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Vol. 25 No. 6 July 2018
FRIDAY JULY 20TH TO SUNDAY AUGUST 5TH UPSTAIRS AND 49 GLEBE PT RD
Australian Literature Under Your Wings by Tiffany Tsao ($33, PB)
Meet the glamorous, witty and charming Kiki Button: socialite, private detective and spy. We all have secrets - it’s just that Kiki has more than most...
Gwendolyn & Estella have always been as close as sisters can be. Growing up in a wealthy, powerful & sometimes treacherous family, they’ve relied on each other for support & confidence. Now, though, Gwendolyn is lying in a coma, the sole survivor of Estella’s poisoning of their whole family. What in their dark & complicated past has brought them to this point? As Gwendolyn struggles to regain consciousness, she desperately retraces her memories, trying to uncover the moment that led to this brutal act. Their aunt’s supposed death at sea; Estella’s unhappy marriage to the brutish Leonard; the shifting loyalties & unspoken resentments at the heart of the opulent world they inhabit—one by one, the facts float up, forcing Gwendolyn to confront the truth about who she & her sister really are, and the secrets in their family’s past.
Antidote to a Curse by James Cristina ($30, PB)
The greatest escape story of Australian colonial history by the son of Australia’s best-loved storyteller
An extraordinary story of love, loss and profound courage during WW2
It’s the 90s. Silvio Portelli returns to Melbourne after time spent teaching in England & rents a room from the charismatic octogenarian, Nancy Triganza. Nancy is having an elaborate aviary constructed to indulge her passion for birds. At a city sex shop, Silvio meets the mysterious Zlatko, a Bosnian immigrant and, in a previous life, a collector of rare birds. Silvio becomes obsessed with Zlatko, and his own journal & dreams begin to mirror Zlatko’s past, and in time the reality of what happened in Bosnia. Such revelations are counterpointed by Silvio’s own tense wait to learn the results of his tests for HIV. This is a story in which the hunter becomes the hunted, the writer the subject, and vice versa. In a startling debut, James Cristina lovingly captures Stalactites cafe where Zlatko & Silvio often meet, and a city enmeshed with Europe, both physically & in spirit.
A Month of Sundays by Liz Byrski ($33, PB)
For over 10 years, Ros, Adele, Judy & Simone have been in an online book club, but they have never met face to face. Until now... Determined to enjoy her imminent retirement, Adele invites her fellow bibliophiles to help her house-sit in the Blue Mountains. It’s a tantalising opportunity to spend a month walking in the fresh air, napping by the fire and, of course, reading & talking about books. But these aren’t just any books: each member has been asked to choose a book which will teach the others more about her. And with each woman facing a crossroads in her life, it turns out there’s a lot for them to learn, not just about their fellow book-clubbers, but also about themselves.
The Shanghai Wife by Emma Harcourt ($30, PB)
THE BURIED ARK James Bradley Callie risked everything to get her little sister Gracie to the safety of the Zone. She must now learn to survive in an alien landscape where nothing is what it seems.
THE DOCTOR’S DIET Dr Sandro Demaio 110 recipes plus clever tips for making sure that preparing and eating good food is the most pleasurable way possible of getting well and staying healthy.
FORCE OF NATURE
THE NEW KID
James O’Loghlin and Matthew Martin
From the author of THE DRY ‘a breathless page turner’ New York Times ‘Force of Nature bristles with wit; it crackles with suspense; it radiates atmosphere. An astonishing book from an astonishing writer.’ A.J. Finn
New kids aren’t cool. Everyone knows that. Eleven-year-old Sam is the new kid at school but he has a plan, or two, or three to make himself the most popular kid ever.
Leaving behind the loneliness & trauma of her past in country Australia, Annie Brand arrives to the political upheaval & glittering international society of Shanghai in the 1920s. Journeying up the Yangtze with her new husband, the ship’s captain, Annie revels in the sense of adventure but when her husband sends her back to Shanghai, her freedom is quickly curtailed. Living alone in the International Settlement, suffocated by the judgemental Club ladies & their exclusive social scene, Annie is slowly drawn into the bustling life & otherness of the real Shanghai, and begins to see the world from the perspective of the local people, including the servants who work at her husband’s Club. But this world is far more complex and dangerous than the curious Annie understands and, unknowingly, she becomes caught in a web of intrigue and conspiracy as well as a passionate forbidden love affair she could not have predicted: one with far–reaching consequences.
The Geography of Friendship by Sally Piper
When 3 young women set off on a hike through the wilderness they are anticipating the adventure of a lifetime. Over the next 5 days, as they face up to the challenging terrain, it soon becomes clear they are not alone & the freedom they feel quickly turns to fear. Only when it is too late for them to turn back do they fully appreciate the danger they are in. As their friendship is tested, each girl makes an irrevocable choice; the legacy of which haunts them for years to come. Now in their 40s, Samantha, Lisa & Nicole are estranged, but decide to revisit their original hike in an attempt to salvage what they lost. As geography & history collide, they are forced to come to terms with the differences that have grown between them & the true value of friendship. ($29.95, PB)
Coach Fitz by Tom Lee ($26.95, PB)
Tom Lee’s first novel is about a young jogger who is in a relationship with an older woman. She is both his coach & his mentor. Coach Fitz, as he calls her, seeks to instil a philosophy of running which combines ‘controlled intensity’ with a curiosity about places & their histories. A country boy, he is fascinated by the landscapes of the city beaches & parks through which they travel. And he has his own obsessions—with exercise routines, ancestral legacies, outdoor gyms, horse-racing, weather conditions & inner-city eating habits. Then, suddenly, their relationship falls apart, over the issue of sex—and he becomes a coach & mentor in turn, to a young man this time, as he attempts to orchestrate an ideal expression of his emotional, athletic & intellectual urges. Coach Fitz is an exploration of the outdoor mentality that plays such a dominant role in the Australian psyche, and about the emotions and aspirations of youth, and the complications these engender.
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton ($33, PB)
Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather & a notorious crim for a babysitter. It’s not as if Eli’s life isn’t complicated enough already. He’s just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way—not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer. But Eli’s life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He’s about to fall in love. And, oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day, to save his mum. A story of brotherhood, true love & the most unlikely of friendships, this is a heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novel. ‘Enthralling—a moving account of sibling solidarity and the dogged pursuit of love.’—Geoffrey Robertson QC
Gleebooks’ special price $29.99
HIVE A. J. Betts From the award-winning, bestselling author of Zac & Mia. ‘Betts has created a unique closed world and an appealingly stubborn protagonist.’ Books+Publishing
LONELY GIRL Lynne Vincent McCarthy She knows he’s a killer. He swears he’s innocent. ‘Dark, disturbing and utterly compelling.’ Emma Viskic
THE 104-STOREY TREEHOUSE Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton From Australia’s most popular children’s storytellers, 13 new levels in the bestselling, recordbreaking Treehouse series. What are you waiting for? Come on up! Available 10 July
THE PEOPLE IN THE TREES Hanya Yanagihara An astonishing story from the international bestselling author of A Little Life. ‘An absorbing, intelligent and uncompromising novel which beguiles and unnerves.’ The Independent
When Elephants Fight by Majok Tulba ($30, PB) In the South Sudanese village of Pacong, Juba is young & old at the same time. Forced to grow up quickly in the civil war, he is nonetheless fun-loving as well as smart. But his little world cannot deflect the conflict raging around it & soon he must flee the life he loves & embark on an arduous & fraught trek to a refugee camp—where he comes to wonder if there’s any such thing as safe haven in his country. Yet life in the camp is not all bad. There can be intense joy amid the deprivation, there are angels as well as demons. Poised part way between heaven & hell, Majok Tulba draws a horrifying picture of what humanity can do to itself, but Juba’s is a story of transcendence & resilience, even exultation. Majok Tulba’s debut novel, Beneath the Darkening Sky, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize—When Elephants Fight is an important testimony of the harrowing lives of refugees. We See the Stars by Kate van Hooft ($30, PB)
‘Is that the Big Dipper?’ Mum asked. Her eyes were bright from the light in them, and they shone in the darkness more than any of the stars in the sky. Simon is an 11 year-old boy who lives in a world of silence, lists & numbers. He hasn’t spoken for years & he doesn’t know why. Everyone at school thinks he’s weird & his only friends in the world are his brother Davey & Superman—who’s always there when he needs him. One day Simon shares his VitaWeats with Cassie, the scary girl from his class, and a friendship starts to form. The new teacher Ms Hilcombe takes an interest in him, and suddenly he has another friend as well. When Ms Hilcombe goes missing, only Simon knows where she is. But he has made a promise to never tell, and promises can never be broken. So now Simon is the only one who can save her. A haunting novel in the tradition of The Eye of the Sheep and Jasper Jones.
l l i H ’ D n O
Over the previous two months I’ve got you up to speed on what is forthcoming over the next few months. Now I can report on books I’ve actually read. I mentioned the crime novel Scrublands by journo Chris Hammer last month, and recently spent an entire day on the couch engrossed in this small-town crime story. (I know, after The Dry they’re all the rage). I really liked Hammer’s journalist character Martin who is suffering PTSD after having spent a harrowing time in the Gaza strip a year before. A labyrinthine plot involves Martin arriving in a town on the Murray River to cover the aftermath of a mass shooting by a priest the year before. Throw in discovery of two murdered backpackers, a fire, a bikie gang, a drug ring, false identities and, of course, a beautiful young woman—and you’ve got a complicated situation which twists and turns right to the end. Most satisfying and really well-written. My favourite book of the year so far is White Houses by the incomparable Amy Bloom. Bloom was to come out for the Sydney Writers’ Festival but cancelled—which is sad because many more readers would have discovered her wonderful writing. White Houses tells the now reasonably wellknown story of Eleanor Roosevelt’s long love affair with the writer and journalist Lorena Hickock (Hick), who for some time actually lived in the White House with Eleanor and President Franklin DR—who, by all accounts, was having affairs of his own. Bloom writes the book in the voice of Hick—intelligent, funny, loving, eccentric. Although it’s always been thus, it seems that in this post samesex marriage world, more than ever it matters not what sexual preference the characters in books and films have. All we care about is a good story told well. (Witness the success of Call Me By Your Name which also sold well as a film Tie-in.) Hallelujah! A novel I read some months ago now, and which I’ve recommended to many, is a debut by the American Lisa Halliday called Asymmetry. In seemingly disconnected sections, Halliday riffs on writing, identity, fame and power. In the first section a young would-be writer has an affair with a very famous older writer—Phillip Roth proudly claimed to be the writer Halliday based her character on. This first section is really very funny New York style humour. When the young woman first sees the heart operation scar on the older man she asks ‘who did that to you?’ he replies smartly ‘Norman Mailer’! I laughed like a drain. The next section then seems completely unrelated until you read the third section and it all falls into place. Marvellous. Lastly as it’s finally winter I must recommend a new cookbook, imaginatively titled Winter by Louise Franc. Still, the title says it all and it’s stacked full of delicious wintery recipes that don’t have too many ingredients and don’t look too hard. How about spicy roasted chicken with blue cheese sauce, whole stuffed pumpkin or coconut fish curry followed by slow baked quinces. Yum! See you on D’Hill, Morgan Now in B Format First Person by Richard Flanagan, $23 New Text Classic Honour & Other People’s Children by Helen Garner intr. by Michael Sala, $12.95
Crudo: Love in the Apocalypse by Olivia Laing
Kathy is a writer. Kathy is getting married. It’s the summer of 2017 & the whole world is falling apart. From a Tuscan hotel for the super-rich to a Brexit-paralysed UK, Kathy spends the first summer of her 40s trying to adjust to making a lifelong commitment just as Trump is tweeting the world into nuclear war. But it’s not only Kathy who’s changing. Political, social & natural landscapes are all in peril. Fascism is on the rise, truth is dead, the planet is hotting up. Is it really worth learning to love when the end of the world is nigh? And how do you make art, let alone a life, when one rogue tweet could end it all. Olivia Laing radically rewires the novel—A Goodbye to Berlin for the 21st century, Crudo charts in real time what it was like to live & love in the horrifying summer of 2017, from the perspective of a commitment-phobic peripatetic artist who may or may not be Kathy Acker. ($30, HB)
In The Distance by Hernan Diaz ($20, PB)
A young Swedish immigrant finds himself penniless and alone in California. The boy travels east in search of his brother, moving on foot against the great current of emigrants pushing west. Driven back again and again, he meets naturalists, criminals, religious fanatics, swindlers, Indians, and lawmen, and his exploits turn him into a legend. Hernan Diaz defies the conventions of historical fiction & genre, offering a probing look at the stereotypes that populate America’s past & a portrait of radical foreignness.
The One-Eyed Man by Ron Currie ($30, PB)
Like Jack Gladney from White Noise, Ron Currie’s character K. is possessed of a hyper-articulate exasperation with the world, and like Ignatius J. Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces, he is a doomed truth teller whom everyone misunderstands. After his wife Sarah dies, K. becomes so wedded to the notion of clarity that he infuriates friends & strangers alike. When he intervenes in an armed robbery, K. finds himself both an inadvertent hero & the star of a new reality television program. Together with Claire, a grocery store clerk with a sharp tongue & a yen for celebrity, he travels the country, ruffling feathers & gaining fame at the intersection of American politics & entertainment. But soon he discovers that the world will fight viciously to preserve its delusions about itself.
I Always Find You by John Ajvide Lindqvist ($33, PB)
In September 1985, 19 year-old John Lindqvist moved into a dilapidated old building in Stockholm, planning to make his living as a magician. Something strange was going on in the locked shower room in the building’s basement—and the price of entry was just a little blood. I Always Find You is a horror story—as bizarre & macabre as any of Lindqvist’s earlier novels—but it’s also a melancholy meditation on being young & lonely, on making friends & growing up. It’s about magic, & the intensity of human connection—and the evil we carry inside.
The Occasional Virgin by Hanan al-Shaykh ($30, PB)
Huda & Yvonne are on holiday in the Italian Riviera, enjoying the sun & the sparkling Mediterranean which feel like forbidden fruit, denied during their conservative childhoods in Lebanon. Even now in their 30s, with Huda a successful producer & Yvonne running her own advertising agency, the remembered injustices of adolescence—an innocent game harshly punished, a mother’s relentless criticism still sting. But a chance encounter with a handsome young man in London brings an unexpected opportunity for them to exorcise the past, with entirely surprising results.
Graffiti Palace by A. G. Lombardo ($30, HB)
August 1965 LA is scorching—and when white police officers arrest an ordinary black Angeleno named Marquette Frye, they light the touchpaper on 6 days of rioting. Graffiti Palace follows young graffiti expert Americo Monk as he tries to get home through the chaos, telling the secret history of the riots—and the unfolding story of LA & black America—along the way. As Monk travels through the streets of South Central LA, he orients himself by gang tags & more intricate & mysterious graffiti symbols towards home. But the cops & the gangs are after the notebook where Monk records the city’s graffiti, and which might just be the key to the secret tides of power ebbing below the surface of the city.
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Keiko has never really fitted in. At school & university people find her odd & her family worries she’ll never be normal. To appease them, Keiko takes a job at a newly opened convenience store. Here, she finds peace & purpose in the simple, daily tasks & routine interactions. She is, she comes to understand, happiest as a convenience store worker. But in Keiko’s social circle it just won’t do for an unmarried woman to spend all her time stacking shelves & re-ordering green tea. As pressure mounts on Keiko to find either a new job, or worse, a husband, she is forced to take desperate action. best-seller in Japan, and the winner of the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, Convenience Store Woman marks the English-language debut of a writer who has been hailed as the most exciting voice of her generation. ($25, PB)
The Pisces by Melissa Broder ($30, PB)
Lucy, staying in a beautiful home overlooking Venice Beach, can find no peace from her misery—not in therapy, not in Tinder hook-ups, not in her sister’s dog’s unquestioning devotion, not in ruminating on the ancient Greeks. Yet everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer one night while sitting alone on the beach rocks. Pairing neurotic hilarity with pulse-racing carnality and fierce feminism, The Pisces is hot, bothered & unforgettable. Traversing the lines between fantasy & reality, it explores the questions of how & why we stay alive. This fairy-tale romance with a merman could just be the sanest & most human novel you read all year.
The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen ($33, PB)
Inside the Dead Letters Depot in East London, William Woolf is one of 30 letter detectives who spend their days solving mysteries—missing zip codes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names—they are all the culprits of missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard confessions, pointless accusations, unpaid bills & unanswered prayers. For 11 years, William has worked diligently at the depot, neglecting his dream of becoming a writer, while his wife Claire has poured all her energies burgeoning career as a barrister. Both realise that their marriage is in a perilous state, but neither are ready to confront this reality. When William starts to find letters written by a woman named Winter to her great love—whom she has never met—he becomes convinced that she is writing to him. From the clues interspersed throughout her letters, William commits to solving what could be the most important mystery ever to come his way.
The Night Ocean by Paul La Farge ($30, PB)
Charlie Willett, has become obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft, in particular with one episode in the legendary horror writer’s life—in the summer of 1934, the ‘old gent’ lived for 2 months with a gay teenage fan named Robert Barlow, at Barlow’s family home in central Florida. What were the two of them up to? Just when Charlie thinks he’s solved the puzzle, a new scandal erupts, and he disappears. The police say it’s suicide, but his psychiatrist wife, Marina, doesn’t believe them. The Night Ocean follows the lives of Lovecraft & Barlow—a seminal scholar of Mexican culture who killed himself after being blackmailed for his homosexuality, along with Barlow’s student, future Beat writer William S. Burroughs & L.C. Spinks—a kindly Canadian appliance salesman & science-fiction fan. As a heartbroken Marina follows her missing husband’s trail this novel, about the way that stories earn our trust, and betray it, moves across the decades & along the length of the continent, from a remote Ontario town, through NY & Florida to Mexico City.
Now in B Format & paperback Mrs Osmond by John Banville, $23 The Red-Haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk, $20 Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang, $20 He is Mine and I Have No Other by Rebecca O’Connor ($30, PB)
In 1990s small-town Ireland, amid the sweaty school discos & first fumblings of adolescence, 15 year-old Lani Devine falls in love with Leon Brady, whose mother is buried in the cemetery next to Lani’s house. Lani is haunted by the stories of 35 orphaned girls, buried in an unmarked grave near Leon’s mother. As the love story unfolds, and then unravels, it becomes clear that Leon too is haunted—by a brutal family tragedy that has left scars much more than skin-deep.
Days of Awe by A.M. Homes ($28, PB)
A.M Homes returns with 13 stories exposing the heart of an uneasy 21st century America. In tales of a family obsessed with the surfaces of their lives, or the story of a shopper who suddenly finds himself nominated to run for President, she explores our attachments to each other through characters who aren’t quite who they hoped to become, though there is no one else they can be. Her first book since the Women’s Prize-winning May We Be Forgiven, this is another visionary & outrageously funny work from a master storyteller.
Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk ($33, PB)
People pass the word only to those they trust most—Adjustment Day is coming. They’ve been reading a mysterious blue-black book and memorising its directives. They are ready for the reckoning. Chuck Palahniuk’s first novel in four years skewers the absurdities in our society. Smug, geriatric politicians hatch a nasty fate for the burgeoning population of young males; working-class men dream of burying the elites; and professors propound theories that offer students only the bleakest future. When it arrives, Adjustment Day inaugurates a new, disunited states.
