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Vol. 25 No. 5 June 2018
2nd Hand at 49 Glebe Point Rd 1
Post festival holiday reading
I’m on holidays as you read this, travelling, relaxing and recuperating after a hectic Sydney Writers’ Festival. The outstanding memory most people might keep of this year’s Festival at its new venue, Carriageworks, is of life imitating art in the ‘outing’ of one guest by another very much in, the spirit of ‘Power’, the Festival’s theme. My memories are more mundane: counting the books, and the boxes, trying not to lose track of the books, getting to places on time, and hoping that no one trips over a lead and disconnects computers, tills, and eftpos machines. Anyway, as far as I could tell, the change of venue, due to the renovation of the Walsh Bay wharves, was a success—and we found Carriageworks, and our fresh new industrial-chic shop, a positive experience. I hope that the many Gleebooks customers we saw there found likewise, and hope to bump into you there next year. While exploring Bohemian Europe I’ll weigh myself down (yes, I’ve got an Ipad, but no e-books for this old-timer) with a few exciting upcoming releases. I’m some way through Stephanie Bishop’s Man Out of Time (publishing in September), a profoundly moving novel about family relationship (daughter/father) and particularly the way in which destructive behaviour can impact, internally and externally. Her language is as refined and exact as the deeply absorbing subject matter. Absolutely recommended. I also have advance copies of the new book by Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent (a terrific historical novel from 2016, well worth reading). The title Melmoth is a direct nod to a now obscure early 19th century Gothic novel, Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin (forever ago it was on my Sydney Uni reading list). With the ‘discovery of a strange manuscript filled with testimonies from the darkest chapters of human history, which all record sightings of a tall, silent woman in black, with unblinking eyes and bleeding feet: Melmoth, the loneliest being in the world’ at its heart, it looks an intriguing, and beguiling prospect (publishing in October). And third leg of my fiction trifecta will be Barbara Kingsolver’s history of two families occupying the same house a century apart, Unsheltered (October). Can’t wait. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with reflections on a trio of non-fiction June releases. I’ve already mentioned Phillipa McGuinness’ fascinating memoir The Year Everything Changed: 2001. This is a blend of the personal and the historical. It’s at once reflective, an eye-opener (it’s amazing just how much, outside of the day that changed the world, happened in 2001), and very moving. And Simon Winchester is up to his usual standard of detailed examination and historical research in Exactly: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World. It’s a very readable history of how the pioneers of precision in engineering changed their own, and our world. Not only does it show our reliance on precision in invention and design, it also goes to the crux of the question of how the technological and the natural can co-exist. Lastly, can I commend Waiting for Elijah by Kate Wild. This is the first book from a writer of long experience as an investigative journalist at the ABC. Wild brings those forensic skills, and great compassion to the story of the shooting of the mentally ill 24 year-old Elijah Holcombe by a policeman in Armidale in 2009. Writing the book has been a six year journey for Wild, and she is engaged and compelling in every aspect of her account, especially in her sympathy for the bereaved family. There’s little question that this is yet another death of a mentally ill person which didn’t have to happen, but Wild covers so much, with such care and deep sensitivity, that we are left in no doubt that everyone, us included, is a victim of a an imperfect health and policing system. David
Australian Literature Only Killers And Thieves by Paul Howarth ($30, PB)
A powerfully told, gripping novel of family, guilt, empire & race set in the dusty, deserted outback of Queensland in the 1880s. Tommy McBride & his brother Billy return to the isolated family home to find their parents have been brutally murdered. Haunted & alone, their desperate search for the killers leads them to the charismatic & deadly Inspector No one & his Queensland Native Police an infamous arm of colonial power whose sole purpose is the ‘dispersal’ of Indigenous Australians in protection of settler rights. The retribution that follows will not only devastate Tommy & his relationship with his brother, but leave a terrible & lasting mark on the colony & the country it later becomes.
Reading the Landscape: A Celebration of Australian Writing ($29.95, PB)
Featuring 25 of the greatest Australian writing names from UQP’s past & present, UQP’s 70th Anniversary Anthology showcases specially commissioned fiction, non-fiction & poetry by Australia’s finest writers on themes such as legacy, country, vision & hope. Participating authors include: Ali Alizadeh, Venero Armanno, Larissa Behrendt, Lily Brett, Gabrielle Carey, Peter Carey, Matthew Condon, David Brooks, Karen Foxlee, Kári Gíslason, Rodney Hall, Steven Herrick, Sarah Holland-Batt, Nicholas Jose, Mireille Juchau, Julie Koh, Melissa Lucashenko, Patti Miller, David Malouf, James Moloney, Jaya Savige, Josephine Rowe, Peter Skrzynecki, Samuel Wagan Watson, Ellen van Neerven.
Meanjin Vol 77 No 1 (ed) Jonathan Green ($25, PB) This edition of Meanjin features the Nauru Diaries of former Royal Navy doctor Nick Martin. What he found in the Australian detention centre ‘was way more traumatic than anything I’d seen in Afghanistan’. You’ll also read Paul Daley on Indigenous history, statues & strange commemorations, Omar Sakr & Dennis Altman on the same sex marriage vote & Fiona Wright on Australia in three books. There’s new fiction from Laura McPhee-Browne, Peter Polites, John Kinsella & Paul Dalla Rosa & a fine selection of new poetry from the likes of Stephen Edgar, Chris WallaceCrabbe, Marjorie Main & Judith Beveridge.
Also released in June: Meanjin Vol 77 No 2, $25 Bluebottle by Belinda Castles ($30, PB)
On a sweltering day in a cliff-top beach shack, Jack and Lou Bright grow suspicious about the behaviour of their charismatic, unpredictable father, Charlie. A girl they know has disappeared, and as the day unfolds, Jack’s eruptions of panic, Lou’s sultry rebellions and their little sister Phoebe’s attention-seeking push the family towards revelation. 20 years later, the Bright children have remained close to the cliff edges, russet sand & moody ocean of their childhood. Behind the beautiful surfaces of their daily lives lies the difficult landscape of their past, always threatening to break through. And then, one night in late summer, they return to the house on the cliff. This is a gripping & evocative story of a family bound by an inescapable past, from the award-winning author of The River Baptists and Hannah and Emil.
The Book Ninja by Ali Berg & Michelle Kalus
Frankie Rose is desperate for love. Or a relationship. Or just a date with a semi-normal person will do. It’s not that she hasn’t tried. She’s the queen of online dating. But enough is enough. Inspired by her job at The Little Brunswick Street Bookshop, Frankie decides to take fate into her own hands and embarks on the ultimate love experiment. Her plan? Plant her favourite books on trains inscribed with her contact details in a bid to lure the sophisticated, charming and well-read man of her dreams. Enter Sunny, and one spontaneous kiss later, Frankie begins to fall for him. But there’s just one problem—Frankie is strictly a classics kind of gal, and Sunny is really into Young Adult. Like really. ($30, PB)
The Love That I Have by James Moloney ($28, PB)
Margot Baumann has left school to take up her sister’s job in the mail room of a large prison. Butthis is Germany in 1944, and the prison is Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin. Margot is shielded from the camp’s brutality as she has no contact with prisoners. But she does handle their mail and, when given a cigarette lighter & told to burn the letters, she is horrified by the callous act she must carry out with her own hands. This is especially painful since her brother was taken prisoner at Stalingrad and her family have had no letters from him. So Margot steals a few letters, intending to send them in secret, only to find herself drawn to their heart-rending words of hope, of despair & of love. This is how Margot comes to know Dieter Kleinschmidt— through the beauty & the passion of his letters to his girlfriend. And since his girlfriend is also named Margot, it is like reading love letters written for her.
Saint Antony in His Desert by Anthony Uhlmann
A defrocked priest, Antony Elm, has made his way into a desert outside Alice Springs, where he intends to stay for 40 days & 40 nights. He is undergoing a crisis of faith & has brought with him the typescript for a book he has failed to finish about a meeting between Albert Einstein & the French philosopher Henri Bergson. This story concerns a crisis of understanding, as Bergson confronts Einstein about the meaning of time. On the back of his typescript Antony writes another story, which concerns 2 young men travelling to Sydney from Canberra for the first time in the early 1980s. This story, about a crisis of love, takes place in a single night as the boys encounter temptation, damnation & salvation in the world of alternative music Antony becomes increasingly delirious, observing temptations of the flesh & spirit, scribbling in the margins of his two unspooling narratives, awaiting a rescue that may or may not come. ($27, PB)
l l i H ’ D n O
Last month I did a roundup of new books coming your way as gleaned at conference I attended in Hobart. Here is the second instalment. So many great writers and great books—and all Australian, oi oi oi.
We Are Not Most People by Tracy Ryan ($30, PB)
On the very first morning of the conference, former President of the Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs received a standing ovation after her moving speech about what she went through at the hands of the Government. While outlining ongoing threats to freedom of speech, to democracy and to the human rights of the marginalised, Triggs also kept things light by showing many of the funny but sometimes very cruel cartoons which were published about her. Her memoir, both personal and political, is Speaking Up. (October)
Southerly 77–2: The Long Apprenticeship
Extremely interesting and very hopeful for Luddite booksellers was the keynote address by Andrew Keen, author of How to Fix the Future: Staying Human in the Digital Age (out now). He pointed out that the digital economy lends itself to a winnertakes-all monopoly and has not lived up to the early expectations that it would lead to the democratisation of information. Once it was thought that if we did away with the ‘gatekeepers’ —ie publishers, editors, movie companies etc, the internet would be more truthful and democratic but the gatekeepers merely changed form—Facebook, Google et al. Keen pointed out that there is now a counter movement against the digital world with people going back to ‘real’ things like vinyl and paper books. Hurrah!
Kurt Stocker’s Swiss childhood is dominated by strict & god-fearing parents. He enters a seminary with the intent of becoming a priest & making his parents proud of him, but struggles to adapt. Leaving this vocation behind, he marries Liesl & they eventually emigrate to Australia. Decades later in small town Australia, Terry Riley feels drawn to convent life, despite her parent’s objections. At the convent she is haunted by a strange sickness & knows in time that she must return to a more conventional life. It is then she begins a relationship with the now divorced Kurt, who was once her high school teacher. This is the story of an odd couple, of an older man and a younger woman in love with one another, but so damaged by their past lives that even a regular sexual relationship seems impossible. This issue of Southerly captures a snapshot of Australian writing today. Stories from writers just starting out on their long apprenticeship are placed side-by-side with work from Australia’s finest essayists, writers & poets. This rich & expansive issue asks what it means to write in a contemporary Australia fraught with inequality, divisiveness & the unrelenting exploitation of country. In a special collaboration with the Sydney Story Factory, which runs workshops for young & marginalised writers, this issue includes short stories that demonstrate the vibrancy & the vision of Australia’s up-and coming writers. Including essays from Caroline Lefevre & John Kinsella, poetry from Kevin Hart, and much, much more. ($26.95, PB)
Pigface and Other Stories (ed) Ryan O’Neill
In its seventh year, the Margaret River Press Short Story Competition attracted almost 250 entries from around Australia. Seventeen stories were selected for publication, by authors from Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. This year’s winner is Andrew Roff, from South Australia. Second prize was awarded to Cassie Hamer, from NSW. The southwest prize was won by Tiffany Hastie. ($24, PB)
Be the envy of your friends by styling a Gleebooks calico tote A mere $5.00
Coming in July 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 and a notorious crim for a babysitter—and Eli is about to fall in love. An utterly wonderful debut novel of love, crime, magic, fate and coming of age, set in Brisbane’s violent working class suburban fringe - from one of Australia’s most exciting new writers. ‘Enthralling—a moving account of sibling solidarity and the dogged pursuit of love.’ Geoffrey Robertson QC
In fiction, Stephanie Bishop, (The Other Side of the World) has a new book, Man Out of Time (Sept), which sounds fantastic. I missed Kristina Olsson talking about her new book Shell (October)—the publisher describes it as ‘a soaring, optimistic novel of art and culture, and of love and fate.’ Set in Sydney in the 1960s and around the building of the Opera House, it sounds right up my alley. I can’t wait to read it. Two very promising debut crime novels are being released in July. Christian White’s The Nowhere Child is about a woman who is led to believe she went missing as a two year old. Or did she? I’ve read this—it’s well-written, gripping and bound to be a best-seller. Chris Hammer’s Scrublands (murders in a droughtstricken small town with secrets deeply buried) is being hugely hyped by the publisher and according to those who have read it, deservedly so. Lastly and most excitingly, the surprise final guest was Markus Zusak (The Book Thief) who had us all spellbound talking about his long-awaited novel (it’s been 13 years)—Bridge of Clay (October). Claiming not to be good at reading his own work, he read the first brilliant six pages and had everyone hooked. Because the book contains letters between the protagonists he had written a letter to us, the independent booksellers, thanking us for our championing of not just The Book Thief, but every Australian writer’s work. It was a wonderful end to the conference leaving the booksellers present feeling just a bit proud of our role as the conduit between writers and readers. See you on D’Hill, Morgan
We See the Stars by Kate van Hooft ($30, PB)
Simon is an eleven-year-old boy who lives in a world of silence, lists & numbers. He hasn’t spoken for years—but one day he shares his Vita-Weats with Cassie, the scary girl from his class Plus the new teacher Ms Hilcombe takes an interest in him, & suddenly he has two friends. 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. A haunting and deeply moving novel.
Markus Zusak & me
John, Morgan & David John
Last Stories by William Trevor ($30, PB)
In this final collection of ten exquisite stories, William Trevor, master of the short story, illuminates the lives of ordinary people, and plumbs the depths of the human spirit. The lives of a tutor and his pupil are thrown into turmoil when they meet again years later; a young girl discovers the mother she believed dead is alive and well; and a piano-teacher accepts her pupil’s theft in exchange for his beautiful music.
Summer by Karl Ove Knausgaard ($35, PB)
Discover your next favourite
Your voice woke me up around eight this morning, it sounded unusually close, since, as I discovered upon opening my eyes, you were lying in our bed. You smiled at me and began talking. I made coffee and had a smoke in the office before I ate breakfast with you, and when your mother got up, I came in here to write a new piece. In Summer, Karl Ove Knausgaard writes about long days full of sunlight, eating ice cream with his children, lawn sprinklers and ladybirds. He experiments with the beginnings of a novel and keeps a diary in which the small events of his family’s life are recorded. Against a canvas of memories, longings, and experiences of art & literature, he searches for the meaning of moments as they pass us by.
Girl, Balancing & Other Stories by Helen Dunmore
A girl alone, stretching her meagre budget to feed herself, becomes aware that the young man who has come to see her may not be as friendly as he seems. Two women from very different backgrounds enjoy an unusual night out, finding solace in laughter & an unexpected friendship. A young man picks up his infant son & goes outside into a starlit night as he makes a decision that will inform the rest of his life. A woman imprisoned for her religion examines her faith in a seemingly literal & quietly original way. In this final volume of short stories, Helen Dunmore explores the fragile ties between passion, familial love, parenthood, friendship & grief from people who are at turning points in their lives. ($33, PB)
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer ($33, PB)
Arnhem Antony Beevor With his typical authority and skill in bringing a campaign to life, Britain’s bestselling historian creates a gripping, vivid narrative that shows why the Battle of Arnhem was fought, and lost. Out June
When Elephants Fight Majok Tulba Majok Tulba’s debut novel was likened to the work of Nam Le, Markus Zusak and Primo Levi. No less brilliant, When Elephants Fight is an important testimony of the harrowing lives of refugees. Out July
Greer Kadetsky is a shy college student when she meets the woman who will shape her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant, has been a pillar of the women’s movement for decades, a figure who inspires others. Hearing Faith speak for the first time, in a crowded campus chapel, Greer—misunderstood yet full of longing for an ambition that she can’t quite place—feels herself changed. And then, astonishingly, Faith invites her to make something out of this new sense of purpose, with a career opportunity that leads her down the most exciting and rewarding path as it winds towards and away from her meant-to-be love story with high school sweetheart Cory and the future she had always imagined.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
Our narrator has many of the advantages of life, on the surface. Young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, she lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like everything else, by her inheritance. But there is a vacuum at the heart of things, and it isn’t just the loss of her parents in college, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her alleged best friend. It’s the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong? A shocking, hilarious & strangely tender novel about a young woman’s experiment in narcotic hibernation, aided & abetted by one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature. ($35, HB)
Florida by Lauren Groff ($33, PB)
Over a decade ago, Lauren Groff moved to her adopted home state of Florida. The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida—its landscape, climate, history and state of mind—becomes their gravitational centre. Storms, snakes & sinkholes lurk at the edge of everyday life, but the greater threats & mysteries are of a human, emotional and psychological nature.
The Delight Of Being Ordinary by Roland Merullo
Out of the Forest The Year Everything Gregory P. Smith Changed What makes a man turn Phillipa McGuinness his back on society? What 2001 was an awful year. It’s the makes him return? An only year where you can mention uplifting memoir and and a a day and a month using only powerful reminder that we can all find our way back if numbers and everyone knows what we pause for a moment in the you mean. But 9/11 wasn’t the only momentous event that year. heart of the forest. Out June Out June
Read more at penguin.com.au
During the Dalai Lama’s highly publicized official visit to the Vatican, the Pope suggests an adventure so unexpected and appealing that neither man can resist—they will shed their robes for several days and live as ordinary men. Before dawn, the two beloved religious leaders make a daring escape from Vatican City, slip into a waiting car, and are soon travelling the Italian roads in disguise. Along for the ride is the Pope’s neurotic cousin and personal assistant, Paolo, who—to his terror—has been put in charge of arranging the details of their disappearance. Rounding out the group is Paolo’s estranged wife, Rosa, an eccentric entrepreneur with a lust for life, who orchestrates the sublime disguises of each man. Rosa is a woman who cannot resist the call to adventure—or the fun. ($28, PB) Melodrome by Marcelo Cohen ($24.95, PB) Lerena Dost is a dominant & successful woman until she & her psychoanalyst Suano Botilecue lose everything after their sexual relationship is made known. Then, a chance encounter with a mysterious woman in an elevator plants a number in Lerena’s mind, which she plays in the lottery & wins. She decides that she will not touch her new fortune until she can reward her benefactor, who turns out to be the famed leader of a spiritual cult hidden away in the countryside. Lerena & Suano set out on a road trip to find her, travelling across the Panoramic Delta, a futuristic world strangely like our own, but with its details, its settings, and even its language altered in unexpected ways.
