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Vol. 25 No. 1 February 2018
Second Hand books now upstairs at 49 Glebe Point Rd
Great to be back. Best wishes from all here to all of our loyal readers and customers for 2018. This year we’ll still be publishing 10 Gleaners from February to November, however only five (February, April, June, August and October) will be landing in your actual mailbox. The other five will be available on line as a download from our website. They’ll be online on the first of each month, and if you’d like to be notified when they’re available for perusal (and aren’t already on our weekly email list), please send us your email address. For all those who are yet to join this weekly email I’d highly recommend it—in this way you can keep abreast especially of any live updates to our events programme. In a brief summer break I managed some catch up on the reading backlog. You’ll have already heard about these, but they were such good holiday reads that I’ve got to recommend them, in case you missed them. Dave Warner’s Clear to the Horizon and Garry Disher’s Under the Cold Bright Lights maintained their splendidly high standards of Australian detective crime fiction, and John Le Carré’s reprising of George Smiley in A Legacy of Spies was all I could have wished. Stephen Fry’s Mythos and Richard Fidler and Kári Gíslason’s Saga Land were fascinating and enjoyable, and I’m pleased to have finally got to Shashi Tharoor’s Inglorious Empire, a cogently corrective history of Britain’s colonial India. I was also delighted to lay my hands on two great early year Australian releases. Ceridwen Dovey is without doubt of the most exciting new writers I’ve read. Her story collection Only the Animals (2014) was absolutely compelling: beautifully constructed and unforgettable tales told by the souls of dead animals, connected to some of history’s key moments. If you as excited by her new novel In the Garden of the Fugitives (March 2018) as I am, you should read them in preparation. The title of the new novel is drawn from the centrepiece of its subject matter—the excavation of the ancient city of Pompeii, and its secret garden. And it’s just as apt as a description of the book’s main characters. Essentially the story takes the form of an exchange of correspondence between South Africa born Vita—Australian educated, and now living in Mudgee, and Royce, an older benefactor who sponsored her fellowship to America years before. All we know at the outset is that Royce, in the months before his death, is trying to renew the contact she broke off some twenty years earlier. What unfolds is a disquieting and compelling narrative across three continents, where the power of compulsive love and the quest for knowledge and control contend to produce something quite unexpected. Dovey is a brilliant, and creative original. And, after a five year wait, we welcome a new Tim Winton novel in March. It’s fabulous. The Shepherd’s Hut is written with an urgency and a tension to take the breath away. Stunningly original, the action crosses a landscape like no other. It’s a heartfelt meditation on keeping love and hope alive in the most brutal of circumstances—through a first person narrator you won’t be able to forget. David Gaunt
gleaner 2018 10 issues, February to November Published in print and online February, April, June, August and October. Published online March, May, July, September, November
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Australian Literature The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge by Kali Napier ($30, PB)
1932. Ernie & Lily Hass, and their daughter, Girlie, have lost almost everything in the Depression; all they have keeping their small family together are their secrets. Abandoning their failing wheat farm & small-town gossip, they make a new start on the west coast of Australia where they begin to build a summer guesthouse. But forming new alliances with the locals isn’t easy. Into the Hasses’ new life wanders Lily’s shell-shocked brother, Tommy, after 3 harrowing years on the road following his incarceration. Tommy is seeking answers that will cut to the heart of who Ernie, Lily & Girlie really are.
The Whole Bright Year by Debra Oswald ($33, PB) In the summer of 1976 it’s picking season on an Australian stonefruit orchard run by Celia, a hard-working woman in her early forties. Years ago, when her husband was killed as a bystander in an armed robbery, Celia left the city & brought her newborn daughter Zoe to this farm for a secure life. Now 16, Zoe is a passionate, intelligent girl, chafing against her mother’s protectiveness, yearning to find intensity & a bit of danger. Barging into this world as itinerant fruit-pickers come a desperate brother & sister from Sydney. The hard-bitten Sheena has kidnapped her wild, ebullient 18 year-old brother Kieran & dragged him out west, away from trouble in the city. Kieran & Zoe are drawn to each other the instant they meet, sparking excitement, worry, lust, trouble ... Spinifex and Sunflowers by Avan Judd Stallard
For years Nick Harris has been drifting, until the day he finds himself surrounded by red dirt & razor wire, staring at brownskinned men inside a detention centre. He’s no crusader, no bleeding-heart. It’s just a job. The strange thing is, the longer Nick looks, the more normal the detainees seem, and the crazier everything around them: the desert that is its own prison, the staff filled with resentment & disdain, the system that represents both salvation & damnation. Nick is a future seeker—just like his ‘clients’. Only, he comes to realise they’re not just clients. They have personalities & share conversations, just like him. They joke & steal & cry & conspire. They are bad men, good men, dumb men, smart men—just men. Like him. ($30, PB)
Child of Mine by Janita Cunnington ($33, PB)
January 1974, and a devastating flood is about to change the lives of four generations of women. Maggie Rowe is 35, a teacher, and still living with her mother, Vera, in a tiny cottage in Hill Street, Brisbane. Next door lives Donna Birtles, a feckless 20-something single mum, and her little daughter, Flower. Early one rain-drenched morning at the height of the flood, Donna & Flower seek shelter with Maggie and Vera. But once the water recedes, Donna seems reluctant to move out, particularly when she meets Roddy, a casual worker on the clean-up gang. With Donna now disappearing for months on end, Maggie is forced to take on the role of Flower’s guardian. Flower is the daughter Maggie never had. So when Donna finally returns to reclaim her child, who has the right to be Flower’s mother?
Off the Record by Craig Sherborne ($30, PB)
Callum Smith—Wordsmith, Words for short—is a newspaper journalist of the old school. He knows how to write a story that sings, knows all the tricks of the tabloid trade. And he likes to drink with his colleagues, sometimes to flirt dangerously with young women. When his marriage blows up after a night of drinking goes way too far, Words is forced to leave the family home. Desperate to impress his estranged wife & feckless teenage son, he quits his job, taking a pay cut to work with a new online publication covering local crime. There the plum role of editor will soon be his, he reasons. Believing it’s better to do whatever it takes to get back in someone’s good books, he engages in a series of ever more calamitous, destructive & amoral adventures. Will the irredeemable Words win back his family? Or is comeuppance around the corner? The Three of Us by Kim Lock ($30, PB) In the small town of Gawler, South Australia, the tang of cut grass & eucalyptus mingles on the warm air. The neat houses perched under the big gum trees on Church Street have been home to many over the years. Years of sprinklers stuttering over clipped lawns, children playing behind low brick walls. Family barbecues. Gossipy neighbours. Arguments. Accidents. Births, deaths, marriages. This ordinary street has seen it all. Until the arrival of newlyweds Thomas & Elsie Mullet. And when one day Elsie spies a face in the window of the silent house next door, nothing will ever be ordinary again... Kim Lock weaves the tale of three people with one big secret; a story of fifty years of friendship, betrayal, loss and laughter in a heartwarming depiction of love against the odds.
Now in B Format 2017 Vogel winner: The Lost Pages by Marija Pericic, $20
Dyschronia by Jennifer Mills ($30, PB)
A small town. And the end of the world as we know it... One morning, the residents of a small coastal town somewhere in Australia wake to discover the sea has disappeared. One among them has been plagued by troubling visions of this cataclysm for years. Is she a prophet? Does she have a disorder that skews her perception of time? Or is she a gifted and compulsive liar? Oscillating between the future and the past, Dyschronia is a novel that tantalises and dazzles, as one woman’s prescient nightmares become entangled with her town’s uncertain fate. Blazing with questions of consciousness, trust, and destiny, this is a wildly imaginative novel from awardwinning author Jennifer Mills.
Sign by Colin Dray ($30, PB) Sam is a young boy recovering from an operation that has left him unable to speak ever again. He lives with his mother & sister Katie, all dutifully cared for by Aunt Dettie, their father’s sister, who believes herself sympathetic to his pain. Their father abandoned the family some time ago, but when their mother begins to date again, Aunt Dettie reacts very badly. After an unexpected phone call, Aunt Dettie packs Sam & Katie into the backseat of her car & tells them that she’s taking them to Perth to be reunited with their father. As Dettie drives the children across Australia in the middle of a sweltering & dangerous bushfire season, her behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, and the children begin to realise that there is something very wrong. Voiceless, Sam can only watch helplessly as the family trip becomes a smoke-filled nightmare. Four Respectable Ladies Seek Part-time Husband by Barbara Toner ($33, PB)
It’s September 1919. The war is over, and everyone who was going to die from the flu has done so. But there’s a shortage of husbands and women in strife will flounder without a male to act on their behalf. In the southern NSW town of Prospect, four ladies bereft of men have problems that threaten to overwhelm them. Louisa Worthington, whose dashing husband died for King and Country, is being ruined by the debts he left behind. Motherless Maggie O’Connell, has lost her father to a redhead, and is raising her two wayward brothers and fighting for land she can’t prove is hers. Adelaide Nightingale’s husband has returned from the war in a rage and is refusing to tackle the thieving manager of their famous family store. Pearl McCleary, Adelaide’s new housekeeper, must find her missing fiancé before it’s too late and someone dies. Thank God these desperate ladies have a solution: a part-time husband who will rescue them all. To find him, they’ll advertise. To afford him, they’ll share.
Well, here we all are again, still. At gleebooks we are going into our 8th year at Dulwich Hill. Children who were in primary school when we opened are going off to University or overseas on a gap year, or starting jobs. Their gen-x parents are sprouting grey hairs—yes, you know who you are! And the baby boomers, we’re just getting older, some frailer than others. But we’re all still reading and that’s what binds us and keeps us involved in a communal conversation. I usually like to read a new crime novel in summer and this year’s discovery is English crime writer Eva Dolan. Apparently she is acclaimed for a series she writes set in a Police hate crime unit—which reflect contemporary English society and its troubles. This is How it Ends is a stand-alone but also very political. Sydney readers will connect with the scenario in which a block of flats is to be razed to allow yet another high-rise to go up in its stead. One of the residents is Molly, a baby boomer activist who was at Greenham Common in the 70s (look it up Millennials!) who helps her young friend Ella dispose of a body. Social media savvy Ella has been instrumental in leading the protest against the developers and Molly regards herself as her mentor, so when Ella claims the death was an accident she believes her. This is how the story begins but the twists and turns that follow are delightfully surprising. A well-written, enjoyable crime novel with heart and soul. Widely praised, and highly recommended, is this year’s Costa Book Award winner, Jon McGregor’s magical Reservoir 13. The book starts with the familiar trope of a young girl going missing from a village somewhere near Manchester. And that’s where any sense of it being a crime novel ends. In prose that is at once simple, lucid and poetic, McGregor relates the lives of the villagers, whom, while they may have mobile phones, feel like they’re out of a previous century. Much of this is due to the stunning nature writing in which the rise and fall of the seasons, the activity of flora and fauna around the village are as beautifully rendered as the many characters with whom they share the environment. Unusually McGregor has released a companion piece to the book called The Reservoir Tapes—a collection of stories about some of the characters in this elusive and wonderful book. I’ll definitely be reading that. The big ticket item for next month—March—is the release of a new Tim Winton novel The Shepherd’s Hut. Here, Winton returns to familiar territory with the main character and narrator, an uneducated teenage boy blindsided by circumstance. I won’t give anything more away now as I’m interested to hear what others think once they’ve read this very strange novel. I suspect being brought up an atheist means I am missing much of the real meaning of The Shepherd’s Hut. There’s a biblical metaphor (or three) in there I’m sure—I just don’t know what it is. Morgan
Dustfall by Michelle Johnston ($27, PB)
Dr Raymond Filigree, running away from a disastrous medical career, mistakes an unknown name on a map for the perfect refuge. He travels to the isolated town of Wittenoom and takes charge of its small hospital, a place where no previous doctor has managed to stay longer than an eye blink. Instead of settling into a quiet, solitary life, he discovers an asbestos mining corporation with no regard for the safety of its workers and no care for the truth. 30 years later, Dr Lou Fitzgerald stumbles across the abandoned Wittenoom Hospital. She, too, is a fugitive from a medical career toppled by a single error. Here she discovers faded letters and barely used medical equipment, and, slowly the story of the hospital’s tragic past comes to her.
Coming in March!! THE SHEPHERD’S HUT by Tim Winton Jaxie dreads going home. His mum’s dead. The old man bashes him without mercy, and he wishes he was an orphan. But no one’s ever told Jaxie Clackton to be careful what he wishes for. IN THE GARDEN OF THE FUGITIVES by Ceridwen Dovey ‘A spellbinding pas de deux of passion and obsession. Mesmerising and mind-expanding. I was transfixed.’ Anna Funder.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah ($30, PB)
Cora Allbright & her husband Ernt, a recently-returned Vietnam veteran scarred by the war, uproot their 13 year old daughter Leni to start a new life in Alaska. Utterly unprepared for the weather & the isolation, but welcomed by the close-knit community, they fight to build a home in this harsh, beautiful wilderness. At once an epic story of human survival and love, and an intimate portrait of a family tested beyond endurance, The Great Alone offers a glimpse into a vanishing way of life in America. About the highest stakes a family can face and the bonds that can tear a community apart, Kristin Hannah has delivered an enormously powerful story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable & enduring strength of women.
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar ($33, PB)
eadly Woman Blues, stunning, original and
brimming with life, is the first of its kind. Part art book, part comic book, part biography and fully deadly, it is a unique graphic history of the black women who made Australian music. Traditional Indigenous music, spirituals, vaudeville, post-war jazz, country, gospel, soul, R&B and hip-hop have been made and re-made by these legendary women, some household names, some forgotten, some totally unknown until now.
iver Dreams reveals the complex history of
the Cooks River in southeastern Sydney — a river renowned as Australia’s most altered and polluted. From the dispossession of local Aboriginal people with the nineteenth century developers ‘improvements’ of the sugar mill, tanneries and factories, to the 1940s expansion of Sydney Airport creating a concrete canal. A timely reminder of the need to tread cautiously in seeking to dominate, or ignore, our environment.
w w w. n ews o u t h p u b l i s h i n g .co m
One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid. As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on—and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost. Where will their ambitions lead? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?
Sight by Jessie Greengrass ($35, HB) A woman recounts her progress to motherhood, while remembering the death of her own mother, and the childhood summers she spent with her psychoanalyst grandmother. Woven among these personal recollections are significant events in medical history: Wilhelm Rontgen’s discovery of the X-ray and his production of an image of his wife’s hand; Sigmund Freud’s development of psychoanalysis and the work that he did with his daughter, Anna; John Hunter’s attempts to set surgery on a scientific footing and his work, as a collaborator with his brother William and the artist Jan van Rymsdyk, on the anatomy of pregnant bodies. What emerges is the realisation that while the search for understanding might not lead us to an absolute truth, it is an end in itself. On the Bright Side by Hendrik Groen ($33, PB)
85-year-old Hendrik Groen is fed up to his false teeth with coffee mornings and bingo. He dreams of escaping the confines of his care home and practicing hairpin turns on his mobility scooter. Inspired by his fellow members of the recently formed Old-But-Not-Dead Club, he vows to put down his Custard Cream and commit to a spot of octogenarian anarchy. But the care home’s Director will not stand for drunken bar crawls, illicit fireworks and geriatric romance on her watch. The OldBut-Not-Dead Club must stick together if they’re not to go gently into that good night.
The Cage by Lloyd Jones ($30, PB) Two mysterious strangers appear at a hotel in a small country town. Where have they come from? Who are they? What catastrophe are they fleeing? The townspeople want answers, but the strangers are unable to speak of their trauma. And before long, wary hospitality shifts to suspicion and fear, and the care of the men slides into appalling cruelty. Lloyd Jones’s fable-like novel The Cage is a profound and unsettling novel about humanity and dignity and the ease with which we’re able to justify brutality. The Melody by Jim Crace ($33, PB)
Alfred Busi, famed & beloved in his town for his music & songs, is now in his 60s, mourning the recent death of his wife & quietly living out his days alone in the large villa he has always called home. The night before he is due to attend a ceremony at the town’s avenue of fame, Busi is attacked by a creature he disturbs as it raids the contents of his larder. Busi is convinced that the thing that attacked him was no animal, but a child, ‘innocent & wild’, and his words fan the flames of old rumour—of an ancient race of people living in the bosk surrounding the town—and new controversy: the town’s paupers, the feral wastrels at its edges must be dealt with. As Busi’s nephew’s ambitious plans for himself and the town develop, he is able to fan the flames of rumour and soon Busi and the town he loves will be altered irrevocably.
The Bear And The Paving Stone by Toshiyuki Horie
Winner of the prestigious Akutagawa Prize. Visiting a friend in the French countryside, a man finds himself cast into the quandaries of historical whim, religious identity, and seeing without sight; a walk along the seashore, upon the anniversary of a death, becomes a reverie on building sandcastles; and an innocent break-in at the ruins of an archbishop’s residence takes a turn towards disaster. In three stories that prove the unavoidable connections of our past, Toshiyuki Horie creates a haunting world of dreams and memories where everyone ends up where they began—whether they want to or not. ($19, PB)
Gleebooks’ special price $29.99
Lullaby by Leïla Slimani ($28, PB)
The baby is dead. It only took a few seconds. When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect caretaker for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite and devoted woman who sings to their children, cleans the family’s chic apartment in Paris’s upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint and is able to host enviable birthday parties. The couple and nanny become more dependent on each other. But as jealousy, resentment and suspicions increase, Myriam and Paul’s idyllic tableau is shattered.