Small Beauty by jiaqing wilson-yang ($28, PB)
So Much Life Left Over by Louis de Bernières
Young Henry Phipps is on a quest to realize his dying mother’s last wish: to be buried at sea, surrounded by her family. Not an easy task considering Henry’s ne’er-do-well father is in debtor’s prison & his comically earnest older brother is busy fighting the red coats on the battlefields of Maryland. But Henry’s stubborn determination knows no bounds. As he dodges the cannon fire of clashing armies & picks among the ruins of a burning capital he meets looters, British defectors, renegade slaves, a pregnant maiden in distress & scoundrels of all types. Mad Boy is at once an antic adventure & a thoroughly convincing work of historical fiction that recreates a young nation’s first truly international conflict & a key moment in the history of the emancipation of African-American slaves.
In B Format In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende, $33 How to Stop Time by Matt Haig, $20 Dunbar by Edward St Aubyn, $20 Eureka by Anthony Quinn, $20 BOOK EVENTS AT
towards a more compassionate, less anxious society.
The Last Watchman Of Old Cairo: A Novel by Michael David Lukas ($30, PB)
Australia’s most respected and experienced social researcher, HUGH MACKAY will be in the Blue Mountains to talk about his new book which examines how an unprecedented run of economic growth has failed to deliver a more stable or harmonious society. We are more socially fragmented, more anxious, more depressed and deeper in debt. So how do we find a meaningful existence within all this?
Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother & a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into an adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as watchmen of the storied Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, built at the site where the infant Moses was taken from the Nile. Joseph learns of his ancestor Ali, a Muslim orphan who nearly a thousand years earlier was entrusted as the first watchman of the synagogue & became enchanted by its legendary—perhaps magical—Ezra Scroll. This story of Joseph’s family is entwined with that of the British twin sisters Agnes & Margaret, who in 1897 depart their hallowed Cambridge halls on a mission to rescue sacred texts that have begun to disappear from the synagogue. This tightly woven tale illuminates the tensions that have torn communities apart & the unlikely forces—potent magic, forbidden love—that boldly attempt to bridge that divide.
History of Violence by Edouard Louis ($33, PB)
I met Reda on Christmas Eve 2012. I was going home after a meal with friends, at around four in the morning. He approached me in the street, and finally I invited him up to my apartment. He told me the story of his childhood and how his father had come to France, having fled Algeria. We spent the rest of the night together, talking, laughing. At around 6 o’clock, he pulled out a gun & said he was going to kill me. He insulted me, strangled & raped me. The next day, the medical & legal proceedings began. History of Violence retraces the story of that night, and looks at immigration, dispossession, racism, misery, desire & the effects of trauma in an attempt to understand, and to outline a history of violence, its origins, its reasons & its causes.
The Last Weynfeldt by Martin Suter ($18, PB)
A well-to-do bachelor, who sees no more promise in love. A beautiful young woman with a mysterious past. A picture and its price. An auction, which causes an uproar in the art community—and a few who come up short in their desire for the big money. Adrian Weynfeldt, midfifties, bachelor, upper middle class, art expert at an international auction house, lives in an expansive apartment in the city centre. He is done with love. Until one day a younger woman persuades him – against his customary practice – to take her home with him. The next morning, she is holding on to the balcony… and threatening to jump. Adrian is able to dissuade her, but from now on she makes him responsible for her life. Weynfeldt’s settled life becomes untracked – until he finally realizes that nothing is the way it appears..
In B Format The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory, $20
I’m Johanna Morrigan, and I live in London in 1995, at the epicentre of Britpop. I might only be 19, but I’m wise enough to know that everyone around me is handling fame very, very badly. My unrequited love, John Kite, has scored an unexpected Number One album, then exploded into a Booze And Drugs HellTM—as rockstars do. And my new best friend—the maverick feminist Suzanne Banks, of The Branks—has amazing hair, but writer’s block & a rampant pill problem. So I’ve decided I should become a Fame Doctor. I’m going to use my new monthly column for The Face to write about every ridiculous, surreal, amazing aspect of a million people knowing your name. But when my two-nightstand with edgy comedian Jerry Sharp goes wrong, people start to know my name for all the wrong reasons. ‘He’s a vampire. He destroys bright young girls. Also, he’s a total dick’ Suzanne warned me. But by that point, I’d already had sex with him. Bad sex. Now I’m one of the girls he’s trying to destroy. He needs to be stopped.
Mad Boy by Nick Arvin ($25, PB)
How to be Famous by Caitlin Moran ($33, PB)
In coping with the sudden death of her cousin, Mei abandons her life in the city to live in his empty house in the small Canadian town of Herbertsville. There she connects with his history as well as her own, discovers her aunt’s secret love, and reflects on the trans women she left behind. While navigating her selfimposed isolation, Mei brushes up against local mysteries & receives advice from departed loved ones. A complex tapestry of memory & revelation, Small Beauty explores grief, family & community in a stirring story that quietly roars.
By turns humorous & tragic, Louis de Bernière’s new novel follows a cast of characters as they navigate the extraordinary interwar years both in England & abroad. Rosie & Daniel have moved to Ceylon with their little daughter to start a new life at the dawn of the 1920s, attempting to put the trauma of WWI behind them, and to rekindle a marriage that gets colder every day. However, even in the lush plantation hills it is hard for them to escape the ties of home & the yearning for fulfilment that threatens their marriage. Back in England, Rosie’s 3 sisters are dealing with different challenges in their searches for family, purpose & happiness. These are precarious times, and they find themselves using unconventional means to achieve their desires. Around them the world is changing, and when Daniel finds himself in Germany he witnesses events taking a dark & forbidding turn. ($33, PB) There There by Tommy Orange ($33, PB) Described as the moral heir to George Saunders, Tommy Orange writes from the urban Native American community in Oakland, California. There There takes us into this community as its characters prepare a celebration of their culture in the face of poverty, violence, addiction & lack of representation. The story is told from the points of view of a dozen different characters involved in putting together a powwow in the city stadium. Early on there’s a sense that something terrible will happen there, and much of the novel’s emotional power comes from reading against this intuition, and connecting with the unique voices—male & female, old & young—from around the community as the clock ticks down.
HUGH MACKAY offers soMe CoMpellinG proposAls for A More CoMpAssionAte soCietY And A CAll to ACtion.
When: Where: Cost:
SATURDAY 14Th jUlY 2018 Conversation will start at 3.00pm
The CARRingTon hoTel bAllRoom KAToombA ST, KAToombA $20 ($17 concession) includes afternoon tea
Bookings essential. Tickets available at Gleebooks Blackheath or phone Gleebooks on 4787 6340 or email email@example.com
Going For a Beer: Selected Short Fictions Robert Coover ($49, HB)
Robert Coover has been playing by his own rules for more than half a century, earning the 1987 Rea Award for the Short Story as ‘a writer who has managed, wilfully and even perversely, to remain his own man while offering his generous vision and versions of America’. Coover finds inspiration in everything from painting, cinema, theatre & dance to slapstick, magic acts, puzzles & riddles. His 1969 story The Babysitter has alone inspired generations of innovative young writers. In this selection of his best stories, spanning more than half a century, there’s an invisible man tragically obsessed by an invisible woman; a cartoon man in a cartoon car who runs over a real man; a stick man who reinvents the universe. While invading the dreams & nightmares of others Coover cuts to the core of how realism works. He uses metafiction as a means of ‘interrogating the fiction making process’, at least insofar as that process, when unexamined, has a way of entrapping us in false 5 and destructive stories, myths, and belief systems.
Retribution by Richard Anderson ($33, PB) ‘SURPRISING AND ADDICTIVE’ DAV I D W E N H A M
‘J U ST S U P E R B ’ ANNABEL CRABB
‘A N AU ST R A L I A N C L A S S I C ’ B E N JA M I N L AW
Hunter. Worker. Legend. The untold story of the dog's role in building our nation.
A fiercely inspiring memoir from the founder and CEO of Australia’s Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
The Nowhere Child by Christian White
On a break between teaching photography classes in Melbourne, Kim Leamy is approached by a stranger investigating the disappearance of a little girl from her Kentucky home 28 years earlier. He believes Kim is that girl. At first she brushes it off, but when Kim scratches the surface of her family history in Australia, questions arise that aren’t easily answered. To find the truth, she must travel to Sammy’s home of Manson, Kentucky, and into a dark past. ($33, PB)
The Other Wife by Michael Robotham
William & Mary have been married 60 years. William is a celebrated surgeon, Mary a devoted wife. Both are strong believers in right & wrong. William & Olivia have been together 20 years. Olivia was once a tennis star, but her career has long since faded. When clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin is called to his father’s hospital bed after a brutal attack, everything he once knew is turned upside down. Is it possible his father, the upstanding citizen, was leading a double life? And who is the strange woman crying at William’s bedside, covered in his blood—a friend, a mistress, a fantasist or a killer? ($33, PB)
Incorruptible by Barbara Nadel ($33, PB)
In the backstreets of Istanbul, a young woman’s body is found in a dustbin covered in cut flowers Inspector Ikmen discovers newspapers had been calling her the blessed woman—cured of cancer in a Christian miracle & a proclaimed messenger of the Virgin Mary. These controversial claims had made her fierce enemies in the predominantly Islamic community & she had unwittingly stirred up divisions amongst the Christians of the city. But as Ikmen digs further into the case he uncovers powerful hatred & dark secrets lurking within her family..
A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay
MerPaul Davis forgets things. Why he walked into a room. Who he spoke to & what they said. What he promised his wife he’d do. Sometimes it’s too much, and the panic takes hold. 8 months ago, Paul was attacked—left for dead after seeing something he shouldn’t have—and has been piecing his life back together ever since. During the days, therapy helps. But at night, he hears noises that no one else can. That nobody believes. Sometimes he thinks someone is in the house. Other times, the sounds are far stranger. Either he’s losing his mind—or someone wants him to think he is. Or maybe something even darker is waiting downstairs.... ($30, PB)
Early one Christmas morning, Graeme Sweetapple, a man down on his luck, is heading home with a truck full of stolen steers when he comes across an upended ute that has hit a tree. He is about to get involved with Luke, an environmental protestor who isn’t what he seems; a washed-up local politician, Caroline Statham, who is searching for a sense of purpose, but whose businessman husband seems to be sliding into corruption; and Carson, who is wild, bound to no one, and determined to escape her circumstances. Into their midst comes Retribution, a legendary horse worth a fortune. Her disappearance triggers a cycle of violence & retaliation that threatens the whole community. Dead Heat by Peter Cotton ($33, PB) The battered body of a young Aboriginal woman washes up onto a beach at Jervis Bay. AFP Detective Darren Glass is brought in to investigate. Quickly tying the murder to the disappearance of a sailor from the nearby naval base, Glass is forced to partner up with a senior intelligence officer from the Royal Australian Navy. Together they follow the trail of evidence to the red heart of Australia, where a confrontation with outlaw bikies & Aboriginal activists proves deadly. As the body count mounts & foreign links emerge, the conspiracy at the heart of the case becomes a threat to Australia’s national security, as well as regional peace. Lonely Girl by Lynne Vincent McCarthy ($30, PB) In the shadow of a mountain in small-town Tasmania, Ana is watching the clock, marking the days until she ends her life. The strange, reclusive daughter of the local pariah, no-one will mourn her, she reasons, not really. Not even her faithful dog River. The only thing she’s waiting for is the opportunity. But then, on the very day she planned to end it all, the police find the body of local woman Rebecca Marsden. And for Ana, that changes everything. Because Ana was the last person to see Rebecca alive. Because Ana thinks she knows who killed her. And because Ana has decided to keep him for herself.
Trial On Mount Koya by Susan Spann ($28, PB)
November, 1565: Master ninja Hiro Hattori & Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo travel to a Buddhist temple at the summit of Mount Koya, carrying a secret message for an Iga spy posing as a priest on the sacred mountain. When a snowstorm strikes the peak, a killer begins murdering the temple’s priests and posing them as Buddhist judges of the afterlife—the Kings of Hell. Hiro & Father Mateo must unravel the mystery before the remaining priests—including Father Mateo—become unwilling members of the killer’s grisly council of the dead. A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard ($19, PB) 16 years ago, Kate Wolfe’s young sister Savannah was brutally murdered. Forced to live with the guilt of how her own selfishness put Savannah in harm’s way, Kate was at least comforted by the knowledge that the man responsible was on death row. But when she meets a retired detective who is certain that Kate’s sister was only one of many victims of a serial killer, Kate must face the possibility that Savannah’s murderer walks free. Unearthing disturbing family secrets in her search for the truth, Kate becomes sure that she has discovered the depraved mind responsible for so much death—a killer who is now hunting her.
Ten Year Stretch: Celebrating a Decade of Crime Fiction at CrimeFest ($20, PB)
20 new crime stories commissioned specially to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Crimefest. A star-studded international group of authors provide a killer cocktail for noir fans; salutary tales of gangster etiquette & pitfalls, clever takes on the locked room genre, chilling wrong-footers from the deceptively peaceful suburbs, intriguing accounts of tables being turned on hapless private eyes, delicious slices of jet black nordic noir, culminating in a stunning example of bleak amorality from crime writing doyenne Maj Sjöwall.
Our Friends in Berlin by Anthony Quinn ($33, PB)
London, 1941. The Blitz has united the nation, but a group of British citizens is gathering secret information to aid Hitler’s war machine. Jack Hoste, trying to locate the most dangerous Nazi agent in the country, follows a promising lead to Amy Strallen, who works in a Mayfair marriage bureau, and was once close to this elusive figure. Her life is a world away from the machinations of Nazi sympathisers, yet when Hoste pays a visit to Amy’s office, everything changes in a heartbeat.
Death On Delos by Gary Corby ($30, PB)
Greece, 454 BC. The sacred isle of Delos, the birthplace of the divine twins Apollo & Artemis, is a holy pilgrimage site & also home to the military fund kept by the Delian League—the alliance of city-states that defended Greece against the Persians, and that vast treasury is protected only by the priests & priestesses of the tiny isle & a scant armed guard. Then one day the charismatic Athenian statesman Pericles arrives at the head of a small army to forcibly take the treasury back to the safety of Athens. With him are Nico, the only private agent in ancient Athens, and his heavily pregnant wife & partner in sleuthing, the priestess Diotima. In the face of righteous resistance from the priests, Pericles assigns Nico to bribe their leader. But before he can get very far with this dubiously unholy task, Nico ends up with a murder on his hands.
The Man Between by Charles Cumming ($30, PB)
Successful novelist Kit Carradine has grown restless. So when British Intelligence invites him to enter the secret world of espionage, he willingly takes a leap into the unknown. But the glamour fades, as Carradine finds himself in Morocco on the trail of Lara Bartok— a leading figure in Resurrection, a violent revolutionary movement whose brutal attacks on prominent right-wing politicians have spread hatred & violence throughout the West. As the coils of a ruthless plot tighten around him, Carradine finds himself drawn to Lara. Caught between competing intelligence services who want her dead, he has to either abandon Lara to her fate or to risk everything trying to save her.
Second Sight by Aoife Clifford ($30, PB)
Eliza Carmody returns home to the country to work on the biggest law case of her career. The only problem is this time she’s on the ‘wrong side’—defending a large corporation against a bush fire class action by her hometown of Kinsale. On her first day back Eliza witnesses an old friend, Luke Tyrell, commit an act of lethal violence. As the police investigate that crime & hunt for Luke they uncover bones at The Castle, a historic homestead in the district. Eliza is convinced that they belong to someone from her past.
Deceit by Richard Evans ($33, PB)
Corrupt Prime Minister Andrew Gerrard has engaged in a covert agreement with the Indonesian president to begin building himself a retirement nest egg—if the Australian government agrees to fund immigration detention centres. When his plans are disrupted by a tragic plane accident that kills key members of parliament, he devises a strategy to rush the entire funding scheme through the parliament within a week. Political stalwart & soon-to-be-retired clerk of parliament, Gordon O’Brien, suspects a conspiracy to defraud the government, & reluctantly sets out to foil the prime minister’s plan with the help of young-gun investigative journalist, Anita Devlin.
You Were Made For This by Michelle Sacks ($30, PB)
Merry, Sam & Conor are the perfect family in the perfect place. Merry adores baking, gardening & caring for her infant son, while Sam pursues a new career in film—in their idyllic house in the Swedish woods, away from New York & the events that overshadowed their happiness there. Until Merry’s closest friend Frank comes to stay, and soon it’s clear that everyone inside the house has something to hide. And as the truth begins to show through the cracks, Merry, Frank & Sam are all the more desperate to keep their picture-perfect lives intact.
Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton ($30, PB) Louise is struggling to survive in NY—juggling a series of poorly paid jobs, renting a shabby flat, being cat-called by her creepy neighbour, she dreams of being a writer. And then one day she meets Lavinia. Lavinia who has everything looks, money, clothes, friends, an amazing apartment—Lavinia invites Louise into her charmed circle, takes her to the best parties, bars, the opera, shares her clothes, her coke, her Uber account. Louise knows that this can’t last for ever, but how far is she prepared to go to have this life—or rather, to have Lavinia’s life? The Waters and the Wild by DeSales Harrison
The death of Jessica Burke was easy to explain—a history of depression, a heroin habit, a girl alone in her bathtub. But when her psychoanalyst, Daniel Abend, receives a handwritten poem, he quickly realizes that this was not just an overdose. As a 2nd & 3rd missive arrive from the same mysterious source, and his daughter abruptly disappears, Daniel finds himself the subject of an elaborate & calculated torment—one that reaches back decades, crosses oceans, & begins with a chance encounter with a beguiling girl in a Paris stairwell. A brilliantly choreographed tale of desperate fathers, stolen daughters & the distance we travel for revenge & absolution. ($30, PB)
Death Notice by Zhou Haohui ($30, PB)
For nearly 2 decades, an unsolved murder case has haunted Sergeant Zheng Haoming of the Chengdu Police Department. 18 years ago, 2 victims were murdered after being served with ‘death notices’. In refined calligraphy their perceived crimes were itemised & they were sentenced to death. The date of execution was declared, as was the name of their executioner: Eumenides. Now, a user on an internet forum has asked the public to submit names for judgement—for those the law cannot touch. Those found guilty will be punished & there is only one sentence: death. The user’s handle? Eumenides. Does Zheng have a lead? Has a long-dormant serial killer resurfaced?
A Shimmer of Hummingbirds by Steve Burrows
Chief Inspector Domenic Jejeune hopes an overseas birding trip will hold some clues to solving his fugitive brother’s manslaughter case. Meanwhile, in Jejeune’s absence his long-time nemesis has been drafted in as cover to investigate an accountant’s murder. And unfortunately Marvin Laraby proves just a bit too effective in showing how an investigation should be handled. With the manslaughter case poised to claim another victim, Jejeune learns an accident back home involving his girlfriend, Lindy, is much more than it seems. Lindy is in grave danger, and Jejeune is faced with a dilemma about a secret he has discovered regarding Laraby’s case. ($20, PB)
Mind Behind the Crime ($35, PB) by Helen McGrath & Cheryl Critchley
Nurses & neighbours, partners & parents—all murderers who shocked Australia with the severity of their crimes. But what makes them tick? Society couple Michael O’Neill & Stuart Rattle had it all—their lavish country property, their interior design business—until Michael bludgeoned Stuart to death with a cooking pan. Akon Guode intentionally drove into a lake, leaving 3 of her children trapped in the car to drown. Geoff Hunt, pillar of the local community, shot dead his wife & their three children before killing himself. Using psychoanalysis & scientific methodology Dr Helen McGrath and journalist Cheryl Critchley join forces to unpack the crimes & discover the personality disorders of the perpetrators.
