gleaner Vol. 28 No. 1 February/March 2021
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This issue Kazuo Ishiguro returns with
KLARA AND THE SUN 1
Opening up Again
It’s been three months between Gleaners, so a belated welcome to 2021 on behalf of all of us at Gleebooks. Like most of you, I can’t pretend to have enjoyed summer (my least favourite Sydney season anyway), with the ever-present anxiety hovering in a prevaccine Covid world. Still, after the trials and tribulations of 2020, we can hope for a better, safer, 2021. The world of books and writing endures, of course, and thank goodness for that. There’s a lot to look forward to, as this issue demonstrates. For Gleebooks, more of the same, we trust, with heaps of very good books to be published, and eager and well-read staff members to recommend them. We’re also pressing forward with our Events Program, contingent on Covid restrictions about space, of course. And we’ve a Sydney Writers’ Festival to look forward to in late April at Carriageworks, where an enticing array of events, featuring authors appearing in person and virtually, is currently being curated. We’re delighted to be involved again as official booksellers. Our engagement with schools and institutions continues to ramp up, and we’d love to hear from you to discuss our services and ways we could support you. Rachel’s brilliant book clubs and story time for kids is expanding this year, and we are delighted to say that we will also be initiating some book clubs for adults this year. Most excitingly, we’ll be sharing news of some very exciting proposed developments for our flagship Glebe shop. Next year marks 30 years since we moved down the hill from our original location, and what’s happening is more than a face lift, promise. And, briefly, to reading. I was deeply affected, in very different ways, by two Scottish novels of 2020. Andrew O’Hagan’s Mayflies I found beautiful, moving, wise and funny. Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain is a grim, harrowing tale of poverty, addiction, and the relationship between a child and a substance-abusing parent, set in 1980s Glasgow. It’s not perfect, but it’s important and demands to be read. Over summer I caught up with three new Australian novels: Amanda Lohrey’s The Labyrinth—a quietly compelling and reflective novel set on the south coast of NSW; Ceridwen Dovey’s Life After Truth—set in Harvard of a few years ago, its a striking and thought provoking departure from her earlier books; Gail Jones’ Our Shadows employs a split narrative as the imaginative landscape for lives of three generations lived in Kalgoorlie. It’s a beautifully observed and rendered story, moving in and out of the social and personal histories of place and family members. Jones is gifted with a rare sensitivity to blend history and character, and the impact of the past on how we might live in the present. David Gaunt
Australian Literature Eye of a Rook by Josephine Taylor ($33, PB)
In 1860s London, Arthur sees his wife Emily suddenly struck down by a pain for which she can find no words, forced to endure harmful treatments and reliant on him for guidance. Meanwhile, in contemporary Perth, Alice, a writer, and her older husband, Duncan, find their marriage threatened as Alice investigates the history of hysteria, female sexuality and the treatment of the female body—her own and the bodies of those who came before.
Low Expectations by Stuart Everly-Wilson ($33, PB) 1970s, Western Sydney. Devon Destri flies under the radar. He doesn’t talk to anyone, calls himself hard of speaking, and doesn’t correct anyone’s assumptions of his low intelligence. If no one knows otherwise, no one will expect anything of him, and maybe he won’t need to expect anything of himself-that is, beyond running a highly lucrative porn-magazine racket. Only his fiercely loyal friend Tammy and old Krenek the Hungarian refugee know that Great Expectations is his favourite book, or that he can read at all. But when Devon starts to piece together his mother’s secret, his intellect and charm are put to startling and devastating use.
From Where I Fell by Susan Johnson ($33, PB)
An anguished email from Pamela Robinson in Australia to her exhusband in Paris accidentally ends up in the inbox of New York State teacher Chrisanthi Woods. Chrisanthi is sympathetic to Pamela’s struggles and the women begin to tell each other the stories and secrets of their lives. Pamela, responsible for raising her 3 sons, must re-invent the meaning of home following her divorce, and Chrisanthi, her dreams long dampened, must find home by leaving it. Temperamental opposites, their emails turn into an exhilarating and provocative exchange of love, loss and fresh beginnings, by turns amusing, frank and confronting.
The Speechwriter by Martin McKenzie-Murray
Toby, former speechwriter to the PM, has reached a new low—locked behind bars in a high-security prison, with sentient PlayStations storming the city outside, and the worst of Australia’s criminals forcing him to ghost-write letters to their loved ones or have his spine repurposed as a coat-rack. From the vantage point of his prison cell, Toby pens his memoir, unspooling a tale of twisted bureaucracy, public servants gone rogue, and the ever-present pervasive stench of rotting prawns (don’t ask)—all the while fielding the uninvited literary opinions of his murderous cellmate, Garry. ($30, PB)
The Family Doctor by Debra Oswald ($33, PB)
Paula is a dedicated suburban GP, who is devastated by the murder of a friend and her children by their estranged husband and father. Stacey and the children had been staying with her after fleeing his control, and Paula is haunted by the thought that she couldn’t protect them when they most needed it. Not long after, a patient with suspicious injuries brings her anxious young son into Paula’s surgery. The woman admits that her husband hurts her, but she’s terrified to leave for fear of escalating the violence, and defeated by the consistent failures of the law to help her. Can Paula go against everything she believes to make sure one woman is saved, one child spared?
Born Into This by Adam Thompson ($30, PB)
Young Tasmanian Aboriginal author, Adam Thompson’s stories throw light on a world of unique cultural practice & perspective—from Indigenous rangers trying to instil some pride in wayward urban teens on the harsh islands off the coast of Tasmania, to those scraping by on the margins of white society railroaded into complex & compromised decisions. To this mix Thompson brings humour, pathos & occasionally a sly twist as his characters confront racism, untimely funerals, classroom politics and, overhanging all like a discomforting, burgeoning awareness for both white & black Australia, the inexorable damage & disappearance of the remnant natural world.
A Room Called Earth by Madeleine Ryan ($30, PB) Sargasso by Kathy George ($30, PB)
As a child, Hannah lived at Sargasso, the isolated beachside home designed by her father, a brilliant architect. A lonely, introverted child, she wanted no company but that of Flint, the enigmatic boy who no one else ever saw ... and who promised he would always look after her. Hannah’s idyllic childhood at Sargasso ended in tragedy, but now as an adult she is back to renovate the house, which she has inherited from her grandmother. Her boyfriend Tristan visits regularly but then, amid a series of uncanny incidents, Flint reappears ... and as his possessiveness grows, Hannah’s hold on the world begins to lapse. What is real and what is imaginary, or from beyond the grave?A mesmerising Australian novel that echoes the great Gothic stories of love and hate like Rebecca and Wuthering Heights.
A young woman gets ready to go to a party. She arrives, feels overwhelmed, leaves, and then returns. Minutely attuned to the people who come into her view, and alternating between alienation and profound connection, she is hilarious, self-aware, sometimes acerbic, and painfully honest. And by the end of the night, she’s shown us something radical about love, loss, and the need to belong.
O by Steven Carroll ($33, PB)
Occupied France, 1943. Dominique starts an illicit affair with a publisher, a married man. He introduces her to the Resistance & she comes to have a taste for the clandestine life. After the war she writes an erotic novel about surrender, submission & shame. What is the story really about—Dominique, her lover, or the country & the wartime past it would rather forget? A reimagining of the story of a novel that took on a life of its own, mirroring its times in a way the author never dreamt of.
The Performance by Claire Thomas ($33, PB)
The false cold of the theatre makes it hard to imagine the heavy wind outside in the real world, the ash air pressing onto the city from the nearby hills where bushfires are taking hold. The house lights lower. The auditorium feels hopeful in the darkness. As bushfires rage outside the city, three women watch a performance of a Beckett play. Margot is a successful professor, preoccupied by her fraught relationship with her ailing husband. Ivy is a philanthropist with a troubled past, distracted by the snoring man beside her. Summer is a young theatre usher, anxious about the safety of her girlfriend in the fire zone. As the performance unfolds, so does each woman’s story. By the time the curtain falls, they will all have a new understanding of the world beyond the stage.
Pushing Back by John Kinsella ($30, PB)
A couple make love in an abandoned asbestos house, a desperate carpet cleaner beholden to the gig economy begs a financially distressed client not to cancel his booking, an addict cannot bear to see his partner without the watch he once gave her, a mother casts her shearer son’s ashes on the property on which he worked, fascists pile into a little red car with the intent of terrorising tourists on the Nullarbor, a man more at home with machinery than people rescues a drowning kitten. Throughout John Kinsella’s collection of contemporary Australian life, empathy rises like the red- tailed black cockatoos that appear and reappear, nature coalescing with the human spirit, the animals, the trees, the land, the people pushing back.
The Breaking by Irma Gold ($30, PB)
In Irma Gold’s debut novel, Hannah Bird has just arrived in Thailand. Disoriented and out of her depth, she meets Deven, a fierce and gutsy Australian expat who sweeps her into thrilling adventures rescuing elephants. As they head deeper and deeper into the fraught world of elephant tourism, their lives become tangled in ways Hannah never imagined. But how far will they go to save a life? Hannah is about to make a critical decision from which there will be no turning back, with shattering consequences.
Chasing the McCubbin by Sandi Scaunich ($30, PB)
The Pines, an outer Melbourne suburb down on its luck. A country in the grip of recession. Experienced collector Ron senses new possibilities: swift evictions provide hard-rubbish to scour and garage-sales have doubled. There’s only one problem: since losing his wife, Ron has struggled to navigate the suburbs alone. Plus, his deteriorating health slows him down. This all changes through a chance meeting with Joseph, a troubled, withdrawn and unemployed 19-year old who knows nothing about antiques. As Joseph comes to understand and appreciate Ron’s world of eccentric bargain hunters, and hopefulness, his ability to navigate a history of family violence and to see a future for himself grows.
Nothing to See by Pip Adam ($29.95, PB)
Peggy and Greta are trying to get sober. They know almost nothing about the world: how to cook, how to shop, how to find a job. To fill time, they sort clothes at the Salvation Army shop, and attend daily AA meetings. They seem to have no identity of their own — or rather, they appear to have only one identity between the two of them. Then, without warning, one of them is gone, and the other is left alone, trying to find her place in the world. Set in Auckland across three decades, Pip Adam’s enigmatic, uncanny novel asks what it means to seek relief from shame and loneliness, to find care when the fabric of reality is ready to come apart.
The Last Bookshop by Emma Young ($33, PB)
l l i H ’ D n O
Hurrah! 2021—although so far not a whole lot better than 2020 with continuing uncertainty surrounding the virus. But let’s not think about that for the moment because there’s an embarrassment of riches coming in the form of fiction, both Australian and international. The Performance, the second novel by Australian Claire Thomas (Fugitive Blue) is a stunningly original story about three women at the theatre, watching a Beckett play. I must admit my reading of the book was rather spoiled by the fact I had it stuck in my mind the play was Waiting for Godot, but only later did I realise the play being described is actually Happy Days, a play I had forgotten. As the performance ensues, and while fire surrounds the city, the lives of Margot, an older professor, Ivy a philanthropist and Summer, a young usher are revealed. There’s something beautifully intimate about the way we are allowed into these character’s lives—how in the dark, at a play or concert, our minds wander off to our everyday lives, worries and relationships. This is a wonderfully nuanced novel about women we care about and admire. I suspect that if one were to study the novel in-depth with a reading of the Beckett play, all sorts of parallels and metaphors may be found. A lovely, rewarding book. From America, a debut by Irish writer, Una Mannion, A Crooked Tree. This is a superbly written novel centred on the children of a single mother in Pennsylvania. I don’t particularly enjoy books about teenagers but the characters here—mainly the sisters Ellen and Libby as well as their friends—are so convincingly drawn, you can’t help but be immersed in their story. You see the adults through their teenage prism which can be frustrating (why don’t the kids tell the adults the danger they’re in?) but ultimately this is an impressively written, multi-layered debut about the mistakes we make and their unexpected ramifications. A Net For Small Fishes by Lucy Jago is an historical novel based on a true story and has Netflix series written all over it—not that there’s anything wrong with that! Anne and Frankie, women in the 17th Century court of James 1, defy the hideous restrictions against women of the day and of course, pay the price. While the book reads a little like a costume melodrama, it is hugely enjoyable and if nothing else, makes one happy to be a woman living in this century. Lastly, I was highly impressed with journalist Michael Brissenden’s second crime novel Dead Letters. A crime novel that has it all—a good, complicated plot (tick), a fabulous setting in our familiar inner-city Sydney (tick), and a sexy, but troubled protagonist (tick). Throw in politics, counter terrorism, media, a tenacious and attractive female journalist for the love interest and bingo! A thoroughly enjoyable local crime novel. Possibly even Ned Kelly Award material. Loved it. If David Gaunt hasn’t already pipped me at the post, I look forward to reviewing journalist (and Dulwich local) Jacqueline Maley’s fabulous (April) debut The Truth About Her. Be prepared people—it will be thrust into your hands with no argument brooked. See you on D’hill! Best, Morgan
Cait is a bookshop owner & book nerd whose social life revolves around her mobile bookselling service—hand-picking titles for elderly clients, particularly the grandmotherly June. After a tough decade for retail, Book Fiend is the last bookshop in the CBD, and the last independent retailer on a street given over to high-end labels. Profits are small, but clients are loyal. When James breezes in, Cait realises life might hold more than her shop & her cat, but while the new romance distracts her, luxury chain stores are circling Book Fiend’s prime location, and a more personal tragedy is looming.
The Royal Correspondent by Alexandra Joel
When Blaise Hill, a feisty young journalist from one of Sydney’s toughest neighbourhoods, is dispatched to London at the dawn of the swinging sixties to report on Princess Margaret’s controversial marriage to an unconventional photographer, she is drawn into an elite realm of glamour and intrigue. As the nation faces an explosive upheaval, Blaise must grapple with a series of shocking scandals at the pinnacle of British society. Yet, haunted by a threat from her past and torn between two very different men, who can she trust in a world of hidden motives and shifting alliances? If she makes the wrong choice, she will lose everything? A compelling story of love and betrayal, family secrets and conspiracy that takes you from the gritty life of a daily newspaper to the opulent splendour of Buckingham Palace. ($33, PB)
Everyday Madness by Susan Midalia ($30, PB)
Life sucks when you are a vacuum cleaner-salesman facing redundancy, and your wife of nearly 40 years fills your days & nights with incessant chatter. But when Gloria suddenly & alarmingly stops talking, the silence is more than 59-yearold Bernard can bear. In desperation, Bernard turns to his ex-daughter-in-law for help. Meg has issues of her own, and her bright & funny daughter Ella sometimes wonders if her mum is trying so hard to keep her safe it stops them both from spreading their wings. Will Meg’s suspicious nature thwart her chance encounter with the kindly but engimatic Hal? And is there still hope for Bernard and Gloria on the other side of silence?
International Inte rnational Literature
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro ($33, PB)
This is the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. A thrilling feat of world-building, a novel of exquisite tenderness, this is Ishiguro’s first novel since winning the Nobel prize. Signed copies available.
Gleebooks’ special price $29.95
Double Blind by Edward St Aubyn ($33, PB)
When Olivia meets a new lover, Francis, just as she is welcoming her dearest friend Lucy back from New York, her life expands precipitously. Her connection to Francis, a committed naturalist living off-grid, is immediate and startling. Eager to involve Lucy in her joy, Olivia introduces the two—but Lucy has news of her own that binds the trio unusually close. Over the months that follow, Lucy’s boss Hunter, Olivia’s psychoanalyst parents, and a young man named Sebastian are pulled into the friends’ orbit, and not one of them will emerge unchanged.
The American People: V 2 The Brutality of Fact by Larry Kramer ($43, PB)
Larry Kramer completes his radical reimagining of his country’s history with an elaborate phantasmagoria of bigoted conspiracists in the halls of power & ordinary individuals suffering their consequences. He explores (among other things) the sex lives of every recent president; the complicated behaviour of America’s two greatest spies, J. Edgar Hoover & James Jesus Angleton; the rise of Sexopolis, the country’s favourite magazine; and the genocidal activities of every branch of our health-care & drug-delivery systems. In his retelling the United States is dedicated to the proposition that very few men are created equal, and those who love other men may be destined for death.
The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox ($33, PB)
Taryn Cornick believes her sister Bea was deliberately run down, and killed. She believes it so hard she allows a man called the Muleskinner to exact the justice Bea was denied. An eye for an eye. Which is when Taryn’s problems really begin. Because the police suspect Taryn’s involvement in the driver’s death. Worse, others have their eyes on Taryn—those in a faraway place who know what Taryn’s family have been carefully hiding in their vast library. The Absolute Book. They want it—and they want Taryn to help find it. For the lives of those in more than one world depend upon it.
The Faces by Tove Ditlevsen ($20, PB)
Copenhagen, 1968. Lise, a children’s book writer & married mother of 3, is becoming increasingly haunted by disembodied faces & taunting voices. Convinced that her housekeeper & husband are plotting against her, she descends into a terrifying world of sickness, pills & institutionalization. But is sanity in fact a kind of sickness? And might mental illness itself lead to enlightenment? Ditlevsen married 4 times & struggled with alcohol & drug abuse throughout her adult life until her death by suicide in 1978. Brief, intense and haunting, her novel recreates the experience of madness from the inside, with all the vividness of lived experience.
Valse Triste by Marcello Fois ($33, PB)
When a young autistic child, goes missing, Commissario Sergio Striggio is put in charge of the investigation. Searches turn up nothing, but there is an interesting connection with the mother’s past: when she was a child, her twin brother also went missing, never to be found. But Striggio is finding it difficult to concentrate on the case. His father, Pietro, is coming to stay & Striggio is worried his partner, Leo, will reveal his sexuality to his father. Pietro, however, has other matters on his mind: he has news of a devastating diagnosis to share with his son. And when Striggio’s life with Leo unexpectedly collides with his investigation into Michelangelo’s disappearance, it seems that in the complicated web of the small town of Bolzano, the truth behind the mystery cannot hide for long..
The Smash-Up by Ali Benjamin ($33, PB)
Media start-up cofounder, Ethan & successful filmmaker Zo move to a rural community for a little more tranquillity. However when newfound political activism transforms Zo into a barely recognizable ball of outrage & #MeToo allegations rock his old firm, Ethan finds himself a misfit in his own life. Enter a houseguest who is young, fun & not at all concerned with the real world, and Ethan is abruptly forced to question his past, his future, his marriage, and what he values most. Taking inspiration from a classic Edith Wharton tale about a small-town love triangle, Ali Benjamin’s debut novel deftly tackles some of the biggest issues of our time.
How We Are Translated by Jessica Johannesson
People say ‘I’m sorry’ all the time when it can mean both ‘I’m sorry I hurt you’ and ‘I’m sorry someone else did something I have nothing to do with’. It’s like the English language gave up on trying to find a word for sympathy which wasn’t also the word for guilt. Swedish immigrant Kristin won’t talk about the Project growing inside her. Her Brazilianborn Scottish boyfriend Ciaran won’t speak English at all; he is trying to immerse himself in a Swedish språkbad language bath, to prepare for their future, whatever the frack that means. Their Edinburgh flat is starting to feel very small. As this young couple is forced to confront the thing that they are both avoiding, they must reckon with the bigger questions of the world outside, and their places in it. ($30, PB)
The Octopus Man by Jasper Gibson ($33, PB)
Once an outstanding law student Tom is now lost in the machinery of the British mental health system, talking to a voice no one else can hear: the voice of Malamock, the Octopus God— sometimes loving, sometimes cruel, but always there to guide him through life. After a florid psychotic break, the pressure builds for Tom to take part in an experimental drugs trial that promises to silence the voice forever. But no one, least of all Tom, is prepared for what happens when the Octopus God is seriously threatened.
The War of the Poor by Eric Vuillard ($20, PB)
A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself by Peter Ho Davies ($35, HB)
A woman’s first pregnancy is interrupted by test results at once catastrophic and uncertain, leaving her and her husband, a writer, reeling. A second pregnancy ends in a fraught birth, a beloved child, the purgatory of further tests - and questions that reverberate down the years. This spare, supple narrative chronicles the flux of parenthood, marriage, and the day-to-day practice of loving someone.
16th century Europe: the Protestant Reformation takes on the powerful & the privileged. Peasants, the poor living in towns, who are still being promised that equality will be granted to them in heaven, begin to ask themselves: and why not equality now, here on earth? There follows a violent struggle. Out of this chaos steps Thomas Müntzer: a complex & controversial figure, who sided with neither Martin Luther, nor the Roman Catholic Church. Müntzer addressed the poor directly, encouraging them to ask why a God who apparently loved the poor seemed to be on the side of the rich. Éric Vuillard tells the story of one man whose terrible & novelesque life casts light on the times in which he lived—a moment when Europe was in flux. As in his blistering look at the build-up to WW II, Vuillard goes us behind the scenes at a moment when history was being written.
Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford ($30, PB)
1944. It’s a Saturday lunchtime on Bexford High Street. The Woolworths has a new delivery of aluminum saucepans, and a crowd has gathered to see the first new metal in a long time. Everything else has been melted down for the war effort. An instant later, the crowd is gone. Incinerated. Atomised. Among that crowd were 5 little children. What future did they lose? The only way to know is ‘to let run some other version of the reel of time, where might-be and could-be and would-be. still may be’. Light Perpetual is a story of the everyday, the miraculous and the everlasting—a sweeping & intimate celebration of the gift of life.
Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding ($30, PB)
Being Tommy’s mother is too much for Sonya. Too much love, too much fear, too much longing for the cool wine she gulps from the bottle each night. Because Sonya is burning the fish fingers, and driving too fast, and swimming too far from the shore, and Tommy’s life is in her hands. Once there was the thrill of a London stage, a glowing acting career, fast cars, handsome men. But now there are blackouts & bare cupboards, and her estranged father showing up uninvited. There is Mrs O’Malley spying from across the road. There is the risk of losing Tommy forever.
Nick by Michael Farris Smith ($30, HB)
Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg & into Gatsby’s world, he was at the centre of a very different story—one taking place along the trenches & deep within the tunnels of WW I. Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed first-hand, Nick delays his return home, hoping to escape the questions he cannot answer about the horrors of war. Instead, he embarks on a transcontinental journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans, rife with its own flavour of debauchery & violence. Charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak & profound yearning to transfix even the heartiest of golden age scribes, Nick reveals the man behind the narrator of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby.
A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel
Mia is not sure what she is, but she isn’t human. Smarter, stronger than her peers, all she knows are the rules—there can never be 3 for too long; always run, never fight. When she finds herself in Germany, 1945, she must turn the Nazi’s most trusted scientist with an offer—abandon the crumbling Nazi party, escape Germany with your life, come to work for the Americans building rockets. But someone is watching her work. An enemy who’s smarter, stronger, decidedly not human & prepared to do anything to retrieve something ancient that was long lost. If only she had any idea what it was. ($33, PB)
The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen ($33, PB)
The Committed follows the Sympathizer as he arrives in Paris as a refugee. There he & his blood brother Bon turn their hands to drug dealing. No longer in physical danger, but still inwardly tortured by his reeducation at the hands of his former best friend, and struggling to assimilate into a dominant culture, the Sympathizer is both charmed & disturbed by Paris. As he falls in with a group of leftwing intellectuals & politicians who frequent dinner parties given by his French Vietnamese ‘aunt’, he finds not just stimulation for his mind but also customers for his merchandise—but the new life he is making has dangers he has not foreseen, from the oppression of the state, to the selftorture of addiction, to the seemingly unresolvable paradox of how he can reunite his 2 closest friends, men whose worldviews put them in absolute opposition.