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh ($30, PB)
The King’s Witch by Tracy Borman ($30, PB)
‘In my childhood, I was known as the boy whose mother had run off with an Englishman’—so begins the story of Myshkin & his mother, Gayatri, who is driven to rebel against tradition & follow her artist’s instinct for freedom. The fight against British rule is reaching a critical turn. The Nazis have come to power in Germany. At this point of crisis, two strangers arrive in Gayatri’s town, opening up for her the vision of other possible lives. What took Myshkin’s mother from India to Dutchheld Bali in the 1930s, ripping a knife through his comfortingly familiar environment? Excavating the roots of the world in which he was abandoned, Myshkin comes to understand the connections between anguish at home and a war-torn universe overtaken by patriotism. Anuradha Roy’s moving novel is a powerful parable for our times, telling the story of men and women trapped in a dangerous era uncannily similar to the present. ($30, PB)
BOOK EVENTS AT
As she helps to nurse the dying Queen Elizabeth, Frances Gorges longs for the fields & ancient woods of her parents’ Hampshire estate, where she learned to use flowers & herbs to become a much-loved healer. Frances wants to stay in her beloved countryside when the new King arrives from Scotland, bringing change, fear & suspicion. His court may be shockingly decadent, but James’s religion is Puritan, intolerant of all the old ways; he has already put to death many men for treason & women for witchcraft. So when her ambitious uncle forcibly brings Frances to court, she is trapped in a claustrophobic world of intrigue & betrayal—and a ready target for the twisted scheming of Lord Cecil, the King’s first minister.
The 2018 FINCH MEMOIR PRIZE WINNER ‘The Erratics grabbed me by the throat and never let go...’ Caroline Baum. ‘It’s an increasingly pressing social problem: what to do with aging parents once they reach a certain stage, particularly if they live a long way away. Meet the mother from hell, a powerful portrait in a very real world...’ Mark O’Flynn.
The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Joukhadar
Nour is a young Syrian girl who has lost her father to cancer. Her mother, a cartographer who makes beautiful hand-painted maps, has moved her family back to the city of Homs. Nour’s father was a real storyteller & he told her that the roots of the trees connect to the ground across the world—so she starts telling him the ancient fable of Rawiya, whispering it into the ground so he might hear. Rawiya left her home dressed as a boy in order to explore the world. She became apprenticed to Al Idrisi, who was a famous cartographer tasked by King Roger II of Sicily to make the first map of the world. Together with Al Idrisi, Rawiya travelled the globe, encountering adventures—including the mythical Roc & a battle in the Valley of Snakes—along the way. This story gives Nour the courage to keep going when she has to leave Homs after it is bombed and face a long journey as a refugee—a journey that closely mirrors that of Rawiya many centuries before. ($33, PB)
The Seventh Cross by Anna Seghers ($30, PB)
All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy
I was inspired at this year’s Sydney Writers Festival by memoir writers— two in particular that I had the privilege of meeting—Tara Westover and Eddie Ayres. Inspired because I think it is very brave to write your inner most secrets and thoughts down for everyone to read, but also to tell their stories for others to learn from. Tara’s memoir, Educated, is quite an astonishing story about growing up in the 80s in middle America in a very restricted household with violence and no education until she built up the resilience to get out. But it’s not just the getting out, Westover also writes about how she educated herself and stayed connected with the dysfunctional family she once fled. One of Eddie Ayres’ reasons for writing his memoir Danger Music was to educate people about the process of trans-gendering—to hopefully make it easier for others in the future. Inspiring indeed. Our June event in the Blue Mountains is also a memoir writer. Vicki Laveau-Harvie is this year’s winner of the Finch Memoir Prize with her book The Erratics. In some ways is similar to Tara Westover’s Educated, Laveau-Harvie’s books is a story of growing up in an isolated place in Canada with a mother who is mentally unstable. However her story is more about what happens when you do break the family ties but have to go back to help with the elderly parent’s deterioration and you haven’t spoken to her in many years. Laveau-Harvie will be in Blackheath to talk about her book on 16 June—see our ad for details. Victoria Boo ks w i
Once upon a time, damaged women came here to be cured. We took them in, fed them glasses of our clean, good water, let them scream at the waves till their lips split like ripe fruit. Now no one is left but my sisters and me. King died a year ago, quite suddenly. Mother has vanished, no one knows where. And the safe compound they built around us, far away from the toxic world, has finally been breached. Three men arrived last week, washed up by the sea, their gazes hungry and insistent. We remember now what our father taught us. ‘If the men come to you, show yourself some mercy. Don’t stick around and wait for them to put you out of your misery.’ A blazing literary debut about love, violence and survival at any cost.
Come and listen to author Vicki LaVeau-HarVie talk about her award winning memoir with Carol Major, writing consultant at Varuna Writers House. When: Where:
SATURDAY 16TH JUNE 2018 Conversation will start at 2.00pm
THE GEoRGE BoUTiqUE HoTEl 194 Great Western Hwy, BlACkHEATH
Cost: $10 ($7 concession) Seven prisoners escape from Westhofen concentration camp. 7 crosses are erected on which to hang the 7 escapees. 6 are caught quickly, but Bookings essential. Tickets available at Gleebooks Blackheath or George Heisler slips through his pursuers’ fingers & it becomes a matter phone Gleebooks on 4787 6340 or email email@example.com of pride to track him down, no matter what. The net is closing in. Who can George trust? Who will betray him? His little brother is now an SS The Very Marrow of Our Bones officer; his ex-wife’s house is constantly watched. Whoever aids in his by Christine Higdon ($20, PB) escape will pay with their life. Hunted, injured & desperate, time is runOn a miserable November day in 1967, two women disapning out and George needs to find someone he can trust. Anna Segher, pear from a working-class town on the Fraser River. The a German Jew living in exile, wrote this written during WW2—and community is thrown into panic, with talk of drifters & murthrough the many characters George encounters she conducts a thorderous husbands. But no one can find a trace of Bette Parsons ough autopsy on German society of the time, with its various classes & varying levels of or Alice McFee. Even the egg seller, Doris Tenpenny, a mute enthusiasm for the current government. This is its first unabridged English translation. woman to whom everyone tells their secrets, hears nothing. However, 10 year-old Lulu Parsons discovers a milk stained Never Anyone But You by Rupert Thomson ($33, PB) note her mother, Bette, left for her father: Wally, it says, I A small city in western France,. The early 20th century. Suzanne Malwill not live in a tar paper shack for the rest of my life. Lulu herbe, a shy 17-year-old with a rare talent for drawing, is entranced by tells no one, and buries the note in the woods. Then she starts the brilliant but troubled Lucie Schwob, the daughter of a Jewish newsrunning—and forgetting—lurching through her unravelled paper magnate, and the two young women embark on a clandestine love life, using the safety of solitude & detachment until, at 50, affair. Stifled by provincial convention & a society that is overtly patrishe learns that she is not the only one who carries a secret. archal, they reinvent themselves as Claude Cahun & Marcel Moore & move to Paris, where they are swept up in the most glamorous social Acts of Infidelity by Lena Andersson ($30, HB) circles, meeting everyone from Hemingway & Dalí to André Breton, When Ester Nilsson meets the actor Olof Sten, she falls and produce photographic work of great originality & strangeness. As madly in love. Olof makes no secret of being married, but WW2 looms, they leave for Jersey, and it is here that they confront their he & Ester nevertheless start to meet regularly & begin to destiny, dreaming up a campaign of propaganda against Hitler’s occupying forces. conduct a strange dance of courtship. Olof insists he doesn’t
Now in B Format Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan, $20 The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst, $19 The Baghdad Clock by Shahad Al Rawi, $25
plan to leave his wife, but he doesn’t object to this new situation either—it’s far too much fun. Ester, on the other hand, is convinced that things might change. But as their relationship continues over repeated summers of distance, and winters of heated meetings in bars, she is forced to realize the truth: Ester Nilsson has become a mistress. Cutting, often cruel, and with razor-sharp humour, Acts of Infidelity explores the role of the lover in today’s culture.
THE WILDER AISLES
Ngaio Marsh, the New Zealand crime writer, who died in 1982, left a few chapters for a new book she was working on—and Stella Duffy, a well-known New Zealand writer, was asked to finish the story. The result is Money in the Morgue. Duffy said she was both delighted and daunted to be approached by the publisher. I have been a great fan of Ngaio Marsh, and at first, I felt Duffy’s attempt didn’t work—but before too long I became involved in the story. It features Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn, one of my favourite detectives. The action revolves around the Mount Segar Hospital, in a remote part of New Zealand. The hospital is full of soldiers returned from WW2, and is run by Matron Ashdown and Sister Comfort. The Matron is a very stern character who brooks no nonsense from her nurses. A heavy rain has taken out the telephone lines, and the bridge is down. Mr Glossop discovers that the payroll is missing, murder ensues, and the matron disappears. Alleyn, at Mount Segar on a different matter, is drawn into the case. Cut off, he must work without his offsider, Inspector Fox, but finds the local Sergeant Bix a willing substitute. Of course there are many suspects—including three disreputable men who are up to no good, and a femme fatale who is involved with one of the men under suspicion. What role does the Vicar, Father O’Sullivan play, and why did it take Sydney Brown so long to visit his dying father at the hospital? And what with the weather, secret tunnels, hidden caves, some mysterious Maori beliefs and myths, and the two story lines merging—the real reason Alleyn is there and the murder/theft—it was a really good read. Very entertaining. As the back cover says ‘I defy you to see the join’. Val McDermid. There seems to be no end to the number of Scandinavian writers on the crime shelves, and this month I have two to write about. The first is by someone new to me—Karin Fossum. Her book, Calling out For You is set in a small town in Norway. Gunder Jomann is a quiet, self-contained man, who on seeing a picture of an Indian woman in a book called People of all Nations, decides to go to India and marry a woman, resembling the one in the book, whose smiling face reaches out to him. All goes well—he meets Poona and they are married in her village. As Gunder must return earlier, he makes arrangements for Poona to follow—plane tickets and money. But on the day of Poona’s arrival Gunder receives a phone call that changes everything and shatters his life. The shock of Gunder’s marriage to a woman from so far away—and of her not arriving electrifies his small village. When things are discovered that may point to foul play, Inspectors Konrad Sejer and Jacob Skarre are called in to assess the situation. Sejer, who has a much loved dog, called Kollberg, much to everyone’s amusement, I don’t quite know why. I don’t want to say too much, but I can say that this is a thoroughly convincing tale of what can happen in a small place, where despite everyone knowing everyone, there are still dark secrets kept close. I loved this book, and I am looking forward to reading others by this writer. Fortunately, there are plenty more for me to read and enjoy. The second book is a Nordic Noir thriller by Yrsa Sigurdardottir—the author of The Silence of the Sea, one of my favourite Icelandic crime novels. I have read others by her and I think she is very good. The Reckoning follows on from The Legacy, which I loved, and it features the same police officers, Huldar and Freyja—both now demoted from their previous positions due to events that took place in The Legacy. Huldar believes that he only gets the cases that no one else wants, and Freyja has been reduced to the lesser role of child psychologist, rather than the director of Children House, run by The Child Protection Agency. The chilling opening scenes are set in 2004—a small 8 year-old girl, Vaka is waiting for her father to collect her form school. It is freezing and Vaka huddles on the school steps—in vain she bangs on the doors, and as she is banging a small, quiet voice says that the door is locked and everyone has gone home. The girl, who is nameless, and like Vaka an outsider at the school, offers to let Vaka use the telephone in her house—a very big mistake. Now in 2016, Huldar and Freyja are contemplating what is left of their careers. Huldar is given a case involving a time capsule found buried in a school yard, which contains a note with the initials of people who will die in 2016. Surely, this is a hoax. More mysterious events follow, and Huldar begins to take the threat seriously—especially when a man who bears one of the sets of initials is found murdered. Huldar requests the help of Freyja to try and understand the mind of the child who wrote the note. They join together in a race to find those whose initials are in the note. This is a great read. Very entertaining and though provoking. The editors have very kindly provided a list to help with the pronunciation of Icelandic names—unfortunately, I can never remember them from one page to the next and read them as written, but for those of you with a good ear... Janice Wilder
A Taste for Vengeance by Martin Walker ($33, PB)
Chief of Police Bruno Courrèges may love cooking the delicious traditional Perigord dishes he loves, teaching the tradition in English at his friend Pamela’s new cooking school has him quaking in his boots—so the disappearance of one of the cookery school clients almost comes as a welcome relief. But the discovery of the woman’s body in one half of a double homicide soon proves how wrong this feeling was. The other murder victim turns out to be an ex-soldier of fortune, with a long list of enemies. Bruno realizes that the mystery man & Pamela’s cookery student may not have been the only intended victims in the vicinity—and he must conduct a huge manhunt to find the killers before they strike again. Dead If You Don’t by Peter James ($30, PB) Kipp Brown, successful businessman and compulsive gambler, is having the worst run of luck of his life. When his teenage son, Mungo, is kidnapped from their club’s big Saturday afternoon football match he reluctantly defies the kidnappers’ instruction not to contact the police, , and Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is brought in to investigate. At first it seems a straightforward case of kidnap. But rapidly Grace finds himself entering a dark, criminal underbelly of the city, where the rules are different and nothing is what it seems.
A Different Kind of Evil by Andrew Wilson ($30, PB)
In January 1927, still recovering from the harrowing circumstances surrounding her disappearance a month earlier,Agatha Christie sets sail on an ocean liner bound for the Canary Islands. She has been sent there by the British Secret Intelligence Service to investigate the death of one of its agents, whose partly mummified body has been found in a cave. Early one morning, on the passage to Tenerife, Agatha witnesses a woman throw herself from the ship into the sea. At first, nobody connects the Teneriffe murder with the suicide but once checked into her hotel in the lush Orotava Valley, Agatha uncovers a series of dark secrets.
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman ($33, PB)
In the sequel to Beartown, best friends Maya & Ana spend the summer on a hidden island, trying to leave the world behind, but nothing goes as they hope. Beartown & neighbouring Hed’s rivalry grows into a furious struggle for money, power & survival that explodes as their hockey teams meet. When a player’s most closely guarded secret is revealed, a whole community is forced to show what it really wants to stand for. They will say that violence came to Beartown that year, but it will be a lie. The violence was already there.
Day of the Dead by Nicci French ($33, PB)
On a north London high street, a runaway vehicle crashes to a halt. The man in the driving seat was murdered a week earlier. On Hampstead Heath, a bonfire blazes—in the flames lies the next victim. As autumn leaves fall, a serial killer runs amok in the capital, playing games with the police. The death toll is rising fast, and the investigation is floundering. But this is no ordinary killer, and every new victim is intended as a message to just one woman. Because psychologist Frieda Klein is in hiding. And someone is coming to find her. Frieda Klein’s duel with her dark nemesis finally comes to a climax—and only one can make it out alive..
City Of Light by Dave Warner ($30, PB)
It is 1979, and Perth is jumping with pub bands & overnight millionaires. ‘Mr Gruesome’ has taken another victim, and Perth is riveted by the dark bloom that spreads across the City of Light. Snowy Lane starts out as a fresh-faced young cop and fringe footy player. Ten years on, he’s been through the mill, and is now working as a private detective. In the course of a decade he finds himself inextricably linked with Mr Gruesome, and the human and political power plays that unfold against the excess and corruption of the 1980s.
April In Paris, 1921 by Tessa Lunney ($30, PB)
It’s 1921, and after serving as a nurse during the horrors of the Great War, Katherine King Button has vowed never to take orders again so she escapes Australia & her rich parents’ expectations for Paris—the place where she can remake herself as Kiki Button, gossip columnist extraordinaire, partying with the rich & famous, the suspicious & strange. Then Picasso gives her a job: to find his wife’s portrait, which has gone mysteriously missing. That same night, her old spymaster from the war contacts her—she has to find a double agent or face jail. Kiki has just one week to save herself, the man she adores—the life she has come to love.
Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz ($33, PB)
This is how it all began. Anthony Horowitz delivers the explosive prequel to Casino Royale. M laid down his pipe and stared at it tetchily. ‘We have no choice. We’re just going to bring forward this other chap you’ve been preparing. But you didn’t tell me his name.’ ‘It’s Bond, sir,’ the Chief of Staff replied. ‘James Bond.’ The sea keeps its secrets. But not this time. One body. 3 bullets. 007 floats in the waters of Marseille, killed by an unknown hand. Time for a new weapon in the war against organised crime. It’s time for James Bond to earn his licence to kill.
Now in B Format Prague Nights by Benjamin Black, $23 Force of Nature by Jane Harper, $17
The Outsider by Stephen King ($33, PB)
When an eleven-year-old boy is found murdered in a town park, reliable eyewitnesses undeniably point to the town’s popular Little League coach, Terry Maitland, as the culprit. DNA evidence and fingerprints confirm the crime was committed by this well-loved family man—but Maitland has an alibi. And further research confirms he was indeed out of town that day. As Detective Ralph Anderson (who’s kid has been coached by Maitland) and the District Attorney trace the clues, the investigation expands from Ohio to Texas. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy but there is one rock-hard fact, as unassailable as gravity: a man cannot be in two places at the same time. Can he?
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...
