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Vol. 24 No. 6 July 2017
Upstairs at 49 Glebe Pt Rd Books from all departments Big discounts July 15 to July 30
R E T N I W LE A
Australian Literature ‘Mesmerizing. Think The Godfather, only with cops. It's that good.' STEPHEN KING
A rip-roaring exposé of Australia’s most notorious con men, swindlers & larrikins
A stunning moving novel with deeply human characters, that pushes us to consider uncomfortable moral questions, exploring race and family in America.
Now in B Format The Teacher’s Secret by Suzanne Leal, $20 Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta, $23 The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong, $23 The Trip of a Lifetime by Monica McInerney
The wilful & eccentric Lola Quinlan is off on the trip of a lifetime, taking her beloved granddaughter & great-granddaughter with her. More than 60 years after emigrating to Australia, she’s keeping a secret promise to return to her Irish homeland. As she embarks on her journey, Lola is still hiding the reasons she left Ireland in the first place. What—and who—will be waiting for her on the other side of the world? Moving from the Clare Valley of SA to the lush Irish countryside, this is a delightful story about a colourful & huge-hearted family. ($33, PB)
Beauty in Thorns by Kate Forsyth ($29.95, PB) Ned Burne-Jones had never had a painting lesson and his family wanted him to be a parson. Only young Georgie Macdonald understood. She put aside her own dreams to support him, only to be confronted by many years of gossip and scandal. Dante Gabriel Rossetti was smitten with his favourite model, Lizzie Siddal. She wanted to be an artist herself, but was seduced by the irresistible lure of laudanum. William Morris fell head-overheels for a ‘stunner’ from the slums, Janey Burden. Discovered by Ned, married to William, she embarked on a passionate affair with Gabriel that led inexorably to tragedy. And Margot Burne-Jones had become her father’s muse. He painted her as Briar Rose, the focus of his most renowned series of paintings, based on the fairy-tale that haunted him all his life. Yet Margot longed to be awakened to love. Kate Forsyth brings to life the dramatic true story of love, obsession and heartbreak that lies behind the Victorian era’s most famous paintings.
Me and Mr Booker by Cory Taylor ($12.95, PB) Martha could have said no when Mr Booker tried to kiss her. But Martha is sixteen, she lives in a dull town, her father is mad, her home is stifling. Of course she would kiss the charming Englishman who brightened her world with whiskey and cigarettes, adventure and sex-whatever the consequences. Me and Mr Booker, Cory Taylor’s acclaimed debut, is a novel about feeling old when you’re young and acting young when you’re not. Me and Mr Booker is a sharply observed and darkly comic story about lust, deceit and the line between adolescence and adulthood. Introduced by Benjamin Law
The Pacific Room by Michael Fitzgerald
This debut novel tells of the last days of Tusitala, ‘the teller of tales’, as Robert Louis Stevenson became known in Samoa where he chose to die. In 1892 Girolamo Nerli travels from Sydney by steamer to Apia, with the intention of capturing something of Jekyll and Hyde in his portrait of ‘Tusitala’. Nerli’s presence sets in train a disturbing sequence of events. More than a century later, art historian Lewis Wakefield comes to Samoa to research the painting of this portrait. On hiatus from his bipolar medication, Lewis is freed to confront the powerful reality of all the desires and demons that R. L. Stevenson couldn’t control. Lewis’s personal journey is shadowed by the story of the lovable Teuila, a so-called fa‘afafine (‘in the manner of a woman’), and the spirit of Stevenson’s servant boy, Sosimo. Set in an evocative tropical landscape haunted by the lives and spirits which drift across it, The Pacific Room is both a love letter to Samoa and a lush and tender exploration of artistic creation, of secret passions and merging dualities. ($29.95, PB)
Half Wild by Pip Smith ($30, PB) Sydney, 1938. After being hit by a car on Oxford Street, 63 yearold Jean Ford lies in a coma in Sydney Hospital. She has £100 in her pocket, but no identification. Memories come back to her—a murder trial, a life in prison—but with each prick of the needle her memories begin to shift. Wellington, 1885. Tally Ho doesn’t need to go to school because she is going to be a fisherman or a cart driver or a butcher boy like Harry Crawford—and taking the advice of her hero, Harry Crawford, she runs away. Sydney, 1917. The burned body of a woman is discovered on the banks of the Lane Cove River. Was she a mad woman? A drunk who’d accidentally set herself on fire? Nobody knows, until 3 years later a tailor’s apprentice tells police that his mother went missing that same weekend, and that his stepfather, Harry Crawford, is not who he seems to be. This debut novel is based on the true lives of Eugenia Falleni.
Hello, Goodbye by Emily Brewin ($30, PB) In another debut novel May Callaghan is 17 years old & on her own. Her devoutly religious mother & her gentle but damaged father are fighting, and her boyfriend has left their rural hometown for Melbourne without so much as a backward glance. So May takes the train to visit his share house in Carlton, and her world opens wide in glorious complexity. She is introduced to his housemates, Clancy, an indigenous university student, and Ruby, a wild bohemian. With their liberal thinking and opposition to the war in Vietnam, may be against her strict Catholic upbringing, but May knows too well the toll that war has taken on her father. For a while, May’s future burns bright. But then it begins to unravel, and something happens to her that will change her life forever. The Last Man in Europe by Dennis Glover
April, 1947. In a run-down farmhouse on a remote Scottish island, George Orwell begins his last and greatest work: Nineteen Eighty-Four. 43 years old & suffering from the tuberculosis that within 3 winters will take his life, Orwell comes to see the book as his legacy—the culmination of a career spent fighting to preserve the freedoms which the wars & upheavals of the 20th century have threatened. Completing the book is an urgent challenge, a race against death. Dennis Glover explores the creation of Orwell’s classic work, which for millions of readers worldwide defined the 20th century—whilst simultaneously conducting a unique literary excavation and an unflinching portrait of a beloved British writer. ($30, PB)
Australia Day by Melanie Cheng ($30, PB)
In Melanie Cheng’s debut collection of stories she writes about people who are young, old, rich, poor, married, widowed, Chinese, Lebanese, Christian, Muslim. What they have in common—no matter where they come from—is the desire we all share to feel that we belong. Cheng’s stories explore universal themes of love, loss, family & identity, while at the same time asking crucial questions about the possibility of human connection in a globalised world. Her unpretentious realism balances an insider’s understanding with an outsider’s clear-eyed objectivity, showing us a version of ourselves both rich & multifaceted.
Hinterland by Steven Lang ($29.95, PB) Tensions have been slowly building in the old farming district of Winderran. Its rich landscape has attracted a new wave of urban tree-changers & wealthy developers. But traditional loyalties & values are pushed to the brink with the announcement of a controversial dam project. Locals Eugenie & Guy are forced to choose sides, while newcomer Nick discovers there are more sinister forces at work. The personal & the political soon collide in ways that will change their fates & determine the future of the town. Steven Lang has created a gripping novel that captures contemporary Australia in all of its natural beauty & conflicting ambitions.
Deeper than the Sea by Nelika McDonald ($30, PB)
Beth had known there were secrets folded inside Theo. But she didn’t know they were secrets about her. It’s always been just Beth and her mother Theo. Until Beth is 16 years old, and a stranger arrives in their small coastal town—a stranger with a claim that rips apart all Beth knows. And what do you do when everything you thought you knew about yourself is based on a lie? In a deeply affecting story that challenges our notions of maternal love, Nelika McDonald examines the myriad ways that love is forged and tempered over years and how fiercely it is defended.
Australian Poetry Lunar Inheritance by Lachlan Brown ($24, PB)
A hoarding Chinese grandmother fills her home with objects, unable to distinguish between the value of things. Meanwhile, her Asian-Australian grandson travels to China for the first time, wary of the revelations that the trip might offer, as he tries to make sense of his own Chinese and Anglo-Australian background. In Guangzhou, Kaiping, Shanghai & Beijing, amidst the incessant construction and consumption of 21st century China, a shadowy heritage reveals and withholds itself, while the suburbs he knows from back home are threaded into the cities he visits, forming an intricately braided Chinese-Australian inheritance. ‘Brown’s postcards sing crisp Guangzhou mornings and hints of dry Australian sunsets’—Sam Wagan Watson
The Honeymoon Stage by Oscar Schwartz
This debut collection of poems was written for friends on the internet over a 5 year period. These friends were spread across the globe, and most of them the Oscar Schwartz had never met, and will never know. Poetry was the method by which the correspondents felt they could authenticate themselves to one another, despite their separation in space, and their friendships being mediated through screens. The poems engage with the flattened syntax of internet language, registering its awkwardness while bringing human qualities to the centre of the exchange. They inhabit a surreal world marked by shifting identities & video-clip encounters, blog-like intimacies & strange scraps of information, discovering in this reality new ways of thinking & feeling. ($24, PB)
These Things are Real by Alan Wearne ($24, PB)
Alan Wearne specialises in monologues & verse narratives. A young widow in post-war Melbourne fends off the approaches of her best friend’s husband; a retired femocrat recalls her lovelorn Maoist youth; a single mother falls into an abusive relationship with a drifting musician; a heroin addict is haunted by his dealer’s murder of a youth. Also included in this volume is The Sarsaparilla Writer’s Centre, a collection of satires on music, football, religion, politics & poets. Multi-awarding winning writer Alan Wearne is ‘Australia’s finest verse satirist’—Peter Pierce
The Collected Poems of Fay Zwicky ($30, PB) In her poetry, Zwicky, the ex-concert pianist, technically adroit, dramatic and profoundly serious, is there alongside the joker, the edgy ironist making wry asides against the world, patriarchy and herself. Her formal poems sit easily beside her mostly shortlined, tightly wrought free verse. Her cadences are a delight. ‘Zwicky is one of the world’s finest poets; her sophistications of form and theme remind one of Akhmatova, Szymborska, Adrienne Rich and William Blake. With poise and control, she tracks the personal encounter with the weight of history and the obligation to declare a position’.—John Kinsella
International Poetry Plum by Hollie McNish ($23, PB)
Performance poet Hollie McNish’s her debut collection is a wise, sometimes rude and piercingly candid account of her memories from childhood to attempted adulthood. This is a book about growing up, about guilt, flesh, fruit, friendships, work and play. Throughout Plum, McNish allows her recent poems to be interrupted by earlier writing from her younger selves—voices that speak out from the past with disarming and often very funny results. Plum is a celebration, a salute to a life in which we are always growing, tripping, changing and discovering new selves to add to our own messy stores. ‘She writes with honesty, conviction, humour and love. She points out the absurdities we’ve grown too used to and lets us see the world with fresh eyes’ Kate Tempest
Now in B Format The Pearl by Simon Armitage, $20
Publishing trends come and go and are often easily sneezed at—think colouring books for grown-ups—but I feel one recent trend could happily become a permanent fixture on our shelves, and that is children’s nonfiction books about women’s lives. Leading the pack, though not the first to be published, is the fantastic Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo ($33). This beautiful book, illustrated by 60 women artists, features 100 stories about 100 brilliant women—artists, scientists, historians, poets, architects et al. Some are very well-known like Margaret Thatcher (?), Cleopatra and the Brontë sisters, and others are obscured by history such as Cora Coralina, the South American baker who started writing poetry at the age of 60, and who’s heard of the great trombonist Melba Liston? This is not just a book for young girls but women and men of all ages. In hardcover picture book are individual biographies in the series Little People, Big Dreams ($20 each) featuring Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart, Coco Chanel, Maya Angelou and Frida Kahlo (about whom there are quite a few childrens’ books) again, all fantastically illustrated by Isabel Sanchez Vegara. Ella: Queen of Jazz ($22) by Helen Hancocks tells the story of how Ella Fitzgerald as a black artist was unable to play a certain theatre until Marilyn Monroe embarrassed the owner into giving her a gig. Ella and Marilyn became great friends. Science is well represented in these books—Ada’s Ideas ($25) by Fiona Robinson is about Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter who is credited with inventing the very first computer—who knew? Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code ($25) written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu is another must for would be scientists. As are Women in Science—50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World ($28) by Rachel Ignotofsky and Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science ($25) by Jeannine Atkins. My only quibble with these books is that at some point one illustrator has set the tone and everyone else has followed—so in style they all look very similar. Luckily for me it’s a style of illustration I love—bold, colourful and naïve. Slightly different, but along the same lines, is a photographic book by Kate. T. Parker—Strong is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves ($40). This is a collection of candid and arresting photographs of gorgeous girls just being themselves! Fabulous. Without wishing to encourage local publishers to jump on a trend, all of the above books are American or English, and Australian girls need to learn about, admire and emulate brilliant, innovative Australian women and there are, certainly enough of them—both past and present—to fill many volumes. Let me think ... Morgan Smith: The Bookseller Who Changed Dulwich Hill. See you on D’hill, Morgan
An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope ($53, HB)
Voltaire called it ‘the most sublime didactic poem ever written in any language’. Rousseau rhapsodized about its intellectual consolations. Kant recited long passages of it from memory during his lectures. And Adam Smith& David Hume drew inspiration from it in their writings. This was Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man (1733–34), a masterpiece of philosophical poetry, one of the most important & controversial works of the Enlightenment, and one of the most widely read, imitated, and discussed poems of 18th century Europe & America. Echoing Milton’s purpose in Paradise Lost, Pope says his aim is to ‘vindicate the ways of God to man’‚to explain the existence of evil and explore man’s place in the universe. This is the first major new edition of the poem in more than 50 years, and Tom Jones’ introduction provides a thorough discussion of the poem’s attitudes, themes, composition, context & reception, and reassesses the work’s place in history. Extensive annotations to the text explain references & allusions.
Hymns & Qualms: New and Selected Poems and Translations by Peter Cole ($50, HB)
Peter Cole is a maker of poems and worlds. From his earliest registrations of the Jerusalem landscape’s stark power to electric renderings of mystical medieval Hebrew hymns; from his kabbalistically inspired recent poems to sensuous versions of masterworks of Muslim Spain; and from his provocative presentation of contemporary poetry from Palestine and Israel to his own dazzling reckonings with politics, beauty, and the double-edged dynamic of influence, Cole offers a ramifying vision of connectedness. In the process, he defies traditional distinctions between new and old, familiar and foreign, translation and original—‘as though’, in his own words, ‘living itself were an endless translation’.
Boo ks w ith
I have just finished reading Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor and although it took me a while to get used to his style of writing—I did like it. Set in a small English town in the early years of this century, Reservoir 13 describes the lives of the inhabitants of this small town after a teenage girl goes missing. Seasons unfold and are beautifully described, as are the characters as they encounter big things in their lives. McGregor has an interesting writing style which sets a pace that has a hypnotic pull. I have also just read and thoroughly enjoyed Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout. Again, a story about the inhabitants of a small town—but this time in Illinois, USA—and the hometown of writer Lucy Barton. You don’t have to have read Strout’s previous novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, but I did find myself going back to it whilst reading this new Lucy Barton outing. I love Strout’s writing and she describes the lives of the families of Amgash so beautifully that they stayed with me for a long time after. This is a gentle but true and realistic book. We are looking forward to our July Book Event—They Cannot Take the Sky: Stories from Detention. One of the editors of this very important book, Angelica Neville, grew up in Blackheath and will be in conversation with one of the refugees who has contributed to the collection—writing about what is was like to be inside one of Australia’s immigration detention centres. This event will be supporting The Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group and Behind the Wire —the non for profit organisation that has put this book together. Victoria Jefferys Details are below.
A BLUE MOUNTAINS LITERARY EVENT ‘This is a book whose human, frank, illuminating voices the government does not want to hear from.’ Tom Keneally For more than two decades, Australia has locked up people who arrive here fleeing persecution - sometimes briefly, sometimes for years. In They Cannot Take the Sky those people tell their stories, in their own words. Speaking from inside immigration detention on Manus Island and Nauru, or from within the Australian community after their release, the narrators reveal not only their extraordinary journeys and their daily struggles but also their meditations on love, death, hope and injustice. Their candid testimonies are at times shocking and hilarious, surprising and devastating. They are witnesses from the edge of human experience. Hani Abdile is a writer and spoken word poet who fled the civil war in Somalia. She made her way to Australia by boat and spent 11 months on Christmas Island. While detained, Hani found healing in writing poetry. She is an honorary member of PEN, a lead writer for the Writing Through Fences group, and has received numerous awards for her community work and many achievements since being released from immigration detention. Her first book I Will Rise was published in 2016 to critical acclaim.
Angelica Neville is a Behind the Wire coordinator. For her postgraduate studies, she specialised in forced migration and refugee studies at the University of Oxford. She has written for Right Now, Al Jazeera and The Big Issue, and was the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration.
Angelica Neville will be in conversation with one of the narrators - Hani Abdile - who will tell her story about what it was like to be detained on Christmas Island.
When: Where: Cost:
SATURDAY 15 JULY, 2017
2.00pm for 2.30pm start. Bates Hall, Blackheath Community Centre $10.00 per person
This event supports The Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group and BEHIND THE WIRE - an award-winning oral history project documenting the stories of the men, women and children who have been detained by the Australian government after seeking asylum in Australia. www.behindthewire.org.au
Bookings essential. Tickets available at Gleebooks Blackheath or phone Gleebooks on 4787 6340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pussy by Howard Jacobson ($30, PB)
Pussy is the story of Prince Fracassus, heir presumptive to the Duchy of Origen, famed for its golden-gated skyscrapers & casinos, who passes his boyhood watching reality shows on TV, imagining himself to be the Roman Emperor Nero, and fantasizing about hookers. He is idle, boastful, thin-skinned & egotistic; has no manners, no curiosity, no knowledge, no idea & no words in which to express them. Could he, in that case, be the very leader to make the country great again?