Now in B Format Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, $20 The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan, $20 The French Art of War by Alexis Jenni, $25 Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? by Kathleen Collins, $20 Charlotte by David Foenkinos, $20 Her Body And Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado ($25, PB)
In this sexy, caustic, comic and cut-throat debut, startling narratives map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited on their bodies. A wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the mysterious green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague spreads across the earth. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery about the store’s prom dresses. One woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted house guest.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones ($33, PB)
Would you rather love the more, and suffer the more; or love the less, and suffer the less? That is, I think, finally, the only real question. First love has lifelong consequences, but Paul doesn’t know anything about that at nineteen. At nineteen, he’s proud of the fact his relationship flies in the face of social convention. As he grows older, the demands placed on Paul by love become far greater than he could possibly have foreseen. Tender and wise, The Only Story is a deeply moving novel by one of fiction’s greatest mappers of the human heart.
At the beginning of each year, before all the new books start coming in, it is always interesting to look back on the previous year and see what books were the most popular with our customers here in the mountains. Two were locally produced books which was lovely to see, with the Nourish Cookbook and A Hidden History, Blue Mountains and another by local author—Charlotte Smith with her new book One Enchanted Evening. Here are some more that were best sellers at Gleebooks Blackheath in December: The Passage of Love by Alex Miller; Force of Nature and The Dry by Jane Harper; Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders; The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy; The Australian Bird Guide; The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben; The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape; The 91 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths; and Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.
Boo ks w ith
The Only Story by Julian Barnes ($33, PB)
We are really looking forward to what is coming in 2018—a new book by Tim Winton which is always exciting, as well as Liane Moriarty later in the year, also Tom Keneally, Nikki Gemmell and Stephanie Bishop have new books coming.
Our events program for 2018 is coming together and we are excited to kick off the year with Jacqui Lambie and her new memoir Rebel With a Cause. During her time in Parliament Jacqui was the most authentic Australian voice in the Senate. Love her or hate her, you can’t deny she’s totally heartfelt and unscripted. This book is more about her life as an ordinary working class girl than it is about politics. Jacqui will be in the Blue Mountains on Saturday 24th February and more details about this event are to come. So please follow us on facebook or pop into the shop for more information about our events. Victoria
Newlyweds, Celestial and Roy, are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. They are settling into the routine of their life together, when they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her centre. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. A stunning love story about family, injustice and marriage, and three people at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control.
Still Me by Jojo Moyes ($33, PB) In the third Lou Clark novel by Jojo Moyes, Lou arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She is hurled into the world of the super-rich Gopniks: Leonard and his much younger second wife, Agnes, and a never-ending array of household staff and hangers-on. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her job and New York life within this privileged world. Before she knows what’s happening, Lou is mixing in New York high society, where she meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past.
Ireland is flooded, derelict. It never stops raining. The Kid in Yellow has stolen the babba from the Earlie King. Why? Something to do with the King’s daughter, and a talking statue, something godawful. And from every wall the King’s Eye watches. And yet the city is full of hearts-defiant-sprayed in yellow, the mark of the Kid. It cannot end well. Can it? Follow the Kid, hear the tale. Roll up! Roll up!
When a brutally murdered man is found hanging in a theatre, DS Rex King becomes obsessed with the case. Who is this anonymous corpse, and why has he been ritually mutilated? But as Rex explores the crime scene further he finds himself confronting his own secret history instead. Shifting between Holborn Police Station, an abandoned village in rural 1980s France, and Stonehenge’s Battle of the Beanfield, Tony White transforms the traditional crime narrative into an avant-garde linguistic experiment, thrilling police procedural, philosophical meditation on liberty, and counter-culture bildungsroman. ($30, PB)
The Earlie King & the Kid in Yellow by Danny Denton ($30, PB)
The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson
In 1627 Barbary pirates raided the coast of Iceland and abducted some 400 of its people, including 250 from a tiny island off the mainland. Among the captives sold into slavery in Algiers were the island pastor, his wife and their three children. The raid itself is well documented, but little is known about what happened to the women and children afterwards. It was a time when women everywhere were largely silent. In this reimagining, Sally Magnusson gives a voice to Asta, the pastor’s wife. Enslaved in an alien Arab culture Asta meets the loss of both her freedom and her children with the stories in her head. Steeped in the sagas and folk tales of her northern homeland, she finds herself experiencing not just the separations and agonies of captivity, but the reassessments that come in any age when intelligent eyes are opened to other lives, other cultures and other kinds of loving. ($30, PB)
The Fountain in the Forest by Tony White
The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook
Early one morning in the remote hill country of Texas, a panther attacks a family of homesteaders, mauling a young girl named Samantha and killing her mother, a former slave, whose final act is to save her daughter’s life. Samantha and her half-brother, Benjamin, survive, but she is left traumatised, her face horribly scarred. She and Benjamin enlist a charismatic Tejano outlaw and a haunted, compassionate preacher with an aging but unstoppable tracking dog to hunt the panther. And the members of this unlikely posse are in turn pursued by a hapless but sadistic Confederate soldier with a score to settle. ($30, PB)
THE WILDER AISLES
Every year I decide I will take note of what I have read over the holidays—but I guess the woman who looked over my shoulder as I considered purchasing a reading diary and said, ‘You’ll never do it!’, was right. Anyway—here are the books that I do remember. Some time ago I wrote about a book I enjoyed a lot called The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth Church—so I was pleased to see her second book appear. All the Beautiful Girls (due in March) is the story of Lily Decker, who, after surviving the car crash that killed her parents and sister, goes to live in a small Kansas town with a cold and distant aunt and an uncle who pays her too much attention. This lonely existence is alleviated by having dance lessons that are paid for by an unknown benefactor. Anxious to leave her home and the unwanted attentions of her uncle, she heads for Las Vegas to be a troupe dancer. She stands out at the auditions and is hired to be a show girl, and as ‘Ruby Wilde’ she is soon the toast of the town—earning big money, and the title of Show Girl of the Year. She makes some close women friends, who help her navigate the pitfalls of life in Las Vegas, and give her much-needed to support when, because of the ghosts of her past abuse, she falls for the wrong man. Eventually, Ruby finds her mystery benefactor and her life changes forever. This is a book about love, loss, friendship and salvation—salvation that comes from a most unlikely source. There is much more to this story than I have room for here, so I encourage you to read it and make up your own mind. I loved it! Henning Mankell’s last book, After the Fire is a sort of sequel to 2006’s Italian Shoes—which has the same characters. Dr Fredrik Walin has retired to an island in the Swedish archipelago—having given up practicing medicine after an operation that went disastrously wrong. He lives a quiet life, isolated from people—his only contact being Ture Jansson the postman, who arrives by boat whenever there is any mail, or sometimes for a consultation for some imaginary complaint. Ture is Dr Walin’s most frequent patient, albeit the only one. One night Fredrik wakes up to a strange light, and after a minute or two he realises that his house is on fire. He escapes with his life and two left gumboots. In the ashes of his house he finds a buckle belonging to a pair of shoes, made for him by his friend, Giaconelli—he of the Italian Shoes. Fredrik stays on the Island living in a caravan. His estranged daughter Louise turns up and after some uncomfortable nights sharing the small caravan, Fredrik pitches a tent on one of the smaller rocky outcrops. Another house fire occurs on another part of the archipelago, and then another—and when all is revealed, the arsonist is a big surprise. Mankell is a most assured writer—I became so involved I could see the island, the rocky outcrop and the surrounding blue water. Highly recommended and I also suggest you read Italian Shoes—just as enjoyable. Elly Griffiths is the author of the Ruth Galloway crime novels, featuring Ruth Galloway, a forensic archeologist. A new one called The Dark Angel is due this month. Griffiths also writes another series—the Stephens and Mephisto books—in which Max Mephisto, a stage magician, and DI Edgar Stephens solve mysteries in Brighton. In order: The Zig Zag Girl, Smoke and Mirrors and The Blood Card. I’ve read 1 and 2, and there is a fourth to come called The Vanishing Box. Being a great lover of magic, I found the character of Max Mephisto very interesting—and of course, DI Edgar Stephens is a treasure. The story in The Zig Zag Girl looks back to the time Max and Edgar spent during the war as part of a group called the Magic Men. The body of a girl is found cut into thirds and DI Edgar remembers a magic trick from that time called the Zig Zag girl. He contacts a reluctant Max who gets involved when he finds out that the dead girl was once known to him. Then another death occurs and this time both Max and Edgar know the murdered girl. When another of the Magic Men, Tony Mulholland, contacts Edgar and wants to meet up Edgar is puzzled, but as other members of the war time group start to appear he becomes certain that the murders are related to the past—it looks as if someone is trying to pick off the Magic Men one by one. I wasn’t sure if I’d like this series as much as the Galloways, but Griffiths tells a good story in a very likeable way and I’m now going to open up The Blood Card, and am looking forward to the Vanishing Box. Although Max Mephisto and the Magic Men are entirely fictitious, there was a group called the Magic Gang doing camouflage work in Egypt during WW2, although the actual work they did is shrouded in mystery. Janice
The Pyramid of Mud by Andrea Camilleri ($33, PB)
It’s been raining for days in Vigàta, and the persistent downpours have led to violent floods overtaking Montalbano’s beloved hometown— sweeping across the land & leaving only a sea of mud. It is on one of these endless grey days that Mr Giuglù Nicotra is found dead in a sewage tunnel—half naked, with a bullet in his back. The investigation picks up pace when Montalbano realizes that every clue & interview is leads to the world of public spending—and with it, the Mafia. But there’s one question that keeps playing on Montalbano’s mind: in his strange & untimely death, was Giuglù Nicotra trying to tell him something?
The Wife by Alafair Burke ($30, PB) When Angela met Jason Powell, while catering a function in the Hamptons, she assumed their romance would be a short-lived fling, but to her surprise, Jason, a brilliant economics professor at NYU, had other plans, and they married the following summer. Six years later, thanks to a best-selling book and a growing media career, Jason has become a celebrated liberal figurehead, placing Angela near the spotlight she worked so carefully to avoid. When a college intern makes an accusation against Jason, and another woman, Kerry Lynch, comes forward with an even more troubling allegation, their perfect life begins to unravel. Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson ($25, PB)
As a 14 year-old girl in London, Alice survived a horrific stabbing attack by two classmates obsessed with Mister Tender, a graphic novel character created by Alice’s father. A decade later and an ocean away, Alice is trying to focus on the present—but the past won’t leave her alone. Someone knows far more than they should—not just about the night she’s tried so hard to forget, but also deeply private details about Alice’s life. Suddenly, the sinister Mister Tender is leaping off the page and into the real world, and he has his sights set on Alice.
Chance by Kem Nunn ($18, PB) Neuropshychiatrist, Dr Eldon Chance, is a man primed for spectacular ruin. Into his blighted life walks Jaclyn Blackstone, the abused wife of an Oakland homicide detective, a violent & jealous man. Jaclyn appears to be suffering from a dissociative identity disorder. In time, Chance will fall into bed with her; or is it with her alter ego, the voracious & volatile Jackie Black? The not-so-good doctor, despite his professional training, isn’t quite sure & soon finds himself up against her husband, Raymond, a formidable & dangerous adversary. Meanwhile, Chance also meets a young man named D, a self-styled, streetwise philosopher skilled in the art of the blade.
The Frozen Woman by Jon Michelet ($15, PB) In the depths of the Norwegian winter, a woman’s frozen corpse is discovered in the garden of a notorious ex-lawyer, Vilhelm Thygesen. She has been stabbed to death. A young biker, a member of a gang once represented by Thygesen, is found dead in suspicious circumstances. Thygesen starts receiving anonymous threats, and becomes ensnared in a web of violence, crime & blackmail that spreads across Northern Europe. Does the frozen woman hold the key?
Desperation Road by Michael Farris Smith ($18, PB) For 11 years the clock has been ticking for Russell Gaines as he sat in Parchman penitentiary in the Mississippi Delta. His time now up, and believing his debt paid, he returns home only to discover that revenge lives & breathes all around. On the day of his release, a woman named Maben & her young daughter trudge along the side of the interstate under the punishing summer sun. Desperate & exhausted, the pair spend their last dollar on a motel room for the night, a night that ends with Maben running through the darkness holding a pistol, and a dead deputy sprawled across the road in the glow of his own headlights. With dawn, destinies collide, and Russell is forced to decide whose life he will save—his own or that of the woman & child? Need to Know by Karen Cleveland ($33, PB) Vivian Miller is a CIA analyst assigned to uncover Russian sleeper cells in the USA. After accessing the computer of a potential Russian spy, she stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents living in her own country. 5 seemingly normal people living in plain sight. A few clicks later, everything that matters to Vivian is threatened—her job, her husband, even her four children. Redemption Point by Candice Fox ($33, PB)
When former police detective Ted Conkaffey was wrongly accused of abducting 13 year-old Claire Bingley, he hoped the QLD rainforest town of Crimson Lake would be a good place to disappear. But nowhere is safe from Claire’s devastated father. Dale Bingley has a brutal revenge plan all worked out—and if Ted doesn’t help find the real abductor, he’ll be its first casualty. Meanwhile, in a dark roadside hovel called the Barking Frog Inn, the bodies of two young bartenders lie on the beer-sodden floor. It’s Detective Inspector Pip Sweeney’s first homicide investigation— complicated by the arrival of PD Amanda Pharrell to ‘assist’ on the case. Amanda’s conviction for murder a decade ago has left her with some odd behavioural traits, top-to-toe tatts—and a keen eye for killers. For Ted and Amanda, the hunt for the truth will draw them into a violent dance with evil.
Perfect Criminals by Jimmy Thomson ($30, PB)
Ten years after surviving special operations in Afghanistan, Danny Cay is working as a scriptwriter in the emotional war zone of TV production. His best mate & editor is Vietnamese neighbour & script editor Zan who may or may not have killed a man with her bare hands. When their writer friends start dying in mysterious circumstances, Danny must resurrect his old army sapper skills to prevent himself & Zan becoming the next victims. From the backstreets & brothels of Sydney’s Kings Cross to the fake sincerity of Hollywood, this is an hilarious romp through the dark side of the entertainment industry where criminals have the same skill set as movie producers—only with a more evolved moral code.
The Grave’s a Fine & Private Place by Alan Bradley
Flavia de Luce is enjoying the summer, spending her days punting along the river with her reluctant family. She drags a hand in the water, and catches her fingers in the open mouth of a drowned corpse. The dead man is dressed in blue silk with ribbons at the knee, and wearing a single red ballet slipper. Flavia needs to put her super-sleuthing skills to the test to investigate the murder of three gossips in the local church, and to keep her sisters out of danger. But what could possibly connect the son of an executed killer, a far too canny police constable, a travelling circus, and the publican’s mysteriously talented wife? ($35, HB) London Rules by Mick Herron ($30, PB) London Rules might not be written down, but everyone knows rule one. Cover your arse. Tasked with protecting a beleaguered prime minister Regent’s Park’s First Desk, Claude Whelan, is facing attack from showboating MPs, a tabloid columnist, the PM’s favourite Muslim, who’s about to be elected mayor of the West Midlands, and his own deputy, Lady Di Taverner. Meanwhile, the country’s being rocked by an apparently random string of terror attacks, & over at Slough House, the crew are struggling with repressed grief, various addictions, retail paralysis, and the nagging suspicion that their newest colleague is a psychopath—it’s a good job Jackson Lamb knows the rules.
Seventeen by Hideo Yokoyama ($30, PB) 1985. Kazumasa Yuuki, a seasoned reporter at the North Kanto Times, runs a daily gauntlet against the power struggles and office politics that plague its newsroom. But when an air disaster of unprecedented scale occurs on the paper’s doorstep, its staff are united by an unimaginable horror, and a once-in-a-lifetime scoop. 17 years later, Yuuki remembers the adrenaline-fuelled 7 days that changed his & his colleagues’ lives while making good on a promise he made that fateful week—one that holds the key to its last unsolved mystery, and represents Yuuki’s final, unconquered fear. Sins as Scarlet by Nicolas Obregon ($33, PB) Inspector Kosuke Iwata, formerly of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, is now working as a private investigator in California. He may have left his home country behind him, but the crimes he has to face here are just as horrific, and as mystifying. A dead transgender woman is found out on the train tracks near LA’s Skid Row. A Mexican homicide investigator riddled with cancer & corruption. A river of dirty money flowing through the Sonoran Desert. And a mother’s secrets, tracing all the way from 1970s Tokyo to California’s 48th Japanese prefecture—Torrance.