84K by Claire North ($30, PB)
Theo Miller knows the value of human life—to the very last penny. Working in the Criminal Audit Office, he assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full. But when his ex-lover is killed, it’s different. This is one death he can’t let become merely an entry on a balance sheet. Because when the richest in the world are getting away with murder, sometimes the numbers just don’t add up.
Into the Night by Sarah Bailey ($33, PB)
DS Gemma Woodstock finds herself lost & alone in the city. Her new workplace is a minefield & the partner she has been assigned is uncommunicative & often hostile. When assigned the case of a murdered homeless man she can’t help feeling a connection with the victim & his isolated life in the midst of a bustling city. When a movie star is killed in bizarre circumstances on the set of a major film shoot Gemma & her partner DS Nick Fleet have to put aside their differences to unravel the mysteries surrounding the actor’s life & death.
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
Capture or Kill by Tom Marcus ($30, PB)
Matt Logan is an MI5 agent for the British government. Working on the frontline of counter-terrorism in the UK he’s trained to protect its citizens against all threats. When two brothers known operationally as ‘Iron Sword’ & ‘Stone Fist’ are suspected of plotting a major terrorist event, Logan & his team work undercover to track them down. If they fail, an attack will be unleashed that will rock the country to its very core. Frustrated, Logan yearns for a way to break through the red tape that hinders their progress. His wishes seem to come true when he is offered the chance to join a new, deniable outfit known as ‘Blindeye’. Then devastating news reaches Logan, throwing his world into turmoil. But one thing remains certain, he will join the team and become their fiercest, most ruthless operative.
The Escape Room by Megan Goldin ($33, PB)
In the lucrative world of Wall Street finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie and Sam are the ultimate ruthlessly ambitious high-flyers—getting rich is all that matters, and they’ll do anything to get ahead. When the four of them become trapped in an elevator escape room, they have to put aside their fierce office rivalries & work together to solve the clues that will release them. But in the confines of the elevator the dark secrets of their team are laid bare. They are made to answer for profiting from a workplace where deception, intimidation and sexual harassment thrive. To survive they’ll have to solve one final puzzle—which one of them is a killer?
Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee ($33, PB)
Haunted by his memories of the Great War, Captain Sam Wyndham is battling a serious addiction to opium that he must keep secret from his superiors in the Calcutta police force. When he is summoned to investigate a grisly murder, he is stunned—because last night, in a drug addled haze, he stumbled across a corpse with the same ritualistic injuries. It seems like there’s a deranged killer on the loose. Unfortunately for Sam, the corpse was in an opium den and revealing his presence there could cost him his career. With the aid of his Indian Sergeant, Surrender-not Banerjee, Sam must try to solve the two murders, while keeping his personal demons secret.
The Fire Pit: A Faroes Novel by Chris Ould ($19, PB)
In the wake of a dying man’s apparent suicide, the skeleton of a young woman is discovered on a windswept hillside. Detective Hjalti Hentze suspects that it is the body of a Norwegian woman reported missing 40 years earlier, while a commune occupied the land, and whose death may be linked to the abduction & rape of a local Faroese girl. Meanwhile British DI Jan Reyna is pursing his investigation into his mother’s suicide. But as he learns more about her final days, links between the two cases start to appear: a conspiracy of murder & abuse spanning 4 decades.
Baby Blue by Pol Koutsakis ($18, PB)
Stratos Gazis is a hit man with a conscience. Emma is a blind teenage magician who supports herself on the streets, but her adoptive father—a former investigative journalist—has been murdered, and Stratos has been hired to find his killer. Meanwhile, Costas Dragas, a top homicide cop and Gazis’s best friend, has taken on the investigation of a spate of murders of paedophiles, and as usual, has gone to war with the media. It slowly emerges that their cases intersect and that corporate interests, more powerful than they could ever have imagined, lie behind the murders they both need to solve.
The Stoccos: Like Father, Like Son by Nino Bucci ($35, PB)
After a run-in with police in 2007, father and son Gino and Mark Stocco went completely off the grid, travelling all around the country working as farmhands. For years they were carrying out moonlight raids to steal goods, going on vandalism sprees, and living for long stretches without phones, licences, bank accounts or friends. Eluding arrest time after time in their eight years on the run, the Stoccos were two of Australia’s most wanted men. When they were finally arrested two weeks later, they were charged with 34 crimes between them—including the murder of 68 year-old Rosario Cimone. Nino Bucci gives a forensic account of this strange and chilling story.
Waiting for Elijah by Kate Wild ($35, PB)
In 2009, in the NSW country town of Armidale, a mentally ill young man is shot dead by a police officer. Senior Constable Andrew Rich claims he ‘had no choice’ other than to shoot 24 year-old Elijah Holcombe: Elijah had run at him roaring with a knife, he tells police. Some witnesses to the shooting say otherwise—and this act of aggression doesn’t fit with the sweet, sensitive, but troubled young man that Elijah’s family & friends knew him to be. Kate Wild has conducted a 6 year investigation that not only seeks to answer these questions, but also poses some vitally important ones of its own- Why is it still taboo to talk about mental illness in our society? Is it fair to expect police to be first responders in mental health crises? If the community insists this job belongs to police, how can these interactions be improved?
Enngonia Road: Death and Deprivation in the Australian Outback by Richard Stanton
On a lonely highway in the middle of the night, two teenage Aboriginal girls are killed in a crash—their bodies thrown from a Toyota Hilux when it rolls at high speed. This story is about the justice system that saw white, drunk driver Alexander Ian Grant acquitted of killing Mona Lisa Smith & Jacinta Rose Smith and of a charge of indecently interfering with 15 year-old Jacinta when she was dead. It describes the events which led to their violent deaths, analyses the police case, which was so fragmented that it failed to gain a conviction, and seeks to understand what caused the deaths of the girls, why the police got it so wrong and how the accused walked away from the crash without a scratch and away from the court a free man. ($35, PB) 7
The Lost Pilots: The Spectacular Rise and Scandalous Fall of Aviation’s Golden Couple by Corey Mead ($33, PB)
June 1927: 25 year-old Jessie Miller has fled a loveless marriage in Australia for adventure in the London of the Bright Young Things. At a gin-soaked party, she met Bill Lancaster, fresh from the Royal Air force, planning to beat Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic, by flying from London to Melbourne. With Jesse as his copilot they made it to Melbourne, becoming a global sensation. Because they were still being married to other people, they kept their love affair a secret, touring the world until the Wall Street Crash brought them—like so many others—low. Holed up in a run-down mansion on the outskirts of Miami and desperate for cash, Jessie agreed to write a memoir. Enter a dashing ghostwriter Haden Clark, the toxic combination of the handsome interloper, bootleg booze & jealousy led to a shocking crime. The trial that followed put Jessie & Bill back on the front pages & drove him to a reckless act of abandon to win it all back.
Truth, Justice, and the American Way: The Joe Shuster Story Thomas Campi & Julian Voloj
Based on archival material & original sources, writer Julian Voloj and artist Thomas Campi tell the story of the friendship between illustrator Joe Shuster & writer Jerry Siegel, who thought they had achieved their dream of creating a worldfamous character. The young, inexperienced pair expected to get rich—instead, they made a deal they would ultimately regret. Told from Shuster’s perspective, this fascinating graphic novel about geeks & gangsters puts Superman’s creation into the wider context of the American comic-book history. ($28, PB)
Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee ($30, PB)
Bri Lee began her first day of work at the QLD District Court as a bright-eyed judge’s associate. 2 years later she was back as the complainant in her own case. This is the story of her journey through the Australian legal system; first as the daughter of a policeman, then as a law student, and finally as a judge’s associate in both metropolitan & regional QLD—where justice can look very different, especially for women. The injustice Bri witnessed, mourned & raged over every day finally forced her to confront her own personal history, one she’d vowed never to tell. This is a fierce and eloquent memoir that addresses both Lee’s own reckoning with the past as well as with the stories around her, to speak the truth with wit, empathy & unflinching courage.
The Terrible by Yrsa Daley-Ward ($23, PB)
Poet & storyteller Yrsa Daley-Ward is a writer of Jamaican and Nigerian heritage. This memoir is about her childhood in the north-west of England with her beautiful, careworn mother Marcia, Linton (the man formerly known as Dad, ‘half-fun, halffrightening’) & her little brother Roo, who sees things written in the stars. It’s about growing up and discovering the power & fear of her own sexuality, of pitch grey days of pills & powder & encounters. It’s about damage & pain, but also joy. Told with raw intensity, shocking honesty and the poetry of the darkest of fairy tales, The Terrible is about losing yourself, and finding your voice.
Boy Erased by Garrard Conley ($25, PB)
The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality. When Garrard was a 19 year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to ‘cure’ him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends & the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Instead, he found the strength and understanding to confront his buried past & the burden of a life lived in shadow—tracing the complex relationships among family, faith & community.
A Man Called Yarra by Stan Yarramunua
From growing up in poverty in Swan Hill—and sometimes on the road, with his itinerant father—Stan Yarramunua had a tumultuous & often rough childhood. He learnt early how to lift a wallet or two, and grew into a ratbag who looked set to follow in his father’s footsteps—fall into one too many skirmishes with the law; have one too many drinks, sliding down the path to alcoholism. Yet after years of addiction, Stan gave up drinking, discovered painting & found his true name of Yarramunua. Soon he was selling his traditional paintings, and hand-crafted clapsticks, didgeridoos & boomerangs, at markets across Melbourne. He opened one of the first privately owned Aboriginal art galleries in Australia, and represented Indigenous artists from around the country, including from the desert regions. Today, Yarra is an internationally renowned artist & performer. But he hasn’t forgotten his roots—he is committed to improving the lives of Aboriginal kids in his home town, and has helped many young Indigenous men find their way out of addiction & despair. This is the story of a remarkable man striving for a better life, and reclaiming his ancestry. ($33, PB)
Calypso by David Sedaris ($30, PB)
When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, David Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games & lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it’s impossible to take a vacation from yourself. With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, and required reading for those who love a good tumour joke.
The World in Thirty-Eight Chapters or Dr Johnson’s Guide to Life by Henry Hitchings ($35, HB)
Samuel Johnson was a critic, an essayist, a poet & a biographer. He was also, famously, the compiler of the first good English dictionary, published in 1755. A polymath & a great conversationalist, his intellectual & social curiosity were boundless. Yet he was a deeply melancholy man, haunted by dark thoughts, sickness & a diseased imagination. In his own life, both public & private, he sought to choose a virtuous & prudent path, negotiating everyday hazards and temptations. His writings & aphorisms illuminate what it means to lead a life of integrity, and his experience, abundantly documented by him & by others (such as James Boswell & Hester Thrale), is a lesson in the art of regulating the mind & the body. Part portrait of Britain’s greatest man of letters & part guide to life, this is a witty & erudite re-evaluation of Dr Johnson’s enduring importance & relevance.
In the Great Green Room by Amy Gary ($27, PB)
Author of Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown was at the centre of a publishing revolution. Her whimsy & imagination fuelled a steady stream of book ideas, songs & poems & she was renowned for her prolific writing & business savvy, as well as her stunning beauty & endless thirst for adventure. She lived extravagantly off of her royalties, and carried on long & troubled love affairs with both men & women. Among them were two great loves in Margaret’s life: a gender-bending poet & ex-wife of John Barrymore, and a younger man who was the son of a Rockefeller & a Carnegie that Margaret was engaged to. But before they could marry Margaret died unexpectedly at the age of 42, leaving behind a cache of unpublished work & a timeless collection of books that would go on to become classics in children’s literature.
Now in B format Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay, $23 On Leopard Rock: A Life of Adventures by Wilbur Smith ($40, HB)
Born in Central Africa in 1933, Wilbur Smith became a full-time writer in 1964 following the success of When the Lion Feeds, and has since published over 30 novels. From being attacked by lions to close encounters with deadly reef sharks, from getting lost in the African bush without water to crawling the precarious tunnels of gold mines, from marlin fishing with Lee Marvin to near death from crash-landing a Cessna airplane, from brutal school days to redemption through writing & falling in love, Smith tells the intimate stories of his life that have been the raw material for his fiction. Always candid & sometimes hilarious, On Leopard Rock is testament to a writer whose life is as rich & eventful as his novels.
The Dead Still Cry Out: The Story of a Combat Cameraman by Helen Lewis ($33, PB)
Helen Lewis was just a child when she found an old suitcase hidden in a cupboard at home. Inside it were the most horrifying photographs she’d ever seen—a record of the atrocities committed at Bergen-Belsen. They belonged to her father, Mike, a British paratrooper & combat cameraman who had filmed the camp’s liberation. The child of Jewish refugees, Mike had grown up in London’s East End & experienced anti-Semitism firsthand in the England of the 1930s. Those first images of the Nazi’s crimes, shot by Mike Lewis & others like him, shocked the world—Helen Lewis uses photographs & film stills to reconstruct Mike’s early life & experience of the war, and asks how anyone can deny the Holocaust in the face of such powerful evidence.
The Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie ($28, PB)
When her elderly mother is hospitalised after an accident, Vicki Laveau-Harvie is summoned to her parents’ isolated & run-down ranch home in Alberta, Canada, to care for her father. Estranged from her parents for many years she is horrified by what she discovers on her arrival. For years her mother has suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness but carefully hidden her delusions & unpredictable behaviour, successfully isolating herself & her husband from all their friends. Once in hospital her mask begins to crack & her actions leave everyone confused—and eventually scared for their lives. Meanwhile Vicki’s father, who has been systematically starved & kept virtually a prisoner in his own home, begins to understand what has happened to him, embarking on plans of his own to combat his wife. The ensuing power play leaves Vicki stuck in the middle of a bizarre & ludicrously strange family dilemma.
The Crossway by Guy Stagg ($33, PB)
Guy Stagg sets off from Canterbury on New Year’s Day, telling his friends & family only that he will be home before the year’s end. He follows medieval pilgrimage routes through Western Europe, the Balkans & the Middle East, covering more than five-and-a-half thousand km. He crosses the Alps in the depths of winter, spends Easter in Rome with the new Pope, witnesses the summer protests in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, and survives the August 2013 bombings in Tripoli. Each night he stays with monks, nuns, priests & families, gaining a rare insight into the lives of contemporary believers. Partly conceived as an attempt to rebuild himself after several years of mental illness, this pilgrimage forced Stagg to test the strength of his recovery—and left him wondering: what power might ritual have today for someone without faith?
Wild Asparagus, Wild Strawberries: Two years in France by Barbara Santich ($34.95, PB)
France bewitched Barbara Santich as a student in the early 1970s. She vowed to return, and soon enough she did—with husband & infant twins in tow. This book tells the story of the magical two years that followed. Buoyed by naive enthusiasm, Barbara & her husband launched themselves into French village life, a world of wine making, rabbit raising, cherry picking & exuberant 14 Juillet celebrations. Here Santich’s lifelong love affair with food history awoke, as she witnessed a lost France, ‘when the 19th century almost touched hands with the 21st’. Shepherds still led their flocks to pasture each day and, even near the bustling towns, wild strawberries hid at the forest’s edge.
Road Atlas of Australia 5th ed ($33, SP)
This latest edition of the Road Atlas of Australia features Australiawide coverage, with more than 140 maps included. You’ll find holiday region maps, inter-city route maps, capital city CBD & suburban maps. Other features include extensive distance charts, national park charts showing facilities, comprehensive maps for 48 touring regions, useful touring information & lists of major attractions for all capital cities & touring regions, plus a wealth of colour photographs & a comprehensive index. With spiral binding & a plastic jacket, this is the ideal mapping product to keep in your car.
Trans-Europe Express: Tours Of A Lost Continent by Owen Hatherley ($35, HB)
Over the past 20 years European cities have become the envy of the world—a Kraftwerk Utopia of historic centres, supermodernist concert halls, imaginative public spaces & futuristic egalitarian housing estates which, interconnected by high-speed trains traversing open borders, have a combination of order & pleasure which is exceptionally unusual elsewhere. Owen Hatherley sets out to explore the European city across the entire continent, to see what exactly makes it so different to the Anglo-Saxon norm—the unplanned, car-centred, developer-oriented spaces common to the US, Ireland, UK & Australia. Attempting to define the European city, Hatherley finds a continent divided both within the EU & outside it.
A Morocco Anthology: Travel Writing Through the Centuries (ed) Martin Rose ($28, HB) Morocco is a country that has been much invaded, much travelled & much written about in many languages. Positioned at the entrance to Africa—or the entrance to Europe—it has seen deep cultural cross-fertilization & the emergence of a very distinct culture at the threshold of two worlds. Its history is exciting & colourful; its ancient cities extraordinary in their preservation; and its people magnetic. It has drawn travellers & writers for many centuries, and continues to do so today, with the result that there exists a rich seam of sometimes quizzical (but generally very fond) appreciation, which Martin Rose, a long-time resident of the country, has been able to mine for this fascinating anthology.
Tangier: A Literary Guide for Travellers Josh Shoemake ($28, PB)
An edge city, poised at the northernmost tip of Africa, just nine miles across the Strait of Gibraltar from Europe and overlooking both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, Tangier is more than a destination, it is an escape. The Interzone, as William Burroughs called it, has attracted spies, outlaws, outcasts and writers for centuries—men & women working out at the edge of literary forms, breaking through artistic borders. Particularly in the past century, the results were some of the most incendiary & influential books of our time. Among ‘edge’ writers who were drawn to Tangier are Ibn Battuta, Samuel Pepys, Alexandre Dumas, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Walter Harris, Jean Genet, Paul & Jane Bowles, Tennessee Williams, William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Patricia Highsmith, Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, Allen Ginsberg, Alfred Chester, Joe Orton & Mohamed Choukri. This book captures the unconventional, multilayered story of literary Tangier & is a must-have for travellers, armchair adventurers and literature buffs.