The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella
A white college student tries to reinvent herself after a photo of her in a Confederate flag bikini goes viral. A photojournalist is forced to confront her own losses while attending an old friend’s unexpectedly dramatic wedding. A black scholar from Washington DC is drawn into a complex historical mystery that spans generations and puts her job, her love life, and her oldest friendship at risk. Danielle Evans zooms in on particular moments and relationships in her characters’ lives allowing them to speak to larger issues of race, culture, and history. ($33, PB)
Confessions in B-Flat by Donna Hill ($33, PB)
Jason Tanner, protégé of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., has been by his mentor’s side in New York to spread the message of passive resistance. In Harlem, the epicentre of black culture, poet Anita Hopkins tries to capture the message of Malcolm X, which she believes with all her heart: the time is now. Enough is enough. When Jason goes to the iconic B Flat lounge and sees Anita perform, he’s transfixed. Her passion for what she believes runs as deep as his. And Anita has never met anyone who can match her wit for wit like this. Their scorching desire for each other clashes with their fundamentally opposed beliefs—until in a cruel twist of fate Jason is drafted for Vietnam. With the country at a breaking point and their romance caught in the centre, both Anita and Jason are going to have to redefine heart, home, and what they truly desire. A retelling of Romeo and Juliet set during the 1964 Civil Rights movement.
The Art of Losing by Alice Zeniter ($33, PB)
Born & raised in France, Naïma knows that her family came from Algeria but her knowledge of that foreign country is limited to what she’s learned from her grandparents’ tiny flat in a crumbling French sink estate: the food cooked for her, the few precious things they brought with them when they fled. On the past, her family is silent. Was her grandfather Ali a harki—an Algerian who worked for & supported the French during the Algerian War of Independence? Once a wealthy landowner, how did he become an immigrant scratching a living in France? Naïma’s father, Hamid, says he remembers nothing. A child when the family left, in France he re-made himself. But for the first time since they left, one of Ali’s family is going back. Naïma will see Algeria for herself, to ask the questions about her family’s history that, till now, have had no answers.
Dog Days by Ericka Waller ($33, PB)
George is very angry. His wife has upped & died on him, and all he wants to do is sit in his underpants & shout at the cricket. He definitely doesn’t want a dachshund puppy called Poppy. Dan is a counsellor with OCD who is great at helping other people—if only he were better at helping himself. His most meaningful relationship so far is with his labrador Fitz. Lizzie is living in a women’s refuge with her son Lenny. Her body is covered in scars and she has shut herself off from everyone around her—until she is forced to walk the refuge’s fat terrier, Maud. Dog Days is about 3 people learning to make connections and find joy in living life off the leash.
Made for Love by Alissa Nutting ($20, PB)
Hazel has just moved into a trailer park of senior citizens, with her father and Diane—his sex doll companion. Life with Hazel’s father is strained at best, but it’s got to be better than her marriage to dominating tech billionaire, Byron Gogol. For over a decade, Hazel has been quarantining in Byron’s family compound, her every movement and vital sign tracked. So when Byron demands to wirelessly connect the two of them via brain chips, turning Hazel into a human guinea pig, Hazel makes a run for it. Will Hazel be able to free herself from Byron’s virtual clutches before he finds her? ‘Brilliant... hilarious... both satisfying and unexpected’ Roxane Gay
We Are Not in the World by Conor O’Callaghan
Heartbroken after a long, painful love affair, a man drives a haulage lorry from England to France. Travelling with him is a secret passenger—his daughter. Twenty-something, unkempt, off the rails. With a week on the road together, father and daughter must restore themselves and each other, and repair a relationship that is at once fiercely loving and deeply scarred. As they journey south, down the motorways, through the service stations, a devastating picture reveals itself- a story of grief, of shame, and of love in all its complex, dark and glorious manifestations. ($30, PB)
Heart Is a Full-Wild Beast: New and Selected Stories by John L’Heureux ($30, PB)
A nun crashes her car. An unborn child sings to its mother. A troubled priest is in the market for a London apartment. In this posthumous collection, John L’Heureux explores head-on life’s biggest questions, and the moments—of joy, doubt, transcendence—that alter the course of life. L’Heureux spent his long, prolific career exploring questions of morality & faith in stories that entertain, surprise, and sometimes disturb. This book compiles the enduring stories of a distinctive American writer.
Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden ($30, PB)
Mrs Death is exhausted from spending eternity doing her job & now she seeks someone to unburden her conscience to. Wolf Willeford, a troubled young writer, is well acquainted with death, but until now hadn’t met Death in person—a black, working-class woman who shape-shifts & does her work unseen. Enthralled by her stories, Wolf becomes Mrs Death’s scribe, and begins to write her memoirs. Using their desk as a vessel and conduit, Wolf travels across time and place with Mrs Death to witness deaths of past and present and discuss what the future holds for humanity. As the two reflect on the losses they have experienced—or, in the case of Mrs Death, facilitated—their friendship grows into a surprising affirmation of hope, resilience and love.
Alexandria by Paul Kingsnorth ($35, HB)
This volume completes the Buckmaster Trilogy, which began with Kingsnorth’s prize-winning The Wake. A small religious community—perhaps the world’s last human survivors—living in what were once the fens of eastern England find themselves stalked by a force that draws ever closer, a force intent on destroying everything they stand for. Set on the far side of the ecological apocalypse, Kingsnorth’s new novel is a mythical, polyphonic drama driven by elemental themes: of community versus the self, the mind versus the body, machine versus man— of whether to put your faith in the present or the future.
Great Stories Uncovered
Dangerous Women by Hope Adams ($33, PB)
July, 1841. A group of young women sit on the deck of a ship headed to the colonies of Australia, heads bent, busy stitching a beautiful quilt together, sunlight glancing from silver needles, overseen by their young matron Kezia Hayter. Until a piercing shriek tears the fabric of their small society apart—a woman has been brutally stabbed, her life hanging in the balance. But this no ordinary ship, the Rajah is transporting female prisoners. Thieves & convicts with crimes too petty to be hanged forced to immigrate to Australia. Trapped at sea, it falls to Kezia to determine which criminal is guilty of murder.
The Last Snow by Stina Jackson ($30, PB)
A dazzlingly brilliant book about love, trauma and recovery from the author of One Hundred Years of Dirt
A human history of land around the world: who mapped it, owned it, stole it, cared for it, fought for it and gave it back
Discover a magical world where lost things are found ...
Early spring has its icy grip on Odesmark, a small village in northernmost Sweden, abandoned by many of its inhabitants. But Liv Bjornlund never left. She lives in a derelict house together with her teenage son, Simon, and her ageing father, Vidar. They make for a peculiar family, and Liv knows that they are cause for gossip among their few remaining neighbours. Is it true that Vidar is sitting on a small fortune? His questionable business decisions have made him many enemies over the years, and in Odesmark everyone knows everyone, and no one ever forgets.
Knock Knock by Anders Roslund ($33, PB)
Seventeen years ago, Inspector Ewert Grens was called to the scene of a brutal crime. A family had been murdered, with only their five-year-old daughter left behind. The girl was placed under witness protection, but while the case went cold, Grens is still haunted by the memory. When he learns that the apartment where the crime took place is now the scene of a mysterious break-in, Grens fears that someone is intent on silencing the only witness. He must race to find her...before they do.
Exit by Belinda Bauer ($33, PB)
Out now from
True Crime The Missing Among Us by Erin Stewart
Examining famous cases like that of Madeleine McCann to those who are lesser known yet equally loved and mourned, Erin Stewart takes us from the Australian bush to the battlefields of Northern France & the perilous space of a refugee camp to explore the stories of the missing. She speaks to parents of missing children, former cult members, detectives & investigators, advocates working on the crisis of missing refugees, a child of the Stolen Generations & many more to trace the mysterious world of missing persons. ($33, PB)
Hitler’s Horses by Arthur Brand ($35, PB)
When pensioner, Felix Pink, lets himself in to Number 3 Black Lane, he’s there to perform an act of charity—to keep a dying man company as he takes his final breath. But just fifteen minutes later Felix is on the run from the police—after making the biggest mistake of his life. Now his world is turned upside down as he must find out if he’s really to blame, or if something much more sinister is at play. All while staying one shaky step ahead of the law.
City of Vengeance by D. V. Bishop ($33, PB)
Florence. Winter, 1536. A prominent Jewish moneylender is murdered in his home, a death with wide implications in a city powered by immense wealth. Cesare Aldo, a former soldier & now an officer of the Renaissance city’s most feared criminal court, is given 4 days to solve the murder: catch the killer before the feast of Epiphany—or suffer the consequences. During his investigations Aldo uncovers a plot to overthrow the volatile ruler of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici. If the Duke falls, it will endanger the whole city. But a rival officer of the court is determined to expose details about Aldo’s private life that could lead to his ruin.
The Silent Listener by Lyn Yeowart ($33, PB)
1960, 11-year-old Joy Henderson lives in constant fear of her father who calls her a filthy sinner destined for Hell. Yet, decades later, she returns to the family’s farm to nurse him on his death bed. Her ‘perfect’ sister Ruth is also there, whispering dark words, urging revenge. Then the day after their father finally confesses to a despicable crime, Joy finds him dead—with a belt pulled tight around his neck. For SC Alex Shepherd, George’s murder revives memories of the unsolved disappearance of nine-year-old Wendy Boscombe in that same summer of 1960. As seemingly impossible facts surface about the Hendersons—from the past and the present—Shepherd suspects that Joy is pulling him into an intricate web of lies and that Wendy’s disappearance is the key to the bizarre truth.
When detective Arthur Brand is summoned to a meeting with one of the most dangerous men in the art world, he learns that a clue has emerged that could solve one of WW2’s unexplained mysteries—what really happened to the Striding Horses, Hitler’s favourite statue, which disappeared during the bombing of Berlin. As Brand goes undercover to find the horses, he discovers a terrifying world ruled by neo-Nazis & former KGB agents, where Third Reich memorabilia sells for millions of dollars. The stakes get ever higher as Brand carefully lays his trap Fog by Kaja Malanowska ($35, PB) When a young woman is found murdered in her Warsaw apartment, the to catch the criminal masterminds trying to sell the statue on the black market. investigating detectives—Marcin Sawicki and his new colleague, the The Husband Poisoner by Tanya Bretherton talented but enigmatic Ada Rochniewicz—are under pressure to close After WW2, Sydney experienced a crime wave that was the case quickly. But Ada’s powers of intuition have already got her into chillingly calculated—women who had lost their wartime trouble once before. And the sexist police force is not on her side. As the freedoms headed back into the kitchen with sinister intent & investigation proceeds, they meet the victim’s jilted lover, a mentally unthe household poison thallium repurposed to kill husbands stable working-class youth; her cleaner, a Chechen refugee in desperate & other inconvenient family members. thallium is colourcircumstances; the man who broke her heart & joined a cult. And Ada’s less, odourless and tasteless; victims were misdiagnosed as eccentric sister, Kasia, and her grumpy cat Albert-Amelia. To get to the insane malingerers or ill due to other reasons. And once one truth of this dark & complex matter Marcin & Ada have to confront a death was attributed to natural causes, it was all too easy for corrupt political and religious establishment. an aggrieved woman to kill again. ($33, PB) Slough House by Mick Herron ($33, PB) Spooked by Barry Meier ($33, PB) A year after a calamitous blunder by the Russian secret service left a Private spies are the invisible force that shapes our modBritish citizen dead from novichok poisoning, Diana Taverner is on the ern world—journey into a secret billion-dollar industry in warpath. What seems a gutless response from the government has pushed which information is currency and loyalties are for sale. An the Service’s First Desk into mounting her own counter-offensive—but industry so tentacular it reaches from Saddam Hussein to an she’s had to make a deal with the devil first. And given that the devil 80s-era Trump, from the Steele dossier written by a British in question is arch-manipulator Peter Judd, she could be about to lose ex-spy to Russian oligarchs sitting pretty in Mayfair mancontrol of everything she’s fought for. Meanwhile, Slough House has sions, from the devious tactics of Harvey Weinstein to the been wiped from Service records, and fatal accidents keep happening. growing role of corporate spies in politics and the threat to No wonder Jackson Lamb’s crew are feeling paranoid. But have they future elections. actually been targeted?
Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka ($33, PB)
Satoshi looks like an innocent teenage schoolboy, but he is really a viciously cunning psychopath. Kimura’s young son is in a coma thanks to Satoshi, and he’s tracked him onto the bullet train headed from Tokyo to Morioka to exact his revenge. But Kimura soon discovers that he & Satoshi are not the only dangerous passengers onboard. Nanao, the self-proclaimed ‘unluckiest assassin in the world’, and the deadly partnership of Tangerine & Lemon are also travelling to Morioka. A suitcase full of money leads others to show their hands. Why are they all on the same train, and who will get off alive at the last station?
The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex ($33, PB)
Cornwall, 1972. 3 lighthouse keepers vanish from a remote rock, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a mighty storm, but the skies have been clear all week. What happened to those three men, out on the tower? Can their secrets ever be recovered from the waves? Twenty years later, the women they left behind are still struggling to move on. Helen, Jenny and Michelle should have been united by the tragedy, but instead it drove them apart. Now, they have a chance to tell their side of the story.
The Second Son by Loraine Peck ($33, PB)
When Ivan Novak is shot dead putting out his garbage bins in Sydney’s west, his family wants revenge, especially his father Milan, a notorious crime boss. It’s a job for the second son, Ivan’s younger brother Johnny. But Johnny loves his wife Amy and their son Sasha. And she’s about to deliver her ultimatum—either the three of them escape this wave of killing or she’ll leave, taking Sasha. Torn between loyalty to his family & love for his wife, Johnny plans the heist of a lifetime and takes a huge risk. Is he prepared to pay the price? And what choice will Amy make?
The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths ($33, PB)
The Night Hawks, a group of metal detectorists, are searching for buried treasure when they find a body on the beach in North Norfolk. The body turns out to be a local boy, Jem Taylor, recently released from prison—but Ruth Galloway is more interested in the treasure, a hoard of Bronze Age weapons. Nelson is called to an apparent murder-suicide of a couple at the isolated Black Dog Farm. Local legend talks of the Black Shuck, a spectral hound that appears to people before they die—& the owner’s suicide note includes the line, ‘He’s buried in the garden.’ Ruth excavates & finds the body of a giant dog. Ruth doesn’t scare easily. Not until she finds herself at Black Dog Farm
Not Dark Yet by Peter Robinson ($33, PB)
The gruesome double murder at an Eastvale property developer’s luxury home turns out to have a clear link to the Albanian mafia. When a cache of spy-cam videos hidden in the house Banks & team’s investigation pivots to the rape of a young girl that could cast the murders in an entirely different light. Banks’s friend Zelda, decides she will be safer in Moldova hunting the men who abducted, raped & enslaved her than she is Yorkshire or London. Her search takes her back to the orphanage where it all began—but by stirring up these murky waters Zelda is putting herself & the team in great danger.
Crocodile Tears by Mercedes Rosende ($20, PB)
Accused kidnapper Diego is released from his overcrowded prison at a price—he must join forces with a brutal psychopath, the Hobo, and hold up an armoured truck. A hilarious caper ensues, as the robbery swiftly degenerates into mayhem & violence. The men appear to be engaged in a perverse competition to see who is the most incompetent, however... enter Ursula Lopez, an amateur criminal with an insatiable appetite, and her rival, Captain Leonilda Lima. Uruguayan writer Rosende seamlessly merges two genres: the gangster saga and the psycho thriller, all spiced with black humour.
The Foreign Girls by Sergio Olguin ($20, PB)
When two European backpackers are found murdered after attending a high society party in northern Argentina, sacrificial offerings left near the bodies point to their involvement in a Macumba rite. But for their friend investigative journalist Veronica Rosenthal, the story smacks of a cover-up. Sure enough, Veronica’s determination to get justice for the ‘foreign girls’ quickly reveals a political dimension to the murder and leads her into very dangerous territory, bringing her face to face with old enemies, as well as new ones.
Turncoat by Anthony J. Quinn ($23, PB)
The sole survivor of a murderous ambush, a Belfast police detective is forced into a desperate search for a mysterious informer that takes him to a holy island on Lough Derg, a place shrouded in strange mists and hazy rain, where nothing is as it first appears to be. A keeper of secrets and a purveyor of lies, the detective finds himself surrounded by enemies disguised as pilgrims, and is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the purgatorial island, where he is forced to confront a series of disturbing secrets and ghosts in his own life. Haunting and unsettling, Turncoat probes the legacy of the Troubles, the loss of collective memories and the moral consequences for the individual.
The Measure of Time by Gianrico Carofiglio
One spring afternoon an old lover, Lorenza shows up in Guerrieri’s office. Her son Jacopo, a small-time delinquent, stands convicted of the first-degree murder of a local drug dealer. Her trial lawyer has died, so for the appeal, she turns to Guerrieri. He is not convinced of the innocence of Lorenza’s son, nor does he have fond memories of how their relationship ended two decades earlier. Nevertheless, he accepts the case; perhaps to pay a melancholy homage to the ghosts of his youth. ($20, PB)
House with No Doors by Jeff Noon ($33, PB)
At first glance, Leonard Graves’ death was unremarkable. Sleeping pills, a bottle of vodka, a note saying goodbye. But when Detective Henry Hobbes discovers a grave in the basement, he realizes there is something far more sinister at work. As the investigation continues and the body count rises, Hobbes must also deal with the disappearance of his son, the break-up of his family and a growing sense that something horrific happened in the Graves’ household. And he’s running out of time to find out what.
Win by Harlan Coben ($33, PB)
20 years ago, heiress Patricia Lockwood was abducted during a robbery of her family’s estate—she escaped, but so did her captors, the items stolen never recovered. Until now. On New York’s Upper West Side, a recluse is found murdered in his penthouse apartment, alongside two objects of note- a stolen Vermeer painting & a leather suitcase bearing the initials WHL3. The two cases have baffled the FBI for decades. But Windsor H. Lockwood III has a personal connection to the case, a large fortune &his own unique brand of justice
The Art of Death by David Fennell ($30, PB)
An underground artist leaves 3 glass cabinets in Trafalgar Square that contain a gruesome installation: the corpses of three homeless men. As more bodies are exhibited at London landmarks and live streamed on social media DI Grace Archer & her caustic DS, Harry Quinn’s pursuit of the elusive killer becomes a desperate search. Especially when Archer discovers that the killer might be closer than she originally thought—and he is creating a masterpiece—with her the star of his show.
Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson ($33, PB)
London, 1782. Caroline Corsham finds a well-dressed woman mortally wounded in the bowers of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. The Bow Street constables drop the case when they discover that the deceased woman was a highly paid prostitute But Caro has motives of her own for wanting to see justice done, and so sets out to solve the crime herself. Enlisting the help of thieftaker Peregrine Child, their inquiry delves into the hidden corners of Georgian society, a world of artifice, deception and secret lives.
Other People’s Houses by Kelli Hawkins
10 years after her young son’s death the still-grieving Kate Webb spends her weekends hungover, attending open houses on Sydney’s wealthy north shore. Then Kate visits the Harding house—the perfect house with, it seems, the perfect family. A photograph captures a kind-looking man, a beautiful woman she knew at university, and a boy who for one heartbreaking moment she believes is her own son. When her curiosity turns to obsession, she uncovers the cracks that lie beneath a glossy facade of perfection, sordid truths she could never have imagined. But could the real threat come from Kate herself? ($33, PB)
Black Widows by Cate Quinn ($33, PB)
Blake Nelson lives a hidden stretch of land—a raw paradise in the wilds of Utah—with his 3 wives: Rachel, the chief wife, obedient & doting to a fault. Tina, wife number 2, who is everything Rachel isn’t. And Emily, the youngest wife, who knows little else. When their husband is found dead under the desert sun, the questions pile up. None of the widows know who would want to kill a good man like Blake. Or, at least, that’s what they’ll tell the police.
The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson ($30, PB)
Bodies start washing up along the banks of the River Thames, & DI Henley fears it is the work of Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer. But Olivier is already behind bars—she put him there, and hoped she’d never have to see his face again. However, Henley knows Olivier might be the best chance they have at stopping the copycat killer. When Olivier learns of the new murders, helping Henley is the last thing on his mind. Will it take a killer to catch the killer?