The Suitcase Baby by Tanya Bretherton
In Sydney in the 1920s, babies were turning up in the harbour, on trains, and in public places. These babies, all murdered, mostly by their mothers, were a devastating symptom of changing morals and a growing metropolis. In the early hours of Saturday morning, 17 November 1923, a suitcase containing a dead baby was found washed up on the shore of a small beach in the Sydney suburb of Mosman. Police tracked down Sarah Boyd, the mother of the suitcase baby, and the complex story and subsequent murder trial of Sarah and her friend Jean Olliver became a media sensation. Sociologist Tanya Bretherton tells the engrossing and This I Would Kill For by Anne Buist ($30, PB) Natalie King has been hired to do a psychiatric evaluation for the moving story of the crime that put Sarah and her baby at the centre of a social children’s court. A custody dispute. Not her usual territory, but now that tragedy that still resonates through the decades. ($33, PB) she’s pregnant she’s happy to do a simple consult. But Jenna & Malik’s White Nights: A Colombian Odyssey break-up is anything but simple. He claims she’s crazy & compulsive; by Austin Galt ($35, PB) she claims he’s been abusing their daughter Chelsea. Are all or none of ‘God made Colombia the most beautiful country in the the claims true? And how does Natalie work out where her concerns world so he had to balance it by inhabiting it with the worst for Chelsea slide into her growing obsession with her own lost father? people in the world.’ Old Colombian Proverb. Austin Galt More urgently: with both parents saying they’re desperate to keep their arrived in Colombia looking for a life less ordinary, and on daughter safe—what if one of them is desperate enough to kill? his first day in the country he was hauled off a bus to be detained & questioned by the AK-47-toting Revolutionary The Wife Between Us Armed Forces. Welcome to Colombia! In the days, months by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen ($30, PB) In this first collaboration between Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen & years that followed, Austin travelled all over Colombia, you will make many assumptions. It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with tracing the Narcos’ trail & walking in the shadows of drug lords such as Pablo her replacement. It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she Escobar & the Cali Cartel. While meeting local gangsters and international coke loves. The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect traffickers, he attended underworld parties and was lured into the sex, drugs and woman. You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy danger-fuelled life of an underworld kingpin. What he discovered in those crazy days and white nights shocked, scared and, ultimately, seduced him. of the relationships. You will be wrong.
The Stakes by Ben Sanders ($30, PB) NYPD robbery detective Miles Keller’s plan retirement plan is rip off rich NY criminals & disappear before word’s out about his true identity. However, the NYPD is investigating him for the shooting of a hitman named Jack Deen, and he’s ready to go to ground—when Nina Stone reappears. Nina is a fellow heist professional & the estranged wife of an LA crime boss. Miles last saw her 5 years ago, when he was investigating her for bank robbery and looked the other way—for reasons he is still trying to figure out. Since then her life has grown more complicated: her husband wants her back, and he’s dispatched his go-to gun thug to play repo man. Complicating matters is the fact that the gun thug in question is Bobby Deen, cousin of the dead Jack Deen—and Bobby wants vengeance. But Nina has an offer Miles is finding hard to refuse.
Swamp: Who Murdered Margaret Clement by Richard Shears ($25, PB)
Rich, beautiful & well educated, Margaret Clement was the belle of Melbourne society. With a legacy from her wealthy father, she and her sisters set up a mansion called Tullaree in the pastures near the Tarwin River. With staff to run the property, they impressed the cream of Edwardian society with Japanese screens, tapestries and furniture from their trips abroad. Hit hard by the Great Depression & WWI, their finances declined and the ditches that kept the Tarwin River back collapsed through neglect. The lush paddocks sank under a vast swamp as the elderly belles clung to their beloved Tullaree. As the swamp rose, so too did the presence of opportunists, scammers, lawyers—and a killer.
Ten Steps to Nanette by Hannah Gadsby
Award-winning Australian comedian, Hannah Gadsby, always dreamt of being a cool kid but she had to accept that, just like her childhood dream of being a dog, ‘normal’ isn’t always possible. In the vein of David Sedaris, Gadsby’s memoir is a string of stories that draws together the varied funny and sometimes dark events of her life, compelling readers to understand the damage society can visit upon those (like Hannah) who find themselves on the outside. ($30, PB)
Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers, and Each Other by Matthew Sweet ($33, PB)
October 1967 during the height of the Vietnam War Craig Anderson, John Barilla, Michael Lindner and Rick Bailey, deserted the US Intrepid; smuggled from Tokyo to Sweden via Moscow with the help of a Japanese anti-war group, a draft-card-burning Buddhist priest from Nebraska, and the staff of the Russian Embassy in Tokyo. They became headline news around the world as the Intrepid Four, and inspired other disillusioned young conscripted soldiers to follow their escape to Sweden. Matthew Sweet uncovers their life underground, how the US government waged a determined campaign to discredit deserting soldiers, the story behind the secret scheme code named Operation Chaos, how the CIA tried to infiltrate this radical political group, an international game of cat & mouse and spiralling series of events winding all the way to the Manchurian Candidate scare of 1973/4, and the hunt for the victims of ‘the brainwashing institutes of Sweden’.
The Last Snake Man by John Cann ($33, PB) Every Sunday for almost a century John Cann’s family ran the famous snake show in a pit at La Perouse—an area once alive with tiger, brown and black snakes. After growing up with over 300 ‘pet’ snakes in their backyard, John & his brother George took over the snake show from their parents in 1965. By the time John retired in 2010, he’d survived 5 venomous snake bites. John was also an Olympic athlete, a top state rugby league player, a state champion boxer, an adventurer & a world authority on turtles. This memoir chronicles his extraordinary life & times— from wrangling snakes to chasing turtles, from remote country towns to the impenetrable jungles of New Guinea pursuing his never-ending search for fascinating animals and adventure. Appointment in Arezzo: A friendship with Muriel Spark by Alan Taylor ($30, HB)
Sitting over a glass of chianti at the kitchen table, Muriel Spark once commented that she was upset that the academic whom she had appointed her official biographer did not appear to think that she had ever cracked a joke in her life. In a colourful, personal, anecdotal, indiscrete & admiring memoir that charts the course of Spark’s life revealing her as she really was, Alan Taylor sets the record straight about this & many other things. Using sources ranging from notebooks kept from his very first encounter with Muriel & the 100s of letters they exchanged over the years, this is an invaluable portrait of one of Edinburgh’s premiere novelists.
Hitler My Neighbour: Memories of a Jewish Childhood, 1929–1939 by Edgar Feuchtwanger
Edgar Feuchtwanger was the only son of a respected editor & the nephew of a best-selling author, Lion Feuchtwanger. He was a carefree, pampered 5 year-old, when Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party, moved into the building opposite theirs in Munich. When Hitler came to power Edgar’s parents, stripped of their rights as citizens, tried to protect him from increasingly degrading realities. In class, his teacher had him draw swastikas, and his schoolmates joined the Hitler Youth. Watching events unfold from his window, Edgar bore witness to the Night of the Long Knives, the Anschluss, and Kristallnacht. Jews were arrested; his father was imprisoned at Dachau. In 1939 Edgar was sent on his own to England, where he would make a new life, a career, have a family, and strive to forget the nightmare of his past—a past that came rushing back when he decided, at the age of 88, to tell the story of his buried childhood and his infamous neighbour. ($40, HB)
Rock Hudson, Erotic Fire by Darwin Porter & Danforth Prince ($50, PB)
Rock Hudson reigned in the late 1950s and early ’60s as ‘Hollywood’s greatest ambisexual swordsman’, seducing icons who included Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, Joan Crawford, Ava Gardner & Lana Turner. Usually in secret, Hudson’s close friends & lovers asserted that his greatest performances were the ‘personae’ he was forced to act out in public as a means of sustaining his heterosexual credentials. Privately, he performed, perhaps addictively, in many hundreds of (nominally) secretive sexual trysts, fighting off blackmail attempts and investigations by the FBI. He went on to survive a hastily arranged marriage to Phyllis Gates, who later emerged as a manipulative antagonist with a blackmailing agenda of her own.
When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele ($30, PB)
From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a powerful poetic memoir & reflection on humanity—Patrisse Khan-Cullors’s story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimised by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength and resilience, Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.
Elizabeth’s Rival: The tumultuous tale of Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester by Nicola Tallis
Cousin to Elizabeth I (although it’s likely that they were far closer than that) and grandniece to Anne Boleyn, Lettice Knollys was destined to be a prominent figure at court. But her life would be one of dizzying highs and pitiful lows—caught in a love triangle with Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I, banished from court, embroiled in treason, losing a husband to the executioner’s axe and further husbands and children to war and sickness. At different times Countess of Essex and Countess of Leicester, Lettice lived from the reign of Henry VIII through to Charles I, and her story offers an extraordinary & intimate perspective on the history of the period. ($30, PB)
Roar by Samantha Lane ($35, PB)
The inaugural season of the AFL Women’s league was a game changer for Australian sport and for Australia culturally. When women joined the nation’s biggest and most popular sporting code as players, it gave them licence to become legitimate football heroes. It was personal, political, proud and powerful. From Daisy Pearce, AFLW’s original poster-player, to Craig Starcevich, the Collingwood premiership footballer who found football happiness where he least expected it, and superstars including Tayla Harris and history-making coach Bec Goddard, Samantha Lane tells the remarkable tales of a group of trailblazers—intimate stories from a band of pioneers who now have a league of their own.
We Are Here: Talking with Australia’s Oldest Holocaust Survivors by Fiona Harari ($30, PB)
By 1945, almost two in three European Jews were dead. So were millions of other victims of Adolf Hitler’s ‘final solution’. For those who survived, liberation came with the enormous weight of guilt and memory as they began the second part of their lives, often in faraway places such as Australia, which would become home to one of the world’s highest per capita communities of Holocaust survivors. Now the last of those adult survivors have reached an age once considered unattainable. They outlasted Nazism, and today, in their 10th and 11th decades, have outlived most of their contemporaries. 18 of these Australians tell what it is like to have lived through those years, and long after them.
Talking to the Typewriter: Selected Letters 1928– 1973 by Christina Stead ($30, PB)
Letter writing was a vital part of Christina Stead’s creative life and it grew increasingly important in her last decade. It was how she engaged with the outside world and became the focus of her writing energies. Stead was a vivacious, funny, erudite, expansive and witty correspondent. It was a practice she enjoyed, answering all correspondence she received, including Elizabeth Harrower, Stanley Burnshaw, Dorothy Green and H. C. Coombs—politics, friends & family, literary accolades & achievements, pets & reminiscences were all dissected, canvassed & considered.
The Wine Lover’s Daughter: A Memoir by Anne Fadiman ($46, HB)
An appreciation of wine—along with a plummy upper-crust accent, expensive suits, and an encyclopedic knowledge of Western literature—was an essential element of Clifton Fadiman’s escape from lower-middle-class Brooklyn to swanky Manhattan. But wine was not just a class-vaulting accessory; it was an object of ardent desire. Anne Fadiman traces the arc of a man’s infatuation from the glass of cheap Graves he drank in Paris in 1927; through the Chateau LafiteRothschild 1904 he drank to celebrate his 80th birthday, when he and the bottle were exactly the same age; to the wines that sustained him in his last years, when he was blind but still buoyed, as always, by hedonism. Wine is the spine of this touching memoir; the life and character of Fadiman’s father, along with her relationship with him and her own less ardent relationship with wine, are the flesh..
Now in B Format Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung by Min Kym, $23 Yours Always: Letters of Longing (ed) Eleanor Bass, $20 A Hope More Powerful than the Sea: The Journey of Doaa el Zamel, $25
The Shadow in the Garden: A Biographer’s Tale by James Atlas ($52, HB)
James Atlas, chronicler of Saul Bellow & Delmore Schwartz, looks back to his own childhood in suburban Chicago, where he fell in love with literature and, early on, found in himself the impulse to study writers’ lives. We meet Richard Ellmann, the biographer of James Joyce and Atlas’s professor during a transformative year at Oxford, and Atlas introduces his first subject, the ‘self-doomed’ poet Delmore Schwartz, and a bygone cast of intellectuals such as Edmund Wilson & Dwight Macdonald, and the elusive Bellow, ‘a metaphysician of the ordinary’. Atlas revisits the lives & works of the classical biographers, the Renaissance writers of what were then called ‘lives’, Samuel Johnson & the obsessive Boswell, and the Victorian masters Mrs Gaskell & Thomas Carlyle. And in what amounts to a pocket history of his own literary generation, Atlas celebrates the biographers who hoped to glimpse an image of them—‘as fleeting as a familiar face swallowed up in a crowd.’
Discover your next favourite
Coming in March!! RATHER HIS OWN MAN by Geoffrey Robertson In this witty, engrossing and sometimes poignant memoir, a sequel to his best-selling The Justice Game, Australia’s inimitable Geoffrey Robertson charts his progress from pimply state schoolboy to top Old Bailey barrister and thence onwards and upwards to a leading role in the struggle for human rights throughout the world.
The Dawn Watch : Joseph Conrad in a Global World by Maya Jasanoff ($54, HB)
Joseph Conrad was born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in 1857, to Polish parents in the Russian Empire. At 16 he left the landlocked heart of Europe to become a sailor, and for the next 20 years travelled the world’s oceans before settling permanently in England as an author. He saw the surging, competitive ‘new imperialism’ that planted a flag in almost every populated part of the globe. He got a close look, too, at the places ‘beyond the end of telegraph cables and mail-boat lines’, and the hypocrisy of the west’s most cherished ideals. In a compelling blend of history, biography & travelogue, Maya Jasanoff follows Conrad’s routes and the stories of his four greatest work—The Secret Agent, Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness & Nostromo. As an immigrant from Poland to England, and in travels from Malaya to Congo to the Caribbean, Conrad navigated an interconnected world, and captured it in a literary oeuvre of extraordinary depth. His life story delivers a history of globalization from the inside out, and reflects powerfully on the aspirations and challenges of the modern world.
The Only Story Julian Barnes The brilliant new novel from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending Out 29 January
Rather His Own Man Geoffrey Robertson The riveting autobiography from Australia’s inimitable Geoffrey Robertson. Funny, personal, and bringing Robertson’s fascinating and colourful career up to date following The Justice Game. Out 26 February
The Shepherd’s Hut Tim Winton A rifle-shot of a novel – crisp, fast, shocking – The Shepherd’s Hut is an urgent masterpiece about solitude, unlikely friendship, and the raw business of survival. Out 12 March
In the Garden of the Fugitives Ceridwen Dovey From the award-winning author of Only the Animals comes an unputdownable novel of obsession, guilt, and the power of the past to possess the present Out 26 February
The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers ($33, PB)
This is the gripping true story of a young Yemeni American man, raised in San Francisco, who dreams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemeni coffee but finds himself trapped in Sana’a by civil war. Mokhtar Alkhanshali is 24 and working as a doorman when he becomes fascinated with the rich history of coffee & Yemen’s central place in it. He leaves San Francisco and travels deep into his ancestral home to tour terraced farms high in the country’s rugged mountains. He collects samples & organizes farmers and is on the verge of success when civil war engulfs the country. Saudi bombs rain down, the US embassy closes, and Mokhtar has to find a way out of Yemen with only his hopes on his back.
Islander: A Journey Around Our Archipelago by Patrick Barkham ($40, HB)
The people of the British Isles are an island race—distributed across an archipelago of two large islands and 6,289 smaller ones. Patrick Barkham travels from larger small islands to ever-smaller islands in search of their special magic. Meeting all kinds of islanders, from nuns to puffins, from dropouts to rare subspecies of vole, he seeks to discover what it is to be an islander. How do communities function on small islands? Are they insular or outward looking? Are eccentrics attracted to islands, or do islands make people eccentric? Do they keep us sane or drive us mad? Along the way, he uncovers bizarre and touching stories about island life, meets a host of curious characters and native species, and explores some of the most beautiful landscapes in Britain.
Beyond the Map by Alastair Bonnett ($30, HB)
Geography is getting stranger. Out there fleets of new islands are under construction and eye-wateringly insane micro-nations are struggling into the light; unseen rivers are tumbling under sleeping cites and once secret fantasy-gardens are cracking open their doors. The world’s unruly places, the zones unmarked on any official map, are multiplying and changing fast. In this book, Alaistair Bonnet presents the stories of 43 of these extraordinary places, all of which will challenge the very concept of place. The ever more unruly maps of human and physical geography can seem overwhelming. Perhaps that’s why little places, the small secrets, the hidden surprises, have become so important. Bonnett sets out on a journey across the world in search of a diverse range of modern utopias, from the Dubai Shopping Mall to the caliphate of the Islamic State, from the Findhorn eco-community in Scotland to Cybertopias such as Second Life.
Read more at penguin.com.au
books for kids to young adults non-fiction
compiled by Lynndy Bennett, our children's correspondent For all those wishing they were still on holidays, preferably somewhere remote, we’ll start the year exploring far-flung places and times.
