit of material wealth and the onslaught of the fast-food lifestyle. But look more closely and cracks in the glossy veneer of progress are appearing. Fissures reveal the remarkable survival of age-old traditions and customs, in spite of, or perhaps more accurately, precisely as a result of the rising tide of globalization and the resulting cultural alienation.

In Kemp’s own words: “For many people throughout Asia, life’s crucial decisions such as marriage, moving to a new city or the purchase of property, are too important to be left to the rational mind alone. There are other, more ethereal, forces at work. Spirits and deities are ubiquitous, their beneficent or malevolent nature can express itself at any time. As a hedge against future uncertainties these spirits need to be placated, worshipped and feted. And should misfortune strike, a healer or shaman navigates the spirit realms in search of a cure. Divine Encounters is a photographic odyssey exploring an Asia hiding in plain sight, resilient and vibrant. For just behind the neon signs, the marble and stainless steel facades, the luxury cars and glitzy shopping malls, lies a different world. A world revealing itself through elaborate spirit rituals, blood-curdling ceremonies and exuberant festivals taking place all over the continent. No book touching upon a subject so rich can ever claim to be exhaustive. What is present here is only a cross-section, covering such stalwart centers of spirit interactions as the forests of Papua New Guinea and the grasslands of Mongolia, but also including densely populated Hong Kong, industrialized Japan and the tropical beach paradise of Phuket in Thailand.” Published by Visionary World in Hong Kong.

GOLF, The Ultimate Book, teNeues Publishing, by Stefan Maiwald and Peter Feierbend, celebrates the rich game of golf and its history with glorious photography of the most spectacular courses and resorts in the world plus exciting and humorous stories from the greemns, fairways and byond about golfing legends and gangsters, caddies and presidents.

CAMBRIDGE COLLEGE GARDENS by Tim Richardson, published by White Lion. For students and alumni, their families, Cambridge locals and for lovers of private gardens, this book on the most exquisite gardens in and around the university of Cambridge’s colleges combines brilliant research and elegant prose with stunning photography by Clive Boursnell. Following on the heels of Oxford College Gardens, Richardson invites an armchair appreciation of the history, horticulture and atmosphere that these hallowed gardens provide. The gardens are as rich and varied as the colleges themselves, often set within stunning architecture, and include formal quadrangles, naturalistic planting, walled gardens, rooftop oases, productive plots and watermeadows as well as the private spaces enjoyed exclusively by the college masters, porters and fellows.

GREAT GARDENS OF LONDON, 30 masterpieces from private plots to palaces, Whitee Lion publishers. Author Victoria Summerly gives us a private view of the most exciting gardens in and around London. With exquisite photography by Marianne Majerus and Hugo Rittson Thomas.

London’s gardeners are twice blessed: not only do they live in one of the world’s most vibrant capitals, it is also one of the most verdant. Gardens of every imaginable style, shape and size abound on rooftops, within palaces, surrounding churches, behind walls – on every piece of dry land – even if it is floating on or lapped by the river Thames.

In Great Gardens of London, the author has unearthed the most fascinating stories of plants and gardeners inside London’s most exciting plots. Some of the gardens are strictly private, while others are regularly open to visitors, but all can now be savoured and enjoyed along with those who know them best.

THE WORLD AT NIGHT: Spectacular photographs of the night sky, White Lion Publishing, a collection of the works of an elite team of highly accomplished photographers from twenty countries curated by Babak Tafreshi. The amazing images–many previously unseen–reveal the true splendor of the sky at night. This is the most diverse, carefully curated selection of images that will transport you to six continents, forty countries and some of the most remote corners of the earth. Celestial beauty at its best.

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