Now in paperback The Last London by Iain Sinclair, $20 Nobody Leaves: Impressions of Poland Ryszard Kapuscinski, $23
‘Written with intensity and excitement, Wild Sea is a poetic exploration of a vast, wondrous ocean and a ripping yarn.’ Tom Griffiths
nimpeded by any landmass, the mysterious Southern
Ocean flows completely around Earth. Weaving together sea captains’ journals, whalers’ log books, explorers’ letters, scientific research and ancient beliefs with
her own voyage of discovery, Joy McCann reveals the secrets of a little-known ocean and its importance as a barometer of climate change.
‘A powerful and cogent contribution to one of the most contentious aspects of Australian history.’ Henry Reynolds
elling the story of the first years of colonial Sydney
in a new and original way, this provocative book is the first detailed account of the warfare that occurred across the Sydney region from the arrival of a British expedition in 1788 to the last
recorded conflict in the area in 1817. The Sydney Wars sheds new light on how British and Aboriginal forces developed military tactics and how the violence played out.
w w w. n ews o u t h p u b l i s h i n g .co m
books for kids to young adults So Far Up by Susanne Strasser ($14, BD)
This is a very appealing little book about a hungry bear, a cake and a very tall window. Visually very amusing, despite its simplicity, and it has a very clear message about cooperation and generosity. For babies to 4 year olds. Louise
compiled by children’s correspondent, Lynndy Bennett
for the very young My Day: A Book of Actions by Alice Melvin
A Quiet Quiet House by Georgiana Deutsch (ill) Ekaterina Trukhan ($20, HB)
A very inventive use of die cuts is what makes this picture book so appealing. Much to the dismay of the cat next door, a bevy of mice enter a very tall house, one at a time, until it’s bristling with rather noisy, mousie music. Different vehicles, an assortment of instruments and changes in the weather are all illustrated in bright, clear colours. A great book for the very young. Louise
The Last Peach by Gus Gordon ($25, HB)
The natural world is a perfect realm for picture books, particularly the world of insects. Carson Ellis’ brilliant Du Ist Tak? was a trailblazer, (and the only book I’ve ever seen written in Bug) and there have been several buggy books since then. Gus Gordon’s latest picture book is a very amusing, gentle story about two bugs who discover a perfect peach. What follows is an entertaining dialogue as the bugs face the dilemma of leaving the peach, or eating the peach. Illustrated with appealing collages and engaging characters this is a book that reveals more on each reading, and it’s also great fun book to read aloud. It also has one of the sweetest endings I’ve seen for a long time. It’s a peach of a book! Louise
A staff favourite, Scottish picture book creator Alice Melvin now explores the world of toddlers. In bold paper-cut illustrations, My Day follows a very relatable family’s day with a young child. From waking, through eating and other everyday activities up until bedtime and a story, it depicts a typical day in the life of little ones. ($15, BD) Lynndy
Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
Sophie Blackall has created a book that describes an occupation and a way of life long gone, the life of a lighthouse keeper. Poetic language, and marvellous illustrations full of detail and movement (and circles and light), and the ever changing ocean, all help to set the scene, the feeling of this book, and the acute, entrancing attention to detail. I’m not going to say much more about this marvellous book, but I do urge you to see it for yourself. It’s a glorious celebration of the circularity of life. For ages 5 to adult. ($34, HB) Louise
What a Wonderful Word: A Collection of Untranslatables from Around the World by Nicola Edwards (ill) Luisa Uribe ($23, HB)
If, like me, you love language and lament the decrease of vocabulary in everyday use, this is an essential addition to your personal library. One of the joys of English is the adoption of expressions from other languages; why not enrich yourself with these? ‘Have you ever wished there was a word for friends who are like family to you, or for the way you hesitate when you’ve forgotten someone’s name? Did you know there was a special word for the distance a reindeer can travel before needing the toilet? Or for when you search for something in the water using only your feet? This hand-picked collection of untranslatable worlds from all over the world celebrates the magic of language, with gorgeous original artwork and fascinating facts about each word and the culture it comes from.’ Even better, team What a Wonderful Word with Other-Wordly: Words Both Strange and Lovely from around the World ($28, HB), previously reviewed in the Gleaner, and luxuriate in the wonders of communication. Lynndy
Look at the Weather by Britta Teckentrup ($30, HB)
A reason to rejoice: another new release from Teckentrup, creator of simply gorgeous books. Turning her attention to the weather, she addresses ‘Sun’, ‘Rain’, Ice and Snow’ and ‘Extreme Weather’ in brief explanatory text, as well as offering lyrical observations and accompanying atmospheric art. Differing from her previous books, this is a meditative exposition of weather, prompting us to muse on natural phenomena and their effects, recognising human responsibility in climate change, and inspiring reflection on how the weather—that ever-present entity—affects each of us. More impressionistic in style than her other nonfiction books, Look at the Weather educates while urging us to do exactly as the title bids. An extensive glossary and author notes extend the suitability from 5-10 years old. Lynndy
The Mystery of the Magic Stones: 2 Polly and Buster series by Sally Rippin ($20, HB)
Although no pre-release copies were available, I can wholeheartedly recommend this second book in the series about Polly the young witch, and her unlikely best friend Buster, who is a monster. This time Polly and Buster must weigh up their own safety versus risking the forbidden haunted mines to save the day, and strengthen their bond. Book 1 was highly acclaimed, and readers of 8+ are sure to embrace this next volume of illustrated adventures. Lynndy
Ice Wolves: 1 Elementals Trilogy by Amie Kaufman ($18, PB)
Probably better known for her fantasy novels for teenagers, in Ice Wolves Kaufman embarks on a series for younger readers of 10+. Anders is used to his twin sister Rayna taking the initiative in everything they do to survive as homeless orphans on the island of Vallen; a life that by necessity includes minor theft in their territory ruled by the shape shifting ice wolves. When at the age of twelve the twins are forced to either admit to picking pockets or take part in the monthly public ritual to ascertain which children have the coveted gift to transform into ice wolves, everyone is shocked at Rayna’s change into a scorch dragon, a sworn enemy of the ice wolves. Herded away by two other dragons, Rayna disappears, leaving Anders bereft. His subsequent transformation to an ice wolf should be impossible: no family mixes wolves and dragons. Realising his only way of finding answers to their own family; to survival; to tracing his sister and rescuing her, Anders submits to the Academy to train as an ice wolf. There he finds unexpected family and friendship, retaining his secrets and encountering even more puzzles, until the opportunity arises to hunt for Rayna. Gripping fantasy adventure, this is a great start to the Elementals Trilogy. Lynndy
June picks I’m eager to read ... The Boy Who Lied by Kim Slater
Kim Slater’s previous books have all skilfully encompassed big issues while focussing on interesting characters, and I’ve loved the compassion she brings to the situations in her novels so I’m recommending this exploration of a family divided. ‘Fourteenyear-old Ed Clayton is a liar. It started when his dad went to prison and now he can’t seem to stop. When Ed’s younger brother Sam goes missing one day under his supervision, nobody believes him when he says he can’t remember what happened.’ A contemporary mystery fraught with secrets and emotion. ($15, PB) Lynndy
Sweet Adversity by Sheryl Gwyther
In 1928, 12-year-old Adversity is left at the Emu Swamp Children’s Home by her parents who are travelling actors, intending to return for her in better times. Things don’t go according to plan, and when a villainous theatrical agent hears the talented Addie sing he plots to use her in his next money-making venture. Meanwhile Adversity flees. Together with Macbeth, her Shakespeare-quoting cockatiel, Addie is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. ($18, PB) Lynndy
We’re proud to stock KOOKIE: a quarterly journal for and by tweens, ($12.50, PB). Targetting girls, it contains nary a commercial product placement, nor does it lionise celebrities, instead promoting individuality and possibilities. Already available in the UK, KOOKIE now publishes a version suited to Australian readers. Editor Nicky Shortridge elaborates on this welcome addition: KOOKIE (as in smart KOOKIE) is an inspiring new print magazine for girls aged 8 to 12+. In a world that often says there’s only one way to be a girl (think pink), KOOKIE strives to provide a genuine alternative—one that offers girls a rounded and optimistic sense of who they are and what they could become. There are interviews with remarkable women and girls from around the world, profiles of pioneering women in history, original fiction and comics, plus lively content on science and nature, art and activism, sports and technology, as well as craft, debate, puzzles, pets and more. ‘KOOKIE is surprising, informative, inclusive and most of all… fun!’ I’m not the only Gleestaffer willing KOOKIE to be a success; Tania commented to KOOKIE editor ‘Being a mother of three young girls I was impressed with your publication and would be happy to help get the word out about it.’ In full colour, with high production values, breadth of content and contemporary relevance, KOOKIE is definitely worth the investment! Lynndy
Food, Health & Garden
The Doctor’s Diet by Dr Sandro Demaio ($35, PB)
Like many Australian doctors worried about soaring rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, Dr Sandro Demaio, star of the ABC’s Ask the Doctor, knows that the single most effective thing we can do to improve our health is to improve our diet. Drawing on his Italian heritage, his medical training and knowledge as an international expert on obesity, he explains that the best diet is one based on unprocessed ingredients, simply and easily prepared. The book features 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.
Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden ($30, PB)
Half the population will menstruate in their lifetime, and 1 in 2 women will struggle with their period health. Containing invaluable advice for women of every age & circumstance, and detailing natural treatments from nutritional supplements to a healthy diet, Lara Briden’s book helps women change their relationship with their menstrual cycle. Topics included in the book include how to come off hormonal birth control; what your period should be like; what can go wrong; how to talk to your doctor; treatment protocols for all common period problems, including PCOS and endometriosis.
River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook by Nikki Duffy ($30, PB)
Nikki Duffy brings the River Cottage ethos to feeding children, & shows that it’s never too early to involve the youngest family members in mealtimes. Her delicious seasonal purees & simple, wholesome recipes put the needs & wants of babies & toddlers first, whilst offering up dishes like fishcakes, meatballs, shepherd’s pie, home-made pizza & falafel that will delight adults too. With clear advice on nutrition & weaning, this is the perfect starting point for your child’s great food adventure.
Catherine Saxelby’s Complete Food and Nutrition Companion: The Ultimate A-Z Guide ($40, PB)
A leading nutritionist for over 25 years, Catherine Saxelby has educated a generation of Australians about healthy eating and getting the most from their diet. In this updated edition of the Complete Food and Nutrition Companion, Catherine presents an A–Z guide of everything you need to know to get healthy, live longer and live better. With more than 500 entries covering whole foods, processed foods, additives, nutrients, supplements and more, this is the ultimate family reference for good health and nutrition.
The Balcony Gardener: Creative ideas for small spaces by Isabelle Palmer ($30, PB)
The Balcony Gardener covers everything from the fundamentals of starting a new garden, to picking out the best garden-accessories to suit your style & your space. Chapters cover planning, designing and the basic elements of gardening; the best plants to use in smaller environments, highlighting those flora that would be better adapted to life in an urban setting; great ideas for recycled containers and beautiful features in your garden—make a Pallet Wall Planter or Olive Oil Drum; how to customise your garden to not only look delightful, but smell and taste fantastic too.
Tokyo New Wave by Andrea Fazzari ($65, HB)
A young and charismatic generation is redefining what it means to be a chef in Tokyo. Open to the world and its influences, these chefs have travelled more than their predecessors, have lived abroad, speak other languages, and embrace social media. Yet they still remain distinctly Japanese, influenced by a style, tradition & terroir to which they are inextricably linked. Andrea Fazzari explores the changing landscape of food in Tokyo in a transporting cookbook and armchair travel guide that captures this moment in Japanese cuisine.
Sprouts, Shoots, and Microgreens: Tiny Plants to Grow & Eat in Your Kitchen by Lina Wallentinson
Learn how to grow (and consume) sprouts, shoots, and microgreens at home without using expensive or complicated equipment. All you need is tap water and a glass jar, and you’re ready to go! This is an easy, fast, and smart way to fit healthy greens into your diet. Following Lina Wallentinson’s instructions, in just a few days, you’ll see dry seeds transform into burgeoning green sprouts. All plants in this book can be grown in jars, colanders, sieves, or bags at any height, using many different kinds of light sources, and even under pressure. In addition to showing how to grow shoots and sprouts, Wallentinson teaches how to make delicious meals with your harvest. ($27, PB)
Winter: Comfort food for cold nights by Louise Franc
Recipes for every occasion including traditional foods like classic French onion soup, slow-cooked beef stroganoff, chicken cacciatore, rich osso buco & a moreish tuna pasta bake, to impressive modern coldweather dishes including Asian-style caramel pork, Panang chicken curry, roasted pumpkin risotto with browned butter & sage, and creamy Calvados chicken, as well as a host of decadent desserts. ($60, HB)
Last year I went to LA for nine hours, and we managed to pack in a visit to a gallery, an opulent patisserie, and the most wonderful cafe, called Sqirl. I longed to buy some of their extraordinary jam, have just eaten quite a lot of it on brioche with ricotta, but the thought of carrying it with me around Europe for a month wasn’t a tempting one. So I am truly delighted to now own the Sqirl cookbook, Everything I Want to Eat ($50, HB), and even more delighted by the fact it’s such a wonderful book. Clear instructions, surprising photography, interesting recipes, and lots of room to modify them—the author, and owner of Sqirl Jessica Koslow has had to be very flexible to accommodate the varied dietary restrictions of her loyal customers, and the recipes reflect this. There are sections on eggs, toast, beans, meat, fish, desserts, to name a few, and most exciting for me, jams. I’ve made the strawberry and rose geranium jam, next on the hob is going to be a batch of raspberry and cardamom jam. I’ve also tried the ricotta and the Fleu de Sel chocolate cookies, all were a success. This is a wonderful book! Louise I celebrated the return of Masterchef with a dinner party ‘heroing’ (where do they get these terms—just don’t get me started about ‘food dream’) a dish from the pages of the first Plenty—one of Ottolenghi’s most luxurious vegetarian dishes—black pepper tofu. I don’t cook it often because of the deep frying—having a friend frying while you dust the tofu is a great help—and the 150 grams of butter. Hardening arteries aside, it is such a delicious dish—so rich it almost feels like a dessert, and fills the house with the best pepper aromas (there’s five tablespoons of ground black pepper & six red chillis, so you can’t miss the eyewatering heat!) Viki
The Long and the Short of Pasta by Giancarlo & Katie Caldesi ($35, HB)
Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi bring together a collection of incredible pasta dishes inspired by their lifetime travelling Italy & cooking Italian food. Enjoy dishes such as a Roman potato gnocchi in a tomato sauce, spaghetti with sardine & wild fennel sauce from Sicily & scialatielli with a porcini & pancetta sauce from the Amalfi Coast. Covering the basics of making fresh pasta & the perfect sauces to pair them with, this will give anyone the confidence to master the art of Italy’s most beloved ingredient.
Smoke & Pickles: Recipes & Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Edward Lee ($60, HB)
Raised in Brooklyn by a family of Korean immigrants, the author eventually settled down in his adopted town of Louisville, Kentucky, where he owns the restaurant 610 Magnolia. In this book, he includes recipes for dishes like Chicken-fried Pork Steak with Ramen Crust and Buttermilk Pepper Gravy; Collards and Kimchi; and Miso-Smothered Chicken.
Slow Cooker Vegetarian by Katy Holder
Whether you’re vegetarian or simply looking for ideas for a few meat-free Mondays, Slow Cooker Vegetarian offers a whole new way to celebrate healthy hands-off cooking. Everyone’s favourite set-and-forget device gets a modern makeover with 100 recipes for meat-free soups, pastas, salads, hearty comfort food and even desserts. Throw some fresh, whole foods into the slow cooker and walk away to do something exciting—very few nutrients are lost during the slow cooking process and you’ll come back to a complete balanced one-pot meal, usually with no need for additional protein. ($30, HB)
Korean Food Made Easy by Caroline Hwang
Korean cuisine is one of the simplest, healthiest & friendliest in the world—its dishes are perfect for sharing. With just a few easily sourced ingredients you can create your first banchan, the small but delicious side dishes that are served at every meal, and the amazingly simple gut-affirming kimchi, which works with just about any vegetable. Soon you’ll graduate to the ever-popular Korean barbecue recipes, galbi, one-pot stews & dosirak (the perfect packed lunch). Koreans often start a meal with the joyful phrase ‘Please, eat well!’ because they know that food is best eaten in good company and that good health begins with a happy gut. ($40, PB)
Masala by Mallika Basu ($45, HB)
Food writer Mallika Basu grew up enjoying exotic flavours from across India in an unconventional, bustling home in Kolkata & and then spent years recreating them in a London kitchen. Embrace weekday dinners with mustard coconut and chilli-slathered baked fish, wok-friendly Goan chilli beef fry or silken kofta curry made with packs of ready-rolled meatballs. For leisurely weekends, tuck into a feast of Vindaloo pulled pork; give your Sunday roast a sumptuous twist with spicy marinades or enjoy a whole roasted cauliflower encrusted with nut butter. Brunch as Indians do with dosas and whole moong crepes; entertain with crowd pleasing do-it-yourself Calcutta kati rolls, easy-to-assemble platters of baby aubergines drenched in peanut, sesame & coconut, and much, much more.
Events r Calenda
ber! ee Remem and get fr ub ps, Gleecl d at our sho e h t y l n Joi ents he d with ever v e o t rue entry it acc the Gleaner d e r c d 10% oor. ase, an purch ed to your d deliver
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Event—6 for 6.30 Phillipa McGuinness
Event—6 for 6.30
The Year Everything Changed in conv. with Paul Daley If 2001 were a movie – oh wait, of course it was – its tagline might be ‘The year that changed everything’. And that change is not over. Phillipa McGuinness dissects a year where 9/11 wasn’t the only momentous event.