City Mazes: Real Street Map Puzzles to Solve from Amsterdam to Vancouver by Lonely Planet Kids (25, HB)
Rebel Voices: The Rise of Votes for Women by Louise K. Stewart (ill) Eve Lloyd Knight (25, HB)
Many of the rights we take for granted are the result of prolonged struggles by others. In the history of women’s suffrage are starvation; persecution and arrests; riots; an opinion-changing play; men boycotting a store that employed a woman; and even a woman taking a lion for a walk through the streets of Paris. Rebel Voices traces the history of women’s campaigns to have an officially recognised say in their world, from enlightened C19th New Zealand to the ongoing battles still faced in some nations today. This is a history of defiance, of assertion and passion, containing many surprising facts and examples of ingenuity. In the style of the bestselling Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, it’s attractively illustrated and prompts admiration for the women featured. Lynndy
Today I Feel: An Alphabet of Feelings by Madalena Moniz (20, HB)
Starting at the front endpaper, all the way through to the back, this book is an imaginative celebration of a child’s feelings. Each page is different, beautifully drawn in ink and painted in watercolour, expressive, good humoured and sometimes unexpected, handsomely produced as a tall portrait shaped book. Madalena Moniz has deftly played around with different perspectives, scale and negative space: eg the page for the letter ‘P’ (patience) is an aerial view of a child assembling a jigsaw puzzle—just one of many exquisite illustrations. Today I Feel is a rare book, informative but not didactic, and both beautiful and useful. Highly recommended for ages 2-8. Louise
With the Lonely Planet pedigree this activity book is sure to appeal to travel and puzzle aficionados. Geographically accurate street maps from thirty major cities (including Sydney), complete with facts and landmarks as well as unusual gems idiosyncratic to each place are rendered as challenging mazes. Contemplating Krakow? Aspiring to a tour of Athens or a mosey around Marrakesh? Here’s armchair travelling with a difference: you can explore the world, become acquainted with unique aspects of these cities, and be confident that if you do visit them you’ll navigate with ease. Get your visas ready to start your maze journey in March! Lynndy
A Journey Through Art: A Global Art Adventure by Aaron Rosen (ill) Lucy Dalzell (30, HB)
Art reflects much about the society of its time, and this guided tour of art from the Palaeolithic period to the twenty-first century illuminates art and culture alike around the world. Come time travelling from early cave art through the Renaissance to inspiring architecture and sculpture in the present, with stopovers in thirty significant destinations. Arranged chronologically, these adventures cover prehistoric and ancient; medieval and early modern; and modern and contemporary art. Readers of 8+ can engage with the art and trace its development. Visiting an art gallery will be so much more meaningful for all ages with this as an introduction. Lynndy
The Nickle Nackle Tree by Lynley Dodd (15, BD) Dodd’s beloved Hairy Maclary books are part of most children’s early collections, as this counting book should be. Bold colourful art depicts the nonsensical avian characters in infectious rhyme that simply begs to be read aloud. Often! Now in a sturdy board book it will withstand the demands for more. ‘In the Manglemunching Forest there’s a Nickle Nackle tree, Growing Nickle Nackle berries that are red as red can be…’ Lynndy Tiny Little Rocket by David Fickling (ill) Richard Collingridge (25, HB)
David Fickling, gentleman and discerning publisher of high quality children’s books from picture books to YA fiction, is now also a collaborating author. His rhyming text invites you into the cockpit of a rocket, zooming away on journey into space that is imbued with a sense of immediacy and drama by both the language and the realistic illustrations. Epic deep space is just a turn of the page away, before you return safely home and into bed. Simple yet arresting. Lynndy
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (ill) Robert Lawson ($9-$15 PB, $32 HB)
I’ve yet to see ‘Major Motion Picture’ Ferdinand, but it certainly has had mixed reviews. However, the book that the film is based on, The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, has long been a one of my favourite picture books. First published in 1936, it is a triumph of minimal language and maximum meaning. Ferdinand is a placid bull, he’s happy under the cork tree, smelling the flowers. A chance encounter with a bee ends up with the pacifist bull being carted off to the bullfights in Madrid, with unexpected results. Robert Lawson’s illustrations are simply brilliant. They are in black and white, and resonate with all the sensitivity of that medium, while still being vivid and strong—much like Ferdinand himself. Essential reading for all humans over the age of 3. We also have the very attractive plush Ferdinand, based on the star of the movie ($29.00), and a boxed set with board book and plush toy ($34). Louise
A Sheepdog Called Sky by Helen Peters (ill) Ellie Snowdon ($13, PB)
Helen Peters’ books capture all the excitement of children living in the country, whether they are for older readers, or the younger reader. Jasmine lives on a farm with her farmer father, vet mother and brother and sister. She loves animals and is determined to have an animal sanctuary when she’s older. Sky is a terribly mistreated little puppy when Jasmine discovers him under a bush, and only through her care and ministrations does the puppy survive. The big question is, will Jasmine be allowed to keep him? Ellie Snowdon’s black and white illustrations really set the scene, and bring Jas and her family, and their many animals, to life. Highly recommended for 8-10 year olds. Louise
The Lustre of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller ($25, PB)
‘There is only one place in the world that Walter Lavender feels at home: The Lavenders, his mother’s unusual New York bakery where meringues scud through displays like clouds, marzipan dragons breathe actual fire, and the airy angel-food cake can make customers pounds lighter. When the mysterious Book at the heart of the bakery’s magic and success vanishes and the landlord threatens closure, it is up to Walter to find the Book and save the shop.’ Walter has a special ability: finding lost things, and even with a disorder that renders him speechless, Walter, accompanied by his dog Milton, communicates with people all over New York City, making extraordinary friends and retrieving their missing treasures. It’s a joy to discover books like this with memorable characters, imagery that insists you linger within, and a story that connects and uplifts. Milton is evocatively doggy ‘Joy coursed through Milton and he hurled it into the world and wherever it landed there was pandemonium.’ Walter may not speak, but we don’t regard him as in any way less, and his epiphany is so beautifully expressed ‘I feel like I have been walking toward this moment, the final movement of some opus of existence in which I already experienced love and fear and anger and loneliness, and along the way I found courage and vulnerability and connection and conviction...’ Highly recommended dose of sensitivity for 10+. Lynndy
just for fun
Superhero Snap! Card Game by Jason Ford ($13, BX) Based on his books of superheroes, this variation of the traditional game Snap! Features smashing superheroes and felonious villains.
Mini Colouring Rolls ($14.95, BX)
Keep children occupied with these pocket-sized kits. Choose from eighteen different thematic designs, each containing a 76cm roll of illustrations to colour, and 4 crayons. Great when travelling!
Sigrid Calon Memory Game ($35, BX)
Among the large selection of memory games we stock this is a little different, being a stylish objet and a game, featuring Dutch designer Calon’s fluorescent Risographprint-inspired art on 52 cards.
Food, Health & Garden
Brain Rules for Ageing Well by John Medina ($33, PB)
How come I can never find my keys? Why don’t I sleep as well? Why do my friends keep repeating the same stories? What can I do to keep my brain sharp? Developmental molecular biologist John Medina, gives you the facts—and the prescription to age well. First he looks under the hood of an ageing brain as it motors through life. He then focuses on the feeling brain, using topics ranging from relationships & stress to happiness & gullibility to illustrate how our emotions change with age. Next he looks at the thinking brain, explaining how various cognitive gadgets such as working memory & executive function change with time. The final section is about the future—filled with topics as joyful as retirement and as heartbreaking as Alzheimer’s. Each section is sprinkled with practical advice: for example, a certain style of dancing may be better for your brain than eating fish. Medina connects all of the chapters into a plan, checklist-style, for maintaining your brain health.
Letting Go: How to Plan for a Good Death by Charlie Corke ($30, PB)
How far should doctors go when trying to prolong life? How can we decide what is ‘too far’ and ‘not far enough’ for our loved ones unless we know what their wishes are? Drawing on many years of experience as an intensive-care specialist, and writing with great insight and compassion, Dr Charlie Corke shows us all the ways in which people can make a mess of dying, shows us how to start thinking about our end-of-life stage before we get there; how to make an advanced-care plan that will help people make decisions on our behalf; and how we can maintain our dignity and autonomy for as long as possible.
Lunch Box: 60+ Healthy Meals, Snacks and Treats For on the Go by Pete Evans ($25, PB)
Breakfasts on the go such as nut-free banana bread and sausage and egg ‘McMuffins’, snacks to satisfy such as crispy pork rinds and salt and vinegar sweet potato chips, main meals such as BLTstuffed avocado bowls and beef and rosemary sausage rolls, and healthy treats such as raspberry bounty bars, your lunch box has never looked so good—and it’s all free of dairy, gluten, nuts and refined sugar & packed full of nutrient-dense wholefoods.
The Keto Paleo Kitchen: Shift Your Diet Ratios for Long-Term Weight Loss by Vivica Menegaz
These 80 recipes are designed to shift your fat, carb and protein ratios so you are eating a Paleo diet, but with Keto ratios. The focus is to create a diet that’s 65-70% fat, 25% protein and 10% carbs to maximise fat burn and get the weight off in a good way but fast. Dairy-free and with no processed ingredients, Viveca Menegaz teaches readers how to combine their ratios to keep carbs under a certain limit and avoid allergens, all with easy recipes and meal plans, and basics for making your favourite recipes Keto Paleo friendly. ($33, PB)
Power Vegan Meals by Maya Sozer ($33, PB) A common concern among vegans is how to eat a lot of protein and still remain faithful to the diet. Maya Sozer shows how to get the calories & protein you need to keep full & energised throughout the day. With Power Vegan Meals you are covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Recipes include Golden Turmeric Smoothie, Buff Burger, Sri Lankan Red Lentil Curry, Tuscan Bean & Veggie Soup and One-Pot Red Lentil Chili. Gardens of the Alhambra ($70, HB)
The Alhambra is one of the worlds great gardens. This is the first comprehensive book on the subject for over 90 years. Lavishly illustrated with commissioned photography and previously unpublished archive material, the book is written by the world’s leading experts including the director of the site, Maria del Mar Villafranca, and with contributions from architectural historian William Curtis and Alvaro Siza, the Pritzker prize-winning designer of a new garden at the Alhambra, which will be described here for the first time.
Mindfulness & the Art of Managing Anger: Meditations on Clearing the Red Mist by Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher explores the powerful emotion of toxic anger - what it is, why we experience it and how we can learn to control its destructive power through the very nature of mindfulness. Fusing Western and Buddhist thought, therapeutic tools, specific meditative practices and frank personal anecdotes, this book reveals how we can all clear the red mist for peaceful wellbeing. ($17, PB)
The Art of Mindful Gardening: Sowing the Seeds of Meditation by Ark Redwood ($17, PB)
Ark Redwood guides you through the changing seasons, expanding your knowledge of how to be conscious of the present and providing expert insights on meditating into your natural environment. The Art of Mindful Gardening explores how mindfulness can bring a new dimension to gardening.
Louise and I have discovered a mutual enjoyment of the culinary arts & this month have been putting Yotam Ottolenghi’s collaboration with Australian pastry chef Helen Goh, Sweet, to the test: Louise: Everything I’ve made has been an absolute hit, the Rolled Pavlova with blackberries and peaches is a particularly pleasant, and ridiculously easy. And I’ve made dozens of the amaretti with honey and orange blossom—I’ve even started making them and the cherry amaretti for a local café. I think the long (and occasionally hard to source) list of ingredients in some previous Ottolenghi recipes can be a bit daunting, but I haven’t found that to be so in Sweet. Plus the instructions are clear and easy to follow, with informative photos. Loving it! Viki: I agree—this is an easy book to use, even when the recipes are complicated. I especially like it when recipes warn you that the batter may split, or look too wet—comforting. Ottolenghi is also very generous in assigning credit to all the cooks (including Goh) who have contributed to the book. I’ve made the lemon & black currant stripe cake (most definitely an Occasion cake—so rich you only need a sliver. I’d recommend making the blackcurrent purée the day before). The ‘take-home chocolate cake’ is a grown-up chocolate cake—rich, but not too sweet. And I can’t stop making the lemon & poppy seed cake—it is fool-proof & delicious! ($44.99)
The Book of Seeds: A lifesize guide to 600 species from around the world by Paul Smith ($60, HB)
True time capsules of life, seeds are significant items of hope and promise. They are the most complex organs plants ever produce, and come in an enormously diverse range of shapes, sizes, and colours; from the impressive coco de mer nut to the microscopic seeds of an orchid, to the extraordinary cobalt blue of the traveller’s palm pit. Secretary General of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Paul Smith, spotlights 600 seeds— each shown as glorious photographs, life size and in detail, alongside an engraving of the parent plant. Every profile includes a population distribution map, a table of essential information, and a commentary revealing notable characteristics, related species, and a diagnosis of the specimen’s importance in terms of taxonomy, rarity, dispersal method & scientific significance.
Unf*ck Your Finances by Melissa Browne ($25, HB) Most of us would rather be caught naked than have our finances open to view. Why are we so reluctant to engage properly and effectively with something so fundamental? Mel Browne challenges us to change our thinking and our bank balances for the better. With clear, easy to follow advice, she tells you how to set up savvy savings accounts, make the right investments and discover why budgeting is a dirty word.
Biophilia Effect: The Healing Bond Between Humans and Nature by Clemens G. Arvay ($27, PB)
Did you know that spending time in a forest activates the vagus nerve, which is responsible for inducing calm & regeneration? Or that spending just one single day in a wooded area increases the number of natural killer cells in the blood by almost 40 percent on average? Most of us have experienced an intuitive sense of the healing power of nature. Clemens G. Arvay’s book brings us the science to verify this power, sharing fascinating research along with teachings and tools for accessing the therapeutic properties of the forest and natural world—showing how to engage the natural world wherever we live for greater health, inspiration, rejuvenation & spiritual sustenance.
Grow Harvest Cook by Kirton & Sinclair
Whether you have a small urban garden, a sprawling yard or an overflowing fridge, or are looking to establish a substantial kitchen garden for your home, Grow Harvest Cook will be your constant companion, both in the garden & the kitchen. It offers more than 280 recipes & ideas for using up your produce, reinventing the meaning of homemade & celebrating truly good food. Filled with delicious recipes, tips & tricks for harvesting, & practical gardening advice for aspiring green thumbs, this book provides an essential handbook to growing, preparing & sharing more than 90 different types of fruit, vegetables & nuts. ($30, PB)
The Produce Companion by Kirton & Sinclair
Divided into two handy parts, this flexibound edition includes comprehensive notes for growing produce—choice of varieties to extend seasons, when to pick fruits & vegetables, methods for harvesting & how to store different ingredients. The Recipes section features more than 100 recipes that show you what to do with each season’s glut: from drinks & syrups, jams &jellies, and confit and preserves, to sauces and salsas, pickles & chutneys, pastes & pestos, and vinegars & salts. ($30, PB)
s Eve nt ar d C a le n
WEDNESDAY t! iss ou ail! m t ’ n Do eem for gl y p u n Sig eekl Our w s update. m.au event email eebooks.co @gl asims
Event—6 for 6.30
Symphony of Seduction: The Great Love Stories of Classical Composers Symphony of Seduction tells of the romantic misadventures, tragedies and occasional triumphs of some of classical music’s great composers, and traces the music that emerged as a result.
13 Free Event—6 for 6.30 Rosemary Wells Author Talk
Turning Pages in the Digital Age Doyenne of the children’s publishing word, Rosemary Wells, addressess the need to put aside all electronic devices and bring our children into the world of turning pages, and parent’s voices, to help foster a lifelong love of reading.
Event—6 for 6.30 Clinton Walker
Deadly Woman Blues in conv. with Natalie Ahmat Part art book, part comic book, part biography and fully deadly, it is a unique graphic history of the black women who made Australian music—some household names, some forgotten, some totally unknown until now.
Event—6 for 6.30 Jamelle Wells
The Court Reporter in conv. with Richard Glover From the calculated and cruel, to the unfair and unlucky, from pure evil to plain stupid—Jamelle Wells, the court reporter, has seen it all. Her memoir looks at the cases that have shocked, moved and never left us.
Remember! Join the Gleeclu b and ge entry to events he ld at our s 10%credit accrued with every chase, and the Gle aner deliver your door every m onth.
All events listed are $12/$9 concession. Book Launches are free.
Gleeclub members free entry to events at 49 Glebe Pt Rd February Events are held upstairs at #49 Glebe Point Road unless otherwise noted. Bookings—Phone: (02) 9660 2333, Email: email@example.com, Online: www.gleebooks.com.au/events 2018
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Launch—3.30 for 4 Polly McGee
The Good Hustle A revelation and revolution, combining the ancient wisdom of yoga with contemporary business practice in a compelling blend of mindfulness, spirituality and entrepreneurial action— your go-to handbook on the real-life path to enlightenment.
16 Launch—6 for 6.30 Deborah Pike
The Subversive Art of Zelda Fitzgerald Launcher: Prof. Gail Jones While much of Zelda Fitzgerald’s writing can be read as a tactical response to her husband’s injunctions against her creativity, it can also be read as brilliant work in its own right. Far from imitation her artistic output is utterly her own.