THE WILDER AISLES The Long, Long Afternoon, a new crime novel by Inga Vesper, is set in 1959 in Sunnylakes, Santa Monica, California—and it is a delight. Sunnylakes is a town on which the sun never sets—the women of the town would not allow it, and they are a most formidable lot. The story begins with Joyce Haney, a young, seemingly happy wife and mother, kissing her blissfully unaware husband for the last time. Deciding to spend some time in the garden around the pool for the last time, she waters her favourite crimson geranium. Lily, her youngest daughter is in the house, and her other daughter, Barbara, is with a neighbour. When Lily wakes and starts crying Joyce hesitates and almost goes to comfort her, but decides in favour of a those last few moments to herself. And before the ‘long, long’ afternoon is over, Joyce Haney has disappeared. Ruby the black cleaner, who works for most of the women in Joyce’s area is late arriving at her first employer, a very displeased Mrs Ingram. Her next stop is Joyce’s—and she is glad because Joyce couldn’t give a damn if she’s on time. However, when she arrives she’s surprised to see Joyce’s car in the drive, and Ruby begins to feel something is not right—so when Barbara appears suddenly appears from behind some bushes making not much sense, Ruby is very wary on entering the house. Upstairs in the nursery Lily is in her cot, her face streaming with tears, and Barbara trails in saying: ‘They are not here. They made a mess’. Unable to make sense of this Ruby decides to call a neighbour for help. Meanwhile, Barbara slips away and when Ruby finds her standing in the kitchen door her hands are covered in blood—and in the kitchen she finds blood everywhere—the sun streaming in through the curtains dapples blood soaked paper towels and blood soaked daisies on the kitchen tiles. Ruby holds Lily tight in her arms and screams as loudly as she can. The police arrive and arrest Ruby, a black woman. Enter Detective Mick Blake, new to Sunnylakes, re-allocated from New York for some unmentioned misdemeanour. He quickly gets involved with the search for Joyce Haney, digging into the past to unearth why she has gone missing. Unconvinced of Ruby’s guilt, Mick (unofficially) teams up with her, and together this most unlikely couple, set out to solve the mystery of Joyce’s disappearance—and what happened in the kitchen at 47 Rose View Drive Sunnylakes. A long time ago, (far, far away), when I was young, I remember reading about a place in England with the strange name of Sutton Hoo. I can’t remember where I read about it, but I was fascinated by the story. Sutton Hoo, a riverside farm in Suffolk, was the site of the biggest archeological dig in British history. On reading more about the place, I formed an idea in my head that one day I would see the famous hoard found in Sutton Hoo. In the long hot summer of 1939, as Britain was preparing for war, Mrs Petty the owner of Sutton Hoo decides to have the strange mounds on her farm investigated. What follows is told in a beautifully written fictional recreation, simply called The Dig by John Preston. It is not a very long book, in fact quite short, but it certainly isn’t a quick read. It is such a lovely book, and such an interesting story that you really want to prolong the pleasure. It is full of wonderful, memorable characters, including C.W. Phillips from Cambridge, who reminded me of a character from an Agatha Christie novel, Mrs Petty’s photographer nephew, Rory, and archeologists, Stuart and Peggy Piggot. My favourite character is Basil Brown, the self-effacing, self-taught archeologist—renowned in the area for his remarkable archeological skills. Mrs Petty feels sure that there is something very special in at least one of her mounds and engages Basil and two local men to start a dig. The great story of three months of intense activity ensues. The findings are more than they could have hoped—much, much more. The Sutton Hoo dig was the most famous ever in the archeological history of Britain—the largest mound producing the most treasure. I won’t go into detail, because if you don’t know about what they found, I don’t want to ruin the pleasure of discovery. During the three months, with locals fighting outsiders, and professionals against amateurs, there is no shortage of fun and games on the site, and there is also a slight tinge of romance, which sadly never comes to anything. I must just mention Robert, Mrs Petty’s son. Quite a character himself—and sometimes a very young worker on the dig—the widow, Perry, is very close to her son and keeps him close. I must also add that I did get to see the Sutton Hoo hoard, in the British Museum, many years after I was first introduced to it—and it was as wonderful as my younger self imagined it would be. Needless to say, I loved this book, partly because of its very Englishness, the location, the characters and of course the treasures. There is also discussion about the impact of the find on knowledge about what was called the Dark Ages—fascinating. Janice Wilder
He. by Murray Bail ($28, HB)
An elusive, elliptical, often beautiful thread of recollections and observations, He. is not autobiography, or even memoir, but an almost anonymous portrait of a figure passing through time and circumstances. It begins with boyhood, in suburban Adelaide after the war. As the narrator remembers the years the focus shifts forward to the recent past and back again, often within the same paragraph, mirroring the randomness of memory. Through these vignettes and fragments we glimpse moments and lives-of parents, teachers, wives, and others; in Bombay of the 1960s, London of the 1970s, Melbourne and Sydney.
God, the Devil and Me by Alf Taylor ($30, PB)
Alf Taylor chronicles his life growing up in the infamous New Norcia Mission, north of Perth in the fifties & sixties. Forced into the ‘care’ —made up of varying degrees of cruelty & punishments at the hands of the Spanish Nuns & Brothers who ran the Mission—the children of New Norcia were the ‘little black devils’ that God & religion forgot. Written with an acerbic and brutal wit, Alf intersperses dark childhood memories with a Pythonesque retelling of the Bible, in which Peter is an alcoholic & Judas is a good guy. As a child, underfed, poorly clothed and missing his family, Alf sought refuge in the library in the company of Shakespeare & Michelangelo. He writes with joy about the camaraderie of the boys, their love of sport & their own company, but also notes that many descended into despair upon leaving. Most died early. Alf Taylor is one of the ‘lucky ones’.
Into the Loneliness: The unholy alliance of Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates by Eleanor Hogan ($35, PB)
Daisy Bates, dressed in Victorian garb, malnourished & half-blind, camped with Aboriginal people in WA & on the Nullarbor for decades, surrounded by her books, notes & artefacts. A self-taught ethnologist, desperate to be accepted by established male anthropologists, she sought to document the language & customs of the people who visited her camps. In 1935, Ernestine Hill, journalist & author of The Great Australian Loneliness, coaxed Bates to Adelaide to collaborate on a newspaper series. Their collaboration resulted in the 1938 international bestseller, The Passing of the Aborigines. From a contemporary perspective, their work seems quaint & sentimental, their outlook & preoccupations dated, paternalistic & even racist. Yet Bates & Hill took a genuine interest in Aboriginal people & their cultures long before they were considered worthy of the Australian mainstream’s attention. Traversing great distances in a campervan, Eleanor Hogan reflects on the lives and work of these indefatigable women.
Growing Up Disabled in Australia by Carly Findlay
One in 5 Australians has a disability. And disability presents itself in many ways. Yet disabled people are still underrepresented in the media & in literature. In this collection compiled by writer & appearance activist Carly Findlay OAM more than 40 writers with a disability or chronic illness share their stories, in their own words. Contributors include sen. Jordon Steele-John, paralympian Isis Holt, Dion Beasley, Sam Drummond, Astrid Edwards, Sarah Firth, El Gibbs, Eliza Hull, Gayle Kennedy, Carly-Jay Metcalfe, Fiona Murphy & Jessica Walton. ($30, PB)
Literary Lion Tamers by Craig Munro ($30, PB)
In an entertaining blend of memoir, biography & literary detective work, Craig Munro recreates the lives & careers of a group of renowned Australian editors & their authors, including A.G. Stephens, who helped turn foundry worker Joseph Furphy’s thousand-page handwritten manuscript into the enduring classic Such Is Life; P.R. Stephensen, who tangled with an irascible Xavier Herbert to tame his unwieldy masterpiece Capricornia; Beatrice Davis, whose literary soirées were the talk of Sydney, and who insisted Herbert cut his controversial novel Soldiers’ Women in half; and award-winning fiction editor Rosanne Fitzgibbon, who championed the work of many authors, including Gillian Mears. Along the way Munro weaves his own reminiscences of a life in publishing while tracking down some of Australian literature’s most fascinating stories.
Emotional Female by Yumiko Kadota ($35, PB)
Yumiko Kadota was a model student, top of her class in medical school & on track to becoming a surgeon. A self-confessed workaholic, she regularly put ‘knife before life’. But if the punishing hours in surgery weren’t hard enough, she also faced challenges as a young female surgeon navigating a male-dominated specialty. She was regularly left to carry out complex procedures without senior surgeons’ oversight; she was called all sorts of things, from ‘emotional’ to ‘too confident’; and she was expected to work a relentless on-call roster—sometimes 70 hours a week or more. This is her account of what it was like to train in the Australian public hospital system, and what made her walk away.
Monsters by Alison Croggon ($30, PB)
In this hybrid of memoir & essay Alison Croggon takes as her point of departure the painful breakdown of a relationship between two sisters. She explores how our attitudes are shaped by the persisting myths that underpin colonialism & patriarchy, how the structures we are raised within splinter & distort the possibilities of our lives & the lives of others. Monsters asks how we maintain the fictions that we create about ourselves, what we will sacrifice to maintain these fictions—and what we have to gain by confronting them.
The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les & Tamara Payne ($60, HB)
Pulitzer winner journalist Les Payne embarked in 1990 on a quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X— including siblings, classmates, friends, cellmates, FBI moles & cops, and political leaders around the world—to create a portrait of one of the 20th century’s most compelling figures that would separate fact from fiction. From a hair-raising scene of Malcolm’s 1961 clandestine meeting with the KKK, to a minute-by-minute account of his murder in Harlem in 1965, in which Payne makes the case for the complicity of the American government, Payne’s book conjures a never-before-seen world of its protagonist. Setting his life not only within the political struggles of his day but also against the larger backdrop of American history, this remarkable biography traces Malcolm X’s path from street criminal to devoted moralist & revolutionary.
The Believer: Encounters with Love, Death & Faith by Sarah Krasnostein ($35, PB)
Award-winning author of The Trauma Cleaner, Sarah Krasnostein spent the last 4 years in Australia & the US talking to some extraordinary people—people holding fast to belief, even as it rubs against the grain of more accepted realities. Some of them believe in things most people don’t. Ghosts. UFOs. Heaven & the Devil. The literal creation of the universe in 6 days. Some of them believe in things most people would like to. Dying with autonomy. Spending half your life in prison for protecting your child & yet still believing in a just God. Krasnostein talks with her trademark compassion and empathy to these believers—and finds out what happens when their beliefs crash into her own.
Shanghai Acrobat by Jingjing Xue ($33, PB)
Jingjing Xue was born in China in the 1950s, during one of the worst times in the reign of communist leader Mao Zedong. Mao’s extreme five-year industrialisation plan—the Great Leap Forward—left much of the population starving, destitute & gripped with fear. Jingjing, abandoned to an orphanage as a young boy, was destined to a life of hardship before officials singled him out and enlisted him to train with the Shanghai Acrobatics School. His autobiography tells the moving story of his rise from poverty to become an admired performer in China & beyond—and of his extraordinary escape from Mao’s repressive regime to secure his freedom and a new life in Australia.
Golem Girl by Riva Lehrer ($45, HB)
In 1958 Riva Lehrer was born with spina bifida. At the time, most such children are not expected to survive. Her parents & doctors are determined to ‘fix’ her, sending the message over & over again that she is broken. That she will never have a job, a romantic relationship, or an independent life. Enduring countless medical interventions, Lehrer tries her best to be a good girl & a good patient in the quest to be cured. Everything changes when, as an adult, Riva is invited to join a group of artists, writers & performers who are building Disability Culture. Their work is daring, edgy, funny & dark—it rejects tropes that define disabled people as pathetic, frightening, or worthless. They insist that disability is an opportunity for creativity & resistance. Emboldened, Lehrer asked to paint their portraits—inventing an intimate & collaborative process that transformed the way she sees herself, others & the world.
The Unusual Suspect: The Remarkable True Story of a Modern-Day Robin Hood by Ben Machell ($30, PB)
In 2007, a time of recession & impending climate crisis, 21-year-old Stephen Jackley, a British Geography student with Asperger’s Syndrome became obsessed with the idea of Robin Hood, and with no prior experience, resolved to become a bank robber—stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Jackley used disguise, elaborate escape routes & replica pistols to successfully hold up a string of banks, making away with thousands of pounds. He committed 10 robberies in south-west England over a six-month period & bank notes marked with ‘RH’— ‘Robin Hood’—began finding their way into the hands of the homeless. The police, despite their concerted efforts, had no idea what was going on or who was responsible. That is until Jackley’s ambition got the better of him.
The World Is Not Big Enough: The Truth Is a Foreign Country for a Refugee by Vanessa Russell ($30, PB)
In 2013, on a whim Vanessa Russell googled Ahmad Shah Abed, an Afghan asylum seeker she had exchanged letters with a decade earlier, to find he had been murdered in 2009. The news came as a shock. Ahmad Shah had been living in detention in Port Hedland when Russell had first started writing to him as a student hoping to do some good. Their relationship had been brief but impactful. Russell couldn’t shake the feeling that she had failed him, and this book tracks her journey as she tries to unravel what happened to Ahmad Shah & why. She travels to Port Hedland, Christmas Island & Perth as she interviews Ahmad Shah’s friends, fellow refugees, refugee advocates, support workers, people who worked in detention centres, and spends a year talking with the murderer himself. What she uncovers is the multi-layered & often untold story of detention in Australia & its very human consequences.
Now in paperback Macquarie by Grantlee Kieza, $35
The Rome Plague Diaries by Matthew Kneale ($30, HB) SPINE WIDTH 21.85 MM
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‘Daring and original: an eloquent and moving meditation on place, memory and history.’ MARK McKENNA
‘This will come to be regarded as a classic of Australian literature.’
— Nicolas Rothwell
LANDSCAPE, VIOLENCE AND MEMORY
LUKE STEGEMANN ‘This book will come to be regarded as a classic of Australian literature.’ NICOLAS ROTHWELL
A UNSW COMPANY
SPINE: 21.9 MM
M AT T L A M
STORIES OF MISSING PERSONS AND THOSE LEFT BEHIND
‘Illuminating, profound and wise.’ In Australia 38 000 people are reported missing each year and in the US it’s over 600 000. In the UK someone is reported missing every 90 seconds. Many of these cases are never resolved. Blending long-form journalism with true crime and philosophy, The Missing Among Us takes us from the Australian bush to the battlefields of Northern France and the perilous space of a refugee camp to explore the stories of the missing. Erin Stewart speaks to parents of missing children, former cult members, detectives and investigators, advocates working on the crisis of missing refugees, a child of the Stolen Generations and many more to trace the mysterious world of missing persons. Examining famous cases like that of Madeleine McCann to those who are lesser known yet equally loved and mourned, this unique book forces us to see the complex story behind each missing person and those they leave behind. The Missing Among Us is illuminating, profound and wise. Stewart is a distinct new voice and her inquiry into the gaps and absences so many of us try to gloss over is intelligent, gentle and brave. ANNA KRIEN
‘A rare book from a gifted writer.’ A deeply moving and insightful exploration of the concept of ‘missingness’. Erin Stewart brings compassion and informed understanding to these hugely diverse stories of personal loss, resilience and advocacy. SIOBHÁN McHUGH
Nothing goes unnoticed in this beautifully written and thought-provoking exploration that will enlighten and enthral. LOREN O’KEEFFE, founder of Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN)
— Malcolm Knox
A rare book from a gifted writer: intelligent yet poignant, enlightening yet deeply disturbing. MALCOLM KNOX
NON-FICTION / INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM / TRUE CRIME
A UNSW COMPANY
Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape by Cal Flyn ($28, PB)
most singular women Australia has ever seen.
for decades, surrounded by her books, notes and artefacts. A self-taught ethnologist, desperate to be accepted by established male anthropologists, she sought to
document the language and customs of the people who visited her camps. In 1935,
Ernestine Hill, journalist and author of The Great Australian Loneliness, coaxed Bates to Adelaide to collaborate on a newspaper series. Their collaboration resulted in
the 1938 international bestseller, The Passing of the Aborigines. This book informed popular opinion about Aboriginal people for decades, though Bates’s failure to acknowledge Hill as her co-author strained their friendship.
— Clare Wright
Traversing great distances in a campervan, Eleanor Hogan reflects on the lives and
and even racist. Yet Bates and Hill took a genuine interest in Aboriginal people and
their cultures long before they were considered worthy of the Australian mainstream’s attention. With sensitivity and insight, Hogan wonders what their legacies as fearless
JEFF SPARROW A meticulous unveiling of the enigmatic Daisy Bates and her writing companion Ernestine Hill. BILL GARNER 9 781742 236599 AUSTRALIAN HISTORY / BIOGRAPHY
E L E A NOR HOG A N
work of these indefatigable women. From a contemporary perspective, their work
seems quaint and sentimental, their outlook and preoccupations dated, paternalistic
C Format 153 x234 mm
A stunning achievement of epic storytelling, historical enquiry and elegant analysis. Eleanor Hogan has resurrected Hill and Bates as Australian icons, women as complex, compelling and deeply flawed as the nation itself. CLARE WRIGHT
vast Australian interior. Daisy Bates, dressed in Victorian garb, malnourished and
half-blind, camped with Aboriginal people in Western Australia and on the Nullarbor
An original and riveting biography of two of the
LONELINESS The unholy alliance of Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates
E L E A NOR HOG A N
A UNSW COMPANY
A N I M P R I N T O F U N SW P R E SS
Turkey: The Passenger (eds) Elif Shafak & Fattima Bhutto ($30, PB)
— Charlie Pickering
Daisy Bates and Ernestine Hill were bestselling writers who told of life in the
An astonishing true story that leaps off the page.
Tent Life: A Beginner’s Guide to Camping and a Life Outdoors by Doron Francis ($30, PB)
‘An extraordinary book.’
‘A stunning achievement of epic storytelling.’
This impressive biography reconceptualises the shifting, complex, relationships between Daisy Bates, Ernestine Hill and Indigenous Australians.
Through the centre of China’s historic capital, Long Peace Street cuts a long, arrow-straight line. It divides the Forbidden City, home to generations of Chinese emperors, from Tiananmen Square, the vast granite square constructed to glorify a New China under Communist rule. To walk the street is to travel through the story of China’s recent past, wandering among its physical relics & hearing echoes of its dramas. Long Jonathan Chatwin recounts a walk of 20 miles across Beijing offering a very personal encounter with the life of the capital’s streets. At the same time, he journeys through the city’s recent history, telling the story of how the present & future of the world’s rising superpower has been shaped by its tumultuous past, from the demise of the last imperial dynasty in 1912 through to the present day.
The birth of the ‘New Turkey’, as the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called his own creation, is an exemplary story of the rise of ‘illiberal democracies’ through the erosion of civil liberties, press freedom & the independence of the judicial system. Turkey was a complex country long before the rise of its new sultan: born out of the ashes of a vast multi-ethnic & multi-religious empire, it is poised between competing ideologies, secularism & piousness, a militaristic nationalism & exceptional openness to foreigners, defying easy labels & categories. Through the voices of some of its best writers & journalists these essays try to analyse how it got to where it is now, and finding the bright spots of hope that allow its always resourceful, often frustrated population to continue living, and thriving.
female outliers might be.
Long Peace Street: A Walk in Modern China by Jonathan Chatwin ($30, PB)
Learn the basics of camping, what to take, when to go and how to set up. Master chopping wood, making a campfire and cooking in the wild. Develop some basic bushcraft skills and gaze up to the heavens and navigate by the stars, the easy way. Use a map and compass to guide your hiking adventure and learn how to be gentle with your environment. With a wealth of illustrations, Tent Life will give you the tools to kick-start your outdoor lifestyle. Suitable for adults and children 10+.
— Anna Krien
On the first morning of Rome’s Covid-19 lockdown Matthew Kneale felt an urge to connect with friends & acquaintances & began writing an email, describing where he was, what was happening & what it felt like, and sent it to everyone he could think of. He was soon composing daily reports. Having lived in Rome for 18 years, Matthew has grown to know the capital and its citizens well and this collection of diary pieces connects what he has learned about the city with this extraordinary, anxious moment, revealing the Romans through the intense prism of the coronavirus crisis.
In Chernobyl, following the nuclear disaster, only a handful of people returned to their dangerously irradiated homes. On an uninhabited Scottish island, feral cattle live entirely wild. In Detroit entire streets of houses are falling in on themselves, looters slipping through otherwise silent neighbourhoods. This book explores the extraordinary places where humans no longer live—or survive in tiny, precarious numbers—to give a possible glimpse of what happens when mankind’s impact on nature is forced to stop. From Tanzanian mountains to the volcanic Caribbean, the forbidden areas of France to the mining regions of Scotland, Flyn brings together some of the most desolate, eerie, ravaged & polluted areas in the world to show how, against all odds, they offer our best opportunities for environmental recovery.
New Yorkers by Craig Taylor ($35, PB)
In the first 20 years of the 21st century, NYC has been convulsed by terrorist attack, blackout, hurricane, recession, social injustice & pandemic. Drawn from millions of words, hundreds of interviews & 6 years in the making Craig Taylor weaves the voices of some of the city’s best talkers into an indelible portrait of New York in our time. In a powerful hymn to the vitality & resilience of its people, New Yorkers explores the nonstop hustle to make it; the pressures on new immigrants, people of colour & the poor. It captures the strength of an irrepressible city that - no matter what it goes through - dares call itself the greatest in the world.
Venice in Silence by Gaby Wagner ($125, HB)
‘When news of the coronavirus arrived, the lockdown came fast to Italy. The figures were scary & the disaster bigger every day. But it also became a rare opportunity to truly see & share this magical city that I love so much. I photographed its overwhelming beauty, reflected in the liquid mirror of the canals, the glorious vision of architectural perfection, the colours enhanced by the incredible sun & deep blue sky we had every day. It has been a tremendous privilege to live in the emptiness, free of human beings, with all this beauty around and all to myself. The most incredible experience of my life & the images & feelings will stay with me forever, I hope you will have the impression you have been there with me.’
Eating With My Mouth Open by Sam van Zweden ($30, PB)
Food, Health & Garden
Sam van Zweden’s personal & cultural exploration of food, memory, & hunger revels in body positivity, dissects wellness culture & all its flaws, and shares the joys of being part of a family of chefs. Celebrating food & all the bodies it nurtures, his book considers the true meaning of nourishment within the broken food system we live in. Not holding back from difficult conversations about mental illness, weight & wellbeing, Sam van Zweden advocates for body politics that are empowering, productive & meaningful.
Doctor Dogs by Maria Goodavage ($33, PB)
Maria Goodavage travels the US, Europe & Asia investigating the ways dogs are opening new avenues of health care. Meet dogs & trainers who are keeping people safe during health crises—dogs who can interface with technology in case of emergency, if not actually ask Alexa to call an ambulance. Dogs are showing signs of being able to detect all kinds of cancer, heart disease & seizures before any human notices them. Individuals with mental disorders rely on their service dog to get them through hallucinatory episodes. Children have gotten relief from paralysing anxiety decrease. Beyond such moving tales Maria takes readers behind the scenes in labs where, for example, scientists are testing whether dogs can be used at international border quarantine facilities-potentially protecting the health of a whole country.
How to Endo by Bridget Hustwaite ($30, PB)
After years of dismissive doctors & misinformation, Bridget Hustwaite finally received a diagnosis for her intensely heavy periods, pulsing headaches & ovaries that felt like they are on fire—endometriosis. Two excision surgeries & one thriving endo Instagram community later Hustwaite has blended her own experience with a raft of tips & strategies from health experts & endo warriors to help you thrive whenever you can, and survive on days when you just can’t. Covering everything from diet to acupuncture, fertility to mental health, & surgery to sex, this is the essential guide to navigating this chronic illness.
Pose by Pose: The Yoga Anatomy Coloring Book by Kelly Solloway ($30, PB)
Yoga instructor, licensed massage therapist & anatomy teacher Kelly Solloway shows the proper engagement of muscles in dozens of fundamental & more advanced yoga poses, or asanas. As practitioners colour in the detailed black-and-white drawings, they can clearly see the asana & relevant anatomy; each illustration includes a label to colour & reinforce learning. Solloway explains how the muscles, bones, tendons & ligaments function together in each pose & provides advice on working safely & effectively.
The Beat of Life by Reinhard Friedl ($35, PB)
The heart is our most important—and perhaps most mysterious—organ. Every day it pumps 9000 litres of blood & beats around 100,000 times. But more than just a pump, it is seen as the source of love, sympathy, joy, courage, strength & wisdom. Why is this so? Having witnessed the extraordinary individuality & complexity of human hearts in the operating theatre, heart surgeon Reinhard Friedl examines closely the latest findings in neurocardiology & psychocardiology, he shares his discoveries—using personal stories to illustrate the complex relationship between the heart, the brain & the psyche.
The Emperor’s Feast: A History of China in Twelve Meals by Jonathan Clements ($33, PB) Jonathan Clements serves up the history of China not according to emperors or battles, but according to its food & drink—travelling from the rudimentary grain stews of the Bronze Age to the globalised restaurants of the 21st century, revealing how developments in politics, culture & technology created the ingredients, dishes & eating habits that define Chinese food today. We see the influence of invaders such as the Mongols and the Manchus, and how food like the fiery cuisine of Sichuan often became a stand-in for regional & national identities. Clements follows Chinese flavours to the shores of Europe & America, where chefs & home cooks created new traditions & dishes. From dim sum to mooncakes to General Tso’s chicken, he shows that the story of Chinese food is the story of a nation.