Michelle Scott Tucker
Event—6 for 6.30
Small Wrongs: How We Really Say Sorry in Life, Love & Law in conv. with Suzanne Leal In the wake of her daughter’s birth Kate Rossmanith became increasingly fascinated with the concept of remorse, within families and in the world at large—her investigation created seismic shifts in her own life.
19 Event—6 for 6.30
QE70—Dead Right: How Neoliberalism Ate Itself & What Comes Next How did the banks run wild for so long? Why are so many aged-care residents malnourished? And how is it that arms manufacturers sponsor the Australian War Memorial? In this passionate essay, Richard Denniss explores what neoliberalism has done to Australian society.
Axiomatic in conv. with Mireille Juchau Stories are not enough, even though they are essential. And books about history, books of psychology—the best of them take us closer, but still not close enough. Maria Tumarkin’s Axiomatic is a boundary-shifting fusion of thinking, storytelling, reportage and meditation.
The Lost Boys: Sherif’s Robbers In 1954, a group a remote summer were split into two couraged to bully, ise each other. Gin this controversial consequ
Elizabeth Macarthur: A Life at the End of the World in conv. with David Hunt Michelle Scott Tucker shines a light on an often-overlooked aspect of Australia’s history in this fascinating story of a remarkable woman— Elizabeth Macarthur.
Event—6 for 6.30 Maria Tumarkin
Australia R in conv. with C Australia’s unpre economic growth h er a more stable or ety—yet esteemed Hugh Mackay rem a book that is ess everyone who wan tralia a better p
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, Elijah Holcombe, is shot dead by Senior Constable Andrew Rich. This is Kate Wild’s 6 year investigation into this shooting—which devastates Elijah’s family & the police officer alike.
Human Rights & th Launchers: D and Ben Lefebvre turns th human rights are people from seriou political abuses on how the value of h lies in enabling et self-transfo
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, Online: www.gleebooks.com.au/events
Launch—3.30 for 4 2 Pitt Street Poets Simeon Kronenberg Distance
101 Poems Launchers: Anthony Lawrence & David Musgrave
—6 for 6.30 Perry
—6 for 6.30 Mackay
17 Event—3.30 for 4
Inside Muzafer Cave Experiment of boys attended camp where they o groups, and en, harass & demonna Perry explores experiment & its uences.
Launch—6 for 6.30
Reimagined Peter Cochrane Caroline Baum The Making of Martin Sparrow ecedented run of Launcher: Kate Evans has failed to deliv- Historian Peter Cochrane offers a r harmonious soci- novel set against the awe-inspiring d social researcher immensity of the hinterland west of mains optimistic in the Hawkesbury River sential reading for nts to make Ausplace for us all.
—6 for 6.30 efebvre
he Care of the Self Duncan Ivison n Golder he assumption that e there to protect us social, legal & n its head, showing human rights also thical practices of ormation.
Launch—6 for 6.30
Risking Together Launchers: Lisa Adkins and Stephen Long Financial risks are being shifted on to ordinary people. This book explains what is systematic about this risk-shifting onto households, explores the frontier of financialised profit making, and includes suggestions on pushing back.
Remembering the Myall Creek Massacre in conv. with Anna Clark and Heidi Norman Marking its 180th anniversary, this book explores the significance of one of the most horrifying events of Australian colonialism.
24 Launch—3.30 for 4 Lisa Barron
The Tatter of Life This memoir is a journey that leads to the discovery of ancient knowledge and the reality of a 4th dimension. From a sleepy sea side village in Australia to a beach in India—it is an inner story that will take the reader to unexpected places. Miracles, Himalayan adventures and riots occur along the way.
Dick Bryan & Mike Rafferty
Kingdom of the Wicked: Order The epic alternative history from the Miles Franklin Award–winning author of The Hand that Signed the Paper reaches its stunning conclusion.
i didn’t do it, I did: A conversation with Consciousness. A roadmap to Truth Launcher: Zoe Norton Lodge Why the Truth retreats and how we can contact it again is the subject of this book.
29 Launch—6 for 6.30
Launch—3.30 for 4
Coming in July
Thur 5: The Coal Truth David Ritter in conversation with Tara Moss and Berndt Sellheim Wed 18: Australian Foreign Affairs Bookclub chaired by Jonathan Perlman for more information go to: http://www.gleebooks.com.au/bookings 13
Granny’s Good Reads
with Sonia Lee
I have just ended a Jane Casey binge, reading all seven of her DC Maeve Kerrigan detective novels in one go. I chanced on her name when she was mentioned in a review as being on a par with Tana French and that got me in. I started with The Burning, proceeded to The Reckoning and so on to the latest, Let the Dead Speak—by which time I was thoroughly addicted. In The Burning the serial killer stuns his victims and bludgeons them to death before pouring petrol on them and setting them alight. DC Maeve’s strength is noticing anomalies in the crime scene. For instance, she suspects that the fifth burned body is not the Burning Man’s handiwork but the product of a copy-cat crime—and sets out to prove it. For six of the novels her immediate superior and partner is the abrasive but brilliant DI Josh Derwent— whom initially she dislikes but gradually grows to respect, and they form an unbeatable duo. In The Stranger You Know Derwent is suspected of being a serial killer himself, but Maeve sets out to find the real killer. After the Fire is particularly exciting with an unpleasant MP found in compromising circumstances after a fire on a housing estate. In Let The Dead Speak, 17-year-old Chloe returns home unexpectedly to find blood everywhere and her mother nowhere. She takes refuge with neighbours who belong to a fundamentalist sect, and the plot thickens. Be prepared for a surprising revelation in the last pages. Jane Casey is married to a criminal barrister, admits to sometimes getting a germ of an idea from his cases, and makes all her police procedures entirely credible. Each novel stands alone but it’s best to read all seven in sequence because the characters develop, and there’s a stalker who recurs in several of the novels. It’s also the best way of keeping pace with Maeve’s tangled love life and her Anglo-Irish family. Casey’s great strengths are plotting and interplay between characters, so even the occasionally grizzly details shouldn’t put you off. While still in the mood for murder I read Close to Home by Cara Hunter—the story of 8-year-old Daisy Mason who disappears from her Oxford home during a party. Cara has a 10-year-old brother Leo and parents from hell. I had my heart in my mouth through all the twists and turns of the plot, speed-reading so I could find out what happened, and was completely stunned by the ending. I greatly enjoyed The Power Game, the third of the Monsarrat series by Meg and Tom Keneally. Hugh Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney have been sent to Van Diemen’s Land to investigate a murder and are on Maria Island where the bosun, who delivers rations and mail from the mainland, has been despatched with an axe and shoved over a cliff. Power in the title alludes to Thomas Power, an Irish nationalist baronet’s son who, though a convict, is under less restrictive conditions than the regulars. However, the authorities would like Power fitted up as the murderer so they can hang him without causing too much of a clamour back home in Ireland. Monsarrat discovers that the bosun, besides running a black market in rum, has had a profitable sideline in reading the island’s mail and blackmailing likely prospects, so there are many suspects. Mrs M, as well as wielding the teapot and making shortbread, does a great deal of detecting herself, making friends with the wife of the hateful commandant and her fey brother Walter. On Maria Island there are numerous miserable convicts, a brutal overseer, a compassionate doctor, a humane visiting magistrate, and a young soldier who, fortunately, can be tempted from the path of duty by the offer of a nice cup of tea. There are also Cape Barren geese, wombats and seals, but our two detectives are anxious to wrap up the case and get back to Parramatta, where Gracie O’Leary from Book 2 is about to be released and Mrs M is worried about her son Padraig. I greatly look forward to the next book in the series. I’m not quite as enthusiastic about Anna Quindlen’s latest novel, Alternate Side, as I was about Still Life with Bread Crumbs and Miller’s Crossing, but anything by Quindlen is sure to contain challenging insights and richly imagined female characters. This one is about an outwardly harmonious upmarket neighbourhood in New York where people’s chief concern seems to be finding a parking spot. Violence breaks out after a minor infringement and the harmony starts to break up as people take opposite sides and marriages come under strain. Well written and with snappy dialogue, a sympathetic heroine, and all the minor mysteries, such as who keeps putting dog poo on the heroine’s front step, are neatly cleaned up at the end. Definitely worth a read. Sonia
QE70: Dead Right—How Neoliberalism Ate Itself and What Comes Next by Richard Denniss
The author of Curing Affluenza looks at how neoliberalism ate itself & what comes next. For 30 years, we were told that privatisation & economic reform would be good for everyone. But now the results are in—we have seen public services undermined & corporations gaming the system. Damage has been done to the regional Australia, blue-collar workers & the collective ethos—a language of shared sacrifice has been degraded by lies. As a result, we are seeing a political backlash against ‘reform’. For the Coalition in particular, this is a threat to unity. In this passionate essay, Richard Denniss argues for a more pragmatic, consultative politics. He asks whether the major parties can find a new, and persuasive, way to talk about the national interest. ($23, PB)
The Ship That Never Was: The Greatest Escape Story Of Australian Colonial History by Adam Courtenay ($30, PB)
In 1823, cockney sailor & chancer James Porter was convicted of stealing a stack of beaver furs & transported to Van Diemen’s Land. After several escape attempts from the notorious penal colony, Porter, who told authorities he was a ‘beer-machine maker’, was sent to Macquarie Harbour, known in Van Diemen’s Land as hell on earth. Many had tried to escape Macquarie Harbour; few had succeeded. But when Governor George Arthur announced that the place would be closed & its prisoners moved to the new penal station of Port Arthur, Porter, along with a motley crew of other prisoners, pulled off an audacious escape. Wresting control of the ship they’d been building to transport them to their fresh hell, the escapees instead sailed all the way to Chile. What happened next is stranger than fiction, a fitting outcome for this true-life picaresque tale.
Remembering the Myall Creek Massacre by Jane Lydon & Lyndall Ryan ($35, PB)
The 1838 Myall Creek Massacre is remembered for the brutality of the crime committed by white settlers against innocent Aboriginal men, women & children, but also because 11 of the 12 assassins were arrested & brought to trial. Amid tremendous controversy, 7 were hanged. Myall Creek was not the last time the colonial administration sought to apply the law equally to Aboriginal people & settlers, but it was the last time perpetrators of a massacre were convicted & hanged. Marking its 180th anniversary, this book explores the significance of one of the most horrifying events of Australian colonialism, and challenges us to look at our history without flinching as an act of remembrance & reconciliation.
The Year Everything Changed: 2001 by Phillipa McGuinness ($35, PB)
2001 was an awful year—not only because of 9/11 In Australia a group of orange-jacketed asylum seekers on deck the Norwegian vessel Tampa became the focus for both sides of politics in a bruising federal election. The Centenary of Federation on 1 January turned out to be a class-A fizzer, shiny tech startups continued their implosion following the dotcom bubble burst, Google received its PageRank patent, Apple launched the iPod—not only transforming the soundtrack to our lives but shifting cultural alignments so that distributors became the richest guys in the room, rather than the artists writing, singing and playing the songs. If 2001 were a movie—oh wait, of course it was—its tagline might be ‘The year that changed everything’. And that change is not over.
The National Picture: The Art of Tasmania’s Black War by Tim Bonyhady & Greg Lehman This book serves to conjure up & interrogate Tasmania’s colonial past. Colonial representations of Tasmanian Aboriginal people are among the most remarkable & contentious expressions of Australian colonial art. The National Picture sheds new light on the under-examined figures in this difficult narrative: colonial artist Benjamin Duterrau, the controversial George Augustus Robinson & the Tasmanian Aboriginal people upon whose land the British settled. ($39.95, PB)
Peat Island: Dreaming and desecration by Adrian Mitchell ($34.95, PB)
For just over 100 years an institution for the mentally ill has stood on little Peat Island, in the lower Hawkesbury. It was decommissioned in 2010; quite empty now, it remains a locked facility just as it had always been. And eerie. The last residents were dispersed into the wider community. In this, they echoed the fate of the Darkinjung people, original custodians of this country - their community was scattered just as intentionally, and effectively, if not quite so brutally. It is not one of the New South Wales government’s finest accomplishments. For all the unhappiness associated with it, Peat Island was home for more than 3000 residents, males only for the first half of its modern history. Over time, it became a happier place, even as the facility itself aged, fell into disrepair, and became a bureaucratic nightmare and a political football. This is its sorry story.
The Cafe de Move-on Blues: In Search of the New South Africa by Christopher Hope ($30, PB)
Christopher Hope contemplates the situation white South Africans find themselves in today, post-Apartheid. Emigration is accelerating at a rate never seen before, diasporas are spreading from Winnipeg to Wimbledon, and the spectre of neighbouring Zimbabwe looms large as violence spreads. As one by one, the old imperial idols, from Cecil Rhodes to Paul Kruger, are pulled from their pedestals, Hope ponders the question: ‘Who is next?’ In this intimate & powerful portrait of race, politics & people in South Africa today, Hope uses his mesmerising prose to get to the heart of the issue, and to reveal what can be done to stem the flow of whites leaving the rainbow nation.
Behold, America by Sarah Churchwell ($30, PB)
Is America a racial melting pot, a democracy, a winner-takes-all economy, or a place of political refuge? When these values collide, which will win? Sarah Churchland looks at these questions by tracing the origins of the country’s most contentious self-identifying phrases— the ‘American dream’ & ‘America first’. These were born nearly a century ago and instantly tangled over capitalism, democracy & race. Invoked most recently in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, they came to embody opposing views in the battle to define the soul of the nation—one on the side of liberal democracy, the other on the side of authoritarianism. Churchland uses the voices that originally engaged in that debate—from Capitol Hill to the newsroom of the New York Times, from students to senators, dreamers to dissenters—to show that the American dream was not initially one of material prosperity, but a democratic dream of equality. America first, meanwhile, was engaged with racist, nativist ideas from birth. The phrases have been harnessed for good and bad in the battle for America’s heart and a vision of what the country stands for. A nation losing its way might do well to contest these terms once more.
Duterte Harry: Fire and Fury in the Philippines by Jonathan Miller ($33, PB)
Rodrigo Duterte was elected President of the Philippines in 2016. In his first 18 months in office, 12,000 people were murdered on the streets, gunned down by police officers and vigilante citizens— all with his encouragement. Duterte is a serial womaniser & a selfconfessed killer, who has called both Barack Obama & Pope Francis ‘sons of whores’. He is on record as saying he does not ‘give a shit’ about human rights. Yet he is beloved of the 16.6 million Filipinos who voted for him—seen as vulgar but honest, a breath of fresh air, an iconoclastic, anti-imperialist rebel. Jonathan Miller charts Duterte’s rise, and shows how this fascinating, fearsome man can be seen as the embodiment of populism in our time.
Little History of Economics by Niall Kishtainy
What causes poverty? Are economic crises inevitable under capitalism? Is government intervention in an economy a helpful approach or a disastrous idea? The answers to such basic economic questions matter to everyone, yet the unfamiliar jargon & math of economics can seem daunting. This clear, accessible, humorous book is ideal for young readers new to economics & for all readers who seek a better understanding of the full sweep of economic history & ideas. Economic historian Niall Kishtainy gives short, chronological chapters that centre on big ideas & events. He recounts the contributions of key thinkers including Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, and others, while examining topics ranging from the invention of money & the rise of agrarianism to the Great Depression, entrepreneurship, environmental destruction, inequality & behavioural economics. ($25, PB)
Political Hypocrisy: The Mask of Power, from Hobbes to Orwell & Beyond by David Runciman
What kind of hypocrite should voters choose as their next leader? The question seems utterly cynical. But, as David Runciman suggests, it is actually much more cynical to pretend that politics can ever be completely sincere. Runciman draws on the work of some of the great truth-tellers in modern political thought—Hobbes, Mandeville, Jefferson, Bentham, Sidgwick & Orwell—and applies his ideas to different kinds of hypocritical politicians from Oliver Cromwell to Hillary Clinton. This revised edition features a new foreword that takes the story up to Donald Trump, this book examines why, instead of vainly searching for authentic politicians, we should try to distinguish between harmless & harmful hypocrisies & worry only about the most damaging varieties. ($40, PB)
The World As It Is: Inside the Obama White House by Ben Rhodes ($35, PB)
A young writer & Washington outsider, Ben Rhodes 29 when he was chosen to help shape America’s hopes & sense of itself. For nearly ten years, Rhodes was at the centre of the Obama Administration—first as a speechwriter, then a policymaker & finally a multi-purpose aide & close collaborator. Rhodes puts the reader in the room at the most tense & poignant moments in recent history—starting every morning with Obama in the Daily Briefing. Rhodes vivid portrayal tells the full story of what it means to work alongside a radical leader; of how idealism can confront reality and survive; of how the White House really functions; and of what it is to have a partnership, and ultimately a friendship, with a historic president.
The King and the Catholics: The Fight for Rights 1829 by Antonia Fraser ($33, PB)
The story of Catholic Emancipation begins with the violent Anti-Catholic Gordon Riots in 1780, fuelled by the reduction in Penal Laws against the Roman Catholics harking back to the 16th century. Some 50 years later, the passing of the Emancipation Bill was hailed as a ‘bloodless revolution’. Antonia Fraser brings colour and humour to this vivid drama with its huge cast of characters: George III, who opposed Emancipation on the basis of the Coronation Oath; his son, the indulgent Prince of Wales, who was enamoured with the Catholic Maria Fitzherbert before the voluptuous Lady Conyngham; Wellington & the ‘born Tory’ Peel vying for leadership; ‘roaring’ Lord Winchilsea; the heroic Daniel O’Connell. A distant mirror of our times, reflecting the political issues arising from religious intolerance.
Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944 by Antony Beevor ($35, PB)
In September 1944, having sped through France & Belgium, Montgomery sought to race into Germany & to end the war by Christmas. It wasn’t, of course, that simple. Operation Market Garden would drop Allied troops into The Netherlands, held by Nazi Germany, to secure key bridges across the Rhine along the path of advance. But it was folly—in the Dutch staff college exams, any candidate who adopted this plan had been failed on the spot. Indeed, the campaign ended in a glorious defeat, & half of the 12,000 Allied troops taken prisoner. Antony Beevor brings a campaign to life, showing why the battle was fought, and lost. Using material from a vast range of sources, Beevor also paints the human side of war—its heroes & villains, and its moments of glory & humour.