Launch—3.30 for 4 Deborah Oswald
The Whole Bright Year Launcher: Genevieve Lemon From the creator of ‘Offspring’ and author of Useful, a gripping, wry and tender novel about how holding on too tightly can cost us what we love. Coming in March Launch: Sat 10, 3.30 for 4—Penny Jools Working with Developmental Anxieties in Couples and Family Psychotherapy Event: Wed 14, 6 for 6.30pm—Ian Tyrrell—River Dreams Launch: Fri 16, 6 for 6.30pm—Pyotr Patrushev In Memoriam Buddha’s Balalaika & The Transcendant Ape Event: Sat 17, 3.30 for 4pm—Ceridwen Dovey—In the Garden of the Fugitives Event: Tue 20, 6 for 6.30pm—Robert Manne in conv. with Martin Krygier—On Borrowed Time Event: Thu 22, 6 for 6.30pm—Darryl Jones in conv. with Dr. Holly Parson The Birds at My Table: Why We Feed Wild Birds and Why It Matters
Granny’s Good Reads with Sonia Lee Patricia Lockwood caused a sensation when her prosepoem Rape Joke appeared online. Now she’s written Priestdaddy—a dazzling, lyrical, comico-serious memoir about her unusual family. Her father, a Lutheran pastor, converted to Catholicism and was permitted to become a priest despite having a wife and, eventually, five children. After moving from parish to parish in Cincinnati and the suburbs of St Louis, Father Greg and family settled in Kansas City. Lockwood recalls from childhood ‘the polluted, hell-bender-coloured Ohio river’, the landfill site used as a dumping ground for radioactive waste from the Manhattan Project and the elevated rates of rare cancers and stillbirths in the district. As a child she freaked out after being taken to picket an abortion clinic. At sixteen, she overdosed on Tylenol. At seventeen she visited a Carmelite monastery with the idea of devoting her life to prayer and contemplation, something Granny, too, did at the same age. At nineteen she met online a poet named Jason, the son of Baptist missionaries, and accepted when he proposed in a car park. Her parents cautioned that she might be ‘marrying a murderer’, but her sister said: ‘We are the ones who aren’t normal’. Twelve years later, accompanied by Jason and cat, Lockwood returned home for nine months, looked afresh at her family and produced this touching portrait. Her dad, for instance, is a Republican and fan of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News who collects guns and guitars, believes, though married, that priests should be single, refuses to wear a seat belt, likes sports cars and hates cats, who he says are Democrats—‘little Hillary Clintons with hairy legs’. Though Lockwood’s risqué metaphors can occasionally be offputting (the New York Times reviewer likens her to ‘Betty Boop in a pas de deux with David Sedaris’) they serve in part to mask her anger at the church’s male-dominated structure, the relative powerlessness of its women and the abuse of children by its deviant clergy. A great read, whatever your beliefs—but if you, like me, recited Three Hail Marys for the Gift of Holy Purity every day at school, then Priestdaddy is certainly for you. I’ve just read two excellent books about Jane Austen: The Genius of Jane Austen by Paula Byrne, and Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley. Byrne must have read every 18th century play and Jane Austen saw many of them. In the Steventon rectory she and her family put on private theatricals and, while living in Bath, she went as often as she could to see her favourite actor William Elliston. When she went to London to stay with brother Henry and his wife there were many outings to the theatre to see Dora Jordan or Mrs Siddons. Dora, by the way, was the mistress of the Duke of Clarence and had ten of his children, whose Fitzclarence descendants include John Julius Norwich and ex-PM David Cameron. (Claire Tomalin’s life of Dora titled Mrs Jordan’s Profession is well worth reading.) Byrne discusses at length the popular play Lovers’ Vows, which the young Bertrams and their friends are depicted rehearsing in Mansfield Park. Because their cousin Fanny is portrayed as disapproving this venture some critics have concluded that Austen herself must have had an aversion to the theatre. Byrne counters that, on the contrary, Austen went to the theatre whenever she had the chance, was deeply influenced by what she saw there and exploited many dramatic techniques in her fiction. Because of this, says Byrne, it’s hardly surprising that Austen’s novels have been adapted so often for film and TV. Lucy Worsley’s book is both chatty and informative about such things as houses, furniture and 18th century manners and customs. She takes us on a literary tour of the places where Austen lived most of her life: Steventon rectory in Hampshire, where she shared a bedroom with sister Cassandra; the Abbey School at Reading, which both Jane Austen and, two centuries later, Lucy Worsley attended; the rented rooms in Bath where the Revd Mr Austen lived with his wife and two daughters after he retired; and finally Chawton Cottage, the small house in Hampshire where Austen, courtesy of her affluent brother Edward, spent the last years of her life. She was an avid reader, especially of novels, who began writing as a teenager, and one of her keenest losses occurred when her father retired from the parsonage and gave his library to her brother James, his successor in the living. She received one marriage proposal but refused after thinking it over. Novels, says Worsley, rather than children, are her progeny, for which she has earned our undying gratitude, but the rickety writing desk and the three hard chairs she lay on as a makeshift sofa in her last illness still bring a lump to the throat. Sonia
Trump In Asia—The New World Disorder Australian Foreign Affairs Issue 2 ($23, PB)
The 2nd issue of Australian Foreign Affairs examines the sudden US shift from the Asia Pivot to America First. It provides insights into Donald Trump’s White House and explores how his unpredictable approach to international affairs is affecting the volatile Asian region. Michael Wesley explores the challenges and risks for Australia as it rushes to find a new plan for surviving in a post-America Asia. David Kilcullen reports from the US on Trump’s effect on Washington and how the president’s team will affect Australia. Andrew Davies analyses the Australian military’s dependence on the US and the trade-off for Canberra as it weight the cost of self-reliance. Essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the issues facing Canberra as Australia’s closes ally recasts its alliances.
Griffith Review 59: Commonwealth Now (eds) Julianne Schultz & Jane Camens ($28, PB)
At the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April, athletes from countries that were once a part of the British Empire will battle for gold—but is the Commonwealth of Nations more than a legacy of another age? At a time of geopolitical uncertainty, the Commonwealth is poised to play a major role as a values-based network that represents a third of the world’s population. Whether this group can exercise real power and influence will be determined in 2018. The old empires are long gone, but in the wake of Brexit and the rise of China and India, the shape of a new world order remains unclear. Griffith Review 59 features writers from around the world who explore the contemporary experience of Commonwealth citizens: reconciling the past, confronting new challenges, and opening new exchanges to create a sustainable and equitable future.
This Time: Australia’s Republican Past & Future by Benjamin T. Jones ($23, PB)
To propose an Australian should be our head of state doesn’t seem revolutionary. ‘Isn’t that already the case?’ some may even ask. Flip a coin and you’ll have your answer. In This Time, Benjamin T. Jones charts a path to an independent future. He reveals the fascinating early history of the Australian republican movement of the 1850s and its larger-than-life characters. He shows why we need a new model for a transformed, multicultural nation, and discusses the best way to choose an Australian head of state. With republicans leading every government around the nation, the time is ripe for change.
Deadly Woman Blues: Black Women and Australian music by Clinton Walker ($50, HB)
Part art book, part comic book, part biography and fully deadly, it is a unique graphic history of the black women who made Australian music. Traditional Indigenous music, spirituals, vaudeville, post-war jazz, country, gospel, soul, R&B and hip-hop have been made and re-made by these legendary women, some household names, some forgotten, some totally unknown until now. Starring Georgia Lee, Nellie Small, Candy Devine, Wilma Reading, Sibby Doolan, Ruby Hunter, Marlene Cummins, Tiddas, Carole Fraser, Christine Anu, Jessica Mauboy, Emma Donovan, Shellie Morris, Leah Flanagan, Crystal Mercy and many, many more singers and musicians.
The Battle Within: POWs in postwar Australia by Christina Twomey ($40, PB)
This book follows the stories of 15,000 Australian prisoners of war from the moment they were released by the Japanese at the end of WW2. Christina Twomey finds that official policies & attitudes towards these men were equivocal & arbitrary for almost 40 years. The image of a defeated & emaciated soldier held prisoner by people of a different race did not sit well with the mythology of Anzac. Drawing on the records of the Prisoner of War Trust Fund for the first time, Twomey presents the struggles of returned prisoners in their own words. She also shows that memories of captivity forged new connections with people of the Asia-Pacific region, as former POWs sought to reconcile with their captors & honour those who had helped them. A grateful nation ultimately lauded & commemorated POWs as worthy veterans from the 1980s, but the real story of the fight to get there has not been told until now.
Coming in March!! THE URGENCY OF NOW by Stan Grant Stan Grant weaves a story of history, memoir, politics, struggle, survival and hope. Expressing a cautious optimism, he wants to show us that there is something we can all do, that there is a path forward, a way towards true reconciliation. There is a huge opportunity facing Australia—an opportunity to fix past wrongs and set an optimistic path for the future and true reconciliation. It’s the right thing to do. But we have to do it NOW.
Directorate S: The CIA & America’s Secret Wars in Afganistan & Pakistan, 2001–2016 by Steve Coll
In the wake of 9/11, the CIA scrambled to work out how to destroy Bin Laden & his associates. The CIA had long familiarity with Afghanistan & had worked closely with the Taliban to defeat the Soviet Union there. A tangle of assumptions, old contacts, favours & animosities were now reactivated. Superficially the invasion was quick & efficient, but Bin Laden’s successful escape, together with that of much of the Taliban leadership, and a catastrophic failure to define the limits of NATO’s mission in a tough, impoverished country the size of Texas, created a quagmire which lasted many years—at the heart of which lay ‘Directorate S’, a highly secretive arm of the Pakistan state. Steve Coll’s new book tells a bitter story of just how badly foreign policy decisions can go wrong & of many lives lost. ($35, PB)
The Dawn of Eurasia: Following the New Silk Road by Bruno Macaes ($50, HB)
Bruno Maçães argues that the best word for the emerging global order is ‘Eurasian’, and shows why we need to begin thinking on a super-continental scale. Weaving together history, diplomacy & vivid reports from his 6-month overland journey across Eurasia from Baku to Samarkand, Vladivostock to Beijing, Maçães provides a fascinating portrait of this shifting geopolitical landscape. As he demonstrates, we can already see the coming Eurasianism in China’s bold infrastructure project reopening the historic Silk Road, in the success of cities like Hong Kong and Singapore, in Turkey’s increasing global role and in the fact that, revealingly, the US is redefining its place as between Europe and Asia.
Korea: Where the American Century Began by Michael Pembroke ($33,PB)
The first Korean War became the first of America’s failed modern wars; and its first modern war with China. It established the pattern for the next 60 years and marked the true beginning of the American century—opening the door to ever-increasing military expenditure; launching the long era of expanding American global force projection; and creating the dangerous & festering geopolitical sore that exists in Northeast Asia today. Washington has not learned the lessons of history and we are reaping the consequences. Michael Pembroke’s timely book tells the story of the Korean peninsula with compassion for the people of the North and South, understanding and insight for the role of China and concern about the past and present role of the United States.
The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe’s Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance by Anders Rydell ($28, PB)
When the Nazi soldiers ransacked Europe’s libraries and bookshops, large and small, the books they stole were not burned. Instead, the Nazis began to compile a library of their own that they could use to wage an intellectual war on literature and history. But when the war was over, most of the books were never returned. Instead many found their way into the public library system, where they remain to this day. A small team of heroic librarians have begun the monumental task of combing through Berlin’s public libraries to identify the looted books and reunite them with the families of their original owners. Anders Rydell finds himself entrusted with one of these stolen volumes, and in returning it to its rightful owner shows just how much a single book can mean to those who own it.
The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution by Marci Shore ($55, HB)
While the world watched the uprising on the Maidan as an episode in geopolitics, those in Ukraine during the extraordinary winter of 2013–14 lived the revolution as an existential transformation: the blurring of night & day, the loss of a sense of time, the sudden disappearance of fear, the imperative to make choices. Grounded in the true stories of activists & soldiers, parents & children, Marci Shore’s book blends a narrative of suspenseful choices with a historian’s reflections on what revolution is & what it means. She gently sets her portraits of individual revolutionaries against the past as they understand it—and the future as they hope to make it. In so doing, she provides a lesson about human solidarity in a world, our world, where the boundary between reality & fiction is ever more effaced.
Crusade & Jihad: The Thousand-Year War Between the Muslim World & the Global North by William R. Polk ($70, HB)
William Polk addresses the catastrophic results of centuries of conflict, imperialism & colonialism by the global north—China, Russia, Europe, Britain & America—in the Muslim world. We see this legacy in the flood of refugees, collapse of institutions, terrorism, and widespread misery. Military force, regime change, and aid have failed because we have not understood the region’s history-or our own role in it. Focusing half a century of experience as a historian, policy planner, diplomat & businessman, Polk deals Trump in the White House: Tragedy and Farce with the entire Muslim world, from Nigeria to Indonesia, and from the dawn of Islam by John Bellamy Foster ($27, PB) to the rise of the Islamic State, and explains how the dangers arose that we and the John Bellamy Foster looks at Trump and his administration in Muslims face, and how the dangers can be dealt with. full historical context, showing him to be merely the endpoint of Carving Up the Globe: An Atlas of Diplomacy a stagnating economic system whose liberal democratic sheen has by Malise Ruthven ($75, HB) begun to wear thin. Beneath a veneer of democracy, we see the For thousands of years, it has been the work of diplomats to authoritarian rule that oversees decreasing wages, anti-science draw the lines in ways that were most advantageous to their &climate-change denialism, a dying public education system & leaders, fellow citizens, and sometimes themselves. With expanding prisons & military—all powered by a phony populism hundreds of full-colour maps and other images, this atlas ilseething with centuries of racism that never went away. Inside his lustrates treaties that have determined the political fates of analysis is a clarion call to fight back—but change can’t happen millions. In rich detail, it chronicles everything from ancient without radical, anti-capitalist politics, and Foster demonstrates that even now it may yet Egyptian and Hittite accords to the first Sino-Tibetan peace be possible to stop the desecration of the Earth, to end endless war & to create global in 783 CE, the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, and the 2014 solidarity with all oppressed people. Minsk Protocol looming over the war in Ukraine. Missile and nuclear Zero Hour: Turn the Greatest Political & Financial pacts, environmental treaties, chemical weapons conventions, and economic deals are Upheaval in Modern History to your Advantage all carefully rendered, and accompanied by lively historical commentary. by Harry S. Dent & Andrew Pancholi ($35, PB) The Debatable Land: The Lost World Between Revolutions are cyclical. They run on a very specific timetable. As Scotland & England by Graham Robb ($33, PB) the end of the decade draws near, we are approaching an extremely The Debatable Land was an independent territory which used to rare convergence of low points for multiple political, economic, and exist between Scotland and England. It is the oldest detectable demographic cycles. The result will be a major financial crash and territorial division in Great Britain. At the height of its notoriety, global upheaval that will dwarf the Great Recession of the 2000s– it was the bloodiest region in the country, and preoccupied the and maybe even that of the 1930s. In Zero Hour he and Andrew monarchs and parliaments of England, Scotland and France. Pancholi offer the definitive guide to protect your investments and When Graham Robb moved to a lonely house on the very edge of prosper in the age of anti-globalist backlash. You’ll learn why the most-hyped technoloEngland, he discovered that the river which almost surrounded gies of recent years (self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and virtual reality) won’t pay his new home had once marked the Debatable Land’s southern off until the 2030s, why you’d be a fool to invest in China and why you should invest in boundary. Curious, he began a journey—on foot, by bicycle and into healthcare rather than real estate. the past—that would uncover lost towns and roads, shed new light on the Dark Age, reveal the truth about this maligned patch of land, and lead to more than one discovery of major historical significance.
Now in B Format & Paperback No is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics by Naomi Klein, $23 Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra, $23 The Way of Strangers: Encounters With The Islamic State by Graeme Wood, $25 Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts: Twelve Journeys into the Medieval World by Christopher de Hamel, $30
Revolting Remedies from the Middle Ages by Daniel Wakelinn ($23, HB)
For a zitty face. Take urine 8 days old & heat it over the fire; wash your face with it morning & night. In late medieval England, ordinary people, apothecaries & physicians gathered up practical medical tips for everyday use. While some were sensible herbal cures, many were weird & wonderful. This book selects some of the most revolting or remarkable remedies from medieval manuscripts in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
Science & Nature
The most addictive crime novel of 2018. ‘A compelling crime thriller that delivers.’ Sara Foster
Being Ecological by Timothy Morton ($20, PB) Don’t care about ecology? This book is for you. Morton sets out to show that whether we know it or not, we already have the capacity & the will to change the way we understand the place of humans in the world, and our very understanding of the term ‘ecology’. A cross-disciplinarian who has collaborated with everyone from Björk to Hans Ulrich Obrist, Morton is also a member of the object-oriented philosophy movement, a group of forward-looking thinkers who are grappling with modernday notions of subjectivity & objectivity, while also offering fascinating new understandings of Heidegger and Kant. Calling the volume a book containing ‘no ecological facts’, Morton confronts the ‘information dump’ fatigue of the digital age, and offers an invigorated approach to creating a liveable future. The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities & the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell
Across the globe, scientists and civilians alike are noticing rapidly rising sea levels, and higher and higher tides pushing more water directly into the places we live, from our most vibrant, historic cities to our last remaining traditional coastal villages. By century’s end, hundreds of millions of people will be retreating from the world’s shores as our coasts become inundated and our landscapes transformed. From island nations to the world’s major cities, coastal regions will disappear. Despite international efforts and tireless research, there is no permanent solution – no barriers to erect or walls to build – that will protect us in the end from the drowning of the world as we know it. Jeff Goodell travels across 12 countries to show vivid scenes from what already is becoming a water world—providing a definitive account of the coming water, why and how this will happen, and what it will all mean. ($35, PB) ‘Another sure-fire hit for Cannon… abounds with Alan Bennett-esque humour, as well as heart-wrenching sadness.’ Daily Mail
A moving, inspiring and loving call to action for all parents
Rocky Outcrops in Australia: Ecology, Conservation and Management ($49.95, PB) Damian Michael & David Lindenmayer
Rocky outcrops are landscape features with disproportionately high biodiversity values relative to their size. They support specialised plants & animals, and a wide variety of endemic species. To Indigenous Australians, they are sacred places & provide valuable resources. Despite their ecological & cultural importance, many rocky outcrops & associated biota are threatened by agricultural & recreational activities, forestry & mining operations, invasive weeds, altered fire regimes & climate change. This book contains chapters on why this habitat is important, the animals that live & depend on these formations, key threatening processes, and how rocky outcrops can be managed to improve biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes, state forests & protected areas.