The Walk by Peter Barry ($25, PB)
It is 1987, two years after Live Aid, and PR expert Adrian Burles, working with charity Africa Assist has a Big Idea that he thinks will keep Ethiopian hunger in the headlines and touch heartstrings (and purse strings) of people in the West. Aided by Anne Chaffey, an experienced nurse who has worked at the famine frontline for many years, he locates a young, malnourished Afar man called Mujtabaa wandering alone in the desert & flies him back to London. The world’s media are then invited to witness a skeletal Mujtabaa making a week-long walk from Heathrow to a rally in Trafalgar Square. In fundraising terms, this is a great success—but the ethics of the exercise, the human impact on all concerned, and the ultimate result, are all profoundly to be questioned.
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack ($20, PB) Once a year, on All Souls’ Day, it is said in Ireland that the dead may return. Solar Bones is the story of one such visit. Marcus Conway, a middle-aged engineer, turns up one afternoon at his kitchen table and considers the events that took him away and then brought him home again. McCormack’s ambitious and other-worldly novel plays with form and defies convention—telling a story of order and chaos, love and loss that captures how minor decisions ripple into waves and test our integrity every day. Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize 2016, Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year. The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan ($30, PB)
Big Billy Brennan has suffered the greatest tragedy a parent can know—he has just lost his eldest son. His family is falling apart with grief, and his marriage is a partnership in name alone. Billy is also obese: at nearly 30 stone, he can barely walk down the street without breaking a sweat. In his small Irish town, he can’t escape his notoriety. So Billy decides to take on the two things weighing him down—his grief, and his fat—in the only way he knows how. He’s going to get fit, and in doing so he’s going to tell the world about the terrible plague of suicide that is haunting the youth of Ireland.
The Scandal by Fredrik Backman ($33, PB) Late one evening towards the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barrelled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead and pulled the trigger. This is the story of how we got there.’ Beartown is a small town in a large Swedish forest. For most of the year it is under a thick blanket of snow, experiencing the kind of cold and dark that brings people closer together—or pulls them apart. But now the town is on the verge of an astonishing revival. Everyone can feel the excitement. Change is in the air and a bright new future is just around the corner. Until the day it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear.
The Parcel by Anosh Irani ($30, PB) In the swollen & crumbling red-light district of Kamathipura, at the heart of Bombay, Madhu is given a difficult & potentially lucrative task by her housemother—to prepare a newly arrived ‘parcel’ for its opening. Madhu’s home is Hijra House, one of the last bastions in the land war slowly consuming the area, as property developers vie for land, desperate to make way for their empty grey monoliths. It is here that ‘hijras’—eunuchs, people of the third sex, ‘neither here nor there’— ply their trade. Now 40 and with her looks & spirit waning, Madhu struggles with the task she has been given, confronted by memories of her past, of how she was rejected by her family—and by how she longs, secretly, to go back to them. Then, as the land war comes to a head, and with her housemother coming under pressure by the hijra elders to sell their home, Madhu realises she must do something to save herself. Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk by Kathleen Rooney
She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R.H. Macy’s to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country. Now it’s the last night of 1984 & 85 year old Lillian is on her way to a party. Manhattan is grittier now—her son keeps warning her about a subway vigilante on the prowl—but the quick-tongued poet has never been one to scare easily. On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, she meets bartenders, shopkeepers, criminals, children, parents & parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement & adversity, passion & heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed—and has not. ($23, PB)
The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce ($33, PB)
New from the author of The Ultimate Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Frank has a gift for finding his customers the music they need to hear. When he meets Ilsa Brauchmann, a mysterious and beautiful woman with no ear for music, and engaged to another man, he falls in love. She is way above him, she will never be his, but he will take her on a journey through music. Twelve years later Ilsa returns to find Frank. The shop has gone; no one knows where he is; perhaps he’s dead. All that remains is a series of clues, each one related to music. Ilsa resolves to follow them and bring Frank back to life with music, just as he once did for her.
Gleebooks’ special price $29.95
Cry, Mother Spain by Lydie Salvayre ($23, PB)
Aged 15, as Franco’s forces begin their murderous purges and cities across Spain rise up against the old order, Montse has never heard the word fascista before. She lives in a small village, high in the hills, where few people can read or write and fewer still ever leave. If everything goes according to her mother’s plan, Montse will become a good, humble maid for the local landowners, muchisimas gracias, with every Sunday off to dance the jota in the church square. But Montse’s world is changing. Her brother Jose has just returned from Lerida with a red and black scarf and a new, dangerous vocabulary and his words are beginning to open up new realms to his little sister. She might not understand half of what he says, but how can anyone become a maid in the Burgos family when their head is ringing with shouts of Revolucion, Comunidad and Libertad?
GET POOR SLOW David Free ‘My favourite Australian literary critic, David Free instantly becomes my favourite Australian author of psychological thrillers.’ Clive James Ray Saint is in trouble. A young woman is dead and he was the last person to see her alive. No one is impressed by his excuses: Ray is the most hated book reviewer in Australia. As Ray investigates, he is obliged to face the truth: he can’t be entirely sure that he isn’t the killer.
DEEPER THAN THE SEA Nelika McDonald ‘With sharp, evocative prose and utterly absorbing storytelling, McDonald takes the reader on a journey that makes us question what it means to be a mother.’ Sally Hepworth, bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives In a deeply affecting story that challenges our notions of maternal love, Nelika McDonald examines the myriad ways that love is forged and tempered over years and how fiercely it is defended.
CHARLIE AND THE KARAOKE COCKROACHES Alan Brough I didn’t want the exterminator to be flattened by a flying sink. I just wanted a home for the cockroaches. Another hilarious adventure starring Charlie and Hils from comedian, actor, singer and dancer (it's true!), Alan Brough.
Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
In 1968 Yuki is 16 and has not one friend in all of New York. It’s the year her parents move back to Tokyo, but Yuki decides to stay. As she sketches out her new life, it is also the year she’ll fall in love with a shade of orange, climb out a window, meets an aspiring model, and run tangle-haired through the night. In 2016 gallery owner Jay becomes a father, believing he is a happily married man. It’s the year he will finally confront his mother, who abandoned their family when he was two years old. Her name is Yuki Oyama and she has been living for decades as an artist in Berlin. ‘This brilliant debut novel by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is cause for celebration.’ Lorrie Moore ($20, PB)
Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor ($30, PB)
Out for a hike one scorching afternoon in Sycamore, Arizona, a newcomer to town stumbles across what appear to be human remains embedded in the wall of a dry desert ravine. The news gives the town’s longtime residents the same immediate thought: they may belong to Jess Winters, the teenage girl who disappeared suddenly some eighteen years earlier, an unsolved mystery that has soaked into the porous rock of the town and haunted it ever since. In the few days it takes the authorities to identify the bones, the town’s residents rekindle stories, gossip, and painful memories, and reawaken the complex web of troubled relationships and events that centred around Jess before she disappeared.
The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer ($30, PB)
December 1348. With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John & William fear that they will shortly die & go to Hell. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home & spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries—living each one of their remaining days 99 years after the last. John & William choose the future & find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on around them. The year 1546 brings no more comfort, and 1645 challenges them still further. It is not just that technology is changing: things they have taken for granted all their lives prove to be short-lived. As they find themselves in stranger and stranger times, the world shifts through disease, progress, enlightenment & war. But their time is running out— can they do something to redeem themselves before the six days are up?
They May Not Mean To, But They Do by Cathleen Schine ($25, PB)
The Bergman clan has always stuck together, growing as it incorporated in-laws, ex-in-laws, and same-sex spouses. But families don’t just grow, they grow old, and the clan’s matriarch, Joy, is not slipping into old age with the quiet grace her children, Molly and Daniel, would have wished. When Joy’s beloved husband dies, Molly and Daniel have no shortage of solutions for their mother’s loneliness and despair, but there is one challenge they did not count on: the reappearance of an ardent suitor from Joy’s college days.
Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin ($30, HB)
After his mother’s death, 11 year-old Marcus is sent to live on a small South Carolina island with his great aunt, a reclusive painter with a haunted past. Aunt Charlotte points out a ruined cottage the islanders call ‘Grief Cottage’ because a boy and his parents disappeared from it during a hurricane 50 years before. Their bodies were never found and the cottage has stood empty ever since. During his lonely hours while Aunt Charlotte is in her studio painting & keeping her demons at bay, Marcus visits the cottage daily—even after the ghost of the boy who died seems to reveal himself. Full of curiosity he courts the ghost boy, never certain whether the ghost is friendly or follows some sinister agenda.
SELFIE Will Storr ‘In this riveting account of how our culture has defined who we feel we should be, from Aristotle to Ayn Rand, Storr charts the rise of our age of perfectionism, and our resulting addictions to selfies and social media. It's profoundly eye-opening, and not a little chastening.’ Bookseller A compelling new work about the mysterious power of the self and the danger of our modern obsession with it. www.panmacmillan.com.au
Now in B Format The Bertie Project by Alexander McCall Smith, $20 The Mare by Mary Gaitskill, $20 Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, $23 Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, $20 Our Young Man by Edmund White, $20 The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old by Hendrik Groen, $23 Swing Time by Zadie Smith, $23 A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk, $23 Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera ($20, PB) In the court of the King, everyone knows their place. But as the Artist wins hearts and egos with his ballads, uncomfortable truths emerge that shake the Kingdom to its core. Part surreal fable and part crime romance, Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera questions the price of keeping your integrity in a world ruled by patronage and power. Described as ‘Mexico’s greatest novelist’, Yuri Herrera has followed up The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World with an extraordinary story about passion and violence, about the vital role of the Artist in our society, and about the strangeness of our world. Refuge: A Novel by Dina Nayeri ($33, PB) An Iranian girl escapes to America as a child, but her father stays behind. Over 20 years, as she transforms from confused immigrant to overachieving Westerner to sophisticated European transplant, daughter & father know each other only from their visits: four crucial visits over 2 decades, each in a different international city. The longer they are apart, the more their lives diverge, but also the more each comes to need the other’s wisdom and, ultimately, rescue. Meanwhile, refugees of all nationalities are flowing into Europe under troubling conditions. Wanting to help, but also looking for a lost sense of home, our grown-up transplant finds herself quickly entranced by a world that is at once everything she has missed and nothing that she has ever known. Will her immersion in the lives of these new refugees allow her the grace to save her father? Refuge charts the deeply moving lifetime relationship between a father and a daughter, seen through the prism of global immigration. The novel subtly exposes the parts of ourselves that get left behind in the wake of diaspora & ultimately asks: Must home always be a physical place, or can we find it in another person?
THE WILDER AISLES
Janice is recuperating from an operation that has her slightly incapacitated, so Sonia Lee of Granny’s Good Reads has, as usual, been reading up a storm and is stepping in to fill the Wilder Aisles this month ... With The Unmourned, the second of the Monsarrat Series, Meg and Tom Keneally are well into their stride. Gentleman convict Hugh Monsarrat and his champion tea-making housekeeper Mrs Mulrooney are in Parramatta, where Hugh is clerking in the governor’s office and investigating the murder of Robert Church, the late unlamented superintendent of the Female Factory. Church, it seems, was an out-and-out rotter who not only dealt in sly grog, but also stole the inmates’ food and preyed sexually on the younger ones. Hugh is warned off inquiring too deeply into the sly grog aspect, given that so many of the Colony’s upper crust are involved in the lucrative trade, and turns his attention to Grace O’Leary, the inmate who tried to protect the girls from Church’s nocturnal predations. Not surprisingly, Grace has become the prime suspect. Hugh, convinced of her innocence but running out of time to save her from the gallows, puts Mulrooney into the Factory to help Mrs Nelson, the local ‘lady bountiful’, with reading and writing classes. In talking with the inmates Mulrooney uncovers vital information which helps unmask the murderer, but at great risk to her life. They have little time to enjoy the beautiful Meissen tea service featuring a shamrock design that Hugh bought at Mr Nelson’s warehouse because, as the story ends, Hugh and Mrs M. are sent to Van Diemen’s Land to investigate another unsolved murder. I suspect, too, that we haven’t seen the last of Grace, with whom Hugh seems thoroughly smitten, and I look forward to the follow-up. Incidentally, over 5,000 women went through the Parramatta Female Factory, including Meg Keneally’s great-great-grandmother, Mary Shields. The Pope has died suddenly and Lomeli, Dean of the College of Cardinals, is in charge of the election of his successor. During balloting in the Sistine Chapel three front-runners emerge: an ultra-conservative Italian, an over-ambitious Canadian, and an African who doesn’t like gays. Into the mix comes a rank outsider, a cardinal in pectore appointed by the late Pope with no publicity but with all the proper credentials. Lomeli, who is a decent, thoughtful sort of cleric, is gradually forced into the role of in-house detective as serious flaws are discovered in each of the favourites. Such is the storyline of Robert Harris’s Conclave which, though not quite as good as his Cicero novels, is undoubtedly a page–turner. Harris started out as a political journalist and in his fiction has always been interested in the corrupting effects of power, so it’s hardly surprising that he would find rich pickings in the arcane byways of the Vatican. Unputdownable and the ending will knock your socks off. I’m always delighted when a new Sean Duffy thriller appears, and the latest, Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly, is a cracker. The series’ author, Adrian McKinty, was born in Northern Ireland and now lives in Melbourne. His Duffy novels, of which this is the sixth, are set in 1980s Carrickfergus with Sean Duffy a Catholic cop in the largely Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary. On the plus side, Sean is a super-good detective, while on the minus he not only lacks promotion but is asthmatic, drinks to excess, smokes cigs and pot, and does not suffer fools gladly—one such being Dalziel, his immediate ‘eejit’ superior. Luckily he has a Protestant as his loyal sidekick. Duffy’s are dangerous times, when policemen have constantly to look under their cars for mercury tilt-bombs. This story concerns the crossbow murder of a drug dealer and begins ominously enough with three masked gunmen taking Duffy, in his own handcuffs, to a clearing in a high bog where they make him dig his grave—and I was on tenterhooks all the way through, hoping that he wouldn’t end up in it but would get safely home to partner Beth and baby Emma. Like all the others in this series, highly recommended. We’ve had our resources boom and frittered it all away. Norway, by contrast, saved and invested all the proceeds from its North Sea oil rigs and now has a nest egg which provides benefits for the whole nation. This story is ably told by Paul Cleary in Trillion Dollar Baby: How Norway Beat the Oil Giants and Won a Lasting Fortune. I found myself cheering as I read of this small nation of 5 million people insisting on a 40% super-profits tax while other countries were losing out to the oil giants. Norwegians expect their national fund to be worth one trillion dollars by 2020. This makes for sobering reading as we allow others to take our gas with little visible benefit to us and lend them megabucks to dig up our coal. Sonia Lee
The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham ($33, PB)
Everyone has an idea of what their perfect life is. For Agatha, it’s Meghan Shaughnessy’s. These two women from vastly different backgrounds have one thing in common—a dangerous secret that could destroy everything they hold dear. Both will risk everything to hide the truth, but their worlds are about to collide in a shocking act that cannot be undone.
Sleeping in the Ground by Peter Robinson ($33, PB)
In the 24th installment of Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks series a shocking mass murder occurs at a wedding in a small Dales church and a huge manhunt follows. Eventually, the shooter is run to ground and things take their inevitable course. But Banks is plagued with doubts as to exactly what happened outside the church that day, and why. Struggling with the death of his first serious girlfriend and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller into his life, Banks feels the need to dig deeper into the murders, and as he does so, he uncovers forensic and psychological puzzles that lead him to the past secrets that might just provide the answers he is looking for. When the surprising truth becomes clear, it is almost too late.
Wimmera by Mark Brandi ($30, PB) In the long, hot summer of 1989, best friends Ben and Fab they spend their days playing cricket, yabbying in local dams, wanting a pair of Nike Air Maxes & not talking about how Fab’s dad hits him or how the sudden death of Ben’s next-door neighbour unsettled him. Then a newcomer arrives in the Wimmera. Thinking he’s a secret agent the boys stake him out. Up close, the man looked strong—maybe even stronger than Fab’s dad. Neither realised the shadow this man would cast over both their lives. 20 years later, Fab is still stuck in town, going nowhere but hoping for somewhere better. Then a body is found in the river, and he can’t ignore the past any more. The Curse of La Fontaine by M. L. Longworth ($28, PB) Chef Bear Valets has just opened his own restaurant, La Fontaine, in Aix-en-Provence. It’s an immediate success—glowing reviews & a loyal clientele, including our favourite investigative duo, Verlaque & Bonnet. But when he decides to extend his restaurant’s seating into a historic courtyard the local historical society protests—the courtyard, which witnessed a 17th century hanging & two WWII-era murders, should remain untouched. Valets charges on despite threatening letters, and the discovery of a skeleton found buried next to the courtyard’s ancient fountain. And then the fountain inexplicably stops running. By disturbing the garden, has Bear triggered an age-old curse? And can newlyweds Verlaque & Bonnet solve the mystery before someone else ends up dead?
The Child by Fiona Barton ($33, PB)
When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore. For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her. For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered. And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth. The Child’s story will be told.
Follow Me Down by Sherri Smith ($17, PB) Mia Haas has built a life for herself far from the North Dakota town where she grew up, but when she receives word that her twin brother, a teacher, is missing, she returns home. Once hailed as the golden boy of their small town, Lucas Haas disappeared the same day the body of one of his high school students was pulled from the river. Trying to wrap her head around the rumours of Lucas’s affair with the teen, Mia is forced to reevaluate their difficult, shared history—launching her own investigation into the grisly murder, uncovering secrets that could exonerate Lucas—or seal his fate. Night Market by Daniel Pembrey ($16, PB) When Henk van der Pol is asked by the Justice Minister to infiltrate a team investigating an online child exploitation network, he can hardly say no—he’s at the mercy of prominent government figures in The Hague. But he soon realises the case is far more complex than he was led to believe. Picking up from where The Harbour Master ended, this new investigation sees Detective Van der Pol once again put his life on the line as he wades the murky waters between right and wrong in his search for justice. Sometimes, to catch the bad guys, you have to think like one. Broken River by J. Robert Lennon ($28, PB)
Following a string of affairs, Karl and Eleanor are giving their marriage one last shot by moving with their twelve-year old daughter Irina from Brooklyn to a newly renovated, apparently charming old house outside the upstate New York town of Broken River. But the house has a history marked by a brutal double murder and while the family may have left the deceptions of their city life behind them, all three are still lying to each other. Karl reverts to his old cheating habits. Eleanor & Irina hide their fascination with the house’s ghoulish history, taking perverse pleasure in separately researching their new home’s bloody past. But Karl’s digressions & Eleanor & Irina’s unwelcome investigations have consequences, and before long their duplicitous actions unleash forces none of them could possibly have anticipated, putting them in mortal danger.