Persian Gulf Command: A History of the Second World War in Iran and Iraq by Ashley Jackson ($55, HB)
This book constructs a total picture of the experience & impact of WWII in Iran & Iraq. Iran & Iraq served as the first WWII theatre in which the US, the UK, and the USSR fought alongside each other. Jackson charts the intense Allied military activity in Iran & Iraq & reveals how deeply the war impacted common people’s lives. He also provides revelations about the true nature of Anglo-American relations in the region, the beginnings of the Cold War, and the continuing corrosive legacy of Western influence in these lands. Contending that Iran & Iraq were more important to the Allied forces’ war operations than has ever been acknowledged, historian Ashley Jackson investigates the grand strategy of the Allies & their operations in the region & the continuing legacy of Western intervention in the Middle East.
The Death of Democracy by Benjamin Carter Hett ($35, PB)
What caused the fall of one of the most progressive governments in 20th century Europe, and the rise of the most terrifying? Drawing on individual stories to illustrate its broader arguments, this new account presents a portrait of Germany at a turning point, focusing on the global dimension of the Nazi phenomenon as part of a widespread reaction against a world order of triumphant, cosmopolitan liberal democracy & capitalism after WW1. This was a world situation that pushed its opponents to embrace authoritarianism, nationalism & economic self-sufficiency, kick-starting a revolution reliant upon the innovative exploitation of new media technologies, and the formidable political & self-promotional skills of its leader. Using recently discovered archival material Benjamin Hett gives an authoritative & panoramic new survey of one of the most pivotal periods in modern history—with a clear & important message for the world today.
St Petersburg: Three Centuries of Murderous Desire by Jonathan Miles ($25, PB)
In its successive incarnations—St Petersburg; Petrograd; Leningrad and, once again, St Petersburg—has always been a place of perpetual contradiction. It was a window on to Europe and the Enlightenment, but so much of the glory of Russia was created here—its literature, music, dance and, for a time, its political vision. It gave birth to the artistic genius of Pushkin and Dostoyevsky, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, Pavlova and Nureyev. Yet, for all its glittering palaces, fairytale balls and enchanting gardens, the blood of thousands has been spilt on its snow-filled streets. It has been a hotbed of war and revolution, a place of siege and starvation, and the crucible for Lenin and Stalin’s power-hungry brutality. Jonathan Miles recreates the drama of 300 years in this absurd and brilliant city, bringing us up to the present day, when—once more—its fate hangs in the balance. This is an epic tale of murder, massacre and madness played out against squalor and splendour. It is an unforgettable portrait of a city and its people.
Now in paperback The Trial of Adolf Hitler by David King, $23
Science & Nature
Wild Sea: A History of the Southern Ocean by Joy McCann ($33, 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.
The Lambs: My Father, a Farm, and the Gift of a Flock of Sheep by Carole George ($37, HB)
In this touching memoir about the relationship between father, daughter, and animals, Carole George explores life after adopting 13 pet Karakul lambs. Throughout her years with the lambs & her aging father, she comes to realize the distinct personality of each creature, and to understand more fully the almost spiritual bond between man & animal—her life raising, caring for, and eventually losing the lambs parallels a similar experience with her father. ‘... beautifully written, and right on target as an example of the natural—pastoral—world where we may achieve the fullness of human experience. Our descendants may gravitate toward the equivalent of [Carole’s] Virginia farm.’ —Edward O. Wilson.
Making Dogs Happy by Paul McGreevy & Melissa Starling
Studies have shown that many dog owners incorrectly interpret their dog’s behaviour & emotions—this book will ensure you’re being a good human to your canine companion. Learn what motivates your particular dog & you can train it accordingly, making your dog as happy as they make you. McGreevy & Starling are experts in dog behaviour, and their book introduces the idea of dogmanship—the ability to interact with & train dogs. Fully photographed, demonstrating key behaviours of dozens of furry charmers, this is the one handbook no dog lover can go past. ($35, PB)
Mrs Moreau’s Warbler: How Birds Got Their Names by Stephen Moss ($33, HB)
We use names so often, and with such little thought, that we often forget to pause & wonder about their origins. Many of our most familiar birds are named after people or places, sometimes after their sound or appearance, or perhaps after their quirky little habits. But sometimes a little more detective work is required to find the deeper meanings & stories behind the names. And a familiar face such as the blackbird, may not turn out to be named after its colour after all. Through unexpected encounters with the bird kingdom, from the familiar sparrow to the many-coloured rush-tyrant of Patagonia, Stephen Moss shows us that something as small as a name can carry a whole story—an arctic expedition, a pitched battle between rival ornithologists or the discovery of a new system of genetic hybridisation. This book is a journey through time, from when humans & birds first shared the world, up to now, as we find ourselves struggling to coexist sustainably with our feathered friends.
Unimpeded by any landmass, the mysterious Southern Ocean flows completely around Earth from west to east between the seasonally shifting icy continent of Antarctica and the coastlines and islands of Australia, New Zealand, South America and South Africa. Weaving together sea captains’ journals, whalers’ log books, explorers’ letters, scientific research and ancient beliefs with her own voyage of discovery, Joy McCann reveals the secrets of a little-known ocean and its importance as a barometer of climate change. ‘Written with intensity and excitement, Wild Sea is a poetic exploration of a vast, wondrous ocean and a ripping yarn.’—Tom Griffiths
The Human Planet by Simon Lewis & Mark Maslin
Meteorites, methane, mega-volcanoes & now human beings; the old forces of nature that transformed Earth many millions of years ago are joined by another—us. Our actions have driven Earth into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. For the first time in our home planet’s 4.5-billion year history a single species is dictating Earth’s future. To some the Anthropocene symbolises a future of superlative control of our environment. To others it is the height of hubris, the illusion of our mastery over nature. Whatever your view, just below the surface of the Anthropocene, is a heady mix of science, philosophy, religion & politics linked to our deepest fears & utopian visions. Tracing our environmental impact through time Simon Lewis & Mark Maslin show what the new epoch means for the future of humanity, the planet & life itself. ($20, PB)
Totally Random: Why Nobody Understands Quantum Mechanics (A Serious Comic on Entanglement) by Tanya & Jeffrey Bub ($45, PB)
Measure two entangled particles separately, and the outcomes are totally random. But compare the outcomes, and the particles seem as if they are instantaneously influencing each other at a distance—even if they are light-years apart. This, in a nutshell, is entanglement, and if it seems weird, then this book is for you. Totally Random is a graphic experiential narrative that unpacks the deep and insidious significance of the curious correlation between entangled particles to deliver a gutfeel glimpse of a world that is not what it seems.
Pasta For Nightingales: A 17th Century handbook of bird-care and folklore foreword by Helen Macdonald ($30, HB)
Art patron Cassiano dal Pozzo, (1588–1657) commissioned a number of exquisite studies of birds as part of his famous ‘Paper Museum’. In 1622 the lawyer & ornithologist Giovanni Pietro Olina used these drawings as the basis for the illustrations in his Uccelliera. This volume combines Cassiano’s original artwork with selections from the first English translation of Olina’s text. It includes such enchanting insights as the idea that robins were epileptic, or suffered from dizziness, and that the hoopoe overindulged in grapes until it became ‘dazed and half-drunk.’ It also includes much fascinating early natural history & ornithological observation—as well as the secret recipe for pasta to keep your nightingale happy and encourage it to sing.
The Weather Detective: Rediscovering Nature’s Secret Signs by Peter Wohlleben ($30, HB)
As soon as we step out of the door, nature surrounds us. Thousands of small & large processes are taking place, fascinating details that we’ve long forgotten how to recognise them. Peter Wohlleben invites you to become an expert, to take a closer look & interpret the signs that clouds, wind, plants & animals convey. Chaffinches become weather prophets, bees are live thermometers, courgettes tell us the time. The Weather Detective combines scientific research with charming anecdotes to explain the extraordinary cycles of life, death & regeneration that are evolving on our doorstep, bringing us closer to nature than ever before. A walk in the park will never be the same again.
The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos & the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos by Christian Davenport ($40, HB)
For years, space enthusiasts have imagined people in spaceships colonizing the cosmos, and for more than four decades, US presidents have been predicting a real-life journey to Mars. Little progress, however, has been made since the halcyon days of the Mercury and Apollo programs—until now. Chris Davenport tells the story of the ‘Space Barons’—notably Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, but also Richard Branson & Paul Allen—and their unbelievably big ambitions to revive the US manned space program and reignite ancient dreams. These tycoons, with deep imaginations and deeper wallets, have ambitions to go far into space, well beyond the lower Earth orbit of the International Space Station. ‘Do we want’, Elon Musk asks, ‘a future where we are forever confined to one planet until some eventual extinction event—however far in the future that might occur? Or do we want to become a multi-planet species, ultimately out there among the stars?” With an inside track on the businesses, rivalries, and rocketry that are fuelling the new space race, this is the story of how these billionaires plan to open the space frontier, extending humanity’s reach and fulfilling the dreams of a generation.
Philosophy & Religion
The Beginnings of Philosophy in Greece by Maria Michela Sassi ($54, HB)
How can we talk about the beginnings of philosophy today? How can we avoid the conventional opposition of mythology & the dawn of reason & instead explore the multiple styles of thought that emerged between them? Available in English for the first time, Maria Michela Sassi reconstructs the intellectual world of the early Greek ‘Presocratics’ to provide a richer understanding of the roots of what used to be called ‘the Greek miracle’. In the 6th & 5th centuries, between the Asian shores of Ionia & the Greek city-states of southern Italy, thinkers started to reflect on the cosmic order, elaborate doctrines on the soul, write in solemn Homeric meter, or, later, abandon poetry for an assertive prose. And yet the Presocratic—whether the Milesian natural thinkers, the rhapsode Xenophanes, the mathematician & ‘shaman’ Pythagoras, the naturalist & seer Empedocles, the oracular Heraclitus, or the inspired Parmenidesall shared an approach to critical thinking that, by questioning traditional viewpoints, revolutionized knowledge. A unique study that explores the full range of early Greek thinkers in the context of their worlds, the book also features a new preface to the English edition in which the author discusses the latest scholarship on the subject.
God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction by Dan Barker ($25, PB)
Expanding on a concept from Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, former ordained minister & current atheist Dan Barker gives a biblical play-by-play illustrating God’s not-so-admirable qualities. What words come to mind when we think of God? Merciful? Just? Compassionate? Delving deep into the Bible, former evangelical preacher Dan Barker uncovers God’s negative qualities: jealous, petty, unforgiving, bloodthirsty, vindictive! Witty & well researched, this unique atheist book explains exactly why the Scripture shouldn’t govern our everyday lives— a powerful argument for the separation of church & state.
Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns by Bruno Latour ($55, PB)
Over the past 25 years, Bruno Latour has developed a research protocol different from the actor-network theory with which his name is now associated—a research protocol that follows the different types of connectors that provide specific truth conditions. These are the connectors that prompt a climate scientist challenged by a captain of industry to appeal to the institution of science, with its army of researchers and mountains of data, rather than to ‘capital-S Science’ as a higher authority. Such modes of extension—or modes of existence, Latour argues here—account for the many differences between law, science, politics, and other domains of knowledge. Magnificent... shows that [Latour] has lost none of his astonishing fertility as a thinker, or his skill and wit as a writer’—Jonathan Rée, TLS
Now in paperback & B format War: An Enquiry by A C Grayling, $28 Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason by David Harvey, $23 What We Think About When We Think About Football by Simon Critchley, $16 In Praise of Idleness by Bertrand Russell, $17 The Evangelicals by Frances FitzGerald ($30, PB)
The evangelical movement began in the revivals of the 18th & 19th centuries, known in America as the Great Awakenings. A populist rebellion against the established churches, it became the dominant religious force in the country. During the 19th century white evangelicals split apart, first North versus South, and then, modernist versus fundamentalist. After WWII, Billy Graham attracted enormous crowds & tried to gather all Protestants under his big tent, but the civil rights movement & the social revolution of the 1960s drove them apart again. By the 1980s Jerry Falwell & other southern televangelists, such as Pat Robertson, had formed the Christian right. Protesting abortion & gay rights, they led the South into the Republican Party, and for 35 years they were the sole voice of evangelicals to be heard nationally. Eventually a younger generation proposed a broader agenda of issues, such as climate change, gender equality & immigration reform. This is a deeply researched history that is impressive for its scope & level of detail
The Death of Expertise Tom Nichols ($30.95, HB)
People are now exposed to more information than ever before—but these gains have helped fuel a surge in narcissistic & misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. All voices, even the most ridiculous, demand to be taken with equal seriousness, and any claim to the contrary is dismissed as elitism. Paradoxically, this ‘democratic’ dissemination of information, rather than producing an educated public, has instead created an army of ill-informed & angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement. Nichols notes that when ordinary citizens believe that no one knows more than anyone else, democratic institutions themselves are in danger of falling either to populism or to technocracy-or in the worst case, a combination of both.
Psychology The Incurable Romantic and Other Unsettling Revelations by Frank Tallis ($33, PB)
Love defines us. It shapes the individual, ensures the preservation of the species, and is the principal subject we—as a culture—choose to examine in our art forms. The experience of being in love is powerful & it inevitably changes how we feel and how we behave. Even when love is normal it is so intense that for thousands of years doctors and poets have described love as a kind of madness; however, love can also go wrong. When this happens the consequences for the individual & those around them can be far reaching & in some instances truly astonishing. Lovesickness is not a trivial matter. Unrequited love is a frequent cause of suicide (particularly among the young) & over 10% of murders are connected with sexual jealousy. Clinical psychologist Frank Tallis has treated aristocrats, billionaires, film stars, middle managers & people in unspeakable poverty. Love is a great leveller—and when love goes wrong, wealth, education & status count for nothing. Tallis relates love’s myriad maladies, and gives first-hand accounts of the ways they can drive us to madness.
Minds Make Societies by Pascal Boyer ($55, HB)
‘There is no good reason why human societies should not be described and explained with the same precision and success as the rest of nature.’ Integrating recent insights from evolutionary biology, genetics, psychology, economics & other fields, evolutionary psychologist Pascal Boyer offers precise models of why humans engage in social behaviours such as forming families, tribes, & nations, or creating gender roles. In thought-provoking passages, he explores questions such as: Why is there conflict between groups? Why do people believe low-value information such as rumours? Why are there religions? What is social justice? What explains morality? He provides a new picture of cultural transmission that draws on the pragmatics of human communication, the constructive nature of memory in human brains, and human motivation for group formation & cooperation.
The Happy Brain by Dean Burnett ($30, PB)
The enthusiasm for and expectation of happiness are so widespread today that fundamental questions about it are often overlooked. For starters, the most basic question of all: where does happiness come from? Is it your brain—a mere concoction of chemicals, or network of neurons? Is it in fact your gut? Or is it external? Is it love or sex or money or success? And what are these doing to our brains anyway? Neuroscientist Dean Burnett delves into our most private selves to investigate what causes happiness, where it comes from, and why we are so desperate to hang onto it. The questions he raises are ones we so rarely ask today, but they address a major part of what it means to be a modern-day human.
Ethical Maturity in the Helping Professions: Making Difficult Life and Work Decisions by Michael Carroll & Elisabeth Shaw ($44.95, PB)
Most practitioners head for codes of ethics and ethical frameworks to help them resolve ethical issues and dilemmas. They go ‘outside’ rather than ‘inside’. This book suggests a different approach that views ethical codes & frameworks as the first stepping stone to a higher ethic—an ethic of fidelity, relationships & trust. Building on Rest’s four components of ethical practice, Michael Carroll and Elisabeth Shaw propose six components that together make up what they call ‘ethical maturity’ or practical ethical wisdom. Born from who we are, and fashioned on the anvil of experience & knowledge, the book challenges helping professionals to review what they mean by ethics & suggests they step up to a higher ethic of relational accountability.
The Inflamed Mind by Edward Bullmore ($30, PB)
Neuroscientist Professor Edward Bullmore reveals the breakthrough new science on the link between depression & inflammation of the body & brain. He explains how & why we now know that mental disorders can have their root cause in the immune system, and outlines a future revolution in which treatments could be specifically targeted to break the vicious cycle of stress, inflammation & depression. He goes far beyond the clinic & the lab, representing a whole new way of looking at how mind, brain & body all work together in a sometimes misguided effort to help us survive in a hostile world. He offers insights into the story of Western medicine, how we have got it wrong as well as right in the past, and how we could start getting to grips with depression & other mental disorders much more effectively in the future.