La Petite Escalère by Dominique Haim ($99, HB)
In the 1970s, in the region of the Landes, between Bayonne and Peyrehorade, on the banks of the Adour River, photographer Jeannette Leroy & art dealer Paul Haim created a sculpture garden around a modest farm, La Petite Escalère. Amidst canals, bridges, paths made of railway ties, and many trees & flowers, they installed about 50 works, some of them monumental, by artists such as Rodin, Maillol, Niki de Saint Phalle, Zao Wou-Ki, Francoise Lacampagne, Cardenas, Mark Di Suvero, Leger, Matta, Zigor. Paul positioned the sculptures, and to help them vanish into the natural environment Jeannette would plant a shrub, a rosebush, dahlias, an oak, a maple, a gingko, a Caucasian walnut. ‘The nonchalant visitor will pass from the shade of Les Barthes to the brightness of the Moura, from the freshness of the fountains to the suffocating heat of the forest. Coming around a bush, he allows himself to be surprised by an unusual presence. Immutable. ...Far from the agitations of the world, sinking into nothingness, watching the clouds go by, contemplating the places of joy.’
Coastline by Lucio Galletto & David Dale
The perfect pesto. The best bouillabaisse. The purest paella. A river of gold flows through western Italy, southern France & eastern Spain. It’s the olive oil that links 3 great cuisines, along with a love of garlic, anchovies, peppers, fresh herbs & seasonal vegetables. In stories, recipes & beautiful photography, Coastline explores the legacy of the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs & the Vikings, & their gift of a ‘cuisine of the sun’. ($50, HB)
Wild Mushrooming: A Guide for Foragers by Alison Pouliot & Tom May ($50, PB)
Fungi are diverse, delicious and sometimes deadly. This extensively illustrated guide has sections on where, when & how to find fungi—guiding the forager in the identification of 10 edible species. Diagnostic information on toxic fungi & lookalike species helps to differentiate the desirable from the deadly. Wild Mushrooming then provides cooking techniques & 29 recipes from a variety of cuisines that can be adapted for both foraged & cultivated fungi.
How Wild Things Are by Analiese Gregory
When chef Analiese Gregory relocated to Tasmania she found a new rhythm to the days she spent cooking, fishing, foraging, hunting & discovering—a girl’s own adventure at the bottom of the world. The more than 40 recipes, including ferments, in this book are interwoven with Analiese’s compelling story offering a window into the joys of travel, freedom, vulnerability & the perennial search for meaning in what we do. ($45, HB)
Torta della Nonna by Emiko Davies
Sweet Italian breakfasts (including Lemon & ricotta cake, Italian brioche croissants; classic treats from nonna’s oven (Hazelnut cake, Chocolate & amaretti flan; snacks (Rosemary & sultana buns, Sweet breadsticks: biscuits (Red crown biscuits, Almond biscotti); recipes for celebrations (Florentine cake; Honey & nut pastries; Chocolate-filled sponge roll); treats to eat with a spoon (Baked rice pudding; Coffee-laced ricotta); frozen treats (Milk gelato; Plum sorbet; Gianduia semifreddo); and 5 essentials. Yum! ($35, HB)
Preserving the Italian Way by Pietro Demaio ($40, PB)
This is essential reading for anyone who wants to preserve their own food, reduce food waste & help keep cultural traditions alive. Pietro Demaio has collected family recipes handed down for generations from nonne & nonni all around Italy—including how to preserve vegetables & fish in oil, vinegar or salt, how to make cheese, cure meats & dry herbs, and traditional methods for making bread, wine & liqueurs.
Slow Victories by Katrina Meynink ($35, PB)
Mother of 3 Katrina Meynink embraces the chaos with a line-up of 90-plus recipes for the slow cooker with chapters dedicated, individually, to: grains, soups, condiments, batch cooking, vegetables, weekend cooking, sweets, fancy things, and the dreaded end-of-week what’s-fordinner-dilemma—so-called Fragile Fridays at her house. Highlights include: Spiced lamb burghul, Old school tomato soup, Fenugreek cauliflower curry, Wild rice with mushrooms, rosemary & cranberries; Strawberry & pink peppercorn crumble bars; & Yuzu lemon pudding with lemon crumble.
Mochi Magic by Kaori Becker ($27, PB)
Mochi—the traditional Japanese treat made of chewy rice dough—is a versatile vehicle for all kinds of sweet & savoury fillings. Each colourful page of this book brims with recipes for hand-pounded, steamed & modern microwave mochi; fillings like rosewater, Nutella, black sesame, Oreo Cream Cheese & Japanese plum wine; mochi-focused goodies like Bacon-Wrapped Mochi, baked goods; & inspiration for shaping mochi flowers, baby chicks, pandas & more.
Sumac by Anas Atassi ($50, HB)
Here are over 80 recipes inspired by Anas Atassi’s family recipes & travels. It includes the Friday breakfasts he’d eat in his grandmother’s garden, his mother’s sfeeha, the falafel he now loves to make for his friends, along with many other mezze, salads, meats, vegetables & desserts. This is an evocative & inspiring food journey that offers a glimpse into Syrian food culture’s historical roots, which through millennia of cultural traditions & neighbouring influences have been shared & shaped to perfection.
books for kids to young adults
Chosen by Elissa , Rachel and Louise
The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau by Jon Agee ($25, HB) ‘Outrageous!’ the judges cried. ‘Ridiculous!’ Who would dare enter a portrait of a duck in the Grand Contest of Art? But when Felix Clousseau’s painting quacks, he is hailed as a genius. Suddenly everyone wants a Clousseau masterpiece, and the unknown painter becomes an overnight sensation. That’s when the trouble begins. Art imitates life in this hilarious, absurdist picture book—one of Jon Agee’s most beloved titles, now back in print.
I Am Not a Penguin: A Pangolin’s Lament by Liz Wong ($30, HB)
Poor pangolin—he’s trying to explain who he is, but all the other animals keep getting confused. You have scales-like a snake? A long tongue-like a frog? A strong scent-like a skunk? You can roll in a ball-like an armadillo? And a name that sounds a lot like...penguin? We love penguins! ‘No, no, no! I am not a penguin! There are no penguins here!’ But then, just when it couldn’t get worse, a penguin arrives!! What’s a poor pangolin to in this funny (and informative) tale of mistaken identities?!
I Talk Like A River by Jordan Scott (ill) Sydney Smith
After a day of hiding at the back of the class, of being stared at when words tangle his tongue, a boy & his father go to the river for some quiet time. ‘It’s just a bad speech day,’ says Dad. But the boy can’t stop thinking about all the eyes watching his lips twisting & twirling. Then his father points to the river bubbling, churning, whirling & crashing—stuttering along just like him—‘I talk like a river!’ This is a moving and beautifully illustrated journey from silence to acceptance and speech. ($28, HB)
Welcome, Child! by Sally Morgan ($13, BD)
A perfect gift for a newborn—Sally Morgan’s new board book is celebration of the love felt for a new child. Her colourful artwork depicts love using a bright colour palette of happy birds, dancing stars & hearts that shine and the gentle lilt of her text echoes the deep joy of new life.
The Puffin Keeper by Michael Morpurgo ($30, HB)
It was Benjamin Postlethwaite’s job all his long life to make sure the light shone brightly high up in the lighthouse on Puffin Island. Not once in all his years as the lighthouse keeper had he ever let his light go out. But sometimes even the brightest light on a lighthouse cannot save a ship. This is a story of a life-changing friendship, a lost puffin, and a lonely artist. It’s the story of an entire lifetime, and how one world-class illustrator, Benji Davies offer up a magical new story to enchant readers of all ages.
School of Monsters Series by Sally Rippin ($9, PB each)
Stand Up! Speak Up! by Andrew Joyner ($33, HB)
After attending a climate march, a young activist is motivated to make an effort and do her part to help the planet... by organizing volunteers to work to make green changes in their community, from cleaning a lake, to planting trees, to making composting bins, to hosting a clothing swap and more! With illustrations reminiscent of 50s picture books married to simple declarative statements this will inspire kids and their parents.
fiction Under 8’s
Little Gem by Anna Zobel ($15, PB)
When her spell at Witchcraft School goes wrong, Gem lands in an unfamiliar, empty cottage, outside a strange, colourful town. Everyone in Ellsworth Pining thinks Gem is their new village witch, even when Gem tries to correct them. And Gem’s new friends do need her. The Weather Worker is missing, and there are tales of a terrifying beast in the woods. Gem might know a spell that could help—if she can get it right.
Illustrated by Chris Kennett, Sally Rippin’s new first-reader series is about the weird and wonderful students at the School of Monsters. Pete’s Big Feet: Pete refuses to run because of his long legs and enormous feet, but when Jamie Lee gets stuck down the well, it will take a special someone to rescue her Mary Has the Best Pet: Mary LOVES her little pet! Surely it will be OK to sneak him inside her hat just for the morning...even if he hasn’t been fed yet. Deb and Dot and the Mix-Up Plot: Everyone likes friendly Deb, but her twin Dot doesn’t play nicely with the other monsters! Will Teacher Ted plan save the day?
fiction 8 to 12
The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe ($18, PB)
Meet Nora. Also known as Rebecca, Samantha, Haley, Katie & Ashley—the girls she’s been. As the daughter of a con artist who targeted criminals, Nora always had to play a part. But when her mother fell for one of the targets instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con herself: escape. For five years Nora’s been playing at normal— but things are far from it when she finds herself held at gunpoint in the middle of a bank heist, along with Wes (her ex-boyfriend) and Iris (her secret new girlfriend and mutual friend of Wes ... awkward). Now it will take all of Nora’s con artistry skills to get them out alive.
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home & start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts his younger sister, Nadia, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom. Karina’s mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated—her court threatening mutiny. The grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic—which requires the beating heart of a king. By offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition. When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a heart-pounding course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death. ($20, PB)
The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough
Tiger Daughter by Rebecca Lim ($17, PB)
Wen Zhou is the daughter & only child of Chinese immigrants whose move to the lucky country has proven to be not so lucky. Wen & her friend, Henry Xiao—whose mum & dad are also struggling immigrants—both dream of escape from their unhappy circumstances, and form a plan to sit an entrance exam to a selective high school far from home. But when tragedy strikes, it will take all of Wen’s resilience and resourcefulness to get herself and Henry through the storm that follows.
The Valley of Lost Secrets by Lesley Parr ($15, PB)
It’s a hot summer, and life’s going all right for Jackson & his family on the Mish. It’s almost Christmas, school’s out, and he’s hanging with his mates, teasing the visiting tourists, avoiding the racist boys in town. Just like every year, Jackson’s Aunty & annoying little cousins visit from the city—but this time a mysterious boy with a troubled past comes with them. As their friendship evolves, Jackson must confront the changing shapes of his relationships with his friends, family & community. And he must face his darkest secret—a secret he thought he’d locked away for good. ($20, PB)
September 1939. When Londoner Jimmy is evacuated to a small village in Wales—green, quiet and full of strangers—he instantly feels out of place. Then he finds a skull hidden in a tree, and suddenly the valley is more frightening than the war. Who can Jimmy trust? His brother is too little; his best friend has changed. Working with an ally he never expected, he uncovers the secrets that lie with the skull. What they discover will change Jimmy and the village forever.
Listen, Layla by Yassmin Abdel-Magied
Layla has ended the school year on a high and can’t wait to spend the holidays hanging out with her friends and designing a prize-winning Grand Designs Tourismo invention. But Layla’s plans are interrupted when her grandmother in Sudan falls ill and the family rush to be with her. The last time Layla went to Sudan she was only a young child. Now she feels torn between her Sudanese and Australian identities. As political tensions in Sudan erupt, so too do tensions between Layla and her family. Layla is determined not to lose her place in the invention team, but will she go against her parents’ wishes? What would a Kandaka do? ($17, PB)
Bookclub and Kids Events with Rachel Robson
Our book clubs are back in full swing, and we had an amazing first book club session for 2021 with Ursula Dubosarsky talking to the kids about her latest book for 7–12 year olds, Pierre’s Not There. Part narrative/part play, it is the perfect read aloud for all ages. Ursula told us all about what inspired her to write such a wonderful story and then with the aid of some dress-ups, we acted out the story for Ursula. We were also extremely lucky to have had Christopher Nielsen draw images from the book on our kid’s window. What an absolute treat! We have more exciting authors joining us in March. Our year 3/4 kids have Saffron Howden, journalist and author of The Kid Reporter, a brilliant new guide for kids interested in starting a school newspaper, podcast, youtube channel. She will be joined by editor Nicky Shortridge, from Kookie magazine, The session will be a fun, very interactive masterclass in journalism for kids with lots of role plays and hot tips on interviewing people and getting your message across. Make sure you book a spot for this one as it will be super popular, Saturday 6th of March at 3:30pm. We also have Gary Lonesborough joining our year 9/10 book club on Saturday, March 27th at 3:30pm to talk about his amazing new teen novel, The Boy From The Mish. This contemporary Own Voices romance between two aboriginal boys has been a favourite amongst our staff and we cannot wait to discuss the book with Gary, all welcome but please book a spot so you don’t miss out.
Rhymetime Mondays 10am Storytime Fridays 10am Book Club—Saturdays: Mar. 6th Years 3/4 Kookie & Kid Reporter Mar. 13th Years 5/6 When we get lost in Dreamland or The Mysterious Disappearance of Adrian S. 20th Years 7/8 to be decided Sat 27th Years 9/10 The Boy From the Mish
Friday, March 5th at 10am. We have a special Storytime and craft session with current children’s laureate Ursula Dubosasrsky reading her fabulous new picture book The March Of the Ants, illustrated by the legendary Tohby Riddle. It is a free event, all welcome but be sure to book as spots are limited. We are also thrilled to have Tohby Riddle as our Illustrator-In-Residence for March. He will be drawing his wonderful ants marching all over our window and we will be celebrating his many beautifully illustrated books throughout March. Maybe include some of Tohby’s fabulous picture books for the images. Rachel
Kid Reporter: The secret to breaking news by Saffron Howden & Dhana Quinn ($28, PB)
Start your career as a young reporter right now! Learn how to: research, investigate & interview; write, produce, photograph & record; factcheck & edit; start a school newspaper, create a TV-style news show, or a current affairs website or podcast. Kid Reporter will also help you navigate the daily deluge of media, information & ‘fake news’ & grasp the tools to become a responsible creator. Packed with inspiring stories from young people who’ve already started their reporting careers, and tips from some of Australia’s & the world’s leading journalism experts.
Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Anna Brett (ill) Nick Hayes ($35, HB)
This book lets the young reader (7+) discover how Darwin changed our understanding of the human race—and our place within the animal kingdom—with his ground-breaking work, On the Origin of Species. Short comprehensive chapters, show kids the ideas—as well as their consequences—of one of the most influential scientists in the world. This outsize book includes a glossary of key terms & concepts making it an invaluable companion for the understanding of Darwin’s theory—and perfect for a grown-up brush-up while introducing it to the kids!
When We Got Lost in Dreamland by Ross Welford ($17, PB)
When 12 year-old Malky and his younger brother Seb become the owners of a ‘Dreaminator’ nothing is out of their reach—when you can share a dream with someone else—from tree-top flights & Spanish galleons, to thrilling battles & sporting greatness. But impossible dreams come with incredible risks, and when Seb won’t wake up and is taken to hospital in a coma, Malky must leave reality behind to undertake a final, terrifying journey to the stone-age to wake his brother.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. by David Levithan ($17, PB)
Aidan disappeared for six days—and just as suddenly reappeared. The story he tells is simply...impossible. Nobody but his brother believes him. When the kids in school hear Aidan’s story, they taunt him. Lucas is on Aidan’s side—but how can you believe in the impossible when everything and everybody is telling you not to?
The Golden Tower by Belinda Murrell
Transported to the land of Tuscia, Sophie accidentally saves the daughter of a wealthy family and is swept along on their journey to the Golden Tower. Now she is the only one standing between sisters Isabella and Bia and the terrible fate their stepmother has planned. Sophie doesn’t think she is brave enough, but with the help of a talking cat, a stableboy and some very tiny mischief-makers, she might be able to save the day. ($17, PB)
With a Little Kelp from Our Friends by Mathew Bate (ill) Liz Rowland ($30, HB)
Did you know that feeding seaweed to cows can reduce the methane in their burps and farts by more than half? Or that a forest of kelp absorbs more carbon than a tropical rainforest of the same size? We can even make edible bioplastics from seaweed! From ancient history and mythology to modern uses in food, health and medicine, complete with a guide to common seaweeds and foraging guidelines, this charmingly illustrated picture book both educates and inspires respect for the natural world..
Weave It! 15 Fun Weaving Projects for Kids by Maria Sigma ($56, HB) With 15 projects using natural & recycled materials and clear step-by-step instructions, supported by colourful photography Maria Sigma’s book introduces the junior crafter to one of the oldest worldwide craft traditions.
There are Fish Everywhere by Katie Haworth (ill) Britta Teckentrup
Some of them live in fresh water, some of them live under ice, and some even live in the desert. The are indeed fish everywhere. This is the first in a series of non-fiction books from staff favourite, illustrator Britta Teckentrup, about all sorts of animals along with a whole pile of weird and wonderful facts about them. ($17, PB)
Mellybean and the Giant Monster by Mike White
Melly loves to play games. But all her feline friends want to do is take naps. So when she doesn’t leave them alone, the cats trick her into burying a shoe in the backyard. But this small prank turns into a big problem when Melly falls down the hole—and lands smack-dab in the middle of a scuffle between a group of knights and a huge monster. ($23, PB)
The Sad Ghost Club V1 by Lize Meddings ($23, PB)
Even a day so bad you can barely get out of bed, when it’s a struggle to leave the house can surprise you. When one sad ghost, alone at a crowded party, spies another sad ghost across the room, they decide to leave together. What happens next changes everything. Because that night they start the The Sad Ghost Club—a secret society for the anxious and alone, a club for people who think they don’t belong.
The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen ($30, PB)
Real life isn’t a fairytale. But Tiên still enjoys reading his favourite stories with his parents from the books he borrows from the local library. It’s hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tiên, he doesn’t have the right words because his parents struggle with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he’s going through? Is there a way to tell them he’s gay?
Events r Calenda
What a pleasure it is to no longer be living through the year of 2020! I hope that you’ve all managed to get a break at some point, and are getting excited for the new books that 2021 will provide.
I am sure that this year won’t be without its challenges, but for the time being I’m looking forward to hosting real life events again. We’re lucky enough to have a large events space upstairs and are able to continue holding talks while observing social distancing requirements. It will be all about the quality rather than the quantity of the audience this year, so please remember to book ahead. At the time of writing this our schedule is rapidly filling up, and I’m really excited to be hosting Jonica Newby, Yumiko Kadota, and Satyajit Das in March. They’ll be covering topics like climate grief, toxic culture in the medical profession, and grappling with the way out from the environmental, social, and economic mess that we’ve found ourselves in. We’re also holding some events entirely on Zoom as well, with authors like Bill Bowtell and Kevin Rudd appearing on our virtual stage later in the month. I’m sure it will all be part of the new normal, so keep your eyes peeled for those special events. I’m thrilled to be back, and can’t wait to see you all for an even better year of Gleebooks events. James
Upstairs at 49 Glebe Pt Rd
Launch: March 5, 6.30 Philip Levinson with John Connolly Three Peaks Leadership: How to Make it as a CEO—Levinson shares the challenges he’s faced and the lessons he’s learned to help aspiring and new leaders prepare for life as a CEO. Event: March 10, 6.30 Jonica Newby Beyond Climate Grief— award-winning science reporter Jonica Newby explores how to navigate the emotional turmoil of climate change. Event: March 11, 6.30 Yumiko Kadota Emotional Female— A passionate account of the toxic culture of bullying and overwork that junior doctors can experience in the workplace as part of their training. Event: March 17, 6.30 Satyajit Das—Author talk A Banquet of Consequences Reloaded— the only book you need to understand how we got into our current economic, environmental and social mess—and how we might find our way out.
to watch out for
Zoom conversation Bill Bowtell & Kevin Rudd with Fran Kelly In the National Interest: The Case for Courage Zoom Launch: March 29, 6.30 Magonlia Cardona PhD & Ebony Lewis When the Time Comes: Stories from the End of Life —What do we want for ourselves and our loved ones, ‘when the time comes’? Collected and curated by a doctor and nurse working in end-of-life care
er! Rememb ee nd get fr a b lu c e Gle hops, Join the ld at our s ry e h s t n e v h eve entry to e rued wit c c a it d r e 10%cr he Gleane t d n a , e s . purcha your door o t d e r e v deli
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Women vs Hollywood: The Fall and Rise of Women in Film by Helen O’Hara ($33, PB)
The dawn of cinema was a free-for-all, and there were women who forged ahead in many areas of filmmaking. Early pioneers like Dorothy Arzner (who invented the boom mic, among other innovations) & Alice Guy-Blache shaped the way films are made. But it wasn’t long before these talented women were pushed aside & found themselves fighting a system that feeds on their talent, creativity & beauty but refuses to pay them the same respect as their male contemporaries—until now. The tide has finally begun to turn. A new generation of women, both in front of & behind the camera, are making waves in the industry & we can finally see how to put an end to a picture that is so deeply unequal—and discover a multitude of stories out there just waiting to be told.
Mozart: The Man Revealed by John Suchet
Exploring and unpicking the many legends about the muchloved and brilliant composer, John Suchet reveals a richer, more in-depth portrait of Mozart: blessed with a happy disposition yet suffering from bouts of depression, successful from a young age yet often struggling financially as he struggled to make his way in the world under the shadow of his domineering father. Naturally mischievous and obsessed with toilet humour, this is not the divine like figure we have come to expect. This is Mozart the man, as you may never have seen him before. ($23, PB)
Performance Psychology for Dancers by Erin Sanchez, Dave Collins and Aine Macnamara ($53, PB)
This is an accessible & practical guide to talent development, offering dancers & those around them support to navigate the challenges of training & the psychological strategies that underlie success. As coaches, parents & experienced practitioners themselves, the authors share their passion & expertise in talent development from experience working with in-training & professional dancers, athletes & the military. Additionally, a variety of current industry experts provide key insights & reflections on talent development, mental health & psychological skills for performance.
TV by Susan Bordo ($20, PB)
Once upon a time, the news was only 15 minutes long and middle-class families huddled around a tiny black-and-white screen, TV dinners on their laps, awaiting weekly sitcoms that depicted an all-white world in which mom wore pearls and heels as she baked endless pies. If this seems a distant past, that’s a measure of just how much TV has changed and changed us. Weaving together personal memoir, social and political history, and reflecting on key moments in the history of news broadcasting and prime time entertainment, Susan Bordo opens up the 75-year-old time-capsule that is TV and illustrates what a constant companion and dominant cultural force television has been, for good and for bad, in carrying us from the McCarthy hearings and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet to Mad Men, Killing Eve, and the emergence of our first reality TV president.