Get Poor Slow by David Free ($30, PB)
Ray Saint is in trouble. A young woman is dead and he was the last person to see her alive. No one is impressed by his excuses: Ray, you see, is the most hated book reviewer in Australia—a hatchet man with a belly full of bourbon and curdled dreams of literary greatness. Now he will need all of his acid-tongued wit and even some moments of lucidity if he is to discover who murdered the beautiful publishing assistant who got so far beneath his skin. As a battered and bloodied Ray investigates more deeply, he is obliged to face the truth: he can’t be entirely sure that he isn’t the killer.
The Late Show by Michael Connelly ($33, PB) Renée Ballard works the night shift at the LAPD in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. She’s been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor. But one night she catches 2 cases she doesn’t want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute & the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Against orders & her own partner’s wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the cases entwine, they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won’t give up her job—no matter what the department throws at her. Prague Nights by Benjamin Black ($33, PB) Prague, 1599. Christian Stern, a young doctor, has just arrived in the city. On his first evening, he finds a young woman’s body half-buried in the snow. The dead woman is none other than the emperor’s mistress, and there’s no shortage of suspects. Stern is employed by the emperor himself to investigate the murder. In the search to find the culprit, Stern finds himself drawn into the shadowy world of the emperor’s court—unspoken affairs, letters written in code, and bitter rivalries. But can he unmask the killer before they reach their next victim? Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre ($30, PB)
Antoine is twelve years old. His parents are divorced and he lives with his mother in Beauval, a small, backwater town surrounded by forests, where everyone knows everyone’s business, and nothing much ever happens. But in the last days of 1999, a series of events unfolds, culminating in the shocking vanishing without trace of a young child. The adults of the town are at a loss to explain the disappearance, but for Antoine, it all begins with the violent death of his neighbour’s dog. From that one brutal act, his fate and the fate of his neighbour’s six year old son are bound forever.
Offline by Anne Holt ($30, PB) It has been eleven years since Hanne Wilhelmsen’s life was forever changed by an assault that left her wheelchair bound. Now, Hanne’s selfimposed exile is nearing its end. When Oslo comes under attack from Islamic extremists in a series of explosions, the city is left reeling. A militant group claim responsibility, but the Norwegian police force doubt on the authenticity of the declaration, and the group’s very existence. The unfolding drama is brought to Hanne’s door by her former partner Billy T., who is convinced that his son, Linus, is involved in the recent events. He begs Hanne for help. But Hanne soon learns that she cannot protect Linus, Billy T. or the people of Oslo. Suburra by Carlo Bonini & Giancarlo de Castaldo
During the final days of Silvio Berlusconi’s reign, a massive development proposal that will turn Ostia into a gambling paradise, a Las Vegas on the Mediterranean, is winding its way through the Italian legislature thanks to the sponsorship of politicians in the pay of crime syndicates with vested interests. In short, it’s business as usual in the Italian capital. But a vicious gang of local thugs loyal to nobody but themselves is insisting on a bigger cut than agreed upon. They argue their case quite convincingly, but the Mafia and their political puppets aren’t likely to back down without a fight. ($30, PB)
The Mayfly by James Hazel ($30, PB)
Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Second World War. Buried in the ashes of the Holocaust is a secret so deadly its poison threatens to destroy the very heart of the establishment. With more victims going missing, Priest realises that not everyone should be trusted. As he races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?
The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz ($33, PB)
‘I very much need to be dead’. These are the chilling last words left by a man who had everything to live for but took his own life. In the void that remains stands his widow, FBI agent Jane Hawk. People of talent & accomplishment, people seemingly happy & sound of mind, have recently been committing suicide in surprising numbers. A disturbing pattern is beginning to emerge. Jane is determined to find out why—and if that means going rogue & becoming America’s Most Wanted, then so be it. Those arrayed against her are legion, but Jane is as clever & relentless as they are ruthless. And she is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.
Dancing with Demons by Tim Watson-Munro
As Australia’s leading criminal psychologist Tim WatsonMunro assessed over 20,000 ‘persons of interest’ in some of the country’s most notorious court cases, including Hoddle Street gunman Julian Knight, corporate fraudster Alan Bond, Melbourne gangster Alphonse Gangitano and, more recently, many of Australia’s first terrorist convicts. But such close proximity to evil wrought a devastating effect on Tim’s private life. He was a leader in Melbourne’s ‘Corporate Cocaine Set’, a hedonistic lifestyle that quickly spiralled out of control & ultimately led him to a terrible crossroads in 1999 when with his career in crisis & $2000-a-week drug habit out of control. Tim put it all on the line, handing himself in to the police. He was arrested, deregistered as a psychologist and sent back to square one—aftter all, when you’re dancing with demons it takes one to know one. ($35, PB)
Australian Desperadoes by Terry Smyth
The Coves—San Francisco’s first organised-crime gang— were Australians: men & women with criminal careers in Australia who had come to the US during the gold rush—not to dig for gold but to unleash a crime wave the likes of which America had never seen. Robbery, murder, arson & extortion were their stock-in-trade, and it was said that the leader, Jim Stuart, had killed more men than any man in California. The gang’s base, in the waterfront district, came to be known as Sydney Town. The area was a no-go zone for police—many of whom were in Stuart’s pocket anyway—so, just as Capone would one day rule Chicago, the Coves ruled San Francisco. And more than once, just to make sure there was no doubt that Frisco was their town, they burnt it down. ($35, PB)
The Dark Side by Clive Small & Tom Gilling
Hooked on the limitless profits of the drug trade, organised crime has grown so powerful that it now poses a major threat to Australia’s national security. Small & Gilling show how Australian crime gangs, in partnership with violent international syndicates, have exploited lax law enforcement & corruption on the nation’s waterfront to import narcotics on a vast scale from Europe, Asia, Africa & South America. The authors reveal the corrupt history of Mark Standen, the senior investigator at the NSW Crime Commission whose conviction on drug importation charges sparked Australia’s biggest law-enforcement crisis since the Wood royal commission. They expose the cover-ups, strategic blunders & missed opportunities that continue to make Australia a soft target for international drug traffickers. ($30, PB)
Charlatan by Catherine Jinks ($33, PB) Charlatan is the story of a notorious 19th century court case involving a larger-than-life character—Thomas Guthrie Carr, a stage mesmerist who lied, fought & sleazed his way around Australia & NZ between 1865 & 1886. More than just a fascinating piece of social history, it’s also a mystery, a piece of true crime & a delicately humorous portrait of a man whose eye for the main chance & ferocious pursuit of publicity make him an oddly contemporary figure. With a star-studded supporting cast, including the Duke of Edinburgh, the Mad Dentist of Wynyard, the Nunawading Messiah & a host of shady mesmerists, spiritualists, phrenologists & hired goons, Charlatan delves deep into a side of colonial history not often explored. Green is the New Black: Inside Australia’s Hardest Women’s Jails by James Phelps
Serial killer Ivan Milat is not the most feared person in the prison system. Nor is it mass murderer, Martin Bryant. No, the person in Australia controversially ruled ‘too dangerous to be released’, the one who needs chains, leather restraints & a full-time posse of guards is Rebecca Butterfield: a selfmutilating murderer, infamous for slicing guards & stabbing another inmate 33 times. But Butterfield is not alone. There’s cannibal killer Katherine Knight, jilted man-murderer Kathy Yeo, jailbreak artist Lucy Dudko, and a host of others who will greet you inside the gates of Australia’s hardest women’s jails. Tales of forbidden love, drug parties gone wrong & guards who trade 40-cent phone calls for sex—all is revealed in this comprehensive account of women’s prison life. ($35, PB)
Sons of God by Heath O’Loughlin ($35, PB) Siege? Bomb threat? Terrorist alert? Shooting spree? The Sons of God are who Australia turns to in times of extreme crisis. The SOG’s top-secret methods, advanced training and incredible bravery have made them the ultimate urban warriors in the war against high-level crime and terrorism. This book details the birth of the ‘Sons of God’ and revisits 12 dramatic incidents: the Port Arthur Massacre, the bombing of Victorian Police headquarters, a wild gun battle with Neo-Nazis and more. Son of an SOG commander, Heath O’Loughlin has exclusive access to SOG case files and interviewed 19 ‘Sons’, all of whom are going on the record for the first time.
A Paris Year by Janice MacLeod ($35, PB)
When Janice MacLeod arrived in Paris, she brought her talents for writing, illustration and photography with her. She also met Christophe, who became her reason to stay in Paris. In this book she charts the moods, changes & charms of Paris through her words, paintings & photos. Set over the course of a calendar year she covers food, buildings, historical figures, places of interest & local characters. There is Hemingway, Robespierre, Macleod’s local boulangerie, flea markets, what Paris is like when the locals come home after la rentrée, and a handy cheat sheet to help you distinguish Napoleon B from Napoleon III; there is macaron day & Le Bon Marche. In short: all the details of Paris that make the city unique & captivating.
Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were by Philip Lymbery ($25, PB)
Our planet’s resources are reaching breaking point: awareness is slowly building that the wellbeing of society depends on a thriving natural world. Philip Limbery, the author of the internationally acclaimed Farmageddon, takes an eye-opening investigative journey across the globe, focussing on a dozen iconic species one-by-one and looking in each case at the role that industrial farming is playing in their plight. This is a passionate wake-up call for us all, laying bare the myths that prop up factory farming before exploring what we can do to save the planet with healthy food.
Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains: A Journey across Arunachal Pradesh—India’s Forgotten Frontier by Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent ($23, PB)
A mountainous state clinging to the far north-eastern corner of India, Arunachal Pradesh—meaning ‘land of the dawn-lit mountains’—has remained uniquely isolated. Steeped in myth and mystery, not since pith-helmeted explorers went in search of the fabled ‘Falls of the Brahmaputra’ has an outsider dared to traverse it. Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent sets out to chronicle this forgotten corner of Asia. Travelling some 2,000 miles she encounters shamans, lamas, hunters, opium farmers, fantastic tribal festivals & little-known stories from WW2. In the process, she discovers a world & a way of living that are on the cusp of changing forever.
The Streets of Paris: A Guide to the City of Light Following in the Footsteps of Famous Parisians Throughout History by Susan Cahill ($27, PB)
For hundreds of years, the City of Light has set the stage for largerthan-life characters—from medieval lovers Héloise & Abelard to the defiant King Henri IV to the brilliant scientist Madame Curie, beloved chanteuse Edith Piaf, and the writer Colette. In this beautifully illustrated book, Susan Cahill recounts the lives of 22 famous Parisians & then takes you through the seductive streets of Paris to the quartiers where they lived & worked: their homes, the scenes of their greatest triumphs & tragedies, their favourite cafés, bars & restaurants, and the off-the-beaten-track places where they found inspiration & love. From SainteChapelle on the Île de la Cité to the cemetery Père Lachaise to Montmartre & the Marais, Cahill not only brings to life the bold characters of a tumultuous history & the arts of painting, music, sculpture, film & literature, she takes you on a relaxed walking tour in the footsteps of these celebrated Parisians.
Wellmania: Misadventures in the Search for Wellness by Brigid Delaney ($33, PB) Cold-pressed juices, quitting sugar, Paleo, hot yoga, mindfulness—if you embrace these things you will be happy, you will be well—just ask Instagram. Wellness has become a global mega-industry. But does any of this stuff actually work? Feeling exhausted, anxious & a bit flabby, journalist Brigid Delaney decides to find out—using herself as the guinea pig. Starting with a brutal 101-day fast, Brigid travels the world and in monasteries and health farms, on hiking trails and massage tables, she tries colonics, meditation, silent retreats, group psychotherapy & oodles of yoga, working out what is helpful & what is just expensive hype.
Venetian Voices by Christine V. Courtney
Christine Courtney’s first career was as a professional dancer, moving from Adelaide to Britain to dance with the Ballet Rambert & directing her own small ballet company before returning to Australia to work as a teacher & producer. Her time in dance took her around Europe, sparking a lifelong passion for the arts, & the history & architecture of the great European cities. Her love affair with Venice began when she first visited the city while leading fine arts tours to Europe in the 1980s. The city appeared to her like a fairytale stage set. Venetian Voices is the result of that love affair. The book takes you on a stroll over bridges & under cloisters, following Venetian locals and visitors as they pass through centuries. Characters & stories of past & present, fact & fiction woven together: J.W. Turner, Napoleon Bonaparte, Lord Bryon, Carla Fracci & more. Courtney’s verses are richly illustrated with stunning photography and art from Italy’s great masters. ($49.95, HB)
Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty by John B. Boles ($50, HB)
John B. Boles plumbs every facet of Thomas Jefferson’s life, all while situating him amid the sweeping upheaval of his times. We meet Jefferson the politician & political thinker—as well as Jefferson the architect, scientist, bibliophile, paleontologist, musician & gourmet. We witness him drafting of the Declaration of Independence, negotiating the Louisiana Purchase, and inventing a politics that emphasized the states over the federal government—a political philosophy that shapes US national life to this day. Boles offers new insight into Jefferson’s actions & thinking on race. His Jefferson less a hypocrite, but a tragic figure—a man who could not hold simultaneously to his views on abolition, democracy & patriarchal responsibility.
The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and a Friendship Made and Lost in War by James McGrath Morris ($40, HB)
From Paris cafes to Austrian chateaus, from the streets of Pamplona to the waters of Key West—The Ambulance Drivers tells the story of two aspiring writers, Ernest Hemingway & John Dos Passos, who met in WWI and forged a 20-year friendship that produced some of America’s greatest novels, giving voice to a generation shaken by war. In war, Hemingway found adventure, women & a cause. Dos Passos saw only oppression & futility. Their different visions eventually turned their private friendship into a nasty public fight, fuelled by money, jealousy & lust. This is not only a biography of the turbulent friendship between two of the 20th century’s greatest writers but also an illustration of how war inspires & destroys, unites & divides.
Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa by Joseph Farrell ($30, PB)
In 1890 Robert Louis Stevenson settled in Upolu, an island in Samoa, after 2 years sailing round the South Pacific. He was given a Samoan name & became a fierce critic of the interference of Germany, Britain & the USA in Samoan affairs—a stance that earned him Oscar Wilde’s sneers, and brought him into conflict with the Colonial Office, who regarded him as a menace—even threatening him with expulsion from the island. Joseph Farrell’s pioneering study of Stevenson’s twilight years stands apart from previous biographies by giving as much weight to the Samoa & the Samoans—their culture, their manners, their history—as to the life & work of the man himself. Examining the full complexity of Samoa & the political situation it faced as the 19th century gave way to the 20th, offers a new appreciation of Stevenson’s lasting & generous contribution to its cause.
The Good Bohemian: The Letters of Ida John (eds) Michael Holroyd & Rebecca John ($30, PB)
12 days before her 24th birthday, on the foggy morning of Saturday 12 January 1901, Ida Nettleship married Augustus John in a private ceremony at St Pancras Registry Office. The union went against the wishes of Ida’s parents, who aspired to an altogether more conventional match for their eldest daughter. But Ida was in love with Augustus, a man of exceptional magnetism also studying at the Slade, and who would become one of the most famous artists of his time. Ida’s letters to friends, to family and to Augustus tell of the scandal she brought on the Nettleship family & its consequences; of hurt & betrayal as the marriage evolved into a three-way affair when Augustus fell in love with another woman, Dorelia; of Ida’s remarkable acceptance of Dorelia, their pregnancies & shared domesticity; of self-doubt, happiness & despair; and of finding the strength & courage to compromise & navigate her unorthodox marriage.
The Memory of Music by Andrew Ford ($33, PB) Composer & broadcaster Andrew Ford considers the nature &purpose of music in the context of his own life—what it is, why it means so much to us and how it works in our lives. From his early childhood in the Beatles-crazy Liverpool of the 1960s to his evolving work as a composer, choral conductor, concert promoter, critic, university teacher & radio presenter, he shares the vivid musical experiences that have shaped his life. Ford excels at capturing the way different kinds of music affect us—how a piece of religious music can transport us regardless of our beliefs, or how a pop song can call up an instant recollection from the past. The Mouth that Roared by Les Twentyman
Raised in Braybrook in Melbourne’s Western suburbs, Les Twentyman has devoted his life to young people doing it tough both in Melbourne’s west and more recently in western Sydney, setting up crucial programs, services and resources to assist youth at risk. His is a success story on many fronts: attracting a dedicated and passionate team who work directly with the young people to bring about individual change, and his personal contact list would be the envy of prime ministers: from politicians to prominent business people to police command to sports champions and CEOs of major sporting codes, to the governor general. His writing collaborator, Robert Hillman goes behind the public knowledge to find out what makes Les tick, where he came from, who and what made him Australia’s number one advocate for our most vulnerable young people. ($29.95, PB)
Being Here: The Life of Paula Modersohn-Becker by Marie Darrieussecq ($25, PB)
Born in Germany in 1876, Paula Modersohn-Becker was the first female artist to paint herself not only naked but pregnant. In a moving account of the life of this ground-breaking Expressionist painter, Marie Darrieussecq thrillingly describes Paula’s discovery of her style & choice of subjects—women, babies, domestic life. As her art evolves, Paula is torn between Paris & her home in northern Germany. In Paris she can focus on her work, and mix with artists like Rodin & Monet, or her close friend the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. But Germany is home, and that’s where her painter husband Otto lives. She tells the story of her fraught marriage, her ambivalence about combining her passion for her career as an artist with motherhood—and her tragic death at 31, days after giving birth.