Hello, Shadowlands by Patrick Winn ($30, PB)
There is no better place to observe the clash between old codes & the pressures of the 21st century than on the darker parts of the map, beyond the tourist trail, where armed clans rule. Spanning Thailand’s insurgency zone to the swamplands of Vietnam, investigative journalist Patrick Winn spent 2 years travelling amongst the lives of those bound by hard truths. These are places where, in the absence of law, ordinary people must summon brilliant ingenuity to survive. The book penetrates the worlds of Islamic crust punks, dog thief syndicates, North Korean restaurateurs & others chasing fortunes in the shadows. These characters aren’t just tormented by local tyrants. Their lives are also complicated by greater forces—especially Western conglomerates or old US foreign policy misdeeds, still reverberating through the region.
Mr Ordinary Goes To Jail by Wil Patterson
Wil Patterson was your everyday working husband and father, trying to keep up with the latest car, house and toys for his family. Always one to make light of things, he nevertheless became increasingly desperate about how he was going to pay his bills. One day while at work at his insurance job, he came across a large cheque that was addressed to someone who shared his name. The temptation was too great and soon enough Wil found himself down at the bank. After swearing to himself, ‘never again’, it wasn’t too long before a similar situation arose and Wil could not resist. He was eventually caught and, to his horror, sentenced to 3 years’ prison time. This is his account of his time in a contemporary Victorian prison, the unusual characters he met, the often hilarious & terrifying situations he found himself in, and the ways in which he came to terms with his past & forged a new future. ($28, PB)
Red Card: FIFA and the Fall of the Most Powerful Men in Sports by Ken Bensinger ($33, PB)
The story of FIFA’s fall from grace has it all: power, betrayal, revenge, sports stars, hustlers, corruption, sex & phenomenal quantities of money, all set against exotic locales stretching from Caribbean beaches to the formal staterooms of the Kremlin & the sun-blasted streets of Doha, Qatar. Journalist Ken Bensinger introduces the flamboyant villains of the piece—the FIFA kingpins who flaunted their wealth in private jets & New York’s grandest skyscrapers—and the dogged team of American FBI & IRS agents, headed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who finally brought them to book. Providing fresh insights on a scandal which has gripped the world, he shows how greed & arrogance brought down the most powerful institution in sporting history.
Blood on the Page by Thomas Harding
In June 2006, police were called to number 9 Downshire Hill in Hampstead. Allan Chappelow, award-winning photographer & biographer, an expert on George Bernard Shaw & a notorious recluse had not been seen for several weeks. Inside the darkened house, officers found piles of rubbish, trees growing through the floor, and, in what was once the living room, the body of Chappelow, battered to death, partially burned & buried under 4 feet of paper. The man eventually arrested on suspicion of his murder was a Chinese dissident named Wang Yam. It is a crime that has been described in the press & by the leading detective as ‘the greatest whodunnit’ of recent years—an extraordinary tale of isolation, deception & brutal violence, stretching from the quiet streets of north London to the Palace of Westminster & beyond. ($33, PB)
Martha Needle by Brian Williams ($35, PB)
The extraordinary Martha Needle was not only the most treacherous poisoner in Australian history she clearly stands out as one of the nation’s worst murderesses of all time. In her day, Needle was as big as Ned Kelly & she even shared the same pugnacious lawyer. Throughout late 1894, her epic tale kept the Australian community transfixed & was dramatically reported around the globe as ‘the story of the century’. Luridly dubbed the ‘Black Widow’ by the world’s press, this manipulating young woman deviously used arsenic to exterminate all those around her, including her own children, who stood in the way of her personal ambitions.
First Confession: A Sort Of Memoir by Chris Patten ($23, PB)
The Pianist of Damascus by Aeham Ahmad ($35, PB)
The Bootle Boy: An Untidy Life in News by Les Hinton ($50, HB)
Her Mother’s Daughter by Nadia Wheatley ($35, PB)
Chris Patten’s career has taken him from the suburbs to the House of Commons, last Governor of Hong Kong and Chairman of the BBC. About all of these he is enlightening & entertaining. But more, Patten uses each phase of his life as a spur to reflect upon its contemporary situation—education, America, conservatism, Ireland, China, Europe and finally the question of links between violence and religion. Wise, funny and opinionated, First Confession is a different sort of memoir, a meditation on personal & political identity which, in an age of simplification, reminds us of the complexities of both.
When Les Hinton first fulfils his schoolboy dream of working on Fleet Street, it is still a place awash in warm beer, black ink, fag ash, and hot metal. Fifty-two years after being sent out to buy a sandwich for his first boss, one Rupert Murdoch, when Les finally leaves Murdoch’s employment in 2011, the business of news has been turned upside down, in a tumble of social and technological change. Born amid the rubble of the blitzed docklands of Bootle, and schooled by an itinerant Army childhood, he came to the centre from the periphery. Hinton depicts the upheavals that swept his trade with the same widescreen perspective & sharp colours he deploys to show us how politicians from Clinton to Blair, from Brown to Cameron, alternately canoodled & raged inside their arranged media marriages. See the death of Diana, the IRA bombings, the charisma of Bill Clinton, and the phone-hacking scandal from a revelatory new angle, and get the most undeluded & undiluted portrait yet of the man who is perhaps the last of the great press barons.
Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family & the Making of Modern India by Sujatha Gidla
Like one in six people in India, Sujatha Gidla was born an untouchable. While most untouchables are illiterate, her family was educated by Canadian missionaries in the 1930s, making it possible for Gidla to attend elite schools and move to America at the age of 26. It was only then that she saw how extraordinary—and yet how typical—her family history truly was. Her mother & uncles were born in the last days of British colonial rule. They grew up in a world marked by poverty & injustice, but also full of possibility. The Independence movement promised freedom. Yet for untouchables & other poor people, little changed. In rich, novelistic prose, Gidla tells her extraordinary family story detailing her uncle’s emergence as a poet & revolutionary & her mother’s struggle for emancipation through education. ‘The most striking work of nonfiction set in India since Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo.’—Economist. ($33, PB)
The Barefoot Surgeon by Ali Gripper ($33, PB)
This is the extraordinary story of Dr Sanduk Ruit who, like his mentor Fred Hollows, took on the world’s medical establishment to give the life-changing gift of sight to hundreds and thousands of the world’s poorest and most isolated people. It is the story of a boy from the lowest tiers of a rigid caste system who grew up in a tiny, remote Himalayan village with no school to become one of the most respected ophthalmologists in the world and a medical giant of Asia. ‘If I’ve done one thing in life I’m proud of, it’s launching Ruit into the world’.—Fred Hollows
Loving Words: Letters of Nettie & Vance Palmer, 1909–1914 (ed) Deborah Jordan ($39.95, PB) ‘The great originality of Deborah Jordan’s collection of Vance and Nettie Palmer’s love letters is that it shows us not just the private life—the desire, the love, the searching for self—behind the public life of two of Australia’s most significant literary figures but the private in the public life and the public in the private life, revealing how their private and public selves were intimately entangled.’ David Carter. ‘Reading these moving & tender letters is a timely reminder of the enduring nature of love, the value of partnership, and the importance of engaging with the world.’ Professor Julianne Schultz, editor of Griffith Review
Going to the Mountain by Ndaba Mandela
As a young boy, Ndaba Mandela was constantly shunted from place to place. But at 11 years old he was unexpectedly invited to live with his grandfather, Nelson Mandela, even though he had met him only once before, during a prison visit. And, slowly, they built a relationship that would affect both of them profoundly. Ndaba’s teenage years were complicated, but as he approached his 21st birthday, Mandela decided that Ndaba was finally ready to ‘go to the mountain’—a test of courage during which you become a man. At the end of this gruelling ritual journey, the elders of the Mandelas’ tribe gathered & Ndaba’s grandfather was there, as ever, to share his greatest life lessons—ad as Mandela grew older, Ndaba had the chance to repay his grandfather’s love and support by demonstrating the ways in which he’d understood all that he had taught him. ($35, PB)
One morning on the outskirts of Damascus, two starving friends are walking through their desolate city & come across a familiar street that has been turned to rubble, concrete bridges towering above them like tombs & houses turned inside out. Aeham turns to the only comfort he has left & sits at his piano to play a song of hope to his fellow Syrians. It is a song that will reach far beyond the streets of his home and carry consequences he could never have dreamed of. This tender & poetic account of Aeham’s experiences, from losing his city, friends & family to leaving his country & finding safety is a gripping portrait of a man’s search for solace & of a country that has been fiercely torn apart. “Why didn’t you and Daddy want people to give you any wedding presents?” I used to ask. But my mother could never be drawn into talking about the wedding. Later, I assumed it was because she did not wish to be reminded of the ghastly mistake she had made in marrying my father. Born in Australia in 1949, author Nadia Wheatley grew up with a sense of the mystery of her parents’ marriage. Caught in the crossfire between an independent woman & a controlling man, the child became a player in the deadly game. Was she her mother’s daughter, or her father’s creature? After her mother’s death, the 10 year-old began writing down the stories her mother had told her—of a Cinderella-like childhood, followed by an escape into a career as an army nurse in Palestine & Greece, and as an aid-worker in the refugee camps of post-war Germany. Some 50 years later, the finished memoir is not only a loving tribute but an investigation of the bewildering processes of memory itself.
Madness, Mayhem & Motherhood by Nikki McWatters ($29.95, PB)
At 26, Nikki McWatters found herself knocking on her best friend’s door with a suitcase, a jar of coins & two little boys—all she had in the world. This is her funny, sad & brutally candid account of her life through poverty, homelessness, child-rearing, friendships, lust, love & loss. Whether she was cleaning the houses of millionaires to put food on the table, falling hard for The Wiggles, drowning in cask wine, living in a tent or dealing with predatory landlords, McWatters refused to go under & tethered her survival to her love for her children, which pulled her through the darkest days.
Bruce Lee: A Life by Matthew Polly ($35, PB)
Following a decade of research that included conducting more than 100 interviews with Bruce Lee’s family, friends, business associates & even the mistress in whose bed Lee died, Polly has constructed a complex, humane portrait of the icon: his early years as a child star in Hong Kong cinema; his actor father’s struggles with opium addiction & how that turned Bruce into a troublemaking teenager who was kicked out of high school & eventually sent to America to shape up; his beginnings as a martial arts teacher, eventually becoming personal instructor to movie stars like Steve McQueen; his struggles as an AsianAmerican actor in Hollywood & frustration seeing role after role he auditioned for go to a white actors in eye makeup; his eventual triumph as a leading man; his challenges juggling a sky-rocketing career with his duties as a father & husband; and his shocking end that to this day is still shrouded in mystery.
Ten Steps to Nanette by Hannah Gadsby ($30, PB)
Hannah Gadsby is an award-winning Australian comedian who thinks quickly and moves slowly. She is sardonic, laconic and, after numerous bone-crunching accidents, bionic. Her droll delivery, delightful wordplay and heart-breakingly funny, self-deprecating observations have delighted audiences all over the world. Her most recent stand-up show, the self-described swan song Nanette, has so far seen her win Best Comedy Show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Best Comedy at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, the Barry Award for best show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival & the Helpmann Award for best comedy performance. ‘Hannah is a Promethean force, a revolutionary talent... This hilarious, touching, and sometimes tragic book is all about where her fires were lit.’ —Emma Thompson
Teacher: One woman’s struggle to keep the heart in teaching by Gabbie Stroud ($30, PB)
In 2014, Gabrielle Stroud was a very dedicated teacher with over a decade of experience. Months later, she resigned in frustration & despair when she realised that the Naplan-test education model was stopping her from doing the very thing she was best at: teaching individual children according to their needs & talents. Her groundbreaking essay Teaching Australia in the Feb 2016 Griffith Review outlined her experiences & provoked a huge response from former & current teachers around the world. That essay lifted the lid on a scandal that is yet to properly break—that our education system is unfair to our children & destroying their teachers. In a powerful memoir inspired by her original essay, Stroud tells the full story: how she came to teaching, what makes a great teacher, what our kids need from their teachers, and what it was that finally broke her. A brilliant & heart-breaking memoir that cuts to the heart of a vital matter of national importance.
Tell Me I’m Okay: A Doctor’s Story by David Bradford ($29.95, PB)
‘Throughout my years of practice, people have often asked me why I decided to specialise in sexual health. The question is not surprising given that sexual health doctors are not held in the same regard as those who work in other medical specialties ... We sexual health physicians don’t grow rich, but we have a wealth of stories—wry, funny, and sad—all illustrative of the human condition.’ In Tell Me I’m Okay doctor David Bradford relates a remarkable set of stories—about growing up as a gay child in a strongly Christian family, struggling with his sexuality, serving as an army doctor in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, working as Director of the Melbourne Communicable Diseases Centre at the time of the arrival of HIV/AIDS, and in private practice with hundreds of AIDS patients, many of whom did not survive. His is a humane, wise, thoughtful voice, always conscious of the wonderful, the absurd, the fragile nature of life.
Now in B Format & paperback The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery’s Early Life by Karin Roffman, $24 Daring to Drive by Manal Al-Sharif, $23 Working Class Man by Jimmy Barnes, $35 A Life of My Own by Claire Tomalin, $23 Priestdaddy: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood, $23 Mayhem: A Memoir by Sigrid Rausing, $23 Between Them by Richard Ford, $17 The Good Bohemian: The Letters of Ida John, $20 Logical Family: A Memoir by Armistead Maupin, $25
What You Did Not Tell: A Russian Past & the Journey Home by Mark Mazower ($23, PB)
Mark Mazower recounts the sacrifices & silences that marked a generation & their descendants. It was a family that fate drove into the siege of Stalingrad, the Vilna ghetto, occupied Paris, & even into the ranks of the Wehrmacht. His British father was the lucky one, the son of Russian Jewish emigrants who settled in London after escaping the civil war & revolution. Max, the grandfather, had started out as a socialist & manned the barricades against tsarist troops, but never spoke of it. His wife, Frouma, came from a family ravaged by the Great Terror yet somehow making their way in Soviet society. In the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Mazower recounts a brand of socialism erased from memory—humanistic, impassioned & broad-ranging in its sympathies. But it also explores the unexpected happiness that may await history’s losers, the power of friendship, and the love of place that allowed Max & Frouma’s son to call England home.
Neruda: The Poet’s Calling by Mark Eisner
The product of 15 years of research by Mark Eisner, writer, translator & documentary filmmaker, this book vividly depicts Pablo Neruda’s monumental life, potent verse, and ardent belief in the ‘poet’s obligation’ to use poetry for social good. It braids together 3 major strands of Neruda’s life—his worldrevered poetry; his political engagement; and his tumultuous, even controversial, personal life—forming a single cohesive narrative of intimacy & breadth. The fascinating events of Neruda’s life are interspersed with Eisner’s thoughtful examinations of the poems, both as works of art in their own right & as mirrors of Neruda’s life & times. ($53, HB)
Hell and High Water by Rochelle Nicholls
The golden boy of Australian swimming & captain of the lifeguards on Manly Beach, Cecil Healy’s fearlessness made him a leader in the embryonic surf-lifesaving movement, and his unique crawl stroke captured swimming records across the globe. He became the darling of the Olympic movement in 1912 when he allowed a disqualified rival to swim & take the 100 metres freestyle title, sacrificing almost certain victory for fair play & honour. But Cecil Healy’s seemingly perfect life was beset by darkness and secrets. His repressed sexuality & inner demons drove him to acts of recklessness which would culminate in his supreme sacrifice on the battlefields of France. As WWI raged, the Olympic champion refused to remain protected behind the lines. His death on the Somme in 1918, charging a German machine-gun post, embodies the tortured self-destructiveness which still drives many male sportsmen to both glory & disaster. Rochell Nicholls chronicles both Healy’s glittering sports performances & the torment behind this great, lost Olympian. ($53, HB)
Another Kyoto by Alex Kerr & Kathy Arlyn Sokol
This book is the fruit of Alex Kerr’s half-century of living in Japan and of lore gleaned from people he’s met along the way: artists, Zen monks and Shinto priests, Japanese literati, and expat personalities from days past, such as legendary art dealer David Kidd. Kerr turns what we thought we knew about Kyoto inside-out, revealing the inner ideas behind simple things like walls, floors, and sliding doors. ‘Kerr and Sokol have performed a minor miracle by presenting that which is present in Kyoto as that which we have yet to see. I know that I will never pass a wall, or tread a floor, or sit on tatami the same way again’ Kyoto Journal ($23, PB)
The Best American Travel Writing 2017 (eds) Jason Wilson & Lauren Collins ($29, PB)
Travel writing has changed. As the world becomes more accessible & interconnected, clearly defined cultures become less distinct. Take, for example the Alaskan villagers in Saki Knafo’s Waiting on a Whale at the End of the World, who attempt to continue their tradition of whaling, while returning home to their smart phones & reality TV. Then there is the effort to maintain one’s culture while trying to avoid ‘chiefing’, or selling it as a commercial commodity, as Stephanie Elizondo Griest explores in Chiefing in Cherokee. From quirky subcultures to the overarching Syrian refugee crisis to the sameness & differences within cultures, religions & politics, these essays reshape the notion of travel writing. Even Wells Tower’s hilarious sarcastic essay of a trip gone awry addresses the issue of changes in travel & the overcrowding in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Mirage Factory: Illusion, Imagination & the Invention of Los Angeles by Gary Krist ($49, HB)
Little more than a century ago, the southern coast of California— bone-dry, harbour-less, isolated by deserts & mountain ranges— seemed destined to remain scrappy farmland. Then, as if overnight, one of the world’s iconic cities emerged. At the heart of Los Angeles’ meteoric rise were 3 flawed visionaries: William Mulholland, the immigrant ditch-digger turned self-taught engineer who designed the massive aqueduct that would make urban life here possible. D.W. Griffith, who transformed the motion picture from a vaudeville-house novelty into a cornerstone of American culture, giving LA its signature industry. And Aimee Semple McPherson, a charismatic evangelist who founded a religion, cementing the city’s identity as a centre for spiritual exploration.’ The images they conjured up—of a blossoming city in the desert, of a factory of celluloid dreamworks, of a community of seekers finding personal salvation under the California sun—were like mirages liable to evaporate on closer inspection. All three would pay a steep price to realize these dreams, in a crescendo of hubris, scandal & catastrophic failure of design that threatened to topple each of their personal empires. Yet when the dust settled, the mirage that was LA remained. Borges in Sicily by Alejandro Luque ($45, HB) When Alejandro Luque receives a book of photographs of the Argentinian writer, essayist & poet, Luis Borges, in Sicily he decides to trace the writer’s journey, setting off with a group of friends on his own Sicilian odyssey. Meticulously identifying the location of each photograph, Luque uses the pictures of Borges to imagine how the elderly writer felt when faced with the same view, the same stresses or delights. These reveries form a pause for thought where the words come to illustrate the images. As his hunt for the locations of the original photographs continues, he begins to fall in love both with the island & his friend, Ro. The literati of the past and present, both indigenous & foreign, are placed alongside Luque’s own comments and observations in a narrative rich in historical detail.