Memory Rose into Threshold Speech: The Collected Earlier Poetry by Paul Celan ($80, HB)
Translated by Pierre Joris, this bilingual edition follows the publication of Breathturn into Timestead, Paul Celan’s collected later poetry. Celan, a Romanian Jew who lived through the Holocaust, displays his sharp ability to pinpoint totalitarian cultural & political tendencies. The work, however, is not only reflective: there is in Celan a profound need & desire to create a new, inhabitable world & a new language for it. In this volume the reader witnesses Celan’s poems starting lush with surrealistic imagery, becoming pared down, with syntax growing tighter with his trademark neologisms & word-creations increasing.
‘Funny, raw, gutsy and stealthily sweet.’ EMILY MAGUIRE
Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen ($25, PB)
This fierce debut from award-winning indigenous writer Evelyn Araluen confronts the tropes & iconography of an unreconciled nation with biting satire & lyrical fury. Araluen interrogates the complexities of colonial & personal history with an alternately playful, tender & mournful intertextual voice, deftly navigating the responsibilities that gather from sovereign country, the spectres of memory & the debris of settlercoloniality.
Dead Cat Bounce by John Carey ($25, PB)
‘John Carey possesses a wicked, intelligent sense of humour and a deft feel for the play of language. His poetry is a finely calibrated device for detecting and skewering absurdity, cant, hypocrisy, humbug, mendacity, and institutional cruelty. Underlying the fun is the humanist’s lament that we should and could be better than this. Though overshadowed by his satires, this New and Selected also contains lyrical and personal poems which are acutely affecting.’ —Brook Emery.
Earth Dwellers: New Poems by Kristen Lang ($24, PB)
The Anthropocene—what can poetry do in this epoch in the Earth’s history defined by human impact? With her immersion in powerful wilderness landscapes, Kristen Lang challenges our human-centredness by embracing perspectives which set the intimate delicacy of life forms against time scales that go back millions of years. Asked where we come from, the poems speak not of nations or tribes but of mosses, mountains, oceans, birds. And asked where we are going, the poems refer not to rockets or recessions, but to the biome, a place where consumption is a relationship and not a right.
From the Booker Prize winning author of Never Let Me Go comes a stunning new novel that asks, what does it mean to love?
‘Brilliant. So compelling on so many levels.’ CHRIS HAMMER ‘A gripping thriller, brimming with heart and intellect.’ GERALDINE BROOKS ‘Fast-paced, gripping and frightening’ SOFIE LAGUNA
‘Profound, profane and darkly hilarious.’ BRI LEE
Ken by Anthony Lawrence ($20, PB)
Each stanza of Anthony Lawrence’s Ken gradually unveils, with a satirical and compassionate eye, a plastic doll’s restricted identity. Ken, the occupant of engendered humanity, is observed in a series of adventures, transgressions, and unresolved intimate encounters. Delightfully humorous and intellectually credible with a melancholy edge, Ken is a book for our times.
for the soul
Poetry has always sustained me through times of crisis and sor-
row, something I learned at a very early age when I was given The Golden Treasury of Poetry, edited Louis Untermeyer, illustrated by Joan Anglund Walsh (sadly out of print). It was a large and rich seam of poems that suited every mood I could possibly have, from the age of eight, to way past 80, I imagine. Love is as Strong as Death is a collection of poems chosen by Paul Kelly—and what a fabulously weighty book it is. With a wonderful plainly spoken introduction by Kelly which leads you into the rich world of the true poetry lover. He’s included lots of tried and true poetry, which seems to come alive in this context—erotic poetry, pious poetry, and poems by a very diverse range of poets. I’m not well read enough to be surprised by the number of poets I don’t know, but I’m happy there are so many old friends included. The Air Year by Carol Bird is a slim volume of poetry, in verse and prose, that leads you through the first year in a relationship, (air being the precursor of paper, the traditional gift for the first anniversary). I read this book from cover to cover—it’s not a linear narrative, but can be read that way. Carol Bird’s poetry is aerial, light and webby. There’s darkness there, and extraordinary imagery, (a poem of finding a torpedo in a forest made me laugh out loud, and a poem of doing Christmas craft in rehab caused me to pause). It’s mysterious, but instantly recognisable—even though her experiences may not be yours, you’ll get the jolt of human recognition, and need to keep reading. This book won the Costa Poetry Award in 2020. Louise
Dunce by Mary Ruefle ($30, PB)
Finalist for 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; Finalist for 2019 National Book Critics Circle Award; Finalist for 2019 LA Time Books Award. Ruefle delivers a giddy, incisive ode to failure, fragility, and unknowing in her 12th book. ‘It may be our heads/ are filled with feathers/ from the stuff/ we don’t know’, she hazards, tiptoeing through one after another outlandish scenario sketched with uncanny delicacy. Many of these poems conceal sly fragments of lyric allusion or history: ‘I loved to wander, utterly alone’; ‘The fourteenth way of looking at/ a blackbird is mine’. Rhymes abound as though refusing resistance to such play, and a poem that opens in euphoria (‘What a beautiful day for a wedding!’) ends, just a few lines later, in despair (‘I hate my poems’).
Aflame by Subhash Jaireth ($20, PB)
Aflame begins in Soviet Moscow and ends with a Tibetan Buddhist monk’s self-immolation; residing between them—improvisations after celebrated Japanese Haikus. Written in an intricate and polyphonic structure, Subhash Jaireth’s rare and carefully crafted rhythms reveal the creeping melancholic joy of silence and life’s elusive beauty.
Glide by Louise Crisp ($25, PB)
The 2nd part of an eco-poetic project that began with Louise Crisps landmark Yuiquimbiang, this new collection extends Crisp’s walking interrogation of environmental destruction in SE Australia; stolen land afflicted by the ongoing colonial practices of logging, mining and land clearing—endangered gliders of the foothill forests, rare grasslands of the Gippsland Plains, a copper mine on the montane headwaters of the Tambo River, and the historic Brolga country of the Gippsland Lakes’. Crisp creates an intimate & haunting poetics of inhabitation and dialogue with the more-than-human world.
At the Foot of the Mountain by Mal McKimmie
At the Foot of the Mountain contains several stunning sequences, including the title sequence, which is the highly allusive and tightly wrought result of a surprising collision between Dante’s Divine Comedy and Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. McKimmie’s poems reveal a searching, idiosyncratic mind—linguistically acrobatic, disruptive & delightful & often darkly funny. ($25, PB)
Granny’s Good Reads
with Sonia Lee
Just imagine that you are 45 years old and your mother dies leaving a letter telling you that she is not your mother but a nurse who kidnapped you from a maternity ward in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when you were three days old, brought you to Australia and raised you as her own. In Mother Tongue Joyce Kornblatt has written movingly about the effect such a revelation has on the protagonist herself and on the parents from whom she was stolen. In this beautifully written novel she asks questions about self-identity, betrayal and loss, and how much of a person’s character is due to nature and how much to nurture. Kornblatt’s book really plucks the heartstrings and I challenge anyone to read the last chapter without weeping. How could I resist a book with the title The Gifts of Reading, especially when it is inspired by Robert Macfarlane, with the proceeds going to the global literacy charity Room to Read? This is a new collection of deeply personal essays from famous authors such as Macfarlane himself, Philip Pullman, Roddy Doyle, Pico Iyer, Michael Ondaatje, Salley Vickers, and Jan Morris, about the dizzying power of reading and giving away books. As Macfarlane says: ‘books are time machines and they are wild woods: they are life changers and they are life shapers.’ Room to Read runs educational literacy programmes for children, particularly girls, living in low-income communities around the world, and editor Jennie Orchard hopes sales of Gifts will give a boost to their income, which has been hit hard by cancellations of fundraising events during the present pandemic. I loved this book and ended up buying three copies: one to keep and two to give away. Clive James has yet to let a small thing like dying stop him from writing books. In his prolonged last illness he wrote several books of poetry and has now given us The Fire of Joy, published posthumously, consisting of roughly 80 poems to get by heart and say aloud. The poems are mostly ones he learned as a boy and I’m sure many of them will be familiar—all the better if they aren’t. After each poem he supplies a brief commentary, and anyone who heard Clive James and Peter Porter talking about literature on ABC Radio National many years ago will remember what a gifted teacher he was. Everything James wrote is striking, memorable, enthusiastic and usually funny. I won’t tell you what poems he includes, except to give you a hint: Dover Beach is one and there are bits of the Rubaiyat. No Grey’s Elegy I’m sorry to say but that’s a minor quibble, and the quirky cover makes up for a multitude of omissions. Elizabeth von Arnim was a highly successful novelist in her time but is less well known these days except for Elizabeth and Her German Garden and Enchanted April. Gabrielle Carey has written a new biography of von Arnim titled Only Happiness Here, a critical appreciation of her life and work into which she pours self-revelations which I found fascinating. (I hope Carey has kept a diary which she can later publish, like Helen Garner.) Von Arnim was born in Australia, married a German Count with whom she had five children, then married Francis Russell, brother of Bertrand, and she also had a much younger lover. She maintained a close relationship with H.G. Wells, and E.M. Forster was tutor to her children. Carey feels a strong personal affinity with von Arnim, so she has written much more than a biography, making Only Happiness Here required reading for Carey fans as well. I have read three of von Arnim’s books: Elizabeth and her German Garden (perfect bedside reading) and The Enchanted April are sunny and optimistic, while Vera is a chilling portrait of domestic violence without the perpetrator ever raising a fist. Last year I was fascinated by eels; this year it’s fungi thanks to Merlin Sheldrake and his mind-altering, dazzling book, Entangled Life. We have become used to the idea of the importance of fungi and the Wood Wide Web, and now we’re beginning to appreciate that all of life relies in some way on fungi. They enabled the first life on land when a merger of algae and fungi to make lichens allowed the rootless ancestors of all our plants to emerge from water. Most plants depend on fungi for minerals such as nitrogen and phosphorus, giving carbon in exchange. Fungi can also eat a lot of rubbish, even oil spills. Sheldrake talks about the scientists who feed fungi with used baby nappies to produce edible mushrooms. Other scientists are using the psychedelic properties of fungi to alleviate some mental illnesses. Fungi can solve problems and manipulate animal behaviour and there is a fungus which makes parasitic use of ants, begging the question—can they manipulate humans too. It is interesting to read Helen Macdonald’s new collection Vesper Flights in tandem because she has an essay on looking for mushrooms, which chimes with Sheldrake’s chapter on hunting truffles. Both books are ‘door openers’ that took me in new and surprising directions. And ... if you haven’t caught up with Stella Hardy, J.M. Green’s sassy heroine who is always one step ahead of thugs who want to turn her into mush and bone fragments, read Shoot Through, which looks as if it could be Stella’s swan song. Sonia
Truth-Telling: History, sovereignty and the Uluru Statement by Henry Reynolds ($35, PB)
What if the sovereignty of the First Nations was recognised by European international law in the 18th & 19th centuries? What if the British annexation of a whole continent was not seen as acceptable at the time & that ‘peaceful settlement’ was a fiction? If the 1901 parliament did not have control of the whole continent, particularly the North, by what right could the new nation claim it? Henry Reynolds pulls the rug from legal & historical assumptions, showing exactly why our national war memorial must acknowledge the frontier wars, why we must change the date of our national day, and why treaties are important—making clear that the Uluru Statement is no rhetorical flourish but carries the weight of history & law, offering a map for the future.
Griffith Review 71: Remaking the Balance ($28, PB)
What we grow, eat, mine, burn, transform and manufacture all place increasing stress on the world’s ecosystems. And a planetary population of more than 7.8 billion means resources have never had to do more work, both economically and existentially. How can we change what we do with what we have? These essays, reportage, memoir, fiction & poetry examine our relationship with resources both tangible & intangible, physical & personal.
In The National Interest Series ($19.95 each, PB) Challenging Politics by Scott Ryan Power & Consent by Rachel Doyle The Case for Courage by Kevin Rudd Unmasked: The Politics of Pandemics by Bill Bowtell
Showcasing experts both from within Monash University and beyond, these short, thought-provoking and accessible books will address the major issues of our times, from public policy to governance and government.
The Vanishing Criminal: Causes of Decline in Australia’s Crime Rate by Weatherburn & Rahman
In 2000, Australia had the highest rate of burglary, the highest rate of contact crime (assault, sexual assault & robbery) & the 2nd highest rate of motor vehicle theft among the 25 countries included in the international crime victim survey, which takes in the US, the UK & most western European countries. Then in 2001, Australian crime statistics began to decline. By 2018, rates of the most common forms of crime had fallen between 40 & 80 percent & were lower than they’d been in twenty or in some cases 30 years. Don Weatherburn & Sara Rahman set out to explain the dramatic fall in crime, comparing competing theories against the available evidence. Their surprising conclusions will reshape the terms for discussion of these questions into the future. ($40, PB)
AFA 11: The March of Autocracy—Australia’s Fateful Choices (ed) Jonathan Pearlman ($23, PB)
In this issue: John Keane on despotism & the new Cold War between the US & China. Sam Roggeveen on the American contest against authoritarianism & how it is shaping US foreign policy. Linda Jaivin on what diplomatic & political levers Australia has at its disposal in dealing with China. Natasha Kassam & Darren Lim on how authoritarianism has risen in China & elsewhere in the wake of COVID-19 & a global shift in power. Ashley Townshend on how & why Australia should lead an international initiative to counter disinformation.
Renewal: Five Paths to a Fairer Australia by Sophie Cousins ($30, PB)
The COVID-19 pandemic has with great speed fundamentally altered the world in which we live. Whichever path takes us out of this crisis will lead to a new and unrecognisable world, and in the face of this disaster we are afforded the great privilege of reconsidering the principles & values that underpin our society, and rebuild accordingly. What would the ideal Australia look like—a fair & equal, green & healthy, secure & smarter Australia? And what would it take to get there? Sophie Cousins looks at government & politics, health & education, welfare, Indigenous affairs, and industry & climate change—talking to some of Australia’s brightest thinkers about the possibilities for renewal & the best way forward.
Reconstruction: Australia after COVID by John Edwards ($13, PB)
Until the coronavirus pandemic, nearly two-thirds of Australians had never experienced an economic slump in their working lives. Indeed, nearly half were not yet born when the Australian economy last tipped into recession. John Edwards examines the fractured state of the global economy and financial system, the ailing US economy and its epic contest with China, the global economic order, and what it all means for us.
Killing Sydney: The Fight for a City’s Soul by Elizabeth Farrelly ($35, PB)
Elizabeth Farrelly brings her unique perspective as architectural writer & former city councillor to a burning question for our times: how will we live in the future? Can our communities survive pandemic, environmental disaster, overcrowding, government greed & big business? Using her own adopted city of Sydney, she creates a roadmap for urban living & analyses the history of cities themselves to study why and how we live together, now and into the future. Killing Sydney is part-lovesong, part-warning: little by little, our politics are becoming debased and our environment degraded. The tipping point is close. Can the home we love survive?
Open Minds: Academic freedom and freedom of speech of Australia by Evans & Stone ($30, PB)
Are universities responsible for helping students to thrive in a free intellectual climate? Are public figures who work outside of academia owed an audience? Does a special duty of care exist for students & faculty targeted by hostile speech? And are high-profile cases diverting attention from more complex, serious threats to freedom in universities—such as those posed by domestic & foreign governments, industry partners & donors? This book investigates the arguments, analyses recent controversies & delves into the history of the university. It considers the academy’s core values & purpose, why it has historically given higher protection to certain freedoms, and how competing legal, ethical & practical claims can restrict free expression.
Return to Uluru by Mark McKenna ($35, HB)
When Mark McKenna set out to write a history of the centre of Australia, one event in 1934—the shooting at Uluru of Aboriginal man Yokunnuna by white policeman Bill McKinnon, and subsequent Commonwealth inquiry—stood out as a mirror of racial politics in the Northern Territory at the time. But then, through speaking with the families of both killer & victim, McKenna unearthed new evidence that transformed the historical record & the meaning of the event for today. As he explains, ‘Every thread of the story connected to the present in surprising ways.’ In a sequence of powerful revelations, McKenna explores what truthtelling & reconciliation look like in practice.
Fear of Abandonment: Australia in the world since 1942 by Allan Gyngell ($35, PB)
Allan Gyngell tells the story of how Australia has shaped the world & been shaped by it since it established an independent foreign policy during the dangerous days of 1942. He argues that the fear of being abandoned—originally by Britain, and later by our most powerful ally, the United States—has been an important driver of how Australia acts in the world. Spanning events as diverse as the Malayan Emergency, the White Australia Policy, the Vietnam War, Whitlam in China, apartheid in South Africa, East Timorese independence & the current South China Sea dispute, this vivid narrative history reveals how Australia has evolved as a nation on the world stage.
On Life’s Lottery by Glyn Davis ($17, PB)
Birth is a throw of the dice. The consequences last a lifetime. We like to think of Australia as the land of the ‘fair go’, a land of choice & equal opportunity. But behind the facade of meritocracy lies an uncomfortable truth: much of your life is already decided by the lottery of where you are born & who you are born to. Entrenched inter-generational poverty, like the property of the wealthy, can be handed down from parent to child. With one in eight adults & one in six children living below the poverty line in Australia, Glyn Davis asks the question: If life is a game of chance, what responsibility do those who are given a head start have to look after those less fortunate?
In the Eye of the Storm: Volunteers & Australia’s Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis ($40, PB)
The people who volunteered to help during the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s & early 1990s provided in-home care for the sick & dying, staffed needle exchanges & telephone help-lines, produced educational resources, served on boards of management, and provided friendship & practical support, among many other roles. They helped people affected by the virus to navigate a medical system that in preceding decades had been openly hostile towards the marginalised communities of homosexuals, drug users & sex workers. This book explores the crucial role of the men and women who volunteered at a time of disaster focusing on their individual life stories.
A Trip to the Dominions: The Scientific Event that Changed Australia by Lynette Russell ($29.95, PB) In 1914 the Australian Federal Government sponsored the British Association for the Advancement of Science to travel to Australia for their annual conference. Across 5 major cities, public talks, demonstrations & excursions familiarised the visiting scientists with Australian natural & hard sciences, geology, botany as well as anthropology—leaving a legacy we are still beneficiaries of today.
QE 81: Getting to Zero—Australia’s energy transition by Alan Finkel ($25, PB)
The world is overheating, emissions increase nearly every year. The challenge is immense, but there are solutions. In this essay Alan Finkel maps Australia’s energy transition—focusing strongly on clean technologies, including the use of hydrogen, and addresses the challenge of intermittent supply. He shows how we can build a zero-emissions world. Taking into account economics, science & emotions, this is an essential guide to how Australia can tackle the climate crisis reality &with ingenuity.
Talking Strong: The National Aboriginal Educational Committee & the development of Aboriginal educational policy by Leanne Holt ($39.95, PB)
By the late 1960s, Indigenous education in Australia was in crisis. When Whitlam swept to power in 1972, his government reached out to Indigenous people to guide change at a national level. The National Aboriginal Education Committee was the result. Leanne Holt traces the journey of the committee & its members from its inception in the mid 1970s to its completion in 1989—introducing the radical men & women who served on the committee. May O’Brien, one of the Stolen Generation, who fought the odds to become the first Aboriginal teacher in WA. Stephen Bamba, a musician, diesel mechanic & teacher from Broome, who at just 27 became the committee’s chair. The committee travelled all over Australia listening to teachers & communities & meeting with & challenging politicians. They believed that an education in harmony with their own cultural values & identity was the best means for Indigenous people to achieve self-determination—forever influencing the participation, retention & success of Indigenous people at all levels of education in Australia.
The Emperor’s Grace: Untold Stories of the Australians Enslaved in Japan during World War II by Mark Baker ($34.95, PB)
When the Japanese seized most of South-East Asia in early 1942, they captured 22,000 Australian military personnel. More than a third would die over the next 3 years from malnutrition, disease & violent abuse. The horrors of the Thai–Burma Railway & Sandakan are well documented. Less well known is the fate of the 3,800 Australians sent to work as slave labourers in the factories and mines of mainland Japan. This is the story of the men of ‘C’ Force—the first contingent of Australian, British and Dutch POWs shipped from Singapore to Japan in November 1942—who worked in the Kawasaki Shipyard in Kobe before the American firebombing campaign razed the city, and then the infamous Fukuoka coal mine before the atomic bombings brought World War II to an end.
Secret and Special by Will Davies ($35, PB)
Soon after the declaration of war on Japan, a secret military reconnaissance unit was established, based on the British Special Operations Executive (known as SOE) & called the Inter-allied Services Department. The unit was tasked with the role to ‘obtain & report information of the enemy ... weaken the enemy by sabotage & destruction of morale & to lend aid & assistance to local efforts to the same end in enemy occupied territories.’ In 1943 it became known under the cover name Special Reconnaissance Department (SRD) & included some British officers who had escaped from Singapore. After arriving in Australia, they assembled in Melbourne, forming the nucleus of ISD & together with some Australians established what became the Z Special Unit. This is the untold story of Z Special Unit & Operations, the precursor to the elite SAS, and the extraordinary feats they undertook in the Pacific during WW2.
The Ruby Princess by Duncan McNab ($35, PB)
In the early hours of Thursday 19 March 2020, the luxury cruise liner Ruby Princess docked at Sydney’s Circular Quay, 2700 passengers disembarked in the middle of a global pandemic with no health checks. Eventually over 900 passengers & crew would be diagnosed, and 28 would die from the disease. Months of investigation & a Special Commission uncovered a series of catastrophic mistakes, from negligence to the corporate greed of an industry with a history of only caring for its bottom line. Duncan McNab explores the causes of this spectacular quarantine failure, the cruise industry, the lives of the victims & their families, and the turbulent politics of blame.
Endeavour Voyage: The Untold Stories of Cook and the First Australians ($49.95, PB)
For this exhibition & companion book, the National Museum of Australia worked closely with Indigenous people from communities along the east coast of Australia—people whose ancestors witnessed the events of 1770. Richly illustrated the book the back story to the exhibition & offers insights from Megan Davis, Maria Nugent, Angus Trumble, Sarah Engledow & others on both Captain James Cook & the Endeavour voyage, including how our understandings of the events of 1770 have been shaped, in part, by a 250th anniversary year defined by COVID-19.
This is the gripping story of the Falcons—the top-secret Iraqi intelligence unit that infiltrated the Islamic State. Against the backdrop of the most brutal conflict of recent decades, Margaret Coker charts the spymaster’s struggle to develop the unit; follows the fraught relationship of two of his agents, the al-Sudani brothers—one undercover in ISIS, the other his handler—and tracks a disillusioned scientist as she turns bomb-maker. With unprecedented access to characters on all sides, Pulitzer Prize-finalist Coker challenges the conventional view that western coalition forces defeated ISIS, telling a page-turning story of unlikely heroes, unbelievable courage & good old-fashioned spycraft. ($35, PB)
On Charlatans by Chris Bowen ($17, PB)
Selling themselves as a new & different alternative to traditional politicians, charlatans have decimated centre-left political parties around the world but offer no solutions to the concerns of the ordinary people who they dupe into voting for them. Between Trump’s disastrous final weeks in the White House, the UK’s total COVID-19 meltdown under Boris & the 3-word slogans driving Scotty from Marketing’s policies, Chris Bowen’s dissection of the politics of charlatanism & his stirring call to defeat it has never been more urgent.