Daring to Drive by Manal Al-Sharif ($33, PB) Born in Mecca the year fundamentalism took hold in Saudi Arabia, as a young girl Manal Al-Sharif would burn her brother’s boy band CDs in the oven because music was haram: forbidden by Islamic law. By her 20s she was a computer security engineer—but as she became older, the unequal way in which women are treated became too much to bear: she was branded a slut for talking to male colleagues at work; her schoolage brother had to chaperone her on business trips and, while she kept a car in her garage, she was forbidden from driving down Saudi streets. Her personal rebellion began the day she got behind the wheel of a car: an act that ultimately led to her arrest and imprisonment. This is her account of the fight for equality in an unequal society. Back to Broady by Caroline van de Pol ($30, PB)
Life in McIvor Street, Broadmeadows was unpredictable. Cally Egan grew up expecting & experiencing the best & worst of her 1960s Australian working-class community. So chaotic were the days & nights in her big Irish Catholic family that she often planned her escape. Perched on the cold terracotta roof of her Housing Commission home & smoking a crushed cigarette from the bottom of her mother’s handbag, she would peer into the windows of the low-flying planes making their way to Melbourne’s new Tullamarine Airport, and hear her father’s voice & dream. ‘I’ll take you on one to Ireland one day’, he promised her—often as a reward for helping when her mother was so unwell that she took to her bed, or disappeared to hospital for shock treatment. Back to Broady tells the story of a young girl’s fight through disadvantage, and the lifelong friendships that have helped her walk the fine line between survival & surrender.
The Women Who Flew for Hitler: The True Story of Hitler’s Valkyries by Clare Mulley ($45, HB)
Hanna Reitsch & Melitta von Stauffenberg were strikingly attractive, courageous, ambitious women who fought convention to make their names in the male-dominated field of flight—both were pioneering test pilots & both were awarded the Iron Cross for service to the Third Reich. But they could not have been more different & neither woman had a good word to say for the other. Hanna was middle-class & distinctly Aryan, while Melitta, though from an aristocratic Prussian family, was part-Jewish. Hanna tried to save Hitler’s life, begging him to let her fly him to safety in April 1945, while Melitta covertly supported the most famous assassination attempt on the Fuehrer. Clare Mulley gets under the skin of these two unconventional women, telling the full story of their contrasting yet strangely parallel lives, against a changing backdrop of the 1936 Olympics, the Eastern Front, the Berlin Air Club & Hitler’s bunker.
Not So Good a Gay Man: A Memoir by Frank M. Robinson ($40, HB)
Frank M. Robinson (1926–2014) accomplished a great deal in his long life, working in magazine publishing, including a stint for Playboy, and writing science fiction novels such as The Power, The Dark Beyond the Stars, and thrillers such as The Glass Inferno (filmed as The Towering Inferno). He also passionately engaged in politics, fighting for gay rights, and most famously writing speeches for his good friend Harvey Milk in San Francisco. This deeply personal autobiography explains his life over 8 decades in America and contains personal photos. By turns witty, charming & poignant, Robinson’s memoir grants insights into his work not just as a journalist & writer, but as a gay man navigating the often perilous social landscape of 20th century life in the United States.
Tell it to the Dog: A Memoir of Sorts by Robert Power
Robert Power was born in Dublin, spent close to 50 years based in London, and now lives in Melbourne with his wife Tanya, and youngest son. He has worked for over thirty years in international health across most regions of the globe, and is the author of 3 novels, including In Search of the Blue Tiger which was short-listed for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. This memoir takes him from a Dublin childhood to London, then on to Europe, to Asia and Australia—with a deep engagement with the world about growing up, about human and animal connectedness, about friendship, love and loss. Power understands the uncanniness and endurance of memory. He can make us laugh, and then stop us in our tracks at the profundity of this business of meeting life. In the most delightful and subtle of ways, the language, trajectory and wisdom of Tell it to the Dog underscores our need to embrace our own vulnerabilities, to confront our experiences and memories, and to believe, in Jane Austen’s words, that ‘when pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure’. ($29.95, PB)
A landmark history of Australian Jews in the military, from the First Fleet to the recent war in Afghanistan.
ver 7000 Jews have fought in Australia’s
military conflicts, including more than 330 who gave their lives. While Sir John Monash is the best known, in Jewish Anzacs acclaimed writer and historian Mark Dapin reveals the personal, often extraordinary, stories of many other Jewish servicemen and women: from air aces to POWs, from nurses to generals, from generation to generation.
‘However far away from you I am, you are the real centre of my life ...’ – Leslie Walford
or much of the twentieth century the names Leslie
Walford and Dora Byrne were synonymous with style and glamour. Walford was the sophisticated, go-to interior designer for Sydney society. His mother, Dora Byrne, was a key figure in Sydney and Southern
Highlands social circles. Darling Mother, Darling Son: The Letters of Leslie Walford and Dora Byrne, 1929-1972 is the first major publication to be drawn from the archive of Leslie Walford’s papers held by Sydney Living Museums.
w w w. n ews o u t h p u b l i s h i n g .co m
Now in B Format Dying: A Memoir by Cory Taylor, $20 Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life & Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter by Barbara Leaming, $23 Down the Dirt Roads by Rachael Treasure, $25
books for kids to young adults Alas, my computer suffered a misadventure, so instead of our customary reviews, the rest of this page is a concise overview of my Pick of the Publishers’ Lists for July. Lynndy
compiled by Lynndy Bennett, our children's correspondent
One Thousand Trees by Kyle Hughes-Odgers
Deep in the heart of the city, Frankie dreams of a thousand trees. A journey of imagination and discovery into the world of trees and back, exploring the transformative power of nature and art. World-renowned Australian artist Hughes-Odgers brings a softer world to light in his latest book, focussing on the environment. ($25, HB)
The Perfect Thing by Sally Morgan (ill) Ambelin Kwaymullina
Warmth and love irradiate this series of interactions between Lily and her grandfather. When Grandpa suggests a walk in the park Lily counters with her own ideas and objections, but Grandpa has a solution for everything. With bold colourful illustrations and an imaginative openended story, Morgan and Kwaymullina show that Grandpa really does always know the perfect thing. ($25, HB)
What Are You Supposed to Be? by Paul Beavis ($16, PB)
Challenged by a small girl with big opinions, a young salad-eating violinplaying wolf tries to accommodate her ideas of lupine behaviour, but is a howling ferocious predator really him? New Zealand author-illustrator Beavis’ hilariously original story is well matched by his quirky illustrations, and the wolf’s adamant belief that he is just fine as he is, no matter how unusual, is a lesson for all ages.
The Shadow Cipher: 1 York series by Laura Ruby ($15, PB)
International reviews indicate this is a series to engross the primary-level reader: definitely one to watch! ‘The first book in an exciting new series that’s great for fans of steampunk, history, mystery, and magic. Let the puzzles begin!’ (Brightly.com) An epic alternate history series about three kids who try to solve the greatest mystery of the modern world: a puzzle and treasure hunt laid into the very streets and buildings of New York City. It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before. Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher—a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction. Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment—until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long held by the people of New York. And if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.
On 4th June we were lucky enough to have beloved author Sally Rippin in her first NSW promotion of her latest book The Wayward Witch and the Feelings Monster, book 1 of her new Polly and Buster series ($20, HB). Thank you to all those who came along and contributed to this lively interactive event; and if you missed out, email us to ensure you receive an invitation to our next children’s and family literary celebration. Lynndy
Stories of Art is a new Korean series of really playful, informative books about famous artists. Various illustrators have taken different artists and explored their artistic practices, their life stories, and their subject matter. Breugel, Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas are just some of the artists; I particularly like the books about Seurat (Joining the Dots), and Monet (Seen From a Distance). Paper collage and illustration are used throughout the books to good effect, and the good colour reproductions of the artwork are liberally spread throughout each book. These books would be great fun for 5-8 year olds, and in some cases even younger children. ($18, PB) Louise
novelty / activity
Around the World in 80 Puzzles by Aleksandr Artymowska
This stylish puzzle book is the perfect gift for readers of all ages. Inspired by Jules Verne’s iconic novel, Aleksandra Artymowska’s imagining of the classic tale is packed with steamships, airships, railways, penny-farthings and any other kind of transport you can imagine and it will take you on a voyage like no other. Each intricate puzzle, from labyrinthine mazes to missing-object hunts, is guaranteed to fascinate, puzzle and inspire. ($25, HB)
You vs. the Book by Make Believe Ideas
From the maze on the cover, to the puzzles and activities throughout, this is a heap of fun for readers of 8+. Unexpectedly challenging, with various levels of difficulty, it contains a satisfying workout for many different areas of the brain. ($17, HB)
Wreck by Fleur Ferris ($20, PB)
Although I’ve not read this, based on Ferris’s previous novels I’m confident this will be a thriller populated by highly credible characters, and razor-sharp thought-provoking realism. Tamara Bennett is going to be the first journalist to strictly report only good news. Finished with high school, Tamara is ready to say goodbye to her sleepy little town and part-time job at the local paper as O-week at Uni awaits. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when she arrives home to find her house ransacked and her life in danger. What is this mysterious note? And why does it mean so much to one of Australia’s most powerful media moguls? Caught between a bitter rivalry and dangerous family secret, who can Tamara trust?
The Ones That Disappeared by Zana Fraillon
People-trafficking is far from an uplifting topic, yet it is part of a necessary global concern, and with her multi-award nominations, including the Carnegie Medal and CBCA Award, Zana Fraillon is singularly apt to tackle the subject. Around the world, millions of people—including many children—are victims of human trafficking. These modern-day slaves often go unseen even in our own cities and towns, their voices silent and their stories untold. In this incredible book, Zana Fraillon imagines the story of three such children, Esra, Miran and Isa. The result is powerful, heartbreaking and unforgettable. Esra, Miran and Isa work for the Snakeskin gang, tending to plants in the dark and airless basement of a house they are not allowed to leave. They’ve been told that they belong to the Snakeskins, but Esra knows that she belongs to no one —and she is determined to find freedom. ($20, PB)
Food, Health & Garden
The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria by Annie Gray ($35, HB)
Annie Gray offers a new perspective on Britain’s longest reigning monarch, viewing her through the one thing more dear to her than almost anything else: her stomach. From her early years living on milk & bread under the Kensington system, to her constant indigestion & belligerent over-eating as an elderly woman, Gray examines her diet, charts her likes & dislikes, and considers the opinions of those around her. Victoria was surrounded by servants, from ladies-in-waiting, to secretaries, dressers & coachmen—but there was another category of servant, more fundamental, and yet at the same time more completely hidden: her cooks—and Gray takes a proper look below stairs.
Big Fit Girl: Embrace the Body You Have by Louise Green ($25, PB)
Louise Green describes how the fitness industry fails to meet the needs of plus-size women & thus prevents them from improving their health & fitness. She tells her own story of how she stopped dieting, got off the couch, and unleashed her inner athlete, and provides concrete advice, based on the latest research, about how to get started, how to establish a support team, how to choose an activity, what kind of clothing & gear work best for the plus-size athlete, how to set goals & how to improve one’s relationship with food. And she stresses the importance of paying it forward—for it is only by seeing plus-size women in leadership roles that other plus-size women will be motivated to stop trying to lose weight & get fit instead.
A Good Life to the End by Ken Hillman ($30, PB)
Many of us have experienced an elderly loved one coming to the end of their life in a hospital—over-treated, infantilised and, worst of all, facing a death without dignity. Families are being herded into making decisions that are not to the benefit of the patient. Professor Ken Hillman has worked in intensive care since its inception. But he is appalled by the way the ICU has become a place where the frail, soonto-die & dying are given unnecessary operations & life-prolonging treatments without their wishes being taken into account. In this book he shows that there are other, gentler options for patients & their loved ones that can be much more sympathetic to the final wishes of most people facing the end of their lives.
The Gardener’s Garden by Phaidon Editors
The ultimate garden book—both a collection of gardens from around the world & a resource for those seeking inspiration on garden design & planting. Featuring over 250 permanent gardens by leading garden designers, horticulturalists & landscape architects, from the 14th century to the present day, and covering all key types & styles of garden, this well-illustrated compendium combines images, text, key information & captions for each of the featured gardens, appealing to both amateur & professional gardeners, as well as garden designers. ($49.95, HB)
Where Bartenders Drink by Adrienne Stillman
Where Bartenders Drink is THE insider’s guide. The best 300 expert drink-makers share their secrets–750 spots spread across 60 countries—revealing where they go for a drink throughout the world when they’re off-duty. Venues range from late-night establishments & legendary hotel bars to cosy neighbourhood ‘locals’–and in some surprising locales. The 750 expert recommendations come with insightful reviews, key information, specially commissioned maps & an easy-to-navigate geographical organization. ($39.95, HB)
The New Camp Cookbook by Linda Ly ($30, HB) In this book you will find organisational tips and cooking techniques, from how to pack a cooler and choose a camp stove to stocking a camp pantry, building a fire, and cooking with foil packs. A section of tried-and-true camp foods kicks off the recipes, including marinades and rubs and other seasoning strategies and camp favourites like cast-iron pizza and roasted street corn, plus recipes as easy as skillet scones and one-pot jambalaya, as well as more involved dishes like Thai chicken wraps and a complete Texas-style barbecue are included. Herbal Allies: My Journey with Plant Medicine by Robert Rogers ($40, PB)
Chronicling more than forty-five years of his intimate relationship with the plant world, Robert Rogers describes the journey that led him to become an herbalist and shares his deep knowledge of the twenty plants that form the soul of his medicine kit—which include familiar trees such as the aspen, birch, spruce, and poplar as well as lesserknown small plants such as Labrador tea, cow parsnip, and buffalo berry. Rogers weaves personal experience, observations, and knowledge from indigenous healers, and many years of expertise from his practice as a professional herbalist and clinical professor to present a unique and fascinating narrative that not only limns one man’s vital connection to plants but also provides invaluable information on effectively using plant medicine for the prevention and treatment of a variety of health conditions.
Chefs Eat Toasties Too by Darren Purchese
Darren Purchese reveals 50 of his Toastie creations: from the perfect Maple Bacon, Pear & Camembert on Sourdough, to his Pulled Pork, Fennel Slaw & Chilli Mayo Sliders on Brioche Buns. He has also developed sweet recipes for the ultimate in comforting indulgence, such as Dark Chocolate, Olive Oil & Salt on Olive Bread, Apple, Vanilla & Lemon Parcels & Salted Caramel on Sourdough. There are even recipes to make the condiments from scratch, including pear dressing, pickled onions & chutney, chilli caramelised onions, vanilla cherries & rose raspberries. ($30, HB)
Lisbon: Recipes from the Heart of Portugal by Rebecca Seal ($45, HB)
Set on 7 hills, Lisbon features world-class beaches, city views & wild forests. And the food is as diverse as the surroundings —from the bars in Bairro Alto to the cafes in Chiado, there’s something for everyone. Try the tasty Roasted octopus with smoked paprika, parsley & lemon, tasty Pork with clams & the classic Chicken piri piri, all washed down with some homemade Sangria. Recipes for sweets include a delicate Almond cake, a summery Coconut Brioche, and a decadent Chocolate cake with doce de leite & sweetened cream.
Japanese Patisserie by James Campbell
The art of French patisserie appeals very much to the Japanese culture, and this elegant collection is aimed at the confident home-cook who has an interest in using ingredients such as yuzu, sesame, miso, matcha & wasabi. Make Lemon & Yuzu Éclairs, Miso Butterscotch Tarts, Matcha & Pistachio Opera, White Sesame & Adzuki Cheesecake, Sesame Peanut Butter Cookies, Green Tea Kit Kat, or savoury recipes such as Panko Doughnuts stuffed with Pork Katsu. ($45, HB)
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh ($40, HB)
From Pan-roasted Cod with Grains of Paradise and Nkruma (Okra) Tempura to Coconut & Cassava Cake and Cubeb Spiced Shortbread, this is contemporary African food for simply everyone. If you’re already familiar with good home-cooked Ghanaian food, you’ll find new ways to incorporate typical flavours —such as plenty of fresh fish and seafood, hearty salads and spices with a kick.
Syria: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam & Dina Mousawi ($50, HB)
Syria has always been the marketplace for the most delicious ingredients from East & West, a meeting-point for travellers & traders, where spices & sweetness collide. Friends & passionate cooks Itab & Dina met Syrian women in the Middle East & Europe to collect together the very best recipes from one of the world’s greatest food cultures. They spent months cooking with them, learning their recipes & listening to stories of home. From hot yoghurt soup with turmeric to cherry meatballs, this is a delicious celebration of the unique taste, culture & food of Syria .
Naples and the Amalfi Coast ($49.95, HB) Silver Spoon cookbook series provides a culinary guide to Naples & the Amalfi Coast. The delightfully authentic dishes featured include fennel biscuits & other locally beloved antipasti, such classics as pizza Margherita, and an array of mouthwatering desserts. Chapters spotlight key produce & ingredients, from buffalo mozzarella from Benevento & tomatoes from San Marzano to lemons from Sorrento. Beautifully designed, with vivid colour photographs throughout, this recipe collection is destined for both kitchen shelves & coffee tables. The Wurst! The Very Best of German Food by Otto Wolff ($30, HB)
Classic German food is ridiculously delicious and super easy to prepare—from slow-cooked roasts to hearty salads, tasty snacks, enriched breads and moreish desserts—it has it all. Hotdogs, burgers, pretzels, rye bread and beer—are just some of the hugely popular foods that had their origins in Germany. Even if you think you have no knowledge of German food— you would be surprised about how influential this cuisine has been throughout history.
Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen ($50, HB) by Stacy Adimando & Gonzalo Guzmán
Nopalito provides a snapshot of regional Mexican cuisine from the perspective of Gonzalo Guzman. With recipes for 100 traditional Mexican dishes (but through a California lens) from Puebla, Mexico City, Michoacan, the Yucatan, and beyond—including many recipes from the author’s hometown of Veracruz. The book includes fundamental techniques of Mexican cuisine, insights into Mexican food & culture.
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Too Late: How We Lost the Battle with Climate Change & Uncertain Future: Australian Birdlife in Danger Geoffrey Maslen looks at Australian birds and the significant threats they are facing, and discusses the dramatic changes that are occurring to our planet and explains some of their consequences in simple terms. Event—6 for 6.30
The Good Old Bad Old Days Author Talk Join cultural historian, Warren Fahey, as he brings history alive with tales of snow-capped mountains and scenic railways at The White City, Rushcutters Bay, ‘peeping Toms’ at Elizabeth Bay, sordid orgies at Kings Cross, and the bumpy high life of Potts Point.
Reboot: A Democracy Makeover to Empower Voters in conv. with Bernard Keane tour de force argument for doing away with the senate, embracing a republic & having a government where the prime minister & ministers are the best people in the country, not just chosen from the politicians who sit in the parliament.
Random Life in conv. with Julie McCrossin Random Life is a collection of over 200 recent cartoons by cartoonist Judy Horacek, drawn for her regular spot in the Age (and other publications wise enough to employ her),. They covers subject as diverse as climate change, feminism, social media, fairy tales, Mondays & zebras.
To Drive h Amal Awad usly intimate memoman from a moddi Arabia who beected leader of a ement to support ght to drive.
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Global Green Shift Launcher: Bob Carr Industrial capitalism is now diffusing East, with China facing the inconvenient truth that the Western model will not scale—John Mathews looks at China’s alternative solutions with economics meeting ecology, or Ceres meeting Gaia.
In Early August Launch—Sunday 6, 3.30 for 4—Mark Aarons & John Grenville—The Show: Another Side of Santamaria’s Movement Event—Wed 9, 6 for 6.30: Chris Turney with Peter Fitzsimons—Shackled: How a scientific expedition to Antarctica became a fight for survival. Event—Thur 10, 6 for 6.30: Jane Caro—Unbreakable: Women Share Stories of Resilience & Hope Launch Friday 11, 6 for 6.30pm: Sandra Jobson Darroch—Garsington Revisited
Granny’s Good Reads with Sonia Lee
Too Late: How we lost the battle with climate change by Geoffrey Maslen ($20, PB)
For 200 years we have been reading Jane Austen the wrong way. She was, it seems, a radical with well-considered opinions on sex, slavery, rural poverty, the class system and the lowly status of women, and wrote novels to bring these opinions before an unenlightened public. This, pretty much, is the message of Helena Kelly in Jane Austen the Secret Radical ($23). So, for instance, Northanger Abbey isn’t just a send-up of the Gothic novels in vogue in the late 18th century, but is also a key to the more intimate aspects of Catherine Morland’s sexuality. I wasn’t convinced. The past is a foreign country and Kelly’s attempt to migrate Jane Austen into 21st Century feminism is implausible. Austen doubtless had strong opinions. She read widely, hated slavery and felt keenly her dependence on her brothers after her father’s death. But it’s always her characters who are centre-stage, with the world of their day as backcloth. Fortunes were indeed made from sugar, which was known to be a product of slavery, so it’s hardly surprising when Fanny Price asks Sir Thomas Bertram a timid question about the slave trade in Mansfield Park. Fortunes were also made by enclosing land, from which landlords like Mr Knightly would have done well, but Austen did not write Emma to depict a bad landlord. A girl without money had little prospect of getting a husband, but a few girls got lucky. Fortunes could be made at sea from seizing enemy vessels as prizes and Captain Wentworth returns with a tidy sum in Persuasion, while Fanny Price’s brother William is well on his way by the end of Mansfield Park. Most of Austen’s time was wartime and soldiers’ camps were dotted all over England. Officers in red coats added colour to balls and rural assemblies, while the cads among them were available for running away with silly girls like Lydia. Some parsons, like Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice, were obsequious, and some rich folk, like the Dashwoods in Sense and Sensibility, were selfish, but such portraits are not put before us as indictments of the contemporary social structure. That said, I greatly enjoyed Kelly’s book and heartily recommend it. There’s a wealth of information in it, and it was a great pleasure to disagree with her. But for balance I suggest Claire Tomalin’s Jane Austen: A Life ($25).
I also thoroughly enjoyed A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work by Bernadette Brennan. It’s not quite a biography but rather an evaluation of Garner’s writings in chronological order with the reaction of critics and readers to each one. Garner co-operated by helping Brennan get access to materials such as her correspondence with Axel Clark. This book will be invaluable to students but will also be welcome to anyone who esteems Garner for her searing honesty, her courage in writing gut-wrenching books like Joe Cinque’s Consolation and This House of Grief, and who admires her peerless prose style. I have a soft spot for Cosmo Cosmolino, at one time panned by critics and shunned by readers, and Garner herself admits to sulking at the response. The Spare Room and The First Stone are exhaustively discussed and there’s a good account of the furore over the latter. The last book treated is Everywhere I Look, Garner’s superb selection of her diaries and essays, including tributes to her parents and her fearsome teacher Mrs Dunkley, her joy in her grandchildren, the problems of ageing, a riff on Pride and Prejudice with a shout-out to that ‘slack moll’ Lydia, and (my favourite) the episode where Garner yanks the ponytail of a schoolgirl who is taunting an Asian woman. Finally, Brennan asks Garner if she has anything going on now. The reply is so delightfully Garneresque that it left me smiling. She and Hilary McPhee and a couple of others have a reading-aloud group where they read the psalms in different translations.
Tony Kevin went to Russia in 1969 as a young diplomat and conceived a deep affection for the Russian people. In Return to Moscow ($30) he goes back for a holiday and finds Moscow to be ‘an elegant European city’. He visits the homes of Pasternak and Tolstoy and is pleased when his fluent Russian returns. In the final chapter he looks at world affairs from a Russian perspective and is concerned that Western antipathy to Putin may lead to a second Cold war.
Finally, don’t miss Antipodes: In Search of the Southern Continent by Avan Judd Stallard, a lavishly illustrated book about the geographical obsession which had countless explorers looking for the Terra Incognita and not knowing what to make of it when they found it. One for readers with an interest in old and obscure maps. Sonia
Now in B Format The Convict’s Daughter: The Scandal that Shocked a Colony by Kiera Lindsey, $23 The Art of Time Travel: Historians and Their Craft by Tom Griffiths, $25 Albanese: Telling It Straight by Karen Middleton, $25
Former industrial chemist, lecturer in science education, and journalist Geoffrey Maslen paints a sobering picture of the state of our planet and discusses how successive governments have failed to initiate change. Drawing on the work of leading climate scientists, this book is an urgent reminder that we have reached the point of no return. It is essential reading for anyone who cares about our planet’s future and what we leave for the generations to come.
Climate Wars by Mark Butler ($28, PB)
As the consequences of climate change become perilously close to the point of no-return, time-wasting wars over what to do distract us from taking real action. Mark Butler, the opposition minister for climate change and energy, makes a forceful case for using less and cleaner energy as part of global action to save the planet. Doing so will also make Australia attractive for the massive global market of investors and create new jobs in clean energy. Butler argues that only Labor, the party with a proven track record for national reform, has the plan and the will to ensure bold action before it is too late.
The Pilbara: From the Deserts Profits Come by Bradon Ellem ($40, PB)
With millions of tonnes of iron ore being shipped out to China, the Pilbara is a media staple, through stories of mining companies’ profits, the earnings of fly-in-fly-out workers and the wealth of new entrepreneurs. But the boomtime stories do not reveal much about the Pilbara itself, a place completely transformed across 50 years of mining. In the focus on the immediate, no-one acknowledges the Pilbara’s ancient history or the men and women who worked there from the 1960s, building unions and making communities as they worked the mines. However, when the biggest boom in mining history came along, it unfolded across a Pilbara landscape very different from a generation earlier. The union prophets were gone; the companies’ profits grew. The story behind the boom is revealed in this book: the story of fifty years of conflict about work and life in the Pilbara and how it has affected the rest of Australia.
The Rag Tag Fleet by Ian W. Shaw ($33, PB) Mid-1942: from China to New Guinea, the Pacific belonged to the Japanese. In this desperate situation, a fleet of hundreds of Australian small ships is assembled, sailing under the American flag, and crewed by over 3000 Australians either too young or too old to join the regular armed forces. Their task: to bring supplies and equipment to the Allied troops waging bloody battles against Japanese forces across the South Pacific. This is the unknown story of the final months of 1942—when these men ran the gauntlet of Japanese air attacks, malaria and dysentery, reefs, and shallow, shark-infested waters to support the US and Australian troops that defeated the entrenched Japanese forces at Buna on the New Guinea coast, and so helped turn the war in the Allies’ favour. The Charge by David W. Cameron ($35, PB)
The Turkish Gaza-Beersheba line extended for 40 kilometres between the Turkish bastion of Gaza & the heavily fortified town of Beersheba, and stopped any Allied advance into Palestine proper. It needed to be breached, and Beersheba—on the eastern flank of this line—became the scene of the historic charge by the Australian Light Horse on 31 October 1917—one of the last successful cavalry charges in history. Drawing from first-hand accounts, David Cameron pieces together how this important battle unfolded & captures the courage and strategic brilliance of the Australian Light Horse – and the significance of this victory in the broader context of the Great War.
Crosscurrents: Law and Society in a Native Title Claim to Land and Sea by Kate Glaskin ($40, PB)
It is one thing to know what the law says: it is another to try to understand what it means & how it is applied. In native title, when Indigenous relationships with country are viewed through the lens of a Western property rights regime, this complexity is seriously magnified. Crosscurrents traces the path of a native title claim in the Kimberley region of Western Australia—Sampi v State of Western Australia—from its inception to resolution, contextualising the claim in the web of historical events that shaped the claim’s beginnings, its intersection with evolving case law, and the labyrinth of legal process, evidence & argument that ultimately shaped its end.
The Hawkesbury River: A Social and Natural History by Paul I. Boon ($120, HB)
The Hawkesbury River is the longest coastal river in New South Wales. A vital source of water and food, it has a long Aboriginal history and was critical for the survival of the early British colony at Sydney. This book describes how and when the river formed, how it functions ecologically, how it has influenced humans and their patterns of settlement and, in turn, how it has been affected by those settlements and their people.
The Traitors: A True Story of Blood, Betrayal and Deceit by Josh Ireland ($33, PB)
When WW2 broke out the imperilled Britain achieved a unity & purpose that had eluded it for more than a decade. It is a time of heroism & sacrifice in which many thousands of soldiers & civilians give their lives. But some Britons chose a different path, renegades who will fight for the Third Reich until its gruesome collapse in 1945. The Traitors tells the stories of four such men: the chaotic, tragic John Amery; the idealistic but hate-filled William Joyce; the cynical, murderous conman Harold Cole; and Eric Pleasants, an iron-willed pacifist & bodybuilder who wants no part in this war. Drawing on declassified MI5 files, as well as diaries, letters & memoirs, Josh Ireland tells the story of disordered lives in turbulent times; idealism twisted out of shape; of torn consciences & abandoned loyalties; of murder, deceit, temptation & loss—showing how a man might come to desert his country’s cause, and the tragic consequences that treachery brings in its wake.
The Russian Revolution: A New History by Sean McMeekin ($50, HB)
At the turn of the century, the Russian economy was growing by about 10% annually & its population had reached 150 million. By 1920 the country was in desperate financial straits & more than 20 million Russians had died. And by 1950, a third of the globe had embraced Communism. The triumph of Communism sets a profound puzzle. How did the Bolsheviks win power & then cling to it amid the chaos they had created? Traditional histories remain a captive to Marxist ideas about class struggle. This major new account analyses never-before used files from the Tsarist military archives to argue that war is the answer. The revolutionaries were aided at nearly every step by Germany, Sweden & Switzerland who sought to benefit—politically & economically—from the changes overtaking the country.
Now in B Format Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life Of Steven Runciman by Minoo Dinshaw, $25 The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars by Daniel Beer, $27 The Penguin Modern History of Vietnam by Christopher Goscha, $25
Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World’s Most Famous Diamond by William Dalrymple & Anita Anand ($25, HB)
On 29 March 1849, the ten-year-old Maharajah of the Punjab handed over to the British East India Company in a formal Act of Submission to Queen Victoria not only swathes of the richest land in India, but also arguably the single most valuable object in the subcontinent: the celebrated Koh-i Noor diamond. The Mountain of Light. The history of the Koh-i-Noor that was then commissioned by the British may have been one woven together from gossip of Delhi Bazaars, but it was to be become the accepted version. This book frees the diamond from the fog of mythology which has clung to it for so long. The resulting history is one of greed, murder, torture, colonialism & appropriation through an impressive slice of south & central Asian history—ending with the jewel in its current controversial setting: in the crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
Churchill’s Last Stand: The Struggle for Europe by Felix Klos ($50, HB)
After the WW2, with much of Europe in ruins, the victorious Winston Churchill swore to build a peace across Europe that would last a generation. Fighting against the new ‘Iron Curtain’ which had fallen across the world, and battling the personal disappointment of losing the 1945 election in Britain, Churchill dedicated the rest of his life to forging a united Europe. Through Churchill’s own private papers, Felix Klos unveils Churchill’s personal battle to regain his place in world affairs, his confidential conversations with European leaders & the thinking & preparation behind some of his most powerful speeches. A beautifully written history of Europe after the war, and a new glimpse at one of its greatest statesmen.
Farewell to the Horse by Ulrich Raulff ($55, HB) The relationship between horses & humans is an ancient, profound & complex one. Horses provided the strength & speed that humans lacked. How we travelled, farmed & fought was dictated by the needs of this extraordinary animal. Cities, farmland, entire industries were once shaped as much by the needs of horses as humans. Their intervention was fundamental in countless historical events. They were sculpted, painted, cherished, admired; they were thrashed, abused and exposed to terrible danger. Ulrich Raulff’s book is a superb monument to the endlessly various creature who has so often shared and shaped our fate.
The Rise of the Outsiders: How Mainstream Politics Lost its Way by Steve Richards ($30, PB)
Destined for War: Can America & China Escape Thucydides’ Trap? by Graham Allison ($35, PB)
A Rabble of Dead Money by Charles Morris
No is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics by Naomi Klein ($30, PB)
The ancient Greek historian Thucydides writes about the PeloponSomething strange has been happening. All over the World, people nesian War: ‘It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled are angry and rejecting the establishment like never before. Britain in Sparta that made war inevitable.’ Over the past 500 years, these votes Brexit. Trump promises walls in America. Corbyn promises conditions have occurred 16 times. War broke out in 12 of them. a new socialism in the UK. Tsipras in Greece. Podemos in Spain. Today, as an unstoppable China approaches an immovable AmerMarine Le Pen in France. Norbert Hofer in Austria. The list goes ica, and both Xi Jinping & Donald Trump promise to make their on. Why has the mainstream lost support? Why are the outsiders countries ‘great again’, the 17th case looks grim. Unless China flourishing on far left & far right? Do they have the answers to our problems? Steve Richis willing to scale back its ambitions or Washington can accept ards provides a captivating account of the defining political phenomenon of this decade. becoming number two in the Pacific, a trade conflict, cyberattack, Telling the riveting story of how eccentrics, ideologues, & strong men are breaking the political rules, he asks why they’re gaining support & examines the frightening implica- or accident at sea could soon escalate into all-out war. Graham Allison explains why tions of this new global rise in anti-establishment sentiment. Are we approaching a new Thucydides’s Trap is the best lens for understanding US—China relations in the 21st century. Through uncanny historical parallels & war scenarios, he shows how close age of populism, where democracy is eroded? we are to the unthinkable. Yet, stressing that war is not inevitable, he also reveals how Marx After Marx: History and Time in the Expan- clashing powers have kept the peace in the past—and what painful steps the US & sion of Capitalism by Harry Harootunian ($50, PB) China must take to avoid disaster today. Harry Harootunian questions the claims of Western Marxism and its The Billion Dollar Spy by David E. Hoffman presumption of the final completion of capitalism. He deprovincialJanuary, 1977. While the chief of the CIA’s Moscow station fills izes Marx & the West’s cultural turn by returning to the theorist’s his gas tank, a stranger drops a note into the car. In the years that earlier explanations of capital’s origins & development, which folfollowed, that stranger, Adolf Tolkachev, became one of the West’s lowed a trajectory beyond Euro-America to Asia, Africa & Latin most valuable spies. At enormous risk Tolkachev and his handlers America. Marx’s expansive view shows how local circumstances, conducted clandestine meetings across Moscow, using spy camertime & culture intervened to reshape capital’s system of producas, props, and private codes to elude the KGB in its own backyard; tion in these regions. His outline of a diversified global capitaluntil a shocking betrayal put them all at risk. Drawing on preism was much more robust than was his sketch of the English experience viously classified CIA documents and interviews with first-hand in Capital and helps explain the disparate routes that evolved during the 20th century. participants, David Hoffman offers a riveting true story from the Engaging with the texts of Lenin, Luxemburg, Gramsci & other pivotal theorists, Haroofinal years of the Cold War. ($30, PB) tunian strips contemporary Marxism of its cultural preoccupation by reasserting the deep relevance of history.