Palermo by Roberto Alajmo ($38, PB)
Palermo has been at history’s crossroads since recorded time began; an archive of hidden cultural, architectural & culinary jewels. Its people, their politics & their secrets, are subtly revealed, as is the ineffable presence of the mafia in the cycles of daily life. Woven layer upon layer, each one revealing a stratum of the city’s character, Robert Alajmo lays out a compelling series of reflections on the Palermo’s apparently endless facets. Disguised as a tourist’s handbook but written from the view of a lifelong resident—with all the experience, affection, inside knowledge & frustrations that entails—Alajmo offers more than the ordinary recommendations for travellers—ultimately he describes the essence of the city & its beauty.
Paths to the Past: Encounters with England’s Hidden Landscapes by Francis Pryor ($35, HB)
Landscapes reflect and shape our behaviour. They make us who we are and bear witness to the shifting patterns of human life over the generations. Bringing to bear a lifetime’s digging, Francis Pryor delves into England’s hidden urban and rural landscapes, from Whitby Abbey to the navvy camp at Risehill in Cumbria, from Tintagel to Tottenham’s Broadwater Farm. Scattered through fields, woods, moors, roads, tracks and towns, he reveals the stories of our physical surroundings and what they meant to the people who formed them, used them and lived in them. These landscapes, he stresses, are our common physical inheritance. If we can understand how to make them yield up their secrets, it will help us, their guardians, to maintain and shape them for future generations.
books for kids to young adults
compiled by children’s correspondent, Lynndy Bennett
Big Dog, Little Dog: Lift-the-Flap Opposites by Elodie Jarret ($17, BD)
What could be nicer than a little book full of dogs? Long dogs, spotty dogs, bendy dogs, fat ones and thin ones—all of them very appealing. This is a flap book with a very immediate application—lift the flap and find the opposite underneath. Brightly coloured with lots of textures, and interestingly shaped flaps, this is a perfect book for babies to 3 year olds. Louise
Big and Small, Room for All by Jo Ellen Bogart (ill) Gillian Newland ($13, BD)
For slightly older children, this starts big with the sky, and ends very small with a flea, and even smaller, plus everything in between. Enchanting, realistic watercolour illustrations draw the reader in, creating a world majestic and huge, and taking us down to the familiar and tiny. This book withstands many readings, with lots to discover on every page. Excellent for 2–5 year olds. Louise
I Thought I Saw a Lion! & I Thought I Saw a Dinosaur! by Lydia Nichols ($13, BD)
Bold coloured illustrations and sliding tabs invite the reader to search for the relevant animal: find the dinosaur disguised behind a shower curtain and other places in the home; or the lion lurking in a beauty salon, a restaurant and assorted neighbourhood locations. Sturdy books that are heavy on interactive fun. Lynndy
“You’re Called WHAT?!” by Kes Gray (ill) Nikki Dyson ($15, PB)
If it’s a week with no David Attenborough programmes on TV, break out this picture book and be prepared to laugh, and marvel, at the actual creatures in this hilarious picture book, each of whom is applying to the Ministry of Silly Animal Names for a name change. After all, would you want to be a Monkeyface Prickleback, or an Ice Cream Cone Worm? Gray’s lively humour—beloved in his Oi Frog! Oi Dog! And Oi Cat! sequence—plus unusual animal facts make this a picture book for curious young readers, and we love it too. Lynndy
How the Borks Became by Jonathan Emmett (ill) Elys Dolan ($25, HB)
There are a few new picture books exploring the concept of evolution; this one particularly appealed to Tania and me as it is a very gentle introduction to the topic. The Borks, Seussian life forms, are shown adapting and developing throughout eons, making the theory of natural selection accessible to young children of 5 and upwards. Teamed with Emmett’s rhyming text are the benignly fanciful illustrations of award winning picture book creator Dolan. Lynndy (If you aren’t familiar with Dolan’s work, also check out her acclaimed debut Weasels.)
A to Z of Art for Kids by Collective ($30, PB)
Filled with highly informative facts, written concisely and illustrated clearly, this delightful book is a pleasure to read. Covering a very broad spectrum of art history and theory, the authors have managed to create a book that is very accessible, without speaking down to the audience. From Abstraction to Op Art, Colour and Museums, it’s an extensive and relevant list. Great for people starting to learn about Art, but there’s plenty there for the well informed. I’m buying a copy for myself as well as for a grandchild studying art in junior high school, and it would be a good gift for a family. Louise
Hive by A J Betts ($17, PB)
In her small community everyone obeys the Elders’ rulings, although Hayley occasionally sneaks away into her private tunnel refuge to conceal her headaches and avoid drastic treatment as a flawed citizen. On one visit to this tunnel the sight of water dripping from the ceiling shocks her—it should be impossible this far underground, and her curiosity is further ignited when she discovers the son of the community leader knows of it too, yet there is no official remedial action. Their confusing relationship develops into a friendship through which community secrets are revealed, and Hayley starts to question the very nature of their utopian life. Likened to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, West Australian Betts’ latest novel is an intriguing depiction of an ‘ideal’ society, and control of information, with elements that resonate in today’s society. Highly recommended. Lynndy
Art Making with MoMA: 20 Activities for Kids Inspired by Artists by Cari Frisch & Elizabeth Margulies ($35, HB)
Drawing on their extensive research and multi-sensory family workshops, two educators at the Museum of Modern Art New York present 20 interactive activities that encourage kids (and adults) to discover how modern and contemporary artists experiment with materials and techniques. This activity book provides opportunities for creative exploration and art making at home, in a group or alone, while providing real examples of the tools, and ideas used by artists whose works are in MoMA’s collection. Each project is inspired by a particular artist, movement, or design concept, and features full-colour reproductions of artwork from the likes of Diego Rivera, Vassily Kandinsky, Berenice Abbott, and Charles and Ray Eames. Step-by-step instructions, handy tips and open-ended questions encourage kids to think like artists and develop their own techniques and ideas for art making. Another grand family acquisition. Lynndy
Stinkiest! 20 Smelly Animals by Steve Jenkins ($10, PB, $20, HB)
Following other books in his Extreme Animals series: Deadliest!, Trickiest! and Speediest! is Caldecott-winner Jenkins’ showcase of the world’s smelliest creatures. A bird that vomits putrid matter when attacked and a sea slug that releases foul toxic purple ink are just two of the animals in this book exploring chemical defences and adaptation for survival. Steve Jenkins’ many books about the natural world are distinguished by his vibrantly coloured, textured paper collages; scale related to humans; lesser-known facts, and pertinent habitats. This is yet another that is bound to have readers intrigued, and grossing each other out with ‘Ew!! Did you know…?’ Lynndy
. our guest picks . .
Zoe (age 7 ½) enjoyed reading these books completely on her own: The Billie B Brown series ($8–$25, PB) by Sally Rippin and the Ella and Olivia books ($8–$25, PB)—about the eponymous sisters and their exploits—by Yvette Poshoglian with illustrations by Danielle McDonald. Floored by various authors ($17, PB)
I’m looking forward to reading this collaborative novel by seven well-known authors of teen and YA fiction. One morning seven strangers with individual preoccupations and very different lives step into an elevator; by the time they exit many hours later they have a connection that will bring them together on the same day every year. ‘There’s Sasha, who is at the UK’s biggest TV centre desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s by far the richest—and best-looking—guy in the lift; Velvet, who regrets wearing the world’s least comfortable shoes to work experience; Dawson, who isn’t the good-looking teen star he was and desperate not to be recognized; Kaitlyn, who’s slowly losing her sight but won’t admit it, and Joe, who shouldn’t be there at all, but who wants to be there the most. And one more person…’ Lynndy
Food, Health & Garden
4 Ingredients: More Gluten Free Lactose Free by Kim McCosker ($30, PB)
Featuring 80 recipes that are both gluten & lactose free, each contains just four ingredients or less with mains, snacks, vegetarian and chocolate among the recipe compilation, this cookbook has been developed to satisfy those with specific food intolerances of gluten and lactose. Enjoy meals & treats like ChimmiChurri Fish, Spring Salad, Thai Chickpea Patties, Zucchini Quiches, Prawn Basil Pesto Risotto, Sticky Mango Rice, Walnut Lemon Cake & simple options like Jam Drops & Chocolate Brownies.
#Bake for Syria ($54.95, HB)
#Bake for Syria brings together some of the top chefs in the world to create Syrian inspired pastries & baked goods in order to raise money & awareness for UNICEF’s Syria Relief Fund. Curated by Lily Vanilli in collaboration with Serena Guen, Clerkenwell Boy & Unicef’s NEXTGen London, the book is an amalgamation of stories and traditions around Syrian food from Syrian nationals and recipes from the restaurants, contributors and chefs headlining the #BakeForSyria campaign.
Waste Not: Make a Big Difference by Throwing Away Less by Erin Rhoads ($30, PB)
Each year Australian households produce enough rubbish to fill a three-bedroom home, including thousands of dollars worth of food and an ever-increasing amount of plastic, which takes hundreds of years to break down and often ends up in our oceans or our food chain. Erin Rhodes went from eating plastic-packaged takeaway while shopping online for fast fashion, to becoming one of Australia’s most popular eco-bloggers. In this book she shows how to: switch out the disposable plastics from your shopping trolley; make simple cleaning solutions free from harmful chemicals; find your favourite beauty products without all the packaging; give a baby shower present that won’t end up in the charity shop bag; plan your own zero-waste wedding and much more (less).
Cauliflower by Oz Telem ($25, HB)
From a quick 5-minute Cauliflower Tabbouleh to an elegant Linguine with Cauliflower Ragu, this book showcases over 70 recipes fit for every occasion. Highlighting the many different varieties of the brassicas family, and its history, Oz Telem also talks you through basic techniques such as cutting florets, making cauliflower ‘grains’ & even how to make a tasty stock using off-cuts from the vegetable. Featuring recipes for snacks & starters, soups, salads, Middle-Eastern inspired meals &^ comforting pastries and pies.
Blasts from the past: The Margaret Fulton Cookbook ($40, HB)
The 50th anniversary edition, recently revised and updated, this perennial farourite features much-loved classics as well as a host of contemporary recipes that will entice the next generation of cooks & readers.
The Galloping Gourmet Cookbook by Graham Kerr
With a perennial glass of wine in hand and his hallmark joyous abandon, the British-born chef Graham Kerr was a pioneer of food television with his wildly popular series The Galloping Gourmet. A bible for generations of Galloping Gourmet fans, this classic cookbook has been reissued with commentary from Kerr and a new introduction by the Lee Brothers. ($55, HB)
Low Tox Life: A handbook for a healthy you and a happy planet by Alexx Stuart ($35, PB) Ever stopped to read the list of ingredients in the products you use every day? In Low Tox Life, activist & educator Alexx Stuart gently clears a path through the maze of mass-market ingredient cocktails, focusing on 4 key areas: Body, Home, Food & Mind. Sharing the latest science & advice from experts in each area, Alexx tackles everything from endocrine-disruptors in beauty products to the challenge of going low plastic in a high-plastic world, and how to clean without a hit of harmful toxins. You don’t need to be a full-time homesteader with a cupboard full of organic linens to go low tox. Start small, switching or ditching one nasty at a time, and enjoy the process as a positive one for you & the planet.
Bakeland: Nordic Treats Inspired by Nature Marit Hovland ($35, PB)
Marit Hovland is a Norse graphic designer, baker & photographer , and this gorgeous recipe book is an innovative homage to the beauty of the world around us—a delight to lovers of baking, crafting, nature, and all things Scandinavian. With fifty tempting dessert recipes and 140 stunning colour photographs, Bakeland is as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the taste buds. From chocolate sea to pinecone-shaped gingersnaps, Hovland takes an artful, tasty trip through nature in Norway, season by season. Each recipe has detailed step-by-step illustrated instructions with an emphasis on simplicity, and no special equipment required.
I’m staying with a really good cook this weekend, what a treat! She’s been consistently cooking from Ottolenghi’s Sweet, and intends to work her way through the book, she’s even bought more cake tins to accommodate the different cakes. So far she’s made—the Spice Cake, which includes many spices, and lasts really well (she’s made it several times), the Prune and Armagnac cake (but with brandy), and is about to whip up a batch of the Rum glazed biscuits. These recipes are all fairly exotic, but so carefully explained, they’re very accessible. Right now I am in a more tropical clime than usual, and there is a good supply of tropical fruit to hand—tonight I think I shall make the rolled pavlova, but with berries and passion fruit, not blackberries and peaches as the recipe suggests. I’ve made this several times, it’s easy, and very impressive. Ottolenghi’s cookbooks are popular, and rightly so—they seem to fit the bill for modern life. Louise So I’m gradually working my way through Women’s Weekly Baking. This month I’ve been refining their white chocolate caramel slice—first by ignoring the white chocolate and using Lindt milk chocolate, so much better, and let’s face it, you don’t need the whingers who whine about their dislike of white chocolate. I’ve found you can make it more satisfyingly chewy if you cook the caramel for a bit longer before baking. Their ‘featherlight’ sponge is fool proof, and my next stop is the strawberry & passionfruit mile-high layer cake. Meanwhile I’ve been browsing a nifty little volume called Baking Hacks— some great tips, like getting that annoying teaspoon of lemon juice without wasting an entire lemon, how to prevent batter from curdling, or how to make your own icing sugar or SR flour at a moment’s notice? Over 130 very useful and money-saving tips for a mere $25. Viki
Jamie Cooks Italy by Jamie Oliver ($50, HB)
Jamie shares best-ever recipes for Classic Carbonara, Salina Chicken, Stuffed Focaccia, Baked Risotto Pie, Pot-Roasted Cauliflower & Limoncello Tiramisu. With 130 recipes in his easy-to-follow style, the book has chapters on Antipasti, Salad, Soup, Meat, Pasta, Fish, Rice & Dumplings, Bread & Pastry, Sides, Desserts & all the Basics you need. The recipes are a mix of fast & slow cooking, familiar classics with a Jamie twist, simple everyday dishes & more indulgent labourof-love choices for weekends & celebrations.
Eat Like a Local! Tokyo; Paris; New York; London ($20, PB each)
This series of stylish travel guides focus on the culinary scenes of the world’s most-visited cities—with over 100 listings for the best restaurants, cafes, bars, markets and street food as recommended by savvy locals native to the city; short essays that give a real insight into the ins and outs of the city’s idiosyncratic food cultures; plus some iconic recipes.
Australian Native Plants: Concise by John Wrigley & Murray Fagg ($45, PL)
This concise edition of Australian Native Plants (now in its fifth edition) makes it even easier to choose Australian native plants for your garden. It includes: more than 1500 species & cultivars that are easy to obtain & grow, many illustrated with colour photographs. Plants divided into chapters: Ground Covers, Rockery Plants, Water Features, Shrubs, Trees, Annuals & Bedding Plants, and Climbers; recommended planting zones for every plant; the significant attributes of each species; updated plant names; simple advice on propagating plants from seed & cuttings; information on soil preparation, planting, fertilising, watering, pruning & pests & diseases.
Wild: Adventure Cookbook by Sarah Glover
Filled with photographs from the shores of Tasmania and beaches of Sydney to the mountains of Australia’s east coast, this cookbook shares Sarah Glover’s recipes and secrets for cooking & eating outside. She offers tips for preparing food over an open flame as well as a list of basic outdoor cooking equipment. Discover how easy it is to create a stunning fourcourse meal, from tender roast chicken & potatoes to dinnerparty-worthy kumquat bellinis & quail with truffles, with a few pots & one fire. ($70, HB)
Detox Kitchen Vegetables by Lily Simpson
150 exquisite recipes for 35 different varieties of vegetables— all wheat, dairy & refined-sugar-free—with dishes such as Spiced aubergine fritters with coconut tzatziki, Roast butternut squash with tahini dressing & tamari seeds, and Cauliflower pizza with lemon infused tomatoes. ($40, HB)
Events r Calenda
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15 Launch—3 for 3.30 Nadia Wheatley
Her Mother’s Daughter In conv. with Peter Manning Author Nadia Wheatley grew up with a sense of the mystery of her parents’ marriage. Caught in the crossfire between an independent woman and a controlling man, the child became a player in the deadly game. This is a loving tribute but an investigation of the processes of memory itself.
Event—6 for 6.30 Bob Carr
Run for Your Life in conv. with John Faulkner Most political memoirs are boring. Bob Carr tears up the rules—beginning with the despair of a young man pining for a political career, then vaulting to the exhilaration of a premier who, on one day, saves a vast forest and unveils the country’s best curriculum.
Event—6 for 6.30
Waiting for Elijah in conv. with Sarah Ferguson In 2009, in the NSW country town of Armidale, a mentally ill young man is shot dead by a police officer. This is journalist Kate Wild’s investigation of the shooting and its aftermath.
Event—6 for 6.30
The Power of Hope Founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Con Karapanagiotidis, argues that by putting community, love and compassion at the centre of our lives, we have the power to change our world.
Australian Fo Book
Chaired by Jonat Alan D The new issue of A Affairs examines t tionship between A nesia—the misstep portunities on bot prevented the forg friend
WINTER upstairs at #49 G 29
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All events listed are $12/$9 concession. Book Launches are free. Gleeclub members free entry to events at 49 Glebe Pt Rd
Events are held upstairs at #49 Glebe Point Road unless otherwise noted. Bookings—Phone: (02) 9660 2333, Email: email@example.com, Online: www.gleebooks.com.au/events
—6 for 6.30 oreign Affairs Club
than Pearlman & Dupont Australian Foreign the turbulent relaAustralia & Indops and missed opth sides that have ging of a genuine dship.
Event—6 for 6.30 David Ritter
The Coal Truth in conv. with Tara Moss and Berndt Sellheim Since 2012, the fight to stop the opening of the vast Galilee coal basin has emerged as an iconic pivot of the Australian climate and environment movement. bring to life the contours of a contest that the people of Australia can’t afford to lose.
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Tell Me I’m OK Launcher: Michael Kirby Dr David Bradford’s memoir talks about growing up as a gay child in a strongly Christian family, serving as an army doctor in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, working as Director of the Melbourne Communicable Diseases Centre at the time of the arrival of HIV/AIDS. Event—6 for 6.30
...and my heart crumples like a coke can Launcher: Mark Tredinnick Ali Whitelock’s poems will speak to anyone who’s ever messed up, been confused, wished they’d done things differently; to anyone who’s had an affair and regretted it, who’s been loved completely but was too blind to see it.
The Legacy of Beauregarde Launcher: Kathrin Longhurst The Beauregarde women have lived in the shadow of The Seminary for four generations. This book is a decadent & eccentric tableau of theatre & treachery, old secrets & betrayals; exploring friendship & obsession— slipping between characters to gradually reveal a century-old mystery.
Empire of Enchantment India’s association with magicians goes back thousands of years. From levitating Brahmins, resurrections & prophesying monkeys, John Zubrzycki tells the story of how Indian magic descended from the realm of the gods to become part of daily ritual and popular entertainment across the globe.