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink ($33, PB)
Everyone knows that timing is everything. But we don’t know much about timing itself. Our lives are a never-ending stream of ‘when’ decisions—when to start a business, schedule a class, get serious about a person. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork. Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology & economics, Pink reveals how best to live, work & succeed. How can we use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule? Why do certain breaks dramatically improve student test scores? How can we turn a stumbling beginning into a fresh start? Why should we avoid going to the hospital in the afternoon? Why is singing in time with other people as good for you as exercise? And what is the ideal time to quite a job, switch careers or get married?
Australian Island Arks: Conservation, Management & Opportunities ($79.95, HB)
From Heard & Macquarie in the sub-Antarctic, to temperate Lord Howe & Norfolk, to the tropical Cocos (Keeling) & the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia’s islands contain some of the nation’s most iconic fauna, flora, & ecosystems. A refuge for over 35% of Australia’s threatened species and for many others declining on mainland Australia, they also have significant cultural value, especially for Indigenous communities, and economic value as centres for tourism. With contributions from island practitioners, researchers & policy-makers Australian Island Arks presents a compelling case for restoring & managing islands to conserve our natural heritage.
Our Senses: An Immersive Experience by Rob DeSalle
Over the past decade neuroscience has uncovered a wealth of new information about our senses & how they serve as our gateway to the world. With infectious enthusiasm, Rob DeSalle illuminates not only how we see, hear, smell, touch, taste, maintain balance, feel pain & rely on other less familiar senses, but also how these senses shape our perception of the world aesthetically, artistically & musically. DeSalle first examines the question of how perception & consciousness are formed in the brain, setting human senses in an evolutionary context. He then investigates such varied themes as supersenses & diminished senses, synesthesia & other cross-sensory phenomena, hemispheric specialization, diseases, anomalies induced by brain injuries & hallucinations. ($55, HB)
Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality & Utopia by Michael Shermer ($33, PB)
Skeptic Michael Shermer sets out to discover what drives humans’ belief in life after death, focusing on recent scientific attempts to achieve immortality along with utopian attempts to create heaven on earth. For millennia, religions have concocted numerous manifestations of heaven & the afterlife, and though no one has ever returned from such a place to report what it is really like—or that it even exists—today science & technology are being used to try to make it happen in our lifetime. From radical life extension to cryonic suspension to mind uploading, Shermer considers how realistic these attempts are from a proper skeptical perspective, and concludes with an uplifting paean to purpose and progress and how we can live well in the here-and-now, whether or not there is a hereafter.
Dinner with Darwin: Food, Drink & Evolution by Jonathan Silvertown ($55, HB)
Join Jonathan Silvertown for a multicourse meal of evolutionary gastronomy, a tantalizing tour of human taste that will help you to understand the origins of our diets and the foods that have been central to them for millennia from spices to spirits. A delectable concoction of coevolution and cookery, gut microbiomes and microherbs, and dishing on everything from Charles Darwin’s intestinal maladies to taste bud anatomy & turducken, Dinner with Darwin reveals that our shopping lists, recipe cards &restaurant menus don’t just contain the ingredients for culinary delight. They also tell a fascinating story about natural selection and its influence on our plates and palates.
Drug Wars: How Big Pharma Raises Prices and Keeps Generics off the Market Robin Feldman & Evan Frondorf ($39.95, HB)
While the shockingly high prices of prescription drugs continue to dominate the news, the strategies used by pharmaceutical companies to prevent generic competition are poorly understood, even by the lawmakers responsible for regulating them. Robin Feldman and Evan Frondorf illuminate the inner workings of the pharmaceutical market and show how drug companies twist health policy to achieve goals contrary to the public interest. They offer specific examples of how generic competition has been stifled for years, with costs climbing into the billions and everyday consumers paying the price. Drug Wars is a guide to the current landscape, a roadmap for reform, and a warning of what is to come.
Now in Paperback The Story of Life in 25 Fossils: Tales of Intrepid Fossil Hunters and the Wonders of Evolution by Donald R. Prothero, $54
Philosophy & Religion
Hermeneutics: Facts & Interpretation in the Age of Information by John D. Caputo ($23, PB) How to be Human by Ruby Wax ($33, PB)
Is anything ever not an interpretation? Does interpretation go all the way down? Is there such a thing as a pure fact that is interpretationfree? If not, how are we supposed to know what to think and do? John D. Caputo explores what the traditional term ‘hermeneutics’ can mean in a postmodern, 21st century world. As a contemporary of Derrida’s and longstanding champion of rethinking the disciplines of theology & philosophy, for decades Caputo has been forming alliances across disciplines & drawing in readers with his compelling approach to what he calls ‘radical hermeneutics’. In this new introduction, drawing upon a range of thinkers from Heidegger to the Parisian ‘1968ers’ and beyond, he raises a series of probing questions about the challenges of life in the postmodern & maybe soon to be ‘post-human’ world’.
How to Die: An Ancient Guide to the End of Life Seneca (tr) James S. Romm ($30, HB)
‘It takes an entire lifetime to learn how to die’, wrote the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca (c. 4 BC–65 AD). Translator James S. Romm gathers in one volume, Seneca’s remarkable meditations on death and dying, revealing a provocative thinker and dazzling writer who speaks with frankness about the need to accept death or even, under certain conditions, to seek it out. Seneca believed that life is only a journey toward death and that one must rehearse for death throughout life. He tells us how to practice for death, how to die well, and how to understand the role of a good death in a good life.
Ruby Wax tries to come up with some answers to that niggling question about how we can learn to like and love ourselves. With the input of a Buddhist monk (an expert on our inner lives) and a neuroscientist (an expert on the brain), Ruby explores how to find happiness in the modern world - despite the constant bombardment of bad news, the need to choose between 5,000 different types of toothpaste, and the loneliness of having hundreds of friends who we’ve never met and don’t know us.
It’s Not Always Depression by Hilary Jacobs Hendel ($33, PB)
How can it be that a seemingly depressed person, one who shows clinical symptoms, doesn’t respond to antidepressants or traditional psychoanalytical methods of therapy? Hilary Jacobs Hendel shows how we should focus not on CBT or medication but on our emotions as a direct pathway to healing psychological suffering. We were all taught our thoughts affect our emotions but in truth it is largely the other way around: we have to experience our emotions to truly understand our thoughts and our full selves. Drawing on stories of her own practice, Jacobs Hendel sheds light on the core emotions (anger, fear, sadness, joy) and inhibitory emotions (anxiety, shame), how they manifest in the body, and how by employing ‘accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy’ (AEDP) we can return to mental wellbeing.
Žižek’s Jokes: (Did you hear the one about Hegel Out of the Madhouse: An Insider’s Guide to Managing Depression and Anxiety and negation?) by Slavoj Žižek ($28, PB) ‘A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting by Iain Maitland & Michael Maitland ($33, PB)
entirely of jokes’.—Ludwig Wittgenstein. This compact arrangement of jokes culled from his writings provides an index to certain philosophical, political, and sexual themes that preoccupy him. For Zizek, jokes are amusing stories that offer a shortcut to philosophical insight. A punch line about a beer bottle provides a Lacanian lesson about one signifier. And a ‘truly obscene’ version of the famous ‘aristocrats’ joke has the family offering a short course in Hegelian thought rather than a display of unspeakables.
The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air : Three Godly Discourses by Sören Kierkegaard ($25, PB)
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells his followers to let go of earthly concerns by considering the lilies of the field and the birds of the air. Sören Kierkegaard’s short masterpiece on this famous gospel passage draws out its vital lessons for readers in a rapidly modernizing and secularizing world. Lily of the Field reveals a less familiar but deeply appealing side of the father of existentialism—unshorn of his complexity & subtlety, yet supremely approachable. As Kierkegaard later wrote of the book, ‘Without fighting with anybody and without speaking about myself, I said much of what needs to be said, but movingly, mildly, upliftingly’.
More Than Happiness: Buddhist & Stoic Wisdom for a Sceptical Age by Antonia Macaro ($25, PB)
Buddhism and Stoicism have a lot to offer modern readers seeking the good life, but they’re also radical systems that ask much of their followers. Antonia Macaro delves into both philosophies, focusing on the elements that fit with our sceptical age, and those which have the potential to make the biggest impact on how we live. From accepting that some things are beyond our control, to monitoring our emotions for unhealthy reactions, to shedding attachment to material things, there is much, she argues, that we can take and much that we’d do better to leave behind.
The Republic of Arabic Letters: Islam and the European Enlightenment by Alexander Bevilacqua
In the 17th & 18th centuries, a pioneering community of Christian scholars laid the groundwork for the modern Western understanding of Islamic civilization. These men produced the first accurate translation of the Qur’an into a European language, mapped the branches of the Islamic arts & sciences, and wrote Muslim history using Arabic sources. Alexander Bevilacqua’s rich intellectual history retraces the routes—both mental & physical—that Christian scholars traveled to acquire, study, and comprehend Arabic manuscripts. ($68, HB)
Incontinence of the Void: Economico-Philosophical Spandrels by Slavoj Žžek ($65, HB) In Incontinence of the Void (the title is inspired by a sentence in Samuel Beckett’s late masterpiece Ill Seen Ill Said), Slavoj Žižek explores the empty spaces between philosophy, psychoanalysis, and the critique of political economy. He proceeds from the universal dimension of philosophy to the particular dimension of sexuality to the singular dimension of the critique of political economy— focusingon eternal topics while detouring freely into contemporary issuesfrom the Internet of Things to Danish TV series.
Once upon a time, there lived a happy family called the Maitlands. Iain, the father, was a writer. Tracey, the mother, worked at a nearby school. They had 3 bright & charming children, Michael, Sophie & Adam. It looked like the perfect family life. Until October 2012, when Iain received a message. Michael had been taken to hospital. Years of depression, anxiety & anorexia had taken their toll, and he had pneumonia & a collapsed lung. The doctors weren’t sure if he would make it. Told with humour & frankness through Michael’s diary entries & Iain’s own reflections, this book charts Michael’s journey to recovery from entering the Priory & returning home, to becoming a mental health ambassador for young people. Sharing tips & techniques that have helped them & others to self-manage, this is an essential resource for anyone experiencing depression, anxiety, OCD & similar issues.
Emotion-FocusedCounselling: A Practitioner’s Guide by Michelle Webster
What do we do as practitioners? How do we respond? When do we intervene? These are just a few of the questions that practitioners of Emotion-Focused work struggle with. The Emotion-Focused approach is one of the most popular in humanistic psychology, and the subject has been well documented and researched. However, as practitioners we need practical information to guide us through using the protocols. We want to know how to respond appropriately within the approach in a way that is sensitive and respectful of every client. This book does just that. Based on the author’s forty years of clinical experience, this is an outline of the process of counselling and a step-by-step guide to working verbally and creatively within the Emotion-Focused approach. ($88, PB)
Growing Pains: Making Sense of Childhood A Psychiatrist’s Story by Mike Shooter ($33, PB)
For over 40 years psychiatrist Mike Shooter has listened to children& adolescents in crisis, helping them to find their stories & begin to make sense of their lives. Shooter’s own life has been shaped by his battle with depression. It makes him question received wisdom. He knows labels won’t always fit and one diagnosis will not work for all. Using his patients’ stories Shooter shares their journey as, through therapy, they confront everything from loss and family breakdown to bullying, grief and illness, and shows how children begin to make breakthroughs with depression or anxiety, destructive, even sometimes violent behaviour.
The Genius Within: Smart Pills, Brain Hacks and Adventures in Intelligence by David Adam
What if the route to better brain power is not hard work or thousands of hours of practice but to simply swallow a pill? David Adam explores the ground-breaking neuroscience of cognitive enhancement that is changing the way the brain and the mind works – to make it better, sharper, more focused and, yes, more intelligent. Sharing his own experiments with revolutionary smart drugs and electrical brain stimulation, he delves into the sinister history of intelligence tests, meets savants and brain hackers & reveals how he boosted his own IQ to cheat his way into Mensa. ($30, PB)
A Distant Memory
By the time you read this the Summer holiday will have faded into the distance, but the memory of the many books I read will linger on. Here are three of my favourites. The Party was highly recommended on the UK podcast, The High Low, and they also interviewed the author Elizabeth Day. It’s a most contemporary book about greed and envy, and disturbing behaviour. Martin Gilmour, a scholarship boy, starts a life long passion with Ben Fitzmaurice, a well-loved and entitled schoolmate. Martin manages to insinuate himself into the lives of Ben’s family, and to firmly anchor himself there after a catastrophic incident at university. Shades of The Talented Mr Ripley and Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty resonate through this book, but it’s more than that. There have been many books in the ‘Little Matchgirl’ genre (outsiders looking in) – Brideshead Revisited, The Great Gatsby and Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time (although the narrator Nick Jenkins is really one of ‘them’, in those books); but Martin Gilmour is a particularly unsavoury, and very unreliable narrator with a Machiavellian turn of mind, which makes for uncomfortable but compelling reading. Amongst Women by John McGahern is an Irish classic that was published in 1990. Set in the rural midlands of the Republic of Ireland, and vaguely at the time in which it was written, it harks back to the time of the Irish Civil War. Michael Moran was an officer in the IRA, and it was his finest hour. Since then he has dominated and bullied his family—imposing religion and order onto his five children, and then his second wife. The author takes us back and forth in time, but the story mainly takes place within the house, and the garden and fields around it. The narrative echoes the confines of the family, it is intensely close and extremely immediate—ultimately the family frees itself of its oppressor, but he never really leaves them. If you like the books of Colm Tóibín and Anne Enright you will love this. Jennifer Egan’s latest book, Manhattan Beach, has been much mentioned here and elsewhere, so I had high expectations. It took a while to really engage me—but once hooked I couldn’t let it go. When the book starts, we meet Anna and her beloved father as he goes to meet a man. There is a slightly uneasy undercurrent in the meeting—surely, Anna isn’t being used as a decoy? Back in the family apartment, all is revealed as we meet the family—Anna’s mother, her aunt, and her profoundly disabled sister Lydia. Time marches on, it is now WW2—Anna is an adult and her family is much changed. Anna has dropped out of college and is now making warships for the US Navy at the Brooklyn Naval Yard. This is an intense, tedious task—but Anna is intrepid, and when she sees an opportunity to become a naval diver, she seizes it with alacrity.
Cultural Studies & Criticism
Who knew that the mechanics of naval diving could be so intriguing, but they truly are. With the background of the beach and the naval yard shimmering throughout the book, and the criminal underworld running under it, Anna is a great hero, brave and believable, a fine template for the women who followed her. Jennifer Egan has written a very memorable book, full of historic detail and interest, but it is also lyrical and almost dreamlike, particularly in her description of Anna’s sister Lydia. Louise
Origins of a Story by Jake Grogan ($40, HB) Did you know Lennie from Of Mice and Men was based on a real person? Or how about that Charlotte’s Web was based on an actual spider and her egg that E. B. White would carry from Maine to New York on business trips? Spanning works from the 19th century to the 21st, Origins of a Story profiles 202 famous literary masterpieces and explores how each story got its start.
Feeling Jewish (A Book for Just About Anyone) by Devorah Baum ($40, HB)
Self-hatred. Guilt. Resentment. Paranoia. Hysteria. Overbearing Mother-Love. In this witty, insightful, and poignant book, Devorah Baum delves into fiction, film, memoir & psychoanalysis to present a dazzlingly original exploration of a series of feelings famously associated with modern Jews. Reflecting on why Jews have so often been depicted, both by others and by themselves, as prone to ‘negative’ feelings, she queries how negative these feelings really are. And as the pace of globalization leaves countless people feeling more marginalised, uprooted, and existentially threatened, she argues that such ‘Jewish’ feelings are becoming increasingly common to us all. Ranging from Franz Kafka to Philip Roth, Sarah Bernhardt to Woody Allen, Anne Frank to Nathan Englander, Feeling Jewish bridges the usual fault lines between left and right, insider and outsider, Jew and Gentile, and even Semite and anti-Semite, to offer an indispensable guide for our divisive times.