The Great Crash of 1929 violently disrupted the United States’ conRemember when it all seemed to be getting better? Before Trump fident march toward becoming the world’s superpower. The suddenhappened? Naomi Klein shows how we got to this surreal & danness of the cataclysm & the long duration of the collapse scarred gerous place, how to stop it getting a lot worse, and how, if we generations of Americans. 1920s America was the embodiment of keep our heads, we can make things better. Her new book reveals, the modern age-cars, electricity, credit, radio, movies. Breakneck among other things, how Trump’s election was not a peaceful growth presaged a serious recession by the decade’s end, but not a transition, but a corporate takeover, one using deliberate shock depression. It took heroic financial mismanagement, a glut-induced tactics to generate wave after wave of crises and force through global collapse in agricultural prices, and a self-inflicted crash in radical policies that will destroy people, the environment, the world trade to produce the Great Depression. Vividly told and economy and national security. This book is the toolkit for shock resistance, showing deeply researched, A Rabble of Dead Money anatomizes history’s how to break Trump’s spell & win the world we need. Don’t let them get away with it. greatest economic catastrophe—and draws its lessons for the present. ($40, HB)
Science & Nature
July To-Read List
Caesar’s Last Breath: The Epic Story of the Air We Breathe by Sam Kean ($35, PB)
With every breath, you literally inhale the history of the world. On the ides of March, 44 BC, Julius Caesar died of stab wounds on the Senate floor, but the story of his last breath is still unfolding; in fact, you’re probably inhaling some of it now. Of the sextillions of molecules entering or leaving your lungs at this moment, some might well bear traces of Cleopatra’s perfumes, German mustard gas, particles exhaled by dinosaurs or emitted by atomic bombs, even remnants of stardust from the universe’s creation. Taking a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time Sam Kean tells the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it.
An Uncertain Future: Australian Birdlife in Danger by Geoffrey Maslen ($38, PB)
A spellbinding reimagining of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ set amongst the wild bohemian circle of Pre-Raphaelite artists and poets.
The story of a nineteenth century court case involving Thomas Guthrie Carr, a notorious, larger-than-life character who made his living as a mesmerist and some say charlatan.
Geoffrey Maslen looks into the fascinating lives of Australian birds, showing how intelligent they are, the significant threats they face due to disappearing habitats & climate change and how essential these angels of the air are to our own survival. They bring song & beauty to our lives, and they play a significant role in sustaining Earth’s ecosystems. But birds are also facing the threat of extinction. Drawing on numerous interviews with researchers & biologists studying birdlife in Australia & dozens of scientific reports from around the world, Maslen reveals a dire picture of what plummeting bird populations means for humanity.
Radio Astronomer: John Bolton and a New Window On the Universe by Peter Robertson ($60, HB)
In the roaring days of the 1850s California gold rush, San Francisco was the most dangerous town in America, made so by a notorious criminal gang known as the Sydney Coves.
A journey through music. The magnificent new novel from the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Henness.
Not Just Lucky exposes the structural and cultural disadvantages that rob women of their confidence – often without them even realising it.
A new novel for reading groups from international bestseller Fredrik Backman. No one can stand by or stay silent. You’re on one side or another.
A Life Underwater is the extraordinary memoir of marine biologist Charlie Veron, a maverick Australian who transformed our understanding of coral reefs.
The emperor’s mistress had been murdered, and the world had been taken hold of and turned upon its head. A chilling historical mystery from one of our favourite crime writers.
Read more at penguin.com.au
The leading Australian astronomer of his generation, John Bolton (1922–93), was born in Sheffield and educated at Cambridge University. After wartime service in the Royal Navy, he arrived in Sydney & joined the CSIRO Radiophysics Laboratory. In the late 1940s he discovered & identified the first discrete radio sources, unusual objects at vast distances with intense emission at radio frequencies. These discoveries marked the birth of a new field—extragalactic radio astronomy. In the late 1950s he built the first major observatory for radio astronomy at Caltech in the US, returning to Australia to take charge of the newly completed Parkes telescope in NSW. Peter Robertson tells the remarkable story of how John Bolton, and his CSIRO colleagues, propelled Australia to the forefront of international radio astronomy.
Rigor Mortis by Richard Harris ($40, HB) American taxpayers spend $30 billion annually funding biomedical research. By some estimates, half of the results from these studies can’t be replicated elsewhere—the science is simply wrong. Often, research institutes & academia emphasise publishing results over getting the right answers, incentivizing poor experimental design, improper methods & sloppy statistics. Bad science doesn’t just hold back medical progress, it can sign the equivalent of a death sentence. How are those with breast cancer helped when the cell on which 900 papers are based turns out not to be a breast cancer cell at all? How effective could a new treatment for ALS be when it failed to cure even the mice it was initially tested on? Science journalist Richard F. Harris reveals these urgent issues with vivid anecdotes, personal stories, and interviews with the nation’s top biomedical researchers. A Life Under Water by Charlie Veron ($35, PB)
Even as a toddler, Charlie Veron had a deep affinity with the natural world, and by school age he knew more about some sciences than his teachers did. But it was only by chance that he went to university. And only by chance that he became a marine biologist, through his love of scuba diving. However, once he found his specialty he revolutionised it. He generated a new concept of evolution that incorporates environmental change and a radical idea of what species are, matters which lie at the heart of conservation. He has dived most of the world’s coral reefs, and in this engaging memoir he explains what reefs say about our planet’s past & future, and why it’s critical they be protected. And also why it’s critical that scholarly independence be safeguarded. For it was the freedom he had as a young scientist, to be wayward, to take risks—a freedom barely imaginable in today’s world of managed academia— that allowed his breakthroughs..
Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature is Thriving in an Age of Extinction by Chris D. Thomas ($50, HB)
It is accepted wisdom today that human beings have irrevocably damaged the natural world. Yet what if this narrative obscures a more hopeful truth? Ecologist & environmentalist Chris D. Thomas overturns the accepted story, revealing how nature is fighting back. Many animals & plants actually benefit from our presence, raising biological diversity in most parts of the world & increasing the rate at which new species are formed, perhaps to the highest level in Earth’s history. Thomas takes us round-the-world journey to meet the enterprising creatures that are thriving in the Anthropocene, from York’s ochre-coloured comma butterfly to hybrid bison in North America, scarlet-beaked pukekos in New Zealand, and Asian palms forming thickets in the European Alps. In so doing, he questions our irrational persecution of so-called ‘invasive species’, and shows us that we should not treat the Earth as a faded masterpiece that we need to restore. After all, if life can recover from the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs, might it not be able to survive the onslaughts of a technological ape? The story of life is the story of change.
Your Brain is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time by Dean Buonomano
‘Time’ is the most common noun in the English language yet philosophers and scientists don’t agree about what time actually is or how to define it. Dean Buonomano investigates the relationship between the brain and time, looking at what time is, why it seems to speed up or slow down and whether our sense that time flows is an illusion. Buonomano presents his theory of how the brain tells time, and illuminates such concepts as free will, consciousness, space-time and relativity from the perspective of a neuroscientist. Drawing on physics, evolutionary biology and philosophy, he reveals that the brain’s ultimate purpose may be to predict the future—and thus that your brain is a time machine. ($38.95, PB)
The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers by Joanna Bourke ($22.95, PB)
Scraped knees, toothaches, migraines, giving birth, cancer, heart attacks, and heartaches: pain permeates our entire lives. In the 18th & 19th centuries submission to pain was required. In the 20th & 21st century pain is regarded as an unremitting evil to be ‘fought’. Focusing on the English-speaking world, this book tells the story of pain since the 18th century, addressing fundamental questions about the experience and nature of suffering over the last 3 centuries. How have those in pain interpreted their suffering—and how have these interpretations changed over time? How have people learnt to conduct themselves when suffering? How do friends & family react? And what about medical professionals: should they immerse themselves in the suffering person or is the best response a kind of professional detachment?
Philosophy & Religion
General Intellects: Twenty Five Thinkers for the 21st Century by McKenzie Wark ($35, PB)
What has happened to the public intellectuals that used to challenge and inform us? Who is the Sartre, de Beauvoir or Stuart Hall of the present age? McKenzie Wark introduces 25 thinkers who are transforming the landscape of ideas in the 21st century, covering topics such as politics, culture, psychoanalysis, the anthropocene & the ‘nonhuman’. Each chapter explores an individual thinker, places them within the intellectual landscape, showing how they are opening up new horizons that will define our times—as Wark critically engages with their work. The thinkers included: Amy Wending, Kojin Karatani, Franco Moretti, Fredric Jameson, Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, Yann Moulier Boutang, Paolo Virno, Maurizio Lazzarato, Franco ‘Bifo’ Baradi, Slavoj Žižek, Jodi Dean, Wendy Brown, Wendy Chun, Alexander Galloway, Azumo Hiroki, Timothy Morton, Isabelle Stengers, Quentin Meillassoux.
Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto by Lesley Hazleton
In this provocative book, veteran Middle East journalist Lesley Hazleton gives voice to the case for agnosticism, breaks it free of its stereotypes as watered-down atheism or amorphous ‘seeking’, and celebrates it as a reasoned, revealing & sustaining stance toward life. Stepping over the lines imposed by rigid conviction, she draws on philosophy, theology, psychology & science, to explore the vital role of mystery in a deceptively information-rich world; to ask what we mean by the search for meaning; to invoke the humbling yet elating perspective of infinity; to challenge received ideas about death; and to reconsider what ‘the soul’ might be. Agnostic recasts the question of belief not as a problem to be solved but as an invitation to an ongoing, open-ended adventure of the mind. ($28, PB)
Everyday Ethics by Simon Longstaff ($30, PB)
Every day our lives are punctuated by points of decision. Some of these decisions will be momentous, remembered for decades: most will go unnoticed, by us and by others. Yet all our choices matter: taken as a whole, they shape our lives and contribute to the rhythms of the world. In Everyday Ethics Simon Longstaff provides a map to help you better navigate the landscape of daily decisions more ethically. Using a broad range of topics and examples to provoke reflection and discussion, this is a lesson in how even our smallest choices can matter, and a guide to help discover what is ‘good’ and what is ‘right’.
Enlightened Vagabond by Ricard Matthieu & Dza Patrul Rinpoche
Few Buddhist meditation masters continue to have the influence that Dza Patrul Rinpoche, active in the 19th century, has to many Buddhist practitioners today. A wandering yogi, he eschewed urban areas for a life living in the wilds, caves & mountains of Tibet. While famous for his teaching with thousands of students, he would wander from place to place by himself, carrying only a few possessions—the most prized of which were two important practice texts. Matthieu Ricard spent decades collecting stories from the disappearing generation of Tibetan teachers brought up in the traditional way and who still carried with them the vast oral tradition, which included so many stories about Patrul Rinpoche. These stories are at once inspiring and a welcome reminder to resist our daily distractions and spend time doing what matters. That is, practicing meditation and helping others. ($45, PB)
Psychology The Secret Life of the Mind: How Our Brain Thinks, Feels and Decides by Mariano Sigman
In the last 20 years, Mariano Sigman has journeyed to the core of the brain, an organ formed by nearly an infinity of neurons that manufacture how we perceive, reason, feel, dream & communicate. After more than 2 decades of research, he has zoomed out from a thorough excursion to the neurons to seeing the brain from afar, where thoughts begin to take shape. And at this point where psychology meets neuroscience, The Secret Life of the Mind combines the astonishing work of biologists, physicists, mathematicians, psychologists, anthropologists, linguists, engineers, philosophers & medical doctors—not to forget cooks, magicians, musicians, chess players, writers & artists. Looking into how we forge ideas in our first days of life; how we shape the decisions that define us; why we dream; how years and years of formal and informal education change our brains, this book explores how we begin to understand even the smallest things that make up who and what we are. ($33, PB)
The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels, and Why It Matters by Daniel M. Wegner ($33, PB)
Nothing seems more real than the minds of other people. When you consider what your boss is thinking or whether your spouse is happy, you are admitting them into the ‘mind club’. It’s easy to assume other humans can think & feel, but what about a cow, a computer, a corporation? What kinds of mind do they have? Psychologists, Daniel M. Wegner & Kurt Gray, find that minds—while incredibly important—are a matter of perception. By investigating the mind perception of extraordinary targets—animals, machines, comatose people, god—Wegner & Gray explain what it means to have a mind, and why it matters so much. Fusing cutting-edge research and personal anecdotes, They explore the moral dimensions of mind perception, revealing the surprisingly simple basis for what compels us to love & hate, to harm & to protect.
Seeing What Others Cannot See: The Hidden Advantages of Visual Thinkers & Differently Wired Brains by Thomas G. West ($33, PB)
For over 25 years, Thomas G. West has been a leading advocate for the importance of visual thinking, visual technologies and the creative potential of individuals with dyslexia and other learning differences. In this new book West uses personal accounts that include a dyslexic paleontologist in Montana, a special effects tech who worked for Pink Floyd & Kiss and who is now an advocate for those with Asperger’s syndrome, a group of dyslexic master code breakers in a British electronic intelligence organization, and a family of dyslexics & visual thinkers in Britain that includes four winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics to investigate how different kinds of brains & different ways of thinking can help to make discoveries & solve problems in innovative & unexpected ways.
Bereavement After Traumatic Death: Helping the Survivors (eds) Diego De Leo et al ($58.95, PB)
Unless forced by circumstances, people in modern societies go to great lengths to deny death, to the extent that even death of a loved one from natural causes tends to catch us unprepared and unable to cope with its consequences. Death as the result of a sudden, catastrophic event (traffic accident, suicide, a natural disaster) can have even more extreme effects, sometimes striking survivors so violently and painfully that it leaves an indelible mark. This book speaks about the consequences of such traumatic deaths. The authors describe, step by step, what happens to people after the sudden death of a family member or close friend, the difficulties they face in coping, and how professionals and volunteers can help. This a book for professionals and volunteers who deal with bereavement in language that is accessible to all, so it will also help those who have suffered a traumatic loss themselves to understand what to expect and how to get help.
Gleebooks’ special price $29.95
Picasso’s Brain: The Basis of Creative Genius by Christine Temple ($35, PB)
Where does creativity come from? Why are some people more creative than others? Neuropsychologist Christine Temple navigates a wide range of factors from the hard science (visual memory, spatial ability, brain functions) to the environmental (the ‘mad genius’ myth, and Gladwell’s 10,000 hours of practice) in her study of what contributes to creativity. Using Pablo Picasso as her model of a creative genius, she weighs up each theory as it applies to Picasso and shows how his own creativity came from a combination of many factors. In this book, she looks at Picasso’s playful mindset and passionate relationships, investigates the possibility that genius is genetic and can be inherited in families, considers whether creative genii perceive the world in a different way, and determines whether single-mindedness and focus play a part.
Cultural Studies & Criticism Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman ($35, PB)
The state of Maine, with its rocky coast and rugged terrain, has produced more than it’s fair share of memorable imagery, in both art and literature. One of the most memorable images, for me, is the other-worldly, rather unnerving painting, Christina’s World, by Andrew Wyeth painted in 1948. A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline is a novel based on the real Christina in the painting, Christina Olson. Born into rural poverty in 1893, she had a degenerative muscular disorder that attacked her legs—and eventually took away her independence and any hope for a ‘normal’ life. A very intelligent child, she was stopped from pursuing her education—despite being offered a teaching job at her school. And although she had a place in her community, she hardly had an easy time of it. Andrew Wyeth chose Christina, her brother, and their farm as subjects of many of his drawings and paintings; but it is the image of her lying awkwardly in the grass, her back to the artist with the farm house some way in the distance, that captured the collective imagination. Christina does evoke sympathy in the reader of this book, but it’s Andrew Wyeth who really leaps from the page. I would have liked to read more about him, and his artistic process, and his really extraordinary parents. Thankfully, there are other books to be read about the Wyeth family, and I’m going to track them down.
Kate Forsyth’s new book Beauty in Thorns is stuffed with facts about the Pre-Raphaelite painters and their models, and she has created a really vivid world that pulls the reader in with fascinating details about their work, and the extraordinarily complicated way they lived. Focussing on Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, the story starts early in their careers, and takes us through the various dramas and tribulations and exultations of their artistic lives—as a group and as individuals. Most interestingly, the author spends time imagining the lives of the wives of these artists—the doomed Lizzie Siddal, beautiful Jane Burden and the really long suffering Georgiana McDonald, who married Edward BurneJones when he was just Ted Jones. These woman were artists in their own right, as well models, and their husbands were able to burn brightly in their careers because their wives toiled in the background, sustaining the idyll of art and beauty. The author alludes to fairy tales and myths, (favourite motifs of these artists) as well as using quotes from Georgiana Burne-Jones’ Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones, creating a rich and believable setting for the book. Don’t be put off by the corny cover, because despite being a bit breathless at times, this is a very enjoyable and highly informative book that brings a whole art movement to life. Louise
Now in B Format A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women by Siri Hustvedt, $23 The Friendship of Roland Barthes by Philippe Sollers ($33.95, PB)
In Roland Barthes’s eyes, Philippe Sollers embodied the figure of the contemporary writer forever seeking something new. 36 years after Barthes produced his study Sollers Writer, Sollers has written a book on the man who was his friend & who shared with him a total faith in literature as a force of invention & discovery, as a resource & an encyclopaedia. Barthes shed light on Sollers’s work in a series of articles that are still of great relevance today. Sollers, in turn, assumed the role of Barthes’s publisher at Le Seuil from the publication of his Critical Essays in 1964, and was left deeply shocked and saddened by Barthes’s death in 1980. This book also contains some 30 letters from Barthes to Sollers, completing our image of a most extraordinary partnerships
Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times (ed) Carolina De Robertis ($35, PB)
Written by award-winning novelists, poets, political thinkers, and activists This book offers readers a kaleidoscopic view of the love and courage needed to navigate this time of upheaval, uncertainty, and fear, in view of the recent US presidential election.
Thomas Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today & explains how to get the most out of them. His thesis is that the planet’s 3 largest forces—Moore’s law (technology), the market (globalization) and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)—are all accelerating at once. An extraordinary release of energy is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. This is a work of contemporary history that serves as a field manual for how to think about this era of accelerations and how we can anchor ourselves in the eye of this storm. It’s also an argument for ‘being late’—for pausing to appreciate this amazing historical epoch we’re passing through and reflecting on its possibilities and dangers.