WINTER SALE!!! 27
SALE!!! Glebe Point Rd
Coming in August
Mon. 6: George Megalogenis—The Football Solution Wed. 8: Judith Beveridge—Sun Music Thur. 9: Peter Cochrane—Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18 Thur. 23: Toby Walsh—2062: The World that AI Made for more information go to: http://www.gleebooks.com.au/bookings 13
Granny’s Good Reads
with Sonia Lee
An Odyssey: A Father a Son and an Epic by Daniel Mendelsohn is not only a brilliant family memoir but also an excellent introduction to Homer’s Odyssey. Daniel’s 81-year-old father Jay, a former research scientist, asks if he can sit in on his son’s Friday seminar on The Odyssey at Bard College. When Daniel somewhat reluctantly agrees, Jay drives every Thursday from Long Island to Bard College and stays overnight in Daniel’s office, sleeping on the bed he made out of an old door for Daniel when he was a small boy. Though Daniel hopes that Jay will be seen but not heard in class, he quickly becomes a disruptive presence. According to Jay, Odysseus is not a hero, but a husband who cheats on his wife, a captain who loses his crew, and a sook who whines and whinges when things go wrong. Moreover, Jay asks, what about Penelope, the faithful wife at home in Ithaca, fighting off suitors and desperately trying to keep house and throne together with the pallid help of young Telemachus? The students soon come to like Jay, especially when he starts taking the train to college so he can discuss The Odyssey with them free from Daniel’s supervision. In the end, Daniel himself comes to see that Jay’s untutored perspective has led the class to a richer reading of the poem. A few weeks after the end of the seminar, Jay and Daniel go on a Mediterranean cruise to retrace the legendary journey of Odysseus. Daniel now begins to see the responsive side of a father who at home had always seemed aloof and wary of showing affection. There’s a touching moment when Daniel, who suffers from claustrophobia, has a panic attack in the cave of Calypso and Jay grasps his son’s hand but later passes the incident off by saying he’d only wanted to keep himself steady. When it becomes impossible for the cruise ship to get to Ithaci Daniel is asked to give a lecture on the legendary island of Ithaca, which he does by discussing two other poems, Tennyson’s Ulysses and Cavafy’s Ithaca. In the following year Jay has a fatal stroke and the family gathers at his bedside. One of his last words is ‘door’, the secret of the bed made long ago by Jay for Daniel, evoking yet another secret, that of the marriage bed made even longer ago by Odysseus for Penelope. I loved this book. My daughter said I should read The Invention of Nature, Andrea Wulf’s book about Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), so I did. What an amazing man he was! There are so many things named after him: an ocean current, a penguin and a hundred other animal species, a lily and three hundred other plant species, a Californian county and state park, mountain ranges in China, South Africa and Antarctica, a crater and a ‘sea’ on the moon, and 54 Alexandra, an asteroid orbiting the sun. He strongly influenced literary figures like Goethe, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Thoreau, while the young naturalist Charles Darwin had copies of Humboldt’s books beside his hammock on the Beagle. Unable to travel widely in Europe because of the Napoleonic wars, he obtained the Spanish king’s permission to carry out scientific research in Central and South America. With his botanical associate Aimé Bonpland and an impressive array of scientific instruments he explored the region bounded by Mexico, Venezuela and Peru extensively, traversing its rivers, observing its plants and animals and climbing mountains like Chimborazo—all the while measuring, recording and sending boatloads of specimens to Berlin. On his way home in 1804 he called on President Jefferson, for whom, despite his detestation of slavery, he had a high regard. The United States had just bought Louisiana from Napoleon and, acting on Humboldt’s advice, Jefferson made an even bigger deal with the king of Spain for what is now the State of Texas. Denied permission to explore in India, Humboldt, at age 60, joined the Russian prospecting expedition to Siberia which enabled him to explore the Altai Mountains and derive inspiration for Cosmos, the now all but forgotten masterpiece in which he attempted to synthesise everything he had learned about the environment—stressing through his concept of the web of life the interconnectedness of everything in nature. A prophet before his time, Humboldt warned of climate change, soil degradation and the destruction of forests a century before anyone else. Though his later scientific lectures in Germany were packed out and his funeral (he died at age 89) was the largest that Berlin had ever seen, he now seems sadly forgotten—as if, with his environmentalism grudgingly accepted, its author has disappeared from view. A notable exception to this disregard is South America, where his legacy is still treasured. Sonia
The Power Of Hope by Kon Karapanagiotidis
This is a powerful, heartfelt and inspiring memoir from one of Australia’s leading human rights advocates, Kon Karapanagiotidis. In a book. A book, both personal and political, about how love, compassion, kindness and courage can transform our communities and ourselves, Karapanagiotidis tells the story of how he overcame his traumatic childhood of racism, bullying and loneliness to create one of Australia’s largest and best-loved human rights organisations, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre—which has gone on to transform the lives of thousands of refugees and has helped build a movement. ($33, PB)
AFA3: Australia & Indonesia: Can we be Friends? (ed) Jonathan Pearlman ($23, PB)
Australia and Indonesia examines the turbulent relationship between these two neighbours: Hugh White: Australia, Overshadowed: Can we keep the peace with our rising northern neighbour? Jen Rayner: The View from Australia: Is Indonesia leaving us behind? Endy Bayuni: The View from Indonesia: How to say ‘deputy sheriff’ in Bahasa Indonesia. Tim Lindsey: One Country, 18,000 Islands: Islamists, separatists and the growing cracks in the republic. PLUS: Ric Smith on Afghanistan; Julia Wallace on Myanmar; Tim Harcourt on global trade; Richard McGregor on China; and correspondence from Tim Costello, Jim Molan, Chengxin Pan & more.
The Knowledge Solution: Politics—What’s Wrong & How to Fix it ($30, PB)
Can a return to direct democracy reconnect a jaded electorate with an out-of-touch establishment? Would reforming Canberra’s toxic culture lead to worthwhile debate and better decision-making? Should today’s leaders look back on successful governments to learn how to lead parliament to a full term? The best of our thinkers from across the political & ideological spectrum dissect the many challenges facing Australian democracy in the 21st century. With an introduction by Michelle Grattan, contributors include Gareth Evans, Maxine McKew, Katharine Murphy, Tony Abbott, Bill Shorten, Paul Kelly, Greg Combet, Noel Pearson, Melissa Lukashenko, Terri Butler & Peter van Onselen and more.
Siege by Deborah Snow ($33, PB)
On 15 December 2014 Islamic State-inspired gunman Man Haron Monis held his captives for 17 hours in a terrifying drama that paralysed Sydney. Two hostages were killed & three seriously wounded. Despite the police leadership declaring it was well prepared for a terrorist attack, the response fell seriously short of that promise. Deborah Snow lays bare what happened behind the scenes in the cafe as the hostages tried to keep themselves alive while waiting for a police response that didn’t come. She also takes us into the police command posts as communications, equipment & decision-making structures broke down—looking into a vortex of police missteps, extraordinary bravery & profound grief to reveal what happened.
A Coveted Possession: The Rise & Fall of the Piano in Australia by Michael Atherton ($35, PB)
Before electricity brought us the gramophone, the radio and eventually the TV, the piano was central to family and community life. From the instruments that floated ashore at Sydney Cove in the late 18th century to the resurrection of derelict heirlooms in the streets of 21st century Melbourne, Michael Atherton tells the story of Australia’s relationship with the piano. He charts the piano’s adventures on the goldfields, at the frontlines of war, in the manufacturing hubs of the Federation era, in the hands of the makers, teachers & virtuosos of the 20th history—to illuminate the many worlds in which the ivories were tinkled.
The Missing Man: From the outback to Tarakan, the powerful story of Len Waters, the RAAF’s only WWII Aboriginal fighter pilot by Peter Rees
Len Waters was a Kamilaroi man. Born on an Aboriginal reserve, he left school at 13 and by 20 was piloting a RAAF Kittyhawk fighter with 78 Squadron in the lethal skies over the Pacific in WWII. It was serious & dangerous work & his achievement was extraordinary. These would be the best years of his life. Respected by his peers, he was living his dream. The war over, having broken through the ‘black ceiling’, he believed he could ‘live on both sides of the fence’ & be part of Australia’s emerging commercial airline industry. Instead, he became a missing man in Australia’s wartime flying history. ($33, PB)
Radical Heart by Shireen Morris ($28, PB)
Shaped by her family’s Indian & Fijian migrant story, Shireen Morris is a key player in what many consider the greatest moral challenge of our nation: constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians. Meet the powerful Indigenous advocates, helpful (and unhelpful) non-Indigenous lawyers, unlikely conservative & monarchist allies through the wins, disappointments and, ultimately, the betrayals that led to the Turnbull government’s heartbreaking rejection of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Run for Your Life by Bob Carr ($35, PB)
Bob Carr begins his memoir with the despair of a young man pining for a political career, convinced he’s going nowhere, then vaults to the exhilaration of a premier who, on one day, saves a vast forest and unveils the country’s best curriculum. He lashes himself for ignoring a cry from a prisoner in a cell & for a breach of protocol with a US Supreme Court judge. He considers talking to the leader of a notorious rape gang and celebrates winning power against the odds: a leader without kids or any interest in sport. He describes growing up in a fibro house without sewerage & a ‘lousy education’ that produced a lifetime appetite for self-learning. He is candid about dealing with the media, dining with royals, working for Kerry Packer. He reveals the secrets he learnt from Neville Wran. He is open about his adulation of Gough Whitlam. Floating above all is Bob Carr’s idea of public service in a party, he says, that resembles an old, scarred, barnacled whale. Silence the jet skis! Balance the budget! Liberate the dolphins! Roll out the toll roads! Declare a million hectares of eucalypt wilderness! Be a politician of character.
Serving in Silence? Australian LGBT servicemen & women by Riseman, Robinson &Willett ($40, PB)
In a history of Australian LGBT military service lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender servicemen & women share their personal stories for the first time. The book explores the emotional stress they experienced hiding their sexuality or gender identity under official bans, as well as the challenges facing those who have served openly in the last 25 years. Tracing the ADF’s transformation to the inclusive organisation it is today, Serving in Silence? also highlights the pivotal role of military service in the lives of many LGBT Australians & how they have served their country with distinction.
Lying for the Admiralty by Margaret Cameron-Ash ($34.95, PB)
Never have Cook’s journals and charts been subjected to such unbiased, forensic examination. Margaret Cameron-Ash mounts a strong circumstantial case that Cook both discovered Bass Strait and actually gazed upon Sydney Harbour, and argues that Cook’s discoveries had to remain secret until Britain could afford to send an occupation force to fortify the place and keep out the French. Hence the publication of Cook’s censored journal & charts—such was the colonial rivalry of the time that paranoia about Admiralty leaks were an incentive for deliberate inaccuracies to be included in formal reports of voyages and exploration.
Dunera Lives: A Visual History by Ken Inglis, Seumas Spark, Jay Winter & Carol Bunyan
In July 1940, around 2000 refugees, most of whom were Jewish & from Germany or Austria, were sent from Britain to Australia on the HMT Dunera. Intrinsic to the history of Australia in WW2 & in its aftermath, the story of the ‘Dunera Boys’& the injustice they suffered in internment camps at Hay, Tatura & Orange is well known. Less familiar is the tale of what happened to them afterwards. This book tells that story primarily through images. The images, beautiful & powerful, reveal tales of struggle, sadness, transcendence & creativity, and describe the lives of these men & of the society in which they lived, first as prisoners & then as free men. ($39.95, PB)
Twitter & Tear Gas: The Power & Fragility of Networked Protest by Zeynep Tufekci ($28, PB)
To understand a thwarted Turkish coup, an anti–Wall Street encampment, and a packed Tahrir Square, it’s important to comprehend the power & the weaknesses of using new technologies to mobilize large numbers of people. Zeynep Tufekci explains the nuanced trajectories of modern protests—how they form, how they operate differently from past protests, and why they have difficulty persisting in their long-term quests for change. Tufekci describes how the internet helped the Zapatista uprisings in Mexico, the necessity of remote Twitter users to organize medical supplies during Arab Spring, the refusal to use bullhorns in the Occupy Movement that started in New York, and the empowering effect of tear gas in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. These details from life inside social movements complete a moving investigation of authority, technology, and culture—and offer essential insights into the future of governance.
National Populism: How Liberal Democracy Was Trumped (And What We Can Do About It) by Roger Eatwell & Matthew Goodwin ($23, PB)
Across the West, there is a rising tide of people who feel excluded, alienated from mainstream politics, and increasingly hostile towards minorities, immigrants & neo-liberal economics. Many of these voters are turning to national populist movements, which pose the most serious threat to the Western liberal democratic system, and its values, since the WW2. From the US to France, Austria to the UK, the national populist challenge to mainstream politics is all around us. But what is behind this exclusionary turn? Who supports these movements & why? What does their rise tell us about the health of liberal democratic politics in the West? And what, if anything, should we do to respond to these challenges? This is a lucid and deeplyresearched guide to the radical transformations of today’s political landscape, revealing why liberal democracies across the West are being challenged-and what those who support them can do to help stem the tide.
Bean Counters by Richard Brooks ($33, PB)
The world’s ‘Big 4’ accountancy firms—PwC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young & KPMG—have become a gilded elite. How has the seemingly humdrum profession of accountancy got to this level? And what is the price we pay for their triumph? Investigative journalist & former senior tax inspector Richard Brooks offers an exposé of the accountancy industry & its secret rise to vast global influence. Charting the profession’s history from humble agrarian beginnings to its underappreciated role in the financial crash of 2008, Brooks explores how the industry hides behind its ‘boring’ image to ruthlessly exploit the financial system which depends on it. From underpinning global tax avoidance to corrupting world football, Brooks reveals how the accountants use their central role in the economy to sell management consultancy services that send billions in other work its way—transforming the industry from one that ensures financial probity to one that reinvents the rules for its own benefit.
How Democracy Ends by David Runciman
Democracy has died hundreds of times, all over the world— chaos descends & the military arrives to restore order, until the people can be trusted to look after their own affairs again. Often, that moment never comes, but there is a danger that this picture is out of date. Until very recently, most citizens of Western democracies would have imagined that the end was a long way off, and very few would have thought it might be happening before their eyes as Trump, Brexit & paranoid populism have become a reality. Are we looking for a better way of doing politics, or are we looking for something better than politics? David Runciman surveys the political landscape of the West, offering advice on how to recognise the signs of a collapsing democracy—and what to do next. ($33, PB)
We’re Doomed. Now What? Essays on War & Climate Change by Roy Scranton ($30, PB)
The time we’ve been thrown into is one of alarming & bewildering change—the breakup of the post-1945 global order, a multispecies mass extinction, and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it. Not one of us is innocent, not one of us is safe. Now what? Roy Scranton offers a series of provocative & iconoclastic essays on climate change, war, literature & loss. Whether writing about sailing through the melting Arctic, preparing for Houston’s next big storm, watching Star Wars, or going back to the streets of Baghdad he once patrolled as a soldier, Scranton handles his subjects with the same electric touch that he brought to his ground-breaking NYT essay, Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene.
Give People Money: The Surprisingly Simple Idea to Solve Inequality & Revolutionise our Lives by Annie Lowrey ($35, PB)
Imagine if every month the government deposited $2000 in your bank account, with no strings attached & nothing expected in return. It sounds crazy, but Universal Basic Income (UBI) has become one of the most influential policy ideas of our time, backed by thinkers on both the left & the right. Economics writer Annie Lowrey travels to Kenya to see how UBI is lifting the poorest people on earth out of destitution, India to see how inefficient government programs are failing the poor, South Korea to interrogate UBI’s intellectual pedigree, and Silicon Valley to meet the tech titans financing UBI pilots in expectation of a world with advanced artificial intelligence & little need for human labour. She also examines at the challenges the movement faces: the UBI movement is not just an economic policy—it also calls into question our deepest intuitions about what we owe each other & what we should reward & value as a society.
Trump/Russia: A Definitive History by Seth Hettena ($35, PB)
Seth Hettena chronicles the many years Trump has spent wooing Russian money & power. From the collapse of his casino empire—which left Trump desperate for cash—and his first contacts with Russian deal-makers & financiers, on up to the White House, Hettena reveals the myriad of shady people, convoluted dealings & strange events that suggest how indebted to Russia the 45th US president might be. With newly uncovered information, court documents, and exclusive interviews with investigators and FBI agents, Hettena provides an expansive & essential primer to the Trump/Russia scandal, leaving no stone unturned.
The Law Book by Michael H. Roffer
Michael H. Roffer as he explores 250 of the most fundamental, far-reaching and often controversial cases, laws, and trials that have profoundly changed our world - for good or bad. ($45, HB)
Now in B Format Democracy and Its Crisis by A. C. Grayling, $20 Out of the Wreckage: Finding Hope in the Age of Crisis by George Monbiot, $20
Empire of Enchantment: The Story of Indian Magic by John Zubrzycki ($35, PB)
India’s association with magicians goes back thousands of years. Conjurers & illusionists dazzled the courts of Hindu maharajas & Mughal emperors. As British dominion spread over the subcontinent, such wonder-workers became synonymous with India. Western magicians appropriated Indian attire, tricks & stage names. Switching their turbans for top hats, Indian jugglers fought back, and earned their grudging respect. John Zubrzycki tells the story of how Indian magic descended from the realm of the gods to become part of daily ritual & popular entertainment across the globe. Recounting tales of levitating Brahmins, resurrections, prophesying monkeys, and ‘the most famous trick never performed’, he vividly charts Indian magic’s epic journey from street to stage.
The Vietnam War: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns ($35, PB)
Drawing on hundreds of brand new interviews, Ken Burns & Geoffrey C. Ward show us the war from every perspective: from idealistic US Marines & the families they left behind to the Vietnamese civilians, both North & South, whose homeland was changed for ever; politicians, POWs & anti-war protesters; and the photographers & journalists who risked their lives to tell the truth. This history goes into the grit & chaos of combat, while also outlining the complex chain of political events that led America to Vietnam.