A Free Flame: Australian Women Writers and Vocation in the 20th Century by Ann-Marie Priest
At a time when women were considered incapable of being ‘real’ artists, a number of precocious girls in Australian cities were weighing their chances & laying their plans. A Free Flame explores the lives of 4 such women, Gwen Harwood, Dorothy Hewett, Christina Stead & Ruth Park—each of whom went on to become a notable Australian writer. They were very different women from very different backgrounds, but they shared a sense of urgency around their vocation—their ‘need’ to be a writer—that would not let them rest. Weaving biography, literary criticism, and cultural history, this book looks at the ways in which these women laid siege to the artist’s identity, and ultimately remade it in their own image. ($23, PB)
Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith ($35, PB)
No subject is too fringe or too mainstream for the unstoppable Zadie Smith. From social media to the environment, Tarantino to Jay-Z to Knausgaard, she has boundless curiosity and the boundless wit, insight and wisdom to match. In Feel Free, pop culture, high culture, social change and political debate all get the Zadie Smith treatment: dissected with razor-sharp intellect, set brilliantly against the context of the utterly contemporary, and considered with a deep humanity and compassion.
Screen Schooled by Joe Clement & Matt Miles
Veteran teachers Joe Clement & Matt Miles have seen firsthand how damaging technology overuse & misuse has been to our kids. On a mission to educate & empower parents, they show how screen saturation at home & school has created a wide range of cognitive & social deficits in our young people. They lift the veil on teachers who are often powerless to curb distractions from electronic devices; zoned-out kids who act helpless & are unfocused, unprepared & unsocial; administrators who are influenced by questionable science sponsored by corporate technology purveyors. Clement & Miles suggest steps parents can take to demand change—and they make a compelling case for smarter, more effective forms of teaching & learning. ($35, PB)
The Library Lovers’ Miscellany by Claire Cock-Starkey ($25, HB)
What can be found in the Vatican’s Secret Archive? How many books did Charles Darwin’s library aboard the Beagle hold? Which library is home to a colony of bats? This book explores every aspect of the library, celebrating not only these remarkable institutions but also the individuals behind their awe-inspiring collections. From the ancient library at Alexandria to the Library of Congress in Washington DC, A Library Miscellany explores institutions both old & new, from the university library to that of the humble village. It opens the door to unusual collections such as herbaria, art libraries, magic libraries & even the library of smells, and charts the difficulties of cataloguing books deemed to be subversive, heretical, libellous or obscene.
The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick
For Hardwick, the essay was an imaginative endeavour, a serious form, criticism worthy of the literature in question. In the essays collected here she covers civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s, describes places where she lived and locations she visited, and writes about the foundations of American literature--Melville, James, Wharton—and the changes in American fiction, though her reading is wide and international. She contemplates writers’ lives--women writers, rebels, Americans abroad--and the literary afterlife of biographies, letters, and diaries. Selected and with an introduction by Darryl Pinckney, this volume gathers more than 50 essays for a 50 year retrospective of Hardwick’s work from 1953 to 2003. ($36, PB)
Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology by Ellen Ullman ($49, HB)
When Ellen Ullman moved to San Francisco in the early 1970s and went on to become a computer programmer, she was joining a small, idealistic, and almost exclusively male cadre that aspired to genuinely change the world. In 1997 Ullman wrote Close to the Machine, the classic account of life as a coder. 20 years later, with rise of the internet, the development of artificial intelligence & the ubiquity of once unimaginably powerful computers the story Ullman recounts is neither one of unbridled triumph nor a nostalgic denial of progress. It is necessarily the story of digital technology’s loss of innocence as it entered the cultural mainstream, and it is a personal reckoning with all that has changed, and so much that hasn’t.
Coming in March!! BUILDING AND DWELLING By Richard Sennett A sweeping study from ancient Athens to 21st C Shanghai about the urban environment tracing the anguished elation between how cities are built and how people live in them.
In Glebe . . .
s d d w n n a o 2 H R
After more than four happy decades trading at 191 Glebe Point Road, Gleebooks Secondhand has relocated to the spacious first floor of our main shop at 49 Glebe Point Road. As before, there is a terrific range of quality stock—now easier to browse in the bright new space. Most of the departments featured in the old shop are represented here, with a wide selection of philosophy, psychology, gender studies, science and lit crit. titles as well as biography, literature, crime, poetry, drama, history and politics. Film and music buffs, amateur cooks, gardeners, art lovers and aspiring writers are also well catered for. And we are absolutely delighted to have opened a dedicated secondhand shop opposite our main shop in Colliers Arcade, Blackheath. Again, there is a great range of books, across a broad range of subjects. We’re strong on advice and recommendations, and are very happy to search other data bases and quote on procuring out of print or hard to get titles, so please ask. Over the coming months we will also be listing much of our secondhand stock (it hasn’t been online till now) on Abebooks.com—the largest online marketplace for secondhand books. Please send us an email or phone us if you can’t see something online; you never know, we might be able to track it down for you. And of course, we’re always interested in good quality stock, if ever you’re parting with your own books. Just give us a call. So please come and enjoy, in store or online, the great selections at the new locations. We look forward to seeing you once again amongst the shelves at Gleebooks Secondhand. Scott (Glebe) and Stephen (Blackheath)
2nd hand books Now upstairs at 49 Glebe Point Rd
A Browse of the 2nd Hand Rows Gavin Maxwell: A Life by Douglas Botting $30 HC (good tight copy with minor wear to dust jacket and boards) The bestselling author of Ring of Bright Water was, in the words of The Times, ‘a man of action who writes like a poet’. He was also one of the most contradictory and conflicted personalities ever to have put pen to paper. Aristocrat, social renegade, wartime secret agent, adventurer, shark hunter, naturalist, poet and painter, Gavin Maxwell was a wildly popular author of travel and wildlife books with a taste for high living and a genius for self-destruction. A latter-day eccentric in the grand manner, Maxwell squandered a fortune on ill-conceived business ventures and unsustainable private projects – the best known of which was the wildlife sanctuary Camusfearna set up for his beloved pet otters in the Scottish Highlands. In his personal life Maxwell burnt many bridges with his unpredictable behaviour and volatile personality but to his legion of fans he remained a romantic figure who had escaped the urban ratrace for an idyllic life in Scotland’s remote north. Botting’s biography is an affectionate and hugely entertaining account of Maxell’s full and chaotic life which he likens to a modern day Greek tragedy with regular intervals of French farce. Maxwell comes across as a likeable but flawed maverick, a gifted writer and an inspirational champion of animals and the environment. Seeds on Ice: Svalbard & the Global Seed Vault by Cary Fowler $40 HC (as new condition). In this readable and beautifully illustrated book, Cary Fowler, founder and project leader of the Global Seed Vault, outlines the scientific efforts currently underway in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard to conserve the genetic diversity of plant life and secure the future of global agriculture. This visionary project is the result of one man’s personal, professional and passionate crusade to arrest the decline of plant biodiversity caused by industrialised farming methods introduced over the last fifty years and to meet the challenges to food security posed by climate change. Scott
Blackheath Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History—The Biography Vol I by Jenny Hocking.Miegunyah Press, Carlton, 2008. xviii,472pp. Black and white plates, index. Hardback. First Edition. A Fine Copy in a Fine Dustjacket. Signed by Jenny Hocking and Gough Whitlam. $150 The first volume of Professor Jenny Hocking’s definitive two volume biography of Australia’s 21st Prime Minister, Edward Gough Whitlam (1916– 2014). Signed by both the Author and the Great Man himself.
The Enchanted Forest by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite & Grenbry Outhwaite. Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1986. Quarto. x, 106pp.Full-page illustrations in colour and b/w by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite. Hardcover. Scarce. A 1986 reprint of the original 1921 edition. Very Good Copy in Very Good Dustjacket. $75.00. Who can fail to be enchanted by the delightfully exquisite illustrations of Ida Rentoul Outhwaite (1888–1960) and the story by her husband Grenbry? Little Anne is out riding and searching for her pet rabbit Peter Pottifer (Potty for short). She is thrown from her horse Dandy and awakens in an enchanted forest inhabited by elves, goblins, dancing bears and beautiful fairies. Timeless. Father Browne’s Australia: Images from Ireland’s Master Photographer by E. E. O’Donnell. Wolfhound Press, Dublin, 1995. Quarto.112pp. Black and white plates. Hardcover. First Edition. A Very Good Copy in a Very Good Dustjacket. $75 Australia as once we were. Caught in these evocative photographs—a selection made from some 900 in total—taken by Irish Jesuit priest, Father Frank Browne (1880–1960). Browne’s famed photographic work would eventually extend to thirty countries, sixty years and 42,000 negatives. Two years (1924–1926) were spent in Australia to aid in recuperation of his health following a gas attack in 1918. Father Browne travelled throughout the Southern Continent with his trusty Plaubel Makina camera to hand. The results are to be found in this handsome volume. Stephen
Summer Reading 2018
Welcome back! A (very) busy Spring and Summer—closing our Secondhand Shop at 191 Glebe Pt Rd, after 42 years, and seeing it reborn at both 49 Glebe Pt Rd (upstairs) and in opening our Secondhand Bookshop at Blackheath. Everyone has been very welcoming. Thank You. Meanwhile, the tower of new titles totters precariously on my reading table. Here is a selection:
Burke and Wills by Peter Fitzsimons ($39.99, HB) Between 1857 to 1860 an Exploration Committee of The Royal Society of Victoria examined the practicality of raising an expedition to traverse the unknown interior of the Australian continent from South to North (and back). As one preeminent historian has written: ‘Victoria’s duty as the wealthiest and leading member of the Australian colonies was to succeed where New South Wales and South Australia had failed in removing the mantle of mystery that lay over the centre of the continent’. (Manning Clark—History of Australia. Vol IV. Ch 8). This is Peter Fitzsimons retelling of how this most lavishly equipped expedition— led by Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills set out from Melbourne in August 1860 and came to grief in central Australia ten months later. Fitzsimons volume follows in large footsteps. Frank Clune’s Dig (1937) and Alan Moorehead’s classic Cooper’s Creek (1963) were both re-read numerous times by this teenager in the 1970s. Manning Clark’s typically engrossing, idiosyncratic chapter on the whole saga (as cited above) appeared in 1978. Sarah Murgatroyd’s elegantly written book The Dig Tree (2002), was published shortly before her death at an early age. Fitzsimons pays special tribute to her ‘compelling account’ even though he frequently reaches different conclusions. Fitzsimons’ lengthy work (over 600 pages) is a well-structured narrative buttressed by exhaustive research. Written in the present tense, it sounds like a recipe for irritation, but actually works well. A welcome restraint in tone also allows the already dramatic saga to unfold on its own terms. I had not previously warmed to Fitzsimons’s history writing. This work changed my mind (A formidable achievement!). His best book. Hue 1968: A Turning Point in the Vietnam War by Mark Bowden
‘Don’t bother taking any extra ammunition or rations, you’ll be back in a couple of hours.’ So remembers one Marine combatant of the orders given as two battalions— some 300 men—headed towards the ancient walled city of Hue on 31 January 1968, to flush out what was assumed to be a small-scale Vietcong infiltration. In fact, a combined force of 10,000 men comprising regulars of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the Vietcong had swiftly overrun the third largest city in Vietnam— population 140,000—as part of series of coordinated of assaults throughout South Vietnam, during the Vietnamese New Year, known as the Tet Offensive. Eventually over 18,000 soldiers would be drawn into five weeks of the most remorseless, bitter street fighting since the Battle of Stalingrad, a quarter of a century before. Author Mark Bowden employs the same kaleidoscopic reportage technique that proved so memorable with his previous battle book account set in Somalia—Black Hawk Down (1999). He feels obliged to pack as much information as he can into the story but maintains a clear, gripping narrative. The whole work is buttressed by prodigious research and extensive use of oral testimony from numerous combatants and civilians alike. ($33, PB)
The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy and Extraordinary Heroism by John Bacon ($45, HB)
The busy port city and wartime naval base of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Population 60,000. Thursday 6 December 1917. 8.45am. A bright and cool morning. Hundreds of people in the northern, working class suburb of Richmond are distracted from their early morning routine and gather on the shoreline of the harbour to witness a maritime accident. Two cargo ships have collided—the Norwegian SS Imo and the French SS Mont-Blanc. Both vessels were bound for Europe. The Imo carries foodstuffs to aid a starving Belgian populace. The Mont-Blanc’s cargo is far different—3,000 tons of explosives comprising TNT, Benzole—a highly combustible fuel and picric acid, an even more powerful—and highly unstable—explosive compound used in the manufacture of artillery shells. All to be used on the French battlefields. S.S. Mont-Blanc has caught fire. The crew abandon ship and row to shore, attempting to warn the gathering spectators to flee. Too late. At 9.04am the Mont-Blanc erupts in the largest explosion of the pre-atomic age. In 1/15th of a second an explosive blast of 5 000°C destroys every building within 800 metres. Homes, churches, offices, railway yards—all are obliterated by the fireball. Nearly 1,600 people die instantly. A 1,200km air blast roars through the narrow streets. Windows shatter and flying glass shards blind hundreds. Over 6,000 buildings are destroyed. A 10m high tsunami created by the blast soon follows. It completely destroys an indigenous Mi’kmaq settlement at Turtle Bay that had existed for generations. In Halifax 2,000 people are killed, 9,000 are injured, more than 25,000 people—nearly half the population—are made homeless. Rapidly formed emergency committees provide food, shelter and transport in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. Within
an hour of the of the explosion, the American city of Boston dispatches two trains and two ships carrying 100 doctors and 300 nurses and $1 million dollars in medical supplies. Relief funds for Halifax are raised from towns and cities worldwide and eventually total $20 million dollars. Australia donates $250,000. John Bacon’s book is a gripping, detailed, vividly written account of the lead up, causes and the aftermath of the Halifax disaster—a chronicle of human suffering alleviated by human heroism. Superb reading. HAPPY FOOTNOTE: Since 1971 the annual Boston Christmas Tree (a public fixture since 1941) has been gifted in thanks from the people of the City of Halifax in remembrance of their assistance. Stephen Reid
The Water Bearer by Tracy Ryan
Water is contained in these poems in many different ways: from the water filling a second-hand cooler in an old farmhouse to ocean riptides & impassive dams; from swimming lessons to paddocks layered with water after rain. From scheme water, pipelines & a countryside in the grip of drought, the water in this collection is a many-sided metaphor. Tracy Ryan’s latest collection is full of intimate intensity & clear vision, each poem wrought with consummate skill by ‘one of Australia’s most gifted poets’ (Marion May Campbell). ($25, PB)
The Alarming Conservatory by Corey Wakeling ($24, PB)
Set among 20th century ruins, the poems are cast as if hallucinations: colonial-style houses are ‘guarded by palm trees’, Royal Park ‘detains two immovable statues’ while the ‘Wheel of Fortune dizzies’. The poems range throughout Melbourne and Western Australia, where the poet has lived, and further afield too. Strong in its deployment of baroque imagery and modernist citation, Corey Wakeling’s 2nd collection uniquely captures the fear and pace of our contemporary condition.
Walking With Camels: The story of Bertha Strehlow by Leni Shilton ($23, PB)
Leni Shilton offers us a woman’s exploration of loss & survival in the unforgiving and beautiful landscape of central Australia. Bertha Strehlow, overshadowed by her anthropologist husband’s achievements, was a woman of integrity and a brilliant observer and connector of people in settings such as the Great Sandy Desert over many years of endurance. In this volume, Leni Shilton restores to her a voice. Bertha Strelhow exists here in a lyrical history that is inner, poetic, singular and deeply mysterious and we are reminded of the moving gravity of so many untold stories…’– Gail Jones
Wildlife of Berlin by Philip Neilsen ($23, PB)
At once philosophical and conversational, deadly serious and unerringly wry, these poems offer us forensically cleareyed perspectives on subjects ranging from environmental degradation and the impending collapse of fragile ecosystems in the anthropocene, to unconventional and irreverent portraits of figures drawn from literature and politics and beyond. Neilsen’s poems are miraculously both deeply ethical and deeply comic; they surprise and delight with the irreverence of their critiques, while always keeping an eye on the tragic consequences of human folly.
The Sky Runs Right Through Us by Reneé Pettitt-Schipp ($23, PB)
Covering a period of time working on Christmas Island with asylum seekers, Pettitt-Schipp’s steady eye is levelled at a façade of Australian inclusivity & openness ‘this land’s edge /has always been an invitation/a white-toothed smile/ to walk on’. To those denied entry, those white teeth become menace, exclusion, shark, crocodile. In a book filled with heartbreakingly tender portraits, borders and bodies, sanctions and sanctuary are held close to each other in ways which articulate the space but also, the common ground between ‘us’.— Amanda Joy.