The Secret Life: Three True Stories by Andrew O’Hagan ($30, PB)
The slippery online ecosystem is the perfect breeding ground for identities: true, false, and in between. We no longer question the reality of online experiences but the reality of selfhood in the digital age. Andrew O’Hagan issues three bulletins from the porous border between cyberspace and the ‘real world’. Ghosting introduces the beguiling and divisive Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, whose autobiography the author agrees to ghostwrite with unforeseen—and unforgettable-consequences. The Invention of Ronnie Pinn finds O’Hagan using the actual identity of a deceased young man to construct an entirely new one in cyberspace, leading him on a journey into the deep web’s darkest realms. And The Satoshi Affair chronicles the strange case of Craig Wright, the Australian web developer who may or may not be the mysterious inventor of Bitcoin. What does it mean when your very sense of self becomes, to borrow a phrase from the tech world, ‘disrupted’? Perhaps it takes a novelist, armed with the tools of a trenchant reporter, to find an answer.
This Is Not a Border: Reportage & Reflection from the Palestine Festival of Literature (eds) Ahdaf Soueif & Omar Robert Hamilton ($25, PB)
The Palestine Festival of Literature was established in 2008. Bringing together writers from all corners of the globe, it aims to help Palestinians break the cultural siege imposed by the Israeli military occupation, to strengthen their artistic links with the rest of the world, and to reaffirm, in the words of Edward Said, ‘the power of culture over the culture of power’. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of PalFest, This Is Not a Border is a collection of essays, poems & stories from some of the world’s most distinguished artists, responding to their experiences at this unique festival. Both heartbreaking & hopeful, their gathered work is a testament to the power of literature to promote solidarity & courage in the most desperate of situations.
Says Who? The Struggle for Authority in a MarketBased Society by Paul Verhaeghe ($30, PB)
We live in an extremely controlling society in which authority has disappeared . . . traditional authority is lapsing into brute force . . . and we ourselves must take the first steps towards creating a new social order.’ This was the trenchant diagnosis by Paul Verhaeghe at the end of his acclaimed book about identity, What About Me? In Says Who? Verhaeghe investigates how authority functions & why we need it in order to develop healthy psyches & strong societies. Going against the laissez-faire ethics of a free-market age, he argues that rather than seeing authority as a source of oppression we should invest in developing it in the places that matter. Only by strengthening the power of horizontal groups within existing social structures, such as in education, the economy & the political system, can we restore authority to its rightful place. Whether you are a parent or child, teacher or student, employer or employee, Says Who? provides the answers you need.
Draw Your Weapons by Sarah Sentilles ($33, PB) In Draw Your Weapons, Sarah Sentilles offers an impassioned defence of life lived by peace and principle. Through a dazzling combination of memoir, history, reporting, visual culture, literature and theology, Sentilles tells the true stories of a conscientious objector during World War II and a former prison guard at Abu Ghraib. In the process she challenges conventional thinking about how violence is waged, witnessed and resisted. Unbreakable: Women Share Stories of Resilience & Hope (ed) Jane Caro ($29.95, PB)
In this revealingly honest collection, successful Australian women talk about the challenges they have overcome, from sexual assault and domestic violence to racism, miscarriage, depression and loss, and how they let the past go to move forward with their lives. In a time when bragging about sexual assault doesn’t preclude being elected President of the United States, women must stand together and speak out against violence against women. Contributors include Kathy Lette, Mariam Veiszadeh, Tracey Spicer, Lee-Ann Tjunypa Buckskin, Rebecca Lim, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Susan Wyndham, Andie Fox, Dee Madigan, Catherine Fox, Zora Simic, Nina Funnell, Sandra Levy, Polly Dunning and Jacinda Woodhead, with a foreword by Tanya Plibersek.
Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It’s Doing to Us by Will Storr ($33, PB)
We live in the age of the individual. We are supposed to be slim, prosperous, happy, extroverted and popular. This is our culture’s image of the perfect self. We see this person everywhere: in advertising, in the press, all over social media. We’re told that to be this person you just have to follow your dreams, that our potential is limitless, that we are the source of our own success. But this model of the perfect self can be extremely dangerous. People are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy. Unprecedented social pressure is leading to increases in depression and suicide. Where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell? To answer these questions, Will Storr journeys from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of narcissism & the selfie generation, and right up to the era of hyper-individualistic neoliberalism in which we live now.
The Geography of Madness: Penis Thieves, Voodoo Death, and the Search for the Meaning of the World’s Strangest Syndromes by Frank Bures
Why do thousands of African men become convinced—despite what doctors tell them—that their penises have, simply, disappeared. Why do people across the world become convinced that they are cursed to die on a particular date—and then do? Why do people in Malaysia suddenly ‘run amok’? Frank Bures investigates these and other ‘culture-bound’ syndromes, tracing each seemingly baffling phenomenon to its source. It’s a fascinating, and at times rollicking, adventure that takes the reader around the world & deep into the oddities of the human psyche. What Bures uncovers along the way is a poignant & stirring story of the persistence of belief, fear & hope. ($30, PB)
Policing the Black Man (ed) Angela J. Davis ($50, HB)
This collection explores & critiques the many ways the criminal justice system impacts the lives of African American boys & men at every stage of the criminal process from arrest through sentencing. Essays range from an explication of the historical roots of racism in the criminal justice system to an examination of modern-day police killings of unarmed black men. The contributors discuss & explain racial profiling, the power & discretion of police & prosecutors, the role of implicit bias, the racial impact of police & prosecutorial decisions, the disproportionate imprisonment of black men, the collateral consequences of mass incarceration, and the Supreme Court’s failure to provide meaningful remedies for the injustices in the criminal justice system.
Not Just Lucky by Jamila Rizvi ($35, PB) Australian women are suffering from a crisis of confidence about work. Accustomed to being overlooked & undervalued, even when women do get to the top, they explain their success away as ‘luck’. But it’s not. Not Just Lucky exposes the structural & cultural disadvantages that rob women of their confidence—often without them even realising it. Drawing on case studies, detailed research and her own experience in politics and media, Jamila Rizvi offers you everything you need to start fighting for your own success and for a more inclusive, equal workplace for all. This unashamedly feminist career manifesto is for women who worry they’ll look greedy if they ask for more money. It’s for women who dream big but dread the tough conversations. It’s for women who get nervous, stressed and worried, and seem to overthink just about everything. Donald Horne: Selected Writings by Donald Horne ($33, PB)
Donald Horne was one of Australia’s leading thinkers for close to fifty years. His seminal book The Lucky Country made the case for a more open, modern, intelligent Australia. He was also famous for removing the words ‘Australia for the white man’ from the masthead of The Bulletin while its editor. This definitive selection of Horne’s writing, made by his son, Nick, tells the story of his life & intellectual development—from radical conservative to progressive proponent of tolerance & pioneer of Australian cultural studies. Selections from The Lucky Country sit alongside pithy reflections on Australian history & culture, as well as vivid autobiographical writing.
The Terror Dream: Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America by Susan Faludi ($45, PB)
It has become clear over the years that the reaction of America’s politicians and media to the attacks of 9/11 was bizarrely misdirected and dangerous to US national security. But no one has fully probed its cultural roots. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Susan Faludi demonstrates how US culture’s seemingly inexplicable response was actually a reflex set centuries deep in the American grain. Her analysis of what went on in the months and years after 9/11 will shock even those who thought they knew the full measure of that tragedy (as her account of the post-9/11 media marketing of flight-suit superheroes, cowering ‘security moms’, Jessica-Lynchesque helpless ‘girls’, and Daniel Boone-wannabe politicians is both outrageous & amusing). A masterwork of historical interpretation & a Rosetta stone for deciphering the ongoing spectacle of American politics, journalism & culture, The Terror Dream flushes from hiding a forceful dynamic that disfigures US lives even in times of normalcy, and that, unless it is confronted, will send America yet again reeling in a wrong direction the next time tragedy strikes.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond ($25, PB)
Zadie Smith Arleen spends nearly all her money on rent but is kicked out with her kids in Milwaukee’s coldest winter for years. Doreen’s home is so filthy her family call it ‘the rat hole’. Lamar, a wheelchair-bound ex-soldier, tries to work his way out of debt for his boys. Scott, a nurse turned addict, lives in a gutted-out trailer. This is their world. And this is the twenty-first century: where fewer and fewer people can afford a simple roof over their head. Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction. ‘Essential. A compelling and damning exploration of the abuse of one of our basic human rights: shelter.’ Owen Jones ‘If I could require the president to read one book it would be Evicted’ Zadie Smith.
s d d w n n a o 2 H R Max Dupain — Beach Scenes
Dupain’s Beaches by Jill White (with Matthew Cawood) Introduction by Sebastian Smee. Chapter & Verse, Neutral Bay NSW, 2000. Square quarto hardcover; white boards with blue spine and lower front board titling, blue endpapers; 111pp., b&w plates. Minor wear. Very good in like white illustrated dustjacket. $75.00. With Winter now upon us, what better image to display than Max Dupain’s Sunbaker. ‘It was a simple affair. We were camping down the south coast and one of my friends leapt out of the surf and slammed down onto the beach to have a sunbake—marvellous. We made the image and it’s been around, I suppose as a sort of icon of the Australian way of life’. (Max Dupain interview, 1991). Taken on a summer’s day in 1937 when Dupain (1911–1992) was enjoying a beach holiday with friends at Culburra on the NSW South Coast. The sunbaker is Harold Salvage (1905–1991), an English migrant. First displayed in a retrospective exhibition in 1975, Sunbaker has become probably the single most widely recognised Australian photograph. ‘An unforgettable image, it spoke to a young 1970s audience as being all about Australia’, says Gael Newton, senior photography curator at the National Gallery of Australia. Compiled by Jill White, Dupain’s assistant and custodian of his vast photographic archive, this is a wonderful collection of some of Dupain’s best work. Taken at Bondi, Manly, Cronulla, Newport and various locations along the Central and South Coasts of NSW from the 1930s to the 1960s. Max Dupain loved the beach and with his Rolleiflex camera to hand, photographed its occupants and captured the play of sand patterns, rock formations, water, shadows and light. Some of my favourite photos in this volume are: Ice-creams, Bondi – 1940s (p. 78); Boatsheds—1957 (p. 67); Handstand, south coast beach—1939 (p.53); Tathra, south coast NSW—1950 (p.58). Stephen
Killers of the Flower Moon: Oil, Money, Murder and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann ($33, PB)
From the author of The Lost City of Z comes a true-life murder story which became one of the FBI’s first major homicide investigations. In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. As the death toll climbed, the FBI took up the case. But the bureau badly bungled the investigation. In desperation, its young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. Together with the Osage he and his undercover team began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. ‘A riveting true story of greed, serial murder and racial injustice’—Jon Krakauer; ‘A fiercely entertaining mystery story and a wrenching exploration of evil’—Kate Atkinson ‘A fascinating account of a tragic and forgotten chapter in the history of the American West’ —John Grisham.
WHERE IS AMELIA? The Disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan July 1937 Not much more than a month ago, I was on the other shore of the Pacific, looking westward. This evening, I looked eastward over the Pacific. In those fast moving days that have intervened, the whole width of the world has passed behind us. Except this broad ocean. I shall be glad when we have the hazards of its navigation behind us.—Amelia Earhart—Lae, New Guinea. Log Entry 1 July 1937. Wired to the New York Herald Tribune. 7.42am 2 July 1937—the US Coast Guard Cutter Itasca radio log records a transmission from aviator Amelia Earhart (1897–1937?). The cutter is anchored at Howland Island—3,150kms southwest of Honolulu—in the Pacific to communicate with Earhart’s plane and thereby guide her and navigator Fred Noonan (1893–1937?) to the island once she arrives in the vicinity. This is the third last leg of Earhart’s round-the-world attempt, East to West, following the Equator—the longest possible distance. Amelia and Fred have already flown some 39,500kms in a journey that began at Oakland, California on 21 May 1937. They take off from Lae, New Guinea on 2 July 1937. A film sequence exists of them boarding the heavily fuel laden plane—some 1,150 gallons—and eventually lifting off. Amelia’s aircraft is a Lockheed Electra 10E Special (Registration Number 16020). Length 12m. Wingspan 17m. Cruising Speed 305kph. Only two ‘Specials’ were made. A twin-engine, low winged monoplane with retractable landing gear—it is an all-metal aircraft of aluminium, brass and copper. Most of the cabin windows are removed and the ten passenger seats replaced by fuel tanks for long range, record setting flights. And this will be a long flight—between 18 to 20 hours, depending on aircraft speed and wind resistance—some 4,100kms. The longest over water leg of the trip to a speck of land a mere 3.2kms long, 1.5km wide and 4.5m high. At the time of her final flight, 39-year-old Amelia Mary Earhart is the most famous female aviator in the world. She has been flying since 1922 when she set a women’s altitude record of 4,200m, which she will later increase to 5,600m. In 1928 Amelia is the first woman to fly solo across the North American continent. In 1929, she helped establish the ‘Ninety Nines’ an organisation of women aviators—which continues world-wide today—so named for the original number of members. Amelia is elected its first President two years later. In May 1932, Amelia Earhart completes a solo flight across the Atlantic. Between 1933 and 1936 she sets numerous flight distance records throughout the United States. George Putnam (1887–1950), Amelia’s husband acts as her promoter and publicity agent. Amelia is dubbed ‘Lady Lindy’ by the press—which is a complimentary comparison to famed aviator Charles Lindbergh (1902–1974). Two comprehensive biographies of Earhart are: Amelia Earhart: The Sound of Wings by Mary S. Lovell. 1989, $28; and East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart by Susan Butler. 1999, $33. On her last, and most ambitious, flight she has with her one of the best airborne navigators in the world. Fred Noonan has mapped Pan Am’s airline routes across the Pacific in flights to Midway Island, Wake Island, Guam, the Philippines and Hong Kong. Amelia’s radio equipment was also the latest three-channel Western Electric then being used by registered airlines. The last transmissions received from Amelia Earhart as recorded by the Itasca radio log: 0844: “WE ARE ON A LINE OF POSITION 157/337. WE WILL REPEAT THIS MESSAGE ON 6210 kc. RUNNING NORTH AND SOUTH.” Then silence. So, what went wrong? There are three main theories, but even eight decades later the whole mystery of Earhart and Noonan’s disappearance is so emotionally charged for many searchers and authors. They Crashed and Sank—Amelia Earhart: The Mystery Solved by Elgen and Marie Long. 1999, $25. Earhart and Noonan run out of fuel and crashed and sank in the vicinity of Howland Island shortly after her last recorded transmission. This seems the most obvious answer. Former aviator and navigator, Elgen Long argues that Earhart deviated from her planned course and flew over the Bougainville Islands to avoid storms, and also encountered stronger headwinds than anticipated—thus using up more fuel than planned. Extensive undersea sonar surveys have found no trace of Amelia’s Electra. Not finding the plane does not prove it is not there somewhere. However, given there was no recorded ‘Mayday’ message from Earhart it is possible she flew on. They landed on Gardner (Nikumaroro) Island—Finding Amelia: The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance by Ric Gillespie. 2009, $40. Earhart, failing to find Howland Island, landed on Gardner Island one of the islands in the Phoenix Group—now called Nikumaroro Island in the Republic of Kiribati. This is a coral atoll some 7kms long and 2.4kms wide. For the next several nights they may have sent radio distress calls. Some 120 known reports of radio signals suspected or alleged to have been sent from the Earhart aircraft were made between 2–18 July. These dominated the headlines and drove much of the US Coast Guard and Navy search. The Coast Guard later discounted the signals as ‘hoaxes’ and none were ever accorded official approbation. But if only one of those signals were genuine…? Since 1989, eight expeditions have been sent to Nikumaroro island. Among the items discovered are improvised tools, an aluminium
panel (possibly from an Electra), an oddly cut piece of clear Plexiglas which is the exact thickness and curvature of an Electra window, a sextant box and a size 9 shoe heel dating from the 1930s which resembles Earhart’s footwear in world flight photos. The latest expedition to Nikumaroro in 2015 ended inconclusively. Both time and ocean erosion may have finally obliterated any further archaeological trace of two stranded castaways eight decades ago. Both died in Japanese captivity after crash landing at Saipan in the Marianas Islands—Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last by Mike Campbell 2nd Ed. 2016, $42. This is a useful encyclopaedic endeavour which presents virtually every piece of (almost exclusively) anecdotal evidence collected well after the purported ‘fact’. Books, pamphlets, articles and internet contributions are all included for this Saipan Crash/Execution Hypothesis. Mr Campbell has no time for any other researchers or their theories as to the pair’s fate. It’s a bracing read because of his uncritical tone regarding the ‘evidence’. The author is utterly certain that Earhart and Noonan crashed on Saipan Island in 1937, were imprisoned and perished in Japanese captivity in 1939 or 1944. Earhart died of dysentery and Noonan was later executed. Or perhaps both were executed as spies. Both are buried there. The US government did not and still doesn’t want these facts of Japanese deceit disclosed. Hence, an eight decade cover-up by successive US and Japanese governments. In conclusion: I favour the castaway theory. The evidence is strongly suggestive but—until that elusive Electra 10E Special is found…. Before her final flight, Amelia Earhart left a handwritten letter for her husband George Putnam if she did not return. Part of it reads: Please know I am quite aware of the hazards of this trip. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others. Stephen Reid
Language & Writing
It’s Been Said Before: A Guide to the Use and Abuse of Clichés by Orin Hargraves ($22.95, PB)
Careful writers & speakers agree that clichés are generally to be avoided. However, nearly all of us continue to use them. Why do they persist in our language? Orin Hargraves examines the peculiar idea & power of the cliché. He helps readers understand why certain phrases became clichés & why they should be avoided— or why they still have life left in them. Indeed, clichés can be useful—even powerful. Few people even agree on which expressions are clichés and which are not. Hargraves uses examples drawn from data about actual usage to support his identification of true clichés. These examples also illuminate his commentary on usage problems & helpful suggestions for eliminating clichés where they serve no useful purpose.