Energy: A Human History by Richard Rhodes
Human beings have confronted the problem of how to draw life from raw material since the beginning of time. Each invention, each discovery, each adaptation brought further challenges, and through such transformations, we arrived at where we are today. Through an unforgettable cast of characters, Pulitzer Prizewinning author Richard Rhodes explains how wood gave way to coal and coal made room for oil, as we now turn to natural gas, nuclear power, and renewable energy. He highlights the successes & failures that led to each breakthrough in energy production, and addressing the spectre of global warming, and a population hurtling towards ten billion by 2100 he details how this knowledge of our history can inform our way tomorrow. ($30, PB)
The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America by Edward L. Ayers ($49.95, HB)
Virginia’s Great Valley, prosperous in peace, invited destruction in war. Voracious Union & Confederate armies ground up the valley, consuming crops, livestock, fences & human life. Pitched battles at Gettysburg, Lynchburg & Cedar Creek punctuated a cycle of vicious attacks & reprisals in which armies burned whole towns for retribution. North of the MasonDixon line, free black families sent husbands & sons to fight with the US Colored Troops. In letters home, even as Lincoln commemorated the dead at Gettysburg, they spoke movingly of a war for emancipation. As defeat & the end of slavery descended on Virginia, with the drama of Reconstruction unfolding in Washington, the classrooms of the Freedmen’s Bureau schools spoke of a new society struggling to emerge. Edward Ayers offers history at its best: powerful, insightful & grounded in human detail
Unfabling the East: The Enlightenment’s Encounter with Asia by Jürgen Osterhammel
During the long 18th century, Europe’s travellers, scholars & intellectuals looked to Asia in a spirit of puzzlement, irony, & openness. Jürgen Osterhammel shows how major figures such as Leibniz, Voltaire, Gibbon & Hegel took a keen interest in Asian culture & history. He introduces lesser-known scientific travellers, colonial administrators, Jesuit missionaries & adventurers who returned home from Asia bearing manuscripts in many exotic languages, huge collections of ethnographic data & stories that sometimes defied belief. Bringing the sights & sounds of this tumultuous age vividly to life, from the salons of Paris to the steppes of Siberia he demonstrates how Europe discovered its own identity anew by measuring itself against its more senior continent, and how it was only toward the end of this period that cruder forms of Eurocentrism—and condescension toward Asia—prevailed. ($63, HB)
The End of the French Intellectual : From Zola to Houllebecq by Shlomo Sand ($40, HB)
Mixing reminiscence and analysis, he revisits a history that, from the Dreyfus Affair through to Charlie Hebdo, seems to him that of a long decline. As a long-time admirer of Zola, Sartre and Camus, Sand is staggered to see what the French intellectual has become today, in such characters as Michel Houellebecq, Eric Zemmour and Alain Finkielkraut. In a work that gives no quarter, and focuses particularly on the Judeophobia and Islamophobia of the elites, he casts on the French intellectual scene a gaze that is both disabused and mordant. 16
Science & Nature
Rare & Wonderful: Treasures from Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Founded in 1860, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History holds over 7 million scientific specimens including 5 million insects, half a million fossil specimens & half a million zoological specimens. It also holds an extensive collection of archival material relating to important naturalists such as Charles Darwin, William Smith, William Jones and James Charles Dale. This lavishly illustrated book features highlights from the collections ranging from the iconic Dodo (the only soft tissue specimen of the species in existence) and the giant tuna (brought back from Madeira on a perilous sea crossing in 1846), to the first described dinosaur bones & a meteorite from the planet Mars. Each item tells a unique story about natural history & the history of science—giving a unique insight into the extraordinary wealth of information & the fascinating tales that can be gleaned from these collections, both from the past & for the future. ($50, HB)
Cosmos Magazine: #79 Winter 2018 ($15, PB)
Inflammation—the source all evils: Dyani Lewis—Cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, even ageing itself all point the finger of blame at a chronically irritated immune system. Jupiter revealed: Richard Lovett—Juno has been in a weird orbit around Jupiter since July 5th, 2016. Its transmissions are sketching an entirely new picture of the mysterious planet. For starters, its red spot seems to be bottomless—and there are two newly discovered radiation belts. Time to rethink Dark matter and Dark Energy? Graham Phillips —They’re an attempt to explain the weirdness of our universe. Galaxies are too light to hang together so there must be dark matter, and the entire universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, ergo dark energy is pushing it apart. Some physicists say these dark theories have not delivered, and it’s time for a rethink.
Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 & the Astronauts who made Man’s First Journey to the Moon by Robert Kurson ($35, PB)
In early 1968, the Apollo programme was on shaky footing. President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline to put a man on the Moon was in jeopardy, and the Soviets were threatening to pull ahead in the space race. By August 1968, with its back against the wall, NASA decided to scrap its usual methodical approach and shoot for the heavens. With just four months to prepare, the agency would send the first men in history to the Moon. Focusing on three heroic astronauts and their families, this gripping tale shows anew the epic danger and singular bravery it took for Man to leave Earth for the first time—and to arrive at a new world.
The Re-Origin of Species: A Second Chance for Extinct Animals by Torill Kornfeldt ($35, PB)
From the Siberian permafrost to balmy California, scientists across the globe are working to resurrect all kinds of extinct animals, from ones that just left us to those that have been gone for many thousands of years. Their tools in this hunt are both fossils & cuttingedge genetic technologies. Some of these scientists are driven by sheer curiosity; others view the lost species as a powerful weapon in the fight to preserve rapidly changing ecosystems. It seems certain that these animals will walk the earth again, but what world will that give us? And is any of this a good idea? Science journalist Torill Kornfeldt travelled the world to meet the men & women working to bring these animals back from the dead.
Face to Face by Jim McCaul ($35, PB)
Much of your identity & sense of self is vested in the face you see in the bathroom mirror every morning—imagine that face being so ravaged by cancer, an accident, a fall, a beating, a car crash or a gunshot wound that it is barely recognizable. Maxillofacial surgeon Jim McCaul has helped countless individuals after catastrophic injury or disease, and his book follows the stories of some of these patients. In Face to Face he takes the reader on a journey which includes the most high-tech and complex of microsurgical procedures as well as the facial reconstruction techniques pioneered during the First World War. But at the book’s heart are the human stories of the patients for whom this treatment is often quite literally a matter of life and death.
The Wonderful Mr Willughby by Tim Birkhead
Francis Willughby lived in the midst of the scientific revolution of the 17th century. Along with his Cambridge tutor John Ray, he was determined to overhaul the whole of natural history & impose order on its complexity. Yet before he & Ray could complete their monumental encyclopaedia of birds, Ornithology, Willughby died. In the centuries since, his contribution has been obscured. In his short life, he finessed the differentiation of birds though identification of their distinguishing features & asked questions that were centuries ahead of their time. His discoveries and his approach to natural history continue to be relevant and revelatory today. Tim Birkhead celebrates how Willughby’s endeavours set a standard for the way birds and natural history should be studied. Rich with glorious detail, Birkhead’s book is a fascinating insight into a thrilling period of scientific history & a lively biography of a man who lived at its heart. ($38, HB)
Philosophy & Religion The House of Islam by Ed Husain ($30, HB)
The gulf between Islam & the West is widening. A faith rich with strong values & traditions, observed by nearly two billion people across the world, is seen by the West as something to be feared rather than understood. Ed Husain seeks to provide entry to the minds & hearts of Muslims the world over. It introduces us to the fairness, kindness & mercy of Mohammed; the aims of sharia law, through commentary on scripture, to provide an ethical basis to life; the beauty of Islamic art & the permeation of the divine in public spaces; and the tension between mysticism & literalism that still threatens the House of Islam. The decline of the Muslim world & the current crises of leadership mean that a glorious past, full of intellectual nobility & purpose, is now exploited by extremists & channelled into acts of terror. How can Muslims confront the issues that are destroying Islam from within, and what can the West do to help work towards that end.
Foucault at the Movies by Dork Zabunyan & Patrice Maniglier ($49, PB)
This book brings together all of Foucault’s commentary on film, some of it available for the first time in English, along with important contemporary analysis and further extensions of this work. Maniglier & Zabunyan situate Foucault’s writings on film in the context of the rest of his work as well as within a broad historical & philosophical framework. They detail how Foucault’s work directly or indirectly inspired both film critics & directors & discuss his ideas in relation to significant movements within film theory & practice. The book includes film reviews & discussions by Foucault as well as his interviews with the prestigious film magazine Cahiers du cinema & other journals. Also included are his dialogues with Hélène Cixous & film directors Werner Schroeter & René Feret. Throughout, Foucault & those he is in conversation with reflect on the relationship of film to history, the body, power & politics, knowledge, sexuality, aesthetics & institutions of internment.. Passions of Our Time by Julia Kristeva ($67, HB) Julia Kristeva is a true polymath, an intellectual of astonishingly wide range whose erudition and insight have been brought to bear on psychoanalysis, literary criticism, gender and sex, and cultural critique. In this collection of recent essays she considers literature with Barthes, freedom through Rousseau, Teresa of Avila & mystical experience, Simone de Beauvoir’s dream life, and Antigone & the psychic life of women. A group of essays drawing on her psychoanalytic work delve into Freud, Lacan, maternal eroticism, and the continued importance of psychoanalysis today. In a series of investigations, she thinks through disability & normativity, monotheism & secularization, the need to believe & the desire to know. Calling for the courage to renew & reinvent humanism, she outlines the principles of a stance founded on the importance of respecting human life.
Gershom Scholem: Master of the Kabbalah by David Biale ($38, HB)
Gershom Scholem (1897–1982) was perhaps the foremost Jewish intellectual of the 20th century. Pioneering the study of Jewish mysticism as a legitimate academic discipline, he overturned the rationalist bias of his predecessors & revealed an extraordinary world of myth & messianism. In his youth, he rebelled against the assimilationist culture of his parents & embraced Zionism as the vehicle for the renewal of Judaism in a secular age. He moved to Palestine in 1923 & participated in the creation of the Hebrew University, where he was a towering figure for nearly 70 years. David Biale traces Scholem’s tumultuous life of political activism & cultural criticism, including his falling-out with Hannah Arendt over the Eichmann trial. Mining a rich trove of diaries, letters & other writings, Biale shows that his subject’s inner life illuminates his most important writings. Scholem emerges as a passionately engaged man of his times—a period that encompassed two world wars, the rise of Nazism, and the Holocaust.
Think Again: How to Reason and Argue by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong ($23, PB)
Philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong draws on a long tradition of logic to show why we should stop focusing on winning arguments and instead argue in a more constructive way. Based on an online course with more than a million followers around the world, Think Again explains how to analyse, evaluate and make better arguments while also spotting bad reasoning and avoiding certain fallacies. Through lively, practical examples from everyday life, politics & popular culture, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong offers brilliantly straightforward, wise advice useful at work, at home & online.
Why I am a Hindi by Shashi Tharoor ($33, PB)
Opening with a reflection on his personal beliefs, Shashi Tharoor lays out Hinduism’s origins & its key philosophical concept—including Vedanta, the Purusharthas & Bhakti—before focusing on texts such as the Bhagavadgita. The ‘Great Souls’, or key individuals of Hinduism, from Adi Shankara to Vivekananda, are discussed, as are everyday Hindu beliefs & practices, from worship to pilgrimage to caste. Tharoor is unsparing in his criticism of extremism & unequivocal in his belief that what makes India a distinctive nation with a unique culture will be imperilled if Hindu ‘fundamentalists’ seize the high ground. In his view, it is precisely because Hindus form the majority that India has survived as a plural, secular democracy.
Psychology Obsessive Compulsions: The OCD of Everyday Life by C. Thomas Gualtieri ($38, PB)
Are you a perfectionist, or can you be fussy? Do you like to have control in certain situations? Or are you overly anxious in others? These are all OC traits, and this book looks at their recent increase in human behaviour, and how they are formed in the brain. Showing that these traits are more common in highly educated, intelligent & successful people, C. Thomas Gualtieri highlights the positive sides of what have previously been seen as negative quirks. Weaving together sections that are anecdotal & humorous, with technical & up-to-date scientific information, Gualtieri gives a fascinating introduction into an under-discussed personality type.
Strange Contagion by Lee Daniel Kravetz
In 2009, tragedy struck the town of Palo Alto when a student from the local high school ommitted suicide by stepping in front of an oncoming train. The community mourned what they thought was an isolated loss. But a few weeks later, it happened again—and in 6 months, the high school lost 5 students to suicide at those train tracks. A recent transplant to the community journalist Lee Daniel Kravetz wanted to know how it was possible that a suicide cluster could develop in a community of concerned, aware, hyper-vigilant adults. Ideas, emotions & actions are communicable—from mirroring someone’s posture to mimicking their speech patterns—but when just the right physiological, psychological & social factors come together, we get what Kravetz calls a ‘strange contagion’. Kravetz draws on research & insights from experts worldwide to unlock the mystery of how ideas spread, why they take hold, and offers thoughts on our responsibility to one another as citizens of a globally & perpetually connected world. ($30, PB)
Out of My Head: On the Trail of Consciousness by Tim Parks ($30, PB)
Hardly a day goes by without some discussion about whether computers can be conscious, whether our universe is some kind of simulation, whether mind is a unique quality of human beings or spread out across the universe like butter on bread. Most philosophers believe that our experience is locked inside our skulls, an unreliable representation of a quite different reality outside. Colour, smell & sound, they tell us, occur only in our heads. Yet when neuroscientists look inside our brains to see what’s going on, they find only billions of neurons exchanging electrical impulses & releasing chemical substances. Tim Parks conducts a quest to discover more about this fascinating topic—framing complex metaphysical considerations & technical laboratory experiments in accessible terms, inviting the reader to see space, time, colour & smell, sounds & sensations in an entirely new way.
The Psychology Book: From Shamanism to Cutting-Edge Neuroscience, 250 Milestones in the History of Psychology by Wade E. Pickren ($45, LB) This stunningly illustrated book Wade Pickren chronicles the history of psychology through 250 landmark events, theories, publications, experiments and discoveries.
The Book Of Why: The New Science Of Cause And Effect by Judea Pearl ($30, PB)
Correlation does not imply causation.’ This mantra was invoked by scientists for decades in order to avoid taking positions as to whether one thing caused another, such as smoking & cancer and carbon dioxide & global warming. But today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, sparked by world-renowned computer scientist Judea Pearl & his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion & placed cause & effect on a firm scientific basis. Now, Pearl & science journalist Dana Mackenzie explain causal thinking to general readers for the first time, showing how it allows us to explore the world that is & the worlds that could have been. It is the essence of human && artificial intelligence. And just as Pearl’s discoveries have enabled machines to think better, The Book of Why explains how we can think better.
Freud: An Intellectual Biography by Joel Whitebook ($53.95, HB)
Taking into account recent developments in psychoanalytic theory & practice, gender studies, philosophy, cultural theory & more, Joel Whitebook offers a radically new portrait of the creator of psychoanalysis. He explores the man in all his complexity alongside an interpretation of his theories that cuts through the stereotypes that surround him. The development of Freud’s thinking is addressed not only in the context of his personal life, but also in that of society & culture at large, while the impact of his thinking on subsequent issues of psychoanalysis, philosophy & social theory is fully examined. Whitebook shows that declarations of Freud’s obsolescence are premature, and, with his clear & engaging style, brings this vivid figure to life in compelling and readable fashion.
In Oxford in the early days of WW2, a young man, David Sparsholt, arrives at university and sets the cat amongst the pigeon with his extreme good looks. Other romantic young men fall in love with him, but he is affianced to a girl from home. Alan Hollinghurst’s The Sparsholt Affair is not the Oxford of Evelyn Waugh, with funny, fatuous young scholars and stupid young men, it’s more the Oxford of Anthony Powell—still amusing but with a serious interest in the world of art and literature...albeit with a dose of romance. In fact, Art runs through the novel like a bright thread, pulling all the characters together, and providing some of the most vivid passages of description and settings. In the next part of the novel (it is written in five parts) David Sparsholt is married and has a young son Jonathan. Perhaps not as sharp as his father, but far more endearing, the focus of the novel shifts onto Jonathan, and we follow him as he establishes himself as an artist. Somewhere in between the novel’s episodes, his father has fallen into public disgrace (the eponymous affair), and its echoes keep reverberating throughout the book—getting less significant as time rolls on. Jonathan is not an Everyman, but his life’s path is so representative of many that it rings true. Not wanting to give anything away, but it is worth reading the whole book just to get the part when Jonathan, now a portrait painter, paints the portrait of a fairly recognisable and excruciating celebrity family. There are other memorable moments—Meissen cups play a small but hilarious part in the narrative, and wonderful scenes at an auction, a wake, and a dance party are so vivid that it’s more like watching a film than reading a book. Hollinghurst’s language is so elegant and concise—a perfect match for this long spanning narrative. Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a different kind of novel altogether. We first meet the singular Eleanor as she goes about her working day in an office in Glasgow. It’s clear she’s not an easy person, in fact her interior dialogue reveals her to be tetchy, critical, and very peculiar. She is in the world, but not part of it, and of course there is a reason for that. Bit by bit, we learn that something terrible happened in her childhood, and she was placed in foster care, proceeding from that into a council flat—with the very occasional visit from a case worker. Apart from those visits, no one really knows about her, or cares. Despite the underlying horrors Eleanor is a very amusing character—her insights are sharp and her intentions completely benign, and they make this book very compelling. What I really liked is that it’s a very good reminder not to make assumptions about others, we never really know what’s gone on in anyone’s past. There is also a really surprising twist, which made me want to go back to the beginning. This is a really accomplished and uplifting debut by Honeyman. Louise
Virgil’s Double Cross: Design and Meaning in the Aeneid by David Quint ($63, PB)
The message of Virgil’s Aeneid once seemed straightforward enough: the epic poem returned to Aeneas & the mythical beginnings of Rome in order to celebrate the city’s present world power & to praise its new master, Augustus Caesar, but David Quint depicts a Virgil who consciously builds contradiction into the Aeneid. Uncovering verbal designs & allusions, layers of artfulness & connections to Roman history, his readings of the poem’s famous episodes—the fall of Troy, the story of Dido, the trip to the Underworld, and the troubling killing of Turnus—disclose unsustainable distinctions between foreign war/civil war, Greek/Roman, enemy/lover, nature/culture & victor/victim. The poem’s form imparts indirect meanings—its life-and-death issues-about how power represents itself in grand narratives, about the experience of the defeated & displaced, and about the ironies & revenges of history—resonate deeply in the 21st century.
Bad Blood: Secrets & Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou ($33, PB)
In 2014, Theranos founder & CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup ‘unicorn’ promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster & easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison & Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: the technology didn’t work. For years, Holmes had been misleading investors, FDA officials & her own employees. After a tip from a former Theranos employee the Wall Street Journal, published dozens of articles about this despite threats of lawsuits. Journalist, Carreyrou, tells the story of Theranos, and encourages us to consider the possible repercussions of our blind faith in a small group of brilliant individuals.
Cultural Studies & Criticism Out this month: The Happy Reader: Issue 11 ($7, PB)
For avid readers and the uninitiated alike, this is a chance to reengage with classic literature and to stay inspired and entertained. The first half is a long-form interview with a notable book fanatic and the second half explores one classic work of literature from an array of surprising and invigorating angles. This month features pop singer, Olly Alexander & the novel The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas.
Selfies: Why We Love (and Hate) Them by Katrin Tiidenberg ($38, PB)
As humans, we have a long history of being drawn to images, of communicating visually, and being enchanted with (our own) faces. Every day we share hundreds of millions of photos on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Selfies are continually & passionately talked about. People take vast amounts of selfies, and generate more attention than most other social media content. But selfies are persistently attacked as being unworthy of all of this attention: they lack artistic merit; indicate a pathological fascination with one’s self; or attribute to dangerously stupid behaviour. This book explores the social, cultural and technological context surrounding selfies and their subsequent meaning.
Under the Rock: The Poetry of Place by Benjamin Myers ($30, HB)
Carved from the valley side above Mytholmroyd in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, Scout Rock is a steep crag overlooking wooded slopes & flat weed-tangled plateaus. To many it is unremarkable, to others it is a doomed place where 18th century thieves would hide out; where the town tip once sat, suicides leapt to their death & the asbestos that claimed so many lives was buried in the soil. Scout Rock is also the subject of Ted Hughes’s 1963 essay The Rock, in which the poet describes growing up across the valley from /my spiritual midwife...both the curtain and backdrop to my existence.’ Into this beautiful, dark & complex landscape steps Benjamin Myers, asking: are unremarkable places made remarkable by the minds that map them? The result is a lyrical & unflinching investigation into nature, literature, history, memory & the meaning of place in modern Britain.