Lead The Way: How To Change The World From A Teen Activist & School Striker by Jean Hinchliffe Jean Hinchliffe is one of the key organisers of School Strikes 4 Climate, and in this book she shares her tools, stories and learnings from the movement. From identifying your cause to finding allies, planning a march, nailing your messaging, public speaking and working with the media, to the importance of self-care when you’re on your activist journey, Hinchliffe will guide you to start changing the world today. ($25, PB)
Money and Power: The World Leaders Who Changed Economics by Vince Cable ($33, PB)
Through economics politicians have the power to transform people’s lives for better or worse. Deng Xiaoping lifted millions out of poverty by opening up China; Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’ helped the USA break free of the Great Depression. Or Peron & his successors in Argentina brought the country to the brink of ruin. Economist & politician Vince Cable examines the legacy of 16 world leaders who transformed their countries’ economic fortunes & who also challenged economic convention. From Thatcher to Trump from Lenin to Bismarck, Cable provides a whole new perspective on the science of government—examining the fascinating interplay of economics & politics over the last 300 years.
Vicarious Warfare: American Strategy and the Illusion of War on the Cheap by Thomas Waldman
America has been at war for most of the 20th & 21st centuries & during that time has progressively moved towards a vicarious form of warfare, where key tasks are delegated to proxies, the military’s exposure to danger is limited, and special forces & covert instruments are on the increase. Important strategic decisions are taken with minimal scrutiny or public engagement. Thomas Waldman’s account charts the historical emergence of this distinctive tradition of war & explains the factors driving its contemporary prominence. He contrasts the tactical advantages of vicarious warfare with its hidden costs & potential to cause significant strategic harm. ($45, HB)
The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann
Recycle. Fly less. Eat less meat. These are some of the ways that we’ve been told can slow climate change. But the inordinate emphasis on behaviour is the result of a marketing campaign that has succeeded in placing the responsibility for fixing climate change squarely on the shoulders of individuals. Fossil-fuel companies have followed the example of other industries deflecting blame (think ‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people’) or greenwashing. Michael Mann argues that all is not lost. He draws the battle lines between the people and the polluters—fossil-fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats, and petro-states. And he outlines a plan for forcing our governments & corporations to wake up and make real change. ($35, HB)
special price $29.99
The Spymaster of Baghdad by Margaret Coker
This is a time of momentous upheaval & enormous geopolitical shifts, compounded by the global pandemic, economic collapse & growing inequality, Islamist & far right terror, and a resurgent white supremacy. The world is in lockdown & the showdown with China is accelerating—and while the West has been at the forefront of history for 200 years, it must now adapt to a world it no longer dominates. At this moment, we stand on a precipice—what will become of us?Stan Grant weaves his personal experiences of reporting from the front lines of the world’s flashpoints, together with his deep understanding of politics, history & philosophy, to explore what is driving the world to crisis & how it might be averted.
‘A literary puzzle, an engrossing war story and a captivating tale’ Ryan O’Neill
Books for book lovers
With the Falling of the Dusk by Stan Grant ($35, PB)
‘Wise, witty and humane.’ Gail Jones
‘An entertaining, heartwarming story that captures our love of books.’ Liz Byrski
Bag Man by Rachel Maddow & Michael Yarvitz
March Gleebooks Ad.indd 1973, 1
3/2/21 Spiro T. Agnew, Richard Nixon’s Vice President, had car-3:26 pm ried out a bribery & extortion ring in office for years, when—at the height of Watergate—three young federal prosecutors discovered his crimes & launched a mission to take him down before Nixon’s impending downfall elevated Agnew to the presidency. Agnew did everything he could to bury their investigation: dismissing it as a ‘witch hunt’, riling up his partisan base, making the press the enemy, and, with a crumbling circle of loyalists, scheming to obstruct justice in order to survive. Maddow & Yarvitz detail the investigation that exposed Agnew’s crimes, the attempts at a cover-up— which involved future president George H. W. Bush—and the backroom bargain that forced Agnew’s resignation but also spared him years in federal prison. ($46, PB)
Coming of Age in the War on Terror by Randa Abdel-Fattah ($35, PB)
‘One minute you’re a 15-year-old girl who loves Netflix and music and the next minute you’re looked at as maybe ISIS.’ We now have a generation—Muslim & non-Muslim—who has grown up only knowing a world at war on terror, and who has been socialised in a climate of widespread Islamophobia, surveillance and suspicion. In Coming of Age in the War on Terror, award-winning writer Randa Abdel-Fattah interrogates the impact of all this on young people’s political consciousness and their trust towards adults and the societies they live in. Drawing on local interviews but global in scope, this book is the first to examine the lives of a generation for whom the rise of the far-right and the growing polarisation of politics seem normal.
The Purpose of Power by Alicia Garza ($35, PB)
Hashtags don’t build movements, she tells us. People do. Interwoven with Alicia Garza’s experience of life as a Black woman, is the story of how she responded to the persistent message that Black lives are of less value than white lives by galvanizing people to create change. She offers insight into grass roots organizing to deliver basic needs—affordable housing, workplace protections, access to good education— to those locked out of the economy by racism. She attempts not only to make sense of where Black Lives Matter came from but also to understand the possibilities that Black Lives Matter & movements like it hold for our collective futures—demanding that we think about our privileges & prejudices & ask how we might contribute to the change we want to see in the world.
Is It Tomorrow Yet? Paradoxes of the Pandemic by Ivan Krastev ($23, PB)
In this thought-provoking essay, Ivan Krastev explores the pandemic’s immediate consequences & conceives of its long-term legacy. What will change for the young & for the old? Will things be different for the communities most harmed, and for those who escaped the worst? Where are we now with the US & China, with the UK and Europe? And how do we think our way through the unthinkable?
The Emperor’s New Road: China and the Project of the Century by Jonathan E. Hillman ($41.95, HB)
China’s Belt & Road Initiative is the world’s most ambitious & misunderstood geoeconomic vision. To carry out President Xi Jinping’s flagship foreign-policy effort, China promises to spend over one trillion dollars for new ports, railways, fiber-optic cables, power plants, and other connections. The plan touches more than 130 countries & has expanded into the Arctic, cyberspace & outer space. Taking readers on a journey to China’s projects in Asia, Europe & Africa, Hillman reveals how this grand vision is unfolding. As China pushes beyond its borders & deep into dangerous territory, it is repeating the mistakes of the great powers that came before it, he argues. If China succeeds, it will remake the world & place itself at the centre of everything—it may be an overreach—all roads do not yet lead to Beijing.
The Riddle of the Rosetta ($70, HB) by Jed Z. Buchwald & Diane Greco Josefowicz
This book draws on fresh archival evidence to provide a new account of how the English polymath Thomas Young & the French philologist Jean-François Champollion vied to be the first to solve the riddle of the Rosetta. Much more than a decoding exercise centred on a single artefact, the race to decipher the Rosetta Stone reflected broader disputes about language, historical evidence, biblical truth & the value of classical learning. Young disdained Egyptian culture & saw Egyptian writing as a means to greater knowledge about Greco-Roman antiquity. Champollion, swept up in the political chaos of Restoration France & fiercely opposed to the scholars aligned with throne & altar, admired ancient Egypt & was prepared to upend conventional wisdom to solve the mystery of the hieroglyphs. Taking readers from the hushed lecture rooms of the Institut de France to the windswept monuments of the Valley of the Kings, their tale reveals the untold story behind one of the 19th century’s most thrilling discoveries.
Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century by Sarah A. Stein ($33, PB)
For centuries, the bustling port city of Salonica was home to the sprawling Levy family. As leading publishers & editors, they helped chronicle modernity as it was experienced by Sephardic Jews across the Ottoman Empire. The wars of the 20th century, however, redrew the borders around them, in the process transforming the Levys from Ottomans to Greeks. Family members soon moved across boundaries & hemispheres, stretching the familial diaspora from Greece to Western Europe, Israel, Brazil & India. In time, the Holocaust nearly eviscerated the clan, eradicating whole branches of the family tree. Sephardic historian Sarah Abrevaya Stein uses the family’s correspondence to tell the story of their journey across the arc of a century & the breadth of the globe—telling tell not only the Levy’s history, but the history of Sephardic Jews in the 20th century.
The Shortest History of England by James Hawes
James Hawes journeys from Caesar to Brexit via Conquest, Empire & world war & discovers an England very different to the standard vision. The stable island fortress, stubbornly independent, the begetter of parliaments & globe-spanning empires, is riven by an ancient fault line that pre-dates even the Romans; its fate has ever been bound up with that of its neighbours, whether the English like it or not; and, for the past 1,000 years, it has harboured a class system like nowhere else on Earth. There is no better guideto understand why England is the way it is. ($28, PB)
You Don’t Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War by Elizabeth Becker ($33, PB)
Australian reporter Kate Webb spent 23 days in Vietcong captivity only to continue her fearless reporting after her release. American Frankie Fitzgerald became the first female war reporter for The New Yorker. And at only 22, the French Catherine Leroy was one of the only female photographers in Vietnam—jumping out of planes to get the perfect aerial shot. Over the course of the Vietnam War they challenged the rules imposed on them, all in an effort to get the story straight. Using the stories of these 3 women, Elizabeth Becker traces in Vietnam from the Tet Offensive to the revolution in Cambodia to the American defeat & aftermath.
Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World by Simon Winchester ($35, PB)
In 1889, thousands of hopeful people raced southward from the Kansas state line & westward from the Arkansas boundary to stake claims on the thousands of acres of unclaimed pastures & meadows. Across the 20th century, water was dammed & drained in Holland so that a new province, Flevoland, rose up, unchartered & requiring new thinking. In 1850, California legislated the theft of land from Native Americans. What of government confiscation of land in India, or questions of fairness when it comes to New Zealand’s Maori population & the legacy of settlers? Simon Winchester explores the stewardship of land, the ways it is delineated & changes hands, the great disputes & the questions of restoration—particularly in the light of climate change & colonialist reparation.
The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World by Virginia Postrel ($45, HB)
Textiles created empires & powered invention. They established trade routes & drew nations’ borders. Since the first thread was spun, fabric has driven technology, business, politics & culture. The origins of chemistry lie in the colouring & finishing of cloth. The beginning of binary code—and perhaps all of mathematics— is found in weaving. Selective breeding to produce fibres heralded the birth of agriculture. The belt drive came from silk production. So did microbiology. The textile business funded the Italian Renaissance & the Mughal Empire; it left us double-entry bookkeeping & letters of credit, the David & the Taj Mahal. As much as spices or gold, the quest for fabrics & dyes drew sailors across strange seas, creating an ever-more connected global economy. Synthesizing research from economics, archaeology & anthropology, Virginia Postrel weaves a rich tapestry of human cultural development.
Philosophy & Religion
Irrationality: A History of the Dark Side of Reason by Justin E. H. Smith ($30, PB)
From sex & music to religion & politics, a history of irrationality & the ways in which it has always been with us—and always will be. In this sweeping account of irrationality from antiquity to the rise of Twitter mobs & the election of Donald Trump, Justin Smith argues that irrationality makes up the greater part of human life & history. Ranging across philosophy, politics & current events, he shows that, throughout history, every triumph of reason has been temporary & reversible, and that rational schemes often result in their polar opposite. Illuminating unreason at a moment when the world appears to have gone mad again, Smith’s book is timely, provocative & fascinating.
Dissimilar Similitudes: Devotional Objects in Late Medieval Europe by Caroline W. Bynum
Between the 12th & the 16th centuries, European Christians used in worship a plethora of objects, not only prayer books, statues, and paintings but also pieces of natural materials, such as stones & earth, dolls representing Jesus & Mary, and even bits of consecrated bread & wine. In a set of inter-related essays, Caroline Bynum considers some examples of such holy things. First, she demonstrates that the objects themselves communicate a paradox of dissimilar similitude—that is, that in their very details they both image the glory of heaven & make clear that heaven is beyond any representation in earthly things. Second, she uses the theme of likeness & unlikeness to interrogate current practices of comparative history. Suggesting that contemporary students of religion, art & culture should avoid comparing things that merely ‘look alike’, she proposes that humanists turn instead to comparing across cultures the disparate & perhaps visually dissimilar objects in which worshippers as well as theorists locate the ‘other’ that gives their religion enduring power. ($60, HB)
The Art of Bible Translation by Robert Alter
In this brief book, award-winning biblical translator Robert Alter offers a passionate account of what he learned about the art of Bible translation during the 2 decades he spent completing his own English version of the Hebrew Bible. Showing why the Bible & its meaning can be brought to life in English only by re-creating the subtle & powerful literary style of the original text, Alter discusses the principal aspects of biblical Hebrew that any translator should try to reproduce: word choice, syntax, word play & sound play, rhythm & dialogue. In the process, he provides an illuminating & accessible introduction to biblical style that also offers insights about the art of translation far beyond the Bible. (28, PB)
The Bourdieu Paradigm by Derek Robbins
Derek Robbins discusses relations between philosophy & empirical social sciences through detailed analyses of the work of Schutz, Gurwitsch & Merleau-Ponty, and then explores the development of Bourdieu’s sociological reflexivity as his attempt to reconcile this intellectualist legacy with social research & political action. Robbins considers the historical development of competing philosophies of social science, examining the relations between phenomenology, Gestalt psychology & empirical social science in the first half of the 20th century. Bourdieu responded to this legacy by advocating a form of reflexive social-scientific investigation, which would remain faithful to primary experience without disowning accumulated intellectualism. This analysis of the development of Bourdieu’s thought & practice invites readers to reassess the value of the western tradition of the social function of the detached intellectual for mass democratic societies. (48, PB)
An Event, Perhaps: A Biography of Jacques Derrida by Peter Salmon (40, HB)
For some Jacques Derrida is the source of the crisis of alternative facts. For far right terrorist Anders Brievik, ‘Derridian deconstruction’ was the cause for the end of truth. In 1992, 18 philosophers wrote an open letter to the Times to complain when he was awarded an honorary degree by Cambridge University. For others, he is a film star thinker who covered every possible subject from literature, politics & language. Born in Algiers, the young Jackie, named after a character in a Chaplin movie, only to change to Jacques once he moved to Paris, was always an outsider. In Paris he found it difficult to find himself, but in 1967, he changed the whole course of philosophy in one go—with the development of the ideas of deconstruction. Immediately, his reputation as a complex and confounding thinker was established. Feted by some, abhorred by others, Derrida’s influence across late 20th century thought is unquestionable. Peter Salmon introduces the key concepts, showing that, despite the impression of being eclectic, Derrida was a writer who spent his life on a series of interlinked themes—ethics, friendship, language. Accessible, provocative and beautifully written, An Event, Perhaps introduces to a new readership the life and thinking of a philosopher whose influence over the 21st century is likely to be as important as it was on the previous century.
Science & Nature
The Species That Changed Itself: How Prosperity Reshaped Humanity by Edwin Gale ($40, HB)
Other species adapt to their environments; we alone create ours. Over generations, we have remade the world to suit ourselves— using improved knowledge & technology to confront the traditional scourges—and for the most part we enjoy prosperity beyond the dreams of our ancestors. What’s more, in changing our world, we have also reshaped the human phenotype—the interaction between genes & environment that moulds our bodies & minds. Weaving together biology, social anthropology, epidemiology & history, Edwin Gale examines the shifting physical & mental dimensions of our lives, from ageing to illness, food production to reproduction, designer bodies to IQ tests, and asks, are we a self-domesticated species?
Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett ($35, HB)
In seven short essays (plus a bite-sized story about how brains evolved), neuroscientist’s entertaining & accessible collection reveals mind-expanding lessons from the front lines of neuroscience research. You’ll learn where brains came from, how they’re structured (and why it matters), and how yours works in tandem with other brains to create everything you experience. Along the way, you’ll also learn to dismiss popular myths such as the idea of a ‘lizard brain’ & the alleged battle between thoughts & emotions, or even between nature & nurture, to determine your behaviour.
A History of the Universe in 100 Stars by Florian Freistetter ($40, HB)
Astronomer Florian Freistetter has chosen 100 stars that have almost nothing in common. Some are bright and famous, some shine so feebly you need a huge telescope. Collectively they tell the story of the whole world. Algol, the Demon Star, whose strange behaviour has long caused people sleepless nights. Gamma Draconis, from which we know that the earth rotates around its own axis. The star sequence 61 Cygni, which revealed the size of the cosmos. Then there are certain stars used by astronomers to search for extra-terrestrial life, to explore interstellar space travel, or to explain why the dinosaurs became extinct. In 100 short, fascinating chapters Freistetter not only reveals the past and future of the cosmos, but also the story of the people who have tried to understand the world in which we live.
The Life Scientific: Virus Hunters by Anna Buckley ($35, HB)
BBC Radio 4’s celebrated The Life Scientific has featured some of the world’s most renowned experts in the field of deadly viruses.. Among the contributors to this book are: Jeremy Farrar—on the frontline of SARS & a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu, H5N1. Peter Piot was at the forefront of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and the first to identify HIV in Africa. It took him fifteen years to persuade the world that it was also a heterosexual disease. Jonathan Ball who studies how viruses operate at the molecular level; Wendy Barclay who seeks to understand how viruses are able to jump from animals to humans and why some viruses are so much more dangerous to humans than others; and Kate Jones is a bat specialist who works on how ecological changes and human behaviour accelerate the spread of animal viruses into humans.
Black Hole Survival Guide by Janna Levin
Anything that enters them can never escape, and yet they contain nothing at all. They are bigger on the inside than the outside suggests. They are dark on the outside but not on the inside. They invert time into space & space into time. Black holes are found throughout the universe. They can be microscopic. They can be billions of times larger than our sun. Our solar system is currently orbiting a black hole 26,000 light years away at a speed of 200 km per second. Physicist & novelist Janna Levin journeys into a black hole, explaining what would happen to you in there & why. In the process she shows how their mysteries contain answers to some of the most profound questions ever asked about the nature of our universe. ($30, HB)
Handprints on Hubble by Kathryn D. Sullivan
Retired astronaut Kathryn Sullivan, first American woman to walk in space, recounts how she & other astronauts, engineers, & scientists launched, rescued, repaired & maintained the Hubble Space Telescope, the most productive observatory ever built. Along the way, she chronicles her early life as a ‘Sputnik Baby’, her path to NASA through oceanography, and her initiation into the space program as one of ‘thirty-five new guys’. She describes the view from a spacewalk & explains that ‘maintainability’ was designed into Hubble, detailing the work of inventing the tools & processes that made on-orbit maintenance possible. Like when NASA was able to fix a serious defect in Hubble’s mirrors-leaving literal & metaphorical ‘handprints on Hubble’. ($30, PB)
How to Spend a Trillion Dollars: Saving the World and Solving the Biggest Questions in Science by Rowan Hooper ($30, HB)
If you were given one trillion dollars, to be spent in a year, on science, what would you do? With the total of the money held by the Norwegian oil investment fund alone, or the current valuations of Apple Computer and of Amazon you could eradicate malaria, for one, or end global poverty. You could start to colonise Mars. You could build a massive particle collider to explore the nature of dark matter like never before. You could mine asteroids, build quantum computers, develop artificial consciousness, or increase human lifespan. Or transition the whole world to renewable energy. Preserve the rainforests. Save all endangered species. Rowan Hooper looks at all these possibilities & more.
Flames of Extinction: The race to save Australia’s threatened wildlife by John Pickrell ($30, PB)
Over Australia’s 2019–20 Black Summer bushfire season, scientists estimate that more than three billion native animals were killed or displaced. Many species—koalas, the regent honeyeater, glossy black cockatoo, the platypus—are inching towards extinction at the hands of mega-blazes & the changing climate behind them. John Pickrell journeys across the firegrounds, exporing the stories of creatures that escaped the flames, the wildlife workers who rescued them, and the conservationists, land managers, Aboriginal rangers, ecologists & firefighters on the front line of the climate catastrophe. He also reveals the radical new conservation methods being trialled to save as many species as possible from the very precipice of extinction.
Math Without Numbers by Milo Beckman ($40, HB) This is a vivid & wholly original guide to the three main branches of abstract math—topology, analysis & algebra—which turn out to be surprisingly easy to grasp. Maths prodigy Milo Beckman upends the conventional approach to mathematics, inviting you to think creatively about shape & dimension, the infinite & infinitesimal, symmetries, proofs, and how these concepts all fit together. How many shapes are there? Is anything bigger than infinity? And can mathematics even be described as ‘true’? Featherhood by Charlie Gilmour ($33, PB)
In the vein of H is for Hawk this book is about the young magpie that fell from its nest in a Bermondsey junkyard into Charlie Gilmour’s life—and swiftly changed it. Demanding worms around the clock, riffling through his wallet, sharing his baths & roosting in his hair. About the jackdaw kept at a Cornish stately home by Heathcote Williams, anarchist, poet, magician, stealer of Christmas, and Gilmour’s biological father who vanished from his life in the dead of night. A story about repetition across generations & birds that run in the blood; about a terror of repeating the sins of the father & a desire to build a nest of one’s own. A story about change—from wild to tame; from sanity to madness; from life to death to birth; from freedom to captivity & back again, via an insane asylum, a prison & a magpie’s nest. And ultimately, it is the story of a love affair between a man and a magpie.
The Future of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell
Furthering his investigations into nutrition in The China Study and Whole, in The Future of Nutrition T. Colin Campbell takes on the institution of nutrition itself: the history of how we got locked in to focusing on ‘disease care’ over health care; the widespread impact of our reverence of animal protein on our interpretation of scientific evidence; the way even well-meaning organisations can limit what science is and is not taken seriously; and what we can do to ensure the future of nutrition is different than its past. Campbell offers a fascinating deep-dive behind the curtain of the field of nutrition—with implications both for our health and for the practice of science itself. ($50, HB)
Earth Cries: A climate change anthology ($30, PB)
The contributors to this anthology tell powerful stories of devastation and hope. From chilling predictions of the future, to tree conservation movements in India, to an exchange between Siri and Alexa on environmental sustainability, writers and artists from the Sydney University community have come together to give voice to experiences of climate change, nature and the environment.
A Most Interesting Problem: What Darwin’s Descent of Man Got Right and Wrong about Human Evolution (ed) Jeremy DeSilva ($40, HB)
This collection draws on the latest discoveries in fields such as genetics, paleontology, bioarchaeology, anthropology & primatology to tackles the very subjects Darwin explores in Descent, including the evidence for human evolution, our place in the family tree, the origins of civilisation, human races & sex differences. It is a testament to how scientific ideas are tested & how evidence helps to structure our narratives about human origins, showing how some of Darwin’s ideas have withstood more than a century of scrutiny while others have not. The book features contributions by Janet Browne, Jeremy DeSilva, Holly Dunsworth, Agustin Fuentes, Ann Gibbons, Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Brian Hare, John Hawks, Suzana Herculano-Houzel, Kristina Killgrove, Alice Roberts, and Michael Ryan.