Ladybird Experts, $20 each Hardcover Consciousness by Hannah Critchlow, $28 Genetics by Adam Rutherford Plate Tectonics by Iain Stewart Blitzkrieg by James Holland Battle of the Atlantic by James Holland
Childrens’ Worlds Goodbye Christopher Robin by Ann Thwaite is the fascinating story of how AA Milne came to write the books about his son Christopher Robin and his toys. That little boy grew up to be a man with a life of his own (he was a bookseller in fact), but his childhood remains stuck in the amber of time—and the books became a poisoned chalice for both their creator and subject. Alan Milne was an author and a playwright before his first children’s book—he had worked at Punch, and gone to War, and was gaining a reputation as a working writer before he wrote his first collection of children’s poems which became When We Were Very Young. Looking back from this distance you can see clearly the reason for their success—they have not dated, they are fun to read aloud, and they are memorable. The fact that the author was a playwright really explains why they were such an instant and sustained success—but it doesn’t explain all of it. It was a combination of factors—the time they were published, the place that the books were set in, the toys themselves, and of course the truly wonderful illustrations by E. H. Shepard—all contributed to their popularity. Ann Thwaite has done a good job of explaining the making of these books, but she doesn’t labour the point and try to analyse the subject to death. She wrote a biography of AA Milne (1990), and is very well versed in her subject. However she keeps her focus on the books—their creation, and their subsequent history, and it is fascinating. If you have read Christopher Milne’s memoirs you will know that he developed a complicated relationship with his father, and with his literary child self, and his road was not always an easy one. In fact AA Milne clearly felt great ambivalence towards his children’s books, and some regret for having ever written them. But this is not a tell-all book—Thwaite draws a veil over some events, and she keeps the Milne’s private lives intact. This is an engaging account of how some of the best-loved children’s books of all time (according to a recent BBC poll) came into being, and a wonderful portrait of an unlikely children’s author. Tove Jansson, on the other hand, seemed destined to become the creator of the much-loved Moomintroll books, and a very brilliant artist as well. The child of a sculptor and an illustrator, she was born to live the life she led. She was always creative and observant, and quite early in life she created a whole other world, Moominvalley. This extraordinary place is the subject of the comprehensive The World of Moominvalley by Philip Armagh. A very handsome book, this is a sort of guide to the world of the Moomins—there are maps, and facts, and histories and pictures, and lots and lots of pictures. There’s even an (extended) family tree of the Moomins. Philip Ardagh has written this as a tribute to Tove Jansson, and a celebration of the world she created. It is clearly an exhaustively researched book, no stone is left unturned— because of this that I haven’t read it from cover to cover, but have really enjoyed dipping in and out of it. The World of Moominvalley is one for the legions of fans of Tove Jansson, and a good companion to her books. But like AA Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood, Moominvalley is a magical place, and it’s really best to visit by reading the original books. Louise
Pops: Fatherhood In Pieces by Michael Chabon ($30, HB)
In 2016, Michael Chabon acted as reluctant minder to his 13 year-old son Abraham on a trip to Paris Men’s Fashion Week. Possessed of a precocious sense of style, Abe was in his element chatting with designers he idolized and turning a critical eye to the most ‘lit’ runway looks; Chabon Sr, whose interest in clothing stops at ‘thrift-shopping for vintage western shirts’ was too hot. Despite his own indifference, however, what emerged was a deep respect for his son’s passion, for his bravery in the face of conformity, and a sense of awe in seeing him transform into his own person. With My Son, the Prince of Fashion at its centre, this collection features essays on the magic & mysteries of fatherhood.
Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth by Catherine McIlwaine ($100, HB)
Lavishly illustrated with over 300 images of his manuscripts, drawings, maps & letters, the book traces the creative process behind his most famous literary works—The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings & The Silmarillion & reproduces personal photographs & private papers (some of which have never been seen before in print). The largest collection of original Tolkien material ever assembled in a single volume.
Cultural Studies & Criticism Dictator Literature by Daniel Kalder ($35, HB)
The leader of Turkmenistan—a man who once renamed bread after his own mother—wrote his own holy book, which is required reading before taking a driving test. It is a book of such time-quaking importance that the month of September was renamed in its honour. Countless historians have dedicated decades of their lives to minutely detailing the atrocities perpetrated by the 20th century’s, this book focusses on their crimes against literature. Between them, they produced theoretical works, spiritual manifestos, poetry collections, memoirs & even the occasional romance novel, establishing a literary tradition of soulcrushing tedium that continues to this day. What do these books reveal about the dictatorial soul? How did the production of literature become central to the running of their regimes? A journey to the end of the literary night, combining mind-bending explorations of the avant-garde of boredom with history, politics & biography—leavened with a darkly humorous wit—Dictator Literature is the true story of the worst books in the world.
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala ($30, PB)
From the first time he was stopped & searched as a child, to the day he realised his mum was white, to his first encounters with racist teachers—race & class have shaped BAFTA & MOBO award-winning hiphop artist, writer & social entrepreneur Akala’s life & outlook. In this book he takes his own experiences & widens them out to look at the social, historical & political factors that have left us where we are today. Covering everything from the police, education & identity to politics, sexual objectification & the far right, Natives speaks directly to British denial & squeamishness when it comes to confronting issues of race & class that are at the heart of the legacy of Britain’s racialised empire.
See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary by Lorrie Moore ($40, HB)
Lorrie Moore has been writing criticism for over 30 years, and her forensically intelligent, witty & engaging essays are collected together here for the first time. Whether writing on Titanic, Margaret Atwood, or The Wire, her pieces always offer elegant & surprising insights into multiple forms of art. Crucially, Moore is a practitioner who writes criticism; her discussion of other people’s work is based on her understanding of what it really takes to make something out of nothing: of what it takes to make art—which lends her encounters with books, films & paintings the uniquely intimate quality. In sparkling, articulate prose—studded with frequently hilarious insights—Moore’s meditations are a rare opportunity to witness a brilliant mind thinking things through & figuring things out on the page.
The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Wellbeing by Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett ($50, HB)
Further to their influential book The Spirit Level, which showed conclusively how less equal societies fare worse than more equal ones across a whole range of social measures, Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett present an equally impressive range of data & analysis in The Inner Level to show the impact inequality has on individuals—how it affects us psychologically, makes social relations more stressful, undermines self-confidence & distorts natural differences in personal abilities. They demonstrate that societies based on fundamental equalities, sharing & reciprocity produce much higher levels of wellbeing than those based on excessive individualism, competitiveness & social aggression. Like its predecessor, The Inner Level transforms ideas of how we should organise the way we live together.
How To Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics by Michael Pollan ($50, HB)
When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists & doctors as if the world might be on the cusp of psychological revolution. It promised to shed light on the deep mysteries of consciousness, as well as offer relief to addicts & the mentally ill. But in the 1960s, with the vicious backlash against the counter-culture, all further research was banned. In recent years, however, work has quietly begun again on the amazing potential of LSD, psilocybin & DMT. Could these drugs in fact improve the lives of many people? Diving deep into this extraordinary world & putting himself forward as a guinea-pig, Michael Pollan has written a remarkable history of psychedelics & a compelling portrait of the new generation of scientists fascinated by the implications of these drugs. This is a report from what could very well be the future of human consciousness.
How We Desire by Carolin Emcke ($33, PB)
What if our sexuality reinvents itself every time our desire shifts, every time the object of our desire changes? What if the nature of our desire is constantly changing—growing deeper, lighter, wilder, more reckless, more tender, more selfish, more devoted, more radical? This is an essay about gender, sexuality & love—about discovering the contours of desire & difference, about understanding that we sometimes, ‘slip into norms the way we slip into clothes, putting them on because they’re laid out for ready for us’. Carolin Emcke draws back the veil on how we experience desire, no matter what our sexual orientation—and examines how prejudice against homosexuality has survived its decriminalisation in the west.
Women are the Future of Islam by Sherin Khankan ($33, PB)
Sherin Khankan founded the first mosque for women in Europe and is one of the very few female imams in the world. In her revelatory book, she addresses such issues as the place for modern women in Islam, fundamentalism, radical Islamic groups, Islamic divorce, Sufism—and she also describes her own personal journey as a female Muslim activist. She shines a feminist light on a gentler, more inclusive, more liberal—but also fully engaged—side of Islam that we rarely see in the West. This is an eye-opening, highly topical read.
Women, Oxford & Novels of Crime by Alison Hoddinott ($26.95, PB)
Alison Hoddinott writes about the history of crime fiction set in Oxford from the early decades of the 20th century to the present—with an emphasis on novels written by women & the ways in which their fiction deals with both the mystery & its solution & with the situation of women within the university & in the wider community. Thus, women’s crime novels reflect the struggle of women for academic acceptance, the difficulties of combining a career with marriage & motherhood, the changes due to the contraceptive pill, the rise of the lesbian novel and, finally, the widening of settings & issues to include world-wide philosophical & political problems.
F-Bomb: Dispatches from the War on Feminism by Lauren McKeon ($25, PB)
From pop icons to working mothers, women are abandoning feminism in unprecedented numbers. Even scarier, they are also leading the charge to send it to its grave. Across North America, women head anti-feminist PR campaigns; they support anti-feminist politicians; they’re behind more than 70 lawsuits across North America to silence the victims of campus rape; they participated in Gamergate, the violent, vitriolic anti-women-in-technology movement; and they’re on the frontlines of the fight to end reproductive rights. Lauren McKeon explores generational attitudes, debates over inclusiveness, and differing views on the intersection of race, class & gender taking readers on a witty & insightful journey into today’s anti-feminist universe.
Small Wrongs: How we really say sorry in love, life and law by Kate Rossmanith ($33, PB)
Kate Rossmanith studied people for a living, and thought she understood human nature well. But in the wake of her daughter’s birth, the vulnerability & intensity of parenthood took her completely by surprise. Faced with a debilitating insomnia, she spent hours awake reflecting on her own upbringing & the unwelcome role remorse can play in even the most devoted parents’ lives. Increasingly fascinated with the concept of remorse, she was drawn to the criminal courts, observing case after case. She talked to criminals, lawyers & judges alike, trying to answer the fundamental question: how can you know whether a person is ever truly sorry? But it soon became clear the project was creating seismic shifts in Kate’s own life. The more she learnt, the more she saw how her relationship with her father, who for many years was a distant and often angry man, was steeped in remorse. The more she learnt, the more she saw the faultlines in her marriage, widening under the strains of parenthood. And ever present was a family history sketched across wartorn Europe, with the seeds of heartache taking root in Australia.
Desperately Seeking Self-Improvement: A Year Inside the Optimization Movement by Carl Cederstrom & Dr Andre Spicer ($34, PB)
The authors of The Wellness Syndrome throw themselves headlong into the techniques of self-optimization, a burgeoning movement that seeks to transcend the limits placed on us as mere humans, whether the feebleness of our bodies or our mental incapacities. Each month of a roller coaster year to was devoted to a different way of improving themselves: January was Productivity, February their bodies, March their brains, September for money. Written in the form of two parallel diaries, Desperately Seeking Self-Improvement provides a biting analysis of the narcissism and individual competitiveness that increasingly pervades a culture in which social solutions are receding and individual self-improvement is the only option left.
The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman ($45, PB)
Jane Friedman has more than 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. She offers the business education writers need but so rarely receive—meant for early career writers looking to develop a realistic set of expectations about making money from their work or for working writers who want a better understanding of the industry. Writers will gain a comprehensive picture of how the publishing world works—from queries & agents to blogging & advertising—and will learn how they can best position themselves for success over the long term.
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All of the following episodes are found in a collection of paperbacks called Colonial Facsimiles. Issued by Penguin Publishers between 1973–1975 and introduced by Australian historian Michael Cannon, they comprised 12 titles that presented facsimile editions of a variety of books first published in the nineteenth century. We have four titles for sale. All have sun-faded spines but are otherwise in Very Good Condition. Price: $15.00 ea. The Gold-Finder of Australia by John Sherer—Reprint of 1853 Edition. 1852—John Sherer, English new chum—a ‘fortuneless young man without a trade’— arrives at the Mt Alexander gold field, near Castlemaine, Victoria and in March, with three companions— Brown, Raikes and Shanty—strikes it rich: ‘Here it is, my boy, as large as an egg and as heavy as ****. My eyes! Feel the weight of that’. ‘It is gold’ said I ‘and there is plenty more around us or I am gravely mistaken. Have you marked the spot where you picked it up?’ Old Convict Days by William Derrincourt—Reprint of 1889 Edition. 1861—William Derrincourt, a recidivist convict, arrives at Cockatoo Island Prison, Sydney, to begin a seven-year sentence for Bushranging—here he advises how to hide money rather than have it confiscated: ‘Keeping a sharp look-out and watching my opportunity while the others were being searched, I commenced operations by first bolting a half-crown—a rather difficult and painful process at first attempt. Having got over the first difficulty, the rest followed easily, and in quick succession, till all was disposed of, and a curious sensation I felt. Mark Twain in Australia and New Zealand. Selection made from Following the Equator—Reprint of 1897 Edition. 1895—Mark Twain visits Sydney and notes a profitable pastime: And, finally comes the shark-fishing...the Government pays a cash bounty on them. The larger the shark the larger the bounty... You not only get the bounty, but everything that is in the shark belongs to you. Sometimes the contents are quite valuable. Town and Bush by Nat Gould Reprint of 1896 Edition. 1896—Nat Gould, English traveller, prolific novelist—130 books, some 30 set in Australia—and journalist, remarks upon Sydney’s drinking culture: An enormous amount of liquor, good, bad, and indifferent is consumed in Sydney... The born colonials do not drink so heavily as the men who go out there from other countries…If there were less bad liquor, there would be much less intoxication. To drink inferior spirits in a hot climate is a sure way to either kill a man or ruin his brain powers. Stephen Juggernaut! A Story of Sydney in the Wild Days of the Steam Trams As construction of Sydney’s light rail grinds on amidst cost blowouts, broken deadlines, continual disruption to residents and local business and the shameful destruction of centuries-old trees on Centennial Park’s southern border, the story of Sydney’s early steam tram network, reputedly the largest in the world, makes for sobering reading. Once connecting the city’s inner west with the beachside suburbs of Bondi, Coogee and Botany, Sydney’s steam trams were making 1200 journeys daily at the turn of the last century and carrying some 70 million passengers each year. David Burke’s entertaining and beautifully illustrated book paints a vivid portrait of the confident and bustling metropolis that was Victorian-era Sydney and the critical role steam trams played in its development and infrastructure. Today’s city planners would do well to read it as a case study in successful public transport (albeit with significant safety issues due to the technology of the day). (minor edge wear to dust jacket and several pages lightly creased $25, HC) Edith Wharton Abroad: Selected Travel Writings, 1888–1920 Novelist Edith Wharton was an inveterate traveller roaming widely across Europe, Morocco and the Mediterranean in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She was also one of a handful of foreigners allowed to visit the front line while living in France during the First World War. A selection of her travel writings, as well as dispatches from the Western Front, are collected in Edith Wharton Abroad. Despite her considerable wealth Wharton preferred remote or exotic places rather than the fashionable destinations of her class. She brings a novelist’s eye for detail and an appealing clarity of style across the breadth of her travel writing—from the evocation of romantic locales to the sites of war-time tragedy. A fine example of the later is her description of a field hospital in the town of Sainte Menehould in 1915: The reiterated appeal rose above the rows of bodies in the nave: “Sauvez, sauvez la France,” the women wailed it near the altar, the soldiers took it up from the door in stronger tones; but the bodies in the cots never stirred, and more and more, as the day faded, the church looked like a quiet grave-yard in a battle-field. (nice tight clean copy with minimal shelf wear. $15, PB) Scott
Killer Fog Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, The Great London Smog and the Strangling of a City by Kate Dawson ($40, HB) Further reading: London Fog: The Biography by Christine Corton ($45, PB) John Christie of Rillington Place by Jonathan Oates ($40, PB) London’s man-made, thick smog-fogs have a long and unpleasant history. In 1661, the diarist John Evelyn complained that sea-coal had turned London into ‘hell upon earth’. The city, with a population of 300 000, was often shrouded in ‘clowds of smoake and sulphur, so full of stink and darkness’. Two centuries later, with a population of nearly 2.5 million, London was the largest city in the world. As the great metropolis grew, so did the extent of the problem. ‘Pea-souper’ was the evocative phrase—first used in print in 1849 by Herman Melville—to describe the noxious yellow-black chemical clouds caused by industry and domestic coal burning which, when combined with calm cold days, would regularly envelope the city. Charles Dickens called them ‘London particulars’—referring to the soot particles in the air. Here is part of his memorable opening chapter of Bleak House (1853): Fog everywhere…fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards and hovering in the rigging of great ships…Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds… Smoke lowering down from chimneypots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snowflakes—gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Dickens also coined the phrase ‘London Ivy’ to describe the soot residue left on buildings. In 1871, the French author Hippolyte Taine, wrote of ‘a thick, yellow fog [that] fills the air, sinks, crawls on the very ground; at 30 paces a house or a steam-ship look like ink-stains on blotting paper. After walking around for an hour, one is possessed by spleen and can understand suicide’. By the mid-1850s some ‘London particulars’ lasted more than a week. London would eventually endure an average of fifty fogs a year over the next three decades. A century later, London’s population had reached 8 million. In early December 1952, a weather front of cold, still air combined with the daily soot and smoke of a million coal fires belching noxious chemicals produced a smog of unusual severity that lasted five days. Daytime visibility was often less than two metres. Public transport—both buses and taxis—was virtually cancelled. Only the Underground continued to operate. Ambulances ceased to run—people in distress were forced to bring themselves to overcrowded hospitals. Cinemas and theatres were closed. Zoo animals dropped dead. Sporting events were cancelled. Some 4,000 Londoners died during The Great Smog of London and a further 8,000 succumbed up to two months later due the delayed effects of the lingering pestilence. Author Kate Dawson describes this environmental catastrophe in detail—focusing in detail on the experiences of a single London family. She also combines it with another compelling story—the London serial killer, John Reginald Christie (1899–1953). However, despite the book’s subtitle, there is no link between the killer smog and mild-mannered killer Christie, who had actually commenced his murders nine years earlier in 1943, while a Special Constable during World War II. Women were lured back to his apartment at 10 Rillington Place, Notting Hill, then—in contrast to today—a shabby, overcrowded, low rent, West London suburb. There they were rendered unconscious with cooking gas and strangled. The bodies were buried in the garden, under floor boards and in a secret alcove in the kitchen. Christie’s killings ended in March 1953 and numbered eight victims including both his wife and the one-year old daughter of one of his victims. ‘The Beast of Rillington Place’, as Christie was dubbed by the press, was eventually convicted and hanged but not before his lies about three murders had sent Timothy Evans, an innocent man, to the gallows in 1950. The twin narratives of Dawson’s book conclude with the government introducing The Clean Air Act (1956). This designated so-called Clean Air Zones within the capital. Wider restrictions were also placed on the burning of domestic fuels in urban areas. Progress towards a cleaner air London was however, slow. In December 1962, more than a century on from Bleak House, Clive James, then a 23-year-old aspiring poet and novelist, recalled in his memoirs Falling Towards England (1985), of shivering in his underheated London flat while listening to the tenant upstairs coughing continuously through the last of the great sulphurous fogs to inflict the capital. In October 1966, Timothy Evans was granted a posthumous Royal Pardon. Stephen Reid
Before Dawn on Bluff Road / Hollyhocks in the Fog: Selected New Jersey Poems / Selected San Francisco Poems by August Kleinzahler ($23, PB)
When August Kleinzahler won the 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize for his collection The Strange Hours Travelers Keep, the judges’ citation referred to his work as ‘ferociously on the move, between locations, between forms, between registers’. They might also have added ‘between New Jersey and San Francisco’, the places Kleinzahler has spent his life travelling between, both on the road and on the page. This collection assembles the best of his New Jersey and San Francisco poems for the first time, organized according to place, with each city receiving its own title and cover.