Facts & Fiction: A Book of Storytelling by Michael Holroyd ($38, HB)
Michael Holroyd reflects on the eccentricities of the art of writing about others—considering the ways in which lives can be written about (and painted), with all the subtle differences of design & intention that this entails. From Rudyard Kipling to forgetfulness, the glories of Mary Norton’s Borrowers books to fellow biographers like Richard Holmes & Alexander Masters, Holroyd tackles an eclectic range of topics. He discusses his life at the mercy of subjects who have led him all over the world—and often into other people’s families uninvited. With warmth & humour, he reflects on the unlikely ways he arrives at his subjects, and how the process of building their narratives is often a disturbing experience: so consuming that, when completed, he feels as if he has had a holiday from himself.
On Disruption by Katharine Murphy ($15, PB) There is no way to know if the disruption will settle into a new normal, or whether chaos is the new normal. The internet has shaken the foundations of life: public & private lives are wrought by the 24-hour, seven-day-aweek news cycle that means no one is ever off duty. Katharine Murphy gives a report from the coalface of that change: what has happened, will it keep happening, and is there any way out of the chaos?
horse by Ania Walwicz ($25, PB)
Enter into the world of imaginative writing that crosses over into theories of language and the mind: A fairytale. Magic horse tells me. I grow a beard. Who is me? Work crosses boundaries between poetics, theory and autobiography. An opera of the self. I am the diva. Dark comedy and terror of psychoanalysis comes to life here. A learning experience. Layered text. I become the Doctor. The composition of the self. The work of memory, charm and play. Doctor Walwicz tells you a trauma. Doctor Freud reads me here. I know everything now and all at once. Fictocriticism. A multilevel text. You can do it too. I analyse me. You can do it to you. A different reading of the self. My diary. I tell you everything here. I open my head. I open my heart. Read me.
Smoke Signals: Selected Writing by Simon Chapman
Simon Chapman AO is emeritus professor in public health at Sydney Uni. In 2014, the Australian right-wing think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs, named him as one of Australia’s Dirty Dozen all-time ‘opponents of freedom’. Smoke Signals gathers 71 of his authoritative, acerbic & often heretical essays written in newspapers, blogs & research journals across his 40-year career. They cover major developments & debates in tobacco control, public health ethics, cancer screening, gun control & panics about low risk agents like wi-fi, mobile phone towers & wind turbines. This collection is an essential guide to many key debates in contemporary public health—invaluable to public health students & practitioners, but also compelling reading for all interested in health policy. ($40, PB)
Antipodean Perspective: Selected Writings of Bernard Smith ($29.95, PB)
Bernard Smith (1916–2011) was unquestionably one of Australia’s greatest humanist scholars and its finest art historian. His European Vision and the South Pacific, 1768–1850 (1960) was a foundational text of post-colonialism, and in Australian Painting (1962) he set out the definitive history of Australian art to that time. This book presents 26 art historians, curators, artists & critics, from Australia & overseas, who have chosen a text from Smith’s work & sought to explain its personal & broad significance. Their selections reveal Smith’s extraordinary range as a scholar, his profound grasp of this nation’s past, and the way his ideas have maintained their relevance.
Common Writing: Essays on Literary Culture and Public Debate by Stefan Collini ($38.95, PB)
Stefan Collini explores aspects of the literary & intellectual culture of Britain from the early 20th century to the present by focussing chiefly on writers, critics, historians & journalists who occupied wider public roles as cultural commentators or intellectuals, as well as on the periodicals & other genres through which they attempted to reach such audiences. Among the figures he discusses are T.S. Eliot, Graham Greene, J.B. Priestley, C.S. Lewis, Kingsley Amis, Nikolaus Pevsner, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Christopher Hitchens & Michael Ignatieff.
No Time to Spare: Thinking about What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin ($40, HB)
On the absurdity of denying your age: ‘If I’m ninety & believe I’m forty-five, I’m headed for a very bad time trying to get out of the bathtub.’ On cultural perceptions of fantasy: ‘The direction of escape is toward freedom. So what is ‘escapism’ an accusation of?’ On breakfast: ‘Eating an egg from the shell takes not only practice, but resolution, even courage, possibly willingness to commit crime.’ In her last great frontier of life, old age, Ursula K. Le Guin explored a new literary territory: the blog. This collected best of Ursula’s blog, No Time to Spare presents perfectly crystallized dispatches on what mattered to her late in life, her concerns with the world, and her wonder at it: ‘How rich we are in knowledge, and in all that lies around us yet to learn. Billionaires, all of us.’
2nd2nd2ndHand Hand HandRows Rows Rows Further Folios
From Blackheath this month a further selection from our collection of the always beautifully produced Folio Society Editions of famed literary works. Animal Farm by George Orwell, $35 The Folio Society, London, 2002. Reprint. Octavo. Hardcover. Illustrated boards. Gilt spine titling. 104pp. Illustrated by Quentin Blake. Near Fine in like Slipcase. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, $30 The Folio Society, London, 2000. Hardcover. Octavo. Illustrated boards. Dark green Endpapers. 317pp. Colour illustrations by Jonathan Hitchen. Introduction by Peter Matthiessen. Near Fine in like Slipcase. The Jungle Book and the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, $65 The Folio Society, London, 2002. Reprint (with a new binding). Two Volumes. Octavo. Illustrated boards. The Jungle Book 192pp. Colour illustrations by Maurice and Edward Detmold. Just So Stories 189pp. B&W illustrations by the Author. Near Fine in like Slipcase. Captain Cook’s Voyages 1766-1779, $35 Selected and introduced by Glyndwr Williams. The Folio Society, London, 2003. Reprint. Octavo. Hardcover. Illustrated decorative boards. Coloured Endpaper Maps. Portrait of James Cook on Frontispiece. 552 pp. Coloured and b/w illustrations, maps. Near Fine in like Slipcase.
Voices, Places: Essays by David Mason ($36, PB)
Poet David Mason explores connections in geography & time, considering writers who travelled, who emigrated or were exiled, and who often shaped the literature of their homelands. He writes of seasoned travellers (Patrick Leigh Fermor, Bruce Chatwin, Joseph Conrad, Herodotus himself), & writers as far flung as Omar Khayyam, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, James Joyce & Les Murray—finally turning to his own native region, the American West, with Wallace Stegner, Edward Abbey, Robinson Jeffers, Belle Turnbull & Thomas McGrath. These essays are about familiarity & estrangement, the pleasure & knowledge readers can gain by engaging with writers’ lives, their travels, their trials, and the homes they make for themselves.
The List: A Week-by-Week Reckoning of Trump’s First Year by Amy Siskind ($35, HB)
In the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s election as president, Amy Siskind, a former Wall Street executive and the founder of The New Agenda, began compiling a list of actions taken by the Trump regime that pose a threat to the US’s democratic norms. Under the headline: ‘Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember’, Siskind begins with Trump’s acceptance of white supremacists the week after the election & concludes a year to the day later, as Trump & his regime chips away at the rights & protections of marginalized communities, of women, of us all, via Twitter storms, unchecked executive action & shifting rules & standards. The List chronicles not only the scandals that made headlines but just as important, the myriad smaller but still consequential unprecedented acts that otherwise fall through cracks.
Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials by Malcolm Harris ($45, HB)
Millennials have been called lazy, entitled, narcissistic & immature, but when you push aside the stereotypes, what actually unites this generation? The short answer: They’ve been had. Millennials are the hardest working & most educated generation in American history. They have poured unprecedented amounts of time & money into preparing themselves for the 21st century workforce. Yet they are poorer, more medicated, more precariously employed, and have less of a social safety net than their parents or grandparents. Examining broad trends like runaway student debt, the rise of the intern, mass incarceration, social media & more, Malcolm Harris shows a generation conditioned from birth to treat their lives & their efforts—their very selves & futures—as human capital to be invested. But what happens when children raised as investments grow up? Why are young people paying such a high price to train themselves for a system that exploits them? How can Millennials change or transcend what’s been made of them?
A tour of history & travel from 2nd hand upstais at 49 Glebe Pt Rd Round About the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit by Joyce E. Chaplin, $16 In a lively charge through 500 years of worldwide exploration (and beyond) Joyce Chaplin circles the Earth by sail, steam or liquid fuel; by cycling, driving, flying, or going into orbit; even with the intrepid who use their own bodily power. In the face of claims by ‘Flat-earthers’, rather than falling of the edge of the world, men and women have been encircling the planet for hundreds of years and Chaplin gives a colourful account of their ambitious rings around the earth. Quest for Kim: In Search of Kipling’s Great Game by Peter Hopkirk, $15 Rudyard Kipling used the Great Game—a political and diplomatic confrontation that existed for most of the 19th century between the British Empire & Russian Empires over Afghanistan & neighbouring territories in Central & Southern Asia—as a backdrop for his novel Kim. The novel presents a detailed portrait of the people, culture, and varied religions of India. Kim is an orphan boy who is recruited into the Indian secret service, and in this book Peter Hopkirk retraces Kim’s footsteps across India in a literary detective story—a quest for Kim—and the India of the novel. 1517: Martin Luther & the Invention of the Reformation by Peter Marshall, $18 2017 was supposedly the Reformation’s quincentenary—marking Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg in 1517. This act has been a powerful & enduring symbol of religious freedom of conscience, and of righteous protest—however Peter Marshall reviews the available evidence and concludes that, very probably, the Theses-posting is a myth. He argues this fact makes the incident all the more historically significant, and explores the multiple ways in which Martin Luther, and the Reformation itself, have been remembered & used for their own purposes by subsequent generations of Protestants & others. Shadows of the Sun: The Diaries of Harry Crosby, $20 Harry Crosby (1898–1929) was an American heir, bon vivant, poet & publisher who for some epitomized the Lost Generation in American literature. He was a volunteer in the American Field Service during WWI, serving in the US Ambulance Corps— narrowly escaping with his life. Profoundly affected by his experience he abandoned all pretence of living the expected life of a privileged Bostonian. He scandalised Boston with his open affair with Mrs Richard Peabody—they removed to Europe where, within an open marriage, they embraced a decadent lifestyle. Crosby maintained a coterie of young ladies, and wrote and published poetry that dwelled on the symbolism of the sun & explored themes of death & suicide. With his wife he founded the Black Sun Press which was the first to publish works by a number of struggling authors including James Joyce, Hart Crane, D. H. Lawrence &T. S. Eliot. Crosby died in his 31st year as part of a murder–suicide or suicide pact. These diaries cover 1922 to 1929.
1918: Death at Ekaterinburg Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massie ($25, PB) Nicholas II: The Last Tsar by Michael Paterson ($25, PB) Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs by Helen Rappaport ($23, PB)
17 July 1918. While the wholesale slaughter continues on the Western Front, a more intimate state sanctioned regicide takes place some 4,500 kms eastwards—in the Siberian city of Ekaterinburg, Russia. Tsar Nicholas II and his family are executed by the Bolsheviks, ending the three-century-old Romanov dynasty. Following the Bolshevik seizure of power in November 1917, the establishment of the world’s first communist state and Russia’s exit from the war in February 1918, civil war erupted in June 1918. By early July, anti-Bolshevik ‘White’ Russian troops were advancing on Ekaterinburg where the imperial Family had been kept imprisoned at Impatiev House since April. The local Ekaterinburg Soviet was ordered to prevent the rescue of the Romanovs and in a clandestine meeting ordered a death sentence. At midnight on 16 July, Commissar Yurovsky, the ringleader of the execution squad woke the Royal Family: Nicholas (50), his German-born wife, Tsarina Alexandra (46), their daughters—the Grand Duchesses Olga (22), Tatiana (21), Marie (19), Anastasia (17) and their son, the Tsarevich Alexi (13). They were told they were being moved to the lower floors for their safety. Along with them are Yevgeny Botkin, their doctor; Alexi Trupp, Nicholas’ valet; Anna Demidova, Alexandra’s maid and Ivan Kharitonov, their cook. They were led down to a small basement, only 11 by 13 ft (3x3m), with a single grilled window and told they were to be posed for a photograph to prove to the world they had not escaped. None showed any signs of suspicion. ‘There were no tears, no sobs, no questions’, Yurovsky recalled later. Alexandra asked for some chairs—‘May we not sit?’ Two were bought in. Alexandra sat in one, Nicholas placed Alexei in the other. Yurovsky began arranging the family and the servants in two rows for the supposed photograph. Eleven armed men then entered the room. Finding a local execution squad had not been easy. Many were willing to shoot the hated Tsar; however, they were less eager to murder women and children. Five of the group were Russians, six were Latvians. Some may have been drunk. Yurovsky read the execution order. Nicholas, shocked, turned to his family, then back to Yurovsky saying ‘What? What?’. Yurovsky repeated the order and opened fire on the Tsar. There followed a hail of gunfire. So crowded was the small room and so intense the firing, that some of the executioners themselves suffered gunpowder burns and were deafened. Those family members who survived shooting were then bayoneted to death. It took more than 20 minutes to execute everyone. It was discovered that Anastasia’s King Charles Spaniel, Jemmy, had also perished with his mistress. The bodies were loaded onto a truck and driven into the forest surrounding Ekaterinburg. In an area of swamps and abandoned mineshafts some 12 miles (19 kms) north of the city, known as Ganin’s Pit, the bodies were unloaded and stripped. It was then discovered that the Empress and her daughters had sewn the family jewellery into their corsets and linen clothing. The jewels were collected. As dawn was breaking, the clothing was burnt. The bodies were dumped into a mine shaft. An unsuccessful attempt was made to blow it up with grenades. The bodies were then retrieved, doused with acid, burnt and thrown in a pit. The remains of Nicholas, Alexandra and three of the children were rediscovered and excavated 1991 and positively identified in 1998 using DNA fingerprinting. Alexi and one daughter were missing. This fuelled persistent legends that Anastasia, the youngest Romanov daughter, had survived. Of the several ‘Anastasias’ that surfaced in Europe in the decades after the Russian Revolution, Anna Anderson, who died in the United States in 1984, was the most convincing. In 1994, however, scientists used DNA to prove that Anna Anderson was not the Tsar’s daughter but a Polish woman named Franziska Schanzkowska. In 2007 the remains of both Alexei and Maria were discovered in a forest clearing near Ekaterinburg and identified through DNA testing. The entire Imperial Family—rehabilitated by the Russian state and in 2000, canonised by the Orthodox Church as symbols of faith and hope—now rest together in the St Peter and Paul Cathedral, in St Petersburg.
Untrained for the role of Tsar and disinclined to govern, Nicholas II’s tragic, human story and that of his family has never been better told—in my opinion—than by Robert Massie in his now classic account, Nicholas and Alexandra (1967). A glimpse of Nicholas in his last days is provided by Anatoly Yakimov, one of his former guards, in a statement to his White Army captors who reached Ekaterinburg a week after the execution of the Romanovs: The tsar was no longer young, his beard was getting grey… His eyes were kind… I got the impression that he was a kind, simple, frank and talkative person. He looked as if he would like to talk to us… All my evil thoughts about the tsar disappeared after I had stayed a certain time. After I had seen them several times, I began to pity them as human beings. I am telling you the entire truth. You may or may not believe me, but I kept saying to myself, ‘Let them escape…do something to let them escape’. Stephen Reid
Useless Magic: Lyrics and Poetry by Florence Welch ($50, HB)
‘Songs can be incredibly prophetic . . . like a kind of useless magic.’ The complete lyrics by the iconic vocalist of Florence and the Machine, beautifully interwoven with poems, sketches & jottings from her never-before-seen scrapbooks. This is a glimpse into the work & creative processes of a fearlessly unique musician—packed full of Florence’s onthe-page musings and reproductions of the art that has inspired her dramatic, genre-defying music.
Viva the Real by Jill Jones ($24.95, PB)
Exploring body and place in ways that are expansive, intimate and playful, Jill Jones celebrates resilience & continuity in everyday life. Her poems offer a strong, vital voice, charged with effortlessly rhythmic & resonant lyricism. ‘ Intelligent, wise and splendidly idiosyncratic, these poems delight in quirky combinations, inventive segues, and the vivacity and urgency of a newly imagined real. Such bright originality carried in the faith of re-animation. ‘—Gail Jones
Essex Clay by Andrew Motion ($33, HB)
Essex Clay rekindles, expands & gives a tragic resonance to subjects that have haunted Andrew Motion throughout his writing life. In the first part, he tells the story of his mother’s riding accident, long unconsciousness & slow death; in the second, he remembers the end of his father’s much longer life; and in the third, he describes an encounter that deepens the poem’s tangled themes of loss & memory & retrieval. Although the prevailing mood of the poem has a Tennysonian sweep & melancholy, its wealth of physical details & its narrative momentum make it as compelling as a fast-paced novel: a settling of accounts which admits that final resolutions are impossible.
Newcastle Sonnets by Keri Glastonbury ($24, PB)
Once a working-class heartland, Newcastle is now acclaimed as one of the top 5 hipster cities in the world. In the sequence of sonnets which compose her homage to Newcastle, Glastonbury celebrates the city’s oddities & contradictions, remixing the material effects of gentrification with the regional vernacular & punk drama of locally based social media—blogs, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook & Google Maps. An antipodean, regional queering of Ted Berrigan’s New York-based Sonnets, Glastonbury’s poems make music from what’s around—this is Newcastle in cosplay, part eggs benedict, part pebblecrete, where a coal boat named ‘Fiction’ is always approaching the shore.
Collected Poems by Lorna Goodison ($50, PB)
Jamaica’s Poet Laureate (2017-2020). Lorna Goodison is a poet alive to places, from the loved and lived-in world of Jamaica where she began and started a family, to the United States and Canada where she has made her teaching career, but always reconnecting with her Caribbean roots. The `mango of poetry’, eaten straight from the tree, Goodison somehow finds growing in Wordsworth country and in Sligo, in Russia and Norway, in Spain and Portugal which spilled their empires into the Caribbean, in Cape Town and Far Rockaway.
The Iliad: A New Translation Caroline Alexander, HB
House of Names Colm Toibin, HB
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch Philip K. Dick, PB
Of All That Ends Günter Grass, HB
Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock’s Darkest Day Joel Selvin, HB
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink Elvis Costello, HB
The Early Stories of Truman Capote HB
The Festival of Insignificance Milan Kundera, HB
The World of Poo Terry Pratchett, HB
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery, HB
My Soul Looks Back Jessica B. Harris, HB
Love from Boy: Roald Dahl’s Letters to His Mother (ed) Donald Sturrock, HB
Caliphate: The History of an Idea Hugh Kennedy, HB
John Le Carre: The Biography Adam Sisman, HB
Black Earth: The Holocaust as History & Warning Timothy Snyder, HB
To Hell and Back: Europe, 1914-1949 Ian Kershaw, HB
Caught in the Revolution Helen Rappaport, HB
Naming Thy Name: Cross White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America Talk in Shakespeare’s Sonnets Elaine Scarry, HB Nancy Isenberg, HB
The Well-Tempered City: Jonathan F. P. Rose, HB
The Arts Conversations with Diego Rivera: The Monster in His Labyrinth ($38, PB)
In 1949 poet Alfredo Cardona-Pena conducted a year of weekly interviews with artist Diego Rivera—these intimate Sunday dialogues show the free-flowing mind of a man who was a legend in his own time; an artist who escaped being lynched on more than one occasion, a painter so controversial that his public murals inspired movements, or, like the work commissioned by John D. Rockefeller, were ordered torn down. Here in his San Angelin studio, we hear Rivera’s feelings about the elitist aspect of paintings in museums, his motivations to create public art for the people, and his memorable, unedited expositions on the art, culture, & politics of Mexico.