Psychology & Personal Development The Science of Fate by Hannah Critchlow ($23, PB)
What if free will doesn’t exist? What if our lives are largely predetermined, hardwired in our brains—and our choices over what we eat, who we fall in love with, even what we believe are not real choices at all? Neuroscience is challenging everything we think we know about ourselves, revealing how we make decisions & form our own reality, unaware of the role of our unconscious minds. You can carry anxieties & phobias across generations of your family. Your genes & pleasure & reward receptors in your brain will determine how much you eat. We can sniff out ideal partners with genes that give our offspring the best chance of survival. Leading neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow talks about all this & more.
Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy by Irvin Yalom & Molyn Leszcz ($95, HB) 6th Ed
This book has been the standard text in the field of group psychotherapy for decades. In the completely revised & updated 6th edition, Dr Yalom & his collaborator Dr Molyn Leszcz draw on a decade of new research as well as their broad clinical wisdom & expertise. Each chapter is completely updated in accordance with the most recent developments in the field. There are new sections throughout, including discussions of mindfulness, CBT, modern analytic approaches, psychoeducational groups, group therapy for veterans & group therapy for psychological trauma. At once scholarly and lively, this is the most up-to-date, incisive & comprehensive text available on group psychotherapy.
Psycho-Logical: Why Mental Health Goes Wrong— and How to Make Sense of It by Dean Burnett
One in four people experience a mental health problem each year, with depression & anxiety alone afflicting over 500 million people. Why are these conditions so widespread? What is it about modern life that has such an impact on our mental health? And why is there still so much confusion & stigma around these issues? Drawing on extensive scientific research, along with revealing insights from those who deal with mental health issues on a daily basis, neuroscientist & sometimes-comedian Dean Burnett has written an extremely accessible primer on how and why these problems arise, and what we can do to tackle them. ($23, PB)
The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness by Mark Solms ($33, PB)
How does the mind connect to the body? Why does it feel like something to be us? In a bold fusion of ideas from psychoanalysis, psychology and the frontiers of theoretical neuroscience neuroscientist Mark Solms takes aim at the biggest question there is. Surely consciousness intangible, beyond the reach of science? Yet Solms shows how misguided fears & suppositions have concealed its true nature. Stick to the medical facts, pay close attention to the eerie testimony of hundreds of neurosurgery patients, and a way past our obstacles reveals itself. Join Solms on a voyage into the extraordinary realms beyond. More than just a philosophical argument, his book will forever alter how you understand your own experience. There is a secret buried in the brain’s ancient foundations: bring it into the light & you can fathom all the depths of our being.
The Mind Strength Method: 4 steps to curb anxiety, conquer worry & build resilience by Jodie Lowinger
What if you could turn anxiety into your superpower? In a world where approximately one in four people experience challenging anxiety clinical psychologist Dr Jodie Lowinger offers a logical and practical toolkit using the best evidence-based techniques to: overcome fear-driven thoughts and behaviours and turn them into empowered action; break free from being bossed around by worry and your inner critic; build a resilient, high-performance mindset. Woven through with relatable case studies, simple diagrams and illustrations, Lowinger challenges the stories you’ve been telling yourself and helps you to move forward in your life with enhanced confidence, resilience, happiness & wellbeing. ($33, PB)
The Listening Path: The Creative Art of Attention—A Six Week Artist’s Way Programme by Julia Cameron ($30, PB)
The reward for learning to truly listen is immense. As you learn to listen, your attention is heightened and you gain healing, insight, clarity. But above all, listening creates connections & ignites a creativity that will resonate through every aspect of your life. In this 6 week programme author of The Artist’s Way, Julie Cameron challenges readers to expand their ability to listen in a new way, beginning by listening to their environment and culminating in learning to listen to silence. These weekly practices open up a new world of connection & fulfilment. In a culture of bustle & constant sound, The Listening Path is a deeply necessary reminder of the power of truly hearing.
New This Month Mind Your Brain: The Essential Australian Guide to Dementia by Kailas Roberts ($35, PB)
K AT E M O S S E
‘Powerful and compelling, I loved it’ Delia Owens
A breathtaking novel of revenge, persecution and loss, sweeping from Paris and Chartres to the City of Tears itself – the great refugee city of Amsterdam – this is a story of one family’s fight to stay together, to survive and to find each other, against the devastating tides of history . . .
A deeply moving, powerful story about the strength and resilience of women and the bond between mother and daughter, by the multi-million-copy number one bestselling author.
The brand new adventure from bestselling team Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. Andy and Terry have added 13 new levels to their treehouse and it’s more out of this world than ever before!
JA M E S CO M E Y
E L I Z A B E T H FA R R E L LY
This will not come as a surprise to anyone, including even to the President’s most ardent defenders: Donald Trump lied to me from the start.
‘Great cities need great champions. Sydney needs Elizabeth Farrelly.’ Adam Spencer
Saving Justice is James Comey’s searing memoir and guide to reclaiming truth in the institutions of justice, which have been so badly damaged under Trump.
Columnist Elizabeth Farrelly brings her unique perspective as architectural writer and former city councillor to a burning question for our times: how will we live in the future?
Love talking about books? Find us online at Pan Macmillan Australia
Chatter: The Voice in Our Head and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross ($35, PB)
We all have a voice in our head. We tune into its endless chatter to look for guidance, ideas & wisdom. These silent conversations are so powerful they can sink our mood, trip us up & even impact our health. How can we take back control? Psychologist Ethan Kross has been studying the conversations we have with ourselves for 20 years. In Chatter, he interweaves cutting-edge science with real-world case studies to explain how these inner conversations shape our work & relationships—and then reveals the tools you need to harness your own voice so that you can be happier, healthier & more productive.
The Well Gardened Mind: Rediscovering Nature in the Modern World by Sue Stuart-Smith
How can gardening relieve stress & help you look after your mental health? What lies behind the restorative power of the natural world? In a combination of contemporary neuroscience, psychoanalysis & storytelling, Sue Stuart-Smith investigates the magic that many gardeners have known for years—working with nature can radically transform your health, wellbeing & confidence. With stories of how people struggling with stress, depression, trauma & addiction can change their lives, this inspiring book of science, insight & anecdote shows how our understanding of nature and its restorative powers is only just beginning to flower. ($25, PB)
50 Risks to Take With Your Kids by Daisy Turnbull ($25, HB)
For anyone who wants to combat helicopter parenting and a bubble-wrapped generation, Daisy Turnbull offers an easy-to-use framework with simple, practical challenges for children aged up to 10 years old. In this book, you’ll find risks that build physical skills, social confidence & character development before kids enter those ‘risky’ teenage years. You’ll also find some all-important parenting risks that will encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and think a little differently about raising children. It may sound counterintuitive to say that the more opportunities you give children to test boundaries, the better they will ‘adult’, but it’s true. The more they are allowed to play in the mud, create games and find their own solutions to problems, the more they will thrive later in life. ‘If we were serious about absolute riskaversion, we’d never have children at all, of course, but Turnbull is a wise guide to the risks that are truly worth it. For a book about risk-taking, it’s hugely reassuring.’—Annabel Crabb
We See It All: liberty & justice in the age of perpetual surveillance by Jon Fasman ($33, PB)
Cultural Studies & Criticism
The police now have unparalleled power at their fingertipssurveillance technology. Seamless, persistent, even permanent surveillance is available—sometimes already deployed, sometimes waiting for the right excuse. Automatic licenceplate readers allow police to amass a granular record of where people go, when & for how long. Drones give police eyes—and possibly weapons—in the skies. Facial recognition poses perhaps the most dire & lasting threat than any other technology. Algorithms purport to predict where & when crime will occur, and how big a risk a suspect has of re-offending. Tools can crack a device’s encryption keys, rending all privacy protections useless. Embedding himself with both police & community activists in locales around the US Jon Fasman looks at how these technologies help police do their jobs, and what their use means for our privacy rights & civil liberties.
Beyond Climate Grief by Jonica Newby
How do we find courage when climate change overwhelms us emotionally? In this often funny & deeply moving personal story, science reporter Jonica Newby explores how to navigate the emotional turmoil of climate change. After researching what global warming will do to the snow country she loves, Newby plummeted into a state of profound climate grief. What do you tell your kids—how might we all live our best lives under the weight of this fearsome knowledge? Featuring practical advice from psychological & scientific experts, incredible accounts from everyday heroes, plus inspiring stories from the climate strike kids, Newby provides guidance & emotional sustenance to help shore up courage for the uncertainties ahead. ($30, PB)
Homo Irrealis by André Aciman ($28, PB)
From meditations on subway poetry & the temporal resonances of an empty Italian street, to considerations of the lives & work of Sigmund Freud, Constantine Cavafy, W. G. Sebald, John Sloan, Eric Rohmer, Marcel Proust & Fernando Pessoa, and portraits of cities such as Alexandria & St. Petersburg André Aciman explores what the present tense means to artists who cannot grasp the here & now. Irrealis is not about the present, or the past, or the future, but about what might have been but never was—but could in theory still happen.
On Violence & On Violence Against Women by Jacqueline Rose ($30, HB)
From trans rights & #MeToo to the sexual harassment of migrant women, from the trial of Oscar Pistorius to domestic violence in lockdown, from the writing of Roxanne Gay to Hisham Mitar & Han Kang, she casts her net wide. What obscene pleasure in violence do so many male leaders of the Western world unleash in their supporters? Is violence always gendered & if so, always in the same way? What is required of the human mind when it grants itself permission to do violence? Jacqueline Rose tracks the multiple forms of today’s violence—historic & intimate, public & private—as they spread throughout our social fabric, offering a new, provocative account of violence in our time.
Buried Not Dead: Essays by Fiona McGregor
Fiona McGregor has a deep involvement in the worlds she represents, having come of age as an artist during an outpouring of performative queer creativity, in a community that celebrated subversion, dissent & uninhibited partygoing, and in her writing she observes the shift from that moment to new forms of cultural repression. This collection of essays on art, literature and performance, sexuality, activism and the life of the city features performance artists, writers, dancers, tattooists and DJs like Marina Abramović, Mike Parr, Latai Taumoepeau, Lanny K & Kathleen Mary Fallon. ($26.95, PB)
Antipodean China: Reflections on Literary Exchange (eds) Jose & Madden ($30, PB)
This is a collection of essays drawn from a series of encounters between Australian & Chinese writers, which took place in China & Australia over a ten-year period from 201. Tibetan author A Lai speaks knowingly about Alexis Wright’s novel Carpentaria, and the 2 winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Mo Yan and J.M. Coetzee, discuss what the Nobel meant for each of them. The collection also includes writing from novelists Brian Castro, Gail Jones, Julia Leigh, Yu Hua, Sheng Keyi and Liu Zhenyun, poets Kate Fagan, Ouyang Yu, Xi Chuan and Zheng Xiaoqiong, and translators Eric Abrahamsen, Li Yao and John Minford. In the current situation of hostility & suspicion between the 2 countries, this book presents what may be seen, in retrospect, as an idyllic moment of communication & trust.
Now in B Format Shakespeare in a Divided America by James Shapiro, $23
Good for the Soul: John Curtin’s life with poetry by Toby Davidson ($35, PB)
John Curtin, Australia’s 3rd wartime Prime Minister, Labor’s 8th Prime Minister, and the 1st PM from a WA electorate presented himself to the press as a self-styled intellectual who loved sport & relaxing, when he could, with a book, beach walk, game of cards or fossick in the garden. He enjoyed poetry so much that he held to a Sunday night poetry ritual. Toby Davidson reveals a new perspective on John Curtin: the poetry of his times, and the poems he himself read. Curtin’s poetry reading & his reflections upon it influenced his thoughts & language from his socialist youth to the last days of his leadership of a nation transformed by global peril.
How to Live. What To Do: In search of ourselves in life and literature by Josh Cohen ($35, HB)
Practicing psychoanalyst & a professor of literature, Josh Cohen has long been taken with the mutual echoes between the life struggles of the consulting room & the dramas of the novel. So what might the most memorable characters in literature tell us about how to live meaningfully? Cohen plots a course through the various stages of our lives, discovering in each the surprising & profound insights literature has to offer. Beginning with the playful mindset of Wonderland’s Alice, we discover the resilience of Jane Eyre, the rebellious rage of Baldwin’s Johnny Grimes & the catastrophic ambitions of Jay Gatsby, the turbulence of first love for Sally Rooney’s Frances, the sorrows of marriage for Middlemarch’s Dorothea Brooke, and the regrets & comforts of middle age for Rabbit Angstrom.
In the Land of the Cyclops: Essays by Karl Ove Knausgaard ($40, HB)
Karl Ove Knausgaard’s first collection of essays to be published in English meditate on themes familiar from his groundbreaking fiction. He discusses Madame Bovary, the Northern Lights, Ingmar Bergman, and the work of an array of writers & visual artists, including Knut Hamsun, Michel Houellebecq, Anselm Kiefer & Cindy Sherman. These essays beautifully capture Knausgaard’s ability to mediate between the deeply personal & the universal, demonstrating his trademark self-scrutiny & his deep longing to authentically see, understand & experience the world.
Summertime: Reflections on a vanishing future by Danielle Celermajer ($25, PB)
Philosopher Danielle Celermajer’s story of Jimmy the pig caught the world’s attention during the Black Summer of 2019–20. This collection includes that story & others written in the shadow of the bushfires that ravaged Australia. In the midst of the death & grief of animals, humans, trees & ecologies Celermajer asks the reader to look around—really look around—to become present to all beings who are living & dying through the loss of our shared home. At once a howl in the forest & an elegy for a country’s soul, these meditations are lyrical, tender & profound.
Women of a Certain Rage (ed) Liz Byrski ($30, PB)
Liz Byrski asked 20 Australian women from widely different backgrounds, races, beliefs & identities to take up the challenge of writing about rage. Contributors—Anne Aly, Nadine Browne, Nandi Chinna, Claire G. Coleman, Carrie Cox, Eva Cox, Sarah Drummond, Carly Findlay, Goldie Goldbloom, Rafeif Ismail, Margot Kingston, Jay Martin, Meg McKinlay, Olivia Muscat, Mihaela Nicolescu, Renee Pettitt-Schipp, Fiona Stanley, Victoria Midwinter Pitt, Jane Underwood and Julienne van Loon write with honesty, passion, courage & humour of the full force of anger its power.
Culture Warlords: My Journey into the Dark Web of White Supremacy by Talia Lavin ($33, PB)
Talia Lavin’s uncovers the hidden corners of the web where extremists hang out, from white nationalists & incels to national socialists & Proud Boys. In stories crammed with catfishing & gatecrashing, combined with extensive research, Lavin goes undercover as a blonde Nazi babe & a forlorn incel to infiltrate extremist communities online, including a whites-only dating site. She discovers the network of disturbingly young extremists, including a white supremacist YouTube channel run by a 14-year-old girl with nearly one million followers. Ultimately, she turns the lens of anti-Semitism, racism, & white power back on itself in an attempt to dismantle & quash the online hate movement’s schisms, recruiting tactics, and the threat it represents to politics & beyond.
Amnesia Road by Luke Stegemann ($35, PB)
In both a compelling literary examination of historic violence in rural areas of Australia & Spain & a celebration of the beautiful landscapes where this violence has been carried out, Luke Stegemann travels across the mulga plains of south-west QLD & the backroads of rural Andalusia to uncover a neglected history & its many neglected victims, asking what place such forgotten people have in contemporary debates around history, nationality, guilt & identity.
Hooked: How Processed Food Became Addictive by Michael Moss ($35, PB)
In a gripping account of the legal battles, insidious marketing campaigns & cutting-edge food science Michael Moss uses the latest research on addiction to uncover the shocking ways that food, in some cases, is even more addictive than alcohol, cigarettes & pharmaceutical drugs. Our bodies are hardwired for sweets, so food giants have developed 56 types of sugar to add to their products and exploit our evolutionary preference for fast, ready-to-eat foods. Moss goes on to show how the processed food industry—including major companies like Nestlé, Mars & Kellogg’s—has not only tried to hide the addictiveness of food but to actually exploit it. As obesity rates continue to climb, manufacturers are now even claiming to add ingredients that can effortlessly cure our compulsive eating habits.
Why Women Are Poorer Than Men and What We Can Do About It by Annabelle Williams
Money may not buy happiness, but having it allows choice—to live where you want; to do what you love for work & how you spend your free time. There is no country in the world where women collectively earn as much as men. Globally only 34% of managerial positions are held by women. Financial advisors encourage female clients into lower risk, and therefore lower return, investments in the belief that they can’t handle the risk. Women ask for pay rises at the same frequency as men, but are 25% less likely to be given them. In a part polemic, part practical guide Annabelle Williams, formerly a financial journalist for The Times, uncovers the shocking realities of money in the modern world—to create change it is necessary to understand why women are poorer than men and what exactly can be done about it. ($35, PB)
I Hate Men by Pauline Harmange ($20, HB)
Women, especially feminists & lesbians, have long been accused of hating men. Our instinct is to deny it at all costs—they tried to ban this book in Fra yes, maybe even hating men—is, in fact, a useful response to sexism? What if such a response offers a way out of oppression, a means of resistance? What if it even offers a path to joy, solidarity & sisterhood? In this sparkling essay, as mischievous & provocative as it is urgent & serious, Pauline Harmange interrogates modern attitudes to feminism & makes a rallying cry for women.
Language & Writing
How to be an Author: The Business of Being a Writer in Australia by Richter & Hunn Lecturer in creative writing & accredited editor, Georgia Richter and author Deborah Hunn look at the business of becoming an author in Australia. In a friendly, informative & practical way they share all you need to know about inspiration & research, preparing to submit to a publisher, creating an author brand, legal, ethical & moral considerations, pitching & effective social media and much more. ($35, PB)
Level Up Your Essays: How to get better grades at university by Inger Mewburn et al
Written by the people who mark your essays, this book shows step-by-step how to write high-quality essays. It guides you through all the stages, including essay plans, developing research strategies, writing with distinction, finishing strongly with editing, and getting your referencing right every time. The guide includes: 22 worksheets with exercises and checklists; The secret formula for a good essay (yes, there is a formula!); Practical insights into digital tools to help you with research, writing & referencing; Guidelines for getting your academic English right every time; Common mistakes & missteps & how to fix them; Information for international students; Successful time management strategies. ($23, PB)
Words Fail Us: In Defence of Disfluency by Jonty Claypole ($33, HB)
Jonty Claypole spent 15 years of his life in & out of extreme speech therapy. From sessions with child psychologists to lengthy stuttering boot camps & exposure therapies, he tried everything until finally being told the words he’d always feared: ‘We can’t cure your stutter.’ Claypole argues that our obsession with fluency could be hindering, rather than helping, our creativity, authenticity & persuasiveness. Exploring other speech conditions, such as aphasia & Tourette’s, and telling the stories of the ‘creatively disfluent’—from Lewis Carroll to Kendrick Lamar—he explains why it’s time to get tongue tied & embrace the life-changing power of inarticulacy.
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The Gilbert and Sullivan Book by Leslie Baily ($50, HB) What a treat to land in the shop, especially for a G&S fan such as myself! During the 1970s, our High School English teacher staged several productions of their operas Trial by Jury, HMS Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe. Then my voice broke and that was that. He did however inspire my devotion to these musical works that continues to this day. Thank you, Mr Conroy. Dramatist William S. Gilbert Composer Arthur Sullivan wrote 14 comic operas between 1871 and 1896, later referred to as the Savoy Operas due to the performances being staged at the Savoy Theatre. This was built by theatre manager Richard D’Oyly Carte (1844-1901), who also founded The D’Oyly Carte Opera company to perform their works. This massive volume, originally published in 1952, is a true labour of love. Leslie Baily made extensive use of newspapers, eyewitness reports, autobiographies, letters, diaries: ‘I want to inform the reader of what Gilbert and Sullivan and their contemporaries said and wrote and thought about the operas and about one another.’ Bailey had also interviewed and had access to the vast collection of memorabilia collected by Gilbert’s adopted daughter, American-born singer Nancy McIntosh. The copyright on the G&S operas expired in 1961. In his 1966 Preface, Bailey calms the fears of traditionalists: ‘New minds have bought out afresh the sterling merits of Gilbert and Sullivan.’ How right he was. Director Jonathon Miller’s 1987 reworking of The Mikado for The English National Opera—transporting the work from the original Japanese setting to a 1920s seaside resort—is a wonderful example of this and is performed to this day. The day after the tremendously successful premiere of The Gondoliers (1889) Gilbert wrote to Sullivan: ‘I must thank you for the magnificent work you have put into the piece. It gives one the chance of shining right through the 20th century with a reflected light.’ One can now say, through the 21st century as well. Going Up: An informal history of the elevator from the Pyramids to the present by John Gavois ($20, HB) ‘It may seem far-fetched to connect a modern elevator with the Pyramids or the temples of ancient Greece. But the physical problems of building the Parthenon including the use of elevators & lifting devices, would be familiar to any site engineer today.’ So says Jean Gavois, who, ‘like his father, spent most of his life in the elevator industry—and was an enthusiastic collector of the art & literature recounting man’s efforts to lift the materials needed to build his homes, monuments & commercial structures—and to life people and goods.’ Published in 1983 this volume is a visual feast of diagrams and photos of trolleys & levers, rooms and stairs that move from ancient times right up to micro chips and the World Trade Center with its 250 elevators and 75 escalators. The Lambent Flame by John D. Keating ($15, HB) In 1841 Australia was introduced to gas lighting to a rapturous welcome in Sydney as the ‘lambent flame of well-purified gas’ supplanted smoky malodorous & flickering oil lamps—indoors & out. Gas spread to other capital cities and eventually almost 100 country towns. By 1870 the ‘gas-light era’ had arrived. John Keating’s (author of Mind the Curve!—a record of cable trams in Melbourne) writes an affectionate history of the use of gas in Australia. ‘How many of us know that gum leaves were used to produce gas, or what the inside of a gasholder looks like and how it works, or that scenic artists once camouflaged the container, transforming it into a masterpiece of decorative art?’ This copy is signed ‘For Jack’ by the author, dated 1975. Illustrated with heaps of black & white sketches & photographs—some tinted a moody gaslight yellow. An Underground Guide to Sewers: or: Down, Through & Out in Paris, London, New York &tc by Stephen Halliday ($25, HB) ‘I was born with an unusual medical condition: sewage in the blood. In Victorian times, my great great grandfather designed & executed a modern sewerage system for London. In the family we like to think of Sir Joseph Bazalgette as the ‘Drain Brain’. Now here comes a book that puts good old Sir Joe in the context of history—from the ancient Romans & their Cloaca Maxima to London’s new Thames Tideway Tunnel, with several civilizations in between, including the genius of the 8th century Mexicans’—from the foreword by Sir Peter Bazalgette. Choc full of maps, diagrams, sketches & paintings, and fantastic photos inside the tunnels beneath our feet—black & white & colour. Free Enterprise Forever! Scientific American in the 19th Century (ed) James Shenton ($30, PB) Broadsheet size reproductions of Scientific American from Aug 28, 1845— V1#1(mprovement of railway cars) to July 14, 1900 (manufacture of guns & armor at the Bethlehem steel works). Ads, patents, and a cornucopia of ‘practical information, art, science, mechanics, chemistry & manufactures’.