Pleasures of Nature: A Literary Anthology ed Christina Hardyment, PB
Children of the Revolution Peter Robinson, HB
The Complete Michael Palin Diaries, HB
Now $16.95 The Mistresses of Cliveden: Three Centuries of Scandal, Power, and Intrigue in an English Stately Home Natalie Livingstone, HB
The Ralph Steadman Book of Dogs, HB
A God in Ruins) Kate Atkinson, HB
How the World Was Won: The Americanisation of Everywhere Peter Conrad, HB
Language! Five Hundred Years of the Vulgar Tongue Jonathon Green, HB
Imagining the Past in France: History in Manuscript Painting, 1250-1500, PB
S Was $50
Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings Shirley Jackson, HB
Time Out of Mind: The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life The Lives of Bob Dylan of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Ian Bell, PB Bring Yoga to the West Michelle Goldberg, HB
A History of the World Alex Woolf, PB
The Sunday Books Mervyn Peake & Michael Moorcock, HB
Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century Alistair Horne, HB
The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us Diane Ackerman, HB
Now $17.95 The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI & the Rise of Fascism in Europe David I Kertzer, HB
Pharaoh Garry Shaw, HB
Serving the Reich : The Struggle for the Soul of Physics under Hitler Philip Ball, HB
The Art Of Deception Brad Honeycutt, HB
Jacques Majorelle by Felix Marcilhac ($125, HB)
Jacques Majorelle (1886–1962) is an emblematic figure of Orientalism. The son of the cabinet-maker Louis Majorelle, he trained at the École nationale des Beaux-arts appliqués of Nancy then in Paris, at the Academie Julian. Majorelle travelled through Spain, Egypt and Italy, starting from 1908, & in 1917 he moved to Morocco. There, he developed a singular chromatic language which gave him a place divested of all influences among his contemporaries. Landscapes, bazaar scenes, and portraits, he based his art around the city of Marrakech where he lived, as well as across the rest of Morocco. He gathered inspiration from his many trips to Sudan, Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire, amassing a considerable oeuvre of over 1,000 works in which light, colour and a certain viewpoint on exoticism played a decisive role.
Albert Frey and Lina Bo Bardi: A Search for Living Architecture ($90, HB)
This book proposes a dialogue between two key 20th century architects, Albert Frey & Lina Bo Bardi. Frey moved from Switzerland to the US in the early 1930s & Bo Bardi emigrated from Italy to Brazil after the end of WW2. While they never met, their intellectual odysseys overlapped. Their design affinities converged in the notion of a living architecture. Frey, a pioneer of ‘desert modernism’ in southern California, embraced the landscape & experimented with materials to create elegantly detailed structures. Bo Bardi produced idiosyncratic works that strove to merge modern & traditional vocabularies in an architecture conceived as a stage for everyday life. Placing these architects side by side, this book explore a modern architecture through cross-cultural exchanges & unveils meaningful, though little- known, architectural dialogues across cultures & continents.
Jongwoo Park: DMZ—Demilitarized Zone of Korea
This book is Korean photographer Jongwoo Park’s (born 1958) photodocumentation of the Demilitarized Zone or DMZ of Korea, the strip of land dividing North and South Korea. About 154 miles long, 3 miles wide, and 37 miles from Seoul, this buffer zone between the two countries is, despite its name, one of the most militarized borders in the world. ($60, PB)
Made in North Korea: Graphics From Everyday Life in the DPRK by Nick Bonner ($49.95, HB)
North Korea uncensored and unfiltered—ordinary life in the world’s most secretive nation, captured in never-before-seen ephemera. Made in North Korea uncovers the fascinating and surprisingly beautiful graphic culture of North Korea—from packaging to hotel brochures, luggage tags to tickets for the world-famous mass games. From his base in Beijing Bonner has been running tours into North Korea for over twenty years, and along the way collecting graphic ephemera. He has amassed thousands of items that, as a collection, provide an extraordinary and rare insight into North Korea’s statecontrolled graphic output, and the lives of ordinary North Koreans.
Setting the Stage: North Korea by Eddo Hartmann ($99, HB)
After the total destruction of Pyongyang during the Korean War (1950–53), the government took its chance to rebuild the capital from scratch & to turn it into the perfect setting for their propaganda. The buildings were to be the utopian background against which the inhabitants could live their daily lives. Pyongyang was to immortalise the socialist revolution. Eddo Hartmann is one of very few Western photographers who has been allowed almost full access to the country, and in a series of evocative images, he captures the forced and almost surreal character of North Korean ambition.
Gluck: Art and Identity ($50, HB)
Hannah Gluckstein (who called herself Gluck; 1895–1976) was a distinctive, original voice in the early evolution of modern art in Britain. This handsome book presents a major reassessment of her life & work, examining, among other things, the artist’s numerous personal relationships & contemporary notions of gender & social history. Gluck’s paintings comprise a full range of artistic genres—still life, landscape, portraiture—as well as images of popular entertainers. Financially independent & somewhat freed from social convention, Gluck highlighted her sexual identity, cutting her hair short & dressing as a man, and she is known for a powerful series of selfportraits that played with conventions of masculinity & femininity.
Portraits: John Berger on Artists ($30, PB)
John Berger moves through centuries of drawing & painting, revealing his lifelong fascination with a diverse cast of artists. He grounds the artists in their historical milieu in revolutionary ways, whether enlarging on the prehistoric paintings of the Chauvet caves or Cy Twombly’s linguistic & pictorial play—presenting entirely new ways of thinking about artists both canonized & obscure, from Rembrandt to Henry Moore, Jackson Pollock to Picasso. Throughout, Berger maintains the connection between politics, art & the wider study of culture. The result is an illuminating walk through many centuries of visual culture, from one of the contemporary world’s most incisive critical voices.
El Croquis 177/178 Lacaton & Vassal ($223, HB)
This updated reprint of Croquis is dedicated to the work of Paris-based architects Lacaton & Vassal. Covering more than 2 decades of work, it gives special consideration not only to their methodology & ideals as these have matured through the years, through critical analysis by Arnoldo Rivkin & Juan Hereros and an interview with the architects, but also to an extensive selection of exemplary projects. Among the 26 featured works are the Nantes School of Architecture, FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais, Guangzhou Museum, Le Grand Sud Polyvalent Theatre in Lille, housing projects in Paris, Saint Nazaire, Mulhouse, and Bordeaux, plus several private residences.
Raghubir Singh—Modernism on the Ganges ($75, HB)
Raghubir Singh (1942–1999) was a pioneer of colour street photography who worked & published prolifically from the late 1960s until his death in 1999. His vivid, intensely hued photographs capture rural and urban India and iconic depictions of Indian culture though a truly cosmopolitan approach that succeeded in blending East and West. This richly illustrated volume studies in depth the full breadth of Singh’s work, situating it at the intersection of Western modernism and traditional South Asian modes of picturing the world. The book showcases 90 of his photographs, including some previously unpublished images, in counterpoint both with the work of his contemporaries and with images of traditional South Asian artworks that inspired his practice.
Insta Grammar: Dogs ($30, HB) Insta Grammar: Nordic ($40, HB) Insta Grammar: Graphic ($30, HB) Calder: The Conquest of Time—The Early Years by Jed Perl ($80, HB)
Born into a family of artists, Calder forged important friendships with a who’s who of 20th century masters, including Joan Miro, Marcel Duchamp, Georges Braque & Piet Mondrian. His early years studying engineering were followed by artistic triumphs in Paris in the late 1920s, and his emergence as a leader in the international abstract avant-garde. His marriage in 1931 to Louisa James—a great-niece of Henry James—is a richly romantic story. His transatlantic life travels from NY’s Greenwich Village, to the Left Bank of Paris during the Depression, and then to a refugee-filled London just before the War, where Calder’s circle of friends included Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Kenneth Clark. Jed Perl’s biography is is based on scores of interviews & unprecedented access to Calder’s papers, and features previously unseen photographs.
How to Paint by Jerry Zeniuk ($53, HB) Over 40 years Jerry Zeniuk has created an autonomous oeuvre that revolves around colour, with its diverse possibilities of expression. However, colour often advocates for abstract emotion, which only finds its way to objectivity by means of structure & form. Over time, this tension has regularly prompted Zeniuk to express his thoughts on the fundamental questions of painting & How to Paint brings these reflections together in 37 short chapters—comparable with meditations, the painter sheds light on what characterises a painting in the first place and on what still accounts for its reputation today, since the categories for describing the quality of visual art have become blurred. His text is accompanied by selected illustrations from works on the history of painting, from Titian to Velazquez, to Cezanne and Mondrian. Growing Up with the Impressionists: The Diary of Julie Manet ($38, PB)
Julie Manet, the niece of Edouard Manet & the daughter of the famous Impressionist artist, Berthe Morisot, was born in Paris on 14 November 1878 into a wealthy & cultured milieu at the height of the Impressionist era. At the age of ten, Julie began writing her ‘memoirs’ but it wasn’t until August 1893, at fourteen, that Julie began her diary in earnest: no neat leather-bound volume with lock and key but just untidy notes scribbled in old exercise books, often in pencil, the presentation as spontaneous as its contents—revealing a vivid depiction of a vital period in France’s cultural history seen through youthful & precocious eyes.
Platform Papers 54: Young People and the Arts: An agenda for change by Sue Giles ($17, PB)
Expectations around theatre for young people are too prescribed today. Adults have long-held views on what works are appropriate and yet among all this concern for young people’s creativity, it is not acknowledged as art. For the young people who work in the sector, the word ‘value’ is clouded by precedent: we struggle to be heard. In a startling expose of a system in serious need of reconstruction, Giles calls for a review of the accepted attitudes, and the embrace of a different paradigm that places young people at the centre of change. We must un-learn the past hierarchies, empower the engagement of children as a legitimate collaboration, and recognise the power of instinctive play and imagination as intelligent modes of exploration.
Love, Cecil: The Life of Legendary Photographer Cecil Beaton ($34.95, Region 2)
For the eccentric Erik Satie, love came just once—and even then, not for long. Robert Schumann had to take his future father-in-law to court to win the right to marry. Hector Berlioz planned to murder a two-timing fiancée while dressed in drag, and Richard Wagner turned the temptation of adultery into a stage work that changed the course of music while rupturing his own marriage. Debussy’s love triangle, Brahms’ love for the wife of his insane mentor—all find expression in works we now consider to be some of the summits of creative achievement. Christopher Lawrence adds to what we know about these love-crazed geniuses a garnish of imagined pillow talk to recreate stories that are ultimately stranger than fiction—and come with a great soundtrack. ($30, PB)
Bertrand Tavernier writes and directs this documentary which looks at some of the most influential figures from French cinema during a period of 40 years up to the late 1970s. A life-long film fan himself, Tavernier profiles a number of renowned directors, actors and writers as he discusses the influence they have had on his own career and also the role each has played in French cinema history. Featuring archive clips and rare behind-the-scenes footage, the film focuses on key figures such as Jacques Becker, Claude Chabrol Claude Sautet, Francçis Truffaut & Jean-Luc Godard.
Symphony of Seduction: The Great Love Stories of Classical Composers by Christopher Lawrence
Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits
Portraiture accompanies every step of the creative process of filmmaking—from casting, to stills photography on location, to the posters for film on its release. This book draws on the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s rich collection of previously unseen photography to explore the history of Australian movie portraiture from the early 20th century to today. Australia’s cinema history comes alive through glimpses of many faces, familiar and unfamiliar. You may not have been aware of the back-story of Australian filmmaking in the 1920s, but you may now respond to the tender and challenging portraits of those who worked through that fruitful decade, just as you will see overlays of many of those same photographic techniques in the most recent images. It is a story of continuity and growth. Indeed, it is nothing less than the story of Australian cinema, revealed through images of players from every echelon of the cinematic game, from earnest first-time stills photographers to silver screen idols. (29.95, HB)
Oscar winning set & costume designer, photographer, wrier & painter Cecil Beaton was not only a dazzling chronicler of his time, but a supreme arbiter of its tasts. From the Bright Young Things, to the front lines of WW2, and from the international ‘belle monde’ & the pates of Vogue to a role as the Queen’s official photographer, Beaton embodied the cultural & political schisms of the 20th century. Lisa Vreeland’s documentary is both warm and critical, blending archival footage & photgraphs with voice over from Beaton’s famed diaries. It really gives you the urge to track down and read the diaries!
A Journey Through French Cinema: A Film by Bertrand Tavernier ($39.95, Region 2)
The Student: Dir. Kirill Serebrennikov
Those who follow the light have only ever invented darkness. Robert Desnos Veniamin, a teenager in the midst of a mystical crisis, has his mother, schoolmates and entire high school turned upside down by his questions. Can girls go to their swimming classes in bikinis? Does sex education have a place in school? Should the theory of evolution be taught as part of the Natural Sciences? The adults are soon overwhelmed by the certitudes of the youngster who swears only by Scripture. No one but Elena, his biology teacher, will alone challenge him on his own ground. ($24.95, Region 2)
The Crown: Season 1 ($44.95)
The British Empire is in decline, the political world is in disarray, and a young woman takes the throne....a new era is dawning. Peter Morgan’s masterfully researched scripts reveal the Queen’s private journey behind the public facade with daring frankness. Prepare to be welcomed into the coveted world of power and privilege and behind locked doors in Westminster and Buckingham Palace....the leaders of an empire await.
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The gleebooks gleaner is published monthly from February to November with contributions by staff, invited readers & writers. ISSSN: 1325 - 9288 Feedback & book reviews are welcome
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1. Lincoln in the Bardo
2. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
3. The Return: Fathers, Sons & the Land In Between
4. The Dry
5. First Person
6. Insomniac City
7. The Life to Come
Michelle de Kretser
8. The Underground Railroad
9. Force of Nature
10. The Museum of Modern Love
11. A Writing Life: Helen Garner & Her Work
12. Between a Wolf & a Dog
13. Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany
14. The Mothers 15. Dark Emu
Brit Bennett Bruce Pascoe
Winton's Paw Prints John le Carré
16. A Legacy of Spies 17. Manhattan Beach 18. Saga Land
Jennifer Egan Richard Fidler & Kári Gíslason
19. The Australian Bird Guide 20. Extinctions
Peter Menkhorst et al Josephine Wilson
21. A Long Way from Home
22. Light & Shadow: Memoirs of a Spy’s Son
23. Mythos: A Retelling of the Myths of Ancient Greece
24. On Doubt
25. Not for the Faint-hearted
26. Norse Mythology 27. Anything is Possible
Neil Gaiman Elizabeth Strout
28. QE68: Without America
29. The Sellout
and another thing.....
Coopes has sort of Trumped my welcome to 2018—but welcome it is. This year the magazine becomes a semi-virtual entity—published five months of the year in print and online, and the other five months online (see page 2 for details). I’m hoping this will encourage you all to engage with the website, which we’re constantly updating in the hope of a future where you can leave reviews and thoughts. I also encourage all of you to give us your email addresses if you haven’t already, and sign up for Andrew’s and James’ weekly emails that contain updates and breaking news regarding our events programmes, information about new releases and notification of when the Gleaner is available online for your reading pleasure. The magazine has actually been online since November of 2013, and back issues are all at www.gleebooks.com.au—so if there’s a book you suddenly want from a past issue of the Gleaner, but can’t remember the title, it’s just a couple of clicks to check. You’d think with all this internet editorial activity I’d be at home in the virtual world, however, like many from my curmudgeonly bookish generation I have a liberal dose of antipathy towards eternal connectivity—but have to grudgingly admit its benefits, and being able to reference back issues so easily is one of them. In a possibly vain attempt to embrace the future I picked up Ellen Ullman’s memoir Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology (page 18) and am being thoroughly entertained by her irreverent portraits of fellow ‘engineers’ and programming culture: ‘Pretty graphical interfaces are commonly called ‘user friendly’. But they are not really your friends. Underlying every user-friendly interface is a terrific human contempt. To build a crash-resistant system, the designer must be able to imagine—and disallow—the dumbest action...In the designer’s mind, gradually, over months & years, there is created a vision of the user as imbecile...with their contempt for your intelligence mostly hidden deep in the code’. I had a feeling... however, Ullman doesn’t have contempt for the reader and her writing about programming is a pleasure to read. See you in March in the online Gleaner. Viki
For more February new releases go to:
30. Depends What You Mean by Extremist
Main shop—49 Glebe Pt Rd; Ph: (02) 9660 2333, Fax: (02) 9660 3597. Open 7 days, Mon–Sat 9am to 7pm; Sun 10am to 6pm Sydney Theatre Shop—22 Hickson Rd Walsh Bay; Open two hours before and until after every performance Blackheath—Shop 1 Collier’s Arcade, Govetts Leap Rd; Ph: (02) 4787 6340. Open 7 days, Mon-Sat 9am to 5.30pm; Sun 9am to 5pm Blackheath Oldbooks: Open 7 days 10am to 5pm Dulwich Hill—536 Marrickville Rd Dulwich Hill; Ph: (02) 9560 0660. Open 7 days, Tue-Sat 9am to 7pm; Sun-Mon 9 to 5 www.gleebooks.com.au. Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Book and DVD new releases for February 2018 from one of Australia's leading independent bookshops.