Encountering the Spiritual in Contemporary Art (ed) Leesa Fanning ($115, HB)
The spiritual is everywhere evident in contemporary art, and this publication addresses the subject in depth for the first time in over 3 decades. It significantly broadens the scope of previous studies to include new media & non-Western & Indigenous art (in addition to that of the West), presents art from diverse cultures with equal status, promotes cultural specificity, and moves beyond notions of ‘centre & periphery’, celebrating the plurality & global nature of contemporary art today. Major essays based on cultural affinities are interspersed with brief thematic essays to provide diverse perspectives—providing an alternative to the main currents of presentation & interpretation prevalent in contemporary art, appealing to believers, agnostics & sceptics alike.
Etel Adnan by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie ($70, HB)
Etel Adnan (b.1925) is a Lebanese-American poet, essayist & visual artist. This book present a full account of Adnan’s life & work, using the drama of her biography, the complexity of her identity & the cosmopolitan nature of her experience to illuminate the many layers & dimensions of her paintings & their progress over several crucial decades. Adnan came relatively late to painting—her first images were created in the mid-1960s in response to the Californian landscape. Her vocabulary of lines, shapes & colours has changed little since then, and yet there are huge variations in mood, texture, composition & material. Similarly, there is a balance between understanding her paintings as pure abstractions, emulating the shape of thought & seeing them for the actual landscapes of the many places Adnan has loved, embraced & responded to.
Obsession—Nudes by Klimt, Schiele, and Picasso from the Scofield Thayer Collection ($48, PB)
Scofield Thayer was a wealthy publisher, poet & aesthete who led an intense public life that included the editorship of the prominent literary journal The Dial & friendships with literary luminaries such as e. e. cummings. In the 1920s, Thayer went on an art-buying spree in London, Paris, Berlin & Vienna, acquiring approximately 600 works of art. Among these are particularly provocative drawings & watercolours by Klimt, Schiele & Picasso, at a time when these works were little known or appreciated. This book showcases 52 of the rarely seen works—which have now taken their place as modernist erotic masterpieces—and presents them within the context of the collector’s remarkable life and tempestuous times.
Japanese Knitting: Patterns for Sweaters, Scarves and More by michiyo ($70, HB)
Create your own versatile wardrobe essentials with these chic new Japanese knitting patterns for apparel & accessories from cult favourite michiyo. Her minimalist aesthetic & textural elements make her knitwear styles polished and flattering, whether worn layered or as stand-alone pieces. With this Japanese knitting pattern book, experienced knitters & needleworkers can create a diverse collection of effortless-looking pieces ranging from a pair of soft slippers to a structured jacket. Inside find 23 stylish patterns & instructions for: A Nordic-style sweater; classic raglan cardigan; diagonal striped tunic; sleeve scarf & many more.
Charlotte Salomon. Life? or Theatre? by Judith Belinfante ($67.50, HB)
When German artist Charlotte Salomon (1917–1943) handed her gouache series Life? or Theater? over to a friend, she beseeched him to ‘take good care of it, it is my entire life’. A few months later, the 5-months pregnant Charlotte was picked up by a Gestapo truck, and on to Auschwitz, where she died upon arrival at the age 26. The work Salomon left behind is, in a very real sense, her pièce de résistance. A cycle of nearly 1,300 autobiographical gouaches, it combines creative force with pioneering personal narrative into one shattering document of selfexpression. Divided into 3 sections, the gouaches unveil a vivid self-portrait spanning across all facets of Charlotte’s existence: from a complicated family life, marked by the suicides of nearly all female relatives; growing up in Berlin; her close relation to singing teacher Alfred Wolfsohn; the rise of the Nazis; to her exile to France in 1939.
Nicolas de Stael in Provence ($55, PB) (eds) Marie Du Bouchet & Gustave de Stael
Celebrated for his landscapes that occupy a place between the figurative and the abstract, Nicolas de Stael (1914–1955) was a Russian-born French artist whose works encompass paintings, collage, illustrations & textiles. This book focuses on the paintings (arguably his finest) that de Stael produced during a single, momentous year very near the end of his life. The paintings were created in the south of France between the summer of 1953 & the autumn of 1954, and were inspired by a journey de Stael took in August of 1953. Together with a group of family & friends, de Stael travelled through Italy, revisiting Naples & Pompeii & culminating in Sicily; the constant transformation of brilliant colour in the art, architecture, landscape, & light of Italy made a deep impression on de Stael. The resulting paintings, bold compositions of red, yellow, orange & green, are saturated with colour & free-floating expressiveness.
Thomas Struth ($155, HB)
Since the 1990s, Thomas Struth (born 1954) has been one of the best-known & internationally successful photographers of the German art scene. Struth studied painting under Gerhard Richter & photography under Bernd & Hilla Becher, a combination that decisively influenced his vision. This volume is a compilation of representative photographs from each series of works in Struth’s oeuvre: street photographs from the 1970s and 80s; empathetic portraits (particularly of families); largeformat ‘museum photographs’; nature studies; jungle photographs (New Pictures from Paradise); and, from the latest series, images from the world of science. As this compendium of his work shows, Struth has succeeded in setting new aesthetic standards thanks to his great precision, chromatic clarity, sound sense of composition & intellectual profundity.
Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World by Jeffrey Spier. Timothy Potts & Sarah E. Cole
From about 2000 BCE onward, Egypt served as an important nexus for cultural exchange in the eastern Mediterranean, importing & exporting not just wares but also new artistic techniques & styles. Egyptian, Greek & Roman craftsmen imitated one another’s work, creating cultural & artistic hybrids that transcended a single tradition. Renowned scholars have come together in Beyond the Nile to uncover analyse the remarkable artistic production that resulted from these interchanges, the complex vicissitudes of exchange between Egypt & the Classical world over the course of nearly 2500 years. With gorgeous photographs of more than two hundred rare objects, including frescoes, statues, obelisks, jewellery, papyri, pottery, and coins, this volume offers an essential and interdisciplinary approach to the rich world of artistic cross-pollination during antiquity.. ($96, HB)
William Blake: Dante’s Divine Comedy—The Complete Drawings ($67.50, HB)
In the last few years of his life, Romantic poet & artist William Blake (1757–1827) produced 102 illustrations for Dante’s masterwork journey from Hell through Purgatory to Heaven. From pencil sketches to finished watercolours, like Dante’s sweeping poem, Blake’s drawings range from scenes of infernal suffering to celestial light, from horrifying human disfigurement to the perfection of physical form. While faithful to the text, Blake also brought his own perspective to some of Dante’s central themes. This edition brings these works together again, alongside key excerpts from Dante’s masterpiece. Two introductory essays consider Dante & Blake, as well as other major artists who have been inspired by The Divine Comedy—including Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo, Eugene Delacroix, Gustave Doré & Auguste Rodin. With an intimate reading of Blake’s illustrations, and many close-ups to allow the most delicate of details to dazzle, this is a breathtaking encounter with two of the finest artistic talents in history, as well as with such universal themes as love, guilt, punishment, revenge, and redemption.
Claudio Sabatino: Shooting Time Pompeii And Its Surroundings ($67.50, PB)
The exhibition Shooting Time: Pompeii and its Surroundings allows us to reflect, in a museum such as the Archaeological Museum of Naples, on the relationship between archaeological context, landscape & the finds that come from them. Preventing the gradual process of change of the remaining landscape would be pure utopia. That it also generates a culture of respect, which goes from a deep knowledge of history & allows for conscious protection, is another.
Protest Knits: Got needles? Get knitting
Knitting Nannas, who protest about environmental issues by holding ‘knit-ins’; Wool Against Weapons knitted a 7-milelong pink ‘peace scarf’ to protest against the country’s Trident nuclear weapon programme—later repurposed into thousands of blankets for those in need in warzones & developing nations; Chilean hombres tejedores (knitting men) break down stereotypes & teach other men to embrace the creative hobby. From pussy hats to protest scarfs & shy anarchist socks, here are more than 15 projects for some crafty therapy. ($20, HB)
DVDs With Scott Donovan Mountain: Dir. Jennifer Peedom ($32.95)
Only 3 centuries ago, setting out to climb a mountain would have been considered close to lunacy. The idea scarcely existed that wild landscapes might hold any sort of attraction. Mountains were places of peril, not beauty. How then have they come to hold us spellbound, drawing us into their dominion, often at the cost of our lives? Australians Jen Peedom, director of Sherpa, and Richard Tognetti, artistic director of the ACO, drove this international collaboration that also involved US-based cinematographer Renan Ozturk, British writer Robert Macfarlane and American actor Willem Dafoe. Filmed by the worlds leading high altitude cinematographers, with works by Chopin, Grieg, Vivaldi, Beethoven and new works by Richard Tognetti.
Beau Travail: Dir. Claire Denis ($32.95, region 2) Inspired by Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Claire Denis’ Beau Travail is a stunning combination of literature, music, poetry & dance that explores the near-mytical world of the French Foreign legion. Denis Lavant stars as Galoup, a sergeant-major whose position & power are threatened when the bravery & heroism of new recruit Sentain (Grégoire Colin) attracts the attention of the platoon’s commandant (Michel Subor). Enraged, Galoup plots Sentain’s downfall, a doomed course of action that leads to his own undoing. In a powerful examination of masculinity, Denis creates a dark mounting tension that underlies the cinematography of Agnès Godard, whose stark visual style contrasts vividly with the graceful training rituals of the sculpted young soldiers. Happy End: Dir. Michael Haneke ($32.95, region 2)
When her mother falls ill under mysterious circumstances, young Eve (Fantine Harduin) is sent to live with her estranged father’s wealthy relatives in Calais. But trouble is brewing, as a series of intergenerational back-stabbings threaten to tear the family apart. Meanwhile, distracted by infidelities & betrayals, they fail to notice that their new arrival has a sinister secret of her own. Master auteur Michael Haneke returns with a biting satire on bourgeois family values set in the shadow of the European refugee crisis. Featuring a cast of top acting talent, including Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz & Toby Jones—a piercing dark comedy on the blind preoccupations of middle-class angst.
Performing Arts Ron Vawter’s Life in Performance (Enactments) by Theresa Smalec ($63, PB)
From 1974 to 1994, Ron Vawter was a staple of New York’s downtown theatre scene, first with the Performance Group & later as a founding member of the Wooster Group. Theresa Smalec focusses on this incomparable actor’s specific contributions to ensemble theatre, while also covering his solo projects. Through a combination of archival research & oral testimony—including interviews with Willem Dafoe, Spalding Gray, Elizabeth LeCompte, Gregory Mehrten, Richard Schechner & Marianne Weems—Vawter emerges as an unsung innovator whose metamorphosis from soldier to avant-garde star was hardly accidental. Smalec reconstructs Vawter’s years in amateur theatre, his time in the National Guard, and his professional body of work.
Musical Composition: Craft & Art by Alan Belkin
This essential introduction to the art & craft of musical composition is designed to familiarize beginning composers with principles & techniques applicable to a broad range of musical styles, from concert pieces to film scores and video game music. The first of its kind to utilize a style-neutral approach, in addition to presenting the commonly known classical forms, this book offers invaluable general guidance on developing & connecting musical ideas, building to a climax, and other fundamental formal principles. It is designed for both classroom use and independent study. ($39, PB)
Comparing Notes: How We Make Sense of Music by Adam Ockelford ($25, PB)
A tap of the foot, a rush of emotion, the urge to hum a tune; without instruction or training we all respond intuitively to music. Comparing Notes explores what music is, why we are all musical, and how abstract patterns of sound that don’t actually mean anything can in fact be so meaningful. Taking the reader on a tour of major 20th century musical theories, Professor Adam Ockelford arrives at his own psychologically grounded theory of how music works. From pitch & rhythm to dynamics & timbre, he shows how all the elements of music cohere through the principle of imitation to create an abstract narrative in sound that we instinctively grasp, whether listening to Bach or the Beatles. Based on three decades of innovative work with blind children & those on the autism spectrum, Ockelford draws lessons from neurodiversity to show how we all develop musically, and to explore the experience of music from composer and performer to listener. Essential reading for anyone who’s ever loved a song, sonata or symphony, and wondered why.
what we're reading
Andrew: Never Mind and Some Hope by Edward St Aubyn. (Gathered together in The Patrick Melrose Novels Volume 1) I remember trying to ready At Last by Edward St Aubyn several years ago, not aware that it was the very last in a sequence of five novels. I found Patrick Melrose such a vile, black star of acerbic disdain for what seemed like everything and everyone coming into his purview, that I chucked it away after a chapter or two. Thankfully I have finally returned to the series in (most crucially) the correct order, with the first and second novels—and am now an evangelical convert. These are indeed dark dark novels, of abuse, addiction and predation, but viewed with a terrible pathos, written with a tightrope walker’s precision. Imagine one moment a perfect childhood summer in Provence; the figs dropping and spoiling in the sun; idly watching the ants marching in the sun along the ancient stone walls; the lounging dinner guests with too-clever conversation; avoiding the whiff of anything déclassé more important than any human feeling— and now merge this with a desparate dash through the lower eastside in Manhattan to find some smack and cocaine of a decent enough purity to hit up in a grubby toilet; only to discover, upon injecting, a black cushion of fluid welling up under one’s skin and the ensuing misplaced fury and dismay in realising one has missed a vein. Dark humour, yes, but with a terrible core understanding of human frailty. John: I’ve been slow in getting to Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie—which was one of our most popular literary fiction books last year. We learn of three siblings—British with a Pakistani heritage, orphans whose father, a jihadi, died in custody. The young twins Aneeka and Parvaiz are bought up by their older sister Isma, who has taken up a scholarship at an American university, so the 19 year old twins are on their own. Aneeka is academic and studies law while her brother, Parvais, is a bit of a dreamer who is radicalised and recruited by ISIS. Aneeka begins a relationship with the Home Secretary’s son, but is it love? Home Fire is a novel about the nature of love and power. It works on both a personal and national scale while maintaining a taut plot that leads to an unexpected climax. If, like I, you’re late to Home Fire, I highly recommend you pick it up.
Working For The Man, Playing In The Band: My Years with James Brown by Damon Wood, with Phil Carson ($33, HB)
In this unvarnished account of toiling under one of popular music’s most notorious bosses, Damon Wood details his six years spent playing guitar for James Brown’s Soul Generals. Wood recalls how a chance encounter with James Brown led him to embrace soul & funk music under the tutelage of its greatest progenitor. This is a sideman’s story of the gritty reality of working close to the spotlight but rarely in it. Damon Wood describes life on the road—often on James Brown’s infamous tour bus—with one guitar, a change of clothes & two dozen comrades-in-arms as they brought the funk to clubs, theatres & the biggest music festivals on earth.
Pink Floyd: Album by Album by Martin Popoff
Rock journalist Martin Popoff moderates discussions about all of Pink Floyd’s studio albums, including their soundtrack efforts & the instrumental/ambient The Endless River, with rock journalists & musicians who offer insights, opinions & anecdotes about every release. These conversations give a unique historical overview of the band, covering everything from early albums with Syd Barrett to the song writing tandem of Roger Waters & David Gilmour; the impeccable talents of drummer Nick Mason & multi-instrumentalist Richard Wright; those mega tours undertaken in support of the LPs; the monster success of breakthrough LP Dark Side of the Moon; interpersonal conflict; the band following Water’s 1985 departure; and much more. Popoff also includes sidebars that provide complete track listings, album personnel, and studios and dates. Every page is illustrated with thoughtfully curated performance and offstage photography, as well as rare memorabilia. ($40, HB)
The Beatles on the Roof by Tony Barrell ($39.95, PB)
On 30 Jan, 1969, The Beatles took to the roof of their Mayfair headquarters & created one of the most iconic moments in music history. The rooftop concert was their first public performance in over 2 years. They played new songs, upset the establishment &* bewildered the police. The event seemed utterly spontaneous but had been a year in the planning, with technicians & roadies slaving to make it happen. It was filmed by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who hoped to use the footage as the finale in a celebratory TV special; it would finally surface in the bleak documentary Let It Be. Tony Barrell examines the concert within the context of its time— speaking to those who were there: the fans, film-makesr, roadies, Apple Corps staff & the coppers.
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Bestsellers—Non-Fiction 1. The Year Everything Changed: 2001
2. Small Wrongs: How We Really Say Sorry, in Love,
Life & the Law
3. Quarterly Essay 70: Dead Right 4. The Erratics
5. Remembering the Myall Creek Massacre
Jane Lydon & Lyndall Ryan
6. Australia Reimagined
7. Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia
Anita Heiss (ed)
8. Eggshell Skull
10. Dark Emu: Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident?
Bestsellers—Fiction 1. Warlight
3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine 4. Less: A Novel 5. The Shepherd’s Hut 6. Distance 7. White Houses 8. Manhattan Beach 9. The Making of Martin Sparrow 10. The Death of Noah Glass
Gail Honeyman Andrew Sean Greer Tim Winton Simon Kronenberg Amy Bloom Jennifer Egan Peter Cochrane Gail Jones
and another thing.....
I don’t know about you, but I’m so utterly sick of the people we pay to ‘govern’ us piddling about trying to buy us off with a couple of dollars extra in our pay packets (if we’re lucky enough to have jobs—despite the ‘move forward jobs & growth’ mantras) whilst refusing to offer actual solutions—which would involve spending money—on the obvious and calamitous near future we plague of humans are facing. Richard Denniss’s Quarterly Essay: Dead Right addresses this failure of government, and resulting voter apathy beautifully. I recently had an operation as a public patient in our incredible hospital system. The nurses, doctors, cleaning staff, everyone, was immaculate in their service from entrance to exit—as they have always been when I’ve needed them. Why are we spending 7 BILLION dollars on SIX spy drones and saying we can’t afford to fund our public health care system? Or our public schools? Or serious forward-thinking projects, not (plastic) band-aids, to deal with looming environmental disaster. Speaking of plastic—my trip to hospital, whilst entirely satisfactory, was an eye-opener in terms of the huge project it would be to reverse our throwaway culture—clearly one wants not to leave hospital accompanied by golden staph but it is incredible the amount of plastic waste one day and night of hospital stay generates. And then you get home and look around ... So, I’ve decided to investigate the now proliferating books on how to live a low tox zero waste life. Of course the proliferation of the zero waste books possibly caused the destruction of a forest or two (I’m hoping they’re all from recycled paper)—but I have to start somewhere. So I’m taking home from this month’s gleanings Low Tox Life by Alexx Stuart, A Zero Waste Life in Thirty Days by Anita Van Dyke, A Life Less Throwaway by Tara Button, How to Give Up Plastic by Will McCallum, and a ‘100s of Household Uses’ series of 3 volumes: Vinegar, Bicarbonate of Soda and Lemons. But our politicians better start funding all the alternative environmentally sound products so those in the plastics industries, and manufacturers of other products we need to give up, won’t suddenly be on the losing end of Canberra’s much-touted ‘jobs & growth’. Ah, it’s a tangled wasteful web— I’ll report back on my attempt at a less waste-full life next month. You can bet I’ll be on the phone to my local council. Viki
For more July new releases go to:
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