The Madman’s Library: The Strangest Books, Manuscripts and Other Literary Curiosities from History by Edward Brooke-Hitching. ($45, HC). My book of the Summer. A handsomely produced, beautifully illustrated volume. An engrossing trawl through a bizarre catalogue into literary oddities and the fascinating eccentricities of the human mind. Simply dip in anywhere. Choose your category. Hoaxes, supernatural volumes, scientific curiosities, strangest titles, longest books. There follows a (very) small sampling: William Edgell—Does the Earth Rotate? No! (1927): Self-explanatory. In 69 pages our author demonstrates through various scientific experiments why the Earth is stationary—and everything else revolves around it. Constantine Rafinesque—Book 17th of Notes—Travels in 1818 (1818): The French naturalist paid a visit to his American colleague John James Audubon (1785–1851) and so irritated his host that Audubon created fake animals for his own amusement, which his gullible visitor dutifully noted and illustrated. Hence, The Flatnose Double Fin and the bullet proof Devil Jack Diamond Fish—among others—are recorded for posterity. Triangular Book of Count St Germain (c. 1750): The encoded (of course) secret to (almost) eternal life. The eccentric 18th Century French alchemist Germain (1712–1784) claimed such longevity as to have been a witness to the Wedding at Cana, where, according to the Gospel of St. John, Jesus turned water to wine. The Book of Soyga (16th Cent): This 147-page volume contains astrological instructions, magical incantations, the genealogies of angels and 36 pages of indecipherable letters. Elizabethan astrologer and alchemist, John Dee (1527–1609), obsessed with solving this puzzle, summons an angelic being, Uriel, to aid in translation. Uriel states that this book was presented to Adam and Eve in Eden. However, regrettably, ‘Only the Archangel Michael himself can interpret this book.’ Long thought lost, two copies of The Book of Soyga were discovered in 1994 by the American historian, Deborah Harkness, in the British and Bodleian Libraries respectively. This find helped launch her to best-selling authorship—see her All Souls Trilogy (2011–2014). Guido Guidi—Chirurgia è Graeco in Latinum (1544): A copy of a medical treatise that bears a gilt lettered panel written in Latin on the front pastedown: Hic liber femineo corio convestitus est—This book is bound in a woman’s skin! Sutra of Aparimitayus: A Tibetan manuscript copy of a Buddhist treatise written in blood in the 9th Century or earlier. Old King Cole (1985): 12-page nursery rhyme. Book size: 1mm x 1mm. A comprehensive index is included with this astonishing compendium. Just as well, since it concludes with the (very) apt quote from John Baynes (1758–1787), writer and lawyer: ‘The man who publishes a book without an index ought to be damned 10 miles beyond Hell, where the Devil himself cannot get for stinging nettles.’ The Last Days of John Lennon by James Patterson with Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge ($33, PB) ‘Mister Lennon.’ A soft voice in the darkness. Five shots are fired. Four find their target. When the police arrive, the 25 y.o. perpetrator is calmly reading The Catcher in the Rye. John Lennon’s assassin, Mark David Chapman (now a born-again Christian) was denied parole for the eleventh time in November 2020. At this latest hearing, Chapman’s given reasons for the murder Lennon were straight forward: ‘My thinking was he has all of this money, lives in this beautiful apartment and he is into music representing a more cautious lifestyle, a more giving lifestyle…It made me angry and jealous compared to the way I was living at the time…It was just selfglory… It was nothing more than that.’ This is a detailed account of essentially two months in the life of assassin and victim: October to December 1980 alternating chapters of Lennon and Chapman’s lives until their rendezvous. Lennon had turned 40. Double Fantasy, his first album in five years had just been released. Chapman, a security guard with a troubled childhood, and a history of drug use & suicide attempts arrived in NY in December. Thriller writer Patterson and his two journalist co-authors have impressively researched this tragic event. The footnotes cover over 100 pages. New interviews were carried out with Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney and dozens of others. More intriguing/irritating—to this reader—are the authors’ use of Chapman’s ‘internal monologues’. Lacking a research note, one must presume most (all?) of these attributed ‘thoughts’ were compiled from the public record, rather than perhaps being Patterson’s novelistic creations. It would have been useful to know. The books’ photographs include the haunting image of John Lennon autographing a copy of the new album for Mark Chapman earlier that evening. One Life by Megan Rapinoe ($35, PB) ‘I’m not going to the f#$&*%g White House.’ One is never left in doubt about how footballer Megan Rapinoe feels on any issue. As her response to the question of visiting the White House, should the US Women’s National Team win the 2019 FIFA World Cup (which it did) and her attitude to former President Trump demonstrates. For readers simply expecting a cosy recital of matches won, goals scored, multiple Olympic and World Cup successes – look elsewhere. Although the milestones are certainly recounted, Rapinoe is also determined to use her sporting celebrity as a platform to advance issues of social justice such as equal pay in sports, LGBTQ rights and the Black Lives Matter movement. She came out in 2012, and took a knee in support of NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s stand against racial injustice during the national anthem before matches in 2016. The flak Rapinoe drew for her actions came from both the ‘shut up and just play’ twitter posse as well as US Football authorities who officially banned the gesture
(repealed in 2020) and dropped her (temporarily) from the playing roster. This is a somewhat patchwork narrative that often jumps from episode to episode. Rapinoe is not given to being overly introspective and seems determined to keep the reader at arm’s length in most matters personal. Nonetheless, I found this an enlightening and engaging memoir that forcefully reminds athletes that they have a responsibility to the world beyond the playing field. The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck ($35, PB) This is an account of a month-long marine specimen-collecting expedition in the Gulf of California—undertaken by John Steinbeck (1902–1968) in 1940 to escape the uproar, controversy and censorship created by his novel, The Grapes of Wrath (1939). Steinbeck participated with his close friend, marine biologist and ecologist, Edward Ricketts (1897–1948). Aboard their sardine boat, The Western Flyer, out of Monterey, they made a 6,400 km voyage around the Baja Peninsula into the Sea of Cortez. This exciting day-by-day account of their journey together is an engaging blend of science, philosophy and adventure. The book was first published in 1941 as part of the collaborative volume, Sea of Cortez. Steinbeck reworked and reissued the narrative portion separately a decade later, as a moving tribute to his friend, following Rickett’s death in a car accident at Monterey. ... and awaiting its turn on the reading table: A Promised Land by Barack Obama ($55, HB). At this writing Trump was still refusing to leave the White House, but now he’s facing a second impeachment—How fares The Promised Land? I’ll let you know what Barack thinks next month. Stephen Reid
The Darker the Night, the The Art Of The Wasted Day Brighter the Stars: Patricia Hampl, HB A Neuropsychologist’s Odyssey Through Consciousness Paul Broks, HB
The Secret Life of Cows Rosamund Young, HB
Think Like a Canine Training Working Dogs Ken Sykes, PB
Now $2 4.95
Transit Maps of the World Mark Ovenden, PB
Presenting Shakespeare: 1,100 Posters from Around the World, HB
P Was $40
The City That Never Was Christopher Marcinkoski, PB
Stalin’s Englishman: Guy Burgess, the Cold War and the Cambridge Spy Ring Andrew Lownie, HB
The Square & the Tower: Networks & Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook Niall Ferguson, PB
Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder Denise Markonish et al, HB
France: A Modern History from the Revolution to the War with Terror Jonathan Fenby, HB
The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World Maya Jasanoff, PB
S Was $80
Country Music: An Illustrated History Duncan & Burns, HB
Americana: A 400-Year After Fellini: National Cinema History of American Capitalism in the Postmodern Age Bhu Srinivasan PB Millicent Marcus, PB
The Race to Save the Romanovs Helen Rappaport, HB
Richard III: England’s Most Controversial King Chris Skidmore, HB
Revolution: The History of England from the Battle of the Boyne to the Battle of Waterloo Peter Ackroyd, HB
The Weather Detective: Rediscovering Nature’s Secret Signs Peter Wohlleben, HB
The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World’s Rarest Species Carlos Magdalena, HB
Charles Darwin: The Concise Story of an Extraordinary Man Tim M. Berra, HB
Botanical Sketchbooks Helen & William Bynum, HB
Nopi: The Cookbook Yotam Ottolenghi, PB
Sweet Yotam Ottolenghi, HB
The Moosewood Restaurant Table: 250 Brand-New Recipes, HB
Against The Grain: Gluten-Free Recipes
Art of the 20th and 21st Centuries by Francisca Vandepitte ($57, PB)
Picturing a Nation: The art and life of A.H. Fullwood by Gary Werskey ($50, HB)
Regarded in his day as an important Australian impressionist painter, A.H. Fullwood (1863–1930) was also the most widely viewed British–Australian artist of the Heidelberg era. Hiss illustrations for the popular Picturesque Atlas of Australasia and the Bulletin, as well as leading Australian and English newspapers, helped shape how settler–colonial Australia was seen both here & around the world. And his paintings were as celebrated as those friends Tom Roberts & Arthur Streeton. In this richly illustrated biography, Gary Werskey brings Fullwood & his extraordinary career as an illustrator, painter & war artist back to life—casting a new light on a fabled era in the history of Australian art.
Architectural Drawings by Miles Lewis
The best trained & most experienced librarian or curator is likely to confront difficulties in dealing with architectural drawings. Even an architect will be unable to understand some aspects of drawings a century old. Professor Miles Lewis, a leading architectural historian, in conjunction with the International Confederation of Architectural Museums (Australasia) demonstrates to professional curators how to collect, interpret & conserve these ephemeral works of art. In so doing he reveals fascinating insights and wonderful images for all who appreciate and practise fine art & architecture. ($80, HB)
Lars Reiffers: Paintings ($70, HB)
Lars Reiffers first studied painting in Aix-en-Provence, the birthplace of Paul Cézanne, before continuing his studies at the Kunstakademie Münster in 1999 in the class of Professor Kuhna and being appointed his master student in 2002. Inspired by his teacher, Reiffers developed his artistic signature at an early age, which is characterised by an exuberant visual abundance. The camera always replaces the sketch pad in the process of creating a picture, and Reiffers has collected a gigantic archive of motifs that are brought to new life in his studio. The photographic templates are projected onto the screen, but in the end they subtly deviate from reality. Colour, form & space thus develop independently on the canvas. Text in English & German. 112 colour & 8 b/w illustrations.
Saints in Art and History by Fernando & Gioia Lanzi ($120, HB)
This volume presents the lives of some 150 saints in chronological order, from the family of Jesus & the early Christian martyrs, to the founders of the great religious orders, to modern holy figures like Mother Teresa. These are illustrated not only with works of great art—by Memling, Raphael, & Bernini, among many others—but also by popular images, such as folk carvings & votive postcards. The introduction explores the nature of sainthood, the role of saints in Catholicism & the significance of their images. Also included is a visual dictionary of the saints’ attributes & a map showing the patron saints of the nations of the world.
Margaret Woodward by Gavin Fry ($60, PB)
At the age of 12, Margaret Woodward was given a glimpse of creative chaos in an artist’s studio. A little later, an unusual friendship acquainted her with the reality of landscape, and a testing childhood passed into a conscious endeavour to become an artist. She has behind her a lifelong struggle to reconcile conflicting demands: poverty & self-sufficiency; relationship & isolation; art & life. And, in her fascinating personal insights at the end of this book, the intuitive & the conscious. With text by Gavin Fry, and over 150 colour plates & b&w illustrations & photographs covering all periods of Woodward’s work.
1000 Piece Jigsaws $35 each Nel Whatmore, Star of the Garden A Thousand Words L. S. Lowry, Market Scene, Northern Town, 1939 Anne Stokes, Wheel of the Year
The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium has evolved from a single institution (founded by decree in 1801 by Napoleon Bonaparte) into a world class, multi-museum showcase for art in Belgium. Over the past century, they have actively acquired a superb collection of modern and contemporary paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, videos, and installations. Featured here are work by, among others, René Magritte, Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Joseph Albers, Donald Judd, Lucio Fontana, Pierre Alechinsky, Marcel Broodthaers & Luc Tuymans.
Coco Chanel Revolutionary Woman Chiara P. Johnson ($75, HB)
Coco Chanel was founder & queen of a fashion empire, but before that, Mademoiselle Coco was Gabrielle, a poor orphan who rejected convention & put her independence above all else. With her grit & tenacity, she made her fortune & restored freedom to women. She revolutionised the concept of feminine elegance with straight dresses & inventions that would later become icons: these were the little black dress, Chanel Number 5, costume jewellery, the suit with gold buttons, the quilted bag. Johnson’s biography is illustrated with images portraying her as the perfect embodiment of the timeless elegance—because, as Coco said, ‘fashion passes; style remains’.
Impressionism in Russia: Dawn of the Avant-garde
In the late 19th century, numerous Russian artists found inspiration in the style of French Impressionist painters. They developed a preference for working en plein air & aimed to capture transitory effects through a spontaneous & free handling of the brush. Many leading painters of the later Russian avant-garde arrived at their individual styles due to studying the Impressionist use of light. This lavishly illustrated volume explores the many-layered ways French Impressionism influenced the evolution of Russian art from the 1880s to the 1920s, including the work of painters as diverse as Ilya Repin, Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin, Natalia Goncharova & Kazimir Malevich. With essays by many of the leading scholars in the field & 200 colour illustrations. ($105, HB)
Deep Affinities: Art & Science by Philip F. Palmedo
Former physicist Philip F. Palmedo reveals how the 2 defining enterprises of humankind—art & science—are rooted in certain common instincts, which we might call aesthetic: an appreciation of symmetry, balance & rhythm; the drive to simplify & abstract natural forms, and to represent them symbolically. Palmedo traces these instincts back in time—demonstrating, for example, the level of abstract thinking required to create the stone tools & cave paintings of the Paleolithic—and then forward, to the builders of the Gothic cathedrals, to Leonardo da Vinci & Isaac Newton, to Einstein & Picasso. Illustrated with more than 125 creations of the genus Homo—from a flint hand axe chipped half a million years ago to the abstractions of Hilma af Klint & the James Webb Space Telescope ($95, HB)
Lee Friedlander ($160, HB)
Since the 1960s, Lee Friedlander has been a tireless chronicler of his own world and surroundings. His innovative and sophisticated photographs reveal both the common and unexpected aspects of everyday life. This catalogue contains 350 reproductions & includes texts by Carlos Gollonet, chief photography curator at the Fundacion MAPFRE & by US photographer Nicholas Nixon, as well as an interview with Maria Friedlander conducted by Jeffrey Fraenkel, the director of the Fraenkel Gallery, and a chronology of the artist’s life and career by Giancarlo T. Roma.
The Power of Knitting by Loretta Napoleoni ($33, HB)
Economist & lifelong knitter Loretta Napoleoni unveils the hidden power of the purl & stitch mantra—an essential tool for the survival of our species, a means for women to influence history, a soothing activity to calm us & a powerful metaphor of life. Her book is a voyage through history following the yarn of social, economic & political changes—from ancient Egypt & Peru to modern Mongolia, from the spinning bees of the American Revolution to the knitting spies of WWII, and from the hippies’ rejection of consumerism to yarnbombing protests against climate change. The book includes patterns for ten simple yet iconic projects that reflect the creative, empowering spirit of knitting, with complete instructions.
Mending with Love by Noriko Misumi ($25, HB)
Creative as well as practical, mending is both a source of pleasure and an eco-friendly fashion statement. Instead of stowing or throwing away damaged pieces that hold happy memories, you can employ these beautiful and sustainable ideas to give them a new life. With this book, you’ll learn how to: Repair knitted and woven fabrics Work with flat and curved surfaces Artfully repair comfy, well-made socks and gloves Make a statement with creative patching Fill in holes with roving using felting techniques Use embroidery to visibly mend frays or damage from the odd cat claw.
Andrew: Klara & the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro— Okay, so first an admission of some baggage I brought to this ineffably beautiful new novel. An artificial friend. Sigh. After the endorphin rush of discovering a new Ishiguro was on the way I will admit to being a little crestfallen when I read the blurb of Klara and the Sun. Klara (our narrator) is AI—an artificial friend with a target market of lonely adolescents and as such her particular model is highly prized for its powers of empathy and acute observational skills. My heart sank just a bit because the artificial human as subject matter has certainly been around the block a few times recently. I admired Ian McEwan’s Machines Like Me from 2019 but it did not stay with me in any meaningful way; ditto Channel Four’s Humans or the HBO Westworld reboot. Too clever; no heart. I think I was also a tad wary that this novel would operate in the same near-future milieu of Ishiguro’s superlative Never Let Me Go, and as such could only retread similar paths. I was wrong. Klara is as exquisite a novel as I have read in a long time—with an abundance of heart. Indeed an exploration of human empathy and the very notion of selflessness goes right to the book’s very core. Ishiguro’s precise prose is as delicate and poised as always (Klara’s narration has a rather exquisite unwitting melancholy note), and yet the book has a wonderful page turning propulsion to it. It’s a great story (so I don’t want to give much away)— setting up beguiling questions, but also answering more than enough to keep one satisfied rather than annoyed. There is just a hint (should you wish to read it that way) of the mythic, or the fabular—which could easily kill a lesser novel stone dead. However I feel it is weighted just beautifully—so much so that I continue to have the odd reverie in relation to certain scenes from the book. Frankly, it is just a lovely book and I can’t recommend it highly enough! One final word—the bookseller in me invariably contemplates the cover image of books, and I have to say the Faber and Faber cover is also a winner. A simple yet perfect melding of the book’s tone with design.
what we're reading
Jack: Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford—Bexford, England, November 1944, meet Jo, Val, Alec, Ben & Vern, all young, but only briefly—they don’t survive the first chapter, as a German rocket ‘atomises’ their lives. Chapter two, England, November 1964, meet Jo, Val, Alec, Ben & Vern as their lives continue in the light perpetual. Spufford’s dazzling sleight of hand conjures a future with ‘other chances’ and, despite our sense of an ending, brilliantly skews our expectations. I’m spellbound and, as we follow the same characters at varying intervals, I don’t want to leave Val, in 1964, with her observation of middle-aged men at the seaside ‘waiting for there to be some scandalous disorder, so they can cheer on order’s restoration.’ Published in March, by Faber & Faber— if you can, I think you should. Louise: Martin Amis’ latest book Inside Story is confounding; a biography that has the lead males as named and recognisable characters—his father Kingsley, his friends Saul Bellow and Christopher Hitchens, and the poet Philip Larkin, (above whose head a large question mark trembles). The female protagonists (his wives, his old girlfriends) have fictional names, and the author claims the most notorious of these, Phoebe, is a blend of several real people (for her sake, I hope so). Once you realise Amis is playing with you, this book is absolutely absorbing and fabulous. Experience (2000), Martin Amis’ biography is probably my favourite autobiography of all time, and I read Inside Story as a sequel, of sorts. It stands by itself, but I highly recommend both of them. Emma: Milk-Fed by Melissa Broder—The hilarious and dynamic master who brought us ‘The Pisces’ has returned! Broder is in the same class as fellow authors Jeanette Winterson, Otessa Moshfegh & Sally Rooney; savage, original writing which is instantly recognisable. ‘Milk-Fed’ and its star character Rachel examine powerful and opposing food cultures; Y2K dieting versus nourishing Jewish cooking. Broder asks what can sustain us in a modern world, defined by economic austerity and deprivation of human contact? Keep an eye out for this one on upcoming awards longlists. Jonathon: There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura—This a lovely read about finding meaning when you are too far out to swim back. A 36-year-old woman in Tokyo, suffering career burnout, moves through five random jobs, trying to find the one requiring the least effort or engagement. She finds something else. As people, buildings and businesses disappear and reappear, she finds stories, mysteries, passions and… well... comfort foods and yerba mate. She finds herself not alone in finding work confounding: a source of meaning but also obstruction. Tsumura is part of the new generation of women currently making their mark on Japanese literature. Here she is subtle, absurd and quietly acerbic; it’s a mood to dwell in.
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Bestsellers 2020 1. Phosphorescence
2. The Mirror & the Light
3. Dark Emu
4. The Yield
Tara June Winch
5. Girl, Woman, Other
6. All Our Shimmering Skies
7. Where the Crawdads Sing
8. A Room Made of Leaves
9. The Dictionary of Lost Words
10. Normal People
11. Women & Leadership
Julia Gillard/ Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
12. The Living Sea of Waking Dreams
13. A Bigger Picture
14. The Survivors 15. Flavour
Jane Harper Yotam Ottolenghi
16. No One is Too Small to Make a Difference
17. Too Much, and Never Enough
18. The Overstory
19. The Lying Life of Adults
20. Honeybee 21. A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing 22. The Golden Maze 23. Rodham 24. Bruny 25. Such A Fun Age 26. The Good Turn 27. Humankind: A Hopeful History 28. The Anarchy 29. Actress 30. The Happiest Man on Earth
Craig Silvey Jessie Tu Richard Fidler
Curtis Sittenfeld Heather Rose Kiley Reid Dervla McTiernan Rutger Bregman William Dalrymple Anne Enright
and another thing.....
Welcome to Gleaner 2021. The 2020 top thirty indicates that our very literate customers spent a lot of their social distancing time reading fiction—mixed with plenty of uplift from Julia Baird’s Phosphorescence and seasoned with Flavour by Ottolenghi. The other non fiction titles in the top 30 also seem to be about hope or possibility (if you don’t count Dalrymple’s The Anarchy)—however, digging deeper into the top 100 for the Covid year, a few existentialist classics like Camus’ The Plague appear in the double digits. A normal year would see the La Peste move once or twice unless it was a university text, but in 2020 it, and a few other dystopian delicacies, would have entered triple digits if the overseas supply lines hadn’t been interrupted. My favourite fiction read for 2020 remains Hilary Mantel’s Mirror and the Light. My read-aloud partner and I managed to get through it via often shaky Zoom connections, but once lockdown was lifted we were able to accompany Cromwell in the flesh on his lonely date with the headsman’s axe. I’m going to miss waiting for a next instalment of Mantel’s two-time (should have been three, but let’s not go there) Mann/Booker winning series—I hope she has another equally gripping title, historical or otherwise, in the works. This month I seem to be reading through a cloud of rage—Liz Byrski’s collection of essays Women of a Certain Rage, Talia Lavin’s infiltration into the dark internet sphere of white supremacy and its many murderous offshoots, Culture Warlords, plus a debut novel by Ali Benjamin—The Smash-up. In a very confident first fiction Benjamin explores a divide in American life marked by the election of Trump—not of left and right, but between men and women. Ethan and Zo’s comfortable marriage develops a deep schism after Clinton’s defeat—three years into the Trump ‘presidency’ Zo spends all her time working with an outraged women’s activist collective while a disaffected Ethan, once unthinkingly monogamous, has developed an obsession for the nanny—and his one-time partner is facing #metoo ruin. It’s a good read. Sadly, I celebrated the end of the already stellar year 2020 by breaking my wrist, having moved into the age group where ‘accident’ no longer exists, there is only ‘the fall’— another Camus classic that had an uptick in sales last year. Here’s hoping 2021 has an improved outlook for all. Viki
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