They Knew What They Wanted: Collages and Poems by John Ashberry ($60, HB)
John Ashbery is known foremost as a poet, but he created collages for nearly as long as he wrote poetry. He began working in the medium when he was an undergraduate at Harvard—this volume compiles a comprehensive selection of Ashbery’s collage work from early days to the present. An extensive interview with John Yau delves into Ashbery’s creative process & the parallels between the two media. The volume includes collages, from his earliest work up until his death in 2017, exploring how his visual art evolved. The book also includes new & previously unpublished poems.
Sun Music: New and Selected Poems by Judith Beveridge ($26.95, PB)
Judith Beveridge is an exacting poet—precise and controlled— and her formal discipline gives added intensity to her expression of emotion. The combination of clarity and dramatic force, involving a supple use of language which registers the ebb and flow of feeling, makes her poetry immediately appealing and accessible. In this collection she has selected poems from her, The Domesticity of Giraffes, Accidental Grace, Wolf Notes and Storm and Honey, and included 33 new poems.
Moonlight on Oleander: Prose Poems by Paul Hetherington ($23, PB)
In Paul Hetherington’s Moonlight on Oleander things, places and human relationships become densely present in the process of being thought forward into ghostliness, through long and loving habit. Sequential without being narrative, consequential without the clincher of rhyme, Hetherington’s forms of words, gathered into blocks, seem like a new, telling version of sparseness, ‘unworded by exertion’ in the great tenderness the poet hints at, but will not overstate; in the links made between old worlds and new.—Vahni Capildeo.
Aboriginal Country by Lisa Bellear ($23, PB)
Much of Lisa Bellear’s poetry is politics made eloquent. In Aboriginal Country many poems seem to spark with frustrated energy over Australia’s political crossed circuits regarding a treaty with our First Nations peoples—as promised by Prime Minister Hawke in 1988. Reading the title poem for the first time I was struck by its power. We are on Aboriginal Country in Australia. With subtle barbs she wakes us as to how the ‘ownership’ (via naming ‘rights’) of Australian public lands and monuments lauds absent white English royalty and ‘intrepid god fearing discoverers’. Yet in her closing lines the poet transforms this potential for bitterness into a moment of hushed respect for country.—Jen Jewel Brown, Editor.
Broken Ground by Steve Armstrong ($23, PB)
The intimate territory Armstrong walks attends to the wider world—in particular, wild country, forest and field, river and ridge. But also the suburbs, the kitchen, the realms of the everyday. He writes the places in themselves, and he writes them as analogues, metaphors, for the geographies of the self. His is a poetry of landscape, desire, memory, love, lust and loss. Of delight and dilemma. He is a diviner. From the broken ground he draws the sacred. – Mark Tredinnick.
Christina Albertaâ€™s Father H. G. Wells, PB
Mr Blettsworthy on Rampole Island H. G. Wells, PB
Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid Nikki Giovanni, PB
Stories in the Stars: An Atlas of Constellations Susanna Hislop, HB
The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip George Saunders (ill) Lane Smith, HB
Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer and Patriot Anna Beer, HB
Ambition, A History: From Vice to Virtue William Casey King, HB
The Drowned World J G Ballard, HB
American Apostles: Evangelicals & the Invention of Islam Christine Heyrman, HB
Making Minds and Madness From Hysteria to Depression Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, HB
The Birth of Capitalism: A 21st Century Perspective Henry Heller, PB
Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire Roger Crowley, HB
Defaced: The Visual Culture of Violence in the Late Middle Ages Valentin Groebner, HB
The Private Life: Our Everyday Self in an Age of Intrusion Josh Cohen, HB
The Curse of Cash Kenneth S. Rogoff, HB
Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics Nesheim & Nestle, HB
Her Right Foot Dave Eggers (ill) Shawn Harris, HB
Animals in Photographs Arpad Kovacs, HB
The One Hundred Nights of Hero Isabel Greenberg, HB
The Art of Zentangle, PB
The Arts Brand New: Art & Commodity in the 1980s
Fuelled by a series of political, cultural & technological shifts, the 1980s brought about a golden era of contemporary art, with the nation’s newfound economic prosperity setting the stage for the re-evaluation of the art object. Material goods were seen as a demonstration of power & financial wealth, while the artists themselves became brands, in many cases resulting in the interdependence between public persona & artistic output. Coinciding with the height of the information age & the rise of modern branding, what began as satire came to define the world today. The market variations of the 1980s triggered an important change, as artists simultaneously subverted & embraced this increased commodification by essentially branding both their art & personas. ($99, HB)
Italian Shoes: A Tribute to an Iconic Object by Giovanni Gastel ($95, HB)
Shoes made in Italy have always been an iconic accessory, a symbol of prestige, and a guarantee of quality on the international market. The creative flair of Italian brands has succeeded in turning a simple functional accessory into so much more, crafting true works of art & objects of style—art draws on reality & reinterprets it, even coming to resemble it. In the beautiful shots reproduced in the book, the photographer pairs shoes with everyday objects that evoke them by their form, colour or texture.
Botanical Inks: Plant-to-Print Dyes, Techniques & Projects by Babs Behan ($25, PB) Learn how to transform locally foraged wild plants, garden produce & recycled food & plant waste into dyes & inks—this book shows you how to extract environmentally sustainable colour from the landscape & use it to create natural dyes for textiles, clothing, paper, canvas & more. It covers dying & surface application techniques—bundle dying, Shibori tie-dying, Hapa Zome, indigo sugar vat, wood-block printing, screen printing, pot dying & ice flower dying. And it also shows you how to turn your newly-printed material into wonderful projects, from block-printing wrapping paper to bundle-dying a scarf.
Scandinavian Needlecraft: 35 step by step handsewing projects by Clare Youngs ($30, PB)
The 35 sewing projects in this book fuse classic Scandi motifs including hearts, flowers & birds with contemporary techniques & materials—working with a wide variety of fabrics: fleece & felt baby bootees finished with French knots, a gingham curtain tie-back, a striped machine-embroidered apron. Clear instructions & step-by-step artworks show a wide range of sewing techniques, including appliqué, cut work, patchwork, decorative machine stitching, shadow work & ribbon work. Simple stitches such as herringbone, cross stitch, French knots, daisy stitch & satin stitch are also used to great effect.
Cat Lady Embroidery: 380 Ways to Stitch a Cat
Fat, striped, cheshire, or grumpy, this books offers more than 300 embroidery stitch patters for cat lovers. Each set of patterns offers a range of ideas in different styles, shapes, genres from simple to more complex. A purrfect book for embroidery beginners or those looking for fun and simple patterns. Original designs and clear instructions make this book a must have for any embroidery enthusiasts library. ($25, PB)
Dean Home: An Artist’s Journey ($120, HB)
Dean Home is a master colourist who brings together an array of influences to create sumptuous still lifes. Entering in the worlds that Home creates feels like stumbling into Coleridge’s Xanadu, his paintings burst with rich jades and crimsons, exotic objects and enigmatic narratives. This is Home’s first monograph on his life and art.
Bronwyn Oliver: Strange Things by Hannah Fink ($59.95, HB)
Born on a farm near Gum Flat in Northern NSW, Brownyn Oliver grew up in country-town Inverell. She won the Travelling Art Scholarship to study sculpture at Chelsea Art School in London, returning to win numerous awards. While many of her contemporaries began making installation art, Oliver worked within the traditional discipline of sculpture. She was an intensely ambitious artist whose works seem to grapple almost effortlessly with the big questions of life. Her organic yet strangely human sculptures are coveted by collectors for their eloquent beauty. ‘I wanted to write an old fashioned art book, one that tells the story of the artist’s life from beginning to end,’ says author Hannah Fink. ‘But I also wanted to write about the creative process—how Bronwyn made things, why she made them. What drives someone to make art?’
Room to Dream by David Lynch ($35, PB)
David Lynch opens up about a lifetime of extraordinary creativity, the friendships he has made along the way and the struggles he has faced—sometimes successful, sometimes not—to bring his projects to fruition. Room to Dream interweaves Lynch’s own reflections on his life with the story of those times, as told by Kristine McKenna, drawing from extensive & explosive interviews with ninety of Lynch’s friends, family members, actors, agents, musicians & collaborators. Lynch responds to each recollection & reveals the inner story of the life behind the art.
Sophie Taeuber-Arp & the Avant-Garde: A Biography by Roswitha Mair ($99, HB)
Sophie Taeuber-Arp was a quiet innovator whose fame has too often been yoked to that of her husband, Jean Arp. Over time, however, she has slowly come to be seen as one of the foremost abstract artists and designers of the 20th century. The Swiss-born Taeuber-Arp had a front-row seat to the first wave of Dadaism & was, along with Mondrian & Malevich, a pioneer of Constructivism. Her singular artwork incorporated painting, sculpture, dance, fibre arts & architecture—one of the first to successfully bridge the divide between fine & functional art. This the first biography of this unique polymath, illuminating not just Tauber-Arp’s own life & work, but also the various milieus & movements in which she travelled.
Van Gogh and Music: A Symphony in Blue and Yellow by Natascha Veldhorst ($50, HB)
From psalms & hymns to the operas of Richard Wagner to simple birdsong, music represented to Van Gogh the ultimate form of artistic expression. He believed that by emulating music painting could articulate deep truths & impart a lasting emotional impact on its viewers. Natascha Veldhorst provides close readings of the many allusions to music in the artist’s prolific correspondence & examines the period’s artistic theory to offer a rich picture of the status of music in late 19th century culture. She shows the extent to which Van Gogh not only admired the ability of music to inspire emotion, but how he incorporated musical subject matter & techniques into his work, with illustrations of celebrated paintings such as Sunflowers in a Vase, which he described as ‘a symphony in blue and yellow’.
On Color by Stephen Farthing & David Kastan
Kastan & Farthing, a scholar & a painter, respectively, investigate colour from numerous perspectives: literary, historical, cultural, anthropological, philosophical, art historical, political & scientific. In 10 lively & wide-ranging chapters, each devoted to a different colour, they examine the various ways colours have shaped & continue to shape our social & moral imaginations. Each individual colour becomes the focal point for a consideration of one of the extraordinary ways in which colour appears & matters in our lives. Beautifully produced in full colour, this book is a smart, entertaining, and fascinating guide to this elusive topic. ($48, HB)
Plundering Beauty: A History of Art Crime during War by Arthur Tompkins ($60, HB)
From the many wars of Classical Antiquity, through the military turning points & detours of the 4th Crusade, the 30 Years’ War, Revolutionary & Napoleonic France, the 1st and 2nd World Wars, & then onwards to the ongoing contemporary conflicts in Afghanistan & Iraq, the history of art crime in times of war contains myriad fascinating & often little-known stories of the fate of humankind’s greatest works of art. Arthur Tompkins charts the crucial milestones of art crimes spanning 2000 years. The works of art involved have fascinating stories to tell, as civilisation moves from a simple & brutal ‘winner takes it all’ attitude to the spoils of war, to contemporary understanding, and commitment to, the idea that our artistic heritage truly belongs to all humankind.
John McLaughlin Paintings: Total Abstraction
Minimal geometric abstractions characterized by clean lines, bold colours, and flat, intersecting forms, John McLaughlin’s paintings investigate symmetry and composition, and are largely informed by the Japanese notion of ma—the special emptiness between forms. Generously illustrated with more than 80 images, the book features reproductions of the self-taught artist’s works and celebrates their simple beauty and precision. Essays explore McLaughlin’s relative obscurity in the pantheon of 20th century American artists, his influence on contemporaries and later artists, and the role of Asian art and philosophy in McLaughlin’s practice. ($85, HB)
Behind the Camera: The Most Legendary Photographers of All Time ($80, HB)
This remarkable collection gathers the finest work of 18 groundbreaking photographers, including Margaret Bourke-White, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Robert Doisneau, Sebastiao Salgado, Werner Bischof, Abbas Attar, Robert Capa, Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz. See how they documented history through their subjects, techniques & styles.
DVDs With Scott Donovan
what we're reading
Faust: Dir. F. W. Murnau ($19.95)
In collaboration with the screenwriter Hans Kyser, F. W. Murnau fused Faust’s script from German folk legend and the works of Goethe, Gounod, and Marlowe to tell the classic tale of a man who sells his soul to the devil. Starring Emil Jannings as Mephisto, this was Murnau’s last German film feature, and it features astonishing photography, magnificent art direction, and special effects which still have the power to amaze. Freed from the constraints of psychological narrative, his mastery of cinematic technique places Faust at the pinnacle of the silent era, its barrage of visceral and apocryphal imagery contrasting with the simplicity and directness of its spiritual theme. This DVD features a extra audio commentary with film critic John Noonan.
The Killing Of A Sacred Deer: Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos ($32.95)
Colin Farrell & Nicole Kidman star in this horror drama written & directed by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos. Steven Murphy (Farrell) is a successful cardiac surgeon who lives a happy life with his ophthalmologist wife Anna (Kidman) and their two children. However, his perfect life starts coming apart at the seams after he befriends 16 year-old Martin. Steven spends much of his time hanging out alone with the teenager and also invites him round to his upper-class home to socialise with his kids. However, when Steven visits Martin and his mother (Alicia Silverstone) for dinner, the teenager’s motives for their unusual friendship become clear and it transpires he’s willing to go to great lengths to get what he wants, to the detriment of Steven and his family. Special features: Interviews with Lanthimos, Farrell & Kidman.
Wind River: Dir. Taylor Sheridan ($39.95)
From Taylor Sheridan, the writer of Hell or High Water and Sicario, comes a gripping crime thriller set in the unforgiving snow plains of Wyoming. Elizabeth Olsen stars as a rookie FBI agent tasked with solving the brutal murder of a young woman in a Native American reserve. Enlisting the help of a local hunter (played by Jeremy Renner, Hurt Locker) to help her navigate the freezing wilderness, the two set about trying to find a vicious killer hidden in plain sight.
Two Women: Dir. Ralph Fiennes ($24.95, Region 2)
Stef: Educated by Tara Westover: I read this story in shock and awe. What a story, what a life. And what a transformation. Tara Westover was the youngest child borne into a large Morman family, raised in Idaho, with limited opportunities to be part of a wider community. She was born at home, she has no birth certificate, no medical records, no school records, according to the state of Idaho and the federal government she does not exist. She along with three of her siblings, she is one of seven, was home schooled by her mother and believed what her over zealous father preached. Her father was preparing for the end of days, fearing the outside world’s influence would lead to corruption and the rejection of his beliefs. They stockpiled food, water, ammunition and fuel. An all controlling and at times an incredibly dangerous man, he drip fed them fear and paranoia for the world. Despite this, through her own incredible determination Westover managed to school herself to a level that she wins a place at Brigham Young University in Utah and it is here that her education begins. Not just academic (she gets a BA, is awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship & was a visiting fellow at Harvard University)—but she has to learn how to live in a world that is unfamiliar to her— how to behave, how to dress, how to make friends, how to interact within a community and belong. This would be perfect book for a book club.
John: The Cuban Missile crisis in 1962 looms large in our collective memory even for those of us too young to have our own memories of the momentous events of that year. As a young person in the late 70s and early 80s I was sure that world would end with a nuclear holocaust, and that it would probably be soon. After the invasion of Afghanistan on Christmas Day 1979 Doug Mulray doing his best Malcolm Fraser impersonation declared war on the Soviet Union, for a few moments I imagined Russian submarines launching missiles on Pine Gap and Sydney. In his book 1983 Taylor Downing describes just how close to armageddon we came in that year. Setting the year against the personalities of the new American President, Reagan, and Soviet leader and former head of the KGB, Yuri Andropov. It was the year Korean Airlines KAL007 was shot down by a Russian fighter. All on board were killed including a US Congressman. Arms controls talks were suspended and NATO exercises were almost interpreted by the Soviets as the ‘real thing’ It was the year a very brave Russian Lieutenant Colonel held his nerve after multiple false alarms of US ballistic launches. I had a notion of some of the events of 1983 but Taylor Dowling manages to place them in time and context. A fascinating read, that left me wondering how many other near misses there have been.
Ralph Fiennes, Sylvie Testud and Aleksandr Baluev star in this Russian adaptation of Ivan Turgenev’s play. Married to a wealthy landowner, Natalya (Anna Vartanyan) laments losing her allure over the opposite sex as middle age approaches, and she finds herself increasingly jealous of her adopted daughter Vera’s (Anna Levanova) youthful beauty. When she employs 21 year-old student Aleksei Belyaev (Nikita Volkov) to tutor her son Natalya instantly falls in love with him, but so too does Vera. While Natalya still welcomes the attention of family friend Mikhail (Fiennes), a bitter rivalry ensues between the two women as they compete for Aleksei’s affection.
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