Spelling it Out: How Words Work and How to Teach Them by Misty Adoniou ($39.95, PB)
Spelling can be a source of anxiety for school children and working professionals alike. Yet the spelling of words in English is not as random or chaotic as it is often perceived to be; rather, it is a system based on both meaning & a fascinating linguistic history. Spelling It Out aims to ease anxiety and crush the myth that good spelling comes naturally. Good spelling comes from good teaching. Based on Misty Adoniou’s extensive research into spelling learning and instruction, this book encourages children and adults to nurture a curiosity about words, discover their history and, in so doing, understand the logic behind the way they are spelled.
1,101 Words 2 Watch: A Wordsmith’s Guide to Misused and Confusing Words by David Coe
Acetic/ascetic, forebear/forbear, naught/nought—the English language can be a minefield that embarrasses even the most professional writer when the wrong word is used. David Coe has spent decades working in leading newsrooms around the world, such as the Financial Review & The Times in London, and in the pages of this wonderfully simple book, you will discover: Brief, everyday meanings of words mistaken for one another; Pairs of words so you can instantly spot the one you need; The difference between ‘wanton’ and ‘wonton’, and lots of other words that can trip up even accomplished writers; The real meanings of commonly misused words. ($19.95, PB)
The Secret Chord Geraldine Brooks, PB
Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry Jeffrey A. Lieberman, HB
Collected Lyrics, 1970–2015 Patti Smith, HB
The Secret Life of Sleep Kat Duff, HB
Go Set a Watchman Harper Lee, HB
The Love Object: Selected Stories Edna O’Brien, HB
The Fever of 1721: The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicine & American Politics Stephen Coss, HB
Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins Susan Casey, HB
Now $18.95 On The Run: Deserters Through the Ages Graeme Kent, HB
Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning Timothy Snyder, HB
Mahler: His Life and Music Stephen Johnson, with CDs
Behind the Mirror: Aime Maeght and His Artists: Bonnard, Matisse, Miro, Calder, Giacometti, Braque, HB
Portraits and Caftans of the Ottoman Sultans Nurhan Atasoy, HB
The Meaning of Home Edwin Heathcote, HB
Head Hunters: The Search for a Science of the Mind Ben Shephard, HB
The Iliad: A New Translation (tr) Caroline Alexander, HB
Dirty Love Andre Dubus III, HB
The Burning Room Michael Connelly, HB
The Orpheus Clock: The Search for My Family’s Art Treasures Stolen by the Nazis Simon Goodman, HB
P Was $50
Chaucer’s Tale: 1386 and the Road to Canterbury Anna S. Garbedian, HB
Emil Nolde: The Grotesques ($67, HB)
Emil Nolde (1867–1956) is famous for his dramatic ocean views & colourful flower gardens, but it is clear from his autobiography and his letters that his love of the fantastical & grotesque had a significant impact on his art. Alongside his first oil painting, Bergriesen (Mountain Giants, 1895–96), his alpine postcards of this period, in which the Swiss mountains appear as bizarre human physiognomies, also convey his fascination with the fantastical. His rejection of realism in favour of a grotesque, alternative world can be seen throughout his oeuvre, from its beginnings to the Grotesken (1905) and watercolours from 1918– 19, to the years under the Nazis when he was forbidden to practice his profession.
Karl Blossfeldt: Masterworks ($80, HB)
Karl Blossfeldt (1865–1932) was neither a professional photographer nor a botanist. A professor at the Academy of Applied Arts in Berlin, he was a sculptor & amateur photographer, and his interest in the plant world was originally educational. Fascinated by the structure of plants, whose apparently artistic forms were created by biological expediency, he realized that photography could be a useful teaching tool, allowing his students to see and compare many natural forms. Working with a homemade camera he gathered & photographed his own plant samples, magnifying them by up to 45 times. From around 1898 onwards, he shot some 6,000 images, which he used primarily as visual aids in his classes. This volume brings together a collection of Blossfeldt’s strikingly austere yet poetic portraits of plants, capturing their timeless beauty in intimate detail.
The Cleaner by Marina Abramovic ($89.50, HB)
Marina Abramovic is the progenitor of contemporary performance art. Famous for her groundbreaking performance works, she continues to expand the boundaries of art. This publication, accompanying her first major retrospective in Europe, gives an extensive overview of her work from the earliest years until today: film, photography, paintings & objects, installations & archival material. Since the early 1970s Abramovic has explored the intersection between performing and visual art in her work and, though rarely overtly political, posed questions of power & hierarchy. In addressing fundamental issues of our existence & seeking the core of such notions as loss, memory, pain endurance & trust, she both provokes & moves.
Perspective in Action by David Chelsea ($40, PB) Perspective is a fundamental element in the development of art and for understanding spatial relationships, but it is an underserved topic in the world of art instruction. Author & artist David Chelsea takes readers through the major perspective-related developments in history, teaching them how to re-create these same experiments by leading artists in all fields (including drawing, painting & sculpture). Covering a wide-range of mediums (pen & ink, paint, chalk, digital art, woodwork & more), Perspective in Action gives readers a more hands-on approach to perspective, as opposed to the usual theoretical presentations found in other books.
DVDs With Scott Donovan I, Daniel Blake: Dir. Ken Loach ($21.95) In the North-East of England, 59 year-old widower Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) is forced to stop working when he is taken ill with heart disease and so applies for Employment and Support Allowance from the Government. But his life is further thrown into disarray when his benefits are suddenly taken away from him and he is forced to jump through the many hoops of the bureaucratic system to get them back. During this time, he meets the similarly-troubled single mother Katie (Hayley Squires) whose financial problems mean she is being forced out of her home in London along with her two kids Dylan and Daisy (Dylan McKiernan and Briana Shann). The Legacy: Season 3 ($42.95, region 2) Following the death of progressive internationally-renowned artist Veronika Grønnegaard, The Legacy traces the story of Veronika’s four adult children, whose distinctive upbringing has affected their lives in very different ways. In this season the four heirs have finally made peace with the past, and with each other. Following Thomas’ death, Emil has taken on the role of parent to Melody at Grønnegaard, where they live with his niece, Hannah, and her artist troupe. Signe spends most of her time with her boyfriend, Aksel, running her organic farm. Gro has set up a gallery for young, progressive art at the Art Hall. Frederik lives in the US, and, having enjoyed a successful career and healthy profits, he is ready to make peace with Solveig. But, in his absence, his family has evolved, so is he really prepared for what awaits him once he comes back home?
Matthew Ronay by Diana Nawi ($87.50, HB) The handcrafted and vibrantly colourful works of Brooklynbased sculptor Matthew Ronay (born 1976) evoke biological processes & organic forms as much as they draw on spiritual & mythological narratives. Influences ranging from science fiction, chemistry, Surrealism & mycology emerge in his psychedelic reliefs & installations. This book documents Ronay’s first major museum presentations in the US, with an eponymous exhibition at the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, as well as a newly commissioned project, When Two Are in One, at the Perez Art Museum, Miami. Collected in this book are Ronay’s most significant sculptures and installations from the last 4 years alongside major new texts that elucidate the artist’s singular vision. Inside Utopia: Visionary Interiors and Futuristic Homes ($110, HB)
Spectacular & reflective, unpretentious & efficient: the breathtaking Elrod House by John Lautner; the Lagerfeld Apartment near Cannes that seems like a set from a science fiction film; Palais Bulles in France with its organic & unique architecture. These interiors welcome habitation & spark curiosity while embodying the foundations of minimalism & bygone visions of the future. The architects, the owners, and the craftsmen like Gio Ponti or Bruce Goff who work behind the scenes created amorphous interiors that invite the mind to wander. At the time they were futuristic, confident, utopian, idealistic—shaping our current living concepts, and even now, they inspire us anew. Previously it has been difficult to attain access to these preserved interiors, but Inside Utopia unearths what was before unseen.
Renovate Innovate: Reclaimed and Upcycled Homes by Antonia Edwards ($80, HB)
Antonia Edwards’ first book, Upcyclist, explored how artists & designers around the globe transform castoff materials into elegant domestic furnishings. This book looks at the homes themselves with a selection of unique buildings & interiors. Projects include environmentalist Peter Bahouth’s highly coveted three-unit tree house nestled in the Atlanta woods; the Love Art Studio in Phuket, Thailand, which is constructed entirely from bits of driftwood; a traditional Slovenian barn, rescued from disrepair & converted into a light-filled holiday home with beautiful Alpine views; a 7,500 square-foot reservoir converted into a trendy modern residence; a former cement factory that has found new life as architect Ricardo Bofill’s famed studio & living space. An inspiring challenge to readers, designers, architects & dreamers alike to reimagine lived in spaces.
The Sagrada Familia: Gaudí’s Heaven on Earth by Gijs van Hensbergen ($89.50, HB)
Antoni Gaudí, ‘God’s Architect’, saw the first stone of The Sagrada Familia laid on 19 March 1882 and yet it is unlikely to be completed until 2026 at the very earliest. It has survived two World Wars, the ravages of the Spanish Civil War and the ‘Hunger Years’ of Franco’s rule. It has defied the critics, the penny-pinching accountants, the conservative town-planners and the slaves to sterile modernism to witness the most momentous changes in society & history. This book explores the evolution of this remarkable building—it is at once a guidebook and a chronological history, and a moving and compelling study of man’s aspiration towards the divine.
Graduation: Dir. Cristian Mungiu ($32.95, region 2)
A young girl is set to leave her Romanian homeland for a prestigious English university when she is physically assaulted just before her final exam. Her father now tries to get to the bottom of who the culprit is and how to convince bureaucratic powers to reconsider this life changing exam for this daughter. Another brilliant drama that plays with thriller-like tension from the acclaimed director of 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days.
Things To Come: Dir. Mia Hanson-Løve
Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert) teaches philosophy at a high school in Paris. She is deeply passionate about her job & enjoys passing on the pleasure of thinking. Married with two children, she divides her time between her family, former students & her eccentric mother, leading a life of personal & intellectual fulfilment. Unexpectedly, Nathalie’s husband announces he is leaving her for another woman. With a newfound freedom suddenly thrust upon her, Nathalie must reinvent herself & establish a new way of living. ($25.95, region 2)
The Hollow Crown Collection ($64.95)
Luscious screen adaptations of Shakespeare’s Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, Henry V, Henry VI in two parts and Richard III starring Ben Whishaw, Tom Hiddleston & Jeremy Irons, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Bonneville, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon and many more, plus ‘making of’ special features with exclusive interviews with cast and crew—all in one set—a bargain!
what we're reading
Andrew: What I am not reading is Hilary ManMike: Get Poor Slow by David Free: A Sydney crime noir, set against the tel’s The Mirror and the Light. When various backdrop of the murky world of Australian publishing. Ray Saint is a book overviews of the anticipated year in fiction were reviewer. A tough one. He thinks that all writing should be literature and is well published at the beginning of 2017, I was excited known for his scathing rebukes of anything of lesser quality. That is when he to see the third volume in Mantel’s Cromwell trilmeets Jade Howe, the beautiful publicity dame who drops a big, fat, cash-filled ogy touted as the highlight. Sadly it now looks like proposition right in his lap. How could he resist? Just pretend to like a book, she doesn’t anticipate finishing the book until the write a glowing review and collect the notes. Easy, right? It is easy, until Jade end of this year, which pushes publication back to turns up dead, and Ray is public enemy (and suspect) numero uno.... Saint is 2018. Bugger. Mantel is, however, currently delivering the Reith Lectures on BBC4— pretty sure he didn’t kill her, hell, he liked pretty much every part of her. It’s just and I strongly recommend them. It is a breeze to stream them on your computer or that he can’t quite remember.....This is a face-paced thriller filled with books, phone, and Mantel is a wonderful and erudite speaker, tackling the role of history in booze, shifty characters, a hero who could turn out to be a killer and more dodgy literature. Anybody who followed the debate between novelist Kate Grenville and one-liners than a Sydney New Titles sales meeting. historian Inga Clendinnen (played out in the Quarterly Essay letters pages) concerning the respective roles and responsibilities of novelists and historians won’t want Viki: I had a phone call the other day from a customer wanting E. H Gombrich’s to miss Mantel’s take. For myself, I am biding my time reading (the sadly recently The Story of Art—unfortunately we didn’t have the pocket edition, which she deceased) Helen Dunmore’s Birdcage Walk, set in 1792 Bristol. Featuring a property needed for what I imagine was her soon to be Grand Tour of Europe, but once developer and a housing boom, it is an apposite reminder that historical fiction can be the unwanted larger edition Gleebooks did have was in my hands I was unable at its best speaking to modern themes. Smashed avocado, anyone? to say no. So now I’m reading a chapter a day, working my way through GomRoger: I’m halfway through the new Brunetti novel by Donna Leon, Earthly Rebrich’s evolution of art and having a great time. I’d highly recommend this to mains—gosh it’s good. She’s so relaxed with her characters and her setting, and her parents of children expressing an interest in art—it’s a great introduction, and descriptions of the lagoon where Brunetti is holidaying solus are grippingly detailed I feel tempted to make attempts at recreating works and styles from every step and real. When I was in Venice with my friend in November last year we went past the along the way. Speaking of which, I’m also reading A Forger’s Tale by Shaun buildings where she reckons Brunetti lives and imagined we could catch the odours Greenhalgh. Written from prison Shaun details his legendary forger’s career, of Paola’s lunch preparations for the family. Venice was marvellous. The only disand the ‘forger’s ring’ (including co-conspirators, the ‘artful codgers’, his 80 appointment, apart from the gargantuan ocean liners dwarfing the city, was Acqua year old parents) that operated out of a garden shed in Bolton, UK. As art critic Alta—a bookshop that must be the worst in the world. I know it’s hard, but if you (and dupe of one of Greenhalgh’s fakes) Waldemar Januszczak says in his introcan imagine a level of disorder greater than Gould’s in its heyday. Then add damp duction, ‘Shaun is funny, charming, self-deprecating, warm-hearted and, above from the adjacent canal to the premises, second-hand books that are not only strewn all, instructive’. And he is all of those things—utterly obsessed with making all over the place, but are also piled up inside rowing boats and in the featured gonthings—he’s a fascinating character. dola (the real thing)—and you have something of the atmosphere of the place. It has outside courtyards where books are piled up deteriorating in the rain—some used as John: I imagine there must be a good deal of rivalry at the ABC. Not just for stepping stones to a view of the canal. It’s awful, I had to quickly leave to suppress an the plum high profile jobs at AM, 7.30, Lateline, Q&A etc, but about the sheer urgent desire to start tidying it up. On the more serious side I have just finished Midnumber of books that these high profile journalists find time to write. From dlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides—a marvellous tour-de-force of the 20th century migrant Julia Baird’s Victoria and Mark Colvin’s wonderful memoir of his father to experience in Detroit, full of incident, character and love. And I am also halfway the political thrillers penned by Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis. Two-time through Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons—for the second time. I read it when I was Walkley Award winner Michael Brissenden takes time off 4 Corners to join twenty and thought it one of the best books. I’m not so sure this time, but we’ll see their ranks this month with a tightly plotted thriller set mainly in Sydney. The how it develops. The first time was so long ago that it’s all fresh to me again—and I’m List has a team of specialist officers struggling to prevent a large scale tercertainly much more a father than a son now! rorist plot in Sydney. Brissenden’s experience as a journalist comes through Stef: Beauty in Thorns by Kate Forsyth is truly a delight. Forsyth has brought to life the and the book has less politics and more action than I had expected. With this rich and colourful world of the Pre-Raphaelite artists—their day to day, their unconven- entertaining read in the vein of Terry Hayes’ (another journo) I Am Pilgrim, tional bohemian lifestyles and their ability to shock and delight their Victorian patrons and Brissenden joins the long list of ABC journos who are also successful novelsociety at large. Having turned the last page I am feeling a little sad and lost—I won’t be ists. The List is a real page turner. able to quite shake off the ghosts of the people who populated this story for a while.
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Bestsellers—Non-Fiction 1. The Return: Fathers, Sons & the Land In Between
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and another thing.....
David Gaunt has taken a well-earned post-Sydney Writers’ Festival break, so he hasn’t filed a column this month, but I thought I’d share his ‘Hola’ from Ecuador: ‘Hope all’s well in cold rainy Sydney and environs. We’ve just emerged from a sojourn in the Amazonian rainforest, the highlight of which was tubing down a swift river through jungle in glorious sunshine. Though rather pleased to get away from the indigenous food at the Community—yucky yucca and gelatinous plantain served in 10 different ways. Now we’re at a small mountain resort town called Banos. It’s drizzly and misty this morning so our trek up to ‘The Virgin’ ( 750 m vertical) has been postponed till after lunch. This is the first wet day of our trip! We’ve covered so much territory it feels like we’ve been away for months.’ Doesn’t sound like there’s been much time for reading, but prepare to be regaled with anecdotes in the August Gleaner. Meanwhile, still toiling away in Glebe, I’ve been entertaining myself greatly with Girt by David Hunt. The fact that his irreverent approach to Australian history (call me easy, but I’m still chuckling about the footnote claiming that the Australian Enlightenment began in 1988 with the release of John Farnham’s Age of Reason) has been such a best seller gives me hope that all this jingoistic, breast beating, turn back the boats you have to have a PHD in English literature and mateship to become a citizen carryon can never really take hold. On to True Girt! I hope there are more volumes in the works, and Hunt is going to continue his bollocking of the sacred kangas of Australian history right up to the present. Last month I was plannning to read the new Nicci French—claiming she was a favourite of Sonia Lee’s (aka Granny’s Good Reads), but Sonia has hastened to correct me that it’s Tana French (not that there’s anything wrong with Nicci) and her Dublin Murder Squad novels she’s a fan of—the latest of which, The Trespasser is due out in B format this month. Viki
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